Packing for Disneyland with a Toddler
If you live in Southern California, chances are that you have visited one of the several major theme parks that it boasts. If you are like me, Disneyland has been a favorite destination spot to enjoy with family, friends, on a date, or escape from the day-to-day. Close friends and relatives know that I am obsessed with and in love with Disneyland and the true magic that lives within it.
When my son was born I couldn’t wait to take him on his “first trip” and thought of the experience in a cloudy, magical, and sparkling setting. Perfect, children, and Disneyland are not words you will ever be using together! I have had to learn through practice that although I over plan to the “T,” I have to be ok with the road bumps that life inevitably throws at me. That being said, I still believe that being prepared and ready for a full day at any amusement park is the best way to avoid further frustration and problems.
There is a delicate balance between over packing and not packing enough, and you don’t want to be leaning towards either side! Don’t panic! For Disneyland I made sure to take my wonderful Jujubee b.f.f. Diaper Bag. [Jujube Diaper Bag] Having the option to wear it like a backpack is key, especially if you are wearing your baby while waiting in lines! Even though I went with my husband, I still chose to take only 1 backpack/diaper bag and one cooler solely for his food and snacks. One of the things you never think about when going with your child to Disneyland is that you need to park your stroller in stroller parking designated areas. Although the stroller parking areas are safe, you have to park at your own risk of having something stolen. Make things easy, don’t bring a separate purse or anything too important that you would be crushed to lose. (Note: I have never lost anything while visiting Disneyland). Be aware, Disneyland Cast Members often move your stroller in order to make space for others, so don’t panic if you don’t see your things exactly where you thought you left them! I would recommend tying a ribbon, balloon, or anything that can distinguish your stroller from the hundreds of others.
One of the things I love about my diaper bag is that there is a “mom compartment” in the front. If possible, use a part of your bag to put your wallet, phone, and other necessities that you would’ve have otherwise taken in your purse.
In my diaper bag I made sure to have:
- 1 extra outfit
- 1 long sleeve T-shirt option in case it got cold later on
- 1 Fleece Footsies Pajama (I highly recommend this for your smaller ones! Having a warm all in one comfy outfit is perfect for watching the fireworks show or night time parades when it’s colder and helps out so much when arriving home and being able to simply transfer your exhausted child from car seat to bed!) [Footsie Pajamas]
- 8 Diapers
- Wipes pouch
- Sunscreen stick
- Hand sanitizing wipes
- Empty bottle (you can purchase 1% milk at Disneyland)
- 1 snack container with Cheerios to have with me at all times should he get fussy in a line.
- Sippy Cup with water
In a separate cooler bag I packed non-perishable food and snacks to have (and leave) in the stroller throughout the day:
- 1 pouch of food (Chicken and Veggie)
- 1 pouch of a fruit and veggie blend as a snack
- 2 applesauce packs
- Animal cookies
- Teething wafers
- Ritz crackers
- A bib and spoon
(and then for us adults):
- 2 water bottles
- Granola bars
It was so nice to have the bulk and weight of the items we were taking in a separate bag that stayed with the stroller at all times! Before parking my stroller I would pick and choose what snacks I wanted to take with me in line to keep my son happy! Pack LOTS of handy snacks! This made those horrible long lines manageable and kept our baby content.
If you’re on a budget, pack sandwiches or other lunch options for you and your kiddo’s in your lunch bag. We opted to eat lunch and dinner at Disneyland. There are quite a few meal options for little kids that my son really loved! We really enjoyed and recommend visiting the Red Rose Tavern. For our son, we choose the toddler Mac-n-Cheese lunch, which came with your option of applesauce or apple slices, and Milk (juice or water can be substituted upon request) for $4.49.
In my stroller I made sure to pack:
- 2 fleece baby blankets
- lightweight jackets for my son, husband, and myself
- My son’s favorite Mickey Mouse plush [Mickey Plush](it’s way too over priced to buy there!)
Basically I left things in my stroller that I would “not die” should someone happen to take it! Mickey mouse was usually with my son at all times or stored in my spacious diaper bag while on rides.
I also highly recommend taking a good baby carrier [Ergobaby Carrier] to help you out while waiting in long lines!
My son is 14 months old and although he loves to run around, he is not fond of standing patiently. Carrying my 23lbs child more than 30 minutes in a line just hurts! Strapping my son to me frees my hands and allows me to move around more freely, and you get in and out of rides much quicker!! (Note: you might be asked to take your child out of your carrier in some rides to face forward! This is very easy to do with my carrier as I simply unclip and bring down the carrier. Once the ride is over I place my son right back into my carrier before stepping off).
Remember practice will make perfect! If you plan on going multiple times to Disneyland or other theme parks, you will learn by experience what items are necessities for you and your kiddo’s. If you forget anything, Disneyland and California Adventure parks have a (Baby Center) fully equipped with Diapers, wipes, formula, water, snacks etc. I LOVE this little place because not too many people know about it and it allows for a quite and peaceful escape with your little one. The room is always set to a comfortable temperature so it’s nice and warm at night and cool for those scorcher summer days! Stop by the baby Center at Disneyland on Main Street (near 1st aid) and enjoy the peaceful amenities to change your baby in, nurse (in private little rooms), and if you have older toddlers, go potty on small toilets, all in peace and quite!
Hopefully this list helps start you off on the right direction! Have fun, take lots of pictures, and enjoy the experience!
Let us know how you plan and pack for your trips to Disneyland or other amusement parks! We would love to hear from you!