20 Tips for Disneyland with Kids

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  1. Pack with entire outfits in gallon ziploc bags from shirts to socks and accessories. Then kids can pull out the bag for that day and get dressed. No searching around for rogue items.
  2. Take or rent a stroller. We take our double stroller so both kids can ride. They will get tired and you won’t want to carry them (plus it will carry all your stuff). Mark it well with a tag with your name and phone number. All the strollers start to look the same after a while.
  3. Bring ponchos (2 for $1 at Dollar Tree) and flip flops for the water rides. People may look at you funny, but better for wearing a poncho than for walking like a sore cowboy because your shorts are chafing and your shoes squelch.
  4. Have a large back pack to hold everything (jackets, camera, hats, sunscreen, etc) that will still fit in the bottom of the stroller. You will have to take it out and fold the stroller if you take a shuttle to Disney. I can’t tell you how many things we lost on the way to and from Disney that we would still have had we put everything in the bag.
  5. Carry an extra pair of clothes and a sweatshirt for the kids. They are bound to spill, get wet, or get sick and you’ll be glad you had them. As for the jacket, it can be chilly in the morning and evening or after water rides.
  6. Put everyone’s shoes in the same place every time you walk in to the hotel. That way you won’t have to search them out every time you want to leave.
  7. Pack anything non-perishable in to the stroller the night before. That way you can get to the park bright and early without feeling in a rush. The first hour the park is sooo much less busy and you can get a lot of rides in before the crowds.
  8. Staying in a hotel with a good breakfast is a huge plus. You never have to discuss where to go or have an extra stop before the park. You can even eat in your pjs.
  9. Each morning take a picture so you can remember what everyone is wearing, but also if someone gets lost you have a picture of exactly what they look like that day.
  10. Make personalized Disney tattoos with your phone number on them for little kids to wear in case they get lost. Teach them how to spot a cast member to help them.
  11. Take food for snacks in a soft sided cooler. Snacks throughout the day will keep kiddos in good spirits and stretch time between stops for meals. You may also consider packing young kids lunch. If they are picky it will save you from wasting an expensive park meal.
  12. Take a water bottle for each person with their name on it. Staying hydrated is imperative and take a refillable bottle will save you a ton of money. Bottles with straws are great because it is proven that kids drink more from a straw. Attach them all to the stroller with a big carabiner.
  13. Go home for a nap in the afternoon. It will save you from fighting with cranky kids when everyone is overtired. It’s also great to have a break from the sun in the heat of the day.
  14. Use the parent pass system! If you have kids that are too small for the ride, you can send one parent through and get a parent pass from a cast member for the other parent to come back through the fastpass, wheelchair line or sometimes even the exit (depending on the ride). It’s nice because at most of the big rides there is a little kid ride nearby so it is easy to take the toddler on a ride then swap.
  15. Make use of the fastpass system. Collect your fastpass near the attraction using your park ticket at the kiosk. The fast pass will give you a time to return and go through an expedited line to experience the ride. Another Fastpass ticket can be obtained either at the start of the current Fastpass ticket’s return time or after two hours, whichever is earlier.
  16. Use the parent passes and fast passes in conjunction in your favor if you have an odd number with a small child. Example: We had two parents and five year old and a two year old. We paid for three tickets which means we could get three fast passes. So we would send one parent with our older child using two fast passes, but getting a parent pass. Then, the second parent would go with our oldest using the parent pass. Then, one parent would go again with our oldest using the last fastpass. Just tell the cast member you only have one and ask if you can take your child anyway. They always let us. This meant my son got to ride four times for the wait time of one!
  17. If you have impatient toddlers in tow and don’t mind splitting up have one parent take the kids on a short ride while the other parent waits in a long ride or character greeting line. The kids get more rides and you get less frustration. The cast members don’t mind you joining your family in line as long as someone is saving your spot.
  18. Along the same lines take little activities, books, phone apps, or toys to entertain kids in long lines. Think up silly Disney trivia questions or make up stories.
  19. At the ice cream shop on main street you can save money by buying the biggest waffle cone and purchasing additional ice creamless sugar cones. Then just scoop some from the huge cone in to the little ones for small kids.
  20. If you want your child chosen for Jedi training in tomorrowland get there about 20-30 minutes early and once they start choosing have your kid jump up and down and clearly shout to the Jedi master what they are wearing. When we were there they chose by describing what they are wearing over the mic.

My bonus tip is book through Get Away Today. They always have deals like free nights, free parking etc. and as a bonus if you give them the code Tipsy14 and you’ll get $10 off! That’ll buy you a turkey leg at Disneyland people!

Wednesdays through January


  1. says

    These are great, thanks for sharing! We won’t be able to go to Disneyland for some time, but we travel a lot (we are actually going to a couple different kinds of parks this summer) and some of these will really help!

  2. says

    Great insight and tips. Just wondering about one suggestion. When I was a younger mom, I remember being cautioned about the safety of putting names on backpacks, clothing, or other children’s items that were easily seen in public due to the fact that anyone would then be able to call my child by name. Maybe initials or color coding would be an option.

  3. says

    While I know it may be easier to have someone wait in line while you ride other attractions, most of the lines make it hard to join your party, and other guests do get cranky if your pushing through. Use this tip with caution for sure :)

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  6. says

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