Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth...for Infants and Toddlers too!

Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth...for Infants and Toddlers too! 1On May 29th, my husband and I visited Disneyland with our then-20-month-old daughter and our friends Joe & Rhonda and their then-8-month-old son. I think we were all wondering if a trip to the famed amusement park would be worth it with such young ones in tow. After all, they wouldn't remember the experience and we still had to think about naps and breastfeeding, baby food and strollers, toddler snacks and diaper bags. But I am here to tell you that it was more than worth it! We would do it all over again a thousand times over. It was a magical, wondrous, and joyful day - full of beautiful and memorable moments. Disneyland is actually the *perfect* place to go with wee ones. Here's why...

Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth...for Infants and Toddlers too! 21. The Disneyland Baby Care Center. Located on Main Street, the Disneyland Baby Care Center is a comfortable and welcoming spot for new parents to tend to baby's needs. The center features private nursing lounges, a diaper changing area with soft diaper pads and disposable paper to put down underneath your baby, mini potties for potty training tots, a fully stocked kitchen area with a microwave and sink, and a lounge area with coaches and a TV/DVD player (plus, a basket of books and toys). If you need assistance, you'll be greeted by grandmotherly figures in rose-colored aprons and gentle smiles. This place is a jewel and beats Knott's Berry Farms' baby stations by a hundred fold. 

2. Baby/Tot-Friendly Rides and Attractions. Disneyland is a baby-friendly park, for sure. Your little one will be mesmerized by Pinnochio and Peter Pan. We didn't allow our daughter to watch any TV until she was a year and a half and only very minimal TV after that so I think those rides were a little bit too stimulating for her. BUT she absolutely loved Cinderella's Golden Carousel and Dumbo...and Pooh was a favorite too simply because it was Pooh.

Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth...for Infants and Toddlers too! 33. Healthy meal and snack options. We were pleasantly surprised to find numerous fruit stands throughout the park with shiny red apples (a la Snow White) and yellow bananas for sale. Plus, the park offered deli sandwiches, veggies, and other nutritious fare aside from the regular family favorites - pizza, burgers, and corn dogs (the corn dogs were seriously tasty - I think that may have been the best corn dog I have ever eaten, as a matter of fact). The food WAS pricey, but it also tasted surprisingly delicious (unlike other amusement parks where the food is outrageously priced and less than mediocre...ahem, Six Flags). 

4. Neat and Tidy. In the movies, Disney princesses always seem to have "special friends" that help keep things tidy...and they must be hard at work in the park because the park is spic and span. From the rides to the floors to the eating areas, everything is non-sticky and pristine...which is pretty remarkable considering how many people tromp through the park each day. If messes are made, they are cleaned up almost instantly - magically. Now if only that would happen in my house (a girl can dream)... 

5. Service with a smile. Disney hires great people. For the most part, the workers all were friendly and cheerful or, at a minimum, professional. Dressed in costume, the workers all seemed proud of Disney and what it stands for. There seemed to be A LOT of Disney staff members walking about (which is a good thing), but Rhonda and I both commented about how we missed the "old days" when characters would wonder around throughout the park. Is that practice defunct or did we just go on a weird day? We saw one or two here and there, but most of the characters were MIA. 

Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth...for Infants and Toddlers too! 45. The Parade. At the end of the day, we chose a spot on the sidewalk off of Main Street and marveled at the perfectly-orchestrated parade. The costumes were gorgeous, the characters were spell-binding, the music was familiar, and the dancers never missed a step. Both of the babies in our company were enthralled by the show and, come to think of it, so were their parents.

In sum, Disneyland is a magical place for the littlest of visitors. The thing that particularly struck me as we ended our day was that everything was managed with such meticulous care and engineered with such flawlessness. The Disneyland that Walt Disney dreamt up still seems in-tact: excellence in every detail and happiness in every nook and cranny. Disney remains my absolute favorite amusement park - it simply can't be beat in terms of quality and imagination.

YOUR TURN: What is your favorite amusement park and why? If you've been to Disneyland with a little one (under age 4), what was YOUR experience like?

P.S. As a side note, strollers are available for rent for $10/day, but I think it's much better just to bring one of your own. It's free, more comfortable, AND yours will stand out among the throngs of strollers outside of Splash Mountain.

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15 comments on “Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth...for Infants and Toddlers too!”

  1. My husband and I love Disneyland. He's a major Disney freak and turned me into one. We got engaged in World (2002), honeymoon in DL (2004) , we went in 2005 & 2006, he went in 2007 with his friend. I just had a baby and wasn't about to fly with 3 month old, never mind try to get him a passport (live in Canada)
    This year we are planning on going in October. Our 2 boys will be 18 months and 5 months. We are going to be driving down. It's about 25 hour drive but probably long with all the stops but we are making it a two trip). Crazy I know but then the boys don't need passports, we can bring our double stroller and buy more Disney Stuff to take back.
    Never been there with little ones so thank you for your article it helps calm the nerves alot!

  2. Glad you had such a great time! I can't wait to go back this year again. We went last November for my daughter's second birthday and she had so much fun. I was 6 months pregnant at the time but even I had a blast! We went on a Wednesday and there were almost no lines. I was really surprised and happy. DH wanted to get on Space Mountain while Samantha napped so I told him go ahead. I was shocked when he came back about 10 minutes later. I asked him if the line was so long he left, and he said he'd rode already.

    We did take our own stroller because it was more comfortable. It's a 2 year old Graco travel system stroller that we've dubbed "The Tank." It's bulky and takes up all the room in our trunk. We parked it by the matterhorn to go on the Nemo Subs and when we came back it was gone! I freaked out rambling to my fiance about how nobody would want our piece of junk stroller out of all the strollers in the park. The padding was stained and riddled with food crumbs, the tray was sticky, and the wheel looks like it's going to fall off! We asked a cast member if they moved strollers and she told us to check over by the Nemo subs. There were at least 50 strollers parked in rows over there but we finally found ours. I thought for sure it had been stollen though!

  3. we love disney too. They also have a babycare station in california park. a little smaller but still nice. My only complaint is that they did not seem to want my husband to go in the back and help change the diapers. They let him when I asked but seem a bit put-off which made my husband uncomfortable. The ladies are hit and miss some are really nice and others are fake nice and some a little rude.

  4. We LOVE Disneyland but have not taken our little boy yet...he just turned one so we're waiting til he's a bit older to enjoy it...my husband thinks he is too young...

    We definitely prefer Disney over Knott's hands down...

    I've never been to Walt Disney World but my husband says it's even better than Disneyland...

  5. Disneyland is the best ever. Funny that this is today's post, because even though it's been a couple of months since we went to California and visited Disneyland, part of Blondie's prayer before bed tonight was "...and thank you for going to Disneyland and the fun rides and stuff..." My only complaint was that we needed more than one day. So it's not a complaint against Disney, it's that we couldn't stay another day! I miss being twenty minutes away from the park and having passes. Good memories at that place.

  6. We love Disneyland!! Last year we went for our kid's BDays - A was turning 5 and P was turning 1. Like you, we had to deal with naps, Breastfeeding, and general crankiness. The best thing we found was to stay a hotel right across the street! We loved being able to go get naps, snacks and clean clothes and not really lose anytime! This was really great when P needed a nap and A wanted Tower of Terror, so I took P to the hotel and A and Dad got some screaming bonding time! We also took full advantage of the "parent swap passes" on the big rides. This gave A 2x on the ride and neither of us had to miss out. We are going again for the BDays this year!!!!!

  7. I am so glad you shared this! I want to take my daughter to Disney World next summer when she is 2 1/2, but my husband thinks she is too young. I am going to share this post with him and hopefully it will change his mind. :)

  8. I didn't know that Disneyland was so infant friendly. I knew that there were many rides available for toddlers and small children, but that's great that babies can go and have fun, too!

    I have a good friend that works for Radio Disney now, so we have been thinking about making a trip to Disney World (or Land) sometime in the next year. Now that I know that my son will enjoy it, it will definitely happen!

    Thanks for sharing this great info :)

  9. We went to Disneyland in December when the kids were 4 and 35 1/2 months (got her in for free, since she wasn't quite 3!!!) The kids had a blast!
    We spent a lot of time in Mickey's Toon Town. They had a Goofy house with an outside play area that the kids loved to run to after waiting in lines for rides. (think mall play area) It was a good way for them to safely get some wiggles out and run around. I think their favorite rides were the teacups, Dumbo and Mr. Toad's wild ride. Mr. Toad freaked our son out for about 2 minutes, but then he was begging to ride it again!
    We had fun too, but we've been major Disney people forever, and it was hard for us to skip some of our favorite rides (Space Mountain, the Matterhorn) that would have been too much for the kids. I think next time we go, it will be a mommy-daddy trip.

  10. Lately I've been thinking about how much I want to go to Disneyland. We went to Disneyworld (in Florida) for our honeymoon and it was seriously the best vacation ever. We've been to Disneyland a couple of times but never with the baby. Which is a shame, because we live so close. I just wasn't sure how he would handle it, but after reading your review I want to go more than ever! Thanks for all the enlightening information!

  11. I'm biased for sure but Disney parks beat other parks HANDS DOWN.

    And Disneyland is nothing compared to it's younger sister Disney World.

    I've been taking little ones to the parks for years and years. The baby care centers are amazing resources and we love the wonder and awe that Disney parks bring to life.

  12. We just went to Disneyland in May for the first time with our 4 year old daughter! It was everything we had hoped it would be and more. We loved everything about the place. They do have a nice picnic place near the entrance too so we brought out own food and had lunch there. And they let you bring in your own food and beverages which was a nice thing too! The rides were great for all of us! Just wished there were more hours in the day!

  13. I love Disneyland! My husband and I went there for our honeymoon, he had actually never been before. And we went in the off season so it was awesome. No waiting in lines at all.

  14. I haven't been to Disney since I was about 10 years old. I remember some of the rides and taking the train there from CT. Sometime I do hope to bring my daughter there. It sounds like you had a great time and they do have so much to offer, you need two weeks to see it all! As for other amusements parks, I will go to county fairs instead and enjoy local flare, rides and food.

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