This week I tried to be an epic “cool mom” and surprised my boys with a day at Disneyland. My oldest Waylon is in his last week of school so I figured not much learning is really going on so why not play hooky and do a day at Disney?
Have I mentioned before that I love surprises? I do. I think surprises are so fun…my family on the other hand, they could care less apparently. I pretended like I was taking Waylon to school in the morning and when I drove by the school Waylon said, “Mom that’s my school! You’re parking too far away; it’s going to take forever for me to walk that far!” This is where I come in with my “cool momness”…. I pulled over and said: “what if you DON’T go to school today and instead we go to DISNEYLAND!” Confusion set in and he said, “um not today, not like this this mom.” AHHHHH ha ha ha BOMBED that one! When I explained it was okay that I could get him out of school and that not much learning was going on and that his cousins were coming he got on board.
I met my sister Emily there and with our 6 kids in total made the most of the happiest place on earth. Now doing Disneyland alone with 5 kids and a baby is not easy, but so worth it. I wanted to give you all my tips so you can feel like you can join in the fun, even if you have an infant.
# 1 Don’t wait in line for your first photo:
Don’t wait in line for your first photo at Disneyland… there’s this spot (photo below) to the right of the iconic “Disneyland” photo spot and it’s just as good! We waited for one group ahead of us to snap their photo and when they lingered a little too long I asked nicely if they could move so we could get the shot too. You just gotta be brave and sweet and ask for what you need.
# 2 Buy necessities and cheap souvenirs outside of Disneyland & sludge on the big stuff in the park:
You can buy Autograph books, Mickey fans and glow in the dark souvenirs at the Walgreens or CVS on Harbor Blvd just outside of Disneyland. We bought out kids fans for $5.99 before we entered the park and they came in very useful on this 90 + degree day. I bought my kids Disney hats while in the park and it brought us all way more joy to have a more meaningful item that can be worn/used more than once!
# 3 Download the Disneyland app for attraction wait times and so much more…. also give your kiddos a map, have a plan on where you’re going to go first and show them where that is on the map.
My kids love maps and love charting where we’re going and where they want to go on the map. I think it gives them a sense of healthy power and control when they get to have a say in the plan for the day.
# 4 Utilize the Baby Care Centers on Main Street in Disneyland and Pixar Pier in California Adventure.
Ruby was teething all day and wanted to nurse everywhere… if you’re a nursing mom make sure to wear something easy to breastfeed in. It was in the 90’s the day we went so by midday she was overheated so when we walked into the air-conditioned baby care center it felt like Heaven. The sweet cast members showed me where I could nurse Ruby, feed her solids in a high chair, change her diaper and fill up our water bottles with cold filtered water. While I fed, changed, and cooled off Ruby the boys were allowed to sit in the “lost children” area and watch a movie.
# 5 Don’t forget the SPF…
I love how easy it is to apply this Tubby Todd sunscreen and the protection it offers!
# 6 Make sure your stroller is Disneyland compliant.
- A child must be removed from his or her stroller while riding on a parking lot tram.
- Do not leave personal belongings in an unattended stroller.
- Strollers may be moved by a Cast Member due to operational needs.
- Rented strollers may not be taken beyond the Guest screening tents, located in the Esplanade between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.
- Strollers larger than 31″ (79 cm) x 52″ (132 cm) and wagons are not permitted.
- Stroller wagons are also not permitted.
I have the Indie Twin Stroller by Bumbleride and it fit… my sister’s double BOB fit as well. 😉
# 6 Find a special spot in the park like this wall across from “It’s A Small World” and take a photo with your kids each time you come to document their growth!
# 7 Utilize the” baby swap” or “rider switch” if a someone in your party doesn’t meet the boarding requirements or doesn’t wish to experience a particular attraction.
With Rider Switch, one adult or supervising Guest (14 years or older) can wait with non-riders while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. Then, they simply switch roles to allow the supervising Guest to experience the attraction without waiting in the regular queue again.
Rider Switch is available at select attractions in Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.
# 8 It’s hot in the summer season so bring your water bottles and keep refilling it at baby care centers and drinking fountains.
# 9 Take the Toy Story Shuttle Bus back to the parking lot.
It’s about half a mile from the park so it’s easy to walk but with tired kids and parents at the end of the day the air conditioned bus was a literally a breath of fresh air. With that being said, if you have a stroller that is packed to the gills make sure you unload all your stuff into your bags so you can collapse your stroller.
Lastly enjoy the Magic Kingdom and let go of expectations!