Tips for Visiting the Disneyland Resort with Preschoolers


Tips for Visiting the Disneyland Resort with Preschoolers 1

There’s nothing like a young child’s first encounter with Mickey Mouse at the Disneyland Resort. And there’s nothing like seeing the Disney parks through your child’s eyes. As their eyes light up with wonder and amazement, family memories begin, and those memories are sure to last a lifetime. From these cherished character experiences to attractions that are ideal for toddlers, plus healthy dining options, there’s so much magic for little ones and their parents to enjoy.

Another plus for families with young children is the close proximity of both theme parks and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort, making this a walking resort that’s easy to navigate. Complimentary resources and services also are available to enhance a visit with young children.

Guest Services

  • Baby Care Centers: In Disneyland Park at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. and in Disney California Adventure Park at Pacific Wharf, guests will find complimentary Baby Care Centers. These comfortable staffed locations offer nursing rooms, changing rooms, feeding areas, microwaves and more.
  • Family-friendly restrooms: Families will find companion restrooms conveniently located throughout both parks. With six companion restrooms at Disneyland and four at Disney California Adventure, parents have convenient options with this public restroom alternative.
  • Secured items: Four locker locations are available for storing valuable items during a visit, with two in the main entrance plaza, one on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland and another on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure. Parents of young children may benefit from this service by safely stowing items they do not wish to leave in their stroller.
  • Renowned guest service: Guests will find friendly cast members ready to answer questions at City Hall in Disneyland and the Chamber of Commerce in Disney California Adventure. Parents will appreciate conveniently located information boards featuring attraction wait times at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland, and at the end of Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure. Guest relations kiosks are located throughout both parks, with supplies of park maps and time schedules.

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Attractions for Toddlers

Families will find countless fun, age-appropriate shows and attractions for preschool-aged children upon their visit. Some of the many options include:

In Disneyland:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • The Royal Theatre at Fantasy Faire
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Goofy’s Playhouse
  • Mickey’s House and Minnie’s House
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

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In Disney California Adventure:

  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Disney Junior Dance Party!
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters (32″/81 cm or taller)
  • The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

Baby on board!: The Parent “rider switch” policy gives both parents a chance to enjoy an attraction a young child may not want to board. A parent who waits with that child while the other parent rides the attraction may then board the ride with minimal wait time after the first parent exits. Guests may ask a cast member at an attraction’s entrance about this service.

Break out the measuring tape: Some attractions at the Disneyland Resort have height requirements to ensure the comfort and safety of all guests. Before visiting the Disneyland Resort, parents may want to measure their small children to limit any surprises upon arrival. Guests will find height requirements for applicable attractions at and on the official Disneyland app.

Maximize your time: Families can maximize their day by using the official Disneyland app. The app offers useful information right at a guest’s fingertips, including attraction wait times, FastPass return times, maps, entertainment guides and other special features. Guests may also use the app to purchase tickets with their mobile device, look for character appearances in the park, find park hours and even order food and beverage at select fast-casual and quick-service restaurant locations.

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Character Experiences

  • All the Resort’s a stage: Parents of small children will find entertaining Character Shows are some of the best opportunities to enjoy quality time with the family in an experience that’s mesmerizing for every age. For some children, the shows at Disneyland Resort are their first experience with live music and theater. Performances are scheduled daily, including the stage production “Mickey and the Magical Map” at Disneyland and “Frozen—Live at the Hyperion,” and “Disney Junior Dance Party!” with Vampirina at Disney California Adventure. Parades offer families and friends an opportunity to take a break and watch characters and entertainment pass right in front of them.
  • Magical meetings: Some favorite spots for Character Encounters are Fantasy Faire, where Disney Princesses interact with guests, and Mickey’s House and Minnie’s House in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland; and Cars Land where Mater and Lightning McQueen can be found cruising through Radiator Springs, and in Hollywood Land at Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome at Disney California Adventure.
  • Character dining: Parents and preschool-aged children may enjoy a tasty meal in the company of a favorite character such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy or Donald Duck at the Disneyland Resort. Five locations currently offer character dining experiences: Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Goofy’s Kitchen at Disneyland Hotel, Plaza Inn at Disneyland and Storytellers Café and Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, featuring Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures.

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  • Delicious healthy meals: Nutritious food and beverage options are an important component for families. For guests who are seeking to make healthier choices, the Disneyland Resort offers power pack meals, designed for children with snacks such as apple slices and string cheese, and the Disney Check symbol available on kids’ menus. The Disney Check helps parents easily identify healthier dining options that meet Disney nutrition guidelines.
  • Special dietary requests: Table-service restaurants and select quick-service locations across the resort offer allergy-friendly menus to all guests. Parents can confidently choose the safest ingredients and alternatives for young children who have common food allergies.
  • Guilt-free snacks: With seven locations within Disneyland, and three locations inside Disney California Adventure, fruit carts offer healthy snack options for families looking to refuel between attractions and entertainment. Fresh fruit, yogurt, and juice are just some of the options parents will find at these locations.

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Photo Opportunities

  • Snap the magic: Guests will find more than 25 iconic photo spots across the Disneyland Resort. Most are conveniently marked with a “Nikon Picture Spot” sign in front of beautiful locations such as the Partners statue in the Central Plaza at Disneyland and Pixar Pal-A-Round at Disney California Adventure. As children grow older, photos from a special trip to Disneyland become a lasting treasure.
  • Worth a thousand words: Guests with pre-school aged children can easily capture priceless memories with Disney’s PhotoPass Service. Photographers are staffed at iconic locations, character greetings and select dining experiences in both parks. Guests wishing to have their photos taken may ask this trained cast member for a free PhotoPass Card. At each subsequent encounter where a PhotoPass photographer is present, guests simply show the same card to collect all of their memories in one convenient place. Many photo packages are available, including digital and printed copies online, through the Disneyland app and in person at Main Street Photo Supply at Disneyland and Kingswell Camera Shop at Disney California Adventure. Guests that have purchased Disney MaxPass on the Disneyland app have access to unlimited Disney Photopass photo downloads for the day.

Magical Memories

  • Disney Wish Program: Through the Disney Wish Program, approximately 700 wishes are granted each year for children with life-threatening medical conditions. This collaboration between the Disneyland Resort and nonprofit wish-granting organizations has been making wishes come true since 1981. Guests who visit Disneyland as part of the program may utilize the Disney Wish Lounge, located at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., near the First Aid Station and Baby Care Center.
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: Children ages 3-12 receive the royal treatment at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Fantasyland. In this unique experience, parents may choose from a variety of packages with fun hairstyles, beautiful dresses and photography options that fit every budget. Parents watch the magical transformation unfold as young ones truly believe they are becoming their favorite Disney Knight or Princess.
  • Special Merchandise: Disneyland Resort guests will find many shops with fun merchandise that will help create lasting memories. Parents may pick up their child’s first Mickey Mouse ear hat that can be embroidered with the child’s name or a very first plush of a favorite Disney character. A special souvenir is a sweet reminder of the precious preschool years.

Are you considering taking your preschooler on a Disneyland vacation? If you’d like help planning, contact me today! I am a travel agent with a Disney earmarked agency, Amazing Magical Adventures. I can help you plan and book a magical trip all at no extra cost to you!

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