The 8 S's: Tips for Toddlers at Disneyland
Bring lots of snacks and 1 water bottle/sippy cup per person in a backpack. You can always refill your drinks and ask for free water cups at restaurants. I just have to hit this one hard: it makes waiting in line SO much easier with little ones and it costs a fortune to eat at one of the park's restaurants for every meal. Personally, we usually eat one large meal in the parks and get one fun treat. But bringing your own snacks will save $$$$$ in the end. I also like to bring sandwiches in a tupperware (so they don't get smashed) for lunch to avoid paying $13 for a burger.
Wear well-fitting walking shoes. This goes for your little one too, even if they're not walking. Okay, I guess for toddlers, it's really more important that they wear well-fitting shoes. It is a pain to try to find a lost sandal that baby somehow kicked off somewhere in between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. ...or wait, maybe they lost it in Adventureland? (meaning: you're never going to find it again.)
Your stroller should be able to lie down, have a sunshade, and it is super nice to have a basket. It is also a good idea to personalize your stroller. At least write your last name on it somewhere, but I like to put a big, noticeable bow on the handle. When you park it in stroller parking, sometimes it gets moved around by cast members and it is so worth $1 in ribbon (or a bandana) to make it easy to spot.
If you happen to have a swaddle blanket, bring it. They're super light weight, and you never know when baby might need a cuddle. Especially at night it might get cooler (the wet beach air tends to drift). It also makes a great sun cover if they're in the stroller napping. Any lightweight, breathable fabric blanket would also work. It's nice to just shove it in the stroller basket.
Need I say more? (Learned from experience: A bottle costs like $16 at Disneyland if you forget it. OUCH. Almost more painful than the sunburn.)
If you ever find yourselves feeling wiped out and hot, shows are always a good place to sit down. Mickey and the Magical Map is nice and covered, and my little 2-yr old really enjoys it. The daytime parade is so cute, but it is out in the sun. A great spot to sit on the parade route is right across from the Matterhorn, kind of by the Alice in Wonderland ride. There is a little bench that wraps around and there's usually shade. The Fantasy Faire is also a great spot to take a breather and so cute, especially for little girls. Tiki Room also usually has a short wait to be sitting in somewhere nice and cool. (Dole whips make the wait even yummier! Plus you can eat them inside the show. Really a great place to take a snack and drink break.)
7. SMALL WORLD
In my experience, the line for "it's a small world" is shortest at the VERY beginning of the day, or the VERY end. It's usually a 20-30 minute wait throughout the day. But a "must" with little ones. (Come on, you know you love that catchy tune...)
This last tip is a huge lifesaver. With big-ticket rides, adults can talk to a cast member and get a baby swap/rider switch/parent swap pass. (I've heard it called all those things, and the cast member will know exactly what you're asking for.) This is like a special fast pass- while one parent/group is riding, the other parent is off the ride babysitting. After the first group gets off, the babysitting parent can now ride the ride with a shortened wait. (This saves SO much time. Instead of both of you having to wait in the long line separately, only one has to wait in the long line and then the other can quickly ride.) Make sense?
Hope this helps! Have fun in the Happiest Place on Earth!
Any questions? Feel free to comment below!