For those of you that don’t know, Disney is in my blood. I was born at Orange County Hospital down the street, I went as a kid all the time, my fiance proposed to me as Disneyland and we Honeymooned at Disney World where we made our son (Bow-chicka-bow-wow!) Anyway, so we just couldn’t wait to take our little geek to experience Disneyland either. While most people wait until their kids are older so they can remember it, we have zero patience for all that. So at 7.5 months, little man got to experience all the wonder, magic and exhaustion that comes with a day at Disneyland.
However, unlike our go, Go. GO! mentality we normally have at Disneyland, we had to make a few adjustments. Ok, a LOT of adjustments. There were a lot of new things to consider with going to Disney with little man like food, what to do, baby wearing or stroller, changing, pictures, and clothes just to name a few. Who knew there would be so many things to figure out just before going into the park. So one step at a time, here is how our trip went.
What To Pack
We packed a backpack to make our lives easier. We figured it would be more efficient than carrying around a diaper bag and easier for handing the baby back and forth.
Here was what we packed for Geek Baby:
- Change of clothes: We went to Disneyland in early December, so it was chili. We packed 2 spare long sleeved onesies with matching beanies, 1 set of jeans, and 1 change of socks. We also packed a lightweight zip-up hoodie.
- Blanket, baby sized
- Food: We use Beaba Babypotes for travel purees, so we filled them up with pureed apples for snacks. We knew we would be snacking in the park and he would eat what we got.
- Diapers: We are a cloth diaper family, so I packed about 10 inserts and a spare cover. We use Honest Company Travel Wipes when on-the-go to make things easier. I also had a travel wet bag. (I will be talking about cloth diapering at Disney in a separate blog.)
- Other: I still breastfeed and need to use a nipple shield so had my husband carry that for me. We also had brought his car toy, a Squirt with lots of chew things for when he was fussy.
For us, we had:
- Water bottle
- Snack bars
- Google Glass
- Phone charger
- Both cell phones fully charged
- Zip-up hoodies for both of us
- Blanket or Quillow: We didn’t bring one, but I wish we had for sitting on for the parade, fireworks and Fantasmic show.
Baby Wearing or Stroller?
We actually decided to both, but we split it up. We decided we would go back to our hotel in the afternoon to let geek baby get a quality nap in before the evenings events. We baby carried in the morning and used the stroller at night. Why? Well we knew he would eventually fall asleep in the evening (which he did right before Fantasmic) and would want a comfy, still place to sleep. I love to baby carry, but I move around a lot so I didn’t want to disturb him.
Baby wearing is awesome during the day because you don’t have to worry about maneuvering around everyone with the stroller and you don’t have to feel like a jerk when you accidentally hit someone in the back of their legs while trying to get around.
Having my stroller at night was nice and leisurely. It made things a little easier, especially once he went to sleep because he was racked out while hubby and I got to enjoy the night shows. (I have NO idea how he slept through all the noise.)
There are so many fun photo ops to be taken in the park. You spend your whole day just walking around taking great pictures. We got a few fun ones in the park, but here are some that are really fun to do:
- Family picture in front of the castle
- Pulling the sword from the stone
- Making a wish at the wishing well
- With Mickey at Mickey’s house
- In Mickey’s car outside Mickey’s house
- In Goofy’s car outside Goofy’s house
- Steering the Mark Twain River Boat (just ask a cast member if you can drive the boat and they will tell you where to go.)
- In the stationary Dumbo next to the Dumbo Ride
I also highly recommend dressing your little one up. I will talk more about costuming at Disney in another blog, but we dressed Geek Baby up in Donald Duck onesie and EVERYONE fussed over him. It was awesome!
I wish every public restroom was as awesome about changing stations as the ones in Disneyland. They had big stationary spaces built into the walls that had a roll of toilet paper in them conveniently located right next to a trash bin. They are also very clean, I never go into a Disney bathroom without seeing a cast member tending to the bathroom. You don’t ever really think about those sorts of comforts until you experience them.
If you want an even more comfortable place to change your baby, check out the Baby Care Center. Decorated in an early 1920s classic Victorian home look, complete with tacky flower wallpaper, there is not only a privacy are for nursing and little kid toilets, but also a very comfortable changing room for babies. There is a sink, big cushy changing stations, flush area for messes and privacy. Located to the right of Town Square, this is a great place to get away from the crowds, feed baby and also pick up things you may need like disposable diapers, band-aids and more.
When we decided we were going to spend the day at Disneyland, we also committed to eating in the park. We made reservations for breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen for breakfast, did quick service at Tomorrowland Terrace and also made a reservation at Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque for dinner. Honestly, it was the best and most delicious way we could have done it. By setting reservations, we were able to plan our day around food, which you have to do with a baby anyway, and we got to enjoy some of the best foods Disneyland has to offer.
Geek Baby got to enjoy yummy Mickey pancakes and fruit while being fussed over by all the characters and cast members at Goofy’s Kitchen. I recommend doing an early reservation so there isn’t a lot of people and you get more one-on-one time with characters (especially if your little one is dressed-up). We got ordered an extra plain chicken sandwich for lunch and cut it up into baby size pieces for little man to enjoy. He also got to try french fries for the first time, which he seemed to enjoy. He even got to enjoy a little Dole Whip on the way back to the hotel.
But hands down, his favorite was Big Thunder Mountain Barbeque. He had chicken, cornbread, corn on the cob and beans. He even got a little bit of mixed berry cobbler. He just kept opening his mouth wanting more and more at the dinner table. Now that I think about it, I am sure that full belly is why he slept through Fantasmic.
He snacked on his pureed apple between meals and also was breastfed three times while we were in the park.
What To Do
Since we planned our day around food, we used the other times to figure out how to spend our day. We did Goofy’s Kitchen at 7:30am, getting us into the park at 9am. Our family tradition is to start every trip to Disney by riding Pirates of the Caribbean. Geek Baby rode it like a champ! He didn’t have any problems with the drop (probably because I play drop him all the time. Get your little one ready by counting 1, 2, 3 and then fake dropping them. We counted with him before drops and he was cool.)
We also rode Haunted Mansion and Mark Twain River Boat, where Geek Baby got to be the captain. We took time to walk around the square and look at all the statues then got lunch. We went to Toontown to meet Mickey Mouse and bought some souvenirs. We purchased Geek Baby’s Mickey Mouse ears and took a walk around the House of Tomorrow and Innoventions where we enjoyed seeing all the Iron Man suits and we heard/watched an awesome telling of my personal favorite story, Peter Pan, in the coolest bedroom you have ever seen. We then headed back to the hotel around 2pm.
We took a nice long nap and headed back to the park around 5 just in time to get a spot to watch the Christmas parade and then went to dinner at 630. We then went to get a spot to watch Fantasmic, which is always so energizing except for Geek Baby who slept, then we watched some fireworks and called it a night. We rode the Monorail back to our hotel both times which made our life so much easier.
Some of the baby friendly things we wanted to do but just couldn’t because the lines were way too long or the rides were closed were:
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
- Storybook Land Canal Boats
There are so many great places to shop and even more awesome things to buy at Disneyland. We knew we didn’t want to go nuts, but we still wanted something to commemorate the trip. We bought a few things for us adults, just some Donal Duck Tagalongs and measuring spoons, but for Geek Baby we were more specific. He got his first set of Mickey Ears, a baby Donald Duck car and a little plushy Donald Duck. (If you haven’t figures it out yet, we are BIG Donald Duck fans in our house.) They were the perfect things to get for him since he is still little and they will last.
Wrapping It Up
It was such an amazing trip for us and it was more magical than ever because we got to share all the things we love at Disney with our son. I know as we go more through the years that it will be more and more fun with each visit.
I think the best thing to remember is that you aren’t going to get to do a lot and you have to remember to go at the pace of your little. Remember to have fun, take a ton of pictures and enjoy the memories.
Also, when your baby sleeps through Fantasmic, there is a very real possibility they will wake up the moment you get back to the hotel and be totally wired!