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How To Do Disneyland with a Toddler

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Visiting Disneyland with a toddler can be a magical experience if you plan and prepare correctly. The park is a wonderland of exciting rides, colorful characters, and enchanting shows. However, it’s essential to manage your toddler’s needs and expectations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need on how to do Disneyland with a toddler.


Visiting Disneyland with a toddler requires careful planning and flexibility. Choose accommodations near the park to minimize travel time, book a character meal for a fun dining experience, and utilize the Disneyland app for easy navigation. Bring or rent a stroller and prioritize toddler-friendly attractions. Manage wait times by arriving early and bringing small distractions. Maintain regular nap times and schedule breaks. Ensure your toddler’s safety and comfort, and handle tantrums calmly and consistently.

Planning Your Trip

Choosing the Right Accommodation

Staying at a hotel within walking distance to the park can significantly minimize travel time and make it easier to return for naps or breaks. Disneyland has three official hotels and numerous Good Neighbor hotels nearby. The Disneyland Hotel, for instance, not only provides easy access to the park but also offers various Disney-themed amenities that your toddler will love.

Booking a Character Meal

A character meal allows your toddler to see many characters in a short period without waiting in lines. You can book a character meal at places like the Plaza Inn or Goofy’s Kitchen. Here, your child can enjoy a hearty meal while interacting with their favorite Disney characters.

Using the Disneyland App

The Disneyland app can be an invaluable tool during your visit. It allows you to check wait times, locate attractions and dining options, and even make mobile orders for food and drinks.

Navigating the Park

Utilizing a Stroller

A stroller can be a lifesaver when visiting Disneyland with a toddler. It provides a comfortable place for them to rest and nap during the day. You can bring your own stroller or rent one at the park. Off-site vendors like City Stroller Rentals also offer stroller rental services.

Prioritizing Toddler-Friendly Attractions

Disneyland offers numerous toddler-friendly attractions. Some popular options include It’s a Small World, Dumbo, Astro Orbiter, Disneyland Railroad, and Alice in Wonderland. At Disney California Adventure, your toddler will love Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and Jessie’s Critter Carousel.

Managing Wait Times

Arriving early for ‘rope drop’ when the park opens can help you maximize your time and avoid long lines. You can also use the Disneyland app to monitor wait times and plan your day accordingly. Bring along small toys, games, or books to keep your toddler occupied while waiting in lines.

Scheduling Breaks and Nap Times

Overstimulation or tiredness can quickly lead to tantrums. Try to maintain your toddler’s regular nap times and schedule mid-afternoon breaks. A quiet spot or a Baby Care Center can be an excellent place for a break.

Dining at Disneyland

Disneyland offers several kid-friendly dining options. Alien Pizza Planet, Flo’s V8 Cafe, and Plaza Inn are some of the restaurants that serve toddler-friendly meals. You could also pack your own snacks and meals to ensure your toddler has familiar and healthy options throughout the day.

Ensuring Safety and Comfort

Your toddler’s safety and comfort should be your top priority during your Disneyland visit. Dress your child in bright colors to make them easily identifiable in crowded areas. Use a stroller or a safety harness to keep them close to you. Teach your child to trust their instincts and stay close to you or hold hands with an adult or sibling in crowded areas.

Handling Tantrums

Temper tantrums are a normal part of toddlerhood. When a tantrum occurs, stay calm and composed. Distract your child, validate their feelings, and take them to a quieter area to calm down. Consistency with rules and expectations can also help manage tantrums.


Visiting Disneyland with a toddler can be a fun and memorable experience. With proper planning, preparation, and flexibility, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip for the whole family. Remember, the key is to cater to your toddler’s needs and interests while keeping them safe and comfortable. Happy travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the operating hours of Disneyland?

Disneyland’s operating hours can vary throughout the year. It typically opens at 8:00 or 9:00 am and closes between 10:00 pm and midnight. However, it’s always best to check the official Disneyland calendar for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Can I bring my own food and drinks into Disneyland?

Yes, Disneyland allows guests to bring their own food and drinks into the park. However, there are some restrictions. For example, glass containers (except for small containers like baby food jars), alcoholic beverages, and coolers larger than a 6-pack sized cooler are not allowed.

Are there height requirements for the rides?

Yes, some rides at Disneyland have height requirements to ensure the safety of all guests. For instance, Space Mountain requires riders to be at least 40 inches tall. The Disneyland app and website provide detailed information about height requirements for each ride.

Can I leave the park and come back in on the same day?

Yes, Disneyland offers re-entry into the park on the same day. Just make sure to keep your ticket and get a hand stamp before you leave.

How does the FASTPASS system work?

The FASTPASS system allows you to reserve access to select attractions, entertainment, and more. You can make a reservation with your park ticket and return to the ride at the designated FASTPASS return time. The Disneyland app also offers digital FASTPASS services via MaxPass for an additional fee.

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