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Tips for Visiting Disneyland Resort with Preschoolers



There’s nothing like a young child’s first encounter with Mickey Mouse at the Disneyland Resort.  As the child’s 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 to enjoy. Another plus for families with small 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 at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. and in Disney California Adventure 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 five 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.


Attractions

Top attractions for preschoolers: 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
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Goofy’s Playhouse
  • Mickey’s House and Minnie’s House
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • “it’s a small world”


In Disney California Adventure:

  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Disney Junior – Live on Stage!
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters (32″/81 cm or taller)
  • Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train
  • Flik’s Flyers
  • Francis’ Ladybug Boogie
  • King Triton’s Carousel
  • 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 Disneyland.com.

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 Mickey’s Soundsational Parade or Main Street Electrical Parade and the stage production Mickey and the Magical Map at Disneyland, and both “Frozen-Live at the Hyperion” and “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” at Disney California Adventure.

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 Cinderella, Minnie Mouse or Donald Duck at the Disneyland Resort. Five locations currently offer character dining experiences: Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure, Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Goofy’s Kitchen at Disneyland Hotel, Plaza Inn at Disneyland and Storytellers CafĂ© at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

Dining

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 Mickey Check symbol available on kids’ menus. The Mickey 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 six 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.

Photo Opportunities

Snap the magic: Guests will find nine iconic photo spots across the Disneyland Resort. They 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 Mickey’s Fun Wheel 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 and in person at Main Street Photo Supply at Disneyland and Kingswell Camera Shop at Disney California Adventure.

Magical Memories

Disney Wish Program: Through the Disney Wish® Program, nearly 800 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.

Annmarie John
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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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