Disney Resort Babies/Toddlers Tricks & Tips

For those with young children; doing construction paper rings to count down the days before the trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World even a birthday party can help your child to understand that they are not going tomorrow… but will go when all the rings are gone. I had heard of doing this and debated doing it for my 3.5 year old. I was holding back for two reasons: 1) We still had over 100 days before out trip and 2) I felt he was too young.

I decided it didn't hurt anything to try… so I had my son help me to make the rings. And he began pulling a ring of at 90 days. We are now 63 days away and when he pulls his ring off nightly he now says 'one day closer to Disneyland'. So this does help. I expect his excitement to grow as there are fewer and fewer rings left.
If your young child is stroller bound, be sure to take advantage of areas where they can run around in an area made specifically for them. Tom Sawyer's Island is a large area to run around outside, but does require parental supervision. In ToonTown, near Chip and Dale's Treehouse is another area for children to run and play. Here, you can sit and rest while your child runs around, and still not lose site of your child. At California Adventure, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has many areas for running, climbing and playing, but like Tom Sawyer's Island, does require as much parental supervision. Also, at Redwood Creek, there are many options for older children such as a tire swing, but these options do have height requirements.
If you have a toddler who watches the Disney Channel in the mornings, don't miss the Playhouse Disney Live on Stage show at California Adventure. This show includes Bear in the Big Blue House, Stanley, and Rolie Polie Olie, and lasts about 20 minutes, ending with bubbles and streamers. About 20 minutes before show time, Cast Members come out to help entertain the crowds waiting to be let inside the theatre.
If traveling with a child in diapers, be sure to take plenty, or visit a store before checking in to your hotel. Diapers are very expensive at Disneyland! ($1.00 per Diaper in 2004)
If you are using your own stroller, mark it somehow to easily identify it in a crowd of strollers. Many styles are similar, and this will make yours easily visible, and also keep someone else from mistaking it as their own.
Two reasons to take your own stroller are ease and comfort. First, you don't have to wait in a line to rent a stroller, and then do the same thing if you go to California Adventure. (2004 Update - since the do the security check at the entrance to the Plaza it looks like you can take the stroller from park-to-park) Since the rented stroller must stay in the park, Downtown Disney can be rough when carrying a young, heavy child. Also, your child is familiar with the stroller you own, and may be more comfortable. Our son slept in our stroller a lot in lieu of a nap, which he refused to take. We don't feel this would have been possible in a rented stroller. In addition to that, if we were renting, and he was asleep, then we would have to wake him up to leave the park
If you plan on eating at a Character Meal, or a sit down Disney Restaurant in the parks, hotels, or Downtown Disney, you can call 45-60 (Reservations for Disney Dining)days in advance for reservations, known as priority seating. The phone number is: 714-781-DINE.
While enjoying a Character meal, if the Character's are not coming to your table, talk to the Character Coordinator and explain the problem. We have done this twice with great results both times.
If you have young children, don't miss Disney's Electric Parade at California Adventure. With the bright lights and the music, your child will love this parade. Also, try to get a seat up front, as some of the parade characters just may come say hi during the parade.
If you have a toddler, don't miss It's a Small World. This was, by far, our son's favorite ride at Disneyland! Between the music and the bright colors, this ride is a wonderful one for toddlers and babies alike.
On some rides, our child cries until the ride starts. I mention this because on a few occasions we were to quick to remove our child from the ride. We later learned that once the ride started, he was fine, and enjoyed the ride. You know your child best, so we just wanted to mention this as something we experienced.
Use a backpack instead of a diaper bag. There are diaper bags in backpack form, and we just love ours. At Disneyland though, it frees your hands and the stroller compartment while providing a lot of room for diapers and food for your little one.
If you have a baby or toddler to small to ride Splash Mountain, take advantage of Single Rider. While one person is riding, the other can either take the child on the Winnie the Pooh attraction, or get in the line to meet Tigger, Eeyore, and Winnie the Pooh.
Make something you can attach to your toddler with your child's name, parents names, and a cell phone number. This is a safety feature if you and your child become separated at the parks.
If your child disappears, immediately alert Disney security to assist in the search for your child's safe return.
If you have an older child have a place in Disneyland to meet if you become separated. Next to the Mickey and Walt statue in the Hub is a great place.
Plan rest periods for your child. It can be a nap at the hotel, a relaxing swim, or just walking around so your child can sleep in the stroller. This will make for a happy child, and in turn happy parents, as the day gets longer.
If you have young children, a great idea for keeping them safe if they get lost is to stop at your local pet store before your trip. There, for about $5.00 you can get a pet tag (heart works best with kids) and put your child's name, with a cell phone number for both parents (if both will have a cell phone at the parks). The tag can then be laced in your child's shoes, or through a belt loop.
Light sticks can be purchased before going to Walt Disney World or the Disneyland Resort and tucked into a fanny pack or backpack to ease a child's fear of the dark quickly, and without be obtrusive like a flashlight.

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