My family and I just returned from a trip down South to Disneyland. To say we had an amazing time, would be an understatement. However, it came at an extreme cost to me and my husband. It was EXHAUSTING. (To put it in perspective, I fell asleep on the couch last night BEFORE the Bones Season Finale ended. Hello??? I have DREAMS that Booth and I are partners in an episode while trying to keep him from finding Bones. I know, right?)
It was a trip of a lifetime, but it was hard work.
(Did I mention I have a 5 yr old AND a 2 yr old boy? Did I mention we brought our "busy" 2 yr old to a theme park and asked him to sit in a stroller for more than 5 minutes?)
I would do it all over again, in a heartbeat, but without these survival tips Style Lush Readers and a few friends of mine provided, we wouldn't have gotten as much bang for our buck (made it back home, in one piece, with a smile on our face.)
- As I mentioned last week, be prepared in the safety department. Tattoo your kids with your phone number, in case they get lost. One tattoo lasted us 3 days at the park.
- If you are visiting a Disney theme park and have an IPhone, download the MouseWait application. Get all the up-to-date wait time for all rides at all their parks.
- Put aside a few extra dollars, or $75 of them, for a character meal. We chose Goofy's Kitchen for breakfast at the Disneyland Hotel. The genuine adoration my boys had for Goofy was unreal. So glad I gave them that opportunity. (Food was good too!)
- To offset the cost of special breakfasts and such, I brought pb & j sandwiches, string cheese, grapes, and water bottles along with many snacks for us to munch on throughout the day. By bringing one meal yourself, you can save from $20-$40 each meal! (Side note-On Main Street, at the Baby Care Center, there is a water spigot. Fill up your water bottles for free and it's filtered! Other spigots can be located in the dining courtyard of Ranco Del Zocalo in Frontierland and in the Tomorrowland Terrace.)
- If you are in to splurging on that one or two items, here are some Tasty Treat options: Corn Dogs at The Little Red Wagon and Stagedoor Cafe, The Pineapple Whip at the Tiki Room in Adventureland. Also, there is a stand right near the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster that ONLY sells McDonalds French Fries.
- Over in Critterland, you can hit the Hungry Bear Restaurant. You can eat your own food outside while the kids gaze out over the river with tons of ducks. Perfect distraction and perfect for shade and stroller naps!
- If you are like us, the adults like to ride rides too. Make sure to hit all of these rides first thing each morning. The lines are extremely short so you can spend the rest of the day focused on the kids. (Side note-Busiest rides in Disneyland: Peter Pan (huge hit!) Splash Mountain, Nemo's Sub ride, Space Mountain and Autopia.)
- Fast Pass- Go to all the bigger rides and grab a fast pass. Come back and ride the ride in way less time. Perfect for parents who have little kids waiting in the wings.
- Parent Pass- OK. This is BEST THING EVER INVENTED. Along with hitting a ride like Space Mountain, first thing in the morning, ask the attendant at the front for a Parent Pass for that parent who is waiting behind with the smaller tot. Once the other half gets off the ride, you can take your Parent Pass back up the Exit (WITH the older kid who just rode the ride) and hop on! FANTASTIC. This is the end-all-be-all for us on our trip. My husband and I BOTH rode all the bigger rides twice over our 3-day stay while the kids hit every ride they wanted as well. A complete and total WIN-WIN.
We stayed in a hotel in Downtown Disney. While the price was higher than some hotels off campus, it was so worth it to us because we brought the 2 yr old back to the room every afternoon for a quiet nap. I was asked by someone at the park if my child could sleep in the stroller or not and I thought to myself, I have no idea, but I wasn't about to try it out now! Having that downtime for him (and me) was crucial. We both could last well in to the night, or at least through dinner, sort of.
Have any specific questions regarding my trip? Please feel free to ask!!