This post is sponsored by Disneyland. All opinions are my own.
When I was six years old, my parents took me Disneyland. It was my first time on an airplane and I can distinctly remember the excitement leading up to this trip. Given my fond memories of my first time at Disneyland, I wanted my kids to have that experience around the same age. Since my parents were going to be in town, it felt like the perfect opportunity for all of us to experience it together – just as I had 30 some years ago. So I made all the plans. Going to Disneyland with little kids takes a little extra planning, but it’s totally worth it.
Now that we live in the Los Angeles area, I am sure my kids will have countless opportunities to go to Disneyland. However, I wanted their first time to be with me and my parents. It felt extra special to me to have three generations all together on what will likely be a lasting memory for all of us.
We chose just to visit Disneyland on our first trip. The highlights of our first time were definitely some of the classic rides. My kids loved the jungle cruise and pirates of the Caribbean. I can remember those as a child, myself, so it was fun to see those rides are still some of the best.
Buy the Fast Pass
If I have one tip for you, it would be to buy the fast pass. It is totally worth the extra money. If you download the app, you can schedule rides and even make reservations for meals. We ate at a cute little restaurant on main street. It was yummy and also so convenient not to have to wait in any lines.
A few weeks later, Disneyland invited my family back, so we were able to visit California Adventure this time. We also got to stay at the Grand Californian hotel. My kids get so excited when we get to stay in hotels.
When we arrived at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel, we were warmly greeted by several different employees. The check-in process was seamless, our bags were held, and we were told we’d get a text message when our room was ready. As promised, we got a text around 3pm and we headed back to the room for a little downtime before the light show later that night.
Breakfast with Minnie Mouse
After checking in, we headed to Disneyland park for our breakfast with Minnie Mouse. I can’t tell you how much fun the kids had at the character breakfast. They are the perfect age – preschool and kindergarten – to interact with the characters. They got such a kick out of all the different characters coming up to the table and getting to take a picture with Minnie mouse. If you get a chance to do breakfast with Minnie, I’d highly suggest it. The food was yummy and my kids loved getting to interact with all of the characters.
There were a few main highlights on our second trip to Disneyland and California Adventure. We all absolutely loved Cars Land and the Radiator Springs Racer Cars ride at California Adventure. Although the line was extremely long and fast pass wasn’t working that day, the wait was worth it. It was one of the most fun rides I’ve ever been on.
Another highlight was having dinner in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. If you’d been on that ride, you might remember all the lights to the right of you when you first start going through the bayou. That’s the restaurant I’m talking about – It’s called xxx. Not only is the ambiance amazing, the food is some of the best I’ve had in a long time. I was not expecting it to be so tasty. I ordered surf and turf and both my lobster and steak were cooked perfectly.
The other major highlight was getting to experience the world of color light show at California Adventure at the Pixar Pier. Getting to see the park at night, and experiencing all of the colors, was really beautiful.
Overall, we had a wonderful first two experiences at Disneyland and California Adventure. Our stay at the Grand Californian was also very nice. My kids had a great time, but so did us adults. We all felt the true magic and excitement of Disney. I can’t wait until we get to go back (or make it to Disney World next).
A Few Other Tips at Disneyland with Little Kids:
- Pack lots of snacks and empty water bottles (do not bring glass bottles, they will throw them out)
- Wear a hat and bring sunscreen
- Bring a layer – it gets cold at night
- If your kids start complaining about walking, bribe them with cotton candy (it worked for me ;)).
Looking for other amusement park stories? Here’s our two trips to LegoLand.