Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Disneyland 2013!

We just got back from our family vacation for this year. We went to Disneyland. This was the first time that I had been since I was about 10 years old. Our children were so excited to go for the first time. I tried to find out some tips for going with young children, children with special needs, and being pregnant. There were lots of websites that I found to be helpful. I decided that I would share some things that we found useful during our visit to the Magic Kingdom. Take them for what they are worth!
(We had 3 day passes with one Magic Morning Entry to Disneyland. We have 3 small children (3,4,7) and I'm 6 months pregnant. Our oldest is on the Autism Spectrum. We were also trying to save as much money as possible:)

1. FOOD: Take lunch and healthy snacks with you. We ate breakfast at our hotel and then headed out for the day. We made lunch before leaving and took TONS of food with us in our stroller to munch on throughout the day. This proved to be very nice because we didn't have to stop to eat dinner, we just ate a snack. After the park closed (8p.m. in the winter), we took time to eat. 
     We found that having a fridge and microwave in our hotel room was so nice. It meant that we could make our own meals if we wanted to. We also found that Mimi's Cafe and Food 4 Less were two places that had reasonable prices. We utilized their coupons and were able to save extra money.
2. WATER:  Take a water bottle and stay hydrated! There are numerous water fountains located in both Disneyland and California Adventure. We took water bottles with us and refilled them when ever we had a bathroom break. For me, I found that I stayed hydrated better if I took the lid off of the water bottle rather than sip it from the spout. I also found that the days that I stayed hydrated, I felt better and wasn't as tired by the end of the day.
3.  SPECIAL NEEDS: We picked up a "Guest Assistance" pass the first morning that we were there. Basically you talk to a  cast member about the needs you have and they give you a pass to help you out. It was a blessing for us.
4. PREGNANT: I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to go on a lot of the rides. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that there were no warnings concerning any health concerns on most rides. I also learned that the warnings are only "recommendations" and that they won't stop you from riding those rides. I have to admit that I did choose to go on some of the rides with warnings. That was a personal choice and I recommend that you decide what your body and baby can handle. If I had any question about my safety, then I didn't go on it.
     Another tip that I would recommend is purchasing a maternity support belt. If you are just barely pregnant, you may not need one. However if your tummy is showing, I would HIGHLY recommend it. There are several on the market. This is the one that I used, but I'm sure any of them would work fine. I found that this was a lifesaver! I know that it helped me in a lot of ways. At first, I was very embarrassed to be wearing it. But as I wore it, I saw how much it helped and I stopped complaining about using it. I don't know how I would have made it without one.
     The last tip for pregnant women, let your husband pick up the little ones, push the stroller, and do all of the extra stuff that needs to be done. I didn't do this the first day and by the time that we got back to the hotel, I was feeling it. The next two days I was better about it and it made a HUGE difference. My husband was a star about helping me out and I appreciated it SO much!
5. MAGIC MORNING: I didn't realize that the Magic Morning entry only applies to Tomorrow Land and Fantasy Land. For us, we had our choice between Tuesday or Thursday. Since our first day in the parks was on Tuesday, we opted to save it for Thursday. It was hard to get up and get going that morning because we were so tired, but I'm glad that we used it. We chose to hit Fantasy Land because it gets SO busy during the day. It worked out great for us and we were able to ride the rides we hadn't gone on because of long lines.
6.  TIMING:  We found that timing was everything. We tried to get to the parks early and found that to be very rewarding. On Tuesday, we were there when California Adventure opened up. We walked into Cars Land and found that EVERYONE was headed for the Radiator Springs Racers ride. We noticed that Lightning McQueen was waiting for people to come see him. We were able to walk right up and talk to him. We also were able to walk right onto the other two rides. By the time we went on the Racers ride, we didn't have to wait as long. It was sweet!
7. HIDDEN GEM: A hidden gem that we didn't know about until the last 30 min. of our last day was
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail! This is taken from  the movie "Up" and is a course for children to earn "wilderness badges" My husband had mentioned it, but I didn't know what it was until we were passing by and saw the signs. Our children LOVED it. It was a great way to end the day. They were tired and complained about going in, but once they were in, they didn't want to come out! My only regret was that we had tried it out sooner.
Our trip to Disneyland was magical and wonderful! I hope that the insights that we gained can help your trip to be just as magical for your family. We highly recommend going in January! It was warm, not crowded, warm, fast lines, and did I mention WARM? (At least from our perspective of 20degrees :)


  1. How fun Lucinda, plus you are such a trooper for going while pregnant!

  2. The off season would definitely be a good time to go! Our kids keep begging for it but it's not in the cards for us yet. Thanks for the tips, though!!!