Our first trip to Disneyland was unplanned. Well, I was planning on buying a Disney Pass, but I didn't know when I was going to do it. So I decided to go in the afternoon, after Jacob's first nap. To describe the day, it was mid- October, and a typical hot Cali day. First off, where the heck do I park? I've lived in So Cal my whole life. I actually worked at Downtown Disney for three years, and still, I was lost in the parking madness. I lucked out and found some parking in the lot off of Disney Way and Clementine. Keep in mind that this lot isn't always open, but it was that day and it was a quick option. Parking costs $20, but if you purchase the Disney Passes that include parking, they can reimburse you once you buy the pass. That's what I did, just make sure to let whoever you buy the pass from know, so they can reimburse you. And bring your parking ticket receipt for your refund.
Everything at Disneyland is a process. Once you park, you walk to the shuttle. The shuttle will take you from the parking lot to the entrance of the parks. Before you enter the park, you have to get through security and bag check. There's usually a line to get into the parks as well. I would say, from parking to entering the park, is about a 30 minute process.
The line to buy the Disney Passes is located right beyond the security check, to the left hand side. It took us about 20 minutes to purchase my pass and 10 minutes to get into the park. Already, it has taken us 1 hour from the moment we pulled into the parking lot. I suggest buying your pass online to avoid additional waits!
Jacob was starting to get fussy and uninterested. So I decided to make our first visit more of a Disney Stroll. We got to see one of the parades, which Jacob loved! We walked through the whole park so I could refresh my memory and become more familiar with Disneyland once again. But I didn't see that Jacob would be happy waiting in any lines. So our first trip was more of a trial run.
Our next visit went a lot smoother. We parked in the parking lot off of Convention Way and Harbor Blvd and quickly traveled from the lot to the park entrance. I also came much more prepared and brought different items with me. On our first trip, I brought a stroller that wasn't so lightweight= mistake #1. Just imagine having to fold it up when going on the shuttle each time. It's not fun or easy. Here's a list of items I brought to make make my Disney visits much easier with a 1 year old:
- Baby Carrier- I have the Bjorn, it works perfectly when we're waiting in line and you don't have to hold the baby the whole time. Keep in mind that you can't have the stroller with you in the lines.
- Umbrella Stroller- I have a light weight umbrella stroller from Target that was $25. It does the trick and is easy to fold up and transport.
- Disneyland App- You HAVE to download this app if you plan on visiting Disney with your babe. This app will let you know how long each ride's wait time is, links you to any photos you may take with the photographers disney provides, tells you what character's will be available that day for appearances, dining options, where the restrooms are located, what time events/parades start, and also where all the Baby Care Centers are located so you can do any diaper changing, nursing, and feedings in a comfortable environment.
- Snacks- in addition to bottles or meals, I always brings yogurt melts or puffs to entertain my little one.
Stay tuned and follow our adventures at Disneyland! I plan on sharing more of our experiences and things we enjoy and suggest, while we learn as we go!