A solo trip to Disneyland with just the kids?
You mean visiting the happiest and most crowded place on Earth WITHOUT an extra set of hands and eyes to help??!
Now, I know what you’re thinking. I must be insane.
Whether you’re a mom or dad, just the thought of tackling this alone is no easy task. I know your anxiety levels are peaking and you’re already thinking of all the things that can go wrong. But I am here to say YOU CAN DO IT!
Believe me, I was thinking the same thing right before my first solo trip. But guess what? I did it and I survived! Not only that, but taking the girls to Disneyland on my own has is my favorite way to spend quality time with them!
So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge?? If you’ve thought about it and are still on the fence I completely understand. But before you decide let me give you a few tips and tricks that have helped me survive.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO SURVIVING DISNEYLAND WITH THE KIDS
When it comes to tackling a solo trip with the kids to the “happiest place on Earth” there are a few ways to prepare. Just follow these simple tips and tricks and you’re guaranteed to survive and have a great time!
HAVE A GAME PLAN
Whether you are a Disneyland veteran or going for the first time, it’s always a good idea to have a game plan. This is especially true when your planning to go with just the kids.
A great way to map out your visit before you even step in the park is by downloading the Disneyland Mobile App. Available for Apple and Andriod users, this app is the holy grail when it comes to planning your Disney-day. With features that allow you to buy tickets, see wait-times, pre-order food at select restaurants, locate characters, and give you all the details on entertainment and show times, the Disneyland Mobile App is a necessity. Not only will downloading this app seamlessly guide you through BOTH parks but it will also help you strategize the perfect game plan.
A FEW TIPS:
- Have an idea where the restrooms are located in each ‘land.’ You know how kids are. Odds are they’ll need to use it in the midst of standing in line. So be prepared and know where the nearest restroom is so you’re not wandering aimlessly. This is when having the app come in clutch!
- Check wait-times periodically and be willing to make adjust to your game plan. If you frequent Disneyland often I’m sure you’ve noticed some rides are packed at certain times while others aren’t. Case and point, Fantasyland. With this being a hotspot for families of young children, wait-times for these rides are highest from opening to late afternoon. If you can, avoid this area until the evening when wait-times are usually shorter. Also, be mindful of area closures for events such as fireworks. Toontown and Fantasyland are usually affected by this so make sure to plan accordingly.
- If you plan on watching a show or parade just know that you’ll need to take some time out of your day to secure a good seat. I’ve seen people “camping out” for parades and shows like Fantasmic hours in advance. So be mindful and prepare to carve out some time in the day if that’s on the agenda.
- Get the kids involved in the planning! The best way to plan a fun-filled day is to ask you’re kids what they want to do the most. Not only will you be able to plan your day more effectively, but everyone is sure to walk away with a smile if you accomplish your goals!
KNOW YOUR RESOURCES
Disneyland was created with families in mind. So when it comes to resources to make your trip the best ever, they have you covered! Here are all the complimentary resources to take advantage of when you’re lacking some helping hands:
- Baby Care Center– How I managed to not step foot in this place until last year is beyond me! Located at the end of Main Street (two locations in DCA), the Baby Care Center is the most VALUABLE resource Disneyland Resort offers to families. Great to use for kids of all ages, the Baby Care Center should be your go-to for all your kid’s needs. Here are a few features that are offered:
- children’s toilets
- diaper changing stations
- microwave and kitchen sink
- nursing area
- vending machine with bottles, sunscreen, baby food, medicine, wipes, etc
- couches, chairs, & tv
- First Aid– Great for all your minor emergencies that can be solved with bandaids, over-the-counter meds, and other quick remedies.
- Locker Rentals– When you no longer need the use of a stroller, lockers are a great place to secure your belongings. Locker rental areas are located in and just outside the resort. If you plan on using it often, opt for a locker in the park.
- Phone Chargers– If you find yourself low on battery and without a back-up charge Disneyland offers portable phone chargers for purchase. With cord include and swap-able if charge becomes low, this is a great amenity to use in an emergency.
- Stroller Rentals– Shit happens, and Disney gets it. So whether you forgot your stroller, it was lost at the airport, or your kid just refuses to walk anymore, grab a stroller rental for just $15 per day.
TAKE A BREAK
Granted you’re at the “happiest place on Earth” and you’d expect your kid to be smiling ear to ear, but that’s not always going to be the case. A day at Disney is exhausting as an adult, so imagine being a little kid! Whether being overstimulated or just plain tired, make some time during your visit for a little “time-out.” Leave the park and take a walk to Downtown Disney, find a bench and have a snack, or visit one of the play areas (our favorites: Redwood Creek Challenge Trail & Goofy’s Playhouse). Once your little one is reenergized you can return to having a great (tantrum-free) time.
BE MENTALLY PREPARED
When planning a solo trip with the kids one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to prepare yourself mentally. Just a few things to keep mind:
- First off realize that this is no easy fete so give yourself a pat on the back!
- Be realistic. Not everything is going to go according to plan and that is 100% OKAY.
- Something is going to go wrong. Whether you forget something, lose an item, or just get frustrated, just remember you’re there to have fun!
- YOU CAN DO THIS. Have confidence in yourself!
- You’re going to need help at some point. The great things about Disneyland is it’s filled with families and friendly cast members. So if you find yourself needing a little help don’t be afraid to ask! You don’t know how many times someone has seen me struggling on the tram with my stroller and has gone out of their way to lend a hand.
LOAD UP THAT STROLLER
My favorite accessory to take on a solo trip to Disneyland is my stroller.
Well, because it pretty much works as my second set of hands. It helps me get the kids from point A to B. It holds all the extra shit I don’t need to carry on my person (coffee, extra clothes, blankets, water bottle, snacks, diaper bag, souvenirs, etc.). Plus, it gives my kids a place to rest/nap when they’ve just about had enough.
Even if you’re little one is on the verge of not using a stroller anymore, I would suggesting bring it just in case. Believe me, it comes in handy when it’s just you and the kids.
Side note: it’s come to my attention that many moms have started to complain about strollers being stollen while on a rides. While I have never had any bad experiences it’s something to keep in mind.
So do you think you’re ready to brave Disneyland solo with you kids?! I promise it’s not as terrifying as it seems. So stop doubting yourself, YOU GOT THIS!
For more amusement park tips, check out my Knott’s Berry Farm Hacks!