WE FINALLY MADE IT BACK TO DISNEYLAND FOLKS!!!!
(at the time of this posting, we have already been back twice with another 2 trips on the books!!)
My amazing husband booked a 2-day trip for us for my birthday, complete with a reservation at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel! It was honestly the best birthday present ever being back at the parks again, especially being back with my daughter. I’d always dreamt about the day I would bring my own baby to the parks so I couldn’t wait to introduce Avery to my favorite place!
We had the best time just being in the parks walking around and I really gained a bigger appreciation for the magic that is Disneyland- something I’d really missed while the parks were closed due to COVID. Our first trip with Avery is one I will never forget and probably will forever be my favorite trip to the parks. She did so good and had so much fun looking around the entire day. I’ll give you a little run-down of how our day went and share my biggest tips for braving the park with a baby! (Avery was 6 months old at the time of our trip)
DAY 1 : DISNEYLAND
8:00 am : Check in/drop off luggage at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
– check in isn’t till 11 am but you can check your bags at the hotel early if you have a reservation at the hotel and are heading to the parks for the day.
9:00 am : PARK OPENING!!! (tbh, I really loved the later opening times. I didn’t feel rushed to be there right at 8 am, especially with a baby!)
– we walked around and shopped right off the bat, I couldn’t wait for Avery to pick out a stuffed animal (she got to choose between Sebastian and Flounder since The Little Mermaid is my favorite) and Avery’s fairy Godmother wanted to buy her a bubble wand, so we had to complete that request. We took our time walking down Main Street, I was so happy I seriously almost started crying. Avery loved hearing the music and seeing all the lights and buildings. Her first ride was my favorite ride, Pirates of the Caribbean AND YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT THIS LITTLE GIRL DID! She literally fell asleep right in the scene where the canons and gun shots are going off. I was shocked. We tip-toe around the house when she’s asleep and here she was, knocked out, with guns ablazing.
Since we knew she was tired, we walked around while she napped in the stroller for approx. 1 hour. I was shocked she slept so long amid all the excitement/noise and was honestly expecting us to have to go back to the hotel throughout the day to give her a break, but she did AWESOME and napped in her stroller the whole day!
We spent majority of our time in FantasyLand and ToonTown but here’s a rundown on every ride we were able to get on at Disneyland with Avery.
Disneyland Rides for a 6 Month Old
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Winnie the Pooh
- Peter Pan
- Snow White
- It’s a Small World
- Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters (Avery also fell asleep on this ride, again, amid pure chaos and noise)
- Alice in Wonderland
- Tea Cups
You can definitely do more as well!
- Disneyland Railroad (we took her on this her second time at the parks)
- Storybook Land Canal Boats (looking forward to doing this one on our next trip!)
- Haunted Mansion
- Casey’s Circus Train
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (I’m not a fan)
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey (I’m literally afraid of this ride and won’t every take Avery unless it gets to a point where she asks to go on it)
- Jungle Cruise (took her on it her second trip and she loved staring at all the animals!)
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
Throughout the day we did a lot of walking and shopping as Avery napped in her stroller- she did 3 naps total, one for an hour, and two 30 minute naps. If she ever struggled with falling asleep, we planned on heading to the hotel but didn’t need too. One of my biggest tips is, if you are planning on spending multiple days at the park, definitely get a reservation at the hotel! It was so nice having the luxury of heading to the hotel if need be- like if your little one is throwing a tantrum- I’d definitely suggest it, it felt like a nice safety net having the reservation if we needed it.
My other tip is take advantage of the Baby Care Center at the end of Main Street in Disneyland!! We stopped in multiple times to breastfeed and change diapers. The building is for babies only and they have designated private areas for breastfeeding and clean, diaper changing stations. They also have high chairs, formula, lockers, and even refrigerators for storing pumped breastmilk if you need it. It was my first time even being in this building and I was surprised and so relieved that it existed! Also, it’s all air conditioned so if your little one ever needs a break from the heat, you can take one here!
5:00 pm : Dinner at Naples Italian Restaurant Downtown Disney (this is our favorite pizza spot EVER)
– after dinner we went back to the hotel to set up Avery’s pack and play for bed and to change her clothes and grab our jackets because it was starting to get cooler out as the sun went down.
7:00 pm : Back to the Disneyland we go!
– fireworks hadn’t come back yet and the park closed at 9 pm instead of the pre-covid 11 pm closing time. We hit tea cups and Alice In Wonderland and then just let Avery stare and soak up the magic of the castle and carousel all lit up at night.
9:00 pm : Park Closing
-we went back to Downtown Disney to grab some sprinkles cupcakes and then went back to the room to give Avery a shower (parents come prepared! The hotel rooms don’t have baths, just standing showers, so we held Avery in the shower with us to rinse/clean her off.
Day 1 was such a success- I could not imagine it going any better! We all went to bed and rested up for Day 2!!!
DAY 2: DISNEY’S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
9:00 am : Park Opening (we made it in the parks around 9:30 am because we wanted Avery to sleep as long as possible since she had a big day the day before.)
-you can access CA Adventures from the hotel which is nice because you bypass all the traffic at the front gates and just scan your ticket with hotel staff to get in the back way. I love it! It also makes it so easy to go back and forth from the parks to the hotel and vice versa since you don’t actually have to leave the park or go through Downtown Disney.
Our second day was a lot like the first only with less rides- there is significantly less to do with a baby at CA Adventures than Disneyland. There is also a Baby Care Center located next to the Ghiradelli shop behind Cars Land. The one at Disneyland is definitely nicer and bigger, but you get the same accessibility and privacy which is nice.
Our first ride was my favorite The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Under Sea Adventure (to be fair, all Joey’s favorite rides are definitely not baby appropriate, Avery will no be riding the Incredicoaster anytime soon!)
Disney CA Adventure’s Rides for a 6 Month Old
- Ariel’s Under Sea Adventure
- Monster’s Inc Mike & Sully to the Rescue!
- Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
- Pixar Pal A-Round Ferris wheel (we haven’t taken Avery on this yet)
- Web Slingers (we also didn’t get on this one, but it is baby friendly!)
- Toy Story Mania (see above ^^^)
We spent majority of our time walking around and eating while we were in CA Adventures. We did go on The Little Mermaid twice though! I was expecting to be able to do more in Cars Land but even their “tea cup/bumper car” like rides had a height limit, even for lap sitting so we weren’t able to do a lot.
We probably won’t be back to CA Adventures until Avery is older just because Disneyland has so much more to do for her current age range and Disneyland is my all-time favorite anyway 😉
6:00 pm : Check out of the hotel and pack up the car! We ended up leaving earlier than the 9 pm closing time just because we had done everything we could.
It was the best birthday trip ever and such a nice way to be welcomed back to the parks!!
I loved experiencing Disneyland with Avery and cannot wait for her to grow more and more in love with it as she gets older (just like her mama!)
Things You Need For Your Disney Day with Baby
- cool towels : you can get this wet throughout the parks to keep baby cooled down on warmer days!
- stroller fan
- change of clothes
- TONS of diapers!
- Toys to keep baby occupied
- sunglasses– want to keep baby’s eyes protected if you’re holding them in sunlight in lines, etc.
- baby hats(see above)
- hand wipes– baby will inevitably touch everything. You’ll want to clean their hands afterwards.
**Also, if you’re breastfeeding, I recommend wearing something you can easily get out of while holding a baby, my overalls were clutch!