Disneyland is one of our all-time favorite places to visit! The most recent trip topped all the other though as we were able to bring the girls! That being said, its a lot different experience when taking the kiddos, so I thought I’d make a list of the top things that were helpful for us with the kiddos in tow!
- Book your hotel in advance, as close to the park as you can- When I booked the hotel, I did it several weeks out. This allowed me to find the best rate, and closest location to the hotel. Also, once I narrowed my search, I was able to call several of them and see if they had everything I needed for my family. For us, traveling with 4 toddlers, we needed to make sure they could accommodate our sleeping arrangements. Having 4 cribs was at the top of the list. This is just one example. We also checked for a pool/hot tub, restaurants nearby, adjoining rooms, and shuttle services to our destinations. I’m happy to report that the hotel we chose could accommodate all of these requirements! Having said that, I was relieved I checked for all of these before we got there and found out one or more were not available! Another reason proximity can be so important when taking the kiddos is that if they need a break or a nap, you’re just steps away from a quiet hotel room where you can rest and re-energize.
- Think ahead, and pack accordingly-We knew that traveling with 4 toddlers was a task itself, so we really didn’t want to be packing all the extra gear the girls needed. I alluded to the cribs above, but we also needed to plan for car seats, clothing, food, strollers, and possibly enough luggage room to bring home a few gifts. Luckily for us, we were able to pack on the light side, avoiding bringing the cribs and car seats, which were provided by our hotel and car service. This made a world of difference for us while traveling through the airports, and also from destination to destination. Knowing that we wouldn’t have to be lugging extra baby accessories allowed us to make room for a little extra luggage to bring home some Disney gifts for the family! Also under this headline, here are a few other things we thought of ahead of time: sun block, swimming suits, stroller canopy, walking shoes, hair ties, water bottles, snacks, backpack or fanny pack to carry personals so not lost on rides, diaper bag necessities, and medicine.
- Plan your day out at the park- Obviously when the two of us go to Disney without the kids, we’re running fast and getting in as many rides as we can. Bringing 4 toddlers negates that plan. We knew this trip was going to be more slow pace and relaxing. Preparing for that mentally really made a difference when we got to the park. Even though it was crowded and there were long lines, we planned a few favorite rides to make sure we experience, and then just let the rest of the day make itself known. I feel like this really allowed us to enjoy the first experience of Disney with the girls. We were able to just sit back and watch their little faces light up at seeing the characters, or enjoying the boat ride for the first time. There was no rush, only relaxation and joy. Another tip along these lines is knowing where your children’s favorite things are. If they are really into Mickey Mouse, its good to know where his house is. Chances are your not going to catch him in the park.
- Know the Park- Obviously Ashley and I know the Disneyland park pretty well. We know the shortcuts, the best food places, the fast-pass schedule, the ride locations, times of shows and fireworks, and also all the locations you can get free ice water whenever you want! This was crucial for us when exploring with 4 toddlers on a hot summer day! Knowing the park and planning out your adventure sure make things a lot easier and enjoyable when you don’t have to take the time out to figure out where you are or where your going next.
- Have fun- Probably the most important tip we can give. Most people will plan these trips out months and sometimes years in advance. The one thing you don’t want to do is get to your destination and spend the whole time worrying which ride to go on next, or what restaurant is better, or I should’ve done this or that. When you get to your vacation, just enjoy it. Leave worries at home, leave work at the office. Enjoy the time you set aside for your family WITH your family!
Also, check out our complete Disney blog with all of our pictures below!