Complete Guide to Everything Scary for Kids at Disneyland

Disneyland is called the “Happiest Place on Earth”. However that doesn’t mean it’s all happy, all the time. In fact, there are some rides, shows and attractions that might be downright scary for little (and not so little!) kids. If you have some concerns with your kids and are wondering about the possibly scary things at Disneyland, keep reading. I’ve outlined the rides, shows and attractions that might be too scary for kids at Disneyland. I’ve made additional suggestions on what rides to try instead. I also have ideas on easing fears with your kids inside the Parks.

Things that Are Scary for Kids at Disneyland

There is so much to see, do and experience at the Disneyland Resort. For newbies at the Parks, you might not be aware of what things may scare kids. Some are easy to detect from the outside of the attraction (Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain). Other things may seem innocent enough and still have frightening elements. But, what are the scariest rides at Disneyland? That’s going to vary for each kid! Of course, only you know your children and how far to push things when it comes to trying new experiences. For more advice about encouraging kids, keep reading for my tested tips.

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Headed to Disneyland but concerned that certain rides, shows or attractions might be too scary for your kids? If you have a kid who doesn't like fast rides, drops, spinning and frightening elements this is a must read guide with tons of helpful tips. #Disneyland

Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is faster than it looks.

Disneyland Dark Rides

Dark rides are exactly what they sound like. These are indoor rides with the lights off. They are generally slow moving and the vehicle you ride in moves through different rooms and scenes. While some “dark rides” are bright and have a lighthearted theme, others might be frightening (or have certain scary scenes).

These are dark rides with scarier elements:

  • Haunted Mansion
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventures
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey

Dark Rides – Start with These:

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – It’s a dark ride that’s more brightly lit and has a sweet theme. It’s the perfect first dark ride for Disneyland with toddlers.
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – wield a laser to aim at targets throughout the ride. Kids who don’t like the dark will be so enthralled with shooting the targets they probably won’t even notice how dark it is.
  • Alice in Wonderland – dark inside, but still lots of bright and whimsical moments. There is also a break mid-ride that takes your caterpillar vehicle outside for a ride on the leaves.
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Interestingly, the Haunted Mansion Holiday during Halloween is LESS scary than the usual Haunted Mansion!

Attractions That Have Potentially Scary Moments

Disneyland Railroad – For the most part the Disneyland Railroad is all outdoors, with an overview of the Park. There is one section that you may want to avoid if you have a skittish kid. The section of the train that leaves from Tomorrowland Station takes you through a dark diorama. This is the Grand Canyon and Primeval World – Land of the Dinosaurs. It’s a very realistic scene that lasts about 5 minutes but includes large dinosaurs, dramatic music and an erupting volcano.

The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure – most of the ride is bright and fun, with cheerful music. There is a section where you’ll go “under water” and your clam shell vehicle gently tips backwards. This slight movement made my toddler daughter very nervous. There is also a dark section with Ursula the sea witch.

Soarin’ Around the World –  My son was very nervous to ride this after hearing that he’d be “flying”! Kids might be worried about the initial lift off which takes you off your feet. You will be safely buckled in and once lifted, there is minimal movement. Your ride vehicle will rock back and forth gently, coordinated with the film you’re watching. You may not even notice that you’re moving once the film begins. Have your kids pay attention to the pre-boarding video which shows exactly what happens during the lift off.

Scary Moments – Start With This:

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – While the majority of this attraction is sweet, with fun songs there is a small dramatic section at the end. See how your child reacts to the surprise change in mood (loud drumming and a thunder storm).


Save Money on Your Disneyland Vacation!

Purchase discount Disneyland tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).


Headed to Disneyland but concerned that certain rides, shows or attractions might be too scary for your kids? If you have a kid who doesn't like fast rides, drops, spinning and frightening elements this is a must read guide with tons of helpful tips. #Disneyland

Grizzly River Rapids – steep drops and you will get drenched!

Disneyland Rides with Drops

Exactly how big is that drop on Splash Mountain? It’s a steep 52.5′ from top to splash down! The drop inside Pirates of the Caribbean on the other hand is a shorter 14′ but it’s in solid darkness. The drops on Guardians of the Galaxy can’t be predicted. Each ride varies and there are multiple drops both big and not-as-big.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean 
  • Splash Mountain
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!
  • Grizzly River Rapids

Rides with Drops – Start With These:

Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Yeah, this might look like a “baby ride” but for kids who don’t like the feeling of drops, this mild ride is a perfect place to start. Plus they can control the dips themselves.

Jumpin’ Jellyfish – This one is all up and down, but it’s outside where you can get a good vantage point of the Park. Most kids like this tummy-tickler!

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The unpredictable drops are sure to be a fright for most kids.

Disneyland Thrill Rides

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Space Mountain
  • Indiana Jones Adventure :Temple of the Forbidden Eye
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Incredicoaster

Thrill Rides – Start with These:

Gadget’s Go Coaster – If you think your little one is ready for their first coaster, I recommend starting with Gadget’s Go Coaster in Toontown. It’s super-short (one minute long), has just a few tummy tickling dips and max speed of 22 mph.

Radiator Springs Racers – This hybrid dark ride and roller coaster has a cool indoor/outdoor effect. Maybe because you’re sitting inside of a low sports car vehicle, my young ones weren’t scared of the roller coaster section. Plus you’re racing against the car that’s on the other track, so the competition element might encourage your kids to want to go faster!

READ MORE: Thrill-Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort

Headed to Disneyland but concerned that certain rides, shows or attractions might be too scary for your kids? If you have a kid who doesn't like fast rides, drops, spinning and frightening elements this is a must read guide with tons of helpful tips. #Disneyland

Radiator Springs Racers is a high speed race that most kids will love.

Potentially Scary Rides That Spin

If your kid doesn’t like the feeling of being out of control, these spinning rides may be frightening. Note that the Mad Tea Party and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin can be controlled slightly, so spinning can be minimized. Kids can also control the up and down movement on the Astro Orbitor.

  • Mad Tea Party
  • Astro Orbitor
  • Golden Zephyr
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin

Rides That Spin – Start With These!

  • King Arthur Carrousel
  • Flik’s Flyers
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
Headed to Disneyland but concerned that certain rides, shows or attractions might be too scary for your kids? If you have a kid who doesn't like fast rides, drops, spinning and frightening elements this is a must read guide with tons of helpful tips. #Disneyland

Flik’s Flyers in “bug’s land” is a great first spinning ride.

A Ride With Height

Pixar Pal-A-Round – I’m not a fan of heights and the Ferris wheel is top of my list of scary rides! However these gondolas are fully enclosed and you can choose the swinging or non-swinging version.

Ride With Height – Start With This!

Silly Symphony Swings – This ride smoothly combines height, spinning, drops and lift. Consider the tandem chair that seats you right next to your child so you can hold hands or comfort them if they’re nervous.

Headed to Disneyland but concerned that certain rides, shows or attractions might be too scary for your kids? If you have a kid who doesn't like fast rides, drops, spinning and frightening elements this is a must read guide with tons of helpful tips. #Disneyland

Nervous of heights? Try Pixar Pal-A-Round at night when you can’t judge the height as well! (Photo Credit: Jeff Holz)

3-D Disneyland Ride

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue – This indoor 3-D ride simulator puts you right into the action of a Star Wars feature. This can be incredibly intense with loud noises and the feeling of flying (and crashing!)

3-D Ride – Start With This:

Toy Story Midway Mania – While you’ll be experiencing 3-D this interactive ride is also a competitive game where you shoot at the screen simulator to score points. There is plenty of spinning and 3-D elements but it’s all done in a fun and playful atmosphere.

Headed to Disneyland but concerned that certain rides, shows or attractions might be too scary for your kids? If you have a kid who doesn't like fast rides, drops, spinning and frightening elements this is a must read guide with tons of helpful tips. #Disneyland

The 3-D effects and simulator movements can be frightening for some kids (and adults!) – Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

Shows That Are Scary for Kids at Disneyland

Fantasmic! – It’s a nighttime show of good versus evil, which means lots of villain appearances and a huge fire-breathing dragon. It’s an impressive show with dramatic music and effects, which means it might be too intense from some kids.

Jedi Training – Trials of the Temple- Even kids who are familiar with the Star Wars franchise might still have a fingernail-biting moment when Darth Vader and Kylo Ren appear in person.

Shows Without Scary Elements:

  • Disney Junior Dance Party!
  • Mickey and the Magical Map
  • World of Color
  • Paint the Night
  • Frozen Live at the Hyperion
Headed to Disneyland but concerned that certain rides, shows or attractions might be too scary for your kids? If you have a kid who doesn't like fast rides, drops, spinning and frightening elements this is a must read guide with tons of helpful tips. #Disneyland

Mickey and the Magical Map live show…nothing scary here!

Too Scary for Kids at Disneyland – Helpful Tips to Ease Fears

Headed to Disneyland but concerned that certain rides, shows or attractions might be too scary for your kids? If you have a kid who doesn't like fast rides, drops, spinning and frightening elements this is a must read guide with tons of helpful tips. #Disneyland

King Arthur Carrousel is a nice ride to start with that gets kids used to spinning, up and down movement and loud music.


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Love Disney? Support the CHOC Walk & Earn a Free Disneyland Day!

Love Disney? Support the CHOC Walk & Earn a Free Disneyland Day!

CHOC Children’s began as a regional hospital in 1964. Today, it has grown to be a regional healthcare leader that treats patients from throughout with United States and around the world. CHOC Children’s is now made up of two hospitals, as well as more than 30 specialty clinics and programs, and four renowned centers of excellence – the CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience Orthopaedic, and Hyundai Cancer Institutes. Moreover, CHOC Orange offers the only pediatric emergency department in the region and, in 2014, began operating a Level II pediatric-focused trauma center.

Walt Disney was a champion for CHOC right from the start. In fact, he was even on the hospital’s first board of directors more than 50 years ago. Today, the Disneyland Resort continues to stay very involved with CHOC through the Disneyland Resort Patient and Family Lobby featuring the Disney California Adventure Park attraction Turtle Talk With Crush twice daily for patients and their siblings, frequent character visits, and of course, presenting CHOC “Walk in the Park”—the largest and most unique pediatric walk event in the nation. In addition, the Disney-led Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders team is on track to be the highest fundraising groups for this year’s event.

Love Disney? Support the CHOC Walk & Earn a Free Disneyland Day!

The 2016 walk covers three miles through Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park where “CHOC walkers” get a special peek at the magic of the Disneyland Resort before the parks open to the general public. At the end of the 5k walk, the event continues in the resort’s Downtown Disney District at the CHOC Walk Festival where event sponsors, hospital support groups, shops and restaurants have special offers for participants.

Those who want to walk in the event can register at  chocwalk.org and join a team or walk as an individual. All funds raised through the CHOC Walk benefit the hospital’s KidsCare Fund. This special fund provides support to the programs and services in the greatest need—from mental health services to an expanded neonatal intensive care unit to providing healthcare for children and families who cannot afford to pay.

Love Disney? Support the CHOC Walk & Earn a Free Disneyland Day!

There are many great reasons to take part in the CHOC Walk, in addition to the huge impact the funds that are donated and raised make on the health and wellbeing of Southern California’s children. Here are three reasons that Disney-loving families will really like.

  1. Participating in the CHOC Walk and supporting CHOC Children’s is an opportunity to carry on Walt Disney’s passion for supporting the health and wellness of the children in the community surrounding the Disneyland Resort and the advancement of pediatric medicine. Raising money for CHOC Children’s provides parents the opportunity to teach their children about the importance of helping others—even children—in their community. It can be particularly powerful for children to learn that their fundraising can help other, less fortunate kids.
  2. By raising money for the CHOC Walk, walkers can earn prizes, including free Disneyland Resort tickets that can provide a cost-saving option for families planning a Disneyland Resort vacation. Participants who raise between $375 and $599 earn one 1-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket. Participants who raise $600 or more earn two 1-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Tickets.
  3. By participating in the walk, families are not only helping to further CHOC’s mission, they are also able to gain a unique look at the Disneyland Resort through the Walk experience, purchase reduced-rate group ticket admission for the parks as part of the perks of participating in the CHOC Walk and enjoy special discounts in the Downtown Disney District the day of the walk. Together, all of these make the CHOC Walk an ideal time to plan a family getaway or staycation to the Disneyland Resort.

Love Disney? Support the CHOC Walk & Earn a Free Disneyland Day!

In order to purchase the reduced-rate group tickets, walkers must present their CHOC Walk In the Park wristband at a Disneyland Resort Ticket Booth to purchase a special CHOC-Tober Disneyland Resort 1-Day Park Hopper ticket for $83 or a 1-Day 1-Park Ticket for $55 for use on the day of the walk or another visit to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. A maximum of five tickets may be purchased per wristband. The offer is valid on October 30, 2016 only. Tickets expire November 30, 2016 and are blocked out November 19-23, 2016.

Event and registration information can be found at www.chocwalk.org and real-time event information can also be found on  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This year’s hashtag is #chocwalk.

Expectant Mom’s Complete Disney Packing List of Important Needs

Disney vacations are often planned a year in advance or more! Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you find out that you’ll be pregnant during your vacation. No need to cancel your travel plans in most cases, but it’s a good idea to know exactly what to expect when you’re expecting at the Happiest Place on Earth! I’ve got your pregnant at Disney packing list so you’ll feel comfortable and have everything you need at hand during your vacation.

Pregnant at Disney Packing List

I recently traveled to Disneyland in my 35th week of pregnancy and am here to tell you what essentials you need to pack in your day bag. While it might be a bit more than you’re used to carrying around, I assure you that each of these things will come in handy! Here is my pregnant at Disney packing list for the most enjoyable (and comfortable) day an expectant mom can have at the Parks.

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Pregnant at Disney? This is the expectant mom's complete Disney packing list of important needs. Don't pack your bags until you check this list of must-haves for every pregnant woman going on a Disney vacation! #Disneyland #DisneyWorld


Save Money on Your Disney Vacation!

Purchase discount tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).


Stretchy Pants & Panties

You do not want to be wearing pants or panties that are too tight on your burgeoning belly. Panties that are pinching your thighs or bunching up underneath your stomach aren’t going to work. And if the waistband on your pants is too-snug you’re going to be miserable. Do a test-run on your clothes before your trip and choose only the most comfortable.

Comfy Shoes and Foot Care First Aid

Now is not the time to break in a pair of new shoes. Make sure you are wearing your most comfortable pair, one that allows good flexibility. Pregnant feet are known to swell, in particular with all the time standing in queue and walking. Bring good socks, Moleskin, bandages and anything else that will help make all the walking and standing more comfortable for you.

Pack an extra pair of socks to switch into mid-day, especially if your feet are sweaty or get wet. I also highly recommend packing a second pair of shoes in your day bag (something open-toed, like supportive sandals) so that if your feet swell in your shoes, you can switch to the second pair. For additional tips on choosing shoes for your Disney vacation see this post, Best Shoes for Disney Parks – Why I Love Sandals!

Pregnant at Disney? This is the expectant mom's complete Disney packing list of important needs. Don't pack your bags until you check this list of must-haves for every pregnant woman going on a Disney vacation! #Disneyland #DisneyWorld

Water or a Refillable Water Bottle

To help keep you hydrated and to prevent swelling, you’ll need to be drinking a lot of water. If you have a place to store pre-filled water bottles (like in a stroller or locker) bring them with you. Or you can bring a refillable water bottle and fill at the fountains. You can also always ask for complimentary ice water at any quick service restaurant.

Battery Operated Fan

Your pregnant body is a mini-incubator. You might find that even in pleasant weather, you are easily overheated. Having a Mini Portable Fan that you can keep in your bag is handy, especially if you start to feel light-headed when you’re too warm.

Lotion

Growing bellies can be itchy, especially in the second trimester. Instead of standing in line scratching your tummy all day, be sure to pack a travel sized bottle of Belly Cream to soothe your skin.

Maxi Pads/Bladder Protection

Wear one all day and pack extras. Yes, really. Even if you don’t currently experience “bladder incontinence”. Getting in and out of rides can *ahem* cause a little leak (take it from one who knows!) One errant sneeze on a full bladder and you’ll be in big trouble so it’s better to be well protected in the first place.

Pregnant at Disney? This is the expectant mom's complete Disney packing list of important needs. Don't pack your bags until you check this list of must-haves for every pregnant woman going on a Disney vacation! #Disneyland #DisneyWorld

Getting into the Astro Orbitor while 35 weeks pregnant was no easy feat!

Change of Clothes

Accidents happen and if you’re in your third trimester, you might find it challenging to find clothes that fit you in the Park gift shops. I find that my clumsiness increases with each week and I’m constantly dropping food on my belly en route to my mouth. It’s best to just pack yourself an extra outfit in your day bag. Here are some additional ideas on Maternity Fashion – How to Look Fabulous on a Tight Budget.

Antacids

If you’re like me in the third trimester, even water gives you heartburn. Pack a good number of antacid tablets that you can chew on during the day when indigestion flares up. If you suffer from nausea, check out these Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea at Disney.

Fiber and Fruit

On the flip-side of taking antacids, the added calcium in the antacids can cause constipation. You might also be eating differently than you do at home with heavier full-service dining meals. Consider fiber capsules (ask your doctor what they recommend). Up your fruit intake to help keep you regular. We packed dried plums and apples in our snack bag which helped with regularity.

Vitamins and Medicines

Keep up your good prenatal habits and pack all your important vitamins. “Safe” medications are limited while pregnant so ask your doctor what you might need during illness and pack those in with you. I always try to carry at least acetaminophen with me to help ease round ligament pain, headache and achy joints.

Pregnant at Disney? This is the expectant mom's complete Disney packing list of important needs. Don't pack your bags until you check this list of must-haves for every pregnant woman going on a Disney vacation! #Disneyland #DisneyWorld

Sunscreen and a Hat

Not everyone gets that “pregnant glow”. Some of us get pimples, dry patches or dark spots instead! Even if the weather is less than sunny, slather on sunscreen and slap on a hat to protect your skin.

Healthy Snacks

Pregnant women need a few extra calories than usual. And with the additional miles you walk in the Parks, you’ll need to keep your body well nourished. Pack yourself some healthy snacks that you can nibble on throughout the day. Foods like almonds, apples, sturdy crackers and dried plums are easy to keep in a backpack and won’t melt or spoil in warm weather.

Maternity Support Belt

A Maternity Belt will gently support your bump and may help ease back ache. Consider purchasing one ahead of time and “test driving” at home it to see if it helps.

Pregnant at Disney? This is the expectant mom's complete Disney packing list of important needs. Don't pack your bags until you check this list of must-haves for every pregnant woman going on a Disney vacation! #Disneyland #DisneyWorld

Pregnancy warnings would be on a sign like this posted outside of the attraction.

What to Do in the Parks (and What to Skip)

Naturally, as a pregnant woman you will be unable to ride or experience certain attractions at the risk of your unborn baby. These warnings are posted at all Disney rides that discourage pregnant women from participating. However you’ll be happy to know that there are still quite a few rides and attractions that you can still participate in. You won’t be sitting on the bench all day (unless you want to!)

For more pregnancy Disney vacation tips, please take a look at my post, Top Tips on What to Do When You’re Pregnant at Disneyland.


CLICK THE IMAGE TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE DISNEY VACATION PLANNING VIDEO


Pregnant at Disney? This is the expectant mom's complete Disney packing list of important needs. Don't pack your bags until you check this list of must-haves for every pregnant woman going on a Disney vacation! #Disneyland #DisneyWorld


 

5 Helpful Tips for Calming Scared and Anxious Kids at Disney

You’re so hyped to take the kids to Disney! Perhaps this is your first visit there or maybe you’ve been before. What do you do if they’re scared at Disney and your child is terrified of the attractions? Or refuses to get on a ride, even if he’s been on it a dozen times before? Your kid is “too-scared-to-ride” but that doesn’t mean your vacation is doomed. This is my helpful guide for kids who are scared at Disney with my tried-and-tested tips.

Scared at Disney?

When I took my son (who is now 12) to Disneyland for the first time, he was 14 months old. He loved toddling at Disneyland, getting wet at Dot’s Puddle Park and climbing stairs and rocks on Tom Sawyer Island. What he didn’t like were the rides. At all. Not even a LITTLE BIT!

He simply was unfamiliar with the quick and unpredictable movements of the rides and there was nothing we could do or say that would help him to relax on the ride. So what can you do if your child refuses to ride, or worse bursts into tears at the very thought? You don’t want your kid having bad memories about his Disney vacation, right?

Please note that this post includes affiliate links. Clicking through and purchasing helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Kids are scared at Disney? Check out these 5 tested tips to help kids who are nervous, anxious or scared at Disney enjoy their vacation.

My formerly “too-scared-to-ride” big kid comforting his little brother who was nervous his first time on Flik’s Flyers.


CLICK THE IMAGE TO RECEIVE A FREE DISNEY VACATION PLANNING VIDEO


1. Plan Ahead

You know your child and if there is any doubt in your mind that you might have some issues at the Park, do everything you can before the trip to prepare them. Show them videos online about the rides. Get a Disney Vacation Planning DVD (click the image above). Watch it over and over so your child can be comfortable with more of the aspects of the place.

Check out my post on TravelingMomHow to Encourage Shy Kids to Be Brave at Disney for lots of tried-and-true advice on encouraging reluctant children.

I’d also advise against setting huge expectations. Don’t expect that you’re going to jump right on Space Mountain with a nervous kid! Plan your day intentionally with a slow start. Don’t expect that your kid is going to run into Mickey’s arms to give him a huge hug if he’s never seen these larger-than-life Characters. As your children become more comfortable in the Park throughout the day, you might be able to get them to try new experiences.

Kids are scared at Disney? Check out these 5 tested tips to help kids who are nervous, anxious or scared at Disney enjoy their vacation.

No need to be scared at Disney. And no pressure during character meet n’ greets…Mickey’s cool!

SCARED KID TIP: Read up about the rides, attractions and shows in advance so you’ll have an idea if your child would want to ride them or skip them. The The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2017 and The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 offers tips on the possible “scare factor” of certain attractions at the Disney parks.

   

2. Tried and True…Maybe Not So Much

Even if they loved a particular ride in the past, that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll still enjoy it on this trip. My son rode the Pirates of the Caribbean dozens of times but one day (at age four) he got in the boat and screamed until we took him out! For whatever reason something scared him and he refused to get on the ride for years. And then one day, just like that that, he was fine! You just never know.

Your kids might be fine with the spooky Haunted Mansion but suddenly be terrified of Dumbo. And they might be 10 years old…just sayin’. There’s not much you can do about this issue, just let it go and move on to the next attraction.

Kids are scared at Disney? Check out these 5 tested tips to help kids who are nervous, anxious or scared at Disney enjoy their vacation.

Too scared at Disney to ride the Silly Symphony Swings (which has now become his favorite!)

SCARED KID TIP: Ask your child in advance which rides they most want to go on and which rides they’d rather skip. Let them keep a journal (like the Kid’s Travel Journal -Disney Edition) with their top 10 attractions where they can take notes or draw a picture of their favorite experiences. Allowing your child to document their happy memories might encourage them to try something new or more adventurous.

3. Backing Out

You’ve waited in line for Space Mountain for 90 minutes and finally reach the end…and that’s when your child decides they just don’t want to ride. We’ve had to back out at the last minute of several rides with my daughter when she decided after waiting that she really didn’t want to ride.

Just go with the flow and don’t get upset. Let the Cast Member know that you need to step aside. Wait for a bit. You know your child and whether they’d prefer to collect them self alone or need a hug. Let your child know that they can make the next move, whether it be to leave the attraction or try to ride.

Kids are scared at Disney? Check out these 5 tested tips to help kids who are nervous, anxious or scared at Disney enjoy their vacation.

Taking a swim break mid-day is one way to take the pressure off kids scared at Disney.

SCARED KID TIP: A stressful situation may escalate so don’t let one blow-out ruin the day. Move on and don’t dwell upon it. Offer a drink or a snack to relieve some of the tension. When we’ve had a particularly upsetting moment with one of our kids, we take that as a cue to get a treat or go back to the hotel for a swim. You could also try resting for a bit in one of the quiet Park areas (read my post Avoid the Disneyland Meltdown for more ideas).

Kids are scared at Disney? Check out these 5 tested tips to help kids who are nervous, anxious or scared at Disney enjoy their vacation.

My daughter was comforted by having her Minnie Mouse from home with her on all the rides.


Save Money on Your Disneyland Vacation!

Purchase discount Disneyland tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).


4. Use Rider Switch

Just because your kid meets the height requirement doesn’t mean they’ll want to ride! Make good use out of Rider Switch and that way anyone in your group can take turns on a ride and one of the grown-ups can wait with the child that doesn’t want to go on.

My friend Leslie at Trips with Tykes breaks down the Rider Switch process on her website.

Kids are scared at Disney? Check out these 5 tested tips to help kids who are nervous, anxious or scared at Disney enjoy their vacation.

While other family members are on a ride, we take the time for some fun photo ops in the park.

5. Switch Gears

So, despite your best efforts your kid is still too scared to ride. It’s time to switch gears and find things that your child will appreciate. Fortunately Disney is packed with entertainment that will occupy you for days. The Parks are full of entertaining attractions other than the rides.

The parades and shows are top-notch and appeal to a wide audience so everyone from your toddler to great-grandma can appreciate them. Make sure to grab a Times Guide when you enter the Park so you’ll know what events are happening that day along with the time schedule.

Kids are scared at Disney? Check out these 5 tested tips to help kids who are nervous, anxious or scared at Disney enjoy their vacation.

An ice cream break usually fixes everything!

Even things as simple as waving at the Characters as they pass in the parade (because your child is too nervous for an up-close meet ‘n greet) can be quality vacation memories for them. While other people in your group are on rides, take fun photos of your child in the Park and capture those memories. There are a bunch of great non-ride ideas in my post What Else is There to Do at Disneyland?

Kids are scared at Disney? Check out these 5 tested tips to help kids who are nervous, anxious or scared at Disney enjoy their vacation.

Waving at Characters from afar might be preferential to a face-to-face Meet n’ Greet for kids scared at Disney.

What tips do you have for easing the tension for your kids when they’re scared at Disney? Share with us in the comments!

Kids are scared at Disney? Check out these 5 tested tips to help kids who are nervous, anxious or scared at Disney enjoy their vacation.

Support CHOC with a “Walk in the Park” through Disneyland…even from home!

Support CHOC with a "Walk in the Park" through Disneyland...even from home!

This year the CHOC Walk commemorates its 25th silver anniversary while the Disneyland Resort celebrates its Diamond 50th!

CHOC “Walk in the Park” is the largest single pediatric walk event in the nation. It’s also the most unique, with a 5K that takes you through the Disney Resort in Anaheim. Money that is raised through supporting the CHOC Walk helps to support research and care provided by CHOC Children’s. CHOC Children’s is a regional pediatric health care system that includes two hospitals, many primary and specialty care clinics, and four clinical centers of excellence, the CHOC ChildrenHeartNeuroscienceOrthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes. Walt Disney championed for CHOC and was even on the hospital’s first board of directors 50+ years ago.

There are two ways to participate in the CHOC Walk. Those who want to walk in the event can register at chocwalk.org to join a team or walk as an individual. Those who cannot make it to the walk, can register as a Sleeping Bear. This special designation is for participants who want to raise money and earn CHOC Walk prizes but won’t be at the walk. See, you can still help CHOC and raise money, even from home! “Sleeping Bears” receive a CHOC Walk T-shirt and are eligible to earn prizes from their fundraising efforts.

Support CHOC with a "Walk in the Park" through Disneyland...even from home!

Participants who raise between $375 and $599 earn one Disneyland Resort 1-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket. Participants who raise $600 or more earn two Disneyland Resort 1-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Tickets.

You can learn more about the event at www.chocwalk.org and follow on Facebook, Instagram and TwitterThis year’s hashtag is #chocwalk.


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Don’t Let Motion Sickness Ruin Your Disney Day – Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea

Simulators, long drops, upside-down loops, spinning, bobbing on water, 3-D, bumps and jiggles. Does all that twirl make you…well, hurl? Any one of these motions (or all of the above) might make you dizzy or sick to your stomach. If you’re prone to motion sickness just the smallest movements might result in vertigo, migraine headache or vomiting. Certainly not what you want to experience on your magical day at Disney! As a longtime motion sickness sufferer I’ve come up with my list of top tips for how to avoid motion sickness at Disney.

Worried about motion sickness at Disney? Check out these top tips for avoiding nausea on your Disneyland vacation including what rides to avoid & how to treat nausea before it hits. #Disneyland

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

1. Attractions to Be Aware Of at Disney If You Have Motion Sickness

Have issues with the following movements? Consider these rides & attractions if you think you might get Disneyland motion sickness:

Spinning you dizzy in a circle – Astro Orbitor, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Flik’s Flyers, Francis’ Ladybug Boogie, Golden Zephyr, King Arthur Carrousel, King Triton’s Carousel, Mad Tea Party, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Silly Symphony Swings, Grizzly River Run

Hurky-jerky stops  – Autopia, Indiana Jones Adventure, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Tuck & Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies

3-D glasses required – Star Tours, Toy Story Midway Mania, It’s Tough to Be a Bug!

Up and down, up and down – Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Incredicoaster

Tummy tickling drops & dips -Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, California Screamin’, Gadget’s Go Coaster, Goofy’s Sky School, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!

Roller Coasters Make You Queasy? Check out these Top Tips to Avoid Motion Sickness at Disneyland

Photo Credit: Jeff Holz


Save Money on Your Disney Vacation!

Purchase discount Disneyland and Walt Disney World tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today.

Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).


2. Compensate Motion Sickness at Disney With These Tricks

If you really want to ride, there are ways to deal with motion sickness at Disney. Try all of these tricks to compensate and help to avoid that nauseated feeling.

  • Do not ride backwards if you can prevent it. Find a seat that faces forward on the Monorail and Mark Twain River Boat. Even the buses and trams coming to and from the parking lot have backwards and sideways facing seats, so always choose the option that faces forward.
  • Keep fresh air on your face. Though the Finding Nemo Subs have tiny fans in front of the windows, the still air, close-quarters and water-motion in this ride might make you lightheaded. Consider bringing in your own battery-operated fan to keep the cool air on your face.
Roller Coasters Make You Queasy? Check out these Top Tips to Avoid Motion Sickness at Disneyland

Inside the tiny confines of the Finding Nemo Submarines

  • Avoid reading. Put down the map or guide book! Reading while riding is a sure bet to bring on nausea. Keep your head up and look outwards.
  • Adjust your gaze and focus on the horizon. I find that if I’m looking at something inside the ride (like focusing on my son’s face on the carrousel, for example) then the blur of anything outside of the ride catches in my peripheral vision, making me dizzy. If I look outward when I’m riding on Dumbo, for instance, and focus on the Matterhorn in the distance then I’m less likely to feel nauseous.

Worried about motion sickness at Disney? Check out these top tips for avoiding nausea on your Disneyland vacation including what rides to avoid & how to treat nausea before it hits. #Disneyland

3. Consider Medications

I like scopolamine (Transderm-Scop) which is a patch worn behind the ear. It slowly delivers medication over the course of three days. I’ve found it’s the only motion sickness medication that doesn’t make me drowsy and that fully works for my symptoms. The last time I used the patch was on my trip to Europe. I was able to travel by plane, bus, van and bicycle without any nausea and fully enjoyed my vacation! It can give you a “cotton mouth” feeling, so make sure to stay well hydrated.

Always “test” out medications before your trip to see how the dosage affects you. Keep caution that some medications can cause extreme drowsiness. The last time I took Dramamine was on a fishing trip. I was so sleepy that while my family was fishing, I was asleep on the bottom of the row boat!

Worried about motion sickness at Disney? Check out these top tips for avoiding nausea on your Disneyland vacation including what rides to avoid & how to treat nausea before it hits. #Disneyland

The Transderm-Scop patch lets me ride the coasters without nausea…yes!

4. Pressure Points

According to a study in Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, those who performed acupressure on their wrists reported reduced motion sickness. Use your thumb to press your inner arm three finger widths (about two inches) down from your wrist crease. Hold for a few minutes, until symptoms subside. Some swear by SeaBands, which are wrist bands with small buttons that rest on pressure points on the wrist. I haven’t tried them to know for sure but it’s worth a try!


5. Watch What You Eat and Drink

Foods with strong odors, heavy, spicy, or fatty foods may worsen symptoms in some people. Unfortunately that is a large part of Park food so choose lighter fare when you can and considering bringing in your own snacks. If you’re an adult, you should also avoid alcohol. Here are some tips for eating healthy at Disney.

Worried about motion sickness at Disney? Check out these top tips for avoiding nausea on your Disneyland vacation including what rides to avoid & how to treat nausea before it hits. #Disneyland

6. Talk Yourself Out of It

Positive self-talk has been shown to aid in preventing motion sickness symptoms. Repeat to yourself, “I will not get sick” or “I will feel fine on this ride”. Breathe deeply (without hyperventilating) and aim to relax. Take breaks as needed before or after high-movement rides to self-affirm.

7. Visit First Aid

Okay, so you tried it all and you still feel sick to your stomach? Visit First Aid inside the Parks and the nurses here can help. I was terribly dehydrated on my last Walt Disney World vacation and any movement was making me feel nauseated. I was able to lay down and rest with an electrolyte drink inside the First Aid center until I was feeling better.

Here’s to a happy and healthy visit! What are your feel-good tips for avoiding nausea? Share below in the comments.


Worried about motion sickness at Disney? Check out these top tips for avoiding nausea on your Disneyland vacation including what rides to avoid & how to treat nausea before it hits. #Disneyland

 


What Can Babies Do at Disneyland? -Answers to the Top 4 Questions

Considering a trip to Disneyland but you’d have a baby on board? You might be asking yourself, “What can babies DO at Disneyland?” No need to cancel your travel plans, babies are quite welcome at the Happiest Place on Earth! There are a few things you should know first. I have the answers to the top four questions most parents ask themselves before bringing a baby to Disneyland.

What Can Babies Do at Disneyland? -Answers to the Top 4 Questions

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!


CLICK THE IMAGE TO RECEIVE A FREE DISNEYLAND VACATION PLANNING VIDEO


What Can Babies Do at Disneyland?

You might be wondering if it’s worth it to take a baby to Disneyland? I’ve been taking my babies to Disneyland for YEARS, so I’m here to share my insider tips about your concerns. I’ve even traveled alone with my baby to Disney!

These are the top four questions I’m going to answer about bringing babies to Disney parks –

  • What can you do at Disneyland with a baby?

  • What rides can babies go on at Disneyland?

  • What should we bring with us?

  • Should we just hold off any Disney vacation plans until our baby is older?

What Can Babies Do at Disneyland? -Answers to the Top 4 Questions

My son’s first Disneyland trip came at 8 months old. My daughter was only 5 months old! I can attest that we all had a wonderful Disney day, even with the baby on board. Certainly it’s not the same kind of day you’d have with just older kids but it’s still fun all the same!

The most important thing is to be prepared in advance so everyone in your group knows what to expect. Know that you might have to take more frequent breaks for diaper changes and feedings. However Disneyland is quite well equipped to handle all guests, babies included!

What Can Babies Do at Disneyland? -Answers to the Top 4 Questions

He has his Attraction Guide and he’s ready to go!

1. What Can Babies Do at Disneyland?

Depending upon the age of your baby, you can do a lot together at Disneyland! Even the very youngest guests can still be with their family on many of the rides. Here are a few other things that babies love to do at Disneyland.

Meet n’ Greet with Disney Characters

Many babies love the character engagement, as my little one did. Dillon laughed when he met Goofy at 8 months old, giggling and waving at him! He adored Minnie Mouse (and her nose!) And when he met Pluto at 11 months old, he toddled over and Pluto jumped around on his paws to make Dillon laugh. The characters are exceptional with little ones and will tailor their behavior to your child, especially if they see that your baby isn’t receptive or upset.

What Can Babies Do at Disneyland? -Answers to the Top 4 Questions

Watch a Parade or a Show

Parades are fun and colorful and can be quite entertaining for babies who can sit up and watch from their stroller. Babies are welcome at all shows as well. My son enjoyed watching Mickey and the Magical Map as a baby, since the show was vibrant and had enjoyable music. During the Frozen: Live at the Hyperion show, I was able to nurse my daughter and she took a long nap! The Disney Junior: Live on Stage show is perfect for little ones and they can toddle around the room, dancing to the music.

What Can Babies Do at Disneyland? -Answers to the Top 4 Questions

Exploring Cars Land


2. Can Babies Go On Any Rides at Disneyland?

Babies can ride nearly everything in both Parks, give or take about 20 rides with height requirements. I recommend taking both a stroller and a front carrier as you can hold baby in a front carrier on many of the rides.

My little ones loved it’s a small world, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. Anything relatively slow moving, musical and colorful will likely be enjoyed by babies.

What Can Babies Do at Disneyland? -Answers to the Top 4 Questions

King Arthur’s Carrousel

For rides that baby can’t go on, take advantage of Rider Switch Pass, a free service. This allows those who meet height requirements to ride while one person stays behind with the baby. Then the riders “switch” places so the person left behind can ride too. The Disney Parks Moms Panel covers the topic of Rider Switch Pass in detail.

My husband and I take turns waiting with our baby. If your baby is beginning to toddler, there are some play areas (like Goofy’s Playhouse in Toontown). The play areas may not be appropriate for non-walking babies so take note before you let your baby down to crawl or explore.

What Can Babies Do at Disneyland? -Answers to the Top 4 Questions

Exploring Goofy’s Playhouse in Toontown

Keep in mind that some rides and attractions have loud noises that might frighten your baby (Jungle Cruise gun shot comes to mind!) Just ask a Cast Member at the entrance if you have any question that the ride or show might not be appropriate. Use ear protection for your baby if you need to.


3. What Should We Bring to Disneyland For the Baby?

If you can, bring your own stroller to the Parks. The walk to the car or hotel after a long day can be hard, especially if you are lugging a sleeping baby, diaper bag and souvenirs! The basket under the stroller will be great for storage.

Stroller and Carrier

If you’d rather rent a stroller, Disneyland Parks do have rentals but they are suited more for toddlers than small babies. Also you cannot remove the strollers from the Parks.

If your baby is accustomed to being held in a front carrier, feel free to bring that with you into the parks as well. I love that I’m able to baby-wear on many of the attractions, so my daughter can nap while we ride!

Packing a Diaper Bag

Pack your diaper bag with everything you would for a normal outing including food and snacks and plenty of diapers and wipes. You can buy some things in the Parks but the price will be at a premium. See this post with my advice for packing the perfect Disneyland diaper bag.


Feeding Tips

Out and about in the Parks, there are quiet rest areas and benches where you can sit and feed or nurse your baby. Bathrooms have ample diaper changing stations but they aren’t padded, so be sure to bring your own changing pad that you can wipe down after each use.

If baby is eating solids, bring your own spoons and baby food jars. I also bring disposable bibs because I’d rather not have messy clothes or food-crusted bibs to tote around. To hold snacks and formula, I recommend the Munchkin Formula Dispenser. It holds one bottle’s worth of formula in each section but it’s also a good size for shaking out bite-sized snacks like puffs and Cheerios.

Read this post with more ideas on how to feed your baby at Disneyland.

What Can Babies Do at Disneyland? -Answers to the Top 4 Questions

Naptime

Bring a lightweight blanket (like the aden + anais Disney Baby swaddle cloths) to drape over your baby to protect them from the sun.

I highly recommend visiting the Disneyland Baby Care Center. There is one located inside each of the two parks. There are rocking chairs, microwaves for heating jarred food, high chairs and changing tables. If you’ve run out of diapers (like we did once) you can purchase them here and clean up baby after a nasty blow out (like we did!) The cast members here are sweeter than sweet about helping you!

My baby daughter likes to sleep in the front carrier at Disneyland.


4. Should We Hold Off Disney Vacation Plans Until Our Baby is Older?

Absolutely not! There is no reason to wait for a certain age because Disneyland is a place for all ages. Going to Disney with a baby is going to be a different experience but not one to miss! Especially when you see them in Mouse Ears for the first time or take them on their first it’s a small world boat ride!

BONUS QUESTION- At What Age Do Kids Get in for Free to Disneyland?

Kids two-years old and under do not need a Park ticket, so your baby has free admission! You won’t need to buy your baby a Disneyland ticket until their third birthday.

I recommend purchasing your tickets ahead of time through my travel partner Get Away Today. You’ll save a few dollars off the cost as well as save time standing in line at the gate.

https://www.getawaytoday.com/?referrerid=7529

Purchase discount tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount). 

Taking your Toddler to Disneyland? Check out this post with a one-day itinerary for Disneyland with toddlers.


Have you traveled to Disneyland with your baby? What other tips or advice do you have to share? Please comment below, thanks!

If you're consider taking Baby to Disneyland there are a few questions you probably have? Like can babies ride anything at Disneyland and what can they really do? See these insider Disney tips that answer your top questions! #Disneyland


A Spur of the Moment Disneyland Weekend – Trip Report

Bandleader Mickey at Disneyland!

Mornin’ Mickey!

I run a tight ship when it comes to my Disneyland vacations but well, sometimes life gets in the way and things don’t always go on schedule. It’s best to be flexible! Turns out that pretty much any day spent at Disney is a magical day, no matter how you slice it!

We got up up just after 6am to get ready for the drive. Fortunately we’d packed up mostly the night before so after a quick breakfast we were in the car and on our way. We did have to pick up the stroller from Grandma’s house and fill up the gas tank which added time to my already 20 minutes late time schedule! We live in San Diego, around 90 minutes drive from Anaheim and the Disneyland Resort. This day however would prove to be about 2 hours though, since we ran into a bit of traffic on the way up. The Santa Ana winds that blow in from the desert were warming up the air, which was nice (it was near 80 degrees on this January day!) However we were also getting the crazy fast winds that blow dust and tumbleweeds across the freeway!

About an hour into the drive it dawned on us that we’d forgotten our preschooler’s shoes at home! Ugh…so, after a quick side trip to Target for new kicks, we were soon pulling into the Woody parking lot. To be totally honest, I had no idea that there was a Disney resort parking lot in this area. I knew about the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure and had parked at one of the other “off-site” lots but didn’t realize that there was this lot until we passed it on the way to the Target. Parking was so much easier here than at the Parking Structure! We simply boarded one of the Toy Story buses that drove a few miles down the road and dropped us off right in front of the esplanade. There was no waiting for the trams and no long walks, I loved it!

Taking the Disneyland shuttle from "off-site" parking lots

We picked up my daughter’s Disability Access Service (DAS) card at Guest Services and found out that the system has changed even since our recent visit in October. I’ve outlined the system here. Guest still visit the special kiosks scattered through out the Park to receive their designated return time for a particular attraction. However now instead of receiving a small paper log with a return time, guests are now instructed to turn over their Park tickets at the return/Fastpass line of each ride.

New Disability Access Service (DAS)

Cast Members have scanners which scan each ticket and a photo pops up on their screen with the number of people in the party and the designated return time for verification. My daughter wasn’t cooperating that morning and refused to pose for the photo inside City Hall but the Cast Member was kind enough to take a photo of a photo from my husband’s camera phone so there would be an image for the scanner. The new update to the system worked out nicely and the process was much quicker without the Cast Members having to log rides and times on a piece of paper!

New scanners at Disneyland for the Disability Access Service

After receiving the DAS, my daughter was moody and upset and didn’t want to ride anything at first. I took the boys on the King Arthur Carrousel so my husband could get her relaxed and acclimated to the Park atmosphere.

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The entrance bridge through Sleeping Beauty Castle is currently closed, presumably in preparation for the big Diamond Celebration, Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary! Snow White’s Grotto and the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through are also currently off exhibit.

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After a snack and a rest in the shade, Alonna was ready to join us for a ride. We kick started the day with a bang…Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! Dillon just turned three only two months ago, but at 40″ high we were ready to have him try a few of the Disneyland coasters. He’d wet his feet on a few of the coasters at Legoland a few weeks ago but we weren’t sure how well these more “high speed adventures” would go over! We needn’t be worried…while he’d  scream throughout the rides and grip onto the bars tightly, afterwards he was all smiles and excitement. He kept saying, “That was AWESOME!” And so we marched on!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Disneyland CA

After riding a few more favorites, we made our way across the esplanade to Disney California Adventure Park. As Disney Chase Visa members, we receive a personal Character meet n’ greet and a free 5″ x 7″ photo! We met up with Minnie, who was greeted warmly with a big hug from Dillon like they were old pals!

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In the same area (Hollywoodland), FROZEN FUN is currently taking place! It’s a highly popular (and highly populated!) new area that features a meet n’ greet with Anna and/or Elsa, a sing-a-long theater show, real snow play, specialty foods and snacks, shopping (naturally) and warm hugs from Olaf himself. My kids love the movie but none wanted to participate in the activities since it was quite busy in this area. They were anxious to get on more rides, so we drove ourselves over to Carsland!

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It was my son’s first time riding the Radiator Springs Racers and he was so excited! At each ride that had a 40″ height requirement, Dillon was checked several times through the ride (first at the entrance and then again, usually half-way through the line). This is such a wonderful ride, we were so glad he was able to join us on it this time. And he, of course, loved it! More, “This is AWESOME!!” greeted us through the exit line!

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We took a spin on Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree before jogging through the underpass and onto the Pacific Wharf for lunch.

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I’d not eaten at the Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill before and it did not disappoint. Large portions that we shared between the five of us, vibrant flavors and we were accompanied by the darling Mariachi Divas. My husband loved the spicy pasilla-tomatillo sauce that came with the tamales. My Hacienda chicken Caesar salad with pepita dressing was enormous and really hit the spot! Total bill for this meal was $35 and it fed all five of us (we didn’t purchase drinks but brought in Gatorade and water bottles). You receive 10% with your Disney Chase Visa or Disney Redemption Card from the Disney Chase Visa program.

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One of my favorite parts of a Disney day is the Character interaction. We happened upon Donald alongside Paradise Pier looking so dapper in his nautical get-up! He was delighted to see himself not only on my son’s t-shirt but featured on his hat too! Donald even tried to put the hat on and danced about a bit, to the joy of my son.

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The big kids went with Dad on California Screamin’ while Dillon and I watched the riders whizzing by! A spin on King Triton’s Carousel, Toy Story Mania and the Jumpin’ Jellyfish followed.

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We hit up Bug’s Land and then headed back over to Disneyland Park for ice creams and more adventure. While in line for waffle cones, nap time happened and Dillon missed the special treat. It’s okay, we splurged and got ice cream again after dinner too!

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The little guy woke up ready for more! We rode Star Tours as well as Space Mountain! I wasn’t sure how he’d like being in the dark with all that spinning but he did great and again, it was “AWESOME!”

As evening came we headed for our favorite dinner spot, the French Market in New Orleans Square. We ordered the meatloaf with mashed potatoes, veggies and a roll, the grilled chicken with double-veggies and a roll and a bread bowl overflowing with steaming hot corn chowder. Again, we received 10% off for being Disney Chase Visa card holders and the total bill was $35. It was all so delicious (but too dark for photos at this point).

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My eldest son, who suffers from occasional migraine headaches was starting to develop one, so after dinner we stopped off at First Aid for children’s acetaminophen and an ice pack. We took things easy for a bit, allowing the medication to work and walked slowly over to It’s a Small World, which was still decorated for the holidays. Somewhat odd, it being a month since Christmas to still have the holiday overlay but I believe it comes down this week. We hummed along to “Jingle Shells” with the mermaids all the same!

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While using the restroom, we happened upon the beginning of Mickey and the Magical Map, a newer show that I’d not yet seen. The show had just begun and Cast Members had already roped off the entrances. I’m not sure what my husband said to him but we were escorted through the ropes and down into a special area with padded bench seats and an amazing view! So bright and fun with wonderful dancing and costumes. And the live singing was fantastic, we absolutely loved this show!

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Earlier in the day I’d picked up Fastpass tickets for the 8:45 Fantasmic! show. With the new viewing areas we were going to be able to stand in specific sections to watch the show. Unfortunately the crazy wild Santa Ana winds that had been plaguing us all day reared up again and the show was “delayed”. With my son still not feeling well, we decided to call it a night and beat the crowds by leaving a bit early. Within ten minutes we were boarded on the bus to take us back to the truck. I have the feeling the Fantastic! show as well as the fireworks display must have been fully cancelled because the winds never did die down.

In any case, even with the abbreviated evening, we still had a magical day. So much fun being able to ride so many things with my preschooler for the first time. It was nice not to have to wait at the stroller with him too. It will definitely be a new phase in our Disney vacations from now on, with all of us being able to ride together! Even though our day didn’t go exactly as planned, it paid to be flexible and we still had a wonderful Disney day!

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As a blogger, I received two complimentary 1 day Park Hopper passes from Disney; all thoughts and views are my own.

How to Avoid the Disneyland Meltdown

We’ve all seen the videos online of kids at Disney having temper tantrums, right? These poor kids will lay right down on Main Street U.S.A. and have an epic meltdown! Did you know that the Disneyland meltdown can be avoided? You can potentially avoid the tantrums, with just a little pre-planning and my tried-and-tested tips. I’ve even included a list of quiet areas throughout the Disneyland Parks where kids & adults alike can rest.

Avoiding the Disneyland Meltdown

With a 14-year old child on the Autism spectrum (as well as another 14-year old, a six-year old and a toddler), our family goal when going to amusement parks is to completely eliminate the dreaded meltdown. For the most part, we’ve done pretty well when we follow this plan. But as you can see from this picture, sometimes tantrums happen! Keep reading for my best tips on avoiding the Disneyland meltdown.

Want to avoid the Disneyland meltdown on your vacation? Temper tantrums at Disney can be avoided by following these tested tips with advice for a happier kids. Includes a list of quiet places to rest inside the Parks and tips for kids with special needs.

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

1. Be Prepared By Doing Your Pre-Vacation Homework

Kids who don’t know what to expect are more likely to meltdown. I highly discourage the “surprise” vacation! Prep your children ahead of your Disneyland vacation by showing them YouTube videos of rides and attractions and the free Disney Parks vacation planning guide (see below how to get one). Some families don’t want to watch anything or know too much about what they’re going to experience in person. But if you have a child who is prone to meltdowns, this planning is imperative. Don’t think of this pre-vacation planning as “spoiling” your trip – consider it preparation that builds excitement for the real thing!

CLICK THE IMAGE TO RECEIVE A FREE DISNEY VACATION PLANNING VIDEO

Be sure to read my tips for the best way to surprise your kids with a Disneyland vacation.


2. Book Your Trip in the Off-Season

Nothing will induce a family to tears faster than long waits for everything! Tight, loud crowds tend to increase my blood pressure so you can only imagine how stressful it can be for a child. Try to plan your trip during a less busy off-season. How to know when the Parks will be busy and when it’s the best time to plan your vacation? See my posts about the Best Times of the Year to Visit Disneyland (and Why) as well as the Dates to Avoid Disneyland When Planning Your Vacation.

I recommend my partner Get Away Today when purchasing your vacation package. You’ll receive your tickets in advance and save time in line as well. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).

3. Bring Back-Up

An extra set of hands (or two) can be vital towards keeping everyone happy. Consider having additional family, friends or even the babysitter come with you to Disneyland to help with the kids. Having people there to take turns holding toddlers in line and entertaining youngsters while you wait for a meal is invaluable to your own sanity!

4. Have a Flexible Schedule

Having a loose schedule is important when planning out your Disneyland day. Before your trip you should know what attractions are must-do, where you’ll eat your meals and what shows you want to watch. Having a plan will help you pace yourself and make sure you can really fit it all in.

That being said, you’re schedule should allow for some flexibility. Plan in plenty of downtime. Alternate activities between rides, character greetings, meals and shows or parades. And don’t be stressed out if you need to change up the schedule. Do what you need to do to avoid the meltdown rather than push the schedule at all costs.

Want to avoid the Disneyland meltdown on your vacation? Temper tantrums at Disney can be avoided by following these tested tips with advice for a happier kids. Includes a list of quiet places to rest inside the Parks and tips for kids with special needs.

5. Tired Legs = Cranky Kids

If your child gets cranky with excessive walking consider bringing your stroller or renting one at the Park. Even bigger kids (who don’t usually nap) might find they appreciate reserving their energy or will take a cat nap if they are able to ride in a stroller.

6. Feed Me

Ever been “hangry”? Then you know what I’m talking about with the borderline anger that swells up when you’re overly hungry. You can bring food into the Disneyland Parks so pack a bag with healthy snacks. Hand them out frequently to keep blood-sugars level.

And while it’s great to indulge in some of the sweet treats available at the Disneyland Parks, know that a diet of sugar-sprinkles and carb-overload isn’t ideal all day. Check out my tips on How to Eat Healthfully at Disneyland (and Still Treat Yourself!).

Want to avoid the Disneyland meltdown on your vacation? Temper tantrums at Disney can be avoided by following these tested tips with advice for a happier kids. Includes a list of quiet places to rest inside the Parks and tips for kids with special needs.

We walked over the Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel for lunch & a break from the parks.

7. Take It Easy By Taking a Break

Take the day at an easy pace and by adding in plenty of breaks. This might mean that you leave the Parks mid-day to recoup at the hotel for a swim or a nap. If you have kids that are prone to meltdown you need to go at their pace and not the schedule you have set for the day. You just can’t cram too much activity into the day because that is a recipe for meltdown.

8. Avoid Pressure

Does this sound familiar – When you push, your kid pushes back? You know your kid. If they really don’t want to do something and you press too much, you’re going to find yourself facing an epic Disneyland temper tantrum! Some kids who are scared or nervous lash out with a meltdown in a show of frustration. If you’re concerned that your child might not hold up well with new experiences, read these 5 Helpful Tips for Calming Scared and Anxious Kids at Disney.

Want to avoid the Disneyland meltdown on your vacation? Temper tantrums at Disney can be avoided by following these tested tips with advice for a happier kids. Includes a list of quiet places to rest inside the Parks and tips for kids with special needs.

No pressure…Mickey’s cool!

9. Don’t Skip Naps

If your child always takes a nap mid-day, be sure to make a point of sticking to that schedule. If you don’t want to leave the Park, head for one of the quiet resting spots so they can sleep. Naps in an amusement park are never quite as refreshing as one in a bed though, so you might want to get them back to the hotel for a more restful sleep.

Looking for more tips on Disneyland with toddlers? Read One Day Itinerary – Insider Tips for Disneyland with a Toddler.

10. Avoid the Shops

For my youngest son, he is great with all things Disney. But get him inside of a shop and the temptation for souvenirs can bring him to tears. For my family, we tend to avoid the souvenir shops. We usually pre-purchase souvenirs using the ideas in this post, Disney Souvenirs To Buy BEFORE Your Disney Vacation.

Want to avoid the Disneyland meltdown on your vacation? Temper tantrums at Disney can be avoided by following these tested tips with advice for a happier kids. Includes a list of quiet places to rest inside the Parks and tips for kids with special needs.

However if you do want to purchase souvenirs inside the Parks, here are a few words of advice. Go into the shops with a plan. Does your child want a t-shirt or a hat? Are they going to buy a lollipop or a candied apple? Knowing ahead of time what they are specifically looking for will help them narrow things down. Kids can get so overwhelmed with the plethora of choices that trying to make a decision can really stress them out.

I’d also recommend waiting until the last day of your trip to buy souvenirs. Let kids look in the shops at a casual pace during one day of your trip so they can get an idea of what things they’d like to purchase.

11. Consider DAS for Special Needs

Is your special needs child having a challenging time with the extensive queue waiting? Consider requesting a DAS (Disability Access Service) pass. See this post about Disneyland’s DAS with tips on making it work for you.

12. Find Other Things to Do

The distraction method is a great way to divert from a meltdown. Have a special stash of things just for this purpose. This fun World of Disney Eye Found It Card Game is perfect for waiting in line or at a restaurant. Small toy cars or bubbles are another treat that you can use for distraction before a meltdown.13. Be On Alert for An Oncoming Disneyland Meltdown

There tends to be a build up of bad moods before the big meltdown occurs. Stopping and redirecting immediately if you see a change in attitude or if you sense that a meltdown is developing is crucial. There is no attempt to try and squeeze in “one more” event – bail out of your schedule and seek out a restful spot.

Want to avoid the Disneyland meltdown on your vacation? Temper tantrums at Disney can be avoided by following these tested tips with advice for a happier kids. Includes a list of quiet places to rest inside the Parks and tips for kids with special needs.

Disneyland Resort Spots to Rest and Recollect

When your kid is headed for a meltdown, go immediately to one of these quiet spots at the Disneyland Resort for a little decompressing. These would also be great places to sit with a child who is sleeping in their stroller!

DISNEYLAND

  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island has many shaded areas to sit, relax and people-watch from across the Rivers of America.
  • On the right hand side of Sleeping Beauty Castle is Snow White’s Grotto. The water-feature with the twirling fish is rather hypnotic! Toss some change into the Wishing Well.
  • Our daughter wanted to meet Tinker Bell in Pixie Hollow. We requested an alternative waiting area (instead of the noisy line in the sun). We waited as long as everyone else (about 30 minutes that day) but were given a shaded area where she could spread out and not have the noise or crowd.
  • The waiting areas at each Train Station have covered seating. Except for when the train pulls in, these are fairly quiet places to rest. The train is also a great distraction!
  • At the exit to the Jungle Cruise, just outside of Aladdin’s Oasis is a quiet spot to sit and have a snack. I like to pick up a beef skewer from Bengal Barbeque and sit here to enjoy it.
  • On the lower deck of the Hungry Bear Restaurant, tucked all the way in the back is a sweetly shaded resting spot overlooking the Rivers of America. It’s also where the ducks gather so toss them a few bread crumbs!

How to Avoid the dreaded Disneyland Meltdown! - A List of Quiet Spots in the Parks {Saving Up for Disney}

  • Next to the entrance of Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurante is a covered walkway with tiled seating and a restroom nearby. It’s particularly pretty here in the evenings.
  • Take a slow walk inside the coolness of Sleeping Beauty. If your child doesn’t like tight quarters or can’t handle the stairs, there is an accessible space to view the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough on a high-definition screen. It’s a quiet location with little trinkets on display.
  • Take a trip around the Rivers of America on the Mark Twain Riverboat. Lots of benches in the shade and you’ll get a cool breeze across the water.
quiet10

Walk behind Harbour Galley for a view of the Rivers of America – Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

  • Around the side of Harbour Galley is a quiet and shady dining area.
  • Between “it’s a small world” and the Matterhorn (next to Edelweiss Snacks) is a quiet boat pier overlooking a lovely water feature. It has a covered awning and bench seating and is a perfect place to rest between rides.

DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE PARK

  • In Hollywood Land, just outside of Monsters Inc. are benches under shade.
  • Stop over at Sonoma Terrace for a snack in the covered patio that overlooks the Pier.

How to Avoid the dreaded Disneyland Meltdown! - A List of Quiet Spots in the Parks {Saving Up for Disney}

  • The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail offers not only busy-body activities like rope swings and rock climbing walls but a few restful benches under the trees.
  • Rest yourself on one of the benches around the covered promenade underneath the Silly Symphony Swings. You’ll get a nice overview of the water (though this area isn’t exactly the most quiet it does not have much foot-traffic).
  • In front of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! there are places to sit in the shade. Even better, in front of the shop by the exit of  the ride there is an out of the way bench. After a while, you won’t even notice the screams!
  • Walk Grizzly Trail behind Grizzly River Run for a quiet and cool pace and perhaps a refreshing mist from the water ride!
quiet11

Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

  • The umbrella-covered tables in Paradise Garden Grill are an out-of-the-way locale for lunch.
  • There is a relatively quiet path between Cars Land and “a bug’s land”. It’s a peaceful walk and transition between Lands.
  • Just as you pass under the rock formation in Cars Land into the Pacific Wharf area there is a quiet shady space. You can rest here against the guard rails or pull up a chair outside at Flo’s V-8 (you don’t have to dine here to sit).

How to Avoid the dreaded Disneyland Meltdown! - A List of Quiet Spots in the Parks {Saving Up for Disney}

Even the Best Laid Plans May Not Avoid Disneyland Meltdown 

Sometimes despite our best efforts our kids sometimes do have a mini-meltdown. Fortunately we’ve been able to avoid anything catastrophic at the Happiest Place on Earth but we live and learn through each situation.

Tips for avoiding the dreaded Disneyland Meltdown

The last time we had anyone in our group upset was because we didn’t plan our fireworks viewing area properly. When the lights went out and Guests rushed into our area to see the show, our daughter was pushed out of her spot and under a tree where she completely missed seeing Tinker Bell fly across the sky. She didn’t appreciate the tight quarters, the jostling or the blocked view. As you can see in the photo above she was very upset and had been crying. After the show, we were able to stay tight in our spot until the crowd cleared and we regrouped. After a rest she was ready for a few more rides before we ended our evening.

Having learned our lesson on that trip, we were able to choose a better fireworks location on our last visit where she had more space around her and an open view. Making your Disney day enjoyable is as much about doing your Park research as it is about knowing, listening and watching your child for potential break-down.

Want to avoid the Disneyland meltdown on your vacation? Temper tantrums at Disney can be avoided by following these tested tips with advice for a happier kids. Includes a list of quiet places to rest inside the Parks and tips for kids with special needs and toddlers. #Disney #Disneyland #FamilyTravel #Vacation #California #SoCal #VisitCalifornia #Toddlers #SpecialNeeds #TravelBlogger #TravelwithKids #PositiveParenting #TemperTantrum


Top Tips on What to Do When You’re Pregnant at Disneyland

Don’t think you can’t have a magical time at Disneyland, just because you’re pregnant. But what can you do at Disneyland while pregnant? I’ve been to Disneyland three times while pregnant, once with each of my children. The first time I was 34 weeks along (around 7 1/2 months). The second time I was pregnant 12 weeks (around 3 months). The last baby (twelve years between the first and the last), I was 35 weeks! Each visit offered it’s own unique challenges. There is plenty to do, see, eat and enjoy even while pregnant at Disneyland!

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

What Disneyland Rides Are Safe During Pregnancy?

On my last trip to Disneyland while 35 weeks pregnant there was another pregnant mama visiting with her family. However instead of standing in line, she was waiting at the exit for them. We struck up a conversation and I let her know that she could safely go on just about any ride in Disneyland, save for just a few. She was so happy to hear since she’d already spent most of the day waiting outside the rides for her family.

There are only a few rides at the Disneyland Resort parks that offer the restriction for expectant moms. These include mostly vigorous thrill rides or rides that may be jerky or jarring to the body (rides like Indiana Jones or Space Mountain). Do not ignore those warnings, even if you are still in your first trimester. The sharp stops and G-force pressure of certain rides can injure your delicate cargo so it’s not worth the risk. Signs posted outside each attraction will have a Disneyland expectant mothers advisory and will detail if pregnant moms should skip.

Pregnant at Disneyland? This guide gives the tips on what to ride & what to skip at the California theme park.

Check these signs posted at each attraction -There will be notes here if expectant moms should not ride.

What to Bring?

In addition to packing your usual Disney Parks day bag, I’ve compiled a list of expectant mom must-haves. Check out this post about what pregnant moms should bring to Disney.

 

These Rides Might Be Awkward

Even if a ride or attraction is okay for expectant moms, you might find that navigating your 8-month pregnant belly into some of these might be a challenge.

  • The Finding Nemo Submarines are a smooth ride that is safe for expectant moms. However you’ll have to climb down and up a steep spiral staircase and sit in a narrow flip-down chair in a tight space.
  • Over in Fantasyland there are many dark rides that are just fine for expectant moms but several have small vehicles that may prove challenging to get into. If riding Casey Jr. Circus Train, opt for an open car instead of a caged vehicle. With the Storybook Land Canal Boats you might have difficulty balancing to get in and out of the boat.
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes may also offer challenges getting in and out of the canoe. Be careful exerting yourself rowing the oar. Plus you’ll be un-shaded and it gets hot out there on the water.
  • The Astro Orbitor is safe to ride but the high sides and low seats are tough to get in and out of without help.

Pregnant at Disneyland? This guide gives the tips on what to ride & what to skip at the California theme park.

Keep Up the Healthy Eating

Continue to eat plenty of fruits and veggies (don’t forget to pack your prenatal vitamins!) Limit your sodium intake and stay well hydrated to reduce swelling in your feet and legs. You can also bring in your own water bottles and snacks to make sure you are getting the healthy and nutritious food you (and your baby) need. For more ideas on eating healthy at Disneyland parks, see this post on How to Eat Healthfully at Disneyland (and Still Treat Yourself!).


Save Money on Your Disney Vacation!

Purchase discount Disneyland and Walt Disney World tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today.

Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).


Pregnant at Disneyland? This guide gives the tips on what to ride & what to skip at the California theme park.

Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

Relax and Rest

When I visited Disneyland in the later months of my pregnancy, I did a bit more resting in the shade with my feet on a bench instead of standing in queues.  There are plenty of places you can rest your swollen feet and still enjoy the Parks.

  • Find a shady spot and a bench to yourself. Consider bringing a small pillow to set at your back or to sit on to make yourself more comfortable.
  • Stake out a great seat on the parade route ahead of time and save places for your family to join you later.
  • A grand circle tour on the Disneyland Railroad offers almost 20 minutes of rest and fresh air along with a relaxing tour around Disneyland Park.
  • Pull up a chair and enjoy the cool air that blows across the waters of the Rivers of America on the Mark Twain Riverboat.
  • Sit in the shade of Tomorrowland Terrace to eat lunchand possibly have your young ones participate at the Jedi Training Academy show.
  • Mickey and the Magical Map offers bench seating in the shade and a live musical stage show.
  • I enjoyed resting on a bench on the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail while the kids climbed the ropes and rock climbed.

Pregnant at Disneyland? This guide gives the tips on what to ride & what to skip at the California theme park.

Feeling Nauseated?

That first trimester is a doozy. Throw in a few too many spins on the Mad Tea Party and you might be feeling nauseated. Check out my post about dealing with motion sickness at Disney.

Dress For Your Growing Body

  • Wear comfortable shoes and consider taking a second pair to switch into if you are prone to swelling. I like to start off with tennis shoes and switch over to well-cushioned sandals in the evening.
  • Dress in layers so if you get hot or chilled you can add or remove layers as needed.
  • Ditch the heavy purse and pack light with a small backpack or tote that you can put on and take off easily. Or consider renting a locker to store your items until you need them.
  • For more guidance on what to wear, see Maternity Fashion – How to Look Fabulous on a Tight Budget.


Seek Air-Conditioned Attractions

Keep rested inside by finding attractions that combine sitting along with cool air.

  • Soak in a little history (and air conditioning) inside The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.
  • Enchanted Tiki Room is a whimsical place with cushioned benches…and you can bring in a snack!
  • Oh yes, the looping music is worth 15-minutes inside It’s a Small World! You might want to ride it twice!
  • If you have little ones, get there early for the Disney Junior – Live on Stage! show. There are benches across the back of the theater (otherwise you’ll have to sit on the carpet).
  • 60-minutes of pure amazement in cushy theater chairs – Frozen – Live at the Hyperion is a can’t miss show.
  • Plenty of sit-down restaurants have both outdoor and indoor dining that gives you both a break and a healthy meal.
What can you do at Disneyland when you're pregnant?

Skip the Autopia, you don’t want to get rear-ended.

Bathroom Breaks

If little miss or mister is frequently doing the hot-diggety-dog dance on your bladder, consider reviewing a Park map online before your trip. Always take a potty break before getting on a ride (you don’t want to get stuck when the urge strikes!)

Listen To Your Body

Now is not the time to push your vacation to the limits. Pregnancy can be very hard on your body and with exhaustion and discomfort already at the max, there is no need to exacerbate any issues.

  • Take a break inside the First Aid station if you feel uncomfortable or in pain. First Aid can help you out and offer a place to lay down for a while.
  • If you’re exhausted, go back to your hotel room for a refreshing swim or to take a nap.
  • Get plenty of sleep even if that means going to bed while everyone else in your group is still up late watching the fireworks.
  • If you are truly miserable and can’t walk, consider renting a wheelchair or motorized scooter in the Park to minimize the amount of time you are on your feet.
  • Look forward to your next trip when your little one will be with you to enjoy it!

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Read more about being pregnant at Disneyland on my posts at Traveling Mom.


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Pregnant at Disneyland? This guide gives the tips on what to ride & what to skip at the California theme park.