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Going to Disneyland with toddler...what to expect

Going to Disneyland with toddler...what to expect

Old Nov 16th, 2001, 06:16 PM
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Well, I just took my two 2 year old grandchildren to Disney World(each one on a different day)and they loved it. Just realize they can only handle so much at a time. My g-kids LOVED Mickey and characters(you can even go to breakfast with Mickey)got pictures taken with them....loved the Animal kingdom Safari,and many of the children rides.It's a Small World was also a hit.They also loved the parades...even the one in the evening. It works best to stay in the Park and after lunch let the kids go back to the hotel to nap, Then after naps they are ready to go again. Plus there's great pools and kid stuff at many of the Park Hotels. I'm not sure what Disneyland has for accommodations insde the park..Hope it helps...M>
Old Nov 16th, 2001, 06:41 PM
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Thanks for all your advise. I am looking forward to seeing the awe in my toddler's face as he observes everything around him. My husband and I have both been to Disneyland many times, and this trip is really for our toddler. I know he may be a bit young to fully understand and enjoy every aspect. Since we're heading to Pasadena this winter, I thought Disneyland would be a nice stop. It sounds like there would be more for him to do at Disneyland than I anticipated. I didn't know about that switch pass either. Thanks for the helpful information.
Old Nov 17th, 2001, 10:00 AM
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Ann, check out mouseplanet.com for Disneyland-specific information. They even rate the bathrooms and changing areas (some of them have those automatic flushers which you may want to avoid, as they scare some toddlers. Now, with mine, they wanted to stay and flush all day!) You can e-mail the site host with questions also. I'd like to add that the character breakfasts are a really good way to get to meet those big guys - you can do it on a non-park day, save waiting in line for a visit, and get your child used to their size.
Old Nov 17th, 2001, 10:53 AM
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Also one other thing that is a not miss IMO with kids that young is the Charecter meal over at the Disneyland hotel. It is buffet and pretty pricey but not to be missed. The Charecters come to the table and there are a ton of them. Sometimes they will lead the diners in silly dances like the macarena.
The food for a buffett is suprisingly decent. You take the monorail from inside the park over to the hotel and it is a nice relaxing break in the day.
I am not sure what the current prices are but I believe the adult price was a around $24.95 for lunch and $32.95 for dinner. I think that kids under 3 were free but I can't exactly remember. I have loved to do this for years and have even had my kids birthdays there. They get so much attention fromthe characters and it is a VERY pleasant meal. They also have breakfast and I loved that but we only do that when we are staying at the hotel.
Old Nov 18th, 2001, 12:29 PM
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I would say, it all depends on your kid, and you should know him best. Our son got a lot more out of Disney than our daughter; she was freaked out by pretty much everything except Small World and Mickey (for our son, the pirates were just about bearable). Both loved the petting zoo and especially Sea World at that age.
Old Nov 18th, 2001, 12:32 PM
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i agree with everyone, 2 yrs old is too young for disney, i would wait until they are 5 or 6, then they will be able to enjoy it.
Old Nov 20th, 2001, 06:50 PM
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well, as I took my four year old son there for a three day trip, I can pretty well assure that the trip to Disney World with a two year old will be for entertainment of the adults, as a two year old could not possibly comprehend what he/she was seeing....most every ride will be too scary, too fast, too dark, or too much of something else....you can only ride Dumbo the Elephant so many times.....I can also tell you that we're preparing to go back for the first time to Disney World in mid-December....this time we'll have three kids....who are now 11, 8, and 6
Old Nov 20th, 2001, 06:56 PM
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Is this trip for you and your husband or are you going there specifically for the baby? Because as others have already said, the baby will not get such a thrill out of this trip.It is noisy,probably warm,and they don't really enjoy being thrown around in circles like they do on the kiddie rides..they tend to throw up afterward.So better re-think this trip,go when the child is older, or leave it with a sitter and go by yourselves.Been there and done it, believe me! I would rather stay home than drag/carry an unhappy toddler through a theme park.
Old Nov 20th, 2001, 07:03 PM
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If your child's comes across Mickey, etc. after you go through the gate, be sure to hold his/her hand. Our daughter was two and so excited to be there. She was with a very small group of other children and Mickey gave a playful step forward causing the kids to step back and knock her down [on her first visit!] But we do have a photo of her sitting on Snow White's lap, being consoled.
Old Nov 21st, 2001, 06:15 AM
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Wow, I'm aghast at Ann's selfishness in demanding that her 2-year old be exposed to Disney just so that Ann can "have an experience." Ann sounds like one of those SUV-driving baby boomers to me!
Old Nov 21st, 2001, 06:56 AM
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I took my kids on a WDW vacation when they were 3 & 5. My then 3 yr old remembers nothing. Unless you really want to go to disney for yourself, it's not going to have much impact on a 2 yr old. We spent a day at DIsneyworld when my kids were 8 & 10, they were both tall enough for all the rides and appreciated the experience more. Sea World may be an alternative.
Old Nov 21st, 2001, 07:24 AM
Wait a minute
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Funny thing, I don't remember eating when I was 2 years old, but I am sure I must have enjoyed it at the time. It certainly didn't hurt me. I am also sure that my parents must have enjoyed eating back then, with or without me along. My kids have been going to Disneyland since they were 2 or 3 years old, they are now 10 & 14. They enjoyed their first time there. They don't really remember the first time, but they had a good time. & we talked to the kids about their 1st time there for the next couple of years following that & they were still excited about having been there. Now, they have been there 7 or 8 times, & still look forward to the next time. But according to a number of posters here, I guess I am a bad parent, because I enjoyed that 1st trip to Disneyland, you know what? I don't care. The kids enjoyed it then & they enjoy it now.
Old Nov 21st, 2001, 07:37 AM
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Good point, Wait A Minute. As another poster pointed out, if the criteria for doing something with your kids is that they remember it when they are older why would we bother with Christmas and birthdays until they are 6 or 7? My only point earlier was that if you take a two year old you should pace yourselves according to their schedule and not expect to do as much.

We just took our kids (7 and 8) to Disneyland for the fourth time in their lives and we've finally learned how to do it so we all have a great time. Don't push them to do anything they don't feel comfortable doing, like approaching the characters or going on the dark rides; eat when someone's hungry, not according to the clock; and leave when the kids are tired, whether or not you've seen the fireworks. Oh, and give them their own money to spend on trinkets and when the money is gone they can't ask for more. Of course, this doesn't apply to two year olds but the rest should.

And, obviously, Disneyland is VERY different from Disneyworld.
Old Nov 21st, 2001, 08:17 AM
Wait a Minute
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I usually don't like to give an answer that doesn't respond to the original question, but I just had to on my previous post. But you have given some of the best advice. I couldn't have said it any better.
Ann, there is plenty to do & you & your child will be able to go on a number of rides: such as Peter Pan, Mr.Toad, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Small World, Pirates of the Carribean, Haunted House, & the like, be aware though if your child is afraid of the dark, even something like Snow White may be scary. You might also enjoy going into the Enchanted Tiki room for the singing birds show, or the Country Bear Jamboree show. You can also take a raft over to Tom Sawyer island where they have setup areas of manmade rocks for the kids to play on & some tunnels for them to go through, & a fort to run around in. Sometimes the lines can be somewhat long & you will need to keep the kids busy during the wait. You will not be able to take the stroller in the line. Our kids were usually so excited to go on the next ride, that the wait in line wasn't a problem with them, usually too busy watching the other people going on & off the ride, & wondering which car we would get on for that ride. The Fantasmic show (laser & water) at night is fantastic, but in order to get a good spot for viewing you may need to sit in that spot for up to an hour or so before the start, which may not be good with a 2 year old. We didn't start going to the big evening shows until the kids were about 8 years old.
Old Nov 21st, 2001, 09:43 AM
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One thing i did to get my 2 yr old prepaired was to pick up some 30 min videos . "Disneyland Fun", and there are numerous others that are shot in the parks with characters singing songs and riding the rides. These also prepared our daughter to meet the characters. The videos i found at Target and Walmart for around $9. Well worth it as she likes to still watch them. She is 3 now and has been to wdw and DL. Don't forget to take in the parades!

Go for it...you only have a few short years of childhood, i say make the most of it!

This isn't JUST a theme Park.....your talking DISNEYLAND. Designed for children of ALL ages.

Old Nov 21st, 2001, 10:21 AM
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Thanks again for all your advise. We'll be sure to pace ourselves with our toddler. Luckily for us, our toddler is pretty easy going and not afraid of the dark.

Kristy---Great idea regarding those tapes. I have a bunch of those tapes already, but not the Disneyland fun one. I'll be sure to pick one up.

aghast---You're wrong. No SUV and not old enough to be classified as Baby Boomer.
Old Nov 21st, 2001, 01:57 PM
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Ann.....here is a website that has more info than you probably want. There is also a msg board that is immensly helpful...but it is a bit addictive ! You'll find loads of families who go often and are full of enthusiasm.

no one there will attack or try to defame your character for wanting to create some magical memories either!

here ya go!
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 06:21 PM
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TRIP REPORT: We came back from Disneyland with our toddler and had a wonderful experience. We went a few days before New Years and the place was magically decorated with holiday decorations. They changed many of the rides to reflect the holiday season (Small World, Haunted House just to name a few).

We were able to go on all the rides that we wanted to. He did enjoy the experience and did not cry once. The people we noticed fussing and crying were actually the older kids.

We have been talking about the trip with him ever since. It doesn't matter if he remembers this experience in the future because we sure had a great time.

To those parents who wonder if they should or should not take their toddler...I whole heartedly say GO FOR IT!!! It's a place for ALL ages.

Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 06:19 PM
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THe following website has the details on height restrictions:

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