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Family Vacay with a Toddler

We’ve taken short weekend trips, or extended visits to grandparent’s houses etc. But six months ago we booked our hotel for our first ever real family vacation. Disneyland. We thought we were being so smart, planning it the week of Labor Day. Kids would be back in school, smaller crowds, not as hot (HAHAHAHA), and just a week before our son turns three so we would have a couple hundred bucks on ticket costs.

Granted, back in March when we booked I don’t think anyone could have predicted California would be in the middle of a deadly heat wave worse than any time in history. Thank you global warming. And the wait times were much shorter than say going in July or on a holiday. But next time we’ll book in winter and pray for no rain…

Here are a few things that did work:

  1. He may be almost 3, but using the stroller in the park was the right move. I was very grateful our stroller has a huge basket underneath. We packed diapers etc. and snacks and water in one backpack that either my husband or I could still carry on rides when we had to park the stroller.
  2. We took a twin size air mattress for him to sleep on. The first night was a little rough (new place, sleeping in the same room with us, etc) but by the second night he was so wore out he crashed hard. Just make sure your hotel room is big enough. We had a regular King room at Hilton Anaheim, and there was plenty of room.
  3. Bringing tons of food and drinks from home! My mom had given him a Cars thermos with a straw feature for an early birthday gift, and we filled that puppy up with milk every morning. It stayed cold the whole day at the park and it helped a TON. We also had PB&J, fruit snacks, CLIF Bars and bottled water.
  4. We had to be cool about not making it the whole day in the park. No matter how much money spent on tickets. We also learned that our kid loves playing in the hotel pool and playing with his own toys in the hotel room, just as much as he liked meeting Tow Mater in CarsLand. And that’s ok. He had fun, and that’s what matters.
  5. THE DISNEYLAND APP OH MY GOSH ITS AWESOME! So before this trip, my husband and I had not been to Disneyland since our honeymoon…circa 2009. We were a little behind the times needless to say. But you guys, the Disneyland app was awesome. From finding the nearest restroom to change a diaper, to wait times, to showtimes it seriously made like so much easier. Yay for technology!

One thing we decided for sure after this trip is we’ll probably wait until he’s 5 to go again. He was still a little fearful of a lot of the rides, not sure about Mickey, and the next time it would be nice if was old enough to actually remember it.

Any good Disney horror stories? lol Share in the comments below!

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