We typically do Disneyland every 18 months, give or take. So far, it has been a fun gap between trips. Our children have a vastly different experience each time we go. They are a little older, a little braver.. a little taller. (this is important hahaha) Our most recent trip was last August/early September. On that trip, our kids were 8, 5, 3 and 4 months. Several people asked how we managed it with a small baby. (It wasn’t hard.. Rider Switch Passes are wonderful things!!) Often commenting things like “I had no idea there was much a baby could do there..”
That trip was so much fun! Each child managed to have a different experience from one another.. but all enjoyed it beyond what I had imagined. So much so, we are planning another trip.. much sooner than our typical 18 month gap. With the upcoming Disneyland 60th anniversary coming up and our recent #Disneyside parties we’ve hosted.. we have the Disney vacation bug and I’m excited to see how different it is going with less of a gap between trips.
It will have been about 9 months between trips when we go.. and I already know that it will be a bit different.. we will have a toddler instead of an infant, a preschooler instead of a toddler, and two very different children, who have both gained about an inch or more in that 9 month time frame. (Our 6 year old is hoping that this means he will be tall enough for the majority of the rides now. He was barely skating under the 42″ mark last time we went, and depending on his shoe choice.. sometimes couldn’t ride some that he really wanted to.)
Our biggest debate this time around is how to handle our 3 year old’s compromised ability. I hesitate to call it a disability.. but it is a struggle. Disneyland, which he thoroughly enjoys it, send his Sensory Processing Disorder into a mad spiral. The noise. The colors. The crowds. The characters. Add to that his muscle fatigue… and it can be a lot to handle for a little guy. His first time going, he was non-mobile so it wasn’t much of an issue. He was carried around anyway. This last visit, however, he was mobile and we had to think about how to handle his SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and his muscle fatigue. When we arrived, we spoke to the wonderful people at Disneyland’s City Hall and they suggested a “stroller as a wheel chair” pass for him.For the most part, it worked wonderfully. Occasionally the cast members either wouldn’t notice the pass or wouldn’t think to look and jump quickly to the “Strollers aren’t allowed here” remark before we could point it out. But when it worked, he was much happier. His stroller is his “happy bubble” – it keeps his legs rested and he can pull the sunshade down when he is feeling overstimulated. We did go in a large group, though, and there is a maximum number of people that can enter a ride with the “Stroller as a wheelchair” pass — so often part of our group would have to wait in a LONG line while the other part of our group got on rather quickly with the pass. It got to be somewhat chaotic. So, we are trying to decide if it’s worth using for him once again. As avid baby/toddler wearers, we are contemplating just carrying him around in our Lillebaby when he needs it.. which might just work out a little better. Then our group can stay together and he can rest his legs in that secure environment he needs.
We really want to strive to do the park in a way we haven’t yet. We have yet to do a character meal. (Which one do we choose?) We haven’t done much pin trading or hidden mickey spotting. (We tended to just run from ride to ride..) The candy shop, bakery and most of the stores got brushed over. (Again.. the rides!) All of this considered.. our goal is to do Disney differently this go round. That’s part of the fun of Disney, there are so many things to do and see, you can go hundreds of times and have a different experience each and every visit.
So now my question for you lovely people, in your opinion what should we strive to do? What is the most memorable part of Disneyland for you? Do you have any Disney traditions for your trips? Show me your #Disneyside and help us plan our next trip!!