A recap of our two magical days at Disneyland and California Adventure with our three young boys, including tips for taking toddlers and recommendations on food, rides and more!

Disneyland with Toddlers

What to know before you go & what to take with you:

  • We stayed at a Sheraton which was just a 10 minute walk to the parks and it worked out great. There’s also a hotel within the parks that would be really handy for going back to take a break, nap, etc. Although, we never found it necessary to leave the park.
  • A good stroller with trays, if possible, for feeding if you can’t find highchairs or need to eat/snack on the go

Disneyland with Toddlers

  • Lots of healthier snacks (fruit & veggie smoothie pouches, crackers, pretzels, grapes, apple slices, etc.) – try to save snacks for waiting in lines as a way to pass the time and distract them. The lines actually move pretty fast though.
  • Sunscreen, wipes, hand sanitizer
  • Strap on carrier, such as a Bjorn, if child is small enough (handy for standing in lines to keep them constrained)
  • Download the Disneyland Wait Time App before you go and use it to reference maps, ride wait times, height restrictions, ride closures, etc.
  • Have some games on your phone or find videos on youtube for your kids to watch while you’re in line. Again, the lines actually move pretty fast, but it definitely helps on the longer ones.
  • Changes of clothes for everyone, including adults (anyone could get sick on anyone!)
  • We just used our iphones for pics, but a lot of people had good cameras with them. I just didn’t want to risk breaking or losing it.
  • Put your name, their name, and phone number(s) on a piece of paper in your children’s pockets or write them somewhere on their clothes or put something around their wrists so if they happen to get lost, there would be contact info on them somewhere.
  • We did a full day at Disneyland and a full day at California Adventure. No park hopper. And we were there from open to close at both parks. Our 1-1/2 year old twins would just nap off and on in the stroller and our 3 year old just skipped napping those days, but was passed out on our shoulders on the way home. They all slept really really well both nights. And napping on the go and/or missing naps didn’t seem to throw them off since there was so much to see and do.
  • If it’s someone’s birthday that you’re celebrating, you can get a birthday sticker that I think comes with some perks and deals throughout both parks. It was Baker’s birthday week, so we got the stickers at both parks, but we failed to look into the perks and deals that came along with it. Just ask as you’re walking in.
  • Kids under 3 get in free! Yippee!

Disneyland – what to do and know once you get there:

  • Get there a few minutes after the park opens at 10am because there are really long lines before they open, but as soon as it opens they get people in there quickly so you won’t have to wait in a long line outside the park.
  • Start by going to get your picture taken by the statue of Walt Disney & Mickey with the castle in the background. Someone from Disneyland will be there to take your picture with their camera that you can then purchase online and they will take it with your camera too, which is what we did.

Disneyland with Toddlers

  • End the day with a picture on the other side of the castle at night when it’s all lit up. Very pretty!

Disneyland with Toddlers

  • As you’re walking out the gates at the end of the night, say goodbye and get a picture by the big lit-up Mickey in the grass. Baker loved it while the twins were already passed out! 😉

Disneyland with Toddlers

  • Visit Mickey and/or Minnie – worth the wait!

Disneyland with Toddlers

  • You can’t take strollers in the lines, so be prepared to leave them parked out with a million other strollers. Be sure to keep valuable items on you in a backpack or purse. If your child is small enough, bring along a strap on carrier that you can put them in while you wait in line. This will save you from having to hold them, hand them back and forth or chase them through the line.
  • For kids that are potty trained, make sure you take them often between rides. That way you’re not nearing the front of the line and all of sudden they need to use the bathroom. This happened to us, so I stepped to the side and let people go in front of us while Brandon took Baker to the bathroom and when they returned, we just got back in line. Not a huge deal, but we just made sure he went often from then on out. You can check the app for the closest restrooms.

Disneyland with Toddlers

Favorite Disneyland Rides for Toddlers:

  • Jungle cruise
  • Autopia – where they can drive cars
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Buzz Light Year
  • Peter Pan’s Flight

Disneyland Eats and Treats

Disneyland Eats & Treats:

  • Churros – several locations – yum yum!
  • Jolly Holiday Bakery Café – grilled cheese and tomato soup, great choices for kiddos too
  • Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor – ice cream and candy shop
  • Café Orleans – coffee and Micky-shaped beignets
  • Pooh’s Corner – chocolate-covered pb graham cracker, Micky-shaped rice krispie treats, cookies, etc.
  • Dole Whip – several locations, refreshing and so yummy!

California Adventure with Toddlers

California Adventure Tips:

  • Cars Land – all the cars parade around and take turns stopping for kids to get their picture taken with them. Super cute!
  • Definitely do the Pixar Parade that afternoon with all the popular movie characters
  • The World of Color water light show each night is awesome! Definitely worth staying for even if the kiddos are sleeping in strollers and on your shoulder.
  • Ride the ferris wheel, but get on the non-rocking ones because we made the mistake of thinking it would be fun to get on the ones that rock back and forth really fast and it freaked the boys out! Oops!
  • Go to the Aladdin Musical Show – fun and cute!

California Adventure with Toddlers

Favorite California Adventure Rides with Toddlers:

  • Mayters Junkyard Jamboree
  • Monsters Inc. ride
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Luigi’s Flying Tires
  • The Mickey Ferris Wheel (non-rocking)

California Adventure Eats and Treats

California Adventure Eats & Treats:

  • Cars Land – mini churros with cinnamon-spiked chocolate for dipping
  • Cars Land Cozy Cone – chocolate dipped chocolate soft-serve cone, some of the best soft serve we’ve ever had!
  • Paradise Garden Grill – great Greek food for lunch or dinner, brownie fruit kabob was so yummy!
  • Ghirardelli Café – ice cream dreams come true!
  • Corn Dog Castle – long line, but so worth it!

Disneyland with Toddlers

We had so much fun and lots of yum at both parks! We can’t wait to go back! It was so amazing to experience the magic of Disney with our sweet boys! They still talk about it every day and wear their Mickey ears often!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment and ask! It’s a big trip and we’d love to help you make it as a smooth and special as possible. And if you have any other tips or recommendations from your experience at Disney, please comment below so others can read them too!

~Maegan

 

About The BakerMama

Maegan is the author of the best-selling Beautiful Boards and its next-level follow-up, Spectacular Spreads. She started blogging in 2012 and has over 700 original recipes on The BakerMama. She truly enjoys sharing her easy, family-friendly recipes, creative meal ideas, food board creations, and entertaining spreads to encourage others to get in the kitchen and make something memorable for their loved ones to enjoy together. Learn More

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Comments

  1. Did you feel like 2 days was enough or would you recommend a longer stay? We are going in December and we will do 2 days at the park and 1 day discovering LA with our 3 year old.

    Also did you end up eating all your meals at the park or do you have offsite recommendations for breakfast and dinner?

    1. Hi Marisol! Yes, we felt a full day at Disneyland and a full day at California Adventure was plenty enough. We were at the parks from the time they opened to the time they closed. We ate breakfast at the hotel before we headed to the parks each morning and then ate all our meals at the park since we stayed until they closed. There are several restaurants down this cool street in between the parks that would be great if you wanted to leave the park to eat or grab something before you head into the parks or after you leave.

      We only spent 1 day in L.A. and it would have been nice to have some more time there to explore some of the attractions. Here is what we did: http://9d7.b0c.myftpupload.com/beyond-baking/travel/los-angeles-a-sweet-day-in-l-a/.

      Have so much fun and definitely let me know if you have any more questions!

  2. Did you take a backpack with you to wait in line or leave it in the stroller? Can someone ride with a backpack on or is there some where to leave it before getting on?
    thanks!

    1. Hi Natashya! I had a small bag with a long should strap that I could put over my shoulder or across my chest with some wipes, a few diapers and snacks just in case. I was able to take this on all the rides because it was about the size of a medium purse. Hope this helps!

  3. Thanks for the tips!! We are going in 2 weeks with our 4 year old (he will turn 5 while we are there!) and our 2 year old twin girls and a giant group of family but I’ve been worrying about how the twins will do, it’s nice to see a family with a similar situation! We haven’t been since our oldest was 1 so it will be a interesting trip this time!

  4. Hi I have a 2 year old and I was wondering what park do you think is better for his age? & is he able to sit on my lap for most rides? Do rides fit 3? (Me him and his dad)

    1. Hi Sam! I think the Disneyland park is best for younger ones. He could ride the majority of the rides on your lap or between you and his dad. Almost all of the rides will fit all 3 of you together. You’ll be surprised how magical it is even for a 2 year old. Have so much fun!

  5. Hi! I came across your post when I was googling Disneyland trips with toddlers. We might be going soon and we have a almost 5 year old and an almost 2 year old. I know you said you kept a small bag with you at all times, but what about the other stuff, like changes of clothes for everyone? I’m assuming you kept that stuff in the stroller? Were you worried that people would steal your stuff? Did you do anything to keep it secure? Your post was very helpful! Thank you!

    1. Hi Hilary! No, I wasn’t worried about the stuff in the stroller. I just made sure we kept anything valuable with us. There are tons of strollers parked outside each ride and there is usually someone from the park standing there monitoring the strollers and directing people where to park them. Hope this helps. Have so much fun! 🙂

  6. OMG Maegan! I live in SF now working as a pediatrician and just brought my son down to LA for his first trip to Disneyland. I was searching for advice and read through this whole page. Then is saw your pics with your kids and recognized you!!! What a crazy small world. I hope all is well with you!

    1. Awwe, Suni! This makes my day! 🙂 I hope y’all had (or are having) so much fun at Disneyland. Such a magical place! San Fran is one of our favorite cities so I’ll have to let you know next time we’re there as I would love to see you! Hope all is great with you too! xoxo

      1. Yes! Please do! Would love to see you and our boys would get along famously I’m sure;) please email anytime you are planning a trip

  7. Hi! This is so incredibly helpful. Thanks so much for the great info! I had a question I was hoping you might be able to help me with. We will be in CA later this month. We have a 10 month old and a 2.5 year old. We have two days allotted for Disney. I was wondering if you thought it would be best to do both days at Disneyland or one day at Disneyland and one day at California Adventure Park? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Monica! How fun! Disneyland is definitely more little kid friendly and you could certainly spend two very relaxed and enjoyable days there. It’s a full day to cover all of Disneyland. If your little ones are into some of the movies and characters, CA Adventure is so fun for them to experience. We really enjoyed doing both! Hope this helps. Have a great trip!

  8. Hi! I love this post! So helpful! But I was wondering, we will be going on a Disney, California Adventures, and Universal Studios trip sometime in April 2017. We are doing two days at Disney, one day at California Adventures and two days at Universal Studios. We have two sets of a twins, the oldest will be 5 and the youngest will be just about two by then. Are there rides that the two year olds would enjoy and are able to ride? And do you have an idea of how my husband and I would manage to take all four kiddos on those rides? What would seating positions be like? Or would we have to take one set, and then take the second set? There will be lots of family with us so it’s not like either set would ever be alone of course. Thanks in Advance!

    1. Hi Summer! How fun! You could definitely ride most of the rides (that are age and height appropriate for them) all together. When we would go on rides, we would either all sit together or one of us would have two and the other just one. Some benches on the rides will fit 3 across and most allow you to have a child on your lap. So if you all want to go together, you could each have one of your younger twins on your lap and let an older twin sit next to you. Or if you’re all in one ride together, you could put the older twins in between you and have the younger twins on the outside of each of you or on your laps. You’ll be able to make it work on most rides. Just plan to each have a younger twin and an older twin with you and the younger twin might be sitting on your lap for several of the rides. Most the rides where you have to buckle in individually will have enough space for each of you to buckle in or just your older twins will be able to ride that ride due to height and weight restrictions. I hope this helps. Definitely let me know if you have other questions or need clarification. Have so much fun planning! It’ll be amazing!

  9. We only have time for one park as this is a passing through trip. Our kids are 3 and 1. Which do you recommend?

    1. Hi Lauren! I would definitely recommend Disneyland more for 3 and 1 year olds. They can both ride most the rides and all of the characters they’ll see are more familiar to them. Definitely Disneyland! Have so much fun!!

  10. Hello Maegan!
    I read all your post and it was really helpfull.
    I would like to make you a question.
    We are planning our visit to disneyland on september 2016 but we only have time for one park as it will be a stop on our trip from San Diego to San Francisco. I have 3 kids (9, 6 and 3 year old) 2 girls (big ones) and 1 boy (the smaller one). Which pack would you recommend??
    thank u
    Have a nice day
    Lina

    1. Hi Lina! I’m so sorry for my delayed response. I would definitely recommend Disneyland for your kids’ ages. They say the ideal ages for Disneyland are 5-9. Your youngest will most certainly enjoy it more as he will be able to ride more rides and will get very excited about all the storybook character encounters. And if the girls are into princesses, they would be able to experience all the princesses. The girls can also ride both the smaller rides and a lot of the bigger rides. I hope this helps. Have a great time! 🙂

  11. Thanks for the tips!! We are going in 2 weeks with our 4 year old girl. First time to Disney was back when she was 2 and love it. But now that she is 4 , not sure if California Adventure will be appropriate. Are there any shows, rides, parades for her age.?

    1. Hi Gabby! How fun! Yes, California Adventure will be so fun for your 4 year old. All the characters from her favorite Disney movies will be somewhere in the park as well as in the parade each afternoon. Our favorite rides at California Adventure were: Mayters Junkyard Jamboree, Monsters Inc. ride, Toy Story Midway Mania, Luigi’s Flying Tires & The Mickey Ferris Wheel (non-rocking). We went to the Aladdin Musical show and loved it! Our 3-year old (at the time we went) was able to ride a lot of the rides and recognized a lot of the characters. It was so much fun!

  12. Thanks for the tips! I will be bringing my 5 and 2.5 year old girls. We are thinking 4 days. Do you think we should purchase a park hopper? And did you do any character dining? If so do you recommend one? We are going in Feb. thanks!

    1. Hi Gina! Since you’ll be there 4 days, I think a park hopper pass would be great! You could spend 2 days in Disneyland and 2 days in California Adventure and have plenty of time to explore and experience both parks. We did not do any character dining so unfortunately I can’t recommend one. Enjoy your trip!

  13. We will be going to Disneyland between Christmas & New Years with an almost 7 year old and a 2 1/2 year old. We are debating between buying 4 or 5 day passes, and also trying to decide whether we should do park hopper passes. It will probably be at least 10 years before we make it back there, so we want to make the most of the trip.

    1. Hi Kim! So fun! I think if you do 2 days at Disneyland and 2 days at California Adventure you will have a great experience with plenty of time in both parks. Hope this helps! Enjoy!

  14. Thanks so much for being available for questions. We’re heading to Disneyland later this month for 2 days with our soon-to-be 4yr old son (Disney is an early bday present for him:) and 14wks old infant. Yay. We haven’t exposed him to very much Disney so a lot of it will be news to him. He’ll recognize the main characters and would love to see the Cars I’m sure, but we’re debating between spending both days at Disneyland versus spending one at CA adventure… is CA Adventure really not to be missed (not that our guy would know he was missing anything but I’m feeling some FOMO)? Would 2 days at Disneyland be fulfilling and leisurely or could it get repetitive? Could visiting both be overload or is one day at each really doable at a relaxed pace if we go from open to close? I’ll be wearing our infant, taking breaks to nurse and change diapers, and just hoping he doesn’t get too fussy… so also have a little fear of exhaustion. Also we’ll have a stroller for the babe with a skateboard attachment for our older son. Do you think it’s also a good idea to bring an umbrella stroller or rent one for him so he can have a place to sit ?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Maurie! So fun! I think you can’t go wrong either way. Both parks are great! Disneyland is definitely more toddler friendly overall, but there’s still so much to see and do at CA Adventure. With a newborn and wanting to really soak it all in, I’d probably recommend spending both days at Disneyland. You could definitely take your time, ride all the rides, see all the shows, visit with characters, etc. That way you wouldn’t feel rushed and could even go back to some of your favorites the next day. The skateboard attachment should be great if your son is full of energy and likes walking. If he tends to get tired or still takes regular afternoon naps, I might suggest a double stroller or an umbrella stroller where he could rest if he wants to. Otherwise, there are plenty of places to sit down and take a break. And if you’ll have someone else with you that he could ride on their shoulders when he does get tired, that’s what our oldest did toward the end of each day. Your trip is sure to be magical! Enjoy!

  15. This is the cutest most sweetest blog ive read , and so helpful i save everything , im taking my toddler for his 2nd bday and im a little nervous but no so much after reading this thank you and the pictures are to die for (so cute!!)

  16. Maegan, My boys are 2 and 4. From what I’ve read Monsters Inc, Cars, Toy Story experience is best at CA Adventure? I’m just concerned that there will be few rides for them at this park. We are doing one day, one park. Will we completely miss these characters if we choose Disneyland instead?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Jodell! Yes, you’re right. All of those characters/rides are at CA Adventure with little to no exposure to them in the Disneyland park. They will definitely be able to ride more rides at Disneyland given their ages so it sounds like you have a tough decision. Yikes! They’re sure to have a blast no matter what you decide. Have a great trip!

  17. Hi Meagan,

    Your post is so helpful. Thank you for writing this detailed tips. I have to choose between Disneyland and adventure park. I am going in the end of April and my boy is 2.5 years old. I have read all your replies to questions too. and I know you are recommending Disneyland for his age. But my son is not good at waiting in line, if he likes a ride, he would like to take it many times. And we are going on a Sunday. So in terms of waiting time, which park you spent less time to wait?

    Thank you so much.
    Katie

    1. Hi Katie! So fun that you’re taking your little one. That’s tough because he’s definitely going to have to wait in line at either park for the best rides. The wait might be shorter for some rides, but we almost always had to wait for a bit. Overall, the waits were shorter at California Adventure, but there were fewer rides my boys were able to ride given their size and age at the time we went. Maybe base it on what he’s most into right now whether it be the Disney characters/classic Disney (Disneyland) or all the Disney movies (CA Adventure). Hope this helps. It’s sure to be magical! Have fun!

  18. Tha K you so much with all the details…yruly helpful…we will be spending Halloween on Adventure Park cause they will closed till 9 PM (Disneyland will be closed at 6PM) and on the 30th we will be in Adventure Park…question we live in Canada and it’s snowing right now where we live…I check the weather in Anaheim through Google and it’s stop positive…not quite sure about what the weather will be like though.. .so I’m asking you personally In your Opinion (Which is truly reliable) at that time what is the best clothes to wear? I’m planning for my Kids to wear their costumes so I do not exactly know if it’s going to be ok. THANK YOU SO MUCH AND GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!!

    1. Hi Marivic! How exciting that you’ll be at Disney on Halloween. So fun! I don’t live in California, so I couldn’t say for sure what the weather will be like. We were there in May so it’s probably cooler there now than when we were, but from what I hear, the weather there is amazing most of the year round. I would recommend checking The Weather Channel right before you go to get hour by hour temperature predictions so you can plan for the whole day as you might need to bring layers for the evening hours. Hope this helps and I hope your trip is magical!

  19. We will be traveling with a 7 month old and 26 month old. Do you think we will be able to take the baby with us on any of the slower rides? If so which ones?

  20. i’m a single mom travelling with twin (at the time will just have turned 5) year old…..am worried about not being able to fit the three of us on rides as there will be no one to watch the one that can’t ride…are most rides able to accommodate 3 (1 adult, two toddlers)? also am trying to decide whether to take a stroller or not…they hate being in a stroller and Im not sure if i’ll be able to make them stay in one without kicking up a fuss….with being on my own last thing I need is to be pushing an empty stroller AND trying to hang onto two little ones, what do you suggest? Just thinking they may get tired out with all that walking…..or even though they don’t take naps anymore they may be tired enough to on the trip….

    1. Hi Amber! How fun y’all are planning a trip to Disneyland soon! It’s such a magical place. Several of the rides have just two seats together, but there’s usually another two seats in front of or behind that the other one could sit in. You would be super close so as long as you think one of your twins would be okay sitting in front of you on a few rides, you should be good. There are some rides where it’s just two seats, but those are probably the ones they could ride by themselves or with each other anyway. Or you would all be in individual seats on some rides. There are also lots of rides where you can all 3 ride next to each other or in the same boat/train/contraption. I think you’ll be just fine to enjoy almost everything together.

      I wouldn’t worry about a stroller with 5 year olds. Just plan to take breaks to sit and eat/relax every once in a while. They’ll get to sit on most the rides or to watch any shows/performances. The excitement of the park will probably keep them energized enough to make it through the day.

      Hope this helps! Have a wonderful trip!

  21. We r going in April to either Disneyland or DCA. Which one would u recommend for a 14 Months old and a 3.5 yrs old? The baby won’t be doing rides. But the toddler will.

    If the my hubby doesn’t want to do rides does he still have to pay full price? He hates rides but he maybe there with the baby.

    Did u stay at the resort or did u stay close to the parks? Is it worth it to stay close? I know long days. Baby can nap in stroller. Toddler doesn’t nap anymore.

    I have never been to Disneyland. And is so excited. So I want to hear what u think is best.

    1. Hi Betty! How fun y’all are planning a trip to Disneyland! It’s a magical place no matter how old you are. I would recommend doing Disneyland with a 3.5 year old and a 14 month old. The 3.5 year old could ride most the rides and will get to see and experience all of the classic Disney characters. If your toddler is really into Disney movies, then you might consider DCA over Disneyland because almost everything at DCA revolves around the movies. Both are so fun, but he or she will get to participate in more attractions at Disneyland.

      I do think your hubby will have to pay for a full price ticket whether he’s riding rides or not. Pretty sure you have to have a ticket to get in and that only kids under 3 are free.

      We stayed at a hotel that was less than a 10 minute walk from the parks and it was perfect. We stayed at the parks all day though so it was just walking from the hotel in the morning and back to the hotel at night. If you want to leave during the day to go back to the hotel, you might find staying at the resort on property most convenient.

      Hope this helps. Have a great trip!

  22. Hi Maegan! Thanks for the tips. We’re coming from the U.K. in April and will be doing 1 day at each park. We’re staying at the castle inn which I think is also a 10 Min walk.
    My daughters are 2.5 and 4.5yrs and are really excited. We’re planning on getting there early to avoid the rush but not sure how long they’ll last! Would love to watch the World of colour night show if the kids don’t have a melt down.
    If we leave to go back to our hotel for a break can we get back in to the park? Or should we just plan to stay there all day? Thanks

    1. Hi Lisa! I’m pretty sure you can still come and go from the parks all day once you have a ticket. I know a lot of people that go back to their hotel rooms for afternoon naps and then come back to the parks for evening activities and shows. I hope you all have a great trip! It’s sure to be magical!

  23. Loved this post! THANK U so much for taking the time to write w such detail. 🙂
    VERY HELPFUL!! God bless u! <3

  24. Hello,

    My family and I are pass holders, reading all the questions, I must share something that really helped me with my baby. Disneyland and DCA have baby care centers. It’s a room where you can go for a diaper change, the beds are more comfortable than the ones you’ll find on the bathrooms. Also, if you are a breastfeeding mom, they have a room with rocking chairs (all facing the same way) and curtains to have privacy. It is also very quiet, so if in the middle of your day your little one needs a break from all the people and noise, this is the place to go. They have microwaves, small tables where toddlers can sit and have snack or simply play in the carpet. Also, if you run out of diapers, diaper rash cream, formula, this is also the place to go.
    The baby care center in Disneyland is located, right off of Main street, to your right, before you get to the Plaza Inn restaurant. The one on DCA is located next to Ghirardelli shop.

    I hope this helps!

    1. Hi Amalia! Thank you so so much for sharing this! So very helpful for moms with little ones. 🙂

  25. Hi Maegen,

    Thanks for sharing your experience , this is one of the most helpful blogs I have come across.

    We will be visiting disneyland for 3 days with our 3yo son, do you think getting a park hopper ticket is worth it? I was planning to do 2 days at disneyland and 1 day at DCA, do you think there is enough to do for a 3 year old at DCA the whole day, he does likes the Car movie characters a lot.

    1. Hi Sidrah! How fun! Yes, you can definitely have a great full day at DCA with your 3 year old, especially if he likes cars. That was our favorite area! Between the rides, the characters walking around and the cars making their appearances, our 3 year old could have spent all day just in Cars Land! 2 days at Disneyland and 1 day at DCA sounds like the perfect plan. It’s sure to be magical. Enjoy!

  26. We were thinking of traveling to disneyland and california adventure with our 2 sons. My son’s are 2 and 7. I feel like we are going to be split up a lot of the time because my oldest wants to go on the more challenging rides and is too old for the toddler rides. Any suggestions?? My youngest is really into disney cars and my oldest is pretty easy going and still enjoys the younger atttractions too. What’s the easiest way to manage our days at both parks with such a big age gap with kids?

    1. Hi Diana! I think a full day at each park would be great. There’s so much to do at both parks for all ages. Your 2 year old will love just seeing everything and meeting all the characters walking around each park. There are several rides you’ll be able to all go on together and then on the bigger rides, someone could just walk around the area outside it with your 2 year old son while your 7 year old rides the ride or your younger son could ride on a smaller ride while the older is riding the bigger ride. Definitely take or rent a stroller as your 2 year old might get tired and want to nap while your older son is riding some of the bigger rides. It’s sure to be magical! Have a great time!

  27. I am going to Disneyland and California Adventure for 5 days with my 2 years old (almost 3 years old) girl and my hubby, do you think 5 days are too much? Is it big enough for us to spend 5 days at both parks? We won’t get bored ? Or should we stay shorter? And my little one loves riding rides and Disney characters, should we do hopper or just single park per day?

    1. Hi Zhenni! I think if you do 5 days, I would recommend not planning to spend the whole day at the parks each day. Maybe half a day at the park and the other half at the hotel pool or something. Or just really take your time at each park and enjoy all the shows, character sitings, food, etc. You certainly won’t have to rush from ride to ride with 5 days and you could ride the rides over and over again if your little one is loving it. I would recommend the hopper that way you can switch it up as much as you’d like. I think you’ll have a wonderful time and really get to enjoy all aspects of it as much as you’d like. Have a great trip!

  28. I’m only writing to say I loved the article and I’m surprised you hadn’t mentioned Tom Sawyer Island in Disneyland! We arrive Saturday and are bringing our 2, 3, and 6 year old and can’t wait to visit the island! It’s our favorite stop at Magic Kingdom as well.

  29. hi i am marian ,
    i have 3 and 1 years old girls i want to know if we go to the disney land park , will we meet disney princesses and other characters or not? also can we visit the 2 parks with the kids in 1 day or it will be crowded and exhusting ? thank you alot

    1. Hi Marian! You should definitely have the opportunity to meet several princesses and characters throughout the park. There is a schedule of meet and greets that you can check prior to your visit. Also, you can ask the people that work there and they can give you an idea of when certain princesses and characters will be out and about. And some of the more popular characters have meet-up experiences that you can reserve through fast pass. As far as, trying to do both parks in one day with little ones, I wouldn’t recommend it. You wouldn’t want to be rushed. With a 3 year old and a 1 year old, I would recommend spending most of your time at Disneyland over California Adventure if you have to choose. Have a magical trip!

    1. Hi Janneth! These were our favorite rides when we took our toddlers:
      Jungle cruise
      Autopia – where they can drive cars
      Haunted Mansion
      Buzz Light Year
      Peter Pan’s Flight

      Enjoy!

  30. Hello!
    WE are heading to California (From Boston) and planning on spending two days in the parks. Wondering if California adventure would fill an entire day for our 2-year-old and 6-year-old. I was thinking of one full day in Disneyland and one day in California Adventure. Or would it be better one full day in Disneyland and one park hopper day for California Adventure and Disneyland? Also is there a better day of the week to go to one park vs the other? we will be there Tues & Wed.
    Thank you! We are very excited

    1. Hi Pat! I would suggest one full day in each park. We were in California Adventure from the time it opened to the time it closed and had a blast! It would have been too much to try to do both parks in the same day. We are actually going back in a few weeks and planning to do the same…one full day in each park with our 5 year old. Weekdays are less busy so Tuesday and Wednesday should be great for y’all! I hope you have a magical trip. Enjoy!

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