I’m having MAJOR Disneyland withdrawals after our trip last week! It was SO much fun and SO much easier than I anticipated! A lot of that had to do with us all getting REALLY good sleep both at night and during nap time – you can check out my blog post from last week for my exact packing list, which includes my must-have items for amazing baby sleep while traveling. But, this week, I’m sharing why Disneyland was an AMAZING choice for a family vacay right now and all the tips I learned during our trip for a breastfeeding mama…plus all the things you can do to make the trip SUPER EASY for your family!
- I mean....why NOT?! Who doesn’t love Disneyland, right? Disneyland has something for EVERYONE – from infants to tots to big kids to adults. From food to rides to shows, there truly is a full day’s worth of entertainment for the whole family. Honestly, Mason was even super excited by seeing the horses on Main Street and ducks walking around the park. Every little thing was magical to him, which made my husband and I super happy.
- Due to COVID guidelines, maximum Disneyland capacity is currently 25%, which helps make the park super manageable with little kids no matter what day you decide to go. On our first day, we did about 5 rides within the first hour of being in the park! We went right at opening and there weren’t really lines for anything in Fantasyland, which is kid and baby central! We went on a Wednesday and Thursday –the parks felt much less crowded on Thursday than Wednesday, but I couldn’t really tell you why that would be. But on both days, rides that have historically excruciatingly long waits like Space Mountain or the new Star Wars rides pretty much were never longer than 30 minutes!
- Disney has a way of making you feel GOOD. We really haven’t travelled or done much since the start of the pandemic, and I feel like going to Disneyland as our first real family vacation was the perfect decision. After a rough 2020 and start to 2021, I think we could all use a little magic in our lives and Disney has a way of making you feel transported into a whole other world. The employees are always beyond friendly and accommodating – most of which were more than happy to wave at Mason, while he was excessively waving at EVERYONE all day long.
Disneyland Tips for a Breastfeeding Mama
- Utilize the baby care centers! Both Disneyland and California Adventure have these cool, quiet, and private baby care centers for diaper changing, nursing, and feeding. They are fully equipped with a nursing room and chairs (they even have curtains for privacy if you prefer!), changing tables (which are WAY nicer than the ones in the restrooms throughout the park), toddler-size potties and sinks, feeding area with high chairs, kitchen with sink and bottle warmers, and a vending machine with ALL THE THINGS – formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, sunblock, binkies, etc. At Disneyland, it’s located at the end of Main Street USA and, at California Adventure, it’s located next to Ghirardelli. Mason had a hard time nursing when he was too hot or when too much was going on around him because he would get distracted. These centers are a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of Disneyland and the heat!
- Nurse during a show! Shows, like the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland, have dimmed lighting, air conditioning, and seating! Perfect to rest and feed.
- If you’re pumping and visiting the park for just one day, bring a soft insulated lunch bag and heavy duty ice packs. If you’re visiting the park for multiple days, book a nearby hotel that is a very close walk from the parks that comes with a refrigerator so you can store your milk. We went back to our hotel each day for Mason’s mid-day nap, which would be a perfect time to store your milk or get a pumping (or nursing) session in while you’re there. If you aren’t a fan of leaving the parks during the day, there are also plenty of convenience stores nearby, like Walgreens, that you can visit in the morning before park opening time if you need to get ice daily for milk storage.
- Wear a nursing tank to save you time! When you’re at the park, you want to savor every minute you can, especially if you have older kids too. Don’t waste time fussing with your clothes to get boob access. Make sure you are wearing something that makes it easy and quick to whip your boob out, such as the Josephina Tank by Ailana J.!
How to Make the Trip to Disneyland SO EASY
- NAPS! Littles break down when they’re tired and that’s no fun for ANYONE. Getting those naps in is CRUCIAL for everyone to have the best time. Cat naps in the stroller are great, but a quality nap in the hotel room was key for us, especially since bedtime was a little later than usual so we could stay at the parks as long as possible!
- Pack extra outfits…for everyone! I always had an extra shirt and shorts for Mason in the diaper bag, which we ended up using BOTH days at the park. Accidents happen and they did, so I was glad to be prepared on the spot. I also had an extra shirt for both my husband and me. I didn’t need mine, but my husband needed his! While he was holding Mason in a line for a ride, Mason had a little blowout that got on my husband’s shirt. Thankfully, we had extra clothes on hand for both boys and we didn’t skip a beat in our park fun! (Bringing a wet/dry bag or a plastic bag for wet or soiled clothing is also a plus!)
- Unpopular opinion, but limit the sugar. Disneyland is known for its delicious sweet treats like churros, Mickey beignets, Dole Whip, etc., but littles under 2 do NOT need to be consuming any added sugars at all, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Added sugars can affect kids’ behavior because their blood sugar is all over the place, which, in a tot, can lead to major tantrums…and that’s no fun when you’re at the happiest place on Earth, right? BUT…I’m not the total fun police. We still indulged in some sweet treats -we just limited how much by only letting Mason have a tiny taste. For example, all 3 of us shared one churro, which was perfect!
- Stay at the Grand Californian if you can! We splurged and stayed on-site at the Grand Californian, and it was totally worth it! I loved being able to stay in Disney mode 24/7 and the proximity to the parks and Downtown Disney is unparalleled. They weren’t using the Grand Californian entrance into California Adventure to be able to monitor capacity, but they WERE using it as an exit, which was SO nice at the end of the night. Getting back to the hotel so quickly when everyone is exhausted was definitely a perk. You also can get food (and drinks!) delivered to the hotel from a variety of Downtown Disney restaurants, which was really helpful so we could get Mason to bed at a decent hour.
Would you add anything to any of these lists?! Tell me in the comments!