What I wore:
A few other options:
For The Kids
What Do I Bring?
Something you definitely want to do ahead of time is write out a list of what you need to bring for a successful day at Disney. Luckily for you I already have, and I'm going to share it with you, so you don't have to!
We packed everything we needed in a backpack and one large tote bag. We also used the storage under the stroller for extra water bottles and snacks that we could all grab as needed (and wouldn't worry about people taking while we were on a ride.)
- Sunscreen to reapply throughout the day.
- Hats/Sunglasses for when the sun was just too intense. (Some rides have extended lines that are in direct sun for up to 30+ minutes)
- Spray fan. We got ours at Walmart instead of buying one at the parks.
- Baby wipes. I put a few in a zip lock in my tote and used them to wipe our faces and necks before reapplying sunscreen. It was hot and sweaty so it was nice to have something to freshen up with during the heat of the day.
- Water bottles. Any restaurant will give you a cup for water if you ask, but having our own bottles was key in staying hydrated.
- Snacks. Avoid getting hangry and bring beef jerky, breakfast bars, apples, goldfish and Cheerios or Leapin' Lemurs in throw away containers.
- Sanitizer. Having my Thieves waterless hand sanitizer was a life saver.
- Phone Charger/Portable battery pack. I take an obsessive amount of pictures and videos so my phone dies quickly. There are plugs by some bathrooms throughout both parks.
- Bike lock. We have been in the unfortunate situation of having our stroller stollen at Disney. We won't make that mistake again. Lock both front wheels to each other (mostly a deterrent) because the parks won't let you lock it to any property. I can't stress this one enough! Security told us that they target high end strollers, and any double stroller. You can also rent strollers there if you are really worried about it.
- A Pen. Turns out the characters don't have pens, and the ones at the park at almost nine dollars. Do yourself a favor and buy a themed pack before you make your next visit and want an autograph.
- Reusable bag. They fold up and take almost no space at all, and can be used to either store wet clothes (if you do the splash pad at California Adventure) or souvenirs (which you should wait to shop for at the end of the day so you aren't left carrying extra items unnecessarily.)
- Loose change. Almost all of the shops have one of those penny smashing machines (where it leaves an imprint of your choice) for .51 cents. This is a great souvenir/keepsake and very inexpensive! It allows the kids to get involved by picking the design and cranking it themselves. Our big kids loved it. Best dollar and two cents ever.
- Stroller. We have a 4 and 7 year old and still brought our stroller attachments to allow them to ride along in addition to the baby. It's a long day on little legs, and having a place for them to "rest" and stay out of the sun was important.
And for baby
- Three outfits. Not including the one she is in at arrival. I think of it like this: one for spills, one for a possible blow out, and one for luck! Ha! Consider one warmer outfit for the evening/night.
- Diapers/Wipes. I brought an entire pack of wipes. Probably not necessary, but we used them for everything! Wiping down tables, cleaning the stroller tray, changes, to help cool everyone off...you name it.
- Empty bottle. Everleigh drinks milk (which you can buy at the park, don't bother packing it) We heated it up in the microwave at the baby center on Main Street. Ask an employee to show you where this is for a nursing/feeding friendly, air conditioned, mama/kid bathroom set up. They have a few toys and a TV for the big kids, while you take care of your little. It's a LIFE SAVER.
- Baby carrier. In addition to the stroller I would strongly recommend a baby carrier. Those lines can be long, and having a place for baby without killing your arms/back just makes sense.
- Snacks/food/water bottle. Buying something you may need for the big kids is fairly simple if need be, buying your baby their puffs or favorite squeeze bag is not. We packed her favorite sippy cup and refilled it with our water bottles along the way.
Honestly, even more important that what you pack, is your attitude. Let's be real, Disneyland with three little kids is a lot of work. We told ourselves before we left that we were going to have a great time - no matter what - and we did. For example, it was nearly 100 that day, and we kept telling the kids, "aren't we lucky no one else wants to brave the heat? Now the lines aren't so long!" or when our favorite ride was shut down (mid wait) we said, "Wow, God was really watching out for our trip, now we're not stuck inside missing out on the rest of our day." Reframing the inevitable pitfalls really helped us all keep our attitudes in check.
Another tip is to verbally set the expectations for the day ahead of time. So on our way to the parks we talked about what each kid was allowed. It looked something like this: "Savvy you can pick a pair of ears or one small stuffed animal at the end of the day." Or, "Hudson, you get to pick one treat of your choice from the candy store after dinner later today..." I laid the same expectations out for the photos I wanted to take. I told them I needed a picture on Mainstreet and in front of the castle (with them in it) and two more of just me for the blog. We did that first to get it out of the way, so we could enjoy the rest of the trip without worrying about sweat or spills. If you have a few shots you for sure want to make happen, try this approach before everyone is too tired or too involved in the magic to pull away.
My last tip is to let them pick! How does the song go..."no one to tell us no, or where to go..."
Giving the kids their pick between two approved choices gave them a sense of control and independence. We kept telling them: "It's your day!" and took turns letting them decide what ride came next, or who was going to sit with who. Personally, I think this really added to their fun, but also helped us navigate our way through a smooth visit. If they disagreed or started to argue we solved everything by rock paper scissors. (Good tip Mom!)
I hope this helps you pack and plan your next Disney trip, and that you can really enjoy a memorable visit with your family!