Tips for Visiting Disneyland with Twin Toddlers

We recently had the chance to visit Disneyland in Anaheim, California as invited audience members for the 2018 Disney Parks Holiday Special tapings. I wanted to share my thoughts on things we did to make our visit to Disneyland with twin toddlers enjoyable. While we spent the majority of our time waiting for and attending the taping, I still think many of our experiences could be helpful for a variety of situations.

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Visiting with Mickey Mouse
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Cameraman set up for filming on Main Street

Tip 1: Stay overnight

Since we live an hour-plus away from Anaheim and we were visiting on a weekday, we decided to stay overnight in Anaheim the night before our visit to Disneyland. The great thing about Disneyland, compared to Walt Disney World, is that there are a ton of hotels that you can stay at that are within walking distance to the park entrance. This time we stayed at the Fairfield Inn Anaheim Resort, which is a 6-minute walk from Disneyland (no joke)! Another great thing about staying off property was that we were able to leave our car there even after check-out time, we just had to pay the parking fee for an additional day, which was less expensive than Disney parking.

Tip 2: Get to the park early

Disneyland has added additional security measures in recent years, which makes getting into the park a little more time consuming. My recommendation is to get there early. If your toddlers are like mine, they are up and ready to go around 7 AM! You never know how long getting through security and the gate will take, so get there early and start your day of magic!

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Checking in for Disneyland

Tip 3: Take advantage of the Baby Care Center

The Baby Care Center is located on Main Street and has so many amenities for parents with infants to toddlers, including high chairs, toddler potties, changing tables and nursing rooms.

Tip 4: Get Fastpasses

Unfortunately, Disney does not offer Fastpasses for the majority of the little kid-friendly rides in Fantasyland. Making our kiddos wait in lines for at least 45-minutes sounded like torture for all of us, so we took advantage of one of the rides that did offer Fastpasses. We got Fastpasses for “it’s a small world” Holiday, and it was so worth it!

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“it’s a small world” Holiday

I love “it’s a small world,” but it is honestly one of my favorites during the holidays.

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For a current list of rides offering Fastpasses, check here.

Tip 5: Pack you own food

We didn’t have the chance to plan or meal prep for this visit to Disneyland, but hopefully, we can next time. While there are some good food options at Disneyland, when you are desperate to find food for your hangry toddlers, you might find yourself in long lines for mediocre and extremly pricey food!

Tip 6: Keep the kiddos occupied

Mickey’s Toontown is a no-brainer for letting your high-energy toddlers run around and have fun! There are lots of places where they can explore hands-on.

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Mickey’s ToonTown

My sons loved Goofy’s Playhouse. Goofy’s backyard has a toddler play area with a slide and play structures, including a giant watermelon and pumpkin! Goofy even came by to visit with guests while we were there!

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Goofy’s House

Tip 7: Make memories

I discovered that the memories you make are not necessarily the ones that you expect. My husband was very adamant about having our sons participate in character greetings, while I was thinking, they will never remember this! Little did I know, that meeting Mickey and Goofy were their favorite events of the day! Plus, we will forever have these photos of them!

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Hanging out with Goofy

Waiting for the parade was rough because we had over an hour before the thing actually started. There was a lot of juggling kids, getting up and walking around, and generally trying to get through it! Once the parade finally started, they loved it for the first 30 minutes or so, but little brother wound up falling asleep in my arms!

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Waiting for the parade
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Disneyland Christmas Parade

The parade was probably a little bit of sensory overload for them, but it is certainly something hubby and I will remember!

Tip 8: Keep your expectations reasonable and be flexible

We kept our expectations low for our trip to Disneyland. We just wanted to see the parade and go on maybe one or two rides, and make it home at a reasonable time. This was very doable for us and we did not feel the need to “do everything.”

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Main Street Christmas Tree

I hope these tips help you if you plan on making a trip to Disneyland! The Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade will be airing on Christmas Day: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 (10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST, 9:00-11:00 a.m. CST/MST/PST). We will be watching to see if we see ourselves!

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Thanksgiving 2018 with Chinet

Thanksgiving is always such a hectic time of year! This year, it was especially so because we had visitors from out of town for over a week to entertain, and I somehow was given the responsibility of organizing Thanksgiving dinner for everyone!

To my surprise, I received a VoxBox from Influenster and Chinet earlier in the week, which made our Thanksgiving table a little prettier and clean up a little easier!

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Thanksgiving with Chinet Cut Crystal Collection

The VoxBox included plastic cups, cutlery, dessert plates and stemless wine glasses, all from the Cut Crystal collection. I love Chinet products because even though they are disposables, their plates, cups and other items are sturdy and classy!

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Chinet Cut Crystal cups, cutlery, dessert plates and stemless wine glasses

Throughout the week, I did my Thanksgiving meal shopping and picked up a lot of pre-made items from the HoneyBaked Ham store. Additionally, I baked two pies on Wednesday night.

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Let the pie baking begin!

I made a classic pumpkin pie and a pecan pie. I must say that my pumpkin pie was the most perfect that I have ever been able to bake! It was so neat (as in tidy).

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Pumpkin pie is ready!
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Pecan pie going in the oven

On Thursday, I put together a little appetizer tray with some inspiration from Google images! Lol…it’s a turkey! I also made a green bean casserole, which is one of my must-have Thanksgiving dinner sides.

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Turkey-shaped appetizer platter

We headed over to my brother’s house once the boys woke up from their afternoon nap and helped put the rest of dinner on the table, played with the boys and enjoyed the company of family.

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Our Thanksgiving table was full of delicious food! The menu included a whole turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, Cope’s corn pudding (a Pennsylvania tradition), candied yams (a Texas tradition), gravy and cranberry sauce!

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The dinner spread
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My plate was full!

Unfortunately, the boys were not too impressed with Thanksgiving dinner. They barely ate anything, although they did eat a bunch of the appetizer platter!

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For dessert, along with my pumpkin and pecan pies, we also got a cheesecake from the HoneyBaked Ham store.

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Pumpkin pie on Chinet Cut Crystal plate

Before calling it a night, we were able to take some photos by the Christmas tree. Our apartment is too small to accommodate a tree so I am glad that we got to borrow my brother’s for some family pictures!

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Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

July 4th Recap – 2018

Hope you all had a Happy Fourth of July! We had a relaxing day of fun with the kiddos and enjoyed the gorgeous San Diego weather. It was actually one of the more relaxing days I can remember since becoming a mom. This was our second 4th of July as a family of four.

We started off the day by visiting a local splash pad. We met up with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew, and we let the boys run around and play.

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splashpad

They were having a lot of fun running around freely, but I don’t think they appreciated getting water in their faces. They also looked ridiculously cute in their swimming outfits.

After they seemed to have their fill of water play, we headed over to Breakfast Republic for brunch. They were so busy but were able to accommodate our party of seven quicker than we excepted. I had a feeling that service would be slow and I was correct.

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I don’t drink much anymore and haven’t for years, but I thought that I deserved a drink this holiday. I ordered the michelada, which is basically a bloody mary with beer instead of vodka. It was actually quite tasty.

For my meal, I got the chilaquiles and I was pretty disappointed with them. They came out barely warm and weren’t great.

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After brunch, we headed back home to rest and let the kids nap. I also wound up taking a nap. We decided at the last minute to invite my brother and his family over to barbecue, so hubby had to run to the grocery store to get supplies. The pool in our community opened back up after renovations that day, so we were going to hit the pool and grill up some burgers.

We headed over to the pool at around 5:30 pm. It was still busy, but we were able to grab some lounge chairs all together and share one of the grills with another party.

One of our neighbors brought their pet bird with her and it was very interested in the babies.

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This was the boys’ first time in the pool and they were a little frightened to say the least. Hopefully, they start to feel more comfortable in the water once we start going to the pool more often.

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The guys grilled up some delicious homemade patties. They were half regular beef and half wagyu beef. So juicy and tasty.

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I also baked some boxed Funfetti cupcakes! That was all I could manage with the two guys on my hands but they actually weren’t bad.

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Once we finished dinner, it was already past the boys’ bedtime and we still had to give them baths and get them ready for bed.

I was hoping to watch some fireworks on tv, but our tv decided to have issues this week and we basically had to reset the whole system and have not had time to reprogram it yet. We also could not see any of the fireworks from our place, so none for us this year. One of the things I am thankful for about not living in New Mexico anymore is that fireworks are illegal here for regular folks to buy. Woohoo! So no more weekend after weekend of fireworks in our neighborhood.

Hope you all had a fun, safe and relaxing July 4th!