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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A Rainy Visit to the State Fair of Texas and Frisco, Texas

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Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas

Last weekend, we headed to Dallas to visit my sister, brother-in-law and their two pups. My sister lives in the bedroom community of Frisco, Texas, which is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Frisco was the fastest growing US city in 2017 and has grown a huge amount ever since she moved there about 10 years ago. Notably, the Dallas Cowboys moved their headquarters and training facilities to Frisco in 2016.

To be honest, the weather was horrible the entire time we were there. We are so spoiled in San Diego. It was raining on and off the whole weekend, so we had to time our activities during less rainy times or find indoor activities to keep us occupied.

State Fair of Texas

On Friday, we headed to Fair Park to attend the State Fair of Texas. The fair has taken place annually since 1886, except for some breaks during the First and Second World Wars. Over 2 million people attend every year, and it is considered one of the most attended and best state fairs in the country.

I have attended the fair numerous times in the past as a child and visiting my sister and always have a fun time.

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The Champ at the State Fair of Texas

Attending the fair with the boys was slightly different than what we are used to. We spent a greater amount of time visiting the animals and doing a couple of kids’ activities.

We started off our day at the Home on the Range exhibit, where we could feed and pet different animals, including cows, donkeys, goats and pigs.

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Home on the Range Petting Barn
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Home on the Range Petting Bar
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Goats at the Petting Barn
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Feeding the goats
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Exhausted mom with her piglets

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Next, we took the boys to the Little Hands on the Farm activity. They each got to put on an apron and get a basket to act as little farmers! It was seriously the cutest thing!

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Little Hands on the Farm

The twins collected different produce, eggs and milk and then took them to the market to sell their products. The boys like to collect things, so they had a blast doing the tasks.

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Little Hands on the Farm
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Little Hands on the Farm

One of the highlights of the fair is, of course, eating insane fair food. New this year was the “Cotton Candy Taco,” which I did not partake in but did take a photo next to the replica of it!

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Cotton Candy Taco

Every time I visit the State Fair of Texas, I have to have a Fletcher’s Corny Dog. This baby was first sold at the fair in 1942 and claim, as others do, to have been the original corn dog. I don’t know who was the first, but Fletcher’s is delicious!

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Fletcher’s Original Corny Dog

Another of my must-do activities at the fair is seeing the butter sculpture and the Creative Arts Building. This year’s butter sculpture featured Big Tex’s head and was made from 1,000 pounds of butter!

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Butter Sculpture of Big Tex

I love looking at the crafts and food items that regular folks create and submit for the Creative Arts contests. There is so much talent and so much to look at!

It was getting pretty late in the day and Dallas traffic is the pits, so we made our final stop at the Midway to check out the games and rides.

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Midway

A section of the Midway is referred to as the Kidway, where there are rides for the little ones. The twins were too small to ride the majority of the rides, but we found a little whale ride to go on with them. They tolerated it, but did not enjoy the ride!

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Ride in the Kidway

Little Humans Big Fun

On Day 2 of our visit, we stuck to things that were in Frisco since it was supposed to rain all day long. We started the day off at Little Humans Big Fun. Although they are only open from 9 AM to 10:30 AM, it was definitely worth the $24 that we spent. The twins loved every minute of their time there. That is, except for when little brother got pushed by a mean girl and started to cry.

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Grocery store play area

There was a good variety of things for them to do. They were especially obsessed with the grocery store and shopping carts.

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Giant Lite Brite
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Auto shop play area

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For parents, there is no admission charge. I seriously do not understand why other places, like the Children’s Museum, charge admission for adults. It makes no sense. Additionally, Little Humans Big Fun also provides free coffee and espresso drinks, tea and wifi!

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Foam building blocks

Sci-Tech Discovery Center

We stayed until Little Humans Big Fun closed and decided to head to the Sci-Tech Discovery Center next. Had it not been raining, we would have done a different activity, but our options were limited. I read some pretty unimpressive reviews before we went to the Discovery Center and was not expecting much.

Honestly, it was not that great, but did keep the boys occupied for a good hour or so before we went to lunch.

They loved the bubbles, fire show, and ball drops!

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Having fun with auntie!
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This looks like a good place to sit!

Bye, Auntie and Uncle

I am so happy that we got to visit my sister and brother-in-law, especially while we were able to still take advantage of the twins’ lap child status for our flights! We don’t get to see them that often, so it was nice spending a whole weekend together!

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And of course, we also loved seeing Waffles the Corgi and his sister Cinnabon the Chowgi!

 

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Waffles the Corgi
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Cinnabon the Chowgi