Posted in Activities & Enrichment, Tricks of the Trade, Things to Do, Tips & Hacks, Toddlers, Travel

First Disney Trip for 18mo old

Hello!! My husband and I will take our son on his first Disneyland trip next month! We both haven’t been there in about 8 years so we do t know what to expect especially now that we have a toddler. Any suggestions, tips, tricks, or hacks to make this as fun and easy as possible? I’ve heard about apps and fast passes but have no clue what it’s all about. Any advice is appreciated!!! Thanks in advance! XO

  • Emily
    Jan 21

    I advise you to get a trip planner if you can afford one. They maximize your money and you have a plan to Follow that makes the most sense. So you not trying to go from one side of the park to the other in 5 minutes. That’s what I did the first trip it was so stressful. They will get everything book and all for you and you’ll have a sheet that tells you where you are supposed to be and all. Another thing I did differently is I did what swore I’d never do I got my daughter and backpack with a leash. I was so stressed out with all the people that if I took my eyes off her she’d be gone or lost in the crowd. (My daughter was 1 the first time and 2 the second) The next trip I was able to relax more and actually enjoy the trip.

  • Megan
    Jan 21

    We went for our daughters first birthday with family. I was also 3 mo the pregnant so I couldn’t go on many rides so I stayed with my daughter for most of them while everyone else went on rides. The app is amazing when it works! And it’s free! I found that earlier in the day the wait times were pretty accurate but later in the day would be off. The app is nice cause you can select what age range and it’ll tell you what rides your son is allowed on. It also tells you where characters are at in the park and what times they’ll be there if that’s something you want to do so it’s not a wild goose chase looking for them. We downloaded the app ahead of time to get a feel for it and see what rides were expected to be down for routine maintenance during our visit. As for the fast passes, you can get them on the app. But they really are only good if you plan on going on the crazy rides that your little one can’t go on. I believe it was $10 per person for the day when we went and you book a window of time when you can go. It worked for our group cause we had teens and adults who would schedule a time to go, and that’s when I’d go order food and change diapers etc and than in between their fast pass times we’d go on the rides my daughter and I would go on all together. The app also shows you where all the bathrooms, restaurants, etc are. Even nursing areas and nap areas with cribs if needed. A stroller is a must! We brought our jogger so she could nap when needed and fall asleep later as we stayed til closing. Bring something bright to identify your stroller easily for after you get off the ride. Several times our stroller was moved by staff when we were on rides to accommodate other strollers or if they need to move it for any other reason. Several people thought their stollers were stollen when they were just moved. We also brought a stroller/bike lock to lock the rear wheels together. This was more so someone wouldn’t mistakenly take our stroller as several people have the same models and colors. We would string the lock through the wheels and through our diaper bag strap. Nothing ever got taken and we didn’t have to carry the diaper bag the whole time! We also packed our carrier for her. The Peter Pan ride had a looooong wait and no fast passes allowed. So it was nice to be able to strap her in and hold her that way so it wouldn’t kill our backs or risk her running off. We brought a filtered water bottle that we bought at Walmart for pretty cheap. It was nice to get water from the drinking fountain and much quicker than waiting in line at a stand for someone to get you water. When we went it was super hot during the day and cold at night, so we brought a change of clothes, sunscreen, etc. I think the hardest parts of the day for us were around meals and naps. We tried to schedule eating during the off times, when there wasn’t a huge line. I hope this helps! 😁

  • LillyMarie
    Jan 21

    Thank you Emily!! I didn’t know Trip advisors existed for Disneyland.

  • LillyMarie
    Jan 21

    Wow Megan! Your post was super helpful!! Thank you for all the tips, especially the stroller and carrier tips!

  • Joanna
    Jan 22

    We just went last week with my 18 mo and 4 yo. We took a stroller and would recommend walking to the entrance from the parking garage because the trams that shuttle are a bother cause you need to fold the stroller. We didn't plan anything out at all and just used the app. My older son met up friends and they all shared fast passes among the group and dads. My 18 mo didn't do much except wait around, meet characters and a few slow rides. We brought all our own food except bought milk thru the app. We didn't bring a baby carrier and maybe I would next time. There are lines where you have to park the stroller outside the lines. If one person in your group has fast pass, you get the picture pass too, which is great when you meet all the characters. There's a 3 day pass for socal residents right now. We approach this trip as the first of many and really helped make it less stressful.

  • LillyMarie
    Jan 22

    Thanks for the info Joanna! I didn’t know you could buy things through the app! What were some of the slow rides your 18 mo rode?

  • Andrea
    Jan 22

    I know a really good Disney trip planner if you want to go that route. She’s amazing!

  • LillyMarie
    Jan 22

    Andrea, I would love to get her info!! Thanks in advance!

  • Lettie
    Jan 26

    Write down what rides your toddler can go on and where the baby centers are (changing tables, breastfeeding rooms, toddler toilets and a small kitchen). Carry snacks and other baby/toddler things with you (you have a backpack and your husband a backpack). If you want to take pictures, get the Maxpass (you get the downloads right away that you can download to your phone or CPU, it stays in that cloud for 90days or so before it disappears). Bring a stroller when your son gets tired of walking or to fall asleep in). If your son doesn't like loud noises bring baby/toddler earphones (fireworks and fantasmic). My whole family and I am a Disney fanatic (usually my parents, siblings and my husband and I go once a year). My husband and I went last summer with our son who was 6months old (he loved it). We took pictures with the characters, saw shows and went on some rides multiple times. Download the Disneyland app (it shows wait times, shows, characters out, all food and map of both parks) also download the Disney play app (it is a game that you and your family can play while standing in line (check out YouTube of ppl playing the app, they explain it to you) your son might like it. My husband and I were playing the game while waiting in line, our son was watching us play. Dont forget to get pins (his first visit and your celebrating) he might like them, I heard some Disney employees give kids stickers while waiting for rides or characters pictures.

  • LillyMarie
    Jan 26

    Thanks for the pin reminder Lettie! And I like the suggestion about the toddler earmuffs!! Did you find it hard with each of you wearing a backpack? Or was is super helpful?