A Childish Approachby Jenna Kahl, contributing writer
Being the mom of two young kids has taught me to live in a world of constant, yet unrelated, questions and side stories. Writing for MousePlanet has allowed me to find some time to focus on a place I love and have a little creative outlet; however, I'm taking a cue from my girls and writing an article that, like my kids, is a little all over the place. Join me as I take you on a journey through the frequently asked questions that I received as a mom and annual pass holder. Hopefully you'll gain something useful or realize that you're not alone in your struggle.
Why would you take a baby/small child to the Disneyland Resort?
First off, if they are younger than 3, they are free! My children had their first trips to the resort at only a few months old, and I have never regretted traveling with a baby. I loved watching them enjoy the colors, characters, and many rides and attractions. I hear often that there is an "optimal" age in which to bring your child to the Disneyland Resort, and your family is anticipating only coming once or twice in a lifetime, then maybe that's true—but don't count the little ones out.
Ugh, the lines! Why even bother?
If you are waiting in a line longer than 15 minutes, in most cases, then you are doing it wrong. Whether it's FastPasses, Rider Switch passes, arriving early or staying late, if you are strategic you can experience tons and rarely wait in line. For those with little ones who claim that their kids "can't" wait in line, a little planning can go a long way. Pack special treats (keep them a secret until its meltdown time), crayons, and paper that are always great to have for a day at the park. Plus, a game like "I spy" never ceases to work!
The food is so expensive and they don't have anything healthy.
While eating at the Disneyland Resort can be expensive, you can certainly make it affordable and there are healthy options almost everywhere. Our family typically eats breakfast at our hotel, a larger lunch in the park, snacks that we have packed, and, depending on our schedule and level of energy, dinner in the park or off property on the way back to the hotel. One thing that I always mention, that always impresses people, is the numerous carts that sell fresh fruit and healthy snacks. For those with picky eaters, the Kids Power Pack, available at almost all the quick-service restaurants in the park, are great and the leftovers are easy to take along with you for the rest of the day.
It will be so chaotic and not like a vacation at all.
This is one that I can't always win. While my family and I find the Disneyland Resort relaxing and rejuvenating, many people are overwhelmed with parking, walking, people, and the overall energy of the park. While emphasizing that the Disneyland Resort Hotels, spa services, shady benches, and high-quality shows are always good, I like to keep to the truth that it's a vacation. It will make you feel, act, and run around like a kid. Kids who don't typically like to lounge by the pool.
Where do I get discounted tickets?
This is one question I get a lot and the short answer is: no where. Disneyland Resort tickets come in all shapes and sizes, and while there are some discounts for active military, veterans, and Southern California residents, you are not going to find a sale on park admission. I'm sure everyone knows someone who "has a guy," but I would tell your friends and family to be skeptical of anything that sounds too good to be true, because it probably is.
I went when I was a kid. I'm sure not much has changed.
Well boy are you wrong! Just like the Disney movies and characters that you know and love are ever-changing and evolving, so is the Disneyland Resort. Whether its Cars Land, the upcoming Star Wars Land or even a holiday overlay on The Haunted Mansion, there is always something new to discover at the Disneyland Resort.
Why do you go so often?
This is one of my favorites, and my answer is pretty much the same every time. The Disneyland Resort is where my family and I go to be together, just us, without thinking about school, work or keeping a schedule. It's something we can all do together and it's the memories that we make there together that have shaped us as a family.