Tips for navigating Disneyland and DCA with kids!

Hi mama! My name is Cassie and I am a Disney blogger. I grew up going to the parks and now attend a few times…


Hi mama! My name is Cassie and I am a Disney blogger. I grew up going to the parks and now attend a few times a month with my own family. I know how daunting it can be when you are going somewhere new so I put together a tip list to help make your trip with your kids easier!

If you are also a plus size individual, be sure to check out my plus size guide for Disneyland.

I also have an Amazon storefront setup with everything you need to buy to make your trip as inexpensive and successful as possible.

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Yes, you can stay at one of the hotels on property for around $550 a night. However, I stay at HOJO Anaheim which is a 7 minute walk to the parks, safe, clean, and has an outdoor waterpark attached to it! Best of all, my readers get 10% off their stay there! Find more info on this amazing local Disneyland Hotel here including my discount:


To get the most of your day, you will want to rope drop (be at the gates at opening). The park is generally empty the first two hours of opening so you can get a lot of rides done during that time.

The map is going to be your best friend. They have them at the entrance. It has all the height limits, all the food options, and bathroom locations. An even better option is to download the Disneyland APP!


There are two parking lots for Disneyland. The main parking is Mickey and Friends parking which is a parking structure. There are trams that will take you to the entrance, or you can walk (about an 18 minute walk).

The other parking lot is Toy Story parking lot. Toy Story takes you to the park via a bus. You can also walk to the parks (25 minute walk)They are both the same price, and both have electric parking. You can find both by entering those names into your GPS.


Upon entering the property, you will need to go through security. You can bring outside food and drinks. You can also bring a stroller (Strollers larger than 31″ (79 cm) x 52″ (132 cm) and wagons are not permitted.)

Items that are not allowed on property and will be thrown away at security:

  • Pets – Only service animals are permitted.
  • Wagons
  • Skateboards
  • Scooters (motorized and non-motorized)
  • Drones
  • Mylar balloons made from shiny, foil-like plastic
  • Remote control toys
  • Inline skates
  • Shoes with built-in wheels
  • Bicycles
  • Motorcycles
  • Tricycles
  • Unicycles
  • Pogo sticks
  • 2-wheeled vehicles, including Segway™ Human Transporters
  • Strollers larger than 31″ (79 cm) x 52″ (132 cm)
  • Stroller wagons
  • Suitcases, backpacks or similar bags with wheels
  • Suitcases, backpacks or similar bags larger than 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high (61 cm x 38 cm x 46 cm)
  • Any trailer-like object that is pushed or towed by an ECVwheelchair or stroller
    • Note: Guests are not permitted to pull items behind them. Any item that requires a Guest to pull it behind him or her, including a stroller, is not permitted into the theme parks.
  • Coolers larger than 6-pack sized are not permitted into the theme parks
    • Note: Guest can store coolers up to 19″ wide x 24″ high x 31″ deep in rentable jumbo-sized lockers located outside the Disneyland Park Main Entrance. Lockers are not refrigerated and availability is limited. Guests who need to refrigerate medication may do so at First Aid.
    • Exceptions may be made for special dietary or religious needs.
  • Loose or dry ice is not permitted and reusable ice packs are recommended
  • Alcohol, marijuana (including marijuana-enriched products) and any illegal substances are strictly prohibited
  • Folding chairs, with the exception of cane-chair and seat-walker mobility aids
  • Glass containers, with the exception of baby food containers, medicine or small perfume bottles (under 4 oz)
  • Sporting goods or equipment (e.g., baseball bats, helmets, hockey sticks, golf clubs, bows and arrows, camping equipment, chairs, stools, tables and Frisbees)
  • Weapons of any kind or object that appear to be weapons (toy guns, toy blasters, squirt guns, etc.)
  • Self-defense equipment (e.g., pepper spray, mace, stun guns)
  • Restraining devices (e.g., handcuffs, zip ties) or any suspicious items (e.g., box cutters, razor blades, duct tape, wire)
  • Items that may be disruptive (e.g. laser pointers, slingshots, stink bombs, air horns)
  • Cremated remains (e.g., urns, vases, boxes)
  • Miscellaneous other items (tools, fire extinguishers, musical instruments, megaphones, pots and pans)
  • Wrapped gifts (all gifts must be able to be unwrapped for inspection)
  • Items with spikes (e.g. purses, bracelets, etc.)
  • Selfie sticks (hand-held extension poles for cameras and mobile devices)


If traveling from out of state, Disneyland does offer stroller rentals. However, they go very fast so I recommend reserving one at park opening. Stroller are $30 for the day.


Both parks have lockers outside the entrance and inside the entrance. If you are going to be spending the entire day there and are nervous about items being taken from your stroller or maybe just need extra storage, then I highly recommend getting a locker. They are $7 for a small and $10 for a large for the day.

Fuelrod Cell Phone charger

This is the phone charger you are going to want to bring to the parks and here is why. These cell phone chargers can be swapped out in the parks for free at the FuelRod kiosks, so you can get a freshly charged one. Think about it like unlimited access to charging your phone. You use the charger, when its empty, you simple swap it for a newly charged one. Mine are on me at all times because multiple theme parks have these stations. In the parks, they are $40 each. But here is a KILLER DEAL on a set of two on Amazon! Seriously, add this to your cart this instance!

Baby Care stations

There are private nursing stations with full size rocking chairs, child size toilets, changing stations, bottle warmers and microwaves, and a vending machine that offers juice, diapers, sunscreen, wipes, formula, baby food, and OTC meds.


It is always best to try and make a list of the rides you will want to ride beforehand. Lines are very long so having a list of rides to prioritize will help reduce stress for you later on. Fantasyland is the best land if you are traveling with young children. The rides have no height or age restrictions and are generally quick. Peter Pan has the longest wait time so that is usually a great ride to start with. Snow White, Pinocchio, and Mr. Toads each have a scene on the ride that is a little loud so if your child has a fear of loud noises, I would avoid those.

Top 5 rides for little kids

Top 5 rides for older kids

Height Requirements:

32″ (81 cm) or taller and accompanied by another rider 54″ or taller

  • Autopia

35″ (89 cm) or taller

  • Gadget’s Go Coaster

38″ (97 cm) or taller

  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

40″ (102 cm) or taller

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

42″ (107 cm) or taller

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds

46″ (117 cm) or taller

  • Indiana Jones Adventure

54″ (137 cm) or taller to ride alone

  • Autopia

32″ (81 cm) or taller

  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters

40″ (102 cm) or taller

  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Silly Symphony Swings (tandem swings only)
  • Soarin’ Around The World

42″ (107 cm) or taller

  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (rock wall and zip line only)

48″ (122 cm) or taller

  • Incredicoaster
  • Silly Symphony Swings (ride in single swing)


Disney allows food to be brought into the parks so you are welcome to bring lunch and snacks. However, Disney also has great food options for children. There are various stands throughout both parks with fresh fruit, crackers, hummus, and string cheese. Most of the food places offer regular kids meals and a “kids pack” which includes a tangerine, goldfish, a yogurt drink, carrots and a milk.

Resting Places:

Sometimes the kids need to take a break and sit, or maybe you need somewhere to cool off. Here is a list of great places to do that!


If you want to try and get as much done as you can in a day, you can upgrade to Genie+ for the cost of $30 a ticket, per day. This will give you access to the Lightening Lane where weight times are significantly shorter. Not all rides accept Genie+ but most of the busiest rides do. Rides that currently accept Genie+ are:

  • Autopia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Incredicoaster
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Soarin’ Over California
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure


Souvenirs at Disneyland and DCA are very expensive and your goods are bound to BEG you for them at some point. One thing I can recommend is pre-buying a few souvenirs so when that moment does happen, VOILA! Mom has one in her bag already. I have researched for hours and attached some great things to have on hand below for when this arises because it definitely will.

Bubble wand (Disney charges $30 ). Instead check out this Amazon mickey bubble wand for $13!

Loungefly backpacks (Disney charges between $80-$100). Check out this Minnie kid bag for $18.98 and while you’re at it, get a nice Loungefly brand for yourself. I put together all the inexpensive Disney themed Loungeflys I could find on Amazon in one folder so you can fit in with the crowd, but at half the cost 😉

Disney sweaters and clothes are A LOT ($30-$150). I made a list of inexpensive Disney clothes on Amazon for kids and for adults.

Hats (Disney charges on average, $30-$50). Check out these awesome Disney hats on Amazon!

Ears (Disney charges $30). Check out these inexpensive alternatives.


Sometimes the lines are long, even WITH Genie+. One thing that I always keep in my diaper bag are these inexpensive drawing boards so my kids have something to do while waiting.

If you are wanting to bring your own food into the parks, I recommend using a Bento box style like this one so you can have several options. Snack containers like this are also great!

Things to remember to pack:



Change of clothes


Reusable water bottles



Spray hand sanitizer

Comfortable shoes


Autograph book

Lanyard (for pins if you want to buy some)

And the most important thing you will need to pack, a phone charger! Like I mentioned above, I cannot recommend this brand enough due to their kiosks in the park so you can swap them out!


Lastly, I want to comment on experiences. Both parks gave wonderful experiences for your kids, especially if they aren’t the ride riding type.

Mickey’s Mix Magic– light up night show on Mainstreet.

Royal Hall– you can meet the Princesses!

Storytelling at the Royal Theater– Watch your favorite Princesses reenact their stories!

Fireworks– Every evening at 9pm. Guests starting lining up on Mainstreet an hour before.

Parades– multiple parades happen throughout the day. Download the Disneyland app to see that day’s schedule.

Toontown: Toontown itself is an entire experience. There are two rides there, Roger Rabbit’s and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad. But the newly revamped land hosts all of the characters homes which are fully accessible with lots of fun and twists! Plus you can see the characters there as well. Slides, water play, and places to run around (and eat!), it’s a great place to spend some time with the littles!

Disney Junior dance party– show times at 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm

World of Color water show– 9pm evenings outside of the Little Mermaid ride. Guests line up one hour before.

Guardians of the Galaxy dance off– outside the ride at 1:40pm, 2:45pm, 3:50pm, 5:10pm, 6:10pm, 7:10pm

Live music by the Five and Dime– Every hour from 12pm-5pm.

Animation Academy– Speak to Crush from Nemo, Meet Ana and Elsa, and learn to draw Disney characters! Open 10am-5pm

Pixar Pier characters– Meet various characters in Pixar Pier throughout the day!

Carsland characters– Meet various characters from Cars in Carsland throughout the day!

Will it be raining on your trip? Be sure to check my tips for a Rainy Day at Disneyland!

I know this was a TON of information but I hope this helped you see just how much there is to do there! and that you can save some money by pre-planning and making your trip as least stressful as possible. Have the most MAGICAL trip!

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