Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 926 - Disneyland Week: Dos and Don'ts

Being a geek, I find the merging of storytelling and technology to be a...well...geeky fascination of mine. This is a reason why I am such a fan of theme parks and 3d pornography. I have been to Disneyland enough times that I can rattle of a bunch of trivia and walk around the park without getting lost. But now that I have kids, it's a different story.

I find that I'm still a bit of an amateur when it comes to being a parent at Disneyland. Based on the few times we have visited the park with the kids, I have learned a few things every time we have gone. And if I may, I would like to share with you a few dos and don'ts about going to Disneyland with toddlers.


DO bring snacks. We packed our diaper bag with a small assortment of goodies like fresh fruit, cereal, and bottled water. It did freak me out when I found stray raisins inside of a diaper, but it freaked me out even more when I ate them and realized they weren't raisins.

DO bring your stroller. I know that in many situations you may be unable to bring your own stroller to Disneyland. But I highly recommend bringing your own stroller because it will be more comfortable for the kids, and it will save you valuable money that can be spent on more important things like twirly do-hickeys, spinny hats, and foam whatchamacallits on your hands. And a hint for parents of twins: Disneyland does not rent out double strollers!

DO take advantage of doing things off-schedule. Most people when they first enter the park will naturally go to the left (Adventureland) or right (Tomorrowland). So go straight ahead and hit Fantasyland and Toontown first for the kids. Instead of eating meals at usual times, use this time to have a healthy snack (e.g. churros, funnel cakes, fritters) and eat lunch/dinner after the rush. Go take a ride on popular attractions when there is a parade.


DON'T try to stick to a plan. How can you expect a child who can't even put on velcro shoes be able to stick to an itinerary? Toddlers are young enough where anything they do is exciting, so there's no need for you to feel guilty if they don't get to do something. If your kid doesn't get to meet Mickey, it's not the end of the world...unless Mickey is killed in a tragic mousetrap accident set by Pegleg Pete.

DON'T count your money. Disneyland is a money pit. From the moment you pay your $12 to park, it's all downhill from there. As long as you realize the day is going to be several hundreds of dollars, there's no need to budget yourself too much. If you go easy on the souvenirs and $8 turkey legs, then you should be okay.

DON'T stress out. Inevitably, there will be a meltdown at Disneyland. And sadly, the meltdown will most likely involve you and not the kids. But let's not be that parent you see at Disneyland who is dragging and berating their child. That type of behavior is uncalled for and should really remain at other theme parks like Six Flags and Universal Studios Hollywood.

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