disney with kids

The Ultimate Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Disneyland with Toddlers – Part 2

Bibbity Bobbity Boo! Poof! Hi Ohana! It’s me again. Your local Northern Nevada mom of two, wife, Realtor and Disney lover. I am back to share more tips on surviving and thriving in Disneyland with toddlers.

There are so many good ideas I have to share with you to help make your Disneyland trip even more magical. So typically, “I never look back darling, it distracts from the now,” but just this one time, I would encourage you to go back and read my first article The Ultimate Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Disneyland with Toddlers

We still have much to talk about so let’s “just keep swimming” and dive right in!

Disney Junior Dance Party

This show is a hidden gem! Disney days can be hot and exhausting. Standing in lines can get old. Enter the Disney Junior Dance Party. The show is located in California Adventure Hollywood Land and it is awesome.

It is inside a theater that is air-conditioned and everyone finds a seat on the ground. It is a little dark in the theater so it is a nice way to take a break. Cool off and watch a fun, interactive show for about 20 minutes. The show features a DJ spinning Disney music to get all the kids to come up to the front and participate, dance and interact with the characters.

Your kids will get to see their favorite Disney Junior characters such as Mickey and Minnie, The Lion Guard, Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, etc. sing and dance about. It has 4-5 showtimes in a day so make sure to pick a showtime and get there early because they only allow a certain number of people per show.


One of the most incredible nighttime Disneyland shows is back and it is a must see! “Daring heroes and epic villains do battle on a grand scale in a jaw-dropping nighttime spectacular—starring Mickey Mouse.”

The first time I saw Fantasmic about 10 years ago, I cried. It is phenomenal! It went away for a while and fortunately they have improved it and brought the show back! We are currently in the process of planning our annual Disneyland trip and found out that Fantasmic is only being shown Friday-Sunday. There are two showings for Fantasmic: 9 pm and 10:30 pm. Seems a bit late for toddlers right?

Trust me you won’t regret seeing Fantasmic. Since you’ve read my first post then you’ve split your day up and made sure to take your toddlers back to your room for a nap. However, if you have small children, you probably want to make sure you get a spot at the 9 pm showing.

How do you make sure to get a spot for the 9 pm Fantasmic show?

Why you reserve a Fantasmic Dining package of course! There are three restaurants to choose from: The Blue Bayou which is located inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, The Riverbelle Terrace which sits outside across from the Mark Twain boat and The Hungry Bear On The Go Package.

I’ve listed the order of most expensive to least. Having thoroughly researched each menu I’ve found that for my family, the Riverbelle Terrace or the Hungry Bear on the Go package is the best fit for us with easy Kids menu items.

You have to reserve your dining package online or by calling Disney dining. Once you fulfill your reservation, each person in your party will get a voucher to a reserved viewing area for Fantasmic that night! And if you make your reservation between 3-6:30p, then you automatically get a spot for the 9 pm showing!

Pro-tip, if you get to the 9 pm Fantasmic, then you can see the 9:30 pm Disneyland fireworks right from that same spot! Kill two birds with one stone! Ka-chow!!

Other Show Dining Packages

There are also dining package reserved viewing reservations for World of Color, the incredible nighttime show at California Adventure as well as a dining package at The Plaza Inn for reserved viewing of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade at Disneyland Resort. If you want convenience and plan to see all of these shows, it is definitely worth a look!

Rider Switch

Rider switch is an awesome service that the Disneyland resort has put in place to allow families that have small children under the height requirement of certain rides to still be able to switch off and get on that ride without having to stand in line all over again.

“With Rider Switch, one adult or supervising Guest (14 years or older) can wait with non-riders while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. Then, they simply switch roles to allow the supervising Guest to experience the attraction without waiting in the regular queue again.” This is awesome on rides such as Radiator Springs.

We pulled a fast pass for my son and husband to go on Radiator Springs while I waited with our baby girl. My husband told the cast member that we were going to do a rider switch, they scanned our tickets, and my daughter and I waited in the designated area for my husband and son to get off. Then we essentially switched and I was able to go right on next while my husband waited with our daughter. It is a great service that you should use so you are able to experience everything Disneyland has to offer even with babies in tow.

Better Safe Than Sorry

For a minute think of me as Sadness from Inside Out. I’m going to be a downer for a split second and tell you that there has not been one time when I was at Disneyland where I didn’t hear or see a parent frantically panicking because they lost their child. Of course, they were found, but it is just so easy to do considering our kids can be like little disappearing ninjas that get lost in a crowd if you turn your head for one second.

I personally, make our kids get in the stroller (yes even my 5-year-old) almost every time we are walking to a new attraction or destination; mainly just to keep them wrangled. But to err on the safe side, it is smart to write your phone number on your kid’s arm in a sharpie or you can purchase something like these Safetytats! Safetytats are temporary tattoos that you can apply to your child’s arm that has your contact info on them in case of an emergency like getting lost. Click on the Better Safe Than Sorry link above to learn about Disneyland’s protocol for lost children.

Baby Care Centers

Did you know that part of Disneyland’s Guest Services is Baby Care Centers? They have everything you may need or have forgotten for the little Jack Jack in your life such as:

  • Nursing room with chairs
  • Changing room with tables
  • Feeding area with highchairs
  • Kitchen with microwave and sink
  • Main room with television, table, and chairs
  • Credit card vending machine offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, pacifiers, and over-the-counter medication.

The Baby Care Center at the Disneyland Resort is located near the entrance at Main Street next to the First Aid station. The Baby Care Center at California Adventure Park is located next to Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop and across from The Bakery Tour in Pacific Wharf.

Since you are already over there you might as well pop in for a yummy ice cream cone to cool down and sit for a few and then take a tour of the Boudin Bakery and sample some fresh sourdough bread!

Ready to take on the happiest place?

Ok, so by now, your head might be spinning. Who knew there was so much planning that goes into a trip to Disneyland? Well, don’t be such a guppy Flounder! Now that you have read part 1 and 2 of my tips on How To Survive and Thrive in Disneyland with Toddlers, you are basically the Hercules of planning ahead to truly make your trip amazing at the happiest place on earth.

”Come with me where dreams are born and time is never planned. Just think of happy things and your heart will fly on wings forever.” -Peter Pan


Christina Jacobsen was raised in Reno where she attended Wooster High School followed by the University of Nevada, Reno. She graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Christina is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty Sparks. She is very active in the Real Estate community. From the Board of Directors for the Women’s Council of Realtors as The Director of Programming and a member of the top 20% Associate Leadership Council at Keller Williams Realty Sparks. Above all, Christina is most proud to be a mommy to Colin (5) and Olivia (3) and wife to Colin. She loves all things Disney, especially Disneyland, spending time with her family and working out.


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