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  • [Question] ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

    Hey all. Sometime in the next month my wife and I are taking our daughter down to Disneyland and we're frankly not completely sure what we can/should do with her.

    There's so much of the park that I'm familiar with, but it's a lot of stuff that skews older (Space Mountain, Indy, etc). I really don't have a lot of knowledge about pixie hallow, meet and greets, etc. My daughter currently LOVES Tangled and if she can stay up for it, we'd like to catch an early show of World of Color. But I'm starting to think about how to make the best use of time while we're there so she can see as much as possible that she might be interested in (and not know it yet).

    So what I'm in need for here is advice on how to plan our day trip in addition to things we can do with a two and a half year old who isn't known for standing in lines for too terribly long. =-)

    Thanks All.

    Mark

  • #2
    Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

    Well, first off, the brief list of rides I'd say that are appropriate/enjoyable for that age range: It's A Small World, the Disneyland Railroad, Winnie the Pooh dark ride, perhaps Alice in Wonderland, Storybook Canal Boats. Most of the rest skews loud/dark that you could take a child on without restraints, even Fantasyland rides (Mr. Toad, Snow White, etc). The line for the Tangled meet-and-greet can get pretty long as I recall, just from passing by/seeing posted wait times.

    If you are planning on doing child swap/one member riding the rides while other waits with your daughter, current practice for DL that I'd recommend is hitting Star Tours and Space Mountain as early as possible, likely after doing some Fantasyland area rides with your daughter. If not planning to swap out, however, feel free to disregard that advice entirely

    A good plan of action might be a breakfast on Main Street or outside the park prior to opening, going straight to Fantasyland and that area, then looping around the back way to Big Thunder Ranch (live goats and farm animals, seasonal displays) then around the river for the river vehicles, to Pooh over in Critter Country and possibly lunch at the Hungry Bear or New Orleans Square. That way should yield low lines, theoretically.

    From there, up to you, really, as the bulk of the rest of the park has mostly the dark/potentially scary combo for young children...a trip over to DCA might be in order, for the Little Mermaid ride and related things, if using a park hopper.

    Hope this helps!
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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    • #3
      Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

      Dark rides, meet and greets, and buy lots of stuffed animals. ^_^ I went for the first time when I was barely two years old... I don't remember a thing, but I have pictures of me in the stuffed animal pits haha! Little kids at Disneyland are so much fun, I hope you two do, too!

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      • #4
        Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

        At that age, our girls really loved the Tiki room and the Fantasyland rides. Be careful of Mr. Toad's, the last scene is scary for them. They also loved the characters. We started with Mickey Mouse since they knew him and the rest fell into place from there. We also did Minnie's Breakfast so they could see characters in a smaller setting. Pixie Hollow is fun for the little ones since it looks like you're in the grass. Billy Hill was a fun show for them even though they didn't understand everything (they liked watching the funny faces!) Even just walking around loooking at everything was fun for them. They remember watching the ducks and riding the vehicles on Main Street more than a lot of the rides.

        Pirates was fine for them then (but they are scared of it now) but they have always love the Haunted Mansion and of course, Winnie the Pooh. Be careful of the 3D movies, they scared our girls and they threw their glasses across the rows!

        At DCA, bugs Land should be good along with the "brother Bear" play area (I can't remember it's real name).

        Most importantly, go back to the hotel for a nap! I hated leaving the park each day but it saved our sanity and let the girls stay up a little later at night.

        Have fun!

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        • #5
          Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

          Originally posted by twingirlsmom View Post
          At that age, our girls really loved the Tiki room and the Fantasyland rides. Be careful of Mr. Toad's, the last scene is scary for them. They also loved the characters. We started with Mickey Mouse since they knew him and the rest fell into place from there. We also did Minnie's Breakfast so they could see characters in a smaller setting. Pixie Hollow is fun for the little ones since it looks like you're in the grass. Billy Hill was a fun show for them even though they didn't understand everything (they liked watching the funny faces!) Even just walking around loooking at everything was fun for them. They remember watching the ducks and riding the vehicles on Main Street more than a lot of the rides.

          Pirates was fine for them then (but they are scared of it now) but they have always love the Haunted Mansion and of course, Winnie the Pooh. Be careful of the 3D movies, they scared our girls and they threw their glasses across the rows!

          At DCA, bugs Land should be good along with the "brother Bear" play area (I can't remember it's real name).

          Most importantly, go back to the hotel for a nap! I hated leaving the park each day but it saved our sanity and let the girls stay up a little later at night.

          Have fun!
          When I was little, I would get so mad when my mom made me go back to the hotel for a nap!

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          • #6
            Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

            Here's what my 2 and half year old son likes at Disneyland:
            Disneyland Railroad (ride all the way around so you can see the dinosaurs);
            It's A Small World (he gets very excited, lots of pointing);
            All the Toontown houses;
            Any non-dark ride in Fantasyland (you will have to ride Dumbo, and don't spin the teacups too fast);
            Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise and Tarzan's Treehouse;
            Winnie the Pooh (I wouldn't go out of my way to see this, though).
            At DCA, not too much:
            the rides at "a bug's land" (you'll be bored) and the water play area there (bring her a change of clothes);
            Disney Junior stage show (lots of interactive fun for that age);
            King Triton's Carousel, Little Mermaid, and Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (some small sildes and a cave to explore on bottom level).

            Hope that helps. Have fun!

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            • #7
              Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

              NDJnr hated Peter Pan's Flight when he was 2! Cried all the way round.
              WDW - 1987 & 1991
              DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
              DLR - October 2011




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              • #8
                Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

                I went to disneyland for the first time when i was one.
                and my advice is at two and a half, meeting characters is more important than rides so meet lots of the characters
                and the only fantasy ride i would stay away from is Snow Whites Scary Adventures!
                I rode it when i was three and i never wanted on it again
                Have a great trip!

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                • #9
                  Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

                  Get lots of pictures - so in a few years when they try to play the "You never take me anywhere!" card you can easily rebut them. :lol:

                  You have to play the day by ear - Some kids have no problems with the Face Characters or the other Characters, others are totally terrified and you'll have to try to overcome it gradually - or worst case, avoid them. It's like some kids who have Clown or Mime phobias - you can't be sure what sets it off, but it does happen.

                  Same thing with dark rides or motion rides. Start with the very tamest things, then work your way up.

                  Oh yeah, you don't over-spin the Teacups when they are that young. You might even counter-spin it to keep a steady bearing and just loop around facing mostly one way.

                  --<< Bruce >>--
                  There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

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                  • #10
                    Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

                    My kids had their favorite ride and we would ride that ride 3 or 4 times. Dumbo and Small World were like that. When we took our first daughter at that age, we spent most of the day in Fantasyland/Toontown area. Felt like we rode Dumbo and the carousel a number of times that day.

                    Have fun, make sure to take some down time. We never stayed at hotels (my parent live about 20 minutes from the parks). We never left the park once we arrive, but we would let her sleep in her stroller while we rested in a quiet area.
                    Jeff made me famous!
                    From the Mouth of the Mouse.

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                    • #11
                      Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

                      My son is this age and we go all the time. I agree with most of the above advice. DS isn't even aware that the teacups spin. We told him the middle wheel was a "handle" he can hold on to and he isn't strong enough to spin it by himself. Same thing for the ladybug ride in Bug's Land at DCA.

                      DS is fine with Pirates but not HM--the scare factor is very individual, but keep in mind that in addition to Snow White and Mr. Toad, Pinocchio is also very scary--I'd forgotten how scary until he was terrified halfway through--particularly when Monstro comes at you all Jaws-fashion growing larger and larger like this:

                      Click image for larger version

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                      DS's other favorite rides include:
                      Autopia (he is now tall enough to steer)
                      King Arthur's Carrousel
                      Dumbo
                      Tea Cups
                      Small World
                      Astro Orbitor
                      Buzz Lightyear
                      Jungle Cruise
                      Tiki Room
                      Disneyland Railroad
                      Casey Jr. (it's like a beginning roller coaster)

                      Over in DCA he loves everything in Bug's Land as also really loves the ferris wheel in one of the non-moving cages. Definitely the Little Mermaid too--one of the non-scariest dark rides in the resort. We haven't done the Mark Twain yet. Also, Toon Town is a great place to blow off steam and to meet and greet Mickey & Friends.

                      For a little girl into Princesses, I'd recommend the coronation ceremony and storytelling at the Princess Fantasy Faire but not waiting in line for he M&G because you only meet 3 princesses. If she's really into princesses your best bet for pictures and autographs is going to be a character meal at Ariel's Grotto. DS isn't afraid of fur characters but it can be really tough for him waiting to see them. You can also look for the princesses at the castle's secret passages to Frontierland and Tomorrowland. For Rapunzel you'll want to go straight to the Tangled M&G (it's not a ride) in Fantasyland as soon as possible. And get on Dumbo ASAP too because the lines really back up there. She may also like the Storybook Canals if she's familiar with the classic movies. The Soundsational Parade is a good one, lots of color and movement for the little ones too.

                      My 3 biggest pieces of advice for parents with toddlers are these:

                      1) Make full use of the Baby Care Center. It has a ton to offer from very comfy changing tables to miniature potties if you're training. The CMs there are very helpful and can answer any of your baby/toddler related questions.

                      2) Honor your schedule. If she naps at home, you can't expect her to go a full day at DLR without a nap. If she can nap in the stroller, great, plan around that. If she needs a bed (like DS) then plan around that. If she's flexible getting up early, then do that. If she melts down when she doesn't get enough sleep, honor that. You cannot expect her to do anything she wouldn't do at home and do it happily.

                      3) Re-adjust your expectations. This is particularly for adults who are used to visiting the parks by themselves, but you're not going to do the parks the way you used to. Slow down and appreciate the little things. Take her to Snow White's grotto and let her drop a coin in the well and listen for Snow White singing. That ride you always thought of as boring can be a whole new experience when you're seeing it through her eyes. Stop for a real meal for lunch. Don't push her or yourself beyond your limits. If you miss something, chances are really good it's going to be there the next time you come too. Pick a few "must-dos" and be flexible about the rest.

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                      • #12
                        Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

                        Originally posted by ShelbyH View Post
                        3) Re-adjust your expectations. This is particularly for adults who are used to visiting the parks by themselves, but you're not going to do the parks the way you used to. Slow down and appreciate the little things. Take her to Snow White's grotto and let her drop a coin in the well and listen for Snow White singing. That ride you always thought of as boring can be a whole new experience when you're seeing it through her eyes. Stop for a real meal for lunch. Don't push her or yourself beyond your limits. If you miss something, chances are really good it's going to be there the next time you come too. Pick a few "must-dos" and be flexible about the rest.
                        Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner!

                        When my oldest was 2 and we took her for the first time, we never even made it into Tomorrowland or NOS. We spent almost the whole time in Fantasyland and Toontown.
                        Jeff made me famous!
                        From the Mouth of the Mouse.

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                        • #13
                          Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

                          Hey Everybody.

                          Want to thank you all for the great advice. The wife and I are so looking forward to doing this with our girl. So as I work from my home and my wife can get pretty much any day off she wants with a little notice, what day is the best to go do DL during the Week? We were thinking a Thursday or a Tuesday. Thoughts?

                          We figured we spend a lot of time with the princesses and fairies. So any additional information on that would be great. When do they do the coronation ceremony? And how often are the meet and greets done? Do I just hit the Guest relations when I get there to find out that day's events?

                          Speaking of events. The Parades. Was going to do at least one over the day, which one's the best? I've heard good things about the Soundsational Parade.

                          And Shelby - big thanks for the great write up. Lots off good info in there.

                          Mark

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                          • #14
                            Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

                            You will have a great time with her, even by not getting on many attractions. Choose those attractions which you all can get on, like the Mark Twain or Small World, Casey Jr., and the Carousel. That might be all you'll get on. The other times will be for the mandatory baby breaks at the Infant Center, taking pictures, and resting. But you'll be at Disneyland with your wife and daughter. That's the important thing.
                            I am old. But still love Disneyland.

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                            • #15
                              Re: ADVICE WANTED: Taking my 2 and a half year old daughter to DL

                              Take a read at this! Looks like this article will help you! http://micechat.com/blogs/vacationee...-toddlers.html

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