Is there such a thing as too young or too early to travel to Disneyland with your kids?
I’m here to tell you, there is such a thing! Before you start arguing your point of view I will already tell you that I agree with you. Yep you heard me right, I agree with you. Every family is different and this is just my thoughts on our Disneyland trip. Maybe you’ll learn from our journey or maybe you’ll try to prove me wrong.. either way doesn’t change how I feel about our trip. 🤪
It started when me and hubs got married in July after one year of dating and were deciding on where we should go for our honeymoon. Mexico? Typical Hawaii? But with blending our family together we ended up choosing to do a family vacation for our honeymoon instead. And so Disneyland was chosen. I mean rides, foods galore, favorite Disney characters, what more can our kids want, right?
So with me being the ultimate planner and budgeteer I planned out the details.
To save some money on plane tickets we decided to rent a car and do some sightseeing while we were there as well. Big mistake… but more on that later.
We chose to take 6 days off. 2 days for traveling. 3 days for the parks. And 1 day to go to the beach. Even if you are flying I would still recommend the same amount of days for the trip; 6.
The hotel we chose was only 15 minutes away from Disneyland and so much more cheaper than the actual Disneyland Resort hotels. I don’t remember the name of that hotel but it was purchased off of Expedia. I recommend choosing a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast and one that has a pool. I def do not recommend spending the extra money for the Disneyland resort hotels because our hotel had a shuttle available during convenient hours to take us to and from the park. Save the money for the food and souvenirs, you’ll need it. I promise you.
With hubs being in the military the Disneyland tickets came at a discount so we grabbed the 3 day hopper pass to both Disneyland and California Adventure. Along with the fast pass. You will not have enough time for both parks if you are there for a day or two. 3 day pass also allows you to enjoy more quality time and less stress. Also California Adventure is def worth going to. The fast pass also does help passing hundreds of people as well but be ready to wait an hour or more for popular rides or attractions. At the time we went we waited 3 hours for Frozen… Both passes are totally worth it. And I still recommend the 3-day hopper pass even if there are no discounts.
The car we rented was from Enterprise and seemed to be at a good price. Honestly I don’t remember what it was at the time. But what we rented was a full-size sedan. And I’ll tell you now it was NOT big enough for the 16 hour drive… yes it is actually 14 hours and 12 minutes per mapquest but I’m adding the countless amount of bathroom breaks we took including the meal breaks.
I would have to say the renting a car thing is the one thing I do NOT recommend to any families that are traveling with little ones. At the time our youngest was only 4, our middlest was 6, and our eldest was 7. Also the hardship we faced at the time was that our youngest suffered from stomachaches a lot and hadn’t yet been tested on the cause of it so she suffered through a few of them during our drive there. We did save money on renting the car but it’s not worth it. Fly instead if you have any kids under the age of 8.
The start of our journey began in the early morning of 3am. All the kiddos were strapped in and fell asleep within minutes as we drove off. Not before long one of our kids needed a bathroom break… and then another a snack break… and here I’m thinking this is going to be a long drive…
Close to 6 bathroom and meal breaks later we finally arrived at our hotel.. (hence why driving was not one of our best ideas)
With arriving at our hotel we instantly hit the pool to relax after a long hard drive. Which again totally recommend on choosing a hotel with a pool, especially if you’ll be in Cali with the warm weather.
After a good nights rest and some complimentary breakfast the next morning we hit the shuttle to go on our way to Disneyland! Now we thought hitting Disneyland at 9am was early enough but when we got there the lines were already ridiculously long. Make sure you buy your tickets ahead of time so you’ll get in the not so small line but def smaller than the other line.. and make sure you come earlier too..
We did hit most of the sights and rides on our first day but made sure in order to enjoy our time and not feel so hurried we left a bigger area to explore for another day.
As for food I recommend bringing snacks (fruit snacks, jerky, chips, & lots of water) in order to save a bit of money.. we did splurge a bit on the yummy food and if there is one food splurge I would recommend it would be the BIG turkey legs. They were so scrumptious!!!! I still remember how good they were 🤤… but we did use up our day well by staying there until it closed.
Also bring a stroller!! Especially if you have kids younger than 10. You have no idea how many times our stroller saved us from tired little feet, tears, and holding everything.
After our second day of attending California Adventure, on our third day we took a break and had a beach trip.. so worth it. Our feet were tired but we enjoyed the waves and sun. I do recommend taking a break for one day in between the 3 days to give your body a much needed break and rest.
With our last 3-day hopper pass we explored the last area we had left alone previously and finished the night with more rides at California Adventure. Again if you purchase less than 3 days for Disneyland/California Adventure then it will not be worth it and you will feel hurried. Sometimes you might not be back to Disneyland for many years or if ever so make all the time count.
So with that our trip to Disneyland was done. We spent one more night in our hotel and spent it poolside. One of my fav days. 😜 We headed back home and that was our first big family vacation and honeymoon.
Even while writing this I remember our trip and ALL that happened 😅 but one of our kids has already forgotten it. So again I do believe there is such a thing as too young for Disneyland. At least for our family. My recommendation is for your kid to be at least 7, at least if you wish it to be memorable for your kid.
Thank goodness for Shutterfly photo books of which I’ve captured all those memories for each one of my kids. While some of them might not remember it, the pictures are there to remind them of it forever! 💕
If you have any questions on our trip or need recommendations I will be happy to answer them for you, just message me!