A local’s ultimate guide to what to pack for Disneyland California with a baby or toddler (2022)

disneyland california

A local’s ultimate guide to what to pack for your baby’s trip to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park

Are you fearing the logistics of your first vacation to Disneyland California and wondering what to pack for your baby or toddler? We all know how difficult it is to pack and get out the door with children, whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned parent. And if you’re headed to Disneyland, you want to be sure you’ve packed everything you’ll need for a full day of fun.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of what you need to know before visiting the happiest place on Earth and what to pack for Disneyland California with a baby or toddler.

About Disneyland

First, a few quick words about Disneyland California. There are two parks: Disneyland Park and Disneyland California Adventure Park. They are located right next to each other in Anaheim, California, approximately 40 miles from Los Angeles International Airport.

Our packing tips are appropriate for either Disneyland Park or Disneyland California Adventure Park.

What to pack for a trip to Disneyland

First of all, let’s do a quick list of the essentials that you’ll need for your baby’s trip to Disneyland. Of course, all kids are different and what works for you and your kid might not work for another. But in general, the following items are more or less universal life-savers that every parent should pack for a trip to Disneyland.

Electronics

  • Power bank
    Trust us, there’s nothing worse than a low-battery phone, so bring a power bank. These days they’re lightweight and don’t take up much space in a backpack.

Baby essentials

  • Babywipes
    A must for just about anything even if your little one is potty-trained. Make sure to bring a few convenient travel-size packs.
  • Diapers
    And plenty of them! The baby Center at Disneyland also sells essentials in case you forget to pack something.
  • Disposable diaper pad
    Because.. public restrooms, right. We always pack a few disposable diaper pads for trips and outings.
  • Sunscreen or sunhat
    It can get really hot during the summertime—especially for your little ones.
  • Extra pacifiers
    Also, consider bringing a few pacifier wipes. These ones are made with 100% food-grade ingredients and are great for wiping down teethers and pacifiers.

Practical things

  • Ziploc bags
    Great for dirty clothes and pretty much everything else.
  • Hand sanitizer
    Especially if you have a toddler since your little one will be touching pretty much everything.
  • Sunscreen or sunhat
    It can get really hot during the summertime—especially for your little ones.
  • Extra clothing
    Always, always pack extra clothes for your little one—and for yourselves.
  • Backpack / light bag
    A good backpack comes in handy for essential items and when you have kids, it’s a life-saver to be able to quickly get a baby wipe, snacks, and you name it, within seconds.
  • A jacket or a hoodie
    Even if the forecast looks promising, it can get surprisingly chilly in the morning and at night in Southern California.
  • Rain poncho or umbrella
    This one might be self-explanatory but make sure to check the weather forecast the day before. For some reason, umbrellas are allowed while selfie-sticks are considered dangerous and aren’t allowed in Disneyland.

Food preparation

  • Water bottle
    And also consider a bigger bottle for yourselves.
  • Snacks (and plenty of them!)
    Avoid snacks that can melt and go for non-messy snacks such as crackers, goldfish, bananas, etc. They are easy to bring (and eat) and are always a hit. And best of all, bringing your own snacks will save you a lot of money.
  • Baby bottles and formula
    There’s a baby center at Disneyland with a kitchen where you can prepare your formula or warm milk.

Transportation

  • Stroller
    There is a lot of walking in Disneyland so a stroller is a must. Also, see the section on bringing a stroller to Disneyland.
  • A folding blanket for watching the parade
    Bring a blanket to sit on. The parade is very popular and many guests start securing spots 45 minutes before the parade takes place.
  • Baby carrier for the younger babies
    We enjoy the Solly Wrap for younger babies because it keeps your baby close to you while leaving your hands free. This is especially useful if you have a rambunctious older sibling running around.

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What to pack for Disneyland California with a baby

Now that we’ve gone through the essentials and what to pack for Disneyland California with a baby or toddler, we’ll go through the most frequently asked questions that parents ask about Disneyland California. Read on for more about parking, whether you need a stroller, and if you can bring food and beverages to Disneyland California.

Can I do quick runs to the parking lot if I forgot something?

The short answer is no. Parking is a bit away from Disneyland California. There are three major parking lots (Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, Pixar Pals Parking Structure, and Toy Story Parking Area) and they are all located a bit away. So either you go by tram from the Toy Story Parking lot to Disneyland or you have to walk 15 minutes via a dedicated walkway from the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure and Pixar Pals Parking Structure locations.

Downtown Disney District Parking is also located a bit away. So, please don’t rely on quickly getting something from the car. Get everything with you and don’t expect to do a quick diaper run to your car.

TIP: If you’re staying in a nearby hotel or Airbnb, we highly recommend taking a cab or uber to avoid the expensive and inconvenient Disneyland parking.

Can I bring my own food and beverages to Disneyland?

Yes, you’re allowed to bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages to Disneyland. We also think it’s a good idea to pack snacks, a few pouches, and some sandwiches even if you’re planning on purchasing food at Disneyland. The lines can be long and if you have a hungry toddler then you definitely don’t want to be in a situation where there is a 30-minute wait while you’re little one is having a meltdown.

Should I bring a stroller to Disneyland?

Yes! We highly recommend that you bring a stroller. There is plenty of ground to cover and having a stroller at Disney is a lifesaver because it allows you to store items that you wouldn’t want to carry (packed lunches, water bottles, diaper bag, you name it.) And of course, a stroller is great for taking naps or if your child is too tired to walk.

Are there any restrictions for strollers in Disneyland?

Disneyland doesn’t allow strollers larger than 31″ (79 cm) x 52″ (132 cm). In addition, wagons are not permitted.

You can also rent strollers that may be used throughout Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and the Downtown Disney District. The prices for stroller rentals are $18.00 per day for one stroller and $36.00 for a double stroller. There are some disadvantages to renting a stroller. First, rented strollers are not quite as comfortable or easy to maneuver (though they get the job done.) Also, note that rented strollers are also not allowed into the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort or onto parking lot trams or buses.

How to change a diaper at Disneyland?

Dreading changing a dirty diaper in a public restroom? Luckily at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, there is a Baby Care Center that offers a quiet space for guests with babies to nurse or change diapers. At Disneyland Park, The Baby Care Center is located near the entrance at the end of Main Street, next to First Aid. At Disney California Adventure Park, The Baby Care Center is conveniently located next to Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop.

At the Baby Care Center they have:

  • Private nursing room
  • Shared changing room
  • Quiet space for moms who need to pump
  • Toddler-size toilet stalls for those in training
  • Feeding area with highchairs and a small kitchen with sink, bottle warmers, and microwave
  • It’s also possible to purchase diapers, wipes, sunscreen, pouches, and other necessities

There is only one Baby Care Center and at times the lines can be rather long. We wished there was at least one more in the park (if not at Disneyland then where else?) If you’re only changing a pee diaper then you don’t necessarily have to walk across the entire park to the Baby Care Center and one of the restrooms will do just fine. There are baby changing stations in most Disneyland Resort restrooms and most of them are clean and convenient. That said, when using a public restroom, we feel it makes it a bit more sanitary to put down a few disposable diaper pads.

Mickey - what to pack for Disneyland California with a baby

What not to bring to Disneyland

  • Selfie-sticks or hand-held extension poles for cameras or cellphones
  • Glass jars (excluding baby food jars)
  • Wagons and stroller wagons
  • Strollers larger than 31″ (79cm) x 52″ (132 cm)
  • Folding chairs
  • Horn, whistles
  • Alcoholic beverages

See the complete list here on Disneyland’s website

Top 3 best advice for planning a trip to Disneyland

Our best advice for planning a trip to Disneyland is to:

  1. Pack everything the day before in order to reduce stress in the morning. That means putting the stroller in the car, packing your backpack and diaper bag, and preparing snacks, lunch boxes, and water bottles, so they’re ready to grab the morning of departure. We suggest having two bags: a bag with the essentials (diapers, wipes, pacifier, snacks) that you can grab quickly and another one for all the other times that you can leave in the stroller.
  2. Fully charge your phone and make sure to bring a power bank. It may sound obvious but trust us, you don’t want to have your phone run out of battery! You’ll be using your Disneyland app a lot which drains the phone battery quite a bit (plus of course all the pictures you’ll be taking!)
  3. Wear comfortable, worn-in shoes (again, you’ll be doing a lot of walking) and dress in layers for colder or warmer weather.

TIP: We recommend leaving prior to fireworks if you think your baby would not react well to them. Not only will you be avoiding a crying child, you’ll save yourself from the mad rush of people exiting the park once the fireworks have ended. Main Street is still flodded with people leaving the park even shortly before the fireworks.

And there you have it. The a local’s ultimate guide to what to pack for your baby’s trip to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park as well as everything you need to know before going to Disneyland.

Have fun!

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