Tips for Taking Littles to Disneyland

disneyland

It’s been almost a year since Ben turned two. For his second birthday we went to Disneyland. It feels like every day I run into a parent telling me they’re planning their first trip to Disneyland.  I’m going to share with you my tips and advice for your first trip to Disneyland with your children.

  1. Choosing your hotel.  We went for two days. We stayed off property in a nearby hotel that was only half a mile away. The hotel had a free tram to Disneyland. Most hotels nearby have a free tram to Disneyland and are half price compared to the hotels on Disneyland’s property. However, with that being said there is a lot of convenience to staying on property. It does take two trams to get to Disneyland. With two babies under two years old and all of the stuff we had to bring it would’ve been more convenient to stay on property for sure.   If you’re going to Disneyland and trying to keep a budget then I recommend staying off property, but if you’re concerned about handling the two trams then it might be worth it to pay the extra money and stay on property.
  2. Take advantage of stroller rental.  Immediately upon getting through the gates at Disneyland we had to take our second tram. The first day we drove our car and parked at Disneyland. You can purchase a discounted parking pass online when you purchase your tickets. The parking lot is pretty far from the entry into Disneyland. This presented an issue for us, our double stroller, and all of our stuff. We had to collapse the double stroller, put the boys on the bus, and also carried the double stroller on the bus-it took up a lot of room.  The second day that we visited Disneyland I went by myself with my boys. As you enter Disneyland there is stroller rental which is rather affordable. So I simply wore Adam in a baby carrier all day and had the stroller for Ben.  The strollers that they have at Disneyland are large jogger style strollers with a good amount of storage. img_4986
  3. Get your celebration buttons!  For special events there are buttons you can wear as a group that lets the Disney characters know that you are celebrating. We all wore Happy Birthday buttons to celebrate Ben’s birthday and characters spent a little bit more time with my boys because of it. We were given these free buttons as soon as we entered Disneyland.  Just ask at the first kiosk you see.
  4. Dress comfortable. I highly recommend having your kids wear long, light clothing as the Disneyland chairs, rides, and changing tables are heavily trafficked public areas.  Wear sneakers, hats, and bring sweatshirts for the cool California nights!img_5026
  5. Bring supplies from home. Take hand sanitizer and use it repeatedly, take sunscreen, water bottles,and snacks. The food at Disneyland is expensive. You can cut costs a lot by bringing some sandwiches and some water bottles.  Our hotel also had a complimentary breakfast that we took advantage of every morning.
  6. Kids love meeting the characters!  To see and interact with the most characters definitely check out the restaurants. We went to Goofy’s Café and the boys were able to meet Mini Mouse, Chip and Dale, and Goofy.  The boys had a truly magical experience there. We ate there one night and the next night we just ordered pizza to our hotel room. It’s definitely worth a splurge.
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  8. Get a free line hopper app.  I did not plan on standing in line for hours on end with two babies under two years old to go on rides. So I downloaded a line hopper app and used it the whole time. I also recommend bringing a back up battery pack for your phone so you can charge it throughout the day. Between the battery running out for pictures and the line hopper app it’s good to have a back up.
  9. Nap time.  For nap time I did not go back to the hotel. If the boys were tired I would just take a break have a snack some water relax with my phone somewhere shady. Whichever boy was tired I put him in the stroller and let him relax.
  10. Cool off at the shows.  There are so many free entertaining shows on property and it’s one of the best ways to stay cool in the summer sun. We were at Disneyland in the end of June and it was so hot and humid! We went to every single one of the shows and despite my boys being very young, their jaws were on the floor at each show. They sat quietly and paid attention as soon as the characters came onstage. Most shows run about 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
  11. Cool off and shop!  We didn’t do too much shopping but on property there is the world’s largest largest Disney Store. So I had to check that out! They have items there that I’m not gonna find here in Vegas at the mall or online. I definitely think it’s worth splurging on and it’s another way to cool off! 

DIY Mickey Mouse Art Projects

Mickey Mouse ArtA couple months ago I was visiting a dear friend who had some extra canvas sitting around her house. I took a square shaped one that was already pre-stretched and it had a gyclee on it home with me with the intention that I would be using this for a Mickey Mouse DIY painting project to be hung in Ben’s big boy bedroom. Being that the canvas already had a giclée on it I went ahead and used a paint primer that I picked up at Lowe’s. If you’re trying to do this project you can also use a few layers of gesso and a sponge brush.   I did about four coats of the primer using a house painting brush and allowing each coat to dry in between. I was very careful that the coats were thin and even. I also painted the sides.

 Once that was done I made my circle templates out of craft paper just tracing around a large sized salad bowl and a cereal bowl twice.  I cut them out and taped them down flat onto the dry canvas.  After that I began splattering paint in yellow, red, and black across the canvas.  Tip: You want to make sure when you’re doing this to start with the lightest color to the darkest allowing each color to dry completely before adding another color otherwise the colors will run into each other and you’ll get a murky look.



I made sure to let some paint drip down the sides as well.  I let the painting dry overnight. I was able to hang it up with Command Strips that I placed in each corner. Then I bought these cute wall decals from Babies R’ Us that I stuck on the wall underneath the painting.

Moving onto the numbers that I painted Mickey Mouse style. I bought the numbers and the wood circles from Michael’s. The Mickey Mouse wall plaque I got from Amazon.

The numbers were really easy to make but do require a little bit of painting skill. You could also apply the same method with the wooden circles for ears and the colors to letters if you want to make a name plaque or the ABC’s.

The numbers came already primed with white paint. I simply taped off the bottom of each number so I would get a clear edge when I painted the yellow coat of paint. While I waited for the paint to dry I used Gorilla Glue to glue the wooden discs onto each number for mouse ears.  Once the yellow paint was dry I carefully removed the tape. I recommend using painter’s tape. If you don’t have painter’s tape you can use masking tape but you do run the risk of a peeling off part of your acrylic paint and not having a clean edge. I taped off the middle of each number to paint the red paint, but before I painted the red I added yellow circles for buttons.


I painted on the red paint, allowed it to dry.  I then proceeded to tape off the top of the numbers to paint black.  After I allowed the red paint to dry I repainted the yellow buttons.  Sometimes when you’re painting you have to add another layer in order to have a nice clean edge. Another option if you don’t feel comfortable painting buttons on each number, you can purchase small yellow or white buttons and glue them on.  If you do choose to paint on the buttons I recommend using a very small paintbrush. For the rest of the project are used in medium size paintbrush. The project in all took me two evenings to complete. I used Command Strips to hang up the numbers and the Mickey Mouse plaque.  Ben really loves this display in his room. He practices counting his numbers in both English and Hebrew when he sees it.

I think having DIY accents in the room separates Ben’s Mickey Mouse themed bedroom from others.  I didn’t only rely on the same merchandise we see in every superstore, department store, and baby store.  I added unique pieces to give it a personal touch.  Art is a fun, inexpensive, and easy way to add a little DIY flair to your child’s room.

DIY Mickey Mouse Rocking Chair

rocking chair

When we decided to switch Ben’s nursery into a big playroom I knew immediately what the theme would be: Mickey Mouse. He’s obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse-it is his favorite show, we watch it every day. He has every Mickey Mouse toy you can imagine, and we went to Disneyland for his second birthday.  The problem was that we had nothing as far as Mickey Mouse furniture or even artwork. Along the way a friend of ours was selling their son’s red Corvette bed, which my husband picked  up for Ben as a Hanukkah present. It goes along with a Disney Cars painting we received for Ben’s first birthday.  I thought we could kind of combine Mickey Mouse and the car theme because the new show Mickey Mouse and the Roadster Racers is coming out and so it really works out perfectly.

This rocking chair was given to us by a friend who’s granddaughter outgrew it. It was a typical brown wooden rocking chair.  I saw a DIY Mickey Mouse painted chair on Pinterest this past fall and have been dying to replicate it. The first thing I did was paint the whole chair white with a primer I picked up at Lowe’s. I did two coats of white.  I allowed them to dry completely in between coats. My biggest piece of advice that I teach all my students when it comes to painting anything is to start with your lightest color and leave your darkest color for last. For this project I simply used acrylic paint that I purchased at Michael’s. I started with the yellow on the bottom of the rocking chair and the two circles on the seats for Mickey’s buttons.  The next step I did was the red seat which I had to be very careful painting-especially around the circles so that they still looked pretty smooth around the edges.

Tip: When you’re painting a piece of furniture it’s really important that you look at it from every angle, make sure that you get behind it in front of it you look on top of it facing downwards and you get underneath it and look up in between every single coat of paint. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ve missed!

Lastly I painted the black sections and added the black creases for the gloves on the handles of the rocking chair.  When you’re painting a piece of furniture  with several colors like this you want that the color will be opaque.  Stay away from semi-transparent, glossy, or pthalo type colors.  Once the rocking chair was finished I took it up to Ben’s room and I must say it has been a really great addition to his big boy Mickey Mouse bedroom. It’s a piece that definitely brings that theme of Mickey Mouse into the bedroom and completes the look. I’m glad I was able to do this on a budget-using a chair that I got for free and was already in my home, with small tubes of acrylic paint that I purchased only for a few dollars at Michael’s.  Just like the rest of our house our kids’ bedrooms are going to change over the years and it’s good to be able to do so while conserving money through DIY projects like this.