A few weeks ago we visited the Magic Kingdom as a family. It was Lola’s very first trip to Disneyland and our timing could not have been better given the happiest place on earth “just got happier.” Prior to giving birth we had decided that if we went to Disneyland we would at least wait until Lola was one or two. While our older daughter loves Disneyland (she’s just like her mama) we figured we probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much unless we waited. Additionally, given how difficult pregnancy was for me I knew attempting to go then wasn’t going to be in my best interest.
Finally, the idea of navigating a theme park with a baby seemed daunting to me especially given the last time I was responsible for a baby was over 8 years ago. Between crowds and lines I was convinced it would be too much work and not enough fun. Nevertheless, the opportunity presented itself and I knew better than to pass up an opportunity to go to Disneyland. My fear soon turned into excitement as I reminisced on my 8 year old’s first trip there at the age of two and given how much Lola loved her toy Minnie I couldn’t wait to see what her reaction would be to a life sized one! So, with mouse ears in tow we headed to Disneyland and California Adventure for a day of fun with family and friends. Here are some details from Lola’s happiest adventure to date.
Adventures with Lola: Fun at Disneyland and California Adventure
Click through for photos from Lola’s first trip to Disneyland and California Adventure!
People (Baby) Watching
Babies seem to really enjoy watching other babies. They stare, sometimes they giggle and smile or attempt to share a slobbery cracker. Occasionally they cry. Lola loved seeing all the children ranging from the tiny babies peeking out of their strollers and carriers to the excited big kids tugging at their parents’ arms eager to go say hi to Mickey.
Granted, she will have to grow into these personalized ones (I got Minnie ones like her big sister had) but it was fun watching Lola in her mouse ears headband. She also loved playing with mine and her sister’s whenever we were within her reach.
Who knew that water play was possible at Disneyland? I certainly didn’t. At least not for 8 month olds. Yes, there are rides that result in you walking around with soaked pants but even little ones can enjoy a little splashing. In California Adventure the leaky garden hose in “a bug’s land” was fun for toddlers to walk under all on their own or in their parents’ arms. A fountain in Tomorrowland resulted in some fun for all 10 of Lola’s toes.
Disneyland and California Adventure have so many rides that even smaller sized mousketeers can enjoy. It was fun watching Lola take in all that was around her. She was so observant. Some rides resulted in a straight face as I think she was caught off guard while a couple resulted in sweet baby chuckles. And since a lot of rides have music she was able to do her share of clapping too.
A Different View
For parents, often we are able to see the world quite differently when down on the ground with our little loves. For them I imagine time spent out of the stroller or carrier does the same. Throughout the day Lola got to see things from many different perspectives ranging from her carrier to her stroller. She was down low to the ground as we played in the fountain and up high as her daddy held her above his head and watched her giggle.
It’s Ok to Touch
Lola is still little but she is learning that there are some things that aren’t for touching. The fun thing about Disneyland is that there is so much to see and touch, things designed with little hands in mind. She had fun exploring and as she gets older I have a feeling Toon Town will become one of her favorite parts about Disneyland.
At one point, I decided to take a trip to the Baby Care Center so I could nurse Lola in a more quiet setting and, see a place I have heard so many moms raving about. While her stroller makes on the go diaper changes quite easy the Baby Care Center makes them even easier! There are rocking chairs for nursing, high chairs and tiny potties. There is even an area where you can purchase baby items you may have forgotten at home. The ladies who work there are the sweetest which made our time there even more pleasant! They also encouraged me to take a photo of Walt Disney when he was a baby.
Thanks to the “riders swap pass” Lola got plenty of one on one time with both me and daddy during the times we weren’t all together. The pass allowed one of us to stay with her while the other one rode a ride. This was perfect for us and our friends since there are some rides smaller children can’t get on.
There are countless opportunities to capture memories of your little one! Even so, chances are you will be so busy having fun that you will forget until you see Mickey or Minnie walk by. Some of my favorite moments were when Lola met some of the Disney Characters. She couldn’t stop staring!
Family adventures are my favorite! Now that we have Lola who is seeing and experiencing many things for the first time our adventures have become even more meaningful.
Lola isn’t going to remember the way she scrunched her face when she felt the cool water from the fountain on her toes or how she wiggled in excitement when we stood in front of the Magic Castle. She will forget how mesmerized she was when she saw Minnie Mouse or how she fell asleep when it was time to board the one ride I wanted her to see (“it’s a small world”), but I will never forget. I will forever remember the way her eyes lit up when she experienced a little bit of Disney magic for the very first time. No matter how young you are or how old you get there is something truly magical about this place. And what else is sweeter than watching your baby’s eyes light up because they see and feel the magic too?