There are so many fun new things happening at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park! Mila and I have been trying to go as much as possible to enjoy everything little by little with each visit. Just recently Disneyland Resort launched their “Get Your Ears On” celebration which is a tribute to Mickey and Minnie Mouse. There are cute decorations through out Main Street in Disneyland, incredible new themed food options and character greetings all over both parks! Plus a whole slew of brand new merchandise for every family member. (Even your puppies!) This “Get Your Ears On” celebration is in honor of Micky and Minnie’s 90-year legacy, it has been so exciting to get in on the party! If you are planning a trip to the parks this year you are in for such a treat.
Our favorite “Get Your Ears” on merchandise has obviously been the new Minnie ears. We have quite a collection of Minnie ears, a pair for every look. So far our favorites have been the polka dots and purple sequins which we are wearing here in these photos. I also have my eyes on the pink donut Minnie ears that are just too cute! You can check out all the new merchandise HERE.
One thing Mila and I have been anxiously waiting for is the start of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade! It came pack to Disneyland on January 25th with two brand new float additions! This parade has always been one of my favorites. Not because it is so much fun and filled with classic Disney movie characters and great music. I love this parade so much because I used to watch it with my son Ryan and now I get to watch it with Mila. Somehow in my mind it feels like I get to watch this parade with both my kids at the same time. Which is physically impossible I know, but very possible in my mind and in my heart. Mickey’s Soundsational Parade is a true gem and we will forever make time to watch it front row when we visit Disneyland. It is running daily right now so if you head to the parks be sure to make time to see it!
Mila and I are avid parade viewers and have nailed down our parade waiting with style and ease. Here are some of my go-to parade tips …
-We typically sit about an hour and half prior to when the parade begins. We choose to wait that long so we are guaranteed a front row spot, up close to the all the action. Waiting doesn’t bother me or my kids. I used to do the same thing with Ryan.
-We always bring a blanket to sit and relax on while waiting.
-Plan your parade wait time around when you and your family will eat or sit down to rest with a snack. We always eat a meal (lunch or dinner) while waiting for a parade. Mila likes to dance and move around right in front of me or play with her bubble wand. Sometimes I bring tiny coloring books. If we are not alone then my husband or myself will stay waiting in our parade spot while the other takes Mila on a ride or to go look at something near by. One thing I always say is when visiting Disneyland already have the mindset that you’ll be waiting for something more than a few times. Be prepared to wait and then have it pay off in the end. Disney never disappoints, so waiting for us is something we are more than happy with and used to.
-Plan ahead if you can. See what time the parade is showing and schedule your meal times around that. All the entertainment showtimes and locations are listed in the Disneyland App. Downloading that app before you go to the park is VITAL. It will show you the attraction wait times and character greetings too. I use my Disneyland app through out each of our visits to schedule our FastPasses and to see where certain characters are around the park. Mila loves visiting the characters. You can learn more about the Disneyland App HERE.
-The best spot to watch a parade in our opinion is Main Street. You can’t get a more iconic experience than that! There is something so special about watching a Disneyland parade floating down Main Street. PLUS, it is the best spot to spend some time in. Watching the people walk by and taking in the sights of each store front is so much fun. We almost always see something new each time. It is also very close to the children’s bathroom and filled with food options near by. Both are extremely convenient. **The children’s bathroom has tiny toddler sized toilets and is located within the Baby Center. The Baby Center is next door to the Photo Supply Shop on Main Street, to the right of the red corn dog truck. The Baby Center is stocked with anything you need if you run out (for purchase), private nursing rooms, changing tables and a small sink with a microwave to warm food/milk. There is also a Baby Center in Disney California Adventure Park near the entrance to the Pacific Wharf area.
On the topic of parades or park entertainment for that matter, the new evening show at Disneyland is probably one of the best experiences we’ve had within the park. Mickey’s Mix Magic is a brand new nighttime entertainment packed with dance worthy music, iconic Disney projections, lasers and snow. You can view Mickey’s Mix Magic on Main Street, Small World and on the Rivers of America. So far our favorite place to view Mickey’s Mix Magic is on Main Street. Mostly because they make it snow there during the intro and during ‘Let It Go’. Though watching it on Main Street more towards the entrance of the park makes for an easy and quick park exit when the show is over. The show is only ten minutes long and though the projections are really fun to look at, Mila and I just like to dance in the middle of Main Street like maniacs! It is such a fun and different Disneyland experience! We are so used to waiting to watch something. Mickey’s Mix Magic is something we wait for to do something, like dance and sing together. It is pretty fun and perfect for little ones! If you find yourself at Disneyland in the evening, this experience is a MUST!
I think most of you know about my churro obsession. I truly love a good churro from Disneyland and that sweet treat is almost always my first choice. Though right now there are so many new food options to try! My favorite being the cotton candy flavored Birthday Hat Macaron available at the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land. It is delicious and has a fun sprinkle surprise in the center! A few other favorites on our list include the Frozen Strawberry Horchata from Rancho Del Zocalo in Frontierland and the Bavarian Pretzel from Troubadour Tavern in Fantasyland. YUM. You can check out the new Food Guide HERE. I’ll share as much food as I can as I try new things on Instagram too.
In efforts to help you more with all things Disneyland, this week I asked my friends on Instagram if they had any Disneyland questions. There were so many that came in, below are the ones that were asked the most!
FAQ’s From My Friends On Instagram
Q. Waiting In Attraction Lines With Toddlers. How Do You Do It?
Waiting in lines is something we are used to. Since I’ve been taking my kids to Disneyland since they were one year, waiting is something they know they have to do if they want to enjoy an attraction or have a good seat for some entertainment. Our wait time limit for rides is 20 minutes. Anything longer than that we skip or grab a FastPass for. I utilize Disney’s MaxPass on the Disneyland app which allows me to book FastPasses quickly from anywhere inside the parks. If we want to ride a certain ride that always has a longer wait time and doesn’t offer a FastPass like Peter Pan, then we get to the park right when it opens and ride that first. While we wait we just talk or play small games. Mila is really into Simon Says lately which passes the time. If I know we will be waiting twenty min I’ll plan it during a snack time and keep Mila busy that way. If Mila gets a little cranky about waiting in line, then I remind her what we are waiting for and how we have to patient and wait our turn. Because Mila understands what we are waiting for she rarely gets upset. If she does get upset then it usually happens towards the end of our visit and is a sign she is tired. If that happens we skip the line and head home for the day. I think so many parents do the waiting game differently and it is important to stick to what you know. Let your little one bring a small toy from home to keep him busy or small coloring books also work great. If you think your little one won’t last in line, I say try it first to see how they do. If it ends up being impossible then use FastPasses, try to go see a show (Mickey and The Magical Map is the best and the Princess shows at Royal Theater are great), and meet characters!
Q. When Is The Best Time To Visit?
Truly the best time to visit the parks in my opinion is during the Fall specifically October. I just love the decor, food and Holiday Haunted Mansion so much! The characters are in cute costumes and it is just so fun. The best time to visit for less crowds I believe is right now, January through Spring time! Most are back in school and the weather is cooler. I’ve been twice now on a Tuesday back to back and it wasn’t crowded. No matter the day or time you will have to wait in a line at some point! Just remember that. Be prepared for that. To maximize your time arrive prior to when the park even opens so you are first in line when the entrance rope drops! I’m not kidding, if we get there early we are typically there about an hour before the gates even open. Getting there that early ensures minimal wait times and allows you to snag FastPasses for attractions that run out of FastPasses quickly. If you are planning a trip to the park get there before it opens and use the Disneyland app to plan your day!
Q. The Best Toddler Rides (In Mila’s Opinion)
A. The best part about Disneyland is that your little ones can enjoy most every ride. Plus, once they hit 40 inches tall they can start going on the big kid rides like Soarin’, Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain. For the roller coaster type rides they have to be a bit taller. All the height requirements are listed on the Disneyland website. Be sure to check prior to your visit so you can plan to hit certain rides and rule out the ones your children won’t be able to get on. Our go-to rides are; The Little Mermaid, Winnie The Pooh, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Small World, Tea Cups and Casey Jr. Now that Mila is passed 40 inches tall we’ve added Star Tours and Thunder Mountain into our ride rotation!
Q. Character Dining. Worth It With Little Ones?
A. Honestly, we LOVE character dinning. It can be a bit a pricey especially if you have a picky eater on your hands. Though the experience is so worth it. I’d say Storytellers Cafe at the Grand Californian Hotel and Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel are our favorite places to dine with the characters. We always go for breakfast and fill up for the day. The characters come around a bunch of times for photo ops and to play a bit with your family. So if you are worried about not getting to see the characters much, don’t! They come around quite often to your table, no matter where you sit! Character dining is also such a fun experience for birthdays too.
Q. If You Could Only Visit One Park In One Day With Your Husband And Kids Which One Would It Be?
A. I’d always choose Disneyland. If you can only do one park, do Disneyland. It is such a classic experience and in my opinion there is just a ton more to do for the little ones. I’d plan a yummy character breakfast in the early morning before the park opens. Then visit Fantasyland first as it tends to get more crowded as the day goes on. I’d stop for a show either Mickey’s Magical Map or a show at the Royal Theater. Snag a spot for the parade and eat lunch while waiting for the parade to start. Ride a few more rides and greet characters then finish the night with Mickey’s Mix Magic.
Q. Top Three Sweet Treats!
A. I’m always going to choose a churro. Right now the park is offering a yummy sweet and spicy churro option called Burning Love. You can get that at the churro cart in New Orleans Square. There is also a fun Celebration churro drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkles located at the churro cart in ToonTown. Next I’d have to say the Cookies and Cream milk shake located at Schmoozies in Disney California Adventure. The Birthday Hat macaron located at the Cozy Cone motel. Ok, last one, the “Get Your Ears On” funnel cake fries located at Award Wieners! Also, don’t forget to grab a Food Guide at any information booth within the parks! That will show you more options and where to find them.
Q. Top Five Things To Do That Are NOT Rides.
A. Our favorite thing to do is watch parades. Currently we love Mickey’s Soundsational Parade that runs everyday. We also love the night time entertainment. Right now it is Mickey’s Mix Magic, though Fantasmic will return soon. Mickey’s Magical Map show is the BEST! It runs a few times a day so you can easily fit that into your list. The Princess shows at the Royal Theater are hilarious and worth a see. Those run in the early afternoon a few times so you can also fit those easily into your schedule. Over at Disney California Adventure there is the live Frozen show and Disney Junior Dance Party too that we love! Lastly, Mila lives for seeing the characters. They are all over the park and just so exciting to interact with. Use the Disneyland app to see when and where the characters will be around.
That is it for now! If you have anymore questions I’d be happy to answer them in the comments below. I’ll also continue to share our Disneyland adventures of Instagram! @babyboybakery
Photos by Lily Ro Photography