Do's and Don'ts with young children at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure

Visiting Disneyland
Visiting Disneyland / Mario Tama/GettyImages
1 of 4

Visiting Disneyland is supposed to be a magical experience for all, especially younger children. Let's be honest, the whole place is really designed to be this amazing place that children smile, have a twinkle in their eye, and remember for their whole lives. I recently took my wife and two boys, who are 4 and 6, to the Disneyland Resort for the first time. We have been to Walt Disney World multiple times and wanted to test out the Disneyland. I tried to do all the research before visiting to ensure that our visit was as magical as possible for our 4 days in California.

Keep in mind that everyone's experience at Disneyland is different and my focus for this article is strictly on Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. What worked for my family may be different for another family dynamic. What was good for our family with younger children and what were some things that should be avoided? Let's take a look at some things that you should or shouldn't do with your family at Disneyland.

Things that you should do with younger children at Disneyland:

Do enjoy Popcorn... Water... Snacks...

Disneyland can be such a long day for children. I sometimes forget that my kids cannot go hours without eating and drinking the same way that I can. Having snacks, like popcorn, oranges, and small amounts of hard candy, and water readily available helped make our trip more successful. With a partially full belly, my family was able to keep going to the next attraction or meal reservation and have a great day.

Do meet the Characters!

I was not prepared before visiting Disneyland about how many characters would be available to talk to and take pictures with. When I first started walking through the park, I would ask my kids if they wanted to get a picture with characters, but I learned that I was more successful if I just would get in line and meet the character myself. My wife and I would interact with the character, and my kids, who were pretty nervous about coming up to a character, were more comfortable with us standing with them. We had a great time meeting characters like Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, Dug, Woody, Jessie, and even Red from Pirates.