Fall is my favorite time to visit Disneyland because the weather is still warm in California, and it’s not too hot like the summer months.  I especially love visiting Disneyland and California Adventure in October because of the Halloween themed decorations.  (It’s one of my favorite holidays.)  My family loves coming to Disneyland, and we’ve been coming here for as long as I can remember.

Visiting Disneyland with a One-Year-Old

I recently came to the park with my sister Nicole and my nephew Niko.  He’s only one, but he’s already been three times! She says it’s never too early to visit Disneyland.  During his first two visits, he wasn’t walking yet.  This time Niko was able to meet Mickey inside Mickey’s House in Toontown, and walk around and soak in all the fun.  He loves cars so you can imagine how excited he was when he saw them driving around California Adventure. Pure joy!

Here’s what I learned about the experience.

Enjoy the park through their eyes.

Even though he had already been there before as a baby, everything was new to Niko this time around.  Although he might not remember it now, he had the biggest smile when he met Mickey and Goofy.  It lit up his world to see his favorite characters in real life.  Remember to slow down and take it easy.  There is no rush.  You won’t get to do everything, but remember the trip is about them, not you.

Bring plenty of food and water.

Although the parks have plenty of places where you can get snacks, it’s easier if you bring your own inside a backpack. This way, you won’t have to wait in line for food, and you’ll already know that your kids will enjoy what you brought. Hungry Bear restaurant inside Critter Country had a nice quiet environment, and they have high chairs for the kids.

I used the Disney app to order food in California Adventure and was able to skip a very long line.  The app is so simple to use, and it will let you know when your order is ready.

Pack light.

I usually bring a sweater just in case it gets cold at night, but when you are traveling with a child, you need so much more than that.  My sister confessed that she overpacked a bit, but she wanted to be prepared.  Keep in mind that you’ll have to carry whatever you bring with you unless you leave it in the stroller or a locker.  You can’t bring your stroller everywhere you go, so you’ll have to park it with the hundreds of other strollers there. Be sure to remember where you left it.

Don’t forget a blanket to cover up the stroller when your kids are sleeping. Sunscreen, wipes, and hand sanitizer are typically a good idea. My sister brought toddler headphones for Niko but didn’t end up using them.

Go with the flow.

Some rides have a height requirement, and it’s always a good idea to ask a cast member if you aren’t sure if toddlers are allowed.  Before we stood in line at Pirates of the Caribbean, we asked an employee if Niko could go and they told us everyone is a pirate! He loved it!  Winnie the Pooh was also a favorite for him.

We chose not to stand in lines that had a line longer than 40 minutes, and we also took a lot of breaks so Niko could eat, nap and run around.

Get in character.

Most people wear something Disney related when visiting the parks.  If you forgot your ears, you could buy some there.  Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be walking around for hours.  Be patient and remember you and your little one are visiting the happiest place on earth!

Visiting Disneyland with a one-year-old
Nicole and Niko at Disneyland

*Children under 3 get to go into Disneyland and the Disney California Adventure theme parks for free. Children between 3 and 9 receive a slight discount on the various types of admission.


Tips on visiting Disney with a one-year-old
Disneyland, California

About Author

Alejandra Cerball is a journalist, writer, and travel+ lifestyle blogger. Alex enjoys writing about travel, empowering women in business, wellness, and sustainable fashion. Follow on Instagram @alexcerball.

You might also enjoy: