We have been to both Disneyland and Disney World before but not since the Twins were able to enjoy it. A double birthday is the perfect excuse for a trip and I couldn’t wait to see what they would make of it. Were they too young to have fun in the crowds? Would they be able to absorb all the Disney magic? Is it worth the money and stress at that age?
When we booked the trip we had no idea the Disney Christmas Parade was starting the same week, what a wonderful surprise when we arrived to find Disneyland in full festive swing!
We made it through the terrible twos and we’re now the proud parents of three year-old twins. It has been a tough year but we wanted to celebrate the Boys birthday in style so booked ourselves a trip to California! We were lucky to have my brother and family join us, so Arthur and George had their sister and two cousins with them to share the Disney fun.
We went to LA for a long weekend and only went to Disneyland for the day, I’m not sure I’m brave enough for a two day pass yet, ha! We had an awesome time and I wanted to pass on our wins and tips if you are considering going. I know many twin moms worry about big trips with young ones, it’s exhausting I know. But there is lots for them to enjoy if you take your time and enjoy!
Make the Most of Being Under 3yrs
Disney is not easy on the wallet. I personally think Disney parks are great value for money if you cram everything in, but that’s difficult to do with young ones. Everything is slower with two threenagers in tow! So… we were budget savvy and went to Disneyland the day before the Boys third birthday. $200 saving right there 😉
Eating at Disney
My brother and his wife carefully packed a backpack of sandwiches and snacks in the morning. With larger families this saves a lot of money on lunch. I personally took a snacks like applesauce, granola bars and raisins but picked up lunch inside the park. With the boys on a gluten-free diet the options were very limited… something that doesn’t come in a bun please Disney! Luckily I was prepared with a few slices of Gluten-free bread and the Boys had hot dogs, chips and yogurt for lunch… very happy.
If I was going again I’d probably book in advance at one of their restaurants. The casual food is a little disappointing and although it’s the pricey choice it would have been nice to have early dinner before the parade began. We tried but everywhere was fully booked.
Christmas is the Best Time to Go with Little Ones
We have been to Disney with Elsie a couple of times before, but both times in the summer. I would definitely suggest going in the winter months:
- The temperature. It is much easier to layer up and stay warm than cool off young children in summer.
- Daylight. We have never managed to stay in the park long enough to see the castle lit up. In November it got dark around 5pm, giving us a bit of the evening magic without having to keep the kids up late. And not only was the castle lit, but it was also in full Christmas lights, and the parade was truly magical!
- Christmas shopping. There are lots of unique clothing and gifts in the stores during Christmas. Christmas sweaters galore! The perfect chance to pick up some adorable gifts for the Holidays.
Top Disneyland Hits with (Nearly) 3 Yr-Old Boys
When I think of Disney I think of rides. I’m a thrill seeker and love a good roller coaster, I always have. When I was a kid I was less interested in the parade and more fixated on stretching as tall as I could to reach those height restrictions. Sadly, my daughter is terrified of most rides so I’ve learned to appreciate the other side of Disney. Here were the Twins favorites:
- The show at the Fantasyland Theatre. All five kids had a blast at the show, and the Boys went crazy for Mickey popping in and out of different worlds. The singing, dancing, and effects were fabulous and the length of the show was perfect. I am yet to take the Twins to a formal show because I don’t think they’d sit through a full theatre production. They were blown away by the magic and Arthur hopped off my lap at one point to have a little dance.
- Mad Tea Party. You knew it was coming… who doesn’t love the teacups? Young kids love the interaction aspect of spinning the centre of the cup to go faster. So much fun!
- Meeting Mickey. The Twins are Mickey fans so we knew we had to face the line for a family photo. What I love about the line at Mickey’s house is there is lots to see and interact with along the way. We waited 40mins to meet Mickey but it was made easy by the interactive setting and the Mickey videos to watch while we waited.When we met Mickey the Boys werem’t sure what to do. They gawped and poked at him for a while before the photo and as we left George turned and blew him a kiss. Everyone melted as Mickey blew kisses back and both boys were giggling and blowing kisses back and forth. Too cute, thanks Mickey.
- The Disney Christmas Parade. I wasn’t sure if they would handle the crowds or be able to control the urge to leap into the path of Santa’s float. But we ate some dinner in the stroller while we waited and the ladies in front were kind enough to make space for the Twins to sit on the curb. They were perfectly behaved and loved every moment! Everything from the dancing snowmen to the Princess floats to Santa himself was a hit!
Nap-time Madness & Strollers
My boys still nap, so I knew it was going to be an issue. It did get a little crazy, but they did eventually nap in the stroller… something they haven’t done in over a year. Lunch and walk, walk, walk. Even if it’s a 20min power-nap, it makes all the difference.
Whatever you do, take the stroller! The Twins haven’t used the stroller in about 6months and I don’t even keep it in the car anymore. But the scale of Disney is enough to take an adult to bed early, let alone little ones. You can rent them but if you have one, take it!
Happy 3rd Birthday Boys!
The next day we took it easy in our rental home. We opened pressies, went for lunch and had cake in the evening after a monster birthday nap. Overall the trip was a birthday hit and I’d definitely recommend it as a way to celebrate your 3yr-old’s birthday. Just be budget savvy and go the day before!