Summertime is peak season for amusement parks, and for our fam that means Disneyland! We've been a few times so far this summer, and every time I've been, I've found myself pulling something out to hand over to a frazzled mama who forgot to pack it-- sunscreen, diaper, hair tie, tampon... I swear, sometimes I feel like a super friendly general store, and I live for it!
Thinking back on our last couple visits to the parks, I thought it would be fun to put together a little list of things that I think will help any mama and her fam survive a whole day at a Disney (or any amusement) park this summer!
If you are going to the parks with even a single toddler or small child, you are going to want, I repeat, you are GOING TO WANT a stroller. Just because your little can run circles around you on a daily basis does not mean they can hang with all the walking, sitting, waiting, and playing you're going to be doing at the amusement parks. Get yourself a stroller that is easy to handle, because the last thing you need is to have something hard to push when you're dealing with crowds. Get yourself a stroller that is easy to fold, and folds up nice and tight for when you're jumping from parking lots to trolleys. Get yourself a stroller that has a nice recline for your littles in case they want to snooze while you're walking around the park, and a nice sun shade to give them some relief from the sun. You're going to want a stroller that will fit the things you need, like water bottles, your bags, extra clothes, bubble wands, autograph books, like 20 park maps (kill me), and anything else your fam needs for the day.
The Baby Jogger City Select LUX Single Stroller is seriously going to make your dreams come true for a day out at the parks, and good news for you mama, right now The Baby Cubby is doing 15% off on the City Select LUX Stroller. Talk about good timing! This stroller has all the storage you'll need for a long day walking around, has a hand break, and a nice tight fold up. It also has a ton of different configurations for the seat and a nice deep recline to help your babe have a comfortable and fun day at the park!
I cannot stress this enough-- do not skimp on the bag packing. I am kind of always shocked at how often I am reaching into my bag every time I'm at an amusement park. You're going to want something that will hold not only your must-haves for the day (chapsticks, tampons, motrin), but also anything that your littles will need. I like having a bag with a nice wide opening, because I cannot stand digging through a bag that I can't see into. I also recommend going with a backpack because you're going to be walking from bathrooms to rides to lines and everywhere in between, and the last thing you need is an annoying weight on one side while you're sitting in the sun or waiting in line for a churro.
Bringing something with you to the parks like the Babymel Robyn Diaper Bag will give you the comfort that you want from a backpack, with nice thick straps, but it also has tons of storage space, inside and out! I love that it comes with a diaper changing pad and a bottle holder for easy to grab add-ons, and I love the external wipe dispenser, because I swear, if there is any food involved, my monster children's hands and faces are going to be covered in it, and I cannot live my life holding hands with a babe covered in ketchup. NO. The Robyn also has insulated pouches for bottles that can keep your drinks hot or cold for up to 4 hours, which can be so awesome if you're taking a little one who's still drinking breastmilk or formula, but is also awesome for keeping a couple cans of coke cold... just saying. Oh, and the stroller straps just make everyone's lives SO much easier. No more trying to wrangle it on to the stroller in just the right way--you just velcro it on, and you're good to go!
Food and Drinks
Okay, so never underestimate how much your kids are going to want to eat during the day, and how much they're going to need to drink while you're at the park. Pack snacks on snacks on snacks on snacks. Well, unless you're down to spend money on the park food, then forget the snacks. While that is totally a good way to go for a lot of families, my kids are little (4 and 2), so they're more than happy with a bag of goldfish and fruit snacks than they would be with a bag of mouse shaped beignets, you feel me? I always bring an insulated cooler bag with us just to make sure that I have enough cold space to pack enough drinks and snacks for a small army.
Since there are so many places where you can fill up with ice water at the parks, it's totally worth it to bring reusable water bottles with you! I swear we go through like 3 each by the end of a long Disney day! I also recommend bringing along something like the Snug Straws from Boon for your littles, because they fit on any standard size cup, but they'll keep whatever's inside from getting all over your kid or all over your stroller or all over you. Game changer.
Sun and Fun
Because you're going to be standing, sitting, walking, running, and dancing in the sun, you need (NEED) to bring sunscreen. I recommend bringing at least 2 bottles, or if you're bringing spray, then 2 cans. I bring a can of spray and a bottle of liquid, and a mini travel size. I know. I have an SPF addiction, and that's just how it is. Reapply every time your fam stops and sits for a water or bathroom break, and you can keep the burning to a minimum. I also think you should always bring a hat for every member of the fam. I can't tell you how many times I've burned my part on the top of my head because I just didn't think I would need it. Yeah... the peeling from that burn was a nice dandruff look for a couple weeks. Ew. Ball cap, sun hat, or wide brimmed-- doesn't matter, but they're so nice when the day gets hot!
Since there are always things that your littles will want to have at the park that all the other kids are running around with, I also find it super helpful for our fam to bring a couple of fun things with us into the park. Each of our kids have a bubble wand. And we always make sure the batteries are good to go and the wand is full of bubbles before we leave. I also like bringing things like stickers, or simple things like candy dispensers that they see in some of the gift shops and it's easy to pull out of your purse and costs PENNIES compared to what you pay for them at the parks. Just spending a few minutes before you head out for the day to make sure your kids have a couple things they can play with at the park will save you a lot of tears and a lot of dollars during the day!