Memories are what great Disneyland Resort vacations are made of for families of all ages. Whether it’s the thought of the first time you walked down Main Street, U.S.A., hand-in-hand or the first time you shared a spin in a tea cup on the Mad Tea Party. The smiles are vivid in your mind. You can still hear the sounds of laughter and shrieks of joy, and for a family with preschoolers, there is no better time than now to begin making memories with your child at Disneyland Resort!
Our Disneyland panelists, Anabel M. and Linda M., can speak firsthand about the magic of seeing Disneyland Resort through the eyes of a young child, as they are both moms of preschool aged children. “Taking my little one to the Disneyland Resort is like reliving my first visit over and over again,” said Linda M. “At her age, the excitement and wonder are 100-percent pure, and I know we are building memories that will last a lifetime. She can already recall details of attractions with clarity and certain songs will trigger specific memories of past trips—like ‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah’ and her first ride down Splash Mountain. Another thing I love about taking my daughter at this age is that we get to experience the excitement together! I feel like a kid again when we chat about certain attractions that we love, and she gets just as excited as I do about our next adventure. A special bond is made when we can both love something equally with her at age three and me at age 33.”
Anabel M., who confesses she carries a package of tissues with her on every visit, is often overcome with emotions as she watches her young boys interact with characters. “The memory that actually made me cry was the day when my oldest son and I were watching a parade and Pinocchio strutted over and shook his hand. My little one was ecstatic and told him, ‘Do you know I’m your buddy?’” Anabel explained, “I couldn’t help it, between smiles and laughs, I had tears rolling down my eyes. The innocence of my little boy and his bonding moment with Pinocchio was pure magic.”
For Linda, a self-proclaimed introvert, she admits she often became awkward and shy when meeting characters as a child, but not her little girl! “My daughter will march right up to each and every character to give them a hug and ask them to sign her autograph book. She wasn’t even apprehensive when meeting Darth Vader! She may have gone as far as agreeing to join the dark side, but we are working on that,” laughs Linda. “She really enjoys looking back at her autographs at the end of the trip, and those books have become some of our treasured keepsakes.” However, sometimes it’s not an attraction or a character that brings a smile to a preschooler’s face. Anabel and her family always stop by the Main Street Magic Shop before leaving the Disneyland Resort to get a dose of Disney magic tricks to end the perfect night!
Memories are precious, and recollections of your child at the Disneyland Resort will stay with you, and them, for a lifetime. However, Linda M. reminds parents of preschoolers to recognize the signs of tiredness, and when it’s time for a break, give those kiddos the downtime they need. “One of the great things about the Disneyland Resort is that everything is so close together. So when it’s time to head back to the hotel for a nap, it’s just a short walk away. Or if too much pent-up energy is the culprit, we head to Mickey’s Toontown and let our daughter run around Donald’s Boat, Goofy’s Playhouse and Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse to burn off some steam,” she said. And for you parents with a little one who loves to play dress up, Linda suggests carrying an “extra outfit.”
“One of my other go-to tricks to turn a frown upside down is to carry a princess dress in the backpack. Sometimes something as simple as a costume change can completely transform my daughter’s attitude. After all, who wouldn’t want to prance and twirl around like a princess while walking through Sleeping Beauty Castle?”
For more preschooler tips or to ask questions about planning your upcoming Disney vacation, be sure to visit DisneyParksMomsPanel.com for a personalized response from our knowledgeable panel.