I love Disneyland parades. Love them. Disneyland parades are fun, fantasy and all of our favorite characters all in one exciting place set against lively, happy music. But there’s one thing I love even more than watching the parades and that’s watching the looks on my kids’ faces while they are watching the parades.
Pictured here is my youngest son at 2 1/2. Oh my… that is such special age; everything is magical and enchanting. He was in love with everything Disney–from Mickey to princesses to Pinocchio to Peter Pan. While I’ve always loved to get lost in the magic of it all at Disneyland, I’ve found that turning the camera away from the Disney action and pointing the lens at my kids’ faces is where the real magic can be found. Admittedly, these pictures are usually shot at an awkward angle or catch the moment a second late, but once in a while, you catch that look of wonderment and that moment is memorialized.
|Of all of the Disney magic I’ve ever experienced, none is more special than the
look in my son’s eyes as he watches a Disneyland parade in sheer
amazement and wonder.
I encourage you to begin turning the camera away from the Disney magic and focus on those reaction shots. Twenty years from now, it will be nice to see what Disney parades looked, but I promise you’ll be even more happy to see the look of wonderment on your baby’s face when he’s a grown man because of those parades. My boys are now 12, 9 and 7, and while my 7-year-old still gets excited, that wonderment does begin to fade and those moments of pure magic are sadly fleeting. I can tell you that a mere four years after these photos were taken, my heart aches and my eyes fill with tears every time I look at them. I can tell you that I don’t feel the same way when I look at the photos of parade floats.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2013 and updated in 2017.
Believe it or not, this if the most commonly asked question I get from readers. Families are often concerned they will only be able to enjoy a very limited amount of attractions when they visit Disneyland or Disney California Adventure with a baby or toddler. I have some good news and some even better news.
Here’s the good news: Babies and toddlers can go on almost every attraction in the resort, with exception of the attractions with height requirement, which in most cases are high-speed or turbulent attractions you wouldn’t want to take your wee one on anyway. These attractions have height requirements that are in place for your safety–just like the height and weight requirements set by car seat manufacturers.
Here’s the even better news: Just because you are going to Disneyland with a baby or toddler, you don’t have to cross those high-speed thrill attractions off your list. If you are traveling with another adult, you can utilize the resort’s rider switch pass. Although the specific procedure for using the pass can vary a bit from attraction to attraction, the basics of the pass remain the same. The pass allows you and your family to wait in line together (typically only to a certain point). One adult then waits by the exit of the attraction with the child or children who won’t be riding while the other adult waits in line with any remaining guests in the party and rides the attraction. Then, after they’ve enjoyed the attraction, the other adult who has been waiting will get to ride the attraction. Typically the attraction’s Cast Member will allow one of the guests who has already been on the attraction to go again with the waiting adult so that they don’t have to ride alone.
It is important to note that this pass it not limited to turbulent attractions or those with height requirements. For YEARS, my children wouldn’t go on the Haunted Mansion if I paid them in churros and Dole Whip, so for us, the rider switch pass makes perfect sense when we had the need to visit our favorite 999 ghosts.
Want another tip? Bring a baby carrier like a Baby Bjorn with you during your next visit. Boarding an attraction with baby in a carrier leaves your hands free to help yourself and other children in and out of attractions. In most cases, the baby can remain (facing forward) in the carrier while riding the attraction.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated 5-17-17
The FASTPASS has been in use at Disneyland Resort since 1999. It is a virtual queuing program for certain popular attractions that allows guests at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure to receive a voucher listing a computer-assigned boarding time to return and enjoy the attraction. This popular program was first used during the 1999 holiday season on “it’s a small world holiday.” FASTPASS options on Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin” quickly followed in early 2000, and additional attractions have been added to the program since then.
Here’s how it works:
· FASTPASSES are distributed at terminals near each attraction that offers FASTPASS. (With these exceptions: Star Tours FASTPASSES are located near the exit of Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, World of Color FASTPASSES are distributed at Grizzly River Run and Radiator Springs Racers FASTPASSES are distributed near It’s Tough To Be A Bug.)
· FASTPASS is available to all guests with theme park admission.
· A guest inserts his or her park ticket into the FASTPASS terminal, which reads and returns the park ticket along with a FASTPASS ticket indicating a time period during which the guest may return to the attraction and enter a special FASTPASS priority queue for the attraction. Guests are free to enjoy the park and its attractions while waiting to return to the attraction.
· After a guest has obtained a FASTPASS on one attraction, he or she cannot obtain a FASTPASS on a second attraction for at least two hours or the beginning of the return window on the first FASTPASS, whichever comes first. The exception is World of Color. Guests may obtain other FASTPASSES in addition to the World of Color FASTPASS used to reserve seating for the show.
· For certain popular attractions, FASTPASS return times may be filled early in the day. After that, no further FASTPASS return tickets will be issued for the attraction.
· Children under the age of 3 do not need a FASTPASS.
FASTPASSES are available for the following attractions
Want more ways to make most of the lines at the Disneyland Resort? Check out our information on single-rider lines and the rider-switch program. (And yes! Rider switch can be used in conjunction with FASTPASS.)
Editor’s Note: Updated on 5/9/17. This article was originally posted on June 6, 2013.
If you have tried the pumpkin cheesecake at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, you know it is full of amazing pumpkin-y goodness. Thanks to our good friends at the Disneyland Resort, we have the recipe, video and step-by-step tutorial so that you can make the very same pumpkin cheesecake served at the Jolly Holiday and French Market at Disneyland as well as Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta in Disney California Adventure.
Most of our blog posts are written by one author, but this is one of the posts that “took a village.” The video features Babes In Disneyland editor/owner, Lisa Robertson and the step-by-step recipe tutorial is written by Babes’ resident Disney-at-home expert, Jessica McConnel. For the very best results, we highly recommend watching the video and following the steps and tips presented in the recipe.
|crust ready, pan foiled|
|mix, scrape, repeat|
|My fall table is ready!|
Of all the Disney recipes I’ve tried, this one was maybe the most difficult… but only like a 3 out of 5 – so generally a not-too-tricky recipe. Putting together the crust and cheesecake is simple, but a little time consuming, and certainly the entire process is very time consuming. Don’t be like me – and start making it at 10:00 P.M. The water bath thing was easy, but I was worried about the water getting in through the foil to the cake. All in all – it is a very delicious (like pumpkin pie, but more decadent), very fancy (how many people make homemade cheesecake?) holiday dessert that will definitely impress your family and friends!