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One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

Guelph, Canada
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One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

Hello, we are going to be visiting San Diego for a week from Canada ( can’t wait for warm weather!) and plan one day at Disney. I know one day won’t be enough to see and/ or do everything but it’s the amount of time we have... my questions are:

1. we are going to DL on Thursday March 8, which also happens to be a value day and the Thursday before March break. How crazy are the parks going to be? We will not be staying at or near Disney and will return to SD that night. Because it is a vallue day does that mean it will be extra busy or is it a value day because it is typically less busy?

2. We will have a 3.5 year old and a 3.5 month old. I’m curious about an itinerary or suggested route around the park. Disney website has not been much help. From what I gather, fantasyland is best for the little ones?

3. Dinner reservations - we typically eat dinner around 530-6. With a three hour time change I’m hoping it will stay about the same time... are reservations necessary, and how Can I plan to make a reservation near to where we will be in the park at that time? Yinerary would help with this...

Thank you :)

10 replies to this topic
Yucaipa, California
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1. Re: One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

Hi Melbaby,

We still can Disneyland by its given name, so no need to shorten it to Disney but DL works great.

1. A value price day indicates low crowds.

2. There are many attractions that your child can go on. I'll let others who have taken young children more recently than I have answer, but will say don't overlook the Disneyland Railroad, the Mark Twain Riverboat, and the Enchanted Tiki Room.

3. You will not need dinner reservations unless you want too eat at one of the three table service restaurants in New Orleans Square/Frontierland, Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans, and Riverbelle Terrace. Of those, the one that is most likely to need advance reservations is Blue Bayou. They are all pricy, with the Blue Bayou being the most expensive.

You will find places to eat conveniently located throughout the part, although the majority are on the west side (Adventureland, Frontierland. New Orleans Square, and Critter Country.

I would recommend to chose from the following:

French Market - New Orleans Square

Plaza Inn - Main Street at the Hub

Rancho Del Zocolo - Frontierland

Hungry Bear Restaurant - Critter Country

For a lighter lunch perhaps Bengal BBQ skewers. That's in Adventureland.

You may need to arrive at your chosen dinner venue a little earlier than the time you listed as I suspect that is likely to be the time most people eat dinner. It shouldn't be a very long wait, but you don't want to wait while hungry I'm sure.

I usually have a big lunch earlier in the day when the restaurants are not in high demand and then I have something light at night. Maybe someone else knows the demand at night better than I.

Edited: 07 February 2018, 16:37
Newcastle, Australia
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2. Re: One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

You don’t necessarily have to eat at a table service restaurant, many counter service locations where you order, pay for and pick up your meal at the counter actually have seating nearby, sometimes undercover. Fantasyland and Mickeys Toontown are the obvious ones but each land will have something for the kids to do / look at.

All the best.

Pecos, New Mexico
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3. Re: One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

Hello Melbaby_3

Check out Disneyland Daily for lots of help with planning. I think I remember seeing specific plans for touring with young children, Disneyland in one day etc....

It's a VERY informative and fun website. Also, don't fret calling it "Disney" we knew what you meant :)

Enjoy your vacation!


Anaheim, California
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4. Re: One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

You'll want to know where the baby care centers are—one is off Main Street just before the Plaza Inn, behind the corn dog cart, and the other is in California Adventure, next to the Ghirardelli ice cream shop and near the Boudin Bakery tour. They offer private areas with comfortable chairs for nursing, high chairs for feeding, and clean and purpose-built changing areas (as opposed to folding down a baby tray in a toilet somewhere). They also sell things like diapers and wipes and binkies. They are open to all genders, but the private nursing stations are for women only. The one at California Adventure, at least, has a little TV with cartoons so that if you are there alone with an infant who needs to be nursed and a toddler (or whatever), you can keep the toddler entertained.

Edited: 07 February 2018, 21:31
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5. Re: One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

1- value Days- usually less busy, usually shorter hours

2- I like Disneyland Daily too. We found the 'how to start your day post' very helpful. Also read up on rider switch too- if you want to go on rides the kids can't go on.


3- I probably wouldn't do a sit-down table service meal for dinner. I would look for somewhere with a band or Golden Horseshoe.

Edited: 07 February 2018, 22:07
Las Vegas, Nevada
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6. Re: One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

March 8th according to the "Is it Packed" site which is a helpful resource that shows crowd predictions is showing a "Hey its alright" that does not mean low crowds, just average busy ones.


First you have to understand the scope of Disneyland. It has 2 Parks and over 100 attractions that can easily take 2 or 3 days for Disneyland. Its not a 1 day Park. If you only have a day, and with little ones, I would suggest you just get a 1 day 1 Park ticket and just visit Disneyland Park only and not the other Park. You can expect in a day to get the highlights of what you want to do. I would suggest you plan ahead for what attractions interest you most, and do those in that first few hours after Park opening time which is the least busy time, and make sure you are there at Park opening time.

You can download for free the official Disneyland App which will be really helpful to you as it will show Maps of both Parks, Fastpass return times, where Characters are located during the day, and help you alot with navigating around the Park. It will also show restrooms etc which is helpful.


With little ones... you may want to also be somewhat cautious of some of the indoor attractions in Fantasyland. Some of those are too extreme for little ones and may be scary. Peter Pans flight though is one of the best attractions at Disneyland, so that would be a do not miss. Expect though your wait to be around 30 min at a low time.

With small children I would not worry about getting reservations somewhere. Especially if you are eating at off times, you should be fine just getting something from a Counter Service Restaurant such as Plaza Inn.. which has a variety and large meals you can share.

Since your Parking at Disneyland... expect once you Park to take approx 30 min to go to walk the large Parking lot, go through Security, take the Tram, and walk into the Park. So make sure you factor that into your travel plans. I would also suggest you may want to wait about 30 min after Park closing time and shop as that area stays open later on Main Street so you can avoid some of the traffic and people trying to get out of Disneyland all at the same time at closing.

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7. Re: One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

Cafe Orleans is a nice place for a meal in the park. You can book at Dine Disney for this restaurant. 😎

8. Re: One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

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Edited: 07 February 2018, 23:39
Yucaipa, California
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9. Re: One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

Yes, we know what your meant. I was being polite. Let's leave it at that.

Edited: 07 February 2018, 23:41
Edgewood, New Mexico
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10. Re: One day at Disney, a couple of Q’s

Best thing to do is go over to YouTube and watch some Disneyland videos with the family...


The 2017 DLR planning video is a good one. This will expose the family to the different parks, characters and the rides. You can feel out your three year old and see if any of the rides he/she might want to go on and some that might scare him/her.

We started our kids out at Gadget's Go Coaster in Toontown and worked our way up. Any ride that does not have a height requirement we brought our 8 month old on with one of us using a baby carrier. The classic rides are Haunted Mansion (kind of scary), Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan, Dumbo, Finding Nemo, Storybook boats, Winnie the Pooh, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Disneyland Railroad and Alice in Wonderland.

If there is a ride the adults want to go on, just use the parents switch, a cast member at the entrance of the ride will help you. Say you want to ride Space Mt (highly recommend), the cast member will give you a pass, one parent will ride while the other watches the kids, then with the pass, the other parent will ride, saves a lot of time.

We prefer snacking than dining at Disneyland. Dole Whip/Shake, pretzels, churros, chocolates and ice cream on Main Street to name a few. If you want to dine, remember most of the plates are big and can be shared and that is what we usually do. The 3 year old can eat off your plates and I am guessing the 3 month old will be on the bottle. The park is walkable but if you need to get to another land for rides or dining, just hop on the railroad, its an attraction and transportation in one! Same for the monorail, you can catch it by Autotopia and ride it to Downtown Disney if you want to eat there. We love Earl of Sandwich, food is great and priced right. The World of Disney is close by if you want to look around. Then just hop back on the monorail and head back to Disneyland.


Edited: 07 February 2018, 23:49
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