Our Disneyland Adventure This Summer: All the Tips You’ll Need, What We Did, and Love in 4 Days!

A few weeks ago, I was holding hands with Nico and Oli walking to the park, telling them we had planned a big surprise for them for a while. Mamas, I’m pretty sure you get me, holding a secret from our little cuties is, without a doubt the hardest thing ever. Imagine, having two, at the same time asking, soooo is it a gift? a new toy? a horse?

Little did they know we were going to experience the most magical place in the world for the very first time, in California. To celebrate my hubby’s birthday and in a special collaboration with Disney, we surprised Nico and Oli with.. tadaaaaa: Disneyland. I was beyond stoked to bring them and see all the brand new Pixar pier that just opened this summer, where The Incredibles, Toy Story, and Monster’s Inc are the main stars.

As soon as I started planning this surprise, I couldn’t help to remember the times I visited Disney World, how I held my little autograph book full with memories, the Disney music I danced to, the princesses I hugged and admired so, the best Christmas eve we had with my family sitting on the floor, watching the fireworks at Epcot eating the most delicious hot dogs, and all the feels I had when I saw Space Mountain and it’s a small world for the first time.

Disney was in a nutshell, a huge part of my childhood.

Despite how all the years have flown by, I still feel like it was yesterday. Maybe this is the magic we all experience when we get there no matter how big or how small you are, and this is something I’ve been dreaming that my new family experience together, as I did when I was a little girl.

We were so lucky to spend our days with the sweetest group Roxanne, Katie and Bella, all super talented content creators that made our trip even more special together. If you ask me, I’m a firm believer that there’s nothing better to plan vacations in advance, so here’s a super handy complete guide for all of you (especially if you’re traveling with kids) to help you enjoy your next Disney adventures.

Let the magic begin, friends!

you can’t miss any of them!

W E A T H E R   &  W H A T    T O   P A C K

We stayed 4 nights and packed a ton of light options for both kids and adults (cough* all the shoes *cough). Earlier this year I visited California and learned my lesson well. Cali is my friends, no joke, HOT.Our forecast was sunny and with temperatures over 35 celsius every single day (yahoo to me!).

For Nico and Oli we packed 2 outfits daily and 2 pairs of shoes (okay okay, I might have added a few more just in case). Remember you’ll be walking pretty much all day with little breaks, so make sure you bring the comfiest shoes for the entire family. I wore flats, sandals, and sneakers during our trip with flowy dresses and skirts, I insist on this, SO hot!

Things you can’t forget in your bag in addition to your diaper bag essentials when you go to the park: sunscreen 60spf (at least), sunglasses, band-aids, towels (hello, splash mountain), snacks and water bottles, wipes, antibacterial, an antibiotic cream, outfit changes and a tiny blanket.

W H E R E   T O   S T A Y

In partnership with Disney, we stayed on site at the Grand Californian Resort & Spa. The hotel is conveniently located between Disneyland and Downtown Disney, helping families simplify the commuting time and parking, making it so worth it if you want to relax a bit more during your vacations. We walked every morning to the park through a direct entrance from our hotel (no shuttles or monorails needed) and the kids loved it. Did I mention the rooms are super spacious and you can select your view in your booking process? Win!

The kids loved experiencing a Disney-inspired hotel, the lobby amenities with Mickey’s movies, the kiddies pool during the day to refresh them a bit fromthe intense heat at the park, and this mama loved to enjoy some cocktails with friends and the food selection. 

W H A T   T O  E A T

A foodie family has priorities everytime we travel and Disney was no exception. I’ve admittedly didn’t check the dining options this time because I wanted to surprise myself, especially when running all over both parks for a few days. As most of you know, Nico is extremely allergic to peanuts, almonds, tree nuts and recently diagnosed chickpeas. We are extremely careful when eating out and Disney had an impeccable service when you announce there’s a food allergy, at a point that we spoke to the chef multiple times and they made sure everything he had was safe and delicious. Bonus points if everything’s Mickey Mouse shaped, right?Here are our favourite places we tried:
DisneylandCafe Orleans – If you’re in the mood of some jerk chicken, and Creole- French Market Restaurant – A casual spot with a pretty food court at New Orleans- Tiki Juice Bar – Run and get a Dole Whip- River Belle Terrace – We loved this terrace and the healthy options for Nico and Oli- Bengal BBQ – Spicy skewers? sold! SO good.Disney California Adventure Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats – A brand new spot at Pixar Pier, serving soft-serve cups- Bayside Brews – Craft beers? anyone?- Storytellers Cafe brunch – Located inside the Grand Californian hotel, this was so far the best meal we had we did it twice!- Cozy Cone Motel – A super cute snack pit stop you need to visit- Flo’s V8 Cafe – A retro diner with milkshakes, burgers, and all the American faves.

R I D E S  T H A T  W E   L O V E D

Nico and Oli are three years apart and so many rides are available for both ages, believe it or not. Esteban and I took turns when some of them were available for Nico only due to height restrictions, and I stayed with Oli trying some princess dresses (guilty) or blowing some bubbles around the park.On this trip, we loved Toy Story Mania and Star wars SO much! So far, one of the best we’ve done the 4 of us.Here are some rides where you can bring your little babies, and enjoy with the entire family:- Alice in Wonderland- Toy Story Mania- Astro Orbitors- Autopia- Buzz Lightyear Astro blasters- Railroad- Dumbo- Monster’s Inc- The little mermaid- Visiting the princesses- Mickey’s, Minie’s House- It’s a small world- Jungle cruise- Mad tea party- Winnie the Pooh- Roger rabbit’s car toon spin- Tarzan’s treehouse (to see the sunset)

T H E    N E W    P I X A R    P I E R

This year, Disney California Adventure park brought to life a brand new section, Pixar Pier. A place where Pixar stories, characters and the best of the best are re-imagined to a new amazing level. Some of the new attractions available you C-A-N-N-O-T miss in your next visit? The Incredible’s Incredicoaster, the main star of this new area, the adorable snowman frosted treats, where you can spoil your little ones with cones and soft-serve deliciousness and lastly, ride Mickey’s fun Ferris wheel and enjoy the sunset. If you’re planning a getaway soon,  Disney has a special treat for Canadian residents, just $69 per day when we purchase a 3 day, one park per day access. Read all the details here

P I X A R  P L A Y  P A R A D E 

This was THE best way to end our park adventures, and the Pixar parade is simply something you NEED to see (and Oli LOVED it so so much). We arrived around 30 minutes in advance to get a good spot, and be sure both Oli and Nico could remember every single detail. If you want to entertain them while they wait, get a few neon toys, star wars ear hats, and everything sparkly. everything glows in the dark and the music was as magic as the entire parade. 

T H E   N E W  D I S N E Y    A P P

Traveling with two kids can only mean one thing: no patience for lineups. If you download the new Disneyland app, life pretty much is the future. We uploaded our park tickets instead of carrying them around to access the two parks daily, we saw the estimated lines at each ride (that are pretty accurate) and also, reserve our Fastpass to each ride with exact times and view our Disney photos.Also, you can order food in advance saving so much time, pre-paying everything using the app and even making reservations to a ton of dining options at the parks and hotels. We can’t thank this app enough, it made our experience so much faster and organized.

Scroll down and enjoy lots of photos of our trip, I couldn’t help to add a zillion of them in here.

They loved eating everything at the park, and I don’t blame them, Mickey’s pancakes? The dream!

I’ll cherish this moment, forever.

Our trip was done in collaboration with Disney.
All opinions expressed here are entirely mine.