Note: all of the tips below are regarding Disneyland operating at normal times. For the most up-to-date information, please visit their website.
Okay, maybe these aren’t necessarily Disneyland secrets – but they’re lesser-known services that the Disneyland Resort offers (with 2 bonus secrets to total 5, because I couldn’t pick just three!) Hopefully these help add some extra magic to your Disneyland trip, especially if you’re traveling with babies and toddlers!
Secret #1: Tire Pumps for your Stroller at Disneyland
It’s pretty common knowledge that you can rent strollers, wheelchairs, and ECVs to use in the parks for the day at Disneyland. These are located right outside of the entrance gates at Disneyland, but did you know you can also fill your stroller tires if they need air? There is an air pump located right by the kennel and rental pickup. It’s also a nice area for your toddler to run around and for you to sit under the tree, as it’s not very busy in that area. (I got this tip from Magical Kinda Mama and her Instagram when she was still active – I miss her and hope to bump into her there one day; without her I would still have no idea that this exists).
Secret #2: Disneyland Kennel
In the same area as the stroller and wheelchair rental and the tire pump is a kennel for your pets. It operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, and you are responsible for returning every few hours to let them out to walk or use the bathroom, and to feed them. You have to provide their vaccination info and they do not board animals overnight. More information can be found here on their website, including which animals they will and will not board. This is an amenity of the Disneyland Resort that I was unaware of until we visited with my friend and her puppy.
Secret #3: Disneyland and Play Disney apps
Disneyland has been busy integrating its Disneyland app into different useful areas of service. You can use it to check ride wait times, look up showtimes, look at menus around the park, and even mobile order food before you’re ready to eat, but they also have a Play Disney app for entertainment. This has trivia questions and games, some of which are location-based for different attractions within their parks. It can be a fun way to kill time while you’re waiting in line. It’s very colorful with cute illustrations, and you choose games and trivia based on different attractions within its illustrated park map.
Secret #4: Baby Care Centers
In both Disneyland and California Adventure, there are designated baby care centers. They have changing tables, toddler-sized potties, microwaves, high chairs, and rooms with chairs for nursing and/or pumping, and even a vending machine with baby essentials inside. It’s a really nice place to stop and rest with your baby, especially on hot or especially crowded days. It’s quiet and air-conditioned inside, and a nice place to take a break with your baby (maybe while another adult takes the older kids on a big ride or gets them their own snack). At the Disneyland baby care center, there is also a small toddler-sized table with chairs where your toddler could eat a snack or color while waiting for baby and mama. (Another credit to Magical Kinda Mama – I knew these existed, but she did detailed walk-throughs so you knew exactly what you could find there. There are other similar videos available on YouTube if you’re interested).
Secret #5: FREE Celebration Buttons
At City Hall in Disneyland (and Chamber of Commerce in California Adventure) you can get some free celebration buttons. These are both located right inside the park entrances so you can spend the rest of the day letting everyone know you’re celebrating. And who doesn’t love a free souvenir? They have birthday buttons (and will write your name on it!), anniversary buttons, family reunion buttons, and generic green “I’m Celebrating” buttons. It’s a fun souvenir to remember your trip with, and cast members will congratulate/wish you a happy birthday if they see you wearing your button! (Note: no proof is needed to get a birthday button, so we have also gotten the buttons when we go to celebrate a birthday even if it is not technically that same day). It’s fun to have the birthday person with their birthday button, and the rest of the party wears the “I’m Celebrating” button; it adds another element of festivity to a super fun day.
If you need help planning your Disneyland trip, I can help! I have created a free spreadsheet in Google Sheets to help my email subscribers maximize their magical trip to Disneyland. Once you become an email subscriber (use the handy box on the right), you will receive an email with the password to my resource library with various Disneyland resources, including my PDF of tips, downloadable Google planning sheets, Disneyland scavenger hunts, and more! For a sneak peek and more info on my planning sheets, click here. You may also be interested in my posts on taking a toddler to Disneyland, packing a diaper bag for Disneyland, or visiting Disneyland in 2021, or my other Disneyland posts.