First things first, we heard from people a lot that 5ohBig would be too little to really appreciate it and it would be a waste of time. Now, I'll admit, 5ohHubby had to be in Anaheim anyways so the only real extras we paid for was my flight (5ohBig still flies free until 2) and our Disney tickets (again, 5ohBig is still free). I think you have to judge things based on your kid, but we knew 5ohBig would love it. She knows who the main characters are (Donald is her favorite) but the only other Disney thing she knows is Snow White (her Halloween costume). A few weeks before our trip we got her a Disney Princess book so she could at least recognize something else at the park. Either way, she's never going to remember this trip... but WE will. And we'll have the pictures to show her.
In our trepidation about how she would react to the park, we decided to only go to Disney one day and to do a Character Breakfast the day before (We totally changed our minds, but more on that later). The Character Breakfast was seriously the best thing we did all weekend! There are a few different character breakfasts to choose from but we wanted to eat with the main characters: Mickey, Minnie, Daisey, Goofy, Pluto and Donald.
Can you tell the only show we really let her watch is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? so we chose the Surf's Up! Breakfast at Disney's PCH Grill. You guys? It was awesome. The food was actually really delicious and there were a ton of options (all buffet) including an omelet station. Kids under 3 are free (yay!) and adults were around $30. The Characters come around one by one to the tables while you're eating breakfast which is awesome. We got a lot of one on one time with the characters because 5ohBig is so darn cute and they loved her there weren't many families there since its the off season. But the best part is that every 15 minutes all the characters and all the kids get together and dance. Or just spin in circles until you fall down if you're 5ohBig. Seeing how much she loved it was worth the breakfast price tag.
Our original plans had been to do the breakfast and then spend the day at the pool. But by the time we finished breakfast it was only 9am and it was still chilly out so we thought forget it- we're gonna hit up the park. And I am SO glad we did. We were able to upgrade to a two day pass at a discounted rate and knowing we had another day took so much pressure off the day and let us really enjoy it. I'm telling you- even though I originally ignored this very advice- if you are down at Disney anyways and you can afford it DON'T try to cram it all in to one day. We dressed 5ohBig in her princess costume (all Disney Staff called her princess and snow white all day. So cute) loaded up our stroller with sweatshirts for all of us and a single diaper backpack full of snacks and water and took the shuttle to the park (5ohBig was free- and no parking.. score!)
That first day, I think we lost a lot of time by heading back to Toon Town first. She had already seen most of the characters at breakfast and Toon Town is at the very back of the park and, although its super cool, it was a waste to go there first. We road Roger Rabbit and met Goofy, but could've done that later in the day. If you get to the park early I would 100% for sure hit up Fantasy Land first. There are a ton of rides a toddler can go on and those rides all have the longest lines. We walked past 15 minute waits and came back to 30+ minute waits. She walked through the castle, rode dumbo, snow white, peter pan, the story book boat ride and Pinocchio We didn't let her go on Mr Toad's wild ride because we remember that being scary (ps we covered her eyes during the witch part of snow white) and small world and the tea cups were closed
Boo Hiss. We had lunch in Fantasyland but the only place there serves burgers, pizzas, and sausages. We now know we shouldve gone to Toon Town for lunch as they serve those foods but also Sandwiches and Salads for adults and a kids power meal for $5.99 of yogurt, a cheese stick, whole wheat goldfish, fruit, and a drink (milk, water, juice). We had a bunch of Plum Organics Mish Mash Pouches packed as snacks and I'm sure we could have brought sandwiches but we were ok with buying lunch in the park.
went on a hugging rampage met a few characters with barely any line because most people weren't yet on this side of the park.
run down the street chasing characters be a part of the parade. After the parade we left the park and went home to watch the Super Bowl, but had it not been on we would've left before the parade for a nap and dinner and come back for the later parade and the fireworks.