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Disneyland Plus Babies Equals FAIL

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My friends constantly ask me why I haven't taken my 14-month-old to Disneyland yet. The answer is simple. I'm not INSANE.

Mom with her baby at disneyland

Christina Montoya Fiedler: There are many reasons why you won't catch me at Disneyland with my 1-year-old, but here are just a few for starters.

Firstly, he won't remember any of it. I'd rather take him when he can remember how much we paid fun we had. It's truly a luxury to go. It should be something special. Many families must save up for months, if not a few years, to be able to take their entire family to Disneyland. Even as a child, I knew what a special treat it was to go to Disneyland with my family, and that everyone worked hard to make it happen. The anticipation of going, the X on the calendar marking the special day, was half the fun. A 1-year-old cannot grasp this concept. For him, Disneyland would be no different than going to the zoo, or the grocery store, for that matter. He's easily impressed.

For those of you who are thinking I'm the meanest mom around, I assure you I really would be the meanest mom if I actually took him. A tear-streaked, red-nosed face from crying by 10:00. The blistering heat of the Southern California sun beating down by noon. Falling asleep in a basket of $8 fries by 3:00. And that's me, not him. Good god, man. That's the stuff nightmares are made of.

And one other thing. I'm not going to be changing diapers at Disneyland. Before I even had kids, I remember the smell of those bathrooms, long lines of parents waiting for their turn at the kiddie changing stall. It's enough to turn the happiest place on earth into hell on earth.

My son could barely handle the Halloween aisle at Target last month, so I'm not sure how he would fare with overgrown characters walking around the park all day. Plus, the overstimulation would be a surefire way to get a tantrum started. If I wanted to see one happen, I could stay at home. Wouldn't need to pay $65 for it. Unfortunately, the only ride he's getting is the one from his dad, in the stroller on the way to the park. And to him right now, that's the happiest place on earth. Trust me, mama knows best.

next: A Mother's Love?
12 comments so far | Post a comment now
April November 17, 2009, 6:32 AM

You are not alone. When my 1st was born I was so excited to show her all that life had to offer. But realistically you are right. I had to have that conversation with myself many times.

Dad November 17, 2009, 7:35 AM

You are very wise indeed. Take it from someone who took a 3 week old and a 2 month old to Disney World. Yeesh.. those trips almost killed me back when I was a young man, I couldn’t dream of doing them now!!

Yup we’re a Disney family.. all three of my kids have been to Disney World and Disneyland more times than they can count.

Sonnie November 17, 2009, 8:23 AM

We waited until our daughter was 11 to take her. We knoew that if we took her any younger she would quickly burn out and since we had to save for over a year for the vacation we wanted to make sure she have the time of her life. She did have the time of her life and I have no regrets waiting until she was old enough to appreciate the memories.

Malice November 17, 2009, 9:07 AM

Thank you! Parents are so stupid for taking their handheld kids to expensive theme parks! You are setting yourself up for failure! Why on earth would your take young kids anywhere like this? Down the street from Disneyland is this tiny themepark just for kids under 8-Adventure City! It’s 14 dollars to get in and there are no lines! Good luck waiting with any age kid in Disneyland lines…LOL

just fine November 17, 2009, 9:11 AM

i took my son when he was 6 months old and he had a blast! we were there in january so the lines were shorter, temperature was very pleasant. disneyland had a great baby station with lots of changing tables, a feeding area and even a nursing station set up!
obviously you know your own kids best, but with a little planning it can still be fun for kids and parents.

Dan November 17, 2009, 12:15 PM

I’m going to have to disagree, We have been taking our kids since they were 10 days old. Changing diapers is not a problem, they have great Baby centers. As for them not remembering, that may be true but I remember, seeing them smile first at lights then as they got older certain rides and characters. Plus my kids are great travelers, They are 4 and 2 now and have been to London and multiple cross country trips and have never had any problems.

Exactly November 17, 2009, 1:12 PM

i’m laughing over this article. My one year old can be just as impressed as a walk around the lake with dogs, ducks, and birds as a trip to the zoo, and a trip to a toy store in the mall is as exciting a disneyland. Not that I don’t want her to have experiences, but the Disney experience can wait until she can be appreciate it as much as going to the dollar store Christmas aisle.

Anonymous November 17, 2009, 1:47 PM

I totally agree. I took mine when she was three and it was a disaster. I made a deal with myself.. when she ASKS to go to Disneyland I’ll take her but NEVER again until then..

hillary wald November 17, 2009, 2:21 PM

i totally don’t agree- we have annual passes and take BOTH our 6 month old and just turned 2 year old son to disney all the time- it’s a blast for all of us! We’ve been going since my second was days old- we just go for a few hours in the morn and then everyone crashes for naptime around one in the car on the ride home. i don’t see what the big deal is- we hate being stuck at home and don’t see the need to stop living life because we have a couple of little ones- is there some crying and crankiness? yes! who cares! it’s a great family day at disneyland for all!!!

Brooke Baumer November 17, 2009, 8:45 PM

HA! I so get you. I wish this had been posted before I ventured out to Disneyland last month. DISASTER. In fact, it was the topic of my blog last month. Take a look if you wish:

Thanks for the laugh!


MICHELLE November 17, 2009, 9:56 PM

My kids grew up at d-land. They had their first visit by the time they were 5 days old and as annual passholders they visit weekly. Now 9 & 12 they appreciate all the times we were able to go. They know how lucky they are to be able to say they grew up at d-land. We know how to do the park. We used the baby center for diaper changes and when needed my husband changed our boys in the mens restrooms(no line changing tables). Now that I’m a cast member they love the park even more. If you can’t afford to visit then yes stay home or fine less expensive activity. If your not a person who gets that special-unexplainable feeling right when you walk through the gate then you probly don’t belong there anyway. You have to have a LOVE for the MAGIC in order to appreciate any of it!

Michael November 18, 2009, 8:49 AM

I agree with you. We have a rule with our kids. The age limit is 5 years old. When they are that age they can ride almost everything, they can stay up late and I will ENJOY my time at Disneyland. Some people think this is mean, but honstly what would they really remmeber? Michael

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