Let me begin by telling you all that Disneyland was not in our original California trip plans. We had originally planned to visit Universal Studios, mainly because my sister was also in town and she wanted to geek out with me over The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I was so excited for that! Closer to our trip we hosted a friend of ours for a night while she was on her drive to California to work at Disney California Adventure. We told her of our plans to visit Southern California and she said she can get us into both parks, absolutely free, as well as free parking. I then researched all the things a pregnant person can do at Disney and then did the same for Universal. I basically wouldn't have been able to do anything at Universal Studios, but at Disneyland I had lots of kiddie ride options, which would be all that we'd do with a toddler in tow, anyway.
So the options were- free with a lot more to do! Or not free with nothing to do.
It would have been stupid for us not to go to Disneyland.
We started the day in California Adventure. Ryan had never been to this park and he didn't know what to expect so it was funny when he described to me what he thought it would be like. Basically, he didn't know it was just an extension of Disneyland. We went on a handful of kiddie rides here, including The Little Mermaid ride! It was probably my favorite ride of the day! I may have almost cried from the nostalgia. Ryan and my mom loved it as well. Gwen literally didn't react. On almost all the rides we went on, she hardly reacted. I kind of expected this because she's so young, and while we like Disney movies, we are not Disney people by any means (you know the ones), so she didn't really recognize any of the characters. Plus, she was tired for most of the day. She had a little nap on our drive to the park and another little one in her stroller, but it wasn't long enough for her to feel refreshed. I also think that there was just so much stimulation from all the crowds and strange, dark rides, that she just couldn't register everything happening?
This is why I'm grateful that her first time at the Disney parks was free! I would not recommend taking your two year old to Disneyland (unless maybe you are a Disney person and your kid is obsessed with all the movies). I mean, there were moments when she looked like she was enjoying herself, but they were fleeting. I could tell that she liked the carousel, Dole whip, the Tiki Room (she got up and danced aka ran back and forth), her new Simba plushie (The Lion King is her first Disney movie), the Winnie the Pooh ride (I saw a genuine smile near the end of the ride! So Ryan took her on it again.), and eating popcorn before the parade. Another thing- she was too tired to enjoy the parade. My mom and I really enjoyed it! But Ryan was annoyed with how loud the music was- we were right next to one of the speakers. Ryan's favorite ride was the Toy Story one in California Adventure because it was interactive and he's all about that video game life.
-Don't go to Disneyland for another 4 years (or maybe wait longer than that if prices keep rising).
-Spend at least 2 days in the park(s) so you can do and see more things!
-If you have the opportunity to go to Disneyland for free again, do it.
-Just go ahead and buy two churros for yourself.
-Disneyland is still a possibility for a 24 week pregnant woman, just take breaks and pace yourself. My feet hurt a lot by the end of the day, but they always hurt after I've spent the day at Disneyland, so it was completely fine.
A shout out to my awesome friend Laura who made this visit possible. She's a top notch Disney cast member!