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A Disneyland road trip is in the works. You have your discount Disneyland tickets in-hand and bags are packed. But what about the car? What about the kids? Ohhh, right! When planning a trip to Disneyland, most people road trip it to cut costs but they forget to add Disney magic on their drive.
We’re heading out on yet another Disneyland road trip ourselves and put together a list of a few things we don’t want to forget, and you shouldn’t either.
Safety first friends! I always travel with a first aid kit and a real-life paper map on every Disneyland road trip.
Call me old school but even in the midst of smart phones and Google maps, a paper map of unfamiliar (and even familiar) locations can come in super handy. Miss a turn-off? Did your map app suggest you take a quicker route and you end up in a no-service zone? Throw this California State Map in your car and even in the midst of Los Angeles freeways, you are good to go.
Bonus tip if you’re traveling through Las Vegas. Watch the video!
Do you know the story of the very first kids to enter Disneyland park? It involves a skinned knee and a bandage. For that reason alone a Disney first aid kit should be a staple in everyone’s Disneyland road trip car.
If nothing else, grab a box of Disney bandages (better known as “everything on my body suddenly hurts and I need this Disney sticker to make it feel better”) to keep on hand for any slip and falls or shoes that rub you the wrong way once you get to Disneyland.
Disneyland Road Trip Snacks
What’s a Disneyland road trip without snacks? Snacks to deter sibling rivalry, snacks to help keep drivers alert and snacks to fill your belly until the next pit stop. Some of my favorite road trip snacks are also my favorite snacks to bring inside Disneyland because they won’t crumble and fall apart easily, they won’t melt and they’re considered a “treat” since we don’t buy them often.
- Baby carrots
- Dried fruit
- Jif To Go peanut butter packs
- Cheese sticks
- Water bottles
Just Because Options
- Disney fruit snacks
- Pringles chips (the canister helps keep them nice and whole)
- Dum-dum lollipops (cheap and easy treat)
- Jolly Ranchers (or other hard candy to stay alert while driving)
- Beef Jerky
- Granola Bars
- Soda (Mom needs a little caffeine!)
I also love picking up these Disney themed snacks from the resort itself for the drive home.
And while we’re at it, throw in a package of wet wipes. Those things come in handy for any messy situation. What snacks are your must-bring for any Disneyland road trip?
Disneyland Road Trip Comfort
My kids don’t normally take naps but are more than happy to nap during our long drives because they know it makes the time pass quickly. Our routine is to have everyone settle down after our lunch and potty break for naps. We have travelled extensively this year, including a red-eye flight across the ocean. We’ve learned a thing or two about sleeping in every situation.
Ready for even more budget friendly Disneyland tips? Find out about our downloadable Disneyland on a Budget book here.
Another must have is a favorite blanket and travel pillow. in summer, we use beach towels in place of a blanket since you know we’ll be needing those anyway! Several years ago I made the kids small travel pillows with custom Disney pillow cases from fabric at the local fabric store. We still use those today. A pillow pet is another great option for travel comfort, especially if it comes in the form of your favorite Disney character!
Disneyland Road Trip Activities
Free Disney Printables
I love this “Guess Who Said It” game featuring popular Disney movie quotes. You can print it out for your road trip here.
I love these Disney themed magazines for road trips and for keeping kids happily busy on the drive.
Get your Disneyland discount tickets from our partner, Get Away Today before heading over to Disneyland Resort.
Plus, enjoy an extra $10 off when booking a hotel stay of two nights or more along with your discount Disneyland tickets! Use promo code Happiest10 at checkout.
Disney Look & Find Books
I absolutely love "look and find" books. They keep all of my kids busy (and quiet!) for hours! My kids range from ages 5-11 and the look and find books have been some of their favorite Disneyland road trip activities even since they were babies with the board book look and finds. The only problem is narrowing down which Disney look and find books to get for each trip.
Disney Mad Libs
Mad Libs are my go-to car driving activity. All you need is a child to read and ask everyone to help fill in the story gaps. Even the driver can participate by giving out ideas for nouns, verbs and adjectives. Mad libs serve double duty because they are also a great item to bring into the parks and enjoy while waiting in line or for parades. For Disney mad libs, we like Star Wars Mad Libs and Happily Ever Mad Libs for that special princess touch.
Disney Window Clings
While books are always an awesome choice, we also want everyone to know that we are heading to Disneyland! Window clings keep the kids busy and they have a blast decorating our car. My kids always create elaborate scenes on the windows and act out their favorite character's adventures. Stickers on anything but paper and people in our house is a big rule, so I love that window clings look a lot like stickers but don't leave any mess (besides finger prints!) behind.
Colored pencils are perfect for Disneyland road trips. We never pack crayons because the California heat can melt those puppies quick and I really don't need that mess. I also like to get new coloring books for each kid and it doesn't hurt if they are Disney themed!
You can also grab this 2 pack of Disney drawstring bags to stash all their car activities in which can double as an in park backpack that's super light weight and easy for little ones to carry.
There are so many fabulous options out there to help the time go by on a Disneyland road trip. One of our favorite ways to pass the time is to read Disney books to get the background on our favorite rides and characters. I've compiled a list of Disneyland must-reads here. Books on CD or ones that come with a CD to read along with the book are our favorites.
How do you make a long drive fly by? What will you be packing for your Disneyland road trip?
Disneyland expert who loves the beach, flip flops and pink nail polish.