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How to avoid a Disneyland meltdown. They happen to the best of us. One minute everything is magical and dreams are coming true. The next minute it’s screaming, tears and full-out tantrums. And I am not just talking about the kids here.
On more than one occasion I have heard parents yelling things at their children, “This is the Happiest Place on Earth, so you better be happy!” Have you been there? Or hope to avoid that moment? Keep reading!
Our Own Disneyland Meltdown
My family is certainly not without our moments. Once my son, who was 3 at the time, was not happy about something during our Disneyland visit. He took his anger out on a random lady, by smacking her butt as she walked by (I guess it was just a his level?).
I wasn’t around and my poor husband just acted like he didn’t notice as the lady turned around to see my little son walking away.
For some reason, my son just chose that interesting outlet to express his frustration. And that is the point of this post, sometimes Disneyland brings out meltdowns in all of us. Here’s how to avoid Disneyland meltdowns on your next vacation.
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How to Avoid a Disneyland Meltdown
1. Stick to a schedule
Favorite Spots to Nap at Disneyland:
- In the stroller
- Snuggling in Mom or Dad’s arms
- Slow rides like Pirates or small world
- Park benches throughout the park
- Outside the Enchanted Tiki Room (while everyone else gets a Dole Whip)
- Shows like Frozen—Live at the Hyperion or Disney Junior Dance Party
- Baby Center on Main Street for itty-bitty ones
2. Be prepared
Here’s our solution to each of those Disneyland meltdown triggers:
- Use our What to Ride First Guide to avoid long lines and enjoy shows when it seems like every line is never-ending.
- Bring a spray bottle to keep cool, enjoy a refreshing treat, drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen. See what’s in my Disneyland bag here.
- Disneyland allows you to bring food and snacks into the park. Have a stash of easy snacks on hand like trail mix, granola bars, crackers, candy… whatever your kids like to tide them over until the next meal time. See other in-park essentials here.
- We do a lot of window shopping in our free time. The practice has come in handy and my kids know that they can look, but we’re not buying. If you don’t want to buy a toy at every stand in the park, be on the look out for quick distractions like running to the next ride or finding alternate exits from rides (to avoid walking right into the trap!).
- For more reading, check out How to Train your Kids for Disneyland.
3. Don’t freak out
There have been moments at Disneyland when I’ve felt my stress levels rising. I just remind myself to take a deep breath and roll with it. If you’re calm, your kids will follow your lead. Rehearse in your mind what you will do in certain situations before hand and you’ll be much better prepared when your Disneyland trip arrives.Want more meltdown tips? Here’s a great article for avoiding meltdowns which focuses on kids with ADHD.
Tell us! How do you avoid meltdowns at Disneyland? What to you do to keep cranky kids happy? To change directions when things didn’t go just right?
Disneyland expert who also loves the beach, flip flops and pink nail polish.