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Are you thinking Disneyland is just for kids? Have you ever thought to surprise Grandma (or Grandpa) with a trip to Disneyland?

Can you imagine doing one of those “We’re going to Disneyland” surprise videos for a Grandparent? Yes! Taking Grandma to Disneyland is a real game-changer, people!

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Some back story: Last summer, we had a family wedding in Malibu, CA. It was a destination wedding that featured an array of amazing festivities and included family from all over the world. However, the reception was adult-only.

At the time, our family had a 3.5-year-old and a 9-month-old. We knew that we wanted to bring our kids for the weekend to be around family we don’t see often, so we asked my Mom if she’d come along to watch the kids.

After she agreed, I figured we might as well incorporate a stop at Disneyland since we’d already be so close!

My Mom had never been to Disneyland before and I figured this would be a fun way for her to spend time with her grandsons. She thought it was an interesting idea and was on board for the adventure.

Here’s why YOU should invite Grandma on your next Disney adventure:

Grandma = Extra Adult

Are you tired of pushing the stroller? See if Grandma wants a turn.

Does your toddler need ANOTHER potty stop? Grandma would be honored!

Mary Poppins character photo op at Disneyland Resort
Watching my Mom’s face light up as she met Mary Poppins was worth the trip in itself! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Is your shirt soaked with sweat from babywearing? Grandma would love some baby snuggles! Grandma provides an extra set of eyes, hands, and ears.

There are very tangible ways having Grandma around will benefit you.

Just as importantly, your kids get to be in the Happiest Place on Earth with quite possibly one of their favorite people.

Disneyland Resort Rides

Does your kid want to go on a ride that’s not your favorite? Grandma to the rescue!

Grandma with boys on the photo op outside Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Disneyland Resort
We grabbed this photo after my son got to ride with Grandma on Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

One of my favorite things about Disneyland is that adults ride alongside children. This gives a lot of opportunity for parents (and Grandparents) to experience Disneyland through the eyes of a child.

My oldest rode Dumbo the Flying Elephant on our trip to Disneyland Paris last year. He couldn’t wait to show Grandma how he could make Dumbo go up and down.

She was thrilled to get to share this magical moment with her oldest grandson.

Explaining Disney Movie Plots

Does your child repeat themselves? My son is a very enthusiastic storyteller and he loves to tell the same story over and over again.

My Mom has not seen many Disney movies, therefore she was very receptive to my 3-year-old telling her the plot of each movie. This ended up being a good conversation starter for both of them.

Carsland at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, CA
My Mom had never watched Cars, so my 3-year-old told her about every character! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

The one Disney movie she had seen was Moana (we saw it together on opening weekend) which made our Moana character experience extra fun!

That’s a good thing, because my preschooler insisted we wait in line TWICE to meet her.

Maximizing the Stroller Pass (aka Rider Switch)

Did you know that a stroller pass is good for up to 4 people? This enabled me to ride Soarin’ Over the World twice: once with my husband and then again with my Mom.

Grandma, Mom and Baby in a Tula carrier in front of the castle at Disneyland
Having my Mom along for our Disneyland vacation was helpful in so many ways. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

This also works with Fast Passes. We grabbed Fast Passes for Radiator Springs Racers and could have combined it with the stroller pass to go twice.

This is good to know for our next trip when our oldest should be tall enough to go on the ride with me while my husband stays with our youngest (and vice versa.)

Night Out at Disneyland (Thanks to Grandma!)

On our last day at Disneyland, my Mom’s legs were a bit tired from trekking across both parks all week.

She kindly offered to take our baby back to the hotel so we could get some quality time with our oldest. It was so much fun to be able to go on special rides and stay up late to watch the Electric Parade!

Grandma babywearing at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA
This look that my 9-month-old gave Grandma is priceless! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Had we stayed longer at Disneyland, we could have had a day where Grandma stayed at the hotel with the boys and my husband and I could have had a day at the parks without kids.

Just putting that out there for next trip 🙂

Bringing Grandma to Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort is the perfect place to bring Grandma to make the most of a family vacation. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

At the end of our trip, we purchased a silhouette of my oldest and his Grandma. It’s the best souvenir we could have gotten to commemorate such a wonderful trip!

Every time we look at it on our wall, we talk about how this was such a fun vacation!

You Might Also Enjoy

How to Survive Disneyland with a Preschooler
Why You Should Go to Disneyland Resort with a Baby
Goofy’s Kitchen Character Breakfast: Is it Worth It?
What I Pack in my Diaper Bag for Disneyland Resort
7 Ways to Prep a Toddler for Disneyland Resort

Why you should bring Grandma to Disneyland


Marcie writes the family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. When she's not traveling the world, she's home in Seattle with her husband and two little boys.


  1. Krystal Miller Reply

    We’ve had mixed results with taking family members on vacation. It looks like grandma was super helpful in your case! I’d love a night out at Disney!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes, I suppose it needs to be the RIGHT person to be helpful 🙂

  2. Emily Fata, Reply

    Awww, these photos are so adorable! It’s so nice that the kids got to go on vacation with their gramma — I remember going to Cuba as a small child with my parents and both grandmothers, and they’re memories I’ll cherish forever. 🙂

    • marciecheung Reply

      Cuba is one of my dream trips! How cool that you got to experience it with your grandmothers!

  3. Wow. This is genius lol! I would definitely make sure they are aware of grandma duties prior to going. I can tell you have a great relationship with your mom!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Oh for sure! Haha! Don’t spring it on anyone!

  4. Taking grandma to Disney sounds like a fabulous idea! I can always use extra hands and I didn’t know that about the stroller pass! Definitely a great advantage. Plus, I get tired of having my kids alone all day! So I feel ya.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes! It’s nice to be able to check out from time to time 🙂

  5. Taking your mom to Disney Land sounds amazing! What a great way for all of you to build extra memories! Your trip looked like an absolute blast!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I’m so glad our schedules aligned and we could do this!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes! My oldest always talks about inside jokes between himself and his grandma from this trip!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Haha! Us, too! I always make sure to build in some quiet time away from the kids for them!

  6. Totally agree with you! I had a business trip to Disney when my daughter was younger, so I took her with me. My parents drove down from SC and took her exploring during the day while I worked. She was able to meet most of the characters and was so happy! We all met each night for dinner and she’d fill me in on everything she’d seen. I got my work done, she got a vacation, and my parents got to spend time with their granddaughter. It was a win/win/win. 🙂

    • marciecheung Reply

      It’s so awesome with trips like that work out so well! Glad your daughter got to make those special memories!

  7. I love this idea! My daughter’s grandparents are out of state so they always want to be involved in big moments like this!

  8. We travel a lot with my parents. It’s always great to have them around. It’s bonding and helpful at the same time!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I really appreciate that they are creating their own memories with Grandma!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Thanks so much! Yes, she finally got to live out her childhood dream!

  9. Going to Disneyland with my Grandparents as a kid was seriously ALWAYS a great time. It was great to see them become kids again, through my sister and I’s eyes.<3

  10. I clicked over to check out the Tula accessories. That Mickey hood!!!! ❤️

    • marciecheung Reply

      Isn’t it fun and perfect for a Disney trip?

  11. As a Grandma raising her youngest grandchild and living in Anaheim we do Disneyland, me with the grands. I appreciate your using grandparents to help out, as well as them enjoying the visit, especially if the tickets and hotel are your treat. This was how I did it with my Mom, no expectations. My advice would be to just make it clear to them beforehand what your expectations/hopes are, so they’re not surprised or disappoint you…as much as they love their grands they might want to explore Disneyland or California Adventure or Anaheim a little on their own, maybe even have dinner or a trip to the beach on their own ?, because us grandparents still love to have fun, too❤️

    • For sure! I was actually just at a conference that was talking about multi-generational travel and they emphasized making sure expectations were clear and that every generation was having fun! Love that you get to spend quality time with your grandchildren!

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