Monday, June 28, 2010

Tiffany's Top Twelve Travel Tips For Disneyland

It just dawned on me that as I am preparing to go to North and South Carolina for our summer vacation, I never created a post that I meant to create back in April after we returned home from Disneyland. Many of you have asked questions about the package that we chose and how we managed the trip, so I have created my TOP TWELVE Disneyland tips for you here!
  1. Make your husband wear cargo shorts with lots of large pockets to carry all of your items in. This way, you will have no bags to be searched when you enter the park, which means you can bypass that line! Also, men's cargo shorts are far more fashionable than a fanny pack! Ryan held all our tickets and passes, park maps, 3 ponchos just in case, 2 autograph books and some sunscreen.
  2. We discovered that there were less lines earlier in the day and that the parks became noticeably busier on the weekend. If you are able to get your hands on an early park entrance pass, take full advantage of it!
  3. If you do have to wait in a longer line for a particular ride, have one person stand in line and the other go ride a "short wait" ride with your kids. Reagan and I would ride the carousel, Mickey's train around park, or the monorail while Ryan would stand in line for her to meet the princesses each day. Also, the princess rotate every day throughout the day, so it is beneficial to make repeat stops to this attraction if you have little girls!
  4. Bring your own dress up princess dresses for little girls rather than purchasing them once you are there. We bought our Disney princess dresses at Toys R Us for a fourth of the price of what they were selling for in the parks. No one could tell the difference either... I had one lady stop and ask me which of the boutiques did I find Reagan's Cinderella dress in!
  5. Get the autograph book and pen for character signings. Do this the first chance you get at the first store you come to. The authentic Disney autograph books are great because they have a photo page beside each page that the character signs so that you can put a precious picture of your little one with that character in the book!
  6. Purchase one of the dining plans. You can plan your meals in advance and make your reservations for each meal 60 days ahead of your arrival. I suggest that you book as many character meals as possible. Reagan absolutely loved knowing that she was going to have breakfast each morning with her favorite characters before we went into the parks. Make a note that restaurants in the Downtown Disney District do NOT accept the meal vouchers... only the restaurants located INSIDE the parks will take these golden tickets!
  7. You don't have to stay at a hotel IN the parks to still be a part of the action. Many of the "Good Neighbor" hotels to Disney offer some of the same special amenities as the official Disney hotels. A little research about the hotels within short walking distance to the entrance to the parks can save you quite a bit of money! We stayed at the Anabella, and it was very nice. There were more kid friendly hotels to choose from, but we figured that Reagan was getting all the "kid friendly" she needed at the parks, so Mommy and Daddy got to have the nicer hotel for us!
  8. Wear comfortable shoes that have good grip on the soles. I wore my most favorite, comfortable pair of flip flops the entire time I was there. The only problem is that they had/have hardly any tread left on the bottom because I wear them all the time, and I found that I was slipping and sliding in areas where the roads and sidewalks are super smooth, especially if my shoes were a little wet from any of the water rides.
  9. Plan your flights around the kids sleep times if at all possible. Otherwise, you will just have overly excited children on your hands on the plane that ask you every 2-3 minutes, "Are we there yet?"
  10. For us, there was no need to rent a car. We purchased shuttle passes for very little cost, and took the shuttle from the airport to the hotel. We also used the shuttle bus to go from Disneyland to Sea World, and we loved the trip. Our shuttle driver was super amazing, and made the drive lots of fun for both the adults and the kids. We also made use of the local transit buses a couple of evenings to get back to our hotel instead of walking. All of these shuttle and transit passes cost us far less than it would have cost to rent a car for the week.
  11. If you are celebrating an event (birthday, anniversary, etc...) let Disney know. They will give you a button to wear for everyone to know, and free desserts at every meal... even breakfast! Reagan wore her birthday button everyday, and literally 100's of people were wishing her happy birthday everywhere we went. It just made it all the more special for her!
  12. Plan to have fun fun fun while you are there, but also plan for PVD when you return... Post Vacation Depression!
I hope this helps with any planning that you are doing. If you have any other specific questions, feel free to comment or send me an email. I will do my best to be your "unofficial" tour guide!


Semi-Slacker Mom said...

Great tips! If I may add one, if at all possible go in the off season. September is a great time to go. MAy is also nice.

Miller Racing Family said...

Great tips! I am wanting to take both of the kiddos to Disneyland when Lila is just a little older. I think it would be fun to go around Christmas as it would be nice and warm there while it is cold in MO.
Have a great day!

JennyMac said...

We love tips! And we love Disney.