Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Disneyland Tips & Tricks 2012

It's safe to say, Matt and I are Disney Pro's. 
We could start a touring service ; ) 
Matt has worked at both Disneyland (1 yr. 8 months) and Walt Disney World (1.5 years)
I worked at Walt Disney World for just under a year. 
We- are- obsessed.

When it comes to our Disneyland vacations, Matt doesn't mess around.
He knows exactly how to make our trip the best it can possibly be. 
While we were on our trip this time, every time we said "Oh, we should have..." or "Next time we're here...", I recorded it on my phone in a list.  

Here is what we came up with for our next trip to Disneyland.

Packing List 
(From our November Trip)
These are the things we would make sure we had with us for next time. Aside from our normal packing of clothes, pj's, underwear, socks, bras, etc....

*Tank Tops, Short Sleeve Shirts
*Cardigans, pull-on sweaters - it gets super cold at night
*Shorts for sure
*Tennis Shoes or comfortable Flip Flops
  (I made the mistake this time of just wearing my moccasins and I know better)
*Water Bottles (You'll save a lot of money by filling your bottles up at drinking fountains! We bought lots of bottled water.)
*Cash! (We barely used our cards on this trip, instead we had cash that we took out before hand and then we knew...'when this is gone, that's it'! We used our card for our last meal and at the airport, pretty good!) ---side note, we did our 6-day vacation with $400.00 and a $50.00 gift card from a dance family! That included a fancy Carthay Circle dinner and souvenirs (puzzle, magnet & pen) because I can't resist.
*Athletic Shorts & T-Shirts. Sometimes, at Disney it's just nice to have a day of comfort.
*Hair Ties, again...it's hot!
*Band Aids - you will most likely get some kind of blister.
*Phone Chargers to bring with in your purse to the parks. Take 10-15 minutes to charge your phone if you use it for photos. There is an area on Main Street by the lockers where you can charge your phone. I wish I would have done this for this trip. My phone was always dead by parade time :(

Now the moment you've all been waiting for.... 


*If possible, stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel. You'll get more time at the parks and have an easier time if you ever forget something or need to go to your room. Matt and I do not ever leave the parks once we're there, but we would like to stay in the "magic". If staying on property is not an option, we recommend staying at The Anabella, which is just a 7 minute walk from the front gates of Disneyland. It's a really nice hotel. We have stayed there twice now. It's really pretty and well kept. Super easy to walk to and from. I would say it's not much farther away than the Disneyland Hotel is. 

*Get a locker once you're in the park! For just $7.00 you can rent a locker. You can find them in Disneyland on the right side of Main Street. You'll want to bring along hoodies, sweaters or jackets and it's annoying and hot to carry them along during the day. I even put my purse in there all day. Matt had his wallet and that's all we needed. I just carried my phone. Much easier to get on and off the rides too. I promise it's worth $7.00.

*Fly in at night. Once you arrive, just go to Downtown Disney for the night and enjoy the anticipation of being there. It sucks so bad to feel jipped with a half day. We arrived this time at 10am and didn't get to the park until noon. Boo! 

*Fly out in the morning. That way you can end your Disney vacation more magically. You can watch the parade or fireworks and soak it all in. Leaving mid-day is-the-worst. Leaving mid-day knowing all the guests around you get to stay is the worst feeling. I cried. It sucks leaving always, but we won't do that ever again. 

*If you can hold out eating dinner until after the park closes or want a yummy breakfast before it opens, we suggest Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. It's super cheap and delicious! We used to eat there at Disney World Downtown Disney and were so excited that we were there for it's opening week at Disneyland Downtown Disney. Yum! I believe breakfast sandwiches were $3.50 and regular sandwiches for lunch or dinner were around $6.50. Great price at Disney! 

*If you want to ride Radiator Springs Racers, you are going to need to get a Fast Pass first thing in the morning. I'm talking, very first thing you do. The line got close to 2 hours long without one. The Fast Passes were all out by 11am everyday. You can find the Radiator Springs Racers Fast Pass machines next to "It's Tough to be a Bug". We also suggest going through the line as a single rider. If you don't mind splitting up once you get in your car. Matt waited just 15 minutes in the single rider line while I was with my kids backstage. Great tip from my hubby ; )

*If you have young children or you want to ride on the Fantasyland rides, we suggest doing it this way. Arrive to Disneyland well before the park opens on a non-Early Magic Hours day. Maybe 30 minutes before it opens. You'll be closer to the front of the line. Once you get into the park, head straight into Fantasyland. Depending on the season, you can do all of Fantasyland in 1-2 hours! Ride Peter Pan's Flight first too, that line is always the longest. Usually around 40 minutes. If you do it this way, you will most likely get on within 5-10! 

*Guests who stay at one of the three hotels at the Disney Resort receive Magic Morning's for the duration of their stay. Know that during this extra hour at Disneyland, just Tomorrowland and Main Street, USA are open. Some mornings, Disney California Adventure offers this as well. If using this at Disneyland, I would do Space Mountain first. Then I would ride every other Tomorrowland attraction before heading to Sleeping Beauty's Castle for rope drop into Fantasyland! WaBam! You'll get on tons of rides before the park even officially opens. If you do not have a Magic Morning, you can still get into the park 30-minutes early always. You will have access to Main Street, USA and it's a great time to get a cinnamon roll, some coffee and get to the entrance of your favorite land for rope drop. If you like Indiana Jones, I suggest you head to the entrance of Adventureland! Get a Fast Pass for the ride, and then get in line for the ride. You'll get to ride it twice :)   

My husband is pretty proud of me right now for all my tricks and tips! I hope this helps in some way. I know a few friends and dance moms were waiting for this post. :) I'll do another one soon, we have way more tips!!! 

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  1. Looks like fun! Your wedding photo is stunning!

    Do you & your husband still live in Florida? My husband & I are both from there and went to UCF so we got free tickets to Islands of Adventure every year but it's been a long time since I've been to Disney World!

    1. Thanks!

      We live in Washington now, but I miss Florida a lot during the winter months :) I love Islands of Adventure, how fun!!