It doesn’t take much to get me ecstatic about a vacation if the word DISNEYLAND is in the sentence. I have been going since I was a little girl and it truly is the happiest place on earth for me and my family. Luckily, my husband gets the Disneyland glow on his face when we get there too!
Now, I’m not all crazy about technology and most of the time, I would rather hunt and poke around looking for a bathroom than look on a map. That’s just me. I like to wander around aimlessly, really I do! But I did use a little technology to make sure Ariel was indeed in the Royal Hall when we arrived because God forbid, if I had my 4 year old daughter all dressed up in an Ariel princess dress, Ariel Minnie ears matching mommy’s and mermaid shoes just to run into Snow White, I’d be a little bummed. Not gonna happen. The Disneyland mobile app is fabulous and shows all character locations, events and all things Disney!
I also pride myself in going on very low traffic days with half hour lines at the most (with Pirates and Thunder Mountain being the exception though) because I follow the is it packed website predictions. They are consistent and this is the third time it has worked for us!!! Look for: “Hey it’s alright” and “Ghost Town” with “Best Bet” below. Wink, wink.
One more thing is the app about wait times for rides. I have to say that helps a ton but I didn’t look at it all that much when I was actually there because it was wide open. However, if it was a high traffic day, I could see having my eyes glued to this app since it would make or break my ability to get on rides. I did check it randomly as I daydreamed about my trip to Disneyland from my bed; I would check to see the wait times on random days because I was that excited to go. Again, I don’t even get fast passes. But these apps and websites are a must do!!!
Fun facts & Tips:
To extend our Disneyland experience without breaking the bank, we went to Downtown Disney the night before. It’s a great shopping experience and still feels like the same magic as if you bought at the park itself. Beware that they don’t sell princess dresses there anymore. Grrr. But if you are buying bigger items it’s great to not have to take them to your locker the day you’re at the parks. We enjoyed a delicious meal at Jazz Kitchen – keeping the New Orleans vibe alive. The food was wonderful. We had jalapeno cornbread with a sweet sauce, delicious garlic mashers, and gumbo! We shopped and bought our Mickey balloon early. This is a fun way to feel like you’re at the parks but you aren’t paying the big bucks for tickets every time. The balloons are cash only, don’t forget $9 and $12. Depends on what you want. Glowing or not.
Shopping early helped us plan what we would wear the next day without waiting to buy inside the park. It is always fun to dress the part and match! I always get matching Minnie ears with my daughter and my husband gets a Disney themed shirt. It helps to be able to shop before you go, with the exception being getting the princess dress at the park.
Dinner at the Plaza restaurant. We ate fried chicken and mash potatoes with gravy; it was just what we needed to recharge. Seriously, good fried chicken!!! And the pink umbrellas were my favorite atmosphere!!
Getting your princess must do’s (visiting the Royal Hall and Pixie Hallow) is best done first. Don’t forget to purchase your autograph book ahead of time! These lines fill up and this way a huge weight is lifted that you actually got to see the princesses before leaving the park. I also advise that if you want princess merchandise that you make sure to hit up the Bibbidi-bobbidi-boutique before you leave Aurora’s castle area. It became a big effort to leave Frontier Land later on in the day to make sure we got a Tinker Bell dress and accessories.
We had a ride list to make sure we were hitting what was most special for us. We weren’t strictly following any plan but it is nice to visualize certain things for your big day. We also always get a locker off of Main St. to make sure we can stash our merchandise from the day, a blanket and change of warm clothes for later in the evening. I always pack contact solution and my CVS pack to make sure we are ready for anything unexpected, i.e. band aids, tampons, hand sanitizer, alcohol swabs, etc.
“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever”