Sunday, January 12, 2014

Disneyland: Tips & Tricks

I am definitely NOT a pro here and there's probably a lot I don't know, however I did a ton of reading prior to our trip, and I feel like other moms out there may want to know some tips and tricks to help them out! I searched and searched, and read every blog I could find on Disney trips, and they helped SO much! I loved reading other moms blogs about their trips b/c it gave me so many things to think about and great ideas, so if I can help any other mom out than that's what I want to do!!
So if you are planning a trip to Disneyland or thinking about are some helpful tips and tricks......

Before You Go:
*READ READ READ!! Finding blogs on Pinterest was one of my greatest tools! I found SO many good ideas from other regular moms out there!
*Book all your dinners before the trip! AT Disneyland you have to be 60 days out from your trip, at DW I think you can book a year out! They book super fast, especially the Character Dining!
*Figure out if you want to partake in Pin Trading and if you do I suggest buying a starter kit off eBay. I got one for like $12 and it came with 25 pins! It definitely isn't a must to do, but Lane did enjoy it and liked trading!
*Decide if you want to make anything, like autograph books, pressed penny holders, etc.
*Pre purchase Disney shirts at local stores!
*Before we went, we took all of my son's piggy bank money and added a little more to it, and put it all on a Disney Gift Card. This was going to be HIS money to buy whatever he souvenirs he wanted! And I will say it worked out great!!! It was easy to keep up with, less receipts, and he even had a little left on our very last night! We did buy our two year olds' souvenirs, but we definitely loved it and will do it next time for sure!!

At the Parks:
*The first time you see a Disney Photo Pass taker get one! Basically it's Disney photographers set up at different locations throughout the parks and will take your pictures for you. You just hand them your PhotoPass card and they scan it! Not only does it ensure that every family member is in all those priceless pictures, but when you get home you can add all sorts of cute borders and pictures to them! You don't have to pre-order before you go (we didn't), but you can! It is definitely worth the $$!
*Get there when the gate opens for sure, if not earlier!
*Spend some time researching the rides...know which ones each kid can do, which ones have Fast Passes,  etc!
*Use the Fast Pass service! I'm telling you we saved HOURS by using these bad boys! Best invention ever! You can read about it here!
*Whether you rent one or take your own, make sure you have a stroller with you!! No matter what the age! My five year old used it more than my two year old!! And make sure to mark it with some super cute Disney ribbon, I've NEVER seen so many strollers in one place!
*Have lots of snacks handy!! Suckers and the little wedding bubbles work great for line waiting!!!
*Indulge! I mean you're at Disney after all! Don't let all those fun Mickey treats and souvenirs pass you up!
*Look for the pressed pennies! My five year old LOVED doing this and now he has a stash of about 20 pennies that he loves to look at!
*Stake out spots for the parades and night shows about 45 minutes to an hour before they start! Sounds crazy I know, but people do it!!!
*Download and USE a Disney wait time app! My hubby was in charge of this and used it ALOT!! It definitely came in handy! I think we used Mouse Wait!
*Don't stress too much!! I know it can be hard at times, but remember, you're at the Happiest Place on Earth!

What to Bring:
*Each day at the parks my husband and I each took a backpack filled with snacks, autograph books, pressed penny holders, our tickets, my camera, and more!
*Have a sharpie for autographs and a couple of pens so you can mark up the park map and show guide! And then make sure to grab clean ones on your way out if you want them for keepsake/scrapbook purposes!!
*Depending on the season you go, bring jackets! Each day we started and ended with them on!
*Stroller with ribbon.

My Thoughts:
*If you can, take your kids when they are young! Lots of people will say that they will not remember anything, which I agree with to some extent, BUT I'm a strong believer that you need to take them while they still believe in the "Disney Magic"! Ours were five and two and were perfect ages!! It's truly awesome watching your kids as they think they are meeting the REAL Buzz Lightyear!!
*Stay AT LEAST three for each park and then one to finish up. There's NO way to get one park done in one day, you just can't!! I would have loved to stay longer if we could!
*It truly is magical being there! My hubby, who was a little reluctant taking them at this age, came home talking about making Disney a yearly trip!! Disney just sucks you in and you don't want to leave!!

When you get Home:
*Start documenting your trip asap! Whether that's by blogging, scrapbooking, photo albums, whatever! You don't want to wait too long or you may forget!
*Download, create, and order all your PhotoPass pictures!

So there you go! My little tips and tricks for doing Disneyland!! Feel free to leave any questions or comments!!! I'd love to hear them!!
post signature


lindseylikes said...

Thanks for all the great tips! How much was it to order your PhotoPass pictures? How long do you have to order them after your trip?

JennGa88 said...

I believe you have 30 days to purchase photopass pictures, and theres a discounted rate if you buy them before leaving the park.