Disneyland Travel Tips
DISNEYLAND TRAVEL TIPS from blogger at large, Megan Singleton
A family holiday in Disneyland will create memories of a lifetime, but it takes some planning and practical advice to ensure your memories are great ones and not filled with meltdowns, tantrums and sugar rushes.
Here is a quick checklist before you go:
•Plan your attack before you arrive. If you haven’t been to Disneyland before, it’s absolutely huge and you will do an awful lot of walking behind an awful lot of people. Start at Sleeping Beauty’s castle which leads into Fantasyland. This is the original Disneyland with attractions built from 1955 and is where the cute fairytale rides are for younger ones: It’s a Small World, Alice in Wonderland, Madhatters Tea Party in whizzing teacups, Pinnochio, Peter Pan and others.
•Check your children’s height before promising the rides you remember from your youth. Space Mountain, and many others, are not suitable for kids under a certain height and you don’t want to be left explaining that they’re just not big enough.
•Take your own drinks and snacks to avoid forking out large amounts of cash for chocolate coated rice bubble cakes in the shape of Mickey Mouse. There are restaurants, fast food outlets and plenty of sweet shops within the park.
•If you’re with younger children and need a pushchair, you can rent them there (as well as mobility scooters if you’re taking the grandparents).
•Dress your kids in the same colour. Sounds naff, but you’ll see plenty of families dressed in psychedelic tie-dye and you’ll understand why soon enough. Even matching white T-shirts is a simple, reasonably shameless idea.
•Utilise the Fastpass. Grab these tickets from entrances to the popular rides. They have a time stamped on them for when you can return and jump the queue like a VIP.
When to go
•The first thing you need to do is plan what time of year you’ll go. Having been five times over various months, I would recommend New Zealand Spring – American Fall. Our October school holidays are ideal as American children are back at school and the weather is beginning to cool down. Don’t be afraid of inclement weather either. Californians hate the rain and a threatening sky can be a blessing in disguise to take advantage of short queues. Get at least a two-day pass and try to go between Monday and Wednesday avoiding the weekends if you can.
•If you have a young family who are used to routine, go first thing in the morning before the heat and crowds, then break in the middle of the day for lunch and a rest or a swim back at your hotel. Return in the evening for the light parade and fireworks.
Where to stay
•If you stay at one of the Disney Resorts (there are three) you will be able to enter the park earlier than the general public and you’re an easy walk to those famous gates through Down Town Disney, which is crammed with shops and restaurants.
•If your tickets don’t already include a transfer from Los Angeles International Airport, you can take the Disney bus without a booking for $22 round-trip. (You can also use this bus for other hotels in the Disney area but it will stop at Disney first).
•Disney hotels also offer character breakfasts, which will probably become the highlight of your visit as you watch Miss Five’s face when Donald Duck comes over for a hug or when Master Three cuts it loose on the dance floor with Goofy.
And finally, the biggest tip is not trying to do too much in this the “happiest place on earth” – and indeed it will be.
Megan Singleton is an award-winning freelance travel writer and editor and has her own travel website bloggeratlarge.com
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 26 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW