So you’re ready to pack up the family and head to Disneyland. Now what? There are so many things to consider to make it a great trip for everyone. Here are a few tips (based on our own experience) to get your planning started
- Let’s face it, Disneyland is always busy, but if you can pick some off-prime times to visit, you will enjoy your time at the park much more. Avoid Halloween time, the last few weeks of December, Summer Vacation, and long weekends. Consider the beginning of December, January/February or other off-peak times to visit. Luckily, it’s California, so weather should not be an issue most times of the year.
- Travel Plans. You have a few options when deciding to fly in. John Wayne airport (SNA) is the biggest airport in Orange County but if you can find flights to (our personal favorite airport) Long Beach Airport (LGB) ), it will make traveling much easier, especially with the little ones. It’s super small, easy to navigate and well worth the extra drive to Anaheim.
- There are plenty of hotels to choose from in the area around Disneyland ranging from the basic hotel to the super-fancy resort. Some of them are connected to the park and allow for early entry into the park. Check out Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa if you’re looking for the ultimate Disney Experience. Another great option nearby, and for an additional theme park experience, check out Great Wolf Lodge. It’s a relatively new resort with an indoor water park. It gives you something different to do with the kids in between Disney park visits. And it's all indoors so weather is never a problem.
- Disneyland Passes. Check out offers online and book in advance to avoid long lines. Nobody wants to stand in line, especially once your kids realize you’re at the happiest place on earth and the only thing they want to do is get in. Look into the multi day and multi park options to maximize your time and budget. The longer your stay and more days you spend in the park, the less pressure you will feel to go on every ride each time you’re inside.
- Disney apparel. Once you get to the park, you will be inundated with Disney apparel everywhere you turn. Good luck getting out without a Princess shirt or Mickey ears. Set yourself a budget and stick to it. If you want to be prepared before you arrive check out our stock of Officially Licensed Disney products (don’t forget Star Wars, too) to outfit your little ones. Make sure you stock up so you can show off your Mickey Mouse t-shirt, Minnie Mouse dress and of course, you don’t want to forget your Mickey and Minnie ears! Have your little ones (depending on how old they are) carry around their own snacks, toys, etc… in their own Disney backpack, too. Also, if you are planning to check out the parks during the rainy season, be prepared with a Mickey Mouse poncho to stay dry.
- Plan out your day. Download the Disneyland App or search around for a printable map so you can plan your day and know which rides are closed, etc… Also be sure to maximize your fast passes to avoid lines. Be strategic but don't get too inundated with stressing about these. Try to have a good time :-)
- The Memories. Don’t forget to document your trip with photos and video to save your memories that will last a lifetime. Bring extra chargers, flash drives and memory cards - you definitely do not want to be buying those at the park!
Have Fun and Enjoy your trip!