Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

Keeping Children Involved While Visiting a Theme Park

by on May 31, 2015

Picture from my disposable camera from my Disneyland trip-1989

Picture from my disposable camera from my 1989 Disneyland trip (I am on the right).


Let me start by saying that I do not have children of my own, nor do I travel anywhere with children. So, you’re probably wondering what makes me qualified to speak on the subject? Well, I do have one major qualification: I use to be one of those theme park children.

Even though I did not go to Disneyland a lot as a child (it was too expensive for my family), I did visit other Southern California theme parks quite often — specifically Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood. My parents managed to teach me a lot about planning, having fun, and cherishing each experience, so below are the four strategies that I would like to pass along to you to help set up everyone in your family for a happy theme park experience.

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Disneyland or Disney World – What’s the Difference? Part 4

by on May 22, 2015

Disneyland or Disney WorldDisneyland or Disney World? Welcome back to our four part series, where we are debating this very question. In case you missed it, in part one we took a look at some of the key differences between Disneyland and Disney World in the areas of size and scope, atmosphere, and weather. In part two, we examined the topics of crowds, pricing, and hotels. In part three, we compared planning, transportation, and the parks. In our fourth and final part, let’s conclude our side-by-side comparison of Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World by discussing events, resort extras, and dining.


Disneyland Holiday TimeDisneyland Resort Events

The Disneyland Resort has lots of exciting happenings throughout the year. As well as offering several smaller events, Disneyland Resort is host to:

  • Lunar New Year: This is a fun celebration at California Adventure filled with festive decorations and entertainment.
  • Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend: This is a runDisney race event complete with Star Wars characters and entertainment.
  • New Orleans Square Mardi Gras: This is an exciting happening in the New Orleans Square of Disneyland complete with lively jazz music.
  • Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend: This is a themed runDisney race event filled with Never Land characters and entertainment.
  • Independence Day: This celebration has themed merchandise, tasty red-white-and-blue treats plus a dazzling fireworks show.
  • Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend: This is another incredible runDisney race event with courses that pass through both California Adventure and Disneyland.
  • Halloween Time: This event includes Disney villains, Halloween crafts, dance parties, yummy Halloween inspired treats, themed merchandise, and festive fall decorations.
  • Mickey’s Halloween Party: This party is held on select nights in September and October and includes exciting dance parties, trick-or-treat stations, character meet and greats, and dazzling fireworks.
  • Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend: This is another runDisney race event this time with a Super Heroes theme.
  • Holidays at the Disneyland Resort: This seasonal offering includes a special version of World of Color, holiday fireworks, a Christmas parade, snow on Main Street, U.S.A., holiday overlays to “it’s a small world” and Haunted Mansion, Sleeping Beauty Castle covered in sparkling icicle lights, themed treats and merchandise, and the entire resort adorned with festive decorations.
  • New Year’s Eve Celebration: This event includes themed merchandise and treats, energetic dance parties, and a spectacular fireworks show.

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24 Things You Should Do at Disneyland’s 24-Hour Celebration

by on May 20, 2015

Disneyland Characeters

If you had the opportunity to stay at a Disney theme park for 24 hours, what would be on your list of things to do? Food? Shows? Characters? Attractions? The theme park would be your oyster. Even if you are not able to stay up the full 24 you will have a few extra hours to experience things you may have never made the time for. Well, you will have your opportunity to experience a 24-hour Disney theme park come Friday, May 22. To kick off Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration, guests will be able to experience The Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World theme parks for an entire 24 hours.

During this special event, guests will have the chance to experience different attractions, shows, characters, and food that they would not normally have the time to experience. Since making your Disney theme park—specifically The Disneyland Resort–trip a unique experience is my niche, I have put together a list of  24 activities (since it is a 24-hour event…get it?) to fill your time during this event. Even if you do not plan on attending a Disney theme park during this time, it is still fun to just imagine the things you would do during this exciting celebration.

*DL= Disneyland     *DCA= Disney California Adventure

1. Dine at the Blue Bayou (DL) – If you have never been to the Blue Bayou before then this is the perfect time to experience one of the best restaurants in any Disney theme park. Even though there might be a long wait, that should not deter you because you will have a lot of time on your hands.

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Ideas for Entertaining Kids On The Plane

by on May 20, 2015

Photo - DisneyFor some, the thought of flying on a plane with kids is simple and carefree.

For me, not so much.

Don’t get me wrong – I have an amazingly easy child who travels very well. Still, I would be lying if I didn’t admit prior to flying with her, I become a Nervous Nelly.

For those of you who can relate to my anxieties, here is a list of ideas and items for entertaining your child on a flight to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or anywhere else. Although who are we kidding, why go anywhere else when you could go to some of the happiest places on earth? 😉

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Menu Monday: 9 Differences Between Trader Sam’s at Walt Disney World vs. Disneyland

by on May 18, 2015

The tiki drums are pounding, the tropical libations are now flowing, and there is cause for celebration. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is now open at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to the delight of Disney fans and tiki lifestylers. There is so much to love about this East Coast installment of a Disneyland Resort treasure. But as is always the case with siblings, there are some characteristics that set the two apart. These little touches give a difference that is just distinct enough between these two enchanted tiki destinations.


A Dream Come True

Before we begin our list of differences, let’s take a moment to look back. About three years ago I sat at the Tambu Lounge on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. I nursed a tall frosty mix of tropical juices and rum; like so many Disney fans, Tambu Lounge had earned its place on my regular rotation of Disney bars & lounges.

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Disneyland or Disney World – What’s the Difference? Part 3

by on April 23, 2015

Disneyland or Disney WorldDisneyland or Disney World? Welcome back to our four part series, where we will continue to debate this very question. In case you missed it, in part one we took a look at some of the key differences between Disneyland and Disney World in the areas of size and scope, atmosphere, and weather. In part two, we examined the topics of crowds, pricing, and hotels. In part three, let’s continue our side-by-side comparison of Disneyland and Disney World by discussing planning, transportation, and the theme parks.



Disneyland Resort Planning

Planning a trip to Disneyland is a fairly straightforward process. Let’s look at a basic timeline.

  • 12 months or more in advance: This is the time to research where you would like to stay and book a hotel reservation or vacation package.
  • 11 months or less in advance: If you are going to be flying to Disneyland, this is the time to start checking flights and booking one as soon as you find a great deal. Once your flight is reserved, you can book a rental car or make reservations for airport transportation. If you will be driving to Disneyland, this is the time to plan your route and make any hotel reservations that you will need for your journey to and from the resort.
  • 3 months in advance: At this point, it is time to start researching restaurants and tours that interest you and make a list of reservations that you would like to book.
  • 60 days in advance (exactly): This is the day you may begin booking dining reservations. Character Dining, Blue Bayou, and Napa Rose tend to fill up quickly and should be booked as soon as possible. If you did not reserve a vacation package that includes admissions and you plan to purchase your tickets in advance, this is a perfect time in order to allow for shipping. Purchasing admissions early is not a necessity in Disneyland, but it will save you a little bit of time once you arrive.
  • 30 days in advance (exactly): This is the day you may begin booking any tours that you would like to try.
  • 2 weeks in advance: This is a great time to research the attractions offered at Disneyland and California Adventure, make a list of what you would like to experience, and create your personalized touring plans. Also take a few moments to put together a packing list so that you don’t forget anything.
  • 1 week in advance: It’s now time to confirm all of your reservations, print your travel documents, and pack.

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Selfie Sticks Not Allowed on Disney Attractions

by on April 7, 2015

You’ve seen them everywhere…the prolific elongated rod where people attach a camera or a phone to a clamp to help them take a selfie. Ah…the good old selfie stick. Many have strong opinions either loving them or hating them. So,  while the rule has always been in place that all personal items need to be stored prior to riding an attraction, it would seem, that with the number of these sticks you now see in the parks, that guests would need a reminder.

As the announcements go when boarding attractions, guests are to keep their hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the attraction vehicles at all time; this includes selfie sticks. (Or really anything that would stick up out of the moving attraction vehicle.)  All guests’ personal belongings are to be properly stored when onboard an attraction, tram, or other moving vehicle. If a Cast Member sees a selfie stick while boarding an attraction, the guest will be asked to put it away.

On another note, if you are in a congested area, you should also consider refraining from utilizing your selfie stick.

Keep in mind, this is not a full on ban of selfie sticks at Walt Disney World or Disneyland; the best tip is to just be mindful of the guests around you.

While I am clearly going to be opening a can of worms asking this question: what are your thoughts on selfie sticks?

Tomorrowland Preview Coming to Disney Parks

by on March 26, 2015



Are you excited about the upcoming film, Tomorrowland? (How can you not be?! It looks fantastic.) Well, if you are anxious about the movie, which stars George Clooney, then you’ll need to make sure to catch the official sneak preview taking place at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

For those visiting Walt Disney World, you’ll need to head to Epcot and the Imagination Pavilion. I’m sorry to report that at least temporarily, fans of Captain EO, Hooter, Odie, Idie, and Fuzzball will not get to see the rag-tag band attempt to deliver a gift to The Supreme Leader. The preview for Tomorrowland will be taking place in the Imagination Theater, and will include in-theater effects. (Captain EO will see its last day of operation on April 9.)

Over on the west coast, at Disneyland, guests can go to Tomorrowland (good place for a preview about a movie named Tomorrowland) where they can catch the sneak peek replete with in-theater effects in the Tomorrowland Theater. In addition, in the Starcade, there will also be an exhibit available for guests to enjoy production art and props used in the movie.

The official sneak preview will begin in mid-April (no official date has been announced) and the preview will last approximately 15-20 minutes. Tomorrowland heads to theaters on May 22.

Why I’m Going to Tokyo Disneyland Next Year Instead

by on March 25, 2015

Tokyo DisneySea- PIcture from Guy Selga

Tokyo DisneySea- Picture from Guy Selga

Traveling is an obsession. The more you travel the stronger this obsession becomes. And there is only one way to keep this “passion” in control and that is by (obviously) traveling. For me, staying put in one place gets harder and harder. This is why traveling is so important to me. Since living and traveling to a dozen different countries in the past several years, my obsession for traveling has grown and has become a part of me. It is something that I think about all the time, which is why every few months I go back home (Southern California) to visit family, friends, and to just get away. But discovering new and desirable places is my main goal. And if these places happen to have an amazing theme park—especially Disney—then that is icing on the cake.

Going to Disney World for the first time—back in 2012—was awesome. I had a great time with friends and exploring one of the best Disney theme park resorts on Earth. After my first trip, I decided to make Disney World a bi-yearly adventure. Unfortunately for me, a couple of things happened: Disney theme park prices went up and learning more about Tokyo Disneyland. I made the choice to forgo my Disney World voyages and invest that money—and time–on a trip would be more thrilling and exciting. Even if that means I will have to pinch my pennies as hard as possible.

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Five Experiences to Have During Disneyland’s Off-Season

by on March 11, 2015

Disneyland Castle Refurb 1

If your main concern when traveling to Disneyland is crowds, then visiting Disneyland during the off-season (January-February, Mid-September, and after Thanksgiving-the week before Christmas) is a blessing. To put it into numbers (using TouringPlans’ data), during Disneyland’s off-season the crowd levels are around 6 out of 10 (give-or-take a bit). This is perfect if you want to experience Disneyland without bumping into people or dealing with long lines. But (there is always a “but”) even though you will not have to deal with crowds, you will unfortunately have to deal with another issue: closed attractions.

Because attendance levels are low, Disneyland decides to do a lot of maintenance on many of their attractions during this time. So even though you are going to the park with less crowds, you might miss out on your favorite attractions. However, that does not mean that your visit is ruined. That just means that you will have to make adjustments to your plans and have more time to experience different things you normally would not.

For example, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Disneyland this Valentine’s day weekend and many Disneyland attractions were closed (7 in all; including Critter Country). Because more than handful of attractions were closed, I had a chance to experience different attractions that I tend to skip or overlook. Below I break down 5 of the best attractions that every guest should experience during Disneyland’s off-season.

Enjoy a Ride on a Main Street U.S.A. Vehicle

Main Street VeichleMain Street U.S.A. vehicles never get enough love (unless your name is Guy Selga). Even though walking down Main Street is faster, it does not mean that it is the best way. Taking the time to grab a ride on a Main Street vehicle will give you a different perspective of Disneyland and a little more appreciation for it. It will also make other guests jealous that you are rolling down the street in style.

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