Posts Tagged by disneyland

24 Pages of Tips and Tricks to Rock Your Disney Trip and Stay Within Budget

After traveling to Walt Disney World® Resort almost every year for a visit, I’ve found that I enjoy our family’s trip so much more when I’m not stressed out about our budget.  I also tend to worry that we might miss something special because we just didn’t know about it, yet.  My next Disney trip is to Disneyland® Resort in November of this year. I haven’t been there since I was a kid! Not going to say how many years ago that was, but suffice it to say that the Summer Olympics were being held in Montreal at the same time. I venture to guess that things have changed a bit since then, and I’m having some anxiety about how to breathe it all in during the short time we’ll be there.
To help all of us out, I’ve reached out to some of my friends who love all things Disney like I do. I asked them to share their advice on how to spend wisely, enjoy all the behind-the-scenes tips and take advantage of the little-known tricks so we can relax and enjoy a pixie-dusted experience with our families.

buster day care
Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel! The best reasons to stay at a Disney World resort may surprise you! Getting a cheap hotel may cost you more in the long run! Find out why you should vacation at a Disney resort!
Disney's California Adventure Tips and Tricks for New Visitors. A quick beginners guide to a favorite Disneyland park.
Disney California Adventure Tips and Tricks  |  The Bewitchin’ Kitchen
Disneyland hacks you need to know before you head to California. Save time and up the fun at the happiest place on earth with these Disneyland tips and tricks.
Disney Minnie Van
 5 Tips for the Best Deal Disney Vacation  | Saving Dollars and Sense
Disney Park Freebies

Disney Park Freebies  | Pixie Dust Savings

Disney World Cinderella Castle Cake

Top 9 Ways to Have Cinderella-Inspired Fun at Walt Disney World Resort  |  Nest Full of New

Money Saving Tips for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Disney Souvenir Shopping on a Budget
Hotel-Hopping in Disney World
Hotel-Hopping in Disney World  |  Having Fun Saving
The Best Character Meet And Greets in Disney's Magic Kingdom
 Homeschoolers can turn any trip into a great homeschool experience. Disney's Epcot is a great mix of amusement park and learning experience.
What Will Disney Characters Autograph
Money Saving Disney Dining Tips

Thank you so much to my fellow bloggers who contributed to this awesome collection of tips and tricks.  I hope one or more of these pages will give you the information you need to make your next Disney trip super magical!

SUMMER OF HEROES: Guardians of the Galaxy –Mission: BREAKOUT! Opens May 27

Are you planning a trip to Disneyland Resort this summer? The Guardians of the Galaxy have some amazing goodies planned you and your family!

Summer 2017 will be adventurous, exciting and … yes! … heroic at Disney California Adventure Park when guests encounter the thrilling Guardians of the Galaxy –Mission: BREAKOUT! and answer the call to join legendary Super Heroes in all-new experiences for Summer of Heroes, May 27 through Sept. 10. Summer of Heroes inaugurates an ever-expanding universe of Super Hero stories at Disney California Adventure that will become even bigger over time. Guests in the park’s Hollywood Land will join some favorite Super Heroes for all-new, epic experiences for a limited time, and beginning May 27 they will encounter the intrigue and triumph of the new, year-round attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy–Mission: BREAKOUT! “It’s going to be a thrilling summer at the Disneyland Resort,” said David Duffy, Director, Creative Entertainment. “You can celebrate the arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy–Mission BREAKOUT! and join forces with legendary Super Heroes. You can choose an awesome encounter with Star-Lord, Black Widow, SpiderMan, Hawkeye or Captain America, step up to meet Groot for the first time, and find out if you have what it takes to join the Avengers. It’s all part of the adventure with Summer of Heroes.” Summer of Heroes will launch new, year-round experiences: Guardians of the Galaxy­–Mission: BREAKOUT! This new adventure blasts guests straight into the “Guardians of the Galaxy” story for the first time, alongside characters from the blockbuster films and comics. As guests join Rocket in his attempt to bust his pals out of the Collector’s Fortress, they’ll experience randomized ride experiences complete with all-new visual and audio effects and music inspired by the popular film soundtracks. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! – Star-Lord will fire up his old-school boom box to get a party started. Everyone is bound to get in the groove and show off their moves during this awesome rock ‘n’ roll bash!

Super Hero Encounters – For the first time, citizens of Earth will come face-to-face with tree-of-few-words Groot, one of the Guardians of the Galaxy! They may also encounter the First Avenger, Captain America, and everyone’s favorite web slinger, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. For a limited time, guests also will discover more new adventures, exclusive to Summer of Heroes: Avengers Training Initiative – Black Widow and Hawkeye assemble young recruits for a series of tests to see if they have what it takes to join the ranks of the Avengers.

Heroic Encounter: Black Widow – Black Widow will arrive on the scene several times throughout the day in an armored Avengers vehicle for her heroic encounter with park guests. Grab a Piece (or Bite) of the Action – Special themed merchandise and food will be available throughout Hollywood Land. The summer brings more excitement at Disneyland Park, too, with the return of the Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America attractions, including the “Fantasmic!” nighttime spectacular returning later this summer. Dates for the return of these classic attractions will be announced soon.

Finally, the last chance for guests to enjoy the classic Main Street Electrical Parade during its limited-time return to Disneyland will be Sunday, June 18.

Be sure to share with the rest of us if you go this summer! Would love to see your pics.

#  #  # About the Disneyland Resort

The Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure Park – plus three hotels and the Downtown Disney District, comprising unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s hotels are the luxurious, 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which also features 50 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club units; the magical, 973-room Disneyland Hotel – both AAA Four Diamond properties – and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with its “day-at-the-beach” theme. For information on attractions and vacations at the Disneyland Resort, visit, call (866) 43-DISNEY or contact local travel agents. Located in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort opened July 17, 1955. Open daily, year- round.

10 Best Hotels Near Disneyland

Best Hotels Near Disneyland

Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2015 – it’s a dream vacation for families. Unlike its sister in Florida, the resort features its original Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, with entrances to each across a pedestrian walkway. It also differs from Disney World because it only offers three onsite hotels: Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa and Disneyland Hotel. The surrounding blocks of Anaheim, California, however, are lined with hotels catering to families. This means the toughest decision you’ll need to make is choosing just which property is best for your group. The following are the 10 favorites based on reviews at Family Vacation Critic.

1. Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Hotel

When it comes to the three onsite properties, the Disneyland Hotel is the original. The Disneyland Hotel open in 1955 with the theme park and was meant to be an extension of the park, with a castle-like elegance. The hotel has received numerous renovations and upgrades, and is a favorite for kids because of its 5,000-square-foot swimming pool and signature suites, which include the Mickey Mouse Penthouse. Says member dwallander, “We always stay at the Disneyland Hotel. Our kids love going to the character meals and hanging out at the pool. For families with small children, this is the best hotel for a Disneyland trip.”

2. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Of the three Disney properties, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the most luxurious, and the most expensive (nearly double rates of the other Disney hotels!) “It’s pretty expensive but you are paying for the service, quality and location,” says member lorikeet8. Created to feel like a grand mountain lodge, the hotel features several pools surrounded by wooded areas, as well as rustic onsite restaurants. It is also connected directly to Disney California Adventure with a private entrance within steps of hotel rooms. Park view rooms provide views of the evening lightshow and fireworks spectacular, and character meals are available in the resort dining rooms.

3. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel on Disneyland Resort Property

The most budget-friendly of the three Disneyland properties, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotelwas remodeled in 2012 and features conveniences like a 24-hour coin-operated laundry room and free swim diapers at the rooftop pools, which feature a water slide and views of the fireworks at Disneyland. You can beat the crowds and little ones can be tucked into bed once the show ends. In the morning, kids can dine with their favorite characters. Reader luvpresli originally wanted to stay at the sold-out Disneyland Hotel and stayed at Paradise Pier instead, finding it to be a great surprise. “It was very clean and everyone was very nice,” she says.

4. Hotel Indigo Anaheim

This contemporary hotel chain may not be your first choice when visiting Disneyland, but consider the amenities: free Wi-Fi, suites with separate living and sleeping space, sofa beds, self-service laundry and an outdoor swimming pool, all within steps of the Disneyland Resort. As member Laurentmonti notes, “Indigo Hotel is a hidden gem in Anaheim. This hotel is new, very well maintained, and the customer service is better than some 5-star hotels with big names. Do not hesitate to book this place for a family stay.”

5. Ayres Hotel Anaheim

Ayres Hotel Anaheim

The Ayres may be the property furthest away from Disneyland (a mere 2 miles), but it is one of the best for families. Not only does the hotel provide a complimentary shuttle to Disneyland, but it’s also close to Knott’s Berry Farm, in the event the kids would like to see another theme park. The hotel features spacious suites with kitchenettes to keep snacks, and provides free hot breakfast daily. “This was a great place to stay on our Disney vacation,” says dawnkaestner, who notes her kids also like playing in the hotel pool and video game arcade.

6. DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Anaheim Resort

Doubletree Guest Suites Anaheim Resort/Convention Center

For a larger property within walking distance of the theme parks, families love the DoubleTree Suites, which is also connected to the Anaheim Convention Center for additional shows and events. The resort is so close to Disneyland that families can catch the fireworks from its second-story swimming pool. As a convenience to families, the resort is the only non-Disney property to offer a Disney Welcome Center right in its lobby, so guests can make Disney meal and event reservations and get tickets in advance. Another perk? Most of the accommodations are suites so families have room to spread out. Family Vacation Critic member Kboles89 loved her family’s stay, especially because the staff was addressing them by name before the week-long vacation was over!

7. Candy Cane Inn

The Candy Cane Inn opened immediately following Disneyland and is one of the oldest hotels in Anaheim that still provides a family-operated feel and touch. Guests can walk across the street to the theme parks, and even catch a glimpse of fireworks from some of the rooms. Understanding guests are visiting for Disneyland, the inn provides free parking, free shuttles to the parks, free daily breakfast to fill up before a busy day and free Wi-Fi for keeping in touch and posting pictures from the trip. Markatt0333 raved, “This was my first visit. It won’t be my last. This inn gets a 10 straight across the board.”

8. WorldMark Anaheim

Another large resort property near Disneyland that’s great for families is the WorldMark Anaheim. The property is a condo-style vacation rental hotel providing extra amenities for kids, such as a play area, arcade and recreation center. The large outdoor pool is landscaped with palm trees to provide a tropical feel as the kids play in a kiddie pool and parents cook up burgers on the grills. The resort’s rooftop is open at night to watch the fireworks taking place at Disneyland — and features rooftop hot tubs! As waz33 points out, “Where else can you save your spot to watch the fireworks while soaking your cares of the day away in a hot tub?”

9. Residence Inn Anaheim Maingate

Residence Inn by Marriott Anaheim Resort Area/Garden Grove

Each of the Residence Inn Anaheim Maingate’s 200 rooms is a suite with plenty of space for families to spread out when not enjoying the theme parks. One- and two-bedroom suites are available so larger families can stay together, as Y1515IOwilliamf did: “We were a family of 5 [with] a two-bedroom family suite with two separate bathrooms, plus a sleeper sofa.” Each suite at the hotel features a fully equipped kitchen to allow families to save on food costs by making meals instead of eating out, and the hotel provides free breakfast before you head off to the theme parks, courtesy of a complimentary shuttle service.

10. Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground

Although the iconic HoJo orange roof from its 1960’s days is gone, this fully renovated Howard Johnson has turned itself into a destination outside of Disney with its water playground and pool area for kids. The 7-acre property is one of the largest outside of Disney and provides free parking, free Wi-Fi and special pirate-themed Kids Suites with bunk beds — all within steps of the theme parks. Says Jenngg, “HoJo was an amazing deal. Every other non-Disney property within walking distance is a motel, and none have water play areas that compare to this. I still love the Disney hotels, but if you’re on a budget, I can’t imagine a better deal than HoJo.”Written by Lissa Poirot

Source: BlogsRelease

Disneyland Guide for Families

Disneyland Guide for Families

Disneyland began as a small theme park in 1955, when Walt Disney brought his dream to life in Anaheim, California. It has since grown to comprise two parks — Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park — plus Downtown Disney, an entertainment, dining and shopping district. Still, it’s smaller in size than Disney World in Orlando, making it a manageable option for families with little ones. Before you go, here’s a Disneyland Guide with what you need to know about rides, dining options, accommodations and more.

Resort Parks

Disneyland has eight magical lands (many of which are also at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando): Main Street U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, Frontierland, Critter Country, New Orleans Square and Adventureland. All areas feature games, character experiences, dining options and of course, rides. Some of the most popular attractions and shows reside in Disneyland, such as Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Don’t miss the Fantasmic! show, Mickey’s Soundsational Parade or the fireworks display, which takes place daily.
Disney California Adventure Park
Eight more magical areas are on offer at the second theme park, Disney California Adventure Park. Explore Buena Vista Street, Cars Land, Grizzly Peak, Grizzly Peak Airfield, Paradise Pier, Pacific Wharf, “a bug’s land” and Hollywood Land. Popular attractions include The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Mickey’s Fun Wheel. The popular World of Color nightly spectacular is one of the park’s classic events not to be missed. And new for 2015, For the First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration invites families to experience Arendelle in 3D with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff in Hollywood Land.Downtown Disney
Located just down the strip from the main entrances to the theme parks, Downtown Disney includes restaurants, shops and live entertainment. Families can grab quick bites from places like Earl of Sandwich or Napolini, or sit down for meals together at ESPN Zone and the Rainforest Cafe. ESPN Zone is also home to a 10,000-square-foot sports arcade, offering even more fun for families outside the theme parks. There is also an AMC movie theater and venues for live music and shows. For souvenirs, stop by one of the many shops and boutiques that line the district, such as The LEGO Store, Anna & Elsa’s Boutique, RIDEMAKERZ and World of Disney.

'Fantasmic' show at Disneyland.

When to Visit

Disneyland Resort is open year-round and with its Southern California location, the weather is almost always sunny and in the 70s. Families can visit any time of the year for a magical experience, though lines are bound to be shorter during mid-week visits in the shoulder seasons — mid-September through mid-November and mid-April through mid-May — as well as after the holidays and before spring break. The trade-off is that the park often schedules ride and attraction refurbishments during these less busy times. It’s also nice to visit during the holidays (though it’s crowded) for seasonal events, like the Christmas Fantasy Parade and Haunted Mansion Holiday, or summer vacation, when hours are often extended.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland.

Can’t-Miss Rides

A few rides that aren’t to be missed with toddlers and pre-school children include Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse, Alice in Wonderland, Goofy’s Playhouse, Mad Tea Party (an original ride from 1955) and anything in Mickey’s Toontown. None of them have height requirements. Stop by Mickey and Minnie’s houses for character meet-and-greets and photo souvenirs.

For the elementary crowd and even some tweens, get in line for Autopia (an original ride from 1955), King Triton’s Carousel, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Toy Story Midway Mania and Tarzan’s Treehouse. All have shorter height requirements (minimum 32 inches), and none are scary or too loud.

Bypass the slower rides and head straight for the thrills with teens. Radiator Springs Racers, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and California Screamin’ are among the most popular rides at the park. All have height requirements of 40 inches or taller. Tip: To avoid long wait times, head to these rides during the evening Fantasmic! show — you can always catch the later showing.

Wetzel's Pretzels at Downtown Disney.

Dining Options

Bringing Food into the Parks
Families are invited to use the picnic pavilion outside the entrances to the parks, but they can also bring food into the park — a convenience for all, but particularly those with food allergies. Note: Glass containers, rolling coolers and large storage containers (24 inches or more) are not permitted. If you have an infant, transport formula and food in plastic containers and head to the Baby Care Center, where you can use a microwave to warm bottles.

Disneyland Restaurants
If you’re looking for some downtime, stop by a casual sit-down restaurant like Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue or Cafe Orleans. On the other hand, quick service options include Daisy’s Diner, The Golden Horseshoe and Hungry Bear Restaurant. Dining options are offered in all eight lands throughout the park, and some take reservations.

Disney California Adventure Park Restaurants
Popular sit-down restaurants include Alfresco Tasting Terrace and Carthay Circle Restaurant, which offer slightly upscale service. Wine Country Trattoria is another good choice and is a bit more casual. For on-the-go meals, stop by Award Wieners, Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta or Fairfax Market — the latter offers vegetarian options.

Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney is home to a plethora of dining options that range from quick service options to upscale restaurants. Enjoy Starbucks, Wetzel’s Pretzels and Jamba Juice for on-the-go snacks and meals. For a casual spot, head to Tortilla Jo’s, Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria or the La Brea Bakery Cafe. Crossroads at House of Blues, ESPN Zone and the Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen offer families sit-down meals that are themed and sure to entertain kids. For a special experience, visit Catal Restaurant – its menu features classic kids’ options, while offering gourmet Mediterranean cuisine and signature cocktails for adults.

Character Dining Experiences
For a meal your kids will never forget, book a character dining experience. Ariel’s Grotto in Disney California Adventure Park offers breakfast and lunch with your child’s favorite Disney princesses. At Plaza Inn in Disneyland, families can fuel up for the day with the Minnie & Friends Breakfast. Additional character dining experiences are offered at Disneyland Resort hotels. Reservations are recommended for all.

The Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California.

Magical Tips

Stay at a hotel with Disney perks.
All of the official Disneyland Resort Hotels — Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel — offer early entry to the two parks, both of which are located right next to these properties. They also offer great views of the evening fireworks shows and are walking distance to all of the attractions. Other nearby hotels offer shuttle service to and from the resort. For help selecting which property is right for your family, see our guide to choosing a Disneyland Resort hotelTip: Ask about FASTPASS promotions at your hotel. Some Disneyland Resort hotels offer permanent FASTPASS tickets that allow families to use it at any time during their stay for any of the participating attractions, rides and shows.

Purchase Park Hopper tickets.
Since the entrances to the two theme parks within the Disneyland Resort are just steps from each other, seeing both in the same day is possible (we didn’t say easy; just possible). Purchase Park Hopper Tickets to save on admission to both parks and enjoy same-day access.

Utilize Disney FASTPASS.
On the day you plan to visit the park, use your general admission ticket for FASTPASS on select rides; FASTPASS choices cannot be reserved in advance of your visit, and they book up quickly for popular rides. The rides and attractions that offer FASTPASS service have a Return Time display sign that suggests a later time to visit. If this time works for your family, insert your general admission ticket into the machine below the sign. It will issue a FASTPASS ticket with the return time printed on it. Simply come back to that ride or attraction at that time, present your FASTPASS ticket and enjoy a much shorter wait time. Families must wait until the time on their FASTPASS ticket has expired before they can sign up for another one at another ride.

Disney FASTPASS tickets are also available for World of Color and Fantasmic! FASTPASS tickets for shows do not conflict with FASTPASS tickets for rides, so sign up for both on the day(s) you plan to visit the park.

Try the Rider Switch program and Single Rider lines.
When one child wants to go on a ride, but another does not, parents should try the Rider Switch program. All family members (riders and non-riders) get in line at the attraction. Simply tell all attendants on your way to boarding that you and your partner want to try the Rider Switch program. The first parent rides while the other waits in a designated area with a Rider Switch Pass. When the first parent returns, the second boards the ride while the first waits with the other kids.

If a child is tall enough to ride alone, allow them to enter the Single Rider line at the attraction of their choice to bypass the main line. The Rider Switch program and Single Rider lines are not offered at all attractions.

Take advantage of free parking at Downtown Disney.
If your family is staying at a hotel or resort that is not within walking distance of Disneyland Resort or one that does not offer shuttle service, take advantage of the free parking at Downtown Disney. All guests receive up to three or five hours with validation from participating properties (ask at your hotel). Downtown Disney is within walking distance of both theme parks.

Enjoy infant perks.
The parks are family-friendly for infants and little ones, and both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park feature Baby Care Centers. The centers are quiet and clean and provide a place to rest, nurse and change diapers. You can find a Baby Care Center next to the Plaza Inn Restaurant in Disneyland, and in the Pacific Wharf area in Disney California Adventure Park.

There are even infant-friendly rides. While you will need to do the Rider Switch on the bigger, faster rides, infants can sit on your lap in the slower rides, such as “It’s a Small World,” Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise and the Disneyland railroad.