Sunday, January 1, 2012

Summer 2011 Disneyland Tips

Are you going to Disneyland this summer?

    If you are, I am jealous!  I just got back a couple of weeks ago, but I am really ready to go back RIGHT NOW!
     I wanted to share a few things I have learned from my last few trips to Disney that might help make  your trip a little better and easier.

     Tickets.  You see a lot of ads for ticket discounts, but the best is probably AAA.  They sell the tickets at their office and they come with free parking.  The tickets are cheaper, no tax AND free parking!!  Wow!  Parking is $15 a day now.

     Going to Disneyland in the early morning?  Stop by the Market House on the right side of Main Street, for coffee.  Save your receipt.  They will give you free refills all day long.  It's the only place in Disneyland that you can get that!  They also have a hidden cupboard of aspirin, sun block, and other drug store items, just ask.

     Did you know that you can ride up front with the engineer on the Disneyland train?  Just ask a conductor when the train comes into the station.  If your train has the super fancy Lilly Belle car, you can ride in that too.  Just ask!  If it's your first visit you have to do the full round trip to see all of the special sights along the way.  It's great for an afternoon rest. You can also take pictures sitting in the drivers seats of the main street vehicles as well.  

     Single Riders!  Don't want to wait in line for two hours to ride California Screamin'?  Talk to the cast member at the front of the line.  They will give you a single rider pass.  It's better than a fast pass, but you don't get to ride with your friends.  You'll wait 10 minutes instead of 2 hours
        Attractions that do single riders:  (Maybe more, ask at the front of the line.)
                Splash Mountain, Indianan Jones, California
                Screamin', Grizzly River Rapids,
                Soarin' Over California

     Baby Swap!  Moms and Dads with small kids can both enjoy a ride.  Ask the first cast member at a ride for a Child Swap pass so that both parents don't have to wait in the long line.  I've heard that you can use the pass all day and go back to the front of the line at any time, but I don't know that for sure.

     Food is expensive at Disneyland! You can bring in your own food and drinks.  They will look through your bag, but they have no problem allowing you to bring in food and drinks in plastic containers. The will even allow soft sided coolers.  They have lockers to stow your food until lunchtime.  The lockers are right by the Market House so you can get more coffee!

     Hydrate!!!!  It gets hot and you will get much more tired and cranky if you aren't well hydrated.  Drink lots of water, not soda.   

    Keep Calm.  I see so many people getting tired and crabby and frustrated with their children.  Remember that you are asking your child to spend 12+ hours outside in the sun, constantly moving and being over stimulated.  It's just too much for most kids, and all adults!  Drink lots of water, keep eating snacks you are carrying in a backpack, take lots of breaks, sit and watch shows to rest the feet, and remember that you are at the HAPPIEST place on earth.  If you force kids and yourselves to the limit it won't be fun for anyone and it won't be a good memory.  If you start getting cranky remember to keep it to yourself and do what you can to make it a great experience for your kids. If they start getting cranky, try to figure out why instead of doing what most Disneyland parents do, yell at them about how much it costs to go there and threaten to go home.  The likelihood is that they are thirsty, tired or over stimulated and probably just need a break.

     You can't see everything!  There is a quote from Walt that goes something like, "Build too much for them to see in one day so they have to come back."  Good Old Walt has built more than you can see in three days.  Study the website and maps before you go and decide what you really want to see the most and concentrate on that, when you have that done, do other things.  Then you will feel like you have accomplished something special with this trip.  

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