Finally I am getting down to writing about our USA holiday, well this is just one part of it really – DISNEYLAND. Everyone wants to know about it and what we did so the best way was to write it down. Now I am not going to write every single detail just the main points you will need to know about. We travelled in October so the weather was just perfect.
- Research – as you can imagine there are hundreds of blogs out there about Disneyland. Before our trip I read a lot of them and each one will have different tips to the other so it is worth doing some research and reading about other peoples experiences of what worked and didn’t and making note of them.
- Disneyland Passes – we are a family of 4 and bought our passes online direct through the Disneyland website as this worked out cheaper. We bought the Disneyland Park Hopper tickets which allowed you to go to both Disneyland and California Adventure Park and it was valid for 4 days at the parks, the total cost for this was NZ $1420.00. Also keep an eye out as some mornings during the week your ticket allows you a magic morning hour, which means you get to enter the park an hour earlier before the general public.
- Plan your day – plan which days you are going well in advance. It pays to go during the week when it’s not school holidays in the US and also don’t go on a public holiday or weekend either. We knew it was going to be long days so decided to head out early each day. We were up each morning at 5:00am had breakfast in our room and then walked to Disneyland. Magic morning on the Tuesday gates opened at 7am. The good thing about going early, it is less crowded and it’s cooler. We did the whole of Disneyland (literally every ride) in 1 day and by 2:30pm when it starts to get crowded and really hot we were done for the day, which meant, afternoon swims at the hotel and relaxing our very sore legs. California Adventure Park same deal we were there by 6:30am on the Wednesday and did the whole park by 2:00pm. The following day we went back around 9am, we didn’t get there too early as we have pretty much done both parks it was more going back to see things we may have missed like some shops etc, we were there only for about 2hrs and then went back in the evening for the parade. We skipped Friday and didn’t go at all. Saturday we wanted to go back at night for the Fantasmic show and the fireworks display. We bought a dinner pack from one of the Disnleyland restaurants which got you a ticket in a sectioned off area with great views of the show. Around 3pm we went into to pick up our food and get out tickets. I have never experienced being somewhere with that many people, now I know why you avoid going in the weekend. We couldn’t move there were just people everywhere. The lines for rides were 2-3hrs long!!!! We got our food and got out of there as quick as we can which wasn’t really quick because of how many people there were it was like exiting at snails pace.
- Disney Max Pass – if you are planning on spending money to go all the way to Disneyland, trust me the only and best way to do it is by purchasing a MaxPass via the Disneyland app which is another must have. The Disneyland app show’s you wait times of all the rides so you know which ones to go to etc. The Maxpass cost US $10 per person per day. We bought the maxpass for two days so total of US $80 for both days. As soon as you enter the park you can book your fastpasses for the more popular rides. You can only book 1 fast pass at a time, sometimes it allows you to book two rides. By booking a fastpass you don’t spend hours waiting in line. As soon as you use that fastpass then you can book your next one. The most we stood in line for was about 10mins. The other great benefit of the Maxpass is it included unlimited photos. Around the park are professional photographers who take your photos at the popular spots and they scan your maxpass and the photo gets downloaded to your phone. All the action photos from the rides, you key in the code and you get the photo. So less time worrying about taking photos and more time to enjoy the park and have fun.
5. Food and Drinks – you are allowed backpacks into the park and we took ours on all the rides too. You can bring in your own food, but not any commercial food, so you can’t buy McDonald’s and bring it into the park. The park has so many carts and places to eat at, we didn’t as we packed our own food. We made sure we took lots of snacks and fruit etc. We had our own water bottles which we filled up at numerous water fountains all over the place. We did buy ice creams though which was great in the heat.
6. Kids & the parks – you are probably thinking why do I need to write about kids going to the park it’s the whole point! Well let me tell you. Our girls ages are 12 & 7. Miss C literally just made the height on all the rides so we were really lucky. To be honest they were really good, even though we were up early the excitement of going on all the rides just kept them going. Just a note Splash Mountain and the rapids ride at California Adventure park you get soaked. Our girls loved it and wanted to go a few times. Because it was so hot, getting wet was very refreshing and we dried pretty quickly. Walking back to the hotel in the afternoon is when the tiredness kicked in, but we bribed them with a swim so it was all good. However, looking around at all the kids in the afternoon at the park after being there all day, it sure didn’t look like the happiest place on earth! In my opinion, I wouldn’t take kids younger than 7/8, unless you live there. It cost a lot of money to go there so you want them to be able to experience it all and go on all the rides and also remember the holiday. There were a lot of prams, and kids sleeping a lot of the time, or crying because they were hot and tired. Also going when your kids are older means you can all go on the same rides together which we absolutely loved being able to do with them.
So, all in all I would say we nailed Disneyland and California Adventure Park. The months of planning and research paid off, we could not have done it any better. I would say that the main thing is don’t rush it. Prepare yourself in knowing that it is going to be busy and you have to wait in line and you just have to go with the flow of things, makes it less stressful. I hope that if you are travelling to Disneyland you have the best time ever.