Friday, February 25, 2011

Keeping that Disneyland Feeling

My family loves Disneyland! We begin talking about our next trip before we even leave our vacation and head back home. There is something wonderful about our trips and we love to remember them over and over. How do we do it? Here are a few tips:

  1. Watch Disney Movies - It's fun to watch a movie that has a dedicated attraction in the Disneyland Resort. We love to watch each movie and point out all of the things that were in the movie and the attraction at the resort.
  2. Watch movies about the resort - There are many movies that you can purchase about the park. Some are even available on Netflix.
  3. Utilize YouTube - Our favorite is to search for the Disneyland Interactive Map. It has all kinds of videos of the attractions, etc.
  4. Look at pictures/create scrapbooks - We love to remember some of our favorite moments.
  5. Answer the Disneyland Question of the Day from their facebook page. One of my favorite questions is: "A trip to Disneyland is not complete without..."
  6. Send for a free Vacation Planning Video - Our family sends for a new video every year. While most of the information hasn't changed, some things do. Ainsley will watch them over and over again.
  7. Visit a nearby Disney Store - Recently I have been telling my husband I need a Disney fix and we must travel the 85 miles to our closest store. He tells me we can as long as I promise to leave my wallet at
  8. Listen to Disney Music - On our last trip we purchased several CD's that contain different music you will here at the Disneyland Resort. My favorite: The Official Album of the Disneyland Resort. You can purchase it at

These are just a few ideas. You may have your own. Please share them with me. I am always looking for new ways to experience Disneyland from several states away.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Long Wait Times

If you have ever been to Disneyland you will understand what I mean. Wait times for attractions can be brutal, especially the Peter Pan attraction. What should you do to keep your preschooler occupied while waiting in line? Here are a few tips:

  1. Play word games with your children - One of my favorite is the Alphabet game. Start with A and continue to Z naming Disney characters, movies, etc. that start with each letter.
  2. Play I spy - This is a fun game that can easily be done with the park maps or just your surroundings. If you don't know how to play, click here for some simple instructions.
  3. Take a bathroom break - Have someone in your party stand in line while you escort your preschooler to the restroom. Other guests in the park are understanding and usually allow you to make your way through the line quickly to catch up with the person waiting in line for you to return.
  4. Review your pictures or videos captured with a digital camera throughout the day - My daughter loves to watch videos we have taken of different rides or experiences with characters.
  5. Talk about what you would like to do next - Children love to be involved in planning what attractions to ride or where to eat. Allow them to voice their opinions then make choices as a family. Always have a back-up plan if your original choice doesn't work out as expected.
  6. Look for Hidden Mickeys - These are representations of Mickey Mouse that have been subtly inserted into the design of attractions, rides, decor and locations throughout the Disneyland Resort. They are everywhere and my daughter enjoys looking for them each time we are waiting in a queue. You might also want to buy a book that will give you hints on where to look. I purchased "Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys" by Steven M. Barrett, but there are others to choose from. Mr. Barrett's book is intriguing and even gives you a treasure hunt to follow.
  7. Use this opportunity for a light snack that is not messy - We like fruit leather. It is small, flat and easily fits into any bag or a back pocket.  

Not all rides have long wait times. The most I have ever waited with my daughter is about 35 minutes. The key: find what works best with your child/children and stick with it.

Until Next Time,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Why stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel?

It's a beautiful day here in Washington. The temperature rose to about 51 degrees causing me to think about my spring wardrobe for the first time. As I wandered around my house I noticed that all of the ladybugs have come out of hiding and were crowding in my windows eager for the warmth of the sun. I suspect they wanted to get out. Amazingly these little bugs caused me to think about all of the spring cleaning activities that would soon need to be done. My mental list grew quite long quickly and I wanted to run away. Immediately the Disneyland Hotel came to mind and I wished I could go there sooner rather than later.

I have talked to a lot of people lately about my trips to Disneyland. The number one question they ask, “Where should I stay.” There is a simple answer to that question for me. Stay on property!

I know, I know, you may be saying, “That is a lot of money. Is it really worth it?” The answer is yes and let me tell you why. There are a few perks, like a room key with your name on it that you keep upon leaving, being able to charge any purchase within the park to your hotel room (except street vendors), multiple early entry days into the park, and the resort staff.

The staff at the Disneyland Resort Hotels were amazing. They have done everything they could to meet each and every need. Once I had to go down to the desk at around the park closing time and there was a huge line for the elevator. When I asked how to access the stairs they informed me it wasn’t possible and instead led me to the staff elevator to get to my floor quickly. My only regret in that experience was that I didn’t take a picture of myself on that elevator.

The room decor is wonderful, especially the newly remodeled rooms in the Disneyland Hotel. As a mother of a five year old who hates to sleep in the dark, those new fiber optic headboards are amazing. My daughter loved sleeping to the visual of exploding fireworks. They have taken great efforts to make sure that the decor is elegant. Mickey is not the dominate feature, but he is hidden in many places, like the tile on the bathroom shower walls, pictures on the wall, the headboard and more. To see pictures click here.

For my family, however, two of the biggest reasons we stay at a Disney Resort Hotel is the ease of accessibility and the feeling of immersion. Trust me there is nothing like the feeling that you are never leaving the park. Even if you stay across the street you still feel like you have left the land of fantasy and entered the world of reality again. I like feeling as if I never left the park and my daughter loves that she gets to hear a princess bedtime story every night. Only in a Disney Resort Hotel is there a special channel on television dedicated to Princess Bedtime Stories.

You may be wondering if we have ever stayed off property. In our trips we have stayed off property twice. Once was right across the street and another was one mile away. Staying right across the street is nice and allows you to get to and from the park easily. Hotels that are located farther away require that you either drive or ride the Anaheim Resort Transit bus to and from the park. The hotels we stayed in were nice and clean. However, we did not enjoy feeling like we left the park. Being able to hop on the Monorail and ride it back and forth and be only steps away from our room was a sure joy, especially when we were tired.

I could go on and on about my personal reasons for staying on property, but it would probably make a record for the world’s longest entry on a blog. If you have any questions, please send them to me. While I may not be able to answer everything, I will do my best.

Until Next Time,