We have not made a post in a while because we have been away making memories with Mickey. We had a great time and we thought that we would pass on a few ideas.
1.We went through Get Away Today for park hoppers and hotel. They seem to always have good prices and they were always very kind and helpful with questions and requests. They can tell you when the park is the least crowded (Sept. - May and Tues - Thurs if possible). There are many different package options to provide the best deals for your family.
2. Plan ahead. There is so much information through books, the Disneyland website, and others that can help you when you arrive. You can order a free DVD with info about Disneyland and Disney World. This will explain "fast passes" and "baby switch passes" which reduces waiting in line and other helpful information. Plan a flexible itinerary with maps of things you want to see. There are many fun facts, bits of trivia, and hidden things to find. Check out books from the library or google Disneyland trivia. This was fun to take with us.
3. Start early. With Disneyland hotels or park hopper tickets you can get early entry. You can usually get on a few rides you have selected for that morning with little or no wait.
4. Meals and snacks. Eating in the park is pricey. We ate breakfast in our hotel rooms,(Gossner Foods has shelf stable milk boxes that were ideal for traveling) and then took snacks to make it until the afternoon. They will search your bags for security purposes when going into the park but they were fine with small snacks and water bottles. If you are not staying close to the park there is a picnic area right outside of the gate that you can store a cooler and lunch in a locker. There are also restaurants in downtown disney that were good priced. We ate at Tortilla Jo's at the walk up window a few times. These were some of the best prices with pretty good food.
5. Parades and shows. You can check the website for the parades and show times. These were some of our favorite events. You get to see a lot of characters in the parades and our kids loved the shows. There are shows in many areas in Disneyland and California Adventure. Some we went to were Aladdin, Playhouse Disney, and Turtle Talk with Crush.We recommend them all.
6. Souvenirs- Buy disney items and take them with you instead of buying everything there. We surprised our girls with some princess things in our hotel room that the princesses had dropped off for them while they were out.
7. Make memories. Ask your kids what they would like to see and do (this may vary for different ages). Build fun memories for them because that is what it is all about. My parents commented that Disneyland is not as fun without children. The magic comes from the family and children.