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This blog is the 7th and final in a series of blogs that I have posted over the past few weeks on how to make the most of a trip to Disneyland in California. One of the biggest costs for my family when going to Disneyland, when we first started making the trip, was for food and drinks. It is not uncommon for a meal for just one person to be over $15 per person.  But the best thing is you don’t have to pay these high prices!

Over the years we have found a few tips that will help you keep your food and drink costs low.

– TIP #1: When selecting your hotel, check to see if they include breakfast as part of their package. Many hotels do and this can save you significantly for the most important meal of the day!

– TIP #2: Look into hotels where the rooms have at least a refrigerator, and most also have a microwave. There are a few hotels, like the Staybridge Suites, that even have full kitchens. There are several grocery stores within a few miles of the park where you can pick up food so that you can pack your own lunches and snacks and take them to the park (yes, food is allowed in the parks as long as you are not bringing in big coolers). In addition, if you have a room with a full kitchen, you can choose to further cut your costs and make your own dinners as well.

– TIP #3: Keeping hydrated can also be quite expensive.  A small bottle of water at the park can cost as much as $3 each and with summer temperatures this can lead to a huge fortune in a small amount of time. We have found a great way to keep hydrated without the huge costs. We have purchased Camelbak Hydration Packs for the whole family (including young children as young as 4-5 yrs old) and we use these on all our trips that we will be out and about for full days. You fill the bladder with water, you can even add flavoring such as crystal light, slide it into the pack and you are ready to go. You will never have to worry about going thirsty during your whole day! These hydration packs come in back pack models and there are also models with just the hydration pack. They are a great way to stay hydrated, save money on drinks throughout the day, and can be easily incorporated into the items that you would normally take anyways such as a backpack.

I hope these tips help you to make the most of your Disneyland trip. Please check back on my blog for future tips on how to create the best vacation at the Happiest Place On Earth! If you have any questions about planning a trip to Disneyland or would like to leave a comment, please use the comment section below. 🙂

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This blog is the 6th in a series of blogs that I will be posting over the next few weeks on how to make the most of a trip to Disneyland in California. One of the best ways to make the most of your Disneyland visit is to take a Guided Tour. Here is a quick video to get you started:

Disneyland currently offers 3 different guided tours:

A Walk In Walt’s Footsteps Tour: This is a historical look at the life and achievements of Walt Disney. On this tour you will learn about the vision, challenges and hard work that went into creating Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom, Disneyland U.S.A. This tour includes a peek into the lobby of the exclusive, members only Club 33, a private lunch on Main Street U.S.A., and two classic attractions. Price per guest $64.

Discover the Magic Tour: This tour is an adventure through Disneyland Park using sleuthing skills to solve puzzles and hunt for hidden treasures. This is a fun-filled, high energy tour is perfect for your entire group. This tour includes several popular attractions, receive a refreshing treat and an exclusive gift. Price is $59 for first two tickets and $49 for each additional ticket.

Welcome to the Disneyland Resort Tour: This tour is a great way to start out your visit to the Disneyland Resort. During this tour you will learn fun tips and facts about the parks to make the most of your stay. You will get to experience several attractions, get a personalized itinerary with dining reservations, priority viewing for a popular show, and select Disney’s FastPass tickets for use that day. Price per quest is $25.

A few things to remember, due to the limited availability, it is recommended that you make reservations for the tours up to 30 days in advance. Please note that some tours also have age requirements, but most tours are available for all ages. In addition, there is a 20% discount available to Disney Rewards Visa holders, AAA card holders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disneyland Resort Annual Passport holders.

I hope these tips help you to make the most of your Disneyland trip. Please check back on my blog for future tips on how to create the best vacation at the Happiest Place On Earth! If you have any questions about planning a trip to Disneyland or would like to leave a comment, please use the comment section below.

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This blog is the 5th in a series of blogs that I will be posting over the next few weeks on how to make the most of a trip to Disneyland in California. One of the most frequent questions I get, is where is the best place to stay? Here is a quick video to get you started:

There are a lot of choices in places to stay near the Disneyland Resort. The most popular is of course the Disneyland Resort Hotels. This includes the Original Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. All these hotels keep the magic alive long after you have left Disneyland. There are several benefits outside of just the extra magic. From the Disneyland Resort Hotels there is quick access to the parks including the Monorail directly to Tomorrowland inside of Disneyland, wake-up calls from your favorite characters, magic morning access to the parks, character meals, and much more.

If the Disneyland Resort Hotels are not within your budget or needs, there are over 40 “Good Neighbor” hotels to choose from. With these hotels you can be assured of quality and close proximity to the park.  There are several hotels that I have personally stayed at that I would recommend.

  • Best Western Park Place Inn and Mini-suites
  • Best Western Raffles Inn and Suites
  • Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim
  • Ramada Inn Maingate
  • Staybridge Inn and Suites Anaheim Resort * This resort is my favorite of all the resorts, especially for larger parties or families!

No matter what your budget or travel needs, there is a hotel for you near the Disneyland Resort area. Check out my blog “Disneyland Tips & Tricks: Discount Vacation Packages for more tips on how to save money on hotel packages.

I hope these tips help you to make the most of your Disneyland trip. Please check back on my blog for future tips on how to create the best vacation at the Happiest Place On Earth! If you have any questions about planning a trip to Disneyland or would like to leave a comment, please use the comment section below.

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This blog is the 4th in a series of blogs that I will be posting over the next few weeks on how to make the most of a trip to Disneyland in California. When planning a trip, the first question I get from people is “Where can I get the best deals?” The answer to this question is constantly changing, however if you know a few of the best places to begin your search, this will generally save you time and money. Here are a few of the resources I have found to get the best deals in the past:

www.getawaytoday.com – Get Away Today offers great hotel, air,  & more packages. We used this service on our last trip and when I compared their overall package price, they could not beat any other offers I could find either individually or from other discount packages. Another thing I like about them, is there website is easy to use and you can modify ticket types (3 day vs. 5 day etc.) to adding additional tickets for other local attractions, transportation, etc. The customer service was wonderful and we got all our information and free stuff very quickly in the mail prior to our trip.

www.southwest.com – Southwest always has great packages for traveling to Disneyland. They offer hotel & air & more packages that can be significantly lower than if you purchase them individually. What I like about this site is that it is a “one stop shop”. You can book your air, hotel, rental car or transfer transportation, park tickets & other attractions, and even character dining all in one spot. Not only is it convenient, but you get the top notch customer service that Southwest offers.

www.arestravel.com – This appears to be another great site for a “one stop shop” point. Even though I have not used it for a specific Disneyland trip, I have used it for other Southern California trips. They offer great prices for attraction tickets, and vacation packages.

www.retailmenot.com – This is a great site for general discounts on pretty much anything you can buy off the web. I always check this site before buying attraction tickets, making car rentals, booking hotels, and even buying items from various online stores. This site is a collection of coupon or discount codes from users for any website pretty much that is out there. Even though you do run into some codes that are no longer valid or may not work with what you are trying to purchase, I have on many occasions saved quite a bit of money with these codes.

I hope these tips help you to make the most of your Disneyland trip. Please check back on my blog for future tips on how to create the best vacation at the Happiest Place On Earth! If you have any questions about planning a trip to Disneyland or would like to leave a comment, please use the comment section below.

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This blog is the 3rd in a series of blogs that I will be posting over the next few weeks on how to make the most of a trip to Disneyland in California. The lines just to get into Disneyland can be quite daunting. Do not let your day getting started on the wrong foot. Here is a video to get you started:

Tip#1- Bag Check- Disneyland has a security check before you enter the main promenade between the two parks (Disneyland and California Adventures). Regardless of whether you are passing thru, returning from earlier in the day, or visiting one of the two parks, you will have to go thru security and have all your bags, and strollers inspected. Don’t worry, this is not as bad as the airport security! J But to make your pass thru easier and quicker you should have all your zipper pockets open and ready for inspection. This includes lunch boxes, water back packs, purses, camera bags, basically anything you are carrying will be inspected. If you are traveling with a stroller make sure not to have a bunch of bugs stuffed underneath. They will ask you to remove them and allow them to inspect them. The easier you make it for the security guards, the easier and quicker you will be able to get finished and on with your day. Side note: If you are traveling without bags, there is usually a line to one side for those individuals, keep an eye out for this shortcut if you are traveling light! J

Tip#2- Ticket Lines- Tickets at the park are always more expensive and who wants to wait in line at the beginning of your day. Consider purchasing your tickets online (and printing them) or at your resort. This will save you time and almost always save you money! Don’t worry, any tickets printed online will be swapped out quickly at the main gain turnstiles when you arrive into a regular ticket.

Tip#3- Main Gate Lines- Especially around opening time, these lines can look horrendous. Don’t worry, they usually move quite quickly. However, to save a little time watch for lines that have both gates open and both turnstiles in use, also the lines further away from you may very well be shorter. Also look for lines with the least amount of strollers. Since strollers have to go through the center of the turnstiles (little gate), there can sometimes be delays in this process.  So take a look at the lines and do quick strategizing as to what line would make the most sense.

I hope these tips help you to make the most of your Disneyland trip. Please check back on my blog for future tips on how to create the best vacation at the Happiest Place On Earth! If you have any questions about planning a trip to Disneyland or would like to leave a comment, please use the comment section below.

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This blog is the 2nd in a series of blogs that I will be posting over the next few weeks on how to make the most of a trip to Disneyland in California. One of the most frustrating things I have come across is walking all the way across the park to the next attraction on your list to find out that it is close due to technical difficulties or the lines are 2+ hours long (which I won’t wait that long for any ride)! However, there are several ways you can check on attraction statuses and wait times.  Here is a video to get you started:

If you don’t have a smartphone App such as “DL Waits”, you can always utilize Disney’s status board. This board is located at the end of Main Street on the left hand side towards the entrance to Adventure Land. This board will list the status (closed for refurbishment, or technical difficulties) and the wait times for all the major attractions. Of course the smartphone App is usually going to be the most convenient if you are not near the board; however I have found that the board is going to be the most accurate. In addition, a great benefit of going to the board is that there are always outstanding casts members stationed at this board to help you with directions or any questions you might have at the park (including what times and locations your favorite characters will be making an appearance)! So next time you are visiting Disneyland make sure to check out the board and visit the cast members in order to plan for a fantastic day at the park.

I hope these tips help you to make the most of your Disneyland trip. Please check back on my blog for future tips on how to create the best vacation at the Happiest Place On Earth! If you have any questions about planning a trip to Disneyland or would like to leave a comment, please use the comment section below.

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This blog is the 1st in a series of blogs that I will be posting over the next few weeks on how to make the most of a trip to Disneyland in California. One of the best ways to make the most of your Disneyland vacation is to take advantage of Disney’s FastPass Service. Here is a video to get you started:

Getting a FastPass is easy! First you need to take a look at the Disneyland attraction map and find out which rides offer the FastPass service. Then pick your favorite, head to that ride and find the FastPass Distribution. You take your park entry ticket, slide it into the scanner at the distribution site and a FastPass ticket will be issued to you. This ticket will have a 1 hour time period for you to return during. When you return to the ride during your allotted time, you will then take the FastPass Return line that in most cases should take you almost to the front of the line, drastically reducing your wait time.

One important thing to note is that you can generally only have one FastPass ticket at a time. However there is an exception to this. If you have a FastPass return time that is greater than 2 hours from the time it was issued, you can then obtain another FastPass after the 2 hours have expired. On the bottom of your FastPass ticket it will tell you the time that your next FastPass would be available! Also note, you must have a FastPass ticket for all the members of your party. We usually have one person in our party who carries all of our park tickets together. That person is then the disignated person to obtain our FastPasses throughout that day. However, if you plan on splitting up, keep this in mind so that you can all enjoy the rides together if you so choose to.

I hope these tips help you to make the most of your Disneyland trip. Please check back on my blog for future tips on how to create the best vacation at the Happiest Place On Earth! If you have any questions about planning a trip to Disneyland or would like to leave a comment, please use the comment section below.

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