May 23, 2013

Disneyland Tips and Tricks

I'm finally getting around to posting about our fabulous Disneyland trip.  There are lots of tips and tricks out there to ensure you and your family have a great time and get the most out of your trip.  Here are a few things that helped us stay sane, save a little money, and create memories.

1. Autograph book

We made an autograph book for characters to sign before we left on our trip.  Full post HERE.  This was a great way to have fun meeting Mickey and Minnie, and also a place to display photos of our trip for our kids to look at after we arrived back home.

2. DIY Disney T Shirts
I have three boys, so the notorious nephews of Donald Duck seemed like a good choice for our family.  I downloaded some clip art into my Silhouette program and used heat transfer vinyl.  The boys love them and wear them at home too.  It's nice to have some kind of themed shirt for easy spotting if you get separated.  The shirts in the part are really expensive so we saved some money by making them beforehand.  Each shirt cost me less than $5.00.  It makes for great photo ops and you feel like you're part of the "magic" of the park.

3.  Clothes Organization and Packing

A great travel tip I found on grey luster girl was to pack each kids' clothing for the day in a gallon Ziploc bag; one bag for Monday, one for Tuesday, etc.  Label each bag with the child's name and day for wearing and you don't have to rifle through your suitcase in order to find clothes to wear that day.  It is tedious to pack that way, but saved so much time when we were traveling.  It kept me organized when the kids were wearing the same themed shirt on the same day.  After the boys were dressed, I would put the boys' swim shorts and shirt in the Ziploc bag, along with a small towel.  If we wanted to go on a water ride or happened to get wet, we could easily change into our swimwear and/or put our wet clothes in the Ziploc to take home without getting everything else in our diaper bag wet.

4. Glow Sticks and Bracelets

When it gets dark, Disneyland starts pulling out the lighted toys for everyone to buy before the parades begin.  They are expensive, and if you are like me, would have to buy three to keep everyone from fighting.  I brought some packs of glow bracelets instead and my kids loved them.  It was another easy way to visually keep track of everyone as we walked around at night.

5.  Apps and list of rides

Before we left on our trip, I downloaded the Disneyland Explorer app for my kids to acquaint themselves with the park.  They loved looking at all of the rides and they each made a list of their top 5 ride picks.  Unless you are spending an entire week at Disneyland, you are not going to be able to go on every ride.  Having a list of their top choices not only made it easy to plan out what we were going to ride next, but kept them from being disappointed if we didn't get to everything.  Hey, at least we got your top 5 in, right? (and plenty more too)

There are several apps, depending on your phone or tablet, that keep you up to date on each rides' wait time, along with maps of where everything is located.  So helpful when you are deciding where to go next or find a bathroom in a hurry.

6.  Passes

Use Fast Pass and Photo Pass to their full advantage.  We did and it saved us a lot of time waiting in line and hassle trying to snap a photo.

7.  Dole Whips

Do yourself a favor and get a Dole Whip in Adventureland.  They are fabulous.  About 30 seconds later, that cup was empty.

Check out my Disneyland/Legoland Pinterest Board to check out other tips and tricks.  Hope your trip will be as magical as ours!

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