Friday, February 13, 2015

Disneyland tips from an obsessed mom

It's the truth...I really LOVE Disneyland.  Since I was a child, Disneyland has always been a special place for me.  Some of my fondest and most dear memories involve trips to Disneyland.  I've been going since the People Mover was still up and running.  I still remember when the parking lot was where California Adventure now stands.  I can remember the first time Indiana Jones opened and the long lines and hours of waiting it took to finally enjoy the 2 minute ride.  I can still recall the first year Fast Passes were invented and how long it took to finally figure out how they worked...and how they totally ROCK!  But beyond that, Disneyland always involves my family. This is me and my Grandpa on the People Mover in 1989!!!

Before I had kids, we ran from ride to ride and asked to sit in the front or the back (because I guess the middle of the ride totally sucks?).  We saved our precious pennies to be able to buy churros.  The kiddie rides were so not cool to be seen on, and we avoided the Characters like they were the plague.  Now, Disneyland isn't so much about the rides but the magic.  I look at my kids faces as they look up at Mickey Mouse and nothing beats the joy that shines from their tiny little eyes.  I'm more excited to see their reaction than I am to feel the jolts, twirls, and tickle hills on a ride. And, even though we still went on most of the rides, we made it a point this year to take in ALL the entertainment.  We watched the parades, saw all the shows, and made sure to stand in line to see the characters.  So, I feel like I've truly seen it all at Disneyland. 

With that said, I've decided to share a few tips that can really make your trip more enjoyable.  Whether its 'where to sit' in a show, or what's my favorite ride, or the yummiest food, I'm dishing all the dirt on Disney.


My absolute favorite show to see at Disneyland is Aladdin (now Frozen).  It's like seeing a mini Broadway play!  The music is fantastic, the acting is great, and the set...I mean...WOW!  They really went all out on this one.  The great thing about it too is that it plays multiple times a day so you can plan ahead as to what show to see when you're over in that area.  Thanks to my awesome step-mom, we found the best place to sit!  It's my opinion that you should get there at least 45 minutes before the start time of the show.  That seems like a lot of time to wait, but it's worth it to get into the Orchestra seating section.  When the doors open to the show you'll be guided up some stairs on your left and into some doors.  DON'T go all the way down to the ground floor!!!!!  Instead, sit on the front row of the top part of the Orchestra seating.  You'll be able to see what's happening all around, and the kids will get close up visitors in the play!  Just trust me on this one!

In that same area is Turtle Talk with Crush.  This show is interactive and totally hilarious.  Kids are allowed to sit on the floor in front of the 'underwater' screen and interact with Crush from Finding Nemo.  He asks questions to audience members (adults and kids) and teaches the kids how to speak turtle.  It plays a lot during the day, so if you're over's a must see.

I also loved The Frozen play in the Royal Theater.  Last year was Rapunzel and it had great music, was really funny, and was interactive.  This year was Frozen and it was equally just as great!  This play does require a Fast Pass!  It plays multiple times during the day so if you miss one just hurry over and get a Fast Pass for the next showing.  The kids are allowed to sit in the front on the floor and you get to hang out on the benches behind and rest.  I personally like finding a seat in the very back so I actually have a backrest. Ha ha...I'm like totally an old lady!

The parades are another must see with little kids, but really I quite enjoy them myself.  There's so much detail in the costumes and floats that I'm always blown away!  My kids just sit there in awe and wave at everyone!  It's adorable!!  I would suggest sitting with the sun behind you.  There are a few places I always try and sit and are always taken, so if you really want a great seat, you need to get there early.  For me, the best place are the benches on the right of Sleeping Beauty's Castle (if you're looking at it).  The benches are actually built into the wall so they have a backrest and no one can sit or stand in front of you because they are right up next to the street. 

The Tikki Room is one I used to hate!  Now that I have kids, it's one of my favorites.  Here's why... it has it's own separate bathroom, you can eat in there, the long line to get dole whips can be skipped if you get them on the opposite side where the Tikki Room lounge is, and it's nice and cool in there.  On really hot or rainy's like the best thing ever!!!   Any seat is a good seat, and if your kid is really feeling brave, they can ask the cast member to wake up Jose.

Lastly is Fantasmic!  I also really love Word of Color...but there's something about Fantasmic.  Mostly I think it's because it's the same it's been since I was young.  There's fire and water and fireworks and, or course, there's Mickey!  Now that Disneyland has gotten all Fast Pass crazy, it's really the only way to see it...unless you know the inside scoop.  Eat dinner at Café Orleans!!!!  You get a delicious meal that's not too crazy in price and they will let you stick around and watch Fantasmic from their outdoor seating section.  Make sure to get reservations ahead of time and make sure that your dinner time is as close to Fantamic as possible! 

 Meeting The Characters:

For the most part you can wait in lines all around the park to meet the characters...which is what we always do but for Mickey...we visit his house in Toontown.  Here's my tip...go to his house about a half hour before the park closes.  He's still there, usually, and no one else will be in line.  This means two things, one, no line...totally awesome, and two, Mickey will actually interact with your child.  A few years ago we took my oldest daughter to go see Mickey at his house.  We waited in line for about 30 minutes and when we got in there we were hurried and rushed to take a picture and get out.  I totally get it...long lines call for desperate measures, but this time was so much better!!!  After visiting Mickey, go snoop around all of Toontown without all the crowds.  It's a ton of fun!


I know it sounds crazy to even put food as a category but Disneyland has some of the best food!  Yes you'll find some of the basics like burgers and fries and mac and cheese, but some of the best food I've ever had has been at Disneyland!  Here's a list of things I can't go without eating while at Disneyland.

Rice Krispie Treat
Corn Dog
Dole Whip
Mint Julep
Fried Pickles (I just really love pickles) They are only served at Carnation Café on Main Street
Clam Chowder Bread Bowl
 and that's just to name a few...

A must for me and Mike, though, is eating at Blue Bayou. It's the restaurant inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. We ate there on our Honeymoon (yes we went to Disneyland...I told you I love this place) and we have eaten there almost every visit since.  We usually ask our family to watch the kids for us for an hour while we have alone time, but if are aren't able to have someone watch your kids then I'd just skip it.  It's more of a romantic place.  It's pricey for sure, but the food and ambiance is totally worth it!  You HAVE to make reservations in advance...and I'm talking weeks, especially if you want dinner. 

So there you have it.  Just a few tips and things about Disneyland.  I'm full of them, so if you have questions just leave a comment.  If you've never been...lets go together!!! I'm always down for a Disney trip!

1 comment:

Sheri Kowallis said...

I read your blog and love it!!! Only way I can know what you guys are doing:} I usually don't leave comments, but I have smiles reading and looking at your fun pictures! Sounds like you had a great time at Disneyland. You sure know your stuff and I love the pictures. Wish Kent and I could go, but Kent doesn't like things like that. Hence we hike :(