Daily Archives: March 19, 2013

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Disneyland Must Do’s

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old-disneyland-entrance

Hey all you fans of Mickey! So you’ve planned a visit to Disneyland! You’ve made it known to everyone you are going, you’ve contacted a Disney Specialist travel agent to do all the boring booking part for you, including booking your ‘Priority Seating’ dinner reservations. Now you are on your way!

You have arrived at the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’, what should you do first? last? That’s what I’m here to help you with. Well at least share my Disneyland Must Do’s. I’ve been to Disneyland more times than I should admit to.

First things first, get in front of the floral arrangement in front of the train station and get you a picture! Collect your Photo Pass, or even better purchase your Photo Pass+ before even going to parks, so that you can use it for the rest of your trip. Don’t worry the photographer will also take your picture with your personal camera. Do It! You will love having the Photo’s available later on to purchase, sometimes making excellent Christmas Cards. Also know that you can pre-order the PhotoPass CD. If you do this and you make sure to take advantage of all the photography opportunities you can score an excellent deal!

Once you’ve walked under the train trestle, follow my lead and look to your left. Right next to the City Hall is the Fire Station. The top floor is Walt Disney’s apartment. Give him a quick hello, friendly wave, and perhaps a Thank You. If you are close enough you will notice that there is an oil lamp in the window. This lamp is always on, symbolizing Walt Disney’s spirit is always around. Quick note, don’t freak out if it’s out, that only means that one of the Disney Family is visiting the park and Walt’s spirit resides with them.

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Head Down Main Street towards Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, I always save the shops for on the way out. I personally always buy more than I should and I don’t want to be held up, there are things to do and see!!!

I start with a general list in my head of what’s first. Typically I head towards the left of the castle to hit up Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones first.

What rides are the must do’s??
• Jungle Cruise
• Indiana Jones (FastPass)
• Big Thunder Mountain (Fast Pass)
• Splash Mountain (Fast Pass)
• Space Mountain (Fast Pass)
• “NEW” Star Tours (Fast Pass)
• Pirates of the Caribbean (Save this till around dinner time)
• Haunted Mansion
• Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
• It’s a Small World (of course – sorry for the song being stuck in your head too)

So you have your rides in mind. Head off and get a fastpass for one ride and then jump in line for another. Couldn’t be easier. Try to stay nearby the rides. For instance, get yourself a fastpass to Indiana Jones then hit the Jungle Cruise.

Where should we eat?

I am generally satisfied with any meal I have at Disneyland. This park tends to have pretty darn good food when you go looking for it. My favorite restaurant overall is “Blue Bayou”.

But you don’t want to eat at Blue Bayou every meal? Here’s some other options:
• Cafe Orleans – Excellent Gumbo
• Plaza Inn – Great Breakfast buffet with Characters
• Big Thunder Ranch BBQ – Includes a Show
• The Golden Horseshoe – Get yourself a Sundae here!
• Carnation Cafe – Good breakfast spot

As a frequent visitor to Disneyland I never truly feel I’ve done it all until I see a Parade, Fantasmic!, and the Fireworks. Without these magical pieces of the visit I would be incomplete. I fully encourage, almost demand, that you see at least one parade, the Fantasmic! show and stay for the Fireworks!

After the Fireworks, head back to Main Street and get you some souvenirs.

There are of course many, many, many, more things to do at Disneyland, however this list is simply DisneyDaniels’ MUST DO’s!

Contact me today to book your first, next or best Disney, Universal, Cruise, Hawaii or other Magical Vacation!

Daniel is a self-proclaimed Disney Geek, Disney Vacation Planner and a Disneyland Specialist. When he’s not adding to the plethora of Disney Trivia in his head, you can find him on his Facebook Page and/or follow him on Twitter

Why I Love Disneyland!

Disneyland Guide Spring 1979_08

Disneyland Guide Spring 1979_08

I first visited Disneyland when I was about 8 years old. My family went in a van with a porthole. It’s odd what we remember isn’t it? I don’t even know whom that ugly van belonged to. With my family were my Aunt and her children. It was a fairly large group of us traveling from Missouri to California, in the porthole van. Try and imagine a very uncool Mystery Machine van but in brown with 1970’s colors running down the side… Then imagine it 100 times worse and you’ll be close.

We stayed along the way in some fantastic K.O.A. campgrounds… Well fantastic may be a strong word for the accommodations, but we were going to DISNEYLAND! I couldn’t wait; I had wanted this trip for as long as my young 8-year-old self could remember.

I’m not sure I could tell anyone anything specific about our visit. I have memories of just being overwhelmed with excitement, with a bit of fear mixed in.  It could have been the Sky Way that caused the fear to be honest. When you first saw it, it went into a mountain! What is going on there? There are of course bits and pieces of memories but overall I know it started my love of all things Disney and that lives on with me to this day.

It took me over 11 years until I got to visit Disneyland again. This was the trip that sealed it for both my wife and I. We were hooked and there was no going back! Unlike my first visit, this one is etched into my memory forever. Every detail. Even if it wasn’t permanently imprinted on my mind, we have 1000’s of pictures, so I could always be easily reminded.  Matter of fact I think they are still in the Costco envelopes. Perhaps I should go on a Picture Hunt!

Through the years, we have made it a goal to visit Disneyland at least once, if not more times, a year. Heading down from our home in Seattle for a weekend is one of our favorite ways to spend our entertainment dollars. I almost hate to admit this, but my wife and I at times have ditched our son with grandparents and jaunted down to Disneyland for a weekend away for just us. Please don’t send me hate mail over that…

In the end, I can simply say that I love visiting Disneyland (and Disneyworld!). Truly it’s a magical place for my all. When I walk under the arches and see Main Street USA, I let go of any stresses I might have had, any worries and any troubles. I once again look upon Disneyland with my 8 year old eyes. I’m certain Walt wouldn’t have wanted it any other way…

And really, is there anything greater than that?

Contact me today to book your first, next or best Disney, Universal, Cruise, Hawaii or other Magical Vacation!

Daniel is a self-proclaimed Disney Geek, Disney Vacation Planner and a Disneyland Specialist. When he’s not adding to the plethora of Disney Trivia in his head, you can find him on his Facebook Page and/or follow him on Twitter