Monthly Archives: March 2013

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Disneyland Must Do’s



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.



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

Travel Agent? Isn’t that what the Internet is for?


Do you remember the time before smart phones? Internet Searches? Planning travel was a lot of phone calls, friends recommendations, driving to AAA or other places for maps and lots of other work. Sometimes people used a Travel Agent, but usually only on those big once in a lifetime trips. So now, we have our iPhones, HTC’s, Tablets, Laptops, and a wealth of information on all things, including Travel destinations. Nowadays the internet has taken over for all those calls, all those trips to the library and more to get stacks and stacks of information for your vacation.

Let me start by telling you a little about how I started in this business. I had two separate but each very good friends suggest to me that I should be a Travel Agent for Disney Vacations. When they first suggested it, I thought to myself “Are they insane, Travel Agents are a thing of the past, everyone uses the internet, right?” So I started looking into it more and more. Then I spent some time pondering the amount of my own time I spent planning my vacations. I was already a self-described expert whose friends would ask for help and suggestions from. It seemed a perfect fit. I realized I love all things Disney (and Universal, and Hawaii, and Cruises, and… Well traveling in general) and I love helping people to plan their trips. So yeah why not? It was probably the best decision I’ve made in a long, long time! Which if you know me, isn’t saying much…

I do often wonder if it gets easier with all this information or is it now just overwhelming? If you want to visit a place like Disneyland or Walt Disney World you could get lost in the amount of information and never make it back out. The pictures alone can be mesmerizing. But you don’t think of asking for help? Why? Travel Agents are still out there, and we are ready to help! Today more than ever Travel Agents are the best bet you have to navigate the information overload highway and keeping you on track. Most Travel Agents today are also specialists in specific areas. Take me for instance, can you perhaps guess where my specialties lie?

So I’ve shared a little with how I decided to become a Travel Agent. Really though I want to share with you why you need a Travel Agent (like me).

  • There is NO COST to you!
  • Disney, Universal and others Certifies Travel Agents
  • We are Experts in our specialties – for me that’s Disney, Universal, Hawaii, Cruises and Southern California
  • We know all the Promotions – Seriously we get daily emails
  • We do the boring research, pricing options and more, then report back to you
  • We offer suggestions and will plan your trip with as much detail as you want
  • Free Gifts! – Really, why wouldn’t you want free things?
  • No Stress Vacation Planning
  • No hours spent researching
  • Knowledgeable advice on restaurants, park tours and more
  • Travel Agents work around your schedule and budget


Still not sold on a Travel Agent? Saying to yourself you’ve been to Disneyland and Disney World as much as anyone, why do you need someone to plan it for you? Well if the lure of the free gifts doesn’t give you incentive, perhaps I can convince you another way. Having spent numerous hours at Disney parks, Disney Resorts, on Disney Cruises, and more, I can tell you I have never sat down at my computer and quickly done the reservation. I’ve looked at all the different dates, the different resorts/rooms, the different parks, Extra Magic Hours, calendar of events, and much much more. It takes me hours and hours sometimes to plan a week vacation. Why ever would you want to do that anymore? Travel Agents do all of that for you AT NO COST TO YOU!

Did you know that Travel Agents will also sit down and go through your trip, offer restaurant recommendations, perhaps even suggesting one you’ve never been to… However, if you want, I will personally offer to put your trip together in calendar form to give you a complete itinerary, including for any who want it, a complete daily breakdown of your day at each park. All For Free! If you already know what you want, then I’ll do the scheduling for you. Yes I say I a lot, but that’s what I do… Honestly, it’s what almost all Travel Agents would do for their clients.

With all I’ve said, I should warn travelers that Travel Agents aren’t the best at airfare any longer. Unfortunately, airlines no longer pay a commission, so it’s not a service a lot of Travel Agents promote. However, when asked by a client to check for them, I’m happy to do it, and I’m certain most other Travel Agents will as well. Keep in mind that we no longer have the same level of access as years past. Generally speaking it’s better and easier for you to find your own airfare. You know if you’re willing to fly red eye, or if you need to leave after a certain time. Never be afraid to ask your travel agent for help and/or suggestions. We do generally hear of the best airlines from the different areas of the country.

Joining forces with a Travel Agent only makes sense in todays world of too much information. You are planning a trip to spend time with your family and friends, yet you spend all your free time before the vacation in front of your computer planning. Let us take care of all that, we will spend the time finding the best pricing and promotions for your vacation! In addition, you make a new friend with your agent centered around something you both love, Travel!

If you’re still not sure after all my compelling reasons, I’d love to know why. Leave a comment below with your comments.

Contact me or another Travel Agent soon to get you the best value available for your next trip to Disneyland, Disney World, Disney Cruises, Universal Studios, Hawaii or anywhere you are looking to visit!

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


Right Age to Visit Disneyland


As you might have guessed, my family and I love Disneyland! As a newer Disney blogger, I have imagined some of the questions readers may have. One that I struggled with personally was what’s the right age to visit Disneyland? I imagine some of you may have the same concerns.

So my wife and I discussed, with some trepidation, taking our toddler son with us right after his 3rd birthday. We wondered what’s the right age to visit Disneyland? Additionally, we were feeling slightly guilty over the number of trips we’d taken since his birth to Disneyland without him. So we said Hakuna Matata and off we went. This was an especially good trip for his first visit. We were fortunate enough to have my Sister in law and her family with us, including our 6 year old niece. They were visiting us from Stockholm for a few weeks, so off we went. It was both kids first visit!

I know many, many parents have asked me what’s the right age to visit Disneyland? I’m not fully sure there’s a correct answer. Before going we felt 3 may have been too young. In some ways we were right, mostly we were wonderfully surprised at his enjoyment, wonder and curiosity over the whole magical experience. Were there moments of time that we wanted to rip our hair out, yeah… Quite a few moments. Were there just as many, if not more moments of looking at each other with pride in our kid who was loving Disney as much as we were…  Absolutely.

Top Reasons to bring your toddler to Disneyland:

  • You will experience Disney anew through them
  • Starstruck look when seeing Mickey live for the first time
  • Raising your hero status to unprecedented levels
  • Magical Memories
  • They find everything to be curiosier and curiosier
  • You will see parts of Disneyland you didn’t even know existed
  • Finding that ride that makes them giggle uncontrollably


Top Reasons NOT to bring your toddler to Disneyland:

  • They will lick EVERYTHING… Including the chains separating lines
  • They want EVERYTHING… Including bringing Mickey home
  • They eat EVERYTHING… If it’s a treat, they will eat it
  • They will cry about EVERYTHING… you will never go the right way, ever
  • They want to do EVERYTHING… Right NOW!

Those are our experiences with bringing our toddler to Disneyland. You’re now on your own. However, feel free to leave comments with your own experiences and concerns!


One last tip, watch your kids around Captain Hook though, he’ll lure them with cool balloons and turn them into Pirates!

I hope you find this information fun, new and worthwhile.

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

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