Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Disneyland Family Vacation Planning Tips

Here are some tips and tricks for planning your family vacation at Disneyland. Planning ahead will help you save time and have an enjoyable family vacation.

1. Prepare and pack the car the night before. Have water and food, jackets and everything ready. Be prepared for the heat and to be on your feet all day. Look at a map of Disneyland the day before at Anaheim Visitors Guide to plan what attractions you want to visit first. Planning to go on rides in a counter clock wise circular path will help you save time.

2. Get to the park early as parking may take 30-40 minutes in the late morning to park. Bring $14 cash for parking or Visa credit card. Arriving early will help you get through the gate early. If your traveling with kids plan extra time to get the stroller aboard the front or back of the tram.

3.Buy your tickets online before and not at the ticket booth at the gate. This will save you one hour of standing in line at the ticket booth.

4. Bring some food and water into the park with you. This will help you save time and money. This is best transported in a stroller. Remember you will have to pass the security check point so no hard coolers, glass or objects that would cause a problem. You can rent lockers on the west side (the side near Downtown Disney) before the security check point. You can also rent lockers inside before you go in Disneyland or California Adventure.

5. Plan to get FastPasses for the 3 most popular rides first. If you get there early enough you can get on a couple popular rides before the lines get long. Rides that offer FastPasses are the most popular and have the longest lines. See our post on FastPass Tips.

6. If you are staying for several days and have a Hopper Pass you may want to go over to California Adventure during the busy times at Disneyland. If your riding Grizzly Rapids and Splash mountain give yourself daylight hours to dry off, or Remember to bring a poncho.

7. Look online for schedules show times the day before. Fantasmic and other shows may only be playing on weekends. Some shows at California Adventure may also have long lines so prepared to get there early. If you have seen a show on a previous day this is a good time to get in line for a popular ride such as Indiana Jones.

8. Check the schedule of where your favorite Disney characters will be so you can plan on being in the right spot for that Kodak moment. Upon entering the park you can request the current schedule for that day along with a map.

9. If you have the option to get early entry with your hotel package you may want to take advantage of that. Mostly planning ahead and being prepared will help you have a great day.

10. Most of all relax on your vacation. Your there to have fun and enjoy your time with your family and friends.

Monday, April 27, 2009

California Adventure - Toy Story Mania

California Adventure has some great new rides. Currently the most popular ride is Toy Story Mania. This ride is definitely worth the wait. But if you can't wait use the single rider line. Often if your with someone else you will both end up riding together. For rides that have single rider lines you will get on more rides in during your day.

Here are some great videos on this new attraction. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Family Vacation Planning Tips

As you plan your family vacation to Southern California there are several things you need to do to make sure you have an enjoyable trip.

1. Where will you stay?
2. What will you do?
3. How will you get around?

1. Stay in a Vacation Rental
If you are traveling with kids a hotel room limits your space. Staying in a Vacation Rental costs the same price as a hotel room and gives you more space. If you have a large family this will allow you to avoid renting two hotel rooms and provides a more relaxing environment, especially if you rent a condo on the beach.

Click to see Newport Beach Vacation Rentals
Click to view San Diego Vacation Rentals

2. Look at all So. California Attractions
The Southern California CityPass allows you to visit Disneyland for 3 days and then you can go to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and Universal Studios all at a discounted rate. Click here for Discount CityPass Tickets

3. Transportation Options
Rental cars are convenient but expensive. Public transportation options along the coast from San Diego to Anaheim are the Coaster and Metrolink. These have improved to the point that you can now travel from Costal San Diego to Anaheim with one transfer in Oceanside. Staying near the beach during or after your Disneyland days can provide a vacation from your vacation. Click here for Transportation Maps

Look at the bigger picture meaning don't make your vacation more work than fun. Usually after three days most people have had their fill of Disneyland and are ready for leisurely beach activities or other attractions. Here is a map of our favorite OC beaches

Friday, April 10, 2009

More Disneyland Ticket Buying Tips

When Buying tickets on eBay or Craigslist be sure you can trust the person so you don't end up disappointed at the gate. Honest people should be transparent meaning they have nothing to hide. I have had several good transactions with eBay and Craigslist and try to follow these steps. If you want to make sure you have a good time buy the California City Pass here.

For Craigslist
1. Get to know the person via emails and phone calls.
2. Don't send payment through the mail. Ever.
3. Meet the person at their house if possible, not at some 7-11 parking lot.
4. Even if you meet the person at work make sure you have their name and cell phone. Ask to see their business card. If they won't give information readily don't buy.
5. Get their story. Ask them when they first used the tickets and what park they went to make sure they are not expired.
6. Anytime someone says "Trust Me" don't. A picture of the tickets does not mean they are good.

For eBay and other sites
1. You can generally see their ratings, but still ask questions until you feel comfortable.
2. If your just trying to save money split a 2 day hopper pass with friends that can go on a separate day that week.
3. If your considering upgrading your ticket be aware that they ask the following questions at the ticket booth. What was the first day the ticket was used? What park did you go to first? What time did you enter the park? How many tickets did you buy?