{ p r e s s p l a y }

Hello all! Sorry for the absence, between the school musical and the end of term, life is just crazy! But it’s also great. 🙂 If you follow me on Instagram (@melanie.stark) you are probably VERY aware that I’M GOING TO DISNEYLAND IN T MINUS 7 DAYS. 1 WEEK. 168 HOURS. I am beyond excited because Disneyland is my favorite place in the entire world. In the past 8 years I have been to Disneyland 4 times. You could call me a professional. 😉 When you come to Disneyland from Utah you have to be prepared and ready to make the most of every second in the happiest place on earth. Here are some of my tips for ya to make the most of your Disney experience.

1. Bring ziploc bags with you in your suitcase. They come in handy for everything. You could put toiletries in them to ensure they won’t spill. You can use them to separate different outfits. You can use them to protect electronics on water rides. There’s really no reason you shouldn’t take them. And while we’re on the subject, take garbage bags too- they’re good for dirty laundry that you want separated from your clean clothes.
2. If you have little kids, bring a stroller. It will be a lifesaver. Little kids have to walk about twice or even triple the amount that adults do because of their wittle legs, so they will most likely be very tired at the end of a long day walking through Disneyland. With a stroller they can take breaks during the day and even take little naps so they aren’t as tired. With a stroller you also have a place to store your food, drinks, and other things that you bring into the park.
3. Another suggestion with little kids- bring a leash. It just straps around their chest and you hold the end of the rope it’s attached to. This way they can’t run off when you turn around for 3.585 seconds. When my sister was little we used this and it worked like a charm.
4. Bring a sack lunch/dinner into the park. Meals in Disneyland can get really pricey, so normally my family eats breakfast at the hotel, brings sandwiches for lunch and we eat dinner in the park. Also bring snacks to munch on throughout the day so everyone will stay happy. Of course you’ll have to indulge in a few churros throughout the trip.
5. Make sure every member of your family has a little backpack, drawstring bags work well, so they can carry their own snacks, water, lunch, and money. Just in case you and your bag are separated it’s also a good idea to attach a note with your name and contact information to the bag so it can get back to you.
6. If you are planning to get souvenirs, buy them at the end of the day. The shops around Disneyland are normally open about an hour longer than the rides, so that’s a good time to buy the things you want so you don’t have to lug it around all day. To make the buying process quick you can scout out the shops during the day so you know what you want to buy at the end of the day.
7. If you can, get a hotel within walking distance to Disneyland. There are tons of hotels within about a half mile which is less than a 15 minute walk. This makes the trek to and from Disneyland a breeze. If your hotel offers a shuttle, that’s also a great option.
8. Get an app that tells you the wait times of the rides in Disneyland and California Adventure. They’re normally pretty accurate and this can help you decide which rides to go on so you don’t have to trek across the entire park just to find that the ride you want has a 2 hour wait.
9. I would recommend going in January or February during the work week except President’s Day weekend. When we have gone during this time the park is practically empty and we walk on to almost every ride. Around this time the weather in California is also perfect. It’s in the mid 70’s and it’s amazing. At the beginning of January their Christmas decorations are still up, so you still get the Christmasy magic of Disneyland without the gigantic crowds. At the end of January, you walk on to every ride. During the summer, Disneyland is super crowded and hot.
10. I would definitely recommend eating at the Blue Bayou restaurant that’s inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It is kinda pricey and you have to reserve your time a few days in advance but it is so so magical and it’s an experience you’ll never forget. It’s so fun to eat amazing food in the middle of a ride. We’ve done it twice and both times were amazing. Another favorite is the Bengal Barbecue. Anything there is yummy, especially the pretzels and shish-ka-bobs. The cream cheese filled pretzels and the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe are to die for. Absolutely beyond delicious. Dole whips from the Tiki Room are the definition of perfection. Corn dogs from the River Belle Terrace are also a must.
11. Pack good walking shoes- like, I’m talking Nike shoes. I wore sandals one day and some shoes with no support the next day, and by the end of both of those days I couldn’t even walk. I was limping on both feet. Learn from my mistakes, people.
12. If you’re going to Disneyland for more than 3 days I would suggest taking a break sometime in the middle and going to the beach and having a lazy day. Being at Disneyland from 8-12 can really take a lot out of ya. It’s nice to have a break.
13. If you’re planning to go to Disneyland for 4 days, you should pay the extra $20 per person to go for 5 days if you’re able to get that time off of work and such! The difference in price between 4 days at Disneyland and 5 days at Disneyland is so small that if you can, you should just go for the 5 day pass. With 5 days it seems that you have so much more time than 4 days.
14. Good ideas for snacks are those little individual snack packs that come with goldfish, oreos, mini cookies, cheez its, etc. Keep a bunch in your back pack along with a separate water bottle for everybody.
15. Bring tons of sunscreen! It’s so so so easy to get a killer sunburn in the California sun and that makes the remainder of the trip absolutely miserable. Apply often. Along with that, drink lots of water and take breaks during the day to keep your energy up. Also bring sunglasses and a hat to keep the sun out of your face. Chapstick is also always a good idea because your lips dry out a lot in the sun.
16. Research beforehand so you know what’s happening the days you’re in Disneyland. There are normally a lot of events going on daily! Parades, Fantasmic, fireworks, and World of Color are some necessary event to visit.
17. If you know your kiddos are going to ask for every single thing in every single Disneyland shop you visit it might be handy to visit Amazon and buy some fun Disney things at a discount price that your kids will like instead of that $50 jumbo Tigger doll at Disneyland.
18. TAKE A CAMERA. I think this one’s a no brainer, but just remember to take tons of pictures because Disneyland is truly magical for everyone. Your big Canon DSLR probably isn’t the best option though because it’s so bulky and hard to take on rides and it’s incredibly expensive if it were to get stolen, lost, or broken. A small and easily portable point and shoot camera should be perfect and an iPhone camera is perfect as well. You can still get great pictures with both and they’re much easier to take.
19. I think that everyone in your family should get Disney ear hats or headbands to wear around Disneyland. It’s just a fun souvenir that you can keep forever and will always bring back memories of your fabulous vacay.
20. HAVE SO MUCH STINKING FUN. Disneyland is so magical and everyone can have a blast and a half.

As I continue to visit Disneyland I’ll be sure to update this periodically to keep you all in the know. 😉  Thanks for visiting!


PS- Dear Disneyland, Hollywood, and the beaches of California; I’m comin for ya in one week exactly and I’m psyched out of my mind. I just have to get through one more week of tests, essays, and assignments then it’s the end of the term and I’m home free. One week more (cue Les Miserables) and I get to be in my favorite place in the world with some pretty rad people. YAYYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA.

xoxoxoxoxo, Mel



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