Planning a vacation to anywhere can be tuff if you have never been there before, or anywhere similar. While my husband and I have been to Disneyland a few times it has been a long time and we were with other people so we didn’t have to technically be “in charge”.
Planning a Vacation to Disneyland
I went more recently when I was in LA for the Thor: The Dark World and Delivery Man Red Carpet Premieres, but it in no way prepared me for taking a trip there with my family. Here is what I have learned so far in my planning and organizing of a vacation to Disneyland.
Get this free Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD to help you learn more about Disney Parks and plan out your trip.
- Write everything down (or copy/paste into a word file). This way, if you find something interesting, like a disounted rate on tickets, you won’t forget the site you saw it on and be kicking yourself for not writing it down. I have a notebook I have dedicated just to this trip, as well as a calender that I printed out to write notes on. It has helped A LOT!
- Compare Prices. I went to expedia.com to compare prices of hotels and flights, and in doing reseach over several other similar sites and even the direct website of the hotel, I didn’t find the price any cheaper. The are great to work with and you can search a lot of “ground” in way less time. Be sure to also check Last-Minute Hotel Deals
- Learn to compromise. Be flexible when planning it all out and try to schedule as much as you can ahead of time. Make all of your reservations, buy your tickets, and know where you are going. That way you don’t have to worry about the Hotel be full or standing in line for tickets for 2 hours when you could be riding rides.
- Schedule your time wisely. Don’t over schedule your days. Depending on how long your vacation is you may also want to throw in 1-2 “resting” days where you just play on the beach or go site seeing without having to be rushed through an amusment park or dragged to the next ride. If you don’t take time to just relax and enj0y your vacation, you will need a vaction from your vacation. lol.
- Make a list! Think about what you are going to take to that park with you, like food, water, stroller, cooler, sunscreen, phone charger, etc, and then start making a list so you don’t forget anything. You will be happy you made a list because the morning or night before you go to the park you will have 100 other things on your mind and will most likely forget something.
- Plan out how you will spend you time at the parks. If you are getting single park passes, or park hopper passes you will want to write down the times/places of all of the shows and attractions as well as figure our where you want to go and kind of plan out your day. They have maps of the parks online and even have apps that help you plan out the best way to spend your time at the park
- Buy your park tickets online. When you buy your tickets online, you are saving time, and you will most likely save money as well. I know places like LEGOLAND have online pricing that is cheaper than at the gate, and more often than not, you will also be able to snag extras (like a magic morning pass) or something else cool when you buy your tickets online. If you are going to be going to several places, you will want to check out the City Pass. It gives you a huge discount to the major attractions and it makes it easy to get all your tickets. Another option is a Go San Diego Card where you can pick and choose where you want to go and what you want to see. This site doens’t offer Disneyland tickets though, just fyi. You can also get Disneyland tickets/packages here.
- Save money and buy your souveniers ahead of time. I have done a lot of work researching out the best places to buy things for the most inexpensive price. I have an idea of what I want the kids to have, and we aren’t getting them everything, but most of their “souveniers” will be bought beforehand, and then they will each be able to pick at least one thing out at the park. Amazon.com has a great selection of Disney items, especially if you use their Prime shipping or the free shipping with $25. Another place to look is the DisneyStore.com. They have sales and promos all the time. I also like to look at Party supply stores (where we will be getting the Mickey Mouse ears, and a few other things.) You can find some items at Dollar Tree as well.
Direct Links to the Parks in Southern California: