I'm going to Disneyland! My best friend and I are graduating so Phoebe, her mom, my mom, my sister, and I are heading down to sunny SoCal in June to spend some time in the most magical place on Earth. ♡
My mom hasn't gone since 1985 so she's thrilled and I'm thrilled to see her experience Disneyland again for the first time in 30 years, especially since the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration will be in full swing. I was lucky to go Disneyland last year with Andy and Amelia for her college graduation and it was incredible! It was the first time Amelia and I went and there are a few things I'm doing to prepare this year that I wish I would've done in addition to what I did well to prepare last year.
1. External Batteries
My sister was totally ready for the 16-hour day we spent in Disney and purchased a power bank from eBay before our trip. The vacation was over a week of sight-seeing in San Diego and L.A. as well so we were never near a place to charge our phones. Clever Amelia, however, carried this guy around every day and saved my and her husband's butt a few times! This year I decided to pack my own and happened to find one that looks like a banana. Phoebe, my mom, and Amelia all loved them also so we're all going to have matching bananas to pack around like Disney-bound chimpanzees. These hold 2600mAh (milliamp hours). For reference, an iPhone 6 needs about 1800mAh to charge so this will charge my phone almost one and a half times. YAS
I carried a small cross body purse from Forever 21 around the park and although I didn't mind it, I sacrificed not bringing in my Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 to take pictures with. I have a granny back so I knew that a mini backpack would be best for me so when I found this cutie on ASOS I was thrilled. I think the overly large handle is my favorite part.
Anyhow, this will perfectly fit my camera, extra film, a thin wallet, my banana battery, and some snacks because this girl gets hungry then wants to nap. NO NAPS IN DISNEYLAND, YA'LL!
3. Savvy Hotel Booking
- We're not staying on-site, although if that's a viable option for you, definitely look into it! The hotels have some pretty good perks. Being a group of five, Disneyland does not have any hotels with one room big enough for the whole group. Other hotels can be kind of tricky as well since "five adults" usually translates into "two rooms" and doubles the cost of staying; look for websites like Hotels.com which can search for hotels with single rooms that accommodate up to eight people! This way, we were able to book one room for five people which was definitely cheaper than having to split up and book two rooms.
- Another option to consider is booking an off-site "good neighbor" hotel through Disneyland. For us, this wasn't an option since they only allow four people per room, but if you can book a good neighbor hotel through Disneyland, they also include your tickets! *Keep in mind though that you can save about 5% on tickets if you look at a few different companies (more on that soon)*
- Staying close to the resort is also a lifesaver. This opens up a mid-day break opportunity during the lunch rush for eating, swimming (if you're determined), or cat napping. Last year Amelia got a headache so we walked back to the hotel and she slept for an hour or two before we raced back into the park to use our Fastpasses for Splash Mountain. Our hotel is close enough that we're going to walk to Disneyland instead of paying to park on site for $17 a day. Bonus: Downtown Disney has free parking for three hours!
- Keep in mind that some hotel rooms have fridges and microwaves which are great for storing food for breakfast or lunch and can save you some money! If the room itself doesn't have a microwave, the lobby area likely will but double check! Since our room doesn't have a coffee maker, I'm going to be bringing my Keuirg mini with us to Anaheim. Not only is the coffee and tea really good, cheaper than Starbucks, and fast, it also makes hot water that can be used for other things like oatmeal, tea bags, or sanitizing toothbrushes. A plug-in tea kettle would also work but I don't own one so this will work wonderfully also.
4. Research Ticket Prices
I do not recommend second-hand ticket buying/selling or using Craigslist to do Disneyland on the cheap. There are a few options to save some money on tickets without being worried about being scammed!
- For limited times, many Costco facilities sell slightly discounted tickets for 2-day (and up?) park hopper passes. My Costco was out, but it was worth a shot!
- I'm a AAA member which is exciting since I saved about 5% on our tickets, or $13.75 per ticket. That's more than a Grape Soda club pin so I think it's pretty dang good.
- We're doing 3-day park hopper passes which is already a bit discounted since the price per day decreases for each additional day and it includes a free Magic Morning for an hour early entry into Disneyland! Yes please! Keep in mind, however, that Magic Mornings are only redeemable on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
5. Flying vs. Driving
- Since we live in Oregon and my mom has a fuel-efficient car, driving is the best option for us! Although it's going to be about a 13-14 hour drive both ways, it's only going to be about $45 per person for gas which is almost $100 less each than flying. Plus, since we will have driven down, we're going to have a car so we can do some sightseeing the day before we go to Disneyland!
- If flying is a better option, it is nice that it's substantially faster. Last year we flew with Virgin America and the short trip was really nice and we were lucky to have relatives loan us a car! If that's not an option, look into rental cars which are anywhere from $20 a day for an eco-friendly sedan or more expensive for nicer, larger vehicles. Through some websites, like Hotwire, they can bundle hotel, cars, and flights together!
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Happy vacationing! Do you have any tips?
Happy vacationing! Do you have any tips?