When you think of a Disney vacation, the words “last-minute” do not immediately come to mind. However, that’s exactly what my family did a few months ago when we had an opportunity to go to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
While months, if not years, can go into planning a trip to Disneyland, we had a blast with our fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants vacation. Here are five must-reads I devoured in the days leading up to our getaway that will come in handy for any trip to Disneyland, whether you’ve been planning for a day or a year.
Disneyland Tips for First Timers
This article on family travel site, Trekaroo, provides excellent strategies for picking the best time of year to go, making hotel reservations and figuring out what to pack. Disneyland is quite different than its larger counterpart in Orlando and this article does a good job of telling you what to do differently.
Power of Moms Disney Guide
April Perry, a mom and Disneyland regular, shares tips on how to have a great, stress-free time while inside the park. From giving thank-you notes to cast members to napping at the park (yes, napping), this guide will give you what you need to stay stress-free, present and make the most out of your trip.
The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2014
One of the most popular Disney guides on the market, this book will arm you with all sorts of great strategies. The most helpful to me were the pre-planned itineraries that help you avoid the lines. Since we went during Spring Break, which is one of the busiest times to go, this was most helpful to us and the tips really worked. We followed it blindly and hardly spent longer than 15 minutes in line.
Lots to Do in Line: Disneyland
This book and companion app are not only fun–they are a life-saver! My kids are five and three, and become restless very quickly in long lines. The book and app are both loaded with scavenger hunts and checklists for each ride that really help time pass. There were several times my son was bummed that the line moved too quickly and he couldn’t finish the checklist!
Disneyland’s Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Disneyland Resort’s Best Kept Secrets
A perhaps little-known secret of the Disney theme parks, “Hidden Mickeys,” were placed in park rides, restaurants and other attractions by Imagineers in the 1970-80s. Today, finding these Hidden Mickeys has turned into a fun game with a cult-like following. We saw countless teens and adults carrying around the Hidden Mickey books and seemed glued to the clues inside! For little ones, try the “Finding Hidden Mickeys Without Scavenger Hunting” section of the book during your travels.
No matter what you read or how much you plan, don’t forget to let the magic sweep over you and your family. There really is no substitute. Enjoy your trip to Disneyland!
Sarah Bohl is an interior designer by trade and a traveler by heart. She and her husband were both bit by the travel bug at a young age, and have been to more than 20 countries combined. They are still hitting the trail with their five and three-year-old in tow! Find Sarah on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
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