Ahhh….Disneyland! We’ve taken the girls to Disneyland a couple of times now and it’s quickly becoming my favorite weekend getaway spot! I know it’s not easy for a lot of people to get to, but for us it’s a road trip away. I love that we’ve been able to take the girls here. To see their faces light up at the sight of a Princess, or the thrill of a ride is simply priceless. It makes my Mama heart melt to see such joy. With that said planning a trip a to Disneyland can get costly. Choosing the right place to stay, time of year plus a few other tips and tricks this trip is totally manageable.
Disneyland: Where To Stay, Favorite Spots & Disney Style
Where to Stay
This is probably one of the biggest ways to save on cost. After looking at all of the Disneyland Resorts and nearby hotels, AirBnb is definitely the way to go. Sure the Disneyland resorts are themed and have easy access to the parks, but they’re also very costly. The first time we went was last fall and we found a great apartment just a few miles away. Just like my tip in my San Diego, the key here is to look for places that are used just for renting purposes. This apartment was so nice, walking distance to some great places to eat and it had perfect views of the Disneyland Fireworks. Which if you have little ones like us, this is so nice. You can watch the fireworks and immediately go to bed after, no fighting the crowds to leave. Plus it was September so the prices were way down, like under $100 per night!
This last trip we decided we wanted to stay a little closer to the park so we could just walk. Parking is a little bit of a hassle and can take forever. We found this one and it was perfect, about a 10 minute walk and you can see the fireworks if you walk near the pool in the complex. It was little more expensive than the other options, even for this time of year, but we figured with the savings in parking and time spent dealing with parking…it was worth it. This place was so nice and one of the rooms had bunk beds. The girls LOVED this!
There are so many great spots within Disneyland and California Adventure, but there are a few key things we don’t miss out on! There are certain rides the girls love and great places to grab snacks. Here’s are faves:
- Gadget’s Go Coaster – this is perfect for little ones. It’s a great first-time roller coaster for the kids. Aria says she loves how it makes her tummy tickle. Amelia was also big enough to ride it this time.
- It’s A Small World – Aria wanted to ride this over and over because it’s filled lots of vibrant colors and music. We loved it as a great spot to sit and chill for a couple of minutes as you start getting worn down a bit. It’s the perfect refresher ride. The Jungle Cruise is also great for this too!
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster – This is such a fun ride/game. It’s much like the Toy Story one at California Adventure and Disney World.
- Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain & Splash Mountain – these are the best rides for older kids and adults. Just be sure to get your FastPasses early as they can go quickly for the entire day.
- Meet Disney Princesses At Royal Hall – this is the perfect way to get some photos with the Princesses. I love it because you walk through and the kids get one on one time with the Princess, and you take your own photos. No need to pay for the park pictures or need the App to get access.
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen – this is in Downtown Disney, so the shopping and dining area between the parks. This place is so good. It does get busy so I such making reservations (Ps: it’s on OpenTable WooHoo).
- Car’s Land – We love Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and the Radiator Spring’s Racers. We always go through and ride these several times because they are just so fun. I suggest getting FassPasses early for the Radiator Spring’s Racer and then once your able to get second FP, just because this goes SUPER quick and the wait time can be up to 90+ minutes.
- Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Aventure – one of those rides that’s perfect for the middle of day. You can sit back and relax on this slower, mellow ride. Aria wanted to ride this one over and over again. It’s so fun to see all the brightly colored sea creatures, coral and fun music.
- Monster’s Inc – Another great one to ride and chill for a few minutes in the afternoon as the kids start getting tired. The girls always get a little boost afer these rides because they’re inside, cool and allow them to relax a little.
- Guardians of the Galaxy – This is one of our favorite rides! You have to get FastPasses or you’ll end up waiting forever to get on!
- Food – Our first trip we did Lunch With the Princesses at Ariel’s Grotto, it’s currently closed for refurbishment, but it’s a must once it reopens! This time we did the Paint The Night Parade Dining Package and ate at Wine Country Trattoria. I’ll admit this is a little on the pricier side, but definitely worth it because you get price seating/standing sports for the parade!
Shopping For Disney Style
Ok, so I’ll admit that I’m the Mom doesn’t really like anything character related for clothing items. I know, kids love them and I just stear clear. But, this trip I decided to go out of my zone and wear some Disney apparel. Now, I didn’t go crazy, just a couple of simple tees and tanks. I found some GREAT affordable tops at both Old Navy and Target. Target has SOO many cute things out right for Disney. Shop some of my favorites, including what we wore below.
I am really loving all things Disney these days. Maybe it’s just because my girls are at the age where they are amazed by at, or maybe it’s just the Magical feeling you get while there. There is just so much detail in every thing there that you truly feel like your transported to the Special place.
What are your favorites when it comes to Disney parks? Where are you’re favorite places to shop for apparal? Comment below because I want to add more to our list…and your list too!
Thanks so much for stopping by. Get Out There and have a Gorgeous week!