With more and more people getting vaccinated and more places reopening, summer traveling is picking back up. As for us, we recently went to Disneyland! I had actually wanted to do this trip last year, but the pandemic put a halt to everything. Anyhow, it worked out better for us to go this year because we were able to use the trip to celebrate our daughter’s “golden birthday” coming up in a few months. She’ll be turning double digits for this birthday!
The last time I was at Disneyland was in 2009, back when they had free admission on one’s birthday. Wow, a lot has changed or been added since then! For this trip, we got two-day park hopper tickets so that we could thoroughly enjoy each of the two parks: Disneyland and California Adventure. Our son stayed home with his Nana because we felt that our daughter should have this special trip all to herself.
I took tons of photos, of course. Over 130 of them. After narrowing them down, here are some which showcase the adventures and fun of our Disney trip. I’m also going to sprinkle in a few travel tips that might help some of you out there with planning your own Disney trip.
Disney Travel Tip #1: If you’re traveling with young children, take a photo of each one in front of a plain background, such as the hotel room door. If your child gets lost, it’ll be scary and you might forget what they were wearing when you have to talk to someone about locating them. The photo will show exactly what they’re wearing, and because it’s in a digital format, the security people at Disneyland can easily send it out to their guest services people. Our daughter stayed close to us and fortunately never got lost, but we took her photo both days and had them on our phones just in case.
Disney Travel Tip #2: Another tip for traveling with children is to write down the phone numbers of anyone in your party and have each child keep them in their pocket. If they get lost and don’t remember their parents’ phone numbers, they can track down a Disney employee and have them call someone on the list. (We made sure to point out the employees to our daughter so she would have an idea of who to approach if she got lost–we also told her to stay put in one area, rather than wander around looking for us. Again, she didn’t get lost, but we wanted to be prepared.)
Disney Travel Tip #3: Download the Disneyland app. It has so much useful information and lots of time-saving tools on it! We were able to see the wait times for rides, order our food to be easily and conveniently picked up at special windows, find restrooms quickly, schedule in shows to watch, and have both parks entirely mapped out, just to name a few of the ways we made use of it.
Disney Travel Tip #4: Be prepared to do a LOT of walking. The Monorail is “Temporarily Unavailable” and their trams weren’t running either when we went. So it’s a long walk just to get from the parking structure to the entrance gates. Wear comfortable shoes. The sheer size of the parks means you’ll be walking all over the place. According to my husband’s smartwatch and my fitness app, we walked over 26,000 steps (which is over 11 miles for a woman of my height) just the first day!
Disneyland Travel Tip #5: If you’re planning on going on any water rides, you might think about taking a sealable sandwich bag with you. We were in line for the Grizzly River Run when we realized that if our car key fob or my husband’s portable charger got wet, they might not work anymore. Our phones are water resistant so they weren’t a concern. Luckily, we had bought something small from a Disney shop earlier that day and I had kept the bag. We were able to use it to protect our electronic devices from the drenching we got. The ride is super fun, by the way!
Disneyland Travel Tip #6: It’s no surprise that it’s all expensive. And that there are long lines. And that it’s crowded. All those not-so-great aspects aside, you can totally have a great time! So bring a backpack, stock it with snacks and refillable water bottles, wear comfortable shoes, slather on sunscreen, make use of their solar-powered touchless hand sanitizer dispensers located like every 20 feet, create some memories, and enjoy yourself! 🙂
- My husband and I are both fully vaccinated, but we still chose to wear our masks indoors or wherever it was extra crowded. The pandemic isn’t over yet, people.
- If you like churros (And who doesn’t?!), be sure to get a “Galaxy Churro” from Senor Buzz Churros, found along Pixar Pier in California Adventure. It’s like 16 inches long and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar in two of my favorite colors: purple and green!
- My favorite rides are still Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and I can now add Grizzly River Run to the list. Our daughter thought WEB Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure was the best.
- The new Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure is pretty awesome! I saw a shawarma food cart and it took me a minute to make the connection! Those who know, know.
- Seeing some of Disney California Adventure at night while at the top of the Ferris wheel (officially called the Pixar Pal-a-Round) was magical.
- Although we saw probably 85 percent of both parks combined in the two days we were there, we probably needed one more day to truly see everything and ride a few more rides.
- I was blessed to experience so many wonderful moments of awe through my daughter’s eyes, and am glad I experienced some childlike joy of my own. Such great feelings! Thank you, God!
As always, thanks for stopping by. ❤