Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Disneyland Vacations

As we head into the summer traveling season, many families will be working on a budget that has been slimmer than in years past. However, a Disneyland Vacation still can be the best consumer bargain while making their dollar stretch further for much longer without breaking the bank and putting a family into financial peril.


Disneyland is located in Anaheim, California. Walt Disney could not have picked a better location for a theme park because of the mostly tranquil and often pleasant weather that Southern California typically offers year round. A Disneyland Vacation offers up something for everyone of all ages.

Toon Town is an attraction that is geared towards the smaller visitors in your family accompanying you on your Disneyland Vacation. This area of Disneyland is filled with all of Disney's most notable characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Minnie Mouse and many more cast members. The rides in this area are geared towards the smaller children as the height limits and the tameness of the rides reflect. Your toddlers will have quite an enjoyable time in this area during your Disneyland Vacation.

One of the more popular attractions in Disneyland is the Space Mountain ride. This ride is quite fantastic as it gives you the feeling of jetting out into space with its fast twists and turns and wonderful space effects that many of us will never actually get to realize. While the wait time for this ride can be long, this ride is usually a staple of any Disneyland Vacation.

Another popular attraction is the Star Tours ride. This ride is based on the Star Wars movie saga as it takes patrons across space to "...a galaxy far, far away." Until 2011, Star Tours consisted of the same trip and adventure however, Disneyland and Lucasfilm teamed up to revamp this ride to give guests plenty of variety in this updated space travel simulation. Again, no Disneyland Vacation would be complete without embarking on this adventure of a lifetime with Star Tours.

Star Tours is not the only Lucasfilm based ride at Disneyland. The Indiana Jones saga is also well represented with a ride that people can enjoy. This is a thrilling ride that features many twists and turns and lots of danger around every corner. Disney guests usually exit that ride thrilled by it and many hop back into line to ride it again and again. This is another ride where the wait time might be a little long but rest assured it is well worth it. Fans of this theatrical saga will undoubtedly incorporate this ride into their Disneyland Vacation.

There are many other rides in Disneyland that cater to small children and also those who don't have the stomach for the faster rides in the park. Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Autopia, Chip n Dale, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and the Pinnochio ride are just a partial listing of the attractions that can be very enjoyable for the entire family during their Disneyland Vacation.

As you can see, there are many enjoyable things for everyone to do on a Disneyland Vacation. Stay connected to this blog as we continue to explore, in great depth and details, the Disney property's other amusement park (California Adventure) as well as Downtown Disney and how to make the most out of each dollar you spend on your Disneyland Vacation.

Disneyland Vacation Hotels

Planning your Disneyland Vacation can be a fun but also a stressful time for a family. Finding the right hotel to stay in while enjoying the sights and sounds of Disneyland can make or break a vacation. Many times when people are planning a trip/vacation they often use the axiom that they are just going to be sleeping in the hotel and why should they worry about the quality of it or how it appears. However, this is quite often a big mistake some people make.


There are many exciting and wonderful hotel options when planning your Disneyland Vacation. Of course, there are the 3 Disney hotels: Paradise Pier, Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian. These hotels, while costly, can be a wonderful experience all in their own.

The Paradise Pier hotel is the least costly of the 3 Disney properties. This hotel is decorated in the style from the old beach boardwalk days of California yesteryear. The rooms are accentuated in this same manner with many different colors and a really upbeat and light theme. This hotel is located right near the Downtown Disney area so shopping and other food choices are definitely abundant while you are staying at this hotel. There is a wonderful swimming pool for the family to enjoy and depending on the type of room you pay for you get some nice views of the entire resort from your hotel room window. This makes for some really wonderful pictures of your Disneyland Vacation.

The Disneyland Hotel is actually the first hotel that was built on the property. Over the years it has been refurbished and renovated to the wonderful structure that it is today. The rooms and much of the hotel are decorated in the classic Disney fashion from when the theme park originally opened and also include many new elements from today as well. This property is just at the end of Downtown Disney and visitors at this hotel have easy access to the Monorail that takes guests quickly into Disneyland proper. Staying at this hotel will bring many fond memories for the whole family on your Disneyland Vacation.

The Grand Californian is, by far, the most fancy of all the Disney Hotel properties. This hotel is actually part of the California Adventure park and many of the rooms face this park and can see many of the attractions and the well lit property at night. The other side has access right into the heart of downtown Disney and makes a wonderful access point to go shopping and other dining experiences. The hotel itself is designed with a 1900's look of California. Throughout the hotel are darkened wood paneling, a huge fireplace in the lobby where story time is held for children, and enormous lofted ceilings with wood beams spanning across. This is truly a magnificent hotel and the rooms are quite fanciful as well. Also, one would be remiss if it was not added that you can actually enter the California Adventure park from this hotel which creates an added benefit for those staying there. This hotel is one that will create a memorable stay on your Disneyland Vacation.

This is just a brief look at all the hotels of the Disneyland property in Anaheim, California. The quality of these hotels is very good since Disney prides itself on their customer satisfaction and reputation as a family oriented resort. Choosing any of these hotels will help create the type of Disneyland Vacation that a family can reminisce about for years to come.

Offsite Disneyland Vacation Hotels

Staying at Disney properties, while fun and all encompassing, may not be the way to go for many families looking to maximize their spending power on a Disneyland Vacation. This being the case, there are a number of good quality hotels that are right outside the main gate of Disneyland that are an excellent value and in some cases a better value than Disney Hotels.

The first thing to consider when planning your Disneyland Vacation is how much space you want or may need depending on your family size. There will be some families, just for cost sake, that will cram in 4-5 people into a standard room just to save every extra dollar they can while others will find rooms that are often 2 rooms suites that can sleep 4-5 people in comfort while being far less costly than a suite at any of the Disney properties. On the Disneyland website, not only do they offer deals on their own hotels but they also partner with those hotels offsite and these are known as the Disney Good Neighbor Hotels. Many of these hotels are recommended by Disneyland because of the quality of these facilities and the prices for their rooms.

Looking at the types of rooms that are available and the times they are available are critical to ensuring a successful Disneyland Vacation. Typically, you can find standard rooms with a King sized bed or 2 queen sized beds and a pullout couch-bed for anywhere from $75-$120 a night depending on the time of year you are going. Taking a Disneyland Vacation during an off-peak time of year will save you a substantial amount of money as opposed to going during a time when many people are on vacation or during any kind holiday season.

Suites, as mentioned above, can be typically found for anywhere from $199 a night to about $250 a night when staying at an offsite hotel. These rooms are usually quite handy for large groups looking to pool their resources together or for smaller families with parents looking for some quiet time while their children sleep soundly in an adjoining room. These types of rooms are especially nice because often times there are enough beds for the parents and children to each have their own. This is very handy for parents with children who tend to bicker a lot and are very close in age. That configuration really alleviates issues while back in the room following a long day and night of Disneyland Vacation entertainment and excitement.

Other qualities to look for in these offsite hotels when planning your Disneyland Vacation are the amenities and parking they provide. Many of the hotels have pools and some even have an observation deck from which to view the fireworks show from Disneyland if you choose not to stay in the park to watch them. Even other properties have a more "kid-friendly" atmosphere with arcades, playgrounds and other activities for them to do when not actually in Disneyland itself. Many of these hotels offer various types of breakfasts as well. Most offer a continental breakfast which typically consists of danishes, fruit and cold cereals along with coffee, juice and water. There are a few that offer a complimentary full hot breakfast with your stay however, for those on the way to an early morning Disneyland entrance, this may be a waste of time.

Clearly there are many opportunities to enjoy a Disneyland Vacation without breaking the bank on an expensive hotel. As you are planning this outing, be sure to consult a variety of forums that discuss the hotels you are looking to stay in. There are a number of extremely helpful tips and hints about the hotel you are considering and also (many times in fact) explanations from hotel staff as to what happened or what they are willing to do to fix this issue for the guest in the future. Be mindful of your choices and plan well ahead and you should enjoy a very happy Disneyland Vacation.

Dining on your Disneyland Vacation

Taking a Disneyland Vacation is often an extremely enjoyable occasion as well as a costly one. There are so many different aspects to consider when you are planning your trip and one of the most important issues is what to eat while there. However, with careful planning, keeping well nourished throughout your Disneyland Vacation doesn't have to be a hindrance as many people expect it to be.


Let's start off by being honest here. Many of us go to Disneyland for the whole effect. This includes taking part in some of the great tasting fare that the park has to offer. That being stated, if you are not careful, you could eat your way out of your Disneyland Vacation. Now don't get me wrong here, eating at the park isn't cheap but if you choose wisely and plan accordingly taking part in this activity doesn't necessarily have to break the bank.

A secret to a really successful Disneyland Vacation would be to take some foodstuffs with you on your trip. Packing and planning easy to prepare breakfasts will allow you to enter the park first thing in the morning without needing a cup of coffee or your kids screaming that they are hungry. Thus, you can pay more attention to rides that might be harder to get on in the latter part of the day. Many people fail to realize this and their first order of business once Disneyland opens is to simply look for something to eat. Packing things like bagels, donuts, cold cereal and various types of fruits will definitely provide you the energy you need to start your day off correctly and, quite frankly, save you a bundle of cash on your Disneyland Vacation.

During the day inside Disneyland, you are going to be walking from one end of the park to the other and also standing in lines waiting for your favorite rides. This can and will take a toll on your body and during the middle of the day you will begin to get hungry again. I have seen and heard many people talk about leaving the park during the lunch time rush only to get back and realize that even more people have come into the park. My advice to you is this, STAY inside the park! You can eat for a reasonable amount of money inside Disneyland if you don't get crazy and are willing to possibly share a meal with a family member or just get a light fare to get you by until dinner time. There are many different varieties of food you can eat on your Disneyland Vacation. Corndogs, hamburgers, and tons of other foods from different cultures and tastes can be found all over Disneyland to suit your hunger pangs.

After a hard days work inside of Disneyland, you are going to be pretty tired but also very hungry. This is where I typically budget most of my meal money for my family. We either find a restaurant inside of Disneyland if we are still looking to get on more rides or we venture out of the park into Downtown Disney for a nice meal. There are many places to go in Downtown Disney for dinner. The Rainforest Cafe and the ESPN Zone are just a couple of the great choices you have for dinner. As always, even during non-peak seasons, there will be a bit of a wait to get seated to eat. There are also some other fabulous restaurants inside each of the Disneyland Vacation Hotels that you can go to even if you are not a guest of that hotel. I would check with each hotel to see what the availability is like and plan ahead with a reservation to ensure that you get seated at those restaurants.

Paying for food on your Disneyland Vacation doesn't have to be a traumatic experience. However, if you are not prepared to spend some money, you are going to be in for quite a shock. At any rate, strategic planning of your food budget and following some of the tips outlined above will help you avoid excessive spending on your Disneyland Vacation and make it an enjoyable one!

Summer Excitement on your Disneyland Vacation

Summertime is here and that is really a fantastic time to take a Disneyland Vacation. There are many different things to celebrate the summertime with your friends and family and one way is to take an incredible trip to Disneyland! Disneyland offers all kinds of ways to enjoy the summertime from water rides to spectacular fireworks shows!

Splash Mountain

One of the most popular and refreshing rides of a summer Disneyland Vacation is Splash Mountain. This is a ride that actually gets you wet as you go streaming down a mountain and some super fast speeds. The beginning of the ride is a nice, enjoyable and relaxing ride through some nice shaded areas and often times you get sprayed by mist as well. However, the real excitement begins right towards the end when you go jetting down the side of the mountain with a typically huge splash at the end that typically guarantees most riders getting a nice, cool shower.

Fireworks Spectacular

Another staple of a summertime Disneyland Vacation is taking in the fireworks show that Disneyland puts on nightly for their guests. The best seats in the house are typically in the main square just before you get to the drawbridge at Snow White's Castle, however, get there well in advance as many people will have already staked their claim to some of the most prized spots on the ground. The fireworks show is accompanied by a wonderful story over the loud speaker that helps explain the show in greater detail and lets people truly enjoy the Magic of Disneyland.


A show the typically competes with the fireworks show is the water show Fantasmic. Fantasmic is a water show that has these huge water fountains spraying up water in a continuous sheet that allows Disney to project footage related to the show for all to see. The bulk of the action takes place on the island and your focus is on that point for a great deal of the show. After Mickey is able to overcome some tremendous obstacles (don't want to spoil this too much) the mood turns significantly upbeat and Mickey saves the day. This is followed by a wonderful dancing show by many of the Disney characters on the Riverboat traveling by in the man made Rivers of America. All in all, you will have a FANTASMIC time during your Disneyland Vacation and not unlike the Fireworks Spectacular you need to get there a bit early to stake your claim to the limited free seating available.

Soundsational Summer

In the summer of 2011 Disneyland is featuring some new and some revamped items to make your Disneyland Vacation during the summertime the greatest ever! Mickey's Soundsational Parade is described by Disneyland as some of the greatest Disney songs along with other great musical themes that go with a summertime in Disneyland.

Another new attraction in 2011 at Disneyland's California Adventure park is the wondrous World of Color. This is a nighttime water extravaganza for the whole family to enjoy. World of Color primarily takes place on huge sheets of water sprayed in a manner to resemble movie screens that people can watch the story on. This attraction also features shooting flames and other Disney signature effects created by the magnificent staff at Disneyland. All while wonderful Disney songs are piped to the crowd that go along nicely with the show being presented. This is an amazing new adventure for a family to include on their Disneyland Vacation list of things to do.

Advanced And Detailed Planning Will Ensure A Cheap And Stress-Free Disneyland Vacation

All kids dream of a Disneyland vacation and a lot of parents do too, although most would be concerned about the huge expense, the long lines, the all-too-possible meltdowns and the innumerable arrangements that have to be made. While all of these concerns are valid, families can have a great Disneyland California adventure with a lot of advanced, detailed planning. Here are some great Disneyland vacation tips to ensure that the trip would be a great one:

Check Dates, Prices and Other Places to Visit

Although the park is open all year round, there are some days when it is closed so make sure to check the website before making any Disneyland vacation arrangements. It would also help to check attendance data on when the park typically have fewer visitors to avoid huge crowds. If the trip would include visiting other attractions, check hours of operations and lean seasons for those as well.

One of the best ways to help with detailed planning is to order the Disneyland vacation planning video from the official website. This helpful resource is completely free and contains planning guides, lists of things to do and special events that families might want to time their visits with. While on the site, check out any current promos and discounts on admission as well.

Check Ride Restrictions and Availability

Since the best part of coming to Disney is the rides, it is important to check information on which rides will be down for maintenance on which dates. This information is available in the Disney website under Park Hours and Refurbishments. Also, check the height restrictions for the rides so as not to disappoint children when they are not allowed in the rides they are anticipating most. More detailed planners will also find the Ridemax software helpful because it allows users to plan a ride schedule. This ingenious software takes into account when the lines are the shortest at any given time so it will ensure shorter waiting times.

Buy What You Need Outside the Park

The last thing that a savvy visitor will do will be to purchase admission tickets right at the gate because that is the most expensive option. There are plenty of great deals online and investing some time in researching those would more than pay off in significant savings. For vacationers who are planning on visiting several attractions on their Disneyland vacation, the CityPass is one of the best deals to be had because it not only includes a 3-day pass to Disneyland and California Adventure, it also includes passes for Universal Studios, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo.

Everything in the park is expensive so smart consumers must bring their own water, snacks and food before entering the park. Costumes and all manner of souvenir items can also be purchased for less than half their park price so that children can avoid purchasing these at the park’s souvenir shops.

Do Everything Early

The very best of these Disneyland vacation tips can really be summed up by this: do everything early. From planning the trip to showing up at the park, doing things early always makes anything easier. Purchase tickets, arrange transportation and lodging, make decisions on which attractions to visit and rides to do to ensure as few last minute issues as possible. On the day of the visit, show up the gates early and do as much as possible in the morning. This will allow some for some downtime in the afternoon for a restful nap at the hotel and avoid the worst of the lines. Return in the late afternoon too much shorter lines, refreshed and with no meltdowns in sight.