Disney Do's & Don'ts

Disneyland Hotels: I really enjoyed the convenience of the Paradise Pier Hotel with a 3 year old and a 10 month old. The less than 10 minute trip from park to our hotel room made everyone more relaxed and less like marooned crazy people on Tom Sawyer's Island. The Monorail itself is considered an attraction and the turnaround time is pretty quick. The longest we waited to get on the train was 10 minutes and the trip itself is a fast 5 minutes of park scenery. The walk from the station to the Paradise Pier is about a quarter of a mile (5 minutes with kids) and it is well lit and no traffic. The hotel room itself was overpriced for the outdated interior (we paid $270/nt) but the staff is amazing and the breakfast with Lilo & Stitch (and other characters) in the hotel restaurant was well worth the price (not included in hotel room)-Highly Recommend! We walked through Disney's Grand California and the lobby is unbelievable (at $400/nt in July, this was NOT happening for our fam) and the location for proximity to California Adventure cannot be beat. You literally walk out the back door of the lobby and into the theme park! WOW! When the girls are a few years older, this will definitely be on the To Do list. All this being said, we are already planning a return trip for one day at Disneyland and I intend to bypass the Disney hotels to save a buck. I've had the experience and loved it, but this next time I'll save a few bucks.
Fantasmic: An absolute Do for any child who enjoys theater, fireworks, water shows, and all things Disney. The first show is at 9 and we settled into a spot on a trashcan overlooking the stage where Shelby could sit on top of it with an unobstructed view. The area fills up about 10 minutes before the show so grab your spot at least 15 minutes prior to show time. Once there, I left the fam and headed to the French Market (directly behind us) for a To Go dinner of BBQ Chicken and masked potatoes. The food was better than decent but you have to ask for To Go boxes and then steal their silverware b/c they don't have plastic. We ate dinner while watching the show. Rumor has it that to the left of French Market(looking at it from outside) is a secret restaurant (unlisted on maps or internet) called the Orleans (I think) with blue and white striped awnings. You must call ahead for Preferred Seating and the patio seating is primo for Fantasmic; the food is rumored to be awesome, as well! If your little ones are sensitive, rent, borrow and watch the movie "A Day At Disneyland". Humorously outdated and a good way to build prior knowledge for first timers (also shows the scary dragon in Fantasmic so they know what to expect).
Early Entry: Another reason to book a Disney Hotel. Hotel guests are given a free early entry pass-7 a.m., a full hour before the park even opens to the public! This is really cool if you didn't try to drag your kiddos to 9 pm Fantasmic and the 9:25 Fireworks show the night before. Even if you get there at 8 (which we did), the park is completely empty for the first three hours of every morning.
I'm positive I have not yet exhausted this topic, but I have exhausted myself so I will come back to this blog entry another day. Goodnight.


H said...

Have you guys been to Catalina? If so, any recommendations on where to stay? Thanks!

Gabrielle said...

We have traveled to Catalina on a day cruise excursion. So, I'm not speaking from experience, however, my good friend just returned from Catalina and her family rented a house. It even came with its own golf cart! They said it was awesome and only a few blocks from the ferry station (and the bar). That's all I've got. Let us know how the trip goes!