Disclaimer: none of the items in this post are sponsored – just sharing things I love; there are a few Amazon affiliate links scattered throughout but as always, feel free to shop around.


It took about three google searches and six minutes before I was completely overwhelmed. It was like this whole underworld of Disney enthusiasts (someway比其他人更加繁荣,圣牛突然被带给了我所庇护的关注,它是一个令人眼花......还有一点令人恐惧。

If I’m being honest, a trip to Disneyland hasn’t ranked in my top 50 things to do with the family, but I got quickly and thoroughly outvoted by everyone when we realized we’d be in the general area of Disney for my cousins’ wedding. My precious minutes of research confirmed the fact that Disneyland sounded stressful and busy and full of crowds (my worst nightmare), and everything I read discussed how to maximize every single second of your day(s) in Disney with apps and spreadsheets and plans. So.Many.Plans.So.Much.Stress.


虽然这些计划通常跳摇摆舞my scheduled soul, I couldn’t do it. That probably had everything to do with the months and weeks leading up to our trip. General life busyness and stress, company almost every weekend, some health challenges, and a sudden foray into homeschooling had me feeling pretty much at my max, and I didn’t have the emotional energy or time to plan a multi-page document outlining our minute-by-minute trip to Disney.

But guess what? Despite the rather unplanned and headlong approach to our Disney trip, it was fabulous! About a million times better than I could have imagined, and I still can’t believe I’m saying that. We really, truly loved it.




Disclaimer:I may upset many Disneyland lovers who approach their time at the park with zeal and fervor and hours of planning. Those are not bad things! I wish I had more zeal, fervor, and time to plan. And perhaps if we ever end up there again, I’ll have a completely different philosophy about the happiest place on earth, but since I really did approach our trip with minimal fuss and we still had an absolutely splendid time, I thought I’d share what worked for us and what may work for other first-timers (season pass holders, look aside).

Buying Tickets

我买了门票Parksavers.com.- 购买迪士尼门票的知名网站。它不需要火箭科学家来弄清楚,除非是骗局,否则不会折扣(或自由)迪士尼门票。我们买了两天的公园斗篷通过,这意味着我们可以在迪斯尼乐园和加州冒险两天来回来回,并在前一天在公园挑选它们(拿到5分钟)。

I did learn, however, thatI could have saved several hundred dollars通过为迪斯尼乐园度过一天的一天,然后在第2天做公园料斗。If you have more days to spend (of if you’ve been to the park several times), you could tailor your days there accordingly, but because Disneyland was a whole new world (haha) for us, we didn’t cross over into California Adventure until almost closing time on the 1st day and we only really did so because we had the hopper pass. A full day in Disneyland was totally doable for our family (kids ages: 12, 10, 8, 7, 3) to keep us very busy from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (the week we went, they had just cut the hours down from closing at 11 p.m. to 9 p.m.). The 2nd day, we spent most of the morning and early afternoon in California Adventure and then went back to Disneyland for the evening.


Planning the Plan

如果我们是一个小世界,我不想超越,如果我们是一个小世界,我也不想瞎子。我的解决方案?孩子们在孩子们游泳的时候,我坐在迪士尼和加州冒险地图上,让我的轴承有关乘坐的地方并制定一般计划(我也用几个星期几个曾经去过那里的家庭成员聊天万博体育app官网领导它 - 也非常有用)。

初步计划的具体细节主要取决于您所在的人们的年龄,但我们每天凌晨8:30到达公园。Our first day, we headed straight to the Peter Pan ride (I shouldn’t say this out loud but am I the only one that wonders what the hype is about this one?) in Disneyland while my dad grabbed FastPasses to Space Mountain, and after that, we just rolled with it, usually getting off a ride and deciding which FastPass to grab next. The 2nd day, we headed into California Adventure first and rode California Soarin’ while my dad got FastPasses to Radiator Springs.

Two of my sisters-in-law swear by the RideMax app; I even downloaded it prior to our trip, but honestly, I never ended up using it. It was a little too intense for me.


Having said that, the one app that we used constantly was the Disneyland app. It gave wait times as well as easy directions to get from point A to point B (and also told me how to find my blessed Dole Whips). We couldn’t have lived without it. And it’s free. Bonus.


由于此静脉中大约有5,613个选万博体育app官网项,因此根据您的预算,家庭,利益为您自己的研究是关键。我们选择距离公园(Residence Inn酒店)约有三万博体育app官网个街区的酒店,主要是因为它距离迪斯尼乐园(似乎)步行距离(似乎muchfarther at the end of the night but was still doable even if our single stroller was basically carrying all five kids) and had a free continental breakfast. It was functional and clean and perfect for us, plus it saved a bundle not staying closer to or on park grounds.

Food, Glorious Food

Speaking of food (oh wait, we weren’t?), I wish I had a week to eat my way through Disneyland and California Adventure, but alas, with a large family and a budget, that didn’t happen. Our desire to avoid selling our firstborn child to buy meals and still enjoy a bit of the food experience was to:

1) eat breakfast在酒店前往公园前

2) pack a backpack每天都有花生酱三明治,不需要冷藏+格兰诺拉麦片+苹果+一些其他健康的小吃 - 我们全天吃了这一天,从来没有真正停下来午餐,只是因为我们去的时候加油

3) eat one snack and one meal在公园里买了——这通常由一个churro or pretzel sometime during the day (ok, and maybe a Dole Whip or three, too) and then a haphazard dinner (one night most the family devoured the famous corndogs while several of us opted for an amazing sandwich at the little yellow cafe, the other night it was Bengal BBQ plus gumbo from somewhere down by Pirates of the Caribbean and the garlic cheese bagel twists). Some standouts were the apple freezes, coconut macaroons and everything else I mentioned above.

4) everyone had their own water bottleand we refilled it throughout the day as needed.


What’s the Deal With FastPasses

I was shocked during our two days at Disneyland how many people waiting in lines didn’t know about or didn’t use the FastPass system. Even though the park was fairly crowded when we were there (most of the popular rides had wait times close to 60 minutes), we hardly waited in line because of the almighty FastPass. You can google “Disney FastPass” and get more info (although the whole routine didn’t make sense to me until we got there – thankfully it’seasy to get the hang of).

它真的是获得最小的等待骑行的唯一方法。My 10-year old’s favorite ride was Space Mountain and using stroller passes (if you have a stroller, tell the agent when you get on the ride that you need a stroller pass – you can return later with up to two other people to ride with no wait time) and FastPasses, I think he was able to ride it six times, never waiting in line.



I feel so strongly about this topic that I kind of feel like a stroller should be mandatory to even enter the park. Yes, even for you teenagers just there to hang out. I don’t know how we would have managed without our stroller. And to think I was tempted to simplify and not bring one! The stroller we have isn’t even very big, but Camryn (and sometimes one of the boys) rode on it nearly everywhere, and the little cubby underneath was a major blessing for stashing sweaters, hats, and water bottles. The bulky backpack with our snacks and other essentials fit on the handlebars.




I referred to this in the FastPass section, but if you are going to Disneyland with a youngish family like ours and want to avoid long wait times, FastPasses are the way to go. This means it’s awfully helpful to have someone in your party that doesn’t mind taking one for the team and running to get FastPasses while everyone else twirls around on the teacups. Insert: grandparents.



Pack the Essentials

Crossover Travel Bag:我谈到了这一点万博体育app官网新的最喜欢的包包in my最后礼品指南。我在迪斯尼乐园100%的时间(即使是骑行)佩戴它,虽然尺寸和轻质相当小,但除了我的大水瓶外,它适合我所需要的一切(尽管它适合一个16盎司的一次性水瓶)。我非常喜欢它。


Backpack:如上所述,我们使用的背包携带小吃,三明治和其他一些杂项。背包我们没有特别的东西 - 只是一款通用,耐用的背包。它做得很好。

Power bank:因为我没有把我的40磅重的DSLR带入公园,所以所有的照片和视频和应用咨询都是通过我们的手机完成的,让我们的电池排水,所以有一个充电的电力银行是至关重要的。

Personal Items:I brought along travel-sized hand sanitizer (one for the stroller, one for my bag), band-aids, ibuprofen, and sunscreen – all carefully housed in my purple bag. Used them all. The small size meant they didn’t take up a lot of space and I could replenish at night back at the hotel.

Sweaters:even though the afternoon temps were in the low 80’s, once that sun went down, it cooled off considerably (plus it was a little breezy) and we were all glad we had toted the sweaters around all day in the bottom of the stroller.

签名书:I bought alittle autograph book on Amazonbefore we left and carried it around in my purple bag. Cam scored some pretty fun signatures, and coming from a mom who isn’t diehard girly and princessy, moments like these, were priceless. One thing we did NOT bring but I wish I did was a lanyard ticket holder. You have to keep track of all those flimsy tickets if you want to get FastPasses (and get back into the park the next day!). My dad kept track of them but I can see how a handy dandy holder would be…well…very handy.


P.S.我穿these shoes(在水泥色)整个时间;我不能说我有多喜欢这些鞋子。万博体育app官网我有几年了,他们仍然是我最受欢迎的。因为我是一个little paranoid about sun exposure,我也戴着我的beloved Coolibar hat几乎整整一次。


How much money you spend on souvenirs and Disney paraphernalia is obviously a very personal decision. All of the Walmart-type stores in Anaheim sell basically the same stuff at Disneyland for a much lower price, so keep that in mind. However, even knowing that, we still paid Disney our dues and spent money on a few toys at the park.



And. I think that’s it. We didn’t participate in or take advantage of any princess or character breakfasts, magic mornings, and I’m sure a hundred other missed experiences, but overall, we had a great time. A really, really great time.