As I mentioned, while being into exploring all kinds of travel, Disney has a soft spot on our family’s heart and is something we’re “experts in” and passionate about! 🙂 Our website and smart phone app, Disneyland Inside Out, has been around for years and has great tips and community for any interested Disney travelers! I wanted to give a quick post to some Disney travel tips and tricks if you are planning a family Disney vacation to the West Coast (don’t worry, Disney World tips and beyond are on the horizon 😉 ) …
(1) Extra Magic Hours and Morning Time – Take full advantage of these little gifts of time! The crowds are so much lighter in the morning, the heat is better, kids are happier – staying on property you get access to both parks’ extra magic hours, and anyone who buys a 3 day park hopper (or more) gets one early entry into Disneyland Park only. It’s also worth getting to that magic hour extra early, to get through security lines and maximize time in the parks. If planning a character breakfast, do it on a non park day or late morning so you can maximize that park time and then relax.
Random character tip – Moana, who seems to have ironically gotten more popular this summer than she was when the movie was released, is available to visit in Adventureland by the Jungle Cruise and Tiki Room, at the entrance to Aladdin’s Oasis. Our daughter was over the moon!
Moana is a fun character to visit!
(2) Max Pass- This new Disneyland feature of Fast Pass is similar to Magic Bands in Walt Disney World, without the bands. You can now pay $10/person a day (or $75 a year for AP Holders who don’t have the Signature Plus pass) to get instant Fast Passes on your phone via the Disneyland mobile app. It also includes Disney Photo Pass. It’s a definite time saver and stress reducer, and we liked it a lot more than we anticipated. Simply download the Disneyland app, link your tickets or pass, and check out Fast Pass aka Max Pass. If you don’t want to spring for Max Pass, you can still get Fast Passes at the kiosks, but the times are later.
Max Pass in Action!
(3) Adult Disney Tips – Trader Sams is one of our favorite hangouts for an amazing authentic cocktail and Hawaiian music. If you go inside the bar, it’s a blast – an interactive volcano on the wall erupts with certain drink orders, and the bartenders can set off a number of fun musical effects. It’s actually a very friendly kid hang out as well with the outdoor seating if you go early – mocktails are as good as their cocktails, and the kids love to dance and watch the fun on the nearby waterslides. Be advised, this place is popular with locals and gets PACKED especially on the weekends and later in the evenings.
Trader Sams – a great watering hole!
Steakhouse 55 is another of our favorite Resort dining spots at the Disneyland Hotel – this is a classic Walt establishment, with pictures of celebrities all over the walls and a very warm feel. They serves a great dinner, but we love going there for breakfast. The Cast there is some of the best Disney has to offer, many who have been there for years and know regulars by name. Again, be advised at certain times this is a local hangout and may get crowded (ie Sunday Mornings) but is worth the wait. Our kids love the food and coloring the menus here too, so that’s a plus. 😉
Steakhouse 55 – A Walt Classic and favorite!
Napa Rose is our favorite restaurant at all the Resort, but that deserves its own post when we repeat our amazing experience at the Chef’s Counter this fall!
Hope you’ve enjoyed the Disney tips! Feel free to contact me if you need any help or advice planning a Disney vacation (to any destination, not just land), that’s one of my niches!