I am absolutely, undeniably, completely and hopelessly obsessed with all things Disney. Whenever they release a new film I simply have to draaaaag Marc to the movie theatre to see it, and we are often the only people in there without accompanying children.
I love Disney because it is so happy. When I’m feeling down about my job, relationships, or even just the world in general, sitting down with a hot cup of tea, wrapped in a blanket and putting on a Disney movie is the way I like to forget all of that for one moment and focus on the positives in life.
So its no wonder that when I visited Disneyland in California in October of 2015, the weekend that I spent in the parks meant that this easily became the best weekend of my life (also probably because I had just started dating Marc and he was the one that went with me!)
Here are a few bits and pieces of our trip that may help you enjoy the magic as much as I did.
It’s literally a dream of mine to stay in one of the actual Disney hotels at Disneyland (or even at Disney World – whichever comes first!).
But, sadly on a student budget we just couldn’t afford the premium prices of staying in one of these hotels. Luckily we found a cheaper alternative that turned out to be just as magical.
We ended up staying at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel (by Sheraton) just outside of Disneyland, where there were shuttles to and from the park every 10 minutes – starting at around 7am in the morning and finishing well into the night, meaning that you could stay and have dinner in the park precinct. The hotel is even shaped like a castle to add to the magic. Better yet? The room was absolutely HUGE for the price we paid, meaning that we had plenty of room to relax at the end of an exciting day.
I could recommend this hotel enough – check it out on TripAdvisor here.
2. Get there early
The saying goes that the early bird gets the worm, and that is so true when it comes to getting the most out of Disneyland. As you can imagine, the park gets extremely busy throughout the day, so the best time to go to the rides you like the most is to be the first people in the park when it opens.
Of course, this is made a little bit easier if you are a guest at one of the Disney Hotels (as they allow you to have a “magic hour” from 7-8am before the park opens, meaning that they basically can ride as much as they want before the rush of the crowds).
But, it works just as well if you are one of the first of the “regular” people in the park too. We made sure that we were at the gates waiting to get in at 7.30am, and basically from around 8am-9am we just ran around and did as many of the big attractions as we could before the lines got too long.
This also means that you can queue up your “fast passes” for the big ticket rides before anyone else really has a chance.
3. Try the sweet treats – they are delicious!
Disney candy is probably some of the most expensive candy you will ever buy, but it is so worth it.
This cute Olaf themed rice crispy treat was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten even though it cost around $10 USD. But when in Rome, do as the Romans do right? I couldn’t give up the chance to have a candy with one of my favourite characters on it!
4. Stay for the Fireworks
The fireworks over Cinderella’s castle are magnificent, and they can be seen at any Cinderella castle in all of the theme parks across the world.
This is such a gorgeous way to end your magical day, and I think it’s an even better show than most of the parades.