Disney Tips and Tricks

Good morning!  It’s Friday today!  It’s a wonderful day before a wonderful weekend!  Is everyone ready??

Well for this post, we are talking even more Disney.  We are definitely Disney fans and we are currently planning a trip to Disneyland yet again.  So as part of this planning, I’ve decided to share our top 10 tips and tricks for Disneyland.  We hope that they are super helpful for you and can help you to have a better trip when you decided to go.

But!  Before we get started!  Don’t forget that we are doing a giveaway for a canvas from Canvas Factory!  The giveaway is on our last post so click here to enter for a chance to win.  The giveaway will be open until July 24th so don’t forget to enter!

1. MaxPass

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OMG this thing is amazing!  If you have not heard of this, you are missing out.  For $15 you can get Fastpasses on your phone through the Disney App and you can download the photos from the rides and photographers.  How cool is that?  You know what else?  You can get Fastpasses every hour and a half instead of every two hours!  It is so useful when you are trying to plan out your day and figure out which rides would be best for you and your crew to get on next.  Here is one of the many photos that we downloaded from the photographers.

2. Have the Disneyland App on your phone

The Disneyland App will be your epicenter for your entire trip.  This app will not only house your MaxPass, but it will show you wait times for rides, where characters will be, show times, parade times, and you can make reservations for restaurants.  You can also directly download your photos from the MaxPass right onto your phone from the app.  It is so convenient for your Disneyland trip and you will always be in the know!

3. Start planning early

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When you have young kids, this is possibly the best thing to do for your trip.  Plan plan plan!  Know when your parades are going to be and when and what shows are happening.  This way you can plan your trip through the park better and you aren’t criss crossing the park to try to make all of shows.  You can plan your day out weeks in advance.  It is also helpful to see when there are going to be events happening.  Wouldn’t it be terrible if you got to Disneyland and found out they were closing early because of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?  The schedule for when Disneyland opens and closes usually pops up about 2 months in advance.  So make sure you check their calendar before booking your tickets!

4. Get there as early as possible and take photos earlier in the day

60th Anniversary Disneyland

When my family goes to Disneyland, we normally leave our house at about 5 am and reach Disneyland around 8 or 8:30.  We like to be there when it opens!  Now…we are all adults who can usually function perfectly through the day when we leave that early.  But if you have kids it doesn’t work as well.  So I would recommend getting a hotel the night before but plan on getting to Disneyland or California Adventures as soon as it opens.  That way you can maximize your time in the parks.  Also, get your pictures early.  If you take your photos early in the day you will look fresher and nicer than if you took a photo at midnight!

5. Bring your own snacks, water, ponchos, emergency kit, and phone charger

Splash Mountain Photo Disneyland

Disneyland still allows you to bring in your own water and snacks, so feel free to stuff your backpack full of your favorite snack to enjoy in the park!  But, if you do forget your favorite water bottle at home, all of the restaurants will give you free water if you ask.  And if you ask for a large water, they still give it to you at no charge!  Don’t forget your ponchos as well, just in case you have that one person in your party who hates walking around soaking wet (cough cough me cough cough).  You can always bring your own rain ponchos to wear on Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Run, that way you don’t have to buy the really expensive ones.  Another thing we do is bring our own emergency kit of medicine, Band aids, Mentos, cough drops, and a few other things.  You can obviously have your own stuff but it is super helpful in the parks to not have to go running around with a giant blister and no Band aid to go with it.  And finally, don’t forget your phone charger.  Or do and rent one in the park.  You can rent a phone charger that comes with both an iPhone and Android charger.  And the best part?  When it runs out of battery, you can return it and get a new one at no charge!  That’s right.  Pay once and use it for your whole trip.

6. Use the lockers

I cannot express this enough.  USE THE LOCKERS!  We always use them to put our extra shoes, jackets, souvenirs, etc. in it.  It’s around $10 to rent a locker that you can use the entire day in the park.  We get one almost every time we go into Disneyland and it has saved our lives multiple times.  Thank goodness!

7. Make reservations for the restaurants

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Did you know that you can make a reservation at the restaurants?  Any of the sit down restaurants you can make a reservation for a table.  But, be warned.  For our next trip to Disneyland we had to book our restaurants 2 weeks in advance.  And we had only a few choices of when we could book ourselves in.  If you want to make sure you get that 12 pm lunch reservation at Carnation Cafe, make sure you book it as soon as possible.  Do not delay!

8. Families with younger kids, take time to rest

Tiki Room Disneyland

When my sister and I were younger, my parents would take us back to the hotel for a couple hours to take a nap and rest.  This is so important for younger kids to make sure they aren’t over exhausted.  Try to take time out of your day to go back to the hotel, or find a really quiet place to sit down and just rest.  A couple places we recommend are the infant rooms (there are some in both Disneyland and California Adventures, just ask a Cast Member or check your map), the bottom story of Hungry Bear Cafe, the Tiki Room and Pacific Wharf.  Now, Pacific Wharf can be busy when it’s around meal times, but there is a small corner you can sit in that is much quieter.  Another option is riding the train or the monorail for a while.  They are nice and relaxing and they may even put some young kids to sleep!

9. Get a close Hotel with Breakfast and a Shuttle

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This tip is a very good tip I promise.  If you can find a hotel at a decent price that has both a shuttle and breakfast, you are set.  That’s one less meal that you have to buy and you don’t have to drive to the park and deal with the parking garage.  Some of the hotels will even let you arrive early, park you car, take the shuttle to Disneyland, and then check in after you finish in Disneyland.  It is so much more convenient and so much more helpful when it comes to enjoying your day at the park.

10. Bring your own Autograph Book and get Smashed Pennies

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If you are trying to go to Disneyland on a budget, I highly highly recommend doing this step.  Souvenirs can be so expensive in the parks and then if you buy clothes, they may not fit your kids when they get older.  When my sister and I were younger we would bring our own autograph books for the characters to sign.  Mom would usually buy a notebook at the Dollar Tree and turn it into a signature book for the characters.  We also got (and still get) smashed pennies.  They cost 51 cents!  All you need is 2 quarters and a shiny penny and BOOM!  You have a souvenir.  Plus, there are a few different stations around the parks that you can make your smashed pennies and there many different designs for you to choose from.  It’s much cheaper and easier souvenirs that will last longer than some clothes!

11. Follow Disney Instagramers

This is a bonus tip!  Mom and I follow a couple Disney Instagram accounts and they are so helpful!  Some of them give the best tips and tricks and help to make your trip run super smoothly.  Our favorite is @disneylandtourguide.  She gives us so much information every day that has helped us make our trips more memorable.  Plus, she is posting information that even us seasoned Disneylanders didn’t know!  I would definitely go give her a follow to get all of the information you could want and need!  @disneylandinsiders is another account that we enjoy.  Even though they don’t necessarily give tips and tricks, they are a great family who is ALWAYS in Disneyland and can give you some helpful information.  @thebudgetmouse is an account that mostly gives info for Disneyworld, but some of the tips and tricks she gives are good for either park.  And @disneyeatz will help you find out what food you want to eat in the park.  You won’t go hungry in Disneyland if you follow this account!

And that’s it!  I hope you have found these helpful and are able to use some of them for your next trip to Disneyland!

Sparkle

 

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Disneyland Tomorrowland Graduation Party

Good morning! We are officially in summer! I love it! Last week we spent time camping at the beach. It was so nice! Cooler weather, but no wind. It was so pleasant to walk to beach and just sit on the dunes and hang out with family.

Before we headed to the beach though, we had Haley’s college graduation party. Woo hoo! Haley works at Tomorrowland in Disneyland, so we planned our party around it. We featured each ride and even snacks to go along with it!

Here is the graduate and cast member, along with her galaxy dress and blue lipstick!

Disneyland Tomorrowland Cast Member

Lauren and I have worked many months working on some of these pieces. The Astro Orbitors took us months to figure out! I was quite the process! I think it turned out amazing and it was the first thing you saw when you walked in the door. We also made a Tomorrowland Directional Sign which included each of the rides, Pizza Port and of course, the restrooms.

Disneyland Tomorrowland Astro Orbitors

The rockets even light up!

Disneyland Tomorrowland Astro Orbitors Rocket

We made a styrofoam moon complete with planets, rock candy and ‘Star’bursts.

Disneyland Tomorrowland Space Mountain

Lauren made this amazing acrylic pour painting to look like outer space. I think it looks so cool! We added few more planets, stars and Haley’s graduation pictures along with a Class of 2019 banner.

Disneyland Tommorrowland Pour Space Painting and plantets

 

These are my favorite! Autopia cars! This is Haley’s main attraction she works at and I was so excited to find some replica cars on Ebay. I borrowed some foam road pieces from work and we added some Oreo tires and gumdrop roadblocks. Aren’t they fun!?

Disneyland Tommorrowland autopiaDisneyland Tommorrowland Autopia cars

We are not the biggest Star Wars fans, so we borrowed some pieces from some friends who are fans. We found the grape juice bottles with Chewbacca and a Storm Trooper while going through a grocery store on our way to find something else and knew we needed to add them to the table.

Disneyland Tomorrowland Star Tours

This was a last minute design. Lauren decided we needed a Pizza Port since we were serving pizza. We used a tomato cage, some plate risers, and a wooden stand. Lauren made the claw to hang from the middle. It turned out really cute, but unfortunately the pizzas didn’t really fit inside. Oh well! It looked good! We included Buzz and an Astro Blaster for the Buzz ride.

Disneyland Tomorrowland Pizza PortDisneyland Tomorrowland Pizza Port Rocket

We had lots of great food too and gave them fun names to go with the theme. Popcorn became Astroids.

Disneyland Tomorrowland Asteroids Popcorn

Seven layer dip became Seven Leia Dip and…

Disneyland Tomorrowland Seven Leia Dip

The tortilla chips were Storm Trooper Scoopers.

Disneyland Tomorrowland Storm Trooper Scoopers

Aren’t the Little Green Men cupcakes adorable? I love their little eyes and antenna!

Disneyland Tomorrowland Green Martian Cupcakes

Even our drinks were named. Lemonade was Vadoraid,

Disneyland Tomorrowland Vaderaid

Soda was Yoda Soda,

Disneyland Tomorrowland Yoda Soda

and we had Rocket Fuel and Blinker Fluid.

Disneyland Tomorowland Blinker Fluid, Rocket Fuel

We had so much fun celebrating along with family and friends. Congratulations Haley!

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Disney Wall Inspiration

Hello!  How is everyone doing?  I hope you are all doing well and are ready for the weekend, because I know I am!

So this week’s post is because I am depressed because I am not in Disneyland.  Crazy…I know… but I am working on trying to help my Disney depression by building a gallery wall.  In my hallway.  So!  I needed some inspiration and decided to share my inspiration with all of you!  Now, some of these things were too cool not to share, but they unfortunately don’t have any links.  So enjoy!

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Mickey Mouse String Art from Yoho Disney

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Minnie Ears Stair Display

Steamboat Willie

Steamboat Willie Pin Board

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Disney Wall from @vickiethomp5on on Instagram

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Photo Castle

Ears Wall

Minnie Ears Framed from @pinsndisney on Instagram

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UP Inspired Smashed Penny Picture

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Disney Pin Shadow Boxes from Savoring the Good

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Disney Gallery Wall from @jadedaisy on Instagram

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Disney Ride Signs

Sparkle

Top 10 Things to Do in Disneyland and California Adventures

Hello! Happy Friday! We just go back from Disneyland and I thought I would share my top 10 Things we did and enjoyed during our visit.

1. MaxPass

OMG this thing is amazing!  If you have not heard of this, you are missing out.  For $10 you can get Fastpasses on your phone through the Disney App and you can download the photos from the rides and photographers.  How cool is that?  You know what else?  You can get Fastpasses every hour and a half instead of every two hours!  We didn’t use it in California Adventures because we didn’t feel like we would need it.  But it was so useful in Disneyland.  We got on every ride we wanted plus some we hadn’t been on in years.  It was amazing!  So is an picture we got from the photographers and were able to download right onto our phones.

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2. Pixar Fest

If you are planning on going to Disneyland in the near future (like before October 2018), you will get to experience Pixar Fest.  This event is super cool because Disney and Pixar are coming together.  So every movie that Disney and Pixar has worked on together is coming to California Adventures.  And rides are changing to be more like Pixar, so California Screamin’ is turning into the Incredicoaster.  Here are some of the pictures from California Adventures where Pixar was everywhere!

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3. Pixar’s Together Forever Event

OK!  This event is so cool!  Disney has out Disneyed themselves with this.  For this awesome event you stand in the middle of Main Street and Disney projects scenes from movies onto the buildings.  I had so much nostalgia during this and I will admit that both Haley and I were in tears from happiness from this night.  So I won’t give too much away, but here are some pictures of what you can expect.

 

4. Pixar Parade

Who doesn’t like parades?  Well Disneyland has a new one!  The new Pixar parade features all of our favorites like Up, Inside Out, Toy Story, and Monsters University.  Can I just say that the Kevin and Russel character from the parade is the cutest?

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5. Guardians of the Galaxy

Before I get into Guardians of the Galaxy, I have to say that I was disappointed that the Tower of Terror was going to be disappearing.  BUT!  I did enjoy the new Guardians of the Galaxy.  There was a lot more going up and down which was great and it was quite enjoyable.  And even though I haven’t seen the Guardian of the Galaxy movies, I was still able to enjoy myself.

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6. Electrical Parade

Okay, I will be the first to say that I love anything shiny.  So watching the electrical parade was a lot of fun.  To see how everything was lit up and bright and shiny.  One of our favorites was seeing Mac from Cars.  His whole trailer was full of lights and lit up in different patterns!  That was really cool.

 

 

 

7. Characters

As Haley and I have gotten older, it hasn’t been as important to see all of the characters at Disneyland.  But it’s obviously something fun for kids of all ages.  During this trip we took pictures with Minnie Mouse and Mary Poppins and Bert.  The cool thing about seeing Minnie Mouse is that she had a photographer with her and we were able to download our picture almost immediately with the MaxPass.  You can also use the Disneyland app to see where different characters are going to be in the park.

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8. Rides

Of course you have to hit the rides!  It doesn’t matter if the ride is Peter Pan or Big Thunder Mountain, all rides are a must.  We rode Peter Pan, Roger Rabbit, and Matterhorn for the first time in years.  And thanks to the MaxPass we were able to get our Fastpasses and get on even faster.  You know what’s even better?  Rides like Splash Mountain and Space Mountain where they take your picture, you are able to download right onto your phone right after the ride.  Have the 8 digit id code and BOOM!  You have all of your screaming faces right in your hand.

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9. Food

Try the Grey Stuff?  It’s delicious!  Don’t believe me ask the dishes!

Yes!  There is an actual treat called The Grey Stuff at Disneyland!  And it’s so good!  It’s at the Red Rose Tavern in Fantasyland.  It’s a little tiny cake with lots and lots of frosting sitting atop a shortbread cookie.  And boy howdy is it good.  The cookie was okay, but the cake and frosting.  MMMMMMMMMM!  We also tried two new restaurants, The French Market and The Hungry Bear.  We really enjoyed The French Market and have already vowed to go back to try the other things on the menu.  We had the chicken ceasar salads, french dip, and the pulled pork sandwich.  They were so good!  The Hungry Bear has your standard burger and fries.  But it was still really good.

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10. Family Time

Obviously the best thing about Disneyland is getting to spend time with your family.  I love being able to experience new things with them and spend quality time with them.  Even though we have been to Disneyland numerous times, I will always enjoy going with them yet again.  I could go on each ride over and over again and I still wouldn’t get tired of visiting the parks.  All in all, the time you spend with your family is priceless and it will always be cherished.

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Sparkle

Homemade Disney Subway Sign

Sorry for the delay in this blog post.  This project took just a tiny bit longer than I had intended.  But, without further ado, here is the project.

I wanted to make something for my coworker Kelli, who is a major Disney fanatic.  Without her, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am in and I wouldn’t enjoy going to work as much as I do.  So because of this, I wanted to make something for her as a thank you.

Do you remember the pillow that mom bought from Disneyland?  If you don’t, you can click here to see the post.  Well, I like the design of it, so I decided to put it on a sign for Kelli.

The first thing that I did was I found some scrap wood that dad had left over from building some cat huts for our friends shelter.  They were all about the same length, so I placed 8 pieces next to each other for the width of the sign.  I then took a 9th piece and cut it to fit on the back of the sign.  I then took the two pieces for the back and nailed all the pieces together.

Subway Art Sign

Next came the fun part, painting!  Yeah!

Subway Art Sign

I knew that I wanted the sign to be white and have black writing on it.  So, I painted the wood white…and of course the spray paint just soaked in.  Urgh!  So, I had to spray a few coats on the sign and then it was ready to be drawn on.

Subway Art Sign

Once the paint had dried, I brought the sign inside and was ready to start the fun part.  I found a picture of the pillow online and with some maneuvering in Microsoft word, I was able to take the picture and make it fit on my sign.  I covered the back of the paper with pencil so that I could draw on the front to have my design come out on the wood.

Subway Art Sign

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This was harder than I thought it would be for a few reasons.  1: I had to put the pencil on really thick so that I could see it on the wood. 2: some pieces of the wood was rough and I could hardly see the pencil marks. 3: some of the pieces of wood were so rough that I had to free hand that part.

But with all of this bad, I was able to get a design that I absolutely fell in love with on the  sign.  I used a sharpie to draw on the sign and used a fine point sharpie to add detail.  The final things to add were varnish and picture hangers.  I added two on the back because I wasn’t sure how heavy it would be.

And here it is!  The finished product is beautiful!

Subway Art Sign

Subway Art Sign

Subway Art Sign

Subway Art Sign

I love how it turned out and it didn’t take that long to make.  I hope that Kelli loves it as much as I do.  And hopefully, I can make more because they turned out amazing!

sparkle