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

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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

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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

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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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Yard Sale Round-Up

Hello!  How is everyone doing today?  Did everyone have a good 4th of July?  I know I spent some good time with family and ate too much food.

But besides the 4th, my family is having a yard sale this weekend.  We normally have a large yard sale every summer which normally consists of stuff from multiple families.  Like, 3 or 4 families.  But we have been having yard sales ever since I can remember.  So, I wanted to share some helpful tips and tricks I found that may help you out with a yard sale if you ever want to have one.  Trust me, it’s a nice way to get rid of stuff and still make some money.  Enjoy!

P.S. There are only 6 posts because most of the stuff I found just repeats itself over again.  So these are the main things I found that I thought were the most helpful.

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Step by Step Plan for a Successful Yard Sale from I Heart Planners

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Garage Sale Hacks from Holly Hammersmith

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Garage Sale Checklist from No Getting Off This Train

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5 Items You Should Never Try to Sell at a Yard Sale from GSALR

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Yard Sale Signs from Flea Market Flipper

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40 Yard Sale Tips from House of Hawthornes

Sparkle

Travel Tips and Tricks

Hello!  I hope everyone had a good and safe 4th of July!  I know mom and dad’s furry kids were good with the fireworks, and my cats were a little scared but nothing too bad.

With summer in full swing, people everywhere are taking road trips.  Now, I wish that I could travel more than I do now, but it isn’t going to happen anytime soon.  So to curb my hunger for adventure, here are some travel tips and tricks for you on your next road trip.  Enjoy!

Carry-On

I haven’t been on too many flights but I can say that it is hard to pack a carry on bag.  Arzo Travels lays out an awesome list of everything that you should pack in your carry on bag for your next flight.

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Who doesn’t like snacks?  Especially for a long trip you definitely need to have something to eat on the road.  Live Laugh Rowe gives her list of snacks that she likes to pack for a road trip.

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We all love our pets and we love them so much so that sometimes we want to take them with us on our adventure.  The Every Girl complies a list of things to pack and look at when wanting your furry friend to go on an adventure too!

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If you are traveling somewhere by car and not by plane, it can be hard to figure out how to pack your car.  Stuffed Suitcase shows us how she packs her car for long road trips, which is very helpful!

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If you are going on a trip soon, you may need to pack a lot of small items for your adventure.  Polka Dot Chair gives us some ideas on things to pack to make traveling just a little bit easier.

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Sometimes when you are taking a road trip, you are taking the whole family with you!  Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam, Dylan Too gives us some great ideas of things to bring when traveling with kids.

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Did you know that there is a “proper” way to pack a suitcase?  Business Insider gives us this awesome diagram on how to properly pack for your next trip.

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With everyone using technology for everything nowadays, wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a plethora of apps that were reliable for travel?  Carry On or Bust compiles a list of apps that they use when traveling that make your life much easier.

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This is a HUGE thing!  Obviously you want to be safe while traveling and it would be terrible if things got stolen from you.  Wise Bread gives a good list of things to take into consideration when you are traveling.

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Finally, it’s not really travel tips and tricks, but my trip to Washington last summer.  I had so much fun and even give you a small itinerary for my week long trip.  Click here to check it out!

Sparkle