Get this, you can get in to Disneyland FREE on your birthday
during 2009. That's pretty damn good considering a single park ticket is upwards of $60 now.
If you think Disneyland is a nightmare, you're just not doing it right, I say. I take my kids every few weeks, and there are ways to make your Disney trip easy peasy. Honest. I have been working on this list for a long, long time. Mostly because people ask me how to make their trips easier. I wrote down a few tried and true things that might come in handy.I don't like lines.
Yeah. Neither do I. People may not know this, but they way they open the park every morning is to line everyone up at Main Street, then let them loose like a pack of wild dogs. Not for me. I don't care for the pushing. However, within the first hour of park opening it's basically a free for all. The best way to take advantage of this is to stay in a Disney hotel because they let you in one hour PRIOR to opening. So you can get past all those losers. I know not everyone wants to stay in a hotel, in that case I suggest when the parades start, (that's where all the kids are) you head for the rides. Same with the fireworks at night. Just skip it if rides are you priority.My kids need to pee.
Anytime I can, I head back to Main Street to go to the Carnation Baby Care Center. (Next door to the Corn Dog Truck.) They have toddler sized potties, changing tables that are cleaned and wiped down
after every use, baby food if you need it, a microwave, and a breast feeding room. I love that place. Because I am a clean freak. Sadly, adults aren't allowed to pee there, so you're on your own. Hey, at least the kids are taken care of.
I want good food, not crappy park food.
Anytime you go to a theme park it's easy to get suckered. I am anti-hamburger/chicken nuggets/fast-food-esque things for my kids, so I am always looking for something better.For breakfast
: The Carnation Cafe
on Main Street
Wow the breakfasts here
are good. Just nice and homey and really tasty. Eggs, potatoes, and the cutest little Mickey waffles ever. There is a wait though, but it's worth it.For Lunch
: Rancho del Zocalo
This lines are short here, due to location, a nice tip is there's a bathroom right there too. Mexican food is a great change from the regular stuff. Also their toddler meal is arroz con pollo, come on, that's good stuff. You can get carne asada, enchiladas, tostadas, all for the same price as a crappy burger somewhere else.For Dinner
: The Plaza Inn
on Main Street
They have really big
spaghetti and chicken dinners, that are large enough to share, which is great for your budget too. Also the dining is indoors, which is comfy at night.
Note: I try and stay away from kid's meals. The only reason kids want them is because of the toys and Disney has cut back to where now the 'toy' is a...magic straw. Let me tell you there's nothing magic about a color changing straw, and if a straw is your prize that's the 'unhappiest' meal ever.I need a souvenier.
The best things ever are personalized. Biased opinion, here
. Sure you can get ears, but have you seen the price of ears lately? Zoiks. At the front gate at Main St. next to the bathrooms there is a postcard stand. There you can get Disney name badges
like the employees wear, and get your name carved on it! Too cute. They are really fun gifts. If that line is too long they also make them at the leather shop in Frontierland. I believe they are $6
The other great item for kids is the Mickey Mouse plastic light saber
. It's like 4' long, has a battery, Mickey's face, and the best part is, it retracts. So you can easily stash it away. Even better? With tax it's a mere $5
. Warning, here's a BAD: The Kid hit the plasma tv with it. Now there is a permanent black line on the tv. Mom always said, 'don't play ball in the house...' sigh.
This could go under 'snack' too, but popcorn buckets
are great. They cost a little more than a popcorn box, but that you'll just toss. These come with a lid so you can easily tote it all day. They buckets are collectible in the sense that they are always changing, but here's what I like, you can take them home, wash them, and they really come in handy for storing legos, crayons, any small toys. It's a nice reusable container.I want something sweet.
Ok, this is my biggest secret of all, and I will probably regret saying this one, but the ice cream shop on Main Street is FABULOUS. If
...you want to wait an hour and half for ice cream. I've done it. Don't. It's a nightmare and at the end you'll be too pissed off to eat. The secret is...go across the street. The Main St. Cone Shop
is next to the lockers and has ice cream cones, sundaes and...NO LINES. Seriously. Your anger management therapist will thank you.
Those are just a few of the questions people have emailed me about navigating Disneyland. If you have any more just let me know. I'm not an expert, just someone who goes...A LOT. Too much probably. Yes, I'm going this week. Take advantage of next year's free admission on your birthday
. A free trip to Disneyland? I say take it.
Labels: disneyland, kids