Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What to do when you're hot and tired at Disneyland

Going to Disneyland at really anytime other than winter can call for some warm, or sweltering temperatures! During a long day on your feet, sometimes you need a break to rest your feet and get out of the sun. Here are a few tips on what to do when you're hot and tired at Disneyland:

1) Disneyland Railroad
While the railroad is closed right now as construction is being done on the upcoming Star Wars Land, it has been announced that it will be opening back up Summer 2017! The railroad is a great ride to go on that will allow you to rest your feet and is mostly in the shade! When you get to the station, you usually will be able to get on the next train that comes. The most that I have had to wait is for 2 trains, and there are benches in the station that if you don't get on the first train that comes, they will open up to wait for the next. The train has 4 stops around the park and you can get on and off at any of them. So if you just want to get to the other side of the park without walking, or want to take a complete tour around the park, the railroad is the ride for you!

2) Mark Twain Riverboat
This is another attraction that is currently closed due to Star Wars Land construction, but also will be opening back up in Summer 2017! But right now, the Riverboat is docked and you can still board it and hang out. Princess Tiana from Princess and the Frog also does Meet and Greets on the Riverboat throughout the day.

The Sailing Ship Columbia is similar to the Mark Twain Riverboat, except that right now you can't board the ship. But when the Rivers of America opens back up, both the Sailing Ship Columbia and Mark Twain Riverboat will be able to be boarded in the same area over by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

3) Hyperion Theater
This is located in Hollywood Land (formerly known as the Hollywood Backlot) in DCA. Right now, Frozen is playing in the theater! I was skeptical about Frozen being adapted to the stage and really sad that Aladdin was leaving, but I was pleasantly surprised by it! It is a great show! It has multiple show times per day, so you can plan when you want to fit it into your day. The show runs about an hour, but you should get in line at least about a half hour (even sometimes an hour on crowded days) before showtime so that you can get a decent seat for the show. The wait beforehand may seem like a little much, but being able to sit in a cool building is sometimes just what you need on a long, hot day!

4) Animation Academy
Also located in Hollywood Land in DCA, Animation Academy is a great place to go on hot days! It is air conditioned, has a lot of places to sit, and it has great activities/attractions for both kids and adults! There are 4 different areas inside, which are Turtle Talk with Crush, Character Close-up, Sorcerer's Workshop, and the Animation Academy. In Turtle Talk, the kids get to sit in front of the "tank"and talk with Crush! It is awesome! In Character Close-Up, that is where the Elsa and Anna Meet and Greet is! In Sorcerer's Workshop, you can go into Beast's Library and find out which character you are! In Animation Academy, you can learn how to draw various Disney characters! There is a schedule posted just outside of what characters will be taught at what time throughout the day. 

5) The Enchanted Tiki Room
Located at the entrance of Adventureland, the Tiki Room is a show done by the funniest birds! I love to go when it is hot outside because I always get a Pineapple Dole Whip on my way in! The show runs all day long, about every 15-20 minutes. It's a great place to rest your feet and rejuvenate for the rest of your day at Disney!

6) Mickey and the Magical Map
This is an awesome show that is located at the back of Fantasyland, right across from the Fantasyland/Toontown Railroad Station. It has a running time of 22 minutes and runs every 1-2 hours (it varies day to day, so check the daily schedule on the Disneyland website for specific showtimes). There is plenty of seating, so you don't have to worry about not making the show if you get there right before showtime. I usually get a snack or lunch right before the show and eat it throughout the show. 

7) Storytelling at the Royal Theatre
I have actually never sat and watched a show here, but I have walked past quite a few times when a show has been running. It is an open-air theater located on the edge of Fantasyland at the front of the castle, past the entrance to Frontierland. The stories that are told are Tangled and Beauty and the Beast. I am going to make it a point to stop by and see a show the next time we visit the park!

8) The Golden Horseshoe
This old-timey saloon style restaurant is located in Frontierland across from where the Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Colombia dock on the Rivers of America. It serves some fast food including chicken nuggets, fish and chips, mozzarella sticks, and chili, but it is mostly well-known for its delicious ice cream! It is an air conditioned restaurant and has a ton of seating inside. Every so often, there is a show that is put on inside the restaurant on stage that is way fun and has audience participation!

9) It's Tough to be a Bug
Located just inside the entrance of Bug's Land in DCA (right next to Cars Land), this is a 3D Movie experience that is fun for the whole family! Similar to "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" that used to be in Disneyland's Tomorrowland, It's Tough to be a Bug is interactive throughout the whole theater. You are equipped with your own "bug eyes" so that you can see just what it is like to be a bug! Led by your host Flik, you get to see a variety of bugs in their "natural habitat". It does have some dark and loud parts, so if that isn't your little one's favorite, maybe wait until your next trip to experience this. The theater never fills up, so you are certain to get a seat whenever you go!

10) Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
This is a less known attraction in Disneyland to visitors of a younger generation, but I remember when I was younger, my dad made us go in to watch this because it was his favorite thing when he was little! It was the first animatronic attraction at Disneyland, which my dad remembers being so amazing because Lincoln looks so lifelike! It is also cool to note that Walt Disney was fascinated with Abraham Lincoln's life, which is why he made the attraction, first for the New York World Fair, and then having it relocated to Main Street in Disneyland.

Well, that concludes my much longer than expected Hot and Tired in Disneyland post! I love sharing what I have learned about Disneyland with others and giving advice to future park goers! Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions about what I should blog on next!

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Monday, November 14, 2016

What to Pack on your next Disney Trip

Prepping to go on a Disney trip can be potentially stressful, with coordinating travel, hotel stays, any reservations, and last but not least, packing. So, I have compiled a list of things that need to make it into your luggage on your next Disney trip!

1) A Camelback Backpack

Guys, this has been a lifesaver for me on my last few trips! I would recommend it to everyone that goes to Disneyland for full days! Cam and I got these before our honeymoon and they were very nice to have in later August when it was still the summer heat in California. I prefer this a lot over having to carry a water bottle around the park. It is great because you don't have to get into your bag every time you need a drink, the straw/hose is right next to your face! Cam and I got a little bit bigger ones because we wanted to have additional space to put other things more than just the water bladder. If you are planning on carrying a backpack, I highly suggest getting one with the water bladder!

2) Plastic Bags

Sandwich size and the Quart size are both good to have to put sunscreen, lotion, etc. in so that they don't leak all over your bag/backpack. The sandwich size is also good to put your phone, wallet, camera, etc. in for when you go on water rides so that they don't get ruined. I always keep a couple extra in my backpacks for anything that I may need throughout the day.

3) Lanyard with pocket

Whether it be a Disney lanyard and pocket or not, these are a must have if you plan on getting fast passes, especially if you have kids. The lanyards are also good if you want to pin trade, or display your free button (pictured above). The pocket is great to carry your park passes, fast passes, credit card, ID, hotel key, cash, etc. When Cam and I go, I usually don't bring my wallet into the park with me because it's kinda heavy, so I put all my essentials into my lanyard pocket!

4) Good Shoes

This can be different for everyone. For me, I always go with my running/workout shoes (pictured above on the right). For Cam, he does the best in flip flops (I don't understand how, but he does). I have also seen people do well in Chaco's (or the off brand, which is pictured above on the left). Whatever shoes work for you to walk and stand in all day, that give your feet the right support, and don't give you blisters, those are the shoes to go with for a day at Disney!

5) Sunglasses (preferably cheap) 

It is almost always going to be sunny at some part of the day at Disneyland. Because of this, sunglasses are a must! I left mine at our friends house about an hour outside of Anaheim last time that we were there, so I insisted that I had to buy some at the CVS because I would not do well without them! I suggest cheaper sunglasses so if for some reason they get lost or broken, you aren't devastated to have lost/broken your fancy glasses.

6) Disney Clothes

This is less of a must, but I am a huge fan of wearing Disney attire when in the parks. Whatever clothes you do end up bringing with you, make sure that they are comfortable! I am all about wearing leggings/yoga pants to the park because of the comfort, as well as they dry fairly quickly if they get wet.

7) Mickey/Minnie Ears/ Hats

Again, the ears aren't a must (although they are awesome and way fun!), but I would say that hats are great in the parks. A lot of the time I will start the day wearing my Minnie Ears, but by the end of the day I have transitioned to a hat. They are comfortable (for the most part), they block your head and face from the sun, and they can hide a messy hairdo from all of the fun rides that have blown it around all day!

8) Powerbank and charging cords

These are a MUST! Especially if you are one to use your phone as your camera, use ride times apps, keep in touch with other members of you disney crew, etc. There are occasional places throughout the park that have "charging stations" and some fast food restaurants have outlets, but not many. These are great to have so that you can recharge your phone or camera batteries while still being able to party in the parks!

9) Light Jacket/Rain Coat

While it may be pretty hot during the day, being in the parks once the sun goes down can get a little chilly! I always pack a jacket with me when I go, usually a thinner jacket that can fold up pretty small in the my backpack. It is also good if that jacket has some water repellent properties in case it starts raining while you are in the parks. There are ponchos available to buy at various stores around the park, but already having a jacket makes things a little easier.

10) Blanket

This is actually something that I have never brought before, but I regret it every time that I don't when we want to watch the parades. We have tried saving our spots with jackets, but they don't work super great and can be moved a lot easier than blankets can by others trying to get spots as well. A blanket also always seems nicer to sit on while waiting and watching the parades. I would suggest using a cheap blanket because people do walk/ roll strollers over others blankets and they can get kind of dirty from that. If you fly to Cali, get one of the airline blankets to use!

That's my basic list of things to pack for your next Disney trip! Did I miss anything that you feel is essential to pack for your trip? Comment below with your Disney essentials, as well as if there is something about Disneyland that you would like me to post about! Thanks all!

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Top 10 Must-Do's during your next Disney Trip

As some of you may know if you have read my "How this Utah girl met her Cali Boy" series, both Cam and I are Disneyland Lovers! That is how we first connected actually! So, I have decided to start a new Disneyland series of posts!

For my first post, I am going to go over my Top 10 Must-Do's while on a Disneyland Trip! *Not in any particular order of importance*

1) World of Color!

When people ask me for advice on things to do at Disney, this is my very first thing that I say! I love it so much and I make it a priority every time that we go! For prime viewing, I would suggest doing a World of Color Dining Experience! Our favorite is Ariel's Grotto! That is how we have gotten front row, splash zone spots! We still need to arrive about a half hour before our "call back" time that is on the pass that you get to be able to be right in the front, but it is totally worth it! You can also get passes for reserved areas farther back without a dining experience. To get these, you have to go around by Grizzly River Run, where the fast passes for the ride are. Some of the machines are for World of Color at the beginning of the day, so you need to get these passes in the morning before they run out and the machines go back to being for Grizzly River Run.

2) Corn Dogs

There are 2 places that you can get corn dogs, one in Disneyland and one in DCA (Disney's California Adventure). In Disneyland, Little Red Wagon Corn Dogs is right off of Main Street before you turn into Tomorrowland. At lunch and dinnertime, there can be a bit of a line, but it goes pretty quickly especially if you know exactly what you want and you have your method of payment ready. In DCA, the Corn Dog Castle is in Paradise Pier on the north side of the pier next to Goofy's Sky School. At both places, the corn dog combo comes with an awesomely huge corn dog and either a bag of Lays Potato Chips or a bag of sliced apples.

3) Churros!

I LOVE Disney Churros! There are churro carts all around both parks. I think that my favorite cart, probably because the smell just hits you when you walk past it, is the cart that is in Bugs Land in DCA. I don't know why that is, but it happens every time I walk through Bugs Land. I love the churros because they are a great snack for the middle of the day when you are needing a little pick me up, but you don't want to stuff yourself and ruin your upcoming lunch or dinner reservations! They are light and have just the right amount of sweetness without over powering your mouth! And for the more health-conscious eater, you don't feel horrible after eating one!

4) Pineapple Dole Whip

Dole Whips are glorious! I personally like to upgrade to the Dole Whip Float, which is the Pineapple Dole Whip "Ice Cream/Froyo" with Pineapple Juice poured over it, with a cherry on top! The Dole Whip Tiki Juice Bar is located just inside the entrance to Adventureland if you are coming from Main Street. The line on the outside of building can get pretty long, but Cam and I always go into the Enchanted Tiki Room entrance waiting area, where there is always a shorter/no line for the Dole Whips! Then after you get your whip, you can either just exit that area back out into the park, or you can rest your feet and go into and watch the Enchanted Tiki Room show! Cam and I usually opt for resting the feet and watching the show.

5) Cars Land

Cars Land is one of the newest areas in DCA. It opened in 2012 and is probably my favorite place in DCA. It is a practically perfect replica of Radiator Springs on Route 66, complete with the Cozy Cone Motel, Flo's V8 Cafe, Fillmore's Taste-in, Sarge's Surplus Hut, and Ramone's House of Body Art. The rides include Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters, and the awesome Radiator Springs Racers! This land is great to see during the day, but even more magical at night! Make sure to stop by at least twice at both times of the day to experience the atmosphere!

6) Classic Castle Pic

Gotta love that classic castle pic! Cam and I always try to get one of these at some point every time that we go. There are always people willing to take your picture for you, as well as Disney Photographers hanging around that can also take your pics, both with your own device and with their cameras. You will usually have other people in the background of your pics though, so be aware of that.
There is one way to limit the amount of people that are in the background of your picture, which Cam and I have done just once in the times that we have gone to the parks...and that is to just wait it out after the park has officially closed. You may have to wait about an hour afterwards, but the picture can be totally worth it! Case-in-point:

What did I tell ya...Totally worth the wait for the pic!

7) Fireworks

This photo credit goes to Cam! Probably my favorite pic of the 60th Celebration Disneyland Forever Fireworks show! While the 60th celebration is over and we have said goodbye to Disneyland Forever for at least the foreseeable future, all of Disney's fireworks shows are amazing and a must-see at least once during your trip! Make sure to check the daily schedule of shows to see if and when the fireworks will be going off, as well as check with cast members when the time gets close to show time to make sure that there aren't any weather issues that are going to make the fireworks show be cancelled. Also, if you can get a spot that is in front of the castle, those are usually the best spots to get photos like this one! But, you need to scout out your spot fairly early because it can get crowded fairly quickly.

8) Tower of Terror

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is one of my favorite rides in DCA! Unfortunately, as of January 2017, it will no longer be themed as The Twilight Zone :( I am very sad about the reboot of the ride, but change will always happen at Disneyland when there is imagination in the world! The ride will be transformed to Guardians of the Galaxy, as Disney now owns Marvel Studios. For those of you visiting the parks before January, this ride is for sure a must!! After that point, I am sure that the ride will still be great, as Disney has said that the actual ride won't change, just the theme of it. This is a great ride especially for larger groups to go on, as everyone in the group can be in the same ride picture. It is also a great opportunity for funny staged photos, as Cam and I have done in the pics above! *Thanks to our friends Ness and Bryce for giving us the ideas for these photos*

9) Ghiradelli Free Samples and The Boudin Bakery TourImage result for ghirardelli california adventure   Image result for boudin bakery tour california adventure

While these photos aren't mine, but from a google search, I love these 2 places! They are located right next to each other in the Pacific Wharf in DCA. There aren't really any rides or other attractions at the Pacific Wharf, just restaurants, but we always will walk through the wharf on our way to Paradise Pier for the free samples of chocolate and bread! Always walk through the Ghirardelli shop and snatch a mini free sample of chocolate. Then, walk through the bakery tour that is located at the back of the Pacific Wharf Cafe for some free sourdough bread samples! So so good :)

10) Cafe Orleans Restaurant

Cafe Orleans is a restaurant located in New Orleans Square by Pirates of the Caribbean. It is one of the 2 places that you can get the Disney famous Monte Cristo Sandwich, pictured on the right above. The other place it is available is the Blue Bayou Restaurant located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The other 2 photos above are the Mint Julep drink (on the left) and my personal favorite Pommes Frites (in the center). The Mint Julep drink is so refreshing on a hot day and is also available at Blue Bayou, French Market Restaurant, and the Mint Julep Bar. Pommes Frites are only available at Cafe Orleans and they are AMAZING!! They are the thing that I crave the most when I am away from Disney! They are French Fries with Parmesan, Garlic, and Parsley on them, served with a Cajun Spice Remoulade that is to die for! I would suggest going for lunch, as usually prices are a bit cheaper. Also, Cam and I share the Monte Cristo Sandwich and both have our bellies filled by the end of the meal!

Well, there you have it! Sorry this post ended up being a lot longer than I thought it was going to be, but I can talk Disney all day if I had the time!

I would love some feedback and suggestions on future Disney posts!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How this Utah Girl met her Cali Boy, part 8

Alright, it has been 8 months since I last posted, but I can't leave anything undone, so here is the end of our "how we started dating" story....if I can fit it all in one post. Maybe two. Here goes...

In the parking lot of Applebees before we all headed out, Ryanne took me aside to chat. She told me that Cam had been texting Rachelle and saying that he thought that I had been trying to hold his hand when we had watched the Goonies. I was intrigued and had hope slightly renewed in our chances.

Ryanne and I then rejoined the group and Rachelle offered to have Ryanne, Cam, and I come over to her place to watch a movie that night. I knew that this would be my chance to try the hand holding again. Ryanne ended up driving us all to Rachelle's and I had butterflies the whole way over. When we got to Rachelle's, we decide to watch Crazy Stupid Love. Before the movie started, I went to the bathroom, cause, small bladder problems. When I came back, I sat on the couch next to Cam. Next thing I knew, Cam's arm was around me! I was thrilled! We cuddled the whole movie :)

Image result for crazy stupid loveImage result for ps i love you

The next week, after FHE, we again went over to Rachelle's to watch P.S. I Love You (I know, we like chick flicks). Again, we cuddled all through the movie, and I actually ended up falling asleep during the movie. After the movie was over, Cam drove me home. He walked me to my door and we had a long hug, a really long hug...and then I ran inside. (Little did I know, Cam was left on the porch, stunned at what had just happened.) I had made a promise to myself that I wouldn't kiss him until he had actually asked me and taken me on a real date. And it was SO HARD! I so wanted to kiss him that night!

Later that week, I got a text from Rachelle telling me that for her birthday (which is a couple days before Halloween), she wanted to go out to Cafe Rio on Halloween with a big group of friends. Obviously I was so down for that, cause, Cafe Rio. A few hours later, I got a text from Cam asking if I wanted to go with him. (He also included that he was sorry it was a text because I was at clinicals, and sorry that Rachelle had already sent me the text before he was able to). I told him that I would love to go with him! It was an unconventional first date, but still a date.

Halloween came around and that morning I had a disaster simulation course for nursing school. Without disclosing details of the simulation, there was a part where I had stage makeup put on to make it look like I was hurt in an earthquake. To make it even better, I was wearing the shirt that I had gotten from "Zombie Tag" earlier that year. After the simulation course was over, I headed home and decided to leave the makeup on, because Halloween. Finally, dinner time came around and Cam picked me up to go to Cafe Rio. We went with a bunch of our friends from the Singles Ward and it was a great time!

After dinner, our friends all decided that we were going to go to a Halloween party that some other girls in the ward were throwing. Before heading out to the party, Cam and I headed back to my house to see my parents passing out candy to the trick-or-treaters, then went over to my sisters' so that I could see my cute niece's costume for her first Halloween (she was adorable, by the way!). After the visit, we headed over to the party.

The party consisted over a lot of dancing, mingling, and eating. When the party was dying down, a group of us decided to head over the Chase's house to watch a movie. We would obviously watch a Halloween movie, right?? Nope, Newsies. Because I had never seen it, and it is one of Chase's and Cam's favorite movies. During the movie, while Cam and I were cuddling on the couch, Cam leaned down and kissed me on the head!!! YES!! So, I looked up at him and kissed him for real :) :) :)

As he dropped me off later that night, we made it official, we wanted to start dating officially!

Well, there you have it peeps! I love my Cali Boy and I'm so glad we were able to find each other. And the rest is history :)

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