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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