I am excited and have been excited for the past 2 weeks because we’re celebrating my son’s 2nd birthday at the happiest place on earth!!! (That’s Disneyland in case you didn’t know… LOL)
I have taken the role of “events and logistics manager” for this trip and let me just tell you (not that you don’t already know) that it’s both a fun and stressful task!
But if you’re planning for a trip yourself, these are some of the things you need to consider as you prepare for your Disneyland vacation.
Traveling to and from Disneyland
I was able to secure cheap domestic flight tickets to the Orange County Airport from San Jose because, thankfully, Southwest was having a promo during the time I was looking for tickets! From the usual $200 tickets, we just had to pay $69 for a one-way ticket!
Since I received a CARES Airplane Safety Harness from AmSafe, we won’t be bringing my son’s car seat which is too big for the plane’s seats. The CARES Restraint System is the only FAA-approved restraint system for small children that wouldn’t require you to bring a car seat. Very convenient, right??
From the airport, we will just be taking the Disneyland Express to get to the Sheraton Anaheim Hotel where we’ll be staying. Of course you can always decide to just drive to Anaheim. My husband and I just decided that flying would be the best option for us at this time. We’ve always driven from San Jose to Disneyland in the past and it’s just too stressful for him to have to drive 7 hours straight.
Accommodations for our Disneyland vacation
This was probably our biggest consideration for the whole trip. There are so many Good Neighbor Hotels around Disneyland so it was so hard to decide on one. Almost all the hotels right across Disneyland have high ratings on different hotel websites only because of their proximity to Disneyland. But there are some concerns about security and cleanliness for a lot of the establishments there so I was really hesitant to book them. I don’t want to risk losing our valuables during our vacation. That would totally ruin the whole trip.
I told my husband that I’d like to just stay at the Sheraton Anaheim. I have several reasons but here are the main ones:
– it had good reviews online,
– the hotel photos online were amazing
– it has its own free shuttle service to and from Disneyland that leaves every 30 minutes, and
– Sheraton is a name we trust when it comes to hotel stays
We’ve stayed at Sheraton San Jose, Sheraton Universal and Sheraton Pomona and have always had a great stay every time. So I appreciate them giving me a discounted rate for this stay.
What’s really nice about Sheraton Anaheim is that the whole structure is castle-like so it complements the whole Disney experience. They have a Disney Desk so you don’t have to worry about getting in line at the Disneyland gate. I like that though it’s near Disneyland it’s not TOO near. So the location seems to be good if you want to temporarily get some peace or some break from the Disney experience. These photos are courtesy of Sheraton Anaheim. Just click on the photos to see a larger version. Check out my Sheraton Anaheim Review.
The 1-park per day ticket is much cheaper than the park hopper tickets. So try weighing your options. If you’d really like to be able to transfer from one park to the other, then opt for the park hopper ticket. But if you think you’re okay with staying at one park for one whole day, then save yourself some money and get the 1-park ticket!
Also, if you’re a blogger, you can get 2 media passes for your visit. I know that some are given 2 park hopper tickets valid for 1 day. But I was given 2 1-park tickets for 2 days. Thank God!
Current rates for Disneyland tickets are as follows:
1-Day 1-Park Ticket – $81 (ages 3 to 9) and $87 (ages 10 & up)
1-Day Park Hopper Ticket – $119 (ages 3 to 9) and $125 (ages 10 & up)
2-Day 1-Park Per Day Ticket – $158 (ages 3 to 9) and $170 (ages 10 & up)
2-Day Park Hopper Ticket – $188 (ages 3 to 9) and $200 (ages 10 & up)
I only listed the ticket options for 1-day and 2-day visits. You may check out the complete and updated pricing here.
Things to bring to Disneyland
First, let me say you’d have to wear appropriate clothes — appropriate for the weather and appropriate for theme parks with kids. Now everything else depends on who you’re with. But here are some ideas:
- Back pack or body bag
- Your tickets if you purchased online!
- Sunglasses and/or hat
- Sunscreen even when it’s not sunny. UV rays can damage your skin even when it’s cloudy.
- Water! Water! Water! Unless you want to buy expensive water inside the park.
- If you have a kid: diapers, milk, wipes, hand sanitizer and extra clothes. Bring a stroller so your little one can rest when he’s tired. It also serves as a push cart for your stuff when kids are walking.
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i haven’t been to Disneyland in years i need to take my daughter there now that she is old enough to appreciate going 😉
Oh my, wait for me! Great post :0) I am sure you and your family will have a great time!
Sounds like a lot of fun1
I hope you have a wonderful trip! Great deal on the airline tickets. I’ve never flown with little ones so I’m betting that is a lot of work to prepare for. Safe travels!
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I’ve never been there before. It sounds like a nice family trip.
Sounds like a wonderful trip! I can’t wait to hear about it. The CARES System looks great and I wish we had that when my two were toddlers. We hauled car seats on the plane and that was an experience! The Sheraton looks beautiful too – enjoy!
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I am small! I weigh only 98 pounds! I don’t cry or complain! I don’t eat too much! I don’t mind sleeping on the floor! Please take me, too!
LOL!!! Too funny!
bay area mommy
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You are so lucky – it sounds like a wonderful vacation. We were there about 5 years ago and had a blast. Wish you a safe and enjoyable trip.
have fun! I have always dreamed of taking my kids there, but I know I will never afford it
Great list, and it is important to prepare to go here. It can get really hot and can be crowded at Disneyland. Moms need to think ahead for sure.
I would love to go back to Disney we only got to be there for a day but it was a fun magical day…
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Definitely get some books from the library or from Amazon about Disneyland but make sure they are for the recent year. We really benefited from reading these.
We have visited Disney World several times since my daughter was born. As much as I would love to stay on property, we always rent a house. It gives us a home away from home and allows us to save money on meals.
The pictures look beautiful! Hope you are having a great time on your trip and glad that you were able to get great discounts.
My husband will be taking my daughter in June and then visiting family
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The photos look great. I’ve never been and probably never will make it there. I hope you have a great time! Looking forward to hearing about it on the blog!
Great tips, I will have to pass this on to my friends!
I can’t wait to read/hear about your trip. We are planning to go there in a few months.
thank you for sharing…I hope that you and the family will have a great time…I want to take my daughter there when she is old enough to enjoy it.
Great tips…thanks. We are headed to Disney World this week, and I think I have everything on my list.
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We live in the mid-west, and I can’t wait for the day I get to take my little one to Disney World in FL. I grew up going there and was a Disney kid. Have fun!
I would double think staying at the Sheraton and opt for something in walking distance, like the Tropicana (4 min), Fairfield Marriott or HoJo, amazing kids pool, (11 min). Essentially all across the street from the Shuttle Stop. We once stayed at the Crown Plaza with a “Shuttle Every 30 Min” and it seemed every time we got to the Shuttle stop, either at DL or our Hotel, it had just left. The round trip to and from was about 1.5 hours. You really end up only going to the park once and not using your hotel as the planned mid-day refuge.
The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2013 is available at your local library and has local hotels based on walk-times. It is an amazing wealth of info.
Also bring your own stroller (free to gate check), snacks and water bottles to fill at the park (any restaurant will fill them free of charge.) There is the Disneyland Express bus (think Greyhound and use online coupons) that will get you to and from the hotels, NO Car Seat needed. Or Super Shuttle, more direct, but you will need to bring a car seat.
We’re bringing our 1 1/2 year old in a month, but live locally. Your info about the CARES restraint system is so appreciated for future flights! Also, you mentioned that as a blogger you can get media passes – did you contact Disney directly? What’s the best way to go about looking into that? Thanks so much for all the info!
Hi Kim! You can request media passes by going to their media site: http://disneylandnews.com/contact-us-2/. There’s a link towards the end that says “Request Theme Park Admission”. You’ll need to email them at least 1 week before your trip to give them time to respond to you. Have fun at Disneyland!! 🙂
Bay Area Mommy
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How do you get the blogger tickets?
Hi Kera! You can request media passes by going to their media site: http://disneylandnews.com/contact-us-2/. There’s a link towards the end that says “Request Theme Park Admission”. You’ll need to email them at least 1 week before your trip to give them time to respond to you. 🙂
Bay Area Mommy
I purchased a CARES system to travel to WDW with my son twice between 17 mos and 2.5 years. It was awesome. Just remember the airline attendants aren’t always aware. I held up our departure arguing for mine but luckily had my paperwork.
Wow really? Good thing I didn’t have any issues when we used ours. I’ll need to keep that in mind so that I’m ready if an attendant ever asks. 🙂
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I really love Disney Land, and these are some great tips! Thanks!
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Even for new bloggers? I’m just getting started up. Any suggestions or tips on what to do to ensure the media passes are approved?
Hi Chandra! I’m inclined to think it doesn’t matter to them if you’re a new blogger or an established one. They didn’t ask me for my stats. I say just try and email them. If you don’t receive a reply within a week’s time, follow up. 🙂
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Your suggestions are great. I always make sure to take chap stick lips get dry and cracked in the sun or wind. Most Disneyland quick serve restaurants will give you ice water free but we freeze bottles and take them with us. I buy cheap rain ponchos to take at the $$ store they are great for world of color even if just for smaller kids and cameras. Pick up Disney light up items at the $$ store or flea markets. I just got my girls Minnie light up bow head bands at our local flea market for $1 they flash at 5 different speeds. I buy Disney Beach towels at local stores and take them as they are 1/3rd of the price they will be at Disney.
Break in your shoes BEFORE your trips starts! You do not want to wear new shoes and have blisters at Disneyland! Carry a small 1st aid kit, bandaides, salve, saftey pins. LOL, I am always prepared for anything!
I would love to go back to Disneyland!
This sounds like so much fun. My family would really enjoy this. Thank you so much for sharing this great information