Monday, May 4, 2015

Mama Monday: Send me your best Disney tips!

Guys. GUYS! This is big. My baby brother is getting MARRIED!!!

Aren't they the stinking cutest? And they have the most adorable story. These kids have literally known each other their whole lives. Our mothers were college roommates and best friends. We have been visiting J's family and doing things with them for years and years. And then last year, these two decided to start dating! And now they are getting married. And we couldn't be more thrilled. Not only is she darling, sweet, and smart, but she and my brother are just so well matched. They balance each other very well and I know they will be equal partners in all things.
They have chosen to be married in the San Diego temple in August and we are stoked to be making another trip out there!
Since we will be in SoCal again, it seems like a crime to not take Em to Disneyland again. We feel like it's the perfect time - at 2.5, she is old enough that she's really into Disney (especially Mickey Mouse. We watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse every day!), but still young enough that her park entrance is free :)

I'm trying to do a better job planning our trip this time. Last year, we made the decision to go to Disney just a few days before and we kinda winged it. We didn't see any parades or shows or meet any characters or see fireworks or anything. We drove up and back to San Diego in the same day, making for a looooooong day for Miss Em.
I've been trying to get started, but I'm a little overwhelmed, so I'm hoping you Disney fans out there can help me out. Here's what I'm looking for:

  • Where should we stay? We were debating one of the three Disney resorts, specifically Paradise Pier, just for the whole Disney experience and for the proximity to the park. But it is so.dang.expensive. I have heard good things about Candy Cane Inn across the street, but don't know if we will be missing out on anything by staying off site. Anyone that can weigh in on this?
  • Character dining. Has anyone does this? Which one do you recommend?
  • What are your favorite places to eat in the park?
  • What are your favorite rides for toddlers? (nothing scary!)
  • What is your non-ride favorite thing to do at Disney?
Thanks for the advice, mamas! I appreciate the planning help.


  1. The carousel is my favorite neighbor hotel. I recommend booking through an agent (free) because there can be hotel blocks reserved for booking through agents. I don't advise disneyland character dining because the available characters is unpredictable. Autotopia and teacups are great for littles. Getting a dinner and World of Color combo is worthwhile to reduce time in line.

    Rachel G just visited in Jan and will be your best source of info

  2. I sent that past comment in my husbands google account, lol sorry! - Alex H.

  3. So I tried to post before but it deleted my post before it submitted it.

    Don't stay onsite at Disneyland. It's not worth it. I've stayed onsite at Disney World twice now and it's been amazing but we did it because the dining plan was free the first time and the second time was when we went on our disney cruise and it was because transportation is free from the airport when you stay onsite so we saved money and a hassle. Plus the biggest benefit for onsite at Disneyland is the extra Magic hours which you probably won't do with a Toddler. My mom prefers the hotel across the street with the McDonalds in the parking lot. I think the Anaheim Camelot Inn and Suites. But I haven't stayed there personally. My two cents if you're going to stay onsite do it at Disney World and make a week out of it. It's cheaper and a more magical experience.

    Definitely do the Character dining. It's amazing. It's a great way to see a bunch of characters all at once and they do a really great job of coming around to your table and interacting with the kids. We did the Breakfast in the Park and it was fantastic. This blog breaks down the various Disneyland Ones: I would do this in a heart beat if I was taking Claire.

    Favorite places to eat? Anything Quick service. I'm not as familiar with the Dining at Disneyland I've done a lot more at Disney World but the reviews online are pretty accurate and if you're going to do Table service make sure you have a reservation.

    Fantasyland is overall pretty great for Toddlers and you have Toontown in Disneyland which is excellent. The frontier area has a petting zoo and the Toy Story shooting gallery was a hit with my niece and nephew. There's also a whole bug's life area in Californialand that I'm sure would be fun. Downtown Disney is also fun to visit.

    If you have any questions just text me.