Happiest Here: Tips for Disneyland First-Timers

Happiest Here: Tips for Disneyland First-Timers

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A pic from our very first trip together back in June 2014!

 

Disneyland—the Happiest Place on Earth—has always held a special place in our hearts.

I grew up going to the California Disney parks, and Disney was a huge part of my childhood—but that’s another story. It wasn’t until Chris and I began dating when I realized the magic that Disney can and does have on adults. Sure, Disneyland was absolutely magical when I was a kid. But when Chris and I started going to Disney together, that magic transformed for me, and I realized just how special the parks truly are.

Chris and I had our first Disney date two months after we started dating, and it has been a part of our relationship ever since. From annual Disneyland getaways to our epic first-ever Walt Disney World trip (to even concocting plans for the international Disney parks?!), we’re undoubtedly addicted to Disney.

So here it is: my blog post with my best advice for your first-ever trip to the Disneyland Resort. The best part about DLR is that there is always something new to see—especially for a first-timer! So grab a cup of coffee and read on as I share my tips for your first visit to Disneyland.

Relax

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If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, you already know that it is the Happiest Place on Earth. The parks are magically filled with hundreds of beautiful sights, smells, and sensations, and there is no way that you could possibly see everything in only one day.

Relax! That’s how it’s supposed to be. If the magic of Disneyland could be summed up in 12 hours, there’s no way people would visit as often as they do. So enjoy yourself! Don’t rush it. Breathe in the churro-scented air, gaze up at the windows on Main Street, U.S.A., chat with the cast members as you stand in every ride queue, and realize where you are. Grab a “First Visit!” button from City Hall and smile!

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Have a General Idea of What You Want to Do

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Take me back to the Disneyland 60th…

You do not by any means need to plan out your entire day(s). I remember when Chris and I were planning our WDW trip, everyone said that you need an itinerary for every day: fast passes, dining reservations, parade times, and fireworks seating all had to practically be memorized!

Disneyland isn’t like that. With around 70% of attendees being Annual Passholders or locals, there’s no way the parks could require us to have each day planned out every time we visit.

However, it is a good idea to have a general idea of what you want to do. Want to eat at a specific restaurant, like Carnation Cafe on Main Street or Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square? You should make a reservation 2-8 weeks ahead of time, just to be sure. But when it comes to what to ride or watch, just have an idea of which lands you want to conquer and go through your day accordingly. Grab your fast passes for Space Mountain and Indiana Jones when they’re available, utilize the single rider lines if you want to, and know what time the parade will come through.

Having a general plan for your day will help you worry less so you can have way more fun! But don’t forget that this is your time to escape reality, so take advantage of strolling through the park in the evening and people watching on a bench in the afternoon.

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Carnation Cafe breakfast = A M A Z I N G 

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Don’t miss World of Color!

 

Don’t Miss the Hidden Gems

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There are so many hidden gems throughout the Disneyland Resort, and don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for them!

There are hidden Mickeys everywhere, names of notable Disney Imagineers and Legends on the windows on the second story of Main Street buildings, and fun Easter Eggs (references to things in the Disney universe) throughout rides and attractions. So grab a caramel apple, take a seat somewhere, and look and listen. You never know what you’ll see or hear!

Some experiences we love include

  • Watching the neon lights turn on one-by-one in Cars Land while listening to “Life Could Be a Dream.”
  • Sitting on the corner of Main Street and counting how many “family reunion” t-shirt groups we can see
  • Strolling through New Orleans Square and gazing longingly at the entrance to Club 33
  • Buying a caramel apple at the Candy Palace and eating it while watching a nighttime parade
  • Ride Dumbo at night to take in all of the Fantasyland lights from a new perspective
  • Grab a gingerbread cookie and hot cocoa from the Grand Californian during Christmastime

 

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Decide When You Want to Visit

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Are you planning a trip for the middle of summer, or are you visiting during the holiday season? Are you a Halloween or Christmas fan? Do you want to go for Mickey’s birthday or Disneyland’s anniversary? Is Easter or Spring Break your scene?

Take a look at the average weather for Anaheim during the time you’re planning to visit. Chris and I have gone in the middle of summer during Disneyland’s July heat, and we’ve visited in the winter on rainy days. It all depends on what you want to see while you’re there (and when you can fit the trip into your schedule).

For a first-time trip, I suggest getting a two day, one-park-per-day ticket. If you can swing it, go for three days with the park hopper option. But ultimately, do what is in your budget and best for you.

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And that’s it! That is my advice for any Disneyland newbie. And just for fun, here are a few things I always love to eat, ride, and do 🙂

  • Try a Monte Cristo sandwich at least once.
  • Ride Space Mountain at least TWICE. 
  • Be surprised at the boulder every time you ride Indiana Jones (it always gets me!!)
  • Thank and compliment cast members who are simply sweet or go the extra mile.
  • Tell every dressed-up little girl she is a beautiful princess!
  • Meet characters (and show them you’re excited!): bow at the Queen of Hearts, address Dr. Facilier properly, and tell Tinker Bell you know the water fairies where you’re from.
  • Eat a churro every time.

 

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The most magical night, even with the rain.
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Fall at Disney’s California Adventure

Fall at Disney’s California Adventure

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Last September, Chris and I visited Disney’s California Adventure for some excitement before beginning our senior year of college.

I know what you’re thinking….this post is long overdue. And I know! But this day was so fun, and I just realized that I should post the photos anyway so document the Disney memories.

As always, we were super excited to be heading to Disney… 🙂

On this September day, we had reservations for character dining at Storytellers in the Grand Californian! I HIGHLY recommend this place! Great food, great service, great character interaction. (We LOVED meeting Kenai from Brother Bear)

 

Next, we headed to Cars Land…my absolute favorite part of DCA!! The theming is amazing, and if you visit you MUST try Red’s Apple Freeze. It is basically frozen apple juice, and it will rock your world.

Also, can we talk about Cars Land at night??! Breathtaking! Neon lights! Life Could Be a Dream! You absolutely cannot miss Cars Land after sunset.

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Chris’s favorite part of DCA by far is Paradise Pier.  The vibes, the sights, the food, the coaster (which I clearly didn’t enjoy….)….he loves everything about it!

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The wharf area of DCA is super cool too! We love the Monterey Bay feel of this place.

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I finally got to see it’s tough to be a bug in a bug’s land. This show was my dad’s pride and joy! So fun and magical to experience it.

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And to close off the night, World of Color. This was our first time seeing this. Chris loved the Wall-E scenes, I cried….it was amazing!

If park hopper tickets weren’t so expensive, we would definitely be coming to DCA way more often. Both parks just have so much to offer, and we were so happy to spend an entire day here and really make sure we saw everything!

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What’s your favorite thing about DCA? Let me know! Maybe I will have to plan another trip soon… 😉

Holidays at Disneyland 2016

Holidays at Disneyland 2016

Disneyland is one of our absolute favorite places to go together, so Chris and I knew we had to visit it at Christmastime. I haven’t been in December since I was nine years old, and Chris has never experienced the Disney holiday season, so this trip felt so special to us. Our day was filled with eating our favorite snacks, getting to the park at rope drop (a first for both of us!!), holiday versions of rides including Small World, “Jingle” Cruise, and the Haunted Mansion, and strolling through the park hand-in-hand, enjoying each others’ company in our favorite little world.

Here are some pictures of one of the best days this season. Can’t you tell we’re in love? Special thanks to Disney for making this trip magical. This was by far one of my top Disney trips Chris and I have ever made.

OOTD: Disneyland 60th Anniversary

OOTD: Disneyland 60th Anniversary

This past weekend, I went to Disneyland with my boyfriend, Chris, and his cousin, Aaron! It was the 60th anniversary celebration and we were beyond excited to see all of the new sights, events, and treats the park had to offer! Oddly enough, nearly all of the clothing items and accessories I wore were borrowed/gifts (oops!).

Starting at the top: my hat borrowed from Chrisit is a fedora he purchased while on vacation in Greece last summer, but similar, inexpensive ones can be found here.
The brown crossbody bag is borrowed from my old roommate, Eliana! She purchased it at H&M a few seasons ago, but similar styles can be found online or in-store.

 

My dress is a gift from Chris’s mother! She said she bought it from Abercrombie & Fitch with me in mind and she gave it to me the night before the tripbecause of the light fabric and white color, I thought it would be perfect for Disneyland! I can’t find it anymore online, but a very similar one can be found here. The dress is open-back, so underneath it I am wearing a white Roxy eyelet bralette, purchased at PacSun two years ago. I couldn’t find it on the website, but here is a very similar one from Abercrombie & Fitch! 🙂
In the photo above, you can just barely see my earrings. They are long, dainty, silver ones with faux diamonds. I can’t remember exactly where I got them, but ones with a very similar style are on Etsy!
My shoes (pictured in the top photo) are brown gladiator sandals from Wal Mart (I stole them from my mom, hehe).
We had such a wonderful time exploring the park! It was very warm, but nice and cool in the shade. Chris bought us all Dole whips, which was so sweet (literally!) and they cooled us off in the hot sun. My favorite rides were Space Mountain and Indiana Jones! They are so exhilarating; I don’t think Aaron, liked the fast rides very much, but overall he seemed to enjoy himself! Chris wanted to ride the Finding Nemo submarines and I wanted to ride Peter Pan, but we just didn’t manage to have the time to do everything we wanted in only one day. Oh well, I guess that means we need to plan another trip!
xo
B