Guest post contributed by Mike Reynolds for Disneyland Vacation Rentals.
A trip to Disneyland falls very near the top of most kids’ lists of wildest dreams. As a parent, however, you may dread the stress and hassle of the outing. But, with a little planning and preparation, you can ensure that you and your kids both have the time of your lives during your next Disneyland vacation.
One of the easiest tips you can follow to improve your Disneyland experience is to request the free official DVD guide from Disney while you are planning your trip. This DVD will give you a thorough visual overview of all the major Disney resorts and parks, allowing you to begin planning which attractions you want to visit during your vacation. Take notes as you watch the DVD to ensure you do not forget anything you wanted to see.
In addition to the ordinary travel and accommodations reservations necessary for your trip, do not forget to make any necessary additional reservations at resort restaurants at which you plan to dine. Some of the more exclusive restaurants require reservations to be made several months in advance, so do not delay.
An easy tip to boost the number of things you can fit in to your Disneyland vacation is simply to try to hit attractions during their off times. For example, hit the most popular rides like Space Mountain and Matterhorn as early in the day as possible, before they become overcrowded, and schedule lunch for slightly before noon rather than slightly after it. In addition, make sure you request or print out maps of the park well in advance so that you can plan the most efficient route possible from one attraction to the next.
If you will be visiting Disneyland with young children — or in many cases, even if your group consists solely of older children or adults — you may want to factor transportation into your advance planning. You likely have already considered transportation to the park, of course, but you should also consider how you will get around once you are inside. Disney offers several different in-park railroads and other transportation networks; spend some time studying your park maps to find all the stations near your planned destinations to ensure that you can reach them as efficiently as possible. You will be amazed how much more energy you have if you do not have to trudge from one ride to another all over the park.
Many savvy Disneyland visitors try to at least hit the park’s most popular attractions as early as possible in the day to avoid the biggest crowds. Keep in mind, however, that — depending on the ages and schedules of the members of your group — you could also consider trying to arrive after the biggest crowds. For example, after the big 9 p.m. fireworks show, many people leave the park; however, there is still plenty to see and do late into the evening. If you have the energy for it, you might pack a lot more into your visit by waiting until later.
No matter what your specific goals for your trip to Disneyland, planning ahead can help your vacation go much more smoothly and enjoyably. However, keep in mind that not everything will go exactly as planned. Be ready to go with the flow and simply enjoy yourself when things do not go according to plan.
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I am looking forward to taking my family on a Disneyland vacation in the near future. Great idea about getting the DVD for planning, it will get us all pumped about which attractions we want to see.