Preparing for Disneyland!!

As you and I know, I L-O-V-E Disneyland. We typically go once or twice a year. Some might even say I’m a Disney Addict. But I think as with any hobby, you try to study and read and learn more about your particular interest so you can be better informed. 🙂

We are getting ready to go on our next trip in 6 days!!! Woohoo!!! 😀 So I thought I’d share some of the ideas we’ve come up with over the years to get ready to go on our Disney Vacations. 😛 Cuz let’s face it…going on vacation is expensive, so you want to get the most bang for your buck. I feel if you can get an early start, you are getting free mileage out of your vacation. 🙂

1. If you have little ones, making a paper chain is not only fun..but helps with the, ” How many more days Mom?” They won’t need to ask because they will see if there are still links…there are still days left. 😛

2. Watch as many Disney movies as you can before your trip. It’s good family fun time spent together, but it also helps acquaint your children or re-acquaint them with the characters they will see and meet in the park.

3. Read up! There are so many Disney Blogs out there with tons of pictures and information on the latest happenings in the park. I love to read through them to know what to expect before we arrive. A lot of times I’ve learned what parking lots not to use or what rides will not be running during our vacation. Lots of very useful information! One of the many I like to read is MousePlanet.

4. Watch home videos from your last Disney trip. I love reliving our trips as a family and seeing how much the kids have grown. Watching them light up as they experience “The Magic” over and over again is priceless to me! It also gets the kids talking about what they are looking forward to this time and what rides, attractions, parades they want to be sure to ride and see.

5. Visit your local Disney Store! It’s the next best thing as being in the park. 🙂 We have two Disney Stores by us and I have to tell you, they are not created equal. I personally love the one at Fiesta Mall in Mesa. The theming is SO much better. They have the cutest widow display of Mickey and his well as characters that line the roof around the store. While you are there browsing the adorable clothes and toys, you can pick up a few of them at a significantly lower price than at the park, and give them to your kids as souvenirs. 🙂

6. A few years ago Jared bought me this fantastic CD. It has all the songs from every ride at Disneyland. The kids and I (and Jared 😛 ) listen to it all the time! In fact we played it so much while I was pregnant with Alayna, I think she was born knowing all the songs!! It was spooky when she was a tiny new born if we put this CD on how she was instantly get quiet!!! LOL….Each of us has our favorite songs and rides. It’s a great way to keep that “Disney Feeling” all year long, as well as get you pumped for the up coming trip!!! 😀 This is one of my play below…

7. We are lucky we have one of those digital picture frames in our home that cycles through pictures out in the open. We of course, always have pictures of our last trip running on it. I love walking by and seeing glimpses of our last Disney Vacation all the time. But if you don’t, bring out those photo albums!!! Have the kids point out what they were feeling when that particular picture was being taken. Their responses may surprise you!!! 😀

8. We are big “Foodies” in our house. We love to talk about all the yummy treats we want to have again or want to give a try. One of our FAVORITE foods is at Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square. They are called Pommes Frites. They are AMAZING!!!!! MMMMM!!!

9. Take out those old pennies and shine them up! One of the cheapest souvenirs you can get at Disneyland are pressed pennies. They have machines all over the park..some in obvious places..some hidden in other places. It’s fun to find them and try to get the ones you don’t already have. It’s like a scavenger hunt. Best money ever spent! 🙂 And of course they sell Disney pressed penny books to keep them all safe in one place! 😛

Here are some tips for pressing pennies:

* Vinegar cleans up pennies like a charm!

*Depending on what penny you use, you may get a smear of zinc (silver looking metal). In 1982, pennies were made with both copper and zinc. Some suggest you use pre-1982 pennies.

*You might want to get the design pressed onto the “face” of the penny because the “tail” side sometimes leaves parts of the monument and you end up with an incomplete image.

*Generally, if you insert the penny so that the “face” side is to the right, that is the side that will be pressed with the design. Also the quarter to the far left tends to be the quarter that gets pressed in Quarter Presses.

10. Autograph books can be a lot of fun. Of course you can buy the ones they have at the park, but you can also make your own. If you get a small/medium size scrapbook from the craft store you can have the character sign on one side of the page and you can place the picture of your little cuties on the other side! 🙂 Good idea huh!?! LOL!! 😀

11. For me, planning the trip is almost as fun as being on the trip! You can get a free planning DVD from the Disney website. It’s got info on rides, planning guides, lodging, things to do, and upcoming special events.

12. We love to search for Hidden Mickey’s at the park. Hidden Mickeys started out as inside jokes among the Walt Disney Imagineers. A Hidden Mickey is an image of Mickey Mouse concealed in the design of a Disney attraction (ride, resort, etc…). Originally, it took the shape of a head and ears silhouette.. one large circle with two smaller circles on top in the appropriate place, but Hidden Mickeys can take on many forms.

In designing, constructing or adding the final touches to an attraction, Imagineers subtly “hide” Mickey Mouse silhouettes in plain sight. Soon, it became a tradition, and as the word spread, Disney fans everywhere went on the search for Hidden Mickeys in Disney movies and theme parks.

One of our favorites is in the Haunted Mansion on the dining room table where the ghosts are dancing. It’s a set of plates set in just the right way to look like a Mickey head…You can find lists online before you leave for your trip that tell you where they are! 🙂 Here is a link to a great one!

13. On your way into the park listen for the conductor of the is one of my FAVORITE parts of a trip. Press play below…

This is when my trip OFFICIALLY begins!!! 😀

“Your attention please..the Santa Fe and Disneyland passenger train E.P. Ripley now loading on track number one, for a trip around Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom…All Aboard!!!”

14. Once you enter the park go to City Hall. You can pick up free buttons for various celebrations. First Trip, Birthday, Anniversary, etc…It’s fun to have the Cast Members wish you a happy birthday or happy anniversary while you are there!

15. Remember, your tone and mood is key….If you go into the trip excited…your kids will be excited too!! 😀 And honestly, how could you not be excited?!? 😛

These are just a few things that we do to get ready for our Disney vacations. I hope you enjoyed them and maybe can use some of these ideas for your next trip!!!

I love Disneyland!!!!!! 😀

“See ya real soon!” -Mickey Mouse 😛


  • Anonymous

    Ok, I LOVE this blog!! You are SO cute and I am REALLY jealous that you're going! You've got ME all excited about your trip! I feel giddy inside just thinking about all the fun you'll have! And I love the pics of the hats, the fronts in the beginning and the backs at the end. 🙂 I hope you have a ton of fun. (How can you NOT?)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Amy!! It was fun putting this blog together. 🙂 I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!! LOL!! I'll be sure to post a follow up with pictures and commentary when we get back. 😀 It's going to be FABULOUS!!!!

  • Jill Ison

    you and your disneyland crack me up! I actually learned a few things reading this! I will def. pay more attention to details next time we plan a trip to disneyland. I think Natalie's dance trip is going there this year (school year) for sure im going to do the pressed penny thing! cant wait to shine up those pennies! hope you guys have an amazing time you deserve it!

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