All Things Disney

There is so much I plan to add to this page, so stay tuned for our Meadows’ Family Trip Tips….

in the meantime, had to share this post from Disney Insider


I’ll share more on “Magic Bands” & the “My Disney Experience” App in the future, but here is a fantastic synopsis for now.


Where to Stay

 Dining          Our Must Do’s

Park Hopper          Water Parks         When to Visit          Getting Around


Pack your Ears

Souvenirs – on the last day of our trip, the kids get to pick out their one souvenir; avoiding the overwhelming amount of stuff which could be purchased.  if we ever hear, “oh can I get that?” we respond with, “if that’s what you want to pick out for your trip then remember it and you can get it the last day.” I’m not sure we’ve ever come back with the first “oh can I please get that?” item.  On a side note– the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney has loads of souvenirs.

we always budget in t-shirts.  we typically try to get matching shirts for the year we are there, and then go see Mickey for our annual picture.  we display our most recent Photo with Mickey in our Disney frame we got years ago; it sits on my Grandma’s antique Singer sewing machine (I use it as a nice table at the bottom of the stairs).

you can take snacks into the parks.  also, we usually throw some apples, oranges and bananas in our bag from the breakfast buffets.

shows, parades & fireworks~ we’ve heard the later ones are less crowded than the earlier (i.e. Fantasmic may be doing two shows one evening and the later may be less crowded); get a seat early, cast members may down play it, but you’ll want a good spot.  typically either I line-up to save spots while Brandon and the kids play a little more until closer to the time, or we all line-up and eat a snack or ice cream (maybe even enjoy our Casey’s Corner hot dogs while waiting).

reserve your FASTPASS.  the perk has evolved over the last several years.  click here to read more about it.   one thing we did is coordinate our FastPass selections with the area of the park we would be.  for instance, if we had three Magic Kingdom days built into our trip, we selected attractions from tomorrowland for one day, fantasyland for another, and frontierland and adventureland for the last.  lots of walking involved, but savvy coordination will make the most of the time.

we try to avoid Magic Kingdom Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon.

Be Sure to Eat at least ONE Mickey Ice Cream Bar – we started packing the kids aprons when they were little for moments just like these– oh and lots of wipes 🙂  maybe they’ve outgrown that challenge by now.


Every Little Girl Should Do the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at least once~ and then go eat at Cinderella’s Castle- we brought Brooklyn’s own dress her Nana made


2008 ~ did this experience just in time, cause the next year, although she still wanted to see the princesses, she didn’t want to dress up as she had all the years before

Autograph Books Really Are Fun Souvenirs ~ there are so many pages in them it could take more than one trip to fill it up.  So we pack ours for return trips.  You can get one book per kid and simply write the year of the autograph at the bottom of the page OR just get one for the family.  Our kiddos have each of theirs on their shelves in their room~~ along with their first set of Mickey Ears.


Don’t Let the Rain Wash You Away~~ keep playing cause the crowds die down and you won’t melt


There’s Nothing Like a Birthday Celebration in Disney ~~ desserts (more than once) and a birthday button!  All the Cast Members say “Happy Birthday” when they see you; even during parades!


2009 We Celebrated Our December Birthdays ~ Grandma’s on the 8th while we were there ~ Jaron’s #6 on the 23rd

Try on the Funny Hats ~ take pics, but if you feel compelled to buy it, don’t forget to pack it for your next trip– it’s the only place you look “cool” wearing a Goofy Hat




we find so much inspiration from Walt Disney himself.  the story of his life is as touching as the stories he brought to life.  there’s nothing like being where it all began- the very first Disney Park. we took advantage of some business trips to enjoy Disneyland as a couple, but in 2011 we met our goal and went as a family, because for us, that’s our most magical lens–

“We believed in our idea – a family park where parents and children could have fun- together.” Walt Disney

Our Favorite DisneyLAND Places to Eat

call (714) 781-3463~ if my memory serves me well, you can make dining reservations up to 90 days in advance


anything can happen at a character breakfast ~ like Meeko snatching a hat for confiscating snacks! Storyteller’s Breakfast- May 2011

Check Out the “EXTRAS” Above

it applies to Disneyland too! 🙂

Our DisneyLAND Must Do’s

the ** indicates that you can only see this in California (= Florida parks don’t have these attractions); however, even if there’s the same ride, some details may be different, like It’s a Small World and Haunted Mansion, so we think riding them all is a great plan too!  and remember, the parks are smaller, so it’s more feasible to tackle that goal than in the world 😉

  • Disneyland
    • Parades
      • Mickey’s Soundsational Parade
    • Shows
    • Fireworks
    •  Tomorrowland
      • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster
      • **Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
      • Space Mountain
      • Star Tours (I skipped this one, but the not so motion sensitive love it)
    • **Toontown– ALL of Toontown is a must; with the expansion of Fantasyland in WDW, you can no longer visit the Character’s Homes; no more Toontown. however, although I love WDW, I think Mickey’s House in CA is even better! so be sure to check it out at the one and only Disneyland.
    • Fantasyland
      • **Casey Jr. Circus Train
      • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
      • It’s a Small World– the outside is totally impressive– way more detail than WDWs ride
      • King Arthur Carrousel
      • Mad Tea Party
      • **Matterhorn Bobsleds
      • **Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
      • Peter Pan’s Flight
      • Snow White’s Scary Adventures
  • 205

    Wonder if these 4 will ever outgrow carrousel rides? I hope not. May 2011

    • Critter Country
      • Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
      • Splash Mountain
    •  Frontierland
      • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    • New Orleans Square
      • Haunted Mansion
    • Adventureland
      • Jungle Cruise
      • **Indiana Jones Adventure– it’s a ride here; not a show, so go check it out
      • Pirates of the Caribbean
      • **Tarzan’s Treehouse

Our Traditional Photo with Mickey ~ May 2011


  • California Adventure
    • Shows
      • Disney’s Alladin
      • World of Color — highly recommend this one; be sure to head over to the Grizzly River Run as soon as the park opens to grab your Fast Pass for that evening’s WOC show.
    • Grizzly Peak
      • Grizzly River Run
    • Paradise Pier
      • California Screamin’
      • The Little Mermaid~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
      • Mickey’s Fun Wheel- now be careful, the first time I rode this, I didn’t pay attention that my husband was getting us into one of the rocking carts!  may not sound too daring, but I found that I enjoy this ride much more in a stationed cart.
      • **Silly Symphony Swings
      • Toy Story Mania
    • Condor Flats
      • Soarin’ Over California
    • **A Bug’s Land– everything in here, the rides, shows & attractions are super cute and fun
    • **Car’s Land – we haven’t been since this opened in June 2012, but when we go back we plan to do it all.  go check it out.  I imagine it’ll be a sight to see!
    • Hollywood Land
      • **Monster’s, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
      • Turtle Talk with Crush
      • Tower of Terror

while in town, the two of us stopped by Disneyland to see the Christmas decorations ~ December 2011


Getting Around Disneyland

once you get into Disneyland, there are no concerns about getting around.  you walk.  everything is in pretty close proximity.

now.  how would one get into Disneyland?  here’s the scoop if you’re flying….

 Look For The BIG Disneyland® Resort Express Bus At The Airport. Present your voucher to the Disneyland® Resort Express ticket agent. Please be sure to collect your return transfer slip at the time of ticketing.

get your things from baggage claim go outside to the Ground Transportation Center. pick ups are in front of the Disneyland Resort Express ticket booth, located to the left.  hourly departures between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. (departs every 30 minutes between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.) climb aboard and GO!!!

website at or call 800 828-6699 or 714 978-8855. Check with the front desk of your hotel for exact return times.



So Why Travel to Hawaii to see Mickey?

more to come on Disney in Hawaii…..


Visiting Mickey at Aulani in September 2012 ~ Oahu, Hawaii








 Our Disney Cruise Line Experience

 More to come….


One thought on “All Things Disney

  1. Pingback: The Best Kept Secret |

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