Sister’s Snippets {Disneyland}

If you know Sister, you know she is full of good ideas. Seriously! So while her own blog is long defunct, I’m trying to convince her to contribute here on a regular basis – think decorating, dining, dressing the littles, etc. Since I’m sharing all things Disney this week, I thought it would be fun to dish on tips and tricks from her family’s Disneyland vacation earlier this year!!



For this first and likely once in a lifetime vacation, they laid their heads on property at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. This old-California boardwalk themed resort was moderately priced, recently renovated and featured a fun rooftop pool! Sister said the rooms were fine considering they spent all of their time in the parks. Since they were traveling clear across the country with a baby in tow, she shipped all of her baby food, diapers, etc in advance straight to the resort. The main perks were its on site character breakfast, that it was a super easy walk to Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney, and that the extra magic hours benefit was GREAT and not many people were using it!


Their first stop and main reason for the trek across the country was to visit CarsLand at Disney’s California Adventure park. They used the extra magic hours that morning and were thrilled to see Tow Mater and Lightening McQueen greeting people as the park opened. She said they were all awestruck at how the life sized Cars drove down the road and talked to you. Everything was amazingly themed and featured all of the movie favorites – Cozy Cone Motel, Flo’s V-8 Cafe, etc. Oh, and she said it was even more thrilling all lit up at night and advises not to miss the DJ dance party in the main intersection in CarsLand. As far as crowds, she said they only used one fast pass for the small roller coaster.


Other favorites in Disney’s California Adventure were the boardwalk games at Paradise Pier where they were pleased to find you get a prize every time you play!! No walking away in tears like at some other parks :-) They lunched at Taste Pilot’s Grill in Condor Flats and said the food was great. She said the Pixar Parade was the best one they saw, with so many favorite characters from Toy Story, Cars, A Bug’s LIfe, Incredible and Monsters. In addition to the parade, the Toy Story army men can be found just marching down the street at random times!



Their second day was spent in Disneyland park. Again, they said the extra magic hours were absolutely worth it! They did the latest seating for the Breakfast with Minnie & Friends at the Plaza Inn and said it was perfect timing. The characters spent tons of times with her littles, coming back more than once, since it was nearly empty. They saw Peter Pan, Chip & Dale, Minnie, Captain Hook, Eeyore, Tigger and Pooh. (I love this variety!!) A huge benefit of breakfast here was that you can access a special entrance to the park (far left line) with no wait. They also got a special button when they came in.



Not to miss attractions in Disneyland include Aurora’s castle and Mickey’s Toon Town where all the characters live. She said her littles went wild exploring Donald’s boat, Goofy’s house and Mickey’s house, and then meeting Sorcerer Mickey at the end. She said there were also tons of characters in the Main Street Square and found them all much more accessible than in Disney World. Since we are a family of Dole Whip addicts, she suggests going to the Tiki Room attraction and then getting your Dole Whip straight from there with no wait. Otherwise the regular line outside is insane.


She suggested allowing some time to visit Downtown Disney as well, They took the monorail from Disneyland and waited to ride in the very front with the driver!! I so remember doing this every time we visited Walt Disney World as kids and hated to find they don’t allow this anymore. They did dinner at Tortilla Joe’s in Downtown Disney on their first day.



Other Tips & Tricks:

  • Use the stroller passes on all the rides if you have one not big enough to go.
  • The fast pass system is the old WDW style and she said they didn’t need to use a single one. They were able to do most things two times in a row with minimal wait. (They were there in March over Spring Break.)
  • It was chilly at night so bring layers.
  • She suggests two days in California Adventure and two days in Disneyland.
  • They said the Disneyland bus from the airport was a disaster. It was expensive and they waited over two hours for the ride. They said to hire a car service.


I am green with envy over this entire trip and cannot wait to get there with my family!! If you have your own tips and tricks, post them in the comments here and I will publish them for others :-) Thanks, Sister, for the inside scoop!!

As an independent consultant with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise LineDisneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and other delightful destinations.
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12 thoughts on “Sister’s Snippets {Disneyland}

  1. After you posted pixs of Sisters house a few months back (and it was just a glimpse) I've been praying she comes around and shares more house photos. But, who am I to whine about her depriving us all? I don't post house pixs very easily either. I do like the idea of her sharing here! Fabulous idea!!!!

  2. Oh, so fun! I remember when Mickey & Minnie had houses at WDW back in the day… Was hoping to get to Disneyland this summer, but we decided on a different destination. Fingers crossed we'll get there this summer! Fun, fun…

  3. I literally finished reading this and then sent my husband a text to TELL him, not ask, that we will be going to Disneyland this summer!! We purchased a motorhome summer before last and went out west with our kids and were planning a nice long trip this coming summer for somewhere and now it's decided! We are trying to squeeze in as much as we can while all three of our kiddos are under the same roof. We have freshmen in hight school, a middle schooler and a kindergartner, so we have only a few summers left together and I want them to count! We are DisneyWorld addicts but have yet to take the plunge to head to sunny CA. I'd better get planning :)

  4. We took our oldest to Disneyland when she was around 3 (I was pregnant with her sister at the time). We had a company trip and were visiting family as well. It was perfect for that age!! Not too big, and she got to take her picture with ALL of the characters. I actually recommend it over the large park in Florida if you have little ones under the age of 8. Providing you don't mind the travel.

  5. Thank you, Sister! What fun to see your great photos. What an adventure that must have been!

    Why can't I ever sit next to sweet families like yours on my frequent, long plane rides?! Because they would kick me off the plane for screaming, squealing and carrying on about Princess CeeCee's POLKA DOT SHOES!!!! Say, what?! Just stop it!

    I love all the photos, especially CeeCee having her deep conversation with Peter Pan and Jaybird's endearing moments. It all was so real for him. So darn cute. Thank you for sharing. :)

    Amanda O. W. ~ Where are your Lilly mouse ears?!

    Jane ~ San Diego

  6. LOVE it! I went to Euro Disney back in the day (92) and just need to visit Disneyland to complete the set. Was great getting to see little CeeCee and precious Bird as well. I NEED Sister to sell me CeeCee's Mickey outfits for my own sweet little bow headed daughter. Maybe another Ebay sale??? Yes, please!

  7. Please convince "Sister" to contribute, after all you said she now has 1 free morning a week since Cee Cee now attends preschool!! :) Ha Ha! I am sure she too has loads of creativity like you and your mom!!!

  8. My advice, avoid the summer. It is soooo hot! Jan-March is the best. (Maybe I shouldn't divulge this, now we might have to wait in lines!!!) But hey, it is the end of September and we are boiling here! We can't wait to start going back once this heat stops.

  9. Hi Amanda,
    I LOVE your blog and read it everyday! I'm a Southern California girl who now lives in the South. I grew up about 40 miles from Disneyland and LOVE it!!! One of my favorite things to do is make reservations at the Blue Bayou restaurant located IN the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. You can see the beginning and ending of the ride while you dine. It's a great experience! Reservations are a must! And they have great food. My favorite is the Monte Cristo sandwich! Thank you for taking the time to blog every day!! Jamie

  10. Glad to see Sister and her family found Disneyland to be just as magical (I've heard conflicting reports on the park). And love the idea of her popping into the blog every now and then…what a fun collaboration!

  11. Tell Sister 'thank you' for sharing her Disney vacation photos! I've only been to Disneyland, never to Disney World, I would love to go! To share with you the age diversity of your readers…my dear husband was born the year Disneyland opened! :-)

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