Fun for Everyone
Reviewed by: Jennifer

Overall Grade: A
Kid’s Rating: A+

Location: A
Amenities: A

Food: A
Service: A+
Fun Factor: A
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Best For: Families of all Ages.
Date of Stay: April 2009


The Lowdown: My family had done Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida, but with its six theme parks, it’s the kind of place where you could spend a full week and still not see everything. Located in Anaheim, California, Disneyland was a little further to travel, but with just two parks within easy walking distance, it’s the theme park that’s perfect for a three or four day stay.

The accommodations are top-notch. We stayed at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and my son and I found everything we needed and more! We enjoyed character breakfasts (and an awesome buffet) each morning, and spent time in one of the two pools each afternoon (one had a great waterslide). A five minute walk outside the hotel landed you at either Disneyland Park or Disney’s California Adventure Park, and it was an even shorter stroll to Downtown Disney. The rooms were comfortable and clean, and service everywhere lived up to the Disney reputation.

Kid’s Comments: Disneyland was awesome! My favourite things were the waffles for breakfast each morning, all the characters I met, dancing in the parade, and having my caricature drawn by an artist. The best rides were Star Tours, which was just like being in the Star Wars movie,  Soarin’ Over California, and Toy Story Mania. I also liked the Games on the Boardwalk. 


Top 5 Things You Should Know About Disneyland, CA:
  1. The Time Difference: Travelling from Ontario meant a three-hour time difference. Tack on a five hour flight, and it meant we arrived in California well after midnight, with plans to hit the park bright and early. Don’t try to do too much the first day as you adjust to the time change and recover from the travel (made easier by the convenient shuttle that took us from the airport directly to our hotel).
  2. Fast Pass: The Disney Park rides are awesome and worth waiting for….but not worth waiting the hours that some people spend in line. We discovered the Fast Pass early, and took full advantage of its benefits. Pick up a Fast Pass for the ride you want, and it will give you a ticket with a window of time for you to return. Come back to the ride during that window, and you’re ushered to the front of the line (or as close to the front as you’ll get without enduring the withering stares of unhappy people who haven’t discovered the magic of Fast Pass!)
  3. Seasonal Specials: When we visited the Parks in April, it was the start of the California Food and Wine Festival, but every season at Disneyland has its own specialties. Halloween Time at Disneyland Resorts starts later this month, and November will bring Holidays at Disneyland with amazing holiday decor and “A Christmas Fantasy” parade. The seasonal themes ensure that every visit to Disneyland will be different from the last.
  4. Accommodation: We stayed at the resort, and I’d certainly recommend this option. Disneyland Resort has three hotels; the luxurious Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the fun and magical Disneyland Hotel, and the “day-at-the-beach” themed Paradise Pier Hotel. All offer proximity to the parks and unique amenities. Check the Disneyland website for rates and specials. Staying at the resort had another benefit, too…park access one hour before the general public. This makes for shorter lines and the feeling that you’ve got the place to yourself!
  5. The Cost: It’s very difficult to do Disney cheap, but if you do Disney smart, you’ll never feel that you paid too much. The buffets are great, and you can easily get by on two meals a day if you time things right. Bring your own water bottle and snacks into the park. Once you’re in the
    Park, all rides, parades and exhibits are included. If you’re celebrating a birthday while you’re there, visit Guest Services to find out what other treats are in store for you. Finally, remember that the memories are priceless!

  • Jen

    Looks like a great trip! We keep saying we are going to “do” Disney before the kids are too old to really appreciate it. This actually makes me think it could be fun.

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