Dec 22, 2009

Tipsy Tuesday - Disneyland isn't for sissies... or those who suffer from claustrophobia

Hello, my name is Alissa and I am a recovering Disneyland hater. You might want to stop following me now. I wouldn't blame you. I just had to come clean.

It happened when I was seven years old. I went to Disneyland with my parents over spring break (way back then it was called "Easter Vacation"). My sister was there too.

Let me interrupt my train of thought (like I frequently do) to bring you this important message: You should know some basic facts about me: 1. I am extremely outgoing. 2. I love to people-watch. 3. I get overwhelmed in crowds of people because my brain tries to look at everyone. 4. When in extremely crowded places I start to feel a little bit like I need to scream. and scream.

At seven years old I was still afraid of roller coasters, and got blinding headaches. They don't have anything to do with each other... just fact sharing.

My dad was one of those kind of dads, you know, the kind that make you go on rollercoasters even when you are afraid. In his defense, it's probably why I like rollercoasters today. So, to make a potentially long story short, I went on the three fast rides at Disneyland (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain and Matterhorn... there is more to the story of the Matterhorn, but I'll have to share another time) and ended up with a blinding headache. We spent a full day there. The crowds, women running me over with strollers and the headache, and I had an illogical dislike for Disneyland.

I have been 6 times in the last 10 years, and will be going in 4 days. I have completely reversed my dislike for Disneyland, into something like LOVE. In fact, when I walk down Main Street the first day we are in the park, I almost feel like crying because I am so overcome with happiness. Sick, I know.

My son has a Mickey themed room... his whole life.  He loves this BIG MOUSE!

I wanted to share a few of the things I have learned as an out-of-towner (we live 317 miles, or 7.5 hours away.)

Alissa'a 5 tips to a happy, healthy trip to Disneyland.

1. Best times to go:
Time of year: Not during Christmas. Seriously. But since the kids are in school, that's what we get. The third week of October is easily one of the nicest times to go. Hardly any crowds, easy to get on the rides, still Disneyland, nicer weather.
If you can: get a 4 or 5 day flex pass and make it a really expensive vacation. Especially if you have younger kids who still need naps. Then you don't have the pressure to do it all in one or two days. Unlike many people, I actually like California Adventures (the Disney theme park next door to Disneyland), it's worth it to go into both.
Time of Day: First thing in the morning and during lunch seem to be great times to go. The late evenings (if the park is open late) aren't too bad either. Keep in mind that unless it's a "blocked" day, all of the local annual pass holders come in for their "date night" starting at around 7pm... so there may be more face sucking and gross teenage hugging... just saying.

2. In the park with a nursing baby? Did you know there is a place where you can go and nurse your baby with changing tables and all? Right on Main Street, there are even rocking chairs and curtained areas. It's private, quiet, free and somewhere to change diapers. There are also toddler sized toilets your "potty training" kids can go (PS. If you go to Disneyland while you are still potty training, I think you are dumb. I am not even sorry for saying it.)

3. Use Fast Passes. Just do it. Go check in, get those Passes, and keep on moving.

4. Make sure your children are marked AND TAKE A PICTURE OF THEM FIRST THING. Children hardly ever are kidnapped in Disneyland, but they can get lost. Put a piece of fabric (ribbon for example) with your name, cell phone and maybe the hotel you are staying in written with permanent marker. Why fabric? It won't rip. It won't melt (if your kid gets wet). You can put one in their shoe and it probably won't bug them. Why take a picture? Then you can show someone and say: Look, this is what they were wearing, this is what they look like. If the worst happens, be prepared.

5. Eat fruit. If you eat 3 meals a day inside the park, you will be constipated. It's true. Take the time to eat fruit. Bring dried fruit, or buy fruit from the fruit stands (there are a couple). Drink a lot of water. Keep sucking that H2O down, it keeps everything moving. Nothing ruins a vacation like constipation. Well, maybe throw up. But that's another story for another time.

There. Now you have my tips for a happy healthy trip to Disneyland. Look for my post next Tuesday, I will be including more kid friendly tips, like the best places to visit with kids in Disneyland and more Disneyland Pictures. The best part: I will be IN Disneyland. This is going to be fun! (I won't be posting from Disneyland, because, I will be IN Disneyland... but I have some pre-posting to do over the next few days!)
Just me, AJ


  1. My favorite tip is... if you bring kids while potty training, your stupid. Now that is funny!

  2. Interesting on the constipated thing. Not sure if I have ever had that problem while at Disneyland. LOL! Though I can't eat that much for fear of upchucking some point through the day...

  3. I'm a disney hater too. Happened in 01. I would have loved to just go nuts in that dumb Its A Small World thing that we waited a whole 2 hrs in line for. In 95 degree heat with 3 little ones. AND my parents.

    But these are really good tips.

    Oh, and my dad was like yours with rollercoasters. Which is why I now avoid the rides at parks and go straight for the funnel cakes.

  4. thanks for the tips...

    Wishing you a very happy holiday..

  5. I didn't know that about the best times to go--next time we plan, we'll probably plan it for October. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Thanks for the tips! I can't wait to go again and I am hoping to do so very soon!!!

  7. This Ozarks farm chick will remember the tips if I every get off the Ponderosa! I did go to Disneyland when I was 5 right after it opened. Dang I'm old!!! I will take note of the constipation thing...cracked me up.

    God bless and have the BEST day!!!

  8. You're funny. I love your constipation = bad vacation tip.

    We're going to Disney over Spring Break. I yi yi.


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