I have a confession to make. You know how my family just went to Disneyland for a week? (We chatted about it on Facebook, remember?) Well, I got that vacation for…um, free. I’m telling you that because it’s against the law if I don’t. And, I’m no criminal, so there you have it.
Here’s the scoop…
I love Disneyland. Every time my family has gone, these past few years, we have booked our vacation through Get Away Today. Why?? Because they are Disney experts (to put it lightly), they make planning the trip soooo easy, they give me the best deals available, and they’re dang NICE. So, while I was planning on paying them another visit, to get a trip lined up, I realized that we both had something we could offer each other. After letters, phone calls, and meetings…here we are, business partners. Oh, another thing…the gals from Get Away Today have literally been all over the world (several times) and will start sharing lots of family vacation ideas with you, right here on “Or so she says…”! Who better to hear it from!?! I’m excited.
So, for the next few days, I’ll be telling you all about our Disneyland family vacation, and then you will be DYING to visit Get Away Today, and schedule your own. Hopefully, some of my Disneyland tips and tricks will come in handy on your family vacation.
Of course, you can schedule everything with Get Away Today on the phone and online, but I always book my vacations right in their office. They make it easy, any way you do it. All of the major hotels, near Disneyland, give Get Away Today customers preferred rates, as well as Disneyland, itself. So, you can feel comfortable knowing you are getting the best deal. And, if you think you’ve found a better deal, let them know! They’re totally willing to price-match…but, I don’t think you’ll find anything better. 🙂 We got our hotel reserved, the shuttle bus tickets, and all of our Disneyland tickets directly from Get Away Today. One-stop shopping, just the way I like it.
They send you this cute little package with all of your confirmations, character bags for the kids to bring to Disneyland, coupons to use in the area (more money savings, whoo!), and…
…these super cool Strive Today bracelets, for the adults. I’m as skeptical as they come, and I’m STILL skeptical, but these bracelets claim to be designed with over 1,000 negatively charged ions that help balance your body. People claim they increase strength, stamina, flexibility, concentration, and diminish stress, and motion sickness. I’ve been wearing mine every day, and the jury is still out. But, hey…a $30 dollar bracelet that might be beneficial, for free?? I’ll take it.
So, we decided to leave Baby Joe behind this time, and just take the older 4 kids. My mom was nice enough to watch him for the week, so we piled in the car and took the 11 hour drive to California. We missed him, like crazy, but it was SO nice to get to do Disneyland without a stroller, or without having to take turns on the rides. I loved Disneyland with him, the last time we went, but it sure was easier without him.
For the car ride, we decided it would be fun to pick out some Disney movies that the kids had never seen before. We bought The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Fox and the Hound, and My Neighbor Totoro. It was a fun way to build up their excitement for Disneyland, and also keep them happy on the road. It worked. Between that and some gas station stops for Bug Juice, they were happy campers.
Okay, I so recommend having a GPS when you’re driving in L.A. Holy cow. There are a gazillion highways, and just when you think you know where you’re going, you don’t. And, let me tell you…the best GPS app is called Waze. I’ve tried several. And, I’ve never found one as accurate as that one. Plus, it has this whole community thing going, where you can find out where cops are hiding, where traffic is building up, and so on.
Anyway, we pulled into Anaheim at night, and had our hotel reservations at The Staybridge Suites, about a mile from Disneyland.
The suites were perfect for my big family. 2 rooms, a kitchenette, and a family room area. Every morning there was a hot breakfast buffet (which saved us a lot of money on buying breakfast), and there are several nights throughout the week where they serve small dinners, for free. One night, they had a nacho bar, another they did hamburgers and hot dogs out on the grill, and another night was meatball sandwiches. Pretty cool. But, best of all…they had a huge pool and hot tub. Seeing as how it was February, and Utahns think it’s time to go swimming when it’s 65 degrees, we were the only ones using the pool.
Whenever we were ready to head to Disneyland, all we had to do was step out of the hotel and wait for the shuttle bus. It would come every 20 minutes, so while we waited…we would take pictures!
Another day of bus-waiting…
There’s the bus! We just scanned our tickets in the machine, and we were good to go!
One of my favorite things that I did this time, is leave all my big bags/backpacks/purses behind, while at Disneyland. I bought this small camera case, for my little point-n-shoot (you know, my Sony Cybershot that I raved about before?), and there was just enough room in that case for my cell phone, credit card, my tickets and ID. It was so tiny and easy to wear across my chest. It was easy to have on all the rides and I had everything in there that I needed.
It was about a 10 minute bus ride to Disneyland, and it would drop us off right at the gates…super convenient.
Stay tuned. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you all about our time at Disneyland!
For even more Disneyland tips and tricks, check out these posts:
Our Disneyland Vacation, Part 2
Our Disneyland Vacation, Part 3
Guide to Disneyland and California Adventure
Our Favorite Disneyland Tips and Tricks
More Disneyland Tips and Tricks
Avoiding the “Gimmies” While Vacationing at Disneyland