• Nicole Hanks

{Cooper's 3rd Birthday at Disneyland}

It's no secret that our favorite place to vacation as a family is Disneyland! It's an easy flight and there's so much to do. For this trip, we flew into LAX and made the drive to Anaheim. Our favorite place to stay there is Country Inn and Suites by Radisson. It's an easy walk to the main gates of Disneyland or you can purchase an ART bus pass at just $6/adult and $2.50/child for a full day of unlimited rides. (Discounts for multiple days available)

I am a germaphobe and worried about the cleanliness of the buses, but was pleasantly surprised at how clean and well taken care of they are. The city of Anaheim is proud to offer this service to their visitors and this is the main mode of transportation for us while we are in town.

The hotel has an incredible outdoor heated pool that we chose to enjoy on our first day into town. Both times we hung out there, we practically had the enormous pool to ourselves. We enjoyed the relaxation knowing Day 2 would be much busier! Even if you don't choose to swim, the pool area is the perfect place to catch the nightly fireworks!

Day 2 was all about Disneyland! We made our back to Toon Town to see Mickey and his friends, rode Dumbo 3 times per Cooper's request, and hit up Main Street for frozen pineapples and ice cream. That was just in the first 30 minutes!

One of the biggest tips I offer to families heading to Disneyland, is to download the app! You can see wait times for your favorite rides, find exactly where all of the characters are and who is doing photo ops, plus, my absolute favorite, sign up for fast pass directly from your phone! You don't have to go to the ride to get your fast pass. If you are on the other side of the park, simply sign in and grab a time, then plan to head over when it gets closer to your time slot. Another perk of the app, is the option to have all of the professional photos taken by a cast mate during your day at the park, directly on your phone. They will scan the QR code on your phone and voila, you'll be able to see them in a matter of minutes.

Here's another fun tip for the little ones. If you have photos taken by a park photographer, ask them to do something fun! They can add characters into your photos before they're sent to you. (See Tinkerbell photo above)

We like to do our Character Dining on a day where we won't be visiting the park. We do this for a few reasons. One, it allows us time to not have to rush back to the park to get our money's worth, and two, it gives us an extra day of characters without having to be at the park. Win win! If you're on the fence about a Character Dining experience...do it! You will NOT regret it. I will say, there are very different experiences depending on where you choose to go. For example, Goofy's Kitchen at Disneyland Hotel is vastly different from Mickey's Tales of Adventure at Storytellers Cafe in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. Both are wonderful, but different food options and atmosphere.

I'll leave you with one of our favorite memories of this trip. JD does character voices and decided to be Mickey, in front of Mickey!

© 2019 by Hanks Family Life