My family and I have just come back from an amazing 2 week Californian adventure. I was lucky enough to win 2 tickets, accommodation in L.A and a private tour of Fox studios through the fabulous
SBS. My children are aged 7 and 9 and I decided that this was absolutely the most perfect time for them to experience the wonder.
We flew with Virgin Australia who were great, most definitely recommend them to anyone travelling that way. No complaints at all. Getting through LAX airport with 3 tired children was trying, the immigration procedure took 2 hours, barely any staff and a long and tedious system.
Took the Blue Shuttle Bus to Anaheim and checked into our hotel The Ramada Maingate which was perfect for what we needed. We got a large room that easily fit the 5 of us and baggage with room to spare. There was a pool, spa and a continental breakfast each morning. There was a laundry room which was awesome after a week, the room had a decent sized fridge and a coffee/tea maker. Makes life so much easier. If I had have had more time to plan I would love to have stayed in a Disney Resort Hotel. Next time.
The BEST part was the location, we were basically across the road from the main gate to the two resorts. No shuttles, buses, cabs to think about. If you wanted to duck back for a rest you could but we chose not to.
As we were travelling to Los Angeles and San Diego we got a Southern California CityPASS which was incredible value, it included a 3 days hopper pass for Disneyland and California Adventure, a day at Seaworld and Universal Studios. We did not have to line up for tickets, just straight to the turnstiles. GREAT value!!!!
Unfortunately we planned our holiday during America's Spring Break so it was crazy, insanely busy, we did 3 very full days and still did not get to do everything. The best piece of advice I can give is MASTER the FAST PASS. We were told about it but didn't truly understand how it worked or how important it is in order to keep your sanity.There really isn't a lot of information on it which is frustrating. I will do a separate blog post on how it all works.
The moment we walked through the gates we were captivated, Shane and the kids were running towards the castle, I love Walt Disney for having a dream and making it happen. The look of joy on Lola's face says it all.
This truly is the happiest place on Earth, its where dreams are made for people young and old. Shane and I were just as captivated as the kids and it wasn't even our first visit. Seeing it through your children's eyes is pretty special.
It is also the cleanest place on Earth and has the friendliest staff (cast) you will ever come across. Did you know that Disney California has 25,000 staff? Can you imagine that HR department and the uniform department?
No matter what you need the cast are there for you.
The parade is an absolute must no matter what your age is. We went towards the end of the parade route and found a place to plonk ourselves very easily. It is pretty cool when a famous Princess catches your eye and blows you a kiss.
The rides, how can we not mention the rides. They are amazing in every way even the older original ones. The attention to detail can be seen everywhere. Jonah was keen to try roller coasters whilst Shane and the girls not so keen so guess who got to relive their childhood? ME!!!
1. Space Mountain
2. Star Tours
3. Temple of Doom
4. The Matterhorn
5. The Haunted House
If you have daughters than you MUST take them to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, my girls are 7 years old and this was a highlight for them. Who would not want to be a princess for the day? I called ahead of time and booked from Australia as it can be super busy. We went the Coach package and bought a dress separately. The girls get to choose from 3 different looks, mine went the classic princess which has the longest lasting hair do if you want to get your moneys worth. In 40 minutes they are transformed, they are spun around and the curtains are pulled back so they can see themselves in the mirror and the staff all clap. I may have shed a tear.
Try and get it done as early in the day as possible as the cast will address them as Princess or Your Highness all day long and bow to them. It really is a truly magical day for any young girl. Wish there was a Mummy version. Mine were lucky enough to get singled out by one of the Guest Services Staff and taken to privately meet some Princesses and Jonah scored 2 FAST PASSES for his patience in all things girlie.
My next blog post will be on California Adventure.
P.S I would also recommend that you see some of the main movies before you go, really cranky that we didn't do that. Some of the ones to consider are Pirates of the Caribbean, Snow White, Cars, Toy Story, A Bugs Life, The Little Mermaid.