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Disneyland Trip Planning Guide
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Brian Bennett

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Forward
Forward  |  Why Travel to Disneyland?  |  My Favorite Things at Disneyland

Resources

Disneyland Trip Planning Phone List  |  Critique of Published Disneyland Trip Guide Books  |  Other Disneyland Resources on the Web

Planning Ahead

Planning Your Trip  |  What Time of Year You Should go to Disneyland  |  How Many Days Do You Need to "See It All?"  |  Other Attractions in Southern California  |  Estimating What Your Trip Will Cost  |  Rental Car Considerations  |  What You Should Pack to Take on Your Trip

Accommodations

Should You Stay On or Off Site?  |  Off Site Accommodations  |  Disneyland Area Campgrounds  |  Disneyland's "Good Neighbor Hotels"  |  On Site Hotels  |  Grand Californian  Hotel  |  Disneyland Hotel  |  Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

Disneyland Resort Primer
A Disneyland / WDW Comparison  |  The Ins and Outs of Disneyland Reservations  |  How to Use Disneyland's Transportation System  |  Developing a Daily "Game Plan"  |  The Daily Afternoon Break Touring the Parks With Kids  |  Touring the Parks With an Infant  |  Touring the Parks with Disabled Guests

The Parks
General Issues
  |  All About Admission Media (i.e. Tickets)  |  General Park Operating Hours  |  "Magic Mornings", the Disneyland Resort's Version of Early Entry  |  Fastpass -- Disney's New "Virtual Queue"  |  Disneyland  |  Details-at-a-Glance  |  Touring the Park  |  Attractions  |  Shopping  |  Disneyland Shows and Entertainment  |  Parade of Stars  |  Believe: There's Magic in the Sky  |  Fantasmic!  |  Disney's California Adventure  |  Details-at-a-Glance  |  Touring the Park  |  Attractions  | Shopping  |  Eureka! The California Adventure Parade

Everything Else
Downtown Disney  |  Guided Tours of Disneyland

Disneyland Restaurant Resource

First, if you couldn't find it here, I would appreciate it if you would click on this link and send me a message to tell me what's missing.  I'll do my best to "fill in the blanks" as soon as possible.

Developing a Daily Gameplan

Hot Tip:  Don't plan your day(s) at Disneyland like the D-Day invasion, but be familiar with the park layouts and the attractions that you and your group want to enjoy during your visit.


Since Disneyland has only two parks, versus the huge, multiple-park scope of WDW, most people don't plan as carefully to visit there as they might for the Florida complex. If you've never been to Disneyland, though, you'll want to lay out a rough schedule so that you have an idea of how you will cover all of the major attractions that you'd like to see. Keep in mind too, that Disneyland proper is just similar enough to the Magic Kingdom in Florida to cause severe disorientation to the Florida veteran. More than once I've heard (on one coast or the other) something like, "I'm sure that's the way to Big Thunder Mountain...at least it is at our park."

Developing a game plan (for a single day or even over a couple of days) helps make your touring go well...but it does not mean that every item in the plan must be rigidly adhered to. Quite to the contrary, the plan is a starting point or framework. After you've gotten started, you can adjust your game plan "on the fly" to make sure that you do what you want, but at a reasonable pace.

More important, though, I urge you to allow yourself the blessings of spontaneity. Be willing to change everything at a whim. If you see a parade coming that you didn't notice on the schedule, sit down at watch it! If a group of musicians is playing some ragtime or blues in New Orleans Square, walk over and listen. If you happen to walk by a favorite attraction and the line seems shorter than normal, jump in! Tired feet? Take a seat in one of the benches in the drawbridge to Sleeping Beauty's Castle and just watch the people go by for awhile. Memories like that will be thought of more fondly than the fact that you set a world speed record for hitting every attraction in the park.

If you're going to be in the park for only a day, you might want to plan a bit more carefully. For example, you might want to consider writing a list of attractions and restaurants that you really want to catch. Each person that is going on the trip should have input to the list. Since everyone's taste will vary, the list will include a wide variety of things. During your trip, make every effort to hit everyone's high priority wishes. Lesser desires can be done too, as long as the biggies are covered first.

Another important part of planning any day at Disneyland is deciding what restaurants you'll visit for your meals. Disneyland offers several wonderful full-service restaurants, and there are more over at the Hotels. There are also several very good "buffeteria" service restaurants, such as the French Market, that serve very good food at more reasonable prices.  If you'd like to read more about the wonderful restaurants of the Disneyland Resort, check out MousePlanet's Disneyland Restaurant Resource!

 

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