Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Must Do's For That First Trip (Or Any Trip, Really)

Welcome to those of you joining me from 400 Miles to Disneyland and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

There is so much to see and do at any Disney park that it can be overwhelming, especially for those who have never experienced it before.  Even though I've been going to Disney parks since I was 6 months old, there is always something new to discover and new things being imagined.  I decided to not only give you my top 5 must-do's for Disney newbies, but my husband and almost-4-year-old daughter gave me their lists, too.

My List:

I guess mine turned out to be more like tips than must-do's, but Aaron's and Ashlyn's are more on topic ;)

5. Do Whatever Peaks Your Interest, No Matter How Small: This "tip" is really for everyone, even if you're not at Disney.  I put it on here, though, because Disney isn't all about the big rides.  There's magic everywhere.  And you don't know if that particular thing will be there next time you get to go.  Case in point: Characters In Flight at Downtown Disney.  My husband and I have wanted to go on this for quite awhile but always put it off.  Now no one knows if it will be up and running again.  So if there is something you really want to experience, just go for it!
4. Do A Bit of Research Before Your Trip: Everyone enjoys their vacations differently, but I think it is helpful to ask for some advice or read some Disney forums because you may come across something you didn't think of.  For example, there are plenty of packing lists out there that may have something you didn't even think of and may need.  Or research the age-old question: Should I stay on-property or off?  Reading what others have experienced will give you a feel of what may be best for your family's vacationing style.
3. Stay Hydrated and Snack: This kind of goes with #2, but it is easy to get caught up in the magic and forget to up your water intake.  Staying hydrated will keep you energized and in a good mood.  Same goes for snacks.  I LOVE Disney snacks, but we like to take things like trail mix just in case.  It keeps our energy up, saves a bit of money, and is easy to just stick in your bag.
2. Take Breaks: Now, I know it is hard to make yourself stop while you're at Disney.  Especially when it is your first trip and you want to get everything done.  But if you make sure to rest somewhere where there is air conditioning (especially if you are there during the summer months) every now and again, it will keep your spirits up and allow you to enjoy everything without melting down on multiple levels.
1. Ride the Classic Rides: Ride things like Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan's Flight, etc. 

Aaron's List:

5. Go To Town Hall and Get Buttons: They have free buttons you can write your name on for your first trip, birthday, anniversary, etc.  They are a lot of fun and sometimes the Cast Members will notice and wish you a happy birthday or what have you.
4. Watch a Parade or Show: Sometimes you just want to run from ride to ride, but the parades and shows are really cool, too.  Especially for the little ones (or little ones at heart).
3. Ride the Classic Rides.
2. See the Fireworks. 
1. Cinderella's Royal Table:  Hubby thinks this is just the coolest thing ever (and Ashlyn and I agree).  When I asked him for his top 5, he said this right away and said "I'm not sure if you know, but it's IN THE CASTLE!"  :)  We've been here a few times now and have reservations to go again in September.  Since some of the princesses make the rounds during meals for pictures and autographs, it's one way to not have to wait in long lines to meet them.  It is expensive, but there's just something so magical about being able to eat inside Cinderella Castle.

Ashlyn's List:

5. Get Disney toys (she's reached a long-awaited milestone lately so we told her she could pick out a toy when we go... I guess it's on her mind.)
4. Ride Dumbo
3. Ride Peter Pan
2. See Mickey and Minnie
1. See the Princesses 

What would you put on the list?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Joanna and her Amazing Technicolor Interwebs.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ 400 Miles to Disneyland
2nd Stop ~ Disney in Our Blood  (You Are Here)
3rd Stop ~ Joanna and her Amazing Technicolor Interwebs
Final Stop ~ Can Do It Mom AKA Mouse Fan Diane


  1. Great List, I agree with what you said about if you see something do and don't wait. We too wanted to go on Characters in Flight.. Cinderella's Castle is right there at the top of our list too..

  2. Love the breakdown for each family member. :) I'm enjoying seeing how many things our "must do's" all have in common on this line!

  3. Great lits. I had completely forgotten about the first time buttons.

  4. Such great ideas in all three lists! But I could not agree more with the taking breaks tips! Breaks always give us a chance to get the kids to have a calm moment and rejuvenate with a snack!

  5. I love Ashlyn's tips! What a great idea to ask her for tips! :-) And I totally agree on the classic rides!