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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Do's & Don't's of a Disneyland Trip - Part 1

As mentioned in my previous post to this blog, my sister is going to Disneyland. She is leaving today. And like I mentioned earlier, while she is riding rides, seeing the shows, and soaking in the atmosphere of Disneyland, I will be watching her dogs. 

She is a Deluxe Annual Passholder so today (Saturday) is a blackout day for her so there is no particular rush for her to make a mad dash down there. Disneyland is 434 miles from where I live which is where she will be leaving from after she drops off her dogs. She told me she hoped to be over about 10:00 this morning which would probably get her to the Disneyland Resort around 5:00 or so this evening. I texted her a little while ago and asked that she send me a message when she gets close to my house so I could put my dog (Jasmine) away and allow her dogs to enter my house without pandemonium ensuing.

At 7:00 this morning when I texted her, she said she was still in bed catching up on some work, hadn't packed at all, and had her husband looking around for her missing Disneyland fanny pack which she has always worn on her trips. Huh? You are leaving for Disneyland today and you haven't packed and still looking for a must-have item for your trip???

Now to be honest, my sister works very hard at her job. She is one of those who does have to take work home with her. Even though she will be at Disneyland all next week, she will probably still have to keep tabs on her work. But if it were me, my trip Disneyland would have already started.

All last week I would have gathered up my Disneyland essentials, making lists and checking them twice. Most of the clothes I was taking would have been already washed and packed in a suitcase leaving room for the last minute add-ons. Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I mostly drive to Disneyland now as opposed to fly since we take so much stuff. The night before we leave, all our trip gear would have been staged by the door that enters the garage. Come morning, it takes about 10 or 15 minutes to load up and we are gone. We kind of have this down to a science and to be honest, I consider packing to be part of the trip itself. It's fun. 

Now granted, there really is no rush to get down there if today is a blackout day but I don't think we would really let that hold us back. If we got down to Anaheim at an early hour and couldn't get into the park, there is always Downtown Disney to get your park-hopping juices flowing. You unpack, have everything organized for morning and prepare yourself to be ready to be one of the first in line to get into the park tomorrow. 

Yes, I am 434 miles away from Disneyland but in my mind, if I were going, the trip would have started a few days ago. My advice? If you are going to Disneyland for a week's stay, treat the week before like an extension of the trip. Make the preparing for the joy and excitement for a a trip part of the trip itself. Carefully go over what you absolutely need to bring or what you might want to bring. Create packing lists, check to make sure your camera is working and the necessary battery sources and memory cards are ready to go. Go to the Disneyland website so you know what shows are playing on what days and make a stab at planning an itinerary if though the best laid plans of mice and men..... You shouldn't even need that little paper flyer they pass out at the entrance turnstile. If you have Disneyland videos, watch them before a trip. They might trigger some "must-do's" or red flags to beware. Plan your meals. If you are going to go to a table service restaurant, call ahead and reserve a dining time. This is almost mandatory if you are going to a place like the Blue Bayou.

You know, the real Disneyland fans (not local to Southern California) already do this. Plan a trip is what we do. Having a trip turn from a thought to the best trip possible is a never-ending quest.

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