We are back everyone! And I must say it is difficult transitioning back into normal life after so much Disney Magic! If you are planning a trip, we went through Get Away Today and everything went so smoothly. Check out our Disney Travel Series for some really great travel tips, tricks and recommendations from our readers!
Part of me struggled deciding before we left if we should just do Disneyland for our trip, or if we should also do other things. I’m so glad I chose the latter! Disneyland was amazing, but it was so fun to split up our Disney days and do some other stuff in between so that we didn’t wear ourselves out too much. If you are also planning on seeing more of Southern California, here are some tips:
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1. Plan your beach day for the middle of your trip. We purposely did this so that we could split up our theme park days with a relaxing day at the beach. We traveled to San Diego and spent a night in an amazing resort right on the beach. We were really thrifty on our hotel in Anaheim so that we could splurge a little bit and really pamper ourselves for our one night in San Diego. The only problem with doing this is that I’m going to have to go back to this hotel many more times because it was one of my favorite parts of the trip! We were literally RIGHT on the BEACH! I opened our doors at night and fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves. My husband kept laughing at me because he could tell I was in heaven. The Pacific Terrace Hotel also had bike rentals and sand toys and beach chairs as part of the resort fee. Here is my view from our room:
I will definitely be back!
We had heard that Pacific Beach was the place to go (San Diego), and it really was so amazing! Side Note: if you do go to San Diego, you MUST stop at the Duck Dive. We sort of ended up there by accident and I’m so grateful! It was on our list of recommendations from our hotel, so we decided to give it a try. It had a beach lounge/pub atmosphere, but they were so family friendly! Their kid’s menu was awesome, but the adult food was SUPERB! Make sure and order some of their “duck fries.” They come with 3 different dipping sauces and they are AMAZING! I was craving them my second day on the beach so I went back for more!
We also really enjoyed the Cod, and the ribs and surprisingly the Brussel sprouts (our server convinced us they were amazing and they were)!
The Tableside S’mores were also a big hit for the family…
2. Don’t lose your children. We didn’t need one for our baby, but I was really glad to have an “Uh-Oh” band for our toddler with our phone number on it. Although we never lost her, it was reassuring to put it on her considering we visited 4 different theme parks!
3. Plan Your Shows and Indoor/covered rides for the hottest times of the day. When we started feeling really hot at Disneyland, we got some fun treats and watched the parade followed by the Magical Map show.
4. If you’re doing multiple theme parks, consider a shuttle. I was SO GLAD that we did not have to drive in L.A. traffic when we went to Universal Studios! We took the Southern California Grey Line (recommended by Getaway Today) and enjoyed our relaxing drive on the double-decker bus. Our tour guide was very entertaining and made the drive go by fast. They have tons of different tour options for the different parks and you can buy your discount park tickets directly through them. We had a great experience! I hate driving in traffic.
Side note for Universal Studios: I was a little hesitant to take my kids to universal studios since there aren’t a ton of little kid’s rides for them to enjoy. Although this was true, they were the most friendly about the parent swap. Many of the rides had a parent swap room with toys or activities for the kids to enjoy while the other parent rode the ride. The kids especially enjoyed the play area next to the Jurassic Park ride.
Extra Side Note: If you have young kids, pack an extra pair of clothes! I had read this on a forum before I went, and didn’t listen. Without getting into too many details, we had a barfing incident and ended up buying an expensive souvenir outfit. Packing that extra outfit would have saved us on a few other occurrences as well (I’m not going to get into my most embarrassing moment on the trip quite yet). Even if you don’t have any moments of dealing with bodily fluids, your kids might get wet on some rides and want to change. My daughters were really upset that we sat in the splash zone at Sea World…
That’s all for now! I know I didn’t mention anything about our Disneyland experience, but that’s because it will take me several hours to write! Check back in a few days for our Disneyland Recap!
What Tips Would YOU Add to the List?