Wow. Really, just wow. I cannot believe how much I have learned this last year. They say time flies when you are having fun…and I will testify to that. I’ve had a ball with Mousekemoms in 2017. And here are the top 10 (ish) things I’ve learned. I say ish because there might be more; but they are under the same heading.
So, hold on to your hats (I really wanted to put that famous Jurassic Park line, lol.) because here I go:
**The Top 10 Things You Need to Know:
I will always preach the amazing deals of Get Away Today. Seriously, I have tried my hardest to prove them wrong. HERE is the article to prove it:
Cassie and I did a great amount of research trying to find the best ways to eat inside Disneyland Resort. Yes, food can be expensive…but in Disney it is always worth it. I’ve never had anything that I didn’t like. Cassie even make a video about her favs. Did you see it?
Meals under $10 are always helpful when you are feeding yourself and/or others in the parks. Here is a link to the articles that show you where to get the MOST food for the BEST price: Disneyland and California Adventure. Every meal listed is UNDER $10.
You can also make your own food or pack your own into the parks. Cassie wrote a great piece about the do’s and don’t of carrying your own food into the parks. Check it out HERE. I usually carry in snack to eat while waiting in line, cold pizza from dinner the night before, and tons of water.
I know people who take their crock pot, insta-pot, or George Foreman grill with them to the hotel. They eat and prepare as many meals as they can in their room. When my family goes, we try our very best to eat only 1 meal at one of the parks’ restaurants. It saves us money and time.
I get asked this question quite a bit. How much should I spend on souvenirs? Do I NEED ears? And if so, which ones? My answers are, respectively: its up to you, YES, and pick your fav…good luck! There is NO set formula for this; but there are tips to help save money. You can get Disney souvenirs on-line for cheap. If you have little kids, this is a great idea to purchase what they might like before you even leave home, pack the items, and then present it in the park or somewhere special. There is no wrong way to do it! My top 5 Disney Souvenirs HERE!
Amazon has some amazing deal on Mickey Mouse ear headbands. These are great for dressing up in the style of your favorite character. Cassie has done this starting with wire ears she found on ETSY. The finish product of the ears she and her kids made were adorable! Can you guess the characters?
Of course, there’s always Walmart, Target, or any other department stores. You can always find cute Disney stuff for kids, t-shirts for the entire family, and so many super fun character snacks. More about that coming right up…. !
4. Snacks For All
As mentioned above, you can find TONS of character themed snacks! For both Disney and Universal parks actually! Think Olaf, Minions, Princesses, Mickey, there are so many! If you can’t find the character you are looking for, make it up! Check out what Cassie created!
5. Amazing Things NOT Well Known
a) Indiana Jones. He is known around the world as a famous archaeologist/explorer. If you haven’t seen his movies, you may have been living under a rock. The ride in Disney’s Adventure Land: Indiana Jones Adventure ride is just as well known. It is never the same twice it seems and always has a long line. But what I want you to notice is the WALLS! They are decode-able! (Is that a word?) You can ask any Indiana Jones ride cast member and they will provide you with a little card. Something like this:
As you stand in that line, you can decode the walls and learn the secrets of the Forbidden Eye!
(b). Little Man of Disneyland. This is one of the best secrets there is when it comes to Disneyland. It is next to the Indiana Jones ride…a little house at the base of the tree. Read more about it HERE!
It started with this Golden Book and Walt Disney honored it. He built a little house for the little man of Disneyland! Amazon has the book for less that $5!
6. On Saving Money
There are 2 adults and 4 teens in my family. Cassie has 2 adults, 2 teens, and 4 children. Between the two of us there are 10 kids and we are happy to say that when it come to saving money for vacation, be it Disney AND/OR Universal, all 10 kids get involved.
As the mom, I also do extra things to save money. Coupons, sales, etc. Some of the easiest things I’ve done is down load a few apps. Really, that was the hardest part of the whole process:
7. Special Things NOT to Miss
(a) Disney. Pirate of the Carribean. I know everyone has heard of the ride and probably seen the movies. But do you actually KNOW about the scenes and props INSIDE the ride! Check it out HERE!
(b). Universal Studios. Okay, here is an important one! It isn’t a secret so much as it is a special occasional occurrence that takes place in the gift shop immediately attached to The Forbidden Journey. GET SORTED!
8. Changes You Need to be Aware Of
(a) Disneyland/California Adventure. There are some big changes happening this winter/spring at the Disneyland Resort. They could greatly impact your travel date choices.
The first BIG one is Pixar Pier! Say good bye to Paradise Pier…here come the Incredibles, the Inside Out characters, and so many more! This promises to be huge in upgrades and over lays. But doesn’t open up until “summer 2018”. No exact dates YET! Read more about that HERE!
A smaller upgrade is Main Street USA. There are some renovations being done to the actual road pavement that may tie up traffic. My guess is that the sidewalks will get a lot of use during this time.
Another refurbishment is the Dumbo ride. Look for a new queue and a fresh coat of paint.
A rumor is Marvel Land, or something along this line. No true definites, but there are permits filed and people making guesses. You can always count on Disney to keep us on our toes… HERE is one rumor that Mousekemoms figured out!
(b) Universal Studios is also announcing some changes! This summer they will welcome Master Po! Yes! Kung Fu Panda is coming to Hollywood! Not a lot is know or released…so stay tuned to Mousekemoms blog for more information.
9. Things to Take Advantage of
(a) Child Switch at Universal Studios. This is one of the places that I think Disney is beat! And beat badly! Universal Studios’s child switch is 2nd to NONE! Cassie’s family plus my family equals 14 people. 4 are under 12. Some rides may be too intense for the littler ones…but Universal is amazing at accommodating the rest of the group. There are air conditioned rooms to sit it and even toys for the kiddos. If you are visiting Universal Studios with little ones, be absolutely sure to take advantage of this great service!
(b). Max/Fast Pass at Disneyland and California Adventure. There has been quite a bit of hullabaloo about this subject in 2017. But Mousekemoms has you covered! Click HERE to get the skinny on the Max Pass System! Cassie tried it out and conquered it! Easy Peasy!
10. The Best Times to Go!
(a). Universal Studios Hollywood. Universal’s maximum capacity is much different than Disney’s. And there is nothing wrong with that. They are both awesome. We went over Labor Day Weekend and had NO trouble even though it was forecast to be super crowded. Week DAYS are always your best bet in either park. There is no bad time to go if you are after shows and special decorations. If you don’t mind crowds, you can go any time.
(b). Disneyland Resort. Of course people always want to go when they shows are the best; but they don’t want the crowds and lines. I get that! But it rarely happens when these two things coincide. Really there is no bad time to go to Disneyland Resort. Even when it is crowded to the max it is still fun and magical. But in case you are wondering WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO: Check THIS out!
Well, those are my 2017 Top 10 Things You Should Know before hitting either one of the parks. These two places are just another home for me and my family; so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask Cassie or me.
We would love to hear from you! Please comment below!