When we first started planning our trip, Dapper Day out and Disneyland formed one pillar of it, at the start. I’d never been to Disneyland but had followed @ Miss Victory Violets disneybounds for a few years and knew my time would come. It did not disappoint!
Oh wait, the castle was closed so maybe they could have advertised that! It had big boards all up around it so the experience with Sleeping Beauties castle, photos and fireworks was not quite the same. Gives us an excuse to go back, that’s for sure. Here are a few of my top tips and hints for surviving and making the most of 2.5 days at Disneyland: We stayed on-site at the Grand Californian and I would definitely do this again, even if it was our most expensive place. I'd allow an extra few days to really get sick of Disneyland, I mean to explore it all and enjoy the Hotel too. We didn’t get enough time in our 2.5 days there to really see all the rides and experience them. Even one more day or a pool day would have been great.
Key things to pack!
- Wear comfortable and supportive shoes. I cannot stress this enough. No heels, unless it’s just for photos. And take blister plasters with you just incase.
- Take a water bottle with you and stay hydrated. And snacks. A loungefly backpack form my girl Sian is perfect size for a 500ml drink bottle, 2 wallets, sunscreen, power bank, phones and lipgloss! Shop here https://cobaltheights.co.nz/backpacks/
- To save money, I recommend making your own ears – here’s a tutorial I followed to make my Maleficent ones. You don’t need to be able to sew, just good with a hot glue gun, a head band, cardboard and cushion fluff. You could go to Michael’s and get supplies there when you arrive and have a craft night before arriving at Disneyland if you want to save on luggage space.
We had a theme day – Disney Princesses and Villains the next. Disneybounding is huge! Follow the hashtag #disneybound #disneybounding or a few Disneyland instagram accounts for inspo. Dapper Day out happens 4 x a year for each season and was one of our Disneyland Days. Another excuse to dress vintage and dapper. The whole park returns to the 50s (the park first opened in July 1955) and everyone dresses up “Dapper”. It’s so glamourous! You need tickets to shop the expo and they have Musicians and talks so it’s really a great day out. Get all the info on the Dapper Day website.
Make sure you make it to the parade in the afternoon. We caught it by fluke the first day we arrived and then saw parts of it again on other days. The main street parades and shows are cool – there was a huge dance group or competition there when we were so it was cool to see all these groups from America, Australia and beyond performing in main street.
Get photos with all the characters to remember your time. I love our photos with the Disney Princesses the most, they all stayed in character to compliment us on our dresses. It was really lovely. Plus they take the professional photos and one on your cellphone!
Ride all the rides – we loved the adventure one for the Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Goldrush ride. May have gone back to ride that one multiple times haha. Note, the Teacups are almost big enough for four adults – we got stuck getting out haha. Flo’s V8 diner is awesome, I loved Cars Land in Adventure Land. Monsters Inc ride was a highlight too. I’m just a big kid at heart so it’s not hard to see why these were a highlight. Go to Star wars and get a cuddle with Chewy. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan but this was a highlight. I have photos with all the stars from the latest movie as there were no ques when we went.
Pace yourself! Don’t feel bad if you need to go back to the hotel for an afternoon rest. We did as it’s a big few days and late nights! I grabbed a jacket and did not regret it later when it got colder for the fireworks show and display.
The fireworks show each night is well worth staying for – take a jacket or cardigan. Get in early to get a good spot. I went two nights in a row it’s so good and features all the characters, water, boats, fireworks and light displays! It’s amazing!
Food: Have a mickey mouse pretzel. Try dole whip. Then go to the Enchantd tiki room for the show. It’s a lot of fun with singing parrots. Leave the park to go to the Tiki bars for a drink or a swim if it’s hot. There’s no alcohol in Disneyland so keep that in mind if you need a drink. There are lots of places to eat and drink just outside the park in Anaheim anyway. Eat all the food, try all the things, ride all the rides and have fun. It really is the most magical place on earth!