Don’t miss a post!

subscribe by email

Disney Love

What to Expect at Mickey’s Halloween Party (Hint: FUN!)

Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland

All you have to do is take one look at my younger daughter’s CRAZY excited candy eyes in the photo above to tell you just how much fun we had at Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland last Friday night when we were invited to attend  a special media event.

For all of the details and dates on this special separate ticket event, please click here to read my post on Mickey’s Halloween Party 2013. This post will be focused on our firsthand experience and tips on how to get the most out of this boo-tiful party.

Studio Disney 365

To kick off the event, my daughter was treated to a complimentary rock star makeover by the girls at Studio Disney 365 in Downtown Disney. Made for ages 3 and up, girls can get primped and camera ready with hairstyling, makeup and wardrobe packages.

Every girl is made to feel like a celebrity and their transformation is kept secret until the final reveal. They currently have a Take Two! package for Halloween which includes a hairstyle, glitter, Minnie Halloween headband and makeup pallet to keep ($39.95). Call 714.781.STYLE for reservations. P.S. Would be a great place for a birthday party!

Studio Disney 365

Mickey’s Halloween Party 2013

Once she was glammed up, we were ready to hit the party! Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets allow you to arrive up to 3 hours before start time to “mix in” with the guests, then when the party starts, daytime guests are escorted out and only Mickey’s Halloween Party guests remain in the park.

Our Favorite Things:

- Costumes! Guests of all ages are invited to wear their (Disneyland appropriate) costumes. It was so fun to see all the kids in costumes and my girls loved an excuse to wear theirs early.

- Trick-or-Treating! All over the park you will find treat trails where kids can take their (provided) bags and trick-or-treat for candy. Can you imagine anything more fun to a kid than trick-or-treating at Disneyland?? The day we were there trick-or-treating opened an hour early at in Toontown. Keep your eyes open for this opportunity.

- Space Mountain & Haunted Mansion! Both rides are decked out in Halloween decor with spooky additions. If your kids like this sort of thing – these rides are a must see.

Halloween Screams fireworks! My kids hung in there for the fireworks show and it was simply spooktacular. If your kids can stay up, please, please watch the fireworks show. Amazing.

- Monsters U Show and Dance Party!  This was the surprise hit of the night at Tomorrowland Terrace! Everyone danced to the tunes the Monsters U D.J. was spinning and we saw special performances by the cheerleaders and Monsters U characters. Shake your groove thing! 

My girls even got invited onto the stage for a special “Scream Contest.” Yeah, they were just a tad excited.

Monsters U Dance Party

Mickey’s Halloween Party Tips:

1. Wear a costume that is comfortable and allows you to get on and off rides easily.

2. Purchase tickets online early to save money.

3. Arrive 3 hours early so you can take advantage of the extra park time.

4. Bring a stoller. Even with older kids, it’s our sherpa-mobile for stuff, especially the candy bags.

5. Bring your kid’s jammies and toothbrush! My kids were SO tired leaving the park at 10pm. I wish I would have thought to brush their teeth before leaving the park (you will need to after the candy) and I wish I had their jammies to change them in the car. They were both out like a light within minutes and it would have made for an easier car to bed transfer. Next time!

For more information on Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland and how to purchase tickets visit: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/events-tours/disneyland/mickeys-halloween-party/

Here is a group photo of the bloggers that attended the event. Thank you Disneyland!
[photo credit Disneyland]

Halloween Blogger Event

Disclosure: My family was provided complimentary tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party to facilitate a firsthand review. 

Mickey’s Halloween Party 2013

Mickey's Halloween Party 2013

Mickey’s Halloween Party 2013 at Disneyland Resort is creating a spooktacular good time for families and I am here to share the frightfully fun details with you!

My family will be heading to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland tomorrow night for a special Media Event. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with hashtag #HalloweenTime to see what boo-tiful festivities can be found at this special party.

Mickey’s Halloween Party is a separate ticket event during the Halloween Time season on the following nights: Friday, Sept. 27; Tuesday, Oct. 1; Friday, Oct. 4; Tuesday, Oct. 8; Friday, Oct. 11; Tuesday, Oct. 15; Friday, Oct. 18; Monday, Oct. 21; Wednesday, Oct. 23; Friday, Oct. 25; Monday, Oct. 28; Wednesday, Oct. 30; and Thursday, Oct. 31.

Adults and kids alike are welcome to wear their Halloween costumes and can trick-or-treat at stations throughout Disneyland and collect both candy and healthy treats (love it!)

The separate ticket price includes:

~ Mix in with regular Disneyland guests for 3 hours prior to the start of Mickey’s private party
~ Monsters U Dance Party at Tomorrowland Terrace (NEW!)
~ Halloween Screams boo-tiful fireworks spectacular
~ Mickey’s Costume Party cavalcade featuring your favorite characters performed twice nightly
~ The Cadaver Dans ghoul quartet, performing in a drifting graveyard-themed raft on the Rivers of America
~ Photo locations with characters
~ Disney Villains prowling the park
~ Lively music, creepy crafts and activities for the family
~ Complimentary parking for one standard-size vehicle

Tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party 2013 purchased in advance are $59 each for select nights; tickets purchased day of the event are $67 each. So it really pays off to purchase your tickets ahead of time.

Tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party 2013 for Weds. 10/30 and Halloween Night, 10/31 are $74 each.

Visit www.Disneyland.com for more information and please follow me tomorrow night!

[Disclosure: My family will receive complimentary media tickets to the event to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own.] 

 

Disney California Adventure Tips for Little Ones

Okay, mamas – get ready for my Disney-theme follow-up – this one is all about my tips for visiting Disney California Adventure, a fabulous park that has LOTS of toddler-friendly, fun rides and activities. In case you missed my last post, here are my top 10 tips for visiting Disneyland with toddlers.

Here they are in no particular order…I hope these tips and tricks for visiting Disney California Adventure (or DCA) in Disney lingo!

Don’t Miss These Rides!

1.  “A bug’s land” is a great area for toddlers.  The rides are similar to “Fantasyland” at Disneyland – the Francis’ Ladybug Boogie is like the teacups, the Flik’s Flyers are like Dumbo, and so forth.  My munchkins love this area, and can easily spend awhile here.

Bonus?  There is a small splash pad to let the kids cool off on hot days, so make sure to pack a swimsuit, towels, sunscreen, etc. if you plan on getting wet

Note to mamas – the bug’s It’s Tough to be a Bug “live show” can be scary for little ones – it’s a cute show, but is “underground” and the majority of it is in the dark with…well…bugs.

2.  Cars LandA super fun “land” that tends to be one of the busiest places in the park to visit since its grand opening.  A word of advice – if you know that the Cars “Radiator Springs Racers” ride is really important to you and your kids, go straight to the FastPass line, like first thing when you enter the park (walk straight in, pass the Carthay Circle Restaurant on your left, and it is tucked in on the left). The ride is pretty awesome, but is typically a 90-minute+ wait.  FastPass is the only way to go, but they run out quickly.

I also have to give a shout-out to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.  Super cute ride, cute music and cute things to look at in line.

Note to mamas- most of the line is covered – important in warm weather!

If you can, try to be walking along the Cars Land “main drag” at dusk…they light up the streets and play music like they do in the movie (you know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen the movie 83 times, like I have).  Super cool and super cute.

3.  Take a ride with the Little MermaidI have never waited more than 10 minutes for this ride (usually five minutes!).  It is air conditioned, adorable, and my kiddos want to go on it multiple times.  Works for me!

Note to mamas – if your kids are uncomfortable in the dark, this ride is not for you.  I wouldn’t consider it scary at all, but you are “under the sea,” and there are pockets of darkness in between the singing and character displays.

4.  Love Toy Story?  My kids do.  The 4-D “Toy Story Mania!” is a must, but always has really long lines…with no FastPass option.  So if you know you want to do this, head over after you pick up your Cars Land “Radiator Springs Racers” FastPass and try to avoid the crowds.

Need a Break?

5.  Disney Junior – Live on Stage.  THE show to be at, according to my kids.  Yes, mamas.  There is an actual “live” show that  features Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First – interactive, air conditioned, and lots of room to squeeze in people (you sit on the floor…lots of room and I’ve never actually been turned away from a show…there always seems to be enough places to sit).  This show is so cute…and such a fun way to get off your feet, cool off, and enjoy seeing your kids go nuts over their favorite Disney Junior characters!

6.  The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.  This is a cute play area next to the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa and is a GREAT place to let your kids run around and burn off some excited energy.  There is an obstacle course for the kids, caves to walk through, slides for little ones, a “zip line” for older kiddos, and even a chance to earn a “Wilderness Explorer badge,” by searching for clues (on a guided map).

Note to mamas – no strollers allowed, they must be parked outside of this area.

7.  The Grand Californian Hotel and Spa has cute little rocking chairs with fun, black and white Disney cartoons on televisions in their lobby, if you and your kids need a break to cool off.  You can enter from the DCA park, but remember – make sure to get your hand stamped for re-entry!  Also, the entrance to DCA from the hotel is reserved for hotel guests, so beware that you may have to re-enter the park from the main entrance if you plan to return.

Rumbly in our Tumblies

8.  We took our daughter to Ariel’s Grotto for a “princess lunch” on her birthday (they also do breakfast).  Oh.my.word.  This was SUCH a cool experience for both of my kids.  The food is fabulous (several courses from a fixed menu), the atmosphere is beautiful and Ariel and her princess friends are announced to the room, enter, and actually walk to each table to chat with you and take as many pictures as you want.

My little girl was in heaven.  When we were there, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Cinderella, and Snow White were part of this experience (in addition to Ariel greeting each family as we walked down the staircase and into the dining room).  Make sure to call ahead for reservations (I would make them as far in advance as you can) – (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463.  It’s a little pricey, but it is WORTH it!

9.  Disney California Adventure has lots of yummy places to eat, so you really can’t go wrong.  My personal favorite is the Pacific Wharf Cafe on the “Wharf” – they have great salads, fresh bread bowl soups, fruit, nice, plump sandwiches…yum! (Note to mamas – seating is outside on the wharf).

Keep an Eye Out for Characters

10.   On “Hollywood Lane,” we typically find the Disney Junior characters right outside of the Disney Junior – Live on Stage area.  Toy Story characters are usually on the Paradise Pier in the little gazebo across from the carousel.  We’ve seen Buzz Lightyear, Jesse the Cowgirl and Woody – super cute and rarely long lines.

Who else loves Disney California Adventure as much as my family does?  What tips and tricks do you have?  Please comment below and share your ideas!

 

Top 10 Tips for Visiting Disneyland with Toddlers

Disneyland Tips for Toddlers

Disneyland.  A place that promises magical moments, special family photo ops, quality time with your children and FUN!  Absolutely true!  But, if you have little ones like I do, a trip to the most “magical place on earth” with toddlers can also mean over-stimulation, skipped naps, cranky mid-afternoon meltdowns, and overwhelmed munchkins. Here are my top 10 tips for visiting Disneyland with toddlers to maximize your fun and minimize the meltdowns!

My little family is incredibly lucky to live about 20 minutes from Disneyland – so we “vacation” in our own backyard and take advantage of Disneyland a couple of times a month. Whether it’s your first visit, or your 50th, I hope these little tips and tricks help you and yours have an extra fabulous time!

 Top 10 Tips for Visiting Disneyland with Toddlers 

10.  Prepare, prepare, prepare!  We usually like to get there when it opens…which means an early morning.  I don’t know about you, but just getting myself ready and the kids ready is enough work, without adding in special packing.  So, I do this the night before. 

I pack the following…

~ A lunch tote filled with plenty of favorite snacks (pre-packaged munchies that are easy to grab and take with us in longer lines)
~ Water bottles for everyone (plus extra – they are expensive to buy in the park)
~ Sunscreen, hats and kid sunglasses
~ Autograph books/pens
~ Layers (Anaheim can be cool in the morning and warm up by lunch, so layers are key)
~ Any medicine (if needed), camera, an extra outfit per kid, diapers, wipes, binkies, sippy cups, etc. 
~ We find a backpack is easiest.

9.  Once inside the park, there is a fabulous Baby Care Center and childcare station at the end of Main Street (like you’re walking to the castle) on the right side – walk all the way down Main Street…it’s the very last part of the building on the right side, tucked back in by the adult bathrooms.

It has mini potties, a nursing station with rocking chairs, changing tables, AND you can buy any childcare supplies you may have forgotten (granted, expensive, but worth it if you need something in a pinch!).

8.  We have found that Mickey’s Toontown is the best place to take pictures with the “classic” Disney characters.  Pluto, Goofy and Donald typically take turns walking around and smiling for posed photos. Mickey and Minnie’s houses are usually a little bit longer wait for pictures, but the walk through their houses is pretty fun for the kiddos.  Plus, it’s Mickey and Minnie!  They are not always there, so just make sure to double check.

Disneyland Tips for Toddlers

The Skinny on Rides

7.  I’m sure most of you are familiar with FastPasses” – here’s how to work the system. You can only FastPass one ride at a time per Disneyland ticket (kiosks can be found by the ride, if it’s available), and they give you an hour timeframe to come back. You just go to the FastPass line, hand them your FastPass ticket, and usually only have to wait 5-10 minutes for the ride.

FastPass what you think is going to be the most popular ride first.Go to the next ride on your list and wait in line.
  Usually, by the time you’re done with that ride, your FastPass will be ready.
  Go to your FastPass ride and enjoy!  
Get your next FastPass immediately after, and then repeat the cycle.  That’s why we strategically decide which ride to head to first to get a FastPass.

You can also download a Disneyland app on your smartphone (i.e. Disney Parks Mobile Magic, MouseWait (for iPhone and Andorid phones), etc. to keep you up to the minute on ride wait times and let’s you find the nearest bathroom, restaurant, etc.

6.  We just found out about “Switch” passes (“Rider Switch Services“). Um, amazing!  Because my five-year-old is tall enough to clear the height requirements for rides my two-year-old does not.  When one parent stands in line with the older child, ask for a “switch” pass (they’ll hand you a ticket).

Once off the ride, hand the pass to your partner – then they get to take your kiddo back on the ride – without waiting in the full line!!  That way both parents get to enjoy the experience with their older child (your kiddo gets two rides!), and the little one(s) are taken care of.

Need a break?

5.  Need to cool off…or just need a break?  Visit the Tiki Room in Adventureland – your little ones will love the singing birds show, you get to sit down in air conditioning for 15 minutes AND you can order a pineapple whip before or after (at the stand right outside of the Tiki Room) – yum!

4.  Go on popular rides DURING the parade times – sometimes, there are fewer crowds.

3.   Want to go on a “big kid” ride without your little ones?  For most of the roller coasters, you can ask for the “single rider line” at the beginning of the ride line (where the Disney team member is standing) – this will cut your wait significantly.  So, leave your munchkins with your spouse (or whoever else is with you) and go enjoy a few minutes of “big kid” fun!

Your Exit Strategy

2.  Pack a pair of pajamas if you plan to stay until bedtime…my hubby and I change them in the car on our way out and just transfer them to their beds in their jammies when we get home.  Much simpler!

1.  Think about your exit strategy. Have an idea when you may want to leave your Disney adventure…because sometimes it takes us a half hour to an hour to get back to our car and headed on our way from the time we decide we want to go.  That is a loooonnnngggg time to wrangle cranky, fussy or screaming children, if it can be helped (i.e. maybe you plan to leave before nap, after lunch, before bedtime, etc.).

Have any great tips or Disneyland advice that works for you and your kids?  We’d love to hear it!  Share the wealth of information, mamas!

Disneyland Tips for Toddlers

The Holidays at Disneyland 2012

[Photo credits: Disneyland]

The holidays are just that much brighter at Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure this month with special festivities that will make your spirits bright.

Last weekend, I invited to attend a special family media day and I was able to take my girls and my mom to experience the splendor of the season at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Seeing the Holidays at Disneyland through the eyes of my girls as well as my mom who hadn’t been to Disneyland in over 16 years, was nothing short of magical.

Here are some of the holiday highlights going on now through January 6th, 2013…

Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park

We started our day at California Adventure, where Buena Vista Street greets you with its beautiful holiday decor and immediately puts you in the holiday spirit.

A sparkling 50-foot Christmas tree stands in Carthay Circle and the surrounding buildings are decorated with vintage-style ornaments reminiscent of the days the 1920′s during Walt Disney’s day. During the course of our visit, we saw cast members dressed in 20′s style holiday outfits, riding bikes through the streets and ringing bells wishing everyone a happy holiday. Almost made you feel like you were living back in the day!

Our first order of “business” was to get over to see the the new Cars Land ~ it was our first time visiting the attractions and we were BLOWN away by how adorable it is!

A whimsical “snowcar” stands at the entrance to Cars Land and each address along Route 66 had fun decor reflective of the Cars character that lives there.

The new Cars Land rides are fabulous.

We went on Luigi’s Flying Tires, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and being a part of the media day meant we were lucky enough to receive FASTPASS tickets to ride the Radiator Springs Racers, which is my new favorite ride EVER.

If you are going, get your FASTPASS tickets for Radiator Springs Racers first thing, like early. The day we were there I heard they sold out by morning, and the wait was long. But oh my, the ride is so much fun it would be worth the wait!

[Top Left Photo Credit in collage above: Disney]

After Cars Land, we visited the Paradise Pier boardwalk, which included a beautifully lampposts with holiday wreaths, as well as “a bug’s land” which was also transformed with Christmas lights and oversized ornaments.

And this was an AMAZING find ~ children of all ages can tell Santa what they want for Chrismas by visiting him at Elias & Co, the main street department store.

We walked by mid-day on a crowded weekend and there was only a few people in line!  The store was reminiscent of a department store from long ago with a delightful elf with candy canes for kids and the jolliest Santa with the best sense of humor.  My daughter told him she wanted a gymnastics mat and her told her that he could do a cartwheel. She was quite amused.

The Holidays at Disneyland Resort

After a delightful morning at California Adventure, we headed over to Disneyland Resort where the entire experience sparkled with magic. Main Street U.S.A. is decked out with a spectacular Christmas tree and holiday wreaths and Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, adorned with ornaments and icicles, glitters in the distance.

After dark, a sensational holiday lighting and special-effects show carries the magic of the holidays from the castle all the way to the Christmas tree in Town Square, ending with a spectacular “Believe…in Holiday Magic” fireworks show and a dramatic snowfall swirling down on Main Street, U.S.A, “it’s a small world” mall and New Orleans Square.

We got there at 8am, so we had to leave around 7pm and were not able to see the fireworks and snowfall, but it is on my list of one of the things we HAVE to see because I hear it is absolutely incredible.

One of our favorite highlights of the day was the “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, which, if going during the holidays is an absolute must-see.  Like, plan your day around seeing the parade type of must-see.

Disney characters celebrate the magic of the season wrapping gifts, baking holiday treats and preparing for the arrival of Santa Claus. My girls sat on the curb on Main Street U.S.A. with their eyes sparkling at every parade float and character.

Other Disneyland holiday features include Haunted Mansion Holiday which will haunt AND make you happy at the same time with ghoulish Jack Skellington and Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus greet kids at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree in Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland.

And then we went to see it’s a small world holidays after dark, which which was a first because my kids made it to evening without tiring out. When when we turned the corner and saw it lit up in all it’s grandeur, my mom and I let out a collective gasp at the same time.

Magical.

If you go to the Holidays at Disneyland and your kids can last until after dark, it’s a small world holidays will be something you remember for a long, long time.

Visit www.Disneyland.com/Holidays for more information and park hours.  Happy holidays friends!

[Disclosure: My family received complimentary media tickets to facilitate this review. Christmas came early for us this year!]