Thursday, December 18, 2014

Third Birthday Disneyland Trip #ThirdBuggerversay and Disneyland Tips

Our Little Bug got to celebrate his Third Birthday at the Happiest Place on Earth this week! We planned to go for one day and booked two nights at Paradise Pier Hotel, even though we only live an hour away, so we could get out bright and early to the Extra Magic Hour (admission 1 hour prior to regular park opening for hotel guests on Disney properties) and then stay until closing and crash on property afterward.

As soon as we checked into our hotel, Hubby looked out at our view of Disney's California Adventure Park and said he wanted to go in there right now! He crunched numbers and said it was cheaper for us to buy season passes (again) and go in there for three days... The Little Bug sided with Daddy and they can be very convincing, so off we went! Except the Birthday Boy cried because he didn't have his LEGO Chima Minifigs, so we made a quick detour to the Downtown Disney LEGO Store and scored some Chima Speedorz for HALF PRICE and a pack of Chima Minifigs.

Day One, we did some California Adventure, with Ariel's, the ferris wheel, and ended up watching the World of Color from our hotel room. 

Day Two we did Disneyland, and did a ton of rides during our Magic Morning, played all day, took a little break, then went back to watch Fantasmic and fireworks. 

Day Three, on the actual Birthday, we did a character breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen, then spent the rest of the day playing and watching shows at California Adventure, then the parade at Disney, then home. We had a blast!

Here's my HOT Tips for Disney (this is during the week Dec. 15-17, 2014):
Magic Morning - If you are going to stay at a hotel, stay on Disney property and take advantage of being able to go into one of the parks 1 hour prior to opening to the general public. You can do A LOT of rides with NO line in an hour! Make sure you grab a Fastpass for a Fantasmic, World of Color, or a ride that is hard to get on in an area that is not yet open before everyone else gets in there!

See Costume Characters  - with NO line during the holidays - go to the Jingle Jangle Jamboree at Disney. The main characters are out and available without much waiting!

No Lines - go on a bad weather day. It was a tiny bit rainy and a lot bit gloomy while we were there on day two. The crowds were minimal in the morning, but most of the rides are indoors and there were NO lines so we didn't mind at all! The downside is the Holiday Parade was canceled and they only let us know at the exact time it was supposed to start. Fantasmic and World of Color will go on rain or shine, I hear, though.

No Camping Out at the Parade - See the parade without waiting for a spot at Disneyland - go in a roped off area in the front of the roundabout right at the entrance/exit of the park. Stand right next to the rope where the walkway is left open. You will have an amazing viewpoint and will not have to get there an hour early to score this location because it is not along the curb, but along the walkway, and the viewing angle is absolutely perfect! 

Save Money on Passes/Tickets - This one was a little tricky, but if you are big on saving a buck, this is one way to do it. If you are a Target RedCard holder (it is their store credit card) you can buy Disney Gift Cards with your 5% discount. You can then use these Disney Gift Cards to purchase park tickets or passes. I bought Target Gift Cards when they had THIS deal for 10% off, bought Disney Gift Cards, and cashed them for season passes. BAM. This family had a good time for less.

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