Disneyland Hotel Review

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While I was recently at the Disneyland Resort I had the opportunity to stay in all three of their onsite resorts.  In this post, I’ll give you my thoughts on the Disneyland Hotel.

The Disneyland Hotel is the original Disney resort.  Obviously, it’s had a few facelifts in 60 years, and I have to say I’m a huge fan of the look of this resort.  It has a fun yet modern feel.  If, like me, you’re a fan of Mary Blair’s art, you’re going to love it here.

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The rooms were decently sized and quite clean and comfortable.  I loved the overall feel of the rooms as well as that wooden carving above the bed!  Just beautiful!

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The bathroom is set up in an interesting way.  The toilet is in its own little room within the bathroom, but the sink and bath areas are open.  That probably works well for families, but for myself and my roommate, it was a little inconvenient.

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My room was in the main tower, the Fantasy Tower.  There are two other towers, Adventure and Frontier Towers.  There are also Club Level accommodations here as well as a Club Level lounge that’s wonderful for watching fireworks at night.

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You really can’t beat the location of this resort.  It’s located right at the end of the Downtown Disney area and it takes maybe 5 minutes to walk from the hotel to the park gates.  That’s so refreshing to this this girl who’s used to commute times at Walt Disney World!

The Disneyland hotel also has Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, a fun cocktail bar located right outside the pool area.  We stopped in for mojitos one night, and unfortunately the main bar was completely packed so we sat out on the patio.  The drinks were great!

Also located at this resort is the Goofy’s Kitchen character meal as well as the famous Steakhouse 55.

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Overall, this resort has a fun and laid back feel.  This resort is great for families, couples, and anyone looking for that quintessential Disney feel.  I really thought that Grand Californian was going to be my favorite of the three, but I was quite surprised to find that Disneyland Hotel was my preference!  I really loved this resort and I can’t wait to stay here again with my family!

 

Podcast Episode 104: Disneyland In A Day

We all know that Walt Disney World is nearly impossible to see in one day, but how about Disneyland?  We have special guest, Jen, on with us this week to talk about her one day experience of Disneyland in California.

Happy listening!

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*We did have quite a bit of technical difficulty during our recording, however, we very much wanted to share the content.  We apologize for the poor sound quality.

Education on a Disney Vacation

We all know that taking kids on a vacation will lead to a lot of fun, but sometimes we encounter some education along the way.  Walt Disney said “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” All of us agree with that philosophy that you can learn a lot and still have fun.  Some of us have done this and probably will again but sometimes we have to take our kids out of school for a vacation.  While you have the make this personal decision based on your own situation we are not here to judge either way!  But we do know that when kids miss school they sometimes have to make up that missed time with what they learned while away from school, so I wanted to give some ideas of where your kids could learn while on a Disney vacation.

You will be able to do some first hand research and experiencing and then when you are finished with your vacation your student will be able to do the research that will help them put together a report.

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Disneyland
California Adventure Park: Learn about the history of California on the basis of the different lands such as Paradise Pier, Grizzly Peaks, Buena Vista Street or Hollywood Land.  These lands are themed around real places in California.

Disneyland Railroad: Check out the original steam trains and Presidential Train Car the Lilly Belle.

Sleeping Beauty Castle: Enjoy this walk through attraction of the story of Sleeping Beauty.  A fun way to compare would be to read other versions and see how they compare

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln: This attraction has nothing but history in it from the 1964 World’s Fare to the subject itself, Abraham Lincoln.

Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters: If you want something really modern check out this trackless attraction.  How do the cars move?  Where do they get commands?  These are just a couple questions you can find out on this attraction.

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Walt Disney World
Animal Kingdom
Wilderness Explorers: Learn all about different animals and explore the entire park with this fun scavenger hunt!

Rafiki’s Planet Watch: You can watch veterinarians at work here, not to mention get up close to a few animals. This is a great opportunity for those kids that are wild about animals.

Kilimanjaro Safari’s: This is another obvious choice, but you can see so many unusual animals that could spark an interest in one and then lead to a fact finding mission about a species.

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Hollywood Studios
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular: It will give you a very basic idea of how movies are made.  This is great for young kids since they will love the special effects and they way you feel like you are looking backstage.

Epcot
World Showcase: This entire part of the park is a learning experience.  Talk to Cast Members from all over the world, try new foods, listen to new music.  The possibilities are endless whether you choose one of many countries to explore.

The Land: Take the Behind the Seeds tour in the Land Pavilion and you can find out some really interesting things about greenhouses, growing crops and even where those plants grown there end up!

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The Seas: This pavilion is similar to the Kilimanjaro Safari as you can learn to much about many types of fish or larger sea life.  If you are old enough you can even swim with dolphins!

Spaceship Earth: This classic attraction takes you through communication in world history from caves to computers.  You are sure to learn something new along the way.

Magic Kingdom
Hall of Presidents: Like Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln this is definitely the place to get a presidential history lesson.

The Haunted Mansion: Pepper’s Ghost is the main attraction here, not it isn’t a real ghost but an effect that is used and it is really fascinating.  If your student is one who always wants to know “how do they do that” this is a great subject to study.  You’ll need to ride more than once of course.

People Mover:  Did you know this has a real life application at the George Bush Airport in Houston?  That is the only other place in the world this technology is used for the people mover.

Sword in the Stone: Do you have a kid interested in stories and fairy tales?  This a great place for them to research the stories of King Arthur.  And if you have to rewatch Sword in the Stone that wouldn’t be too bad either.

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Swiss Family Robinson and Tom Sawyer’s Island: Again if you have a reader they will love to do a report on either of these stories and how they are portrayed at Walt Disney World.

Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel: This carousel is something special.  Originally called Liberty with an Americana theme it was lovingly restored by the Walt Disney World Company.  Check out the history of carousel and you will have plenty of research fodder to write a paper on!

Adventures by Disney
This entire vacation will be a learning experience, particularly if you are traveling to a foreign country.  So many new things to experience even if you travel on an Adventure by Disney within the United States.  New cultures, foods and experiences will be everything here.  For instance if you travel to Italy you can learn to make pasta, in Germany, pretzels. You will tour castles and historic sites.  Meet amazing local guides who can tell you anything you ever wanted to know about the country you are visiting.

Disney Cruise Line
Like Adventures by Disney this entire experience can be one big learning experience while having so much fun.  In port you can take excursions of the historic, foodie and adventurer types.  Or you can check out local museums, forts, ruins, or cultural centers.

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There is plenty of edutainment to be had on any Disney vacation so we hope this article can help get the creative process moving in choosing something to research.  And who know, this may be the start of the next Disney Imagineer career!

 

 

Disney Visa Perks

You have maybe heard about the Disney Visa before, particularly when promotions are released.  On occasion Disney Visa cardholder have been granted early access to these discounts for booking a Walt Disney World vacation.

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So what do you get with your Disney Visa?  How much does it cost?

There are two types of Disney Visa cards a free one and the Premier which is an annual fee applied directly to your card of $49.

One of the perks of having either card is the 10% off any purchase of $50 or more at Disney stores and Disneystore.com.  Which as we know doesn’t take long to get past that $50 price tag. 

A 10% discount is also available at dining locations in Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.

Points can also be earned on purchases made with the Disney Visa.  These points can then be turned into a Disney Visa Rewards redemption card. You can earn up to 2% in rewards dollars at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and Disney locations.  Also you can earn 1% everywhere else. These points can be used for booking Disney vacations, spending at Disney parks, and Disney stores.  You earn points after you have paid on the card.  The points never expire but your card can be inactive so be sure to check on this before leaving home and making purchases.

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Disney Vacation discounts are also available at times with this card.  It will be similar to the discounts and promotions that Disney offers to the general public such as a room only discounts or dining promotions.  On occasion these promotions are offered prior to general public sales allowing the cardholders a couple of days head start.

Discounts on tours are another great perk.  You can save 15%!  At Disneyland you can try out Welcome to Disneyland, A Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps, Discover the Magic, Cultivating the Magic and Disney California Story.  At Walt Disney World you can try out: Disney’s Family Magic, Keys the Kingdom, The Magic Behind our Steam Trains, Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom, Gardens of the World, Undiscovered Future World, Behind the Seeds, DiveQuest, Seas Aqua Tour, Backstage Tales, Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP, Day for Young Families VIP, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Backstage Magic, Holiday D-Lights, Yuletide Fantasy, Wilderness Back Trail Adventure.

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In Disneyland and Walt Disney World you can present your card for a private meet and greet with Disney characters.  At Walt Disney World it is located in Epcot, Innoventions West daily from 1-7pm.  You will receive downloads of the pictures onto your MagicBand.  In Disneyland Resort go to Disney’s California Adventure Park next to Monster’s Inc. Mike and Sully to the rescue, daily from 10:30am-1:30pm.  Downloads are also available here.

For Food and Wine at Epcot there is the Chase Visa lounge with free soft drinks, water and a place to have a break and charge your phone.

10% off select recreation experiences at Walt Disney World are available such as carriage rides or horseback trail rides.

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For those that want pampering there is a 15% discount for salon treatments valued at $45 or greater or any 50 minutes or longer spa treatments at Walt Disney World.

For Disney Cruise Line you can get at $50 onboard credit when you pay for your Disney Cruise Line vacation in full with your Disney Visa card.

You can also check out the full printable guide here https://disneydebit.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2014/07/9392_WDW_Debit_ThemeParkPerks_PocketGuide_02.pdf

If you are like me, you probably learned a little bit about a card you already hold!  I didn’t know about many of these discounts, which means my Disney Visa may get a workout next time I am at Disney, for the perks of course!