Princess Guide to the Disneyland Resort

Do you have a little princess in the family? Or perhaps someone who dreams of being Disney royalty? There is plenty of princess perfection taking place at the Disneyland Resort to satisfy any princess in training! Keep reading to find out all the tips on what to wear, where to get the princess make-over and where to see princess-themed shows. And of course, where to meet n’ greet with the real Disney princesses in person.

Please note that my posts contain affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Dressing the Part of Princess at Disneyland

Children thirteen and under can dress in costume in the Parks. This means your little one can dress head-to-toe Disney princess all day at the Disneyland resort. I suggest purchasing your princess attire ahead of time at shopDisney online. Do a test run in the costume at home. You’ll want to make sure the costume is comfortable on your child, not dragging on the ground or falling off her shoulders.

Princess Guide to the Disneyland Resort

My niece, Queen Elsa!

I highly recommend that your little Princess skip the impractical costume shoes and wear something that she’ll be happy to skip around in all day. Your princess is going to be miserable (and blistered) if she’s wearing plastic dress-up shoes with her costume. I love pediped shoes for their comfort. They are also adorable and many of them have princess sparkles!

After spending the morning in her costume dress, change her into something comfy. ShopDisney online has some adorable sets and dresses in easy to clean fabrics (perfect after a day of spent consuming chocolate covered bananas and ice cream!) Read for more tips on dressing up kids for Disney.


 Save Money on Your Disneyland Vacation!

Purchase discount tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).


 Get Crowned with the Royal Treatment

For an extra-specially heavy dose of pixie dust magic, little ladies can also be transformed into princesses right before your eyes! Bibbity Bobbidi Boutique inside Disneyland Park puts the glitter effect on kids 3-12. They offer basic packages that include hair styling, nail polish and make-up. Want the works? The stylists can also give girls the full treatment with signature dress costumes, tiara and a special photo session. To book a package with a “Fairy Godmother-in-training”, call (714) 781-STYLE or (714) 781-7895. Advance reservations are a must.

At the Dream Boutique in Downtown Disney, there are lots of princess costumes for purchase along with accessories and jewelry. Both locations are the perfect place to splurge for your vacation! Read more about how you can splurge on your kids at the Disneyland Resort.

Celebrating a birthday at Disneyland is extra magical! Read about freebies and splurges to put your birthday over the top!

Where to Meet Disney Princesses

Now that you have your tiara on, let’s meet some of our favorite princesses! What princesses are in the Disney parks? While there are some princesses you can always meet, other locations change their princesses frequently so you can’t guarantee who you’ll see. I suggest downloading the Disneyland Mobile app so you can check out where all the princesses will be throughout the day.

At the Entrance

Just inside the front entrance to the Disneyland park, princesses often meet guests for autographs and a quick photo. My niece met Belle on a rainy day so she was wearing her coat over her iconic dress.

Is your princess Disney princess obsessed? Find out what to see and experience with the Disney princesses at the Disneyland resort in California. #Disneyland

Princess Elena of Avalor

This princess poses for photos and sign autographs in the Fantasyland area.

Princess Tiana from the Princess & the Frog

You can find her in New Orleans Square, often accompanying the jazz band that plays in this area.

Princess Jasmine

Jasmine, Aladdin and sometimes the Genie are meeting guests in the Adventureland area.

Anna & Elsa from Frozen

The sisters from Arendelle are meeting guests at Disney’s California Adventure park. Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome takes place at the Character Close-Up inside the Disney Animation building on Hollywood Boulevard.

Royal Hall inside Fantasy Faire

This quaint village center houses the most grand dames in all the Land! Step inside Royal Hall to meet and greet up to three popular Disney Princesses. You’ll be able to read who is inside on the board in front of the entrance. Inside you can chat with the princesses, pose for photos and request autographs. As you can see, my little princess hasn’t warmed up to Cinderella quite yet! Royal Hall can be a popular place, so this area should definitely be the first stop of the day.

Is your princess Disney princess obsessed? Find out what to see and experience with the Disney princesses at the Disneyland resort in California. #DisneylandRides and Attractions That Feature Princesses

  • Take a twirl on King Arthur Carrousel.
  • See Snow White inside Snow White’s Scary Adventures.
  • Just like Princess Aurora, you can also waltz inside Sleeping Beauty Castle to experience the walk-through story retelling.
  • Take a slow ride on the Storybook Land Canal Boats to see where Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel and yes, even where Anna and Elsa live.
  • Spot many of the princesses on a ride through it’s a small world.
  • Swim over to The Little Mermaid -Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. It’s a refreshing dip under the sea to visit with your favorite mermaid princess.
Princess Guide to the Disneyland Resort

Photo credit: Jeff Holz

Shows for Princesses of All Ages

Maybe you aren’t fond of waiting in long lines like those at Fantasy Faire to meet n’ greet with princesses. Catch Mickey’s Soundsational Parade and wave at the lovely ladies as they pass instead! Princesses wave back and blow kisses. Little ones will just know, “She waved at ME!”

Princess Guide to the Disneyland Resort

Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

Frozen – Live at the Hyperion is an hour-long Broadway-style live theater production. This incredible show offers enough singing, storytelling and Frozen fun to have your princess swooning.

Mickey and the Magical Map features princesses Mulan, Rapunzel, Tiana & Pocahontas in a beautiful outdoor musical stage show in Disneyland.

Is your princess Disney princess obsessed? Find out what to see and experience with the Disney princesses at the Disneyland resort in California. #Disneyland

As sun sets, you’ll be able to catch many of the princesses in the nighttime spectacular, Fantasmic! It’s a battle of good and evil. Lots of princesses make appearances, dancing on floats with their accompanying princes. Paint the Night parade features several beautiful princess floats, including this impressive ice castle with Anna and Elsa aboard.

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade

Anna & Elsa from Frozen (with Olaf in the back)

Souvenirs Fit for a Princess

By the end of the night, your little princess will have had a glitter-filled day. Skip the long lines for souvenirs and bring something from home to give your highness as you leave the Park. Something small that features her favorite princesses will be the perfect memento of her royal vacation.

Princess Guide to the Disneyland Resort

Princess Packages at the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

For the ultimate princess experience, surprise your lovely lady with a princess-worthy in-room celebration. These packages can be ordered directly through Disney Floral & Gifts. Special gifts include a embroidered princess tiara ear hat, princess autograph book, Minnie Mouse princess plush or “pampered princess” body products.

There is an over-the-top collection that starts with a personalized letter from the Fairy Godmother, room decor and includes a box filled with Princess-themed treasures. There are also some gorgeous floral boutiques for the grown up princess in all of us!


CLICK THE IMAGE TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE DISNEY VACATION PLANNING VIDEO


Is your little princess Disney princess obsessed? Find out what to see and experience with the Disney princesses at the Disneyland resort in California. Read more for the inside tips on character meet n' greets, what shows to see and where to find your favorites. #Disneyland

 


Jamberry Giveaway – Set Sail with August’s Jamberry StyleBox

 

Jamberry Giveaway - Set Sail with August's Jamberry StyleBox

I’m giving away my August Jamberry StyleBox this week! It’s a whimsical mix that’s perfect for the close of summer. You’ll receive two exclusive Jamberry StyleBox wraps as well as the rest of the StyleBox contents (a fall sneak peek, Style card, file & orange stick).

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I’ll also throw in a new Fall catalog that features new Jamberry designs that will be available starting September 1st. I’m excited for Jewelry Box (a new mixed mani) and Turquoise (which is perfect for fall). Wait till you see them!!

catalog-fall

Starting in September, there will be three distintive StyleBoxes. The StyleBox you recieve will be based on the quiz you take, but here’s the cool part: The StyleBoxes will preview early so you can change your “style” (classic, trendy or feminine) to fit the look you’d like to receive that month.

Check out the September StyleBox to see what’s coming!

And take the Jamberry StyleBox quiz here to see what look you’d get – JAMBERRY STYLEBOX QUIZ


Keep in mind that August is the LAST MONTH you’ll be able to order wraps from the Going, Going, Gone section so get them now while you can! I have several incentives going on right now…

Order any size order and receive a sample sheet of 5 nail wraps from me.
Buy 3 Get One Free Jamberry wraps and receive a half-sheet of wraps mailed from me!
Host a party online and receive a mini-heater when your party reaches $250 in sales (that’s in addition to your regular hostess credits)

Email me at Savingupfordisney@yahoo.com if you take advantage of any of these offers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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6 DisneyBounding “Rules” – How to Capture Your DisneySide!

Children under 12 can dress in costume at the Disney Parks, but what about the rest of us who’d like to show their DisneySide but can’t go full out in costume? DisneyBounding! By using clothes from your own closet, you can create the unique look of a certain Disney character that you can wear to the Parks. So what are the DisneyBounding rules to follow to get your look fabulous? Here are some DisneyBound ideas everyone in the family can use!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Yellow Loop. Today we are sharing DisneyBounding ideas for you and your family.

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

What is DisneyBound & What Are the DisneyBounding “Rules”?

DisneyBound uses everyday clothing in a way that represents a chosen Disney character. DisneyBounding isn’t costume or cosplay. DisneyBound is about creativity and uniqueness. One look on Pinterest DisneyBound and you can see how many interpretations people are able to come up with based on one character’s “look”.

I came up with a few DisneyBounding “rules”, using the Fab 5 as examples, that make dressing as your favorite character fun and easy. My DisneyBound ideas are clothes you can wear at the Parks, so these are comfortable and practical but still fun (not a high heel in sight!)

How will you DisneyBound? Here are some ideas!

1. DISNEYBOUND RULE – PATTERNS ARE A PLUS

Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas. #Disney #DisneyBound #DressingDisney #DisneyOutfits #Disney #DisneyVacation

Does your character have a recognizable pattern, like Minnie and her polka dots? Wearing red and white polka dots will almost automatically link you to Minnie, but what other prints can you find that are a similar match to your character?

How about green fish scales for Ariel, purple and pink stripes for the Cheshire Cat or a red and white Hawaiian print for Lilo! If you can’t find a good match, consider fabric paint and a handmade stencil to make the print on the fabric yourself (use non-stretch cotton for best results).


2. DISNEYBOUND RULE – COLOR GIVES YOU CHARACTER

 

What are your character’s main colors? No need to be exact on either colors or matching identical pieces, just a general idea of that character’s look, like the Goofy collection shown here.

What other characters use color dramatically in their look? How about Elsa in her sparkling ice blue gown and silver snowflakes? Or Ursula in a swirl of black and purple. As long as you keep with these color tones, you can mix up the design of the outfit as you please.

 

 


3. DISNEYBOUND RULE – IT’S ALL IN THE ACCESSORIES

Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas. #Disney #DisneyBound #DressingDisney #DisneyOutfits #Disney #DisneyVacation

What is the most eye-catching piece of your character’s look? For Donald, it’s his bright red bow, front and center. With thoughtful accessorizing, you can relax on the other pieces (because you probably don’t want to dress in full sailor suit!)

If your character doesn’t have a definite spotlight piece, feel free to use that character’s image in one of your accessories (like on a hat , shoes or jewelry). These great new Disney-themed Vans are a perfect accompaniment ( VANS x DISNEY Sneakers). Think candy hair accessories for Vanellope from Wreck It Ralph, Jessie’s red cowgirl hat from Toy Story or a chunky turquoise necklace like Pocahontas.


4. DISNEYBOUND RULE –  CUTE, BUT NOT COSTUME-Y

Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas. #Disney #DisneyBound #DressingDisney #DisneyOutfits #Disney #DisneyVacation
There’s a big difference between DisneyBound and costumes. You wouldn’t put on feathers to DisneyBound as Daisy Duck, but a fluffy white dress gives the impression of feathers. Also, if you’re choosing less-than-obvious characters, consider that you might not be easily recognized as being DisneyBound. You’ll look cute, but not in costume. So if you want to pointedly direct attention to your outfit consider having a toy or an accessory, like an enamel pin of the character on your shirt.

5. DISNEYBOUND RULE –  LEAVE LITERAL INTERPRETATION TO THE LITTLES

Literal interpretations lends themselves more towards costume than DisneyBound, like the Mickey example here. This is best left for the kids, who look simply adorable (whilst a grown man, not so much!)

Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas. #Disney #DisneyBound #DressingDisney #DisneyOutfits #Disney #DisneyVacation

 

Kids up to age 12 can dress in costume. Feel free to let little ones go all out with complete costumes in the park, so long as they’re comfortable. And be sure they are wearing real, comfortable shoes and not dress up costume shoes. See this post for more ideas on the best outfits for dressing kids for Disney vacations!


6. DISNEYBOUND RULE – CHARACTER DETAILS MAKE YOU MORE RECOGNIZABLE

As a bonus, I threw in Pluto! If your costume is vague or the character you chose doesn’t have much of a standout look (like Pluto here) consider adding in character details, like a hat, jewelry or MagicBand wrap with a custom design to add to your look.

 

You could also go a subtle route and choose one accessory if your character is dressed quite over the top like Sully from Monsters Inc., Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas or Jessie from Toy Story. Keep your costume simple and show off these cool accessories.


CLICK THIS IMAGE TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE DISNEYLAND & DISNEY WORLD VACATION PLANNING VIDEO


 For more DisneyBounding ideas,

check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Yellow | DisneyBounding Ideas Loop:

1st Stop – Mom Rewritten | 6 DisneyBounding “Rules”

2nd Stop – Home is Where the Mouse Is | Family DisneyBounding Ideas

3rd Stop – Sparks of Magic | DisneyBounding with Kids


Save Money on Your DISNEY Vacation!

Purchase discount tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount). 

https://www.getawaytoday.com/?referrerid=7529


 

Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas.


 

Stock Up and Save to Avoid Being Sick & Miserable #HealthySavings #CollectiveBias

I’m a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HealthySavings #CollectiveBias #cbias

Why Stock Up and Save Makes Sense #HealthySavings #CollectiveBias #ad

Last week one of my kids came down with a cold. In the summertime, yuck! Of course, I was caught completely off-guard (it’s summer!) I had no medicines to give him that would help with fever, sore throat, runny nose or coughing. Poor kid had to wait until the next day when I could get to the store and restock on the cold meds. I’m a big proponent of the “stock up and save” method and usually have what we need.

Fortunately all my kids have been pretty healthy for the last 6 months, so when this summer cold swept in, I was just ill-prepared. My kid’s medicine box contained one empty cold medicine box and infant drops (my youngest is almost 4!)

Why Stock Up and Save Makes Sense #HealthySavings #CollectiveBias #ad

Achoo! Tip #1 – Regularly check medications and review their expiration dates. Toss out old meds. I follow the FDA guidelines for disposing of old medications.

With three little ones in the house, I resolved that I need to stock up and make sure I have appropriate medications on hand and ready the next time we need them. Nobody should have to suffer with pain or discomfort through the night if they don’t have to. And a midnight visit to the 24-hour convenience store is going to cost you twice as much (if they even have the medication you need).

Achoo! Tip #2 – Before cold season swings back into full gear, take the time now to assess what you have on hand. Make a list of the usual needs to cover ailments (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, etc) and buy them before you need them.

Why Stock Up and Save Makes Sense #HealthySavings #CollectiveBias #ad

Fortunately a few days ago I heard about Walgreens “stock up and save” event, where shoppers who spend $30 on Pfizer products will receive 10,000 Balance Rewards points! You save $5.00 off your next purchase for each 5000 Balance Rewards points earned, so do the math, this is a great deal! No reason to be caught with an empty medicine cabinet when you can stock up now and receive great savings.

My closest Walgreens is a quick 2 miles away so I can be in and out in a jiffy. Except that I love the Walgreens and usually spend more time than I should perusing the aisles (make-up, new headbands, shaving cream, candy!)

Why Stock Up and Save Makes Sense #HealthySavings #CollectiveBias #ad

Look for the tags & earn 10,000 points when $30 of qualifying products are purchased.

 

I was able to grab a few more children’s medications to restock the pain relief box. And Emergen-C for the grown-ups, because naturally, I feel a sore throat coming on!

Achoo! Tip #3 – Consider all of other items you’ll need during cold & flu season and pick them up now. Things like tissues, menthol rub, saltine crackers and canned soup. I also picked up some Chapstick because colds and dry lips seem to go hand-in-hand.

Why Stock Up and Save Makes Sense #HealthySavings #CollectiveBias #ad

I prefer to plug in my phone number at check out rather than carry my Walgreens Balance Rewards card. I stocked up and you see my Balance Rewards points…yeah, over 10,000 just on this visit!

Why Stock Up and Save Makes Sense #HealthySavings #CollectiveBias #ad

Now I have no reason to run out and buy products when emergencies strike because my medicine cabinet is restocked with Pfizer products. I received 10,000 Balance Rewards points for spending $30 and so can you. How will you stock up for cold and flu season this year?


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Halloween Time at Disneyland is Almost Upon Us!

Have you visited Disneyland during the fall season? Stop over at the Traveling Mom’s website and read my newest article, 8 Reasons Why Halloween Time at Disneyland is a Treat!

Halloween Time at Disneyland is Almost Upon Us!

 

Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland – A Halloween Spooktacular

Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland - A Halloween Spooktacular

Every Halloweentime at Disneyland, Guests are able to celebrate the season in a unique and only-slightly-spooky way. Mickey’s Halloween Party is a special event that allows Guests of all ages to dress up in their Halloween finest, to trick-or-treat throughout the Park as well as enjoy rides and attractions.

Mickey’s Halloween Party is a separate ticketed event, so that means on the day of the parties, Guests are required to purchase an event ticket that allows them to stay inside the Park and participate in the event. This ticket includes admission to Disneyland up to three hours before the start of the party, free parking and access to all Party activities. I confess that my family and I have never had the chance to attend Mickey’s Halloween Party. Though we’ve visited the Parks during Halloweentime (including last year during a Family Media Day), we’d love to someday be able to dress in costume and attend this ticketed event, it sounds spooktacular!

Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland - A Halloween Spooktacular

We met Jack & Sally at Family Media Day during Halloweentime

Photo stations set up through the Park allow guests to take pictures with their favorite characters, who are also dressed up in their Halloween costumes! There are trick-or-treat stations set up throughout the Park with candy and healthy treats. Bags are provided to all Guests to carry your load and everyone (even mom & dad) are able to partake. I’ve heard from past Guests that there is always a big haul by the end of the night. Too much candy? A dance party will get everyone moving!

Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland - A Halloween Spooktacular

Elsa, Vanellope, Mickey and a Ninja…three out of four were Disney-inspired!

Special Halloweentime treats and eats are available throughout the season. Last year I indulged in this amazingly delicious pumpkin spice cupcake. See the edible sparkles?!

Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland - A Halloween Spooktacular

Disneyland’s newest parade, Paint the Night, is a delight for all and the evening will close with the amazing Halloween Screams fireworks show. Nearly all rides and attractions will be available throughout this special event, including Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland - A Halloween Spooktacular

The Haunted Mansion, done over Nightmare Before Christmas-style.

Get your costumes ready for the big night! Keep in mind that though everyone can dress up, there are guidelines on the Disneyland website on what is and isn’t allowed. Be creative and consider dressing as a team. Choose a favorite Disney movie and have each person in your party represent a character. Since even grown-ups can wear costumes to this event, it gives you a chance to think outside the box and just have fun with it! If you’ll be riding on attractions, consider how you’ll get in and out of the seats. The rule for comfortable shoes still stands too. Nobody wants to be hobbling to the car with blisters at the end of the evening!

Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland - A Halloween Spooktacular

Consider sewing your own costume or Disney-Bound with items from your own closet. I was able to whip up my son’s Mickey costume easily and my daughter’s Vanellope costume was culled from items purchased online (see links for costume tutorials).

Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland - A Halloween Spooktacular

This is an event that sells out every year so get your tickets early. Mickey’s Halloween Party starts Sept 25th, 2015 and ends at the stroke of midnight on Halloween night, October 31st.

Check out this post about the 8 Reasons Why Halloween Time at Disneyland is a Treat for additional fall fun at the Parks.


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Tips for Disneyland Fans Visiting Walt Disney World

You’re a big time Disneyland fan and now you want to visit Walt Disney World? How exciting!! If you’ve already been to Disneyland you might wonder what more could there be to know about visiting Walt Disney World? Turns out, there are hundreds of differences, many of which are extremely important towards having a magical day in Orlando! Assume that the Parks are the same and you’ll be in for a big surprise (they’re not!)

What to Know If You’re a Disneyland Fan Visiting Walt Disney World

This is not a Disneyland VS. Disney World sort of post. I’m definitely not comparing the Parks on either coast in that way, because I have love for Disney all around! I love Disneyland for different reasons than why I love Walt Disney World. And they are both completely different from each other. Sharing my tips for having the best experiences and knowing the differences can make your vacation run that much smoother. These are the nine things to be aware of when planning your Disney World vacation!

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

If you're a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World for the first time these are the most important things to know before your trip! Everyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time should read this advice, especially if you're already a Disneyland regular.

Very First Thing…Order Your Disney Parks Vacation Planning Video!

Watching the video will give you a more complete idea on how the parks at Walt Disney World work. And watching the video together as a family helps create excitement and understanding about your upcoming vacation!

CLICK THIS IMAGE TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE DISNEYLAND & DISNEY WORLD VACATION PLANNING VIDEO


1. My Disney Experience

Your Walt Disney World vacation starts at home, months ahead of time with My Disney Experience. Sign in and create an account, and then add your vacation details here. You can schedule FastPass+, make dining reservation, link your Park tickets and add your Disney resort hotel room information here (even if you didn’t book the room through the Disney site).

This is all really important stuff so be sure to take your time during the vacation planning process to make all these schedules and reservations. You’ll thank yourself later for taking the time to pre-plan and book ahead! Disney World is not a “wing it” kind of place like Disneyland. Most of the time, you can just show up on any given day at Disneyland and plan as you go. But if you want to make the most of your time at Disney World you really should do these things pre-trip.


2. Magical Express Bus

If you’ve ever flown in to California, you know that there isn’t any special transportation available for Disneyland Resort guests. Fortunately The Magical Express Bus in Orlando will bus you (for free!) from Orlando International Airport to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel if you are a resort guest. They will also deliver your luggage, handling it from baggage claim straight to your room! There are a few WDW-area hotels that do not participate in this program (namely the Swan & Dolphin and Shades of Green) so make sure to check first.

The important thing is to set this all up before your trip. You can’t just expect to show up for your flight and expect a free ride waiting at the other end. Do all the legwork of entering your flight numbers to book your Magical Express Bus reservation. Then assure that the accurate luggage tags that indicate your hotel are secured.

At the end of your trip, be sure to read all the details about returning to the airport via the Magical Express Bus. I got a bit wrapped up in the Disney magic and totally messed this up on my vacation there. Read about it on Traveling Mom, Walt Disney World Magical Express Bus – What I Loved (and my $80 Mistake).

9 Things Disneyland Fans Need to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

3. Disney Resort Hotels

Unlike Disneyland’s three resort hotels, Walt Disney World has 27 Resort Hotels to choose from. In Anaheim, it’s very convenient to book a non-Disney room and walk to the front gates within minutes. Not so at WDW. There are a few WDW resort hotels within walking distance but non-Disney hotels are located much further out. Walking from a non-Disney World resort hotel to any of the Park front gates is out of the question. You’ll either need to use a shuttle service, taxi or rental car if you book off-site.

Also at Disneyland, you’re used to paying very high prices for each of the three on-site hotels. At Disney World, resorts are classified into three categories, Deluxe, Moderate and Value (like the All-Star Music Resort shown in this image). Staying on-site can be very reasonably priced and you’ll still receive all of the Disney perks, including luggage delivery and Magical Express Bus!

If you're a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World for the first time these are the most important things to know before your trip! Everyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time should read this advice, especially if you're already a Disneyland regular.

Save Money on Your DISNEY Vacation!

Purchase discount tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount). 

https://www.getawaytoday.com/?referrerid=7529


4. Size to Consider

Everything at Walt Disney World is…BIG! The sheer size of the resort compared to Disneyland can be overwhelming. While the Disneyland Resort is compact and the hotels, Parks and Downtown Disney District are all right there, not so at Walt Disney World. Everything is spread out over vast miles with water parks, golf courses, resorts (and lots of greenscapes and trees) in between the Parks. It’s going to take you longer than you’d expect traveling, both inside and outside the Parks.

9 Things Disneyland Fans Need to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

Everything is BIGGER at Walt Disney World, even the Castle.

5. Park Hopping at Disney World Isn’t a Quick Process

While Park Hopping at Disneyland requires a quick walk across the esplanade between the Parks, Park Hopping at the Walt Disney World resort requires longer transportation. You’ll be taking a bus, boat or monorail to get from park to park. Keep in mind that the transportation between Parks will eat into your day and plan accordingly.

If you are able to stay long enough to visit each of the Parks on a single day, I’d do so. I’d recommend you skip buying a Park Hopper at Walt Disney World. This will allow you to visit one park on a single day and save time on what could be an hour+ long process of “Hopping” to another Park.


6. MagicBands Are a Game Changer

While Disneyland still uses paper tickets, Walt Disney World has moved into the high-tech world of MagicBands. A MagicBand is a rubberized bracelet that you wear. Inside is RF (radio frequency) technology, which holds your park ticket, room key, FastPass+ and dining reservations. After scheduling all these in on My Disney Experience, you’ll be able to choose the color and name that is printed on the inside of the band.

The box with your bands will arrive at your house before the trip (don’t forget to take them with you!) You can even decorate them beforehand (see this thread from the Magical Blogorail about decorating your MagicBand). You should probably put them on before boarding the plane because you’ll need your band before you get on the Magical Express Bus once you reach Orlando.

If you're a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World for the first time these are the most important things to know before your trip! Everyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time should read this advice, especially if you're already a Disneyland regular.

7. FastPass+

Paper FastPass? Nope! FastPass+ at Walt Disney World is now linked to your Magic Band so you’ll just flash the band and receive access to the special line. If you’re accustomed to booking your Disneyland FastPasses on a whim while once inside the Park, the FastPass+ system at Walt Disney World is a big change.

30 days out you’ll “reserve” your FastPass+ for certain rides (or 60 days out if you book a WDW Vacation Package). Show up without booking your FastPass+ and you’ll be standing in long queues the entire day. You can only reserve three FastPass+ in advance but you can book more as you go through the day at kiosks throughout the Parks or on the My Disney Experience device app.


8. Advanced Dining Reservations

Most Disneyland-ers don’t worry about such things as making reservations! They either wing it when it comes to meals or only make an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) for certain coveted meals (like Goofy’s Kitchen or the Blue Bayou). However dining at Walt Disney World can be much of the adventure and anything above quick service dining will require an Advanced Dining Reservation. You will most likely NOT be able to walk-up and get seated at any full-service restaurant without a reservation.

ADR can be made in My Disney Experience months in advance. Yes, months! And you should absolutely plan out which restaurants you want and book them the first day you can. You’ll find that your choices are often already filled up. If there is a special restaurant you must eat at, keep trying throughout the time leading up to your trip. Many guests cancel at the last moment (so as not to be charged if they don’t show up). Don’t be deterred if you are still trying in the few days before your vacation. I was able to score lunch at Be Our Guest and dinner at the Prime Time 50’s Cafe the day before we left for our trip!

9 Things Disneyland Fans Need to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

9. Similar But Not the Same

As you can see, there are LOTS of differences between Disneyland and Walt Disney World. However there are a considerable amount of similarity too (which I discovered via my trip photographs and documented in my article, Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World).

Quite a few people I’ve talked to think that Disneyland and Magic Kingdom are interchangeable. However while they do have some similar rides and attractions, there is quite a bit that is unique to each location. Don’t assume that Magic Kingdom is “just like Disneyland” – it’s not! Can’t miss things at Magic Kingdom are Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle and The Hall of Presidents.

If you're a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World for the first time these are the most important things to know before your trip! Everyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time should read this advice, especially if you're already a Disneyland regular.

There are similar attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to what you’d find at Disney California Adventure park as well. Save time for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Walt Disney Presents and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Many have compared Disney’s Animal Kingdom to the San Diego Zoo. Yeah, they both have animals in lush, natural settings, but that’s about where the similarities end! Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some great live shows like Finding Nemo and Lion King. Make sure to visit the new Pandora area, Expedition Everest and DINOSAUR.

And of course, Epcot is a completely unique park unto itself! I actually like to take two days enjoying it so I can focus on each section separately (Future World on one day, World Showcase on another day).


You’re a Disney World-er experiencing Disneyland for the first time?

Be sure to read this article on TravelingMom, 14 Disneyland Tips Every Walt Disney Regular Needs to Know.

Are you a Disneyland fan who also visits Walt Disney World? What other things should Disneyland-ers know before making the trip to Orlando? Share below in the comments!

If you're a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World for the first time these are the most important things to know before your trip! Everyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time should read this advice, especially if you're already a Disneyland regular. #DisneyWorld #VacationPlanning