Category Archives: Tips &Tricks
As you might have guessed, we here at Chip and Co love Disneyland! As a newer writer here, I have imagined some of the questions readers may have. One that I struggled with personally was what’s the right age to visit Disneyland? I imagine some of you may have the same concerns.
So my wife and I discussed, with some trepidation, taking our toddler son with us right after his 3rd birthday. We wondered what’s the right age to visit Disneyland? Additionally, we were feeling slightly guilty over the number of trips we’d taken since his birth to Disneyland without him. So we said Hakuna Matata and off we went. This was an especially good trip for his first visit. We were fortunate enough to have my Sister in law and her family with us, including our 6 year old niece. They were visiting us from Stockholm for a few weeks, so off we went. It was both kids first visit!
I know many, many parents have asked me what’s the right age to visit Disneyland? I’m not fully sure there’s a correct answer. Before going we felt 3 may have been too young. In some ways we were right, mostly we were wonderfully surprised at his enjoyment, wonder and curiosity over the whole magical experience. Were there moments of time that we wanted to rip our hair out, yeah… Quite a few moments. Were there just as many, if not more moments of looking at each other with pride in our kid who was loving Disney as much as we were… Absolutely.
Top Reasons to bring your toddler to Disneyland:
If you are traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort with an infant or toddler, chances are you are going to have to allow time for your child to nap during your day. If you have been following along with fellow writer Mickey Mom she has been sharing her Top 5 Nap Spots at WDW. You can read about Epcot and the Magic Kingdom here.
One popular option for families staying at a Disney resort is to go back to their resort during the day to rest and even allow older children time at the pools. However, some families may not want to leave the park during the day, especially if there are rides and attractions older children may want to see. The good news is that you have options for whatever works best for your family! There are plenty of places for nap time at Disney World!
One of the best options for families staying in the parks, but need somewhere to go for a small child to nap is the Baby Care Center. All 4 of the Disney theme parks have indoor Baby Care Centers. These offer amenities such as a private nursing room with rocking chairs, a changing room, a feeding area with highchairs, a kitchen with microwave, oven and sink, a sitting room with TV, and an on-site shop offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications and clothing for purchase. They offer a break from the heat and crowds and an area for your child to nap.
What can I say-we humans love stuff. And we have a lot of it. But as any scout will tell you, it’s good to be prepared. This brings me to the service up for review today-Owners Locker. Founders John & Brian really took a simple need and filled it brilliantly.
Central Orlando is one of the top vacation destinations in the world, and also one of the prime locations for vacation ownership properties. The folks over at Owners Locker realized that a lot of people, who frequent the Orlando area for vacationing, were schlepping a lot of stuff back and forth with them. And so Owners Locker was born.
This storage & delivery service is the solution to transporting things you regularly take with you on vacation. Instead of packing these items, and transporting them with you on the plane or in your car, you store them in their climate controlled storage facility and when you’re ready to visit your vacation resort, you simply schedule a delivery.
While this service has been a favorite among vacation property owners such as Disney Vacation Club members and other timeshare owners, I personally can see the value in investing in an Owners Locker even if you’re simply a frequent traveler/vacationer, to the area. With airline baggage fees getting crazier by the day, and more and more restrictions on what you can and cannot bring on a plane, an Owners Locker makes sense both financially and for the convenience factor alone. And if you’re anything like me-and pack for the end of the world-the service is both a sanity and back saver.
So what does it cost? Here is a break down of the fees & plans, as well as what you get for your buck:
When you first enter the park the ground is red brick. Walt wanted you to feel like you were entering on a red carpet, being treated like royalty. Also he added the tunnels to walk through so that once you came through them, onto Main Street USA, you would feel you were entering a completely new world. I’d say he hit it right with the tunnels. Thankfully he was talked out of walking through curtains… Imagine the disarray that would have caused.
This one may be well known… When you are standing at the end of Main Street, USA and looking towards the castle, Disney Imagineers used “Forced Perspective” to make the castle appear larger than it is. Essentially it’s a trick where the buildings get smaller the further down the street you go… Forcing the Castle to appear larger. Disney has used this same “trick” in every theme park they’ve created.
Speaking of Main Street, USA, did you know the names on the windows above the shops are real people? Most of them are Imagineers who were essential to fulfilling Walt’s Disneyland Dreams. You’ll see UB Iwerks up there as well. UB was the first one to join Walt Disney at his new animation studio after he left Universal… UB Iwerks is also the co-creator of Mortimer Mouse… Now affectionately known as Mickey! Many many more Imagineers and other key Disney people are immortalized on these window panes as their own proprietors of which ever shop they now “own”. UB Iwerks shop is above the Main Street Bakery and he has a Stereoscopic Camera Shop.
Those Imagineers and Walt sure did come up with some amazing tricks to get us visitors to do the right thing. For instance the only place in the park that has a black street is Main Street… Why? Black gets hotter than any other color which in turn makes you want to move towards the castle and not create a bottleneck along Main Street…
Have you noticed that if you stand on the sidewalks of Main Street the trees block your view of the castle? And vice versa if you’re on the street? Here’s why! It was decided if you were on the sidewalk the best way to get you into the stores was to block the view of the castle and surrounding park… Just as if you’re standing in the street, the trees block the stores and will not distract you from moving along towards the castle. No wonder they are called IMAGINEERS!
Here’s one most people don’t consider but will have a “D’uh!” moment when you read this. You never hear the sounds of Anaheim which is right outside the gates. Guess what else you don’t get from Anaheim…??? The smell. Yup Disneyland has what are called Smellitzer’s around the park. They shoot a plume of scent some 200 feet in the air at just the right second and then fans suck it back out so as to not take away from the next smell. You never knew it happened, but you also aren’t smelling car exhaust or any other city smells. Most people know the instance of the citrus smell on Soarin Over California. That’s one you could hardly miss, but many more exist through out the park to give all your senses access to the magic! How bout some fresh baked cookies on Main Street, USA? Yeah you probably thought they were being baked right then…
One last tidbit about Main Street USA for you. The Gas Lamps along the street were 150 years old when purchased in 1955 and mostly come from Baltimore, MD. They were being sold for scrap at the time and were purchased for $1 per pound. Disneyland used to have a cast member dress up as a 19th Century lamplighter and light the lamps at dusk everyday… Now they stay lit day and night.
Keep checking back for more secrets! There’s lots more to share…
I hope you find this information fun, new and worthwhile.
Daniel is a self-proclaimed Disney Geek, Disney Vacation Planner and a Disneyland Specialist. When he’s not adding to the plethora of Disney Trivia in his head, you can find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter…
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