This trip was flawlessly organized, and I am excited to share my steps with you so that you can benefit from all of my research! Of course I googled EV-ER-Y-THING in order to make sure I had as much knowledge as possible before the trip. This is Part One. Check back next week for Part Two.
The first thing I did was dedicate a notebook just for Disneyland. I
I began with a table of contents, which was a list of things I wanted to include in the notebook. If you wanted to be really organized, you should make your list on a separate piece of paper first, then organize what order you want the items to be in, then write it in your notebook. I
Hotel Address and Phone/Reservation #
What to Buy Ahead of Time
Meal Planning and Reservations
What to Buy at Disneyland
Then I flipped to the next page and wrote out our itinerary:
Tuesday: Magic Kingdom
Wednesday: Downtown Disney/Halloween Party
Thursday: CA Adventure
Next is the hotel address and phone where we were staying, along with the reservation number. Of course this information could be kept elsewhere (it was also in my phone in the form of an e-mail). But what if my phone died, or glued to my child's hands, or there was a zombie apocalypse. Better to be safe and have it in (at least) two places. I also included check in and check out times.
Driving directions - again, I could use my phone for this. But just in case my phone was not available to me, I printed the directions and taped them into my notebook. I did directions to the hotel from our house, and to our house from the hotel.
Maps - I printed the Magic Kingdom and CA Adventures maps and taped them into the notebook.
The "What to Buy Ahead of Time" came from my endless research on Google. I already had some of the items in my Google searches, but here are the items I did end up buying. I will try to let you know everything I brought in case you don't have something that I found to be very useful. Please note the links below are not affiliate links.
Umbrella stroller. Our youngest daughter is three, and definitely needed to be worn or ride in a stroller. We only have a bulky double stroller - fine for regular life, but no good for crowds. Our five year old probably would have been okay without a stroller, but since we had it, she did sit in it. The stroller rentals at Disneyland are not outrageous ($12 per day), so if you forgo purchasing a stroller before the trip, your budget won't be blown should you decide to rent one.
Ponchos. We did not use these. I would recommend them, though, because weather can be unpredictable, and they are inexpensive. You could also wear them on Splash Mountain.
Portable fans. We did use these. Loved them. Recommend them. I brought extra batteries, but did not need them.
Moisture wick socks. Even if you don't get these, get new socks. You deserve them anyway. I did not get any blisters on the trip, and ironically got one my first day back at work from wearing a pair of new shoes. These socks are sooooo comfy.
Moleskin. We did not use this, although I think my mother-in-law could have used it as she did get a blister. She said a band-aid would suffice.
Hat. I did bring a hat, but ended up wearing my Minnie ear hat. I also always apply sunblock on my part, as peeling skin in your scalp is not attractive (or healthy).
Insulated backpack. If you are going to be bringing meals into Disneyland (which they do allow), this is a must have. This was a fantastic suggestion and purchase. It worked very well and kept our food super cold throughout the warm days.
Hand sanitizer. I am not a believer in hand sanitizer, but I had to bring some for this trip. I was going to do anything I could to protect everyone from germs. This is a lot for just our trip, but it was a good deal, it won't go bad, and it will be used again.
Check back next week, where I will continue with Part Two and discuss the packing lists, how I packed the car, and what we did for entertainment for the kids!