Daily tips and tricks to help you achieve your travel goals

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Disney Quick Tip: Bring Your Own Glow Cubes To Blue Bayou

163/365 At Blue Bayou, you can get a great meal and an even better ambience, but you can save yourself some money by bringing your own ice cubes for the light up drinks. Setting the Mood Blue Bayou is the restaurant right set within the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. If you get a water-side table, you can watch the boats float serenely by as you dine. The lighting is dim, to the point where you either need to decide ahead of time what to order, or know how to use your smartphone as a flashlight. Enter Specialty Drinks In all this dim lighting, it's fun to get light up drinks to set the mood at your table, and of course, you know the kids are going to ask for…
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Disney Quick Tip: Free Face Painting During Special Events

145/365 Whenever we go to Disneyland, my daughter always wants to get her face painted. This has been since the beginning of time. It's not an age-based thing. She always wants her face painted. I have a hard time justifying the cost for something so fleeting. Once she had to start paying for her own souvenirs, the cost was prohibitive to her, too. Free Face Painting Enter the Special Event. These are festivals and special occasions, especially at Disney California Adventure, with lots of different offerings throughout the park. One of the perks of these special events is free face painting. We've been there during Summer of Heroes and Lunar New Year when they offered complimentary face painting during the event. There was also a free face painting station when…
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Disney Quick Tip: Ask for the Front On Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: Breakout

139/365 We love the semi-new Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: Breakout ride at Disney's California Adventure. My kids didn’t like it, wouldn’t ride it, when it was themed to Tower of Terror. I think it was the name. And the creepy setting. And probably the fact that the storyline revolves around five people dying on an elevator and then coming back to haunt you as ghosts when you ride an elevator. However, now they love it because, while it’s the same ride system, there are quirky aliens and a fun, Earth-born super hero demigod calling the shots. Ask for Row 1 or Row 6 The quick tip here is that when you do get your kids to ride it, make sure you ask the Cast Member for Row 1 or 6.…
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Disney Quick Tip: Storybook Land Canal Boats

127/365 Did you know that on Storybook Land Canal Boats, your kids can ask to sit on the bow? My kids love to do this, but at 8 and 10, they are starting to get a bit too big to fit. The first time they sat up there was when they were 5 and 7, when the Cast Member invited them in order to fit more guests. Ask for the Bow! Since then, they always ask, even if we have to wait for another boat. It's a bit awkward because they can't kneel, and the bow slopes downward from the front. Nevertheless, it's probably a great view of what's ahead, and I get great pictures of them getting eaten by Monstro!
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Disney Quick Tip: Sit in the Mezzanine for Frozen

121/365 Every trip, we make time to watch the Frozen performance in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure. It's an amazing show, full of great music, fantastic effects, and daring stunts. I would argue it's Broadway-quality. Now, I realize that some people are so over Frozen, but we can't get enough! Choose Wisely When you enter the holding area, you will have to choose between the three levels of the theater: Orchestra, Mezzanine, and Balcony, although not every section will be open every day. Most people seem to think Orchestra is the best, but I'm here to tell you that we almost always pick the Mezzanine. Here's why. Why Mezzanine Is Best The visual effects of this show play out in part using projections on the large curtains lining the…
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Disney Quick Tip: Ask for the Back!

110/365 I know a lot of people are inclined to want to sit up front on rides if they have a choice, but I'm here to tell you that the back is the best! Riding in the Back Since 2016 We first learned this little secret from a Cast Member on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train when we visited the Magic Kingdom in 2016. While the front can be thrilling because you see everything first, the back is the most exhilarating. This is because when you're in the front, you have to wait for the rest of the cars to catch up behind you before you go down the hills. In contrast, you get to feel the entire length of the drop if you are in the back. Best Rides for…
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Disney Quick Tip: Sit up Front on the Monorail

84/365 The Disneyland Monorail takes a quick trip between Tomorrowland and Downtown Disney and back. You can get on at either station, and you'll need a park ticket since you're either going into the park or already there. Ride in Style If you want to sit up front with the driver, you need to board at the Tomorrowland Station. Just ask the Station Master, who will direct you where to stand and wait. The compartment is small, so you won't be able to do this with a group larger than four or so. Worth the Wait We've done this twice. Both times we chatted with the driver and enjoyed the view along the way. You may have to wait if there is another group in front of you, but you…
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Disney Quick Tip: Splash Mountain with Your Little One

77/365 If your little one is brave enough to take the plunge and is at least 40 inches tall, here are a couple of tips for making your kiddo's first ride on Splash Mountain a great one. Make Sure Your Child Is Ready It's definitely best to make sure your child knows what they're getting into first. Have them watch the ride from the outside at the very least. You can easily see the big drop from the bridge on the way to the ride. You can even watch what happens right after the main plunge on the secret pathway behind Harbour Galley. It's fun to listen to everyone laughing and talking about how wet they got. If your child decides not to ride, honor their hesitancy and either wait…
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Disney Quick Tip: Pair a Baseball Hat with Your Poncho

71/365 When we were at Disneyland for Spring Break in 2017, it rained. No problem. I brought ponchos in anticipation of the forecast, so we were prepared. However, they were unwieldy, slipping and getting in our faces. It just wasn't working, and the kids and I were all getting frustrated. Finally, I ducked into a shop in Fantasyland, The Mad Hatter. I had a wild idea. Don't Pay Retail Now, I am not one to buy things full price or on a whim. The kids were a little hesitant when I told them to pick out any hat that was baseball style with a brim. Maggie picked the latest blinged Mickey hot pink and black number. I picked the plainest, most muted green khaki one. Carter settled on a black…
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Disney Quick Tip: Have Your Kids Carry Their Own Backpacks

66/365 As soon as we ditched the stroller for our Parks visits as the kids got older, I started worrying about where I was going to put all of the stuff we take in with us. I'm a big proponent of bringing anything we can get outside of the Parks in with us, including some snacks, drinks, and especially water. Heck, when we went to Disneyland recently, we even brought in our own popcorn! Say "Goodbye" To the Stroller The very last time we used a stroller on a trip was at Disneyland in January, 2015, when the kids were 6 and 4. Later that year, we went in September without the stroller. I hadn't gotten the idea to have the kids pack their own things in a backpack. Yet.…
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