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One of the cool things about living in Southern California is that I’m a hop, skip and jump (and an hour drive) away from Disneyland! In fact, I worked there as a ride operator during undergrad. This year (and next year), Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary! There’s no doubt there is a huge increase of visitors coming to So Cal and visiting Disneyland and DCA! Just check out my friend Lisa’s BabesInDisneyland blog for continued updates about the Parks!
Disneyland Tips – The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2016
I received The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2016 to review recently, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the book. Last year’s edition was pretty informative, even to an old hat like myself. This year’s new edition hasn’t changed too much. I noticed the layout changed slightly but it’s still easy to use and organize.
What I Thought Was Valuable To Visitors/Guests
- Very detailed plans for one-day or multi-day visits to the Park(s). For the newbies, the authors have plotted out your day for you! They’ve done a pretty good job at making sure you hit the big rides and catch the highlights of the Park, especially if you’re on a time crunch.
- Characters! It is imperative that you strategize your time when you’re at the Park. No one wants to wait an hour for a Disney character, and then you find out your kid doesn’t even like that character. The book lists where many of the characters hang out at (officially) and you can plot your map accordingly. Some characters have longer lines, some have shorter lines.
- Readers Write In Their Tips – I love that the authors are not afraid to publish advice and comments from readers who thought the opposite of their respective tips. You’ll see there are write-ins from people who’ve used the guidebook – they’ve shared their own tips as well as what didn’t work for them using the book.
What Is Tough To Rate
- Food. Everyone’s palates are different and it’s going to get a true consensus on what is good to eat at Disneyland and what’s not. I’m not a fan of Disneyland’s quick service burgers. I think they’re disgusting. However, to a kid, it may be the most awesome thing ever. (I hope not.) The authors have listed some notable new items on the menus from the different restaurants, which can be helpful if you’re at a loss on what to order. (Note: You CAN call ahead and ask about gluten-free options.)
- Outside food. Then there’s the issue of rating food options and restaurants around the theme parks. I think your best bet is to use the book as a loose guide to food. I’m not a foodie, but I will not go to a chain restaurant if I can help it. You’re on vacation! Try something different!
- Hotels. Honestly, I’ve only stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel around the Disneyland area. I’ve never had an opportunity to stay overnight at another area hotel because I usually drive straight home after a day at the Park. That said, it’s hard to gauge hotel rooms and service if you haven’t tried them out, especially if you’re bringing children along. It’s so subjective to what you think is great customer service, proximity to the Parks, room size, etc. The guidebook tries its best to list out the pros and cons of each property – I’d suggest reading up on Tripadvisor reviews as well.
Buy or Borrow: Once again, this is dependent on your familiarity with the Disneyland Parks. If you are new, I think it would be a helpful book. If you are an annual passholder, you may just want to borrow this from your local library. You’ll probably find some fun tidbits but for the most part, this is for the uninitiated guest.
Amazon currently sells the paperback edition for $13.70 and $11.99 for Kindle.
In any case, if you decide to use this guidebook and head to Disneyland, please let me know! I’d love to hear about your experience!
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