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Five days of Disney

Travelling with under 10s? Follow our tips to plan the perfect five-day Disneyland experience.

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As a no-fail family destination, Disneyland Resort in California is hard to beat. Home to not one but two adjoining theme parks – the original Disneyland Park and the recently expanded Disney California Adventure Park – there is more than enough to keep your little ones dizzy with delight for days on end. In fact, the biggest challenge of planning a Disneyland Resort holiday is working out how to tackle the bewildering range of attractions and entertainment on offer. These insider tips will help you make the most of your Disney experience.

  1. Pick your destinations of the day

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    One of the best things about Disney parks is that they are jam-packed with rides and entertainment options that your kids can’t wait to try. This, it turns out, is also the worst thing about Disney parks. When you are walking past one tempting attraction after another, it is easy to get so distracted that you never make it to that dream ride that your kids had their hearts set on. So each night, sit down with your children and allow them to choose some must-do rides for the next day. Make these your priority, and then enjoy the random discoveries you make along the way. Do try to maximise each location, however. If your daughter is desperate to check out Frozen Live at the Hyperion Theatre in Disney California Adventure Park, for instance, you will be close to the Cars Land, making this a great time to check out Cars-themed rides such as the thrilling Radiator Springs Racers.

    TOP TIP: To skip the queues at your favourite attraction, grab a FASTPASS. This free service lets you hop aboard at a specified time, which means you get to make the most of your time in the park.

  2. Make each meal count

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    Meals are more than a chance to fuel up at Disney; they can be highlights in their own right. Little girls will swoon over breakfast at Ariel’s Grotto, when a parade of Disney princesses shows up to keep you company during the most important meal of the day. You can also meet Disney characters at Goofy’s Kitchen and during the Chip ‘n Dale Critter Breakfast at the Storyteller’s Café. Remember to book in advance for these character breakfasts. Other memorable dining options include Café Orleans at New Orleans Square, which transports you to the French Quarter of America’s favourite party city. Or go on a mission to discover how many Mickey Mouse-shaped foods you can discover. Some, such as the waffles and the Mickey-shaped pretzel, are hard to miss.

    TOP TIP: There is one Mickey-shaped food that many people miss: take a close look at those coloured sprinkles that top the scoops of ice cream at Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream.

  3. Take in a show

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    Disneyland Resort may be known for its wild rides, but there are plenty of other highlights on offer, including a colourful range of shows and parades. Don’t-miss options include the phenomenally popular Frozen Live at the Hyperion Theatre, and Disney Junior – Live on Stage!, where littlies can sing and dance along with some popular Disney favourites. Keep your eyes open during the day: you will see plenty of your favourite characters strolling the streets, waiting to have a chat with you. Or you can catch them in one of the amazing parades such as Pixar Play Parade, which features character from Monsters, Inc, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life and Toy Story. Another colourful favourite is the Main Street Electrical Parade, where favourites such as Pinocchio, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs mingle amid floats lit with half a million twinkling lights.

    TOP TIP: It’s a classic for a reason, so be sure to catch Disneyland’s famous fireworks spectacular, which takes place on the weekends and peak seasons.

  4. Rediscover old favourites

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    There is always something new to discover at Disney, and it’s no surprise that the kids will be clamouring to check out attractions such as the gorgeous A Bug’s Land precinct, where you shrink to the size of an insect. Highlights include a trip aboard the Heimlich Chew Chew Train and the head-spinning 3D experience, It’s Tough To Be A Bug. However, don’t forget the old-school classics, which remain as enchanting as ever. Take a trip down the rabbit hole with the Alice in Wonderland ride, spin in a giant teacup on the Mad Tea Party, or hop aboard another Fantasyland favourite, It’s A Small World. These rides can be great choices for that after-lunch time when the children’s energy levels tends to dip.

    TOP TIP: The Polynesian-flavoured Enchanted Tiki Room is a long-standing family favourite. Be sure to treat the kids – and yourself – to a tasty Pineapple Dole Whip while you are there.

  5. Finish with a bang

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    A five-day Disney trip will inevitably be filled with highlights, but it pays to save something special for the last day. Our suggestion: Jedi Training, Trials of the Temple, will be a hit with Star Wars fans old and young. Children aged between four and 12 have the opportunity to don the brown Jedi robe and learn essential skills, including how to wield a light sabre. If your littlies miss out, they can still watch the stage show and cheer on the recruits as they come face to face with villains old and new, from Darth Vader to the Seventh Sister Inquisitor.

    TOP TIP: For the best chance to take part in Jedi Training, register first thing in the morning.

     

    “There is a place, like no other. Where a walk down Main Street can fill you with wonder. Where magic is spread with every touch and the spirit of imagination lives on. So make the time, to take your time because at the Disneyland Resort in California there’s Magic for Days.  Contact your local Travel Agent to book your dream Disney holiday.”