Travel

Getaway Guide: Have A Relaxing Disneyland Staycation

April 5, 2013 6:00 AM

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(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)


Disneyland used to be a “one and done” visit — a one-day rush through Disneyland with a pit stop at California Adventure for a couple of favorite rides and then home. That’s almost impossible to do now as the new-and-improved California Adventure with Cars Land is a destination itself and Disneyland continues to add new attractions and shows. These days, stay a night or two; make it a staycation and your Disneyland Resort visit takes on a vacation vibe with pools, rest time and more quality park time. Here are five advantages to making your next Disneyland visit a staycation.

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

Experience Cars Land and Disneyland with No Lines

 
It is possible to have the park to yourself if you stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel and you’re willing to get up early. Early Magic Hour is available seven days a week and is a benefit for Disneyland Resort hotel guests. On alternating days, guests have access to either Disneyland or California Adventure one hour before the park opens to the public. This is a huge perk for popular rides like Space Mountain and Radiator Springs Racers that have long lines and never enough FastPasses for the day.

Related Post: Tips For Taking A Toddler To Disneyland

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

Enjoy a Sit-Down Meal

 
Most visitors never take the time to sit down and enjoy a meal because they don’t want to waste one precious moment of their park time. However, if you have more time, sit down, enjoy your meal and give your feet a break. Café Orleans in Disneyland has views of Tom Sawyer Island and the river boats and on certain days jazz musicians strike up a tune in front of it. For an upscale experience, try the new Carthay Circle restaurant in California Adventure. It has the best kids menu in either park and photos of Walt and company around the dining room.

Related Post: Best Eats At Disneyland

(credit: Paul HIffmeyer/Disneyland)

(credit: Paul HIffmeyer/Disneyland)

See a New Show or Parade

 
Parades and shows often get passed over in favor of rides and roller coasters. Shows and parades let visitors take a break and there is always something new popping up; this spring it’s Fantasy Faire next to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The new village has several new shows at the Royal Theater that are not just for little princesses.

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

Visit California Adventure and Disneyland at Night

 
One of the main benefits of staying overnight, especially with kids, is the option to return to the hotel for an afternoon break at the pool or a rest in the room. Rested kids mean the entire family can head back out at night for more fun. Cars Land at night with the neon lights of Route 66 and red-orange glow of “sunset” on Ornament Valley is a must-see sight and a fabulous photo opportunity.

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

Play in Downtown Disney

 
There is a lot going on in Downtown Disney besides shopping and eating. During the day and especially the evening, there is free entertainment and there isn’t a kid out there that doesn’t like to play with the Legos at the country’s second largest Lego store — don’t miss the photo op with the Lego creations outside the store. And for adults, The House of Blues has nightly shows and a Sunday gospel brunch where kids are welcome.

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

Where to Stay

 
There are two lodging options for Disneyland Resort; one of three Disneyland Resort hotels or a Disney-approved Good Neighbor hotel, which can be less expensive and sometimes comes with Disney hotel guest benefits.

The Disneyland Resort, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Paradise Pier Hotel are all located on-site adjacent or within a five-minute walk of the park entrances. Each has large pool areas with slides and hidden Mickeys and special character dining or viewing. Staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel gives guests an insider’s view into all things Disney. Don’t be surprised if you have to drag your kids away from the continuously-running Disney movies and cartoons that are set up in the lobby of the hotels.

Check the website for special offers or beat the summer crowds with a spring 2-night staycation offer.

Disneyland Resort

1313 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-4636
disneyland.disney.go.com

Kristi Marcelle is a travel writer and regular contributor at Ciao Bambino and CBS Los Angeles. She loves planning travel adventures with her family, a good glass of wine at the whining hour and the Green Bay Packers. Follow her on Twitter @kristimarcelle.

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