It may seem like a long way from Sydney, Australia to Disneyland California but I’m here to tell you it can be a lovely, seamless journey from door to door. I think the trick for us mums is if you’re going to Disneyland, then go to Disneyland - don’t try and pack too much else into your journey. I’ve tried it and it was bit too much for Emmie - and for me. While they’re young, and if Disneyland is a dream trip, it’s best to focus on the happiest place on earth and put your energy into making the most of this magical trip. Believe me, there is enough at Disneyland to keep you happily on the go for five to six days full time - and if it’s sunny you can factor in a pool day as well.
Here’s what we do:
Taxi to airport.
Check in around two hours before flight and go through customs. You will then have an hour or so before the flight.
Hang in Qantas Club (or spend time duty free shopping, at cafe or waiting at the gate)
Flight from Sydney to Los Angeles (LAX). We always book on the A380 as it’s more comfortable and spacious.
Book onto the Grayline Disneyland Resort Express These very lovely buses leave LAX every hour from 6am to 6pm and the pickup is just outside the doors from the airport. It goes to all the hotels in the Disney area as well as the Disneyland Hotels. Kids ride free and it’s $48 return for adults. Easy peasy.
Arrive at your hotel. We stay at the Disneyland Grand Californian. Yes it’s expensive, but if you can pull it off it is hands down the most amazing resort. Its back door opens onto Disney California Adventure and every morning, as a guest of Disney Resorts, you get a 'Magic Morning' entry to one of the two parks - which means you go in an hour before opening time.
It has a pianist playing all the Disney scores past and present. It has gorgeous swimming pools, kids club and activities, and…it’s the vibe. Keep checking on the Disney website, sometime specials come up and if they do - GRAB THEM!!
Friends stay at the Howard Johnson every year and also rave about it. You can also get cheaper accommodation that is a short distance away. There is accommodation for every budget.
We then walk a couple of minutes to Disneyland each morning so we’re at the gate when it opens, and we leave when it closes - sometimes 14 hours or more later. And if we really need to do something like see Anna and Elsa or ride the Cars ride (and I don’t want to hand around in a line all day) we have a strategy for being at the front of the queue.
Then after our six days in the park, we get back on the Disneyland Express to LAX, back into the Qantas Club (this is where the Club is super handy cause you can have a shower before taking the flight) back on the plane, arrive into Sydney and cab it home.
Easy easy easy and we’re happy happy happy.
I had never thought of visiting Disneyland before I had Emily and now it is one of my favourite things to do…you will love it!!!