Travel Tips and Tricks

Rental Cars

If you plan on flying into the Orange County Airport (SNA) for your Disneyland trip, and if you’ll be staying in Anaheim, or at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels, and if your theme park plans are limited to Disneyland and California Adventure, you might think about skipping the rental car on your Disneyland trip.

The Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) system runs, on the average, every 20 minutes on several different routes through Anaheim and Disneyland during Disneyland’s hours of operation. A 5-Day Pass is just $12 (which gives you one day for free), and kids under 10 ride free with an adult (no pass required). ART Passes may be purchased from your hotel, or from other convenient public sales outlets. Drivers do not sell passes. In addition, ART passes can be purchased at kiosk locations around the Anaheim Resort area.

There are a number of restaurants in Downtown Disney, and several more just across the street from Disneyland on Harbor Blvd. Grab a limo or van service to/from your hotel and the airport and use the ART system to get around Anaheim. It will save you a bundle!

Not knowing about the ART ahead of time, we rented a car for our Disneyland trip. Aside from a trip to Wal-Mart, we didn’t use the car at all during the first three days of our trip. We did use it on the last two days, mostly because it was sitting there not getting used; and because the idea of making use of the convertible on the two-block drive to Disneyland sounded like more fun than the bus. But honestly, the car was a waste of money, and we wouldn’t have used it at all had we known then what we now know.

The ART also has trips outside of Anaheim to other theme parks, like Legoland, so even if you’re planning a trip that involves more than just the Disneyland properties, it might be worth your time to take a look at the Anaheim Resort Transportation system before you reserve your rental car.

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Posted by Michael Worth at 06:03 PM on June 01, 2005 | Comments (0)" | TrackBack (0)"

Hotel Keys

Ever have one of those moments when you just HAD to get into your hotel room like NOW? If you had to wait another minute something embarrassing was going to happen? Well, I had one of those moments on my recent trip to Disney.

My arms, amongst other things, were full; my 3½ year-old daughter didn’t have a care in the world; my wife (and more importantly, her room key) were nowhere to be found; and my room key wasn’t the least bit concerned about the sense of urgency I had about getting into the room quickly – as in NOW!

Making matters worse, the door lock apparently belongs to the same union as the key because it was taking as long as 5 seconds in-between failed attempts before allowing me to try again.

So with my arms, amongst other things, full; my carefree 3½ year-old daughter entrusted to my care; my wife (and more importantly, her room key) currently lost in Neverland; Mother Nature increasingly upping the ante on my own physical needs; and my crappy key not working; who’d of thought the very same Sister-in-Law that is mostly responsible for creating this lovely trip to Disneyland might actually come to my rescue? Certainly not me! But she did.

It turns out that simply rubbing the magnetic side of your key on your shirt prior to inserting it in the door lock gives the union what it’s looking for, thereby granting you hasty access to your room via a key that was, just moments ago, on strike.

So if you’re planning on having one of those urgent moments at your hotel door, maybe you should consider going on the trip with your Sister-in-Law after all.

Or you could just read our Travel Tips on a regular basis, learning at my expense, all while leaving all the In-Laws at home.

You be the judge.

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Posted by Michael Worth at 01:33 PM on May 14, 2005 | Comments (0)" | TrackBack (0)"

Disney’s 50!

My wife and her sister recently planned a trip to Disneyland for their 50th Anniversary Grand Re-Opening. I had very little say in the planning, and much of what I did say was disregarded. So I went and I played by their rules. Which was good for all of us because now I’ve been inspired to write some new tips. The tips that I’ve always known that have been so deeply engraved in my subconscious that I do them without conscious thought. So a new Disneyland section of this web site has been born. And I’ll be writing more basic tips in the near future as well.

It was my Sister-in-Law’s idea to go to Disneyland on the day of the grand re-opening: May 5th, 2005. And my wife cheerfully played along so that we could all go and suffer together.

It was crowded beyond my wildest expectations; and Disneyland was forcing these large crowds through two very narrow walkways on each side of the media’s “tent city”; which was located directly in front of the castle on the central plaza and the surrounding circle drive of Main Street, blocking all the major access points to the park. There were no benefits for being there on the 5th; we could have gone anytime in the next year and received everything that we received on the 5th. And we could have done so without all the crowds. But no one was listening to me when I tried to sell that idea months ago.

All we got for going on May 5th was frustrated. Frustrated with the crowds, the media, and larger than expected crowds. Disneyland was clearly not prepared for the extra crowds, and they planned poorly when they chose their location for the media circus.

So my first tip for the new Disneyland section of this web site is that Disneyland, and all the Disney theme parks, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Disneyland ALL YEAR LONG. You needn’t go now when the crowds are at their worst and Disneyland is still trying to figure out how to cope with larger than usual crowds. Go in September or October when the weather is cooler and all the little kids have gone back to school. And you needn’t go to California. All the parks are offering the same celebration, so choose the park closest to you.

Oh, and if your Sister-in-Law has a different idea.... Send her by herself!

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Posted by Michael Worth at 12:29 PM on May 13, 2005 | Comments (0)" | TrackBack (0)"

Travel Tips and Tricks