Travel & Vacation


Hey Everyone, it’s Kimberly with Packed with Fun, the official blog for Get Away Today. The words summer vacation and Disneyland go together like peanut butter and jelly. With all of the fun going on, it’s easy to see why Disneyland is easily one of the most popular summer vacation destinations for families. If you’ve been thinking about going to Disneyland, but have been scared about booking because of rumored crowds, don’t worry. There are so many ways to skip the lines, beat the crowds, and still have a fantastic vacation that everyone in the family will love. I recently returned from one of many Disneyland trips, and even though we tried to time it to be during a slower travel time, it was packed. To help you out, I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks on what to do at Disneyland when it’s packed so you can still have a magical vacation at the Happiest Place on Earth, even when it may feel like the busiest place on Earth!

What to do at Disneyland when it's Packed

What to do at Disneyland when it’s Packed

First, know that Disneyland expands their hours during their busiest times of the year, and that includes summer. You’ll always experience the fewest crowds early in the morning closest to park opening, or later at night, closest to park closing. Depending on your family’s personalities and ages, try to keep that in mind.

Second, take advantage of the early mornings. All 3-day and longer tickets come with a Magic Morning early entry into Disneyland, so even if you’re not a morning person, you’ll want to use it. Along this note, even without early entry, both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park let you into certain areas of the park (Main Street, U.S.A. and Buena Vista Street) half an hour before the park opens. If you can be in those areas before the parks open, you’re much more likely to get a great jump start on your day. Remember, that during busy travel times the parks may open at 8am, which means that the extra hour will begin at 7am. If you can get there right at 7am, or even a little bit before, you’ll have a HUGE advantage. When we stayed at Disney’s Paradise Pier, we got into California Adventure early (only available to Disney hotel guests) and were able to do everything in Cars Land before the park even opened with a 7am start time!

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree Cars Land

Use the FASTPASS System and use it wisely. You can normally have one FASTPASS out at a time, but during busier times, your return time for an attraction could be hours later, or even for that night! You don’t have to waist your whole day waiting for the next FASTPASS, you can get the next one two hours after the current ticket is issued. So, let’s say you run to Radiator Springs Racers and get your FASTPASS at 10am, but your return time isn’t until late afternoon, your next FASTPASS will be available at noon, two hours after you collected the ticket, regardless of return time. The hottest FASTPASS tickets for the summer are Radiator Springs Racers and Soarin’ Around the World (opening June 17) at Disney California Adventure, and Hyperspace Mountain (part of the limited time Star Wars Season of the Force), Indiana Jones, and Splash Mountain at Disneyland. You’ll want to get those first thing, because they do run out!

Splash Mountain Fastpass Disneyland California

Splash Mountain Fastpass Disneyland California

Use Rider Swap and/or Single Rider Lines if applicable. All attractions with a height requirement have an option where your group can wait for the attraction while someone stays behind with any smaller kids who aren’t able to ride. Once the first group has ridden, whoever stayed behind can go to the front of the line with up to two other riders. That way, no one has to wait twice for one attraction. You can combine this with the FASTPASS to really maximize your time. This was a lifesaver on our last trip. If you have older kids or adults traveling, you can try out the single rider. You won’t be sitting right next to your party, but a lot of times, you’ll end up on the same car, like on Radiator Springs Racers or California Screamin’. In fact, some attractions like Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue will even have what they call a “buddy pass” during peak travel times. The buddy pass is like a single rider, but applies to attractions where your party will only take up one row instead of one seat, and you can go through a much shorter line. Considering you can fit up to four riders with one lap child on Monsters Inc., this is a great way to go for us. We waited for about two minutes instead of half an hour by splitting up our group of seven into a group of three and a group of four. We weren’t in the same car, but got off immediately after. It was awesome!

Watch the shows. Shows are great because, well, they’re Disney. But, they fit a lot of people, there are normally not lines, and you’ll almost never get turned away. Some great shows to catch are Mickey and the Magical Map, Turtle Talk with Crush, Frozen Live at the Hyperion (opening May 27), Disney Playhouse Live, Path of the Jedi (part of the Star Wars Season of the Force), and Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple. You can also watch an extended movie preview at the “it’s tough to be a bug” theater. This month the featured film is Tim Burton’s “Through the Looking Glass.”

Frozen Live at the Hyperion in Disney California Adventure Park

Frozen Live at the Hyperion

Ride attractions that have quick moving lines and are longer attractions. Pirates of the Caribbean is a great example. Sure, there may be a line, but it moves quickly because those boats can hold almost 20 people at a time! Plus, once you get on the ride, you’re on it for almost 15 minutes, which makes it a good investment of precious vacation time. The Little Mermaid Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and “it’s a small world” are other good examples of fast loading attractions.

Stay at one of the Disneyland Hotels, or as close as possible. This way you’ll maximize your time by not waiting for shuttles or parking. It’s also nice to be close by if you want to take a little nap or swim break during the heat of the day. Plus, if you stay at one of the Disney properties, you’ll get early morning entry into Disneyland or California Adventure each day of your stay. It’s always valuable, but especially valuable during busier travel times.

The star of the Diamond Celebration at the Disneyland Resort is without a doubt the Paint the Night Parade. When it’s packed, people start staking out their spots on Main Street U.S.A. hours before the parade begins. When we were there people were starting to fill the curbs 3-4 hours before parade time! You can avoid that by purchasing a Paint the Night Dining Package with reserved viewing included. For premium viewing, you can make a reservation for the Blue Bayou which includes a three course prix fixe meal for $62/adult and $25/child ages 3-9. Or, on-the-go dining options are available for $23/adult and $14/child are available from Aladdin’s Oasis and include reserved viewing near “it’s a small world.” This way you can arrive around 30 minutes prior to show time and know you’ll have a spot. Another option is to watch the second showing which only happens during peak travel times. Most of the crowds will watch the first parade and leave after the fireworks.

Paint The Night Parade Disneyland California

Hang out in Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland and/or the Redwood Creek Challenge in Disney California Adventure Park. If you have kids who are a little restless from waiting in lines or being pushed in strollers, these areas are a great way to let your kids get out their wiggles. There are contained play areas where kids can explore, run and just be kids. Plus, there are plenty of benches where moms and dads can take a breather.

Make a reservation for Character Dining. Waiting in line to meet characters when it’s busy can be brutal. If you do a Character breakfast, lunch or dinner, you don’t waste any time. The characters all come to you while you eat and interact with everyone at your table. Our character breakfast was the highlight of our trip for my almost three-year-old. We got to meet Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Stitch and Pluto, and some of the characters even came by twice. Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance, so if you’re going during a busy time, you’ll want to make your reservations ASAP.

Character Breakfast with Daisy Duck

Surf’s Up with Mickey Character Breakfast with Daisy Duck

Bring snacks and try to time your meals during “off” dining times. Consider eating a late or early lunch or dinner to avoid crowds.When you’re hungry the last thing you want to do is stand in line to get food. I recommend always having something to eat nearby to tide you over during the lunch and dinner rushes. Keeping snacks handy can also keep kids content while in line. I was super grateful for Froot Loops while we were waiting for Peter Pan’s Flight.

And finally, ENJOY! You’re in the Happiest Place on Earth!

If you’d like more tips and tricks to get the most out of your Disneyland vacation, check out our blog, Packed with Fun. And if you’re thinking of booking a Disneyland vacation, I hope you’ll give our agents a call at 855-GET-AWAY or check out our discount Disneyland vacation packages at getawaytoday.com. With over 26 years of experience, we save you the most on your vacation and make sure that you have a magical time! Plus, use promo code: CraftingChicks to save an extra $10 on your 2-night or longer package. Thanks so much for reading!

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How to edit your iPhone photos

Hello again! Michelle here and today I’m talking about Photography and making the most of your iPhone photos. I know that you probably have thousands of photos that mean the world to you on your phone right now… I currently have 11,244 photos and 525 videos!!! omgoodness and I have to admit that those are all from this past year!

I use two cameras every single day. My Canon 5D Mark iii and my iPhone 6 (I’m holding out for whatever amazing phone comes out this fall). There are so many apps and filters and resources for photography on the iPhones of today, but I wanted to share with you my process for my iPhone images. There is a fine line between being obsessed and taking 40 shots for that one awesome image… or just taking a couple good images and still being present and involved in the activity that is happening around you. My goal is to never become so involved in getting an image that I’m not present with my family. There is of course a time for both instances of course. There are times that I become a little crazy and my family lets me know. So….. what do I do from taking a photo to posting it on my Instagram account?

First and most importantly, come follow me on Instagram

Camera

I use the built in camera of the iPhone to take my photos. I use the “photo” setting. I’m a wide angle kind of girl and I love to get as much into the frame as I can. I feel like the square setting limits a lot of what I can pull into the frame. There are camera functions within many of the photography apps, like VSCO, Instagram and countless others that you can use as well.

Taking Your Images

I look for light when I’m going to take my photo. The most beautiful photos include natural light, whether they are outside or inside my home. Turn your subject so that the light is most flattering on them. Avoid very harsh light and raccoon shadows in the eyes.

Editing Images

I try to be spontaneous with my picture taking on my phone and not focus too much on editing them. I also keep my edits simple and clean. I have three favorite apps that I use for editing.

My first go to app is Photoshop Fix. I use this for the most irritating issue… that angry 11 between my eyebrows or a pimple, scratch, or jelly goo on one of the kids’ faces. Use the healing brush, click and poof it’s gone! If you are a Lightroom user, there is also a Lightroom app.

Next I use an app to edit the look of my image; color, contrast, brightness and sharpness, etc. My favorite app to use is VSCO. I use some of the VSCO presets in Lightroom when editing my photos from big girl camera, so there is some consistency when using the app. VSCO gives you a wide variety of tools to use for your images, including the vertical and horizontal tilt of your photos… for those people who for some reason can’t always take a photo straight. That would be me! Here are two examples and my settings in VSCO.

This morning we ventured to the awesome donut shop in town and this little guy was overwhelmed with the cookie monster in front of him.

How to edit your iPhone photos

All of my color images were edited with the A7 preset and I used the X2 preset for my black and white edit. Once I choose my preset or the filter that will be on the image, I then make the fine adjustments that are found under the tools. For the above two images I made the follow adjustments. Clarity +1, Shadow Save +1, Sharpen +1, Fade +1, Highlight Save +3, Tint +1, and Skin Tone +1.  Most of my adjustments were very minor. The only difference on the black and white version was a little added in grain of +2

How to edit your iPhone photos

This image is one that I used on Instagram to show what my car office looks like when I’m waiting for the kids at rehearsals and practices. This image was also the A7 preset with the following adjustments: Contrast +1, Highlights Save +3, Saturation +1, Sharpen +2, Clarify +2.

How to edit your iPhone photos

I’m a huge sucker for sun flare. Some avoid it like the plague, but I love love love a beautiful huge sun flare. This image was also done with the A7 preset. I went a little more drastic with my adjustments to bring out the sun flare more dramatically. Shadows Tint +7, Temperature +1, Highlights Save +6, Clarity +6 and Saturation +1.

I will also use Pic Tap Go for a quicker edit and also Instagram. In Instagram, I typically don’t use the filters at all but instead use the tools similar to VSCO to edit the images. In the end, the goal is to make your image look as close to real life colors as possible while adding a little extra oomph and interest. Avoid filters that make you look like an oompa loompa or an alien. Scroll through the multiple filters and find your favorites. Using consistent filters for editing will give your photography a consistent and clean look.

Backup

Since I have 11,244 images, backups are essential. Make sure that your iCloud is up to date and is backing up your images continuously. I’m terrified of a crash. I also use my external hard drives to periodically backup my images as well as an online backup system. I pay a small $3 fee each month with iCloud for an increased amount of storage.

I hope that you have fun doing quick and consistent edits of your iPhone images… and remember to be present and involved in the activities and get in those photos! Come visit me at Michelle Lea Creative.

-Michelle

How to edit your iPhone photos


Hey Everyone, it’s Kimberly with Get Away Today and I’m excited to share everything you need to know about California’s newest attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’m so excited to FINALLY have this on the west coast at Universal Studios Hollywood! I got to visit this magical place and I can say it is even better than I imagined. Although smaller than the Wizarding World in Florida, it is so full of detail. And in my opinion better, because, well, like I said, it’s on the west coast! There is so much to absorb if you’re a fan of the series, so I put together my list of 7 things you have to do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in California. Here they are:

Hogsmead

1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the main attraction and it is amazing. The actual ride itself is intense with HD, 3D virtual reality. To me, the best part of the attraction was the queue where you wander all the way through Hogwarts. The line has all sort of fun surprises including actual props from the films. It is incredible.

Harry Potter Hogwarts

2. Flight of the Hippogriff is a small outdoor roller coaster that although short is surprisingly fun! The queue here is also immersive. You’ll pass by Hagrid’s Hut where you’ll see and hear signs of the friendly giant.

3. Butterbeer is a must have when visiting Hogsmeade. You can get cold Butterbeer, frozen Butterbeer, and coming soon, warm Butterbeer. You can also find a rich Butterbeer pot de creme and an awesome Butterbeer fudge. You can’t go to the Wizarding World and not try at least one version of its #1 treat.

Harry Potter Butterbeer

4. Send a letter from the Owl Post. This was so much fun! There’s a little owl shop where you can purchase everything you need to send something via the post; owls, stationary, writing quills, and even Muggle stamps. You can get your envelopes stamped with an official Hogsmeade stamp then drop it in the Owl Post. I recommend sending yourself a letter via the Owl Post so you can extend the magic when you get home. Also, you may want to consider bringing your own Muggle stamps as they’re about triple the cost in the Wizarding World.

Harry Potter Owl Post

5. Watch a wand ceremony at Ollivanders. If you’re a true Harry Potter fan, you’ll want to be sure to catch a show. The entire show only holds about 20 people at a time and lasts about five minutes. It’s intimate and feels so authentic. One person from each show is chosen by a wand which can then be purchased. After all, Harry didn’t get his wand for free. Don’t worry, if you didn’t get chosen, you can still purchase your own wand in the Ollivanders shop. You can purchase a replica wand from the main characters from the series, or you can purchase a special interactive wand that can be used at 11 magical spots spread throughout Hogsmeade.

Harry Potter Wand Marker

6. Watch the stage shows. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed these shows. The Frog Choir performs in the morning and the TriWizard Spirit Rally performs in the afternoon. The stars of the shows are available for photos and to visit with guests after each performance.

Harry Potter Frog Choir

7. Shop till you drop. There are so many unique shopping opportunities at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My favorite shop was Honeydukes full of all kinds of whimsical sweets and treats. I really could’ve spent hours (and hundreds of dollars) there.

Harry Potter Chocolate Cauldrons

I don’t want to give away all of the surprises, but know that if you are a Harry Potter fan, you HAVE to go. Universal Studios Hollywood has something for everyone with their Studio Tour, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, Jurassic Park – The Ride and so much more.

If you decide to make Universal Studios Hollywood part of your Southern California vacation you can either stay right near the action in Universal City. I recommend the Sheraton Universal which is within walking distance, but also has a free shuttle. Or, make Anaheim your home base for your vacation so you can take advantage of Get Away Today’s free night hotel specials and exclusive offers. You can even get a Disneyland Resort/Universal Studios combo ticket to save a little more. If you want more information about Universal Studios Hollywood, check out www.getawaytoday.com or call our agents at 855-GET-AWAY. They can walk you through the entire process and will help you find the very best deal. Use promo code: CraftingChicks at check out and save an extra $10 on any 2-night or longer vacation package.

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7 Things You Have to do at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter


Vintage Trailer Remodel - Retro Trailer - This is SO cute! Love this glamper!!

I’m Amy.  I work with The Crafting Chicks on the back side of their blog.  Years ago my cousins and I had a little blog to share all of our crafty projects.  We got busy and the blog disappeared.  But I still love to craft.  And I still get to work with the wonderful Crafting Chicks!

My parents have a piece of property that they stay at over the summers.  The grand kids just LOVE to go camping out there too.  Think…. 4 wheelers, zipline and archery range… yep.  The kids (and adults) LOVE it!

Last summer my parents were given a 1972 Rancho el Rae Camper Trailer.  The idea was to slap some paint on it and turn it into a guest house for their property.  As soon as I saw this trailer, I knew it needed to become a Glamper!  Let me show you what we did… (with links to tutorials that will help you to do the same!)

Retro Camping Trailer Remodel

Before

The base of the trailer was in fairly good condition.  But boy oh boy, was it dated.  (Don’t you just love that carpet?!  Yikes!)  We liked the aqua trim.  But the dark paneling, carpet and floral print just had to go.

Vintage Trailer Remodel - Retro Trailer - This is SO cute! Love this glamper!!

 

After

What a difference!  Oh it turned out SO cute!  The color.  The light.  The retro feel.

Love. Love. Love!

Vintage Trailer Remodel - Retro Trailer - This is SO cute! Love this glamper!!

Vintage camper trailer

Vintage Camper Trailer

Retro Camper Trailer

Patching Holes

If you’ve got an old trailer, you know that you’ve got to do some repairs.  We had some water damage.  So my amazing Dad jumped in and started patching holes.  Here is a great tutorial to walk you through the process:  Patching Holes.

Camper Trailer Remodel - Patching holes

Paint

A little bit of paint makes a HUGE difference.  The white opened up the space and gave it a completely different feel.  The red drawers gave it that pop of color we were looking for.

Painting a Camper Trailer

Flooring

The first thing to come out was that carpet. Yikes!

We just fell in love with the black and white checkered tiles!  So much easier to clean and so fun!

Here is a great tutorial for installing new flooring:  Trailer Flooring.

Camper Trailer Remodel - Flooring

Reupholstering Cushions

Our polka dot cushions turned out beautiful!  We used Riley Blake Fabric.  The cushions are a Home Decor fabric called Medium White Dot on Black.   If you haven’t used their fabric before, you are missing out!  Oh my!  It’s like sewing with clouds.  Truly.  (I just did another project without Riley Blake Fabric… it was like working with sand paper.  Awful!  I’ll be sticking with Riley Blake.)

Luckily, the kitchen table cushions were in great condition once we flipped them over.  Now the Aqua color shows beautifully.

My Mom tackled the bedroom cushions.  And they were a beast.  But she’s a miracle worker and they turned out adorable!!  The couch that folds into a bed was super complicated.

Here is a tutorial to help you with cushions:  Cushion Tutorial.

Camper Trailer Cushion Remodel

Curtains

The curtains are Riley Blake fabric as well.  We needed to double the material on the curtains, since the windows don’t have blinds.  We wanted the trailer to be light and bright during the day, have privacy at night, and keep the sun from peaking in during the early morning hours.  We made curtains ties to hold the curtains open during the day.  We attached the ties to the curtain on one side (so they don’t get lost) and they just velcro together in the back.

In the bedroom part of the trailer we used Four Corners Teal, Medium Dots Black, and White Swiss Dot on Black.

In the kitchen part of the trailer we used: Small Red Gingham, Medium Dots Black, and White Swiss Dot on Black.

We also made some accents pillows with Medium Dots Aqua/Red.

Camper Trailer How To Curtains

Before and After

What a difference!

Vintage Trailer Remodel - Retro Trailer - This is SO cute! Love this glamper!!

Painting the outside of a trailer

At first we had visions of a bright white trailer with a red stripe down the side.  Maybe a few polka dots here and there.  Then we decided NOT to paint the outside of the trailer.  Let me tell you why…  This trailer is, right now, sitting on mountain property surrounded by 5 feet of snow.  We can’t access the trailer for a good portion of the year.  That means that we can’t check on it to make sure that it hasn’t been broken into or being lived in (yikes!) as often as we would like to.  So we decided that it would be best to keep the outside of the trailer looking a little run down.  We don’t want the whole mountain to know what a darling trailer it has become!

If you want to paint the outside of your trailer, here is a great tutorial:  Painting the outside of a trailer.

Vintage Trailer Remodel - Retro Trailer - This is SO cute! Love this glamper!!

The circle stick-on mirrors are from Amazon.

The adorable red teapot is from  Bed, Bath and Beyond.

The plates, table runner and vase are from IKEA.

The furry animal friends were added by the grand kids and are from KOHLS.

Vintage Trailer Remodel - Retro Trailer - This is SO cute! Love this glamper!!

Do you have a trailer that is just begging for a little TLC?  What are you waiting for?  It isn’t as hard as you think and it’s so rewarding to transform an entire space!

Happy Glamping!

 


Hey Everyone, it’s Kimberly with Get Away Today and my favorite season is just around the corner… vacation season! Spring breaks have already begun and summer vacations aren’t far behind. Of course, my favorite vacation destination is the Disneyland Resort. Time spent on vacation is valuable, and even more so at Disneyland in my opinion. I’ve been to Disneyland many times over the years and always have a great time, even when it’s packed. Since spring and summer tend to be busier travel times to visit the parks, I put together some of my best tips to help you save time and money at Disneyland.

Time and Money Saving Disneyland Tips

1. Be sure to use the FASTPASS system for the most popular attractions, which serves as a reservation for you to come back and ride later. Radiator Springs Racers and Hyperspace Mountain are the hottest FASTPASS attractions right now, so you’ll want to grab those first thing in the morning. You can get your next FASTPASS two hours after you get one, or by the first time printed on your FASTPASS ticket, whichever comes sooner.

RadiatorSpringsFastpass

2. Use Rider Switch if you have small kids that can’t ride the bigger attractions. One person stays back with the younger kids while everyone else rides. Then, the rider who stayed behind gets to go to the front and ride with up to two other riders. This will be your older kids favorite since they’ll normally get to ride twice in a row. Another way to save some time if you have older kids is to use the Single Rider line on some of the more popular attractions. You wait in line together and then fill single spots as they open up on the attractions. Radiator Springs Racers is one of the best Single Rider line options.

RadiatorSpringsRacers

3. Get to the parks as early as possible. Each 3-day or longer ticket comes with one early morning into Disneyland, so be sure to take advantage of that. In addition to the official early entry, you can get past the gate and into the entry of both parks 30 minutes to an hour before the park opens. By getting there as early as possible, you’ll be able to beat most of the crowds.

4. Stay on property. True, you’ll pay more to stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, but if you can afford a little splurge, the perks more than pay for themselves. One of the best perks of staying on-site is that you get early entry into Disneyland or California Adventure every day that you have a ticket for. It’s the only way to get into Disney California Adventure Park early, and I will tell you, the 5-minute wait time for Toy Story Midway Mania is worth it!

ToyStoryWaitTime

5. If the Disneyland Resort Hotels don’t fit in your budget, choose a hotel that offers a free breakfast. Many area hotels have deluxe or full breakfast options that include protein and hot items to keep you full longer. Some of the suite hotels offer dinners or snacks in the evenings, and may even have a full kitchen for you to use during your vacation.

6. Get the longest length ticket possible. You’ll pay a little more overall, but you’ll pay less per day, and have way more flexibility. That is especially important during the Diamond Celebration that has multiple nighttime shows that you won’t want to miss.

WOC

7. Pack snacks. Not only will bringing snacks into the parks save you money, it can save you time. Munch on healthy snacks like trail mix or fruit snacks while you’re waiting in lines for attractions. It will keep you occupied and energetic for a fun-filled day.

8. Book a Character Breakfast. Don’t spend your valuable park time waiting in lines to meet characters, let them come to you when you book a Character breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are five different options each with different times, characters, menus and locations. Choose from Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel for “brunch” or dinner, Ariel’s Princess Celebration for breakfast or lunch at Disney California Adventure, Breakfast at the Park with Minnie & Friends inside Disneyland, Surf’s Up Breakfast with Mickey & Friends at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and Chip ‘n Dale’s Critter Country Breakfast at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Each has something unique and I love them all.

CharacterDining

9. Buy your souvenirs before your trip. Park prices on T-shirts, stuffed animals, glow sticks and trinkets are much higher than, well, almost anywhere else. You can save a ton by purchasing these items before your vacation, and bringing them with you. The kids are happy because they still get fun new things that remind them of the fun you had on vacation, and you’re happy because you didn’t spend a fortune.

10. Use coupons. Our packages at Get Away Today come with exclusive coupons on dining and merchandise in Anaheim and Downtown Disney, but there are a lot of ways to save. Sign up for coupons at Earl of Sandwich, Rainforest Cafe, Subway, Wetzel’s Pretzels and more before you go. You may even want to consider buying an Entertainment book to use during your trip.

I hope these tips help you as you’re planning your Disneyland vacation! If you’re looking for the best way to save money, it starts by booking with Get Away Today. We negotiate with our hotel and attraction partners to help you save the very most on your vacation. We’d love to help find the perfect fit for your family on getawaytoday.com or by calling 855-GET-AWAY. Mention promo code: CraftingChicks to save an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Disneyland package.

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Hi everyone, it’s Kimberly from Get Away Today. I’m so excited to be on the Crafting Chicks sharing fun Disney and vacation ideas. Getting ready for a Disneyland vacation is almost as fun as going on one. We surprised our kids at Christmas with a spring time Disneyland vacation and we have had so much fun “getting ready” by watching Disney movies, playing Disney games, and making Disney recipes. Luckily, our blog, Packed with Fun, is just that, packed with fun ideas to get your family excited for an upcoming vacation. I compiled three of our most popular Disney inspired recipes. They are simple, cute, tasty, and guaranteed to get your family excited about your Disneyland vacation.

Three Easy Recipes to Make Before Your Disneyland Vacation

Mickey Pop Tarts

Ingredients:

Ready made pie crust (or your favorite recipe)

Your Favorite jam

Butter

Frosting and Sprinkles (optional)

poptartbuild

Start by taking your pie crust and cutting out an equal number of Mickey heads with a cookie cutter.

Put your favorite jam on one Mickey head at a time. Cover it with another Mickey head and use a fork to seal the edges.

Butter the tops of the Mickeys and bake them at 400 degrees in a preheated oven.

Decorate with frosting and sprinkles to add a little more flare and flavor.

finishedpoptart

It’s our version of a Character Breakfast at home!

Mickey and Minnie Oreos

Ingredients:

Double Stuf Oreos (make sure they’re Double Stuf)

Mini Oreos

Red and/or pink melting chocolate

White decorating pearls

Dipping

Start by separating your Mini Oreos and licking scraping off the cream to make your Mickey or Minnie ears. Stick them into the top of your Double Stuf Oreos to create a Mickey head effect. Dip the bottom half of each cookie into the melted chocolate. Use red for Mickey and pink for Minnie. Then, add decorating pearls. Two pearls side by side on a red cookie make a Mickey, and a few polka-d0ts make Minnie’s dress.

2Cookies

We’re sure these will be a hit at your house!

Lime Mickeys

Ingredients:

Sprite or 7up

1 Packet of Grape Kool-Aid

2 c. Sugar

1 c. Water

Fresh limes

KOOLAID

Start by making your grape syrup by dissolving two cups sugar into one cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s dissolved, bring it to a boil for a few minutes, then remove the mixture from the heat and stir in one packet of grape Kool-Aid until it’s completely dissolved. Move your syrup into a container that’s good for both pouring and storage. Next, slice your limes into circles with one small slit going towards the center (see below). Add your limes to a glass to make Lime Mickey ears, then make your drink by adding some ice, soda, a little syrup and fresh lime juice to taste.

finsheddrink

Ahhhhhh… it’s as refreshing as it is adorable.

If you haven’t booked your next Disneyland vacation, our agents at Get Away Today would love to help! We have the best deals on Disneyland tickets and hotels – even over Spring Break! You can book any of our Disneyland packages at getawaytoday.com, or you can all our agents at 855-GET-AWAY. Our agents have been to the parks multiple times and they tour all of our hotels each year, so that can give you expert advice. Be sure to use promo code: CraftingChicks and you’ll save an extra $10 off your 2-night or longer package, and enjoy your countdown until your Disneyland vacation!


Hey Everyone, I’m Kimberly, with Get Away Today, and I am so excited to be here on the Crafting Chicks! I regularly contribute to Packed with Fun, the official blog for Get Away Today where we share our best travel tips and all sorts of fun ways to extend vacation magic at home with vacation countdowns, games, crafts and more. There is so much to love about Disneyland, and it seems like there is always something new and exciting happening. This year is no different, so for my first article, I thought it would be fun to do a quick year-at-a-glance for everything you need to know about going to Disneyland in 2016.

Everything You Need to Know About Going to Disneyland in 2016

Pin this: Everything you need to know about going to Disneyland in 2016.

Early Winter/Spring

The Diamond Celebration is still going strong with sparkly decor, upgraded attractions, limited time merchandise and food items, and three incredible nighttime spectaculars; World of Color – Celebrate, the Disneyland Forever fireworks, and Paint the Night Parade.

DiamondCastle

For the first time ever, Disneyland is offering a dining package that includes premier viewing for the Paint the Night Parade. You can get a grab-and-go picnic from Aladdin’s Oasis for reserved viewing by “it’s a small world,” or enjoy a three-course meal at the Blue Bayou with reserved viewing on Main Street U.S.A. Reservations can be made online or over the phone 60 days in advance.

Star Wars is all the rage and Season of the Force is a limited time Star Wars overlay that has temporarily taken over Tomorrowland. If you have a Star Wars Fan at your house, go you must. Space Mountain has become Hyperspace Mountain complete with Rebel Wing Fighters and the Tomorrowland Theater is showing Path of the Jedi, a 10 minute 4-D compilation of the entire film series. Kids ages 4-12 can register to be a part of the new Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show. There are normally six showings each day and the spots are filled on a first come, first served basis, so you’ll want to get there early. The Star Wars Launch Bay has actual props and costumes from the films, and you can meet Chewbacca and Darth Vader. Special merchandise and food options are available. It’s unclear how long Season of the Force will be available, but we have been told at least through Spring 2016.

HyperspaceMountain

Along these lines, Disneyland is beginning construction on the new Star Wars Land that was recently announced. To make way for this 14-acre expansion, some attractions, like the Disneyland Railroad, Fantasmic, and Tom Sawyer’s Island will close indefinitely. Also closing, but this one is permanent, is Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular at the Hyperion Theater. Its final performance will be on January 10, 2016 to make way for an all-new musical coming this summer.

Summer

Summer is always a fun time at Disneyland! With extended hours, there is so much more time to see and do everything. In addition to being the last few months of the Diamond Celebration, a new Frozen Musical is coming to Disney California Adventure Park in the Hyperion Theatre. This will replace Aladdin, and we’ve been told that it will also replace the current Frozen Celebration Sing-a-Long that is held in the Royal Theater, formerly the Muppet-Vision Theater. There’s no word on what will replace the Royal Theater, but we’re sure it will be fantastic. And I just have to say, summer nights are even better at Disneyland. Try to make sure that you are in Cars Land when dusk hits at least one of the nights of your vacation. There is an informal neon lighting ceremony each night set to music. You may want to consider dining packages for World of Color – Celebrate! and the Paint the Night Parade. Make sure you make time to experience the Tim Burton inspired Diamond Mad T Party and the Disneyland Forever fireworks as well.

WOC

Fall

Halloween Time is one of the most festive and popular times of year to visit Disneyland. Halloween Time officially begins mid-September and continues through Halloween. If you want to beat the crowds, September is a great time to go to still get the Halloween experience. Or, if you don’t want the kids to miss school, make your plans over their fall break. Halloween Time includes the annual Main Street U.S.A. Pumpkin Festival, Haunted Mansion Holiday, extra spooky overlays to the Tower of Terror, costumed characters and so much more. Mickey’s Halloween Party takes place on select nights during Halloween Time. This is a private event that requires a separate ticket. On party nights, Disneyland closes a little early to regular guests and is only open for party guests who get access to most attractions, trick-or-treating, a special Halloween parade, fireworks, and other fun treats.

HolidayHauntedMansion

Winter

The holiday season kicks off in mid-November and continues through early January. The holidays bring festive overlays to classic attractions like “it’s a small world” holiday, the Jingle Cruise, and other fun surprises. A Christmas Fantasy Parade and the Believe in Holiday Magic fireworks are guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. Plus, the entire Disneyland Resort is completely decked out for the season.

HolidayCars

Also, although it’s not Disneyland related, it is definitely worth mentioning that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 7, 2016. The new land will include incredible rides, shops, entertainment, and of course, Butterbeer. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you’ll definitely want to make it part of your Disneyland vacation.

HogwartsStudioTour

Here are some dates to keep in mind when planning your 2016 Disneyland vacation including school breaks:

  • February 15, Presidents Day
  • March 27, Easter
  • April 7, Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens at Universal Studios Hollywood
  • May 4, Unofficial Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You)
  • Season of the Force – limited time experiences
  • May 30, Memorial Day
  • September 5, Labor Day and Final Day of the Diamond Celebration

If you would like help planning your Disneyland vacation, our agents at Get Away Today would LOVE to help! They’ve toured all of the area hotels and visit the parks at least once a year so that they can pass on their expert advice. Give them a call at 855-GET-AWAY or check out our Disneyland packages at getawaytoday.com. Be sure to mention promo code: CraftingChicks when booking online or over the phone and you’ll save an extra $10 off your package.

Once you have your Disneyland vacation plans, make the countdown even better with our free Star Wars vacation countdown printables featuring your favorite Star Wars characters. Everyone in your family can have their own and choose from Han Solo, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and R2-D2, Yoda, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.  Download your favorite one here, and May the Force Be With You!

StarWarsPrint2


DisneyStore.com

And for more Disneyland fun and entertainment check out:

FREE Disneyland Countdown Template

disneyland countdown crafting chicks 3

Disney Vacation Ideas and Printables

Disney vacation ideas and printables! Countdown, luggage tags, games, incentives for kids, t-shirt designs, autograph books, and so much more!

and

Dole Whip Recipe

How to Make Dole Whip

This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy for more information.


Disney vacation ideas and printables! Countdown, luggage tags, games, incentives for kids, t-shirt designs, autograph books, and so much more!

Disney is such a fun family vacation destination!  We absolutely love the memories that we make when we are there.  Sometimes planning a vacation can be overwhelming.  We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Disney vacation must haves.  We’ve got it all, countdowns, autograph books, incentives for kids, stroller printables, games for waiting in long lines, luggage tags, and more!  Enjoy!

Disney Vacation Ideas and Printables

Disneyland Countdown Printable from The Crafting Chicks

disney countdown

Disney Countdown Printable from All for the Memories

disney countdown

Disney Vacation Incentives for Kids from The Crafting Chicks

disney incentives for kids

Disney Autograph Book from The Cards We Drew

disney autograph book

How to make Disney Luggage Tags from Disney Cruise Mom Blog

luggage tags

Disneyland Fun Book Free Printable from The Craft Patch

disney activity book

Disneyland Journal from Eighteen25

disney journal

15 Things to Buy Before Your Trip to Disneyland from Mother’s Niche

things to buy before your trip to disneyland

50 Photos to take on your Disney Vacation from Simple As That

photos to take on your disney vacation

DIY Disney Stroller Tag Template from 2 Paws Designs

stroller tag printable

DIY Disney Shirts from Two Oh Two Seven

disney tshirt design

Disney Travel Game from Get Away Today

disney game

Hidden Mickey Tracker from Yellow Bliss Road

hidden mickey printable

Disney Vacation Packing List from 123 Homeschool 4 Me

disney packing list

Jedi Training Academy Sign from Follow That Mouse

jedi training printable


michaels makers 2 mm 6

We have loved being apart of the Michaels’ Makers team for the past few years.  It’s so great to be apart of the Michael’s “MAKERS” movement.  I love being inspired to create…and that is Michael’s goal…to inpire ALL to create.

We look forward to another great year sharing tutorials and ideas with you…our readers!   We love the Michaels’ challenges and can’t wait to see what they have in store this year.  We would love you to follow along and join us in creating.  You can follow along with the hashtag #michaelsmakers.  We would absolutely love to see what you create.
michaels makers 3

In July, I was able to attend the Michaels’ Makers Summit in the beautiful Sonoma, California.  While there, I was able to meet the Michaels’ Makers Team (a group of 50 inspiring and creative women), learn about Michaels’ Vision, and create some amazing projects with fabulous instructors from Creativebug (hundreds of craft classes online!).  It was awe-inspiring to be surrounded by so much beauty in one place.  The perfect place to get those “creative juices” flowing.

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There were beautiful flowers everywhere and fresh fruit and veggies at our fingertips.  I saw limes growing bigger than grapefruit!

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The garden party was gorgeous…and we made pretty flower crowns.

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I’m excited to share with you the craft classes I was able to attend with Creativebug.  We are excited to share that our readers will be able to access these four classes for free through August 22nd.  You will love them.  Amazing teachers…and craft classes…right from your computer or tablet.  I’m sharing 4 of the classes with you today.

Frame Weaving with Annabel Wrigley

In this class we learned how to weave on looms – and make Yarn Wall hangings.  I have another fun idea to make with this loom…and can’t wait to share soon.  I found this so relaxing.  I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy weaving.  Annabel was such a great teacher.  She teaches sewing classes to kids all over, and has written books on sewing and weaving.

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Watercolor with Yao Cheng

I loved getting to know Yao Cheng.  If you have ever wanted to try Watercoloring, you will love to take Yao Chengs beginning class.  I fell in love with watercolor and can’t wait to do more!  I love her style.  You have to give it a go!  If I can do it…you can do it!
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Tissue Paper Flowers with The Green Vase

Livia Cetti taught us the art of tissue paper flowers.  I was amazed at how real her paper peonies look.  So beautiful.  She has made thousands for events and weddings.  From the stem…to the petals, you can learn how to make these gorgeous flowers too.  They take a lot of patience, but are so worth it in the end.

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Image Transfer with Courtney Cerruti

I loved Courtney!  Her passion for art and creating in contagious.  I loved how simple, yet beautiful image transferring can be.  You will love the different techniques she teaches in her class.

mm image transfrer

You will love Creativebug and we hope you will take advantage of the free classes this month!

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Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

To kick off our Camping Themed Week, we’ve got a great round up for you!  Printables, activities, games and more!

Camping

Natural Paintbrushes from Learn Create Love

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Camping Themed Story Stones from Playdough to Plato

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Dramatic Play from Pre K-Pages

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Pinecone Owls from Crafts By Amanda

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

DIY Solar Oven from I Can Teach My Child

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Walking Sticks from The Crafting Chicks

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Glow in the Dark Jars from A Girl and A Glue Gun

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Tabletop S’mores from The Crafting Chicks

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Camping Scavenger Hunt from The Creative Homemakers

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Leaf Rubbing Collages from Mama Papa Bubba

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Silly Stories from Classy Clutter

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Camping Preschool Unit from A Teaching Mommy

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Camping Pack from Homeschool Creations

Camping Activities and Printables - So many summer activities for the kids!  Love these!

Don’t miss the rest of our Mother Hen’s Summer Survival Guides!  Please join us for this summer of fun & learning!  We will give you all of the ideas, supply lists, book ideas and more to make this a smooth summer program to enjoy at home.  Sign up for our newsletter HERE.  Each Friday we will be sending links to the weekly theme and posts so that you can get started!

Mondays: We will be sharing the best learning ideas, crafts and more from our favorite sites that tie into our weekly theme.

Tuesday:  We will be sharing the best Children’s Books!  And a literature activity that coincides with both the Chicks’ Pick book and weekly theme.

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday:  We will be sharing posts from our favorite bloggers!  They have the best ideas and are excited to be a part of this series!  All of these posts will tie into the theme:)

Fridays: Make sure you join each Friday to see what activities, supplies & other things you will need to plan your themed week at home.  We also will be having really cool giveaways each and every Friday of this series.



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