Headed to Disneyland with your partner? Now that my husband and I are empty nesters, we recently headed to the happiest place on Earth – just the two of us and we had a blast. You don’t need a caravan to enjoy the attractions – though I’ll share tips if that is the case in a future post. Here are a few takeaways from our trip as a couple:
Make a list of Must-Do’s
This was an ongoing list for us. We created an initial list before our trip. As we walked through the park, we added to it. It included rides, souvenirs, and edibles. This was sort of our go-to as we planned our day. It made decision-making a lot easier and gave us a sense of accomplishment when we headed home with every item crossed off the list.
Having two people in your group usually made getting seats together on rides simple, but you still had to wait in line. With the Cars ride, we noticed there was a much shorter single-rider line. We also noticed the majority of single riders were in the same car. We risked it, and it worked out great. (We did communicate a meeting place for if we were separated.)
Restaurants were prominent on our list of Must-Dos. While we attempted to get reservations through the Disneyland app a few months before our trip, we hadn’t succeeded. We found by asking the helpful cast members at the actual locations that each restaurant handled walk-ups a little differently. By asking questions, we were able to eat at all of the restaurants on our list during our stay.
We’ve heard Disney has made some changes to this system since our visit, so our takeaway is still the same – ask questions. The cast knows the ins and outs. Trust them!
For this trip, I really wanted to try a lot of foods. I also wanted to avoid gaining a pants size. Michael and I did lots of snacking and sharing to make this happen. Instead of ordering two full-size meals, we just ordered one meal and two forks. Then later in the day, we would get a single meal or item to share. It worked great.
Nothing is set in stone
With just two adults, we weren’t obligated to eat at traditional times. It was nice to avoid lines by eating lunch at 3 p.m. or dinner at 9 p.m. With just two people voting, it was easier to decide when to stop for a break or a snack and then just make it happen. Super long wait for the Star Wars attraction, switch gears, and head over to Adventureland for a Dole Whip and a Jungle Cruise.
This is a tip for every travel experience. Decide before you go what you will be spending. This isn’t to make your life miserable but to help minimize the decision-making headaches of being a tourist. You already have so many things to decide every day … what to wear, where to eat, when to wake up, when to rest, what ride to go on, and what souvenir to purchase. By having a budget in place, you can make souvenir shopping much less stressful. It will also put you and your traveling partner on the same page so there are no surprise bills when the trip ends.
One of the greatest joys I discovered on this trip was the reduction in accessories that had to be brought. We carried a small backpack with some essentials. The freedom of moving around the park was such a blessing and made the experiences more enjoyable and made the transitions that much smoother.