We are so excited that you will be able to join us for our wedding and celebration!
Disney has provided us with a link for our guests to get rooms at Disneyland Resort Hotels at a discounted rate.
Four months out from the wedding discounted park tickets will be available at the same link. I will be sending out an email reminder at that time.
Currently Amanda and I are planning on driving. Since a lot of people have been asking I am sharing our tentative timeline here.
Sunday 3/3- Arrive in the afternoon.
Monday 3/4- Prepare for wedding. Rehearsal in the evening with wedding party.
Tuesday 3/5- Wedding in the afternoon into the evening.
Wednesday 3/6- Visit Disneyland/California Adventure Parks. Group photo for all that are able in front of the Disneyland Castle at 2pm. Dinner (unhosted) at Blue Bayou at 6pm for anyone who wants to join us. I will have details on making reservations when we get closer.
Thursday 3/7- Disneyland for Sara. Amanda is looking for people who want to join her at Six Flags.
Friday 3/8- Universal Studios/Harry Potter
Saturday 3/9- Last Disney day. Possible breakfast meet up for anyone still around.
As we get closer to the actual wedding we will post more detailed information on timelines and events. Here are some helpful resources for your travel and accommodations.
Disneyland Website– For information on tickets, hotels, attractions, and dining
Our Pinterest board for guests– If you are a Pinterest user we have tagged some helpful links and ideas to get ready for your trip!
Weather for Anaheim– Average March weather
What airport do I want to fly into?
You have three options for Airports that are close to the Disneyland Resort. I will list them below with my perceived pros and cons.
Los Angeles Airport (LAX)– 40 min drive to DLR- Huge airport, flights always going out. Tends to have a lot of delayed flights. Cheapest plane tickets and rental car rates. Rental car lots off-site, so it can take longer to get your car. “Disneyland Resort Express Shuttle” services this airport for a charge.
John Wayne Airport (SNA)– 21 min drive to DLR- Small airport, easy to get in and out. If you miss a flight you may have to wait longer for another. Most expensive of the three. Rental car lots on-site, so it is fast to get your car. “Disneyland Resort Express Shuttle” services this airport for a charge.
Long Beach Airport (LGB)– 25 min drive to DLR- Very small airport, simple to get in and out. If you miss your flight it may take longer to find another. Generally right in the middle cost wise. Rental car lots on-site so it’s quick to get your rental.
Choose the Airport that works best for you… I have flown into LAX so many times because sometimes you can get dirt cheap plane tickets and the rental car rates are great, but the amount of time it takes to get to your rental car and then drive to Disneyland is extremely high compared to the other airports. If you have the extra money I would highly recommend one of the smaller airports- the only concern being the less frequent flight departures. Don’t miss your flight and cross your fingers against mechanical issues or you may be stuck for a bit.
Where should we stay?
Your first big decision here is to decide if you want to pay the Mickey Tax and stay at a Disneyland brand hotel or if you want to save some money and stay at one of the other perfectly good and sometimes just as conveniently located hotels OR a local airbnb. Were it up to us- if we had the extra money, we would always choose to stay at a Disneyland hotel. I will leave a link at the end of this section to a blog that goes into greater detail about the pros and cons, but I can explain the general differences here. When you stay at a Disneyland hotel you feel like you never leave the park. Even when you return to your room at night the look and feel of Disneyland goes with you. There is never a break from the magic. If you are staying at a resort hotel you can have any souvenir purchases sent back to your room so you don’t have to cart them around (remember this takes a day so you can’t do it your last day). It is really really nice to have a very close hotel so if you need a break in the day or want to go back to your room for lunch you didn’t buy in the park it doesn’t feel like a huge chunk of your day. Some of the further hotels are easily a 20-30 min walk from the time you decide to leave. Each DLR hotel has a different theme and an amazing swimming area. The amenities are great including an early morning speed walk tour through california adventure for the early birds, early park access, close proximity to the park, and disney’s exceptional customer service. Click here for more details on each DLR hotel. It is a great treat for a first time stay or a special occasion. You pay a hefty premium to have your headboard light up with fireworks though, the least expensive DLR hotel is 3x the cost of the average good neighbor hotel. (Special pricing for our wedding guests puts the standard 4 person rooms at $259 for Paradise Pier, $343 for Disneyland Hotel and $432 for Grand Californian- Which appears to be about 25% off regular price) Most of the good neighbor hotels are pretty close walking distance to the park entrance and still have some Disney touches around the lobby- they know who butters their bread. We will be providing a link for you closer to the time of the wedding to purchase rooms at the DLR hotels at a discounted rate if you decide to make this special experience part of your trip. Here is a link to the good neighbor hotels in the area- if staying at one of these take note that the ones closest to the park entrance are the most desirable, they cost more but the walk back when you are tired at night is much easier.
The other option is to look for a close Airbnb. Some of them are even Disney themed! They will be a little further away but you have the benefit of a kitchen and laundry, and probably a much better price, especially when sharing with friends!
On-site vs Offsite pros and cons
Do I need to get a rental car?
We always get one. There are definitely alternative options, like taking a cab or shuttle (or the Disneyland Resort Express Shuttle) to and from the airport to your hotel… but if you think you may want to get some groceries to keep in your room, go out to eat once or twice, or visit other places in southern California while you are there you should probably get a car. If you are staying over 3 days and you don’t think you will be leaving the park area much you can probably do it less expensively taking cabs (from the closer airports) but otherwise rental car might be right for you. Consider asking other guests to the wedding when they will be coming in and flying out and perhaps your can jump in with someone else! I have seen rental cars for as low as $17 a day at LAX up to $45 at SNA to give you an idea of the daily rates.
What else is in the area?
If you like Disneyland but also want to see some other stuff in the greater Southern California region here are some things to check out!
Amusement and Theme Parks: Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios and Harry Potter, Knotts Berry Farm, Lego Land
Beaches: Just drive west and you have a ton of options! My favorite is Laguna Beach… Long Beach and Newport Beach are very close!
Restaurants: Drive up to LA or south to the Orange County coast and you will be surrounded by amazing choices for fine and casual dining. Here is Sunset Magazines top 10 and also a list of the best vegan restaurants in LA. We have been known to do a late night Del Taco run several days in a row when visiting Disneyland.
Where is the Wedding?
The wedding ceremony will take place in the Brisa Courtyard at the Grand Californian Hotel. The pre-reception and reception are to follow within the hotel grounds. A map and directions will be provided with your welcome packet closer to the wedding date.
What time is the wedding?
The Ceremony will begin at 3:30pm, reception to follow. Reception wraps up shortly after 9:30 pm.
What should I wear?
We want you to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and wonderful. We will be fancy and encourage you to wear what makes you feel fancy. Keep in mind that you will be outdoors a portion of the evening so you may want to bring a light jacket if you are sensitive to wind or get cold easily.
Disneyland has two parks?
In 2001 Disney added a second theme park to the Disneyland Resort property. California Adventure was built to showcase the highlights of the state where Disneyland was created. Theming includes a vintage hollywood area, a beach pier, and rustic redwoods. Most recently added is the Marvel Universe where you can see the Guardians of the Galaxy and other Marvel heroes. Having more roller coasters and thrill rides, California Adventure park is Amanda’s favorite!
Disneyland is the very first park Walt Disney built, opening in 1955. *Fun fact* Sara’s dad went to Disneyland the first year the park opened, he was 5. Disneyland houses Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Frontierland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, Tomorrowland, and a soon to be Star Wars Land! Old animatronics and new ride technology blend together holding all the charm of vintage Disney, which is why it is Sara’s favorite park.
How do I get the cheapest tickets?
The tickets become less and less expensive the more days you purchase. If you plan to come for several days the best bet is to get single park tickets for multiple days. Then you would plan to spend all day at just ONE of the parks. If you were only going for two days you would probably want to get park hopper tickets so that you are able to go back and forth between the parks when you feel like it.
What are the best rides?
Sara recommends: at Disneyland, Indiana Jones ride for a superbly themed roller coaster and Pirates of the Caribbean for some of the first animatronics ever created!
Amanda recommends: at CA, Gardians of the Galaxy for big drops and bright lights and California Screamin for a fun classic rollercoaster with loop-de-loops.
What is a fast pass?
A fast pass is a virtual queuing tool offered on some of the rides at Disney parks. You are able to get a fast pass and that allows you to go enjoy other attractions at the park and then arrive back at the ride at the time listed on your fast pass so that you get to wait in a special (shorter line) that is specifically for fast pass holders. Disney’s Fastpass and FastPass+ services are available at no additional charge to all park guests, while MaxPass costs US$10 a day. MaxPass is a new version of fast pass that you can get on your smartphone that allows you to pick up a fast pass via the app instead of physically walking over to the ride. If you are visiting for only 1-2 days a max pass is definitely worth the money!
Should we eat in the park?
We recommend saving money and your tummy by eating at least 1-2 main meals a day out of the park. We always stop by a grocery store on our way to Disneyland to grab healthy or high protein snacks (like bars and nuts) breakfast food (oatmeal or cereal) and lunch items (sandwich making stuff and fruit or chips). We tend to eat breakfast in our room, bring in snacks to tide us over until lunch, and then return to our hotel room to take a break and have lunch. After that we return to the park and either have dinner or a snack in the park. After a long day at Disney Amanda will usually volunteer to drive out to get us del taco if we are feeling super hungry. You could also venture out of the park a little sooner in the evening and go to one of the many dining options that don’t have a drive up window in the area.