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Must-Haves in the Disney Parks

Some must-haves (and have-nots) for a magical Disney vacation!

It’s finally December!! Otherwise known as peak Disneyland and Walt Disney World time for families all over the world. Many of the people visiting will be park veterans, but just as many, if not more, will be first-time visitors. It can be overwhelming: there are so many sites and blogs telling you what you need to pack, eat, ride on, and see. I’ve seen a lot of these lists, but I’m hoping mine is more comprehensive, and most importantly, realistic. I’ve been to Disneyland many times over the Christmas season, and Walt Disney World once during Christmas. The lists that I’ve seen also had one glaring flaw in the sense that they were always very generic. What about the fashionistas? So, my list is made for you in mind, but even if you aren’t a “fashionista,” I guarantee this will be useful for you as well.

Absolute necessities

  • Backpack/purse/fanny pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Powder foundation
  • At least $20 cash
  • Lip gloss/ lipstick
  • Jacket or sweater during the cooler months
  • Pants or leggings during the cooler months (Maybe even a change of clothes if you go on a water ride and get soaked, and it will happen. Trust me)
  • Snacks (granola bar, fruit, sandwich, etc)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Phone battery pack
  • Camera: phone camera, video camera, disposable camera; however, I don’t recommend any fancy lenses

Things you can live without but are still really nice to have

  • Aspirin
  • Concealer
  • Hair tie
  • Water bottle (plastic only)
  • Hairbrush if you’re vain like me haha
  • Earplugs-some bring them for small children if they want to see the fireworks, but my brother and I have been going to the parks since we were a few months old and never used them, and we’re fine! But it’s up to you.
  • Hat
  • Minnie mouse ears (or buy them in the park, I won’t judge)

Things you don’t need:

  • Headphones
  • Heels (unless you’re going to a fancy dinner at Club 33, Be Our Guest, or the like, but  I recommend bringing other shoes to change into)
  • Anything even remotely resembling a Nintendo DS or the like- kids shouldn’t be bored with Mickey Mouse running around!
  • An iPad. We all have phones or cameras-don’t be that person holding up an iPad during the parade or fireworks. Everyone hates you. And there’s a chance that it could get stepped on, jostled, dropped, cracked, or water damaged. I’ve shattered more than one phone at Disneyland, and IPads are way more expensive
  • Lastly, a bad attitude. I’m not kidding. You’re at the happiest place on Earth!!

 

Underrated things to do in Disneyland and California Adventure

I’ve been going to the Disney parks for as long as I can remember, despite growing up in San Jose. In nearly twenty-two years of frequent visits, I’d like to think that I’ve acquired a somewhat decent amount of knowledge about the parks. With that being said, there are so many activities and rides in both Disneyland and California Adventure that are seriously underrated. Everyone knows that Pirates of the Caribbean is a great ride and the Haunted Mansion is a can’t miss. California Adventure is also full of underrated experiences that people blow by on their way to Cars Land. Look no further: I’ve rounded up some of my favorite underrated rides and activities at the Disneyland resort.

 

The Newsies

The newsboys in DCA are on my must-see list whenever I’m in the parks. The show hasn’t changed since it began, to the best of my knowledge, and it’s centered on 1920’s-era newsboys (and girls!). It starts out with the Newsies singing inspirational songs about seizing the day and making it big. They joke around and call out headlines about Walt Disney’s arrival to California and even Mickey Mouse. Even the Mouse himself joins them for the last few minutes of the show! One of the reasons why the Newsies are so great, at least to me, is that they truly interact with the audience, regardless of age. Like all Disney songs, theirs are catchy, and my mom and I have found ourselves singing “A suitcase, a suitcase, a suitcase and a dream!” for the rest of our trip. Cute singers and dancers, inspirational songs, and Mickey Mouse? 10/10!

 

Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

I seriously do not understand why this ride NEVER has a line. I’m not even kidding when I say that the longest I’ve ever waited for this ride was five minutes. One day I went on three times in a row. In the middle of summer. On a crazy packed day. I don’t understand. The outside of the ride is gorgeous, the workers have cute costumes. While the ride isn’t as cool and I mean like physically cool as Pirates, the ride is cool and a relief on blisteringly hot summer days. Plus, the little mermaid! It’s a short ride, but very fun. It never fails to put a smile on my face, and and I don’t understand why it isn’t more popular.

 

Disney College Band

This is something only around during the summer time. I first saw the DCB when I was a senior in high school, and I fell in love with it. The band, which is usually around twenty or so extremely talented college students, play classic Disney songs all around the park. The energy of the band, how good-looking the members of the drum line were….well, there’s a reason why I always make sure to catch a performance any time I’m back in Disneyland for the summer.

 

The Winnie the Pooh ride

Another ride that almost never has a line, the ride designed after everyone’s favorite “silly old bear” is tucked into Critter Country, near the entrance to Splash Mountain. It can be easy to miss the Winnie the Pooh ride also because Tigger, Pooh, Eeyore, and sometimes Rabbit are seemingly always available for pictures by the entrance to the Winnie the Pooh-themed store. But look at it this way- if you go on the ride, you exit practically inside the store, and the characters are still waiting for you when you get out! I haven’t seen an episode of Winnie the Pooh on TV in over a decade (Is it still on the air? How old am I?!?) but going on this ride never fails to transport me back to my childhood.

 

Snow White’s Grotto

Tucked away on the right side of the castle if you’re entering from Main Street, Snow White’s Grotto is so much more than just a shortcut to Fantasyland. There are statues of the dwarves and Snow White and her animal friends on the side of the hill, and if you listen really closely, you can hear Snow White singing. Just like in the movie, there is also Snow White’s wishing well. If you lean over it, and close your eyes, and listen really carefully, you might just hear a beautiful voice singing about wishing for her prince. This wishing well is no ordinary well. All money-wishes-dropped in the well is given to Make-A-Wish. If that isn’t enough to get you to visit the grotto, this next fact might. The grotto is often a spot to meet characters. I personally have met Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, and the Fairy Godmother there, and that’s just the ones that I remember. So, visit the grotto, make a wish, do good for others, and your wishes might come true.

 

Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Through

Okay, I might be crushing some spirits with my next sentence, but in my defense, if you didn’t know what I’m about to say already, then you have bigger problems than Disneyland spoilers. The castle in Disneyland is Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Cinderella’s castle is in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. I’ll let you have a few moments to collect yourself. Everyone good? Okay. Moving on. If you’re walking through the castle from Main Street, the Walk-Through will be on your left. It’s a great way to cool down during a hot day, a good way to kill time if you’re waiting for a fast pass, or a great experience if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the park for a few minutes. The 3D images and the interactive parts are well-made, and truly make you feel like you’ve stepped inside the story. I might be slightly biased because Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite growing up, but take the literal five minutes and do the walk-through. You’ll thank me later.

 

I hope you decide to go on one of the rides or see one of the shows that I suggested! Everything in Disneyland is wonderful and magical, but I feel that discovering something new in the parks can be even more so. Let me know in the comments what you think!

Disney Songs for Studying

Fall is here! It’s time for football games, slouchy sweaters, visits to pumpkin patches, and of course, school. Which, unfortunately, means schoolwork. And studying. Have no fear, I’m here to help. I have created a playlist of songs that will help you push through that study session!

“I’ll Make a Man Out of You” -Li Shang, Mulan

“Almost There”-Tiana, The Princess and the Frog

“Kiss the Girl”-Sebastian, The Little Mermaid

“Under the Sea”-Sebastian, The Little Mermaid

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“Son of Man”-Phil Collins, Tarzan

“Strangers Like Me”-Phil Collins, Tarzan

“End Credits”- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

“How Far I’ll Go”-Moana, Moana

“Let It Go”-Elsa, Frozen

“Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” -Anna, Frozen

“Love is an Open Door” -Anna and Prince Hans, Frozen

“A Whole New World”-Aladdin and Jasmine, Aladdin (instrumental version as well)

“Woody’s Roundup”- Toy Story 2

“Colors of the Wind”-Pocahontas, Pocahontas

“Gaston”-Lefou and Gaston, Beauty and the Beast

“Chim Chim Cher-ee”- Bert and Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins

“I See the Light”- Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Tangled

 

I also highly recommend any instrumental version of Disney songs! Those can be great when you have some heavy-duty work to do but just want some background noise.

Let me know if I’ve forgotten any songs in the comments below! I have at least a year and a half of school left and could use all the help I could get (SOS).

Why you Shouldn’t Date Boys who don’t like Disney

You shouldn’t date a guy that doesn’t like Disney because if he doesn’t, what else doesn’t he like? Fairytales? Happiness? Good over evil? The Genie??

Alright, folks. School is starting for many of us (unless you go to a quarter school, like me, in which case, ha-ha, we still have almost a month of freedom left!). The weather is going to get colder. Halloween will soon be upon us. Cuffing season, better known as Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day, when it’s pretty much the worst to be alone, is coming. I feel that now is the perfect time for this article, which tells you why you should never, ever, ever, date someone who doesn’t like Disney, in case you started to fear being alone during the couples costumes/Christmas season and became desperate. With that being said, I have a confession to make. I did exactly what I’m telling you not to do…

*horrified screams* *organs playing* *children wailing in terror*

Ah-hem. Onto the story.

I should’ve known my last relationship was doomed before it even began when he claimed he “didn’t like Disneyland” or any of that “fantasy stuff.”

Excuse me? You what? I should’ve run for the hills. Now, everyone in my life has told me at least once that I tend to be dramatic (as if!) but hear me out. You shouldn’t date a guy that doesn’t like Disney because if he doesn’t, what else doesn’t he like? Fairytales? Happiness? Good over evil? The Genie??

Every boy that is #blessed enough to date you should realize that and treat you like a princess. But unfortunately, a boy who doesn’t like Disney probably won’t do that. I’m not saying that I’m not into feminism and equality because I am. But I also love going on dates where the guy pays, having doors opened for me, and doing things more than just going to Chipotle. And honestly, if the guy that you’re seeing thinks Disney is dumb, he’ll probably think that Netflix and chill counts as a date and that “U up?”qualifies as a phone call.

Watching anything else but The Bourne Legacy and The Hangover is just going to be a distant dream. Couples costumes where you’re Jasmine and he’s a shirtless Aladdin? Forget it. Cute couples pictures in front of the castle and the triple-digit likes that come with them? Not gonna happen for you, but you will be passive-aggressively liking your friends’ pictures with their boyfriends while you’re sitting at home alone drinking wine and watching Tangled for the tenth time.

I’m not saying that you need a boyfriend that knows all the lyrics to every single Disney song (even I’m not that good). However, I was at Disneyland for Halloween a couple years ago, and I have to say that the couple’s costumes were on point. There were cute families dressed as the Incredibles, the emotions from Inside Out, and Peter Pan, Tink, Smee, and the crocodile from Peter Pan. They were adorable, but what made me the most jealous were the couples my own age. There were two I remembered above all the rest. One was a really cute couple who decided to Disneybound Peter Pan and Wendy Darling. For those of you who don’t know, Disneybounding is when you dress like a Disney character, land, or attraction using regular clothes instead of costumes. They were total #goals, and I was incredibly jealous. And I told them that. Even cuter than the Disneybounding couple was one whose costumes were so good, my mom and I thought they were Cast Members taking a break. They were dressed in full-on Prince Philip and Sleeping Beauty costumes, including hair, and they were gorgeous. Let me tell you, if your boyfriend doesn’t like Disney, getting him to do that will be impossible. I don’t even want to contemplate the bribery involved.

Trust me; I’ve third wheeled in Disneyland. Take it from me that you do not want to be without your S.O. when your friends have theirs with them. Just trust me. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t date a guy who doesn’t like Disney.

PS: The guy who didn’t like Disney? Broke up with me via email. I know, so 2003. And so unromantic. Ugh.

PPS: Any single boys who are reading this and do like Disney, hi! Feel free to contact me below.

Disney Princes that you’re Most Likely to Meet at a Party

Summer is definitely party season. Obviously, college students party all the time, but I for one enjoy parties so much more when I don’t have tests or projects to worry about. I’m blessed to go to a university with pretty decent weather year-round, but for those of you that don’t, summertime usually has the best weather.

I’m a Disney girl and an extremely hopeless romantic at heart, so I’m always on the look for my own Prince Charming. As a result, I can tell you what Disney guys you’re likely to run into at a party, whether it be a frat party, a kickback, or at a bar. Perhaps then maybe you’ll have more luck at finding your prince than I have.

Naveen

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Naveen is the classic guy-with-a guitar at a party. He’s attractive and talented, and he knows it. Personally, I think that a guy is more attractive if he plays the guitar, but Naveen isn’t one of those scruffy guys that plays an instrument in order to bump up his score on the hotness meter. Naveen is already hot, and the guitar makes him hotter. At first encounter, Naveen might seem like a shallow player, but take a chance to get to know him, away from the crowd, and you might get to see the more sincere side of him. Naveen is full of potential, you just have to look past the cocky exterior.

Peter Pan
Peter Pan is definitely the jokester. Peter Pan doesn’t realize that he’s attractive, but he is, and that might make him more attractive, but also the most annoying. Peter Pan can also be a little annoying because he tends to act very childish. Examples of this would be creating massive cannonballs at a pool party or stealing all the beer pong balls. Peter Pan is most likely surrounded by a group of equally immature guys. While he may be great for a laugh, Peter Pan might be a guy that you want to wait for. Keep in mind that he probably won’t ever grow up, though.

The Gaston

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More likely to be encountered at a bar, or the loudest and most obnoxious one at the party,  Gaston is either surrounded by girls or his bros. While he may have admirers, Gaston doesn’t deserve them. Horribly conceited-and I heard he hunts animals for no reason-Gaston will try to compliment you by saying insulting things and by buying you cheap beer. He won’t even try to get to know you or ask you questions about your life. He really just wants an excuse to brag about himself. I wish I could say that Gaston had a redeeming quality besides his looks, but he doesn’t. Avoid him at all costs.

Aladdin

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Most likely the guy on the edges of the party or hanging out in the backyard. If there’s a dog, he might talk to him more than the actual humans. Probably a bit of a loner, but don’t let that dissuade you. Be careful not to believe everything he says at first. Once he realizes you like him for him and not the stories he spins, Aladdin will open up to you. Patience is key!

The Hans
Thankfully, we don’t have to worry that cute strangers we meet plan to murder us and take our older sibling’s crowns. Nowadays, Hans is the one most likely to love you and leave you. Watch out for him. He’ll relate to you, romance you, and take you on great dates-for a while. Once he gets what he wants: good grades (if you’re smart/a saint and help him), your virginity/sex, or eep-your friend, he’s gone. And Kristoff might not always be waiting.

The prince
I’m not talking about Prince Charming from Cinderella. I’m referring to the prince at the end of Snow White that does nothing but sing a little song at the beginning of the movie, then whisks Snow off to his castle at the end. Um, boring much? The Prince is that one guy that everyone else is into, but when you see him, you’re just like, meh. He looks like he’d be a great kisser, but he isn’t. Talking to him is pointless- there’s zero chemistry. This guy isn’t worth your time.

Of course, these aren’t the only Disney princes or leading men you could meet at a party. The odds of running into a guy like Tarzan is pretty slim, but you’ll probably run into a Milo Thatch at least once. Keep an eye out for Captain Jack Sparrow (never forget the Captain) and Flynn Rider too! With this list I’ve created for you, you’re one step closer to finding your own prince! (And if you do, please ask him if he has cute friends for me!) Good luck!

Have a magical day!