– Ben Martens


Tyla and I decided that this year would be a big vacation for us. (Well, big for us anyway.) We tossed around a number of options but finally decided that we’d give Disneyland a shot. I went to Disney World when I was five, and Tyla and Elijah have never been there so this will be a pretty new experience for all of us.

I’m a planner so I wanted to suck in some information before making plans, but whew, that’s like trying to take a sip from a firehose. As part of my research, I checked out “The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2018” ebook from our library. I liked it so much that I ended up buying a physical copy of the book to take with us for quick reference.

I won’t know if it’s any good until I’ve been through a trip using their info, but I like their approach. They are basically a bunch of data scientist nerds who love Disneyland. They collect tons of data and model out crowd flows so that you can optimize your route through the various attractions that are interesting to you. And of course in addition to all the data (available in an app for your phone), you also get detailed descriptions of all the rides, restaurants and hotels. Should you stay in the park, withinin walking distance or drive to the park? Is the MaxPass add-on worth it? Will my four year old be scared on ride X? I had tons of questions and this book had a lot of the answers. Hopefully the answers were correct.

So now we’ve booked the flight, transportation to the hotel, the hotel, and our park tickets. We’re working on dinner reservations (for bigger things like character dinners) too. While I don’t like to build a strict itinerary before a trip, I do like to get the majority of the spending decisions out of the way ahead of time.

Our plan is visit Disneyland one day, spend a day resting at the hotel and hanging out in the pool, and then do California adventure on the third day. I don’t really know what to expect with a four year old in tow, but hopefully we’ll leave wanting just a little bit more as opposed to thinking we’ve overdone it.

Look out Mickey! Here we come!