Disney Fan Feature Friday: Jaime from Polka Dots on Parade

Disney Fan Feature Friday

Name: Jaime Jenkins
What do you love about Disney? 
I love how every little detail tells me I’m in a special place! The hidden Mickeys all over, the freshly planted flowers everywhere, and every spot in the park has a story to tell.
Which Disney park is your favorite and why? 
I love Disneyland because it’s so classic and developed. Our favorite rides are tucked in all over the park and we never run out of things to do!
Which Disney ride would we see your family ride over and over (without lines of course)?
We definitely love Pirates of the Caribbean, but if there were no lines and no height requirements, the  Lightning McQueen Racers are so much fun!!
Which Disney movie do your kids enjoy the most…and which one do YOU love the most! 
My kids go through phases of movies. The Jungle Book and Finding Nemo were very popular with my son. They love to watch Brave together since it appeals to both boys and girls and is not your traditional princess movie! I think we all love Tangled.
If you could be any Disney character, who would you be and why? 
I would be Tinkerbell because I’ve always wanted to fly over the castle!
What is your favorite Disney memory? 
Hard to choose! I love remembering my kids with the big twirly rainbow lollipops. I love how excited they were when they got their first set of Mickey ears. I love when they wear their tallest shoes and are finally able to go on the big ride! I love the giggles when Daddy spins us fast on the Teacups! I love watching the fireworks with sleepy children. And I love when the Disney employees call my daughter Princess. :)
Choose any two words to describe what Disney means to you: Magical Memories
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Tips for your First Visit to Disneyland

This past week was filled with some magical Disney moments.  My brother and his family were visiting from Wisconsin; I am so thankful to have shared in their first trip to Disneyland!  It was a first-ever visit to a Disney Park for my Sister-in-law, niece and nephew as well so it was extra special.  Making someone’s first visit to Disneyland special is very important…here are a few tips that worked well this past week!

First visit to disneyland fast pass

Tip #1: Plan the rides you want to ride that offer a FastPass.

You can find a list of attractions on Disney’s website that offer a Fast Pass. When you arrive, plan on getting Fast Passes for the most popular rides right when you enter the park.  As you move to each different “land”, get the Fast Passes right away so you know what time you should return to that ride.

Tip #2: Don’t try to do everything.

You cannot possibly see and experience everything on your first visit to Disneyland without overdoing it…and overdoing it can ruin the day for everyone, especially when traveling with a group of people.  Choose 2-3 things in each land and focus on those.  Anything extra is a bonus and the rest...well, there is always next time, right? :)

characters tips for first visit to disneyland

Tip #3: Make time for each person in the group to meet a character they love.

Whether it is Mickey, a Disney Princess at Fantasy Faire, Tinkerbell, or a Storm Trooper, make time for everyone to meet a character they love if they want to.  This makes the entire Disney experience even more special because of these connections.  And plus, you cannot ask for better photos for framing…or as a Facebook profile photo. :)

first visit to disneyland splash mountain

Tip #4: Find out one thing each person in the group wants to do and plan to make that happen.

On our trip this last week, Star Wars, meeting Tinkerbell, and Splash Mountain were a few of the “must do’s”.  Disneyland’s website is well organized allowing you to use it to pre-plan with each little…or big…person in your group.  Show them the attractions in each different land so they know what they can choose from. Print a map for them so they can highlight the attractions on their list so they can take ownership in their trip as well.

Tip #5: Sit down to eat meals.

There is a lot to see and a lot of walking and standing time involved in this.  Take time to enjoy one of the many great dining options that Disneyland offers and sit down to eat.  This way, everyone has a chance to rest up and those who have never been to Disneyland will not get too tired.

Tip #6: Take the time they all need to visit the stores and enjoy Main Street…and then take their souvenirs to the Newsstand.

Honestly, I neglected this for my own first visit and during this trip with my brother, I realized how much I was missing. There are so many phenomenal stores on Main Street that each offer their own magic.  Enjoy them…you may only pop into one for a minute or two, but taking this minute or two ensures you don’t miss those stores that just resonate with a person.  And even if you have been in the stores a hundred times, watching facial expression of those who are visiting for the first time  makes it all worthwhile.  When you are finished shopping, take your packages to the Newsstand in Disneyland and they will hold them for you.

first visit to disneyland parade

Tip #7: Do not miss the parade or fireworks.

No matter what.  Promise?

When a person first visits Disneyland, they finally experience everything they have seen on television and movies for years.  They form their own experiences and make their own connections…it’s a beautiful process.  And when you watch them assimilate it all together as they watch the parade and fireworks…well, it’s like watching them get sprinkled with Pixie Dust.   Secure a good viewing spot about an hour before the shows start and let someone else take little ones to rides and attractions that are close by.

Tip #8: Get “First Visit” Buttons!!! 

You can get these at almost every shop, the Disneyland Hotel, or upon entering the park.  I love how Disney Cast Members made my brother and family feel special on their first visit to Disneyland with their energetic welcomes and asking them with genuine interest where they are from.

Following these simple tips will make a first visit to Disneyland magical.  Oh – and don’t forget the sunscreen! :)

family at disneyland first visit to disneyland

The best possible ending I could have asked for was when our niece gave me a BIG hug and said, “BEST. DAY. EVER.”


Have you been able to share the Disney magic with someone during their first trip to a Disney Park?

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Wordless Wednesday: Which #Disney Resort are we at in this Photo? {#WordlessWednesday}

Photo credit: disneymentor.com

Photo credit: disneymentor.com

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