Our Best & Most Helpful Disney Blog Posts
Welcome to DisneyTouristBlog.com! We’ve noticed an influx of new readers recently, so we thought maybe introductions or reintroductions were appropriate. I’m Tom Bricker, the writer, photographer, editor, etc., and general mischief maker (together with my wife, Sarah) behind this blog. This blog is based on our first-hand experiences and opinions of things I encounter while my wife and I travel to the various Disney Parks around the world.
It’s hard to believe it, but this blog is over 6 years old. It’s basically a kindergartner, which is ironic, since it might seem like it’s written by one. It started out as a personal blog where we could organize our trip reports, some of my photography thoughts, and various other op/ed pieces, but has since grown far beyond that. It’s also arguably grown beyond the blog format, which can make it very difficult for new readers to find some of our older articles.
Hence this tour. This is meant to be a quick way for you to find some of our most popular and useful articles, organized by location. Heck, maybe even you regular readers will find something you missed.
Walt Disney World Posts
When it comes to planning a trip to Walt Disney World, the best place to start is our comprehensive Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide. This guide is regularly updated, with the most recent revisions in October 2017. It’s a bit on the long side, but Walt Disney World vacations require a ridiculous amount of preparation, so it’s a good jumping off point. If you’re looking for a specific topic, check out the following:
- Money-Saving Tips for Buying Walt Disney World Tickets – We analyze the different ticket options so you can determine which is best for you, and also share some places to buy tickets to save money.
- Restaurant Reviews – There are hundreds of places to eat at Walt Disney World. This page has links to our reviews of each restaurant.
- Hotel Reviews – There are dozens of Disney hotels, plus even more off-site hotels. Here we link to the resorts and hotels that we have reviewed thus far.
- Disney Dining Plan Guide – The Disney Dining Plan can be a great way to plan ahead and save money, but there are downsides, too. These resources cover the pros & cons, plus best uses of the Dining Plan.
- Free Dining Info & Tips – Each fall, the Disney Dining Plan is offered for “free” as a promo. Here’s info about how you can get Free Dining, plus its pros & cons.
- When to Visit – The parks see the largest crowds when schools are on break. Here are times of year to go when crowds aren’t so bad, plus other considerations for choosing when to plan your vacation.
- Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Walt Disney World – Tons of stuff happens are the holidays in the parks, and we cover it all here, along with our tips for best experiencing it all.
- Guide to Seasonal Events at Walt Disney World – Although Christmas is our favorite time of year in the parks, there are tons of other seasonal events. This covers them all.
- Walt Disney World for Adults – As childless young adults, we often experience a “different side of Disney,” so to speak. This covers some of our favorite adult activities.
- Walt Disney World with Kids – With the help of our readers (and based upon our observations), we compiled some tips and mistakes to avoid when taking your kids to Walt Disney World.
- Disney v. Universal – A rivalry that’s all in the heads of fans, this post examines the strengths and weaknesses of Orlando’s two biggest theme park resorts.
- The Real Cost of a Walt Disney World Vacation – The actual cost of a Disney vacation surprises many people. Here’s how much you can really expect to pay.
- Guide to Walt Disney World Discounts – While that “real cost” can be intimidating, there are ways to save. This rates the various discounts offered on vacations.
- Grocery Delivery – You can save a ton of money on meals via grocery delivery. Here are the ins and outs of having groceries delivered to your hotel.
- Transportation Tips – From Disney’s Magical Express to renting a car to using Uber to shortcuts via the Disney buses, Walt Disney World transportation is a surprisingly complex topic.
Being locals, we visit Disneyland on a fairly regular basis and update our info on even more frequent basis. Somewhat ironically, I first wrote my comprehensive Disneyland Resort Trip Planning Guide after we had only visited a couple of times, and it was primarily a post to implore Walt Disney World fans to visit Disneyland for the first time. A lot sure has changed since then! Here are some other key posts concerning Disneyland:
- Money-Saving Tips for Buying Disneyland Tickets – There’s a lot to know about Disneyland tickets, including where to buy to save money and where not to buy to avoid being scammed. This post covers it all.
- Hotel Reviews – We’ve stayed in 40+ hotels near Disneyland, and they most definitely are not all created equal. Some are great, and some are downright scary. This post ranks the hotels in the area, and provides links to my hotel reviews.
- Restaurant Reviews – Reviews of just about every major restaurant at Disneyland so you can dine at the best spots and try the ‘must do’ foods.
- When to Visit — Disneyland is busiest when school is out of session; this post covers avoiding crowds then, plus when you’ll actually want to visit.
- Guide to Disneyland Discounts – There are numerous ways to save money on a Disneyland vacation, and this post rates the various possibilities so you can choose the right option for you.
- Annual Pass Tips – A Disneyland Annual Pass can have a lot of value beyond just normal theme park admission. We cover all the benefits here.
- Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Disneyland – Christmas is my favorite time of the year at Disneyland, and this features tips for everything from Haunted Mansion Holiday to the must-try holiday snacks, and more.
- Ultimate Guide to Halloween at Disneyland – Halloween is a great time of year in the parks, and like the Christmas guide, this covers attraction overlays, snacks, Mickey’s Halloween Party, and more.
Tokyo Disney Resort Posts
Although Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are literally halfway around the world, they are my two favorite Disney Parks. I’ve visited several times and have written a ton of posts in the hopes that other Disney fans will travel to these great parks. My Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Planning Guide is a great starting point for planning, and these other posts are also helpful:
- Tokyo Disney Resort on a Budget – Traveling to Japan isn’t cheap, but it also isn’t as expensive as many people assume. Here’s how you might be able to make a trip fit your budget.
- Restaurant Reviews – I’ve dined at almost every restaurant in Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. I’m slowly building an index of reviews, which you can read here.
- Why Tokyo DisneySea is the Best Park – The post that will put the Japanese parks on your bucket list if they aren’t already there.
- Airfare Hack for a Multi-Stop Trip – There are a lot of little-understood airfare rules that can enable you to visit Aulani in Hawaii, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disney Resort all for the price of one flight!
We cover almost every Disney Destination on this blog, but for some places, our coverage isn’t quite as comprehensive. Here are our noteworthy posts from other places:
- Disneyland Paris Trip Planning Guide – I’m currently a Disneyland Paris Annual Passholder, and this is my comprehensive guide to that resort, which is located just outside of Paris, France.
- Hong Kong Disneyland Trip Planning Guide – The smallest Disney resort in the world, and one that we feel is underrated. We’ve visited at Christmas and Halloween, and this covers our tips for visiting.
- Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa Trip Planning Guide – Disney’s Hawaiian resort is a beautiful and huge place that is well-worth seeing if Hawaii interests you. Here’s what to do while there.
- Restaurant Reviews – An index of all restaurant reviews, including those from Paris, Hong Kong, Aulani, and the Disney Cruise Line.
- Disney Cruise Line Guide – A Disney cruise is a totally different type of vacation than visiting the parks, and this highlights what you should know, pack, and do during your cruise.
- Castaway Cay Tips – There’s a lot to know about Disney’s private island at which some Disney Cruise Line ships stop. This covers almost everything.
In addition to posts that fit neatly into a category of one particular Disney Parks resort, we also have a bunch of generalized Disney posts, photography posts, and “other stuff” posts:
- Disney Vacation Club Buying Guide – Buying into DVC is a decision that requires a lot of thought and analysis. We break down the key considerations so you can determine if becoming a DVC member is right for you.
- Unique Items to Pack for Disney – Packing lists are a dime a dozen, but this one only covers uncommon items you otherwise might not take, that will really improve your vacation.
- Tips for Renting DVC Points – Even if you don’t buy into Disney Vacation Club, you can benefit from it by renting points to save a ton of money on your resort stay.
- Ultimate Disney Parks Photography Guide – I got my start in the Disney fan community as a photographer and started sharing my opinions much later. This post merges photography and opinion as I give tips on everything from gear to taking better photos in the parks.
- Disney Pin Trading 101 – We are recovering pin trading addicts. While we don’t indulge anymore, this covers some things to know (and ways to save money) on this fun (and totally safe 😉 ) hobby.
- What to Wear to the Disney Parks – In our trip report days, the most common questions concerned my wife’s outfits in the parks. This answers most of the common questions.
- My Disney Parks Library – I’m not big into souvenirs, but I do collect Disney Parks books. Here’s a look at the books in my library.
- 1-Day Disney Parks Itineraries – Maybe you missed this from the menu bar…these are our plans for single days in various Disney Parks.
- Disney Parks Ride Guides – Another menu bar option that maybe you’ve missed. Brief synopses of every ride in every park, along with scores and other key info.
- Trips for Traveling on a Budget – Generalized tips that are useful for seeing more without spending as much money.
- Disneyland v. Walt Disney World – The pros and cons of each, and which is right for your vacation.
If by some strange miracle you aren’t sick enough of us just from reading this blog, you can follow along via our various social media channels:
- Facebook – My photos and links to posts get shared here, and it’s an active place for conversation among readers.
- Pinterest – I post links to our articles, my photos, and other cool Disney finds that I stumble upon on the internet.
- Twitter – Articles, photos, random stuff, retweets, and replies to readers, all in bite-size 140-character chunks.
- YouTube – We’ve started a vlog! It’s still in the early stages, but our (eventual) goal is to bring you a weekly vlog with a mix of in-studio and live segments.
- Instagram (Tom) – I post #latergram photos from my DSLR and #live photos from my iPhone when I’m in the parks.
- Instagram (Sarah) – Sarah shares her iPhone photos of both the live and later variety.
Finally, one of my long-term goals is to get more serious about landscape photography and travel tips to other destinations. You can find these tips and photography on my secondary travel blog, TravelCaffeine.com.
We’d love to hear your feedback. Which type of post on the blog do you like most? Which type do you like least? What would you like to see more of? Need help finding anything or answering a question you have about vacation planning? Any other thoughts, questions, or comments?
Tom and Sarah,
Thanks for all the years! Yours was the first Disney planning blog I had ever laid eyes on ( I would say close to six years ago). Your site is still my go to and the one I recommended to everyone taking a WDW trip! Thanks for all the hard work and stunning photography over the years! I too can’t believe how big this thing is now…
As a longtime follower, I was wondering, and I was just discussing this with my husband the other day, do you still practice law and is Sarah still a nurse? I know you moved closer to the mouse, but did the site success change your lives? Just wondering… please do not feel obligated to answer!
Again thank you! You guys rock!
Brilliant site, look forward to reading new posts thanks
Tom, last February I booked a 1-week trip to WDW for end of May 28 – June 4. My wife and I will be celebrating our 18th anniversary. We have both lived in SoCal our whole lives and have enjoyed countless trips to DL & CA but this will be our first trip to WDW.
Shortly after I booked my trip I found your site. I was just looking for the best area to view the MK fireworks and trying figure out if the dessert package was worth it (we booked the Plaza Garden Viewing package). Anyways, once I found your site, I have been on it constantly. Your planning tips, reviews, Fastpass+ suggestions, etc are absolutely fantastic! Your site has helped us in planning our visit immeasurably. I wish I had found your site before I booked (I would have used an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner) but in spite of that, I am sure we will have a great trip. I just wanted to thank you for building such a great site!
Now I have buttered you up, I was also hoping you (or other experienced reader) could answer a question:
Recently Disney sent me an email promoting their various Unique Access Tours. Some of the tours are way out of our budget (private VIP tours go for $425 – $625hr!) but some of the other offerings intrigued me (i.e. Keys to the Kingdom Tour is $99; this is closer to our budget).
So I did what I always do. I came to your site and looked for a review to see what these tours are actually like. However, I could not find these tours mentioned on your site. Am I missing them? Have you done any of these tours? If so, I would be interested in your thoughts.
Basically, are any tours worth the cost/time? Should a first time visitor with only 6 full days to spend at WDW parks even bother with these?
Thanks again for the awesome site! It has already helped us avoid some common pitfalls for WDW first-timers.
We have been to Disney World numerous times. I’m always looking for something new to add each trip. We did Keys to the Kingdom tour last year and were very pleased with it. The guide was so pleasant and informative. We learned to much about the behind the scenes stuff. It also included lunch. And we got to go to the head of the line through a special entrance for Haunted Mansion! I would recommend it.
Leslie, thank you for the feedback, it is appreciated! -Josh M
I’m a longtime reader. This is so helpful. Thanks! Love the photos and photography posts.
Tom, I’ve been following your blog for some time and have found so many of your tips and reviews helpful. Thanks for this compilation – such a great planning resource and reference tool!