AD • Planning Our California Adventure | Attraction Tickets Direct

This post is in partnership with Attraction Tickets Direct.

I can't quite believe I'm heading back to California, it's been four years since I toured the West Coast on an organised route. I knew I had to return but this time, we're planning our own adventure!

This trip is in partnership with Attraction Tickets Direct, the UK's largest attraction ticket provider serving over 4 million customers since 2002. They believe in real tickets, real value, real fast. We have been working with them (and using them as paid customers!) for a few years now, and I am truly overwhelmed with messages from many of you booking happy holidays via ATD. They are trusted and loved for good reasons, they've won various awards and their customer service is second to none. Although we are working together, they gave me full rein to organise this one (I really do love booking trips!), so I wanted to share that experience and tell you a bit more about planning and booking a California trip.

I've only ever spent one day at Disneyland (it's the Original Disney park and the only one Walt himself saw before he passed), and I've been dreaming of going back ever since. You can get tickets straight from Attraction Tickets Direct here. They have mobile tickets making it super easy to link to your My Disney Experience account and enter in and out the parks too. I've you've done other Disney parks, particularly Paris or Florida, it's actually quite a different experience. With two parks to choose from and three hotels, the Anaheim Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure are popular with locals but are 100% worth a trip from the UK (trust me, it's incredible!) We've dedicated 3-4 days for Disney, plenty of time to do everything in both parks. We'll also be visiting the brand new Star Wars Galaxy's Edge. We pre-booked a few restaurants 60 days in advance, but there's no need to organise fast passes or heavily plan Disneyland, which is a huge perk if you find Florida a stressful experience. Fast passes are available in the parks (paper tickets) or via the app. You can pay $15 per person per day for their 'Max Pass' which we'll be sure to show you in the vlogs how it works. Anaheim is located around an hour away from LAX airport, so consider transport and if it's worth hiring a car. For us, we are happy to use Uber or Lyft and will be utilising the Disney Shuttle Service as we're staying onsite for the first few days.

When we arrive in LA, we're heading straight to Disney's Grand Californian Hotel where we're staying for two nights (the dream!). Disney is kindly accommodating us here to show you the major perks of staying on site, I honestly have never been so excited. With the private entry into the parks, a gorgeous swimming pool and extra magic hours, we'll be documenting exactly what it's like to stay here. We're then moving to a hotel just outside the parks for two nights on Harbour Boulevard. I spent a little bit of time researching where to stay but my best advice here is to bring up a map and see all the hotels along the street. There are loads to pick from and most of the reviews are great. My top choices were Best Western Plus Park Place Inn, Grand Legacy At The Park, Howard Johnson Anaheim, Candy Cane Inn and Hotel Indigo. We compared them all on location, price, availability, TripAdvisor reviews, recommendations from friends and then went with the best option. We'll share it more in the vlogs.

After Disney, we're moving an hour away out of Anaheim and closer to LA. We're spending the rest of our trip here and staying in an Airbnb for five nights. Again, I used lots of different websites and priced up a few options, but felt an Airbnb was best suited for us. The owner has been communicating with us and seems really friendly. I'm looking forward to having something different to look forward too. We can use the kitchen to make a meal or two and the best part is, we're right opposite Universal Studios!

Universal Studios Hollywood
Benji and I are HUGE fans of Universal Studios over in Orlando. The Mummy is one of my all-time favourite rides and I've heard the Hollywood version is even better. Although the Hollywood park is smaller, they have the world-famous Studio Tour, giving you the opportunity to see real production of current films as you tour through soundstages, Backlot streets, fantastic movie-making demonstrations and astounding special effects. This has been on my bucket list for so long, I can't wait! They're also known for their shows including Water World, full of every stunt you can imagine. You can bet I'm running straight to The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter for Butterbeer and a ride on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and we'll also be trying Jurassic World - The Ride, which is brand new for 2019, still under wraps but we're looking forward to hopefully being quick off the mark to try it once it opens! We've allocated two days for Universal Studios and an evening to enjoy City Walk too.

Go Los Angeles Card
After a week of theme parks, we're finishing off the trip with some good old-fashioned tourist exploring! We're going to use the Go LA Card, available from Attraction Tickets Direct and easily the best way to explore LA if you have no idea where to start. It's the only multi-attraction card that gets you into over 30 top attractions in the city for one low price and great flexibility. You can save up to 50% off combined individual admission prices, plus, get a FREE One Day Universal Studios Hollywood Weekday Ticket when purchasing a 3, 5, or 7-Day pass. We've got a whole weekend and the morning before we fly to take advantage of visiting plenty of great locations around LA! On our bucket list includes OUE Skyspace, Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood Sign and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

Warner Bros Studio Tour
Not to be confused with the Studio Tour at Universal Studios, Warner Bros. have their own Tour which looks amazing! Lasting around two-three hours, this is the perfect opportunity to go behind the scenes of the studio's legendary 110-acre backlot where classic movies and TV shows came to life. This is included in the Go LA Card which is great.

Flights, ESTA, Insurance & Money
I recently shared my Travel Hacks & Tips video over on my channel so be sure to watch that for my best advice for booking flights, accommodation and travel money. We booked separate insurance and organised our ESTA visas, and went with BA for our flights.

We're absolutely buzzing for this adventure. We love that our plans are actually quite flexible, we can eat wherever and have plenty of spare time to explore. We'll be vlogging every day so be sure to keep an eye out for those videos later in July. If you're interested in booking tickets with Attraction Tickets Direct, check them out here!


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