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  • On Feb 22, 2022
    Christina from CA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My daughters girl scout troop of 8, 4th graders are planning a trip to Disneyland in April. One of the leaders is deploying in May and we want to do something special. Is there anything special we could do?

    Hi Christina!

    Welcome to planDisney! Thank you so much for asking this wonderfully thoughtful question to us hEAR. I'm so happy to be your planEAR today!

    This sounds like a very special visit to Mickey's house indeed, and I can't think of a better way to spend some precious pre-deployment time than at The Happiest Place on Earth. I'm a Military spouse and Disney was always the place we went as a family after my husband got back from a deployment, and where I'd meet up with friends or family in the middle to get through the hardest parts of the slump. I think I have some great tips for your troop!

    ~The first thing is to look into getting a Disney Dining Reservation now. Table-Service restaurants open their bookings starting 60 days in advance (at 3:00 A.M. PST) with the most popular locations filling fast.

    ~Head to City Hall on Main Street U.S.A. and ask for complimentary "I'm Celebrating" celebration buttons. There's a blank space to write in what's being celebrated and I think "Friendship" is the perfect answer here. A really special touch is to write the date of the visit on the backside of the button - you could even bring a thin permanent marker and have all of the friends sign their names. But a real button bonus is they are so thin that they can be slipped into any of the multiple bags the leader is going to need to take with them downrange.

    ~Take some mental notes (or actual notes in your phone) of what your troop leader snacks on all day. Then at some point during the deployment, you can send a version of that in a care package, like this pretzel pin, dole whip keychain, and mickey waffle wallet. Having just returned from the parks I can confirm there are so many cute options in the keychain, pen, magnet, and last-minute purchase area of the checkout queue. Pro Tip: Look for the pre-packaged bagged snacks, like the jelly beans, Minnie's Bakeshop treats, and the fun flavors of popcorn. Non-chocolate, not-too-sticky items ship very well and can survive the sometimes month-long journey.

    ~Lastly, the best memento your service member could take with them, wherever in the world they go, would be digital copies of all of the photos from the day. And I can think of no better way to make sure EVERYONE gets in said photos than by using the Disney PhotoPass service, which is both posed photos in landmark locations like in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle or at the entrance of Cars Land but also on-ride photos as well. Just one person needs to purchase PhotoPass, or better yet, it's included for anyone who purchases the brand new Disney Genie+ add-on!

    I hope that these tips gave you some great ideas, Christina! Be sure to follow the official planDisney Instagram account for even more Disneyland Resort tips and tricks. Thank you again for thinking about us to help make, celebrate, and capture some special memories for your beloved scout leader. And please pass on to them that we all hEAR at planDisney thank them for their service and are also sending our well wishes!

    ~Kristen N.
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Meet the Panelist: Kristen, Texas

Hi, I'm Kristen! I am a preschool mom and military wife who loves keeping up with the latest Disney Parks news. Trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World have always been fun, but now that I'm the parent AND the planner every moment is that much more treasured.  I am so honored and excited to be able to share tips I've picked up, pass on fun factoids I've learned, and help create magical moments for your vacation of a lifetime!  Learn More About Kristen

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