Shannon talks with Shantelle of Magical Tour Guide (formerly Disneyland Tour Guide) about their shared goal of helping travelers get the most out of their Disney day. Shantelle shares what makes her unique in the Disneyland creator niche, how her family created a love of Disneyland, why she started her Instagram account and what led her to change the name of it. She discusses Disneyland strategy, what to look for in a Disneyland hotel, and what she’s most excited about for future travels.
All about Shantelle
Shantelle is a long-time listener of the podcast. WDW Prep to Go was her go to planning her Disney World trip many years ago.
Shantelle grew up and still lives in Arizona. She is a content-creator that needs to travel to Disneyland, unlike many others.
Her grandparents owned a travel agency when she was growing up and it was fascinating! Her grandma took her to Disney World for her first trip when she was 10.
When she got married her husband had never been to Disneyland and she was appalled. She wanted to be able to take her family to Disneyland regularly but making it affordable.
She has twins that are 19 year old now and she traveled with kids to Disneyland for years. About 7 years ago she started posting her tips and tricks on instagram.
Shantelle is a teacher by training and loves teaching people how to have the best experience. She loves helping people maximize their Disneyland trip.
Everything is always evolving and changing in the Disneyland experience. Shantelle has stayed in about 30+ hotels in the area and can speak from experience about where to stay and how to travel.
Shantelle is different from other influencers for Disneyland because her primary focus is education.
Shantelle didn’t have an annual pass but one year when her kids were little. She really didn’t need to have an annual pass until the past few years. She was able to make it cost effective without it.
Shantelle is now a magic key holder and goes to Disneyland about once a month. She is often invited to check out a hotel and review her experience. She also works closely with Visit Anaheim.
She’s not always just visiting Disneyland (although that is her love) she also loves visiting other parts of Anaheim. She does like visiting Disney World as well but doesn’t get there as often.
Changing her Name
Shantelle recently did a name change. Her website is DisneylandTourGuide.com. The majority of the content there is Disneyland. Her instagram handle is Disneyland Tour Guide as well and it has been from the beginning.
However, she noticed that some of her content isn’t about Disneyland. She writes about Universal Studios or Legoland, all-inclusive resorts, and more.
She changed her instagram name to MagicalTourguide to show that she is more than just Disneyland. It shows that her content is beyond just Disneyland.
Shantelle launched her website in January 2020 which was a challenging time! This is where the majority of her content can be found.
She’s able to go to other locations several times a year as well. She tries to get to Disney World twice a year. She and her daughter went to New York and she wrote about that experience. She travels the same way no matter where she does and will write about it to help others.
Shantelle offers similar planning for Disneyland because you can have a much better experience if you plan. But the planning for Disney World and Disneyland are very different.
Shantelle will be staying at Pixar Place as soon as it opens and is so excited to see it. The Grand Californian is so convenient. But the Disneyland hotel has such nostalgia and is her favorite.
Howard Johnson because they had a remodel a few years ago. They have a retro vibe but are very clean and bright. There are two queen beds and it is very conveniently located. However, it doesn’t have breakfast. The Embassy Suites is a good option and has a great breakfast, but it is far and you have to use the bus system. The Element by Westin opened a few years ago and is close enough to walk. This is another good option especially if you’re looking for breakfast but want to be walkable. The Biv is off property and further away but it feels like a deluxe hotel but at a moderate price.
Shantelle recommends taking parking into consideration. If you are driving, many hotels are charging for parking, so this is something you need to be mindful of.
Another consideration is if you need a suite or not. Hyatt House is a great hotel within walking distance, especially if you need a suite room. Castle Inn and Suites is another great option. The hotel is older but it’s been refreshed.
- Do you want breakfast?
- How many people do you need to accommodate?
- How close do you want to be?
Plaza Inn is Shantelle’s absolute favorite. She loves the variety of characters and even some rare characters. Shantelle loves the views from the restaurant and how you can see the castles.
There are only three character meals: breakfast only at Storytellers at Grand Californian and Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotels. There is also a very expensive Princess Adventure, which is your only princess option.
What are your thoughts on new things at Disneyland?
Shantelle is very excited about the retheming of Pixar Place. She’s seen some parts already complete and really loves the theming.
San Fransokyo Square in DCA is also really cool and a great area to explore. Shantelle is glad that ToonTown got a revamp also.
Shantelle is heading to the new restaurant and the DVC tower this week and she’s excited to see that new addition to the Disneyland hotel.
What are you excited about coming in the future to Disneyland?
Shantelle is excited about the new hotel for sure. She’s also interested in seeing how early entry changing in January will change things.
What should we know about visiting Disneyland?
Park Hopping at Disneyland is so easy because it is just a minute walk! This is very different from Walt Disney World. Also Avengers Campus is completely unique from anything in Walt Disney World.
Shantelle has a whole section on her website of things that are completely unique to Disneyland. Just because rides or shows have the same name, they are different between Disneyland and Disney World.
The Monorail at Disneyland is not just for transportation, it is more of a ride!
What do you like about Disney World?
The Skyliner is great! Shantelle suggests staying at a resort on the skyliner line because it’s great for transportation and a ride!
Shantelle loves the vibe of Pop Century and fell in love with everything about Beach Club. She loves the pool and the location.
Shantelle will be in Disneyland next week to watch the transition between Halloween and Christmas in November.
In December she will be in Aulani and then in January she will be at the Grand Californian to check out the changes to early entry.
- Magical Tour Guide Instagram site
- Shantelle’s website
- Magical Tour Guide YouTube channel
- 6 Step Disney World Planning Process
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