By: Kelly Soderlund

The Happiest Place on Earth is commemorating its 60th year of Disney magic this summer with its Diamond Celebration at Disneyland Park, featuring three new nighttime spectaculars, special events, prizes (like actual diamonds), and more.

Sounds amazing, right? I thought so– my son just turned 3 years old, an age where he might actually retain some magical memories, and besides, he is obsessed with Disney Cars, so I’m pretty sure Cars Land would be his version of heaven at this point in his life.

My dad (my whole family, actually) is a Disneyland über fan, and seeing that childlike gleam in my stoic father’s eyes is priceless. Naturally, we wanted Grandpa on the trip. The issue? Logistics. He’s busy, we’re busy; he lives in Sacramento, we live in San Francisco. That means not only coordinating our vacation schedules, but coordinating our flights from differing airports as well. To say nothing of finding a hotel at an agreed upon price point with conjoining rooms. Group trip planning is not fun.

Thankfully, Hipmunk came to my vacay rescue with its new “Trip Planing” feature, which let’s me save, group, and share multiple searches under one trip. Here’s how it works:

Flights to Disneyland from SFO

Step One: Start a search. I started by searching for flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Orange County (SNA) as I normally would. After my results were displayed, I had the option of either creating a new trip or saving this search to an existing trip. Since this was the first search for flights to Disneyland, I simply created a Disneyland trip.

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As shown above, all my searches in this session are automatically added to my Disneyland trip, unless I choose to make this trip inactive and create a new trip–or add to an existing trip.

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Step Two: Add any other flight searches. These could be from different locations (great for group travel where individual departure cities differ, such as in my case), or just to compare different dates, times, or airports if your travel plans are flexible.

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Step Three: Search for hotels. After my flight search results appear, Hipmunk gives me the option of searching for local hotels as well, and automatically utilizes the same date information I specified in my flight search (but this can be edited as needed).

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The search results shown above are my results from a search of Santa Ana hotels and vacation rentals for four people with two rooms. For fun, I used the  Heatmaps view that shows me the hot spots for food, in case we decide we don’t want to eat every meal in the park.

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Step Four: Share your trip. Now I all I need to do is share the url with my dad, and we can filter through all of the available options to decide what works for us collectively. Now that everyone involved can see the itinerary in real time on all our devices, we’re on the same page. Literally.

Because getting to the Happiest Place on Earth shouldn’t be such a downer.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on July 13th.