Cars Land in Disney California Adventure Park is full of little nods to the Pixar movie, both obvious and not-so-obvious. Check out this list the next time you find yourself in Radiator Springs, and don’t miss all these hidden gems!
Main Street, USA isn’t just a bunch of shops – it’s home to all kinds of hidden gems that are way too easy to miss, especially if you're hustling to get to Space Mountain or Indiana Jones. The next time you find yourself walking down Main Street, keep an eye out for these little surprises.
A Bug’s Land is closing forever very soon (September 4th in fact), and with that closing, we’d like to take a moment to remember all of the things we loved about this underrated little land.
1. Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train
Heimlich’s Chew Chew was such a stupid ride that it became legendary (we’re going to miss it so much that we made a shirt to remember it forever). It hardly ever had a line (because it lasted approximately 2 seconds), but was a delightful train ride aboard everyone’s favorite caterpillar through the scents and aromas of quickly-designed giant food props. The smell of the animal crackers will be in our hearts forever!
2. The Talking Bathrooms
The first time we used the restroom and randomly heard Heimlich and Flik talking over the soundsystem, we were surprised. It was such a miniscule Disney touch that made a huge difference (even though those bathrooms were always a hot mess).
3. It’s Tough to Be a Bug
We sing ‘We’re Pollinators’ at least once a week, and the Bug’s Life Theater was a great way to beat the heat on a hot summer day – a long show in a dark theater with plenty of air conditioning and fun visual effects? Yes please. Not having this show around is going to force us to seriously re-evaluate our summer day DCA break options.
Speaking of hot summer days, one of the things that made Bug’s Land great was the fact that it had plenty of shade! Those giant clover leaves made the whole land feel less hot than the rest of the park – especially CarsLand, cause wow, that land is SWELTERING. Shade is always a bit tough to come by in DCA, so it was great that Bug’s Land had so much of it.
5. The Theming
The little bugs that lit up at night, the old popsicle stick benches, the lights that looked like little smiling worms, the exit through an old cereal box – Bug’s Land was a great example of the theming that Disneyland Resort is known for.
So so long, Bug’s Land! We’ll miss you!
Welcome to the next post in the series where I give you the rundown of a pretty perfect ride order of each Land. Check out parts one, two, three, and four for complete Land domination tips and tricks plus the reasoning behind every decision so you can make informed choices should anything happen.
And here we are! The last in the series tackling Disneyland proper: Toontown.
Oh, Toontown. You really are...something.
I’ll start off by being very honest, I don’t care much for Toontown. When Disney first introduced the concept of Galaxy’s Edge, I was hoping they’d raze Toontown to the ground and start anew, which, perhaps, is an unpopular opinion.
Alas, people lose their damn minds for Toontown. And I suppose this series wouldn’t be complete without a rundown of the washed out, useless stretch of land others so lovingly flock to.
I’ll stop being cynical now.
Like Critter Country, Toontown is a dead end, and it only has two rides. It does however host a bunch of other experiences, and the entire land is more interactive than any other at the resort. I’ll give you some sweet tips so you can enjoy and explore the land as a whole. Let’s get to it!
***PSA: This order works best if you’re at Toontown when it first opens.***
Toontown doesn’t operate like every other land in the park. It’s at the very northern tip of the park, just past Small World. It opens late, usually an hour or two after regular park open, so you can tackle another land first thing in the morning and still get to Toontown at its open. On the flip side, Toontown also closes early for fireworks, usually around 8:30 pm, since they launch the majority of the fireworks from there.
1. Beeline for Gadget’s Go Coaster, fastpass Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin on the way or maxpass in line.
Since Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin is at the opening of Toontown, it’s just as easy to grab a fastpass on your way to Gadget’s, which is at the very furthest edge of Toontown.
Depending on Gadget’s return time, explore. There’s lots to see!
2. Ride Roger, maxpass your next ride.
Duh, always maxpass your next ride.
Annnnnd you did it! Whether or not you got to explore in between rides, there’s probably a lot more to see. One charming aspect to Toontown is the ability to tour the houses of the classic Disney characters.
Minnie and Mickey’s houses can stack up the wait since they’re a walkthrough and a character meet and greet. So if the wait is long, you can still explore the houses (recommended, they’re pretty cool), and then check the times guide to see when Mickey and Minnie appear for photo opportunities throughout the park (which is frequently).
Chip and Dale, Donald Duck, and Goofy also all have their own houses you can play in and explore, however they don’t offer character meet and greets.
Toontown is also super interactive. When exploring make sure to push every button, step on every bit of ground that looks different, and pull every lever. It’s a fun place to explore and create some magical moments without having to wait in lines.
If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, Toontown is the only place in the entire Disneyland Resort that offers frozen yogurt, so be sure to check out Clarabelle’s.
Also! Right outside Toontown is the Fantasyland Theater. Make sure to catch a showing of Mickey and the Magical Map; we generally view on the tipsy side and I have to say I recommend a few drinks beforehand. The Fantasyland Theater also has some of our favorite snacks in the park (hellllllo bratwurst), so it’s definitely worth a visit.
Right next to the Fantasyland Theater you’ll find the Disneyland Railroad station, so duh now’s the time to hop on for a full circle tour.
And that’s it! We’ve covered the best ride orders for EVERY land in Disneyland. I’m so excited by this series, it’s been a really fun puzzle to piece together. I’ve got lots of ideas for more series but let me know if you’d want a guide series for California Adventure.
Welcome back to the series where I give you the best (in my humble opinion) ride order of each land at the Disneyland Resort. In parts one, two, and three, we tackled the busiest lands with the most rides. In this post, I’m going to go a bit deeper into one of the smaller lands, the ever beloved Critter Country.
You know how in the last three posts I was like “hey every single person on the planet is going here in the morning”? Good news! Not one single person is going to Critter Country in the morning. No one is even going to Critter Country like an hour after park open. Sorry, Critter Country! I still love you.
And while we covered how you can incorporate Critter Country in the Adventureland post, we have some more tips to share. Because while the littlest land that dead-ends over the hill from the Haunted Mansion probably doesn’t need to be your first stop, it does tend to fill up mid-day and of course we can give you the rundown on what do and see (aka eat).
Critter Country is perfect to do after you’ve dominated one of the other lands (particularly Adventureland/Frontierland/New Orleans Square since they’re right next to each other) and you’re almost ready for lunch. Winnie the Pooh line should still be short, and fastpasses for Splash Mountain should still have a fairly quick return time.
Since most people come to Critter Country for Splash Mountain and it’s a dead end, the whole area dies down at night or when it’s cooler out. Once Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Land) opens, there will be a walkway that connects into Critter Country, so take advantage of the lack of people there for now.
1. Hop in line at Winnie the Pooh, maxpass Splash Mountain in line.
Never wait longer than five minutes for Winnie the Pooh. If the line is longer, come back at night when everyone is cleared out.
Poke around Pooh’s Corner and grab a treat, it’s law that you have to grab a treat after you ride Winnie the Pooh. I recommend the giant peppermint patty, the peanut butter sandwich, the rice krispy treat, and the oatmeal cookie.
Depending on how much time until your Splash Mountain fastpass return, go grab lunch at Hungry Bear, which is definitely a hidden gem restaurant in the parks. The fried chicken sandwich is incredible. They have onion rings (!!!!!) and funnel cake. FUNNEL CAKE! YOU GUYS. It looks like a subpar burger place in passing but it has some amazing views of the Rivers of America and the menu is so different from anywhere else in the park. Don’t sleep on Hungry Bear!
2. Ride Splash Mountain, maxpass another ride.
Always maxpass your next ride right when you scan in line, you know this by now. Quick ride tip: If you want to get wet, sit in the first few rows. If you want to avoid getting soaked, aim for rows four through six. You can always request preferred seating in Disneyland, they just might have you wait for the next log/ car/ doombuggy.
And that’s your ride order with a couple extra tips mixed in. But of course I have a couple more.
I’ve said above that Critter Country being a dead-end really dictates the crowd size, and you can totally use that to your advantage. We particularly love a Critter Country visit in the evening, when the rest of the park is bananas. It takes a trek to get there, but once you’re there, you can ride Winnie the Pooh in peace over and over and stretch out on a bench and not interact with another soul.
Another magical aspect of night time in Critter Country is getting a Fantasmic sneak peak. If you hang out on the walkway by the Hungry Bear bathrooms, you’ll get a good view of the Fantasmic actors loading and getting prepped to go on stage.
So we tend wait and watch them load in peace, then saunter around the bend at the beginning of Fantasmic and pop into the standby area across from Haunted Mansion. Most of Fantasmic requires fastpasses, but the fastpass viewing areas aren’t great, you have to get there early, and the system is utterly confusing. If you watch the loading and then drop into the standby area, they usually let you into the fancy all seated area typically reserved for the dining plan people, and there’s no wait time and no fuss. Highly recommended.
One more tip! When you’re walking away from Critter Country towards Haunted Mansion, there’s a fruit stand on the left. Just beyond the stand there are stairs. If you go up those stairs, it leads you to a hidden pathway free of people, with a great view of the Splash Mountain Drop. And it drops you right in front of Haunted Mansion without fighting through a crowd. Another one of my favorite spots in the whole resort.
And those are our favorite tips and ride order for Critter Country. Who knew such a little land could have so many hidden treasures. What’s your favorite thing to do in Critter Country?
Welcome back to round three in the series of complete Land success!
It’s time for the e-ticket hub of Disneyland, Tomorrowland! Tomorrowland is always packed to the friggin brim, which can probably make it seem pretty scary from the outside looking in. Also it’s kind of scary on the inside, too.
The layout of Tomorrowland lends itself for an utter nightmare for people flow, it’s kind of long and skinny, with the middle usually taken up by strollers. It can also be painful because most people who aren’t going to Fantasyland, are making the mad dash for Tomorrowland. And unlike the other lands, where there’s ebb and flow to the day, Tomorrowland gets busy in the morning and stays busy right up until closing. Like Fantasyland, you might have to come back a couple times during the day. Am I pumping you full of excitement, yet?
Good! Like everything else, there is a strategy and it can be dominated. Let me walk you through it.
***PSA: This schedule works best if you’re ready at the Tomorrowland entrance at rope drop (park open) with maxpass up and running on your phone.***
1. Make a bee-line for Astro Orbitors, maxpass Space Mountain.
Everyone heads to Space Mountain and Star Tours first so by now you should know I’m going to tell to do something different. Luckily Disneyland is aware of the madness of Tomorrowland and almost all of the rides have fastpass capabilities. Which means you should head for the rides that don’t have fastpasses first, AKA Astro Orbitors.
For the life of me I cannot figure out why Astro Orbitors has the line it does CONSTANTLY but let me tell you, this line don’t quit. It starts early and for some god foresaken reason it will persist until close. So go here first and maxpass Space Mountain while in line.
I recommend maxpassing Space first because fastpasses run out faster for that ride, and the return time will get way late into the night the longer you wait. If you maxpass first thing you have the chance for an earlier return time.
2. Check on Finding Nemo and ride if line is short.
This is the only other non-fast pass ride, and it fills up fast. If it’s full, not to worry, it clears out when the fireworks start so revisit around 9:30pm if you didn’t get on in the morning or you want to ride again.
3. Check on Autopia and ride if line is short.
I know there’s a bit of “checking” on rides, but Tomorrowland isn’t as predictable in the morning as Adventureland because it tends to be on the busier side. Autopia can be fastpassed, but if the line is short, go ahead and ride. If it’s longer, wait on grabbing a fastpass for this ride until after you’ve grabbed one for Star Tours. They tend to run out later in the day than Space and Star Tours, so it’s better to grab those first.
4. Ride Astro Blasters, check to see if you can fastpass Star Tours
It should still be a short line for Astro Blasters so hop on in. If it’s longer than ten minutes, there are lots of fastpasses throughout the day and it should be easy to grab one. And even though you haven't been on Space Mountain, yet, you might be able to fastpass again so make sure to check in on that, and if you can, snag one up.
5. If Space is ready to ride, jump in line and fastpass Star Tours if unable earlier.
After Space, you’ll probably be hungry, and your Star Tours fastpass might not be ready yet. Now’s a good time to grab breakfast at the Galactic Grill (only one of like four places in Disneyland that has breakfast, and you don’t need reservations!), check out the Star Wars Launch Pad (previously Innoventions), and catch a seat at the Path of the Jedi show (previously Captian EO). Also now’s a great time to shop, and that Tomorrowland shop is a good one. Kat and I generally spend too much money there.
6. Star tours
Your fastpass might not be ready until later, but if it’s ready go ride!
You did it! Time to celebrate by grabbing another fastpass while you’re in line. And also maybe a churro.
As you can see, things fill up wonky, and some of the above ride order might not work out.
It’s helpful to know that you *cannot fastpass* Astro Orbitors and Nemo Submarines. *Everything else in Tomorrowland is fastpassable.* Also keep in mind that Space Mountain and Star Tours run out of fastpasses early, so if the park is filling up, you should fastpass Space and Star Tours first, then Astro Blasters and Autopia.
Astro Orbitors, fastpass Space Mountain
Astro Blasters, check to see if you can fastpass Star Tours, yet.
Space Mountain, if you were unable before, fastpass Star Tours now.
Star Tours, fastpass your next ride!
Fastpass order if park is madness
Have fun! Is there a different order that you and your pack do things? Let us know!
Welcome back to round two of The Order of Things! In this post, we’ll be tackling the ever coveted Fantasyland.
Fantasyland is a tricky one to tackle because Fantasyland has the most attractions in any Land, and the only rides that have fastpasses are outside the main portion of Fantasyland, AKA Matterhorn and Small World. PLUS you’re not allowed to trample people anywhere in Disneyland so you have to go about getting on all the rides in an ethical way. Which can really throw a wrench in things.
And Fantasyland fills up fast, probably because it's so kid friendly. It also might have something to do with the fact that you can ride most rides in Fantasyland with a cup of coffee in your hand which you definitely cannot do anywhere else in the park.
Something to keep in mind with Fantasyland is the entire Land kind of operates how a child would. Pretty chill and fun first thing, around 10ish it gets crazy town, it gets reaaaaaaallly cranky around midday, and it starts to chill out again later on into the evening. Beware though, they launch some fireworks for the show from Fantasyland (as well as Toon Town), so they close it down for a few hours every night. Which means there’s a second opportunity at a rope drop if that’s something you’re into.
In the rundown below, I’ll give you a pretty good starting point to get Fantasyland checked off your list. While Adventureland through New Orleans Square is easy to do in one fell swoop, Fantasyland might require a trip or two back throughout the day to fully ride everything. But of course, I’ll be giving you the secrets and some reasoning behind every choice so you can make informed decisions and pivot when need be. I believe in you! It’s gonna be so much fun LET’S GO RIDE THINGS.
***PSA: This schedule works best if you’re ready at the Fantasyland entrance at rope drop (park open).***
1. Alice in Wonderland
I bet you’re wondering why I’m not telling you to sprint to Peter Pan first thing. I one hundred and twenty five billion percent guarantee you that everyone waiting by Fantasyland at rope drop is going to run immediately to Peter Pan. There is no way you can beat all those people trust me. Unless you are Inspector Gadget and can mechanically elongate your legs to step over everyone mad dashing to Peter Pan then please, save yourself.
Save your sanity and your happiness. No matter how early you get there, no matter how fast you walk, there will be an at least 25 minute wait for Peter Pan. In that wait time, all the other ride lines will fill up and you’ll have wasted your entire morning. Which kind of frees you up if you think about it. If there’s ALWAYS an at least 25-45 minute wait, you might as well do anything else. Don’t worry, I got a tip for you but that’s under the Peter Pan section because I have to trick you all into reading everything somehow.
Alice in Wonderland, on the other hand, doesn’t have a line first thing! And it will have a line that rivals Peter Pan later-on in the morning lasting through the rest of the day. So first thing on your list is go walk on Alice in Wonderland and enjoy saving yourself from that dumb Peter Pan line.
2. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride also fills up ala Alice and Peter Pan, but it takes a little bit longer. Make this your second stop after Alice and walk right on.
Not gonna lie, we don’t ride Dumbo, Storybook, or Casey Jr. every time, but they fill up pretty quickly as well. Jump to Dumbo before the Peter Pan line starts to head to other rides. It’s generally pretty open first thing and later at night.
4. Storybook Land
Storybook Land and Casey Jr. have stupid lines I’m just gonna say it. Even if you’re at the very front of Storybook Land there’s only like one or two boats and it takes a while to load BUT if you catch it early on in the morning, you can avoid waiting longer than necessary.
Storybook Land sometimes opens after the park, mid-morning, so if it’s still not open after Alice, Toad, and Dumbo, hop over to Casey Jr first and check back in after.
5. Casey Jr.
Casey Jr. line works a lot like Storybook Land, it moves slow and the ride is long, but early in the morning you should be fine.
I don’t mean to wax poetic but Pinocchio and Snow White are wonderful oases of reasonable lines in a desert of Fantasyland insanity. They should still have reasonable lines once you’re done with the above list. And you can probably come back throughout the day and ride both multiple times.
However! There are some points where everything is busy and crazy, so if you see the line switchback more than once, skip and come back. There will always be opportunities to ride.
7. Snow White, fastpass Matterhorn
Read above! An oasis I tell you! It’s probably around now that you should grab a fastpass for Matterhorn. You could do maxpass, which you probably should have if you wanna keep crushing it throughout the day, but it’s not as necessary to have in Fantasyland as it is in Adventureland/ New Orleans Square/ Frontierland.
Also I don’t care what anyone says, Snow White is the scariest ride in the park.
8. Tea Cups
Tea cups line comes and goes, because of that, I have it closer to the bottom because now would be a good time to go around and check it out. If it’s short, go ride! Have fun! If it’s long, come back at night and ride under the lights, which is my personal favorite time to ride.
Also goes in and out of being busy, so it shouldn’t be too challenging to ride at any given time, but once again, it’s absolute pure magic at night.
10. Small World
If your Matterhorn fastpass isn’t ready yet, check out Small World. If the line’s long, you can always grab a fastpass after Matterhorn, but it should still be pretty much close to walk-on at this point. It may seem like there are tons of rides in Fantasyland and it would take forever to get through all of them, but they were pretty much all made a real long time ago, and they go by fairly quickly, so believe me when I tell you that you’ll still be crushing it at this point.
Never ever ever ever wait in stand-by for this ride. It wraps around the mountain and looks like hell. They just recently added fastpass to this ride so you should take advantage of that. Hooray!
12. Peter Pan
Why is Peter Pan last, you ask? Is it not magical? Is it not wonderful? Is it not the best? It is definitely magical and wonderful and the absolute best. But it has a super long line all the time. It cannot be beat. So my big tip is don’t spend park time waiting in line. I’m about to drop some knowledge on you. Park close times are the times when the lines close, not when you have to be out of the park. Meaning if the park closes at midnight, you just have to be in line at midnight. Meaning if you HAVE to wait, might as well wait after the park closes and not waste park time.
If you’re exhausted or don’t want to wait until close, honestly just ride any time during the day because it’ll be equally bad always. I’d just maybe wait until the sun isn’t shining directly on Fantasyland so you’re not roasting in line. And you can always bring a snack and drinks in line, there are trash cans at the end so get a few churros and tuck in.
And you’re done. You did it! You dominated Fantasyland!
Once again, crowd sizes and time of day can impact how crazy a Land is, but now you have the knowledge to make informed decisions and change it up when necessary.
If you’re hanging around Fantasyland, you might as well check out some of the hidden gems around you, and of course, grab a frozen apple juice across from Red Rose Tavern.
2. Mr. Toad
4. Storybook Land
5. Casey Jr.
7. Snow White
8. Tea Cups (Fastpass Matterhorn)
10. Small World (Fastpass if the line’s too long)
12. Peter Pan
Is there another way you like to take on Fantasyland? Let us know!
Welcome to our new blog series, The Order of Things! In which we give you the breakdown of a pretty perfect schedule based on land (aka how we do it).
I’m pretty sure everyone has a routine once they’ve been to Disneyland a few times. We tend to generally start day one with Adventureland into New Orleans Square and Frontierland. On day two we’ll start with Fantasyland, and if we have a day three we’ll generally start of with either Carsland or what is now Pixar Pier.
But no matter what land we start off with, we always have a solid game plan that’s pretty much ingrained in our souls by this point. This is mainly because we’ve been doing this for a while and we know where the crowds tend to go and how to work around them so we’re getting on rides without rushing or waiting in long lines. And we want to share that goodness with you.
There may seem like there’s a lot of explanation for each portion of the schedule, but if you understand the way the lines tend to work throughout the day, you can make more informed decisions and mold the schedule to fit your needs better.
We’re going to be starting off with how to work your way through the left side of the park, Adventureland, Frontierland, and New Orleans Square. It might sound like a lot but they all bump into one another, and if you’re going to take on one, you might as well take on them all. Let’s get into it!
***PSA: This schedule works best if you’re ready at the Adventureland entrance at rope drop (park open) and if you have maxpass ready on your phone.***
Get in line at Pirates, maxpass Indiana Jones while in line.
Indy line gets ridiculous fast, and everyone waiting by Adventureland in the morning is generally waiting to sprint to the Indy line. Use that time to get in line at Pirates before it fills up and reserve your fastpass for Indy on your way to your boat.
Pirates tends to get busier earlier these days, which is why I recommend jumping into that line first thing. We have a rule to never wait more than ten minutes for Pirates simply because you don’t have to! Pirates line is generally walk-on in the morning, stupid long in the afternoon, and clears up again generally after the second showing of Fantasmic. So if you see the line spilling outside the actual queue and wrapping onto the walkway that connects to Tarzan Treehouse, come back later, the line WILL get shorter I promise.
Once you’re off pirates, jump in line at Haunted Mansion.
Mansion line should still be short. If you have any doubts you can reverse the order and hop on to Mansion before Pirates. Whatever line you get in first, just make sure to still make that Indy maxpass reservation. You should also keep in mind that Mansion acts a lot like Pirates. Empty in the morning, insane late morning through the evening, and clears up after Fanstasmic. Unlike Pirates, Mansion has Fastpasses, and they generally have a lot unless it’s around the Holidays. It’s totally possible to walk on early or late, but if you’re itching for a Mansion ride mid-afternoon grab a fastpass.
Off Mansion, Indy should be ready (if not, check out Tarzan’s Treehouse), jump in Indy line, maxpass Big Thunder while in line.
I’m always hesitant to wait in the regular standby line for Big Thunder because it’s a deceiving line. It’s almost always longer than the stated wait time, and you can’t see the line from anywhere to actually gauge whether the stated time is correct or not. I basically have trust issues with that line, which is why I always fastpass/maxpass. And a lot of the times, there are so many fastpasses you can grab a fastpass reservation that’s five minutes from when you make it.
Off Indy, onto Jungle Cruise
Jungle Cruise can be an enigma of a line. We can’t seem to ever predict it. We ride mostly early in the morning because it tends to be walk on, and at night because it’s a fun night ride. Jungle Cruise line starts on the ground level, and when it’s super busy wraps to an upstairs queue and back down again. You’re generally safe if the entire line is on the ground level, if it wraps upstairs we always pass.
Off Jungle Cruise, if Big Thunder isn’t ready yet, go to Tiki Room.
You’re right next to Tiki Room so you might as well. You can also browse the shops in between Adventureland and Frontierland.
Thunder and DONE. Good job!
You did it! By this time you’re probably hungry. Go find some tasty food, you earned it! If you happen to have a protein bar on hand and want to tackle Critter Country as well, go ahead an grab a maxpass for Splash and hop in line for Winnie the Pooh. On the flip side, you can now go ride the canoes, the Mark Twain, the Columbia (if it's out), or hop on over to Pirate's Lair at Tom Sawyer's Island. All of which tend to stay pretty chill throughout the day, which also means their good break time things to do.
If you decide to hit up Critter Country, tackle the offerings of Frontierland or take off on a completely different route, now’s a good time to look at grabbing a maxpass for another e-ticket ride like Space Mountain, Guardians of the Galaxy, Incredicoaster or Radiator Springs Racers since those tend to run out earlier on.
Keep in mind, this order doesn’t always work out perfect. Lines can be wonky, it can be super packed, but generally this works like...95 percent of the time for us. Since maxpass allows you to reserve fastpasses immediately after you scan in to your previous reservation, I always recommend reserving your fastpass as soon as you can AKA in line right after you’ve scanned in.
I hope this was insightful! It’s never going to be perfect, but knowing how we generally do things and understanding the nature of how the lines work throughout the day hopefully arms you with enough insight to make informed decisions and crush your Disney goals.
Keep an eye out for the next post in this series where I’ll be tackling Fantasyland! And let us know if you have a different game plan. I love hearing everyone’s different Disney ways and traditions.
Pirates (maxpass Indy)
Mansion (Tarzan's Treehouse after if there's still time until Indy, or ride Pirates again)
Indy (Maxpass Thunder)
Jungle Cruise (Tiki Room after if there's still time)
Big Thunder (Maxpass Splash or other e ticket ride)
Winnie the Pooh (or Canoes, or both).
Eat food and drink lots of water.
P.S. If you have only one day, we have a post for that, too! Check it out!
New things at the Disneyland Resort? Heck yes.
What was formally Disney California Adventure’s Paradise Pier, based on the coastal boardwalks of California like the Santa Monica Pier and Santa Cruz Boardwalk, is transforming into Pixar Pier. Now home to all things Pixar even though Disney already has Pixar themed rides and lands throughout both parks. Are we excited? Maybe! Are we gonna tell you what we know? Duh of course we are.
When it opens
Most of Pixar Pier is slated to open June 23, 2018 (like next week as I’m writing this). However, there are some rides that won’t roll out until around 2019 (Disney hasn’t given exact dates on those, yet).
The new Pixar Pier will be split into four “Neighborhoods”. Incredibles Park, Inside Out Headquarters, Toy Story Boardwalk, and Pixar Promenade. Each neighborhood will have its own rides, food, and theming. According to Disney, some of the rides in the Toy Story Boardwalk and Inside Out Headquarters seem to be slated to open in 2019.
Honestly, we’re a little confused as to why the whole thing wouldn’t just be...Pixar Pier. This will be the first time at the Disneyland Resort that a land has been broken down into more little lands. It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out in-person.
The area that stretches from the Silly Symphony Swings, all the way over to Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, that currently also houses the Jumpin Jellyfish, and Goofy’s Sky School will stay as it is and be renamed “Paradise Park”.
Most of the rides will just be a re-theme of the existing rides.
One of the biggest re-themes slotted is the transformation of California Screamin’ into the Incredicoaster. I don’t know how I feel about all of Disneyland transforming into IP themes, but not gonna lie, Incredicoaster looks dope. It seems like they used up any previous dead space to tell a story, which is very much like Disney, and calls out to all the other themed coasters in Disneyland. Honestly, Screamin’ was a little left out of the fun theming. It didn’t get the memo, I guess.
The next theme change turns Mickey’s Fun Wheel into the Pixar Pal Around which gives me and Kat a good laugh any time either of us says it. Not much is happening with the Pal Around other than the cars will be Pixar themed now. The iconic Mickey face will stay plastered on the front, and Kat and I will still refuse to ride because it’s a terror filled death trap.
Midway Mania will stay the same, but right next door, King Triton’s Carousel is getting a Jessie themed update, which will turn all the currently existing sea creatures into animal friends based on the “Woody’s Roundup” clip in Toy Story 2. However, you’ll have to wait until 2019 to experience the unadulterated thrill.
Not too much is known about the new Inside Out ride, the only new ride to the land, which won’t open until 2019. From the concept pictures, it looks like it’ll be an Inside Out themed replica of Flik’s Flyers, currently in Bug’s Land. Which makes sense, because Bug’s Land will soon be closing to make way for a new Marvel themed land (please keep Heimlich’s Chew Chew we are BEGGING YOU). It would be pretty easy to move Flyers over to Pixar Pier and give it a re-theme.
Ah, food. The most important thing. Disney nailed it with the food theming not gonna lie.
Already open, taking over the Soft Serve window in between Cove Bar and California Screamin, is the new Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, which offer lemon soft serve and if that’s not the cutest thing I don’t know what is. Full on love that switch.
Next up, the Poultry Palace, which is shaped like a giant to-go box and I’m not hating it. Give me all the kitsch. If basic reason works out in my favor, I’d guess this will serve things like chicken tenders but it’s also very possible it’s another turkey leg stand.
Senor Buzz Churros, Angry Dogs, and Jack Jack’s cookies are all pretty self explanatory and I’ll eat all of it thank you very much. I’m actually very excited for a cookie stand? Hopefully they differ than the normal cookies you can find in almost every candy store. Don’t get me wrong, I love those cookies, but like...chewy fresh chocolate chip cookies would do something special for me you know.
There will also be Bing Bong’s Confectionery which looks like a giant magical candy store based on the bright beloved Inside Out character. Carbs and sugar, people. Keeps the day going.
Last, the long time fan favorite Cove Bar along with Ariel’s Grotto is sadly turning into the new “family friendly” (stop it) Lamplight Lounge. Both the downstairs and upstairs areas are being converted, downstairs a reservation only restaurant, and upstairs walk-in only bar area. All will be a new warehouse theme which is...kind of odd considering the rest of everything around it. Lobster nachos will still be a mainstay.
The existing midway games will be getting rethemed all based on Pixar’s shorts. The one I’m most excited about is the La Luna Star Catcher, which is based on my favorite star-sweeping Pixar short of all time. We’ll also be getting Heimlich’s Candy Corn Toss, and Wall-E’s Space Spin. The Bullseye Stampede game will stay the same.
And that’s what we got so far! We’re super interested to see how all the changes look and feel in person. Anyone going for the opening?
Images: Walt Disney Company
Disneyland opened originally in 1955 to a staggering crowd of arounf 50,000 guests. Years later after much success and growth, executives decided the Disneyland Resort needed to expand. In 1995, the idea of a Disney park devoted to the themes surrounding California was proposed. In 2001 Disney's California Adventure opened to little more than a fizzle. In 2007 a major overhaul was announced and by 2012, Disney California Adventure, as we know it today, was complete.
Enough with the history, let me share with you my favorite parts of this expansive park.
Most of DCA was designed after specific, yet sometimes vague, parts of California. San Francisco is one of those special areas. If you try to ignore the hot dog carts and Little Mermaid signage, you'll see the Painted Ladies and Palace of Fine Arts. The attention to detail and architectural accuracy is incredible, yet it is done in such a way that if you didn’t know it was San Francisco landmark, you would pass right by.
Speaking of the San Francisco Bay Area, Pacific Pier is styled to look like Monterey Bay while including truly San Francisco favorites. I’ve been told Boudin in California Adventure is the only place in Southern California to actually get real sourdough bread. Maybe that’s partly because Boudin and American sourdough bread originated in San Francisco in 1849.
Paradise Pier with its midway games and iconic rollercoaster pay homage to victorian boardwalks along the California coast, but mostly to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and the Santa Monica Pier. If you look beyond Jumpin’ Jellyfish, there’s even a small stretch of beach.
Carthay Circle Theatre is a very similar replica to the real life theatre in of the same name in Hollywood, built here because of the importance to Disney as the premiere location of Snow White in 1937 and installation of Fantasound for Fantasia’s release in 1940. This building elegantly contains a downstairs lounge and fancy upstairs dining room. The detail inside and out are a feat to behold down to the smallest details of light fixtures and drink selections. As you ascend the staircase, there are photographs of Walt with stars like Shirley Temple and the accompaniment of a piano player.
The Wine Country, originally sponsored by Robert Mondavi, with real to life vineyards and a wine tasting bar in honor of Napa, California.
The Grand Californian Hotel is a masterpiece unto itself, “inspired by the famed Arts and Crafts movement in California.”
As California Adventure evolves and Disney tries to make it equally profitable and desirable as Disneyland, it is slowly losing its feel of California. In 2018, Pixar Pier is becoming the new overlay for Paradise Pier and almost nothing Hollywood-y is left in the backlot.
Fantasyland is easily one of the most magical places in Disneyland and unfortunately, that means it’s frequently crowded with people all trying to experience that magic. In the rush to get to a ride before a huge line creeps up you could easily miss one of these hidden gems:
This might be my favorite hidden gem in the entire park. Rapunzel’s statue, at the center of Fantasy Faire, is a great place to take a break and rest your feet while watching a (bad) performance at the Royal Theatre - but when the sun goes down, the magic really comes out: the statue lights up and plays music.
I cannot for the life of me figure out the timing of this thing, and it doesn’t happen during Swing Dancing nights (which is almost always the one night we have on our Disneyland trip), but my best guess is that it happens every 15 minutes or so. If you’re lucky enough to witness it, it’s truly magical!
The Evil Queen
Keep your eyes on the window above the Snow White queue entrance to get an occasional glimpse of the Evil Queen, gazing with disdain at the passers-by.
The Poison Apple
Speaking of the Evil Queen, next time you’re entering the Snow White queue, give the bronze Poison Apple at the entrance a touch - you might just get a reaction from the Evil Queen herself.
Snow White’s Wishing Well
Snow White’s wishing well is located on a less-traveled path on the side of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Toss a coin into the fountain and listen to hear Snow White sing. Perch there for a few minutes, and you might get to enjoy a small water and light show at the grotto across the water. It’s also a hotspot for Character meet-and-greets, if that’s your thing.
As you walk the perimeter of the Matterhorn, keep an eye out for a cast of a footprint believed to belong to Harold the Yeti himself.
Golden Spike at the Center of Disneyland
Rumor has it that this spike in the ground marks the center of Disneyland - but unfortunately, it’s just a rumor. Really, it was just placed there to make sure Main Street was lined up perfectly to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. It’s actually not even a spike at all, just a gold cap in the ground - and there are a few of them throughout the park. But even if there is no huge significance to the “gold spike” of Disneyland, it’s a fun gem to spot.
Castle Walkthrough Special Surprises
As you’re enjoying the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough, be sure to touch and pull on every door handle and latch you can. There are several bits of Disney magic that are only activated that way.
Sword in the Stone
They say that if you are successful in pulling the sword from the stone in front of King Arthur’s Carousel, you’ll be crowned king or queen. The sword DOES come out of the stone on occasion, though it hardly ever actually does - but you never know if it will work for you.
The entrance to Storybookland is through Monstro the Whale’s giant and terrifying mouth - but he’s holding a few more secrets. If you watch him long enough, you’ll notice Monstro’s giant eye blinking, and you might even get to see him blow up a jet of mist (which totally terrified me the first time I saw it).
At the entrance to Pixie Hollow, there is a fountain featuring Tinker Bell and her pixie friends. At night, every so often, you can enjoy a small light and water show at the fountain - imagine the tiniest World of Color.