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Everything You Should Know About the New Pixar Pier

Tips, Attractions, LandsKelseyComment

New things at the Disneyland Resort? Heck yes.

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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).

 

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Layout

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”.

 

Rides

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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.

Food

Ah, food. The most important thing. Disney nailed it with the food theming not gonna lie.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

Games

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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

 

 

The Perks of an Annual Pass

Basics, Beginners, TipsKelseyComment

If you haven’t figured it out by now, we think Disneyland is glorious. When you’re in Disneyland you’re IN Disneyland. You can’t do anything else. You can’t be anywhere else. It’s magic. And we like to go as much as possible, so thank goodness for the all holy Annual Passport.

There are a few different levels of passes, which dictate the kind of perks you get. There’s Deluxe, Signature, and Signature Plus.

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Deluxe has the most blackout days, a smaller discount, and it doesn’t include parking.

Signature and Signature Plus have closer perks. They both get the same discount on merch and food, and both include parking. However there are two weeks in December that are blocked for Signature passholders, and Signature Plus has Maxpass included.

If you’ve been on the fence about getting an AP (just do it), allow me to persuade you with some of my favorite perks of having an AP.

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Access to the Parks, duh, (without the guilt).

Let’s be real, Disneyland can be expensive. Park tickets are pricey, and for that money, you want the most bang for your buck. Which probably includes killing yourself to stay from open to close, even if you’re in desperate need of a break.

Having an AP frees up that guilt space.

All three of us do the monthly plan, which costs less than a cell phone bill. And honestly it’s the best $60 I spend a month. We live about 7 hours away, but a tank of gas and a last minute hotel room is the only thing between us and a magical time.

We can go down, spend a day, hop in a for a few hours the next day and come back home. We can also take hefty breaks during the middle of the day, or head out early and not feel like we’re wasting our time or money.

And since we go down about once a month, we get some serious mileage out of our passes.

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Discounts

I can’t imagine going to Disneyland without our AP discounts. You save 15% on food, and 20% on merch. And believe me, it adds up fast. And it’s not just in the parks. Most of Downtown Disney gives an AP discount.

On top of food and merch, there are special deals on hotel rooms, tours, even the spa at the Grand Californian gives an AP discount.

Parking

Parking at Disneyland for standard vehicles is $20 a day, RVs are more. We save at least (AT LEAST) $300 a year on parking with our AP. You guys it’s GOLD.

Special Events

There are actually lots of extra AP opportunities in the parks, from special meet and greets, to activity areas with free buttons and drinks. You also get email updates about new things coming to the parks, and new AP opportunities regularly.

So how do we make it worth it?

Like I mentioned before, the price tag is a lot less shocking if you do monthly installments. Plus, since we’re all equally devoted to the magic, it helps we’re all on board with monthly mini-trips with a few bigger trips thrown in sporadically. My recommendation? Ditch your current friends and get a group that’s as devoted as you are.

 

Fellow AP holders, did I miss any perks?

New at Disneyland! Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience. Is It Worth It?

Food & Drink, Tips, Snacks, FoodKelseyComment

One of the best parts about Disneyland is no matter how many times you’ve been, there’s always something new to do. So when Disneyland announced their new dining experience which takes place overlooking Tomorrowland, we were on board. We tried it, and I’m here to tell you all about it.

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Pricing: There’s a flat fee of $45 a person with no AP discount. Under three, like everything else, is free.

Where: You wait in line at the base of the ramp at Innoventions (now Launch Bay). They give each person a wristband, then walk your party up the ramp to the top outside balcony, where you pick up your dessert box and get your seat. Your seating area is yours for the night, so you can come and go as you please.

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What you get: A private dining space to kick back, with a box of desserts. You get just one box per person, but unlimited drinks. There are games and activities, and some very attentive cast members. You also get a souvenir lanyard.

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And now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Okay, here’s the thing. I think this could be super cool, I’m in love with the idea, but it’s not quite there, yet. What you get isn’t quite $45 dollars worth. However, I wouldn’t necessarily change the price since you can’t fit too many people up there, and since you get to keep your seat the whole night, there’s no turnover. I would however switch up presentation, but I’ll get into that in a bit.

The coolest part of the whole experience is you get to keep your spot and come and go as you please. You get led up the old innoventions ramp to the top balcony that overlooks Tomorrowland. The view is super cool, and I imagine would be incredible during the fireworks (they weren’t happening on this last trip). There’s also a very limited amount of seats, so you get to stretch out and get away from the crowds for a while.

 

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You grab your dessert box, grab a drink of choice (no booze), and a cast member leads you to your seating area, which is a grouping of white couches around light-up tables. There are games spread out, some at your table, and some in common areas so if you’re a sociable person (so the opposite of me), you can play giant jenga and bond with randos (once again, could be super fun if you’re not a socially awkward human like myself).

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The food, which is the main part they advertise, was dismal. They hand you a plastic box with about four reimagined Little Debbie treats, some grapes, and a scoop of pub cheese with crackers. The desserts were pretty good, not great, kind of dampened by presentation. The woman at the seating area next to us mentioned she was lactose intolerant so her box was super sad. She had rice cakes and hummus and gummy bears. That’s it.

I think this is where they could level up the most. Even if they served you your dessert selection on a fancy platter, the whole thing would feel much more tied together and special. Everything else feels so swanky and like a VIP experience, and the plastic box of semi-palatable desserts takes you out of that carefully crafted experience they’ve aced up to that point. Also like...up your game for different allergies, Disneyland. Rice cakes and gummy bears is just plain rude.

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On the flip side, you get as many drinks as you want, so shove those mini water bottles all up in your purse (I did this and I have zero shame). They have a pretty solid selection of dranks, from soft drinks and waters (fizzy and flat, y’all), they also have big ole carafes of coffee, hot chocolate, and hot water with a choice of tea bags. And you can hydrate up, there’s no limit.

So would I recommend doing this? If you’re new to Disneyland, maybe hold off until they up the game a bit. It would also probably be worth it for newbies if it’s a fireworks night. If it’s not, it might be a bummer couple hours you could be experiencing the parks.

If you’re a Disneyland pro- and you don’t have any food allergies, I’d say it could be worth it? Maybe? If you like doing new things in the parks, maybe? Just have the right expectations going in and a giant tote bag to stash $45 worth of drinks.

I think it’s a super cool idea, and definitely has potential to be something really special in the park. I think it could use a little leveling up. And less pub cheese.

 

10 Hidden Gems in Adventureland

Tips, LandsKatComment

Adventureland is always a sea of hustle and bustle - sometimes you’re lucky just to get through the walkway down to the Pirates of the Caribbean line (and let’s not talk about the disaster that is the area right in front of the Indiana Jones queue). Because there is always so much hullabaloo, it’s easy to miss these hidden gems - but next time you’re in Adventureland, keep your eyes peeled!

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The Little Man of Disneyland’s Door

In 1955, a Golden book was published about a leprechaun, Patrick Begorra, who lived in a tree in a grove in Anaheim. He meets Mickey Mouse and his friends, who let him know that the trees will need to be moved to make way for Disneyland. Naturally, Patrick isn’t too happy about the situation, but Mickey and friends show him all of the amazing plans for Disneyland and eventually Patrick agrees to let them build the park - as long as he can stay in a tree house tucked out of the way.

In Adventureland, you can find Patrick Begorra’s door of his house, hidden away in a tree next to the Indiana Jones ride. It took us many, many trips to Disneyland before we finally happened to see the door - making this about as hidden as a hidden gem can get. 

 

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Eeyore Sign in Indiana Jones

Before Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye was built, the land it’s situated on was home to a parking lot. The name of the parking lot was - you guessed it - the Eeyore Parking Lot. Behind the projector in the safety video room, there’s a sign featuring Winnie the Pooh’s grumpiest friend, which is just visible in the dim light.

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Indiana Jones Props

Speaking of Indiana Jones, did you know that both the mine cart and the Mercedes truck in the queue (most visible as you’re exiting the ride) are actual props used in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?

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Indiana Jones Queue

While we’re still on the topic of Indiana Jones, while you’re inside the Temple in the queue, pay attention to the signs asking you not to pull on the bamboo and or the rope - and do the exact opposite.

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Mrs. Potts And Chip

As you wander through Tarzan’s Treehouse, you may see a familiar face (or lack of one, really). The tea set on the ground floor features none other than Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast - minus the enchanted facial features.

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Swisskapolka

While you’re searching for Mrs. Potts at Tarzan’s Treehouse, pay close attention to the gramophone at the base of the tree. It’s playing the Swisskapolka, a song from the Disney film Swiss Family Robinson, which was the inspiration for the original Swiss Family Treehouse before it was re-themed to the Tarzan's Treehouse of today.

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Adventureland Radio

The next time you’re walking by Jungle Cruise, stop and listen to the loudspeakers. Adventureland has its’ own radio station - perfectly themed to match the vintage environment. Some of our favorite excerpts include updates on recent lost Jungle Cruise voyages and ads for new-and-improved mosquito netting.

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We Buy and Sell the Rare and Exotic... Sign

Set up on a back wall of the seating area for Bengal Barbecue is a sign that reads “We Buy & Sell the Rare & Exotic...at our other store” This sign, up until Summer 2017, was featured prominently on the Tropical Imports facade across the walkway.

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Jungle Cruise Offboarding Dock

The next time you ride Jungle Cruise, take a look at the end of the dock as you depart your boat - often, there are funny messages written on sign-boards, props you might not expect to see, or other easy-to-miss hidden gems. While you’re there, you might as well ask a Cast Member for a Jungle Cruise map.

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Shrunken Ned

Now that a good portion of the Adventureland shops have been remade into Bengal Barbecue seating, it’s easy to walk by Shrunken Ned, the Head Shrink of the Jungle and fortune-telling machine. For a quarter and a quick scan of your palm, Shrunken Ned will give you some useful advice and a printed fortune (one of Disneyland’s cheapest and most unique souvenirs).

 

The Best Indoor Places to Kick Back in Disneyland

Tips, BreaksKelseyComment
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It happens to the best of us. You’re intent on being a Disney warrior. You crushed the morning, you’re feeling good, but then slowly it starts to seep in. Burnout. Total meltdown tired burnout. It’s hot. People are crying. Are you crying? You might be the crying person. Your bones hurt. You might not have bones any more. But then why do they still hurt? Who finished the bottle of aleve? 

 

Shhh shh sh. We got you. For the times when you cannot take another step and you legit just need a break, there are lots of options to grab a snack and kick back. That rhymed. 

 

We usually save to do these all at once in the middle of the day when the parks are busiest. When you’re walking from show to show and you know you won’t meet a line or a crowd, it acts like a nice break. 

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Great Moments with Mr Lincoln

No lie, I can barely sleep in my own bed. For reasons unknown but should be tested by scientists, the second I sit down in Great Moments with Mr Lincoln I am out. It’s more effective than NyQuil which says a lot because for a while NyQuil was my favorite drink until I reassessed my life. It might be due to the fact that a Ken Burns-esque slideshow kicks off the show and like…is super important or whatever but my body just completely shuts down. Or it could be that I know robot Lincoln is coming and I’m on the verge of horrified every time so I react by passing out but anyway.

 

Great Moments with Mr Lincoln is the one of the first buildings on the right when you enter Disneyland. Not surprising (sorry, Abe) it’s not the most popular attraction at the park, which is perfect, because that gives you a lot of room to stretch out in the air-conditioned and dark theater and take a 10-15 minute power nap. 

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Tiki Room

Tiki Room is great because even though it looks like the audience is going to be completely packed every time, it’s actually surprisingly roomy inside. And most people want to see the show (suckers) so they’ll sit in the front, which leaves the seats in the back wide open. And since they’re all bench seats you can spread out and just chilly chill with your dole whip. 

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Long Rides

If you’re exhausted but still want to power through rides, consider longer attractions. Rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Small World load you onto a boat and then cradle you for a solid 15 minutes. Plus you can totally nap on Pirates. We’ve all done it and I’m not even a little ashamed. Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and Jungle Cruise are also longer, and you can fast pass both Mansion and Splash.

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Silent Theater

If you’re walking toward the castle on Main Street, you’ll spot what looks like a ticket booth with a terrifying mannequin and a turnstile. This is the Silent Theater, a super sweet little piece of Disney History that’s both worth checking out and a great place to kick back for a bit. Inside you’ll find a collection of screens playing old Mickey Mouse cartoons. There aren’t any seats but most people just pull up a spot on the floor and hang for a while. 

 

The Path of Jedi

This is a 3D show in the theater next to Space Mountain that housed Honey, I Shrunk the Audience and Captain EO. It’s a Star Wars montage of sorts that takes you through the storyline of all the movies. It’s alright? Nothing super special. We’ve only seen it once, but it’s air conditioned and it’s inside which sometimes is all you need amiright. 

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Tough to be a Bug

Let’s hop on over (GET IT) to California Adventure, and head into Bugs Land. Guys I flipping love It’s Tough to be a Bug. It’s charming. I know all the words to the musical number at the end. There are points of sheer terror in the middle so you don’t get bored. And I’ve never been in a full showing of It’s Tough to be a Bug, so it’s another good place to get away from a crowd and chill for a while. 

 

Frozen if you’re tired

I’m not going to sugarcoat this. The Frozen show at the Hyperion in Hollywoodland is not…good. It’s not good. It’s not really worth the space it occupies, and I’d never thought I’d say I miss Aladdin, but at least Aladdin had some good sets and there were some good magical moments. Frozen has some very large doors, so there’s that. But if you have kids and they’re starting to flop, it’s a good option to give them a break and keep them entertained while you pass the eff out for 45 minutes. 

 

Animation Studio

The animation studio on your right as you make your way down to Hollywoodland is a magical and special place. Inside, there are huge screens where they project favorite moments and the making-of lots the Disney classics. It’s a great place to kick back and take in some straight nostalgia. And I know I cry at everything but sometimes I cry in the Animation Studio because it’s so great. 

 

Grand Californian Lobby

There’s an entrance to the Grand Californian as you make your way toward Grizzy River Rapids, which makes it easy to check out their huge and beautiful lobby, modeled after mountain lodges like the Awanee in Yosemite. Take a flop in one of their huge and comfy chairs. Fun fact- there’s a water station by the entrance of the Grand Californian Bar, so you can pour yourself a cup of water and take a load off. 

 

Movie Theater

If you are DONE and you need a serious break from the park, consider checking out the movie theater toward the end of Downtown Disney, close to the Disneyland Hotel. No one really goes to Disneyland to go to the movies, so it’s rarely crowded. The theaters themselves are huge, so you can usually get a few seats to yourself to spread out and get away for a couple hours.

 

5 Things to Ask For in Disneyland

Tips, MerchKatComment

Disneyland has an extensive amount of souvenirs, experiences, rides and attractions - so many that you’ll probably never run out of things to do and ways to make your trip special. But if you want to make your trip Extra Super Special, you can consider asking for a few of these:

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1. The Front Seat in the Monorail

We’ve done this, and it’s totally worth it. You need to ask a cast member while you’re in line for the Monorail if you can ride in the front - sometimes this means you’ll have to wait for a few cycles, if a lot of people have asked already. (This is why we’ve only ever asked when there is almost no line for the Monorail).

You’ll get the car basically to yourself, with a panoramic view of the ride! If you want an extra special view, take the Monorail into the park - the ride is longer and you see much more of the park!

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2. Riding in the Lilly Belle

To tell the truth, we’ve never asked for this, even though we’ve thought about it about a billion times. Something about the process seems so intimidating!

The Lilly Belle is the fancy dining car at the back of one Disneyland Railroad train, only accessible if you ask for it first thing in the morning (so they say). If you’re lucky enough to get a seat, you’re in for an amazing Grand Circle Tour!

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3. Steering the Mark Twain

Again, we’ve never asked to do this (we’re shy, okay). But They say that if you ask, the Captain of the Mark Twain might let you steer! Apparently you even get a certificate! 

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4. A Jungle Cruise Map

Now this one we’ve actually done! You’ve got to luck out as sometimes they run out of maps, but if you ask for a map of the Jungle Cruise from a Cast Member as you’re exiting the ride, usually they’ll hand one out!

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5. A Death Certificate

This is a rumor that we’ve never tried. They say that if you ask for a Death Certificate from a cast member before you get on Haunted Mansion, they might have one for you by the time you exit the ride.

Obviously we aren’t an authority on all of these - but we'd love to hear from people who have been successful! 

4 Secrets to Staying at the Park from Open to Close

Tips, BeginnersKatComment
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If you want to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to that Disneyland ticket, you’re going to want to stay at the park for the entire operating day. Yes, that means arriving by around 8am and leaving at midnight, usually walking a good 10+ miles in the hot Anaheim sun, which makes for an extremely long day.

Luckily, we’ve got the secrets to keep you going all day and night!

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1. CARBS AND SUGAR

Repeat after me: Carbs and Sugar. Carbs and Sugar. Carbs. And. Sugar.

You’re not in Disneyland to be on a diet. You’re in Disneyland to Eat All The Food, and to avoid that impending sugar crash by eating more sugar just in time! That means constant snacking all day long. Feeling a little sleepy? Time for a diet coke. Eyelids getting droopy? Grab a dole whip, stat. Mickey pretzels. Ice cream. Booze. Any and all carbs and sugar.

We try to avoid eating full meals (except for breakfast, which is really just carbs and sugar anyway) at Disneyland for this reason. The fewer full meals you have, the more room you have for snacking!

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2. TAKE BREAKS

When you just can’t take it much longer and all carbs and sugar have failed you, it might be time to take a break. Luckily, Disneyland is full of places to kick back and relax. Take in one of the many shows (usually with air conditioning), go on a particularly long dark ride (Pirates of the Caribbean is the perfect length for a power nap) or just find a spot to settle in with a drink or a dole whip. 

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3. BOOZE

Once you’ve ridden a good few rides in the morning, the crowds always get a bit too heavy to wait in line for most rides. So, you’ve got a good fast pass or two, and now what?

Now, my friends, is the time to get a drink.

Plop yourself down at one of the many great places to get a good drink in the resort, kick up your feet, and chill out for a while. You’ll thank yourself for the break, and the crowds will be a lot easier to deal with once you have a drink or two under your belt.

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4. DON'T TRY TO DO IT ALL

If you try to do everything in one day, you’re going to burn out hard and fast. Ride all the rides you can in the morning, then relax for a while. Standing in the sun for two hours to go on Splash Mountain at 1pm isn’t going to do you any favors when battling Disney Fatigue.

Relax. Enjoy yourself. You’re in Disneyland! 

The Rules of Disneyland

Basics, Tips, BeginnersKelseyComment

When you start going to Disneyland a lot (a lot) you tend to establish a set of rules, a mission statement, or pedagogy of sorts you abide by. I'm sure there's a lot of good ones. These, however, are the best ones. They were imparted upon us from our Disney mentors, and we're passing them along to you. You're welcome. 

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1. Keep up or get left behind.

We're not turning back to make sure everyone's together. That's what cell phones are for. 

Jkjkjkjk (kind of). 

We're pretty lucky our pack is full of seasoned Disneyland veterans and know the lay of the land. The trick is to establish end points before you head anywhere so if someone gets lost in a sea of slow walkers we all know where we're going ahead of time. It keeps us from stopping dead in the middle of a crowd and gets us to where we need to go. Trust us on this one. 

2. Ride first apologize later.

Imagine this: you're separated from your crew. You're on your way to meet up with them. You pass by Pirates and there's NO LINE. So tempting. You regretfully move toward your meet up spot. STOP. Turn around. Get on that ride. Worried your crew will be mad? Who cares, you ride first apologize later. If you got a good group of people, they'll understand. They'll even support you. It's the way of Disneyland. 

3. There's no crying in Disneyland.

Unless they're tears of joy about that fresh churro in your hand, take your crying somewhere else. 

Five Quick Tips to Get Started in Disneyland

Basics, Tips, BeginnersKelseyComment

If you've never been to Disneyland, we got you. Here are five super quick tips to get your oriented if you have no idea what to expect. LETS DO THIS.

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1. Buy tickets ahead of time.

Everyone tells you this I KNOW but seriously. If you’ve never been to Disneyland or it’s been a while, buy your tickets in advance. In the esplanade (the space between Disneyland and California Adventure), there are ticket booths where you buy tickets, and the main gates where you actually enter the park. If you buy your ticket ahead of time, you get to float on by the ticket booth right to the main gate. You can even buy your ticket on your phone while you’re on the tram from the parking lot and scan at the main gate. But if you buy at the ticket booth it can be more expensive and it’s a total waste of time.

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2. Use the morning to your advantage.

Even though crowds can seem daunting first thing, if you pick a section of the park and stick to it, you can get through tons of rides when the park first opens. You can even blitz through Fantasyland if you skip Peter Pan (if you’re staying till close, just get in line right at closing time so it doesn’t eat up any of your day). We’ve gotten through the entirety of Adventureland and Frontierland in about an hour and a half first thing. Then you can chilly chill for the rest of the day, which leads me to my next point-

 

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3.Use fast passes.

It’s first thing in the morning, you pick whichever land you want to dominate, you’re ready to go. Stop for a second. Remember to Fastpass. Fastpasses are an awesome and completely free way to skip the line for your favorite rides. Just scan your park ticket at a Fastpass kiosk, you’ll get a reminder that will give you an hour time-slot to return. Run off and ride, eat, and shop to your heart’s content, then return during your slot, scan your park ticket at the Fastpass line entrance and fly past that fat line. Not all rides have fast passes, but while you’re riding high on your land domination, stop and grab a Fastpass for later. Efficiency feels great.

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4. Chill out in afternoon and rest up for the night.

 

Since you rode tons of rides in the morning, you’ll be a little more relaxed when the huge crowds start to pour in. Embrace the crowds, and use the middle of the day to see shows like the Tiki Room, Mickey and the Magical Map, maybe even the Soundsational Parade. Grab some drinks over at California Adventure or Trader Sam's, try out the Animation Academy, go shopping on Buena Vista. Keep Fastpassing, snack until you can't move. This is your time to take it slower than the morning to gear up for the night. Which is magical and you definitely want to stay around for.

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5. Do later showings for smaller crowds.

 

Night at Disneyland is pure. Flipping. Magic. And you don’t want to miss it. The lights! The feel. It can’t be beat. It’s still pretty busy at night, especially if it’s a Friday and the locals are heading in, but there are some ways to still get the most out of your Disney day. In Disneyland there are a few nighttime shows like the fireworks, Fantasmic, and Paint the Night (which is returning soon thank god). Fun fact! Fantasmic and Paint the Night both have two shows a night. I highly recommend waiting around for the second showings. The crowds are much lighter, and you’ll get to spread out more. Then, once the shows are over, crowds are back to morning sizes and you can blitz through those remaining rides.


Have fun and let us know if you have any questions!