lost weekenders

october17

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! 

jungle cruise exit

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!

ghost relations department

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 Ghosts of Disneyland

Disney HistoryKatComment

Halloween is right around the corner, and this is the season for exploring haunted houses, listening for whispers in the dark, and telling ghost stories. Even the Happiest Place on Earth has its fair share of ghostly legends, and we’re not just talking about the Haunted Mansion.

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The Main Street Firehouse

Above the Firehouse in Town Square, to the right of City Hall, Walt Disney built a personal apartment to oversee the building of Disneyland, and for personal use when he was in town. To let guests and Cast Members know that he was in the Park, Walt would light a lamp in the Firehouse window.

There are several legends surrounding this lamp after Walt’s death. Most involve a Cast Member turning the lamp off, only to return and find it inexplicably lit again. Sometimes They say the lamp will have been turned off multiple times, only to relight every time the Cast Member’s back is turned. Eventually, Cast Members got the picture: the light is now left burning, a symbol of Walt’s eternal presence in Disneyland.

rivers of america night

The Rivers of America

In the 1970s, two brothers hid on Tom Sawyer Island past park closing. To get off the island, and to avoid Cast Members that may still be walking the park, they decided to swim across the Rivers of America. The older brother swam across, towing his younger brother behind. For unknown reasons, he could not make it the entire way across, and drowned in the river. The younger brother managed to survive, and was found by cast members - it took until the next morning to find the body of the older brother.

To this day, Cast Members have mentioned feeling an eerie presence, seeing unexplained ripples in the water, and even an apparition around the Rivers of America - perhaps the ghost of the drowned older brother.

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The Lady in White

Stories have been told of several shops on Main Street, USA being haunted. Cast Members and guests have reported seeing a woman dressed in a white 19th century dress walking the street after dark. Could she be a woman who died on the property before Disneyland was built?

matterhorn

The Matterhorn

The Matterhorn has a bloody history  - at least two deaths have been reported on the ride, not to mention several injuries. 

One Disney legend tells of a woman named Dolly who died on the Matterhorn, thrown from her bobsled because her seatbelt was unbuckled. 

They say this woman haunts the tracks of the Matterhorn, sometimes manifesting as a ghostly figure. Cast Members have reported feeling eyes on them, cold spots, and hearing whispers while walking the tracks at night.

haunted mansion

The Weeping Boy

The Haunted Mansion has 999 happy haunts, and possibly 1 unhappy one: according to some, a Disneyland guest once wanted to spread her son’s ashes in the Haunted Mansion ride, but was not given permission by the park. Undeterred, she spread the ashes in the ride anyway.

Since that night, the ghost of a small boy is often seen at the exit of the Haunted Mansion - crying.

tomorrowland submarines

The Monorail Man

During grad night in the 1960s, a young man tried to sneak into the park via the Monorail. A Cast Member spotted him, and the young man took off running down the tracks. Unfortunately, he was struck and killed by an oncoming Monorail train.

Rumors have circulated that the young man can be seen at night, running along the monorail tracks, only to vanish without a trace.

space mountain

Mr. One Way

One ghost in Disneyland has earned a nickname. “Mr. One Way” is frequently seen on Space Mountain, described by many as a large man with red hair and a red face. According to rumor, it is the ghost of a man who died on the ride in the 1970s. He is usually reported taking a seat next to single riders, only to disappear by the end of the ride. 

You don't have to ride the Haunted Mansion for ghoulish experiences - it turns out, there may be happy (or not-so-happy) haunts all over the park.

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!