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4 Ways to Supercharge Your Disneyland Morning

Basics, BeginnersKatComment

Your best trip to Disneyland is all about strategy, and one of the most important parts of your park strategy is how you manage your mornings – the first few hours in the parks can determine how the rest of your day goes. Besides the usual ways to effectively plan your day, here are our surefire tips to supercharge your mornings in Disneyland:

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GET THERE SUPER EARLY

You probably think you’ll have enough time to leave your hotel, park, and get to Disneyland by the time ropes drop, but take it from us: you probably won’t. We always budget a decent amount of time for the morning trip to the park but somehow frequently find ourselves walking down Main Street 10-20 minutes after the park has officially opened.

Add at least half an hour to whatever time you think you’re going to need to get ready. There are usually unexpected lines at the parking lot, trams that take way too long to arrive, weird situations with security, or you'll happen to choose the one entrance line with fifteen people getting their photos taken for their new tickets – don’t let these situations slow you down! You want to be at the parks for as much of the morning as you possibly can.

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MOBILE ORDER AT STARBUCKS

If you’re one of the bajillions of people in the world that start your day with some caffeine, you’re going to want to stop at Starbucks before you get on your first ride or two. Unfortunately, because bajillions of people in the of the world start their day with caffeine, the lines at the Starbucks in Disneyland get LONG. Don’t let a long coffee line totally disrupt your morning and throw off your whole day.

We now order our coffees through mobile ordering on the Starbucks app once we’ve boarded the parking lot tram at the Mickey and Friends parking lot. You bypass the lines, and usually the drinks are ready just about when you get there. Be sure you order from the correct Starbucks though – the one by the Disneyland Hotel will set you back (you’ll have to backtrack through nearly all of Downtown Disney to get there).

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MAXPASS/FASTPASS THE BEST WAY

It’s pretty common knowledge that everyone heads to Space Mountain and Indiana Jones first thing upon entering Disneyland. Unless you’re only there for these rides, don’t bother trying to get on them first, since the line will be just as long as it is the rest of the day (unless you’re the very first person there, which would be a shock).

Also don’t waste your time trying to get a Fastpass first thing, since usually when that happens you end up with a Fastpass entry time of only about 20-40 minutes later, which means you have to wait around instead of using your time for other rides. It’s much more useful to spend your morning on rides with shorter lines (due to the smaller crowds) that don't have Fastpasses, since you can nearly always get a Fastpass for the others with Maxpass.

We find that the best rides to start with are either Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, or Alice in Wonderland – if you start with Alice, you can usually walk on to every ride in Fantasyland (aside from Peter Pan, which is just as busy first thing in the morning as it is the rest of the day) before the parks start to get crowded.

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WAIT ON BREAKFAST

Eat a snack on the way to the park, and then don’t worry about breakfast until you’ve gotten some rides in – the mornings are the best time to get on rides, and spending your prime ride time on a sit-down meal is a waste of the morning.

We don’t usually eat breakfast until at least 10:30, sometimes closer to 11. This is great because almost no one else eats breakfast at that time, and we’ve usually done a large amount of attraction riding by then. We are sure to eat something before we start our morning though – usually a snack at Starbucks – because nothing spoils your Disney day like morning hanger.

Disneyland is all about pushing yourself in the morning so that you feel super accomplished by noon, and can allow yourself to relax the rest of the day. If you do all you can to supercharge your mornings, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a better experience with the rest of your day.

Best Parts of Being an Adult in Disneyland

Basics, BeginnersKelseyComment

I hear it all the time, you probably do, too. “Las Vegas is like Disneyland for adults,” or “Napa is Disneyland for adults.”

Stop. Stop it. Disneyland is Disneyland for adults. Let Vegas be Vegas and Napa be Napa and that other place be that other place. They’re great on their own. Let me tell you why being an adult in Disneyland is actually the best.

You can do whatever you want

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You don’t have to wait in line to meet the characters if you don’t want to. You don’t have to wait in that horrendously long line if you don’t want you. You don’t have to worry about stroller parking, or finding a place for picky eaters.

There’s definitely magic to bringing kids to Disneyland and seeing things unfold from their perspective, but most people don’t realize the magic is adaptable and different for everyone, not just kids.

One of the best parts about Disney is once you’re in, you’re in. You can ride, go to shows, browse the shops. You can do whatever you want.
 

You can drink

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I know we talk about this a lot, but if you’re a drinker, you can definitely imbibe at the Disneyland resort guilt free. In Disneyland park specifically, you can only drink at Club 33, which is pretty tough to get into, but there are tons of options in California Adventure and Downtown Disney.

We forever recommend Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel (tiki tiki tiki tiki rum or a lost safari are our favorites), Carthay Circle (pear martini, pimm’s punch, and the classic gin and tonic are must tries), Hearthstone in the Grand Californian for their Cove Bar drinks (which is going away), and Tortilla Joes (peach tree mojito for life).

You can go on all the rides

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Fun fact, Disneyland offers a ride switch perk for parents with young kids for more high thrill rides. Ask the cast member working the front of your desired ride’s queue for a parent rider switch pass. Your party will be split up, one group will ride while the second watches the kid. Once the first group returns, they hand off the pass, and the second party gets to hop in the fast pass queue.

It’s a great perk, and definitely something to keep in mind. But if you’re going with a group of full grown adults, y’all can genuinely ride whatever you want without worrying or organizing.

Which leads me to my next point.
 

You can split up

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Kat, Stephen, and I are huge proponents of splitting up. This falls under the “you can do whatever you want” category. We believe you’re on vacation in Disneyland and you shouldn’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Which is a huge perk of going to Disneyland as an adult.

We’ll frequently split up if someone wants to ride a ride others don’t, see a show others don’t, eat somewhere other people don’t want to eat- the list goes on. We all fully support each person getting the most out of their trip, so if you want a churro and everyone else wants popcorn? Go grab that churro. Your group wants to watch World of Color but you’d rather not? Go ride Ariel 5 times, why not?

One time, Kat and Stephen wanted to watch some night time show and I wasn’t super into it, so I bounced and hopped on single rider for Matterhorn. They sat me in the front, and I was wearing a white tank top, not suspecting anything. And then I totally got soaked and walked around Disneyland by myself with a completely see-through shirt. I thought it was hilarious.

You can get there as early as you want and stay until close

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If you want to get there at rope drop and stay until midnight you do your thing. Especially if your group has agreed on the aforementioned Split Up rule, some of your party can go back to the hotel and nap or pool lounge, and you can ride and snack to your heart’s content.

 

Best Breakfasts You Won’t Need a Reservation For

Basics, Beginners, Food & Drink, FoodKatComment

Happy New Year! 2017 had its fair share of challenges, but it was also the year we launched our blog, and we couldn't be happier. And what's the best way to bring in the new year? With breakfast of course.

There’s a lot of information thrown around about dining in Disneyland, and most of it revolves around restaurants you’re going to need a reservation for. And sure, making reservations for dinner or even lunch doesn’t seem like much of a surprise, but what do you do when you find yourself in Disneyland at 9am, starving, realizing that Plaza Inn and Carnation Cafe aren’t places you can just mosey into for a mickey waffle or two?

Don’t worry, we got you.

Fortunately, there are plenty of breakfast options that don’t involve weeks of planning ahead.

 

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Rancho del Zocalo

EDIT: as of spring 2018, rancho del zocalo no longer serves breakfast in Disneyland. Check out the red rose taverne in Fantasyland instead!

Located between the Princess Fantasy Faire and the Shooting Gallery in Frontierland, Rancho del Zocalo recently started serving breakfast, and it’s great.

Your standard Disneyland breakfast is available (hello waffles, pancakes, sausage and bacon), and also Mexican-inspired breakfast, including breakfast burritos, chilaquiles, and fajitas.

The Traditional breakfast line goes much slower than Mexican-inspired - in fact, there’s usually hardly any line for my fajita platter breakfast at all. Though there are several checkout stands, there’s usually only one person checking people out, so the lines can get long (or just slow), but there’s plenty of seating and sometimes you can even get a spot right next to Big Thunder Railroad and watch the trains go by.

 

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Jolly Holiday

 

At the entrance to Adventureland, the Jolly Holiday Bakery and Cafe offers breakfast treats and sandwiches. The lines can move slowly, but the seating outside is ample and provides a great view of the crowds going by.

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Mint Julep Bar

Listen, sometimes you just want some kind of delicious pastry shaped like Mickey Mouse's head, and you want to eat it in a super picturesque area while people-watching in the Happiest Place on Earth, is that so much to ask? Located in the garden patio area of the French Market Restaurant in New Orleans Square, the Mint Julep Bar sells Mickey Beignets, usually with seasonal flavor varieties, and they are DELICIOUS. 

 

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Flo’s V8 Cafe

 

In Cars Land, Flo’s is pretty famous for having great food, and breakfast is no exception. The line moves quickly and the service is efficient - plus the food offerings are on-point.

We HIGHLY recommend the brioche french toast and the tamale breakfast. We’ve been known to order sides of breakfast potatoes and bacon, plus the kids’ breakfasts are great if you just want a light snack.


Other Options 

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being stuck in a Land that has no great breakfast restaurant offerings (I'm looking at you, almost-all-of-DCA), there's always the Starbucks in each park, or the espresso kiosks that sometimes offer fancy doughnuts and other snacks. 

 

MaxPass vs FastPass

Basics, BeginnersKelseyComment
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Hello, friends!

If you've visited the parks or read any of our posts, you know how invaluable Fastpasses are. We're fans. Lucky for us, Disneyland has just rolled out a new Fastpass system in conjunction with their current system called Maxpass. And lucky for YOU we tried it out, and we're serving up a side by side comparison just for you. 

Fastpass

Fastpass is a system Disneyland has had in place since the late 90s. It’s a way for guests to skip the standby line on some of the more popular rides (often called the E Ticket rides, which calls back to the time when Disneyland had ticket books, and required tickets for each ride).

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To get a Fastpass, go to any ride that has Fastpass machines, insert your park ticket into the machine, and a reminder will pop out giving you an hour time slot to return. Return during your allotted time, scan your park ticket at the Fastpass line, and skip the long standby. The machines used to give you the actual Fastpass to flash at the Fastpass line, but now everything is on the park ticket itself, so make sure to have that out before you get in line.

It’s worth noting that your return time can vary depending on how busy the park is and how popular that particular ride is. We’ve gotten return times on Fastpasses that were less than an hour, but we’ve also gotten them for a good five or six hours away. No matter when your return time is for your ride, you can always Fastpass again in a couple hours. Just be sure to check the bottom of your Fastpass reminder to see when you can grab another one.

The Fastpass system is awesome because it’s free, and you essentially get to “wait in line” by shopping, snacking, or riding other rides.

 

Maxpass

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I was really very prepared to be underwhelmed by Maxpass but I think I’m a convert, y’all. I was hesistant because Maxpass is $10 a day, or an additional $70 to add to an Annual Pass, but I’m all in.

It’s worth it because you can do everything with your phone from anywhere as long as you’re scanned into the park. So if you’re in Disneyland you can grab fastpasses in DCA, or if you’re boozing at Trader Sam’s, you can grab fastpasses for either park.

To start with Maxpass, download the Disneyland app on your phone and set up an account. Then you’ll need to determine who’s in your “maxpass party”- essentially who you’re in the park with. You’ll link everyone’s park ticket, including yours, to your maxpass party on the app. There’s a camera so you can scan the barcode of everyone’s ticket super easy. Each person costs $10. So if you’re doing it on your phone, everyone owes you two churros.

Then, once everyone scans into the park, you’re ready to start grabbing fastpasses. It’s a bit tricky to get set-up, but once you do, it’s magic.

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To get Fastpasses, tap on your avatar at the bottom of the app. Then tap on “Get Fastpass”. Choose your park, and scroll through the list of available fastpasses. Tap on the time listed, not the actual ride picture. Then review and confirm the selection for your entire party. When you return to hop in line, you can either open the app, tap your avatar, then tap “My Tickets” and scan everyone’s ticket, or you can use your park ticket.

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Where you would normally have to go to each ride to grab the fastpass, you can grab fastpasses for everyone no matter where you are. Which means if you’ve just hopped in fastpass line for Haunted Mansion, once your passes are scanned, you can grab another Fastpass while in line for anywhere in either park. WHICH IS SO COOL. It’s a game changer. It also means you don’t have to get to Radiator Springs Racers at a certain time to grab a Fastpass, you can do it from the comfort of breakfast.

On top of that, MaxPass also gives you PhotoPass. Which means you can walk up to any Disneyland Photographer and have them snap a picture on their fancy camera for you. All of the photos you have taken from a cast member are then linked to your pass, and you can save and download professional Disneyland pictures.

 

So which one do you get?

I’d say if you’re in the parks for just one day, go for the MaxPass. It’ll help you do more of what you want to do with less stress and less running around. Your feet will thank you, and you’ll get more out of your trip. Plus, you can take advantage of that PhotoPass.

If you’re in the parks for a few days, suss out the busiest day and get MaxPass for that one day. You can survive just fine with Fastpasses on the other days, especially if you have reservations or want to see shows. I’d just say to save your eticket rides for your MaxPass day.

I’ll definitely be upgrading my AP to include MaxPass.

 

What to Check Before Booking Your Disneyland Trip

Basics, BeginnersKelseyComment

There’s probably a bunch of prep you’ll do before you book your Disneyland trip. Are there cool seasonal events going on? What’s the hotel situation like? Blockout dates?

All of the above are good things to take into account for sure, but there are a few more sneaky things you might take for granted and might get in the way of a good time (although like...you can always drown your sorrows in churros or some good old fashioned Disneyland retail therapy).

Luckily, all of these pesky things that could interfere with your picture perfect Disneyland trip are super easy to check in advance. So let’s dive in.

    

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Attraction Closures

When you first go through the security checkpoints in the park, you’ll see a sign listing all the attraction closures for the day. Which can be a total bummer if some of the things listed on the sign are what you come to the park for.

All the attractions at the parks cycle through maintenance closures at some point while some attractions will close for holiday overlays (Small World Holiday, Haunted Mansion Holiday), and then close again to reset.

You can always check any closures on the calendar section of the Disneyland website pretty far in advance, along with a ton of other awesome park info for the specific days of your trip.  This site also has a great easy guide to check up on closures as well.

    

Park Operating Hours

This is something I’ve definitely taken for granted in the past.

If you’re used to an 8am-12am park day, it can come as a shock to learn you get a shorter day, but the park hours change throughout the year. So while a 8am-12am day is standard in the summer, you could be looking at a 10am-8pm park day during an off-time of the year, which drastically cuts down on park time.

Checking the Disneyland calendar is definitely something to add to your pre-booking checklist to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, and there aren’t any super-non-magical surprises. (Keep in mind the park times are subject to change.)

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Are the reservations you want available?

If you have a tried and true tradition like dinner at the Blue Bayou, or garlic fries at Cafe Orleans, it’s worth it to call in and make your reservations as soon as you possibly can. You can book reservations up to 60 days in advance.

Since it’s so easy, I recommend first checking the reservations section of the Disneyland Website to check availability and book your reservation. However, if the website doesn’t list any available reservations for your trip, try calling Disney Dining (714)781-3463 to speak to a human. They’re usually pretty helpful and might be able to find something the website can’t.

And, if all else fails, you can always try going to your desired restaurant at the very beginning of the day and getting on a standby list in case of cancellations.

 

Disneyland Resort Entertainment 101

Basics, Beginners, EntertainmentStephenComment

From the moment you enter Disneyland, there's entertainment around every corner. Even after visiting the parks dozens of times, I always start by picking up a time guide at the turnstile. This guide lists most of the live entertainment throughout the park and each printed guide usually covers 3-7 days. The schedules for some shows change day-to-day and others are totally consistent, so that guide is key to getting around on time. 

I tend to break up Disneyland entertainment into a few categories: Seasonal, Casual, Ambience, Characters and Shows.

A Christmas Fantasy

Seasonal Entertainment

Seasonal Entertainment encompasses, of course, Christmas and Halloween fireworks and parades, but Disneyland also takes advantage of other times of year like summer, holidays like Veterans Day and movie blockbusters as an opportunity for a new pre-parade, fireworks show, street party, or musical tribute. 

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Casual Entertainment

You may very well pass by some Casual Entertainment without even realizing it was a scheduled event. The best example is the Dapper Dans - a barbershop quartet in snazzy striped suits with matching hats that sing up and down Main Street, as well as occasionally riding the Horse Drawn Carriage or Firetruck. Just like the Dans, the Disneyland Band, Army Men and Pearly Band tend to march around and can be unpredictable in their start and end location. 

Ambience Entertainment

Throughout the lands of both parks, Ambience Entertainment happens all around you, adding to the Disney Magic. Custodians that paint character's faces on the sidewalk with brooms and water, Citizens of Buena Vista and their pets will carry on with you in-character, and The Laughing Stock (in front of the Golden Horseshoe) all can be found through the time guide, but don't worry too much about scheduling your time around them - part of the fun is that they seem to appear out of nowhere.

Disney Characters

Disney Characters have their own section in the time guide although the times listed are vague at best. Most characters are available for photos and autographs for about 30-45 minutes and then take a break for about 10-20. If you're looking for a specific character, Cast Members can point you to the area that character hangs out (Peter Pan, for example, is usually found around the Mad Tea Party teacups in Fantasyland) but sometimes, it's just a waiting game. 

Be sure to always keep your eyes open for unscheduled character appearances - you never know who might show up.

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Shows

Shows are the most scheduled entertainment and require the most pre-planning.

Some shows are nearly always easy to get in to and are worth the short wait. Mickey and the Magical Map just requires showing up about 30 minutes early to ensure you get a seat. Some shows have smaller seating areas, so you need to keep an eye out for a quickly growing line, like Disney Jr in DCA and Fantasy Faire at the Royal Theatre. Frozen - Live at the Hyperion, however, isn't worth the wait, there are tons of stairs to climb, and because of the lack of enthusiasm for the show, they're limiting the number of shows per day, so every show is packed. If you feel the burning desire to see Frozen, make sure you get in line about an hour before showtime.

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The most popular shows like Fantasmic! and World of Color require a FastPass to determine your entry location and standing area. If you're planning on catching one of these shows (especially if you'd prefer the first show of the night) be sure to get those FastPasses within the first couple hours of your day. 

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The Fireworks are the ultimate cap to a Disneyland Vacation. Even though the show may change from summer to winter and from year to year, they all are the best fireworks you will ever see. Everyone wants to watch the fireworks from Main Street, so space starts filling up hours ahead of showtime. Disneyland recommends Small World and the Rivers of America as alternate viewing locations, but in reality, you can enjoy the fireworks from almost everywhere in the park (and even the esplanade between parks) and most locations - besides Main Street - have a more manageable crowd. 

 

Best Places to Breakup in Disneyland

BasicsKelseyComment
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Hello, beautiful people. It’s the holiday season! It’s the season of giving. It’s the season of love. It might be the season of breaking up. Sorry? Or congratulations? Maybe sorry now and congratulations in a few months.

Anyway.

Disneyland might be one of the better places to break it off for several reasons. First, it’s surrounded by people, so it’s harder to make a scene. Second,  since there are tons of aforementioned people, it’s easy to make a quick escape and get lost in a crowd. Third, if you’re feeling bummed, you’re surrounded by Disneyland cheer and churros and that helps with everything.

 

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Edelweiss Snacks

First up. Have you ever noticed Edelweiss Snacks across from the Matterhorn? Kind of? Perfect. Tucked behind Edelweiss Snacks is a long dock that stretches out to where the Gummy Bears boats used to be. It’s rare to see lots of people there, but there’s generally enough so you’re not isolated. All of which makes it a perfect place to break it off, then sneak off to Small World while your ex maybe cries for a while. Let the sound of singing animatronic dolls drown out your guilt.


 

Toontown Railroad

The Toontown Railroad Station is bedecked with hilarious cartoonish props that suck you into a happy world where nothing could possibly go wrong save for hijinks of the sweetest variety.

Which makes the little private stretch of space behind it a great place to break up. I recommend position your soon-to-be-no-longer-other-half so they’re looking at the jolly and colorful oversized decor to kind of take their mind off the blow they’re about to receive.

It’s a super private area, a perfect place for them to deal with a crushing loss while you hop on the train and later days.

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Behind the Galactic Grill

Tucked to the side of Galactic Grill, almost to Pixie Hollow, are a set of tables and chairs that are just out the way enough to have a private conversation, and just close enough to the crowd where no one can make a scene. Grab a Darth By Chocolate, stuff your face, give the speech, and dip into Nemo to get a solid 15 minutes of crying in the dark then pick yourself up and have a good time.

 

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Tom Sawyer Island (Or Pirates Cove or whatever)

Think of all the nooks and crannies you can run off to when the dreaded deed is done.

 

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Disneyland Railroad

Because how dope would it be to break up by the Dinosaurs.

 

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Old Ice Cream Window on Main Street

Mid way down Main Street, right next to the lockers, by where the old ice cream window used to be, lives a little secluded cove where you can pop right in for a quick breakup then dip into the store and retail therapy yourself happy again.

 

 

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort 2017

Basics, EntertainmentKatComment

The time we’ve been waiting for is finally upon us: the holidays at the Disneyland Resort. The second those glittering icicles top Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Disneyland transforms into a place of even more magic than usual (plus the cooler weather and new sweet treats everywhere you look don’t hurt either).

If you were considering visiting the Disneyland Resort this Holiday season, here’s a quick roundup of all the things you can look forward to:

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Main Street, USA

The Holidays transform Main Street into a winter wonderland, complete with festive garlands above every door, Christmas carols piped through the loudspeakers, and, of course, the colossal Christmas tree at the end of Main Street. This update also comes with a parade - A Christmas Fantasy Parade - which we found skippable, unless you’re really into not-quite-cute, more-like-nightmarish snowmen and one (bad) Christmas song repeated over and over and over (and hey, Small World is one of our favorite rides, so we have a high tolerance for repetitive songs).

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"it's a small world" Holiday

Every time Small World gets its’ holiday overlay, we find ourselves asking why the ride doesn’t look as nice year-round. The additions to the ride are over the top, changing what is usually a pretty hokey ride (we love you, small world) into a truly magical one. Plus, the nighttime lighting is particularly loud and unsubtle, in true Disney fashion.

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Haunted Mansion Holiday

If you didn’t make it for Halloween, have no fear - Jack Skellington and the rest of the citizens Halloweentown stick around through Christmas, so enjoy the Tim Burton-ed Mansion while you can. We recommend either getting to the ride first thing in the morning or investing in a Fast Pass, because that line gets long FAST.

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Cars Land

This year for the first time, both Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (now Mater’s Jingle Jamboree) and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters (now Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl) have gotten Christmas overlays, including new songs and decorations. While you’re there, be sure to check out the holiday decorations all over Cars Land, especially the various Christmas trees of Radiator Springs residents and the themed Radiator Springs entryway billboard.

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Buena Vista Street

DCA’s main thoroughfare gets the holiday treatment with the Christmas tree next to the famous ‘Storytellers’ statue of Walt and Mickey, decorations in the shop windows, and general holiday magic. Mickey and friends can be found down Buena Vista sporting new Christmas outfits, and even the various street performers get into the holiday spirit.

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Festival of Holidays

Paradise Pier is now home to the Festival of Holidays, a street fair celebrating food, music and dance throughout the world. Sample treats from or inspired by faraway countries, watch some dancing or a live performance as you munch, or head down to Paradise Garden Grill to say hello to Elena of Avalor.

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Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

Pick up a treasure hunt map and go explore the holiday version of the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. There are holiday decorations at every turn, a surprise stand with warm bourbon cider (oh heck yes), and even Santa makes an appearance!

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Holiday Castle

Have we mentioned the holiday decorations on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle? Because they’re amazing. Nothing says the holidays like seeing lit garlands, glittering icicles, and white snow covering the castle turrets. Pose for a picture in front if you can - if not, try taking one from one of the smaller paths around the castle - it’s almost as good of a view, with nearly no crowd.

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World of Color: Season of Light

For a limited time, Paradise Pier hosts World of Color: Season of Light. Honestly, we’ve never been able to sit through this show (we left halfway through the one time we tried it because we found it particularly grating) but if you’re into holiday cartoons, Christmas carols, and the general feel of the World of Color show, give this a try!

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Fireworks

Be sure to set some time aside to view the holiday “Believe...In Holiday Magic” fireworks show on Main Street, complete with projections over Sleeping Beauty Castle (and Small World, if you don’t feel like fighting with the Main Street crowds for a castle view) and the magic of snow.

 

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Don’t forget to look for Holiday magic everywhere you are: part of the beauty of Disneyland is in the more subtle details, and almost nowhere is left undecorated. Check out the decorations in every shop window, most rides and attractions, and always be prepared for some holiday cheer to pop out of nowhere!

 

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!