Disneyland (CA)

Using Disneyland Touring Plans and the Lines App

by on August 27, 2014

Radiator Springs Racers entrance -Natalie Reinert

I was determined to avoid lines at Disneyland as much as I do at Walt Disney World. Serious planning was needed.

As a Disney World veteran, there are two things I don’t bother with much anymore: park maps, and extensive planning. I know where everything is, I know when I want to see it, and I know how long I am willing to wait for things (about twenty minutes, generally). I think at this point my feet carry me from place to place without my brain directing them.

But for our first (of many, we hope!) Disneyland Resort trips, I knew that I needed to do some extra planning. Standing around with my face in a park map, trying to figure out where to go next, was simply not an option. I don’t even carry a bag in the park, let alone a map. But I needed a plan to get my family around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure without wandering aimlessly and getting caught in long queues. And, just in case of attraction breakdowns or unexpectedly long wait times, I needed the ability to make an on-the-spot back-up plan. How could I manage that in a park I’d never been before?

Enter personalized plans from TouringPlans.com, and the Lines App.

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Menu Monday: Best Disneyland Candy – Candy Palace vs. Trolley Treats

by on August 25, 2014

Candy Palace sign - Disneyland - Natalie Reinert

The surprisingly understated sign of Candy Palace, at Disneyland

Disneyland candy. It’s a tradition, right up there with corn dogs and churros. From elaborate candy apples to house-made toffee, Disneyland serves up some of the most toothsome sugary treats in the theme park business. But where’s the best spot to get it? Do you opt for the original in Disneyland’s Candy Palace, or head over to Disney California Adventure for the sweets at Trolley Treats? I tried both, checking out the selection, atmosphere, and amenities at each location, to help you acquire the best sugar buzz on Disneyland property.

Disneyland traditionalists will argue for the Candy Palace. This Main Street, U.S.A., institution has been dishing out the treats for nearly sixty years, after all. In 2012, the Candy Palace was expanded, increasing display space as well as the iconic show kitchen, where guests can watch

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Potty Mouth: Best Restrooms in Disney California Adventure

by on August 24, 2014

Disney California Adventure

Photo- Ray Castillo Jr.

Now that we, here at TouringPlans, have already highlighted the best restrooms throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland, it is now time to show some love to Disney California Adventure. While I was visiting my family and friends in Southern California this summer, I had the opportunity to go to the Disneyland Resort to have some fun and do a bit of “research” to find out which Disney California Adventure restrooms are the best. To make my list, I looked for two things: cleanliness of that particular restroom and how much traffic it gets. The cleaner and less crowded, the better. Now, without further ado, I present to you the best restrooms in Disney California Adventure.

Buena Vista Street

  • There is a set of restrooms that you can use right before entering Disney California Adventure. They are located close to the bus stop drop off/pick-up area in the front of the Disneyland Resort. These are great to use before going into any of the parks or leaving for the day to head back to your hotel.
  • There is also a restroom that is hidden right when you enter Disney California Adventure. Head to the left, next to the guest relations area. That is where you will this quiet set of restrooms.

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Crowd Calendar 4 Launched for Universal Orlando and Disneyland Resort

by on August 23, 2014

New Crowd Calendar methodology arrives at Universal Orlando Resort

New Crowd Calendar methodology arrives at Universal Orlando Resort

 

The methodology used for the TouringPlans.com Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar since November 2013 takes over the Universal Orlando and Disneyland Resort crowd calendars starting today. Crowd Calendar 4 has worked well for Disney World so we are confident it will perform equally well for Universal and Disneyland. See below for a synopsis of how the calendar has performed since November 2013. When we predict the crowd level (between ’1′ and ’10′) we see that about 95% of the time the actual crowd will be within two index points, and about three-quarters (3/4) of the time within one.

 

Disney World Crowd Calendar Error Results since November 2013

Disney World Crowd Calendar Error Results since November 2013

 

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Menu Monday: Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

by on August 18, 2014

Trader Sam's drinks - Natalie Reiner

The Shipwreck on the Rocks and the Polynesian Punch in their souvenir mugs at Trader Sam’s. The Navy Grog, being off-menu, doesn’t have a souvenir option.

For such a hot spot for Disney super-fans, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar sure has an unassuming location.

Sharing a building and patio with the Disneyland Hotel’s counter-service dining location, Tangaroa Terrace, Trader Sam’s could easily be overlooked amidst all the drooping palms and towel-clad children running to the monorail water-slides. But word is out: Trader Sam’s, a tiny little bar named for the head salesman of the Jungle Cruise, is a can’t-miss highlight of any Disneyland vacation.

Inside, louvered “windows” look out on tropical islands, a la the Enchanted Tiki Room, and tiki gods gaze down from the rafters and walls. Notes and aged photos pay tribute to Disney films, Imagineers, and Cast from over the decades. Just in terms of exploring the archives and deciphering the inside jokes, Trader Sam’s is Disney-nerd heaven.

And so Trader Sam’s has become part of the Disneyland trip for in-the-know fans. One morning that I was there, in fact, every single person in the room was a Walt Disney World Cast Member or Cast Member-alumni–including myself, and the bartender.

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Menu Monday: Inside the Disneyland Corn Dog

by on August 18, 2014

What makes these so special?

Why is this so delicious? Photo - Disney Parks Blog

Food. It is the most important experience you will have on a vacation. Whether you are traveling to Walt Disney World or Paris, the food you eat will shape your entire traveling experience. So, why is it that foodies always insist on people trying the Disneyland corn dog? It is just a corn dog after all, right? Well, this is not no ordinary corn dog, my friends. This is a piece of crunchy, delicious heaven. Even TouringPlans’ Researcher and blogger Guy expresses that…

Disneyland corn dogs are legendary among Disneyland locals for a good reason. They are giant, cheap, and most importantly delicious! They are hand dipped right before serving so you will hardly ever get a stale corn dog. Believe the hype.

Guy is not the only one that raves about the corn dog at Disneyland, L.A. Weekly’s Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold has stated that the corn dog at Disneyland is the best he has ever eaten.

So, what makes these corn dog so dang special? Well, it is actually pretty simple, and Gary Maggetti, Director of Food and Beverage for Disneyland Resort and Disney World, explains the originals of the Disneyland corn dog and why it is so magical in the video below.

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Disney California Adventure Character Meet & Greets: A Walking Tour

by on August 12, 2014

Mickey Mouse

Me with an old friend, both in our bow ties.

A couple weeks ago, I took you on a walking tour of some of the various character meet & greet opportunities in Disneyland Park. This week, let’s take a look at some of the spots in Disney California Adventure Park where you can meet your favorite Disney characters.

Before the park became known as Disney California Adventure, and before the major “DCA 2.0″ overhaul, a park visitor would be pretty hard-pressed to find characters to take pictures with or get an autograph from. But over the years, that has changed. DCA is now home to many characters, much like its companion park across the esplanade.

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Disneyland Hotel: The Happiest Hotel on Earth Tour

by on August 7, 2014

Disney World resort tours are common at Disney Deluxe Resorts, highlighting their immersive themes and design elements. Some feature unique collections of artwork, some thoughtful tributes to architectural movements in history. But none of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels offer such a Disney-specific historical experience as The Happiest Hotel on Earth Tour at the Disneyland Hotel.

A tiny selection from the massive case of tags, trinkets, and photos in the Convention Center at Disneyland Hotel.

A tiny selection from the massive case of tags, trinkets, and photos in the Convention Center at Disneyland Hotel.

The Disneyland Hotel, after all, has one simple theme: Disneyland Nostalgia. The Walt Disney Company turned three 1970s-era glass towers into a one-of-a-kind collection space for Disneyland concept art and vintage Disney photos, plus displays filled with maps, tickets, and trinkets. And just like at the theme parks, every design element, from the wallpaper inside to the trees outside, has been specially created to heighten the theme and create total immersion.

The Happiest Hotel on Earth Tour helps guests see the stories being told by the towers and the central pool area. Within and without the Adventure, Fantasy, and Frontier towers, Disney fans will find tributes to three of the four opening-day lands from Disneyland. And out on the pool deck, you’ll find the fourth — Tomorrowland.

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Characters From Big Hero 6 to Meet This Fall at Disney Parks

by on August 6, 2014

Big Hero 6

©Disney

This year’s follow up to the smash hit Frozen is called Big Hero 6. The movie follows Hiro Hamada, a robotics prodigy, who finds himself in a criminal plot to destroy the city of San Fransokyo. Hiro must transform his robotic companion, Baymax, as well as a few other friends, into high-tech heroes to save the day and their city.

To help to promote the movie, beginning this Fall, guests will have the opportunity to meet both Hiro and Baymax. According to Disney, the two will be found at both Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort. Currently, no location or beginning date has been given for the meet and greet opportunities, but it should be released soon and I’ll make sure to keep you posted.

To find out a little bit more about the characters, make sure to check out the recently released movie trailer. (Baymax looks like he will be squishy! I cannot wait to hug him!) Big Hero 6 debuts in theaters on November 7.

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TouringPlans #Everwhere: Dining in Disneyland…HELP!

by on August 6, 2014

Photo Courtesy Guy Selga, Jr

Photo Courtesy Guy Selga, Jr

This is the fourth in my series of printed histrionics about my first ever trip to Disneyland as part of TouringPlans.com’s desire to take over the world visit every Disney-run location in the world. I previously wrote about my general excitement, how I budgeted for the trip to California, and the random things I expect to find as a first time visitor to Disneyland. This post is all about choosing my dining in Disneyland, specifically for any meals where I may need a reservation.

I am about 2 months away from my Disneyland trip (I know because my kids have been counting down for over a month already). If I were traveling to Walt Disney World, at this point I would have all of my Advance Dining Reservations, FastPass+ attraction reservations, morning alarms set with precise wake-up times, and my pacemaker linked with Disney’s new heart rate excitement inducement program. Things are a bit different out west; there are no FastPass+ reservations (at least not yet), and dining reservations can only be made 60 days in advance.

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