Disneyland (CA)

How Many Times Do You Have to Visit Disney?

by on March 22, 2015

A Disney fan may ask, “How many times do I get to go to Walt Disney World?” For a Disney aficionado, the theme parks are a treat to be indulged in as often as possible. But for Disney-neutral or, gasp, Disney-averse folks, the question they might more reasonably pose is, “How many times do I have to go to Walt Disney World?”

I’ll get the ball rolling by saying, yes, barring major financial constraint, you do have to visit Disney World or Disneyland at least once. Why? Because experiencing a Disney theme park is the American cultural imperative akin to no other.

The Disney Parks are a must-do. But how many times must you do them?

The Disney Parks are a must-do. But how many times must you do them?

In a time when common cultural experience has eroded to the point of oblivion, a Disney parks visit is of the few remaining touchstone experiences; it’s a true American rite of passage (possibly also for other nationalities, but I’m speaking to the US for this one). A trip to a Disney theme park will put you on the fast track to pop cultural literacy, elucidating references in sources ranging from Mad Men to Modern Family.

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Disney California Adventure Smokejumpers Grill Review

by on March 20, 2015

IMG_4244

Smokejumpers Grill opened today at Disney California Adventure. It replaced Taste Pilots’ Grill, which was one of DCA’s opening day restaurants. Personally I only ate at Taste Pilots a handful of times because I wasn’t a fun of the location’s specialty: bland theme park hamburgers. Is the food better at Smokejumpers? I’ll get to that later in the post.

Taste Pilots’ Grill was located in the land known as Condor Flats, but now the entire area is being “reimagined” and renamed to Grizzly Peak Airfield (which will open on May 14). Because of this the restaurant and its surroundings have been redone to match the new theme.

Review continues after the jump:

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Pictures: Springtime Roundup Brings Rare Characters Back to Disneyland

by on March 20, 2015

Springtime Roundup is back at Disneyland, and that means you have a chance to see some Disney characters that rarely appear in the parks. The meet and greets are located in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree area of Disneyland. Four characters come out at a time and then are rotated every 20 minutes, so stick around if you don’t see the one you’re looking for. We see lines for these kind of things start low in the mornings and rise as the day goes on. Springtime Roundup will run 10:30 am to 5:30 pm, daily now through April 12, and then weekends through June 7.

This year’s lineup of characters include:

Roger Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
Rabbit (Winnie The Pooh)
White Rabbit (Alice in Wonderland)
Thumper (Bambi)
Brer Rabbit (Song of the South)
Easter Bunny
Pluto in bunny ears
Mickey & Minnie in Easter outfits

DSC04201Roger Rabbit

DSC04203

Roger hams it up for the camera

More pictures after the jump:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – March 15 to 21, 2015

by on March 17, 2015

Last week Disneyland Resort saw crowd levels stay fairly level throughout the week. In a typical week we expect the weekends and adjacent days to be the busiest. Since we saw level crowds this is likely a sign that spring break groups are visiting the parks during their break and keeping wait times high during the week. Our predictions did well though, with most days hitting the mark or missing by only one level.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report:

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Disneyland Announces 24 Hour Event To Kick Off 60th Anniversary

by on March 11, 2015

Disneyland-Leap-Day-212What if I told you that you could spend 24 hours in Disneyland, again… for the fifth time? Today Disney announced that the popular 24 hour event will return May 22-23. This year’s event will mark the official start to Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary “Diamond Celebration.” Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will be open for a full 24 hours, and you may need all that time if you want to see the three, yes three, new entertainment spectaculars that will premiere that day (“Disneyland Forever” fireworks and “Paint the Night” parade in Disneyland, and “World of Color – Celebrate!” over in DCA ).  Our Disneyland Crowd Calendar shows Friday, May 22, as a 7 out of 10, but I’m guessing our statisticians are busy updating that number now that they know about the event.

From the press release:

On the West Coast, Disneyland Resort will kick off the summer with a dynamic 24-hour event of its own, May 22-23, to launch the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Marking the 60th anniversary of the resort, the Diamond Celebration includes the premieres of three new nighttime spectaculars: “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “Paint the Night” parade and “World of Color – Celebrate!”

The all-day/all-night revelry of the 24-hour party will include dancing and special character encounters at locations in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, along with enchanting Diamond décor throughout the resort and the exciting shows and attractions that bring guests back year after year. The Disneyland Resort invites guests of all ages to kick off the summer travel season in Southern California, celebrating 60 years of magic at a resort that remains forever young.

– See more at: http://wdwnews.com/releases/2015/03/11/sand-castle-in-the-snow-announces-24-hour-event-to-kick-off-coolest-summer-ever-at-walt-disney-world-resort/#sthash.HX1Suc8v.dpuf

Will you be attending this year’s 24 hour event? Have you attended one before? Let me know in the comments below.

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Five Experiences to Have During Disneyland’s Off-Season

by on March 11, 2015

Disneyland Castle Refurb 1

If your main concern when traveling to Disneyland is crowds, then visiting Disneyland during the off-season (January-February, Mid-September, and after Thanksgiving-the week before Christmas) is a blessing. To put it into numbers (using TouringPlans’ data), during Disneyland’s off-season the crowd levels are around 6 out of 10 (give-or-take a bit). This is perfect if you want to experience Disneyland without bumping into people or dealing with long lines. But (there is always a “but”) even though you will not have to deal with crowds, you will unfortunately have to deal with another issue: closed attractions.

Because attendance levels are low, Disneyland decides to do a lot of maintenance on many of their attractions during this time. So even though you are going to the park with less crowds, you might miss out on your favorite attractions. However, that does not mean that your visit is ruined. That just means that you will have to make adjustments to your plans and have more time to experience different things you normally would not.

For example, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Disneyland this Valentine’s day weekend and many Disneyland attractions were closed (7 in all; including Critter Country). Because more than handful of attractions were closed, I had a chance to experience different attractions that I tend to skip or overlook. Below I break down 5 of the best attractions that every guest should experience during Disneyland’s off-season.

Enjoy a Ride on a Main Street U.S.A. Vehicle

Main Street VeichleMain Street U.S.A. vehicles never get enough love (unless your name is Guy Selga). Even though walking down Main Street is faster, it does not mean that it is the best way. Taking the time to grab a ride on a Main Street vehicle will give you a different perspective of Disneyland and a little more appreciation for it. It will also make other guests jealous that you are rolling down the street in style.

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – March 1 to 7, 2015

by on March 10, 2015

Last week, crowd levels were significantly lower than expected with the exception of Saturday, March 7. It may be that school districts originally planned to be out of session last week altered their schedule to account for lost days due to winter weather or it may just be a random case of lower crowds. Either way, guests who visited Disneyland Resort last week were treated to some of the lowest crowds we are likely to see this spring.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – February 22 to 28, 2015

by on March 3, 2015

The increased crowd levels we are witnessing at Disneyland Resort are somewhat artificial. They do not necessarily represent an increase in attendance to the parks but rather a redistribution of crowds, especially at Disney California Adventure. Since the temporary closure of Condor Flats (Soarin’ and Grizzly River Run) we have seen a substantial increase in wait time across other parts of the park, especially at Monsters Inc and Tower of Terror. The higher crowd levels are mostly a result of these higher wait times.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Disney Parks Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt Returning for 2015

by on February 27, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

It’s back again! Guests will once again be able to participate in a special Easter egg hunt which has guests searching a Disney theme park, trying to find eggs that are designed to look like Disney characters. This year, the fun hunt will be returning to Walt Disney World’s Epcot and Disneyland Resort’s Disney California Adventure and Disneyland from March 27 through April 5!

Here’s how it will work: Guests will be able to purchase a map for $4.95, plus tax. With each map will be stickers provided that correspond to the actual eggs that can be found in each of the the parks.  Guests are instructed go search the park with map in hand and put the character egg sticker on the map where the actual character egg was found! Once all the eggs have been located, guests must return their map to the redemption station for a fun prize!

Here’s a glimpse of what the maps will look like and where eggs will be located:

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Why This Disney World Regular Wants to Visit Disneyland

by on February 26, 2015

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disney World is my favorite place on earth and I love to visit as much as I can. There’s plenty to do with four theme parks, two water parks, a shopping district, and a number of incredibly themed resorts; but this Disney World Regular has her eye set on another Disney Park for her next trip. Where? The Disneyland Resort! But why? After all, the Disneyland Resort is much smaller, as is its castle, and many of the rides found at Disney World are also at both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. There’s also no water parks or as nearly many resorts. But wait! I have some good reasons, many of which Disneyland fans are sure to back me up on. In fact, many of my fellow Disney fans argue that the Disneyland Resort is better than Disney World on a number of points. So keep reading to find out why this Disney World Regular wants to visit Disneyland.

To Be A Park Newbie: My first trip to Disney World took place when I was nine months old. You see, both of my parents were Disney fanatics and couldn’t wait to introduce me to the Disney magic. Throughout my childhood, we took as many trips as we could. In fact, one of my earliest childhood memories is lying on my bed and studying the Disney World park maps from our most recent trip. I know that I was incredibly fortunate to have visited Disney World throughout my childhood, a tradition I’ve continued to this day; but I must admit that just once, I would like to see my favorite place on earth with new eyes, like a first-time guest who has no idea what’s around the next corner. But seeing how I can’t do that, I can go to the Disneyland Resort! I’ve always wanted to go. It’s Walt’s original vision and is the reason why there’s a Disney World in the first place. Not only would a visit be fulfilling as a Disney Fan, but I would love the chance to be a park newbie, to actually need those free parks at the entrance, and to sport one of those first-time visit buttons!

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