Disneyland (CA)

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – April 19 to 25, 2015

by on April 28, 2015

Last week Disney California Adventure wait times were lower than expected during the first half of the week while during the second half of the week Disneyland Park had higher wait times than expected. Otherwise, the Disneyland Crowd Calendar predicted average wait times within a few minutes of what we observed.

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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Disneyland or Disney World – What’s the Difference? Part 3

by on April 23, 2015

Disneyland or Disney WorldDisneyland or Disney World? Welcome back to our four part series, where we will continue to debate this very question. In case you missed it, in part one we took a look at some of the key differences between Disneyland and Disney World in the areas of size and scope, atmosphere, and weather. In part two, we examined the topics of crowds, pricing, and hotels. In part three, let’s continue our side-by-side comparison of Disneyland and Disney World by discussing planning, transportation, and the theme parks.

Planning

 

Disneyland Resort Planning

Planning a trip to Disneyland is a fairly straightforward process. Let’s look at a basic timeline.

  • 12 months or more in advance: This is the time to research where you would like to stay and book a hotel reservation or vacation package.
  • 11 months or less in advance: If you are going to be flying to Disneyland, this is the time to start checking flights and booking one as soon as you find a great deal. Once your flight is reserved, you can book a rental car or make reservations for airport transportation. If you will be driving to Disneyland, this is the time to plan your route and make any hotel reservations that you will need for your journey to and from the resort.
  • 3 months in advance: At this point, it is time to start researching restaurants and tours that interest you and make a list of reservations that you would like to book.
  • 60 days in advance (exactly): This is the day you may begin booking dining reservations. Character Dining, Blue Bayou, and Napa Rose tend to fill up quickly and should be booked as soon as possible. If you did not reserve a vacation package that includes admissions and you plan to purchase your tickets in advance, this is a perfect time in order to allow for shipping. Purchasing admissions early is not a necessity in Disneyland, but it will save you a little bit of time once you arrive.
  • 30 days in advance (exactly): This is the day you may begin booking any tours that you would like to try.
  • 2 weeks in advance: This is a great time to research the attractions offered at Disneyland and California Adventure, make a list of what you would like to experience, and create your personalized touring plans. Also take a few moments to put together a packing list so that you don’t forget anything.
  • 1 week in advance: It’s now time to confirm all of your reservations, print your travel documents, and pack.

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – April 12 to 18, 2015

by on April 21, 2015

Last week, the Disneyland Crowd Calendar expected wait times to be higher than they actually were. This is an indication that the Post-Easter / Spring Break Season may have arrived a week earlier than history would suggest. The wait times at both parks historically are low once the Easter and Spring Break seasons come to a close so this is a good sign for guests to the parks between now and Memorial Day.

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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Trip Report: Chef’s Counter at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel

by on April 20, 2015

Napa Rose is Disneyland Resort’s “fancy” restaurant. It’s fancy because the food portions are small, which in my mind is a sign that a place is fancy. Luckily, the food is spectacular overall, but I’ll get in to that later. TChef’s Counter isn’t cheap: the current price is $100 per a person. That price may scare most people away, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but it’s completely worth it. I’ve done the Chef’s Counter twice now, and I’m not exaggerating when I say both times have been the best dining experiences I’ve ever had. $100 gets you a six course meal that is tailored to your tastes.

DSC04344This was our view for the night. We were located at the dessert section of the kitchen, which gave us a direct view of the dessert chefs at work. I quickly bonded with chef Janae after I explained to her that I love desserts and view regular food as a hurdle I must get past to obtain them. Anyway, there are two Chef’s Counter times each night, 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM. We opted for the 5:30 service because we knew from experience that the entire dinner would take over 2 and a half hours. The service started with sous chef Gloria explaining how the Chef’s Counter works and asking for our likes and dislikes. This is one of my favorite things about Chef’s Counter: if you don’t like something they will do their best to tailor the food to your taste. I told chef Gloria that I hated eggplants, and luckily there are none on the menu. For the rest of the meal she would check back with us randomly to see how things were going.

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – April 5 to 11, 2015

by on April 14, 2015

Peak Spring Break Crowds lasted a week longer than we expected this year. In 2014 and in the three years previous, the week after Easter had wait times one to two points lower on our scale than the week before Easter. This year, wait times reached the same level before and after the holiday.

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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Selfie Sticks Not Allowed on Disney Attractions

by on April 7, 2015

You’ve seen them everywhere…the prolific elongated rod where people attach a camera or a phone to a clamp to help them take a selfie. Ah…the good old selfie stick. Many have strong opinions either loving them or hating them. So,  while the rule has always been in place that all personal items need to be stored prior to riding an attraction, it would seem, that with the number of these sticks you now see in the parks, that guests would need a reminder.

As the announcements go when boarding attractions, guests are to keep their hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the attraction vehicles at all time; this includes selfie sticks. (Or really anything that would stick up out of the moving attraction vehicle.)  All guests’ personal belongings are to be properly stored when onboard an attraction, tram, or other moving vehicle. If a Cast Member sees a selfie stick while boarding an attraction, the guest will be asked to put it away.

On another note, if you are in a congested area, you should also consider refraining from utilizing your selfie stick.

Keep in mind, this is not a full on ban of selfie sticks at Walt Disney World or Disneyland; the best tip is to just be mindful of the guests around you.

While I am clearly going to be opening a can of worms asking this question: what are your thoughts on selfie sticks?

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – March 29 to April 4, 2015

by on April 7, 2015

Like its theme park cousins in Central Florida, Disneyland’s Spring Break and Easter crowds peaked during the middle part of the week while the weekends and adjacent days were less crowded. Wait times were still high last week however, with no park hitting a level below ‘7’ on our scale.

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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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – March 22 to 28, 2015

by on March 31, 2015

Last week, crowd levels followed the pattern predicted by the Disneyland Crowd Calendar with the exception of Thursday when we saw lower crowds than expected. Resort-wide the crowds never reached a full ’10’ but also never dipped below a level ‘8’ (other than on Thursday). Spring Break crowds kept the parks’ thrill rides quite busy all week.

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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Tomorrowland Preview Coming to Disney Parks

by on March 26, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Are you excited about the upcoming film, Tomorrowland? (How can you not be?! It looks fantastic.) Well, if you are anxious about the movie, which stars George Clooney, then you’ll need to make sure to catch the official sneak preview taking place at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

For those visiting Walt Disney World, you’ll need to head to Epcot and the Imagination Pavilion. I’m sorry to report that at least temporarily, fans of Captain EO, Hooter, Odie, Idie, and Fuzzball will not get to see the rag-tag band attempt to deliver a gift to The Supreme Leader. The preview for Tomorrowland will be taking place in the Imagination Theater, and will include in-theater effects. (Captain EO will see its last day of operation on April 9.)

Over on the west coast, at Disneyland, guests can go to Tomorrowland (good place for a preview about a movie named Tomorrowland) where they can catch the sneak peek replete with in-theater effects in the Tomorrowland Theater. In addition, in the Starcade, there will also be an exhibit available for guests to enjoy production art and props used in the movie.

The official sneak preview will begin in mid-April (no official date has been announced) and the preview will last approximately 15-20 minutes. Tomorrowland heads to theaters on May 22.

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Why I’m Going to Tokyo Disneyland Next Year Instead

by on March 25, 2015

Tokyo DisneySea- PIcture from Guy Selga

Tokyo DisneySea- Picture from Guy Selga

Traveling is an obsession. The more you travel the stronger this obsession becomes. And there is only one way to keep this “passion” in control and that is by (obviously) traveling. For me, staying put in one place gets harder and harder. This is why traveling is so important to me. Since living and traveling to a dozen different countries in the past several years, my obsession for traveling has grown and has become a part of me. It is something that I think about all the time, which is why every few months I go back home (Southern California) to visit family, friends, and to just get away. But discovering new and desirable places is my main goal. And if these places happen to have an amazing theme park—especially Disney—then that is icing on the cake.

Going to Disney World for the first time—back in 2012—was awesome. I had a great time with friends and exploring one of the best Disney theme park resorts on Earth. After my first trip, I decided to make Disney World a bi-yearly adventure. Unfortunately for me, a couple of things happened: Disney theme park prices went up and learning more about Tokyo Disneyland. I made the choice to forgo my Disney World voyages and invest that money—and time–on a trip would be more thrilling and exciting. Even if that means I will have to pinch my pennies as hard as possible.

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