Disneyland (CA)

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Adjustments

by on April 4, 2017

Of the last 43 days at Disneyland Park, 28 have been a crowd level ’10’ on the Touringplans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar. That is remarkable – and not good news for guests of Disneyland Resort.

2017 has been crowded but especially the last three weeks!

The last update to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar was March 16, 2017 and we published a blog article about the changes, which you can read here. We mentioned that there were some signs that Disneyland crowds were beginning to return to normal but after a few weeks of observing crowds, that does not appear to be the case. In fact, it may even be getting worse.

So, we need to adjust the crowd levels to reflect the new reality for crowds at Disneyland Resort. That means we have to shift down the 1 to 10 scale to have more days in the middle and fewer days at the top. What it means for you is that you may see some changes to the crowd levels for your travel dates. What used to be ‘6’s and ‘7’s may now be ‘4’s and ‘5’s. What used to be ‘9’s and ’10’s will now be ‘7’s and ‘8’s. The good news is that your touring plans probably won’t change that much. The scale we use for the crowd calendar is based on what we have observed at Disney parks for the previous 6 months. Usually, we do not see a big change. This year is different.

Why is it different? That is the big question. There are no economic factors that indicate travel is trending up. In fact, there is evidence that international travel has dropped significantly. Disneyland Resort continues to offer a juicy buy-one-get-three ticket promotion which is likely a factor but that doesn’t explain the ridiculous crowds at a time of year that should be moderate to busy. Operational cut-backs are likely a large factor as well. Whenever park operations are understaffed, wait times go up.

We monitor the wait times at every Disneyland Resort attraction daily. Check the blog in a few weeks to see if the trend has continued. As for planning your trip to Disneyland Resort, a touring plan is your best friend! It will work wonders to save you time in line, no matter how crowded it is.

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Updates

by on March 16, 2017

The weather in Southern California is wreaking havoc on crowd patterns at Disneyland Resort. Rain has been so heavy in the first quarter of 2017 that the parks have closed early on some days. The effect on crowds is significant because is reduces the crowds on the poor weather days but creates a big, disproportionate bounce-back effect when the sun comes out. So, it is time to update the Disneyland Crowd Calendar.

Hidden under all the volatility due to weather is an overall increase in wait times. The increase has been evident in recent months, especially at Disneyland Park.

The first 50 days of 2017 are unique in the history of Disneyland Crowds

Here is a look at the first 50 days of 2017 compared to what we usually see at Disneyland Resort. Wait times are significantly up but only on certain days. Overall the volatility (range of average daily wait times) is way up too. There are some recent signs that the crowds are returning to normal so we will be watching closely. In the meantime, these latest trends necessitate an update.

What Leads to Updates in the Disneyland Crowd Calendar?

Our crowd calendar models look at hundreds of factors when considering how busy Disneyland Resort will be on any day. Some factors are based on how the economy is doing – things like the U.S. unemployment rate, the Consumer Price Index, and so on. Other factors track the operating schedule. Of those, here’s a list of the things that change often and tend to influence the crowd calendar numbers:

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Fun Ideas for Disney World Problem Solving

by on March 9, 2017

Hard to believe it, but Disney World could be even better!

Hard to believe it looking at this view, but Disney World could be even better!

Let me throw this out there to start — I LOVE Disney Parks. In addition to just being, well, FUN, they are also marvels of modern engineering, and it is astonishing to me that they can do what they do at the scale that they do it every single day and night. Considering what they seek to accomplish, the efficiency is pretty incredible, and its amazing that we don’t have to deal with more Walt Disney World problems than we do. 

With that said, there do indeed exist imperfections. What Disney may not realize, however, is that the solutions to these minor annoyances exist right under their noses right now! That’s right, by just borrowing ideas from other aspects of its parks, Disney can make its already great parks even better! Read on for a few realistic and not-so-realistic, blue sky hopes for the future of the parks to find out how!

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Disney Bucket List – What’s on Ours?

by on March 1, 2017

Disney Bucket List

Most theme park fans have a bucket list. Whether it’s hitting every international Disney park or finally experiencing that very expensive meal you’ve always wanted, there’s usually something that brings a wistful look to our eyes. With that in mind, we asked our fabulous blog team: “What’s on your Disney bucket list?”

Claire:
1. Star Wars Day at Sea. I have yet to do a Disney Cruise, and if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right: Lucasfilm panelists, movies shown on a loop, characters galore, amazing cosplay, and delicious food. Coincidentally, all of it happens to be on a majestic cruise ship which in and of itself has amazing perks!

2. Tokyo Disneyland/Disney SEA
3. A week in the Grand Californian Resort
4. Adventures by Disney to Africa
5. Eat at Sanaa and finally have that bread about which I’ve heard so much.

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Do It Yourself: Disney Shirts

by on February 27, 2017

You reserved your resort accommodations, made your advanced dining reservations, and selected your FastPass+ preferences. Now comes the hard part – waiting! Rather than trudge through what will probably feel like some of the slowest days of your life, why not keep that anticipation rolling with some DIY Disney projects? One of my own favorite projects before a Disney vacation is Disney themed t-shirts, so I’ve compiled a list of some of the best ways you can customize your own vacation shirts. It’s time to pop in a Disney DVD and start crafting!

Iron or Sew-On Items

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Review of Beauty and the Beast-themed Red Rose Taverne Restaurant at Disneyland

by on February 24, 2017

This is a review of Red Rose Taverne, a new restaurant at Disneyland which opened to promote the 2017 film, Beauty and the Beast. It temporarily replaces the Pinocchio-themed Village Haus Restaurant. Red Rose Taverne brings some new decor, and thankfully a much improved menu. First, lets take a look at the menu:

Red Rose Taverne Menu

When I saw this menu it struck me at how packed with unique items it is. A Cauli-Flower sandwich? Poutine pizza? I never expected to see items like this at a quick service theme park restaurant. In the last couple of years Disneyland’s menus have become a bit bland and uninteresting, but Red Rose Taverne seems to have a perfect balance for those looking for items like basic hamburgers, and others looking for something slightly more adventurous.

Watch our video review on the Red Rose Taverne menu.

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Disneyland Ticket Pricing Breakdown

by on February 12, 2017

Disneyland Ticket

©Rikki Niblett

It’s that time again. Time for the annual Disneyland ticket price increase.

Last year, Disneyland introduced seasonal pricing. That continues going forward and means that each month is divided into being either a value, regular, or peak day. The new system will work as follows: If you’re visiting in September, you’ll pay value pricing. If you want to visit around the holiday week of Christmas and New Year’s, you pay peak pricing.

Seasonal pricing only impact 1 day tickets. Those who purchase multi-day tickets will not see seasonal pricing.

Here’s what this all means for Disneyland tickets:

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Disney Ticket Price Increase Happening Tomorrow

by on February 11, 2017

Ticket Price Increase

©Disney

It’s that time again. Time when Disney annually increases their ticket prices. So this is your official warning. Rumors are indicating that tickets will be increasing in price for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World tomorrow, Sunday, February 12.

Here are the changes that we are expecting to see for Walt Disney World:

    • Pricing that includes a range of options
    • All new tickets will have an expiration date that the ticket must be used by. (Previously, only one day tickets expired.) Anyone with an expired ticket will be able to exchange it for a credit to purchase a new ticket of equal or greater value. Tickets that have been purchased prior to Sunday, February 12 will remain valid and not carry expiration dates.
    • Guests can receive a $20 discount on any 3-Day to 10-Day Magic Your Way Ticket purchased in advance through Disney.
    • The Water Park Fun & More and Park Hopper Ticket will now be called Park Hopper Plus. Water Park Fun & More will be discontinued by itself.   The Park Hopper Plus will include the ability to visit more than two parks in a day, as well as a certain number of visits to your choice of Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, Fantasia Gardens Mini-Golf Course, Winter Summerland Mini-Golf Course, or ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Disney has recently been increasing ticket pricing in February for the past few years. Last year, Disney introduced seasonal pricing at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. With the seasonal pricing, each month is divided to include value, regular, and peak days. So, for example, if you plan to visit in September, you would pay value pricing. If say, however, that you want to visit around the hectic holiday week of Christmas and New Year’s, you pay peak pricing. Keep in mind that seasonal pricing only impacted 1 day tickets. Those who purchase multi-day tickets or are purchasing an annual pass do not currently see seasonal pricing.

I’ll make sure to have the full pricing details for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland for you as soon as they are released.

If you’ll be traveling to Walt Disney World this year, consider purchasing your tickets now and remember that our Price Comparison Tool can help you find the least expensive tickets for your needs.

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Star Wars Land to Open in 2019 at Walt Disney World and Disneyland

by on February 7, 2017

Star Wars Land

©Disney

We are two years out from the official opening year of the Star Wars-themed lands for both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was announced today that both will open at some point in the year 2019.

Star Wars Land on both coasts will be the largest ever, single-themed land expansions on each coast. The land will  have Guests transported to a never-before-seen planet that is going to be a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space.

Here’s what we know about the lands so far:

  • There will be two attractions, one centered around the Millennium Falcon where you will actually be able to pilot it; banking left, right and firing the laser cannons. You’ll be in complete control. The second one will find you in a battle between the resistance and the first order in a race against time.
  • In this new world, you’ll enter authentic locations and be able to meet droids and aliens.
  • You’ll be able to enter an other-worldly street market and taste local delicacies.
  • You can enjoy at meal at the best Star Wars themed-dinner club or you can choose to stop in at the local cantina.

You are most certainly going to want to stay tuned to the blog for more details about Star Wars Land as they get released!

SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love Main Street Electrical Parade’s Return to Disneyland

by on January 28, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We Love the Main Street Electrical Parade’s Return to Disneyland! Beginning its original run in Anaheim all the way back in 1972, the Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP) has entertained generations of guests on both coasts. Much like it’s a small world and the Electrical Water Pageant, the beloved MSEP has a nostalgic charm – along with a catchy soundtrack – that makes it special no matter how much technology has improved over the years. There have been variations of MSEP at Disney parks around the world, but Disneyland’s run ended in 1996. In the ensuing twenty years, that particular version of the show bounced around between Disney California Adventure and Walt Disney World. On October 9th, 2016, the MSEP turned off its last light in Orlando and began a cross country trip back home to Disneyland.

The Main Street Electrical Parade comes home. (photo by @hintofspy)

This past week the MSEP had its triumphant return in Disneyland and began a limited time engagement that is scheduled to end on June 18th. Now, we’re just glad the MSEP is back, but Disney also delivered a whole bunch of surprises that truly made our day. Today we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite parts of the MSEP’s return, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – The SNACKS!

Readers of this fine blog series know we like our snacks. No, we really like our snacks. So imagine our surprise when the MSEP’s return to Disneyland brought with it a whole slew of tasty treats! With designs based on some of the iconic MSEP floats, these snacks are some of the cutest we have ever seen. Ladybug macaroons, turtle creampuffs, cheshire cat cookies and more!

Where was this when the MSEP was in Walt Disney World?! BE FAIR TO FLORIDA!! (photo by Brian Pinsky)

Cute caterpillar snack. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

Cheshire cat tails. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

Electric Cotton Candy. We’re 90% sure this is safe to eat. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

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