Disneyland (CA)

Everything You Need To Know About Disneyland’s New Security Procedures

by on December 15, 2016

Today Disneyland Resort rolled out their first major update to their security screening procedures since the bag check tents were first added in 2001. Additional security has been added around the resort that will change the way you start your day at the parks. Read on to see everything you need to know about Disneyland’s new security procedures.

Mickey & Friends Parking Structure

The biggest change is that guests will be screened by security after they have parked their car at Mickey & Friends. Previously, guests would park their cars, hop on one of the Disney trams, ride to Downtown Disney, and then go through a security checkpoint before entering the esplanade between Disneyland and DCA.

Bird’s eye view of the new security area at Mickey & Friends.

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Free 2017 Disney Planning DVDs Now Available

by on December 6, 2016

Free Disney 2017 planning DVDs are available now.

Free Disney 2017 planning DVDs are available now.

This is a sponsored post. TouringPlans receives a commission on each free DVD requested through the ad in this article. The revenue goes to travel and research for our blog and site.

The Walt Disney Travel Company has released its 2017 planning DVD. The DVD is free to anyone who requests it. And even if you don’t have a DVD player (because it’s 2016, and who does?), signing up will get you a link to stream the content online.

The free DVD is a fun way to get excited for your upcoming vacation or even help you get your Disney fix if you don’t have a trip planned.

Check out this page for more information. And, hey, thanks for supporting the blog.

SATURDAY SIX: Six Disneyland Snacks You Gotta Try

by on December 3, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Disneyland Snacks You Gotta Try! Longtime readers of the SATURDAY SIX know that we have a big case of the munchies going on 24/7. In fact, because of the articles on The 10 Gallon Challenge at Whispering Canyon and the E-Ticket milkshakes at Universal’s Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, this fine blog series is now the third leading cause of adult onset diabetes in America (and look out soda, we’re coming for you!) This week however we are gonna head across the country over to Guy Selga’s neck of the woods and check out the tasty treats at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland. Despite having only two parks compared to our four here in Florida, the Disneyland resort is chock full of incredibly unique and delicious items that you can only get out in California. This week we are going to look at six of our absolute favorite snacks, so sit back, loosen your belt a couple notches, and let’s begin our list with…

# 6 Matterhorn Macaroon


The Matterhorn Macaroon in front of the fabled Matterhorn itself. (photo by Brandon Glover)

If you go to Disneyland and don’t stop by the Jolly Holiday Bakery to get a Matterhorn Macaroon, you’re doing it wrong. A coconut macaroon shaped like the iconic Disney mountain, topped with white chocolate, and sprinkled with powdered sugar on top for an awesome snow-like appearance, the Matterhorn Macaroon is ultimate in synergy between theme park attractions and snacks. Oh, and it just so happens to taste GREAT.

# 5 – Mickey Beignets


Mickey Beignet. (photo by Megan Stump)

Eventually we’ll be doing a blog on our favorite Mickey shaped food items, but one of our favorites is the sugary concoction found at the Mint Julep Bar or Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square (the latter of which serves them with dipping sauces.) We often find ourselves stopping by Port Orleans French Quarter just to grab some beignets here in Florida, so seeing them in the classic Mickey shape in Anaheim brings two of our favorite things together in one. Now that’s synergy we can get behind. Even better, Disneyland also offers flavored beignets such as pumpkin spice during Halloween and peppermint for the Christmas season.

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Holiday Characters at Disneyland

by on December 1, 2016

Disneyland Holiday Character - MickeyRecently I wrote about the holiday characters found at Walt Disney World. Now it’s time to look at the holiday characters at the Disneyland Resort. While some holiday characters at Walt Disney World require extra cost for a hard ticket party, all of Disneyland’s holiday characters are available with regular park admission.


Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale all meet in their holiday sweater outfits in Town Square. Sometimes you may find them at the entrance to the park, but they mostly are all around the Town Square area. If you are looking for a specific character, I recommend asking a character attendant what time they will be out. In my experience, the Disneyland app character times have been completely wrong for the Town Square area, especially during my November trip.

Santa meets in Critter Country, where the Winnie the Pooh characters usually meet during the rest of the year.

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Celebrate Mickey Mouse’s Birthday at Disney Parks

by on November 17, 2016

Mickey Mouse Birthday



Tomorrow, November 18, Disney is celebrating the main mouse’s birthday and Guests are invited to take part in the fun.

At Walt Disney World, to celebrate, Guests will be able to take part in a birthday edition of the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party. At Disneyland, there will be a special pre-parade prior to the A Christmas Fantasy Parade to honor Mickey.

Guests are also invited to pick up a commemorative “Happy Birthday Mickey” button at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

If you won’t be visiting one of the theme parks tomorrow, you can still celebrate Mickey Mouse’s birthday by watching ABC’s Good Morning America, as a new music video for the song, “What We Got” will debut. Everyone is invited to send their birthday wishes and show their celebrations by using the hashtag #HappyBirthdayMickey.

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – October 30 to November 5, 2016

by on November 12, 2016

How crowded was Disneyland Resort last week?

How crowded was Disneyland Resort last week?

Wait times were up at Disneyland Resort last week, especially during the middle part of the week. Disneyland Park was mostly responsible for the spike with crowd levels two to three points higher than Disney California Adventure most days. Other than on the weekend, Disney California Adventure saw crowd levels no higher than a ‘3’ on our scale.

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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Video: World of Color Season of Light Premieres at Disney California Adventure

by on November 11, 2016

We have video of the first full performance of World of Color Season of Light at Disney California Adventure. If you ask me, this show is a huge step up from the previous Christmas World of Color, Winter Dreams. It takes classic Christmas songs, dozens of clips from Disney and Pixar’s films, and mixes them with World of Color’s usual incredible water fountains. There’s a showstopping musical number featuring Goofy that uses “A Mad Russian’s Christmas,” which many Disney fans will know from The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Overall it’s a great show. Watch the video and be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube.

Disney California Adventure’s New Festival of Holidays Is Pretty Darn Good

by on November 9, 2016

dsc00400It’s crazy to think that after 15 years of existence Disney California Adventure finally has holiday offerings that rival Disneyland. It’s true. Not only are there a ton of things to experiance, but they’re all high in quality as well. This is a huge change from the days when a few wreaths and Santa clothes on some scarecrows were all the park got. The “Festival of Holidays” moniker is perfect because several different holidays are represented in the event, including Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas. An event like this that represents the diversity of California naturally fits in to Disney’s California-themed park. Lets go over some of the offerings:

Princess Elena’s Musical Grand Arrival

It may seem silly to lead off this post with a Disney princess but her popularity can’t be denied. Princess Elena is available to meet at Disneyland Resort for the first time, and she also has “musical cavalcade” to welcome her in. If you’d like to meet Elena you should make it a priority early in the day as her lines can quickly get long. She is located in the gazebo to the right of Paradise Garden Grill, near Goofy’s Sky School. As for her Musical Grand Arrival, it takes place on the walkway directly in front of Goofy’s Sky School. A group of dancers come out to Elena’s theme song and then the princess herself arrives on a float. The rest of the show is made up of a series of songs, sung by Elena. The show lasts 12 minutes. There isn’t a lot of room for guests to watch this show, so if it’s on your itinerary be sure to show up about 20 minutes early to grab a prime spot.


Elena’s Musical Grand Arrival Video:

Festive Eats

Food & Wine Festival returned to DCA earlier this year and was a huge hit so Disney has brought the same booths back for the holiday season. This time a whopping 14 booths selling a variety of cultural holiday food can be found throughout the park. While the food is good quality it does not come cheap. Most of the savory items, such as the Roasted Turkey Slider from the Winter Sliderland booth, or Chicken & Potato Curry from Spice Salutations range in price from $7 and up. These are not full meals, but samples that can be finished in a couple of bites. For example, one of the dishes is a $8.50 shrimp cocktail that includes TWO SHRIMP. Sarah, Tom Bricker and I sampled some items, but we stuck to the desserts. Festival desserts are as small as the savory food options, but cost $4 to $6 each.

My top 4 Festival of Holidays desserts:

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Observations From Visiting 3 Different Disney Resorts in 16 Days

by on November 4, 2016

Sleeping Beauty Castle ParisMy wife and I recently decided to visit Paris for a week, and as you may be aware, there is a Disney resort there — so being the complete Disney dorks that we are, paying a visit to Disneyland Paris was a must-do. Of course, our daughter was staying in the Orlando area with her grandparents and we had to come back through there to get her, so we decided to pay the Mouse a quick visit at Walt Disney World while we got over our jetlag. Shortly after arriving back home, I had to head out to Southern California for work, and it presented me with an opportunity — even if only briefly — to visit my third Disney resort in just over 2 weeks. I had to take it.

So, apart from the whirlwind of travel, what is it like to experience every Disney resort in the Western Hemisphere back-to-back-to-back? The three resorts share similar layouts and several attractions, but my biggest takeaway is how much it highlighted the differences between these outwardly similar parks. So, without further ado, let me share some of the biggest stuff I noticed, and pass out a few superlatives…

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Update

by on October 25, 2016

The new crowd calendar distribution shifts days towards the middle of our scale

The new crowd calendar distribution shifts days towards the middle of our scale

Wait times are up at Disneyland Resort in California, and it is time to calibrate and update the Disneyland Crowd Calendar. Over the past twelve months the average crowd level at Disneyland was between 6.5 and 7.5 on our scale. We would like that average to be between ‘5’ and ‘6’. In addition, the crowd calendar needs to periodically adjust to the changing forecasts for wait times at the attractions. The forecasts use hundreds of factors to determine what the wait time is likely to be at any given date and time and since many of those factors change periodically, so must the Crowd Calendar. School calendars, events, park hours, annual passholder blockouts, single-day ticket prices, holiday schedules and attraction refurbishments are some of the many factors that influence wait times.

Today the latest Disneyland Crowd Calendar numbers appear on the Crowd Calendar page. The new figures represent a three month long examination of what affects wait times at each of Disneyland Resort’s attractions. The result will be a shift in the overall distribution of crowd levels on our scale. This means that a change in crowd level for a particular day doesn’t necessarily mean that the day will have different wait times that what we predicted before, although it can mean that too. Think of it like fixing a dollar amount based on the value of a dollar in a given year. You may have read articles that use “based on 2012 dollars”, to compare prices over time, for example. Well, the Disneyland Crowd Calendar is now using 2016 wait times as a fixed reference point.

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