Disneyland (CA)

SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We Love DCA’s Summer of Heroes

by on June 3, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We Love DCA’s Summer of Heroes!  When Disney announced that it would be transforming Hollywood Tower of Terror in DCA into a brand new attraction featuring the wildly popular Guardians of the Galaxy characters, the response was – at best – mixed. While no one is going to argue that DCA’s Tower of Terror could hold a candle compared to the version in Florida, it still had the iconic Hollywood Hotel facade, and was the perfect fit for the newly rebranded DCA and the park’s emphasis on Walt coming to Hollywood in the early 20th Century. The new ride would be called Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! and the facade now looked like the old hotel got into a head on collision with a Crayola factory.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! (photo by Brian Pinsky)

The debate on the new Guardians attraction raged on while it was being built (with even the SATURDAY SIX getting in on the fun.) On May 27th, the very same day Disney World opened Pandora – The World of Avatar – Mission: Breakout! was unveiled to the masses. However, unlike Animal Kingdom with Pandora, DCA also introduced a whole bunch of other Marvel related activities into the park to enhance the superhero experience. Today we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite parts of DCA’s Summer of Heroes, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Marvel Super Hero Food and Drinks

Down here in Florida we may have more Disney hotels and overall theme parks than out in California, but one area they blow us away is with themed snacks. Believe it or not they are still making new and unique snacks just for the Main Street Electrical Parade. For the Summer of Heroes promotion DCA has introduced 30 new snacks and drinks themed towards superheroes. As a WDW Annual Passholder, this number is almost incomprehensible. Our favorite of the new food options is a piece of sourdough bread made in the shape of Groot.

I Am Bread. (photo by Guy Selga)

The Most Dangerous Tacos In The Galaxy. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

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Video: Eating Marvel Super Hero Food at Disney California Adventure

by on June 2, 2017

The Summer of Heroes promotion is currently taking place at Disney California Adventure. There you’ll find a dance party, super hero training, Marvel character meet and greets, and more. The most interesting part is obviously the special limited time food created for the event. If you’re wondering what the super heroes eat when they’re not punching bad guys in the face, the answer is boatloads of junk food.  I called my friends Iron Tom and Super Sarah from Disney Tourist Blog to help me out with this one. Watch the video to find out what we thought:

Disneyland Rides That Disney World Fans Can Skip

by on May 11, 2017

Disneyland rides you can skip if you've been to WDW

Guy Selga is back this week with more advice for your Disneyland visit. Today he looks at what you can skip if you’ve already been to Walt Disney World. Got more questions for our Disneyland expert? Ask in the comments. We’re always looking for more article ideas.

If you’re a regular Walt Disney World visitor that visits Disneyland you will find many exclusive rides to enjoy. Other rides, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, exist in both resorts but Disneyland’s version is arguably better due to it being longer and more richly detailed. On the flip side, some rides in Walt Disney World are better. Many people pick Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion as an example of this. Here are 6 Disneyland rides that Disney World fans can skip, as well as some suggestions from some friends of mine.

 

Star Tours

Star Tours fits naturally in to Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, but there’s no differences beyond the exterior to make is stand out over the attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you do chose to ride it at Disneyland you may find yourself waiting a bit longer than you would have to at The Studios. At Disneyland there are 4 Starspeeders to accommodate guests, while at DHS there are 6.

Little Mermaid ride at DCA (left) and Magic Kingdom (right)

Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

The two Little Mermaid rides are the same at DCA and Magic Kingdom (except for a cameo by Incredible Mr. Limpet in the Under the Sea scene). Sure, both the queue and exterior are way nicer at Magic Kingdom, but DCA has the benefit of being a walk-on pretty much every day of the year.

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SATURDAY SIX: 6 Disneyland Rides BETTER Than Their Disney World Counterparts

by on May 6, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Disneyland Rides That Are BETTER Than Their Disney World Counterparts! In previous editions of the SATURDAY SIX we have reached out to our all-star blue ribbon panel made up of theme park experts to vote on their favorite attractions at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort. This week we reached out again – while also including the unwashed masses of DisTwitter – to give their thoughts on which rides at Disneyland are better than their Disney World counterparts. 

it’s a small world in Disneyland is a completely different experience than the one in Walt Disney World. (photo by Brandon Glover)

One interesting thing about the voting process is that there was a clear favorite after the first day of voting, but spots two through six were close enough that they were all up for grabs. However, when all the votes were counted, the rides ranked 1-6 after the first day each held their position, so it seems clear there is a pretty strong consensus among people who have been to both Orlando and Anaheim. Today we’re going to take a look at six rides which were voted as being BETTER than their Disney World counterparts, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder makes the list in part because of a fantastic refurb the ride went through a couple years ago which added a thrilling finale sequence as well as recontructing the ramshackle Rainbow Ridge mining town. Rainbow Ridge doesn’t exist in Walt Disney World, but has been in Disneyland since 1956 as part of the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train attraction. The finale now includes an amazing lift hill experience where guests are surrounded by projection map technology and real props to give the sensation of the mine about to explode (with a blast of smoke amping up the sensory level.)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

Rainbow Ridge. (photo by Seth Kubersky)

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Cars 3 Sneak Preview to Occur at Disney Parks

by on May 5, 2017

Cars 3

©Disney

Speed….I am Speed.

Guests who love the Cars franchise should speedily head over to Disney California Adventure or Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a special sneak preview of the upcoming Pixar film, Cars 3.

Beginning May 12, at Disney California Adventure, the preview of will be presented in 3D with special in-theater effects at the Bug’s Life Theater.

Then, beginning on May 26, Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get to see this advance look at One Man’s Dream. Here Guests will also be able to see artwork and maquettes from the production on display.

In Cars 3, Lightning McQueen finds that he needs to get back in the race and gets help from a newcomer, Cruz Ramirez who has her own plans on how to win.

Are you anxious to see Cars 3  when it races into theaters nationwide on June 16?

Daisy’s Best Week Ever, May 4, 2017: Artist Point, Disneyland, and a little Epcot

by on May 4, 2017

Hello, friends! I have an amazing week to share with you! Not only did we enjoy a special meal, I ended up on the west coast for a little Disneyland action, and wrapped up last night at Epcot. I had to pinch myself because I didn’t deserve it, but I’m excited to have so much to share with you! Let’s get started with right where I left off in my last article: Artist Point.  There was a little debate on whether this restaurant was worth a try. Well, starting off with the wine selection they were already on the way to winning my vote.

Want to see the rest of our delectable meal? Click to read more. 🙂

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Sneak Preview Now Taking Place

by on April 24, 2017

©Disney

If you are a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise and you cannot wait to catch the newest upcoming release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, then you need to make sure you head over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort, or even catch the preview onboard the Disney Cruise Line.

For Guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, stop by One Man’s Dream to catch the sneak peek. The preview is being shown in the theater at the end of the attraction.

Over at Disney California Adventure, the preview is being shown in 3D and will include in-theater effects at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land.

Finally, onboard all four Disney Cruise Line ships, Guests are able to enjoy a sneak peek too!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will be released in theaters on May 26.

10 Things To Do At Disneyland With No Lines

by on April 20, 2017

10 Things to do at Disneyland with no lines

Ed. – We’re taking a trip to Disneyland for this Best Week Ever. Guy Selga will be taking the slot that Dani had. While Dani will be missed, we’re really happy to bring you more California coverage on a regular basis. Please reach out to us in the comments with ideas for more Disneyland content you’d like to see.

Is it too busy at Disneyland for you? Is it the last day of your trip and you want to take an easy? Or are you just plain sick of waiting in lines? Here’s 10 things to do at Disneyland with no lines.

1. Watch the Disneyland Band or other live performances

The Disneyland Band is a group of talented musicians that perform concerts filled with classic songs from Disney’s animated movies and theme park rides (you may hear Under the Sea as well as A Pirate’s Life for Me in the same concert). They even have several different set lists each day, so you can watch multiple times and hear different songs. Disneyland Band performs all over the park, such as Town Square and Frontierland. But my favorite is seeing them in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Disneyland has many other wonderful live bands and performers scheduled every day of the year as well. Some of my favorites include Jambalaya Jazz of New Orleans Square, Pearly Band from Fantasyland, and of course The Dapper Dans on Main Street. Viewing these performances only require you to be at the designated spot when its show time. Our Lines App shows all performance times for every day of the year, and you can ask a cast member where in the park the performers will be appearing for any given show.

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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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