Disneyland (CA)

Disneyland Planning for Disney World Experts

by on July 15, 2014

Planning for Disney World is what I do, but planning for Disneyland is proving to be an entirely different matter. Joining the pilgrimage of Disney fans to Walt Disney’s original park? If you’re a Walt Disney World veteran, you’re going to need new skills for Disneyland planning. Or for some, old ones.

Disneyland Resort offers a host of new experiences for the Disney World veteran, such as World of Color at Disney California Adventure.

Disneyland Resort offers a host of new experiences for the Disney World veteran, such as World of Color at Disney California Adventure.

If you’ve been visiting Walt Disney World Resort long enough, you remember the days before FastPass+, My Disney Experience, even that weird blip when dining reservations were only available 90 days in advance. You remember planning your days with a much more loose feel, instead of racing from one reservation to the next. Of course, those days are gone. That knowledge is useless now.

Or is it? For Disney World veterans traveling to Disneyland Resort, planning a visit can feel like a return to form. So how does a Disneyland trip differ from a Walt Disney World trip? Dining, touring plans, getting around the resort, and fitting in extras and off-site adventures are all different with Disneyland planning. Let’s take a look.

Dining: 180 days prior to arrival, I’m rising with the sun to book Walt Disney World dining reservations. With a Disneyland trip, 180 days comes and goes without fanfare. You’ll have to wait until 60 days prior to your visit to make Disneyland dining reservations.

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Disneyland Railroad Lilly Belle Rumors

by on July 13, 2014

Disneyland Railroad Lilly Belle Ticket

Image source: Anna Fox

The rumor mill is swirling that Disneyland Railroad’s famed coach, the Lilly Belle, will no longer be available to the general public. I did some research about the historic passenger car dedicated to Walt Disney’s wife Lillian, and after reading some conflicting reports and a half-hour call to the Disney help line, I’ve learned the following:

  • The Lilly Belle has been under refurbishment since March.
  • The train car is not available to any park guests.
  • Disneyland has not announced when the train car will be available in the future.

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Should You Visit Disneyland?

by on July 11, 2014

The great debate of Disney World vs. Disneyland rages on across the Internet every day. While I could never pick a favorite, some reader comments last week gave me the idea to share my opinions on what makes the two coasts so different. With that in mind, here are the top ten differences between Disney World and Disneyland to help you decide if you should visit Disneyland.

Size: Starting with the itty bitty castle, some could view Disneyland as a scaled down version of Walt Disney World. However, I look at it like the greatest hits! In a smaller space they manage to pack in all the best attractions. Sure, it takes a little while to get used to seeing Star Tours across the street from Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, but you can ride them both without setting foot on a bus! Even better you can hop between the two California parks with just a quick walk. It’s enough to spoil a Disney World fan rotten!

IMG_1118People: Imagine a summer in the parks without tour groups everywhere. That actually happens at Disneyland! Not only that, but the main customer base consists of Annual Passholders. This means that the lines generally don’t get as crazy as at Walt Disney World. In general, the guests are more laid back as their trips are not “once in a lifetime” experiences. The locals also mean that rides can be taken down to offer seasonal events like Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Seasonality: The downside of the smaller tourist draw is seasonality in entertainment. During slower months there may only be fireworks or Fantasmic on the weekends. Other offerings are also adjusted based on occupancy. Tools like Touring Plans become very important, as Disneyland only posts its park hours and schedules 45 days in advance. Historical trends are what you have to depend on when picking dates if you aren’t booking a last minute trip.

Planning: The upside of this “last minute” attitude at Disneyland is that you can relax when planning. Putting together a Walt Disney World vacation can feel like wedding planning! There are so many little details, and if you don’t call exactly 180 days in advance you may not get to try a restaurant you’d dreamed about. At Disneyland you can normally call just a day or two before or even (gasp!) just walk up to the podium for a table. We love the relaxed attitude at Disneyland and not having to plan months in advance.

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TouringPlans #Everywhere: What I Expect From Disneyland

by on July 10, 2014

All photos courtesy of Guy Selga, Jr

All photos courtesy of Guy Selga, Jr

In my past few posts about the fabulous TouringPlans #Everywhere adventure, I discussed my excitement about going to Disneyland and how I went about budgeting for my trip. This article is going to be very different because I’m going to get into my expectations, hopes, and fears about Walt’s first park.

Even though the October trip will be my first to Disneyland, no Disney parks fan can be completely ignorant of what goes on out west. Over the years I have built up quite a mental database of things that I think I think about the Disneyland Resort, in the process pushing old stuff out of my brain such as the state capital of Minnesota. Some of the things below I know for sure and some are speculation, but all are rhetorical. That’s right–I’m not looking for any confirmation or contradiction whatsoever to the ideas below. I will find out in a few short months and follow up with my findings then, please allow me to continue my limited ignorance (about Disneyland. My general ignorance is boundless).

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: July 10, 2014

by on July 10, 2014

Hi Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever, and for me it really was amazing! I went to Disneyland!! If you can believe it, we only planned this trip a few days in advance! I did pop over to take a look at the Frozen Summer Fun – Live now that I’m home, but I’ll need a full day in the Disney’s Hollywood Studios to really do it justice. With that in mind, I’m excited to share my trip with you. We’ll be back to regularly scheduled Walt Disney World coverage next week. Let’s start somewhere delicious. This special cupcake was available for the 4th of July. The cake was apple flavored, and it tasted even better than it looks! 

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I wanted the first picture to look generic for the holiday, but now I have to show off Sleeping Beauty’s quaint castle. I love the lush trees all around. I remember when the Magic Kingdom had more trees, before hurricanes came through and took care of them. Did you know you there is a walking tour inside the castle? There are display windows that tell the story of Sleeping Beauty. I took too many photos to share them all. (It’s tough to whittle 1,000 photos down to about 30!) But you should look it up for your next trip.

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Video: Ride Through of Disneyland’s Reimagined Alice in Wonderland

by on July 3, 2014

Alice in Wonderland at Disneyland has opened after refurbishment. Besides the outdoor section of the track being completely redone, the inside has received several upgrades. The new upgrades, which include new figures and sections of the ride redone with projection technology, give this Disneyland dark ride modern upgrades while keeping its classic look and feel. Check out our video ride through and let us know what you think!

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Entertainment to Get You Excited for Disney

by on July 1, 2014

A while back I posted a list of movies to show your kids before your Disney trip, films that would educate them about the Disney canon so that they would be familiar with park iconography. Watching princess movies is definitely going to get the kiddos psyched for your Disney vacation.

Everyone wants to get in the princess mood.

Everyone wants to get in the princess mood, even sitcom characters.

But what about you?

You know alllll about pixie dust. You’ve been there, done that with Cinderella (glass shoe, bibbidi bobbidi, yadda, yadda, yadda). You are fully familiar with dwarf nomenclature and know P. Sherman’s address by heart. So what entertainment do you, grown-up person, consume to get psyched for your Disney vacation? Here are some ideas.

All items are currently available on iTunes, among other places. So load up your phone, tablet, or classic iPod (yep, they still make those) to keep you pepped up during the plane ride to MickeyLand. Some items listed here are specific to Disney World or Disneyland but, in my opinion, any of them will pump you up no matter which coast you’re headed for.

TRAVEL PLANNING and PROPAGANDA VIDEO

Sometimes you need some information with your inspiration. These ex-TravelChannel videos, while now fairly dated, will fill you in on the highlights of a Disney parks visit.

  • Undiscovered Disney Parks. Focuses on backstage experiences and less popular attractions.
  • Disney Parks: Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Get up close and personal with youngest Disney World theme park.
  • Walt Disney World Resort: Behind the Scenes. A look at some of the WDW infrastructure.
  • Ultimate Walt Disney World. A look at the Disney World thrill rides.
  • Disneyland Resort Behind the Scenes. Go backstage in Anaheim.
  • Samantha Brown Great Weekends, Volume 1, Episode 5: Orlando. Sam shows things to do if you’ll be spending some time off Disney property.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 4.26.12 PM

Also note that there dozens of other old Travel Channel and Food Network episodes which cover aspects of the wonderful world of Disney. (R.I.P. Great Hotels, Season of Disney, and a billion Food Network Challenge Disney cakes.) You can find some these on tapes or DVD, but they are not readily available for quick download.

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More Potty Talk: Best Disneyland Restrooms

by on June 27, 2014

Disneyland-Leap-Day-212

Going to Disneyland, you expect to wait in lines for everything (hopefully not long if you are using our touring plans!), but there is one place you should not have to wait in line: the restroom. Disneyland restroom lines can be just can hectic as waiting in a line at an attraction. Today, I am here to show you the best Disneyland restrooms, where you can actually take a break from the craziness that can be Disneyland. 

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Review of Disneyland Single Rider Lines

by on June 26, 2014

Matterhorn Bobsleds Single Rider Pass

Matterhorn Bobsleds Single Rider Pass

Single rider lines at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure park can be a very effective way to save time in your touring day at Disneyland Resort. Additionally, they offer another perspective of your favorite attractions through their designated queues. Being a single rider usually means you are placed with another group of guests, which can also lead to fun conversations and even potential new friends with a shared interest in Disney parks. Single rider lines are currently available at the following Disneyland Resort attractions:

  • California Screamin’
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Soarin’ Over California
  • Splash Mountain

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Disney Parks Celebrity Encounters

by on June 25, 2014

Disney Parks are swarmed with celebrities, from world-famous mice to royalty. Most of them have scheduled times you meet them, get their autograph and take tons of pictures with them. But what do you do when you notice a celebrity in the Parks that isn’t on the Times Guide?

It may have happened to you. You’re waiting patiently in line for one of Disney’s great attractions when you realize that you vaguely recognize a person standing behind you. And then it hits you: You don’t actually know this person – you just saw him/her in the latest hit movie! It’s so out of context, your brain needed a minute to make the connection. So, what now? Before you go over and start hounding someone famous for an autograph, stop and think before you act. Remember, they are there for the same reason you are: to enjoy a Disney vacation with their family; they’re not walking the red carpet to promote their celebrity status. Try to imagine how you would feel if someone came up to you and started bugging you. That’s what you might actually be doing if you gush, ask for an autograph or try to initiate a conversation with someone who is actually a total stranger.

Hugh Jackman recently visited Walt Disney World with his family and posted this shot on his Instagram.  Can you guess what movie project he's working on?

Hugh Jackman recently visited Walt Disney World with his family and posted this shot on his Instagram. Can you guess what movie project he’s working on?

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