Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

Disneyland Character Meet and Greets: A Walking Tour

by on July 16, 2014

Mary Poppins and Bert

My friend Scott and I with Mary Poppins and Bert. I’m trying to make a Bert face.

Meeting characters is an integral part of a day at Disneyland Resort for many Disney fans. Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, in addition to the nearby Downtown Disney District and on-property hotels, have a decent amount of character meet & greet locations.

There are character greeting components in popular parkgoer activities like Disneybounding and the growing number of runDisney events. Plus, we cannot ignore the giant Elsaphant in the room, with waits for characters from Frozen often exceeding three hours! (No offense meant to the lovely ladies who play the very svelte and lovely snow queen.) And who can resist taking an Instagram selfie with Mickey?

In a short series, let’s take a walking tour of various character meet & greet opportunities across Disneyland Resort. First up: Disneyland Park.

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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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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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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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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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Guardians of the Galaxy Preview Coming to Disney Parks

by on June 9, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

©Disney

Late this summer, a brand new Marvel blockbuster called Guardians of the Galaxy will hit theaters. To prepare for this huge release, beginning on July 4, guests at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland can catch an exclusive sneak preview, giving them an extended look at this upcoming film.

At Walt Disney World, guests wishing to see this preview can head to the ABC Sound Studio (the former location of Sounds Dangerous) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At Disneyland, the preview will take place at the Magic Eye Theater in Tomorrowland (where Captain EO is currently playing. Disney does say Captain EO is expected to return at a future date).

The preview will be shown in 3D at both locations daily. This is similar to a sneak preview that is currently taking place surrounding the movie Maleficent.

Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters on August 1.

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TouringPlans #Everywhere: Budgeting for A Disneyland Trip

by on June 4, 2014

Photo courtesy Guy Selga, Jr

Hello! You may remember from my last post about traveling to Disneyland for TouringPlans #Everywhere that I am totally “California Dreamin” (on such a…uh, spring’s day?). Well, now I am back to give you a little more insight into everyone’s favorite subject: budgeting!

What?! You don’t love to budget? I guess that’s probably normal, which explains why I do enjoy it (e.g. I’m not normal). The sad fact for those of you who do not like to discuss vacation budgeting is that it is an essential part of the trip. My plan here today is to go through my experience budgeting for a Disneyland trip, tell you my thought process, and give you some tips.

Basic Info

As you may recall (but probably don’t), I will be travelling with my wife and two children, ages 5 and 3 at the time of the trip. We live in beautiful, scenic Pennsylvania, which, if you have a knack for geography, you will notice is quite far from California. And yes, my wife has to go although “if I didn’t tell her I could leave today.” We will be traveling in early October, specifically, around the weekend of October 11-13.

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Observations From Disneyland: May 15, 2014

by on May 17, 2014

IMG_8704Over the years I’ve noticed that Disneylanders avoid the park if the weather is extremely bad in either direction. Anaheim has great weather for most of the year, but there are the few weeks when it is either cold and rainy or, like today, very hot. Here I caught Snow White walking through the hub, and no one bothered her. No one bothered her because no one was around.

IMG_8696This was the wait time board at 11 AM. Wait times for the past week or so have been a bit higher than usual because so many attractions are down for refurbishment. Today that factor was hardly even noticeable.

More pictures after the jump:

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Escape From Tomorrow DVD and Bluray Released

by on May 5, 2014

Escape from Tomorrow DVD

A scene from Escape from Tomorrow, now available on DVD and Bluray

When Escape From Tomorrow — the creepy monochromatic movie director Randy Moore surreptitiously shot inside Disney resorts –debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, it was widely speculated that Mickey’s lawyers would never allow the unauthorized flick to be widely released. As it turned out, the movie was released online last year through online services like iTunes, and (as a counter on their official website attests) the creators have not yet been sued. In fact, the cult film is now set to reach an even wider audience, as Escape From Tomorrow DVDs and Blurays are now available from retailers, and for rental through Netflix’s mail service (sadly, it is not yet offered through Netflix Streaming).

If you are uncertain whether to take the plunge on this surreal stroll through the Disney parks, you can find plenty of professional reviews online. There’s also an interesting article explaining how the movie was shot inside Disney’s parks without Mouse managment’s knowledge or permission.

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