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Old 10-28-2016, 08:29 AM   #41
Rhettzky
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For any rides that you do with your older Daughter that the younger one can't do, grab a Rider Switch pass. Ask for it right at the start of the line, it enables you to go on the ride and then your wife to go again without waiting in line directly after. That in combination with the Fast Passes makes for an enjoyable trip.

January can also be rainy there so bring some poncho's or rain wear that is easy to stuff in a back pack. On rainy days the park clears out and you have the whole place to yourself. Then when the sun pops back out you can hit rides like crazy.

Tomorrow land is now all star wars, if you are a fan it's really cool. The main building has props from the movies, characters (we say Boba Fett, Chewie, and Kylo Ren), and some neat merchandise that's not available in other areas of the park. Kids can also take part in a light sabre training academy where they take part in a stage show and then get to battle Darth Vader or other bad guys. And then there is Star Tours and Hyperspace Mountain, both very cool rides.

In fantasy land, if you want to do the Peter Pan or Alice in Wonderland rides, you need to go first thing in the morning or be prepared for a half hour to fortyfive minute wait. It's busy all day pretty much every day. All the other rides (Pinochio, Snow White, Mr. Toad, Teacups, etc.) you can pretty much walk on at any time in the day. So if the park gets busy in a certain area, you can hike back over there any hit a bunch of rides.

California Adventure is awesome, they have a lot of new rides and they tend not to be very busy (except the Toy Story Midway Mania Ride). Ariels ride you can basically walk on at any time of the day, regardless of how busy the park is, same with Monsters Inc. Carsland is still very busy, work the fastpass system on that hard and do the Mater and Luigi rides while you wait. Bugs land is usually dead and you can ride at will and the kids that age will love the rides there.

In Adventure land, jungle cruise is fun and usually not very busy. So you can ride it while the Indiana Jones ride is broken down or while you wait for your fast pass. Pirates is another one close by that you can usually just walk on, it's a bit scary at first but if you prepare them for the first drop in the dark, they should love the rest of it.

In general, I found the food to be a bit pricey but fairly large portions. We brought snacks to the park that we picked up at the nearby Walmart and then shared the big meals at the park.

Having a vehicle gives you a bit of freedom to hit up some beaches, the hollywood sign, hollywood walk of fame, shopping, etc. But it depends how many days at the park you are doing. If you are going for 5 days and only in Cali for 7, you could probably avoid it. If you do get a car, book it as early as you can to save quite a bit.

We just went in August and had a blast, you guys are going at a pretty good time of year so the park shouldn't be that busy.

Any questions, let me know.
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:48 AM   #42
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For savings you can look at: http://www.mousesavers.com/

For intense research on all things Disney check out: http://www.disboards.com/
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:32 AM   #43
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Like others have said, get to know the switch pass and the fast pass. You can "game" the lines with them.

Grab fast passes for the popular rides as soon as you get there. They only release a set number of fast passes, so if you get there late you're not going to get one for popular rides like Radiator Springs or Star Wars.

I go to Disney once or twice a year (wife and kids are addicts). We usually stay within walking distance, and the last hotel we scored was Hyatt House on Katella. It's brand new, and we paid $175 a night for a suite that had a kitchenette. Has BBQ's on the pool deck, good fitness facilities, and is right by the south end. We walked to DL every day, making a pit stop at the CVS for drinks and snacks which you can take in.

If you're a baller stay at the Disney Grand Californian, you get access to the park an hour before it opens.

Don't get hopper passes. No way can you hit everything in both parks in one day. We do 12-14 hours a day on each side and still don't get to everything.

Try to go on season pass blackout dates. Less busy (sort of).

Characters all come and go from the same entrance/exit which isn't marked. In Disneyland it's right at the front entrance, east side by main street cinema. Wait there, and when a character comes out send your kids after them. The characters will grab a kid, hold their hand and walk over to where you get to meet them and take photos. My kids saw just about every character over a few hours, got photos and autographs, and basically lost their minds every 5 minutes. On the California side it's right by the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Theater.

Our typical day was get there early, get fast passes for popular rides, hit as many less popular rides as possible before the lines hit, get more fast passes the minute you were able, hit the popular rides and ask for a "switch" pass, then go as many times on that ride as possible. Keep doing that all day and you won't see a lot of lines, and you will get maybe 50% of the rides in through one day.

The absolute WORST thing you can do is show up without a plan and wait in a 2 hour line for a ride like Peter Pan that is 5 minutes long. F that. Plan it out and have a WAY better day.
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:49 AM   #44
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I think Disneyland is becoming my annual holiday lately. They are different ways to experience DL, it all depends on what you think your girls will like the best. My little gal is only 3 so meeting the characters tops most rides. If your girls like rides then you can plan your days with Fastpasses.

Fastpasses are a must on busy days however you can only have one FP per park at a time. You can get a second one when your FP time is close. If you can get a park hopper pass go for it as there is a good trick to ride Radiator Springs. Get to the park ready for opening, go to DCA first but only you go in but take everyones park passes. You need the park passes to get a Fastpass. Grab a Fastpass for Radiator Springs (the distribution line by Bugs land just before Cars Land on your left). Leave DCA and head over to DL for the day and grab another Fastpass for a DL ride.

Another way to get one some of the longer lineups @ DL is to go during the parade/fireworks, however this being your girls 1st time to DL I would suggest to check them out. Main Street has a good projection show to go along with them, however if it's too crowded It's a Small World has a decent view of them to, you just miss a few of the castle fireworks.

Since you are looking for price stay at an offsite hotel. They are way cheaper and some are just as close. If you really wanted to stay at a Disney hotel, The Disneyland Hotel & The Grand Californian are the best two. If you do wonder in Downtown Disney you have to check out the lobby of the Grand Californian, it is easily the best looking hotel lobby I have ever seen.

Disneyland has a good app for wait times and character meets times/spots that is free to download. You just need a data plan as there isn't free wifi in the parks

Last edited by spetch; 10-28-2016 at 09:50 AM. Reason: forgot app
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:54 AM   #45
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Really pleased for you. My daughters are about the same ages and we're hoping to go again next year. My thoughts.

Be sure to line up to get in when the park opens. Decide in advance what 1 ride you most want to see and do that first. Assuming it is a popular ride (Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain, Cars, California Screaming, etc) Head straight there and do it twice. That will kill about 90 minutes or so.

For the ride you want to do second most, i'd suggest risking leaving it for the end of the day. Park will empty out the last hour or two.

Wear comfortable shoes and make your kids do so as well. There will be 12 to 14 hours of walking and standing in lines. Not a lot of sitting.

We like buying the photopass and using the Disney photographers to take a bunch of photos with it. We have some great family photos because of it. Look into that. Not sure it's worth it for just 1 day, but check if it works for your family.

The parades and shows are fun to see for the first time.

And if you're going, let the kids buy something from the gift shop at the end of the day. My one kid picked a stuffy. My other kid picked the disney ears with her name on the back, etc.
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:57 AM   #46
Cecil Terwilliger
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Can I come? My parents never took me to Disneyland when I was a kid.
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Old 10-28-2016, 10:18 AM   #47
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Can I come? My parents never took me to Disneyland when I was a kid.
Absolutely! As long as you're not a twat
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Old 10-28-2016, 10:51 AM   #48
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Absolutely! As long as you're not a twat

oh...well nevermind then.
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:17 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spetch View Post
I think Disneyland is becoming my annual holiday lately. They are different ways to experience DL, it all depends on what you think your girls will like the best. My little gal is only 3 so meeting the characters tops most rides. If your girls like rides then you can plan your days with Fastpasses.

Fastpasses are a must on busy days however you can only have one FP per park at a time. You can get a second one when your FP time is close. If you can get a park hopper pass go for it as there is a good trick to ride Radiator Springs. Get to the park ready for opening, go to DCA first but only you go in but take everyones park passes. You need the park passes to get a Fastpass. Grab a Fastpass for Radiator Springs (the distribution line by Bugs land just before Cars Land on your left). Leave DCA and head over to DL for the day and grab another Fastpass for a DL ride.

Another way to get one some of the longer lineups @ DL is to go during the parade/fireworks, however this being your girls 1st time to DL I would suggest to check them out. Main Street has a good projection show to go along with them, however if it's too crowded It's a Small World has a decent view of them to, you just miss a few of the castle fireworks.

Since you are looking for price stay at an offsite hotel. They are way cheaper and some are just as close. If you really wanted to stay at a Disney hotel, The Disneyland Hotel & The Grand Californian are the best two. If you do wonder in Downtown Disney you have to check out the lobby of the Grand Californian, it is easily the best looking hotel lobby I have ever seen.

Disneyland has a good app for wait times and character meets times/spots that is free to download. You just need a data plan as there isn't free wifi in the parks
You should look at a Disney Cruise. The character interactions are another on another level compared to Land/World and extremely personal. It has ruined my son for other resort Kids Clubs. Nothing seems to compare to hanging on in the S.H.I.E.L.D headquarters and having Captain America come in and ask for help defeating pirates that want to take over the ship or Dancing with Cinderella at Dinner or Chasing Hook and Mr Smee down the corridors yelling Yo ho ho.

Stang, if you have a car and a full day, San Diego Zoo is worth the drive. They also have all kinds of local beers to enjoy while staring at animals. It's a straight shot down the 5.
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:14 PM   #50
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If your kids are scared to go on a particular ride suggest to go watch the people getting off of the ride. They will be laughing and having a good time.

Your kids will see it's OK.
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:37 PM   #51
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This is timely!! Wife and I are taking our kids during March Break. Fully expect it to be cazy busy.

We're flying in to Phoenix then taking 5 days (3 for parks 2 @DL, 1 @ DCA) and 1 day at either Huntington beach or Universal.

Driving back to Phoenix for 5 days to spend time with parents.
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:47 PM   #52
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Last time I was there the California Wine and Food Festival was going on, so in between rides I was buying $7 taster plates from California's best restaurants all over the park. Made the experience that much more awesome. Hopefully there's something like that going on again when you go.

Use the Fastpasses. Get a ticket (free) for a later time, come back at said time and avoid the rush... such a good idea.

Skip the Peter Pan ride. Not only is the line claustrophobic and painstakingly long, the 1-minute ride sucks. If Pan himself was there I'd personally superman punch him in the head for putting me through that.

The roller coaster at California Adventure park is cool. Especially the minute it takes off. The Cars area is really cool too, my nieces loved it.

Also, might as well just skip everything except Star Wars Land (aka Tomorrowland)... it's the best place there. As an adult I spent too much time there and was wayyy too excited to meet Chewbacca. I even spoke Wookie to him and impressed all the kids.

Look for the renderings of the new Star Wars Land that they're building north of the current park... my gawd, that's gonna be cool. Disney has too much money.
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Old 10-28-2016, 03:56 PM   #53
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I love Disney and we've taken the kids to Disneyland, Disney World, and our inlaws took us on a Disney Cruise.

Disneyland is my favorite. For sure.
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Old 10-28-2016, 04:16 PM   #54
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The Cars area is cool, but the ride I would skip if the line was long. My highlights would probably include to do Star Tours, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, and the Ferris wheel (get the cars that swing).
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Old 10-28-2016, 04:56 PM   #55
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As an adult I spent too much time there and was wayyy too excited to meet Chewbacca. I even spoke Wookie to him and impressed all the kids.
Congrats, you are likely one of three or so adults males on the planet who can speak Wookiee and who has had intimate relations with a live human female - of course that assumes the kids you are referring to are yours, if they are not, then never mind
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:03 PM   #56
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If you don't mind spending the extra cabbage it's nice to stay at a Disney hotel onsite. The Grand Californian is right next to California Adventure, you walk out your room and you're in the park. It's great for taking a break middle day with the kids. Disney hotel guests can get into parks earlier and they can hook you up with extra fast passes.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:18 AM   #57
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Congrats, you are likely one of three or so adults males on the planet who can speak Wookiee and who has had intimate relations with a live human female - of course that assumes the kids you are referring to are yours, if they are not, then never mind
Don't worry, this wookie gets around.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:46 AM   #58
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If you don't mind spending the extra cabbage it's nice to stay at a Disney hotel onsite. The Grand Californian is right next to California Adventure, you walk out your room and you're in the park. It's great for taking a break middle day with the kids. Disney hotel guests can get into parks earlier and they can hook you up with extra fast passes.
We did the Grand Californian two years ago, great experience. Plus being able to get into the parks earlier each day (it alternates which one depending on the day) gave you that quick leg up to hit the popular rides over the crowds. Also quick to retreat in the heat of the day if the kids need some shade or a pool break.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:12 AM   #59
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The star wars area was pretty cool. We saw a bunch of people lining up for something, so we decided to tag along thinking it was for a movie or a ride. Turned out it was Kylo Ren. They only let one person go at once, so you get a good 20 seconds or so just with you/family and him. There's a person there to take photos for you, and they'll even let you use your own camera. Pretty sweet if you're a star wars fan!

The Buzz light year ride would be pretty fun for kids, but the line up there is brutal. Get the DL app and monitor it when rides are short.

My favorite ride was probably indiana jones and the space mountain one (renamed to something I forget)
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:28 AM   #60
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Most has been covered already, just wanted to add a comment on going on the slowest days.

We planned ahead and picked the slowest month, best days to go. But they tricked us.

One day was quite slow in regards to numbers of guests. But they chose that day to close a ride or two for some maintenance. Also, they did not have the fastpass running! It was our third day and we loved the fastpass. It was a kick in the teeth.

Some popular rides have 2 or more lines going to them. On this day there was only one line. Or there were less loaders/people working each ride.

Long story short, though the park was much less busy...the lines for rides were still very long.

Our best moment was Day 2. It rained. Awesome. So many people left the park or took shelter.
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