Saturday, June 20, 2009

Night Time Summer Shows

Disneyland has new night time summer shows that are amazing. Here are some tips to help you decide which ones to see and when.

1. Magical - the new fireworks show over Cinderella's Castle. There is only one show each night a 9:25. If your visiting for two days you may want to see this one first then head over to Fantasmic the next night.

2. Fantasmic - There are two shows each night (3 if the park is really crowded). You may be able to see the first Fantasmic show and then head over to "Magical", but don't count on getting a good spot. Overall Fantasmic is the best of the three shows. Lots of action, fire and fireworks.

3. Electrical Parade - This take place at California Adventure at around 8:45 (later if the park is crowded) You can see the Magical fireworks really well from Paradise Pier and by over by Mickey's Funwheel.

Many people save their spot with a blanket for 2-3 hours before the shows starts. You need to get there early but not 2 hours early in order to watch, only to get a seat.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Best Sit Down Shows at Disneyland

Let's face it after a few hour of walking around at Disneyland your ready to sit down in a cool place and relax. Here is a list of some of the best sit down shows where you can take a break for 15 to 30 minutes. Starting with most entertaining and popular.

1. Golden Horseshoe Saloon - Billy Hill and the Hillbillies (check show times to make sure you see this show and not one of the others.)
2. Jedi Training Academy (kids get to fight Darth Vader outside in the Tomorrowland Terrace)
3. Innoventions ASIMO demonstration
4. Mark Twain River Boat (not a show but you get to sit down)
5. Honey, I Shrunk the Audience (3D show)
6. Enchanted Tiki Room

California Adventure
1. Aladdin Show (check schedule online)
2. Disney's Animation Studios
A. Turtle Talk with Crush (very funny)
B. Animation Academy (Kids and Adults love drawing Disney characters)
3. Muppet Vision 3D
4. Bug's Life 3D show

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to Survive a Crowded Day at Disneyland

I just spent two of the most crowded days at Disneyland and California Adventure. The reason is that June 15-16 were the last days of summer where the many Annual Pass holder could go and California schools were all out for the summer. On the 15th they stopped letting people in at 5 p.m. but opened up again once the crowds died down.

Regardless we still had a fun day and this is how we did it.

WE ARRIVED EARLY. Arriving early is the only way to get on tons of rides before the crowds arrive. We were able to get on 14 rides in the first 7 hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. because we started by collecting Fast Passes quickly before they ran out. We had one person take the tickets to the fast pass machine while we waited in line for our first ride. If your staying in a hotel near Disneyland this is sure fired way to get in early.

Here are our suggestions:
Make sure you get Fast Passes for these 3 rides in this order. 1. Space Mountain. You can ride this anytime after your fast past return time and you can get your next one 1.5 hours later. 2. Splash Mountain - you want to ride early in the day in case you get wet. Don't get this first or you will have to wait 2 hours for your next Fast Pass. I always ask to ride in the back and never get soaked. 3. Indiana Jones, should be your third Fast Pass but watch the clock as these run out fast.

Some people start by going over to California Adventure and getting a Fast Pass for Soarin' over California or Bear Rapids since they are close to the entrance. Then they head over to Disneyland. Since the Fast Passes in both parks are not connected this works well if your Hoppin. In between Fast Pass rides you can get in line for The Matterhorn and other rides.

The three rides you need to go in California Adventure are. 1. Tower of Terror - this is one of the top 3 rides. 2. California Screamin' - a very fast looping roller coaster with 48" height restriction because of the loop. 3. Soarin' Over California. If you pick a 4th ride it should be Bear Rapids but make sure you want to get wet or bring a poncho. These are the main rides at CA all the others are fillers.

Once you have your fast passes you will have some down time while you wait. This is a good time to go back over to California Adventure and use your first Fast Pass. It's probably the early afternoon by now and the hot part of the day so this is when you rest up and see some shows and plan on which night time shows you want to see and when. On crowded days make sure you get your hand stamped if your Hopping between parks, even if you have an Annual Pass.

If you plan ahead you can avoid waiting in long lines or even worse getting locked out. If your going 2 or more days the second day you will be tired so you may not be able to get there as early, unless your staying in a hotel. I've even seen people use Fast Passes from the day before, by holding their thumb over the date and using them at night. ;) And don't forget to ask for a stroller pass if you have a child in a stroller, even if they are tall enough to go on the ride. there are some rides that have Single Rider Lines, Indiana Jones, Screamin', Toy Story Mania. These let you get right on in most cases and often you end up riding with someone from your group.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Kids Day at Disneyland

I recently went to Disneyland and California Adventure with a 5 year old. It was one of the best trips I have taken. We decided to let her pick the agenda so here is how it went. After this trip I realized that the best part about going to Disneyland is going with a child and watching their shear enjoyment.

Started at California Adventure
1. Monsters Inc.
2. Bugs Life Show
3. Playhouse Disney
4. High School Musical 3 Parade
5. Tower of Terror (this one was my idea, she closed her eyes the whole time)

Moved on over to Disneyland
1. Cinderella's Castle
2. King Arthur's Carousel
3. Dumbo
4. Pixie Hollow
5. Splash Mountain
6. Winnie Pooh Ride7. Train Ride
8. Pirates of the Caribbean (again this one was my idea)
9. Main Street Theater followed by a "Apple Pie" caramel apple

By the end of the day she wanted to keep going but we were worn out.