So you’re one of the lucky few people who were able to snag a Nintendo Switch at launch, congratulations. You now have the option to never stop playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and why would you? But you also love Disneyland and you really need to get your Food and Wine on this weekend, so you pack up your shiny new console and head to the Happiest Place on Earth. No mouse is going to get in your way of saving Zelda, but there are a few suggestions to help make your simultaneous trip through two magical kingdoms a little bit easier.




Carrying the Switch

No one likes a beat up console, especially one that’s brand new. Make sure you start with a screen protector. I suggest an anti-glare one like this one since the Switch has a pretty reflective screen, especially in the hot California sun.

Unless you’re like me and have really deep pockets that the Switch can fit in, you’re going to to want to get a case. There’s a myriad of great cases available for the console, from very basic like this pouch, a starter kit, or even a backpack (as of this time of writing, a lot of cases from every retailer seem to be back-ordered for a while; it’s actually a known issue that no one has cases, unfortunately). Choose something light if you’re going bag-less, as I have the starter kit and it’s too bulky to carry without an extra bag.

While you’re at it, you might as well look into a stand for when that kickstand just isn’t enough (or when you want to charge with the system in tabletop mode). This stand should keep your 1, 2 Switch drinking games at the Cove Bar going. I doubt anyone will be silently judging you while you’re milking that invisible cow, either.

Charging the Switch

The Nintendo Switch battery is rated for 2.5-6 hours, and an adventure in Hyrule particularly hits that low end of 2.5 hours while in portable mode. During many busy days at Disneyland, that’s two and a half wait times! Luckily, there are options to help keep your console charged so you can make it through more than just that wait for Hyperspace Mountain.

On the way to Disneyland, make sure to keep your Switch charged in the car via a car charger. While there are official ones, any old USB-C car charger and cable will do (look for a 3A port).

The most convenient option for charging any device while at the parks is to get a portable charger. The Switch uses a universal USB-C port to charge, but it also is a monster when it comes to power consumption (that’s why Zelda sucks up the massive battery in only 2.5 hours), and buying the wrong power bank will lead to your adventure coming to a close slightly slower, but not extend it. Saving you a lecture on how power delivery works, any type of charger for the Switch should be a 5V 3A port, and this pack by Anker has definitely been the pack that is touted to deliver power at a steady rate and have plenty of capacity to do it. The same manufacturer has a cheaper option that should deliver power decently as well. Double check your current power pack, it may also be an option.

I don’t recommend these for use with the Switch, really, unless you have a really hard time charging a bank on your own when you go home/to your hotel.

 

I don’t recommend the Fuel Rod that Disney sells at stations around the parks. Not only do they not have enough capacity to charge even a fourth of the Switch’s battery (The Switch has a 4,310 mAh capacity, while the Fuel Rod is estimated to be around 850-1000 mAh. To put that into perspective, the iPhone 7 has a 1,715 mAh battery capacity), the Fuel Rods also don’t charge very quickly (estimated power delivery is at 1A, which is terribly slow for modern devices). If you really wanted to use one to charge more than a phone, you’re definitely going to be hunting down Fuel Rod stations all day and the Fuel Rod won’t charge the Switch fast enough to keep the device on while charging. To be quite honest, I don’t think Fuel Rods will charge most devices nowadays if they’re on and being used.

A really simple and easy option is to use one of the charging lockers that are available at both Disneyland and California Adventure. To get the correct power flow, I suggest getting a locker with a plug instead of built in cables, and either bringing the official charger that came with the device, getting an extra travel one, or getting a third party one with the correct power delivery.

Definitely bring your own charger and select AC Outlet, as the adapter option is for phones (they include iPhone and Android adapters, but USB-C is a new standard that isn’t supported by Disney yet)

Playing the Switch

Now that you’re set with accessories, it’s time to get playing. The best place to kill time with any device is going to be in line. Something interesting I was thinking about: there is currently no way to play the Switch with the joycon detached while in line, as you won’t have anywhere to place the device to play. Let me know in the comments if you have ideas on how to play multiplayer while in line without bringing an extra controller or having someone in your party hold the tablet portion of the device.

It gets hot in Southern California, so I imagine many of you will want to find somewhere to get a cold drink and relax with a couple rounds of Snipperclips. Considering some games are going to require the use of tabletop mode to play as well (as mentioned above, they’d require two Joycons held sideays), here’s some other recommendations of places to play:

Disneyland:

  • Restaurants
    • Hungry Bear Restaurant. Decent food and usually ample space to plop down and cool off, eat, and play a couple rounds.
    • Red Rockett’s Pizza Port. Not my favorite menu, but usually has extra space to play, even if it’s on the “outdoor” seating area.
    • Edelweiss Snack Shop. There’s a seating area behind this location that people tend to forget so there would be space to enjoy a turkey leg and some game time.
    • Golden Horseshoe. This one gets busy during the summertime, but it’s great for the A/C, and you can watch a show in between games.
  • Misc
    • Star Wars Launch Bay. There’s a lot of room to sit in the middle of the building on most days, and it’s indoors.
    • It’s a Small World. Just kidding, but I know someone will do it anyways.

California Adventure:

  • Restaurants:
    • Flo’s Cafe. There’s a ton of extra seating all around Flo’s and they have a delicious menu.
    • Paradise Garden. Whenever there’s not a promotional menu, the area around the Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta generally has plenty of space to relax with a cold beverage and play a game or two.
  • Misc:
    • Food and Wine Festival. Each individual booth has standing tables you could plop a Switch down in tabletop mode while enjoying your favorite Food and Wine item.

Hotels

  • Any of the bars or quick service restaurants should do, at either of the three hotels. I definitely recommend White Water Snacks at the Grand Californian if you’re planning on eating while playing.

Places you shouldn’t play Nintendo Switch (or any other device) at Disneyland:

  • While walking. No one wants to see you drop a $300 machine on the ground because someone bumped you.
  • While on a ride. Nothing worse than someone staring at a bright screen on a really dark ride like Haunted Mansion. Don’t do it.
  • While watching a parade. You waited an hour to watch the Electrical Parade, the electrical machine can go away for twenty minutes.
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-through. Someone’s going to do this and they will trip and fall on the stairs. Some people will laugh, but most will be sad and concerned.

If you get creative, I’m sure you’ll find many uses for bringing your Nintendo Switch to the Disneyland Resort. Just make sure you keep it safe and charged, and some good old-fashioned adventuring with Link or perhaps a bout of racing in Fast RMX will help melt away those long lines. Just don’t forget to look up once in a while; you did in fact pay for some real-life magic.

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