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  1. #1

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    Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    Hi everyone!

    I found this forum by scouring the Internet. I am a huge Disney fan and had a year pass when I was in college (97-01) and lived in LA but haven't been since. This weekend is our first trip as a family and I've put off planning the details of our days until now. I am totally freaking out...lol...I've never been with kids before and am used to the leisurely pace of being able to come for an afternoon and leave.

    How do I get started with planning? My kids are nearly 5 and nearly 3, my husband, myself and my parents will be along for the ride. I've made a list of things they can for sure go on, and things we adults want to go on (knowing that we may not get to our list). I've read about the parent exchange thingy but am really confused by it. I'm familiar with fastpass, but it looks like the rules have changed since I've been there...I am going to read about it right now.

    We're leaving early Sunday morning and will arrive noonish (we live in Central california) and have a pass for that day, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday....we will be leaving Wednesday evening.

    I was thinking of doing DCA on the partial days and two full days for DL, but have never been to DCA so I'm not sure if that's appropriate from what I've read, DCA has less for my kids (besides a Bug's world and a few selected rides).

    So far my searches for planning spreadsheets have turned up a lot of great information on Walt Disney World but nothing on on Disneyland. Any suggestions or advice are very welcome!

  2. #2

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    Welcome to micechat!!!!

  3. #3

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    The way you have your days laid out sounds great. Just be sure to eat at either the Blue Bayou or Cafe Orleans to eat a Monte Cristo Sandwich/Le Speciale de Monte Cristo!

  4. #4

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    First of all Welcome to MiceChat!! And congrats on making a family trip to the park!

    Your kids are a great age to go to the park. I've never used the parent switch off, so I don't know how that works, but I'm sure someone else will know.

    Sounds like you will have plenty of time to see all the highlights of both parks. There will still be a lot of construction in DCA, so half days in that park will probably be enough. With kids as young as yours, you might want to take a mid day break and go back to the motel room and let them have a nap and a snack. And I'd take bottles of water and maybe some granola bars or other snacks your kids like into the park.

    The best advice I have is to take your time. Like you said, you may not get to everything, but what you will see will be memorable because of seeing everything through your kids eyes. That in itself is worth the trip. If they get tired, take a break. If they don't want to do something, don't feel bad about passing it up.

    Most of all... just relax and enjoy whatever comes your way with your family and the park!




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  5. #5

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    You might wanna hit the park as soon as it opens the other days your there because since it is closer to the holidays and some skools are already out so it might be crowded so if your planning to ride nemo or peter pan or dumbo..... Those should be first on your list of rides. Also in DCA you can do soarin monsters inc. Bugs land also the redwood creek challenge trail the fun wheel (if you aren't afraid if heights lol) and I'm not sure about midway mania. As for fastpasses... You can use them any time during the day after you collect them and you can only get one once every hour..... Fast pass rides I reccomend (if you get to these lol) splash mtn space mtn Indy haunted mansion and big thunder. If I think of anything ill post
    So after 2 full days in a row of walking around disneyland and a four hour practice, I finally understand why my doctor told me to take it easy on my knee I still cant wait to do it again

    AEROSMITH FTWW!

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    and yes you can do this!
    So after 2 full days in a row of walking around disneyland and a four hour practice, I finally understand why my doctor told me to take it easy on my knee I still cant wait to do it again

    AEROSMITH FTWW!

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    Also fantasmic is a must if your kids are able to stay awake until about 9:30 and I recommend one day watching everything the fireworks fantasmic (again if you kids can stay up that late) and all the shows and parades because then you can just get it over with in one day and not take time out of your otherdays to sit and watch everything on seperate days and instead enjoy the other days! Also, during parades and major shows are the best time to ride attractions or go to meet and greet spots
    So after 2 full days in a row of walking around disneyland and a four hour practice, I finally understand why my doctor told me to take it easy on my knee I still cant wait to do it again

    AEROSMITH FTWW!

  8. #8

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    If I were you the day I'd arrive there I would just relax when and not do DCA. Take the kids to the pool (actually it might be freezing!) go to the garden walk, go bowling there or to the movies! A nice dinner then go to the paradise peir hotel, go up to the pool deck and watch the fireworks! They pump the music from the park onto speakers of the deck and you have a great veiw of the fireworks! I'm suggesting this because your kids might be tired from the drive and rushing to the park after you check in can create grumpyness with the little ones. Unless your really dying to get to the parks!

    Are you staying on proprty hotel? Just curius.

    I'd suggest.. ( this is just my opinion)

    SUNDAY......drive down to aneheim, check in, relax for a while (even put the kids to a nice nap), go hang out at Downtown disney or the garden walk ( lots of fun things to do their!), or if it's hot go swiming (doubt it will be hot!), get dressed go out for a nice dinner somewhere, then around 9ish go to the Paradise Peir Hotel (but hot chocalete in the cafe or whatever) take the elevater to the third floor then go to the pool deck. Find nice pool chairs to sit on and watch the fireworks (it's a great veiw! And they have the firework music playing too!)

    MONDAY.......Disneyland!!!!

    TUESDAY...I would buy a park hopper to do DCA and DL on the same day. Dland for opening, then in the afternoon go to DCA, then back for fireworks and nighttime DLand.

    WENDSDAY...Disneyland. I would start the morning off with a breakfest at goofys kitchen.

    Things not to Miss at DCA..

    Monster Inc Mike ans Sulley to the Rescue-It's a good dark ride.

    A Bugs Land-Great fun area for kids.

    Toy Story Midway Mania-great ride!

    PlayHouse Disney Live on Stage-DONT miss this one! Your kids will reconize and love this show (if they watch playhouse disney)!

    Yeah that's just me. But if you had your heart set on a park all four day I'd do disneyland half day, DCA full, disneyland full, disneyland half.

    Remember just relax and have fun!

    Oh and welcome to Micechat!

  9. #9

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    If you're planning on going to both parks at opening and using Fastpass, certain rides without Fastpass tend to have longer wait times. In DL, it's Peter Pan. In DCA, it's Toy Story Midway Mania, which is in Paradise Pier under the giant sun. As for the parent switch, just talk to the CM at the entrance of the attraction.

  10. #10

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    If your 5 year old is over 40 inches DCA has plenty of thing to do.

    Tower of Terror (40 inches or taller)
    Soarin (40 inches or taller)
    Toy Story Midway Mania (No height requirement)
    Turtle Talk With Crush
    Fun Wheel
    Muppet Vision 3d
    Its Tough to Be a Bug
    Monster Inc: Mike and Sully to the Rescue
    Playhouse Disney
    Bugs Land
    Aladdin: The Musical.

  11. #11

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    Wow thank you guys so much! Already you've made me feel so much more confident about this!! Thank you for the welcomes!

    Thanks so much for your suggestions....I am taking note of the Dumbo, Peter Pan and Nemo (is that what the Submarines turned into)? We are staying at a neighbor hotel...not one of the big three, but we have the Anaheim bus pass. I can't remember the name at the moment!

    In hindsight, we totally should have followed Dlandclub 33's suggestions...but we got a free day for the park hopper pass so we have all four. I do think we'll probably take it easy that first day and not pack a whole lot in. I want to hit the parks but really do it full force the second day.

    We have a ToonTown Morning....should we do it the first morning, the second or the third? My inclination is the first.

    Are there better times of day for different parts of the park? Let's say the first DL day we hit ToonTown and then go over to Fantasy Land...where would we go from there? Is the crowding pretty evenly distributed?

    Of the shows, we want to catch the Electric Light Parade (for nostalgia), whatever parade they have going on now, the Muppets Show (my girls looooove it - my oldest has a crush on the 70s Elton John from the DVD of the show that we have) and Playhouse Disney. I would love to see Aladdin and Crush but if I had to choose those would be our tops.

    For the first day I'm planning Bug's World and the Electric Parade, at least...I think that will give us a taste of the park and not be too overwhelming (hopefully).

    Second day - Toon Town, Fantasy Land, Tomorrow Land (maybe?), break back at the hotel, back for something in the evening, and then stay for the night show.

    Third day - some more Fantasy Land - that's probably going to be our biggest draw, I don't think anything is necessary on this trip in Frontier Land and in Adventure Land all I am really concerned about is the Jungle Cruise and maybe the tiki room if we need a breather.

    My parents and hubs and I really want to get to Haunted House and Pirates (preferably the first). Is Tom Sawyer Island still open? I was thinking one set could go on the Haunted House while the others took the kids to play and then vice versa with the kids on a train ride or something like that? Is there anything new in that vicinity that would be good to occupy the kids while we do that swap. Those are the two biggest musts for us.....my hubs and I may try to go one evening after we take the kids back (we've cleared this with my folks! ) for the Matterhorn and Space Mountain.

    Sorry...this is really long! As I'm typing I'm realizing I have more of a plan than I thought. I got sick this week and so I'm feeling more stressed than i should probably.

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    Why would you swap your Kids on Haunted Mansion? It has no height requirement and isnt scary at all. I see 3 and 5 year olds ride it all the time.

  13. #13

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan120420 View Post
    Why would you swap your Kids on Haunted Mansion? It has no height requirement and isnt scary at all. I see 3 and 5 year olds ride it all the time.
    I know my kids and it would probably freak them out! I was really scared of it when I was eight and I'm betting my kids inherited my scaredy cat genes.

  14. #14

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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    First, check that it's offered at the theme park attraction. The Disney Cast Member will then instruct you to enter the queue. Once you're at the boarding area, let the Cast Member know that you want to "child swap." They'll show you where to wait while the rest of your party enjoys the ride. Once they get back, you hand the little guy over to them and you get your turn without having to get back on the line.
    This works best with kids who are too young to be aware of what's going on. It may not be the best plan if you have a 3 year old and everyone else gets to ride. They know that they're missing something and could be quite vocal about it.

    Need Ask Castmember for the Kid swap pass!
    AKfandisney Have a Magic Disney day șoș 2010
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    re: Deep breaths...I can do this right? - Need DL Trip Planning Advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan120420 View Post
    Why would you swap your Kids on Haunted Mansion? It has no height requirement and isnt scary at all. I see 3 and 5 year olds ride it all the time.
    And less scary (brighter) w/ the Holiday over lay going on.
    Quote by Al:
    To that end I'd like the Internet community to join me in reminding the Disney company that "it all started with Walt." As you can see below we've created some T-shirts, plus a few simple graphics that you can copy and paste into your websites to let folks know how you feel.
    -Al Lutz



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