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  1. #1

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    Smile First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    Hello Everyone!

    I'm new and this is my first forum post so I hope I'm doing it correctly and it is okay to start this new thread.

    I will be heading to Disneyland for the first time with my husband and 4 kids (ages 6, 5, 4, and 3) January 22nd through the 26th. I was hoping to get any advice or suggestions any of you might have as far as what not to miss and maybe any strategies for things that need to be done early due to line issues, etc.

    Oh -- and my 5 year old will be celebrating a birthday on one of the days we are there. I read somewhere that they give out a birthday button. Is that true and if so, do we have to prove it is really her birthday to get it?

    We were hoping to avoid major crowds this time of year, but it appears from reading other threads that DL is pretty much packed all year long so I guess we will be prepared.

    Anyway - if there is anything any of you think would be helpful for me to know in advance, I would sure appreciate it. Thanks so much!
    Last edited by Jaka; 12-29-2009 at 03:21 PM.

  2. #2

    • Once upon a dream
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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    I would see the Fireworks, Celebrate! A Street Party Parade, and Jedi Training for any young boys.

    Unfortunately when you go these will be closed.

    Mark Twain Riverboat
    Main Street Cinema
    Tom Sawyer Island
    Sailing Ship Columbia
    Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
    it's a small world - Holiday Removal

    Fantasmic won't be there either sadly.

    Some of the attractions that get long are Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Peter Pan, Finding Nemo, and Thunder Mountain. Some of your kids may be too small to go on Space Mountain and indiana Jones tho. What you could do is if your 6 year old wants to go on it and your husband you could get a parent pass. You and your child will be able to go on it and after you are finished your husband can then go on it also. Nemo is a great attraction for the young ones but can be up to 2 hours sometimes. I would suggest going on it in the morning. Peter Pan is also really fun for the kids as you are " flying " over london and taking part in Peter Pans adventure. Indiana Jones might be scary for them so I wouldn't suggest it. Toontown is a great place for them as they can meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, go on a mini coaster, roger rabbits and have fun . Fantasyland is a great place for them also as it has no intense roller coaster but Dark rides. Tea Cups is a great family ride. To avoid the crowds, dont go through Adventureland at Noon as it usually get crowded. I suggest going through Frointerland if so. Tomorrowland can also get a bit Crowded. During the Parade if you saw it the day before or so I wouldn't go on Main Street as it is hard to navigate through. But If are going back to your hotel take the train to avoid that crowd. The Trains are Located: New Orleans Train is by Haunted Mansion, Tomorrowland is located just behind Autopid ( Anoter Good ride for them ), ToonTown Train is Just above the Entrance, and Main Street is right when you enter. To eat I would either go back to your hotel and eat or if your eating in the park I would go to the Hungry Bear ( Located in Critter Country, which is by New Orleans, also where Pooh is ) or Carnation Cafe located on Main Street. Also another ride for the kids would be Autopia, Star Tours, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters in Tomorrowland. There isn't much to do in California Adventures except Soaring over California ( located to your right just past the Golden Zephyer silver Train ) but dont go on it if one of your kids is afraid of heights. Toy Story Mania is a GREAT ride for the kids. I would go on it FIRST thing. It is an immersive 3d attraction fun for everyone! when you go to California adventures I suggest going at 9 or 9:30. It officially opens at ten but they let you in a bit early but you have to wait behind some lines. When you arrive at California Adventures Early, go Past the Golden Zypher, then to your right by Soarin over California, then there should be someone there announcing the line to Toy Story Mania . Another fun ride would be Monsters inc. located in Hollywood Pictures Backlot. A few more rides are in Paradise pier by Toy Story Mania but thereis construction going on there.

    Hope that helps!

    ~babs09

  3. #3

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    Thank you so much for the suggestions! I will definitely take your advice and make sure we do the Toy Story right off the bat.

  4. #4

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    well i was gonna say something, but i don't want to get kicked out of micechat , just something about how you haven't been to disneyland yet and yeah.

    well let's take a looksie and what would be good for your familia.

    1. churros. get some churros.
    2. get a fastpass for everything! well everything that has a fastpass. if you don't know what that is then let me know and i'll explain it
    3. first-timers need to go to the character breakfast at the plaza inn. last time i checked it was $30 an adult (idk about kids cause no one in my family is a kid anymore, maybe half price) but it's something that every disneylander has to do at least once!
    4. i would also say to measure the kids before you go if they may not be totally tall enough for things, so that way you won't waste your time then get disappointed (sorry i didn't read the kids' ages)
    ok that's all i can think of for now, but i'm sure all of the other micechatters can help you out!

    oh i got another one! if you're getting like a multi-day park hopper (which i'm assuming) will most likely include a magic morning (if i'm assuming they still do it in january) where you can get into the park an hour earlier than regular guests. my suggestion? do it. do it do it do it do it. then in the afternoon go back to your hotel for a nap.
    Quote Originally Posted by JungleCruiseFan View Post
    You know what they say- The party don't start 'til Jordon walks in.
    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post

  5. #5

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    One ride that I didn't see mentioned is Pirates of The Caribbean.
    You just have to go on that ride.
    It is great fun even for the little ones.
    The kids will also like It's a Small World.

    There are a couple of good play areas in California Adventure.
    Flik's Fair is geared directly for your age kids, and there is a Redwood Creek Challenge Trail area over by the raft ride.

    Bring a stroller, or rent one. You will need jackets in the morning and the evening, but you may want to lose them in the afternoon.
    Besides the three year ols is gonna get tired, and the strolloer will be real handy at those times.

    Have fun!

  6. #6

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    Thanks everyone. I hadn't even thought about measuring in advance. Luckily, tall is in the gene pool -- my 3 year old son is 40 inches and my 4 year old son is 47 inches so it looks like they will be able to get on everything but 2 rides.

    As of right now, we're planning on staying at the Embassy Suites North because it's a tiny bit cheaper than the South version and has an indoor pool and free parking. Does anyone have any experience with both of them to know if South is significantly better? We are driving so we'll have our own car as far as getting to the park each day and/or restaurants -- so distance wise, I'm not concerned about the difference.... We haven't booked anything yet so we have time to adjust where we are staying if needed.

  7. #7

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    I don't have much to add but want to wish you good luck! 4 little ones of those ages seem like a handful, even when not at Disneyland I would suggest naps in the afternoon if your hotel is close enough (I even still need a nap after most of the day in the park) and yes, stroller for the littlest ones would be smart. Good luck and have a great time!


    -melissa.

  8. #8

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    oh speaking of strollers that reminds me:

    do not leave anything in your stroller that you don't want to get stolen.

    i remember watching tiana's showboat blahbity blah and seeing a sea of strollers totally unattended and me and my dad were discussing how we could so take a stroller or anything in it and nobody would know that we were stealing it. i mean really, i think they should have attendents or something, cause it just seems waaaay too easy for a stroller to get stolen
    Quote Originally Posted by JungleCruiseFan View Post
    You know what they say- The party don't start 'til Jordon walks in.
    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post

  9. #9

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    Quote Originally Posted by GummiBears_Rock View Post
    ...

    do not leave anything in your stroller that you don't want to get stolen...
    We've left plenty of things in our stroller over the years, and have never had anything stolen.
    The vast majority of park guests are honest citizens.
    I think you just need to have common sense.
    I wouldn't leave an ipod laying out in full view, but don't worry about people rifling through your stuff. Yeah it happens, but it's not that common.

  10. #10

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetlife View Post
    We've left plenty of things in our stroller over the years, and have never had anything stolen.
    The vast majority of park guests are honest citizens.
    I think you just need to have common sense.
    I wouldn't leave an ipod laying out in full view, but don't worry about people rifling through your stuff. Yeah it happens, but it's not that common.
    Better to be safe then sorry


    ~babs

  11. #11

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    I don't think anyone has answered your question about the birthday button yet.
    Yes, they do exist, no you don't have to have proof of the birthday.
    You can get them at City Hall on Main Street or ask around in the shops usually employees have them at the counter


    -melissa.

  12. #12

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    seeing that your children are all young there should be plenty for them to do in both parks.

    Disneyland of course has all the fantaysland rides, tomorrowland has Autopia, Nemo and buzz lightyear which they will have lots of fun with.

    over in CAlifornia Adventure there is plenty to do for the whole family as well.

    Aside form the major attractions that you or your husband might want to enjoy there is plenty for the whole family.

    Midway Mania is a must do for all of you. and of course you have Mickey funwheel and the carousel for the younger ones those attractions are found on the boardwalk. around the bay you also have jumping jelly fish and mullholland madness which the young ones and yourslef might enjoy if height restrictions allow them.

    Bugsland has several attraction in Flicks fun fair that families enjoy. the nicely theme land is very enjoyable for families and if you have the time i reccomend you visit it both during the day and then again at night. The lighting and audio give the and a whole new feel and look at night that is just amazing. Bugs life 3d is also a fun show but beware that there might be some scenes that might be scary for the young one. sit as far right as possible in case you or your husband needs to step out during the show.

    Over in Hollywood backlot monsters inc is a great little darkride that your family will enjoy and if you are a muppet fan than the 3d movie is also fun. The one jewel of this land that many people tend to miss is the Animation studio. This attraction is located on the mainstreet of Hollywood blvd. When you enter the building you will see a large lobby with huge oversize screens playing scenes from Disney movies. spread out in various parts of the lobby you have four attractions. They are all great in one they teach you how to draw, another one is an elaborate walk through showing you the process of animation with hands of interaction for everyone. Another attraction is turtle talk and its a pretty fun interactive show. The last room has azoetrope of the toy story characters and other artwork.

    On the same street near the entranec of the land you also have Playhouse Disney the youngest of your children will have a blast there and the smiles on their faces will give you lots of memories.

    Over by grizzly peak there is also a large play area with some brother bear theming. These is the perfect place to let the children burn of some steam and if you are the adventurous type its great excercise to do all the activities with them.

    and if Pixar Play Parade is playing do not miss it. It is a very good parade that has acrobats and lots of interactive elements which include bubbles and sometimes water if the days are hot.


    Oh and yes do not forget to get your child a birthday button from guest relation or city hall. They will love the attention of castmembers wishing him Happy Birthday. Oh and take him into the mission tortilla tour. they will give him a small pack of tortillas along with the samples everyone gets. They make great treats especially since they are nice and warm.

  13. #13

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    I would suggest taking your children on all the Fantasyland rides (esp Peter Pan!). However, some of the Fantasyland rides may scare them. Mr's Toads Wild Adventures ends with a journey through H-E-double hockey stickers and Snow's Whites Scary Adventures use to absolutely terrify me (heck, it still does! hehe). The park shouldn't be that crowded when you go. However, I suggest getting the big rides down first, such as- Space Mountain and Indiana Jones. However, your children might be too small to go on them and if you would like to go on them then ask the ride attendant at the front of the line for a "child switch pass." This will allow you and one other person to ride the ride while your husband waits with the kids. When you are done with the ride, you may then hand your husband the pass and he can go through the fastpass line to ride, that way both of u can ride. I believe this is how it works, I can't remember too well
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  14. #14

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    Re: First Time Disneyland Visit 1/22 to 1/26

    We always go to Disney to celebrate mine and my son's birthdays. We haven't yet been able to be there on the actual days but we still get buttons because that's the reason we are there. We got our birthday buttons at the guest services window outside the park entrance - to the left of all the turnstiles.

    Have a great trip!

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