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  1. #1

    • Future Indy Castmember
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    Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Now that they are guides to Fastpass and World of Color up, I figured it be time for a new thread about how to make the most of your day at the Disneyland Resort.

    Measure your kids before heading out:

    I know you parents out there want your kids to have a good time and ride all the rides. But it's important to know that certain rides have a height requirement for saftey reasons. Below is a list of all attractions with height restrictions:

    Attractions with a 40 in requirement:

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    Space Mountain
    Splash Mountain
    Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    Silly Symphony Swings
    Jumpin Jellyfish
    Soarin over California

    Attractions with a 46 in requirement:

    Indiana Jones Adventure

    Attractions with a 35 in requirement:

    Matterhorn Bobsleds
    Gadget's Go Coaster

    Attractions with some restrictions:

    Autopia: 32 in height requirement and 54 in to drive alone

    Attractions with a 42 in requirement:

    Grizzly River Run

    Attractions with a 36 in requirement:

    Tuck and Roll's Drive Em Buggies

    Attractions with a 48 in requirement:

    California Screamin'

    If your child isn't tall enough, they won't be allowed to ride and must stay outside. A child swap option is available at most of these attractions.

    Heres how a Child Swap works:

    1. Inform the CM at the entrance that you need a child switch pass.
    2. Choose the person that will be staying with the child. The rest will go in line and ride. The one staying with the child will have the pass.
    3. Once the group is finished riding, switch off. Now the group will be with the kid while the person will have his turn riding. Note that the pass is good for 2 people so another can ride again.

    Indiana Jones Adventure and California Screamin (as far as I know) have a special Fastpass for the child. This pass will be good once the child is tall enough to ride the attraction and is good for 6 people. If you manage to get one, be sure to keep it with you each time you visit the parks, you'll never know if your child got taller!

    When to ride the popular attractions:

    A lot of people who visit the parks will be trying to ride the popular ones first thing when they get there. The best option is to be there when the park opens. This is when all the attractions will have less wait times. Below are rough estimates of the wait time at Indiana Jones Adventure as an example of a popular attractions wait time throughout a 8-12am day.

    Morning (8am-12pm):

    15 min- 45 minutes

    Afternoon (1pm-6pm):

    45 minutes-60/75 min

    Evening (6pm-12am):

    50 min-20min

    If you notice, you'll see that your best chances to ride Indy with a short wait would be when the park just opened or when it's near closing time.
    Peter Pan's Flight, however has a long line throughout the enitre day, so plan accordingly when trying to ride this attraction.

    Attraction Breakdowns:

    Everyday, an attraction will go down due to technical difficulties. This is common at Disneyland and California Adventure so be aware of this. If you are outside the attraction when its down, you won't be permitted to go in line until the ride is fixed. Cast Members at the entrance do not know when they will be reopen and will ask you to check back later. Heres a tip: If you are at another attraction, you can ask the Cast Members there to call the attraction that is down for an update. That way, you are not going back to that attraction to see that it is still down.

    If you in line when it's down, don't panic. Most attractions will allow you to remain in line until they get the word to evacuate the line. The only exception is Big Thunder which they will evac the line once it breaks down. If you do have to be evacuated in line, you get a nice compensation. This is called an Attractions Re-Admission Pass. The pass is good for up to 6 people to whatever is written on the pass (most will say "choice" meaing that you can use it for the attraction that broke down or you can use it to ride a ride you haven't been on yet) Note that it's not valid on Toy Story Midway Mania!.

    If you are on the ride when it's down, you will remain in your vehicle until they fix the ride or they have to evac the ride itself as well (they evac the line first then the ride). If the ride gets fixed and your still in the ride, you will get a chance to go on again without getting off. If you are evaced, then you will also recieve a re-admission pass when you exit.

    Theater Attractions:

    Some attractions take place in theaters. These attractions typically do not have a queue and the only real waittime is the time until the next showing. Most have shows running every 20 minutes so be sure to ask the CM's at each theater attraction to see how often the shows run. Last shows are typically at closing time.

    Attraction Re-Admission Passes

    Remember I talked about the re-admission passes in the breakdown section? I'll be talking more about it here.

    You can only get these if you have to be evacuated from an attraction when it's down. Each pass is good for up to 6 people and is valid for whatever is written on the pass.

    Choice means that you can use it on the attraction that you were evaced from or at another attraction. It is not valid on Toy Story Midway Mania at DCA. If it has the attractions name on it, that means you can only use it on that attraction. If you decide to use a "Choice" Re-Ad on another attraction, heres what you do:

    If using it with a FP Attraction: Go to the FP line

    If using it with a non-FP attraction: Typically it's the exit or wherever the handicap goes.

    Remember, they are only valid on the date issued.

    When to eat:

    Anyone hungry? Thats a question that pops up a lot during a trip. The best suggestion is to try to not to eat at the prime dining times for Lunch and Dinner as you'll be in line to get food and it can be long. Most food locations open at 11am so be sure to check each location or visit guest realtions as they should have the operating hours for the eateries.

    Attraction Operating Hours:

    Not all attractions open and close with the park. Some have individual closing times for various reasons. Those attractions will have a star next to the name that indicates that they will close early. These close early to get ready for shows that happen in that area. The shows and areas are:

    Land: Frontierland, Adventureland, Critter Country
    Show: Fantasmic!
    Attractions closing: Tarzan's Treehouse, Mark Twain, Columbia, Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyers Island (inlcuding rafts), Davy Crockett Canoes

    Land: Fantasyland, Mickey's ToonTown, Tomorrowland
    Show: Disneyland Fireworks
    Attractions: All of Mickey's Toontown closes for the fireworks, fantasyland attractions near the castle (Snow White, Carousel, Peter Pan, Mr. Toad and Pinochio)and ALice in Wonderland, Disneyland Monorail. All execept for Toontown reopens after the show is over.

    Land: Paradise Pier, Golden State
    Show: Disney's World of Color
    Attractions: California Screamin', Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (used as a holding area for the Red Section guests of the Paradise Park viewing area), Mickey's Fun Wheel (these three close and don't open back up), Silly Symphony Swings, Golden Zeypher, Jumpin Jellyfish (close for the show but reopens in between performances) as Maliboomer will be gone soon, it has been omitted out of this guide.

    Some will have a sign saying when they will close while others do not. For those, ask the Cast Member at those attractions.

    Parking:

    Parking can be a problem on busy days. Disney operates the following lots:

    Mickey and Friends Parking Structure (primary parking area. Trams to the Downtown Disney District and the Esplanade are provided)
    Pumbaa Parking Lot (located right across from Anaheim Gardenwalk on Disney Way)
    Toy Story Parking Lot (located on Harbor Blvd, shuttles provided in this lot)

    Remember that all will take credit cards if you don't have cash on you by the time you get to one of these parking locations.

    Hotels:

    Staying at a hotel is a great way to be close to the parks. Disneyland has three hotels on property:

    Disneyland Hotel (moderately priced)
    Paradise Pier Hotel (lowly priced)
    Grand Californian Hotel (most expensive)

    Remember that it's important to make a hotel reservation at least a month in advance. If you cannot book one of these three hotels, then I suggest the hotels right across the street. These are called Good Neighbor hotels by Disney. Most provide shuttles to the transportation plaza on Harbor blvd and even sell Park tickets at their locations!

    Nearby Southern California Attractions:

    Don't just spend your vacation in SoCal with Disney, also plan to visit the other theme parks in Southern California!

    Knotts Berry Farm: Located 10 minutes away from Disneyland in Buena Park, this is a Local favorite! Once an actual berry farm, it is now a thrilling theme park with some of the best rides in the state! Also home to Knott's Berry Farm's Famous Chicken Dinners!Also home to Knotts Soak City Water Park! To reach Knotts Berry Farm from Disneyland, there are two ways:

    Freeway: 5 north then 91 west. Take the Beach Blvd exit then follow the signs to Knotts

    Regular Street: From Harbor, make a left on Katella then make a right on Beach Blvd.

    The Knotts Berry Farm Resort Hotel also has a shuttle going to Disneyland!

    Universal Studios: The Entertainment Capital of L.A., this is an actual working movie studio. Be sure to embark on the Studio Tour where you will be taken into an actual Studio Backlot! Located in Universal City near Hollywood.


    I will be updating this as more info is recieved.
    Last edited by The Forbidden Eye; 08-27-2010 at 07:38 PM. Reason: More info



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  2. #2

    • Minion
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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Thankyou for posting this thread
    Will this be one of those threads where it gets it constantly keeps gaining posts similar to the project trackers, "when will it be busy at DL," and "braving the crowds of WOC"




  3. #3

    • Future Indy Castmember
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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Quote Originally Posted by frollofan View Post
    Thankyou for posting this thread
    Will this be one of those threads where it gets it constantly keeps gaining posts similar to the project trackers, "when will it be busy at DL," and "braving the crowds of WOC"
    No problem!

    Most likley yes. If you notice, I'm not entirely done yet! I still have a lot to cover but taking a break for now.

    There could be more versions in the future.



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    The world is a treasure trove of places.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Thanks for the good info!!!
    "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney



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  5. #5

    • Nutty guy from Canada
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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Thanks for posting this. You have an easy to read writing style.

    Question regarding the child pass? Do you go to the CM and ask for the pass before you get in line so you can give it to those staying with the children while you get into the end of the line?

    I ask cause when we go again next May we'll have a double stroller as our kids will 21 months and 7 months respectively so we'd want to keep them in the stroller if possible but can't bring the stroller into the queue with us so I'm curious how that works.

    Thanks.
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  6. #6

    • Future Indy Castmember
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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylim View Post
    Thanks for posting this. You have an easy to read writing style.

    Question regarding the child pass? Do you go to the CM and ask for the pass before you get in line so you can give it to those staying with the children while you get into the end of the line?

    I ask cause when we go again next May we'll have a double stroller as our kids will 21 months and 7 months respectively so we'd want to keep them in the stroller if possible but can't bring the stroller into the queue with us so I'm curious how that works.

    Thanks.
    Yes. You should ask the CM for the pass before the group goes in line. That way, you can choose the person that is staying with the child to give the pass to before the group goes in line.



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    The world is a treasure trove of places.
    The colors of Earth, Sea and Sky. Beauty i'm told, is ours to behold. In the wonderful world of color.
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  7. #7

    • Nutty guy from Canada
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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Thought so.

    Thank you for confirming.

    BTW, you're overdue for a trip report. I enjoy reading yours and it's been awhile.
    The Chadwick's Online Photo & Video Galleries
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  8. #8

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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylim View Post
    Thanks for posting this. You have an easy to read writing style.

    Question regarding the child pass? Do you go to the CM and ask for the pass before you get in line so you can give it to those staying with the children while you get into the end of the line?

    I ask cause when we go again next May we'll have a double stroller as our kids will 21 months and 7 months respectively so we'd want to keep them in the stroller if possible but can't bring the stroller into the queue with us so I'm curious how that works.

    Thanks.
    I know when I rode the Matterhorn, I went to the first CM I saw and said we were doing a rider swap. While I waited in line, DH took our little one to Dumbo and the Carousel until I was done. Then, I gave him the ticket and he went to ride while I stayed in Fantasyland with DD.

    Sometimes, it's actually easier just to do the single rider line instead of messing with Child Swap if it is just the two of you -- We did that for California Screamin' and it took 10 minutes for both of us to ride... again, while the non-rider had DD at the Carousel. (I really like the fact that there seems to be a carousel near the non-child friendly rides )
    "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney



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  9. #9

    • Future Indy Castmember
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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylim View Post
    BTW, you're overdue for a trip report. I enjoy reading yours and it's been awhile.
    Thanks for reminding me! I'll make one after my next trip. I promise!



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    The world is a treasure trove of places.
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  10. #10

    • Nutty guy from Canada
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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Quote Originally Posted by dimndgal1 View Post
    I know when I rode the Matterhorn, I went to the first CM I saw and said we were doing a rider swap. While I waited in line, DH took our little one to Dumbo and the Carousel until I was done. Then, I gave him the ticket and he went to ride while I stayed in Fantasyland with DD.

    Sometimes, it's actually easier just to do the single rider line instead of messing with Child Swap if it is just the two of you -- We did that for California Screamin' and it took 10 minutes for both of us to ride... again, while the non-rider had DD at the Carousel. (I really like the fact that there seems to be a carousel near the non-child friendly rides )
    This is also great information thanks.

    We're luck in that my mother-in-law and brother-in-law will be coming with us so it won't be to bad but for the times in the future where it may just be the two of us this is good information.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Forbidden Eye View Post
    Thanks for reminding me! I'll make one after my next trip. I promise!
    That's what I'm here for. I look forward to reading it.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Cool thread. And I hope more people will check the hight requirement before riding an attraction. Last time I went there was this 11 yr. old kid on the bus with probably 4 yr. old kids, his grandma, and parents was saying there was no hieght requirement for ToT and said the little kids could go on it. The Grandma said she couldn't wait to ride it. I'm surprised I didn't see this in the news: 2 children slip out of seats and grandma has heart attack on Disney attraction! To top it off a man falls while waiting in line for the same ride. (The man did fall on the same day)



    Quote Originally Posted by williamtheking View Post
    CaptainEO,ATIS: Have you ever heard that rumor that Elvis is alive, and well, and owns a bakery in Seattle? Yeah, that's total crap. Now if you where to tell me Michael Jackson was alive, and well, and owns a MiceChat account in Las Vegas, that I would believe!

  12. #12

    • The 'Big Dreams' Kid
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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Solid thread!


  13. #13

    • Future Indy Castmember
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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    In an effort to not make the first post too long, I'm going to be posting more info in this post as well.

    Park Hours:

    Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure have different operating hours. There are two buisness seasons: Off-Season and Peak Season.

    Off-Season is during times schools are in session. The majority of the guests are locals and SoCal residents so typically visiting the parks during the off-season weekdays (namely Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) will mean more rides with short lines.

    This coming off-season, the park hours on weekdays will be like this:

    DL: 10am-10pm
    DCA: 10am-8pm

    On weekends:

    DL: 8am-11pm or 12am
    DCA: 10am- 10pm

    Peak-Season is when the park is filled with tourists from other states or countries. Mix them with the locals and you have a busy resort!

    Typical Peak-Season park hours are:

    DL: 8am-12am
    DCA: 10am-11pm

    3-day holidays usually fall under this category as they can also be busy.

    Stroller and Wheelchair Rental

    If you are in need of a stroller or wheelchair, the Resort has plenty available for rent! This year, the Resort has built one central rental area next to the Kennel. It's located to the right of Disneyland. Remember that DLR strollers and wheelchairs must be returned when Disneyland closes for the night. I've seen DLR strollers being rounded up near the bag checkpoints at DTD because people tried to take them with them.

    Bag Checkpoints:

    Over the years, Disney has experimented with Bag Checks, which became mandatory for every theme park ( I believe this was after 9/11). Bag checkpoints are located at the entrances to the Main Entrance Esplanade for the theme parks at both sides. Bag checks are also done at the DTD Monorail Entrance as this is a park entrance as well. Be sure to visit Disneyland's Website to see all of the items prohibited inside the parks. The lines can be very long so try to get the shortest line if possible. As you get closer, be sure to have the bag off your shoulder and opened. Remember, if you are carrying an item thats not allowed, you won't be permitted to pass. If you have outside food, theres a picnic area to the left of the security bag checkpoint on the DTD side to store the food.

    Cast Member Compliments/Complaints

    During your visit, you are sure to run into Cast Members that stand out. Both good and bad.

    The way you can submit a compliment or a complaint about a CM has changed recently so I recommend going to guest relations at DL or DCA to see how to submit one.

    A compliment is when you let them know how a Cast Member made your day better! It can be any CM that went above and beyond to make sure your day was perfect (i.e. A CM gives you a Hononary Citizen Button to make you happy).

    A complaint should only be filed if a CM was mean to you in any way. Going to complain because a CM told you to come back to the ride in hour and it turns out it's still down is a waste of time. The CM did not lie and thus can't be blamed. Do not file a complaint unless you have to for CM rudeness.

    You can also submit Compliments and Complaints for anything in the park you notice (i.e. show reviews, food review etc)

    Lost and Found

    It's bound to happen. You get off the ride and you find that you lost something. It's important that you return to the attraction you lost the item on first. Most attractions have a Lost and Found bin to store lost items in until park closing. Inform the Cast Member Lead (Disney's equivilent to a supervisor) of the item so that they can look for it.

    If it's something important (bag with important things like medications for example) and it's on the ride track, they will stop the ride and retrieve it.

    If it's a hat, they will do what they can and you can come back later. Remember that if it's close to park closing, be sure to go back to the attraction before the park closes. Once the park closes, all lost and found items in an attraction will be sent to City Hall at Disneyland. If they aren't able to find the item before you leave, be sure to stop by Lost and Found Central and fill out a Lost and Found form. They will mail the lost item to you once they find it.

    Entertainment

    Everyone loves a good show right? Disney has a handful!

    Disneyland

    Celebrate! A Street Party
    Fantasmic!
    Disneyland Fireworks
    Billy Hill and the Hillbillies
    Royal Coranation Ceremony
    Jedi Training Academy

    Disney California Adventure

    World of Color
    High School Musical 3: Right Here! Right Now! (Soon to be replaced with Disney Channel Rocks)
    Aladdin A Musical Spectacular
    Pixar Play Parade

    Be sure to pick up a Entertainment Guide along with a map at the gates of both parks. If you aren't able to get them or you forgot. Custodial Cast Members have them or you can pick them up at any Guest Relations location. Foreign Maps are available at Guest Relations at DCA and City Hall at DL.

    For Fantasmic! and Fireworks, it's important to be at the viewing area at least 3 hours prior.

    Fantasmic! is at the Rivers of America in Frontierland and any spot along the rivers edge is a good spot. Fireworks can be viewed from anywhere but the 3 prime locations are at Main Street, Rivers of America and Small World.

    I recommend watching the first Fantasmic! then remaining there to watch the fireworks. Fireworks begin as soon as Fantasmic! is over. 2 for one package!

    For World of Color, please refer to the World of Color Guide.

    Disney Characters

    Everyone loves Disney Charcters! Both parks have characters going around for picture taking and autograph signing.

    For Disneyland, there are two meet-and-greet locations:

    Pixie Hollow: For Tinker Bell and her friends

    Princess Fantasy Faire: For various Disney Princesses

    Once in a while, a temporary location will open up to promote a Disney Film. Coming soon will be a Tangled Meet and Greet location.

    For the most part, Disney Characters will be walking around. Be sure to look at the times guide as they have a schedule for certain characters. In the morning at Disneyland, Town Square is filled with Characters.

    Don't have an autograph book? Thats okay! Characters will sign anything as long as you have a pen or marker.

    When you take a picture with a character, there is a photographer on hand to take your camera. They will also take pics with their own. They will then issue a Photopass Card.

    Disney Photpass

    Disney Photography Cast Members have cards called Photopass. These are cards with all you pictures from you trip (not from your camera). The best thing is that you only need one. No need for multiple cards. You can view your photos at the photo shop on Main Street in Disneyland or at the Greetings Store in DCA. I you don't have time or the money to buy the photos, you can see them online. If you do find yourself with multiple photopass cards. The CM's at the photo shops can transfer them all into one card.

    More info soon!
    Last edited by The Forbidden Eye; 08-28-2010 at 06:19 AM.



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    The world is a treasure trove of places.
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  14. #14

    • will-o-the-whip
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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Actually you fill out a Lost & Found form at the L&A booth by DCA to the left of the entrance, in front of the bathrooms. At City Hall you can check if anything has come their way from the rides in DL but the central office for forms is the one by DCA across the Esplanade.

    As for child swap, I was told by a CM at Indy that it cannot be done if the child is not tall enough to ride Indy, which kind of defeats the purpose of child swap in the first place, allowing the parents to ride one-by-one when their child cannot.

  15. #15

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    Re: Making the most of your Disneyland Resort Visit

    Quote Originally Posted by indianajack View Post
    Actually you fill out a Lost & Found form at the L&A booth by DCA to the left of the entrance, in front of the bathrooms. At City Hall you can check if anything has come their way from the rides in DL but the central office for forms is the one by DCA across the Esplanade.

    As for child swap, I was told by a CM at Indy that it cannot be done if the child is not tall enough to ride Indy, which kind of defeats the purpose of child swap in the first place, allowing the parents to ride one-by-one when their child cannot.
    Corrected the Lost and Found section but I don't get what your saying about the child swap. I won't correct it until you make it clear.



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