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  1. #1

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    First trip and looking for tips

    Hi to all,

    I am new here, my name is Erica from Brazil. I've never been to any Disney Park - except for a dinner in Downtown Disney in Orlando, couldn't make it to the parks due to a way too busy schedule.

    In March I am going to So. Cal. and I don't want to tell the same old story - so close and didn't make to the parks. So I am going to Disneyland no matter what. It'll be a solo trip, though I am going to stay in a friend's place. My first solo trip ever. What worries me is that I don't have much time for planning. I am using my holiday break to plan everything, or most of it. That is why I need help, because time is against me.

    Since Tuesday I am reading all I can about DLR and DCA. I'd like to do both, but my budget is really tight. So I am doing Disneyland only or both in one day. Is the latter doable? A friend and her parents are going with me to Disney, they live here and we'll be in California in the same days. My plan is getting there early in the morning and being the last to leave the park, splitting up and go to single riders lines and use Fast Pass as much as I can.

    These are the attractions I liked the most, my priority list:
    DLR - Autpoia (maybe), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Disneyland Railroad, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (maybe), Finding Nemo (maybe, only if a miracle happens with the lines), Haunted Mansion (maybe), Indiana Jones, It's a small world, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Pirates of Caribbean, Sailing Ship Columbia (maybe), Space Moutain.
    DCA - California Screamin', Goofy's Sky School, Luigi's Flying Tires, Mickey's Fun Wheel, Radiator Spings Racers, Soarin' Over California, Tower of Terror.

    Of course, if we have time, I want to meet characthers, enjoy other attractions and such stuff. But if we don't have time, I'd be happy to do these attractions.

    The day we are planning to go is on March 14th, a Thursday. It is the first whole day I'll have in California. Should I be worried about spring break? We don't have it here, so I am not sure about dates. Again, is it possible to do two parks, attractions mentioned above, in one day? If it is, what park to go first? I am guessing DCA, because I heard Cars Land lines are huge. What app should I stick to: Lines - I am not a subscriber - or MouseWait?

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    Touring plans has that day as an 8/10. Spring break will increase crowds. The one must thing I would do is be at the gates to CA at opening and get in line for RSR fast passes. The line will look long but it moves really fast once opened.
    Once you get your pass go right to Luigi's around the corner. (not sure why you want to ride this instead of Mater's. We rode it once and that's one too many.) The line will be short. Head over to ToT and it should be a walk on. Head over to Soaring. If there is a line grab a FP (if not ride it) and head to the pier. Everything here will be pretty much a walk on. We consider TSM a must here but it's not on your list. Just loop around the water and finish with Sky School. You should be able to accomplish all this in less than 2 hours. We have done it several times including riding TSM more than once. At rope drop everyone will run to Carsland. If your RSR FP isn't ready, head over to DL and plan to come back later.
    There are too many ways to do DL but I would suggest a FP at Space or Indy right off the bat. Just make sure that you grab more passes as soon as you can.

  3. #3

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    Going during Spring Break will have a huge effect on the crowds so prepare for lines and a little less elbow room. Just fyi.

    Aside from that it is fully possible to do both parks in one day. You just have to take the time to put some strategy and planning into your day. Utilize the FP system whenever possible for the major rides (Splash Mountain, Radiator Springs Racers, Tower of Terror, Space Mountain). Some rides have long lines regardless and have no FP, like Toy Story Mania, so those you just have to try and get in line as early as you can. I wouldn't suggest a FP for Thunder Mountain simply because the line moves fairly quick even if it is somewhat long. I think the longest wait I had in both trips, including my trip in March, was 20-25min.

    And also important... if you are planning on eating at a sit down restaurant instead of grabbing quick food I would strongly suggest making a reservation. It gives you security and also helps you plan the whole day.
    I am so sick of Frozen I can't even describe the feeling.








  4. #4

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    Get the Lines app from TouringPlans and purchase a subscription (it's $0.99 for a week of access). Then you can go on the TouringPlans.com web site and try out their various planning tools. I don't think you'll want to try to follow one of their actual schedules, but they will give you a good idea of how you can cover a lot of ground in one day.

    You can get great advice from Micechatters, but I recommend going through TouringPlans.com first to get a general idea and then get answers here to specific questions.

    Oh, and I'd move Haunted Mansion to a definite instead of a maybe!

  5. #5

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    You've already gotten some great advice here.

    However Big Thunder Mountain will be undergoing it's major refurbishment when you visit, so the comments on that attraction will not be necessary.
    On the upside, the elimination of that attraction gives you 20-30 minutes of free time in your limited day to get to another one you want to do.

    Happy planning and have a wonderful trip!

  6. #6

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    Quote Originally Posted by LacyBelle View Post
    However Big Thunder Mountain will be undergoing it's major refurbishment when you visit, so the comments on that attraction will not be necessary.

    Happy planning and have a wonderful trip!
    Oh LacyBelle, you are so right! I saw the calendar and only paid attention to Mark Twain Riverboat. Thank you for talking about it, now I'll have a few more minutes.

    I didn't figure yet how to use multi quote replies here, this forum is a little bit different of the ones I am used to. Let me try something here.

    bee1000 I already got the app, but not the subscription. You reminded me of this susbcription of one week, that is cheaper. I am going to get this one a few days before leaving. This app is really good. About Haunted Mansion, I am not a fan of this kind of rides, maybe I'll give a try.

    DrFink so March 14th is already spring break season? Ok, I will survive. I've been to other parks in the US during summer and I survived. Except for Cedar Point that we would go for five hours or we wouldn't go. We did most of the minor rides, but the ones I really wanted, maybe next time.
    About food, I prefer quick food, we have no time to waste. lol Not sure about my friends though, going to talk to them about reservations.

    ssmatik Thank you very much for all your tips. I am not conviced yet about Mater's. Maybe watching some other YouTube videos will help. TSM wasn't on my list I don't know why. Silly me! Now it is on my trip notebook. So, sum up, your idea is getting at DCA and go directly to Cars Land? Just follow the crowd, or better, run ahead of them, otherwise...

  7. #7

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    Allow extra $ in the budget for those "must have" impulse buys!

    food, big thunder BBQ is quite a deal as well as the chicken at Plaza Inn... Eat up!
    snacks a plenty all around, churros and cookies and dole whip!
    Starbucks at DCA for that "fix" and even the food down on the pier is tasty (+beer & wine if you indulge). Fancify it up at the Carthay Circle Bar & Restaurant. Flo's in CarsLand... T winery... Blue bayou, etc etc etc etc.

    as far as apps, I use Walkee Wait Times and its pretty spot on.

    absorb all of Carsland.

    Waiting in line. It's part of the experience. How lame would it be if there were no waits? How biased we would all become. (Have)

    plan to wait.
    Waits seem to make the reward much sweeter.

    Above all, leave a short fuse, tempers, prejudices, vices, etc ... At the door and "go with the flow". Don't be in a hurry to get from one ride to another.

  8. #8

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    Quote Originally Posted by EricaLA View Post
    DrFink so March 14th is already spring break season? Ok, I will survive. I've been to other parks in the US during summer and I survived. Except for Cedar Point that we would go for five hours or we wouldn't go. We did most of the minor rides, but the ones I really wanted, maybe next time.
    About food, I prefer quick food, we have no time to waste. lol Not sure about my friends though, going to talk to them about reservations.
    Spring Break is tricky, but that is about that time of year. I was at Disneyland this year from March 12th to the 16th and we had a great week. We managed to get there the first week of the extended hours and nightly shows and it also was the week right before a majority of Spring Breaks throughout the US. The crowds for us were very low and manageable.
    However, the DCA expansion wasn't completed yet and also bear in mind that Spring Break fluctuates from year to year. Just because a school took break the third week of March this year doesn't guarantee it will be the same week in 2013. You'll be fine, though.

    And I forgot about the Thunder Mountain refurb.
    I am so sick of Frozen I can't even describe the feeling.








  9. #9

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    This will be spring break season but both my elementary school aged children who are local will be in school at that time. The parks are popular with Arizona students and their spring break begins 3/11/13...

  10. #10

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    Just because a school took break the third week of March this year doesn't guarantee it will be the same week in 2013. You'll be fine, though.
    Spring Breaks do shift around and usually the core of breaks include Easter, which causes most of the shifting.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbean View Post
    The parks are popular with Arizona students and their spring break begins 3/11/13...
    While some AZ school may be out, it only matters a little. Same goes with Anahiem, LA and other schools. They can be big, nearby schools districts, but don't make the parks busy on thier own. Spring Break gets spread over about 6 weeks. Roughly the last 3 weeks of March and first 3 weeks of April.

    Unlike Christmas Break which falls over 3 weeks, Spring Break is much less busy because of the bigger distribution of breaks. Likewise when Summer is busy, it doesn't start or end on specific days but ramps up and down as more schools begin or end thier vacation.

    Avoid the last week of March and first week of April when you can.

  11. #11

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    Most of the school related attire I noticed on my trip this past March was Arizona and Utah. I saw a lot of Arizona State and BYU shirts.
    I am so sick of Frozen I can't even describe the feeling.








  12. #12

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    Two tips

    1 - before you go on any rides, take the train ride all around the entire park, round trip. This will give you a sneak preview of all of Disneyland.

    2 - Don't trust the opinions of others as to what rides are the best or the worst. This is a very objective thing, and what may be on someone's avoid list, may end up being your favorite attraction. My advise is to sample everything, and make your own judgements.
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  13. #13

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    The only thing I can think of that I don't remember if its been mentioned is get therer EARLY. Before opening, and head for one of the biggest expected lines of the day. Keep going for the expected long lines before they get too long.

    Also, if you plan on eating that day, eat at off hours, when most people won't be also trying to eat. You'll avoid some food lines and save some time that way.

    Take lots of pictures, and try to relax. You won't see everything, so don't worry about it. Just hit your "must sees" and relax about everything else.

  14. #14

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    I also would suggest, if you are planning on doing them, to save the more show attractions for later when you are looking for a break. Stuff like It's a Small World, Mr. Lincoln, Captain EO, Muppets 3D, etc.. You can catch those anytime. I usually save the Tomorrowland theater and stuff like that for when I am tired or hot and don't feel like standing in a line or walking around.
    I am so sick of Frozen I can't even describe the feeling.








  15. #15

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    Re: First trip and looking for tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Emelius View Post
    Two tips

    1 - before you go on any rides, take the train ride all around the entire park, round trip. This will give you a sneak preview of all of Disneyland.

    2 - Don't trust the opinions of others as to what rides are the best or the worst. This is a very objective thing, and what may be on someone's avoid list, may end up being your favorite attraction. My advise is to sample everything, and make your own judgments.
    I enjoy the railroad but it is definitely never my first ride. Do whichever looks the most fun to you first!!!

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