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  1. #1

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    Planning/Cars Land help

    A little background: We are planning our first trip with our almost six year old at the end of the month. I've visited DL probably half a dozen times growing up, though never for more than a day. (We always did the DL-Knotts-Sea World-beach tour when we drove over from Phoenix every few years.) CA was still under construction the last time I visited as a teenager. My husband is an East Coaster; he's been to WDW many, many times, but never DL. Needless to say we are very excited about this trip. I'm a total planner, and MiceChat has been a great resource.

    We are doing three day park hopper Mon-Wed. Here's where I am having trouble. We fully plan on being up and at the gates no later than 7:30 Monday morning. But I also know EMH is Monday morning--will this affect our chances of picking up a RSR FastPass? I know we could put it off until Tuesday, but I would rather spend our Magic Morning in the park riding rides, not lining up for a FastPass. (Side note--how many rides should we expect to get through in this hour? I am not sure if we should start with Nemo or Peter Pan. I can't imagine we can do both Tomorrow and FantasyLand in an hour...)

    The other thing is that, thanks to all the billboards, commercials, etc., Cars Land is the only thing my son has any expectation of. So while he understands he is going to DL, all he really understands is "We are going to Cars Land." So I kind of feel like CL is our number one priority. (Not to mention he is a huge Cars fanatic.) So I guess it would make sense to do this all first thing Monday morning, as long as the EMH doesn't affect things too much.

    But I don't want to do that. I want his first DL experience to actually be Disneyland. I want to walk down Main Street and have him experience the true Disneyland thing. Is this nuts? I am toying with the idea of sending my husband as a runner to pick up the FastPass for RSR (and WOC), then the three of us returning to the main park together and spending our time there until our time for RSR comes up. We would then most likely spend the rest of the day in CA until WOC. I'm just concerned that the lines for the rest of the CL attractions will be way too long at this point. Do we have to do CL first thing in the morning?

    Also, is it possible to do the fireworks at 9:30, then run over for the second showing of Fantasmic? If that's possible, I'd like to fit them both in on Wednesday night.

    TIA, everyone.

  2. #2

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    The MM crowds will most likely affect your chances of getting an RSR Fp, but it won't make it impossible. Just bear in mind that if you get a FP it will probably just be for later in the day or into the evening. Also remember that if you go on a MM day, despite getting there as early as you can, Cars Land will have more people in it just because. There's nothing you can do about that.
    Just don't waste time hopping in line for RSR. I have been on the ride 3 times and two of the three times the posted standby time was longer than the actual wait. If it says 60min the actual wait will probably be anywhere between 25-30min, especially early in the morning because a majority of the FP guests won't be rolling in just yet.

    And it is possible to do Fantasmic and fireworks in the same night. What I always do is catch the first showing of Fantasmic and then watch the fireworks from the spot I was sitting in. You can see them just fine from the Rivers of America area and they play the fireworks audio from there as well. Just a thought.
    Last edited by DrFink; 07-10-2013 at 09:09 PM.
    I am so sick of Frozen I can't even describe the feeling.








  3. #3

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    And it is possible to do Fantasmic and fireworks in the same night. What I always do is catch the first showing of Fantasmic and then watch the fireworks from the spot I was sitting in. You can see them just fine from the Rivers of America area and they play the fireworks audio from there as well. Just a thought.
    This is by far the best way to do this! We always get there a little early with a blanket and use that time to eat dinner and relax after going all day. Watch Fantasmic and then stay in that same place and watch the fireworks. It's tough to watch the fireworks and then run over to ROA and still get a good place for Fantasmic.

    As far as Cars Land, if you could wait until the day that there isn't magic morning hours would be best. You want to use that time to ride rides, not wait for RSR fast passes. However, I know with kids that's not always an option. Just be prepared to maybe wait in longer lines. Remember you can always do single rider for RSR and you often end up in the same car with one other person in your party, but that only works if you are comfortable with your children going on the ride without you. Definitely have the child/children go in between you and your hubby so that theirs an adult at the beginning and waiting for them at the end. 6 seems a little young to do that though.

    You can always do the tires and tractor ride on day one so your little one gets the experience of Cars Land and you can do RSR on day two.

    Good luck and hope you have lots of fun!

  4. #4

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    Also a nice tip to gauging the wait time for RSR is the bridges. If you make it past the second bridge before you stop you're probably only going to wait anywhere from 30-45min. Obviously it depends on a lot of factors like the amount of people in the FP line at the time, how long it takes for the CMs to load guests into the ride, etc.. It is a good way to gauge things, though. If the line is backed up past the bridges the wait will be a while.
    I am so sick of Frozen I can't even describe the feeling.








  5. #5

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    The early morning won't affect RSR FP very much since the machines don't dispense passes until the park opens so the lines really aren't too bad and it's usually only a 25 minute wait. If you wanted to send hubby in to get passes though you will all have to be in the park (either DL or DcA) to activate your tix or they won't work in the FP machine. It might be better to be in that park in case it doesn't accept it and you have to re-scan it in, which happens sometimes.

    For your early morning you wont be able to do all of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, but you should be able to knock out Nemo and Peter Pan both before opening. I'd head to Nemo first.

  6. #6

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    Just a note that has been discussed in another thread lately... even if you felt comfortable doing so, your 6 year old cannot go single rider. A child 7 or under must be accompanied by someone 14 or older in Disneyland.

    I understand your desire for your guy to experience that Disneyland magic first. We always want our kids to experience what we did. My almost-5-year-old is also a Cars fan. If we were planning a trip to DL now I would be prepping him toward Disneyland Park and downplaying DCA by reinforcing the idea that DLP is where Mickey and all his friends live.

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  7. #7

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    If Nemo is one of your priorities, go to Nemo first during your early morning days. Nemo is one of those rides that has a never ending line it seems like. From Nemo, head to Peter Pan if Fantasyland is a priority, if it's not, head to the Matterhorn. We have used the early morning day to knock out the rides in Fantasyland, or to hit Tomorrowland, but you won't have time to all in both lands during early morning, so pick your priorities.

    For Radiator Springs Racers, get in line at the front gate to DCA 15 minutes before they let you in (they let you in a half hour before opening, so you want to be there 45 minutes before the parks opening in other words). Then, head to the Fast Pass line. Even when the line looks long, it doesn't take long to get through it, and you will definitely be glad to have the Fast Passes in hand, especially if the ride breaks down. From there, head to Mater and Luigi's, if these are a priority, before the lines get long. If they are not a priority, head to Toy Story Mania as it's line gets long fast and it's a must ride in my opinion.

    During your early morning hour, how many rides you get through really depends on what you want to do and what your priorities are. It's possible to do most of Fantasyland during that hour, or a good chunk of Tomorrowland, or bits and pieces of both, but definitely not everything in both lands. We don't do much in Tomorrowland on our trips, so we usually try to hit Nemo, Buzz, Peter Pan, and Dumbo at a minimum during early entry (when we have it at our disposal), because those are favorite rides that also get long lines fast when the park opens. Keep in mind not everything in both lands is open for early entry.

    As for Fantasmic, definitely catch the first show of Fantasmic, and then watch the fireworks from there, that's always my preference when we want to do both. If you want to see the fireworks from Main Street, then I recommend doing Fantasmic on a different night. Just my preference anyway.

  8. #8

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlawwhiskey View Post
    For Radiator Springs Racers, get in line at the front gate to DCA 15 minutes before they let you in (they let you in a half hour before opening, so you want to be there 45 minutes before the parks opening in other words). Then, head to the Fast Pass line. Even when the line looks long, it doesn't take long to get through it, and you will definitely be glad to have the Fast Passes in hand, especially if the ride breaks down.
    This is great advice. We went in March and this plan (with a slight variation) worked perfectly.

    One thing we did was one member of our party jumped in the RSR FP line while the others waited with the throng at rope drop. Be aware that the FP line will be to your left and will extend down toward Off the Page. We did not know that the 1st day we went to DCA meaning I had to swim upstream at rope drop to get to the FP line and was in the back of the line, but it still worked out fine.

    At the time of our visit, rope drop meant that the CM's kept the rope up and slowly walked everyone into Carsland, so there was no need to sprint. Those in my party then got into the RSR SB line, while the FP runner, after securing the FP's, went Single Rider. We all rode together later in the day on our FP's. On our 2nd day, RSR was down at rope drop, and stayed down several hours, so we ended up not doing the SB/SR that morning, and just rode with our FP's later that day after the ride re-opened. That gave us a lot of time to explore the nooks and crannies of CL, which was a lot of fun. The walkway from CL to the Pacific Wharf area is breathtaking. I sent some pics of the rock work at RSR to a friend back home, and he wanted to know where in Arizona I was. :-)

    Have fun!

    Brian
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    My Avatar: Duck vs. Monorail, Disneyland 3/18/11

  9. #9

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    I have never had an issue getting an RSR FP on an EMH day. You just need to make sure a FP is attained at least 1 hour after opening. Since you prefer to have one a little later in the day in order to begin your day at DL, I would avoid lining up first thing before the park opens.
    Just a work of advice, if you are there at opening and not planning on taking a break...you may be too tired to see WOC...I know I always am without taking a break.

  10. #10

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    Just my 2 cents. I used ridemax and it totally helped me plan everything , and get on all the rides I wanted. I only planned on using it one day and ended up making a plan with it everyday. It even helped me get on RSR on my first day there. I will use it anytime I go now. I had early morning plans then Went on my own after following the plan. It will tell you pretty much what you need to do in a detailed itinerary. I was really skeptical but once I understood it I loved it. You can even plan breaks and use it on your smartphone so you don't have to print any plans. And oh yeah I don't work for ridemax just a happy customer who thinks it is a great tool to have. LOL. One other thing ridemax did for me was use my time effectively and not wander around aimlessly trying to figure things out on the fly. The experts here don't need it and understand how things work in the parks. I would not go without it again. If you give it a try I would play around with it then Finalize your plan the night before for the most accurate plan. I found myself in the room after we got back planning the next days plan.
    Last edited by Danski; 07-11-2013 at 07:16 AM.

  11. #11

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    Thank you everyone for the help!

    So I think the game plan now is to line up for FP for RSR first thing Monday morning, then head over to DL and start with Fantasyland. Hopefully it will still be early enough so that Peter Pan and everything else won't be too crowded. Grab a FP at DL, head back over to CA, grab another FP, and go from there.

    Tuesday we'll do Tomorrowland, starting with Nemo, in our extra hour. There is enough in both Tomorrow and Fantasy that we want to do where I don't really want to be switching back and forth between the parks. Then once regular hours starts, I'll grab a FP in Disney, then head back over and do Luigi's, Mater, then walk over to Pacific Pier first thing. I think I might move WOC to this day too, and just plan on taking a break in the afternoon since we'll be up so early for our Magic Morning. (I don't want to wait for RSR and WOC FP back to back before heading to DL and getting into our rides on the first day.)

    I'd like to spend the majority of our last day in DL. Ideally I would love to do WOC, Fantasmic, and fireworks on the three different nights, but I honestly don't know if he will make it that late that many days in a row. We'll see. Any specific spot that is good for both Fantasmic and fireworks, and how early should I be there staking out my spot? These shows are kind of important to me--I never saw any of them as a kid because we never stayed that late. But at the same time I don't want to be sitting on the ground for two hours waiting. (What, I can't have it all? )

  12. #12

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    My advice for Fantasmic since you will have a little one is to try and grab a table by the railing at the River Belle Terrace. You will be able to see the entire show from there and will have a very good view. This is easy because you will have a comfy place to sit while you wait and will have a table to set stuff on if need be. I did this last year and we got a good spot about 90min prior to the show. The CMs will not kick you out of the spot seeing that River Belle isn't a sit-down service restaurant so there are no problems there. You also have a good view of the fireworks from the tables, too.

    If you don't want to do that, I would try and get there as soon as the CMs put up the ropes about 2hr prior to showtime and try to get a spot right on the railing to the Rivers of America. You might get misted by the water but it's nothing substantial. If you get a spot farther back in New Orleans Square you might have a visibility problem because people tend to stand up and/or stand on the walls despite not being allowed to. CMs can only do so much when people have their kids stand on the walls so they can see. I had that problem in May while trying to see the show from Cafe Orleans. People were standing on the brick walls and I could barely see anything at times.
    I am so sick of Frozen I can't even describe the feeling.








  13. #13

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    My advice for Fantasmic since you will have a little one is to try and grab a table by the railing at the River Belle Terrace. You will be able to see the entire show from there and will have a very good view. This is easy because you will have a comfy place to sit while you wait and will have a table to set stuff on if need be. I did this last year and we got a good spot about 90min prior to the show. The CMs will not kick you out of the spot seeing that River Belle isn't a sit-down service restaurant so there are no problems there. You also have a good view of the fireworks from the tables, too.
    This sounds like it might work. I am sure my husband will not mind a break if he's at a table, and I can take the kiddo and wander around for a while before coming back for the show.

  14. #14

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    Quote Originally Posted by Attic Haunt View Post
    Just a note that has been discussed in another thread lately... even if you felt comfortable doing so, your 6 year old cannot go single rider. A child 7 or under must be accompanied by someone 14 or older in Disneyland.
    Good to know! I don't think I would feel comfortable putting a 6 year old (if I had one) on single rider even if I had someone at the beginning and ending of a ride, but I know a couple people who would do something like this!

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    Re: Planning/Cars Land help

    So is there consistently a line for the RSR FP, or just at rope drop? If I went at 9 AM with hopes of getting a FP for the evening, will there still be a 30+ min line? I was thinking about trying this on Tuesday so that we can experience the ride both during the day and in the evening.

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