We just got back from 7 days at Disneyland. Yes, a full 7. Not 3, not 5... no quick visits to Knotts Berry or Universal... a full 7 days at Disneyland.
I have never written a trip report before so please forgive me if I repeat what others may have said on the past.
What I hope makes this trip report different is that I will write it from the perspective of a 6'5, 375 pound man.... actually... now 369 as all that Disney walking in the 90 degree heat did wonders for my weight.
1. Choice of Hotel.
I am very aware, as many larger people are, that I will tire easily. I did not wish to walk the extra three blocks to save a few dollars on a hotel room. Many hotels say they are right across the street and although that may be true, that can still be blocks from the Disneyland entrance on South Harbour Blvd. So if you are like me and wanted to avoid those extra blocks at the end of the day or waiting around for your bus or tram, look into the Fairfield by Marriot, the Park Place Inn And Mini Suites and the Carosel. These will get you comfortable in your room in very little time.
Many of these hotels are the same distance away as the actual Disneyland Hotel and half the cost.
2. Main Street.
Love the Street, hate the crowds that seem to go in every direction at all times. As a large person, I hate crowds. Its nice to be patient and allow others to cut in front of you as the little path of people you are travelling with just got narrower, but it's a pain when you wish to cross and others think you are bumping into them or being pushy. As many of the stores are connected, you can often get from one end to the other with very little traffic.
Of course there are also many modes of transport on the road, but if you have a large tummy, you may wish to avoid the horse drawn carriage as the entrance ways are narrow.
One of the wierd things about main street, from a large person's perspective, is that it looks like a long walk to the castle. It's not. Disneyland was built with the idea of drawing people into locations with large fantastic displays at the ends of areas to keep people moving. But remember, Main street buildings and only 5/8th the size of a normal building. It can be walked very easily.
Careful of limited shady spots.
What a wonder thing. If you need to rest or just cool down, this is the spot for you. If you are looking to save your feet... then this is for you. If you are looking to save time.... NO! It's usually faster to walk from land to land. You would be surprised how close many of the lands actually are!
MAIN STREET STATION -- -Lots of stairs, no ramps
NEW ORLEANS SQUARE STATION -- Lets out at a great shady spot! Excellent atmostphere!
TOONTOWN STATION -- This station is not as close to toon town as it suggests it is. Much closer to the Princess Festival Area.
TOMORROWLAND STATION --- Has a long ramp entrance.
Each of the trains have a good amount of space and they never seem to cram people in as the next train in only a few minutes away.
BUZZ LIGHTYEAR's ASTROBLASTER.
Great, fun air conditioned ride and wide seats and no intusive safety bar across your midsection other than a small one on the "door" infront of the car you are riding in.
The seats are not narrow but the arm rests really make you feel squished. You need them to hold onto as this ride really moves you around... and of course, you dig into these darned arm rests.
One common aspect of many of the rides is the seat belt. If you sit down first and then put it on, I promise you you will not be able to find the slot it goes into and with the arm rest there as well, it's tough. These seatbelts come out a long way and will fit you so pull it out as you sit down and keep your other hand on the slot in which it goes.
HONEY I SHRUNK THE AUDIENCE
No problems. Very comfortable.
Sorry folks, I chickened out of this one.
A great air conditioned place but a HUGE long ramp to walk up to to get into the place. The first thing you see are health related interactive stations. These are not entertaining at all. For instance, the first lets you 'age' yourself through some computer/ photoshop tricks. UGLY!!! It actually scared my 8 year old skinny daughter who looked like Buddy Hackett after her transformation.
The next thing you see is a large space for people to try those new 'walkers on wheels' or Segways. Again bad choice. First, it is ironic to put this instrument of future couch potatoes beside health related stations, but then after waiting in line for a few minutes, you come up to a sign that reads, maximum 250 pounds.... forget it.
The rest all seem to be variations of video games. If you want to get out of the sun, ok, go here, but you are far better off going to Honey I Shrunk The Kids if all you want is a cool down.
Very cool ride with some very real limitations. The seat is fine, the seatbelt is very large to hold two people... but the tummy room behind the wheel is very limited and as I was the passenger in my five year old's car, I was using the gas pedal... WELL GOOD LUCK pressing that thing for 5 minutes with only your foot as you have no room for your leg to strench and use your leg muscles. Combine that with my five year old hitting every possible corner and your foot dies and your knee just slams into the dashboard.
My girl loved it and it was a great experience for her... keep telling yourself that because of this ride, you may just need to put up with 5 minutes of discomfort for years of great memories... from the child anyways.
This one I was worried about. But ---- THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. The entrance and winding staircase is large and many hand rails. The seats below fold down and are a little narrow so try to seat yourself in between your kids. There are no seatbelts to worry about.
One strange aspect is the location of the windows. They were not created for people 6'5, thats for sure. You need to really crane your back over in a very small space to get your head low enough to really look out the window. So find a comfortable position as you will need it for the entire 5 minute ride.
4. FANTASY LAND
SNOW WHITE, PETER PAN, PINOCHIO, MR TOAD and ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Each of these rides uses a variation of riding car and safety bar. I asked one of the Cast members does it matter if the safety bar does only gets engaged a very small way as I am very big and they said a very funny and profound thing: "The bar is not there to keep to safe but to stop you from standing up." --- with that in mind, I had no issues at all with any of these rides... unless, of course I wanted to stand up! (But I fought off the urge!)
The smallish door was ok but you need to seat yourself a little sideways or else your tummy may rub up against the inner wheel that is used to spin the cup. Of course, if your tummy is rubbing against this spinning wheel, it slows the ride and most likely frustraits anyone else in the cup and could make you feel self-conscious so here are two tips: 1. No more than 2 people in your cup and 2. Get in first and try to sit a little sideways.
Other than the very low bobsled seat, you will have no issues with size. The only thing is they ask for the largest person to sit in the back and have signs stating that as well. That made me a little self conscious.
Anytime there is a small boat and a large person getting on, you can't help but feel a little wobbily. Talk about a self conscious moment! There is nothing to worry about! Have Fun
Although it looks very smallish, it's not. I even sat in one of the cages and was worried I would look foolish going through the cage door. Nothing to worry about and the kids loved going in it with Dad.
No Issues at all. Lots of space and lots of strength on the ride. Enjoy yourself.
Other than finding a low horse to mount, have fun! No issues and Yes, the horse is strong enough to lift you.
Lots of shaded areas, lots of sit down spots, No areas with extended shows that have air conditioning.
5. TOON TOWN
ROGER RABBIT'S CARTOON SPIN
No issues, lots of space, good comfort.
MICKEY AND MINNIE'S HOUSES
A fun walk through, no issues.
CHIP AND DALE'S TREEHOUSE
FORGET IT!! They say that it was made for kids... they should say for KIDS ONLY. Way too small.
Not as bad as Chip and Dales but still cramped with no AC, no place to sit and no real path to follow so kids are goign in every direction.
GOOFY'S GARDEN AND HOUSE
Great on the feet as the graden is all soft walkways. Very Nice. Nothing much there though for adults other than a sit down.
Long on line, short on ride. Smallish cars to boot. I would not avoid it but I would not have high expectations either.
Little shade and no transport other than your own tootsies. The train stops just outside but not as close to the entrance as other train stops.
6. NEW ORLEANS SQUARE
Great land with lots of sit down, shady spots and the land is very close to to Adventureland, Fronteerland and Bear Country
PIRATE OF THE CARRIBEAN
No issues! Great fun ride. The line up outside is pretty shady and offers water fountains. The line moves quickly. The ride is cool.
The doombuggies are wide and comfortable. Air Conditioning is nice. The hallway after the elevators can be very crowded and uncomfortable at times if there are lots of kids at your feet.
MARK TWAIN and COLUMBIA
No issues but not as breezy as you may think. You are stopped quite a while at the dock so find some shade.
7. Bear Country
If you sit in the front --- you will get soaked. YES, oh yes, a larger person in the front will get absolutly soaked. Thats cool if you like it and I sure did, but you should know that the first compartment in the logs in smaller than the rest and has limited leg space.
You had better Fast Pass this ride if it's a hot day. The longest lines we saw were here. Each morning I would hop the Main Street Train to New Orleans Square, hop off to get a fast passes for everyone and meet them back at the castle. Does not save anytime with the train but saves the feet.
WINNIE THE POOH
Smaller ride buggies than those in fantasyland.
Lots of fun. No issues boarding and unboarding and the paddling is not hard. Take it easy and don;t miss this one.
Pretty limited area for the long walk and it's a dead end to boot so plan some rides both in and out of this land to break up the long walk.
THE TEMPLE OF THE FORBIDDEN EYE
You will get tossed around but everyone does. There is enough room and make sure you pull your seat belt out before you sit down so its easier to get it on. The strange thing about this ride is the incredibly long walk in and out of the temple. It's wonderful to see and experience but it is a long long walk so have comfortable shoes. It's funny, I was more uncoftable leaving the ride than I was on the ride!
TARZAN'S TREE HOUSE
Excellent --- I could watch people go up there all day! For me, forget it! Way too many stairs and little kids runninig underfoot.
Great slow ride. No issues getting in and out of the boat. Great time. The line up is mostly under cover and in shade.
This is your best friend at the hottest time of day. A great show in an air conditioned room with large comfortable bench seating.
Sorry, it was closed when I was there.
9. FRONTEIR LAND
BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN
The cars are just big enough but I was scared the seat restaint would not come down enough to be effective. But --- there were no issues. For my money, it's the most underrated ride in the park.
The only issue here is you need a place to sit so get there early --- BUT then if your sitting on the hard ground for any extended length of time, parts of your body will fall aslee--- of lets face it, your bum will go into a coma. Try to sit on your jacket and get up and stretch every ten minutes or so until it starts.
A side note here, watching them from the area around Fantasmic was nice but nothing like standing in front of the castle. So don't try to do both in one night or else you will miss the best viewing for one of the two events.
Just like Fantasmic, get there early and sit down... but unlike fantasmic, you will not stay sitting as everyone stands during the fireworks. Be prepared to move up a little as the crowd swells.
I hope you have enjoyed this review from the perspective of a larger person. I had a wonderful time and there were no issues.
- Bring your own water as the fountains are terrible and the bottles are expensive.
- Plan your walks and don't be a hero and go from one area to another and back again thinking it will not tire you out. If you do it in the midday heat, it could really sour your day.
It may be a small world after all... but it doesn't have to be!