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  • [Question] new to disney, please help plan our schedule

    We've read the unofficial guide, wondered about ridemax, would like a plan so time is not wasted. (wish the unofficial guide offered more than a 2 day plan)

    We are going next week for 4 1/2 days. We figured the first day on our arrival, will be taking it all in that afternoon. But for the next four days, we want to see and do it all! Any advice on the schedule? We will be doing both parks, and have young children.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

    Don't rush yourselves, or really follow a fixed schedule. If one attraction is busy, get a fast pass for it and hit something that isn't busy. You'll have plenty of time to get everything in, probably more than once.

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    • #3
      Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

      Hey there,

      First of all, you must watch Aladdin over in Disney's California Adventure. The show is 45 min. long. This is a must watch show because it's like a broadway show.

      Second, watch the new Halloween fireworks show that will premiere this friday the 25th.

      Third, you guys must watch Fantasmic over in Disneyland. It's the best show ever! First timer usually gets goosebump same goes for the fireworks and Aladdin.

      As for the ride, go onto Space Mountain - Space mountain will reopen this friday. This time space mountain will be transferred into GHOST GALAXY for Halloween.

      Next, go onto Haunted Mansion. This will be transferred into "the nightmare before Christmas" theme.

      Anyway, I hope you have a great time. BTW, California Adventure will not be as nice because of all the constructions going on over there.

      For me, the show is must see for first timer.
      My Brand New Youtube channel -"SoCal ATTRACTIONS 360"
      http://www.youtube.com/SoCalAttractions360

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

        Originally posted by asianbma View Post
        Hey there,

        First of all, you must watch Aladdin over in Disney's California Adventure. The show is 45 min. long. This is a must watch show because it's like a broadway show.

        Second, watch the new Halloween fireworks show that will premiere this friday the 25th.

        Third, you guys must watch Fantasmic over in Disneyland. It's the best show ever! First timer usually gets goosebump same goes for the fireworks and Aladdin.
        I don't ever want to get in the way of another fan having a good time, but I do have have to argue here. The "rides" are the show.

        RIDES are awesome. They are what makes the experience. Yes, shows might be nice; But, rides were designed to give you a different experience other than everyday life. Something NEW. I will give my testimony now:


        I HAVE NEVER SEEN FANTASMIC AND I STILL LOOOOOOVE DISNEYLAND!!!!
        Last edited by leopardchucks; 09-21-2009, 10:14 PM. Reason: oops!
        For those of you that are curious about my wedding:
        http://www.rocknrollbride.com/2011/0...heather-tyler/




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        • #5
          Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

          4 and a half days is plenty of time. dont rush yourself at all and dont try to go by a fixed schedule. it takes the fun out of it. and with that many days you can see all the shows and attractions. it wont be too busy in october so enjoy yourself.

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          • #6
            Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

            4.5 days is plenty of time, but Ive been 3-4 times a year the past 5 years and we have a 3 and 6 year old so let me offer some observations, my wife and I were actually having some strategy discussions tonight on our flight home.

            How old are your kids, 40" is the magic number at Disney, gets you on pretty much every ride but Indiana Jones: Big Thunder Mtn RR, Star Tours, Space Mtn, Splash Mtn are all 40 inch height and Matterhorn is 36 inches. I believe Indy is 42 or 44.

            1. Fantasyland- pick a morning and hit it early, the lines get long and stay long and it closes down later in the evening, sometimes with parades and such its hard to get to and its a place that gets very crowded at times just to move through. Coming through the castle the rides on your right are the most popular and get the most crowded, so we usually head right up the right side.... Peter Pan, Mr. Toads, around the corner to Alice then Tea Cups, then Dumbo, Storybook cruise and the train. Then finally back to the two rides that seem to get far less crowds, Pinochio and Snow White.

            2. Evenings can be tough with kids, the park gets very congested around 8:30 as prep for Fantasmic occurs. People start parking themselves down around the Rivers of America, so its tough to get back down near Splash Mtn, Mansion, pooh, Pirates, etc. As that is congested, so will main street as people start to park there for the fireworks and at this time Fantasyland is closed off and they are hearding the crowd that is not in this area down into Tommorowland...sometimes this is the part of the night that is just too insane to move. If you are not watching either of these shows, this is a good time to be over at DCA if its still open.

            3. Use Fastpass as a strategy. Go get some fastpasses for big rides and then plan to hit stuff around that attraction. So if you are fastpassing Splash Mountain, good time to hit up Winnie the pooh and maybe take some pictures with Pooh and his friends down in that corner of the park. If you are going to hit Big Thunder, maybe a good time to coordinate and have a meal or snack and watch the show at the Golden Horseshoe, my kids have always been entertained by the shows. Or over to the island.

            4. Nemo - this is one you have to plan to hit early in the day one day. Otherwise the rest of the day its a 30+ minute wait and no fast pass available. If you are taking the monorail in one morning, the monorail station drop is right there.

            5. Other rides that always have a long line of 20+ pretty much all day so use the fastpass to strategize are Big Thunder Mtn Railroad, Indiana Jones and Space Mountain. Matterhorn doesnt have fastpass, and sometimes the line looks long, all the way to the backside of the mountain down by Nemo, but it usually moves pretty good.

            6. Popular Rides that can be hit and miss, one day/time you walk right on, the other times its 20+ minutes can by Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Buzz Lightyear, Star Tours, Small World.

            7. Dining and Viewing Experiences - Weve done most at the park if you have daughters into the princesses like mine are, I would do Ariels Grotto, you get to meet and have a photo with Ariel on your way into lunch then during lunch 4 princesses, usually always the same 4, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beuty and Belle will come and greet your kids at the table, sign autograph books and take pictures. But call Disney Dining for reservations, walk ups are tough to get.

            Fantasmic Viewing - Pricey, but at Disneyland what isnt? Its premiere seating, which guarantees you a chair and they bring you a desert box deal plus all the soft drinks, juice, water or coffee you can drink for the show. Also you sit there during the fireworks. As I said, its kind of pricy but it provides great peace of mind in a very crazy time of the evening.

            We stumbled upon Woody's BBQ last time around and the kids loved it, so this trip we booked a reservation and found out the characters are no longer there, they do a little western show, etc pretty fun but the kids really liked the characters before.

            8. Rider Switch - If you have a child who meets the requirement and one who doesnt, you can do a parent switch, just ask for a pass at the front and then the child who meets height and parent will wait in line and ride and the other parent/child goes to the exit or special entry place, they will tell you where to go and then you can switch up. So the heighted child will get to go twice on a ride and both parents get to ride as well without waiting twice in line.

            9. Bippity Boppity Boutique, again another money grab, but if you have a daughter and she loves the princesses, they have a boutique right on the back side of the castle where they buy an outfit, get all gussied up like a princess, etc...

            Hope this all helps, been doing it with kids now for a few years and so we try different things, different times and some good, some bad, some ok...but thought I would share with you. 4.5 days is a great time to spread out and really plan what you are going to do and not feel pressured to stay stuck in a situation when the kids are tired or whatever. Good luck and have fun.

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            • #7
              Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

              Just go with the flow and enjoy yourselves, if you try to schedule everything you will just get burned out.
              The fountain of youth really is in Florida... thats why they built Walt Disney World where they did.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                Originally posted by remington View Post
                We've read the unofficial guide, wondered about ridemax, would like a plan so time is not wasted. (wish the unofficial guide offered more than a 2 day plan)

                We are going next week for 4 1/2 days. We figured the first day on our arrival, will be taking it all in that afternoon. But for the next four days, we want to see and do it all! Any advice on the schedule? We will be doing both parks, and have young children.

                Thanks!
                You'll have plenty of time to do everything. After two days, you'll be wondering what to do over again.

                I'm guessing you are more a regular at WDW, where strategy is paramount.
                Next week won't be very busy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                  Enjoy your trip is really the number one. Regardless of how many rides you rode or shows you seen if you are stressing out about getting it all done and what to do you wont have fun.

                  So just go with the flow take your time and dont rush yourself. As for most does.

                  Indy
                  Ghost Galaxy (space mtn.)
                  Haunted Mansions Holiday
                  Halloween Screams (fireworks show)

                  Just four things i definately would not miss out on.
                  "I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known."-Walt Disney

                  Hope I was helpful!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                    With 4 1/2 days you will get on everything more than once.

                    Rule #1 - Be flexible. If you want to ride Haunted Mansion but the line is 45 minutes, go check out Splash Mountain, or Pooh. Grab a FP for HM and see if another ride has a shorter line. If you are walking from New Orleans Square to Tomorrowland to ride Space Mountain, but you notice that Star Tours is a walk on, take the opportunity. Don't pass up really short lines and don't waste time in really long ones. Being able to walk from one end of the resort to the other in 20 minutes means that you are never very far from any ride. With 4.5 days you will have plenty of time to come back and do it later. Especially with FP.

                    Rule #2 - Go with the flow. Don't follow a set plan. You may feel differently about what to do next when you're there and in the moment. Go with what you guys want to do right then.

                    Rule #3 - Off times. Don't do things at the regularly scheduled times. Most families will have their meals at the normal times. This makes getting food at that time difficult because everyone else it. It also means that ride lines tend to get shorter as well. Do rides during normal meal times and eat a little before or after. Going on rides during parade or fireworks is another good tip here. See them once or twice, but ride things during after that.

                    Rule #4 - Early entry. Use your early entry time for rides that would normally have really long lines. Peter Pan, Mr. Toad, Space Mountain, etc. Don't waste it riding Snow White. Towards the end of early entry, make your way over towards Frontierland and you can walk on HM 2 or 3 times in a row easily before crowds pick up. (Or Indy or Big Thunder, etc).

                    Rule #5 - Explore. Poke around the corners and shops. You never know what you might find hidden down a path you've never noticed before. There are some very beautiful, semi-secluded spots around the parks. They are a great place to take a break for a few minutes and just enjoy the place.

                    Rule #6 - Don't worry... BE HAPPY! You are at Disneyland after all. Don't stress, don't panic, don't worry. Just enjoy it. Soak it up and live the experience.

                    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                      The advice above is great - but the OP said young children. The question is how young? And...how do they react to intense new experiences. Indy is my favorite ride...but could be massive sensory overload for a skittish 6 year old, even if they are tall enough to ride.

                      The unofficial guide has a lot of great advice on how to gauge your kids fear factor, and how to build them up to conquer some of the tougher challenges...and with 4+ days you've got the time to do this. There are a number of rides that will surprise unwary parents, and can result in a kid who completely refuses to go on any dark ride because they got the snot scared out of them by Snow White (just for example...).

                      On the other side of this...your young kids will also have a different perception of the "best" rides in the park than those favorites listed above. Dumbo, Peter Pan, Pooh, Mickey's House, even Flik's Fun Fair. It's all great, there's nothing better than DL thru the eyes of a youngster!

                      The other major factor to consider is "burning the candle at both ends". It's a rare young kid who can handle a full day at DL, starting at the rope drop and lasting right through to the fireworks and Fantasmic. You're going to probably need to make some tradeoffs here. Think about alternating early days with late days, or getting back to the hotel for a midday nap.

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                      • #12
                        Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                        the midday nap is the best thing ever! we always do this with our kids age 0-8. Also be sure to take the time and have a good breakfast, protein, grains, milk, juice, etc. not jsut the bagels at the hotel free breakfast. B-fast gets the day goign right and keeps everyone including the parents going strong.

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                        • #13
                          Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                          With 4 1/2 days at the park I'd be surprised if you didn't hit everything at least once. haha. If you want to take a break from it all Downtown Disney is an option too.

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                          • #14
                            Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                            mycroft makes a great point about the lines and going with the flow. Sometimes there is just no rhyme or reason why a line is short or long, this is especially true for rides like Buzz, Star Tours, Small World, Pirates, Jungle Boat, so if they are short, jump on them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                              I personally have big feeling towards fixed Schedules. It's much funner to let the day plan itself.
                              DisneyTwins
                              Since May 2003

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                              • #16
                                Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                                Since you have young children with you there are certain attractions that you should not miss.

                                1) Playhouse Disney - children love it and adults have a great time capturing those special moments of seeing their young child experience the nice puppet show.

                                2) Disney animation - located in the hollywood picture backlot area. The attraction building consists of three main attractions plus two other unique experiences.

                                the attractions consists of turtle talk, sorcerors workshop, and drawn to imagination (i think thats what it is called) they all have experiences that everyone in the family will enjoy. the other two unique experiences are the main lobby of the building, a continous loop of disney movies play all around the audience and it is a great place to just sit for a bit and relax. the other is a small room where they have the toy story zoetrope.

                                3) The pixar play parade is also one that will definately entertain young children and it is a treat to watch. this parade runs at Disney's california Adventure. depending on the weather the floats may use water along with bubbles. if the weather is too cold they normally reduce the water usage.

                                4) alladin musical in DCA is also a must see and children seem to enjoy it. It is also a great place for them to relax and if necessary take a 40+ minute nap while you enjoy the show.


                                but like others have said you have plenty of time to enjoy the resort. when i plan on spending multiple days first thing i do when i get there is grab maps of both parks and get familiar with the parks.

                                It would be a good thing to take a couple highlighters with you. Pick one color of the highlighters and mark every restroom in both park maps. Along with that highlight important things like the first aid station and child care/lost and found area.
                                If the children are old enough to wonder off i suggest getting a small badge that you could pin on them with your Name cell, number, hotel and info on the hotel you are staying just as a precaution.

                                using another color highlighter mark off attractions as you go on them. Make it a game for the children. It might even be fun to pick a certain color highlighter and mark the attractions that the whole family could go on together. have the childrne pick attractions depending on the colors.

                                vacations in theme parks could be very fustrating and tiring the important thing is to involve everyone especially the young ones in the decision making on what you guys could do next. Time in the hotel room is the best time to do this.



                                If you are renting a car here is a little trick that has worked for family members that i know that have taken Disney trips with children and want to be conservative on the amount of money they spend on trinkets.

                                A couple miles south of Disneyland resort is the Disney outlet (if you like many of us know the address). Maybe one of the adults could sneak out for an hour and go to the Disney outlet and pick up a few Disney merchandise from the outlet and then come back and put them in a backpack. During your times in the park occasionally surprise the young ones by giving them a Disney toy, shirts and other trinkets. They will never know that it was bought at an outlet and all the merchandise has Disneyland tags on them. it especially works for the light up toys they sell at the park for a high price yet you could usually find at the outlet for up to 1/2 off.

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                                • #17
                                  Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                                  With kids it can also help to space shows throughout the day. Tiki Room, or the Aladdin show. Just to stop walking and have a break for a bit. Sometimes it's nice to just sit and enjoy the scenery on a bench too. Even for a few minutes. Riding the train is good for this as well.

                                  Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                                    My advice: enjoy the little things! With the luxury of having 4 1/2 days, you'll have the privilege of being able to soak up the atmosphere, people-watch, notice the little details. To me this is a lot of what separates Disney parks from other parks.

                                    My favorites:
                                    - Chill in New Orleans Square / Adventureland with a mint julep
                                    - Watch and listen to the live music performing... the Dapper Dans on Main Street, for instance
                                    - Ride the Mark Twain with your family, explore the ship and see the sights on the River
                                    - Look for and set off all the interactive gags in Toontown
                                    - See the Enchanted Tiki Room and get a Dole Whip
                                    - Get your fortune from Esmeralda on Main Street

                                    Find your own! Just stop and see what's around you.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                                      DO Not Forget to take advantage of the Photopass System even if you are not sure if you want to purchase any of the photos. As soon as you enter the first park find a photo pass member and get your card. Don't be shy about asking every single photographer to take pictures of you and your family and have them scan the card. You will be amazed at how many interetsing photos you will get to browse through when you get home on the net.


                                      Also take a few minutes and stop at city hall and get your whole family a first visit pass. The children will love it and they will enjoy the attention the castmembers give them throughout their stay.

                                      Don't be afraid to try some of the sit down restuarants when it comes to trying out food at the resort. Several of those restaurant food portions are large enough for two people and you get a better meal for the price then buying the regular hamburger and fries.

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: new to disney, please help plan our schedule

                                        As others have already said with over 4 days at the parks you will have plenty of time to do everything at your leasure. Take it as it comes and enjoy!
                                        Matthew

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