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Never been to Disneyland before - I need Tips.


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  • Never been to Disneyland before - I need Tips.

    I am going to Disneyland for the first time on July 16, 2005. I will be there until the 22nd. I am excited about being there for the anniversary on the 17th.

    I need tips. Money saving tips. Time saving tips. Memory making tips.

    Please, all you Disneyland veterans, please share your tips with us. The "us" is a party of 6. 2 moms and 4 children ages 6 to 14.

    Thanks a lot.

  • #2
    There's a whole web site here... get reading! The Search function is your friend.
    "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill
    "We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." - Edward R. Murrow
    "It's far easier to fight for your principles than it is to live up to them." - Adelai Stephenson
    Reason for the Season? Tilt of the planet's axis. Oh, you meant the holiday season? That's easy - Feast of Saturnalia. Disagree? That's nice.


    • #3
      I read everything that I can get my hands on. I have printed out tons of facts. I am looking for those special tips that people pass along, word of mouth tips that do not always appear in the general printed articles about Disneyland. If everyone, who reads this thread would just share one of their Disneyland tips, I would greatly appreciate it.


      • #4
        Stay at a place that includes breakfast.......... However I would think that you already have your rooms booked by now.
        Yes, it is fast....

        No, you can't drive IT.

        Drive it like it's stolen.


        • #5
          We got a really good rate on a Good Neighbor package at the Hiton Anaheim. We are traveling with 4 children who are going to want to swim. We are not big breakfast eaters, so a continental breakfast was not a priority. The Hilton has a very nice pool area, I have been told. Having never been to either California or Disneyland, I can only go by what I have been told.

          We are prepared for the crowds, as we know we will be there for the actual anniversary day.

          Having only visited WDW before, not knowing any Disneyland specific tips that we perhaps should know.


          • #6
            I have worked on international events using the Anaheim Hilton Hotel and Towers since it was first opened and can assure you that you have made a good choice for your accomodations. It's a very large hotel, maintained well and the pool is nice although it does not have gardens around it. I believe it is on a terrace on the 5th floor.

            You can use the search function for many threads about eating tips while in DL. Also, the Harbor and Katella area has loads of dining possibilites and some budget wise places too like Mimi's, Denny's, McD's, Coco's.

            La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney on the right, just before you get to the park's entrances is very good for breads, pastries and the only good coffee available on Disney property (besides the high end hotel restaurants).
            "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between." Oscar Wilde


            • #7
              PreTip: GET TO THE PARK WHEN IT OPENS...summer means 8 am so be there and in line by 7:40 AT THE LATEST!

              1. Disneyland: Walk in and go to Splash Mountain via the train at the front (Main Street Train Station). Jump on Pooh for quick ride, then walk back to Big Thunder Mountain and ride, however before you get there run up to Indiana Jones and get fast passes for later in the day. After Big Thumder Mountain go ahead and head over to Fantasyland and do as much as possible. As soon as the Indiana Jones passes time start you can get your next fast pass. Head over to Buzz Lightyear or Space Mountain and get your next fast pass. If some of you do not want to get on the rides, get all fast passes anyway. Somebody in the group will have the chance to ride twice or later in the day. Then play it by ear, Don't forget to eat, the kids will fall apart and lose energy quick. The village haus in Fantasyland is great has pizza and salads, sharing is easy to save a few dollars.

              2. Tip: Fast passes are good anytime after the start time on the pass. I have never had a CM not let me ride with a fastpass that expired. I think an expired fast pass does not exist! As long as it is dated the same day!

              3. DCA: Walk in and goto Tower of Terror or Soarin first, but send your 14 year old over to the one you are not riding first and get fast passes. What we do is get fast passes to Soarin first then walk to Tower of Terror. After that we go get on the other fast pass ride if time in the pass has started, or we head to Paradise Pier. If you go the way of Condor Flats, stop by Grizzly River Run and grab fast passes then head straight to Screamin and work your way South to Northwest across the pier. Head to Bug's land after that for the younger set. In Bugs land do the rides first, then go into it's tough to be a bug. Then play it by ear. Pilot Grill in DCA seems pricey, but has nice size portions for sharing! and a great condiments bar!

              Must do:

              DL --> Make sure you go see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies! Everyday if you can, the show is always a little different. You have to go into the Tiki Room show one of the days! Ice Cream on MainStreet is one of the best treats at DL.

              DCA --> Alladin see it at least once. Show is 40-45 minutes long so make sure all the kids have used the bathroom before you see the show. Animation Building is an awsome place to sit and relax while the kids do stuff, the movies/slides/music that visually surround you is captivating. Do muppets, silly fun! later in the day of course.
              Last edited by cj843; 04-08-2005, 08:19 AM.
              When it's time to go home and visit...It's time to go to Disneyland!!!


              • #8
                Inside the Grand Californian, there is a little gem of a restaurant called Whitewater Snacks. You can access the hotel through Downtown Disney (DTD) via the walkway beside the Sephora store, or from the California Adventure (DCA) exit into the Grand Californian. Anyone will be happy to point you in the right direction, as it's a little out of the way. You can get burgers, salads, kids' meals, snacks, sodas, and brownies that are very reasonably priced. Cheap food, no need to leave the resort area. Genius. Also, while you're there, be sure to check out the Grand CA lobby. It's lovely and good for a rest.

                Sharing food is also very possible at Red Rocket Pizza Port in Tomorrowland. Bowls of pasta and salads easily split. Not very expensive that way.

                Non-alcoholic mint juleps are fun and a New Orleans Square tradition. If you aren't eating in one of the NOS restaurants, one can be gotten at the Mint Julep Bar, which is hidden around the back side of the main counter-service restaurant in NOS. If you go up to board the train but take a left instead, you will see it in your left side. The fritters they also serve there are good, but not as good as the begneits they serve in DTD's Jazz Kitchen.

                Bring your own water. Carry bags large enough to have enough for you and your family. My sister has her kids carry a water-bottle strap around their neck. My mother brings a whole soft cooler and puts it in the basket of her electric wheelchair. My father likes to pour out half of the bottle and then reserve it in a pitcher, then freeze the half-full water bottles (at an angle for maxium coolage) and refill them in the morning. This can keep you cool as well as hydrated. In July, it's quite hot at the resort. Plus there are sure to be many crowds around for the celebration. Remember to drink lots and lots of water.

                About thirty of us were there together at the 49th anniversary last year, and we made the mistake of trying to ride the opening-year rides in a particular order. This put us in line for Peter Pan at approximately noon. We were in that line for two hours. Fortunately, a member of our party had brought one of those water bottles with a fan, so he was misting us the entire time. Several lessons here: purchase a fan spritzer before you arrive (cheaper) because in July it'll be necessary. Don't wait in line for Peter Pan in the middle of the day. Really, the very best time for Pan is right when the park opens (or right when the ride re-opens after the fireworks) because once that line gets longer, it doesn't get shorter again that day. There's a reason for it-- it's a short, but lovely, ride.

                Schedule cooler things for the heat of the day, like Honey I Shrunk the Audience or the other movies in DCA. Not that I like HIStA, but you will need a break. I'd advice that you even take a breather at your hotel... but on the anniversary, if you want to be there all day, you should be careful. I suspect attendance is going to be ke-razy that day (bad enough on the 49th!) and they might prevent entry for crowding, or prevent re-entry.

                Bring band-aids and moleskin for blisters. Wear only comfortable shoes. Have a layer for the evening.

                Cheap souvenirs might be available at the Character Warehouse. It's essentially a Disneyland outlet store of discontinued merchandise. Do a chat search here or google for it, and you'll find the location (which is far off-property.)

                It'll be hectic, but don't rush and don't panic. Disneyland will still be there tomorrow, or next year, or whenever you come back.

                Don't camp out to watch the first Fantasmic! showing. Wait until that showing is finished, and the audience clears out. The second showing makes much more sense.

                Ride Soarin' Over California. Ride Pirates of the Caribbean. See the fireworks and the Electrical Parade. In the Animation building, go to the Sorceror's Workshop, and see One Man's Dream-- ask a CM for directions. Look at the little details. Go to the hidden mickeys website and look for hidden mickeys as well as the other little tips and tricks they discuss there.

                Familiarize yourself with what the more popular rides are. (A quick look at most threads for 'favorites' or 'best' will show you.) Many of these have fastpass-- use them.

                Enjoy spending time with your family. Remember that Walt designed the park for families to share time together (not apart) and approach it that way.


                • #9
                  I would imagine if you are going to be there for the Actual Day, the thing best brought with you would be Patience! From all accounts, it will be even more jammed packed than the 4th of July and Easter all rolled into one!

                  If they do run the "open for 50 hours", I highly recommend setting the alarm and going to the park in the middle of the night. We did that during the Captain EO opening, it was a BLAST being there and slightly sleepdrunk.

                  Getting to the park Early is a good idea. Beware of standing too close to the rope in the morning. (Do they still DO the rope drop?) You WILL get trampled if you don't move quickly enough.

                  Fantasyland seems to be the best place to head right away. The lines are as short as they will be all day. My advice, if you have to ride Dumbo, do it FIRST thing. The waits for this very short ride can be close to 2 hours later in the day.

                  Take advantage of the fastpass system. For the most comprehensive and understandable explaination of the system, check out the post by Darkbeer about halfway down the page.

                  Read all the back posts in MiceChat! It's a wealth of info and most of it is darn Accurate.

                  Hope that helps, have a GREAT time and ride the Matternhorn once for me!

                  War is over if you want it...

                  Peace - Love - Mickey Mouse


                  • #10
                    Best Ideas

                    I also second the suggestion of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. It had me rolling on the floor. It is corney, but fun for all. Nothing is like it at WDW! :lol:

                    Best of Disneyland:
                    Indiana Jones -- Don't miss it. The wait might be long, but worth it!

                    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad -- I love this ride. It is better here than the version at WDW.

                    Pirates of the Caribbean -- Also better than WDW. It is an original Walt Disney ride.

                    Buzz Lightyear --- This is the new ride everyone will be wanting to see.

                    Space Mountain -- If it is open, make sure that you ride it. It should be a highlight of the trip.

                    Carnation Ice Cream Parlor -- I love the feeling of having lunch or ice cream at this place. It brings back memories of the park. It is a great place to relax and take in the magic.
                    Those are my top suggestions!


                    • #11
                      Normally it's a bad time to go, especially for your 1st time, but your there for 7 days. You can do everything in DCA in 2 days tops, so spend your first 4 days in Disneyland. Basically you've got from 8am till noon before the crowds get so crazy it's hard to move. Just pick a land or 2 to do each day, and do as much of it as you can first thing in the morning. In those first 4 hours, get from attraction to attraction as fast as you can. After that take your time and don't be in a hury. In 4 days, you can do everything at Disneyland, even at it's busiest. So if you do all of Disneyland in 4 days, and all of DCA in 2, that leaves your last day to go back and do your favorites. The beauty of Disneyland is in all of the little details, so take plenty of time in each land and take it all in. Make sure you do everything in Disneyland: All the transportaition around main street, sail the river, go to the island, check out the black and white cartoons on main street, etc, etc. You're going to have the time of your life.....


                      • #12
                        The best thing you can do is to get a solid idea of the layout of the parks in your head. Uses the maps to learn all the different ways the lands connect.

                        Find and read Kevin Yee's extensive fast pass guide.

                        Eat at Blue Bayou, it's worth the expense, lunch is cheaper than dinner and just as good.

                        Avoid eating meals at typical dining hours, that way you can ride while most people eat and eat while most people ride.

                        Seven days is plenty of time, don't forget to slow down and appreciate the scenery.

                        Find and read the threads about people's favorite places in DLR, there are some great little spots mentioned there.

                        When you see fantasmic, be concious of whether you will have to sit or stand during the show because getting stuck sitting in a spot where you thought you could stand will ruin your view. Ask a guest control person if you're not sure.

                        Enjoy DLR on the 50th!


                        • #13
                          First understand that your trip to Disneyland from July 16 - 22nd will be more crowed that it would be other times and/or summers because of the anniversary. You will have to adjust your times to deal with these crowds.

                          The best advice that I can give you is to get to the park as early as possible. If you get there when it opens you can do many attractions before the lines become overly long. When the lines do become long I would then suggest that you do some of the shows to relax.
                          Plague Of Vampires | A Novel by Eric and Elizabeth Gerds:

                          Buy Now at Amazon


                          • #14
                            You need to go to If there is a discount to be had, chances are it's listed here. Not only that, you can learn alot reading her trip reports. There are discounts for non-Disney trips, too. I have used her discount codes for rental cars on non-Disney trips, and saved alot of money.


                            • #15
                              Everything everyone has said is perfect.

                              I just have a little to add

                              Even though the park will be packed (I'll be there too ) take the time to stop, sit, enjoy the little magical touches, if you just rush from ride to ride you will miss so much of what makes Disneyland special.
                              -Look at the 2nd floor windows on Mainstreet (the credits to those who worked on DL and are significant to it's history)
                              -make a wish in Snow whites wishing well.
                              -sit an have a snack while people watching on one of the quaint little benches anywhere.
                              - so many more, You'll find your favorite "hidden spots" too

                              and as was said before...bring your patients, It's going to be crowded and crazy but it will still be wonderfuly magical with a little preparedness and a lot of patients and a sense of humor.

                              also you said 2 moms 4 kids, I'd recommend cell phones(if possable), if you do get seperated that is the easiest way to find one another (too many walki-talkies, signals get mixed)
                              but keep in mind (as is my experience) there is no signal in buildings shows etc (as it should be)

                              keep your humor, your paitents and you'll have a truely magical time


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Tinkerbelle
                                and as was said before...bring your patients, It's going to be crowded and crazy but it will still be wonderfuly magical with a little preparedness and a lot of patients and a sense of humor.
                                A good post Tinkerbelle and then I started laughing out loud when I got to the above. I thought she and her friend were bringing their kids...not an infirmary!
                                "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between." Oscar Wilde


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by desertdweller
                                  A good post Tinkerbelle and then I started laughing out loud when I got to the above. I thought she and her friend were bringing their kids...not an infirmary!

                                  What a mean thing to say. Sheesh..... the woman is very brave to bring sick people with her.
                                  Member 216


                                  • #18
                                    As said before seven days is enough time to do everything the resort has to offer. As for the BIG BIRTHDAY DAY I would recomend enjoying whatever special events the park has to offer, check with the CM's or at City Hall on the way in. Since that is going to be such a special day plan on enjoying the celebration more than the rides!


                                    • #19
                                      Okay, the main thing you must see is the original Fantasmic! It is simply amazing, and far more intimit in my mind then the on in WDW. You feel so close to them at the disneyland one. A must see pyrotechnic wonder, my display picture is a picture of the show, during the alternate ending when the Mark Twain was down for refurb. Must see!

                                      ~ Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday tomorrow and fantasy


                                      • #20
                                        Exactly what I was hoping for. Insider tips from people who have been to Disneyland and know the ropes. I am getting very excited as my trip is only 99 days away. We are arriving the day before the anniversary, so we will most likely take that day to familiarize ourselves with the entire Disneyland Resort. We are planning to call for a priority seating for Blue Bayou on the 17th for lunch. I understand I need to call 45 days out. Is that correct? I thank everyone who has responded so far. We have done the WDW parks quite a few times, so we are familiar with a lot of the general theme park tips. I am especially interested In "Disneyland Specific Tips". Thanks again.


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