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Planning the (almost) Perfect Disneyland Trip


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  • Planning the (almost) Perfect Disneyland Trip

    Hey everyone!

    I did a small search and couldn't find anything helpful. So excuse me if I missed something, but I could use some help!

    April 4-6 my family is taking a vacation to Disneyland for my 21st birthday. My birthday was in January but since my brother got a trip to Vegas for his 21st, my family asked where I would like to go and of course, I chose DLR.

    We will be in the park only on Saturday the 5th. It's been awhile since I've been on a weekend and especially on a potentially busy weekend. And now I'm supposed to show my family a good time.

    Here's the stats on my family:
    Mom and dad - my dad is 47 and my mom is 50, haven't been to Disneyland since 1992
    Grandma and Grandpa - 60's, haven't been since my great grandparents were alive... so before '98
    Aunt and Uncle - 40's, I can't even imagine how long it's been for them.
    Brother - 25, hasn't been since his high school grad night
    Boy solo and myself - 22, 21, we go a few times a year

    So we are by no means a family with children (I am the baby after all) but I want to show my family a good time. I go a handful of times a year so they expect me to show them something. I want to show them the things they remember, but introduce them to new things like Buzz, California Adventure as a whole, Toon Town, etc. It's safe to say the whole family besides the grandparents will be into the thrill rides, but everyone will want to ride the classics. So much and only one potentially busy Saturday!

    The only definite plan we have is Blue Bayou at 12:45 YUM!

    Any suggestions? I don't want anyone getting cranky (although I'd say we're mostly a happy family) and make sure everyone has fun. Also, how is early entry obtained? Do you have to buy a vacation package or how does it work? I think that could really benefit us but we're not getting a package, just tickets, we got our hotel on our own.

    Since the boy and I have AP's we will probably visit for another half day or whatever so this trip isn't really about us, it's about the family. I'm so determined to show them a good time. I haven't really done anything that amazing for them ever since I grew out of my angsty teenager stage and realized they are my one and only family.

    Any suggestions are welcome! Thanks so much for reading and sorry if this was a waste of board space. :razz:

    "I'm not funny. What I am is brave." - Lucille Ball

  • #2
    Re: Planning the (almost) Perfect Disneyland Trip

    Make sure to get a picture of the family in front of the Castle before everyone is tired and cranky and have it framed. Then no matter what happens, good or bad, you will have that perfect moment photographed for eternity!
    It's actually "Cars Land", not "Carsland".


    • #3
      Re: Planning the (almost) Perfect Disneyland Trip

      I'd say to hit up the fireworks. You would have to choose either Fantasmic! or Remember. I really don't think your entire family (sorry to your grandparents) could move fast enough after the Fantasmic! show to make it to a good place to watch the Remember fireworks show. Although you could see both and not have to move much, but it's not the same without the castle.


      • #4
        Re: Planning the (almost) Perfect Disneyland Trip

        Thanks for the suggestions. I completeley forgot the fireworks/Fantsmic!

        "I'm not funny. What I am is brave." - Lucille Ball


        • #5
          Re: Planning the (almost) Perfect Disneyland Trip

          You have to find the right combination of a great plan and a great willingness to go with the flow....

          I find if you plan the early part of your day you can get a lot done and then relax and do what you feel like later. I start off going straight to Peter Pan, then run for your first fastpasses (I assume you or your brother will be the runners for the day) then Alice, Storybook Land Canal Boats, and Dumbo. Those can be long waits and offer no FP options. The first part of your day run and get FP's as soon as the next one becomes available, get the ones with the longer wait times first (I'd probably do Space, Indiana, Splash, Autopia, Thunder, and remember you can get Roger Rabbit anyone since it's not connected to the other FP systems).

          After you have a few FP (remember they don't "expire" after the given hour, so save them until it gets busy) and finish lunch I'd probably head over to CA. Again I'd want to maximize fastpass use, get Soarin' and Grizzly River Rapids right away (GGR isn't connected to the CA FP system...if you are really ambitious you could also run for FP's in CA while still having your morning in DL - again, the two Parks FP systems are not connected so you can have both DL FP's and CA FP's during the same time period).

          Anyway, I know this seems like a lot of planning/running but I have found that just a few busy hours (like 8am-1pm) then pay off big time as you can avoid big lines when the parks hit their peak by having those FP's in your pocket. Just remember to relax and enjoy your family take lots of pictures, plan comfortable sitting time every so often, especially for your Grandparents. Luckily there are lots of great ways to do this....People watching, 50 Years movie, Tiki Room (in the back row you have a padded backrest) HISTA, Aladdin ect.

          If you want to do Nemo I'd suggest to hit it just before Parade time, all those kids are lined up on the street. Don't forget to get there early for the Remember Dreams Come True Fireworks, it's the perfect fireworks show!

          Hope this helps, I take a lot of family and friends to the Parks, and I'm getting ready to take my dad there. He's visiting me from Montana and we'll be spending 2 days there during the last week in March, so I understand how you feel about wanting to make an (almost) perfect trip because we don't see each other more than every couple years.

          Good Luck!!


          • #6
            Re: Planning the (almost) Perfect Disneyland Trip

            I forgot to say that if you do decide to be really ambitious and get Soarin and GRR FP's in CA while still doing your morning in DL you can't just send a "runner" with all the tickets, you have to have everyone use their tickets to get into CA in order to get CA FP's. So unfortunately that will probably be too much trouble just to get those two FP's early in the day.


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