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Tips on a Solo First Trip to DLR for a WDW Regular


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  • Tips on a Solo First Trip to DLR for a WDW Regular

    Hey there! Long time of the forums/site here! I had some questions for you guys that I believe you will be able to help with.

    As the subject says, I'm a local here in Orlando, FL (Been a CM for almost 5 years now actually), going on my first trip to the West Coast this coming July (in time for the 56th). I'll be staying there at the Hojo (I can thank you guys for that tip!). I'll be going there by myself for about 3 days (4 if you count the evening I arrive/early afternoon I leave) and I'll be solo the entire trip.

    I have 3 questions:

    1) What's the attraction I must first do when I get there? I'll probably be in DL around 5 or so. Everyone keeps recommending Indy as the first to go, but, I'm honestly worried about two things:

    One, As much as I want to do Indy first, I've seen that it has a HUGE queue and with that in mind, I want to spend as much as time absorbing all the details and smell the roses, so waiting in a long line there won't necessarily be an issue for me (I have quite a bit of patience). On the side note, in terms of FP, my plan is only to use it if I want to do a repeat of something; otherwise, Standby all the way.

    Second, I also just don't want to go to some attraction first and then either get lost or lose track or what I have or haven't done. I'm one of those types who likes to plan everything out or do things in sequence (in this case, by land). I hate it when I'm with guests who want to do something on the other side of the park, to go vice versa after that attraction. -___-

    (Just to mention: I won't be doing ToT, Splash, and CS. I like intense stuff but not TOO intense like roller coasters and anything with big drops. )

    2) What's the best food in the parks/hotels? I don't know much about dining in the hotels or if I'll even have time to visit them, but I do know that the Monte Cristo and the infamous Corn Dog Cart on Main Street are must do's; I just need a weeee bit of guidance here. (Anything goes, Ts, QSR, etc.)

    3) Lastly, if any of you know the LA area very well: I'll be there for one day and have everything mostly planned out, but does anyone know a good shuttle service or such? There will be a few times I'll be going around via the Metro system, but some of the places I'm going to don't have that luxury and I don't want to go on something ultra-touristy or such. I won't be driving so rental cars aren't an option.

    Thanks for all the help guys!!!
    Last edited by t3techcom18; 04-12-2011, 07:16 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Tips on a Solo First Trip to DLR for a WDW Regular

    Well since you are arriving at the park in the evening, and it's your very first time there, may I suggest you take this approach.

    Take your time entering the park, and if you are a photographer, you might want to photograph some key things, like the entrance, the floral, the tunnel sign etc:

    I suggest that your first ride should be the train. I know that on my very first day ever in Disneyland I rode the train first. It's really nice to just sit back on the train, and get the grand circle tour. You will then get to see the two special dioramas of the Grand Canyon, and the dinosaurs. When you return to Town Square, don't rush. Take your time. There's so much to see and do, and so much history in Town Square alone. Check out City Hall especially. Check out the light that stays lit for Walt in the Fire Station upstairs window. Go see the Lincoln Show in the Opera House building.

    You get my idea, probably by now. Don't rush Down Main Street. That too is a sight to behold, and as you enter the Hub, you can stop by, and checkout the Partner statue. By this time, you will notice the smaller Disneyland castle that some just adore, and some feel is not as great as the one that towers over the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.

    You want to smell the roses, so I suggest that your first evening, should be one of simple observation of the glorious Disneyland, as I like to call it.

    I remember my very first day in Disneyland, and the only ride that I rode that day was the train. I spent my time, and I was with others, so we spent our time just exploring.

    There's the castle, and Snow White's Grotto, and since you are going to be there in the summer, there will most likely be fireworks, and of course Fantasmic. So be sure to grab a park map, and entertainment guide, and slow down long enough to sit on a park bench, and look at it.

    You will have the rest of your days to head to the rides. I suggest your first evening there should be one of familiarizing yourself with the lay of the lands, and checking out all the gems that are there at the Happiest Place in the World, because for me it will always be that.


    • #3
      Re: Tips on a Solo First Trip to DLR for a WDW Regular

      T3, feel free to PM me with more specific questions regarding shuttling around, such as where you want to go etc.

      1) Indy does fill up during the day. With your ride list I would say Finding Nemo, Matterhorn and Indy are going to be the longest lines. With that said I would go on Nemo first, Matterhorn and head over to Indy in 1 morning to cover all of them. Space also gets pretty intense lines, but has an interesting queue. I would say matterhorn and Nemo have the worst queues so no real need to be around those. In fantasyland the rides will fill up quick and Pan especially, BUT I will say with the refurb, the line isn't usually longer than 40 minutes.

      A great thing you didn't mention is using Single Rider. I use it on my solo trips to bypass the lines (I like the rides)--> Indy, Splash (I really would check this out as the track I believe is better here in CA), Soarin', etc. Just go to the entrace where the FP splits off and ask for a SR ticket, most of the rides have them (E-tickets)

      2) Depends on the food and what you want to eat. Napa Rose has been reviewed quite highly but is very expensive (do the chef's counter if you go and make dining reservations via disney dining.) In the parks, the new village haus menu has been well received and I personally love turkey legs and chocolate cake (Golden Horseshoe)...the main street cart is great too. I believe you can get corn dogs from the stand next to Rivers of america as well, where they have funnel cake.

      3)More details please, but avoid the star tours (hollywood) and any open top bus tours, I feel bad for the baking tourists every time I see them. But if you give me a more of an idea of what you want to see/do it would help =)

      Happy Travels!


      • #4
        Re: Tips on a Solo First Trip to DLR for a WDW Regular

        Originally posted by Barbaraann View Post
        I suggest that your first ride should be the train. I know that on my very first day ever in Disneyland I rode the train first. It's really nice to just sit back on the train, and get the grand circle tour. You will then get to see the two special dioramas of the Grand Canyon, and the dinosaurs.
        I totally agree with Barbarann, ride the train!! We've been there sooo many times and to this day I still like to get on the train and go around the full park. It can be very tempting when you first walk in to skip the train even if you have it planned but don't do it. It's nothing like the Magic Kingdom train from what I remember. And if you do get there around 5pm then there will still be plenty of light for you to take in all the sights of all the lands. Then after you've strolled down Main Street and had your fill I would I would maybe plan on seeing the second showing of Fantasmic!. I'd say ride Pirates and go to the Tiki Room since both are different while you're waiting but you'll have to be strategic not to be in the area during the first show (so it wont ruin the moment since DL's version of Fantasmic is a different experience too) but get there just in time that the mob of people are exiting the area of the 1st show and you can squeeze in to the front section of the Rivers of America and get a seated spot on the floor. It might seem intimidating but go for it, it's worth it. I would recommend Indy at the end of the night. The line is only about 30 mins before the park closes and you would be able to see the queue without being in there forever.

        I recommend a couple of things:
        Don't ride Jungle Cruise for the 1st time at night, wait till early morning. (Funny cuz most of the stuff in Magic Kingdom differ from DL's version, I actually loved MK's Jungle Cruise better.)
        Don't see World of Color from the very very front, it's really hard to get the huge aspect of the show and see all 3 screens. Mid to back is best IMO.
        Eat Plaza Inn character breakfast if you're into that kinda stuff. Love their Mickey Waffles.
        Since you're going to be there for a couple of days try to take advantage of the Early Morning Entry if you have that option. DL is beautiful in the early mornings and you can actually get a whole lot of rides in that short period of time.
        Pace yourself and if you need to go back to the hotel to recooperate.
        Ride the Monorail for a fun and quick break and feel free to stop at Downtown Disney and go check out the Disneyland Hotel grounds, its so relaxing from a hectic day at the parks.
        If you find that you like Finding Nemo you might want to ride again opposite when you ride it first. (Try to ride once in the day and once in the night, I can totally tell the difference, personally I also like this ride better with daylight.)
        Don't forget to take the walk-thru tour of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Simple yet magical for some reason.
        Take a raft to Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island and explore all the caves and crannies!!!!

        Since this is your very first visit, just remember to take your time and enjoy it all. Definately take advantage of the single rider lines. I really regret not taking more time to explore Florida's version when we went since we were always go, go, go! But I could go on and on so just have fun and take lots of pictures so you don't forget it.

        As far as eating at the resort I'm not hard to please so for us we're usually good with Hungry Bear, love their onion rings. But also a fan of the Corn Dog cart and the alfredo chicken/pasta dish from Red Rocket's. Downtown Disney has some good offerings for food too.


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