Thursday, August 15, 2013

Top 10 things I didn’t know about Disneyland

Whether you’re a first time visitor to Walt’s Dream or have been going to Disneyland for awhile, here are a few tips and ideas that I have found out that the general public may not have known. While talking with clients and fellow friends I have discovered that what I thought was common knowledge wasn’t so common. So I have put together a list that I have collected over time of facts that some didn’t know about Disneyland. I have also put together one for Walt Disney World, some of the facts on here apply to Walt Disney World and of course some don’t and Walt Disney World has some rules that would apply only to them, because as I like to say, both are Disney and have some similarities but they are very different parks. 

      1.  First timers can get a special button that lets everyone know that it is your first time. This allows cast members (as Disney employees are called) to help you out. Along with first timer buttons they have many others, check out the photo below for complete list of buttons you can pick up from City Hall, to let others know you are celebrating. And wait for the congratulations to pour in, whether it’s your birthday or wedding anniversary. Disney has you covered.
2.      FASTPASS- FASTPASS are free to all Disney guests. Here are some facts you may not know about them, and what attractions utilize their FASTPASS services, as only the most popular rides and attractions have FASTPASS.
a.      To get a FASTPASS, you insert your park admission ticket into a FASTPASS machine (which is usually located near the ride or attraction, there are a few exceptions, which I will try and note)
b.      You are assigned a one hour window in which to return to the ride to get in a FASTPASS line which is much shorter than the regular line, you can only use the passes during the window of time.
c.       Your FASTPASS will have printed on it the next time you can get another FASTPASS.
·         Star Tours (find the FASTPASS machine across the way from the ride)
·         Space Mountain
·         Splash Mountain(across from Hunger Bear Restaurant in the middle of the Splash Mountain line)
·         Indian Jones
·         Autopia
·         Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
·         Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
California Adventure
·         Radiator Springs Racers (will run out the first hour the park is open usually and is located in front of Bug’s Land far away from the ride)
·         Soarin’ Over California
·         California Screamin’
·         Grizzly River Run
·         Tower of Terror

  3. Parent Swap – Is your child too short for a ride you would like to experience? Are they too afraid to ride? Then you might want to take advantage of Disney’s Child Swap program. When you enter the queue area, have the child that cannot ride the ride with you and inform the Cast Member you’d like to do a Child Swap. This allows for the first adult to ride the ride with everyone else in the party while the second adult stays with all the children that do not or cannot ride the ride. Then the second adult along with a second rider can ride without waiting in the long line. (often you are put in the FASTPASS line unless there is no FASTPASS then you are guided to the front of the line and are able to ride the ride quickly.)

  4. Single Rider Line – if everyone in your party is over the age of 7 and don’t mind that you might not ride together you can enjoy shorter wait times by utilizing the single rider line.
·         Indiana Jones
·         Splash Mountain
·         Radiator Springs Racers
·         Soarin’ Over California
·         Grizzly River Run
·         California Screamin’
·         Goofy’s Sky School

5.      Extra Magic Hours- Early Entry for Resort Guests, And Bonus Ticket Holders
a.      Resort guest- Disneyland Resort hotel guests receive length-of-stay access to Extra Magic Hours at Disneyland one hour before the park opens to the public Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, and can get into Disney Grand California Adventure one hour before the parks opens to the public on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Sunday.
b.      Souvenir Ticket with Magic Morning allows early admission into selected attractions at Disneyland Park before the park opens to the public on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.

6.      PhotoPass service- before you go, think about looking into buying a CD from the Photopass services, doing this allows you to keep any and all photos taken of you by the photographers while at Disneyland, (please note that you will have to wait in line occasionally to get your photo taken and most of the characters on main street do not have a Disney Photographer, and some have found this service to be not worth it, but some wished they had know about it before they went so I am bothering to tell you about it.  They now offer a Photopass Plus option that allows you to also have all photos from the rides and at signature character meals added to your CD.

7.      Baby Center – Want a nice quiet place to change your baby, or even feed your baby. The baby center is a great place to stop off at. With change tables and toddler bathrooms, simi-private rooms with rocking chairs to nurse your child, high chairs and of course any and all baby items you might need to purchase because you ran out.
8.      Bring a change of clothes for the little ones. California Adventures has a splash play area, and during the warmer months, children love to play in there for hours, but the health department and therefore Disney has a rule of shirts and shoes must be worn at all times, including in the splash zone. So, I always pack a bathing suit with rash guard and water shoes for my son to change into. 

 9.      Dining Reservations-The Blue Bayou is one of the most popular restaurants at Disneyland,  and you can only dine there by reservation only, or wait in a long line and HOPE to get a table. If you are interested in dining at Disneyland, I highly recommend making reservations, you can make dining reservations 90 days in advance. To make dining reservations call 714-781-DINE (3463)

10.  Pin and Vinylmation trading.  A popular and fun thing to do is to buy and trade Pins and Vinylmations. You can trade pins with any cast member wearing a lanyard, and you can trade Vinylmation. What is a Vinylmation? Vinylmation is is essentially a blank, three dimensional canvas (at Disney the canvas toy is Mickey) that is then painted and given a unique design by various artists.

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