Tips for Visiting Disneyland and California Adventure
With so many attractions to see and explore, it is easy to get excited about jumping on a plane or driving long distances or even zipping across town to one of the Disney themeparks to be a kid again. Disneyland has been one of my favorite places to visit ever since I was a kid. It always feels like there is magic in the air.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your trip:
1) Compare ticket prices. If you are planning to spend multiple days at the Disney parks, compare the prices of the various passes available. A park hopper pass would be useful if you intend to spend part of your day in both parks. For shorter days visits, visit the park after 4 pm to take advantage of evening deals.
2) Use the FAST pass system. Take advantage of the FAST pass system at the parks, e.g., Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, etc. at Disneyland. Just insert the park hopper pass into the FAST pass ticket machine with the barcode up and towards the machine. You get another ticket which you can give to an attendant later within a certain time period (on the ticket) to bypass the lineups for a particular ride later in the day (but hang onto your park hopper pass!).
At any one time, you can have one FAST pass at Disneyland, one FAST pass at California Adventure (excluding Grizzly River Run), and one FAST pass for Grizzly River Run at California Adventure (it’s on a separate system). Once you’ve used a FAST pass in a park, you can get another right after.
3) Bring a water bottle. Water bottles in the park are fairly expensive. Some restaurants, e.g., Mexican restaurant (Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante), have a tap where you can refill. Even if you forget, the Hungry Bear Restaurant will give you a free cup with iced water if you request one (as long as you buy something of course).
4) Bring snacks and/or lunch. Just like water, food is expensive on the grounds. If you bring food with you, you will be able to save some money and eat a little more healthily.
5) Ride popular rides during slow times. Our favorite rides include Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones. However, both of these lines can have extremely long lineups. Pirates typically has no lineups during the fireworks at night, while Indiana Jones has shorter lineups after 10 pm. Yes, 10 pm is rather late, but on nights when the park is open until midnight, you can go on this ride multiple times (hop on, hop off, hop on, hop off…. Very fun!). Of course, you could always get a FAST pass with a popular ride like Indiana Jones.
6) Try a kiddie ride. You’ll feel like a kid again and some rides are quite enjoyable. Take the Snow White ride at Disneyland for instance—it’s much faster than you would expect a little kid ride to be!! Go on the Pinocchio ride first to feel the difference. Peter Pan is also a cool ride!
7) Parking is available. Parking is $14 in the parkades by the parks (in summer 2010) and you can enter and exit the parkade all day. There is a free tram that you can take between the parkade and the parks.
8) Reserve early for the Blue Bayou. This restaurant is rather expensive, but you can get a waterfront table and watch the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The restaurant serves excellent seafood. However, make sure you reserve by the morning of the day you plan to eat there (or the day prior if possible), as this locale gets booked up fast. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your reservation in order to request a waterfront table if you so desire.
Hope you found these tips helpful.
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