Disneyland at a Glance
A few months ago, I was honored to be asked by some of our fellow Disney fanatics over at the new MouseQuest Podcast if I would share some of my Disneyland expertise with them. I happily jumped at the chance to talk a little bit about my favorite place in the world and share some of the tips I have gathered over the last 57 years of calling Disneyland my home away from home.
Top 10 Disneyland Questions:
1. When is the best time to visit the Disneyland Resort?
Anytime is a great time to be a part of the magic but to be able to make the most out of your visit, the best times of year to visit the Disneyland Resort are: Mid-September-Mid November, Mid-January – Mid March or Mid April – Mid May. Tuesday- Thursdays typically have the lowest crowds while the weekends and holidays have the highest crowds but also have extended hours to help handle the influx of visitors.
2. How much time should I allow to see Disneyland?
Allow yourself at least 2-3 days to take in all that Disneyland has to offer. A common misconception is that because Disneyland is smaller than WDW, it can be seen in a day. Allow yourself at least a full day at Disneyland, a day at Disney California Adventure Park and then a day to explore the Downtown Disney District and to go back and revisit your favorite rides and attractions. Make sure you take advantage of the Park Hopper tickets to get the most from your stay.
3. Are the rides at Disneyland the same as the ones at WDW?
Both Disneyland and WDW have rides are found only in those Parks. At Disneyland, you will find Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the Walt Disney Story, Indiana Jones, Matterhorn, Sailing Ship Columbia, Tarzan's Treehouse, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Storybook Land Canals, Casey Junior Train, Snow White’s Scary Adventure, Gadget Go Coaster and Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin. Also not to be missed is New Orleans’s Square and Sleeping Beauty Castle, which you can walk through the center of as well as up through the castle itself. Another thing to keep in mind is many of the Disneyland rides that are found back in the in both Parks such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Jungle Boat and Splash Mountain are not the same as riding them back in the Magic Kingdom.
4. How can I make dining reservations or arrange for special meals to meet my dietary restrictions for my upcoming trip to Disneyland Resort?
Dining reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance for restaurants both in the Parks, as well as in the three Disney Resort Hotels by calling Disney Dining at 714-781-Dine. Each of the Resort Hotels has Character Meals, perfect for that day when you may not be visiting the Parks, but still want that little piece of Disney magic. The Disney Chefs can easily accommodate most dietary needs from gluten free, to Vegan to low sodium, to food allergies by making arrangements through the same number within 24 hours of your reservation. All Disney Dining from Quick Serve to the finest of eateries are fully equipped to handle most any of your dietary restrictions. All Cast Members are happy to assist you in making your meal a magical experience.
5. Where can I find information about visiting the Parks when traveling with someone with special needs?
The Disneyland Resort is committed to providing access to as many Guests as possible and provides select accommodations for mobility disabilities, hearing disabilities, visual disabilities and service animals Wheelchair and a limited number of EVC rentals are available next to the entrance of Disneyland and are also available in the Downtown Disney District and at the Disney Resort Hotels. City Hall on Main Street in Disneyland and the Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure can further provide you with Guest Assistance Cards when needed as well as information explaining the accessibility of all rides, shows and attractions in order to help you make the most of your Disney experience.
FastPass are currently available for the following rides and attractions:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Haunted Mansion Holiday (seasonal)
Indiana Jones Adventure
Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
Disney California Adventure
Goofy’s Sky School
Grizzly River Run
Soarin' Over California
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
World of Color
Radiator Springs Racers
The FastPass for World of Color is located next to Grizzly River Run and works independently of the ride FastPass. The Radiator Springs Racers Fast Pass kiosk is located in Bug’s Land and as it is the newest thrill attraction, passes run out early in the day!
7. Are there special tours to take while visiting Disneyland?
8. What kind of Entertainment can I find at the Disneyland?
Both Parks offer a wide variety of entertainment throughout the day. While at Disneyland, don’t miss Billy Hill and the Hillbillies,” a Stomp your feet, hoot along and raise the roof at the liveliest session of pickin' and grinnin' this side of the Pecos”, Fantasmic, a nighttime spectacle of Mickey's active imagination sets the stage for this musical, pyrotechnic spectacular where the forces of good and evil battle in his dreams, the nightly Fireworks where you can see Tinkerbelle fly from the Matterhorn over Sleeping Beauty Castle and of course the daily Disney Parades. On the Disney California Adventure Side, it is all about dancing the night away whether it is at the Mad T Party at night off the Hollywood Back lot or the Dancing With Disney Party by day. Not to be missed is Disney’s Broadway style musical Aladdin and of course the World of Color where you will be front row to witness an enthralling nighttime spectacular weaving water, color, fire and light into a kaleidoscope of fantasy and imagination. Schedules with up to date times and information are available at both Park entrances as well as from most Disney Cast Members.
9. Where can you stay when visiting the Disneyland Resort?
Disneyland Resorts offers three onsite hotels from the luxurious Disney Grand Californian Hotel located adjacent to Disney California Adventure Park, to the splendor of the original, the Disneyland Hotel, to the whimsical Paradise Pier. In addition, the Disneyland Resort Area is host to more than 40 Good Neighbor Hotels and Motels, to fit every budget of every shape and size. For more information on these as well as Disneyland travel packages, contact your Disney Travel Professional or visit the Disney website at http://disneyland.disney.go.com/hotels/
10. Is there somewhere my kids can go to enjoy themselves while the adults escape for a while? Pinocchio's Workshop has just what you’re looking for! Enjoy a night out and treat children ages 5 to 12 to an evening of arts and crafts, computer games, Disney films, dinner and snacks in a licensed child activity center with an environment created especially for kids. Guests over 18 may make a reservation by stopping by Guest Services or calling (714) 635-2300. Pinocchio's Workshop is located at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. For you, why not consider earing at the Napa Rose located in the same hotel, visit Steakhouse 55 or Trader Sam’s, located at the Disneyland Hotel, or take a stroll and enjoy one of the many culinary delights located throughout the Downtown Disney District.