Clueless tourist questions

wdrive

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I find myself in the position of clueless tourist. Will be visiting May. Thought it was too far away to plan but suddenly I’m being told to buy my tickets and book my park reservations. Have a list of questions, any help will be appreciated. Last visited during the 50th so it’s been quite some time.

Planning to buy a 4 day, 1 park per day ticket. Park hopper option seems more expensive than it’s worth. 2 days in each park, good idea? Will be visiting Sunday-Wednesday. Was planning on reserving the Sunday at Disneyland as more chance of fireworks/Fantasmic/whatever is running on a weekend over a weekday. Or is this foolish? Should I plan to purchase Genie plus or whatever Fastpass calls itself now? Do I attempt to rope drop the parks or sleep in and stay later? Rope drop Radiator Springs Racers and Rise of the Resistance? Or are these still boarding groups? I’m under the impression they’re not anymore?

Restaurants? Anywhere I should really eat? Whether quick service or table service? Are reservations necessary and how far in advance should I be looking to book these? Any decent off property restaurants anyone recommends? Is Mimi’s Cafe still decent? Any quick good breakfast options either on or off property?

Any bars anyone can recommend? Again either on or off property. My gut says I’ll enjoy a drink in the Grand Californian?

I’m staying by Garden Walk. Is that still a mess? Do I bother going in? Planning to walk in and out from hotel, is security to enter parks on Harbour Boulevard side a nightmare?

That’s all for now I think. Feel free to say whatever you think
 
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Mickeyboof

Well-Known Member
1- Tickets + Park Reservations should absolutely be made asap, as you are. The Reservation system is a real buzzkill, but what can ya do!
2- Park Hopper is a favorite ticket type for many, including myself, however 2 Days at each park should provide plenty of time. You’ll most likely experience most of DCA, however Disneyland is still challenging to “complete” in even 2 days. This question is relative based on your interests.
3- Genie+, eh… maxpass wasn’t necessary because paper fastpass was, well, free! Genie+ only allows you to do a ride ONCE + doesn’t include the marquee attractions, it is completely worthless to me. You might make great use of the service if the crowds are high. I’d suggest making that decision when you get there.
4- Sunday at Disneyland is the way to go, crowds or not, if you want to soak up nighttime spectaculars! We haven’t gotten solid schedules for returning shows, but weekdays in May most often have little-to-no nighttime shows.
5- I’d say Rope Drop once at Disneyland and once at DCA, then sleep in for the next two days! Rope Drop at Disneyland is quite fun, but staying out late is even more exciting!
6- Rise of the Resistance should be regular standby line, but be aware if often doesn’t open with the park (also Rise might close early too!). Boarding Groups and Virtual Queues are not longer haunting us, thought they might make an appearance per day/situation if the crowd level is out of this world.
7- Disneyland Table Service-
*Carnation Cafe is a Main Street treat, Fried Pickles + Milkshakes under the Carnation Cafe umbrellas on Flower Street are my arrival-day tradition. Reservations most likely required.
*Cafe Orleans is an absolute must. Pomme Frites and the deep-fried Monte Cristo is a Disneyland mainstay. Reservation Required, though the sneaky walkups do become available throughout the day!
*River Belle Terrace is a real gem, and in my opinion, tragically underrated!! Southern style comfort food (think Burnt Ends Grilled Cheese or Catfish) with pudding and money bread deserts! The interior is simple and understated. The restaurant magically exists between both Adventureland and Frontierland, but the contradiction is masterfully calibrated. Reservations usually never required, walk up is often available for immediate seating, or 40 minutes at most.
8- Disneyland Quick Service-
Rancho del Zocalo. The patio view of Big Thunder makes this a truly relaxing place to relax, especially at twilight!
Docking Bay 7. The dishes are quite elevated for a Quick Service. There is a patio adjacent to the entrance that is just lovely to enjoy your meal at.
9- Bars-
Oga’s Cantina, of course, at Disneyland!
Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel is absolutely WONDERFUL and far from the busy parks!
Ballast Point is a real palate cleanser. Brewery with some cocktails. Found in Downtown Disney.
10- Breakfast
Using the App, I often mobile order a declious Jolly Holliday breakfast as I’m walking to the parks. At DCA, Pym’s Test Kitchen has a pretty great breakfast menu!
 

wdrive

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
1- Tickets + Park Reservations should absolutely be made asap, as you are. The Reservation system is a real buzzkill, but what can ya do!
2- Park Hopper is a favorite ticket type for many, including myself, however 2 Days at each park should provide plenty of time. You’ll most likely experience most of DCA, however Disneyland is still challenging to “complete” in even 2 days. This question is relative based on your interests.
3- Genie+, eh… maxpass wasn’t necessary because paper fastpass was, well, free! Genie+ only allows you to do a ride ONCE + doesn’t include the marquee attractions, it is completely worthless to me. You might make great use of the service if the crowds are high. I’d suggest making that decision when you get there.
4- Sunday at Disneyland is the way to go, crowds or not, if you want to soak up nighttime spectaculars! We haven’t gotten solid schedules for returning shows, but weekdays in May most often have little-to-no nighttime shows.
5- I’d say Rope Drop once at Disneyland and once at DCA, then sleep in for the next two days! Rope Drop at Disneyland is quite fun, but staying out late is even more exciting!
6- Rise of the Resistance should be regular standby line, but be aware if often doesn’t open with the park (also Rise might close early too!). Boarding Groups and Virtual Queues are not longer haunting us, thought they might make an appearance per day/situation if the crowd level is out of this world.
7- Disneyland Table Service-
*Carnation Cafe is a Main Street treat, Fried Pickles + Milkshakes under the Carnation Cafe umbrellas on Flower Street are my arrival-day tradition. Reservations most likely required.
*Cafe Orleans is an absolute must. Pomme Frites and the deep-fried Monte Cristo is a Disneyland mainstay. Reservation Required, though the sneaky walkups do become available throughout the day!
*River Belle Terrace is a real gem, and in my opinion, tragically underrated!! Southern style comfort food (think Burnt Ends Grilled Cheese or Catfish) with pudding and money bread deserts! The interior is simple and understated. The restaurant magically exists between both Adventureland and Frontierland, but the contradiction is masterfully calibrated. Reservations usually never required, walk up is often available for immediate seating, or 40 minutes at most.
8- Disneyland Quick Service-
Rancho del Zocalo. The patio view of Big Thunder makes this a truly relaxing place to relax, especially at twilight!
Docking Bay 7. The dishes are quite elevated for a Quick Service. There is a patio adjacent to the entrance that is just lovely to enjoy your meal at.
9- Bars-
Oga’s Cantina, of course, at Disneyland!
Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel is absolutely WONDERFUL and far from the busy parks!
Ballast Point is a real palate cleanser. Brewery with some cocktails. Found in Downtown Disney.
10- Breakfast
Using the App, I often mobile order a declious Jolly Holliday breakfast as I’m walking to the parks. At DCA, Pym’s Test Kitchen has a pretty great breakfast menu!

Thank you very much, some good food for thought there. Appreciate it!
 

choco choco

Well-Known Member
I would suggest three park hopper days is more efficient than four one-park days. Park hopping in California is very convenient. They are a football field in length apart. I have a joke that it is entirely possible to for someone in your party to get in line for a churro on Main Street, you hop out of Disneyland, hop into DCA, go on a ride and pop back into Disneyland before this someone receives the dessert.

So treat the whole thing as one giant park. Three days should be plenty. And use the fourth day exploring something else in Southern California.
 

Sailor310

Well-Known Member
I haven't used genie plus or individual LL, but people are generally positive about it. I didn't mind waiting an hour for Rise of the Resistance with my Magic Key, but if I were making a one time trip, I'd pay the $20 for Individual lightning lanes to save the hour, same for Radiator Springs Racers. Also, I'd get genie+ at least one day. For $20, it should save you a lot of time.

I agree with ALL of Mickeyboof's restaurant choices. I'd add getting a reservation at Blue Bayou. People say it's fallen off in quality lately, but it's still a classic experience. Grand Californian is well worth it- just to take a break in the rocking chairs in front of the fireplace, lunch at Hearthstone Lounge, or dinner at Red Rose and/or Story Tellers. you can enter out of DCA over by Grizzly River Run-my favorite ride. We bring a change of clothes and flipflops (so we're not wet the rest of the day) and put shoes and other stuff in the free lockers to the left of the ride.

I'm not a drinker, but Tangaroa Terrace-connected with Trader Sam's has a nice patio and pretty good food, as well as Dole Whips.
 
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