• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Guide to DLR for WDW Veterans!

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
I disagree. I've heard HJ is excellent too, but we loved the place that @Weather_Lady booked and it was so close and convenient plus it had a free full breakfast.
As it happens, we have kept our Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn reservation. The hotel has been newly-remodeled with updated decor, and the AAA rate we got on a 2-bedroom suite there was quite a bit less than the comparable family suites at the Howard Johnson, although both are, as you mention, well-reviewed. Breakfast will be a welcome feature, as well!
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
Just a few points for WDW vets so they don't look like tourists while visiting the Disneyland Resort.

1) Never call the Disneyland Resort, "Disney". (ie. "We're going to spend a week at Disney.") This is acceptable at Walt Disney World but NOT acceptable here.

2) Disneyland is NOT in Florida. That is the Magic Kingdom. It is not Disneyland.

3) Whatever you do, definitely don't say "Cali." The only people who don't refer to California as "Cali" are the Golden State natives themselves. You will very, very rarely hear a Californian call their home state by this name, even though people from everywhere else love to call it that.

4) The planning rules you use at WDW do not work at the Disneyland Resort. It is best to go with the flow and enjoy Walt's park and the magic. There is also thousands of things to do off property.
 

SteamboatJoe

Well-Known Member
I have sort of an odd question from my last trip. On the way back to IASW on the right hand side of the path, due east of the canal boats, there is an elevated area accessed by steps and ramps. Within it are two IASW themed towers. Does this area consist of re-purposed remnants of an old attraction or was this just built to serve as a meet and greet and/or parade viewing area?

I understand the motor boats used to operate in the water behind the area in question and were accessed by what is now the narrow rear seating area for Edelweiss. I also believe I read that Midget Autopia was located across from the area in question but was destroyed when the path needed widened to access IASW when it opened.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
I have sort of an odd question from my last trip. On the way back to IASW on the right hand side of the path, due east of the canal boats, there is an elevated area accessed by steps and ramps. Within it are two IASW themed towers. Does this area consist of re-purposed remnants of an old attraction or was this just built to serve as a meet and greet and/or parade viewing area?

I understand the motor boats used to operate in the water behind the area in question and were accessed by what is now the narrow rear seating area for Edelweiss. I also believe I read that Midget Autopia was located across from the area in question but was destroyed when the path needed widened to access IASW when it opened.
That is the viewing area for the old Light Magic parade. The parade lasted for the summer of '97 and never was run again. The viewing area remained and is a great place to get close to the any parade without staking out a spot hours in advance.
 

SteamboatJoe

Well-Known Member
That is the viewing area for the old Light Magic parade. The parade lasted for the summer of '97 and never was run again. The viewing area remained and is a great place to get close to the any parade without staking out a spot hours in advance.
Thanks! I enjoyed a nice turkey leg there one evening. Interesting that they built it just for that purpose and that the show only lasted for one summer. I've seen some here talk about/bemoan changes made over the years to address crowd flow so I guess this improvement sorta falls in line with those efforts.

EDIT: Just read the Light Magic article on Wiki. Sounds like it's rollout was a train wreck and the show received poor reviews by the public. I also saw the name Pressler which I understand is not favorably viewed in DL fan circles.
 
Last edited:

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
Thanks! I enjoyed a nice turkey leg there one evening. Interesting that they built it just for that purpose and that the show only lasted for one summer. I've seen some here talk about/bemoan changes made over the years to address crowd flow so I guess this improvement sorta falls in line with those efforts.

EDIT: Just read the Light Magic article on Wiki. Sounds like it's rollout was a train wreck and the show received poor reviews by the public. I also saw the name Pressler which I understand is not favorably viewed in DL fan circles.
No one understood that the parade stopped at only two areas for a half hour show before moving on. If you weren't at those locations, you missed the show.
 

Rich T

Well-Known Member
No one understood that the parade stopped at only two areas for a half hour show before moving on. If you weren't at those locations, you missed the show.
If you missed the show, you were one of the lucky ones. No fault of the cast; it just didn't work at all.
 

MLevell

New Member
Hi all, I'm new to the forum and this seems as good a place as any to start.

So every President's Day weekend I fly from my home in Florida to attend a convention in Los Angeles. This will be my seventh year in a row and ever year is the same, I land at LAX and check in to the airport hotel that the convention is held at Wednesday night and fly out Monday morning. The first year that's all I did, I learned the layout of the hotel and focused on the con, but when I got back people were pretty confused that I flew across the entire country, to LA, only to spend the whole trip in a hotel. So ever since I try to get out and do something, but since I'm busy Thursday night to Sunday night that doesn't leave much time, so its usually go see a movie Thursday morning (I happened to catch the final Force Awakens showing at The Chinese Theater) or a late night comedy show Sunday. This year is going to be different though, because this year I'm going to do something I've thought about for a long time. This year I'm going to Disneyland!

So I've downloaded the Disneyland app and bought a 1 day park hopper with Maxpass for Thursday Feb 14, but I need some Disneyland experts help in planning. As a born and raised Floridian I obviously I want to prioritize rides that we don't have in Florida, then rides that are obviously better in California, then rides that we have only gotten in Florida in recent years as it's been a while since I've been, and then stuff that's just great at both. I also need some advice on transportation, every time I'm in LA I get around via Uber, does this make since for this trip, does anyone know where I would be dropped off at, is there a better solution?

A little personal info I'm a mid 20's guy that will be traveling alone (weirdly as someone who loves theme parks and loves solo travel, I don't think I've ever done a park on my own before) I'm a big guy in most ways so I am a little nervous about not fitting on some stuff but on a recent trip to Universal and Islands of Adventure I rode basically ever dry ride that didn't involve over-the-shoulder restraints and only Gringotts was noticeably uncomfortable (though I still did it 3 times) so hopefully I won't have to skip too much.

Now obviously I know one day is not enough to really take in Disneyland for the first time (In fact it won't even be a full day because while Disneyland may close at midnight, jesus really?!, I need to be back at my LAX hotel no later than 8pm) but I want to believe that I can still have a good time and ride some rides that I have always dreamed of like Indiana Jones.

This turned out to be an overshare but any trip planning advice and tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

Touchdown

Well-Known Member
Thursday is a EMH day at DL, which is unfortunate as you can’t rope drop the Fantasyland rides to start the day. I would rope drop DCA, as you are alone I would start there. Grab a Fastpass for TSMM first (I know it’s in DHS but you’ll be right by it at 30 min after opening) then follow the crowd to RSR. Use the single line, you should walk right on. Then head to Pixar Pier and hit the Incridicoaster and any rides there you want to ride. Once you can pull another Maxpass get one for Guardians. In between hit the Cars Land flats and enjoy the Shops, once you leave you likely won’t be back. Your next Fastpass should be for Indy (the ride is too unreliable and the single line is too slow to rely on it.) In addition to Indy, you’re going to want and ride the four mountains, HM, Pirates, the Fantasyland dark rides (other then Peter Pan,) Storybook Cruise and Rodger Rabbit. Use the app and ride those if you see the line less then 30 min and Maxpass as you can. Indy and Space run out first, Matterhorn, HM, and BTMRR are mid tier, Rodger Rabbit is low tier and this time of year so is Splash. Small World, Pooh and Jungle Cruise are different but I wouldnt prioritize them. You should have no problem doing everything you want so long as you rope drop.
 

MLevell

New Member
Appreciate the tips, I admit it feels a little 'wrong' for the first trip to Disneyland to not start at Disneyland but your logic makes sense. That gives me a nice outline to plan my trip, but I'm certainly willing to listen to any other advice.
 

Rich T

Well-Known Member
Good advice above, but I'd add that if you're pressed for time, you can skip TSMM, Splash Mtn., and Haunted Mansion, as the WDW versions are similar enough or better (Splash). Also be warned that the new bobsleds on the Matterhorn are very uncomfortable for many guests (myself included).

My don't miss list: Pirates, Indy, Radiator Springs Racers, Space Mountain, Big Thunder (for the new finale) and, on the lower tier, Alice in Wonderland and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

BTW, if you happen to be near the front of the opening crowd getting the first rides on RSR; you can often get a walk-on second ride by immediately entering the Single Rider line once you've exited.

Have a great time! :)
 

BasiltheBatLord

Well-Known Member
@MLevell If I were you I would focus on Disneyland exclusives (Indy, Matterhorn, RSR, Alice, Toad etc.) and the original classics (PotC, HM, Small World etc.)

Definitely skip all the clones like Midway Mania since you're short on time. Worth keeping in mind that while some attractions are on both coasts they do differ somewhat (The three mountains are all different from WDW for example, although they are of course the same type of ride)

MaxPass and single rider will help you a lot, but just keep an eye on lines on the app and don't get in line for anything unreasonable (I keep a general rule of not waiting for anything longer than 40-45 mins at most)
 

rebelk73

Member
Good advice above, but I'd add that if you're pressed for time, you can skip TSMM, Splash Mtn., and Haunted Mansion, as the WDW versions are similar enough or better (Splash). Also be warned that the new bobsleds on the Matterhorn are very uncomfortable for many guests (myself included).

My don't miss list: Pirates, Indy, Radiator Springs Racers, Space Mountain, Big Thunder (for the new finale) and, on the lower tier, Alice in Wonderland and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

BTW, if you happen to be near the front of the opening crowd getting the first rides on RSR; you can often get a walk-on second ride by immediately entering the Single Rider line once you've exited.

Have a great time! :)
Yes! Head to Radiator Springs and do Single rider. Get the Guardians fastpass and ride radiator springs AT LEAST twice in a row. It will stick out as one of the best rides of your day if not ever in a Disney park. The only other must do in DCA is Incredicoaster in my opinion. Maybe the flat rides in cars land if you have time between fast passes. Don't get me wrong, I try to do them all if I have an entire day there. Both Incredicoaster and Radiator Springs have single rider lines that move pretty quickly so book Guardians and then book Indiana Jones or Space mountain. At Disneyland if you have booked Space mountain head there and then Matterhorn for single rider. Book your next fastpass after space mountain for Indi. While waiting for Indi and after Matterhorn do the dark rides at Fantasyland (toad, snow, pinocchio, alice) skip Peter Pan. Then, head to Indi. GO in reverse if you book Indi first. Next fastpass should be either Roger Rabbit (because it is a Disneyland exclusive) or Big thunder because it has some great unique effects. After Indi do Pirates because it is so different and then do your next fastpass. If you are a die hard and NEED to do Disneyland only rides then ride the storybook canal boats, circus train, etc. For a man in his 20's they may bore you to death. AFter you get this stuff done you can do whatever strikes your fancy. Our fantasyland sadly always smells like a poop filled diaper and is full of strollers so it isn't an area to hang out in just for ambiance. At night I suggest tomorrowland because the neon looks awesome, adventureland, or even better hop back over to DCA for pixar pier and cars land which are phenomenal at night. You will get a lot done as a single rider. In February it is dark early so "night" is like 6 pm
 

Rich T

Well-Known Member
I gotta say I’ve never thought our FL smelled like a poop-filled diaper. :D But I only go there early mornings and late evenings. :)
 

MLevell

New Member
Well I head off to the airport in the morning, thank you all so much for your help. I'm really excited and am glad that I have a couple plans in my back pocket.
 

MLevell

New Member
Alright I'm back home so lets review what went down.

My connection into LAX on Wednesday was severely delayed, we were told that weather was so bad that air traffic control was limiting how many planes could come into LAX, which meant that I didn't get into my hotel room until well past midnight which is well past 3am to my east coast brain. So needless to say I wasn't thrilled when 6:30 alarm I had set for this trip went off. Turning on the TV, every channel is showing horrible flooding all through out the southern California area. Thankfully I was prepared for this as last year I went on an Alaska cruise and thus brought my new boots and rain jacket. After grabbing a quick breakfast I call my Uber and pull up to the park shortly before 8:30.

Despite everything being rainy and overcast I couldn't stop smiling from the moment I walked past the ticket booths, after a lifetime of Disney World trips I was in a Disney park that I had never been in, it was very surreal. Following the advice up-thread I made my way into California Adventure and prepared to rope drop Radiator Springs Racer, well a few minutes before opening the cast member standing behind the rope told the small group of us there that not only was that ride not working, almost nothing in the park was. So I booked it over to Guardians, missing the actual rope drop, but made it onto the second elevator of the day. I know the ride is a bit controversial around these parts but as a life long fan of Marvel Comics (Yes I have been a fan of Groot and Rocket Racoon longer than RDJ has been Iron Man) and as a massive fan of James Gunn's films, this was an incredible experience that has me smiling and laughing on a ride type that would usually have me too scared to ride. It makes me want to finally confront my fears and do Tower of Terror.

While exiting the ride I opened up the Disneyland app (which was very slow and crashy the whole day, not helped I'm sure by trying to use it in the pouring rain, a scenario where neither touch-id not paper tickets are very useful) and secured a Fastpass for Indiana Jones the ride I have been jealous of for nearly 20 years. So I crossed over into Disneyland proper and while yes the awful weather and castle maintenance meant it was not the scenario I had dreamed of for so long, it was pretty magical. I made my way straight over to Indy and after a 5 minute wait in the beautiful temple queue, I boarded. I'm sure I'm not saying anything new when I say it is a very fun ride, even if it doesn't quite live up all these years thinking about it. I could only make out maybe half of what Indiana says (and what I could hear didn't sound like Harrison Ford) but for a ride that's nearly a quarter of a century old it's a blast and definitely one of my favorites.

These were the two must rides for me as they were new experiences based on properties I have loved for a long time and I had knocked them out back-to-back in under an hour. After this I let my self relax and do whatever, took a few steps and saw Pirates, walked right on and got the back row all to myself, so much better than ours even if the Johnny Depp stuff is out of place, a few steps from there and had my own Doom Buggy on the Haunted Mansion, basically how I remember it but still great. Wandered past Splash Mountain closed on the one day I'd probably say "what the hell I'm already wet lets do it" and over to Winnie the Pooh, which starts and ends outside which I'm sure is lovely most of the year but meant it was soaked today, still I had the front row to myself and enjoyed it. This put me in a dark ride mindset so I moseyed on over to Fantasyland and hit up Snow White, Pinocchio and Mr. Toad, all fun, all private rides, my childhood favorite Peter Pan had a half-hour wait so I skipped it. Unfortunately Alice in Wonderland, a ride I was really looking forward to as I didn't know it even existed before researching this trip, never opened.

I overheard some people talking about Star Wars land, which put me into a Star Was mood so I made my over to Star Tours, grabbed a fast pass that let me on right then. I hadn't actually done Tours since the redo and I have to say while enjoyable, I got all original trilogy stuff, I miss the original and I think it's a ride system that is showing it's age, that screen seems quite small in 2019. By now the rain was really coming down and so I had my hood up and my head down so I didn't get a good feel for Tomorrowland but I went up to Toontown for one of my other must-do rides, Roger Rabbit, despite no one being in line I walked the whole queue just taking it in, the whole time not really believing that this is a thing that exists. There even being a Roger Rabbit ride so many years after it feels like the general public forgot about him would make me happy, the fact that it's one of the better dark rides in the park is even better.

After exiting Roger the rain started to die down, although the walkways were still flooded and the sky very dark, I got on Small World a ride I've always had a soft spot for, it feels longer than ours and a little different but still makes me smile. After that I couldn't ignore the towering beauty of Matterhorn. I was pretty nervous about fitting but thankfully I did, even if I thought I was being prepared to give birth. As a ride it's self it's not much, I had heard screams coming from it earlier and I really can't think of why, fun but not something I would wait in line for. Noticing the break in the weather I opened up the app and saw that California Adventure was working and made my way back over. The first thing I hit was Soarin, not as good as the original but still a magical experience, and then walked through the otherwise closed Grizzly Peak area which is beautiful and surreal seeing a hotel right there. Walked right onto my own private Little Mermaid, whose animatronics make all of the other dark rides in the resort look ancient, and then I realized that I hadn't ate or drank anything since my hotel and grabbed a Water and Corn-dog. After scarfing that down I entered Pixar Pier, which I have mixed feelings about, a proper Pixar World makes so much since for Disney Parks but much like Dinorama at Animal Kingdom if you do a good job on theming a land to a cheap old amusement park you now have a cheap old amusement park which feels inappropriate for Disney. I grabbed a get on now fast pass for Midway Mania, which I hadn't done in ages. This has never been a favorite of mine but I had fun and it was nice to have another private ride vehicle. Incredicoaster was still closed so I grabbed one of those big chocolate cookies and kept walking.

From there I finally entered Cars Land which is pretty and nicely themed. Walking up to RSR I see that stand-by is 75 minutes and fastpass isn't available for over an hour and the line that is already there is long and barely moving. So I decide to try single-rider, and I am literally the only one in line, I walk straight to the front and am immediately put in the front of the next car, it honestly felt like cheating. This is a very impressive ride that makes great use of the Test Track tech with so great animatronics in the show scenes and amazing rock work on the outside stuff. It obviously loses something for me having never seen the movies its based on, but yeah this is great. After that I make my way back near the entrance and board Monster's Inc which... yeah is not done any favors by being a ride-through-the-movie dark ride in the same park as Little Mermaid but I love this movie more than that one so I enjoyed it. By now I had completed the loop at both parks, was soaked to the bone, tired, and was receiving texts from some friends at the conference, so I decided to call it a day and by 2:30 I was in a Uber.

While it wasn't exactly the day at Disneyland I had always dreamed of, it was pretty magical all the same not least in the fact that I don't think I waited more than 5 minutes in line for anything. There were certainly things I wanted to do but either didn't have the time or opportunity, I rode 17 rides in five and a half hours which is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Thank you everyone for all your help.


Guardians of The Galaxy: Mission Breakout
Indiana Jone Adventure
Pirates of the Caribbean
Haunted Mansion
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Snow White's Scary Adventures
Pinocchio's Daring Journey
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Star Tours: The Adventure Continue
Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
It's A Small World
Matterhorn Bobsleds
Soarin' Around The World
The Little Mermaid
Toy Story Midway Mania!
Radiator Springs Racers
Monster's Inc. Mike and Sully To The Rescue
 

BasiltheBatLord

Well-Known Member
Good report. It's always interesting reading the impressions of someone who's never been to the park before and I admire your tenacity for going by yourself on such little sleep to experience the park (those are the real people who make Disneyland special imo, not the typical family demographic).

Noticed you said you got original trilogy stuff on Star Tours, does that mean they've gotten rid of the lock on all sequel trilogy sequences? If so that's great news.
 
Top Bottom