Archive for Disney California Adventure
Last week I met up with my friend and her son for a playdate at Disney’s California Adventure. We decided to have an early dinner and headed for Storytellers Cafe at the Grand Californian Hotel.
I love when we have dinner there, because it means free valet for 5 hours. We called ahead, made reservations and enjoyed a few rides before we headed to dinner. We’ve had dinner there before but never noticed that their children’s menu, had a special make your own pizza entree. You can either have the chef make your own pizza or you can have the kiddos make it themselves. My son was thrilled with the idea of making his own pizza and being a “chef”!
It was a fun process. They bring out the dough, cheese and pepperoni in a big Mickey shaped tray. My son had a great time assembling his pizza! He loved the entire process and ate his pizza right up.
It’s a fun and reasonably priced treat. I believe the Make your own pizza entree is $7.99 and comes with a side of fruit and a drink. If you have an annual pass save even more with your discount!
If you are looking for a special treat at the resort, you might want to give this special treat a try. For additional info head here.
This October, Disney’s California Adventure will hold it’s fifth year of Mickey’s Trick or Treat party, a special ticketed event. The park adds additional decoration, special entertainment and trick or treat stations throughout DCA as it closes the park to the general public.
In the Sun Plaza, there is a giant candy corn and a DJ playing music that you can dance to and several other dance party stations. We have had the opportunity to attend almost every year and have had a blast. One of my favorite parts of Mickey’s Trick or Treat Party is that there are several character greet and meet photo locations throughout the park. Our daughter’s dream came true last year as she was able to meet Cinderella, who took her hand, posed with her and walked around a bit of the park with her. Needless to say it made her night and she was thrilled.
Be prepared for a couple of bagfuls of candy. You are given a bag at the entrance of the park and you will easy fill it up. My kids love trick or treating and this was definitely the highlight for them. Of course the fact that the park limits the amount of guests and it is closed down to the general public doesn’t hurt to the appeal. It’s my favorite part of the evening. Here is a tip -if you can, make sure to buy tickets for a weeknight. I’ve gone on both a weekend and a weeknight and we had a better experience on the weeknight. There are less crowds and the party has more of an exclusive feel to it.
This event invariably sells out every single year. Tickets go on sale in the beginning of summer and are usually sold out by the end of September. It is an amazing event for the kiddos. Kiddos and adults are encouraged to wear their Halloween costume to the park. I love it because it allows the kiddos to wear their costume on more than one night. It runs for four hours either from 6:30 to 10:30 or 7:30 to 11:30 PM depending on the night of the week.
If you have never had the opportunity to attend Mickey’s Trick or Treat Party, make this the year. Your kiddos are going to love it!
Ticket Prices and Event Dates*
Advance purchase by Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members and Disney Visa card holders for selected dates: $26.00
Annual Passholder/DVC/Disney Visa discount is available for the following dates: October 2, 8, 15, 21, 22, 28
Advanced Purchase Ticket Prices
$32 Regular Admission Price for These Dates — October 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29
Day-of-Event Ticket Prices
$39 If Purchased and Used on These Dates — October 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29
$42 If Purchased and Used on These Dates — October 30 and 31
Ages Two and Under: No Charge
For additional information head over here
I know I’m a little late with my Disney Sunday post but I still wanted to squeeze in a Disney post before the end of the week. In this week’s installment I wanted to write about Disneyland/Disney’s California Adventure FASTPASS.
Basically a Disney FASTPASS allows you to cut your wait time at certain attractions by standing in line for you electronically. The FASTPASS system is included with your admission/annual pass and one that you will want to use whenever you are heading over to the Disneyland resort.
Here is how it works- You head over to one of the rides(I included a list at the end of the post) that uses the FASTPASS system. Once you are there look for the distribution area near the entrance of the attraction. Check the return time (be sure to get your passes early because on very busy days they run out!) and insert your ticket or annual pass into the FASTPASS machine. Once you insert your ticket/annual pass a ticket will print out with your return time. When it’s time to return to the attraction enter through the FASTPASS line/queue and you will avoid the long wait. It’s simple, painless and will save you time!Once you have your ticket in hand head out to enjoy the other attractions. We usually grab a FASTPASS and catch a show or ride an attraction with a minimal wait line.
Here are two things that you should also know about FASTPASS.
- You can only have one FASTPASS ticket to one attraction at a time. This means you can’t head over to Splash Mountain and pick up a FASTPASS then walk over to Big Tunder Railroad and pick up another while you wait. You can grab another FASTPASS as soon as your return time comes up.
- Your FASTPASS tickets don’t expire. I met my sisters at the park a little late last week only to find them complaining about their FASTPASS tickets expiring. There is no such thing. Your recommended time is printed on your ticket but you are always welcome to come after that time on the day of your visit.
Here is the list of attractions at both parks that utilize the FASTPASS system.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
Disney’s California Adventure
Grizzly River Run
Soarin Over California
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Have a terrific rest of the day and use a FASTPASS next time you are heading over to the parks!
Hope you are all having a fun and relaxing Sunday. On the second weekly installment of Disney Sunday I wanted to list a couple of fun and FREE things you can pick up while visiting Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure. Make sure to try or pick up one of the freebies next time you are at the park. Enjoy!!
1. Free entrance to either park on your birthday. Just register online and show up with your birth certificate or ID. If you already have an annual pass- head to the ticket booth to pickup your $69 gift card for merchandise or a family pack of 6 fast passes to every attraction at the park of you choice. Another tip- turn your free admission at the end of the day into an annual pass. All you will have to do is either pay the difference or sign up for the installment plan. It’s a great deal!!
2. Pick up a free pin from City Hall in Disneyland, DCA guest services or the information booth. You can get a Happy Birthday pin, Happy Anniversary,Just Married,Family Reunion,1st Visit,Happily Ever After and the I’m Celebrating button which could be used anytime!
3. Pick up a fresh, warm and delicious tortilla from the Mission Tortilla Factory tour in Disney’s California Adventure. If it’s your birthday make sure to pick up your free dozen.
4. Try a taste of Sourdough bread from The Boudin Bakery tour in DCA. It’s located right across from the Mission Tortilla Factory Tour.
5. Animation Academy- Head over to DCA’s Hollywood Backlot and try your drawing skills at The Disney Animation building. You are provided with drawing pencils and pads and taught by Disney animators a series of simple steps that enable you to create your own character drawings. You can take your drawings home or better yet- ask nicely and usually the Disney Animator will be more than willing to give you their fresh character sketch.
6. Head over to Disneyland’s Tomorrowland and ride Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. While you ride you will have your photo taken and at the end of the ride you can e-mail your Astro Blaster score and photo home. It’s a fun and free souvenir!
7. Free stickers – make sure to head over to Toontown and meet Mickey and Minnie. You will receive a free sticker when you meet them.
8. Free beads at New Orleans Square- Head on over to New Orleans Square when the bands are playing. The beads are usually thrown out by cast members and are a fun treat. Best of all they are Free!!
9. Last but not least- My daughter’s Favorite- Head over to Autopia and pick up a Free License. This is sometimes hit and miss. However, I’ve received one every time I have ridden Autopia.
I look forward to sharing with you my Disney tips . I decided to move them up by one day to Sundays because it has a nice ring to it. Here is my third installment in the weekly series. What to pack when heading to the Disney Resort.
I try to head over to one of the parks at least twice a week during the summer. Through much trial and error I have learned what to pack with me to be able to enjoy a day at the park and not shell out much money. Here is my essential list-
What do I bring with me??
1.Make sure to pack a couple of snacks. Some good ideas are – cut up fruit, individual baggies of cookies/chips, grapes(a big favorite of ours)goldfish and fruit snacks. I try to avoid buying snacks at the park at all costs. It can get pretty expensive!! You will also need a good backpack – I’m usually prepared with a great backpack- I never leave home without one .
2. Bring a stroller if you have small children. If you can, make sure to bring a light or umbrella stroller. They are easier to fold up and store. Make sure to have some kind of labeling on you stroller to help yours stand out in the sea of strollers. If you really don’t want to hassle with bringing one (although I strongly recommend it)- rent one at the front of the park. I usually avoid this at costs but if you can’t bring a stroller and want one this is a good alternative and trust me a stroller is indispensable if you have kids under 5.
3. Make sure to pack a jacket /sweater/blanket. – The nights cool off and I’ve had to leave once or twice because I had a cold kiddo- I’ve also had to drop $50 on sweatshirts because mommy didn’t prepare efficiently. Learn from my mistakes and pack a sweatshirt or two.
4.Bring a bottle or two of water per person- I usually freeze mine the night before and throw them in a Ziploc bag- I pack them in at the bottom of my bag and they have been a lifesaver!! You can also bring your own insulated water bottles and refill them at the park.
5. Bring your own soda- I usually bring a can for each of us and then head to one of the local restaurants and ask for cups of ice. This has saved us so much money!!
6. Bring baby wipes. I always carry them even if I don’t have my youngest with me. They are great for sticky hands and clean ups. I think they are a necessity !!
7. Bring some sandwiches-If you are planning on staying for more than a couple of hours- they are a must. Cheap and easy to transport!!
8. Bring a dollar or two to the park. My kids are used to one tradition when we head over to the park. On the way out we always stop by at the last souvenir kiosk and buy a 50 cent Minnie Mouse heart sucker. I only spend $1.00 and the kids absolutely are happy as clams on the way out. A little sticky but happy- and that’s what it’s all about!!
Disneyland is a classic and untouchable. There is no debating that. However, when looking at California Adventure- it’s important to not compare it to its iconic next door neighbor. When you look at DCA as a whole, by itself – it is a really impressive little theme park and one that I just happen to be in love with.
Here are the top ten reasons why I think Disney’s California Adventure is a fantastic place for the kiddos and why I am madly in love with DCA.
- The kiddos can get wet-We love the Irrigation Station and Princess Dot Splash Pad in the Flick’s Fun Fair Area. It is the perfect spot on a hot spring/summer day.
- I hate waiting in line. I mean really who does?? I love that the attractions in Flick’s Fun Fair have minimal waiting lines and are a big hit with my kiddos. They love every single ride – especially Flick’s Fun Flyers.
- If your kids love the Disney Channel’s cartoons then they will absolutely love The Playhouse Disney Show- my kids LOVE it!!
- Who loves Free stuff? I do- I do!! I love that you can get a fresh warm tortilla from the Mission Tortilla Factory tour and a sourdough taste from Boudin Bakery.My kids love the fresh tortillas and I’m not going to lie, so do I. Here’s a little tip- on your birthday pick up a dozen free tortillas from the Mission Tortilla Factory. Just show them your birthday pin and you are set!
- They have an amazing baby center. Not as big as Disneyland’s but still great.
- DCA is home to Disney’s Electrical Parade. Love it. It’s new and improved and a must see!!
- They are home to three amazing shows that your kiddos will love-MuppetVison 3D, It’s tough to be a bug and Aladdin.
- In my opinion, DCA is home to one of the BEST(if not the best!!) attractions in the Disneyland Resort, Toy Story Mania.
- They have a pretty spiffy Ferris Wheel. You can either pick a gondola that moves or is stationary.
- I love that I can park in the Downtown Disney lot ( free for 3 hours)- walk over to the DCA entrance at the Grand Californian Hotel in Downtown Disney(next to Sephora) , spend a couple of hours there and then I don’t have to deal with taking a tram back to the parking lot. I love love that I can do this, especially on a crowded day.
DCA is in the middle of a major expansion – which includes a new water show, a Little Mermaid Ride and sure to be a big hit with my son- A thrill ride- featuring the characters from CARS!! The expansion should be complete by 2012.
There are so many other things I love about DCA but I tried to limit myself to my favorite 10. Next time that you are heading over to the Disneyland Resort make sure to show DCA some love ! It deserves it!
My family loves to visit Disneyland/DCA often and yes we are a bit crazy, even in the busy summer season. I’ve picked up a thing or two from my many visits to the parks on hot summer days. Here are some of the things I’ve learned to stay cool at the parks on sweltering days.
- During peak times I try to avoid waiting in line for any attraction. This is the time when we usually head to catch a show. A favorite of our family is the Enchanted Tiki Room- Nice and cool and a great way to sit back and relax. Other great ones- Honey I shrunk the audience, Bug’s life @ DCA.
- We always take a ride on the Disneyland Train to check out how busy the park is and judge from there. It’s also a great way to cool down and I’ve been known to take it two or three times around the park on a hot summer day. If you have heavy sleepers like I do- great place to let them take a nap.
- Pack a swimsuit for the kids and head over to the irrigation station at Disney’s California Adventure. Let the kids run around at Princess Dot Puddle Station. Make sure to pack towels and an extra set of clothes because the kiddos will get soaked!!
- Keep hydrated- If you can ,bring a bottle or two of water. I usually freeze mine the night before and throw them in a Ziploc bag- I pack them in at the bottom of my bag and they have been a lifesaver!!
- If your tots are tired and need a nap- head over to the seating area in the Hungry Bear Restaurant. It’s located in Critter Country. I always head towards the back, grab a little something to eat and enjoy the shade while watching the Mark Twain go by. It’s always nice and cool. Usually my youngest falls asleep in the stroller. It’s a perfect spot and way relaxing.
- Make sure to pack a jacket /sweater/blanket. – I’ve left home without one thinking that there was no possible way that I would be cold on a summer day. Boy was I wrong!! The nights cool off and there is nothing worse than shelling out $50.00 for a sweatshirt because your four year old is cold. Trust me on this one!!
- Take advantage of the Baby Center if you have little ones. It’s a great place to feed the teeny ones and I have even rocked both of my babies to sleep here. Best part- super cool in there!!
- Peak times are from 2-4pm at both parks. This is the best time to grab a bite to eat and not have to fight for a table.
- Head to rides that have the least waiting time. Top of our list-all in Adventureland/New Orleans Square- Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, taking a stroll on the Mark Twain and of course a ride on the Disneyland train.
- Enjoy yourself and remember to take it easy and have fun!!
Summer is pretty much over and that means one thing in our family- Halloween is just around the corner. It also means Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort.
This year, the newly named “Mickey’s Trick or Treat Party” will be held at Disney’s California Adventure. I’ve attended the event for the past two years with my kiddos and we’ve had a great time. “Mickey’s Trick or Treat Party” is a special ticketed event at Disney’s California Adventure . You and your family are encouraged to dress up ad enjoy the special decorations, dance stations (which had to be the biggest hit of the night with my kids), yummie trick or treat stations, character greets(my daughter Lauren’s dream came true last year when she met Cinderella), and of course your favorite California Adventure rides. It really is a great event. “Mickey’s Trick or Treat Party” will be held on October 3, 10, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, and 31.
If you are planning to attend make sure to buy your tickets as soon as possible. Tickets sell out fast!! Advance tickets, on sale now are $29. The Friday nights always sell out quickly as well as the dates closer to Halloween. Costumes are permitted, but not masks.
Passholder discount is available for the following dates: October 3, 16, 22, 23, 28, 29
There is no discount available for the October 31 event. All tickets for that date are $37.
Tickets available on-line at http://www.disneyland.com/tickets
Or by calling 714-781-4400
$3.00 shipping charge
Discounted tickets available to Annual Passholders on Disneyland’s Annual Passholder web site: http://www.disneyland.com/ap
No charge for kids age two and under.
Limit of 8 tickets per event.