Tag: California Adventure

Pixar Pier

Pixar Pier

Disney recently announced that there is a new themed land coming to the Disney’s California Adventure park in 2018. The company is converting Paradise Pier, that California themed boardwalk that features midway games and the popular California Screamin’ roller coaster, into an area devoted to the movies of Pixar. So say goodbye to the Santa Monica Pier, and hello to attractions based around The Incredibles, Toy Story, Wall-E, Inside Out and other Pixar greats.

California Screamin’ will be rolling away forever, as it’ll be rebranded into the Incredicoaster. This Incredibles-based coaster will maintain the same track layout as Screamin’, but with retooled cars and a new queue. Screamin’ is already one of the most popular rides at the park, but this will give Hot Hubby and I another excuse for riding.

Elsewhere Inside Out will be getting its own small area, with an as-yet-unrevealed “family-friendly attraction”.  Toy Story Midway Mania, which has been a part of Paradise Pier for almost a decade, will be the linchpin of a new, expanded Toy Story section. And those old midway games will be getting a Pixar overhaul, so expect something like an Up balloon game.

This will give us another reason to visit Disneyland while we wait for Star Wars Land to open in 2019.Toy Story Pier

I got Mulan!

I got Mulan!

One of my favorite things in California Adventure is the Animation Building.  Have you visited there?   It looks kind of plain from the front and I think most people arrive to the Frozen Live show early, and wander in to kill time.  But not me.  I am serious about the animation building.

You can meet Anna and Elsa, from Frozen.  There is a demonstration on how to draw Disney characters.  Turtle Talk lets you talk to the stars of Finding Nemo.  There are places to see how early animation was created. But my favorite is Beast’s Castle!

The castle has a huge fireplace and pictures of Beast before transformation  It also has a game to tell you which Disney Character you are!  You are seated at a table with Belle’s book open and Cogsworth leads you through the questions.  The final question is always the hard one, because it decides whether you are a villain or a princess:  Would you rather eat a nice lunch with friends or a lunch of nice friends?   Hot Hubby chose the latter and is most like Captain Hook.   I chose a nice lunch and I am most like Mulan!!!

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Which would you choose?  To be a villain or a princess?IMG_1504

Three Days in Disneyland

What is the perfect amount of time in Disneyland?  Hot Hubby and I just returned from a Disneyland adventure and we have concluded that it is three days.  Three days

 

is the perfect trip to Disneyland. We planned our trip for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the week before a long weekend.  Everyone was back in school and the park needed us.

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On the Monday, we got there at Rope Drop.  Or better, you can get there an hour before Rope Drop.  Eat breakfast at Disneyland and be ready when the rope actually drops, to run through the park.  We start with the biggest rides and ride them when the crowds are least…so we begin with Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain and then when our stomachs can’t take anymore, we head to Indiana Jones, Pirates and Haunted Mansion.

 

 

On the Tuesday, we sleep as late as we can, which is 8 am for Hot Hubby.  Then we head to California Adventure.  We start by getting fast passes to World of Color and checking out the times for Frozen.  The first ride is Guardians of the Galaxy, (just kidding, Hot Hubby and I can’t do this one).  We start in the back with California Screamin’, Toy Story Mania, Goofy’s Sky School and work our way forward.  After a few hours, we are slowing down and ready for the Frozen show, which is near Broadway quality for free!  We will Disney from dawn to dusk, because we have to see the World of Color Show, which closes the park.

Wednesday is reserved for favorites, anything we haven’t enjoyed enough to last us until the next trip and shopping.  We started in Toontown with Roger Rabbit, Go Coaster and ate breakfast at Clarabelle’s, because any excuse for Frozen Yogurt!  We have to visit Mickey and Minnie Mouse in their houses.  Then we ride favorites:  It’s a Small World for Hot Hubby and Thunder Mountain for me.

This year, we tried the new MaxPass which worked great in California Adventure.  It works with the Disneyland App and tracks your tickets, photos and Fast Passes.  We could request the next fast pass while we were standing in line using the first one.  A lot of our fast passes were within minutes of our booking them.   No paper, and it saved us a lot of walking!

The Disneyland App is set up with AT&T and we use Verizon, which may be why it did not work as well for us.  In Disneyland it was slow, wouldn’t connect and kept logging us out.  Because it kept trying to connect, it drained our phone battery very quickly.  Disney has installed battery charger stations, which dispense charged chargers, that you return empty for another charged one.  We just blew it off and went back to the paper system.  I cannot imagine the amount of people on their wifi and the challenge it must be.  Give it a few more months and Disney will have the wifi stronger and more consistent.

We had a great time and by three days, we were exhausted and ready for our own beds.  What do you think is the perfect amount of time in Disneyland?IMG_1627

 

Do you have a Disney Visa?

Do you have a Disney Visa?

My mailbox is full of credit card offers and promises of 50,000 rewards for this or discounts for that.  And I admit, I have multiple cards that I use for different reasons.  I use one card for the travel points.  I gave my kids a different card for emergencies.  But my secret favorite is my Disney Visa.

I don’t put much on it, mainly my Disney trips.  And I earn a few dollars a year as a reward, that I can then spend at Disneyland.  But the main reason that I have the card is for the Cardmember-exclusive Character Experiences in Disneyland.  I can’t tell you how many vacations we have taken and I am not in a single photo.  But not anymore!  I check the website before every trip, and then I drag my family to the Character Experi

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ence.

Recently it was to meet Darth Vader in the Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland.  I had a hard time smiling, because Darth Vader was so scary. And Cardmembers get to download all of the pictures for Free.  Here is one of the pics that Hot Hubby and I took.  Aren’t they fun!

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

I love to plan my Disney Vacation.  I like to learn about the new rides and which ones are undergoing refurbishment.   I like to read the Blogs about 101 Things To Do, Top 10 Things to Eat and 20 Things Not To Do.  Disney is my hobby, and I like to know all that I can.

Before a Disney trip, I study the park maps.  Look over the restaurant menus and make reservations.  Talk to friends.  Schedule my Fastpasses.  Then I create a general plan for the days.  But don’t plan every minute.  Disney is magical and you will want to have time to wander.  Take those unexpected pictures.  Share those laughs and discover the magic.

At the entrance to the park, they have a free park map.  You can pick one up for your scrapbook, but I don’t think you need the paper map anymore.  We love the Disneyland App, that lets you know what rides have long lines and we zip around looking for shorter lines.  We also watch our favorites and ride them whenever their lines are less.

The best part of Disney is that everyone can be a kid again.  Believe in Fairies.  Be a Princess.  Talk like a Pirate.  Have Fun and forget being a grown up until tomorrow.075

Is MaxPass Goofy’s Son?

Disneyland is introducing MaxPass on July 19, 2017.  I am not sure whether to be happy or sad.  The “introductory” price is $10, which means it will definitely go up soon.

Let’s go through the benefits and there are two:maxpass

First, you can download your Fast Passes directly to your phone.  I think this is a HUGE benefit.  You don’t have to go to the kiosk and you don’t have to keep track of those little bitty tickets.   If it works as explained, you can just download them from where you are.  So you leave Haunted Mansion and want to get Space Mountain tickets, BING!  right on your phone.   No more traipsing around the park and splitting up to get Fast passes on  your way to another location.

On the other hand, I usually spend half my day walking back and forth across the park to get and use those Fast passes….do you think I won’t burn as many calories and I will have to eat less Disney food?  That could be the only minus that I see.

The next benefit is a Disney PhotoPass.  According to the Disney Website, “It was designed for Disney parks so that everyone in your group could be captured in photos. Rather than having that one person who holds the camera or mobile device missing from your entire trip history, he or she can now be seen! It’s a Disney miracle.” Now this would be great, except my children would rather die than take any pictures with me.  I can remember when they were little and would smile and pose….then they grew up.  I can imagine that for maybe one day the Photopass would be great.  I could make Hot Hubby pose for some fun pictures.

The Disney PhotoPass gives you unlimited downloads of all of the pictures taken by the Disney Photographers. “Magic Shots are also included. Simply ask your Disney PhotoPass Photographer to pose you for a Magic Shot, and a select Disney Character or fun surprise will appear in your photo after it’s taken.” from the Disney website.  These are the photos that you see on Facebook, where the family is holding Tinkerbell in their hand, or other special effects.

For a great explanation of how the new MaxPass works and how to use the app, UnderCover Tourist has a great explanation on their website:  UnderCover Tourist

We are heading to Disneyland in 2 weeks, and I know we will purchase MaxPass at least one day of the trip.  I will keep you posted about how it worked.

When is your next trip to Disneyland?

Don’t mess with  my Sourdough Mickey

Don’t mess with my Sourdough Mickey

As a family, we have established a few Disneyland traditions:

  1.  We always ride Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Thunder Mountain in that order
  2. We always begin California Adventure with The Little Mermaid ride
  3. We ALWAYS end the day with a loaf of Sourdough Bread shaped like Mickey Mouse

I bring this up, because someone has been messing with my Sourdough Mickey!

During our last trip, the CM asked me if I wanted the Mater shaped bread.  I was incredulous. Why would anyone want bread shaped like Mater?  or Groot?  They don’t have ears to pull off and a nose that is the absolute perfection of center bread.sourdough mickey

 

I don’t want anyone messing with my Sourdough Mickey Mouse!  What food faavorites does your family have at Disneyland?