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View Full Version : Plan of attack for CA? Or do we need one...


mommyof2boys1girl
01-31-2008, 09:54 PM
I've seen lots of tips for planning rides, etc. for DL, but nothing for CA. Is it that much less busy than the land, that we don't really need to worry?

I've noticed that there are a lot of rides we won't be doing - kids are 5 and under, so we are opting for all the tame stuff and leaving out the medium to wild stuff, which pretty much cuts the list in half.

Any tips on which shows to see, and when? My guidebook says to try for the first showings of everything - good/bad suggestion?

Will "it's tough to be a bug" be scary for ds 3 yrs old? Would it be less scary if he just didn't watch with the 3-d glasses?

Anyone have any parade strategies? We are going in off season, so there will only be 2 nights to do all the nightime stuff like fireworks, fantasmic, DEP, etc...

TIA - I'm in the process of roughly scheduling our days at the park....

Carm

Hound 109
01-31-2008, 10:56 PM
I've seen lots of tips for planning rides, etc. for DL, but nothing for CA. Is it that much less busy than the land, that we don't really need to worry?

I've noticed that there are a lot of rides we won't be doing - kids are 5 and under, so we are opting for all the tame stuff and leaving out the medium to wild stuff, which pretty much cuts the list in half.

Any tips on which shows to see, and when? My guidebook says to try for the first showings of everything - good/bad suggestion?

Will "it's tough to be a bug" be scary for ds 3 yrs old? Would it be less scary if he just didn't watch with the 3-d glasses?

Anyone have any parade strategies? We are going in off season, so there will only be 2 nights to do all the nightime stuff like fireworks, fantasmic, DEP, etc...

TIA - I'm in the process of roughly scheduling our days at the park....

Carm

These are really good questions, I hope others with toddlers post. My opinions of some of your questions:

- Yes it's less busy & lots of characters there, so be prepared to make lots of character stops.
- I would see Crush early & do Monster's Inc (near it) before or after.
- Tough to be a bug might be a little intense for a 3 y/o.....& for some 5 y/o, I don't think removing the 3D glasses would be the answer. fwiw, they will probably LOVE the Muppets though.

Based on your days, I'd plan 2-3 hours each day at DCA (late morning or early afternoon), along with whatever parade you plan on.

Brady's Mom
01-31-2008, 11:51 PM
We took our DS's 2, 4, 10 and 18 to DCA and DLR. My two littlest really enjoyed DCA. Bug's Land was really fun because you feel bug sized. The rides are great for littles and you can go on them rather quickly. My 2 yr old DS (then) really loves Heimlichs Chew Chew Train. I think he rode it 4 or 5 times. We have a pic of his older bro. (18) riding with him looking extremely bored. It was so much less crowded and easy to navigate especially with a stroller. We didn't know very much about the shows when we were there. And we missed Monsters, but will take them on it in a few weeks!!! :banana: We didn't have a plan of attack for DCA, we just went and wandered around. The only thing with a loooong wait was the Sun Wheel (60 min.), everything else that we could we fast passed. Also, my DS 4 was tall enough for Soarin' and it's his favorite ride. We also saw Block Party Bash and it was easy to get a spot and sooo fun to watch and dance and play right there. We didn't wait for the parade for longer than 20 minutes and we were right in front.

ctamama
02-01-2008, 12:07 AM
Hi Carm,

We just did a trip in November. It was fairly busy at "the Land" during our trip, and DCA ended up being the real hidden gem for us!! It really was a TON less busy (even when DL seemed to be wall-to-wall people.)

What to see:
-I have *heard* Aladdin is a must see (we didn't plan too well, and missed it--so yes, the first show is a good rule--we left it until the last day, and sadly they were only doing the Snow White commemoration movie...)
-Bug's Land is wonderful for the age of your children. My 2 yr. old son was ok w/ "Tough to be a bug", but he did take the glasses off anytime something looked like it was going to "get" him.;) It is an awesome 3-D, but is also intense for the very young, I think.
-Monster's Inc. is adorable, and especially enjoyable if your kids like the movie.
-Sun Wheel in a stationery gondola.
-My son went nutso over the golden zephyr!!

Character interactions are great there!! We lucked out and got stuck right in the middle of a street party type thing when the surf guys come and sing (I am sure this has a name, I just don't know it!) and my kids got to all sing and dance, and hula hoop with Minnie!!:cool1: :cool1: :cool1:

You are SOOOO lucky you get to go soon. I hope it is a fabulous trip for your family!!:)

DLR29
02-01-2008, 12:08 AM
IMO, you don't need a touring plan for DCA because it is not a "get there at opening, stay til closing" park. DCA NEVER gets as crowded as DL, so it's best to tour in the afternoons of your trip. However here's a list of "not-to-miss" rides for youngsters:

-Monster's Inc. (never really has a long line)
-Turtle Talk w/ Crush
-All Bug's Land rides (EXCEPT It's Tough to be a Bug. That thing scares some adults, and frankly (agreeing with Hound) it doesn't make it much better w/o the glasses. There are some pretty intense other effects)
-King Triton's Carousel
-Jumpin Jellyfish (if they are tall enough)
-Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (great place for them to just run around and blow off steam)
-Soarin (for the older one. This one has FP so you can grab one on your way in and save the ride for later when you leave)
-Aladdin show (very popular though, it's best to line up 30+ min)

All of those rides/attractions are easily done in the afternoons.

princessnicchia
02-01-2008, 01:09 AM
Don't forget Playhouse Disney---this is so much fun for the younger set!:lovestruc

fairycat
02-01-2008, 01:26 AM
One helpful trick to take some of the scare out of Tough to be a Bug, is to have the little one sit on your lap. That will take some of the "surprise" out of the film for them. Or have them sit forward.

Don't forget the Grizzly Path its a great place to run off energy and fun for kids. If you go when its hot there is some great water play areas as well.

bumbershoot
02-01-2008, 02:09 AM
I'm so bummed I didn't get to preview tough....bug on this trip of mine.

But I did see Honey I Shrunk the Audience (another 3-D show), and when I took off the glasses to see what it was like, it was just obnoxiously blurry. I think my son would be annoyed by that, and I don't *think* he'd like the kind of BAM in your face stuff I saw in HISTA, so I'm not sure I'll be taking him into Bug for awhile longer.

Get used to riding Heimlich's Chew Chew Train, that's all I have to say...it's actually quite a nice little ride, with sweet smells all through, and they switch the talking soundtrack slightly in groups of 3. Oh if only I didn't know that...:rotfl: But really, bug's land is beautiful, and it's especially cool if you do the following (even if just the grownups do it). As you're about to pass into bug's land, look up so you can see Tower of Terror. Then imagine that you are in the lawn of the "hotel", and you are so tiny that the blades of grass and clover tower above you.

Actually, if you guys switch off so you can ride ToT, watch the show on the TV carefully. In the little movie, you see a shot of ToT where you can see bug's land (or a model), as the little lawn area underneath. I loved seeing that!

Anyway, it's a lovely area and I enjoy being in there.

But other than anything you adults might want to sneak off and get fastpasses for, and/or ride on (depending on crowds, Soarin', Grizzly, ToT, Screamin' can have longer lines), there's no strong need in my experience to really have a plan.


FYI, Aladdin is kind of loud, and if they haven't seen the movie 18 million times the "bad" guy can be kind of scary. The genie is funny, and the kids will not get his humor, but it might mean they get bored during his schtick. And, if it's working, a large "animal" walks through the room to much fanfare (especially important if you have Preferred Seating vouchers, in my experience). The darkness and vastness of the theater, combined with being tired, caused my son to have to sit on my lap under a blanket for probably the first 20 minutes of the show. He finally realized it was just like the movie, and popped his head out.

Also, hit the bathrooms first, and don't give them liquids close to showtime. :) The bathroom is back in the "back lot", which means you have to leave the theater entirely and walk away from it, then find a CM to let you back in after the bathroom break.

bumbershoot
02-01-2008, 02:18 AM
Oh, and you might want to check out my Sept trip report for just how drenched the main water play area of a bug's land can cause a kid to get. If it's warm enough for them to play in the spray, I highly recommend a whole change of clothes down to underwear, socks, and shoes... trust me (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d709b3127ccebd2e3171d44300000035118CZMmjFq1bC) .

mindylovesmickey
02-01-2008, 11:40 AM
Wow, good thread. When we were there last year, by far the best thing for my 2 yo there was Playhouse Disney. It will be down for refurb when we are there later this month, so we are sad about that :( . I can tell you my 2 yo freaked out at Muppetvision, absolutely hated it. Taking the glasses off didn't make it any better. DD8 didn't like it much either. So, I guess that leaves most of the shows we had wanted to see out. We are going to do Aladdin though.

We do have sort of a plan of attack though for the two days we are going to spend in DCA, simply because we missed basically the whole Hollywood backlot last time other than Muppets and PHD. So, we are going to try to see the things we didn't get to last time and repeat the things we really enjoyed.

sandymandr
02-01-2008, 12:00 PM
A couple of thoughts, have your kids seen 3-d before? The first time my Dne and Dni saw it (GA Aquarium), they totally freaked out and kept reaching out to grab stuff, and also got scared and tried ducking under the seats for cover :scared1: . We told them in advance to remove their glasses and cover their eyes at WDW if anything scared them and they were a lot better because they were getting used to the 3-d experience. But still ITTBB was pretty scary for them (5yo at the time). ITTBB is VERY interactive, more than just 3-d!
Also, please check the DL calendar (on DL website)for Aladdin show times (and other shows) before you go. I'm there peak season and Aladdin is not being shown every day, so you may have to make a plan for that if you decide to see it, I've heard it is a not to miss. Also, if you booked the WDT, you should have preferred seating you can use.

mommyof2boys1girl
02-01-2008, 01:06 PM
Molly - my kids were howling at the pic of your son :rotfl: - my oldest now wants to go first to the 'place where that boy got soaked!!' So I guess we're gettin' wet! And my 2 year old wants to get "soak and wet" in that park too! :lmao: I acutally plan to have a full change of clothes for each child every day - we are one of those families that always seem to have something spill or some food related accident where everyone seems to get covered! But thanks for the heads up - not just a couple gentle sprinkles then, hey?:thumbsup2

Mindylovesmickey - we're definitely doing PHD - we just got the channel available here in Canada, and the kiddos absolutely LOVE it - even the baby (she's 1!) My oldest asks daily if the commercial of the Little Einsteins in WDW is for the "disney place we go to?" I have to keep telling him that we might see them if we are lucky, but as far as I know, they are only at WDW.:sad1:

I forgot to mention, we booked thru AAA, so we get preferred seating for Aladdin and other shows in CA (not sure exactly which ones - will have to wait for tix to get here), and a priority viewing voucher for Turtle Talk.

We may pass on ITTBAB, since ds will have just turned 3, and can be a little timid at times.

Thanks for all the tips, everyone!
Carm

fairycat
02-01-2008, 01:09 PM
Make sure you plan lots of time in the Animation building if you missed it last time. That place alone can eat up a big chunk of day because there is just so much to see and do. Talk to Crush, the Animation room that teaches you to draw a new character every show (ask the CM and they will tell you who they are drawing), the Toy Store Model thing. Right now they have a large display for Snow White, then down the ramp you can see and draw cartoons, find out what Disney Character you are and sing with Ursela.

Its a great place for kids of all ages!

Hound 109
02-01-2008, 04:37 PM
A couple of thoughts, have your kids seen 3-d before? The first time my Dne and Dni saw it (GA Aquarium), they totally freaked out and kept reaching out to grab stuff, and also got scared and tried ducking under the seats for cover :scared1: . We told them in advance to remove their glasses and cover their eyes at WDW if anything scared them and they were a lot better because they were getting used to the 3-d experience. But still ITTBB was pretty scary for them (5yo at the time). ITTBB is VERY interactive, more than just 3-d!
Also, please check the DL calendar (on DL website)for Aladdin show times (and other shows) before you go. I'm there peak season and Aladdin is not being shown every day, so you may have to make a plan for that if you decide to see it, I've heard it is a not to miss. Also, if you booked the WDT, you should have preferred seating you can use.

imo, the 3D mildest to wildest order would be:

- Muppets - mildest.
- Honey I Shrunk
- Bugs - most intense.

Regarding Aladdin Show in the Hyperion (which is mostly great for all ages btw, & a "do not miss" attraction).....it is closed on Monday & Tuesday, year round. You've got to pencil it in Wednesday - Sunday.

Disney Dider
02-01-2008, 05:27 PM
The tough bug show had my 3 year old running out screaming. He still hated it at 5. He didn't wear the glasses either. Those are some scary things coming down out of the ceiling. Aladdin he has been amazed every time.

bumbershoot
02-01-2008, 05:51 PM
mommyof2boys1girl, there are 2 or 3 different areas for water in (and right outside of) a bug's land.

There's one that's like a farm, and it's nice to cool off in a sort of irrigation sprayer thing. Then there's one closer to the rides, very inside bug's land, that's mild. But the one right outside of the bathrooms, that is the one where you get soaked. The water sprays up and out, all over, and it's random (or it's timed, but I certainly didn't sit figuring out the rhythm of it all). Be sure they are wearing grippy shoes for it, to keep the chance of slipping down.

And if there are much bigger kids, or even adults, playing roughly, do not hesitate to go around a corner to find the CM that is usually lurking to keep people calm. There were some 20 somethings being crazy in there, and the CM finally booted them, but then a big 12 year old slammed (accidentally) into my boy, thereby ending the fun. But the same CM showed up instantly with stickers and buttons, so all was well. Anyway, don't hesitate to "report" bad behaviour or inappropriate actions in there; you gotta keep the kids safe! :)

fairycat
02-01-2008, 06:06 PM
Their is also another water play area over by the Orange Stinger as well between Maliboomer and Mulholund madness that is quite fun!

prettyprincessbelle
02-01-2008, 06:41 PM
Honestly, It's Tough to Be a Bug scared me.. I'm not scared of bugs/spiders in real life, but for some reason that was scary. And I can see how the little kids in the theater were screaming and crying.. :eek:

AndyLL
02-02-2008, 03:59 AM
One of the nicest things about DCA when our son was 2-4 was Redwood Creek. Typically one parent would let Alex run around there and the other would single ride Grizzly or Screamin’ or hop on TT.

If you have an older child it makes sense to split up occasionally.

My son hates roller coasters but absolutely loved Muholland Madness when he was tall enough to ride it… we rode it 17 times in a row the 1st time.

He also loved (and still does) Soarin’ as soon as he was tall enough.

Do see DEP. If you stay up toward the beginning (around the Sunglasses shop and Jumpin Jellyfish) you can usually get front row seats 15 minutes before it starts.

Ask a CM where to sit because the edge of the route is a little undefined in that area.

Andy

Hound 109
02-02-2008, 01:42 PM
For parents with Todlers... regarding Screamin'. (which is a great ride, btw) There is a "Singles" line with a 2 min. wait....tops. & next door is King Triton Carousel (a very nice ride). This works for many reasons:

- No need to FP. (& no need to schlep all the way back there again with FP).
- Saving a FP opportunity for other rides (if you're a FP geek).
- No lines on the Carousel & the children get to ride on FISH & Sea Lions !!
- It's steps away...Easy for both parents to switch & ride Screamin' while the kiddos ride multiple times on the Carousel. :yay:

ctamama
02-02-2008, 06:02 PM
Hound, That is SUCH a good suggestion about Screamin':)