Things You Wish You Knew As A First Timer

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by kaci, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit DIS Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    Your experience proves that while people can experience the exact same circumstances and challenges, your perspective and attitude will determine whether your experience will be positive or negative. Thank you for sharing your story! :)
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  3. lurpee

    lurpee Mouseketeer

    Aug 3, 2011
    I think that applies to pretty much all things in life.

    A bit OT but does anyone here have experience with a reluctant Disney traveler? I k ow DH will totally be into the food aspect of the trip (he's always planning his next meal), but anyone else have some tips? I do think that once he gets there with our kids he is going to have a blast just seeing it all through our DD4's eyes. But just in case...
  4. Mary09

    Mary09 Mouseketeer

    Jun 7, 2010
    The reluctant traveler in my group enjoys it much more when we have a very close hotel she can go retire to at will. Some like to disappear to a quiet corner with a bar in DCA.

    While that's true, it's also true that everyone's experience is unique. Just because one poster found the crowd obnoxious and another didn't doesn't necessarily mean it's their personality and/or expectations. They experience different people at different times, different CMs, different lines, etc. :)
  5. awoogala

    awoogala Mouseketeer

    Nov 23, 2008
    We do a few things we try to repeat: take pics of them at the troll in norway (with viking hats and swords!)

    always try to take the sword from the stone (one day we'll get it!)

    try to wake tinkerbell at her store!

    take a pic in front of cinderella's fountain so the crown is on my daughter's head!

    we always go to chef mickey's the first day, so we feel like we are in disney!

    visit the barber shop for pixie dust (my kids have no patience for the whole bbb thing, and I never wanted to spend the money!)

    I wish we had started taking a pic at the same ride each year, at the measuring stick, so we could have a growing picture..would have been cute!
  6. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit DIS Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    Is this list for DLR or WDW?
  7. Amommy21

    Amommy21 DIS Veteran

    Jan 17, 2010
    I am almost 40 and have gone to DL since childhood, but it wasn't until the last 10 years that DH and I started reading a lots of books and following tips. And honestly all those years of ignorant bliss were just as wonderful!

    I do admit that nowadays people should do some basic research and these are the things I tell friends who are going, but don't want to be overloaded with info:

    Arrive at opening. Fast Passes, Baby Swap. Take a back pack with small snacks and water.

    Classic and Inexpensive Souvineers to look for: Ears, silhouette's on main street and smashed pennies. (And now Animation Academy)

    Snacks: Dole Whip, Mickey Bar, etc.

    Restaurants: I give them a few suggestions or run down on what I think they might like.

    Rides and Attractions: Info about someting new, something that is special for holidays and things not to miss specific to their party.

    I find sometimes it's when people get too caught up in specifics that they end up upset and stressed about their visit. Or upset they can't afford character meals, etc. If your kids don't know about certain things like character meals or whatever no one even knows they are missing out.

    And one of the things that makes Disneyland the best place to go to over and over again is the journey and the discovery of what moves you. SO I always try to figure out if it's a once in a life time or a first trip.

    Recently my husband really gave his best friend the full run down. In chunks so he could process it, save what he appealed to him.... He went to WDW, still did it "his way" and missed the good stuff and I think his family had more fun at the Nickelodion hotel.
  8. backinoz

    backinoz Mouseketeer

    Oct 18, 2006
    I know where you're coming from here - our girls were 5 and days off turning 3 when we first went, and they LOVED the 'little loos', to the point of going into a rest room, and if there weren't kiddie sized toilets, they'd want to hold on until we got to the next ones.

    GREAT hints, child swap was awesome for us, and character meals are worth every single penny (and still are even though our DDs are now 13 & 15) BUT we still spent a LOT of time in line waiting for characters. And you're right about magic happening, for us it was with the Tweedles, when one of them decided to sit down in our double stroller and DH decided to take him for a ride around the hub.

    With littlies this WILL happen - we were lucky in that ours were the right age and size that they would happily take a 2-3 hour nap in the double stroller we hired, so we took our time to check out all the more 'adult themed' sights, maybe sit down and have a nice relaxed meal, and yes we did do the fireworks but just let them sleep. We have the greatest photo (in WDW tho) of the girls sound asleep in their stroller with Santa Goofy and Rudolph Pluto beside them - I know the girls aren't awake and smiling, but it's for that reason that it's one of my favourite photos anyway.
  9. rramstad

    rramstad Mouseketeer

    Jun 24, 2011
    Big fan of staying close enough that you can walk, and close enough to take a mid day break. We like to make lunch the big meal of the day and eat somewhere outside the park OR get take out and have it by the pool at the hotel.

    Big fan of arriving early for park opening and/or staying until park close... it's so easy to get lots done in the first or last couple of hours.

    Big fan of bringing snacks along... makes it a lot easier to keep going and you aren't spending a lot of time and money buying food.

    Big fan of having everyone in the group propose a couple of things to do on that last day... kind of a "hit parade"...

    Don't feel like you've got to do everything every day, but conversely, if you get a logical chance to see a parade, show, fireworks, Fantasmic!, World of Color, especially early in your trip, do it. Oh, and Aladdin is a must, too. Scheduling those things can be a bit of a pain, but they do require a bit of scheduling, so think about which days might work, and try to work them in early, in case you have trouble making it the first time.
  10. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit DIS Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    Don't save the big shows (WOC, F!, Fireworks) for the last night. If the show of your choice gets cancelled (and it can get cancelled), then you won't have another chance to see it. Try to see the big shows earlier in your trip -- then you have chances to see it again later!
  11. HannaBelle

    HannaBelle DIS Veteran

    Feb 8, 2007
    Awesome tips guys! We are WDW vets, but we are taking our 1st trip to DL in March and I am so excited! My kids loved the "Kitchen Sink" at Beaches and Cream, I got some great pics of them hamming it up. We will definitely get one in DL too! I am try in not to over plan this trip and it is SO SO hard!

    This thread is definitely making me feel better about my plan to not over plan. We will having dining reservations for a meal each day, plan around the nightly shows as well as the parades and know the park hours but other than that I was to just show up and be a newbie! :blush:
  12. Corpsebride

    Corpsebride DIS Veteran

    May 9, 2007
    The AP Block out calendar is great. I and DH have Premiums, and have found it to be invaluable. especially for the busy summer times. Knowing that it is the height of family travel time for the Disneyland Resort, it helps us a lot.
    For example, yes, you would think Feb. Would be a slower time. I just checked the AP Block out calendar, and for Presidents day, this next year, 2013, SC, and SC SELECT, are blocked out on that holiday and the weekend days previous. I believe DLR blocks out all holidays for those 2 levels of passes. So, the influx of crowds on 2012 Presidents day, may have been really just guests, and DAP, AND PAP holders. If it had been an unblocked day for all passes, the crowds would have been extraordinary! It must be such a drag for out of towners to experience huge crowds, in what seems to be a "slower" time. I wish I knew the % of DAP AND PAP holders . I also have touring plans on my phone, and the crowd index really helps. I have found it to be pretty accurate.But, as far as the tension goes regarding AP holders, everyone is a guest at the DLR. No one sets out to ruin another family vacation. It is an unfortunate Hatfield and McCoy situation. We go quite often, and we are always happy to impart DLR info to guests who are from out of town.But , by no means does it mean that going to DLR for me is any less magical. We go often, because of that magical feeling that cannot be found at a mall. I feel very lucky to live so close. I hope that this thread does help those in the future. And if there is a huge influx of crowds, that we all just have a good time together. :hippie:
  13. friends with mickey

    friends with mickey DIS Veteran

    Jun 15, 2010
    For us we learned that getting the photo pass plus online for $69.99 is a must. It gets you photos from both parks, the ride photos, photos at the character meals and many more. The Disney photograpers take the photos so everyone in your group is in the picture. The photograpers are great and will make sure you get fantastic pictures. They even make magic in some of the photos you won't find until you view them and you see the charactures that are in the photo with you. The number of pictures is unlimited, so make sure and have a bunch taken. Wish I had known this before, but we use it every trip now.
  14. DisneylandPlanner

    DisneylandPlanner Mouseketeer

    Nov 8, 2006
    you and me both!!! One more week until I will have 5 days to drink as many as I can :drinking1:drinking1:drinking1:drinking1:drinking1 but mine will be cherry diet cokes.

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