Best Single Day at Disneyland with Genie Plus and Villain's Party Review

Rich M

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Hi everyone. Just wanted to share my best Disneyland day that I had on March 8th and give my thoughts on the Disney After Hour Event: Villains Party.

People: Rich and Annita (DS)
Staying: Disney Grand Californian Resort
Transportation: Southwest Flight from SJC to LGB and Rental Car
Dates: March 8th and March 9th


Pre-trip: My sister and I heard that the Villain party was returning in March in December and even thought we were headed to Disney World in February we knew we had to check this after hour event out as its the one we really wanted to attend years ago. When tickets went on sale I know my sister really wanted to go to the Star Wars one also so when the tickets went on sale I just bought both. So we were set to go on March 8th. I checked my rewards points on Southwest and had enough points to fly round trip but San Jose was cheaper than Oakland which is only 5 miles from my house but I will always take the cheaper flight. After doing some research on hotels I saw that everything was outrageous for that week. I did some research and found that the Natural Products Expo was going on and that they had blocked off the majority of the rooms and it caused all the other rooms to sky rocket. I got on the conference website and saw they had all the discounts for all the hotels in the area. I saw that you are able to click a link and able to book through the conference website. When I clicked on book a hotel I could not believe the discounts they offered. Low and behold I saw the Grand Californian Resort for $360 for the night of the party. I jumped at it and booked it right away. Rental cars continue to be outrageous but still prefer to have my own car then rely on anyone else. The best price I was able to get was $144 for the two days for a midsize pickup truck.

March 8th - Our flight was at 7 AM so we had to leave for the airport at 5 AM. Got to the Airport and parked right next to the terminal for the two days for $48. TSA Pre Check line was empty so through security in 2 mins and then off to the far ghetto gates away from everything after a stop at Chick Fila for some lemonade for DS. Got to the gate 30 mins before boarding and saw 2 other people in the gate area. About 10 mins before boarding they announced there was only 29 people on the flight and that we would all have our own row if we wanted it. What a great start to the day.

Uneventful flight and landed 5 mins early. Got my rental car and made our way to Disney. I love LGB airport because its so fast to get in and out of and you can take the street all the way to Disney and we never get off a full tank of gas. We stopped at Walgreens to grab some water for the room and then arrived at the Grand Californian at 9 AM. Our room was not ready but we checked our bags and got our room keys and then headed to Disneyland. We got through the gate around 9:30. Once through the gate we bought our Genie Plus for the day (Magic Key holders) and booked Big Thunder For 9:45 AM (30 mins Standby). Got to BT at 9:40 and scanned in and then booked Haunted Mansion for 10:00 am (25 min SB). While in line fore BT we booked LL for Rise for 11:15 AM. Had a great ride on BT and then headed to HM. Scanned in at 9:55 AM and booked a Millennium Falcon for 11:35 AM (45 min Standby).

After HM we walked to Pooh (Mom's favorite right her B-Day was on Monday so we celebrated with going on her favorite to remember her) which was posted at 10 min wait. After going on Pooh we went through the shop and then DS got a Frozen Lemonade at the cart as it was getting warm and we had to wait for our Rise LL. Went and found some shade in front of Rise and waited to scan in at 11:10 am (100 min SB). Had a great ride and it was time for MF. Scanned in to MF at 11:30 AM and booked Space Mountain for 2:10 PM. We walked off to Toon Town after this to see it one last time before it was going to close. Walked around and DS took some pictures of Mickey and Donald. We then walked around a bit as it was getting crowded and needed to kill time for our lunch reservation at Carination Cafe at 1:10pm. We went around the shops of main street looking for new stuff until we could check in for our reservation at 12:50 PM. Our table was ready right away and we had a great meal as always. I had the Turkey Club which was great and DS had the Mac and Cheese with the pork on the side. She loved the pork but not the Mac and Cheese.
 

Rich M

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
We were able to book our next LL at 1:40 and saw that Star Tours was a quick return time so booked that for 2:25 PM return time (45 min Standby) and we walked over to SM and went to the store while we waited and went to scan in at 2:05 PM. Had a great ride on SM and then walked over to ST to scan in for that one. After scanned in I saw that a Guardians was available for 2:50 PM so grabbed that and decided we would go on that before heading to our room. At this point I noticed that all the Sorin LL was gone for the day and was bummed out because I forgot that it would go fast but figured we could get on during the party so no big deal. After ST we headed to DCA and went to Guardians. Had to go on the regular version before it changed to Monsters after dark for the party. Scanned in to GoG at 2:45 PM and grabbed a LL for TSMM at 5:50 pm (50 min Standby) (Wanted to go take a nap so wanted a late return time). Finally go to our room after walking around the Food and Wine booths while we got back to the hotel. Got to the room and took a nap until 4:50 which was the time we could book our next LL for.

At 4:50 PM I was able to book at LL for Incredicoaster for 6:30 PM ( 45 min Standby). We slowly go ready for the evening and walked out of the room around 5:30 and scanned in and got our Party Lanyard and Map and walked to Pixar Pier to go on TSMM. I won as always and had fun playing as always and then headed to Incredicoaster and loved riding at night. As we scanned in for IC I was able to grab a LL for Monsters Inc at 6:45 PM (75 min standby). After getting off he coaster I got an alert that Monsters Inc was down and we got an anytime LL. I was so happy for this as it meant I could go on Soarin right away. We walked over to Soarin and got on and booked a LL for Goofy's Ski School for 7:30. No intention on riding it at all and was hoping it would break down and give me another anytime pass lol. After Soarin we wanted to eat before the official party start time so we went to Flo's and ate while we planned out our party night.

I will post the Party review after this but want to recap for those of you thinking about Genie Plus.

We Paid $20 per person and got on 9 LL starting at 9:30 AM and ending at 7:00 PM. We had the 10th one with no intent on using it so I don't count it but could have easily used it. We did pay for Rise but $20 is worth an hour of my life and will only ride it that way or not ride it at all. It was the very best Genie Plus day I could imagine and feel we totally got our money worth. I think if you use it right its totally worth the money. It was a great start to the day and was very excited for the party to come.
 

Rich M

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Disneyland After Dark: Villains Party Review

After having such a great day we were excited for the party. We decided we would start at Guardians and work our way around from there. We went to get in line for Guardians at 7:45 which would not open until 8 for the Monsters After Dark. The line was huge but we knew that nobody was on the ride and it would go fast once it opened. We go in the building quickly but had to go to the left side and that was when the wait got bad. They where only using two area's up there and the line was so backed up. It took us 15 mins to get from the bottom of the stairs to the ride. Terrible start but great ride.

After the ride we started standing in lines for the Photo Ops. First one was the Magic Mirror which was in the Frozen Show area. The line was about 20 people deep but they take like 3 photos per person so it take a bit to get through. From there we went to the Cruella cutout of the car and that line was about 15 people deep but moved a little quicker. After that we walked over to the Hades Party and thought that was great and very energetic. From there we went to the store to see the merchandise for the party and found out it was sold out already. Went to the front of the park area and saw Jafar was out and got in line for that at about 40 people deep. Found out that he would be leaving and Maleficent would be coming out which was exciting. By the time my DS got to the front though it was back to Jafar so that meant she was in line for 30 plus minutes. From there we went to Grizzly Peak and got the photo of Gastons area which was only like 5 people there and then went to get in line for the Evil Queen as the Witch which was like 30 people deep but then found out it was switching and decided not to wait and went towards Paradise Pier area to get a picture with Chef Louie but stopped for a pic with Big Bad Wolf Cut Out next to Corndog Castle. After got to Chef Louie which is right in front of the pizza place. Saw that after Chef Louie it was going to change to the Lion from Bedknobs and Broomsticks which is a personal favorite movie so got back in line for that one. Then walked toward Pixar Pier where Lotso was at but skipped it as we were just tired of waiting in line at this point and wanted to go on Radiator Racers

Went over to RR and waited 35 mins and at this point it was 11:15 PM. Had a fun ride and won the race and we had 10 mins left so we went to Webslinger and rode that as the last ride.

Overall I thought the party was a very cheap version (not in what we paid) of the Oogie Boogie Bash with 2nd rate Villains and cheap card board cutouts and no Candy. I would have liked to see more shows and more of the main villains. Many of the food lines where so long and closed early. Overall I will wait next time for the Halloween Parties but hope the Star Wars one will be better since it has its own Firework show.

Thank you for reading.
 

MaleficentMe

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Wow! I'm glad you had such a positive review of Genie+. We're going in October and I'm already having stress dreams about not being able to get on rides! 😆 Looking forward to reading about the SW party!
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Enjoyed reading how much you were able to get done, but I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the Villains party more!! @MaleficentMe - I've used Genie+ 3 times now, and felt it was worth it each time!
 







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