That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. - Henry David Thoreau
Question #77152 posted on 04/07/2014 1:36 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm going to Disneyland with my cousin and our moms next month, and I'm super excited! I've been before, but it's been a while. I'm just wondering for those of you who have been:

1. What is something fun to do while waiting in lines? We probably won't have our phones with us, and people watching is only fun for so long.

2. Do you take snacks into Disneyland when you go? If so, what are some of your favorite snacks so you don't have to spend as much money on expensive theme park food?

3. Do you have any secrets or tips to making your Disneyland trip as awesome as possible?

4. What are your favorite and least favorite rides?

-Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!

A:

Dear Pineapple,

There was a question awhile ago that had some very good tips, but I will reemphasize my favorite and that is to get a picnic lunch from Wine Country Trattoria. It comes with a pass to World of Color. You get to eat things (which you would do anyway!) and a guaranteed spot to World of Color. Score!

As for the rest of your questions, why are you not having phones? How can you use the Disney Wait Times app or look up tips on how to get a high score in Toy Story Midway Mania!? For wait times, though, I'm always fond of Would You Rather or Have You Ever games because even if you don't stay on the game (and we rarely do), it tends to lead to interesting stories.

We only take a few snacks to get us through waiting in long lines (after an hour of standing, you really just need a sugar pick-me-up!), but we mostly buy park food. We bring Skittles, Jelly Bellys and, our traditional travel treat, Nerds Bumpy Beans.

My favorite is a tie between Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (which Ace tells me is even more awesome now that it's been redone!). My least favorite... a lot of the kids rides. I don't see the appeal in the Peter Pan ride or why the line is always three hours long. And my fear of heights makes me hate Soarin' Over California with all my heart and soul. I like my IMAX movies to have stationary seats.

-Marguerite St. Just

A:

Dear Dah!,

Here's what one of my roommates had to say (she grew up like an hour away from Disneyland):

Hopefully it's not too long. I just wanted to SHARE ALL THE KNOWLEDGE!

Disneyland! The happiest place on earth...conditionally.

1) There are lots of fun things to do in line, you just need to get creative. Bring a deck of cards and you can play Go Fish, do magic tricks, or play some other game modified for a standing position. What's even better, these cards can double as a prop for the pictures you take on rides! My family once whipped out some cards before the picture was taken on Tower of Terror and pretended we were in the middle of a game. Disneyland also sells little books as to where to find Hidden Mickeys, or you can try looking the hints up online before you go. Some Hidden Mickeys/Hidden Characters are visible while in lines (like in Indiana Jones - and if you find it, help a girl out! My family failed to see it, even with a worker vaguely pointing to it with his flashlight!) If you're cheap and don't want to buy an autograph book, (or are too old for autographs), bring a plain t-shirt for characters to sign. Then you can decorate it with Sharpie while in line. Finally, and this is my family's personal favorite, start some Disneyland rumors. You heard right. The trick is, you can't talk too loudly. Pretend you're simply talking to a family member, but make sure the people around you can still hear you. Here's how our typical conversation goes: (While in line for Tower of Terror) "You know, I heard that a few years ago, someone died on this ride." "What? How?" "Not sure, but I read it in the papers. Something about a faulty seat belt..." Then watch the reactions of the people around you.

2) yes YES Y.E.S! Take food with you! Disneyland food is supercalifragilistic-expensive. Bring things that will fill you up but still easily fit into pockets or a purse - granola bars, easily transportable fruit (oranges, apples), chicken strips (because those are good cold). I'm not sure how old your cousins are, but if you're bringing a stroller, make use of that. We often brought in coolers full of pizza that were tucked into the compartment beneath the stroller. IF you were to purchase food, make it count. Two things I have always wanted to get were the turkey leg (just look at them, they're enormous), and the kettle/sugar/maple(?) popcorn sold in Downtown Disney (it seriously smells like heaven when you're down there waiting for the tram at the end of a long day).

3) Tip 1: Get Fastpasses for all the 'big' rides! They save tons of time, and you can use them anytime during or after the specified times. Right when my family enters the park, we send one person with all the tickets to get Fastpasses for something good, like Space Mountain, while the rest of us meander to get in line for another ride. Similarly, here's Tip 2: Hit the big rides first; the lines will just get longer as the day goes by. If you have a park hopper ticket, head over to California Adventures early and do Tower of Terror, Screaming, Toy Story, and Soarin' over California. Tip 3: Unless you're really into the old, somewhat lame rides, don't spend time in that area. The lines are usually long, and that whole area around the carousel gets pretty crowded. Tip 4: Find out when the parade will be happening and steer clear of it (unless, I guess, you actually want to watch it). Some parades, especially in California Adventures are really amazing. But if you want to skip the parade, you're going to have a hard time getting certain places by trying to cross parade lines. Tip 5: Disneyland usually stays open 2 hours later than California Adventures. So once 10 pm hits, you'll see mass amounts of people exiting one park and waiting in the infinitely long line to get into the other. If you're in California Adventures in the evening, just head back to Disneyland early and skip the trouble. Tip 6: When you're tired and need a break, head to The Golden Horseshoe. They've got great ice cream and some really funny shows. Tip 7: Wear comfy shoes! Just do it, you'll thank me later.

4) Favorite Disneyland rides: Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain.
Favorite California Adventures rides: Almost everything - California Screamin', Soaring' over California, Tower of Terror, Toy Story, Mulholland Madness (aka Goofy's Sky School).
Least favorite Disneyland rides: Dumbo, Small World - okay, you have to do it at least once. But other than that, this ride is mostly only useful if your feet are about to fall off because you get to sit for 7 whole minutes.
Least favorite California Adventures rides: Anything in Radiator Springs/Car's Land. Actually, I've never been there, but from what I've heard, it doesn't sound fun, especially if you don't like tons of people shoved into a tiny space...
Honorable mentions: Turtle Talk with Crush in California Adventures Animation Studio - it's pretty cool how interactive Crush is with the audience. Snow White - that's a surprisingly creepy ride! That witch just pops up everywhere. The Swinging Ferris Wheel - also terrifying. I don't know why I keep going on it. I was also going to list Maliboomer in California Adventures here, but after some research, I found out they demolished it in 2010! It was scary fun! There's a certain thrill that comes with being launched 180 feet up in 4 seconds... *sniff*.

Have fun on your Disneyland adventure. By following these tips, you are hopefully one step closer to ensuring that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth!

- Felicia Fancybottom

I hope this helps!

-Owlet, who has never been to Disneyland despite living in California for a good part of her life

A:

Dear Zippy,

Lucky for you, I was at Disneyland just last week. Also it's my favorite place ever, and I have many years of pass-holding experience. 

1. My favorite thing to do in line is play the celebrity/movie game. The first person starts by naming an actor. The next person has to name a movie that actor was in. The next person has to name a different actor in the movie. The person who can't finish it is out (or gets a strike or something). For example, I say "Jena Malone," the next person says, "Catching Fire," the next person says "Jennifer Lawrence," the next person says "Winter's Bone," and then the next person is out because they don't know anybody else in Winter's Bone. Continue until there is only one standing. Repeat for the 80-minute Big Thunder Mountain line. Also, last week when I was there, a fun thing to do was count the amount of people in overalls, because apparently this is a trend that is coming back. 

2. I don't take snacks. You can if you want, but a good portion of the Disneyland experience is the food, as I tried to explain in Board Question #75838. You don't have to go crazy, but I do recommend you get food there. You're spending a hundred dollars to get inside the gates; this isn't the time to be crazy stiff with your wallet.

3. Get the right Fast Passes. Don't waste your time with a Fast Pass for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Big Thunder Mountain just reopened, and the line is WAY long, but it's a ride you don't want to miss. So here's how I do Disneyland. I must warn you, it requires much more walking than most people would find necessary, but it's how I get on every ride I want, every time. So, first, be there at opening and run to a ride that always has an hour-or-longer line (Space Mountain). Get the Fast Pass. Go back across the park and get in line for another always-long line (Big Thunder). Ride #1, and rides in its proximity (Pirates, Haunted Mansion), and work your way back to the first ride. You should now be ready to get another fast pass. May I suggest Star Tours? Repeat this until you have conquered all rides. 

If you're doing a park-hopper day, do the same, but GET YOUR WORLD OF COLOR FAST PASSES FIRST THING. You do not want to miss World of Color. Go to California Adventure the moment it opens and get them. Can I stress that some more? World of Color is the best. Then do all of the previous instructions.

4. Disneyland favorites: Pirates of the Carribbean, Space Mountain, Indiana Jones (sorry, but this will be closed while you're there), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Star Tours, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (Play with somebody you're not afraid to tackle).

California Adventure Favorites: California Screamin', Tower of Terror, Soarin' over California, Radiator Springs Racers.

Disneyland least favorites: It's a Small World, Snow White, really anything in Fantasyland. Also I think Haunted Mansion is overrated, but you should still go on it. 

California Adventure least favorites: A BUG'S WORLD. DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW; IT'S TERRIFYING. 

-Ace

A:

Dear Ace,

It's a Small World is a classic ride. People love it. Especially when it's super warm outside.

-Zorro

A:

Dear Song of the South,

I second getting the World of Color tickets immediately upon entry. That show is the best part about the entire Disneyland/California Adventure trip combined. Also, there are so many people with Disneyworld clothes ... I don't get that, since I would never wear most of the paraphernalia outside the park. But if you want to wear Disney-ish things but still be stylish later, this is kind of a fun website. I don't know if I could vouch for the shoes, though ... something tells me vulcanized rubber isn't going to be enough to save your feet from this kind of walking. That's my other recommendation: take the best shoes you can. You want to get the most out of your time, which for us has meant 14-16 hours of walking on the most intense days.

-Olympus

A:

Dear Zorro,

In the words of Bob Boilen on All Songs Considered, NPR's music podcast, "'It's a Small World' is the background music for every childhood nightmare."

-Ace

A:

Dear Zippy,

Get in line for Star Tours early. It's so, so awesome.

- Beemer Boy

posted on 04/11/2014 6:08 p.m.
Dear Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!

There's a bit of misinformation in the replies above, and I don't want you to get in trouble when you follow the advice and it turns out wrong. So.

1) You can take outside food into the parks, but it can't be in glass bottles (the only exception is baby food), and any coolers must be soft-sided and no larger than a six-pack of soda. So don't be carting in a giant cooler like at Lagoon and expect to be able to bring it into the parks. They'll make you take it back to your hotel or car, or (if you're lucky) put it in a day-rent locker outside the parks.

2) Fastpasses are awesome, but they recently began reinforcing return times. In the past, you could use a Fastpass at any time after the return window started (so I could use a Fastpass that had a return time of 8:30 am at 10:30 at night and no one blinked an eye). Now, however, they are enforcing the one-hour window. Some Cast Members will give 10 or 15 minutes leeway, but some will not. Pay attention to your return windows.

Also, Buzz Lightyear no longer has Fastpass-- the machines were converted to Star Tours Fastpasses after the ride was updated.

I also don't recommend getting World of Color Fastpasses immediately after entering the Park-- get Radiator Springs Racers Fastpasses instead. RSR Fastpasses usually disappear within a couple of hours of park opening (and 2-hour wait times are usual), whereas you can get World of Color Fastpasses into early afternoon. I would get them right after, though.

If everyone in your group are adults, I highly recommend using the Ridemax software. You tell it what rides/attractions you want to do, and it gives you a schedule to minimize your wait time. I can usually get two or 3 rides on my favorite attractions PER DAY using Ridemax, plus a long afternoon break, even when it's really busy.

Also, visit the Disboards Disneyland forum. They have great info on where to stay, where to