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JZ's Disneyland and California Adventure Review!


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Hey guys, I just got off the phone with my Uncle, and he's been invited to a big Disneyland party and he can take some friends! As some of you may know, yesterday was my bday...and so this is my present!

 

Here's what I know:

-We're staying at the Grand California Hotel (or something like that)

-We have access to both parks

-And....Knott's it 15 minutes away!

 

I've been to WDW, and I'm really looking foreword to Disneyland! I know they have the staples - Thunder Mtn, Space Mtn, Splash Mtn, ToT....and also Matterhorn. CA has CA Screamin' and Mullhold Madness or something like that.

 

Oh...is the whole "Rockin' Space Mtn" and Rockin' CA Screamin' thing still going on? I loooove the Peppers!

 

I'm going Wednesday the 22nd (I think) until that Saturday!

 

I need help on getting to know the park. Lines, rides, policies.

 

KNOTTS:

It's something that's there...and I have a CF Employee pass, so if I have some spare time, I'd go...why not while I'm out there! I need to know how bad the lines would be for this park. I could go for just an hour...or for a few more! Xcellerator looks badass!

 

If anyone would like to meet up, I'd be more than happy to say hello!!!

 

Thanks in advanced guys!

-J 'I'm goin' to Disneyland! ' Z

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It's summer, so it'll be busy. Expect it to be hot, expect lots of strollers. But honestly, if you're staying for four days, and you're smart about it, you should have no problems getting on all the good stuff, possibly even multiple times. Take advantage of Fastpass, basically.:

http://www.disneymouselinks.com/disney-fastpass.aspx (or just google around for Disneyland Fast Pass tips...there's plenty of information on how to maximize usage)

 

Disneyland "Musts":

Indiana Jones

Pirates

Haunted Mansion

Splash Mountain (should have a SINGLE RIDER line, ask a Cast Member if they're doing it that day, if they are...USE IT!!!)

Thunder Mountain

Matterhorn

Space Mountain

 

Second Tier:

Roger Rabbit

Buzz Lightyear

Gadget's Go Coaster

Mr. Toad

Star Tours

 

Only go on the submarines if the wait is less than 30 minutes or so. It's cute but not worth a long wait. Everything else you should do only if there's minimal lines.

 

If you like fireworks, the DLR fireworks show kicks ass, especially if you camp out for a couple hours beforehand in front of the castle area.

 

DCA Musts:

Tower

Toy Story Mania

California Screamin

Soarin (only if you haven't been on the WDW one...same exact ride, and the line gets pretty crazy)

Grizzly River Run

 

Second Tier:

Monsters Inc

Mulholland Madness

Maliboomer

It's Tough To Be A Bug (again, only if you haven't been on the WDW one)

 

Most of the carnival flat rides on the Pier section are skippable, as is the entirety of Flick's Fun Fair.

 

"Rockin" coaster soundtracks do not exist anymore. Thank god.

 

Knott's....I know it's probably lame to say, but if you do go, go for as short as possible and just do a credit run. The park is unspectacular, especially in comparison to DLR. Good luck, because they stagger the opening times, making it difficult to hit everything first thing in the morning, and get the hell out of there. The only two non-credits worth your time are Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Ride.

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Just to add on to what Wes said, I've never been denied single rider on Splash Mountain so USE IT! Also I think the best place to sit on Space Mountain is the front row, and Disneyland's firworks show is damn amazing (I liked it better the the version of Illuminations I saw back in March) but I think the best spot for the show is at the end of Mainstreet on the right near the Main Street Photo Supply Co. It's standing, but I think it offers the best view of the entire show.

 

Fast Pass like crazy, you can have one for a Disneyland ride, a DCA ride, AND Roger Rabbit in the same "time frame" (meaning the window from when you get a fastpass until you are able to get another one) so get there early and get as many as you can. The earlier you get there, the more you can get done. You'd be surprised how much you can actually do before 10AM on very busy days at Disneyland.

 

I would say give Knott's at least half a day, since you've never been, you can find a lot of fun things to do if you're not just into the coasters, the Ghost Town section is fun as most of the buildings are actualy authentic.

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I'm sure there are a ton of people that can give better Disney advice than I could, so I won't even try... I would like to say something about Knott's though.

 

Don't get too bogged down with all the park's negativity on these boards. There are a lot of people, including me, which love the park, so I'd encourage you to keep an open mind when visiting it. I'd definitely say allow for a full day at Knott's. If you end up hating the park, you can easily leave and find something else in the area to do. But if you only allow the park half a day, and end up loving it, it's hard to add more time.

 

This park really blew my expectations out of the water. It's really a nice, nice looking park, and there are lots of great attractions (not to mention Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant which is also excellent). Perilous Plunge, Bigfoot Rapids, Xcellerator, Timber Mountain Log Ride, Ghostrider, Sierra Sidewinder, Montezooma's Revenge, Supreme Scream, Riptide, Silver Bullet - I'm going to stop making a list of "must sees" because really there isn't anything I'd recommend skipping.

 

Lines can get pretty long, and if the park is crowded, here's what I'd plan on based on my July / August trips. Boomerang and Ghostrider generally have lines a little over an hour. Xcellerator, Perilous Plunge, Timber Mountain Log Ride, Bigfoot Rapids, and Sierra Sidewinder have lines usually in the 45 minute range. Silver Bullet's line generally hovers around a half hour. Supreme Scream, Jaguar, Montezooma's Revenge, and Riptide generally have lines 20 minutes or less. No clue about Pony Express. Again, thats for a crowded summer day. You may end up waiting a lot less which would be nice.

 

Still, I really like Knott's, and as others have said, there is a lot to do there, so I'd plan on at least 3/4 day and would really recommend a full one. Hope you have a great trip!

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Disneyland:

First of all... I dunno if this still exists, but check on whether or not you can get into disneyland early because you are staying in a hotel and if you can, make sure to hit the really busy rides before the park actually opens.

 

Splash mountain is the best when its hot out, so see if you can get a fastpass for sometime around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. (If you go around 10 or 11, you should be able to get a fastpass for that time)

 

Pirate's line rarely goes over an hour (or even 45 minutes for that matter...) so dont worry about pirates early on in the morning, make sure you hit these before the park gets too busy (normally around 10ish):

Indy

Space mountain (Definitely best in the front by the way)

Matterhorn

Finding Nemo (only if there is a wait under 30 minutes)

 

Haunted mansion is a must ride in my opinion so make sure to hit that one up at least once

 

Buzz Lightyear is an amazing ride and very popular so if you want to ride it, make sure that you get a fastpass for it because the que without one can go upwards of an hour in some instances. (also, even though the line may look short, it has a significant amount of line that extends into the ariels grotto area so dont be fooled by that

 

Big thunder never really has a huge line so thats not a big deal. Normally the wait is under 45 minutes (DO NOT get a fastpass for Big Thunder! it is NOT worth using up a fastpass priviledge to get one for big thunder!)

 

Make sure you see both "Remember: Dreams Come true" (the fireworks show) and fantasmic if you can catch both. Fantasmic is a great show and is not to be missed!

 

Disney's California Adventure:

California Screamin' and Toy Story Midway Mania are both in the same area of the park and are the busiest rides so make sure that you hit up those two first (Start with Midway Mania and then head to California screamin)

 

When you go to California Adventure, make sure that you start out your day there. (I would say go to DCA on Thursday) and be some of the first ones at the gate. When you enter the park, don't turn and go through the Condor flats area but go straight and you will pass a bugs land before you get to the Paradise pier area. Take the bridge to your left that heads up buy the resturaunt. DO NOT GO ALL THE WAY AROUND the pier! if you do, you will lose A LOT of time hit up Midway mania because it will build a huge line and then go to California screamin. If there is more than a 30 minute wait for CS, get a fastpass and wait for the time. It shouldnt be too long.

 

Make sure that you get a fastpass for Soarin over California. Its a great ride, but unless theres less than a 30 minute line, dont wait. The fastpass is extremely useful for Soarin.

 

ToT is a fun ride, not as great as some of the other ones, but it is really fun so make sure you dont miss it. If you can, I advise you to ride it during the day and at night because while the ride isnt different, its creepyer (IMHO) at night

 

Mullholand Madness isnt that great. Its just your basic wild mouse. Ride it if you have time.

 

Maliboomer is really fun (the screamshields suck but whatever), dont ride if the wait is more than 15 minutes

 

Grizzly River run is fun so try to ride it at least once. The drops are cool and different for a river rafting ride.

 

Knotts Berry Farm:

(Side note: despite some peoples belief, I love Knotts and definitely think its worth some time so check it out if you dont have anything to do.

 

Xcelerator is great so make sure to ride it (dont wait longer than 30-45 minutes though. Sitting in the back is just as fun as sitting in the front and has much less of a wait so try that.

 

Sierra Sidewinder and Silver Bullet are alot of fun so if you have time, ride both of those. I wouldnt waste my time on the new pony express because it looks rather boring.

 

Ghostrider apparently is very tempermental and is not a great ride anymore according to a lot of people so be careful when going on it. It's not smooth whatsoever. It is a fun ride, but be foreworned, it will beat the tar out of you.

 

If you want a more fun ride but still somewhat intense, try Montezooma's revenge. its really fun in my opinion and worth looking into. As long as you dont have to wait, its alot of fun.

 

I would say, spend the early part of a day (Maybe go really early on saturday and ride all you can before the park starts getting really really full (HEAD TO XCELERATOR FIRST) via the passing by silver bullet and supreme scream. The entrance for Xcelerator is all the way at the back of the park so make sure you keep on heading back there. Then hit up the other rides that look fun/cool to you. I would definitely not go to Knotts for the whole day, but definitely catch Xcelerator, its worth riding

 

Thats my huge speal and I doubt you'll read it all, but if it helps even remotely, that would be good! Hope you have a great time at Disneyland, California Adventure and Knotts and I hope I could help a little bit!

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Disney:

 

Take advantage of the single rider lines.

 

Soarin' Over California

Mailboomer

Splash Mountain

Mulholland Madness

California Screamin

Grizzly River Run

 

If you take advantage of that and FastPass, you will never have to wait long for most (all) E tickets.

 

If you hit Big Thunder in the middle of the day, chances are you will walk right on.

 

Ride Matterhorn during the parade.

 

 

Knotts

 

Form your own opinion on the park, it truly is a great park!

 

Do all the coasters at least once.

 

Ride Perilous Plunge (incredible water ride with huge amounts of air time)

 

See Mystery Lodge. ( Nice special effects show)

 

Ride The Log Ride

 

Ride the Mine Ride

 

Eat at Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner.

 

Have Fun!

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By staying onsite, you are entitled to Magic Mornings (early entry) to Disneyland Park on Thursday and Saturday (the other days are Sunday and Tuesday in case your dates change). During MM, you can ride Space, Buzz, Nemo, and most of the Fantasyland rides.

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Thunder Mountain in the back, Space Mountain in the front, Star Tours in the back row (you feel the hydraulics way more). If you are able to do the Magic Mornings make sure to do Nemo, and Peter Pans Flight. Pan never has a line shorter than 30 min from opening to closing. The fireworks are amazing!! We've tested out nearly every viewpoint and in front of the castle is the best! Not too close though, the best is in between the trash can and the benches at the edge of the hub on the castle side just before the sidewalk ends. During the Haunted Mansion bit in the show look straight up specifically during the 'Is this haunted room actually stretching?" bit. After the fireworks head over to the 10:30 Fantasmic show. The best spot is either right in front or right behind and slightly to the right of the sound/light board. It gives you the best view and the best sound. If you don't get a chance to do Splash Mountain during the day do it at night during the 2nd Fantasmic show. The line tends to be fairly short. If you are able to and have the cash to spend you should make reservations at the Bleu Bayou for lunch or dinner. Lunch time is cheaper, it's about 23 bucks a plate but the food is good and you get free refills. The restaurant itself sits inside Pirates of The Caribbean along the waters edge and it's in a nighttime setting. If you are going on the 22nd you are able to make reservations right now and you should if you plan on eating there because they book up fast. If you get the chance you should catch The Electrical Parade at California Adventure and get on the Sun Wheel in one of the moving gondolas along with all the other rides people told you to hit up.

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Splash mountain is the best when its hot out, so see if you can get a fastpass for sometime around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. (If you go around 10 or 11, you should be able to get a fastpass for that time)

They will actually accept fastpasses after the end of the time window, so you can technically you can grab one whenever, and hop on any time for the rest of the day from the point when it becomes valid...even a few hours later....If your fastpass was 11:00-12:00, they wouldn't stop you using it at 1:30 for example.

 

Of course, single rider is the best way to go, the 5 person logs mean a lot of empty seats.

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Well guys, get ready to be jealous, because I have good news . You see, my uncle is a president of a big advertising agency, and he gets a LOT of privileges. And I just got word that we have front of the line passes.

 

Thanks soooo much for the help so far guys, but just letting you know lines will NOT be a problem!

 

-J 'VIP' Z

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That's awesome! If you guys are offered VIP firework seats don't take them unless they're in front of the castle. The other VIP seats are at the Main Street Train Station and that's one of the worst places to view the show. You should see if there's any way you guys could eat at Club 33 or ride in the Lilly Belle train car.

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Disneyland is the big trip and what it's all about. Knott's is just kinda there and it just to happens that I have a CF employee pass that gets me into all CF parks! So, it's an option.

 

I'd go to the park just for Accelerator. I mean I'm not sure when I'm going to be back in that part of Cal. I should be getting an agenda on what's going on and when. I'm sure I will have some down time, and I hope I can fit it in.

 

-JZ

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No Magic Mountain? Boycotting? I don't get it.

 

Nope, I'm heading to SFMarine World or what ever the new name is...and SFMM next spring. I'm sticking to DL, DCA, and maybe Knott's. If it's not a 15 minutes away, I doubt I could get to it.

 

-JZ

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Well guys, get ready to be jealous, because I have good news . You see, my uncle is a president of a big advertising agency, and he gets a LOT of privileges. And I just got word that we have front of the line passes.

 

Thanks soooo much for the help so far guys, but just letting you know lines will NOT be a problem!

 

-J 'VIP' Z

 

Can he get you into Club 33? Ask! If so, please post a TR with a ton of pics of the place.

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Well guys, get ready to be jealous, because I have good news . You see, my uncle is a president of a big advertising agency, and he gets a LOT of privileges. And I just got word that we have front of the line passes.

 

Thanks soooo much for the help so far guys, but just letting you know lines will NOT be a problem!

 

-J 'VIP' Z

 

Can he get you into Club 33? Ask! If so, please post a TR with a ton of pics of the place.

 

What's club 33?

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Aw come on....not even a link?! Haha, I haven't seen you posting in a while ginzo, but I'm glad to see ya back. I missed all those smart and funny comments!

 

I was on the big Europe trip. But now I'm back home, sick and jet lagged.

 

Google's "I'm feeling lucky" result: http://www.disneylandclub33.com/

 

You'd be a lot of people's hero if you could get pictures inside that place.

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