First Trip, help me plan!

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by annahugstrees, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. annahugstrees

    annahugstrees Earning My Ears

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    Hey there! We have reservations already set up at the Desert Palms hotel, with 4 day park hopper tickets. We will be there December 5-9, taking a beach day on the 9th as we come back home. There will be 7 of us, 4 adults and a 16 year old, 7 year old, and a 16 month old.
    We should be arriving around 11 on the 5th. I've already downloaded the Disney App and we plan on getting the MaxPass for everyone once we arrive.
    This is the first trip for the kiddos, and none of the adults have been there for over 20 years, so I know everything has changed!
    What do we need to do? What do we need to eat? What can we skip?
     
  2. chickapin parterre

    chickapin parterre DIS Veteran

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    create a nighttime schedule that has one adult staying at lodging to watch the sleeping 7 year old and toddler.

    create a list of what attractions have fastpass and a walking plan to maximize walking.

    you have early morning privileges for Disneyland.....how is your group for waking up in the morning?

    they have parades and fireworks....do not let any adult dismiss the significance of these events...they are unlike anything you will see....yes, they require time, with that many adults, a sitting strategy will work good for you.

    There are two Disneylands during Christmas....one during the day time and one at night...so don't dismiss " we were already there...." because you weren't....Small World being an example.

    What can you skip....four days is plenty for the adults with unrestrained night visiting. The seven year old...well that will probably be each adult taking a turn on autiopia and Dumbo.
     
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  4. katyringo

    katyringo DIS Veteran

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    You are on the right track!

    Disneyland daily is a great site and resource.

    If you want to sss fantasmic I highly recommended a dinning package. We did blue bayou with our kids and saw fantasmic front and center. So magical.

    We took our 14 month old. Do you babywesr at all? The Tula was a life saver because strollers aren’t allowed in line so I would wear her in lines.
     
  5. annahugstrees

    annahugstrees Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for your reply! Myself and the 16 year old will be up early to really take advantage of the early morning. The 16 year old is our exchange daughter from Japan. She’s been to Tokyo Disney many times, getting up at 4:30 to ride the train there! The 7 year old and my husband will get up because I’ll make them I’ll probably leave baby with the older of the 4 adults (the grandparents).
    That’s a good idea to make a list. Are all of the rides up during that extra hour in the early morning?
    We have a reservation for the Hungry Bear fantasmic on the go second show. I’ve read that the seating is pretty good if you stay there for the fireworks afterwards?
    We are all so excited! I just caught the 16 year old watching YouTube videos of the Disneyland park
     
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  6. annahugstrees

    annahugstrees Earning My Ears

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    We have an on the go hungry bear fantasmic reservation. I hope we can get good seats with them!
    I do baby wear! I have a Mickey Mouse carrier that I’ve been saving for this trip! That’s a good idea to wear her in lines.
    Do you find that the app is pretty accurate when it comes to wait times?
     
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  7. katyringo

    katyringo DIS Veteran

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    Yes and they post wait times outside of each ride so that is helpful.

    The hungry bear package will be great! You will have so much fun!
     
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  8. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    I am so excited for you! We also found babywearing (we had a toddler Tula) helpful in lines, because little ones don't understand lines, and can get really frustrated. We used a stroller for any long walks though, because there is a LOT of walking at Disneyland, and that extra weight adds to how much your feet hurt at the end of the days! Some people like to set a timer to make sure they don't forget to book their next fastpass. There are a few places in the park where you can't get a signal though, so be aware of that. (Inside Soarin', down in Indiana Jones, etc.) Be flexible. Go with the flow with the smallest one, and have the 7-year-old (and everyone, really) pick out a few MUST DO's, so if they get whiny about the current plans, you can remind them of what they chose as their priorities, and promise them it will happen. I have a couple trip reports with small children. The most recent one was 4 days, just before that week (end of Nov) and we had 5 kids from 4 months to 10. So if that might give you some good insight or tips, it's here: https://www.disboards.com/threads/our-crazy-holiday-trip-late-november-2016-update-8-16.3507932/
     
  9. smartlabelprint

    smartlabelprint DIS Veteran

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    My fave restaurants:

    DL French Market
    Bengal bbq

    Jolly holiday decent.

    Dca
    Boardwalk pizza & pasta
    Award wieners veggie sandwich
     
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  10. chickapin parterre

    chickapin parterre DIS Veteran

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    early morning entry on days with T has only fantasyland tomorrowland, ....days without T's it is hit and miss, I open ROA on my mornings and very often find NBC not open, not that it matters I ride the same log three times in a row on Slplash (Chickapin) first thing and then redeem what ever fastpass I collected, usually BTMR, then off to pirates then find NBC is fianally open. I don't do indy or JC and depending on crowd leverls I will repeat BTMRR and NBC....then off to explore the texture of the holiday/floral season in the rest of Disneyland.
     
  11. pharmama

    pharmama DIS Veteran

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    The On the Go Fantasmic! package at Hungry Bear is great and so convenient. However, I want to clarify that if you want to stay after Fantasmic! and see fireworks in the same spot, you need to do the FIRST show for Fantasmic!. That's the one that fireworks happen after- between the first and second show- and yes, you can stay in the same area and watch fireworks (though they do have everyone in the area stand up).

    YMMV, of course, but even when the dining package booking time says its for a certain show I've always been asked which showing I wanted at the dining venue and had no issues requesting the other show.
     
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  12. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    Get familiar before your trip with the location of the Baby Care Center and First Aid in each park. In DL, the Baby Care Center and First Aid are almost next to each other (across from the Little Red Wagon and Plaza Inn, right off Main Street). In DCA, the Baby Care Center is next to Ghirardelli's, by Cars Land. First Aid is right next to Chamber of Commerce on BVS. The Baby Care Centers are a super resource for your little one's needs -- there are diapers, binkies, a microwave, little toilets, a calm place with a/c for feeding and nursing, etc. First Aid is available to help for anything from Baby Tylenol or a Band Aid to something more serious. Just knowing where to go if you need something can save a lot of time and hassle -- because you can never find a map when you really need one, right? (Or, at least, find one that hasn't been chewed on or creased a million times!)
    If you want a TS reservation and can't find a date/time right now, keep looking. Cancellations do pop up. Grab what you want when you see it! If you plan on using the parks wifi, get familiar with the hotspot locations now (shown on the map on the app) so you won't have to waste time looking for them. Also, make sure either to bring battery back up for your phones or plan to use the fuel rod vending machines located throughout the parks. Photopass CMs haven't been dependably easy to find in the parks (sometimes yes, but not always), so having plenty of battery for your camera and/or phone is important! Have a wonderful trip!
     
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  13. annahugstrees

    annahugstrees Earning My Ears

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    I just read through your trip report! Thanks so much for sharing!
    I'm definitely going to be bringing a baby carrier and our stroller. I figure when the big kid gets tired, and I know he will, he can ride in the stroller and I'll wear the baby. I've already decided that I want my son's first rides to be Pirates of the Caribbean and then the Haunted Mansion. After that, we're pretty flexible. I hope that with 4 days, and an early morning, we will be able to ride everything at least once. I will plan on making a tentative 'schedule' so we aren't just wandering around the park trying to figure out what's next.
    Our 16 year old will be meeting up with her foreign exchange group while we're there, so it's good to know about the sketchy cell phone signal! I think I'm even more scared of losing her than my own kids! Hahaha!
     
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  14. annahugstrees

    annahugstrees Earning My Ears

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    Oh, I didn't realize they'd do fireworks that early. Our reservation time is for 7:30. About what time do they do the fireworks?
     
  15. pharmama

    pharmama DIS Veteran

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    The usual schedule is:
    First Fantasmic!- 9pm
    Fireworks- 9:30pm
    Second Fantasmic!- 10:30pm.

    As a clarification, all the dining packages are a scenario where you go to the meal and they give you a paper ticket/fastpass that allows you into a reserved section in the Fantasmic! viewing area closer to show time. You don't eat during/just before the show or in the viewing area. The only exception to this is the Premium seating at River Belle Terrace where you do stay at your table for the first F! show but most River Belle Terrace F! dining packages get a fastpass to return to a reserved section in the F! viewing area for the show.

    So with your current reservation you will go to Hungry Bear at 7:30, make your food selections and pick up your food from the counter which you can then eat at Hungry Bear or wherever you want to take but I'd recommend just eating it there as there aren't really a lot of other great places to sit and eat in that area. At that time you will also be given the fastpasses to return to the Fantasmic! viewing area prior to the show. You mentioned your reservation says second show which would mean you will get FPs for the 10:30pm show. This is where I have often found that, even if the reservation specifies a certain show, I am asked which show I want and its usually not a big deal to switch. But this isn't guaranteed. If you want to watch fireworks from the F! viewing area after the show, you have to do first showing as described above.
     
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  16. annahugstrees

    annahugstrees Earning My Ears

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    Thank you so much for explaining all of that! I thought our reservation time was set up to grab our food and go watch the show. We would have been so confused! Hahaha! That all makes sense now. I'm going to try and see if we can see the first show! Then I can send the littles back to the hotel with the grandparents!
     
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