Flying in from Germany for first trip in 10 years! Any thoughts?

maxiv

the guy from overseas
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Hey guys,

I’ll be at Disneyland soon and wanted to check in with you to see if you’re agreeing with my plan, wether I’m making any capital mistakes and also you might have some good tips!

So, background: I’m from Germany and 31 years old. I used to be a CM at Epcot in 2007 and have always been following the community through podcasts and lately lots of YouTube.
So, I kinda know my way around Disney parks, especially WDW.

I’ve only been to Disneyland once in 2009 for two days and I loved it!

Now I’m lucky that I’ll be in San Francisco for business which I’m combining with three Days at DL.

I’ll be flying in to LAX on Sept 20th and flying to SFO on the 24th in the evening.
I already booked the Disneyland Resort Express bus since that just seemed the easiest option.
I’ll be staying at the Grand Legacy at the Park.

I’m purchased a three day park hopper ticket with Maxpass.
Generally, I’m not planning to go commando. I want to soak everything in while also getting things done. I’m a subscriber to touringplans.
Dining wise, Im a huge foodie it will most likely stick to quick service service since I’m traveling solo. I definitely want to try all the famous snacks, like the corn dogs, beignets, and so on!

So, here’s my plan:
Arrive on Friday 20th in the evening and go to DTD for dinner, probably BlackTap.

Saturday:
I’m super excited for Galaxy’s Edge, so that’s likely where I’ll head first.
I’ll wander around, try to see as much as I can, ride Smugglers Run and also have breakfast there, probably also lunch at Docking Bay 7.
I’m working with an agent for a reservation at Ogas, but I’m trying to get one for the evening hours.

After that, I don’t have a specific plan yet since I can’t really tell how much time I’ll be spending in Galaxy’s Edge. So I’m not sure how and what touring plan to use, if I don’t want to spend too much time in queues.
I think I’m likely to stay at the park till I leave in the evening. If I run out of stuff to do, I might hop over to DCA.

On Sunday, I’ll head to DCA in the morning, get a coffee outside the park and ride tower of terror, toy story mania and Incredicoaster. Not sure where to have breakfast (cozy cone?), lunch and how to tour the park..... I might just stick to a touring plan from the app and then head back over to Disneyland park for some more Galaxys Edge.
I think I should also get a fastpass for World of Color, right?

Monday will be a “Best of” where I’ll just be doing second rounds of everything that I liked best during the past two days before I head to LAX in the late afternoon.

Are there anything tips or commendations you’d like to give me? And opinions about my general plan? Looking forward to what you think!
 

TinkerTay

... A Pirate’s Life for Me
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
If you are getting park hoppers and MaxPass, you should be able to do literally everything you want to do. If you want to go with the flow, just check MaxPass for what’s available soonest, but keep an eye on Radiator Springs Racers, those go fast, especially if you’d like to ride at night (which I recommend, the lights of Cars Land is amazing!) If you are in DCA for breakfast, I’d go to Flo’s, the Brioche French toast is super yummy! World of Color should be your first fast pass of the day, since it’s not connected to the rest of the system. Get that, and then immediately make another fast pass. DCA is a super easy park to do everything in one day, and you can always hop back to DL whenever you’re done, or for a specific meal somewhere. With MaxPass, I usually do a lot of hopping back and forth, since everything is fairly close together. My biggest piece of advice, if you want to wait the least amount possible, go EARLY! Take advantage of your Magic Morning, which will be your Saturday. The other days, get to DCA for rope drop, or DL if you’d rather, and start making your max passes as soon as you’re in the park and able to. I’ll be there in November, and that will be my biggest challenge, is actually dragging my rear out of the room early in the mornings, since I’m anticipating it to be busy! You’ll have a blast no matter what, September is usually a nice time to go, and with MP and hoppers, you’re golden!
 
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  • maxiv

    the guy from overseas
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2005
    Thanks so much guys, now I’m even more excited!

    I’m an early riser and I’ll be super jet lagged - so I’m quite sure I’ll be awake WAY before the parks open. The bigger challenge for me is staying up late in the evening and still having energy.
    The tip for radiator springs racers at night is a game rest one, wouldn’t have thought of that! So are you saying I won’t even have to stick to a certain touring plan?

    Any further tips as when to ride what (day/night)?
    Specific recommendations for someone who is very interested in trying new and different foods?

    Would you be able to tell me if I can buy a SIM card for my phone at the airport or elsewhere? Data roaming with my German SIM card isn’t really an option ;)
     

    TinkerTay

    ... A Pirate’s Life for Me
    Joined
    Jul 20, 2018
    Yikes on the jet lag, the mornings should probably be easier for you, but yes, evenings may have you dragging! If you want a more rigid plan, a touring plan may be fine, but I think with Max Pass and hoppers, you are just a little more free to do things at your pace, and a hard plan isn’t really necessary. Just make sure to get your fast passes for what you’d like to do most/for sure, and the rest of them will fall into place. When I used it last year, we almost felt like it was too easy, and had extra time to do whatever else we wanted, haha 😆
    I would say another one that’s even better at night is Incredicoaster! The lights are much more vibrant and visible, I usually do that one several times in a day/night! I’ve yet to see SWGE, but I’ve heard it’s amazing at night, also!
    Food - there are so many different things, and especially since you’ll be there during Halloween Time, there will be seasonal offerings. I do remember last year, there was a black rose dessert at Red Rose Tavern that was VERY good! Food can be so subjective, and it’s hard to recommend when I’m someone who likes just about everything, haha! The most unique things will probably be in SWGE though.
    I’m not sure on the SIM cards, that may be a question for your phone carrier, or you might be able to order one online ahead of time. There is a Target that you could Uber to, or a Walgreens you could walk to. I’m just not entirely sure who/where has them near the parks... you’ll definitely need one though, if you’re using MaxPass, as the WiFi in the parks isn’t great...
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    Some threads with helpful information:
    A DLR Guide for WDW Vets -- pre-SWGE, but still very good info!
    World of Color Superthread -- study the first post, especially the map of the viewing area, and the last few pages for more recent info -- ask any questions here. WOC is a wonderful show with a difficult viewing area -- knowledge is definitely power when it comes to WOC!
    "Maxpass/Fastpass: an overview and some strategy" by @Skyegirl1999 - www.disboards.com/threads/maxpass-fastpass-an-overview-and-some-strategy.3726246/ -- get your MP skills going here and ask any questions in this thread -- you'll get good help here!
    "Airport Proximity to DLR and Ground Transportation Information" by @3TinksAndAnEeyore www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2318297 -- just in case you have any questions about your airport transfers, there is good information here.
    As for snacks and CS in the parks, don't forget try a Ronto Wrap in SWGE. (We always get the sauce on the side.) This is one of the best hot dogs in the parks!
     
  • smartlabelprint

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2013
    I’ve heard black tap can be overpriced, crowded and disorganized. YMMV

    Galaxy’s edge is busier first thing. The ride line is usually shorter later in the day.

    Tower of terror has been re-themed as guardians of the galaxy.
     

    maxiv

    the guy from overseas
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2005
    Thanks, guys!

    So are you suggesting Galaxy's Edge might not be the best thing to do right in the morning after Rope Drop?

    It won't be open during Magic Mornings (my Saturday) anyways, right?
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    Right, SWGE isn't open during MM/EMH. Some people use their MM/EMH to line up for SWGE so they can be toward the front of the line when it does open, but the lines for FL and TL have been pretty good during MM and EMH this summer, so some people think it better to take advantage of this (especially since many of the MM/EMH rides don't have FP/MP) and head to SWGE later after the mad morning rush has calmed down. Do try to see SWGE at least twice -- at two different times of day. The land is so different and beautiful day and night -- and the ride line can go down to about 30-40 minutes after fireworks.
     
  • maxiv

    the guy from overseas
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2005
    Okay, that's great insight, thanks! What do you recommend then for MM at Disneyland and possibly the time until lines have died down a bit at SWGE?
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    This recent trip report (from a DISer from Ireland) may help give you some idea of what you might find on your MM: Trip Report June 30 to July 2 - Many Firsts Mixed With Old Favourites. Keep in mind that crowds levels are higher now than they were earlier in the summer, but they are still very manageable. Also, you can post any questions about SWGE in this thread: New SWGE Superthread! Now Open to All! (6/24/2019).
    More info:
    Halloween Time Superthread 2019: "Oogie Boogie Bash" Party to Be Held in DCA ONLY! -- are you interested in a Halloween Party? 9/22 is the only date open during your visit, so you might want to buy before that date sells out if this is something you want to do. Ask any questions in that thread!
    Try to be on Rte. 66 in Cars Land just before sunset on one of your days. You can Google for the time of sunset, then be on Rte. 66 a few minutes before (or earlier if you want a snack from the Cozy Cones), find a good viewing spot on the street by Flo's or the Cones, and get ready for the lights to go out, the Sh'boom song to start, and the neon lights to go on! Just like in the "Cars" movie -- magic!
    NB The lower AP blockouts will be lifted by the time of your visit, which should change the crowd patterns noticeably. Keep checking this forum for up to date information on the crowd patterns and strategies for dealing with any changes so that you'll be ready to go by the time of your visit.
     
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    maxiv

    the guy from overseas
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2005
    That's such great tips, thank you!!
    I'm not planning attend Oogie Boogie Bash since that's another $120 and I feel like I can just spend that evening at SWGE :)
    The tip with sunset @Cars Land is golden though!
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    That's such great tips, thank you!!
    I'm not planning attend Oogie Boogie Bash since that's another $120 and I feel like I can just spend that evening at SWGE :)
    The tip with sunset @Cars Land is golden though!
    Maybe @Vala can talk you into OBB! She comes from Germany every year for the Halloween parties. :)
    We love sunset in Cars Land -- just a moment of pure Disney magic.
     

    Vala

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2008
    Maybe @Vala can talk you into OBB! She comes from Germany every year for the Halloween parties. :)
    We love sunset in Cars Land -- just a moment of pure Disney magic.
    Max sounds like a huge Star Wars fan - then SWGE seems like the better choice for him.

    I love my parties and would be spending the money, but as we don't know about any Star Wars representation at the moment Galaxy's Edge may be more fun. It's really unique at night after all.
     

    maxiv

    the guy from overseas
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2005
    Thanks @Vala ! You're right, I'm a big SW fan and I just don't want to spend the extra $120 right now if there still so much other stuff I haven't discovered yet at Disneyland.
    I'm really looking forward to Carsland and SWGE @ night.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    Fireworks from in front of the Millennium Falcon can be fun -- no music or projections, but a lovely view -- and the fireworks are huge back there! The scenery makes for cool photos! Also, GOTG has a Halloween version: Monsters After Dark. The changeover happens around 5 pm (?), so be looking for that. FPs go super fast for that, starting around 3 pm, I think, so be ready and looking for those.
     

    maxiv

    the guy from overseas
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2005
    I just noticed something....

    I'll be arriving at LAX at 3:15 pm, either trying to take the shuttle at 3:45 (arriving at 5:15) or 5pm (arriving at 6:30 pm) to the hotel.

    So, let's say worst case I'll be at the hotel around 5pm, and I might be ready to go to the park around 5:30 or 6:00.

    I purchased three day tickets from Saturday to Monday for $400 (incl. Park Hopper + Maxpass) and just realized, that a 4th day would only be an addtl. $40!

    a) Can I upgrade from 3 to 4 day?
    b) would I have to do it in advance or can I spontaneously decide and just walk up to the ticket booth with my three day ticket and upgrade it there?
    c) What do you think? Should I do it and go to one of the parks in the evening for a stroll around, a dinner and maybe a ride or two?
     

    Vala

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2008
    Where are you flying in from? With 3.15 landing you won't make the 3.45 shuttle if you have to pass immigration first. Even if you only have to wait for your luggage I think this is too tight. Then again the Disneyland Express hasn't exactly been on schedule for me in the past, so fingers crossed you are lucky.

    You can upgrade at the ticket booth, but make sure to do it on the last day at the latest.

    I'd probably upgrade. So much to discover in Halloween season.
     

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