My first ABD- I have a few questions about Backstage Magic

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by JediAng, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. JediAng

    JediAng Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Hi everyone!

    I am looking at booking my first ABD, finally! I had a few questions for a first timer. I am looking at doing Backstage Magic in 2019, yes I realize it's still pretty far away, but they already have them announced for January, February, and March of 2019.

    This trip would be my firs time EVER at Disneyland, and in California in general.

    I am thinking about adding 2 pre nights in Hollywood and 2 post nights at the Grand Californian, just for a little extra "on my own time".

    I have a few questions, I am a WDW expert, been going on vacations to World since I was 5, currently 25, So I've had my fair share of World experiences. I thought ABD would be a great first experience in Land.

    So, my questions, are

    1. What is the best time of the year to do this trip? I am thinking about Oct 2019, to Celebrate my birthday on 10/18. If I go in October, do they let us attend the Halloween Party one night at DLR?

    2. When you are actually at Disneyland & California Adventure, how many rides are you able to do, honestly? This is big for me. I want to see what the differences are, I want experiences on The Matterhorn, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, etc etc etc. I ESPECIALLY want to focus on things that are ONLY at Disneyland. Is your time at the parks more of a walking and looking tour, or do you actually do stuff? In a Facebook group I'm in, someone said they were given 7 fast passes for on their own time? is this true? if so i think that would make it worth it. This is important, because depending on what I do and do not do, will determine how many post nights I add at DLR.

    3. If there is an activity that I'm not 100% interested in, and I feel like I would rather do something else, is it possible to do that? I'm thinking I want to try and see a taping of a TV show, but I'm trying to figure out how that will work in my schedule...

    4. How far away are things like the beach, and shopping? I definitely want to allow time for this around the ABD Itinerary, I was thinking 1-2 pre days for these activities.

    5. When is the best time to book an ABD trip? They already have 3 2019 trips for Backstage Magic available, I am thinking about February 2019 for some cooler weather, and lower crowds... Again, this kind of goes back to my first question on when is the best time to do the trip?

    Also, any other tips for a first timer is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you all in advance :)
     
  2. White Rose

    White Rose DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    693

    We went in oct, and we did get to do the Halloween party, and had a few unique experiences specific to that spooky time of year, including a special surprise in Hollywood in the evening and a few in the parks. We had plenty of time on your own to see everything, if you used the time on your own in the park. We also booked 1 extra night in the park in case we wanted to ride some things again. If you go back to your room or go swimming after the touring time with the guides, yes, you can miss stuff.

    You are not required to do everything with the guides in DL/CA. Just keep in mind there are surprises and cool treats you might not know about till you arrive at a specific meeting time. The whole point of the trip is to go behind the scenes and do stuff no one else can do, except ABD!

    I know one couple decided not to stay in the park late and meet up with the guides at the (spoiler) where we all got to meet wth a (spoiler) who told us all the cool unique things about (spoiler) and then got to (spoiler) after park closing! OMG! Trust me it was cool.

    they missed out...and were quite disappointed, too. The guides did tell us some details hours before we met up, FYI.it was a late night...but it was a highlight of the trip.

    If you plan on skipping something, let the guides know and ask them to spill the beans about any possible missed experiences. I would strongly suggest against it, though. If you are a Disney fan...it will be fun.

    We got into LA the day before, did a studio tour, went to the tar pits (an uber car ride from the LA hotel) and shopped a tiny bit. After ABD, we stayed an extra night, which gave us 2 days in the park on our own. Afterwards we switched back to LA and an inexpensive hotel, and did the WB tour, which is the lot where Ellen is filmed. Also some comedies that have a live audience.

    Everything felt quite condensed in DL and CA compared to WDW. No 20 minute bus rides to the parks, the rides are close together...and DL and CA entrances face each other, so moving from one park to the next is a 4 minute walk, maybe.

    We are not beach types, so I don't know about that. If you are thinking you won't have enough time Disney shopping...trust me...there are two...amazing...shopping experiences during the trip. Credit card limit busting experiences if you go crazy!

    Prices never drop...book as soon as the trip you want is available. Oh..if you could care less about imagineering, Jim Henson studios, Disney studios, behind the sciences experiences, the history, seeing where the magic started...you might just want to go to DL without doing ABD....because this trip is so much more than just rides...but you will get your fill of that, too.
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  4. JediAng

    JediAng Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Thank you so much for all the info!!! I am definitely 100% interested in all the Disney Specific things like Imagineering, The Walt Disney Studios, etc. The only thing I was considering skipping for more Hollywood time is the Hensen Studios. I realize this is a BIG DEAL for many people, but personally I have never been into muppets, so I feel like I could find something else that would interest me more during this time. Like touring Warner Brothers and seeing the Fuller House set, the set of my favorite TV show since I was little. Something like that is all I had in mind.

    Appreciate all the tips!!! :)
     
  5. White Rose

    White Rose DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    693
    We were not there that long, and then you miss out on other things right afterwards...I am not sure you could arrange to meet the tour guides after Jim Henson... we were all on a bus together and went to lunch. It is easier to step away in the parks, but since there is a bus taking you from place to place, I am not sure how that could be handled..that might be a bit more then a bit of logistics. It is not like they will divert the bus to pick you up. And I do not think WB studios was close.

    Henson was the highlight of the trip for my hubby. I enjoyed seeing how the... muppeteers? handled the puppets, it is done all (spoiler) it was quite interesting to watch. We were with an actual employee of the studios..an actual muppeteer, which was really cool. I think we were there for at most 2 hours? Maybe? Then we got on the bus to lunch.

    Oh...you should be able to schedule the WB tour, before or after the trip... just know there is no guarantee you will see any specific set. It's Several Hours long.
     
    JediAng likes this.
  6. JediAng

    JediAng Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Thanks, I will probably end up staying with the itinerary. This is why I need like 2 pre and 2 post nights before and after to do my own thing, because if i go all the way to California, there are certain things that i definitely want to see that aren't included but I would still like to see everything listed. Thanks again :)
     
    White Rose likes this.
  7. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    12,941
    Where you are in Hollywood is literally no-where near the beach. The closest beach is probably Santa Monica or Venice Beach, and they're over an hour away. If you want to do pre-days at the beach, you'd probably want to find a place to stay near one of the beaches, and then transfer to the ABD hotel in time for the start of your ABD.

    Sayhello
     
    JediAng likes this.
  8. JediAng

    JediAng Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    I will keep that in mind. Santa Monica has a lot of shopping? Do they have a pier there? I've never been, but I have read about it previously.
     
  9. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    12,941
    Yes and Yes. There's a really nice Promenade area (3rd Street Promenade) with a lot of cool shops and a pretty upscale Mall at one end. There's also a lot of quirky, neat shops on Main Street. I love Santa Monica; it has a really neat vibe to it.

    And there is a great Pier there, with a funky amusement park area, and fishing and stuff like that. The ferris wheel there is pretty iconic.

    Sayhello
     
    JediAng likes this.
  10. JediAng

    JediAng Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Awesome! That's what I thought, but I wasn't sure. Will definitely keep this all in mind. Thank you for the info :) The good thing about Oct 2019 being so far away it's I have LOTS of time to prepare (& save up lol)

    :)
     
    White Rose likes this.
  11. Jess_S

    Jess_S Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    499
    I lived in West LA for 10 years. The closest beaches to Hollywood are Santa Monica and Venice (which are only an hour away in the worst traffic; I considered them to be 30 minutes away). Most locals do not go to those beaches for swimming (though I did when I lived there). If you want a really pretty beach, it's worth going a little farther to Malibu. There is plenty of shopping in Hollywood. In addition to 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, there's also Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice. If you go to Venice, do check out the canals. And even though it's just a fancy mall, I'm very partial to the Grove/LA Farmers Market for shopping.

    You probably need a rental car if you intend to travel outside the ABD. Though LA's mass transit is improving, it's still not great and LA is a huge, sprawling city.

    If you are doing pre-nights and will have a car, consider staying in Venice or Santa Monica to experience a different part of the city before your ABD.

    Typing this is making me miss L.A. It's a great city. I hope you enjoy your trip.
     
    JediAng, White Rose and sayhello like this.
  12. Rapunzellover

    Rapunzellover DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    591
    Lifelong CA Native here- Beware that October or February will likely be cold for beachside. Bring a sweater. Or jacket.
     
    JediAng likes this.
  13. JediAng

    JediAng Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    First off, thank you everyone for all the replies! I am taking notes and keeping all the info in my ABD info folder I have made. :)

    I have decided officially on my trip! Due to how my time off at work is handled, as much as I want to do Backstage Magic right now, because I'm already going to Orlando for some time in 2018, I don't have the vacation days to make the Backstage Magic work right now.

    I am pushing back Backstage Magic to 2019, probably December. I would love to be there for the release of Star Wars Episode 9, and hopefully by that time Star Wars Land will be opened :) And the Christmas Party will also be happening :)

    Instead I have decided that I am going to book a San Francisco Trip in October 2018 for next year to celebrate my birthday, and get my first experience on the West Coast. This trip has The Walt Disney Family Museum and also LUCAS FILMS, so I am very excited about it. Still a little bit of Disney involved :) Will be booking my trip on Saturday and I CAN'T WAIT :D
     
    sayhello likes this.
  14. Rapunzellover

    Rapunzellover DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    591
    Smart. SF>>>LA.
     
    JediAng likes this.

Share This Page