Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lucky Locals!

Your friends at a Dole Whip a Day live about 400 miles from Disneyland. And while that's close enough that we can usually make a trip down at least once a year, it's not the same as those lucky (Donald) ducks who can go at the drop of a hat because they live in Southern California. 

We went to college about a half hour away from The Happiest Place on Earth, and wanted to share the best parts of being a local (with an Annual Pass, of course).

1. Short Trips

Half day of school? Nothing to do in the morning? Run out of things to do to keep your kids entertained? Head on over to Disneyland for a couple hours. 

2. Get to Know Cast Members

We were slightly (and by slightly, I mean VERY VERY) obsessed with watching the Electrical Parade when it was still running in California Adventure. It came to a point where the awesome characters and even the snail and turtle drivers recognized us and said hi even before we started yelling for them. Constant visits make you feel like part of the family!

3. Perfect Date Night

Is there anything more romantic than dinner at the Plaza Inn followed by a parade and fireworks? We didn't think so! 

4. Low Stress

When you visit Disneyland only when time off/money/luck allows, you try not to miss a thing. Sometimes I feel like there's no time to rest or we might miss something! When you can come a couple times a month, you don't need to worry about choosing between a 2 hour line for a favorite "Mountain" or getting on six Fantasyland rides in the same amount of time. You can always come back for something you missed and you don't have to exhaust yourself trying to cram everything in a short time. 

5. See it all First

New rides, shows, even merchandise are always coming out. When you can visit as often as you like, you can come to anything right when it opens. There were some rides I got to see during a "soft opening," just by chance. What a way to feel like an insider!

6. Great Restaurant Ideas

When someone asks you where you want to go eat, do you draw a blank and say "I don't know. What sounds good to you?" Not when you're near Disneyland! "What do I want for lunch? Lobster Nachos at the Cove Bar, thanks for asking!"

7. Change Your Focus Every Visit

Today, I just want to see shows. Next week I'll see how many autographs and character pics I can get! Next month, I try all day long for a high score on Buzz Lightyear! Pretty great options!

Pro Tip: You can still do this same sort of thing on rare trips, but we suggest it when you're lucky enough to have a very long vacation. Day 5 is the perfect day for a narrow focus like this!

8. Take Other Big Vacations

Now matter how amazing my other vacation destinations can be, I'm always a little bummed when my trip doesn't include a couple Disney days. If you live close and can go just for a fun day here and there, you can save up your time and money to take a trip somewhere else without missing your Disney home away from home!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Imagineers: Build this in Disneyland!

This picture has been going around lately, and, let's face it, it's brilliant. 

It got us thinking...what would we want to add to Disneyland? We came up with our Top Five attractions we'd love to see at the Happiest Place on Earth. What would you add to our list?

1. Monsters Inc Doors Roller Coaster

I've always thought the Closet Door scene in Monsters Inc would make an amazing ride. Now that I actually sit and think about, I think I have it figured out. It should be an indoor roller coaster, like Space Mountain, and every time you go through a door, you should enter a new and totally different bedroom. If the ride was done using screens and projections (like Hyperspace Mountain or basically any of the new rides in Shanghai), it could be different every time you ride and constantly updated, much like Star Tours. 

2. Sugar Rush Car Racing

It'd be hard to top Radiator Springs Racers as a car racing ride, but the video game worlds in Wreck it Ralph are so detailed and immersive, they're just begging to be turned into a full attraction! Wouldn't you want to see Vanellope Von Schweetz racing (and glitching) beside you in a world made of candy while Candlehead lights cherry bombs to make the track behind you explode??? Let's work on this!

3. Tangled Lanterns 

One of the most beautiful scenes in any Disney movie to date is when Repunzel and Flynn (do we call him Flynn or Eugene?) set off the floating lanterns on the Lost Princess' birthday. What if Disney could let guests send their own lanterns on the abandoned lake in Fantasyland that used to hold the motor boats? It would have to be very limited for space and time issues - after dark would look the best. But that could be an amazing attraction to participate in or just view while waiting for the parade to start!

4. Villains Character Breakfast

As fun as it is to see Mickey and all our favorite heroes during character meals, wouldn't it be a fun change to have a meal filled only with Villains? Snarky comments, evil glances, and Mickey pancakes. Could it get any better?

5. The Cast Member Experience

Ever wonder what it would be like to work at Disneyland? What if there were a tour that let you in on some of those secrects? You could get some Disneyland history, learn the "Disney Point" (NEVER point with only one finger!), get a special name tag, try on Cast Member costumes, and answer questions for park guests! Who wouldn't want to do that for a day??