Friday, May 10, 2019

New Annual Pass at the Disneyland Resort!

Just announced, there's a new type of Annual Pass coming to the Disneyland Resort beginning May 21 and to be honest, we're really excited about it!

Photo Credit: Julia Paccone

Priced at $599, it's cheaper than the current Deluxe Pass by $200 with the only actual "blockout" dates being the weeks of Christmas and New Year. The Deluxe Pass, for comparison, is blocked out for all holidays, all of July, half of June and August, and most Saturdays the rest of the year.

There is a catch, of course. Instead of having more blockout dates, this pass has some dates where you need to reserve your spot to be able to enter the parks. There'll be an online reservation system (on or through the Disneyland app) where you can reserve which days you want to enter the parks. We don't know how many reservations will be allowed each day, so if this is an option you're thinking about, you'll want to try to make those reservations as soon as they're available to secure your spot. Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance.

Check out the calendar for the new Flex Pass below. Green days are "good to go," blue is "reservations required" and there are just a couple of gray "blackout" dates. Please note: The reservation calendar is *slightly* different for Disneyland and California Adventure, so there are more DCA days available.

For people who live nearby and like to go to the parks at the drop of a hat, this might not be the best option for you since reservations could end up filling very quickly. HOWEVER, I think it's a fantastic option for people like me who live far away and need to do a little planning to visit, but still like to make a couple Disney trips a year.

Important Notes About Reservations

You'll be able to make reservations for any guests that are linked to your pass, meaning you can reserve for your family all at once (as long as you're all passholders) without needing to log in a bunch of different times. Also good to know, you can hold two reservations in a 30 day window.

While there's no penalty if you need to cancel a reservation (which can be done as many times as you need to up to 11:59pm the night before), if you "no show" three times in a 90 day period, you won't be allowed to make another reservation for 30 days.

What do you think? Does this look like a good Annual Pass option for you?

Monday, May 6, 2019

Morning Tips for the Disneyland Resort

There's nothing better than being at Disneyland first thing in the morning. It's a great time to stand in shorter lines for rides that usually have a long wait, get Fastpasses for the more popular rides before they run out, and to eat those amazing Mickey pancakes. We've come across some fun experiences and tips that can only happen first thing in the morning at the Disneyland Resort. Who's ready to maximize their morning fun??

Soarin' Sometimes Opens Early

When Extra Magic Hour is going on over at DCA, most people with the regular tickets line up behind the rope right next to Carthay Circle. The last two times we've been waiting for rope drop on those days, we headed right, to line up at the rope over by The Little Mermaid and we noticed something...Soarin' is open to the general public and hardly anyone is in line!!! Check it out next time. It's a great time to get on a ride that ALWAYS has a long standby wait (and to be honest has an extremely slow Fastpass line as well).

Sign the Storybookland Book

I'm not a big fan of waiting in line for Storybookland, so we don't always get to it on our trips. Last month, my son really wanted to check it out, so when the park opened and most people were running to Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, or Peter Pan, we ran to Storybookland and we learned an amazing secret. The first guest in line each day gets to sign their special guest book!

Know What's Open and What Isn't During Magic Morning

It's never fun to try to get on a ride only to find out its closed. And while Tomorrowland and Fantasyland are the two lands open on Magic Mornings at Disneyland Park, it's good to know that not all of Fantasyland opens early. Casey Jr, Storybookland, and It's A Small World don't open until regular operating hours (just in case you were planning on signing that Storybookland book on a Magic Morning!).

Look for Clapping Peter

Ever wonder what you would do if you lived close enough and had the free time to visit Disneyland every day? Peter Tu visits Disneyland nearly every day, first thing in the morning. You can find him (mostly on weekdays from what I've noticed) clapping and doing his secret handshake with other guests. Just listen for the clapping sounds!

Get a Special Button

Photo Credit:
Love Dole Whips? Can't wait until the afternoon to have your first sweet treat? The Tiki Juice Bar out in front of the Tiki Room will give a "First Dole Whip of the Day" button to their first customer when they open. Keep in mind, they write the message on an "I'm Celebrating" button, but it's still cool to add to your collection.

Ask for Special Guest Experiences Early

If you wanted to try to snag a coveted spot in the tender on the train, asking first thing in the morning when most people are headed to other attractions (and before it's too hot, because its HOT up there) is going to give you a much better shot! Same with asking to ride up at the top of the Mark Twain.

MaxPass Times will be for when the Park Opens

If you've got MaxPass AND Magic Morning/Extra Magic Hour, you can book your Fastpasses when you're in the park early, but your return times won't be until regular admission begins.

They Start Scanning Tickets 20 Minutes Early

Cast Members up at the front gates will start letting people in to line up at the rope about 20 minutes before the park opens, so if you want to be up at the front when your Disney Day starts, we recommend lining up at the gates about 40 minutes before official park opening time.

Super Insane Early Lineup for Galaxy's Edge

I actually just found this out today! During the initial opening of Galaxy's Edge, if you have the 8am reservation time slot, you may begin lining up for check-in starting at 6am!!! There will be a specially marked spot in the Esplanade for you to line up at. SIX IN THE MORNING!!!

Mobile Order Your Coffee

While we're on the topic of getting to the parks super early before opening, my favorite thing to do is send my group's mobile order to the Starbucks in Downtown Disney right before we get to security. Then someone gets in the line at the gate and someone runs to pick up the coffee. Since we get there so early (see above), there's plenty of time and we all get the much needed caffeine boost before starting our day!

Meet Characters Before the Rush

There'll always be a line to meet Mickey and Minnie, but sometimes when you're one of the first people in the park, you can just head right up to a character for an autograph and picture with a minimal wait. My kids walked right up to Dale, actually before the park was technically open. It was so fun!