First Time


#1

So Im going to Disneyland for the first time ever and I was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas about some of their favorite rides, any good shows to watch or just anything they would like to share about their experience… I would gladly appreciate it!!!


#2

Hello and welcome! I took my first DL trip in 2003 and have been addicted to it ever since. This coming from someone who grew up going to WDW. Are you planning on staying at the resort, nearby, or just taking day trips from another location? How many days?

Are you a WDW regular?

Once you can give a little more information I’d be glad to share everything I know, and think, about visiting Disneyland as a ‘newbie.’

I’ve been to DL on 5 different trips now and the “CAN’T MISS” list I’d give, besides the extrememly obvious, would be…

-the Aladdin stage show in California Adventure

  • you MUST see the “Remember Dreams Come True” fireworks show on Main St., it’s STILL the most amazing Disney fireworks display ever in my opinion.
  • watch the “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years” movie.
  • If you start running low on time MAKE SURE you make it a priority to hit all the attractions that WDW does NOT have (ie: MAtterhorn, Mr. Toad’s, Alice in Wonderland, Indiana Jones, etc.)

Restaurants:

  • I have continued to be impressed with the food/character experience at Goofy’s Kitchen. It’s like a ‘gourmet’ buffet and blows “Chef Mickey’s” out of the water.

  • Ariel’s Grotto is an absolute MUST if you are into meeting & taking pictures with princesses. The menu is simple, yet yummy, and you won’t feel like you overate a lot of junk. Just right.

  • You’ll hear A LOT about “Blue Bayou” which in my opinion IS a “must do once experience” especially if you can score a table closer to the Pirates ride Bayou area. For some reason I continue to go there every trip but always end up asking myself why b/c I’ve never been THAT impressed with the food for the higher prices.

A few other tips I’d give…

-Take advantage of early mornings!! It seems like people out there aren’t as “up and at 'em” as they are in WDW. On all my trips we’d be able to get HALF the parks done before 10am with hardly any lines at all.

  • YOU MUST DO NEMO!! It’s one of the most AMAZING new attractions added to a Disney park in the last decade, in my opinion. Find a way to get on without a 2 hour line and you’re golden. :laugh: There are NO fastpasses for this ride and you must get there at nearly park opening, or late at night perhaps, to avoid a long wait. We went on it twice in June and both times were RIGHT at park opening.

  • For us, a 4-day park hopper and staying at a DL resort hotel has been the BEST experience. I know there are some AMAZING values to be had at hotels on the strip area but I will just say that my past two DL trips (staying at DL Hotel, and the GRand Californian) have been the most magical experiences. Ya can’t beat it! But I am also very much of a resort person, I don’t look at it as “just a place to rest my head.” PS: 4 fulls days was PLENTY of time!


#3

I agree with almost everything Wish said! To add to it:

Get there when the park opens! (Yes, she already said that. But it bears repeating. My experience with Disneyland is almost always, “Wow! It’s only 11am and I’ve done almost everything!” and later, “Wow, it’s 4pm and I’ve only done a couple of things since 11.”)

I feel exactly the way she does about Blue Bayou. What I’ve learned to do is to make a reservation for midafternoon and then just order dessert. You get to sit down in the cool & quiet atmosphere and relax for a bit in the wonderful ambiance without the exorbitant price tag.

I had fairly good luck with the Nemo line around dinner time. It’s still really long, but wasn’t 2.5 hours long.

Have fun!


#4

Well, you came to the right place! Welcome to Mousebuzz! :happy:

A lot of your answers depend on how long you are visiting Disneyland, and what your budget is…

The best part of Disneyland is that it really doesn’t matter where you stay, most of the hotels are within walking distance. Those that are a bit further have shuttles.

The best thing to do, if you are completely overwhelmed, is to go to Trip Reports, and read up on all the different trip reports from those mousebuzzers who went to Disneyland. There are a few there…

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, of course, is a must.
The Golden Horseshoe Revue is also worth attending, get there early and you can find a seat in the private booth on the stage…

I am a big fan of Downtown Disney. There are lots of stores and restaurants to go to. Plus the chain stores across the street.

Blue Bayou is nice.

Napa Rose is better.

I have found the Jazz Kitchen to be a happy medium.

Two days is a minimum to see all of Disneyland and California Adventure…
Of course, the longer you stay, the more repeat rides you can maneuver.

Feel free to post further questions… :cool:


#5

Thank you all for replying… So I have stayed in WDW twice and I love it there and my only concern is I hope to love DL as much as WDW!!! Putting those thoughts aside very excitted to go staying at the Best Westin for 3 days which is like 3 minutes away… Wish you stated you went to DL 5 different times which park do you like better!!! The WDW OR DL? I know the two times I went to WDW my night would always end w/ a wonderful night of fireworks at the end, it was like a perfect ending to a wonderful day spent there…


#6

welcome to mousebuzz :mickey: i’m glad you asked this question. i am a diehard WDW fanatic. i’ve always wondered what DL would be like. nice to hear everyone’s comments/experiences. would love to hear more about the differences between the classic rides of WDW and DL.


#7

These guys are good! I have very little to add except to reiterate that you should really try to do the attractions that DLR has that WDW doesn’t have. That is not to say that you shouldn’t do the attractions that both resorts share. They have subtle and not so subtle differences. As Wish said…Don’t miss “Remember Dreams Come True” it is amazing…the best I’ve ever seen Disney, or anyone, put on. Also, at DCA, they have the Electrical Parade each night. Well, each night of summer…so I guess it’ll depend on when you are traveling.
Having grown up in Southern California, I’ve spent a lot of time at Disneyland…and now California Adventure. It is a totally different experience than WDW…not saying that either is better…they are just different. The difference goes beyond the sizes of the castles…WDW is way bigger btw…I love WDW…but, there is just something about being in the original park that Walt built and actually walked through.

If you have any questions…please ask…:slight_smile:

Welcome to MB!


#8

Three days is more than enough time to immerse yourself into the parks…

And, if possible, actually go and sample / eat at the many restaurants.

Disneyland is smaller than WDW. So you will not have to worry about lengthy walks or healthy bus rides to various spots. But despite being small, it is extremely compact. So there are enough rides and events to keep you occupied up until closing time…

Oh, Buzz Lightyear Space Rangers is different, and you should take time to go on that ride at least once. :wub:

Are you going by rental car or bus from the airport? If rental car, there is a target a mile or two down the road for some basics if you realize something was forgotten.

And, for the record, all my trip report postings were for Disneyland, so you can call up my comments easily, without having to determine who else. :happy:


#9

It just popped into my head…

GET the “Unofficial Guide to Disneyland” from Amazon, or Buy.com, or your local bookstore with a travel section. Ooop, I know you can get them REALLY cheap on eBay. It was REALLY helpful to me on my first two trips there.


#10

Hey there! Well Im not sure if you have already left for your magical excursion or not but I will post anyway. :wink:

So first to start, how long are you going? One day is okay, 2 is better, 3 is awesome, 4 days are great to top everything off, lol. But my main thing I tell people is to A- Dont rush, take your time and ENJOY yourself! Be sure to catch all the big attractions the moment you get into the parks, and get there at least 1 hour prior to opening so you can get a good close up section at the turnstiles (Im always there at least 2 hours before but Im just wacko like that :tongue:). Be sure to ride all the rides that you can, especially ones that WDW doesnt have or ones that are different from WDWs versions. I would highly recommend to get a reservation for the Blue Bayou, be sure to head over to the Blue Bayou in the morning as spots fill quickly, or call Disney Dining and make a reservation ahead of time. Do all you can in DCA, for its a great park but wont take you a whole lot of time, but just enjoy it for it is a splended park!

But thats all I can really think to say right now and I would go further into detail but Im honestly not in the overall mood for typing…sorry!

But have an amazing time and enjoy yourself at Walts Original Magic Kingdom…you will feel him and his magic where ever you are…I PROMISE!