Is a Park Hopper Ticket at Disneyland Worth It?

Is a Park Hopper Ticket at Disneyland Worth It?

Is a Park Hopper Ticket at Disneyland Worth It?

California Adventure Gates by Loren Javier

photo credit: Loren Javier via Flickr

Short answer: yup.  And here’s why:  The merit of a Park Hopper ticket at Disney World may take a little more consideration (which I’ll lay out for you here in an upcoming post), but Disneyland is much easier to think about.  This is primarily because the Disneyland Resort is much smaller than Walt Disney World.

Why the Park Hopper Ticket Is Worth It

In Disneyland, you have two parks that are literally next door to each other.  When you go to enter the parks, you are in a middle walkway area with gates to Disneyland Park on one side and California Adventure on the other side.  So in this case, you could literally hop and skip (or, you know, just walk) between the two parks.  For Disney World veterans, this is kind of amazing since getting between parks in Disney World take a little more navigation and time.

Having Park Hopper tickets for Disneyland gives you a lot of flexibility.  Want to hit up Fantasyland and Adventureland in Disneyland Park in the Am, followed by a character meal at Ariel’s Grotto in California Adventure for lunch?  Sure!  Really like the night time portion at California Adventure?  You can spend most of your days in Disneyland, but hit up California Adventure each evening.

And did you know that the Fast Pass systems are not connected between the parks?  This means that with a Park Hopper ticket, you could go in to California Adventure at opening, grab a Fast Pass for Radiator Springs Racers, head over to Disneyland, get a Fast Pass for Space Mountain, rides a few rides, use your Fast Pass at Space Mountain, then head back over to California Adventure to use your Radiator Springs Racers Fast Pass.  It’s actually close enough to make that do able.  Just remember to get back to the right park in time for your Fast Pass window!

Do you absolutely need Park Hopper tickets?  No, you can certainly stick to one park a day if that’s more your style.  If you’ve only got two day tickets, for example, you may prefer to spend just one full day in each park, especially if it’s your first visit.  But if you’ve got more days, or if you have traveled to Disneyland before and have a decent idea of the rides you like most in each park, it can definitely be a valuable add on.

 

 

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Disney World: Top 3 Deluxe Resorts for Kids

Disney World: Top 3 Deluxe Resorts for Kids

Disney World: Top 3 Deluxe Resorts for Kids

 

The Deluxe resorts at Disney World are fabulous, but which are the best?  Let’s take a look at 3 of the best choices for Delxue resorts when traveling with children.

 

Polynesian Resort

Photo Credit: Express Monorail via Compfight cc

1.     1.   Disney’s Polynesian Resort 

      This resort sits along the monorail route, making it incredibly convenient for getting to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  It’s also walking distance to the Ticket and Transportation Center, allowing for a ride on the Express Monorail as well as via the ferry to the Magic Kingdom.  Situated directly across the lake from the Magic Kingdom, you can clearly see Cinderella’s Castle and the fireworks display above it at night.  Coupled with the lush, tropical feel and a zero depth entry pool with a volcano and waterslide, and this is one resort that’s hard to beat.

2. Disney’s Beach Club

One of the Boardwalk area resorts, this option’s number one draw is the amazing pool.  Named Stormalong Bay, this pool is a giant water complex comprised of a real sand bottom and sand play areas, a lazy river, and a large waterslide.  If you’ve got kids who love to swim, this resort absolutely cannot be beat.  Like the Polynesian, it has portions of the pool with a zero depth entry.  With its location on the Boardwalk, you also have access to several great dining options, both table service and quick service.  And, from this resort, you can walk to Epcot as well as take a boat to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

 

 

 

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Photo Credit: Brett Kiger via Compfight cc

 3. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Got an animal lover in the family?  Then this resort is calling your name!  Situated next to Animal Kingdom, this resort has views that span a savannah full of interesting animals.  Imagine sitting on your deck, enjoying the view of giraffes below.  Enjoy your morning cup of coffee while zebras and wildebeest roam in front of you.  The interior is exotically decorated and the restaurants on property a far from the usual fare.  And the pool here is also lovely, again with a zero depth entry for the younger children.

 

Of course, every family is unique, and there are many other fabulous Disney resorts to stay in as well.  Narrowing it down can seem intimidating, but these three resorts are a great place to start.  If you’d like help finding the perfect resort for YOUR family, I’m  just a phone call or email away.

 

 

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How does Fast Pass work at Disney World and Disneyland?

How does Fast Pass work at Disney World and Disneyland?

How does Fast Pass work at Disney World and Disneyland?

fast pass

The Fast Pass Process

A fast pass is essentially holding your place in line.  It’s a ticket you receive at a ride that tells you what time to return to the ride and enter through the Fast Pass queue.  The process works like this:

  1. At a Fast Pass enabled attraction, look for the Fast Pass machines near the ride.
  2. Insert your ticket into the machine, and the machine will print a Fast Pass for you.
  3. You must insert a ticket for each member of your party who wants a Fast Pass.
  4. The Fast Pass will show a window of time in which to return.  This is an hour long window.
  5. You must return to the ride during that time – late arrivals are not accepted.
  6. When you return, you will enter the ride via the Fast Pass line, where a Cast Member will collect your tickets and make sure you are within your window.
  7. This Fast Pass line is usually extremely short.

Using a Fast Pass saves you substantial time over waiting in the Stand By line.  When you arrive at a ride with a 90 minute wait, it’s a much better idea to grab a Fast Pass that allows you to return in a few hours and bypass the Stand By line.

Fast Passes Are Not Never-Ending

They do, in fact, run out, and the more popular the ride is, the faster this will happen.  In addition, the longer you wait in the day to get them, the farther out the return time window may be.  So while getting a Fast Pass for Toy Story Midway Mania in Disney World at 9am may give you a return time of 9:40am-10:40am, just 40 minutes away,  waiting to get a Fast Pass until 11am may mean a return time of 7pm – 8pm.

How Often Can You Use A Fast Pass

Once you obtain a Fast Pass for a ride, you cannot get another one until either the return window time or until 2 hours have passed, whichever comes first.   So, if you have a Fast Pass for Splash Mountain, you can’t immediately run over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to get another one.

Strategic use of Fast Passes is wise!  Take a look at your overall goals for your park day and see where you can plan use of Fast Passes to make your day easier.

Creating custom park touring guides for my clients is what I do, and I include strategic use of Fast Passes in my plans.  If you’d like to know more about how you can use my services to make all of the planning a piece of cake, please email me at [email protected]

 

 

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