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We are heading into Disneyland on one of the busiest weekends of the year. Memorial day weekend is typically the start of the summer season and it's also a holiday weekend. To add to this already over-crowded weekend, it's the kick-off of Disney's 60th year "Diamond Celebration". The crowd level will be 10+ of 10, if that's possible. Many of you have never been to Disneyland, and the only way to go is to be prepared.
What to Expect:
- MASSIVE CROWDS. On Friday, Disneyland and DCA (Disney California Adventure) will be open for 24 hours for everyone (6am to 6am). With both parks opening early, people will start to line up the day before. Just getting into the park could take up to 2 hours for later arrivals, so starting early is the key!
- LONG LINES. Expect to be up and going early on Friday. It wouldn't hurt to think about getting in line at 5am. Disney will usually start letting people in a half hour before the park opens, but just to the Main Street area/shops. If you are in this area before the "Rope Drop", be ready to head towards a popular ride and/or get your first FASTPASS.
- FASTPASS SYSTEM RUNNING OUT. With crowds being so big, the FASTPASS system will run out early in the day. And by early, that means 9-11am for popular rides. So you have to be ready to go as early as possible or you will miss out on the benefits of the FASTPASS system.
- EARLY ARRIVAL. The most important time in either park is the first 3-4 hours. This is when you want to get the most popular rides out of the way and take advantage of the FASTPASS sytem. Coming early can save you hours of waiting in lines later in the day!
Advice, warnings & preparedness:
- HAVE A PLAN - Everyone in the group should have a daily schedule (going to Disneyland w/o a plan is a bad idea) either on their phone or printed and on their person. You'll notice that the best plans have you walking all across the park(s) which doesn't seem like a plan, but you need to focus on popular rides within the first 2 hours. It will feel like you're missing stuff, but you'll have time later to see the parks and shops after the first 4-5 hours of each day. The parks typically reach maximum levels around 11am, and between 2pm and the nightly shows, you'll have time to sight see and shop, if so desired.
- CELL PHONES CHARGED - If you have an extra battery or external charger, you might bring it if you think you'll need one. Also, if you do use your cell phone for pics and video, do you have enough memory space? There's not much time during the day in the park to charge your phone, so try and plan your battery usage accordingly.
- WATER BOTTLE - Bring an empty one so you can refill it often. We don't know what the weather will be like, but probably a lot warmer than we will be used to. Follow Mrs. Gimba's list of "What to bring". Here's a list of other helpful items to consider (but not necessary): http://www.disneytouristblog.com/what-to-pack-for-disney/ . The parks may have updated their hand sanitizers, but just in case, you can always pack a 3.4oz bottle for your own use.
- GETTING WET/STAYING DRY - There are 2 rides that you can get head-to-toe wet on. Grizzly River Run and Splash Mountain. People have ridden where they have been a little wet (hardly nothing) to totally soaked. So you may want to bring a couple of throw away ponchos - you can buy them cheap at places like Fred Meyer. Your choice, but you've been warned! It wouldn't be recommended to ride either right before the choir performance or the work shop on Saturday. Bring ziplock bags to keep your cell phone in on water rides, and also pack some plastic trash or grocery bags to protect your backpack and even your shoes if you don't want to walk around with soggy tennis shoes.
- THEFT - Try and keep your personal belongings close to you at all times. If carrying a purse, wear it cross body, etc. Backpacks shouldn't have phones or cameras in the side pouch for an easy grab. Just be mindful of your personal space and your belongings.
- MOTION SICKNESS - Do you get car sick, sea sick, etc? If you do, you should let your chaperone know. Also, check with your parents and Mrs. Gimba on the use of Dramamine or other motion sickness medication. Most of the rides at Disney aren't that bad. The worst ride for motion sickness might be Star Tours, and the funny thing is, you never move more than 3' - it's a visual ride. If you feel a little nauseous, just close your eyes. There are a few roller coasters, but they aren't super wild. Only you know your own body's limits, so be prepared.
- REST - Each day, you'll be exhausted. Everyone should plan on getting a good night sleep - especially for getting early starts in the morning.
- SHOES - If you have new shoes or plan on getting some, get them now and break them in. Worst thing you can do is get blisters because of new shoes or sandals.
- EXERCISE - If you're not in shape to walk and stand most of the day, start now by walking a little each day to build up your endurance.
- SUNSCREEN - You should plan on using sunscreen everyday, but make sure it's less than 3.4 oz if you only have a carry-on bag. You can easily fry in the California sun on any day, so lotion up! A bad sunburn will ruin your trip.
Information You Can Use:
Apps (Google Play and iTunes):
Friday - 6am to 6am (24hrs)
Saturday - TBA
Sunday - TBA
Diamond Celebration in May - 60th year celebrations starts MAY 22!!!!
Just added.... New Disneyland Sweepstakes starts May 22 for guest to have a chance of a lifetime. More details....
New Fireworks show, “Disneyland Forever" with projections at various locations in Disneyland. The projections are different in each location. (I read that the areas that would have projections were Main Street, Matterhorn, It's a Small World & Tom Sawyer's Island, but don't hold me to this.) They will have special new lights in the streets (Main street).
"PAINT THE NIGHT" new LED parade in Disneyland park starts May 22nd! Runs about 20-22 mins. Dick Van Dyke to preform a song. NEW! Parade path for your trip planning.
Fantasmic! Is now a FASTPASS (Get them early, as they will run out quickly!! You can get FASTPASS by the Big Thunder Trail near Big Thunder Mt. Railroad ride). 22 mins long + getting your spot to view (They now allow lining up 30-60 minutes before showtime. Show times are (may change): 8:45pm & 10:45 and if 3rd show, 11:45pm . Plan to get in line as soon as it opens one hour before show time. Actual show times TBA. If the FASTPASSes are all gone, you can still watch the show and line up 90 minutes ahead of time for less-desirable viewing areas that aren't roped off.
World of Color has upgrades and starts MAY 22!!! with Neil Patrick Harris as host . This is a FASTPASS show, so get the FASTPASS early before they run out. 28 mins long + wait. FASTPASS can be found over by Grizzly River Run. Show times: (Usually at 9:00, 10:15 pm and 11:15 pm if added.) Actual show times TBA. Play the "Fun Wheel Challenge" while you wait for the show. Fridays (22nd) show will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and Mickey Mouse!!!
Aladdin in DCA. There's usually 4 shows a day. These are the times posted now and might stay these times:12:40, 2:20,4:45 & 6;20pm. Times TBA.
Starting May 22, Mad T Party Band performs. Probably Hollywood backlot. Looks entertaining. Videos: "Treasure" , Alice Raps Show times TBA
New (April 15th)!! What it it?? Mystery Trucks deliver big items, but Disney is not talking.