Hey! I’m just starting my planning for my first ever trip to DLR / DCA. I have 5 days of park hopper tickets with MaxPass. I plan on trying to do it all. I go to WDW almost annually, but it’s closer to me and I may not get back to Anaheim. With that in mind, once I make a checklist of everything on each park map is there anything else to complete my bucket list?
I do plan on doing the VIP “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tour.
Oh sooooo many, but at the top of the list is Blue Bayou. The food was fine, but not amazing, but the experience has to done at least once. Since it is only you, you may want to do the Fantasmic dining package. I am sure I will think of others, but that comes to mind first.
Thanks. It’s definitely on my list. I’ve been told to ask for a “water side” table.
Oh! Update - My DW has decided to come on this one. Since the hotel is going to be so close and we are going to be there five days, she can come & go as she likes. Unlike WDW where that takes an hour or more each way and leaving means you’ll definitely miss out on something. =)
I plan on doing a whole thread asking about food / drinks / snacks as we get closer.
We often take breaks because of the proximity. Going with your wife is even better! I cannot think of a better “date night” than BB.
Even I, “Mr. Go All Day & Night”, am considering breaking a couple times since it will be so easy. So far, in my limited DLR planning, this TP is looking more & more like when I first went to Universal Orlando. Universal & DLR are small enough that a plan is more like a checklist. I’m still going to make one, but I’m so excited to try out MaxPass.
I am too, my family, not so much. Another item on your “must do” needs to be riding IASW after dark. Normally I could care less about this ride, but after dark at Christmas time, it becomes a “must do” for me.
At Christmas time you must be sure to include the Festival of the Holidays entertainment in DCA. My favorite show is Viva Navidad! It’s such a vibrant exposition of how Navidad is celebrated by the Latin American culture & includes Donald plus the rest of the Three Caballeros as well as Mickey & Minnie appearing in cultural Latin dress along with ensembles of musicians and dancers. So well done.
There are also the Bell-Ringers that perform on Buena Vista St as well as many smaller live performers on stages set up around DCA that reflect all different holiday traditions of the reason, not just Christmas. And along the main walkway of DCA they’ll also have toy solider drummers that roam as well as some fun elves on stilts. So I guess I’m saying, don’t miss the Festival Ambiance in DCA because it livens up and adds so much to DCA that you don’t get when the holidays aren’t there. Even the spring Food & Wine festival (which does similar offerings) doesn’t have quite that same vibe as the Holidays festival.
If you’re at all into Character meets then in DCA they also have meets with the Three Caballeros and Mickey & Minnie in their cultural Latin dress meeting near where Viva Navidad is performed.
Also specific to the holiday season in DL, there’s a castle-lighting that’s beautiful (done 2x a day), both parks also have a tree-lighting at sunset-ish. And totally jumping on @Ms.BarbsWildRide’s recommendation of IASW after dark, you also need to watch the facade light-up with a little min-show of projections & music which also happens at Sunset but then repeats every so often throughout the night. I also could care less about IASW on a normal day (my kids love it so I ride it for them) but at Christmas it is probably one of my all-time favorites- only surpassed by Haunted Mansion Holiday (which is on the map but is a must-do & usually a repeat that we do at least 2-3x a trip that we take during the holiday season- last year my daughter requested it 9x on her trip with Mom & Dad and I think we were able to it get it at least 7-8x on our 2 days there).
Thanks for all the tips.
FYI - I’m going in September 2020. Is Christmas up already at DLR in Sept? I was planning on going to the Oogie Boogie Bash / Halloween Party Event.
I hopped back to DLR on Saturday from DCA for Mickey and the Magical Map. It only ran on weekends and was amazing.
Oh wow! That does look great. Sorcerer Mickey is my favorite!!
Are there experience like Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom or Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure? I don’t usually do them, but since this is possibly my only trip and I have plenty of time, I’ll do them.
Aw rats, I really missed the boat on that timing…
No, September is all pure Halloween. That is also an amazing time to be in the parks though and DCA does do a lot (especially at night) to make the ambiance so great. The last 2 years they’ve upped their game in DCA’s Halloween ambiance & I’ve loved it but this year a lot of that it may just be a part of the party (so good thing you are going!). Some of what comes to mind that I love (in no particular order):
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark overlay for nighttime only (ride the regular version in the day & then the Monsters After Dark at night)- the Monsters After Dark version picks up just after the story of the regular ride ends & has some fantastic atmosphere in the queue & the ride is the same fun with different video footage of escaping from Monsters to help Rocket with a follow-up mission.
- Carthay Circle ambiance- They add bats & purple lighting and do a mini-show every so often that’s just a small thing but a really fun thing that puts you in a Halloween spooky mood (but not so spooky that’s it’s terrifying).
- The adorable Witch-Car that is posed in front of the Cars Land sign that is also changed to a Halloween-specific sign. It’s SO cute & a great photo opp. All of Carsland is decked out too in Halloween decor so it’s a great place to wander.
- Headless Horseman- with the party & parade moving to DCA this year, this will be the first time this is done in DCA but it’s excellent in DL so I wouldn’t miss the run of the headless horseman.
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail- this is a new addition this year bc of the Halloween party moving to DCA but it sounds like such a fun & awesome atmosphere addition in an already very well-themed area. I have no doubt it will be excellent.
And then in DL be sure to check out Ray Bradbury’s Halloween Tree in Frontierland and the Jack-o-Lanterns in the hub surrounding the Partners statue. Also, the show that was usually only run during the DL Halloween party for fireworks is going to be run nightly (without having to go to the extra paid admission of a party!) in DL with a twist- it will be projections & lights & of course the music & such most nights with the FWs only added on select nights (weekends when the wind doesn’t mess with the ability to launch the big bursts). The 2 DL Halloween parties we have done, this fireworks show has been a highlight for me so getting to see it free this year is very exciting.
And that’s my 2 cents on Halloween! So it’s just as a great a time as Christmas to go AND you’ll still get my absolute favorite part of either season- the Haunted Mansion Holiday.
There’s nothing as over-arching & involved as Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom or even Agent P’s. However, the new Disney Parks Play app does have a lot of fun games to do to interact with elements of queues & other features in the park. One of those that we discovered recently was that the app will interact & trigger the animatronic kiosks that are located throughout the parks (fortune- teller in Penny Arcade on Main St; pirate in between Pieces of 8 and the store next to it in New Orleans Square; Shrunken Ned in Adventureland & I feel like there’s 1 more I’m missing but I can’t think of it…). Each of these before was a pay machine that would take a quarter or something like that to run it & then spit out a fortune card or story card or something of that nature as a fun little keepsake. With the app you can collect 1 for free per day (I don’t know if it’s limited to 1 machine or 1 from each machine) and then you can still pay the quarter to get additional cards to get a “full set”.
Occasionally they will do a scavenger hunt type activity that’s extra to buy the map/instructions but usually gives you some sort of gift/trinket to collect as part of the purchase of the map/instructions & you can collect it as your prize at the completion but also at any time after purchasing you can collect (if you don’t end up finishing for example but still want the prize, or even right after purchasing if you just wanted to take care of collecting the prize at that time).
Sorry. I think I confused your post with another
There are SO many smaller things that go on at the Parks that arent listed anywhere. One of my very favorite is I believe they are called the Strawhatters, a band. You will see them on the entertainment schedule occasionally in different areas of the park. However, if you ever see them starting up in the front of the first buildings on town square to your right if facing the castle (kind of “across” from the Firestation) stay and watch them. Soon MIckey and MInne and friends show up and dance goof around and put on a really great show.
Love it! Exactly the type of thing I’m interested in. THANKS!
I did the tour a couple weeks ago, it was fantastic. Totally worth it imo. I would suggest ordering the Matterhorn Macaroon for your desert on the tour. This is a classic Disneyland staple and it is simply delicious. If you like a Macaroon it will be the best one you have ever had. The maxpass also very much worth it. We stayed on site for the first time at Disneyland this last trip and between the maxpass and the EMH I could not believe how many rides we were able to easily get into. It was great.
On our last day in the parks we saw Mickey and Magic Map. This was something not too much on my radar, but honestly it was awesome.
Also the Dessert party for WOC was SO good. The Desserts were better than anticipated. The breadsticks were a little weird, but the seat was amazing. Bring a sweater even in the summer.
If the Electrical parade is still going try to see that, you need to sit hours in advance to get a spot though.