I’ve been lurking a bit, and it looks like this is a group of interesting, thoughtful, possibly nutty people.
I’ve been to Disneyland once as an adult. The trip as a teen 38 years ago doesn’t really count as visiting the same place, so much has changed. Me and several friends started running a few years ago, and one of the gang convinced us all to do the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend in 2016. I had so much fun, I swore I would be back again at the first opportunity.
I hope you can offer me some suggestions for what is not a ‘typical’ vacation. My first chance to go back to Disneyland is attached to a conference. This year’s National Conference on Alcohol and Addiction Disorders (say that three times fast) is being held at the Disneyland Hotel, so I’m traveling for work.
(“Fun” fact: the first time I traveled out of state for work, I went to Milwaukee, where I saw - this is not an exaggeration - emergency crews fish a human body of of a canal. I feel like karma says this work trip will make up for that one.)
I will be arriving on a Saturday 8/11. The conference is 8:00- 5:00 Sunday - Wednesday. My husband is flying up to join me and we will be vacationing Thursday - Sunday, flying home on Monday.
Is there a touring plan one would recommend for ‘after work’; meaning that I would like to go to the parks the afternoon of the day I arrive and after 5:00 Sunday - Wednesday. I am considering purchasing an annual pass so that I can attend each day the week I am there and maybe even make another trip back within a year to celebrate my 50th birthday.
Is this do-able? I had a great time at my last visit, but after reading books and listening to podcasts, I know that I missed an absolute ton of details and entertainment. I want to take in as much as I can.
Absolutely. There may be some fight with locals for prime viewing spots for some of the shows (Fantasmic! and the Incredible Summer fireworks, I forget the name), but otherwise wait times should be starting to decrease as you arrive - and doing some of the live entertainment and big crowd eaters will be a great way to end your convention days. Have fun!
It is possible you haven’t been lurking long enough, or, it’s possible you’re deliberately understating.
We’re definitely nutty people, in addition to being interesting and thoughtful.
Yes DLR most certainly does & one of my first thoughts in reading this post was to mention that BUT if you are going for what seems to be a full week & then hopefully adding in another trip later, an Annual Pass is the way to go!
Build your own! If you don’t have the time to do that, then the 2 day DCA & 2 Day Disneyland plans make for a good separation of days & you can add shows/entertainment to them as you see what piques your interest/what you have heard on podcasts.
Yeah, when I break out the cost of a 4 day ticket, plus the discounted part day convention tickets, plus photopass (I really love the photos), I feel like the annual pass is going to be a worthy splurge. At least I hope so,
I’m building my own touring plan, but I would love suggestions! I figure I won’t be able to get on many of the headliner attractions since I won’t be getting to the park until the evening. I bet there are some hidden gems that I will still enjoy.
Don’t totally discount headliners. In the evenings, Big Thunder, Splash, Matterhorn will all usually still have FPs available, might be a few hours out but will be . Also, Buzz, It’s a Small World, Haunted Mansion & Roger Rabbit’s will have FP availability that is either immediate or not too far out. If you’re lucky you may be able to get the last of Indy/Soarin/Toy Story MM FPs but you’d probably have to choose one of them as by the time you would be eligible for a next FP the others would be out.
As for hidden gems: Animation Academy in DCA is a blast where you learn how to a draw a Disney character from a Disney animator (every half hour is a new class & they post the schedule inside the lobby of the Animation Building). Redwood Creek Challenge also in DCA is a beautiful place to explore that’s very immersive & on-point in its theming. In DLR, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is one of my most favorite underrated attractions. Also the Disneyland Gallery & connected Disneyana store are beautiful & fun to wander through. The Railroad is a great way to get off your feet & go around in a loop.
Also, if you were wanting to spend your evenings soaking in atmosphere some great places to do that are: Jolly Holiday tables that border the hub, Stage Door Cafe tables that look out to the Rivers of America, Hungry Bear where you can see the backside of the River of America & wave to any of the passing by boats/trains and my favorite, Fowler’s Harbor which is there the Columbia is docked for the night & is in between the Harbor Galley & River’s of America. You can watch people coming off of Splash & also on that path past the tables have one of the most perfect picturesque views of Splash Mountain. You can find a more exactd description of this area here. This blogger also lists a bunch of other unique attractions in that same article that you can consider doing in your evenings.