16 July 2006

All I Needed to Know I Learned on Vacation

Don't you wish your children could learn the lifelong valuable lesson of time management at a young age? Most times, I take vacations to get away from timelines. To maximize the fun factor at amusement parks, time management is key.

What time does the park open? - What time is t
he show starting?
Which rides offer FastPasses? - What time should we break for lunch?
Do we want to see the 1st or 2nd Parade of Dreams?...the Electrical Parade at CA Adventures?...the Fireworks?...the 1st or 2nd Fantasmic show?

With rides occasionally being shut down for service, we had a lot of time to make up. It takes all of two days to see both parks for that reason alone. These rides were not accepting passengers at the time we arrived to enter the lines : Space Mountain, Big Mountain Railroad, Grizzly River Run. Pirates of the Carribbean and Grizzly both required some percussive maintenance while we were in line; the line stopped advancing for 15 minutes each.

The last few hours on Friday were our most productive : While people were saving space along the route of the Electrical Parade at California Adventures, we went to the Tower of Terror to take advantage of the short line and nearly walked right onto the ride. Compared to waiting 45 minutes the day before - that was a treat.

From there, we caught the end of the Electrical Parade (we had all seen it before), watched the Fireworks at Disneyland from beneath the Sun Fountain, and scooted to the Grizzly River Run to get soaked before it closed.

We made it to a closed New Orleans restaurant patio and sat down just in time to begin the second show of Fantasmic. After the show, we used our 10:20-11:20 FlashPass to breeze right into Splash Mountain.

Here's a Tip : If you're going on the ride Soaring Over California, request to stand in line for Row 1 of Hanger B. This will put you in the front & center of an 8-person row.

Podcasts are available for D'land.

There are far better hotels than the Fairfield by Marriott, however the value was HUGE. Located across the street from Disneyland's S. Harbor Blvd. gate, we had free wireless 'net, clean pool with clean towels, arcade and pizzeria on the 3rd floor, two Queen-sized beds, full time staff overnight - for $89 split by 4 people. Walk a half a block to Mimi's Cafe for breakfast; walk another block the other direction to the Disney gate.

Here's a Tip : Get in line at the Tower of Terror in time to be on the ride when the fireworks are blowing up at 9:25pm. Especially if you've never been.



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