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Zagat’s New Insider’s Disneyland Guide

Zagat’s, a name with years of respect in the fine dining field, has released its first “Insider’s Guide to the Disneyland Resort.” More than just dining, the guide covers attractions, shops, food, and hotels.

Part of the Zagat’s Survey system will reveal guest preferences and rankings. For instance, Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain Rank as park favorites, Tower of Terror provides a perfect thrill,
Blue Bayou and Napa Rose wweep the restaurant competition, and
Disneyana and World of Disney set the shopping pace.

It is available now at the Disneyana store in Disneyland, Compass Books in Downtown Disney, and Amazon.

The full press release and some of the rankings are below the cut:

Zagat Survey recently released its first Disneyland Resort Insider’s Guide, a comprehensive overview of 279 rides, attractions, dining, shopping, hotels and amenities throughout California’s renowned Disneyland Resort. Based on 3,122 avid Disney-goers, the guide offers advice on how to spend your time and money, as well as how to beat the lines, while enjoying the magic at Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, the Downtown Disney District and the hotels of the Disneyland Resort. Because Disney appeals to all ages, attractions are separately rated for their “Adult Appeal,” “Child Appeal” and “Thrill” on Zagat’s signature 30-point scale.

“Our goal is to give consumers access to a variety of information to help them make smart decisions and take action,” said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat Survey. “Through this guide, our 3,000+ surveyors, who are frequent visitors to the Disneyland Resort, are sharing their experiences to help newcomers better navigate all the parks have to offer.”

Thrilled to Perfection: The top thrill in the Disneyland Resort, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, has earned itself a perfect 30 rating from surveyors – a rare honor in Zagat’s history. Following closely behind are Space Mountain and California Screamin’, which both earned “extraordinary” thrill ratings of 29.

Disney Fever: Most Disney visitors first experience the magic while still young. A full 60% of surveyors report their first visit to a Disney theme park before age five – and 30% say before age three. Still, Disneyland Resort appeals to all ages. In fact, 89% of our surveyors have visited the Resort as an adult without children along. Echoing the Resort’s remarkable popularity, the vast majority say they plan to visit again within six months.

Top Rides: This year, 65% of surveyors report spending almost all their time in the parks visiting rides or attractions. Surveyors’ favorite ride is Pirates of the Caribbean, the swash-buckling pirate adventure. The Tower of Terror earned the top spot for Adult Appeal, while the dazzling “Remember … Dreams Come True” fireworks won top Child Appeal.

Most Popular Overall:
1. Pirates of the Caribbean – New Orleans Square, DL
2. Space Mountain – Tomorrowland, DL
3. Soarin’ Over California – Golden State, DCA
4. Indiana Jones Adventure – Adventureland, DL
5. California Screamin’ – Paradise Pier, DCA

Adult Appeal:
1. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (DCA)
2. Space Mountain (Disneyland)
3. California Screamin’ (DCA)
4. Soarin’ Over California (DCA)
5. “Remember … Dreams Come True” (Disneyland)

Child Appeal:
1. “Remember/Dreams Come True” (Disneyland)
2. Toy Story Midway Mania! (DCA)
3. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (Disneyland)
4. Turtle Talk with Crush (DCA)
5. Fantasmic! (Disneyland)

DL = Disneyland Park; DCA = Disney’s California Adventure Park; DD = Downtown Disney District

Disney Dining: Like all Zagat Surveys, the Disneyland Resort Insider’s guide separately rates restaurants for their Food, Décor, Service and Cost. This enables visitors to make informed dining decisions and stay within any budget. Special indexes such as Buffet, Quick Bites Romantic Places and Teen Appeal, also helps visitors tailor any meal to meet their needs.

Surveyors are definitely passionate about Disney dining as 38% of them say they spend quite a bit or almost all of their time dining out. Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa swept the competition, earning top honors for Food, Décor and Service, as well as ranking #2 in Popularity. Blue Bayou, set inside Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Park, was named Most Popular.

Most Popular
1. Blue Bayou (Disneyland)
2. Napa Rose (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel)
3. Rainforest Cafe (DD)
4. Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port (Disneyland)
5. Storytellers Cafe (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel)

Top Décor
1. Napa Rose (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel)
2. Steakhouse 55 (Disneyland Hotel)
3. Blue Bayou (Disneyland)
4. Hearthstone Lounge (Grand Californian Hotel)
5. Rainforest Café (DD)

Shop ‘Til You Drop: With a plethora of toy, clothing and jewelry shops, shopping in Disneyland Resort is a popular pastime. A staggering 92% of visitors report purchasing apparel and an equally impressive 82% seek sweets. Disneyana, located in Disneyland Park, tops the list for Quality, and Downtown Disney’s World of Disney wins for Most Popular.

Top Quality (overall)
1. Disneyana (Disneyland)
2. Silhouette Studio (Disneyland)
3. Off the Page (DCA)
4. Jewel of Orleans (Disneyland)
5. China Closet (Disneyland)

Most Popular (overall)
1. World of Disney (DD)
2. Emporium (Disneyland)
3. Build-a-Bear Workshop (DD)
4. Disneyana (Disneyland)
5. Candy Palace (Disneyland)

Downtown Disney and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort: The Downtown Disney District is home to retail shops, restaurants and live music venues, and is within walking distance of all three hotels of the Disneyland Resort: the Paradise Pier Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and the Disneyland Hotel. Visitors can experience live entertainment at the House of Blues or Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. Some opt for more moderately priced dining at Rainforest Cafe and ESPN Zone, while others enjoy catching a flick at nearby AMC Theatres.

The Guide in Detail: Zagat Survey’s Disneyland Resort Insider’s Guide is loaded with helpful top lists and indexes. Attractions are broken down by type (Simulator, Roller Coaster, Animatronics) and by special features (Toddlers, Educational, Rainy Day Appropriate). Dining and Shopping are also included in indexes, such as Cuisine, Special Features, and Merchandise.

The Disneyland Resort Insider’s Guide was edited by John Deiner, with consulting by Laura Randall. It is available at the Disneyana store in Disneyland, Compass Books in Downtown Disney, and Amazon.

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