Cody Davis

FAQ:DLR Edition

I write for a few blogs besides The Disney Blog, namely DadCentric and DadBloggers, two sites that, you guessed it, are aimed at dads and the subsequent stuff that said dadness entails.

This combination of interests has allowed me to meet some really great people, mostly parents, that are planning trips to a Disney park.  Many of them have not been since they themselves were children, and they have questions. 

I’m going to attempt to address some of those, as well as provide my two cents on planning a Disney trip with small children.  I understand that this will not apply to all of you (Disney World reports that roughly half of their yearly visitors are adults sans kids), or that you might (probably) will have a different take than I do.  No worries.  If you have something to offer please add it in the comments.

Also, please keep in mind that I live in Los Angeles and that my trips to Disneyland Resort outnumber my trips to WDW by roughly 100 to 1, so my suggestions, while applicable to any family outing, are going to focus more on a California adventure than any other. Yes, I know I said California Adventure.

Time:

First and foremost, I think that the most important allowance that parents should make while planning a Disney trip is time.  Obviously Disney World screams for multiple days, in which you still won’t see it all, but people tend to overlook this ingrediant when coming west.  The longer you are able to stay at DLR the better.  There are lots of shows and parades that happen at set times throughout the day at any Disney park.  Making note of which you must see versus those you are willing to sacrafice, plus the time and location of each, will give you a strong axis to float the rest of your stay around.  Don’t try to see them all in one day.  Not only is this bordering on
impossible, but it will greatly increase already high levels of fatigue in
both the parent and the child.

Read More »FAQ:DLR Edition

Disneyland Resort New Year’s Trip Report: Honea Edition

New Year’s Eve used to be a bit different.  There used to be more drinking and debauchery and less kids and 4′ tall mice.  I believe things have improved.

My family, consisting of myself, my wife and our two boys, made the trek across Los Angeles and hunkered down for the remainder of 2006 at the Disneyland Resort.  We checked into the Grand Californian at about noon on the 30th and started the unwinding process.

We weren’t just counting down to a new year, we were throwing off the stresses of lives lived beyond the pale.

We are lucky to reside within two hours of the California parks, which coupled with our Disney Vacation Club membership and Annual Passports, allows for frequent and relatively affordable trips.  Thus, a trip to the Disneyland Resort is to us what it will never be to many that travel further and spend more, it is relaxing.  We have no time-line or pressures of the rat race (mouse race?) that push others through turnstiles and fastpass lines.  No, we stop and smell the roses.  We also smell the kettle corn.

The crowds were as thick as ants on honey, which I assume would be quite heavy.  At one point I found myself pushing the stroller through a sea of migrating tourists flying south for Fantasmic! and becoming further and further removed from my wife and oldest son.  They tried to stop, which as any concert goer/rioter will tell you, is a no-no.  "Save yourself!" I yelled out.  I was confident; I had a room key and a decent sense of direction. The thought of watching my wife and child swim upstream into the mouth of Monstro was more than I was willing to bear.  "Remember me…" I added, but they were gone.  Swallowed by one too many metaphors.

100_3493

(continued)

Read More »Disneyland Resort New Year’s Trip Report: Honea Edition

Halloween @ DLR

For years I’ve wished that Disneyland/DLR would have the sort of Halloween excitement that is available at WDW.  I was going to come on here and cry, "Eureka! We’ve finally got it!" and then I saw the photos in the post below from Paris, and I still feel slighted. 

However, it was fun.  The claims that Disneyland Resort made regarding the new vigor with which they tackled the haunting holiday were mostly on target, although the comparisons to Christmas spirit fell a bit short.

That said, Christmas was apparently waiting in the wings and started rolling out shortly after the gates closed on October.  November 1st greeted us with candy canes where once were candy corn.  The season will become official on Nov. 10th.

Also, there are two new attractions at Disneyland, a Jedi training activity and a Princess Fairy Festival, both being added as part of the "Million Dreams" campaign.  Speaking of which, we won a "Dream Fast Pass" that allowed us entry onto a handful of rides at both parks.  Unfortunately, almost all were rides too big for the kids.  Still, it’s cool to win!

More photos after the break.

Sunday_2400

Read More »Halloween @ DLR