Doing Disneyland Right - It's not just for kids anymore
I'm sure many of you have been there, but only when you were younger. Which is exactly why you should go back now that you are older and have your wits about you. I've been a few times as a child and had a blast, of course. But I didn't really appreciate the Happiest Place On Earth until I went in my 20's, on two seperate occasions with two amazing friends (see below).Take it from me, if you want a vacation to remember but don't have too much time and don't want to break the bank, Disneyland is it. And with Disney's California Adventure, next door, you now have two reasons. An added plus is that the new theme park is a bit more adult, the rides are scarier (though maybe lack a bit of the charm of the old ones) and they serve beer (see below) and margaritas. I'm telling ya, you haven't had fun till you've been drunk at Disneyland. And now that alcohol is legal in one of the parks, you no longer have to sneak a Pepsi bottle of rum and coke onto Splash Mountain (not that I've ever done that ;).
The key to enjoying your stay in Disneyland is to follow these three tips:
1) Read up on the Park. This site has a list of the best guides to Disneyland. I recommend the Unofficial Guide because its savvy chapter "The Nazi Guide to Disneyland" (I swear it's called that) is the best way to maximize your time in the park. It may seem redundant to follow a strict schedule in a theme park but trust me, it's worth it.
Sample tips from the book (that are tried and true by yours truly) are lining up for the park before it opens (yes, you wake up super early but then you leave the park at noon - when it is busiest - and go home for a swim and a nap) and fast-passing most popular rides (the ride for Space Mountain is minimal within an hour of opening...ride it and then fast pass it so you can repeat it later, without standing in line for an hour or two).
2) Don't stay over a weekend. The park gets way too crowded with the locals (yes, the lucky bastards in Southern Cali can purchase a fairly cheap year-round pass).
3) Stay close to the Park...and I mean within a block or two. If you are dependant on shuttles, you might miss out on the peak times that you should go (some shuttles don't leave for the park until after it opens and you want to be there before). I've stayed at The Annabella and Howard Johnson ...both nice enough hotels, but when it comes down to it, they were both close and had swimming pools; you don't spend much time in your room anyway.
Oh, and during your time at Disneyland and California Adventure, make room for the following rides. They are so worth it:
1)Grizzly River Run (wet, wet fun)
2)California Screaming (fast fun)
3)Indiana Jones (different everytime)
4)Splash Mountain (a classic...and that zippidy doo dah song is haunting)
5)Hollywood Tower of Terror (Ever wondered what it's like to be in an elevator that suddenly drops?)
All right, I'm jetting off to Mexico tomorrow morning. I'll be sailing on my dad's boat from Cabo San Lucas to Puerta Vallarta. I won't be able to blog very often until I get back (Dec 1st) but when I do you can be sure I'll have some excellent Mexican tid-bits to tell you. I just spoke to my father on the phone and he said they just had dolphins jumping in front of the boat and he caught a huge tuna and had homemade sashimi. Yum. I've never sailed anywhere further south than Victoria, BC, so I'm very excited! Providing I don't meet any Pirates...unless they are of the Disney version, of course.