Sunday, July 26, 2015

2015 Disneyland Ride Stats

 Being the stats nerd that I am, every year I have every person in our family keep track of the rides they go on. I then total them for the family and also break them down into the time spent in each of the different Lands and Parks. I also asked each person for their top 10 favorite rides. I assign 10 points to each person's favorite ride all the way down to 1 point for their 10th favorite. I then total our favorite rides as well. On this year's trip to Disneyland, our family consisted of 8 people -  my wife and I, a 15 year old, 12 year old, 9 year old, 8 year old, 6 year old, and a 16 month old.

Ride Breakdown
Rank Attraction                           Riders
1 Pirates of the Caribbean 34
2 Splash Mountain  31
3 Star Tours 27
T-4 Alice in Wonderland 22
T-4 It's a Small World 22
T-6 Jungle Cruise 20
T-6 Tea Cups 20
T-8 The Little Mermaid 17
T-8 Jumpin' Jellyfish 17
10 Grizzly River Run 16
11 Radiator Springs Racers 15
T-12 Story Book Land Canal Boats 12
T-12 Tarzan's Treehouse 12
T-14 Mater's Junkyard Jamboree 11
T-14 Matterhorn Bobsleds 11
16 Winnie the Pooh 10
T-17 Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular 8
T-17 Thunder Mountain Railroad 8
T-17 Games of the Boardwalk 8
T-17 Haunted Mansion 8
T-17 Pirate Lair on Tom Sawyer Island 8
T-17 The Enchanted Tiki Room 8
T-17 Golden Horseshoe Stage 8
T-17 Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage 8
T-25 Buzz Light Year Astroblasters 7
T-25 King Arthur's Carousel 7
T-27 Autopia 6
T-27 California Screamin' 6
T-27 Disney Junior: Live on Stage 6
T-27 Silly Symphony Swings 6
T-31 Mickey's Fun Wheel 5
T-31 Tower of Terror 5
T-31 Frances' Lady Bug Boogie 5
T-34 Casey Jr Circus Train 4
T-34 Heimlich's Chew Chew Train 4
T-34 Soarin' Over California 4
T-34 Space Mountain 4
T-34 Davey Crockett Explorer Canoes 4
T-39 Disneyland Railroad 3
T-39 Indiana Jones  3
T-39 Goofy's Sky School 3
Flick's Fliers closed
Starcade closed
Peter Pan's Flight closed
Main Street Vehicles
Mr Toad's Wild Ride 
Pinoccio's Daring Journey
Pixie Hollow
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through
Snow White's Grotto
Tuck and Roll's Drive Em' Buggies
Total 443

Here is the ride breakdown by Land

Land Breakdown
Rank Land  Total Riders % of Total
1 Fantasyland 98 22.12%
2 Paradise Pier 62 14.00%
3 Tomorrowland 52 11.74%
T-4 New Orleans Square 45 10.16%
T-4 Critter Country 45 10.16%
6 Adventureland 43 9.71%
7 Cars Land 26 5.87%
8 Frontierland 24 5.42%
9 Grizzly Peak Airfield 20 4.51%
10 Hollywood Land 19 4.29%
11 A Bugs Land 9 2.03%
T-12 Main Street 0.00%
T-12 Mickey's Toontown 0.00%
T-12 Buena Vista Street 0.00%


Here is a breakdown by Park:

Park Breakdown
Rank Park Total riders % of Total
1 Disneyland 307 69.30%
2 CA Adventure 136 30.70%

And finally, here is a breakdown of our family's favorite rides/attractions:

Rank Favorite Rides/Attractions 2015
1 Paint The Night Parade 53
2 Splash Mountain 39
3 Star Tours 35
4 World of Color 29
5 Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular 28
6 Radiator Springs Racers 27
7 Grizzly River Run 23
T-8 Pirates of the Caribbean 22
T-8 Tower of Terror 22
10 Thunder Mountain 20
11 It's a Small World 18
12 Autopia 15
13 Jungle Cruise 14
T-14 California Screamin' 8
T-14 Jumpin' Jellyfish 8
16 Matterhorn 7
T-17 Mater's Junkyard Jamboree 4
T-17 Goofy's Sky School 4
T-17 Storybook Land Canal Boats 4
20 Soarin' Over California 3
T-21 Tea Cups  2
T-21 Davey Crocket Explorer Canoes 2
T-21 Games of the Boardwalk 2



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Disneyland News and Rumors May 2015

With just a little over a week left until Disneyland's 60th Anniversary Celebration and only a month until my family's trip to the happiest place on earth(at the time of writing this) the work is about to wrap up as last minute touches are being made to rides and last minute wrinkles ironed out of performances and shows. Here's a look at a few of the projects:

Peter Pan
Originally Peter Pan was rumored to re-open May 7th from it's lengthy refurbishment to completely remake the opening nursery scene as well as to update and upgrade a few other issues in the ride. Now the new opening date is set for July 1st. I have a difficult time understanding why Disney didn't make sure this ride was open on May 22, the kick off date for the 60th Anniversary Celebration. Peter Pan is the most popular ride in Fantasyland with only the Matterhorn having consistently longer wait times. Disney missed the mark on this one.

Paint the Night Parade
As one who wanted the Main Street Electrical Parade brought back for the 60th Anniversary, I was extremely disappointed when I heard the parade was going to be something called "The Paint the Night Parade." After recently having the opportunity to see the new Paint the Night Parade, consider me a skeptic no longer. It is AMAZING! It has amazing new and relevant movie references, soundtrack, effects, and lights, while at the same time giving just enough of a nod to the original Main Street Electrical Parade. Disneyland hit this one out of the park! So if you count yourself as one of the traditionalists that wanted to see the Main Street Electrical Parade, be of good cheer! This new parade will have our children as in love with it as we were with the original.

Here is a video, courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog, about the making of the all new Frozen float in the parade!

Disneyland Forever Fireworks
Disneyland's goal with the new fireworks show is to surround the guests with the experience instead of just providing the guests with something to look at. Instead of "just fireworks," this show will feature projections on the Main Street Buildings, the Matterhorn, and Sleeping Beauty's Castle. The central message of the show is based on Walt Disney's famous quote: “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

The show starts with the original fanfare and then the projections make it appear as if you are standing in the middle of orange groves (which is what was at Disneyland's current spot when Walt began building Disneyland). The oranges grow and then explode into pixie dust which leads to Tinkerbell flying around the castle. The song, "Kiss Goodnight" by Richard Sherman is then played to fireworks. Sherman named the song what he did because it is said that Walt Disney said that the Fireworks were a gift to his guests after a busy day - a kiss goodnight.

Next is a Mary Poppins sequence, complete with Dick Vandyke's "Step in Time" and kite projections around Main Street. It is followed by a Tangled sequence featuring floating glowing lanterns.

The final six featured cartoons/themes are, Winnie the Pooh, The Lion King (which will contain lots of Pyro according to MiceChat), the Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, Nemo with the Matterhorn being transformed into Mt Wannahoukaloogie, and then Elsa's Ice Castle with Frozen. The thing to remember here is that there will be amazing projections that go along with all of these themes as well as the fireworks. You will see different things depending on what part of the Park you are watching the show from. It is intended to be a show that has to be seen over and over for someone to see it all.

The ending sounds perfect as well. We are taken back to the orange groves where it is again stated that Disneyland will never be complete. Tinkerbell reappears and "When You Wish Upon A Star" then plays, followed by the theme song for the show.

Disney Parks Blog has posted an interview with Richard Sherman about the making of the song "A Kiss Goodnight" for the new Fireworks show.

World of Color: Celebrate!
A few more specifics about the new World of Color show have been released as they relate to the story telling aspect of the show. There are 5 segments of the show which may or may not include the opening fanfare or conclusion. The four segments that have been released are (1) A section devoted to Mickey Mouse. (2) A look at the Golden Age of Disney Animation, including the Pixar/Disney partnership. (3) A look at Walt Disney's first ideas and dreams. (4) A Tribute to Walt Disney.

The show will first look at how Mickey Mouse has changed over the years. Steam Boat Willie starts it off and stirs up the waters of the lagoon. Next, Plane Crazy and the Band Concert will be featured followed by all new Mickey shorts. The Mickey Segment is concluded with a tribute to him in Fantasia.

The third segment which examines Walt's first ideas and dreams was referred to as "The Big Wish: Disneyland" by Steve Davison, Executive of Parades and Spectaculars. It apparently will feature opening day with Walt Disney.

The new World of Color is said to have lots of light and will be incorporating the Fun Wheel more than before. I am looking forward to seeing this in June!

 All things Star Wars
In an call with analysts Disney CEO, Bob Iger, reported that the second teaser for the upcoming Star Wars Film, "The Force Awakens" has already received over 200 million views in less than a month. It had received 88 million views in the first 24 hours of being released! If Disney wasn't completely aware of the magnitude of the impact the Star Wars franchise would have on their brand when they spent $4.5 Billion to acquire it, they are now! In one of the most frustrating, but yet prudent displays of constraint on Disney's part, the decision to delay construction and even the announcement of Star Wars additions to its Anaheim Parks is proving to be one of the best decisions they have made since the Star Wars acquisition. Like most Star Wars fans, I was ready for an announcement on how Star Wars was going to be added into Disneyland with new rides, restaurants, etc. But as I have always been told, slow and steady wins the race, and that is precisely what Disney is doing when it comes to its planning process in regards to the presence of the Force in it's Disney Parks. By waiting, they are now able to add elements from the next 3 movie sequels and the stand alone Anthology films in addition to the staples from the first 6 Star Wars movies into the place making, rides, and dining areas. Unfortunately that means more waiting when it comes to Disneyland ride announcements, but not for too much longer. Bob Iger stated to both Wall Street annalists and to Bloomberg Television beck in February that specific plans would be announced later in 2015. Piecing this bit of information together with a press release from the D23 Expo to be held August 14-16th which in part says, "...on Saturday afternoon, fans will get a preview of what’s in store at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts during a presentation hosted by Parks Chairman Bob Chapek" what we are looking for might be given to us on Saturday afternoon, August 15th!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Disneyland News and Rumors, February 2015

While the Disney rumor mill has remained fairly silent over the past 3 months, a few of the previous rumors have finally been confirmed by Disney, including a few of this years 60th Anniversary plans.


New "Disneyland Forever" fireworks show. I like fireworks just as much as the next person, but I would much prefer Disney to focus more on rides than on night-time entertainment, especially for big events like the 60th Anniversary. I remember the 40th Anniversary's biggest draw was the new (at the time) Indiana Jones ride. That was truly something to get excited about. With that said, having seen pictures of the proposed new projection mapping technology that Disney is using in conjunction with their new fireworks show, my family and I will definitely be lining up on Main Street to see the show. All the buildings on main street, Sleeping Beauty's Castle, and even the Matterhorn will be used in the projection process and, as I said, the concept art looks amazing. Hopefully Steve Davison, the creator of the fireworks show, can figure out a way to keep all of the Fantasyland rides open during the fireworks show this time since, in the past, a handful of them have to close down during the fireworks, as does all of Mickey's Toontown. Disneyland Forever will premiere on May 22nd.

The Paint the Night Parade. From everything I have seen and read, the Paint the Night Parade is amazing! I was one of the hopeless traditionalists that was hoping the Main Street Electrical Parade would be brought back as I have a lot of very fond memories of watching that parade as a child with my mother. But this new parade (new to Anaheim - it has been in Hong Kong Disneyland for a while now) looks like it could be very similar to the Electrical Parade. The Paint the Night Parade is a huge draw in Hong Kong and Disney Anaheim is hoping it has that kind of success here and is able to get the traditionalists, like me, to quit calling for the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. Hopefully it will be the next generation of Main Street Electrical Parade! Like the new fireworks show, the Paint the Night Parade will premiere on May 22nd.

World of Color - Celebrate! The Paradise Pier pond is currently drained and work is underway on the new World of Color - Celebrate! show that will premiere on May 22nd, along with all the other nighttime events for the 60th Anniversary. Unlike Spectacle, the previous World of Color show that was sometimes criticized for not having much of a story, The new World of Color is said to contain all new animation while telling Walt Disney's story.

Luigi's Flying Tires. Just shy of it's 3 year anniversary, Luigi's Flying Tires will be shut down for good at the end of the day on February 16th according to the Disneyparks blog (the official blog of Disneyland). Although I actually enjoyed the ride, I would think that it will go down as one of the biggest and most costly mistakes in Disneyland history. The ride itself cost nearly $100 million to build and has been at the center of a handful of lawsuits resulting from injuries from the beach balls that used to be found on the attraction during it's first summer of operation, to injuries from getting off the ride. Even if most of the lawsuits are meritless, they still have become a thorn in the side of Disneyland and so the ride will be shut down and another will be built right in it's stead. The new one will be another spinning car ride (yes, for those of you keeping score at home, that would make the third ride of it's kind in CA Adventure after Francis' Lady Bug Boogie and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree), this time a WiFi controlled, trackless one. (concept pictured below) I don't quite get the allure of another spinning car ride, WiFi controlled or not. To me, this is yet another example of the imagineers' imaginations growing stagnant.

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty's Castle. The entrance to the Castle is currently blocked off by a wooden gate and the Castle it's self is hidden behind a tarp as work is being done for the May 22nd unveiling of the new diamond enhanced look for the 60th Anniversary.

Star Wars to have a "significant presence" in Disneyland in the future. Disney's Chief, Bob Iger told Wall Street analysts that there is currently a "fair amount of design and development to greatly increase Star Wars presence in multiple locations around the world," speaking of his Disney parks. It was hoped that some announcement would be made regarding exactly what we could expect at Disneyland when the 60th Anniversary plans were announced, but now it looks like we will have to wait until at least August when the D23 expo is held in Anaheim. Either way, Iger specifically stated that specific plans would be announced "later in 2015." In a separate interview with Bloomberg Television, Iger said,“Fairly soon, I’m sure we’ll be ready to go public with some specifics. But it’s safe to say that you’ll see a lot more ‘Star Wars’ at Disney and at Disney parks in the near future.”  According to Micechat, while on their way to work, some Disney cast members reportedly recently saw height-test balloons in the areas of the park (near the Thunder Ranch area and in the northern most part of the park), which would seem to indicate some sort of planning is underway.

Re-theming of Condor Flats to mesh more with Grizzly Peak. Currently the concrete has been torn out around Soarin' Over California, as it is closed anyway for the film being transferred to an HD Digital format. The big rocket engine misters have been removed and the whole area is said to be getting a face lift to look more in-line with Grizzly Peak. I'm a fan of the idea as I have always felt that both Condor Flats and Grizzly Peak were too small to be considered "lands" by themselves. Combining the two into a bigger land make total sense to me. I'm excited to see what the finished product looks like when I'm there in June.


Dark ride renovation. Alice in Wonderland has already been renovated and is awesome! Peter Pan is scheduled to be closing for a lengthy 3 month refurbishment shortly which would indicate to me that some major work, similar to what was done on Alice, will be done on Peter Pan as well. What is strange to me is that Disney didn't announce an "updating" of the dark rides for the 60th Anniversary celebration which makes me wonder if it's just an Alice thing. I would think that if they were going to be updating all the dark rides, which was previously thought to happen for the 60th Anniversary, they would have announced it.

That's all the new news and rumors for now. Hopefully in 3 months we'll know more specifics about the Star Wars presence in Disneyland and what is going on with the rest of the dark rides! My newest update (May 2015) can be found by clicking Here

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Disneyland News and Rumors November 2014

Disneyland News

Nemo Submarine Ride
After a lengthy 9 month refurbishment process (5 months of which nothing substantial was done), the subs are back open! The kelp and some of the coral pieces have been repainted in very nice vibrant colors, and the projectors have been replaced which has given the video portion of the ride a much needed cleaner look. But the rest of the ride has, for the most part, remained unchanged.

Dark Rides
Although Alice in Wonderland has already been fantastically updated, the refurbishments to the remaining Fantasyland dark rides (Peter Pan, Snow White, Mr. Toad, and Pinocchio), which were widely believed to be getting underway this fall, still have not started which is making me wonder if they will happen at all before the 60th Anniversary celebration.

Main Street Corridor
As for other enhancements for the 60th Anniversary Celebration, the walk ways behind the Main Street are finished and ready to be tested out this winter in preparation for the busy summer time. The alleyways will make travelling from the entrance to Disneyland to the surrounding lands much easier and enjoyable during parades! What remains to be seen is if once they are completely finished they are opened throughout the day, or just during the parade/special event times. I would imagine that they will be closed during the day because there won't be access to the shops from the alley ways and Disney would want to make sure from a business standpoint that as many tourists as possible are walking past the entrance to their stores.

Star Wars
The news I look forward most to hearing about is if the future of Star Wars in Disneyland. There have been a few running ideas, most notably the revamping of Tomorrowland  by taking out Autopia and the Submarine Ride and completely re-theming the rest of the area. That idea has been all but scrapped thanks to the lack of budget Anaheim was given due to the failing of the MyMagic+ program in Walt Disney World Florida. The lack of funding for the original idea, however, will ultimately turn out to be a blessing for both Disney and Disney fans alike. The hope was to have some minor re-theming done to Tomorrowland in time for the 60th Anniversary with the more major remodeling and rides coming later that fall. But as time for the official decision drew closer and passed, it was clear to some executives that a far better idea would be to incorporate some of the new Disney Star Wars movies - including Episode VII "The Force Awakens" due out in theaters December 2015 - into the new mini-land that was to be created. With the funding in question, as just discussed earlier, it was too easy of a decision not to make a decision on the project. Fast-forward to now, when once again, Disney is starting to play with some more ideas for the new Star Wars themed mini-land. The current working idea, according to, is to create a new land that spans the northern flank of the park from Mickey's Toon Town through Thunder Ranch. This idea would upset far fewer "Disney Traditionalists" since the subs and Autopia are far more universally enjoyed than the relatively new, in comparison, Mickey's Toon Town. The Character meet and greets from Toon Town would likely be re-located elsewhere in the park, such as maybe the Opera House, while Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin, and Gadget's Go Coaster would sail away into Yesterland.

Storybook Land Canal Boats
The Storybook Land Canal Boats are currently being refurbished and when they reopen towards the end of December, Frozen will appear in the spot where the Old Mill used to be. Some of the Frozen places of interest that will be included in the ride will be the village of Arendelle, Wandering Oaken's Trading Post, and Elsa's Ice Palace.

One more bit of interesting Disneyland news is that a Disneyland team has been tasked with figuring out how to make a fast pass system for Fantasmic! work. Typically guests can be observed saving seats for hours before the Fantasmic! performance which can create congestion for people trying to navigate by the Rivers of America area and has led to a few unfortunate guest confrontations. But putting in a fast pass system would be more complicated than it might seem. The primary obstacle would be figuring out the number of different sections there would be and how to handle the logistics of each one.

California Adventure News

Meanwhile over in CA Adventure, a lot will be getting underway shortly as well. If you have any daughters in your family in the 3-12 age range as I do, chances are they will love this next part. reports that Frozen will be making an appearance in CA Adventure this winter! Yes, this winter as in next month! The MuppetVision 3-D theater has been closed and is undergoing a remodeling for a new Frozen show which is to premiere December 20th. It's no secret that MuppetVision has struggled for a while now and given the current popularity of Frozen, Disney is hoping for a much better use of the 575 seat theater that is now typically only a quarter full during shows. Should the Frozen show be a success, there is a slight chance that it may become a permanent fixture in CA Adventure, whereas now it is slated to close on May 3rd next year. The Frozen characters will also be moving from Fantasyland over to the Hollywood Backlot area for their new meet and greet location at the Disney Animation building. Disney wouldn't want to miss out on any merchandising opportunities either, so as you can imagine there will be all sorts of Frozen themed merchandise and food and beverage options in the area as well. One such merchandising shop will be themed after the Wandering Oaken's Trading Post from the movie.

Luigi's Flying Tires
Luigi's Flying Tires is slated for permanent closure on January 11th and reports that it will be re-themed into Luigi's Festival of the Dance which will be opening sometime in December just in time for the busy winter rush. The reasoning that I have heard is that the tires were too awkward for many guests to get in and out of, some guests even injuring themselves in the process. The idea of the new Festival of the Dance ride sounds to me a lot like Mater's Junkyard Jamboree in it's operation, so I'm not sure I understand Disney's logic here.

Soarin' Over California
Soarin' Over California will finally be getting it's HD makeover. Like Luigi, it is scheduled to go down January 11th and be closed until late May. In addition to the film being transitioned into HD, the Soarin' Building and all of Condor Flats will be receiving a minor re-theming to accentuate the theme of the area.

Finally, with Star Wars taking over parts of Disneyland, it is rumored that Marvel will be taking over parts of CA Adventure - specifically, the same area that Frozen will temporarily be in, in the Hollywood Backlot area. also reports that A new E-ticket attraction modeled after the Rockin' Roller Coaster in Orlando, would be created with a Marvel theme in the parking area between the Tower of Terror and Luigi's. It would be taking the place of the old Monsters Inc door coaster idea and would be much more of an intense roller coaster to appeal more to the teenage demographic. The character meet and greets which are currently in the innovations building in Tomorrowland would also be moved over to Hollywood Backlot. Having the Marvel characters in Hollywood Backlot makes much more sense to me than having them in Disneyland so I hope this rumor has some traction.

Final thoughts...
One last thing to consider is theoretically what this means for Tomorrowland. If "Star Wars Land" ends up being created, it would make sense for Star Tours to have a new home there. And if the Innovations building is freed of the Marvel presence, there is a lot of potential for Disney's Imagineers to create a few new attractions in Tomorrowland, almost to the point of re-theming a whole corner of the park. Recently it seems that Disney has lost much of it's creativity when it comes to designing all new rides that are not based on Movies. Some of Disney's best rides were uniquely created on their own merits and not because of a prior movie, such as Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Country Bear Jamboree, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion. The latter 3 rides were so loved by guests that movies were actually created from them! In my opinion, it is time for Disney's Imagineers to once again wipe the dust off of their creative thinking and create attractions to replace the purported relocating attractions.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Disneyland News and Rumors August 2014

Not as much "inside information" has been revealed lately as far as the goings-on are concerned at Disneyland, which will make this update short but sweet.

The refurbishment of Alice in Wonderland is complete and it is awesome! I have always loved the Alice in Wonderland ride and the new, updated projections and animatronics greatly enhance it. Next up will be the other dark rides (Peter Pan, Mr. Toad, Snow White, and Pinocchio) which currently aren't on the official published refurbishment schedule but are assumed to be closed one at a time in the fall.

Work is also well under way on the pedestrian passage ways off to the side of Main Street. Once completed, these passage ways should really make getting from the entrance of the park to the various lands (and vice-versa) much easier during parades.

The Finding Nemo Submarine Ride will, in fact, reopen on September 27. The original plan was to close it indefinitely and replace it with another Star Wars themed ride. For months the ride was closed with no work being done on it (other than some scaffolding up here and there for appearance sake) while different ideas were being considered as to weather or not to keep the submarine ride for another year or two or to close it permanently. In the last month or so, work has finally started to pick up on the ride with a lot of new underwater plants being painted which will really add a lot of new color to the ride. With all this said, Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, stated in a conference call to reporters on August 5th, 2014 that there will be a "far greater Star Wars presence" in the Disney theme parks in the not too distant future. My gut tells me that they wanted to wait for the new Star Wars movie to come out before creating a new Star Wars ride so they can incorporate some of the new movie into the ride. It wouldn't make financial sense to spend $4 Billion on a movie franchise only to base rides on the older movies. I think it's safe to say that the subs are safe for the 60th Anniversary, but I wouldn't be surprised if they close down permanently shortly after the celebration winds down, when details of the new Star Wars movie are known for construction to start on the new Star Wars ride. Of course, this is all speculation so take it with a grain of salt.

For my latest Disneyland Blog update, click here

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Character Dining at Disneyland

With my little kids getting older every year, I thought I better take advantage of the character dining while they still appreciate it. 2014 was actually my second experience with character dining. In 2009, we took the kids to Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel. In this post, I'll talk a little about both experiences including the menu's and pricing.

June 2014 Ariel's Grotto
With two daughters, ages 8 and 5, who love princesses, I thought I better try Ariel's Grotto. Because it has a penchant for being extremely busy, it is very important to make reservations as early as you can, which is 2 months in advance. In 2013 I waited until a week before we left to try to make a reservation and they were completely booked. In 2014, I made my reservation on April 20 for June 18th. I pre-paid through, which is the travel agency I use to book all things Disney and SeaWorld. Despite pre-paying for it though, I still had to make the actual reservation by going to the Disneyland website and under "things to do" clicking on "make reservation."

There are a few different groups of people with the same reservation time, so when they called us in, we first stood in line down the stairwell for a picture with Ariel. After the picture, we were led to our table. The waiter brought the kids each crowns which they were able to decorate with crayons and stickers.

The menu doesn't have a huge selection so it made my selection of the BBQ Tri-tip that much easier. There is a kids menu as well and the kids got the chicken nuggets and fries, and the hotdog and mac and cheese. The meals all came with a small dessert which included a chocolate covered strawberry, cookie, and jello. The food was good, but the reason we came was for the princesses. Soon after we were seated, Cinderella was announced by a squire. As she was going from table to table, Belle, Snow White, and Aurora were also announced and began to walk from table to table as well. My kids are all a bit shy so they didn't talk to them much but were all eager to get pictures with the princesses.

All in all, it was a fun experience, even for my 7 year old son. It was pricey - $44 for me and $22 for each of the kids. You're obviously paying for the experience with the princesses because the food alone would be hard to sell for half that amount.

MENUS: (as of June 2014)
Sautéed Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta
with Seasonal Vegetables and Basil, tossed in a Tomato Broth
Red Oak-Smoked Honey-Whiskey Barbecue Tri-Tip
Thinly Sliced with Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables
Fire-Roasted Corn Cakes
Sautéed Spinach, Onions, and Shiitake Mushrooms with spicy Bean Salsa and Chili Oil Drizzle
Fresh Catch of the Day
Sustainable Fish served with Chef's choice of sides
Citrus-Glazed Chicken Breast
Udon Noodles and Bok Choy, Edamame, and Carrots in a light Miso Broth
Grilled Lobster Tail Salad
Mixed Greens, Hickory-smoked Bacon, Avocado, Tomato, Quail Egg, and your choice of Point Reyes Blue Cheese Dressing of House Vinaigrette   

Ursula's Octo-Dog served atop Macaroni & Cheese with fresh Fruit, Vegetables and an individual Dessert. Choice of Small Low-fat Milk, Small Dasani® Water, Small Minute Maid® Juice, or Small Nesquik® Chocolate Milk
Whozits and Whatzits Fries and Nuggetz
Chicken Nuggets and French Fries served with fresh Fruit, Vegetables and an individual Dessert. Choice of Small Low-fat Milk, Small Dasani® Water, Small Minute Maid® Juice, or Small Nesquik® Chocolate
Clammy Turkey Sammy
served with fresh Fruit and Vegetables and choice of Small Low-fat Milk or Small Dasani® Water. Meets Disney Nutrition Guidelines for Complete Meals without substitution  Angel Hair Pasta a la Dinglehopper
served with fresh Fruit and Vegetables and choice of Small Low-fat Milk or Small Dasani® Water. Meets Disney Nutrition Guidelines for Complete Meals without substitution

June 2009 Goofy's Kitchen
While staying at the Disneyland Hotel, we thought that one morning we would try eating at Goofy's Kitchen. The kids were 3 and 2 at the time while Lizi was just a baby. When we were called to our table, we were first taken to have a picture taken with Chef Pluto. Once to our table, we ordered and as we waited for our food, Goofy came in to the center of the dining area and had all the kids come up and help him cook some pretend food. The kids were a little young to go by themselves so their mom carried them up there while I stayed behind with the baby.

The menu selection was good, with more choices than Ariel's Grotto and more appealing choices as well. While I don't recall anymore what we paid for the experience, the prices were expensive, but a bit cheaper than Ariel's Grotto.

Although they were young, the kids enjoyed the experience.

MENUS: (as of June 2014 Prices are $37.99 for ages 10+ and 16.99 for 3-9)

For more info on places to eat at Disneyland, see my other post here:

Monday, July 14, 2014

2014 Disneyland Ride Stats

This year our family of 9 bought 4 day park-hopper tickets to Disneyland and California Adventure. Our ages are 40, 38, 16, 14, 11, 8, 7, 5 and 4 months. Every year I have all the kids write down every ride they go on and then I compile a list of all of our rides when we get back. The following is a list of all the rides we went on in 2014, keeping in mind that Space Mountain, Alice in Wonderland, and the Nemo Submarine ride were all closed.

Ride Breakdown
Rank Attraction                           Riders
1 Pirates of the Caribbean 50
2 King Arthur's Carousel 30
3 Grizzly River Run 25
4 Radiator Springs Racers 24
5 The Little Mermaid 23
T-6 Tea Cups 22
T-6 Splash Mountain  22
T-8 Buzz Light Year Astroblasters 20
T-8 California Screamin' 20
T-8 Autopia 20
T-8 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 20
T-12 Winnie the Pooh 19
T-12 Jungle Cruise 19
T-14 Disneyland Railroad 18
T-14 Star Tours 18
16 Mater's Junkyard Jamboree 15
T-17 Peter Pan's Flight 14
T-17 Soarin' Over California 14
19 Tarzan's Treehouse 13
T-20 It's a Small World 12
T-20 Casey Jr Circus Train 12
T-20 Pixie Hollow 12
23 Heimlich's Chew Chew Train 10
T-24 Monorail  9
T-24 Mr. Toad's Wild Ride  9
T-24 Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular 9
T-24 The Enchanted Tiki Room 9
T-24 World of Color 9
T-24 Story Book Land Canal Boats 9
T-24 Dumbo 9
T-31 Luigi's Flying Tires 5
T-31 Haunted Mansion 5
T-31 Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island 5
T-31 Pirate Lair on Tom Sawyer Island 5
T-31 Pinocchio's Daring Journey 5
T-31 Matterhorn Bobsleds 5
T-37 Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through 4
T-37 Main Street Vehicles 4
39 Indiana Jones  3
T-40 Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies 2
T-40 Tower of Terror 2
T-40 Mickey's Fun Wheel 2
T-40 Flick's Fliers 2
T-40 Starcade 2
T-40 Games of the Boardwalk 2
46 Big Thunder Ranch 1

I also did a breakdown of the time we spent in Disneyland vs California Adventure and even further by the land in each park.

Park Breakdown
Rank Park Total riders % of Total
1 Disneyland 404 71.00%
2 CA Adventure 165 29.00%

Land Breakdown
Rank Land  Total Riders % of Total
1 Fantasyland 143 25.13%
2 Tomorrowland 76 13.36%
3 New Orleans Square 58 10.19%
4 Paradise Pier 56 9.84%
T-5 Adventureland 44 7.73%
T-5 Cars Land 44 7.73%
7 Critter Country 41 7.21%
8 Golden State 39 6.85%
9 Frontierland 32 5.80%
10 A Bugs Land 14 2.64%
11 Hollywood Land 11 1.93%
12 Main Street 9 1.58%
13 Mickey's Toontown 2 0.35%

Just a couple of interesting facts: we spent over 70% of our time going on rides in Disneyland and we spent 25% of our time just in Fantasyland alone.