Disneyland App: A Must

If you are headed to Disneyland, you MUST download the Disneyland App. It has a lot of pertinent information to make your Disney day ten times easier.

First and foremost, it has ride WAIT TIMES. Want to go on Splash Mountain? Check the app and it will tell you how long the wait is. It will also tell you when FAST PASSES are being DISTRIBUTED. This is also super helpful. It will also tell you if fast passes are no longer available for the day which means they ran out. You can set up an account and connect your park tickets to the app. When you do this, it will tell you what fast passes you have and when they are available. You can even scan your phone instead of your ticket to redeem your fast pass. The app will also show you if there is a height requirement, suggested ages and ‘thrill type’ for each ride.

The app shows you a lot more than just attractions. At the top of the app, you can change the category. Another super helpful category is, CHARACTERS. It will show where they are throughout the park. It will list the characters, location and time they will be there.

I use the app all the time for DINING. I like to look at the menu and see the prices and you can do this all through the app. You can also MOBILE ORDER through the app at many locations. This can be a big time saver on a busy day. You will have to setup an account and connect your credit card to do so.

It also lists entertainment times for parades and shows throughout the park. It shows where restrooms, shops, hotels and photopass locations are. Of course, it shows the MAP of the park, so you can become familiar with where everything is and not have to get your paper map out as often 😉

You can also attach your ANNUAL PASS or TICKETS to the app. You wouldn’t even need your paper ticket to get into the park if you have them connected to the app. (You would need your paper ticket to get fast passes at the kiosk.) If you are purchasing MAX PASS for your visit, that will also be through the Disneyland App. Whew, see the Disneyland App is awesome AND crucial 🙂 Download it before your trip and you can keep an eye on what wait times may look like for you!

Animation Academy: Must do in Disney’s California Adventure Park

Do you have a child who is a budding artist? Or maybe you’ve never drawn before but like to try new things? Anytime we post about the animation academy, we get so many questions! It’s one of our favorite things to do.

The Animation Academy is located in California Adventure. They typically have drawing times every 30 minutes. When you go into the animation academy they will have a schedule of which character they are drawing at that time. The drawing lesson lasts about 18 minutes. When you step inside, they will have paper, pencil and board for you to use. Then a Disney animator will walk you through step by step how to draw that character! Even though you might think you can’t draw, you would be surprised how well you can do! It’s my 6 year olds favorite thing to do, and we usually will go at least twice. It’s also a great thing to do when it is HOT outside or CROWDED. Try it!

This is at the entrance of the animation academy. Step inside and it’s a great place to rest and watch the screens with different songs from Disney movies being played.

Galaxy’s Edge: Disneyland’s newest land – What you need to know for your first time!

Disneyland opened a new land in May 2019. We went with low expectations, and WOW, this place blew us away! You really do feel like you are in Batuu (the planet located on Galaxy’s Edge). The cast members look and act the part with sayings like “Bright Suns”.

First up, get in line to take a photo in front of the Millenium Falcon. Ask the Photopass photographer to take a photo on your phone. They keep this place clear of people, so you can get a really clear shot!

There are SO many photo opportunities. They really outdid themselves with the details. The whole land is 14 acres, and it really does feel large!

The Marketplace is AWESOME! I loved walking through. Felt like I was in Batuu! Lots of shops to get souvenirs. You can make reservations at the Droid Depot (click here). The droid is a $100 souvenir. We haven’t done it yet, but it looks really neat! They also have a a light saber experience where you can build your own! That runs you $200…definitely a splurge. Click here for reservations.

They have a few food options in Galaxy’s Edge. I opted to try the Blue Milk from the milk stand. It is $7.99 and the cup is not very big. It was pretty good however! My 1.5 year old loved it. Next time I would love to try Oga’s Cantina. You can make reservations 60 days out. Click here for info.

There is currently one ride in the new Star Wars Land. It is the Millenium Falcon. It is awesome! There is currently no FastPass option for this. You must be 35 inches to ride. If you have little ones, be sure and get a rider switch so the party that is waiting, can wait in a much shorter line!

My husband took the 6 and 5 year old and my 5 year old loved it! My 6 year old didn’t want to ride it again right away. Since I had a rider switch, I am able to ride and wait in a very short line and take two people with me. He could have ridden it again with us, but he didn’t want to. The two of them were pilots, so I think that made him nervous. If you have a child that might get nervous, ask to be a gunner or engineer. When I rode my first time I was a pilot and it was tricky! The second time I was a gunner. Any position is a lot of fun! He rode it again the next day with me as an engineer and loved it! He wanted to go again.

There will be a second ride opening in January 2020. Can’t wait!

If it is your first time visiting Galaxy’s edge (and you’re going there on a budget) here are my suggestions!

  1. Ride the Millenium Falcon! And maybe go for a second time too.
  2. Try the blue milk or green milk. One of the cheapest menu items and fun to try!
  3. Walk through the marketplace and take it all in!
  4. Take lots of pictures! So many cool backdrops.
  5. Bring your own lunch and eat inside Ronto Roasters. Fun atmosphere and lots of tables.

Which Ticket Should You Get?

When it comes to buying your tickets for Disneyland it can be a bit overwhelming with all of the different options! We often get asked which pass do we usually get? Park hopper or no? 1 or 2 days? We have found that the best deal and way to spend your time at the park is to do 2 days 1 park per day instead of doing a park hopper. Now we know not everyone can do two days, so if you do only have one day then we would recommend a 1 day park hopper. But with having kids in tow it is nice to 1. not feel rushed at the parks and 2. not have to walk back and forth between parks (that is a lot of walking!)

As of today (September 11, 2019) this is the price breakdown of tickets:

2 days 1 park per day (adult): $225

2 day park hopper (adult): $280

Right there that is a $55 savings, think of how many churro’s that could buy! So overall, we don’t think a park hopper is necessary, save those legs and do a 1 park per day pass!