Your questions answered.
Describe what Club 33 is?
Club 33 is an exclusive five star restaurant located above the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square, Disneyland. Over the years, the club has served many public officials including Presidents, actors, business men, and international leaders. The club is unfortunately not open to the public. However, members are allowed to bring family and friends to enjoy the club. The waiting list to become a member is quite a long wait though.
I’m curious if you’ve ever been into Club 33, or at least what your thoughts are on it?
I’ve never been. It’s impossible to get in there unless you’re fabulously wealthy, the president, or a cast member. I really, really, want to go there. Not just for the food, but for the history. It’s Walt’s place, you know? And supposedly, interactive animatronics used to entertain you while you eat. That in my opinion is awesome.
Any tips for visiting Disneyland but at a cheap cost?
For transportation: Parking at Disneyland costs $15. It would be better to take a bus to the Grand Californian or the Disneyland Hotel and walk through Downtown Disney to get to the park. You’ll be saving money that you could spend on food or merchandise.
For tickets: If you plan on staying longer than a week then I would suggest buying an Annual Passport. AP cost $379 and you can go anytime of the year you please (with just a few black out dates). This is compared to a regular 6-day 2 parks pass that’ll cost you $251. Why dish out that much cash on 6 days when you can have 315 days for a little under $100 more. However, if you do not plan to stay that many days, it would be wise to check out Disneyland ticket prices on their website. You can get a good understanding of the cost and difference between packages.
For food: The days are long and hot at Disneyland, so they know you’ll be willing to pay when it comes to food and drinks. When water costs $3 and ice cream bars are $4, you’ll be dishing out plenty of cash by the end of the day. Start off with your own items. Bring water and snacks from the grocery store. Here and there, it’s okay to splurge for the occasional Pineapple Dole Whip for $5 and notoriously delicious corn dogs (and apple slices) for $6. If you’re in the mood for a nice sit down place then it will cost more. There are cheaper sit down restaurants in the Disneyland and California Adventure Parks. At Disneyland you can go to Carnation Café on Main Street USA for gourmet soups, salads, and sandwiches. In California Adventure you can eat at the Pacific Wharf café where you can try three different types of sit down quick service restaurants: Asian, Mexican, and baked goods. All of them serve tasty meals without breaking the bank. In total you’ll need approximately $20-$45 for food for the entire day.
For shopping: Honestly, avoid the stores. Whenever I’m at Disneyland, I have the urge to buy almost everything there. You cannot help yourself especially when everything they offer is perfect. But if you do want to go to the shops, just stay away from sweaters and collectibles. Most of the time, sweaters will cost over $50. I wouldn’t want to hand over all my saved cash on just that. Be careful what you buy and always check the tag.
I’m going to Walt Disney World and I just wanted to know how many days or weeks is the perfect stay?
The perfect trip would be about 6 days. You could take one day for each park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom), one day for Downtown Disney, and another day for the water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach). Some parks take longer than others and vice versa. So, if you want, you could spend the morning at Typhoon Lagoon or Downtown Disney and then spend the evening at Epcot. Take advantage of the time you have.
How would you recommend planning a day at Disneyland and California Adventure. Which park is busier in the evening?
Take advantage of Magic Mornings (if your tickets allow that). You will have to get to Disneyland at 7am, but it’s worth it. When I went recently, I conquered all the rides within two hours. The wait time is low for almost every ride. You practically walk on more popular rides, such as Peter Pan’s Flight and the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Afterward, I’d leave Disneyland and head over to California Adventure and spend the afternoon there. Most of the rides there have FastPasses, so you’ll be able to get on almost everything. Leave around 8pm, unless you’re planning to see the World of Color. Paradise Pier is closed and is a complete mess of tourists before the World of Color. So, you’ll want to head over to Disneyland for the rest of the night. Go catch the fireworks or the Magic, the Memories, and You. The park is rather empty after 11.
Are there a lot of characters out and about to meet?
Plenty of characters have their own meet and greet areas, like Tinkerbell, Mickey and Minnie, Rapunzel, etc. They’ll be in the respective places.
The Princesses and the Evil Queen are usually seen located around Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in the early afternoon.
What are your opinions on the new show with the photo projections on Cinderella’s castle?
I have yet to see The Magic, The Memories, and You at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, but I have been fortunate enough to see it at Disneyland. I was impressed by the choreography of the projections. I even teared up. The point of that show is to connect everyone through memories and family moments, which is great because by the end of the day we’re all Disney zombies and need that boost. It’s great.
How am I supposed to enjoy the parks in the rain?
Simple – do not fight the rain. Embrace it.
Staying in the rain? Buy a poncho and get out there. They’re fun to wear and not as dangerous as umbrellas (especially in crowded areas). Think about it, you can still enjoy the park from a different perspective and you’ll stay moderately dry while doing so. You’re in the Happiest Place on Earth, so smile.
Wanna go inside? If you’re afraid of the rain or it’s pouring too hard then just stay in. Disney has plenty of indoor restaurants, shows, shops, and rides for you to relax in. At Disneyland you can fly over London on Peter Pan’s Flight in Fantasyland or change the world with Captain EO. At California Adventure you can take in the hilariousness of the Genie at the Broadway style Aladdin show or sing with Sebastian on Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. The great thing is that it’s all indoors.
Don’t sweat the small stuff! A good rainfall is bound to happen on your trip. Don’t let it get to you. You’re there to have a good time with family or friends. Take advantage of the time you have there; jump in the puddles, and sing a song!
I’m not sure what to expect for the lines for all the new attractions (Ariel’s, Star Tours, World of Color).
Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is typically busy during the day with kids, so I do not suggest getting on before 8 pm. At that time, viewers will be pouring in for the first showing of the World of Color. Head right for Ariel before they shut down Paradise Pier for the night. It’s a great way to ride and possibly the quickest with minimal to no wait!
Star Tours will fill up quickly! So, I suggest you run for the FastPass kiosk and get them before doing anything else. By noon (and sometimes earlier) they’ll be gone. You’ll be glad you went and picked them up first thing. Enjoy the rest of the park while you wait then just come back and have C3PO take you on a journey.
World of Color has several viewing options. The first thing you could do is pick up a FastPass near the Grizzly River Run. However, those FastPasses do not guarantee you a great spot unless you plan situating yourself very early. You will need to go as soon as possible to get the best view possible. There are other ways to see the show. One that my family did was the dining plan. Either can eat at Ariel’s Grotto or Wine Country Trattoria and you’ll receive exclusive seating tickets to the show. This includes a closed off area near the wet zone, which is preferably the most fun. This however will cost more. Dinner at both Ariel’s and Wine Country are not cheap. Be sure to bring your credit card! Another viewing option is a picnic, which you can set up over the internet. These meals cost $15 and you’ll receive a lunch box full of delicious goodies. You can order them here.
Keep in mind that there are two showings of the World of Color at night and if you can’t make the first, then try for the second. If you can’t get either then head over to Mickey’s Fun Wheel where you can watch the entire show from behind. While you won’t experience everything the show has to offer, you will get a good understanding and view.
What’s the best time to go to Disneyland/Walt Disney World where it’s empty, so lines are fast?
Try to go early fall just after school starts during the weekdays because plenty of the kids won’t be allowed to go on a school night. Other than that, there’s quite a bit of down time after the winter holidays especially in February.
What are some of the best place to eat at in Epcot?
Up and about: Turkey legs can be found all over Epcot in both Future World and World Showcase. Although they pack in over a thousand calories per leg, it will fill you up. They’re also really delicious and messy.
Funnel Cakes can be found in the American Pavilion. These are fast and can be eaten on the go. If you’ve got a sweet tooth then this is definitely for you.
Sunshine Seasons in The Land (Future World) – there’s an entire food court in there with various types of food ranging from sushi to fried chicken. Whatever you fancy, it’s very fresh there.
Cantina de San Angel in the Mexican Pavilion (World Showcase) – They’ve got authentic tacos and more there. The food is fast and tasty. Plus, you never know when the mariachi band might stop by to play some tunes for you.
Yakitori House in Japan (World Showcase) – The food here is delicious and quick. Everything from beef curry to rice and miso. Although, you might have to wait a while because they’re usually packed.
Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the United Kingdom (World Showcase) – Here they serve incredible fish and chips that everyone raves about. They’re not too greasy and can fill you up quick.
San Angel Inn in the Mexican Pavilion (World Showcase) – This restaurant has authentic Mexican meal platters that are sure to please. While the food is something to brag about, the atmosphere is fun and exciting. You’re seated on a Mexican themed terrace that overlooks the Gran Fiesta Tour (similar to the Blue Bayou in Disneyland).
Teppan Edo in Japan (World Showcase) – If you’re looking for food and entertain then Teppan Edo is your place. Chefs cook your meal on a large grill right before you. The way the chef prepares the food is a show itself. You’ll have plenty of fun while enjoying savory Japanese cuisine.
Chefs De France (World Showcase) – The selection here is wonderful with specialty fish, gourmet soups, and mouth watering desserts. Although the price per plate is pricy, it’s a great way to go to France without actually having to go to France.
What are the Do’s and Don’ts of Walt Disney World?
- Stay organized. There’s plenty of things to do at Walt Disney World, but at times it can be overwhelming. Do not sweat it. Plan ahead if necessary.
- Stay at a Disney hotel. Why go anywhere else? If you’re staying at a Disney hotel you’ll get many perks including Extra Magic Hours. The service there is always great and the price ranges can fit anyone’s budget.
- Take advantage of Disney transportation. They’ve got plenty of choices: monorails, friendship boats, ferries, and buses. Use them! Besides, they’re 100% free, which means you’ll save plenty of money that you would’ve used on parking.
- Get to the parks early. I can guarantee you’ll get more done, so that you can explore other parts of WDW.
- Stay hydrated! Like I’ve said before, Florida is hot and humid. Disney sells plenty of drinks so that you don’t get dehydrated. And if you’re not in the mood to pay $3 for a bottle of Disani water, then head over to First Aid where they’ll give you a cup of water for free.
- Even if it’s a gloomy day, wear sunscreen. There’s a reason Florida is known as the “Sunshine State”. Bring yourself some Coppertone or Hawaiian Tropic and lather it on. All Disney stores in the parks carry sunscreen just incase you forget.
- Wear comfortable shoes. This is the only place where you do not have to dress to impress. Everyone is on vacation. So, if you’re trying to look hot in a pair of heels, you’re going to be crying at the end of the day. Do not do it.
- Get FastPasses. These little beauties will save you so much time because you’ll bypass the entire line. So, instead of waiting 60 minutes for Star Tours, you can hop on at a much later time and still enjoy the rest of the park while waiting.
- Go to Extra Magic Hours. As I mentioned earlier, resort guests have the option to go to EMH. On select days a park will either open an hour earlier or stay open hours after park closing. This is only exclusive to resort guests, so the park will be less crowded. You’ll finally be able to go on that ride that you wanted to.
- Park hopping is a great way to utilize your time. You can spend your mornings cooling off at Blizzard Beach and your night enjoying Illuminations at Epcot. This will help you get everything done in the amount of time you have.
- See the parade. I don’t care if you’re 6, 18, or 53 – a parade is a parade and it’s entertaining! And you know if it’s a Disney parade, it’s gotta be good.
- Do the Fantasmic meal plan - This will save you from waiting in line for hours on end to see Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios. They save you a spot, which is great if you’re really impatient.
- Buy those special cups that offer free refills. They save you money and are really cute!
- Take in the scenary. There are so many small details in every corner of the park that the Imagineers pride themselves on. Stop and watch.
- Get a pair of Mickey ears and have your name embroidered on them. If you’re going to only get one souvenir from the park then it has to be Mousekears.
- Don’t miss the shows. Disney does a great job with everything they offer, but the shows are the end all be all of entertainment. Go!
- Don’t act like you’re too cool for Disney. This is such a pet peeve of mine. Listen, we’re all there for the same reason. If you’re going to act like you’re too good for it then stay home. Don’t ruin it for others.
- Don’t stop in the middle of the path just to find something. You will annoy everyone around you. Distance off into a less crowded area.
- Don’t ruin the fun for anyone else. Seriously, we do not care if you’re having a bad day. People go to the parks to escape reality. Leave your problems at the gate.
- Don’t ask the cast member when the three o’clock parade starts. You will sound silly. Plus, there are time sheets that give you that information.
- Don’t scream in people’s ears on the Haunted Mansion. You will generally get someone mad.
- Don’t get a FastPass for Big Thunder Mountain. The line always moves and changes throughout the day.
- Don’t go on a ride if you have a heart condition. Don’t ever risk it.
- Don’t start arguments with cast members, they are just doing their job.
- Don’t smoke in people’s faces. Some people get sick easily. Go to the designated smoking areas and take care of your business.
- Don’t use flash photography on dark rides. EVER.