Minggu, 22 Februari 2009

Skip the Parades, Shows and Fireworks

Tip 10: Skip the Parades, Shows and Fireworks

You don’t want to waste time watching rubberheads in choreographed dance and colorful explosions over the Matterhorn, do you? Of course not -- you want to ride the Matterhorn, and parades followed by fireworks are a great time to get a lot of riding done. As the shows swallow up a lot of the crowds, the lines tend to get leaner, which means you have that much more opportunity to maximize your ride count. That said …

Tip 11: Don't Skip Parades, Shows and Fireworks

Really -– don’t. I can condone skipping the parade if you’re either above a certain age or below a certain tolerance level, but you have to see the fireworks at least once. They really are an incredible masterpiece of timing and choreography, best seen from directly in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, but enjoyed no matter what location you see them from. Plus, the magic and entertainment of Fantasmic is unparalleled (though I recommend seeing the less crowded late show, if your little ones have had a nap).

Tip 12: Do Open to Close

Maybe I come off as a bit fanatic, but there’s something so magically all-encompassing about being there right when the gates open to riding every last ride until they kick you out. It gives one a sense of accomplishment … or obsession, take your pick. Regardless, it does make your trip memorable, and gives you plenty of time to see, do, re-see and re-do all the things that you want to, whether you’ve planned to stay for a day or a week. Plus …

Tip 13: Shop Late

Don’t waste your valuable ride and character-visiting time shopping for -- and carrying -- souvenirs. All the shops on Main Street are open an hour after park closing, and Downtown Disney shops are sometimes open for two hours after park closing, depending on the day and season. But if you really must, must, must spend money right that second, make arrangements for them to deliver your bags to your room (another benefit only allotted to on-site hotel guests).

Tip 14: Ditch the Kids

Yes, you love them -- but you also just let them drag you around miles and miles of amusement parks for hours on end. Isn’t it time for a little grown-up get-together? Don’t worry about the kids -- the Grand Californian has babysitting options, that give kids the chance to watch movies, make crafts, and even get rooftop seats for the fireworks with skilled caregivers that will keep an eye on them until you’re finished doing whatever it is you want to do. After all, the Disneyland Resort isn’t just fun for kids.

Some adult recommendations? How about spa treatments at the Mandara Spa followed by an incredible dinner at the Napa Rose? You could go for the wine country duck confit with spring vegetable fricassee and porcini mushroom foam appetizer followed by a main of white truffle honey glazed pacific salmon with white asparagus, coastal mushrooms, baby “red lace” mustard greens, green lentil puree and minneola essence. Or, go big and sign up for the Vinter’s Table, a chef’s tasting menu designed to be paired with the best wines from wine country. Just make sure you save room for dessert! The kids might be miffed, but you can pay them off the next morning with breakfast at the Storyteller’s Café. With grown-up breakfast options for mom and dad, a delicious buffet for all ages and wandering characters to spice up the dining experience, all will be forgotten … and you’ll be more than ready to tackle another day of rides, or use it as your last hurrah before you catch your flight home.


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