I hate Disneyland. And I hate posts about the “top ten hacks you didn’t know about Disneyland!” because I do know them. All of them.
Because, though I am not Dis-nerd, I seem to get stuck in this place too often for my own good. It’s the only thing that makes my surliest pre-adolescent giggle like a preschooler. For that, I keep forking over hundreds of dollars for bland fried chicken served in a wonderland of pink while popping anti-nausea pills. Need a big pickle? SURE! Want to go on Haunted Mansion AGAIN and AGAIN in order to FINALLY get the haunted Doom-Buggy? YUP! I’m a sucker. So lover or hater, here is some knowledge to make your trip just that much more
1. You can pay to charge your phone way up by the main gate (and return to it an hour later) but there are two better options.
One is a product: a portable, battery-powered charger. Verizon gave me one when I re-upped my last contract. I already had an REI charger, so now I have two. Bring on the midnight closing times! I’m prepared! These can charge your phone while it sits in your Disney fanny pack and you tackle a few lines.
These are awesome because you can unplug all the livelong day and take those needed pictures of your sweet little one descending into Mr. Toad’s hell, and plug it back in for the next line wait. Phew, you didn’t miss a single precious moment.
The second secret is more of a hack — while enjoying your delightful friend chicken dinner at the eatery of your choice, notice that it is 2015 and restaurants have electricity. And outlets line the walls. It’s not exactly a Starbucks with convenient laptops outlets underneath every table, but the last time I was at Disneyland, there were folks plugging in while they ate a few tables away, and no one messed with their phones. Try it. Here is another list of outlets in Disneyland and DCA, but I’ve found they aren’t just standing-room only next to doors, but throughout restaurants like the Carnation Cafe in various spots along the wall near tables.
2. Splash Mountain’s splash is 52.5′ feet high. The pirate ride’s first splash is 52′. But they feel VERY different. Beware.
There are some angle issues here, and frankly, this is very difficult information to find online. Most agree the two (in California) are comparable, but the Splash angle is far more severe than that of the pirate ride.
However, if you watch the ride-throughs, the pirate slide takes about 3-one-thousands to splash down while Splash Mountain takes 4. If it were dropping you more severely, wouldn’t it be shorter? This one might take your own experience and physics input to figure out.
I think there are many bad fact-checkers on these plunges.
3. Ride Jingles. He’s better than your horse.
Jingles is the lead horse on the King Arthur Carousel. He was painted in gold leaf for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland in 2005, and retains the gold bells. He’s dedicated to Julie Andrews, so you can pretend Jingles is your ticket to leaping off the ride and busting out of the park. If anyone can make it happen, it’s Jingles.
4. There are nebulous free-range child policies
Disneyland changed their policy a couple years back and now you have to be 14 to get through the entrance gates unaccompanied. However, once you’re in, it’s every man for himself. You’re probably not going to let the under-14s roam too much without checking in, but let’s just say that if you didn’t want to ride Space Mountain over and over and over, go enjoy a pineapple float and some A/C action over in the Tiki Room. Ride the stylish Lilly Belle car on the train, named after Walt’s wife. The tykes will text you later.
Disneyland is populated like, well, Disneyland. It’s got 20,000 cast members, and can reach 80,000 guests on any given day. Instead of looking at your feet and shuffling through that mess ignorantly, send the kids away, use up your data plan, drop your stomach knowledgeably, and do it all from a gold-leaf saddle. It’s almost fun.