20,000 – 30,000 or more! That is the average number of steps Disneyland guests take PER DAY! That is between 10 – 12 miles of walking. After that many steps, plus the hours of standing, my poor feet start squawking by about 3:00 in the afternoon.
Disneyland’s new MaxPass system is sure to help those aching feet and put a smile on everyone’s face with the ease and convenience of obtaining digital FastPasses without the hassle of walking all over the parks.
With the old FastPass system, guests needed to visit the FastPass distribution kiosk near an attraction, insert each guest’s park ticket and retrieve a paper FastPass with a return time. Often times, one family member was assigned the task of fetching FastPasses, thus splitting up your group for a period of time. Guests would then visit other attractions or shows until their given return time. This entailed a lot of extra walking between attractions and time spent waiting in FastPass kiosk lines.
With Disneyland’s MaxPass, the extra time, effort and energy to obtain a FastPass is no more! Guests can keep their party together, eliminate hundreds of extra steps and spend their time enjoying the magic of the parks.
MaxPass is an extra paid option that allows guests access to all of their digital PhotoPass images as well as the opportunity to make digital FastPass selections from the convenience of a smart phone. The current pricing for MaxPass is $10 per person per day.
As a park guest planning my own personal trip for a family of 5, I really questioned whether I should spend the extra $50 per day. This seemed like a lot of extra money that I really had not put in my original budget. After doing some research and reading other reviews, I decided to try the system for one day. I can tell you now, after having spent three days using MaxPass, it was well worth the extra money for each day!
Here is how the MaxPass system works.
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas and will prove to be a highlight of your Bahamian or Caribbean sailing. There are currently 23 port adventures available, ranging from tube and snorkel rentals to the amazing Sting Ray Encounter and Parasailing Adventure. Castaway Cay offers families a wonderful island beach day, and what better way to explore an island than on two wheels?!
For the young and young at heart, the anticipation of meeting a favorite character on their Disney vacation can make them simply giddy! Yes, Disney vacations are about family time, rides, great food and shows, but we all have our hopes set on meeting a special character and getting their autograph.
Characters appear throughout the Disney parks and ships, at certain restaurants and locations that can be found in your Times Guide or Personal Navigator. Other times, characters appear randomly.
Here are some important tips to remember about meeting characters and getting autographs:
As our family has grown up with Disney vacations, we have found different types of magic with every trip. When my children were babes, it was the lights, sparkle and music of the parks. When they were preschool age, the Princesses meant everything. Now that my girls are a bit older and more “at home in the parks”, they really wanted to learn more about the history and secrets of their favorite attractions. This is when I began researching Hidden Mickeys and have since come to love the adventure of this treasure hunt!
An official Hidden Mickey is defined as “a partial or complete impression of Mickey Mouse placed by the Imagineers and artists to blend into the designs of Disney attractions, hotels, restaurants, and other areas.” (http://www.hiddenmickeyguy.com/) Disney historians will tell you that Hidden Mickeys came about in the late 1970’s as Epcot was being built. The “higher-ups” in Disney wanted Mickey and Minnie to stay in Magic Kingdom. However, the Imagineers felt differently and began leaving Hidden Mickeys for guests to find.
The holiday season in the Disney parks has been raved about as one of the most magical times to visit. Not being one to miss out on anything Disney, let alone anything “more magical”, we booked our first holiday visit to Disneyland.
Upon our arrival to the Disneyland Hotel, we were in awe of the massive gingerbread house. The spirit of the season surrounded us as a group of Dickens carolers filled the lobby with Christmas songs and the holiday decorations delighted our senses.
As a huge Disney Parks fan, I get butterflies and that giddy feeling all through the planning process, but it definitely peaks after walking through the entrance to any of the Disney Parks. I have learned that surprises can be around any corner. I have also learned that more surprises come my way when I make an extra effort to engage with Disney Cast Members.
I love chatting with ride operators, restaurant servers and hotel staff. They all have different stories to tell about how they began their career with Disney, their favorite parts of their job, experiences with guests and fun hints and tidbits of information you may not know about.
My philosophy on how I spend time in the parks has changed over the years. Initially, our family was all about the rides and characters. How many autographs we can get in our book, how many rides did we go on, how many shows did we see? Not that we won’t make time to hit all of the attractions, even doing our favorites 4 or 5 times, but we also like to seek out the lesser known gems and soak up all the magic that Cast Members can offer.
On our last visit to California Adventure Park, we walked into a shop called Off the Page.
This is your first sailing with Disney Cruise Line and you want to get in on as much of the magic as you can!
Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your vacation:
** It is your long awaited vacation. Diets are out the window and it is time to live it up! Disney Cruise Line offers 24 complimentary room service (please be sure to tip your server!), so each night before bed, order a plate of chocolate chip cookies and milk.
** A late night dinner buffet may be served on Pirate Night, complete with the famous Disney turkey legs. Other cruises may offer a late night dessert buffet! Note: late night buffets are on select sailings, check your personal Navigator for details.
Concierge Agent with Wishes Family Travel, Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Agency
Enjoy the Wishes Family Travel Blog!