Destination Vinylmation at D23 and Disneyland

This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

Nick and MC are headed across the country to the D23 Expo and Disneyland. We will be at D23 most of the day Saturday and all day Sunday. Then onto Disneyland on Monday and California Adventure on Tuesday.

Copyright Disney

I can’t wait! We have never been to Disneyland, and we have limited time, so we want to know what should we see? What rides are must dos? Where should we eat? (limited post Florida Project RSP and D23 Expo budget remember) Where should we NOT eat? Any info would be wonderful! I don’t want to be rushed, I want to be able to enjoy the park and take lots and lots of pictures. Are there some tips on Fast Passes and order of rides?

Copyright Disney

We also would like to meet as many DV readers and listeners as we can, so let us know if you’ll be around! Also check out our vinylmationcast twitter to see where we are throughout the weekend!

Copyright Disney

And don’t worry, we plan on doing a Podcast Sunday night after the Expo. If anyone wants to help with that, please let us know. Also, stay tuned to this site for updates throughout the weekend. If you need to read up on D23, what it is and the Vinylmation expected there, check out D23 Explained.

I don’t know about you, but there are times when planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming! There are so many options, where to stay, when to go, is this the best price. So, I want to introduce you all to Cindy Minor and the team at Small World Big Fun. They will help you plan your Disney vacation for FREE. Contact them today!

About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.

12 Comments

Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I would suggest prioritizing those attractions which you don’t have at WDW, or in a couple cases ones that are better at DLR.
    (Namely Space Mountain & Pirates of the Caribbean)

    Might want to get a Fast Pass for Space Mountain or Indiana Jones. The one unfortunate thing is that the Matterhorn is closed for refurb right now.

    I hope you guys have a great time!

  • I prefer Disneyland over WDW any day, food alone is one reason. You absolutely must get beignets from the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. And in California Adventure the Cove Bar for Lobster Nachos is the best kept secret in the resort, it is the bar connected to Ariel’s Grotto. In DL would eat at Cafe Orleans for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo crepes, or blueberry pie and the Hungry Bear in Critter Country. Also for a good quick service, try the Chicken Braut with Saurkraut on a Pretzel Roll in Pinocchio Village Haus.

    DL is awesome, ride both sides of the Matterhorn and fall victim to the Goat Effect on Thunder Mountain. And be sure to spend some time in the Animation room at CA, it is just a nice place to relax and enjoy some Disney Magic. Have fun and hopefully I will see you guys at the Florida Project, I will be in WDW Sept 2-12

  • You have to do Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom hands down. As mentioned above Disneyland’s Pirates and Space Mountain is much more superior then WDW. The Disneyland monorail is different from WDW as it goes through Tomorrowland which is a pretty cool. In Fantsyland I would recommend Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, ALice in Wonderland and, the Story Book Canal boats. IF you have the chance go see Fantasmic and World of Color with World of Color being a higher priority.

  • Michael Godfrey :
    I prefer Disneyland over WDW any day, food alone is one reason. You absolutely must get beignets from the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. And in California Adventure the Cove Bar for Lobster Nachos is the best kept secret in the resort, it is the bar connected to Ariel’s Grotto. In DL would eat at Cafe Orleans for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo crepes

    I agree the beignets at Jazz Kitchen are a must, an excellent spot for breakfast before the parks open. I also agree with Cafe Orleans the food is excellent and the prices are more reasonable than the muched hyped Blue Bayou. Also, I would suggest the Carnation Cafe on Main Street in Disneyland. The Loaded Baked Potato Soup is so good!

    As for attractions, you have to hit up as many Fantasyland attractions as you can. Disneyland’s Fantasyland blows away WDW’s by comparison. I also enjoy Disneyland’s Space Mountain which is noticeably different than the WDW version. At DCA hit up Soarin’ because I enjoy it a little more considering you are actually in California and makes the ride a little more authenthic though it is the same movie that plays at Epcot.

  • All these suggestions are good, although as a caveat to the Cove Bar, I would get the chicken wings there as well because they have this unique blend of sweet and spice to them, very tasty. Anyways, if you are looking to weigh 400 pounds after the day, I would say you need –nay, you must!– stop by Corndog Castle in California Adventure. It’s right next to the newly opened Goofy’s Sky School. They have hotlink corndogs there!! The things are huge and food-coma worthy. They also have a cheese corndog, but it’s literally just cheese inside batter shaped like a corndog and that decadence can only be handled if you are sharing it w/ someone else and in conjunction with an also shared hotlink corndog, in my humble experience. :)

  • I would say for DL: Definately fastpass Star Tours (over a 90 minute wait unless it’s the first thing you hit as soon as the park opens), Indiana Jones, and Space Mountain. These are the most sought after rides it seems. Thunder Mountain is an OK wait, but worth fastpassing as well. POTC always looks like a LONG line, but it moves quickly so don’t fret if you get there in the afternoon. Never waited more than 30 mins in that line. Haunted Mansion is a good thing to hit after dark (during fantasmic when the lines are short) as it adds to the spookiness.
    For CA Adventure: I would start at Paradise Pier as it is one of the most popular areas. I don’t think Toy Story has a fastpass option, so hit it early in the AM as the lines can be atrocious in the afternoon. *tip* if you want to catch world of color, get your fastpass first thing in the morning by the River Run, or buy a VERY expensive, but amazing dinner from Ariel’s Grotto to get a FP for the prefferred seating area. Do the rapids in the heat of the day because you will get SOAKED and will enjoy the heat afterward.
    Food: You can’t miss at either park, I have never had a bad dining experience, it’s got some of the best food anywhere. Alot of CA Adventure’s food is gone because of construction, but Downtown Disney has alot of amazing food, and DL has alot as well (my favorite cheap lunch is chili in a bread bowl at the Golden Horshoe in Frontierland).

  • Just got back from a trip to WDW i can say both have different great things to offer. Some rides were better than ours so u can skip if u’re limited on time. It shouldnt be too crowded when u go so you would have time to ride most of everything if u wanted to. but here’s some things you should check out. if you guys have time to relax ride the RAILROAD it goes around all the lands.

    DCA- definitely FP World of Color.
    ride Little Mermaid line goes by fast
    and if theres time the Aladdin show is a must.

    DLR – FANTASMIC! Way more epic than WDW. Watch the later showings where is less crowded.

    Fantasyland* – Alice in wonderland
    Mr. toad
    casey train
    (Wdw didnt have any of those and the rest wdw was better)
    Small world is better here too.

    NEW ORLEANS* – Pirates (if u ride later at night..shorter lines)

    ADVENTURELAND- Indiana Jones
    jungle Cruise
    (Try some bengal bbq *skewers* right across)

    Tomorrowland* – Buzz Astro Orbitor
    – Finding Nemo (like the one in epcot but you’re in a submarine)

  • Oh how did I forget this! First thing in the morning, head up to the Main Street Train Station and ask for a ride on the Lilly Belle. They will give you a time to come back, this is a can’t miss item to do.

  • theres so much you can do.. but heres a HUGE FASTPASS TIP! the fastpass will say “return between 12pm – 1pm” for example.. heres a secret, they will accept the fastpass ANY TIME after the first hour, in this example you can get back on the ride ANY TIME after 12pm, so 1pm is ok, 3pm is okay, 9pm is okay.. theyll accept it, ive NEVER had a problem with that.. hence why we get a fastpass for space mountain in the morning and save it til the night.

  • OK, I don’t think WDW has this, what about the World of Color show at DCA? It is a MUST SEE! Corn dogs next tot he Plaza Inn at DLR, also the Plaza Inn for fried chicken is the best food value anywhere in the parks. Avoid chain restaurants in DTD like House of Blues and ESPN Zone, they are disappointing.

  • The two must sees that DL has that WDW doesn’t is Indiana Jones and Roger Rabbit.

    Skip Splash Mountain and Tower of Terror, the WDW versions are better.

Fantasy Strollers

Latest Videos