Pixelmania West - Christmas 2023

Discussion in 'PIXELMANIA!' started by ddindy, Dec 29, 2022.

  1. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    The proposed park-of-the morning schedule is Disneyland on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and DCA on Tuesday/Thursday. Once we get past the 11 am park-hopping hurdle, we can hop back and forth as needed. The general idea is to do one park in the morning, the other park in the evening and whatever we want in the afternoon. We should be able to do lots in the morning without Lightning Lanes, so we can stack those reservations in the other park before we get there.

    The River Belle Terrace dining package does not force you to sit on the fence and get wet. I chose to sit next to the fence and ended up getting wet. What the three dining packages give you is access to an area close to the fence; you can choose where you sit or stand in that section. Visit the Fantasmic link that Joanie posted for a map of the viewing locations.

    Cafe Orleans is a cheaper table service alternative to Blue Bayou, mainly if you want to have the famous Monte Cristo as your meal. (It's a cheese sandwich with or without meat, battered and fried like French toast. Yum!) Bengal Barbecue is a quick service restaurant in Adventureland across from Indiana Jones featuring skewers with a variety of meats and/or vegetables.

    We haven't considered most of the other food options in DCA. We can discuss that at the next meeting.

    One question: Do we really need two high-end dining experiences?
    Nancy AK likes this.
  3. Thanks for the clarifications.

    I don't actually know which dining experiences are high-end and which are low rent (kind of like us!), So you'll have to specify as to which restaurants you were talking about...

    I suppose we could post links to the menus and then vote on which our preferences are.

  4. gary

    gary Member

    park starts are mk on monday, wednesday and friday, dca tuesday and thursday, of course keeping in mind we can switch at 11:00 am everyday as needed for lunches/parades etc. using genie for afternoons/evenings, i know i saw a dennis email saying the same thing, but the post didn't show when i just signed on right now
  5. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    I consider Carthay Circle high-end. It's currenly only open for dinner and the Disneyland web site says the average adult meal cost is $35-$60.

    Napa Rose is in the stratospheric tier. Average meal cost is over $60, and they have a dress code:

    Dinner at Napa Rose is an elegant yet laid-back dining experience. Guests are requested to dress in a manner consistent with the restaurant’s wine country ambience.
    Examples of appropriate dinner attire include dress pants, jeans in good condition, collared shirts, dress shorts, sweaters, blouses, dresses and lifestyle shoes. We kindly request no hats, swimwear, tank tops, cutoffs or distressed jeans.
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  6. I'll use this post as a place to store links to restaurants that we are considering. That way everybody can look over the menu and the prices and develop opinions.

    If you have a nomination for a dining location let me know in a future post and then I'll add a link back to this post so we can keep all the dining locations together in one post for easy consideration.

    Trader Sam's https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disneyland-hotel/trader-sams/

    Carthay Circle https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disney-california-adventure/carthay-circle-restaurant/

    Napa Rose https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/grand-californian-hotel/napa-rose/

    Lamplighter lounge. https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disney-california-adventure/lamplight-lounge/

    Cafe Orleans https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disneyland/cafe-orleans/

    Riverbelle Terrace https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disneyland/river-belle-terrace/

    Bengal BBQ.

    Blue Bayou https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disneyland/blue-bayou-restaurant/
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2023
    Nancy AK likes this.
  7. gary

    gary Member

    i would like one sit down meal, and if it can only be 1, friday night would be my preference to pretty much close out the trip, fellowshipping with my friends over memories made and photos taken. since i'm pretty sure i'll want an early bedtime because saturday being an all day travel experience for me. bet you didn't know i had a kumbaya streak in me did you??
    Joanie Eddis-Koch and Nancy AK like this.
  8. Nancy AK

    Nancy AK Member

    I’m good with this plan too.
  9. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    I’m really bummed that this whole idea is out of my Ballpark right now… Haven’t been to California since 2012, really want to go back but family and work commitments would indicate otherwise.

    I’m hoping to be able to retire from the force in 2025, so just need to hold down the fort until then (hopefully.)
  10. gary

    gary Member

    make pixelmania and all will be forgiven
    Joanie Eddis-Koch and Nancy AK like this.
  11. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    At the risk of blowing everyone's travel budget, here are the tours that may or may not be available in December. Tour reservations will be available in mid-October at the same time as dinng reservations.

    Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort
    2.5 hours
    Celebrate this joyous season with a look at how we make the magic shine so bright at both parks of the Disneyland Resort. Your guide for this 2.5-hour walking tour will share favorite Disneyland holiday traditions from around the world. You’ll also enjoy reserved viewing for A Christmas Fantasy Parade, delicious holiday treats, a wonderful wintry ride on “it’s a small world” Holiday and more.

    Walt's Main Street Story
    90 minutes
    On this intimate walking tour, discover hidden details, little-known facts and endearing trivia about Disneyland Park’s magnificent Main Street, U.S.A.
    Listen as your dedicated tour guide regales you with behind-the-scenes stories and enchanting tidbits throughout this 90-minute experience. Plus, learn about special links to Walt Disney’s boyhood town of Marceline, Missouri.
    It all culminates with a visit to Walt’s apartment high above the Disneyland Fire Station in Town Square where Guests will have the chance to enjoy refreshments on the patio—for the first time ever!

    Celebrating Disney100 at the Disneyland Resort Guided Tour
    2 hours
    Discover fascinating stories of The Walt Disney Company from the past and present with a guided tour of iconic locations throughout the Disneyland Resort.

    When I visited Disneyland in December, 2018, I took the holiday tour. It was offered at two different times each day. I later discovered that the first tour viewed the afternoon parade and the second tour viewed the evening parade. I did the early tour and afterward vowed that I would do the later tour the next time. (Sadly, it was a rainy day so the parade was cancelled and replaced by the Rainy Day Christmas Character Bus.)
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  12. I love Christmas so I'd definitely be up for that one. I've been socking away the bucks for this trip so I can afford it. :cool:
    The reserved viewing for the parade, especially at night, sounds like a winner.
    Nancy AK likes this.
  13. Nancy AK

    Nancy AK Member

    Dennis, thanks for posting this information.
    I would like to do the Holiday Tour, is this tied to a dining type reservation or you can just pick which tour you want - the early or later one?
  14. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    In 2018 I selected the desired date and time when I made my reservation. Given that the tour could sell out quickly, we may want to decide which day(s) we want to go on the tour and keep trying until we get one. The early tour in 2018 was at 12:45 pm. Based on the parade times (3:30 and 6 pm), I'm guessing that the second tour was at 3:15 pm. Both times are after the current park hopping time, so we can do it any day of the week. October 12 is when we can try to get a tour on Monday, December 12. Since a lot has changed in the last five years, there is no guarantee that there will be two tours per day this year. We should know for sure well in advance of October 12.

    Here is what my notes from 2018 have to say:

    "The tour is based on the 1962 Disney special Holiday Time in Disneyland. We went to DCA for a lap around the park, looking at the different holiday decorations. On the way out we stopped at Trolley Treats for some peppermint fudge. We went back to Disneyland to take a lap of that park, again looking at and hearing about the different holiday decorations. This was followed by a ride on the it's a small world with the holiday overlay. The tour ended with reserved seating for the 3:30 Christmas parade. Due to rainy weather, the parade was replaced by the Rainy Day Cavalcade which consisted of a car carrying Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and two North Pole elves, a second car with Mickey and Minnie in their Christmas sweaters and finally the double-decker omnibus with an assortment of Disney and Pixar characters on top and princes and princesses on the lower level. (Aurora blew me a kiss!) We had all the hot cocoa we could drink and a gingerbread cookie. We got to keep the souvenir cup and also received the obligatory tour pin. As a special bonus, they gave us an any-ride FastPass as compensation for the lack of a parade."​

    Holiday Time in Disneyland is not on Disney+, but it is on YouTube.
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  15. gary

    gary Member

    i too would like the holiday tour
    Joanie Eddis-Koch likes this.
  16. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    OK, that's four Holiday tours. The next decision is how we can reserve the tours while we're at Pixelmania. Since we have to pay in advance, that complicates things.
    Joanie Eddis-Koch likes this.
  17. I'll be driving down for 18 hours all the way to Orlando on that day. I don't know how I could stop and stay on the phone and do that unless I could do it for my car.

  18. Nancy AK

    Nancy AK Member

    What day can we make the tour reservations?
  19. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    @Joanie Eddis-Koch Tour reservations can be made on the Disneyland web site. I'll also be driving south that day, but there are plenty of exits and a rest area or two that I can stop at.

    @Nancy AK Tour reservations, like dining reservations, are available up to 60 days in advance. That means Thursday, October 12 is the first day we can make a reservation for Monday, Dec. 11. I believe that reservations become available at 6 am PST which is 9 am EST.

    One option is for one person to make the reservations for all of us. We still have time to work out the details.
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  20. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    If you are ordering your park ticket from Disney, it looks like the first day that you can buy a ticket and make park reservations for Dec. 11-15 is on August 17. It is 120 days from August 17 to Dec. 15 and they only allow you to make park reservations 120 days in advance. You must make your initial park reservations when you purchase your ticket from the Disneyland web site.

    The parks of the day are Disneyland/DCA/Disneyland/DCA/Disneyland.

    Here are the revised important dates:
    • Sunday August 13: Purchase tickets and make park reservations for Dec. 11-15 from Disneyland web site
    • Make dining and tour reservations at 9 am EDT:
      • Wednesday Oct. 11 for Sunday Dec. 10
      • Thursday Oct. 12 for Monday Dec. 11
      • Friday Oct 13 for Tuesday Dec 12
      • Saturday Oct 14 for Wednesday Dec. 13
      • Sunday Oct. 15 for Thursday Dec. 14
      • Monday Oct. 16 for Friday Dec. 15
    • Monday October 30: Park hours available for Dec. 11

    I looked at the historic park information at TouringPlans.com and found these schedules for last December. With luck, this years schedule will be similar.

    • Park Hours: 8:00am - 12:00am
    • A Christmas Fantasy Parade at 3:30pm and 6:30pm
    • Fantasmic! at 9:00pm and 10:30pm
    • Believe... In Holiday Magic at 9:30pm

    • Park Hours: 8:00am - 10:00pm
    • Mickey's Happy Holidays at 12:20pm. 1:45pm, 3:45pm and 5:15pm
    • World of Color - One at 9:00pm and 10:15pm
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