Disneyland/Radiator Springs Racers
QUESTION: Hi Steve.
My family and I will be at DL 10/21-24. We plan on spending Tues at DCA. We haven't been there in two years, and I'd like to know what the best plan is for riding Radiator Springs Racers. Should we try to jump in line right away, or fastpass it?
Also, I read somewhere that the Halloween merchandise is on sale during the trick or treat parties. Any idea if that is true?
ANSWER: Hi Colleen,
Getting on RSR is sometimes a last-moment decision. The best way to do it is to get there about an hour before opening, so that you can get into Disney California Adventure 30 minutes before opening. By then, a crowd is usually at the "rope drop" point, between Buena Vista Street and Bug's Land. You can either join the herd that is herded down Route 66 when the park officially opens, or you can get in the line for fast passes. If you have a "runner", you can do both: Send one to the FP line, and the others can get into the crowd for the first run of the day.
If the line for FP's is long, don't worry. I've been in that line when it reached Hollywood Land and stretched past the Disney Junior theater. It took about 20 minutes to get my FP's, but it was worth it. It's also a bit of insurance, in case the ride has morning sickness.
I've noticed that the ride is sometimes prone to breaking down in the morning, so FP's are good insurance. It has worked out on several occasions, where RSR doesn't open right away, and getting the FP's were just the ticket.
As for Halloween merchandise, it's already in stores. In fact, they sometimes run out by mid-late October. It's in all the stores right now, and most of the stock should still be in the stores like the Emporium for that week.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks Steve. I think we will use a "runner" for the fastpasses.
With the fastpasses, have you noticed that they are enforcing the time frame on the ticket for most rides now?
As for the Halloween merchandise, have you seen it discounted, like 15% off during the trick or treat parties?
Thanks for the info! We are looking forward to our trip. The last time we visited during Halloweentime was Oct 2010, and I'm hoping that there will be even more decorations and surprises!
Yes, they are enforcing the return times for the rides, especially RSR. This has been a bit disappointing, and I would have preferred that Disney would have enforced this from the outset, rather than being loosey-goosey and then clamping down later.
As for merchandise discounts, I have not seen any discounts at all during Mickey's Halloween Party (or any of its previous iterations). In fact, I usually see premium pricing! The only exception is an occasional, unannounced discount period around the holidays. If you buy something at a quick service restaurant in the morning, you get a receipt with a coupon for 15% off or even 20% off if you buy merchandise before a certain time, such as noon. I don't recall seeing this at the Halloween events, since they are always in the evening, and the promo is in the morning or at lunch. At least, that's when we see the receipt/coupons.
To be honest, I rarely even notice the coupon, since we are passholders and get a nice discount anyways.
I think you'll like the decos for fall. I've always liked the fall decoration scheme. I do miss the Candy Corn theme that they had at the old DCA, but it has been replaced by an equally creative scheme. I think I like Main Street the best.
As someone who has ridden all the rides more times than I can count, I really like the special character meet and greets during the Halloween Party. The characters have special costumes (like vampire Mickey), or you get to see villains you hardly ever see (like Hades from Hercules). You also get to see a special fireworks show (that used to be available to all, in the mid-2000's, but is now exclusive to the Halloween Party).
You'll be quite amazed at the transformation of DCA. When it first opened, it really was the ugly stepsister to Disneyland Park. Now it's a full princess in its own right, with the addition of Cars Land and the Buena Vista Street upgrade, as well as the World of Color Show (can't miss that).