April/May 2019: Seven Kinds of Crazy - in progress!

fivelittles

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Hello! I'm loving your report and will be following along. I too have five kiddos and live in Az! Mine are older than yours (youngest is 6) so I have to tell you that the Disney trips get sooo much easier as they get older! I read your stories of past trips and I remember how hard it used to be. We went in 2013 when my youngest was a baby and while we had an incredible time we didn't go back for five years because it was so much work! We went again last summer for five days and had SUCH a great time. We had so much fun that we're going again this spring break to take advantage of the promotion. I can't believe we're going again so quickly. We've done trips every summer (beach, sightseeing, etc) and Disneyland has actually become the easiest now that they're older. So tell DH that there is hope for those Disney trips to become more enjoyable! Our older 3 went off together when they wanted to do other things and my husband and I could just take the little 2 to do stuff that bored the older ones. There's something for everyone- which is hard with a big family. The hardest part is finding a hotel! Haha
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Hello! I'm loving your report and will be following along. I too have five kiddos and live in Az! Mine are older than yours (youngest is 6) so I have to tell you that the Disney trips get sooo much easier as they get older! I read your stories of past trips and I remember how hard it used to be. We went in 2013 when my youngest was a baby and while we had an incredible time we didn't go back for five years because it was so much work! We went again last summer for five days and had SUCH a great time. We had so much fun that we're going again this spring break to take advantage of the promotion. I can't believe we're going again so quickly. We've done trips every summer (beach, sightseeing, etc) and Disneyland has actually become the easiest now that they're older. So tell DH that there is hope for those Disney trips to become more enjoyable! Our older 3 went off together when they wanted to do other things and my husband and I could just take the little 2 to do stuff that bored the older ones. There's something for everyone- which is hard with a big family. The hardest part is finding a hotel! Haha
Thanks for the encouragement! I'm hoping this one will be quite a bit better than the last one! And yes, it's not easy to find an affordable place to stay with such an entourage. :) I know that gets easier as you have kids that are better about sleeping in different places too though! I am thinking the next time we plan a trip our kids will be older and it will be harder for them to miss school, so we'll probably be looking at a spring break trip too. All the busy-ness of summer, but hopefully with parks ready to handle it, and with cooler weather than summer time! :) My brother's family is going next week, so my SIL and I were just having a good time talking about Disney for the last couple hours!
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Today (and the last two days) my brother and sister-in-law are at Disney with their three oldest kids. They look like they're having a blast, and I appreciate all the instagram stories/Marco Polos she's been sending because she knows I love them. At the same time, it makes me a little grumpy that -I'm- not at Disney. So silly. But anyway, I'm excited to go over and pick her brain a little when they get back to see what they liked/disliked about one-park-per-day and how everything went down.
Yesterday I was in a bit of a slump, so I finally went and picked out ribbon (I couldn't decide between ribbon, which I'm more comfortable with, or trying to make fabric bows) to make all our coordinating bows for the headbands I downgraded from Grad 2018 ears. :) So with the ears, fabric paint, and ribbon (and several hours) I ended up paying $20 total for these 4 sets of ears that are now super customizable with whatever bows or accessories we want to craft onto clips. (They're the same ones I used four our Santa Hats in late November with my sister)


I like them! I just can't decide if I like the side bow better or the middle bow. Thoughts? I'm leaning towards side, but my 8-year-old prefers the middle.



I also visited the Disney Outlet that's local here in Mesa/Tempe when they had all the Disney Store clearance an additional 25% off plus 25% off my total purchase (Friends and Family) and got all of this for $45. I probably don't need it all, but I'm excited about the cute little Mickey bag, and I had been looking for a jacket for my DD11 that would go with our colors, so I was excited about that. Though I would have preferred if it was a zip up one, or a less-easily-stained color.


I've been going back and forth about doing our California Adventure day on Monday or on Tuesday (which would forfeit our MM, but it's nice to start and end with DL). But I just realized that the Avengers Assemble event is not Monday and Tuesday, but Tuesday and Wednesday! Which means that it makes much more sense to start with CA on Monday, to avoid the end-of-the-day crowding that will happen when that crowd starts mixing in. That will also mean we don't see any fireworks Monday night (which would maybe be the only night they'd show with Mickey's Mix Magic) but I'm willing to forego that. We'll also get to bed earlier, which will make our early entry the next day easier to accomplish. I don't want to run DH ragged by "burning the candle at both ends," haha. :)
 
  • AJA55

    My very special Custom Title has gone away..sad.
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2002
    Only 45.00? Great shopping Jaina!!

    Oh... my vote? I'm classic and like to bow in the middle. You can see the ears better too.

    See my picture....haha.....
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    The good thing about everyone having their bow in a different spot is that it will make each headband easy to identify -- everyone will know right away which headband is theirs!
     
  • FeistyDisneyMom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2019
    Those headbands are so cute! I think both side and middle are fabulous. I'd probably go with side too! I love your outlet store haul - the Mickey bag and the sweatshirt look like things I should go find right now!

    I am kind of surprised the Avengers event is Tues/Wed, but that does simplify things for you. They are planning on fireworks for MMM the entire week we are there, so maybe it'll still be running nightly during your visit! If not, it is mainly a dance party vs a firework show anyway, so I am sure you will have lots of fun.
     

    disneymouse16

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 2, 2011
    After your response to my thread about which days to visit I found your PTR! Maybe we will see you there since we are going the exact same dates! I have four kiddos but am excited to be taking a trip with just my oldest DD(6). I'm waiting anxiously for the official times and schedule for the time we are there!

    I love your shirts, especially the blue ones!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    After your response to my thread about which days to visit I found your PTR! Maybe we will see you there since we are going the exact same dates! I have four kiddos but am excited to be taking a trip with just my oldest DD(6). I'm waiting anxiously for the official times and schedule for the time we are there!

    I love your shirts, especially the blue ones!
    That would be fun! If you see our crew (we should be easy to spot with the matchy shirts, haha) say hi! And yes, I'm obsessively checking the schedule each day as a new day is available because I'm so nervous that BTMR or Guardians is going to be down, haha. :) And very anxious to see our hours so I can more concrete plans!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    There has been so much going on with my trip planning this last week, but it's been a busy week in general, and I just haven't had time to sit down and type any of it out. I only have a few minutes right now, but I'm going to try to give a quick update! The first half of this week our dates were finally available on Disney's calendar, so we got to see what was scheduled to be under refurbishment, and what the hours were. I was pleasantly surprised to see that official opening for both parks is 9 AM every day, with CA closing at 9 PM and DL at 11 PM. And there's nothing that is a big deal for us on the refurbishment list. (Mostly just the castle and the Silly Symphony Swings) It's so nice to have that figured out at least! Our last two family trips, the parks opened at 10 AM so I'm a feeling unsure about the crowd levels Disney is expecting, but we know what we're doing, have MaxPass, and most importantly, don't have an infant in tow this time! So we'll be fine. Soundsational is every day at 6 PM (That is a must do for us - does anyone know how early we might need to find a spot if we'd like to be on the curb? Or how early they let us set up with a small blanket with 1-2 people sitting with it?) We may not make WoC the first night. I'm more interested in making our 8 AM Magic Morning the next day, so we need to get to bed by 9/10. Actually, DH said he's okay going back to the room around 7 every night with the two littles while the bigger 3 (12, 11, and almost-9) stay for a couple hours, so that's kind of awesome. Disneyland wears him out pretty good between all the walking and all the stimulation of the crowds and our own little crowd. Mickey's Mix Magic doesn't have fireworks any of those 3 nights, so they're not planning on it being too busy? It will be so interesting to see! I did buy our last two tickets this month, so that was exciting!


    I also had an extra white t-shirt in DD2's size, and made this little back up shirt (because 2-year-old) that I'm kind of in love with.


    And after several days of deliberation I finally ordered this shirt from Etsy to go with this set of shirts (instead of that red one with the black mickey head). I really hope it fits; I've never ordered a shirt like that without being able to try it on. I super love the sentiment and the design though, so we'll see in a week or so!



    Also, I changed our hotel. I know, shocker. We booked an almost identical room arrangement (king sized bed in one room, dividing door, and a pull out couch/bunk bed set up in the other room, but at the Cortona Inn & Suites instead of the Best Western Plus Raffles. It's ever-so-slightly closer, but they were having a sale on their site where you got 15% off if you booked more than 3 nights, plus they have free parking. Their breakfast doesn't look quite as good, but it still has some hot items. And we saved over $100, so that's a quick service meal or so for the 7 of us in parks, haha!





    5 Weeks from today we will be in Anaheim!! We're toying with the idea of coming out the night before, or coming halfway maybe and staying at an airbnb and doing a few hours at the beach Sunday late afternoon. We looked at adding that Saturday night to our reservation, but it removed the 15% discount when we tried it plus added like $250, so it was a $450-ish difference! No, thanks... We'll see how our plans turn out by then though. My parents have been living in Hawaii on a church mission the last year, and they're moving back home and arriving the day before the kids and I will be home, so I'd love to get back early-ish Thursday so we can see them before they drive the 3 hours to their house from where we live/the airport. So if we did the beach Sunday late afternoon, I wouldn't have to worry about trying to squish it into Thursday morning before the kids and I drove home that day, which would be less stressful for sure. Our other option is just having everything ready to go and leaving the house about 6:30 Sunday morning. I like that option too, because travel with little kids always goes better early in the day... Whatever we decide, I'm super excited that it's getting closer!!!
     
  • Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Woohoo! 25 days until we leave, and my Etsy shirt arrived today! I was so nervous that it wouldn't fit well (which matters more with a white shirt, haha) but it's fine, and super cute!


    So our last set of shirts is complete. DH's really isn't the same grey, but he liked it, (he speaks some Spanish too, and definitely likes Toy Story/Buzz) and it was a good price, so... There won't be many pictures of us all together anyway, but my goal is to at least have some!

    I am getting so excited, especially hearing that the dinosaurs are back, and that Jessie's Critter Carousel is up and running! You guys, it's going to be so much fun!!!
    My husband and I started taking a personal finance self reliance class at church last week, and the timing is not ideal. :rotfl2: He's going to Hawaii to visit my parents for a few days next week before they move home (but he got a really good deal on one flight, was able to use Southwest points on the other, and won't have many other expenses while there), we're going to Disneyland the end of the month (but 3/4 of the trip is already paid for or we have cash saved for - really just the $650 for the hotel that we'll need to get paid off the month after). And then we had like 8 packages arrive today. Whoops! (They were all ordered before we started tracking everything better, and were mostly things we needed, but still... the shirt was that cute package! :) )


    I also have had my eye on the cute Loungefly backpacks pretty much since they came out, but could never justify the price when I'm not a purse person, and didn't know how much I would use a little backpack like that. But I have been working in my husband's office a lot (okay, only 6-7 hours a week, but that's a lot with 5 young kids and no real childcare - I usually sneak over during the 2-year-old's nap time when the 12-year-old is home) since November (when his assistant quit) and he wanted me to order one because he appreciates all my help, even though it's made family life slightly more chaotic. So I ordered this, and it should be here in a few days. It was hard to choose, but I love Groot!! The eBay listing said new without tags, and I saved over $10 vs ordering from Amazon, so we'll see!


    I need to start making more concrete (though we always stay flexible) plans for our days, so I guess my next posts will be about that!
     

    StarlitNight05

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2016
    Woohoo! 25 days until we leave, and my Etsy shirt arrived today! I was so nervous that it wouldn't fit well (which matters more with a white shirt, haha) but it's fine, and super cute!


    So our last set of shirts is complete. DH's really isn't the same grey, but he liked it, (he speaks some Spanish too, and definitely likes Toy Story/Buzz) and it was a good price, so... There won't be many pictures of us all together anyway, but my goal is to at least have some!

    I am getting so excited, especially hearing that the dinosaurs are back, and that Jessie's Critter Carousel is up and running! You guys, it's going to be so much fun!!!
    My husband and I started taking a personal finance self reliance class at church last week, and the timing is not ideal. :rotfl2: He's going to Hawaii to visit my parents for a few days next week before they move home (but he got a really good deal on one flight, was able to use Southwest points on the other, and won't have many other expenses while there), we're going to Disneyland the end of the month (but 3/4 of the trip is already paid for or we have cash saved for - really just the $650 for the hotel that we'll need to get paid off the month after). And then we had like 8 packages arrive today. Whoops! (They were all ordered before we started tracking everything better, and were mostly things we needed, but still... the shirt was that cute package! :) )


    I also have had my eye on the cute Loungefly backpacks pretty much since they came out, but could never justify the price when I'm not a purse person, and didn't know how much I would use a little backpack like that. But I have been working in my husband's office a lot (okay, only 6-7 hours a week, but that's a lot with 5 young kids and no real childcare - I usually sneak over during the 2-year-old's nap time when the 12-year-old is home) since November (when his assistant quit) and he wanted me to order one because he appreciates all my help, even though it's made family life slightly more chaotic. So I ordered this, and it should be here in a few days. It was hard to choose, but I love Groot!! The eBay listing said new without tags, and I saved over $10 vs ordering from Amazon, so we'll see!


    I need to start making more concrete (though we always stay flexible) plans for our days, so I guess my next posts will be about that!
    Cute! Love your shirt. Etsy is great (but dangerous)!

    I have that Groot bag! My Mom had gotten it for me as a gift for watching their cat last year when they went to DLR. It's soooo cute. I'm very tempted to get the matching wallet!
     

    sunshiinedaydream

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2014
    My family of 4 are going to be in the parks May1-4, maybe we’ll see your matchy shirts on your last day and our first! And we ALSO live in the Phoenix metro area (Gilbert)! I checked out the Disney outlet at Mills mall this past weekend and didn’t find anything at all. Wish I had found a great haul like you :headache: My sons are almost 4 and 20 mo and my DH and I are 31. I almost booked Cortana through our Costco travel package but went with the Courtyard Convention Center. Thinking of taking the TS lot bus. Any tips on using maxpass and what to pull first in each park? We are thinking DL Wednesday, then DCA for 2 days, then DL again Saturday with MM. Does EMH make DCA unbearable those days for regular folk? My older son is 40” so I’m stoked he can go on some of the thrill rides! Of course someone will have to stay behind with the littlest guy, I think I’ll have FOMO no matter which boy I have at a time :teeth:
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    ... Does EMH make DCA unbearable those days for regular folk?..
    EE actually doesn't affect non-EE guests too badly if you are at DCA for rope drop. EE (that's what it is for DCA -- EMH is for DL) is only for on site guests, so it is much more limited in scope than EMH/MM at DL. But with Spring Break, certain FPs have been running out surprisingly early at DCA (e.g. RSR FPs gone before 11 am!), so make sure to book those early if you want them. Otherwise, maybe you and your DH could take turns using Single Rider lines for some rides? That would let you get repeat rides on certain headliners if you already have FPs, e.g. IC, RSR, SM, etc.
     
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    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    My family of 4 are going to be in the parks May1-4, maybe we’ll see your matchy shirts on your last day and our first! And we ALSO live in the Phoenix metro area (Gilbert)! I checked out the Disney outlet at Mills mall this past weekend and didn’t find anything at all. Wish I had found a great haul like you :headache: My sons are almost 4 and 20 mo and my DH and I are 31. I almost booked Cortana through our Costco travel package but went with the Courtyard Convention Center. Thinking of taking the TS lot bus. Any tips on using maxpass and what to pull first in each park? We are thinking DL Wednesday, then DCA for 2 days, then DL again Saturday with MM. Does EMH make DCA unbearable those days for regular folk? My older son is 40” so I’m stoked he can go on some of the thrill rides! Of course someone will have to stay behind with the littlest guy, I think I’ll have FOMO no matter which boy I have at a time :teeth:
    How fun! We will be in Disneyland on Wednesday the 1st, and wearing the grey/red/white shirts I just posted above! Please DO say hi if you happen to see us!! (And offer to take a whole family picture for us, which is one of my priorities this time - as many of those as possible! I'm always happy to return the favor!) I'm really hoping the spring break crowds will calm by that week, and that there will be breathing room. But we're just going to plan on it being busy, and hopefully be pleasantly surprised... I agree with theluckyrabbit above: EMH isn't as big of a deal at California Adventure, and when we started our day there in December on a Monday, we still felt like the first hour or two was great. I would make sure you have the Disneyland app downloaded already, and glance at it throughout the day a few days so you have an idea of what rides (that you're interested in) are gone soonest. RSR is one I keep a close eye on, because on busy days it can be gone by 10 AM, but I don't feel like it's a good use of time to pull it first thing, because then you're waiting a full 90 minutes for your next pass usually. I think Casey's suggestions at Disneyland Daily (https://disneylanddaily.com/how-to-start-your-day-at-the-disneyland-resort/ ) on "How to Start Your Day" (at either park, and with or without littles) will give a good idea of which rides are more important to hit early (or get Maxpass for early vs later), even if you're mixing smaller kid rides with bigger ones. Our first day, in California Adventure, I'm planning to grab a FP for Toy Story Midway Mania first, then we'll probably rope drop over there are ride it standby first, then use our Maxpass to ride it again (since I know it will be a favorite of my kids, and since I'm not willing to stand in that line later in the day!) Then grab a FP for Incredicoaster probably if it will be soon enough, since we're right there. We will also use Rider Switch on that one, and have anyone who wants to ride twice go right then. Then we'll see if RSR is a good time yet, and either grab that one, or Guardians (that's going to be another huge favorite) if it's going to be up soon enough that I feel that we can still grab a RSR FP. So I would take advantage of Rider Switch when it makes sense, and single rider when it doesn't. Though that line can sometimes take longer, occasionally. For Disneyland I think it matter less, except I've noticed Big Thunder Mountain usually has fastpasses available much later in the day than Space, Star Tours, or Indiana Jones. The other FP rides are less likely to run out quickly. I say see what your priorities are, and make sure you get those done early in the day. But those outlines on Disneyland Daily are a really good place to start.
     

    sunshiinedaydream

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2014
    How fun! We will be in Disneyland on Wednesday the 1st, and wearing the grey/red/white shirts I just posted above! Please DO say hi if you happen to see us!! (And offer to take a whole family picture for us, which is one of my priorities this time - as many of those as possible! I'm always happy to return the favor!) I'm really hoping the spring break crowds will calm by that week, and that there will be breathing room. But we're just going to plan on it being busy, and hopefully be pleasantly surprised... I agree with theluckyrabbit above: EMH isn't as big of a deal at California Adventure, and when we started our day there in December on a Monday, we still felt like the first hour or two was great. I would make sure you have the Disneyland app downloaded already, and glance at it throughout the day a few days so you have an idea of what rides (that you're interested in) are gone soonest. RSR is one I keep a close eye on, because on busy days it can be gone by 10 AM, but I don't feel like it's a good use of time to pull it first thing, because then you're waiting a full 90 minutes for your next pass usually. I think Casey's suggestions at Disneyland Daily (https://disneylanddaily.com/how-to-start-your-day-at-the-disneyland-resort/ ) on "How to Start Your Day" (at either park, and with or without littles) will give a good idea of which rides are more important to hit early (or get Maxpass for early vs later), even if you're mixing smaller kid rides with bigger ones. Our first day, in California Adventure, I'm planning to grab a FP for Toy Story Midway Mania first, then we'll probably rope drop over there are ride it standby first, then use our Maxpass to ride it again (since I know it will be a favorite of my kids, and since I'm not willing to stand in that line later in the day!) Then grab a FP for Incredicoaster probably if it will be soon enough, since we're right there. We will also use Rider Switch on that one, and have anyone who wants to ride twice go right then. Then we'll see if RSR is a good time yet, and either grab that one, or Guardians (that's going to be another huge favorite) if it's going to be up soon enough that I feel that we can still grab a RSR FP. So I would take advantage of Rider Switch when it makes sense, and single rider when it doesn't. Though that line can sometimes take longer, occasionally. For Disneyland I think it matter less, except I've noticed Big Thunder Mountain usually has fastpasses available much later in the day than Space, Star Tours, or Indiana Jones. The other FP rides are less likely to run out quickly. I say see what your priorities are, and make sure you get those done early in the day. But those outlines on Disneyland Daily are a really good place to start.
    So exciting! I’m counting down the days!

    I will definitely stop you and snap some pics. Although, with maxpass it’ll be SO much easier now to get everyone in the shot. I’m looking forward to getting the photopass perks for the first time.

    I will take a look at that post. Right now I’ve written out a “plan” that is a basis but can be tweaked based on FP availability, so forth..

    I was thinking of grabbing a RSR FP if the window was about an hour out from rope drop and heading straight to cars land to explore and then ride. Is that a bad idea? Or really just depends what we see in the app at rope drop. We’ve only ever used single rider at RSR because we had no kiddos with us!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    So exciting! I’m counting down the days!

    I will definitely stop you and snap some pics. Although, with maxpass it’ll be SO much easier now to get everyone in the shot. I’m looking forward to getting the photopass perks for the first time.

    I will take a look at that post. Right now I’ve written out a “plan” that is a basis but can be tweaked based on FP availability, so forth..

    I was thinking of grabbing a RSR FP if the window was about an hour out from rope drop and heading straight to cars land to explore and then ride. Is that a bad idea? Or really just depends what we see in the app at rope drop. We’ve only ever used single rider at RSR because we had no kiddos with us!
    My kids all cooperating with any particular set of photos is really iffy, which is why my goal is lots of attempts! :) Our last trip was just to crazy, and I only got about 4 full family shots, and none of them were decent quality. Which was fine, but pictures/memories that don't fade are important to me, so I'm going to make it happen this time!
    And I don't think that's a bad idea at all if RSR is a priority for you! I would definitely try using Rider Switch on that one, then the other parent can take your little one again right away, and it should be (hopefully) faster FP return wait times that time of day. Carsland isn't somewhere I want to spend much time at in the heat of the day either! Though I'm hoping/praying for good weather for us that week! Also, I meant to see I totally feel you on the FOMO whether you're riding with the big kid or doing something else fun with the little one. I have that problem so much!!
     

    sunshiinedaydream

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2014
    My kids all cooperating with any particular set of photos is really iffy, which is why my goal is lots of attempts! :) Our last trip was just to crazy, and I only got about 4 full family shots, and none of them were decent quality. Which was fine, but pictures/memories that don't fade are important to me, so I'm going to make it happen this time!
    And I don't think that's a bad idea at all if RSR is a priority for you! I would definitely try using Rider Switch on that one, then the other parent can take your little one again right away, and it should be (hopefully) faster FP return wait times that time of day. Carsland isn't somewhere I want to spend much time at in the heat of the day either! Though I'm hoping/praying for good weather for us that week! Also, I meant to see I totally feel you on the FOMO whether you're riding with the big kid or doing something else fun with the little one. I have that problem so much!!
    Ugh I know! I want to experience the rides with our bigger kid but also will be so sad if dad catches a magical moment with little one. Especially seeing characters while we are not there! But I know it’s silly and I can’t be everywhere at once.. doesn’t help that I’m the “favorite parent” too so both boys tend to cling to me and I’m afraid one will have a “I want mama!” meltdown when with Dad.
     

    sunshiinedaydream

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2014
    How fun! We will be in Disneyland on Wednesday the 1st, and wearing the grey/red/white shirts I just posted above! Please DO say hi if you happen to see us!! (And offer to take a whole family picture for us, which is one of my priorities this time - as many of those as possible! I'm always happy to return the favor!) I'm really hoping the spring break crowds will calm by that week, and that there will be breathing room. But we're just going to plan on it being busy, and hopefully be pleasantly surprised... I agree with theluckyrabbit above: EMH isn't as big of a deal at California Adventure, and when we started our day there in December on a Monday, we still felt like the first hour or two was great. I would make sure you have the Disneyland app downloaded already, and glance at it throughout the day a few days so you have an idea of what rides (that you're interested in) are gone soonest. RSR is one I keep a close eye on, because on busy days it can be gone by 10 AM, but I don't feel like it's a good use of time to pull it first thing, because then you're waiting a full 90 minutes for your next pass usually. I think Casey's suggestions at Disneyland Daily (https://disneylanddaily.com/how-to-start-your-day-at-the-disneyland-resort/ ) on "How to Start Your Day" (at either park, and with or without littles) will give a good idea of which rides are more important to hit early (or get Maxpass for early vs later), even if you're mixing smaller kid rides with bigger ones. Our first day, in California Adventure, I'm planning to grab a FP for Toy Story Midway Mania first, then we'll probably rope drop over there are ride it standby first, then use our Maxpass to ride it again (since I know it will be a favorite of my kids, and since I'm not willing to stand in that line later in the day!) Then grab a FP for Incredicoaster probably if it will be soon enough, since we're right there. We will also use Rider Switch on that one, and have anyone who wants to ride twice go right then. Then we'll see if RSR is a good time yet, and either grab that one, or Guardians (that's going to be another huge favorite) if it's going to be up soon enough that I feel that we can still grab a RSR FP. So I would take advantage of Rider Switch when it makes sense, and single rider when it doesn't. Though that line can sometimes take longer, occasionally. For Disneyland I think it matter less, except I've noticed Big Thunder Mountain usually has fastpasses available much later in the day than Space, Star Tours, or Indiana Jones. The other FP rides are less likely to run out quickly. I say see what your priorities are, and make sure you get those done early in the day. But those outlines on Disneyland Daily are a really good place to start.

    That website for strategies mentions using Rider Swap along with FP. It is the exact strategy I thought of when first planning. But then I saw in some threads that ALL people whether in group 1 or 2 need FPs for the ride RS is wanted for. I’m not sure if this is a WDW or DL thing specifically. Have you (or anyone else reading) had any experience with this at DL and DCA? I wrote to the Disney email to see if they have an official stance on it since it’s not covered in their policy online. I wouldn’t want to start off booking different FPs splitting the group to find out we can’t get Rider Swap.
     

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