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Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
66 posts
6 reviews
Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

Hello!

So my aunt who is 66 is coming from India to visit the US for the first time. She wants to see Disneyland and DCA.

She will be by herself and wants me to find out which attractions would be best for her to see in both parks. I personally have not been to Disneyland since I was a kid and have never been to DCA.

She is going on May 9th and 10th (less than two weeks away), and will do a two day pass (1 park per day).

She is not interested in any fast roller coasters. I also read that world of color and mickey fun wheel in DCA and pirates of Caribbean in Disneyland will not be operational while she is there.

Also any tips on how to spend her time efficiently would help.

So far I'm thinking for Disneyland: its a small world, Disney monorail, The Disneyland story, finding Nemo submarine voyage, haunted mansion, jungle cruise, Main Street cinema, go on one of the Main Street vehicles, mark twain, meet mickey, Peter pans flight, sleeping beauty castle, storybook land canal boats, parade/fireworks at night

For California Adventure: Animation academy, the bakery tour, The little mermaid, Monsters,INC , go on red car trolley, soaring around the world, sorcerers workshop, Walt Disney imagineering blue sky cellar.

Just compiled this list by what I read on the website for Disneyland. Any input would be appreciated. or any tips on how to plan visiting all these attractions. Thank you for your help in advance!

20 replies to this topic
Seattle
Level Contributor
1,260 posts
11 reviews
11. Re: Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

She can definitely walk from the Anaheim Hotel, it’s super close. It’d be great if you could report back on how she likes it there. I had some friends stay recently since they remodeled and they really liked it. It’s on my list of places to try.

San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
21,231 posts
76 reviews
12. Re: Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

I went by myself a couple of years ago when I was your aunt's age, and had a blast. But I went for almost a week, so I could go at my own pace and not rush. I grew up in Orange County, so I was familiar with most of the Disneyland attractions, but DCA was totally new to me.

Does she have issues with motion sickness? If not, Soarin' would be wonderful; if so, it would be awful! I wasn't thrilled with the Matterhorn... the seats were very hard to get into/out of, and I had trouble locating the receptor for my seat belt (it's designed for skinny bodies and I was basically sitting on it -- the car started moving before I had mine fastened, but luckily it was only to the next position).

Don't let her go on Goofy's Flight School! My great-nieces (bless their cotton-pickin' little hearts) told me it was easy -- I felt like I was being flung out of the car at every curve!

But I don't remember Big Thunder Railway being too scary or 'rough'. And I loved the Cars ride (went on it twice). I also got a kick out of the Toy Story Arcade ride -- who knew shooting at things would be so much fun?

Oh, explain about the solo rider lines for popular rides -- usually much faster than waiting in the regular line.

And make sure she knows she can always ask a cast member for help, advice, directions, etc.

Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
21,545 posts
2 reviews
13. Re: Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

The best parade is Paint the Night and is in Disney California Adventure this year, which is scheduled at 8:50 p.m. both nights your aunt is there.

The Together Forever Fireworks Speculator is in Disneyland. On the 9th that is scheduled at 8:30 p.m. and on the 10th it is scheduled at 9:30 p.m.

It's impossible to do both in one night.

Here a link to the official entertainment schedule, which should open to May 9th. You can click or tap on the arrow near the date on that Web page to move to the 10th.

https:/…

As mentioned, there is a special event on Wednesday the 9th beginning at 9 p.m. The park closes at 9 p.m. that night, so the fireworks are earlier than on Thursday the 10th.

If strongly recommend that she chooses Thursday the 10th as the night she sees the fireworks and Wednesday the 9th as the night to see Paint the Night Parade.

I predict there will be more crowding issues than normal in Disneyland around the time the fireworks end and when leaving the park. When the fireworks end close to park closing there are always crowds leaving. On a normal night, with no event going on, Main Street would stay open up to one hour after park closing and she could just work her way over to a seating area on wait for the crowd to disperse. But that won't be possible that night. She could wait around for a few minutes only and no telling if it will help to thin the crowd.

On that night, Disney California Adbrnture will stay open a little bit later than Disneyland. She can see the parade and not have to worry about being "herded out" of the park.

As far as fireworks viewing, the best view depends on how much of the show she wants. And, as a somewhat short woman myself, it also can depend on height. I find the best view to be directly in front of the castle. When I saw one of the fireworks shows a few years ago from Main Street I tried to get in back of short people, but then taller people moved up and a parade put a child on his shoulders. Most of the time I watch as far in front of the castle as I can get. Usually, a solo person can squeeze in about an hour before the fireworks, but an hour and a half ahead of time can be better.

She will either stand while waiting or sit on the ground. But stand during the show.

Sometimes it's possible to find a bench to sit on around the Hub in front of the castle and wait. But standing during the show is still necessary. (I never quite understand why Disneyland makes everyone stand because back in the 1980's and 90's they wanted everyone to sit and that worked out very nicely.)

If you have time, take a look at a couple of You Tube Videos of Together Forever to see if you can judge if it's better closer to the castle or further back. When I viewed you tube of the show I thought it looked like too much was going on at the castle. It's just got a lot of projections all over plus the fireworks, more than other shows it looks like. But for some this is great. Projections are on Main Street too as well as some pop ups on the rooftops during the Coco section of the show.

As mentioned, if she wants to try to get a table in front of the Jolly Holiday, that will be okay and comfortable. It's not the best or preferred.

A lot of the choice for viewing can depend upon your Aunt's preferences as well as flexibility (physical sitting on the ground, getting up) and even how comfortable she is being in a crowd of people very close together.

Hope this helps.

Oh, and I checked on Mickey and the Magical Map. Unfortunately, it's not scheduled. But she may enjoy the Storytelling shows at the Royal Theater next to the castle. It's a small open theater and easy to get into.

Edited: 06 May 2018, 21:00
Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
Level Contributor
30,601 posts
94 reviews
14. Re: Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

I have stayed quite a few times in the past at the old Anaheim Plaza.. (now the Anaheim Hotel) when it was a very basic and at time a little uncomfortable place to stay, but it was cheap then. Its about a 12 min walk to the turnstiles as the rooms sit farther back basically on the property, and not really what I would consider really close since their are options in half that walk closer. But it was a long walk at the end of the day.

Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
21,545 posts
2 reviews
15. Re: Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

Correcting myself, DCA closes a 9 p.m. on Wednesday the 9th just like Disneyland. I don't think it will be bad getting out.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
66 posts
6 reviews
16. Re: Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

I got a really good deal for her for a renovated room at Anaheim hotel on travelzoo for $99 per night. Being so close to the dates now I think it will be too much trouble for me to change the hotel.

I think she will be fine it’s only two nights and she’ll be out all day.

I also apologize as I wrote the dates incorrectly. She ARRIVES in LAX on the 9th from India, will shuttle to the hotel and rest for the evening, then on the 10th and 11th (Thursday and Friday) is where she will go to DCA/Disneyland.

I have a proposed itenerary I’m hoping you all can critique. And I told her she can follow my itenerary as just a guideline but will have to plan her day based on wait times. I told her to download the Disney app but she told me she’s not too tech savvy and will just get a map there. But I did explain the FASTPASS and single rider.

Thursday May 10, Disneyland: (8am to 11pm)

-park opens, get FASTPASS for big thunder

-go ride Indiana Jones single rider

-go ride big thunder (if in FASTPASS timeframe)

-get FASTPASS for haunted mansion

-go on jungle cruise

-go on haunted mansion (if in return timeframe)

-get FASTPASS for Fantasmic

-go on Peter Pan

-go on Its a small world

-Sleeping beauty castle walk through

-if time go on Disneyland railroad

-Fireworks and Fantasmic at night

Friday May 11th California Adventure

-go in park and get FASTPASS for soarin

-go to radiator racer springs and go in single rider line

-Go to soarin if in FASTPASS timeframe

-Go around back of grizzly river run and check out scenery/waterfalls

-Go to Ariel’s undersea adventure

-Go on toy story mania

-If still relatively early in the day, hop over to Disneyland to see anything that there was no time for

-When it gets dark, go back to DCA and walk around carsland for scenery at nighttime

-See paint the night parade

Hopefully this seems like a good plan. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
Level Contributor
30,601 posts
94 reviews
17. Re: Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

That actually seems like a pretty good plan to me, except visit RSR first to pick up a Fastpass for that attraction instead. Lines wont be short at any time of day for that attraction. And I would pick up a Fastpass for Fantasmic alot earlier, as those can also be gone.

Dont miss the Enchanted Tiki Room... it has a charm all its own.

Edited: 06 May 2018, 22:49
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
66 posts
6 reviews
18. Re: Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

One big problem, just went on the website and found out that Friday May 11 is grad night :/.....she will mostly do DCA that day so hopefully won’t be a big problem.

For Disneyland yes forgot to add enchanted tiki room and scratch Fantasmic, looks like it plays on Friday not Thursday.

For Disneyland I forgot to add if time go on toads wild ride, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in wonderland

And DCA forgot to add monsters INC

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
Level Contributor
30,601 posts
94 reviews
19. Re: Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

Grad's will be in both Parks that day as they have a Parkhopper as part of their package, it wont matter much what Park your in. But expect to see a larger influx of Grads towards the later afternoon usually is what I have seen.

Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
21,545 posts
2 reviews
20. Re: Disneyland & DCA for solo senior citizen. Suggestions please

The difference in dates is good as it gives her more hours in the parks. Also Mickey and the Magical Map is scheduled on Friday with multiple showtimes. That is better than the Storytelling shows so I will go back on the suggestion of storytelling.

I am not sure if I read your list right. It looks to me like you have Fantasmic and Fireworks on Thursday. Fantasmic is only scheduled on Friday. To experience both on the same night, it's best to see the fireworks first and then the second performance of Fantasmic. Because of the timing of the shows and the crowd flow. I can advise you on that. She can pick up the FP a little bit later, too. But not wait too long. Or she could get the Hungry Bear Dining package that comes with FP.

Make sure that Paint the Night is on a separate night from those other two. I recommend Thursday now.

To be clear, each time she leaves one park and goes to the other she needs to pass through the park turnstiles, each time showing her admission ticket, to enter. There is no telling whether or not there will be a line to get in.

I just quickly scanned your list. I could be wrong, but it seemed like too much hopping. As I said, I didn't really examine the order well and I could be wrong. Just make sure it's not too much.

Having said that, I admit that the idea of hopping back and forth does not appeal to me so maybe I think that because I would rather stay in one park longer and get the most our of it before moving on to the other park. Just speaking for myself the idea of going over to the other park just to go on a ride and then return to get to a ride back where I began does not appeal to me.

In my opinion Disneyland Railroad is a much better experience for a 66 year old new visitor to Disneyland than Indiana Jones. I don't mean to imply anything by that, it's just that you have the railroad listed as if there is time. The Disneyland Railroad allows her to see views of almost every section of Disneyland, including beautiful views of the Rivers of America.

One thing that I think is very important to let your aunt know about is upon entering Disneyland Resort everyone must go through a security check. It is pretty simple but I think would be a bit surprising or put some people off. Purses and backpacks are checked. There are several stations in a row with tables. You set your purse or backpack on the table and open it so it can be looked into. It goes very fast and easy if the bag is organized. After that you then walk through a metal detector. Sometimes the staff there are nice, sometimes very serious. You don't get the smiles and Disney type greeting until you get to the park turnstiles. So, hopefully, you can let her know in a good way about this.

Edited: 07 May 2018, 01:18
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