Tivoli Gardens Photo Tour: Inspiration for Disneyland

Tivloli Gardens - Welcome!

Liesle and I recently spent time in Copenhagen exploring both the city AND one of its most famous landmarks, Tivoli Gardens.

Tivoli Gardens - View from outside

For those of you familiar with Disneyland’s history, you know that Tivoli Gardens, which first opened in 1843, served as one of Walt’s inspirations for Disneyland. He is reported to have spent time wandering the park, taking detailed notes in preparation for the design and construction of Disneyland.

Tivoli Gardens - View from outside

One of the most interesting features of the theme park is its location in the middle of the city, right across the street from Copenhagen’s central train station on one end, and City Hall on the other.

Above is the view from outside the park in front of the train station. If you look closely you can see the mountain peak for the┬áRutschebanen wooden roller coaster — one of the oldest of its kind in the world, built in 1914.

Anyone else wonder if this might have served as inspiration for Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds?

Continue reading “Tivoli Gardens Photo Tour: Inspiration for Disneyland”

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Disneyland RideMax Customers: Time to Re-Run Your RideMax Plans!

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Millennium Falcon Ride View

This is just a quick post to let our Disneyland customers know that we recommend re-running your Disneyland RideMax plans, due to much lower crowds in the park than we had originally estimated. This applies to ALL dates on the Disneyland RideMax calendar except the 4th of July, for plans created prior to today, June 28th.

Just for some background here, prior to the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, we had expected that the draw of the new land would bring in greater crowds than normal, and so we put together our initial RideMax wait time estimates under that assumption. Somewhat surprisingly, those crowds have either not materialized, or the attractiveness of the new land is serving to dilute the crowds in the rest of the park (or both). Either way, this summer is shaping up to be a GREAT time to visit Disneyland, and we’ve just made some pretty substantial cuts to our wait estimates for the resort as a result, for all dates on the current RideMax Disneyland calendar.

Also worth noting is that if you’re a RideMax subscriber and plan to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during your trip, be sure to check out the Disneyland Tips & Hints page, available from the link on the main page after you login to RideMax. We give some important “strategy advice” here for using RideMax to map out a plan which includes Galaxy’s Edge.

Enjoy!

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Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run Wait Times from Galaxy’s Edge Opening Day

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened with much fanfare yesterday at Disneyland, and by all accounts the reservation system Disneyland is using to allow access to this new Star Wars land from now through June 23rd is a huge success.

If you’re lucky enough to have a reservation for a four-hour visit to Galaxy’s Edge before it opens to the general public on June 24th, you might be wondering when is the best time to visit the only open ride in this new land, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Since we have a pretty keen interest in wait times here at RideMax, and thanks to the fact that Disney makes posted wait times available in their app, we tracked waits throughout the day yesterday, and the chart below reflects the result (click the image for a larger view).

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run Wait Times on Opening Day

As you can see, the results here were pretty impressive, with wait times peaking at 2 hours right around 3:00pm — not bad for such a groundbreaking new addition to the park. It’s also pretty amazing that there were VERY LOW posted waits of only five minutes just before 11:00am, and ten minutes just before 8:00pm.

If you’re wondering what the orange lines on the chart represent, these are the times at which each of the reservation slots began. (The four-hour time slots overlapped by an hour on each end with the previous and next group to be admitted.) So guests holding reservations were assigned time slots beginning at 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, and 8pm.

Looking at the chart, if you plan to visit the ride during the reservation phase, it’s pretty clear that the best time to get in line for this ride is just before the next group is to be admitted, or just before the three hour mark into your reserved time slot. (And if you’re a RideMax subscriber, we’ll have more specific advice for getting around the land in the RideMax “Tips & Hints” pages, which you’ll see on the main page after logging into RideMax.)

All in all, this is a pretty impressive set of wait times for the opening day of the largest Disneyland expansion in park history. Congratulations to the entire Disneyland operations team for making this such a huge success!

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IMPORTANT REMINDER: Reservations for Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge Open TOMORROW, May 2nd!

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open May 31, 2019 at Disneyland, and Aug. 29, 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. (Photos courtesy of Disney.)

This post is a quick reminder that if you plan to visit Disneyland between May 31st and June 23rd, YOU WILL NEED A RESERVATION if you plan to visit the new Star Wars land, aka, Galaxy’s Edge.

Just as important, RESERVATIONS OPEN TOMORROW, MAY 2nd!

Given the anticipation for this new addition to Disneyland, our guess is that these reservations will sell out within minutes of becoming available. So be sure to act quickly if you’re visiting during this date range. The registration site will open on May 2nd at 8:00am PDT, and the site will start accepting reservations at 10:00am. You can read all about it on Disney’s site here.

If you plan to try and take advantage of this, be sure to set up your Disney account in advance. It also isn’t clear from their FAQ, but if you don’t yet have park tickets for your visit, we’d suggest buying them in advance via the Disney website or app, just in case you need an actual ticket number to secure your reservation.

Millennium Falcon is pictured under development for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Stars Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

For those of you using RideMax to plan your trip to Disneyland on these dates, given that your access to Star Wars Land (as it often seems to be called) will be restricted to a certain time slot, we recommend setting up a “break” in your RideMax plan to cover the time of your reservation. Just set the break location to “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” and make the duration long enough to cover the time you expect to spend there.

Of course, if you plan to visit Disneyland after June 23rd, you don’t need to worry about reservations — you’ll just need to plan to arrive REALLY early in the morning if you want to visit Galaxy’s Edge. (This is a topic for another post!)

I hope this helps… and when it comes time to actually get those reservations, may your fingers be quick, and may the force be with you!

(Sorry — I couldn’t resist.)

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REMINDER: Yes, You CAN use Disneyland’s MaxPass System with RideMax!

In reviewing some recent customer support emails, it’s apparent that not everyone is aware that when you set up your RideMax plan for Disneyland and California Adventure, you can tell RideMax how you intend to make your FastPass reservations.

The FastPass options RideMax supports are:

  • You can use the traditional FastPass machines, located near each attraction which offers FastPass.
  • You can use the traditional FastPass machines, but rather than having your entire group walk to the machines, you will send a single “runner” from your group to pick them up for you (saving the extra walking for everyone else). And as an extra bonus, if you use this option, you can tell RideMax which (if any) attractions your runner is willing to skip while off gathering your FastPasses, possibly making an even more efficient plan for the rest of the group.
  • You can use the new MaxPass system.

I highlight this last option because, as I said, it appears that not everyone is aware of this.

Using MaxPass with RideMax

These options are found under the “FASTPASS Options” tab at the top of the main planning screen in RideMax, as shown in the picture above.

If you check the MaxPass option, RideMax will assume that you’ll be making your FastPass reservations from your phone, eliminating the time it would normally set aside to walk to and from the FastPass machines. It will also assume that you’ll only need to wait a maximum of 90 minutes after getting a FastPass before you can get your next FastPass, rather than the two-hour max for everyone else.

If you’re using RideMax to plan your visit but aren’t sure if you will use MaxPass or not, my suggestion is to create two versions of your plans, one with this option set, and another without. That way, when you’re actually at the park and are ready to decide whether you’ll purchase MaxPass or not, you’ll be set either way.

A final bonus to creating two plans this way is that you can also see how much time RideMax estimates you’ll save in waiting and/or walking with the use of MaxPass. I delve more into this comparison in a previous post, aptly titled, Disneyland’s MaxPass: Is It Worth It? Be sure to check this out if you’re on the fence regarding the extra cost for MaxPass.

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