AP Days are back at the Disneyland Resort! I have to say, I was surprised to see another round of AP Days scheduled for the fall since they just had them just a few months ago, but it was a pleasant surprise so I’ll take it! Despite the fact that I spent my whole day Monday at Disneyland in order to catch the end of the 60th celebration (check out my Instagram if you want the highlights!), I packed Squirt up in the car on Tuesday morning and we headed down to be a part of the first AP Day of the fall. AP Days really start when you park at the Mickey and Friends parking structure, but only if you have three or four people in your car. There are discounts available for carpooling, along with a really cute AP button for cars with four or more people in them (at least one of whom needs to be a passholder). There is lots of info about AP Days posted around the parks, even at the tram stop on the way in. When you enter DCA, there is an informational sign letting you know where to go…
Both locations are new, as last time events were held in Stage 17 and the Blue Sky Cellar, but more on that later. We headed over to Paradise Gardens first. In this area, there is a phone charging station set up (make sure you bring your own charging cord if you plan on using it) and a little welcome area in the gazebo that had the merch on display and a photo stop. If you need to renew/upgrade your pass, they will happily take all your money at this location. You can also pick up your weekly button right outside the gazebo.
Just outside of the gazebo, you can pick up these special edition recipe cards. Both of these pumpkin goodies sound pretty good, except they made a typo on the Pumpkin Bread one. It says “raisins” when they clearly meant to put “chocolate chips”. I have collected some of these cards before, but haven’t ever actually made any of these dishes, so I’ll put them on my to do list.
In addition to the weekly pin and recipe cards, they were also handing out these activity sheets at Paradise Gardens. It has some fun little counting/scavenger hunt type games on it that would probably be really cool for elementary school age kids. I freakin love this button and I can’t wait to see the rest of the series.
The merch for AP Days can be found at the Studio Store, which is located right in front of Monsters Inc. I really like this shirt, but I am not sure I would actually wear it (I think I would like it better if it were just the front design).
This coffee tumbler definitely came home with me though. I love the colors and the design and I will use this bad boy on the reg.
The other main area for AP Days is over at Stage 12, which is the one behind the dance floor for whatever it is they replaced Mad Tea Party with. This area was kind of a bummer for a couple of reasons. One, there was a good size line to get in that was directly in the sun and had no shade whatsoever. They also didn’t allow strollers in said line so that made waiting in the heat with Squirt even more of a challenge (they didn’t let strollers into Stage 17 either, but there was never a line and there was AC inside so it wasn’t a big deal). Once into the area, it is super cramped and hard to move around. The main attraction here is the character meet and greet, which we didn’t do because after waiting in the long line outside the area, there was another long line, again outside and not shaded, to meet the actual character. Boo.
Since we had waited all that time to get in, I grabbed a complimentary water bottle and sat down with Squirt to do some coloring. While it is very nice that they set up these tables for the little ones, they took up a majority of the space inside the waiting area and made it really hard to move around.
While I will obviously be going back each week to get my new button, I don’t think we will be going back to the Stage 12 area. The only thing you can get there that you can’t at Paradise Gardens is the character photos, and frankly, Squirt hates them anyway so why bother. I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I know these AP Days are a total bonus and definitely not something Disney has to do, but I really wish they would move both areas back to their previous indoor locations. I know it’s “fall” but it’s still super hot here in So Cal and waiting outside in the sun is no bueno.
Have you attended AP Days before? What are your thoughts? I will continue to post on Instagram as I attend the upcoming weeks of AP Days so keep an eye out for the new button designs and any new info that might come our way!