Two weekends ago, Emily and I went to Disneyland hoping to watch the first showing of the night of the Electrical Parade. At 2:30, I saw handfuls of people sitting on the curb of Main Street and neither of us could believe people would already be lining up for the parade that happened at 8:30, nearly 6 hours early. We came back to Disneyland from California Adventure at 6:30 and there was no where to sit. Blankets and strollers filled every square inch of viewing area that was not already filled with people. Luckily there was only two of us so we squeezed in front of a very kind family who had been waiting since 3:00.
It was insane.
And all for a parade that is the sad, deadbeat older brother of Paint the Night. Seriously how could Disneyland follow up Paint the Night, the holiest of all spectacles with the Electrical Parade??
But that’s a blog post for another day.
Today’s post is all about my experience this past weekend with the MSEP Aladdin’s Oasis Dining Package. Because after witnessing first-hand the craziness of Electrical Parade nostalgia there was no way I was going to go back there without a plan.
Cost: There are two options for MSEP Dining Packages, Aladdin’s Oasis at $26 for adults and $15 for kids and Blue Bayou for a crap load more money (I think about $70 per person). This is why we went with Aladdin’s Oasis. Annual Passholder discounts do apply. *wink wink*
Reservations: My sister-in-law made reservations for 2 adults and 1 child about a week before our trip. Our reservation was for 12:45 but by 11:30 we were pretty hungry. The restaurant opens at 12 and they were happy to accommodate us early. I highly suggest reservations to guarantee a time. I overheard the cast member at the register telling people without reservations they should check the Disneyland app for open reservations throughout the day but they do accept some walk ups in the middle of the day. There is a 24 hour cancellation policy and there are no refunds if the parade is cancelled. Keep this in mind when making reservations. The forecast said there would be no rain on Sunday but then it rained until 1pm! Thankfully that was the end of the rain and the ground dried enough for the show to go on!
Food: There are three choices for adult meals at Aladdin’s Oasis: Chicken breast with veggies, Lasagna and Vegetarian Lasagna. Each meal comes with a drink, a salad, a dinner roll and a small chocolate cheesecake thing. I was underwhelmed by the options (I’m always disappointed when chicken strips is not an option) and reluctantly chose the lasagna which ended up tasting surprisingly good. The raspberry vinaigrette was A+ and the bread was, well, bread. My sister-in-law ordered the chicken breast which she said was good. (I’m really good at food reviews, right?) My nephew ordered the kid’s mac and cheese which was actually super delicious. I recommend that picky eaters, like myself, just ask for an adult portion of mac and cheese. #noshame
The food comes hot in to-go containers with the idea being you could eat the meal at Aladdin’s Oasis dining area or take the food with you into the park. But I really don’t understand why anyone would do that. Disneyland has very little table seating to begin with and good luck finding an empty table at meal times. Plus, the meal is hot so it’s a bit of a race against the clock to eat your meal before it’s cold. Are you going to eat your Vegetarian Lasagna standing up in line for the Haunted Mansion? Are you a monster?
Watching the Parade: Now for the most important part of the dining package! You choose which parade time you want when you make your reservation. We chose the 8:30 parade and received fast passes that told us to be at the viewing area near Small World by 8:15. The cast member who gave us the tickets recommended by 8:00. Screw all of that. I AM TELLING YOU TO GET THERE BY 7:30. Especially if you have small children/people with your group. The reserved viewing area for Aladdin’s Oasis is the middle tier of the viewing area by Small World. We walked over at 7:30 and there was already 40-50 people lining up. Cast members start letting people in at 8:00 and it’s a race to find a spot in the front of the section. We chose a spot right behind a planter (that is why there is a tree in all of my photos) so that my 4-year-old nephew could stand on the planter. Does that violate Disney safety standards? I don’t care. I wasn’t going to hold him up for 20+ minutes. I’m a very weak aunt.
You can even watch the fireworks from the same spot! Unfortunately the fireworks were cancelled while we were there. Actually, it was fine. I am ambivalent about the fireworks.
Overall, I think this was a great experience! Sure the meal is a little pricey at $26 but it is plenty of food. Any other meal at Disney with sides, dessert and a drink will still cost you $15-20. And I only needed to wait about an hour to have an excellent spot for the Electrical Parade as opposed to 3, 4, or 5 hours! Insanity. I highly recommend this to people who want to make the most of their Disney day and see the second best electrical parade to ever grace Disneyland’s streets!
XOXO Sarah Ashlyn
Mini Rant about the Electrical Parade: I do like the Electrical Parade. The floats are adorable and the music is fun and very catchy. But I just don’t understand the nostalgia behind it?? Sure it hasn’t been at Disneyland since 1996, but it was at California Adventure from 2001 to 2010! I watched it many times during that period! Don’t forget for a second that Disney is only trying to CONVINCE you to feel nostalgic about MSEP so as to tap into that part of your brain that has an irrational fondness for crap from the past so that you can spend ridiculous amounts of money on park tickets, merchandise and dining packages. I realize that I am guilty of that too but I’m only human.