I haven’t written a trip report in a while and because I’m slowly immersing myself in the ever growing Disney parks fan community (Disneybounding and Annual Passholders…and to some extent, cosplay), I thought I would write about catching Pokemon at the Disney parks. You’ll read in a bit why that attempt failed. At the time of this writing, PokemonGo, though not Disney related, is the happenin’ app on smart phones. Based on the Japanese video game series that has taken the world by storm, PokemonGo has a cross generational appeal – it’s nice to see parents teach their kids how to chuck virtual Pokeballs at little monsters and seeing people my age roam the Disneyland hotel in packs hunting for that one rare.
A “rulebreaker” bound (aka – not Disney), I decided to go as a Veteran Trainer from the Pokemon Black and White game that came out when I was graduating with my master’s degree. When someone posted the above meme on my Facebook timeline, I immediately had all the components in my closet. Wearing an overcoat from the east coast on your overcast Southern California morning is not too bad, but when it creeps into the noon time hour, it gets to a point where you’re glad you brought your briefcase to pack it in.
And then you’re in this red dress where you can pass off as a dapper day enthusiast, but with boots appropriate for Fall / Winter weather. Kudos to the CM who took photos of this dress by the trains.
Capturing Pokemon at California Adventure
The nice thing about living close to the parks is that even if you show up at 7:30AM, you can still get into the main hub of the parks and still capture Pokemon while everyone is eagerly waiting to get into the E-ticket lines. While I was eyeing to finally get on Soarin’ Over the World, I managed to catch a few at Carthay Circle (and stocked up on supplies).
However, if you are going to play PokemonGo at the parks, might I stress to bring a battery charger. This game sucks the life out of your phone. Thankfully, DCA has charging lockers where you can charge your phones. At this point, I thought it would be safe to put my phone on Airplane Mode to conserve battery and go to places that had lures and rares running around. Not sure I want another purple rat in my queue.
I will say, there is something magical and fun about capturing Pokemon at the Brother Bear challenge trail. This section of the park almost screams of Pokemon capturing good times.
Capturing Pokemon at Disneyland
Likewise, my phone was in Airplane mode for most of the time. However, I did have it on while waiting in line wherein the wait was more than 30 minutes. It is a nice time killer app when the line seems to not go anywhere. The weather also started to warm up again, so I did find some time to “recharge” at Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. The servers were finnicky at the Enchanted Tiki Room waiting area; it was a warm day, so everyone while waiting in line was grabbing for their smart phones to kill time before getting that piece of sweet Dole whip.
Capturing Pokemon at the Disneyland Hotel
To kill time waiting for my dinner plans in the evening, I went to the Disneyland Hotel to “recharge.” I actually found more PokemonGo trainers in the vicinity of Disneyland Hotel. You would see them in teams with their smart phones and chargers out as they were going through each Pokestop – Disneyland Hotel and Downtown Disney have plenty! Also, there were a ton of lures in the area. It was also nice seeing parents teach their kids how to use the app as well. I’ll admit, though I did ‘bound as a “Veteran Trainer,” I’m still getting used to the play dynamics of the app; I live in a an area where there’s not too many PokeStops so coming to a place like this is a gold mine for leveling and Pokemon hunting.
And some words to the haters
You know…I frequent a lot of Disney parks themed Facebook groups. I admit I don’t post that much, but I would like to make a few things clear. Playing Pokemon Go in the parks does not take away our enjoyment and what Disney has to offer. Yes, may of us who have the app are annual passholders who are local to the area. Some happen to be tourists just killing time while waiting in line or for a Dole whip. Even though I was collecting Pokemon and leveling up, I still had a solid day at the park that was well worth my Friday. Be kind before you judge. No one gets all up in arms when someone plays Candy Crush on their phones. I haven’t run into anyone rude or inconvienicing others while playing the game. Let us enjoy the things we love – they just happen to be Pokemon and Disney.
If you’re going to capture Pokemon in the parks, bring some extra battery with you. I usually attend the parks and have my phone on airplane mode to begin with because I know for a fact that the park does drain out my iPhone battery fast. While there are places you can charge for a price, those fill up fast. However, if you do plan to catch Pokemon, keep a full battery with you. Always check your surroundings; the park can be crowded and it’s probably better to play the game while killing time in line or waiting for something rather than walking. I usually prefer going on a weekday (but then again, I’m a low tier AP) when it’s not so crowded. As always, have fun and enjoy being a Pokemon trainer!
I, myself, prefer being a Pokemon coordinator and training my little monsters to compete in beauty and talent to doll them up in ribbons.
- Soarin’ Over the World
- Brother Bear Trail
- Little Mermaid
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Silly Symphony Swings
- Golden Zephyrs
- Mickey’s Fun Wheel
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- California Screamin’
- Boudin’s Bakery Tour
- Red Car Trolley News Boys
- Monsters Inc
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Disneyland Railroad (display only)
- Disney Gallery
- Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
- Horsedrawn street car
- Haunted Mansion
- Splash Mountain
- Winnie the Pooh
- Jungle Cruise
- Indiana Jones
- Tarzan’s tree house
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Fantasyland Faire: Rapunzel
- Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
- 60th Anniversary marching band
- Monorail to Downtown Disney