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MAGIC MORNING Disneyland Park: Guests with a 3+ day ticket can choose ONE day for early entry Tues, Thu, or Sat. EXTRA MAGIC HOURS for Resort Hotel Guests: Disneyland Park, Tue, Thu, Sat. California Adventure (including Cars Land) Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun. Radiator Springs Racers is open during early entry, but Fastpasses are not available during this time. More info here.
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Someone mentioned this earlier you can buy pins on eBay we did several times we bid on a lot so not really sure what you are getting which is part of the fun even had some hidden Mickey pins cost per pin was a little over $2 so boys kept some and traded the rest at Disneyland
I have stayed at all 3 Disney Hotels liked Disney Hotel the least just kind of old Paradise Pier big rooms like watching fire works from pool area great if you have little ones if money isn't a problem then Grand California rooms are small but nice upgrades double sinks in bathroom but the best feature is location can't beat it 
Mouse rank is not working but I haven't put in times cause I am not there just chating had to get the Mophie juice pack for the iPhone at the apple store It comes in 3 colors red, black or white $79.95. Can't wait to us it.
I agree pin trading at hotels, world of Disney, store in toon town cast members who sweep like to trade too these are the places that my boys seem to find the most pin traders morning seems to be the best time
From bay area and in November every year but we are thinking about not going again until construction is done in 2012 that would be our longest time not going to Disneyland my 8 year old was 6 weeks old on his first trip