View Full Version : When to go/where to stay/Baby questions (fall '07)

03-31-2007, 10:37 AM
Howdy folks. Many, many questions! This is the first DL trip that DH and I will take with DS (who will be one in October) and it's only my second DL trip ever, so I don't really know what I'm doing. Help!

1) Timing: We will be combining a trip to DL with a drive up the CA coast -- starting in San Diego and ending in San Fran. We'll probably arrive on a Monday and leave late Wednesday, but are completely flexible as to month (Sept., Oct. or Nov.). We're looking for a relatively low-key trip, so we'd like to avoid three-day weekends and other high volume times. Any suggestions on a time period in the fall that is better or worse?

2) Location: We've stayed at the DL Hotel (loved it), but would like to try somewhere different. What are pros and cons for the other area hotels? Does it make a big difference if you stay at a DL Hotel as opposed to one of the "good neighbor" places? I'm much more familiar with WDW, so my tendency is to want to stay at a Disney-owned hotel. Is this a mistake at DL?

3) Baby stuff: I've simply never done it. So, any advice on DL with a one-year old is greatly appreciated.


03-31-2007, 12:03 PM
1) Sept, Oct, Nov are all good months if you are looking for low crowds. They have have a holiday weekend- Labor day, Columbus Day and Veterns day. So, you'll want to plan around those weekends. Haunted mansion will be closed most of Sept for the nightmare before Christmas overlay. In Oct Its a small world will go down for a few weeks to put the Christmas overlay on. The first couple weeks of Nov are pretty good, but I would plan to go before Veterns day. After that the holiday crowds start. If you narrow it down a bit we can help you better from there. We can look talk about whats been typical the last couple of years.

2) We typically stay at a good neighbor hotel. The candy cane inn is our motel of choice. We just dont feel the extra money to stay onsite is justified. For us being walking distance, clean and affordable are most important. We spend little time in our room. Hydroguy has some great threads on hotel choices and a guide for WDW vets. I recomend you search for those for more info

3) There is a great child care center on mainstreet. You can nurse, heat bottles, change diapers, etc in there. They have a wonderful staff. There are also changing tables in the restrooms, as well as diaper vending machines if you find yourself undersupplied for the day. The strollers are jogging type and rent for $10 a day. If you have room in your car, I would bring your own. You'll want it to get back and forth to the hotel. I would imagine you'll want it during other parts of the trip as well.

While in the parks you'll want to be sure to use the child swap so you can ride the bigger rides. Ask at the enterance to the ride. They'll give you a pass. One person will wait with baby while the other rides. When the first rider gets off, they'll wait with baby while the other person either goes thru the exit or the fast pass line to ride without the long wait. YOu can also use this with your fast pass the person does not have to wait in the standby line. They'll tell you where the 2nd person needs to enter at.

04-01-2007, 05:01 PM
I love taking my children to Disneyland! They also have a baby care center at CA. It is by the mission tortilla factory. It is a great place to "get away from the noise." In Bug's land, they also have huge family bathrooms that are nice. I also like that all of the bathrooms have changing tables with huge paper towels to put down under the baby.

My advice is to get some books on the rides available. Become familiar with the lay-out of the parks and the rides. Being "1", your child will want to run around.

Also be aware that you can do child-swap on the bigger rides.

Plan for nap time in the afternoon.

When we took our 2 and 13 month old, we let them pick the rides that they wanted to go on. Your child does need to be at least 1 to ride Autopia and the Astro Orbitors. Everything else without a height restriction is ok.

04-01-2007, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the responses!

It looks like timewise, we'll be looking at the middle of September as our best time. How's the weather then? Packing wise, will it be generally warm during the day and cooler at night?

Hotelwise, what are your favorites? We're still gathering info, but the books, etc. can be overwhelming -- so I'm looking for some personal recommendations. Also, I am very sensitive about disturbing those around us -- since we're traveling with a little guy, I'm particularly concerned about soundproofing.

Thanks again!

04-01-2007, 08:03 PM
Looking at weather.com its should be mid 60's to mid 80's. We went in mid Oct a couple years ago. The weather was extreme. The first couple days were HOT. Pushing 100 and we were getting sunburns. The couple of days that followed were cold! Mid 60's and rainy. We never knew from day to day what we were going to get! Hopefully Sept you'll get the tail end of summer and miss the rain.

As for hotels, as I said in my other post we are partial to the candy cane inn (www.candycaneinn.net). There are other nice properties in the area depending on your needs and budget. Tell us more about your needs- do you want a suite so the baby can sleep at night while you watch tv? Is a smaller room ok? Do you want to walk to the parks or drive to the parking garage (I recomend walking so you don't have to mess with a car at nap time)? Do you want breakfast included? Do you want an in room fridge and microwave to heat food for the little guy? Do you prefer a new hotel vs an older motel even if it means being further from the parks? There is TONS of stuff to consider!

04-01-2007, 08:18 PM
Oh my! So many things to consider.

I guess we would prefer to walking distance so it's easier to take breaks as needed. A suite would be nice, but not required. We're not adverse to spending the money for a suite or for a newer hotel, but location is definitly the most important factor. Not concerned about fridge or microwave -- we're good at improvising.

Also, I tend to get hung up on the whole disney immersion thing (being generally a WDW person). Are there any hotels that do this better than others (without paying for the Grand ;) ? Or is that something that I just need to put out of my head. I read Hydroguy's guide, so I know it's not quite the same, but would love some other folks' perspective as well.

04-01-2007, 08:51 PM
I love the Desert Inn and Suites and I just looked at a 4 queen 1 and a half bath for September and it was under $100 a night!! Can't beat that. Also it's right across from the crosswalk, you are literally out your door and right there. The only thing is if you are looking for a great pool, this one is indoors so not much fun when it's warm!! But they do have a fridge and microwave!

We do the beach in September and it's always plenty warm to swim so you should have great weather. In September I would pack shorts and t-shirt or one piece for baby and then a sweatshirt or jacket for morning and evenings!!

I have been taking my kids since the first was 6 months old, the second was only 4 months and my third's first trip was at 2 months. DL is one of the greatest places to take babies and toddlers and is very accomodating in pretty much every way! Have a great time, some of my best trips were when my kids were little, they actually were easier trips then now at 6, 3 and 18 months!!

Everyone gave you great advice, and you can get everything done probably twice in that time if you use babyswap and fastpass to your advantage!! Plus baby can go on almost everything with you!