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View Full Version : Solo Newbie Trip - help with logistics, pls


klam_chowder
05-15-2008, 09:24 AM
I'm going to LA and decided head there couple of days early so I can visit DLR! I was there 15 years ago but can't remember anything about the trip other than Fantasmic blew my socks off. :cloud9:

Many thx to those who've already provided links/info, especially to HydroGuy who's compiled tip list provided me with LOTS of notes and core info. :thumbsup2

I'm not set on my days but was thinking of arriving at LAX on Thursday, heading to the hotel and checking out DTD that nite and call it an early nite. I thought to avoid going into DL on Thursday since I will have spent the day travelling from east coast time zone and Thurs is MM so the parks will be more crowded by the time I arrive. I thought I'd spend all day Fri & Sat in the parks, arriving 30 min before rope drop on Fri. I guess Sat will already be crowded by the time I get there since it's a MM. Does this sound like a good plan? I'm a trooper but plan to take a mid-day break at the hotel as often suggested.

Anyone have a 2 day strategy for the parks that they'd like to share? :goodvibes

Many hotels (Best Western Park Place Inn, Carousl, Park Vue, Park Place, etc.) show no availability for my dates - any thoughts on whether these dates haven't been released yet or are they already full? :confused3

I took a look at the map of the Quality Inn Anaheim relative to DLR - it looks like walking out the back way and cutting across the parking lots to S Harbor Blvd is a lot closer than walking along S Manchester. Anyone stayed here before and can confirm this?

I'll take a shared-ride shuttle from LAX to DLR. On Sunday I would like to catch the 460 Bus to downtown LA. I've checked the route and would prefer to catch the 5:52am bus. I will have one roller luggage with me. Is it safe for me to walk from the Quality Inn Anaheim to HARBOR BL/DISNEYLAND EAST MAIN SHUTTLE ENT to catch that bus at that time of day? :scared1:

Generally speaking, is there extra security/police patrolling the DLR area making it safe for solo travellers? I'll only have 2 full days (Fri & Sat) in the parks and was hoping to stay until closing on both days to see as much as I could. I checked last year's calendar and DL closes at midnite during that time. If I leave at midnite will it be safe to walk back to the hotel?

DCA closes at 10pm, does DL get quite crowded after 10pm as those leaving DCA head into DL? :confused:

Trip is for March 19-22, 2009 but of course planning ahead! :lmao: Anyone know of any spring break implications for that date yet?

Thx for any suggestions/help. :)

cheers,
:flower3:

mariezp
05-15-2008, 05:34 PM
I can't really comment on too many of your plans but did want to wish you a great trip! I would love to go solo!

I can vouch for taking the midday breaks. Kinda gets you recharged for the evening. As for whether the rooms are really all booked up... I would call the hotel directly. I have often found that sometimes they do have some that just did not show up online. Doesn't cost much to make a phone call, just in case. Surely, someone has a room for one person.

If I were you I would try to find something right across Harbor so that when you leave the park late at night you can stick with the crowds crossing the street. While there is probably security scattered around who knows if they would be there if you needed them. I do feel like the area around the park is pretty safe but on the other hand, I personally would feel safer with lots of people around.

Yes, the majority of the people from CA head over to DL after it closes so do try to avoid Main Street for awhile near that time.

Have fun!

Jenn1116
05-15-2008, 05:45 PM
My guess is that the rates just aren't available that far in advance. May have Spring Break crowds. I would definitely look at BWPPI, Topicana, Candy Cane, HoJos, those hotels that are much closer to DL and much easier, and probably safer, to walk to late at night. There are others too... just can't think of them. Even if they don't have rates posted, ou may want to give them a call. I doubt that you'll have too many problems with DCA crowds moving to DL as late as 10. I'm sure most of those people will be adults and teens, and those w/ kids will likely head back to the hotel. Sorry, I can't help with your other questions.

S. S. Columbia
05-16-2008, 12:07 AM
I agree with the PP, the hotel rooms probably haven't become available yet. I looked at the Best Western Park Place Inn web-site, and they had rooms for December, but not for a weekday in the third week of January. I think it's just too early. Just as an example, for my trip to DL last August, it was a last minute trip but I was still able to make a reservation for the Camelot Inn about 3 weeks before the trip.

Here is a web-site that shows some of the local hotels. (The walking-distance hotels are highlighted in green.) To give you a general idea, the closest non-resort hotel is the BWPPI, and it's a 5 minute walk to the DL/DCA entrance; and the walking time for the Howard Johnson (HoJo) and the Candy Cane Inn is around 10 minutes.
www.accommodationsneardisney.com.

You asked about safety while walking back to the hotels. I have found the Harbor Blvd. area to be pretty safe. IMO you just need to take the usual precautions that you would take at any other place. Others would know better than I, but usually there are plenty of people walking back to the hotels at opening time and closing time. Just to be on the safe side I would stay close to the other guests, and I think you'll be fine. :goodvibes

HTH :goodvibes

Sleepless Knight
05-16-2008, 12:38 AM
In terms of safety, the hotels right across the street from the parks on Harbor such as Desert Inn & Suites, Park Vue, and Tropicana might be really nice because you'll be able to cross the street with the large crowds leaving the parks and then you can just head right to your room.

klam_chowder
05-16-2008, 08:47 AM
Thx a mint for all your thoughts - all the replies were helpful! :goodvibes

I'll phone the hotels and see if I can get something closer to the Harbor Blvd. I agree that I should be safe with large crowds. That was really my concern about the Quality Inn Anaheim since it's back from the main road.

S. S. Columbia - great map! I was using 2 others but this one is much clearer and integrates them all with current hotel names, etc.

I will work on an park strategy/itinerary - including the "trifecta" :rotfl2:

cheers,
:flower3:

Hound 109
05-17-2008, 09:07 PM
I'm going to LA and decided head there couple of days early so I can visit DLR! I was there 15 years ago but can't remember anything about the trip other than Fantasmic blew my socks off. :cloud9:

Many thx to those who've already provided links/info, especially to HydroGuy who's compiled tip list provided me with LOTS of notes and core info. :thumbsup2

I'm not set on my days but was thinking of arriving at LAX on Thursday, heading to the hotel and checking out DTD that nite and call it an early nite. I thought to avoid going into DL on Thursday since I will have spent the day travelling from east coast time zone and Thurs is MM so the parks will be more crowded by the time I arrive.

MM at DL isn't like early morning at the WDW parks. Having MM on Thursday morning will have NO bearing on the crowd level of DL on Thursday Evening.

& if you don't have MM for Sat...again DL is NOT like WDW (where one often avoids the early entry Park). Only Fantasyland, Nemo & SM will be crowded, but getting to the gate 30 min. before Gen. Ad. opening is still the way to go.....that is if you don't get the third day park hopper & have MM on Sat.


I thought I'd spend all day Fri & Sat in the parks, arriving 30 min before rope drop on Fri. I guess Sat will already be crowded by the time I get there since it's a MM.

See above. But if it's Spring Break, I'd get there 40-45 min. before gate opening.


Does this sound like a good plan? I'm a trooper but plan to take a mid-day break at the hotel as often suggested.

A good plan. :thumbsup2 And if arriving early then a mid day break is definitely a good idea. Nothing like a hop in the pool & a clean pair of socks to give you a kick start. :hippie:


Anyone have a 2 day strategy for the parks that they'd like to share? :goodvibes


My last two visits were 2 day quick visits....I'll try to locate my recaps & post.


Many hotels (Best Western Park Place Inn, Carousl, Park Vue, Park Place, etc.) show no availability for my dates - any thoughts on whether these dates haven't been released yet or are they already full? :confused3

I took a look at the map of the Quality Inn Anaheim relative to DLR - it looks like walking out the back way and cutting across the parking lots to S Harbor Blvd is a lot closer than walking along S Manchester. Anyone stayed here before and can confirm this?

I'll take a shared-ride shuttle from LAX to DLR. On Sunday I would like to catch the 460 Bus to downtown LA. I've checked the route and would prefer to catch the 5:52am bus. I will have one roller luggage with me. Is it safe for me to walk from the Quality Inn Anaheim to HARBOR BL/DISNEYLAND EAST MAIN SHUTTLE ENT to catch that bus at that time of day? :scared1:

Generally speaking, is there extra security/police patrolling the DLR area making it safe for solo travellers? I'll only have 2 full days (Fri & Sat) in the parks and was hoping to stay until closing on both days to see as much as I could. I checked last year's calendar and DL closes at midnite during that time. If I leave at midnite will it be safe to walk back to the hotel?

DCA closes at 10pm, does DL get quite crowded after 10pm as those leaving DCA head into DL? :confused:

Trip is for March 19-22, 2009 but of course planning ahead! :lmao: Anyone know of any spring break implications for that date yet?

Thx for any suggestions/help. :)

cheers,
:flower3:

If my wife or daughter were traveling alone to DLR & weren't staying at one of the 3 DLR hotels, then I would put them either:

- At one of the 2-4 motel/hotels AT the crosswalk. (BestWestern & a couple of others that are discussed here....hopefully someone will chime in on the others).

- or the Candy Cane Inn which has a dedicated shuttle that is handy ....

.....PERIOD.

But NOT HOJO or Fairfield or a dozen others that are perfectly fine choices, but because i wouldn't want them walking alone late at night down Harbor 100-200 yards, the 3-4 motels AT the crosswalk & the Candy Cane would get the nod. Nor would i want them to have to schlepp with the ART bus....thus my choices above.

Great original post btw...you obviously did alot of reading prior to asking good questions.

Have a great time planning a visit to Walt's Park. :thumbsup2

:)

Hound 109
05-18-2008, 06:04 PM
A link of a recap from when my son (age 9) & i visited for one night/two days a month ago:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1800918

:)

klam_chowder
05-18-2008, 08:58 PM
Hound109, thx a mint for your replies! :goodvibes

With all the feedback, I'll get a hotel right across from DLR. I've looked at a lot of links/posts/maps so I know which ones they are. I always smile when I read how well some posters take care of "their women" - they are lucky gals! I'm one of them too and know DH would want me to spend the few extra bucks and not have to worry.

Great info in your posts and your trip with your DS sounded like a blast - the link is much appreciated! I even took notes on your food recap - I'm a knockwurst kinda gal :lmao:

My trip is 10 months away but I am getting SO excited!! Disboards are the best! :disrocks:

cheers,
:flower3:

avalon451
05-18-2008, 09:13 PM
Just curious, what time will you be getting to your hotel? You might want to consider getting a 3-day hopper and hitting the park on Thursday. There are so many things to just look at and explore, other than riding the rides, that it could be well worth it for you to just do "reconnaissance" and have fun wandering around and taking it all in. We did this on our first night and were very glad we did. We saw "Disneyland: The First 50 Years" presentation which is never hard to get into, and a great intro to the park. Plus if it's Spring break, there might be fireworks that night, and according to Hydroguy, it's always good to take every opportunity to see them since they might be canceled due to high winds at any time.

Just an idea to consider! Have fun planning! :thumbsup2

klam_chowder
05-19-2008, 10:54 AM
Thx for adding your thoughts, Gail :goodvibes

If I catch a 6 am flight, I'll arrive at LAX by noon; so I think I'll get to the hotel by 2:30 pm. Assuming no delays of course :rotfl2: This is with a connection time at JFK of 50 mins...might be cutting it close. If I miss that flight, the next flight would get me to LAX after 2pm so I'd get to the hotel at about 4:30. :upsidedow

cheers,
:flower3:

honeymom
05-19-2008, 01:16 PM
When I was 23, I did a solo trip to DL. I stayed at a friend's in Torrance. I rented a "Rent-a-wreck." It was the cheapest rental around and boy was it old. I had to stop a couple of times in each direction for the car to rest so it wouldn't overheat.

It was so nice being solo because I didn't have to answer to anybody else's whims. Plus, you can do the single rider line. I think you will find that you do the rides more quickly than expected.

Besides the car, another funny thing happened. I met two marines on one of the lines and they decided to accompany me for a few of the rides. Boy, were they huge. I'm sure they loved having a girl between them. They were perfectly polite or I would have never agreed to it, but I felt like I was literally sandwiched between two redwood trees because they were so big.