PDA

View Full Version : 1st Timer at Disneyland HELP!


LMO429
07-12-2008, 06:51 AM
Hello!

I just listened again to the Disneyland Podcast and I'm trying to make a plan For Disneyland like I usually do when I go to WDW and I feel really lost about the plan of action I should take... just wanted to post my iternary and maybe some of you disneyland experts can critique it! We are staying in DL from Oct 7th - Oct 12th for part of our Honeymoon we will be in Maui for 8 days before that.

Tuesday Night arrive late check into Grand Californian

Wednesday morning PS at Breakfast with Minnie and the Plaza (will try to get PS for as close to 8am as possible) Disneyland for the day...PS at Blue Bayou?????

Thursday California Adventure for the day...Where should we eat Vineyard Room or Country Trattoria

Friday Wake up late...Breakfast at the Story teller Cafe...Back to disneyland to finish what we did not see.

Saturday ....Back to California Adventure to finish what we did not see.

any other must do dining?? I know Pete did not like the Napa Rose, so I dont plan on going there either...


realistically considering we plan on being at Disneyland and California Adventure for the rope drop Tues and Wed will there be enough for us to do to even go back Fri and Sat....Should I plan some other day trips...How is Knotts berry farm????? We are not interested in Universal

Does a Disneyland trip even require the planning that I put into a WDW trip? Should we just wing it?


any help would be appreciated..I think the Podcast team is going in August to Disneyland again so I am looking forward to hearing their thoughts....

Thank you in advance!

disneyholic family
07-12-2008, 07:09 AM
Hello!

realistically considering we plan on being at Disneyland and California Adventure for the rope drop Tues and Wed will there be enough for us to do to even go back Fri and Sat....Should I plan some other day trips...How is Knotts berry farm????? We are not interested in Universal




we spent 5 days there a few years back and definitely needed all of that time to get to everything...especially in disneyland....the lines there can be brutal....even the FP line seemed terribly long to us.....
but of course, that was in July, so it was probably much worse than when you're going...

by the way, my favorite part of disneyland was fantasyland...it looks and seems more magical to me than fantasyland at the magic kingdom..
and has several rides that don't exist in florida.

LMO429
07-12-2008, 08:30 AM
we spent 5 days there a few years back and definitely needed all of that time to get to everything...especially in disneyland....the lines there can be brutal....even the FP line seemed terribly long to us.....
but of course, that was in July, so it was probably much worse than when you're going...

by the way, my favorite part of disneyland was fantasyland...it looks and seems more magical to me than fantasyland at the magic kingdom..
and has several rides that don't exist in florida.

so do you suggest if I am there for the rope drop to go to fantasyland first....from what i hear disneyland is still very busy in oct

disneyholic family
07-12-2008, 08:33 AM
so do you suggest if I am there for the rope drop to go to fantasyland first....from what i hear disneyland is still very busy in oct

are you going to be at disneyland for two rope drops?

in other words, on two different days?

if so, then i'd suggest that on one of them you might want to start in fantasyland...

but if you're only going to be there for one rope drop, i would go straight for the killer e-ticket rides (like indiana jones)...

LMO429
07-12-2008, 08:47 AM
I dont mind getting there for rope drops, I actually prefer it.

Does the same principle apply for Magic Mornings the way it does for Exta Magic Hours...avoid going to that park at all costs???? or is it actually better to be there for the MM?

disneyholic family
07-12-2008, 08:56 AM
I dont mind getting there for rope drops, I actually prefer it.

Does the same principle apply for Magic Mornings the way it does for Exta Magic Hours...avoid going to that park at all costs???? or is it actually better to be there for the MM?

i don't know..

you should post your questions on the dis disneyland board...
the people there are EXPERTS and can give you lots of helpful information...

there's lots and lots of good information there..

i used that board to plan for our trip to disneyland/california adventure..

stitchlover
07-12-2008, 08:59 AM
We just went to Disneyland first the first time in June, on our way to Oa'hu! How funny.

Anyway...you will love the Storyteller's Cafe, we did.

As far as lines I can't really give you help there because we are not big planners. BUT I will tell you if you want to ride Nemo be in that line first thing. It does not have FP's and the line gets long quick. If it were me I would hit Space Mountain and get a FP there and go straight to Nemo.

Space Mountain there is incredible.

Hope this helps.

disneyholic family
07-12-2008, 09:02 AM
We just went to Disneyland first the first time in June, on our way to Oa'hu! How funny.

Anyway...you will love the Storyteller's Cafe, we did.

As far as lines I can't really give you help there because we are not big planners. BUT I will tell you if you want to ride Nemo be in that line first thing. It does not have FP's and the line gets long quick. If it were me I would hit Space Mountain and get a FP there and go straight to Nemo.

Space Mountain there is incredible.

Hope this helps.

i forgot about Space Mountain....new since we were there...

Disneyland really is a multi-day park...there's so much to do there...

and even the stuff that's sort of similar to the MK, is different...

another thing we very much enjoyed -- watching Fantasmic from the balcony of the gallery (the desert buffet)...
but i don't know if this is available now - i've heard it was closed for refurbishment...

really the best people to talk to are the dis-disneyland board people.....

spaddy
07-12-2008, 09:09 AM
Go to the Disneyland board and read Hydroguy's tips about fastpasses. Because everything is so close there you can use a slightly different method for "collecting" fastpasses. Also, if you have park hoppers I would definately hop back and forth during the day. You definatley want to go to MM. There is also a long thread about that in the DL section too. Basically because you are staying onsite you can go everyday it is available. When I went in May the days listed on the DL site were not right. They had changed them. I would head to Nemo first also. We got in line at Nemo at around 7:30 on a MM and only waited about 30 minutes. The line was over an hour when we got out of the ride. Make sure you don't miss the rides that are different at DL, Matterhorn, Mr. Toad's.

Have fun. I love DL.

stitchlover
07-12-2008, 09:12 AM
One other tip...when we went to California Adventure we went straight to California Screamin' and got a FP there. Then we hung out at Paradise Pier and did all the rides our DD, age 12, wanted to do. She loved the Orange Stinger and Mulhollan Madness. After we rode California Screamin' we got another FP for later in the day and did it again. It really is a good ride.

The Toy Story ride in California Adventure is really good too.

One of the things we like about DL is the proximity of the parks to the hotels. We never ride splash mountain at MK because we hate to walk around in wet clothes. At California Adventure we went to the hotel got into sandals and went back to the park and rode the big water ride and walked back to the hotel and changed.

We are staying at the Polynesian in March and with the ease of the monorail we will probably ride Splash Mountain this time. If we are drenched we can go back and change!

stitchlover
07-12-2008, 09:12 AM
One other tip...when we went to California Adventure we went straight to California Screamin' and got a FP there. Then we hung out at Paradise Pier and did all the rides our DD, age 12, wanted to do. She loved the Orange Stinger and Mulhollan Madness. After we rode California Screamin' we got another FP for later in the day and did it again. It really is a good ride.

The Toy Story ride in California Adventure is really good too.

One of the things we like about DL is the proximity of the parks to the hotels. We never ride splash mountain at MK because we hate to walk around in wet clothes. At California Adventure we went to the hotel got into sandals and went back to the park and rode the big water ride and walked back to the hotel and changed.

We are staying at the Polynesian in March and with the ease of the monorail we will probably ride Splash Mountain this time. If we are drenched we can go back and change!

BriarRosie
07-12-2008, 12:46 PM
Let's talk about food. :banana:

I'll skip around a bit and start with your Wine Country Trattoria vs Vineyard Room. First of all, the Vineyard Room is only open for dinner on weekends. So I am telling you this: Call Disneyland Dining at (714)781-3463 for the Vineyard Room 60 days before October 10th or 11th. Lock in that reservation because it would be one of the best meals you'll have at Disneyland. And it couldn't hurt to tell them it's your honeymoon. ;)

I do like the Wine Country Trattoria for lunch. I absolutely love their Lasagna Rustica.

If you heard Pete raving about Steakhouse 55 on the podcast, believe it. Chef Jason really is that amazing. If you don't believe me, you can view the food porn on my Festival trip report link in my signature. ;) That is yet another dinner I'd suggest for you.

As for Blue Bayou, the only reason I'd say to go there is for the atmosphere. I think they charge way too much at dinner for what they're offering, and I'm a WDW dining veteran. So if you want to go there, I'd say lunch is a slightly better value.

And according to the locals, if you tell the server "There's only one thing on the menu", that's the code for the Monte Cristo sandwich. I had it when I ate there years and years ago, but I split it with someone. It was tasty. :)

I think taking advantage of Magic Mornings is a good plan, if you're up that early to do it. Keep in mind that there is no FastPass for Peter Pan in DL, and the lines never seem to dwindle. I would head there first thing to get the shortest line, and I think it's worth seeing. The fiber optics used for the Flying Over London scene are terrific.

Also, get a FastPass for Indiana Jones. And don't worry about the return time. I've used my FastPass for it in my April trip HOURS after the return time, and they still took it. We did that a few times, different days. You could do other things and go to Indiana Jones when you are ready.

LMO429
07-12-2008, 10:15 PM
thank you so much to everybody for all the great tips!!!!

I didnt realize that the vineyard room was only open on the weekend and my fiance was looking to go there!

WLfan
07-12-2008, 10:23 PM
You HAVE to go to the Blue Bayou! It is a really cool atmostphere and since they don't have it in FL, take advantage of the opportunity. Why don't they build one in FL anyway?

Make sure you go on Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio in Fantasyland since they are unique to Disneyland.

Have fun!!!

disneyholic family
07-13-2008, 02:03 AM
You HAVE to go to the Blue Bayou! It is a really cool atmostphere and since they don't have it in FL, take advantage of the opportunity. Why don't they build one in FL anyway?

Make sure you go on Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio in Fantasyland since they are unique to Disneyland.

Have fun!!!

and the circus train - a little kiddie train in fantasyland - that strangely is my favorite ride in disneyland - go figure..

i love it when it goes up the hill (i think i can i think i can i think i can)...

and the tiki room in disneyland has the original show....
and as someone mentioned, mr toad's wild ride is still there...

let's see...what else....

and the whole new orleans square area is much nicer looking...

and i agree about the blue bayou....definitely a must......when we ate there this time, i wasn't as impressed by the food as i was when i was a teen.....but the location is very cool....(and yes, why didn't they build something like that at the MK????)....

LMO429
07-13-2008, 09:29 AM
How is the Plaza Inn with Minnie and friends character breakfast?

calypso*a*go-go
07-13-2008, 10:05 AM
We didn't do any character breakfast during our trip last April...but one of the best meals we had was at the Carnation Cafe.

Also the FP machines at Soarin' and Grizzly River Rapids aren't linked...so if the park is busy -- you can get FPs for both of them at the same time.

An attraction that gets overlooked a lot is "Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years", located on Main Street. Be sure and take the time to see this as it's entertaining and informative plus there's some great memorabilia to look at while you're waiting for the show to start.

The left and right side of the Matterhorn Bobsleds are slightly different experiences (left side is a bit faster...that's why that line is usually longer).

The current fireworks show is *wonderful*! I preferred it so much more that "Wishes".

September is just around the corner --are you ready for your special day? :goodvibes

LMO429
07-13-2008, 10:12 AM
We didn't do any character breakfast during our trip last April...but one of the best meals we had was at the Carnation Cafe.

Also the FP machines at Soarin' and Grizzly River Rapids aren't linked...so if the park is busy -- you can get FPs for both of them at the same time.

An attraction that gets overlooked a lot is "Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years", located on Main Street. Be sure and take the time to see this as it's entertaining and informative plus there's some great memorabilia to look at while you're waiting for the show to start.

The left and right side of the Matterhorn Bobsleds are slightly different experiences (left side is a bit faster...that's why that line is usually longer).

The current fireworks show is *wonderful*! I preferred it so much more that "Wishes".

September is just around the corner --are you ready for your special day? :goodvibes

I am ready for my big day! but panicked at the thought of everyone looking at me! :scared1:

Wow! you really have some amazing tips! We loved Walts One Mans Dream in WDW so I am def going to check out disneyland 50 magical years!

Im am so happy to know now the left side of the matterhorn is faster! We will def be experiencing it that way

next to the PPP fireworks, wishes is my favorite so if you are saying the fireworks are even better in Disneyland I am super excited about that now!

Where is the carnation cafe?

calypso*a*go-go
07-13-2008, 11:07 AM
I am ready for my big day! but panicked at the thought of everyone looking at me! :scared1:

I'm sure you'll be beautiful!

Wow! you really have some amazing tips! We loved Walts One Mans Dream in WDW so I am def going to check out disneyland 50 magical years!

Did I mention that it's hosted by a very famous Former CM?

Im am so happy to know now the left side of the matterhorn is faster! We will def be experiencing it that way

Just keep in mind that it's a really old rollercoaster -- so it's still not going to be that fast.

next to the PPP fireworks, wishes is my favorite so if you are saying the fireworks are even better in Disneyland I am super excited about that now!

I really did love them and have a feeling you will too!

Where is the carnation cafe?

It's on the left-side of Main Street and has outdoor seating (and not very much of it) so try for non-traditional mealtimes for the best availability.

DSNY4ever
07-13-2008, 10:39 PM
A lot of great tips are on here for you already, but for any specifics I highly recommend the Disneyland forum- there are a lot of us California Disneyland crazies that are willing to help :yay:

Keep in mind that the parks are so close that park hopping is a breeze and a lot faster than in Disney World. I recommend spending your mornings in Disneyland and then hopping over to California Adventure in the afternoon when Disneyland gets more crowded. I don't know if when you are there is mid week or weekend, but weekdays in October should be nice, weekends are always up in the air.

The only things that get crowded in Fantasyland are Peter Pan (the most crowded, and the slowest queue), the Matterhorn and Dumbo. I would suggest doing the e-ticket attractions first or the submarines, or do the submarines very late at night when the park is about to close. And you will have your own entry to the California Adventure park in the morning since you are staying at the Grand Californian, so you'll get in right away...and I am sorry to say that the rope drops in the DLR aren't as exciting as the ones in WDW...there is no little song and dance beforehand, but I still get excited.

Relax and have fun. Disneyland definitely doesn't require as much intense planning as WDW. Make sure to see the Aladdin show in California Adventure, I am sure it will be a highlight of the trip.

Happy Honeymooning!

LMO429
07-14-2008, 08:41 AM
A lot of great tips are on here for you already, but for any specifics I highly recommend the Disneyland forum- there are a lot of us California Disneyland crazies that are willing to help :yay:

Keep in mind that the parks are so close that park hopping is a breeze and a lot faster than in Disney World. I recommend spending your mornings in Disneyland and then hopping over to California Adventure in the afternoon when Disneyland gets more crowded. I don't know if when you are there is mid week or weekend, but weekdays in October should be nice, weekends are always up in the air.

The only things that get crowded in Fantasyland are Peter Pan (the most crowded, and the slowest queue), the Matterhorn and Dumbo. I would suggest doing the e-ticket attractions first or the submarines, or do the submarines very late at night when the park is about to close. And you will have your own entry to the California Adventure park in the morning since you are staying at the Grand Californian, so you'll get in right away...and I am sorry to say that the rope drops in the DLR aren't as exciting as the ones in WDW...there is no little song and dance beforehand, but I still get excited.

Relax and have fun. Disneyland definitely doesn't require as much intense planning as WDW. Make sure to see the Aladdin show in California Adventure, I am sure it will be a highlight of the trip.

Happy Honeymooning!


Im pretty sure the hyperion theater is going to be in rehab while we are there..does that mean no aladdin?

How are Mickey's trick or treat parties are they worth going to?

DSNY4ever
07-14-2008, 11:26 AM
Oh no! Yes, if the Hyperion Theater is under rehab, then that means no Aladdin show. I am sorry, that is truly a great show. But you will have plenty of other fun things to see.

I have never been to the Halloween party because I always thought they were for families with kids, but after all of the podcast team has given such rave reviews to all of the WDW parties, I am thinking we have to give it a try! There have been threads about it on the Disneyland board, so I suggest checking that out.

Make sure to pick up your "just married" buttons at guest services when you arrive at the park! Hopefully that might get you a few surprises.

kronkman
07-14-2008, 11:30 AM
My wife and I honeymooned on Maui and then went to DL also. It's a great and memorable trip. Be sure to get a "Just Maui'd" photo album to put all the pics of the trip in. I thought my wife was silly when she wanted one, but now I think it's pretty hilarious.
I can't belileve no one has mentioned Pirates at DL. It's longer, and widely known to be better than the MK version. Definitely want to pay attention to that. The Blue Bayou is cool for atmosphere, and I would agree with earlier posts that it's a decent lunch option.
One of my favorite things to get at California Adventure is caramel corn from the cart right near Soarin'. I think they have it in a few other places in both parks, but that's the only place I know for sure. If it's fresh, I could just stand and eat it from the cart if they'd let me. A great snack.
I will also echo the thoughts of others that the DL parks don't require the planning of WDW. It really is pretty easy to wing it for the most part. Get the submarines under your belt, and then the rest of the lines will seem like nothing. Good luck, and enjoy! It's probably the most memorable Disney trip you'll ever take.

Torontogal
07-14-2008, 11:37 AM
We experienced Disneyland last year for the first time and loved it!
You really cannot compare WDW and Disneyland as they offer two different experiences. I recommend you spend some time around CA as there is so much to offer. We loved La Jolla, San Diego, San Francisco, Laguna Beach. Hollywood was okay for 2 hours - a little seedy.
I loved Disneyland Hotel too.
Enjoy yourself - you will love it..

YellowMickeyPonchos
07-14-2008, 02:10 PM
As a DL local and regular (who also got married at the GCH @ DL), I'd love to add a couple things.

October won't be as crowded, but do remember to bring extra layers for the evening. We're still a "desert climate" and the temps go down when the sun sets. October nights are hit and miss for chillier than ususal weather. Defintely hop parks and go to DCA when you feel DL is getting crowded. DCA is empty during the week and you will be able to just walk on rides. If you're not there on Columbus Day, you're bound to be in fairly empty parks. Enjoy it!!!!

Make a PS for it, but before you eat at the Bayou, I would ride Pirates and get a look at it to see if the atmosphere is worth it to you to offset the negative reviews on the food and service. (The ride drifts by the restaurant.) I personally would pass on it. The last couple times we've eaten there, the service and food was not what I felt was Disney level - especially for the expense. You will pay the dinner prices at lunch and you will pay as much as a light Napa Rose meal. After several times of this poor quality, it kind of deflated our park going experience and that was when we finally gave up giving them another chance. Basically, what it comes down to is that you have to decide at what your personal value of "atmosphere vs service/food quality" is and if you think it is worth it to you. If you decide you want to eat there, at least you already have the PS, if not, you can just decide to blow off the PS and eat somewhere else.

Also, you can get the Monte Cristo Sandwich that everyone raves about over at the Cafe Orleans sit-down (make a PS for it). They are a relatively new sit down (almost 2 years old) and they have very good service. The outdoor dining experience is pleasant, too. The jambalaya crepes there are wonderful, too.

Other food - The buffet at the Lilo and Stitch character breakfast at the Paradise Pier Hotel is the most diverse and very tasty. Storytellers is a guaranteed hit and the cast there is very attentive. You can also have many of the items on the Napa's menu in the lounge - worth taking a break and taking advantage. If anything, go there just to get a glass of wine and their signature scallop appetizer or deserts - which are very tasty! We've never had a bad experience there and they will let you split dishes to save on expense.

Other things: Make sure you take the free tour of your hotel - they offer it daily at 2:30pm and it is well worth it! If you love the architecture, it's very informative. It's also a nice break from the parks, which won't be as crowded.

Take the Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour. They have enhanced it with audio headphones that allow you to hear Walt talk about the areas of the parks you are touring. Really magical.

I've also never really seen an effect one way or the other on Early mornings. I imagine that it will benefit you because there just isn't a morning rush to get in. You might get a few extra rides done.

Have fun and congratulations.
Nancy