04-19-2009, 06:28 PM
Hi all. My mother has just brought up the chance for us to go to the land during the week of July 13th full paid for minus food. My husband can not go and I would have a 6yr old and an almost 3year old with me flying from providence ri to ca. I have never been to Disneyland and I have no idea what to expect, expect from what I have heard from the podcast.
My first question is how well will a 3 yr old do on an air plane that long?
Second which hotel? Paradise pier or the Disneyland?
Third is their dining plan worth it? And where should I eat?
Thanks a lot I am excited but very nervous almost nervous enough not to go. So any help would be great!
04-19-2009, 09:07 PM
Hi! Well, I can answer some of your questions...
For the plane ride, it totally depends on the kid. One of mine did great on a long plane ride, but he's mr easygoing all the time. My other son, not so much. Be prepared with snacks and entertainment. A portable DVD player would probably be a good investment if you don't already have one.
Second, for the hotel choices, I would personally pick the Disneyland hotel, but honestly I've never stayed in either. We did stay at the Grand Californian, and it was really nice, but not worth shelling out the big bucks, IMHO. Disneyland hotel has wonderful, classic Disney theming. Paradise Pier does not have the same level of theming, but it does have an entrance to California Adventure. This being said, it is just about as far to walk from any of the resort hotels to Disneyland as it is to stay across Harbor Blvd at one of the Good Neighbor hotels, and you get most if not all the benefits of being a resort guest (i.e. extra magic hours). And the walk between Disneyland and Calif Advent. is only a couple hundred yards at most. We've stayed at the HoJo (nice, but a little too far away for walking w/ little ones) and the Tropicana (Nice enough, and you can't get much closer to the crosswalk to the park entrance. Either would be about half the price of the Disney hotels.
Finally, the food!!!! I've not done the dining plan. We have always driven and had a fridge in the hotel room, so we stocked up on snacks & drinks. There are many, many restaurants within walking distance of the Harbor Blvd hotels, Millie's restaurant was wonderful! and there is a Denny's for a decent filling breakfast if that's your thing. If you stay onsite, you have less access to these restaurants, and less inclination to spend your money outside Disney property (hmm, almost like they planned it that way...). For onsite faire, Storyteller's Cafe in the Grand Californian has a character breakfast (buffet) with Chip and Dale being the main characters, which we enjoyed, but the kids liked nothing on the buffet, which was a major waste of a lot of money. Elsewhere in the parks, you can get a Dole Whip on the path to Adventureland, and I can't think of anywhere I'd rather try than the Blue Bayou which overlooks the Pirates of the Caribbean beginning part of the ride, so the atmosphere is dark and peaceful.
Hope some of this helps, and I'm glad to answer any other questions you have!
04-19-2009, 10:28 PM
Come join us in the Disneyland forum of this site! We talk about all those things there. You will find out lots of info that I think will help you not to be so nervous. I always feel better when I know how something is going to be. :goodvibes
The dining plan is currently not worth it and not like WDW. I have never used it but others who have said you just get vouchers worth 5s and 10s. If you spend $3 and give a 5 you don't get change back. But you must give extra if you go over. It really doesn't sound like a good deal. Look at the DLR forum and pick out one or two table service places that you want to eat. Maybe a character meal or something. Make a priority seating for those 60 days ahead. The rest of the time you can just get counter service. I rarely eat at TS places.
Whitewater Snacks in the Grand Californian is an excellent place to have a quiet lunch. I have never found it to be crowded and it is just around the corner for the GCH exit in DCA. They have cooked to order meals and things to grab out of the fridge.
04-20-2009, 11:53 AM
I agree about reading the Disneyland Forum here. Pink Budgie is one of the many great posters over there!
I would do the DLH with no dining plan. You might want to time your flights based on when in the day your 3 yr old might nap or play quietly. I second the DVD plyer, but make sure your child is used to head phones. The attendants might come and say something if they feel the player is too loud.
There are 5 different breakfasts with characters and 2 dinners, if that's something you want to do. It's much easier to get a Priority Seating here than WDW, especially if you want off-peak dining times. It's very easy to take breaks at Disneyland, as you can cut your walking time by getting on the monorail to head back to the DLH. It doesn't drop off right at the hotel, but only less than 1/2 a block away from it.
You'll be fine. I've had my toddlers there by myself and it's not that bad. Much easier than doing WDW and dealing with buses.:thumbsup2
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