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sunshineNJ
12-26-2011, 08:48 PM
I have been to Disneyworld alot but never been to DL. I need help. I have heard it's not humid like Florida in the summer. Is that true? How is the weather there at Christmas time? Is it as crowded at Christmas as DW? Do they have a dining plan? I was thinking about doing a couple days sightseeing like Hollywood i guess. What beaches are good and not too far? I don't want to rent a car cause I'm not comfortable driving i unfamiliar places. I guess it's easy to find cabs. What about the onsite hotels. Are they all nice? Thanks:)

skiingfast
12-26-2011, 08:53 PM
Start out reading the DLR guide for WDW vets. (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1162599) Then ask questions.

The only thing you wonder about not addressed in there is the Christmas Crowds. Yes they are bad at Christmas just like in WDW.

sonnyjane
12-26-2011, 08:57 PM
Alright...lots of stuff to cover in your post!

First, read this post: A DLR Guide for WDW Vets: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1162599

Second, yes that is true, it is not nearly as humid here as it is in Florida. December, however, can bring rain.

Third, Christmas at Disneyland is also very crowded, most especially the week between Christmas and New Years, which is the most busy week of the year. The "Christmas" season, however, starts in mid-November, so you can experience it at a less busy time in the weeks before Christmas.

Fourth, they *kind of* have a dining plan, but it's not the same as WDW's. You don't save any money, you just pay for dollar-amount vouchers in advance, and you can't get change back if you don't spend it all. It's not recommended...kind of a waste. If you want to pre-pay for meals, just put money on a Disney gift card.

Five, Hollywood won't take multiple days. You can do all the major things (Hollywood sign, Walk of Fame, Kodak Theater) in half a day.

If you don't want to rent a car, cabs can get expensive, especially to Hollywood! It has taken me two hours to get from Hollywood to Disneyland on a weekday due to traffic. You don't want to spend that in a cab! For people that are looking to explore SoCal, I almost always recommend renting a car, even if just for a day. It could save you money in the long run and you won't have to deal with other people's schedules.

Regarding on-site hotels, yes they are nice, but they are also expensive. Many guests at DL choose to stay off-site because there are many off-site hotels that are much closer than the on-site hotels but are about a third of the price. You can read about that in the thread I posted at the beginning.

sunshineNJ
12-26-2011, 09:24 PM
:)Thanks!!

KCmike
12-26-2011, 09:46 PM
I have been to Disneyworld alot but never been to DL. I need help. I have heard it's not humid like Florida in the summer. Is that true? How is the weather there at Christmas time? Is it as crowded at Christmas as DW? Do they have a dining plan? I was thinking about doing a couple days sightseeing like Hollywood i guess. What beaches are good and not too far? I don't want to rent a car cause I'm not comfortable driving i unfamiliar places. I guess it's easy to find cabs. What about the onsite hotels. Are they all nice? Thanks:)

RE: Weather: No humidity. It's heaven on earth. Rainy in the winter months.

RE: Christmas time and being busy: Oh yeah.
http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x145/KCmike1969/IMG_0150-2.jpg


RE: Dining plan: It stinks. The food is not a focal point at DL but its getting better all the time. WDW's food is so much better in all aspects.

RE: Hollywood: If you have to go only spend an hour or two as it is not worth it. It's dirty and not a good place to be for the most part.

RE: Beaches: Best beaches in my opinion are Corona Del Mar and Newport for families.
Corona Del Mar from the road
http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x145/KCmike1969/IMG_8012-1.jpg

Corona Del Mar from the beach
http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x145/KCmike1969/IMG_7990.jpg

Newport Beach
http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x145/KCmike1969/IMG_8076.jpg

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x145/KCmike1969/IMG_8069-1.jpg

RE: Transportation: Supershuttle is a nice way to get to the resort. From there you can take cabs if need be.

RE: Onsite Hotels: Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier, and Grand Californian. GC is the best and flagship hotel. DLH is next and followed by PP. Location is what separates GC from the rest along with its private access to California Adventure. For my family GC is the best hands down. There are several good options available on Harbor Blvd but we don't like the congestion and traffic associated with staying offsite. Some are closer than the DLR hotels but we only stay outside if money is an issue. DLH is nice too! Never stayed at paradise pier.

Disneyland is amazing but will feel like a home amusement park at first because its surrounded by the urban sprawl. Once your inside the gates though the magic hits home like no other. You can really feel Walt's presence. Disneyland is the best park far and away. Go. Have fun. Be prepared to skip WDW for a few years and visit Disneyland more often.

One other thing to consider is to see other things in California. San Diego is gorgeous and only about 90 minutes away. Monterey and San Fran are wonderful as well. Yosemite National Park is a must see. Its heaven on earth.

Have fun planning!

MAH4546
12-26-2011, 10:57 PM
It's not rainy in the winter months at all. But it will rain for maybe 10 days total spread between November and February. And rainy days at Disneyland are awesome, because most guests are locals, and locals freak out when it rains and lock themselves in their houses.

sonnyjane
12-26-2011, 11:19 PM
It's not rainy in the winter months at all. But it will rain for maybe 10 days total spread between November and February. And rainy days at Disneyland are awesome, because most guests are locals, and locals freak out when it rains and lock themselves in their houses.

I have to challenge the 10 days thing, but only because we've had some really weird winter weather here the last few winters. It's for sure already rained more than 10 days! It's not always all day long heavy rains, but to say "it's not rainy in the winter months at all" isn't really accurate, since that's basically the only time it IS rainy.

KCmike
12-26-2011, 11:24 PM
I will rephrase then. December, Jan, Feb are the most likely months for rain in SoCal. It looks like you guys get an average of 2-3inches of rain a year in those months. This is typically more than we get here in the Midwest according to the weather channel's data.

I have heard though that when it rains its a great time to go to Disneyland! Crowds scatter.

skiingfast
12-26-2011, 11:38 PM
While it may be a rainier time in December for Anaheim, it's rainier and more humid in Florida 12 months of the year.

sonnyjane
12-26-2011, 11:40 PM
While it may be a rainier time in December for Anaheim, it's rainier and more humid in Florida 12 months of the year.

Without question!!!

HappyHaunt
12-27-2011, 02:23 AM
Compared to Florida? Yeah it's not humid at all. You won't be soaking wet when you step out of your hotel room. lol For us it it's still more humid then where we live though. We live in Nevada, and it's just so dry there that just about anywhere else is humid! lol

There are times where they stop letting people in DL, it gets so crowded at Christmas time. Honestly, if I've never been there it wouldn't be the time I'd pick to go.

They do have dining plans, but they are nothing like WDW. You don't save any money, and you don't get any change back. We have never found it worth it.

We like staying onsite when we can. But again it's not like WDW where you really kinda have to. You can stay in motels that are VERY close (like 3-5 minutes if you want) walking distance to the parks. But yes, the onsite hotels are very nice. They are also pretty pricey! But worth a splurge if you can swing it.

I agree that Hollywood isn't worth it. We also never really do beaches. I hate spending time that I could be spending in the parks. LOL

HydroGuy
12-27-2011, 09:19 AM
Here is some weather and rain data:

"Comparison of Weather For WDW and DLR" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1711098 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1711098)

Here are areas where DLR exceeds WDW IMO (from "A DLR Guide for WDW Vets" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1162599 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1162599)):



22. Areas Where DLR Exceeds WDW

Let me come out and say it right upfront - WDW has many things about it better than DLR. However, not everything about WDW is better than DLR and there are several areas where DLR exceeds WDW. That is what makes each resort special. Here is my list of areas where DLR exceeds WDW:

1. Weather - IMO the weather at DLR is better than WDW on average, and especially in the summer. Less rain and less humidity. See "Comparison of Weather For WDW and DLR" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1711098 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1711098)

2. Ride concentration - One would think that WDW would have twice as many rides as DLR since it has twice as many parks. Nope. WDW has only 10% more rides. DLR has lots more rides packed into those little parks.

3. Entertainment - as of today DLR's top four shows are better than their counterparts at WDW. That would be World of Color (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=37986447), the Remember Dreams Come True fireworks/laser/special effects show (shown seasonally), Fantasmic (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2671983) and the Aladdin stage show

4. Accessibility - everything can be reached on foot and park hopping takes about 1 minute. The walking distance hotels makes for a different experience.

5. Longer park hours - along with #4 above makes it easier to spend more time in the parks.

6. Much less need for planning - for those accustomed to choosing parks and ADR's 6 months in advance you can forget about that. You can't make dining reservations until 2 months in advance and even then they are in much less demand than WDW. Even if you wait until a week before your trip many dining reservations are still available. And since it is so easy to parkhop there is no need to commit to parks on given days. Finally, if you stay at a walking distance hotel there is no need to plan for transportation.

7. Seasonal makeovers - Because DLR caters less to out-of-town vacationers they are more free to change their rides. So every year three rides get seasonal makeovers: From September-January Haunted Mansion is converted into "Haunted Mansion Holiday". From November-January It's A Small World is converted into "It's A Small World Holiday" and from September-October Space Mountain is converted into Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. This keeps the parks more dynamic and interesting. This does require taking down the rides to install and remove the makeover elements.

8. Extended trip touring outside DLR - as discussed in the next section, there is a lot to do in California if you stay longer than DLR - natural, cultural, historical, entertainment, sports, etc. More of a variety and more interesting things than Florida. Fabulous National Parks such as Yosemite and Sequoia, within reach of the Grand Canyon in adjacent Arizona, accessible to Las Vegas, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Wine Country north of the Bay Area, Monterey, Big Sur coastline, and Death Valley. Then there is Hollywood and the entertainment industry, aviation history, a real Universal Studios that is not just a theme park, Spanish mission history, mountains and skiing, and whitewater rafting. The list goes on and on and on. Florida is not without opportunities outside WDW but the list is much shorter.

deej696
12-28-2011, 07:01 AM
We just returned from DL last week and had a great time. The weather was great, basically no humidity compared to my home of Florida, and the crowds were tolerable. DL park itself got a little hairy, but that was to be expected the week before Christmas. I wrote about my thoughts on the differences between WDW and DL here (http://www.theworldofdeej.com/2011/12/walt-disney-world-vs-disneyland-great.html) if it's any help...

loveysbydesign
12-28-2011, 09:15 AM
We just returned from DL last week and had a great time. The weather was great, basically no humidity compared to my home of Florida, and the crowds were tolerable. DL park itself got a little hairy, but that was to be expected the week before Christmas. I wrote about my thoughts on the differences between WDW and DL here (http://www.theworldofdeej.com/2011/12/walt-disney-world-vs-disneyland-great.html) if it's any help...

Thanks for the link!

KCmike
12-28-2011, 09:21 AM
We just returned from DL last week and had a great time. The weather was great, basically no humidity compared to my home of Florida, and the crowds were tolerable. DL park itself got a little hairy, but that was to be expected the week before Christmas. I wrote about my thoughts on the differences between WDW and DL here (http://www.theworldofdeej.com/2011/12/walt-disney-world-vs-disneyland-great.html) if it's any help...

Nice short review. It's funny because WDW was our home park for so many years (thinking it was the end all be all to vacations) and we went to Disneyland over a Halloween extended weekend and were instantly hooked. We enjoy the closeness of everything in Disneyland. I love being able to ride the teacups and seeing Matterhorn to the one side of me and Storybook Canal boat ride on the other. We just went back to the Magic Kingdom in Florida and it felt big, empty, and heartless. The parks were a letdown for all of us even the kids. Now the resorts were hands down so much better. The food as well was so much better. I still love WDW but Disneyland is where my heart will always be now.

You have to return to see Remember Dreams Come True fireworks sometime Deej.

What did you think of Fantasmic!, Aladdin, Pirates, ISAM, and some of the other notable rides in Disneyland?

tksbaskets
12-28-2011, 03:16 PM
I have to agree with KCMike. :thumbsup2 If I could swap all my Boardwalk DVC points for the villas at GC I would!

My husband and sons like some aspects of WDW (EPCOT, Flights of Wonder at AK and I must admit to a passion for the Rockin' Roller Coaster) but for a magical, bus free vacation DL is my ultimate "Happy Place".

If we ever did an add-on it would be at the villas at GC.

TK

deej696
12-28-2011, 05:56 PM
Nice short review. It's funny because WDW was our home park for so many years (thinking it was the end all be all to vacations) and we went to Disneyland over a Halloween extended weekend and were instantly hooked. We enjoy the closeness of everything in Disneyland. I love being able to ride the teacups and seeing Matterhorn to the one side of me and Storybook Canal boat ride on the other. We just went back to the Magic Kingdom in Florida and it felt big, empty, and heartless. The parks were a letdown for all of us even the kids. Now the resorts were hands down so much better. The food as well was so much better. I still love WDW but Disneyland is where my heart will always be now.

You have to return to see Remember Dreams Come True fireworks sometime Deej.

What did you think of Fantasmic!, Aladdin, Pirates, ISAM, and some of the other notable rides in Disneyland?

We didn't see Fantasmic, but World of Color was amazing. Best show between the two resorts in my opinion. I loved Aladdin and Pirates, and of course Space Mountain is hands down better than WDW. I think I like most of the Disneyland versions of rides better than WDW:)

Cannot_Wait_4Disney
12-28-2011, 11:13 PM
I have been to Disneyworld alot but never been to DL. I need help. I have heard it's not humid like Florida in the summer. Is that true? Yes. It is not nearly as humid on average in the summer at DLR as it is at WDW.
How is the weather there at Christmas time?
Be prepared for anything.
Is it as crowded at Christmas as DW?
Disneyland's capacity is smaller than that of MK. It's very crowded and they often reach closure.
Do they have a dining plan?
Not like the one at WDW. It's a pre paid voucher system at DLR.
I was thinking about doing a couple days sightseeing like Hollywood i guess.
I'm not all that big on Hollywood. I know for some it's a must see.
What beaches are good and not too far?
Newport is nice and not too far. It's also easy to get to.
I don't want to rent a car cause I'm not comfortable driving i unfamiliar places.They have rental places right close to Disneyland if you need one for a jaunt to the beach. The drive to Newport beach is easy. Straight down Harbor to the end and make a right. Follow the signs. Or you can take a cab if that's what you want.
What about the onsite hotels. Are they all nice?
GCH would come in at mid or high deluxe level WDW.
DLH would come in at low deluxe level WDW.
PPH would come in between Mod and Deluxe at WDW.
There are no mod or value level onsite hotels.

larina
12-29-2011, 08:17 AM
...

RE: Location is what separates GC from the rest along with its private access to California Adventure...
Have fun planning!

Guests staying at any on-site hotel (GC, DLH, or PPH) can use this entrance. It is great, although last week I wasn't once asked for my hotel key after 10 am.

Huff
12-29-2011, 05:05 PM
Disneyland's capacity is smaller than that of MK. It's very crowded and they often reach closure.

Disneyland has more rides, shows and attractions overall than Magic Kingdom so I would think that would allow more, not less except that Disneylands is physically smaller in size which causes bottlenecks of crowds on busy days.

sonnyjane
12-29-2011, 05:10 PM
Disneyland's capacity is smaller than that of MK. It's very crowded and they often reach closure.




As Huff just mentioned, there are more attractions in DL than in MK, it's just in a more compact space.

KCmike
12-29-2011, 05:17 PM
Guests staying at any on-site hotel (GC, DLH, or PPH) can use this entrance. It is great, although last week I wasn't once asked for my hotel key after 10 am.

Yeah I should have been more clearer as your right. I meant to say that its nice being so close. You can jump off of Grizzly River Run and go straight to your room or the pool. It sure was nice after fighting the crowd from World of Color to be so close to "home".