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View Full Version : Still Overwhelmed with 1st Trip!


jenanderson
01-04-2012, 05:33 PM
Alright, I am rapidly reading as much as I can on the different threads here and on some other sites as well. I am hoping I can get some personal insight on some of our questions:

1. We will be going to DL after a conference I am going to for work so I can't change the dates. Right now it looks like we will arrive in the DL area on Thursday, June 28th. We are contemplating how many days to stay. We know we will be battling the possible opening of CL, the crowds of the upcoming 4th of July and the fact that DS has medical issues and we will possibly have him in a wheelchair.

Any clue on what the crowds will be like at that time of the year? Does DL do anything special for the 4th?

2. Right now we have a 3 night reservation at PPH but in looking at some other options, we are debating staying at a different hotel because we could easily double our stay. When I try to get pricing at some of the Good Neighbor hotels on the DL site, I can get a standard room with a 6-day park hopper ticket. If I try to book directly through one of the hotel's websites (to get a different type of room - say with bigger beds), I don't see how to get the pricing for the 6-day park hopper ticket.

Any suggestions for how to get the right pricing? Do you book through the hotel and add the tickets? Do you book through DL and just take a standard room?

3. If we add more days, our big concern really is the cost of food. We would have to figure out how to cut back where we can. I have looked at some of the menus on different websites for eating while we are at the park. We think we could save on breakfast if we could find free breakfast or have some breakfast groceries in the room.

I see that some hotels offer a free breakfast but we all know that some are not all that great.

Are there hotels that have a great (or at least decent) free breakfast that you recommend?

Are there any grocery stores near the strip of hotels or someplace that delivers groceries?

4. We booked PPH partially because of DS's medical problems. We normally do WDW every day and have the routine down pat. We let him walk when he can, we use the wheelchair when needed, we keep him shaded as much as possible, we take breaks in the afternoons, etc (plus we have always had a guest assistance card for him). This means a hotel that is easy to get to the park and back to the hotel. We thought staying at PP would allow us the ability to go back and forth easily, use the extra magic hours to get on rides with the least amount of crowds, have a nice pool to relax around when we need a break and keep us all in the Disney magic. If we want to stay longer, we probably need a cheaper alternative.

Knowing these needs, is there any of the Good Neighbor hotels (or other hotels) you would recommend?

Thanks everyone! We just feel overwhelmed because DS has a lot of special needs at Disney and we really have it all figured out at WDW...it just seems hard to be planning for the unknown of DL.

Jen

sonnyjane
01-04-2012, 06:00 PM
I don't have much time to comment, but I wanted to address your last comment about staying at PP because of your son. PPH is really not *all* that close. Cutting through GCH, it's still about half a mile of walking. It's not far, but if distance is a huge concern, there are MANY closer options. Park Vue Inn is right across the street from the shuttle drop-off (.2 miles) and has a good free breakfast. Best Western Park Place Inn is also right across the street. Ramada Inn Maingate has a nice pool and free continental breakfast as well. Disneyland is different than Walt Disney World in that the "on-site" hotels, other than Grand Californian which is right next to the park, are actually farther than a lot of the "off-site" alternatives. "On-site" really just means "Disney-owned", it doesn't really mean they are the closest option.

skiingfast
01-04-2012, 06:16 PM
1.Any clue on what the crowds will be like at that time of the year? Does DL do anything special for the 4th?
Very Busy, I'd do 4-5 days minimum. The 4th will have the biggest firework show of the year and A special version of WoC.


2. Right now we have a 3 night reservation at PPH but in looking at some other options, we are debating staying at a different hotel because we could easily double our stay. When I try to get pricing at some of the Good Neighbor hotels on the DL site, I can get a standard room with a 6-day park hopper ticket. If I try to book directly through one of the hotel's websites (to get a different type of room - say with bigger beds), I don't see how to get the pricing for the 6-day park hopper ticket.

Any suggestions for how to get the right pricing? Do you book through the hotel and add the tickets? Do you book through DL and just take a standard room?



SonnyJane has good advice on this. The tickets weren't discounted. You can get them for the same or better on Disneyland.com, this is how packages work and why a la carte pricing is usually better.

I would carefully watch ticket prices as they will probably go up for summer in price.

http://disneyland.disney.go.com/tickets/

3. Are there hotels that have a great (or at least decent) free breakfast that you recommend?

Look at the places SJ suggested, super close and both have breakfast. Park Vue also has some snacks and a light simple dinner.

Are there any grocery stores near the strip of hotels or someplace that delivers groceries?

A few withing a couple miles, tager down Harbor, Food4 less west on Katella.

Vons does free delivery for your first order and it needs to be over $50.

jenanderson
01-04-2012, 06:31 PM
Thanks for the information so far. We were kind of realizing that our dates were going to be for a busy time of the year and that we probably needed to do more then just our 3 night stay.

My only concern about the off site locations at this point are the lack of being immersed in the Disney magic. There is a reason why we go to Disney as much as we do and it has to do with how special Disney can make you feel.

I will also admit that I am a bit of a hotel snob and I am concerned about how some of the other hotels. I don't want to feel like I am in totally cheap motel. :rolleyes1 . . .just a slightly cheap motel! :rotfl2:

Is there anyone who has done one of the Disney owned hotels and then done something off-site? Did you miss the magic? Will we miss the extra magic hours? Will we regret not just paying the difference and staying on-site?

skiingfast
01-04-2012, 06:40 PM
I will also admit that I am a bit of a hotel snob and I am concerned about how some of the other hotels. I don't want to feel like I am in totally cheap motel. :rolleyes1 . . .just a slightly cheap motel! :rotfl2:

Is there anyone who has done one of the Disney owned hotels and then done something off-site? Did you miss the magic? Will we miss the extra magic hours? Will we regret not just paying the difference and staying on-site?

Yes, I have done both and it doesn't matter to me anymore. I like being closer to the gates.

I like Harbor drive near the parks. I don't mind that cars going by it's just like watching the traffic on World Drive.

The hours will be 8-12. Magic Morning are 4 days a week for an extra hour. It helps but going to the parks for 17 hours a day for multiple days is not likely. You will get one MM with a 3 day or longer park hopper anyway.

jenanderson
01-04-2012, 06:43 PM
Yes, I have done both and it doesn't matter to me anymore. I like being closer to the gates.

I like Harbor drive near the parks. I don't mind that cars going by it's just like watching the traffic on World Drive.

The hours will be 8-12. Magic Morning are 4 days a week for an extra hour. It helps but going to the parks for 17 hours a day for multiple days is not likely. You will get one MM with a 3 day or longer park hopper anyway.

Thanks! It makes me feel so much better. I think it is just hard coming from the WDW mentality!

sonnyjane
01-04-2012, 06:44 PM
I will also admit that I am a bit of a hotel snob and I am concerned about how some of the other hotels. I don't want to feel like I am in totally cheap motel. :rolleyes1 . . .just a slightly cheap motel! :rotfl2:

Is there anyone who has done one of the Disney owned hotels and then done something off-site? Did you miss the magic? Will we miss the extra magic hours? Will we regret not just paying the difference and staying on-site?

I have stayed at PPH. I have also stayed at Camelot, Park Vue Inn, Ramada Inn Maingate and Tropicana. The difference in price is immense, and for me, not enough to justify the experience. Many people on the boards rave about PPH, but while I enjoyed my stay, I was disappointed in the quality of the room (cleanliness and furnishings) for what I paid. I stayed at PPH in August and for my next trip in March I will be staying at Park Vue because it's simply so much closer.

Magic Morning is offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On these days, most of the attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland open one hour earlier for guests that have MM entry. If you stay on-site, you can go every morning it's offered. If you buy a ticket of 3 or more days, you will get one MM entry. In other words, you can still take advantage of MM if you don't stay on-site.

The main hotels on Harbor right near the park are far from being roach motels. They aren't luxurious, but they are clean, safe places with friendly staff.

jenanderson
01-04-2012, 07:22 PM
I have stayed at PPH. I have also stayed at Camelot, Park Vue Inn, Ramada Inn Maingate and Tropicana. The difference in price is immense, and for me, not enough to justify the experience. Many people on the boards rave about PPH, but while I enjoyed my stay, I was disappointed in the quality of the room (cleanliness and furnishings) for what I paid. I stayed at PPH in August and for my next trip in March I will be staying at Park Vue because it's simply so much closer.

Magic Morning is offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On these days, most of the attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland open one hour earlier for guests that have MM entry. If you stay on-site, you can go every morning it's offered. If you buy a ticket of 3 or more days, you will get one MM entry. In other words, you can still take advantage of MM if you don't stay on-site.

The main hotels on Harbor right near the park are far from being roach motels. They aren't luxurious, but they are clean, safe places with friendly staff.

I have read a lot of people talking about the Park Value Inn. I might need to look at the photos of that place again. :thumbsup2

frijolefrito
01-05-2012, 10:36 AM
THIS is kind of off subject but this is something I hope will help your stress:

For starters BE CALM! This is a vacation and the worst thing you can do is never shrug off that I GOTTA do this and WE gotta do that and WE got to see this and I GOOTTA SEE THIS AND DOO THAT OMG LORD HELP ME PLEASE I AM DROWNING IN MY TEARS!

So first off I would go with whatever option lets you stay longer. I did a week and that was JUST enough. So 6 days is great! Also you have someone in a wheelchair so take your time. When it's packed it's hard to maneuver and if you use the little scooters it's worse! All you do is go and stop go and stop. I recommend wheelchairs.

All the hotels have shuttles half the fun is the anticipation of getting there.

Second I don't know if you've done this but look at an online map of the parks. Figure out all the rides you want to go on and then just hit them in succession. Do the loop at one park than go on the other. Example little mermaid, goofy, Toystory, cruisin, ect all within each other. Than space mountain, star tours (an absolute must btw. Like if you do nothing go on this ride at least 3 times. *it's random so you at least 2 out of those 3 should be different than each other.). Don't worry about wait times, don't worry about mouse line wait, you just hit everything and enjoy the atmosphere and the talking!

If you have someone who can run fast passes for you great if not DON"T WORRY. It's more important to hit the rides you want and enjoy your time than trying to do everything and freaking out!

So breathe!

Expect insanely long lines for cars stuff and be pleasantly surprised if they aren't long. Take breaks eat harty breakfasts and dinners! Make sure to get your sleep and rest when you need it!