View Full Version : First time at Disneyland
06-30-2001, 07:31 PM
My DH and I are thinking of taking the family (DS 11, DD's 8 and 5) to Disneyland. We've been to WDW many times but never even to California.
Can anyone make reccomendations for....
-onsite reasonable priced hotel
-will crowd be better in October or September?
-a good book to get for info.
-interesting things near Disneyland
-cool stuff in the parks
Thanks for your suggestions!!
Peter Pan Fan
06-30-2001, 10:51 PM
I'll try to answer some of your questions.
Unlike WDW, there are only 3 on-site hotels at DL. Paradise Pier, Disneyland Hotel and the new Grand California. PP is the cheapest - we are going in September and currently have a rate of $150 for a standard view room, that is with a AAA discount. They quoted me $171 for the DH and $238 for the GC. All of these prices are before tax and before the "resort fee" of $5.75 per day which includes all local phone calls, a daily paper and parking. I have heard people getting the PP hotel for as low as $99/night, like WDW it is good to check often for deals.
We have stayed at the PP and love it, although I would like to try the GC I am not willing to pay that much more per night. Also, unlike WDW, the DL hotels have reservations through some of the internet sites like expedia.com and travelocity.com, so you can check there. The direct line to call is 714-956-MICKEY. I checked on-line and the cheapest rate I was quoted was $190 at the PP, so in this case calling Disney directly saved $$.
We have gone in September and found the crowds to be light to medium. October would probably be less crowded as Disney considers it value season after Oct 7th. September is considered regular season.
As far as books go, the unofficial guide to Disneyland is a good one with lots of unbiased information. It also gives information on some other area attractions. For more ideas, there is a link at the top of the discussion board page by Mary Jo who lists fun things to do in So. California. There is a ton to do.
As far as food, you can't eat at the castle like you can at WDW, but DL does have a neat restaurant that WDW doesn't have. Its called the Blue Bayou and it is in New Orleans Square in the same building as Pirates of the Carribean. The atmosphere is great, the food is good, the prices are in-line with what you would pay for a meal at WDW. You have to get reservations, but (Unless this has changed recently) you have to get them same day, meaning you need to line up at the restaurant when you get into the park in the mornings. I would suggest lunch instead of dinner - almost the same food with lower prices.
Make sure you go on the Indiana Jones Ride - its great!
You can also buy tickets for reserved seating for Fantasmic which includes a dessert buffet - prices are $41 for adults, not sure how much for kids. There is also a link to that info on the top of the discussion page.
Hope this helped - you will love DL!
07-01-2001, 06:06 PM
If you're not familiar with the layout of Disneyland, it is absolutely nothing like WDW. I am one of those "onsite or bust" people when it comes to WDW, but at DL, it's nice, but not as much of a necessity because the atmosphere is different, and the parks are all right there, so transportation is not a problem. There are lots of reasonably priced "off-site" hotels right across the street.
Also, a note about Fantasmic if you're wondering why you should pay $41 for reserved seating. At WDW (MGM), there is a stadium designed specifically for Fantasmic! At DL, Fantasmic is shown on the Rivers of America, and basically, seating is on the ground, or wherever you can find a nice spot on a wall to sit, or stand (kind of like looking for a good spot to watch the parade).
Ditto what Pter Pan Fan said about Blue Bayou and Indiana Jones! Also, I like the apple fritters at the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square. I haven't been to DCA yet (going in October), but sounds like they have lots of great places to eat, as well as Downtown Disney.
Interesting things near DL:
* Miniature golf across the street
* Acapulco Restaurant, about a 10-15 minute walk from DL
* Knott's Berry Farm, a short (less than 20 min.) drive
* Universal Studios, 45-60 min. drive
* Magic Mountain, 60-90 min. drive (?-it's been a while, but it's farther than Universal)
07-01-2001, 06:55 PM
Thanks ya'll for the info. I'll be looking for the Unofficial Guide tomorrow. We were born and raised in New Orleans so I know we'll be checking out the New Orleans Square.
I'm getting very excited about this trip.
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
07-01-2001, 11:51 PM
Yvette Q.O.D.: I'm guessing our New Orleans Square is nothing like where you grew up. ;) Having never been to beautiful Louisiana, I find our New Orleans Square very pretty & the most fun area of the park. Not well advertised, but located on top of the Pirates' ride is the Disney Gallery. Renderings & sketches of Walt's vision for the park. Very interesting for a first timer.
If you're here several days, DCA has some fantastic things not found at WDW. You may not find it an all-day park, but my family found it magical.
Have a great time!
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