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Lesleyluvsdisney 08-07-2009 01:04 PM


can someone PLEASE help me with planning 1st trip to DL and also first time to the west coast??

We are staying in Anahiem for 8 nights, arriving 7th October, we have hired a car, have 5 day Disney Hopper and 1 day Universal. the stuff we def want to do are:

1. As much time in both parks as possible
2. Go shopping - definetly need A&F, MAC cosmetics and Apple store
3. Warner Bros studio tour
4. See the sights of hollywood etc.
5. Santa Monica
6.possibly San Fransisco (DH wants to do this as visited couple of times while working in San Jose and Sunnyvale)

Know its a HUGE amount of stuff to try and do in a short time, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

We are going back 2011, but would like to do as much as possible this time.


teatime 08-07-2009 01:08 PM

Sounds like a wonderful trip, but a lot to do in a few days. So your doing disneyland 5 days, and universal in 1 day, and you have 2 more days in california, or just anaheim? if only 8 days total you might want to spent the night some where else instead of Anaheim since you have to come back to that point each night, way to much traveling. I my self would do the 5 days of Disneyland, then head over to a hotel closer to universal, then stay in LA to see the other things that are important.

teatime 08-07-2009 01:09 PM

Also if there are more places to see, I would cut disneyland down to 4 days or even 3 so you can get everything in with out making you all crazy.

blue donkey 08-07-2009 02:04 PM

I agree with teatime, split your stay. Traffic in LA will take up a lot of your time if you commute from Anaheim. Going to SF sounds like you'd be pushing it. Maybe SF next time.

I am sure many others have done a trip like yours. Hopefully, they'll suggest a place to stay in LA. I'd say stay in Hollywood since most of the places you want to visit are there.

Have fun!

ctamama 08-07-2009 02:45 PM

How large of a group are you traveling with?? If there are children in your group I would plan at least 3 Disney days. You will love Disney in the Fall. That is when we usually go. The weather is fantastic!

I also agree it would be wise to change hotels when you are done with Disney. It can be a trek to SF from the Anaheim area.

I am going to have to come quiz YOU about WDW now, we are planning our first ever trip this Fall--very excited!

jlmarr 08-07-2009 02:46 PM


Originally Posted by Lesleyluvsdisney (Post 33062107)
2. Go shopping - definetly need A&F, MAC cosmetics and Apple store

The Brea Mall has all 3 of those, as does The Grove in Los Angeles. Brea is much closer to DL but it sounds like you'll be in the West LA area anyway so you'll have to decide which best fits your plans. I think the Apple Store at the Grove might be bigger/better, not sure. If you go to the Grove be sure to check out the adjacent Farmer's Market, the inspiration for the Sunset Ranch Market at WDW/DHS.

blue donkey 08-07-2009 04:04 PM

southcoast plaza is coast to dl & has a&f, apple but only has mac counters (macy's) but I highly recommend it for all kinds of other shopping.:goodvibes

Well,I just checked & it says it has a mac as well.

usschmidt 08-07-2009 04:47 PM

SF is about an 7-8 hour car drive, but you can get plane tickets for about $100/ea one-way. If I were you I'd stay down in Southern California for this trip, and then fly directly to SF your next trip. Then you could do things like wine country, redwood forest, etc.

Lesleyluvsdisney 08-07-2009 07:16 PM

thanks again everyone for your helpful replies!!! I know trying to do too much, but after a 13 hour flight to get there I so can't wait to see everything!! just wish I'd booked more nights!!


usschmidt 08-07-2009 07:20 PM

Would it be worth it financially to change your return flight?

Lesleyluvsdisney 08-07-2009 07:31 PM


Originally Posted by usschmidt (Post 33067071)
Would it be worth it financially to change your return flight?

no not really as its within 8 weeks dep and booked thru a tour operator i cant change, DH suggested flying home from SF, but too expensive.


Lesleyluvsdisney 08-07-2009 07:43 PM

you see we have an ongoing battle in our house, as to how many times we have visited the US, DH is 1 stay ahead of me having been to san fransisco twice, ive never been, but ive been to Washington DC and Baltimore and he hasn't, so he thinks he is an expert on California, that is why he is so keen to go on this trip.

but in 2011 myself and best friends DH will be 40, they will be married 10 years, so we are travelling together to do San Fransisco/Vegas/LA, so will see it then, but DH wants to go now!! He doesnt realise that as soon as ive been to San Fransisco, i'll have beat him!! haha

everytime a tv commercial, movie or tv series comes on with either Washington DC or San Fransisco its a fight to shout "ive been there"!!!

sad, but true!


usschmidt 08-07-2009 07:47 PM

It must be a Scot-thing b/c we're friends w/a couple from Scotland and they're the SAME way! Very much in love, but very competitive lol.

You'll have fun no matter what you do, I'm sure :)

Lesleyluvsdisney 08-07-2009 07:51 PM

hahaha! very true! dont like to lose!

pixiewings71 08-07-2009 10:04 PM

I would definitely say you should skip the SF trip. I'm 45 min. from SF and it's a 6 hr drive to LA from our house, so you would be looking at at least 7-8 hrs to drive to SF. yes, it is gorgeous and fun but I don't think you'd have enough time unfortunately. :(

I think you should stick with Anaheim/LA/San Diego and do everything there. :) I have a friend in the UK, he was just in DL in May, he's currently planning a return trip for 2011, hitting SF first and then heading down to DL after. That might be something to consider for a return trip. :)

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