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Catkramer 09-26-2009 03:31 PM

Trip to Disneyland and lots of questions
New here to the Disneyland board. We are huge Disney fans, and usually go to DisneyWorld. However, with the change in the economy, we are looking to cut back from the 3,000.00 vacations to hopefully spending only a few hundred.

I have TONS of questions, as we haven't been to Disneyland in almost 4 years.

My husband works for an airline, so we will be flying for free. He also has hotel points, so we are hoping to stay at a Hilton or Marriott close to Disney. We are checking to see if one of these hotels will have free transportation both to/from the airport and to/from Disneyland. Any suggestions would be appreciated. It looks like we are going to try and fly into Orange County. (We have always stayed on property, so this will be the first time we have ever stayed off property)

Another thing, we are only wanting to go for one day in each park. So we don't need Park Hoppers, etc. We will be going with another family, who happens to be a retired military family. They said they should be able to get a military discount on the tickets, so we are looking into that, but I haven't found any information on that. Any information would be appreciated.

In addition, my son has Autism. The family we are going with, their son also has Autism. They are in the same Special Needs Kindergarten class. And as families, we just hit it off and thought it would be great to bring our boys to Disneyland together. It will be their son's first time, and well, my son hasn't been to the Land since he was 2.

When we go to Disneyworld, we are able to get the Disability Pass for him at the front of the Park. We have never had a problem with getting one, and it has helped so much. Is Disneyland any different when it comes to this pass?

Also, I know that they have the "Get in on your birthday free" promotion. Are they planning on keeping that in 2010 and my son is a February birthday and we were hoping to go on his birthday. Do we need to bring anything showing that it is his birthday?

I know the dining plans work differently and the payment plans are different (between the two parks), so it is hard for me to know what to expect from Disneyland since we haven't been there in a while.

Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

rmonty02 09-26-2009 03:57 PM


Originally Posted by Catkramer (Post 33725617)
I have TONS of questions, as we haven't been to Disneyland in almost 4 years.
Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

-One of the Military Discounts is running through 9/30/09. Go to for info on many current discounts.

-The Free Birthday is set to end 12/31/09, according to the Disney web site.

-The Dining Plans at WDW & DL are different from what I've read.
"Pre-Paid Dining Plan: Disneyland offers a pre-paid dining plan, which you can buy with any vacation package. However, this plan definitely won't save you any money on your meals. You simply receive vouchers valued at exactly what you paid. This ties up your money and reduces your flexibility because the vouchers cannot be used at all Disneyland locations (including most or all of the Downtown Disney restaurants)" per mousesavers. :thumbsup2

-There is the Anaheim Resort Transit System that provides shuttle service. Don't know about convenience or pricing. Your Hotels should provide a shuttle, check into their schedules.

Have fun planning.:thumbsup2

DLR29 09-26-2009 04:46 PM

Well whether or not you want hoppers, you are going to get one if you get a 2 or more day ticket. The only non-hopper ticket that is sold is a one day ticket.

And really, hopping is so convenient that I would recommend it everyday of your trip. Unlike WDW where it takes an hour+ to get from park to park using monorails or buses and transfering...., at DLR it takes a whopping 1-2 minutes to walk from park entrance to park entrance. It's basically like having one GIGANTIC park separated by an esplanade. Most DLR DIS members park hop. It really helps for collecting a lot of FPs.

sonnyjane 09-26-2009 04:58 PM

I also wanted to say don't rule out park-hopping. Even if you're only going for two days, I'd say spend 1/2 a day at DCA and 1 and 1/2 days at DL, or just keep going back and forth as you wish, but I wouldn't limit yourself by getting two 1-park/1-day tickets.

bumbershoot 09-26-2009 05:36 PM

The Fairfield is, of course, a Marriott property, and it's easy walking distance. The Hilton near the Convention center is a longer walk, and they either take part in ART (not free) or you use another hotel's shuttle.

Dining plan isn't a money-savings. It can be convenient to have pre-paid, but at the same time, you don't get change from the vouchers, so you'll be supplementing with your own cash. If you like the pre-payment idea, just save up the money and buy giftcards and disney dollars once you get to the park.

As others have said any ticket over a one day is a hopper.

Yes they have the same sort of GAC system as WDW.

2010 is the 55th anniversary, so they'll likely be doing something for idea if they are continuing the free birthday thing. If they are, bring his birth certificate, or passport if he has one. You need gov't issued ID, basically.

Catkramer 09-27-2009 02:19 PM

Thanks for the replies! I think, I may be wrong, but to take part in the dining packages, I think you have to stay on property, no? So if that is the case, that isn't something we would want to do any ways.

I am not working right now, and budget is extremely important. We have 9 to 10 people that will be going, and the thought of spending 120 to 150 bucks just on transportation from the airport is really ticking me off. I think it is a rip off.

So I will keep looking and see what I can find.

Catkramer 09-27-2009 02:37 PM

On Mousesavers, it recommended that using a Limo service or Taxi may be cheaper if you have more than 4 people. I sent off for a quote and I got 225.00 from one company, ONE WAY.

Can you imagine paying 450.00 for a simple ride to and from the airport? That is as much as we will spend on Park tickets for the four of us. Geez.

There has to be another way.

DLR29 09-27-2009 04:04 PM

No, you don't have to stay onsite to get the dining package, but I do believe you have to book a package with Disney. Anyway, if you are looking at a budget trip, I wouldn't do the dining plan. In fact, on any trip I wouldn't do the dining plan. It doesn't save you any money, you end up having to pay OOP often and you can't use the vouchers at DTD which is a big part of DLR dining.

Catkramer 09-27-2009 04:20 PM

We have gotten the dining plan at DisneyWorld, when they were doing the free dining plan, and I thought it was great. We have purchased it once with out the free plan as well.

We got it once at Disneyland and I wasn't impressed at all. It was a pain in the rear to keep up with all of the coupons and figure out what we could use and not use. At Disneyworld they put it on your room key, and we always ended up with extras.

But no, the dining plan is not an option this time around. We would rather just pay for it ourselves.

I think we may be leaning towards flying into LAX and just renting some cars. We can rent a compact for 143 with taxes for the 3 days. And this would allow us to eat outside of the park, or grab pizzas and eat at the hotel. hmmm...

bumbershoot 09-27-2009 04:31 PM

I only brought up the dining plan b/c you mentioned it in our re-reading I see you weren't actually asking about it, but I thought you were, so I discussed it. Sorry to confuse you!'s definitely not as cheap as WDW's transport. :) Then again, CA is more expensive than FL, and people who won't take ME do pay for towncars, etc...not sure how much, but it probably gets up there.

Grayline's Disneyland Express has a new "family" option, if you hadn't seen that. It still might be more than you like, but if you hadn't seen it, check it out.

If you're looking at SuperShuttle, be sure to put your *hotel name* in for a quote, NOT the zipcode. Hotel name yields much cheaper prices.

If you rent a car, be sure to calculate re-gassing and any hotel parking charges into the cost. Also calculate the time to re-gas, and be sure to have the rental place tell you where the closest place is, and directions to and from that gas station. We nearly missed our flight home, partially b/c we left too late, but not helped at all by not knowing where the gas station was! I continue to check hotwire to see if I can find a rental car price lower than our 3 people on disneyland express...if I do, I think I'll pay the big convenience prices to just pre-pay that fillup, so we don't have to waste time doing it on the way back to the airport.

21yankees 09-27-2009 04:35 PM

I'm military so I hope I'm able to give you some information about the tickets. Since your friends are a retired military family they can get discounted tickets at your the closest mlitary installation. I noticed that your location is Salt Lake City so they should be able to get them at Hill AFB, UT. They can't get military discounted tickets at DL.

Also I agree with everyone else, it's cheaper to purchase 2 day parkhoppers than 2 one day tickets per person.



sonnyjane 09-27-2009 04:39 PM

We're a military family too. As the PP just said, there are no military discounts at the gates, so you'll have to get discounted tickets at the MWR on a local base, and unfortunately they are not very discounted at all :( I think it only saves $5-$10 but it's better than nothing!

DorkyDisneyMom 09-27-2009 04:54 PM

We flew into SNA in 2007. We just went to Ground Transportation outside the airport and got a taxi van. It cost us $50.00 to go to the Disneyland Hotel. There were 6 of us and it was just a flat rate. The van I am sure would have seated at least 10 of us. I didn't really count seats all I know is it had plenty of room for all of us and then some.

I am not sure if rates have gone up but that was our experience. I didn't think using Super Shuttle was going to save us any money or be any faster.

bumbershoot 09-27-2009 05:23 PM

Good idea about the taxivan! We're only 3 people so taxis are generally more expensive than if we use the shuttle or grayline. But with more, that could easily be a better deal.

And heck, there was a taxivan just waiting at the weird little Anaheim Amtrak station...I'm sure there are some waiting at the airport! SNA can be more expensive to travel into (for our recent trip it was $90 more expensive, in taxes and fees ALONE...the base fare was the same, for the 3 of us than flying into LAX), but it's much much quicker.

You might could also look into taxi fares (I've googled anaheim taxi before and you end up on one site and they have example fares if you look around) from LGB...that can be cheaper and it's really close...

Catkramer 09-27-2009 06:29 PM

OK, I have more information
I appreciate all of the help that you guys are giving me. I was able to get some more information, and I thought it would be VERY helpful in case one of you guys sees another post like mine.

My husband works for Southwest Airlines, and he is going to call tomorrow and see if what the price for the tickets would be through headquarters. We will compare them to the price with the Military discount through our friends and we can buy the cheaper of the two options. And yes, if buying the two day tickets will give us the park hopper for no additonal cost, then that is the option we will take. I am used to paying extra for park hopper option with Disney World. So again, another difference between the two parks. ugh.

After mentioning having to pay for transportation, which he freaked out about and said was a deal breaker, it finally got him involved enough to get on line and dig around. Come to find out, he has an opportunity to get a free three day "WEEKEND" rental car using 25,000 of his Hilton points at participating locations. So he is going to find out more about which locations and that may be an option. It will not be my first choice to go on a weekend, however, if I can find out more about the disability pass for both my son and my friend's son, this may not make much of a difference for us.

We checked, and the Marriott right across the street from Disneyland doesn't charge for parking at all. So we literally would drive the car from and to the airport. So the gas would be MUCH cheaper in this situation than to pay for the shuttle at all.

We may have to change which days of the week we are going, but having to fly standby allows us to be flexible. :)

So we may be on to some type of free transportation with the exception of paying for gas, which is no problem. I don't mind that at all.

:) I know I sound cheap. However, I am desperate for my Disney fix, and last year, we went to Disneyworld TWICE in the 12 month period. And it has been a year now with no Disney at all. And I have got a serious withdrawal thing going on. I am desperate and my husband has drawn the line on my Disney addiction. So I am trying to show him that we can go for close to the same price as going to our sorry amusement park here in Salt Lake. If I can figure out this system and how we can work it out, I may be able to talk him into buying season passes and making one day trips out to DisneyLand on weekends and just using hotel points for rental car for the day. WOO HOO!

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