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Old 10-11-2012, 03:09 AM   #1
dadofnicholas
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Advice?

Let the planning begin! Woohoo!

My son and I arrive this Saturday afternoon (in SNA) and leave next Thursday afternoon (from SNA). We have 5-day hopper tickets. We are from Vancouver, Canada so it's not a long flight and there's no time zone change.

Three questions - appreciate any suggestions:

1. For our 5th day, should we use it for the Saturday that we arrive? This means 3:30pm to end of day. Or should we save it for Thursday morning? We leave for the airport at noon.

2. We are checking out Thursday from Paradise Pier - do I still get early admission on this day?

3. If I save the 5th for our last day, any suggestions on what we can do Saturday late afternoon and evening? Downtown Disney for sure, maybe Rainforest Cafe. Perhaps something off-site?

Thanks!
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F/T single dad to an awesome son (nee 2007) and daughter (nee 2013) living in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. I've been to Disneyland as a youngster and Disneyland Paris as an adult. Returned to Disneyland as a parent:
#1 trip: May 20-25, 2012 Disneyland - Grand Californian
#2 trip: October 13-18, 2012 Disneyland - Paradise Pier
#3 trip: September 29-October 4, 2013 Disneyland - Grand Californian (Halloween Party on October 1)
#4 trip: May 6-10, 2014 - Disneyland Hotel
#5 trip: December 14-17, 2014 - Candy Cane Inn (Son's Surprise Birthday Trip)


Plus several runDisney races but do not visit parks - doesn't feel right without the kids there.

Thanks to everyone for their help, suggestions, and input! I know you've answered many similar questions in the past (and I swear I do search for similar posts) so it's greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadofnicholas View Post

1. For our 5th day, should we use it for the Saturday that we arrive? This means 3:30pm to end of day. Or should we save it for Thursday morning? We leave for the airport at noon.
I guess it depends on how early you to get up that morning and how tired you might be. I would be inclined to go on Saturday myself if we had the energy.

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Originally Posted by dadofnicholas View Post

2. We are checking out Thursday from Paradise Pier - do I still get early admission on this day?
Yes, so that is a reason to go on Thursday rather than Sat. But what time does the park open that day? If after 8AM I would again say do the Sat thing.

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Originally Posted by dadofnicholas View Post

3. If I save the 5th for our last day, any suggestions on what we can do Saturday late afternoon and evening? Downtown Disney for sure, maybe Rainforest Cafe. Perhaps something off-site?
Explore DTD, see a movie in DTD, go to ESPNZone.

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WDW 05/2013 Swan, 02/2012 CBR, 03/2011 Dolphin, 05/2008 AKL, 06/2006 FW Cabins
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:32 AM   #3
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Using a day on Saturday afternoon will be guaranteed crowded. Thursday morning/afternoon will be a breeze with an extra hour in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland before the general public (if you have the motivation to get up that early on your last day). I'd use Saturday afternoon/evening to check in to the hotel, explore the resort (the walkways around the DLH pools, the beautiful lobby of the GCH), and do some shopping and lounging in DTD. Get a good night's sleep that night so you're ready to go first thing the morning. I think on-site hotel guests get into DCA an hour early on Sunday, so taking Saturday easy and getting plenty of sleep will help you get ready for the early mornings over the following days!
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadofnicholas View Post
Let the planning begin! Woohoo!

My son and I arrive this Saturday afternoon (in SNA) and leave next Thursday afternoon (from SNA). We have 5-day hopper tickets. We are from Vancouver, Canada so it's not a long flight and there's no time zone change.

Three questions - appreciate any suggestions:

1. For our 5th day, should we use it for the Saturday that we arrive? This means 3:30pm to end of day. Or should we save it for Thursday morning? We leave for the airport at noon.

2. We are checking out Thursday from Paradise Pier - do I still get early admission on this day?

3. If I save the 5th for our last day, any suggestions on what we can do Saturday late afternoon and evening? Downtown Disney for sure, maybe Rainforest Cafe. Perhaps something off-site?

Thanks!
That's a tough call, if you get early entry on your last day, but it sounds like you'ld have much less time on Thursday. I would think it would depend on the age and energy level of your son. If he's a real little guy, and after the long flight, he'd be all tuckered and get overstimulated at the parks, I would make reservations for the Goofy's Kitchen character dinner that evening, do whatever souvenir shopping you plan to do during the trip at Downtown Disney, and watch cartoons in the movie lounge area of the Paradise Pier or go to a movie, then go on your last day.

If you think he can stay awake through one of the evening shows, I'd take him to one of the parks and spend your first day there, go back to the hotel and sleep, hit early entry and then go back to the hotel and take a long nap in the afternoon of the second day. However, if you don't think he could handle this, I'd go back to going to Goofy's Kitchen in the evening.

If you don't get early entry on your last day, I would definitely use your pass on your first day, and then I'd eat breakfast at the PCH Grill or Storyteller's Cafe with the characters on your last morning. That will give your son plenty of Disney magic without going to the parks, and the timing would work out about right to get ready for your flight. Breakfast at the Rainforest Cafe is also fun, and surprisingly inexpensive.

At any rate, there's not a bad decision in there.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:53 AM   #5
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My Mom and I often fly in from Calgary and arrive on a Saturday afternoon about the same time as you do, and have the same dilemma. We usually end up not going into the parks on Saturday, mostly because we figure it will be so crowded by the time we get there that we won't enjoy it as much, and would rather have a relaxed pace on the first day. Especially with your EE option on Thursday, you could probably get a fair amount done even in the 3 or so hours you'd have there, and it might be nice to have the chance to hop on some of your favourite rides before you head out!

Another off-site option you could try on Saturday evening if you choose not to do the parks is either Medieval Times or the Pirate's Dinner Adventure. I've never been to the Pirate Dinner, but I've seen Medieval Times in Toronto and it was fun. I think you can get a shuttle from most of the hotels, but I'm not 100% sure about that. As the PP said, no matter what you choose, it will end up being the right choice! Hope you have tons of fun
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
dadofnicholas
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Thanks for the info, everyone. Exactly the type of input/suggestions I was looking for. I'm leaning towards using it for our last day mainly because it will be crowded in the parks. I never thought about a movie so will check that out. We should have enough time in both parks - given that this is our second trip, I plan on avoiding some of the "boring" rides, revisiting the cool ones, trying Carsland of course, and trying a couple of rides that I (not my son) was scared about going on

Thanks again - appreciate everyone's input!
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F/T single dad to an awesome son (nee 2007) and daughter (nee 2013) living in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. I've been to Disneyland as a youngster and Disneyland Paris as an adult. Returned to Disneyland as a parent:
#1 trip: May 20-25, 2012 Disneyland - Grand Californian
#2 trip: October 13-18, 2012 Disneyland - Paradise Pier
#3 trip: September 29-October 4, 2013 Disneyland - Grand Californian (Halloween Party on October 1)
#4 trip: May 6-10, 2014 - Disneyland Hotel
#5 trip: December 14-17, 2014 - Candy Cane Inn (Son's Surprise Birthday Trip)


Plus several runDisney races but do not visit parks - doesn't feel right without the kids there.

Thanks to everyone for their help, suggestions, and input! I know you've answered many similar questions in the past (and I swear I do search for similar posts) so it's greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:18 PM   #7
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I would pick Saturday if you want to see fantasmic and fireworks. If you are early risers we found that 70% of the rides we rode in a day we did before 11am before the lines began to get long after that we had a big lunch and did more of the show and interactive stuff in the afternoon. So based on if you want to do rides then I would pick Thursday you could hit the favorites one last time.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:24 PM   #8
dadofnicholas
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completely makes sense for sure. we went to Fantasmic, World of Color, etc. during our first visit so won't be doing those this time around. similar to you, the plan is to hit most rides during the first half of the day except any FPs for the evening. we also have MTTM but did that last time - i hear it's being discontinued so we'll decide then if we will use it or not... or pass it off to someone on this board. getting excited - just have to plan for each day to maximize our fun! thanks again!

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Originally Posted by princesscinderella View Post
I would pick Saturday if you want to see fantasmic and fireworks. If you are early risers we found that 70% of the rides we rode in a day we did before 11am before the lines began to get long after that we had a big lunch and did more of the show and interactive stuff in the afternoon. So based on if you want to do rides then I would pick Thursday you could hit the favorites one last time.
__________________
F/T single dad to an awesome son (nee 2007) and daughter (nee 2013) living in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. I've been to Disneyland as a youngster and Disneyland Paris as an adult. Returned to Disneyland as a parent:
#1 trip: May 20-25, 2012 Disneyland - Grand Californian
#2 trip: October 13-18, 2012 Disneyland - Paradise Pier
#3 trip: September 29-October 4, 2013 Disneyland - Grand Californian (Halloween Party on October 1)
#4 trip: May 6-10, 2014 - Disneyland Hotel
#5 trip: December 14-17, 2014 - Candy Cane Inn (Son's Surprise Birthday Trip)


Plus several runDisney races but do not visit parks - doesn't feel right without the kids there.

Thanks to everyone for their help, suggestions, and input! I know you've answered many similar questions in the past (and I swear I do search for similar posts) so it's greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:08 AM   #9
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Following up, on some offseason Thursdays the parks do not open until 10AM. Even with EMH you would not have much time that day. It depends a bit on which one you are talking about.
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WDW 05/2013 Swan, 02/2012 CBR, 03/2011 Dolphin, 05/2008 AKL, 06/2006 FW Cabins
DLR Paris 06/2007 - Newport Bay/Santa Fe/Holiday Inn (solo) - see my Trip Observations
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:52 AM   #10
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Following up, on some offseason Thursdays the parks do not open until 10AM. Even with EMH you would not have much time that day. It depends a bit on which one you are talking about.
There are only 3 days this month where the park wont open till that late..which is weird to me...they are all random and why on a Sunday of all days???
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:58 AM   #11
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I would hit the parks on Saturday afternoon and shop on Thursday morning. I don't think I could stay away from the parks if I arrived so early in the evening.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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I would hit the parks on Saturday afternoon and shop on Thursday morning. I don't think I could stay away from the parks if I arrived so early in the evening.
thats me in a nutshell.i always say that im going to do it while in the parks but i never do so i love WOD because they have everything the different stores have in one place and im not in the parks so i dont have to worry about conflicts
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:17 PM   #13
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Did you by any chance buy your tickets through flight center? If so you may be able upgrade them to six days and then you can just go everyday. We stayed at the DLH and they were able to do this for us for $15 a ticket. It seemed to me that this wasn't something they can normally do but maybe because of the ticket distributer that flight center uses they were able to do it.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:22 AM   #14
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There are only 3 days this month where the park wont open till that late..which is weird to me...they are all random and why on a Sunday of all days???
CHOC Walk that morning (tomorrow). We are at DLR this weekend and the late start at DL is kind of nice with DS16 with me as he sleeps so much it will allow him to sleep in and us still not be behind the crowds at DL tomorrow.
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WDW 05/2013 Swan, 02/2012 CBR, 03/2011 Dolphin, 05/2008 AKL, 06/2006 FW Cabins
DLR Paris 06/2007 - Newport Bay/Santa Fe/Holiday Inn (solo) - see my Trip Observations
Tokyo Disney Resort 11/2009 - SunRoute Plaza (with DS13) - see my Trip Report (with photos)
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:53 PM   #15
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CHOC Walk that morning (tomorrow). We are at DLR this weekend and the late start at DL is kind of nice with DS16 with me as he sleeps so much it will allow him to sleep in and us still not be behind the crowds at DL tomorrow.
ooooh i totally forgot about that one
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