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Old 11-18-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
TinknPink
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Help-best way to spend 2 days at DL??

my daughter (14) and i are going to be in California in March and only have 2 days to spend at DL. I'm looking for suggestions on how to get the most of our short time there. We are regular visitors to WDW but i haven't been to DL since the 80's and am excited about going back.
thanks, Judy

Last edited by TinknPink; 11-18-2012 at 08:01 PM. Reason: clarifying looking for help
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TinknPink View Post
my daughter (14) and i are going to be in California in March and only have 2 days to spend at DL. I'm looking for suggestions on how to get the most of our short time there. We are regular visitors to WDW but i haven't been to DL since the 80's and am excited about going back.
thanks, Judy
Park hopping can chop 20 minutes off of your day each hop - so I'd do 1 park per day. Make a plan - ride short queue rides during the early hours while collecting fast passes for the big rides which you will ride later in the day. Don't miss the fireworks if they are running the days you go.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSD

Park hopping can chop 20 minutes off of your day each hop - so I'd do 1 park per day. Make a plan - ride short queue rides during the early hours while collecting fast passes for the big rides which you will ride later in the day. Don't miss the fireworks if they are running the days you go.
I could tell by your response that you are a relatively new member, as most of us here always recommend park hoppers! Now that Carsland has brought a few more attractions to DCA it isn't AS crucial, but I still like having the option to hop. For example, even if you spend all day in DL, you can still hop to DCA for lunch, grab a World of Color pass, then come back later at night. You can't do that if you only have a one-park-per-day ticket.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:20 PM   #4
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I could tell by your response that you are a relatively new member, as most of us here always recommend park hoppers! Now that Carsland has brought a few more attractions to DCA it isn't AS crucial, but I still like having the option to hop. For example, even if you spend all day in DL, you can still hop to DCA for lunch, grab a World of Color pass, then come back later at night. You can't do that if you only have a one-park-per-day ticket.
I guess going for years with a Premium AP at least 30 times per year means nothing if my DISboards join date is new.

With 2 days only - 1 park per day to nail the most and that is a fact. Let me help you with a quote from the OP:

Quote:
I'm looking for suggestions on how to get the most of our short time there
They aren't asking for what provides the most CONVENIENCE and OPTIONS - they are asking how to get the MOST. In 2 days, you get the MOST by not caring about the adjacent park you aren't in and focusing on the one you are in.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:33 PM   #5
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No need to be sarcastic. I too know the joys of a Premium AP and going to the parks quite often. When someone says they want to "get the most" out of something, I interpret that as "how can I have the best experience", not necessarily "how can I ride the most rides" or "how can I spend the most time in the parks". You have a different interpretation of what that means, but neither of us is wrong.

The reason I enjoy the flexibility of hopping, MOST ESPECIALLY if you are going on a short trip, is that you don't know WHAT you are going to love. What if they go to Disneyland all day the first day, have an absolute blast, then go to DCA the second day and realize "hmm, I had fun but I would have LOVED to go on Space Mountain again", or think "Man, that Plaza Inn chicken smelled AMAZING yesterday, too bad we didn't try it and can't get back over there!" What if they go to DL their first night and for some reason fireworks are cancelled due to weather. If they are locked into DCA the next day, they can't try to catch them again. Plus, as you know, the FP machines in each park are not connected, therefore if they really wanted to collect the "most" FP's, hopping would be the way to go.

TinknPink, the two parks are literally less than 2 minutes away from each other, so hopping is quite easy if you desire to do so. I'm not saying that you even have to use the park-hopping option, but I am a person that likes to know I have the option if I so choose for some of the reasons I listed above. It's just nice to know that you're not locked in to one park for the whole day. Whatever you decide, enjoy your trip!
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:20 PM   #6
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I agree that although its less necessary to do a hopper as there is so much to do in DCA now.... But honestly the hopper allows a flexibility to maximize both parks and most especially in only 2 days.
Our trip in 10 days is only 2 days and I am trying to pack in as much as possible. I think if you had 4 days it would be easier to do non hoppers - kwim?

To answer OPs question.... Here is our must do list. We have ds 8 and 10 and have been last year.

Day1. Get into DCA to get FPs for RSR.
But not franctially run into CarsLand to wreck our first impression.
Head over to Soarin, toy story and Grizz. Then after original frenzy explore CarsLand. Stay in DCA until We use Fps and head to DL.
Lunch at Carnation cafe.
All our faves at DL until time to light the lights in CarsLand
Dinner at FLos V8
Fireworks at DL

Day 2
FPs for RSR. DCA am.
10:30 holiday tour which includes haunted mansion and its a small world and parade
Dinner at Plaza inn
Reindeer roundup
DL faves.
Back to DCA for end of day
Back to DL to close park at midnight

That is loose itinerary that includes most things important to us. A lot will depend on crowds, weather and what the kids want to do.

My suggestion is to read up on it and pick a few key things you want to see and pencil them in.... And then work around he rest.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinknPink View Post
my daughter (14) and i are going to be in California in March and only have 2 days to spend at DL. I'm looking for suggestions on how to get the most of our short time there. We are regular visitors to WDW but i haven't been to DL since the 80's and am excited about going back.
thanks, Judy

One word: RideMax. The only way to maximize your time IMO.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:23 AM   #8
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I am kind of in the same situation - I am heading to DL with a friend in less than two weeks and was a little torn on which pass to get as well. This will be trip number seven to Disneyland for myself (however 7 yrs. since my last visit) and my friends first trip ever.

Although I am a huge fan of the park hoppers at WDW - I remember my first time there, I only had 4 days and wanted to visit all 4 parks so opted for the non-hopper which allowed me to see all that I could possibly see at each park - no regrets on that choice. So -I think this time around to DL, we are going to opt for 1 park per day as well.

Since we are there on a Sunday and a Monday - I have opted to to DL on the Sunday, as the park is open til midnight, so we can see Fantasmic and the fireworks, we will do CA on the Monday - it's only open til 8, but I think we can cover a lot of ground. However. My best advise is to decide on things you can't live without seeing, and checking the park hours and event schedules before you go so that you have a rough idea of what you can accomplish. Of course, you must also go with the mindset that you know you can't possibly see it all in one day!

I know even with a park hopper, you never get to see it all - they do that on purpose so that you can plan a return trip
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSD View Post
With 2 days only - 1 park per day to nail the most and that is a fact.
Not fact. Opinion. And one that most of us here disagree with. It takes two minutes to walk from park to park. And it allows you to collect FPs from both parks, which greatly enhances your ability to ride rides efficiently. Indeed, if the only criterion is riding the most rides, I'd say definitely park hop.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSD View Post
They aren't asking for what provides the most CONVENIENCE and OPTIONS - they are asking how to get the MOST. In 2 days, you get the MOST by not caring about the adjacent park you aren't in and focusing on the one you are in.
Nope. To get the MOST, park hop and collect FPs.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GrandBob

Not fact. Opinion. And one that most of us here disagree with. It takes two minutes to walk from park to park. And it allows you to collect FPs from both parks, which greatly enhances your ability to ride rides efficiently. Indeed, if the only criterion is riding the most rides, I'd say definitely park hop.

Nope. To get the MOST, park hop and collect FPs.
Thanks! I ddnt know you cld collect FP from both parks @ the same time. Totally agree with ur logic on this!
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:43 PM   #11
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I'm a WDW vet and with you being a regular WDW visitor, I would strongly recommend the hoppers. To us, DL/CA just feels like one big park. Walking between DL and CA is shorter than walking out of the gate of a WDW park to your resort bus stop. We have actually literally walked from the back corner of DL, out one gate and in the other, and gotten almost to the back area of CA in about 10 minutes. We go back and forth all day between the parks and find it is the best use of our time. To give you an idea, DL and CA together (with Carsland added) are a total of 152 acres. Epcot at WDW is 305 acres. Magic Kingdom is 107 acres. Animal Kingdom is 400 acres. Hollywood Studios is 135 acres. So you can see in terms of ground to walk and areas to cover, doing DL and CA in one day is not much more than MK or HS, and a whole lot less than Epcot or AK. The difference is that DL/CA really packs in the attractions where they are more spread out at WDW.


The question I have is whether you are going to try to see Fantasmic or World of Color. I assume World of Color will be running the days you are there, I don't know about Fantasmic. Those two shows are great (we much prefer the DL version of Fantasmic to WDW- love the ship with Captain Hook and Peter Pan), but they will take up a big chunk of your time. If you want to try to see WOC, I would strongly recommend a dining package, and you still will have to go get a spot about an hour in advance. For Fantasmic, if you don't mind spending the money, I would recommend booking the desert package. Unlike WDW, there is no "arena" for Fantasmic at DL, so you will see people staking out spots hours in advance. The desert package gives you actual seats in a seating area. You do have to line up to pick your seats and if you really want front row, you need to line up early, but it is still better than having to stake out a spot in my opinion.

Have a fun 2 days! We thought DL/CA would be a one time trip, but we fell in love with it, so we've been alternating between DL and WDW! You can do a ton at DL/CA in 2 days because everything is so close together. I'm not sure about the spring break crowds in your time period though. We have never been in March.

Be sure and take a look at Hydroguy's guide to DLR for WDW vets. It has some great info:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....hydroguy+guide

Also, don't miss the Indiana Jones Ride- it is probably my favorite ride out of any of the WDW and DL/CA parks put together. The Aladdin show at CA is terrific too if it is running the days you are there. It is well worth the 45 minutes. We actually cancelled a trip to WDW and moved it to DL a couple of years ago when they announced it was closing (they later changed the decision), just so DD could see it before it was gone.

Last edited by ktlm; 11-19-2012 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:09 PM   #12
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[QUOTE="ktlm"]I'm a WDW vet and with you being a regular WDW visitor, I would strongly recommend the hoppers. To us, DL/CA just feels like one big park. Walking between DL and CA is shorter than walking out of the gate of a WDW park to your resort bus stop. We have actually literally walked from the back corner of DL, out one gate and in the other, and gotten almost to the back area of CA in about 10 minutes. We go back and forth all day between the parks and find it is the best use of our time. To give you an idea, DL and CA together (with Carsland added) are a total of 152 acres. Epcot at WDW is 305 acres. Magic Kingdom is 107 acres. Animal Kingdom is 400 acres. Hollywood Studios is 135 acres. So you can see in terms of ground to walk and areas to cover, doing DL and CA in one day is not much more than MK or HS, and a whole lot less than Epcot or AK. The difference is that DL/CA really packs in the attractions where they are more spread out at WDW.

This information on park acreage was very interesting and certainly put things into perspective for the op. You made some excellent points!
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:35 PM   #13
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[
This information on park acreage was very interesting and certainly put things into perspective for the op. You made some excellent points!
Thanks! I think that someone used to WDW just has a little different perspective on size and hopping. At WDW, hopping involves transportation and takes about an hour each hop. Actually, the fact everything is so compact is one of the things we love about DL. We love that everywhere including DTD and the resorts is just a short walk by WDW standards, and doesn't require any form of transporation. We love being able to hit both parks in a day and even DTD if we want. It is a nice change from WDW (although we love WDW too) !
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