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Old 02-11-2013, 09:19 PM   #16
PHXscuba
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I've never seen an "after 5" admission for Knott's. Honestly, that's when all the teens with passes arrive and the park becomes less family-friendly, especially on weekends. If you want a half day there, go early, do it until 5 p.m. and return to DLR for evening entertainment.

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:44 PM   #17
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I've never seen an "after 5" admission for Knott's. Honestly, that's when all the teens with passes arrive and the park becomes less family-friendly, especially on weekends. If you want a half day there, go early, do it until 5 p.m. and return to DLR for evening entertainment.

PHXscuba
Thanks for the advice! I am in Ohio and our two parks (Cedar Point and Kings Island) both offer evening admissions....good to know that Knott's doesn't and that the feel changes in the evenings. I wasn't sure how we were going to squeeze it in anyways so it was pretty wishful thinking on my part. Might be for the best....at least for this trip!
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:28 PM   #18
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The tar pits can very easily be quickly squeezed in one day. There is a museum but we skipped it and were still able to see all the outdoor tar pits for free (well, + the cost of parking).

There might not be many sitcom tapings in July, but you could always look for game show tapings. That one with Wayne Brady (Lets make a deal?) has families with little kids in the audience.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:58 PM   #19
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Have you been to The Grove and Farmers Market before? If you have, I apologize if I am telling you stuff below that you already know! I was assuming it was your first visit there but now I'm not sure?

The Grove/Farmers Market and the Tar Pits are in my neighborhood! I am just minutes away from all of those places, and I often walk to them!

Farmers Market is at the corner of Third Street and Fairfax. Farmers Market basically segues into The Grove, and you can easily walk from one to the other.

The show "Extra" with Maria Menounos and Mario Lopez often tapes at The Grove, and during summer there are sometimes concerts and special events. Plus, both FM and The Grove are good celebrity-watching places. On the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet (or was it the Golden Globes?), Naomi Watts and her husband were saying how they had just been at the Farmers Market earlier in the day, having a meal.

There are a lot of interesting counter service food options (by small, mom & pop vendors and families) around the inner portion of the Market (which is the historical portion that has remained intact over the decades), and table service places along the newer, outdoor section of the Market (which transitions into The Grove).


The Tar Pits and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) are just a few minutes away from The Grove and Farmers Market. You could literally just jet down Fairfax, turn left onto Wilshire Blvd. and drive to LACMA/the Tar Pits.

The Tar Pits is also the location of the George C. Page Museum, which is mostly fossil-oriented but pretty interesting. It's educational. It's kind of nice to spend a couple of hours at the Tar Pits and walk across the common grassy area over to LACMA to roam through the (free) sculpture garden (lots of Rodin's pieces there), as well as see the crazy "street lamp installation" in front of LACMA on Wilshire Blvd., which makes for some cool photos!

I would do Farmers Market/The Grove/the Tar Pits/LACMA all in one day because they are so close to each other. FM/The Grove are right next door to each other, and the Tar Pits/LACMA are right next door to each other.

Technically, you could even really hit Hollywood in the same day but it would be a full day.

By the way, I think Grauman's is getting a name change to TCL Chinese Theater (or something un-catchy like that?), but I don't know if it already happened. It may already be changed? I just read about it recently.



Oh! One other thing - I know you saw endy's comment to you and the link to the discount for Catalina Express in my Catalina TR, but did you see my post to you that was right before hers? One thing I was explaining was about using up every minute of the golf cart rental (which a lot of people do not do) and how the 'get 3 hours for the price of 2' has a cut-off time so you have to make sure to get your cart before the cut-off, etc. I was also saying that your idea of going for the day to see if you like it is a great one, and then if you like it you can go back another time and stay over!
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
The tar pits can very easily be quickly squeezed in one day. There is a museum but we skipped it and were still able to see all the outdoor tar pits for free (well, + the cost of parking).

There might not be many sitcom tapings in July, but you could always look for game show tapings. That one with Wayne Brady (Lets make a deal?) has families with little kids in the audience.
Love the idea of a game show! For some reason that didn't occur to me. I will have to explore that route! Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Have you been to The Grove and Farmers Market before? If you have, I apologize if I am telling you stuff below that you already know! I was assuming it was your first visit there but now I'm not sure?

The Grove/Farmers Market and the Tar Pits are in my neighborhood! I am just minutes away from all of those places, and I often walk to them!

Farmers Market is at the corner of Third Street and Fairfax. Farmers Market basically segues into The Grove, and you can easily walk from one to the other.

The show "Extra" with Maria Menounos and Mario Lopez often tapes at The Grove, and during summer there are sometimes concerts and special events. Plus, both FM and The Grove are good celebrity-watching places. On the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet (or was it the Golden Globes?), Naomi Watts and her husband were saying how they had just been at the Farmers Market earlier in the day, having a meal.

There are a lot of interesting counter service food options (by small, mom & pop vendors and families) around the inner portion of the Market (which is the historical portion that has remained intact over the decades), and table service places along the newer, outdoor section of the Market (which transitions into The Grove).


The Tar Pits and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) are just a few minutes away from The Grove and Farmers Market. You could literally just jet down Fairfax, turn left onto Wilshire Blvd. and drive to LACMA/the Tar Pits.

The Tar Pits is also the location of the George C. Page Museum, which is mostly fossil-oriented but pretty interesting. It's educational. It's kind of nice to spend a couple of hours at the Tar Pits and walk across the common grassy area over to LACMA to roam through the (free) sculpture garden (lots of Rodin's pieces there), as well as see the crazy "street lamp installation" in front of LACMA on Wilshire Blvd., which makes for some cool photos!

I would do Farmers Market/The Grove/the Tar Pits/LACMA all in one day because they are so close to each other. FM/The Grove are right next door to each other, and the Tar Pits/LACMA are right next door to each other.

Technically, you could even really hit Hollywood in the same day but it would be a full day.

By the way, I think Grauman's is getting a name change to TCL Chinese Theater (or something un-catchy like that?), but I don't know if it already happened. It may already be changed? I just read about it recently.



Oh! One other thing - I know you saw endy's comment to you and the link to the discount for Catalina Express in my Catalina TR, but did you see my post to you that was right before hers? One thing I was explaining was about using up every minute of the golf cart rental (which a lot of people do not do) and how the 'get 3 hours for the price of 2' has a cut-off time so you have to make sure to get your cart before the cut-off, etc. I was also saying that your idea of going for the day to see if you like it is a great one, and then if you like it you can go back another time and stay over!
Sherry! Thanks for all the information! It will be our first time going to the FM/Grove area ( Olivia and I will definately be celebrity watching) and it's good to know that it would fit well in with the Tar Pits/Museum. I am trying to keep the LA portion of our trip kinda laid back and not run around like crazy people (that is what the Disney half is for) so planning things that are close together will be important.

I received my Catalina Island visitors guide yesterday. It is very pretty!! Yes, I did see your post about they buy 2 get the 3rd free. For some reason I was having trouble logging in for a week or so....so while I was reading posts I couldn't respond. That was maybe one of them. I want to keep our time on Catalina relaxing so I am thinking besides the golf cart I might want to just plan one other activity and then have free time to look in shops, walk around town. What do you think?
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacy~** View Post
Sherry! Thanks for all the information! It will be our first time going to the FM/Grove area ( Olivia and I will definately be celebrity watching) and it's good to know that it would fit well in with the Tar Pits/Museum. I am trying to keep the LA portion of our trip kinda laid back and not run around like crazy people (that is what the Disney half is for) so planning things that are close together will be important.

I received my Catalina Island visitors guide yesterday. It is very pretty!! Yes, I did see your post about they buy 2 get the 3rd free. For some reason I was having trouble logging in for a week or so....so while I was reading posts I couldn't respond. That was maybe one of them. I want to keep our time on Catalina relaxing so I am thinking besides the golf cart I might want to just plan one other activity and then have free time to look in shops, walk around town. What do you think?
No problem! I hope all the info helps. As for FM/The Grove/LACMA/Tar Pits -

The great thing about this particular area - where FM/The Grove/the Tar Pits/LACMA are all located - is that if you get bored with one thing, you can drive to something else that's interesting in a very short time. It's centrally located, so a lot of points of interest are fairly close, such as Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive, Sunset Blvd., Melrose Ave., Pinks Hot Dogs, Hollywood, etc. You can even drive to the Santa Monica Pier or Venice Beach in maybe 25 minutes or so, depending on the day and depending on traffic.

But those particular 4 places - FM/Grove/LACMA/Tar Pits - are especially close to each other and it makes the most sense to do all of those in the same day. (The Petersen Auto Museum is also right here, too - just in case anyone is interested in that.)

There are a few routes to take to get from FM/The Grove to Tar Pits/LACMA, but both are super fast. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, there is the Fairfax to Wilshire route. Farmers Market is at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax, so you could take Fairfax down to Wilshire (Petersen Auto Museum is right there at the intersection), make a left and drive about 1 minute to LACMA/the Tar Pits. OR...another option is to take Fairfax to 6th Street (which you will hit before Wilshire if you are heading south), make a left and enter the Tar Pits and/or LACMA through the back way. I think the parking is easier to get to via the 6th Street route. In any case, any way you go it will just take a few minutes!

Just make sure that you go out to the front of LACMA (on Wilshire) to see the street lamp installation for some cool photos (the free sculpture garden is right next to the street lamps). I posted photos of the street lamps in the "Let There Be Light" light fixture thread here - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...0&postcount=88.

And at the back of LACMA (visible from 6th Street), be sure to check out "Levitated Mass" - which is, essentially, a giant rock art installation that was put in last year, and is very controversial because people can't figure out if it is actually interesting or not (count me in among those people). It is just a gigantic rock, after all. But it is "art." You can walk underneath the rock as the 'forced perspective' changes and take photos and what not.

And, again, the Tar Pits and LACMA are literally right next door to each other, so once you have had your fill of the giant rock and the crazy street lamps you can mosey over to the Tar Pits and the George C. Page Museum.

As for Farmers Market and The Grove, I would go there with an appetite. The inner part of FM - the historical section, where all of the counter service/mom & pop places are - has a lot of different kinds of food (The Gumbo Pot is very popular, but there are many options), and about 5 different bake shops - as well as a couple of candy places. The outer/newer portion of FM has some sit down/table service places to eat (Marmalade Cafe is good), as well as Dylan's Candy Bar.

The Grove just added in Sprinkles Cupcakes a few months ago, and See's Candy is either coming soon or is already there.

TMZ always seems to catch celebrities at The Grove on their show. I never seem to see anyone really interesting there (have seen a couple of D-List actors), but they do go there. I did see Maria Menounos filming Extra last year.

CBS has a facility just north of Farmers Market, along Beverly Blvd., and they do tape Price is Right there - or they used to? - but I don't know what, if anything else, is taped there. Most of the CBS shows film/tape in Studio City/North Hollywood now.





As for Catalina -

I'm so glad you already got your Visitors Guide! That seemed faster than it usually takes them to send out the Guides. They normally take their sweet time in getting them out.

Keep in mind that Avalon in and of itself (without going into the inner, more rugged, part of the island), is a very small town so you can see it all in a short time. Most folks who visit the island for the first time only walk the main stretch - Crescent Avenue - from one end (like just past the golf cart rental place with the 3 for 2 deal) to the other end (like around the Casino), and then back again.

Depending on how much you like walking and exploring, you may want to venture out a little further than where the typical first-time visitor normally goes. In my Catalina TR I was talking about how I was so excited to be walking along this stretch of road called Pebbly Beach Road, out to Lovers Cove, as it had been 'closed' (sort of) to traffic for years. It's a great, peaceful seaside walk, with nothing but the sound of the ocean crashing against the rocks to fill your ears, and you can see sea life peeking above the surface of the water here and there. And because a lot of people still think it's closed (there is even a sign up at one point to alert people to not travel beyond that point), there is not a lot of foot traffic. Plus, the only vehicle traffic you will see are residents of the Island zooming by. So I definitely recommend walking along Pebbly Beach Road out to the Lovers Cove area. It's less traveled; it's less common.

Now, in the complete opposite direction is the Casino. You can walk to the Casino, but you can also walk around the back side of it, past the divers' area, alongside the water. That's another beautiful walk. A lot of folks just stop at the Casino and turn back. The Casino has a gallery and a little museum too, so those are interesting to look at, but I like to venture beyond and take any path that I am allowed to take!

In town, I would also be sure to turn on the little side streets and explore a bit. There are some shops and restaurants tucked away here and there.

As I mentioned in this post - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=69 - bring cash for the golf cart. They don't take debit or credit there, for some reason. Even if it seems like you have seen all there is to see in the golf cart, just to make use of the full 3 hours you will get, stop at the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden (great views once you climb the steps of the Memorial) and take that cart down every little side street it is allowed. I will literally drive my cart up to the lot 2 or 3 minutes before it is due - I will drive it everywhere it is not blocked off and then drive it around again just to use up those 3 hours!

The golf cart will only take you to a certain limited portion of town and the hillsides. If you want to see 'wildlife' like the famous buffalo, you have to take some sort of tour or bus that brings you into the "interior" of the island.

If you like architecture and design, the Casino tour is a good one because you get to see the beautiful ballroom inside as well as the gorgeous, ornate movie theater (it is a spectacularly beautiful theater).

I still recommend the Flying Fish tour - because it is really, really cool to see hundreds of flying fish frolicking in the air at night! - and the semi-submersible tour (sometimes called the semi-submarine) because you can get a good, close-up look at a lot of fish that way, and even an occasional shark. Avoid the glass bottom boat tour, even though glass bottom boats are synonymous with Catalina. But the seal tour - or whatever it is being called these days - is also kind of cool.

The other thing I recommend is, when you take the Express over to the Island, unless someone in your group is averse to it try to go to the upper deck and sit outside (bring a jacket). There are always dolphin sightings on the way to Catalina, but you don't really see them if you sit inside. Last year when I did my July day trip, the dolphins decided to appear on the other side of the boat (not on my side), but they were there! I've seen dolphins on every other trip where I sat outside, and sometimes there can be a lot of them.

As for food recommendations, I mentioned some places in the post I linked above.




Anyway, please pardon my extra, extra long, mega post this time around. I never know when I will have time to get back to any particular thread on the DIS (including my own threads) and post in depth. Sometimes I can't revisit a thread for a while, or for more than a minute, so I wanted to be sure to give you as much info as possible now, while I had the time, in case you don't see me here for a long time!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:11 PM   #22
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Grauman's Theater has already officially been changed to TCL Chinese Theater. If you google Grauman's the web page still comes up.

I am still going to call it Grauman's, I am too set in my ways. Or maybe I just don't like change
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:53 PM   #23
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Hi there! Just stumbled upon your PTR and can't wait to hear about your plans. We are starting to plan our first Disneyland and SoCal family trip so I guess I need to do some research. I just booked SOME of our flights tonight and I really should start a PTR to maybe get some advice. We are WDW experts but not Disneyland. My DH and I were last in Disneyland in 1996 but the kids have never been to the West Coast. Our plans are all about amusement parks in the area though. We hope to hit Six Flags MM, Knotts Berry Farm and MAYBE Universal though I am torn on that one. San Diego zoo is also on the list and then 3 full days to do Disneyland and CA. This will be a trip of TEN nights with a split stay...part in Oceanside and part in Anaheim. Its going to be a wild end of summer trip!
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:31 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
No problem! I hope all the info helps. As for FM/The Grove/LACMA/Tar Pits -

The great thing about this particular area - where FM/The Grove/the Tar Pits/LACMA are all located - is that if you get bored with one thing, you can drive to something else that's interesting in a very short time. It's centrally located, so a lot of points of interest are fairly close, such as Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive, Sunset Blvd., Melrose Ave., Pinks Hot Dogs, Hollywood, etc. You can even drive to the Santa Monica Pier or Venice Beach in maybe 25 minutes or so, depending on the day and depending on traffic.

But those particular 4 places - FM/Grove/LACMA/Tar Pits - are especially close to each other and it makes the most sense to do all of those in the same day. (The Petersen Auto Museum is also right here, too - just in case anyone is interested in that.)

There are a few routes to take to get from FM/The Grove to Tar Pits/LACMA, but both are super fast. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, there is the Fairfax to Wilshire route. Farmers Market is at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax, so you could take Fairfax down to Wilshire (Petersen Auto Museum is right there at the intersection), make a left and drive about 1 minute to LACMA/the Tar Pits. OR...another option is to take Fairfax to 6th Street (which you will hit before Wilshire if you are heading south), make a left and enter the Tar Pits and/or LACMA through the back way. I think the parking is easier to get to via the 6th Street route. In any case, any way you go it will just take a few minutes!

Just make sure that you go out to the front of LACMA (on Wilshire) to see the street lamp installation for some cool photos (the free sculpture garden is right next to the street lamps). I posted photos of the street lamps in the "Let There Be Light" light fixture thread here - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...0&postcount=88.

And at the back of LACMA (visible from 6th Street), be sure to check out "Levitated Mass" - which is, essentially, a giant rock art installation that was put in last year, and is very controversial because people can't figure out if it is actually interesting or not (count me in among those people). It is just a gigantic rock, after all. But it is "art." You can walk underneath the rock as the 'forced perspective' changes and take photos and what not.

And, again, the Tar Pits and LACMA are literally right next door to each other, so once you have had your fill of the giant rock and the crazy street lamps you can mosey over to the Tar Pits and the George C. Page Museum.

As for Farmers Market and The Grove, I would go there with an appetite. The inner part of FM - the historical section, where all of the counter service/mom & pop places are - has a lot of different kinds of food (The Gumbo Pot is very popular, but there are many options), and about 5 different bake shops - as well as a couple of candy places. The outer/newer portion of FM has some sit down/table service places to eat (Marmalade Cafe is good), as well as Dylan's Candy Bar.

The Grove just added in Sprinkles Cupcakes a few months ago, and See's Candy is either coming soon or is already there.

TMZ always seems to catch celebrities at The Grove on their show. I never seem to see anyone really interesting there (have seen a couple of D-List actors), but they do go there. I did see Maria Menounos filming Extra last year.

CBS has a facility just north of Farmers Market, along Beverly Blvd., and they do tape Price is Right there - or they used to? - but I don't know what, if anything else, is taped there. Most of the CBS shows film/tape in Studio City/North Hollywood now.





As for Catalina -

I'm so glad you already got your Visitors Guide! That seemed faster than it usually takes them to send out the Guides. They normally take their sweet time in getting them out.

Keep in mind that Avalon in and of itself (without going into the inner, more rugged, part of the island), is a very small town so you can see it all in a short time. Most folks who visit the island for the first time only walk the main stretch - Crescent Avenue - from one end (like just past the golf cart rental place with the 3 for 2 deal) to the other end (like around the Casino), and then back again.

Depending on how much you like walking and exploring, you may want to venture out a little further than where the typical first-time visitor normally goes. In my Catalina TR I was talking about how I was so excited to be walking along this stretch of road called Pebbly Beach Road, out to Lovers Cove, as it had been 'closed' (sort of) to traffic for years. It's a great, peaceful seaside walk, with nothing but the sound of the ocean crashing against the rocks to fill your ears, and you can see sea life peeking above the surface of the water here and there. And because a lot of people still think it's closed (there is even a sign up at one point to alert people to not travel beyond that point), there is not a lot of foot traffic. Plus, the only vehicle traffic you will see are residents of the Island zooming by. So I definitely recommend walking along Pebbly Beach Road out to the Lovers Cove area. It's less traveled; it's less common.

Now, in the complete opposite direction is the Casino. You can walk to the Casino, but you can also walk around the back side of it, past the divers' area, alongside the water. That's another beautiful walk. A lot of folks just stop at the Casino and turn back. The Casino has a gallery and a little museum too, so those are interesting to look at, but I like to venture beyond and take any path that I am allowed to take!

In town, I would also be sure to turn on the little side streets and explore a bit. There are some shops and restaurants tucked away here and there.

As I mentioned in this post - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=69 - bring cash for the golf cart. They don't take debit or credit there, for some reason. Even if it seems like you have seen all there is to see in the golf cart, just to make use of the full 3 hours you will get, stop at the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden (great views once you climb the steps of the Memorial) and take that cart down every little side street it is allowed. I will literally drive my cart up to the lot 2 or 3 minutes before it is due - I will drive it everywhere it is not blocked off and then drive it around again just to use up those 3 hours!

The golf cart will only take you to a certain limited portion of town and the hillsides. If you want to see 'wildlife' like the famous buffalo, you have to take some sort of tour or bus that brings you into the "interior" of the island.

If you like architecture and design, the Casino tour is a good one because you get to see the beautiful ballroom inside as well as the gorgeous, ornate movie theater (it is a spectacularly beautiful theater).

I still recommend the Flying Fish tour - because it is really, really cool to see hundreds of flying fish frolicking in the air at night! - and the semi-submersible tour (sometimes called the semi-submarine) because you can get a good, close-up look at a lot of fish that way, and even an occasional shark. Avoid the glass bottom boat tour, even though glass bottom boats are synonymous with Catalina. But the seal tour - or whatever it is being called these days - is also kind of cool.

The other thing I recommend is, when you take the Express over to the Island, unless someone in your group is averse to it try to go to the upper deck and sit outside (bring a jacket). There are always dolphin sightings on the way to Catalina, but you don't really see them if you sit inside. Last year when I did my July day trip, the dolphins decided to appear on the other side of the boat (not on my side), but they were there! I've seen dolphins on every other trip where I sat outside, and sometimes there can be a lot of them.

As for food recommendations, I mentioned some places in the post I linked above.




Anyway, please pardon my extra, extra long, mega post this time around. I never know when I will have time to get back to any particular thread on the DIS (including my own threads) and post in depth. Sometimes I can't revisit a thread for a while, or for more than a minute, so I wanted to be sure to give you as much info as possible now, while I had the time, in case you don't see me here for a long time!
Tons of great info! Thank you!! LOVE the thought of seeing dolphins on the Express to the island so I will be sure to grab outdoor/upstairs seating. As far as other tours, I am thinking the Express over will be enough boat riding for our crew so I will be looking for land activities. The casino tour, bus tour or maybe zip lining are probably the direction we are leaning (along with the golf cart which I think my girls and husband will like). Since it is SO beautiful I was also wondering if there were photographers there that could do a mini family portrait session? Something I might look into.

As far as the So Cal stuff....it is great to know everything is so close. Last time since we commuted everyday out of Anaheim it was just all really disjointed. Since we will be spending that part of our trip in the area (Los Feliz) hopefully I can execute a better plan of attack!

I did want to ask you....my husband was concerned about the safety of a Dodgers game. He said there has been a few incidents over the last few years. What do you think? It would likely be a Saturday 4:15 start. Any advice??

And please don't apologize for being super helpful!!
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Saratoga Springs August 2014
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DISNEYLAND-Paradise Pier July 2013*BWI June 2012
ASMo March 2012-one day only*WL July 2010
POFQ Jan 2009*DISNEYLAND-Hojo Aug 2007
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Currently planning: Feb. 2015 and June 2015
"We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it!"-August 2014-TR
PTR: Have you ever planned a trip in 39 days on a total impulse? Same!~Aug 2014

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Old 02-18-2013, 11:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
Grauman's Theater has already officially been changed to TCL Chinese Theater. If you google Grauman's the web page still comes up.

I am still going to call it Grauman's, I am too set in my ways. Or maybe I just don't like change
I agree...I am calling in Grauman's too! Your trip is coming up SOON! I need to swing over to your PTR and see whats going on!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittylady1972 View Post
Hi there! Just stumbled upon your PTR and can't wait to hear about your plans. We are starting to plan our first Disneyland and SoCal family trip so I guess I need to do some research. I just booked SOME of our flights tonight and I really should start a PTR to maybe get some advice. We are WDW experts but not Disneyland. My DH and I were last in Disneyland in 1996 but the kids have never been to the West Coast. Our plans are all about amusement parks in the area though. We hope to hit Six Flags MM, Knotts Berry Farm and MAYBE Universal though I am torn on that one. San Diego zoo is also on the list and then 3 full days to do Disneyland and CA. This will be a trip of TEN nights with a split stay...part in Oceanside and part in Anaheim. Its going to be a wild end of summer trip!
Welcome, Kittylady! Your trip sounds similar to mine except we won't be doing as many of the "other" parks! (maybe Universal). We are also doing a two 5 night split stays! Feel free to join in with planning. I am focused on So Cal for now since really all the true DL planning doesn't start until 60 days out (well maybe 90!!)
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Saratoga Springs August 2014
POP/Beach Club May 2014*Saratoga Springs March 2014
DISNEYLAND-Paradise Pier July 2013*BWI June 2012
ASMo March 2012-one day only*WL July 2010
POFQ Jan 2009*DISNEYLAND-Hojo Aug 2007
POFQ March 2007*CSR Aug 2006


Currently planning: Feb. 2015 and June 2015
"We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it!"-August 2014-TR
PTR: Have you ever planned a trip in 39 days on a total impulse? Same!~Aug 2014

3 days in LA, 6 days in Disneyland and 1 Amazing Cast Member Photo bomb

I am on twitter: http://twitter.com/stacyleigh9
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:42 PM   #26
kittylady1972
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacy~** View Post
Welcome, Kittylady! Your trip sounds similar to mine except we won't be doing as many of the "other" parks! (maybe Universal). We are also doing a two 5 night split stays! Feel free to join in with planning. I am focused on So Cal for now since really all the true DL planning doesn't start until 60 days out (well maybe 90!!)
Thanks! I would love to follow along. I'm still on the fence about Universal...might nix it to do the Zipline at Catalina now and then maybe a Warner Brothers Studio Tour since all of the kids are old enough. We have several Big Bang Theory fans in the family so if we got to see that set it would be so cool! I am also totally focused/obsessed with my SoCal plans right now. They have changed so much and we are still six months out! Our flights are all booked but the agenda has changed. I can't even tell you how many hotels I have booked/on hold right now, but it's WAY too many! As it now stands we have THREE different hotels in three different areas booked and I'm still undecided on what hotel to stay at in Anaheim. The other two hotels (ok there are more but I think these are the final ones) are in Dana Point and in Valencia area near the Six Flags MM park. So Dana Point (3 nights) will be the hopping point/home hotel for Catalina and San Diego Zoo , Valencia (2 or 3 nights) is hopping point/hotel for Six Flags, Burbank and Universal/Hollywood area, and then Anaheim for the last 5 or six nights but which hotel there is a mystery...narrowed it down to my top SEVEN!
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:14 PM   #27
Sherry E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacy~** View Post
Tons of great info! Thank you!! LOVE the thought of seeing dolphins on the Express to the island so I will be sure to grab outdoor/upstairs seating. As far as other tours, I am thinking the Express over will be enough boat riding for our crew so I will be looking for land activities. The casino tour, bus tour or maybe zip lining are probably the direction we are leaning (along with the golf cart which I think my girls and husband will like). Since it is SO beautiful I was also wondering if there were photographers there that could do a mini family portrait session? Something I might look into.

As far as the So Cal stuff....it is great to know everything is so close. Last time since we commuted everyday out of Anaheim it was just all really disjointed. Since we will be spending that part of our trip in the area (Los Feliz) hopefully I can execute a better plan of attack!

I did want to ask you....my husband was concerned about the safety of a Dodgers game. He said there has been a few incidents over the last few years. What do you think? It would likely be a Saturday 4:15 start. Any advice??

And please don't apologize for being super helpful!!
I'm glad to be of some help!

As for the Theatre - I don't even call it Grauman's! For a long time the Theatre was Mann's Chinese (before it went back to being Grauman's again), so I always have Mann's in my mind too. I just call it the Chinese Theatre, as I suspect a lot of my fellow L.A. residents probably do. I figure that no matter who owns it - TCL or TCI or whoever it is that has dibs on it now - it will always be the Chinese Theatre!

As for the Dodger games - I used to go to a lot of Dodger games as a kid (gotta love those extra long Dodger dogs!), but have not been back as an adult (I should probably have my Los Angeles residency revoked for admitting that!). However, your husband is right - from what I've seen in the news the crowds seem to be getting more hostile and more incidents have occurred in the last few years. I think it's probably still a great way to spend an evening/afternoon, and chances are that nothing questionable would happen. Plus, it's so much a part of L.A. It's probably a rite of passage, to a degree!

As for Catalina - Make sure that your zip line time doesn't overlap or clash with your 3 hours of golf cart rental time in Avalon. I think you'll probably have to book your zip line in advance, before your trip begins, as it has limited openings for the available time slots and summer is a very popular season.

The other tours (on land or sea) could probably be booked when you arrive in Avalon, if you aren't sure which ones you want to do until you get there.

I kind of tend to think that the zip lining would be better for an overnight or multi-night stay rather than a one-day trip, but if this is something that really appeals to you - and your family really wants to do it - be sure to book it well in advance and plan so that you have enough time to get the 3-hour golf cart in before the '3 hours for 2' offer ends at either 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.

Remember to go to the golf cart place that is closest to where your Catalina Express landing is (I think I posted a picture of it in my trip report). When you get off of Catalina Express in Avalon you will start walking along the pathway into town. On your left-hand side will be the first golf cart rental place - that's the one that offers the 3 for 2 deal. Look for the buffalo wearing red, white & blue. You will see another golf cart rental place once you get into town, on Crescent Avenue, but they don't offer the same 3 for 2 thing.

Also, be sure to book your Catalina Express departure/return times in advance, when you figure out when exactly you can go (they may not have the Long Beach schedule up for Summer yet, but sometimes it's up early). While it is likely that there would be some openings if you just showed up at the terminal without a reservation (people always cancel at the last minute), if you happen to try to get on a boat that leaves at a popular time you could be out of luck. Since you would not be going out on a really early boat - like I do - you'd be going at a more popular time.

When you get on the boat and walk in, you should see the steps leading to the upper outside deck (there may even be two open upper decks). If you can, try to snag some seats right against the railing instead of in the middle of the deck, so that you can easily scout for sea life!

Oops! I almost forgot to answer the question about photographers! There aren't any photographers set up around Avalon like the Disney parks have PhotoPass photographers, but I think that somewhere in the back of the Visitors Guide there may be some listings for photographers who live on the island. You could always call one of them and ask about rates.

Actually, a Catalina version of a PhotoPass-type photographer would not be a bad idea, as there are quite a few scenic backdrops around town! They (whoever is in charge of such decisions in Avalon) should look into that and follow Disney's lead - especially since the Catalina Express free birthday boat ride has been attracting a lot of new business to the island since 2011.
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**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014

Last edited by Sherry E; 02-27-2013 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Added in info
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:04 PM   #28
stacy~**
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittylady1972 View Post
Thanks! I would love to follow along. I'm still on the fence about Universal...might nix it to do the Zipline at Catalina now and then maybe a Warner Brothers Studio Tour since all of the kids are old enough. We have several Big Bang Theory fans in the family so if we got to see that set it would be so cool! I am also totally focused/obsessed with my SoCal plans right now. They have changed so much and we are still six months out! Our flights are all booked but the agenda has changed. I can't even tell you how many hotels I have booked/on hold right now, but it's WAY too many! As it now stands we have THREE different hotels in three different areas booked and I'm still undecided on what hotel to stay at in Anaheim. The other two hotels (ok there are more but I think these are the final ones) are in Dana Point and in Valencia area near the Six Flags MM park. So Dana Point (3 nights) will be the hopping point/home hotel for Catalina and San Diego Zoo , Valencia (2 or 3 nights) is hopping point/hotel for Six Flags, Burbank and Universal/Hollywood area, and then Anaheim for the last 5 or six nights but which hotel there is a mystery...narrowed it down to my top SEVEN!
You just made me feel great about the 1 SoCal and 2 Anaheim reservations I have! Although I am still on the fence about our SoCal hotel (Los Feliz...see above). I think it is adorable and mostly in our price range but I kinda hate that the girls will be on an air mattress in the living room. I can hear them fighting about it already. Gosh maybe I need to add another. (will ultimately be staying in 2 different hotels for the 10 day trip). Have you started a PTR??
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Saratoga Springs August 2014
POP/Beach Club May 2014*Saratoga Springs March 2014
DISNEYLAND-Paradise Pier July 2013*BWI June 2012
ASMo March 2012-one day only*WL July 2010
POFQ Jan 2009*DISNEYLAND-Hojo Aug 2007
POFQ March 2007*CSR Aug 2006


Currently planning: Feb. 2015 and June 2015
"We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it!"-August 2014-TR
PTR: Have you ever planned a trip in 39 days on a total impulse? Same!~Aug 2014

3 days in LA, 6 days in Disneyland and 1 Amazing Cast Member Photo bomb

I am on twitter: http://twitter.com/stacyleigh9
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:15 PM   #29
stacy~**
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
I'm glad to be of some help!

As for the Theatre - I don't even call it Grauman's! For a long time the Theatre was Mann's Chinese (before it went back to being Grauman's again), so I always have Mann's in my mind too. I just call it the Chinese Theatre, as I suspect a lot of my fellow L.A. residents probably do. I figure that no matter who owns it - TCL or TCI or whoever it is that has dibs on it now - it will always be the Chinese Theatre!

As for the Dodger games - I used to go to a lot of Dodger games as a kid (gotta love those extra long Dodger dogs!), but have not been back as an adult (I should probably have my Los Angeles residency revoked for admitting that!). However, your husband is right - from what I've seen in the news the crowds seem to be getting more hostile and more incidents have occurred in the last few years. I think it's probably still a great way to spend an evening/afternoon, and chances are that nothing questionable would happen. Plus, it's so much a part of L.A. It's probably a rite of passage, to a degree!

As for Catalina - Make sure that your zip line time doesn't overlap or clash with your 3 hours of golf cart rental time in Avalon. I think you'll probably have to book your zip line in advance, before your trip begins, as it has limited openings for the available time slots and summer is a very popular season.

The other tours (on land or sea) could probably be booked when you arrive in Avalon, if you aren't sure which ones you want to do until you get there.

I kind of tend to think that the zip lining would be better for an overnight or multi-night stay rather than a one-day trip, but if this is something that really appeals to you - and your family really wants to do it - be sure to book it well in advance and plan so that you have enough time to get the 3-hour golf cart in before the '3 hours for 2' offer ends at either 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.

Remember to go to the golf cart place that is closest to where your Catalina Express landing is (I think I posted a picture of it in my trip report). When you get off of Catalina Express in Avalon you will start walking along the pathway into town. On your left-hand side will be the first golf cart rental place - that's the one that offers the 3 for 2 deal. Look for the buffalo wearing red, white & blue. You will see another golf cart rental place once you get into town, on Crescent Avenue, but they don't offer the same 3 for 2 thing.

Also, be sure to book your Catalina Express departure/return times in advance, when you figure out when exactly you can go (they may not have the Long Beach schedule up for Summer yet, but sometimes it's up early). While it is likely that there would be some openings if you just showed up at the terminal without a reservation (people always cancel at the last minute), if you happen to try to get on a boat that leaves at a popular time you could be out of luck. Since you would not be going out on a really early boat - like I do - you'd be going at a more popular time.

When you get on the boat and walk in, you should see the steps leading to the upper outside deck (there may even be two open upper decks). If you can, try to snag some seats right against the railing instead of in the middle of the deck, so that you can easily scout for sea life!

Oops! I almost forgot to answer the question about photographers! There aren't any photographers set up around Avalon like the Disney parks have PhotoPass photographers, but I think that somewhere in the back of the Visitors Guide there may be some listings for photographers who live on the island. You could always call one of them and ask about rates.

Actually, a Catalina version of a PhotoPass-type photographer would not be a bad idea, as there are quite a few scenic backdrops around town! They (whoever is in charge of such decisions in Avalon) should look into that and follow Disney's lead - especially since the Catalina Express free birthday boat ride has been attracting a lot of new business to the island since 2011.
Thanks once again for answering all my questions!! I admit to not having done much with trip planning for the last few weeks and might not for the next few (have a trip to Austin, TX at the end of the month for spring break!) but will need to start really scheduling stuff once April hits.

Thanks for the Dodger info. Hopefully with it being a 4:15 game that day it would be less potential for trouble than an evening game. I am still not sure if Aaron is convinced but for now it is staying on the list!!

As far as Catalina....thank you for the reminder to reserve times for the Express. Not sure I would have thought to do that. I need to narrow down a few activities and then put it up for a vote with the rest of the family. Usually I just make the plans but I really want to do so many things there it might be best for me to get some help deciding!
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Saratoga Springs August 2014
POP/Beach Club May 2014*Saratoga Springs March 2014
DISNEYLAND-Paradise Pier July 2013*BWI June 2012
ASMo March 2012-one day only*WL July 2010
POFQ Jan 2009*DISNEYLAND-Hojo Aug 2007
POFQ March 2007*CSR Aug 2006


Currently planning: Feb. 2015 and June 2015
"We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it!"-August 2014-TR
PTR: Have you ever planned a trip in 39 days on a total impulse? Same!~Aug 2014

3 days in LA, 6 days in Disneyland and 1 Amazing Cast Member Photo bomb

I am on twitter: http://twitter.com/stacyleigh9
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:33 PM   #30
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So I haven't done alot of planning (I have somehow gotten hooked on a few LONG WDW trip reports and have been wasting hours away on the Dis reading them...go figure!) but today I did email my dog sitter to book my girls' spots for their vacation. Once you do the math on a 10 night vacation and then 1 extra day on each end for my pups (we will drop off the day before we leave and pick up the morning after we get home) it is a LONG time to be away from them! Thankfully they always forgive me when I return. Here is one of my favorite pictures of my girls. Jessie was still a pup here...she is almost 2 now (we rescued her when she was about 5 months old). Goldie (the black dog not the Golden colored dog...confusing I know) is about 7. We rescued her about 4 years ago.
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Saratoga Springs August 2014
POP/Beach Club May 2014*Saratoga Springs March 2014
DISNEYLAND-Paradise Pier July 2013*BWI June 2012
ASMo March 2012-one day only*WL July 2010
POFQ Jan 2009*DISNEYLAND-Hojo Aug 2007
POFQ March 2007*CSR Aug 2006


Currently planning: Feb. 2015 and June 2015
"We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it!"-August 2014-TR
PTR: Have you ever planned a trip in 39 days on a total impulse? Same!~Aug 2014

3 days in LA, 6 days in Disneyland and 1 Amazing Cast Member Photo bomb

I am on twitter: http://twitter.com/stacyleigh9
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