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Old 08-12-2013, 10:48 PM   #1
wildflower329
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Things to do on non-Disney Days?

We are headed to Disneyland in November, and arrive early in the day on our first day in LGB and leave in the late afternoon on our last day. We will already have 4 day park hoppers, so we are looking for other things to do on our arrival and departure ays. I think we may do Aquarium of the Pacific one of the days... any other ideas?
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wildflower329 View Post
We are headed to Disneyland in November, and arrive early in the day on our first day in LGB and leave in the late afternoon on our last day. We will already have 4 day park hoppers, so we are looking for other things to do on our arrival and departure ays. I think we may do Aquarium of the Pacific one of the days... any other ideas?
You can do other things in the general area(like the Aquarium, or the beach--Huntington?), or you could do things around the Resort itself.

On arrival days, we sometimes just wander through Downtown Disney, choose somewhere fun to eat, catch a movie at the AMC Theaters, shop, etc.

You could also do a Pool Day at your hotel(or rent a pool cabana at the Disneyland Hotel, if one is available), or go check out the Garden Walk shops/restaurants, then get in bed early to be ready for your first day in the Parks!

We've also stopped by Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, at Knott's Berry Farm(you don't have to go into the Park to eat) for an incredible dinner on our arrival day before, then gone through the shops.

I'm sure others will have some good ideas!
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:25 PM   #3
misskay
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Tagging to keep track of this one! Heading down in Nov, and trying to figure out a couple spare days we will have!
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:06 AM   #4
Bossy22
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I just want to make a couple of points that I think of every trip we make:

1.) 5 day passes are only a few bucks more than 4 day. If you are getting there with enough time it is a cheap way to spend that extra day!!!

2.) If the days off are at the end or beginning this does not apply but if they are in the middle of Disney days I recommend something relaxing. First couple of trips we over did it and were wiped and not able to enjoy the parks as much as if we have a pool/lounge day or something in the middle.

3.) Nothing beats arrival like a trip to downtown Disney to get excited for the next morning!!!

Have a great trip with whatever you decide!!!
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:11 AM   #5
Barry Browning
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Santa Monica Pier we have been tow or three times always beautiful lots to do and Bubba Gumps was good for lunch.Also you can hit say Manns Theater and Hollywood Sign, etc.Warnre Brothers tour is a great two hours or so.All of these are really great times away from the park.Another one thats all day is Catalina Island wife and daughter went this week and loved it and said it was awesome they have snorkeling and took a tour by golf carts around the island.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:13 AM   #6
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I was considering going to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Then stop in at the Santa Monica pier or maybe even Venice Beach. A few other things on our list are.... Queen Mary and Griffith Park Observatory. Might drive through Hollywood after dark to see the lights and the "Hollywood" sign lite.

We've done most of the other things like Universal Studios, Sea World, San Diego Zoo and Hollywood.

There are many things to fill non Disney days that's for sure!

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Old 08-13-2013, 08:43 AM   #7
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If you don't have very young children and have a rental car I would do a day in LA. Warner Brothers has a fantastic studio tour that I LOVED doing.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:08 AM   #8
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I was considering going to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Then stop in at the Santa Monica pier or maybe even Venice Beach. A few other things on our list are.... Queen Mary and Griffith Park Observatory. Might drive through Hollywood after dark to see the lights and the "Hollywood" sign lite.
We did this on our "transit day" up from San Diego to Disneyland. We drove through Hollywood/Mulholland Drive (not terribly exciting, but can check i toff the list of things to do) and we stopped at the California Science Center and saw the Endeavor. That part was definitely worthwhile. I got to visit Kennedy Space Center ~30 years ago and is was neat to see a shuttle again.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Browning View Post
Santa Monica Pier we have been tow or three times always beautiful lots to do and Bubba Gumps was good for lunch.Also you can hit say Manns Theater and Hollywood Sign, etc.Warnre Brothers tour is a great two hours or so.All of these are really great times away from the park.Another one thats all day is Catalina Island wife and daughter went this week and loved it and said it was awesome they have snorkeling and took a tour by golf carts around the island.
Barry Browning --

I'm so glad to hear that your wife and daughter loved Catalina! I love it as well (it's my other favorite place in SoCal!). I keep trying to get people to visit there while the Catalina Express is having its free round-trip boat ride birthday promo, as it is a $72 value! It's a great deal, but you have to go on your actual birthday. I did the free birthday thing this year and last year, but I've loved Catalina since the '80s.

Catalina Island/Disney tie-ins: Ariel's Grotto restaurant in DCA was originally called Avalon Cove...and that was a direct nod to Catalina (Avalon is the main town on Catalina), with the restaurant even using the mermaid theme that is a big part of the artwork/decor in Avalon. Also, The iconic Catalina casino used to be featured in one of the murals near the entrance inside old DCA. Currently I think there may still be a retro 'movie poster' or two in Hollywood Land that features Catalina in the title.

When I first saw the OP's post I considered suggesting Catalina, but it really is a full day trip -- it's not somewhere that should be visited for just a few hours if you want to get the most of it. The Aquarium of the Pacific can be done in a shorter period of time.

All of the other suggestions in the thread have been great. I think I might go for the Mrs. Knott's chicken dinner! Yum!

I would also put in a vote for visiting the Original Farmers Market and The Grove in L.A. (they are side by side, and they have great decorations and 'snow' starting in early-to-mid November). It's a good way to spend a few hours, eat some good food and look for celebrities -- and you could do other things in L.A. while in the area.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:01 PM   #10
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Geemo - that is exactly what we are seeking to do. Did you hire a car or do a tour ?
DH is not keen to drive in LA so it will probably be a tour for us.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:10 PM   #11
wildflower329
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Thanks everyone! I should have mentioned that we will be traveling with a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old, so hollywood etc. would be too boring for them. Looking more for younger kid type stuff
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Geemo View Post
I was considering going to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Then stop in at the Santa Monica pier or maybe even Venice Beach. A few other things on our list are.... Queen Mary and Griffith Park Observatory. Might drive through Hollywood after dark to see the lights and the "Hollywood" sign lite.

We've done most of the other things like Universal Studios, Sea World, San Diego Zoo and Hollywood.

There are many things to fill non Disney days that's for sure!

Geemo
The Hollywood sign is not lit up at night, so don't go see it at night. You won't see anything.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:10 PM   #13
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Geemo - that is exactly what we are seeking to do. Did you hire a car or do a tour ?
DH is not keen to drive in LA so it will probably be a tour for us.
We too would like to do this, but do not plan on driving while on holiday. If anybody has an answer for ozmum, please fire away!
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:13 PM   #14
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I want to put in another plug for the California Science Center. There is no charge for the museum unless you want to slip some cash in their donation box. It is such a cool place for kids. My kids were 9, 6 and 4 and they loved it. They have a ton of fun, hands on exhibits!

We have stopped there twice in the last few years and REALLY enjoyed being able to see the space shuttle the last time. When we went, you had to make an advance reservation (that cost a couple of dollars online) for the day and time you wanted to see the shuttle so you might look into that.

There are a couple of fast food restaurants at the museum so it makes for a nice, easy and super inexpensive day.

I definitely recommend it for a low-key non-park day.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:10 AM   #15
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Fair warning - the California Science Center is right next to a college football stadium, so will be surrounded by 90,000 drunk college football fans on the 16th and 30th of November.
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