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Old 05-17-2011, 01:46 PM   #1
huntforjulia
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DL & Cali instead of WDW? Help Please!

Epic Family Adventure 2012: had plan for WDW but Now Maybe going West. Did some research on DL & Cali but I'm lost,not sure what I can/can't do realisticaly. Need expert advice/suggestions.

5 adults, 2 kids; Myself, 2 DS, DD,her DH & 2 DGS 4 & 7. Plan 9 days minimum,sat-sun. maybe more bonus days depending on everyone's schedule.
Travel either spring break in March or as soon as school gets out end of May/first of June.

Have to:
1.take 2 GS's to see Mickey! ?3-4 days? want to see most of of parks. semi commando with nap/pool in afternoon.
2.do beach/ocean and see sea life, seals,shells,tide pools,ect.
3. see redwoods/seqouia's (Could do this on another trip)
Is this possible? any thoughts or ideas?

Last edited by huntforjulia; 05-17-2011 at 03:06 PM. Reason: too shorten post too long
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:36 PM   #2
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Totally possible.

For DL 3-5 days. I assume you are going in summer because of the school age kids. Summer is busy and the weekend are very busy so it's good to aim for midweek. If around the holiday shoot for 5 days. If midweek 3 days is probably ok. But keep in mind that even though DLR is only two parks and in a smaller area than WDW doesn't mean it's half the size. It has far more than half the number of attractions that WDW does packed in.

Also a few hours south of DL is San Diego, with many great beaches, Sea World and the famous SD Zoo and the SD Wild Animal park.

Hollywood, and possibly Universal Studios might be nice to see while in SoCal.
Also being from Arkansas you might want to watch some surfing.

With a full day drive you can drive from LA to SF along Highway 1. One of the most scenic drives in the world. But short of SF is Monterey, with it's stellar Aquarium. Also around there are great tide pools and Redwoods.

SF is great to spend a couple or 3 days in, incredbly scenic urban area.


But if you want to visit parks, Gran Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, Mt Rushmore Badlands,the trip will need to be much longer.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:04 PM   #3
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Great questions - we're doing somewhat the same sort of trip this summer. I'll let you know at the end of August how it all worked out! We're got a 10-day trip planned.

We're 4 adults and 3 kids - 10, 8, 4 and we're doing 5 days in the Anaheim area - 3 days at Disneyland and 1 day at Universal. First day is arrival date, and we plan on getting to the hotel and swimming in the pool (Ramada Maingate at the Park)

After Anaheim, we're driving up the coast and spending the night in San Simeon. The next morning we tour the Hearst Castle and drive up to Monterey area, heading east and spending a night around Tracy or Ripon. The next day we head into Yosemite, spend two days there, seeing the Mariposa grove of big trees, and leave from Fresno.

We know we'll have two busy driving days, but will hopefully have enough time to relax and have some fun!
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:37 PM   #4
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You might want to try for June, there is a chance the DCA reburb will be done by then.

You should check the AP calendar to see when the blackouts are...it is usually PACKED at DL when school is out before the APs are blocked out, and next year will be busy with everyone wanting to see the new Carsland.

Have a magical trip!
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:05 AM   #5
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Absolutely.

We've done 10 days in the Cali region a number of times...we usually allocate about 2-3 full days for DLR. We like staying at the Residence Inn Maingate when we're at Anaheim.

There is a SoCal City Pass that allows you 3 days DLR park hopper, 1 day Universal, 1 day SeaWorld and one day either San Diego Zoo or the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

However, with the ages of the DGS, you might want to look into taking them to Legoland..if they are into Lego....which is closer towards San Diego; instead of all the SoCal theme parks. If you want to stay in the SoCal region and want to see seals, there are seals out on the La Jolla beach.

The drive up the Pacific Coast highway is lovely; and I would allow 2 or 3 nights to do the drive. There are the Elephant Seals, otters that you could stop at along the way. If the family likes waterfalls, then I would also recommed the Julia Pfeiffer State Park and McWay Falls for a 30 - 40 minute stop along the coast.
Depending on the time of year you decide to go, you might want to see if the Monarch butterflies are out (either at Monterey/Pacific Grove or Pismo Beach) or if there are any migrating whales swimming in the Pacific.
There is also quite a bit to see on the Monterey Peninsula.

If you want to see Redwoods, then you could go to Muir Woods - about an hour north of San Francisco. The other option for seeing Redwoods is to check out Roaring Camp Railway. They run a train (steam or diesel) through private land that still have a small Redwood forest grove into the Santa Cruz boardwalk. It is a very good activity to do with boys; and for the whole family.

For sequoias, the best place is the Sequoia National Park; but that is a little out of the way of the coast. The alternative is at Yosemite National Park, which another post has mentioned.
If it were just the adults, you could fit it (Sequoia and Yosemite) all in. With the 2 DGS, it would just depend on how well they travel.

I love San Francisco so it would be one place that I would highly recommend that you go to if you haven't yet been. The kids would enjoy all the street cars and ferries on the bay.

Have fun with your planning!

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Old 05-19-2011, 05:03 PM   #6
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Sorry to hijack this thread, but Princess in Oz, could you send me a message on how the Ramada Maingate was? I'm looking forward to it - especially since it's so close to the parks that we can walk back in the afernoon for a swim.

According to my Yosemite book, there is a big grove of sequoias - the Mariposa Grove - right on the edge of Yosemite, as you would head down to the Fresno area. I thought there were also some big trees up near Palo Alto?

Also, there are elephant seals close to San Simeon - perhaps in Cambria? - Moonstone Beach or thereabouts? We are hoping to see them during our trip.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrabbyPatty View Post
Sorry to hijack this thread, but Princess in Oz, could you send me a message on how the Ramada Maingate was? I'm looking forward to it - especially since it's so close to the parks that we can walk back in the afernoon for a swim.

According to my Yosemite book, there is a big grove of sequoias - the Mariposa Grove - right on the edge of Yosemite, as you would head down to the Fresno area. I thought there were also some big trees up near Palo Alto?

Also, there are elephant seals close to San Simeon - perhaps in Cambria? - Moonstone Beach or thereabouts? We are hoping to see them during our trip.

Hi . I stayed at the Residence Inn Maingate, not the Ramada. I wrote a TR on the trip in January where we started in DLR and ended up in San Francisco, with pictures of the Residence Inn and the elephant seals in San Simeon. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2614243

Yes - there are sequoias in Mariposa Grove and if you were flying out of Fresno, then you would take the south entrance (I think its the south entrance) out of Yosemite National Park and head down towards Fresno.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:56 AM   #8
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With the time you have, I would do similar to what PrincessInOz mentioned -Muir Woods is a great suggestion, simply amazing. Take the 101 out of Anaheim/LA and follow the Pacific Coast Highway to SF -it is the drive of a lifetime. You would need 2-days to get from DL to SF.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:21 PM   #9
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I like Muir Woods, and it's an interesting drive to get there. But it's a little crowded and touristy, and will take 1/2 day of your time.

But if you follow PrincessInOz's suggestions, take Highway 1 up the Big Sur coast, and stop at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, you'll be in an even larger redwood forest. Just take some time around there to do some hiking around and observe the redwood forest. A couple hours there would be better spent than 1/2 day excursion to Muir Woods, IMHO.

Also, while you're there, ask for directions to Pfeiffer Beach. You'll be glad you did. One of the prettiest beaches I've ever seen. The turnoff to the one-lane road is about a mile south of Pfeiffer State Park, so you may be slightly backtracking. But it's very hard to find without good directions.

Full disclosure - since you're travelling with kids, it's OK to walk north on the beach as far as the big rock that appears to block access, but is easy to walk around. But if you walk past that, you may want to check it out first. That's always been considered the nude section; it doesn't get a lot of nude use, but check it out alone at first if you don't want to have that talk with your kids/grandkids yet.

Also, lunch at Nepenthe's is always a must-do for me. Pricey, but the views are out of this world. It's about 2 miles south of Pfeiffer State Park.

-Bob

Last edited by GrandBob; 05-29-2011 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Beach warning
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:34 PM   #10
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Disneyland and all of California is amazing. Have a great time. Take lots of pictures (memories!).
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