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Old 09-04-2014, 07:41 PM   #1
Belle's Castle
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Last minute trip for newbies

Hello....my DH and I just found out we are able to go to Cali in October for my brothers wedding. We have 2 days open and want to go to Disneyland and Cali Adventure. BUT I am so overwhelmed with planning! We are DW veterans, DVC members and Annual Pass holders. I know so much about disney world and a last minute trip is no issue! However with Disneylamd I am lost and have no clue were to start. Please help!

I have started to read some of the super threads but am overwhelmed by those...I think it is also because of start of school year...

What are your must do's in each park and things you could skip? Are here things we should skip because they are the same as in the world? Any recommendations would greatly be appreciated!

Traveling will be my DD 6, DS2, DH and myself. We have a condo down by Newport Beach to stay in.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:50 PM   #2
figment_jii
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I would highly recommend you take a look at HydroGuy's DLR Guide for WDW Vets. It will give you a good grounding the major similarities and differences between DLR and WDW. (If that is the SuperThread you were referring to, I'd just read post #1 and #2 because that's where the core information is located.)

My biggest piece of advice for WDW vets to remember that DLR is much more compact (in a good way). DL and DCA are 110 yards apart from each other. Basically, think of DL as Epcot's FW, DCA as Epcot's WS, the Esplanade is the bridge that connects them, and DLR DTD is just outside of International Gateway. You can very easily park hop, so it's worth getting park hoppers even if you only have a limited amount of time.

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Originally Posted by Belle's Castle View Post
What are your must do's in each park and things you could skip? Are here things we should skip because they are the same as in the world? Any recommendations would greatly be appreciated!
HydroGuy's guide goes through the rides that are unique to DLR (Point #21). I can't think of a lot of rides that are identical between WDW and DLR (most will some some small diffrences and/or different queues). The ones that I can think of off the top of my head are TSMM, Soarin', Muppets, Little Mermaid (queue is much better in MK - but the ride is pretty much the same), and Star Tours (different queue, same ride). I'm sure there are others, but those are the ones I can think of. Then there are rides that are pretty much the same, but the look might be different (e.g., Dumbo, Tea Cups, carousels, etc.).
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:00 AM   #3
karmacats
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DH and I are in the same boat you are - WDW vets about to do our first DL trip, and need to squeeze everything into a couple of days.

Read Hydroguy's thread for sure.

I also found the "Unofficial Guide to Disneyland" book really helpful - it has sections about and lists of the rides that are the same at both parks, common to both parks but different at each, and only found at DLR. There is also a huge section on kids' stuff. Even after Hydroguy's thread I was waaay overwhelmed, but for some reason reading the book really helped me make sense of it all.

I've also been reading this thread like a madwoman. I still don't quite know what I'm in for, but every evening i read any posts on the first page or two that look interesting, and at this point I feel pretty comfortable. You've got a month 'til October - you'll be fine!
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:41 AM   #4
gottalovepluto
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Park hoppers are a must. Allears has Disneyland restaurant menus. Check to see what's down for refurb before you go. Be there when the gates open cause that is when crowds are lowest.

I see you're going in October. For crowd planning purposes you should see if you cross paths with gay days, CHOC walk, Utah educators association (I kid not, apparently a good chunk of Utah hits Anaheim then) and mickeys Halloween party nights. I don't know these dates off hand so I'm going to recommend a trip over to the Disneyland Halloween time thread, it's quite active and you can find out a lot about the parks at the time you're going. (Sorry I don't know how to link from a smartphone.)

Lastly, it Disneyland so relax! You'll be covering a lot less ground and could walk from one end of DL to the back part of DCA in no time if you so chose, the property is a much smaller footprint than the world. (Case in point all 3 on-site hotels are walking distance to both parks.)
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:43 AM   #5
gottalovepluto
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I just saw that Newport Beach part. Do keep in mind LA rush hours if going during the week.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:58 AM   #6
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Park hoppers are a must. Be there when the gates open cause that is when crowds are lowest.
I agree that park hoppers are fabulous at DLR. It takes 5 minutes cross the esplanade and get into the other park. Bag check for both parks is before you enter the esplanade, so park hopping does not involve addition security, it's great!

DLR is just a lot of fun and it really doesn't require mega amounts of planning. Based on the age of your kiddos, it sounds like you'll want to hit Fantasyland first. It sounds like you'll have one morning when you enter the park 1hr early (I always get the terminology wrong)so I would use that time in Fantasyland. Peter Pan always has a line and there is no FP.

Newport to DLR can be a really long commute in rush hour traffic. So if you're planning to be at the parks at rope drop give yourself extra time. I would try to find out commute times from locals.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:03 AM   #7
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It sounds like you'll have one morning when you enter the park 1hr early (I always get the terminology wrong)so I would use that time in Fantasyland. Peter Pan always has a line and there is no FP.
DLR has two types of early morning entry. The first is called Extra Magic Hour (EMH) and it's available to guests staying at one of the three on-site hotels. It's at either DL or DCA (usually not both).

Magic Mornings are at DL (same morning at EMH) and is available to guests with certian types of tickets (e.g., 3-day ticket).

I concur that if you have access to EMH/MM, make use of it. If you do not have access, I would consider going to the park that does not have EMH/MM at opening. This is especially true if TSMM (DCA) or Peter Pan/A&E (DL) are on your "to do" list.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:25 AM   #8
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DLR has two types of early morning entry. The first is called Extra Magic Hour (EMH) and it's available to guests staying at one of the three on-site hotels. It's at either DL or DCA (usually not both).

Magic Mornings are at DL (same morning at EMH) and is available to guests with certian types of tickets (e.g., 3-day ticket).

I concur that if you have access to EMH/MM, make use of it. If you do not have access, I would consider going to the park that does not have EMH/MM at opening. This is especially true if TSMM (DCA) or Peter Pan/A&E (DL) are on your "to do" list.
Thanks for clarifying what I was trying to say. After I read your post, I realized how truly useless my comments were. Sometimes I know what I'm thinking and trying to say , but I leave out key elements.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:29 AM   #9
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Thanks for clarifying what I was trying to say. After I read your post, I realized how truly useless my comments were. Sometimes I know what I'm thinking and trying to say , but I leave out key elements.
I don't think your comments were "useless"! I was just clarify the two types of early admission because OP said they were WDW Vets and DLR system is very different from the WDW system in some respects.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:58 AM   #10
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I don't think your comments were "useless"! I was just clarify the two types of early admission because OP said they were WDW Vets and DLR system is very different from the WDW system in some respects.
I just love the difference. I'm so excited about my next trip to DLR, because it is so much easier than WDW. I love whole WDW resort property, it's huge and beautiful. Reality is kept at bay, but I don't love MDE and FP+.
DLR has the charm and simplicity that seems to be lacking from a WDW experience. I also love the DTD is right outside the parks.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:10 AM   #11
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One thing I realized when I went to DLR after being a WDW vet was that I was actually MORE exhausted after DLR for the very reason that I shouldn't have been. Things were so much closer, that we felt like we could do so much more. As a result, we wound up doing even more walking, because we could.

So, my advice - slow down, enjoy the time and experience. 2 days is plenty to enjoy DLR, especially if you don't HAVE to do every ride since you know many of them from WDW.

If I had to pick some MUSTS at DLR, I'd say Indy, POTC (much better at DLR), BTMRR (refurb is nice), plus Fantasyland rides you can't do at WDW like Alice, Snow White, etc., and Carsland in DCA.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:01 PM   #12
Belle's Castle
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Thank you everyone! I have decided to take all the advice and just relax and have fun! I am not going to overplay or stress! Sooooo excited to get to DL!
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