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Old 06-22-2013, 07:47 PM   #1
pmaurer74
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WDW veteran thinking of DLR for next summer

We just got back from our 5th trip to Orlando and we were thinking of doing something different next year and going to DLR for 3 parks days then to San Diego for a few days. We would like to stay at the Grand Californian. We are thinking of the beginning of May or we can go anytime June 15-August 25. When would you go? I see it can be hot but is it easier to manage than WDW... we were melting with the humidity. Also should I expect the same crowd levels. How far in advance do you book? I have been on the WDW boards for about 11 years but have never been over to this side. TIA!
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:51 PM   #2
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Start here, a DLR guide for WDW Vets: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1162599

It's long but has everything you would want to know!
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:36 PM   #3
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Congrats on wanting to make the trip to Disneyland! We were WDW vets who did the same trip to SoCal back in 2007 and absolutely adore DL! What else are you planning on doing in San Diego? I highly recommend the Hotel Del Coronado. It is right on the ocean and its one of the hotels that the Grand Floridian got its idea from. You will absolutely love the Grand Californian too! Any questions please ask away. I would choose the latter dates. In the summertime you get the full entertainment offerings. In early May the kids are still in school and its not consider summertime for Disneyland. Mid June approx. is when the entertainment is wide open and DL/DCA stay open longer.

I would book at the first of next year. Welcome to this side of the boards! Everyone over here is just downright amazing. Keep those questions coming!

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Old 06-22-2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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It is not hot IMO, it is perfect! Of course I'm used to Texas. Climate is so much better in Anaheim than Orlando. We like to go in July.

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Old 06-23-2013, 07:11 AM   #5
pmaurer74
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Thanks everyone. I have the feeling it will take months to figure everything out! I was interested in the southern CA pass that includes Universal, Sea World and maybe adding the zoo but I would like a few beach days.

Any recommended places to stay in San Diego? Thanks for the recommendation above! I will check it out.

Does DLR exhaust and drain you like WDW? We have been home almost a week and I am still recovering!
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:42 AM   #6
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We did a very similar vacation to San Diego and Disneyland a few years ago. We started off in San Diego at the Hotel Del Coronado. It was fantastic!! The hotel looks a lot like the Grand Floridian and the beach has amazing - white sand with little gold flecks in it. We went to the San Diego Zoo - which was great. Wish we could have worked in Legoland (since our boys are lego freaks), but we just didn't have the time to add it. We rented a car and drove to DL. We stayed at the Grand Californian, and it was wonderful too. Our trip was in June (the second or third week in June, I don't really remember). It was busy and warm, but after just having a trip to WDW at the same time of year, the heat was a lot more manageable in DL. I think it is the humidity that really eats my energy at WDW. I never really felt as tired in DL. My only suggestion would be to start in DL and then go to San Diego so you can relax after having busy and full days in DL. It would have been nice to rest tired DL feet on the beach! Have a wonderful time!!
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:47 AM   #7
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We did a very similar vacation to San Diego and Disneyland a few years ago. We started off in San Diego at the Hotel Del Coronado. It was fantastic!! The hotel looks a lot like the Grand Floridian and the beach has amazing - white sand with little gold flecks in it. We went to the San Diego Zoo - which was great. Wish we could have worked in Legoland (since our boys are lego freaks), but we just didn't have the time to add it. We rented a car and drove to DL. We stayed at the Grand Californian, and it was wonderful too. Our trip was in June (the second or third week in June, I don't really remember). It was busy and warm, but after just having a trip to WDW at the same time of year, the heat was a lot more manageable in DL. I think it is the humidity that really eats my energy at WDW. I never really felt as tired in DL. My only suggestion would be to start in DL and then go to San Diego so you can relax after having busy and full days in DL. It would have been nice to rest tired DL feet on the beach! Have a wonderful time!!
This does indeed sound exactly like what we want to do. The expense though... wow similar to WDW but the airfare for us will be a lot. I think I will look at see whether San Diego or Anaheim would be less expensive.

Do they come out with promotions for DLR like they do for WDW?
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by pmaurer74 View Post
This does indeed sound exactly like what we want to do. The expense though... wow similar to WDW but the airfare for us will be a lot. I think I will look at see whether San Diego or Anaheim would be less expensive.

Do they come out with promotions for DLR like they do for WDW?
DL does have some sales, but nothing like WDW. With the opening of the new Cars Land, it seems like they don't need many sales to get people in. As for expense, yes, it is similar to WDW - possibly even more. We had originally planned on going to DL for our past trip, but we found cheaper airfare to Orlando than Orange County (from Colorado), and the sale they had at WDW made it actually cheaper to to go WDW than DL.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:09 AM   #9
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You won't see big promotions generally like you to at WDW-but remember, you're picking by far the most expensive hotel. You can definitely make the trip more reasonable if you want to. I'd schedule more than three park days, though-especially if you go at busy times.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:25 AM   #10
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3 park days at DLR is fine if you don't mind skipping some stuff.

We took our nieces in April for their first trip ever. We did 4 days and it was just about perfect. They rode (almost) everything. Saw (almost) everything. Experienced (almost) everything.

Since you've done WDW, you may be fine skipping similar rides though, so maybe you don't need the full 4 days.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pmaurer74 View Post
Thanks everyone. I have the feeling it will take months to figure everything out! I was interested in the southern CA pass that includes Universal, Sea World and maybe adding the zoo but I would like a few beach days.

Any recommended places to stay in San Diego? Thanks for the recommendation above! I will check it out.

Does DLR exhaust and drain you like WDW? We have been home almost a week and I am still recovering!
I don't find DLR exhausting like I do WDW. It is a whole different experience. Since you are staying at the Grand Californian, your walking and travel to the parks is the absolute minimum, it can be. I love that I can leave my car and not see it until I am ready to leave the DLR.

The last few times we went, we took a day and went to Knott's Berry Farm which is only a ten minute drive from DL. And, we also took a day trip to Legoland two trips ago. That was a lot of driving, but doable.

Unlike WDW, it is pretty possible (depending on the crowds of course) to do 'everything' within 3 or 4 days. I would definitely get park hopper passes because of how easy it is to cross between parks.

Have fun!
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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I don't find DLR exhausting like I do WDW. It is a whole different experience. Since you are staying at the Grand Californian, your walking and travel to the parks is the absolute minimum, it can be. I love that I can leave my car and not see it until I am ready to leave the DLR.

The last few times we went, we took a day and went to Knott's Berry Farm which is only a ten minute drive from DL. And, we also took a day trip to Legoland two trips ago. That was a lot of driving, but doable.

Unlike WDW, it is pretty possible (depending on the crowds of course) to do 'everything' within 3 or 4 days. I would definitely get park hopper passes because of how easy it is to cross between parks.

Have fun!
If doing the SD Zoo and maybe SeaWorld, is that a possible day trip/drive if staying in Anaheim?
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:45 PM   #13
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If doing the SD Zoo and maybe SeaWorld, is that a possible day trip/drive if staying in Anaheim?
Both are 90 minutes away but then you have to add traffic time so to go and come back I would say 4 hours of your day (2 hours there; 2 hours back). So you have to ask yourself if you want to be in the car that much especially since you have two places you want to go in that area.

The amount of time in the car was one of the reasons we went to Legoland instead of Sea World since it is before San Diego in Carlsbad.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
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These boards will really help you with your planning!!! So much great info!
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:48 PM   #15
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It is not hot IMO, it is perfect! Of course I'm used to Texas. Climate is so much better in Anaheim than Orlando. We like to go in July.

Midnightred
MUCH better than Orlando in the summer. I've experienced both. We love WDW and DL. Each has it's own charm and appeal.

With Cars Land I think doing it 'all' in 3 days is not doable. You can see a lot though. If able I'd do a 4 or 5 day park hopper pass for DL and then spend a couple of days in San Diego. When we fly all the way to California we stay for a week. DL now only has 5-day park hopper passes.

I find DL MUCH less exhausting than WDW probably because I'm not having to wait for or walk to a bus.

Great boards here to answer your questions. Spend some time on the link the first (or so) poster provided. It's full of great stuff!

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