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Old 12-05-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
love280mickey
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Very first Disneyland trip, looking for must-do's while there!

Hey everyone,

SO VERY excited for our first ever trip to Disneyland. It'll be myself, DH and 13 year old dd. We are booked July 3 through 7 at Villas at Grand Californian, and I was thrilled to get the reservation.

We are spending a few days before that in Newport Coast along the shore.

Been to WDW many times, but always looked forward to the days I could go to California and Disneyland.

I'm planning on purchasing the SoCal pass with SeaWorld and Universal included, so that gives us 3 days of hoppers for DL. Yes, we are there over July 4th - is it incredibly crowded or do people stay away because they "think" it'll be crowded so it ends up not being too bad?

So...what are the absolute must do items? We have 4 nights of reservations and 3 days of park hoppers.

Favorite sit down for at least one night?
Favorite counter style meal?
Favorite must see show?
Favorite Character breakfast or meal?

I have to make the most of this trip, I don't think I'll ever get DH to go back, so this is it!

Thanks to anyone who can offer advice to me!
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
jennameowse
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Hi and yay for your trip! I've heard July 4th is crazy busy but you will still be able to get a lot in. My favorite show is Aladdin in DCA. Really great performers. For sit down we like Cafe Orleans. Blue Bayou is great and I've heard good things about Carthay and Wine Country Trattoria (I think that's the name...) my absolute must do's when I'm at the parks are rides like Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder (but BTMRR will be closed when you're there.) I really like the Breakfast with Minnie character meal it's in DL and has a pretty great variety of characters. Hope you enjoy your trip!
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:59 PM   #3
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I forgot counter service meals! There's a place in DCA on Paradise Pier that has a pizza/pasta restaurant and a Mediterranean restaurant and its a new favorite of ours. I cant remember the name at the moment though. The portions are pretty great and it has good flavor.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:36 AM   #4
Loki0panda
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Congrats on your first trip. Fourth of July will be extremely busy and they usually have to cap the entrance to the park, so I suggest getting there early if you're going to go.

As for things to do, I suggest getting on space mountain and Star wars on fast pass. They're going to be busiest. The same goes for the Indiana Jones ride.

Now let's answer some questions -

Favorite sit down for at least one night?

I'm really going to suggest DCA's new Carthe. Their food was amazing. I loved every bite of it and it's now one of our go to places for good food. We had the steak and cheesecake for desert and we practically wanted to lick the plate clean. The decor is also amazingly beautiful and it's a very calm atmosphere. Blue bayou is also a lot of fun, and make sure to try to ask for a seat by the water if you do go there.

Favorite counter style meal?
I think someone mentioned the French Market? If not, that's really the place to go. It's right across from the haunted mansion. The food is really good with large potions and most of the time they're playing live jazz. Also don't forget to pick up a mint julip. I'm addicted to them and cant go to disney without grabbing one!

Favorite must see show?

It's not a huge thing, but try to catch the sword in the stone in front of the carousel. It's a really great show and some of my favorite memories are from it. I'm not sure if they still do it, but when I was a child, I actually received a large medallion when I was picked to be the one to pull the sword. I dont know if they do that anymore since it's been a number of years. It was really a magical experience though and one I'd never forget.

Edit: so apparently, I read on com here that they got rid of that show. I would still check just in case they bring it back, but otherwise, might I suggest the news boys that now perform in DCA on the trolleys.

Favorite Character breakfast or meal?

Let's see, this is a bit hard. When I was little, it was always goofy's kitchen, but if you're looking for princesses Ariel's grotto in DCA is the way to go. I would try getting the special World of Color meal. That gives you a special area to view world of color and also saves you the insane hassle of trying to find where to get the fast pass tickets for that. (I swear they hide it on purpose). Without either the fastpass tickets or the dining tickets, you wont be able to see the show.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:00 AM   #5
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Whatever you do, do not miss seeing the musical stylings of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies! They are my favorite show at any of the 6 US parks, and a very distinctly Disney act. Whenever I take friends from out of town to DL, they end up telling me months later that this show was one of the highlights of their trip!
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:09 AM   #6
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must dos for me
rides and such-Indy, Pirates, Matterhorn, Nemo subs, carsland etc.

shows- Aladdin especially if it's hot-great air conditioned break and show, World of Color gets great reviews too over at DCA

dining- counter service- Hungry Bear, Paradise Pier area in DCA
sit down- Tortilla Joe's was decent

I ate at Blue Bayou and the service and food is bad, atmosphere is cool though. Get a ressie and split an entree or just go and get dessert to enjoy watching the pirate boats go by.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki0panda View Post
Star trek on fast pass
Oh, no you di 'int.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #8
Loki0panda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakerudall View Post
Oh, no you di 'int.

Oops! This is why I shouldnt respond to posts on here at 2 in the morning.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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Favorite sit down for at least one night?
Napa Rose or the PCH Grill in PPH

Favorite must see show?
Fireworks at DL and World of Color at CA

Favorite Character breakfast or meal?
This depends on your needs. Storytellers for the food and a more relaxed breakfast. Mickey's Surf's Up at the PPH for a great interactive show for the kids and a good breakfast selection. Minnie's in DL for the most character interaction and decent food.
If you want dinner, Goofy's in DLH or Ariel's in CA are the only options. I haven't done either.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:21 PM   #10
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I think everyone here has covered it.

Fantasmic is our must see show. Our family just loves it.
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