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Old 02-07-2013, 04:10 PM   #1
puente0629
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Disneyland & San Fran Questions?

Hi all!!

Well, we are Disneyland newbies as we only been to Disney once, in June 2007 and obviously there are new things to see and do. On this trip we will be taking my parents (my parents are coming from FL and we are coming from IL) who have never been to Disneyland, let alone California. We are DVC members and will be staying in a one bedroom villa for 4 nights and then flying to San Fran for another 4 nights. So here are my questions...

Itinerary (not set in stone on park days):

Sun, Oct. 27 Arrive early morning to LA, check-in and DL
Mon, Oct. 28 DL
Tues, Oct. 29 LA Tour
Wed, Oct. 30 DCA
Thurs, Oct. 31 Depart early afternoon to San Fran
Fri, Nov. 1
Sat, Nov. 2
Sun, Nov. 3 Napa
Mon, Nov. 4 Go home =-(

Is it worth renting a car while your there?
What is the nearest grocery store, can you walk or do they have a delivery grocer?
Can you recommend any LA tour guides that will pick up at the resort?
What will the weather be like?
How are the crowds?
What do they do for Halloween at the Parks?
Any saving budget ideas?
Anyone done a Disney & San Fran combo? any suggestions?
where did you stay in San Fran?
Tour guides? restaurants?
did you drive or fly from LA to San Fran?

Thanks!
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Last edited by puente0629; 02-08-2013 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
danaesacto
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Originally Posted by puente0629 View Post
Hi all!!

Well, we are Disneyland newbies as we only been to Disney once, in June 2007 and obviously there are new things to see and do. On this trip we will be taking my parents (my parents are coming from FL and we are coming from IL) who have never been to Disneyland, let alone California in late October into early November. We are DVC members and will be staying in a one bedroom villa for 4 nights and then flying to San Fran for another 4 nights. So here are my questions...

Is it worth renting a car while your there? Not unless you want to drive to see something- you are coming for such a short time, if you are doing the parks all 4 days you don't need a car.
What is the nearest grocery store, can you walk or do they have a delivery grocer? Try vons.com for delivery
Can you recommend any LA tour guides that will pick up at the resort?
What will the weather be like? There is a great weather superthread here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=23004158
How are the crowds? Looks like you are coming Thanksgiving week right? Very busy.
What do they do for Halloween at the Parks?
Any saving budget ideas? Lots of budget threads on these boards- use the search feature in the upper right and search "budget"
Anyone done a Disney & San Fran combo? any suggestions? Lots of advice on this too- including recent threads in the California & The West forum
where did you stay in San Fran?
Tour guides? restaurants? http://thestinkingrose.com/
did you drive or fly from LA to San Fran? people around here have done both and those of us that live near SF/Sac do both to visit DL- so if you have a question about that- lots of smart people here

Thanks!
Hope this helps get you started! Oh, and all the planning guides and super threads are here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1072276 Tons of great info!
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:55 PM   #3
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Is it worth renting a car while your there? At DL, no. San Fran, maybe. The transportation system in SF is great and parking is expensive, but it's nice to have a car to visit the surrounding area.
What is the nearest grocery store, can you walk or do they have a delivery grocer? Vons.com
Can you recommend any LA tour guides that will pick up at the resort? No, sorry.
What will the weather be like? It might be warm, it might be cold and wet.
How are the crowds? Right around Halloween, it can be busy.
What do they do for Halloween at the Parks? They have Halloween parties. They are up-charge events and the park closes early to regular guests. The party can be a lot of fun, with the special parade and the fireworks show and characters for meet and greets.
Any saving budget ideas? Budget? What's a budget? heh j/k If you decide to do a Halloween party, you might consider using that day as your LA day and just going to the park that night. You can get in any time after 4:00pm so you could be a 3 day hopper instead of a 4 day.
Anyone done a Disney & San Fran combo? any suggestions? I live 6 hours from DL and 2 hours from San Fran, so i've never done them together. But we have of course visited both. Thematically, be sure to go to the Walt Disney Family Museum in SF at the Presidio. A great chance to learn more about the amazing man who built the place you just have so much fun visiting.
where did you stay in San Fran? We are Marriott people so we like the JW Marriott Marquis.
Tour guides? No idea. restaurants? The Stinking Rose is famous and fun if you dig garlic. We like Kuletto's and Post Trio, but both are pretty pricey.
did you drive or fly from LA to San Fran? Fly. Definitely fly. Check out Southwest Airlines.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:35 PM   #4
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We live near SF and I would fly. It's a terribly boring long drive. Check out the Kimpton hotels. We especially like the one near the Ferry Plaza building. Walking over to see that especially on a farmers market day is fun and The Slanted Door restaurant is yummy. You didn't say if you have kids, but the Academy of Sciences is a great place to see with kids. Driving around SF is doable but parking is super expensive and its pretty stressful with all the one way streets and traffic.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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We live near SF and I would fly. It's a terribly boring long drive. Check out the Kimpton hotels. We especially like the one near the Ferry Plaza building. Walking over to see that especially on a farmers market day is fun and The Slanted Door restaurant is yummy. You didn't say if you have kids, but the Academy of Sciences is a great place to see with kids. Driving around SF is doable but parking is super expensive and its pretty stressful with all the one way streets and traffic.
Slanted Door? There are varying opinions on that place. Some love it. Others think of it as an overpriced, overrated, and inauthentic place where you can get what's essentially street food for 3 times the price and half the portion size. The talk about is that the owner had lower prices, better food, and better service when he ran a hole in the wall in the Mission. Then he got famous and then started to take advantage of it by jacking up his prices and reducing portion sizes.

The best Vietnamese food in the Bay Area is going to be somewhere in San Jose. Not sure if the OP is willing to travel that far.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:45 PM   #6
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We are from Oregon and drove to San Francisco this past summer. We stayed at the Hotel Drisco. It's located in a neighborhood called Pacific Heights, amongst some of the most beautiful homes in SF. It's also adjacent to the Presidio where the Disney Family Museum is located. We liked the hotel a lot because we needed a pet-free hotel -allergies- and wanted a suite for our family. It is a great city with a lot to do. You will enjoy it, and the weather is best in the fall, from what the locals told us.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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I have to agree on the Stinking Rose in SF, delish!! House of Prime Rib and The Melting Pot (Marin) are great as well. You can take the ferry in SF to Marin, which is just across from The Melting Pot.

I live 20-30 minutes from SF, usually we drive to DLR, but occasionally we fly. Driving through SF, and parking, can be a nightmare. Using a parking garage can be VERY expensive.

We are Hilton people, and I like Hilton in Union Square. Although, Park 55 is awesome as well, and can give great rates. It is also down the street from this Italian restaurant, Pucini & Panelli (spelling?), and super close to BART.

Oh, Hilton in Union Square isn't far from Macy's (which has a Cheesecake Factory on top of it), and a the SF Disney Store is there as well.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:04 PM   #8
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In San Francisco we've stayed in a couple of Marriotts and a Hilton but my favorite is the Omni. Pier 23 is a great place to go for a casual lunch. The fish tacos are made with fish fresh off the boats.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:32 PM   #9
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Whatever the reviews say, we like Slanted Door and it was one of the less expensive meals we have eaten in the city. I forgot to say, we've also stayed at the Mandarin Oriental and if you can get a room high up, the views are awesome! They sometimes run specials to make it affordable.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:43 PM   #10
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Although I LOVE Melting Pot, its a national chain and they do have Chicago area locations (since OP is from Elgin) so I wouldn't necessarily use tourist time in SF to go to Marin for Melting Pot. There is a fondue restaurant in SF called Melt that is generally well liked as well if you're interested in fondue (disclaimer- I've never been to Melt) and a plethora of other SF restaurants with a wide range of cuisines and budgets.

I second the recommendation for the Walt Disney Family Museum. I really enjoyed my visit there a few weeks ago and definitely plan to go back.

Although I do the SF to LA drive all the time, I would not recommend wasting your precious vacation time on the drive. The exception to that would be if you want to make the drive PART of your vacation by driving up the coast and visiting Hearst Castle, Monterey etc. But that would be at least 3 days to do those things.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:29 AM   #11
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Great info everyone - sorry for dropping in on the topic OP but I was wondering why people are saying to fly to LA from SF?

We are planning to drive from SF to LA in October and thought maybe the drive would be nice? Is there nothing to see - we have 2 girls 5 & 7? Is the Jelly Belly Factory somewhere nearby?
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:10 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DisneyOz
Great info everyone - sorry for dropping in on the topic OP but I was wondering why people are saying to fly to LA from SF?

We are planning to drive from SF to LA in October and thought maybe the drive would be nice? Is there nothing to see - we have 2 girls 5 & 7? Is the Jelly Belly Factory somewhere nearby?
The Jelly Belly factory is North of SF so it isn't on the way from SF to LA. We live in Sac and drove both 2011 trips. This year we are flying. The long drive just burns us all out.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:15 AM   #13
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OP-my family like to stay at Union Square when in SF. I recently stayed at the Parc 55 for the first time and really liked it. We've had several great stays at the Sir Francis Drake and we also like the Saint Frances.

I'd fly over driving, but that's just me.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:00 AM   #14
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Great info everyone - sorry for dropping in on the topic OP but I was wondering why people are saying to fly to LA from SF?

We are planning to drive from SF to LA in October and thought maybe the drive would be nice? Is there nothing to see - we have 2 girls 5 & 7? Is the Jelly Belly Factory somewhere nearby?
I guess that "nearby" is a relative term. It's about 50 miles from San Francisco. It's actually pretty close for me, although it's on the way to the closest outlet mall near my home.

There are also several ways to get from SF to LA, and they may take varying amounts of time should you come across rush hour traffic, special events, etc. The most picturesque route would be the coastal route along California Route 1 through Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Big Sur. The fastest would be going across SF Bay through Oakland via I-580, I-205, and I-5.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:14 AM   #15
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Great info everyone - sorry for dropping in on the topic OP but I was wondering why people are saying to fly to LA from SF?

We are planning to drive from SF to LA in October and thought maybe the drive would be nice? Is there nothing to see - we have 2 girls 5 & 7? Is the Jelly Belly Factory somewhere nearby?
If you have lots of time and are planning to drive down the coast and see the beautiful cities of Monterey, Santa Barbara etc then yes drive. If you are making a straight shot down Hwy 5 it is a long drive with nothing to see.
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