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Old 06-17-2014, 11:37 PM   #1
Family Travel
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5 Days in Disneyland - consecutive, or break it up?

Hi Everyone,

Myself, DH, and 3 children (5, 9 and 11) will be travelling from Australia to DL in September next year (I know I am planning way ahead - but it's quite a big trip for us). We are staying in Anaheim (offsite) for 9 nights and will be getting 5 day park hopper passes.

My question is, do you think we should plan to spend 5 days straight in Disneyland/DCA (totally immerse ourselves in all things Disney!!) and then spend a couple of days doing other activities (shopping/Universal Studios/Knotts Berry Farm/Swimming at Hotel etc) or mix it up with these day trips in between the disney days?

Either way we will take rest breaks during the days of our Disney time.

Also, if we did 5 days straight in DL/DCA, would you think it's better to do this first or last?

After this we are heading to Hawaii, and will spend about a week there to relax on the way home.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:47 PM   #2
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For me, I like to break up our Disney days. 2 days at DLR then a day elsewhere...
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:50 PM   #3
Escape2Disney
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We typically do all of our non-Disney days first, and wrap up with time in the parks.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:16 AM   #4
elaine amj
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I've been debating what we would want to do as well. My one issue is that we would likely do a rental car at the beginning or the end of the trip (or both) to get to/from the airport. So from a financial viewpoint, it makes sense to do the daytrips at the beginning/end of the trip.

I'm considering a day in the middle just to chill and sleep in and hit the pool (don't know if it would be warm enough in March?). There doesn't seem to be a whole lot to do right in Anaheim without a car (we don't want to pay for a tour or pay for Knotts Berry Farm, etc) so we may end up eating in nearby restaurants and just watching tv in the room? I am a bit worried we re "wasting" a day in California. That said, a sleep in day amidst 5 very busy DLR days might be very nice. On the other hand, we are coming from the midwest so sleeping until 8am is likely going to feel like we are sleeping in forever!

I'm struggling with this decision. Partly it's because I haven't found a lot of things to do yet outside DLR that really appeals to us. Especially since we have no real interest in Hollywood or wandering around cities. I'm sure there is stuff, but lots more research to do. We are trying to keep non-DLR stuff free/cheap. We want to go whale-watching (prices actually seem super reasonable), spend some time on a beach, and probably some tidal pools. We will have 8-9 days in California but could extend if there is more we want to see/do.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:15 AM   #5
bouds
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If it were me I'd plan a down day in the middle of your 5 park days, possibly after day 3. You can hang out at your hotel, visit Garden Walk and DTD, check out the Disneyland Hotel and The Grand (you could do a character meal at either.) Do laundry. And just rest your feet.

Just a note that the beach may be cold in March. The water will definitely be cold. I wouldn't expect to spend a whole day at the beach. May or may not be warm enough for the pool, but most likely over 9 days there will be at least a couple of days warm enough.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:29 AM   #6
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You could split the stay. Find somewhere else in CA you'd like to see, go there first, then get rid of the rental car when you get to Disney. Look into San Diego (lots of beach in the area), Palm Springs (and the surrounding desert, like Joshua Tree), Tahoe, or even Arizona (Grand Canyon). I wouldn't really want to stay in Anaheim for 9 days. On the other hand, in Australia you should have access to park tickets longer than 5 days, if you did want more park time. With a longer ticket, or even with 5 days you could do something like, 4 days in Anaheim, take a road trip somewhere else for a few days, then a final park day on your way back to the airport.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:30 AM   #7
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Break it up! xD

We normally do three straight days at the park and we always tell ourselves we should've broken it up (this is after we're back at the hotel, in bed whining about how bad our feet, back, and legs hurt). Then again, my friend and I go 13-14 hour days with just each other and no kids or other family or friends, so it's a little easier to accommodate myself and him. With children and other party members, I'd imagine it would be much more difficult to spend such long hours at both parks. So I would highly recommend throwing in some other activities to give both bodies and minds a break as it can be trying at times, especially with how crowded it can be depending on when you go in September.
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:15 AM   #8
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You can get a 10 day pass in Australia from travel agencies - it only ends up around $30 more than the 5 day pass you purchase direct from Disney. I am also planning for end of next year and I will be certainly getting a 10 day pass, that way you can always do something during the day away from Disney if you like and go into the park at night for a show etc. More flexibility and freedom
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:20 AM   #9
Mosey03
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My advice would be to break it up! We just got back from DLR and we did 5 consecutive days. I had a rest time at our hotel every day except one, and I made it through the first 3 days okay, but my legs and feet were not very happy with me on days 4 & 5, and on day 5 it even affected what I did because I just felt like I couldn't walk all over the parks any more. I really think a day off somewhere in the middle would have helped a lot. However, if you're going to do Universal Studios or Knott's Berry Farm on the "off" days, I'm not sure it matters as much. Hope this helps!
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:53 AM   #10
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Unless you get a slightly longer pass ( jelly ) I would sandwich my down days and tour days between my Park time.


Park - Park - daytrip-downday -daytrip- downday - Park - Park - Park

If you add extra days ( jelly ) I would happily go to the Parks in the evenings of your pool days even if it was just for a show or ride or two.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Family Travel View Post
Hi Everyone,

Myself, DH, and 3 children (5, 9 and 11) will be travelling from Australia to DL in September next year (I know I am planning way ahead - but it's quite a big trip for us). We are staying in Anaheim (offsite) for 9 nights and will be getting 5 day park hopper passes.

My question is, do you think we should plan to spend 5 days straight in Disneyland/DCA (totally immerse ourselves in all things Disney!!) and then spend a couple of days doing other activities (shopping/Universal Studios/Knotts Berry Farm/Swimming at Hotel etc) or mix it up with these day trips in between the disney days?

Either way we will take rest breaks during the days of our Disney time.

Also, if we did 5 days straight in DL/DCA, would you think it's better to do this first or last?

After this we are heading to Hawaii, and will spend about a week there to relax on the way home.

Thanks in advance for any help!
We split it up, and didn't do 100% full days each day either. It's a pretty hard slog especially if you're dragging kids around.

Day 1 - Arrive in Anaheim via San Diego and LegoLand. Check into HoJo and wander over to get our tickets.
Day 2 - Disneyland full day
Day 3 - Disneyland, early entry, back at the hotel in the afternoon for a rest, then back to Disneyland for fireworks.
Day 4 - Rest in the morning, DCA in the afternoon
Day 5 - DCA full day
Day 6 - Non-park - went on a guided tour of LA and went to a Lakers game
Day 7 - Rest in the morning, Halloween party in the evening.
Day 8 - Disneyland in the morning, head to the airport in the afternoon.

Pretty well all the flights from LAX to Australia leave late at night so you always get a chance to go to the parks one last time before you leave

Good luck!
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:15 PM   #12
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Thank you so much to everyone that has replied! Some great tips & information to think about. Even though it's so far away, it's so exciting planning everything!!!

Thanks also for the reminder about the 10 day passes. Wonderful idea! I think we will do this and then break up our days. This will allow us much more flexibility :-)
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:37 AM   #13
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I would definitely get the 10 day pass. It really takes the pressure off knowing that you're not going to 'waste' any of your park days. You can break it up then, but know that you can always return to DLR whenever you want to over the 9 days

On our last trip we did:

Saturday: Check in, check out Downtown Disney
Sunday: DLR Day 1
Monday: DLR Day 2
Tuesday: DLR Day 3, starting with Minnie & Friends breakfast
Wednesday: Universal Studios
Thursday: DLR Day 4, lunch at BB
Friday: OC Tour, followed by WOC dining package (DLR Day 5)
Saturday: DLR Day 6
Sunday: Check out for early flight to San Francisco

I would definitely recommend finishing your trip with DLR. It was so hard leaving that bubble, even to go to Universal But after the third day at DLR we were ready for a change of scenery.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:17 AM   #14
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I would definitely do a "down" day somewhere in the middle of the Disney days. And by this I mean a total relaxation day, not at some other park. Several days straight at DL will make you VERY tired. Your feet will thank you.

We have 5 full days and 2 half days coming up ... since we can only get 5 day tickets, my plan is to do:

Day 1 - Arrival and half day in the parks, back to hotel early
Day 2 - Full day in the parks with afternoon break at the hotel
Day 3 - Full day in the parks with afternoon break at the hotel
Day 4 - DAY OFF hanging out at the hotel pool
Day 5 - Full day as above
Day 6 - Full day as above
Day 7 - Morning in DTD, evening flight

A couple of years ago we did something similar, but with 4 additional days. We spent the first day as a travel day, arrived into San Diego and had dinner, then the next day we did SeaWorld. The next day drove to DL, had a half Disney day (just a few hours) like Day 1 above. After Disney, we went to LA and had a day off, then spent a day in Hollywood/Warner Brothers Studio Tour before heading home.

We didn't do Universal because I figured 5 days in DL and one at SeaWorld was enough!
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:10 PM   #15
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First trip, we did 5 days straight and it was tiring (DS was 7, and it was spring break).

This past trip (DS 9, still spring break lol) we did two days at the park, then a break day (did WB studio tour and went to the beach) then did 3 days at the park again. It was PERFECT. That day off in the middle really helped refresh us even though we were still doing stuff!
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