DON'T WORRY!!! I absolutely, positively, LOVED it! Just to give you a little background, I have been to WDW several times and always stay in the park, the last few times at the Beach Club. I love WDW for the "getting away from it all" feeling, and leaving the outside world behind. I totally did not expect to feel that way AT ALL at Disneyland, and in fact, did not have very high expectations after all I have read and all that people have told me over the years. We had planned to stay at the DLR for a couple of days during our SoCal trip, mostly because I am a Disney nut and couldn't be that close and not go. However....my husband and I still cannot get over how much we loved the entire place, and, several times walking through Disneyland we had to remind ourselves that we weren't in Florida. I'm not just talking about Disneyland Park itself, but the entire resort. We pulled off of the freeway from LA onto Disneyland Drive, and within minutes I realized that this was going to be special. We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, had a GREAT room on the third floor of the Marina tower overlooking the pool. BEAUTIFUL! I reserved a standard view. We were just a few doors down from the elevator, and could be in the lobby, shops, and pool in two minutes, and the entrance to Downtown Disney was right next to us. The hotel was fabulous, and far exceeded our expectations. Clean, lushly landscaped, great choices to eat and drink, the pool was fantastic, and there was lots to do. I would put it in the "deluxe" category of the WDW resorts. I know it looks a little dated, and I can be a little picky about stuff like that, but they have done an outstanding job with the place and I would stay there again in a second. I absolutely loved walking through Downtown Disney to get to the parks. Everything was so close, and I never left the resort for almost three days. I absolutely had that "immersion" feeling I love in WDW. Both parks were clean, everyone was so friendly and accommodating, and we definitely could have used more time to see and do more. I felt totally at ease letting my teenagers go off on their own when they wanted to. So, my advice to die-hard WDW vets who are looking for the type of vacation that I was, would be to stay in one of the resort hotels, and ENJOY!!! I completely understand why people would stay on Harbor Blvd...(which I never saw)..so close! But if you are used to staying in the parks, I would definitely try the DL or the Grand Californian (also beautiful, and right inside CA!). OK.... a few observations: 1. I thought DL was beautiful and SO CHARMING!! I wish I had had more time to check out every nook and cranny. I think I thought it was prettier (gasp) than the Magic Kingdom. 2. GO EARLY GO EARLY GO EARLY!!!!!!! The place was mobbed. We used our early entry and were at the park by 6:30 am. I know, a horrible time, but well worth it. We did all the rides we wanted to and had a handful of fastpasses by 11:00 to use later that night. (Thanks Hydroguy!) We also ate breakfast at the Carnation Cafe at 9:30 (great). I felt very badly for people getting to the parks at 10 or 11. How can they possibly enjoy themselves standing in line all day? And let me tell you, the lines were VERY long, even well into the night after the fireworks. WE left in the afternoon both days to swim and nap, just like we do in WDW, and it was great. Plus, it's just a 10 minute walk back to the action. 3. The Pirates of the Caribbean at DL blows away the one at the MK. Really. I had no idea how good it was going to be. 4. I loved California Adventure. I know it's the Disney park everyone loves to trash, but it has good theming and there's lots to do. California Screamin is the best roller coaster ever, anywhere. I rode it three times and I never ride roller coasters. 5. The lines for Nemo were two hours just 20 minutes after the park opened on an early entry day. We didn't ride it or even try to. I thought about maybe doing it very late but was too tired. Also, there was a problem with it the morning we were there, so everyone who rushed over to it couldn't even ride it yet. It was getting ugly. Don't waste your precious morning time waiting in a line for it. 6. The fireworks are DL were nothing short of spectacular. I had tears in my eyes I loved them so much. How Disney can take lights, fireworks, and a castle, and make you feel like you are riding one of the attractions is beyond me. DO NOT MISS IT!!!! I'll write more later, too tired right now! Any questions??