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Official Seattle information thread Updated 5/28/2014-Oso update

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by NWmom, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    2015 Cruise season- no major updates except Oso and Arlington would still love to have you stop by.

    Effective 5/28/14 The road to Oso is open and the towns of Oso and Arlington are open and ready for business. They would really appreciate it you planned any meals breaks there. They can still use the business.

    The 3/22/14 Oso landslide will prevent you from taking 530 for the scenic route that went through Darrington, that was a nice scenic detour around the bridge last year. The landslide is several miles past Oso.

    However, you can take a short 20-30 minute drive off of I-5 at exit 208 and see the beautiful scenery to a little town called Oso, WA that really could use your business this year. They have some restaurants that would love your business.

    Another option- Exit 208 and drive three miles east (5 minutes max) into the town of Arlington and they could use some business as well. Plenty of restaurants on Olympic Avenue and West Ave.
    An old fashioned town with a real main street that is about 3 blocks long, Mexican, French (nicest restaurant in town and most expensive), several diners, Chinese, Tai, Ice Cream, Bowling Alley with food etc. This is my town and I have eaten in most of them. This town knows how to cook and prices are reasonable.

    Update September 2013- The permanent bridge repair was completed. Everything is good for the 2014 year cruises.

    Update 6/14/2013
    The temporary bridge is being announced as opening June 20 with a reduced speed limit.

    Update 6/19/13 Temporary bridge is open today Speed limit 35 mph.

    Now that Vancouver is the main port for Alaska-this is mostly for those that choose to fly into Seattle pre/post their cruise for the cheaper airfare.

    The first 14 posts have info on Seattle divided by section after that it was a Q & A. More great information there, but this has not been updated in a while. I'm in the process/

    The very helpful Vancouver thread will also answer many questions about that end of things

    More on other pages
    aka NW Mom

    PS as always pm me with things to add to the posts- this is a group effort
    I'll be updating for this year 2/20/13
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015 at 2:46 AM
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  3. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Transportion information

    As we have all learned MCO is the airport for WDW.

    For your trip to Seattle, the airport code to use is SEA

    Cruise now going out of Vancouver again

    If you want to come by train- Amtrak King Street Station - www.amtrak.com
    Beautiful scenery no matter which direction you come from

    By air-the official SEATAC airport page- http://airport-seatac.com/

    An interactive map to give an overview of everything, The airport is south of the cruise terminal

    From the airport to downtown:
    Seattle has LINK lightrail that goes from the airport to downtown Seattle. http://www.soundtransit.org/

    Inexpensive ($2.75 one way) to from Seatac to Westlake Center by Link light rail
    Current schedule as of 11/26/2011 http://www.soundtransit.org/Schedules/Central-Link-light-rail.xml
    Need to arrive in time to catch the last train at midnight.

    My hubby has taken it to Seattle and then transferred to a bus (weekend) or the Sounder (weekday) to get to Everett where I picked him up. Easy enough he is willing to do it again and he qualifies for a HA parking permit. Key is to go light on the luggage.

    For getting around Seattle on the bus http://metro.kingcounty.gov/
    You can enter start and end locations to get a personalized schedule.
    There is even an option to click a box and plan an accessible trip. Buses here kind of squat down to allow riders in wheelchairs to board.

    Kids will love both the reticulated (caterpillar) buses and the double decker buses if you happen to get one.

    For getting to other places outside Seattle using the bus- you also use the website www.soundtransit.org Put in your start and end places and it will tell you how to get there.
  4. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Hotels see http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2701656&page=2 post #27 for the photo that shows Pier 91 in relation to downtown Seattle. Please plan on needing transportaion to the pier unless your hotel provides it.

    Things to consider as you book:

    Other than the Doubletree Seattle by the airport, I have not personally stayed in any of the hotels. I just drive in or take the sounder when I head downtown. I am giving information on where hotels are located, location and walking. Please google the hotel for reviews for specifics of how people liked it and for pricing. (or ask here and we will try and answer questions. I will try and update all the information given into this post)

    I would like to add that you only go to and from the pier once. You will be coming and going from your hotel to attractions more, so having a convenient hotel to the attractions you want to see will save in the long run.

    However, Seattle is a green city and has a great transportation system. It is possible to only need a taxi to the pier and take public transportation for the rest of the time.

    If you have a car, check for parking fees at your hotel.
    Also daily parking fees in Seattle are killers if you need to move your car mid day. If you can take public transportation you can both avoid fees and the crazy one way streets.

    A hotel with a one bus/trolley option to either Westlake Center or Seattle Center will make your mobility much better. Most things people want to see are by these two places. Most Citypass events are at the Seattle Center, while Westlake is more centrally located overall.

    (If you have an early flight home, I would try to be by Westlake Center for ease of light rail to the airport or train station. The monorail does not open until 7:30 M-F and 8:30 on weekends)

    Getting to/from the Seattle Center(Space Needle etc) to Westlake Center on the monorail is easy. A hotel by either increases your ease of transportation.

    From Westlake monorail it is a downhill walk to Pike Street Market. You can walk to Pike Place Market, and take the elevator from there down to the waterfront. (Ask for the elevator location as it is tricky to find if you do not know where it is- or in our case that it even existed)

    Also from Westlake it is a short bus ride to Pioneer Square.

    Disney arranged hotels are:
    Sheraton Seattle- by Westlake Center,"Very nice" 3 block walk to Pike Street Market It is a block and a half from lightrail. You can exit the Westlake Station at Nordstrom which is on Pine St. between 5th and 6th Ave. The Sheraton is on the corner of 6th and Pike. If you have tons of luggage, take a cab. If you travel light the light rail works great. Have not confirmed Disney is using it.

    Westlake Center is centrally located includes a mall with a food court:

    Mayflower Park if you want to go upscale, the Mayflower Park is a good choice. It's about a mile or two (maybe less) from the port, and you can take the light rail there from the airport. You can also take the monorail to the Seattle Center. You can walk to Pike Place Market, and take the elevator from there down to the waterfront.

    Westin two really tall round buildings that leave you with pie shaped rooms! Walk to Westlake to catch the monorail to Seattle Center, walk to Pike Place.

    Homewood Suites Convention Center Sits over I-5 hotel comes with ear plugs. A bit farther of a walk. Pedestrian concerns seem not to be an issue. Recommend you google this one and read the reviews to decide. More info later.

    Seattle Center Area hotels:

    Best Western Executive Inn You can walk to the Space Needle, monorail, Experience Music Project, the Sci-Fi museum, and the Pacific Science Center. You can also take the monorail to Westlake Center, walk over to Pike Place Market and take the elevator down to the waterfront. Take a car or taxi to the port.

    Lake Union hotels:

    Residence Inn Downtown/Lake Union on Fairview Ave North gets good reviews as long as you are not parking (Narrow parking spaces). There is a SLUT stop right in front of the hotel. (SLUT=South Lake Union Trolley) This also puts you close to a really nice grassy area park. I figure that is really important for anyone that has kids. More Lake Union than downtown. The Residence Inn is not really within walking distance of anything downtown. (Pike Place Market, EMP, Space Needle, etc) It's probably close to a mile to walk to Seattle Center where the Space Needle, EMP, Science Center, etc are. It's not a walk I'd want to make. It's partially uphill, part of it walking on a narrow sidewalk through an underpass. To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any real "family-friendly" restaurants in close proximity to the hotel. You'd have to go back closer to downtown for that. As NWmom said there is the trolly close to the hotel that would take you more into downtown. I don't consider the location of the Residence Inn "downtown'.

    Airport hotels:
    Holiday Inn Express-If you want to go downscale They have a decent breakfast, good prices, and you can take the shuttle to the airport and catch the light rail into town pretty easily, although you might have a time of it getting to the port on public transit.

    Doubletree Seattle and Convention Center Pretty much across the street from the airport.

    Waterfront hotels: :( (Disney is leaving from Pier 91 so waterfront hotels are not as convenient as they sound. They may or may not be convenient, check their location to the pier Disney is using)
    Marriott Waterfront - it is <5 minute walk to Pike's Place market.

    Pioneer Square hotels: certain areas you might not want to be at night, farthest from Seattle Center. The ones listed are in safer areas see the previous post discussions. This area is close to the Amtrak station for those coming by train. The train station has taxis.
    Courtyard- very good

    International district hotels: Not recommended at night
  5. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Handicapped Accessibility

    A link to the Downtown Seattle Accessible Map and Transit Guide, Seattle has buses that lower themselves for wheelcahir boarding (The movement reminds me of how an elephant/camel squat down for passengers)

    To check restaurant accessibility:

    Some lodging and tour suggestions including an ADA modified tour for Boeing

    HA hotels on travelocity
  6. Grumpymom73

    Grumpymom73 DIS Veteran

    Oct 7, 2007
    Thanks so much for doing this NWmom I can't wait for all the great info. We sail the Wonder to Alaska in June. Need all the help we can get. :thumbsup2
  7. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Seattle itself- the geography of the city

    A map to show where things are located:

    First a mention of the Seattle City Pass http://www.citypass.com/seattle This lets you into six attractions at a significant savings/huge discount:
    Pacific Science Center, Space Center, EMP Museum, Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises Seattle Harbor Tour and a choice between the Woodland Park Zoo or The Museum of Flight

    Major zones- to know what is near what for planning

    Seattle Center- Everything here is walkable from each other
    Pacific Science Center www.pacificsciencecenter.org/
    King Tut will be in town during the 2012 Wonder cruises see this post for more info http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44750799&postcount=340
    Space Needle http://spaceneedle.com/
    Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum and Sci-Fi Museum (one entry fee for both) www.empmuseum.org/index.asp

    Seattle Children's Museum http://thechildrensmuseum.org/
    Key Arena www.keyarena.com/ sports and concerts etc.
    Ride the Ducks (Not HA- have to climb into the vehicle) http://ridetheducksofseattle.com/ Highly Recommended and great overview

    Pioneer Square-
    Seattle Underground tour (family appropriate, not HA, many stairs and uneven surfaces) http://www.undergroundtour.com/index.html
    Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park (free and HA) http://www.nps.gov/klse/index.htm

    Seattle Aquarium www.seattleaquarium.org/
    Edgewater Hotel-the Beatles stayed there
  8. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
  9. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    South of Seattle that will require booking an excursion or renting a car, etc.

    In this category are attractions whose directions tell you to use the following roads to get to them:

    I-5 South (of Seattle) any exits numbered lower than 165

    Boeing Field- the airport you see on your left on your drive in from the airport -
    (for clarification- the Boeing Factory Tour is in Everett, WA details under North of Seattle section)

    Museum of Flight (Not a Boeing tour- that is in the North of Seattle post) http://www.museumofflight.org/ They will have the full sixed Space Shuttle trrainer by cruise time

    Mt Rainier National Park- southeast official site http://www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm easy to use site www.visitrainier.com

    Mt St Helens- south http://www.fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens/ visit the site for the volcano cam anyway
  10. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    North of Seattle that will require booking an excursion or renting a car, etc.

    In this category are attractions whose directions tell you to use the following roads to get to them:

    I-5 North (of Seattle) any exits numbered higher than 165
    99 North
    525 north

    This includes the cities of Lynwood, Edmonds, Mukilteo Everett, Marysville, Arlington, Mt.Vernon, Burlington and Bellingham heading north on I-5 to the Canadian border.

    Lynwood- Alderwood Mall, largest mall in the state of Washington (has the Seattle location of the American Girls store)

    Edmonds-ferry to Kingston
    Mukilteo-ferry to Whidbey Island

    Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Factory Tour http://www.futureofflight.org/fof_Boeing.html
    for the tour you have to be 4 feet tall- no exceptions

    Marysville exits 199 and Tulalip Reservation exit 200 and 202-
    Tulalip Casino
    Seattle Premium Outlets
    Cabela's (opening sometime in 2012)
    Reserve tickets to guarantee entrance as space is limited

    Arlington- exit 206 and 208 http://www.arlingtonwa.gov/index.aspx?page=1
    Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebrations including a parade
    3rd largest EAA airshow July 11th -15th, 2012 http://www.arlingtonflyin.org/default.cfm
    exit 208, downtown Arlington is 3 miles east of the exit many restaurants downtown to stop at for breakfast, lunch or dinner

    Mt Vernon exit 225 and 227
    Burlington exit 229

    Mt Baker National Forest (where the real Artist Point is located that the Wilderness lodge restautrant is named for)
  11. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    West of Seattle that will require booking an excursion or renting a car, etc.

    Olympic National Park-

    Olympic National park includes Hoh Rainforest- if you decide to go there, you will drive through Forks, WA (Pilgrimage for Twilight fans)
  12. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    East of Seattle that will require booking an excursion or renting a car, etc.
    In this category are attractions whose directions tell you to use the following roads to get to them:

    I-405 The eastern bypass around Seattle
    520 bridge

    This includes Bothell, Bellevue, Kirkland, Renton,etc
  13. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Seasonal best place to see . . .

    Snow You can see it year round by looking at the mountains both in Seattle and in Alaska.
    We went on the May 24, 2011 cruise and the best chance to see snow was Skagway May 27 on the Yukon and WhitePass Railroad. Morning train had snow several feet high-though you could see the spring melt/ water starting to run. At the train transfer area there was no snow for touching. Afternoon passengers complained the snow was gone.

    If you want to touch it, best chances are at the year round places that have snow. The later in the season the farther you have to go.

    Seattle is supposed to have a repeat of last winter's weather. If that happens, ski season did not close until July last year so snow will be easier to find.
    Info is given for planning purposes.

    Mt Baker past the Ski Resort at the National Park area- We have touched and thrown snowballs as late as mid August

    Snoqualmie Ski Resort- less likely, mostly in very small patches

    Mt Rainier-if you take a hike on the trail the farther you go the better the chance, but much harder terrain

    Olympic- can see it, but might not be able to touch it by August.

    Grizzly bears- guaranteed safe sighting at the Woodland Park zoo year round
    Northwest Trek http://www.nwtrek.org/ is a combo mini zoo and tram ride. check out their site, unique experience.

    Marine Life These are dependent on the months as they travel just as we do. Best place to see them/vendor will depend on the month you come. You will see some marine life in Alaska.

    www.seattleaquarium.org Has a touch pool, otters, sea lions, seals, penguins etc a must see and located in downtown Seattle!

    Flying Fish - Pike Place Market

    Orcas (Killer Whales) months

    Grey Whales
  14. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Recommended Places to Eat

    Contributed by Bunless
    The Original Starbucks- across the street from Pike Place Market, but closely note that it is the only Starbuck's with the original logo and original logo merchandise is available. It took my daughter a couple of hard looks to realize the woman was baring skin! It's not actually the original. It's the oldest still around, but it's not the original.

    The Pink Door restaurant - kind of funky little Italian place close to Pike Place Market

    Kells- a quaint Irish pub across from the Pink Door. Food is very good. It is also the site of the original Seattle Morgue, so if you like ghost stories, this is your place.

    Teatro Zinzanni is a 3 hr 5 course dinner theater and cirque/variety show that is fun and delicious!

    Buca di Beppo is an Italian restaurant that serves all meals "family" style and the interior is fun and irreverent Italian catholic in decor. We often sit at the Pope's table (a round table in its own gazebo that seats 12 with a bust of one of the popes in the center.)

    Anthony's or Ivars are both good places to eat. They both have their fans. (and their local rivalry)

    Ivar's great fish and chips,clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, clams


    The Crab Pot down at the waterfront

    The Met- steak

    Dinner at the Space Needle - pricey, but amazing views during sunset and the food was very good (I had read an article that the restaurant was deliberately trying to lure "locals" as well as just tourists, so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised at the food quality! My parents went the next week for lunch and said the same. When you book a meal, you get to go up something like 15 minutes before your time, to visit the observation deck first. (views good only if not raining or cloudy)

    Suggested you avoid eating there:
    Food court at the Seattle Center where the Children's museum is located
    reason-typical fast food andnothing special, boring over priced food
  15. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    I found the original thread I started last year. Had I been thinking ahead I would have set it up differently to stay organized, but I was still new to the boards then.

    I do want to reference it here http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2701656
    Some of it is out of date as noted.

    I will add the current info to the beginning posts in this new thread with that info as well.

    NWMom's best areas for questions- the north side, plus anything the kids will enjoy/fun field trips

    NWDad is our Boeing and all things airplane expert, plus what is fun for the guys.

    Mellers, mom2aidanNpiper, mello, LovesToRun, MillauFr, and others all contributed to that discussion.

    I never set it up well to be able to add at the beginning and the info is mixed into all the posts. SO I am trying my hand at doing a better job this time.

    I would love to have all the Seattle area locals contribute as well.

    It would help if everyone could include the link to paces they mention as well.

    Only no "Ivar's vs. Anthony's" whose food is better wars.;)
    Truly, they will enjoy either one.

  16. joegdvc

    joegdvc Earning My Ears

    May 10, 2011
    Does anyone know if the Sheraton hotel that is working with Disney is walk able from the west lake station light rail? It looks to be only a few blocks but want to make sure.
  17. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    I googled Seattle Sheraton and then clicked on directions. I put in Link light rail Westlake.

    It said it was .6 miles. Of course you have to know they are routing by car so it went down the one way street (which you do not have to do walking) to go around the block leaving Westlake.

    Then it went 3/4 around another block because of one way streets there.

    It looks to be about 3-4 blocks. However, a slight uphill grade there.
    It's doable. There are some hills I would say no way with luggage.
  18. MillauFr

    MillauFr Buzz & Woody

    Aug 5, 2011
    It is a block and a half.

    You can exit the Westlake Station at Nordstrom which is on Pine St. between 5th and 6th Ave. The Sheraton is on the corner of 6th and Pike.

    If you have tons of luggage, take a cab. If you travel light the light rail works great.

    Great info NWMom. Thanks for posting.
  19. Grumpymom73

    Grumpymom73 DIS Veteran

    Oct 7, 2007
    Any locals have an opinion on these hotels...

    We are flying in the day before the cruise and have been looking at the Doubletree Seattle Airport. It is suppose to have free shuttle to Westfield South Center Mal (l think that was the name) and we will have a few hours in the late afternoon/evening.

    We will also be spending 2 nights after the cruise. We were looking at the Homewood Suites Seattle Convention Center - Pike Street. Is this a good location for at least some of the local attractions? We are thinking of getting the CityPASS.

    Thanks for any advice!!!
  20. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    I have stayed at the Doubletree Seattle(by the airport) in 2002 for a conference, It was nice and clean. The food was good.

    Westfield Southcenter Mall is in Tukwila. It is a regular mall, It has a Rainforest Cafe.
    Unless you are looking to shop, there is not much to do there. There have been some problems at that mall in the last few years so we now avoid it at night.

    Just want to clarify that Westlake is the name of the mall in downtown Seattle and they are not the same place.

    Homewood Suites Seattle Convention Center is east of I-5. You may need a taxi to get to activities.
    Others will chime in and may feel differently, but I think you will not be able to walk with the traffic. You are also getting into a steeper walk.
    More info on the Homewood Suites- the pedestrian problem seems to be okay, however the rooms come with ear plugs. This is right over the freeway.
  21. Grumpymom73

    Grumpymom73 DIS Veteran

    Oct 7, 2007
    Thanks for the advice and quick answer!! :goodvibes
    I think we will go for the DoubleTree by the airport for the one night. We were only looking to walk around the mall for a little while and get something to eat. We will be leaving our house around 4:00AM that morning so we will be exhausted even with the time change.

    As for the Homewood Suites....I think we will rethink that one. I don't want to take a taxi or have a hassle to get places. Any thoughts on the Residence Inn Downtown/Lake Union on Fairview Ave North?

    Thanks again for all your help and for setting up this thread!!:worship:

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