DIS Dads - All About Disneyland

Grooovertoo

DIS Dad #572
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
So I posted this ? in the main disdads thread but thought it might get answered better here.


We are heading to Southern California for 7 days in December. Initially the plan was to spend 4 days at Disneyland and 3 days exploring San Diego and LA. We've been reading through a couple different travel books and are starting to question our logic. It looks like we have 3 options. Which would you pick and why? (all the options are within about $100 per person) Flights are already booked using FF miles so we can't extend the trip.

Option 1. Keep the original plan 3 days primarily in San Diego and 4 days at Disneyland. (We might add the ZOO in this plan)

Option 2. Buy a CitiPass. Spend 1/2 at Universal Hollywood, 1 day at the San Diego Zoo, 1 day at Sea World and 3 days at Disneyland. This would only give us a day and a half to go to the beach and explore San Diego and LA.

Option 3. 4 Days at Disneyland 1 or 2 days at Legoland/The legoland waterpark. This again would really limit the amount of time we have to explore San Diego and LA.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
First: CONGRATULATIONS!!! Whatever you decide, you and your family will have a great time.

Well, these are just my thoughts: I would shoot for 4 days at the DLR (are you staying at the Resort?). Take in all you can and being there for 4 days gives you a chance to see everything at a very leisure pace plus if you are staying at the resort, a chance to really enjoy those as well. If you don't have to fly out of San Diego then I would suggest for the last half of the trip to head out to Newport or Dana Point (especially Dana Point, a hidden gem in my opinion, from there you can hit Catalina Island, the beach and veiws there are superb). That scenario would give you ample exploring time.
I also see your logic too, you'll be there in December so it will be cooler so heading to San Diego makes since and the Pacific is always cold. I would not mess with Universal. I have never done Legoland, but everyone says it is worth it, but a one day park from what I hear.

Conclusion: I would lean towards option 3.

But, but the most important item. YOU HAVE TO GO TO IN-N-OUT! Order a Double Double Animal Style with Animal Style Fries!!!!!

You can then plan the rest of your vacation around getting back to In-N-Out as much as possible.

I look forward to hearing what is decided and of course....a TR about it all too!
 

twokids0204

DIS Dad #561
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
So I posted this ? in the main disdads thread but thought it might get answered better here.


We are heading to Southern California for 7 days in December. Initially the plan was to spend 4 days at Disneyland and 3 days exploring San Diego and LA. We've been reading through a couple different travel books and are starting to question our logic. It looks like we have 3 options. Which would you pick and why? (all the options are within about $100 per person) Flights are already booked using FF miles so we can't extend the trip.

Option 1. Keep the original plan 3 days primarily in San Diego and 4 days at Disneyland. (We might add the ZOO in this plan)

Option 2. Buy a CitiPass. Spend 1/2 at Universal Hollywood, 1 day at the San Diego Zoo, 1 day at Sea World and 3 days at Disneyland. This would only give us a day and a half to go to the beach and explore San Diego and LA.

Option 3. 4 Days at Disneyland 1 or 2 days at Legoland/The legoland waterpark. This again would really limit the amount of time we have to explore San Diego and LA.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
We were looking to go this summer as well.

We were looking at the Citypass. Seems like a great deal - as my wife is a big zoo person, and has wanted to go to the San Diego zoo for years now.

As well the 3 day Disneyland pass is Park Hopper, so you can do 1.5 days at each park, and I believe it is also upgradable if you wanted to add a 4th day.
 

IamTrike

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
We were looking to go this summer as well.

We were looking at the Citypass. Seems like a great deal - as my wife is a big zoo person, and has wanted to go to the San Diego zoo for years now.

As well the 3 day Disneyland pass is Park Hopper, so you can do 1.5 days at each park, and I believe it is also upgradable if you wanted to add a 4th day.
I didn't realize citipass could be upgradeable. If that's the case I think it seals the deal. I think it works out to be the equivalent of paying for Seaworld and getting the Zoo and universal thrown in for free.

First: CONGRATULATIONS!!! Whatever you decide, you and your family will have a great time.

Well, these are just my thoughts: I would shoot for 4 days at the DLR (are you staying at the Resort?). Take in all you can and being there for 4 days gives you a chance to see everything at a very leisure pace plus if you are staying at the resort, a chance to really enjoy those as well. If you don't have to fly out of San Diego then I would suggest for the last half of the trip to head out to Newport or Dana Point (especially Dana Point, a hidden gem in my opinion, from there you can hit Catalina Island, the beach and veiws there are superb). That scenario would give you ample exploring time.
I also see your logic too, you'll be there in December so it will be cooler so heading to San Diego makes since and the Pacific is always cold. I would not mess with Universal. I have never done Legoland, but everyone says it is worth it, but a one day park from what I hear.

Conclusion: I would lean towards option 3.

But, but the most important item. YOU HAVE TO GO TO IN-N-OUT! Order a Double Double Animal Style with Animal Style Fries!!!!!

You can then plan the rest of your vacation around getting back to In-N-Out as much as possible.

I look forward to hearing what is decided and of course....a TR about it all too!
Thanks for the tip on Dana Point and Catalina Island. I'll check them out. I used to travel out to Southern California a lot for work but never really got much time to explore. I am however a big fan of IN N Out so we'll definitely be going there. Prior recommendations had put DLR at needing about 4 days to really experience everything, so 4 days was our goal. If we can upgrade a citipass that might be the ticket. The flights are booked flying into San Diego and Flying out of Orange County so we'll probably spend the last 3 or 4 days of our trip at Disney. We haven't decided where we are staying. I'd really like to stay at the Grand Californian but we are trying to do this trip on the cheap. We'll probably either stay a couple days at the disneyland hotel or stay a 2 nights at a good neighbor hotel and 1 or 2 nights at the Grand Californian.
 
  • twokids0204

    DIS Dad #561
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2009
    I didn't realize citipass could be upgradeable. If that's the case I think it seals the deal. I think it works out to be the equivalent of paying for Seaworld and getting the Zoo and universal thrown in for free.
    As I said I believe it is upgradeable (but I also believe Mickey is real - so take my belief with a grain of salt).

    I read on the Disneyland board that it is, but I don't have first hand experience.

    Check here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2316904

    Oh, and someone also mentioned in this thread (which I did notice as well) is you can get them at Costco. I just checked the costco.com websight and did not see them.

    But Costco.ca (Canada) does have them and they are significantly cheaper ($249 costco vs 276 citypass directly)

    Costco

    Citypass
     

    IamTrike

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2010
    As I said I believe it is upgradeable (but I also believe Mickey is real - so take my belief with a grain of salt).

    I read on the Disneyland board that it is, but I don't have first hand experience.

    Check here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2316904

    Oh, and someone also mentioned in this thread (which I did notice as well) is you can get them at Costco. I just checked the costco.com websight and did not see them.

    But Costco.ca (Canada) does have them and they are significantly cheaper ($249 costco vs 276 citypass directly)

    Costco

    Citypass
    I'll check out costco. I think I remember seeing that in the costco travel magazine.

    I wasn't going to hold you responsible if the Citipass wasn't upgradeable. I just hadn't even thought about it, so I was thankful you pointed me in the direction. If we do get one and upgrade it I'll post back here. 4 days of relaxed touring is probably better than 3 days of me trying to commando it.
     

    Greysword

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2004
    Christopher, excellent thread. Please make sure you talk about "the local crowd", the effect of So Cal residents on crowd levels, and block out days. Critical information, IMO.
     
  • stopher1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2008
    Does anyone know if they still do the Candlelight Processional at Disneyland?

    Yes they do.

    It is typically either the first or second weekend in December. This last year it was the first weekend. Performances are on both Saturday and Sunday evening.

    They did try moving it from Town Square at the beginning of the '00s and placing it up in the Fantasyland Theatre (former Videopolis area) - a la Epcot, with pre-sales for dinner and such, but that didn't work well at all and it was moved back to Town Square. Dining reservations were dropped in '07 and it's been back to first come-first served type of seating and SRO for the past 3 years. Rumor has it they might try some sort of a reservation system again this year, but I can't confirm or deny that.
     

    Cinderella's Fella

    DIS Dad #215 Maryland, The Land Of Merry!
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2008
    Yes they do.

    It is typically either the first or second weekend in December. This last year it was the first weekend. Performances are on both Saturday and Sunday evening.

    They did try moving it from Town Square at the beginning of the '00s and placing it up in the Fantasyland Theatre (former Videopolis area) - a la Epcot, with pre-sales for dinner and such, but that didn't work well at all and it was moved back to Town Square. Dining reservations were dropped in '07 and it's been back to first come-first served type of seating and SRO for the past 3 years. Rumor has it they might try some sort of a reservation system again this year, but I can't confirm or deny that.
    Thank you, Oh Mighty DL Guru! :)
     

    DEA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 17, 2009
    For those who have not been to DL before and have only experienced WDW, go with an open mind! I am have a feeling that with Aulani now more folks will be stopping over there and it will become a new favorite for many.

    I just hope that I can stay at the Grand Califronian again! I was able to stay there for work and only paid $95 a night which is dirt cheap but being right there will give you that Disney feeling for sure!

    I cant wait to get back there soon!
    I wanted to echo some of these thoughts. I was a little skeptical about DL, myself ("It's so small... look at the teeny, tiny castle..."), but having just returned, I am a convert.

    In terms of rides at both parks:

    Space Mountain: DL > WDW
    IASW: DL > WDW (with a minor deduction for the Disney movie characters in the sets... just not crazy about that part)
    PotC: DL > WDW
    Haunted Mansion: DL=WDW. This feels like the most Apples to Oranges comparison, because the look of the rides is so different from the outside. The Mansion fits better in DL, but I think the fit and finish on the inside are better at MK.
    ToT: DHS > CA. The Florida version gives you more of a "trip" through the ride.
    TSMM: DHS>CA. I think you get less of the queue experience at CA, which would be fine if it meant less of a queue, but it doesn't.
    Soarin': CA=Epcot. I keep hearing that the projection equipment at CA is better than that at Epcot, but it seemed the same to me.


    And, California Screamin' at California Adventure and the Indiana Jones ride at DL have no equal in Florida. World of Color... well, I hope they are considering building a new gate in Florida to host this.

    We got to stay at the Grand Californian in a room with a view of CA, and that, to me, is the new standard for a Theme Park View. I could have hit people in line for Soarin' Over California with a tennis ball thrown from my balcony. Despite my concerns over how small the whole DL complex was, it turned out to be plenty big to hold our attention for the time we were there. Entry into CA from the Grand Californian is even closer than entering Epcot via International Gateway from Beach Club, although the line for CA was huge for the CA extra hour day.

    So, I'd say that even going in without an open mind, DL might surprise you quite pleasantly. I get it now.
     

    Pjimmeyer

    1000th Happy Haunt
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Less than 2 weeks until we hit the DLR. Staying at DLH for the first time since May 2010...so I will take lots of pictures of the remodel.:thumbsup2
     
  • Pjimmeyer

    1000th Happy Haunt
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    We get there Monday afternoon. After we check in we're going to head to DL...crowds shouldn't be too bad the Monday after Thanksgiving. Tuesday is Blue Bayou inside Pirates of the Caribbean...always have to eat there. The restaurant is set up next to the early part of the ride and acts as part of the scenery as you start out in the New Orleans style / swamp beginning of the ride (one of the differences with the MK version).
     

    stopher1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2008
    We get there Monday afternoon. After we check in we're going to head to DL...crowds shouldn't be too bad the Monday after Thanksgiving. Tuesday is Blue Bayou inside Pirates of the Caribbean...always have to eat there. The restaurant is set up next to the early part of the ride and acts as part of the scenery as you start out in the New Orleans style / swamp beginning of the ride (one of the differences with the MK version).
    Oh have fun! Wish I could be going myself...

    Blue Bayou is the best. The atmosphere is so fabulous. I just love how the concept sketch that Dorothea Redmond did turned into such a fabulous reality. That southern plantation looks terrific. Oh and the food they serve on that veranda is pretty good too. ;) Love, love, love those lanterns over head. BB was one of my dad's favorite places to eat when we would go as a family when I was a kid. So I ate there a LOT during my growing up years. Not as much as an adult (since I was paying), but it has been a special treat with my wife now and again. ENJOY IT!
     

    Pjimmeyer

    1000th Happy Haunt
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Heading back to DLR next week. This will be our first stay at the Grand Californian after many stays at DLRH. We reserved a park view room and requested a high floor. Looking forward to easy access to DCA. Going to do our normal Blue Bayou lunch and world of color dinner package. Since we are staying at the GCH for the first time thought it would also be a nice time to try Napa Rose restaurant there.
     

    stopher1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2008
    Oh that sounds so very cool.

    Our very first stay at the Grand was a Downtown Disney view. It was neat to stand out on the balcony at night and people watch, and to leave the slider open and listen to the musical artists that set up and perform.

    After that all of our stays have been in the DVC villas, with theme park views. You just can't beat the Grand for theme park proximity! Enjoy that private entrance to DCA!
     

    Pjimmeyer

    1000th Happy Haunt
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    I think we have a new favorite hotel at Disneyland...Grand Californian has replaced DLH for us. Here is the view from our room balcony last week:





    Busy crowds since it was the start of spring break season...but what a blast! :thumbsup2
     

    gonecrusin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2008
    I think we have a new favorite hotel at Disneyland...Grand Californian has replaced DLH for us. Here is the view from our room balcony last week:





    Busy crowds since it was the start of spring break season...but what a blast! :thumbsup2
    What size room and why was the room number?
     

    Pjimmeyer

    1000th Happy Haunt
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    What size room and why was the room number?
    Room 5246. It was a standard size room from what I understand...2 queen sized beds. Roomy but it didn't feel like it was quite up to Contemporary Resort standards as far as size.
     

    papamouse1

    Still... Papa "MooMoo"
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2011
    That is my plan for next summer. Graduation present to DD. Fly to CA., stay a couple of days at Disneyland then Hawaii. Spend a week there for the first and probably last time. For a while at least. By then, I should be diving again but even if I am not, DD will love to do it. DVC makes it semi-affordable. No room bills.
    Wow that's amazing! My very first Disney encounter was my Graduation trip to DL! Never been the same since. And our DD graduates in 2013, so we were headed to Aulani for her trip! Great minds think alike! ;)
     

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