DIS Dads - All About Disneyland

papamouse1

Still... Papa "MooMoo"
Joined
Jan 9, 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.
Okay, first let me say Congrats! You are going to have an amazing time no matter what you pick.

One thing you didn't mention was whether this was your 1st trip to DL. There are a couple of factors you have to consider before you decide how many Disney Days, etc.
  • When in December will you be there? If you are going during the actual holiday break days, the crowds are going to make you need more days to see the park.
  • Are your kids fairly young? Legoland was nice, but definitely just for the young est crowd IMO. Personally, I would pick Sea World over Legoland merely for their Christmas shows they have. We went to SW at Thanksgiving and absolutely LOVED the Christmas show. Felt like Candlelight Processional at WDW minus the candles and add big whales!
  • Keep in mind this year will be a little more crazy with Carsland, etc... more to see and do

With that said, I am actually in a similar situation with you. We will be there Thanksgiving week. What I have done is purchased the CityPass that you mentioned (DL just raised their ticket prices a big chunk, but I just bought my CP's at old rate, saving me even more $$). Then, we plan on adding one day to our 3-day park hopper while we are there.

This works for us because we really wanted to see the Chrismtas show at SW and we haven't been to Universal in 15+ years... perfect fit for us. Whether SW, Universal are better fo ryou than Zoo/Lego only you can say... but I definitely would try to keep it at 4 Disney days ... that's just my opinion.

BTW... just to forewarn you, the water can get pretty chilly (or maybe I'm just a wimp) in December at the beach. Not sure this trip would be the one to go to the beach
 

papamouse1

Still... Papa "MooMoo"
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
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..
Welcome Aboard! :thumbsup2

I really enjoyed your insight, and I agree ride for ride... with one addition (not a correction, but more of a "you might change your mind")... The Haunted Mansion during the holidays after its overlay is just so amazing it definitely puts over WDW version for me. Even though I HAVE to go holiday season to see it, it's just hard not to think about it when I am reminiscing about both rides :)

And I couldn't agree more about GC. We only wished we had jumped on the bandwagon and bought DVC points there. It's brutal for us to get a room there on our points :confused3

We really do love all things Disney.. WDW, DL, DCL. But I think DL will always be home :cloud9:
 

papamouse1

Still... Papa "MooMoo"
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Cristopher, all I can say is Wow!! I thought I was a "Disney addict". You definitely take the top of the class :thumbsup2

Thanks for the incredible journey into the joy of Disneyland. After 5 years of being on loan to WDW, we are headed back to DL In November to renew our relationship with an old friend. I am absolutely giddy to be coming back. So much has changed. We can't wait to see all the changes, TSMM, Carsland, World of Color, Ariel. Can't wait to eat in the new restaurant at Carthay Circle (and I won't have to book 180 days out!). Can't wait to stay for our very first time, in the newly renovated DLH... and spend a couple days in our fav, GCV!!

Thanks for bringing back to me so many great memories, your hard workd is greatly appreciated :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2
 
  • Twin Dad

    DIS Dad #704
    Joined
    May 23, 2012
    This morning DW gave me a research assignment: start scouting partner hotels for Celebration VII. Looks like I'll be crossing two items off the bucket list in 2015. :cool1::cool1::cool1:
    When we go the kiddos will be 6.5. I'm wondering how many days we'll need and if park hoppers are worth it.

    I'd also like to know how close to DLR and the CC the hotels are and how nice they are. The hotels still on the list are:
    Sand Castle Inn & Suits
    Desert Palms Hotel & Suits
    Red Lion Anaheim
    Hyatt Regency Orange County
    Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort

    Thanks
     

    The Fox Menagerie

    Animal Kingdom does have Foxes!
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2012
    Wow Christopher, awesome information, thanks for putting all of this together. We have not been to DL since 2011. I changed jobs so a trip in 2012 was not in order and this year we went to WDW as I had airlines miles saved up. WDW was fantastic, but we are absolutely tickled to be returning to our favorite place on earth in April 2014. Our DD will turn 14 while in DL, she is super jazzed about this. Any ideas on something unique and different to do on her birthday? Every single trip we have made has been a special experience for us, and we know this one will be also. We are really looking forward to the changes at DLH and to see Cars Land. Hurry up spring break!
     

    tralin

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 23, 2012
    Ok, so here I am all depressed because we don't have the money for a WDW trip. We promised DD5 a Disney trip when she is 6 (October) so we have resigned ourselves to a DL vacation the first week of December 2014. We are from Vancouver Canada so it really does make much more sense. Then I found this post and I have to say, you have me SO excited for this trip. DD really won't care and things like Toon Town and Carsland will make much more of an impact at age 6 anyway. Thank you for the incredible information and especially for getting us all excited again.:woohoo:
     

    stopher1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2008
    Ok, so here I am all depressed because we don't have the money for a WDW trip. We promised DD5 a Disney trip when she is 6 (October) so we have resigned ourselves to a DL vacation the first week of December 2014. We are from Vancouver Canada so it really does make much more sense. Then I found this post and I have to say, you have me SO excited for this trip. DD really won't care and things like Toon Town and Carsland will make much more of an impact at age 6 anyway. Thank you for the incredible information and especially for getting us all excited again.:woohoo:
    I'm so happy this could help! :thumbsup2 I hope you have a fantastic trip!
     
  • imBryan

    Space Ranger
    Joined
    May 13, 2017
    Thanks for the extensive and informative post about Disneyland. We're longtime Disney World enthusiasts in my family, but the week of Halloween this year will be our first trip to Disneyland. I'm excited for a Disney experience that'll be different from our norm. We'll be staying at the Grand Californian because we like some of the perks. Coming from the east coast, we thought that getting into the parks an hour early every day would be important, since we'll probably be up and ready to go at 5AM Pacific time! haha.
     

    afwdwfan

    DIS Dad #460
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2010
    Thanks for the extensive and informative post about Disneyland. We're longtime Disney World enthusiasts in my family, but the week of Halloween this year will be our first trip to Disneyland. I'm excited for a Disney experience that'll be different from our norm. We'll be staying at the Grand Californian because we like some of the perks. Coming from the east coast, we thought that getting into the parks an hour early every day would be important, since we'll probably be up and ready to go at 5AM Pacific time! haha.
    Honestly, that's exactly how it was when I was there. I was in California for a week and I never adjusted to the time difference, nor did I really try to. I was up and going around 5 or 6 every morning... it was fantastic. We got an early start to the day and the parks closed at 8 every night while we were at Disneyland so we'd just go back to the room and go bed and do it again the next day. Those early hours are a huge benefit with so many rides not having FP.

    GCH is a fantastic hotel. I liked it a lot, although I admit I was a little bit disappointed in the room. I'd compare it to a WL or AKL but I feel like the standard rooms at WDW are a bit nicer. The entrance to DCA is a great perk and the location can't be beat. The pool area and common areas of the resort are just as fantastic as you'd expect them to be.
     

    DisneyTrainFan75

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2018
    Love finding and reading this thread. We made our first trip to Disneyland back in 2008 when the kids were real little. Back then we used to live in Salt Lake City, UT and it was only a 10hr drive to Anaheim. Made many, many trips to DL having annual passes many of those years. I became very interested in the good ol' history and nostalgia of the park.

    If you're interested in Walt's history and his love of trains and the Disneyland Railroad, I highly recommend visiting his barn at Griffith Park and the Los Angeles Steamers park. It's not open to the public that often, but it's a fun afternoon if you can make it. I even was fortunate to meet Imagineer Legend Tony Baxter there once.

    http://carolwood.com/walts-barn/
     
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