Disneyland/LA area

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by Amw1064, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. Amw1064

    Amw1064 DIS Veteran

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    This is the girls trip. We promised them they could go to Disneyland together and then we decided we would visit family (in the middle of the state) and add LA/Hollywood into the mix. Believe me, if it not something I want to do, we don't do it, haha. I have been writing everything down and thank everyone for all the suggestions. We are DVC members and have gone to Aulani the last 3 summers so I am giving up Aulani for this. I know all things Disney World and Disney cruise related but CA and Disneyland are all new for me. This board was so helpful when we planned our first Aulani trip so love getting all the suggestions.

    So I think we will arrive Friday and stay 3 nights in LA area, then switch to Disneyland on Monday and stay 4 nights. Friday night will drive and spend remaining time with family. I haven't even begun the Disneyland part of this trip but am hoping to use my DVC points for that part of the stay. (although I heard most likely that is not a great chance) Figured we could start planning this part of the trip. I do understand traffic is bad but is there one area we should look to stay? I would prefer to stay the 3 nights in the same hotel.
     
  2. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    Have the girls make a list of the things they most want to see (maybe limit it to the top 10?). Then plot the locations on Google. You should be able to see if the sites are more centrally located or if there is a city that is generally close to most of the sites. Come back here to ask when you have some possibilities. That way we can recommend places to stay that would make the most efficient use of your driving and sightseeing time.
     
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  4. SteveMP

    SteveMP DIS Veteran

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    I found this site that has a map of the La La Land sites: https://la.curbed.com/maps/la-la-land-filming-locations My girls would actually love this too. I may have to drive up to see a few of these we haven't already seen. Personally I would probably stay in Studio City to see all of these. But then again I am familiar with that area from staying there for other things. But if you find some places you are thinking about write them down here and people can respond if needed.
     
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  5. ExcitedMama

    ExcitedMama Mouseketeer

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    Definitely skip the tar pits. There isn't anything to actually see, even my 4 year old boy was bored. I'm a Nor Cal native so I know nothing about your side of the country, have they seen large dinosaur skeletons? If not would they be interested? I hadn't seen them in person before going as an adult and was really awed. There are a lot of movies that show those scenes but nothing like going in person! If that might interest them go to the Natural History Museum. What about space? It's pretty amazing to stand under the Endeavor, again you have no idea of the size until you have stood under it!

    Where are you going mid state? Would you be driving down to LA? Would you want to add in Hearst Castle?
     
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  6. Coral Reef Diver

    Coral Reef Diver Diving The Magic

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    It is an excellent one-of-a-kind museum for seeing mastodon and saber tooth tiger bones. The tar pits look like water ponds with a heavy oil slick. It was fascinating, but not something we would repeat.
     
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  7. Coral Reef Diver

    Coral Reef Diver Diving The Magic

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    I've been to Universal Studios in both Florida and California, and California is much better. The rides are the same, generally, but the wait times are shorter. Namely, Hollywood Universal's tram tour includes several attractions in one ride. But Universal Florida built each of those rides as separate attractions, each with their own separate line. I haven't been to either recently, but nonetheless, you would be best served to skip Hollywood Universal.
     
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  8. Coral Reef Diver

    Coral Reef Diver Diving The Magic

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    There are some cheap hotels to be had in the Hollywood area, but they are shoddy and near the red light district. Pay more and stay elsewhere.
     
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  9. Coral Reef Diver

    Coral Reef Diver Diving The Magic

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    I loved attending the taping of the Tonight Show, and seeing several icons on a studio tour, like the actual cube structure for the Hollywood Squares (it's so small in person). You can also get advance tickets for attending some tapings, they always need filler audience for the game shows. When we were in Hollywood, they were taping street scenes for a Clint Eastwood movie, but there were throngs of crowds everywhere and we never got close.
     
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  10. Coral Reef Diver

    Coral Reef Diver Diving The Magic

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    Malibu has a Hollywood connection, as the setting for the sitcom Two and a Half Men. The opening credits show an aerial view of the houses along Malibu Beach.
     
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  11. Coral Reef Diver

    Coral Reef Diver Diving The Magic

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    Venice Beach and Muscle Beach are 2-1/2 miles south, and buses run between them.
     
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  12. SteveMP

    SteveMP DIS Veteran

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    Funny you say that. The first time I ever drove up to Leo carillo state beach I was looking around and had a feeling that I had been there before, even though I knew I never had. Then realized I knew it from the opening credits of the show.
     
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  13. shelemm

    shelemm DIS Veteran

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    FYI: TV audiences don't usually include kids. Minimum ages vary, though, so check in advance.

    As you get closer to your dates, you might want to check out if there are any Hollywood premieres or other movie events going on while you are there. When I was there with my kids, we attended a Yellow Carpet event (not as fancy as Red Carpet), the premiere of a film. And the cast of the movie was there and music and food were included with the ticket price. in the audience was Rainn Wilson from The Office and Jennette McCurdy from iCarly. My son talked to Rainn Wilson and both of my kids spoke to McCurdy (and got her autograph).

    Check the schedule of the Egyptian theatre, sometimes used for special events, and also the ArcLight CineramaDome, also used for special events and every once in a while they even project movies onto the dome itself. Plus you can just Google phrases like "Hollywood premieres."
     
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  14. oakleycat

    oakleycat Mouseketeer

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    For 15 year old girls obsessed with Hollywood/stars, I would definitely skip the Tar Pits. They're interesting and my boys love them but teenage girls are not the target audience. For them I'd do the WB tour, Hollywood including maybe a bus tour of the sights/stars homes (cheesy but sounds like what they're looking for), check out the Walk of Fame/Chinese Theatre, mall time at Hollywood & Highland and/or The Grove, maybe at show at the Pantages if they're interested in theater. If you have the budget, stay somewhere with the Hollywood vibe like the W, Roosevelt, Garland, etc. For the Hollywood sign, if you're not interested in hiking and just want a picture from not too far away, just drive up to the Overlook on Mulholland. There's a plaque and a great picture spot. Or even easier, just take a picture from the bridge at Hollywood and Higland.
     
  15. Amw1064

    Amw1064 DIS Veteran

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    You hit it perfectly!
     
  16. shelemm

    shelemm DIS Veteran

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    If you are looking for inexpensive accommodations in LA, check out the Rodeway in Culver City. Nothing glamorous, I assure you, but perfectly nice old-fashioned motel at a great location.
     
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  17. paintingoncelluloid

    paintingoncelluloid Mouseketeer

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    I want to second that I think Oakley cat is right on. If I were you I would prioritize The Grove/Farmers' Market and Santa Monica Pier/Third Street Promenade (super Instagrammable, potential for celebrity sightings), the Warner Brothers studio tour (if they're interested in how movies get made -- you get to tour backlots and soundstages, and it is the backlot from La La Land), and spend an hour at Hollywood & Highland seeing the Walk of Fame/Chinese Theater and taking a picture of the Hollywood Sign from the mall. (They have specifically designed the entire structure of the mall to make this a good spot to see the sign.). And a final note about the sign: something that's hard to describe is that you can see it from tons of places all over town -- it's just kinda...there. And not even as a speck in the distance, but as a huge fixture of the landscape. You'll be able to take a good picture from Hollywood and Highland, but then you'll have fun spotting it as you drive around town.
     
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  18. Amw1064

    Amw1064 DIS Veteran

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    Thankyou! I need to get back to my planning. Had some unplanned surgery last week and just getting back to normal.
     
  19. Ryan120420

    Ryan120420 Mouseketeer

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    The Griffith Observatory.

    Its FREE.

    You have clear view of the Hollywood sign

    Several movies including La La Land have filmed there.

    The views of the Los Angleles area are absolutely spectacular.
     
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  20. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    We're doing very similar to you and can report back in a few weeks. Starting in LA (staying at Hollywood Orchid Suites near Dolby centre). We are doing one day at Universal (which I know you said you are skipping), doing Warner Brother tour, Santa Monica Pier (whole area looks nice/fun), and I found a tour that covers some of the things mentioned...walk of fame, Griffith Observatory, Beverly Hills, star homes, The Grove and Farmer's Market, Sunset Blvd, etc. It looks like a good mix. We're spending 4 nights in Hollywood and 5 nights for Disney (4 day park hopper). Will also probably go to the wax museum, and maybe Ripleys as my son loves that kind of thing.

    Was also on the fence about La Brae tar pits but doesn't sound so good from here. Not sure if kids would be bored.
     
  21. Amw1064

    Amw1064 DIS Veteran

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    Please report back after your trip. Sounds like we will be doing lots of the same things. Where are you staying by Disney? What tour are you doing? Have a great trip and can't wait to hear all about it.
     

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