First-timers with lots of questions!!!


Earning My Ears
May 12, 2000
Our family (me, DH & DD) is going to to DL in June/July -- we are staying at the Grand Californian and can't wait!! We've never been to DL or California before and have a lot of questions. We're flying into LAX and are planning to rent a car because we pl an on doing sightseeing. If we didn't rent a car, would we have a *good* way of getting around? (We want to see beaches, San Juan Capistrano, Beverly Hills and Hollywood areas.) We've heard so many horror stories about driving in the LA area, is it really as bad as the rumors?

Any advice on what kind of park tickets to buy? We are vets of WDW, but this seems so much different -- we can't figure it out!

Also, any "must-see's" (in or out of DL) would be really appreciated! :D
For what you want to do, I highly recommend renting a car. It will make your life much easier.

We made our own virgin trip to LA and DL last summer, and it wasn't nearly as terrifying as I'd expected :D. The freeways are clearly marked, and the route from the airport to DL is pretty straightforward (any map, or a AAA guidebook, can show you the way.) The only time we had a serious problem, traffic-wise, was when we got stuck in rush hour driving from LA to Anaheim at around 5:30 pm. Doh. Bad idea. We CRAWLED along the interstate at a breathless 20 m.p.h. for about 90 minutes, then gave up and pulled into a Denny's for dinner. By the time we were finished, the roads were clear and we zip-a-dee-doo-dahed into Anaheim.

However: getting stuck in traffic is not as bad as it sounds...because it's actually, in a way, SAFER when you don't know your way around. It makes it a little harder to get lost when you're practically WALKING there :D.

I think you'll probably want to get some sort of park-hopper pass, but others on these boards might know the nuances better than I. My wife and I are making our second trip to DL in May, and got a package at the Paradise Pier Hotel which includes three day park hoppers.

Since you're already familiar with WDW, you have a fair idea of what's waiting for you at DL. The layout's a little different, and the park has a delightful, more intimate feel to it, but much of it's the same. (Though many of the signature attractions -- Small World, Haunted Mansion, Pirates -- are much MUCH better at Disneyland.)

Do not, under any circumstances, miss the Indiana Jones ride!

Use early mornings, if you can, and Fastpass, and you'll have a great time!

<font color=blue>
<font face="Alaska">"It's the time of your life, so live it well..."

Greg K.
Forest Hills, NY
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Grand Floridian: '96,'97,'99
Disneyland Hotel: '00 </font>
By staying at the GC, you will get Ultimate hopper passes that qualify you to hop between the two parks. This is a GOOD thing !
Even if you rent a car, I think it is much more fun to tour Hollywood/Beverly Hills etc on a Bus tour. No parking problems and interesting narration.


Thanks for the info, Greg & Judy! We can't wait to go -- the driving was the only thing getting us down. We feel much better after reading your posts, though. ‡


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