General Questions About Disneyland

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by VelvetGloves, May 13, 2008.

  1. VelvetGloves

    VelvetGloves <font color=teal>Breadstick Fairy><br><font color=

    Jun 15, 2001
    Hello everyone!

    First of all, if this is in the wrong place, I apologize. I spend all my time looking at the Disneyworld related threads, as that is where we always vacation. We live in PA and have been going to WDW forever.

    Now, my husband and I are planning a trip to WDW for this October. We are big World of Warcraft junkies, and Blizzard has decided to hold Blizzcon in CA this October. Immediately, my husband asked that we go to Disneyland instead of Disneyworld, so we can go to Blizzcon.

    So, I know nothing about Disneyland. Not a thing! I can go on and on with my WDW knowledge, but I am a Disneyland noob.

    Here are my questions!

    1. How many days does it take to really see the two California parks? I'm interested in pretty much everthing, but not too much of a focus on shows.

    2. Which Disney hotel usually offers the best rates? I really want the Disney treatment the whole time we are there.

    3. Is Disneyland very busy around the second week in October?

    4. Am I going to be disappointed with Disneyland? I'm spoiled by WDW and am afraid I'll just balk at Disneyland.

    I'm sure I'll come up with more questions, but this should at least get me started thinking.

    Thanks for your help! Feel free to move this if it is in the wrong place!

  2. tinkerbelt

    tinkerbelt DIS Veteran

    Feb 16, 2007
    In October, you can get quite a bit done in 2 days if you plan well. To see *everything*, including shows, 3-5 days.

    The Paradise Pier is the cheapest (and farthest walk from the parks), followed by the Disneyland Hotel (which is right next to the monorail), and the GCH is the most expensive. If you're going to stay for several days, you might look into getting an annual pass. They usually have good AP rates in October, and you might end up saving tons on the hotel.

    It's off season, so you wouldn't have peak crowds, but October is becoming more popular because of HalloweenTime. You should be fine, though. It is nothing like summer or spring break.

    I think that just depends on what you like. There are definitely Disneyland people and WDW people. I've never been to WDW, so I can't say.

    I hope you have a great trip!
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  4. scooter15

    scooter15 DIS Veteran

    May 25, 2007
    OMG...I dont' believe you actually asked that!!! No seriously you won't be. Both places share a lot of attractions but both have different ones as well. I like the atmosphere of DL than MK. To me Disney Studios and DCA are the same as far as what is offered...not much. My favorite park by far though is Epcot. But you'll notice the ambiance is different at DL and to me a bit more inviting. Being the original they poor a lot of money into the park to keep it up more than the others. But I'm not saying the other parks get neglected either.
  5. rockstargeisha

    rockstargeisha Geeky Glamorous

    Apr 19, 2007
    I wanted to add that I'll be at Blizzcon as well. :thumbsup2

    I think it all comes down to personal preference whether or not you'll be "dissapointed" by Disneyland. If you enter the park with preconceived notions that it's not as great as WDW than I doubt you'll have much fun. Keep an open mind and remember it's Disney, how can you NOT have a good time?

    Please remember that although the resort is smaller; that this is the location of Walt's dream park. It has many of the same attractions as the Magic Kingdom and many of which WDW doesn't have, including all of the CaAdv. park. Attractions like the Haunted Mansion and Pirates offer you a difference experience than their Florida counterparts do. Plus we have the Electrical Parade and the Pixar Play Parade. :woohoo: Also, free tortillas. :lovestruc

    You could do both parks in two days but I would advise 3-4 so you don't burn yourself out trying to hit all the attractions. You're picking a great time to go when crowds are low and the weather is cooler. Plus, you can walk anywhere within the resort making more time in the parks and less time on buses.

    Oh man, sorry for rambling. I'm done now.:laughing:
  6. biolabetty

    biolabetty DIS Veteran

    Jun 23, 2007
    In October the holiday version of Haunted Mansion is usually open. It is based on the Nightmare Before Christmas.
  7. jason417

    jason417 Mouseketeer

    May 12, 2008
    If your only intention were to hit all the rides you could probably do both parks in 2 days in October with the lighter crowds (though the time saved by lighter crowds is somewhat negated by the shorter park hours... 10am-8pm or so).

    But if you like to take things in and enjoy the atmosphere like most people then you're going to want more than 2 days. My wife is the enjoy-the-atmosphere-on-a-bench type and I'm the how-many-times-can-I-ride-space-mountain type. Either way, that third day is really handy. And for me, it isn't enough to just ride all the rides once. Any ride outside is a different experience at night so throw that into the mix and again that third day comes in handy. We go a few times a year and we usually go for 3 days. However, truth be known, in 2 full days you can walk away feeling like you almost did it all if you don't care much about the shows.

    October is a great time to visit in terms of lower crowds. tinkerbelt is right that October seems to be busier now than it used to be. I remember 12 years ago we went and rode Space Mountain 13 times in a row on a Wednesday in October without even having to get off of it... until my friend threw up and they made us take a break from it. Last couple times I went in October we weren't anywhere near that lucky. Still much better than the summer though.

    I've never been to WDW but I know plenty of people who have been to both and they all seem to agree that DL is better than MK because of the atmosphere and history. Apparently, Space Mountain at DL is hands-down better than the one in WDW but that is just me spitting hearsay and is not spoken from experience so don't hold me to that. As far as comparing the DL/DCA experience overall to WDW, I don't know how they stack up against each other.

    DL's atmosphere is great. My wife and I have spent large blocks of time (i.e. half a day) in the park just enjoying being there without even touching the rides.
  8. S. S. Columbia

    S. S. Columbia DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2007
  9. dbanzai

    dbanzai DIS Veteran

    Dec 29, 2004
    As somebody who was more familiar with the World for a while before visiting DL, I'd say I certainly wasn't disappointed with Anaheim.

    The negatives are there are two parks, which really isn't that much of a negative. I'd agree with the idea that you could probably take it all in two days. It's not a total immersement experience, or it doesn't have to be, but that can be a good thing too. DL is smaller and can feel more crowded that the MK.

    And the positives:

    It's the original. If you have a sense of history, this place is the best!

    I feel more often than not, the rides that are both in CA and FL are better here. For instance, Space Mountain in FL really doesn't do it for me anymore after riding the one in CA. The outside cue at IASW, some of the things in PotC (including Blue Bayou, the restaurant) are just so much better at DL. Also, it's the original Tiki Room, no refurb with Zazou or Iago... And Toad is still here and the subs are back! In some ways, if you are such a big, long-time WDW fan, I think you'll really appreciate DL for some of the classics that still exist or are still connected to former WDW favorites.
  10. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2005
    First let me get you onto the correct terminology. ;) "Disneyland" is one of the two parks at the "Disneyland Resort" aka DLR. When you say "Disneyland" around here most people will think you mean the park "Disneyland" and not the resort "Disneyland". The Disneyland Resort includes the two parks, the three hotels and DTD. :)

    As others have said, 3-5 days. But the shows at DLR are pretty awesome. IMO the top three (Remember Dreams Come True, Fantasmic and Aladdin) are better than the comparable shows at WDW.

    Others have responded to this. I will add that the advantages of a Disney hotel at DLR are not nearly as great as at WDW. Many vets of both WDW and DLR do the Disney hotels at WDW but not at DLR and are fine with it. Just FYI.

    As others have said DLR does not have a true off-season like it used to and seems busy all the time, but early October is off-season. Be advised that off-season at DLR does not work the same way as at WDW.

    See "What You Should Know About Off-Season at DLR"

    Here is the formula for disappointment at DLR for a WDW vet: ;)

    1. Set up WDW as the "ideal Disney vacation" such that anything that is different is by definition bad

    2. Do not do any research on DLR strengths over WDW so that you never see the good things about DLR because you are so absorbed by the differences

    3. Think like a "WDW person" while at DLR rather than a "DLR person". For example, be sure to think that because the castle at MK is the center of the park that at DL its castle must also be the center. Then when you see DL's small castle you can be disappointed. A DLR person knows that the much larger Matterhorn mountain next to the castle at DL is considered by most to be the park's center.

    DLR is definitely less than WDW is some areas, but it is better in others. So you do not have to search for them, IMO these are areas where DLR exceeds WDW:

    1. Proximity of parks, hotels and DTD - at DLR you can walk everywhere in 5-10 minutes. You can parkhop in 60 seconds flat. For this reason it is easier to take hotel breaks, avoid crowds on crowded days, and experience more park hours. At DLR we spend 3-4 hours extra per day actually inside the parks than at WDW because little time is wasted on transportation (and waiting for transportation)

    2. Shows - As mentioned earlier DLR's top shows are better than the ones at WDW (IMO)

    3. Weather - less rain and less humidity makes for better weather on the whole - especially in the summer

    4. Ride concentration - WDW's four parks in total only have 10% more rides than DLR's two parks

    So will you be disappointed? Let DLR be DLR, enjoy it for itself, and you are in for a real treat.
  11. stacielee

    stacielee Why do I go to Disneyland? Because I can!

    May 16, 2005
    That is definitely the truth!! Having gone on both in the same year, after the refurb was done at DL, I was completely disappointed when we went to WDW. Not EVEN the same ride!

    The only ride that I can remember being slightly "better" was BTMRR at WDW. And the TOT is better at WDW because it is random; DL is not. Other than that, matching rides are better at DLR.
  12. dbanzai

    dbanzai DIS Veteran

    Dec 29, 2004
    I thought the made ToT random at DL now.

    Regardless, there is one other part that makes it better at WDW than DL. But otherwise, I say most are better at DL.
  13. ballarinamom

    ballarinamom DIS Veteran

    Jan 15, 2007
    We were also very dissapointed with WDW after going to DL first. We thought Dl would be a good warm up for WDW. Well, not quite. Even DD (who was 5 at the time) missed DLR. We live in Texas so it's not a geographical thing- we're right in the middle! Keep an open mind and you'll have a great time!
  14. JenDisneylandlver

    JenDisneylandlver DIS Veteran

    Jun 14, 2006
    Hope that help! :)
  15. VelvetGloves

    VelvetGloves <font color=teal>Breadstick Fairy><br><font color=

    Jun 15, 2001
    Thanks for the feedback!

    It's looking like we're probably going to Disneyland! Woohoo! An adventure!

  16. **Tinker*Bell*7**

    **Tinker*Bell*7** Pixie Princess

    Aug 28, 2002
    I'm a WDW regular too (been there too many times to count).

    In 2005 I was at WDW for the 3-day VIP media party to kick off the Disneyland 50th anniversary celebration. It was fabulous so I decided that since I was at WDW for the first day of the party, I'd check out DL for the last day (had never been to California before). I was there for the first week of Oct. 2006.

    It was great! There's so much there that WDW has spread out into 4 parks but DL has compacted into 2. There's also plenty there that's not at WDW.

    Had a great time on my solo trip so I'm planning a trip back with my mom the second week of Oct. this year.

    Here are my 12 tips though from one WDW "nut" to another :rotfl:

    1. Don't be shocked by how small the castle is. It is not a towering castle like Cinderella's at WDW. In fact its very small & IMHO kind of plain. I thought it was very pretty with the crowns on it though.

    2. Don't skip a ride just because that ride is also at WDW. I discovered that although it may be the same ride, there are differences & a lot of the DL versions are much better (POTC in particular) (Tiki Room is the original show, not the "under new management" like at WDW (IMHO I like the WDW version better having seen them both but I enjoyed watching at DL)). Also you can buy a Dole Whip in line & take it into the theater with you. :cool1:

    3. Be sure to check out the HM Holiday. It's a blast!!!

    4. I think the food is more expensive for less quantity & quality at DL than WDW. For this reason I only ate 3 meals in the park during my stay & ate most of the rest of my meals at restaurants around DL, in particular Tiffy's on W. Katella.

    5. It's SO EASY to park hop at DL. The entrances to DL, CA & DTD are all together in a small (relatively speaking) courtyard. You can jump from one to the other anytime you want with no trouble. Just walk a few steps & you're there!

    6. Even if the ride seems "hokey" do it anyway. There's stuff at DL like the Storybook Train & the Storybook Canal Boats that seem like there's nothing to them, but the tiny storyscapes you see are very Disney & worth the trip. Be sure to do both as you get a different perspective from each.

    7. Check the fireworks/parade/show guide as soon as you get there. I was a bit jet-lagged the first night I was there & didn't care that I was going to miss the fireworks & Fantasmic. Just my luck, the next day I looked at the schedule & that was the only night they were scheduled during my stay. :sad: There was a second showing of the nighttime parade on my last night so I didn't miss out on everything. :upsidedow

    8. Main Street is smaller & Fantasyland can be confusing to navigate. Oct. was a great time as far as weather & crowds but don't be surprised by the long waits on HM (they're worth it though).

    9. Find out what's closed before you go so you won't be disappointed. IASW is much better at DL IMHO than WDW & I wanted my mom to see it on our trip this Oct., but I've already seen that it's closed until Nov. :sad:

    10. Just pretend you're a kid, you're going for the first time & have a great time. Don't worry about comparing everything to WDW. You are just going to be in a different part of the Disney Universe.

    11. Check out Hydro Guy's lists on this board. They were VERY helpful.

    12. Relax & Have a great time! :goodvibes :banana:

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