Help planning first time to DL

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by camnhan, May 14, 2012.

  1. camnhan

    camnhan DIS Veteran

    Sep 24, 2007
    So we are a DW family of sorts...however I will be attending a conference in Aneheim in Sept and DH and I are talking about him and the kids flying out on my last day of conference and spending a long weekend at DL. So here are my questions: :confused3
    1. Having never been there....will 3 days be enough time to tour the parks?
    2. We have typically done the meal plan while at it worth it at DL? Having a hard time figuring it out.
    3. One of my biggest reasons to want to come out is for Carsland...our youngest has Down Syndrome and absolutely LOVES Cars!!! How crazy do you think it will be in Sept?
    4. would a Sat/Sun/Mon stay be better or a Fri/Sat/Sun? Have tossed around the idea of heading out before the conference as well....just don't know how busy/crowded DL gets compaired to DW.....

    Any other thoughts/suggestions would be great!! I am really looking forward to trying to make this trip happen!!!

    Oh and if we stay onsite at Paradise Pier (?) how close/far is that to a beach??
  2. Girimama33

    Girimama33 "I've disgraced the forces of evil."

    Apr 1, 2012
    Most will suggest reading Hydro Guy's thread for WDW vets:

    Three days will be enough to do most, but probably not everything...

    The dining plan will not save you any $. You have vouchers for meals that have a set $ amount. If you use a $15 voucher for a $12 meal, you will not get change back and will lose money. If you were to purchase something more than $15, you pay the difference.

    I find Fridays to be busier than Mondays, so I would go S/S/M.

    Have fun!

    ETA - oh yeah...the beach is about 20-30 minutes away for Huntington (which is the closest)
  3. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2005
    Three days is enough to have a lot of fun. You will leave feeling like you just did not have enough time. Maybe like a 5 day trip to WDW. With Cars Land opening DLR really needs a minimum of four days to feel like you had a thorough visit (4 days at DLR will be roughly the equivalent of maybe a7 day visit to WDW). Not that you will do everything but feel like you "had enough time".

    Skip the meal plan.

    See What WDW Vets Need to Know About Dining at DLR"

    Depends when in September. Before Labor Day it will be pretty busy. Mid-Sept it won't. End of Sept after Halloweentime kicks it will pick up.

    Cars Land will be in demand for the next year just like anything new at Disney.

    It depends when in Sept and what exactly you want to do (especially with evening shows) but Sat/Sun/Mon will probably be a little better.

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

    Lots of advice and help in learning to ask the right questions can be found here:

    "A DLR Guide for WDW Vets"

    Distance to the beach is maybe 10 miles - 15 at most. Depending on when you drive and where you it will take about 20-30 minutes.
  4. WebmasterMaryJo

    WebmasterMaryJo Techarita Administrator

    Dec 15, 1998
    August will be pretty busy, especially with Carsland being recently opened. As with any Disney visit, I would recommend that you choose your must-dos and like-to-dos so you can make sure you don't miss out on things you really want to see.

    The link to Hydroguy's thread has already been linked. He has a lot of very useful information in there, and I think he keeps it updated. You can also go to the mega-sticky thread at the top for more links to info regarding the DL Resort.

    You do not save any money getting the meal plan at Disneyland, and you might lose some money since you do not get change back if your meal is less than the value of the food voucher. Some people buy Disney gift cards ahead of time to help budget for food. That way, if you still have $ left over you can spend it on merchandise. I wouldn't recommend the DL meal plan.

    I think that Carsland will be very popular, and will continue to draw big crowds, even in September. However, by going in the morning you will have a better chance of smaller lines for the attractions.

    I think that Mondays have been pretty busy lately, and you might get mixed reactions on this. Personally, I would pick Fri/Sat/Sun.

    Your closest beaches are Newport and Huntington, and will take you about 20 minutes to a half hour to get there. A lot of people like Huntington Beach, but I prefer Newport Beach. The waves are milder there, and we've always been able to rent bikes and boogie boards when we've gone to play at the beach.

    Welcome to our Disneyland corner of the DIS. :)
  5. Goofy_Mom

    Goofy_Mom Disney Princess

    Sep 6, 2010
    Unless you really need to be in the "magic" 24/7, you may want to look into staying offsite to save some money. There are a lot of offsite hotels that are closer to the parks that the DL hotels and you'll save about $100/night. There aren't as many perks to staying onsite at DL as there is at WDW.

    3 days is a fair amount of days.

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