Help with my first trip

mamamary

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Hi. Just booked my first trip to Disneyland yesterday. I know the ins and outs of WDW but I find myself needing some help/opinions.

So.....

- It seems most people seem to recommend uber/lyft from LAX to the hotel areas. Not looking to share rides and I want a direct route. Agree?

- We will have 3 full and 1 mostly full day (no hoppers). Do you recommend the two full days be disneyland and the 1 full and almost full be dca?

- Is the 1 hour magic morning worth it?

- Just saw last night that haunted mansion will be down until our last day there. Does this mean that the day it opens it will be mobbed? Also, are there any other rides that go down to set up for halloween season?

- Going the beg. of Sept so should we get our disney tickets now or wait? Does it matter? Are they refundable in case of emergency and we have to cancel?

- Anyone use the Avis (on Katella I believe)? Looking to rent a car after our disney portion of the trip. My husband gets deals with Avis that's why I'm asking about them specifically. We usually just rent at the airport.

I prob. have a lot more questions but I'll leave it at these for now. Thank you.
 

Howry

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Uber and Lyft are good choices for a direct route

I think the 1 hour magic morning is worth it. You can get a lot done in that hour.

Haunted mansion will probably be pretty busy when it comes back up.

I would wait on tickets if you arent 100% sure you are going. I dont believe you can refund them but the tickets are good for a year I think and the amount associated with them can be used towards a credit to other tickets if you do not use them within that year period. <--- Not 100% sure on this

Never used Avis

This is my opinion but I would splurge for the hoppers. The parks are literally 100 yards apart. Its nice being able to go back and forth throughout the day.
 

BillFraser29

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 14, 2018
Agree with the above on the tickets. I would wait until later, but I would also get the park hoppers. DL will take a minimum of 2 days (if you hustle) and DCA a minimum of 1 (again, if you're hustling). The park hopping at DLR is so much easier than WDW, the parks are literally a two minute walk apart (no bus rides). And definately use any extra time in the parks.

Also, I would use Uber. You won't be sharing and it's a direct route. Shuttles stop at other locations and you'll always end up waiting around for someone.
 
  • cinnaminny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2017
    You should still do Haunted Mansion, even if it is busy. For me, I love the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. It's very well done, it's special.

    We always take super-shuttle. But that is just my dh.

    I would also upgrade to the Hoppers. They are unbelievably close to each other many times I will pop over to CA for a few fun rides before I go back to my room in the afternoon. It's totally worth it.
     

    Becca1007

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2016
    The difference between using a hopper in DL and WDW is immense. It takes like 3 minutes to hop from one park to the other in DL. You are already inside the security bubble so there is no extra bag check or transportation like at WDW. The beauty of this is that you can really make best use of the FP and MaxPass system (if you get maxpass) with a hopper.
    Its like using the refresh strategy at WDW to get more FP per day.
    We also like to hop for food and drink options. Since only Oga's has alcohol in DL if you want a beer/drink with lunch you can pop over to DCA to eat and drink easily.
     

    GeneralTso

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2009
    We always Uber to and from the airport. It's very easy and half the price of a cab. Pick up points are marked well.
    My opinion is that park hopper is the only way to go. It's easy to go between the parks. Max Pass all the way as well.
    Don't miss the Haunted Mansion if it's the Halloween overlay. It's the best. So much better than WDW you won't believe how cool it is. Worth the wait and that ride loads pretty quickly.
     
  • LizzyS

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2011
    I'm going to go against the grain and say that if you want to save a little $, stick to your 1 park per day plan. I've done both and, with multiple days, I really prefer the 1 park per day option. Yes, it can be great to hop, but I personally like to get the big e-ticket attractions out of the way early in the morning and that makes my schedule lay out differently when I have park hoppers. I like to focus on one park at a time when I have a trip with multiple days, plus it's cheaper.
     

    cinnaminny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2017
    Cheaper but it probably means they will miss out on the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay, since that is only open the last day (which would probably be their half CA day)....Now I am really regreting my summer trip. I just love the holiday overlay, I should have went in the fall.
     

    LizzyS

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2011
    Cheaper but it probably means they will miss out on the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay, since that is only open the last day (which would probably be their half CA day)....Now I am really regreting my summer trip. I just love the holiday overlay, I should have went in the fall.
    This is true, the OP needs to weight their priorities in making this decision.

    I will buy 1 Park per Day tix on my next trip and I just went to price them today and I had totally forgotten those tickets get the one MM, also, so that was a really nice surprise!
     

    mamamary

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2006
    Cheaper but it probably means they will miss out on the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay, since that is only open the last day (which would probably be their half CA day)....Now I am really regreting my summer trip. I just love the holiday overlay, I should have went in the fall.
    Our last day is the 6th but we are checking out of our hotel the next morning so I just have to figure out which days to do which park. I see why people like disneyland park hopper due to the close proximity. When we go to WDW the first time I bought hoppers and we didn't hop once. I have a lot to think about. Sure would hate to miss haunted mansion - its one of my faves.
     
  • tarheelalum

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2013
    The magic mornings are worth their weight in gold if you enjoy riding attractions. I strongly recommend you go to them and be in line before the park opens. I also recommend you get the park hoppers. Parks are a 1 minute walk or less between them and you do not have to go through security to park hop. Its nothing like WDW, its awesome and easy at Disneyland and we do it regularly during the day. I have rented from that Avis location at 200 W. Katella Ave. They have limited hours on some days so make sure the hours work for you. And no off hours returns at that location if I recall. Good luck with it all and have a great time.
     

    KatieJoy

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 21, 2012
    We’ve only been to WDW twice (DLR more times than I can count) but did hoppers both times- and went to at least 2 parks a day, maybe three if you counted in Epcot trips for food while at Beach Club. So take my advice with that in mind...
    I have gone to DLR on one day hopper- and swore (more than once) I would never do it again. We live in Southern California though, so a one day hopper when you’ve driven 3 hours to get there, and have to drive 3 hours home at the end of the day, that is understandably a lot.
    If we’re staying in a hotel and doing more than one day at DLR, I feel like the hopper is necessary, actually I think if we’re staying overnight it’s worth the hopper for even one day.
    More than one day at DLR- I can’t imagine not getting the hopper. They are SO close, it’s really like one park when you think in WDW terms. The walk from one park to the other is shorter than the walk from a Disney bus to the front gates of any WDW park.
    Haunted Mansion overlay is worth it, so definitely see it. Haunted Mansion scared me to death as a kid, and honestly still makes me slightly uncomfortable, I greatly dislike Nightmare Before Christmas, can’t explain it, rest of my family loves that movie, I can’t stand it, but Nightmare before Christmas overlay at Haunted Mansion? I love that. Totally unreasonable, doesn’t make sense, but somehow the combo works for me.
    While I’ve never flown in due to living in driving distance, and try to pick up my friends/family from the airport on the way when possible, they do lyft when we can’t, it seems like the most convenient way.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    Disney park tickets are non-refundable. However, they do not lose their original monetary value after they expire if they are unused. So if you do not use them before the expiration date, keep them and bring them to the ticket booth when you do visit the parks. The original value will be applied to your new tickets and you will only pay the difference in price.
    The only way I know to get a refund on Disney park tickets is to cover them with trip insurance. Some authorized vendors offer this for a very reasonable amount. If you really aren't sure about your trip, this could be a good choice for you.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    ...
    - It seems most people seem to recommend uber/lyft from LAX to the hotel areas. Not looking to share rides and I want a direct route. Agree?

    - We will have 3 full and 1 mostly full day (no hoppers). Do you recommend the two full days be disneyland and the 1 full and almost full be dca?

    - Is the 1 hour magic morning worth it?

    - Just saw last night that haunted mansion will be down until our last day there. Does this mean that the day it opens it will be mobbed? Also, are there any other rides that go down to set up for halloween season?

    - Going the beg. of Sept so should we get our disney tickets now or wait? Does it matter? Are they refundable in case of emergency and we have to cancel?

    - Anyone use the Avis (on Katella I believe)? Looking to rent a car after our disney portion of the trip. My husband gets deals with Avis that's why I'm asking about them specifically. We usually just rent at the airport.

    I prob. have a lot more questions but I'll leave it at these for now. Thank you.
    Uber/Lyft allow you to choose a non-shared ride. Getting a direct route should be easy. If you want a car service, Lansky's Car Service is popular here. They will give you a short grocery stop on the way to your hotel if you want to get some basics for your stay.
    Agree with pp -- if the budget allows for hoppers, get them. They are so easy to use at DLR -- the parks are a football field's length apart. It takes about 5 minutes or less to hop -- no need to go through security. MaxPass lets you get FPs on your smartphone in one park while you're in the other park -- so easy!
    If you have an organized plan, MM is totally worth it.
    HMH is very, very popular at DL. It will be crowded the first day of Halloween Time. Ride early in the morning or use FP/MP.
    If you want to avoid any chance of a price hike, you could get your tickets now. If you don't know for sure that you will make your trip, then wait. As I posted above, DLR tickets are not refundable. You would need trip insurance to cover them for that. UT sells discounted hoppers with MP. LMT has the lowest price on multi-day tickets. (Don't buy a membership -- use Google to find a free code.)
     

    StarlitNight05

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2016
    We’ve only been to WDW twice (DLR more times than I can count) but did hoppers both times- and went to at least 2 parks a day, maybe three if you counted in Epcot trips for food while at Beach Club. So take my advice with that in mind...
    I have gone to DLR on one day hopper- and swore (more than once) I would never do it again. We live in Southern California though, so a one day hopper when you’ve driven 3 hours to get there, and have to drive 3 hours home at the end of the day, that is understandably a lot.
    If we’re staying in a hotel and doing more than one day at DLR, I feel like the hopper is necessary, actually I think if we’re staying overnight it’s worth the hopper for even one day.
    More than one day at DLR- I can’t imagine not getting the hopper. They are SO close, it’s really like one park when you think in WDW terms. The walk from one park to the other is shorter than the walk from a Disney bus to the front gates of any WDW park.
    Haunted Mansion overlay is worth it, so definitely see it. Haunted Mansion scared me to death as a kid, and honestly still makes me slightly uncomfortable, I greatly dislike Nightmare Before Christmas, can’t explain it, rest of my family loves that movie, I can’t stand it, but Nightmare before Christmas overlay at Haunted Mansion? I love that. Totally unreasonable, doesn’t make sense, but somehow the combo works for me.
    While I’ve never flown in due to living in driving distance, and try to pick up my friends/family from the airport on the way when possible, they do lyft when we can’t, it seems like the most convenient way.
    I'm going to pretend you didn't just say you can't stand Nightmare Before Christmas... 😉

    Haha, but seriously. I agree 100% with your advice. I can't imagine NOT getting hoppers. I think it'd actually make me feel antsy/uneasy.
     

    LSK

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2005
    Just returned from our first Disneyland trip (multiple visits to WDW over the years). I got parkhoppers and Maxpass and was glad to have them but I would recommend Maxpass over parkhopper. I loved Maxpass and wish Disney World would adopt that over the Fastpass system they currently have. Parkhopping is super easy and was another suprise. We would do the early hour in one park, then grab a fastpass for the other and hop, scan our fastpass and grab a new one, ride, then go to the next attraction.
     

    DisTXMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2013
    Agree with above on hoppers- a must have. Are you renting a car to get to/from your hotel? There are so many places within walking distance if that’s the case.
     

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