How would you do both Yosemite and Disneyland?

MarbleBob

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
You're doing the first two stops backwards, costing you a bunch of travel time. When driving west on I-80 through Reno, you'll be within 2 hours of the eastern entrance of Yosemite at Lee Vining. Though, even better, I'd leave I-80 at Wendover UT and take US 93 and 6 to the White Mountains and then Mammoth before hitting Lee Vining and Mono Lake. Best of all, you'll get to traverse Yosemite High Country, something that most tourists completely miss when visiting Yosemite. Tuolumne Meadows in the high country is a great stop. And the best don't-miss stop is Olmsted Point, which has tremendous views down Tenaya Canyon all the way to Yosemite Valley. You really should reverse the order of your visit, and hit Yosemite first. Besides, then when travelling from SF to Anaheim, you can go down Highway 1 past Big Sur. Best, most scenic drive in North America. Make sure you stop at Pfeiffer Beach, and/or have lunch at Nepenthe's.

HTH,
Bob
Thanks Bob. That's really good/interesting advice. But we've timed the trip to coincide with visiting family in San Francisco on those particular days. And also wanting to be at Griffith Park on June 21 (to visit Walt's Barn - only open one day each month), so that leaves little time for Yosemite. The 1.5 days will be more of an appetizer for a future trip... where Yosemite is more of a destination than an afterthought. We'll certain keep your suggestions in mind if we do it again!!!

In the meantime, I read that they are closing the Miraposa Grove for two years beginning this June/July. Fingers crossed that it's still open when we visit. If not, I guess it might be a blessing in disguise since we'll be so short on time and have to make tough decisions on what we will actually see.
 

WebmasterMaryJo

Techarita
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Dec 15, 1998

MarbleBob

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
I just wanted to add that we did a segment on our podcast for Yosemite, and another one for Sequoia. If you have time, and the inclination, here are the links to listen:

Yosemite
http://www.disunplugged.com/2014/11/20/dis-unplugged-podcast-112014-disneyland-show/

Sequoia
http://www.disunplugged.com/2015/02/09/dis-unplugged-podcast-020815-disneyland-show/
Thanks Mary Jo. I think my wife has listened to pretty much every DIS Unplugged podcast from the Disneyland team. We are big fans of what you all do! And I just wanted to take a moment and remind you how awesome it is that you all take the time to share the magic with everyone. DW was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back, and thinking about Disney and her "laughing places" helped get her through the tough times during treatment. I know during that time, she especially loved listening to the DIS Unplugged and listened to several episodes a week, and sometimes several a day. She's been cancer free for 3.5 years now and is in good shape... and she still listens to every podcast. Anyway, she's listened to both of these segments and found some great tips from them.

I re-listened to the Yosemite one today on my lunch hour, and hope to listen to the Sequoia one later this week. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences with these wonderful places. I really can't wait to visit Yosemite for this first time this June!!!!!
 
  • hsmamato2

    <font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2005
    We did a big trip a few years back... it was great! We flew into PHX, visited a few sites/stayed overnight between PHX and the Grand Canyon (so much to see,we stayed in Flagstaff) - drove to GC, stayed 2 nites at the rim (Yavapai Cabins) Then we headed west past the Hoover Dam(stopped for about 10 minutes to get a break) then landed in Death Valley for one night (furnace creek ranch,love it) and saw as much as we could see in 24 hours- then we headed west and north to Yosemite from Death valley- it was a long and spectacular drive! Got into Yosemite (thru Tuolomne Meadows) and Curry Village before dark (be there before dark to check in!) stayed there 3 nites....it was.....interesting. Great place to see a lot of things in the valley, but it was pretty busy ,we rented a tent cabin. Then (7 nites in so far) we headed DOWN to DL area- and it took us a *solid 7 hours* from Mariposa Grove, where we had stopped in the morning on our way out of the park to walk and sightsee... Once you hit that insane LA traffic on any day it's going to be....challenging. We stayed at DL area hotel for 6 more nights (my sons and I LOVE Disney and it's history,so much to see here!) and then flew home from LAX.
    With this itinerary, we had to plan carefully when we would leave,travel,and arrive to maximize our times at each place.All the driving was fantastic and we got to see things we had never seen before along the way....
    SO in all we took a full 2 weeks to travel, since we were going quite a distance,and we figured it was cheaper to do a longer trip once were out there, than try to do less days. (I need to go back again now,obviously,:thumbsup2 there is SO much we just sampled...I want to see more!)
     

    alryan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2011
    We are doing this trip leaving tomorrow. Every time I looked one way car rentals where twice as much from San Francisco. So we are flying into SNA, one week in Anaheim, 2 nights in Kings Canyon, 2 nights in Yosemite, then 2 nights in SF and fly home from there.

    Mary Jo, thanks for the link to those podcasts, I hope to get a chance to watch them today.
     

    bsj1701

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2014
    We've done this twice. Due to cost factors like 1 way car rental we ended up going round trip from L.A.

    Day 1 California adventure
    Day 2 Disneyland
    Day 3 Travel up the coast, stops in/at Hearst Castle, Carmel, Monterey.
    Day 4 San Francisco - I'm sure we missed alot, but we did the highlights like Golden Gate Bridge,Fisherman's Wharf, and Lombard Street.
    Day 5 Muir Woods/Drive to Yosemite
    Day 6 Yosemite
    Day 7 Drive back to LA
    Day 8 Catch flight home
     

    KAT4DISNEY

    Glad to be a test subject
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2008
    You're doing the first two stops backwards, costing you a bunch of travel time. When driving west on I-80 through Reno, you'll be within 2 hours of the eastern entrance of Yosemite at Lee Vining. Though, even better, I'd leave I-80 at Wendover UT and take US 93 and 6 to the White Mountains and then Mammoth before hitting Lee Vining and Mono Lake. Best of all, you'll get to traverse Yosemite High Country, something that most tourists completely miss when visiting Yosemite. Tuolumne Meadows in the high country is a great stop. And the best don't-miss stop is Olmsted Point, which has tremendous views down Tenaya Canyon all the way to Yosemite Valley. You really should reverse the order of your visit, and hit Yosemite first. Besides, then when travelling from SF to Anaheim, you can go down Highway 1 past Big Sur. Best, most scenic drive in North America. Make sure you stop at Pfeiffer Beach, and/or have lunch at Nepenthe's.

    HTH,
    Bob
    I know this was from a few months ago but wanted to mention that it's a good 4 to 5 hours from Reno to Yosemite Valley which is where most visitors plan to go. 240 miles, most of it winding once you hit the park borders. I do think it's a great route thru the park.
     
  • bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    I know this was from a few months ago but wanted to mention that it's a good 4 to 5 hours from Reno to Yosemite Valley which is where most visitors plan to go. 240 miles, most of it winding once you hit the park borders. I do think it's a great route thru the park.
    It also depends on whether the Tioga Pass Entrance is open. I'd expect it to be open early this year, but apparently it's not open yet. If it's not open, it's one heck of a detour.
     

    KAT4DISNEY

    Glad to be a test subject
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2008
    It also depends on whether the Tioga Pass Entrance is open. I'd expect it to be open early this year, but apparently it's not open yet. If it's not open, it's one heck of a detour.
    Very true. It's usually safe to assume it will be open by the first day of summer and in the last 60 years the avg opening has been in late May. If it's not open though I just don't go from Reno. :D Although someday I do want to visit in the winter - maybe the Vintners Holidays - so that'll mean a drive. :faint:

    This year almost definitely will be early though. Very sad on what that says about our winter though.
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    Very true. It's usually safe to assume it will be open by the first day of summer and in the last 60 years the avg opening has been in late May. If it's not open though I just don't go from Reno. :D Although someday I do want to visit in the winter - maybe the Vintners Holidays - so that'll mean a drive. :faint:

    This year almost definitely will be early though. Very sad on what that says about our winter though.
    Been there during winter although not recently. I hiked knee deep in the snow without gaiters. A couple of years ago the snow was so light I heard that some people went skating on Tenaya Lake. I didn't go there though. I think that they didn't even close Tioga Road until Feb, and that was mostly because they didn't have enough personnel to patrol the area.

    You want Vintners Holiday or Bracebridge Dinner? I've had breakfast in the Ahwhnee Dining Room when they still had Bracebridge decorations up.

    I've seen the waterfalls in all their glory. My wife hasn't though. The first time I brought her to Yosemite it was low water year and it Yosemite Falls was weak by late June. We've gone camping a few times. One July Yosemite Falls was almost dry. Last year was pretty poor when we visited in late June. We were supposed to visit in May one year, but my boss asked me to work and we lost our Priceline reservation. Maybe this May. I don't expect it to be record breaking, but it should be spectacular for maybe a couple of weeks before Mother Nature turns it down a notch.
     

    KAT4DISNEY

    Glad to be a test subject
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2008
    Been there during winter although not recently. I hiked knee deep in the snow without gaiters. A couple of years ago the snow was so light I heard that some people went skating on Tenaya Lake. I didn't go there though. I think that they didn't even close Tioga Road until Feb, and that was mostly because they didn't have enough personnel to patrol the area.

    You want Vintners Holiday or Bracebridge Dinner? I've had breakfast in the Ahwhnee Dining Room when they still had Bracebridge decorations up.

    I've seen the waterfalls in all their glory. My wife hasn't though. The first time I brought her to Yosemite it was low water year and it Yosemite Falls was weak by late June. We've gone camping a few times. One July Yosemite Falls was almost dry. Last year was pretty poor when we visited in late June. We were supposed to visit in May one year, but my boss asked me to work and we lost our Priceline reservation. Maybe this May. I don't expect it to be record breaking, but it should be spectacular for maybe a couple of weeks before Mother Nature turns it down a notch.
    I was thinking about one of the weekends for Vintners holidays which in another no snow year might mean Tioga would still be open. I had forgotten about the Bracebridge dinners but it sounds like they would be very special too! Next year is one of those "big" birthday years and I was thinking it's a good excuse to finally stay at the Ahwahnee. :rolleyes1I can sympathize with your wife - I just cancelled what was supposed to be my first spring trip there starting on Sunday. :( I've always gone in late summer or else fall so I thought I'd finally get to see some nice flow on the water falls but things came up so I'll just have to start planning for next spring.
     
  • bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    I was thinking about one of the weekends for Vintners holidays which in another no snow year might mean Tioga would still be open. I had forgotten about the Bracebridge dinners but it sounds like they would be very special too! Next year is one of those "big" birthday years and I was thinking it's a good excuse to finally stay at the Ahwahnee. :rolleyes1I can sympathize with your wife - I just cancelled what was supposed to be my first spring trip there starting on Sunday. :( I've always gone in late summer or else fall so I thought I'd finally get to see some nice flow on the water falls but things came up so I'll just have to start planning for next spring.
    Tioga Pass is going to open Monday (May 4).

    http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tioga.htm

    The Tioga Road is closed to both vehicles and bicycles.

    The Tioga Road will open on Monday, May 4 at 8 am with delays due to road work.
     

    nacho113

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2012
    I am in the VERY early stages of hopefully planning a late June/early July trip to California. DL would be the main attraction, but I also want to do the Warner Bros. tour, an LA tour and spend a day at a beach (Huntington?). DH mentioned visiting the Grand Canyon, but that's at least an 8 hour drive. I was looking into Yosemite, but I guess that's at least 6-7 hours away. If you were going to do both the Anaheim area and Yosemite, how would plan it? Would you fly into somewhere more northern, like San Francisco and then fly out of Orange County airport? Or would you fly into and out of the LA area and drive up to Yosemite for a couple of nights? I'm not sure if hitting both is really doable, but we'd like the kids to see a National Park, if possible. Thanks for any thoughts. :)
    A couple of years back in early June, we coupled a trip to Vegas (with a day tour out to the Grand Canyon) and then drove to LA for our second week of vacation.
    Flew into Vegas, one way car rental LAS to LAX, then flew home from LA.
    We are thinking of doing this again in September this year, but instead of taking the bus tour to the Canyon, we are going to rent a car and drive up and stay at the Lodge at the South Rim for a couple of nights. I can't even begin to describe the Grand Canyon, suffice it to say that we have been looking for a way to get back ever since we were there a couple of years ago. The bus tour was OK but it was a lot of driving in one day for just a few hours at the Canyon.
    Vegas to LA was only about a 4 hour drive mostly along I-15 through Barstow, quite a pleasant drive (not at all what I thought the desert would be like).
    Apparently if you want to go to the beaches in LA, June is not the month to do it. The locals call it the "June Gloom" heavy overcast and no sun at all. When we moved inland to DisneyLand, Knotts Berry Farm and the Hollywood area it was nice and sunny after about 11am but back to heavy overcast when we returned to the beach areas. Really wish we had known about the "June Gloom" could have saved a ton of money by not bothering to book beachfront!
     

    Mousefan mom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 21, 2015
    You're doing the first two stops backwards, costing you a bunch of travel time. When driving west on I-80 through Reno, you'll be within 2 hours of the eastern entrance of Yosemite at Lee Vining. Though, even better, I'd leave I-80 at Wendover UT and take US 93 and 6 to the White Mountains and then Mammoth before hitting Lee Vining and Mono Lake. Best of all, you'll get to traverse Yosemite High Country, something that most tourists completely miss when visiting Yosemite. Tuolumne Meadows in the high country is a great stop. And the best don't-miss stop is Olmsted Point, which has tremendous views down Tenaya Canyon all the way to Yosemite Valley. You really should reverse the order of your visit, and hit Yosemite first. Besides, then when travelling from SF to Anaheim, you can go down Highway 1 past Big Sur. Best, most scenic drive in North America. Make sure you stop at Pfeiffer Beach, and/or have lunch at Nepenthe's.

    HTH,
    Bob
    What are lodging options at Yosemite?
     

    loveswdw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2001
    We stayed in the Yosemite Valley Lodge when we went a few years ago. It's their "moderate" hotel. It was fine. Nothing fancy at all but okay for a couple of nights. It was still pricey due to location. I think we paid $250+/night. (Next step up was Majestic at over $500/nt. Nope!) We ate all our meals in the food court there because once you're in the Valley, there's nowhere else to go except the hotels, food court or deli in Half Dome Village. It's an hour's drive into the Valley from the entrance.

    (There's also Big Trees Lodge but that's in Wawona, not Yosemite Valley.)

    We LOVED Yosemite! I'd go back in a heartbeat. So far, it's the most breathtaking place I've seen. We are going to Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion next month so we'll see if it maintains that position.
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    We stayed in the Yosemite Valley Lodge when we went a few years ago. It's their "moderate" hotel. It was fine. Nothing fancy at all but okay for a couple of nights. It was still pricey due to location. I think we paid $250+/night. (Next step up was Majestic at over $500/nt. Nope!) We ate all our meals in the food court there because once you're in the Valley, there's nowhere else to go except the hotels, food court or deli in Half Dome Village. It's an hour's drive into the Valley from the entrance.
    Theoretically you could bring your own food and cook it, but not at Yosemite Lodge. The only "lodging" where cooking is allowed is Housekeeping Camp, which is more like a glorified campground where the lodging consists of concrete bunkers. I've gone camping and brought a camp stove. I also saw a lot of charcoal grills. I think it may also be legal to use a fire ring for charcoal any time, but wood fires have designated hours.

    They have designated picnic areas with grills. As long as there are grills, people are allowed to use camp stoves too. They claim that all picnic areas in Yosemite Valley have grills except for Lower Yosemite Fall.

    https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/picnic.htm

     

    WebmasterMaryJo

    Techarita
    Staff member
    Administrator
    Joined
    Dec 15, 1998
    no idea, but a great dmc is https://revealedamerica.com. But I would get a motor home and drive up to San Francisco via the coast stopping off at Santa Barbara etc, Los Angeles, big sur etc I have not done this.
    I had relatives out here from out of town, and we've done that trip, but stayed in motels/hotels, plus a couple of other trips:

    1 week: We drove up north, visited Santa Barbara and Solvang, spent the night in San Luis Obispo; continued up Hwy1 to San Francisco, spent 2 nights there, one day saw the sights around San Francisco, went to Napa Valley and visited Monterey, and spent the night there, then headed to Yosemite and spent 2 nights there. On the way home we drove through Sequoia and visited Hume Lake, then the giant trees, and got home extremely late (I live in LA).

    4 days: We drove to the Grand Canyon, stayed right outside in a nice hotel, took a tour that flew us to Page, I think, where the dam for Lake Powell is, visited Antelope Canyon that is on a Navajo reservation, rode down the Colorado River on rafts (no rapids), and stopped alongside for lunch and to see the petroglyphs, then took a bus the rest of the way back. Next morning went to the Grand Canyon rim, then drove (I think 4 hours) to west rim and spent the night at a ranch (sleep in cabins or teepees), went on the glass bridge overlooking the canyon, and came home - we did a lot in the time that we had.

    Weekend: Trip to San Diego

    I think they needed a vacation to rest after visiting us. :)
     

    McKelly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2004
    We're doing this vacation this upcoming summer. We're flying into LAX on Wednesday AM, landing at 8:00am. Renting a car and driving to Yosemite, staying at Yosemite Valley Lodge? (the Lodge at the base of the Falls). We are staying through Sunday when we will drive to Anaheim. We then are doing three days at Disneyland. One Hollywood Tour with Anaheim Tours, a beach day, and then one more day at Disneyland before we fly back home on Sunday.
     

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