Is this first-day itinerary too ambitious?

Discussion in 'Southern California' started by BriAlie, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. BriAlie

    BriAlie Earning My Ears

    Feb 25, 2009
    Hi, Everyone!

    I've been reading the boards like crazy for months now, looking for ideas for our first day, and I found a lot of really interesting ideas. So, THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to the boards, you've all been so helpful. Now I have a plan in place, and am looking for thoughts or opinions.

    My DH and I are flying in for our Disneyland trip on Sunday 1/13/18. We are flying nonstop from New Orleans. Our flight arrives in LAX at 8:33am. The plan is to collect our luggage, catch the shuttle to the rental car counter (Budget, and we have FastBreak), get our car, and then do some sightseeing in Los Angeles before making our way to the hotel in Anaheim. It's looking to be a long day but I figure, why waste vacation time driving into Los Angeles from Anaheim on another day, when we are already there on the first day?

    Here's what we are hoping to accomplish. I am figuring on having the car keys in my hands by around 10am with an 8:33am landing on a Sunday morning, does that sound about right?

    10am leave the airport, first stop Randy's Donuts because I've driven by on other trips and always wanted to stop and see it and try the donuts. We are flying out of SNA to go home, so this is the best chance to do this.

    From Randy's, off to La Brea Tar Pits per DH request. We don't plan to spend a long time here, maybe an hour. My DH is kind of like Chevy Chase in Vacation at the Grand Canyon: a few seconds to get a look, then off he goes (and I've already been to the Tar Pits before, so I'm ok with that).

    From the Tar Pits, DH would like to see Whisky A Go Go (he's a musician, it's kind of a big deal to him) and take a drive along the Sunset Strip. We plan to park somewhere near Whisky, snap a few pics of him outside (don't plan to go in or anything), and then drive on.

    Next, I would like to stop by Hollywood and Highland for a glimpse of the Hollywood sign, to see the stars on the Walk of Fame (especially Donald Duck, which is DH's favorite), check out the Chinese Theater, and hit the Ghirardelli store to see if there are any interesting pins (I love pin collecting and trading). There is a pin release scheduled for the day before, so I am thinking the place will be cleaned out, but I would like to check and see if there are any straggler pins that I could maybe get. Not getting my hopes up too high. Again, we aren't planning an extended visit, just hitting the highlights.

    Finally, we would like to do the Warner Brothers studio Tour. I am think of booking the last tour of the day at 3pm. That gives us a good 5 hours to do what we have on our list, and still make the tour. And if somehow we finish earlier, maybe they can get us on an earlier tour. Who knows? After the tour we'll head to Anaheim and check in to our hotel.

    So, now I ask for opinions. Is this even do-able? No kids, just two adults who travel well together and are ok with moving on quickly to the next site. Or am I crazy to think we can fit all of this in one day?
  2. cruisehopeful

    cruisehopeful Wishing I was taking a nap on a ship.

    Oct 25, 2015
    Sadly, it is not doable. I'd scale down as much as possible. Remember it can 2-3 times longer to drive between places than you'd expect. Add to that, parking will be difficult in Hollywood.

    I'd narrow it down to the 3 most important things and plan on those for sure. Beyond that, anything else that you get to is just a bonus. If the Warner Bros tour is very important, you'll need to let go of a lot of those other "quick" stops beforehand. Even though you only want to spend a few minutes here and there, it will take a lot of time getting from point A to point B.
    BriAlie likes this.
  3. Avatar


  4. BadPinkTink

    BadPinkTink DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2015
    I agree with @cruisehopeful

    Ive been going to LA and Disneyland every June for the past 9 years.

    I would make the Warner Bros Studio Tour the base point of your day. Thats in Burbank and you are looking at aprox 30 minute drive depending on traffic from Hollywood and Highland Centre / Chinese Theatre / Walk of Fame.

    If the tour starts at 3pm, that means you go into the pre tour welcome video show at 3pm. Ideally you should be checking in with the host stand at 2.45pm. By the time you find parking and then walk to the building, I would say you need to arrive in the area about 2pm.

    With a 30 minute drive you would need to be driving out of the parking lot at Hollywood and Highland at 1.30pm

    To do what you want to see in Hollywood I would be driving into the parking lot at Hollywood and Highland at 12pm.

    Whisky A Go Go is about a 20 minute drive to Hollywood and Highland.

    You would need to leave Whisky A Go Go about 11.30am

    You would not have time to do the tar pits.

    This would be my suggested timeline for you

    1. LAX airport to Randys Dounts
    2. Randys Donuts to Whisky A Go Go
    3. Leave Whisky A Go Go at 11.30am, drive to Hollywood and Highland
    4. Arrive Hollywood and Highland at 12pm
    5. Leave Hollywood and Highland at 1.30pm
    6. Drive to Warner Bros Studio Tour, park and check in with host stand at 2.45pm for 3pm tour
    BriAlie likes this.
  5. BriAlie

    BriAlie Earning My Ears

    Feb 25, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. I grew up in the Bay Area, and while we had our share of rush-hour traffic, I am not well-versed in Los Angeles-level traffic. I had suspected I might have problems trying to fit so much in, and you both have confirmed this for me. I'm going to see what I can accomplish, and will make sure to assess where we are at around 1pm, in order to head to the Studios in time for the tour. I am adjusting my expectations and our trip will be awesome even if we have to drop a thing or two here and there. I really appreciate the reality check on the traffic situation. Can't wait to get stuck in traffic on our upcoming trip!! :car:
    BadPinkTink likes this.
  6. a1tinkfans

    a1tinkfans Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!

    Aug 12, 2006
  7. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2012
    How used are you to getting up early & flying? Your flight leaves around 6am, depending how far you are from the airport, you would wake up somewhere around 3 and 4 am, I guess?
    In my experience with early flights, I know I am done by 2pm.
    If you have things to see that are important to you, you might want to be there relaxed and in the moment. Not rushing to snap a picture and then continue because are a million other things on your list. It took me time, but I'm trying to learn to slow down and rather do 2-3 things well and fully enjoy them, instead of see 10 things superficial.
    BriAlie likes this.
  8. BriAlie

    BriAlie Earning My Ears

    Feb 25, 2009
    You make an excellent point, and this is also something about which I am concerned. We plan to be out the door on the way to the airport no later than 3:30am. I'm a RN and I work night shift, so this is like the middle of the day for me, but for DH it's going to be rough. For me, staying awake during the day is going to be rough. I hope to catch a nap on the plane but I'm not counting on it.

    I think that I will hold off buying the tickets for the Warner Brothers tour until that day. If things end up taking way too long, or we end up tiring out early (which would not surprise me), then we won't be out the $138 for the tickets. If it looks like we are making good time and still have energy, I'll pop onto the website and book the tour. It won't be the end of the world to not go on the tour, so whatever happens will be ok. I especially agree with the part of your post I bolded. We need to try to be more in the moment and enjoy what we are currently doing, instead of treating them like things to get through in order to move on to the next thing.
  9. StageTek

    StageTek It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

    Apr 20, 2007
    I traveled with a friend who was fine taking a photo and ONWARD. I think you could do it. Whirlwind for sure.

    LAX to Randy's about 10min.
    10min there.

    Randy's to Tar Pits about 35min.
    30min to park, take a picture and go.

    Tar Pits to the Whisky about 25min.
    20min to park and take a picture.

    Whisky to Hollywood/Highland along the Strip about 20min.
    Plan on 60 minutes – 90 is better and it's between 1 and 2PM when you're done.

    It's about 25min to Warner's.

    I know most of us would suggest taking some time to actually experience things but if all you want is a-picture-and-go it can be done.

Share This Page