Never been to DL and only have a few hours questions...

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by ponyboy, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. ponyboy

    ponyboy baseball, baseball, baseball

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    So I'm trying to squeeze in a few hours at DL on December 20th. My son and I are flying in from Dallas and have a 14 hour layover until our next flight leaves LAX. We arrive at 8:30am and our next flight isn't until 10:30pm so we have some time to kill and I think I'm going to surprise him with a quick trip to DL.

    So here's what I'm thinking. As soon as we arrive we get our luggage and Uber over to LAX Luggage Storage and store our stuff since it's too early to check it at the airport. Then we Uber over to Disneyland. Guessing we'll get there at 10:30 or so.

    Now, since it's close to Christmas and all of the crowd calendars say it's going to be super busy, do I go ahead and buy park hoppers or is it going to be so busy that we won't get to take advantage of both parks?

    If I only choose one to go to, which one do I pick? We've been to Disney World several times so if we could see and do different stuff that would probably be better.

    Is one park usually busier than the other or is it just a coin toss?

    We'll only be there until about 5:00 then we'll need to leave and go get our luggage and make it back to the airport around 7:00. So realistically we're only looking at about 7 hours or so that we'll have to spend there.

    What would you do if you were in this situation? Thanks for any help!
     
  2. pharmama

    pharmama DIS Veteran

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    Disneyland has early entry that day so is likely to be slightly busier in the morning. But that effect usually levels off by midday.

    How old is your son? What do you guys like to do? Rides? Shows? Characters? If he is a Cars fan then Carsland is not to be missed which would mean DCA. Guardians of the Galaxy in DCA (re-themed Tower of Terror but, IMO, SOOO much better!) is also great and unique to DLR, as is Incredicoaster. I’m not sure if you’ll really have time to hop but if you just want to hit rides you can probably still hit headliners in both parks if you purchase MaxPass. 1-day hoppers are pretty steep price wise though. I might just go with one park. If you do decide part way through the day that you are done with that park and really want to hop, you could always upgrade your ticket to a hopper. This will mean spending time waiting in line at the ticket booths though.

    All that said, this is exactly the kind of thing I’d do so I say have fun!
     
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  4. RE1333

    RE1333 Earning My Ears

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    -Looking at the calendar and at the Touring Plans predictions, it looks like it will be pretty busy, but not insane. Touring Plans has Disneyland at an 8/10 and CA at an 6/10.

    -If it’s in your budget, I think the hopper is worth it. If you’re both comfortable walking, then zipping around the whole resort is pretty easy to do even on busy days.

    -If you’re choosing just one park, my vote would be California Adventure. It has fewer rides, but it should be less crowded. And overall I think it offers more that feels completely different than WDW. Cars Land alone is probably worth the price of admission. Guardians is wonderful too.

    -I think paying for MaxPass would easily be worth the $20 for you guys. It will save a lot of time, and you’ll also get your ride photos. Take the time to download and familiariz yourself with the app and the rules before you get there to save time.

    -Get to the parks as early as possible and start making Fastpass selections as soon as you can. Even arriving at 10:30ish on a fairly busy day, I bet you’ll be able to get a few good Fastpasses before the day is over.
     
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  5. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy A Pirate's Life For Me

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    Wow, you have a perfect storm of issues as a result of your situation and I admire your drive to make this happen!

    So I am trying to put myself in your shoes and think what I would do.

    o First, I agree with the PP about MaxPass. That will be the best $20 you spend that day.

    o If you can swing parkhoppers, then that will give you the most options, especially considering that MP allows you to choose FPs for both parks. If you had to choose one park or the other, there are strong arguments for both. if forced, I would choose DL as it frankly is the best theme park in the world and the one of course which started it all. Plus it has lots more rides than DCA.

    o Look at single rider lines - DLR has lots more than WDW.

    o I guess I never thought about how far in advance you can check-in luggage, but it sounds like you have asked that question and it is not an option to check your luggage early rather than wasting time looking for a storage at LAX?

    o Be ready to totally go with the flow

    o Are you coming into LAX on a red-eye on Dec 20 AM? Will you even be able to do a a park that day?

    GOOD LUCK!

    :wizard:
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  6. ponyboy

    ponyboy baseball, baseball, baseball

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    Thanks guys, I've already been informed about MaxPass. Since we aren't getting there that early and we have to leave so early I was wondering if all of the passes we would be able to use would be gone but if yall think we'll still have a chance at getting some stuff then I'll probably do that. Even if it's just getting in one extra ride then it's worth $20.

    My son is 14 and we'll do whatever. We both love Disney World, it's actually my favorite place in the world and about the only place I can actually let go of everything and relax, so big rides, little rides, whatever we have time to fit in would be great.

    If yall think park hoppers are good then that's what we'll do. The extra cost doesn't really matter, I just didn't want to spend it and not use it if yall thought it might be too crowded to take advantage.

    I checked and Qantas won't let us check in our luggage until 2pm, so that's why I looked for a luggage storage service.

    Our flight to LAX leaves Dallas at 6 something AM and arrives at like 8:15 California time. Then we are to meet up with his team around 7:00pm at LAX.

    So I googled the weather and it says average temps for that time in LA are 50 low to 70 degrees high. Is that pretty accurate?
     
  7. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy A Pirate's Life For Me

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    OK, no red-eye although you will be getting up at some godawful time in Dallas to catch that flight!

    Weather - this may help: "Detailed Weather Data for DLR" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=23004158

    DLR has lots more headliners per park than WDW - really DLR has almost as many rides as WDW. So yes, FPs will be available much longer at DLR than you might think. Also, MP is very different than FP+, but one thing it has in common is the ability to cancel FPs which allows other MP users to snag your FPs - even when the normal FPs are "sold out". Being able to make a FP at the opposite park - even if you have not entered it yet, is another thing which makes MP worth it. If you had a larger group at $10 per person, it would not be quite as a good a choice. With two people IMO it is a no-brainer.

    Gosh I wish there was another option to store your luggage but I can't think of one myself. I travel a bit internationally so can sympathize.

    :wizard:
     
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  8. The Pho

    The Pho A heck of a paleontologist if I do say so myself

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    Could always store it at one of the Disneyland hotels. You don't have to be staying at a hotel to use the baggage storage at one. I've done it many times all over, and quite often at Disney World.

    First off, I've only been to Land once (soon to be twice). If you are willing to hit both parks, it's well worth it. Cars Land is awesome and worth a trip over to that park alone. Then in the main park Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, and Haunted Mansion Holiday are all also not to be missed. Then there's all the extra Fantasyland rides as well as most of the rides in both Land and World are quite different. Pirates is longer in Land, Space Mountain is completely different, Thunder has a different feel, Buzz has different blasters, etc. so don't write off a ride because you think you've done it in World, because I made that mistake and now I'm going to back to rectify it.

    Good luck with the timing.
     
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  9. WonkaKid

    WonkaKid DIS Veteran

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    Excellent idea! Your son will love it! If you'd like park maps, DM me your address and I'll get them in the mail to you today.

    I would only do DL since I'm not a big fan of DCA. However, if you and your son like fast/bigger rides, DCA is worth your time and money. But I also feel that since you don't have a lot of time, don't try to do everything. You'll only make yourself crazy. Enjoy DL :-).

    Also, don't forget that virtually all of the APs are blocked when you'll be there. Friends have been to DL on Christmas Eve and have told me that it's not especially busy.
     
  10. ponyboy

    ponyboy baseball, baseball, baseball

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    So I just drop in and hand over my luggage and they'll store it? They don't ask or care if I'm staying at the hotel or not?

    I'd honestly rather have Disney have it than some storage place, I feel like it would be safer then some random storage place. The only thing I'm really concerned about is my son's gloves and I'd rather not carry them with us around the park in a backpack or anything. We're flying to Australia and New Zealand for him to play baseball and everything else is replaceable other than his gloves and losing them would be a disaster. When we fly they're always with us in carry ons never checked baggage.
     
  11. ponyboy

    ponyboy baseball, baseball, baseball

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    I appreciate the offer but with the app on my phone I doubt I would use any park maps. I've been looking over the maps on the PC on google maps so I have a pretty good idea of the layouts already so that will help too.




    I've never had an AP so I had no idea that they had blackout dates. That makes it sound a little better. I know we won't have time to do everything and I'm not going to stress or be in a big rush to do a bunch of stuff. I just want to get in whatever we can, have a good time and make some memories.
     
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  12. The Pho

    The Pho A heck of a paleontologist if I do say so myself

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    I've never done it at a Disneyland hotel, but I've done it many times at the Boardwalk in World as well as other hotels all across the country. I've never once been turned down. At the Boardwalk I just tell them I need the bags held for a few hours and the bellmen are always very happy to help and I make sure to tip them. Sometimes I've explained that I just need the bags held for a couple hours to run into a park before I head to the airport, other times I simply asked for them to hold the bags, it's never been an issue. Usually they just ask for a last name, no room number or reservation or any other info.

    If you want to be 100% certain that it's okay for you, you could always call before you make the decision to drive there first, but it sounds like it would give you more time in the park.
     
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  13. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy A Pirate's Life For Me

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    Hmmm. Disneyland has lockers of course just like WDW. Would the gloves be safer with the luggage, in a storage locker, or in a backpack you bring along? I do not know the answer. Hard to think they are unsafe if left at a Disney hotel.

    I have left bags at DLR and WDW hotels when staying at them. I cannot recall if they wanted to know if I was a hotel guest or not. So for sure call and ask.

    :wizard:
     
  14. smartlabelprint

    smartlabelprint DIS Veteran

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    Definitely get maxpass.

    Hoppers. ‍♀️ If you can afford it easily sure. If not, I’d pick DCA.
     
  15. skyblue17

    skyblue17 Mouseketeer

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    This sounds like something i would consider doing myself, so i love it!

    I would def get a MaxPass. With your limited time, it will at least help you get on a few headliners that you might otherwise miss. For two people, it's definitely worth the price! Trying to think... in the first seven hours we were at the parks when I was there this summer, I think we used four or five FP via MaxPass, but we also gummed up ourselves by booking an Incredicoaster two hours after our first DCA FP so keep an eye on return times too!

    Hopping is so quick and easy at DLR that you should spring for it if you have interest in both parks. The DLR versions of some WDW faves are awesome (Pirates, Space) and I think you'll find yourself missing Disneyland if you just opt for DCA, even though it has most of the unique to DLR attractions. Plus, the footprint for Disneyland and DCA is still probably smaller than Epcot! (Someone can confirm/deny, it def FEELS around the same size or smaller though).

    As for luggage, I think you'd be okay to store at a hotel also. I haven't done it at Disney property but I find that whenever I arrive at a hotel early (often when I fly to the west coast from the east), I'm never asked details about a reservation. Maybe call ahead and ask? Worse that happens is they say they don't allow it.

    Have so much fun! Report back!
     
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  16. ashley0139

    ashley0139 DIS Veteran

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    I know you're traveling with a team but do you really have to be there 3 1/2 hours before the flight? That seems...excessive.
     
  17. BadPinkTink

    BadPinkTink DIS Veteran

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    they are travelling long haul international. I travel long haul international from LAX every year. You do need all that time. The long haul planes have approx 300 people on them.

    Thats 300 people in the check in line, then 300 people all herding through TSA. Long haul international flights start boarding about an hour before departure.

    Long haul international flights are very different to 2 hour domestic South West flights. I have flown South West and Delta domestic in USA aswell so I have personal experience of the different types of flying experiences.
     
  18. ashley0139

    ashley0139 DIS Veteran

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    I travel long haul international and short haul domestic in and out of LAX (my home airport) plenty, thank you. You do not need 3 1/2 hours, but I appreciate the rundown of how flying works lol.
     
  19. Kender

    Kender DIS Veteran

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    All international flights I've done recommend minimum 3 hours arrival. And looking it up for LAX, that's what's recommended for them too.

    I did that (3 hours before) at LGW and I didn't get to security until an hour and a half before my flight (was in line for an hour and a half just to check in my bag). Security was another 30-45 minutes. The line for both did not shorten during that time.

    Some are comfortable cutting it closer. I've cut it close before too. I will never cut it close again. Minimum 3 hours international, 2 hours domestic for me.
     
  20. Disney Rose

    Disney Rose Mouseketeer

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    We went through LAX yesterday and the security line alone was very long. 45-60mins. The kids commented it was like a Disney queue without the fun theming.

    I would probably choose DL for only 7hrs or so. With DCA there is the risk that by the time you get there the FP for the good rides will be showing return times too late for you. You might get one, but then by the time you’re able to select another the return will be evening. Radiator Springs, Toy Story and Soarin passes go very quickly. The Incredicoaster will be fine. We never had that problem at Disneyland.
     
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  21. disneylover102

    disneylover102 Mouseketeer

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    In 7 hours during Christmas break, you aren’t going to do a whole lot. If I was in that situation, I would probably get a Park Hopper because I personally would not be able to stand going to DLR and not at least going on Space and Splash Mountain and also Guardians and Incredicoaster. (I don’t care about some of the smaller rides as much in a short trip) But how old is your son? If you need less thrill rides and more kid rides, Disneyland is WAY better than California Adventure, especially since Bugs Land just closed and California Adventure only has a few kid rides now.

    No matter what you decide to do, you should buy Maxpass. With only 7 hours, you need to do the most you possibly can and Maxpass is very convenient and sometimes rare Fastpasses become available (for example: on my last August trip, at 3:30, a 4:05 Guardians FP showed up and at about 8:55 PM, a 9:00 Soarin’ FP showed up.).
     
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