Tell me what you love about Disneyland! (and where we should stay)

theluckyrabbit

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
For trip planning information:
This sticky thread from the top of the first page has LOTS of helpful threads: * DLR Info/Links - Maps, Hotels, DISer Reviews, Hydroguy's tips, NEWBIE INFO here!
From that sticky:
A DLR Guide for WDW Vets -- Pre-SWGE, but still very, very helpful information and perspective on DLR and WDW
HydroGuy Tips Compilation -- so much good information here!
"HydroGuy's Hotel Rule" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199862
"Choosing the Right DLR Area Hotel for You" www.disboards.com/threads/choosing-the-right-hotel-for-you.3656512/ -- this thread has very helpful information -- ask any questions here -- VRBO is generally not recommended around here: the cost in parking/commute time/walking inconvenience/etc. can really add up on a multi-day trip. It can be well worth the investment to stay within close walking distance to the parks -- the dollar investment can really save in sanity/time/convenience/wear & tear/etc. And there is now a choice of hotels with kitchens/kitchenettes near the parks.
"Maxpass/Fastpass: an overview and some strategy" by @Skyegirl1999 - www.disboards.com/threads/maxpass-fastpass-an-overview-and-some-strategy.3726246/ -- did you use FP/MP on your last trip? Most WDW vets love FP/MP at DLR and rate it highly over FP+ -- something to look into for your trip -- ask any questions in this thread!
Is Disneyland as magical as Disney World ? -- you may find this recent thread interesting. :)
 

seasalt81

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Most experiences here about food allergies are very good. Disneyland is quite accommodating in that aspect.
My daughter has a bunch of anaphylactic allergies so we are very cautious. Her first restaurant meal ever was at Disney World because I'd read such wonderful things. I read a few reports of mistakes at Disneyland prior to our first trip there, so we decided to just avoid it... but I do think we will give it a try this time. Sounds like most have had really good experiences.
 
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seasalt81

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
I have lots of allergies and sensitivities and have never had a problem with food at DLR. With TS, always note on your reservation what the allergies or needs are. Repeat this at check in and with your server. A chef will come to your table to talk with you or you can request that a chef come to speak with you. At buffets, a chef can walk you through the buffet to show you what will be safe for you or something can be made custom for you. Be aware that customized food can take longer to prepare, especially if it must be made in a special area to avoid cross contamination. So planning your meals for off peak times can really help so that chefs and staff can take time to help you. If the kitchen is already swamped, they won't have the time to give you the attention you might need.
Super helpful, thank you! It's always great to hear from people who are dealing with similar situations. This sounds very much like our experience at WDW. I'd read conflicting reports on some of the allergy specific sites as to whether or not the same protocols were followed at Disneyland so this is very reassuring! I really appreciate it.
 
  • seasalt81

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2019
    A friend has a daughter with very severe food allergies (including contact allergies to wheat and dairy). The first time in her 11 years she had eaten in a restaurant was at Disneyland. They were terrified! They had very good luck at table service venues, particularly at Storytellers at GCH.
    This was our exact situation at WDW when our daughter was 6... first restaurant meal ever due to the severity of her allergies. Thank you so much for sharing this. It's super reassuring!! I read a couple of negative posts, which I'm sure also exist for WDW, and I think I just got in my head that it wasn't as safe as Disneyland. I'm so glad to hear that's not the case :)
     

    cruisehopeful

    Wishing I was taking a nap on a ship.
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2015
    My husband has a lot of food sensitivities and one of the reasons that we go to Disneyland often is because they are able to deal with it so well. I think if you do table service, you'll be fine.

    A couple places we've stayed with a kitchen are about a mile away. Hilton Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn and Suites. They both have a shuttle, but we walk or drive. They are both pretty basic.

    Dolphin Inn and Suites is in the same area and seems to be a converted apartment building.
     

    seasalt81

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2019
    For trip planning information:
    This sticky thread from the top of the first page has LOTS of helpful threads: * DLR Info/Links - Maps, Hotels, DISer Reviews, Hydroguy's tips, NEWBIE INFO here!
    From that sticky:
    A DLR Guide for WDW Vets -- Pre-SWGE, but still very, very helpful information and perspective on DLR and WDW
    HydroGuy Tips Compilation -- so much good information here!
    "HydroGuy's Hotel Rule" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199862
    "Choosing the Right DLR Area Hotel for You" www.disboards.com/threads/choosing-the-right-hotel-for-you.3656512/ -- this thread has very helpful information -- ask any questions here -- VRBO is generally not recommended around here: the cost in parking/commute time/walking inconvenience/etc. can really add up on a multi-day trip. It can be well worth the investment to stay within close walking distance to the parks -- the dollar investment can really save in sanity/time/convenience/wear & tear/etc. And there is now a choice of hotels with kitchens/kitchenettes near the parks.
    "Maxpass/Fastpass: an overview and some strategy" by @Skyegirl1999 - www.disboards.com/threads/maxpass-fastpass-an-overview-and-some-strategy.3726246/ -- did you use FP/MP on your last trip? Most WDW vets love FP/MP at DLR and rate it highly over FP+ -- something to look into for your trip -- ask any questions in this thread!
    Is Disneyland as magical as Disney World ? -- you may find this recent thread interesting. :)
    Holy cow, this is helpful!!

    I very much appreciate the hotel thread and the advice against VRBO. I think I really missed a big part of DLR last time... the ability to be so close even if not on property!

    Thank's also for the Fast Pass thread... I need to study up. We bought Max Pass last time, but I don't think I really knew how to use it effectively.

    So grateful for all the help! Thank you :)
     
  • Castlequeen5

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2019
    I actually prefer the WDW style of the HM exterior, however it is too obscured to see it well. I do love how you walk right in the front door at the DL version, and it is cool when it is decorated for the holidays.
    Yes, I think you're right about HM at WDW. It really is hard to see it. I didn't even realize it was back there at first. Maybe that's why I liked it at DL. It's very open and you can walk around it more. And I also thought it was cool with the Nightmare overlay during Halloween and Christmas time.
     
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2017
    I stayed onsite when I went to Disneyland, but I was going to stay at one of the Best Western's. I believe it was BW Park Place, right across the street.

    In terms of what I love about DL...I love it more than Disney World. Yeah, I said it. I've been to DL once and WDW 10+ times. WDW is technically my home park. There's just something about Disneyland, it made my cry. I realize I am more of a Disney Diehard though, so it might make me more emotional than the average person. Lol. The quick service is SO much better than World. And it's nice to compare the rides.
     

    seasalt81

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2019
    It also just occurred to me that when we were there in March, the castle was closed and walled off, and that's a probably a big part of the reason it didn't seem as magical! I bet it'll be a different feeling walking in this time :)
     
  • Fred M

    DIS Dad #860
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2019
    I'm trying to decide if we should stay as close to Disneyland as possible (in a hotel suite or VRBO) or if we should rent something on the beach (I think I read Newport Beach is pretty close... 20 min drive or so?) to add another layer to the vacation. But I'm not sure if that would take us out of "the bubble" even more.
    Newport Beach is about 20 miles from Disneyland. If you miss traffic, you can get there in 30-35 minutes. However, just like L.A., Orange County is getting closer and closer to traffic all day, every day. If there is traffic, expect to spend about 50-60 minutes to get to the parks from Newport Beach.
     

    seasalt81

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2019
    Newport Beach is about 20 miles from Disneyland. If you miss traffic, you can get there in 30-35 minutes. However, just like L.A., Orange County is getting closer and closer to traffic all day, every day. If there is traffic, expect to spend about 50-60 minutes to get to the parks from Newport Beach.
    Thanks for that heads up. We're from an area where miles = minutes for the most part, so it's good to hear a more realistic estimate of what we'd be looking at this in situation. That's farther than we want to be, although waking up at the beach sounds so tempting!
     

    Fred M

    DIS Dad #860
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2019
    Thanks for that heads up. We're from an area where miles = minutes for the most part, so it's good to hear a more realistic estimate of what we'd be looking at this in situation. That's farther than we want to be, although waking up at the beach sounds so tempting!
    I grew up in a part of California that was the same: 20 miles is 15-20 minutes. Then I went to college and law school in San Diego, then went to Orange County for 5 years, then now in Sacramento for 14 years. Southern California traffic just keeps getting worse. I will never forget the one Saturday it took me 3 hours to get from Irvine to Santa Monica, which is only about 45-50 miles.

    Have a great trip!!
     

    Serrina89

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2013
    What really helped me enjoy disneyland more was to actually research (ie read disneyland guide) about Walt's input before I went. I spent a particularly long time on main street looking at the firefighter station and remembering the story of the little boy who shimmed up the pole into Walt's apartment while he was there. I look at the foilage of the queue for Jungle Cruise and am awed at the effort that the urban landscapers put in (also in the book) and the orange trees that were knocked down by accident. I go on conspiracy walks to find out more about jean lafitte's landing (offhand disneyland). I go all the way around the track on the railroad to see the extinction of the dinosaurs. Reading more and watching videos about opening day helped me appreciate it so much more!
     

    DisTXMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2013
    WDW is my home park. Made first DLR visit 4 years ago and I found it charming and EASY so so EASY. No stressing about ADR’s FP+, and all of it. DLR was just chill and we relaxed and had fun. We love the WOW of WDW (the castle especially), but DLR is a great relaxing way to get a Disney fix without six months of planning.
     

    RemainSeatedPlease

    Part of Your World
    Joined
    Nov 22, 2014
    What really helped me enjoy disneyland more was to actually research (ie read disneyland guide) about Walt's input before I went. I spent a particularly long time on main street looking at the firefighter station and remembering the story of the little boy who shimmed up the pole into Walt's apartment while he was there. I look at the foilage of the queue for Jungle Cruise and am awed at the effort that the urban landscapers put in (also in the book) and the orange trees that were knocked down by accident. I go on conspiracy walks to find out more about jean lafitte's landing (offhand disneyland). I go all the way around the track on the railroad to see the extinction of the dinosaurs. Reading more and watching videos about opening day helped me appreciate it so much more!
    This is a great suggestion. In particular, I really liked a little book called The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland. We read the section for each land/ride as we were waiting in line in the relevant area. The book is small enough that you can throw it in a backpack or purse. It definitely improved our experience, especially for my husband who knew very little about Disneyland history.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    It also just occurred to me that when we were there in March, the castle was closed and walled off, and that's a probably a big part of the reason it didn't seem as magical! I bet it'll be a different feeling walking in this time :)
    To prepare you for DL's castle: the snippets below are from a WDW's vet's first time DLR trip report. It really helps to have context when looking at SBC! :) And the new paint job on SBC looks great!

    I do have a bit of a funny to add. Of course, one of the biggest complaints you will hear from some WDW people is that the castle is so small. Well, it is... But that became our family joke every time we finished the next awesome thing. After riding Hyperspace Mtn, which blows away the one at WDW, it was “yeah, but the castle is small”. RSR is an awesome ride, but the castle is small. What’s great is that we LOVED the fireworks, especially Nemo trying to go through the ring of fire. And of course, that is right under the “small” castle. I think the best thing about the small castle is that our room in DLH had a picture of Walt standing under the castle. I think that’s good enough for me. :)
    So glad you and your family had a great trip! We love that photo of Walt and his castle! The size of SBC makes much more sense when you realize that at DL, the Matterhorn is our visual focal point, not the castle. We are used to getting our visual bearings from that snow capped peak. And when you stand back and see SBC with the Matterhorn rising up behind, things make sense. Because how many castles do you know that are bigger than an alp?! :)

    (HT: Google)
    View attachment 414263
     
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    Fred M

    DIS Dad #860
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2019
    As for what rides at Disneyland are my favorites, (1) the dark rides that WDW doesn’t have anymore, esp Mr Toad; (2) Casey Jr because it’s like time traveling back to being a kid in the 70’s for me; (3) Space Mountain because it just feels smoother than the WDW version (plus Hyperspace Mountain overlay is great!); (4) Thunder Mountain is always awesome; (5) the Pirates queue is nothing compared to WDW but I’ve always enjoyed watching guests at Blue Bayou to get me in the Pirates mood; and (6) like others have said, the history of the park, especially the Fire Station on Main Street.

    Food is definitely better at WDW, except for the corn dogs from the Red Wagon.
     

    DeniseJH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2008
    I actually prefer the WDW style of the HM exterior, however it is too obscured to see it well. I do love how you walk right in the front door at the DL version, and it is cool when it is decorated for the holidays.

    Yeah, the WDW HM is creepier - but I haven't seen the DL version in person yet.
     

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