Things to do on non-Disney Days?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by wildflower329, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. wildflower329

    wildflower329 Mouseketeer

    May 22, 2013
    We are headed to Disneyland in November, and arrive early in the day on our first day in LGB and leave in the late afternoon on our last day. We will already have 4 day park hoppers, so we are looking for other things to do on our arrival and departure ays. I think we may do Aquarium of the Pacific one of the days... any other ideas?
  2. Cheshirecatty

    Cheshirecatty DIS Veteran

    Mar 23, 2013
    You can do other things in the general area(like the Aquarium, or the beach--Huntington?), or you could do things around the Resort itself.

    On arrival days, we sometimes just wander through Downtown Disney, choose somewhere fun to eat, catch a movie at the AMC Theaters, shop, etc.

    You could also do a Pool Day at your hotel(or rent a pool cabana at the Disneyland Hotel, if one is available), or go check out the Garden Walk shops/restaurants, then get in bed early to be ready for your first day in the Parks!

    We've also stopped by Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, at Knott's Berry Farm(you don't have to go into the Park to eat) for an incredible dinner on our arrival day before, then gone through the shops.

    I'm sure others will have some good ideas:)!
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  4. misskay

    misskay Earning My Ears

    Aug 9, 2013
    Tagging to keep track of this one! Heading down in Nov, and trying to figure out a couple spare days we will have!
  5. Bossy22

    Bossy22 Mouseketeer

    Jan 7, 2012
    I just want to make a couple of points that I think of every trip we make:

    1.) 5 day passes are only a few bucks more than 4 day. If you are getting there with enough time it is a cheap way to spend that extra day!!!

    2.) If the days off are at the end or beginning this does not apply but if they are in the middle of Disney days I recommend something relaxing. First couple of trips we over did it and were wiped and not able to enjoy the parks as much as if we have a pool/lounge day or something in the middle.

    3.) Nothing beats arrival like a trip to downtown Disney to get excited for the next morning!!!

    Have a great trip with whatever you decide!!!
  6. Barry Browning

    Barry Browning Mouseketeer

    May 22, 2013
    Santa Monica Pier we have been tow or three times always beautiful lots to do and Bubba Gumps was good for lunch.Also you can hit say Manns Theater and Hollywood Sign, etc.Warnre Brothers tour is a great two hours or so.All of these are really great times away from the park.Another one thats all day is Catalina Island wife and daughter went this week and loved it and said it was awesome they have snorkeling and took a tour by golf carts around the island.
  7. Geemo

    Geemo DIS Veteran

    Jan 23, 2012
    I was considering going to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Then stop in at the Santa Monica pier or maybe even Venice Beach. A few other things on our list are.... Queen Mary and Griffith Park Observatory. Might drive through Hollywood after dark to see the lights and the "Hollywood" sign lite.

    We've done most of the other things like Universal Studios, Sea World, San Diego Zoo and Hollywood.

    There are many things to fill non Disney days that's for sure!

  8. dragonflycurls

    dragonflycurls DIS Veteran

    Apr 10, 2009
    If you don't have very young children and have a rental car I would do a day in LA. Warner Brothers has a fantastic studio tour that I LOVED doing.
  9. Kevin_W

    Kevin_W Mouseketeer

    Oct 25, 2010
    We did this on our "transit day" up from San Diego to Disneyland. We drove through Hollywood/Mulholland Drive (not terribly exciting, but can check i toff the list of things to do) and we stopped at the California Science Center and saw the Endeavor. That part was definitely worthwhile. I got to visit Kennedy Space Center ~30 years ago and is was neat to see a shuttle again.
  10. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less...

    Jan 5, 2008
    Barry Browning --

    I'm so glad to hear that your wife and daughter loved Catalina! I love it as well (it's my other favorite place in SoCal!;)). I keep trying to get people to visit there while the Catalina Express is having its free round-trip boat ride birthday promo, as it is a $72 value! It's a great deal, but you have to go on your actual birthday. I did the free birthday thing this year and last year, but I've loved Catalina since the '80s.

    Catalina Island/Disney tie-ins: Ariel's Grotto restaurant in DCA was originally called Avalon Cove...and that was a direct nod to Catalina (Avalon is the main town on Catalina), with the restaurant even using the mermaid theme that is a big part of the artwork/decor in Avalon. Also, The iconic Catalina casino used to be featured in one of the murals near the entrance inside old DCA. Currently I think there may still be a retro 'movie poster' or two in Hollywood Land that features Catalina in the title.

    When I first saw the OP's post I considered suggesting Catalina, but it really is a full day trip -- it's not somewhere that should be visited for just a few hours if you want to get the most of it. The Aquarium of the Pacific can be done in a shorter period of time.

    All of the other suggestions in the thread have been great. I think I might go for the Mrs. Knott's chicken dinner! Yum!

    I would also put in a vote for visiting the Original Farmers Market and The Grove in L.A. (they are side by side, and they have great decorations and 'snow' starting in early-to-mid November). It's a good way to spend a few hours, eat some good food and look for celebrities -- and you could do other things in L.A. while in the area.
  11. ozmum

    ozmum Earning My Ears

    Jul 24, 2011
    Geemo - that is exactly what we are seeking to do. Did you hire a car or do a tour ?
    DH is not keen to drive in LA so it will probably be a tour for us.
  12. wildflower329

    wildflower329 Mouseketeer

    May 22, 2013
    Thanks everyone! I should have mentioned that we will be traveling with a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old, so hollywood etc. would be too boring for them. Looking more for younger kid type stuff :)
  13. ashley0139

    ashley0139 DIS Veteran

    Sep 24, 2009
    The Hollywood sign is not lit up at night, so don't go see it at night. You won't see anything.
  14. heidispidi

    heidispidi Mouseketeer

    Mar 17, 2010
    We too would like to do this, but do not plan on driving while on holiday. If anybody has an answer for ozmum, please fire away!
  15. sas_mk

    sas_mk Mouseketeer

    May 20, 2008
    I want to put in another plug for the California Science Center. There is no charge for the museum unless you want to slip some cash in their donation box. It is such a cool place for kids. My kids were 9, 6 and 4 and they loved it. They have a ton of fun, hands on exhibits!

    We have stopped there twice in the last few years and REALLY enjoyed being able to see the space shuttle the last time. When we went, you had to make an advance reservation (that cost a couple of dollars online) for the day and time you wanted to see the shuttle so you might look into that.

    There are a couple of fast food restaurants at the museum so it makes for a nice, easy and super inexpensive day.

    I definitely recommend it for a low-key non-park day.
  16. spellhex

    spellhex Mouseketeer

    Jul 1, 2005
    Fair warning - the California Science Center is right next to a college football stadium, so will be surrounded by 90,000 drunk college football fans on the 16th and 30th of November.
  17. virgilatmit

    virgilatmit Mouseketeer

    Oct 9, 2012
    If you have time, you may want to see if you can catch a movie at Disney's El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. I don't think the Theatre's released what movie they're showing in November (El Capitan isn't a multiplex), but there's a good chance it'll be Frozen if you're there around Thanksgiving. Tickets are a little bit more expensive than typical theatres ($18 for D23 members), but that includes a snack, and pre-show live entertainment. It's really quite an experience.
  18. GrandBob

    GrandBob Grand events should not go unnoticed

    Oct 30, 2007
    Come on, be fair. I'm sure that no more than 89,900 of them will be drunk! :rotfl2:
  19. mr.bungle

    mr.bungle DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2008
    Well I think the TMZ tour is an obvious choice...

    Look, I'm not into touristy stuff and most of it around LA can be urine soaked and depressing. Buuuuut why not hit up some of the recently famous restaurants that are constantly on travel and food channel?

    Drive around long beach and pretend you're on the set if Dexter.
  20. LadyHadley

    LadyHadley Earning My Ears

    Jul 23, 2013
    I too have been thinking about our non-park days also, the only difference for us is lack of transport.
    (landing LAX, heading straight to DLR by the shuttle, staying on-site for the week, then shuttling straight back to the airport)

    On the first & last days we have non-park days, but we’re looking at what to do for non-park days around the resort itself. :)
    Neither me or DH are really “pool” people, so will probably skip those.

    At the moment I have DTD & the AMC theater on our list, along with stuff like wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere of the three hotels.

    I recall seeing somewhere that Disneyland Hotel has a gallery/museum-type area in some of its towers, so might check those out if it’s true.
    Also heard about Hawaiian singers at Trader Sam’s – anyone know if this is true?

    Really, we're wondering if there’s anything that shouldn't be missed in the Disneyland area (excluding the parks)?

    For example;
    • A hidden-away areas (eg: fire place or garden or something) in one of the hotels worth stopping at?
    • A café which has a great “not to be missed” food or drink item?
    • An area which has amazing live music?

    Just little things to add to the magic really, want to be 100% relaxed Disney vibe on our non-park days :)
  21. lucysmom

    lucysmom DIS Veteran

    Oct 3, 2004
    The corn chowder at Storyteller's in the GCH is amazing!! Our last day is our nonpark day. We are starting with a late character breakfast at Surf's up. Then we will shop a bit at DTD. Finally, a nice, relaxing sit in the GCH lobby looking at the tree and listening to the carolers. Then, boo-hoo, it will be time to head to the airport. Waaaaah! Our trip is over already!

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