Visiting in September? Length of stay? Other questions!

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by DisSarahK, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. DisSarahK

    DisSarahK Missing Mickey...

    Apr 30, 2007
    I'm trying to begin planning our first family trip to Disneyland--I'm the only one who has been in the past, and I was about four years old at the time...needless to say, my memory is a bit foggy and out-of-date!

    It will be two adults and our two young children (ages 2.5 and 4.5 when we travel) and we will be flying down from the Seattle area. I'm hoping to avoid renting a car.

    Here are some of my basic preliminary questions... (and yes, I've been lurking and trying to learn, but the information is overwhelming!!)

    -When does Alaska Air generally put out their "kids fly free" promo? I'm thinking that is my best bet for air travel, right? And the airport options are LAX or ????

    -Does flying in on a Tuesday and flying out on a Saturday sound like a good length of time for a first trip? Or does it sound too long and overwhelming for children who rarely travel from home?

    -I'm thinking we should limit this trip to Disneyland and California Adventure--skip Knotts and a trip to Sea World.

    -Other than Labor Day weekend, are there dates in September we should skip? Is September generally less busy than October?

    Thank you SO much for helping me! :flower3:
  2. ter-moo

    ter-moo DIS Veteran

    Jun 28, 2003
    September is a great time to go! The parks are less crowded, and it's still warm outside. You may run into some closures of some rides, but usually they're the ones your kids might be too small to go on anyway.

    My recommendation to everyone is to buy a copy of "The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland" and to follow one of their itineraries in the back of the book. It really saves hassle time, line waiting, and endless discussions about what to do next. You can go over the plan for the next day each night with your DH and customize it for your family. There's also a lot of good advice about each ride and it's kid-friendly factor/scary factor/ etc. The book is well worth every penny.
  3. godalejunior

    godalejunior DIS Veteran

    Nov 12, 2006
    Our first trip was a Tues. through Sat. and it worked out well.

    I agree to buy the Offiicial and Unofficial guides and review these, they really helped with our trip planning.

    September is a good time to go......someone recently posted that there were some large conventions going on. I do not know this for sure but it may be something you want to check into.

    If you plan your trip right you will be able to see some of the Halloween decorations go up and have the HM overlay.

    To date, we have not rented a car on our three trips and we have spent our time at the two parks. We have been three times in the last year and still have not come close to doing everything. We have taken the Disneyland Resort Express without any problems.
  4. disney-super-mom

    disney-super-mom DIS Veteran

    Oct 17, 2004
    September would be a great time to go (after labor day weekend). Especially for a young family's first time. This is when I would go if I could, but my kids will have just started their school year, and I really couldn't (or shouldn't) pull them out of school during the first few weeks (if you know what I mean). You might miss out on the Haunted Mansion, which closes every September for the Nightmare Before Christmas layover. Also, It's a Small World could still be closed at that time because it is scheduled for a long refurb in 2008.

    October is also a fun time to go because of the Halloween decorations and festivities, but it will be a little busier than September. There's many schools that have fall break in October, so that can add to the crowds a bit.

    As far as the kids fly free program, it's really not a great deal. You have to book a package deal to do it, and the hotel rates in the kids fly free packages are SKY HIGH!!! You'd save more money by booking your air and room/tickets seperately.

    Do you have an Alaska Airlines visa, or are you a memeber of the milage plan. If not, you can apply for the Alaska Airlines visa. If approved you get:

    **20,000 bonus miles: which is enough for one roundtrip ticket.

    **A $50 companion ticket: good for a roundtrip ticket, you just pay the airport taxes/fees, which is usually about $35-$40. So basically someone will be able to fly roundtrip for $80-$90. Also, you'll get a $50 companion ticket every year you're a member.

    However, the Alaska visa has an annual fee of $75. But still, for $75 dollars, one person in your family can fly roundtrip, and by using the $50 companion ticket someone else in your family can fly roundtrip for about $80-$90. That's a great deal.

    If you don't want to get involved with an airmiles program and credit card, you can always sign up with Southwest Airlines Ding fares. It's a free service, and they can have some great deals. I've seen many many great airfares to southern California from Spokane, so I'm sure they'd have great deals from Seattle too.

    Also, in the fall, there's usually the "Stay 3 nights, get the 4th night Free" promotion. This tends to actually be a pretty good deal at both the Disneyland Resort hotels and the participating Good Neighbor hotels/motels. Keep an eye out for this one. I think it comes out sometime in June or July.

    I think a Tuesday-Saturday (4 nights) stay would be a great amount of time to enjoy the parks without having to feel rushed. Plus, airfares tend to be less when flying on a Tues, Weds, Thurs, or Sat.

    If you can, try to fly into John Wayne (airport code is SNA) or Long Beach. They're the closest to Disneyland (about a 15 minutes cab ride), so you wouldn't need to rent a car or endure a 45 minute commute from LAX.

    Geesh, I'm writing a book here. I'll stop now.:goodvibes

    Happy planning!:thumbsup2
  5. DisSarahK

    DisSarahK Missing Mickey...

    Apr 30, 2007
    Thank you all--this information is very helpful! We are not a part of any airline credit card program and I don't think we want to open another credit card.

    The Stay 3 and get the 4th free hotel promo sounds great! Is it the sort of thing where I should wait until that comes out to make hotel reservations, or should I make reservations before that and then try to switch to that promo? I have no idea how far in advance I should be making reservations!

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