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1st Disneyland trip...neeed help!

#1 User is offline   Figaro 

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:35 PM

We're going on our first Disneyland trip at the end of August! And since we had no plans to go this year, it was a total suprise for all of us!, we need help! We really had no plans to go in the near future but always wanted to go "someday when the kids were a little older" so they could experience all the rides...probably a once in a lifetime type thing. But we got the chance to now & we can't pass it up.

We have 4 1/2 days there for both parks. I imagine it will be packed between summer season & the new CarsLand. We're staying at the Disneyland Hotel, have a rental car & are flying in and out of LAX...all things we can not change. It will be me, my husband, son(almost 13), & princessy daughter(8).

We are pretty experienced with WDW (atleast 2-3 trips a year, DVC members, I've been going every year since 1972) so it will be exciting to see the differences & new things!

What are the absolute MUST sees? I know my son HAS to do Indy, Matterhorn & Space Mountain! I can't wait for POTC & Haunted Mansion. DD wants to see some of the things in Fantasyland that "we" don't have in WDW.

What can we skip if we have to? Are there attractions that are so similar that if time runs short we can miss them?

Thanks for any help!
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#2 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:37 AM

I'm no expert but I hear Carsland is popular.... ;)
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#3 User is offline   Sleepless Knight 

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:45 PM

It sounds like you won't, but don't make the mistake of thinking that because WDW has the same ride, you don't need to experience it at Disneyland. There can be substantial differences such as Florida's POTC being roughly 1/2 the length of Disneyland's. For instance, Disneyland's Fantasyland rides are usually more detailed than their Florida counterparts. And even once Florida is done with its expansion, I still think Disneyland's Fantasyland will have more rides. I'd make sure to do almost all the attractions unique to Disneyland as some are treasures such as Storybook Land. I like to ride it twice per trip. Once in the daylight and again at night.

4 1/2 days should be plenty of time provided that you do rope drop once for Carsland and once for Disneyland Fantasyland. Peter Pan is the first ride you should do. Otherwise that line gets long and stays that way. I've had an annual pass to Disneyland since 2006 with myriad other visits before becoming a passholder. If you're pressed for time, you can skip Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania. Tower of Terror is better at DHS and Toy Story is essentially the same. Same with Soarin', though Anaheim's queue is better themed.

Most importantly, keep your expectations in order. Disneyland is not WDW. And that's okay. There are many things that WDW does better than Disneyland. And there are many things that Disneyland does better than WDW. While Sleeping Beauty Castle may be small, it has a warmth and charm that Cinderella Castle doesn't. Not to mention a hidden treasure walkthrough that tells the story of Sleeping Beauty. In other words, you get to go inside the castle without paying an arm and a leg and your firstborn child.

Disneyland is unique because it's the only park in the world built by Walt Disney himself. His personal touch exudes from the place. And don't forget to look for Walt's apartment above the Fire Department on Main Street.

Please ask if you have any other questions.
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#4 User is offline   Jeanine 

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 03:59 AM

As a rule of thumb, any attraction that is heavily dependent on video is probably about the same as in Florida (Star Tours, Toy Story Mania, Soarin'.) Even still, it's sometimes worth it to experience them just because the film is cleaner (Soarin') and the lines are shorter (TSM.)

Right now Cars Land is the big deal--if you have to ride together, your best bet will probably be early entry--as early as you can manage it. The FP line for Racers is often so long that people who get there at opening report return times later than 6-7pm. Otherwise, I'd probably hit the slower loading Luigi first, and then do single rider for Racers.

Because everything is so much closer together, I think people generally find that even though there are more attractions than MK, it's actually faster to see most of it, because you spend so much less time in transit. If you're excited about eating sit-down at the more popular places, such as Blue Bayou or Carthay Circle, you probably want to email for reservations. Otherwise, most people find the counter service food generally better than at WDW.

If you're going before August 20th, crowds could actually be reasonable, because all the Southern California APs are blocked out until then. If you're coming right after then, it will probably be a madhouse, given that most of the SoCal APs will be mobbing over to see Cars Land for the first time, like a burst dam.
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