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Disneyland

#1 User is offline   The Dark Lord of the Sith 

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 07:14 PM

Ok, I'm going to draw on the power of this site to help me plan a trip to the left coast. Next summer, in the last week of July I am looking into going to Disneyland. I have never done this trip before and don't know what to expect. For anyone who has made tht trip in the last few years or if you visits that park with regularity I'm looking for any suggestions or points of interest that might help. I'm hoping it will be a worth while visit. It will also be Mrs. Siths B'day during the trip. So I'm studying up :study: .

All thoughts welcome. :trooper:
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#2 User is offline   COH#1fan 

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 07:40 PM

Be sure to take in as many character moments as you can. They're much more liberal in Disneyland than in WDW. Especially Alice & the Mad Hatter. They crack me up on YouTube.
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#3 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 07:56 PM

Get the free planning DVD from Disney. It's fun to watch and gives you an idea of what's there.
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#4 User is offline   biblio 

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 08:05 PM

The Indiana Jones Adventure is the best ride ever.

Like Dinosaur, but actually good!

Eat at the Blue Bayou. Very romantic for a birthday...if you like to eat in the dark, near a lagoon...as people slowly glide by in boats on their way to Pirates.
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#5 User is offline   PixieDust 

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 08:46 PM

I was at Disneyland in 2006 in May Colin. So I might be some help. I believe my trip report is still posted here. So that might be some help too! The BEST place to stay if you can afford it... is the Disneyland Hotel. The monorail drops you right off in Tomorrowland! It's amazing!!
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#6 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 12:32 PM

PixieDust said:

The BEST place to stay if you can afford it... is the Disneyland Hotel.
I've heard that too. My travel agent recommended we stay at the Disneyland Hotel if you want to do it right.
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#7 User is offline   Matt Hart 

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 01:49 PM

If you want the hotel that is most like the WDW hotels, then you probably want the Grand Californian. It will remind you of the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge. I did stay there once and it's very nice, well decorated.

I haven't stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, but I have been inside several times. It's nice, but more like a regular hotel in it's layout and themeing. Definitely some Disney touches, but some who go expecting the Poly-type experience end-up disappointed from that point of view.

Paradise Pier hotel is really just a hotel that has some Disney decoreations. The service is fine, but it's not much different than staying at an off-site hotel. You still have to walk a ways to get to the parks. Of course it's also the least expensive of the three, so it can be a good choice if you really want to be on-site but want to keep costs down. I have stayed here and while it was ok, I'm not sure I'd stay here again.

Fortunately there are quality hotels like Sheraton, Hilton and others that are just outside the resort and are within walking distance. They also have shuttles.


Disneyland the park is more intimate than the Magic Kingdom. The walkways are narrower, the Main Street buildings and castle are smaller, etc. But the plus to that is you generally don't have to walk as far to get to things. It also has more attractions than the MK, including some outstanding ones like Indy and the Matterhorn. Pirates is also much better at DL.

The Monorail going through Tomorrowland is really cool.

And of course you will be walking in Walt's footsteps, which is a great to think about every once in awhile.

DCA can be fun. It seems that people from out of the area like it more than the locals, which makes sense I guess given the California theme. Overall the park has some nice touches and elements, but is still short on attractions. For the most part, it seems that if you go to DCA expecting a full Disney immersive experience, you will be disappointed. If you go expecting a nice amusement park with some Disney touches, it can be fun.


Things I hear WDW veterans comment on most when visiting DLR:

-The castle is small.
-Tougher to get around during the nighttime shows in Disneyland (fireworks and Fantasmic).
-More things to do at Disneyland, but less to do overall. Makes sense since DLR only has 2 parks.
-You don't feel like you're in a bubble as much as you do at WDW.
-Everything is closer together and within walking distance.

I'm sure there's more, but I'll stop for now. Feel free to ask questions. I'll do my best to answer or will get the answer.


I definitely think its a worthwhile endeavor. It's just that if you are going to stay more than 4 nights or so, you'll want to start thinking about incorporating other Southern Calfifornia activities.
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#8 User is offline   TiggerRay 

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 10:35 AM

PixieDust said:

I was at Disneyland in 2006 in May Colin. So I might be some help. I believe my trip report is still posted here. So that might be some help too! The BEST place to stay if you can afford it... is the Disneyland Hotel. The monorail drops you right off in Tomorrowland! It's amazing!!


When we went in June 2005 I actually wasn't that impressed with the Disneyland Hotel. I guess I just am used to the WDW style of hotel theming and just wasn't impressed with the "theming" of the hotel. I found the Grand Californian to be much better "themed".
Disneyland - a people trap run by a mouse.
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#9 User is offline   tuberhead 

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 02:45 PM

I have been there twice in the past 18 months and loved every second of my visits!!

My first piece of advice is to avoid weekends if at all possible. Both of my trips comprised of weekdays and weekends. Starting Friday night the crowds swell tremendously.

Both trips I stayed off-site but the hotels surrounding DLR are just as close as the Disney hotels (almost :lol: ) and a fraction of the price. Granted, the Dis hotels are better. However the cost difference is huge. Anaheim Fairfield Inn was a good hotel and about a 7 minute walk to the front gates. Anaheim Plaza hotel...... :bluecry: . Just trust me on this one.

I will gather some more thoughts and post again later. DLR is fantastic and you are going to love it!!
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#10 User is offline   The Dark Lord of the Sith 

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 09:29 PM

All the info is great so far! Thanks to everyone, I'm enjoying reading about your experiences. :study: :D

We are considering the Disneyland Hotel, but money could be a consideration there. :ermm: If staying off property is only a 7 minute walk to the gate, that may be something to consider. Is there a perk to being on Disnyland Property like being on WDW property? One would assume so, but I have no idea. Thus getting the planning DVD like Matt said could be a plus.

George... the Blue Bayou huh? The wife already likes the sound of that. Thanks for the tip! :lol:

I appreciate the help gang!
.....
The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be ...unnatural.

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#11 User is offline   tuberhead 

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:29 PM

If you are used to WDW then DLR is going to be a bit of a culture shock. DLR is missing the isolation from the real world that WDW has. On my last trip, standing in the parking lot of my off-site hotel, staring at ToT directly across the street was a bit strange. It would have been easy to plink the tower with a rock.

One other issue is that DLR is a local driven park. You will see, on weekends mostly, groups of teens rampaging through the parks. Unfortunately, some were under the influence and quite unruly. The Cast Members were not as dedicated to being "on-stage" as they are in WDW. CMs laughing and wearing Elton John like sunglasses in the Haunted Mansion was not pleasing to me.

I know, I know, I am bashing DLR. The upside to DLR far outweighs the downside and I'll give you some of the great things about the Anaheim parks on the next post. :lol:
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#12 User is offline   biblio 

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 12:23 PM

The Dark Lord of the Sith said:

George... the Blue Bayou huh? The wife already likes the sound of that. Thanks for the tip! :thumright:

I appreciate the help gang!


The whole reason I recommend the Blue Bayou is their famous Monte Cristo sandwich.

From wikipedia:
A Monte Cristo sandwich consists of ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese between two slices of French Toast either grilled or deep-fried.

The sandwich is often served with fresh fruit or with maple syrup on the side. It is sometimes served with fruit preserves, powdered sugar, or sweet mustard sauce.

It is awesome. Much better than it sounds in the description.
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#13 User is offline   Blixzit 

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 03:31 PM

I'm planning on going out to Cali sometime next month to visit family, and I still have an active comp ticket which I could use to get in to DL and DCA, but I'd be by myself and wouldn't know how to get there or anything. Hopefully I'll be able to get a few more comp tickets so my sister and cousin could come with me, my sister would drive, lol. It would be so cool to visit the original magic. And I could make a sweet Tower comparison video for TowerOfTerror.Org *Ding!* :mrgreen:
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#14 User is offline   Matt Hart 

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 12:26 PM

There isn't much in the way of on-property perks. In fact, I can't really think of anything. There is early entry to DL, but it's tied to certain park hopper tickets, not where you are staying. There used to be package delivery to your on-site hotel from the parks, but I couldn't find any reference to that on the Disney website, so it may have been cut.

I second George's Blue Bayou recommendation. It's really the only true sit-down restaurant in DL. I recommend it primarily for the atmosphere though. They raised the prices last year in an effort to make it more of a fine dining experience, but most reports are that the food quality is the same. Good, but really not worth the price when you get down to it.

If a Blue Bayou meal isn't in the budget, you can get the same Monte Cristo sandwich at the French Market restaurant also located in New Orleans Square. You get your food cafeteria style and it has outdoor seating. They have a stage and sometimes there is a Dixieland band playing. Very nice atmosphere in it's own right.

Cast members in general are very good. I haven't noticed an appreciable difference between DLR and WDW, but some swear they have. DLR does have more difficulty filling positions, especially food service, and also has a higher turnover rate. In part because the starting pay at In n Out Burger is better, but I digress...

One benefit of being in Southern California is there's a large pool of aspiring actors and actresses, so DLR tends to get higher quality performers for it's live entertainment offerings. You're also more likely to get a Cinderella that really looks the part.

Weekends are busier, and the ratio of locals is higher, but it usually doesn't take anything away from the experience. There are cheaper, more teen-friendly parks in the area that get most of those issues.

Jake, finding DL isn't much of a problem. It's right next to I5, which is a major artery. All you need to know is how to get to "the 5" from where you are, and whether to go north or south when you get to it. There's plenty of signs to get you to Disneyland once you are in the area. You can also see parts of the resort from the freeway.
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#15 User is offline   The Dark Lord of the Sith 

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 06:52 PM

I've ordered my Disneyland Travel DVD and have been enjoying all of the information. This has eased a number of my concerns about making this trip as well as confirmed one or two problems. I can't wait to see some of the rides and make some comparisons that way. I think I'm going to miss the intimacy of WDW, but the experience should be worth it.
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#16 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:36 PM

I'll have to re-visit this thread in a few months when I begin planning my honeymoon.
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#17 User is offline   TiggerRay 

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 08:15 PM

QuickGold said:

I'll have to re-visit this thread in a few months when I begin planning my honeymoon.


Go for the Grand Californian Matt...it's the best of the 3 hotels.
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#18 User is offline   Jeanine 

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 11:11 PM

Yeah, I would agree that the Grand Californian is really your only choice for a "themed" hotel. Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier are basically themed like slightly-aged 3 1/2 star hotels.

Additionally, Grand Californian has a separate entrance right into California Adventure. I think DH might have been worth it when the monorail still stopped there, but since you now have to walk from there to the monorail station in Downtown Disney anyway, you're actually closer coming from the parking lot.

Yes, the Monte Cristo is all that, and a bag of chips. I'm not really a sandwich person, but this one will haunt your dreams...or at least your arteries.
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#19 User is offline   tuberhead 

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 05:47 AM

If you are not a big eater, you could easily split the Monte Cristo with someone. The two times I had the sandwich I left with a doggie bag.


Fantasyland first, Peter Pan's Flight in particular. There is no fast pass in Fantasyland and the long lines last straight thru park close. Hit Fantasyland at park open. It is my favorite area of DLR, way better than WDW's Fantasyland.


If you do not care for WDW's Splash mt. skip DLR's. It does not compare to WDW's.

Do not use Fast Pass for Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin. The queue is absolutely fantastic. If there is no wait for the ride, take your time and enjoy the details. Just wave people behind you through. I did it, you feel funny at first but you get over it quickly.
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#20 User is offline   Photog 

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 10:05 PM

Major Disneyland Fanatic reporting for duty. :D I spent 4 years in CA and must have racked up well over 100 visits. In fact, I'm going there on vacation next week. There are plenty of things that get overlooked especially because people think they're only for kids but they are incorrect.

Billy Hill & the Hillbillies - hysterical and very talented musicians at Golden Horseshoe

Aladdin & Jasmine's Storytelling - there have been a few Aladdins and some are better than others. There's one girl who plays Jasmine and looks JUST like the character.

Sit in Town Square and just watch the characters. I've seen Pluto swing from posts, Goofy take a nap on a bench and Peter & Wendy run around the train station hiding from Hook.

Dinner at The Vineyard Room - the BEST meal I've ever had at any Disney park or resort. If you plan it right, you can watch the Electrical Parade go by during your meal.

When I return and post my trip report, I'll give you the link. Feel free to ask me questions, this is my favorite park afterall. :lol:
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