Disneyland trip planning

clanmcculloch

expert on dietary needs and disney dining
I'm going ahead and starting a thread for those of us planning Disneyland trips this summer. I know there are at least 3 of us but I think there might be more. So, here we go.

DIS DL guide for WDW vets by Hydroguy

Official park map

PhotoPass Plus pre-order for $69.95

SoCal City Pass: includes 3 day DL hopper, 1 day Universal & 1 day Sea World tickets

Y.E.S (Youth Educational Series) Classes

Hotels
Accomodations near Disneyland

Touring
DIS getting on Radiator Springs Racers first
DIS World of Color superthread
DIS Fantasmic!superthread
DIS Magic Morning/Early Admission superthread
Theme Park Tours

Groceries
Von's grocery delivery

Stroller Rentals
http://www.citystrollerrentals.com/index.html
http://www.travelingbaby.com/orangecounty/

Food allergies
DIS Gluten Free super thread
Sensitive Sweets: gluten, milk, egg, tree nut, peanut, soy free vegan bakery 15 minutes from DL
sleepingbean's GFCF blog

Wheelchair/ECV Rentals
Deckert Surgical 714-542-5607 (no website) ** only deliver and pickup within Orange County
Universal Mobility

Non Disney stuff
SoCal City Pass
Go Card Los Angeles (use code MOUSE10 to save $10)
Madame Tussauds wax museum
Ultimate Hollywood Tours
Paramount Studios tour
Sony Pictures Studio tour
Universal Studios Hollywood
Warner Brothers Studio tour
El Capitan theatre
Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
California ScienCenter
Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach)

Disneyland Park attractions

Early Admission rides open
  • Finding Nemo Subs
  • Space Mtn
  • Buzz Lightyear
  • AiW
  • Teacups
  • Mr. Toad
  • Pinocchio
  • Matterhorn
  • Dumbo
  • Peter Pan
  • Snow White
  • IASW Holiday (seasonal)
  • Carousel

Ride any time with FP
  • Space Mtn
  • Star Tours
  • Indiana Jones
  • Splash Mtn
  • BTMRR
  • Autopia
  • Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin (might be disconnected from system)

Rope Drop
  • Peter Pan
  • Dumbo
  • Star Tours (okay first 20 minutes without a FP)
  • Space Mountain (first 20 minutes without FP)

First Hour
  • Nemo subs
  • Matterhorn
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Storybookland Canal Boats if open
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Astro Orbitor
  • Buzz (actually ok in first 2 hours)

before noon
  • Explorer Canoes (seasonal/weekends)
  • Gadget's Go Coaster
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Teacups
  • Mickey's House
  • Minnie's House
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey
  • POTC
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures
  • Winnie the Pooh

Ride after 7pm
  • POTC
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Teacups
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Buzz Lightyear

Closed during fireworks
  • AiW
  • Carousel
  • Mr. Toad
  • Pinocchio
  • PPF
  • SWSA

anytime attractions
  • Riverboat or Columbia Sailing Ship
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • Innoventions (if it is still open....it might be closed now to build the new attraction)
  • Captain EO
  • Moments with Abraham Lincoln
  • It's a Small World
  • Princesses
  • Casey Jr Circus Train
  • Toontown except for meets & Roger Rabbit ride (all closed before fireworks and doesn't re-open)
  • Monorail
  • Disneyland Story and Main Street shows (theaters and street)
  • Main St mini transportation
  • Frontierland Shootin' Exposition
  • Single rider rides: Indiana Jones, Matterhorn & Splash Mtn
  • Carousel
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through
  • Starcade
  • Tarzan's Treehouse
  • Tiki Room

Work in scheduled shows like Billy Hill & the Hillbillies at Big Thunder Ranch, Laughing Stock Co. at Golden Horseshoe, daytime parade, Fireworks, Fantasmic!, Dapper Dans on Main Street, Mickey & the Magical Map, etc. (Check Times guide for show times.)

Disney California Adventure Park attractions

Early Admission rides open
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Luigi's Flying Tires
  • Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
  • California Screamin'
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Ariel's Undersea Adventure
  • Soarin'
  • Tower of Terror

For DCA on early admission mornings, it seems best to run to either RSR or Luigi's. But unless you are there at the beginning of EA, you're going to run into long lines. Go to RSR first. Follow with Luigi's and then TSMM or Mater's. It's not crucial that you ride Mater's during EA because its line seldom reaches more than 30 min during the rest of the day, esp. during late afternoon/early evening. If RSR is not operating, do not waste your precious EA waiting in line for a closed ride. Go to Luigi's first, followed by Toy Story/Screamin', and then get in line for RSR FP distribution which begins at at regular park opening.

Single Rider lines
  • CA Screamin'
  • Goofy's Sky School
  • GRR
  • RSR

Rope Drop
  • RSR (if you want to ride this, either ride or FP here)
  • Luigi's
  • TSMM (first 45 minutes unless RSR is not working in which case RD)

First hour
  • Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
  • RSR single rider
  • Grab FP for blue area of first WOC show @ GRR FP machine

Ride before noon or after 7 pm
  • Animation bldg/Turtle Talk
  • Mickey's Fun Wheel (moving cars)
  • Monsters Inc ride
  • Little Mermaid
  • Jumpin' Jellyfish

Anytime attractions
  • Monster's Inc
  • Bug's Land (including It's Tough to be a Bug)
  • Golden Zypher
  • Red River Creek Play Area
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • Animation Bldg with Animation Academy & Zoetrope display
  • CA Screamin' single rider
  • Games of the Boardwalk
  • King Triton's Carousel
  • Mission Tortilla Factory
  • Silly Symphony Swings
  • Soarin' single rider
  • Mickey's Fun Wheel (fixed/stationary cars)
  • Boudin Bakery Tour

Anytime with a FP


  • RSR
  • California Screamin'
  • Soarin' Over California
  • Tower of Terror
  • Grizzley River Rapids (FPs not available when park first opens)

work around Pixar parade, Aladdin musical, World of Color (when MOST pier rides close, FYI) and other shows (Playhouse Disney, Goofy conducting waterworks, Phineas & Ferb, etc.) Check times guide for show times.
 
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clanmcculloch

expert on dietary needs and disney dining
Here's my current info.

We'll be in Los Angeles July 10 - July 23. We'll spend 6 nights at a good neighbour resort and 7 nights somewhere else in LA, area TBD. We've been looking at Santa Monica but for our needs and wants, it's out of our budget. We'll be flying into Long Beach (LGB) airport because we just prefer smaller airports, plus I happened to get a good deal on a nonstop into LGB which shocked me because I only saw this price for a VERY short time.

DH is not comfortable renting a house. We need a place with a full kitchen (minimum small oven, 2 burner stove plus full size fridge and preferably also a microwave). We also need 3 beds.

Right now we've got our DL hotels narrowed down to Tropicana, one of the Best Westerns, Desert Palm and Residence Inn Maingate. So far I think Tropicana is in the lead. I'll probably have the DL hotel booked within the next day or two. At 60 days out I'll call VGC to see what their cash price is on 1br suites but I'm betting they'll be outside of our budget.

We'll be renting a van for the whole trip. We'd like a 7 seater vehicle because we're a family of 4 plus DH's oldest DD and her DH live in LA so it would be nice to be able to take one vehicle at times.

I don't know yet how many days or even which days they'll be able to get off work. I've asked but haven't gotten an answer. At this point I'm going ahead and starting to lay out the beginnings of an itinerary (ok, just which days will be DL) and they'll have to fit into it if I've already booked something.
 

clanmcculloch

expert on dietary needs and disney dining
Anybody have any thoughts on the WOC picnic or Fantasmic! dessert thing? I'd love to hear what the viewing areas are like. Do you get seats or have to stand? How crowded does it get? What's the view like? DL Special Diets told me that can[/] handle our allergies so I want to think about these options.

We get to make ADRs 60 days out, right?

Geez, DL is so different than WDW.

I'm going to go up to the original post and add a few links I'm using frequently with my planning. If anybody has any they want included, just let me know. I'm doing this because I'm tired of trying to figure out on which computer I've which link added to my favorites. This way I'll have the links no matter where I'm logged in.

Any thoughts on the FOTL pass at Universal? It costs $159pp over the summer for 1 day tickets with FOTL access. 1 day passes are $80 and 2 day passes are $89. With the FOTL passes you really only need 1 day from what I understand. If we don't buy the FOTL passes then I'll probably buy APs for DSD and DSSil since they're only $109 and that gets us discounts on food, in stores, and $12 admission for the rest of us though that may only be at the gate and the 2 day may be more of a discount online than that. Just the food discount should make it more than worth it to upgrade for them plus it'll allow them to go back whenever they want so even if doesn't end up saving us money it doesn't cost much more to upgrade them. That's if we don't buy the FOTL passes.
 
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George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
60 days out, yes. And ADRs aren't nearly as difficult at DLR as they are at WDW.

We'll be there 27 June - 1 July, then again 24 - 28 August.
 

bdlily

will return when the custom user titles improve
DL is different from WDW for sure. But there are a few things I actually like better at DL than at MK. I prefer both Pirates and Space Mtn. at Disneyland. I also like their Tiki Room better. Plus they have rides that WDW doesn't have. Matterhorn may not be EE, but it is a classic. And call me weird but I like Mr. Toad. Oh, and Fantasmic is pretty awesome at DL. I highly recommend the dessert buffet with reserved seating. I haven't done Cars Land yet but we did go in 2011 shortly after World of Color had opened and IT IS COOL!

Hydroguy is a GREAT resource for those of us that are used to WDW so I'm glad you have his guide linked.

As a heads up- we stayed at the Best Western right across from the main gate. This was back in 2009 so it's been a few years and maybe they've redone things but I wouldn't stay there again based on that stay. It was super close, which was great, but other than that it was dirty, felt really old and the pool left much to be desired.

Any way you could rent points for VGC? I know it's pretty short notice for members to book but you never know.
 

bdlily

will return when the custom user titles improve
Anybody have any thoughts on the WOC picnic or Fantasmic! dessert thing? I'd love to hear what the viewing areas are like. Do you get seats or have to stand? How crowded does it get? What's the view like? DL Special Diets told me that can[/] handle our allergies so I want to think about these options.

We get to make ADRs 60 days out, right?

Geez, DL is so different than WDW.

I'm going to go up to the original post and add a few links I'm using frequently with my planning. If anybody has any they want included, just let me know. I'm doing this because I'm tired of trying to figure out on which computer I've which link added to my favorites. This way I'll have the links no matter where I'm logged in.

Any thoughts on the FOTL pass at Universal? It costs $159pp over the summer for 1 day tickets with FOTL access. 1 day passes are $80 and 2 day passes are $89. With the FOTL passes you really only need 1 day from what I understand.


Just saw this one. So, we haven't done the WOC picnic but we did do their dinner package where we got a special section. Can't say that was really worth it. BUT, with the Fantasmic! dessert package you do get chairs and a sectioned off viewing area. TOTALLY worth it!

Dining at the Blue Bayou is really fun, but the food isn't quite what I'd expected after eating at WDW. Be forewarned about that especially. People who are used to the quality of WDW food (I'm serious) are usually very shocked at a) the limited TS options and b) the overall lower quality of ALL food, QS or TS. But you can still get Dole Whips so that makes it all good for me :RpS_wink:
 

clanmcculloch

expert on dietary needs and disney dining
The price for renting at VGC is twice what I budgetted for those nights. Not going to happen.

I think that the BW we're looking at is closer to the corner than this one. Thanks for the heads up about the one across the street. The pictures of the pool didn't overwhelm me and pool is a factor for us since we will definitely get a lot of use out of it. The pictures of the pool at Tropicana look really nice. Yes it's also a basic rectangular pool but something about it just like cleaner and more posh somehow if that makes any sense. I'm really hoping that was the 2 room that my TA quoted to me. I'll book it tonight if it was. It actually has 4 beds so DSD and DSSil could even spend a night or two in the suite with us to make it easier to head over to the parks together in the morning.

Ooooh, George, that Tiki Room trip is at DL. I didn't even realize that the ticker was a DL resort. Is that VGC? I'm so jealous of all of your trips. Have fun tomorrow at WDW!

There's a Mr. Toad at DL? YAY!! I miss that ride. Clearly I haven't done much planning of actual park time yet.
 

clanmcculloch

expert on dietary needs and disney dining
Just saw this one. So, we haven't done the WOC picnic but we did do their dinner package where we got a special section. Can't say that was really worth it. BUT, with the Fantasmic! dessert package you do get chairs and a sectioned off viewing area. TOTALLY worth it!

Dining at the Blue Bayou is really fun, but the food isn't quite what I'd expected after eating at WDW. Be forewarned about that especially. People who are used to the quality of WDW food (I'm serious) are usually very shocked at a) the limited TS options and b) the overall lower quality of ALL food, QS or TS. But you can still get Dole Whips so that makes it all good for me :RpS_wink:
If there are seats at the F! dessert party then that does make it worthwhile. From what I was told it's standing room only for watching in the normal area. That creates a personal space issue for DD15.

I'm very much prepared for the difference in dining options. It's been hard for me to wrap my head around it. I've got a lot of reading to do on that front. They definitely do allergies differently which is why I need a kitchen. I should ask for some details about Dole Whips at DL because maybe they're less of an allergy cross contamination risk at DL. A gal can hope, right? I'm glad to hear that it's much easier to get ADRs. It makes sense since there are so many significantly cheaper dining options within a short walk plus a lot of people have cars so they can drive elsewhere easily plus all those day visitors can easily pack lunch.
 

czmom

New member
Can I join even if I am not going this summer? I will be there December 1-7, staying at VGC. We are so excited to check out DL!!

My husband won't go for the prices of the Fantasmic! dessert seating, so we will just have to get there early and save a spot up close. My kids are still young, 7 and 4, so we need up front so they can see. I think with all of my DL planning so far, what I am liking the least is how Fantasmic and WOC viewing areas are. But I know it will be so worth it!!

Glad you all are going first and can report back with plenty of tips!!

Oh, one other thing to share if anyone is into getting on Radiator Springs Racers first....this is a good strategy.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2971596

Also, if anyone is wanting to rent a stroller, this seems like the most suggested place.
http://www.citystrollerrentals.com/index.html
 

clanmcculloch

expert on dietary needs and disney dining
I didn't catch the price on the F! dessert party. How much is it?

Join in reglardless of when you'll be going. I'll probably stop really maintaining that top post once my trip is over (I'm kind of selfish that way), just to warn you.
 

czmom

New member
I didn't catch the price on the F! dessert party. How much is it?

Join in reglardless of when you'll be going. I'll probably stop really maintaining that top post once my trip is over (I'm kind of selfish that way), just to warn you.
I believe it is $60 adults and $50 kids.
 

bdlily

will return when the custom user titles improve
Just read that it's $59 (plus tax) per person. I don't remember it being that expensive when we did it in 2011. But my memory isn't what it used to be. Still, with your daughter you may want to think hard about whether that money might be well spent.
 

DisneyMom

Nice grab; this username is going to be worth more
OK, maybe it's not something I want to do then. WOW!!!
I thought it was quite expensive and was going to try to do it without too I think. I have listened to some good podcasts about it and WOC and seating areas. I will try to find them. I need to relisten to everything again anyway.
 

Brandie

Will work for Dole Whips.
I'm in! 7/28 - 8/2 VGC

F! dessert has always been more expensive than I'm willing to pay. We often get to somewhere near HM around the end of the first F!, watch the Fireworks, and then follow the crowd as it exits to find a decent spot for the second F! People start saving spots for the first F! ridiculously early.

I've seen WOC a few times. I always try to get a blue pass and watch from the bridge. There's usually some really good pictures of where the various colored sections are situated in a thread on the DIS called "WOC Superthread."

We usually have an ADR for Cafe Orleans. We often "sneak out" of DCA and eat at Whitewater Snacks near the pool at the Grand. In my opinion, the Dole Whips at DLR are better than in WDW. :RpS_rolleyes:

I don't usually make my reservations until a couple of weeks out.
 

clanmcculloch

expert on dietary needs and disney dining
blue pass?

I should look for that WOC thread. Eventually. It's Friday evening. I'm too lazy at the moment.

If we don't do something like the F! dessert thing we likely won't see F! at all. It's not a case of choosing where to watch it from. It's a case of will we go to F! at all and if we do decide to try then we'll book the dessert thing. Kind of choosing between spending money here or spending it on a different experience. There's a tour or two I was looking at. They're in the morning and probably more of a fit for us. We really don't do evening stuff well.
 

blyday

tests unsafe roller coasts in china
We are going Sept 25-Oct 2.....I think. We might still change the dates but I think those will be the best. Planning on doing the Halloween party the last night.

We will have 2 littles with us (3 1/2 and 15 months!!) so doing the second F! is out. (As is typically the case.) It will just be too late for them. But......we really don't mind saving a spot (and as Brandi said.....people start saving seats crazy early!!! We stake out a spot 2 1/2-3 hours before show start, lay out a blanket and then take turns watching the blanket. We also eat dinner there. I've been know to bring in a pillow and just lay back and relax and people watch. It's kind of fun. Then everyone has to be there at least 20 minutes before it starts.) Even with the smaller group that we will have this time (only 6 of us) the dessert party is just too pricy.

WOC is actually very easy to get to. You they start passing out FP by Grizzly River Rapids when the park opens; blue FPs first and then yellow. We have found that as long as you get there within the first 45 minutes....getting a Blue is pretty easy. Then you can get a nice spot on the Bridge which really is the easiest one. I honestly think that this will be better for your family Trudy. You will want at least 2 of you to go in and claim your spot (bring a blanket and have a nice seat.) The "line" to get in is a huge mob and I can see this being too much for your daughter. Then....closer to show time, your daughter and whoever she is with can join you on the bridge. They might accommodate her but I wouldn't count on it. The bridge area typically doesn't completely pack up with people so it will be significantly easier for your to create a "space" around her for the show. But definitely read that thread!!!
 

czmom

New member
We are going Sept 25-Oct 2.....I think. We might still change the dates but I think those will be the best. Planning on doing the Halloween party the last night.

We will have 2 littles with us (3 1/2 and 15 months!!) so doing the second F! is out. (As is typically the case.) It will just be too late for them. But......we really don't mind saving a spot (and as Brandi said.....people start saving seats crazy early!!! We stake out a spot 2 1/2-3 hours before show start, lay out a blanket and then take turns watching the blanket. We also eat dinner there. I've been know to bring in a pillow and just lay back and relax and people watch. It's kind of fun. Then everyone has to be there at least 20 minutes before it starts.) Even with the smaller group that we will have this time (only 6 of us) the dessert party is just too pricy.

WOC is actually very easy to get to. You they start passing out FP by Grizzly River Rapids when the park opens; blue FPs first and then yellow. We have found that as long as you get there within the first 45 minutes....getting a Blue is pretty easy. Then you can get a nice spot on the Bridge which really is the easiest one. I honestly think that this will be better for your family Trudy. You will want at least 2 of you to go in and claim your spot (bring a blanket and have a nice seat.) The "line" to get in is a huge mob and I can see this being too much for your daughter. Then....closer to show time, your daughter and whoever she is with can join you on the bridge. They might accommodate her but I wouldn't count on it. The bridge area typically doesn't completely pack up with people so it will be significantly easier for your to create a "space" around her for the show. But definitely read that thread!!!

This is great info! The second F! is out for us too. But, my parents are coming with us so we have 4 adults who can all take turns waiting on the blanket. :)
 
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