Disneyland trip planning

clanmcculloch

expert on dietary needs and disney dining
True. I just would have thought that at least over the summer there would be more than a couple days per month.
 

ceb104

New member
I've used Ridemax for DLR. Probably twice. I had to resubmit my rides quite a few times, though because I keep looking for a better plan. One way to use it is to plug in the same ride over and over and then watch what the wait times do for that single ride throughout the day.
How does RideMax compare to Mousewait? I'd prefer a set 'schedule' and not just something that tells me current wait times. I need to sit down with Mousewait more and explore.

Just made a reservation for Cafe Orleans. The crepes sound devine!
 

Denise25

Member
We are looking at the Warner Bros studio tour, mainly due to good ratings on Trip Advisor, and also they apparently have a lot of Harry Potter stuff on display, which is a big selling point to the kids. We are also looking at doing one of the tours offered by Ultimate Hollywood Tours, which also received a high rating on Trip Advisor. The tour I'm looking at does typical Hollywood stuff -- Hollywood sign, Walk of Fame, stars' homes, etc. It looks like fun, you ride in a little touring bus thing, that is open in the back.

We'll probably also do Madame Tussaud's wax museum, even though my DD is totally creeped out by wax figures, she freaked out on the Great Movie Tour ride at HS, which was pretty funny.

We're arriving at LAX at 11 a.m., so we're so far planning on doing the Warner Bros. tour that afternoon and the other stuff the next day before heading to Anaheim. I'm thinking it's not enough to fill up the time, but on the other hand, we all may be tired from jet lag (coming from Virginia).

I hadn't heard of MouseWait, guess I need to check that out, along with Ridemax. I wish we had Josh's cheat sheets!
 

clanmcculloch

expert on dietary needs and disney dining
That Ultimate Hollywood Tours sounds interesting. I'll have to look more into that one. I had also read some good reviews of WB studio tour so that's why I was thinking that one. Good to know about the Harry Potter stuff. It's sounding better and better. I haven't actually looked at Trip Advisor. They kind of scare me because all the crazies seem to head there to post their complaints. I find it hard to weed through those to find the real reviews. I do like hearing about legitimate complaints but complaints where somebody didn't like the fact that it rained and they got wet or they showed up early and weren't allowed in before their reservation time or they asked for the wrong thing and were upset that they weren't comped or other things like this IMO are not legitimate complaints and it seems like they have a lot of that kind of thing over there. Mabye it's gotten better and I should take another look.

I should probably add tours to the first page so I can find them later.

I think my kids would whine about boredom at Madame Tussaud's even if I'd like to see it for the novelty factor. It looks fun to me. You crack me up about your DD.

Boy do I wish we had something like Josh's cheat sheets for DL.
 

ajj221

New member
I feel so far behind in my planning, but I don't want to reserve anything until I have my flights set. We are planning on flying out on Monday 8/12 in the morning. I will consider flying on 8/11 if the flights are cheap enough to justify another hotel night. The plan is to stay at DLH from Monday - Thursday and then transfer to the hotel where the rest of my family will be. I hope to get in the room Monday afternoon, nap a little, and then explore a park Monday evening (as long as I can keep the kids up). Probably DCA. Tuesday and Wednesday will be RD EMH for DCA and DL. I plan on 1 night seeing fireworks at DL and one night going to the Dodgers game. I know we will do late morning breakfast with Ariel at DCA, not sure about DL. Maybe Minnie's, but we will do a breakfst on Thursday at a hotel and then plan to swim before leaving for our other hotel. If we don't do Goofys for dinner one night then we will go there for breakfast this last morning.

Thanks for the feedback on the double stroller. I think I will go with the one you showed since my kids won't hit the weight max. I need to check the height max though.

So within the next month I need to:
1. Book plane tix
2. Book DLH
3. Book other hotel
4. Reserve rental car
5. Reserve stroller
6. Made dining reservations
7. Order tickets through work (12% discount)

So basically I have nothing confirmed yet. Makes me very nervous. Should I go ahead and book DLH and then change the dates if I have to based on the flight prices?
Then after that I will focus on ride order I guess.
 

blyday

tests unsafe roller coasts in china
Don't stress too much about not being any more booked yet. The truth is that it is rare for someone to book DLR more then 3 months out. The majority plan more like 1-2 months out. It does seem weird when you are used to WDW where dining reservations start 6 months out!!

Thanks for the feedback on the double stroller. I think I will go with the one you showed since my kids won't hit the weight max. I need to check the height max though.
Unless your children are super tall....they will be fine. We had my almost 7 year old niece in the stroller and she is very tall for her age (as in....taller then her 9 year old cousins!!) I almost didn't get one for her but was glad we did since she spent the most time in the stroller and she also moved very slow (I can walk at a normal pace faster then she runs!!!) so it was definitely at good thing!!!
 

Denise25

Member
I agree entirely about the reviews on Trip Advisor. I try to ignore the oddballs and look at the reviews overall. Right now I'm going crazy trying to decide on which hotels to choose for the trip. I also have nothing booked at this point aside from the flights.

Yea, the wax museum will surely be hokey. But you are allowed to pose with the statues, so I thought the kids might enjoy pretending to their friends that they actually saw the stars they're pictured with.
 

ellie

waiting for a street car
I'll be there very late June 7 - June 13. Dear Twin Sis (DtS) is flying down from Seattle on the 8th so the first night I'm staying at the BWPPI across the street by myself and then checking us in early on June 8 to the Grand Californian. DtS actually got a pin code (25% off !!!) after I'd booked us with the AAA rate (10% off). The pin code was good to June 13, just perfect, and I was able to switch our reservation for a courtyard view over to the pin code.

So we've already had a ton of pixie dust! The most amazing part is that first dear brother-in-law almost threw the pin code mail away thinking it was junk but put it on DtS's desk and then DtS almost did thinking, I bet Ellie got one too. I've never seen a pin code!

I've booked the Minnie and Friends breakfast for first seating June 8 as DtS was willing but not excited about doing that with me. I am so hoping to see Captain Hook. We have the first lunch seating at Blue Bayou booked for one day and a 5p dinner at Carthay Circle to get the World of Color dining reserved standing area. The rest will be counter service. DtS would have done Napa Rose with me but she's not that into spending money on food.

We're going to get a grocery delivery from Vons.

Vacation planning services should be booking our F! dessert package and Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps Tour (AAA discount) this week. That's a nice service for those staying on site. Let them know what you want and give them your credit card info and they book the month before when the reservations open up.

I'm super excited having only gone to Disneyland for part of a day (drive up from San Diego) about 25 years ago. We got the 5 day park hoppers.

I'm concerned about the time change as I had a work trip in San Francisco early February and even being there 6 nights I did not adjust and kept waking up early - luckily there was a 24 hour place with full breakfast across the street from where I was staying. But nighttime Disney entertainment should be more exciting than class studying and reading.

One of my brothers lives half an hour away and he asked and we accepted to have DNiece12 stay over with us June 11th night, her last day of school. Looking forward to spending our last park day with her and getting to know her better. We'll have dinner with the rest of my brother's family. Neither DtS nor I see his family more than part of a day at best once a year usually. Funny part is that they don't go to Disneyland much at all as they have a time share in Orlando that they go to every other year.
 

Brandie

Will work for Dole Whips.
I've booked the Minnie and Friends breakfast for first seating June 8 as DtS was willing but not excited about doing that with me. I am so hoping to see Captain Hook.

We're going to get a grocery delivery from Vons.
I've used Vons once. I was happy with their service. And, so easy to order online.

Cap't Hook is a fun character. He tried to steal one of my friends' rings.

Brandie, did you feel that Ridemax was worth it, in the sense that you got everything accomplished that you wanted to get accomplished?
I don't think I've ever ended up using a RideMax plan. When I did play with it, it gave me plans that I knew were not ideal. I did enjoy playing with it, though. I did like to see what one ride's wait times were projected to be at various times of the day. That was helpful. I might get it again for that reason.


How does RideMax compare to Mousewait? I'd prefer a set 'schedule' and not just something that tells me current wait times. I need to sit down with Mousewait more and explore.

Just made a reservation for Cafe Orleans. The crepes sound devine!
RideMax makes a plan for you based on rides that you input.

We always order a Monte Cristo w/ Pomme Frites and sometimes the beignets. :RpS_drool:
 

pixarprincess

New member
As someone who lives in CA and frequents DL. My advice is:

WOC : There is no seating, at all. Unless you have a GAC or other need to be able to sit. I recommend doing the dining package at one of the sit down restaurants in the park if you can afford it. (options are carthay circle, ariels grotto and wine country trattoria) This way you get a special reserved area and do not need to be in line insanely early. The picnic meals are not worth the money, the food is not good and you just get a regular WOC fastpass not a reserved area one. **the one exception to this rule is you cant afford the dining and cant be there early enough to get a good fastpass. Blue section is the best middle/front viewing. The second show (if there are 2 per night) is always less busy. You can get a spot without a FP right before the show- however if the park is busy you may not be able to see much trying it this way. You can also watch from the cove bar (kids too at tables) but there is a cover and its not a great view (its from the side) still pretty but if you have not seen it before it would be disappointing.

F! : dining package is way overpriced. I was shocked when I read Josh's article about the fireworks dessert party, so cheap compared to DL! Show up early and stakeout a good spot, then send a family member to grab quick service food and eat while you wait.

DL food in general compared to WDW: Its gotten better in the last year or so. There are lots of new menus and more healthy items. I highly recommend:

CS: Hungry Bear (DL) Fried green tomato sandwich and lemon cupcake
Jolly Holiday (DL) pretty much anything, their homemade kettle chips are yummy
Corn Dog Cart on main street (DL) they are "legendary" and there becomes a long line around lunch. They are really good, but greasy
Boardwalk Pizza (DCA) - their salads, ravioli and the chicken pasta are all delicious. (the greek food next door isnt bad either)

Sit Down:
Orleans Cafe (DL) next to blue bayou, serves some of the same items including the monte cristo and is cheaper. French onion soup is really good here.
Big Thunder BBQ (DL) all you can eat family style. Better for dinner as it includes sausage and corn wheels. Lunch and dinner both have ribs, chicken, corn bread, coleslaw and beans. If there are 2+ in your group 1 should order the vegetarian option. they are delicious veggie kabobs made to order and then you can share both options as its all you can eat. Dessert is skillet brownies or cookies with icecream. the show is cute too and they get the kids involved.
Carthay Circle (DCA) a splurge but one of the best in park meals I have ever had at either WDW or DL. Not extremely kid friendly (unless you have adventurous eaters) if timed right you can watch the fireworks from the balcony. Menu is seasonal. Also highly recommend their lounge/bar for the best DCA drinks though the service downstairs is normally horrible.
Wine Country Trattoria (DCA) good classic northern italian style food.
Steakhouse 55 (DL Hotel) one of the better steakhouses in the area. Order the porterhouse with 55 rub and the au gratin potatoes. Nice and quiet but kid friendly. not large inside.

Trader Sams bar (DL Hotel) tasty polynesian style food, good strong drinks and live entertainment on the weekends. plus the inside and the "show" in the bar is not something to be missed.
 

pixarprincess

New member
Hotel near the park I would recommend Howard Johnson. They have a cute pirate themed kids pool and sometimes have good specials running.

LA things to do I recommend: Disney Soda Fountain, Walk of Stars, Beach/Santa Monica Pier, Getty Museum (free but you must register online ahead of time) Griffith Park and Observatory (The LA zoo is near here too and is a nice smaller size zoo without too expensive admission)
 

pixarprincess

New member
Mousewait will not give you a schedule or touring plan. but there is a lot of info and tips and tricks there. I have found their wait times to be way more accurate than any of the other apps. Its also nice that they have a forum for questions like this one) Also if you are a member Howard Johnson gives discounts to Mousewait members.
 

mdsd8700

don't ask me to spin in circles
In case anyone is still looking for a room; Orbitz is having another sale. It includes the DLR hotels and many of those nearby. Must be booked by May 8th, travel through August 31st. There is also a ticket discount to add when booking. 4 days for the cost of 3 or 5 days for the cost of 4. Have to go all the way through the booking process to add the discount code, but can do it before you need to input credit card info.

http://www.orbitz.com/travel-deals/48-hour-hotel-sale/
 

blyday

tests unsafe roller coasts in china
WOC : There is no seating, at all. Unless you have a GAC or other need to be able to sit. I recommend doing the dining package at one of the sit down restaurants in the park if you can afford it. (options are carthay circle, ariels grotto and wine country trattoria) This way you get a special reserved area and do not need to be in line insanely early.
If you don't want to be stuck behind someone who has put their child up on their shoulders.....you still need to line up around the same time as anyone with any other FP for the show. Honestly.....the Blue FPs are very easy to get and you really can get great views and only need to arrive about 1 hour and 15 minutes before show time....which really is the same time you should line up for the dinner reserved area. So really....no gain there. The only reason that I'd recommend doing any meal is because you just don't want to deal with getting a FP and you really feel like eating at that location. I've never had a dinner and always had great spots without arriving much more then an hour before the show start. I've had clients who have done the meals and they have needed to be in line at the same time.
 

pixarprincess

New member
If you don't want to be stuck behind someone who has put their child up on their shoulders.....you still need to line up around the same time as anyone with any other FP for the show. Honestly.....the Blue FPs are very easy to get and you really can get great views and only need to arrive about 1 hour and 15 minutes before show time....which really is the same time you should line up for the dinner reserved area. So really....no gain there.
I honestly think it depends on how busy the park is.
 

czmom

New member
So, regarding Blue FP or Carthay Circle WOC area, which would you DL veterans choose for first week of December crowds??? We really want to be at the rail in either area.
 

blyday

tests unsafe roller coasts in china
Are you planning on being in DCA that morning? If so....then grabbing a blue FP is really easy. If Carthay Circle sounds good and you are wanting to eat there anyway, or you are not planning on being in DCA in the morning....then I would do the meal.
 

czmom

New member
So, I just thought we were flying in on December 1. Little did I know how crazy airfare is on that day. So, we are now coming on November 30 and staying somewhere along Harbor for one night. Then we will transfer to VGC.

I was planning to do M-F as my park days because they will be the least crowded.

Now I have Sunday as an extra day....would DTD and checking out PPH and DLH fill up a whole day? If it is warm enough to swim, we will totally do that too!

Any other suggestions? My kids will be 4 and 7, and we will not have a rental car.
 

blyday

tests unsafe roller coasts in china
We like to do a character meal at one of the resorts and then walk the resort and around DTD on our off days. It surprisingly does fill up the day and makes it relaxing yet fun.

Question.....if they go to the rumored Christmas Party.....are you sure you wouldn't rather do Sun-Thur and then Friday morning off and Christmas party that evening?? Just something to think about. I do hope that if they go to a Christmas Party that they will announce it sooner rather then later. It would be good to know.
 

czmom

New member
We like to do a character meal at one of the resorts and then walk the resort and around DTD on our off days. It surprisingly does fill up the day and makes it relaxing yet fun.

Question.....if they go to the rumored Christmas Party.....are you sure you wouldn't rather do Sun-Thur and then Friday morning off and Christmas party that evening?? Just something to think about. I do hope that if they go to a Christmas Party that they will announce it sooner rather then later. It would be good to know.
GREAT point! Yes, I am sure it will change if they do the party. Which I am kind of hoping they do!! What nights of the week do they host the Halloween parties?
 
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