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Disneyland and Other Disney Parks Discuss I'm going to Disneyland!! in the Miscellaneous Disney forums; I need help and advice in planning my FIRST trip to Disneyland. I can plan a trip to WDW with my eyes closed but when it comes to DL I'm ...
  1. #1
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    I'm going to Disneyland!!

    I need help and advice in planning my FIRST trip to Disneyland. I can plan a trip to WDW with my eyes closed but when it comes to DL I'm clueless.

    So what do I need to know? Should I stay on property or off? Is LAX the best airport to fly into?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Lori

    http://wewantstheredhead.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    MandaBella's Avatar
    MandaBella is offline "She who must be loved."
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    Yeah! I love Disneyland, but have only been twice thus far with the most recent trip being last June. I'd love to go back. When are you going?

    Are you using your DVC Lori for the rooms? I've done both off and on property at DLR. We really enjoyed our Grand Californian room with the park view and "back" entrance into DCA. Reminds me of the BWV/BCV "back" entrance to Epcot...except only GC guests may use the DCA one. We did use our DVC points for the nights were stayed there. I'd definitely stay there again if cost/points aren't an issue...it's the closest you will be to the parks and Downtown Disney.

    We've also stayed off property within walking distance. The rooms were not at nice (we really went budget!), but if you want to save some money there are plenty of accessible off property rooms for the DLR. We've stay at the Park Vue Inn, which is the closest off property location to the main gate and at the Super 8 on Katella Avenue. They were essentially places to sleep/shower/store our belongings.

    Here's a great map of the area: Bret's Disneyland Lodging LinkMap

    As far as airports go, I have flown into both LAX and SNA for my DLR trips. I prefer the SNA airport to LAX because it's smaller, but I'd go whichever one was cheaper. SNA is closer to the DLR resort. LAX car rental places seems to all be NOT on the airport property unlike MCO. So if you decided to rent a car, keep that in mind.

    Yeah Lori is going to DISNEYLAND!!
    Amanda
    always plotting, planning, and looking forward to our next adventure...


  3. #3
    lilo88's Avatar
    lilo88 is offline DisneyWorldTrivia.com Lifetime Pass
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    YAY Lori!! I don't have any advice right now, but if I get to go in the spring I will let you know anything I find out!
    Tiffany~o ~ D23 member

    Sufferer of Disney Vacation Depression

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  4. #4
    MayBWeRMnt2B's Avatar
    MayBWeRMnt2B is offline living happily ever after...
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    Hey Lori,

    Here's some random info...

    You don't need a rental car. Everythings within walking distance. So there are two options for flying in. You can either go to LAX which is about a 40 dollar roundtrip for airport, its about 45 minutes away normally when I've taken the shuttle (supershuttle.com), Orange County Airport is closer and you can just take a taxi from.

    Personally for your first trip, spring for a Disney resort. It's a lot different from WDW, and as a WDW vetran, spend money on a disney resort. The best one in my opinion is the Disneyland Hotel. Paradise Pier is their "value" resort, but is often just $50 cheaper for the entire stay I've seen, so you might as well spring for their "middle" hotel. Also I love the location of it and I love the fact that it's an original!

    Also, you have to be a Disney Resort guest to get on the monorail or get on the monorail first in a lot of cases, so if you want to ride the monorail easily enough (so weird it drops you off in tomorrowland) I'd say stay at a disney hotel!

    I will have pictures and whatnot and tons of stuff once I go in just over a month of updated photos.
    - Jeanne

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    'Cause that my friends is where the magic lives

  5. #5
    DaisyGirl's Avatar
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    I am always glad to hear that someone is coming to the west side Lori

    I agree that the first timer/one timer/infrequent visitor should definitely stay at one of the three onsite resorts. It sounds like this is a 'Disney Vacation' (not just a stop over) for you. Stay in the magic. It really makes a difference to the experience.

    The Disneyland Hotel is my favorite. I wish I could have that wallpaper boarder in my own bedroom. And the DH pool is my favorite of the three resorts as well.

    I agree also that you don't need a car. As long as transportation to and from the airport has been arranged, you are all set. Everything you will need onsite is within walking distance.

    I am about an hours drive from Disneyland so I don't fly. But I know that LAX can be crazy. If money is not an issue then I would fly into John Wayne. I am thinking the savings will be noticeable for flights into LAX though.

    My advice once you are there is to relax and stroll. There is less ground to cover then at WDW. Slow down and enjoy it.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Disneyland is the star, everything else is in the supporting role." ~Walt Disney

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys!

    I'm going to DL to do the 1/2 marathon so while this is my first trip to the park it also has to turn into a relaxing trip at some point. Don't want to over do it before the race.

    I talked to DVC today and I have enough points to use for the stay. So now it's just a matter of if I want to use them or pay out of pocket. If I use my points I have to borrow from 2010 since most of my 2009 points are gone from marathon weekend.

    Hard part is that I looked up Ramada Maingate at the park and for the 6 nights it was only $717 and it had free wi-fi, a fridge and microwave.

    I'm still waiting for quotes from my travel agent so hopefully she'll get back to me soon enough so I can decide what to do. Heck, I don't even know if Erin or my mom is coming with me yet.

    I don't plan on renting a car. It took me years to rent a car in WDW and I'm always there so I don't think I want to rent a car my first time to DL.

    Keep the advice coming.

    http://wewantstheredhead.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    MandaBella's Avatar
    MandaBella is offline "She who must be loved."
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaisyGirl View Post

    My advice once you are there is to relax and stroll. There is less ground to cover then at WDW. Slow down and enjoy it.
    Great point about less ground to cover, but what newbies don't realize DL packs A LOT into their small resort.
    Amanda
    always plotting, planning, and looking forward to our next adventure...


  8. #8
    MandaBella's Avatar
    MandaBella is offline "She who must be loved."
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    The only reason we rented a car last year is that we wanted to see more of Southern California, San Diego in our case.

    Our first trip to DL, we walked everywhere and did not rent a car because we did the DLR everyday.

    So if this is going to be strictly a Disney trip, you will not need a car. If you plan to see other Southern California sites, needing a car will depend on what you want to do.
    Amanda
    always plotting, planning, and looking forward to our next adventure...


  9. #9
    disneyfanatic101's Avatar
    disneyfanatic101 is offline Trying to Get Back Into the Swing of Things!
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    Congrats Lori! Unfortunately, I can't give you any pointers. Hopefully I will be able to go soon.
    Adam ~ A Proud D23 Charter Member!

  10. #10
    monica31671 is offline A-Ticket holder
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    I'm a WDW vet that broke down and went to DL a few months ago. Everyone told me I wouldn't like it as much, but I had a great time! Some of the rides are better at DL - like Space Mountain. It was so much fun riding Disney rides that WDW doesn't have.

    We split our stay between Hyatt Orange County and the Disneyland Hotel. Both were great. I have never stayed off-property at WDW, but I would not hesitate to stay off-property at Disneyland. The Hyatt was wonderful. The Disneyland Hotel was wonderful too, but if bidget is an issue, don't fret about being off-site. You'll have a magical time no matter what you chose.

  11. #11
    GIOny's Avatar
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    I am so jelous.....but happy for you. I am gearing up to go also..someday
    I have been listening to the Travelears Podcast and they have some great info on DL, especially the first couple episodes answer alot of questions. The Travelears Podcast and bring back lots of pictures
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible!















  12. #12
    DaisyGirl's Avatar
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    lorilovestigger -
    You did the WDW half a few weeks ago didn't you? So you are coming out to claim your coast to coast medal? That's Awesome! Good for you! I am toying with the idea of doing that next year.

    A six night stay will certainly give you a chance to check it all out at a leisurely pace.


    monica31671 - It makes me sad that people told you that you wouldn't like it. I'm glad to hear that was not the case.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Disneyland is the star, everything else is in the supporting role." ~Walt Disney

  13. #13
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    Yep- I'm going for my Coast 2 Coast medal.

    Today I got registered for the HM 40th anniversary event.

    I still trying to figure out where I want to stay. Hopefully the book I ordered comes soon.

    http://wewantstheredhead.blogspot.com

  14. #14
    harra's Avatar
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    As a correction, the entrance into DCA from the Grand Californian is available to anyone that can produce a Disneyland Resort room key. So that's for the Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier and Grand Californian.

    We have stayed at both the Grand Californian (just last week) and Paradise Pier and used the GC entrance both times.

    The nice thing about going in the GC entrance is that bag check is smoother with less people and when you go between DCA and Disneyland you don't have to get your bag checked again to get into Disneyland
    Ray
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  15. #15
    Rico117 is offline B-Ticket Holder
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    It's great to hear your heading out here!

    for the best and most likely hassle free vacation staying on property and flying into OC would be best. They are the most simple and easy solutions and keep you close to the resort at all times. If you are not concerned with seeing much more of Southern California (isnt that what DCA is for anyways) than you will enjoy being right in downtown disney and the resorts.
    The monorail is an easy way to get into disneyland from any of the hotels and the back entrance through the grand californiian is great, as an AP holder I use it a lot if i want to go right into DCA.
    The last and most essential advice was the slow down. DLR is so much smaller, but deceptively smaller you will get sapped quickly. These resorts have taken down the best of us.
    I hope you do enjoy your vacation and hope to see you out here during the marathon!

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