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  1. #1
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    Default Possible first time Disneyland visit!

    We're planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest this summer. We will be driving from Michigan to Montana to visit family, then head to Glacier National Park, Washington, Oregon, national parks in northern CA. We're trying to figure out if it's at all reasonable, and if we have time, to actually make the drive down to Disneyland. How complicated is a Disneyland visit? How much would we need to plan in advance? What would be the best time during the summer to visit, and are there days of the week that are better than others. Thanks so much for putting up with all the newbie questions!!
    Susanne

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  3. #2
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    If youíre driving down from Northern California I strongly recommend that you stop at Yosemite. Itís not directly on the way but itís truly breathtaking.

    Disneyland doesnít need nearly as much preplanning as disneyworld. They have the fastpasses that you get at the attraction day of (old school fastpasses) and even most of the table service dining have reservations available day of. Summer will be crowded - especially because the Star Wars land is opening sometime this summer.

    Get the park hopper tickets. The two parks are only a couple hundred yards apart so itís very easy to walk between the two of them several times a day.

    The last time I went I bought the Maxpass. It was $10 per person per day and it allowed you to get your fastpasses with your phone. It saved a lot of walking back and forth in the park and it also included the photopass photos of that day. I would recommend it.

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  5. #3
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    I also wanted to add that the counter service options at both California parks are very good. I wouldnít feel the need to do table service. The only one that Iíd avoid is the Chinese restaurant in the pacific wharf area of California adventure.

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  7. #4
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    Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday are always better days crowd wise at DL & DCA. Only one person in your party needs to pay for a MaxPass. That person can add everyone else to their app and get FP for all remotely, it’s really the only way to go, imho. It’s also fun to do the Disney Play app while in queue. While doing a kind of scavenger hunt type game in Peter Pan queue, the Tinker Belle lantern lit up as a result of our game playing! Others in the queue were trying to get it to do it again... nope, it was us!
    Enjoy!
    nicci
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    DL 1971 to now - too many times to count, DL AP holder & Disney stockholder

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  9. #5
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    Thank you for all of the wonderful advice! We would love to see Yosemite if we have time. I just took a peek at the Disneyland website for the first time and I am blown away by all there is to do and eat! It does look like there are a lot of great QS locations. And if we do make it there, we will definitely get the MaxPass.

    Is there a time in the summer when crowds might be a little lighter? I know our late August WDW trips have worked out well for us. Would that be a lighter time at DL too?

    What about hotels? I see there are just a few Disney owned ones. Is the Paradise Pier one nice? It looks like it's the least expensive.

    What about amount of time there? I'm thinking we'd want a minimum of 2 days.

    Thanks so much for the help on this!! It's an odd feeling to be considering a Disney trip and feel like I don't know what I'm doing.
    Susanne

  10. #6
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    I'm not sure about crowd levels during the summer to narrow it down for you. Disneyland is an entirely different animal than Disney World in that most of their guests are annual pass holders. When school is out I would imagine that the crowds are larger. And with the whole Star Wars land opening in 'summer' I would guess that will make it worse this year.

    If it's your first visit to Disneyland I would recommend trying to stay at the Disneyland Hotel if it's in budget. Paradise Pier is....blah. I wouldn't recommend it. I'd instead stay at one of the hotels on Harbor Blvd (Best Western Park Place, Park Vue Inn, Tropicana, Anaheim Dessert Inn, Del Sol Inn, etc.) All of these are closer to the park entrance than both the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier - and much less expensive. Look on Google Maps to get a better idea of placement, but those hotels I listed are directly across from where the buses drop off.

    I would say at least two days, but three days would be better to see everything. If you could swing it not on a weekend then that would probably be a little better in crowd size.
    Aryn

    I am the rebel spy.

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  12. #7
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    Thank you again for all of the advice! We'll try for the Disneyland Hotel if we're able to work this into our trip.
    Susanne

  13. #8
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    Disneyland is a much easier vacation to plan. Not having to deal with all the pre-planning and FP+ nonsense is really nice. If it wasn't completely on the other side of the country from us, we would go to Disneyland over WDW most of the time. As mentioned, counter service restaurants are really good there and the park entrances are right next to each other so it is easy to go from one to the other. We stayed at the Hilton Anaheim which is walking distance to the Disneyland entrance and it was great.

    Now you have me wanting to go back. lol

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  15. #9
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    Not having to do a lot of planning will be a big factor in making this happen! I had a moment where I almost shot it down completely because the idea of a big road trip and a Disney visit (with the level of planning WDW needs) just overwhelmed me. But, if all we need to do is reserve a room and buy tickets with the hopper and MaxPass, I can deal with that. Especially knowing that we're good to go with CS meals! I just don't know when we'll get to that part of the country again, and I can't imagine that we'd make a trip just for Disneyland since we're closer to WDW. We have to sit down and try to estimate the time it will take to make our must do stops and if we'll have enough time left to make it down to DL.
    Susanne

  16. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheVBs View Post
    Not having to do a lot of planning will be a big factor in making this happen! I had a moment where I almost shot it down completely because the idea of a big road trip and a Disney visit (with the level of planning WDW needs) just overwhelmed me. But, if all we need to do is reserve a room and buy tickets with the hopper and MaxPass, I can deal with that. Especially knowing that we're good to go with CS meals! I just don't know when we'll get to that part of the country again, and I can't imagine that we'd make a trip just for Disneyland since we're closer to WDW. We have to sit down and try to estimate the time it will take to make our must do stops and if we'll have enough time left to make it down to DL.
    Find the time and make it happen. You won't regret it. It will be refreshing and enjoyable being able to do the parks without all the stress and planning. The only downside is in the future when you have to do all the planning and go to WDW again running all over the place from reservation to reservation, it will make you want to go to Disneyland instead so you wouldn't have to deal with all that nonsense. lol

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  18. #11
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    I SO hope we can make it happen! We're starting out so far north though, that we just may not have the time to get all the way down to Disneyland. We're still working on it though!
    Susanne

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