Disneyland Newbie with Many Questions


#1

I have informed DH that my Disneyitis is at critical levels, and he has agreed to appease me for a trip for our 1st anniversary in May. And of course, a Disney vacation is appropriate given that we married there last May :wub:

We have been to WDW so many time these past few years. Now don’t get me wrong, we love it there. So much! But seeing as we were just there in January, we want to try something different this time around.

So we have come up with 2 options:

  1. Land & Sea Cruise: May 15 to May 22. 3 days on land @ The Poly, 4 nights @ sea.

  2. 4 Nights @ Disneyland Resort May 15 - May 19

We picked these dates because it is a long weekend in Canada and we have 4 days off, so would need to take less vacation days. But I am open to taking more if I have to.

Here are my Disneyland Resort Questions, since I’ve never been:

  1. I’ve heard it is hard to get a room on property. This is a must for me, since I want the whole Disney experience. Is it really that difficult? Will it be difficult with such short notice?

  2. Which of the 3 hotels would be best for a couple with no kids?

  3. Is the Dining package with the vouchers worth it?

  4. Is 4 nights long enough to see it all? Or should we add a few extra days?

Any other info to share would be much appreciated as well. I can’t seem to get the availability and price quoter to work online!

And if anyone has input on the cruise option, would love to hear that too.

Thanks MB buddies!


#2

Depends on how many days. If you keep them short (minimum two night stay at the Grand Californian) your chances improve. Apparently the economy isn’t that bad… :pinch:

Grand Californian for sure. Y’all would appreciate the beauty so much more. Nicer restaurants as well. :wub:

I honestly don’t know about this. So I can’t comment. I do know that the wealth of restaurants both in the parks and in Downtown Disney are worth exploring.

Four nights is long enough. I’ve spent a week there, but four is long enough so that you don’t feel rushed.


#3

Thanks 626! Your answers are giving me hope that I can make DLR work!
Now if only I could get the price quote engine on the website working I’d know what I’m up against, cost-wise.

Does anyone know where I could find hotel and ticket rate information? Well, I guess I should clarify - I can get them seperately on the website but package wise, I mean.

I already found a super cheap flight from Toronto!!! In fact, its cheaper than flying to Florida, go figure!

Getting excited about this possibility now…


#4

We went to CA. in 6/06. We stayed for 4 days at Paradise Pier. It was very nice. It was a very quiet resort. We had tons of space in our room. We had 2 queen size beds with a convertible loveseat. More than enough room for the 4 of us. Nice size bathroom as well.

We were within a short walking distance of both parks. We usually cut through the Grand Californian, and right into DTD. The pool is a roof top pool and was nice but nothing spectacular. IT was a nice cool down at the end of the day though. Each night you could sit out on the pool deck and see the fireworks. They also piped in the music. The hotel had a nice restaraunt called PH Grill where you can eat breakfast with Lilo and Stitch. They also had a nice workout facility, arcade, & movie room for little ones.

We found that 4 days was plenty enough time to do Disneyland and C.A.
I know others will disagree,:pinch: but I totally :heart: love:heart: WDW better than Disneyland. JMO… I think WDW has much more to offer as far as food options go. We tried it, but I think I will stick with WDW.

We have not tried the cruise, no help here.

Good luck with your decision.


#5

Four days is fine, do NOT do their food voucher plan. It’s just weird and not enough and a bad value from everything I’ve read.


#6

I did four days when I was there in December. I really wanted more at the end, but that was due more to having just spent a tough four months and needing more than four days of vacation time. I had a ball, though, and didn’t feel as if I hadn’t been able to do enough while I was there.

I’ll second Andrea’s comments re: the food plan. It’s done very differently at DL than it is at WDW, and as long as they’re using that voucher system it’s really more trouble than it’s worth. When I did my survey the first morning I was there, the CM I spoke with told me that they’re seriously considering a change to a dining plan that’s comparable to WDW’s, but until that happens I’d rather pay OOP.


#7

I think four days is probably enough time to do the two parks, especially if it isn’t crowded. During the high season I don’t know that it would be enough time if you are like me…in that I like to experience every attraction.

I don’t think that any one of the hotels is geared more towards families than others…maybe the Neverland Pool at DLH draws more families to that hotel…but I think you would be happy at any of the three. I do prefer to stay at either the DLR or the GC, because they have more of the “Disney” feel. If you can swing it, I’d go for the GC!!! It’s pretty nice to have the entrance to DCA right at your resort:)
I have not ever done the food plan at either WDW or DLR so I can’t really help there.


#8

AHHHH, McFizzlestick!!! GO TO DISNEYLAND!! GO TO DISNEYLAND! Our 5 year wedding anniversary is May 31st & I am hoping to go in June. You are going to LOVE it! :heart: We’ve never stayed for more than 4 days & even with naps in the afternoon always felt like we had PLENTY of time! :happy:

If you are ABLE to do the Grand Californian, stay there. It almost feels like an elegant, more modern, version of the Wilderness Lodge. It’s VERY romantic & peaceful. Others are right about the Disneyland Hotel, I stayed there with my Dad in '06 and it felt very appropriate to be there with family. It is a BLAST there; so colorful, spirited, & the BEST themed pool EVER!!!

The other AMAZING thing about staying at the GC is your proxemity to the park entrance. One evening we looked out a window & it seemed to be low crowds in DCA, so we booked it down stairs, rode Grizzly, got soaked, and we’re back in our rooms instantly! It’s awesome! you don’t get that anywhere in WDW, it’s even closer to the park than the Contemp. is to the MK. Disneyland Hotel is closest to the monorail which takes you directly into Tomorrowland which is AWESOME, especially if you want to try & get to Nemo FAST before those big lines start accumulating.

If you move really soon you should be able to get a room, it’s true, especially after Memorial Day the rooms book up fast. So if you decide try to do it ASAP. As soon as my tax refund gets direct deposited [should be any day now] we’re gonna decide on June & jump on it. Even with DVC points it can book up fairly fast for summer.

Everyone has told me NOT to do the Dining Plan, I’ve heard it’s organized very poorly. We were considering doing it last year b/c we love the convenience of the DDP at WDW but this is nothing like it. Someone even told me [can’t confirm if it’s true or not] but if you get a meal that’s LESS than your voucher amount they won’t give you the change. They have to add it to some kinda card or something. I don’t know, everyone who’ve I’ve asked tells me it’s not worth it.

I could go on FOREVER about Disneyland b/c my first trip there was only in 2001, and i’ve only been 5 times so it’s still fairly a discovery process for me. SO much is different from WDW, but you MUST experience it at least once.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EARLY MORNING! I sware people in California don’t wake up before 10am on vacation. :laugh: Even in late June the past couple trips we’ve enjoyed fairly empty park mornings several times!

OoOOO, i hope you go!

You should go look back at my TR from June, I took PLENTY of GC pics, it was just BEAUTIFUL there! :heart:
http://www.mousebuzz.com/forum/trip-reports/37601-wishy-s-wild-western-wallop-trip-report.html


#9

PS: I am personally not a very big fan of the Paradise Pier Hotel. I’ve been in the hotel before & never stayed there but if I couldn’t get into GC or Disneyland Hotel I would probably be just as happy at any of the Good Neighbor Hotels. PPH to me just FEELS like a Travelodge with some Disney decorating.


#10

OMG! Yes…the early mornings are great! You can get so many of the “big rides” done by the time people get into the park. One hint…if Peter Pan is a must do…do it then…it doesn’t have a FP!!!


#11

Ok, now I am really getting excited!!!

Thanks you guys so much for getting me pumped. Now I just have to convince DH that this is the option to go with.

Definitely want to stay at the GC - WIshy I am going to check out your TR right now!


#12

Wishy, I just went back and looked at your DLR pics again. They are so awesome and make me REALLY want to go!


#13

YES, go!!! If you hate it you can blame me! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: But I know you’ll love it! By the way, their fireworks show, “Remember Dreams Come True” is the BEST EVER!:heart:


#14

I can’t agree with you more on this…THE BEST EVER…EVER!


#15

OMG. I could cry just THINKING ABOUT IT. :crying: :crying: :crying: I would go to DLR just to watch this show, even if I could do absolutely nothing else.


#16

Oh, so would I. :wub:


#17

Now I’ve got the music in my head and I’m really thinking about hopping a plane right now…or just getting in the car and driving 16+ hours! :wub: :laugh:


#18

Do it!!! :happy:


#19

So, McFizzydrink, did you do any convincing? HUH, HUH? i’m dying to know if you’re going.

PS: you better save some time for me around July 19th-20th this summer. I think we’re going to have to drive up to Toronto for a long weekend to attend a wedding.


#20

Ryan’s off Monday-Wednesday…insert my evil raised eyebrows here. :tongue: :laugh:

MickeyMc, I definitely hope you go to DL! It is so different from WDW but it is WONDERFUL! :wub: