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  #1  
Old 04-30-2012, 01:08 AM
kbess kbess is offline
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Default 1st trip to Disneyland as an adult & so overwhelmed

Help!! We leave for California on Friday and after briefly reading through several of these great threads re: Disneyland I'm left feeling very overwhelmed.

I have a 14yo DS, 9 & 5yo DD. What are the main things I need to know? We are staying at our timeshare condo that is approx. 2 miles away. We have a rental car, but I've heard a little bit about some of the shuttles. What is that all about? I'm just wondering if we can get into the park for cheaper than the $15/day for parking.

Any tips on making the most of our 3 days there? What things would you make certain to do, and what things would you not spend the time for? Cheapest places to eat if we decide to do a meal there? Can you take a cooler in? Thanks for any and all advice you can give me!!!! I very much appreciate it! TIA!
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:33 AM
justy justy is offline
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We are planning on going in August, and it'll be my first trip as an adult too! I'll be following this thread. Anyone gone in August, is it just packed with people and super hot? We are going with family, but I want to do it as cheap as we can as far as food, what's the best places to eat, which grocery stores to buy snacks, etc? I've checked out some of the other threads and gotten ideas but need advice!
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:08 AM
MariansPetServices MariansPetServices is offline
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I don't have time right now, but, you best and quickest bet fur lots of help in a little time is:
DISBOARDS.COM
MICECHAT.COM
And others I can't remember right now. HTH! :-)

Last edited by MariansPetServices; 04-30-2012 at 08:09 AM. Reason: LOL! spell checker always thinks that I mean fur and not for!
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:46 AM
carroll carroll is offline
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We're leaving on Sunday for Disneyland. We'll be there Monday through Thursday. Which timeshare are you staying at? What days will you be in the park?
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  #5  
Old 04-30-2012, 12:25 PM
digitalworld digitalworld is offline
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We will be using ART (Anaheim Resort Transit) when we go later this year. The opinions on these buses are varied, but I don't want to hassle with driving. My sisters used it one year and said it was fine. I think the biggest issue is having to wait for another bus if you go during a busy season and the one you are waiting for is already full. You can buy a 3-day pass. You might call and see if you can buy it at one of the kiosks since you are leaving so soon, or have them delivered to your timeshare. I figured out it will be $34 for your family if you do the 3-day passes.
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  #6  
Old 04-30-2012, 12:33 PM
Candi Candi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbess View Post
Help!! We leave for California on Friday and after briefly reading through several of these great threads re: Disneyland I'm left feeling very overwhelmed.

I have a 14yo DS, 9 & 5yo DD. What are the main things I need to know? We are staying at our timeshare condo that is approx. 2 miles away. We have a rental car, but I've heard a little bit about some of the shuttles. What is that all about? I'm just wondering if we can get into the park for cheaper than the $15/day for parking.
Not that I'm aware of off-hand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbess View Post
Any tips on making the most of our 3 days there? What things would you make certain to do, and what things would you not spend the time for? Cheapest places to eat if we decide to do a meal there? Can you take a cooler in? Thanks for any and all advice you can give me!!!! I very much appreciate it! TIA!
Just my opinion, but if you feel like you'll be pressed for time, I'd skip Mickey's Toon Town (except for the Roger Rabbit ride) in DL and most of the street shows in California Adventure. I'd also skip the riverboat, Crusoe Island, the storybook boats, the Abraham Lincoln show and the Disneyland train. I'd try to hit the more "iconic" rides (which unfortunately are the most popular and thus have longer lines) - things like Matterhorn, Pirates, Haunted House, Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad, Peter Pan, etc. In California Adventure you could skip the Mickey's ferris wheel and things like the jelly fish jumpers, the outdoor redwood course, etc., but whatever you do, you do NOT want to skip Toy Story Mania!

You could also skip the Tiki Room and the Winnie the Pooh ride, or move them to the bottom of the list to catch if you have time. With three days though you might be able to fit almost everything in, so don't stress. I'd say sit down with your kids, look at a map or list of rides, and determine what things they'd like to hit and which ones they might be willing to skip. For my family, the Tiki Room is mandatory, and we'll go even if it means skipping one of the bigger rides. But that's just because it was my mother's favorite attraction and I have a lot of fond memories of going there with her when I was a child. Not everyone shares my fondness for animatronic singing birds though... ha ha ha!

If you don't mind going out of the park, the Jazz Kitchen Cafe in Downtown Disney is fabulous and quite cheap comparatively! We got full meals for about $7 each - way cheaper than anything else in the parks. Inside the park, you can try the Rancho del Zocalo restaurant or the Tomorrowland Terrace. In CA we love to eat down on the wharf and I highly recommend the bread bowl soups at the Pacific Wharf Cafe.

Yes, you can take a small soft-side cooler in usually, as long as you don't have any glass containers. We've been able to take in frozen water bottles and bags of snacks/sanwiches in a soft-side cooler or backpack with no problems. If you have a larger cooler or hard-side cooler, I believe there are lockers just outside the front entrance where you can store them during the day.

HTH
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:55 PM
cathiy2006 cathiy2006 is offline
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I like to get there first thing in the morning and inside the park at least 15 minutes before it opens. They have characters you can stand in line to see at this time or just wait to get into Disneyland. It's a lot less crowded in the morning than it will be in the afternoon. First think in the morning is also the best time to hit Toy Story Mania (probably even a couple of times in a row).

Don't forget to take advantage of Fast Passes and use them when it is busier.

I'd agree, there isn't much in ToonTown. And it seems like The Roger Rabbit ride breaks down a lot.

One thing we used last time we were there, if you have a smartphone, is an app called MouseWait. It would tell you about how long a line was or if a ride was closed. I think it's just updated by people in the park, but it was usually fairly accurate.
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  #8  
Old 04-30-2012, 01:13 PM
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lodderd lodderd is offline
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I'd suggest getting "Fodor's Disneyland and Southern California" or "Frommer's Southern California" from the library. We usually get both and read them on the plane or car ride on the way to our destination. They both have lots of info on fast passes, ways to save $ and time, etc. And they rate every single ride and attraction and tell you which ages it's best for. I'd rather spend the time beforehand figuring it out so that we can just enjoy while we're at Disney.

For those going in August:
One hint we got years ago from one of these books is to go early, as soon as the park opens. Then break at mid-day for a couple of hours to go back to your hotel, eat and nap. This lets you rest and recharge, eat lunch at better prices, and avoid the most crowded and hottest part of the day. Then you can go back to the park rested and uncrabby, and stay until it closes, including seeing the amazing fireworks at the end of the day.

This advice only applies to summer, though, because in the off-season the park is open for a shorter time, and heat and crowds are less of a problem.

HTH
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:45 PM
Karana Karana is offline
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Maybe things have changed, but the couple of times we went, our Timeshare or Hotel offered a free shuttle to Disneyland. One of the places we stayed at were willing to take us at whatever time we wanted to go. They had different times for pick-up, but it was reasonable.

Ultimately, we found that it was more convenient just to take our own car. For example, we took our cooler (loaded with ice) and left it IN the car, then just walked back to our car to eat lunch rather than eat in the park. (Although, it's a long walk, unless you get really lucky!)
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