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  1. #1
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    Jul 2007
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    Default 2018 Disneyland Vacation

    Dear All,

    I am planning my family's first vacation to Disneyland in 2018 and would appreciate your assistance and advice.

    Here are the specifics:

    2 Adults; 2 children (18 & 16)


    Arriving around June 24, 2018.
    What days during the week are the best in terms of crowd levels?

    3 day park tickets w/ hopper.
    Are 3 days sufficient or should I add an additional day(s)?

    I plan to be at the park for rope-drop, take an afternoon break at the pool and go back to the park until closing.

    We would like to stay-on site. What hotel(s) do you recommend and which one's are the closest to the parks?

    I look forward to your feedback.

    Have a magical day!

    Bubsy

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  3. #2
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    Mar 2017
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    Do you mean stay on property on in walking distance? We love Grand Legacy. They are directly across the street and the walk is about half a mile. They are close to Denny's and other restaurants. If on property the cost is significantly more and the walk to Disneyland front gate is not that close. Check prices and decide what works for your budget. I believe that the Grand Californian has an entrance in California Aventure by the rapids. Have fun!


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    Last edited by VWL Mom; 06-24-2017 at 05:33 PM. Reason: switch Floridian to Californian

  4. #3
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    Closest to the parks is Grand Californian. It will be coming off a complete renovation soon and the new rooms and lobby and pool are fantastic. I would recommend it with the kids ages. Disneyland hotel would come in second.

    Look at the annual Passholder blackout calendar and plan your visit for days where Southern CA and Southern CA select annual Passholder are blacked out. Crowds will be VERY manageable. I am in the oarks right now (a Saturday night) and wait times are VERY low. Crowds are like a midweek day in low season at WDW. VERY nice. I would recommend a Friday-Sunday if possible (the largest number of AP holders are excluded on Friday and Saturday).

    3 days is good but I always recommend more if it's a first trip and you can swing it. I HIGHLY recommend paying NO attention to Extra Magic Hours here. It gets ridiculously packed. Go to whichever park does not have EMH/Magic Morning.

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    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

  5. #4
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    We went last July and stayed at Paradise Pier. It is the furthest distance away from the main gate, but the walk wasn't that bad. The hotel next door is the Disneyland Hotel and across the street was the Grand Californian. We went over there to one morning to go to California Adventure but the line was so long going through security we opted to just walk over to the main gate. You walk through Downtown Disney. If you want to, near the Disneyland Hotel, you can take the monorail to Disneyland which drops you off in Tomorrowland. You go through Security at the station. We bought three day tickets and our plane was late. We didn't make it to the parks until after 4 on our first day. We were planning for 1pm. We went to and saw both parks in two days and from 4:30 to about 8pm on that first day. We however did not take any breaks during the day. We rarely saw the hotel except to sleep. It really depends on how you do the parks whether you think you will need to add days or not.
    "There's enough land here to hold all the ideas and dreams that we could possibly imagine."-Walt Disney

  6. #5
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    Apr 2002
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    Portland, OR
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    Agree with Natalie. I'm also in the park today and crowds are very manageable. Splash is currently experiencing a 70 min standby wait, but you can go grab a FP right now for 30 minutes from now (I don't understand that, but we've seen that all weekend - Thursday the wait for HM was 35 min, but we got FP that were valid right then.)

    Grand Californian is a great hotel with a fantastic location.

    Steve
    First visit: Disneyland, July 17, 1955 (well, somebody had to be there on opening day!)

    Most Recent Visit:
    Disneyland - June 19-22, 2016
    WDW - Sept 25 - Oct 8, 2016
    Next up:
    DLR - June 21 - 25, 2017
    ICOT-20 (WOOHOO!)
    WDW - Dec 10 - 23, 2017

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangorn View Post
    Agree with Natalie. I'm also in the park today and crowds are very manageable. Splash is currently experiencing a 70 min standby wait, but you can go grab a FP right now for 30 minutes from now (I don't understand that, but we've seen that all weekend - Thursday the wait for HM was 35 min, but we got FP that were valid right then.)

    Grand Californian is a great hotel with a fantastic location.

    Steve
    Steve, the Fastpass system was updated last week to the digital system and they have implemented almost immediate return times at several attractions. It's awesome, right?

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    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickclub1955 View Post
    We went last July and stayed at Paradise Pier. It is the furthest distance away from the main gate, but the walk wasn't that bad. The hotel next door is the Disneyland Hotel and across the street was the Grand Californian. We went over there to one morning to go to California Adventure but the line was so long going through security we opted to just walk over to the main gate. You walk through Downtown Disney. If you want to, near the Disneyland Hotel, you can take the monorail to Disneyland which drops you off in Tomorrowland. You go through Security at the station. We bought three day tickets and our plane was late. We didn't make it to the parks until after 4 on our first day. We were planning for 1pm. We went to and saw both parks in two days and from 4:30 to about 8pm on that first day. We however did not take any breaks during the day. We rarely saw the hotel except to sleep. It really depends on how you do the parks whether you think you will need to add days or not.
    Security has changed from last year. Now only Grand Californian guests can use the DCA entry gate until noon. Paradise Pier guests are directed to the security checkpoint between DLH and Downtown Disney. There is no longer a checkpoint at the monorail station or at the end of DtD closest to the parks. Guests go through security at the parking garage and at the Harbor side entrance.

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    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangorn View Post
    Agree with Natalie. I'm also in the park today and crowds are very manageable. Splash is currently experiencing a 70 min standby wait, but you can go grab a FP right now for 30 minutes from now (I don't understand that, but we've seen that all weekend - Thursday the wait for HM was 35 min, but we got FP that were valid right then.)

    Grand Californian is a great hotel with a fantastic location.

    Steve
    Are you in Disneyland right now? Meet up? I'll be here all night.

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    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrerGnat View Post
    Steve, the Fastpass system was updated last week to the digital system and they have implemented almost immediate return times at several attractions. It's awesome, right?
    Very awesome, but since it's so new, we discovered that a whole lot of CMs weren't trained in the new system, and procedures for using the FP were, shall we say, inconsistent!. I guess the thing I understood the least was why so few people actually use the FP System at Disneyland. With the exception of Radiator Springs Racers, and Guardians, FP were available all day long and the return time was always sooner than whatever the standby wait time was.

    I also noticed that whereas the last couple of years we were there, Toy Story Midway Mania never had more than a 40 minute wait, they have now added FP and the wait time had gone up to an hour or more.

    Steve
    First visit: Disneyland, July 17, 1955 (well, somebody had to be there on opening day!)

    Most Recent Visit:
    Disneyland - June 19-22, 2016
    WDW - Sept 25 - Oct 8, 2016
    Next up:
    DLR - June 21 - 25, 2017
    ICOT-20 (WOOHOO!)
    WDW - Dec 10 - 23, 2017

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangorn View Post
    Very awesome, but since it's so new, we discovered that a whole lot of CMs weren't trained in the new system, and procedures for using the FP were, shall we say, inconsistent!. I guess the thing I understood the least was why so few people actually use the FP System at Disneyland. With the exception of Radiator Springs Racers, and Guardians, FP were available all day long and the return time was always sooner than whatever the standby wait time was.

    I also noticed that whereas the last couple of years we were there, Toy Story Midway Mania never had more than a 40 minute wait, they have now added FP and the wait time had gone up to an hour or more.

    Steve
    I honestly think that a LOT of Disneyland day visitors still think there is a charge to use Fastpass. All the other area parks charge for their version and I see it almost every time I am at DL...people asking "What is this? How much does it cost?"

    Or, they ARE holding other fastpasses and are choosing to wait standby while their time comes up. I waited in a couple standby lines yesterday for this reason.

    I actually like how it is here. I can arrive at 3pm and still have plenty of FP options for the evening.

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    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrerGnat View Post
    I actually like how it is here. I can arrive at 3pm and still have plenty of FP options for the evening.
    I think it's great too! It's just so different from the WDW side of things. It makes the overall experience at DLR so much nicer when you don't need to plan your entire trip 60 days in advance.

    On a similar note, we stopped by Cafe Orleans yesterday for a late lunch (1:30) and were told it was reservation only (when did that happen?) I jumped on the app and made a reservation for 2:00. Then went to the podium and checked in earlier. We were seated at 1:40. Odd, but nice.

    Steve
    First visit: Disneyland, July 17, 1955 (well, somebody had to be there on opening day!)

    Most Recent Visit:
    Disneyland - June 19-22, 2016
    WDW - Sept 25 - Oct 8, 2016
    Next up:
    DLR - June 21 - 25, 2017
    ICOT-20 (WOOHOO!)
    WDW - Dec 10 - 23, 2017

  14. Thanks tinkwest thanked for this post
  15. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangorn View Post
    I think it's great too! It's just so different from the WDW side of things. It makes the overall experience at DLR so much nicer when you don't need to plan your entire trip 60 days in advance.

    On a similar note, we stopped by Cafe Orleans yesterday for a late lunch (1:30) and were told it was reservation only (when did that happen?) I jumped on the app and made a reservation for 2:00. Then went to the podium and checked in earlier. We were seated at 1:40. Odd, but nice.

    Steve
    Yeah, some of the smaller restaurants do that after noon. If you had showed up at 11 or 11:30 and tried then, you would have probably been seated with a short wait. People will walk up and put their names in for later and once they fill that list up, you need a reservation.

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    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

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