Possible Disneyland trip

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alicemouse's picture
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Joined: 10/22/2013
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Possible Disneyland trip

So this really great thing happened:

Benn and I decided that since my parents were such good sports about going to my favorite place for my birthday this year that we would take a cruise (their preferred vacation) with them next year to celebrate their 60th birthdays. We talked about what cruise line everyone wanted to do and what destination. We had considered Northern Europe and we looked at a few DCL cruises and that was't really working out. We would like to do Alaska and New England, but mom and dad have done both of those. California was a big draw for us because of possible coupling with Disneyland, but it did not look promising for that time frame. Their birthdays are March 17 and April 1 and we were having trouble finding an itinerary during that time frame that everyone liked in a price range where everyone was happy.

So this past weekend, my mom called me very excitedly that she had found a great itinerary on Princess Cruise Line leaving from Los Angeles on March 28, stopping in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Ensenada MX before returning to LA on April 4. Perfect!!! We haven't booked it yet, but my tentative plan is to arrive in LA as early as possible on Wednesday, March 25, get transportation to Disneyland, and to the 2:30 Walk in Walt's Footstep's Tour. We'll stay in Anaheim (probably at a good neighbor hotel because GC is a boatload of DVC points and it seems to be difficult to book--plus we'll only have 22 points left after our "let's see how many times we can go to Disney" year, so we'll have to borrow 2016 points) on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. We'll do Disneyland one day and DCA the other day. On Saturday morning, we'll spend a little bit of time at Downtown Disney before catching a shuttle to the cruise terminal.

My question to my WDWFG friends:

This will be our first ever Disneyland trip and it will probably be a while before we go back. This is the end of Spring Break season and the week before Easter and Touring Plans is predicting overall crowd levels ranging from 6-8 with per park crowds of 6.4-7.8 at Disneyland. (DCA doesn't seem to be an issue--level 1.2 on our most likely day there.) When I see those kinds of crowd predictions at WDW, you'll find me hanging out at EPCOT. Has anyone been to Disneyland when it's "crowded" and how overwhelming is it? If we skip Disneyland this time, we will probably go back to SoCal in a year or two. If I take 3 days at Disneyland now, it might be 5 years or more before we hit the west coast again. I so desperately want to see it and I love that we can do Disneyland and the cruise on the same flight, but I know how tricky crowd management is at MK and that was built in 1971. How is crowd management in the park that was built in 1955??

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

Magic Mirror's picture
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Joined: 09/18/2012
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stars stars stars I've never been to Disneyland but I wanted to say
YEAH for a cruise & possible Disneyland trip in one!!

Kristen K.'s picture
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Go go go!

Start out each morning at Disneyland and if you get overwhelmed just head over to DCA for a quieter afternoon/evening. If you stay at one of the Disneyland hotel you should have Morning Magic Hours you can take advantage of - do that.

I muchlove Disneyland!

alicemouse's picture
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Joined: 10/22/2013
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oooh....I hadn't thought about the magic hours. might have to reconsider biting the bullet and using the points to stay at Grand Californian.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

Kristen K.'s picture
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Here - let me sweeten the pot a little.
This was the view from our room last time we used our Grand Californian Points.

DSC00313

Magic Mirror's picture
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Joined: 09/18/2012
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oh that's a marvelous view!!!!

SpamGoddess's picture
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Joined: 04/10/2013
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Everything I've been reading recently has basically said there is no "less busy" day for Disneyland anymore, so I say just do it!! Just follow suggestions for a touring plan and you'll probably be able to see most of what you want, but you may have to prioritize a bit.

I can't wait to finally go to Disneyland (hopefully next year!!). clapping

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My friend and her hubby leave Friday for Anaheim. My friend is a nurse and will be going to her professional association's convention Saturday-Monday and then they will be going to Disneyland Tue, Wed and Thurs. She asked me for help that I got from all of you who have been to DL. Thanks for all of your suggestions and I am looking forward to hearing all about her trip.

Kristen K.'s picture
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I'm always happy to discuss Disneyland! It's my favorite park. I wish it was me returning. muchlove

alicemouse's picture
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Joined: 10/22/2013
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I got to talk with Disneylover21 the other day and she gave me a great start on info about priority for attractions and what to absolutely not miss!! I'm looking forward to pouring over the maps and getting familiar with the parks. I've ordered my "Unofficial Guide", so after I get through the paper research, I'll be back with more questions, I'm sure! I am so, so excited to go!!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

JanJ's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2013
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If you can work it in alicemouse, you should go!! Please take lots of pictures to share with us!

JoAnn C's picture
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That sounds like an awesome trip.

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rylin's picture
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I've been to Disneyland during fairly high crowd times, and as long as you get the most popular rides taken care of in the morning or at night, it really isn't too bad! Just adjust your expectations accordingly.

I've never stayed at a Disney hotel at Disneyland. The hotels are so gorgeous, but I just can't justify the cost for myself when there are hotels at a fraction of the cost 5 minutes away! If you're used to nicer places, though, you'll probably want to go with the Grand Californian or the Disneyland Hotel. The Harbor Blvd hotels aren't anything special.

Hope you have an amazing time! clapping

JustCar's picture
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I'm so excited for you, and I'm totally stalking this thread, we are looking at doing 3 days at the grand claifornian and do DL and DCA and then do the panama canal cruise for DCL.

pics and reviews and EVERYTHING

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Good luck and enjoy! I had hoped to get to Disneyland or DCA when I was there in April, but a spanner in the works threw out the only free day I had in LA gaah

As with the others, get the most popular rides done in the morning or as late as possible. Apparently Radiator Springs is massively busy all the time, so that's worth getting it done as soon as you get into the park...

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