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Thread: Disneyland

  1. #11
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    Our trip is coming up soon. My BFF (who has only been to WDW) is very strongly recommending I create a detailed itinerary, but I'm planning to just go with the flow. DD is only 3, this won't be our only trip, so we aren't stressed about Seeing Everything. But obviously I do want DD to have fun and get a reasonable bang for our buck. So is it crazy to not have a firm plan? Any must do attractions with a 3 year old? We are staying at DLH, we have 3 day park hopper tickets, and I have reservations for 3 character meals. I'm planning DL the first day, DCA the second day and third day is TBD based on what we miss the first 2 days or what we want to do again. Thoughts?
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  2. #12
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    For this time of year and the fact this isn't a once-in-a-lifetime trip, I wouldn't worry about having too much of an itinerary. The only thing I would say is not to be too locked into one park each day. Because the parks are so close together, if one seems overly crowded, just walk across to the other one.

    I assume you will get one Magic Morning of early entry into DL. Use that time to hit all of the Fantasyland attractions that tend to get longer lines - Peter Pan for sure!
    "It's a great day for hockey!" - Badger Bob Johnson (1931 - 1991)

    Kaitlyn builds a space shuttle!

  3. #13
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    My family are going to Disney Land in April. We will be taking my 2 granddaughters ages 2 and 4. We will be staying at the Staybridge Suites. Right now we are trying to decide where we are going to eat. We know that we will be eating at Ariel's Grotto but that is all. Do any of you have any recomendations for kid friendly wallet friendly places to eat?

    Here's hoping that this thread is as active as the other one!!

  4. #14
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    I think every place is kid friendly, but wallet friendly is a whole other story. Do you want sit down service in the parks? If we want a sit down meal, we tend to find a place in Downtown Disney. The food is better and the prices are generally cheaper.
    "It's a great day for hockey!" - Badger Bob Johnson (1931 - 1991)

    Kaitlyn builds a space shuttle!

  5. #15
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    For me personally, I cannot imagine going to DL with a strict itinerary with a 3 year old on their first trip there, but I am also not a die-hard Disney person or someone who couldn't wait to take her kids there or has to experience the latest rides herself, or any of that stuff. I have also never taken just one kid, so maybe that has added to our need to be super flexible for various reasons. And that's even with just going for the day (which is all we have ever done so far--gone from opening until about 3 pm). If I was going with 3-day park hoppers, then I REALLY wouldn't worry about having an itinerary!

    My kids are more fearful than most and part of our experience is that I don't know until I'm there what they will want to do. The first time we took the boys, we went straight to the Buzz Blasters thing per recommendations, and my boys were totally overwhelmed and spooked and I wasn't sure I'd be able to get them on rides again after that. DS1 is the type to warm up to things so slowly--I think he'd do things on a 2nd day at DL that he wouldn't try on the first day, so you can't plan too much with a kid like that! DS2 is my less fearful one, but even he made me get out of a line at a kiddie ride at DCA because it was too dark inside. (Turns out my kids don't love dark rides, which eliminates a lot of rides.) But that same kid will ride a coaster and I bet would ride Big Thunder Mountain next time. And as I mentioned here before, DD fell asleep on Small World on her first and only (so far) trip to DL this past October and missed the whole thing. She still talks about (of all things!) the carousel. So "must do" items really depend on the kid. For myself, as a child I loved the Storybook boat ride and Peter Pan, but my kids have done neither bc Storybook I think has been under construction both times and PP would probably be too dark for them.

    I will say that I regret that on this last trip we did not get over to the Pooh ride because I think all 3 of mine would like it and because I just always loved that area of DL as a child (back when there was Bear Country Jamboree) . But it just always seems so far to walk when there is enough keeping us occupied in the other areas and nothing else over there that we'd do. So far, in two trips with kids, all we have done in Adventureland is the Jungle Cruise (we did this only on the boys' 2nd/DD's 1st trip) and "over there" we have also ridden the steamboat (did this on the boys' 1st trip). Next time, I'd like to get to that Critter area, and we probably would bc and I'd like to see if DS2 (5) would go on Big Thunder Mountain. Other than that, on now two day trips to DL, we have only been in Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Toontown.

    Because of my boys' ages and fears, on their first trip to DL I think all we did ride-wise was Small World, the big Steamboat, Dumbo, the Disney Railroad, Casey Jr. Toontown coaster (for one boy only), and Autopia. Other people might think that is ridiculous, but they were SO happy and DH and I were not stressed out crazy people.

    ETA: The exception to this is I was a bit of a crazy person planning our arrival/morning plan of attack in October because we HAD to get on the Cars racers ride at DCA. But taking that out of the equation, I would not "plan."
    Last edited by Taurus; 01-28-2013 at 10:21 AM.

  6. #16
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    I don't think you need to have a firm plan, but maybe a general itinerary that you can deviate from if you like is a good idea.

    We took our 4-year old for the first time last July, and had just one day in each park. Since it was summer and crowded, we generated an itinerary online (RideMax? Can't remember which site we used) that allowed us to enter the rides we definitely wanted to go on and then suggested an order for our day. It was supposed to help us hit certain rides at less crowded times. We didn't actually stick to it completely, but it helped us decide which areas of the park to hit first and which Fast Passes to pull. I do think it helped a bit, and it prevented a lot of standing around going, "What next?" I remember that the first thing we did was get Star Tours fast passes and then hit the submarine ride, because those two tend to get really long lines later in the day. I'd say the longest lines we encountered were mid-day-- waiting to meet Mickey in Toon Town was about an hour, and the Dumbo ride was about 45 minutes (but felt longer in the blazing sun). Everything else was probably 30 minutes or less.

    I grew up not far from Disneyland and have been there a zillion times, so I never thought I'd be planning out a visit to this extent, but for this occasion and our circumstances, it was a good choice.

    I don't know if Cars Land is still the zoo it was last summer, but if you plan to go on any of those rides, you'll want to think about a strategy in advance. We got to CA Adventure right when it opened and DH ran for the Fast Pass line at Radiator Spring Racers. Everyone else did, too. When he got there, the line for the Fast Pass was already over an hour wait, so then he just ran for the actual ride's line, which was about the same. Later in the day, that line was over 2.5 hours.

    Also, I think the idea of doing DL the first day and DCA the second day is great. You can waste a lot of time going back and forth between the parks. Better to focus on one geographical area at a time to get in the most rides. With three days, I think you'll get to do everything you want, no problem.

    Oh, and just FYI for anyone else who is planning a trip, we stayed at the Sheraton Park and it was great-- modern & clean, nice pool, walking distance to park or grab a shuttle across the street.

  7. #17
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    Yeah, Rosebud makes some good points but at my kids' ages we haven't bothered with any Fast Pass rides yet (probably will need to on our next trip now that the kids are 7, 5 and will be 3 in April), and I refuse to get on a submarine, so those things haven't been part of our experience...yet!

    I think Laura's daughter is too young/small for the Racers ride, but the other rides in Carsland are good to hit while everyone else is running for Racers when the park opens.

    ETA: I also think summer is a different ballgame than (hopefully) early Feb will be, so Laura has that going for her as well!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy Van Pelt View Post
    I think every place is kid friendly, but wallet friendly is a whole other story. Do you want sit down service in the parks? If we want a sit down meal, we tend to find a place in Downtown Disney. The food is better and the prices are generally cheaper.

    Yeah, I realize that it is going to be pricey eating in the parks LOL! I think that we would like to do sit down service just to give us all a little break from being on our feet! I think self service? Is that sit down? Or is table service the only place that you can sit down? It has been 15 years since I was at Disneyland and my memory is a little fuzzy!

    Taurus, your DS1 sounds like my oldest granddaughter and your DS2 sounds like my younger granddaughter. We really don't have much of an itinerary as far as what to do or see. We will be there for 4 days and have park hopper tickets. We will probably just wing it. Although I may try the website that Rosebud posted about, just to get an idea.

  9. #19
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    Thanks for the feedback! It's nice we have 3 days at the parks so if it sucks the first day not having a firm plan, we can adjust for future days. My husband thinks having an itinerary is insane, so that is an added challenge. Of the rides that had size requirements at Carsland, I think there is only 1 DD is big enough to go on (she's 38-39"). It's kind of hard to determine just via the website. If I have time, I will probably do some more looking around the DL website to see if there are any rides I feel like DD would really love and maybe make a short list, like Peter Pan, Dumbo, carousel, etc. DD loves all rides and characters, so I'm sure she will be happy with whatever we end up doing. Her biggest issue will be wanting to go on rides she is too small for, if I had to guess!
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  10. #20
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    We are going from 4/20-4/26 and staying at the Hojo.

    Since this is our second time there with dd (we went when she was 4 and she is 6 now), I am not going to do a big plan this time around. I am going to make some dining reservations at the 60 day mark. We are thinking Minnie's for breakfast one day (loved that one) and Cafe Orleans for lunch another day. We are probably going to do Ariel's and an appointment at the BBB again since dd remembers that and loved it. I told my husband that he was off the hook for Ariel's Grotto this time since he did it with us last time and it did not impress us for the price we paid. The princess interaction was terrible when we were there.

    I am getting so excited! I know that we still have 82 days to go, but I am excited. The last time we suprised dd on the day that we left. While that was fun to do, I am happy that she knows now so we can plan the trip together.
    Matt and Michelle - August 2003
    Madison - October 2006

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