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WDW Regular Visiting DLR

Discussion in 'Disneyland Resort' started by jeffk410, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. jeffk410

    jeffk410 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Folks--

    Background: My partner and I are regular WDW visitors frequently using DVC points. We have now re-located to Northern California and will be planning a trip to Disneyland. Neither of us have been since we were little and know relatively little about the parks / hotels.

    When / Where: Aiming to go whenever we can book Grand Californian with DVC points, if it is not too difficult. What are the chances i'll be able to get Grand Californian 7 months out? If it is too difficult, would you guys recommend the Disney Land hotel over the other DVC option? Timing will likely be late October / Early-Mid November 2017. Any background around holiday events - Christmas or Halloween would be appreciated.

    Debating whether to fly into Long Beach or LAX. Is the best transportation method a ride sharing app?

    And lastly, we're a bit into food. Any dining recommendations whether it be downtown Disney (if this is a thing), the hotels, or parks are greatly appreciated.

    UPDATE: We booked Grand Californian in the hotel aspect using points for the weekend of September 20th. Any seasonal information is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks as always,
    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  2. TP2000

    TP2000 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! As I prepare my full reply, let's just get this out of the way...

    What the HECK is "DLA"???

    I'm going to assume that you are talking about Disneyland, and that you've also somehow assigned it a city location of Los Angeles and believe it's called Disneyland Los Angeles? I've been on Disneyland fan sites since the late 1990's, and I have never in 20 years heard anyone use the phrase "Disneyland Los Angeles".

    It's actually just called Disneyland. Simple but elegant, and very classy. Pure Americana, really. The entire property, two parks-three hotels-Downtown Disney, is called The Disneyland Resort, and the abbreviation for that is DLR. And it's not in Los Angeles, nor even in Los Angeles County. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
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  3. TP2000

    TP2000 Well-Known Member

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    A few notes...

    You have some major researching to do. Start with http://www.disneyland.com and then hit up this thread for the lay of the land... http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/guide-to-dlr-for-wdw-veterans.875596/page-28#post-7632948

    Then also realize LAX is consistently voted one of America's worst airports for a reason. Avoid it like the plague. Long Beach is much closer to Orange County and Disneyland than LAX, and also much nicer and easier to use. But the best international airport for Disneyland visits is John Wayne Orange County International, airport code SNA. You are 20 minutes by taxi or Uber from John Wayne baggage claim to the front door of the Disneyland Hotel, with plenty of rental car options at John Wayne also.

    Napa Rose at Grand Californian is fantastic. Carthay Circle Restaurant at California Adventure is also very, very good. Blue Bayou at Disneyland was surprisingly good when I ate there last month, but it's really more about dining inside Pirates of the Caribbean and is a Disneyland classic. Reservations are important for all three of those places 60 days out, but most important for Napa Rose.

    Your timing will be key. Late October is obviously Halloween, and all that entails; Haunted Mansion Holiday, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, Halloween Screams fireworks, Mickey's Halloween Parties, etc. Early November is the changeover from Halloween to Christmas, and then mid November begins Christmas with all that entails; It's A Small World Holiday, Jingle Cruise, Believe In Holiday Magic fireworks, Christmas Fantasy Parade, the incredibly more sophisticated and thorough Christmas decorations that Disneyland does in every land compared to WDW, etc., etc.

    Pick which holiday is your favorite and aim for that. My vote would be mid November, but nowhere near Veterans Day Weekend which is always very busy.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
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  4. DDLand

    DDLand Well-Known Member

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    I'm going with Disneyland Anaheim... DLA. Which makes sense next to other acronyms like SDL, DLP, HKDL, TDL. Of course, Disneyland has bragging rights because it's the first! :) So DL it is!

    Stay away from LAX like the plague! Oh, and try one of the sit down dining options at New Orleans Square.

    Have fun!
     
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  5. Curious Constance

    Curious Constance Well-Known Member

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    Hi!
    If the DVC Grand Californian doesn't work out, I think most people would prefer the Disneyland Hotel over Paradise Pier. I've stayed at both, and would definitely choose the Disneyland Hotel. It's closer to the parks and has more dining options. Cooler pools, monorail water slides, an amazing Tiki bar, it's newly renovated within the last few years. The monorail picks you up within a few steps of the hotel and will drop you off inside Disneyland's Tomorrowland area. Atmosphere is better and more "Disney".

    I also recommend avoiding LAX and sticking with Long Beach or SNA. We've done both LAX and LBG, greatly preferred LGB.

    If you're a Foodie, I suggest Napa Rose at the Grand Californian hotel and Carthay Circle Theater in California Adventure park.

    Halloween and Christmas are both really fun times to visit! So you really can't go wrong with either, but Christmas is more of a big deal and decorated and celebrated more. Most Halloween extras like fireworks etc are part of Halloween parties that require a separate admission ticket. So far all Christmas extras are still part of regular admission.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  6. raven24

    raven24 Well-Known Member

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    After flying in and out of Heathrow in London, England, I will never complain about LAX again. It's really not as bad as people say it is. In saying that, I agree that you should fly into maybe Long Beach or John Wayne, due to distance.

    No need to attach "A," or any other letter besides "R" at the end of DL. The locations are added to the other parks around the world to distinguish them from the original park here in Anaheim, California. Disneyland is the first Disney park, so just "Disneyland," or "Disneyland Resort" will do. And welcome to California. Northern California is gorgeous, I hope you and your partner enjoy living here. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
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  7. phruby

    phruby Well-Known Member

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    I thought this person was trying to distinguish it from the Disneyland in Florida. DLO. Besides why would "Disney" build another smaller Disneyland on the west coast?
     
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  8. BubbaQuest

    BubbaQuest Well-Known Member

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    Ignore all these other people, you can call Disneyland whatever you want :) Just enjoy it and welcome to California!

    Not sure where you are flying from, but as other have mentioned, avoid LAX if possible. Long Beach is primarily a Jet Blue airport with a handful of Southwest flights. Santa Ana/John Wayne has lots of Southwest and Alaska flights from various California locations. Be sure to compare fares at both as there are often fare wars going on around here. Long Beach just approved Uber pickups at the terminal (previously you had to walk outside the airport). You can get a Taxi flat rate fare from Long Beach to Disneyland for $45. Not sure how much Uber/Lyft would charge.
     
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  9. jeffk410

    jeffk410 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Haha you're correct - late at night and just attributed an acronym. I'll edit.
     
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  10. raven24

    raven24 Well-Known Member

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    @jeffk410 Are you more into table dining or quick service?
     
  11. TP2000

    TP2000 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed you can call it whatever you want. Call it "Disney Parks 1", call it "Dee-El", call it "Knott's Berry Farm South".

    Heck, you can even go way off the deep end and do like the East Coasters do and call it "Disney". :rolleyes:

    But for conversational purposes with normal people, especially west of Denver, just say Disneyland. Hopefully a word with three syllables won't put anyone out or waste their very precious time. :D
     
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  12. truecoat

    truecoat Well-Known Member

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    I've flown into LAX a couple times and had no problems. Is it busy? Yes, but that was expected. I made it to the rental car places via shuttle and back with no complaints.
     
  13. TP2000

    TP2000 Well-Known Member

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    They've spent about $3 Billion (with a B) in the last decade trying to fix the place, to make it less chaotic and grimy. It has improved a bit from the 2000's, I will give them that. They are currently in the process of spending another $8 Billion (with a B) to remake the place entirely, plus install a PeopleMover system linking an offsite parking and rental car complex to cure the horrible traffic and overburdened roadways, and additional aesthetic improvements as part of the LA 2024 Olympics bid. But it's still 90+ minutes away from Disneyland in traffic for much of the day. And it's still LAX.

    But for sheer ease and modern cleanliness and closeness to Disneyland, you can't beat John Wayne. Long Beach is an extra 20 minutes away compared to John Wayne, but LBG matches John Wayne's modern amenities and ease of operation. Either of those two would make for an easier vacation arrival/departure experience compared to LAX.
     
  14. truecoat

    truecoat Well-Known Member

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    But you also need an airline that flies into that airport. For me I really don't have a choice but someone in or near Cali I bet it's pretty easy find one.
     
  15. TP2000

    TP2000 Well-Known Member

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    Valid point. If you are flying from overseas you can't beat the airlines that serve LAX daily. If an airlines flies to the USA, it flies to LAX, from Aeroflot to XL Airways and everything in between.

    The OP is in NorCal though, and John Wayne has dozens of flights per day arriving from SFO, Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose on six different airlines; American, Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska and Frontier. I would highly recommend the OP look into John Wayne flights for their Disneyland visit this fall, it's dramatically easier and more gracious than LAX.
     
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  16. jeffk410

    jeffk410 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Definitely table service. Thanks for asking!
     
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  17. jeffk410

    jeffk410 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I luckily have the flexibility of flying out of SFO or Oakland. Looking at flight prices, Oakland to Long Beach seems to be the best cost-wise and convenience, so i'll likely be going that route. I'll look into John Wayne, but didn't see too many flights there. Thanks for the tips!
     
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  18. jeffk410

    jeffk410 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Appreciate the input. I'll look into SFO / Oakland to John Wayne tonight then.
     
  19. TP2000

    TP2000 Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. Long Beach is a close second to John Wayne in ease and service, just an extra 20 minutes on the freeway, but it would be a good choice too.

    My quick check on Expedia shows 20 flights per day from Oakland to John Wayne, on Alaska, American, Delta or United. Plus whatever Southwest offers, as they don't work with Expedia.

    JetBlue also doesn't work on Expedia, but their website shows 4 non-stop flights per day from Oakland to Long Beach, plus 8 other non-stops to Long Beach from SFO or San Jose.

    You've got plenty of choices.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
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  20. raven24

    raven24 Well-Known Member

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    Of course!

    I ask because we don't have as many table service options here like the plentiful at WDW. In saying that, some of our quick service joints offer quality meals and not the typical burgers, fries, pizza, and chicken strips one usually finds at theme parks. My favorite quick service spots that offer nice food options are:

    -Plaza Inn (Disneyland Park)
    -French Market (Disneyland Park)
    -River Belle Terrace (Disneyland Park)
    -Rancho Del Zocalo (Disneyland Park)
    -Flo's V8 Cafe (California Adventure)

    My favorite table service options:

    -Cafe Orleans (Disneyland Park)
    -Carnation Cafe (Disneyland Park)
    -Tortilla Jo's (Downtown Disney)
     
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