1. Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.
    Dismiss Notice

Disneyland Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'Disneyland Resort' started by TJ Vazquez, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. TJ Vazquez

    TJ Vazquez Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    2,529
    Hello All! I am a long time WDW goer driven by my proximity to the park but we just cancelled our most recent trip for next week (damn you Irma!) and decided to high tail it to Southern Cali. We decided to hit Disneyland for 1 day and I am completely clueless about the restaurants/hotels and also Maxpass.

    Can anyone recommend restaurants either in Disneyland Park or Downtown Disney?

    Any hotel recommendations? We have booked the Hilton Anaheim which is 1 block from the park but wanted to see if any else had better recommendations.

    Also, how does Maxpass work. Is it essentially the same as paper tickets but now via your phone (where you can get one at a one)?

    Thanks so much in advance!
     
  2. TheOrangeBird01

    TheOrangeBird01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    If you can, definitely try for Blue Bayou in Disneyland! If it's available go for the Fantasmic dining package and kill two birds with one stone.

    On my trip in August my family only got one Maxpass to use for downloading PhotoPass pictures, and never used it for gaining ride FastPasses. We were totally fine just usuing the paper FP's and even though I think MP is convenient, it can get expensive for multiple days. Since you'll only be going the one day it's really up to you.
     
  3. TJ Vazquez

    TJ Vazquez Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    2,529
    Awesome! Thanks for the recommendations. I am actually excited that I don't have to do 1/3 of the planning i have to with WDW. Just a lot less stressful, then again I am only planning for one day haha
     
    TheOrangeBird01 likes this.
  4. Practical Pig

    Practical Pig Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    669
    TJ Vazquez likes this.
  5. raven24

    raven24 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    14,467
    Likes Received:
    20,638
    Tortilla Jo's is my favorite Downtown Disney restaurant. Ralph Brennan's is pretty good, too. As far as Disneyland goes, I'd recommend French Market, Plaza Inn, or Cafe Orleans. Maybe River Belle Terrace as well. The first two are quick service and the latter are table service. I suggest looking over the menus first.

    With Maxpass, you can book your Fastpasses on your phone. You can't book anything in advance, only the day of. It costs $10 and you can switch your FP as well on your phone. The DLR still offers paper FPs, free of charge.

    If you can get one of the hotels across the street, like Best Western Plus, that would be even better, since they're so close. Hiltons are usually a good choice though. When is your trip?
     
    180º and TJ Vazquez like this.
  6. TJ Vazquez

    TJ Vazquez Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    2,529
    Thank you!

    Well we were going to spend 4 days at the parks in Orlando, but since we changed our plans and I have never been to California, we decided to only do one park in one day because there are so many other things we wanted to do in Cali. We will be there the 21st of September, so a little under 2 weeks!
     
    raven24 likes this.
  7. raven24

    raven24 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    14,467
    Likes Received:
    20,638
    You're welcome.

    That makes sense. With under two weeks left, maybe you should keep the Hilton. Lol. What are your other California plans? Are you staying south or planning to hit up Northern California?
     
  8. TJ Vazquez

    TJ Vazquez Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    2,529
    We are sticking to Southern California this time since we only have 7 days ( my vacation policy at my company is a bit sad haha). Our plans right now are to do San Diego for 2 days, Newport Beach for 2 days, Disneyland for a day and end in Santa Barbara. Since I literally booked this trip yesterday I still don't quite know what we are going to see/do/eat but if you or anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them!
     
  9. raven24

    raven24 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    14,467
    Likes Received:
    20,638
    Here you go:

    http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/the-official-explore-southern-california-thread.872243/
     
  10. Kira Nerys

    Kira Nerys Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,329
    Likes Received:
    8,188
    It's too hot and humid with too many closures to go now, but your original plans were Disney World, so I guess the hot and humid shouldn't bother you. There is a thread dedicated to this sort thing that's pretty informative.
     
  11. TJ Vazquez

    TJ Vazquez Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    2,529
    Fantastic, thanks for the tips and guidance everyone!
     
    Practical Pig and raven24 like this.
  12. 75disney

    75disney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    1,142
    WDW vet who recently returned from first trip to DLR in 20 years. Highly recommend French Market. We all loved our food and we listened to jazz musicians while we ate. With only one day at the park, I would personally do a quick service meal instead of a full service so I would have more time to explore. Get your Fantasmic fast passes early in the day and be there for rope drop to maximize your time. We didn't do Max Pass due to the cost ($40 for us), and we had no trouble getting paper fast passes as long as someone in your party doesn't mind going to get them. Have fun! Disneyland is amazing!
     
  13. FoodRockz

    FoodRockz Active Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    213
    Im a lifetimer for WDW, and have now been to DLR twice in the past 3 years. It is amazing! Truly a more pleasing experience. I have since discontinued my WDW AP.

    Anyway, the Hilton is great logistically and is nice. One thing you must realize is that DLR provides much better food at their QSR compared to WDW. In fact, their QSR are pretty damn classy. I love the French Market (near HM) and really enjoyed breakfast at a cute little place when you round the corner from Indiana Jones in to their PotC area.

    Have fun!!!
     
    TJ Vazquez and 75disney like this.
  14. A.D.D. Boy

    A.D.D. Boy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    28
    Cafe Orleans for the Monte Cristo near Pirates in Disneyland and La Brea Bakery Cafe in DT Disney for a hodge-podge of awesome choices. Also, for Italian AT NIGHT on the patio Naples Ristorante e Pizza is a great experience in DT Disney area as well.
     
    TJ Vazquez and 75disney like this.
  15. Curious Constance

    Curious Constance Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    3,623
    Likes Received:
    6,099
    For uniqueness and ambiance, I'd say Blue Bayou is a must do. It might be difficult finding a reservation this close, but if nothing shows online, try calling.
     
    180º and TheOrangeBird01 like this.
  16. TJ Vazquez

    TJ Vazquez Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    2,529
    Thanks for the tip, yeah the last minute situation of our trip really negated the planning aspect of it. I would love to eat there, it looks very cool and the menu looks awesome.

    On a side note I am curious as to the Magic Morning Hour. I won't be staying at a DLR hotel so I can't take advantage of that, but if the Disneyland Park is open from 9AM to 10PM do you guys think I will have a problem seeing most of the park and its attractions even though I don't have the extra hour? I know I can't see everything in just one day but would love to do the best we can!
     
  17. TP2000

    TP2000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Messages:
    10,214
    Likes Received:
    19,332
    A few notes about Santa Barbara.... it can be tricky to get to because you need to get across the LA megalopolis first. Traffic can be slow through the middle of LA on any freeway for much of the day. Once you get over the Hollywood Hills and into the San Fernando Valley and onto the 101 you can almost consider yourself home free. I would time your drive to Santa Barbara carefully and try to leave Orange County mid-morning, otherwise a huge chunk of your day will be spent on the freeway slogging through LA County.

    Also, Pacific Coast Highway crunches down to only 2 lanes south of Santa Barbara and the last 10 miles can often be bumper to bumper. It doesn't help they are doing road work south of town around Montecito either. I have family in Montecito and the past few times I drove up there I spent 2 hours driving and 2 hours sitting still on the freeway.

    It can look like it's only a 2 hour drive on the map, but can easily stretch to 5 hours if you attempt it at the wrong time of day. The website sigalert.com is your friend for all things SoCal Freeway related. If you leave Santa Barbara anytime after 8pm you should be smooth sailing back south to LA County, but the 405 on the west side of town can be slow even late at night.

    Good luck!

    You really need to focus on just the things that are exclusive to Disneyland, or markedly different at Disneyland like Pirates, Railroad (full circle or you'll miss stuff!) Jungle Cruise, Space Mt., etc.

    Skip clones or near clones like Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear, etc. Don't waste time on Peter Pan, even though it's latest tech upgrades and show improvements make it dramatically superior to the creaky WDW version, you just don't have time to waste on that long line in one day.

    There are 45 rides at Disneyland, and another 26 rides at DCA. That is more rides in those two parks than all four WDW parks have combined. You really need to prioritize what you want to see, and use Fastpass as much as possible. It would be wise to invest in Maxpass for the day. Are you going on a Friday?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
    75disney likes this.
  18. Curious Constance

    Curious Constance Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    3,623
    Likes Received:
    6,099
    Being there before park opening will be key, hit the big rides first thing since they typically have the longest lines later on. Collect a Fastpass for something like Space Mountain, but try doing as much as possible elsewhere in the meantime first thing. Matterhorn is a big one to do early WITHOUT Fastpass because the Fastpass side of the track is a lot slower than non fastpass. (weird, I know). No one likes riding Splash Mountain early in the day it seems, so that's another one to cross off the list early when you wait 5 minutes, rather than 90 minutes later on! Big thunder typically has no wait in the early morning.
    Peter Pan can be the hardest thing to coordinate. Long lines, even early in the day. People seem to come here first every day. If you're going to have to wait, I'd keep my eye on the App and if it dips to 30 minutes or under, make a beeline for it.
     
    75disney and TJ Vazquez like this.
  19. TJ Vazquez

    TJ Vazquez Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    2,529
    Awesome advice!

    I did decide to get Maxpass since it was only 20 bucks for 2 of us for the day. We are going Thursday the 21st, the crowd calendar looks to be about a 3 out of 10 so thats good.
     
  20. TJ Vazquez

    TJ Vazquez Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    2,529
    Well just got back from my Cali trip and just wanted to jot a few notes/thoughts on my first DLR experience:

    Pros:
    -Loved that I didn't need to take a bus/boat/monorail to get to the parks from Disneyland Hotel. Just a short walk through Downtown Disney
    -Maxpass is simply awesome. I really wish that WDW would have adopted this instead of having to make selections 60 days before. This seems to give everyone a shot at great attractions and times for all fastpass rides. I was able to get 3 fastpasses for Indy in the same day.
    -Pirates/Buzz/Pooh/Big Thunder were all much better then WDW IMO, especially Pirates.
    - Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion overlays were awesome and a great change of pace for us especially Haunted Mansion. They really go all out for that one.
    -Indy is just awesome. I couldn't ride it enough!
    -Beautiful grounds, it was great not to see a concrete jungle and see foliage and big trees in the parks.
    -Trader Sam's is such a cool little gem. I made sure to take my souvenir mug back!

    Cons:
    -While it was said to be a 3 out of 10 on the crowd calendar, it felt like a 10 out of 10. I am guessing that has to do with the compact nature of the parks but man did it feel crowded
    -The CM's (not all of course) seemed unhappy/angry and overall disinterested in making the experience that much better. This could have been bad luck on our part but definitely noticeable.
    -Matterhorn almost broke my back...yikes that is a rough ride
    -Food options seemed a bit limited. I would have loved to see a sushi option somewhere in the park. It seemed like Mexican/American was about it. We might be spoiled a bit with the options in Epcot.

    Overall I was very glad we went and experienced the original. While I am bit biased because I grew up on WDW, I certainly appreciate Disneylands' offerings and would certainly come back again!
     
    Curious Constance, 75disney and 180º like this.

Share This Page