First Trip To Disneyland and Aulani (for a WDW Veteran)...Help!

Joeamc

Active Member
Original Poster
Hello Everyone! So the Family and I are taking our first trip to Disneyland and Aulani this July! Very Excited!! It will be Myself, My wife and 2 kids (12,10) . We are Disneyworld "Veterans", Vacation Club owners (Home: Bay Lake Tower) and have stayed at many WDW resorts (Poly, GF, AKL). We are flying from East Coast to DL. We will be staying at the Grand Californian for 6 days then we are off to Aulani for 10 days. I feel like a Disney newbie which is strange for me, being that I feel I am SO familar with WDW. Which attractions to do first? Which restaurants to try? There are so many questions and unknowns! Sure it is exciting, but also a little Nerve-racking to say the least!! I would really appreciate anyones feedback they may have for me! If anyone is interested I may keep this post going as a trip report as the time comes and you guys can experience the trip with me. So Anyway, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
 

raven24

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
Start off with reading through this thread. Lots and lots of great info:

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/guide-to-dlr-for-wdw-veterans.875596/

Will you be spending all six days at the DLR and nowhere else in California? If so, it doesn't matter which rides you do first, since six days is beyond plenty of time to get everything in.

We also have a thread on food:

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/dlr-food-where-to-eat-and-where-not-to.894442/

The DLR is a piece of cake. It's small, with two parks and Downtown Disney basically attached. The parks are a hop, skip, and a jump away from each other, literally less than five minutes away from each other, from entrance to entrance. I wouldn't worry about anything.

I think we'd all enjoy a TR from you. :)
 

Joeamc

Active Member
Original Poster
Start off with reading through this thread. Lots and lots of great info:

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/guide-to-dlr-for-wdw-veterans.875596/

Will you be spending all six days at the DLR and nowhere else in California? If so, it doesn't matter which rides you do first, since six days is beyond plenty of time to get everything in.

We also have a thread on food:

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/dlr-food-where-to-eat-and-where-not-to.894442/

The DLR is a piece of cake. It's small, with two parks and Downtown Disney basically attached. The parks are a hop, skip, and a jump away from each other, literally less than five minutes away from each other, from entrance to entrance. I wouldn't worry about anything.

I think we'd all enjoy a TR from you. :)

Thanks for your response and the Great threads!! They seem to be full of a lot of great info! Should definitely help. I will be spending all six days at DL, although the last day is really just a travel day (wake up have breakfast at resort and head to airport.) The first day, we weren't planning on doing parks (but not sure yet). Our plan was to arrive at DL around 1pm. Check in, head to pool, then we have Goofys Kitchen Reservations for Dinner. We were thinking of heading in early, Get some rest and wake up early the following day and head to Parks. The rest of the trip we planned on going to parks (will be 4 days in parks) Bouncing between DL and DCA most of the time with some Pool time in-between. Any recommendations on Restaurants?
 

Joeamc

Active Member
Original Poster
Start off with reading through this thread. Lots and lots of great info:

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/guide-to-dlr-for-wdw-veterans.875596/

Will you be spending all six days at the DLR and nowhere else in California? If so, it doesn't matter which rides you do first, since six days is beyond plenty of time to get everything in.

We also have a thread on food:

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/dlr-food-where-to-eat-and-where-not-to.894442/

The DLR is a piece of cake. It's small, with two parks and Downtown Disney basically attached. The parks are a hop, skip, and a jump away from each other, literally less than five minutes away from each other, from entrance to entrance. I wouldn't worry about anything.

I think we'd all enjoy a TR from you. :)
The Disneyland Dining thread that you recommended is awesome. Love the way it is done with photos etc. Very easy to follow. I love it!!
 

raven24

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your response and the Great threads!! They seem to be full of a lot of great info! Should definitely help. I will be spending all six days at DL, although the last day is really just a travel day (wake up have breakfast at resort and head to airport.) The first day, we weren't planning on doing parks (but not sure yet). Our plan was to arrive at DL around 1pm. Check in, head to pool, then we have Goofys Kitchen Reservations for Dinner. We were thinking of heading in early, Get some rest and wake up early the following day and head to Parks. The rest of the trip we planned on going to parks (will be 4 days in parks) Bouncing between DL and DCA most of the time with some Pool time in-between. Any recommendations on Restaurants?
You're welcome!

Four days should be fine. Is your trip close to the D23 Expo event? If so, prepare for large crowds.

I mainly eat quick service at the parks and only eat table service for special occasions (I'm assuming you're interested in table service?). My favorite table service spot in Disneyland is Cafe Orleans. I'm going back in two weeks and I'm looking forward to it. I've never had table service in California Adventure, so I don't have an opinion. I've tried almost all the table service spots in Downtown Disney and Tortilla Jo's is my favorite. My favorite quick service spots are Plaza Inn and French Market. Can't go wrong with any of these choices!
 

Joeamc

Active Member
Original Poster
You're welcome!

Four days should be fine. Is your trip close to the D23 Expo event? If so, prepare for large crowds.

I mainly eat quick service at the parks and only eat table service for special occasions (I'm assuming you're interested in table service?). My favorite table service spot in Disneyland is Cafe Orleans. I'm going back in two weeks and I'm looking forward to it. I've never had table service in California Adventure, so I don't have an opinion. I've tried almost all the table service spots in Downtown Disney and Tortilla Jo's is my favorite. My favorite quick service spots are Plaza Inn and French Market. Can't go wrong with any of these choices!
It is actually during the D23 expo, so will probably be packed. Do you know if anything special will be going on in the parks for the Expo? I know the expo is at the convention center, but wasn't sure if parks do anything special
 

raven24

Well-Known Member
It is actually during the D23 expo, so will probably be packed. Do you know if anything special will be going on in the parks for the Expo? I know the expo is at the convention center, but wasn't sure if parks do anything special
If I remember correctly, Disney doesn't plan anything special for the parks during the Expos.
 

BubbaQuest

Well-Known Member
With 6 days, you should have more than enough time to do everything, so I wouldn't stress too much about the trip. It is so much more leisurely than WDW. Do expect crazy crowds during D23. Even worse, you are going to be there for the re-opening of Fantasmic (July 17th). Personally, I'd plan on doing something non-Disney that day, but you might get a "first" badge if you are willing to battle the crowds.

Again, I wouldn't be too worried about the crowds if you are going to be there that long. Do some EMH to hit some of your favorites in the morning, and grab a fastpass for something later and then just enjoy the day.
 

Joeamc

Active Member
Original Poster
I did this exact trip in 2012 and again this year! Aulani is great, and flying over there from Disneyland is much easier than from the East Coast.
Great! Thanks for the feedback. How was the Jet-lag from the east coast? did it take some time to get used to it for DL and aulani?
 

The_Bellringer

Active Member
You'll be there when the new Fantasmic opens. So I'd say either be very prepared and brace yourself for insane crowds or avoid DL and just do DCA that day.

DL doesn't have the "blessing of size" of WDW. When it's very crowded, you will definitely feel it more.
 
Top Bottom