Disneyland tips and tricks?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 10:19 AM
kingdakacor's avatar

Thinking about going out there next summer. Are there any really good off sight hotels to stay at. I know that Knotts is close by but are there really any other parks in close proximity to disneyland besides knotts? Would appreciate the help!


Sky's the limit.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 10:59 AM
LostKause's avatar

This topic will help me a lot too, if it ever gets started.

I keep looking at Motel 6. It's within walking distance to DL, and it's only about $50 a night. I don't need a big fancy resort, unless I can get one for the same price or cheaper. I wouldn't mind an indoor pool and a hot tub.

Is the McDonald's that is located outside the gate priced about the same as other McDonald's restaurants? I'm thinking that eating on Disney property would be about the same price as McDonald's anyways, if I choose to eat at counter service locations. I really have no desire to eat at a sit-down restaurant, either inside or outside of Disney property.

Is the bus system in the area a good choice to get to Knott's Berry Farm? What about Universal? Would I need a taxi to get to any of these parks? Would a taxi drive me to Six Flags Magic Mountain, or is that too far? Would it be a better idea to rent a car for a few days to get me to these further away parks?

Is Gardens too far to consider to go on a day trip? What about Legoland? Are these two parks worth checking out if I don't have kids tagging along?

What about transportation to and from my hotel from LAX?

I want to spend more days at Disney than other parks. I think I'll only really need a day each at other parks. How many days is required to spend at the Disney parks to see it all at a leisurely pace (using Fastpass)?

I might take a nice, long walk to get to Knott's one day, and Huntington Beach another. Is it crazy to think that I could walk that far? I like to walk.

Thanks for any insight. :)


Edit - Spelling "Bonfante" by memory is hard.

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, December 21, 2010 11:41 AM
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 11:12 AM

Bonfante Gardens is a good 4 hours away dear. :-) If you are going to go that far north, I'd rather go to Santa Cruz. Plus the drive up Hwy 1 would be breathtaking. I like your walking idea, but LA is a driver's town (from what I remember. Like Florida it does not believe in sidewalks.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 11:40 AM
rollergator's avatar

NorCal and SoCal are definitely two distinct trips. I've made the mistake of trying to do both in one trip...there's simply too much to do (unless you're spending two weeks in CA).

NorCal involves Bonfante (awesomely beautiful), SCBB, SFDK, CFGA, and probably some San Fran sightseeing - and eating....there's a week there easy! There's also a zoo, and the Train Town place if you're interested in those "credits"...we hit up Nut Tree Park (SpringCon a few years ago), but that's closed now.

SoCal has....well, everything. The San Diego parks (new Unicoaster at Belmont for 2011, plus SWSD, and LegoLand is down in that direction)are a good 1.5-2 hours South from Anaheim/Buena Park area. In that Buena Park/Anaheim, you have the 2 Disney parks, Knott's, and Adventure City). Plus you have Castle Park (highly recommended), Universal Hollywood, Pacific Park, and Scandia. Throw in SFMM an hour North of Disney/Knott's, and it's easy to see how you could spend a week there and still need to hit a few other attractions on your next trip.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 11:48 AM

I might add that there is a lot more to Southern California then just Themeparks, would be a shame to come out here and see nothing else. Just my two cents


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:13 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Whew. Where to begin.

LostKause said:

I keep looking at Motel 6. It's within walking distance to DL

Actually, depending on which Motel 6 you stay at, it isn't. There were 2 Motel 6s in Anaheim. I think we stayed at the one closest to Disneyland, and it wasn't really in walking distance. Gator can tell you about the one he stayed at.

And I don't recall, but can you just 'walk' to Disneyland? I didn't think there was really walking access, but I could be wrong, it's been almost 6 years.

They do have public transportation, though, so getting from your lodging to the park shouldn't be a major issue, but you're going to have to pay.

I wouldn't mind an indoor pool and a hot tub.

Have you tried places like hotwire, orbitz, etc? You can get 2 stars (Motel 6ish) for less than $50, and 2.5-3 stars for $60. And usually Hotwire 3 stars aren't bad.

I'm thinking that eating on Disney property would be about the same price as McDonald's anyways, if I choose to eat at counter service locations.

We ate burgers at DCA, as I recall it was about $8 or $9, and it was quite a bit of food, and it was good. Disney isn't SF or CF when it comes to food.

Is the bus system in the area a good choice to get to Knott's Berry Farm?

I would imagine there would be decent public transportation, it's only about 6 miles away

What about Universal?

It's almost 40 miles according to google maps. You'd likely be on a bus for a long time.

Would I need a taxi to get to any of these parks? Would a taxi drive me to Six Flags Magic Mountain, or is that too far?

Its almost 60 miles. A taxi will be expensive.

Would it be a better idea to rent a car for a few days to get me to these further away parks?

I'd suggest renting a car for the entire trip. If you're just planning on 2 days at Disney, one at KBF, one at SFMM, and one at Universal, it could be cheaper for you to rent a car than to pay a taxi or ride a bus. That stuff adds up quick. Are you planning on doing anything other than just parks? Renting a car would give you access to non-park stuff after hours. Again, depending on when you go, the parks could be closed early, or you could leave early and want to do something else like walk around Hollywood or go to the beach.

Is Gardens too far to consider to go on a day trip?

As has been said, it's in NorCal. I haven't done a NorCal trip yet, but I wouldn't suggest it.

What about Legoland?

I know you can take a train down to San Diego, but it would likely eat up a whole day. Not sure, though, I haven't done it.

What about transportation to and from my hotel from LAX?

Its over 30 miles. Again, I would highly suggest renting a car if you're spending a few days/week in LA.

How many days is required ...

I'm no expert, but I'll answer based on my experiences. Also, it depends on when you go.

We spent one day at Disney, did both parks, and it wasn't nearly enough. I would say, though, that if you did open to close, Disneyland needs at least a full day. California Adventure didn't need a full day when I went, but we liked it and stayed over there for a while. I would suggest a 2 day park hopper so that you do DL one full day, then DCA till you get tired of it the next day, then you can hop back over to DL. If you don't want to pay extra for park hopping, then you could always do something else after you finised with DCA.

We did USH in 6 hours, and that includes the backlot tour. The only major things (at the time) that we didn't do was Terminator and BTTF. Again, depending on when you go, you may not need a whole day there.

You'll likely need a whole day at SFMM, and since its a hike out there, you'll probably want to stay once you get there. As I recall, there were places to eat once you're there, in fact, I think there was a mall close, if you don't want to eat in the park.

Knott's is one of my favorite parks, and I'd gladly spend a whole day there as well. You can leave during the day and make a quick trip down to Adventure City, where you likely won't need much time to grab a credit.

I might take a nice, long walk to get to Knott's one day, and Huntington Beach another. Is it crazy to think that I could walk that far? I like to walk.

Yes. It's LA. I'm not familiar with the area, but I certainly wouldn't walk the 5 or 6 miles from Disney to Knotts. We walked from our Hotel to Knotts, just a couple blocks, but that was about it. Perhaps someone from LA can give you better information, but in bigger cities, one wrong turn and you're in an area where you shouldn't be. And as was stated, I also don't feel LA is a walking city.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to rent a car. And see if anyone else wants to go with you. It doesn't matter how much you like to walk, if you're walking around a theme park for 8-10 hours and THEN have to walk 6 miles back to your hotel, you're going to be miserable. And if you spend money on taxis and public transportation, when you can likely find a rental for around $20 a day. It all depends on when you go and how long.

People all warned us about driving in LA (Even the locals), but we avoided driving during busy times. We stayed close to the parks we went to (changing hotels depending on the nite) so that we didn't have far to drive in the morning, and by the time we left the parks, rushhour was long over. The only traffic we got in was going to LAX Monday morning, and it wasn't terrible, but LA traffic can be notorious. Again, I'd say rent a car, and stay close to the park(s) you're going to.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:18 PM

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:24 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

kingdakacor said:
Thinking about going out there next summer. Are there any really good off sight hotels to stay at. I know that Knotts is close by but are there really any other parks in close proximity to disneyland besides knotts? Would appreciate the help!

If you look up disneyland or knotts on RCDB.com it'll tell you what parks are close, and an 'as the crow flies' distance. There are quite a few parks. And as has been said, there is other stuff in SoCal than theme parks. Sadly I didn't get to do enough of the other stuff, but I plan to rectify that, maybe next Thanksgiving :).


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:42 PM
kingdakacor's avatar

There is so much other than theme parks to see absolutely right. I am looking at just going for a week. Very hard to pick and choose what to do in that time span.


Sky's the limit.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:54 PM
LostKause's avatar

I didn't know that renting a car was so inexpensive. Thanks, Tek.

The Motel 6 that I am talking about is really close to the park, and judging by the satellite image, there also seems to be a sidewalk all the way to the main park gate. I really like the idea of walking to and from the parks, kind of like Cedar Point, except less expensive. lol

I am planning on at least 2 days at Disney, and maybe three or four. Adding days to the park hopper ticket is so cheap, and I want to make sure I get to do everything enough times. I'll probably wait until Cars Land opens, so there will be more to do.

I like your idea, Tek, of changing hotels throughout the trip, staying closer to the parks that I am visiting. I'll think about that.

Gator, I'll probably just keep the trip in Southern CA this time. I've been very interested in Bonfante Gardens ever since it opened, so I might make a special trip one day to see it, but I think that I'd skip Legoland, because it seems more geared toward kids, and Adventure City and Castle Park seems too small to be worth the effort. Why is it highly recommended, Gator?

Belmont would be cool if just for the legendary Big Dipper.

This is awesome. Thanks!


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:59 PM

As a Southern California native that was born in L.A. and now lives in San Diego, here's a big piece of advice you NEED to take as a tourist:

Rent. A. Car.

I cannot stress this enough.

This entire area is not public transportation friendly, nor walkable. Walking from Disneyland Resort to Knott's is ill-advised, even though they are a 10 minute drive away from each other via Interstate 5.

I'm pretty sure Knott's has a shuttle bus that actually goes to Disneyland Resort. Call ahead just to be sure.

Last edited by kRaXLeRidAh, Tuesday, December 21, 2010 1:01 PM
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:59 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Still, re: Walking to Disneyland, I'm not sure thats actually possible. It isn't that far of a walk, but I'm not sure there is walking access to the park gates.

At Knott's, we just walked a couple blocks, walked up to the gate, and went in, but Disneyland Resort isn't like that. The entrance to the parks and Downtown Disney are in the middle of the resort, and you're coming from the opposite way. Don't rely on the Sat images.

Also, the last time I rented a car, in October, I got it for like $15 a day. You can get deals on renting cars as long as you're over 25.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 2:22 PM
rollergator's avatar

On my more recent DL trip a couple years ago, I stayed at one of those extended-stay places about 2-3 blocks from the resort (AmeriSuites or something like that). Walked right into the park, and had a nice place to stay that was on par pricewise with the Motel 6 (but was a MUCH better value). Also, close enough for the always-underrated midday break from the park... :)


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 5:45 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

You can get to the front gate via S. Harbor Blvd. The wife and I stayed at the Sheraton and walked.


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 6:50 PM
LuvRaptor's avatar

ALL the restaurants outside of Disneyland are CRAZY expensive!!! We ate at IHOP and holy crap the same breakfast that I paid $5.99 for in Ohio was $10.99 there! I checked at the San Diego and Alpine IHOPs their prices were the same as Ohios.

You dont need a whole day to do Knotts.
You do need a whole day to do SFMM and dont miss it-it is awesome!

The driving is not that bad in Cali dont let them scare you. Just remember the posted speed limits are a nice suggestion, plan on speeding. They are crazy fast drivers but very courteous so they will let you over and stuff.
Unlike NYC drivers who just suck...learned to drive there so can handle ANY where!!!
The Florida drivers down here are the devil! Too slow, up your butt and NO way will they let you over. Its been interesting to say the least :)

Jo
Lifetime Raptor flights: 2300 :)
2010 Disney Cast Member :)


It's all about getting around the barrels or over the fences, right leads, no faults, fastest time and still looking pretty when done. What's so hard about that? :)

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 6:57 PM
LostKause's avatar

Thanks, 8.3. Before your post, I walked there from Motel 6, virtually, with Google Street View, just to make sure. lol The sidewalk takes you to what appears to be a bus / tram drop-off area, which leads to the main entrance of the two parks. This Tram stop is East of the entrance plaza, and Downtown Disney is West of the entrance plaza.


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:06 PM
crazy horse's avatar

There is a bus company called "greayline" that shuttles you from the airport, to any hotel near disneyland. I wanna say that it was around $10-$15 per person round trip. They also give a 10% AAA discount. They also offer shuttle service from your hotel, to knotts as well. I am not sure if this number is still good or not, but greaylines phone number was/is 714-978-8855

You can walk to Disneyland from several hotels in the area.

I checked on hotels.com, and you can get a room witin walking distance to the park for anywhere between $53-$79 for a budget room. We stayed at a hotel about a block away from the park and payed around $45 a night. The room was a dump, but all we needed it for was to sleep. I can't remember the name of the hotel(del ray maybee), but you could see califonia screaming from the room.

Hope this helps you.


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:31 PM
LostKause's avatar

Thanks for the great info, Crazy Horse. I noticed that there are a lot of car rental places right near DL. I'm now thinking about taking the Greayline bus service that you mentioned to and from the hotel, and to and from Knott's, and only getting a car for half of my trip to visit further away parks like Magic Mountain.


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:33 PM

It is about a half mile walk from that Motel 6 to the Entrance Plaza. Walk down Manchester to Harbor. Hang a left. Walk past Mimis, McDoalds, etc...entrance walkway is across the street to the right (you cannot miss it).

Two days is enough for Disney. They have buses to Sea World San Diego and Universal up and down Harbor all the time. I have no clue if they charge...I always had a car.

You really should Priceline and get off that Motel 6 stance. You can get better for cheaper.

I think you do not like Six Flags (didn't I see that in a post of yours a while back). If this is the case, Magic Mountain might be the single most frustrating day of your life. I'll admit I've only been to this and the one in San Antonio (much better)... But I have no desire to go back.

A couple coasters are good...IF they are open and you don't mind one train operation. X and Goliath are decent...(ok Goliath is real good) but I would take Ghostrider and Knotts ANY day over SFMM. The ambiance/atmosphere is so much better. I have had some great night rides on Ghostrider. It beats the crap out of you in a good way.

Universal Hollywood sucks compared to Orlando. I would concentrate on Disney and Knotts in one trip. They are close, and they are the two best parks in the area.

No huge rides, but Newport Beach has a small park on the water that has good food. Hunington Beach is down the way and is cool in a "surfer" sort of way.

I'd do two days Disney. One day Knotts. One day Newport/Huntington Beach. Rent a bike for two days for Knott's and the beach. Sounds like you are in decent shape. 15-20 miles max to the beach.

That would be an awesome trip!

...hope you read it? :)

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:39 PM
rollergator's avatar

LostKause said:
Gator, I'll probably just keep the trip in Southern CA this time. I've been very interested in Bonfante Gardens ever since it opened, so I might make a special trip one day to see it, but I think that I'd skip Legoland, because it seems more geared toward kids, and Adventure City and Castle Park seems too small to be worth the effort. Why is it highly recommended, Gator?

Bonfante is a horticultural wonderland. Amazing...

Castle has an incredible amount of art deco metalwork, two classic trains, and a lot of history... oh, and it has the weirdest spinning mouse EVER (free spinning right out of the station):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rollergator/sets/72157625089930794/

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:41 PM

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:56 PM
LuvRaptor's avatar

Aamilj said:
I think you do not like Six Flags (didn't I see that in a post of yours a while back). If this is the case, Magic Mountain might be the single most frustrating day of your life. I'll admit I've only been to this and the one in San Antonio (much better)... But I have no desire to go back.

A couple coasters are good...IF they are open and you don't mind one train operation. X and Goliath are decent...(ok Goliath is real good) but I would take Ghostrider and Knotts ANY day over SFMM. The ambiance/atmosphere is so much better.

I went to SFMM August of '09 and May 2010 and LOVED it! Terminator Salvation KILLS Ghostrider and ALL the coasters were up and running both visits..I had a blast!!! :)
X2 is incredible, Riddlers Revenge rocks and Tatsu is awesome too!
Knotts was fun, Silver Bullet and Xcelerator are awesome but hardly enough to say Knotts is better than SFMM.
If you're going to Cali do not miss SFMM!

Jo
Lifetime Raptor flights: 2300 :)
2010 Disney Cast Member :)


It's all about getting around the barrels or over the fences, right leads, no faults, fastest time and still looking pretty when done. What's so hard about that? :)

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