View Full Version : Disneyland logistics questions

12-09-2007, 02:52 AM
We are looking at taking our first Disney vacation in April. We have really liked staying at Marriott REsidence Inns (or similar) that have 2 bedrooms, 2 baths,, a kitchen and living room. There is a MRI near Disneyland that has what we want for the same price or better than the resort hotels. But then I hear people say "just do it"--It is so amazing staying there.

What do you think? Kiddos will 5.5 and 3. The 3 year old will be napping but she naps late--like 2 or 3 pm??

Also, what is the latest I should consider makiing reservations? We will be trying to avoid early April/anything approaching school spring break.

Am also considering flyint into Long Beach vs. John Wayne due to cost savings, though I could look at trading in frequent flyer miles. Is it worth it? Or is flying into Long Beach ok? We would probably fly out Thursday night so we would have Fri/Sat in the park, Sun at Seaworld and Mon home. (It is only a 1-2 hour flight for us). I went to grad school in LA and I know the # of miles to a destination means nothing--its the traffic!!!

I have the Birnbaum's Official guide to Disney and maybe the unofficial guide. Most guides seem to focus on Dinsey world. Any books you can suggest would be great.

I want to look at hotel deals as well as look at a Disney good neighbor package to see if we can get what we want at savings.

Any ideas/advice/websites are appreciated!!! (I have not been to Disney in 30 years so this is new for me, too)

Aunt to sweet baby boy
12-13-2007, 12:04 PM
I do not have any Disney advice but I love Long Beach Airport!! It is very small, with only a few terminals. You would have your luggage before you would even get to the luggage carousel at LAX. After a really annoying flight at LAX this summer my next flight will definitely be to/from Long Beach. It is about 15-20 minutes past LAX in my experience, but if you are a carpool it is not an issue because there is a carpool lane on that part of the freeway.

Have fun at Disney!!!

12-13-2007, 05:58 PM
We went to Disneyland last year the last week of February. It was a great time to go. It was off-season, sunny but a bit chilly. There were occasional showers but they were luckily at night so didn't interfere with our days at Disney aside from rides being a little bit wet.

We have stayed at both Grand Californian and Disneyland Hotel. We haven't stayed at a good neighbor hotel yet, despite the savings, because it is honestly so convenient to be staying right by Downtown Disney and the monorail. Will your 3 yo be napping in the stroller or at the hotel? We easily headed back to the hotel every afternoon for DD's naptime and to recharge since it was just minutes away from the parks. I'd actually recommend the Disneyland hotel over the GC--although the GC is a newer, more luxury hotel and the beds were sooooo comfortable, it seemed more "adult" for lack of a better word. It's a beautiful hotel, and I think you could pick up that hotel and put it anywhere in a big metro city and it would fit just fine. It's a great hotel for a splurge and we loved our stay there. The Disneyland Hotel was very Disney-fied with decor both inside the room and throughout the hotel, and it's definitely cheaper than the GC. It's at the far end of Downtown Disney, so slightly farther walk to the park entrance, but equivalent to GC in the walk to the monorail station.

There's an Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. And there are some good websites out there with lots of info and helpful message boards. I'll dig up the links tonight.

ETA: Found the links.
http://www.disboards.com/index.php (Scroll down about halfway till you see Disneyland)

I have booked through Costco and through getawaytoday.com, primarily for convenience. Perks to that are you get coupons for priority seating, vouchers for character meals, coupons for discounts at Downtown Disney stores, etc. The two times we've gone have both been off-season, so I didn't find tremendous difference, if any, between booking a package and booking hotel/air separately. I have also heard that you may be able to get good deals by calling Disney hotels directly to book, and then calling as your stay gets closer to see if there are additional deals that may lower your rate.

I'd also recommend doing 3 days at Disney as opposed to 2+SeaWorld. Perhaps save SeaWorld for another trip, where you can add in the San Diego Zoo and Legoland. There's just so much to do at Disney, and if you go during off-season the park hours are shorter (i.e., closing at 8pm vs 10pm or midnight during peak time), and if you factor in naptime for a couple hours at the hotel, time for meals, it all cuts into the time you have to really enjoy all the attractions. We just got back from a trip the week after Thanksgiving. We had 3 full days at the parks (10am-8pm), 2 of which were early entry days (opened at 9am), and DD got to enjoy her favorite rides again and again, but we still did not have a chance to hit California Adventure. Our next trip will probably be for 4 days at the park.

We flew into John Wayne. Not sure how much further Long Beach is, but the shuttle ride from JW was nice and speedy.

Have a great time!

12-14-2007, 01:04 AM
The hotel is really a personal thing. Our DD1 would not sleep if we were in the same room with her so we do the suite hotels for our sanity. We didn't do a Disneyworld hotel this summer because of that. When they are older and don't nap then we will do the Disney hotels. For now the suites are much better for our traveling sanity.

I highly agree to bypass Seaworld. That is where you are going to have your worst traffic. The drive to San Diego is pretty long and it can be
AWFUL! I think a separate trip when they are a little older to do Seaworld, zoo, and legoland.

Long Beach is a great little airport and really not that much further from Disney than John Wayne. The OC airport is a great airport but it is pricey due to location. LB is so small it is so easy to get in and out but they don't offer as many flights so if you can get them, I would go for it. Traffic either way can be rough.

Just so you know I have lived in SoCal most of my life. We have Disney passes right now since we live so close.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

:) Melanie

Tondi G
12-15-2007, 08:45 PM
Personally I would spring for the Disneyland hotel. You can get a Parlor suite but they are not cheap and it's a pull out sofa in one room and a King in the bedroom. Do your children sleep ok in the same room as you? If not then I can see wanting the extra room. The reason I say stay at Dland hotel vs a good neighbor is that the monorail makes it SOOOO easy. A lot of hotels offer shuttle service but you don't know how many people will be wanting the service at the same time and when your kiddo is tired and ready for their nap (or at the end of a long day) the last thing you want to do is stand around waiting in line for the shuttle back to your hotel! We found it so convenient having downtown Disney right there. When our little guy went down for a nap DH or I could take our older DS and swim or go to the Lego store or the ESPN zone and check out all the games.... or build a bear... the list goes on!

We live in So Cal and have annual passes so we go frequently and our Older DS asks all the time "when are we gonna stay in the hotel again?" He loves the Disneyland hotel!

Mommy to Mason 7/01 and Aidan 5/05