View Full Version : Disneyland virgin - how do I start?

01-05-2007, 06:23 PM
We've never even been to any Disney park (moved to the U.S. 6 years ago). We want to take our first trip to Disneyland in California on the week of Jan 22nd. We have a 4 year old girl and a 19 month old boy.

1. How do I find a good deal on flight, hotel and entrance?
2. Is is way to early, considering the kids ages?
3. I signed up for this mousesaver thing I saw at the board, but I'm not sure I did it long enough time in advance as we want to leave in 2 weeks.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


01-06-2007, 12:00 PM
You are going to have such a great time! We are leaving for our Disneyland on Monday morning (it will be DS's third visit).

Right now the "everyone plays for the kids price" promotion is going on. For example, the 3-day hopper is $129 for adults and kids. It sounds like a lot, but it is a much better deal than the regular prices. If you decide to book a whole package through Disney, AAA, Costco, or any other company they will likely include these passes in the price. However, they also tend to go with pricey hotels. My feeling is that since we will only be sleeping there I don't need it to be fancy. I want it clean, close to the park and inexpensive. There are a lot of good hotels right along Harbor that are walking distance to the park and are very affordable (even better if you are a AAA member).

I really don't think your kids are too young. DS was 14 months the first time we took him, and he loved it. I realize that he doesn't remember it now, but we do - and that was worth the trip. Both kids should be able to go on all the rides in Fantasyland and a few assorted others. We've never felt that there are rides DS wanted to go on but couldn't. In fact, this year he's talking about avoiding some rides he enjoyed in the past (Pirates - because "it's too dark and scary"). If you have a double stroller you should definitely bring it. Every time I've ever been to Disneyland I see parents carrying babies or toddlers while the wiped out older sibling rides in the stroller. I guess the parents figure it is easier to carry the smaller one. I've also seen big kids trying to fit in the Disneyland rental strollers, which don't look like they can comfortably hold an older child. If you've got one, you will use it. You can just park it out of the way when you're going on rides. We always bring a bike lock to keep ours safe, but I suspect that stroller theft isn't a big problem in Disneyland. BTW, we don't attach it to anything in the park; just in case a cast member needs it moved they can do it without having to cut our lock (but it would be very difficult for someone to leave the park with it).

As far as the Mousesaver newsletter, I think I signed up about a week before the scheduled date and I still got mine on the 15th of that month. You should definitely have it in time.

Sorry for the super long response. I get very excited about Disneyland! Have a wonderful time!

01-06-2007, 06:23 PM
Thank you for the detailed response. I'll try to get my hands on a double stroller for the trip.

There is just so many hotels it's very confusing to choose. Can you walk from the hotel to the park? Does it matter? Can you name some hotels that are close to the entrance? Or maybe I should consider priceline?


01-06-2007, 08:41 PM
If you don't have a double stroller already I wouldn't go out and get one. After I wrote my earlier response I remembered that you mentioned flying there. If it is easier to go without a stroller (because of flying) then you can just rent one when you get there. As far as I know they don't have doubles, but you could wait until later in the day and if your older child gets tired you could go rent another.

We always walk to the park (even if we stay several blocks away) because I just hate dealing with the shuttles. I think they would be more difficult if we had to get a stroller on the shuttle, too. One really nice thing about having your own stroller, or two, with you is that if you do walk to the hotel you don't have to worry about the kids having to walk on their own after a long day at Disneyland (and you don't have to carry them).

We've stayed at the Desert Inn and Suites on Harbor. I've also heard good things about the Carousel Inn and Park Inn. Some have elevators (helpful if you do have a stroller) and some offer a free (not terrribly impressive) continental breakfast. If you have a AAA book you can see on the map that they are all directly across the street from the entrance to the park. Last year it took us exactly 4 minutes to get from our Desert Inn hotel room to the entrance (that included waiting for the traffic signal and going through security).

I have stayed at other hotels in the past that aren't as close. The Portofino is very nice, so are the Residence Inn and the Anaheim Marriott, but the walks are quite a bit longer from these hotels. Most of them used to have thier own shuttles, but now they all use a shuttle that makes multiple stops and I think you may even have to pay for it. Even if it is a long walk, it is sometimes faster than waiting for the shuttle to stop at multiple hotels.

01-06-2007, 09:37 PM
Thanks! We have decided to drive by car, so I think we will opt for a double. I will look into the names of those hotels, and pay AAA a visit next week to get the book.

Thanks again!