Disneyland Advice-hotels, Activities,rides, Passes, Discounts, Food Etc. Help!

Updated on April 04, 2011
K.B. asks from West Jordan, UT
10 answers

Hi there Mamas:

We are going to Disneyland for the first time in the late Fall of this year (October). My husband and I never went as children and this will be our first time going as a family. We are excited! The plan as of right now is to stay for 4 nights. I want a decent hotel but don't want to pay an "Arm and a Leg" either. I am a bit overwhelmed as I know there is so much to do there. My employer has discounts on certain lodging and we always get the "Get Away Today" magazine from our school-don't know if that is a national thing or not. Is that something I should check into? Where do I start? My kids are 11, 8 and 6. Boys are 11 and 6, daughter is 8. My husband and I are "young at heart." Thanks for the advice Mamas. I sure could use it...

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answers from Seattle on

Do the park hopper, you would really only need the park hopper for one day. There is stuff to do over there, I can say though the kids will probably way more fun at disney land. I would look into the crystal suites. It is close and has a shuttle from the hotel to DL. there are closer hotels that do the same. Are you planning on doing more then DL? food there is pricy, but that is to be excepted. try and eat before you go and bring snacks in. Do at least one meal there though...there are so many different places to eat in each world too. You can get deals at the disney store as well for tickets into the parks and also the Character breakfast...which the young one will love and the older two will probably get a kick out of. I believe too you can buy passes that you register times to go on the bigger rides such as splash mt., Indiana jones, and pirates of the Caribbean. That way you dont have to waste SO much time standing in lines for the bigger rides. TOON town is awesome. more so for the lil one again. I love roger rabbits ride!! Have fun!! You family is well deserving this trip!!

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answers from Redding on

I've only been to Disneyland once in my life even though I was born and raised in California. We went when my kids were little. It was fabulous!
I can't remember at the time the package we got, but I highly recommend staying at the Disneyland Hotel. We were there a week. The accommodations were fabulous. Literally anything you need is right there. Great restaurants, a small grocery store, shops galore and a great pool. Plus, all the Disney characters roam around. They also have shows you can go to. You just take the monorail into the park and ride it back as you please. AND, the greatest part to me.....
Anything you buy is delivered to your room in the evening so you don't even have to carry anything around with you. You just give your room number and they take care of the rest. There are safes in the room for your valuables.
I was also amazed, while in the park, how polite everyone was and how no one bothered anything. We had a stroller and baby gear and we just left it sitting. We were leary at first, but other people were doing it and said they'd had no problems. No one ever messed with anything.
It truly was a magical experience!
My mom and sister took my nephew and stayed at a different place. There were shuttles back and forth, but they had to hang on to the stuff they bought and they enjoyed it, but there was hassle involved.
I just can't say enough about the Disneyland Hotel experience. If I go again, I wouldn't even consider staying anywhere else.
Other people may know of packages or other great places to stay.
I know you'll have a great time!

Best wishes!




answers from Los Angeles on

There are 2 parks in California, right across from each other. There's Disneyland and California adventure. You can get a 2 or even 3 day pass so you can see 1 park for a full day and the other the next day. Personally i think the electric parade is the most worthwhile thing to see in California Adventure. They also have some pretty cool roller coasters maybe for the 2 older ones.
Preferably, I would stay at a hotel right on the disney property within walking distance, then you don't have to pay for parking and won't have to walk too far. You will do lots and lots of walking so the less the better! I'm sure they are pricey, I've never stayed in a hotel near Disney since I live so close, but it might be worth it. Check the Disneyland website or travel websites, they have package deals.
Don't forget to check out Downtown Disney right in between the parks also, it has retail stores, restaurants, movie theater, sometimes live bands playing, the restaurants are still expensive, buy might be a lil cheaper than the ones inside the park.



answers from Springfield on

Are you going to Disneyland or Disneyworld. I'm not sure what a "Hopper Pass" at Disneyland is. I do know that the "Park Hopper" at Disney World was, in my opinion, a complete waste of money. It allows you to spend some time at one park and switch to another later in the day. Sorry, but once you get to a park, it's easiest to just stay there until you're done. There's so much to do at each park, that it's so not worth the time it would take to switch.

I thought there was just the one park in California, so I'm not sure why that would even be an option.

Again, just my opinion.


answers from Oklahoma City on

We were there last Aug and stayed at the PortoFino which has suites and is within walking distance of the park. I think we paid $129/night and brought in a lot of our own groceries as the suites offer a small fridge as well. You might also be able to pick up a couple of discount passes online.

Have fun!



answers from Salt Lake City on

We went just last December. We stayed at Motel 6, about 1 mile from the park entrance. It was nice, but not fancy. No meals included or anything, but they didn't care that we brought our own stuff. And it cost a lot less than most "Dinsneyland" hotels. The have a shuttle that runs regularly to the park, but the cost was a bit much. My husband would drive all of us to the gate, then drive back to the hotel and walk, then walk back to get the car (he took the shuttle one day, but it took soooooo long to get back to the hotel and pick us up, he just walked after). My kids are right in the same age, and we just packed an extra cot for the 3rd kid (boys in 1 bed, me and hubby in the 2nd, daughter on the cot), then packed it in the car during the day.
There was a Wal-Mart not too far away, and we bought food and snacks and stuff there rather than pay for pricey park food.

We had park hopper tickets for 3 days. We drove down the day before and back the day after, so we stayed 5 nights. I recommend the park hopper, because the kids (and you guys) will probably want to go to California Adventure, and it is a lot of fun, and with park hopper, you can go back an forth in the same day, so if one's crowded or you get bored, you can switch.

(I think it actually cost us less than the Get Away Today brochure rates, but not sure -- the tickets were a gift -- but look at the brochure and see if Motel 6 is listed there).



answers from Salt Lake City on

We have used Get-Away Tours a couple of times and I thought they were great. They have packages that inculde Disney Hotels (a little expensive for us) but also many of the hotels near Disney. The prices are based on the room not the number of people in the room and it will state how many people will fit in the room. I believe some of them do sleep 5. They also include Hopper Passes which is really the easiest way to see both parks. There are a couple of newer rides in California Adventure that are fun. Eating is expensive in the Park and it is great to find a hotel that includes breakfast. The tour prices also include one "early morning" entrance where you get in a couple of hours before the general opening. Not all the rides are open, but atl east a couple of the bigger ones are. It also includes the "Fast Past" option where you go to a bigger ride, say Splash Mountain, early in the day and get a reservationj to come back later at a certain time. They only give out so many passes so when you come back at your time you get on faster. This does take some planning so you don't run all over the park. We take the Disneyland Train to get around the Park, but that does take a little extra time but saves on the walking. Also check the Disneyland web Site because there are always some rides closed for maintenance. We really liked Pizza Planet for food. If you are doing in October be sure and take something to wear that will keep you warm at night. Last October I finally had to buy a blanket because I get so cold at night in the park. The web site for Get Away Tours is www.getawaytoday.com Be sure and check-out the many parts of the site and look at the specials, they offer alot of benefits. Try to book as early as possible because the great deals go fast. My last advice is either stay close enough to walk or some place that has a shuttle because parking is expensive and for us a hassle. Have fun, good luck.



answers from Sacramento on

I'm in the middle of planning our Disneyland trip right now. I figured out the best hotel for us by doing a lot of research, esp. looking at a variety of TripAdvisor reviews. We ended up at the Doubletree Suites, because we needed a place with two-room suites because both of our kids are really noisy sleepers. The price was a lot cheaper than the dumpier places right near the gate and we'll just need to catch a shuttle or walk to Disneyland.

Try the MouseSavers.com site for tips on tickets, lodging, etc. We're going in June, so basically there aren't really any deals. Did get slightly discounted Park Hopper 3-day passes from Disneyland, but that was it.

I'm actually on here to post a Disney-related question, so look above if you want some info. on World of Color.



answers from Provo on

We just got back from Disneyland last week and had such a great time! We booked 4 days (hotel and park hopper passes) through "Get Away Today" and they had the best price. They also donate to your kids' school when you book through them (just enter the code on the back of the magazine your kids bring home when you book). As I said, we got the park hopper passes (for Disneyland and Disney California) and were glad we did. They have lots to do for all ages in both parks and we had favorite rides in both places.

We stayed at the Homewood Suites by Hilton and we loved it. We had a two-room suite so there was plenty of room for our family (we have 4 kids). The room also has a mini kitchen (fridge, stove, pots, pans and basic dishes--all cleaned by housekeeping while we were gone during the day), so that made it easier for us to pack a lunch for the park (it's time-consuming to leave the park once you are there and the food in the park is expensive and not that great). Homewood Suites also includes dinner Monday-Thursday. It isn't anything fancy, but it was good enough, especially since it was free and we didn't have to make it ourselves. We came back for dinner each day and then either my husband or I went back to the park with the older kids and the other stayed back to put the younger ones to bed. That worked really well for us, but your kids are a little older so they may not mind staying longer.

We were there with our siblings and their families who had older kids and they brought a little umbrella stroller with a cooler in it for lunch/dinner. I thought that was a good idea, since there are places to park strollers at every ride and you don't want to carry too much on your back around the park all day.

We had a shuttle that took us to and from the park each day, and we passed the parking lot for cars. If you drive there and park, you still have to take a shuttle to the park, so it was nice to have a shuttle that picked us up right at our hotel and dropped us off right at the entrance to the park.

Anyway, I could go on and on about it. We had such a great time and would love to go back again as soon as we can save up the $. :-) If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly: ____@____.com.



answers from Denver on

Costco and Safeway have discounted entry tickets to the theme parks that you can purchase. Definitely try going there.

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