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  1. #1

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    Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    I just committed the family to a trip by getting the airline tickets... Now comes the difficult part.

    How many days and where to stay for Disneyland.

    I'm hoping for some suggestions, we are avid Disneyworld visitor but not that familiar with Disneyland (my only experience was as a kid back in the 70's so I assume it has changed quite a bit)... we were thinking maybe 4 days in Disneyland/California adventure would be enough, does that sound right?

    We are trying to keep an 8 year old and 5 year old happy so any suggestion on character dining would also be nice (assuming Disneyland has any)... and if there is anyone with experience in the Halloween party, is it worth it?

    We noticed a package deal staying at a Disneyland hotel would be around 175$ a night, is that something that is worth it or would we be just as well off staying somewhere offsite, we will have a rental car so we aren't going to be tethered down.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    Four days to me sounds wonderful......
    As a family we stayed at the Paradise Pier for two nights in December and it was wonderful...great experience all around...have never stayed at the Disneyland Hotel since I am waiting till all the construction is done.

    In regards to character dining I would highly recommend the Goofys Kitchen breakfast or dinner. We had dinner and the kids loved it (truth be told...I did too!!!! We also did the Mickey and Friends breakfast at the Paradise Pier and the Ariels Grotto princess meal and that was good too. Out of all of the character meals though Goofys Kitchen was the best.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    Four days will be plenty. The resort is significantly smaller and more compact than WDW. You will have plenty of time for breaks and to ride everything multiple times in 4 days.

    Personally, I would recommend looking at the Howard Johnson Anaheim or the Park Vue Inn for hotels. The HoJo is 10 minutes walk from the resort and the Park Vue Inn is 5 minutes. Both are across the street from Disneyland, those walk times are to the turnstiles. May be a bit longer with kids. Both are quite nice, clean and close.

    As for character meals, the Plaza Inn is a good one for breakfasts. Ariel's Grotto (if they are girls and into princesses) is good. I do see a fair number of boys there as well. Goofy's Kitchen is a fun breakfast buffet.

    Biggest piece of advice... slow down and just take it easy. Disneyland is very compact and intimate and things are pretty close together. Don't try to stick to a ride schedule... just go with the flow of what you guys feel like doing. If a ride has a really long line, come back a little latter. It can also help to stagger your meal times so they are a little off from what everyone else will be doing. If everyone is going to dinner at 6... have your dinner at 5 or 7 so that while others are eating, you can take advantage of some shorter lines.

    With a 4 day pass, you should be getting the Magical Morning. With kids, I'd recommend taking advantage of Peter Pan, Finding Nemo, Mr. Toad and Alice as they routinely have really long lines during the day.

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  4. #4

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    Four days is plenty. However, 5 and 6-day park hoppers only cost nominally more than a 4-day ticket. Getting the extra days can allow you to go for just a few hours when you first arrive, or do a few shorter days with time at your hotel, etc.

    I haven't stayed at the DL hotel, but it seems to me you'd want to take some extra time to enjoy those amenities you're paying a premium price for.

    If you have a rental car, there are lots of quality hotels in the area, and for a lot less money than you'd pay at a Disney resort. Are the Disney resorts nice? Sure, but not enough to justify the price difference, at least for me.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    I second the HoJo. It is a short (< 10 min) walk to the Parks, has a pool and mini water park, and gives discounts to MiceChat members:

    Howard Johnson Anaheim Resort - Official MiceChat Partner Hotel

    Also, it has one of the best views of DL IMO:


  6. #6

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    I think if you are staying for a few days and if this is a trip that will be made only once every few or several years... Personally I'd try to go all out and stay at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels. Specifically The Grand Californian, which is by far the best hotel out of the three. Not only is it stunningly beautiful inside, but it is situated right next to California Adventure and Downtown Disney and is a short walk across the plaza to Disneyland.

    If you feel you don't have the money for the hotel, then I'd suggest one of the hotels right outside the park. There's one right next to IHOP and Captain Kid's that I can't remember the name of, but it's directly across from the Harbor Blvd. walking entrance and being next to those two restaurants makes it great for a nice breakfast before going to the park or for a late night breakfast after a long day. However, I still would suggest trying to stay at The Grand Californian, being in a Disney Hotel makes all the difference. There's character breakfast in the hotel and you can get into California Adventure an hour before it opens, which is really more than enough time to do all the good rides there, get your tickets for the early show of World of Color (You'll want to be sure the kids are awake for it) and then spend the day at Disneyland!

    As for other stuff to do, I'd definitely spend some time in Downtown Disney. It's not nearly as big at the one at WDW (and no DisneyQuest :-/ ) but it's still pretty nice. I'd suggest taking one night to eat at the Rainforest Cafe or perhaps ESPN Zone.

    As for Halloween stuff, definitely check out all the rethemed rides and I think the kids could really enjoy Mickey's Halloween Party.

    Hope that helps!
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  7. #7

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesDusenberry View Post

    As for Halloween stuff, definitely check out all the rethemed rides and I think the kids could really enjoy Mickey's Halloween Party.
    Yes, there's nothing like trick or treating inside a Disney Park

    Here's a link to the Halloween Party information:

    Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland Park
    Waiting for Godot Micechat.com

  8. #8

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    Stay at Howard Johnson's. Disneyland Hotel is just too constructed for now.
    4 days sounds excellent. I wish I could join you.
    The Goofy Kitchen buffet is a great way to eat and see the characters. Definitely a doable idea.
    And if you're a hockey fan, check out the schedule for a Ducks game. They are not Disney owned anymore but I think that a game would be exciting to watch.

  9. #9

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    Thanks for the tips. Sounds like we will be looking at Howard Johnson's, we've done the Disney resorts in Florida a few times so I don't think the kids will really mind if we go offsite if the hotel is as close as I'm being told it is.

    One other question, has anyone ever done the Legoland? Is it something that is worth making a trip to see or is there anything else we might need to consider given we will still have about 4 days to do something non-Disney.

  10. #10

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    Your kids are at the perfect age for Legoland. You might not like it but your kids will love it.

    You also might want to consider Universal Studios. It is a lot smaller than the one in Orlando but their tram tour is worth the price to go -- you go through actual sets used in classic movies from the silent film era to today. Knotts is fun too but if you are pressed for time you can skip it. And don't forget that the beach is only a 20 minute drive away from Disneyland. The downside is that weather-wise October is not the best month to go (it can be a hit or miss). On the other hand the beaches will not be crowded at all.

  11. #11

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    One other question for people that go regularly to Disneyland, are the weekends in October very crowded? As we are only going to spend 4 days there we can be flexible on the days... if Weekends aren't too crowded we might start the trip there, but if weekdays are better we would likely do Disneyland during the weekdays.

  12. #12

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas998 View Post
    One other question for people that go regularly to Disneyland, are the weekends in October very crowded? As we are only going to spend 4 days there we can be flexible on the days... if Weekends aren't too crowded we might start the trip there, but if weekdays are better we would likely do Disneyland during the weekdays.
    Hard to say......in the recent past they have been EXTREMELY crowded due to new Halloween specific entertainment and overlays.

    But, with the parties being switched over to Disneyland this year and the new WoC show playing across the way at the California Adventure Park.....???

    The dynamics have been changed so much that the playbook needs to be thrown out....anyone who tells you what kind of crowd to expect for any given day in October is probably basing that info on very warped statistics, or worse, "personal observation"

    Just go when it's convenient, expect huge crowds, and be pleasantly surprised if the crowds turn out not to be so huge
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  13. #13

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    One thing you might keep in mind if you have a choice of weekends vs. weekdays, would be, many of the other area attractions may only be open on the weekends. That may affect your choice.

    Do take a peek at the park events schedule online, however - weekends do have the advantage of having the bigger shows and/or more of them.

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  14. #14

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    - 4 days? yeah that's good enough to do everything

    - i honestly think people have their hearts set on certain hotels, so Howard Johnson isn't my first choice for hotel, but it's enjoyable if you get a park view room (and if you wake up when the sun rises, omg that is a beautiful pic to get!) but my family prefers Candy Cane Inn or the Sheraton Anaheim Hotel (we like having our own shuttles) but $175 for Disneyland Hotel? if it were me, i would take it, cause that's like the cheapest i've ever seen it

    - Character Dining? i've heard of Storyteller's Cafe has one for breakfast in GCH, and the Plaza Inn is another Character Breakfast i believe. then for dinner i prefer Goofy's Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel

    and umm.....that's all i can think of
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  15. #15

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    Re: Any suggestions for an Oct 15-23 trip

    I totally second everything everyone has said here and the HoJo is VERY close and has some great quick eats right next door that make for cheap and easy dining outside the park.

    I just want to throw in that Legoland is perfect for kids who aren't quite ready for Six Flags but enjoy the rides and fun atmosphere of Disney. The thrills aren't as abundant as a roller coaster park, but the atmosphere and themed rides are entertaining and fun to experience. I was also blown away with some of the designs they had and they also have special Halloween themeing that might be fun for your kids.
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