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  1. #1

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    Planning a trip to Disneyland

    We are planning on going to DL and CA in this early months.

    Last time we went was in 1996 so I was just a kid and couldn't ride things like Indy or matterhorn XD

    Well is going to be a nice change from WDW, so I want to know the crowds from this early months, in this '11 we went to WDW in feb but the last days of our vacation was a headache since around the 14/ 15 was the cheerleader nationals or something like that, the parks were a nightmare and even there was lack of food and transport and was nearly impossible to walk.

    It's most likely that we are going on march.

    So we want to know how crowded is going to be on the the first 3 months? new attractions opening or closing?

    Recommended restaurants, shows and attractions for us who more often to WDW.

  2. #2

    • Elven Queen of Caffeine
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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    Check out TouringPlans.com/disneyland-resort for crowds and such. Its worth every penny. For March travel your best bet is the first week of the month because after that Spring Break season starts. I don't think any new stuff is opening til the summer, but someone else can correct me if I'm wrong there.

    Having never been to WDW I can't tell you what would be best for your group to do that is different except that WOC is a must! I always make sure to get Priority Seating for Blue Bayou when I go with a group who has never been...

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3

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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    If you found the crowds bad with the cheerleaders in February at WDW, I would suggest you plan better and expect worse crowds. That is not a busy time at WDW unless you mistakenly went everywhere the cheer leaders were.



    Except for Presidents Day weekend and Spring Break after the Holiday Season ends next week, DL is quiet. I agree with above, the first week of March is calm, the second week kind of busy the last couple of weeks of March, busy.

    This is the prime season for ride closures. All of the below is from Disney but is not perfectly complete and may change.

    Disneyland Park
    Jan. 5 – Feb. 9, 2012: The Refreshment Corner will be closed for floor replacement.
    Jan. 5 – June 30, 2012: The Blue Ribbon Bakery will be closed and moved over to the Plaza Pavilion.
    Jan. 9-18, 2012: The Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm will be closed for holiday décor removal.
    Jan. 9 – June 14, 2012: The Matterhorn Bobsleds will be closed for refurbishment.
    Jan. 23 – Feb. 2, 2012: it’s a small world will be closed for refurbishment.
    Jan. 23 – Feb. 17, 2012: Sailing Ship Columbia will be closed for refurbishment.
    Jan. 24, 2012: Davy Crockett Canoe Docks will be closed for refurbishment.
    Jan. 30 – Feb. 10. 2012: Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port will be closed for refurbishment.
    Jan. 30 – Feb. 17, 2012: Main Street USA Hub Cappuccino (Coffee) Cart #1 will be closed for refurbishment.
    Disney California Adventure Park
    Now – Summer 2012: Cars Land will be under construction, and the Main Entrance will be under redevelopment.
    Now – Summer 2012: Bakers Field Bakery, Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream and Engine-Ear Toys Co. are closed for redevelopment. During this closure, Taste Pilot’s Grill in Condor Flats will offer breakfast options, and Package Check Service will be offered at Fly ‘n’ Buy.
    Now – Summer 2012: The West Block lockers and restrooms and the East Block Guest Relations, ATM and telephone booth will be closed during construction and redevelopment of the area.
    Now – Summer 2012: Guest Relations and the Main Entrance lockers and restrooms will be under construction during Main Entrance area development.
    Jan. 9-27, 2012: The Redwood Challenge Creek Trail will be closed for refurbishment.
    Jan. 23 – March 2, 2012: Grizzly River Run will be closed for refurbishment.
    Jan. 23-27, 2012: Soarin’ Over California – Theater A will be closed for refurbishment.
    Jan. 30 – Feb. 3, 2012 Soarin’ Over California will be closed for refurbishment.

  4. #4

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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    Check out TouringPlans.com/disneyland-resort for crowds and such. Its worth every penny. For March travel your best bet is the first week of the month because after that Spring Break season starts. I don't think any new stuff is opening til the summer, but someone else can correct me if I'm wrong there.

    Having never been to WDW I can't tell you what would be best for your group to do that is different except that WOC is a must! I always make sure to get Priority Seating for Blue Bayou when I go with a group who has never been...

    Hope this helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    If you found the crowds bad with the cheerleaders in February at WDW, I would suggest you plan better and expect worse crowds. That is not a busy time at WDW unless you mistakenly went everywhere the cheer leaders were.



    Except for Presidents Day weekend and Spring Break after the Holiday Season ends next week, DL is quiet. I agree with above, the first week of March is calm, the second week kind of busy the last couple of weeks of March, busy.

    This is the prime season for ride closures. All of the below is from Disney but is not perfectly complete and may change.


    Thanks for the information! when does spring break starts?


    We were on MK when the cheerleader event was on, it was a mess everywere many attractions were breaking due to population, there was huge lines for just getting inside restaurants and they were no tables so people were eating burgers in the floor, food was limited so many people were too hungry to wait and they were eating popcorn or pretzels for lunch.


    wish restaurants are the most recommended? does dinning reservations took a lot of time like in WDW? whe we went they were asking at least 6 months for making one since we are turist it's too hard to make those reservations from that long

    Also want to know how close is universal and seaworld to DL?

  5. #5

    • MaliBOOMer
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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    You mentioned that when you went last time you couldn't ride the Matterhorn. If you really want to ride that i suggest you wait until it opens, it is closed until June 14th
    Favorite Ride: Tower of Terror

  6. #6

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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    make sure you watch WOC and Fantasmic.

  7. #7

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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire-Light View Post
    Thanks for the information! when does spring break starts?

    wish restaurants are the most recommended? does dinning reservations took a lot of time like in WDW? whe we went they were asking at least 6 months for making one since we are turist it's too hard to make those reservations from that long
    Spring Break starts March 10th and ends sometime mid-April.

    And dining reservations for DLR can only be made 60 days in advance. And like I said earlier, I love the Blue Bayou! but Ariel's Grotto in DCA is also quite nice (probably the best food I've had at DLR) and if you time it right it gets you into a preferred viewing area for WOC, but this option can be a little pricey at $40 a person. And if you're feeling particularly rich there is always Napa Rose - fabulous food, though I spent over $150 for just two of us when I went.

    Just my two cents...

  8. #8

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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire-Light View Post
    Thanks for the information! when does spring break starts?


    We were on MK when the cheerleader event was on, it was a mess everywere many attractions were breaking due to population, there was huge lines for just getting inside restaurants and they were no tables so people were eating burgers in the floor, food was limited so many people were too hungry to wait and they were eating popcorn or pretzels for lunch.


    wish restaurants are the most recommended? does dinning reservations took a lot of time like in WDW? whe we went they were asking at least 6 months for making one since we are turist it's too hard to make those reservations from that long

    Also want to know how close is universal and seaworld to DL?
    As I mentioned though without saying spring break, the second week of March it gets busy, the last two week very busy. That is the beginning, the 3rd week of April this year crowds will start to fall as it ends.

    I was there at WDW as well. I planned my days around the cheerleaders and it was no problem for me.

    LadyNimrodelle has my first two suggestions. Napa Rose, it's super high quality, and Blue Bayou, it's inside POTC and expensive but good food and incredible scenery. Ask to sit near the water in Blue Bayou, you may have to wait another 10-15 minutes for those tables. Cafe Orleans is very good too. I also like Minnie and Friends character breakfast in DL for it's characters. Story Tellers Cafe in the Grand Californian, because it offers a buffet or menu if you prefer for all three meals but is with characters for breakfast. Goofy's Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel, is kind of like Chef Mickey's and serves a buffet with character for all three meals, well brunch and dinner. There are a lot of counter service options too with great food.

    For reservations it's nothing like WDW. As posted above it's upto 60 days out. It just requires a name no CC information of charge being held. Reservations are very easy to get when it's not a busy time in the parks, a week or day out works.

    Universal and Seaworld are both a drive away so you need a car, but can do some bus packages. With a car which is is easy to rent around DLR, Alamo right in DTD and a few rental desks in nearby hotels, you can drive to them. Bus/ticket combinations are avialable through Grayline. There is also a citypass that gives a disount to USH, SW and DLR.

    Universal is about 45 minutes away, but traffic can add a half hour, carpool lanes for some of the way help too. SeaWorld is about an hour and half away and traffic can also add a hour. Carpool lanes go about a third of the way to help.

  9. #9

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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    I recommend going during a week in February while there are no chances of a Spring Break crowd. It shouldn't be too busy at all.

    I highly recommend Cafe Orleans or the Blue Bayou or Carnation Cafe to eat at in Disneyland. Blue Bayou is located inside the PotC ride so the ambiance and decor is nice as so is the food. It's pricey, but definitely a good treat. Cafe Orleans is also delicious! They have the best onion soup and pomme frites (fancy french fries with parmesan cheese and herbs). Carnation Cafe is known for the famous Chef Oscar who has been working at DL for 55 years. It is not as expensive as the other places, but is equally delicious. Goofy's Kitchen is great to eat at if you're into the characters. My family eats there once a year during our annual Christmas trip.

    If you're from way out of the area (I think you're from another country is what I've read on the Duffy boards?) you could drive down to San Diego which is about 2 hours south of Anaheim. San Diego has the largest zoo in the US, and maybe even the world, and I highly recommend it.

    If you're a Disney fan though Disneyland should keep you occupied I definitely suggest you ride Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain (you shouldn't get too wet). Be sure to ride Tower of Terror and the new Little Mermaid ride in DCA! I don't really recommend any shows- I'm not a show-type of person, but I do think World of Color is pretty awesome. The fireworks are a must see one night also

    Anyways, have fun!! There shouldn't be much going on in DL during February. Schools get February 13th and 20th off, but it shouldn't effect crowds too much.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    Thaks everyone for the info! it's very helpful now we can work wit the dates, I'm, glad that the reservations are different from WDW, my mom is wishing to dine at those types of restaurants from many years and it's a lot of trouble in WDW.

    Tood bad about the matterhorn, I didn't knew about the refurbishment there's a high chance we are going again in september / october for a business trip and going to DL and DCA for the days off to see carsland.
    Ah and yes I'm from Honduras (central america)

  11. #11

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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    Making dining reservations at Disneyland is much easier than WDW, but I would still call as far in advance as you can. Blue Bayou can't be beat for atmosphere and if you like character dining Ariel's Grotto usually has 4-5 princesses. The Plaza Inn and Goofy's Kitchen are also good for breakfast. We often do Goofy's Kitchen on our last morning before we leave since it's at the DL hotel. That way we can get our Disney-fix without adding another day to our park hoppers! The French Market in New Orleans Square has amazing Mickey Beingets for a quick and delicious (sugary) breakfast treat. We just hop on the train at Main Street Station and it drops you off right in front of the French Market in New Orleans Square. I have also enjoyed the all-you-can-eat barbeque at Big Thunder Ranch. Definitely recommend the chocolate chip cookie bake for dessert!

    World of Color is great. We did a preferred seating dining plan once, but it didn't really work out too well. I've always just gotten fast passes since then and it's been just fine. Just make sure you get your passes early line up EARLY for the show to get a good view. Definitely see Fantasmic and if you're in DCA the Aladdin musical is really good.

    Have fun!

  12. #12

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    Re: Planning a trip to Disneyland

    i love the parks during this off time. The weather here will be nice. During spring is usually when i get the most use of my AP because its easy to park, get in the actual parks and go on rides. I dont find this time to be too terribly busy. At its worst, it is manageable. (tho i do know what you mean about those pesky cheer competitions.) Fast pass is always a life saver for things like indy.

    WOC is fun. Fantasmic is a nice treat. I ate at ariels grotto once, and the food was AMAZING! (but saw no princesses). I like the restaurant at the end of main street on the right side. I think its called the Plaza Inn. It has some nice portions and good fried chicken. Blue Bayou is also a great choice, you cant beat the atmosphere! For burgers, go to Taste Pilots at DCA. The burgers are good and they have a veggie bar so you can pack on all the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and sauces you want! yum yum!

    the canoes or the Mark Twain are a really fun thing to do, people usually look them over, but i think they are fun and different.

    Hope you have a wonderful time!

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