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  1. #1

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    Need some advice for a first timer

    Hey gang. My wife and I are thinking of taking our son to DLR for the first time at the end of April for a Wednesday to Sunday trip. I have been to WDW many times but am concerned that 3 1/2 days in the parks are not going to be enough for a proper visit. Also does it pay to stay in a the Paradise Pier or at one of the hotels next to the resort? Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    DLR is totally doable in 3 1/2 days. Especially at the end of April after the Spring Break rush! If you push yourself, you can see everything in two days, but with 3 1/2, you'll be able to take your time and really enjoy everything.

    I can't speak to staying in resort, but there are plenty of good hotels within walking distance to the Esplanade, so if you want to save some extra cash, thats a good way of doing it.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    It might be nice to stay onsite. You get an hour of EMH each day, in the morning. With the time change you will be ready to get up early. PPH is not a very nice hotel, no delux, it's good, but about 15 minutes from the gates. You can stay across the street for about half the price and be 5-10 minutes away.

    Wednesday and Thursday won't be busy. Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday will be busy. Where your 3.5 days fall will have an effect on what you get done. Never the less 3.5 days is a good visit length.

    See World of Color first. Fantasmic and Fireworks will only show Friday-Sunday.

  4. #4

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    3.5 days is more than enough time. As swampymarsh mentioned, Friday-Sunday will easily be the busiest days of the week. In my experience last year with two trips the best days to be in the park were Tuesday-Thursday. Wednesday was the least crowded day on both trips.

    As far as staying onsite goes, I wouldn't recommend booking at a Disney hotel unless you really want to take advantage of having a Magic Morning every day or unless you really want to. The hotels are overpriced and are quite far unless you want to ride the Monorail for each morning. I can personally speak about staying at Paradise Pier. It is a nice hotel and all, but the elevators are an absolute nightmare and it is the farthest walk from the park. Not by much but it is the farthest. It is the least expensive for a reason.
    I would recommend staying at a Good Neighbor hotel across the street. You'll save a lot of money (at least 30% if not 40%) and if you book the package through Disney you will still get a Magic Morning.

    Info on Good Neighbor hotels: Good Neighbor Hotels | Disneyland Resort
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  5. #5

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    Any recommendations on Good Neighbor Hotels? I priced out the Fairfield early, but wouldn't getting opinions.

  6. #6

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyDelli View Post
    Any recommendations on Good Neighbor Hotels? I priced out the Fairfield early, but wouldn't getting opinions.
    Fairfield is a decent place, but not a good Fairfield.

    I like the Best Western Park Place Inn, Park Vue Inn, and Candy Cane Inn.

    How old is your son? The Hojo has a great pool area for young kids, but will you be swimming during the day or in the parks?

  7. #7

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    My son will be six. I'm not sure how much swimming we will do as we are from the East coast and don't know when we will be back so we will want to hit the parks as much as possible,

  8. #8

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    I tell you as someone who has gone to WDW many times I feel completely befuddled about this trip. Thanks for the assistance so far, I'm learning a lot.

  9. #9

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyDelli View Post
    My son will be six. I'm not sure how much swimming we will do as we are from the East coast and don't know when we will be back so we will want to hit the parks as much as possible,
    3 1/2 days is more than enough time for the parks, you may find yourselves wanting to sit back and relax for a bit on Friday or Saturday. Disneyland is two parks (and a dinning district) within a short walk of each other, compared to Walt Disney World where you have to spend lots of time waiting for buses or monorails to reach the next park. Disneyland is also way smaller and not as spread out which makes for a good intimate Disney experience, but it also can get really crowed in the small pathways. The pool is just five minutes away, not a line and a bus ride, and really helps out during the peak hours of the afternoon, and when your rested, its just a short walk back to the park. I highly suggest staying right across the street, its quicker to get back from the parks at the end of the night which can save some sore Disney Day feet.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    I'm going to disagree with my fellow Disneylanders and say that three days just aren't enough. To see everything at both parks, I would suggest five days. If you really don't care to see everything and sort of nonchalant about the trip, then I would say four days. Three is not enough, IMO.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    It all depends if your son gets tired easily. If he does maybe four or five days would be better for your family. But if your son is excited about going to Disneyland and wont get tired then three and a half day should be enough for your family.

  12. #12

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    3 1/2 days is plenty of time if you don't want to do everything. I tell people to choose one thing a day they want to do, so for you it would be you, your wife and your son choosing one thing to do per day. You could even choose one thing for the day and one thing for the night to do. That would give you six things per day that you have to do and then you can freelance around those things. I think that would be the most enjoyable for everyone. Don't attempt to do everything and you'll get the best out of your experience. Be flexible.

  13. #13

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    3 1/2 days will be enough. I recommend the Carousel Inn for comfy beds:-) I do have a friend that just stayed at the Fairfield and was impressed (they are frequent DL visitors and have stayed at many of the hotels on Harbor Blvd).

  14. #14

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    The argument of 3.5 days vs 5 days is simple, imo... you know your family better than we do. If you think your child will get too worn down by the end of the third day then I wouldn't even consider more days. You will have nothing but a grumpy, whiny child. I have seen plenty of those over the years. The same would apply to you and your wife.
    I had two of my cousins (ages 7 and 8) with me on my birthday trip and they were whining and run down after just one day and it wasn't even a full day.

    It truly depends on what you want to do. If you are confused and comparing the amount of time you have to spend at WDW to Disneyland, it's a bit skewed seeing that WDW has four parks total plus the water parks. There are only two parks in California.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Need some advice for a first timer

    If you stay on site don't stay at Paradise Pier stay at either DL Hotel or if you want to drop some cash than Grand California. You will have to treck to the hotel each night if you stay at DL or Grand Cal. you can leve DCA into Grand Cal or take monorail to DL Hotel. Also review the fastpass section here in the forums because you want to take full advantage. If your son love trians than ask to ride in the front of the train at Main Street Staion and ask to ride in the front of the Monorail. This was best part when I was younger. If you can't ride with the engineers at Main Street then ask to start the train by doing the "All Aboard" call. Get a set of Glow with the Show ears they are awsome. If you want to get some food with out paying high prices there is a Vons/Safeway store and Targets are just about a mile from the resort. Its ok to leave the resort there is a lot here in SoCal/OC. Go to the beach maybe Knots. Bring shorts and jackets we don't know what the weather will be like. Don't get the Dinsey Meal plan!!! It does not work as the same here as it does at WDW. And last, just have fun!
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