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  1. #1

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    Question Family's first trip to Disneyland - Need Tips

    Hi,

    My family is going out to CA from NH for February vacation this year and we'll be staying at the HOJOs next to the DLR. Any tips on places to eat, things to avoid, etc. would be greatly appreciated. My kids are 13 and 8.

    We've been to Disney World many times (Both my wife and I are former CMs) so we kind of know what to expect.

    The same holds true for anything else to do in the area. Is Block Orange worth going to? My son is a big skateboarder and I see there is a huge Van's skate park there. What else is there in Block Orange to do?

    We're also planning a day at Universal. Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: Family's first trip to Disneyland - Need Tips

    The skate park is really cool! And then there is the usual mall shopping, a huge movie theater and tons of places to eat. But it's kind of a neat place to visit, the way it is set up and everything. I live here and still can't find my way around yet.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Family's first trip to Disneyland - Need Tips

    You don't say if you have boys or girls. I have a grandson and we always incorporate some characer meals into our vacations. The meal at Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel is a lot of fun. The breakfast at the PCH Grill in the Paradise Pier Hotel is fun with Lilo and Stitch.

    I think a 13 year old and an 8 year old, if they are very active will like the Redwook Creek Challenge at California Adventure and Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland Park.

    My grandson likes to buy and trade pins.

    Fun places to eat are Rainforest Cafe, and Naples in Downtown Disney. Good food.

    I am a Disneyland newby, but I recommend buying a few Disneyland guidebooks and reading about all that the Disneyland Resort has. You know your kids and you can better choose activites for them.

    A rest in the middle of most days is always a good idea. Even if it's only a sit down meal.

    Plan a little, go with the flow, and educate yourself. 3 good things to make for a good Disney vacation

  4. #4

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    Re: Family's first trip to Disneyland - Need Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann
    You don't say if you have boys or girls. I have a grandson and we always incorporate some characer meals into our vacations. The meal at Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel is a lot of fun. The breakfast at the PCH Grill in the Paradise Pier Hotel is fun with Lilo and Stitch.

    I think a 13 year old and an 8 year old, if they are very active will like the Redwook Creek Challenge at California Adventure and Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland Park.

    My grandson likes to buy and trade pins.

    Fun places to eat are Rainforest Cafe, and Naples in Downtown Disney. Good food.

    I am a Disneyland newby, but I recommend buying a few Disneyland guidebooks and reading about all that the Disneyland Resort has. You know your kids and you can better choose activites for them.

    A rest in the middle of most days is always a good idea. Even if it's only a sit down meal.

    Plan a little, go with the flow, and educate yourself. 3 good things to make for a good Disney vacation
    Older boy and younger girl. Good idea on the character breakfast. My daughter and I love Stich so maybe we'll check that out.

    We'll definitely be taking advantage of the close hotel for mid-day breaks. Dad gets tired and will need a nap so I don't turn into Grumpy.

  5. #5

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    Re: Family's first trip to Disneyland - Need Tips

    Universal food tip:
    I believe they are still running the $20 per person, all you can eat food program. If you pay 20 per person, you can get one main item, one side, one drink and one dessert every time you go in line, with no limits on how often you get in line. This program is for select restaurants. Make universal an "opening to closing day" and you can get to see and do everything you want.

    Disneyland Food Tips:
    Character Breakfast at Plaza Inn is a great Idea, RESERVATIONS, make them now. Call disney dining714) 781-3463

    Lunch: If you want to eat out of the parks: Down town disney has the rainforest cafe as mentioned. A great thing to see if they dont have them in NH. If you want to eat in the park: California has Taste Pilots Grill, which I consider to be good. Burgers/Ribs. In disneyland: Redd Rockets Pizza Port is great, i know tons of people who all have luch at redd rockets. Or if you want a more sit down. Blue Bayou in New Orleans is inside the Pirates OT Caribbean bayou.

    Dinner: Same as lunch.

    Hope all the info help, and have a great trip!

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    Re: Family's first trip to Disneyland - Need Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin
    Hi,

    My family is going out to CA from NH for February vacation this year and we'll be staying at the HOJOs next to the DLR. Any tips on places to eat, things to avoid, etc. would be greatly appreciated. My kids are 13 and 8.

    We've been to Disney World many times (Both my wife and I are former CMs) so we kind of know what to expect.

    The same holds true for anything else to do in the area. Is Block Orange worth going to? My son is a big skateboarder and I see there is a huge Van's skate park there. What else is there in Block Orange to do?

    We're also planning a day at Universal. Thanks.
    As mentioned above, Blue Bayou is great for a sit down meal. If you are thinking of going there, make sure you check about reservations when you get to the park.

    Universal is a fun trip, but it's quite different from the FL Universal parks. No rollercoasters at all (at least last time I was there).

    Also in the area is Knott's. It's an enjoyable park, and usually has some good specials going. I think the local Subway Sandwich shops have a coupon for adult admission around $28. It's not as themed as Disneyland, but it's more themed than a Six Flags park.

    Medieval Times restaurant is a short hop down the street too. If you go to Medieval Times, arrive early for better seating, but none of the seats are really that bad.

    I'm not sure how long your stay is, but a day trip to the San Diego Zoo and the Balboa Park museums would be a good change of pace. The San Diego Zoo is one of the top zoos in the world. From Anaheim, it's probably a 60-90 minute drive pretty much straight down the interstate.

    Also, February is about right in the middle of the Pacific Gray Whale migration season off the CA coast. Take a look at 2seewhales.com if you'd be interested. They leave from Long Beach, CA, but there are a number of other whale cruises you can find too. Right now, their website has a coupon for kids free with paid adult. Long Beach is just about due west from Anaheim about 30 miles or so.

    There is also the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. It has good reviews from what I've seen, but I haven't made it there yet.

  7. #7

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    Re: Family's first trip to Disneyland - Need Tips

    USH does have one rollercoaster (Mummy) but it's not very good.

    If you have never been USH is a fun park, but just be aware with LA traffic it can take up to 90 minutes to make the 30 mile drive.

    You can also try Knott's which is just a few miles from Disneyland in Buena Park. They are constantly offering deals on admission.

    About 2 miles up the road from Disneyland is a Buca Di Beppo, Red Robins, Joe's Crab Shack, etc. DtD has PLENTY of different types of restaurants to keep you busy for your trip. Also check out Taste Pilot's grill at the Grand Californian for a nice sit-down, but not too expensive meal.

    If your kids are into sports then I would suggest a lunch at ESPN Zone.

    If you are former WDW CM's then you know all about taking breaks, etc.


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    Re: Family's first trip to Disneyland - Need Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Flop

    I'm not sure how long your stay is, but a day trip to the San Diego Zoo and the Balboa Park museums would be a good change of pace. The San Diego Zoo is one of the top zoos in the world. From Anaheim, it's probably a 60-90 minute drive pretty much straight down the interstate.
    This zoo is truly worth the drive down. The Wild Animal Park is wonderful and is also a nice change from the parks.

    Have a great time!

  9. #9

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    Re: Family's first trip to Disneyland - Need Tips

    My son is 9, and even growing up in the "Pixar" age....still prefers the classic Disneyland to CA. Tips:

    Go EARLY in the morning, then head back to the hotel, even for an hour or two, relax, swim, whatever in the afternoon so you're ready to stay until closing. I can go all day, but my husb tends to get a little grouchy!!!!!

    Mickey Mouse Pancakes at the Riverbelle Terrace - a must!!!!

    Do all the big rides early in the day and late at night, take advantange of Fast PAsses. Better yet - book your trip through AAA (would require a min 2 night stay at DLR, but then move to HOJO) for unlimited Fast PAsses. I know, a lot of people hate them, and I woudln't miss them, but when it's busy they can be a plus)

    At CA Adventure - we just do Soarin' Over CA, Grizzly River Rapids, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, sometimes Screamin'...and since I'm the only one that enjoys the Hollywood Pcs backlot, that's it. The rest of the park is really lacking in magic and creativity in our opinion - it feels like Great America. (which we live 45 minutes away from and haven't been in 20 years, yet we do DL once per year. Go figure).

    9 year old even prefers Disneyland....

    The Pizza place in Tommorrowland has good pizza's, salads, pasta's, etc. Nice change of place from most of the other stuff.

    CHARACTER DINING: Complaint -
    We have done this every year.....and last August dined again at Goofy's kitchen. I think management was sleeping on the job, because NO ONE was keeping the rude parents and kids in their seats at their assigned tables. Yes, you need to get up to go to the buffet, but for the rest of the time you need to stay seated so that characters can make their rounds to every single table. We were there for 1 1/2 hours, and the only characters we saw were Alice and the Mad HAtter.....Genie, Donald, Pluto, Goofy, Alladin, and the rest never made it over our way. The main reason we do it is for the characters. I called management after our trip and let them know we had two very disappointed kids.

  10. #10

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    Re: Family's first trip to Disneyland - Need Tips

    Universal doesn't so much have roller coasters as rides. It also has City Walk, the original version of Down Town Disney, which can be fun. Universal is a more low key place with more shows and behind the scene demos. There are a lot of water related things (interactive fountains and attractions) so during the winter I always bring a change of shoes, socks and sometimes clothes so I can change if I get too wet (I can never resist playing in water ).

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