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  1. #1

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    First trip to DL since kid, mostly by myself

    I'm 28 now, living in California about 5 hours away from DLR. A friend is going down there for one day on Aug. 24th to use his birthday to get (upgrading to park hopper) and several other friends in the area. I plan to go down, but don't want to make the trip for just one day, and I could use a vacation.

    So I plan to fly down the morning of the Aug. 23rd, fly back on Aug. 28th. So 5 nights. Now I'm planning what to do now that I know for sure I got the days off, but waiting a week, prices may have gone up around $25-$30, so now I need to make a decision before it goes up even more.

    Disney has the nice 5 for 3 park hopper package for $180. So that's pretty good. I'd only be with friends 1 day, the other 4 solo. I probably want to make sure I get to the park when fly in on the 23rd to see the end of a show that will stop.

    HOTEL: Anyway, any tips on Hotels? I've got my eye on the Hyatt Regency Orange County. Mainly because of the shuttle, and the large atrium area with a restaurant, nice bar, starbucks, pizzahut express. If I'm by myself, I want to make sure I have some nice big open areas to hang out and relax.

    Are there any hotels that can top that?

    I saw the priceline thread on name your own price. Not sure I want to take a chance on not getting the Hyatt. If I was with someone, but being alone, I want to make sure I get a place that would resort like, or at least the most amenities when alone. Are the main Disneyland hotel's possibly crowded, and a lot of kids running around, or more awkward alone?

    What's with Disneylands vacation booking system. They got the good neighbor hotel system with 3 nights and 2 free nights, but subtracting the cost the Disneyland tickets, the Hyatt only comes out to almost the same price as say Travelocity with Flight. So much for two free nights when they charge so much more for the first 3 nights.

    Anyway, for example, Travelocity right now with 5 nights plus flight is $590, was $560 last week.

    The last time I went on a vacation where I left was over 2 years ago, and to Juneau Alaska, near winter, and mostly running around for a wedding. So while I might not like Solo for DL, I'll have at least one big day with friends, then the other 4 i can still do stuff at my pace at DL (with a bigger memory card for my camera), and go back to a nice hotel and chill, trying to forget all the bad economy, lay-offs, pay-cuts, furloughs, etc (I work for a Newspaper). Sometimes vacations with family can be too much. Always how much you can fit in one day, running all around until exhausted, fighting what to do next, never just, relaxing.

  2. #2

    • starhorse
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    Re: First trip to DL since kid, mostly by myself

    First of all - how exciting! Disneyland alone can be great, if you're the type of person who likes to just drink in the details and explore. Without the burden of other people in your party dragging you on all the "exciting" attractions, I think you'll get a better and more complete picture of the park.

    Unfortunately, because I've been lucky enough to live in Orange County for the better part of 5 years now, I am at a loss when it comes to hotel choices and flight options. I hope someone else here can help you out.
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  3. #3

    • Here Comes Trouble
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    Re: First trip to DL since kid, mostly by myself

    You might check some of the hotels the resort itself since guests get perks like early morning admission and such.
    It may have zippity to do with doo-dah

  4. #4

    • Future Imagineer! =D
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    Re: First trip to DL since kid, mostly by myself

    The Embassy Suites near Disneyland is nice. I enjoy staying there and that's where we usually stay. The Disney Hotel is nice too. It's mainly convenient because it is so close to Disneyland
    ...After a YEAR I finally was able to figure out my password again! I'm baaack! Woohoo!(:
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  5. #5

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    Re: First trip to DL since kid, mostly by myself

    I used Hotwire to book the Hyatt Regency OC two days after your trip finishes so I think you are on the right track.

    I normally book my first night at DLR using Hotwire or Priceline for a 3 1/2 star or better hotel at around $60 per night. I do this because the first day is a travel day and all we can normally get done is to drive from the airport to the Anaheim area and all we want that first night is a comfy night's sleep.

    My family and I stayed at the Anaheim Hilton Convention Center across from DCA for about $60 and it was a terrific room. The beds were like sleeping on a cloud, the rooms were nicely furnished and clean, the hotel was nice and quiet. I do a fair amount of business travel each year and the Hilton quality matched what I normally expect for my company trips for a cost that is less than a standard Motel 6 room.

    If you are looking to get a good helping of "Disney Magic" and are willing to spend a lot more then I personally don't think you can do better than the original Disneyland Hotel.

    A lot of people prefer the luxury of the Grand Californian Hotel but I find the theming there to be too sparse and bare. It is a quality luxury hotel experience but I feel like I get a lot more for my money at the Disneyland Hotel.

    I've stayed at the Disneyland Hotel about two dozen times in the last 10 years and I've never had a problem with too many people, family noise or hallway noise.

    If you stay in the Dreams Tower before the renovation starts you can get a room with a great view of the Resort in the day and the fireworks at night.

    I don't know how awkward it would be to be there alone. I know I'd have a good time. The Lost Bar is a great place to hang out. The Neverland Pool is one of the most fun and relaxing hotel pools I've ever enjoyed.

    The Disneyland Hotel grounds also have a lot of nice, relaxing surprises like the quiet cove pool, the koi ponds, the walking paths through the waterfalls, etc. Disneyland Hotel has a lot of hidden gems.

    Incidentally I'm going to the Grand Californian Hotel next month because my daughter and wife want to re-acquaint themselves with this luxury resort but it will never replace DLH in my heart.

    Thaat being said, if I was going there by myself I'd have no problem spending the whole vacation at the Hilton or the Hyatt Regency booked through Priceline or Hotwire.

    I could be wrong but if you set the preference on Hotwire or Priceline to 3 1/2 stars or better in the Disneyland South area I THINK the Hyatt and the Hilton might be the only two hotels that fit that criteria. If I'm wrong someone please correct me.

    The only substantial hidden cost to consider if you stay at the Hyatt or Hilton are a substantial daily parking fee of about $12 to $15 per day.

    Sorry if this reply was a bit scattered. If you have any questions or want clarification please feel free to let me know. Congratulations on your trip and good luck.
    Disneyland Trips: 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 86, 90, 98, 99, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 09, 10, 11

    Disneyworld Trips: 08, 10









    Disney Resort Area hotels visited since 2008:



    Disneyland Resort: Disneyland Hotel - Grand Californian Hotel - Hilton Anaheim Convention Center - Hyatt Regency Anaheim/OC - Crowne Plaza Anaheim/Garden Grove - Holiday Inn Anaheim on Manchester - Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim on Walnut - Hilton Garden Inn Anaheim - Marriott Fairfield Inn Anaheim



    DisneyWorld: Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort - Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village - Port Orleans French Quarter



    If you have any questions about Disney vacation logistics, travel planning or hotel experiences feel free to ask me.

  6. #6

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    Re: First trip to DL since kid, mostly by myself

    Thanks for the tips and help so far. Maybe I'm worrying too much about the amenities at the hotel. Most likely it will back fire on me for a DL trip. As, while maybe I'd get breakfast at the hotel, I'd usually be leaving early for Disneyland, and by the time I get back, I bet all those extra I'd like, such as Starbucks, will already be closed in the hotel.

    What it comes down to is being sure the hotel I end up at has a shuttle, since I don't plan to rent a car. Seems like using Hotwire, Disneyland South area with 3.5* rating hotel will pretty sure get me a nice hotel with shuttle.

    I've been figuring, if the hotel Hotwire has for $54 a night is the Hyatt, but then there are the fees, a resort fee most likely they warn about, etc. Then the cost of booking a flight separate at the times I want, etc.

    So I'm trying to break down the price, assuming I get the Hyatt at $54.

    Hotwire Hotel Guess: $54 * 5 nights + 39.14 fees + $10 * 5 nights resort fee = $359.14

    Flight: After fees $206 to $224 (choosing to fly from my small town airport to San Francisco to Anahiem)

    TOTAL: $565 to $583

    or

    Travelocity Package, Hotel + Flight for Hyatt Regency: $594 after fees, get to choose King bed right on the site.

    So right there, I know the hotel, and in the end, I know the hotel I'll get has a shuttle, Restaurants and a Target across the street.

    Travelocity Flight times: Departure to: 5:34am, arrive 8:48am with one stop in San Francisco. Not to early to get to a airport in town, and arrive early Sunday to the hotel to spend time around the park, catch shows that are ending that day. Fly back at 8 a.m., arrive back home at 11am. I'm sure by the 5th day I'd have my fill of DL and already back at the hotel early and exhausted from the week, so I probably turn in early anyway. Or icould pick a depart time on the way back for 10L17 am, but long stop and back at home at 2:23 pm.

    EXTRA QUESTIONS:

    Transportation to hotel from airport. Travelocity lets you do this too at checkout. SuperShuttle for $11 each way, or Disneyland Magical (Resort) Express $13.50 each way. Seems like a nice big bus is great for the price for the DL Express, but anyone know if one or the other just gets around faster or more reliable? The SuperShuttle works 24 hours a day, but the Disneyland one starts at 7:45am, is that include pick-up from hotel? If a flight is at 8am when leaving back home, then Disney might not be the best choice. Maybe it's just a safer be to pay for this on site or through SuperShuttle that lets you book by flight time, airline, flight number.

    UPGRADE: I bet the hotel will ask you to upgrade to a Suite, but since I will be in a room with one King bed, not double Queen, most likely I'd have plenty of room. Not sure if it's worth $44 extra a night if they do ask.

    Other Places: In the area, any other places worth checking out one of the days as break from DL? Medieval Times?
    Last edited by TimothyB; 08-01-2009 at 12:27 PM.

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