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Old 05-06-2012, 11:11 AM   #1
niklynn1
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Please help me with a DLR PLAN! See post 8 for preliminary plan..

We leave for our first DLR/California trip in just about THREE WEEKS! We've been to WDW a couple of times during high season in late June, and with careful planning (knowing which parks to visit on which days, and which rides to head to first) we've been able to have a great time!

Unfortunately, this year has been CRAZY BUSY for me. I'm a full time middle school teacher, going to grad school full time to get my principal's license, and parenting two teenagers! I just have not had the time to make the detailed plan that I'd like to, but after the busy year we've had, I really want this vacation to go well and give us enjoyable time to spend together as a family.

Therefore, I could use your expert DLR advice to put together a day-by-day skeleton plan to get me started. Since it's our first Cali trip, we'd like to do some things outside DL as well, and I need to make reservations for some of those tours. I've been looking at Gray Line and All Anaheim Tours so we don't have to rent a car or drive in the traffic. So, if I give you some details, I'd really love your suggestions on how to map out the days.

Travelers: Me, DD17, DS14
Flying into LAX on May 30 at 9:42 a.m. Have already reserved Disneyland Resort Express to get us to the Disneyland Hotel.
Fly out of LAX on June 6 at 3:17 p.m.
My DD17 has expressed interest in Hollywood/LA and "beaches". I was thinking maybe one day doing this via Gray Line or All Anaheim? Maybe SeaWorld too (never been). I see All Anaheim also has an OC trip and a Warner Bros tour?

I need help knowing which days to do DLR and how many to include, and which days to do tours, and which ones. I keep looking at the MM offerings, AP blackout dates, park hours, etc. and just can't get my head wrapped around it.

Suggestions please!
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Last edited by niklynn1; 05-06-2012 at 07:00 PM. Reason: Added departure date
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:19 AM   #2
S. S. Columbia
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How long is your trip?

How many days will you spend in DL/DCA?

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Old 05-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #3
niklynn1
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May 30-June 6

Sorry, neglected to add that we fly home at 3:17 on June 6.

I am unsure of how many days at DLR, as we've never been, so not sure if 3 or 4 days would be better? Originally, I was thinking we'd have six FULL days not counting traveling days, so we could do 4 at DL/DCA, one on LA/Hollywood tour, and one on Sea World tour.

However, we do arrive early on day 1, so we have about a half day there too. We could do 3.5 at DL/DCA and 3 days doing tours outside of Anaheim?

This and which days to schedule for what are where I need some help.

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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I would definitely plan on a 4 day parkhopper ticket, so then you can do at least 3 days and part of a fourth day, depending on what works with your other tours. Is renting a car an option for you? It might be cheaper than doing a bunch of tours, and would give you more options.

I'm guessing your girls would enjoy some time at a real California beach . Huntington Beach and Newport are close and classic.

This trip report has some great info re Hollywood: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2915848
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:13 PM   #5
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I would make sure to have at least a four day Disney hopper ticket. That way you could do the 3.5 days you suggest. I might consider upgrading to a 5-day ticket if you think you and your girls would enjoy on one of your three other days either starting the day in Disney and then heading out for a beach afternoon or having a beach/shopping/whatever day and then going to the park for nighttime activities. I think this choice depends on whether you and your family are higher or lower energy people and whether you are early risers or night owls. Anyway, I wouldn't recommend shorter than a 4 day ticket with the amount of time you would be in the area. Personally, I'm not sure I would go all the way to San Diego for just Seaworld unless we were really big sealife fans which we aren't but perhaps you are. San Diego is a beautiful city though, so I'm not knocking it. Some of your other tour options sound like they might be more interesting.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
niklynn1
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Does it matter WHICH days to do park vs. tours?

I've looked at the park hours and info carefully, and notice some days are MM days and some days have blackouts for AP holders, and some days are grad nights.

Based on this, are some days better than others for spending in the parks? Since I have to reserve most of the tours in advance, I need to decide ahead which days to choose (I'm planning tours rather than car rental because I don't want to be able to enjoy the sights and not worry about driving).
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:55 PM   #7
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Well, you'll definitely want to take advantage of your MM that you'll get with your 3 day hopper. Black out days are good days to plan to be in the park.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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Here's my preliminary plan...what do you think?

Wed 5/30 Arrive at LAX @9:42. Take DLR Express to Disneyland Hotel. Check in and head over to park for lunch and to see if any FastPasses are still attainable. Spend the afternoon, early evening in the park, but head back to hotel rather early as we will be on Central Time and we will have been up super early after having left Iowa at 6:15 a.m. Early bedtime. (Plus it's a GRAD NIGHT, so maybe best to get out earlier?)

Thur 5/31 Get up early for MM. Hopefully this won't be too hard b/c of we'll still feel like it's Central Time. Eat a quick bite as we walk to the gates. Spend the morning on Fantasyland rides, and then gathering FP's afterwards. Break at hotel midday to swim/rest (want to try out the new DLH pool!). Return in the evening to use FP's and see a show. Not sure if it should be WoC, Fantasmic!, or fireworks?

Fri 6/1 Gray Line tour to Sea World. We've never been to any Sea World. Hoping the drive there is scenic as well? Does it go via Pacific Coast highway or more inland? Return to hotel by 8:30 is according to website. This is also a GRAD night, and a weekend evening, so thinking this would be a good time to be outside of DLR. Not sure if traffic on a Friday will impact our bus trip to San Diego much?

Sat 6/2 I'm thinking that it would be a good day to stay at DL/DCA b/c it's a MM, AND the website shows all APs blocked out. Also no GRAD night. What do you think?

Sun 6/3 Hollywood/LA tour via Gray Line? Thought it might be good to do this on a Sunday when traffic is lighter, although with a bus tour, I'm not sure if this makes a difference? It is a MM at DL and select APs are blocked, so perhaps it would be a better day spent at DLR?

Mon 6/4 DL/DCA No MM, so either DLR today or I could switch it with Sunday and go to Hollywood/LA?

Tue 6/5 Dl/DCA MM again.

Wed 6/6 Flight leaves from LAX @ 3:17. What time will DLR Express pick us up? Will there be time to do anything in the morning? Maybe just visit DTD and finish up any shopping.

Now, my final question, is which nights to insert WoC, Fantasmic! and Fireworks. We'd like to see each at least once. Does it matter which night, or shall we do one each of the 3 days dedicated to DL/DCA?
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The Disneyland Hotel - May/June 2012

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Old 05-07-2012, 09:33 AM   #9
S. S. Columbia
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.
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