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Old 12-03-2016, 02:53 AM   #1
nrspepe
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Default Finally...Disneyland, here we come!

After living only 4 1/2 hours away from Disneyland for the past 20 years, we are finally taking the plunge. Never had the desire to visit there as I am a huge WDW fan. However, now that we have made the reservation, I'm getting excited. Staying at the Disneyland Hotel for 4 days...mid month.

It will be just me and DH (a rare couples trip). Any thoughts on not to miss experiences or simple tips is appreciated!!
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:40 AM   #2
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I've only been once but the Indiana Jones ride was one for the books and it's only in Disneyland. Have fun!
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:52 AM   #3
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Just don't make constant comparisons in your mind to WDW and enjoy Disneyland for itself. Plenty there to make it more than worthwhile for frequent visits as well.

For specific suggestions, Pirates and It's a Small World are musts. And a dinner (or two) at Napa Rose is a definite must-do.
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:11 AM   #4
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Have only been once (2005).

Don't compare. Enjoy and come back and let us know how it went and what you thought!!

What Brian said too
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:32 AM   #5
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Disneyland is awesome. Definitely enjoy the Christmas overlays on Haunted Mansion and Small World. Indiana Jones is one of the best themed E-Tickets I've ever seen in a Disney park. I'd wager it's better themed than Everest due to the nature of the interior theming.

Also, take time for CarsLand in DCA. Just go directly there at opening and you'll get a lot down. It takes awhile for lines and crowds to build in the back part of the park (Toy Story Midway Mania, California Screamin', Mickey's FunWheel, etc.) so do that after.

Soarin' is same film as WDW, just a differently themed exterior (celebrating California aviation history) so you can skip if you don't have time.

Take time to explore every nook and cranny of New Orleans Square, and do experience al the unique Fantasyland attractions. Even those that are duplicates are presented differently so they have some nice changes. Peter Pan, especially.

We never saw the fireworks last summer because they kept canceling them due to winds. They'll make an announcement right at the start time, so go ahead and queue up if it's important to you but be prepared to miss.

Oh, Space Mountain is also a totally different (and much more comfortable) experience. Buzz is fun because the guns aren't mounted so you have more flexibility, but other than that it's the same attraction. Same with Star Tours.

We absolutely love Disneyland and DCA. We find that when we get there, we simply don't think about the Florida parks because we are having such a good time. It's Walt's park, and it shows.

Let us know what the trip is like!

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Old 12-03-2016, 11:08 AM   #6
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Buy park hoppers. It's like walking across the street to get from one park to the other. If you don't want to walk through downtown Disney each time you go back to hotel or DL, take the monorail (you need to already have your ticket).

Price out if it is worth it for one of you to buy an AP. It will give you discounts on food and merchandise.

If you want to eat at any of the most popular places, you need to make a reservation - Napa Rose, Blue Bayou, Carthay Circle, Steakhouse 55. If you can't get a reservation for a restaurant that you want to go to, ask your hotel concierge for help. The Disneyland Hotels recently started something where they can help their guests get hard to get reservations.

Trader Sam's is very fun, but cutthroat if you want to sit inside. People will swarm you like sharks, waiting for you to get up from your spot. Sitting outside has live music in the evenings.

If you want to see World of Color, consider buying the dessert package. You can reserve it online. It is the only way to get seats for the show. You are seated about half an hour before the show and you bread, cheese, grapes, desserts and a drink or two.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:24 PM   #7
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You really have to do the early admission at Disneyland, just because so many of the rides don't have FP, especially in Fantasyland. Get to the gate before park opening, head straight to Peter Pan (no FP, and the lines get long very quickly for the entire day). Then over to Matterhorn ASAP, ride that, then back to Fantasyland for the rest of the rides there. Storybook Land Canal Boats is a must as there is no WDW equivalent; often this ride opens an hour or two after the park opens; if you get to this ride 10 or 15 minutes before it opens you can beat the line for it. Also Toontown is an absolute must (even though the Roger Rabbit ride is really nothing to write home about).
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:48 PM   #8
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Yesterday, we snagged reservations at Napa Rose for our last night. And this morning, we were able to get Carthay Circle with the World of Color package for the evening of our arrival. Thanks for the dining suggestions!

I'm hoping not to fall into the comparing everything to WDW trap...that's my nature. And, great advice for me to not do so.

I did start thinking that this is Walt's park (the original). So, it's got to be good.

Can't wait!
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:16 PM   #9
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I don't think it will be avoidable to compare seeing as a lot of the park's layout is very similar. I definitely did, but I was not disappointed. It is an entirely different park after all. Main points of comparison, were how Disneyland was like a mini MK, but different. And how some parts of California Adventure reminded us a lot about DHS, but better! Lol. If you like WDW a lot I think you will enjoy this trip.

You will also notice characters just strolling around the park (this was in Disneyland) interacting with people. Most people don't even talk to them! I kept on thinking about how long the lines were at WDW just to get a pic with them.

Also do not miss rides not available at WDW.

Enjoy!
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:39 PM   #10
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Use your DVC card. There are discounts galore. Definitely on merchandise, and I think on most food. The discounts were so good this summer, I didn't even miss the AP discounts I used to get.

Dirk
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