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Old Yesterday, 11:45 AM   #21
TexasChick
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Originally Posted by LR0929 View Post
We are from Florida and are looking to plan a similar trip to Aulani with a stopover in DL. What would you say is the ideal number of days to do each (Aulani included as we have never been and aren't sure about how much there is to do at the resort)? We have two young children so we are really looking to help break up the flights and time difference. As of right now we are considering doing DL before and after Aulani for 3 nights each time and then 4 nights in Aulani.
I think 6 nights at DL is a lot. The parks are much smaller, and the rides are closer together. We are going for 3 nights to DL before heading to San Diego. Personally, I think 3 days is all you need at DL. 1 day for DL, 1 day for CA, and 1 day to hit the rides you want to again in both parks with a park hopper. We plan to utilize Magic Hours in the morning and then hop over to the other park for the rest of the day since the crowds are lower at the non-magic hour park. We'll be adding MaxPass too so that we can get the FastPass in the non-Magic hour park as soon as it opens. Maybe consider going to San Diego on your way back to take in the city there as I think 3 days is a good amount of time to spend there.
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Old Yesterday, 11:56 AM   #22
TexasChick
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Must Do's:

- Carsland/Radiator Springs Racers
- Napa Rose Restaurant (I like the restaurant menu better than the lounge)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- It's a Small World
- Haunted Mansion is transformed into Nightmare Before Christmas from Halloween through the New Year
- Storytellers Cafe at VGC is really good (Plaza Inn was terrible when we went)
- World of Color
***Guardians wasn't there when we last went, but it's supposed to be amazing
- If you are a Monsters Inc fan, we really liked that ride even though it gets no love
- Toy Story is fun if you enjoy arcade games
- We like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride because we watched The Wind in the Willows when we were kids

DL is almost like a nice break from the chaos that is WDW. You have to look at it for what it is, a completely different park/experience.
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Old Yesterday, 12:43 PM   #23
a1000monkeys
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LR0929 View Post
We are from Florida and are looking to plan a similar trip to Aulani with a stopover in DL. What would you say is the ideal number of days to do each (Aulani included as we have never been and aren't sure about how much there is to do at the resort)? We have two young children so we are really looking to help break up the flights and time difference. As of right now we are considering doing DL before and after Aulani for 3 nights each time and then 4 nights in Aulani.
I think 5 night is the ideal amount for a relaxing trip to DL. Suggest 3 nights on the outbound and 2 on the return with an extra night at Aulani.
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Old Yesterday, 01:55 PM   #24
LR0929
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Originally Posted by TexasChick View Post
I think 6 nights at DL is a lot. The parks are much smaller, and the rides are closer together. We are going for 3 nights to DL before heading to San Diego. Personally, I think 3 days is all you need at DL. 1 day for DL, 1 day for CA, and 1 day to hit the rides you want to again in both parks with a park hopper. We plan to utilize Magic Hours in the morning and then hop over to the other park for the rest of the day since the crowds are lower at the non-magic hour park. We'll be adding MaxPass too so that we can get the FastPass in the non-Magic hour park as soon as it opens. Maybe consider going to San Diego on your way back to take in the city there as I think 3 days is a good amount of time to spend there.
My biggest problem is that I'm a sucker for Disney resorts. I love the service and atmosphere. I also really love the peace of mind of knowing what can be expected when staying on Disney property (cleanliness, family-friendly environment, etc). Our plan was to have no plans for the travel day, one park day, and then one day by the pool before traveling the next day to Aulani. Then the same scenario on the way home. Since our kids are young they'll be more than happy with pool days, but I have a feeling that we will be doing a lot of hanging out by the pool at Aulani so we might just use your suggestion. I haven't been in about 12 years, but my daughter is an animal LOVER so the San Diego Zoo may have to be worked into our plans. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old Yesterday, 02:01 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by a1000monkeys View Post
I think 5 night is the ideal amount for a relaxing trip to DL. Suggest 3 nights on the outbound and 2 on the return with an extra night at Aulani.
Thanks for the suggestion! I suppose our decision will also be based on the flights. If flying home one day earlier or later saves us a decent amount of money, then that may just be the deciding factor for us.
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Old Yesterday, 03:43 PM   #26
luaulei321
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasChick View Post
Must Do's:

- Carsland/Radiator Springs Racers
- Napa Rose Restaurant (I like the restaurant menu better than the lounge)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- It's a Small World
- Haunted Mansion is transformed into Nightmare Before Christmas from Halloween through the New Year
- Storytellers Cafe at VGC is really good (Plaza Inn was terrible when we went)
- World of Color
***Guardians wasn't there when we last went, but it's supposed to be amazing
- If you are a Monsters Inc fan, we really liked that ride even though it gets no love
- Toy Story is fun if you enjoy arcade games
- We like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride because we watched The Wind in the Willows when we were kids

DL is almost like a nice break from the chaos that is WDW. You have to look at it for what it is, a completely different park/experience.
FYI only, you can order from the full menu in the Napa Rose lounge.

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Originally Posted by a1000monkeys View Post
I think 5 night is the ideal amount for a relaxing trip to DL. Suggest 3 nights on the outbound and 2 on the return with an extra night at Aulani.
Agreed on the 5 nights at Disneyland. Maybe this stems from our visits when I was a kid and tickets were always 5 days for the price of 2, but if we are driving down from the Bay Area, we want more days to make the drive "worth it", and we like to do the parks at a more leisurely pace.
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Old Yesterday, 06:01 PM   #27
TexasChick
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Originally Posted by luaulei321 View Post
FYI only, you can order from the full menu in the Napa Rose lounge.



Agreed on the 5 nights at Disneyland. Maybe this stems from our visits when I was a kid and tickets were always 5 days for the price of 2, but if we are driving down from the Bay Area, we want more days to make the drive "worth it", and we like to do the parks at a more leisurely pace.
Dang it! We were told the menu was different by a CM last time who said it was a condensed more "upscale bar menu" without entrees. The misinformed CM strikes again!
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Old Yesterday, 06:37 PM   #28
luaulei321
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Dang it! We were told the menu was different by a CM last time who said it was a condensed more "upscale bar menu" without entrees. The misinformed CM strikes again!
We've eaten in the lounge twice when we wanted to eat at Napa Rose but didn't want to bring our toddler into the main dining room. She did very well in the restaurant and wouldn't have been disruptive, but we didn't want to risk it given that lots of people dine in the main dining room with the expectation of a pleasant and quiet atmosphere, and it's always a mystery how well a young child will do after a full day in the parks. Many people choose to go to Napa Rose for special occasions, so we opted for the more relaxed environment of the lounge with the little one. Now that we have 2 little ones, I foresee it being years before we go back -- at least with them.
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Old Yesterday, 11:33 PM   #29
Amy H.
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You will be amazed at how quickly you can get from place to place at DL. Saves so much time over WDW. Pls ride Alice in Wonderland in Fantasyland. It's my favorite Actually, I love DL Fantasyland - get there at rope drop and head to Peter Pan, and then to Dumbo and then ride all of Fantasyland in an hour. Casey Jr. train is fun if you have little kids too - or even adults! You can sit in the Monkey Cage - my kids' favorite.

Pirates and Space Mountain are also way better than the WDW versions.

If you like character meals, try Goofy's kitchen at DL Hotel. Sometimes you can see rare characters - like Max, Goofy's son, some of the villians, etc. You see a lot more characters in one meal than you usually get at WDW.

By far our favorite thing to do at CA when staying at VGC is to ride Grizzly River Run right before the park closes. It's usually cool in CA at night and most people don't ride it for their last ride so it's usually walk on. Sometimes they let you stay on and sometimes they make you get out and get back in line even tho it's walk on but my kids will do it about 3-4x and it's no big deal bc you can walk right in the hotel and change clothes. The VGC entrance is right by Grizzly River Run. As someone else said, the ride is much longer than Kali and is a lot of fun. (Kali has better theming but for getting wet, this is it.) Anyway, my kids are nuts (and older) but they love to do this. It has basically become our VGC tradition. Just so much better than walking around a park wet all day.

I also second sitting by the fireplaces. In the lobby there are nice rocking chairs to sit by it, but there are also outdoor fireplaces which are nice to sit by at the end of the day.

You can watch World of Color from the VGC Lounge but you won't be able to see the screen part (at least we couldn't - been a long time) but it's neat. I think it's on the 5th floor? I could be wrong but ask and they will tell you.

Also, Roger Rabbit in Toon Town is a fun non-WDW ride. I would definitely concentrate on the non-WDW rides and/or trying out your favorite WDW rides at DL to see what you think.

If you go to the train station early in the morning at DL, you can ask for a reservation to ride the Lilly Belle train car. Some days they have it and some they don't bring it out, but you can ask. They will tell you what time to come back, but won't reserve it for another day if it's not out on your day. Sometimes Cinderella's mice hang out under the train station too.

I don't mean to make this sound like we are anti-WDW, it's just our Disney love affair started at DL so it holds a special place in our hearts. You'll have a super time no matter what.

Oh - see this is a stream of consciousness post - sorry - there's a Trader Sam's bar/snack food place at DL Hotel that is themed super neat too after Jungle cruise.

Also, they say in DL to always go left when a queue splits except in Jungle cruise, left is longer so go right. (For what that's worth!)

Have a super trip!!!
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June 2005 POR; June 2008 OKW & BCV; June 2008 GC at DL; May 2009 SSR & BWV; June 2009 AKV & THV; Oct 2009 VB & AKV; May 2010 FW & BLT; July 2010 VGC; Oct 2010 4 day DCL; July 2011 POFQ & BCV; Dec 2011 CB & AKV;March 2012 DLH & VGC; August 2012 PPH at DLR
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