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Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

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Bermagui, Australia
posts: 1,738
reviews: 66
Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

Hi

I have been to DL once way back in 2003. It was my first trip to any Disney park. Since then I have been yearly to WDW. I am from Australia.

My Husband and I are thinking of taking a trip to Disneyland this year. I have no idea on DL as i'm always going to WDW and know that place like the back of my hand.

I am wondering if anyone can tell me a few things.

When is the cheapest and quietest time to go?

How can we get from Anaheim to San Diego (we are thinking of spending 4 days in San Diego)

We will NOT be hiring a car, please don't suggest hiring a car. We do not hire cars whilst in foreign countries.

Weather doesn't really bother us, we don't mind heat, rain or cold. It is more the crowd levels that bother me. I am used to going to WDW and Orlando during September so the heat is fine and so is the rain.

Thank you for any replies :)

Redlands, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 13,097
reviews: 3
1. Re: Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

Boy, I would be in your shoes if I planned a trip to WDW because I think I know DL like the back of my hand!

I think you might want to start with getting an idea of a good time to visit San Diego and then look into if you want to plan your DLR visit at the same time. The reason I am saying that is because tnere are a just a couple of months when SD tends to get fog or overcast along the bays and even inland. I assume you want to enjoy some of that famous good SD weather.

May is a good month to visit Disneyland Resort, before Memorial Day, but not a very good month for SD.

You could actually do okay planning another September vacation, as that is a good month for SD weather wise and crowd wise. Don't plan a vacation around Labor Day. You will probably want to wait until Halloweentime begins af DLR. Before that the Haunted Mansion and Space Mt. are closed to install holiday overlays. The HM will become Haunted Holiday based on the Nightmare Before Christmas, which very different than classic HM. I don't think they have that at the MK in WDW. Halloweentime is becoming more popular, so not sure what the normal crowd level is now.

February might be another month to consider. This is in our rainy season, but there are sunny days during the month as well. It is one of the most beautiful times to visit So Cal as rain makes everything pretty. If you want to swim in the ocean, it is not a good time. The water will be warmer in Sept.

Edited: 2:44 am, March 29, 2013
Redlands, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 13,097
reviews: 3
2. Re: Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

You can take a train from Anaheim to San Diego or vice-versa. There is one that goes along the coast. There is a train station in downtown SD, right across the street from the San Diego Bay and up from the Maritime Museums with the Star of India Sailing Ship. There are hotels all along the bay and in downtown Gaslamp District and Little Italy a bit further up the streets. Downtown SD is rather compact. The first hotel down from the train station is the Holiday Inn On San Diego Bay. You can look at street view on Google Maps and see the area I am talking about. The hotels there in downtown will have shuttles that go to the train station and there are city buses as well. You can probably get to the zoo by a hotel shuttle but not Sea World. There are water taxis to Coronado Island or you can take a bus that goes over the bridge.

What airport are you flying into and out of?

laguna niguel, ca
Destination Expert
for Honolulu
posts: 7,063
reviews: 12
3. Re: Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

September is a slow month, october is not so good with all the halloween closings, early november is slow.

But the thing with the slow periods is disneyland does a lot of refurbishing so a lot of rides will be closed.

San Diego is a great city, take the train.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 33,980
reviews: 339
4. Re: Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

I would try to go early enough in September to still catch some of the summer activities like fireworks, parades, World of Color & Fantasmic; those events don't happen as often in the off season.

You might go check out the DISBoards as well.

www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=26

San Diego is easy to get to on the train.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
posts: 15,522
reviews: 83
5. Re: Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

There are substantial differences weatherwise between the two locations, so weather is likely to be somewhat of an issue Imo. May is going to have the milder more pleasant weather for Anaheim, and Sept is going to be Hot for most of that month. While Orlandos record high is 90 degrees F., Anaheim's is 108 degrees F which is substantiallly different, and often a hot wind also blows that time of year, so you do have a chance of hotter weather.

As said, May, avoiding Memorial Day Weekend, and perhaps working around some of the High School Grad nites if you are very picky about crowds..... and Sept, avoiding Labor Day Weekend, and the starting weekend of Halloweentime are the best times crowdwise to visit Disneyland, which is usually the second full weekend of Sept. But no official info on that will likely be out for a few month. Likely that starting date will be Sept 13 for 2013 Imo. Mickeys Halloween Party night could start as early as Sept 27th this year, if Disneyland sticks to thier previous schedule, which would bring in larger crowds.

As said though, you are not likely to find great weather in both locations, Anaheim and San Diego during Sept or May.

There are usually also not alot of refurbishments going on in either Month. during that time, however, The Haunted Mansion does close usually around Labor Day Weekend each year to get its quirkey Halloween/Christmas overlay and doesnt open till the start of Halloweentime. Space Mountain is also usually closed for the full week before Halloweentime starts.

Quite a few differences between Disneyland and DisneyWorld. Heres a good thread on the subject. Reply #2 of this thread also lists the differences between the two Parks.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29092-i65-k470393…

Two things are very different between staying at Disneyland vs DisneyWorld....

Meal plans are not cost effective at Disneyland, and offer no benefit to you. And, You can stay directly across the street from Disneyland at some of the standard Motels, and just walk into Disneyland. Some of which are closer walking distance than most of the Disney owned Hotels, wiith a few Hotels in a little farther walking distance.

Here is a Map of Hotels in the Disneyland area so you can see where things are located. The Disneyland Main Entrance is off of Harbor Blvd near where it says "East Shuttle Area" on the Map.

printfreemaps.com/maps/freedisneylandareamap…

There is also the Art Shuttle service which goes from Disneyland to alot of father away Hotels within about a 2 mile radius around Disneyland multiple times per day for a small fee per person.

http://www.rideart.org/

Bermagui, Australia
posts: 1,738
reviews: 66
6. Re: Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

Firstly, thank you everyone for your imput.

As I stated I have been to Disneyland once before but it was so long ago that it is hard to remember a lot about crowds and weather. I know that we went in March/April, it was packed and it was quite cold.

There is no way we can go in May as we will not be able to save up enough money, flights alone from Australia will cost us $2000 so I think September will be a better option for us. The only time we can go really is the last week in August or the first two weeks in September. I really don't want to miss out on the Haunted Mansion as my Husband has never been to Disneyland and I have been telling him how different the Haunted Mansion is at DL than WDW from the exterior.

I really can't go in November as we are trying to get pregnant, If all goes well I may be too far along to travel by then. This is also a reason why I don't want to miss the Haunted Mansion, If I am pregnant I won't be able to do any "mountain" rides so will have to stick to all the "kiddie" rides and HM is one I can't miss.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Victoria, Road Trips
posts: 4,228
reviews: 12
7. Re: Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

One thing to keep in mind is that the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is closed until the end of October this year for refurbishment.

Bermagui, Australia
posts: 1,738
reviews: 66
8. Re: Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

Thanks Ellenwillow, I saw that yesterday on allears, why so long? I wouldn't be able to ride it anyway if i'm pregnant. Such a shame, I love BTM :(

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
posts: 15,522
reviews: 83
9. Re: Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

Its a major refurbishment as they are replacing the track as well as getting a new Train that looks like the old one, ect.

…go.com/blog/…

The Haunted Mansion closed last year August 27th to get its Halloween overlay, and didnt open again till the starting date of Halloweentime which was Sept 14 for 2012. So, its likely that will happen again this year.

So...if the Haunted Mansion is a priority for you, The last week of August that ride is very likely to be closed as they usually want a few weeks to change things over. You would want to wait to visit until after Sept 13th which is again very likely to be the starting date of Halloweentime If you want to see that attraction.

Redlands, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 13,097
reviews: 3
10. Re: Disneyland questions from a Disney World junkie

The reason for the long refurb of Big Thunder is it is getting enhanced, but not in the fashion of Pirates of the Caribbean. Meaning there will be additional theming in the queue, some interactive, but no change to the story line (thank God). There is also some maintainence that is long overdue, such as the rocks inside the mountain that are supposed to shake during the rumbling have been barely moving. If I remember correctly, some of the track is going to be changed out with new track (not different, new). I am working from memory here, so anyone can correct me if I am slightly wrong. ; ) The trains are gettting spruced up with new paint.

I love BTMRR too. It's my favorite ride. They put off the refurb until after the Christmas Season and I was able to go to DL one more day in Dec. (had two days in the summer), so made a point to make my last rides that night! They were going to start the refurb right after Labor Day in September 2012, which might have meant an earlier reopening. But another ride needed a refurb in the fall, so it got put off. Should be really nice when done, I'm sure. That will give you a reason to come back!

I have been to Disneyland (Park) in late August a couple of times. Many of the schools go back into session then and it is less crowded than earlier in the summer, but there are still crowds. You will probably need to get some advice on avoiding crowded areas, and working around the crowds. I actually met someone last August - in the morning - who said she had been to WDW and it was her first time to DLR and she thought it was less crowded in DL than in the MK! The way she put it was that it was easier. And she was a mother with little kids.

Beware of Labor Day weekend in Disneyland Resort. I was there on the Friday of it two years ago and it was fine. But the Monday holiday and other days should be super crowded. There is a fan event that weekend.

The weather at Disneyland Resort in late August will be very hot. Cooler early in the morning and late at night. It will probably start to cool down around 8 p.m., but be comfortable. You may or may not need a light jacket. Usually it is more needed around 11 p.m. It will likely be a dry heat, different from what you have experienced in WDW. But this is the season when Mexico may have some tropical storms, so remenents of humidity can find it's way up to So Cal. No rain, no thunderstorms. Typically, the parks here (all So. Cal parks) are less crowded in the mornings at opening. So the conventional wisdom is go to the parks at opening and get on the most popular rides asap. In the afternoon, you have choices. Enjoy a break somewhere in the park, choose rides are attractions that are indoors, or go to your hotel for a break and swim.

Do they have Single Rider pass at WDW? Or do you know what it is at DLR?

As for San Diego, August is the high season there when many people go to SD. The weather is some of the nicest in Southern California. Still hot during the day, but usually less hot than other places. It cools down quite a bit along the bay and ocean (Coronado, Pacific Beach) at night. Weather in SD in mid to late September is not hot. The folks on the San Diego Forum seem to peg this and October as their best months. In early September, it may still be hot during the day. Visitors start leaving after Labor Day, I think. Post in the San Diego Forum for more information about SD.