I finally thought to write this review of how it went for our family.
Who went: Family of 4. Mom(42), Dad(43), son(15), daughter(13)
When travelled: July 9-12, 2007 - part of a ten day trip around Los Angeles
Disney: 3 day park hopper pass for Disneyland Resort
Our family has a pretty good experience in travel to Disney but mostly in Florida to Disneyworld and staying on site in one of the Disney resorts. This was a new experience as we had never been to California or Disneyland.
We stayed at the Ramada Inn Maingate which was very close to the entrance to the parks. From the hotel, turn right, walk about 500 feet to the light, cross street and walk to the entrance. We could be at the entrance to either park in about 10 minutes.
We were concerned about crowds as we went during July and the week after the U.S. holiday. Crowds were relatively heavy but we did extremely well and there were not that many lines to wait in. We used fastpasses everytime we could and planned around them, getting another when we could. Sometimes we just didn't use them and gave them away. We used parade and show times to see attractions while crowds were tied up for those. We pretty much saw every attraction there and saw most several times over.
Food is incredibly affordable. For the price you pay you can get quite a lot of good quality food. There is so much choice with the different sytles and locations. Sometimes my wife and daughter would share a plate. We ate breakfast in our room and took snacks like nuts and granola bars and bottles of water to keep us going. We opened and closed the parks.
We went back to our room in the afternoon 2 days for a bit of relaxation and swimming which was very nice. So close and no bus to take like at Disneyworld. We had more time for this than you would in Florida, not that it is a bad thing.
The flight to LA from Detroit was about the same as it would be to Florida so a trip back just for Disneyland would not be out of the question.
If we were to take a strictly Disney vacation we would choose Disneyworld as it is so much bigger and has more to offer and you are IN Disney, 24/7 there. Disneyland does has its pluses however. Some of the rides are much better in the Magic Kingdom in California than in Florida.
Disney's California Adventure never had too many long lines. We used Fast Passes there as well. We were able to do Soarin which we couldn't do at Epcot because of the 3 hour line. We did Disney's CA in less than a day. By reviews it is not that busy and we found this as well. We also opened at Disneyland for a ride or 2 then went over to CA for the day then closed at Disneyland.
Lots of tricks you can do to maximize your time.
All in all we had an awesome trip and would recommend it to anyone. Summer was not as bad as we thought. Crowds were not horrible and the heat was better than southwestern Ontario at that time of year. Believe or not, our part of Canada can be intolerable in the summer.
Some things I hated were the crowds gathering for the fireworks, very difficult to get around, the crowds at Fantasmic, same problem and strollers. I hate strollers, way too many and they are too big and no place to put them. Staff were generally friendly but you could tell there were some issues and not the Disney fairlytale land of days gone by. We sensed some employee unrest and had a few instances which were not what we expected.
Characters were easy to get to and lines were not long. Ask where they will be and when and keep your eyes open. Get into line as quick as possible and let others walk around while you wait or to rest in shade.
All in all a great time. Lots of pictures to see of Disney if anyone wants to send me a note.
London, Ontario, Canada.
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