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First Trip Questions!

Portland, Oregon
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28 posts
35 reviews
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First Trip Questions!

Hello!!! We are planning our very first trip to DL. I've been a few times but my husband has not! We have 2 little girls (3 and 8 months). My in laws would like to come as well.

My husband was skeptical about taking our girls so young but after talking to multiple people (who said their 3 year olds were in awe) he has agreed to a trip in the 2nd week of December!! **very open to suggestions and experiences with two little opens**

We are thinking about flying in on a Sunday, then three days at DL and one open day and fly home Friday.

I think it would be best to stay within walking distance, in case we need a little break. I'm also wondering how much (estimate) this will cost. We are flying from Eugene, Oregon and are looking at the first two weeks in December.

Thank you SO much. I'm looking forward to learning more!!!

Anaheim, California
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1. Re: First Trip Questions!

OK, first off, we are not travel agents, so we can't give cost estimates that are close, and it is truly based on the specific dates, etc...

But here are some guides to help you figure out the costs...

First, transportation, well, from Portland, you can get a non-stop flight from Portland (PDX) to Long Beach (LGB), buy it now and it is cheap (non refundable). I like jetBlue for the reserved seats and better options on the flight. One bag free per ticketed passenger. They have 3 flights a day on the route.

You can also look at Southwest from PDX to John Wayne (Orange County/Santa Ana/SNA), both airports are the same distance from Disneyland (14 miles).

As for Hotels and Motels within Walking Distance, the closest are the Park Vue Inn and the Best Western Plus Park Place Inn and Suites. Both are basic Motels with basic pools.

I am a fan of the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel, which is still within walking distance (across the street from Tomorrowland) but has much nicer grounds, two water play areas, including Speedy's Sprayground for the little ones, and nice rooms and beds with interior corridors. No charge for parking or WiFi. Here is a link to a discount code.


So maybe around $150 per night for the accommodations..

So now, what about a rental car, sounds like you won't need it, but you have to also look at what else you want to do besides the Disneyland Resort and transportation to/from the airport, plus the issue of Car Seats, which you will need in California.

You can find Shuttle Vans to and from the airport that will provide car seats at no extra charge to the Hotel/Motel you choose. Here is a link to one company that offers Car Seats for Airport Shuttle service.


Figure about $100 plus tip for round trip transit.

A three day ParkHopper at Disneyland is currently about $750 for your group.


You might want to look into a day at Knott's Merry Farm, with all its Christmas events and decorations. An easy bus trip from Disneyland (no car seats needed), and admission would be just over $100, maybe less if you are eligible for the Toys for Tots program.

Then add food, shopping, etc....

So there is a start that should help in planning.

Edited: 3:19 pm, July 21, 2013
Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
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423 reviews
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2. Re: First Trip Questions!

Price out flights to SNA, LGB & LAX and then price out transportation to Anaheim from there. I'd look at either LAX or SNA first because they have the Disneyland Resort Express.

Not sure that the water play area of Howard Johnson's is advantageous in December or with kids as young as yours. I'd be more inclined to look at the Fairfield Inn, Best Western Plus Park Place Inn and Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn.

Here is a good site with some money saving ideas.


Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Anaheim, St. George
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3. Re: First Trip Questions!

I would suggest your extra day not include Theme Parks, as with a 3 day Parkhopper you may need a day inbetween to rest especially with young children. Maybe something like just a daytrip to the beach to see things and play in the sand. Huntington and Newport beach are only about a 30 min drive or so away. Even in mid Dec its likely to be nice enough to at least visit the beach.

Heres a pretty good article about taking babies and small children to Disneyland.


This thread offers some good info for taking a 3 year old to Disneyland and what kind of rides they may be interested in. See reply #2 .


This is also a good thread on taking young children to Disneyland


Keep in mind that Dec can be rainy and it will likely be cold at night at least. I would suggest visiting as early as possible in Dec. if you want to avoid crowds that come in for Christmas Breaktime, and the Candelight Processional nights. There were alot all though a few weeks of Dec last year, but there are rumors there may only be 4 or so for this year. No official info will likely be out yet for quite a while for events at Disneyland during Christmastime.

What kind of accomodation are you looking for? do you want a nicer Hotel with those amenities? or to be in close walking distance to Disneyland ( most of those are standard Motels). Do you want a larger suite for all of you to stay together in? Its also helpful if you can give a budget per night.

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


Anaheim, California
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4. Re: First Trip Questions!

If you want a day without Theme Parks, then maybe thinks about 2 days at Disneyland, and a day at Knott's. Knott's does an AMAZING Job in celebrating Christmas (as compared to the "holiday" celebration at Disneyland Park). Let alone do they have the Peanuts Characters in shows that focus about the true meaning of Christmas, a great Ice Skating Show (usually dark on Wednesdays, but of course the 2013 schedule hasn't been announced), and much more. More than likely your visit will fall during the Toys for Tots Campaign, where for about $25 for adults (based on prior years), you get admission to the park, and a toy is donated to the charity. Variety is also good, and there are plenty of things for kids of all ages to do at Knott's, including its 3 new family friendly attractions at the Boardwalk. Also, unknown what will happen with the newly refurbished Log Ride, now with many new advanced Audio Animatronics, they have plans for Christmas decorations and changes in the ride, but are waiting until later in the year to see if they will wait until 2014 to introduce them.

Also, the Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant is a great place for a family meal.

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5,660 posts
19 reviews
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5. Re: First Trip Questions!

American flies nonstop from Eugene to LAX so that is a good option with 2 little kids. I would try to avoid changing planes. You could drive to Portland but it will not save you much time on this end by flying into LAX vs. SNA or LGB. Usually about 20 minutes further to drive to come into LAX, as Sunday will not be heavy traffic. I would price out the Disneyland Express vs. a private shuttle with 6 of you that will provide car seats. A private shuttle may be cheaper or pretty close. I priced out a trip to Portland recently and I think about $200 to $240 each round trip was the price range. Hotel options will vary depending on how many rooms, how close, level of luxury, suite, etc.

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6. Re: First Trip Questions!

We enjoyed The Fairfield Inn when we stayed there. It is close to the main gate and has a nice outdoor pool. :).

7. Re: First Trip Questions!

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