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Disneyland Talk
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16.9 #6786 DL Qual #2294 5-8-13 12:59PM
I've got a question for all you regulars. We are planning our second trip to Disneyland and looking at the week of Nov 11th. We were there in Oct last year and loved the Halloween theme. Our thought this year was going during the Holiday season but not too close to Christmas, I know the crowd levels get pretty high. So my questions are, Is it a good time to go? Will all of the holiday decorations be up? And is it worth the extra money to stay at the Disneyland Hotel or a good neighbor. We stayed at a good neighbor in oct and it was nice but we walked an extra 2 miles everyday to get to and from the parks. Thanks everyone!
Yes! Best time to go in nov is after thanksgiving. However, living far away, we usually go at times when the park is "busy" anyway so we don't really know any different. My family went the day of thanksgiving and a few days after and it really wasn't as horrible as I thought it was going to be. The lines were typically about a little over an hour wait. Being on a tighter budget, the hotel we usually stay in is the Marriott Fairfield Inn. It is reasonably priced and is only .02 miles away. It took maybe 5 min to walk to the park. Only down fall is they don't have continental breakfast. Is you can afford a DL hotel, do it!!! I've heard nothing but good things about them! - BellesLibrary   369.1 #528 5-8-13 1:12PM Like(1)  Reply
The first week of December may also be a good time. All of the decorations will be up, as well as all shows, parades and fireworks up and running, as well as extended operating hours, as well as lighter crowds compared to other parts of the holiday season (although still busy). As far as hotels, it totally depends on your wants/needs. There are several good neighbor (and non good neighbor) that are a shorter walk to the main gates than that any of the Disney properties and at a significant savings too. We have stayed at several in the area and it's hard to match the convenience, especially when you are spending all of your time at the parks. - MightyWhitey   1026.5 #140 5-8-13 1:16PM Like(1)  Reply
I live locally and that is my favorite time of year. It's perfect! - MrsSchnooks  2675.9 #36 5-8-13 1:29PM
The 11th is Veterans Day, so the first half of the week will be busy! - Atora   1980.5 #59 5-8-13 1:19PM Like(1)  Reply
The Christmas TV show is filmed in beginning of Nov. Fun to be a part of. - MeridasHair   346.5 #593 5-8-13 8:57PM Like(1)  Reply
The best time to go in Nov is the week after thanksgiving. It's not crowded at all. And it's very worth it. We go every year at Halloween and Christmas. Staying at one of the resort hotels is great. But it is very expensive. We stay the good neighbors all the time. The castle is good and close, and the Clairon. It's a little farther, but there is the ART. - fantasmicfan02   35.4 #4880 5-8-13 1:04PM Like  Reply
I agree with this! Although I've not stayed at these hotels. - IMissDisney  1195.5 #108 5-8-13 1:10PM
We go the first week of december every year... not too crowded we stay at embassy suites south yes its a bit more then some other hotels but they have breakfast so we eat there put some fruit, yogurt, bagels in our room or take them to park with us for lunch.. they also have managers reception with snscks and drinks cocktsils, soda, juice.. we get extra snack mix for park and fill up our travel cups or sippers with juice or soda for park - sunshinegrl   348.8 #585 5-8-13 1:14PM Like  Reply
Are you annual pass holders? If not, it might be worth it to upgrade your tickets from this trip. Depending on the dates you choose, a Deluxe Passport may be good enough. Then, if you so decide on a Disney hotel, you will save $ on the room. Also, that early December is going to be a little cheaper than is you went during the actual holiday week of thanksgiving or the two Christmas holiday weeks. If you go week of Veteran's Day,'you might be a little early for the holiday decorations. So you might want to choose the next week or week or two after thanksgiving. - MeridaFan   3250.2 #27 5-8-13 1:24PM Like  Reply
Great advice everyone. Thank you. Good to know about the first half of Veterns Day week will be busy. Think we will look at that week after thanksgiving. It's hard to justify the price for the Disney resorts which for us we are out the door by 7am and not back till after 9pm at the earliest. We are not pass holders, I can't see us going more than once a year right now. - Danierob   16.9 #6786 5-8-13 2:12PM Like  Reply
Hotels right across the street are pretty cheap if you book far on advance. We've fine every year in nov or dec and dec seems to be busier. 2 years ago we went veterans weekend and it was supposed to rain, which it drizzled a little, so it kept the crowds away. We walked on rides on a Saturday! It was perfect! This year we plan to go the weekend after... We always stay at desert inn because its as low as $59 a night and its right by the cross walk! - brodysmommy  333.7 #627 5-8-13 2:22PM
Not trying to talk you into the passes, but depending on how man days you are there now and how many you plan to go in Nov or Dec, it could still be worth it. If you have 3- or 5-day passes right now, you can upgrade them and just pay the difference between what you paid already and what the current passholder price is. You then would get 10-20% discounts on food and merchandise purchases. Depending on your spending habits, it can be a real savings. Just a thought. And then your tickets would already be paid for your next trip! (And who knows? Maybe a third trip would be added before your passes expired a year from now! 😀) - MeridaFan  3250.2 #27 5-8-13 2:51PM
Yeah, if you go once a year, even if you buy 2 3day park hoppers an AP is cheaper. We plan our Xmas trip one year and get the pass and then the next year go before the dates at Xmas time again and it's cheaper than tickets! Then if we go any other time it's free :) - brodysmommy  333.7 #627 5-8-13 3:05PM
Merida fan is right. That is great advice. Out first time getting APs was because we had to tries planned for that summer and it was cheaper than buying 2 five day hoppers. We ended up going two more bonus times that same year because it was "free". Haha but it really was easier planning trips out when you don't have to buy a pass. Just air fare and hotel. It is so nice. - evilqueensmistress  285.1 #885 5-8-13 3:34PM
I love heading to the parks right after Thanksgiving. The park is slower than it would be during Thanksgiving weekend. I suggest making reservations for the restaurants you want to try WAY in advance (60 days is the earliest) and at the same time pay for your seats to Fantasmic (it comes with sweets and drinks! ooh and cocoa). I also suggest making reservations at Carthay circle later in the evening, then stopping by the morning of your reservation to request balcony seating to watch Disneyland's fireworks show during dinner. Always grab a pin at Guest Services. Like the other MW'ers said, Annual Passes are the best option. We purchased Premium to take care of parking (it's included!) at all the parking lots for Disneyland, and for the 10-15% discount at the restaurants and stores. We also joined D23 to get more discounts outside of the park and in other states. Oh, and FAST PASS the day away! It's the best option to avoid the longer wait times, for sure. Oh, and if I were you, do single rider lines for Splash and RSR. It's worth it! - karidaluv   67.2 #3876 5-8-13 3:44PM Like  Reply
In terms of hotels, I suggest checking Tripadvisor.com for reviews, but the one most people suggest when you travel with kids is Portofino Suites. They have a kids suite where the kids have a room with a bunk bed in it! It's so cute. Clarion on Convention Center and Doubletree Guest Suites are nice. I check bookit.com for my reservations because they have a paypal and billmelater pay options. - karidaluv   67.2 #3876 5-8-13 3:45PM Like  Reply
Thanks everyone! Never thought about the AP option. Now you guys got me thinking. We will have to look into it. Do you get a good discount at the disney resorts with it? I checked out the blackout dates and I think early Dec would be fine. - Danierob   16.9 #6786 5-8-13 6:09PM Like  Reply
10-20% (20% if you get the most expensive pass) off food and merch in most stores and restaurants in the parks and in DTD. It is pretty awesome. I buy the deluxe pass because I am from out of state. I make it out about 4-5 times a year. But saving 10% on food and such maybe doesn't sound like much, but it really does add up! - evilqueensmistress  285.1 #885 5-8-13 6:49PM
And I know the Disney hotels always have some sort of deal if you have a pass. Some of the neighboring hotels even offer the discount on rooms if you show your AP at check in. - evilqueensmistress  285.1 #885 5-8-13 6:51PM
Good choice! You will LOVE early December. My fave time. - MrsSchnooks  2675.9 #36 5-8-13 8:22PM
We're staying at the Grand for 2nights next week & with ap discount saving $200 off normal rates plus free character dining. We recently stayed at PP hotel for 5 nights & saved over $500 by having AP. - UTDISNEYFAMILY  1166.2 #113 5-8-13 9:15PM
Thanks again for all the responses. You all gave some great advice. I know we could probably use the ap pass at least 10 days over the next year. - Danierob   16.9 #6786 5-8-13 8:18PM Like  Reply
Week before thanksgiving is great - fab5   25.3 #5596 5-8-13 9:48PM Like  Reply