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Disneyland California and West Coast Trip Planning Disneyland California and West Coast Holiday Planning Questions, Suggestions and Tips.

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Old 18 Aug 19, 08:19 AM  
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#1
flossdaisy
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Mobile Must dos in 7 days!

Hi Dibbers!

After many trips to Orlando were now thinking of crossing to the dark side and booking the West Coast for next year. Wed like to do 7ish days followed by a weeks cruise from LA on the Carnival Panorama as we need some proper down time on our trips. Soooo... what are the must dos in 7 days where we would not need to travel too much? We are theme park junkies so Disney and Universal are a must. How near are they to each other? How much time should we allow for these? I am a total West Coast virgin and its a minefield! There will be me, DH and our 11-year old daughter who loves American culture but is not so keen on history/museums etc! Thanks so much!
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Old 18 Aug 19, 09:19 AM  
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jdouds
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Hi LA is a massive area approx 100 miles across , for theme parks you would need to split your stay. To go to the west coast it would be a shame not to see a little more than theme parks. If you could consider flying into San Fran and spending 2 days there then a day in Monterey ,Santa Barbara and then have 3 days for your Disney fix. Hope this gives you some food for thought.
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Old 18 Aug 19, 11:36 AM  
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400ixl
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For 7 days including Disney I would discount San Francisco and coming down the Pacific Coast highway, especially as you have said you don't want to travel too much. A split stay is recommended as Universal and Disney are anything up to 2 hours apart depending on traffic.

I would first head to the northern side of LA, maybe somewhere like Burbank.

From there you could do Universal, Hollywood, Warner Bros studio tour, Griffith Observatory. There is also another theme park call Six Flags Magic Mountain which is 30 minutes from there and has the bigger coasters in it. That would take 3 days of you 7 as both parks are a day each and you could do the others in another day.

I would then head south to Anaheim and look to do Disney. There is also another theme park 20 minutes away called Knott's Berry Farm. Disney is 2-3 days and Knott's Berry a day.

Depending on the time you have to be on board for your cruise which I assume is from the Long Beach area I would maybe keep a day for that area, so 2 days Disney, 1 Knott's Berry or 3 for Disney if not doing Knott's Berry.

Heading across to Long Beach the day before your cruise would allow you to see that area and do things like the Queen Mary etc.

There is so much to do in LA I wouldn't try to do other cities and save those for a proper road trip another year. You won't do them any justice and will just be on the road.
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Old 18 Aug 19, 12:50 PM  
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Bad Pink Tink
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Originally Posted by flossdaisy View Post
Hi Dibbers!

After many trips to Orlando were now thinking of crossing to the dark side and booking the West Coast for next year. Wed like to do 7ish days followed by a weeks cruise from LA on the Carnival Panorama as we need some proper down time on our trips. Soooo... what are the must dos in 7 days where we would not need to travel too much? We are theme park junkies so Disney and Universal are a must. How near are they to each other? How much time should we allow for these? I am a total West Coast virgin and its a minefield! There will be me, DH and our 11-year old daughter who loves American culture but is not so keen on history/museums etc! Thanks so much!
For 7 days on land I would choose EITHER Disney or Universal, you wont be able to both.

Unlike Orlando the 2 parks are not near each other, they are about 2 hours drive apart. There is no easy way to travel between the two.

For Universal Studios, its not like Orlando. Its a working studio which has a theme park built around it. There are 3 onsite hotels. Most people stay in the Hollywood area and then drive or take transport to Universal. To see and do everything at a relaxed pace I would recommend 3 days MAX. Then for the other 3 days you can do the Hollywood touristy things, Hollywood walk of Fame, Hop n Hop Off bus tour etc etc.

For Disney it is not like Orlando, it is more like Disneyland Paris. There are 2 parks separated by an esplanade. Once you are through security check you can park hop or visit Downtown Disney as much as you like. There are 3 onsite hotels which are wildly expensive, they are in the deluxe price range, cheapest would be around $500 per night! Most people stay in the hotels and motels on Harbour Boulevard, average is about $200 a night and many have a shorter walk than the onsite hotels.

For Disneyland tickets the cheapest is online in advance from authorised discount resellers. I use Last Minute Travel Company and usually save $50 compared to the Disney website or gate tickets.

When you get a 3 day or longer ticket in advance either through Disney or from an authorised discount reseller you will be able to go to 1 early access at Disneyland Main Park. The eary access days are rotated between Disneyland Main Park and California Adventures. Only onsite hotel guests can go to the early access at California Adventures.

I would advise 4 or 5 days at Disneyland to see and do everything at a relaxed pace.

For a 7 day trip, this would be my plan

Arrival Day
Land LAX
Get supershuttle to Anaheim
Stay at a motel on Harbour Boulevard
Explore the area, walk to restaurants at Anaheim Garden Walk, buy water and snacks at CVS at the crossroads of Harbour Boulevard and Katella Avenue.
Have an early night

Day 1 Disneyland
Rope drop
Afternoon break
Stay to close
Park hop through out the day

Day 2 Disneyland
Rope drop
Afternoon break
Stay to close
Park hop through out the day

Day 3
Rest Day
Beach Day or shopping mall day, or maybe Knotts Berry Farm themepark
Explore Downtown Disney and check out the onsite hotels

Day 4 Disneyland
Rope drop
Afternoon break
Stay to close
Park hop through out the day

Day 5 Disneyland
Rope drop
Afternoon break
Stay to close
Park hop through out the day

Departure Day
Travel to Long Beach for Carnival Panorama Cruise
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Old 18 Aug 19, 01:10 PM  
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pinkandfluffy
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Have a look at Six Flags Magic Mountain if you like big rides. Its less than an hours drive from LA and completely doable from there. We loved it and Knotts Berry Farm too.
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Old 18 Aug 19, 05:12 PM  
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flossdaisy
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Dibbers, you guys are the best! This advice is amazing and certainly food for thought. Thank you so much!
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Old 19 Aug 19, 11:57 AM  
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JoS
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We will also be cruising for the third time from Longbeach on Carnival in February. This time only doing a 4-day cruise We are only doing a 3 day trip to LA as I am not a great lover of the place then on to Vegas. Hope you have a wonderful cruise. I am so jealous
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