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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 2 Jun 19, 09:30 AM  
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Sallyingforth
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The parks and one other?

We have just got back from our perfect Florida holiday -5 days at Disney, a week on the gulf coast and 3 days at Universal. It was so good that we want to do it again.

The only problem is that due to kids exams the only time of year we can go is in the summer. We don't think we could handle Florida in the summer so started thinking about California. I've been reading all the trip reports and it seems like most people do a big road trip with multiple stops. That isn't really what we are looking for.

We would like to do 2 nights Universal, a day at Knotts Berry Fam, then a week on the coast followed by 4/5 nights at Anaheim. Can anyone recommend a base for our relaxation week? I am thinking San Diego. Has anyone done it? Are we daft if we don't go further north? I can't get excited about San Fran and whilst I would like to see Yosemite, the busyness puts me off...
Any thoughts gratefully received...
Thank you
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Old 2 Jun 19, 02:29 PM  
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daytonababe
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You know need a day at universal itís not that big , and 3 days does Disney comfortably.
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Old 2 Jun 19, 03:33 PM  
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landandword17
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Itís personal preference. Personally I wouldnít go all the way to California to do theme parks and beach but thatís because I am interested in the cities and natural parks. You may be fine with it if youíre not a city person or nature lover.

I have not been to the Gulf coast of Florida so I canít compare. Iíll give the caveat that California beaches are city beaches mostly. There arenít resorts and beaches where you can rent loungers. Some people will be laying out but most locals are running, dog walking, doing water sports. Also the water is cold even in summer and I believe the gulf coast is warm water.

If someone is just looking for the Florida experience I would say theyíll be disappointed and frustrated with the fact that the parks are just a small part of huge urban areas and mostly frequented by locals. It isnít set up for the tourist like Florida and accommodation and food are more expensive, traffic is heavier and you are surrounded by people going about their everyday business in the city rather than hordes of fellow chilled out tourists and that lessens the magic for some people depending on their expectations.

Hope I havenít put you off 😃 Just wanted to give you a more realistic view. Imo to have a great California holiday you have to put Florida out of mind because they are different holidays and you canít compare them.
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Old 2 Jun 19, 05:25 PM  
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Sallyingforth
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No, it's helpful. Thank you both. I do get what you are saying.
One question though - if you were to base yourself for one week at a single destination in California other than LA, where would you choose?
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Old 2 Jun 19, 08:24 PM  
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lindasarahlou
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If the kids like the big rides don't miss Six Flags Magic Mountain, but choose mid week if you can organise it.
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Old 3 Jun 19, 01:17 PM  
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400ixl
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Originally Posted by Sallyingforth View Post
No, it's helpful. Thank you both. I do get what you are saying.
One question though - if you were to base yourself for one week at a single destination in California other than LA, where would you choose?
If I absolutely had to based on your plans it probably would be San Diego.

Would be our teenage DD idea of hell though. Beach holidays isn't something we do.

If you want to see some of the national parks then maybe spend some time at Joshua Tree and Palm Springs on a diverted route between LA and San Diego.

As mentioned Universal is a 1 day park, Six Flags Magic mountain is 30 minutes from Universal / Hollywood area. Anaheim is a good 60-90 minutes from Hollywood and there isn't much there other than Disney and Knotts Berry farm (our DD thought this was a bit young for her even before she was a teenager, but others seem to like it).

Griffith Observatory, Warner Bros studio Tour, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice Beach (if the teens follow some of the US vloggers) etc are all worth visiting in the northern side of LA. The Science museum is also good in mid LA.

So much to do that is better than time sat on a beach for us. Can do that in the UK.
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Old 3 Jun 19, 03:09 PM  
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landandword17
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I agree if I had to pick a base it would be San Diego.
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Old 3 Jun 19, 03:46 PM  
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Sallyingforth
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Great, thanks all. Really helpful.
I feel like I need to defend myself and say that we don't want to sit on a beach all week, promise, that's not what I said or meant at all.
BUT we don't want to have a massive road trip and be in and out of hotels all holiday either. I think there are some really good ideas here for making it a great a two centre break.
Thanks for replying
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Old 3 Jun 19, 04:06 PM  
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MissJRabbit
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We just did 4 nights San Diego and 6 nights Anaheim. Anaheim we felt was close enough to head to Hollywood for the day - we did Warner bros but you could do universal. Knotts is near Disney in Anaheim. San Diego area had lovely beaches, hikes and other sights etc.
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