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  • [Travel Planning] Disneyland Trip Planning

    Hey everyone! Hoping for some help/insight.

    I haven't been to Disneyland since 2011. I am a Canadian, planning on a trip for February 2018 with my partner who has never been. Thinking 4 days at Disneyland/DCA, 1 day at Universal, and maybe 1 day to explore Hollywood/LA as well. Was thinking February 12-18 or so, something like that.

    Any thoughts? Where should we stay? How should we get around? What airport should we fly into and best way from airport to hotel? Are there hotels that offer a shuttle to the parks? How do we get from Anaheim to Universal and then Anaheim to Hollywood/LA on another day? Do you have suggestions for things we should do in Hollywood/LA? Is my plan dumb and should I do something else?

    Looking for any and all insight








    ~ Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday tomorrow and fantasy
    ~

  • #2
    if you dont have any response here, try a different site, micechat Disneyland forum is more about the institution of Disneyland rather than trip planning site

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Disney Analyst View Post
      Hey everyone! Hoping for some help/insight.

      I haven't been to Disneyland since 2011. I am a Canadian, planning on a trip for February 2018 with my partner who has never been. Thinking 4 days at Disneyland/DCA, 1 day at Universal, and maybe 1 day to explore Hollywood/LA as well. Was thinking February 12-18 or so, something like that.

      Any thoughts? Where should we stay? How should we get around? What airport should we fly into and best way from airport to hotel? Are there hotels that offer a shuttle to the parks? How do we get from Anaheim to Universal and then Anaheim to Hollywood/LA on another day? Do you have suggestions for things we should do in Hollywood/LA? Is my plan dumb and should I do something else?

      Looking for any and all insight

      I would suggest either starting or ending your trip with Universal/Hollywood and staying there for a night. You don't want to have to head there from Anaheim twice. It's not close. USH isn't really a full day park so you can do that and some Hollywood stuff all in the same day. You can probably do everything you want to do at the Disney parks multiple times with 3 days. Take the 4th day and spend it at Knott's Berry Farm instead. It's just a 10 minute drive from DL.
      "In Hell, everybody loves popcorn."

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      • #4
        We did a similar trip in February 2016, but actually stayed in a beach community (I love Manhattan/Hermosa) for our Universal and Hollywood days. It was still a drive (though not as long as it would have been from Anaheim), but the bonus is that we got some surf and sand time in the mornings and evenings which was lovely. (I have also stayed in the Burbank area on other trips as a base for those days, which is very convenient and less expensive than some of the more touristy areas.) I like planning non "attraction" time especially if I'm with people unfamiliar with LA. Driving past the downtown skyscrapers, driving into Hollywood (large parking structure at Hollywood and Highland), driving around Burbank and pointing out the various studio gates and lots. (I recommend Porto's Bakery and Cafe if you're in the area.) Even just driving through the streets above Sunset and looking at the old neighborhood homes that date to the golden age of Hollywood can be nice. (Your mileage may vary. Don't, for example, plan your driving time around the afternoon commute especially on a Friday.)

        My preference is to end with Disneyland because Universal can be - at least to me - a bit of a let down on the heels of Disney. I also highly recommend the front of the line pass for Universal if you can splurge for it, especially if it's just two of you. Hear me out: even on a busy day, Universal is a one day park, but standing in long lines at Universal for one motion 3D ride after the other is really exasperating to me. More so than with Disney. So much of the park is just utilitarian concrete and many of the rides so similar that it just doesn't feel worth it to me. My time and lowered stress level is worth the upcharge. With front of the line pass + arriving at park opening for Harry Potter, you can be out of there by 1 pm easily having done everything.

        Also despite the advent of rideshare options, I still think that if you're doing anything more than just the Disneyland Resort, you need a car. It's a driving town. You could get away just having the rental car during your Universal/Hollywood days, and then returning it and ubering/taxiing to/from the Disneyland Resort/airport - but then there's the inconvenience of having to return the car midtrip - and the cost of those roundtrips might equal the cost of just keeping the rentals. Again it's a question of what your time is worth. If you stay close enough to Universal/Hollywood and/or aren't fancying a day just driving around pointing out the sites, taxis and rideshares might be best.

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        • #5
          Can any locals share what is happening June 21 and 22 that has the Southern California Annual Passport blocked? I've googled and checked the Anaheim convention center calendar and don't see anything in particular.

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          • #6
            Monday, February 19th is a national holiday (President's Day) here in the states. Nearly all schools will be closed so be prepared for heavy crowds the weekend leading up to the holiday. I would recommend doing your Disney days before Friday. If lower crowd levels are more your style, you might want to consider moving your trip to a week earlier. If you need to keep your dates, don't stress, I'm sure you'll have an awesome time either time!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kikdenn View Post
              Monday, February 19th is a national holiday (President's Day) here in the states. Nearly all schools will be closed so be prepared for heavy crowds the weekend leading up to the holiday. I would recommend doing your Disney days before Friday. If lower crowd levels are more your style, you might want to consider moving your trip to a week earlier. If you need to keep your dates, don't stress, I'm sure you'll have an awesome time either time!

              I was thinking of going during the week day, but when I came back in 2011 (in January) that meant 8 pm closing times and no Fantasmic/fireworks. Is that still the case in February?






              ~ Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday tomorrow and fantasy
              ~

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              • #8
                Correct. Park closing would be expected to be on the earlier side (8pm probably) at least M-W. And fireworks will only be scheduled Fri, Sat and Sun. Our only February visits have been in 2016 and 2017 when Fantasmic has been down, so I'm unsure about it's regular schedule during that month. Hopefully someone else can chime in on that.

                Maybe you could do 3 Disney days M-W, visit Universal on Thursday, then come back to Disneyland for Friday? It's a lot of driving, but would give you lower crowds on most of your days without having to miss out on the Friday night spectaculars.

                We usually do a 5 day pass, with Friday being our last day. Our focus that last day is shows, musical entertainment, enjoying the ambiance and getting good viewing spots for the parade/fireworks. Since we're not spending much time in lines it makes the Friday crowds less of a stress!

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