We are looking at taking our 3 boys to Disneyland next year for 5 days and wondering what others experience has been with little ones, we'll have a 5.5 year old, almost 8 year old and an almost 2 year old. Hoping my folks can come too. What are the must see and do's any other little side trips that would be family friendly and worthwhile seeing? Also how much spending money would you budget for? If we're only there 5 days or so.
Thanks for any advice and tips.
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14-06-2012 16:42 #1
Tips for traveling to Disneyland
15-06-2012 18:29 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
I would stay at a hotel near disneyland. The Disneyland ones area alot more expensive and not that close. There is one my friends stayed at that had an awesome water play area that is close.
If you want world of colour meal tickets book early. We didn't have an issue getting tickets though as I forgot to book the meals and they were sold out.
Take a pram and a toddler board.
Ridemakerz in Downtown Disney is fantastic. You can make your own remote control cars and customise them. I think the one DS and DH built was around $90. You can do it cheaper but jsut be prepared that it can add up quickly
There is a lego store in downtown disney.
A little walk away but Target in the US is awesome. More for you than the kids. Take an empty suitcase
wE easily spent 5 days at Disney. We got there 9/10am and usually left about 4-5 to do downtown Disney, Target or World of Colour. IT is really tiring.
We liked the bbq all you can eat place in Disneyland
You can buy 24 bottles of water for $8 or so. WE took these and only bought soft drink as a treat.
Food is not unreasonably priced at the parks. Big things of popcorn were $4ish. Bottles of water $3? Big frozen lemonade in souvenir cup $8?
MEals around $5-10 incl drink
I also took snacks - muesli bars, goldfish etc. I also took vegemite from Australia and would make DS a vegemite sandwich to snack on. Poor kid he ate so many vegemite sandwiches on that holiday
Stay away from any 'Tropical' juice. IT has the fake cherry flavour and if you aren't used to it it is Bleurgh.
If you don't have foxtel I would be familiarising your children with Disney junior shoes - JAke and the neverland pirates, little einsteins, jungle junction, mickey mouse clubhouse. DS loved the Disney junior live show but he was very familiar with all the characters. Same iwth Disney movies. DS wasn't as into the movies before we went but after it was full on Toy Story.
IT was all fabulous, take your time to enjoy it. The website is good so you can get an idea of things that are available and any height restrictions.
It is really hard to set a budget, I would work out where you are staying, if you can prepare meals or will eat out. There are so many souvenirs too. IT is easy to go overboard. I would plan on $x for each child for souvenirs and once that is gone that is it. Excluding park tickets I would think minimum $200 day, but it depends on how much food you will buy and if you will include breakfast in that amount etc.
I am not sure I have been much help, if you have more specific questions feel free to PM me
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15-06-2012 20:29 #3
Oh wow, you've been an excellent help, I was thinking $200 a day for all meals and expenses so thats great to hear thats about right. We were looking at the paradise pier hotel in Disney land and doing the 5 day hopper pass. Did you venture anywhere else in the LA district for sight seeing or just disney on your trip? The kids love cars and toy story, really excited to go to see cars land aswell. If I think of more questions I'll let you know, but thanks so much
16-06-2012 18:11 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
We just did Disney, we were there 5 ish days and there were still things we missed but we did do some things a few times.
You could do Universal Studios but some things will be too much/unable to access for your 2yo . We didn't take our DS - 3 at the time. We had no trouble filling our time in at disneyland and downtown disney. WE figured he would enjoy it more and we did go to Disney for him. I have plans to go back to LA and do more sightseeing in a few years.
TBH I would also look at other hotels unless you can get an awesome deal with the paradise pier. I didn't stay there (Marriot residence inn, good but a bit far away) but if I pay for a disney hotel I want it to be OTT disney, mickey mouse heads for door handles etc. I don't want tasteful hidden mickeys
Have a look at tripadvisor - I had a quick look and the Best western has a room that sleeps 6 for $951 for 5 nights end of april. I was guessing at dates. There is also free continental breakfast, this is not on site though. Other hotels I have heard are ok are Candy cane and Howard Johnson. These hotels have great outdoor swimming things for kids but are more basic. I also don't think they are too far from the maingate. It is harder to get to downtown disney but not a huge drama.
I had a quick look at disney paradise pier for late november (couldn't look for april) - price for 5 nights was $2800!!!! HJ inn was $700 ish. Everyone is different but I would sooner stay at a more basic hotel and then use that money to buy more things. But I really don't know if there is *that* much difference between the two. Ask around. Kids don't care and that is why you go. You don't want a hovel but surely there must be something between the two.
I was guessing at $200 a day. With 5 including meals and souvenirs it could be tight, particularly if you eat out all the time. If you get self contained/ included breakfast I think it is doable. I am making a huge assumption but I think always eating at disney restaurants will soon eat in to your budget. OF course you can pack your own lunches and snacks but that is always harder in a hotel room. IT also depends if there are adjoining rooms. The marriot was good because it had a 'kids' room that was closed off by Glass doors. The only downside was it wasn't that close (10-15min walk) and I didn't feel very safe in anaheim. There are shuttle buses though and we never had an issue. The restaurant was good though. From memory I remember beign a little disappointed in the room size but we had stayed in very nice big hotel rooms prior to this.
I always take ziplock sandwich/snack bags, disposable/plastic spoons, knives and forks and bowls/plates. I do hide them but I don't think a hotel can stop you making your own breakfast/snacks.
This is my opinion but I am a tightbum. I try and ssave moeny if I can but do liek a treat too. If money is a concern I would sooner stay somewhere cheaper but still nice so I can have more money to spend on stuff day to day. However you could have access to deals around that I don't know about.
IT is entirely your decision. I think there is a 'Disboard' somewhere on the internet and people would have more idea than me. Also I can't suggest Trip advisor highly enough
16-06-2012 18:24 #5
Oh sweet, the deal we saw was from flight centre, it included all flights, accommodation for 5 days, hopper pass for 5 days and transfers and I think taxes, for 2 adults, 2 kids it was $10,845, which we'd then pay a bit extra for our youngest, when I looked into everything separately it was going to cost a few thousand more than that. I thought it was a pretty good deal, but would love a better deal if possible lol we'll be trying not to eat out all the time too, hopefully there's somewhere we can shop to get things. Going to get a few prices from the travel agents, we were thinking of going sepmnextbyear, not sure if that's a peak time or not, it's my dad's 60th birthday next year in aug so would be amazing for them to come with us so we can celebrate. I'm so excited, how long ago did you get to go?
16-06-2012 18:43 #6
Disneyland has been covered fantastically above. I would highly recommend Universal Studios also. I went to both places alone a few years ago on my holiday. I flipping loved Universal Studios! Disneyland was very little kid friendly I thought so I wondered around for the 3 days (that was my pass), and did enjoy it, but loved Universal Studios. Maybe check out their website to and see if it's something you'd enjoy
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16-06-2012 22:39 #7Senior Member
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- Jul 2009
V8, sounds good. HAve a look at expedia. I did a quick search based on this september as you can't book for next yet and who knows what will happen and it came to around $1500 pp incl flights, accom, taxes and fees ex Sydney. So around $7500 for the 5 of you. There were cheaper ones too, this was Paradise pier and you would need to buy your park hopper ticket which would be around 1K. You don't need a ticket for your 2yo, charges are 3-9 (child). If you book online check the cancellation policy but we have found that we have saved several K when we do it ourselves. AS long as you read the fine print you are usually ok.
The non-disney hotels often have microwaves and fridges in their rooms too. That helps to save $$$. But if you can get a good deal why not. When we go to Disneyworld we will stay onsite but in Disneyland it isn't that necessary.
Also look at the flights that you are given, do you really want to trade off a logner flight for a few more $$$. In my case, no usually, not with young children. You just want to get there
HAve a great time planning. I love planning and am loving planning your holiday
16-06-2012 22:47 #8
OMG, I am late 30's and hubby and I went their about 8 years ago and loved, loved, loved it!!!!!!!! I have also heard that Cars world is opening later this month. We love the movie Cars in this family.
If money is there for the spending then I would stay at one of the Disneyland resorts, if you do need to watch your pennies, then not staying their is also fine. Your daily food budget does sound about right.
I found LA to be a little grubby. Yet, we did love Universal Studios. If you have a spare day or two, I would drive to San Diego and go to Sea World and San Diego Zoo. Sea World was totally amazing!! It is about a 2 hour drive south from LA.
You, hubby and the kidlets should all have an amazing time, it really is a plave for all ages. I cannot wait to start planning our holiday their in a few years!
ETA We went September/October and we were in a heat wave. Not sure whether we were lucky or not, but we had fantastic weather for the majority of our 5 weeks. Also, your budget was for a family of 5.... I was thinking of that doing me and DH!! I reckon oyu will be up for more.
Last edited by 3InATub; 16-06-2012 at 22:53.
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17-06-2012 11:33 #9
Awesome tips, thanks heaps all, so excited, I think it'll give us the traveling itch and wanna plan more holidays with the kids.
17-06-2012 11:37 #10
Vee, you have been given some great advice here - can I just add that make make sure your days at Disneyland don't clash with school holidays/vacation times over there, otherwise it is packed
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