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Anybody been to Disneyland *and* WDW Florida?


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This is just a because any time is a good time to talk Disney. :biggrin: I don't know if we'd actually get to do this or want to do this even. But I guess my question is, if my ds (ASD2) is overwhelmed by WDW Florida and only handles about 6 hours in the parks (including meals), will he be the same at Disneyland in CA? Overwhelmed isn't the right word, but it's hard. We have to manage, go at low crowd times, take headphones, be careful, take breaks, etc. I was seeing pics of Disneyland for the holidays and it made me wonder what it's like. I mean, we could put Disney Japan on the list or whatever, but that's in the fat chance, long time out category, lol. For now I'm just thinking what I can get to for a $130 plane ticket, lol.

So what's it like? Is it smaller? Quieter? Less time? It's all one park, right? Not multiple parks like WDW Florida?

Any other distinctives or thoughts? I know I've seen people saying they live in CA and fly to FL for WDW. But to go the opposite way? LOL

Edited by PeterPan
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3 minutes ago, BeachGal said:

Disneyland is a whole lot smaller than WDW. DL offers many attractions and rides and it’s fairly easy to walk from one to another. I personally prefer DL because it’s just less overwhelming.

https://www.quora.com/How-much-bigger-is-Walt-Disney-World-than-Disneyland

Ooo, that's helpful. So essentially the whole of DL is the size of Epcot, if that scaled picture at quora is right. Hmm. 

Well I'll check into it. A girl can dream. It might be interesting, like changing cruise destinations but still cruising. :biggrin:

What's your favorite thing to do there that maybe isn't at WDW? And yes, the distance is an issue. To walk, regulate, deal with crowds, it's all a lot. I think it would be interesting.

So when you do DL, what is it like around there? Like is it in the middle of a ton of city congestion or pleasant? And do you like to stay on or off property? At WDW, it doesn't really matter as you'll have fun either way, just maybe with differing perks depending on where you stay. But is DL tightly congested in the surroundings so it's better to be on property?

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Disney California is smaller as a whole but I believe Disneyland is bigger than Magic Kingdom. I don’t know that it would feel any better for your son but proximity to the hotel, especially if you stayed at a resort hotel, would be much closer, which may allow for easier back and forth. Disneyland at Christmas time is magical. Absolutely gorgeous. However, it’s also a super popular time to visit so managing to find a low crowd day will be tricky. Also, Star Wars Land just opened and I think crowds are up overall. 

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48 minutes ago, sassenach said:

Disneyland at Christmas time is magical. Absolutely gorgeous.

That's what I was seeing pictures of!! See then I'm not crazy! LOL Don't answer that.

49 minutes ago, sassenach said:

as a whole but I believe Disneyland is bigger than Magic Kingdom

Ok, that would work for us, makes a lot of sense. So it would just be nice, not too big, not too small. And if we went a week one time we'd be like that was cool, done. And if it were more chilled and familiar and he could kind of own and it feel good about returning, then we could. I don't know, I'm just done with the super high support I've been giving.

So I like this idea. Basically I just need to find when the wacky lowest crowds are for the Christmas stuff at Disneyland and I'll be golden. Cool. I'm always trying to do new things with him, just to keep him shaken up and dealing with novelty. This could really work. 

Oh, does DL have any other really great times? Do they have fests like Epcot? Or it's just Christmas where they go wild? Of course, what am I saying? Wild isn't good, lol. So one, are there fests, and two what would be the absolute lowest crowd level time of year if I weren't caring about hitting something special? 

Do the charts for this show up on Touring Plans? I should see if I can answer my own questions, lol. 

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59 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

That's what I was seeing pictures of!! See then I'm not crazy! LOL Don't answer that.

Ok, that would work for us, makes a lot of sense. So it would just be nice, not too big, not too small. And if we went a week one time we'd be like that was cool, done. And if it were more chilled and familiar and he could kind of own and it feel good about returning, then we could. I don't know, I'm just done with the super high support I've been giving.

So I like this idea. Basically I just need to find when the wacky lowest crowds are for the Christmas stuff at Disneyland and I'll be golden. Cool. I'm always trying to do new things with him, just to keep him shaken up and dealing with novelty. This could really work. 

Oh, does DL have any other really great times? Do they have fests like Epcot? Or it's just Christmas where they go wild? Of course, what am I saying? Wild isn't good, lol. So one, are there fests, and two what would be the absolute lowest crowd level time of year if I weren't caring about hitting something special? 

Do the charts for this show up on Touring Plans? I should see if I can answer my own questions, lol. 

Oh gosh, a week would be more than enough to conquer Disney California. Four days would probably do it. 
 

Yes, the crowd calendar sites work for DL. Also, since they switched to flex pricing you can get a good idea from their one day ticket calendar. 
 

It won’t disappoint! 

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Me! Lots of time at both -- though I'm pretty much a confirmed Disneylander at this point.

Disneyland doesn't require the planning that WDW does (no advance fastpasses, dining reservations come available at 60 days rather than 180 and mostly are more relaxed.) I'll be at Disneyland next week.

OK -- yes Disneyland is in the middle of LA congestion and the area around it is busy. Staying on site can be lovely but is NOT necessary. There are loads of great hotels off property that are much more affordable and if you buy a 3 Day pass, you even get a magic morning without staying on site. There's plenty that are walkable and the further out ones usually have some kind of tram.

Disneyland has 2 parks -- Disneyland Resort (DLR) and Disney California Adventure (DCA). They are RIGHT next to each other and you can walk back and forth. 

Before the addition of Pandora - Just DISNEYLAND (not including DCA) had more attractions than ALL of WDW. There's a lot more there than at Magic Kingdom

There are attractions that are in WDW that aren't in Disneyland -- but there are MORE at Disneyland that aren't in WDW (though some are similar like Kali River Rapids in AK and Grizzly River Run in DCA are basically the same ride with different themeing) !  WDW has more coasters (at 7) but those are spread across the 4 parks -- there's 6 in 2 parks at Disneyland. WDW has 6 boat rides -- Disneyland has ELEVEN!!! WDW does have more stage shows, plus the Waterparks.

Disneyland only (in the US - some things are at HKD, DLP or Shanghai or Tokyo) attractions:
-Alice in Wonderland (dark ride, lovely!)
-Casey Jr Circus Train (cute, but you can see the same sights from the Storybook Canals and they're way more comfortable)
-TOON TOWN --- this is NOT like the Toon Town that used to be in MK -- it's so much more than that includes a number of walk through attractions I won't list!)
-Canoes on rivers of America (These only run seasonally and USED to be at MK, but aren't any more)
-Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (the original human animatronic show! Very cool -- if you like Hall of Presidents you'll like it, but it's sort of slow for some kids)
-Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (subs ride, used to also be at MK -- updated with Finding Nemo overlay, sort of clausterphobic for some people)
-Gadget's Go Coaster (kiddie coaster similar to Goofy's barnstormer)
-Indiana Jones Adventure (uses the same ride system as Dinosaur in Animal Kingdom, but the theming is SPECTACULAR)
-Many of Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (OK this is basically the same as at MK except with BEEHICLES!!! )
-Main Street Vehicles (they have a couple of vehicles at MK but rarely run anything but the double-decker omnibus, in DLR -- you can ride in the Firetruck that Walt liked to drive himself)
- Matterhorn (it's a coaster, and a mountain and it's fun)
-Mr Toad's Wild Ride (used to be in MK, replaced by Pooh)
-Roger Rabbit's CarToon Spin
-Sailing Ship Columbia
-Sleeping Beauty Walkthrough (Diorama walk through inside the castle)
-Storybookland Canal Boats
-Tarzan's treehouse (this is JUST Swiss Family treehouse with a bit of a Tarzan overlay -- great views but same attraction)
-Tiki Room (Yes, there's a Tiki Room in MK.... but I'm listing it for the preshow are and the dolewhip stand INSIDE the attraction queue)
-Monorail (I'm gonna put this here because at WDW the Monorail is transportation, at Disneyland it's an attraction -- it's a lot smaller than the one in FL - watch your HEAD!)

NOW CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE: it's all about CARSLAND, man. Yes, the Radiator Springs Racers ride vehicle is the same as Test Track but the RIDE? Totally different. The other Carsland attractions are cute (the new Aliens ride in Toy Storyland at DHS is very similar to the Mater ride -- but the Mater ride has way more fun atmosphere and music!)

INCREDICOASTER! (Pixar Pier has great themeing but the other rides are average -- Jessie's Critter Carousel and Emotional Whirlwind, plus of course, Midway Mania)
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY MISSION BREAKOUT!!!!!!!! (SOO SOOO GOOD, it was an overlay of Tower of Terror but DCA's Tower of Terror was pretty different from DHS, so it's pretty different, too but still the big dropping elevator element)
Golden Zephyr, Silly Symphony Swings, Jumpin' Jellyfish -- these are kind of standard boardwalk fare.
Goofy's Skyschool (this is very similar to Primeval Whirl in that it's a wild chipmunk coaster but slightly less nauseating, no spin)
Mike and Sulley are a very fun dark ride.
Marvel characters to meet and greet (usually Spiderman, sometimes Cap, Black Panther and Captain Marvel make occasional appearances -- no Loki and Thor spottings in a LONG Time)

At Disneyland you can buy MaxPass -- a ticket add on that is $15/ticket/day. It allows you to book fastpasses on your phone and it really helps fight the crowds, also MaxPass includes PhotoPass photos -including ride photos. 

FANTASMIC at Disneyland -- DHS should be ashamed to call their show Fantasmic! Disneyland's is so much better. World of Color is also spectacular. Castle light/fireworks shows -- yeah, Florida wins those -- bigger castle, ability to do fireworks bigger and daily.

And you're talking about going at Christmas so -- Haunted Mansion Holiday and the Small World Overlay and the fact that ALL of the Christmas stuff is ALWAYS at Disneyland (No hard ticket parties like at WDW -- the Christmas parade started yesterday!)

Crowds are bigger in Florida but FEEL tighter in DLR (less so in DCA) due to its narrower pathways and smaller buildings. But waits are usually considerably less in Disneyland (
Averages by 10-20 minutes) than in WDW.
You'll walk a LOT less at Disneyland than at WDW -- the average family does something like 11 miles a day at WDW, it's like 7 at Disneyland.

 

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California Adventure hosts Food and Wine and Festival of the Holidays.
They do a lot more small things -- Lunar New Year, Easter, Three Kings Day, etc.. Their goal is to draw locals to attend frequently (a much, much larger percentage of their daily number than in Florida) rather than families on long vacations.


What Disneyland does VERY BEST? Halloween.  (Though Christmas -- Florida only wins on sheer mass! All the resorts! Four parks of themes but Disneyland has WAY more going on IN the park with Haunted Mansion Holiday, its a small world Holiday, daily Christmas everything - parades, tree lightings, etc.)

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We've been to both.  I don't know there is going to be a huge difference in noise, crowd, size feel for a kid that can do 6 hours at a WDW site.  I would plan for a similar experience there.  I haven't read all comments.  There are 2 parks.  We did 2 days.  It is definitely simpler and smaller than florida.  But when you're in the parks, it feels like you're in a big disney park.  We didn't find crowds low or extra chill or anything.  ETA - we did not stay on site at disneyland.  BUT we did stay within walking distance and that was great.  

We did other stuff in CA though.  More so than when we've visited florida (though we have done Harry Potter).  We went to other museums, hollywood, down to San Diego area, etc.  

ETA - I have inlaws that visit WDW florida and DL CA like 3-4 times a year.  They do tend to go to FL more.  But ALL they do is Disney.  They never leave Disney grounds either way.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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We've been to both twice (have family in both CA and Orlando). But we only go for 1 day. I think Disneyland is a little less overwhelming. We stay at one of the hotels across the street; I love just walking across the street to get to the park. We usually arrive the evening before and love going to Downtown Disney in the evening (right by the park) and then doing the park in one long day the next day (we've never done CA Adventure). I think if we go to Orlando again we've decided we'll just do the Harry Potter theme park. We had a not so great experience trying to do Magic Kingdom during spring break on our last trip, but Universal was much better.

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I grew up near Disneyland.  As an adult, I've traveled to both the WDW and the Paris theme parks.
I love DL.  I adore it.  To me, it is "home".  Many of the original attractions are there and done better: the railroad, the nickelodeon (WDW shoves a few machines in the main street depot), Tom Sawyer's island, the Haunted Mansion...some are there and not at WDW, like the storybook land and the Blue Bayou restaurant, which overlooks the inside of the Pirates Of Caribbean ride, and the Matterhorn.  WDW was a bit unnerving at first because the Magic Kingdom is the same, but different.  I felt a bit disoriented.  However, the Paris park was like coming home again to DL.  Much the same, much the same pace and less bustle.  Plus, it was newer, so all the rides felt fresher.

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I’ve been to both in the last year...Disney land is more laid back for sure, some of that comes with the ease of parking, getting in and out of the parks, hopping between parks...most of it comes from the fact that you don’t have to plan months in advance like you do at DW. If I were trying to make things as relaxed as possible I would get the max pass, we did it this last trip and found it worth the price. It saves a lot of running around at least. I do think most of the “laid back” vibe at DL was more evident to me than to my kids since I’m the one who does all the planning every time we go to DW. If you’re only doing one park a day at DW I don’t know that you’ll notice a huge difference at DL It was still busy, lines, people, noise all of that was probably similar...but since the logistics are a little more laid back, if all things were otherwise equal and I was trying for a more laid back park I would go with DL. 

By far the most relaxed Disney park I have been to is Hong Kong...which probably doesn’t help you much now (not to mention the protests make This a difficult time to visit)...but now that shanghai Disney opened more of the mainland China guests are going there instead and Hong long is sooo relaxed now. It’s very small- one of the smallest if not the smallest...only one park. We didn’t wait more than 10 min. For anything, most rides we walked right on. No crowds, it was quiet, relaxed- we didn’t leave feeling like we had walked forever and overstimulated by anything, we just felt like we hung outX honestly after being used to DL and DW it kinda felt like we had rented the park out for a private event. 
 

 

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I've only been to Florida, but there are a ton of vloggers (Both family and career Disney reviewers) that post videos of all the parks.  So if you aren't sure you can check videos on YouTube.

One of my kids LOVES to watch theme park videos.  Not the Disney travel professionals, but family vlogs with noisy kids. 

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3 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

I love DL.  I adore it.

Aww, you made feel really good about this idea! I was thinking of it just as a concession, but it didn't occur to me we might like it better in some ways. Thanks for sharing what is special about DL to you! :wub:

1 hour ago, Katy said:

I've only been to Florida, but there are a ton of vloggers (Both family and career Disney reviewers) that post videos of all the parks.  So if you aren't sure you can check videos on YouTube.

Oh my lands, that could SO suck up my time, lol. I mean, I already follow cruise vlogs. Not many, just 1 1/2. But this sounds like something to get sucked into. Well that's not true, I did watch some really weird dude's vlog when the Star Wars in DL first opened. Was it live? The guy has a really weird mustache and he was walking around talking how empty it was. I also don't want to spoil it *too* much, kwim? Like just let it be magical and experience it as it is I guess. But the rides, yeah I always preview rides. I must be a junkie.

2 hours ago, KatieK said:

I would get the max pass,

I need to research this. We've always done the DAS with ds, because with his ASD standing in lines waiting a long time can be stressful and become unsafe. Is the max pass something you pay for or a special entrance time? I'll try to search. I'm really just in the exploratory phase. But that's REALLY exciting to think it's not as hard to plan. I've put a lot of hours into my WDW planning, loll Always worth it, but a lot of work yeah.

2 hours ago, KatieK said:

By far the most relaxed Disney park I have been to is Hong Kong

Oh that's interesting. I would LOVE to go there. I'm kinda doubling down on things that have worked so far for ds (Disney and cruising), so if we can fly somewhere and hit Disney or cruise, he can do it. At least that's my theory, lol. I'm rattling his chain and cruising out of Texas next time. It's just the stupid flight expense that would hold us back (international X2, ouch). Tom Bricker seems very keen on some of the Disney stuff over there. Oh it's Japan he likes. Do they really have 3 Disney's that (comparatively) close together??? 

The cruise guy I follow (Don's Family Vacations) went to the Shanghai Disney and he was showing video. It seemed very peaceful, very different. But I think he was walking sidewalks, maybe not really in the park itself? I couldn't tell. Just the mindset seemed different, with landscaped walks and mazes...

3 hours ago, Ali in OR said:

We stay at one of the hotels across the street; I love just walking across the street to get to the park. We usually arrive the evening before and love going to Downtown Disney in the evening (right by the park) and then doing the park in one long day the next day (we've never done CA Adventure).

Thanks for the tips!

4 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I don't know there is going to be a huge difference in noise, crowd, size feel for a kid that can do 6 hours at a WDW site.  I would plan for a similar experience there.  I haven't read all comments.  There are 2 parks.  We did 2 days.  It is definitely simpler and smaller than florida.  But when you're in the parks, it feels like you're in a big disney park.  We didn't find crowds low or extra chill or anything. 

This makes a lot of sense. And yes, I think you're right that his limit is just him, because it's how he is anywhere we go (church, outings with friends, anything). He just has limits and then needs time to stop and recover. So that's a good point that he might be the same there. And it sounds like where people are doing the 2 parks in 2 days, we might need 3-4 to get them done.

4 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

California Adventure hosts Food and Wine and Festival of the Holidays.
They do a lot more small things -- Lunar New Year, Easter, Three Kings Day, etc..

Oh how fun!! I love Disney fests and things. Ds isn't into characters at all, totally won't do meet and greets, so we're always looking for these other types of things. Easter? What a hoot. I'm totally going to have to look into this. And yeah that makes sense that if you can do the parks in just a couple days they have to have more to lure in the locals. 

4 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

What Disneyland does VERY BEST? Halloween.

I'm embarrassed to say we did NOT do the Halloween party at WDW the year we were there and could have. I would have been game, but my friend wasn't and my ds would have been overwhelmed maybe. Sigh. We did a Christmas party and he thought that was fun. A lot, lol, but fun. But he's growing and might be ready for more!

4 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

Before the addition of Pandora - Just DISNEYLAND (not including DCA) had more attractions than ALL of WDW. There's a lot more there than at Magic Kingdom

Whoa, you just BLEW MY MIND. I'm reading the thread backwards btw, which is why I'm just getting to this. That alone might help us, because basically we need attractions minus the WAIT of walking, lol. If we do that, he'll be golden. I think you're onto something there. And he doesn't give a rip about characters, just rides, things to do, things to eat. He likes street performers too, like the acrobats and juggling.

4 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

Disneyland doesn't require the planning that WDW does (no advance fastpasses, dining reservations come available at 60 days

Ok, this is blowing my mind. I'm going to have to research how this works with autism. Are you saying waits are never more than 20 minutes? Or that's what that additional MaxPass thing is? I'll look into it, now that I realize. 

4 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

At Disneyland you can buy MaxPass -- a ticket add on that is $15/ticket/day. It allows you to book fastpasses on your phone and it really helps fight the crowds, also MaxPass includes PhotoPass photos -including ride photos. 

Thanks for all the breakdowns on the rides btw. That was amazing, and you're right it sounds like it would be a fun change of pace with things we haven't done. We actually sorta maxed out WDW. We went a whole bunch of times in one year, and finally at the end he was just turning down FP on stuff, just done. So different would be nice. Me, I need magic, hehe.

So with the MaxPass I need to pay per person? You said per ticket, so that's what that means, right? But even so, that's a nothing. And how far out do those MP passes book? I can google that, yes I can.

Ok, I googled it and am still a little confused. You make MaxPass FP reservations 60/30 days in advance or the day of??? I'm used to WDW and a little confused, lol.

4 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

FANTASMIC at Disneyland -- DHS should be ashamed to call their show Fantasmic! Disneyland's is so much better.

LOL I'm so a Fantasmic junkie, so this is good to hear! 

4 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

No hard ticket parties like at WDW -- the Christmas parade started yesterday!

Ooo wow!!

4 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

Crowds are bigger in Florida but FEEL tighter in DLR (less so in DCA) due to its narrower pathways and smaller buildings. But waits are usually considerably less in Disneyland (
Averages by 10-20 minutes) than in WDW.
You'll walk a LOT less at Disneyland than at WDW -- the average family does something like 11 miles a day at WDW, it's like 7 at Disneyland.

That makes sense.

Well thanks ladies, that was really helpful and inspiring! :biggrin:

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5 hours ago, sassenach said:

Oh gosh, a week would be more than enough to conquer Disney California. Four days would probably do it. 
 

Yes, the crowd calendar sites work for DL. Also, since they switched to flex pricing you can get a good idea from their one day ticket calendar. 
 

It won’t disappoint! 

Exceptional points. I also finally realized that the ticket prices for Southwest follow the crowd levels, at least for Orlando, lol.

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We've been to both and we prefer Disneyland.  It could've been my kids were entering their teen years when we made it to Disney world and had been on a long trip already, plus hot weather!!  We enjoyed both and both were busy, but honestly we were done with Disney world by dinner and we easily spent two days at Disneyland.  

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Sorry... to clarify- wait times average 10-20 minutes less than in FL. So today the longest wait time in Disneyland was at Matterhorn (not smugglers run!) At 110 minutes at its highest (like I said I'll be there next week so I'm watching patterns)... for Disneyland this is a SHOCKING wait time. It's pretty rare to see anything except Radiator Springs Racers or Guardians sit at over 90 minutes for any real length of time. .... top tier rides in WDW frequently see those kinds of waits. 

Maxpass - you can ONLY reserve fastpasses at Disneyland on the same day, and ONLY once you have entered the parks. 

Without maxpass, it's the legacy system - go to a kiosk near the ride, scan your ticket, get a same day fastpass return.

This is because a lot of locals just "drop in" for the afternoon on a whim. They need access to popular rides.

With maxpass, it's an app based system - you can book and track fastpasses for the same day only... and it only works once your ticket has been scanned into the park for the day. If you havent entered the parks, you cannot book any fastpasses. Once your maxpass has been activated for the day though you can book from your hotel, a restaurant, the other par; but only for same day. And you can book the next one as soon as your pass for the current attraction has been scanned (so I've swiped my app at Grizzly River Run in DCA, then just inside the turnstiles booked my next fastpass for Haunted Mansion Holiday in DLR before boarding GRR) ... in a park that runs on the legacy system, this is huge! 

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We last went to DL in 2015, right in the window between the Mickey Halloween and Christmas parties (3x/week the parks close EARLY and you have to have pre-purchased the special extra tickets ($60-75/person) for the 6 hour "party". So just be aware that if going to DL anywhere from Sept. thru Dec., you may pay for a multi-day pass, thinking you have the full hours for each day, when odds are, at least 1 day you had planned to attend will shoo you out at 6pm. We went on a Thurs-Fri-Sat., and the Thursday was ~okay~ for crowds, it got much more crowded for the Fri., and most of Sat. was PACKED -- the Mouse Wait app we use showed that both the DL and CA Adventure parks were BOTH at over 90% capacity in the afternoon/evening. It was horrible being packed in with that many people -- and you pretty much can't do anything, the lines are so long at that point.

Also be aware that the new Star Wars land opened in 2018, and has a big new ride slated to open in Dec. of 2019 -- that is SOOO going to pack out the park...

Check out the crowd calendar for 2019-2020 (click on arrow to advance to a new next month to look ahead) to help you plan.

We do the 3-day park hopper, are there from open to close, with some repeats, but we really need 3 full days to do everything that we want to do/see in the 2 parks (DL and CA Adven.). If you can't stay more than about 6 hours per day, then you'll need a 4 or 5 day park hopper if you want to do both parks -- 2 or 3 days would work well if just doing DL and doing 6 hours/day.

Edited by Lori D.
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2 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

Sorry... to clarify- wait times average 10-20 minutes less than in FL. So today the longest wait time in Disneyland was at Matterhorn (not smugglers run!) At 110 minutes at its highest (like I said I'll be there next week so I'm watching patterns)... for Disneyland this is a SHOCKING wait time. It's pretty rare to see anything except Radiator Springs Racers or Guardians sit at over 90 minutes for any real length of time. .... top tier rides in WDW frequently see those kinds of waits. 

Maxpass - you can ONLY reserve fastpasses at Disneyland on the same day, and ONLY once you have entered the parks. 

Without maxpass, it's the legacy system - go to a kiosk near the ride, scan your ticket, get a same day fastpass return.

This is because a lot of locals just "drop in" for the afternoon on a whim. They need access to popular rides.

With maxpass, it's an app based system - you can book and track fastpasses for the same day only... and it only works once your ticket has been scanned into the park for the day. If you havent entered the parks, you cannot book any fastpasses. Once your maxpass has been activated for the day though you can book from your hotel, a restaurant, the other par; but only for same day. And you can book the next one as soon as your pass for the current attraction has been scanned (so I've swiped my app at Grizzly River Run in DCA, then just inside the turnstiles booked my next fastpass for Haunted Mansion Holiday in DLR before boarding GRR) ... in a park that runs on the legacy system, this is huge! 

Ok, I'm sorta rolling with you here. It sounds a little barbaric and maybe a little simpler, both at the same time. So is at pick 3, one at a time, all you want?

 

2 hours ago, Lori D. said:

We do the 3-day park hopper, are there from open to close, with some repeats, but we really need 3 full days to do everything that we want to do/see in the 2 parks (DL and CA Adven.). If you can't stay more than about 6 hours per day, then you'll need a 4 or 5 day park hopper if you want to do both parks -- 2 or 3 days would work well if just doing DL and doing 6 hours/day.

That was very helpful math!

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Lori, I think you're mixing your parks. 

Magic Kingdom has both hard ticket Halloween and Christmas parties. Disneyland only offers hard ticket Halloween parties (and as of this year, those are in DCA not DLR). Disneyland does not have a hard ticket Christmas party. 

Rise of the Resistance will open in Florida in December. But is slated for mid January in California. 

For maxpass/fastpasses in Disneyland its one at a time. There are two exceptions - if you get fastpasses for a night show (Fantasmic/World of Color) they don't impact the others. If you book a fastpass that is MORE than two hours away, your opportunity to book another opens at two hours after the first was booked. 

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2 hours ago, BeachGal said:

PeterPan, everyone here has much better advice than what I can offer. I’m making notes myself. LOL!

Have you done a Disney cruise, btw? Those look fun.

Alas, Carnival is my pricepoint, lol. I dreamed of it, but really I get 2-3X the amount of time with Carnival and we still get what we want and are content. I think the food sucks, but I can't pay 2-3X to get it better, kwim? And with Disney you're paying for all those characters walking around, the extra shows, etc. My ds won't go to any of it. Goofy walking around would actually stress him out. 

So yeah, I saw a post on another forum where the mom said she had a dc with ASD and doubled down on Carnival, cruising two weeks a year. They hit platinum or whatever the top level is, so they have perks. That's what I'm thinking, just stick with what is working till it stops working. I can do our two weeks of cruising for around $3k (before air tix, gratuities, insurance, etc.), so that's just stupid cheap for all I'm getting. I can't even hardly do 5 days at DL for less than $2k as I was pricing it out. I'd still very much like to go, but it's why I'm going to cruise, because right now more is more, sigh. 

But yeah, if money is ever flush, sure I'd go on a Disney cruise, no problem, lol. But really, I like Carnival. They're kind of ridiculous, kwim? They really take the "fun ship" thing seriously. They have bizarre contests to people watch, dance in flappy jackets in the dining room, do crafts, have silly t-shirt sales. It's just kind of low key and fun. We'll see how I like the spa. I booked a spa room for one week this time. I figure a steam room is a steam room no matter what ship I'm on. 

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1 hour ago, theelfqueen said:

Lori, I think you're mixing your parks. 

Magic Kingdom has both hard ticket Halloween and Christmas parties. Disneyland only offers hard ticket Halloween parties (and as of this year, those are in DCA not DLR). Disneyland does not have a hard ticket Christmas party. 

Rise of the Resistance will open in Florida in December. But is slated for mid January in California. 

For maxpass/fastpasses in Disneyland its one at a time. There are two exceptions - if you get fastpasses for a night show (Fantasmic/World of Color) they don't impact the others. If you book a fastpass that is MORE than two hours away, your opportunity to book another opens at two hours after the first was booked. 

Thanks for explaining that! It's just kind of a mental shift. So I need to see if they do the DAS and how that works. Usually we *stack* the DAS and the FP so we can get stuff done. If I pay for MP and the FP are like 2 hours out, he still can't stand in line for two hours for other rides. But I guess it all works out. What they're calling FP is how the DAS works at WDW. We walk up, request a return time, return any time after that point, and can only have one at a time. 

Yeah, I wondered if she had confused them. I hadn't had a chance to look yet. Ride of the Resistance sounds like it's going to be AMAZING. Truth be told, I kind of told myself I don't want to go back to WDW till all the new stuff is done I'm waiting for. Not just that, but Remy and Tron. I suppose the Guardians of the Galaxy thing will be fun too and the B&B sing along. But mainly Remy and Tron. I'm super excited about those. 

But that's pretty pushed out (fall 2021, which for us means early 2022), which is why I was thinking if I had an excuse to get out that way and get in some DL time, I could get my Disney fix, hahaha.

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8 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

Lori, I think you're mixing your parks. 

Magic Kingdom has both hard ticket Halloween and Christmas parties. Disneyland only offers hard ticket Halloween parties (and as of this year, those are in DCA not DLR). Disneyland does not have a hard ticket Christmas party...


It's certainly possible they no longer do the Christmas party in Disneyland anymore, BUT, Disneyland DID do both back in 2015 as hard tickets in the DL park when we last went -- I remember we a horrible time trying to schedule that trip to fit everyone's college and work schedules. That first week in Nov. when we went for 3 days was within the ONLY 1-week short window from mid-Sept. to end of Dec. that did not those special events.

Edited by Lori D.
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On November 10, 2019 at 10:10 AM, theelfqueen said:

For maxpass/fastpasses in Disneyland its one at a time. There are two exceptions - if you get fastpasses for a night show (Fantasmic/World of Color) they don't impact the others. If you book a fastpass that is MORE than two hours away, your opportunity to book another opens at two hours after the first was booked. 

So just to dredge this back up, if you use MP/FP at Disneyland and select a fastpass for fantasmic or WoC, then you can book other FP as well? So does that make the dining packages irrelevant? It's looking like places where I would want to eat also offer viewing dining packages. In the past we've done those at WDW and liked them, but if they're unnecessary with MP then I won't bother. Or it would be different viewing areas but both reserved viewing areas? That would make sense. 

And yeah, I *think* I may have found a way to do this. I'm just sorta crunching numbers. :biggrin:

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On 11/9/2019 at 10:24 AM, PeterPan said:

This is just a because any time is a good time to talk Disney. :biggrin: I don't know if we'd actually get to do this or want to do this even. But I guess my question is, if my ds (ASD2) is overwhelmed by WDW Florida and only handles about 6 hours in the parks (including meals), will he be the same at Disneyland in CA? Overwhelmed isn't the right word, but it's hard. We have to manage, go at low crowd times, take headphones, be careful, take breaks, etc. I was seeing pics of Disneyland for the holidays and it made me wonder what it's like. I mean, we could put Disney Japan on the list or whatever, but that's in the fat chance, long time out category, lol. For now I'm just thinking what I can get to for a $130 plane ticket, lol.

So what's it like? Is it smaller? Quieter? Less time? It's all one park, right? Not multiple parks like WDW Florida?

Any other distinctives or thoughts? I know I've seen people saying they live in CA and fly to FL for WDW. But to go the opposite way? LOL

 

Yes. Disneyland is quite a bit smaller as I recall. Not multiple parks, right.

ETA Is the California Adventure thing newish? I don't remember that when I was there (But that was over 15 years ago,... so)

 

I live in TExas and went to Walt Disney World as a kid (HS Senior)

AS a young adult I went to Disneyland -- I think there was a World Science Fiction convention in the vicinity

 

ETA2: Yes. It appears it was 1996 I was there. So my information is way old.

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You have already gotten a lot of responses, but we used to live close to DL and I miss it!  When we moved I told DH I had to live within driving distance to a Disney park.  We are currently about 8 hours away and can make it in a day.

We have gone back to visit CA within the last couple of years and went to DL while we were there.  It is more like the old WDW where you dont' have to have magic bands, don't have to overly plan, etc.....you can plan some, go, get fast passes once you get there, and it is easier to get around.  And I love that Downtown Disney, Disneyland, and California Adventure are all walkable to one another.   We realized when we were there how much we missed it.

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6 minutes ago, DawnM said:

you dont' have to have magic bands

Whoa, no magic bands??? You're right, I'm so used to the mass herding of WDW that it's blowing my mind. And there's a convenience that comes with the bands, so I just need to wrap my brain around this other system.

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2 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

Disney World is very fun...I just don't love the complexity of vacations there.

Yeah, I'm so used to the hyper-planning of WDW that this show up the day of thing has me a little freaked, lol. I'm still crunching whether it can work out, but I'm excited just thinking about it. I got out my dwarves from WDW and put them on the shelf. Maybe I can find some new cute Disney merch, as it has been a while. It will feel good to be back. I really enjoy cruising, but I love Disney. It's just complete sensory, all over. I went through all the restaurants today and started working on rides to wrap my brain around it and make a plan. I need to see if the Touring Plans app works for DL like it does WDW. And do they do the DAS? That will be another thing for me to figure out. 60 minute lines are a no go with ds. This time we'd be doing the parks without a stroller, so I'll have to have a good plan of alternating busy and slow/quiet, places to eat/break, etc. That's why I'm hoping the Touring Plans app has a DL option, mercy. 

Once I get my brain wrapped around it, we'll be fine. It's just the research stage now. And really all this is to make an estimated time frame and see if I can even make it happen. But, you know, a girl can dream. It's a good dream. :biggrin:

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Ok, so for a legit question. Park hoppers vs. regular. Am I missing it or is CA Adventure smaller? It has less attractions? So like you might start CA, go to DL after lunch, then return for the evening show maybe? Or just do regular tix and do CA 1 day, DL 2 days? I didn't price it both ways. With WDW we always had the ability to park hop, so I've never *not* had that. The price is consistently $110 more over the two tickets, no matter how many days. I guess the other thing is that I could see me returning him to the hotel and going back to finish out more hours myself. He's finally old enough that I could do that. So then having the park hoppers flexibility might be gold, right? I was just surprised how few things were on my CA list. Less food, less rides, less everything. Or maybe that's because I was looking at the list of what is *different* rather than what's actually there? Oops. 

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On 11/9/2019 at 3:37 PM, HomeAgain said:

I grew up near Disneyland.  As an adult, I've traveled to both the WDW and the Paris theme parks.
I love DL.  I adore it.  To me, it is "home".  Many of the original attractions are there and done better: the railroad, the nickelodeon (WDW shoves a few machines in the main street depot), Tom Sawyer's island, the Haunted Mansion...some are there and not at WDW, like the storybook land and the Blue Bayou restaurant, which overlooks the inside of the Pirates Of Caribbean ride, and the Matterhorn.  WDW was a bit unnerving at first because the Magic Kingdom is the same, but different.  I felt a bit disoriented.  However, the Paris park was like coming home again to DL.  Much the same, much the same pace and less bustle.  Plus, it was newer, so all the rides felt fresher.

 

I spent part of childhood near DL.  Haven’t been to others to compare, but some rides / areas at DL are reasonably calm especially on less busy days  (eg Small World, Tom Sawyer Island...  Haunted Mansion if it would not freak him out).   Near DL is Knotts Berry Farm which tends to be calmer yet.  

Rainy days during school year when non homeschoolers can’t much go tend to be excellent for less crowds.  If the current virus situation is cutting tourism this may be a good time for reduced crowds. 

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11 minutes ago, Pen said:

some rides / areas at DL are reasonably calm

Hahaha, he likes is rides wild, the more amped the better. It's just the waiting in line, the noise. He needs breaks, which is why we used the stroller, to give him a safe place to go to. He's just too big for that now. 

I'm going through the CA list tonight, and they have really nice stuff!!! And I think they're things he's likely to want to go back to do several days, which means park hoppers make sense. Incredicoaster in CA will be the most fun thing for him that is new. Now to go look at the DL list.

And no, this isn't a near trip but one a ways out. 

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On 11/9/2019 at 8:24 AM, PeterPan said:

This is just a because any time is a good time to talk Disney. :biggrin: I don't know if we'd actually get to do this or want to do this even. But I guess my question is, if my ds (ASD2) is overwhelmed by WDW Florida and only handles about 6 hours in the parks (including meals), will he be the same at Disneyland in CA? Overwhelmed isn't the right word, but it's hard. We have to manage, go at low crowd times, take headphones, be careful, take breaks, etc. I was seeing pics of Disneyland for the holidays and it made me wonder what it's like. I mean, we could put Disney Japan on the list or whatever, but that's in the fat chance, long time out category, lol. For now I'm just thinking what I can get to for a $130 plane ticket, lol.

So what's it like? Is it smaller? Quieter? Less time? It's all one park, right? Not multiple parks like WDW Florida?

Any other distinctives or thoughts? I know I've seen people saying they live in CA and fly to FL for WDW. But to go the opposite way? LOL

There are two parks: Disneyland (the original, where Walt actually walked, where the magic started), and California Disney Adventure. Although those two parks have fewer square feet, there are actually more rides in those two parks than there are in all four parks at WDW. Really. On the down side, there's no Pandora and Flight of Passage. On the up side, DL does Christmas way better than WDW. We won't go back to WDW again at Christmas.

Of course, I couldn't tell you whether he''d be overwhelmed or not. I can tell you that if you're at DL at rope drop (when the park opens), you can get in four or five rides in the first hour because there will be fewer people. We usually get the ParkHopper passes (before there was MaxPass; still not sure we'll ever get that, because we generally don't care about official pictures and FastPasses are free). After we do the four or five rides at opening in DL, then we go over to CDA. We get FastPasses for Radiator Springs, and usually Soarin'; Mr. Ellie does the single rider line at the roller coaster in the land-now-known-as-Toysland while I sit around. 🙂

There's much to be said for having a hotel literally right across the street from the Main Gate, and for being able to walk across the plaza from one park to the other.

We used to go over to Tom Sawyer's Island to let the dc play and goof off without having to stand in lines.

There's no way that Knott's Berry Farm is better than DL. Nope.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Hahaha, he likes is rides wild, the more amped the better. It's just the waiting in line, the noise. He needs breaks, which is why we used the stroller, to give him a safe place to go to. He's just too big for that now. 

I'm going through the CA list tonight, and they have really nice stuff!!! And I think they're things he's likely to want to go back to do several days, which means park hoppers make sense. Incredicoaster in CA will be the most fun thing for him that is new. Now to go look at the DL list.

And no, this isn't a near trip but one a ways out. 

 I liked having Park Hoppers at DL, and did a lot of walking back and forth between parks.

We stayed at a hotel maybe a half mile from the park and loved walking over. You go through the Cali equivalent of Disney Springs, which is fun, to get to the gate.

Disneyland has Cars Land, which is different from the World. It felt like eating was less of a nightmare as far as finding available food.

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Hahaha, he likes is rides wild, the more amped the better. It's just the waiting in line, the noise. He needs breaks, which is why we used the stroller, to give him a safe place to go to. He's just too big for that now. 

I'm going through the CA list tonight, and they have really nice stuff!!! And I think they're things he's likely to want to go back to do several days, which means park hoppers make sense. Incredicoaster in CA will be the most fun thing for him that is new. Now to go look at the DL list.

And no, this isn't a near trip but one a ways out. 

 

If you go to CA, give Knotts Berry farm a shot too.  Best rides in my recollection: Upside down rollercoaster, log ride with real floating not just a conveyer rollercoaster along water track, great berry jams, steakhouse, imitation Independence Hall...    could be first to gather momentum for the more crowded DL

 

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9 hours ago, Ellie said:

There's much to be said for having a hotel literally right across the street from the Main Gate,

What hotel?

9 hours ago, Ellie said:

There's no way that Knott's Berry Farm is better than DL. Nope.

Yeah, this video popped into my youtube feed of people being stuck on a KBF ride. Not going there, lol.

9 hours ago, Ellie said:

After we do the four or five rides at opening in DL, then we go over to CDA.

Ahh, makes sense. Well I started going through all the rides last night. There's a LOT more than I realized, should be fun. I'm a big fan of dark rides for storylines, so I'll enjoy those. And some of the fast rides like Incredicoaster look just right for him. 

9 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

We stayed at a hotel maybe a half mile from the park and loved walking over. You go through the Cali equivalent of Disney Springs, which is fun, to get to the gate.

Yeah, that will be my next thing, to find a hotel. I want to be at the $100 a night, maybe with priceline or whatever, pricepoint. I usually find a deal like that. Definitely not looking for $300 a night and don't really care about the Disney resort thing.

9 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

I liked having Park Hoppers at DL, and did a lot of walking back and forth between parks.

Ok, so that cinches that.

9 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

Disneyland has Cars Land, which is different from the World. It felt like eating was less of a nightmare as far as finding available food.

Yes, the Cars Land theming looked fun! We were pretty burnt out on WDW, bored, and these rides look like they'll have some fun variety. 

8 hours ago, Pen said:

If you go to CA, give Knotts Berry farm a shot too.

No time, as we're already there for another reason. I'm just saying I could try to go in a couple days early to snag a few days at DL. 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

What hotel?

Take your pick. I'm not kidding when I tell you that there is a boatload of hotels literally right across the street from the Main Gate. You can google them: hotels on Harbor Blvd.; on a map, that would be Harbor Blvd. between I-5 and Katella. Here's a Google map.

That you saw one picture of a ride at Knott's Berry Farm that was stuck does not mean the park isn't worth going to. Many people have had that experience at Disneyland, too. 🙂

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17 minutes ago, Ellie said:

Take your pick. I'm not kidding when I tell you that there is a boatload of hotels literally right across the street from the Main Gate. You can google them: hotels on Harbor Blvd.; on a map, that would be Harbor Blvd. between I-5 and Katella. Here's a Google map.

I'm looking at these and looking at the Disney map. It's making a bit more sense. I need to figure out if you end up on the monorail when you come through that main gate or what is most efficient. That's kind of odd that the disney resorts don't get you closer or get you more convenience. And even though right across the street sounds convenient, in a place that big, I want to be situated well or use an uber. That way he's putting his walking into the park, not just getting there. 

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12 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I'm looking at these and looking at the Disney map. It's making a bit more sense. I need to figure out if you end up on the monorail when you come through that main gate or what is most efficient. That's kind of odd that the disney resorts don't get you closer or get you more convenience. And even though right across the street sounds convenient, in a place that big, I want to be situated well or use an uber. That way he's putting his walking into the park, not just getting there. 

If you are staying at a Disney resort (and there are only two) it's just a short walk from them to the parks; you walk into CDA from the Grand Californian, or from both the Grand Californian and the Disneyland Hotel, it's just a short walk through Downtown Disney to DL.

The monorail doesn't go to the Main Gate, so don't even think about that.

You'd have to be pretty far away to consider Uber. 

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Some hotels in the area, but a little farther away have had shuttle service to the DL main gates. That cwould end up being less walking possibly. 

Or if you already have a valid DL pass you may be able to get on monorail at the stop that was the former DLHotel and take it to Tomorrowland station.  I’m not sure about that.  Monorail once used to be transportation between hotel and park before hotel change

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