Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

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Xrayman69
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Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by Xrayman69 » Thu May 30, 2019 9:14 pm

Any guidance on the most efficient method to go to Disneyland (Southern California not Florida park) with family of 3.

Kid is 8 years old. We do not want to stay at a Disney resort (deal breaker for wife) and will stay in a Newport Beach hotel. Wife and I have been to Disneyland many times growing up and thus really just for the kid. We took kid to Disneyland several times previously as a much younger child 3 and 5 years old and did ok with waiting in line for some rides.

Now kid wants to enjoy Disneyland but wife and I really don’t enjoy it due to lines. We would much rather just sit on beach and have kid surf, but kid has expressed desire to visit Disneyland.

We are comfortable with unadvertised options and the inherent cost as it would be more efficient use of a day minimizing frustration for wife and I.

Have considered just getting a resort package for 1-2 days and just letting room go empty if this would increase options.

mhalley
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by mhalley » Thu May 30, 2019 9:30 pm

I’ve heard Clark Howard talk about mousesavers, you might explore there.
https://www.mousesavers.com/disneyland- ... isneyland/
Last edited by mhalley on Thu May 30, 2019 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

random_walker_77
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by random_walker_77 » Thu May 30, 2019 9:31 pm

See the 1 or 2 day park itinerary at https://www.undercovertourist.com/park-plans/

Also, consult the crowd calendar. Try to go when it's not too hot, and when it's not too crowded: https://www.undercovertourist.com/los-a ... -calendar/

try to reach the parking lots 30-45 minutes before opening, so you can hit the first few rides before the park gets crowded (keep in mind it takes time to get through parking, security, ticketing, and walking down main street to the castle). We just spent a week at disney world during spring break, when things were pretty crowded. Between arriving early each morning, and using fastpasses, we were able to see everything we wanted to see.

[edited to remove inaccurate info about fastpass, since disneyland has different options than disneyworld's magic kingdom]
Last edited by random_walker_77 on Thu May 30, 2019 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by jbranx » Thu May 30, 2019 9:32 pm

{Topic is now in Personal Consumer Issues}

decapod10
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by decapod10 » Thu May 30, 2019 10:00 pm

If money is no object, then you can book a VIP tour. The guide will basically get you to the front of the line to whatever you want. Costs $3k for 7 people according to the website.

Otherwise:

Booking a hotel room at a Disney hotel will get you an extra hour in the morning at one of the parks, depending on the day, no other real perks other than that. Not sure if that is worth it. I know you said you weren't interested in staying at a Disney hotel, but staying Grand Californian Hotel is quite efficient, since there is literally an entrance California Adventure directly connected to the hotel, and it's a close walk to Disneyland. From an efficiency standpoint, that's probably the biggest thing you can do, it will save you a lot of time, especially if you go back and forth between the parks and hotel.

You can sign up for MaxPass, which allows you to book fastpasses from your phone rather than pulling them in person. That's probably worth doing.

If you have an idea of which rides you want to go on, then you can sort of plan your day based on which rides are popular. I'm not an expert in that, but a Google search will help you or asking on various Disney forums.
random_walker_77 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:31 pm
See the 1 or 2 day park itinerary at https://www.undercovertourist.com/park-plans/

Also, consult the crowd calendar. Try to go when it's not too hot, and when it's not too crowded: https://www.undercovertourist.com/los-a ... -calendar/

Finally, make sure you get the "my disney experience" app and book all your fastpasses as early in advance as you can. And schedule it so you can hit the parking lots 30-45 minutes before opening, so you can hit the first few rides before the park gets crowded (keep in mind it takes time to get through parking, security, ticketing, and walking down main street to the castle). We just spent a week at disney world during spring break, when things were pretty crowded. Between arriving early each morning, and using fastpasses, we were able to see everything we wanted to see.
Disneyland works differently than Disney World. You can't book Fast Passes in advance, you can only book same day.

FoolStreet
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by FoolStreet » Thu May 30, 2019 10:27 pm

Xrayman69 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:14 pm
Any guidance on the most efficient method to go to Disneyland (Southern California not Florida park) with family of 3.

Kid is 8 years old. We do not want to stay at a Disney resort (deal breaker for wife) and will stay in a Newport Beach hotel. Wife and I have been to Disneyland many times growing up and thus really just for the kid. We took kid to Disneyland several times previously as a much younger child 3 and 5 years old and did ok with waiting in line for some rides.

Now kid wants to enjoy Disneyland but wife and I really don’t enjoy it due to lines. We would much rather just sit on beach and have kid surf, but kid has expressed desire to visit Disneyland.

We are comfortable with unadvertised options and the inherent cost as it would be more efficient use of a day minimizing frustration for wife and I.

Have considered just getting a resort package for 1-2 days and just letting room go empty if this would increase options.
I empathize with your situation. As an adult, you see past the commercialization and yet want to do something for your only child.

Sorry if this is obvious, but try to enjoy it for the kid’s sake. Also, consider asking a friend to go with your son, so he has a buddy and you two can detach a bit.

I feel compelled to point out some irony that by staying offsite, you may increase the stress from traffic and crowds. After commuting in LA traffic, finding parking, getting to and through the lines, you will face peak lines and crowds. Many people stay on or close because that allows them to stroll into the park on their own timetable, have time in the morning while the park is relatively quiet, head back to the hotel for a nap or swim in the pool, come back for fireworks and just take things a little slower. There are a ton of fun areas in the park that are not crowded, like Tom Sawyers island, or the Lincoln show. Just get a cup of coffee and sit on Main Street and people watch.

Of course you have to do what is right for the wife. Is it worth considering letting her vacation alone while you go with the son on your own?

With Star Wars land opening expect it to get even crazier. Good luck.

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leeks
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by leeks » Thu May 30, 2019 10:36 pm

I'd just go to the beach. Kids might "want" lots of things. They don't have to get them all. I'd do the thing the whole family will enjoy.

runner3081
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by runner3081 » Thu May 30, 2019 10:40 pm

FoolStreet wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:27 pm
Xrayman69 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:14 pm
Any guidance on the most efficient method to go to Disneyland (Southern California not Florida park) with family of 3.

Kid is 8 years old. We do not want to stay at a Disney resort (deal breaker for wife) and will stay in a Newport Beach hotel. Wife and I have been to Disneyland many times growing up and thus really just for the kid. We took kid to Disneyland several times previously as a much younger child 3 and 5 years old and did ok with waiting in line for some rides.

Now kid wants to enjoy Disneyland but wife and I really don’t enjoy it due to lines. We would much rather just sit on beach and have kid surf, but kid has expressed desire to visit Disneyland.

We are comfortable with unadvertised options and the inherent cost as it would be more efficient use of a day minimizing frustration for wife and I.

Have considered just getting a resort package for 1-2 days and just letting room go empty if this would increase options.
I feel compelled to point out some irony that by staying offsite, you may increase the stress from traffic and crowds. After commuting in LA traffic, finding parking, getting to and through the lines, you will face peak lines and crowds. Many people stay on or close because that allows them to stroll into the park on their own timetable, have time in the morning while the park is relatively quiet, head back to the hotel for a nap or swim in the pool, come back for fireworks and just take things a little slower.
Completely agree. We are in a similar situation. Each year we go to the California coast (usually Newport Beach) and now that our daughter is 7, we are thinking of splitting up the trip. The thought of driving from Newport to Disney for two straight days is not a happy thought! You are really stuck there and have to buy all meals in the park, etc. Everyone will be exhausted and then you have to hop back in the car and make the trip back to the beach.

The tentative plan for 2020 is 2 nights at a close-to-Disney hotel with a free shuttle, hit the park for those two days and then find an Air BNB on the coast for the next 5-7 nights.

I feel the part about not wanting to go, but our daughter would love it, we can afford it and I am willing to suck it up and have fun for two days to create a memory for our daughter.

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Watty
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by Watty » Thu May 30, 2019 10:44 pm

One tip,

If you are going in October be sure to check when the Canadian Thanksgiving is since it is in October. It was years ago but we planned a trip there on a weekday in October expecting it to not be very crowded only to find out that it was Canadian Thanksgiving that week. :oops: It was not too bad but a week earlier or later would have been better.

Also check when local school holidays are.

At least in the past you can get free glasses of ice water at any food stand even if you are not buying food.
Xrayman69 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:14 pm
Kid is 8 years old.

...and will stay in a Newport Beach hotel
One advantage of staying near the park is that you can take a break late in the afternoon to take a dip in the pool then have a nap. You can then go back after diner for the fireworks and some more rides or shows. There are hotels nearby other than the Disney resort properties.

FoolStreet
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by FoolStreet » Thu May 30, 2019 10:45 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:40 pm
FoolStreet wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:27 pm
Xrayman69 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:14 pm
Any guidance on the most efficient method to go to Disneyland (Southern California not Florida park) with family of 3.

Kid is 8 years old. We do not want to stay at a Disney resort (deal breaker for wife) and will stay in a Newport Beach hotel. Wife and I have been to Disneyland many times growing up and thus really just for the kid. We took kid to Disneyland several times previously as a much younger child 3 and 5 years old and did ok with waiting in line for some rides.

Now kid wants to enjoy Disneyland but wife and I really don’t enjoy it due to lines. We would much rather just sit on beach and have kid surf, but kid has expressed desire to visit Disneyland.

We are comfortable with unadvertised options and the inherent cost as it would be more efficient use of a day minimizing frustration for wife and I.

Have considered just getting a resort package for 1-2 days and just letting room go empty if this would increase options.
I feel compelled to point out some irony that by staying offsite, you may increase the stress from traffic and crowds. After commuting in LA traffic, finding parking, getting to and through the lines, you will face peak lines and crowds. Many people stay on or close because that allows them to stroll into the park on their own timetable, have time in the morning while the park is relatively quiet, head back to the hotel for a nap or swim in the pool, come back for fireworks and just take things a little slower.
Completely agree. We are in a similar situation. Each year we go to the California coast (usually Newport Beach) and now that our daughter is 7, we are thinking of splitting up the trip. The thought of driving from Newport to Disney for two straight days is not a happy thought! You are really stuck there and have to buy all meals in the park, etc. Everyone will be exhausted and then you have to hop back in the car and make the trip back to the beach.

The tentative plan for 2020 is 2 nights at a close-to-Disney hotel with a free shuttle, hit the park for those two days and then find an Air BNB on the coast for the next 5-7 nights.

I feel the part about not wanting to go, but our daughter would love it, we can afford it and I am willing to suck it up and have fun for two days to create a memory for our daughter.
Yes. and to build on your shuttle idea, you can use the local city bus line. You can pick a hotel near one of the published routes. We did that once and it was very convenient and cost effective.

https://rideart.org/route-map/

MJS
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by MJS » Thu May 30, 2019 10:48 pm

If you are a gardener, or enjoy landscape design, or are fairly analytical, Disneyland is a fabulous place to look at plants, plantings, misdirection, and landscaping. Look at Main Street's layout & 90% scale as a designer. Check out the transitions between zones. Pavings & walls, as well as plants, are used to calm and direct the crowds, and to evoke the feeling of each ride & zone.

Maybe having something to think about besides how commercial & tedious it is, will let you enjoy something of the days. There are several websites about Disney gardens. I love gardens, and enjoy looking at Disney's!

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Xrayman69
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by Xrayman69 » Thu May 30, 2019 11:00 pm

decapod10 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:00 pm
If money is no object, then you can book a VIP tour. The guide will basically get you to the front of the line to whatever you want. Costs $3k for 7 people according to the website.

Otherwise:

Booking a hotel room at a Disney hotel will get you an extra hour in the morning at one of the parks, depending on the day, no other real perks other than that. Not sure if that is worth it. I know you said you weren't interested in staying at a Disney hotel, but staying Grand Californian Hotel is quite efficient, since there is literally an entrance California Adventure directly connected to the hotel, and it's a close walk to Disneyland. From an efficiency standpoint, that's probably the biggest thing you can do, it will save you a lot of time, especially if you go back and forth between the parks and hotel.

You can sign up for MaxPass, which allows you to book fastpasses from your phone rather than pulling them in person. That's probably worth doing.

If you have an idea of which rides you want to go on, then you can sort of plan your day based on which rides are popular. I'm not an expert in that, but a Google search will help you or asking on various Disney forums.
random_walker_77 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:31 pm
See the 1 or 2 day park itinerary at https://www.undercovertourist.com/park-plans/

Also, consult the crowd calendar. Try to go when it's not too hot, and when it's not too crowded: https://www.undercovertourist.com/los-a ... -calendar/

Finally, make sure you get the "my disney experience" app and book all your fastpasses as early in advance as you can. And schedule it so you can hit the parking lots 30-45 minutes before opening, so you can hit the first few rides before the park gets crowded (keep in mind it takes time to get through parking, security, ticketing, and walking down main street to the castle). We just spent a week at disney world during spring break, when things were pretty crowded. Between arriving early each morning, and using fastpasses, we were able to see everything we wanted to see.
Disneyland works differently than Disney World. You can't book Fast Passes in advance, you can only book same day.
Website for the VIP tour?

Thanks

decapod10
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by decapod10 » Thu May 30, 2019 11:27 pm

Xrayman69 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 11:00 pm
decapod10 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:00 pm
If money is no object, then you can book a VIP tour. The guide will basically get you to the front of the line to whatever you want. Costs $3k for 7 people according to the website.

Otherwise:

Booking a hotel room at a Disney hotel will get you an extra hour in the morning at one of the parks, depending on the day, no other real perks other than that. Not sure if that is worth it. I know you said you weren't interested in staying at a Disney hotel, but staying Grand Californian Hotel is quite efficient, since there is literally an entrance California Adventure directly connected to the hotel, and it's a close walk to Disneyland. From an efficiency standpoint, that's probably the biggest thing you can do, it will save you a lot of time, especially if you go back and forth between the parks and hotel.

You can sign up for MaxPass, which allows you to book fastpasses from your phone rather than pulling them in person. That's probably worth doing.

If you have an idea of which rides you want to go on, then you can sort of plan your day based on which rides are popular. I'm not an expert in that, but a Google search will help you or asking on various Disney forums.
random_walker_77 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:31 pm
See the 1 or 2 day park itinerary at https://www.undercovertourist.com/park-plans/

Also, consult the crowd calendar. Try to go when it's not too hot, and when it's not too crowded: https://www.undercovertourist.com/los-a ... -calendar/

Finally, make sure you get the "my disney experience" app and book all your fastpasses as early in advance as you can. And schedule it so you can hit the parking lots 30-45 minutes before opening, so you can hit the first few rides before the park gets crowded (keep in mind it takes time to get through parking, security, ticketing, and walking down main street to the castle). We just spent a week at disney world during spring break, when things were pretty crowded. Between arriving early each morning, and using fastpasses, we were able to see everything we wanted to see.
Disneyland works differently than Disney World. You can't book Fast Passes in advance, you can only book same day.
Website for the VIP tour?

Thanks
https://disneyland.disney.go.com/events ... -services/

MrBobcat
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by MrBobcat » Thu May 30, 2019 11:52 pm

FoolStreet wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:27 pm

I empathize with your situation. As an adult, you see past the commercialization and yet want to do something for your only child.
We took our kids to Disney World, probably 20 years ago now. They used to put adds at the end of the VHS tapes Of the Little Mermaid, Aladdin & the Lion King. Kids were so excited to go from all the hype. We got the chance to stay with my wife's uncle who lived close by to Disney World so we took them. Oh my, were the kids disappointed as it didn't live up to anywhere near their expectations. Turned them into a bunch of cynics regarding advertising hype, lol.
Last edited by MrBobcat on Fri May 31, 2019 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by sunny_socal » Fri May 31, 2019 5:45 am

As I understand it, "efficiency" here doesn't mean dollars, it means time.

I would do this:
[1] Spend a day in Newport Beach as you planned
[2] Drive to DL the next day and buy the fastpass option for everyone and use the DL app on your phone to reserve spots in line. It's about $30 extra per ticket but well worth it IMO.

Kid will be happy and you'll do far less waiting.

smitcat
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by smitcat » Fri May 31, 2019 6:09 am

For those considering Disneyland (cal) - Galaxies Edge opens today and you need reservations at the least - best to avoid DL for the next 2-3 months with this new opening.

SuzBanyan
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by SuzBanyan » Fri May 31, 2019 8:23 am

smitcat wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 6:09 am
For those considering Disneyland (cal) - Galaxies Edge opens today and you need reservations at the least - best to avoid DL for the next 2-3 months with this new opening.
With 2nd ride in Galaxies Edge opening later this year and the multigenerational attraction of Star Wars, expect crowds for the foreseeable future. My advice to manage crowds is to plan multiple days at the parks. And get park hopper tickets. Get up early each day, head back to the hotel by noon, nap and relax by the pool, then back for fireworks, parades, World of Color and Fantasmic.

We have a timeshare at Grand California and love both the convenience and the facility.

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lthenderson
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by lthenderson » Fri May 31, 2019 10:28 am

leeks wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:36 pm
I'd just go to the beach. Kids might "want" lots of things. They don't have to get them all. I'd do the thing the whole family will enjoy.
+1

I've told our two kids that if they want to go to Disneyland or Disney World, they need to become great friends with someone whose parents will take them along.

smitcat
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by smitcat » Fri May 31, 2019 10:32 am

lthenderson wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:28 am
leeks wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:36 pm
I'd just go to the beach. Kids might "want" lots of things. They don't have to get them all. I'd do the thing the whole family will enjoy.
+1

I've told our two kids that if they want to go to Disneyland or Disney World, they need to become great friends with someone whose parents will take them along.
Yup - we have taken some of our daughters friends to Disneyworld , now sometimes we just go alone.

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lthenderson
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by lthenderson » Fri May 31, 2019 12:24 pm

smitcat wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:32 am
lthenderson wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:28 am
leeks wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:36 pm
I'd just go to the beach. Kids might "want" lots of things. They don't have to get them all. I'd do the thing the whole family will enjoy.
+1

I've told our two kids that if they want to go to Disneyland or Disney World, they need to become great friends with someone whose parents will take them along.
Yup - we have taken some of our daughters friends to Disneyworld , now sometimes we just go alone.
Next time you go, I have two kids... :sharebeer

FoolStreet
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by FoolStreet » Fri May 31, 2019 3:49 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 12:24 pm
smitcat wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:32 am
lthenderson wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:28 am
leeks wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:36 pm
I'd just go to the beach. Kids might "want" lots of things. They don't have to get them all. I'd do the thing the whole family will enjoy.
+1

I've told our two kids that if they want to go to Disneyland or Disney World, they need to become great friends with someone whose parents will take them along.
Yup - we have taken some of our daughters friends to Disneyworld , now sometimes we just go alone.
Next time you go, I have two kids... :sharebeer
I say we go with SuzBanyan

Next Boglehead meetup!!

Tigermoose
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by Tigermoose » Fri May 31, 2019 4:13 pm

Me -> SoCal resident who had an annual pass last year

Tips:

1. Get MaxPass - gives you unlimited photos and allows you to reserve FastPasses on your mobile
2. Go during the week - avoid weekends if possible
3. Get to the park when it opens, then get a fast pass for one of the long line rides: Cars at DCA, Space Mountain, Guardians of the Galaxy, Indiana Jones, etc. Then immediately go to a different "long line" ride since the lines won't be so bad yet. Then ride your Fast Pass ride. After that, pick up another fast pass. You should be able to have fairly short to moderate lines from 8AM to 11:00 AM.
4. After 11:00AM, get lunch, and then go to some of the less popular but still fun rides. Don't wait more than 30 minutes in line. Pick up Fast Passes to ride the more popular rides. Wait times until the next FP ride could be pretty long.
5. From like 2-5, GO GET STARBUCKS to recharge, then go to Tom Sawyers Island, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, or places without a line that are still fun. Ride any FP rides that you have reserved.
6. From 5-6, eat
7. After 6 - go home or keep going! Ride any FP rides that you have reserved. Just kind of hang out and enjoy yourselves, watch some parades, performers, etc. Make sure you get a good spot for any fireworks or performances.

Have fun!
Institutions matter

iasw
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by iasw » Fri May 31, 2019 4:14 pm

Don't underestimate the impact that the new Star Wars land will have on waits and crowds (it opened today, i believe).

And I'll echo others, stay at a walkable hotel to DLR. Driving from Newport Beach daily is a lot more hassle and time.

ddurrett896
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri May 31, 2019 4:18 pm

VIP ticket is the way to go. The one we did was for 10 people so with 3 it might not be worth it.

It’s like $400/hr with a 6hr minimum. Doesn’t include tickets. So $100 ticket + $250/person in VIP.

They pick you up in a van (car seats provided and ready) and drive you into the park - 20 steps until you’re in. No waiting for a tram and hauling kids thru the parking lot.

You cut every line and ride as many times as you want. They reserve a spot for the parades in a roped off section and you show up right when it starts. Kids falls asleep in the stroller? No problem - they sit at the exit with them while you ride.

I hate lines and crowds, but it’s the deal. Figure it’s 3-5x the cost of buying a ticket and doing it on your own, but you easily get 3-5x the rides and attractions without the hassle.

Tigermoose
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by Tigermoose » Fri May 31, 2019 4:42 pm

Staying at a hotel at the resort is definitely the way to go if money is not a problem. LA traffic is legendarily bad, and getting in and out is a huge hassle. You probably also get the extra magic hours which is huge.
Institutions matter

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SurfCityBill
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by SurfCityBill » Fri May 31, 2019 5:37 pm

I can empathize with you about Disneyland. I live within ear-shot of their nightly fireworks and after one expensive, hot, long day with the kids many years ago, I never fed the mouse again. Both kids would go on occasion with their friends but that was school trips and when they collected enough money to satisfy Bob Iger's compensation package.

If you're staying in Newport Beach, around Fashion Island or north, getting to and from Disneyland is not a big deal. I travel the roads around this area extensively and it's 30 minutes. It's the last 200 yards that will kill you, getting into and out of the parking lot. If that's objectionable, consider Uber. That will also save the offensive $25 parking fee.

If you want to be super efficient from a time standpoint, then just stay at the Resort, but I suspect if you're planning to stay in Newport, you and your wife don't really want to eat tourist destination food served by a woman dressed like an oversized mouse.

otinkyad
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by otinkyad » Fri May 31, 2019 6:30 pm

+1 to everything Tigermoose said.

We prefer to stay nearby, and walk or take the Anaheim shuttles. My LA rule is to stay close to where I’m going the next day, even if that means switching hotels. We stayed at the resorts once when DS was about the same age (8-10), and Magic Hour was worth it to get an even earlier start on the FastPass chain and shorter lines. I think prices have gone up substantially since then, however.

If you’re willing to spend a little money, the dining reservations are the bomb. It was $20/person a few years ago for us to eat at the mid-tier restaurants. Better food, no line, and predictable timing were all awesome. You do need to plan ahead a bit to avoid long walks to the restaurants.

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JMacDonald
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by JMacDonald » Fri May 31, 2019 6:42 pm

SuzBanyan wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:23 am
smitcat wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 6:09 am
For those considering Disneyland (cal) - Galaxies Edge opens today and you need reservations at the least - best to avoid DL for the next 2-3 months with this new opening.
With 2nd ride in Galaxies Edge opening later this year and the multigenerational attraction of Star Wars, expect crowds for the foreseeable future. My advice to manage crowds is to plan multiple days at the parks. And get park hopper tickets. Get up early each day, head back to the hotel by noon, nap and relax by the pool, then back for fireworks, parades, World of Color and Fantasmic.

We have a timeshare at Grand California and love both the convenience and the facility.
The opening of Star Wars is is big news here is the SoCal area. You would think it is important:
https://disneyland.disney.go.com
Best Wishes, | Joe

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Xrayman69
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by Xrayman69 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:51 am

Got lucky. Friend of a friend of a friend and now got a reservation for the soft opening of Star Wars land. Will be going Sunday for a few hours and kid understands that it’s for Star Wars and a few fast pass rides then back to beach. Will plan on the princess experience in fall.

Thanks BH community for sharing your experiences.

stoptothink
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:34 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:18 pm
VIP ticket is the way to go. The one we did was for 10 people so with 3 it might not be worth it.

It’s like $400/hr with a 6hr minimum. Doesn’t include tickets. So $100 ticket + $250/person in VIP.

They pick you up in a van (car seats provided and ready) and drive you into the park - 20 steps until you’re in. No waiting for a tram and hauling kids thru the parking lot.

You cut every line and ride as many times as you want. They reserve a spot for the parades in a roped off section and you show up right when it starts. Kids falls asleep in the stroller? No problem - they sit at the exit with them while you ride.

I hate lines and crowds, but it’s the deal. Figure it’s 3-5x the cost of buying a ticket and doing it on your own, but you easily get 3-5x the rides and attractions without the hassle.
So, we're talking ~$2k for a single day at Disneyland for my 4-person family? That's more than we'll spend total on our next 8-day SoCal trip (end of September) which includes a day at Disneyland and Knotts. Yeah, I'll pass.

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dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:39 pm

Xrayman69 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:14 pm
Any guidance on the most efficient method to go to Disneyland (Southern California not Florida park) with family of 3.

Kid is 8 years old. We do not want to stay at a Disney resort (deal breaker for wife) and will stay in a Newport Beach hotel. Wife and I have been to Disneyland many times growing up and thus really just for the kid. We took kid to Disneyland several times previously as a much younger child 3 and 5 years old and did ok with waiting in line for some rides.

Now kid wants to enjoy Disneyland but wife and I really don’t enjoy it due to lines. We would much rather just sit on beach and have kid surf, but kid has expressed desire to visit Disneyland.

We are comfortable with unadvertised options and the inherent cost as it would be more efficient use of a day minimizing frustration for wife and I.

Have considered just getting a resort package for 1-2 days and just letting room go empty if this would increase options.
From our experience visiting Disney World when our son was about that age. My wife and I both tend to view such a visit to be both logical and efficient. We had a "plan" when we went to Epcot. Our son, on the other hand, was not happy with our logic and efficient plan. He just want to see and go where he wanted to go at each and every time. Be prepared.

smitcat
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by smitcat » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:10 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:18 pm
VIP ticket is the way to go. The one we did was for 10 people so with 3 it might not be worth it.

It’s like $400/hr with a 6hr minimum. Doesn’t include tickets. So $100 ticket + $250/person in VIP.

They pick you up in a van (car seats provided and ready) and drive you into the park - 20 steps until you’re in. No waiting for a tram and hauling kids thru the parking lot.

You cut every line and ride as many times as you want. They reserve a spot for the parades in a roped off section and you show up right when it starts. Kids falls asleep in the stroller? No problem - they sit at the exit with them while you ride.

I hate lines and crowds, but it’s the deal. Figure it’s 3-5x the cost of buying a ticket and doing it on your own, but you easily get 3-5x the rides and attractions without the hassle.
Perhaps an alternative to doing the trip this way in Calif. is to go to Orlando when the crowds are scheduled to be lower.
Dependent upon where you are coming from the parks are much more extensive, lines are less and need for VIP is not likely.
The size and content comparison of the parks is really unbelievable - Orlando is a magnitude larger with many more activities and features.

ddurrett896
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Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by ddurrett896 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:20 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:34 pm
ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:18 pm
VIP ticket is the way to go. The one we did was for 10 people so with 3 it might not be worth it.

It’s like $400/hr with a 6hr minimum. Doesn’t include tickets. So $100 ticket + $250/person in VIP.

They pick you up in a van (car seats provided and ready) and drive you into the park - 20 steps until you’re in. No waiting for a tram and hauling kids thru the parking lot.

You cut every line and ride as many times as you want. They reserve a spot for the parades in a roped off section and you show up right when it starts. Kids falls asleep in the stroller? No problem - they sit at the exit with them while you ride.

I hate lines and crowds, but it’s the deal. Figure it’s 3-5x the cost of buying a ticket and doing it on your own, but you easily get 3-5x the rides and attractions without the hassle.
So, we're talking ~$2k for a single day at Disneyland for my 4-person family? That's more than we'll spend total on our next 8-day SoCal trip (end of September) which includes a day at Disneyland and Knotts. Yeah, I'll pass.
My point was that if you spent 5 days in the park for 4 people, you would spend $400/day in tickets x 5 days = $2,000 but get it done in a single day and move on.

stoptothink
Posts: 5757
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by stoptothink » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:07 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:20 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:34 pm
ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:18 pm
VIP ticket is the way to go. The one we did was for 10 people so with 3 it might not be worth it.

It’s like $400/hr with a 6hr minimum. Doesn’t include tickets. So $100 ticket + $250/person in VIP.

They pick you up in a van (car seats provided and ready) and drive you into the park - 20 steps until you’re in. No waiting for a tram and hauling kids thru the parking lot.

You cut every line and ride as many times as you want. They reserve a spot for the parades in a roped off section and you show up right when it starts. Kids falls asleep in the stroller? No problem - they sit at the exit with them while you ride.

I hate lines and crowds, but it’s the deal. Figure it’s 3-5x the cost of buying a ticket and doing it on your own, but you easily get 3-5x the rides and attractions without the hassle.
So, we're talking ~$2k for a single day at Disneyland for my 4-person family? That's more than we'll spend total on our next 8-day SoCal trip (end of September) which includes a day at Disneyland and Knotts. Yeah, I'll pass.
My point was that if you spent 5 days in the park for 4 people, you would spend $400/day in tickets x 5 days = $2,000 but get it done in a single day and move on.
Do people really spend 5 straight days in Disneyland? Sounds like a nightmare to me and I've been there well over 100 times. Just curious, because the OP is asking about a single day or 2 at most.

squirm
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by squirm » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:13 pm

Funny enough, my wife and I enjoyed it more than our kid.

I suggest just going in the morning until maybe 2PM. After that we went back to our VRBO, took a nap than headed out to the beach.

squirm
Posts: 1750
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by squirm » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:15 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:07 pm
ddurrett896 wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:20 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:34 pm
ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:18 pm
VIP ticket is the way to go. The one we did was for 10 people so with 3 it might not be worth it.

It’s like $400/hr with a 6hr minimum. Doesn’t include tickets. So $100 ticket + $250/person in VIP.

They pick you up in a van (car seats provided and ready) and drive you into the park - 20 steps until you’re in. No waiting for a tram and hauling kids thru the parking lot.

You cut every line and ride as many times as you want. They reserve a spot for the parades in a roped off section and you show up right when it starts. Kids falls asleep in the stroller? No problem - they sit at the exit with them while you ride.

I hate lines and crowds, but it’s the deal. Figure it’s 3-5x the cost of buying a ticket and doing it on your own, but you easily get 3-5x the rides and attractions without the hassle.
So, we're talking ~$2k for a single day at Disneyland for my 4-person family? That's more than we'll spend total on our next 8-day SoCal trip (end of September) which includes a day at Disneyland and Knotts. Yeah, I'll pass.
My point was that if you spent 5 days in the park for 4 people, you would spend $400/day in tickets x 5 days = $2,000 but get it done in a single day and move on.
Do people really spend 5 straight days in Disneyland? Sounds like a nightmare to me and I've been there well over 100 times. Just curious, because the OP is asking about a single day or 2 at most.
We once spent three days, it was pretty brutal, but like I said above, we just break it up with trips to the beach, etc. It will cost more,but we had a better time. I know people that will spend all day, from the time the gates open to when they close....

decapod10
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by decapod10 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:00 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:07 pm
ddurrett896 wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:20 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:34 pm
ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:18 pm
VIP ticket is the way to go. The one we did was for 10 people so with 3 it might not be worth it.

It’s like $400/hr with a 6hr minimum. Doesn’t include tickets. So $100 ticket + $250/person in VIP.

They pick you up in a van (car seats provided and ready) and drive you into the park - 20 steps until you’re in. No waiting for a tram and hauling kids thru the parking lot.

You cut every line and ride as many times as you want. They reserve a spot for the parades in a roped off section and you show up right when it starts. Kids falls asleep in the stroller? No problem - they sit at the exit with them while you ride.

I hate lines and crowds, but it’s the deal. Figure it’s 3-5x the cost of buying a ticket and doing it on your own, but you easily get 3-5x the rides and attractions without the hassle.
So, we're talking ~$2k for a single day at Disneyland for my 4-person family? That's more than we'll spend total on our next 8-day SoCal trip (end of September) which includes a day at Disneyland and Knotts. Yeah, I'll pass.
My point was that if you spent 5 days in the park for 4 people, you would spend $400/day in tickets x 5 days = $2,000 but get it done in a single day and move on.
Do people really spend 5 straight days in Disneyland? Sounds like a nightmare to me and I've been there well over 100 times. Just curious, because the OP is asking about a single day or 2 at most.
We’ve done 4 days at Disneyland (longer at Disney World) and had a good time. A longer stay allows for a slower pace which makes it more enjoyable IMO. We tend to take advantage of the mornings (especially the Extra Hour in the morning since we usually stay on site), then take a break in the afternoon. The kids like to swim or relax I’m the room, then we’ll go back for a bit after dinner for a little bit.

smitcat
Posts: 3580
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Efficient Disneyland visit for family 1-2 days

Post by smitcat » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:59 am

stoptothink wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:07 pm
ddurrett896 wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:20 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:34 pm
ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:18 pm
VIP ticket is the way to go. The one we did was for 10 people so with 3 it might not be worth it.

It’s like $400/hr with a 6hr minimum. Doesn’t include tickets. So $100 ticket + $250/person in VIP.

They pick you up in a van (car seats provided and ready) and drive you into the park - 20 steps until you’re in. No waiting for a tram and hauling kids thru the parking lot.

You cut every line and ride as many times as you want. They reserve a spot for the parades in a roped off section and you show up right when it starts. Kids falls asleep in the stroller? No problem - they sit at the exit with them while you ride.

I hate lines and crowds, but it’s the deal. Figure it’s 3-5x the cost of buying a ticket and doing it on your own, but you easily get 3-5x the rides and attractions without the hassle.
So, we're talking ~$2k for a single day at Disneyland for my 4-person family? That's more than we'll spend total on our next 8-day SoCal trip (end of September) which includes a day at Disneyland and Knotts. Yeah, I'll pass.
My point was that if you spent 5 days in the park for 4 people, you would spend $400/day in tickets x 5 days = $2,000 but get it done in a single day and move on.
Do people really spend 5 straight days in Disneyland? Sounds like a nightmare to me and I've been there well over 100 times. Just curious, because the OP is asking about a single day or 2 at most.
Never at Disneyland but you can spend 5 days at Disneyworld in Orlando.

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