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Disneyland/LA in April

(11 Posts)
sw15mum Sat 31-Dec-16 12:38:05

We're off to California in April for a couple of weeks with the DCs aged 9 and 8. Main plan is to see friends, see a bit of the coast etc.
We wil definitely go to Universal for a day and would like to go to Disney for a day or 2 but am a bit confused as to whether we should just spend a day at Disneyland or try to go to the California Adventure Park as well and whether to stay in a Disney hotel? Anyone been? I'm planning to do a Florida/Disneyworld holiday at some point so the focus of this holiday isn't really Disney etc but feel we should go for a day at least! Anyone been?!

Teds77 Sun 01-Jan-17 01:04:21

You don't need to stay at a Disney hotel. We stayed at the Marriott Fairfield Inn on South Harbor Blvd and were five mins walk from the entrance. There are a variety of hotels on that street that all allow you to walk to Disney.

You can visit both parks in one day - we were there in August and it was fine to walk between the two without any queues and they are right door to each other. You just wouldn't see all of each park if you only had one day. Probably worth checking prices for two parks/one day ticket and the opening and closing times for when you are there. We did two days (but had younger kids and didn't do Universal) and we spent most of day 1 in Disneyland and then did about two hours in DCA at the end of the day. We could have easily stayed later but wanted to not be overtired for day two. Day two, I think we did morning in Disneyland, afternoon in DCA and then back to Disneyland for the evening parade.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 01-Jan-17 09:43:11

Disney is located in the city of Anaheim and there are many hotels in that area. Practically all of them run shuttle buses to Disney so there is no real need to stay at a Disney run property. Disneyland and California Adventure are situated in the same area and it is easy to walk between the two parks. However, due to the fact that both can get very busy indeed it may be an idea for you to purchase two day passes (particularly as you are going in April and presumably around Easter).

Los Angeles is really a series of interconnected cities and its truly vast. Universal and Disney are located some considerable distance from each other (at least one hour's driving distance). You may want to consider staying near the Studios themselves located in Universal city (there are a number of hotels around there that are within walking distance of the park). Infact I would do this if you want to see the studios. Also Universal is massive (it is very much a working film set also) and it can be a challenge in its own right to get around it in a day.

sw15mum Sun 01-Jan-17 10:37:17

Thanks both (and Happy New Year!). Def going to stay near Universal and I think we will splash out on Front of Line passes as we will probably be there Easter Monday. Had already spotted the Marriott Fairfield Inn so think will stay there too and save the money we could have have spent on the Disney Hotel at Universal instead. We can then spend 1 or 2 days at Disney depending how knackered we are/ how busy it is I think. DCS are not particularly into Disney so think Universal is more there (and our thing) but feel we should at least go there. DH not super keen but think he will get into it when we are there!

TheMysteriousJackelope Thu 05-Jan-17 17:29:21

If you are going to stay near Universal you will be very close to the Griffith Park Observatory and the LA Zoo, both in Griffith Park.

There is also the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, about a 15 - 20 minute drive from Universal (traffic permitting). That has one of the world's largest collection of succulents in a 16 acre desert garden, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Zen gardens, and several art galleries and exhibits.
The Melrose shopping district is also close to Universal, as is the Americana Mall and Glendale Galleria in Glendale (if you want to try the American shopping mall experience).

If you like hiking, drive up Santa Anita Canyon, park at Chantry Flats and walk down the canyon alongside a small stream until you reach Sturtevant Falls. That is best done early in the morning as the walk back is uphill all the way, is steep and faces South.

Vagndidit Wed 11-Jan-17 09:29:46

We were there in April 2014. There is nothing plenty of non-Disney accommodation in the area. We stayed at an Embassy Suites in Anaheim/Orange which was great and on the Disney shuttle route if you did not want to drive (athough you would definitely want to hire a car for any trip to SoCal)

DeliveredByKiki Sat 21-Jan-17 08:10:11

Just so you know Los Angeles Unified School District spring break is April 8-16th this year so avoid Disney and universal like the plague during those dates as they're not blackout for southern Californian resident pass holders and something like 70% of Disneyland attendees are locals

sw15mum Sat 21-Jan-17 19:19:02

Thanks- spent a while checking out the school holiday when we first booked! Ours friends in Santa Monica actually have the first 2 weeks of April off. We're doing the theme parks after the 16th so hopefully won't be quite so busy but still expecting big queues!

Any views on San Diego Zoo v Seaworld (other than ethical reasons...)

DeliveredByKiki Mon 23-Jan-17 06:48:36

yeah you should be fine - and yes Santa Monica have a much more reasonable 2 weeks at Christmas and 2 weeks for Spring. How the teachers at LAUSD manage with only one week off between January and June I have no idea

San Diego Zoo is great and pretty good ethically - I wouldn't touch Seaworld with a barge pole.

Shakey15000 Mon 23-Jan-17 06:57:05

We stayed at Knotts Berry Farm hotel that has a shuttle service to Disney that takes about 20mins. It's also right next door to Knotts Berry them park, an old fashioned, wild west type park. Took an (interesting!) bus ride to Huntington Beach which was vast, compared to our local one smile

1805 Tue 24-Jan-17 18:25:37

we did California a couple of years ago. Our kids (then 12 and 9) enjoyed Knotts Berry Farm theme park the best. We did the two Disney Parks in one day fine.
We also did San Diego Sea World which was good despite the ethics involved. Some fun shows to watch.

We stayed with family in Orange County and liked Laguna Beach area. Also stayed just North of San Diego which was lovely and very pretty too.

Have a great time!

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