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Old     (tings00)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-07-2017, 12:55 PM Reply   
Doing a family trip to disneyland and Cal Adventure next week. Wanted to see what advice you guys had. 3 kids, age 4, 9, 12. Three days in the park and 1 or 2 beach days. Thinking San Clemente for the beach. We are staying at a hotel that is walking distance but not a disney hotel.
Old     (Shawn)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-07-2017, 3:53 PM Reply   
A Human trap built by a mouse....

Learn about the Fastpass System...Allows you to bypass the standby lines on some attractions and is free with all tickets. There is a new Maxpass system, but that is $10/person/day...don't waste your money for that, not needed.

Biggest mistake most people do is think they can make it all day in the parks without a break. Go to the parks then mid day EVERY day go back to the hotel for a few hours, take a nap, take a swim, take a shower...whatever, but just take a break...then head back to the parks later in the day refreshed as nighttime is one of the best times in the park IMO. . Especially with kids, you will be outta steam if you do not take a break regardless of how good of shape you think you are in. Once it gets dark the park goes from the Happiest Place on Earth to the Grumpiest Place on Earth like clockwork cuz kids are getting tired, parents are exhausted and getting irritated but feel they need to keep pressing on to eek out every second of "fun" regardless of how miserable they are. It is kinda fun to watch the meltdowns!
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       09-11-2017, 7:32 AM Reply   
We have done the park many times over the years. I think 3 days in the parks will be good. The kids WILL get tired, so there has to be a break in there somewhere for sure. There are several apps you can use that keep track of wait times, if you utilize that and fast pass, you will stay in front of the bigger crowds. We live on the app now that the kids are older so we can blast throw the park and get in as many rides as we can.You can go hit the pool at the hotel middle of the day or find a chill place at downtown Disney for some down time. I would suggest a stroller for the 4 year old. They will get tired compared the the rest of you and that will be a life saver. Also with the down time you can get out of the park and get a cheaper meal/drinks and some AC.

Last time we stayed at Disney hotel and got into the park 1 hour early every day. That way we could hit "cars" and some of the bigger rides before the rest of the public. We actually did Cars and Scream'n 7 times in one morning before the park even opened.

Finally I would consider having one of the parents taking the older kids for one night when they open till midnight and just get after it. Forget the shows and the kidding rides, just focus on all the big rides. your kids will remember this 4 hours of time forever. I ran around with my kids for hours hitting the big rides with no restrictions and waiting for the little ones. Also whenever everybody else is watching the shows/parades, you will be getting in double the rides.

As far as beaches, there are tons and tons of good ones. We generally hang in Newport area as there is tons do do there.

Also I have heard very good things about Universal Studios in the last couple of years, so you may consider a day there.

Have fun. So many incredible memories there.
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013 Location: Vancouver WA       09-12-2017, 8:57 AM Reply   
As noted above, get the stroller. And honestly, don't rent one of the Disney ones. Either bring one and gate check it or buy one down there and give it away. The distance from the car to the front gate can be as far as from the gate to any of the rides! Plus the Disney strollers are kinda lame.

I got a lightweight umbrella stroller with a carry bag underneath. it was awesome to have it as they have stroller parking in front of ALL the rides and it is basically like having a shopping cart to haul all your gear. Even though 4 is "typically" well beyond stroller age, you'll appreciate it and they will use it. If nothing else, having an empty stroller to have your backpack or whatever is still nice.

There are some rides that don't have fastpass. The Nemo ride didn't the last time I was there. So either hit that first thing, or later when the lines die.

Often with multiday passes you can have a "magic morning" where you get in early.

I've found that rides like Pirates and especially the Haunted Mansion get really dead later in the evening (like after dinner time).

If you want to kick out for dinner at the Blue Bayou restaurant, get your reservation in EARLY at the very beginning of the day, because they'll be full in by mid morning easy.

There's a schedule at the guest services of which characters will be out in the park and when/where. I'd imagine the info might be on the app too. Most hotels nearby have shuttles if you don't wanna mess with parking. there's pros and cons to that.

I like either Newport or Manhattan beach. If you go to Manhattan, the original El Tarasco on Rosecrans is the most amazing Mexican hole in the wall place. In Newport, Ruby's on the Pier is really fun (they have one in Huntington too). Amazing burgers and shakes.
Old     (tings00)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-18-2017, 2:52 PM Reply   
thanks for the replies. The trip was a lot of fun and i think we made the most of it. Did a day at san clemente and a day at newport. Stepped on a stingray at newport that stabbed my foot. Didnt think that was something i needed to worry about. It hurt so bad. Luckily it was not the day before i had to walk all over disney.


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