Congratulations on making the decision to come to the “The Original” Magic Kingdom! If you haven’t made “the decision” . . . well, what’s stopping you?
Those of you who are Walt Disney World veterans are probably accustomed to a certain way of planning and, if you’ve looked into any planning information for Disneyland (even just the official Disneyland website), you may have had the thought of “Oh my heck, what have I gotten myself into?”. Planning for Disneyland is just a little bit different from Walt Disney World but it isn’t anything that should scare you off from making a trip out west!
The first difference is, obviously, the overall size of the Disneyland Resort. It is a bit more intimate than Walt Disney World, to say the least. There are just three Disney owned resort hotels and two theme parks that make up the Disneyland Resort. Everything is within walking distance around “Disney property” so, with the exception of the tram that shuttles day guests to and from the parking garage and satellite lots, there is no need for Disney transportation. The monorail only has two stops: Downtown Disney and Tomorrowland. You can walk, turnstile-to-turnstile, from one park to the other in two minutes or less (though I wouldn’t suggest running from park to park as the bricks are a little uneven in spots and have been known to bring down grown women when just walking normally on them. I swear I don’t know anyone that has ever happened to . . . . *whistle* )
I promise, though, once you get over the size, it really is an easy to plan vacation! First thing you need to do once you’ve made the decision to visit is play around with some dates. Unlike WDW, Disneyland doesn’t have eight or nine different price “seasons”. Price-wise, they pretty much operate on a two “season” schedule: Peak and Not-Peak. The busiest times of the year to visit are June through Labor Day, Christmas time and Spring Break. Though they are usually in the lower priced “off-season”, President’s Day week and Halloween time can see increased crowds as well. Weekends throughout the year can see crowd increases due to the locals and Annual Passholders in the area visiting. If you’d like to visit when the weather is nicest, April and May would be your best bet, in my opinion. Crowds will be low on weekdays and the weather should be agreeable!
So, once you have decided on some dates to look at, your next logical step would be to pick a hotel. With three Disney resort hotels and over 40 Disney Good Neighbor hotels, this will probably be the hardest part to decide on. In my next installment, we’ll take a look at hotel options in and around the Disneyland Resort!
Until next time, have a magical Disney day!