Excellent place to stay
We stayed at Park Place Inn from September 14 -22, 2004. Staff at the hotel were nice and friendly. The hotel was very clean and well taken care of. We used the pool and hot tub every night. The pool goes to 6feet deep but was big enough and the water was warm. The hot tub was also great! There is towels supply in the pool area. You do need your room keycard to get into the pool and hotel (since it is in an enclosed area).
The hotel has three floor levels, we had requested a non-smoking room on the quiet side. Our room was on the second floor and we were facing McDonalds up the street. It was quiet and the room was always cleaned by the maids (most days by the time we returned from breakfast it was already done).
The breakfast upstairs included danishes,toast (white/brown), bagels (raison cinnamon, plain or whole wheat), corn flakes, raison bran cereal (milk in a jug for drinking or for your cereal), bananas, oranges, coffee, tea, small juice cartons of apple or orange juice. There was little packages of jam, butter and cream cheese as well. We found it was plenty for us to eat each morning.
Park Place Inn is definetly a place to go with kids, right across the street is the entrance to the park and downtown disney.
The shuttle bus (for airport or other tours you may do) pick up and drop off is right in front on the hotel
There is an Ihop just before Park Place Inn, we went there one night for dinner. Kids eat free from 4pm to midnight with an adult entree order. We of course had breakfast meals and the food along with the waitress (service) was great. We did not go to Denny's since we find Denny's at home greasy and not a place we like to eat at.
There is a 7-Eleven up the street where we got our water, snacks and lunch meals to bring in our backpack to disneyland for the day. Across the street from 7-Eleven is subway and a small pizza place. The pizza place has really good pizza, we went there twice for dinner. (we just took it as take out and eat at our hotel). Also across 7-Eleven on Katella is Vistor Information store. They sell souviers at bit cheaper than other stores on the street and you can get maps etc. One of the maps has coupons for 5.00 off for Build a Bear Store and 10% off at McDonalds near Park Place Inn.
Upon entering disneyland park they check your bags and also a second check point as you are entering downtown disney.
If you have vouchers for the park it is a really good idea to go to the ticket booth on the day of your arrival and exchange them for the passes to the park otherwise on the morning to going to the park you have to stand in line for the ticket booth and then go to the line for the entrance into the park.
Disneyland is busy on the weekends (starting even on thursday to Monday). Wednesday at the park was nice, we did not have much of a wait to go on any rides. There is the fast pass system for some of the rides which does come in handy.
We found that we liked disneyland park more than California park. The tower of terror ride in California park is not as scary as they make it out to be. I found the California Scream was a scarier ride.
If you happen to go to Universal Studios, it is a good idea to start off seeing everything in the lower lot first. It is hard to get everything in one day at universal studios if you are going by the tour bus transportation. Remember not to forget your vouchers at your hotel, our tourbus driver was kind enough and asked everyone on the bus if anyone forgot their vouchers and some people did which caused us to be late getting to universal in the morning because the driver had to go back to their hotel for them to get their vouchers.
ESPN in downtown disney sells tickets to the games, and you can also purchase shuttle bus ticket to get you there and back. The pick up for this shuttle bus is near disneyland hotel. The clerks in the clothing store in ESPN are very nice and helpful on arranging game tickets. We went to Anaheim vs Mariners game. The stadium was huge and it is well worth seeing a game.
Build a Bear in Downtown Disney is a must if you have any children, our daughter loved it there!
Rainforest Cafe is neat place to eat dinner or lunch. We went for an early dinner so we would not have to wait. They do get very busy there. You can make reservations.
Food in Disneyland Parks are a little higher, but you can save money but bringing in your own water bottles, snacks and lunches. The kids meals in the park come in comic boxes. Our daughter has three of them from the park. The indoor fast food restaurant around Peter Pan Ride is great on the hot days.
You can't go wrong here!!
We stayed here October 2, 2004 for 4 nights and the hotel was great. The location to Disneyland couldn't be any better. It is at the most a 7 minute walk to the main gate of Disney, and that is walking with 4 young kids(2,4,6,9 ages) and your husband. We had the 2 queens and queen sofa sleeper room, and it was plenty of room for us. Of course, that is taking into account that we weren't there very much. The rooms were clean and were always cleaned daily before we got back to our room at night. The continental breakfast was fine, nothing fancy(bagels, toast, cereal, juice, danishes). If you don't want to mess with pricey shuttle buses, or wait for a shuttle when you have a cranky child who needs a nap now!! This is the place to stay! I would definitely stay here again!!!
Best Location Ever!
This was the best 100% online trip ever for my family. Pampered previously by travel agents, we decided to give "online" a go. So onto sites like www.tripadvisor.com, www.orbittz.com, www.expedia.com and the bizarre www.flyaid.com
We're glad we did it this way - we found this gem of a hotel. We nearly booked into the Howard Johnson - which was much, much further away!
This hotel (motel) is just right across the street from the Disneyland entrance - giving us lots of time to relax in the afternoon, do the laundry in the evenings and hop around the many diners within walking distance.
Service wasn't spectacular, but more than adequate. There's no restaurant here, but there are many within a block of the hotel.
Clean, no evil smells and the staff was responsive and helpful, even in spite of the fact that we were relatively fussy.
Will I come again... definitely! You just can't beat the online prices... and location.
Disneyland of Anaheim
"Los Angeles Disneyland of Anaheim ?"
Is Disneyland in L.A. ? No, it is in Anaheim, part of Orange County, which is south of L.A. county. But we are proud of Disneyland as O.C. people are proud of it.
Picture above was taken in August 2002. John Ritter and co-star, when ABC Network just introduced to the public their 2002-2003 line up of new tv programs for ABC . This was at the Hollywood lot, and I was standing next to the hotdog , Wiener, store, when their parade car passed by. We could all hear him talk, even without a working microphone. John Ritter asked, "Can you hear me?" We all answered, "NO!" He put the microphone down and wondered out loud, "How can you answer my question if you can't hear me?"
Disneyland will be celebrating its 50th year on Cinco de Mayo, May 5 2005.
Once a year, the ABC Network which is owned by Disney, presents their new season programs to the public by holding a live show in the theme park participated in by their talents.
Usually, these talents stay in the poshest hotel of the theme park (the one next to Disney California Adventure, Disneys Grand Californian Hotel ).
Ideally, the best way to enjoy the park if you have children with you, is to come in early, take a noontime break , let the children take a break, or a short nap, then go back to the park until it closes.
At the end of the day, everyone's feet are sore from walking in the park and standing in all those lines.
A walkie talkie (or cellphones) will be useful to track other members of your party. If it is a family with children, it is ideal to have two adults in the group . One adult will take care of the needs of the children, either it is a visit to the restroom, or some food from the food stall.
While lining up, (it is usually a long line, not unless you get some FASTPASS tickets), try to see if you can figure out the "cycle" time of the ride, and how many passengers get in one cycle. One cycle is the time, the first passenger gets seated, to the time the last passenger got off the ride. Mathematically, you can figure out the approximate time you will be in the ride.
By this time, we had already memorized the lay out of both theme parks, Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. For the first timers, it will help to print out a map or "memorize" the general lay out of the parks, before your visit. We decide early on, before we even arrive in the park, what we want to see first. So we do not waste time debating , when we just entered the park, where we will go first.
We usually split into two groups. One, (usually that means, one adult) go to the FASTPASS vending machine, to get a fastpass for a ride. Everyone's entrance ticket is given to this person, to get the FASTPASS. The other group starts lining up, usually in a ride that does not have a FASTPASS.
If we go first to Disney's California Adventure, someone goes to the FASTPASS of the "Soaring High Over California" ride , while I go to the Hyperion, to get tickets for a stage musical .
If there is a line to get the tickets for the Hyperion theater, the other person who is done getting the FASTPASS ticket, would line up in a ride of choice.
Then we call each other up on the cellphone (or one can use a walkie talkie) so I would know where to go next after I get the tickets from the Hyperion theater's stage musical.
Over in Disneyland, the stage musical "Snow White", we really had to line up before the show. It is a big theater, and there were many good seats in the house.
In the Hyperion Theater in Disney's California Adventure, you may end up sitting in the nose-bleed section looking down on the top of the heads of the performers. So, for the Hyperion Theater, even if you get tickets already, maybe it is a good idea to start lining up an hour before the show time. You can split up your group, one half of your group can line up for the whole group , and the other half can use the time to watch other performances. Just be sincerely apologetic when you try to rejoin your group, because you will be getting ahead of so many other people already in line. Perhaps you are being a jerk if you do this. So, give it a thought, before you do this, ask your conscience.
No, I have not done this. But I will understand those who are only visiting Southern California if they do this. ;-)
I would recommend that you take a break from all that walking, inside the "Golden Dreams" Theater, if you go to Disney's California Adventure. It is a short presentation of a little bit of history of California. So while , you are taking a rest, you are learning a little bit of California history, the multi cultural California.
The white river rafting in Disney's California Adventure, I like to reserve that at the very last moment of our stay in the park, when we are about to leave the park. Not unless , we have some rain ponchos with us. There is more probability that you will get wet in the white river rafting ride. So, if you do not want to pay the $5 poncho (from 99-cents store, you can buy a flimsy raincoat for $1, which you can afford to toss out later on, less stuffs to carry around), think of your comfort level walking around in wet clothes, in the prevailing weather condition. Your shoes will also get wet. There are US$26 shoes with Mickey Mouse embroidery (which will easily cost $7 from Payless Shoe Store, without the Mickey Mouse embroidery) , to replace your wet shoes. Or you can buy the rubber flip flops for , I think, $5 (which costs $1 from Wal-Mart, again, without the Mickey Mouse logo). You can leave your stuffs in a locker, for free, for an hour , I think it is. After that, they will start charging you an exhorbitant fee.
Try to use the sit-down-watching a performance or show activity with the rides. Why ? Chances are, you will stand in line, long enough to get tired. And the walking from one ride to another , from one show to another, that will tire you.
Food is expensive. But you are also paying for the CONVENIENCE of not going out of the park anymore, to have your meal. So, think, if it will be worth your time to bring your own food, and just picnic there. Remember, protein keeps you full for a longer time. You may want to buy some cooked chicken in a supermarket deli. Buy the soda, juice, and water there too. And some fruits, and pre-packed salad. And some junk food , like chips, just for fun. The chicken (or any meat) will keep everyone from getting hungry.
Clam Chowder in a bread bowl, is around US$7.50. One churros, I think is around $2 or $3 each. I recall, that one banana in Disney is the same price as one-pound of banana in the supermarket. Pop corn , I think is around $5.
The Disney people will not let you bring in glass bottles. If you drop it, it can hurt the little children and others.
I always thought, wouldn't it be efficient, if we just take the train , from the main gate of Disneyland to the innermost areas of Disneyland, so we did not have to walk on Main Street in the beginning, but in the end ? Yes, not unless, there is a long line ahead of you.
We try to use the "mono rail" if we want to get out of Disneyland, and go outside for a meal ( more choices). And also, use the monorail in getting back inside Disneyland (this time, we just show the stamped hand and our ticket).
But sometimes, the line going to the mono rail is long.
For me, if I have a big budget, it would be nice to stay in Disneys Grand Californian Hotel . But their US$350 per night, is too much for our budget. We try to do with about US$120 per night room.
Last New Year's eve, I booked us a room in a so-so motel behind Denny's restaurant (because I had no other choice anymore, due to the time of the year... new year's eve), with ONE washer and dryer for the entire complex. It rained on New Year's Eve (or was it New Year's day). We got rained on, but we just walked back to our motel and lined up (again) to dry the shoes in the mote's only dryer.
When we could not wait in line anymore, I drove about three exits away and found Wal Mart. I bought rain boots. The boots were ugly, but they did the job... keeping our feet dry. The Payless Shoe Store rain boots were prettier, but their store was closed. I also bought rubber flip flops.
When booking for an accommodation, research on how far it is from the Disney theme park's "Main Pedestrian Gate", if you want to be able to just walk right back to your hotel room and take an hour's rest , or to change clothes.
Best Western Park Place Inn at
1544 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802 , is the closest hotel/motel to the Disney pedestrian gate.
If the hotel people tell you, that there are shuttles, that is a clue that it is not really walking distance away, at least not the L.A. definition. The shuttles, you have to wait for them to arrive, so you are not in control of your own schedule. And normally, it will stop at every possible stop before it reaches your destination.
There is a Denny's Restaurant just across the Main Pedestrian Gate.
If you can buy your tickets ahead of time, that will be good. There is a line to buy tickets in the park, then another line for the inspection of bags, then there is another line just to get in the theme parks itself.
Week-days, there are less people (kids are in school,parents are working in the offices) in the park. Week-ends are crowded. During school break, it is crowded. When it is raining, not a lot of people in the park, but there are some rides that will be closed due to the rain.
Unlike DisneyWorld, where each and every ride spits you out in a store, where all sorts of Mickey Mouse logo'ed stuffs are for sale, in Disneyland, the stores are just next to the rides, and ... basically... all over the theme park.
It will be a big challenge to keep that "buy, buy, buy" central theme in the park, from getting into you. It is a strong person, who can resist that, and tell himself and the family, entrance fees, food and accommodations only.
If you can get over that commercialism, and accept the fact that this is just another version of "traffic jam" , Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth, and you will have that smile on your face the whole day long, and long after.
I wonder if there is a study conducted to find out the cycle time of each rides in each theme park, how long the lines are, and the average number of rides a visitor gets into in a 10-hour stay in the park .