DLR -ish planning thread

Looks like a great plan. I was also going to suggest skipping USH. UO is soooo much better than USH that if you’re used to Orlando, Hollywood is an extreme disappointment. I live between DLR and San Juan, so wave to me as you’re driving by Mission Viejo.


Knotts Berry Farm is another option. It’s less than 10 miles from DLR and can be fun, especially if you like rollercoasters.


I was there in -coff- 1978. :slight_smile: But I had forgotten about it. Thank you!


Y’all - is the walk to Disney springs or whatever they call it at DLR going to be better for me from Katella? Like the Best Western Stovall’s. I have a bajillion Disney rewards $$ and I won’t be using them for the tickets (cheaper at UCT) and I plan to do most of our eating at Disney Springs or even in the hotels. Hmmmm.

Anyone ever stay over there? Is the walk thru the Espalande just as easy?

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It’s called Downtown Disney. IMO Harbor is best for both Disneyland and Downtown Disney access, because they make you kind of walk around to get into Downtown Disney (you can’t cut through Grand Californian.

Here’s the walk to the main gate of Disneyland:

Even just the walk toget to the entrance of Downtown Disney is longer than coming from Harbor, though it depends on which restaurants you are most likely to eat at. When I go, I tend to eat more toward the main gate (Black Tap, Naples).


You may have already priced this out, but when my family of five has done DLR (Desert Inn and suites, no rental car), we saved on transportation costs by doing the CA version of Disney Magical Express (is that bus service still offered?), and got off at the nearest Disney hotel. Cannot remember which one now. We also rented a car just for a day when we wanted to do the beach or something. That was cheaper than an Uber to and from the beach, and the rental car place was right next door to the hotel.

Just something that might be worth looking into. We have not gone in seven years so things probably have fully changed but thought I would throw this out there. Have a blast!


@Jeff_AZ - thank you so much for the walking maps. That helped a lot when it came to pulling the trigger and BOOKING everything yesterday.

You know what else helped me pick Castle Inn and Suites? Free parking. That is NOT the norm in that area. I made a list of all the motels recommended in this thread and mock booked each one of them. The difference was less than $250 total from least expensive to most expensive. But, then when you added in the parking fees (in some cases $41 a night) and I was clearly saving a lot of money by staying at Castle.

@drvillarejos - I ended up flying west with American Airlines, and return on Spirit. They both had nonstop flights, but for $80 more total, I had a much better flight time with American.

I’m going in and out of LAX. I tried every which way to do SNA, but it just cost a lot more, and had less pleasant flight times; and the rental cars cost quite a bit more, too.

I bought weekday tickets for SeaWorld, with the plan to use them the first full day there. At $57 each, that was a no-brainer to me. And I think it will be refreshing to do something so different (vs USH). We haven’t been to a SeaWorld since 2014, and a Marineland since 2012. She will enjoy it, I am sure.

You are all so helpful. AND - I am going to Disneyland in 86 days! Hmmm - maybe that is what I will name my new thread…


nvm - I meant Desert Palms…

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I am going to make a prediction - DD will enjoy Garden Walk Mall more than Disneyland… Bubba Gump’s was on her want-to-do list when we were in City Walk in 2022, but our feet hurt too much to walk back after Volcano Bay.


Congrats! :partying_face: Glad to have been of help. :blush: Hope you and DD have the best time!


AA tends to not have a lot of direct flight out of New Orleans- at least not to the places I want to go. My boss flys AA often and really likes them. I’ve never flown them.

Whoop! Whoop! :raised_hands:

So last year when I was looking I had so many options for MSY direct to SNA. Playing around for September 2024and there are only a handful and a couple hundred more and no longer any direct from SW. Bummer. Some decent prices on flights with connections to SNA but that negates any time and transport saving. Becuase MSY - LAX is still cheaper for a direct flight. I’ve flew into LAX a long time ago as a child and my grandparents lost me. I do remember a little of it. I may have to make DH put me on a leash :joy:


whatever it takes! :rofl:

What are your dates?

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Sept 25th - Sept 29th is the travel agencies offical home coming event. I don’t know if I will go all these days, add some or knock one off. I’m going to let flights dictate my plans a bit.

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YAY - now maybe I’ll have some fresh intell for you vs the other way around! :heart:

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I will be impatiently waiting :grin::joy: it will be here before you know it.

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Ah you started this thread the day we flew out for a 12 day trip and we’re just now back and this is my first forum catch-up. I LOVE your plan. My vote for “Other” was going to be get a 4-5 day ticket & do 3 full Days DLR plus 1-2 partial days with one definite beach day and one either beach + Disney. And you’ve done exactly that. Those 5 day tickets feel like such a steal for DLR after you’re already paying for 3 days.

Castle Inn is a great choice, especially for the savings in parking. The castle theme they do is very present/noticeable, but I actually loved it about them. And their staff is always so friendly too. Our go to is the Park Vue Inn. It’s not the cheapest but when you consider the parking fees (they have parking included in their price) it’s not much more plus at Park Vue, they tend to have excellent Disney-level customer service and best thing is the location right next to the IHOP that is at the crosswalk at the DLR pedestrian entrance. The very front rooms at Park Vue are closer than the Downtown Disney facing Grand Californian rooms, and much much much less $$$$. But whenever Park Vue is sold out or way pricy, we do price out Castle Inn (and also many of ones along Harbor Blvd mentioned above and go with whatever’s cheapest).

I think San Diego is definitely doable, you just have to time the drive right. I don’t know the morning timing, but I know coming back you’ll want to wait until after 6pm. Even though it’s farther, I much prefer the drive from Anaheim to San Diego than the drive from Anaheim to LA. We also like Sea World (but it’s been now 11 years since we last went!!). DH & I did Sea World 2x though pre-kids and then once with just 2 small kids in 2013.

So happy you’re getting a trip back to DLR and any more DLR questions, fire away!!!

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There you are!
I hoped you’d be around!

Thank you for the vote of confidence.

For whatever reason it was a fair chunk higher when I priced it out. Maybe “next time.” :wink:

I’ll be watching the times. SeaWorld closes at 5PM. I wonder what I should do about the time?

I reallllly hope DH understands Disney-Math like we do. :wink:

I have like $800 in Disney Rewards, but because it is cheaper to buy tickets at UCT, I don’t use up the rewards for tickets. So I will have that money for food and souvenirs. He just looks at me like I am special, KWIM? :wink:

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So_ I popped onto the DLR website because I am wasting time (at least I am honest) and it was promoting more fun with Magic Bands… are magic bands a thing at DLR? Will my old ones from WDW work? (they did in 2022 at WDW, but are from 2016).

Also - 10 weeks today til my trip! And I feel like I have nothing to do planning wise.

Are there any places to get Mickey waffles for breakfast if I am staying off property? Any breakfast places in the resorts I can eat? Is that a thing?

Any of the character breakfasts will have Mickey waffles. Outside of those, your options might only be Carnation Cafe and Craftsman Grill (at GCH).


Only the MB+ are used at DLR. The older ones will not work there.