Have you tried this recently? I stayed there in November 2017 after reading about this hack and they had blocked off the entrance to the employee lot so you couldn’t access the tram (I think you could have technically gotten in through a side gate but not with a stroller). We ended up having to walk all the way to the main gate, which wasn’t too bad since we love walking, but it felt long at night.
Ugh, that has happened to us before as well. So frustrating!
You are correct, they have blocked this entrance.
A few weeks ago, we took a last minute trip and I was able to find availablility for pretty much all the restaurants (even Blue bayou) except the Lamp Light Lounge.
Ugh! Sorry to hear this. It was a nice shortcut. Thanks for pointing this out because I don’t want to steer a visitor wrong.
I agree! We were given a seat cushion at the end of our dinner.
I easily made ADR’s at the 60 day mark. Got everything I wanted at the times I wanted. The Fantasmic dining package at Blue Bayou was a worthwhile splurge as was the dining package for World of Color at Carthay Circle. Best service I have had anywhere at our lunch at Carthay Circle. I found the food in DL and DCA excellent almost everywhere.
I’m with @Hoopsters, SNA or Long Beach. I live in Northern California and drive to Southern California a handful of times a year. And we have flown in and out of LAX a number of times. The traffic in and out of LAX is horrible! And the traffic through LA County and Orange County is more often than not a bear and unpredictable. DLR is in Orange County. I have never experienced traffic being a breeze between LAX and DLR at any other time other than the middle of the night or early in the morning on a weekend. There is also that road construction on that freeway, I-5, that has been going on for more than a decade. If the times appear better for LAX, be forewarned that you could be sitting on the edge of your seat to get back to LAX. Plus, the smaller airports are easier to navigate. Ontario is way too far. I have driven from Ontario to Orange County and back a couple of times. It is not worth it.
We like to stay at the Best Western Plus Park Inn - Mini Suites. It is right at the crosswalk for DLR. It is clean and convenient but nothing like the WDW resorts, not even the Value Resorts.
I’m coming from Memphis, TN. =)
Thanks for all your help!!
This is super helpful! Being able to see all of this clarifies the layout. I’m travelling solo and really only plan on being in the room as little as possible. I plan on playing in the park all day and sightseeing until I want to sleep & repeat for 3 - 4 days.
I was looking at The Anaheim Hotel as a possibility. A podcast I love, Podcast the Ride, is doing a live show from there soon and it would be great to stay at that same hotel.
I don’t think Alaska flies into Long Beach. Maybe they used to?
Maybe I have just been unlucky? I can’t remember how many times we’ve stayed, but there are 3 of those times that stick out in my memory for not good reasons. One of them was our first stay and I can’t remember exactly what about their old parking policy for check-out day that made me feel this way, but I remember being frustrated with it & thinking this really doesn’t make me want to stay here when other hotels on Harbor all do it a different way that makes more sense/is easier, but I got over it enough to book again.
On our 2nd stay the Wi-Fi never worked not once ever in our room & no one cared to help us figure that out or even say sorry when we talked to the front desk. And also on that trip, I asked about their parking policy for check-out day & they told me that in order to find out how late we could stay at all, I would need to call the night before to check the availability. So night before, I call down & they didn’t know yet what their availability would be & told me to check back at 7am. So I called back at 7am as we were packing up the room to load the car to head to the parks for rope drop & they told me if we stayed at all, even though we had until 1pm to check-out of the room, if we kept a car there it would be an extra day’s charge. I think we just said go ahead and charge it but between the run around & then the extra night’s charge & the poor experience with the Wi-Fi, we didn’t book there again for a long time.
Then one day we saw an email (cuz we stayed on their mailing lists) from them announcing that they had upgraded their Wi-Fi to have better coverage and then either the same email or another one that came near the same time saying they updated their check-out day parking policy. So we started booking them again, went on several trips just fine. And then this last one had a poor experience at check-in that again has me remembering why we don’t book this one as often.
It was in June & we arrived in Anaheim at 5am because we wanted to get to DL as close to 6am as possible for our GE reservation. The guy at the front desk very unprofessionally told us that we couldn’t arrive that early unless he charged us an extra night since we weren’t supposed to check-in until later that day. We then clarified, we don’t want to get into a hotel room now, we just happened to get here this early for going to the parks & we’d like to arrange it so that we can just come back & grab the keys once a room is ready. He immediately (again very unprofessionally) told us that we couldn’t “you know, like sleep in your car in our parking lot, security won’t allow it.” I got snippy with him & then he finally agreed to give us a parking pass but refused to do any pre-check-in things so that I could just come grab room keys later. And then of course at the parks I lost my I.D. (this one was my fault bc I didn’t put it back away in my wallet after checking in for GE, instead putting it in my back pocket). So when we did get back to check-in, I explained to the front desk that my I.D. had been lost in the parks & could we please use my husband’s ID & credit card to check-in, instead of mine that the reservation was made under (and explained that the credit cards were the same account with me just being an authorized user on his account). They made a big stink about it & got a manager to come over & we told them that we had tried to sort this out earlier when I had my I.D. when we arrived but the guy working the front-desk refused to do anything without charging us an extra night & she could tell we were super frustrated so she was able to work it out & did apologize & give us chocolates, but at that point I was like "really, how hard is it to have some sense of customer service in a customer service job (of which I’ve worked MANY so I get it that it’s not an easy task and sometimes gets unpleasant, but I didn’t feel like I tried to be difficult or unpleasant towards them so it’s just frustrating).
And this is the general sense I get from most of the hotels along Harbor that they just don’t care bc they are always full bc of their location so they don’t need to be great or treat their customers extremely well so it’s definitely not just them, I just happen to have the most trying experiences with them. (un)Lucky me! The exception by far is the Park Vue Inn. They are the only ones that have felt truly hospitable.
Wow, we have never experienced anything like that. I have never tried to check in before 1pm though. Their wifi always worked great for me in the past (though I no longer use public wifi and just use our unlimited data due to some issues with stolen Instagram and Amazon passwords). The parking was a pain in the past, as you had to move by noon. It has been 4pm for awhile now, and that works much better.
If you ever give them another chance, hope you get better service.
Their great prices for updated rooms, ideal location for both the parks & Pizza Press and the fact that their pool is one of the better/most kid friendly ones really does make it an attractive option so I am almost positive we’ll end up there again. I’ll just make Tom deal with the front desk entirely
You’re right. I don’t know where I got Alaska Airlines from…It’s mainly JetBlue and SW with American, Delta, and Hawaiian sprinkled in. Still a great airport close to a major freeway that leads to DLR.
Thanks again for all the help. After a long debate I’m going to wait until 2020 for my first DLR trip. I went to Orlando this year already and am waiting another 855 days before I go back. (I want all the new rides & attractions to be open for the 50th on my next WDW trip.)
This means I was going to skip a year (2020) before my next vacation. However, with my new income I can go to DLR in 2020 and break up that wait. (Date TBA - After Marvel Land / Spider-Man opens)
My biggest concern was hotels and the layout of the surrounding area. I’m so used to living inside the WDW bubble I’d forgotten there are other ways to book a trip to a Disney property.
I was using Hotel Canary and the info I shared here and I feel really good, now, about getting a good room at a low price in that area.
Once get my dates picked, I’m sure I’ll be back w/ more FAQs. (FYI - I’m looking at four full “in-park” days visit - not counting arrival & departure. Three days at DLR + one for Knott’s or anything else I want to do while there.)
Three is perfect to get a full scope of both parks & possibly repeat some favorites on day 3. As a roller coaster lover, Knott’s was a highlight for me on a school trip I took back in 2003- there were some really fun ones & I have heard that even if not a huge roller coaster aficionado their Western Old Town area is pretty neat so possibly worth even a 3/4 day.
Since this is probably my “once in a lifetime” trip to Anaheim I want to make sure I have all the time for DLR I want. The extra day(s) allow me to have leeway in case of weather or delays. Plus, I’m a lover of all rides - not just Disney. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Knott’s from other theme park fans.
UPDATE - DLR released their 2020 pricing recently. I’m zeroing in on a Sept. trip. Should I visit during Oogie Boogie Bash party dates? I’m interested in going, but not if the early parties get too crowded. Any advice on which party dates in Sept to avoid?
I’ve decided to fly through LAX. The flights in / out SNA are 7+ hours with layovers and are at odd times. I’m going to do the Motor Coach associated with DLR to get to my hotel.
I think I’m going to arrive on a Monday, landing at 8am, to do a partial day. I’ll be actually heading back to LAX that Saturday about 9:30am - not planning on going into the parks. That gives me 4 full in park days during the week, to minimize crowds, + my arrival day.
Finally, should I get a travel agent? I feel pretty comfortable now that I’ve done a couple week’s of research, but would it help? I’m feel like I know what I want, but I guess they could keep an eye out for a better rate or deal?
I wouldn’t use an agent for this kind of trip at all. I do for cruises. But a few minutes on your computer should get you everything you need.