Ahh, the wonderful world of Disney. Usually its biggest fans are knee-high to a grasshopper. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a pretty flipping big fan. There’s something about stepping through a gate and having all of those worlds that lived in a moderately-sized box in my parents’ living room immediately come to life and accept me as part of the story.
First of all, if you can help it, don’t go to any of the Disney parks in the summer. Also avoid them during spring break. The crowds are unbelievable. Mid-week and mid-September through November are much more bearable. And it’s California, so you don’t have to worry about inclement weather. (Lucky dogs.)
This last go around, I was in town for work and decided to stay an extra few days to decompress and have some fun. A couple of gal pals (coworkers) and I decided to snag a park hopper pass and relive our childhoods in Disneyland and California Adventure. It was Wednesday, so basically no lines. (Yes!)
What you should know:
1. We stayed at the Hotel Menage. It’s a bit pricey for the area, but it’s also clean, fairly modern, and accommodating. The other nearby hotels may be cheaper, but tend to be pretty rundown from the number of people who circulate through every year. If you end up in a room that isn’t up to snuff – always, always call the front desk and ask to be moved. They’re used to it, I promise. If you can, just take the plunge and pay the little bit extra to stay in one of the nicer places, OR take a little drive. Hotels get a bit cheaper as you stray farther from the parks.
2. Disneyland itself is more child- (and inner-child) oriented. California Adventure is like an enormous, high-tech caricature of a California boardwalk. (PS: alcohol isn’t allowed in Disneyland…California Adventure has several bars. That alone is worth the park hopper pass.)
3. The parks are just not as much fun if you try to cram them into one or two days. We were there for four, which was perfect. The only thing less leisurely than standing in lines, is standing in lines when you’re rushed to see everything in a teeny period of time!