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Family trip to Disneyland in July

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Family trip to Disneyland in July

We will be traveling from Seattle with our daughters and their husbands and our infant granddaughter to Disneyland in July and would like some information and advice. It has been many years since I have been to Disneyland (I remember E-tickets for the best rides!) and am not sure the best place to purchase our passes for the park. Also, is it best to bring a stroller for the baby or rent one there? We will be in Anaheim for five nights and am wondering how many days we should spend at Disneyland. Is Universal still a must see? What about Knotts Berry Farm? Any other suggestions? What about navigating lines at the park? Best time of day to go? Best food in park? Thanks in advance for your help!

Edgewood, New Mexico
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1. Re: Family trip to Disneyland in July

It all depends how "Disney" all of you are. As you are mostly adults, you may like a little more action than the atmosphere at Disneyland. To me, the attractions at Disneyland and California Adventure are enough for me, your daughters or sons-in-law might want something different (the coasters at Knotts or some of the rides at Universal). We have small kids so we like to stay together as a family and just do Disneyland. The entire group will have to decide on what they will want to visit.

The strollers at Disneyland are more like jogging strollers. They do have a little place underneath the seat you can carry water bottles and stuff. We brought a stroller for our daughter and received a free stroller every day with our Disney Visa when we were there, came in quite handy.

Usually the best place for tickets is through a vacation package. Try the airlines that fly out of your airport. Price the airline, hotel and tickets seperately and then price them in a vacation package to see if you are getting a good deal. Or just contact a good travel agent and let the TA do all the leg work. You do not get as many deals during the summer as you do going in the off season.

As for the parks, get there early and use fast pass.

Best food can be subjective. But we like the Carnation Cafe on Main Street for breakfast and lunch. The Coke place on Main Street has good chile dogs. The truck across the street has good corn dogs. Tommorowland Terrace has a good breakfast croissant, french toast sticks, and fruit platter. There is a cart in Tommorowland that sells cream cheese pretzel that are very good. The Pizza Port in Tommorowland has good pizza and pasta and lots of sitting spaces.

The food in New Orleans Square is pretty good also. Rancho de Zorcala has a good carne plate. Bengal BBQ has good chicken/beef skewers. Rainforest Cafe and the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney are worth a visit.

Hook's Point in the Disneyland Hotel and Goofy's Kitchen is also recommended.

Hopes this helps!

Yucaipa, California
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for Anaheim
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2. Re: Family trip to Disneyland in July

How exciting to be returning to Disneyland after all these years, and with the whole family!

You have already gotten some good advice. I'll just give you some more ideas.

Since it has been a long time since you have been to Disneyland it would be good to familiarize yourself with the changes if you haven't already. That way you don't find yourself saying, "Hey what happened to the Skyway?" or "Tomorrowland looks different than I remember." Don't worry, any change at DL is mostly for the better! For instance, Fantasyland was redesigned in the 80's, but the rides have not been changed that much and the theming is wonderful, with great details. Just don't want you to get to DL and feel lost or, worse, like you are missing the "old" DL. So, to that end, here is one Disney fan website that you can check out - Visions Fantasic. You can also go to the Discussion Forums there to ask questions if you like. Click on the resort map for an "interactive" view of Disneyland Resort and details about the rides/restaurants.


There are also other websites, such as Mouse Planet, Mice Age, Intercot, Mouse Savers (has money saving tips). And, of course, you will want to take a look at the offical Disney website where you view a calendar with showtimes and purchase tickets.

July is peak season and will be very, very busy. The best time to go is right at park opening to beat the crowd. DL operating hours should be 8 a.m. to 12 midnight (with Main Street staying open up to an hour after closing). Sometime between 8:30 and 9 a.m. the lines just to get into DL can be very long in July.

Standard advice with a child is to leave in the middle of the day (may be hot) and go back to your hotel (one within walking distance) for a rest, returning later but not so late as too enter when people are gathering for the evening shows. However, with an infant it is possible to allow the child to nap in the stroller and remain at DL. There are some places where you can all take a rest, such as the lower level of the Hungry Bear Restaurant next to the River. There are benches as well. Lots of people are there when you are going, so you will need a time out. Lunching inside the Blue Bayou restaurant which is part of the Pirates of the Caribean and has table service, although expensive can give you a nice time out and refresh you all for returning again to the hub-bub that is DL in July.

Look into the baby swap program for the rides. Hopefully someone else who knows the specifics will write about that.

The restaurant I always go to and highly recommend is the French Market in New Orleans Square. It is a walk through cafeteria type service with great menu items that are large meals at reasonable prices. You can actually share a meal, or pig out and not need to eat for a long time! You may remember this restaurant as the one outside between Pirates and Haunted Mansion that had jazz musicians playing on a little stage. Well, they still have a band and they are even better than ever!

I would suggest at least 3 days, maybe 4 at DLR. I think your first day should actually be used to get familiar with DL and do things for the baby, rather than gathering fast passes and getting on as many rides as you can. In fact, you can use that first day to learn about the fast pass system. Maybe get one, if it is easy for you, and learn how you use them.

Take the baby on the Horse Drawn Trolley (you remember that?) and spend time looking in the windows on Main Street or seeing whatever characters you can. The Disneyland Band usually does a show at the Castle with all the characters around 10:30 during the summer and not many people realize that. Take the baby on the carousel! One option is using the Magic Morning that comes with your multi-day pass to get into Fantasyland early and make the morning all about enjoying rides with the little one.

Don't forget, you can split up and some of your group can do lots of rides one day and part of your group can do lots of rides the next.

Universal, in my humble opinion, is not a must see especially with a baby. But that is just me. Knott's however, would be great for the group with the baby. Knott's has a duck pond and Camp Snoopy. You could trade off time with the baby and time on the rides. Knott's can also get very busy in July, so go early. Make sure to visit Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. Try to get in there by 11 a.m. - when lunch starts - to avoid long lines.

Let me know if you have any questions about anything I have included here. Have a great trip!

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Family trip to Disneyland in July

hope you like lines and crowds. You will be using the "Fastpass" service which will help you get access to the more popular rides.

strollers are avaialble for $10.00 and are the jogger type, not a baby pram.

for days in the park, depends on you. will you want to see the California Adventure? if so, you should get a park hopper pass.

best food in new orleans square area or better yet, Downtown Disney...for KBF and Universal, can;t comment

Calgary, Canada
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for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
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4. Re: Family trip to Disneyland in July

The best price you will likely get on entrance tix to DL will be online from Disney's website. You can order multi-day park hopper passes, always less than the price at the gates. Plus if you print them off at home and bring them with you there is no shipping charges.

You will be there during the busiest season, so make sure you familiarize yourself with how the Fastpasses work. Darkbeer has written an excellent summary of this - I believe it's on the Inside Pages. (my memory is getting worse every day!)

You will also want to be at Disney as soon as it opens. By 10:00 am the park will be getting crowded. When we were there in July, by the time 2:00 pm rolled around, I felt like I was going to lose my mind. lol. (I don't do well in crowds.) Our coping strategy was to leave for a couple of hours every afternoon, go for a swim, nap, have an early dinner somewhere, and then head back around 6:00 pm, refreshed and ready to battle the crowds again.

We enjoyed our day at Universal, although there really isn't much there to entertain an infant.

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5. Re: Family trip to Disneyland in July

How old will the baby be? Also, are you driving or flying? Where are you staying? Are you getting a package deal?

If you are staying 'on property' at one of the Disney hotels, and you are booking it yourself (not through a package), you can get a good deal on tickets through the hotel itself. Actually if you or your spouse are over 60, you may be able to get a senior discount for the room. For a trip in April, we got a 30 percent discount for 3 rooms at the Grand Californian. (Each senior can get two rooms discounted, and payment does NOT have to be on his or her credit card)

Others have already mentioned the stroller except one thing - you can't take it out of the parks. A friend of mine ended up taking two umbrella strollers for her 3 and 6 year olds... light and cheap. Another trip with family, the parents of the baby got one of the baby backpacks instead of bringing a stroller. We were there in Oct., but I think the kind they had did have an attachable sunshade thing which would be nice in July.

Being from Washington state (like me!) be prepared for the July heat to knock your socks off. With or without a baby, I always tell people to give yourself time to go nap or otherwise take a break at the hotel - even when not traveling with the kids. The last time I was there in August (a looong time ago) my friends and I would leave the park around 1 or 2, and go back to the airconditioned hotel, perhaps swim, nap, shower, then have dinner - then by 6 or even 7 (depending on the show schedule), we were ready to head back to the parks refreshed and energetic when everyone else was hot, sweaty, tired, and sometimes visibly cranky :) Even in the fall, we will spend time in the PM in our hotel or by the pool, enjoying a glass of wine or some other snacks we've brought.

Oh, and with a baby... be sure to use the baby swap system!!!

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6. Re: Family trip to Disneyland in July

Thanks for all your good advice! I've been reading up on the most efficient way to use the Fast Pass and the baby swap thing. I think we'll buy our tickets online at the DL website. Our hotel and airline tickets are separate as we're using miles to purchase them. I've booked Hotel Menage, it was only $67 a night! Hope it's ok, I've read lots of reviews and they are very mixed. It sounds like you love it or hate it! However, everyone seems to agree the pool is fabulous so I think we'll take all your advice and take the middle of the day to swim and nap.

7. Re: Family trip to Disneyland in July

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