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Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

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Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

Hello. My family has been to Disney in FL a few times. My DD11 wants to compare the parks. Since we're travelling from the east coast, I want to combine a few things to fill up a week's vacation in late August. Figuring on 3 days at DL for both parks there. 1 day at Universal. Want to do a studio tour and get tickets for a live TV taping of the Disney shows, Austin and Ally, Jesse or LIv and Maddie. The tv tapings schedule only goes through April so how do we plan around that for August? Also want to go to the Mets/ Dodgers game on 8/23 or 24 and maybe check out the Anaheim stadium as well. Seems like we'd need to break up our stay in Annaheim and maybe Burbank or LA. Is this too ambitious?

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1. Re: Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

As far as tapings for show go, most may not be taping in August, so that may not be an option for you. Mostly you would have to wait till your dates show up for whatever taping you want to go to, and then request tickets when they are available. So you may have to wait a while to see any dates show up for August. Keep in mind also that for most tapings everyone must be over 18 to see the show... but you may have already checked since its a childrens show, that may not apply.

You may want to consider something like the Southern California City Pass which combines a 3 day Disneyland Parkhopper ticket, and 1 day Universal Studios ticket and 1 day SeaWorld ticket for a good value. Even if you only use the Disneyland ticket and Universal Studios ticket, it still works out to be less expensive for you.

If you decide to purchase just Disneyland tickets, then you would want to purchase them before May, as prices may rise after that time, and unknown when Disneyland may raise prices... athough there is usually a few days notice at most, and we usually post that info here, and you can also check the Mousesavers.com website which is a good resource for you as they list current discounts on attractions for you ( they dont sell tickets)

There is also a good deal right now for 4 days for the price of 3 listed on thier website

mousesavers.com/disneyland-california-vacati…

It does makes some sense to break up your stay a little since the LA area you are visiting is about a 1 hour drive North of the LA area.

I have heard though that getting in and out of game at the Staples center is crazy, so you may want to consider just going to a game in Anaheim though which is just a few miles from Disneyland. That way, you could also just stay in Anaheim and visit Universal Studios from there pretty easily, and maybe some days visiting the beach as its close to Anaheim, about a 30 min drive.

Its really up to you what you may want to do if you have more things besides what you have mentioned you want to visit in LA. Theres lots to do in the LA area as well, just to mention a few, Santa Monica, California Science Center with the Space shuttle on Exhibit, Griffith Observatory, all are worth the visit Imo.

And keep in mind a few difference between Disneyland and WDW... such as their are 2 parks. The entrance face each other, so easy to walk back and forth during a day and Parkhop. Unlike WDW where I hear that is not usually suggested.

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Meal Plans are also not suggested as there is no savings to you.

And you can stay directly across the street from the Disneyland Main Entrance and easily walk into Disneyland in a few minutes. Most of those are standard Motels with a few Hotels in a little farther walking distance. And there is the Art Shuttle service for farther away Hotels within about a 2 mile radius around Disneyland for a small fee per person.

Heres a Map of Hotels in the Disneyland area so you can see where things are located. The Disneyland Main Entrance is off of Harbor Blvd near where it says "East Shuttle Area" on the Map.

printfreemaps.com/maps/freedisneylandareamap…

If you would like help finding somewhere to say, you can give us a budget per night and what kind of accomodations you are looking for and we can help you find something....

Keep in mind that the third week in August would still be the busy summertime crowds, and the last week of August may have the better crowds for the busy month, but you would not want to visit on Labor Day Weekend, as its a busy Holiday weekend, and also a Half Marathon at Disneyland.

Heres a good thread on the differences between Disneyland and WDW, as there are some rides that would only be at Disneyland ect. see reply #4, and you can add Carsland to that list as well it really fun to visit.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29092-i65-k470393…

Edited: 02 February 2014, 00:53
Yucaipa, California
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2. Re: Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

Have you considered Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park? It is very close to Anaheim and it pre-dates Disneyland and Universal Studios both. Walt Disney and Walter Knott were friendly. Knott's had the first hidden and themed queue, for the Calico Mine Ride (actually designed and built by Bud Hurlbut). This inspired Walt Disney to do the same. Disney imagineers studied the Knott's Log Ride when designing Splash Mountian. Knott's still has a stagecoach ride, which Disneyland also had at one time. During the summer a professional ice show is scheduled in their large Charles M. Shultz Theater.

Regarding TV tapings. They are on hiatus during the summer. Disney's El Capitan Theater, a restored movie palace in Los Angeles, often has live shows along with their movies, although they go with the movie rather than TV and do not feature Disney stars (usually). They have a soda shop connected to it. Just throwing out an idea.

For Disneyland, you might like to consider a Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour or just do some unique things such as ask for a tender ride on the Disneyland Railroad. When I did that I was riding directly behind an engine that Walt himself had driven.

Edited: 02 February 2014, 02:14
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3. Re: Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

Thanks for the replies. For the first reply, did you mean Dodger Stadium instead of the Staples center? The game on Sunday is an afternoon game. Would that make it easier to get in and out of? If the TV tapings aren't an option, perhaps we'll arrive on Saturday, go to the night Mets/Dodgers game, maybe hit Santa Monica on Sunday and plan on arriving at Disneyland for Monday. I heard the weekends are really crowded. If there are no TV tapings to see, are the studio tours worth it? Maybe, we'd head down to San Diego instead and fly home from there.

I did check out the Walk in the Footsteps tour. My DD would love that! We're thinking of staying at a Disney property for the Disney magic for our DD11. That would only be for a few nights though. I need to figure out which one has the best pool!

Thanks for the info.

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4. Re: Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

Yes, sorry, I did mean the Dodgers Stadium...I really dont know if it makes any difference as Sunday is a weekend day and would be busy with people off of work visting as well. I just have heard a few stories from people I know that have gone to a game there. You may want to post in the LA Forum where they could answer you questions regarding that much better than I can. You should also ask about Studio Tours in the LA forum as they are much more familiar with those questions since those things are located in that area. The Warner Bros Tour seems to be quite popular.

Of the Disney owned Hotels....I think the Grand Californian has the nicest pool area, and slides... but it depends on what you may be looking for... The Disneyland Hotel does have the tall water slides....

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One thing to keep in mind is that the Paradise Pier Hotel .....is the farthest walk of the Disney owned Hotels... about a 13 min walk to the Turnstiles that go into either Park if you walk through the Grand Californian Hotel, and into Downtown Disney to the entrance. No shuttle service is offered at any of the Disney owned Hotels. The Grand Californian... is the closest. The Disneyland Hotel.... is about a 10 min walk to the Turnstiles.

Some time in San Diego is a good option as well as its a wonderful City with lots to do, and they have lots of info on that forum.

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5. Re: Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

Thanks, happytotrip. Slides are a big deal to my 11 year old but a closer walk might be better! DD24 might like the nicer pool area better.

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6. Re: Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

TV shows may be taping in late August. Season premiers are often in September and filming usually runs a few weeks in advance. You are going need to just wait and see on the TV taping. Kids shows have younger minimum ages, often 10.

I don't know if an 11 yo would enjoy a tour at DL, may rather get on with the rides! If you want to try to do it all at DL and DCA you need 3 days. If you want to do most and also focus on the differences between WDW and DL/DCA, you could do 2 days and that frees you up to do other things.

The parking situation at Dodger's Stadium can be time consuming, make sure you leave early. There is a free shuttle from Union Station to the stadium. You might want to do that instead of driving. Saturday and Sunday games should have a good crowd.

The DL Hotel has a water slide area and then another large pool. I think DGC has a nicer pool area overall and it does have a water slide. If these are too expensive there is a nice pool with water play area at the Hilton.

Edited: 02 February 2014, 23:04
Yucaipa, California
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7. Re: Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

Universal Studios Hollywood is a working studio and has the Backlot Tour, available with admission. You probably won't see and filming or taping. You see outdoor movie sets that were used in famous movies.

Warner Bros. has the VIP tour, which children 8 and above can go on. It lasts for a couple of hours and is done in small groups.

Sony Studios, formerly MGM studios, has a tour which allows children 12 and above. I don't know if you need id for proof of age. You may be able to get an 11year old in if not. It looks like it is a walking tour. This studio is close to Santa Monica.

I suggest checking reviews for each.

The reason I suggested the tour is I got the impression your 11 yr. old is quite the Disney fan. Because she is, I also suggest the Disneyland Hotel, which has touches of Disneyland's themes here and there on the grounds. The pool slide is designed to look like a monorail station, for example. The headboards on the beds have maps of Disneyland Park and can light up to make it appear as if fireworks are going off.

Just in case you don't know, in Northern California there is the Disney Family Museum, if you can extend your vacation and would be interested.

Edited: 03 February 2014, 06:16
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8. Re: Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

Thanks for all of the additional information. It really is quite helpful. If we do the Footsteps tour at DL and the Animation Academy at California Adventure Park, would we need more than 3 days at DL? Does it make sense to fly into LAX if we go to the Dodgers game first and possibly take a tour of LA? We'd be flying in on a Saturday. I guess flying home from John Wayne or San Diego (if we go there) makes more sense.

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9. Re: Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

Its really up to you what you may want to do, all of the things you mentioned are options for you if you want to.

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10. Re: Disneyland / Universal / Studio tours & TV Tapings

There's a night flight, JFK to Burbank, 5:30pm arrive 8:30pm...if you're interested in flying Friday night and going to the Dodger game on Saturday. Jet Blue into Burbank is an easy airport for rental car and accommodation convenient to D Stadium. Anaheim to LAX isn't a bad drive if the airfares are lower or more direct, but you'll want to stay away from early morning flights because of traffic, or ,spend your final day/night out by LAX which is also close to the beaches...you could get a hotel near Manhattan Beach or Marina De Rey.

Most of the schools are in session the last week of August so yes, Mon Tues Wed will be better for Disneyland for sure.