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first time DL
02-15-2004, 02:54 PM
I'm planning my first trip (ever) to Disneyland - and I'll be bringing my 3 children ages 6, 3, and 1 along. It's just the 4 of us.

Here are my questions:
1) The AAA Passport - For $129.00 (adults age 10 and up) and $99.00 (3-9) you receive a 5-day park hopper pass, Free ESPN Zone arena game card, AAA free parking, Preferred seating at 4 shows at the California Adventure Park, California Fun Book (loads of discounts on meals, merchadise
and entertainment),and there is a $10 Fed-ex fee for each reservation. Is it worth getting for us? We won't have a car.

I asked what 4 shows have preferred seating - they are: "Jim Henson's Muppet Vision 3D, "It's Tough to be a Bug!", Who Wants to be a Millionaire Play It!, and Disney's Aladdin-The Musical Spectacular. Do these shows need preferred seating? What is preferred seating?

2) Super shuttle, Xpress Shuttle, or some other shuttle OR Town Car???? (I'm kind of leaning toward Xpress Shuttle Towne car - they meet you at the baggage claim - and I might have some cranky kids at that point of our journey)

That's it for now....thanks!

Klutch
02-15-2004, 03:10 PM
As for preferred seating, I personally don't think you'd need it unless you're going on a busy day (Saturday) or at a busy time of the year.

Last I heard, none of the shows at DCA were very crowded. When I went in October, there was no line. You just had to wait for the next show and it was pretty much a sit wherever you want situation. Of course, this may change if the Tower of Terror is open when you go. I would expect much bigger crowds at DCA after ToT opens.

WARNING: "It's Tough to be a Bug" can be really intense for children who frighten easily. If your youngens aren't bothered by "scarey" stuff, don't worry about it. If they are, sample it yourself before you drag along the wee-ones.

You might want to find out what it costs to get a 5-day park hopper pass at your local Disney Store. They can sell you the actual media and give it you in the store with no Fed-Ex fee. Compare it to your AAA discount and don't forget to factor in the Fed-Ex fee.

The only real benefit I'm aware of with a AAA plan is unlimited fast-pass. Since you didn't mention that, maybe it's no longer available. (?)

miss_sonja
02-15-2004, 03:28 PM
When we last went, in December 2003, we took a cab from Orange Co. airport to our hotel. Cheaper by far than the shuttle. We had 4 adults, three kids (ages 4, 3, and 5 months).

We got tickets from Disney with similar amenities. We didn't use a single one of the preferred seating vouchers. Never needed them.

You might look through the threads in the Parenting in the Parks forum for kid-related trip info.

HBTiggerFan
02-15-2004, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by first time DL
I'm planning my first trip (ever) to Disneyland - and I'll be bringing my 3 children ages 6, 3, and 1 along. It's just the 4 of us.

Here are my questions:
1) The AAA Passport - For $129.00 (adults age 10 and up) and $99.00 (3-9) you receive a 5-day park hopper pass, Free ESPN Zone arena game card, AAA free parking, Preferred seating at 4 shows at the California Adventure Park, California Fun Book (loads of discounts on meals, merchadise
and entertainment),and there is a $10 Fed-ex fee for each reservation. Is it worth getting for us? We won't have a car.

The 1 year old is free.

Since you won't have a car you won't need the parking. Thats $8 per day you won't be spending.

ESPN Zone is really loud. If your kids aren't into noise or video games thats another $30 you won't be using.

The shows at DCA don't need preferred seating. I have never seen a preferred seating area in any of them to begin with. Don't let that influence your decision.

Find out what the discounts are.

I just looked at the ticket page (http://disneyland.disney.go.com/dlr/tickets/index) of the disneyland website and it seems that the 5 day hoppers are the same price as what you are paying. If you can't get the tickets cheaper then go with those.

seattlemom
02-15-2004, 05:43 PM
If you have preferred seating for Aladdin, you get to go in and choose your seat first before they let the queue in. The other shows you don't need it at all.

Forbin
02-15-2004, 07:26 PM
If you use a shuttle, use SuperShuttle. All their Vans are Corporate which means that if you have a problem you deal with a company. The others are independent (Even though they have a big sign) that means you get pot luck.

A cab from the Airport to DL is very cheap. I don't know if it is cheap to go to the hotels...Super shuttle is $18 I think and 34 for the whole bus if I remember right.

cmpeter
02-15-2004, 07:36 PM
We bought a package like that back in October. The only show we used the preferred seating for was Aladdin...we went on a Saturday and it was pretty busy. The other shows didn't need preferred seating...the theaters are small and the shows aren't as popular. My 3 and 8 year olds do not like the Bug's Life show...and they are brave kids (3 year old loves Haunted Mansion and Matterhorn and my 8 year old loves Screamin' and Maliboomer.)

We also skipped the ESPN Zone...it was way too noisey and not as kid friendly as I would have liked. My 3 year old isn't shy or afraid of running off on her own, and that place wouldn't have been a good fit for her. Build-A-Bear and the Lego store were much more their pace.

Unlimited Fast Passes won't really be a huge option for you...most of the little kids rides don't have fast passes available.

tikiboy
02-15-2004, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by first time DL
2) Super shuttle, Xpress Shuttle, or some other shuttle OR Town Car???? (I'm kind of leaning toward Xpress Shuttle Towne car - they meet you at the baggage claim - and I might have some cranky kids at that point of our journey)


I've used SuperShuttle a couple of times to get from LAX to home and if I had my family I would not do it. They're group vans, so if they don't have enough people in them, they'll circle the terminals until they do. Not to mention you have to wait about 20 minutes for one to show up that'll take you to Anaheim.

I'd highly suggest a taxi, since they charge for the ride regardless of how many people(max 4).

Have Fun!!

first time DL
02-15-2004, 09:09 PM
Wow, thanks for all the help. I'll definately use a cab to get to the hotel. One question solved!

I'm leaning toward getting the tickets thru AAA and paying the $10 fee. No, they do not have unlimited fast pass - unless you book a package (either Disney properties or Good Neighbor hotels) then you get a lanyard, pin, and 5X7 photo too.

We're traveling June 9-12 - if that makes a difference (ToT will be running - but some of the excitement should have died down by then, right?)

Maybe the $10 (spread out between the 3 of us) for preferred seating for Aladdin is worthwhile? Also the coupon book.

Is the ESPN zone quieter in the AM?

Darkbeer
02-15-2004, 09:26 PM
First off, second part first...

Which Airport are you flying into, if it is JohnWayne/OrangeCounty/Santa Ana... then yes, the cab is the way to go...

If you are flying into LAX, I would look into the AirportBus..... (a cab could be over $100, the cab ride from John Wayne is about $30, so less than $10 per person with tip...)

As for the tickets, you do get more with the AA Passoprt Plus, and for about $3 extra per person (the shipping fee), you should more than recoup the extra expense....

By the way, the 2003 version of the AAA Passport Plus came with the enhanced FastPass, the 2004 does NOT.

June is the start of the busy season... spend the extra $10, the discounts should cover the costs, and you do get the front of the line passes, a nice perk.....

first time DL
02-15-2004, 09:46 PM
We're flying into LAX. If the cab could be up to $100 then what do you think about using a Town Car from Xpress Shuttle? Their web quote was $54 - and they meet you at the luggage claim - which sounds like a nice perk for a tired mom and 3 potentially cranky kids.

cmpeter
02-16-2004, 08:52 AM
For $54, the town car sounds like a great option. I have also traveled alone with little kids and you are right...having it be easier is a big plus!

I don't know how quite the ESPN Zone is in the morning...I would think it would be better than when we went in the evening though.