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NYC
03-09-2005, 05:02 PM
I'm an avid Disney fan and planning 1st trip to DLR. I always dreamed of going to DL, but hubby can't understand why I want to go cross-country when we are WDW APers and subject to all the AP discounts. After much begging, hubby reluctantly agreed to go for the 50th. Here's where I need your help. My mission is to plan a super vac for hubby so he'll feel the trip was worthwhile.

I know very little about DLR and couldn't find all the info I was looking for on the DLR website. I was referred to this site and sensed your passion for DLR, so I'm sure you will all be of help.

Since our trips to WDW wre greatly enhanced by the wide variety of activities that are available on Disney property, we want to recreate the same experiences at DLR. Although we love the rides, we equally enjoy all the other aspects of the resort. Pls. direct me to the DLR web links that describe the following offerings @ DLR: (1) Dates of DLR Festivals. Love the festivals and it's a MUST to go during one of them...Food & Wine, Flower & Garden, etc. (2) Dates of Special Events (PGA Golf Tourney, Fest of Masters, etc. (3) Times of Concerts, Stage Shows & Live Entertainment (like Fest of Lion King, MoRockin, Off-Kilter, DeVine, etc.). Any sites like "pages.prodigy.net/stevesoares" that lists times of all live performances and concerts? It's helpful to have this info for planning purposes, since we want to see all live entertainment. Assume all stage shows are shown daily. (4) Cultural Exhibits/Presentations/Gallery Exhibitions (like China, Norway, Mexico, etc. Exhibits/Moroccan Tour/African Presentations/Disney Tishman Collection, etc.) (5) DLR Golf Courses - which one is most challenging? (6) Water Park(s) (7) Night Clubs (8) Horseback Riding (9) Para Sailing (10) Power Boating (11) Sail Boating (12) Water Skiing (13) Jet Skiing (14) Canoeing (15) Fishing (16) Tennis (17) Jogging Trails (18) Nature Trails (19) Bicycling/surrey bikes (20) Horse-drawn Carriage Rides (21) Dinner Shows (22) Cirque Du Soleil (23) Hotel tours featuring cultural, architectural, horticultural, and restaurant tasting tours (24) Park tours - found some for DL, any for CA?

Some Questions: (1) Will a 2-week stay @ DLR during a festival be enough to see & do everything? 2 weeks @ WDW during a festival isn't enough time, and I don't want to shortchange myself @ DLR (2) Which DL resorts have marinas? Any have 'Flag family'? (3) Dining - Fine Dining is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to us. We were aware of the great dining at WDW and were introduced to the tons & tons of wonderful restaurants in Orlando while on business trips, but we aren't familiar with DLR/Anaheim fine dining options. Need your fine dining recommendations. We like all types of Amer and Ethnic food, except Chinese and Mexican. Does DLR have any 5-Star restaurants like Vict & Alberts (7 course, prix fixe w/wine pairings & personalized menues....any secluded candlelight balcony dining locations....any Fireworks Cruises that offer a romantic dinner on a Disney Yacht? Also, is there a reciprocal agreement to honor WDW Disney Dining Experience card at DLR? (4) Really want to come during DLR's Food & Wind Festival if schedule permits. How long in advance can we sign up for the Festival's Exquisite Evening Dinners, Signature Dinners, Wine Schools, Vertical Wine Tastings, Party of the Senses, and lunch Food and Wine Pairings? Also, can we assume that DLR's F&W Festival offers hundreds of complimentary 45-minute Wine, Champagne, Beer and Culinary Seminars that run continuously throughout the day and offer FREE wine, champagne, beer and food tastings? Are the complimentary wine seminars presented by the Wine Makers, Master Sommeliers & Masters of Wine? Are the culinary seminars hosted by world-famous chefs? (5) Website states that Fant!/Fireworks/Elec Par are "Seasonal". Correct to assume that shows normally run nightly, but are down for rehab & will be back to nightly showings for the 50th? Huge disappointment if we can't see a "Spectacular" every night. (6) Any reserved seating dinner packages for Fant!? Only found outrageously overpriced dessert package. Also, where is the Fant! Amphitheatre? Love the fact that we can relax & sit for the show and always have a great view cuz nobody is standing in front of us. (7) Our fav parks are EPCOT and Anim Kingdom due to their size, beauty and remarkable attention to detail. Exactly how large are DL and CA, an are they very detailed? (8) Hubby insists we don't rent a car, since DIS is an "all inclusive" resort. Does Disney provide transportation to their parks/hotels/activities? (9) Are dates of the DLR 50th May 5, 2005 - October 5, 2006?

I am soooo looking forward to the DLR experience. I can hardly believe I'm finally going. My dream is finally coming true after all these years. Thanks for any help you can give me to ensure hubby will have as memorable a time as I will have.

3894
03-09-2005, 05:10 PM
I always dreamed of going to DL, but hubby can't understand why I want to go cross-country

Well, that's an easy one! Disneyland is the original and still the best. Disneyland truly is hallowed ground.

By the way, welcome to MousePad, NYC! You'll get answers to your questions and more.

Chadsgal
03-09-2005, 05:50 PM
DL is very much differnt from WDW no Fantazmic ampatheater only dessert package for seatting other wise you need to show up atleast 2 hours early for seats. Two weeks is more than enough time DL is much smaller than WDW. No cruises for there is no water reallly besides the rivers of America and the pier front In CA. I LOVE DL with everything in me and have never been to WDW but I do know that they are VERY different in many ways

bassett1976
03-09-2005, 07:13 PM
DLR doesn't really have the festivals that WDW has. You can spend 7 days at DLR and feel like you've gotten to everything. You could possibly do it in 2-3 days but you might feel a little rushed. DLR isn't nearly the size of WDW and they don't offer the same type of entertainment things like WDW Food & Wine Festival.

The coolest thing to try and get is to get the balcony seats for Fantasmic. Great dessert bar with a great view for the origional show. DLR also has some shows like Snow White and Aladdin that shouldn't be missed.

D-lander 1956
03-09-2005, 07:17 PM
Welcome to MP, NYC! WOW, where to start with your ??? I live 30 minutes from DL and been to WDW for 5 2-week trips so I can compare the two for you in some ways.

WDW and DL are completely 2 different experiences. You know the world and how big it is, all of DL, DCA and the 3 resort hotels takes up less real estate than the MK. It is very small and intimate. You have to remember that DL was built on 55 acres and the city of Anaheim immediately bloomed around it, so the park is surrounded by Anaheim. You could literally jump the fence at DCA (not DL) and be on an Anaheim city street.
The reason you were having a hard time finding the festival offerings info is because they don't exist at DL. I have been to the Food & Wine at Epcot, and there is nothing here to compare. There are no golf courses, golf events, marinas, boats or other extra curricular activities you mentioned unless you travel 15 miles to the coast.

There are plenty of restaurants in the hotels and DD but nothing on the scale of WDW where the choices are endless. Fantasmic is performed around the Rivers of America and you stake your seat on the ground. Only other option is the pricey dessert package on the balcony in New Orleans Square.

You won't need a car if your plan is to stay in the resort and go nowhere else. The walk from DL Hotel, down the length of Downtown Disney to the park entrances is only 10 minutes! That is the whole resort!

But, you know, even though it is small, I still love the original DL. We go often if nothing else to just browse and people watch. There is a feel at DL that just doesn't exist at WDW and is a must see for every Disney nut! :)

I know you will have all your answers from the fine folks at MP, they always have great advice, so keep asking away! :p

MrsG
03-09-2005, 07:18 PM
Some Questions: (1) Will a 2-week stay @ DLR during a festival be enough to see & do everything? 2 weeks @ WDW during a festival isn't enough time, and I don't want to shortchange myself @ DLR More than enough time. I hope you have other places in Southern California to visit - there is much more to see!

(2) Which DL resorts have marinas? Any have 'Flag family'?
No marinas in DLR. Flag family?? Don't know what that is.

(3) Dining - Fine Dining is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to us. We were aware of the great dining at WDW and were introduced to the tons & tons of wonderful restaurants in Orlando while on business trips, but we aren't familiar with DLR/Anaheim fine dining options. Need your fine dining recommendations. We like all types of Amer and Ethnic food, except Chinese and Mexican. Does DLR have any 5-Star restaurants like Vict & AlbertsNapa Rose - in the GCH $26-75 per person. Zagat #1 rating. The Vineyard Room in DCA $26-75 per person. Pasta, seafood, etc. Catal in DtD $26-75 per person, pasta, seafood etc. Granville's Steakhouse in DLH - $15-25 per person, good steaks. Catal in DtD $26-75 per person. Blue Bayou in DL - $15-25 per person - go for ambience over food quality. A must do for WDW regulars since it is a DLR exclusive.

(7 course, prix fixe w/wine pairings & personalized menues....any secluded candlelight balcony dining locations....any Fireworks Cruises that offer a romantic dinner on a Disney Yacht? Also, is there a reciprocal agreement to honor WDW Disney Dining Experience card at DLR?
No fireworks cruise/dining yacht (no water except for Rivers of America)

(4) Really want to come during DLR's Food & Wind Festival if schedule permits. How long in advance can we sign up for the Festival's Exquisite Evening Dinners, Signature Dinners, Wine Schools, Vertical Wine Tastings, Party of the Senses, and lunch Food and Wine Pairings? Also, can we assume that DLR's F&W Festival offers hundreds of complimentary 45-minute Wine, Champagne, Beer and Culinary Seminars that run continuously throughout the day and offer FREE wine, champagne, beer and food tastings? Are the complimentary wine seminars presented by the Wine Makers, Master Sommeliers & Masters of Wine? Are the culinary seminars hosted by world-famous chefs?
Did not know DLR had a Wine Festival. When is it??

(5) Website states that Fant!/Fireworks/Elec Par are "Seasonal". Correct to assume that shows normally run nightly, but are down for rehab & will be back to nightly showings for the 50th? Huge disappointment if we can't see a "Spectacular" every night.
If you are coming in the summer, rest assured that F!/Fireworks/DEP/and all the 50th shows will be shown daily

(7) Our fav parks are EPCOT and Anim Kingdom due to their size, beauty and remarkable attention to detail. Exactly how large are DL and CA, an are they very detailed?
DL and DCA are smaller than anything in WDW

(8) Hubby insists we don't rent a car, since DIS is an "all inclusive" resort. Does Disney provide transportation to their parks/hotels/activities?
If you plan to only visit Disney, you will not need a car. But IMO, you will want to do other things in SoCal if you are going to be there 2 weeks. I have grown up with DLR and absolutely love it, but you will find it much "cozier" than WDW (I've been there only twice). When we go to WDW it is almost overwhelming - there is so much to do, it can't be done in a week and you never really need to leave the resort areas. While DLR is its own special place with the charm of Uncle Walt, it is done on a much smaller scale than WDW.

sediment
03-09-2005, 07:40 PM
Pls. direct me to the DLR web links that describe the following offerings @ DLR:
(1) Dates of DLR Festivals. Love the festivals and it's a MUST to go during one of them...Food & Wine, Flower & Garden, etc.
(2) Dates of Special Events (PGA Golf Tourney, Fest of Masters, etc.
(3) Times of Concerts, Stage Shows & Live Entertainment (like Fest of Lion King, MoRockin, Off-Kilter, DeVine, etc.). Any sites like "pages.prodigy.net/stevesoares" that lists times of all live performances and concerts? It's helpful to have this info for planning purposes, since we want to see all live entertainment. Assume all stage shows are shown daily.
(4) Cultural Exhibits/Presentations/Gallery Exhibitions (like China, Norway, Mexico, etc. Exhibits/Moroccan Tour/African Presentations/Disney Tishman Collection, etc.)
(5) DLR Golf Courses - which one is most challenging?
(6) Water Park(s)
(7) Night Clubs
(8) Horseback Riding
(9) Para Sailing
(10) Power Boating
(11) Sail Boating
(12) Water Skiing
(13) Jet Skiing
(14) Canoeing
(15) Fishing
(16) Tennis
(17) Jogging Trails
(18) Nature Trails
(19) Bicycling/surrey bikes
(20) Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
(21) Dinner Shows
(22) Cirque Du Soleil
(23) Hotel tours featuring cultural, architectural, horticultural, and restaurant tasting tours
(24) Park tours - found some for DL, any for CA?

Some Questions:
(1) Will a 2-week stay @ DLR during a festival be enough to see & do everything? 2 weeks @ WDW during a festival isn't enough time, and I don't want to shortchange myself @ DLR
(2) Which DL resorts have marinas? Any have 'Flag family'?
(3) Dining - Fine Dining is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to us. We were aware of the great dining at WDW and were introduced to the tons & tons of wonderful restaurants in Orlando while on business trips, but we aren't familiar with DLR/Anaheim fine dining options. Need your fine dining recommendations. We like all types of Amer and Ethnic food, except Chinese and Mexican. Does DLR have any 5-Star restaurants like Vict & Alberts (7 course, prix fixe w/wine pairings & personalized menues....any secluded candlelight balcony dining locations....any Fireworks Cruises that offer a romantic dinner on a Disney Yacht? Also, is there a reciprocal agreement to honor WDW Disney Dining Experience card at DLR?
(4) Really want to come during DLR's Food & Wind Festival if schedule permits. How long in advance can we sign up for the Festival's Exquisite Evening Dinners, Signature Dinners, Wine Schools, Vertical Wine Tastings, Party of the Senses, and lunch Food and Wine Pairings? Also, can we assume that DLR's F&W Festival offers hundreds of complimentary 45-minute Wine, Champagne, Beer and Culinary Seminars that run continuously throughout the day and offer FREE wine, champagne, beer and food tastings? Are the complimentary wine seminars presented by the Wine Makers, Master Sommeliers & Masters of Wine? Are the culinary seminars hosted by world-famous chefs?
(5) Website states that Fant!/Fireworks/Elec Par are "Seasonal". Correct to assume that shows normally run nightly, but are down for rehab & will be back to nightly showings for the 50th? Huge disappointment if we can't see a "Spectacular" every night.
(6) Any reserved seating dinner packages for Fant!? Only found outrageously overpriced dessert package. Also, where is the Fant! Amphitheatre? Love the fact that we can relax & sit for the show and always have a great view cuz nobody is standing in front of us.
(7) Our fav parks are EPCOT and Anim Kingdom due to their size, beauty and remarkable attention to detail. Exactly how large are DL and CA, an are they very detailed?
(8) Hubby insists we don't rent a car, since DIS is an "all inclusive" resort. Does Disney provide transportation to their parks/hotels/activities?
(9) Are dates of the DLR 50th May 5, 2005 - October 5, 2006?

That's a lot of questions. I'm not very busy right now, so here goes:
Direct to web sites:
1. N/A. There's a Chicano festival (late Sept), a Soap stars festival, ABC promo days (early Sept)
2. N/A, as there is no golf course at the "resort." Riviera hosts a golf tournament in Feb, and there are tourneys in Palm Springs, La Jolla and La Costa.
3. That will come with the daily events schedule. Do not expect Fest/Lion King-level entertainment. Aladdin (at DCA) is the best available.
4. N/A.
5. N/A.
6. N/A.
7. Downtown Disney has night clubs.
8-20. N/A
21. Downtown Disney might have dinner shows, but nothing like Hoop-De Doo.
22. Las Vegas is the closest C-de-S. Sometimes there is a temporary show in Santa Monica.
23. GCH might have a tour.
24. You've found all the tours. Jim Hill might be in town on the same day you're here, but I wouldn't plan a trip around it.

Questions:
1. Four days is enough. You might want to see other (the real) parts of California while you're here. You probably would need a car for the wonders of SF, Yosemite, Tahoe, and Modoc County.
2. None.
3. Vineyard Room and Napa Rose are the best offered, publicly. Nothing overly fancy, but the Electric Parade passes by the Vineyard Room. No to the dining card is my guess.
4. I don't think there is a Food and Wine Festival.
5. If you come in-season then there won't be a problem.
6. Yes, only the outrageously priced dessert seats. You can do it once, see how it is.
7. Small. Good detail, though, in DL.
8. No.
9. I think so.

Your expectations are way too high. DLr is nothing like WDW. You might want to try Tokyo DL parks.

NYC
03-10-2005, 03:54 AM
To All:
Thanks so much for the wonderful information. I appreciate the time you took to answer my lengthy post.

It seems like I will cut the trip to DLR to 5 days. I'm still very excited about going to DLR, but since it's a "Resort", I thought it had all the ammenities of the WDW "Resort". I'm such a disney nut, though, that it really doesn't matter to me if it is smaller, I just want to be there!

Your suggestions to do other parts of Calif are well taken, but we have already been to the San Diego Area and San Francisco Area on business trips, and have toured the areas. Yes, they are lovely areas.

I am now thinking of adding a few days to tour the LA area, since we have never been there. Maybe even a trip to Universal.

Thanks to all your responses, I can now plan accordingly.

sdfilmcritic
03-10-2005, 04:04 AM
I am now thinking of adding a few days to tour the LA area, since we have never been there. Maybe even a trip to Universal.If you can squeeze it in make sure you do a sitcom taping. Go to Audiences Unlimited (http://www.tvtickets.com/default.htm) and check to see if there are any sitcoms being taped during the week you will be here in California. It's a unique experience to be an audience member in a sitcom taping. I've done it several times.

sediment
03-10-2005, 08:30 AM
Thanks so much for the wonderful information. I appreciate the time you took to answer my lengthy post.

No problem.


I'm still very excited about going to DLR, but since it's a "Resort", I thought it had all the ammenities of the WDW "Resort".

That's why I always use a small, lower-case r when I refer to it. Your reasoning has been assumed by others before, and I believe their comments to Disney have been documented, since the "resort" signage has been shrunken in the past year.
I would also suggest Hawaii, for a more active vacation (tennis, golf, biking, hiking, water sports, etc.).

danyoung
03-10-2005, 10:52 AM
It seems like I will cut the trip to DLR to 5 days. I'm still very excited about going to DLR, but since it's a "Resort", I thought it had all the ammenities of the WDW "Resort".

I think you've made a wise decision. There is still plenty to do in SoCal, but it's not an all inclusive vast resort property the way the Florida property is. There are still plenty of live performers around the 2 parks. The hotels aren't quite as comprehensive as WDW's. They still have pools, and the DL Hotel has some cool fountain areas. But there is no boating anywhere on property.

All of the areas in DL are in very close proximity. The 2 parks are a 100 yard walk from each other. All 3 hotels are right next to each other, more or less surrounding Downtown Disney. If you're just doing Disney, you absolutely don't need a car - just transportation from the airport.

Five days should do it!

adriennek
03-10-2005, 01:29 PM
NYC:

I have a personal suggestion to your fine dining list:

North of Disneyland, up Harbor, is a wonderful dining experience "The Cellar" The management has a stellar resume and the restaurant was designed and built by the crew members who built the Pirates of the Caribbean.

The food is wonderful and the experience is, too. They have an amazing wine list if you are a wine drinker. Personally, I invite you to enjoy some of our fabulous "home grown" California wines while you're here. I'm a wine snob but I've overheard the Wine Captain respond graciously when other tables ordered Kool-Aid White Zinfindel with confidence.

You'll need a rental car or a taxi to get there but if you enjoy fine dining and will be in town for several days, the Cellar is a do not miss opportunity.

I also cannot say enough about the Napa Rose. NR is on property so that's a much more natural recommendation when you're at DLR.

Here is a link (http://www.imenu.com/thecellar/thecellar.htm) related to The Cellar.

Adrienne

NYC
03-10-2005, 05:03 PM
Just want to let you all know that I am really enjoying this forum.....got lots of great tips and information. You were all very helpful.

I'm thankful that you all made me aware, in great detail, of the differences between WDW and DLR BEFORE we took the trip. I'm glad you let me know we didn't need the full 2 weeks to see DLR. As a result of your responses, I talked to hubby this evening and we decided to rent a car and take some time to tour the LA area after our visit to DLR. Have to get some golf in, too.

I'll make reservations at the Napa Rose, Vineyard Room, Granville, Catal and Blue Bayou. After receiving your recommendations, I pulled these restaurants up on the Disney website and they seem to be exactly what we are looking for...great recommendations! Also, since we will have a car, we pulled up The Cellar's website and that is on our list, too. It looks like an amazing restaurant. You also convinced me to try the Fantasmic Dessert Package. I was discouraged by the price, but it seems like many of you think it's well worth the price, so we will try it.

Many of you talk about the "Special Feeling" of DLR. I'm not exactly sure what that is, but I sure do want to find out. I can't wait to walk in Walt's footsteps and experience "his" park. I was thrilled to find that DLR still has Mr. Toad's Ride. I abolutely loved that ride, but it is no longer at WDW.

Well, friends, it's been nice chatting with you. If I have any other questions, I'll be sure to post them. Until next time......NYC.

tod
03-10-2005, 05:25 PM
If you can squeeze it in make sure you do a sitcom taping. Go to Audiences Unlimited (http://www.tvtickets.com/default.htm) and check to see if there are any sitcoms being taped during the week you will be here in California. It's a unique experience to be an audience member in a sitcom taping. I've done it several times.

Don't forget the game shows! Unlike sitcoms, they tape year-round and if you go to The Price Is Right you may even win something.... if the price is right.

--t

bradk
03-10-2005, 05:40 PM
audience associates are the ones who handle TPIR and a lot of other daytime tv as will as bill maher and jay leno. their website is http://www.tvtix.com. they also operate http://www.beinamovie.com. both sites have a mailing list that often lets you know when TPIR tickets suddently become available and all that.

bassett1976
03-10-2005, 06:58 PM
If you have some extra time and want to head north for a while I have two recommendations for you. First, stop by Yosemite and do some hiking and sight seeing. You will never forget the experience. Then stop by Monterey. These are two of my favorite places that I have ever been.

danyoung
03-11-2005, 06:33 AM
I'll make reservations at the Napa Rose, Vineyard Room, Granville, Catal and Blue Bayou.

Just a heads up, so you don't get an unpleasant surprise - the Blue Bayou, while a fun place to eat, does not serve alcohol. This may not be important to you, but I'd be bummed if I was setting down for a fine meal and found out I couldn't have a glass of wine with it.

As for the Fantasmic! package, it's more for the feeling of being up and above the fray down below. Your view of the show is perfect, and the coffees and munchies, while in no way worth the price by themselves, are a really nice touch to the experience. I did it once years back and enjoyed it greatly, but I don't feel the need to repeat. You're gonna love it!