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aussiedisneyfan83
06-20-2005, 11:18 PM
hey everyone i'm a first time poster. Im male 22 from Melbourne australia and i really need some help about disneyland.

I'm engaged and my fiance and I decided Disneyland Anaheim is the place to go for our honeymoon in the first half of 2006. And being so far away from melbourne (and therefore $$$) its a once in a lifetime trip. We havent set a wedding date yet becuase we don't know when to go to disneyland. we were thinking early june 06 but by reading this board it seems it will be hot and jam-packed!. So anytime from February'06 to June is up for consideration! Heres a few questions if any can be answered it would be a life saver!!

1. The Ultimate Question: When to go? Is there a time where the crowds arnt unbelievably packed, but there also isnt many rides shut down for maintence. As we would also like to see some parades and fireworks. I know we're probably asking for too much, and such a time probably doesnt exist. Any months?/Suggestions?. We were thinking as a second choice March but i read somewhere to stay clear because of what the USA has "spring break" and the thought of crazy teens running everyone doesnt sound like fun!

also second question:

2. Hojo (howard johnson) or Hilton Anaheim? I have narrowed it down to these two. They cost (from Australia) around the same (70 bucks Australian per night per person) the Hilton is only about 5 dollars more a night no biggie if its better. So i dunno. I'd love to stay at a Disney hotel but the only one we can afford is Paradise Pier which sounded okay but after reading some horror stories on Trip Advisor..it has sort of put me off P.Pier.

Anywasy thank you so much for reading, i seem a bit of a fish out of water as you guys have so much disneyland expereince . ANY info would be fantastic to a lifelong disney fan,
Take care
:)

SeansMom
06-20-2005, 11:25 PM
First, let me offer you my congratulations!
To answer your first question, when to go, there are several factors to take into account. 1) Weather 2) Number of attractions "closed for refurbishment", 3) Hours of park operation 4) What else you want to see on this trip.
Our last trip we went early April, and the weather was lovely but the crowds were heavy.
We've been in March, when it rained most, if not all of the trip, but the crowds were light to non-existant.
We've been in September, when it was VERY hot, and more crowded than I would have hoped for.
Ooopsss...okay, Feb. to June....If you want little crowds, choose February or March, week-days...but you'll also have more attractions closed and shorter hours, and maybe bad weather.
If you want long hours, few if any attractions closed, and warmth, shoot for April to June.
You'll have to make the call: how important is weather vs. crowd?

The Hilton's are ALL very nice hotels, although I haven't stayed in this one, nor have I stayed at the HoJo. We've had great luck with the Sheraton (huge rooms, nice grounds) and the Grand Californian (although last time our room was dirty when we checked in...yuck!)

Have fun planning!

Disney Vault
06-20-2005, 11:44 PM
As far as time to go I would say the second week of december. That is when we went last year and will again go this year. All the holiday decorations make the place look even more amazing. And we didn't have any big rides down that I can remember (except space mt.). And the crowds were small that time of year.

I say the second week and not the first because the first week has cast member parties and then the parks close early.

Tutter
06-21-2005, 03:57 AM
My thought is that there is no bad time to go.

I personally however, prefer it when there are crowds because the opening hours are longer, there are more things on, including street performers, little shows, fireworks, fantasmic etc.

The crowds are never really THAT bad apart from very special occasions and more so at weekends, but still enjoyable.

My advice would be go for the attractions being open and lots of things happening and go May or June.

tod
06-21-2005, 07:28 AM
Perhaps too obvious to mention, but just for the record...

Remember that our seasons are backwards from the ones you're used to. Our December is in winter, our summer started yesterday.

Factor that in. If you want to get away from your cold weather and enjoy sunny Southern California, NOW -- or this time next year -- is the time.

And if it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter.

--t

lisap
06-21-2005, 07:30 AM
You might want to reconsider the Paradise Pier for your stay. It's undergone a recent rennovation and we have always had excellent experiences staying there. Here (http://www.mouseplanet.com/more/mm041116lp.htm) is a photo tour :). I always choose the PPH over good neighbor hotels because of the beautiful views and more immersive Disney feel. Anyway, just a thought. Of the two hotels you have mentioned, I would choose the Hilton. Also, check out the Marriott right across the way from the Hilton if the rates are the same. I prefer the Marriott over the Hilton, and they both use the same shuttle service.

Have a great trip and congratulations. :)

hefferdude
06-21-2005, 08:09 AM
Two times we like best:
1. Early December during the DLR Holiday makeover. An absolutely wonderful experience.
2. Late April to mid May - after the usual spring break frenzy but before Memorial Day weekend. Most everything is running. ( and defiently before the coastal June gloom )

Two hotels we like best: ( check the reviews on MP )
1. Howard Johnson's.
2. Candy Cane Inn.

Congrats to you both! :)

mkcbunny
06-21-2005, 08:19 AM
We always try to go during the first or second week in May. April spring-break crowds and promos make the park more crowded and messy. After Memorial Day it starts to get summer-busy. Weather is lovely. Parades, fireworks, and fantasmic! are all going. But if you want to see Fantasmic!, be sure to have a weekend night in yoour stay.

I've stayed at the Hilton and the HoJo. Both are nice, but they are very different. If you can get them for the same price, I would say the Hilton, because it has far more amenities and this is a special occasion. We love the HoJo for budget trips, but in this case, I think the Hilton will give you a fuller experience. You might want room service one night, for example. The Hilton is a full-service hotel, while the HoJo is more minimal. I wasn't overly impressed with the Paradise Pier. If you can get it for the same price as the Hilton, then it may be worth it for the Disney immersion and any perks available to on-property hotel guests at the time [don't know what packages/tickets you are investigating]. But the Hilton still offers more amenities than the PP.

Also, the Hilton is a more "adult" hotel than PP. Lots of conventioneers, etc. PP is, of course, more family oriented.

hlbtimes2
06-21-2005, 08:57 AM
Our favorite time to go is Oct or second choice is Feb. The weather is mild- not hot or cold. The crowds are small. The park is open long hours with fire works and Fantasmic on the weekends. The shorter hours during the week arent a problem because the lack of lines make it easy to go on a lot of rides in one day. There might be a ride or two down for refurb, but never that many. We also like the cost savings of going during the off season.

ACDSNY
06-21-2005, 09:36 AM
Welcome! I loved Melbourne when we visited in 1999.

We went last Feb and even though it rained off and on, there were very light crowds so we had a great time. Mid April was great weather, but crowds were heavier towards the end of the week. Early March or May would be good too. If you can afford the Fantasmic Desert Buffet, then I would recommend it. Great view, good deserts and no waiting in the crowd.

Paradise Pier was fine for us last December. Sometimes the Disneyland Hotel rates are about the same as Paradise Pier.

aussiedisneyfan83
06-21-2005, 06:42 PM
Wow! Thank You all so very much for helping. every response has been great and given me further insight!!. Also we are planning on going for 14 days as i asked the travel agent and she goes there is only 5 dollars difference in getting the '5 day Park Hopper' and the '14 day Ultimate Vacation Park Hopper' (!!) So we decided to go for 2 weeks at Disneyland, make sure we ride everything 20 times over before going back to the other side of the world! :)

Hilton is looking the winner..I will consider Paradise Pier again, but in Australia it costs 100 dollars more a night to go there per person rather than the hilton/hojo, so its big question Disney Hotel Vs lots of Disney Souviners, cant afford both!!. The Big Selling point of Paradise Pier is the fact you can buy things in the park and have them waiting for you in the hotel.

Thank You everyone again! If there is any more info at any time please send it my way if possible!
Take Care Disney Fans! :) :)

hlbtimes2
06-21-2005, 06:52 PM
Maybe you could split your stay. Do a week at the hilton, then move to PP for the last week. It would be pain to pack up and move- but it would give you something extra to look forward to! And it would give you a chance to experience staying on site.

Two weeks- I must admit I'm jealous! We only do 4-5 days at a time.

Earkid
06-21-2005, 10:08 PM
Congratulations!! Your thread made me smile. :)

You've gotta love a couple who set their wedding date based on when is the best time to honeymoon at Disneyland. :D

Now for my .02, My ultimate favorite time to go is when the Christmas decorations are up, typically early-mid November till early January. I enjoy February because crowds are light but you chance having "rain of biblical proportions". That can still be a fun trip because crowds tend to be sparse.

If you go end of March thru April you run the risk of being swallowed up by spring breakers. My other favorite time to go is the first or second week of May. The weather tends to be great, warm enough to really enjoy the water rides as intended but cool enough at night to justify buying a DL sweatshirt, drinking hot chocolate and snuggling close while watching fireworks.

Let us know the verdict!!

Disney Vault
06-21-2005, 10:41 PM
Wow 14 days! I wish I could do that. But I don't think I could ever talk the family into doing that.

Disney Downunder
06-22-2005, 12:23 AM
Hi there fellow Melbournite!

We were there during the 2nd last week of September in '04. The weather was great. Hot, but not too hot. So doing the parks was comfortable and we got in a lot of pool time too. Take a hat and sunscreen though, there were days of low 30's (in our temperature).

Crowds...what crowds. Every ride was a walk on. Didn't use fast pass once. All the research I did prior indicated this time of the month was usually quiet. But let me qualify this by saying there was still plenty of buzz around the park, it certainly wasn't deserted, just not jammed packed.

Also, at these quieter times, rides can be down for refurbishment. So check prior as to what might be down. Haunted Mansion is down at this time I think preparing for Halloween. It was one ride we really wanted to do but missed out on. That's the downside, but the upside is short wait times.

As to accomodation, we stayed at the DLH. All I can say is if you can afford to stay there, do so. It really added to our experience. We had our two daughters with us (8 & 15) so we used the hotel like a resort. If its a once in a lifetime trip, my advice is go the whole hog. In time the extra bucks spent now won't matter much at all. The other advantage staying on site is that you never leave the whole DL vibe. One of our simple pleasures was just walking to and from the hotel and parks thru Downtown Disney. No shuttles to queue up for etc.

I know its a big commitment going from Australia, but it was one of the best holidays we have had. And believe me, my family knows how to holiday!

Aussie MouseFan
06-22-2005, 04:11 AM
Being an AP holder and a fellow Aussie I will share some tips, but cant right now (should be working).

Over the next day I will compile some suggestions and try and help out in some way.

Trust me, you will love DLR

aussiedisneyfan83
06-22-2005, 09:45 AM
Cool! Thanks again everyone, this info is priceless!

And wow There are a few fellow Aussies on Mousepad!...a question to the aussie people - only cuz it works differently over here.... How did everyone book there hotel from Australia? There seems to be deals on the Disney Hotels if you book from the USA but none from the catelogues i got from my local travel agents. Did you Aussies book From a Catelouge? WebSite?. Also being a first time traveller, is there a chance of getting theme park views if i stay at paradise pier for my honeymoon - or is it extra?, much extra??!. Do i mention that when i book?. sorry these are probably very obvious questions, but im just so excited being a first time traveler and the most important thing is that I want the honeymoon to be perfect for my fiance!,

any more info would be great, thank you again everyone! :) :) :)

hlbtimes2
06-22-2005, 09:52 AM
Have you tried the disneyland website? I'm not experienced in booking long distance travel- but could you book your hotel through the Disney site to get the US rates, rather then what is being offered by your local agents? You would probably want /need to book your airfare seperatly.

We upgraded our room at PP, to theme park view, for our upcoming trip. It was roughly $70 (total) more for 4 nights. We were already paying for the upgrade to the conceirge level room, so an extra $70 wasnt much. And, yes, mention when you book that its your honeymoon. That way, if there is anything special they can do for you - they will.

Disney Downunder
06-22-2005, 05:59 PM
Cool! Thanks again everyone, this info is priceless!

And wow There are a few fellow Aussies on Mousepad!...a question to the aussie people - only cuz it works differently over here.... How did everyone book there hotel from Australia? There seems to be deals on the Disney Hotels if you book from the USA but none from the catelogues i got from my local travel agents. Did you Aussies book From a Catelouge? WebSite?. Also being a first time traveller, is there a chance of getting theme park views if i stay at paradise pier for my honeymoon - or is it extra?, much extra??!. Do i mention that when i book?. sorry these are probably very obvious questions, but im just so excited being a first time traveler and the most important thing is that I want the honeymoon to be perfect for my fiance!,

any more info would be great, thank you again everyone! :) :) :)

We went thru a local travel agent who uses a big wholesale company. The deal we booked included accomadation at DLH, 5 day park hopper tickets for the cost of 3, complimentary character breakfast, a tour to Universal Studios, etc. A lot of this was detailed as part of the package in the brochure.

However, we wanted extra things that were not in the brochure like concierge service. Our travel agents didn't have a clue about this so I had to insist that this was available and supplied the details from the research I undertook from the various sites available about DL like MousePad. Believe it or not, in the end we got concierge added at no additional cost. I queried our agent but was told that the wholesaler they go thru is one of the largest around they were able to things like this!

We also demanded that our agents request what tower we wanted at DLH (Sierra with resort view). It also can help to email or write to the DL travel planning people to help with your requests. E.g. If you want resort view at PPH, make sure your travel agent requests it with the booking, and follow up with an email to the hotel. Tell them your on your honeymoon, it may help with room requests etc. My experience is that if you ask for things respectfully, CMs will try and do as much for you as possible. They don't want you to leave DL unhappy.

You are doing the right thing by getting as much info as possible. I can't emphasis enough how much this prior research adds to the experience. Thanks to this research, on our first day at the park (although jetlagged) I was able to lead the family to all the rides & attractions, miss some bottlenecks, without the need of a map. It just helps make some of the small things so much easier which adds to the overall experience.

One more thing, read as many trip reports as possible. They give great great tips regarding accomodation, dining, rides, park crowds, using fastpass, etc.

Hope this helps.

aussiedisneyfan83
06-22-2005, 06:44 PM
However, we wanted extra things that were not in the brochure like concierge service. Our travel agents didn't have a clue about this so I had to insist that this was available and supplied the details from the research I undertook from the various sites available about DL like MousePad. Believe it or not, in the end we got concierge added at no additional cost. I queried our agent but was told that the wholesaler they go thru is one of the largest around they were able to things like this!



Wow Geting Concierge service for free?!, that is absolutley amazing. That was what i was going to ask next actually. I have 6 disney/usa brochers not one of them did mention anything about conceirge. I never knew it existed until i read everyones wonderful trip reports!. If Concierge is not much extra i would gladly do it, but australia seems to think this service doesnt exist!. Depending on price it would be a great addition to our honeymoon. Also - out of all my catelouges and reading the fine print only one tells you anything else about theme park views. at PPH it is for two people an extra 100 dollars a night just for a view on top of the normal price!. Is that right? Reading everyones stories here it seems it should be Much less than that - even with the exchange rate!! :)
Anyway, thank you all so much again!

lisap
06-22-2005, 06:57 PM
at PPH it is for two people an extra 100 dollars a night just for a view on top of the normal price!. Is that right?

It might be right--usually when the resort hotels have special rates, it's only for the "non-view" rooms. The view rooms are quite a bit more, sadly--this was the case when I booked the PPH for the end of August. It was around 90-100 dollars more for the view. However, keep checking for various times of the year--you might stumble on a great 'view' room rate--it happens!

aussiedisneyfan83
06-23-2005, 08:11 AM
It might be right--usually when the resort hotels have special rates, it's only for the "non-view" rooms. The view rooms are quite a bit more, sadly--this was the case when I booked the PPH for the end of August. It was around 90-100 dollars more for the view. However, keep checking for various times of the year--you might stumble on a great 'view' room rate--it happens!

Hello! These Catelouges from Australia all only offer 3 times of the year in prices for Disney Hotels.
"Low Season"/": 10th april - 2nd July, 28Aug-21Nov, 27Nov-22Dec, 03Jan-31March (which is the "cheapest")
"Mid Season": 03July - 27Aug (In the middle $$)
"High Season": 01-09 April, 22-26Nov, 23dec-02Jan (Way to expensive!!)

is that the same in the USA? unfortunatley as far as i know there isnt a special rate time of the year where us Aussie's get good deals on theme park view rooms and such as we are limited in choices to choose from - from my knowledge. In the US you have heaps of websites, the disney travel company, and you can even book from disneyland! :)
But Anyways From Australia i think the park view rooms are the standard + 50dollars or so more per person per night - no matter what time of the year which i believe is a bit silly therefore there are no deals just standard pricing all year with no room for bonus's. Last year they had a stay 3 nights get one free but this year 2005-2006 there are no bonus's at all, probably becuase of the 50th anniversay and its going to be busy all year.
:) Thanks Disney Fans! :)