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Considering a California trip

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:12 am
by Belgiumcoasterfreak
Hi Rob!

At the moment, I'm considering a vacation to California starting from the 15 of June until the 28/29 June.
Living in Belgium, my only experience with another US state is Florida (went to Orlando for about two weeks in July 2017).

As a Star Wars fan, I would like to experience Galaxy's Edge but I'm afraid the crowds will go completely nuts when it opens up for public. And knowing that Paris will get the same land in the upcoming years, GE opening madness isn't something I want to experience. Rumor has it that the new area will open up for public in the weekend of the 21 of June, so is it safe to say that crowds will be less brutal in the days before? I was thinking to visit the Resort form the 17 till the 19 of June, or will it still be overcrowded because of people who are hoping for some 'soft opening events'? Not sure what to do really. If Disney sold hard tickets just to experience the new area, I might buy them but I don't think they will do such a thing (or it's already sold out I guess). Also, is it a must to book at an onsite hotel to experience the Resort better? Or can you recommend us some partner hotels in the area (Most likely some moderate hotels maybe)?

Obviously, I want to visit some other theme parks in the area to. I've always wanted to experience Magic Mountain, but I'm not sure if this will appeal to my wife's liking. Is this park still likeable for people, like my wife, who aren't really into rollercoasters? Or would you recommend Knotts more then MM in this matter?

Apart from all the theme parks in CA, we wanted to do some non-theme park stuff to. The main goal was to travel from LA to San Fransisco (wanted to do the Canyons to, but we are not that interested in Vegas and because of the limited days we have I don't want to rush/squeeze things in just for the sake of seeing it in person). At the moment, it isn't clear what kind of road trip we want to take. Is it better to drive to SF using the coastline and visit some natural parks/tourist things in the area? Or do you think there are much more beautiful routes to follow leading to SF that are manageable in those days we have?

Hopefully you could help me with one of my questions? There is a change we might not be able to travel to CA this year yet, but then again it's nice to already have an idea what's possible in this state and if such vacation is doable for us in the upcoming future. A big thanks in advance!

Re: Considering a California trip

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:45 pm
by SharkTums
I'm not Robb, but he's in the room next to me so maybe I can help!

You're a Star Wars fan, so I understand wanting to go, but you need to really set your expectations. One - It could not open on time and you could miss it entirely. Two - It could open and you could not even get into the land and/or rides due to severe crowds. Three - You could get in, love it so much, but be miserable as it will be scary busy! Four - The rest of the park could be miserable due to the overflow crowds.

For hotels, if you know me, I ALWAYS recommend staying onsite...except...this is the one resort that I don't think you necessarily have to! There are some hotels that are closer and easier to deal with than the official ones! We usually stay on Harbor Blvd. (See my map below) Do some research on TripAdvisor and find a hotel you like. That being said, if I had a ton of money, I would stay at Grand Californian or the Disneyland Hotel, but I worry they will be crazy priced for you.

If your wife is a non coaster person and you want to keep her happy, choose Knott's over SFMM. It will keep your marriage alive. Also, it makes your trip MUCH easier as SFMM is almost 90 minutes away.

If you're driving from SoCal up to the Bay Area and want beauty, then you have to take the coast road(s) (1 or 101). I-5 (5 Freeway) is a whole lot of terrible nothing.

Hope this helps!

Re: Considering a California trip

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:59 am
by cfc
SharkTums wrote:If you're driving from SoCal up to the Bay Area and want beauty, then you have to take the coast road(s) (1 or 101). I-5 (5 Freeway) is a whole lot of terrible nothing.


As a former resident of the San Joaquin Valley, I can vouch for this statement regarding I-5.

As for hotels, the Anaheim Howard Johnson's is surprisingly good, and just across the street from the Disneyland Resort.

Re: Considering a California trip

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:54 pm
by jlp94
If you want my two cents, stay at the Hilton Anaheim.

I stayed at the Hilton Anaheim when I visited in June 2017 and it was a fantastic hotel. Not too pricy, especially for it's high quality, and the hotel itself is not only a short walk from the park itself, but the rooms facing the park give you fantastic views of all the rides and the park as a whole, and as a nerdy side bonus because I couldn't visit, I actually got some decent views of Knott's Berry Farm.