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Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

Level Contributor
24 posts
Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

we are doing our first ever international trip in early December (long way off I know but there is so much to decide on). Our family is 2 adults, 12yo girl, 11yo boy, 9yo boy, 7 yo boy, and 5 yo girl. We have a rental car. Flying into San Francisco (4 nights) yosemite (2 nights) las vegas (4 nights) grand canyon (1 night) san diego (6 nights) and then to Anaheim. Have found great hotel Peppertree giving me great price (7 nights x 2 kitchen rooms = $1185AUD). Was planning to stay 7 nights Anaheim - do 3 days Disneyland, and then commute to LA to do one day Universal Studios, 1 day Hollywood tours (group and self drive), and 1 day Santa Monica, Venice Beach and another day for ???. After reading this forum not sure whether should go to LA after disneyland but scared of not finding as good as accommodation (bearing in mind that for 7 of us we need a kitchen). Any help please..... Wendy

Los Angeles
Level Contributor
16,035 posts
58 reviews
1. Re: Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

Hi Foxmum - That is a great price at the Peppertree. Normally I'd suggest staying those 4 nights in a more central part of LA, as you'll have an hour commute each way from Anaheim to LA, but I highly doubt you'd be able to get 2 rooms in a good location at a decent hotel for a per night rate less than what you've indicated. But a suite type room might be able to accomodate 7 of you. Have a look at Orchid Suites or the Hollywood Celebrity hotel, both of which have suites. I believe Orchid rooms have kitches, not sure about the Celebrity.

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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14,071 posts
120 reviews
2. Re: Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

Sounds like a great trip. You are budgeting a mini-van, right? I don't think there are any sedans that have 7 seatbelts. Shouldn't be too much more - just make sure you reserve one.

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
33,565 posts
64 reviews
3. Re: Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

I'd take a day off Las Vegas and what will you do for 6 nights in San Diego?

Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
21,644 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

It doesn't look like the Peppertree has a shuttle, so figure in $12 a day for parking at Disneyland Resort. It is just a couple of miles from Knott's Berry Farm, so I suggest choosing day to go to Knott's. They have great Christmas shows, including an ice show with Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang and shortened versions of A Christmas Carol and the Gift of the Magi. They are not shy about leaning towards keeping Christ in Christmas. Try not to visit Knott's on a weekend day in December as it gets pretty crowded. Fridays are good.

Mission Viejo...
Level Contributor
1,887 posts
47 reviews
5. Re: Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

Foxmum- As others have noted, be sure you're aware of our seat belt and booster seat laws. Like Australia, each state (CA, NV, AZ) sets their own laws but I'd guess CA is the most stringent. Most rental car companies rent child seats and booster seats but depending on the length of your trip it could be cheaper to buy them at Target, Walmart, etc. The 7yo may require a booster, the 5yo probably will depending on her weight (The laws have changed since it applied to my son).

There's a good chance of snow at Yosemite and Grand Canyon (which many people don't realize is 7000 foot / 2100m elevation). Tioga Pass, the east exit from Yosemite will definitely be under a "hard closure" for the winter.

As you probably know, motel rooms w/ kitchen are uncommon here so it's good you found one. There's a Ralphs (like Coles in Oz) across the street from Peppertree and a Trader Joe's (fantastic specialty grocery chain with great prices) a few blocks away. Definitely buy cereal, milk, deli items, etc. at TJ; they are significantly less expensive though they stock fewer items. Also ask for a Ralph's Club card as they will give you a discount on many items. For non grocery there's a Target store about 2km east at Lincoln & Euclid and a Walmart in a large shopping center if you cross over I-5 on Euclid. Compared to Oz, produce and fresh foods are somewhat less expensive and packaged and frozen foods are very inexpensive.

Sorry to get off topic to your question, but I see this is your first post. Hope this helps, and there is a California and a Road Trip forum for broader, non Disney questions. Hope this helps!

Edited: 01 February 2010, 09:58
Orange County...
Level Contributor
26 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

I suggest taking a day off of Las Vegas. I'm a young adult and I go with my friends or my fiance and I have family nearby in Henderson, Nevada and I have never stayed that long! One can only take so much gambling, buffets, and expensive shows. I think three nights should be good. You may need that extra time to stay in LA. Orange County and the areas of Los Angeles you want to visit (Hollywood, Santa Monica/Venice) are far apart because of traffic. The massive freeway system can be very frustrating for tourists. For example, I live in Huntington Beach and can get to Santa Monica in an hour, but sometimes it takes two hours. I use www.sigalert.com for traffic alerts.

Santa Monica and Venice are close together and would be easiest to visit if you just stayed up there. No sense in driving back to Anaheim. Save yourself the time and stress if you can!

One thing to note is that in LA and Orange County the carpool lanes are only open for entering and exiting at select points so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the exit warnings. It's easy for newcomers to get stuck in the lane and miss their exits...and you don't want to face the fine for crossing the double line. It would be a real bummer on your trip!

Other tips...If you need a break from Disneyland there is a nice little famer's market in Downtown Anaheim by the Muzeo (Center Street Promenade) on Thursdays that has good food, live music, and free parking. You can probably catch a bus easily from D-land. Also, don't get on the freeway between 4 and 6:30 pm on work days if you can help it. You'll thank me later. :-)

Have a great trip! Disneyland and Santa Monica are fabulous. I love having them so close to home.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
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30,722 posts
94 reviews
7. Re: Anaheim and travel to LA?? help


just wondering if you are aware how far away your hotel is from disneyland, although that is a pretty good rate.

the hotel is 5.2 miles from disneyland, that a pretty long driving , parking, ect. at disneyland back and forth everyday for three days.(the parking at disneyland right now is really a mess i hear.)

you might consider some closer hotels, alot of which you can just walk back and forth from disneyland .

heres a map of area hotels, the main entrance to disneyland is on harbor blvd.


Edited: 02 February 2010, 05:57
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
23,133 posts
109 reviews
8. Re: Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

You do realize it is winter in December here,, so perhaps 6 days in San Diego may be a bit much,, as it will likely not be beach weather.

Also note if crossing in mountainous areas,, could have snow or ice.

Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
21,644 posts
2 reviews
9. Re: Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

I just want to mention, I just realized that the Hotel Del Coronado (on a pennisula across from downtown SD) turns their lawn into an ice rink during the Christmas season. That would be a must see as that overlooks the beach/ocean. The hotel is historic and is a must see when you have so much time in San Diego anyway. The beach is public and I'm not sure if the ice rink is open to anyone and charges a fee, but I don't see why not. Anyway, it's worth it to go there just to see. There also is a restaurant overlooking the beach there, kind of pricey. If you want a meal, my tip would be to order something to go somewhere else and take it in to The Del to eat at one of the outside tables overlooking the beach. Or go to Seaport Village by San Diego Bay (downtown) and eat at the food court there first.

Also, although I love San Diego and think a visitor can be happy spending a lot of time there, I too think 6 nights is a bit much. Maybe 5 TOPS. If you cut out one or two nights in San Diego and two in Vegas, you can either save some money or add one night to Yosemite and one to the Grand Canyon.

Check and see if the Grand Canyon Railway is still offering the Polar Express trips. You should look into the Grand Canyon Railway's packages. I believe they usually include a two night stay. The package may be less in December than in other months.

Level Contributor
187 posts
16 reviews
10. Re: Anaheim and travel to LA?? help

I believe you shouldnt drop off days in Las Vegas but perhaps off the days in San Diego. Having young children only restricts some things you do in LV. You all can go see Freemont St @ night it's wonderful I think. The lions @ MGM hotel. The dolphins & white lions in The Secret Gardens @ Mirage Hotel.The attractions & rides @ Circus Circus, M&M store, Coke store, Fashion outlet malls either end of the strip area. Just to name a few. Disneyland, I would suggest getting online (cheaper) a 3day hopper pass, gets you in early one morning, so you have 1 day disneyland, 1 day California Adventure Park which is a walk opposite DL & the third day to see what you havent or go back to what you want to see or ride. Check out www.disneyland.com as that site will tell you when the early morning entries are. The fireworks are on certain nights too, as your trip gets closer the calander will advise you of operating open times & whats on & whats not. Universal Studios is a full day, plenty to see & do. Purchase your tickets online, www.universalstudios.com see different tickets to choose from. We did the VIP tour but there is an age stipulation. Warner Bros tour is great too, no rides there, if time is an issue then choose1 of these. The backlot tours are similar, explaining props etc however we enjoyed the rest of that tour, maybe a bit boring for the younger ones they need to be at least 8yrs old too. We also booked that tour online @ www2.warnerbros.com Santa Monica Pier was great too. We were there in Sept so not sure what its like in winter temp wise. One thing is a must booking online, is that you print everything out before you go. And record confirmation #s as you need to show the printout @ some places & tours. Hope this helps somewhat