Pixelmania West - Christmas 2023

Discussion in 'PIXELMANIA!' started by ddindy, Dec 29, 2022.

  1. gary

    gary Member

    that week is good for me
  2. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    I'm good with planning for Dec. 10-16, with Dec. 11-15 as the five park days. As a result, you want to book a flight with an afternoon arrival time. We can always have dinner in Downtown Disney or in one of the Disney hotels Sunday evening to get in the mood, although we'll all be ready for bed at 7 pm due to the time change. The plus side of the time change is that rope-dropping is not that difficult. Staying awake for the fireworks, however, can be hard.

    Unlike Disney World, ADRs are available at Trader Sam's and the adjacent dining area, Tangaroa Terrace. Both are at the Disneyland Hotel and require leaving the security area. There is also dining in the Grand Floridian, which is adjacent to Downtown Disney and Disney California Adventure. (You can even enter and leave DCA through the hotel.)

    @gary Disneyland never used Magic Bands. You either use the Disneyland App or print out a paper e-ticket to enter the park. I used an e-ticket in September, and they gave me a hard-ticket to use for the rest of my visit; they may do the same for phone tickets. They also take your picture the first time you enter a park, presumably to ensure that you are the only person using your ticket.

    Now I'm getting excited! It will be a few months before Southwest opens the schedule for December, though.
    Nancy AK and Joanie Eddis-Koch like this.
  3. gary

    gary Member

    do the rooms at candy cane have in room refrigerators, that's a little easier than the daily ice bucket for my insulin
  4. I believe they do but call the hotel to find out if your room category will have one to be sure.
    The number is: (714) 774-5284.
  5. gary

    gary Member

    thanks, i called them and the 2 queen standard does have a mini fridge, which is all i need
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  6. gary

    gary Member

    so given that we seem to be definite, at least for 3 of us, i am going to book my flight to wayne airport for sunday 12/10, american does not have schedules yet for a return, because their is only 1 seat left on the flight i want, at the times i want, i need to book today, and when the schedules open for my return i'll book that, from what i can see it's not any different price doing this, booking directly with american. i don't really have much choice on airline if i want to go out of jfk, which is the easiest airport for me. it's going to be long day, i have a slightly over 2 hour layover in dallas, the nonstop was almost twice the price, and gets me to sna too early, i'd probably have to kill more than 2 hours in the candy cane lobby if room is not ready
    ok flight is booked, i arrive 3:59 pm at wayne airport, figure with bag retrieval and shuttle time, i'll probably be at candy cane around 5:15 or so, willing to go to dinner, i assume we just walk to the esplanade between the 2 parks??

    speaking of candy cane inn, i called today to ask what my chances of getting into a room were if i took the nonstop arriving sna at 2 pm, they said it would be determined by bookings that day, so i did the longer, later arrival flight. the website was down, i learned by asking when the dates we are doing would open up, and they said i could book over the phone today, so i did, you get almost 20$ off using AAA, and they only put 1 night on the credit card, the rest is when you check in. so i would recommend everyone book now, so we all have the desired location

    and of course because my flight leaves jfk at 8:25, i am pretty much forced to spend saturday night at the hampton inn , which is less than 2 miles from the airport and has a frequent shuttle, i have stayed their before and you sign up for a shuttle time the night before and you are dropped right in front of the terminal for your airline, and the shuttle picks up from federal circle stop on the airtrain
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  7. I am booked at Candy Cane from Sunday December 10th to Saturday Dec. 16th.

    I have to book on Southwest because I have frequent flyer miles that I can burn through, so my airfare will be free.

    I was simulating booking for the return flight (Southwest flights for that time period are not open yet) and I could see that I would have to leave early in the morning, so I too was wondering what I would do to get to the airport at the ass crack of dawn to catch that flight back home.

    I think that one option for that flight back is to transfer hotels to one close to the airport for that Saturday night for a Sunday flight back home, but I'm wondering what Dennis thinks about departing from the Candy cane Inn and going directly to the airport that early in the morning.

    Dennis, do you have any experience doing that and do you have any recommendations or advice?

    I'll check into that hotel near the airport that you booked Gary, as that might be the best idea.

    I'm thinking for an airport shuttle it would take at least an hour of commuter time, even though the drive would only be about a half an hour that early in the morning.

    I think I saw that Candy Cane would not have a problem holding your luggage or even letting your car stay parked in the lot for a while after you check out.

    I still have to call my brother who lives south of Anaheim but north of San Diego to see if he wants me to pop in for a visit. That would mean that I would arrive earlier than Sunday and do the family visiting part and be done with that by Saturday or (at the latest ) Sunday the 10th.

    The other thing that I want to do before Sunday the 10th is visit the Museum of Neon art that I have a membership in. https://www.neonmona.org
    That's only about 35 minutes northwest of Anaheim and then I would go to the Tam O' Shanter for lunch/ Dinner which is only about 8 minutes away from that museum. https://www.lawrysonline.com/tam-o-shanter/
    That was Walt's favorite restaurant If you make reservations you have a chance at requesting Walt's table.

    I'm figuring for the family visit part I would have to rent a car for the first couple days So I would definitely be able to drive up there Hit that museum and then drive over and hit that restaurant for a meal.

    I'm thinking the day to do this would be Saturday the 9th but I have to check with my brother and see what the schedule is for those guys before I make a definite date for that.

    So that's where I am at this point. Let me know if anybody is interested in the Neon museum and the Tam O' Shanter restaurant and I'll tell my brother that I have to be finished with the family visit before that Saturday.

    Thinking about it, the other option would be to do that Neon museum/ Tam O' Shanter restaurant on Saturday the 16th and rent a car for that. And then just have the car where I could take it to the airport on Sunday.

    That all depends on the rates because I think we all know renting a car for a shorter period of time is crazy. There is also the Uber option to get up to the Neon museum/ Tam O'Shanter restaurant but I'm not sure how crazy that would be in California.

    What are you guys think about that option? Should we look into splitting the cost of a car rental for Saturday the 16th and running around for a little bit in California before departing on Sunday 17th?
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2023
  8. gary

    gary Member

    since no magic bands, how does one handle food purchases? credit card/ cash ?? i have to pass on ny additional california adventures, i am expected home on 12/16 without any extra
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  9. gary

    gary Member

    simulated returns on american show my am choices to be around 8:30 and 10:40, i don't think the traffic on a saturday morning would be too bad, so when booking opens i'll probably do the earlier flight, there is a 40 minute stop in o'hare, with no plane change, and i get into jfk before 7:30 pm. that gives me a chance at the 8:36 to ronkonkoma, which means home by 10:30 that night. once i have my flights set i will book the airport shuttle
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  10. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    I have booked my room at Candy Cane for Sunday, Dec. 10 to Saturday, Dec. 16. I plan to fly in late Sunday afternoon and take an early flight out on Saturday. Whether I fly into Orange County or Long Beach will depend on the prices and how many points I still have available at Southwest after flying to WDW in October. Last September it only cost me $220 round trip to Long Beach.

    Now for answers to your questions and useful information.

    John Wayne / Orange County is a small (three terminal buildings), modern airport that doesn't seem too busy.
    Long Beach Airport is smaller (two terminal buildings) and is makng renovations to convert it from a 1940s airfield to a 2020s transportation destination.

    At Orange County, American uses terminal A and Southwest uses terminal C. Shuttle pick up is outside of terminal A, so SWA passengers have to make a short walk north. Shuttles drop you off at the appropriate terminal.

    The last time I flew to Orange County and stayed at the Candy Cane, I arrived on a Tuesday at 10:55 am, left on the shuttle at 11:30, made one stop to drop off another group and arrived at Candy Cane at 11:50 am. (And they had a room available for me!) The following Saturday, the shuttle picked me up at 4:15 am for my 7 am flight. We got to the airport at 4:35, but there was nobody at the Southwest counters until 5:15 am.

    Last September when I flew into Long Beach, I used a private shuttle since there were no shared shuttles available. (Next time I may use a taxi; they have flat rates to/from Disneyland.) My experience was similar, except the trip took twice as long due to the distance from LGB to Disneyland. The day I flew home, the shuttle picked me up at 5:15 am for a 7:20 flight. Southwest was open when I arrived and I had checked my bags, gone through security and walked to the gate by shortly after 6 am.

    It is a half mile from the Candy Cane lobby to the security check outside the park entrances. Downtown Disney is another quarter mile past security.

    If you need to buy anything, the corner of Harbor and Katella has a 7-Eleven, CVS and Walgreens on the corners along with several restaurants. There is a shopping mall a half mile east on Katella.

    There is an Alamo car rental location on Katella Ave, literally right around the corner from Candy Cane. I used it in 2017 to spend a Sunday at Universal Hollywood. At that time a one-day car rental was $30. It took about an hour each way to get to Universal. The Neon Museum is in Glendale, just east of Universal, so plan on the same amount of time (or more, if it's a weekday) to get there and back. There are other car rental locations within a short walk. Bear in mind that renting a car at the airport (or returning one rented elsewhere) may cost more.

    At the DIsneyland Resort, purchases may be made with any form of payment that DIsney accepts: Cash, credit card, DIsney gift card, etc. Mobile ordering is available on the DIsneyland app for most quick and counter service locations. The web site says you can also use your "mobile wallet" to pay for food and merchandise which I assume means either entering a credit card in the Disneyand app or using some other compatible app like Apple Pay. In other words, it's just like Disney World but without Magic Bands.

    It looks like Disneyland now supports MagicBand+ and looking at the questions like this one on PlanDIsney it looks like you can link tickets and credit cards to them. The down side is you have to pay $40 to buy an MB+.

    Park hours for Dec. 12-16, 2022 (the same week we're going in 2023) were Disneyland 8 am - midnight, DCA 8 am - 10 pm.

    Any more questions?
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  11. gary

    gary Member

    ok i called abc shuttle, and just using the projected departure on american of 8:47 am, they would pick me up around 6:45 am, which isn't bad, that 8:47 departure should hold for 12/16 as the window is open as far as 12/13. i will be checking that everyday and as soon as i can book that will be the one for me. the price for solo is $67 each way. goes down a little if we are a group.
    i'll probably buy a magic band plus just for the convenience, i was thinking about it anywa, does anyone know if the band for wow can be used at disneyland?? i want to retire my keepsake walt railroad band for posterity instead of risking losing it again.

    i guess the next big group decision becomes do we do genie or not, currently it adds $125 to the ticket part of the trip. i am not well versed in how it works, do you make 1 fp at a time and as soon as you use that you can make another, but you have to take something that is open and does that mean we cannot get everything we want in the order we want? it is my stated intention to ride almost everything at least once, and some things more than once
  12. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    I would assume that a MagicBand+ will work at both Disneyland and Disney World. My WDW login works for both parks so I assume everything connected to it also works.

    I used Genie+ at Disneyland last September. I didn't get a large number of Lightning Lanes (and didn't pay for any Individual Lightning Lanes). I mainly used it like FastPass, reserving a guaranteed time for something that I wanted to ride.

    Touring Plans has some videos the I used to see the best way to use it at Disneyland:

    Genie 101: Intro to Genie
    Genie 102: Disneyland Differences
    Genie 202: How and When to Save Time at Disneyland

    However, if the crowd levels are low, in five days we should be able to do everything we want to do without paying extra. The first few hours of the day make it pretty easy to knock out a large number of rides, especially in Fantasyland where they're all bunched close together. Since I travel alone, I also make use of single rider lines the few places they are available:
    • Smuggler's Run
    • Matterhorn
    • Web Slingers
    • Grizzly River Run
    • Radiator Springs Racers
    • Incredicoaster
    • Goofy's Sky School

    Since we can't buy tickets from Disney for December yet, we can keep an eye on the crowd levels and if they start to climb, we can buy Genie+ with our tickets. Otherwise, we can wait and buy it after we enter the park in the morning. Unlike WDW, you cannot make any Lightning Lane reservations until you have entered a park.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2023
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  13. gary

    gary Member

    ok, good, we are getting information that is useful, especially since you we're there just a few months ago.
  14. gary

    gary Member

    tripod/ bring it, don't bring it, very little use??
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  15. gary

    gary Member

    Joannie, you are aware that southwest does not fly out of jfk, they use laguardia, which is not even close to that hampton inn, although the existing flights out of lga have some decent times, but a lot of 2 stops with plane changes in denver. just going by what exists at the end of the open window, there is a 10:10 am that arrives sna at 5:05
    Joanie Eddis-Koch likes this.
  16. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    Definitely pack the tripod. Cars Land is especially beautiful at night.

    Getting Kicks on Route 66

    Important dates:
    • Order tickets: August 13
    • Start making dining and tour reservations: October 12 (October 11 for dinner on Sunday, Dec. 10)
    • Park hours available: October 30
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2023
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  17. gary

    gary Member

    i have been trying to find a plaid vest for dennis to wear out there, but have not been able to find the right colors yet
    Joanie Eddis-Koch likes this.
  18. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    @gary Are you trying to get me arrested for posing as a Disney employee?

    I did a little more research on MagicBand+ and, at least initially, you cannot use it for purchases. However, it's certainly possibly that could change in the next 11 months.

    I also recommend watching Cars right before we go. The whole Radiator Springs area seems to have been lifted right out of the movie and there are lots of little things to look for.
    Joanie Eddis-Koch likes this.
  19. The Dis Unplugged just released the YouTube episode dated January 17th 2023 where they were talking about how Genie plus actually works in Disneyland as opposed to not working in Disney World and functions like a fast pass where it's sending you along the way and maximizing your touring time. I think they start talking about that starting at 20 minutes and 40 seconds.

    I found that comment about Genie plus working in Disneyland informative because these were people that have gone on multiple occasions and have a good idea what they're talking about.

    Also, I will pay for half of Dennis's plaid vest and I will also pay for half of his table service dinner if he wears it during a whole day in the park.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2023
  20. I fly out of Philadelphia. The way I'm looking at it without the flights being released yet I'm probably going to have to do one stop over in Denver.
    I thought you were talking about a Hampton Inn in California.

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