Now I know I’m not someone who is a complete Disney Expert who goes multiple times a year, but I thought it may still be helpful to just review a few of the experiences, services, and accommodations that I have used.
Now I talked about this website a bunch on the other two Disney blogs. But in case you missed those. This website is AMAZING for getting you hotel and Disneyland/California Adventure park hopper tickets. You can easily browse hotels and locations in the area, search your top dates of travel and add on the tickets right there. If you buy 3+ day tickets you can also get you a Magic Morning just like if you were to stay in a Disney Hotel.
The savings you will get from using this website will be 100’s of $$$. If you are planning your trip still, please give this website a look!
Disneyland Express Shuttle
Tony found this shuttle and they were great! If you plan to fly without bringing a car seat for your child, this is your best bet. This shuttle is pretty much a tour bus so you and simply have them on your lap. The only thing is they do run on a schedule so depending on your arrival and departure times, you may need to wait or leave a bit earlier to get to your location. The price for this shuttle wasn’t horrible either.
Hotel: Del Sol Inn
This is the hotel we most recently stayed in. When I was researching, I was torn because the reviews this hotel had were very different. It had a few that loved the stay there and then a bunch that complained about things like thin walls, water pressure, the comfiness of the beds, scratchy sheets, and no breakfast. And parts of me just wondered if it was really true or if these people were just complaining to complain? We decided to save some money and try it out especially since it was practically right across the entrance to the parks. (Big plus if you ask me!)
And I am happy to say that that it seemed a lot of the reviews were done before the slight remodel. The bathrooms were amazing, beds, were comfy. Service was perfect. They even got us in HOURS before we would normally be allowed to check in. I will admit the walls were a little thin and only because if you are near the pool and people are swimming, they may keep you up a little bit, BUT they do close the pool and it gets quiet and fine from there.
It does not have an elevator and there are two floors so that is something to watch out for. We were lucky to get a room on the first floor so that didn’t bother us. And while it is small, they do offer a simple breakfast now of fruit, hard boiled eggs, cereal, and eggo waffles.
If you are looking for an affordable stay and just a place to sleep, this place is a winner. You also get a discount at Denny’s! (Perfect if you have a kid who practically lives off pancakes).
Hotel: Quality Inn & Suites (Across from the Howard Johnson Hotel)
Me and Tony stayed here back for our honeymoon. This hotel is a little farther from the parks but still only a 10-15 minute walk. Which is fine unless your feet hurt after a long day. (Don’t forget to pack good shoes if you have a hotel that is farther away)
We loved staying here. For another one of cheaper places to stay, the service was amazing! Super attentive and helpful to anything you need. They are also super friendly. They have a simple breakfast as well of fruit, cereal, waffle maker, eggs, meats and even some biscuits and gravy which was a fun surprise.
This hotel is also two levels without an elevator. But again, for one of the cheaper places to stay, I’d totally stay here again if I have the chance.
Minnie & Friends Character Breakfast at the Plaza
I loooooove this restaurant so much. Amazing food any time of the day. Seriously, if you haven’t tried their alfredo, you need to go! Any who, I mentioned before that character breakfast should probably be done a little bit later in your trip just because if you have a kid like mine, they may freak out from not understanding this is kind of the Disney norm to see characters. We ended up spending a whole lot of money for being put out on the patio cause my daughter was too scared to eat if a character was too close. We only got to take a picture with the Fairy Godmother.
One thing I didn’t realize that I wish I knew before going in is that this breakfast is a buffet. So be prepared to eat A LOT. If I knew that, knowing Riley is such a grazer, I would’ve bought a baggie or something so I could put some fruits or pastries inside for her to eat later.
This was a fun breakfast too. This was my little splurge meal that we did. It was probably the cheapest of all our big meals since it didn’t come with any shows or characters. But it was a nice little experience to go wake up to. We got a nice little table on the patio and were able to people watch. This was probably the meal Riley ate the most of the whole trip as well. While this is not a must do, if you got some time and money to splurge, it’s totally worth a morning 🙂
Ariels Grotto Character Lunch
I’m really torn on reviewing this with Paradise Pier being under construction and I haven’t seen if it is officially coming back or not once Pixar Pier reopens.
If it opens again and you want to do a character meal off the bat, this would probably be a better one just because princesses aren’t as scary as the other characters.
I loved being on the water though and meeting the princesses and the food was AMAZING! But with the dining and character experience, oh man came a price I was not ready for. This was the most expensive lunch I had ever had in my LIFE! And while it was amazing, I don’t think I can ever afford to do that again. So keep that in mind if you are on a strict budget.
Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles
Shamelessly adding this to my list only because I don’t think you can do this trip without eating here. This place is a few blocks away from the parks and it is to die for. The pricing is perfect and the portions are just right. They are quick and has a nice kind of old timey feel to it. I cannot stop craving their waffles and chicken sausages. If you have a spare moment and wanna get some food outside the park, this is a good stop for you to take! Best if you can get there right at opening though because it can get really busy.
Soooo I may be a little obsessed with Car’s Land. I seriously spent so much time in there. I just love the feel, the lights, and how real it seems. You pretty much feel like you are in the movie. And I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t really into these movies when I was younger, but now that I have rewatched them with Riley, I really like them (especially the 3rd one!).
Any who, Stops in here are the Cozy Cone for a bacon mac and cheese cone. Sooooo good. If the line doesn’t convince you, just do it. I wanted to get more except for that line being so long.
I also love Flo’s V8 Diner. Again, the ambiance of this place is just the time I wish I lived in. Their breakfast is also not to bad. Fruit and bread not very good. But the waffles and other stuff is pretty great. IF you don’t want to wait in line for the bacon mac and cheese cone at the Cozy Cone, you could get some mac and cheese there, just know you won’t be getting it with bacon or in a bread cone.