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Planning a First-Time Disneyland Trip: Sheer Terror for a WDW Veteran.

Like many WDW Veterans: one thing I love to do almost as much as taking a WDW trip – is planing a WDW Trip.  The comfort and familiarity makes the process easy.  I know when to make dining reservations and Fast Pass Plus Reservations.  I know which parks are closest to each resort. I can easily visualize the entrance to any park and can quickly point to the location of the nearest bathroom at any point in time.

Because of this familiarity, planning a first-time Disneyland Resort Trip is terrifying.  Where the bathrooms are located is the least of my worries.  I have no idea where to stay or where when to make reservations.  Can I make any reservations?  Good Lord!  I don’t even know where to buy a Churro.

Despite my trepidation, when I decided to visit an old friend in Northern California in October I knew I needed to make a Solo Pilgrimage to the place that started it all.  Heck, Disneyland is only 600 miles from him. That’s only 12 inches when you are looking at a map of the western United States.   Using Disney Logic I can easily justify this side-trip.

To start my planning a look at Google Maps shows just how disorienting this will be.  I started with the hotel.  With some careful mapping I determined that there are many quality hotels within walking distance and wold make good alternatives to the $600 per night Disney Hotel options.  Like every Disney Enthusiast knows: I will be giving my money to Disney eventually, but I needed to save as much as possible to spend inside the parks.  Which park should I be closer to?  It turns out the entrancess to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure are facing each other 200 feet apart.  That makes park hopping really easy for a Disney World Transplant like me.

So based on this information together with pricing and Reviews I decided which hotel to book. The winner is:  Grand Legacy at the Park.  It’s 592 feet from the entrance to the parks.  I’m sure I’ve walked further to get to a bus stop in WDW.  Plus, at $150 per night it’s just the ticket for a solo trip.

Hotel secured.  In my next Blog entry I will tackle Air travel and transportation.

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