I just got back from an amazing trip to California for D23! My trip was a mix of checking out the Expo as well as hanging out at the parks, so I wanted to make sure to share my trip report with you.
I used to be a Disneyland Resort cast member, so I was always used to going to the park for free whenever I wanted, and I also had the luxury of living down the street. Now that I live on the other side of the country, I’m learning some awesome tricks for doing the theme parks/expo with the knowledge of being a former Cast Member, so here we go!
Thursday August 13th: Day BEFORE the start of the Expo.
Direct flight from JFK to LAX.
*First time flying to California since I moved to New York. Jetblue had enough leg room and I actually slept for most of the flight. That never happens!
*I took the 1st flight out and landed at 9:30AM.
TRANSPORTATION: Disneyland Resort Express Bus (operated by Greyhound)
*Being a New Yorker now, I don’t have a car. Folks, I did my entire trip car-free. I booked my bus roundtrip from LAX to Anaheim for $48.00 roundtrip the morning of.
*The bus arrived approx. 10 minutes after the scheduled time (not too shabby). The bus makes stops at all terminals, plus hotels once you get in the Anaheim area. Budget the time it takes for the stops to ease the stress of the trip. You don’t need a time reservation for airport pickups. The AC on the bus broke during the trip, so the driver utilized the sun roof option. Very clean bus. We watched Lilo and Stitch on the ride to Anaheim.
*Call Greyhound in advance to find out if your hotel is a stop on the route and which stop # is. My hotel wasn’t a stop, so I stopped at a different hotel and walked over. You’ll also want to book and pay in advance so that when they check you in, you just have to give them a confirmation #.
HOTEL: Motel 6 Anaheim Maingate
I needed a room for 1 day before checking into a new hotel (Clarion) with friends the following day. The price was approx. $100 for a king sized bed/kitchen nook.
*Very friendly front desk staff. They were booked solid for the expo, so early check-in wasn’t an option. Very cute pool area. Coffee only, no breakfast. Wifi available for $2 a day, but when I asked the front desk to purchase, they gave it to me for free.
*The biggest thing I was disappointed with, was the cleanliness. When I got into the room, the clean towels were thrown in a pile on the sink. I asked front desk about it, and they assured the room was clean but management hadn’t folded the towels. 1 bar of soap, toilet seat up…for a budget it’s fine, but I’m spending more money next time for a better hotel.
Walking distance info: About a 20 min. walk to the convention center, and a 5-8 min. walk to GardenWalk Anaheim. 15 min. walk to Disneyland Resort. 25 min. walk to Downtown Disney.
I had planned on hanging out with friends on this day, but I was exhausted from not sleeping a wink the night before.
I pretty much unpacked my room and walked around the area. It was so gorgeous outside and I hadn’t seen a palm tree in about 4 years. I walked by cast member parking on Katella and had a fun moment of nostalgia and I grabbed lunch on my own at California Pizza Kitchen down the street, then watched TV and bleached my hair. My plan was to visit Trader Sam’s, the new tiki bar at Disneyland Hotel that replaced Lost Bar, but alas…I fell asleep at 6PM. Woke up around 10PM and decided to be lazy and enjoy my workcation…so I stayed in bed! It was so great!
D23 DAY 0 VLOG BELOW!