Hey Dad, I'm afraid to ask a Disneyland question, but who else would I turn to? My wife, decided on a whim that we would go to California in mid to late October for a getaway. It will center around Disneyland. Since you aren't writing a book about that location yet, what is my best bet for getting information?
Barnes and Noble had a lifeless Fodor's book on the shelf. Do I buy Birnbaum's 2017 Disneyland or wait until September and get the 2018 book? Other suggestions? Where should I dig for the best ticket prices? My last trip we used AAA and got a good deal.
Well Steve, good question. I'm not nearly as up on Disneyland as I am on Disney World. I spend all of my time thinking about Walt Disney World just because there's so much to think about and talk about, I can't even keep up with that, so I don't spend a lot of time thinking about Disneyland.
But that being said, I've got friends that do. I reached out to our partners from Destinations and Travel and asked them to see what they thought about this question. I got an answer from Stephanie Walsh and she says...
"There's nothing better than an impromptu trip to any Disney destination. One of our favorite parts of a vacation is planning, so I understand your desire to research your destination.
I would suggest you visit your local library and check out the 2017 Birnbaum's Official Guide until the 2018 edition is available. At that time you can purchase the latest up-to-date guide to mark in and dog ear the pages. Another resource that I found to be helpful is the Passporter Guide. They offer Disneyland as well as Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line editions.
I found this resource gives a variety of perspectives on resorts, attractions and dining experience and shows. In regard to obtaining the best pricing, I suggest you use an authorized Disney vacation planner for your absolutely free vacation planner will work to acquire the lowest rates for you and your family as well as monitor your reservations for any future promotions that your package qualifies for and then apply them as available."
Okay Steve old buddy old pal, there you go, that's Stephanie's recommendations. I would add to that that you look at Touring Plans. Touringplans.com and the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, are the same people. They work together. TouringPlans has great information about the park, it will tell you how to set up your rides, a bunch of great information.
In addition to TouringPlans, I do like the Birnbaum Official Guides. I'd go ahead and buy the 2017 version. There's not going to be that much difference. Since you're going in October and the new version doesn't come out until September, I'd buy the 2017 version and look at it. There's not a lot of difference and what isn't in the Official Guide or the Unofficial Guide, I'd buy both of them, what aren't in those you'll see in Touring Plans on their website. The Touring Plans website is free.
If you want to get into their plans and the crowd calendar's more than a month out. You do need to subscribe. My subscription ended this week and I had re-up and I re-upped for three years. I use Touring Plans all the time. I use it to plan my trips, I use it not every day, but every week for sure. Touring plans is a great resource, so that's what I get.
Dad's Bottom Line
Dad's bottom line is the Official guide, the Unofficial guide, Touring Plans, Passporter. Those are the ones I'd get until I write my book. That's where I would start. No, I'm not going to write a Disneyland book.