Time to make your mani/pedi appointments and start packing for RWA 2012. I have some Anaheim information for you, should you be curious:
First, Anaheim has a lovely ART, Anaheim Resort Transportation system, that goes in and out of Disneyland every 20 minutes until twenty past midnight. The Marriott is on Route 5, and you can buy a 5 day pass or a daily pass online, and have it delivered to the hotel. The RIDEART website has maps, route options (including a route that goes to some outlet malls, should you be bringing an empty suitcase) and online ticket purchase options too.
And now, OCCRWA is all up in the preparations to welcome you to their home turf. Via Tessa Dare comes this lovely PDF of local information that was created by Past OCCRWA President Jann Audiss, OCC PRO Liaison Ottilia Scherschel, and PRO Mary Kozlowski. Thank you!
You can download the PDF here. (Right click and save as – 127k)
Tessa also provided some “friendly tips” (I love their term) from the members of the OCCRWA:
Kitty Bucholtz advises on California clothing:
I suggest bringing lightweight layers, a cute hat, and sunblock. If you're walking or driving, you can get a sunburn in less than the 20 minutes it takes to go to lunch, depending on your skin. Eddie Bauer, REI and other stores have nice long-sleeve over-shirts you can wear over your cute summer top to protect your skin. And because of the inside/outside temperature difference, you'll want layers you can take off easily. Lightweight layers that allow for breathability are best in case it's humid that week. And remember, Southern Californians are more likely to dress in cute, casual summer clothes rather than business casual, so bring your fun clothes and enjoy!
DeAnna Cameron has some dining and shopping suggestions:
For good food, moderately priced, just about any time of day: Coco’s: Lots of large booths for biggish groups. Within walking distance of the hotel and convention center. Southwest corner of W. Katella Ave. at S. West Ave. (which may be called Disney Way on the street sign here, because you’re entering Disney Resort territory).
Coco's Bakery Restaurant
1100 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA
(714) 772-0414 ()
Mon – Thu: 6:30am – 11:00pm
Fri – Sat: 6:30am – Midnight
Sun: 6:30am – 11:00pm
For a la-di-da dinner: Napa Rose, inside the Grand Californian Hotel. Expensive, but restaurant is often called one of the very best in Orange County. American fare with a distinct Wine Country flavor. Reservations highly recommended.
Napa Rose restaurant
1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
Inside Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
(714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463
For emergency groceries/sundries/bank/shoes: There’s a shopping center about a mile west of the Katella/Disneyland Drive (West Ave.) intersection at Katella and S. Euclid Street that has a Food 4 Less grocery store, Bank of America, and Payless Shoe Source. If you cross Euclid, there are more stores, including a CVS drug store. In these centers, you’ll also find a Taco Bell, Burger King, Arby’s and Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream shop.
Tessa Dare recommends Downtown Disney:
If you want to get some Disney atmosphere/souvenirs without admission to the theme parks, the Downtown Disney shopping area is within walking distance of the hotel. There are several restaurants at different price levels, nightlife (including House of Blues, ESPN Zone), a movie theater, and shopping. Of particular note are Sephora (makeup emergencies!), Alamo car rental, and Travelex for currency exchange/bank transfers. You can also see the Disneyland nightly fireworks from several areas of this outdoor mall.
Maria Powers gets real about Southern California transportation:
The only advice I have for anyone who wants to do anything off site, such as go to a beach or see South Coast Plaza or Fashion Island: Rent a car. We have crappy public transportation. Yes, the hotels all charge to park the car, but if you want to go somewhere else in Southern California, then you're going to have to be like a local and drive. Of course, you might be able to bribe a local to drive you all over Southern California. I'd do it, but I am a volunteer whore and have little spare time. On the other hand, if you want to arrange a pub crawl in say Newport Beach, I'm your woman!
(SB Sarah adds, Zalyn.com may be a great options for comparing car rental company coupons you may be eligible for.)
If you do rent a car, Jann Audiss has an additional suggestion:
Just thought I would provide a couple of additional links for two events that will be taking place in Laguna Beach (if anyone has free time) which is about 30-45 minutes from Anaheim.
Every summer Laguna Beach holds the Saw Dust Festival and the Pageant of the Arts. If you have a free evening and tickets are available, the Pageant of the Arts is an amazing event. And across the street is the Saw Dust Festival – a great place to view the arts and crafts of the local artists.
The Pageant of the Masters is an art exhibition in an outdoor theater featuring live characters who have been made-up to look identical to various art pieces through costumes, make-up and positioning. I have attended a few times and it always continues to be fantastic.
Brenna Aubrey has an invaluable Disneyland touring tip:
If you have an iPhone or iPad, there's an awesome free app called MouseWait for Disney visitors. It updates with line wait times, places to eat, ride status, restaurant menus, etc. It's awesome.
Tessa Dare opines on Disneyland:
CarsLand just opened a few weeks ago in California Adventure, so expect big crowds and long wait times.
In addition to using wait-time apps as Brenna mentioned, educate yourself on the FastPass system in advance. It’s a lifesaver.
At Disneyland, the Storybook Land boat ride is quiet and old-school and something you might not think to ride if you don’t have kids, but I find it enchanting, especially when it’s lit up at night. Painstaking miniatures of all the Disney castles and villages—with the hilarious contrast of native GIANT DUCKS. If the line’s not too long, check it out.
Psst, there’s a petting zoo tucked behind Big Thunder Mountain. Lots of people don’t know it’s there.
And if you go to California Adventure, my one tip is not to miss the Aladdin stage show. It’s like a Broadway musical—but one-act length. So good!
But that’s just me – any local is likely to have their favorite Disneyland tips, so feel free to ask around.
Thank you to the OCCRWA folks for all the information!
Are you from the Anaheim area, or familiar with the hotel? I know ALA was just held at the same location last month. Got any tips or suggestions? What do you suggest RWA folks absolutely not forget to pack, bring, or do?