Local Anaheim Information for RWA 2012

Walt Disney LandTime 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.
Disneyland Details
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?

Thank you to BigStock for the image! 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    This is fabulous! Thank you for assembling all the tips!

  2. 2
    Lydia says:

    I second the Coco’s recommendation. I was in Anaheim for Memorial Day weekend and we had breakfast there twice.

    Also, the Anabella hotel is a nice, reasonably priced alternative.

    Finally, if you’re looking for running routes, there are plenty of nice, wide sidewalks all through the Disney area. Head out in the early morning and run to your heart’s content up and down Katella Ave, to the Disneyland Hotel and around the park.

  3. 3
    Tessa Dare says:

    Thanks for posting this, Sarah!

    I’d like to add (gloat?) that our weather is insanely gorgeous this week—low 80s and sunny. If that continues into next week, be sure to bring a light sweater or such for the evenings. Evenings are always cooler.

  4. 4
    Jennifer says:

    I love Coco’s!  And their pies!

    Have fun everyone!

  5. 5
    Beth Kery says:

    This is great! Thanks, ladies!

  6. 6
    Robin says:

    TripAdvisor also has a whole section on Anaheim: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tou…. I find their info and reviews to be among the most reliable.

  7. 7

    I second Tessa’s rec of a sweater for the evenings.  In Cali it gets much cooler than you might expect on a summer evening, especially if you’re used to a place where it stays hot until every o’clock.

  8. 8
    Kitty B says:

    Thanks for that, Lydia! I was wondering if I should run on the treadmill or outside. I was TOTALLY PSYCHED to run in Central Park last year! I’m used to being at Disneyland when it’s packed, but I forgot that at 6am the sidewalks will be free for runners. See you there!

  9. 9
    Kitty B says:

    Lydia, that was me trying to comment on your comment.  :)  Thanks, Tessa and Sarah, for letting me be part of helping out. Can’t wait to see everyone!

  10. 10

    The convention center is also walking distance from Downtown Disney. There’s a bunch of construction going on at Convention Way, which is the road that leads up to the hotels.

  11. 11
    harthad says:

    I second the recommendation for the Napa Rose: great food, great wine, beautiful setting. If you can’t afford the price tag for a full course meal, consider snagging a seat in the lounge area and ordering a small plate/appetizer. Consider also the Grand Californian’s regular old bar if you need a break—get a nice drink, and go sit in the hotel’s huge, plush central lobby to people-watch.

  12. 12

    Thank you for sharing our suggestions, Sarah! And a big thanks to Tessa for rounding them up :)

  13. 13
    ToppysMom says:

    Considering I live in the next town, I need to figure out some way to get to some event, right?

  14. 14
    Kerry B Writing says:

    Ironically, we’ll be in Anaheim next week, but I won’t make it to RWA. (Taking the kids to Disneyland as a “reward” for surviving my year in an intensive MAT program.) But I’m loving all the tips, just the same!! Thanks for posting!!

    Here’s another Disney-specific one: Pirates of the Caribbean is the longest ride in the park, and is all inside/underground (= cool, air-conditioned, water-based, and out of the sun). The last time we were there, the wait times were minimal, because it’s an “old” ride, and not very “flashy” or scary. So basically, you get a lot of bang for your line-standing buck, and it’s a great, soothing way to rest your tired feet. My daughter and I looped through it for about an hour, then went to the Blue Bayou for lunch. Yum!

  15. 15
    MissB2U says:

    Looking forward to postings and updates from all who are lucky enough to attend!  Warm wishes to all for a fab time from Northern California.

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