View Full Version : 2 day trip - Day 1 Disneyland!

04-16-2001, 08:53 AM
Me (39) true Disney fanatic. 8th or 9th DL trip in 7 years. Trip planner, lover of Pixie Dust.
Brett - DH (45) introduced me to Disney. Low key, easy to please, enjoys it all and has infinite patience.
Colin - DS (almost 11) wants to live in either S. CA or FL so that he can go to Disney whenever he wants :-) First Disney trip was at age 3....and he was sucked right in.
Sandy - My mother (62) has never been to Disney AND has never vacationed with us. I wasn't sure what to expect but she turned out to be quite the daredevil :-) and a pleasure to vacation with.

Our vacation started with 5 days in San Diego to visit my grandmother and my DH's brother and his family. Had a wonderful time sightseeing (we visit every year or two) and took my mother to Sea World (which she adored) as well.

Of course we couldn't be that close to Anaheim without visiting DLR! Our plan was to spend 2 days at DL and save DCA for our next trip. We were concerned that with the Easter crowds we'd have a hard time seeing and doing all we wanted if we spent one day at each park. As it turned out we spent our first day at DL, second at DCA. Ok, enough babbling.....on with the report!

Thursday April 12
We left San Diego at 6:30, an ungodly hour according to my mother! Traffic was fine (love the carpool lanes) and we pulled into the DLR parking garage at 8:05. The park had opened at 8, so we walked right in and were getting FPs at Indiana Jones at 8:20 :-) It always feels SO good to walk down Main Street! We decided to start out slowly (for mom's sake) at the Jungle Cruise. Had a great guide (boy they really do make or break the attraction, don't they?!?). We decided we'd like to go to the Blue Bayou for lunch, so I stopped and made a ressie for 11:30. Off to BTMRR next...a walk on :-) On the way we ran into Chip and Dale (which are Colin's favorite characters) so we stopped for photo ops :-) Colin LOVED that the first characters he saw were his faves! Mom did ok on BTMRR, but Colin was so mad at her afterwards. She was afraid he'd fall out and had squeezed his arm so tightly during the ride that he had fingernail marks. IT HURT :-( Personally I don't think she was afraid HE was going to fall out (LOL)...I think she was afraid SHE would!

Off to Splash Mtn next...another walk on. It was early...and chilly, but since the adults had already decided that Colin was sitting in front to take the brunt of the splashing, we were ok. Well, all of is except him! It's been several years since we've been on this attraction at DL (were on it in WDW in December), and while we do enjoy it, my DH, DS and I all decided we prefer the one at WDW better. The one at WDW is longer, better lit, and is an all around a more enjoyable ride in our opinions. Strange though, cuz most of the other attractions that are at both parks we enjoy more at DL. Anyhow...back on topic. My mother LOVED this ride. Shocked the heck out of me! I thought she'd be a mess after the drop, but other than being a bit wet, she was fine. We ended up with a terrific picture....so of course we had to purchase it!

Lets see.....after that it was time for our Indiana Jones FP's so off we went. Much more slowly than we had been...the crowds had really picked up. At that point (must have been about 9:30-10 ish) the standby line was already 50 minutes! Yikes, glad we had fast passes! This is DH and DS favorite attraction. I like it a lot as well. Several weeks ago our son rented the first movie and invited my mom over to watch it. He wanted to make sure she'd understand the ride when she went on it. This was her favorite ride! In fact we said we'd make a point of going on it again the next day...just for her :-) Alas...we didn't get to since we decided to go to DCA instead. OK....after that we walked back to Main Street so we could get a locker for our jackets....and of course we did a weeeee bit of shoping in the Emporium as well! Added a few of the die cast attraction vehicles to our collection :-) We love them...a great inexpensive souvenier! Oh, and the pin cart was set up, so I had to stop there as well. Seems to me there are a lot less pin traders at DL than at WDW. My son and I brought our lanyards but each of us only made one trade with a super trader at DCA...that's it :-(

Back to New Orleans Square to visit the Haunted Mansion and ride Pirates. We had to stop in the Gallery afterwards, it's one shop we never miss. Colin found a wonderful book about Imagineering, but passed on it for the time being. By now it was time for our lunch at the Bayou. DH and DS had eaten there on a solo trip they made 2 years ago, but my mom and I had never been. I had to order the Monte Cristo, and DS and I decided to share it. It was REALLY yummy!....We'll definitely be back for more! I'm glad we shared though...too rich for me to eat a whole one. DH got the Gumbo which was good, and my mom had a salad which she liked. I loved being in there.....it's so relaxing to eat away from the throngs...worry about finding a table, etc etc. We were starting to burn out (I had been up since 4:30 after 4 hours of sleep) so this was just what the Dr. ordered! Great server...really on the ball, we really appreciated it! My mom was continually commenting on the CMs in the park. She was absolutely in awe about how efficient, helpful and friendly they are :-) I have to agree and add that the CA CMs really do produce a lot of Pixie Dust, much more so than their counterparts in WDW.

Before we went to the restaurant, DH and DS had walked over to Space Mtn to get FP's, so when we finished lunch we headed over there. Guys made a detour for FP's for Autopia first though. We have always loved this Space Mtn...way more than the one at WDW...but, this time we were sorely disappointed. They no longer have the music during the ride. Dang...that's what made the ride complete :-( My mom hated the ride, way too jerky for her. I think that's the only ride she really felt ill after doing on. Poor thing. She's a trooper though, she did give it a try! Next was HISTA....only had about a 5 minute wait, though it was a very full theatre. We all like this show, and it was a nice break after Space Mtn. We still had a while before the FP's for Autopia, so we decided to wander through Fantasyland. BIG MISTAKE! I knew it would be bad.....but man oh man.....it was NUTS! I had 2 rides I wanted to go on there, Peter Pan and Down the Rabbit Hole. Lines were unbelievable, so we decided to save them for the next day. Wandered around a bit, then decided to just sit and people watch while waiting for the FP time. We also decided that after Autopia, we'd head out of the park and maybe come back in the evening. This was at about 3:00. Mom and I decided to skip Autopia when the FP time came, so DH and DS went. It's a guy thing anyhow.....! DS decided to go on it again alone afterwards :-)

By now it's close to 4, and we're heading out. DS (and the rest of us) decided to stop for ice cream on Main Street....yummm! Lots of folks waiting for the 4:45 parade to start. Then to the locker to pick up the jackets, then to the Emporium so mom could pick up gifts for the other grandkids. Colin then decided that he needed to see the parade TODAY, rather than tomorrow so he found us a spot on the sidewalk facing the train station. I then asked a CM where the parade was starting, she said at Small World, so I told Colin we'd see it tomorrow. None of us wanted to wait if it was starting at the other side of the park. Then to package pick up to get our Splash Mtn picture and VOILA.....it's now almost 5:00. My poor mom is fading FAST...we had told her we'd be heading out 2 hours ago!

SO...we get out to the plaza between DCA and DL and stop to regroup. Somehow we get started about whether we should go back to DL or go to DCA the next day. Both the guys felt REALLY strongly that they wanted to go to DCA (which was fine by us womenfolk). So, then the debate about whether we should either go back into DL now to see some of the attractions we saved for the next day...or come back later that evening, or what? If my mom hadn't been with us I think we would have gone back in, but she was really tired. This is a LOT of stimulation for anyone to take. So...we bought tickets for DCA and headed back to the garage.

Finally got to our hotel at 6 (poor mom). Due to recommendations from this board, we stayed at the Westcoast Anaheim. I had bought the nights through an online hotel discounter and thought $85 a night for what we got was a very good price considering it was Easter week. I had made a couple of room requests, connecting rooms, top floor, view of the parks. We got all but the park view. Oh well. There was a window by the elevators facing the park...if you can get a park view room....go for it...it is AWESOME! DCA is gorgeous lit up at night! Mom had a room with 2 queens, we had a king room with a sleep sofa. Nice, clean, large rooms. If anyone has any specific questions about the hotel, feel free to let me know and I'll try and help you out. Room service for dinner......quick, good but HUGE servings...we wish we had shared. We watched Survivor while we ate, and DS and I were in bed (by 10:30). I think we crashed immediately!

Best parts of the day:
Seeing things through my mother, the Disney virgin's eyes :-)
Lunch at Blue Bayou.
Hitting the sack at night.
Seeing that you CAN do the park during school breaks (we usually take our son out of school for Disney vacations)

Disappointments, these are pretty much due to us deciding to go to DCA the next day....though if it had been off season we would have been able to fit these into our day:
Not getting to ride, Peter Pan, Down the Rabbit Hole, Matterhorn
Not seeing the parade or fireworks.
Line jumpers...I've never seen as much of this as I did this trip.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! Next....a day at DCA :-


All it takes is faith & trust....and a little bit of Pixie Dust!


04-16-2001, 12:43 PM
It sounds like your son still really likes Disney after multiple trips. My son will be 9 on our next trip to WDW. Does your son still get autographs and character pictures? Does he ever get bored going so much?

04-16-2001, 05:13 PM
No, my son never gets bored doing Disney vacations. We tend to go to either DL or WDW once a year. Thankfully we're able to take other terrific vacations as well, so Disney vacations are not the only ones he has :-)

As to the characters, Colin is almost 11 and he still loves them. This trip he had decided beforehand not to seek them out, since our time was so limited. But, on our trip to WDW in December he got LOTS of autographs and dozens of photos with characters. It's always fun for him to try and find a character or two that he's never gotten a picture with before.

The only character complaint he has (and has voiced it to me several times in the last year or so) is that they don't really interact or play with him anymore. He's tall and mature looking for his age (easily passes for 13) but would love it if the characters did more than just pose for photos with him. Of course he doesn't expect them to roll around on the ground with him like they do with a toddler, but a high five, stealing his cap, or something alond those lines would really make his day!

Anyhow, I've babbled enough. Hope you and your son have a terrific time in WDW


All it takes is faith & trust....and a little bit of Pixie Dust!


Marla Hellwig
04-17-2001, 05:27 AM
Sounds like you had a busy Disney filled day. Thanks for posting!

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Co Host Wednesday Night Chat

04-23-2001, 10:28 AM
Love reading trip reports! Thanks for posting!

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04-23-2001, 03:53 PM
I really enjoyed your trip report , thanks for taking the time to share it !
I see you are from Seattle so I was wondering if you would share some info about visiting there ? I am also 39 and have taken my kids to DL 10 times since 1988 - they are ready to see somewhere else ! I have been looking into Seattle , San Francisco and San Diego . The hotel websites can be misleading so I would love some first hand knowledge ! What area is best to stay in for a mom traveling with daughters ? We will probably be going next summer because I convinced my oldest daughter to go to DL one more time with me this June ! I would appreciate any advice you may have !
Rhonda from Oregon

04-24-2001, 08:46 AM
Probably the best area to stay at would be downtown. If you name some hotels you're thinking about, I can probably help you out a bit as to if they are in a decent location, etc.

I assume you'll be driving up? Don't miss the Pike Place Market (right downtown so you can walk there). Also the waterfront and the locks are wonderful places to visit. A ferry ride to Bainbridge Isalnd (terminal is downtown) is a nice way to spend an afternoon...when you get to Bainbridge, the town of Winslow is right there, and has some interesting shops and restaurants. There are lots of things to do in the area. If you can give me some idea of you and your daughter's interests, I can suggest some places to visit, and some day trips if you like


All it takes is faith & trust....and a little bit of Pixie Dust!


04-24-2001, 10:03 AM
Thanks for the great trip report! I always wondered what it would be like to go during one of the "busiest" times? Seems like you still had a fun time and got on some of the more popular rides. (three cheers for FP!) Glad your Mother enjoyed the park, it's comforting to know that one's mother is capable of Disneymania. :D Space Mountain (at WDW) makes me dizzy too.
Thanks again for posting!


04-24-2001, 07:17 PM
Lauren ,
Thank you for your reply . I was thinking about taking the train unless I will need a car to get around up there . I really don't like to drive in unfamiliar places ! So far I have been looking at the BWestern Executive Inn , Hampton Inn , Holiday Inn Express and the Sixth Avenue Inn . I'm open to other suggestions ! My daughters are 14 and 17 . I think they would like to see the Space Needle , I'm not sure if the Experience Music thing would be worth the money for them . I think Pike Place Market sounds interesting ! Have you been to Victoria ? I was looking at the Victoria Clipper as a possible side trip , it's pretty spendy though so I was wondering if it was worth it ? Thank you so much for the help !

04-25-2001, 03:08 PM
Hi Rhonda

I'm sorry to say I haven't heard of any of the hotels you are thinking of :-( As to EMP, if you and your girls are into music, I think they'd like it. I haven't been myself but my DH and DS have, as well as many friends, and have and enjoyed it. The view from the Space Needle is incredible. The meals up there are pretty pricey, but it'a also a lot of fun. We try and eat there every few years.

If you are thinking about the Victoria Clipper, I can say without any hesitation...GO FOR IT! We go every summer for a night or two and love it. If you can swing an overnight stay, it's definitely worth it and you'll have plenty to do. If you can just go for the day still DO IT. The boat will get you up there at about 10am, and you'll have until about 8pm till you need to board to go back to Seattle.

Lots of wonderful shops and restaurants....really neat! Terrific street performers, great sightseeing tours, and the Butchart Gardens are NOT to be missed. Stunning!



All it takes is faith & trust....and a little bit of Pixie Dust!