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View Full Version : Back from Disneyland, Downtown Disney and Disney's California Adventure


teri
02-26-2001, 11:57 AM
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Not perfect, still lots of little glitches, but what a wonderful addition Disney's California Adventure and the new Downtown Disney make to the original Disneyland Resort. I like the Downtown Disney at Disneyland BETTER than WDW, it was beautiful, more compact and accessible. Excellent restaurant and nightlife choices, excellent.

The biggest downside for me was that my son had several tantrums, so I had to leave early both evenings and missed out on a lot of fun. There is essentially no organized child care available to guests except at the Grand Californian, where they have slots for 12 kids in their kids' club from 5-midnight for GC guests only. Otherwise, they make you sign a waiver, then they hand you a piece of paper with some names of some babysitters and their phone numbers, and wish you luck. Eight names on the list - 2 are no longer doing this, 2 were booked already, the rest did not return calls. :( They need to fix that, it should be centralized and coordinated if they expect this extension to draw people from out of town for a multiple day stay in an adult-appeal resort. I lost 12 hours of prime park/restaurant time over the 2 1/2 days.

Fortunately, we were with Dan Murphy of the Community Board, MaryJo of the Disneyland and Tech support boards, and others from the DIS who very nicely entertained my daughter while I went back to the hotel with my son. VERY nice people all of them. MaryJo and her kids are great, and our kids became fast friends.

Disney's California Adventure is relatively flat and even, with some slopes and ramps that might cause a bit of trouble for some of us. ECVs are $30 ($50 a day with a $20 refundable deposit), Wheelchairs are $7. They have the jogger strollers. It was raining cats and dogs, many attractions were down or closed, but I will be back.. it was beautiful!! I think they did a pretty good job of mainstreaming most of the rides, but not all rides will be totally wheelchair-bound accessible. If you are going to stay there and have limited mobility, do stay at the Grand Californian. The shuttle and tram services leave much to be desired, the GC is right there with direct entrances to DD and DCA, and a very shot walk to the Disneyland Main Gate. Disneyland Hotel would be another excellent choice, maybe another 3-5 minutes walking directly through a gorgeous, highly appealing Downtown Disney. If you have kids and they will want to hang out at a really cool pool, the Disneyland Hotel will be your better choice, because the pools at GC are not very appealing. The snack bar at the pool gets rave reviews for its burgers, though. :)

If the distances at WDW are a problem for you, and you want a more urban type of Disney experience rather than down time at resorts (I happen to appreciate my down time), then the extended Disneyland Resort complex will be perfect for you... and I am sure they will fix those glitches. (They had better! :rolleyes: )

I would be happy to answer questions. :)

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"My brain takes a vacation just to give my heart more room..."
teri@iluvdisney.com

SueM in MN
02-26-2001, 12:16 PM
Thanks for the report. It sounds like a great place (with some glitches to work out). Sounds like your DS was a bit overwhelmed. Maybe next time when it's not so new to him, he'll have an easier time.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

Mary Jo
02-26-2001, 01:06 PM
http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/flowerface.GIF <font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color=navy>Teri,

We had a wonderful time with you guys, too. The kids were talking about it this morning, and have already earmarked the early part of November in case you gals make it on down. They already plan on sending an email to your dd. :) Say hi to your very nice dh and please give my ride partner a high 5 for me. :D

I think that it is important to write Disney about your experience, and the lack of childcare there. It's serious and they need to be made aware of it.

<font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color=#FF0066>Mary Jo http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/mms.gif
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teri
02-26-2001, 01:35 PM
Sue, we have been there many times. He has the place memorized. (insert clip art of teri biting her nails here) He is getting to big and strong for me to restrain without getting hurt. He knows what he wants to do, and if the rest of the group has another idea, he deals with it by "casting" and dissociating. It is getting harder... I am glad there were other people there to help me this time. We are still adjusting his meds, working on the behavioral stuff... I don't think I can handle any more trips with just me and the kids. :( Good thing my DH joined us on Saturday night, or Sunday would have been much harder! (And it was great to be with him... :)

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"My brain takes a vacation just to give my heart more room..."
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SueOKW
02-26-2001, 01:48 PM
Teri - you are one brave woman! I'm glad you didn't hurt your arm this time.

I am very thankful that my DS - the disabled kid in the family - is so even-tempered and sweet. It's his sisters who are my behavior problems!! Fortunately for me - I am still bigger than they are.

Good luck with your medication etc., adjustments!! And plan another single get-a-way soon! Fall, didn't you say? I did tell you I am thinking of a long weekend. HH, I think.
Sue

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Mary Jo
02-26-2001, 03:28 PM
http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/flowerface.GIF <font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color=navy>Sheesh, I noticed I missed an important person. Hi to Mary Alice, one of the sweetest girls I've had the pleasure to meet. Great manners - asked my permission to spend her money to buy a treat. Good job, Teri & Bob.

Side note to the readers.... I was so impressed by Teri & Bob's parenting skills with their ds. I have virtually no experience in this area, and got a glimpse of the struggle families have. Teri is so calm and so willing to share information that I felt comfortable asking some questions without the fear that I would insult. I'm not used to it, but Teri made it very easy for me. :)

On the other hand, their ds is a great boy, and I had so much fun with him. It warmed my heart when Teri would ask him, "Who do you want to ride with," and after thinking, he'd say, 'Mary Jo' ~ Woo hoo!!! He was my ride partner on all the fun rides, and it was great letting go again, and having fun for the sheer thrill of it.

<font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color=#FF0066>Mary Jo http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/mms.gif
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SueM in MN
02-26-2001, 04:06 PM
I guess I misunderstood, teri. I knew you had been to DL many times, but I thought this was your first trip to California Adventure and the new DD. That's what I thought might have caused a problem since it wasn't his usual routine.
I know how it gets when they decide they are doing something they want instead of what you want. it's amazing how many ways my dd has of keeping her wheelcahir form being pushed when she doesn't want it to be.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

SueOKW
02-26-2001, 05:45 PM
You are so right, SueM!

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teri
02-26-2001, 05:54 PM
You are right, Sue, this was our first time at DCA and DD. His tantrums happened at Disneyland, though, as well as in the Storyteller Cafe' at the Grand Californian. He was actually a bit better at DCA, but then we forgot his noon Ritalin dose, and his 3:00 dose... :eek: :eek: :eek: I was too busy having a wonderful time with MaryJo, Dan, Rebekah and Doobie, my DH had the kids most of the day.

Thanks, MaryJo, for your kind comments. Marc and MaryAlice say hi!!

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/galc.gif
"My brain takes a vacation just to give my heart more room..."
teri@iluvdisney.com

SueM in MN
02-27-2001, 11:18 AM
It is tough to remember those meds sometimes. I once got to 3pm and all of a sudden remembered dd had not had her noon dose of seizure meds.
My dd was better to deal with when she was on Ritalin, but when she had a bad reaction to one of her seizure meds (liver failure- yechh), the Ritalin was discontinued. She's getting a little better some days as she gets older, but there are days when stuff just flies. No way is she going to do anything unless she wants to do it and when she's done, she expects everyone else to be too or she'll just take off and run over who ever is in her way.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)