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GeorgeY
06-13-2001, 11:34 AM
Background:
Myself: 31 yr old software developer
Wife: 34 yr old Teacher
Son1: 7 yr old
Son2: 3 yr old:

Our Disney trip comes at the end of our total vacation. We started out in Yosemite for 3 days, and had an incredible time. I think everyone needs to go there at least 1 time in their life. We then drove over and down the coast and stayed in Pismo Beach for a day.

We were driving along I-5 around 1:30 pm, looking for the exit to Disneyland. And Wow we found it. This area has really changed in 5 years since our last and first trip. The signs for the resort looked really nice and actually made the area look like a Resort (Which of course it is now). The Parking structure looks very nice, but I am sure glad we won't have to use it. We keep driving down Disneyland drive looking at the signs for our resort, but they don't signify indvidual resorts. But there was no way to miss it, we came up to the Grand Californian on our left and turned in and then pulled up to the Porte Coche. Aparantly, when we went through the gaurd house, the gaurd placed a little green slip on our windsheild that had our name, and length of stay, since the vale said Welcome to the GC Mr. Yates and I hope you enjoy your stay with us for the next 6 days. I didn't read the card, but I can assume thats how he knew.

They took our luggage, and told us to go on in to Check In, but we couldn't find the doors, The stained glass doors, which are the main entrance just didn't look like we should go that way, but it was. We were greeted at Check in and showed up to the counter. Everything was in order, we had a trainee, but it was still smooth. The only problem (Not our problem) was she gave us our room number, but the room wasn't ready yet. It was room 5308. This is a premium park view room, and we only paid for a standard. I knew there was a good chance for an upgrade since I have connections to people at Walt Disney World, but wow this was a great upgrade. We went to White Water Snacks and ate some pretzels and then We went up to the 5th floor and waited on the patio outside of the atrium. Every few minutes I walked down the hall to see if housekeeping was still at our room. I didn't bother her or anything, but once she was done, I called the number and they said our room was available. We walk in and our of the sliding glass door we can see the Sun Wheel, and California Screaming, and most of Paradise Pier. We looked down and we can see the pools and courtyard area. The room was gorgeous. There was a queen bed and a bunk bed. The vanity area was really nice, and there were all sorts of items, some sort of oatmeal type soap, a honey facial bar, almond lotion, mouthwash, 2 toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner and a mending kit, all in Grand Californian decoration. Soon after we got in, a housekeeper came to the door and asked if we needed anything else. we said some extra towels and soap and 2 more pillow. In about 5 minutes they come back, with the two pillow, 4 each of the shampoo, soaps, conditioner and mouthwash and bubble bath. How many hotels do you get bubble bath at? We also got 10 towels and hand towels, which they put under our sink on a wooden rack, it looks like it was made for that reason.

Well, we are at Disneyland, so its time to See Disneyland. we go down the elevators in the main hall and walk out into the monorail courtyard. We decide to wait a few minutes for one, but one never came (More on why later). We got a little turned around, and found ourselves at the end of the courtyard at a closed gate to downtown disney. We walk back, and find the open gate. We walk through downtown disney and get to the main plaza. That feeling of Magic was there with the Disney music playing and the train horn blowing. We use our first of 6 days on the Ultimate Park Hopper and go into The Magic Kingdom. We take a complete ride around the railway and then head down main street. *** Being used to WDW and Cinderellas Castle, Sleeping Beutys castle was a little dissapointing. It seemed so small, but it did have some charm. We walk through it and come into Fantasyland. Son2 wants to ride the Carousel so we do and then go on Casey Jrs train. That is such a cute ride. Thats really all the time we had, since we had reservations at Goofys Kitchen. We head over to the monorail. As resort Guests, we get priority boarding, like a fastpass, on the monorail. As we are waiting, Monorail blue comes in, everyone gets off and then they close the doors and monorail blue goes out. Then they announce that Mornorail Orange was coming in. They were only running the monorails on 1 portion of the track, so they pulled one in and pushed it out then pulled another in. So off we go to Downtown Disney. As we are walking through the Disneyland Hotel grounds, I run into the main shop and pick up 2 autograph books, while my wife goes and checks into Goofys Kitchen, but she can't because when you check in, you have to pay up front, and she didn't have her purse, so I went in and checked in and paid. *** This was really odd. It was almost insulting that they required us to pay first, and they forced a tip as well. We are usually good tippers, but do not like to be forced into tipping, with just 4 people in the group. And if you ordered anything extra, then you still had to pay again. I don't think it will last very long, because other groups were talking negatively about it as well. Unfortunatly to top it off, the food was not very good and the characters were just okay. We ate at Goofys before, when it was in the monorail building, and it was excellent, but this time, made us not want to put it on our list for next time. After Dinner we walk around and let the kids get some pressed pennies and then walk back to the room.
It was now aroun 7pm, and California Adventure closes at 8pm, so I suggest son1 and I go ride Soarin over California, so My wife takes son2 on the balcony, while we sneak out to not upset him. We get over to soarin, and there is no wait, we walk right in and down and then down again. We get Row 2 this time, and this is a great ride. My son loved it. So we rode it one more time. This time Row1, This time the experience was even better, Row1 is where its at. If you go on the ride, ask for Row1, they will either find empty spots in the three zones or let you wait for the next one. My son plays in the Rocket mist for a while and we head back up to the room to find Son2 in the bath tup playing in the Mickey Bubbles (The bubble bath the hotel gives you) We spend about an hour with the curtains open looking at Paradise pier and the sun wheel. The view is just unreal. There is a Grad Nite Party going on, and you can hear the screams and music slightly, but not enough to prevent you from going to sleep.

Well thats day 1, which was really on 1/2 a day. I am sorry that it was so long, but there was alot of stuff to tell.

GeorgeY

TigerBear
06-13-2001, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the wonderful trip report! I can't wait to hear about the rest of your adventure.

Michelle
06-13-2001, 02:59 PM
Welcome home, George! Can't wait to read more. :D

Luv2Roam
06-13-2001, 05:40 PM
Thanks!
I was disappointed by the food at DL/DCA too. Blue Bayou was good, but pricey. Everything else was pricey fro what is was and just okay. We both thought WDW food was better (and more selection and didn't seem as high $). Guess I don't mind paying extra when it's good. I would have been happier if an In N Out were nearby. ;)
We rode Soarin' twice and apparently lucked out. Just by chance we were in the front row both times. I loved it when Tink swooped by and took us to the castle. :bounce:

Marla Hellwig
06-26-2001, 09:45 PM
Your trip is off to a good start. Thanks for posting!