Halloween Quest PTR~~THE TRIP IS OFFICIALLY OFF!
Keep in mind this started as a Christmas trip but morfed into a Halloween trip!!
This truly is Holiday Wishes for 2011......my family loves Disneyland but we've never experienced the parks during the holidays. I'm just now finishing a TR from my early March trip with the Dis Divas & Anniversary with the hubby......but seeing how disappointed my kids were that they didn't get to go this time.....really made me want to plan the next trip. So right now, this trip is tentative, but hoping we will be able to pull it off with some careful budgeting between now & then.
Well lets do the intros:
Me, mom of 7, lover of all things Disney & hubby, Mike......awesome dad, hubby & friend.....also a lover of Disney!!
The 4 lucky littles that will be joining us for this trip:
Anthony, just turned 10.....which means we have to pay adult prices for him this time......YIKES!!
Adaleah, will turn 6 in July.....our real life princess.
Shyann, twin to Michayla......just discovered table foods & is quite the chow hound. Shyann is delayed & cognatively about a 2 yr old. The girls turn 4 in May. Shy is also borderline autistic. She does well sticking to a routine.
Michayla, twin to Shyann.....lol Michayla is my baby & probably always will be. She is cognatively a 6-8mo old. She is 100% tube fed, so this always takes preparation when planning character meals to arrange for an exception to the rule. Character meals are food & interaction, which is what you pay for.....unfortunately, the interaction is lost on her. She is autistic, non-verbal & really doesn't like being out of her element. She did survive our summer trip to Disneyland & even noticed Mickey Mouse on our last day.....so finger's crossed she'll notice him earlier this trip!!
So our plan.......
Fly from Portland Oregon to Santa Ana on Alaska Airlines.
Take a Super Shuttle from the Airport to the HoJo.
Monday, November 28 thru Saturday, December 3.
Stay at the HoJo......the kids loved this motel last summer & even the twins enjoyed the water area.....so maybe we'll have warm enough weather to get to do that again with them.
Spend Monday to Friday in the parks......taking lots of breaks for the twins back at the motel.
Absorb as much of the holiday stuff as we can......the decorations, the music, the smells, do the Holiday Tour, see the parade, the fireworks, ride Haunted Mansion Holiday & It's a Small World Holiday. Even attempt to get the allusive candy canes!!!!!
Now is just a matter of tighting up an already tight budget to see if we can squeeze out the money to book flights, pay for the motel, put money on a Disney Gift Card to cover our food, souvenirs, tour, etc.
I think if the kids know we're going, but that means no more McDonald's.....they might actually agree to it!!! :rotfl2:
So that's it for now......any tips on putting money aside, things to not miss, etc etc are welcome!!!!! :santa:
Woo hoo!:cool1::cool1: I just replied to your post over in the Christmas thread...but I had a feeling there might be a holiday Pre-TR a-brewin' over here, so I decided to take a peek!:rotfl2:
I soooooo hope that it all works out and that the plan stays intact - full steam ahead. I know it will be a magical, special trip for your family.
It sounds like you have a good game plan so far in terms of what to see. Make sure to catch the Winter Castle when the 'icicles' turn on at night (it will still be before the twins' bedtime, I think). They kind of glow throughout the park. It's just stunning. And if you do end up taking the holiday tour, try to arrange it so you get the last tour of the day - which is usually at 3 p.m.-ish - so by the time you end up at IASW Holiday, it will be all lit up in color.
Spend lots of time at the Reindeer Round-Up, too. That's one of the places where Santa will be, but there are lots of cute details all over the Round-Up - and reindeer too!
Santa will also be in DCA, most likely (although he was not in DCA at all in 2008, but the last 2 years he has been back). He has a lovely photo spot in the Paradise Pier area of DCA.
Then, of course, Santa sits by the lovely tree in the GCH with a PhotoPass person for a couple of hours each evening - you should be able to catch him and at least one round of carolers before the twins have to get to sleep. You can even ask the GCH front desk people when Santa will be there and when the carolers will be there so you don't miss them.
Santa will be at the PPH (usually in the morning) and the DLH (some time in the afternoon) too.
And make sure to load up on the gingerbread cookies with mouse ears - those are soft and chewy and delicious!
I will definitely start making a list of the must dos!!! I'm really hoping Michayla reacts better this time to the characters & even Santa. She was so cute with Mickey that last morning......she was fascinated by him.....earlier in the week when we saw Mickey, she wasn't interested.
Going at Christmas will be so magical!!! I love that season anyway & have a thing for lights.......love looking at lights. I'll drive around neighborhoods, just to look at everyone's lights.
Love the music, the happy feeling you get when you see trees, wreaths, candy canes, gingerbread, etc, etc.......I'm so so so so so so EXCITED!!!!
I think doing the tour is a wonderful idea, the idea of getting the history/trivia of the park during the holidays just fascinates me....absolutely loved the Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour!! I also like the idea of being able to ride the two holiday overlays without the hours of waiting!! Getting a special seat to take in the parade is also a huge plus.....worth the price of the tour in my book!!!
Hopefully the girls will be better out in public.....been trying to get them out & staying up a bit past bedtimes.....just so it's not a big shock when we do need them to be out and about.
Looking forward to seeing more information posted in the Christmas thread & will love to hear about things to put on the "to do" list!!
I am so glad you are planning to go at Christmas with the kids - it is such a magical time!
I am along for the ride~~
Yay another trip!!
You KNOW I love your trip reports!! So excited and hey I don't know if you saw but our June trip is back on!!! It is going to be MUCH shorter and less fancy than what we orig had planned BUT we are staying at PP!!!! The good news is Shane is not only back to work (crossing fingers that he STAYS but since his UE is finally all worked out if he DOES get laid off again we should get THAT now so no more days or weeks with no pay) AND the courts finally tracked down his ex and after her not paying us any child support for over a year they slapped her a HUGE back payment and let's just say we are getting a BIG check!! So that will def help and then of the kids HE pays for one of them is being adopted by her stepdad which means no more child support on OUR end! We have paid for 15 years and only had 3 more to pay but we will def take it. It is a LONG story but Shane tried to be in her life when she was a baby but the grandparents forbade it, got a restraining order and on and on cuz the mom was underage and so after fighting it for a few years he just gave up trying to see her then the mom got married to someone else and then 7 years later after she got divorced THEN she wanted Shane to be in the girls life but by then it was too late and too hard. We tried it but it was hard on the girl and hard on us and so after a few visits we all realized it wasn't going to work so we just stopped the visitations and have just paid the support all these years. But now she is remarried AGAIN and the new guy wants to adopt the girl and I think that is great if she has a father figure in her life. So hopefully it works out for her!! But anyway that is my news so we are really excited that we are going to be able to get away for a few days!
I can't tell you how much I need the break with everything that has gone on!!!
I don't need to tell you that OUR xmas trip wasn't so hot and I wish we could redo ours but I am excited to go at halloween as well. You will have a BLAST!!
As always I will look forward to your updates and the actual report!! :)
:goodvibes So excited for you.
I loved reading your trip reports, just never posted, so I am here now and followign along.
I love Disneyland at Christmas, have done it once, and it was so magical, my favorite was the snow on mainstreet. :cloud9:
So good news also on the child support stuff......a little sad about Shane's daughter, but being out of a child's life for so long, does make it hard. That's wonderful that the new hubby wants to adopt her.
I'm hoping the weather last fall & even into this spring is just a fluke & we'll experience everything.....cause who knows when we'll get this chance again. Of course this is not a solid GO yet either. Coming up with extra money is tough....we just don't have much extra after paying bills, gas & food......but I'm really gonna see where I can squeeze out some extra money. Should have a decision on whether this will work out by summer time. For now, it's a go & I'm gonna be planning like it is!!!
I'm really excited to seeing the park all lit up with Christmas glow!!!! :banana:
My love of Christmas goes back as far as I can remember. I remember waking up Christmas morning to see our beautiful tree lit up & lots of goodies left by Santa. The one Christmas I remember the most from my childhood was the year I got a car, jewels & a fur coat.............................. OK, no I wasn't raised in a mansion........ I was about 8 or 9 & I got a sports car for my Barbies, a rhinestone & sapphire ring & necklace (not real) & a fuzzy coat (that resembled fur). I remember prancing around with my coat & jewelry on in my pj's. Somewhere I have a picture, but it's buried deep in my garage.....so sorry.....no visuals here!!
I don't really remember when I stopped believing in Santa......to be honest, I'm not sure I ever stopped believing. When Mike & I were first married & had our first son, Nicholas.......we had no money.....we barely made rent payments. We heard a knock on our door about a week before Christmas & in came 2 large boxes of groceries & another box filled with gifts. Our church had added us to their Christmas Basket list. It was a wonderful surprise!! There may not be one person that is Santa......but there are many, MANY others out there that help families have a little Christmas cheer!!
We taught our kids at a young age about giving to others during the holidays. We would pick a tag for a needy child & fill it each year. It's something we still try to do & my older boys appreciate what we have & how it makes them feel to give.
Christmas to me means so many things.......it means the birth of Jesus, it means thinking of others, it means spending time with the family, it means reflecting back on the year & giving thanks for all our blessings.
It also means colored lights, decorated houses, trees, ornaments, presents, Christmas treats, Christmas smells, shiny & sparkly things.
I love Christmas & everything that comes with it......even financially. I love to see my kids faces in the morning when they see that Santa has come!! I used to be excited to see what my gifts were, but now all I care about is how my kids react to their gifts.
This is why I'm so excited to see Disneyland at Christmas time......my brain will probably explode from everything......lol But I'm willing to take that chance!! :rotfl2:
That's such a touching story, Laurie - about the boxes of groceries from the church!
The holiday season can be so meaningful and special to people for a variety of reasons - whether or not you are deeply religious, you can still enjoy giving to other people, visiting with family and friends, looking at all the beautiful lights and colors, etc. There is so much that makes the season wonderful, both in profound and also superficial ways.
Like you, I absolutely love all the 'stuff' associated with Christmas - I love the holiday aromas, the yummy treats, the Christmas carols, the gorgeous lights and decorations, the beautiful trees, the cute merchandise....I used to love getting presents as a kid. And then I went through a big phase (when I had more $$$) where I used to give all sorts of gifts to people. I really enjoy giving. But now that I rarely have any money, I really enjoy getting to spend time with friends that I don't see for long periods of time. And...if I can swing it, I love being at DLR because it emcompasses all of those things I love about the season. It's a real sensory overload, but in a good way!
The thing that makes the holiday season at DLR so special is the way it kind of celebrates the season in different themes, colors and styles around the Resort. At the Round-Up and in Frontierland, the decorations are more rustic in texture and color. Main Street offers up a more old-fashioned Americana/It's A Wonderful Life-type of vibe. In New Orleans Square, it's all beads and masks and Mardi Gras-esque touches. In ToonTown, everything is bright and whimsical, in primary colors - and many of the wreaths and garland have little objects hanging from them that represent that specific facade. IASWH and its surrounding areas have a whole different style of decor and colors. A Bug's Land has giant lights and ornaments.
And, of course, the Christmas music changes themes from land to land, which is another great touch. Even the holiday music played in the background at the GCH - when the pianist, guitarist and carolers are not there - has its own distinct style.
You could go from a beautiful blue-green glowing tree at the PPH, to an elegant, rustic tree in the GCH, to a giant tree covered with 'snow';) at the beginning of Main Street, to a big wreath with deep red carnations hanging at Carnation Cafe..everything is so perfectly placed and detailed. The colors and lights are so vibrant everywhere.
As wonderful as Halloween Time is at DLR, there is just not as much leeway to add variety to the decorations. You can't play too much with color, styles and textures for Halloween Time, whereas you can get much more creative with Christmas decor.
That's why I definitely think you made the right choice between the 2 holidays to celebrate at DLR. I just hope that it all comes together. Believe me, I know all too well - even though I don't have kids - about not having any money. What some people may not think is a lot of money is a fortune to me. So I can totally empathize with you about that, and about trying to find out ways to scrape up more.:hug: I am crossing my fingers for you because I know that if you can make the trip happen, it will be so worthwhile and special!
Laurie you and I are a lot alike.
I have always loved xmas but I think I love it even more now that I have kids of my own. In fact many years shane and I don't even get gifts for eachother in lieu of just making sure that the girls have a good christmas. That is always such a hard time of year for us anyway because it seems that every major big bill that we owe like our semi annual car ins, both of our car registrations and some other things are all due at the end of the year and Katy's birthday is New Year's eve and then with Shane being a construction worker it is always a time he ends up getting laid off and then he doesn't get paid for holidays as it is. So that always makes it tough but we always try to make it a fun and happy time for the girls no matter what!
I LOVE seeing their faces when they open their gifts and that makes it all worth it!!
You will LOVE Disney at Christmas. If you are anything like me you will have tears in your eyes and be all sappy. I get really emotional at all the sentimental stuff. The snow, the white xmas song etc etc. You will LOVE small world!! Also I love haunted mansion holiday better than the regular. But everyone has their preferences.
Anyway again so excited for you!
Laurie you are going to have so much fun! I fully believe you will make this happen! I have been trying to stay away from the Christmas superthread (unsuccessfully I might Add) because I have already started second guessing going at Halloween because with a Halloween trip and a Diva trip in February followed by the family joining me there is no way I could have a Christmas trip too and Christmastime is truly my favorite. When I was a child we always spent New Year's Day at DL (It was the least busy day of the year in the 70's not so anymore) so my love of DL at the holidays goes way back before it got to be such a BIG production but I love it more each time... And I really hope you manage to get those elusive candy canes... they only made them one day on our trip and we were there at opening and headed straight to the ticket line and did not get a ticket..darn!
Seeing all the different lands & the differences in decorations is something I'm looking forward to!!
Oh I see lots of tears if we go.......the season makes me so darned happy....it's the thing that keeps me going thru the depressing winter. I tear up during the fireworks, the parades, the flag retreat, etc. Yup I'm a sentimental sap & proud of it!!
With the popularity of the candy canes.....why do they limit it to so few?? I understand it's an undertaking to make them.....by why not daily or every other day. The demand is definitely there & might keep people from running over innocent people making the mad dash to get a ticket. :eek:
Laurie! I so hope you can pull off this trip! How great for you & the kids! I will keep my fingers crossed. No ideas on how to save, I am still working on learning how to do that myself! We already eat most of our meals at home, but that is where we tightened the belt the most ... not much eating out!
Now that I've told you about my love of Christmas......I figured I share about my love of Mickey Mouse!!
I went to Disneyland twice as a kid......I don't remember a ton from those trips.....I've seen a few pics but something stuck with me. I always wanted to go back. When Mike & I were first married, we worked a summer in Wyoming & then headed back to Oregon via Arizona & Disneyland. We spent one day there & I remember the line for Space Mountain was HUGE......we walked on to every other ride....but Space Mountain was over an hour wait. I'd have to go back to see if Space Mountain was new at that time or what. It was mid-October & I don't remember ANY decorations at all. We did a day at Knott's & do remember the Halloween decorations up over there.....especially in the log ride.
The thing that really bugged me for years (and years)......was the inability to take our 3 boys to Disneyland. We financially could never afford a trip like that.......actually any trips. We occassionally would pull off a day trip to somewhere.....but we just never had the money to take trips. 21 yrs after taking Mike to DL for the first time.......we got the chance to take our kids!!
Mike's mom took our family for a summer trip during the 50th Anniversary. Eventhough my boys were 20, 18, & 16........the effect of Disney Magic was felt by all 3 boys. They had a fantastic time & couldn't wait to go back. I've given them the Disneyland Itch!!!! :woohoo:
Since our memorable 2005 trip, we've gone back in 08, 09, 10 & 11. Not all the kids each time but each trip special for it's own reason.
We've always had Disney stuff in our house.....mainly Mickey Mouse from the time the boys were born. I have a picture of Nick (my oldest) in a Mickey outfit at the hospital. But thumbing thru old pictures, I saw Mickey sheets, Mickey shirts, Mickey blankets, Mickey stuffed, etc. We also have had Pooh & friends in baby furniture & such. Here are just a couple pics of our Disney love!
So now you know about our love affair with Mickey Mouse.......and Christmas!!!
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