10 Mths of WDW Planning leads us to~~DISNEYLAND!! Report Completed~Pic Heavy!!!
Hi Everyone!! :wave2:
It seems like forever since I was over on the DL side of the threads for Trip Reports but I guess really was only March......but that seems like ages ago!!
So what does the title really mean?? In early January, we started planning our very first family trip to WDW. I have spent countless hours researching, planning, getting opinions, making & changing ADR's, resorts, etc. The trip started out as the perfect dream trip for us. Going for my favorite holiday season (Christmas), going to the 4 parks twice (which allowed plenty of time), going to explore the other resorts to see their holiday edible displays & decorations, taking a fireworks cruise, doing the fireworks dessert party, going to the Candlelight Processional with Olivia Newton-John as the narrator, eating at places like California Grill, 50's Prime Time Cafe, Ohana's, Chef Mickey's, Boma, etc. and attending Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. I even was up at 3am to make ADR's online at the 180 day mark. I had a wonderful friend that made our CP dining package ADR when we were away at family camp. As the trip started getting closer and money wasn't coming together (more on that later)........we needed to make changes. We switched from a moderate resort to a value, we dropped our deluxe dining which meant I had to trim a huge chunk of our ADR's, the fireworks cruise never was booked or the dessert party because of not having the cash to do so. We also never booked our MVMCP tickets. I look back now and go whew that we hadn't put that money out there....we would have lost it.
So why are you doing a DL trip if you couldn't put the WDW trip together......well long story short~~~~the IRS owes me a large chunk of change that we pray will show up in time to go to DL. We can always drive from Oregon if we can't secure flights at a decent price. We've been waiting on this money since Valentine's Day!! :crazy2: Where at this point, we can't guarantee the money will be here in time to keep our WDW trip (that was trimmed back so much) but it should be here in time to go in December. (fingers crossed, fingers crossed, fingers crossed) :rotfl:
Ok, so have I lost you yet?? Confused you?? :confused3 Well hold on because with me and my reports I can go off all over the place before actually getting to my point........."hey look a chicken"!! :lmao:
I experienced probably the hardest year of my life......last October I lost my step-mom after a 30 year (yes I said 30) battle to cancer. In January I lost my dad (he was in the end stages of alzheimer's and congestive heart failure), in March one of my 5 yr old twins had open heart surgery (successful), then I watched my step-dad's health tank and we lost him in May. While at a special camp for children with disabilities and their families, I found out my 42 yr old ex SIL passed suddenly in her sleep. So with all of that and our issues with the IRS (and them losing our 2010 amended return and having to re-submit it).......I've been a little depressed, stressed and really needing a Disney fix!!! So this is why we haven't totally given up on going on a much needed family trip.
So here goes:
December 6 - 14
Hoping to start booking soon........come on IRS get me my check!!!!!!!
Hope you'll join my family for our holiday adventure!!!
Introductions, Post #4
Original Itinerary, Post #7
Adjusted Itinerary, Post #42
Detailed Itinerary, Post #96
30 Days Out, Post #128
Lilo & Stitch Night, Post #157, 158, 159
FINALIZED ITINERARY, Post #162
CP Contest for AP Holders, Post #174
20 Day Countdown Begins, Post #190
Road Trip!!, Post #364
Homewood Suites, Post #367
Old Spaghetti Factory, Post #369
Old Spaghetti Factory, Part 2, Post #371
Breakfast and Lunch, Travel Day 2, Post #376
Grapevine, Pyramid Lake and Six Flag from the road, Post #377
BW Hollywood Plaza Inn & Hollywood Walk of Fame, Post #380
Disney Soda Fountain, Post #381
Disney Soda Fountain, Part 2, Post #382
Surprising my brother!!, Post #388
In & Out, PPH Christmas Tree, Post #389
More PPH lobby and tree, Post #403
Holiday Merchandise at PPH, Post #404
PPH Lobby, Derek's Arrival and DTD, Post #405
More DTD, Post #406
PPH Room, Post #407
PPH View and Light Fixtures, Post #408
PCH Grill, Post #413
PCH Grill, Part 2, Post #415
World of Color, Post #417
World of Color/Fireworks, Post #418
PPH Santa, Post #431
Main Street, Post #432
Carnation Cafe, Post #433
On the Train~Main St Station, NO Station & ToonTown Station, Post #440
Haunted Mansion Holiday, Post #441
Haunted Mansion Holiday, Part 2, Post #442
Winnie the Pooh Ride, Post #443
Tigger, Post #446
Eeyore and Pooh Bear, Post #448
Pirates, Post #450
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Post #451
Back Side of Castle, Post #452
Jingle Jangle Jamboree, Post #456
Jingle Jangle Jamboree, Part 2, Post #457
Billy Hill & the Hillbillies, Post #458
Billy Hill & the Hillbillies, Part 2, Post #459
Billy Hill, Part 3 & the Country Bears!, Post #460
Big Thunder Ranch/BBQ Area, Post #461
Casey Jr, Post #465
Casey Jr, Part 2~Partner's Statue, Post #467
Random Main St Pics & Balloons, Post #469
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Post #482
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 2, Post #483
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 3, Post #484
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 4, Post #485
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 5, Post #486
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 6, Post #487
Main St, DTD, House of Blues Outside, Post #502
House of Blues Food, Marcelline's Treats, Post #504
Cruella and Mickey, Post #509
Main St, Holiday Stuff, Dale & Bridget, Post #510
Buena Vista Street, Post #520
Buena Vista Street, Part 2, Post #522
Buena Vista Street, Part 3, Post #524
CarsLand, Post #528
CarsLand Part 2, Post #531
CarsLand Part 3, Gwen Stefani, Post #532
CarsLand Part 4, Post #548
CarsLand Part 5, Post #549
Taste Pilot's Grill, Post #550
Little Mermaid Ride, Post #551
Grizzly River Run, Post #567
Grizzly River Run, Part 2, Post #568
Grizzly River Run, Part 3, Post #569
Red Car News Boys & Assorted, Post #570
Main St, Assorted NOS, Post #571
Cafe Orleans, Post #574
Fireworks, Post #576
Sleeping Beauty Castle & Main Street, Post #579
Trader Sam's and Assorted DLH, Post #581
DLH Penthouse Suite Doors/Mickey Penthouse, Post #582
Mickey Penthouse, Part 2, Post #583
Club 33 Goodies & Gifts!, Post #584
Surf's Up with Mickey, Post #604
Surf's Up with Mickey, Part 2, Post #605
Surf's Up with Mickey, Part 3, Post #606
Surf's Up with Mickey, Part 4, Post #607
Surf's Up with Mickey, Part 5, PPH Laundry Room, Post #608
It's A Small World Holiday, Post #618
It's A Small World Holiday, Part 2, Post #621
It's A Small World Holiday, Part 3, Post #622
It's A Small World Holiday, Part 4, Post #623
It's A Small World Holiday, Part 5, Post #624
ToonTown, Post #628
ToonTown, Part 2, Post #629
ToonTown, Part 3, Post #630
ToonTown, Part 4, Small World Wreaths, Post #631
Tomorrowland Terrace Lunch, Pixie Hollow, Post #632
Pixie Hollow, Part 2, Post #633
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Post #639
Mad Tea Party, Post #642
Dumbo, Post #645
King Arthur's Carrousel, Post #647
BTMRR, Post #648
Big Thunder BBQ, Post #659
Big Thunder BBQ, Part 2, Post #660
Small World at Night, Post #663
Small World at Night, Part 2, Post #664
Small World at Night, Part 3, Post #665
Small World at Night, Part 4, Asst Night Pics, Post #666
Minnie & Friends, Post #695
Minnie & Friends, Part 2, Post #696
Minnie & Friends, Part 3, Post #697
Minnie & Friends, Part 4, Post #698
Minnie & Friends, Part 5, Post #699
Minnie & Friends, Part 6, Post #700
Assorted Main Street, Post #732
Buena Vista Street & Characters, Post #733
Animation Building/Mad T Party, Post #734
Monster's Inc. & Asst Backlot Pics, Post #735
BugsLand, Post #745
BugsLand, Part 2, Post #747
CarsLand, BugsLand, Part 3, Post #750
CarsLand, Paradise Pier Tree, Post #764
King Triton's Carousel, Screamin', Post #765
Paradise Pier Boardwalk Area, Post #766
Instant Concert!...Just Add Water!, Post #767
Princess Dresses & DLH, Post #789
Santa & DLH Memorabilia, Post #790
GK Lobby, Car & Tree, Post #807
Goofy's Kitchen, Post #808
Goofy's Kitchen, Part 2, Post #809
Goofy's Kitchen, Part 3, Post #810
Goofy's Kitchen, Part 4 & DLH Pools, Post #811
Candy Cane Info & Tangaroa Terrace, Post #816
DLH, Dooney & Bourke & Candy Canes, Post #817
Fantasyland Rides & Matterhorn Gripe!, Post #818
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Post #830
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 2, Post #831
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 3, Post #832
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 4, Post #833
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 5, Post #834
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 6, Post #835
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 7, Post #836
Christmas Fantasy Parade, Part 8 & The Dapper Dans, Post #837
Candy Cane & Precious Moments Dolls, Post #838
Minnie's Fly Girls & Elias & Co, Post #857
Trash Can Trio, Post #858
Phineas & Ferb Show, Post #860
Disney Movie Night~~Tangled, Post #871
Disney Movie Night~~Tangled Part 2, Post #873
CarsLand at Night, Post #898
CarsLand at Night, Part 2, Post #899
CarsLand at Night, Part 3, Post #900
Buena Vista Street, DTD & Jazz Kitchen, Post #901
Build a Bear, Post #931
Ride Makerz, Lego Store, Post #932
Earl of Sandwich, Post #933
Paradise Pier from PPH, Post #941
Tortilla Jo's, Post #942
DCA at Night, Post #943
Storyteller's Cafe, Post #948
Storyteller's Cafe, Part 2, Post #949
Storyteller's Cafe, Part 3, Post #950
Trip Home, Post #951
Trip Home, Part 2, Post #952
PhotoPass, Post #959
PhotoPass, Part 2, Post #960
PhotoPass, Part 3, Post #961
PhotoPass, Part 4, Post #966
PhotoPass, Part 5, Post #967
PhotoPass, Part 6, Post #968
PhotoPass, Part 7, Post #969
PhotoPass, Part 8, Post #970
Hi Laurie :wave2: I'm sorry to see that your WDW trip fell through :(
I wanted to let you know, when I first found the Dis about a year ago (lurked before I registered) your trip reports really helped me start to understand the Disney "magic" and got me excited about planning a trip to DLR! I love your style and enthusiasm :)
I'll definitely be following along!
So here are some introductions to the family!!
I'm Laurie, just turned 50, wife for almost 29yrs, mother to 7 (3 bio, 4 adopted.....so yes I know what causes them!!) Lover of all things Disney! I have a Disney kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom with Disney all over the front room, family room and kids rooms!! We listen to Disney music all the time. We do Disney movie theme nights....which reminds me, we're long overdue for one of those!! I find singing therapeutic and if I could ever figure out how to put a small clip on here I would.
My hubby & bestest friend~Mike. 51 yrs, awesome dad to all 7 kids. Loves Disney about as much as me!! Mike is a Meat Manager with Safeway. He got a really nice camera last December (our deal for letting me sneak away for a couple days to meet up with Sherry and see the holiday stuff at DL).....so hopefully we'll be seeing even more pictures on this report!!!
Our 2nd child Tyler, age 25yrs. Tyler has been my full time helper with the kids this past year.....I think he has a greater appreciation for what I do.....but he'd gladly accept a job outside of the home if he could find one. It's been a struggle since we moved to the Corvallis area. He's also been dealing with depression (which is hereditary)....so that hasn't helped. Ty loves Disney and in fact is the one that has found all sorts of park music so we always have that Disney ambiance in the background!!!
Our 3rd child Derek, age 23yrs. Derek has been in Florida since early June doing the College Program at WDW. We had no idea he was applying for the program when we first started our WDW planning. He had arranged to take a few days off to join us when we visited.....so now he'll take those days & fly out to join us in California!! He's also hoping to get a few more days off. Derek also loves Disney.....(like I needed to say that....lol)
Our 4th child Anthony, age 11yrs, 6th grade. Anthony is doing swim team but also loves basketball & baseball. This will be his 5th trip!!!
Our 5th child Adaleah (Addy), age 7yrs, 2nd grade. Addy is in gymnastics and beginning cheer. A real life princess....just ask her!! This will be her 4th trip!!
Our 6th & 7th children~~the twins Shyann and Michayla, age 5yrs, kindergarten. All sorts of things going on with these two. Shyann is mentally delayed, approx age of 2.5yrs, just started potty training.....so pretty exciting news at our house!! Michayla is mentally delayed, approx age 1yr, non-verbal and g-tube fed. Both girls are on the autism spectrum and have a genetic disorder that hasn't been named at this point. Sweet girls who take up a lot of our time......but when you see them smile or do something for the first time.....it makes it all worth it!! This will be their 3rd trip!!!
So my first child Nicholas and his fiance won't be joining us on this trip....but I may be treating them to a trip at the end of February when I go on the Dis Diva's Girl's Only Trip!! (I always seem to have a family member in tow that goes and does their own thing when I do the Diva things).
Thank You so much!!! I'm glad my mutterings and pictures helped you find that magic!! :goodvibes I'm glad you'll be following along!!
Sorry your WDW plans fell through, but so happy that you can make Disneyland (fingers crossed IRS comes through)! We will be arriving the day you leave.
Waiting and watching to see what your plans hold. Did you make your ADR's yet?
The decision to cancel the WDW trip and plan a Disneyland trip has been the topic of conversation over the last few weeks. I even have mapped out an itinerary and emailed Disney Dining today to get some reservations. This is what we have right now....days could change if the weather gets icky and our off days could be just that......off/do nothing but rest.
Thurs, Dec 6~~
Fly out of Portland, arrive around 9:20am (yes I have my flights pre-picked....just not paid for yet)
Take a shuttle to HoJo's
Check in at the HoJo's (still need to book)
Mike catch a cab to a car rental place (why not get it at the airport?? Costs about twice as much for a big rig at the airport....even factoring in the cost of a shuttle/tips round trip)
Rent vehicle and then come back to join us at HoJo's
Go get lunch
Shopping at the Disney Character Warehouse & some groceries to keep in the motel room for quick breakfast/snacks
Go hang out at DTD
Fri, Dec 7~~
Quick Brkfst in room
Head towards Burbank (Disney Studios....yes I know we can't go in) &/or Universal City Walk (might not open early enough to work)
Lunch at BOB'S BIG BOY in Burbank
Head to Hollywood
Go to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
Walk of Fame
Ice Cream at the DISNEY SODA FOUNTAIN
Head back to HoJo's
Dinner ?? (been some talk about In & Out but that might be our lunch on arrival day)
Sat, Dec 8~~
7:40am STORYTELLER'S CHARACTER BREAKFAST
Head to LaBrea Tar Pit's
Head to Los Angeles Farmers Market
(hopefully meet up with Sherry on this day!! WINK WINK SHERRY)
Head to Knott's Berry Farm (NO, not for the park.....ick!)
Dinner at MRS KNOTT'S CHICKEN DINNER
Ok, so you're probably wondering....what in the world is she doing.....3 days in Anaheim and she hasn't mentioned going to the parks yet......well, there's a reason for that~~~Derek's 3 days off (already knows he has) is the 9th, 10th, 11th......AND~~~~~YOU CAN'T BUY A PH FOR MORE THAN 5 DAYS!!!!! :furious: We usually get the 6 day and this really is throwing us that it's no longer an option! We wanted to wait for Derek before going to the parks. If he gets a couple more days added....this may get adjusted.
Sun, Dec 9~~
Not sure what time Derek will be getting in, but he'll take a shuttle and join us as soon as he can.
Quick brkfst in the room
DISNEYLAND/DCA!!!!! We're finally going!!!
Lunch at the JOLLY HOLIDAY
6:30pm CAFE ORLEANS
Mon, Dec 10~~
9:00am CARNATION CAFE
5:00pm CELEBRATION BBQ OR BIG THUNDER BBQ OR WHATEVER IT IS THEY CALL IT THIS WEEK.........
Tue, Dec 11~~
Breakfast at TANGAROA TERRACE
Head to the LA Zoo
Head to the Griffith Park Observatory
Head back to Anaheim
7:30pm GOOFY'S KITCHEN
Wed, Dec 12~~
7:40am SURF'S UP WITH MICKEY
Saving dinner time open for a possible Candlelight Processional Dinner Package
Candlelight Processional (I hope)
Thu, Dec 13~~
Move from HoJo's to the Paradise Pier Hotel for our last night in town!!!
8:10am MINNIE & FRIENDS
6:00pm PCH GRILL
Watch World of Color from our room
Fri, Dec 14~~
Early Entry to DCA!!
DISNEYLAND/DCA until we have to catch flight home
Brkfst at FLO'S V-8 CAFE
Lunch at TANGAROA TERRACE
Return rental car
Catch shuttle to airport at 4:30pm
I'll be getting a 5 day PH in our package that I will upgrade for my Premium AP (mine expires on arrival day and we love all the discounts we get)
Sorry to hear about the cancellation of the WDW trip. :( But will be following along on your DLR one! :goodvibes
I had to chuckle (though it's a bittersweet chuckle) at your choice of a title for your Pre-TR!
Before seeing that you had chosen a title, in my mind I had been thinking (about your general situation), "No matter how elaborate or detailed the plans may be to go elsewhere, all roads lead to Disneyland." And then I popped over here and saw your title!:rotfl2: Ain't it the truth, though? All that planning and you're ending up back where you usually go anyway!:rotfl2:
Just to remind the folks who are lurking and following along out there - this was more than just the falling apart of an idea Laurie had to possibly go to WDW. This was the collapse of a whole adventure, for which the planning alone was a journey of discovery!
Laurie's plans for her WDW holiday trip were very detailed, involved, extensive, all-encompassing, etc. She made creative binders. She crunched numbers, then re-crunched them, then re-crunched them again, to try to get the most bang for her family's buck and to try to not miss any key Christmas activities. She researched. She revised plans numerous times, she changed hotels, etc. It was a big undertaking - one that I'm not sure many people would have had the energy or time to do.
Oh, and by the way, I'm the "Sherry" who has been mentioned a couple of times so far in this Pre-TR, for those who don't know!:wave: I would imagine that many folks know me from some section of the DLR section of DIS - maybe from my own TR's in this Trip Reports forum; maybe from the main planning forum; maybe from the Disneyland/Christmas Superthread or Halloween Superthread, or wherever. I get around!:rotfl2: (Also, Laurie was part of my last Disneyland holiday trip - she was there for 2 of my 4 nights at the PPH, along with Molly/bumbershoot - and all 3 of us did different TR's documenting the trip from different angles!:rotfl2:)
Anyway, Laurie, even though I am very sad that the WDW holiday trip can't happen for you this year (because you know I was super-excited at the notion of that trip), I think it's for the best for now. It was to the point where you had to keep scaling it back and cutting things out. When that started to happen to a great degree, I kind of had a feeling that it might be better to just hold off on the WDW holiday extravaganza until you can really do it the way you originally intended to do it, without having to cut a lot of things out. You may only have one chance to take a WDW holiday trip - who knows? - and it will, indeed, be magical and amazing when it happens, but you wouldn't want your one and only WDW holiday journey to kind of be the watered-down version of what you really want to do.
Plus, there is no telling what madness DLR will be up to next year with a probable Christmas party and the resulting changes in the schedule - who knows which holiday activities will even still be available on non-party days? There may not be a ice rink/village in DTD next year. Who knows? Things could be scaled back tremendously. It's good to get there this year and really take it all in, just in case next year the holidays go downhill!:rotfl2:
Now to your tentative plans for Saturday, December 8th....
As for the Tar Pits: Remember that LACMA is right next door to the Tar Pits and you have to see that too. That's where the crazy giant rock is (which I have posted many photos of on Facebook), and also where that street light installation is that I showed you. Even without going into the gallery part of the museum, the grounds are interesting.
As for Farmers Market/The Grove: Honestly, one of the best things about the Original Farmers Market (and biggest reasons to go there) is the food selection - everyone says so - and I am not talking about Johnny Rockets or any of the chain restaurants. I am talking about some of the original vendors and mom & pop counter service places inside the market. You can't truly experience the Farmers Market without eating at the Market! You have Storytellers planned for the morning, and then Mrs. Knott's planned for dinner. Will you have any time/appetite to enjoy the food at the Farmers Market with the big breakfast and big dinner bookending the Farmers Market time?
As for whether or not I can meet you on 12/8 - I will have to play it by ear. If I am here, in L.A., then of course I will meet you! Both LACMA/the Tar Pits and Farmers Market/The Grove are right up the street from me. (Heck, I wish I could do the Mrs. Knott's dinner with you, to be honest - it's been decades since I ate there!)
My own DLR plans are up in the air and I may end up at DLR around that same time frame. Depending on how I'm getting down to Anaheim or if I am riding with a friend or staying at a friend's house, I may end up being there on 12/8 or right around then, but I'd be with the people who picked me up/drove me. I'd like to hit DLR on a weekday for slightly lighter crowds, but if I am to stay overnight at my friend's house (20 minutes from DLR) and possibly get a ride to and from DLR, I'd have to do it when she is available - which would be a weekend....in which case, I might not be in L.A. on 12/8! I may be down at DLR while you're up in L.A.!
So I have to just wait it out and see how my plans fall into place, I guess. I will keep you posted!
Laurie, I am so sorry WDW had to be cancelled....but http://i398.photobucket.com/albums/p...antabounce.gif for DLR for a holiday trip!!! http://i398.photobucket.com/albums/p...antabounce.gif
There was a lot of extensive planning from early January on.....but it ended up being my life line as my world was crumbling around me. It was the place I could go that would make my soul smile. If I hadn't had this huge undertaking to work on, who knows where my mental state would have been. So in a way, planning a trip that won't happen is ok......because it was there to distract me and not actually go on.
Yes, we had planned on stopping at the museum down at the tar pits too. We don't have a "meal" planned at the Farmer's Market.....but we don't tend to over stuff ourselves at the meals we do eat. No one wants to move around when you do that...... :worried: The plan at the market was to "nibble" our way thru it. We figure we're doing a later dinner at Mrs Knotts too.......just with it being a Saturday night, we figure it will have it's typical LONG line! :faint:
So this is early in the planning........but.........if Derek doesn't join us until after we go on the 8th to do the above.......we'd have an extra seat. You could join us?? We could even take you into Anaheim if you had arrangements for a motel or a friends place to stay....... just some food for thought!! I don't think we could get you back since Derek would be joining after that and our 8 seater car would have 8 sitters in them..... :lmao: Anywhos.......we'll discuss this later when I have a better idea of when Derek will be coming from Florida.
Now, if you are already in Anaheim that weekend.....we won't be gone everyday, all day.....the twins won't allow that! So there will always be a chance for me to find you early morning or after dinner......but again, something we'll discuss as the dates draw nearer. Hopefully we'll both have an idea on what our plans are!!
I will be following closely on this one as we are planning on going next Christmas on similar dates. I want to know roughly what the crowds are going to be like, etc. And it's also my favourite holiday too, and I loved all your photos of your trip last Christmas season.
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