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Old 01-24-2010, 11:01 PM   #1
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Our Toy Story Midway Mania Christmas Vacation 12/26- 1/1/2010 with pics COMPLETED

It's hard to believe it's almost been a month since our wonderful vacation to Disney Land. We arrived 12/26 and journeyed back home 1/1/2010. I'm hoping you'll enjoy our trip report and perhaps pick up a tip or two to help you with your own magical vacations!

Our family: DH who is my best friend and humors my planning and DIS board addiction! DSs- "Donald" and "Grumpy" who are 18 yo now and freshmen in college. They say if we keep planning the vacations they'll keep coming. I can't imagine Disney without them. Me - you won't see me in many pictures as I'm usually behind the camera but love Disney and have a special affection for DL! We are DVC owners at the Boardwalk. Best decision we ever made for our vacation dollars.

Day 1 - Did someone try to light their pants on fire at Detroit Metro Airport??

We arrived at DTW at 6 am for our 8:55 am flight and could not believe our eyes when we saw the lines for baggage claim and security. Having spent Christmas evening packing (NO one in my family started packing before that) we hadn't quite kept up on national security. After standing in a non-moving line for almost 45 minutes I was lucky enough to secure a sky cap to check our bags. We had just enough time to go through security and pick up a delish - not- breakfast from McDonalds at the airport. Not quite the leisurely breakfast at the Coney Island at the McNamara terminal we were planning on but we were happy to be aboard our flight and on our way to California!

Arrival at LAX
Smooth flight. I had booked Execu-car after reading some reviews here on the DIS boards. When we got our bags I called the number on our information and only waited about 15 minutes to be picked up outside our terminal. We were very pleased with this service and would recommend them to others.

My guys waiting for our 'town car'

Our driver didn't have a personality (I don't think he said two words to us) but the car was clean and we were driven straight to the Grand Californian Hotel!

We last visited the GCH June of 2008 as part of our land/cruise vacation when the Disney Magic sailed out of California. We stayed this visit on points but not in one of the villas. Now that is is an official vacation club there are some 'welcome home' touches.

Arriving at the entrance:

The car says 'Welcome home' and is decorated for the holidays:

We had some holiday magic as our room was ready! We were assigned room 4251 in a brand new section. Some room pictures for you:

Doesn't take my men long to get comfy and secure the TV clicker

Our view (standard view room)

Proof that I do exist as well as showing the great flat screen TV and fridge.

Vanity area:

Do I need to tell you what this is??

After a short visit by the Disney Security Castmembers we had our safe all re-set, our ipods stowed and were ready to head down to White Water Snacks for some much needed fuel!

Up Next: WWS, a bit of DTD, dinner at Storyteller's Cafe, and preparations for our first day at DL!

Last edited by tksbaskets; 04-30-2010 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:47 PM   #2
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I love whitewater snacks! The nachos are amazing there, and there never seems to be anyone there.

love your pics so far, I've never stayed at the GC, but it looks awesome!
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:44 PM   #3
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eek! I couldn't imagine flying out of Detriot on 12/26!
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by onelilspark View Post
eek! I couldn't imagine flying out of Detriot on 12/26!
It was an experience I don't care to repeat but I'm all good with getting to the airport 4 hours early if it means my family is safe!

I see you are going for your first time to DL in a little over a month. You will have a BLAST!!
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:48 PM   #5
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Day 1 food and shopping!

Off we went to White Water Snacks. There weren't any hours posted but we knew they weren't open before magic morning. No worries - it was about 2 pm by now.

Here is the cute tree in WWS:

We knew from a previous trip to select your grab-and-go things and order your hot food at the register. Here are your choices:

Grumpy and DH and burgers and fries, Donald a pizza and salad, and I had the beef nachos. All were good but I won!

DSs went to Downtown Disney (DTD) for the first of many Java Juices

DH and I went through the GCH gift shop and then headed to DTD ourselves to meet up with our boys and get breakfast treats from the bakery. We knew from our previous visit that if you did Magic Morning there wasn't anything open for breakfast ahead.

All my men went back to the room to relax and I enjoyed browsing DTD, went to guest services at DL to get our Holiday Tour tickets for the next day. Highlights included watching little Minnie caramel apples be made:

First she dipped these chocolate coated apples in white chocolate

Then she dusted them with red sprinkle sugar:

Finally she added these little polka-dots that I believe are also white chocolate being made by the woman to our left. She is currently busy dusting Minnie's bow.

All done!

It did not entice me to purchase one but it was a fun 15 minutes! I took a few photos down by guest services:

Through the gate at DL:

Fun letters!

I headed back to GCH and on my way to the lobby was surprised to see an a capella caroling group dressed in their Victorian holiday attire. They were taking requests and it was great fun!

The lobby at the GCH is really beautiful but hard to photograph. Here is my attempt to capture the stunning tree:

We had the dinner buffet at Storyteller's Cafe. The food was very good as we had remembered. Here is the rest of today's food porn pics:

Up next: Magic Morning at Disney Land and our Holiday Tour
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:57 PM   #6
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Well I'm on board! Glad you made your flight despite the lines at security. Nice view from your room and cool shots of the GC. I'm feelin' that Disney Christmas spirit and it has put a smile on my face. Nice little extras like the acapella group

Looking forward to hearing and seeing more from your trip!
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