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Old 07-18-2010, 12:07 AM   #1
SurfinTX
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Oct 14-17:A Solo Trip to Disneyland! Day3: Single Rider Shuffle

Hello everyone and to my Solo? DIS trip report to Disneyland!

This will be my first trip to Disneyland as well as anywhere in California.

The Cast:

That's me on the right, Tom. I'm 39 and have just came back from Disneyworld June 11th. This is me baking in the hot Florida sun at EPCOT.


Now the reason I have a question mark after Solo is that there is a chance that I can bring along Dianna (on the left), my wife and my love, over that weekend if everything works out. It's a longshot but I am putting forth a big effort to see if I can get this done.

I am currently in the early stages of planning due to my workplace not being clear on how many days I will have to enjoy myself after my training is done. So hang in there and find out with me how fun a Solo? trip can be!


LINKS:
7/20: Preliminary Itinerary
7/20: Hotel Update
8/2: Still Waiting on Disney
9/21: Summer Updates
10/6: One Week to Go!

Trip Report

Day 1
Part 1: Have Gun. Will Travel.
Part 2: A Lot Happened on a Work Trip but must be Skipped for the Readers Sakes!
Part 3: Who Needs a Cantina Band Anyway?
Part 4: You will sense Disney Magic when you are Calm and at Peace.
Part 5: So We Meet Again Dr. Jones.
Part 6: Riding that Attraction is not my idea of courage. It's more like, suicide.
Part 7: A Twisted Holiday
Day 2
Part 1: Not So Sunny California
Part 2: It's Not My Fault!
Part 3: This is Actually Kinda Like Cropdusting Kid.
Part 4: What an Incredible Smell You've Discovered!

Part 5: So This is What Being Inside a Two Meter Exhaust Port Feels Like!
Part 6: I Really Didn't Want This Much Attention!
Part 7: Yo! Ho! Yo! Ho! A Pirate's Life for Me!
Part 8: This is Halloween!
Part 9: Getting Buzzed at MHP!
Day 3
Part 1: Saturday Magic Morning
Part 2: Curiouser and Curiouser.
Part 3: Oh Alice! You Tease!
Part 4: My (Magic) Kingdom for a Cup of Coffee!
Part 5: The DCA Marathon.
Part 6: Single Rider Shuffle

Last edited by SurfinTX; 02-23-2011 at 02:38 AM.
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:38 AM   #2
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Hope your wife is able to join you! I look forward to reading more! You'll LOVE Disneyland!
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by WheresTheLove View Post
Hope your wife is able to join you! I look forward to reading more! You'll LOVE Disneyland!
I'm glad you made it over to my Pre-TR! I'm hoping Dianna will be able to enjoy this with me as well. I'm keeping my options open and flexible right now.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:55 AM   #4
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Itenerary

Where? Anaheim International Inn Travelodge
When? Oct. 14th-18th

How? Every so often my work sends a few people to train with the vendors of the tools we use. This time I was selected and now have a free roundtrip flight to LAX. I have already worked it out with our travel company to extend the duration of my stay so I can enjoy a few sights of Los Angeles. Specificaly Disneyland and Universal Studios.

Preliminary Itenerary: Assuming I'm Solo.

3 Day Disney Bonus Parkhopper
1 Day Universal Studios

Thursday - Depart work training Thursday at 1:30 pm.
Check-in at 2:30-3:00 pm.
Grab early dinner (Mimi's?) and then head for Disneyland.
Catch a few rides and then watch either Fantasmic or Fireworks.
Sleep.


Friday - Take Gray Line to Universal Studios - Pickup 9:30
Arrive at Universal Studios 10:15
Ride! Ride! Ride! but Simpsons first.
Park Closes at 7:00 pm. Head back.


Saturday - Bonus Hour Morning. Get there early!
Catch Fantasmic or World of Color...or something like that.


Sunday - Keep riding and parkhopping! See, pretty flexible, eh?

At this time I have no plans as far as dining. If I am solo then I will probably be eating counter service but maybe something nice one night.

If Dianna is coming then the plan will be totaly different (and far more expensive).
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:32 PM   #5
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Hotel Update

So how did I end up in the Anahiem International Inn Travelodge?

Over my last few vacations I have used Priceline to make my hotel reservations. Usualy I do very well bidding on rooms and have had several fantastic deals on 3 and 4 star hotels. This time I was looking to save a bit of money and try a two star hotel since they seem to have the most free starter breakfasts in the morning.

Checking the maps I see several hotels that fit the bill all within a block of Disneyland including a Super 8 and Holiday Inn Express. I placed a bid of $47 which was right above half the average rate. Crossing my fingers I submit...and find them selecting a hotel that was only $2 over my bid and considerably farther away.



Just about a mile. Oh well! I'm a grown man and I can make the hike. What was grinding on me, however, was the price I paid. Well, the good news is that Priceline has a guarantee that if you find a better rate on your room than you bid they will match it and give you back $25.

Well today I logged in and searched my hotels rates and they have dropped to $34 a day (if you stay 4 or more days)! I'm calling them first thing in the morning. I'll update on how it went afterwards.

<Keeping my fingers crossed>


UPDATE: After calling Priceline they agreed to the lower price plus an extra $25 off so I am perfectly pleased with the rate I got!

Last edited by SurfinTX; 07-21-2010 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:25 PM   #6
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I'm afraid of using those travel sites to book motels!! We looked at a few motels when we had to do a last minute trip last April (09). We found a place, close & cheap....great reviews (not sure from who). We arrived to find the most disgusting place EVER!! Ick....from now on....I'll pay the extra & go with Disney Travel.

Well I'm sure your wife is hoping it's not a solo trip!! Hopefully things will work out & you both can enjoy the parks during Halloween-time!!

Look forward to seeing how this all goes!! (I will miss a couple weeks, as I'm leaving this Saturday for 12 days!!)
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:20 AM   #7
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Okay, since Glenn asked so nicely, I decided to head on over and see what is going on! Have been to DL a couple of times, but it has been a few years since my last trip. Can't wait to see how your trip went and what you thought about the park.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:45 AM   #8
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Part 2: A Lot Happened During a Work Trip and Must Be Skipped for the Sake of the Readers!

I know everyone was looking forward to my twenty page report on my training courses but we will have to skip ahead due to time constraints.

Thursday rolls around and the weather is wonderfull that afternoon. Temperatures in the low 80's and partly cloudy skies. When traveling to Disneyland and the Anahiem area the first thing I have to warn WDW travelers about is that Disneyland does not have a Magical Express service from the airports. There are many options to get there and depending on family size and schedule you will need to research which option is best for you.

Since my stay up to this point was near LAX I decided to use Disneyland Resort Express with a discount from Mousesavers for $29 roundtrip. There are other options such as public transport, various van services to limos if your looking to splurge.

This is how DRE works. After picking you up at whichever airport you land at they will drive you to the Disneyland Hotel. At that stop they will collect your fare and then start going from hotel to hotel dropping people off. Today the order was

Disneyland Hotel
Grand Californian
Paradise Pier
Anabella
Travelodge International





Total transit time was about 1 hour was dropped off at 3:00 pm.. Check in was quick with no problems and I had a choice of floors. I picked the 3rd floor to make sure I would not hear any giant steps above me. Entering my room I quickly take a few pictures before Han has a chance to toss his stuff around.



A quick check of my gear then me and Han were off to really start our vacation. From the Travelodge to the gate at Disneyland is a solid mile. If you are not in good shape that is beyond walking distance for most children and some adults after a long day at the park. Right outside of the travelodge is an OCTA bus stop that is also used by Anahiem Resort Transit. You can buy a 3 day pass for $10 per person if you wish to use that option. Feeling pretty good today we decide to walk.



We arrive at the bag check at 4:00 pm and notice fairly light crowds in the area between the two parks.



A bit further on we see our first signs of Halloween.



Another difference you find at Disneyland is your tickets. In my case I printed a paper copy I recieved by E-Mail after purchasing a 4 day Parkhopper. Three or more days entitles you to one Magic Morning early admission to Disneyland. I take advantage of this later in my stay so more on that later. After handing the gate attendant my paper copy they print out my cardboard ticket I'll be using on the rest of the trip. Make sure you do not lose this since it's a bit of a pain to replace.

Making our way through the turnstile which gives off a Tinkerbell like chime, I finally reach the Most Magical Place on Earth and I feel my vacation has officially started.





Han turns towards me and asks, "So what do we do now?"
I say, "Let's start slow and check a few sites before diving in."

I had a plan for every day printed out to help me remember things like when shows and parades were going on. Referring to it I see we have entered the park 20 minutes ahead of schedule which gives me some time to slowly check things out and do a few extra things before heading deeper into the park.

The first attraction we see is Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln to our right. The building is divided into two parts; with artwork and models of characters and rides inside the park and then Great Moments towards the back.





I saw Han eyeing these Haunted Mansion prints and I told him don't even think about it.


Eventually we make our way over to the Great Moments room.



Inside they are playing a short film about the presidency and some background information about Lincoln himself. Here you will also find a large model of the Capitol Building.



After a bit the doors to the left open to a theater (not Ford's Theatre nor were they showing Our American Cousin.) and sit for a 15 minute show. I have to say that the animatronic lincoln is very convincing if you sit a few rows back. About the show itself...it's very patriotic and if you have a bit of spare time it's worth it. If you have kids clamoring to see the park then you can pass it over.



As we exit the theater you pass by this example of Disney history.



A picture of Walt Disney just before opening day in 1955. The bench is from a park near Glendale, CA where Disney thought of the idea of Disneyland.

After exiting and still way ahead of schedule I notice that the Disneyland Railroad Train had just pulled in above the main entrance. Running up the steps I just get on in time for a roundtrip tour of the park!



It's a Small World from the train.





I have to say that the DL Railroad is far superior to DW's. There are many more sights to see and after you pass Tomorrowland you pass through a Grand Canyon and Primeval World diorama as well. I consider this a legitimate attraction and if you have time or need to relax your feet for twenty minutes then hop on!





Stepping off the train back at the Main Entrance me and Han walk over to where Main Street U.S.A starts and find this.



This was a fabulous photo opportunity so I hand my camera off to a helpful CM so me and Han can show off our Disney lanyards!



With 5:00 approaching it is now time to start looking at my plans and get something to eat.


Up Next: Who Needs a Cantina Band Anyway?

Last edited by SurfinTX; 10-21-2010 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfinTX View Post
This was a fabulous photo opportunity so I hand my camera off to a helpful CM so me and Han can show off our Disney lanyards!


Ah yes, I remember when Princess Leia presented Han, Luke, and Chewie with thier Disney lanyards after successfully destroying the Death Star. And C3PO was the shiniest he's ever been. That was quite a moment.

I see that you're a little taller than Han -- I wouldn't have guessed that. He's probably not so tough without that blaster.
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:05 PM   #10
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Loving your report. I've never been to Disneyland but it's on my "someday" list. I'm guessing since Han is not carrying a bag he didn't have to go through bag check, and therefore the blaster went unnoticed??
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:11 PM   #11
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I am here!!! It seems I missed a lot but all caught up! I am really disappointed in not hearing the notes from the training....I was looking most forward to that!!

It sounds like you have started off well! Can't wait to hear more! I am so glad Han got to tag along to keep you company!!
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
Ah yes, I remember when Princess Leia presented Han, Luke, and Chewie with thier Disney lanyards after successfully destroying the Death Star. And C3PO was the shiniest he's ever been. That was quite a moment.

I see that you're a little taller than Han -- I wouldn't have guessed that. He's probably not so tough without that blaster.
Harrison Ford - 6' 1" He's just leaning a bit more than me at that moment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mom3sonstt View Post
Loving your report. I've never been to Disneyland but it's on my "someday" list. I'm guessing since Han is not carrying a bag he didn't have to go through bag check, and therefore the blaster went unnoticed??
Han- "Hey, don't worry. Chewie and me got into a
lot of places more heavily guarded than this."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinksThree View Post
I am here!!! It seems I missed a lot but all caught up! I am really disappointed in not hearing the notes from the training....I was looking most forward to that!!

It sounds like you have started off well! Can't wait to hear more! I am so glad Han got to tag along to keep you company!!
Welcome back! I think Han joining in will add some spice to what would have been otherwise a very bland trip report. I'll get another update up sometime tomorrow hopefully. Mikey is a bit under the weather so my time is getting split up at the moment.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by marvali View Post
Okay, since Glenn asked so nicely, I decided to head on over and see what is going on! Have been to DL a couple of times, but it has been a few years since my last trip. Can't wait to see how your trip went and what you thought about the park.
Welcome aboard! This trip was definantly different from my WDW vacations. Anaheim is a world apart from Orlando.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:17 AM   #14
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Welcome aboard! This trip was definantly different from my WDW vacations. Anaheim is a world apart from Orlando.
So true, but two of my favorite rides are at DL........the Matterhorn, and the Indiana Jones ride that is similar to Dinosaur at AK.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:30 PM   #15
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Glenn pimped you out, so I'm here! Still gotta get caught up, but will ASAP. Looking forward to DL since I don't know much about it at all!
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