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Old 10-01-2012, 05:18 PM   #1
PHXscuba
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PHXscuba's Club 33 Christmas

Edited Dec. 15 -- Club 33 Christmas TR starts on page 38

Edited on Nov. 6 -- I get a day at Disneyland for the holidays! Going Dec. 9!!

Edited on Sept. 25 -- I'm back from the fall trip -- trip report begins on page 33

Edited on July 30: I get to go to Disneyland for one day in September!! ... News and updates for that trip starting page 30 of this thread

*****

We're goin back, baby! The family and I are returning to Disneyland in March 2013 and I'm planning up a storm. Follow along with our slightly Goofy family of six as I plan our trip.



Those of you who've interacted with me on the boards, the wait is over. You no longer need to wonder. This is me, PHXscuba -- squinty-eyed and Mouse-eared. I've been a DISer for several years and a lifelong Disney fan. I was lucky to grow up in SoCal and at Disneyland. More about my Disney history later.

I'm writing this Pre-Trip Report (and eventual Trip Report) to share my Disney/planning obsession with people who understand. My family likes Disney, but they can only take so much of my blabbering before they threaten to have me committed. Like a pre-Internet pen pal, I promise to write often and hopefully keep it interesting. While it's my TR and you'll have to figure out my style, I'll be asking for your input to make this a super-fun trip and make you feel like you're all there with us!

Future posts to include: our cast of characters, my previous Disney trips, lots of photos, our plans etc.

(to quote Peter Pan) And ... we're ... off!

Pre-trip index:
Meet the Family: post 4, page 1
My Disney History: posts 8 and 15, page 1
The Battle Plan: post 20, page 2
Cute kids in Disney costumes: post 39, page 3
Disney Halloween photos: post 41, page 3
Hotel(s) finally booked: post 59, page 4
DS7's new Phineas and Ferb room: post 65, page 5
What's New in Disneyland: post 71, page 5
More photos from our Oct 2009 trip: post 81, page 6
Items for our Trip Reveal present: post 82, page 6
Pix from my holiday 2010 trip: post 93, page 7
The Kids Know Too Now!: post 106, page 8
Photos we take over and over: post 135, page 9; post 139, page 10; post 143, page 10
New T-shirts: post 157, page 11
I get my AP!!!: post 174, page 12
More zany photos: post 186, page 13
Guess how many pennies I have?: post 194, page 13; results: post 214, page 15
The Accident: page 16, post 294

Trip report:
Prologue/disclaimers: page 19, post 285
Day 1 -- AZ to CA: page 20, post 293
Day 2 -- Church, check-in, and crowds: page 21, post 310

Day 3, part 1 -- A Day in DCA: page 22, post 323
Day 3, part 2 -- A Day in DCA: page 22, post 328
Day 3, part 3 -- A Day in DCA: page 23, post 339

Day 4, part 1 -- I know you, I walked with you once while in AZ: page 23, post 342
Day 4, part 2 -- I know you, I walked with you once while in AZ: page 23, post 344
Day 4, part 3 -- I know you ... or do I?: page 24, post 347

Day 5, part 1 -- If you take your Mom to Disneyland: page 24 post 353
Day 5, part 2 -- If you take your Mom to Disneyland: page 25, post 361
Day 5, part 3 -- If you take your Mom to Disneyland: page 25, post 369

Day 6, part 1 -- Kicking and Screaming: page 25, post 372
Day 6, part 2 -- Kicking and Screaming: page 25, post 373

Days 7 and 8 -- The Aftermath: page 26, post 378

Post-trip ramblings:
Reflections on the trip -- pages 26 and 27
Possible future trip dates -- page 27, post 398
My AP bucket list -- page 27, post 399
The vacation frame photos -- page 29, post 423

Fall one-day trip with my Mom and our APs:
NEW fall trip planning -- page 30, post 439
My SEPTEMBER bucket list -- page 30, post 444
Updated trip info plus photos -- page 31, post 459
I'm back from DLR! -- page 33, post 487

"My September bucket list" trip report
Part 1 -- I am (for real) going to Disneyland -- page 33, post 491
Part 2 -- Open, open, open! -- page 33, post 494
Part 3 -- The Pumpkin King -- page 34, post 500
Part 4 -- The smell of gingerbread -- page 34 post 501
Part 5 -- Indy, or not? -- page 34, post 504
Part 6 -- Parade and galaxy-hopping -- page 34, post 509
Part 7 -- Night falls as I fail -- page 35, post 514
Part 8 -- Fantasmic and crazy crowds -- page 35, post 518
Wrap-up -- page 35, post 524

Makin' a (AP bucket) list, checkin' it twice
NEW December trip planning -- page 36, post 526
The DECEMBER bucket list -- page 36, post 535

A Club 33 Christmas
Part 1 -- First look inside the Club -- page 38, post 565
Part 2 -- The view, and the view of the food -- page 39, post 574
Part 3 -- More Club photos and general review -- page 39, post 579
Part 4 -- Rewind to the beginning -- page 40, post 587
Part 5 -- Magical park and hotels -- page 40, post 589
Part 6 -- Attack of the holiday overlays -- page 40, post 595
Part 7 -- Inside It's a Small World Holiday -- page 40, post 597
Part 8 -- Ending with a thud -- page 40, post 600
Wrap up and conclusions, page 41, posts 601 and 602

Last edited by PHXscuba; 01-19-2014 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
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I'm here for the trip!
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
PHXscuba
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Thanks for hopping aboard!! I hope you enjoy the ride

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
PHXscuba
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Our remaining cast of characters for the family trip:



T – my bearded DH – likes Tigger, rollercoasters, and taking pictures. Enjoys being at Disney but happy to let me plan 95 percent of the trip.


R – DS16 – Likes Wall-E, Star Wars, and the seagulls from Finding Nemo. Band kid – eats, sleeps, and may breathe through his horn. Still game for family Disney trips if there are enough rollercoasters and we feed him well. Eighth trip to DL (including a few band trips without us ).


B – DD13.5 going on 16 – Likes the Fab Five, Pooh characters. Dancer and bookworm. Loves anything Disney and already eying Disney’s college program. Fifth trip to DL.


K – DD(almost)11 (I hate paying for her as adult) – Tinkerbell in human form – blonde, petite, and sassy. Tumbler and dancer. Also loves Chip and Dale, and Minnie Mouse. Fourth trip to DL.


S – DS will turn 8 on trip! – loves Stitch, Phineas & Ferb, Nightmare Before Christmas. Will ride almost anything except Tower of Terror. Comedian and picture poser. Third trip to DL; first where he’ll be tall enough to ride everything.

(And yes, these were taken at WDW if they look not quite right for DL. We went last fall and they are the most recent pictures of the kids in a Disney setting)

More to come! Lots of pictures!
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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What horn does your son play? My kids were all in the band. My oldest daughter played the trumpet and the tuba/sousaphone, my younger daughter played the clarinet and the saxophone and my son played trombone in orchestra, marching and jazz band. We were quite the band family.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:36 PM   #6
PHXscuba
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I was a band kid (which accounts for several of my teenage DL trips).

DS16 plays french horn and the mellophone (marching french horn for the non-band people reading this).

DD13 plays the clarinet; DD10 just started on the flute. They were trying to play a little duet the other night and it was so cute and slightly out of tune

I spent last Friday night volunteering with the marching band and had to sit with the drumline. It re-affirmed my vow to steer DS7 away from percussion. They. Never. Stopped. Drumming.

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Old 10-04-2012, 11:20 PM   #7
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My son went through the stage where he drummed all the time and it drove me nuts. I was so glad that he wasn't a drummer, I think I would have gone nuts. I was sad when they all "out grew" band.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:05 PM   #8
PHXscuba
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My childhood at Disneyland

When I said in my first post that I was raised at Disneyland, I wasn't exaggerating by much. I grew up in Huntington Beach, about 40 minutes south of DL on the coast. I am just old enough to remember the individual ticket booths. With young kids (who went through E-tickets more slowly) and cheap admission, we went for lots of occasions.


This photo should look familiar. It was taken on my third birthday (as were the next two) by my Dad. I love the photo, but even more memorable: On the back, in his precise engineer's block printing, my Dad wrote: "Grumpy and Friend." Looking back now as a parent, I'm not sure which one of us he meant to be which.


Obviously before character handlers and regimented lines were popular. The floppy-hatted Asian woman photobombing me and Dopey is not my mother.


I must have been a big fan ... my birthday cake picture from the same album page is a Winnie the Pooh cake as well.


My younger sister and I with Tigger. Love my late-70s fashion choices!! Note old-fashioned Pooh and Eeyore in the background.


I was in a precious little children's chorus that performed at Disneyland a couple times (above in Carnatian Plaza). We performed over the Fourth of July weekend once. As it was pre-fast Pass, I think we did about three rides the whole day and spent most of the time squished on walkways. It cemented my vow to never, ever go when it is that busy.

I went many, many times as a teenager. I know I went to Disneyland for eighth-grade graduation with my friends. I recall a water fight on Pirates of the Caribbean that we probably shouldn't have had. I was soooo mad at my mother for not letting me spend the weekend in the park when Captain EO originally opened (but mom, all of my friends are going!!)

In high school the marching band played in a parade every year at Christmastime, then we were allowed to stay in the park for the rest of the day. It explains why "Sleigh Ride" (what we always performed) is one of my favorite Christmas songs and always makes me think of DL. Once I left my purse on Star Tours -- to this day I will not put down any backpack or bag in Disneyland without having a strap attached to my person!


Sadly, with all of the times I went to Disneyland as a teen, the only picture I have from this period is the one above, when I went with my friend's family and her cousin, who was sweet on me. The 35th-anniversary prize machine is behind us.

I also went to Disney World at age 15 with the band. We spent one day (and performed) at Epcot and one day at the Magic Kingdom. I'm sure I took a camera with me but have no photos!

DH scanned all of my childhood (and pre-digital) photos a few years ago, which makes posts like this easy.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:20 PM   #9
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I'm in. Now back to catch up.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:48 PM   #10
PHXscuba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
I'm in. Now back to catch up.
Welcome aboard!

I need to go catch up on your WDW trip. We had so much fun there last October!

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Old 11-07-2012, 02:25 AM   #11
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To me another big factor on the AP is the discounts in the shops and at the restaurants. Of course for the discounts you can buy just one and have those discounts. I am no help. Sorry.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:33 PM   #12
PHXscuba
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You're right, you all are no help!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Chances are that any AP rates for the hotels in March won't show up on the calendar until after the holidays are over. I'm thinking January.

It used to be that there were the usual, 365-day-a-year 10% discounts that one could get with an AP, and then there would be...the "good rates," or the rates that fell below $200 per night. The good rates would usually come out to being a 30% discount. Every so often there would be an offer that was 35% off rack rate. Gone are the good ol' days of $139 or $159 PPH rooms.

The PPH rate that I have right now for December (the one that is already paid) is $225 per night, and that was the cheapest rate available. I was told it is 10% off. Seeing that last year my PPH room was $99 per night, and in 2010 I had a room that was 35% off (something like $163 or $168 per night - I can't recall), this $225 is not sitting well with me. I love the PPH and I love staying onsite, but I don't feel it is a hotel that is worth $200 per night and above (before taxes). Until this year, I'd never paid $200 before taxes for the PPH...and I may not be paying it again.

Also at this time of year there would normally be some kind of a nifty PIN code or special offer going around, and I would be frantically trying to switch my reservation to a better rate. I don't think a better rate will come along.

I always like having the option of early entry/Magic Mornings with an onsite stay, but I have not always taken advantage of it. When I have taken advantage of it, I loved it! Fantasyland was a wondrous place, with almost no one in it! The great thing is that now we can have early entry into one park or the other every day of our stay, instead of the previous Tues-Thurs-Sat-Sun deal. That makes the early entry even more worthwhile.

But it's a lot of money to pay to stay onsite if you are not 100% sure you are going to use your early entry options.
The PPH rate is about $284 with the 10 percent off. Hard to believe they want more for March than the first week of December. I guess it's considered spring break/Easter season by then. And I'm certainly not holding out much hope for a PIN code. I think if I booked onsite we would definitely use the early entry, it's more a question of how much cracking the whip to get everyone going I would be doing. I'd really like to have those park hours to help me decide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
I think the optimum experience is staying OP. Like Sherry says if you take advantage of Magic Mornings it is a real plus.

That said, if you don't, $1500 would buy a lot of goodies, APs, etc....

I'm no help am I....
You're right, it is the optimum way to do it, and we were spoiled by being in the DLH last time. Plus it's probably our last big family trip with all the kids for sure still around. But you're right -- we could upgrade everyone in the family to APs for less than $1500. Hmmm.... never thought of it from that angle.

Quote:
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To me another big factor on the AP is the discounts in the shops and at the restaurants. Of course for the discounts you can buy just one and have those discounts. I am no help. Sorry.
Yes, I was thinking of just getting one AP (for me!!) Problem is, I already have AAA (similar hotel discount) and a Disney VISA (some food/souvenir discounts). It's hard to crunch how much more I would save above those discounts.

Now (independent of the onsite/offsite quandry) if I knew for sure for sure that I would come back in the next year, the AP would be a no-brainer. It's just that DH already thinks I'm a little Disney-crazy and I'm almost embarrassed to propose it. I thought maybe if I got it "for the discounts" I could then sneak in more trips as an afterthought (the "evil plot" part of my title).

Thanks for the input,
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:41 AM   #13
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We're going in March, too (7-12)! Your planning is fantastic! My DH says I have Disney on the brain. He says we *still* have 3 months. I say, we *only* have 3 months!

I live AZ, too (Tempe).
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:17 AM   #14
rentayenta

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Love the Pez and Peeps. I better run to Walgreens in case DH changes his mind.


Your family is just adorable. The Mickey bars look so yummy!
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
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http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751




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Old 12-08-2012, 08:05 PM   #15
PHXscuba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristyhas3 View Post
We're going in March, too (7-12)! Your planning is fantastic! My DH says I have Disney on the brain. He says we *still* have 3 months. I say, we *only* have 3 months!

I live AZ, too (Tempe).
Welcome, CristyHas3!! Yes, this trip report is group therapy for OverPlanners Anonymous. I write here because you people understand that it's *only* three months!! When is your next Disneyland trip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
Love the Pez and Peeps. I better run to Walgreens in case DH changes his mind.


Your family is just adorable. The Mickey bars look so yummy!
You can never have too many Peeps! Even if they're not part of a Trip Reveal, they would make fun treats. Without the packaging, they're just red Mickey heads!

We think the kids are above-average on the adorable scale. They clean up pretty nice and know when to smile for pictures!

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