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Old 01-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #1
OhioStateBuckeye
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Allons-y! UPDATED 6/18: This is the end...

Told you guys I'd be coming back!

Hi everyone! My name is Rachel, and I have been a Disney-aholic for most of my life.... oh wrong post.

Anyway, my name is Rachel, and as you may have guessed from the trip report title I am about to celebrate my 30th birthday in March. A lot of my friends have already turned 30 (or higher) and it really doesn't seem to be a happy milestone for most (when I say most, I am also including all of my fictional acquaintances from TV and movies and books who also don't like to turn 30, it just generally seems a not so happy birthday age).

I don't like this mindset, so I decided that for my 30th I am going to go somewhere that I'll be absolutely forced to have a good time. Now everyone...where is the happiest place on earth? Let's set the scene...

Scene (or in other words, where)

Las Vegas?

Um no. At least not for my wallet.

DISNEY!!!


The choice to have my birthday at the LAND instead of the WORLD was simple. I've been wanting to go back to DL since my first trip last spring/summer (see trip report in my signature). And I usually go to WDW at least once a year, I went last September to run in the Tower of Terror 10 Mile race, and will probably return next year to run the race again.


When

Choosing the date was simple. My birthday is March 2. So it kinda had to include that day. Luckily, I hope I'll just be beating all the spring break crowds. Also luckily, I'm looking forward to the better weather. (note I said better, I understand California can be quite dreary in the winter months...but I live in Ohio. We are definitely dreary in the winter months (definitely dreary <quite dreary), so California weather will be an improvement.


Who

Well, me, for starters. The Birthday Girl!! I've always wanted a spectacular birthday I've had some good ones, but none of them have really been stop the presses good. Bout time to change that.

I work in Columbus as an attorney (bleh) and I live with my boyfriend and 3 pets (Sirius my husky, Toulouse my persian cat, and a beta fish that the boyfriend named after star trek so he is never mentioned).

My parents took my 2 sisters and I to WDW 3 times, twice when I was younger and once when I was in college at Ohio State. I always loved watching what I call my generation's Disney movies: Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mulan, and the Lion King. I liked the Sunday night Disney movie that was always on TV. I didn't really become Disney obsessed until my BF and I went on a trip and stayed onsite my second year of law school.

The second participant is my BF of too many years to count, Brian. He is nowhere near as Disney obsessed as me, but he has been coming along nicely lately. He likes some of the older Disney movies best like Robin Hood.


Well that is pretty much it for scene setting. I'll most likely add some pictures later when I am home.

Think I'll follow up this first post with some itinerary thoughts. Yay, itinerary!

Allons-Y!!


Chapter Links:


Day 1 Travel and Disneyland

Chapter 1: Travel. give your seatbelt a tug, your neighbor a hug cause this boeing is going!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...6&postcount=35

Chapter 2: Arrival! Green shells cannot catch me!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...9&postcount=38

Chapter 3: To all that come to this happy place: welcome.
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=39

Chapter 4: Pilgrimage to Carsland
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=42


Chapter 5: Life could be a dream, sh-boom sh-boom sh-boom
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...2&postcount=43


Chapter 6: Prepare for take off
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=44


Day 2 Disneyland

Chapter 7: Evacuate medical emergency!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=49

Chapter 8: Eatin Lunch Down on the Bayou
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=50

Chapter 9: He's Winnie the Pooh Winnie the Pooh Willy nilly silly old bear
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=53

Chapter 10: welcome to the house of tomorrrrrow!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=54

Chapter 11: You can't run from trouble, there ain't no place that far.
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...7&postcount=55

Chapter 12: Look! A parade!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...9&postcount=56


Day 3 WB Tour and Big Band Theory taping

Chapter 13: We're Animaniacs, and we're zany to the max!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...9&postcount=63

Chapter 14: Welcome to Star's Hollow, next stop Central Perk!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=64

Chapter 15: Anyone need a Presidential seal?
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...7&postcount=65

Chapter 16: May I please drive one of these cars home?
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...0&postcount=66

Chapter 17: Bazinga!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=67


Day 4 DCA Early Entry and Disneyland Hotel

Chapter 18: DL Hotel early entry is a wonderful thing
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...4&postcount=70

Chapter 19: Radiator Springs Racers
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=74

Chapter 20: How we spent the rest of our EMH
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...0&postcount=75

Chapter 21: Eddie, Stormtroopers and Dinosaurs!!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...7&postcount=76

Chapter 22: If you don't want to see 1 million pictures of the DL Hotel, back away slowly
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...1&postcount=77

Chapter 23: The trip had to hit a low point eventually, didn't it?
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...8&postcount=78

Chapter 24: Closing Time, you don't have to go home but you can't stay here
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...7&postcount=81


Day 5 Get Up and Go Powerwalk and travel to Anza-Borrego

Chapter 25: An early morning power walk and even more hotel pictures
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...8&postcount=90

Chapter 26: We are leaving...or are we?
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...8&postcount=98

Chapter 27: On the road again
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...0&postcount=99

Chapter 28: Historical Place of Interest
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=100

Chapter 29: Historical Place of Interest Part 2
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=101


Day 6 Anza-Borrego and the San Diego Zoo

Chapter 30: We see a ghost of Radiator Springs
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=102

Chapter 31: Our hike?
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=103

Chapter 32: Lets go to the zoo! It is kind of like Animal Kingdom, but this place really isazoo (as compared to notazoo)
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=104

Chapter 33: Its Baby Panda Time!!!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=107

Chapter 34: Lions Tigers and Bears oh my!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=108

Chapter 35: The Antelope Slope!!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=109

Chapter 36: I see a lot of ducks, but no Donald
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=110

Chapter 37: Disney had flamingos pegged
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=114

Chapter 38: ZOMG so much cuteness!!!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=117

Chapter 39: The hills defeat us.
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=118

Chapter 40: Birthday Cat
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=121

Day 7 Old Town, Outlets, La Jolla and Trader Sam's

Chapter 41: A relaxing morning
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=122

Chapter 42: Old Town
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=123

Last edited by OhioStateBuckeye; 06-18-2013 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #2
OhioStateBuckeye
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All right here is my itinerary so far. It is a brand new, baby itinerary (so cute).

Side note: we were unsure if we would be able to take this trip at all. I was unemployed for a month and a half in October/November of 2012 so the finances are a bit tight. In the end, Brian said it was important for me to have my 30th birthday trip (someone just earned a few BF points there) and that we should go.

We were originally planning on a 10 day trip, we cut that to 8 (really it is 7 because the last day is a very early travel day). We also cut out some of the more expensive, extravagant activities like a return to the Magic Castle Club and a stay at the Disneyland hotel Fairy Tale Suite for my birthday night.

I was sad about cutting the Magic Castle, but we had such an amazing experience last time what with seeing Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively and getting our own private after hours magic show that I don't think this second trip would have been as amazing as the first anyway.

End side note (that was a long side note).


We designed our itinerary around Southwest and their cheaper travel days.

We had been holding off on booking travel and hotels because we were trying to use my Grandma's bonus weeks at her RCI timeshare to score an Anaheim timeshare for a week. Well, we didn't realize all those things get booked up a year in advance, and nothing was available at 45 days out (we had to wait 45 days in advance to book the bonus weeks). So...those plans were foiled.


Managed to get 2 round trip tickets from Columbus to LA from Southwest for $27 Ok really, the tickets were approximately $242 each. We got them for so little because I used a previous travel credit I had that was a little less than the $242. Then I booked Brian's with some of my 50,000 Southwest points that I got when I signed up for the card.

So far, so good with a cheap trip.

All right, itinerary is finally here, I hope you guys will help me to edit/make it better.

Sunday February 24: Flight leaves Columbus 6:45. Arrive at LAX at 10:45. Pick up rental car (not booked yet) and hit the road to the Sequoia National Park. I've always wanted to see giant trees (yay, something older than me for my 30th birthday! ) and Brian suggested we make the roughly 4 hour trip up north to see them.

Monday February 25: We will have spent the night at Sequoia (tent, hotel? I dunno yet). We will hope to wake up early and have a good few hour hike before getting back in the car and leisurely heading back to LA. I have no idea what we will do when we arrive back, but we will eventually be checking into an Anaheim hotel (Castle Inn perhaps, it has a good rate on hotels.com right now).

Tuesday February 26: Disneyland day! Will probably use Magic Morning Hours to get into Fantasyland early this day.

Wednesday February 27: sleep in day. Will be checking into the Disneyland Hotel for one night! We'll spend this day to run around the hotel, possibly go swimming, enjoy the room, and then Trader Sam's!!

Thursday February 28: Use the hotel's early morning hour to get into DCA for Radiator Springs Racers. Stay in the park all day. Thinking about driving halfway to San Diego this night and finding a cheapo hotel along the way.

Friday March 1: San Diego Zoo, then dinner downtown and the Prohibition Bar, not sure where our hotel will be.

Saturday March 2 (BIRTHDAY!): sleep in a bit, go to the artisan market at Old Town and have lunch at a restaurant there. Then head back to Anaheim, not sure what to do the rest of the day, possibly see Cirque du Soleil in Hollywood.

Sunday March 3: DL all day!

Monday March 4: obscenely early flight back home.


Anyone have any critiques or suggestions??

Also, can I just give a shout out to Disneyland's Dapper Day?? First, the event looks fun but as it is our arrival day, I think we will miss it. But we are definitely taking advantage of the discounts! We got the Disneyland Hotel one night for $177. We are also going to get our tickets from them. Right now we are thinking of getting 4 day non-hoppers for $200 each. The 4 day non-hopper is almost the same as a 3 day hopper, so we decided to go with more days.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:09 PM   #3
OhioStateBuckeye
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Well I just found out that Cirque du Soleil Iris will be closing mid January.

We saw La Nouba last time we were at WDW and Cirque became one of our newest favorite things, we were both really looking forward to watching it this upcoming trip. Especially since it is themed around movies and I love movies.


Sigh. Back to the drawing board for my birthday night activity.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:23 PM   #4
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I really enjoyed your last TR, so I'll be on board for this one. And already enjoying the Dr Who references: Allons-y!

By the way, the Sequoia trees are really amazing. I've actually only been up there once, and just for a day, but I really liked it up there. I usually go up farther north to the closely related Coastal Redwoods in Nor Cal. I don't know how cold it'll be in February up in Sequoia though; it's obviously a high elevation so I think it snows up there in the winter? which may help you decide on camping vs hotel? I don't know, I guess it depends on how far up you're going.

As for other suggestions of what to do: hmmm... I really like Griffith Observatory if you're into that kind of stuff. You can go up there, maybe for the night you were going to see Cirque du Soleil (I think it's best at night). It sits right by the Hollywood sign, and you get a great view of LA from up there. It's free entry; and you can buy tickets to see their planetarium show if you want.

Last edited by caffingdu; 01-18-2013 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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Allons-y!!!
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"When you're a kid, they tell you it's all... grow up. Get a job. Get married. Get a house. Have a kid, and that's it.
But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It's so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better."





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Old 01-19-2013, 08:11 PM   #6
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Following along!
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"We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it!"-August 2014-TR
PTR: Have you ever planned a trip in 39 days on a total impulse? Same!~Aug 2014

3 days in LA, 6 days in Disneyland and 1 Amazing Cast Member Photo bomb

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Old 01-19-2013, 10:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caffingdu View Post
I really enjoyed your last TR, so I'll be on board for this one. And already enjoying the Dr Who references: Allons-y!

By the way, the Sequoia trees are really amazing. I've actually only been up there once, and just for a day, but I really liked it up there. I usually go up farther north to the closely related Coastal Redwoods in Nor Cal. I don't know how cold it'll be in February up in Sequoia though; it's obviously a high elevation so I think it snows up there in the winter? which may help you decide on camping vs hotel? I don't know, I guess it depends on how far up you're going.

As for other suggestions of what to do: hmmm... I really like Griffith Observatory if you're into that kind of stuff. You can go up there, maybe for the night you were going to see Cirque du Soleil (I think it's best at night). It sits right by the Hollywood sign, and you get a great view of LA from up there. It's free entry; and you can buy tickets to see their planetarium show if you want.
Brian says it is ok if it'll be cold because we have a tent.... I am not sure I understand his logic, except he is an eagle scout who loves hiking/camping so I guess he knows stuff I don't. Anyway, I made sure he researched all the snow and how much they got, he is going to make a contingency plan in case the weather is real bad when we get there. I guess we'll see.

They have a planetarium show?? I love that, I got to go to one at Ohio State for my astronomy course. Nothing better than looking at the stars.

And oh, I found out Cirque is ending it's run this weekend So we are going to just miss it.

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Allons-y!!!
Welcome! Glad to see you

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Following along!
Thanks so much!



Well I was super productive today. ABC Family had this amazing marathon of Disney movies on...so I may or may not have spent all day on the sofa watching.

Mary Poppins was the first one, that is one of those sweet movies that is amazing when your a kid, and then amazing when your grown up but for totally different reasons. I really liked the banter between the adults.

Then Lady and the Tramp came on. I thought I remembered that movie, but I totally did not. I really enjoyed rewatching, especially the beginning with baby Lady.

I think I may have missed the next one, but I caught the end of Aladdin, which is always good but I'd seen that one recently.

Then Cinderella came on, which I also haven't seen in a super long time.

Alice in Wonderland was after, but I've never watched a lot of that one and I have to confess I don't really like it at all. I like Alice in Wonderland the story, just not the Disney version (blasphemy, I know).


Oooh, and I just checked tomorrow's tv guide and I have Hercules set to record.


I am totally in a Disney mood right now.



I booked the Castle hotel for Mon through Wed. I know it got some bad reviews, but I really can't find anything else that is within walking distance that is under $100 a night (got it for $88 and free parking/wi fi).

Then for Saturday (my actual birthday) through Monday I booked Ramada Main Gate. The weekend hotel prices were insane, and the Radisson was $109 a night and has free parking, so I just went with them. The reservations are both refundable so I am continuing to look for better deals.


I may book the Super 8 Anaheim we stayed at last time. We really liked it, we just didn't enjoy that long walk after a full day at the parks.

Last edited by OhioStateBuckeye; 01-19-2013 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:07 AM   #8
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Glad to hear your accomadations are falling into place. Why is that always one of the biggest decisions?

Thanks SO much for the ABC family Disney movie tip. We actually have a 20 Disney movie countdown going on (approx. 1 movie every 10 days) to lead up to our trip this summer. Hercules and Lady and the Tramp are on the list and they are showing them again today. DVR has been set!
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"We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it!"-August 2014-TR
PTR: Have you ever planned a trip in 39 days on a total impulse? Same!~Aug 2014

3 days in LA, 6 days in Disneyland and 1 Amazing Cast Member Photo bomb

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Old 01-28-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
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Woohoo on Big Bang theory tickets! You'll have ti let us know how that goes.

*spoilers*. Amy gets much better. 😉
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Woohoo on Big Bang theory tickets! You'll have ti let us know how that goes.

*spoilers*. Amy gets much better. 😉
haha spoilers, love it. Would also love it if Disney put in, if not a ride, at least some sort of little Doctor Who homage somewhere in the parks.



So with much tweaking, and now that I know my Big Bang taping date, the schedule is just about finalized.

Sunday Feb. 24: arrive at noon to LAX, get car, head to Sequoia based on weather.

Monday Feb. 25: early morning hike at Sequoia, then head to Anaheim. Check into Candy Cane. I think tonight we will just relax, maybe explore DD. There is a very off chance we'll go into a park this night.

Tuesday Feb. 26: was previously going to be a park day, but this is now Big Bang day. We have to be there ready to wait at 1. I think I'll schedule a WB Studio Tour around 10:30 (it takes 2.5 hours). So we'll most likely just wake up and head to the WB Studios. Depending on what time the Big Bang taping is over, we might go to Grauman's or El Capitan for a movie, then head back to Anaheim.

Wednesday Feb. 27: wake up early, check into DLH, go to DCA for the hotel extra morning hours.

Thursday Feb. 28: sleep in a bit and enjoy the hotel, then DL all day. When we are done with DL, head to Oceanside for the night.

Friday March 1: Zoo, SD hotel resort time, then dinner and Prohibition Bar.

Saturday March 2: Birthday!! Old Town, La Jolla seals, then back to Anaheim to check into the Ramada and head to Trader Sam's

Sunday March 3: Full DL day


geez. I can never seem to schedule downtime, can I??


I think my problem is I just like too many things. This schedule is jam packed without even trying to find time to see the Jekyll and Hyde broadway show I wanted to see. I also wanted to make it to the Griffith Observatory. And have at least one more Disney day. Ugh.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:35 PM   #11
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It all sounds fun! You can sleep when you get home!

How fun you get to see a Big Bang Theory taping. That's one of our favorite shows. You could possibly do Griffith Observatory that same day since you'll be nearby.

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Old 01-29-2013, 11:02 PM   #12
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Yay...for things falling into place!!

I know you did Universal last trip...remind me...was that the only studio tour you did? I ask because I am currently torn between the WB and Universal tours so I would love a comparison!!

Oh I would also love to hear if you squeeze in the Griffith Observatory! That is on our list (planning to start my first ever PTR very soon) yet I haven't been able to find much on the Dis about it.
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"We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it!"-August 2014-TR
PTR: Have you ever planned a trip in 39 days on a total impulse? Same!~Aug 2014

3 days in LA, 6 days in Disneyland and 1 Amazing Cast Member Photo bomb

I am on twitter: http://twitter.com/stacyleigh9
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHXscuba View Post
It all sounds fun! You can sleep when you get home!

How fun you get to see a Big Bang Theory taping. That's one of our favorite shows. You could possibly do Griffith Observatory that same day since you'll be nearby.

PHXscuba
We are kind of thinking along that route for the observatory. After Big Bang I think we'll either watch a movie at Grauman's or El Capitan, or go to the Observatory.

Our other option is Monday afternoon/evening, on the drive back from Sequoia or wherever we go, we could do the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stacy~** View Post
Yay...for things falling into place!!

I know you did Universal last trip...remind me...was that the only studio tour you did? I ask because I am currently torn between the WB and Universal tours so I would love a comparison!!

Oh I would also love to hear if you squeeze in the Griffith Observatory! That is on our list (planning to start my first ever PTR very soon) yet I haven't been able to find much on the Dis about it.
We did the regular Universal park experience, which includes the tram tour. You can pay extra and do a special Universal tour, which includes more behind the scenes access, and I believe you get special VIP seating at all the shows and front of the line access to the rides.

We did the Paramount Studios tour, which might not help you but we thought was awesome. We got to go onto the set of Big Time Rush, though I've heard that most get to see the Dr. Phil set but it was closed when we went.

We are going to do the WB Tour this time, so if your trip is sometime in the future I'll make sure to give you the rundown on the WB Tour.




The next big step I've moved onto is the car rental. For 9 days, I found a $181 price on Bookit.com. I used the Visa code for Alamo and was able to get one for $189, and I think I'm keeping that and cancelling the bookit.com, it is with a car rental agency I've never heard of, but I think its a cheapo place.


I'm also confused about my tour booking date. I want to book the Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour for Sunday March 3. You can only book 30 days in advance. I had called a few days ago not realizing this, and the guy on the phone at Disney told me if I wanted the tour for March 3 I could call February 3...isn't that 1 day too many? Shouldn't I be able to call March 2? I am confused.

Also wondering if the dessert package for Fantasmic is worth it. Brian doesn't really like camping a spot so far in advance, and I think he gets stressed out of I'm stressing all day and hoping we get a good spot to watch it.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:13 AM   #14
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Have a magical time! Be sure to take lots of pictures to share with us!

I am not a big twitter person but I am heading over to follow you now! Yay!
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Saratoga Springs August 2014
POP/Beach Club May 2014*Saratoga Springs March 2014
DISNEYLAND-Paradise Pier July 2013*BWI June 2012
ASMo March 2012-one day only*WL July 2010
POFQ Jan 2009*DISNEYLAND-Hojo Aug 2007
POFQ March 2007*CSR Aug 2006


"We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it!"-August 2014-TR
PTR: Have you ever planned a trip in 39 days on a total impulse? Same!~Aug 2014

3 days in LA, 6 days in Disneyland and 1 Amazing Cast Member Photo bomb

I am on twitter: http://twitter.com/stacyleigh9
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:28 AM   #15
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,895

Well we are back

I am sitting at work, trying not to fall asleep. Our flight got in really late last night around 12:30.

We are going to get the pictures loaded onto the computer tonight, hopefully we got some good ones.

I am probably gonna write a very brief review of the trip and some tips and tricks on the main DL board, and then probably copy and paste it here.

If any of you guys have specific questions about parts of the trip that I might not get to fast enough for you (I believe someone wanted to know about the WB tour), please PM me or ask me on here.
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