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Old 05-14-2010, 10:12 AM   #1
swabikedude
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Disneyland First Timer's Trip - May 5-8

First time to Southern California & Disneyland...we have 3 days! Here goes...

May 5th - flew in on Southwest (whom I work for) into LAX and rented a car with Enterprise.

Enterprise - Great service, nice people, awesome choice of vehicles...4 day rental, $80 including tax, for a Full-size...rented a Nissan Altima...2010 model!

Hotel - Ramada Maingate Hotel - $64 inc tax per night for Wed/Thu and $99 inc tax per night for Fri.

Ramada - PROs: great location, easy walking to Disneyland, great and powerful AC in room, comfy beds and TONS of pillows PLUS micro and fridge...all included!

CONs: BAD, BAD Continental Breakfast, limited options, crowded, frozen eggs, not enough seating out by pool, pool was dirty at bottom, rooms were smaller than Pop Century in Disney World, towels were small, amenities were basic and cheap, WiFi was terrible!!!

We drove to In-n-Out and ate lunch, went to Santa Monica Pier and paid $2 for 2 hours to park and cruised the Pier (off season, so not much open), played on beach and put our toes in the water!, drove through Beverly Hills (didn't do much but drive around) and then parked at Hollywood & Highland Shopping Center to walk around Mann's Chinese Theatre and do some window shopping at Hollywood & Highland - it was okay, not really for a 4-year old though. Too many spooks walking around in strange imitation character costumes taking photos then hounding you for tips.

At a light-snack at the Disney Soda Fountain across the street, it was cool, but WAY over-priced! Best MALT ever though!!! Nice little gift shop - different things you won't find at Disneyland!!

Drove to our Resort - lovely LA traffic! Took over an hour and 1/2 - should have been 30 minutes. Oh well. Nice car to drive in.

Checked into hotel, got room quick, read Pros and Cons above...then walked over to Downtown Disney....WOW!

Downtown Disney is VERY VERY NICE! Tons to do and see and eat and buy! We could have spent a day just cruising around there!!!

We were beat, drove down the street on Harbor Blvd to the Target to grab some snacks and sun block - then bed time!!!
__________________


Sometime in 2012 - Disneyland
Sometime in 2012 - Disney Cruise Line (2nd Cruise)
October 2011 - Beach Club Resort/MNSSHP
December 2010 - Grand Floridian Resort - Concierge/MVMCP
SURPRISE May 2010 - Disneyland!!!
February 2010 - Pop Century Resort
December 2009 - Polynesian Resort - Concierge/MVMCP
June 2009 - Wilderness Lodge / Disney Wonder 4-day
October 2008 - POP Century / MNSSHP
January 2007 - POP Century - My son's FIRST Disney Trip!

Thanks for flying Southwest Airlines

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Old 05-14-2010, 10:22 AM   #2
swabikedude
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Day 2 - May 6th

Today was California Adventure day...boy were we disappointed! The park opened at 1000 and not a minute too soon! We got in around 11am. It was not very crowded, except the popular attractions - but there was so much construction you couldn't walk in every path available...some areas were closed off and you had to backtrack.

We began with our tired and cranky 4yr old, yeah, we were THOSE parents...not a good way to start your day...he just wanted to DO something!

We got FP for Soarin, then walked towards Toy Story Midway Mania. Stood in line for 45 minutes, got up to the CM who asked us "How many in your Party?" - then before we could proceed...announcement came on saying the ride is temporarily closed. We had to evacuate the queue and later found out one of the ride vehicles overheated and could have caught fire! FP's were given to everyone but you COULD NOT use it for Tower of Terror OR the TSMM - huh??? Really!?!? This is NOT turning out to be a good day.

We met some characters, Woody & Jesse - then walked back towards Aladdin the Musical - since we were offered VIP for Aladdin for the next show...stopped to ride Soarin - good thing we had our FP...wait was over an hour.

Got to Aladdin - waited for 30 minutes in HOT SUN - no shade, their umbrella's were NOT opened...not sure why. Performance began and about 15 minutes into it - the lights came up and the actors walked off stage and an announcement said "This performance of Aladdin has been cancelled!" WOW! Two attractions in one day!!! I was NOT happy!

We were now in DCA for about 4 hours and only completed ONE ride! Soarin!

Several CM came over to hear my story and were very sympathetic - one CM ended up staying with us to assist us on a few attractions - but we only rode one more in that area which was Monsters, Inc. It was decent for a dark ride...but nothing spectacular! I was still disappointed with DCA!

Eventually my wife needed a break and we sat down for something to eat and then I took my son to Bugs Land...We rode all four attractions and had a good time, but there were very short and lines were all about 15-20 minutes each. So after a good hour - we were done with DCA...we ended up completing our day in Disneyland!!!

WOW - Disneyland is THE MOST AMAZING THEME PARK EVER!!!! I have been going to Disney World for almost 20 years now and this was our first time to Disneyland!!! WOW!!!!

Disneyland IS the Happiest Place on Earth! So different, so nostalgic, so wonderful, so clean, so nice, just SO AMAZING!!!

We could easily spend 3 days in Disneyland and NOT see everything!!!!

We ended up doing a few things in Fantasyland and then back to our resort because we were tired.

We got MiMi's Cafe down the street for dinner...definitely OVERPRICED - may have been equal to eating IN the Disneyland Resort...but it was good food.
__________________


Sometime in 2012 - Disneyland
Sometime in 2012 - Disney Cruise Line (2nd Cruise)
October 2011 - Beach Club Resort/MNSSHP
December 2010 - Grand Floridian Resort - Concierge/MVMCP
SURPRISE May 2010 - Disneyland!!!
February 2010 - Pop Century Resort
December 2009 - Polynesian Resort - Concierge/MVMCP
June 2009 - Wilderness Lodge / Disney Wonder 4-day
October 2008 - POP Century / MNSSHP
January 2007 - POP Century - My son's FIRST Disney Trip!

Thanks for flying Southwest Airlines

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Old 05-14-2010, 10:31 AM   #3
swabikedude
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Day 3 - May 7th

Our Pre-Anniversary Day! We celebrated all day long in Disneyland...it was open from 9am-12mid!!!

We had breakfast at Brennan's Jazz Kitchen - $30 for 3 of us - 2 bkfst sandwiches and some beignet's and drinks! WOW! Expensive!

Then entered Disneyland - we saw characters, got some celebration buttons, my son even got the Disneyland Citizen Button - so cool!

We rode Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, saw Captain EO, rode the train, spent time in Toontown - we missed the talking Mickey Mouse Encounter - darn!

We then went back to the hotel to rest...we wanted to stay up late to see the fireworks and stay until Midnight.

After going back into Disneyland - most of the crowd was exiting the park (this was around 6pm) but there were twice as many entering the park!!! So - the attendance seemed to be increasing instead of decreasing.

This was Mother's Day Weekend and on a Friday - so I am thinking it was HIGH attendance!

We went straight to Fantasyland and waited for several attractions to ride...Alice in Wonderland broke down, we came back later and it was running...GREAT RIDE. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was broken down...most of the night, didn't get to ride it...sad, cuz you can NOT find this in the Magic Kingdom in Florida! Rode Pinocchio, nice ride. Rode the Storybook Canal Boats...super cool ride. Rode It's a Small World - AWESOME ride - SO MUCH BETTER than DisneyWorld! We NEVER made it out of Fantasyland - missed the other lands of Disneyland...but the Train Ride was cool - never knew there were Dinosaurs in the train ride...so cool!!!!

We got MORE photos taken with Photopass - so cool!

Ate some churro's and snacks around the park - then saw the fireworks - simply amazing - then bobsleds in the dark and Space Mountain one more time to cap off the day!

All in all - the best trip ever!!! I will go back to Disneyland - and spend 3 days to see EVERYTHING!!!! We missed WAY TOO MUCH - never got to ride the cars of Autopia, never rode Nemo in the submarines, never even got on the Monorail! Oh well - there's always next year!!!!
__________________


Sometime in 2012 - Disneyland
Sometime in 2012 - Disney Cruise Line (2nd Cruise)
October 2011 - Beach Club Resort/MNSSHP
December 2010 - Grand Floridian Resort - Concierge/MVMCP
SURPRISE May 2010 - Disneyland!!!
February 2010 - Pop Century Resort
December 2009 - Polynesian Resort - Concierge/MVMCP
June 2009 - Wilderness Lodge / Disney Wonder 4-day
October 2008 - POP Century / MNSSHP
January 2007 - POP Century - My son's FIRST Disney Trip!

Thanks for flying Southwest Airlines

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Old 05-14-2010, 11:32 AM   #4
basketballmom
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glad you had a good trip! sorry about your experience at DCA...it really is a nice park. you DEFINITELY need to plan another visit!
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:03 PM   #5
RweTHEREyet
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Sounds like you packed in a lot at DL, even with a break to rest in the afternoon. Glad you had a good trip overall.
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:35 PM   #6
slightlyvolcom
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Sounds like Disneyland was sick, too bad California Adventure wasn't the best. It's usually a ton of fun, and hopefully you can get back there when Carsland, World of Color, & The Little Mermaid open!
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:00 PM   #7
StEpHandMiKe<3Disney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swabikedude View Post
First time to Southern California & Disneyland...we have 3 days! Here goes...

May 5th - flew in on Southwest (whom I work for) into LAX and rented a car with Enterprise.

Enterprise - Great service, nice people, awesome choice of vehicles...4 day rental, $80 including tax, for a Full-size...rented a Nissan Altima...2010 model!

Hotel - Ramada Maingate Hotel - $64 inc tax per night for Wed/Thu and $99 inc tax per night for Fri.

Ramada - PROs: great location, easy walking to Disneyland, great and powerful AC in room, comfy beds and TONS of pillows PLUS micro and fridge...all included!

CONs: BAD, BAD Continental Breakfast, limited options, crowded, frozen eggs, not enough seating out by pool, pool was dirty at bottom, rooms were smaller than Pop Century in Disney World, towels were small, amenities were basic and cheap, WiFi was terrible!!!

We drove to In-n-Out and ate lunch, went to Santa Monica Pier and paid $2 for 2 hours to park and cruised the Pier (off season, so not much open), played on beach and put our toes in the water!, drove through Beverly Hills (didn't do much but drive around) and then parked at Hollywood & Highland Shopping Center to walk around Mann's Chinese Theatre and do some window shopping at Hollywood & Highland - it was okay, not really for a 4-year old though. Too many spooks walking around in strange imitation character costumes taking photos then hounding you for tips.

At a light-snack at the Disney Soda Fountain across the street, it was cool, but WAY over-priced! Best MALT ever though!!! Nice little gift shop - different things you won't find at Disneyland!!

Drove to our Resort - lovely LA traffic! Took over an hour and 1/2 - should have been 30 minutes. Oh well. Nice car to drive in.

Checked into hotel, got room quick, read Pros and Cons above...then walked over to Downtown Disney....WOW!

Downtown Disney is VERY VERY NICE! Tons to do and see and eat and buy! We could have spent a day just cruising around there!!!

We were beat, drove down the street on Harbor Blvd to the Target to grab some snacks and sun block - then bed time!!!
It sounds like ya'll had a good time! How did you get such a great rate on your rental car? We've been looking for July and they are so expensive!!! I've heard the best deals are last minute.
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