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Old 04-27-2012, 11:10 AM   #16
dougsmom98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tessieg View Post
Love reading about your Hollywood experience! We will be there in June.
Thanks! We LOVED Hollywood. There is so much to do in the area and we can't wait to go back.
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Up next - Off Site @ Grand Reserve April, 2015
1st Trip Dec 2002 - Holiday Inn Nicki Bird, 2nd Trip June 2004 - Fantasy World Villas, 3rd Trip Feb 2006 - Windsor Palms, 4th Trip Feb 2007 - Regal Palms, 5th Trip Feb 2008 - Solana Resort, 6th Trip Feb 2009 - Windwood Bay, 7th Trip Feb 2010 - Grand Reserve, 8th trip Feb 2011 - Grand Reserve, 9th trip Feb 2012 Grand Reserve, 10th trip April 2012 Disney Land - Castle Inn and Suites, 11th trip Feb 2013 Grand Reserve, 12th Trip Feb 2014 Grand Reserve
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:55 PM   #17
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This is a great thread. My DH and I are going to DL for the first time in September. He is runnng the half marathon to get his coast to coast medal. (Ran in WDW in January) Really enjoying the updates as we are big WDW fans and I am so afraid we will be disappointed.

BTW - the new servers for these boards are "screaming" - it is really fast now. Thanks
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:49 PM   #18
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Following along! Love the pics! Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:55 PM   #19
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Enjoying your TR! Good tip about Hollywood on Sunday. We're going back to DL in the fall and plan to include Hollywood this time.
Nice looking family there! Glad you had a good time!
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:32 PM   #20
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Enjoying your TR! Good tip about Hollywood on Sunday. We're going back to DL in the fall and plan to include Hollywood this time.
Nice looking family there! Glad you had a good time!
Thanks for the compliment I hope reading this trip report helps your planning. I read a few trip reports before our trip and they really helped.
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Up next - Off Site @ Grand Reserve April, 2015
1st Trip Dec 2002 - Holiday Inn Nicki Bird, 2nd Trip June 2004 - Fantasy World Villas, 3rd Trip Feb 2006 - Windsor Palms, 4th Trip Feb 2007 - Regal Palms, 5th Trip Feb 2008 - Solana Resort, 6th Trip Feb 2009 - Windwood Bay, 7th Trip Feb 2010 - Grand Reserve, 8th trip Feb 2011 - Grand Reserve, 9th trip Feb 2012 Grand Reserve, 10th trip April 2012 Disney Land - Castle Inn and Suites, 11th trip Feb 2013 Grand Reserve, 12th Trip Feb 2014 Grand Reserve
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:35 PM   #21
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Really enjoying the updates as we are big WDW fans and I am so afraid we will be disappointed.
I was REALLY afraid we were going to be disappointed too. I had read a few threads with complaints from WDW vets and that made me nervous. There were a few rides that I didn't like as well as WDW, but so many other things I liked as well and better than WDW.
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Up next - Off Site @ Grand Reserve April, 2015
1st Trip Dec 2002 - Holiday Inn Nicki Bird, 2nd Trip June 2004 - Fantasy World Villas, 3rd Trip Feb 2006 - Windsor Palms, 4th Trip Feb 2007 - Regal Palms, 5th Trip Feb 2008 - Solana Resort, 6th Trip Feb 2009 - Windwood Bay, 7th Trip Feb 2010 - Grand Reserve, 8th trip Feb 2011 - Grand Reserve, 9th trip Feb 2012 Grand Reserve, 10th trip April 2012 Disney Land - Castle Inn and Suites, 11th trip Feb 2013 Grand Reserve, 12th Trip Feb 2014 Grand Reserve
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:37 PM   #22
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We exited the Hollywood and Highland Center and immediately gawked at the stars beneath our feet.

Mark with the Los Angeles Dodgers Star:


Douglas with Steven Spielberg's star:


Melissa with Christina Aguilera:


Grauman's Chinese Theater was literally several hundred steps away from Hollywood and Highland.



We got there at the SAME time as a huge Asian tour group, but we were patient. They were done quicker than us and then we could get to some of our favorites easier. All of us loved seeing the hand/foot prints and reading the messages the stars have left.

The guys with Sylvester Stallone's prints:


Melissa with Donald Duck:


Me with Johnny Depp:


My Godmother, Lynn, and her husband, Al, moved to California recently and they drove 1.5 hours to come see us. We were meeting them at Madame Tussaud's at 10:30. Madame Tussaud's is next door to Grauman's Chinese Theater, so we didn't have to rush to get there. Lynn and Al didn't want to spend the entire day with us because Al, is wheelchair bound with a foot injury and they brought their dog, but we had a great visit on the streets of Hollywood. They were excited because they haven't had a chance to do Hollywood because of Al's foot injury, but plan to soon after he recovers.

Here is a picture of my brother and I with Lynn, Al and their puppy Tigger.


We visited for a half hour. The plan was to go right to Madame Tussaud's but right next door to the wax museum was a store that sold everything for $10. Well, they had workers outside advertising that everything in the store was $5. I couldn't pass up a deal, so we went inside. They had t-shirts, mugs, bags, baseball hats... I ended up buying myself a Hollywood tote bag, I bought Melissa a pink Hollywood t-shirt, Mark bought a Hollywood hat, Matthew wanted a fedora type hat, I also bought Melissa a bracelet she really wanted. My DH didn't buy anything. While we were at the store, the price of everything increased to $6 per item. Anyone who was already there got the $5 price. Here are some of our treasures:

Mark's Hollywood hat:


Matt's fedora hat:


Douglas "in front" of the Hollywood sign:


Melissa's bracelet:


Up next... Madame Tussaud's (finally!)
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Up next - Off Site @ Grand Reserve April, 2015
1st Trip Dec 2002 - Holiday Inn Nicki Bird, 2nd Trip June 2004 - Fantasy World Villas, 3rd Trip Feb 2006 - Windsor Palms, 4th Trip Feb 2007 - Regal Palms, 5th Trip Feb 2008 - Solana Resort, 6th Trip Feb 2009 - Windwood Bay, 7th Trip Feb 2010 - Grand Reserve, 8th trip Feb 2011 - Grand Reserve, 9th trip Feb 2012 Grand Reserve, 10th trip April 2012 Disney Land - Castle Inn and Suites, 11th trip Feb 2013 Grand Reserve, 12th Trip Feb 2014 Grand Reserve
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:08 AM   #23
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Madame Tussaud's - So after we got our treasures for $5 at the store next door, we headed over to Madame Tussaud's. Out front they had a Shrek to stand with and a Lucille Ball.





I had signed up for the Elephant VIP card prior to the trip. You sign up online and print off the card. Here is the link: http://www.hollywoodandhighland.com/vip

It gave us $5 off the entrance fee for adults and children. Up to 6 people could get the discount per visit. I thought it would end up being the same price as buying tickets in advance online, but I was hesitant to buy in advance in case we got sick and couldn't leave our hotel room or something. I am glad I didn't buy online in advance because I am pretty positive it was even less expensive than online. Looking at the web site, it would have cost us $108 online but it only cost us $99 for our group. So I highly recommend printing this card off. After buying your tickets, you walk up a ramp and an employee meets you to tell the rules before you enter. The only rules are that you may not touch the figures hair or face. Other than that, you may pose with them however you want. Next, they have you pose in front of a green screen for several photos and get a photopass type card because there are several other areas where you may get your photo taken by a photographer. The wax museum has 3 floors. The top floor is designed to be a Hollywood celebrity red carpet party. Here are some photos that we took.

















The middle floor of the museum has classic Hollywood figures and movie characters. Here are several pictures from that floor.


















The bottom floor was a little bit of everything and sports.
















We had such a good time at this museum. If you go, make sure you have a cleared memory card on your camera and a full battery. It was so much fun taking pictures with the wax figures. We spent at least two hours here - but there are 6 of us and I can't tell you how many times I heard my kids calling out "Mom, take my picture." Smaller families may not need as much time. This was one of the highlights of our trip. I highly recommend it if you are willing to be silly.
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Up next - Off Site @ Grand Reserve April, 2015
1st Trip Dec 2002 - Holiday Inn Nicki Bird, 2nd Trip June 2004 - Fantasy World Villas, 3rd Trip Feb 2006 - Windsor Palms, 4th Trip Feb 2007 - Regal Palms, 5th Trip Feb 2008 - Solana Resort, 6th Trip Feb 2009 - Windwood Bay, 7th Trip Feb 2010 - Grand Reserve, 8th trip Feb 2011 - Grand Reserve, 9th trip Feb 2012 Grand Reserve, 10th trip April 2012 Disney Land - Castle Inn and Suites, 11th trip Feb 2013 Grand Reserve, 12th Trip Feb 2014 Grand Reserve
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:45 PM   #24
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I love that last picture of your sons with Jack Nicholson!
Did your kids know many of the figures? That is the one thing I wasnt sure about---how many my kids would know and if it would be interesting to them if they didnt know the celebrities.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:46 PM   #25
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I'm really enjoying your trip report so far! Sounds like a great day!
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:36 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tessieg View Post
I love that last picture of your sons with Jack Nicholson!
Did your kids know many of the figures? That is the one thing I wasnt sure about---how many my kids would know and if it would be interesting to them if they didnt know the celebrities.
My boys knew a lot of the celebrities especially the ones on the top floor, the sports people, and the movie characters. They definitely knew more than my daughter. They are 13, 11, and 11 and she is 6 but she still had a blast. She still wanted to pose with the pretty ladies and the action heros. It was kind of cool because even with the actors that my kids didn't know, there tended to be fun props for them to play with and pose with so it made it interactive and fun.
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Up next - Off Site @ Grand Reserve April, 2015
1st Trip Dec 2002 - Holiday Inn Nicki Bird, 2nd Trip June 2004 - Fantasy World Villas, 3rd Trip Feb 2006 - Windsor Palms, 4th Trip Feb 2007 - Regal Palms, 5th Trip Feb 2008 - Solana Resort, 6th Trip Feb 2009 - Windwood Bay, 7th Trip Feb 2010 - Grand Reserve, 8th trip Feb 2011 - Grand Reserve, 9th trip Feb 2012 Grand Reserve, 10th trip April 2012 Disney Land - Castle Inn and Suites, 11th trip Feb 2013 Grand Reserve, 12th Trip Feb 2014 Grand Reserve
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:47 PM   #27
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I'm really enjoying your trip report so far! Sounds like a great day!
Thanks. I am glad you are enjoying it. We did have a great day!
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DH, John ME, Amy
DS 15, Douglas DS 13, Matthew DS 13, Mark DD 9, Melissa

Up next - Off Site @ Grand Reserve April, 2015
1st Trip Dec 2002 - Holiday Inn Nicki Bird, 2nd Trip June 2004 - Fantasy World Villas, 3rd Trip Feb 2006 - Windsor Palms, 4th Trip Feb 2007 - Regal Palms, 5th Trip Feb 2008 - Solana Resort, 6th Trip Feb 2009 - Windwood Bay, 7th Trip Feb 2010 - Grand Reserve, 8th trip Feb 2011 - Grand Reserve, 9th trip Feb 2012 Grand Reserve, 10th trip April 2012 Disney Land - Castle Inn and Suites, 11th trip Feb 2013 Grand Reserve, 12th Trip Feb 2014 Grand Reserve
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:42 PM   #28
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To exit the museum, you go through a small gift shop. This is where you can look at your photopass type photos. We looked at them but didn't like any of them well enough to purchase them. We exited the museum and crossed the street to be on the same side as Disney's Soda Fountain. I knew Tinkerbell's star was out in front. Along the way we saw this star




A good view of the Hard Rock was across the street:


A good view of the Kodak Theater:


The Muppets!


Finally the star we had been looking for:


This guy was not too far behind.


Mickey Mouse was also right there outside the Soda Fountain, but there were people going in and out and I didn't want to block foot traffic. The soda fountain looked really cool and I would have loved to eat here but for a family of 6, we couldn't justify the budget.

In my original itinerary, I suggested eating at Mel's Diner if we were hungry, but I REALLY wanted to save my appetite for the Farmers Market. So, we went to McDonalds. McDonald's is right next door to Ripleys Believe It or Not. We split several 20 piece nuggets, several large fries, several drinks and then we each got an ice cream. You can't beat the price of a McDonalds hot fudge sundae.

Marilyn Monroe's star was between McDonald's and Ripley's:



Right behind Ripleys was our next stop, The Hollywood Museum.



This attraction was very quiet, but packed full of items to look at. I had read good things about it on tripadvisor and really enjoyed the attraction. I don't think the kids liked it as well as the wax museum, but it was still cool. There were lots of clothes from movies and famous actors/actresses.

Here is a Baywatch Bathing suit:



Sony and Cher's clothes:


Prom Outfits from High School Musical 3.


The original Training Gloves from Rocky:


Rocky's boxing robe:


Elvis Presley's robe:


The shoes that the kids from Harry Potter wore when they made their footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater.



We got our picture taken in the lobby by the very helpful lady that checked us in. She was so sweet and clearly LOVED her job and was knowledgeable about the area an the museum.



I don't have a picture of it, but we got to take the elevator to the top floor because my brother's friend Diane was using a scooter for this trip. The elevator was so cool. It was a large wooden box big enough to fit a car. They had to make it specially to bring one of the cars on display to its location.

Another cool thing was when I used the restroom, there were signs indicating that these were the original bathrooms that the Max Factor make up artists used to use back in the day because this is the old Max Factor building.

Some accessories from Lucille Ball located in the red head's make up room:


The actual mirror and make up room for the red heads:


My daughter was pleased to see Hannah Montana's dress:


Darth Vader and C3PO


A picture of the original Hollywood Sign.
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DH, John ME, Amy
DS 15, Douglas DS 13, Matthew DS 13, Mark DD 9, Melissa

Up next - Off Site @ Grand Reserve April, 2015
1st Trip Dec 2002 - Holiday Inn Nicki Bird, 2nd Trip June 2004 - Fantasy World Villas, 3rd Trip Feb 2006 - Windsor Palms, 4th Trip Feb 2007 - Regal Palms, 5th Trip Feb 2008 - Solana Resort, 6th Trip Feb 2009 - Windwood Bay, 7th Trip Feb 2010 - Grand Reserve, 8th trip Feb 2011 - Grand Reserve, 9th trip Feb 2012 Grand Reserve, 10th trip April 2012 Disney Land - Castle Inn and Suites, 11th trip Feb 2013 Grand Reserve, 12th Trip Feb 2014 Grand Reserve

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Old 04-28-2012, 11:06 PM   #29
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Downstairs in the museum was the "horror" room. My daughter thought it was scary but no one else did. The lighting was dim, so my photos did not come out that well.





There were also some action film things like Indiana Jones' whip:


Indiana Jones' hat:


After a couple of hours, we left the Hollywood Museum. We enjoyed it and are glad we did it. It was not as fun as the wax museum, but very informative and educational. It also had a lot of cool props and was in a cool building.

We decided to head back to Hollwood and Highland Center so we could head to the La Brea Tar Pits and Griffith Observatory. It was probably around 4 pm. We ended up having to pay the $10 flat fee for parking at the Hollywood and Highland Center parking garage, which wasn't too bad given the number of hours we were there. We might of been able to pay less if we had validated our parking with a participating vendor, but we really didn't want to fool around trying to figure that out.

The tar pits were not very far away. On the way, we saw Pink's Hot Dogs. The line was super long and some day I would like to go, but we didn't have time today.



The grounds at the tar pits are free but it costs to park. The only parking we could find was $2.75 for every 15 minutes. So, we parked and tried to be as quick as possible. We crossed the street to the grounds and went to the right of the building. There were some smaller tar pits on this side and an excavation site that we couldn't see into. So, here are a few pictures of what we saw. It reminded me of a big dirty puddle that bubbled if you looked closely... I wasn't overly impressed even though I teach science. I think part of it had to do with the trash we saw in the puddles. There wasn't a ton, but probably 1-2 pieces per puddle. I just don't get some people.





We worked our way to the other side of the building (the left side). We should have gone to this side first because it has the "tar lake." It was much bigger, had a few stone statues in it to simulate animals getting stuck in the tar pits, and there was a lot more bubbling.







We left as quickly as we could because of the price of parking. It cost us around $8. The plan was to go to the Farmer's Market first, then the Griffith Observatory but the ice cream from lunch was still sitting in our stomaches, so we went to the Griffith Observatory. It was easy to get to. We started up the hill and saw small parks, picnic areas, trail areas... on the way up. Still a couple miles before the top, we saw cars parking on the road. We kept going because we had part of Diane's scooter in our van and the other part in my brother's car and we needed two parking spaces together. We also didn't want to walk two miles. The main parking lot was full and we were detoured. We went past the main lot and turned around. Apparently Griffith Observatory is a HUGE hit with the locals on a Sunday afternoon/evening. It was evident that we were not going to be able to go today. We had one day planned to stop at the beach later in the week so that we could say we put our feet in the Pacific Ocean, so we decided we would go there then. So, we went to the Farmers Market. Parking for the Farmers Market was tricky too. We tried two open air lots and they were both full. They would allow you to enter but finding a spot was rough. So, we ended up parking in a parking garage attached to The Grove shopping center. We walked through The Grove to the Farmers Market. We loved the atmosphere of the Farmers Market and were really looking forward to trying something unique to eat at one of the vendors. We started to walk around and noticed some of the vendors closing up shop. We asked what time it closed and they said 7 pm. Well, by now it was 6:45. Our second big disappointment for the day. So we rushed around and decided we would just get a snack.

Here is some of what we got.


I am a HUGE cake/cupcake fan, but these were just not as good as they looked.

So, we were pretty disappointed that we missed some of the other great vendors. So, we left and headed back to The Grove shopping center. Melissa had spied the American Girl store and wanted to check it out. Guess what??? They closed at 7 pm too.

So, we strolled around and looked at the store fronts on the way back to the parking garage.





It only cost us $3 to park which wasn't bad. Unfortunately, my brother lost his parking ticket. He looked everywhere and couldn't find it. They charged him $24 to park even thought we were only there for around an hour.

So, we headed back to Anaheim. There was not much traffic at all. We found a Little Ceasars Pizza place not too far away from the hotel. We got 4 pizzas for $5 each and took them back to the hotel to eat. After that, we packed up some bags with gear for our first Disneyland day and went to bed.

Overall the day was great. I would not recommend the tar pits except for a quick peek and I don't recommend going to Griffith Park late afternoon/early evening on a weekend, and we should have gone to the Farmers Market earlier in the day. Oh well, live and learn. After these disappointments, we decided we would definitely go to Griffith Park later in the week when we go to the beach. The Farmers Market looked cool, but we didn't want to take time out of week to go there again. We obviously planned too much in one day and if I were to do it over again, I would have stopped after the Hollywood Museum and went back to the hotel satisfied and happy. We had a great day overall, but it was disappointing to end the way it did. We will definitely go back to Hollywood again if we ever go to California. We loved it.

Up next our first day at Disneyland!
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DS 15, Douglas DS 13, Matthew DS 13, Mark DD 9, Melissa

Up next - Off Site @ Grand Reserve April, 2015
1st Trip Dec 2002 - Holiday Inn Nicki Bird, 2nd Trip June 2004 - Fantasy World Villas, 3rd Trip Feb 2006 - Windsor Palms, 4th Trip Feb 2007 - Regal Palms, 5th Trip Feb 2008 - Solana Resort, 6th Trip Feb 2009 - Windwood Bay, 7th Trip Feb 2010 - Grand Reserve, 8th trip Feb 2011 - Grand Reserve, 9th trip Feb 2012 Grand Reserve, 10th trip April 2012 Disney Land - Castle Inn and Suites, 11th trip Feb 2013 Grand Reserve, 12th Trip Feb 2014 Grand Reserve
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:17 AM   #30
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De-lurking to say hello and how much I've been enjoying your TR.

I had to laugh at your experience at the Farmer's Market/The Grove. We have a long flight from Oz to LA (14 hours) and we normally are out of the airport by about 10.30 in the morning. I ALWAYS plan for us to go get lunch at the Farmer's Market/The Grove as this is too early for us to check in to any hotel.

The last two times we did this, my DS (then 8 and 10) would be asleep on the back seat when we get to the parking lot.
DH and I have to do the tag team thing to go get lunch so that we can eat and also make sure that DS is okay at the same time. We both end up rushing around and not getting to check out the vendors properly.

I'm not sure which is worse....getting there right on when they close or getting there when everything is opened and not being able to properly explore.

There won't be a third time. Next time we head to LA, we are definitely planning a day OTHER THAN arrival day to visit.
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