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Old 04-28-2012, 10:31 PM   #1
OhioStateBuckeye
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Soarin Over California: Complete! Disneyland, Hollywood and San Diego!

Hi everyone! Sorry about the cringe inducing trip report title...its just, I've never been to California and whenever I think of the state or my trip, the Soarin music just pops into my head (gotta love that ride).

I decided to make a trip report because all the trip reports have been so invaluable to creating my own trip. Maybe my trip report will be able to help someone else

Without further ado, introductions!




[IMG][/IMG]

That is my BF and I, we are getting ready to head off to California!
Ignore the sign that says Dinoland, that is definitely us driving to California. Also...this is as good a time as any to make a confession. I...make...really weird faces. Alot. I'm sure you all know that by now... Anyway...

The BF, Brian, lived in San Diego for about 5 years, so he has heavily influenced the trip.

This is our itinerary:

Monday May 7: we will be flying from Columbus, Ohio to San Diego. We should arrive around dinnertime, but we won't be settling down into San Diego, oh no. We will be getting our rental car and heading up to LA. We managed to get a very good price for flights into SD, so while its not the most convenient thing to fly into a city and immediately take off, we will be leaving out of SD after a few days there, so it should (hopefully) not be too bad. Anyway, we will check into the Super 8 on Katella, and then making a mad dash into Hollywood to dine at the Yamashiro restaurant. Then its back to the hotel and to bed to be refreshed for our first day at DL.

Tuesday May 8: we will be up and ready to go to DL's MMHs at 8am. Highlights of the day will include lunch at Big Thunder BBQ, and hopefully WOC. After an action packed day at the parks, we will be heading over to Trader Sam's to unwind.

Wednesday May 9: once again we will hit the parks at opening. We have a lunch reservation at Blue Bayou (very excited about this one). We will be leaving the park midday to attend a taping of the Conan O'Brien show, then we will return to close the park.

Thursday May 10: this is our Hollywood day. We will check out of the Super 8 and move over to the Magic Castle Hotel. This day's itinerary is jam packed, hopefully we can pull it off. We will start off by touring the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Madame Toussad's Wax Museum and the Hollywood Museum. I'd like to have lunch at Mel's Diner, then head off to tour Paramount Studios (we hope we will be able to see the Community set). After the tour we'll head back to the hotel to get ready for our exclusive dinner at the Magic Castle. No cameras are allowed inside...so I really have no idea what this is going to entail. It sounds incredibly awesome though, and my imagination has been working in overdrive.

Friday May 11: we check out of the Magic Castle Hotel and head back to Anaheim for our last day at DL. I do not have a hotel reservation for this night yet, I am hoping against all rational hope that I'll be able to find a relatively cheap night at one of the DL owned hotels. This is a grad night, but I really wanted to try to see the Fireworks and Fantasmic, so we had to brave it.

Saturday May 12: check out of our mystery hotel and head to Universal Studios. We will hopefully finish up there a bit early in the afternoon, if we do we are going to do a quick drive by of the La Brea Tar Pits and Venice Beach, then head to San Diego. We have reservations for the Gas Lamp District Prohibition Bar. We will be spending the night at the downtown Hilton.

Sunday May 13: check out of the Hilton and head out on a road trip for the Mojave Desert Preserve. ugh...I feel tired just typing this all out. Its a good thing we are vacation commandos.... We are going to spend what is left of the day hiking the trails, then we will settle down into a campground to do something that has been on my bucket list since I was very young: camp out in the desert under the stars. I cannot Wait to see how many stars there are out there!! hmm...does the wizard smiley belong there? I think he might...moving on

Monday May 14: spend some more time hiking around the trails then pack up and head back to San Diego. We will check into Loew's Coronado hotel. Can I just stop here for a moment? I suppose I can, its my trip report I can do what I want (scary thought). I would loooove to be staying at the Hotel Del Coronado. If you've never heard of it...look it up. It looks like it was the inspiration for the Grand Floridian. My family took yearly vacations to Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio, and this hotel reminds me of Hotel Breakers, which brings back lots of great family memories. Anyway...this hotel is soooo expensive. So I will need to be satisfied with Loew's Coronado. Anyway, after we check in we are going to tour the Old Town district (if we are still standing at this point, which I am majorly starting to doubt since I am getting winded just typing this all out).

Tuesday May 15: we will be touring the San Diego zoo/safari park on this day, and we are hoping to end the day with a moonlight beach trail ride and dinner. Brian has never been on a horse, so this should be exceedingly interesting. I have a Quarter Horse back at my parent's house...but she is just a touch spirited and to be honest she scares him, alot.

Wednesday May 16: we check out of the Coronado and spend our last morning at the USS Midway Museum, our flight leaves from the San Diego airport at 2:20. We will most likely have no memory of the flight home because I think we will be dead to the world.


If anyone made it through this incredibly long winded schedule... You are pretty amazing, or very, very bored. Either way, I hope my trip report can help someone out!! We are under 10 days and I am doing my can't wait dance with some of these thrown in.

Last edited by OhioStateBuckeye; 08-02-2012 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:29 PM   #2
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I'm here!!
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
OhioStateBuckeye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWJonasGirl View Post
I'm here!!
I have a reader! bless you, I'm so excited, thank you for joining in


My excitement for my trip is starting to reach unbearable levels.

I've been trying to think of what I am most excited to see/do in DL:

1. See how POTC is different than WDW. Everyone and their mother says it is sooo much better, and i love POTC, so I can't wait to see this.

2. Trader Sam's. This place looks like its going to be so much fun to drink in, and it reminds me alot of the Adventurer's Club (what I can see from the pictures online, anyway)

3. WOC. This shows sounds amazing, I have kept myself back from watching youtube videos of it. I'm also extremely nervous about getting a good spot to watch

4. I'm also looking forward to doing some of my favorite rides from WDW: Star Tours, Soarin (obviously) and Animation Academy

5. All the dark rides that DL has that WDW doesn't are also very intriguing. The idea of a dark ride to me, seems to be almost exclusively Disney and I can't wait to see the DL ones.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
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So excited to hearing more about your trip! Btw, your title did get an appreciative chuckle out of me
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:00 PM   #5
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I'll be poking my head in, too!!

For your mystery hotel, my I recomend priceline's name your own price. You may not be within walking distance, but the hotel's will be nicer (3 1/2 stars) and they have shuttles that'll pick you up from the lobby of your hotel. I haven't spent more than $75/night (usually $69) since I discovered this handy site.

Also, LOVE Trader Sams!!!! You will, too. Can't wait to hear about your adventures, your trip is soooo close
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixiafurie View Post
So excited to hearing more about your trip! Btw, your title did get an appreciative chuckle out of me
Oooh good, we may have the same sense of humor

hmm, it looks like I forget how to multiquote...

Goofy_Mom...

I am looking into Priceline, however, having never been to DL or the area, I'm pretty nervous at not knowing what hotel I'm going to be in. But I am definitely keeping that in mind, so thank you for the suggestion.

I'm happy you like Trader Sam's, I worked 3 hours of OT last week at my job...lemme tell you, those 3 hours were at the tail end of an already long Friday, and you know how I get through those hours? I told myself that money was earmarked for Trader Sam's, hahaha.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:27 AM   #7
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I'm here as well! Looking forward to hearing more!
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:15 AM   #8
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I'm here as well! Looking forward to hearing more!
Welcome

I'm having a weird morning and started to think of all the rides/shows that are at WDW that I feel like I'll miss not seeing at DL.

-Philharmagic. This is my absolute favorite show. I love how they have all my favorite childhood movies and it has the best songs. Also, Donald is my boy.

-The Three Caballeros. I don't really know why I love this ride so much. Maybe its Donald, maybe its because the Mexican pavilion is so awesomely themed, maybe its because I love the room with the city and the fireworks in the sky. The song also gets stuck in my head real easy.

-Carousel of Progress. what can I say? its a classic, I love it.

-Ohana. This. Place. Is. Delicious.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
I'm having a weird morning and started to think of all the rides/shows that are at WDW that I feel like I'll miss not seeing at DL.
We are a multi-trip WDW family and went to DLR for the first time last year and I know how you feel. I thought I would miss certain things from WDW too ... but truly, DLR is charming enough that it makes up for it. Paired with all of the other California-only activities you have planned ... you'll be fine.

Have a wonderful time! Have fun camping!
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Maddie2 View Post
We are a multi-trip WDW family and went to DLR for the first time last year and I know how you feel. I thought I would miss certain things from WDW too ... but truly, DLR is charming enough that it makes up for it. Paired with all of the other California-only activities you have planned ... you'll be fine.

Have a wonderful time! Have fun camping!
I know you are right, I think I'm just used to getting excited over a WDW trip. I've probably been there once a week for about 4 years straight (among other vacations). And now my mind is like yay Disney! then I stop and think wait a minute, Disney but a different Disney. I'm sure I'll be fine

[IMG][/IMG]

Here is a pic of us at Disney I like (even though its blurry ), just cause I feel like my report doesn't have nearly enough pics yet. This is us at MNSSHP, we were dressed as harry potter and ginny in their quidditch outfits.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
Oooh good, we may have the same sense of humor

hmm, it looks like I forget how to multiquote...

Goofy_Mom...

I am looking into Priceline, however, having never been to DL or the area, I'm pretty nervous at not knowing what hotel I'm going to be in. But I am definitely keeping that in mind, so thank you for the suggestion.

I'm happy you like Trader Sam's, I worked 3 hours of OT last week at my job...lemme tell you, those 3 hours were at the tail end of an already long Friday, and you know how I get through those hours? I told myself that money was earmarked for Trader Sam's, hahaha.
If it helps, when you book through priceline it'll ask you the area you want. There'll be around 8 areas on a map. You'll want to pick areas 5 and 6 (I think, I'll have to double check). They'll be on or very near Harbor Blvd, the street with the pedestrian and shuttle bus entrances. Make sure you enter the correct date and check off for 3 1/2 and 4 star hotels to make sure you don't get anything that's crap. I always start bidding at $69 and usually get it. If you don't get it, you can't just raise your price, you have to add something to the search. To avoid that, I always close down the window and start over, but enter a new price.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:33 AM   #12
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We are T minus 4 days!!

It feels like vacation already started. I went to a baseball game with co-workers last night and the weather was amazing, it felt like July. Today and tomorrow I have short days at work because I front loaded my hours for the week. Then over the weekend I head out to Akron for my little sister's college graduation.

Anyone else ever have that last minute rush to lose weight before a vacation? I am perpetually on a diet (especially since I gained 17 pounds over Christmas break/WDW vacation free dining), and I did not get down as low as I would have liked for this trip. Oh well, I am just going to have to get over it.

I think all I have left to do is:

1. Book our tour of Paramount Studios
2. Call the horse back riding stable and reserve our moonlight trail ride
3. Check for last minute ticket deals online (San Diego Zoo, Hollywood Museum, Madame Tussaud's)
4. Purchase and print Universal tickets online
5. Oh, and of course, pack
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:08 PM   #13
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I can't wait for your trip!! Thank goodness I live in Southern California
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:35 PM   #14
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Sounds like a great trip planned!
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:36 AM   #15
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At the airport

Have already managed to spill a good bit of ketchup on my shirt

Excited to get started on this trip!
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