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Old 06-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 221

Leitís Grand Californian mini-TR

Early this June we went to California for my cousins graduation. My family decided that they wanted to go to Disneyland, so DH and I offered to try to grab a night at the Grand Californian. At 7 months out I called in and we were able to get a two-bedroom villa for June4!

Since the trip was so short I didnt bother to try to explain DIS to my family, so Im leaving out family pics (besides a few, that have had their identities masked, lol).

Hope you enjoy this quick report!

Day 1: California Adventure (just a bit shy of the New Cars Land, boo)

Day 2: Disneyland (where it all started)


Last edited by Leitadala; 07-24-2013 at 10:06 PM. Reason: adding links
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:52 PM   #2
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Day 1: California Adventure

My family spent a week in California this May/June. While I would have chosen to spend at least 4 days doing Disney, we tried to spread things out and do lots of different things, including the beaches. Unfortunately, since it was so early in the season we didnt get great beach weather. I enjoyed sitting on the sand though, despite wearing a sweater!

I thought Id share some quick beach pictures with you (since honestly, I didn't seem to take that many pictures in the hotel or parks).

San Diego Lifeguards truck we were sitting on the beach and saw a Baywatch-esque rescue!

The Lifeguard Surfing in after questioning witnesses

Yarn Bombing at Laguna Beach


And now on to what you came here for! We decided to try to get going early, but we had an hour drive to get there so we decided to go to California Adventure on our first day (since it opens later). Half of our group traveled together and got to the Grand Californian around 10am (when the park opened) the other half got there around noon. I stood in the long line to check in while DH took the bags to bell services and my cousin parked the car. I checked in and we were told we would get a text with our room numbers by 3pm. We bought our park tickets at the registration desk and headed towards the guest entrance to California Adventure!

Lobby Fireplace

Registration Desk

Registration Desk bears

Entrance for Resort Guests

We turned right and went towards Paradise Pier. We rode Ariels Undersea Adventure first it was really cute and fun! If we werent a party of adults (that wanted to do other things) I would have ridden it again just to try to catch more of the details. I cant wait to try it in Florida!

We went on to the rides in Paradise Pier. We stood in line for California Screamin and got all the way past the front of the line we sat down in the coaster and they told us to pull down the restraints& and then they popped up and they told us the ride was out of order! The sent us off the coaster and cleared the lines and everything! We were a bit disappointed that we wasted all that time and didnt even get fast passes to return when it was back up, but I guess that happens.

Since the others texted that they were parking their car we didnt want to get in another long line so we walked around the Pier and hopped a little ride on the Golden Zephyr, which was a great place to take photos!

Love that face

We met up with the others and headed in the other direction, towards an hour long Soarin line. A line just long enough to enjoy some Disney popcorn! Now, I dont know if this is just one of the things that Ive failed to pay attention to, but I never had Disney Caramel popcorn before. I got regular popcorn (which can hardly be called regular, as Disney popcorn is so delicious) and DH decided to get the caramel stuff. Well, it was SO GOOD - I'm craving that over any other Disney food now!

Caramel and regular (aka DELICIOUS) Popcorn!

We kept making our way around the park. Im a big Muppets fan, so I loved all the little extra Muppets things around the area. There was no line for MuppetVision 3D they loaded people straight into the theater!

Watch out Beaker!

We kept heading around riding Monsters Inc and the Tower of Terror and enjoying all the little details of A Bugs Land until we decided to go for food. DH peeled off at Corn Dog Castle, my parents stopped at Paradise Garden Grill, and the rest of us went to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta for some salad and Flatbread Pizza (and beer). Sorry for the bites missing in the photos!

Pizza and Salad

DHs Corndog

Im not sure what time we were eating, but I'm pretty sure that it was at this time that I noticed I didnt get our room number text yet. Then, promptly at 3 it came in!

We went back to Screamin and waited in line again so everyone could ride. Then the boys used the fast passes that wed grabbed earlier and rode it again. The rest of us grabbed ice cream!

Ears first, of course

Now we headed back for the boys to use our Tower of Terror Fast Passes while my aunt and I headed to see Aladdin (my dad went with my mom on her mission to find a sweater to guard her from the ever-cooling night). Right before the doors closed for Aladdin the boys got in and found us up on the Balcony great timing! They said they were the last ones that were allowed in. Aladdin was a GREAT show, but I felt bad for my Aunt, who is afraid of heights she did NOT like walking to and from her balcony seat

After the show, it was time to go check out the room!

TV Bed (and masked faces - my Dad's name is Dale so I thought this was appropriate!

Kitchen Table (and another person incognito)

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

I wished I had bath bombs (and more time)

Soaps (we usually leave them behind for Clean the World)

Since the second half of our party got to the park later than the other, they would have had fast passes to the later show, so my aunt gave up hers to my brother and she and my parents stayed behind (enjoying coffee and snacks from the White Water Cafť) while us kids went to the show.

I knew that there were better places to stand than others, but I also knew that my family wouldnt want to sit around waiting for a show for very long (when we had limited time in the parks) so that was never my priority. We ended up standing at the water level (on the Boardwalk, I think?)& and we ended up getting soaked (as we were warned we would)! I didnt mind, I thought it was fun like the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls! Plus, I knew we had a nice comfy room close by to go back to! My brother, on the other hand, bailed out of the splash zone at some point, and later informed us that its a show thats supposed to be seen from far back lol well at least one of us got to see the whole thing (while us other three got soaked while enjoying pretty colors).

Colors before the World of Color Show

Volcano water


We ended our park visit by a ride on Grizzly River run, which I enjoyed (to my surprise, since I dont normally like Kali River Rapids I was either just in a very good mood, or already wet so I had more fun without the worry of getting wet, or else its just a really good ride). Then we went back to the Grand Californian. We were looking forward to having some time in the hot tub and some snacks, but we were in for a little surprise when we found out that the pool and restaurants were all closed for the night! We tried Downtown Disney but all that we could find open (that wasn't sit-down) was the ice cream place. Good enough!

Tomorrow Breakfast from White Water Snacks and Disneyland!

Last edited by Leitadala; 07-24-2013 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:54 PM   #3

Sharing adventures and good times
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I always love to hear other's views on my hometown park! I'm in!
Alison ~~~~ She said it wouldn't be Boring! | Our Disney Dream Home|Sleepy and Grumpy Visit Tatooine |Keep Your Eyes on the Road | I do get to go to WDW this year! | Expo 2013 | ...It's How You Play the Game | We need a little Magic... | TR - Pinch me... | Destination D-75 TR | It'll be a WONDER ... | Cheating on Mickey w/ Harry, PTR | D23 Expo 2011 TR | D23 D40 WDW in Detail | DCA F&W Review | Jan 2010 DR Visits 2015: VGC, VWL, DCL 2014: VGC, CSR, VGF, DCL 2013: VWL, BCV, DCL, AKL, BLT, VGC, 2012: VGC, DCL, 2011: VGC, BLT, OKW 2010: THV, AKV, VGC, 2009: BWV 2008: SSR, 2007: AKL & GF, 2001: AKL, BC & DCL 1997: DXL & WL 1993: GF, DL Too many to count since 1973!

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Old 06-25-2012, 02:03 PM   #4
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Headed to Disney Land for the first time in July 2013--for our 10 year wedding anniversary! Super excited to read your report!
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:50 PM   #5
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We are making our first Disneyland trip on 7/15. We go to Orlando 3 or 4 times a year since its about a 3 hour drive. Looking forward to seeing the differences. Thanks for the report!
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
I always love to hear other's views on my hometown park! I'm in!
I had such a nice little trip there, thanks for sharing your park
I wish we would have spent more days there!

Originally Posted by Jacksonev1 View Post
Headed to Disney Land for the first time in July 2013--for our 10 year wedding anniversary! Super excited to read your report!
We had a good time - I should have done a bit more research and I would have been happier to have more than 2 days there, but it was a great mini-trip. I hope you all have a great time!

Originally Posted by Litty8 View Post
We are making our first Disneyland trip on 7/15. We go to Orlando 3 or 4 times a year since its about a 3 hour drive. Looking forward to seeing the differences. Thanks for the report!
I hope you have a great time in July! You can definitely see the differences, and it's fun to see what's the same or what might have been "plussed" in Florida (Main Street and the Castle's forced perspective, for instance). It was certainly something to see where it all began, and to imagine that Walt walked those very streets and saw those very same rides!


I'll be back with the next installment this weekend! Thanks for joining in!
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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Day 2: Disneyland (Where it all Began)

*I have no idea why I didn't post this... I already had it written out and photos uploaded... whoops!

Day 2: Disneyland (Where it all Began)

Today was the first extremely beautiful California day that we had of our whole trip and what a better way to spend it than at Disneyland!

Here we go!

Chipmunks frolicking

Its a Small World

Pretty building

It starts outside

Ariel (I love all the characters)

Wish I were surfing in Hawaii!

Rodger Rabbit


A whale up ahead!

Storybook Land

Most of the time when I go to Disney I dont worry about riding the rides, but since I didnt know when Id get back to the West Coast I wanted to try really hard to ride those that arent in Florida. Indiana Jones was at the top of the list! I love the movies, and I love the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom, so this one was perfect for me. The line though, was a bit terrible. It was really long and windy (read: conjested), and then when you get to what you think is the entrance, its really the inside line with no line& so just a whole lot of walking till you get to the line backed up closer to the ride. Is it because of the fast pass line that we couldnt have been in there all along (inching our way up, instead of marching our tired toes down those long halls)?

Indiana Jones line

Whats this, a show?

We decided to stop for some food (and ice cream) at the Golden Horseshoe, not at all expecting a show... and certainly not expecting to get called up on stage, but I guess my bank teller past sold me out somehow as I got the honor of standing on stage and saying "Hooow-dy! Open a new account for a free churro, eh?" (It was a good combo of my past in Texas in present in Canada, lol)

After a fair bit of embarrassment on my part, but a great deal of enjoyment on DH's, we were off to see the rest of the park!

Petting Zoo awesome! [/SIZE]

My favorite movie, and my favorite princess!

Snow White Statue

I made a wish!

What?! 6 people to a car on Space Mountain?!

So at this point my lack of researching really shows. I really wanted to catch The Magic, the Memories, and You (???????????) but silly me, didnt really get that it was on Its a Small World, and not the castle. Plus, the boys were off on Star Tours and some of us were having ice cream and shopping instead of trying to get a spot for the show. So we did not see it. When the boys caught back up to us we headed over to Splash Mountain for our last ride of the night.

What?! Splash Mountain with 3 people to a car?!

Wishes while we were leaving

Last edited by Leitadala; 07-24-2013 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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Summary: Lots to Love

I was thinking about this TR today because we are hoping to go back next summer. Boy was I surprised to see I had written out my TR (including links that were already uploaded) but had failed to post! Well now it's up!

I REALLY enjoyed Disneyland, more than I thought I would. It was very crowded, so I would like to go back at a slower time of year to really enjoy the park with less lines (but that's hard when we have a Teacher in the family). It was really fun to compare things (like Main Street, or some of the rides) and to enjoy the new things. It was too bad that we were just a bit early of the Cars Land opening, but all the more fun for next year! Looking back, I didn't do a great job with photography, but I attribute that to how much fun I was having and how much I was enjoying the moment with my family.

I guess what I would want anyone to get out of this TR (besides some enjoyment of seeing some Disney pics) is that if you are on the fence about going to Disneyland for the first time I would say YES! There is plenty to do there. We had 2 days, one in each park, and I would say we easily could have done 2 in each park. We didn't do any table service meals, and didn't really get to explore Downtown Disney.

What I'm looking forward to most for next Summer: seeing World of Color again (hopefully from a bit further back) and that Caramel Popcorn!

World of Color completely satisfied my color obsession [/SIZE]

I adored this wallpaper [/SIZE]

Did I mention I really loved Its a Small World?

Last edited by Leitadala; 07-24-2013 at 10:07 PM.
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