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Old 10-02-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
Eclectic Goddess
My Ears are a Pair of Devil Horns
 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 342

What Happens In Anaheim, Stays in Anaheim...Mostly

Pre-Trip Report

Two days until we make our triumphant return to Disneyland! (The triumph? Making it a whole year since our last trip to Disneyland!)

A bit about us: We’re both adult women without children. DF is a HUGE Disney fan, member of D23, annual pass holder, etc... Her boyfriend has a rule that he will only travel to DL for her every four years, so several years ago, she asked me to go along with her. I’ve never been fan of all things Disney, but she talked me into it with Halloween decorations, Star Wars, and Gay Days. We have a friend who volunteers for the Gay Days organization, and she made it sound like great fun and very welcoming, even if we weren’t, strictly speaking, gay.

She was completely right. It’s awesome. We love it. We’ve been every year since. (Except that one fall when Harry Potter tempted us away to Universal Orlando instead, and we pined for Disneyland for the rest of the year.) We’ve made customized t-shirts some years, the most famous of which reads, “What happens in Anaheim…” on the front and “Stays in Anaheim.” on the back.

This year we’re flying into SNA on Thursday morning and back to Portland on Sunday evening. We’ll be using DK Livery again, and planning for a grocery stop to pick up juice, veggies, adult beverages, and other snacks. We always stay at the Grand Californian, making use of the Gay Days rate. I bought my 4 day park hopper through them as well.

We don’t follow a touring plan, but we are planning a few things:

On Thursday, we have Carthay Circle reservations for a late lunch. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, because I’m mostly vegetarian, and I’ve heard mixed reviews of the way they handle it. We’ll also be getting WOC passes for that night.

We were going to do the DCA Power Walk on Friday morning (and maybe Saturday) but learned that it only goes through DTD these days, and it starts at 7:30, which is a half hour after early entry. We agreed that we don’t want to trade park time to walk through DTD. DF is training for the WDW Princess half marathon, so she really wanted to do it. Instead, she’s going to spend some of our designated “nap time” on a treadmill at the gym.

We also decided not to do Mickey’s Halloween Party this year, and we don’t want to deal with the crowds at DCA, so we’ll be taking it easy Friday evening. There is a Gay Days cocktail mixer, and later there’s a special screening of the season premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race, with some of the previous contestants present. (I love that show!) If there are still tickets and a time that works for us, we might also go to see “Frankenweenie”.

Saturday is mostly going to be spent doing Gay Days activities, taking time off for a late breakfast at Steakhouse 55. Later that night, we have reserved dessert seating for first showing of Fantasmic! That’s particularly exciting, because I’ve never seen Fantasmic! (Yes, I know…it’s amazing they still let me post here.) We’ll probably stay in our seats through the fireworks, then head off to Kingdom to dance the rest of the night away.

Sunday we’ll have half a day in the parks. Officially, the Gay Days crowd is supposed to shift over to DCA, but the reality is that most people bounce back and forth both days, and we will too. That’s our last chance to visit our favorite rides and soak in some of the magic. We usually head back to the Grand Californian at least an hour early to retrieve our luggage and chill out in the lobby before heading back to the airport.

Trip details aside, what I’m most excited about is that I secretly booked an in-room celebration to surprise DF! She’s a huge Nightmare Before Christmas fan, so I got the Jack Skellington’s Halloween Treat. It comes with a bunch of Haunted Mansion and NBC stuff, including a Jack plush, Halloween decorations, and lots and lots of candy. I actually customized it some, taking out most of the gummi candy (since I can’t eat it anyway) and replacing it with Halloween popcorn. They’re also adding a Scary Teddy plush, because counting the Scary Teddies in the NBC Haunted Mansion overlay has always been a tradition for us. (It actually took a couple phone calls to get that added, because the first time I asked, they said that they weren’t available in the park. Thankfully, I called back and they found them!)

DF knows nothing about it. Her birthday was two weeks ago, and I told her that she was getting her present at DL, but didn’t give her any other hints. I am excessively excited about this! She keeps talking about Fantasmic! and Cars Land and some of the Gay Days events, and all I can think is, “I can’t wait until she sees our room!”

Very, very excited!
__________________

Disneyland Trips
Fall 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 ~ Gay Days Anaheim
Winter 2013 ~ Off Season Magic
*Fall 2014 ~ DF's Birthday Extravaganza!*
*January 2015 ~ Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend*
*Spring 2015 ~ Star Wars Celebration*

Orlando Trips
Fall 2010 ~ Harry Potter Emersion Therapy / Visit to the ‘World
Spring 2012 ~ Taking the HLP on Holiday!
Spring 2014 ~ Princess Half Marathon Weekend / Wizarding World
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
fiddlefaddle2
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Wow it sounds like it's going to be a great trip! I'm jealous of your Drag Race screening, that's one of my favourite shows! I wonder if you'll get to enjoy a drink in the interior illusions lounge :D
I'd be interested to know how your Cathay Circle meal goes, me and my friend are both vegetarians and have reservations for later in the month.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
Eclectic Goddess
My Ears are a Pair of Devil Horns
 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Our Disneyland adventure began a bit rough due to a bad towncar trip. The driver didn't meet us at baggage claim, then drove right past us after we waited on the curb for over 15 minutes, never introduced himself, kept locking DF's side of the car so she couldn't open her door or window, had to follow directions scribbled on a little piece of paper to find Disneyland, and then didn't speak enough English to get through the gate at the hotel. (DF ended up shouting her name over his head, because her window wouldn't open.) DK Livery, you let us down.

Then, to make matters worse DF left her purse in the car, so I had to try and call him to come back. Erg. He did but then didn't recognize me as a passenger he'd just dropped off, even though I walked right up to him.

Finally, we were able to check in, though our room wasn't ready. They took our bags, and we headed into the parks. We had an hour before our Carthay Circle reservation, and the Haunted Mansion was calling our name.

The Disney Magic started to sink in right away, but it was when we heard that little "La la la la la..." in the elevator that we both found ourselves grinning at each other. By the time we waved to Sally on our way out, we were ready to put the car ride behind us and have fun.

From there we went straight to Carthay Circle. It was very cool to finally see the DCA entrance opened up, with the Cars Land hills in the background.

Our lunch at CC was gorgeous. We only had to wait a couple minutes, and the CM who took us to our table gave us a little tour. We sat in a smaller room beside the main room, next to the outdoor seating that overlooks Buena Vista St. It was nice and quiet.

Our food was FABULOUS. We got the stuffed grape leaves to start, along with the cheese bacon biscuits. (I'm mostly vegetarian, but love bacon.) We both got salads for our mains, mine without chicken. For dessert, we shared the fried banana sundae thing. Yum. They didn't have any vegetarian offering aside from the things on the menu that could be adapted but what got was delicious!

Oh, and drinks! We needed those drinks. DF had a mojito, which I didn't try, and I had the Brown Derby. Really excellent.

After that, we walked through Cars Land. It is amazing how well they've recreated the whole town. RSR had an hour wait, and we were too full of food to consider the single rider or any of the other rides, so we decided to head back to the hotel.

That was where things got really exciting for me, because I knew that our in room celebration would be waiting! DF was appropriately surprised by even the door hanger, and it took a few minutes to get her into the room to see the rest. We weren't disappointed!

They'd left the lights off, but there were flickering lights from a candlelabra and Jack head votive. Cobwebs hung from both mirrors and draped across one of the beds. That bed also held a large box with a black bow, a Jack plush, a "Tomb Sweet Tomb" pillow, and the Scary Teddy. The box contained playing cards, a Halloween mug and banner, blinking bat lanyards and a coffin tin filled with gummi worms. On the table with the candelabra there was also a pumpkin treat bag filled with candy and a Zero Vinylmation. By the Jack votive on the credenza were a series of small tombstones with funny little sayings on them.

All in all, it was pretty amazing. Definitely worth it. I 'll upload some photos when I get back home.

Were taking a little break now, with plans to head back into the park later.
__________________

Disneyland Trips
Fall 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 ~ Gay Days Anaheim
Winter 2013 ~ Off Season Magic
*Fall 2014 ~ DF's Birthday Extravaganza!*
*January 2015 ~ Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend*
*Spring 2015 ~ Star Wars Celebration*

Orlando Trips
Fall 2010 ~ Harry Potter Emersion Therapy / Visit to the ‘World
Spring 2012 ~ Taking the HLP on Holiday!
Spring 2014 ~ Princess Half Marathon Weekend / Wizarding World
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:53 PM   #4
Eclectic Goddess
My Ears are a Pair of Devil Horns
 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 342

Forgot to mention, our room is on the first floor, which is just weird, right behind Goofy's flight school. Not sure how we feel about that. All we usually ask for is quiet. We may get it, after the park closes.

It's almost a park view, though. We can see the top half of Mickey's Fun Wheel.
__________________

Disneyland Trips
Fall 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 ~ Gay Days Anaheim
Winter 2013 ~ Off Season Magic
*Fall 2014 ~ DF's Birthday Extravaganza!*
*January 2015 ~ Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend*
*Spring 2015 ~ Star Wars Celebration*

Orlando Trips
Fall 2010 ~ Harry Potter Emersion Therapy / Visit to the ‘World
Spring 2012 ~ Taking the HLP on Holiday!
Spring 2014 ~ Princess Half Marathon Weekend / Wizarding World
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:07 AM   #5
Eclectic Goddess
My Ears are a Pair of Devil Horns
 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 342

Last night we relaxed for a couple hours, then headed back into DCA. We found a path that will make the walk from our room to the parks a lot shorter, though still not as short as if we just hopped over the wall outside our patio. I bet Disney would frown on that.

Back in DCA, we started by going to the Frankenweenie exhibit, which was very, very cool. They had models of the various sets used in the movie, and the little details were amazing. We might go see that tonight!

After that, we took a walk around the pier, then rode Little Mermaid. No line to speak of, so why not?

Finally, we got something hot to drink and went to our viewing area for WOC. Gotta say, not happy with the Carthay Circle viewing area. It's on the third or fourth tier up. There are a lot of people in front of you. Still, the show was awesome. It always is.

After that, it was back to the room to try and get some sleep before a long day today. Mixed results there. Our room is fairly quiet, but the person in the next room is quite the snorer. He went all night, and at an impressive volume. He sounds like a bear.

Today - early entry at DCA, then some Disneyland, with some Gay Days events this evening. Should be fun.
__________________

Disneyland Trips
Fall 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 ~ Gay Days Anaheim
Winter 2013 ~ Off Season Magic
*Fall 2014 ~ DF's Birthday Extravaganza!*
*January 2015 ~ Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend*
*Spring 2015 ~ Star Wars Celebration*

Orlando Trips
Fall 2010 ~ Harry Potter Emersion Therapy / Visit to the ‘World
Spring 2012 ~ Taking the HLP on Holiday!
Spring 2014 ~ Princess Half Marathon Weekend / Wizarding World
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:18 PM   #6
Eclectic Goddess
My Ears are a Pair of Devil Horns
 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 342

We divided our morning between DCA and DL. Early entry was for DCA. We got to the gate about 10 minutes before they opened, but the crowds were pretty light. (It was 7am, afterall.) We followed everyone else straight to Cars Land, of course.

RSR was practically a walk on. After all the fuss, I really tried not to get my hopes up, but that was an INCREDIBLE ride. Would I wait for two hours to ride it? Hell no, but we'll be back for our second early morning crack at it on Sunday.

After that, we skipped over to TSMM and walked on. No one there at all. Then, we went back to Cars Land to ride Mater and Flying Tires. Mater was unexpectedly fun, but we won't be back for the Tires.

We hit Soarin', made a stop to change shoes, then headed to DL. More about that later, though. The Gay Days cocktail hour is calling our names!
__________________

Disneyland Trips
Fall 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 ~ Gay Days Anaheim
Winter 2013 ~ Off Season Magic
*Fall 2014 ~ DF's Birthday Extravaganza!*
*January 2015 ~ Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend*
*Spring 2015 ~ Star Wars Celebration*

Orlando Trips
Fall 2010 ~ Harry Potter Emersion Therapy / Visit to the ‘World
Spring 2012 ~ Taking the HLP on Holiday!
Spring 2014 ~ Princess Half Marathon Weekend / Wizarding World
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:54 AM   #7
Eclectic Goddess
My Ears are a Pair of Devil Horns
 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 342

Sorry, if anyone was actually following along, but it's unlikely that I'll be able to play catch-up today. I promise a full report when I get back!
__________________

Disneyland Trips
Fall 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 ~ Gay Days Anaheim
Winter 2013 ~ Off Season Magic
*Fall 2014 ~ DF's Birthday Extravaganza!*
*January 2015 ~ Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend*
*Spring 2015 ~ Star Wars Celebration*

Orlando Trips
Fall 2010 ~ Harry Potter Emersion Therapy / Visit to the ‘World
Spring 2012 ~ Taking the HLP on Holiday!
Spring 2014 ~ Princess Half Marathon Weekend / Wizarding World
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:05 PM   #8
Eclectic Goddess
My Ears are a Pair of Devil Horns
 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 342

Thought I'd post some of the photos from our Halloween in room celebration, for those who are curious. I still plan to post a trip report as well, but I figured this was what people were really waiting for:

Sadly, in my excitment, I neglected to take any photos of the whole room! That means I missed capturing some of the spider webs, like the ones across our closet door and over our tv.

The sign that welcomed us outside our door! The eyes lit up!


And on the inside...I discovered that it glowed in the dark on our second night, on my way to the bathroom. Eek!


When we first went into our room, they had the curtains closed and all the lights off, except for the candlelabra, the glowing bat lanyards, and the Jack head votive. Very creepy!

Waiting on one bed...


And on the table...(Please excuse my camera strap! Remember when I said I was excited?)


And on the credenza...


Random cobwebs...


Some closer looks...







All in all, DF loved her gifts!


We left this "shrine" on the table to enjoy while we were there...



For your frame of reference...we added the Scary Teddy, and with the usual package, there is a lot more candy! I had them take that out.
__________________

Disneyland Trips
Fall 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 ~ Gay Days Anaheim
Winter 2013 ~ Off Season Magic
*Fall 2014 ~ DF's Birthday Extravaganza!*
*January 2015 ~ Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend*
*Spring 2015 ~ Star Wars Celebration*

Orlando Trips
Fall 2010 ~ Harry Potter Emersion Therapy / Visit to the ‘World
Spring 2012 ~ Taking the HLP on Holiday!
Spring 2014 ~ Princess Half Marathon Weekend / Wizarding World
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