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Old 04-21-2013, 10:13 AM   #1
Linda67
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Smile "I thought the last visit was a once in a lifetime trip??" COMPLETED 5/6/13

Well hello one and all and welcome to my mini trip report



This is me in case you were wondering!


As is usual in the opening paragraph of many a trip report, I will start by saying that I love reading about everyone else's trips so thought I should repay the DIS font of knowledge with a TR of my own

I'm a UK based Disney-a-holic who has travelled to WDW with my wonderful hubby, many, many times

We are DVC owners and I personally love nothing more than planning our land and sea Disney vacations but there was something missing from my Disney repertoire - I had never been to Disneyland

Flashback to October 2012, I needed to travel to San Francisco for business for a few days and I started to wonder if it would be at all possible to combine this with a bucket list trip to Disneyland

After chatting with DH about the possibility of tagging a solo trip on to the end of my business trip, I began to research transportation from San Fran to Anaheim, together with hotel and ticket options

It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss; my company were picking up the cost of my return London flights, so all I needed to do was get a low cost internal flight to John Wayne Airport and head back to London from LAX instead of San Fran at the end of my trip

As is the case for many Disney fans who have only ever experienced WDW, I had longed to see the original park where Walt had walked, but I have to confess that I headed into this first trip thinking it was a "one and done" experience that would simply cross another item from my (very long) travel wish-list before continuing my Disney days back in Orlando

Well, to cut a very long story short, I fell head over heels in love with Disneyland

Literally from the very first second I walked under the railway station and onto Main Street, I was smitten

Nothing had prepared me to feel, love and experience this little piece of California in the way that I did

I went into that first visit with pretty low expectations, I thought I would be underwhelmed, but instead I was mesmerized and captivated by everything I saw

Before I had expereinced the park for myself, the following thoughts were common:

"WDW is bigger, there's more to do, more parks, more attractions more resorts"

"You can do Disneyland in a day for goodness sake!" ........blah blah blah

Now don't get me wrong, I still LOVE Disney World and me and hubby will hopefully continue to vacation there for a very, very long time, but wow, Disneyland is such a special and wonderful place that if every the opportunity arises, I just have to visit!

Fast forward to April 2013 and I was needed in San Fran on business again; mmmm perhaps I could just tag on a couple of extra days ..... hell yeah!!

So a quick conversation with hubby, swiftly followed by a slightly longer conversation with my boss and I was set

4 nights in San Fran, quickly followed by 4 nights at the Disneyland Hotel (April 11th - 15th) ... whoop whoop

Yep, that one and done trip turned into visiting twice in 6 months!

So my DIS buddies, why don't you join me on my little adventure and find out exactly why this little British woman has fallen for the wonder that is Disneyland California quite so badly

End of part one ...... Up next, right, that's the work part of the trip done - now it's time for fun!!!!

Day One - Check In & Disneyland
Day One - Part Two - Disneyland Hotel & Blue Bayou
Day Two - Get Your Motors Running For DCA!
Day Two - Part Two - WCT, Napa Lounge & WoC
Day Three - Dinseyland and a DIS Meet
Day Four - Cultivating The Magic Tour
Day Four - Part Two - All Aboard The Lilly Belle & A Sugar Rush!
Day Four - Part Three - Fantasmic!
Day Five - It's Home Time

Last edited by Linda67; 05-06-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:28 AM   #2
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Really looking forward to this! We a off to the DLH in just over 3 months
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:03 PM   #3
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Hi Linda! I thought the same thing about Disneyland when we went in 2010. It would be a one and done just to get to see "Walt's Park". Like you, we fell in love. I am not sure when we will get back but I know that it will happen one day.

Looking forward to your report!
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemmybear83 View Post
Really looking forward to this! We a off to the DLH in just over 3 months
Thanks for joining in. I better be sure to get this finished within 3 months then

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofySon'sMom View Post
Hi Linda! I thought the same thing about Disneyland when we went in 2010. It would be a one and done just to get to see "Walt's Park". Like you, we fell in love. I am not sure when we will get back but I know that it will happen one day.

Looking forward to your report!
Hello there
Thanks so much for joining in. DL is just fab isn't it?
I hope I 'have' to go to CA for work again soon
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:17 AM   #5
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Hi there

love to hear about trips to Disneyland - looking forward to reading along

I love DL as well, there's just something about the smaller size of it and the history I think (not too mention its cheaper for us from NZ )

I did enjoy WDW as well too though but its alot further away for us so thats the once in a lifetime trip from this end (well 2 actually)
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:46 AM   #6
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Subbing! Much as I loved my trips to WDW, Disneyland has my heart so I know how you felt walking on to Main st. Looking forward to reading more.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:45 AM   #7
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I'm in! I love hearing about Disneyland Looking forward to the rest of your report!
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneykiwi View Post
Hi there

love to hear about trips to Disneyland - looking forward to reading along

I love DL as well, there's just something about the smaller size of it and the history I think (not too mention its cheaper for us from NZ )

I did enjoy WDW as well too though but its alot further away for us so thats the once in a lifetime trip from this end (well 2 actually)
Thanks for joining in
It never occured to me that DL is so much closer to NZ than WDW, that will explain why I see far more NZ peeps on the DL boards!

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Subbing! Much as I loved my trips to WDW, Disneyland has my heart so I know how you felt walking on to Main st. Looking forward to reading more.
Thanks for reading
I still love WDW and can't wait to go back again in December but I certainly hope I can visit DL again soon!

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I'm in! I love hearing about Disneyland Looking forward to the rest of your report!
Welcome hope it doesn't disappoint!

[B]Day One - Check In & Disneyland[B]

Last edited by Linda67; 04-26-2013 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:05 PM   #9
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Part Two - Check In At The Disneyland Hotel & Off To The Park!

Thanks for reading along

I maybe should have let you know right at the beginning that I am awful at taking notes whilst I am on vacation. I start off with the best intentions but soon get too lazy (or too tired!) to carry on. So expect things to be a little bit random and some backtracking when I suddenly remember something I missed

Letís hope my 45 year old brain cells donít let me down

Once the business side of my trip was done and following a very late night in a Tiki Bar in San Fran ....... actually, hold on, has anyone ever been to the Tonga Bar at the Fairmont in SF?

Oh my word, itís like Trader Samís on steroids!

I borrowed these photos from the web





And I was spending quality time with my work colleagues whilst enjoying drinks that looked like this



Sorry for the little diversion, Iíll now get back to the regular scheduled TR

As I am sure you can imagine, the 6:30am alarm call the morning after the night before was like music to my ears .After a shower and packing up my final bits and pieces, I hopped in a cab to SFO to board my hour long flight to Orange County, isn't is funny how much easier it is to get up in the morning when you know you are heading to Disney!

My flight left just a few minutes behind schedule and time passed quickly. Before I knew it I had arrived in Orange County

This is such a great little airport and it's super quick and easy to get from here to Disneyland.

I used the Disneyland Expresss which runs every 30 minutes (during peak hours) It costs around $12 if you print off the handy dandy coupon from their website ahead of time

I was staying at the Disneyland Hotel which is where I had stayed on my first trip last year. I just love this hotel and was over the top excited to be staying here again

My room wasn't ready when I checked in (around noon) so I dropped my bags with bell services and power walked straight to the Disneyland park (no running people )

My 5 day park hopper was scanned and the CM took my photo, it literally took seconds and I never had any issues when entering either park following this. Each time I entered a park they would scan my ticket and up popped my mug shot



First stop was lunch - I was starving!

My intention this trip was to not over plan and go with the flow a little more than usual (hard for me to do!) and one of the first places I passed was the French Market Restaurant in New Orleans Square as I was heading towards Haunted Mansion - I had the N'Awlins Salad and it was delicious.



NíAwlin's Salad - Lettuce Medley, Julienned Yams, Granny Smith Apples, caramelized Pecans, Lentils, and Tart Cherries with a sweet Citrus Vinaigrette. $10.99

I LOVED the live band that was playing on the stage whilst I ate - something that WDW should really do is to add some more live entertainment. It adds so much to the atmosphere and feeling of the park. Such a nice setting to sit out in the sunshine and enjoy my lunch

Everything was walk on but I concentrated my time around the left hand side of the park - New Orleans Square and Adventure Land with a short detour into Fantasyland

Haunted Mansion was my first attraction.

On my last trip I was lucky enough to see the ĎNightmare Before Christmasí version and was blown away

What an incredible and detailed overlay, I really hope I get to see the Mansion over the holidays again some time

It was nice to be able to see the attraction is itís Ďregularí state though , and this ride through was the first of many, many ghostly encounters during my trip

Now this is where my bad note taking and bad memory will probably let me down but I definitely did the Matterhorn using the single rider line. I only waited around 5 minutes (solo travel does have some perks!)



I love the Matterhorn sooooo much.

I only rode it once last trip and though I would need to go and visit 'Spines 'R' Us' afterwards I think I must have been better prepared this trip as I loved it and rode it multiple times

Next up was Casey Jnr. - don't ask!

It's always closed when I visit off season in Paris and we don't have it in World so I felt compelled to ride!

Before heading back to the hotel, I had to visit one of my absolute favorites



I also treated myself to one of these:



Mmm, what can I say that hasnít been said a million times before?

Well, I love that you can take your Dole Whip into the show with you in Disneyland .... perfection

You may also notice the addition of a sweet little pink umbrella; well the umbrella normally only comes with the Float, but I prefer just the regular whip.

I always ask nicely if I can have one and the fab CMs are happy to oblige (see earlier reference to the Tonga Room for another example of my love of cocktail umbrellas )

On another note, the CM who was the announcer/host at the beginning of the show was hysterical. He had everyone laughing and clapping long before Jose put in an appearance - awesome!

After spending some time practicing my singing with my feathered friends I headed back to the hotel to see if my room was ready

Coming Up Next ...... Disneyland Hotel & Dinner At The Blue Bayou
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:21 AM   #10
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Aw man, now you have me craving a Dole Whip! Pure perfection Looking forward to hearing about your dinner in the Blue Bayou. That was one place I always wanted to eat and never did. Thanks for the updates!
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:47 PM   #11
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I'm in I just finished your last TR and loved it!! I can't wait to hear more about your trip this time around to DL.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:54 AM   #12
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Arrival Day - Part Two - Thursday 11th April 2013

Hey everyone

Hope you are having a great week so far

So, after a very enjoyable couple of hours in Disneyland, I arrived back at the DLH, picked up my bags and headed to my now ready room

Sorry about the odd sizes of my photos - photobucket doesn't like me today!











I loved my room and was happy that my request for the Adventure Tower had been honored. I stayed in this Tower last time and loved the location



I was on the third floor and even though I have booked a standard view room I did have a partial pool view through the palm trees

Before I headed back into the park I popped to Trader Samís for a pre-dinner cocktail





Ginger's Pear-adise - "When you put your hand out for this one be careful...Ginger snaps!" - Pear Vodka, Ginger Liqueur, Organic Agave Nectar, and Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice.

Trader Samís is hands down the best bar on Disney Property .... anywhere! - well it is out of the three Disney Parks I have visited, Paris, Orlando and California

I know the place is tiny but I have never had a problem getting a seat and always try to sit right at the bar.

Sitting at the bar is a great place to sit when travelling solo, I never feel out of place or odd sitting on my own and the bar tenders always strike up a conversation and you get to watch them work which to me is a show in itself

My drink was delicious and hit the spot nicely

I then headed back into the park. This time I decided to take the monorail



It was certainly busier than it had been in the afternoon but the park still wasnít particularly crowded Ė warning,we are entering a photo free zone but I will be quick

First stop was the Matterhorn, only a 5 minute wait using the single rider line.

Next up my first ever experience of Indiana Jones.

Sadly it was down for a re-furb last time I visited (little did I know then that I would be back so soon!). I asked the CM at the entrance about single rider and he gave me a ticket and told me to enter through the exit



Iím sure I missed out on some cool queue details doing it this way but there was a 40 minute wait posted so Iíll take this route anytime!

Even entering this way seemed really exciting, your really did get a sense of going deep down into the temple

A CM was stationed at the bottom of the pathway and lifted a rope and pointed me in the direction of an elevator. Luckily for me there were some other SRs who seemed to know what they were doing as I wouldnít have had a clue

You go up in one elevator and the walk across to another elevator which takes you down to the loading area

The next CM took my SR ticket and I was put on the next car/jeep straight away

Iíd already heard that the ride mechanism was the same as Dinosaur at WDW but that is where the similarities end.

IJ is an incredible, awesome, spectacular, amazing (you get the idea!) ride

It seemed a HUGE interior space and the effects were wonderful. Loved it and knew that I would have to return another day to ride again

I had a dinner reservation at 7:50pm at Blue Bayou (another first) and wanted to squeeze in a ride on Pirates before I checked in to get me in the mood

I really donít want to compare DL and WDW too much as they are two totally separate and very different locations but Pirates at DL is just incredible (sorry I am really over-using the word incredible arenít I )

I could seriously ride over and over again and always see something new

I was excited to spot the hidden Mickey on the suit of armor towards the end of the ride as well!

So after floating through the Bayou it was time to eat in it Ė well not actually ďin itĒ as that would be a little bit damp

I checked in for my 7:50 reservation at around 7:40 and was seated a little before my actual reservation time

My table was the second row back but it was pretty quiet in the restaurart so I could still see the boats floating past

Right Ė quick solo diner tip Ö. This restaurant is perfect for a table for one, itís so dark, calm and intimate in there that nobody will even notice you!

Itís a very romantic place and I was missing DH terribly so I sent a quick text which helped to remind him why he loves me so much as it was 4:15am in England

I donít eat meat so my menu decision was pretty simple

First I was served some warm, very fresh, soft bread



Bread Service

I stuck to water with my meal and for my first course I chose the salad



Cajun Inspired Salad

And for my entrťe I had the vegetarian option



Portobello Mushroom and Couscous Macque Choux - Marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette, then broiled and served with roasted corn and bell-pepper couscous and sauteed spinach.

Everything was really, really good. The salad was excellent, perfectly fresh with just the right amount of dressing

The mushroom entrťe had a really nice amount of spice to it. Vegetarian options can sometimes be a little bland but this dish was packed full of flavor.

There is also a restaurant inside Pirates in Disneyland Paris. Itís called the Blue Lagoon and although the setting is just as beautiful as the Blue Bayou, I much preferred my dinner in California (even without the fine French wine!)

Service was great and I never felt rushed, even though the restaurant was soon to close. I decided to skip dessert as nothing really appealed

The park was closing at 9pm so I didnít expect to get on any other rides but when I strolled past Jungle Cruise at around 8:55pm I thought Ďwhy notí

There was nobody in line at all and I walked straight onto a boat. It wasn't even a full boat and I am pretty sure it was probably the last cruise into the dark jungle that evening

This was without doubt the best Jungle Cruise I have ever had Ė The skipper was fantastic!

Everyone was laughing out loud and the usual script seemed to have gone out of the window.

The jokes would be totally lost if I just typed them out in this TR but needless to say our skipper was just a comedy superstar!

By the time I was off the boat, the park was officially closed so I took a slow walk out on to Main Street Park whilst checking out the shops and headed back through DTD and back to the hotel where I collapsed onto the bed whilst listening the the headboard playing 'A Dream Is A Wish your Hear Makes'

Next Up - Day Two "No Running & Wide Right!!"
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:55 AM   #13
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Thanks for joining in. I better be sure to get this finished within 3 months then


Yes please because we're going there for the first time in August!
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:05 AM   #14
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Aw man, now you have me craving a Dole Whip! Pure perfection Looking forward to hearing about your dinner in the Blue Bayou. That was one place I always wanted to eat and never did. Thanks for the updates!
Just posted the update with Blue Bayou - I loved it!
It's just so relaxing in there

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I'm in I just finished your last TR and loved it!! I can't wait to hear more about your trip this time around to DL.
Thanks for reading along, I'm amazed you came back for more

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Yes please because we're going there for the first time in August!
So now I have to do a cruise TR and finish this one in double quick time ... no pressure
Are you going to the UK DIS meet by the way - we should catch up
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:22 AM   #15
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Great pics!
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