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Old 04-05-2014, 08:40 PM   #1
mom2rtk
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We Defected to the West! DLR 2013

Is everyone over the cold winter enough to venture back in?

Welcome along on our DLR in December trip! I know I'm late getting under way, but that's just how things go here sometimes. First, I had to finish up my December 2012 WDW trip report. If you haven't read any of my past trip reports, they are all linked in my signature.

I'm Janet. And this is my Disney partner in crime, my 13 year old daughter Katie.



We're not new to DLR. This was in fact our 5th trip to the parks. But most of our Disney trips have been to WDW. Our last DLR trip was summer 2010. And I'm sure you all know things have changed a lot since then. All of our prior visits had been fairly brief, 2 or 3 days tops. I really wanted to do the parks once where we didn't feel as rushed. So with fastpass plus rolling out at WDW in 2013, it seemed like the ideal time to make our move.

So who's up for a trip back into the cold. And I do mean cold..........

Last edited by mom2rtk; 04-05-2014 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:42 PM   #2
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LINKS:

12/4/13

Departure
Goofy's Kitchen
Goofy's Kitchen Flashback

12/5/13

DL Early Entry: Astro Orbiter, Nemo Subs
Matterhorn Flashback
Alice, Teacups, POTC
More POTC, NOS, Frozen!

Jingle Jangle Jamboree
Belielve in Magic

12/6/13

CARSLAND!
Lunch with Ariel
You Want Me to What?
Holiday Tour
Haunted Mansion Holiday
Small World Holiday
A Great Seat for the Parade!
More Parade Photos
RSR at Night and WOC
More WOC

12/7/13

PPH Santa, off to Goofy's Kitchen
DTD, Pearl Factory
GC and DLH Santas

12/8/13


A Cold but Very Awesome Morning on Paradise Pier
The CS Ride Photo Collection
More Fun around Paradise Pier and Grumpy Santa
Meeting a DIS VIP and Breakfast at Flo's
More Casrland, ToT, Bugsland
Viva Navidad and Back to DL for the Parade
More Daytime Parade Photos
FL Dark Rides, Castle Walkthrough..... and finally..... Mickey as Santa!
Fantasmic Dessert Seating
More Fantasmic

12/9/13

I'm finally loving ToT! and Breakfast at Storytellers

The Verdict on DL's Fairy Godmother
Practically Perfect
Mickey and the Magical Map
Which Mickey Will We Get?
New Orleans Square and Back To Small World

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Old 04-05-2014, 09:13 PM   #4
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The Plan:

Katie is in 7th grade now. I've taken her out of school every year for a week long Disney trip since kindergarten. It really hasn't been a problem. She always has a lot of work that first week back, but the teachers have been great. Now that she's in middle school and I know our days of doing this are numbered.

As it turns out, switching to DLR this year was a good move for many reasons. Not the least of which was that DLR requires less advance planning. So it drove me crazy that I didn't have any planning to do, but I was thankful that I didn't more planning to do.

Katie had a part in the school play in 6th grade and loved it. It was a great experience for her, a great way to meet lots of new friends just as she was entering a big new school. So I knew she'd want to do the play again in 7th grade. Of course, we had no way of knowing when the play would be until after school started in August, and we couldn't go until after the play was over. Last year it was in mid-November. On top of that, our middle son was leaving for college (the first to leave home) and I wasn't comfortable making commitments on dates until I knew more about his schedule. He wasn't coming (sadly, he's not a huge Disney fan) but I wasn't going to take a chance on being gone any time he might be home.

Eventually I committed to early December. My husband loves Disney too, but doesn't come every year. He passed this time since he used so much of his vacation time getting our son off to school and wanted to keep some days for when he would be home on breaks.

I really struggled with where to stay. We always stay onsite in a value hotel at WDW. There are no value hotels at DLR. I toyed with staying at one of the Good Neighbor hotels to save money. For us, it really is a place just to sleep. We are the sort to hit the parks early and stay til we drop. At one point I even booked an offsite location. But the more I thought about it, the more unsure I was.

I am a light sleeper. I sleep very poorly in the early morning hours. We were coming from the central time zone, so odds were I'd be up by 4 or 5 local time every morning. In the end I knew it would just kill me to know the parks were open and I was just pacing the room. Katie is pretty easy going and has seemingly endless energy at Disney. So I knew it wouldn't be hard for her to be up and at the parks. So when Cheaptickets ran a 20% off promotion, I jumped in and booked the Paradise Pier. In the end, it was that daily early entry that sealed the deal for me.

We have stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian on prior trips, so it only seemed fitting that we should try out the third of the onsite hotels.

It still frustrates me to no end that we can only get a 5 day ticket at DLR. I'm quite spoiled at WDW being able to get a 10 day ticket, and spend a few shorter days in the parks. We love visiting the parks on arrival and departure days, then taking at least one short day mid-week. With only 5 days at our disposal we were going to have to change our strategy. I know everyone says you can "do" the parks in 3 or 4 days. But I knew I wanted to do it ALL! So I knew 5 days barely do it for us. Just once, I didn't want to leave at the end of a DLR trip mourning everything I had missed.

So I bought tickets (10% off through Orbitz/Ebates! ) and booked flights. We were headed west!

Last edited by mom2rtk; 04-05-2014 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:18 AM   #5
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We are heading to DL at the end of May. Really want to see Carsland...and kinda waiting and watching how the new FP+ evolves. I've seen alot of your comments on the subject and totally agree. In the meantime, we'll enjoy FP Legacy this year!!
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:02 AM   #6
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I totally agree about the 5 day ticket. I could go more days easily.
Also I kept reading how DL has longer park hours, but it surely didn't when I was there. They parks closed early every night except the weekends and there is so much to see and do that I just couldn't do it all. Of course, having so many things down for refurb cut into what I could see as well.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaBaby View Post
We are heading to DL at the end of May. Really want to see Carsland...and kinda waiting and watching how the new FP+ evolves. I've seen alot of your comments on the subject and totally agree. In the meantime, we'll enjoy FP Legacy this year!!
Yeah! Welcome to the west! And might I add.... what a gorgeous state you live in. We are in Missouri and our first 4 trips to DL were driving trips. That first day of driving across Kansas is always brutal. But then we got to Colorado...... and

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I totally agree about the 5 day ticket. I could go more days easily.
Also I kept reading how DL has longer park hours, but it surely didn't when I was there. They parks closed early every night except the weekends and there is so much to see and do that I just couldn't do it all. Of course, having so many things down for refurb cut into what I could see as well.
The longer park hours probably wouldn't have helped us. After being up and at early entry rope drop every day I usually run out of steam anyway. You are far better at burning the candle at both ends than I am!

And I could totally go for a 7 day ticket to DL. I would have loved to start with fireworks that first night, then gone into the parks for an hour or two on our down day. With the time change, we probably would not have done a park on departure day though. Which is a shame. I really love doing that at WDW.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for the compliment on our state! Yes, moved here almost 20 years ago, but grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. We still drive back to Il every few years to visit so I know about those boring drives through the midwest.

And actually last year during spring break we drove to Kansas City to spend a few days at the Great Wolf Lodge. It was fun once we got there, but what a long, boring drive!!
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4/03 ASMO/CBR 4/05 HOJO'S DL 4/07 NICK HOTEL/WH 4-5/09 NICK HOTEL/WH 6/10 WH 5-6/11 HOJO'S DL 6/12 WH/AKV/POLY 5-6/13WH 5-6/14 HOJO'S DL 8/14 CSR
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:37 PM   #9
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I'm in!
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Someone left their inside b*** on the toilet (WDW, July/Aug 2014) Dorothy and Blanche: a tale of leftover shoes and lost things! My Club 33 Disneyland trip! July 2013A Blast from the Past (2009!)The trip to make up for the cold (WDW, July 2012) I'm never staying home for March Break again (Disneyland, March 2012) You little sneak, a TR with lies and pictures (WDW, July/Aug 2010)
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks for the compliment on our state! Yes, moved here almost 20 years ago, but grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. We still drive back to Il every few years to visit so I know about those boring drives through the midwest.

And actually last year during spring break we drove to Kansas City to spend a few days at the Great Wolf Lodge. It was fun once we got there, but what a long, boring drive!!
Yep. Long. And boring. That about covers it. Yet that's exactly what we're thinking of doing again this summer. We have driven west from KC 4 times (although the trip I'm reporting here isn't one of those drives). We're not going to DLR this summer, but are thinking of driving into the Southwest again to see more of the national parks. More specifically, we never did justice to Canyonlands, so we want to spend more time there. Plus revisit a couple other favorites along the way.

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I'm in!
Hey Tina! So glad you made it!
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:44 PM   #11
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Oh boy!! :surf web:

Since I will most likely not be winning the DIS photo contest to DL this will be a close second per enjoyment
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:54 PM   #12
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Oh boy!! :surf web:

Since I will most likely not be winning the DIS photo contest to DL this will be a close second per enjoyment
Yeah! Glad you found us!

And can you believe I completely forgot to even enter.

In other breaking news, I won't be winning the lottery either. For reasons you can probably guess.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:39 PM   #13
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I'm here!!!

Looking forward to reading along. And YES, it was cold. I don't think I warmed up until last week- seriously.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:43 PM   #14
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I'm in!!! Can't wait to hear all about it, we've never done DisneyLand.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:44 PM   #15
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I'm here!!!

Looking forward to reading along. And YES, it was cold. I don't think I warmed up until last week- seriously.
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I'm in!!! Can't wait to hear all about it, we've never done DisneyLand.
Hi Wendy! Hi Joy! So glad you both found us!

I didn't fret too much about the cold. After all, we are survivors of the WDW cold snap of 2010. But it honestly did hamper some of the things we wanted to do. I'm really crossing my fingers for better weather this year. I think we paid our weather dues last year!

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