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Old 05-31-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
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Yet Another Happiest Place on Earth Report Disneyland, June, 2008--Pre-trip, w/index

Is it time for me to jump on the Disneyland band wagon? It seems that suddenly there’s a fair bit more mention of the first Disney park among this group than usual--Laur’s did such a good report of her recent trip there, Danauk and Wickesy have both posted their pre-trip reports just today, and I recall that a few others (Lizzy Lemon among them) have told us that they’ll be going to Disneyland soon. So perhaps now is the time to add my name to the list. I will be in Disneyland for 7 days/6 nights, from June 9 through June 15th. I know this is cutting it close for posting a pre-trip report, but besides the predictable excuses of having been too busy/too lazy I have had two fears—the first fear, that filing a pre-trip report would obligate me to write a full report (see earlier reference to being lazy) and second fear, that announcing plans is a sure way to tempt Fate to mess with those plans. Here’s hoping that Fate is looking the other way right now.

I suppose I should begin with an explanation of why, since I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. A., I’m posting on the UK board and not the US. The fact is I don’t know anyone on the US board while I do have many dear friends on this one. A few years back I was lucky enough to be adopted by Kevin and Tammy Stringer and have had four lovely Disney vacations with them—one in California and three in Florida (two of those with Debbie and Matt Churchill, too). In fact, I must tell you that vacationing with the Stringers is the ideal way to produce a wonderful trip report without lifting a finger, as Kevin is a master travel journalist and all I usually do is send links to his web page to all my friends with a note saying “See how much fun I had!” I have had one tiny experience writing a three day add-on trip report in 2006 to tell of my weekend at WDW after the Stringers returned home and left the Churchills and me to fend for ourselves. Debbie and Matt went to a new hotel offsite to give it a try and I checked in to my beloved Wilderness Lodge. Matt and I both wrote mini TRs, more or less epilogues to Kevin’s report. My offerings were kindly accepted by UK DIS readers and encouraged by that (and without Kevin along this time to do the work for me) I have decided to write again.

I used to go every year to Disneyland and to Walt Disney World. Actually, that was my late husband Scott’s routine and when we met I quickly and happily fell in line. Since his death in 2001 the pattern has changed and though I’ve managed to get to one Disney place or the other each year, only one year in the past seven have I been able to get to both. My most recent trip to Disneyland was in 2005 with the Stringers and it was starting to feel like I’d been too long away. I decided to go, but then who was there to go with me? In addition to attaching myself to the Stringers and the Churchills for a number of trips, I’ve gone through the list of my dearest friends (which includes my sister) to find trip companions and co-conspirators (some of them for more than one trip, bless their hearts) and afraid I’ve gotten to the end of the list and am out of friends! Well, not really, but no one seemed available when I started thinking about a trip this summer. I decided to do a solo trip, something I’d done once before—a trip to Disneyland, which was wonderful in its own way. That might sound a little lonely or desperate, but honestly, I never felt alone there. No doubt the many happy memories of things that Scott and I did there carried me through, but in addition to that I always had people to talk to, laugh with, and ride with anytime I wanted. You know the sense of security and camaraderie you feel when you’re at Disney? Well, anytime I wanted a little company or conversation, there were always guests or cast members willing to oblige. I stayed at the Grand Californian which made me feel right at home--it looks so much like the Wilderness Lodge (designed by the same architect)--and opening right into Disney’s California Adventure it couldn’t have been handier or safer for me. Having had such a good experience that time I decided to go solo again—but then I didn’t have to. My sister’s very good friend Sharon who lives in northern California got wind of my plan and asked if she could go along. Sharon is funny and bright and very enthusiastic about Disneyland, so a perfect pal for this trip. Sharon has been to Disneyland many times through the years as her husband’s business often takes him to LA. But precious man though he is, Howard has one fault (but it’s a big one)—a very low tolerance for Disneyland. A few hours there and he’s ready to go. The thought of staying for a week is beyond his comprehension, but he’s willing to send Sharon with her brand new Disney VISA with his good wishes. So there you have us. Two ladies of a certain age with a love of Disneyland and with VISA cards—and no one telling us what we can’t do!

Having already talked your ear off, I’m not going to go through the itinerary day by day. I will tell you:

Where we’re staying: Paradise Pier with park view. The Stringers and I stayed at PP and thought it was a lovely place and convenient for our needs. Sharon and I decided that the hundred dollars a day difference from the cost of Grand Californian would go along way to paying for some of our other extravagances and that we would have the GC experience when we ate at Napa Rose, got massages at the Mandara Spa, and had breakfast at the Storytellers Café.

Where we’re eating: In addition to the Napa Rose (exhibition kitchen seating), we have ADRs (still called PSs in CA) at Hooke’s Pointe (Disneyland Hotel), Catal (DTD), Steakhouse 55 (Disneyland Hotel), and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen (DTD). If you know Disneyland, you may have noticed the absence of Blue Bayou among the PSs. It was one of Scott’s favorite places (back in the day when it was the only table service restaurant at Disneyland) and is still one of my favorites. We will go there for a lunch, just not sure which day yet. Also will try to work in The Vineyard room in DCA and Carnation Café on Main Street.

What we’ll be doing: Besides the usual attractions, shows, rides, parades, and fireworks, we are going to do A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour of Disneyland and Cruzin’ California segway tour of DCA. We have massages scheduled at the GC Mandara Spa. We have riverside seating with the dessert treats for Fantasmic.

What we’re looking forward to most: For me--Being there. The new submarine ride. Toy Story Mania. The Indiana Jones ride enhancements and the new crowd interactions. For Sharon—shopping as long as she wants, in as many places as she wants, for days and days and days.

If you’ve read this far (a great favor to me I assure you), please, do one more favor for me. Keep your fingers crossed for the next few days, making the wish that Fate doesn’t find out about my plan.

Report Index

Day One, June 9th
Day Two, June 10th
Day Two, Part 2
Day Three, June 11th
Day Four, June 12th
Day Four, Part 2
Day Five, June 13th
Day Five, Part 2
Day Six, June 14th
Day Seven, June 15th

Last edited by SusanEllen; 10-18-2008 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:17 PM   #2
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Sounds like a fun trip, can't wait to hear all about it when you get back. I'd love to hear about the segway tour and the chefs table seating at Napa Rose as these are the things I am most looking forward to! Ooh I wonder if you will be lucky enough to get a preview of Toy Story Midway Mania! Fingers crossed for you!!
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:40 PM   #3
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Sounds like you've planned a great trip! I can't wait until I'm " a lady of a certain age with a VISA card" - I am certain I will still be a Disney Freak too! Would love to hear about it but sounds like you're daunted about a full on trip report. What about a few sentences with the edited highlights? Fingers crossed that fate will be looking the other way!
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:41 PM   #4
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I'll keep it in mind that you are especially interested in those things--Cruzin' CA and Napa Rose. I've eaten at the Napa Rose exhibition seating twice--the first time on the afore mentioned solo trip. I had an early seating, a great time to be there because the chef wasn't as busy as he was later. He gave me lots of attention, chatted with me throughout the couple of hours I was there, sent lots of little treats to try. You may already know that this seating is actually 8 seats along the bar dividing the restaurant from the California style open kitchen (in groups of 4 on each side of the divided bar). About halfway through the meal a lovely couple was seated next to me and we had the best dinner conversation. The other time I ate there you can read about in great detail, written by the master trip reporter himself, by going to Kevin Stringer's webpage and choosing August 2005, Day 17. http://kevinstringer.co.uk/index.htm
I'm so glad others on DIS UK are going to Disneyland. Have fun with your planning. It's a big part of the pleasure, isn't it?
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:43 PM   #5
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Thanks, Suzycute. I'll promise you right now, I will write something when I get back.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:49 AM   #6
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Have a great trip Susan. Don't ever feel that a solo trip is lonely or desperate, my late Mum went on holiday to Scotland on her own at least once a year for several years leaving Dad and I behind. They were "her holidays" to go where she wanted when she wanted and she loved them.

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Old 06-01-2008, 02:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SusanEllen View Post
Thanks, Suzycute. I'll promise you right now, I will write something when I get back.
Better Make that a full blown trip report with photos. Susan.

Have a great trip.
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:08 AM   #8
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Your plans sound fantastic Susan, I hope you'll put your trip report on here too - I look forward to hearing all about it
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tony64 View Post
Better Make that a full blown trip report with photos. Susan.
yes indeed !

Great start to your trippie Susan, i can't wait to hear more...your writing style is great.

please take lots of pictures as well x
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:29 AM   #10
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I so hope you a have an absolute wonderful trip to Disneyland. It was great to meet you (but oh so brief) last August in Raglan Road.

Your plans sound perfect and am looking forward to hearing all about it.

I really hope to get back to Disneyland one day.

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Old 06-01-2008, 05:21 AM   #11
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great pre- trippie. crossing fingers for you have a fab trip and hope you find the time to do a report when you return.
Andrea xxx
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:09 AM   #12

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sounds great,hope you have a wonderful time,looking forward to seeing some pictures when you get back
Rachel "Play up Pompey, Pompey Play up"

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Old 06-01-2008, 04:02 PM   #13
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Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Hope you have a great trip and looking forward to hearing all about it.
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Old 06-01-2008, 05:20 PM   #14
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Great pre-trip report Susan - not long to go now.

I am sure that nothing will thwart your well made plans and I am sure you will have a fabulous time.

It will be interesting to hear what new things you see and experience this visit and I hope you and Sharon have a wonderful time.

Looking forward to a full report with pictures on your return. No excuses now - we want a full blown trippie - so take a big notebook with you.

Love and hugs

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Old 06-02-2008, 04:14 AM   #15
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Great start Susan. Lovely to see you posting here on the UK boards so much and I love that you consider you're among friends here. Hope you have a fantastic trip and I can't wait to hear all about it on your return
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