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Old 11-29-2008, 09:00 AM   #1
mariezp
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UPDATED! They've Been Some Long Ones! Nov. 9-23, 2008 PLUS 2006, 2007 & now WDW 2009!

Coming up with a plan…
Almost immediately after our trip in September 2007 I began making plans for our 8th annual family trip in 2008. On Apr 1, as a surprise for our son, I came up with the idea to ask one of his friends if she, Alex, her sister, Savannah, and their father, Don, would like to join us on our trip. She responded with a yes so the planning really kicked in!

Decisions! Decisions! I had first selected Nov 10-21 but DH suggested we stay right up til Thanksgiving, which would have been until the 26th which was fine with me as I never turn down an opportunity to add a few days to our trip. However, Alex said they could take the week of Nov 9-16. So, even though I had wanted to avoid the possible crowds of the Veteran’s Day weekend, I backed up the dates we had chosen to go and planned for our family to stay an extra week. I really wanted to be in the park for the Christmas season on the 21st so we could see the new castle lights and meet Santa at the Reindeer Roundup but didn’t want to be rushed so we went ahead and opted to stay a few extra days to the 23rd and ended up with a little over 2 weeks to spend leisurely at the park.

As soon as we narrowed down the exact dates I called and made reservations for our room at the Anaheim Desert Inn. I have found that booking as early as I know the dates can often save quite a bit, so on April 16 I booked for our November trip. I got a very good rate. We have stayed with them during all of our past trips and they have become, somewhat, a part of our tradition. Nothing fancy. However, they provide all we need, are reasonable, very close to the park and clean. They also offer a large family suite, which is basically 2 rooms for about the same rate as one standard room at one of the Disney properties so that cinches the deal for us.

In April, I also booked a limousine from U-R-THERE-Limousine Service to pick us up from the airport. I thought the kids would get a kick out of it, and frankly, I would too! I told DH but wanted to let it be a surprise for everyone else.

My next step was to start watching American Airline fares. I didn’t last long! I ended up booking those in April too simply because the price they were offering was already as low as what we paid the previous year.

Then from there, I spent a lot of time perusing all things Disney which also included lots of time spent on message boards taking notes and making plans for our to-do-list. Thanks to all who have added to my useful information!

Alright, I know, I know! Get to it already! Well, here it is:

In response to Travelmel's wise request, I am adding names and photos of the cast who will be mentioned in my report. Here you go:

Me

DH

DS-17

DD-8

Alex-16

Savannah-14

Don


Trip Report November 9-23, 2008
After much anticipation, our day to head to Disneyland finally arrived! I really liked the new plan of choosing an afternoon flight so we could get to California on Sunday evening and not mess up an entire day traveling. When we arrived we would have the option to decide whether to go to the park late or just wait until morning. Our flight was originally scheduled to leave at 3:15 pm but was delayed until 3:40 pm. We don’t fly very often so we like to be at the airport PLENTY early. Also, we find it kinda helps build even more of the excitement to at least be making progress towards our destination! We left our house at about 12:15 pm. and headed to DFW where we were supposed to meet our traveling companions at 1:30.

We made a call to see if they were on the way to the airport. Well, they obviously do travel often enough to not get worried about arriving late because Alex, our son’s friend, was not even at home but they were expecting her at any minute. We decided we probably should have followed her example and went to church but alas, we appeared to be backsliding. We were hoping God knew us well enough to know that if we didn’t get an early start we would probably end up being late. That’s usually the way it goes.

We arrived at the Park Air Express to park the car for 2 weeks and called to check to see if she had made it home yet. She had and was currently in the process of packing. Nothing like waiting until the last minute! We made it to the airport, checked in and sat around acting goofy while we waited for them to arrive.





Several other conversations transpired before they were finally actually in route to the airport. They seemed to remain much calmer than we were. They did finally arrive about 2:30.


We had just enough time to spare to grab a bite to eat. We ate one of the best turkey sandwiched I think I have ever had at some little BBQ joint inside the airport. We finished our meal and did not even get seated in the waiting area before they started boarding passengers for our plane. Our flight left on time and thankfully was uneventful. We even arrived on time!

When we got to the airport, Don headed to the men’s room but somehow we lost track of Savannah. After a few tense moments for some of us, she shows up unaware that we did not know where she had been. (It brought back memories of when we had lost Alex at the movie theater some months back. These two girls are very independent and apparently do not rely on explaining their whereabouts.)

Anyway, since all was well we made our way to the baggage claim area where we were met by a driver holding up a sign with our name on it. How cool is that? He looked just like the driver in Driving Ms Daisy. Don was pretty sharp to catch on that we would be riding in a limo but the kids remained clueless until we were actually standing in front of the limo. (It ain't easy to get a good picture of a 10 passenger limousine and a bunch of people in a dark garage.)


With her typical reaction, Savannah let out an ear piercing squeal of excitement.




The limo was very cool! We enjoyed the lights, music and clowning around in the ceiling mirrors.








DS loves making crazy faces but he looks a bit more normal, and handsome in this picture.

We had some good laughs about the country hicks riding in the limo.
We even broke into a round of the Hee Haw song, “Where oh where are you tonight? Why did you leave me here all alone?”, complete with “phttttt you were gone”. We had only been with our traveling companions a few hours and I was already reduced to tears from laughing so hard! I can only imagine what the driver must have thought. However, I imagine while we were pretty strange I bet he gets some real doosies! At least we were sober.
So anyway, the limo was a big hit! And, U R There Limousine Service was excellent! Everything about them was very impressive. We arrived at Anaheim Desert Inn and got our luggage all unloaded.

When I checked in, I found that our grocery delivery had already arrived about an hour early and had been stored in a backroom for us. This was just fine with me because it meant we would not have to waste any time sitting around waiting for them to show up. So, after we got our luggage and groceries to the room we set out to the park to pick up our tickets.


I had opted to get our tickets from GetawayToday.com because they offered 8 day park hoppers with 2 free magic morning days. After the 8 days, my plan was to upgrade us to our annual passes. As it turned out we did not use the MM entries because we were no good at getting all 7 of us up that early. DH was not very happy that we only had a paper pass instead of a nice AP with his picture on it. He rather enjoys being an AP snob. Needless to say, next time I will just go ahead and get the APs.

While DD and I were rearing to get into the park, the majority vote was that everyone was tired and just wanted to rest and head to the park in the morning. Whaaa! I travel with a bunch of party poopers! Since we also wanted to enter the park all together, we conceded and decided we might not suffer too much by waiting til morning to get to the park. Hunger had hit so we headed into Downtown Disney which ended up being a total waste of time and energy because it was pretty crowded and the waits were too long so we ended up just going back to Denney’s next door to our hotel. They had some really great nachos but I would have preferred my cheesecake to have not been frozen. After that, and much to my disappointment, we called it a night.

Before I go any farther, I thought I should update my report and add links from our previous trips here so you won't have to find them later on in the report.
Here's 2006
http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...-part-1-a.html

and 2007
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.....php?t=1588869
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Last edited by mariezp; 06-20-2010 at 03:27 PM. Reason: update
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:16 AM   #2
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I'm reading along. I'm in it for the long haul! I don't think I realized you had 8-day Hoppers. I think I assumed that for all that time you were gone, you were in the parks pretty much every day and had APs, but I guess you must have spent a lot of days out of the parks too? That is a good way to break things up and not get too sick of DLR. Oh well, you will get to all that and what you guys did in your TR!! No need to rush into it and jump all around in the story now!

Are your son and Alex a 'couple' or only friends? Or are they at that stage where they don't want to admit they want to be a couple? They seem like they would be cute together!
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
We had some good laughs about the country hicks riding in the limo.
We even broke into a round of the Hee Haw song, “Where oh where are you tonight? Why did you leave me here all alone?”, complete with “phttttt you were gone”.
"....I searched the world over & thought I'd found true love...."


Great looking family & great start to your report.

Nice to see that not all bumpkins from texas take the el cheapo rental car....some splurge for the fancy dancy "Limozeen".

Marie, I'm also on-board for the long haul.
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Hound's One Day Commando Tour thru DLR. 38 rides, 6 meals & 6 snacks.

Not for the faint of heart, but LOTS of info for the WDW Vet visiting for one or two days:


http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1975805

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Old 11-29-2008, 11:03 AM   #4
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Can't wait to read more!
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:52 AM   #5
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Subbing! So jealous you got to spend that much time in DL!
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Old 11-29-2008, 01:44 PM   #6
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Eight days at DLR?! We always get to the airport early too. So afraid we might miss the plane. That limo sure looks nice.
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:09 PM   #7
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I'm just excited for the BBQ! Yum YUM!
Pots and pans? Seriously?!
 
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Woo! I'm in!!

My family always gets to the airport super duper early too, so don't worry!!
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Old 11-29-2008, 03:09 PM   #8
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Hi marie! Just dropping buy to check out the start of your trippy. I think I'll hunker down and stay for the long haul!
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:45 PM   #9
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I just love TRs! Thanks for sharing
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:19 PM   #10
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Glad to have everyone along! Thanks to those who have decided to join me while I relive our trip. We signed the papers for a new truck for my son today so it may take me a few days to recover from that to get anything else added but I will do my best!

Sherry E, normally we do get an annual pass but I thought we would save a few bucks by getting the 8 day park hoppers for the other family since it is doubtful they will go with us again next year. So when I ordered their tickets I just got ours with the plan to upgrade after using the MMs. From here on out it will be APs cause it just makes sense for us. Nope, no days spent anywhere else but in the park. All 13 days! I didn't get tired of it in the sense of boredom. I was tired from a week of trying to play host and then the second week I got very tired of my DD's new phase of constantly changing her mind. I was glad to get home. Believe it or not, even with all those days, I did actually miss getting a few things done on my to-do-list. Oh well, that gives me a jump on next years list!

DS and Alex are just friends. He adores her and would be happy if it were more but at this point in time that appears to be all she wants. He would do absolutely anything for her. However, they are very different. She is quiet, sweet, independent and very studious. He is boisterous, rowdy, a country boy through & through and more like the class clown. I know opposites attraction but unless girls have really changed these days, I don't see any signs of interest of being more than friends coming from her. Oh well, her loss cause some day he is gonna treat the right girl like a queen.

Hound, I should have known you would know the song! What true Texan wouldn't, right? Thanks for complimenting my family. I feel like a real clod now because I left out the one good photo of my DH in the car. I have gone back and mended my ways by inserting his Limo photo as well! To tell the truth, we switched around on rides while at the park so much, at times, I felt like I was traveling with 2 husbands! Don is kinda handsome but 2 husbands! No thanks! Anyway, this bumpkin family generally hitches a ride from the airport with one of the el cheapo taxi services but we wanted to do something special this trip so with the extra people it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do the limo, probably just once. It was totally worth it.

Gonna go get some more photos uploaded right now so I can get started on more of this here trip report!
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:20 PM   #11
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November 10th, our first day inside the park!

I was awoken by a phone ringing at 5:00 am. Don was calling Alex. He had forgotten to pack his sneakers so he had walked to Target to get some for walking in the park and wanted to see if they needed anything else while he was there. Already awaken by the phone, still on Texas time and excited toget to the park, I went ahead and got up and started getting ready. Everyone else lazed around a bit and then Alex and Savannah began working on homework. I realize it was important that they keep up with their studies since they had taken time from school but, gollyÖ it was our first day! We finally made it to the park at 11:00. It was a beautiful day and not too very crowded.




Our very first ride was Pirates!

This is my favorite ride. Every time I ride it I see something different. It was fantastic to be back! I donít think Savannah liked it very much. She is very sweet, gentle, and innocent and doesnít like violence. Iím not too sure she was very crazy about being in the dark with a bunch of sword wielding pirates and skeletons.

Looking back now, I guess we were not being very thoughtful of frightening newcomers but since it was right there what do you think we headed to nextÖ HM!






Right as we were pulling up the hill from the loading area there was a CM, acting his creepy, part who reached in to grab me. I thought it was pretty funny! I am glad he was on my side because I am sure Savannah would not have thought so. She obviously was not impressed with this ride either.




I can understand how she might feel. When we first started coming to Disneyland we didnít much care for HM ourselves. We arenít much into ghost and goblins or anything so related. We donít do Halloween and we donít watch scary movies. However, over the years and after doing HM on the Christmas tour, where DD decided she loved it, we have come to look past any deep meaning and just value it as a well themed ride.

Since we had gotten to the park so late it was already lunch time so we headed to Plaza Inn. It is DHís and DSís favorite place to eat in the park. Not me. I donít like packaged gravy mix but I went along to get it out of the way. DD and I shared the chicken which is usually pretty good but, boy, have those chicken legs shrunk! They also did not have much of a dessert selection so no strawberry shortcake for me. The guys were very satisfied.

When we got through with our lunch it was almost 2:30 which is just about time for them to start playing musical chairs. I have always wanted to see it but have never taken DD because we are usually taking our midday break at that time of day. It looked like a perfect opportunity since we were already in the area so DD and I split from the main group and headed for Coke Corner. We got there just in time and DD jumped right in with the kids. Peter Pan, Alice and Mad Hatter were all there and they were wonderful with the kids! It was so much fun to watch and DD had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, Alex had forgotten her camera and I had loaned her my camera for the day. Luckily, I did have DDís new camera so I was able to take some pictures.












After the game we got autographs and pictures with Peter and Alice.



DD did not want Mad Hatterís. I think he makes her nervous!

We headed over to Splash to meet up with the others. They had taken Don on his first ride. As worthy of any first time, he came out drenched! He was a good sport though and they have some hilarious memories of the ride.




As is most often the case with large groups, we could not decide on a ride everyone could agree on so the ďbig kidsĒ headed to SM. Apparently, they did did some clowning around while waiting in line.








DD and I headed to Peter Pan but it was very crowded, as usual, so we passed on by and ended up on the Teacups. Then, we headed to Alice and popped out on the upper level during the parade. From there we thought about riding Nemo but decided to wait until we could all ride it together which ended up being a mistake because they rode it without us. That was the last time we had that thought!

We met up with DH and watched our first show of many in the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room. DD and I just love that show! From there we took a ride on the Jungle Cruise. Johnny was our captain and a very good one too. When we got through, it was getting cooler and since this was our first year without our stroller to cram full of coats we would have to go back to the room to get them. DH wanted to go back to the room because he is always the first one to get blisters but I convinced him to stay with DD just long enough to ride Astro Orbitor, which I just hate, while I mad a dash back to the room to get the coats. He left when I got back and DD and I headed towards Pirates. She HAD to have some popcorn along the way and as soon as she got that she changed her mind and decided she wanted to go make her own hat. I agreed, if we could check the lines in Fantasyland along the way. It was pretty crowded and Storybookland was closed for the parade so we just went straight back to Toontown. Got the ears made, which I expect she will probably wear a couple hours and be done with. We headed back to see if Storybookland had opened back up but it hadnít and we ended up trapped by the parade. Then, we drifted towards Tomorrowland to check on Nemo but it was long too so while deciding what to do next, DH calls to say that he is still in the park and supposed to meet back up with us and head back to the room to order in pizza. I cannot believe that everyone is ready to call it a day and that I went all the way back to the room only to get back and do well, let me seeÖ. buy some popcorn, a set of Mickey ears and do a lot of walking. Not one single ride! I am thinking to myself what is wrong with these people? (grumble, grumble) I comply again, so we hop on the train back to Main Street Station and head back to our room by 7:00. UGH! When we got there, Alex was already asleep. I ordered pizza and planned to sit down to watch a pay per view movie but the darn movie wouldnít work so we had to just watch something on the regular stations. I found out that I was a lot more worn out than I thought and soon fell asleep too.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:40 PM   #12
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Yay update! Sounds like you had some fun ( with your daughter doing musical chairs) but Im sorry the other people with you were party poopers can't wait to read more
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:05 AM   #13
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I didn't know about musical chairs. Too bad I'm too old.
Maybe they were still tired from the traveling the day before? Looking forward to more.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:21 AM   #14
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I'm loving this TR!!!
Can't wait to go to DL one day.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:29 AM   #15
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yeah! I'm here too! Its so great to read about your trip. Your family is beautiful and looks like a lot of fun! I wanna go to Disneyland too!

I love Alice in Wonderland. I want to do the musical chairs too.

13 days in the parks sounds heavenly! Can't wait to hear more about it!
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