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Old 02-20-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
pmama
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Which way to Disneyland? TR (comparison update 7/26)

TR started!! If you are just joining me for the Trip Report post 1 and 5 are a good introduction to us and this trip.
Coronado Island
Sea World
Sea World at night
Seashells by the Shore
Lost in San Diego Zoo
Hotel Del Coronado
Train to Disneyland!
DTD, Rainforest Cafe
1st Day in Disneyland!
Toontown and Critter Country
Musical Chairs with Alice in Wonderland
Celebrate! Parade
Goodnight Mainstreet Disneyland
Magic Morning
California Adventure
Ariel's Grotto for DD's 5th Birthday!
Afternoon in California Adventure
Disneyland and Pixie Hollow
Snow White's Wishing Well
Amazing Evening
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal part 2
Universal part 3
Final Day
WDW vs DLR
Three generations "Girls Only" Trip

Hello! I told myself that I would not make a TR for this trip but I just couldn't resist. I love sharing all our memories with the only other people who truly understand my obsession with all things Disney.

Here's a photo from our last WDW trip in September 2008!


We became Disney addicts two years ago in October 2007. Since then we returned 11 months later, are visiting DLR 8 months after that, and plan to do WDW and a Disney cruise in December. Here is a link to our Sept. 2008 TR if interested. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1966843

This trip will be me (31 yr old SAHM)
My two daughers 8yo and 4 year old, turning 5 on the trip.
And my dear mother!

DH started with a new company the first of the year and did not want to leave his new job for vacation already. (We are planning a Christmas trip to WDW 2009.) So at about only 90 days out I called my Dear Mother and asked if she'd like to go to Disneyland with the girls and I over DD4's birthday. I was surprised at how quickly she jumped on board. Actually, not really surprised. She loves to travel. I am excited but will really, really miss DH.

I chose Disneyland once I discovered how it is literally 1/2 as much for us to fly there rather than Disneyworld. I also discovered how much more resonable accomodations were in DL in May! Finally, we are purchasing the Southern California City Passes which will allow us to see San Diego beaches Sea World, San Diego Zoo, 3 days DL and CA, and Universal!! What a great deal.

I have not been to DL since I was 10 years old. Can't really remember it at all. From what I've read it has completely changed in the last two decades anyway. I'm looking forward to California Adventure too!

The trip seems pretty straightforward at first but planning has become rather complicated. I'll get into that later.

But first here is a picture of the girls and I.




My mother is a riot! She is so much fun. The girls love her because she is a goofball just like them. Here are a couple pictures. First the flattering picture.


Then she probably won't appreciate this picture as much but it shows her being the fun Granita that we love! (I'm not sure what she's doing here. I think she's pretending to play the guitar.)


The reason I have named my TR "Which was to Disneyland?" Is because Granita and I have absolutely no sense of direction at all. We go to our local zoo (about an hour away) all the time and get lost almost every time no joke. My father is absolutely terrified about us having free reign over Southern California. We will have a GPS for sure.

This trip has evolved into two special guest that will be joining us for the end of the trip. This will be a surprise to the kids and a special birthday present for DD4 (turning 5). Stay tuned to see who it is.

Last edited by pmama; 07-26-2009 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:03 PM   #2
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We loved reading your other TR and my DD5 wants a sister so they can dress up together like your daughters. We loved all the pictures and your girls dresses. My DD5 also wants to do the face painting.


Hope everything goes smoothly this time. Will be tuning in to see how everything goes.
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:12 PM   #3
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Great pics....looked like you had a fun time!! Can't wait to see & read more!
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miprender View Post
We loved reading your other TR and my DD5 wants a sister so they can dress up together like your daughters. We loved all the pictures and your girls dresses. My DD5 also wants to do the face painting.

Hope everything goes smoothly this time. Will be tuning in to see how everything goes.
Oh, thanks for tuning in. Yes, I love the pictures of the girls with their faces painted. I will definitely be avoiding bicycles before this trip. It's nice to have someone hop over from the WDW threads. Seems a little more lonely over here. I wanted to post a link on my previous TR thread and noticed it's been officially closed and you can no longer post on it.

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Originally Posted by DizNee Luver View Post
Great pics....looked like you had a fun time!! Can't wait to see & read more!

Thanks for reading and posting DisNee!!
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:21 PM   #5
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Special Guests Surprise!

Okay our girls-only trip will be put to a halt when our special guests arrive but that is perfectly okay with me. After the girls and I booked, DH and I were able to make it possible for him to come up on Wednesday after work and just miss Thursday and Friday before Memorial weekend. I can't wait.


This will be a complete and utter surprise for both the girls and an especially great birthday surprise for DD4 (turning 5)! We haven't quite figured out his grand entrance but I can't wait to see their faces!! And I am SOOOOO glad DH can join us for some of the trip! It just wouldn't have been the same without him. DH loves Disney almost as much as we do.


Flying down with my DH will be his father Papa!! Papa is the best grandpa ever. Honestly. Some of you may be wondering if my mother and DH's father are single, widowed or divorced. No, they are both happily married. Funny how this trip turned out. Papa's wife (DH's mother) is terrified to fly and prefers to stay home with her animals. Granita's DH (my father) will be in Mexico 15 days in March with Granita and will not have anymore vacation time. Both spouses send their blessings.

Now, I truly believe Papa is unlike any other Grandpa alive. He loves both the girls incredibly and would bend over backward for either. Here's a cute testament to that. This picture was taken during my sister's wedding reception. Obviously DD4 had been a flower girl. She was very upset because I was busy doing matron of honor duties and could not take care of her. Papa walked her around the lobby as she cried to sleep on his lap. Adorable isn't it?


Another Papa picture.


To be fair to oldest DD. Here is a picture of her in her flower girl dress.


They will be staying 3 or 4 nights. We all can't decide which night to come back. I've discovered that it is quite a bit more difficult to be travel agent to 6 people representing 3 different immediate families. It's very hard to accomodate everyone's wishes but I'm workin on it.

So, if anyone has any great ideas for surprising the girls with DH let me know! I still haven't even told them we are going to Disneyland with Granita. They are not as familiar with Disneyland so I think I might purchase the official Disneyland book with lots of pictures and have the cd sent to me about Disneyland first to build up their curiousity. That way when I do let them know they will be excited.

Last edited by pmama; 03-20-2009 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:42 PM   #6
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Your daughters are very cute. I also read your previous report on the WDW side(I sometimes pop over there just to get my trip report fix, even though I know nothing about WDW).
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:48 PM   #7
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That is so exciting that your hubby gets to join you for part of the trip!!! The surprise will be so much fun.... there are tons of way to do it.... you'll figure out what your girls (by the way, just the absolute cutest!!) would enjoy. (going to dinner & your DH sitting at the table when you arrive, going into a shop & DH trying on ears, DH waiting in your motel room when you come back....etc)
Looking forward to seeing you what you decide to do!!!
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:36 AM   #8
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Hi!! I saw you posted a new TR from my TR, so thought I would come and check it out, since I loved your TR from last year so much. Can' wait to hear all about it, never been to DL before and not sure we'll ever make it since we're on the East Coast and going to WDW is easier for us. Looking forward to hearing the rest!!
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:42 PM   #9
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I am a DLR picture and Trip Report addict as it is, but some of them grab me more immediately than others, and some take a while to grow on me. In this case, oh my goodness - I am hooked already! As soon as I saw the picture of your mom - Granita - acting wild and the shot of the four of you on Splash Mountain, I knew I wanted to subscribe!!

I must say, you guys all together make a lovely family! I am sure you hear that all the time, but you all look picture-perfect together - like someone hand-selected each one of you and put you together to make the ideal family! You and your husband are beautiful and your daughters could not be any more adorable, but the best part is that you all look like you have a really great time together, and are a lot of fun to be around

Being a lifelong Southern California resident, I hope you enjoy your time out here, at DLR and everywhere else you go. I don't know if you will make it up to the Beverly Hills/Hollywood area but if so, I can give you some ideas of where to eat or what to see (I live right down the street from the Tar Pits and the famous Farmers Market, the Grove, LACMA, etc.). And if you have another full day to spare when you are not visiting DLR, Universal Studios, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, etc., you may be interested in a day-trip over to Catalina Island/Avalon (my other favorite SoCal place besides DLR!!) or to the Long Beach Aquarium, etc. I can give you lots of Catalina info if you ever want to plan that.

Anyway, I am going to happily read your other Trip Report for WDW when I get a little bit of time tomorrow. I can't wait! And I invite you to also read mine - which began as a simple little TR for my October 2008 DLR trip with no pictures and then evolved into a TR for two different trips in 2008 and a bonanza of pictures spanning 36 years, ranging from 1972 - 2008 (not necessarily in that order), with a guest appearance (in photos) from Bret Michaels (of the band Poison)!! The link to the TR is in my signature below!!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrrydeath View Post
Your daughters are very cute. I also read your previous report on the WDW side(I sometimes pop over there just to get my trip report fix, even though I know nothing about WDW).
Oh thanks for posting! It always surprises me how many people actually read that report. I know I read a couple DL TRs while planning WDW and I think that might of sparked some interested in DL for me too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DizNee Luver View Post
That is so exciting that your hubby gets to join you for part of the trip!!! The surprise will be so much fun.... there are tons of way to do it.... you'll figure out what your girls (by the way, just the absolute cutest!!) would enjoy. (going to dinner & your DH sitting at the table when you arrive, going into a shop & DH trying on ears, DH waiting in your motel room when you come back....etc)
Looking forward to seeing you what you decide to do!!!
Thanks, those are some great ideas. Decisions, decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by princess&her4princes View Post
Hi!! I saw you posted a new TR from my TR, so thought I would come and check it out, since I loved your TR from last year so much. Can' wait to hear all about it, never been to DL before and not sure we'll ever make it since we're on the East Coast and going to WDW is easier for us. Looking forward to hearing the rest!!
Hey, thanks for coming by. Yep I think this trip will be a good filler before we make it back to WDW hopefully in December. I'm also looking forward to seeing the beach and a few other S. CA attractions. So glad you found my report here. There is not as much traffic on the DL threads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
I am a DLR picture and Trip Report addict as it is, but some of them grab me more immediately than others, and some take a while to grow on me. In this case, oh my goodness - I am hooked already! As soon as I saw the picture of your mom - Granita - acting wild and the shot of the four of you on Splash Mountain, I knew I wanted to subscribe!!

I must say, you guys all together make a lovely family! I am sure you hear that all the time, but you all look picture-perfect together - like someone hand-selected each one of you and put you together to make the ideal family! You and your husband are beautiful and your daughters could not be any more adorable, but the best part is that you all look like you have a really great time together, and are a lot of fun to be around

Being a lifelong Southern California resident, I hope you enjoy your time out here, at DLR and everywhere else you go. I don't know if you will make it up to the Beverly Hills/Hollywood area but if so, I can give you some ideas of where to eat or what to see (I live right down the street from the Tar Pits and the famous Farmers Market, the Grove, LACMA, etc.). And if you have another full day to spare when you are not visiting DLR, Universal Studios, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, etc., you may be interested in a day-trip over to Catalina Island/Avalon (my other favorite SoCal place besides DLR!!) or to the Long Beach Aquarium, etc. I can give you lots of Catalina info if you ever want to plan that.

Anyway, I am going to happily read your other Trip Report for WDW when I get a little bit of time tomorrow. I can't wait! And I invite you to also read mine - which began as a simple little TR for my October 2008 DLR trip with no pictures and then evolved into a TR for two different trips in 2008 and a bonanza of pictures spanning 36 years, ranging from 1972 - 2008 (not necessarily in that order), with a guest appearance (in photos) from Bret Michaels (of the band Poison)!! The link to the TR is in my signature below!!
Oh, you're so sweet. I'll have to check out your TR. Looks like you a definitely a DL expert! I have heard good things about Catalina island. Is it closer to the Anaheim area than San Diego? We booked a hotel in Coronado while we tour Sea World so we can be closer to the beach.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:03 PM   #11
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The way I am familiar with getting to Catalina Island is closer to Anaheim, BUT there is probably a way to get there from San Diego. Long Beach is roughly about 20-25 minutes from Disneyland (depending on freeway traffic), and the Catalina Express boat that takes you to the Island (about a 50-minute boat trip) leaves from the boat dock at the Queen Mary. (That is also right around where the Long Beach Aquarium is too.) There are frequent departure and arrival times every day, 7 days a week, so it is easy to plan a good, full day-long trip. I am sure that there must be some sort of boat to Catalina that departs from San Diego too (maybe even the Express has boats out there; not sure), but I don't think you would have as many choices of departure/arrival times going over and coming back. I think leaving from Long Beach is a better choice. You can get a lot of good stuff into a full day, including renting a golf cart to see the Island (we have seen deer and eagles), taking a tour to the other side of the Island and seeing buffalo (lots of them), taking the Flying Fish tour (from May - Sept.), the Seal Rocks cruise, the semi-submersible (we saw a shark on that one), pedal boats, kayaks, rent a motor boat and go out on the water, lots of stuff. Even on the boat ride over to the Island you see dolphins (all the time) and an occasional whale. Good for all ages.

Again, if that looks like something your family would like to do, I can definitely give you more details. PM me or something and I will fill you in.

Yes, check out my TR when you have time! I wouldn't say that I am an expert on DLR because no matter how many times any of us have been there, it seems like we always learn new things about it that we have not seen or done yet when we come to the DISboards, but I would say that I am a lifelong FAN of DLR, that's for sure, with quite a few (to say the least) trips under my belt.
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**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:14 PM   #12
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planning, dilemmas, and decisions

I've never posted pictures from our 2007 first ever trip to WDW. The trip that began it all!! Our first trip was over our oldest DD's 7th birthday. The girls went to BBB on her birthday.

This is oldest DD, loving every minute of it.


Youngest DD wasn't quite sure what to think of all the attention.


We didn't buy the photopass cd that year. We did purchase a few pictures however. This one we did purchase but this picture is one we took of the computer screen (I don't feel like taking the time to scan the real photo in). It is one of my favorite pictures. We also purchased an incredible photo of the girls with Ariel. That one would be worth scanning in sometime as she truly was the most beautiful Ariel I've ever seen both in person and on other TRs.




BBB was something the girls enjoyed and we are glad we experienced, we can say we've done that and not sure if we'll ever do it again. We're on the bigger, better things I guess.

Originally we planned our trip to be 7 nights with 2 nights in San Diego and 5 nights in Anaheim. Well after talking with Granita she would really like to stay 3 nights in San Diego-Coronado so that we don't have to drive up to Anaheim in the dark after a long day at Sea World (or zoo). After DH and Papa were added to the trip we are now thinking of staying an additional night so they can have more touring time. Everyone has said go ahead and change the flight and add an additional night to our 2 hotel rooms. I haven't changed things yet because I was waiting for the flight price to hopefully go back down a little but am nervous I will lose it all together.

We are flying Southwest. I was a little nervous about flying Southwest as they do not have priority seating but their prices were far better for non-stop and they do not have baggage fees! I have read so many great reports on Southwest and are told they still do their best to accomodate families with young children. Hopefully that will turn out to be true.


Another current dilemma is Univsal. Our S. CA City Passes will include a day at Universal. From everything I have read there is not much for younger children to do or enjoy. I am considering letting DH and Papa go there for a day using the tickets w/o us and forfeit the children passes. I'd love to hear what you all think. Is it worth it to drag the kiddos there for a day or should we just stay in DL?

There are many more but I will not bore you with all the details. They include, what to do for DD's 5th birthday, upgrading from 3 day to 4 day hopper, ticket prices for DH and Papa, rental car(s), possible train from San Diego to Anaheim.

We are thinking of renting a car while we are San Diego then returning it and taking Amtrak from San Diego to Anaheim. From what I've read we will not need a rental in Anaheim if we stay around DL. I'd love your thoughts on that as well. Granita and the girls like the idea of taking the train along the Pacific to Anaheim!

Here's to more fun planning.

2007
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:15 PM   #13
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Oh how exciting that you are having those special surprise guests. Welcome to the Disneyland side.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:43 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
The way I am familiar with getting to Catalina Island is closer to Anaheim, BUT there is probably a way to get there from San Diego. Long Beach is roughly about 20-25 minutes from Disneyland (depending on freeway traffic), and the Catalina Express boat that takes you to the Island (about a 50-minute boat trip) leaves from the boat dock at the Queen Mary. (That is also right around where the Long Beach Aquarium is too.) There are frequent departure and arrival times every day, 7 days a week, so it is easy to plan a good, full day-long trip. I am sure that there must be some sort of boat to Catalina that departs from San Diego too (maybe even the Express has boats out there; not sure), but I don't think you would have as many choices of departure/arrival times going over and coming back. I think leaving from Long Beach is a better choice. You can get a lot of good stuff into a full day, including renting a golf cart to see the Island (we have seen deer and eagles), taking a tour to the other side of the Island and seeing buffalo (lots of them), taking the Flying Fish tour (from May - Sept.), the Seal Rocks cruise, the semi-submersible (we saw a shark on that one), pedal boats, kayaks, rent a motor boat and go out on the water, lots of stuff. Even on the boat ride over to the Island you see dolphins (all the time) and an occasional whale. Good for all ages.

Again, if that looks like something your family would like to do, I can definitely give you more details. PM me or something and I will fill you in.

Yes, check out my TR when you have time! I wouldn't say that I am an expert on DLR because no matter how many times any of us have been there, it seems like we always learn new things about it that we have not seen or done yet when we come to the DISboards, but I would say that I am a lifelong FAN of DLR, that's for sure, with quite a few (to say the least) trips under my belt.
Thanks for the info. Catalina island does sound like a great day trip. Not sure if we'll get it in this trip but if not it is something to look forward to for a return visit.

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Oh how exciting that you are having those special surprise guests. Welcome to the Disneyland side.
Thanks, glad to be here.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:00 PM   #15
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Today youngest DD was in preschool while oldest DD has the day off from school. DD8 and I walked to our local Borders to have coffee and hot cocoa. While there I pulled a couple books about Disneyland to show her some pictures. (Hoping to get her excited). On the way back I mentioned (as if unimportant) that it sure would be fun to go there in May. She immediately said, . . . . . . "no, I don't wan't to go there. I just want Disney World."

I know that she is apprehesive because she loved WDW so much she doesn't want to waste her time somewhere else. I'm concerned though. I thought they'd be more excited because we didn't have any trip planned before our Christmas WDW trip. So, now I have to figure out how to make the girls more excited about Disneyland so that when I tell them they will be excited.


Okay here's one of my favorite pictures from our first ever trip. This was oldest DD's first ever time meeting Mickey in person. Look how star struck she is.

And

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