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Old 06-01-2009, 08:54 PM   #1
Hawleys
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High Season DL Adventures--Aug 09 TR--Complete!

I have been lurking on these boards for about 10 months while planning our August 8-11 Disneyland trip. All the folks who have posted such fantastic trip reports have inspired me to start my own!

Cast of Characters:
Hawleys: I'm 31 and live in Berkeley CA. I have been to Disneyland just once, for one day and I am really looking forward to having several days to explore. I am a ride fanatic.
DJBelou: 30, DW, grew up in Washington state and has been to Disney as a kid and on our one day adult trip.
Baedyn: Our 9 year old nephew, loves Star Wars and manga. Easy going and tons of fun.

Here we are in DL in 2007 with our friend Ross (I'm on the right, DW is on the left)


Here is a picture of DW and DN from 2007.


Now, I know that some folks will say we are crazy to go to Disneyland in August so let me tell you how we ended up with these dates.

About 10 months ago, my DSIL asked us if we would babysit my wife's nephew while she attended a conference in San Francisco. DW has been promising to take DN to Disneyland for years and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. We have a long-haired cat and since DN is very allergic there was no way he could spend 4 days in our house.

I travel quite a bit for work and we had enough miles to get all three of us to LA and back. We were going to Disneyland!

Next up: Where to stay?

Last edited by Hawleys; 02-05-2010 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
maryr1oz
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Yay - how exciting!

We will be leaving Disney on August 8th and you will be arriving... can't wait to see how your plans progress...

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Old 06-01-2009, 10:32 PM   #3
Hawleys
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryr1oz View Post
Yay - how exciting!

We will be leaving Disney on August 8th and you will be arriving... can't wait to see how your plans progress...

Whoo hoo! My first reply ever! You are coming much farther than we are...are you staying in CA for a long time?
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:13 PM   #4
Hawleys
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Where to stay

I read Hydro guys tips on how to get the most out the parks during peak season. I tend to be a "go-go-go" type and I sometimes wear out the DW (and myself) when we are on vacation. So his idea of staying within walking distance of the park so that we could plan an afternoon nap/pool break was appealing. DW totally agreed!

After looking at the pictures of the water area at the Hojo, I was hooked. I found a 15% discount from another Disneyland community site and made my reservation...8 months in advance.

Can folks who have stayed at the Hojo tell me about their convenience store? We plan to have early breakfast in our room most mornings and I was going to buy milk and cereal. Will it be super expensive?

How do I get one of the fancy countdowns for my signature? They are so
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:14 AM   #5
maryr1oz
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You can get a countdown timer by visiting: http://www.********************/timers/

They will give you a HTML code for the timer you create and you can copy and paste it into your 'signature' of your Disboards profile!


We are coming to the States for 4 weeks total, visiting LA, Vegas, San Francisco and New York.

While i haven't stayed at the HoJo before, there is a 7/11 that would be about 10 mins walk from you away...
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:32 PM   #6
basketballmom
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I just had to reply and say.......YAY August!!! We are going too! August 8-13.

Our last 3 trips were the last week of July, 2005, first week of August, 2006, and the weekend after Labor day, 2007. I will say that we LOVED being there in the summer! We are get to the parks at opening kind of people, and also the go-go-go type! Yeah, it is busy, but everything is open, the park hours are longer.....and you can take a 3-4 hour afternoon break and still get tons done!! Also, breaking up walking and riding with a show is a good way to cool down and rest your feet! Aladdin, Billy Hill, Turtle Talk with Crush....and others....good way to take a break!

We stayed at the HOJO in 2006. I don't remember the convenience store being super shocking expensive....I do remember it was nice and had lots of stuff! Milk, fruit, snacks, drinks....I think we even needed something random like nail clippers and they had them. The walk to the park was nice too.

So what are we down to?? 67 days??
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:25 PM   #7
Desert Dwellers
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I lurked here for a long time too before ever posting. The sense of community on this board was a deciding factor to finally post. We're going in July, so I am also wary about the crowds, but I think it's doable with all the great tips and good planning.

Your nephew has pretty cool aunts!!

Last edited by Desert Dwellers; 06-03-2009 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:55 PM   #8
Hawleys
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Darn it!

Thanks for the tip on the countdown Maryr1oz. Turns out I canít put it in my signature until I have made 10 posts. Inspiration to keep working on my PTR right there.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:07 PM   #9
Hawleys
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Dining

We tend to snack more on vacation then eat big sit down meals so I hadnít planned on making any dining reservations inside the park. Then I found out that DW is just wild to eat at the Blue Bayou. Was she able to convince me? Of course! I am hoping to get a lunch reservation. The Disney website says that you can make dining reservations 60 days in advance. Do they mean two months (June 9th for August 9th) or exactly 60 days? Any recommendations for meals at the Blue Bayou?
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:12 PM   #10
Hawleys
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Dwellers View Post
I lurked here for a long time too before ever posting. The sense of community on this board was a deciding factor to finally post. We're going in July, so I am also wary about the crowds, but I think it's doable with all the great tips and good planning.

Your nephew has a pretty cool aunt and uncle!
Yes, people are very friendly on these boards and all the good advice has made me feel like we will be able to have a great time, even if the park is busy. And we will get to see all the parades and shows.

Just FYI, we are aunt and aunt, not uncle and aunt. We are still really really cool though!! I had planned to include a picture in my initial post but have to wait until I have more posts.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:14 PM   #11
Hawleys
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Medieval Times

A few months ago, DSIL was telling me that our nephew (who is coming to DL with us) was disappointed because he wasnít able to have his birthday party at Medieval Times. HmmmÖmaybe his really really cool aunts will take him as part of his DL trip!

Medieval Times is a very pricey event, even with the free child with paying adult coupon that I found online. I am trying to justify the expense by reminding myself that besides the Blue Bayou we wonít be doing any other expensive meals. Transportation is maybe a problem as well. We are not planning on renting a car. We donít own a car and neither of us thought that driving in LA sounded like fun. Has anyone taken the public bus to Medieval Times? Iíve read some posts saying that it is easy. We take public transport all the time in the Bay Area so we just may give it a try!
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:27 AM   #12
Hawleys
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basketballmom View Post
I just had to reply and say.......YAY August!!! We are going too! August 8-13.

Our last 3 trips were the last week of July, 2005, first week of August, 2006, and the weekend after Labor day, 2007. I will say that we LOVED being there in the summer! We are get to the parks at opening kind of people, and also the go-go-go type! Yeah, it is busy, but everything is open, the park hours are longer.....and you can take a 3-4 hour afternoon break and still get tons done!! Also, breaking up walking and riding with a show is a good way to cool down and rest your feet! Aladdin, Billy Hill, Turtle Talk with Crush....and others....good way to take a break!

We stayed at the HOJO in 2006. I don't remember the convenience store being super shocking expensive....I do remember it was nice and had lots of stuff! Milk, fruit, snacks, drinks....I think we even needed something random like nail clippers and they had them. The walk to the park was nice too.

So what are we down to?? 67 days??
Yea for the the Hojo! Yea for August! I think we are at 66 days now. Time to start my packing list.

A big yes to taking breaks to cool off. I have a made a promise to myself that I will not push too much on this trip, even if that means we don't see EVERYTHING. If we miss some things, well, that means we will have to go back.

One cooling off activity I am excited about is the Animation studio in DCA. Our nephew draws nonstop and I just know he will love learning to draw a Disney character.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:35 AM   #13
Hawleys
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Itinerary: Day 1 (Saturday)

Shuttle Pickup: Crack of dawn

Depart SFO: 8am

Arrive LAX: 9:24amóI am just crossing my fingers that we will be able to catch the Disneyland Express at 9:30am so we donít have to wait a whole hour for the next bus. I donít know if I will be able to stand being so close to DL and having to wait some more! Does anyone know if the bus usually runs on time?

Arrive Hojo by 11:30am and try to check in. Probably we will just have to leave our bags and come back later.

Quick bite to eat somewhere along Harbor (Mimiís?) or in DTD. If we have time, I would love to take the nephew to the giant Lego store. Iím sure that his Mom and Grandma will be gifting him some souvenir money.

I bought our park tickets from Ares travel so we also need to stop at the ticket booth and trade our vouchers for park tickets. Crossing fingers for short lines.

Bus to Medieval Times: 2:00pm or so

Medieval Times: 3:30pm show and then bus back to DL around 6:30pm.

In my ideal vacation, we would go to the park for rest of the evening, check out a few rides and see Fantasmic. Reality check is that we may all be exhausted from traveling and ready to head back to the hotel.

Are we crazy to spend almost a whole day in Anaheim and potentially skip going to DL? I keep telling myself that Saturday will be crowded and that weíre better off going to Medieval times. Originally, I had planned to buy a 3-day park hopper so skipping DL on Saturday made sense. Then Disney came out with the 5 for 3 hopper.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:38 AM   #14
Hawleys
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Countdown Timer

It was hard work but I have updated this PTR enough to have a timer in my signature. Whoo hoo

Believe me, I will be checking everyday.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:38 AM   #15
Hawleys
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Itinerary: Day 2 (Sunday)

Itinerary: Day 2 (Sunday)

Wake up at the crack of dawn (wait, Iím sensing a pattern hereÖisnít this supposed to be a vacation? )

Early Entry at 7am (whoo hoo!) First up is Peter Pan (thanks to the Hound for this tip). Then both sides of the Matterhorn as this is DNís favorite ride from his trip to DL at age 6. After that, Iím hoping to drag him on some of the Fantasyland rides that I have never been on (Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio). He will be almost 10 in August so weíll see if he can be convinced. He may think he is too big. Then some of the other rides that are open during EE (Buzz, Space?).

After EE is over, we plan to ride a whole bunch of rides and collect a whole bunch of Fastpasses (I said I was a ride fanatic, right ). I am looking forward to Space Mountain and DW has told me that we are going to ride Splash Mountain everyday, no ifs ands or buts. Fine with me!

Fingers are crossed that we can get an 11:30am reservation at the Blue Bayou and spend some time relaxing over lunch. DW is really excited about this meal. I hope we will be able to get a waterside table. Any meal recommendations?

Post-lunch we may use a Fastpass or two and then head to the hotel for a nap or a swim.

After rest time and an light dinner we will head back to DL to ride more rides of course! We will finish the night with Fantasmic or the fireworks. Would love to stay in the park until midnight but I know that I will be tired from getting up at the crack of dawn for two days in a row.
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