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Old 10-18-2009, 11:55 PM   #16
ladybugmom
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Sorry I can't be of help--I know nothing about character dining @ Disneyland! I look forward to what others have to say!
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:10 AM   #17
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You would think a former DL Cast member and Annual Passholder would be able to give you advice.

I have not been to any character meals at DLR.


I would go with Storytellers..because it's the newest restaurant and being in the Grand Californian has the most WDW-like atmosphere.
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:55 AM   #18
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Also following from your TR! Never been on this side either - can't wait!
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ladybugmom View Post
Sorry I can't be of help--I know nothing about character dining @ Disneyland! I look forward to what others have to say!
Thanks for your input anyways! Glad you are checking in over here.

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Originally Posted by jordanyosh View Post
You would think a former DL Cast member and Annual Passholder would be able to give you advice.

I have not been to any character meals at DLR.


I would go with Storytellers..because it's the newest restaurant and being in the Grand Californian has the most WDW-like atmosphere.
Wow! I can't believe that. No character meals, huh? Well, maybe you will learn something new from me! Ha! We really enjoy Storytellers as well. It gives us a chance to hang out in the GC lobby too.

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Also following from your TR! Never been on this side either - can't wait!
Thanks for stopping in!
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Old 11-07-2009, 06:47 PM   #20
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Schedule

Finally, another update. I have been slacking on this because I didn’t realize how busy life really was. Now that we are getting down to crunch time, it is becoming more urgent to figure out what we are doing.

First off is a very loose schedule. I am trying to fit in all of the things that we want to do in a short amount of time. We want to explore some new parts of LA that we have never done before on previous trips. I am trying to keep in mind that we will have a toddler with us, so some things just wouldn’t be practical on this trip.

This is what we have so far.

On the Friday before Thanksgiving, I will work like usual and we will get on the road as soon as we can. The drive to Todd’s parents house is very long and we will probably get there late at night. We will stay the night there.

Saturday morning – have breakfast w/ his family and get on the road. They live north of Disneyland so we are going to take the opportunity to stop at the Griffith Observatory in Hollywood. The pictures of this place that I have seen look amazing and I can’t wait to see the views for myself. The admission and parking is free, so it seems like a good thing to do for an hour or more.

Here are some borrowed pics off the internet of the Observatory.







We might try to find some other things to do in Hollywood, since we will already be in the area. Any suggestions?

After that we will drive to Anaheim and check in to the Howard Johnson. The rest of the day will be spent in DTD or in one of the parks (depending on what type of park tickets we decide to purchase).

Sunday – We will spend the whole day hopping between Disneyland and DCA. Still working on the list of must-dos for both parks.

Monday – The goal is to drive to Newport Beach and explore the area. It seems to be one of the closest beaches to Anaheim and we want to let Dylan play on the sand for a while. I know the water will be cold, so no swimming will happen…just letting him play in the dirt and see the water for a while.

We also want to explore some shops & restaurants, and maybe walk on the pier. Again, still details to work out.

The Anaheim Gardenwalk is something else we’d like to do this day. There is a Cheesecake Factory there, which is what would be nice for a late lunch. Then we will check out the shops. We’ve eaten here before but never wandered around the mall itself.



The rest of the day is open. We might go back to a Disney park for the evening or try to find something in the area to do.

Tuesday – Back to the parks for a full day. Hopping between both.

Wednesday – After a lot of debating, we decided to do a character breakfast after all. We chose to go with the PCH Grill with Lilo & Stitch because it sounds like the food is slightly different from other places. It will also give us some time to wander around the Paradise Pier hotel, which we haven’t done in quite some time.

We will need to check out of our hotel by noon and then we will probably finish up with shopping in DTD. We need to get on the road fairly early because we have been stuck in that traffic going north on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and it is crazy. It took us twice as long to get where we were going, so I’d like to avoid that.

So that’s the basic plan. Next up will be our must-do’s for the parks.
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:05 PM   #21
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Your plans look good!!!
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:32 PM   #22
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hey girl.. your plans sound sooo nice. It's been a rough couple of weeks here in my household... i hope everyone is doing well there.

I'm actually really excited to read your TR for this trip, it's an area i'd love to visit one day.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:27 AM   #23
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What are we doing?

We still have not decided what tickets we are going to purchase. The debate is between getting a 2 day park hopper, or going for the AP. There is a big difference in price, but we know that we are going to be in the Southern California area a couple of more times within the next year. We are trying to figure out if we will have the time to visit the parks for a few days during those trips. Since that is so far away, it is making us talk in circles about what kind of tickets we should get for this trip.

Why is that important? If we get an AP during this trip, then we will probably try to visit the parks every day, even if it is just for a couple of hours in the evening to go on a few rides or have a meal. This will loosen up the schedule on the days that we commit to go to the parks for the full day. There is a lot that we want to do (some things for us adults and some for Dylan), but if we only go for 2 days we will have to pick the things that are the highest priority.

At Disneyland, we already have our list of favorites.

For Todd and I, it’s the usual suspects : All of the Mountains (Space, Big Thunder, Matterhorn, Splash – depending on how cold it is), and Indiana Jones. Since we are still planning to go by ourselves, we will have to ride these as Single Riders (or do the baby swap thing) because the other person will stay with Dylan. During our last trip to WDW, we didn’t do any thrill rides until the last few days of the trip. We had been so focused on doing things for Dylan that we forgot to do some of our favorites. We don’t want to make that mistake again, so we are just going to have to do Single Rider.

For all 3 of us : We have taken Dylan on most of these before so we know that he will be able to handle it this time too.

Buzz Lightyear
Finding Nemo Submarine ride – if there is not a super long line.
Haunted Mansion – this is still up for debate, due to the “scariness level”. Since it will be done up with the holiday overlay, it is a little less dark so I think it will be ok.
Jungle Cruise
Pirates of the Caribbean
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – again, may be a little too scary at the end of the ride…we’ll see.
Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin
Peter Pan

Just for Dylan : These are things that we know he will love, so we are trying to go on them specifically for him. I’m including some pictures of our trip last November from when he had just turned 1 year old. He really liked the Fantasyland area.

Alice in Wonderland
Casey Jr. Circus Train – he is VERY into trains right now, so this is a MUST.
Winnie the Pooh
Dumbo



The Carrousel



It’s a Small World – I’m most excited about this for him. Last year he was in awe of this, and he was so little that I’m sure that he was totally overwhelmed by the colors, sounds, etc. This year, he will get it more and that will be fun.





One last update, some of our family that we will be spending Thanksgiving with is thinking about going to Disneyland on Tuesday. If they decide to go, I’m sure that we will be spending the day with them. They are DL veterans so it should be pretty low key if we end up getting together. We’ll see!
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:32 AM   #24
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I've never been to DL, but I'm here for the ride. I just couldn't resist posting that Dylan is so freakin' adorable! Those are great pictures!
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:44 PM   #25
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Sounds great! Being an east coast gal, I would love to
visit the west coast. Calif looks wonderful!
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:00 PM   #26
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Your time is so close. I bet that all of you have a wonderful time no matter what you decide to do. I like the plans you have made tho. I know if I lived close enough to go more than once a year I would have the AP. It just gives me excuses to keep going back. Can't let that pass go to waste.

Have a grand time.

Ginny
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:54 PM   #27
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How funny!

Us West Coaster's always say we wish we could go to the East Coast lol ..

I do love the West Coast tho, it's truly Gods country (less cement) than the big cities lol

We are going spring break .. so over 4 months we wait .... *sigh*
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:57 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by ladybugmom View Post
Your plans look good!!!
Hi Becky! Thanks again for stopping by.

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Originally Posted by Raecheal View Post
hey girl.. your plans sound sooo nice. It's been a rough couple of weeks here in my household... i hope everyone is doing well there.

I'm actually really excited to read your TR for this trip, it's an area i'd love to visit one day.
Hey there! I'm sorry to hear that life has been tough. Hopefully the holidays will give you some downtime. (??) We love visiting the LA area and it will be fun to do a TR about it, since we have been there so many times.

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I've never been to DL, but I'm here for the ride. I just couldn't resist posting that Dylan is so freakin' adorable! Those are great pictures!
Aww, thanks so much. I'm hoping to get some good holiday pictures of him on this trip. Possible Christmas card shots....we'll see how cooperative he is being.

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Originally Posted by sharonW View Post
Sounds great! Being an east coast gal, I would love to
visit the west coast. Calif looks wonderful!
California is definitely worth visiting. The great thing about it is that it is so big, you get a wide range of things to choose from. I love living in Nor Cal, but I am always so excited to go south. We used to live there too, so it always makes me a little homesick.

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Your time is so close. I bet that all of you have a wonderful time no matter what you decide to do. I like the plans you have made tho. I know if I lived close enough to go more than once a year I would have the AP. It just gives me excuses to keep going back. Can't let that pass go to waste.

Have a grand time.

Ginny
I think we are going to go for the AP. You are exactly right. If we buy it, it will force us to take at least one more trip there. Since we are already planning to be in the area, it makes sense to go to DL as well. We leave tomorrow, so we will be doing some things spur of the moment (which is part of the reason why I wanted a trip w/ just us 3.).

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How funny!

Us West Coaster's always say we wish we could go to the East Coast lol ..

I do love the West Coast tho, it's truly Gods country (less cement) than the big cities lol

We are going spring break .. so over 4 months we wait .... *sigh*
I agree. The East coast has so much history, and that is why I like to go there. But I love living on the West coast. We feel blessed to live here.

Hang in there, your trip will be here before you know it. This one snuck up on me because we have been so busy. Hope you are having fun planning it!
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:15 AM   #29
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This is it!

So tomorrow is the big day! We are working on packing everything up tonight, but it is slow going. Because....I stayed home sick with the flu today! Yep, my wonderful luck! I am just really glad it was today and not tomorrow when we are supposed to be in the car for most of the day. Hopefully a good night's sleep will do me some good. Luckily no one else is sick.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:34 AM   #30
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Have a fun, safe trip Alison. Be sure to get lots of pix of that cutie pie for me to lurk at. We are headed to Nashville next week. Saves me from cooking. Will be anxious to hear all upon your return.

Ginny
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