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Old 10-01-2010, 12:22 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 215

Third trip in my Year of Disneyland - Halloween trip

Our third trip was great, but HOT.

  • Deluxe Annual Passholders
  • 2 adults, 2 kids (they are 4 + 9mos and 6 +10mos)
  • Left Friday, September 24 from Berkeley area around 3:30
  • Stayed 4 nights at Paradise Pier
  • Left for home on Tuesday, September 28 around 12:45.
  • Celebrating my birthday (9/28), an anniversary (10/13) and our first Halloween at Disneyland

Trip down from the Bay: We picked the kids up right after school and got on the road by 3:30. Not early enough . We lost a full hour sitting in traffic on 580. We ate at the SLOOOOWEST Denny's in the world on 1-5, losing another hour. We finally arrived at PPH around 11:30.

Hotel: Paradise Pier - our first stay at PPH was nice. I didn't think it had all the Disney touches though. And while at DLH in May, they handed us the schedule of various activities in the DLR hotels, none such thing happened at PPH. I even looked in the room and saw nothing.

The walk through GCH was definitely shorter than taking the parking structure door route. And much more pleasant!

I stayed here specifically hoping the kids would do the slide, but it was "too big". It did get a bit crowded but not for long. And how could it not with the horrific heat!

The elevators ARE slow.

I would stay here again if I got it cheap. I do prefer DLH though. We're planning on a Xmas visit and I've reserved rooms at HoJo (in hopes of a AP or ENT rate) but I'm still checking to find DLR deals for our target dates.

Edit: I can't believe I forgot! I was obviously tipping ok and housekeeping left the kidlets a nice surprise - 2 helium balloons, 2 rubber duckies, 2 coloring pages, some crayons, and 8 chocolates disney coins.

Edit: I also forgot that the fridge in the room didn't work very well. It was missing the hard wire in the front door that would have allowed us to store things standing up (like our quart of milk) and even though we kept trying to adjust the temp, most of our stuff was frozen solid.

Activities: Halloween stuff!

We watched A Nightmare Before Christmas so the kids would have a clue about the Haunted Mansion. They were really excited about it!

Day 1 Saturday: Early Entry 7am. I didn't set my alarm early enough and we didn't get into the parks until almost 7:30. We decided to do Fantasyland on Sunday instead and went to Tomorrowland.
Rides = 10: Buzz, Astro Orbiter, Autopia, Ghost Galaxy (for me and dh), Nemo, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of Caribbean, Winnie the Pooh, Splash Mountain (for me and dh) and Jungle Cruise

Characters: Goofy as skeleton

Shows: Tiana's music show, the music at Thunder Ranch, and fireworks

We stayed at the park until our lunch, then went to the hotel and swam, changed our PS to 7:30 because we couldn't bear going back before the sun went down.

Day 2 Sunday: Early entry 8, arrived at gate moments before they let EE in.
Rides = 12: Peter Pan, Dumbo, Alice, Teacups, Mr. Toad, Snow White, Pinocchio, Carousel, Storybook Canal, Small World, Haunted Mansion, Mark Twain Riverboat, Thunder Ranch to see goats.

Characters: Rafiki, a bear of some sort, Goofy as cowboy, Pluto, Tigger, another bear with a hat

Shows: Jedi Academy (both kids picked!!) Arrived around 30 minutes before the first show. Both kids had on Star Wars t-shirts (homemade) in bright colors. Celebrate Parade, Fantasmic, fireworks for dh and ds.

We stayed at park until lunch, then went to swim at hotel. We returned just in time to catch the parade on Main Street, then headed to dinner. DD hates fireworks so we left during them, right after Fantasmic, and we sat in the cartoon room at PPH for about 30 minutes until dh and ds returned.

Day 3 Monday: California Adventure Park, entered from GCH entrance around 10:10.
Rides = 8: FunWheel (non-swinging), Swinging Symphony, Jumping Jellyfish, Golden Zephyr, Soarin', Grizzly, Monsters Inc, Redwood Creek Challenge

Shows: World of Color, yellow section, arrived 7ish for 8:15 show, did not get right up against a fence, but was second line.

We couldn't take the heat. It was already 100 when we entered the park at 10. We rode rides until 12ish, then got WOC picnic, went to Monsters, then we were going to do Drawn to the Magic, and Turtle Talk with Crush but my son did not appear to be sweating so we went back to the hotel at 1pm so he didn't get heat exhaustion. We returned to the park around 6:30ish.

Day 4 Tuesday: Character BKFST at hotel, packed bags and had bellhop get them. Went to Disneyland!
We went to Tiki Room and had a Dole whip float (because we never had), Tarzan's Treehouse (kids love it), RR all the way back to entrance. Tried to do Lincoln but just 3-4 minutes after curtain went up, it broke down . We had to leave and get the car to start our trip home.

Characters: White Rabbit, Jasmine and Aladdin

Lunch Sat - Cafe Orleans 11:40 AM
Kids had and enjoyed the mac & cheese. Hubby and I both had French Onion Soup and split a Monte Cristo and Pommes Frites. Eh. I enjoyed the soup but it was salty. The Pommes Frites were AMAZING. Could not stop eating them and thus could not finish my half of MC. I liked the MC, and it was well made, but maybe its a learned delicacy .

Dinner Sat - Thunder Ranch BBQ originally at 5pm, but changed to 7:30
I worried about the quality after reading some reviews but we REALLY enjoyed the BBQ and would definitely return. The chicken was AMAZING in my and both my kids opinion. Hubby and I enjoyed the other meats and beans. Kids loved the corn wheels. I'm glad we visited for the first time during Halloween; I enjoyed the decorations, eating there in the dark. Even with PS we had to wait for about 15 minutes past our time even though we arrived 10 minutes prior to time.

Lunch Sun - Carnation Cafe 1PM
Kids had make your own PB&J. Hubby and I had Potato Soup (yum!) and split a sandwich.

Dinner Sun - Blue Bayou 7:10
We had to wait about 20 minutes even with PS. Enjoyed the ambiance. Kids had mac and cheese again but unfortunately the noodles were just a bit too al dente. Hubby and I both had Filet Mignon, his Med Rare, mine Medium. We really enjoyed it and ate every bite. Potatoes are great! Hubby enjoyed his Mint Julep. I ADORED the salad with the dressing. We had Creme Brulee for dessert and enjoyed that too. Would definitely return.

Lunch Mon - WOC picnics
Kids enjoyed their PB&J. Hubby enjoyed his chicken. I'm not a huge blue cheese or Brie fan so my antipasto meal was "eh." Edible, decent enough, but wouldn't get again.

Dinner Mon - Storyteller's Cafe
Kids had spaghetti and chicken nuggets. Hubby and I had the buffet. It was good but.. I don't know, missing something. I did enjoy the food though. Hubby had a Mojito (bit too much alcohol I think) and I had a white wine sangria which I loved. Wasn't thrilled with the desserts. Just not to my taste apparently. Everyone loved the little bread loaf.

Breakfast Tue - Character BKFST at PPH at 8:30
Characters - Mickey, Stitch, Pluto, Daisy, Minnie
Food good enough. Enjoyed the activities for kids, surfing, dancing, but the characters kept coming to our table when they were gone up front! I didn't care though, it was MY birthday! I got the little Mickey cake and birthday song. Yay! Probably will only do another character bkfst on special occasions.

Misc: Daughter has expressed an interest in autographs now, 3 trips into our year of disneyland. We're hoping for a trip right before Xmas, and maybe another at the tail end of President's week in February.

Had a caramel apple (orange mickey head) in Critter Country and asked to have it sliced which they did. Didn't even make it in to Toon town. Missed Fairy and princess greets. Skipped TMRR and Indiana Jones. Really missed Star Tours, we all enjoy that one.

Souvenirs: popcorn bucket, ghost dog Zero, Lego set, 2 wineglasses, 2 disc DLR music CD, Nightmare Before Xmas soundtrack, light up necklaces, WOC bracelets from kids picnic, lightup Tink and Buzz from souvenir cups, hat with 1955 Disneyland logo (had to get one, SO hot), and hubby got white shirt with gray multiple disney character design (had to get one, too hot to wear brown tshirt)

Trip home: better than trip down. Left PPH at 12:45, stopped about 2 hours in for lunch, stopped another 2.25 hours later for quick RR break, then made it to our apt at 7:30.

Last edited by gethane; 10-03-2010 at 02:26 PM.
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