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Old 12-28-2011, 10:23 PM   #2161
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A few more then off to bed...



Had my nails done just for the trip!
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:47 PM   #2162
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Video of the decorations in the resort hotels on the Disney Blog.

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blo...resort-hotels/
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:16 PM   #2163
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Christmas 2012 Start?

I'm considering a two-week trip bridging Halloween and Christmas at DL by arriving around Oct 30 and staying in SoCal (I have other things and people to see there) through the start of Christmas. Thanksgiving is as early as it can be, Nov 22, in 2012, so does that affect when Christmas might start? It looks like Monday, Nov 12, if it follows the pattern of this year, but that also happens to be Vets' Day. Will that affect the launch?
Is there enough Christmas magic to be seen and experienced in the interim weeks in early Nov that my family won't mind if the actual opening means crazy crowds? Too many closures and refurbs in the interim to be worth it, so choose Halloween OR Christmas time and give up on trying to see both?
This new plan started after reading the thread where someone asked which time would people rather see DL, and almost all voted for Christmas as being so much bigger and better bang for the buck. We'd be coming 2500 miles from Canada on probably our one and only trip to DL, so it needs to be good. But the original plan included an Oct visit for one of my sons' Oct birthday and the fun of Halloween, which they all like a lot. Another son has a Nov birthday, so we'll need a birthday button either way, but the Oct boy is much more of an extroverted show-off who'd love the extra attention from CMs etc. ;-)

TIA for any thoughts and input!

AJ
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:02 PM   #2164
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Love those fingernails, pattyduke34!

TigerlilyAJ, we were in the park this past November for almost 2 weeks. We arrived on October 31 but did not go into the park but when we did go the following day the majority of Halloween decorations had come down almost overnight and the park was indeed beginning to be transformed for the Christmas season. By the time we left on the 12th the Chistmas tree was up and the park was looking pretty darn festive! In previous years I do believe it was fairly common for the Christmas season to begin on the 3rd weekend of the month but for 2011 they changed up their usual pattern by kicking off the official season on Nov 14th which was a Monday. So who knows what they will come up with in 2012!???? Not sure how the Veteran's day will effect it but just know that it will most likely be crowded that weekend. At any rate early November is a great time to go. The weather is generally good and the crowds are reasonable compared to later in the month. There will be plenty to see and if you are prepared for the crowds you will be good to go!
As for refurbs... it's hard to say. This year POTC was down so it is unlikely that they would be down next year. We have been going during the fall for a number of years and quite often it seems that one of the better rides might possibly be down which can be unfortunate but not a deal breaker since there is always still plenty to see and do. Do be aware that park hours are shorter in the fall.... closing at 8 during the week... but since crowds are less you can get more done in a shorter period of time.
I personally am not a big fan of Halloween so Christmas time wins for us hands down as the prime time to go. We used to go in October but since the parties began it has gotten increasingly more crowded which is another reason we choose to go in November. I would say that even though your one son's birthday is in October you could still pick up a birthday button and call it a belated celebration for him too even if you did wait until November.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:44 AM   #2165
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Thanks, Marie. Skiingfast said some similar things in an individual thread I started looking for more people like you who know what early November is like!
By "refurbs" I only meant things that will HAVE to be closed to get ready for Christmas like IASW. That is a must-do ride for me, so getting it in during October and/or being there when it re-opens in its Christmas glory is something I need to figure in. So, something like a Nov 3-10 trip would not for me, because my understanding is that it would be unavailable.
The Big Unknowable is that start for Christmas season in 2012. If they hold until the weekend before Thanksgiving, like Fri, Nov 16 or something, it really becomes a three-week trip, aka budget buster as well as bad idea for a grade-school kid and a kindergartner.
It's interesting to see things like the HoJo entertainment retro rate dates, as they seem to be a bit of a clue as to what HoJo thinks will be busier times around Halloween and Thanksgiving.
http://www.boards.hojoanaheim.com/vi....php?f=13&t=14
I think the weekends I imagine as potential starts for Christmas still get the low retro rate maybe because they imagine that the crowds for those weekends will be due to locals, instead of people who will need a hotel room? Meanwhile, the whole week leading up to Halloween is NOT part of the retro rate, but you can get it right on Nov 1! So to me those are all clues about crowds, closures, etc.

AJ
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:40 AM   #2166
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I've been meaning to post as we are now back from our second Disney Christmas vacation. We had a great time - I love going during the Christmas season (although I'm not fond of the holiday version of the HM, but that I can learn to live with).

The one thing that was a real disappointment for us was the Fantasmic Dessert Seating. I have done it before so it's not the experience itself that we didn't like, but because of where we were sitting, we were right under the "soap snow" blower and we had to re-close our dessert boxes and got covered in soap. It really interrupted the experience and I really wish they would rethink having that come down in that particular area when the seating is set up. Maybe the magic of the snow is muted for me (Canadian, here!), but I really wish that didn't happen.

Other that that we had a fantastic time. Yay for Disney during the holidays! Already planning for December 2012!
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:29 AM   #2167
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Hi all! I'm starting to hang out here as we are planning to go to DL late this year. We have been to DL about 4 0r 5 times already, last time was about 6 years ago. Absolutely love Haunrted Mansion holiday & IASW holiday, so we will be going late Nov/ early Dec. So a few questions:



Quote:
Originally Posted by DizNee Luver View Post
A couple of my favorite pics from Day One (Dec. 6):


The Candy Canes (I got to the park too late to get a ticket for one of these beauties):



Toy Soldiers playing in front of Small World:



These are just a few from the first half of Day One.....will post more in the next few days.

So the candy canes are so popular you have to get a wristband just to buy one? Where & when do you get a wristband?

Are the Toy Soldiers out at certain times? Are they listed on the daily entertainment schedule or are they hit & miss, just lucly if you find them? I love the Toy Soldiers in the Christmas Parade @ WDW & would love to see them at DL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DizNee Luver View Post

Mickey Demitasse Cup:


Is this the dessert cup? That is so cute! I hope they do that again next year; I'd love to get a few of those cups as souveniers. Where did you get that?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Rest assured, I am very aware of what needs to be done and will be doing it when I can. I have big plans and ideas for the Superthreads in 2012!
Glad to hear you will have a Superthread for 2012!!! I hope to be hanging around a lot & getting as much planning help as you are all willing to share. Thanks for all your work & efforts. It is really appreciated.

So after all that here's my info so far: Just DH & I travelling, (we're in our mid 50's). Know we will probably stay at DL hotel; we've stayed there before & lovede it. Love the history & special feel we got staying there. Looking at either week right after Thanksgiving or 1st week in Dec. Coming from Buffalo NY & would stay either Mon- Fri or Tues - Sat, probably depending on airfare. Our preference will be Mon Nov 26 - Fri Nov 30th, I think. Thoughts on those dates? We would not want to be there during any parade tapings either.

We like taking the tours & doing dessert parties, so we'll probably do the Fantasmic Dessert Party & Holiday Tours if they are offered.

I've read that DL discounts come out later than those for WDW. About when should I start looking for them? Any point in booking hotels this far out?


Thanks for any & all comments & suggestions!!!
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:00 PM   #2168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by focusondisney View Post

So the candy canes are so popular you have to get a wristband just to buy one? Where & when do you get a wristband?

Are the Toy Soldiers out at certain times? Are they listed on the daily entertainment schedule or are they hit & miss, just lucly if you find them? I love the Toy Soldiers in the Christmas Parade @ WDW & would love to see them at DL.




Is this the dessert cup? That is so cute! I hope they do that again next year; I'd love to get a few of those cups as souveniers. Where did you get that?

The candy canes are very popular, almost collectibles!! They don't make these daily, so there are selected dates they are made & that's what makes them even harder to get. You have to be there prior to opening on a candy cane day & hoof it to the Candy Palace on Main Street to get your wristband. They only make so many in a batch & that's it.

The Toy Soldiers were down by It's a Small World & I just lucked out seeing them. It's possible it was listed on the daily schedule....but I never looked at one to see.

The Mickey dessert cups can be found at the Main St Bakery or now it would be the Jolly Holiday Bakery. I imagine they're other places, as I actually found mine at the Paradise Pier Hotel before I headed up to my room.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:30 PM   #2169
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Hello from The Grand Californian. Just wanted to let you know the huge tree came down overnight in the lobby. From what we hear about 20 people were madly working most of the night. Today we came back from DCA and my DH said, "hey they moved the piano - and the tree!"

Not as much holiday as when we were here the week between Christmas and New Years. No carolers in the lobby. Lots of Christmas music. I'll let you know if we see any other changes the rest of the week.

Great weather! Warm and sunny. Ahh....

TK
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:59 PM   #2170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizNee Luver View Post
The candy canes are very popular, almost collectibles!! They don't make these daily, so there are selected dates they are made & that's what makes them even harder to get. You have to be there prior to opening on a candy cane day & hoof it to the Candy Palace on Main Street to get your wristband.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:48 AM   #2171
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...although I'm not fond of the holiday version of the HM, but that I can learn to live with....
I thought I was the only one. The bright colors just RUIN it for me. We used a special FastPass thing to go on it and we were so upset we wasted it on that. Upside, we skipped waiting in a posted 90 minute line (was probably only 70 minutes really) for a ride we didn't even like.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:30 AM   #2172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerlilyAJ View Post
Thanks, Marie. Skiingfast said some similar things in an individual thread I started looking for more people like you who know what early November is like!
By "refurbs" I only meant things that will HAVE to be closed to get ready for Christmas like IASW. That is a must-do ride for me, so getting it in during October and/or being there when it re-opens in its Christmas glory is something I need to figure in. So, something like a Nov 3-10 trip would not for me, because my understanding is that it would be unavailable.
The Big Unknowable is that start for Christmas season in 2012. If they hold until the weekend before Thanksgiving, like Fri, Nov 16 or something, it really becomes a three-week trip, aka budget buster as well as bad idea for a grade-school kid and a kindergartner.
It's interesting to see things like the HoJo entertainment retro rate dates, as they seem to be a bit of a clue as to what HoJo thinks will be busier times around Halloween and Thanksgiving.
http://www.boards.hojoanaheim.com/vi....php?f=13&t=14
I think the weekends I imagine as potential starts for Christmas still get the low retro rate maybe because they imagine that the crowds for those weekends will be due to locals, instead of people who will need a hotel room? Meanwhile, the whole week leading up to Halloween is NOT part of the retro rate, but you can get it right on Nov 1! So to me those are all clues about crowds, closures, etc.

AJ

AJ -

The "official" start of the holiday season is a big question mark, indeed. But, if it's any consolation, the season had a later start in 2008 and then it has been earlier ever since then.

In 2008 (the last Leap Year, coincidentally), the season officially began on the Friday right before Thanksgiving, so basically less than one week before.

In 2009 and 2010, the holiday season officially began 2 Fridays before Thanksgiving, so just about 2 weeks before Turkey Day.

It's 2011 when things got strange! None of us were really expecting a Monday to be the "official" start date and yet it was. We thought the start date would have been either Friday, 11/11/11 (Veterans Day) or Friday, 11/18/11 (which seemed too late). So when it turned out to be Monday, 11/14/11, we were taken aback! And yet, even though 11/14 was the official start date, things like IASW Holiday actually began a few days early, as I recall. I think the holiday fireworks began early too.

Somehow, I think that starting the season on Friday, 11/9/12 seems way too early. And yet, beginning the season on Friday, 11/16/12 seems kind of late, given how hugely popular the holidays are at DLR. And 11/23 seems way too late. So I would not at all be surprised if we see another Monday start date this year, and that could be 11/12/12. I do not think the season will begin any later than 11/16.

My prediction is that the official start date will be somewhere between 11/12 and 11/16, but we shall see. And IASW Holiday will probably kick off a couple of days before the holidays begin.

There will be all kinds of decorations up and around DLR before the season has its official start date, BUT most likely the 3 hotels will not be decorated until the week of Thanksgiving. Certain holiday food items don't seem to appear until Thanksgiving or after, as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by focusondisney View Post
Hi all! I'm starting to hang out here as we are planning to go to DL late this year. We have been to DL about 4 0r 5 times already, last time was about 6 years ago. Absolutely love Haunrted Mansion holiday & IASW holiday, so we will be going late Nov/ early Dec. So a few questions:

So the candy canes are so popular you have to get a wristband just to buy one? Where & when do you get a wristband?

Are the Toy Soldiers out at certain times? Are they listed on the daily entertainment schedule or are they hit & miss, just lucly if you find them? I love the Toy Soldiers in the Christmas Parade @ WDW & would love to see them at DL.

Is this the dessert cup? That is so cute! I hope they do that again next year; I'd love to get a few of those cups as souveniers. Where did you get that?

Glad to hear you will have a Superthread for 2012!!! I hope to be hanging around a lot & getting as much planning help as you are all willing to share. Thanks for all your work & efforts. It is really appreciated.

So after all that here's my info so far: Just DH & I travelling, (we're in our mid 50's). Know we will probably stay at DL hotel; we've stayed there before & lovede it. Love the history & special feel we got staying there. Looking at either week right after Thanksgiving or 1st week in Dec. Coming from Buffalo NY & would stay either Mon- Fri or Tues - Sat, probably depending on airfare. Our preference will be Mon Nov 26 - Fri Nov 30th, I think. Thoughts on those dates? We would not want to be there during any parade tapings either.

We like taking the tours & doing dessert parties, so we'll probably do the Fantasmic Dessert Party & Holiday Tours if they are offered.

I've read that DL discounts come out later than those for WDW. About when should I start looking for them? Any point in booking hotels this far out?

Thanks for any & all comments & suggestions!!!

Hello, focusondisney! Welcome! Hopefully we can all be of assistance and share information! Thank you for the kind words.

Oh yes, this Superthread is not going anywhere! The Superthreads (about any given topic, whether it is World of Color, Fantasmic, the holidays, etc.) are intended to be the main sources of general and specific info on their designated subjects and are year-round. In other words, I wouldn't start a new Superthread just because it's 2012 or anything. I will keep this one going until we hit the page limit, and then I will have to transfer all the main, basic info over to the new thread.

Lots of the info is general info that applies to each year, but I have to update a lot of things in the first 3 posts on Page 1, which I am planning to do when I get a new PC. Otherwise, this thread continues on and there will again be the popular "Theme Weeks," which will begin when we reach late August, and will continue as we count down to the start of the holiday season, whenever that is! So stay tuned!

The monthly Check-In threads are the things that change with each year.

Those demitasse dessert cups can be found at many places around DLR - in any of the bake shops or places that sell baked goods (like the little counter service place at the Paradise Pier Hotel, where Laurie got hers!), and at certain restaurants like Carnation Cafe and Plaza Inn, to name a couple. They seem to be very popular so I don't think they will disappear any time soon.

In fact, I'm not sure if DLR did the same kind of thing for the holidays as they did for Halloween Time, but during Halloween season they sold smaller Donald Duck/Autumn demitasse desserts at the bake shops and Plaza Inn, while Carnation Cafe and Cafe Orleans sold the larger pumpkin Mickey demitasse desserts.

As for your dates - many people have said that the week immediately following Thanksgiving weekend is a dream in terms of crowds, although this year is a huge question mark because of all the changes happening at DCA that will inevitably attract mobs of people. That 'California Adventure factor' could be a game-changer in terms of crowd patterns. I almost made my annual DLR holiday trip in that week in 2011, but I changed it to the first week in December instead.

I have to say - I was not bothered at all by crowds during my December 4 - 8th trip last month. Sure, there were people. On December 4, the Candlelight Processional was happening and that brought in some extra folks in the latter part of the day. But really, the first part of the day and all the subsequent days were fine, I felt. I have been to DLR during other times in November and December in years past when it was much more crowded and, frankly, unbearable. This week was fine.

There was one day - when was it? - I think it was Monday, December 5th, when I was walking all around California Adventure and Disneyland and the crowds were very light. This was the first time EVER that I walked into Gibson Girl Ice Cream on Main Street and didn't see a line!!

Again, the 'California Adventure factor' could change the whole game and maybe the previously pleasant, uncrowded weeks could suddenly be hideously crowded. But if you have to end up going in that first week of December I think you will be okay!

Otherwise, I think 11/26 - 11/30 would be great!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
Hello from The Grand Californian. Just wanted to let you know the huge tree came down overnight in the lobby. From what we hear about 20 people were madly working most of the night. Today we came back from DCA and my DH said, "hey they moved the piano - and the tree!"

Not as much holiday as when we were here the week between Christmas and New Years. No carolers in the lobby. Lots of Christmas music. I'll let you know if we see any other changes the rest of the week.

Great weather! Warm and sunny. Ahh....

TK

TK -

Thanks for the update! You know I was especially curious as to when everything was beginning to come down. That's interesting to know that the GCH tree came down before the season ended - and yet I am not surprised. Remember I was saying a while back that I had a feeling that certain things would start to disappear - a little at a time - in the week following New Year's. I just had a hunch that DLR would want to take things down here and there - but not everything all at once. They want to leave enough things up to keep calling it the holiday season, but they want to have everything holiday-esque (except for IASW Holiday) down by Monday!

Keep the updates coming!


Quote:
Originally Posted by larina View Post
I thought I was the only one. The bright colors just RUIN it for me. We used a special FastPass thing to go on it and we were so upset we wasted it on that. Upside, we skipped waiting in a posted 90 minute line (was probably only 70 minutes really) for a ride we didn't even like.
larina -

I don't think you are the only one at all (who feels that way about Haunted Mansion Holiday)! There have been endless debates (dare I say, arguments) about Haunted Mansion vs. Haunted Mansion Holiday. Many, many people prefer the original Haunted Mansion and detest the overlay. In fact, if anything, just based on what I have read on the DIS alone, I would say that more people prefer the original Haunted Mansion over HMH.

Personally, I really love Haunted Mansion Holiday. To me, it is very tied in and synonymous with the Halloween and Christmas seasons at DLR and I would be very disappointed if they ever stopped running it, just as I would be upset if they stopped IASW Holiday. I look forward to HMH every year. I love the fresh gingerbread centerpiece in the ballroom. I love the snowdrift hidden Mickey on the floor. I love the Halloween tree and all of that. I love that the overlay is so detailed and extensive.

But I don't know that I would necessarily say that I prefer HMH over HM. Of course, I grew up with the original HM so that would be a tough proclamation to make. But I like the infusion of something different every year.

What I love and appreciate is that there are two versions of the same ride to enjoy throughout the year. I like that the ride can be switched out to be a totally different thing for several months of the year, and then be something else for the rest of the year. I am a big fan of ride overlays in general, though, and I wish that more rides got overlays!

But, again, you and NewbieMouse are certainly not alone in your feelings about Haunted Mansion Holiday. On the DIS, I think there are more people who agree with you and share your opinion than those who disagree.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:13 AM   #2173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Hello, focusondisney! Welcome! Hopefully we can all be of assistance and share information! Thank you for the kind words.

As for your dates - many people have said that the week immediately following Thanksgiving weekend is a dream in terms of crowds, although this year is a huge question mark because of all the changes happening at DCA that will inevitably attract mobs of people. That 'California Adventure factor' could be a game-changer in terms of crowd patterns.

Again, the 'California Adventure factor' could change the whole game and maybe the previously pleasant, uncrowded weeks could suddenly be hideously crowded. But if you have to end up going in that first week of December I think you will be okay!

Otherwise, I think 11/26 - 11/30 would be great!



larina -

I don't think you are the only one at all (who feels that way about Haunted Mansion Holiday)! There have been endless debates (dare I say, arguments) about Haunted Mansion vs. Haunted Mansion Holiday. Many, many people prefer the original Haunted Mansion and detest the overlay. In fact, if anything, just based on what I have read on the DIS alone, I would say that more people prefer the original Haunted Mansion over HMH.

Hi Sherry & thanks for the warm welcome! Thanks too for your thoughts on our probable dates. I know it will be very difficult to predict crowds because of the finish of construction. I just hope to avoid Parade tapings & early closings for cast member parties. I think those 2 things will cut into our time & plans too much. We are annual visitors to WDW & are rope droppers & good with fastpass use! So we can deal with crowds if we have to!

I find it interesting that many frequent visitors to DL don't like the holiday overlays. There are usually a few posts every year on the WDW forums from people who wish WDW would do them! I love them, too. If it weren't for them, we'd probably be going in Sept. instead.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:26 PM   #2174
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"My prediction is that the official start date will be somewhere between 11/12 and 11/16, but we shall see. And IASW Holiday will probably kick off a couple of days before the holidays begin.

There will be all kinds of decorations up and around DLR before the season has its official start date, BUT most likely the 3 hotels will not be decorated until the week of Thanksgiving. Certain holiday food items don't seem to appear until Thanksgiving or after, as well. "


Thank you so much for the input, Sherry. Skiingfast came to similar conclusions. I care deeply about IASW done up for Christmas, would feel I hadn't gotten true bang for my 3-week-vacation buck if I did not get the Christmas fireworks, but don't care much at all about the DLR hotels' decorations (even though I'm sure they are something to see). I have to say I hadn't thought about the foods, but it's good now to be on guard for the possibility we won't see much in the first half of November.
I just can't believe how late they announce things. I have been planning this trip, reading the DIS boards, etc., for 10 months now, and still have another six months before I can book with certainty for the things I might want to see. It's a bit frustrating, especially because I can't help but think that there's a Christmas at Disneyland team of CMs that already knows the start date! ;-)
I guess I'll just keep an eye on this AND the Halloween thread. And for news on Cars Land. And hotels' rate deals. And airfare sales. And ticket prices AND now, after skiingfast's excellent suggestion, APs.

AJ
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:18 AM   #2175
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Hi everyone! I recently returned from my first Christmas at DLR. Even though the crowds were unbelievable (we were there Dec.28 - Jan.1) it was still a great time. The whole resort (Disneyland park especially) is so beautiful during the holidays. I think we use the word magical too often around these boards but it absolutely applies in this case. The early entry while staying at the Grand Californian was a huge help in staying ahead of the crowds in DCA and Magic Morning at DL was very useful as well. I took a bunch of photos that I will share here as I get them posted up on Flickr. Here are the first two:


Old Is New by -Jamian-, on Flickr


Around The Bend by -Jamian-, on Flickr
__________________
DLR: 09/87 - Space Age | 02/92 - Travelodge | 02/95 - Travelodge | 05/00 - Fairfield | 09/02 - Tropicana | 05/05 - Fairfield | 12/11 - Grand Californian | 03/13 - Fairfield
WDW: 11/96 - Offsite | 05/06 - Pop Century | 12/07 - Saratoga Springs | 08/08 - Saratoga Springs | 01/10 - Pop Century | 08/11 - Saratoga Springs & Bay Lake Tower |
08/13 - Art of Animation & Animal Kingdom Villas | 05/14 - Animal Kingdom Villas & Vero Beach

DCL: 08/13 - Disney Dream | 05/14 - Disney Dream

View my Disney photography here:
SmugMug
flickr

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