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Old 01-29-2011, 10:53 PM   #1
coaches24
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Wake up Pooh (My first trip report)

Ok well here goes with my very first trip report. Hopefully I will be able to do more in the future.

First here is some info about myself and my family.

First there is myself (Seth) a 37 yo father and husband. I am a HS PE teacher/ football coach and have been for 9 years now. I wouldnt say I am a Disney fanatic as I dont collect disney stuff or go crazy over disney things but I do enjoy disney and love going to DL. My favorite ride is POC (I first rode it when I was 12 and it is still my favorite). Im not a big thrill ride person but strangely enough I did enjoy tower of terror where as the others in my family hated that ride but enjoy the roller coasters.

Then there is my DW (Wendie) of 4 1/2 years. She was not a big disney fan until our DD was born but now says she is a fan. She loves the roller coasters and hates that I will not go on screamin CA with her (I dont even like walking past it). She works as a manager of a staffing agency.

Next is my 2 YO DD (Katie) who loves disney esspecially Minnie, Pooh and Donald (atleast before the trip she loved Donald). She is a ball of energy and the true General of the house. She runs everything including telling my wife and I where to sit.

And lastly there is my Father in law [FIL] (Roger, aka Grampa) who came along to see his only Grandaughter in her first visit to DL. He is a retired lake county sheriff who now lives most of the time on his sail boat in the bay. He loves to pay for any and all meals whenever we go anywhere together. (I used to argue but have given up. Now I just sneak in and grab the bill from time to time when I think he is doing too much).

Ok now the story to how we ended up planning and going on this trip. First this was the 2nd time I had been to DL with my DW but the first time was before we were married. My DW (then GF) and I first went to DL back in 2005. I won two 3-day park hopper passes on a radio show as I was driving into work one morning. We went in July (easy for me since I have the summers off) but we didnt know we would be there on the exact day of the 50th anniversary of DL opening. It was our 2nd day and I cannot believe how packed. Ok well we never really thought about going again until last year while at my brother in laws when they told us how they go every year in Jan when it is less crowded. They said we should go with them next time. We thought that was a good idea as I get some extra cash from coaching in Dec. As it turns out my brother in law exagerated about them going every year (they have only been a couple of times in Jan). They apparently forgot about our conversation as they never planned to go this Jan they said as we made our plans.

I started the actual research as far as hotels and park tickets go in Nov just to get an idea of what it would cost me. I couldnt actually pay for anything until mid Dec. I found out quickly that the DL hotels were way out of my price range so I turned to the good neighbor hotels. I settled on the only one in our price range that had openings for MLK weekend. They had a special of pay for 3 nights and get the 4th free. After looking at different sites I found this to be the best deal overall so when the money came in I booked it. The hotel was the Motel 6 Anaheim Main gate. I knew it would be a walk to the park but the price was the only thing I was really worried about. The reviews were mixed, though most of the bad ones were a few years old. About this time is when I discovered this site and started posting questions that I had (a big thanks goes out to those that helped me and gave me good ideas and advice). From posting on here I found out about Minnies breakfast at the plaza inn so I booked that about week before our trip. I also knew we had to have dinner at BB. The last time I was at DL I looked at the menu prices and said NO WAY, but being that its in POC I decided this time I was going to do it. As it happened my DW was talking to her father on the phone as I was going to make the reservation and he told her that HE was paying for our BB dinner. My wife warned him about the prices but he told her he had already eaten there before and knew all about it. Well with BB and Minnies breakfast booked the only thing left was to count the days till we left. Both my DW and myself would show our DD the DL website with all the pictures of the rides and such. She loved everything. She would tell everyone she saw that she was going to dizylan (thats the closest I can get to spelling what she would say). We told her after Christmas that we had 2 weeks until disneyland and so for the next two weeks she repeated that to everyone she saw "2 week dizyland". The rides/ attractions she seemed most excited about were Donalds boat, the "hee haw" other wise known as the carousel in Fantasy land, and of course I pushed POC on her so she would tell me she wants to see pirates.

Ok so a week before our trip I found a substitute for my work. Booked him in the cpu and everything. I had all my bases covered and was ready to go. All I had to do now was pack and leave when the time came. I had everything we needed listed out and knew exactly what, when and where I would buy the thnigs we didnt already have. Then the day before we leave (my last day of work before the trip) my sub texts me saying he has to cancel. Oh great, now mI dont have a sub. I sent my wife a text telling her we cant go now because my sub canceled (a joke of course) and she replied saying she and Katie would miss me at DL (she knew I was joking....I think). Well the way my district handles subs they will assign random people in the sub pool to jobs if no one specific is requested. This is like playing russian roulette as there are some terrible subs who cant follow directions to save their lives and then there are some great subs who do everything you ask and then some. So now I was going to be leaving my classes (and unruly students) with an unknown person. Not the best of feelings for a teacher. A quick jump ahead but the sub ended up being terrible and couldnt even follow instructions by another teacher trying to help him, and I left step by step instructions for him to follow as well). Ok now back to the trip. I wasnt going to let this ruin my excitement. We were leaving in the morning. We live near Sacramento so it was going to be a long drive. We got everything packed and into the car the night before so we wouldnt have to worry about forgetting something in the morning when we were still waking up.

Day one- The drive.
My FIL had already driven down there on his own 2 days before and was sleeping in his pick up truck. Apparently he had some things he wanted to do regarding his boat down there. We got up at 5:30 am which is our normal time for a work day. After getting ready and grabbing the last few things that we needed to bring and couldnt pack until it was time to go we were off. First stop was breakfast and then we would hit the road. Of course I had forgotten one thing that luckily I remembered when we were about a mile away so we turned back to get the Video Camera. Dont know how I didnt remember to pack THAT the night before but it happened. Luckily we remembered before we got to far away. We got on the freeway about 7:45am. The drive down was mostly uneventful. Our DD got a little restless but not too bad. Stopped three times on the way, once for gas and once for lunch and once for a potty/ diaper break. Then finally we got close. About 2:35 PM we got to our exit and WOW our hotel is litterally straight off the exit from the freeway. We pull in and go to check in. The staff was VERY nice and they looked to find us a room where we would be able to see the fire works from. Since we werent going to the parks this day I thought this would be awsome. After getting checked in without a hitch (and my FIL got there as we were checking in) we grabbed our stuff from the car and went up to the room.

edit:Whew finally got the pics to load










Thats my DW and DD in the bathroom there.

Ok so the room was nice overall but there were a couple of issues that ended up being minor. First thing we noticed when we walked in was the smell of cigarettes in the room. Not super strong like someone had just been smoking in there but very noticable. My wife thought that since it wasnt overpowering she could fix it by buying a plug in air freshner. The 2nd thing was the smoke alarm was beeping periodically. I knew from experience at home that it needed a new battery so I stopped by the front desk on one of my trips to the car while unpacking and told them about it. They were very nice and had someone there in less than 10 minutes changing the smoke alarm itself. And the last thing I didnt like were the bathroom doors. They didnt close very well and with my FIL there I wasnt going to be leaving the door open when I used the bathroom. Not to mention they were very easy for my DD to open and "surprise" grampa while in the bathroom. I did manage to fit a coat hanger over the knobs that kept the door from being opened all the way but would have preferred a regular door to the bathroom. On the positive side the room was clean (we LOVED the hard wood floors as hotel carpeting is always so disgusting even in nice upscale places). The beds were very comfortable and having two queens was perfect. DW and I in one bed and Grampa and DD in the other. The only issue with that is that 3 out of four are very loud snorers. DD snores too but its lite. But it worked out great and the snoring never was an issue as we were all passed out each night. We made a run down harbor to target to get the air freshner my wife wanted and some new batteries for grampas camera because it wasnt working. We went through the drive through at Del Taco for dinner as none of us were real hungry and we had reservations for Minnies breakfast in the morning and BB for dinner so we didnt want to spend much for food the first night there. We took the food back the the room and ate and then we all crashed about 8:30. So much for seeing the fireworks from our room, but atleast they were nice enough to give us the opportunity. Oh I almost forgot. There are no alarm clocks in the rooms so luckily I have an Iphone and have the alarm clock app so I plugged it in, turned on the alarm clock app and set the alarm for us to get up and get to the park as it opened.

Ok Now I am starting to understand why those who do trip reports take so long. When I read them I think why are spread out over several days/ weeks/ months of the OP telling what happened. Now I see why. I cant believe all that I typed and I havent even made into the parks yet. I will get day two (first day in the park) in tomorrow for sure.

Last edited by coaches24; 01-30-2011 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:03 AM   #2
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Wow that is a pretty nice looking hotel. What hotel is that, or did I miss you mentioning it?
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:21 AM   #3
coaches24
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Originally Posted by JH87 View Post
Wow that is a pretty nice looking hotel. What hotel is that, or did I miss you mentioning it?
That is the Motel 6 Anaheim Maingate. With looking at the novel I wrote I can completly understand missing that. I only mentioned it once. Its the furthest of the Disney good neighbor hotels as far as I could figure. It was about a 15 minute walk for 3 adults and one 2 year old in a stroller.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:56 PM   #4
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That is the Motel 6 Anaheim Maingate. With looking at the novel I wrote I can completly understand missing that. I only mentioned it once. Its the furthest of the Disney good neighbor hotels as far as I could figure. It was about a 15 minute walk for 3 adults and one 2 year old in a stroller.
Wow that is pretty nice for a Motel 6! I almost booked that for my trip in March but went went something a bit closer. I think I might consider Motel 6 next time I book though!
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:08 PM   #5
coaches24
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day 2 (first day in the park).

I had set my alarm for 6:30 but none of us needed it. DD was up around 5 and couldnt sleep so she cuddled up between my DW and me. She went back to sleep a few minutes later so I decided to get up and be the first to take a shower. By the time I was done everyone was up. DL didnt open til 9 so we had a lot of time. After waiting anxiously the time to leave was finally here. We had everything packed and in the stroller and to our surprise our DD who always wants to walk everywhere wanted to ride in the stroller. That allowed us to make good time from the motel to the gates (about 15 min at an average pace).

We got there about 20 minutes early and to our surprise they opened the gates soon after that (about 5 to 10 minutes early). Mainstreet was open but they did not let anyone go passed main street until 9. Our first stop was City Hall to get DD her "first Visit" pin. She was SOOOO excited to be in Dizylan.


We then looked a little in the shops waiting to enter the rest of the park. Our plan was to get a ride in before we went to breakfast since our Minnies breakfast reservation wasnt until 9:50. We asked our DD what ride she wanted to do first and she said she wanted to see Pirates (she takes after me of course). So we headed straight to POC. We got on the boat and our DD was quiet and looking at everything, not sure what was going on. This was her first ride of any kind not counting the carousel in the mall. I had shown her the video on the DL website and told her about the drops but now this was real. The first drop I think stunned her a little but she didnt cry. She did cover her eyes quite a bit during the ride. I was worried that I had just traumatized her by taking her on this first. But then the ride was over and she was fine and happy with no tears at all. It was almost 9:30 now and we decided to head over to the Plaza inn a little early and see what they say. Again to our surprise they let us in and seated us immediately. Now with 3 adults and only one small child this experience was not difficult at all. We were able to take turns going up for food and the one or two left at the table took pictures as the characters came by. I was first on camera duty (we have lost out digital camera so my Iphone 4 is our only camera on this trip) and pretty much right after we sat down our first character came along.


Im not sure if its chip or Dale but we saw both during breakfast.

Then more characters came along


Before this trip she didnt really know much about Tigger. After this trip she fell in love with Tigger.

Then Minnie came by (the first time)



Now the other Chipmunk, or is it the same one a 2nd time?


Next was Gipetto (sp?) who she had no clue about having never seen Pinnochio.


We were trying to get her to look at the camera but most of the time it wasnt happening.


Now Cindarellas fairy godmother who again our DD had never seen before.

The above picture is probably the best one of the food as well. I wasnt thinking about taking pictures of the food while I was there.

There was a short lull in the characters at our table at this point but Minnie was just a couple of tables over and this is what our DD did the entire time no one was visiting her.

She hardly ate anything the whole time (good thing she was free).


Now a Chipmunk came back and this time she decided (with my sugestive powers) to "honk" his nose.


Ok so at this point they started some music and Minnie and friends started dancing right near our table. I got my DD out of her chair and let her join the fun with the other kids. Now I dont know if this minnie is the same one we end up seeing the next day in TT or not but if they are different they both took a big liking to Katie and showed her a lot of extra attention which was awsome.





The funniest part thats hard to see in pictures is after Minnie let go, our DD stood there frozen like a statue for the rest of the song. At home and even out and about she usually dances up a storm but unless Minnie was holding her hand and leading, she didnt move.

After dancing eeyore came over.





We also saw Hook but apparently I didnt take pictures with my phone for him because I am not finding any. I think I had the video camera when he was at our table. He was great, I told DD to say "tick Tock" and he looked at me and gave me the Robert Deniro "Meet the Parents" Im watching you sign with his hand. DD thought he was funny. And my FIL picked up the check despite mine and my DW objections because we knew he was also paying for BB later tonight.

The rest of the day was used to get on rides. We went to Fantasy land and DD saw the Carousel for the first time and about jumped out of the stroller to get to it.


The rest of our time there we couldnt go past the carousel without letting her ride it.

We did several rides, and I got this shot (I think this is near toads wild ride, but I forget for sure).


Then on Donalds boat which she was dying to see.


And Goofys house where we took a break as she played for a while.


Grampa in Goofys house


Then we went over to tomorrow land and rode on Autopia and wanted to ride the submarines but of course they broke down right when we got in line. Space mountain was too long a wait so that would have to wait till another day. But it was another good chance to rest.

DD loved the big ball on the water.


Here is DD and Grampa waiting for the Train in NO square.



And a couple pictures while on the train.




Grampa and DW wanted to go on SM after this so I took DD who isnt tall enough over to ride Pooh. Then after the ride I saw..


And one of the few photos I am actually in (by mistake this time).


But this was the most involved DD had been with any of the characters. She was finally warming up I guess.

We had dinner at BB but this is where I messed up as far as pictures go. Between the excitement of eating inside the POC and the fatigue of walking the park 9 hours I did not take a single picture inside BB. We did get a waterside table which was awsome. And POC broke down while we were eating. A boat sat there full of people for quite a while during our dinner. DW and I got the 5 peppered steak and FIL got the Salmon. We ordered mac n cheese for DD and she actually ate it (we were worried she would turn into a gold fish before dinner because that was all she would eat all day). The food was very good and the steaks were good size. We all wished they would give more Potatoes because they were amazing (we are going to try and make them ourselves here pretty soon. DW thinks she found the recipe on line). We decided against dessert. All in all the meal was very good and was enough food to fill us up with out being overly full.
After dinner we went on the HM and then found a place to sit for F!. At 8:30 I decided I wanted dessert but no one else did so I walked back to the Ice Cream parlor on main street and got a cookie hot fudge sundae. When I got back to the family DD was out cold in the stroller. F! started at 9 and DD slept through the whole thing. We were even right next to one of the towers with the speakers blasting away. I was too into the show to get pictures but I can say it was an AWSOME show and was my first time seeing it. After the show we called it a night and walked back to the hotel. We had our MM passes we wanted to use the next day (Sat) so we wanted to make sure we got some sleep.
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:10 PM   #6
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Wow that is pretty nice for a Motel 6! I almost booked that for my trip in March but went went something a bit closer. I think I might consider Motel 6 next time I book though!
Yea we were pleasently surprised overall. Much nicer than I expected. We would defintely stay there again. And I didnt think the walk was bad at all, though my DW wanted to take the shuttle at the end of our 3rd day.
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:24 PM   #7
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Joining in! I'm at work, so I will go back and read when I get home.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:19 PM   #8
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Thanks for pointing me to this review, I love it! I wish you had finished it

Hello from a fellow Sacramento'ian!
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:40 PM   #9
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Great trip report! Looks like your DD had a blast!
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:09 PM   #10
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I'm subscribing!! Great report so far Seth!!
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:40 AM   #11
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Loving it!!! The best way to tell the chipmunks apart is by the nose. Chip has a chocolate chip nose lol I also loved the little door picture. You're right, it's near Mr. Toad and the Hatter Shop Can't wait till you have more to post.
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