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Old 03-25-2013, 08:38 PM   #1
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HannaBelle's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Frisco, Texas
Posts: 1,414

Ringing Bells Storm the Castle!

Meet the Ringing Bells:

Grandpa - 60 something
Grandma - 60 something
Hubby - 40 something
Me - 40 something
DS - 19
DD - 15
Brother - 30 something
SIL - 30 something
DNephew - now 6
DNephew 2.0 - now 6

We went to WDW together in 2006 and then again over NYE 2007 into 2008. We also did a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands in 2009. Most recently we went to California and did Disneyland plus a few days in San Diego. My parents pay for these amazing trips, I plan everything for everyone and my brother is in charge of getting us where we need to go on the ground. We are pretty good a traveling together!

We got back last week, but I came home with a cold and I am just now getting back in to the swing of things. We all loved DL! I have never done a trip report before so, here goes my first attempt…

My parents left on Monday, March 4th and made a few stops along the way. They visited family in west Texas, the Grand Canyon and then met us at the Villas of Grand California on Friday, March 8th. Flights from DFW to Anaheim were about $120 cheaper per ticket if we flew in Friday night, so we jumped on the chance to start our trip a bit earlier…wohoo! DB and his family flew in to John Wayne while DH, DD and I flew from DFW to LAX to meet our DS who flew to LAX from Austin.

I was a bit apprehensive flying into LAX because several people talked about how busy and crowded it was. We landed about 9:00 PM on Friday night and it was not bad at all. Unfortunately, DS’d plane was delayed about 90 minutes and he did not land until 10:20. Ugh… Of course, that gave us plenty of time to grab our luggage and head over to his baggage claim area. We got him and then hopped on the shuttle to Fox Rental Car.

Now, this was another concern… Fox has horrible reviews online, but they were so dang cheap! We decided to risk it and had zero issues and would use them again. We rented a Jeep Liberty and had serious issues fitting 4 suitcases in the back. I was not impressed with the vehicle itself.

Our good friend Siri directed us to Grand Californian without a hitch and I got in line to check in about midnight. (I know…doh!) For some reason, I was the 3rd person in line because there was a mad rush at the check in the middle of the night…lol… After about 30 minutes and a chat with a very friendly CM, we were headed up to the room. DH and the kids were in charge of parking and bringing in the bags. DH would not pay to valet and he opted to self park…I was all about the valet but paying $22 to park was beyond his comfort zone!

We had a 2-bedroom villa, Room 5500. It was absolutely amazing… Here was the view from our balcony:

I hate to admit to being a huge Disney nerd but if I cannot admit it here, then where, right? I had tears in my eyes when I saw that view. I was so excited! After oohing and ahing over the room and mostly the view, we all fell in the bed. I left our drapes open and used Mickey’s Fun Wheel as a night light.

We had a big day planned for Saturday and I intended to leave the resort at 9:00 AM, but after such a late night I told the kids they could sleep in. Silly me, I forgot how late my teens can sleep…
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