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Old 07-20-2012, 03:13 PM   #31
annmarieda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizneeat View Post
What a fun reveal, Ann! I cannot believe you kept the secret for so long, but what a fun partner in crime Zach is!

Sorry about the little to no sleep situation and having to sleep on the floor. And now I cannot wait to hear more.
I can't believe I was able to keep the secret either. Especially when Zoe found all the packed items the day were were headed out! Then at the reveal, she even made note of the fact I don't keep secrets so she asked if I booked it that day.

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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
I read all your updates before I left for work.

Woo Hoo for surprising the kids! I'm so happy that Zoe was excited.

I hear ya on trying to get the whole family to sleep in a hotel room the night before a flight. It never works with my family either. Someone is always waking someone else up.

ACK to those bratty kids on the flight. They were telling YOU not to touch their seat. Really? Usually its the adult that has to tell the kid to stop messing with their seat. They do sound like spoiled brats and I would have a hard time biting my tounge in that situation.

The mom sounds like a complete idiot.

Love the bus - WOW - that is one colorful bus.

Carry On!
They were interesting kids. Like I said, I try not to judge. All kids (or people for that matter) are capable of good..and bad. I just wish that mom didn't encourage them to be so entitled. I guess that was what had me frustrated the most. They were entitled to have the extra snacks..or climb over people... but no one near them was entitled to anything!

The bus was fun. Nice and clean inside too (which seems like recently...especially if one gets a MEARS bus...isn't the case so much with DME) Thing to note though... the Disneyland Express out of any other airport is not allowed those wraps. Not sure why... but only John Wayne still is allowed them. LAX and Long Beach both are bare busses.

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Originally Posted by dizneeat View Post
Yikes, those two children sound really horrible. I guess I would not have been able to keep my mouth shut.

Glad you made it to the bus in the end ....... I like the way the bus looks, so inviting.
Now, I cannot wait for the next part of the "show".

It was all I could do to not say something. I told Steve not to let them out ahead of us (we didn't need to get anything from over head so could leave more quickly) Sadly, someone else saw these sweet kids who were a row behind their mom and let them "catch up to her". I know it was kinda mean of me to not want that to happen before we got out...but I just now remember why I wanted ahead of them... I forgot to mention that at some point in the flight, the mom and the son talked about how it would be alright for him to talk with the pilot when leaving. Luckily, the flight attendants kinda pulled them aside when the attempted this..and so we were not all blocked from leaving while they had their little meet and greet at the exit doors.

As I mentioned already, the bus... super fun. However if you go to DLR and take one... know that as of right now those wraps are only on the buses that service SNA. LAX and Long Beach are no longer allowed the wraps.

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Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
Ann, sorry it took me so long to get back here and caught up (dealing with nursing home and hospice).

Love the intros. I'm glad the big reveal went off. It's too funny that Zoe had to check the tickets a second time to be sure you were really going.

I think it's just natural that no one sleeps the night before vacation...no matter where you are.

I would have been in the spoiled brats' mother's face really quick!

Oh, and love the pic of Zach and his girlfriend...very cute.
No need to apologize. I am still way far behind on every subscription including yours.

Yes, Zoe is too smart for her own good sometimes. Most kids would have just gone with whatever they were told. "we are going to the moon?" sure we are... but Zoe questions EVERYTHING.

It is good to know that we are the only ones who do not sleep the night before. After the night we had, I was thinking of not staying in a hotel the night before our trip in the fall...
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:11 AM   #32
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I am so glad you could hold your tongue with what was happening in front of you. Why on earth was mom not sitting with them in the first place? Ugh...I am wondering what came up missing. I think I would have let them have it when they seemed to be making fun of Zoe. I so would much rather sit by a happy child then BRATS! I dont understand people raising children who think they are entitled...these parents are such nightmares in the school setting, not to mention their children.

I love your picture of Mt. Rainer...I can't believe you live right there, now I really need to come see you. I have a couple of those pictures when I flew to Seattle many years ago. Breathtaking...

The Disneyland Express looks so cool, might have to rethink and fly into John Wayne instead of LAX. I missed not riding ME to WDW...maybe next time, but I think I loved having Tony drive us more instead of waiting on buses!
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:22 PM   #33
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I used the Disneyland Express on my second trip to Disneyland in 2009, it was OK, it took forever to leave LAX though we stooped about 4 times after I had gotten o it. Also people were really annoyed when I was the only one off at the first stop the Disneyland Hotel. My other trips in 2008, 2010, and 2011 I have used Supper shuttle and couple of times I have ended up being the last pickup and gotten to ride Shot gun next to the driver. Also if you do a Google search for Supper Shuttle discounts you will get some really good discounts on the price.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:48 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by momabaarjo View Post
I am so glad you could hold your tongue with what was happening in front of you. Why on earth was mom not sitting with them in the first place? Ugh...I am wondering what came up missing. I think I would have let them have it when they seemed to be making fun of Zoe. I so would much rather sit by a happy child then BRATS! I dont understand people raising children who think they are entitled...these parents are such nightmares in the school setting, not to mention their children.
It is just a good thing the flight was so short and I slept part of it. If it had been an all day event... I totally agree about both the parents and kids being nightmares in the school setting! I don't even work in the schools, but I see what affect it has had on my kids. As for what ended up being missing... you will just have to wait all the way to the end of this TR since it wasn't until the end of the trip that I noticed something was not with us.

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Originally Posted by momabaarjo View Post
I love your picture of Mt. Rainer...I can't believe you live right there, now I really need to come see you. I have a couple of those pictures when I flew to Seattle many years ago. Breathtaking...

If you come to Seattle, PLEASE see me!!! There is so much to this area... I live kinda in the middle of no where, but Seattle really isn't that far(I mean..Steve and Zach both drive there for work)

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Originally Posted by momabaarjo View Post

The Disneyland Express looks so cool, might have to rethink and fly into John Wayne instead of LAX. I missed not riding ME to WDW...maybe next time, but I think I loved having Tony drive us more instead of waiting on buses!

I would recommend SNA over LAX. It is so much smaller and sooo much closer to DLR. I had not been there in years and was still able to navigate it quite well. Add in that the Disneyland Express only has the wraps out of SNA...and I think it is a better choice.

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I used the Disneyland Express on my second trip to Disneyland in 2009, it was OK, it took forever to leave LAX though we stooped about 4 times after I had gotten o it. Also people were really annoyed when I was the only one off at the first stop the Disneyland Hotel. My other trips in 2008, 2010, and 2011 I have used Supper shuttle and couple of times I have ended up being the last pickup and gotten to ride Shot gun next to the driver. Also if you do a Google search for Supper Shuttle discounts you will get some really good discounts on the price.
We used Super Shuttle on our first trip where we flew into LAX. The ride was terrifying... the driver was flying in and out of lanes... going super fast. I did look into them again though for this trip. Because we had 5 people, in the end even with the discount it was about the same to take the Disneyland Express. I do have a complaint about the Disneyland Express though... it seemed to drive in circles. We passed our hotel, I believe 2 or 3 times before stopping. It was a bit frustrating. Oh well though.. .we got there safe and sound.
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:58 AM   #35
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7/6 - With Our Room Not Ready, What do we do?

7/6 - With Our Room Not Ready, What do we do?

I think in total it took about 30 minutes, maybe a bit less to get to our hotel from SNA. We were to Desert Inn and Suites by noon, which is exactly what I was planning.

I had hoped that noon would not be too early to check in. (check in was 3pm). It was however... too early. We were told that we could put our bags in lockers and that what didn't fit they could hold at the front desk. I could see other luggage sitting in the lobby... obvious that owners had just left it there. I just didn't trust leaving it so off we went to the locker room.

In the locker room, we rented 3..maybe 4 lockers total. We played a bit of tetris to get the luggage all inside. (we had two pieces that were fairly large)

I had prepurchased a Photopass + for this trip (quite the savings from even buying once in the park, but REALLY a lot cheaper than in WDW) When the package arrived, along with a cd with stock photos and the code to redeem my photo pass cd, there was a voucher. The voucher was for a special card and lanyard. This would entitle me to ride photos and dinning photos (and the hard copies at the restaurants) I just had to get that voucher exchanged. On the message boards, there was talk that one could avoid using park time to exchange the voucher by going to a dinning location at one of the hotels. One of the restaurants that was outside the parks, that got good reviews AND served brunch was Goofy's Kitchen. So I decided (actually, once at the hotel) that we would eat there. (hows that for on the fly... throwing out the ocd preplanning that I normally do?)

I had planned for us to meander through DTD and up and down Harbor BLV until our room was done, but we were all super hungry and super tired. Sitting and eating for a long period of time (Goofy's Kitchen is a buffet) seemed like a heavenly idea...and a much better one than walking all over the place.

We crossed the street from our hotel to see this.



Then we went through bag check to be able to be in the center area between DL and DCA. (not sure what that area is called..anyone know? ) In this area, music is piped in and a view of both parks is enough to jump start all of our enthusiasm! We were all feeling the Disney excitement!!!

Then we walked out the other side into DTD. If memory serves, I got a lot of "but there is a restaurant right there" and "why can't we just stop here" from Alex. Luckily, Steve had my back on this and repeatedly told him "because your mother has a plan"

It was not hard to find the restaurant at the Disneyland Hotel. We walked up and I asked if they could fit us in (since I had not made an ADR) They were not only able to, but there was absolutely no line to get in (people line up to see Goofy before entering). As we had our photo with Chef Goofy taken, I enquired about the pp+ voucher. Keep in mind, this is a very very new product in both DLR and WDW. Not only cm's but dismembers have some learning to do with it. The first cm had absolutely no idea what the piece of paper was that I was showing her. She called another cm who also was perplexed. Then came a supervisor who said "no, we can not exchange that here" She noted on the slip where it reads "only to be exchanged inside a Disney Park" (well, not exactly that but it boiled down to it) It was fine print, but there. I then had to ask what would happen in regards to the photo just taken. The supervisor had to call the main pp store on main street in DL. She was told and then conveyed to me, that I would be given a pp card that would have the pictures loaded to it. Once I go to main street, I will be able to not only trade in my voucher, but have them print out my photo package there and it would be of this photo.




With all of that taken care of we were seated and in no time the characters (as well as our server who was amazing!) began to come around.






Remember, she lost her head band. Also, I may have forgot to mention she recently got a BUNCH of hair cut off (enough to donate) So she kinda has some wild hair here.






With a quick break in characters we ran to get some food.

My plate..favorite thing on it was kinda covered. Mac and Cheese pizza!!! OMG!!! with actual noodles on the pizza?! It was crazy good. It is kinda hidden under the fruit pizza


Then more characters..







Then another plate of food




More Characters





And because we were celebrating Steve's birthday on this trip



After many plates, we were all pretty full. I wish I had taken a pictures of the food. There were just so many offerings! Everything from p&j pizza, to made to order omelets. It was all yummy!!!

We were pretty tired now though and full.

Doesn't they look exhausted?




Time to leave Disneyland hotel and try our luck at checking into our room, Steve and I took a couple pictures.







In the end, I highly recommend Goofy's Kitchen for brunch. Cheaper than dinner, the price includes tip and tax (which I kinda hate since it is after all a buffet) Steve about fell over when heard the total on this meal for the 5 of us. He asked if I had many of these meals planned. At nearly $200, I assured him no. In fact, not a single meal after even hit $100.

Next Chapter: 7/6 - Our Room Ready or Not, Here We Come!

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Old 07-22-2012, 06:22 PM   #36
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Love the Goofy's Kitchen photos! Thanks for the heads up on how to get the PP+ redeemed. I will need to know this next month! I also went to Goofy's kitchen on a whim a year ago. Being from the east coast I was up at 5 am and in DTD by 8 because my sister left for work at 7 and I was bored. Naturally nothing was open so I went up to GK and asked if they were taking walk ups. I had a very enjoyable solo breakfast lol.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:52 PM   #37
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The area between Disneyland And DCA is called the esplanade. I've always wanted to try Goffy's kitchen maybe next time I'm out at Disneyland I'll have to go there after dropping my stuff at the hotel.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:40 PM   #38
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I am so glad to see some smiles out of Alex after I scrolled past the family picture. Goofy's kitchen looks great...I am adding it to my notes about DL! Still trying to figure it out for next summer, since now with the kids dance group they go on tour during spring break. UGH! Looks like great character interaction along with good food!

Love Zoe's new haircut, looks very cute on her!

As for Seattle...I had a friend who lived in Centralia and I visted her a couple of times and then I was there for a convention. I plan to be back in 3 years...when Jeff and I celebrate our 20th with an Alaska Cruise and Fishing Trip...we said we were going to do that our 10th but instead along came Goo that summer and took all my travel funds!
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:20 AM   #39
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Love the update, Ann!
It's all so exciting since we plan on visiting in 2014.

Love all the pics of Goofy's kitchen. Plus the food looks (and sounds) really good.
I am getting so many ideas ........
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:41 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Woth2982 View Post
Love the Goofy's Kitchen photos! Thanks for the heads up on how to get the PP+ redeemed. I will need to know this next month! I also went to Goofy's kitchen on a whim a year ago. Being from the east coast I was up at 5 am and in DTD by 8 because my sister left for work at 7 and I was bored. Naturally nothing was open so I went up to GK and asked if they were taking walk ups. I had a very enjoyable solo breakfast lol.
I have since read that you can have some one at guest services escort you into DL to redeem your pp+ card without having to use a park ticket. So that might be an idea too.


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Originally Posted by EastYorkDisneyFan View Post
The area between Disneyland And DCA is called the esplanade. I've always wanted to try Goffy's kitchen maybe next time I'm out at Disneyland I'll have to go there after dropping my stuff at the hotel.
I knew someone would know the name of that area!!

Goofy's is worth trying. It is a bit spendy...but the food was pretty good. Now... the floor...I did forget to mention. It was SOOO sticky. Normally, that would be something to completely make me never want to go back. However, between really being tired and really being hungry it didn't phase me as much

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I am so glad to see some smiles out of Alex after I scrolled past the family picture. Goofy's kitchen looks great...I am adding it to my notes about DL! Still trying to figure it out for next summer, since now with the kids dance group they go on tour during spring break. UGH! Looks like great character interaction along with good food!
Alex was pretty good about staying in a good mood. I think we were all a bit excited to be there that first day.

The character interaction was amazing. Alice sat with Zoe a bit and had a conversation with her as did Aladdin. Raffiki and Pluto were little pranksters...trying to engage my boys.

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Love Zoe's new haircut, looks very cute on her!
Thanks When it is pinned back it is pretty cute. She actually requested layers and that razory looking style (she wanted the short rupunzel look)
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As for Seattle...I had a friend who lived in Centralia and I visted her a couple of times and then I was there for a convention. I plan to be back in 3 years...when Jeff and I celebrate our 20th with an Alaska Cruise and Fishing Trip...we said we were going to do that our 10th but instead along came Goo that summer and took all my travel funds!
Will it be a Disney cruise to Alaska? I know that when I have dropped Zach off at the Armory, it has been such a pretty sight seeing the Disney CL ship. I believe that they only go to Alaska from here though...

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Love the update, Ann!
It's all so exciting since we plan on visiting in 2014.

Love all the pics of Goofy's kitchen. Plus the food looks (and sounds) really good.
I am getting so many ideas ........
Going back is interesting. I can see what it was that made me fall in love with DLR. But now having been back, I can see what it is about WDW that has really captivated me. I wonder if you will experience a bit of that?

I would suggest Goofy's Kitchen... food is a bit unique. I mean.. the mac and cheese pizza or the p&j pizza..where else can you find that?
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:12 AM   #41
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What a great way to kick start your arrival. Lunch sounds fab and I can't wait to see your pictures (which I can't see right now - bummer). Mac and cheese pizza - sounds like a carb lovers dream.

Good plan to redeem your PP certificate, even though it didn't quite work. Still, so great that all the pictures go on the same PP CD.

I hope your room is ready.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:14 AM   #42
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What a great way to kick start your arrival. Lunch sounds fab and I can't wait to see your pictures (which I can't see right now - bummer). Mac and cheese pizza - sounds like a carb lovers dream.

Good plan to redeem your PP certificate, even though it didn't quite work. Still, so great that all the pictures go on the same PP CD.

I hope your room is ready.
Oh no, I hope you can see the pics now?

Mac and Cheese pizza was really good... I only had one piece..but I loved the one I had.

Yes, even though getting that voucher exchanged did not work out at Goofy's, it was still great that all the pictures made it onto my pp cd.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:37 AM   #43
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7/6 - Our Room Ready or Not, Here We Come!

7/6 - Our Room Ready or Not, Here We Come!

After lunch, we strolled back through DTD. (which requires bag check before entering back into the esplanade)

I am not sure we really stopped anywhere but maybe the Disney Store, and that was brief. Lunch had taken a fair amount of time so I was hopeful that we could get our room assignment.

We arrived back to the hotel at 2:30pm. Not being 3pm, we still could not get into our room. So now what? I certainly did not want to walk any where else. I didn't want to get our luggage out of the lockers. I didn't want to do anything other than go into the room.

That was until I realized there was one area that might be a bit a a refuse and one we would need to check out.

The roof of the hotel!


The problem was it was EXTREMELY hot up there. A staff member had just finished hosing it all down when we arrived and the small pools of water were quickly evaporating as we sat there.

I did think the view was quite amazing so I took some pictures.







I just knew that viewing the fireworks from up there would be awesome!

Just as a sort of compare and contrast though, if you notice, you can see a busy street and the roof tops of other hotels. When looking out at the "sky line" it was very "city looking" unlike WDW where a view of Space Mountain will not have much other than WDW in it. It was an odd difference. Subtle, but there. I love how close it is, but EVERYTHING is close. It was hard to fall into that mode of letting the real world fall away when it was very present all around us. In fact, (and I am only sharing here because it is a side note on happenings that I can't remember the actual day or time of) but there was often some sort of "vendor" or pan handler right at the cross walk. Nothing like someone shouting "just $2..come on, its just $2... you want one" or better yet someone shouting "just a couple bucks so my wife and I can get something to eat" to make you NOT feel like you are in a fantasyland.

Once the heat was just too much to stand, I went down to check on our room ONE... MORE... TIME.

3pm so we were able to get our room! We were on the 4th floor (so yes, if we looked out through our window we could see space mountain) Incidentally, it was such a perfect room number for us. We were all so tired, but the room number was the same number as our home street number!!!

Zoe in the living room



A very blurry shot with her now standing near the refrigerator and microwave stand. To the right of that was a dresser with a tv on top.


And the first thing Steve always does when we enter a hotel room.


The bathroom


All in all, I really liked the room. It was large enough for us to spread out and clean. Even though everything was in really good shape, it did remind me of a small apartment with fixtures and moldings from the 60/70s I think of all the places we have stayed in Anaheim though... this would probably be the one I would go back for, if only for that view!!!

After we all got into the room, it was time for a nap (finally) Course, I being mom, didn't nap long. maybe 30 minutes or so. While everyone else slept, I unpacked. Zach was also now awake and so I went out to "his room" once I had unpacked. He and I decided to take a walk to see what was near us and ended up at McD's where he bought me a soda and him a smoothie.

Once we were back to the room, Zoe and Alex were waking up. The kids got ready to swim and I went with the three of them to the pool. (sorry, no pics) Zach is very much like a large puppy..always overly playful. Once in the water with Zoe, all he wanted to do was "play" and splash and jump. Good grief.

It wasn't long and we were starting to get hungry. I wasn't sure what we wanted to do for dinner. I wasn't STARVING since lunch had been huge, but I knew I had to eat something. I waffled on the original idea of using the Dominos pizza gift card I that I had got for staying at the hotel near the airport. Steve was out for the night (yes, he slept the entire way on the plane only to crash by 3:15pm) I tossed around the idea of taking the kids somewhere on Harbor BLVD. In the end though, I placed an order with a Dominos that delivered to our room. We got a couple pizzas and some bread sticks and a 2 ltr soda. Cheap eats! After they took off the gift card and I paid tip, it was only like $15.

We ate and watched a bit of tv. Soon it was getting close to the time that the fireworks would be starting. Alex went ahead to get a spot. Zach was just beat at that point and decided to call it a night. Zoe and I then went up to meet Alex. There was barely a person up there and as we sat and waited, I wondered if we missed it or had the right time. We were just about to leave when someone told us that we had not missed it and that we would know when it was becausethe fireworks would be large in the sky. (I wondered if we would barely see them)

They were right, the fireworks were huge.






It was quite nice to see the show from up on the roof, but of course, there is no music. I can not even remember what the music that accompanies the fireworks at DL is. Once the show was over the three of us made it back to our room to sleep. We had an early morning ADR that I wanted us to make.

Next Chapter:7/7 - Magic Morning and Minnie

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Old 07-24-2012, 01:45 AM   #44
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Oh Ann, I DO remember that view!
And then I remember that they were very strict about checking in too. We were not allowed to park our car before three and had to remove it before 12 on our check out day.
But the view from the rooftop is awesome!
And the rooms don't seem to have changed at all - well maybe the bedspread and blanket.

I am now working on our 2014 itinerary and am planning on two visits to DL, a 4 night Grand Californian stay and a three night Desert Inn and Suites one (need to save some of those DVC points )
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:06 AM   #45
annmarieda
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Originally Posted by dizneeat View Post
Oh Ann, I DO remember that view!
And then I remember that they were very strict about checking in too. We were not allowed to park our car before three and had to remove it before 12 on our check out day.
But the view from the rooftop is awesome!
And the rooms don't seem to have changed at all - well maybe the bedspread and blanket.

I am now working on our 2014 itinerary and am planning on two visits to DL, a 4 night Grand Californian stay and a three night Desert Inn and Suites one (need to save some of those DVC points )
I would love to stay at the Grand Californian some day. Will that be a DVC stay? I could not believe how expensive our 4 night stay would be there (granted, it was with a concierge room...but...total was more than our 11 night stay at WL)

Yeah, not sure what is up with Desert Inn and the check in/out time Just strange.

Now to go back and finish that update. My computer started to lock up and I didn't want to lose the part I had done...so I clicked submit just to get it there, figure I could edit it easier than retype it.
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