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Old 01-22-2013, 12:56 PM   #61
Sherry E
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Originally Posted by BELLEDOZER View Post
The reason I picked the dates I did, was to avoid missing some of the Christmas parties we go to in Nov (although I will be missing one). It seems like the Christmas parties start earlier and earlier and for us start Mid Nov. Problem is that we belong to too many different vintage vehicle groups that all have their various parties around the same time. I have realistic goals about going the dates I'm going down for, and wanted to see the parks completely outfitted for the Christmas season. However it didn't dawn on me that my last day in the parks was going to be on Thanksgiving and flying home Black Friday. I thought I was more up on the USA holidays than I am. Time to get a e book on USA holidays and read it. Either way the photographer in me is drooling over the thought of going solo this time of year, and I know I'm going to be taking way too many pics than I plan on.
Trish -

That's exactly how I get as many photos as I get, and it's also how I am able to take time to really try to find occasional photo subjects/perspectives that are not as commonly seen - Solo Time. I like to totally immerse myself in taking pictures. It's quite cathartic for me. As much as I like to see my friends here and there, if not for my golden solo time I would not be able to embark on photo quests and missions around DLR and elsewhere! I even walk around my own neighborhood, up and down the side streets, snapping away at whatever catches my eye - I'm always on a quest to take better, more interesting, more colorful photos. And if I feel I didn't take good pictures of one thing or another, I will get back out there and take more pictures of that same subject on a future trip to try to improve!

You will have a lot of material in the parks to work with during the holidays when you get out there to take photos!

I don't know when your arrival date will be, but it sounds like you will miss the hotels being decorated. You'll get the park decorations and the two holiday ride overlays, but the 3 hotels will likely not be decorated yet and Downtown Disney will probably not be playing any holiday music until right after you leave. I'm not sure if the ice rink is coming back to DTD this year either.

I would think that many people will go away for Thanksgiving and will stay at their destinations for at least a couple of days. I could be very wrong, but I wouldn't think that Friday is the worst travel day. Saturday or Sunday of that weekend would probably be the worst travel day. Now if you decided to shop at any stores on Black Friday, then it would be an absolutely madhouse!
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:56 PM   #62
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Thanks for the vote of confidence Sherry! My dates are Nov 24 to 29th, staying at HOJO's. I've just got to find cheap air in Apr, and I'm all set. It's really the only time that I could go that works around the family's various activities. My DH goes away alot on union related business, and he felt I deserved a trip of my own. I love traveling solo, as I get to do things at my own pace, and take the pics I want to take without the family constantly bugging me to keep up with them. I did check out the USA holidays (I hate when there is missing knowledge in my memory banks and try to fill them when I notice the blanks), and have more knowledge than before. I don't intend to take advantage of the Black Friday sales, although they are a great deal better than our Boxing Day sales up here. I love taking detail orientated pics with my older Sony DSLR, and know I'll be taking way more pics than I intend to on this trip. I appreciate my time away from the family, as it's a much needed stress relief for me (especially with 2 boys, and one of which is accident prone). I actually go more for the pic taking than the rides (yes I'm a photo geek, I admit it!), and the time away from the kids. Take care and have a great day!

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Old 01-22-2013, 03:13 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by BELLEDOZER View Post
Thanks for the vote of confidence Sherry! My dates are Nov 24 to 29th, staying at HOJO's. I've just got to find cheap air in Apr, and I'm all set. It's really the only time that I could go that works around the family's various activities. My DH goes away alot on union related business, and he felt I deserved a trip of my own. I love traveling solo, as I get to do things at my own pace, and take the pics I want to take without the family constantly bugging me to keep up with them. I did check out the USA holidays (I hate when there is missing knowledge in my memory banks and try to fill them when I notice the blanks), and have more knowledge than before. I don't intend to take advantage of the Black Friday sales, although they are a great deal better than our Boxing Day sales up here. I love taking detail orientated pics with my older Sony DSLR, and know I'll be taking way more pics than I intend to on this trip. I appreciate my time away from the family, as it's a much needed stress relief for me (especially with 2 boys, and one of which is accident prone). I actually go more for the pic taking than the rides (yes I'm a photo geek, I admit it!), and the time away from the kids. Take care and have a great day!

Trish
I understand your photo geek-ness! I only went on 3 rides (over the course of 4 days) on this past December 2012 DLR trip because I was too focused on taking pictures! When I was a child and a teenager enjoying Disneyland, never in a million years would I have expected that that one day I'd be in the parks, barely paying attention to rides and only taking pictures! How things change!

You know, to be honest, I had forgotten that this year's Thanksgiving was going to be so late in November until you just mentioned what your last trip day would be. There are times when Thanksgiving is on an earlier date in the month and it doesn't seem like it is happening quite so late. This time, if I am not mistaken, I think our Thanksgiving is coinciding with the first night of Hanukkah - which hardly ever happens.

What I'm thinking is - because Thanksgiving is going to be so late in November this time around - maybe some of the hotel decorations will be up during your trip after all. The decorations team may not want to wait until 11/29 to start putting up the GCH decor, and then wait until even later than that to put up the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier decor. So you may, possibly, be able to catch some of the hotel stuff after all. The PPH tree is so gorgeous in person, and the GCH tree should not be missed. Let's cross our fingers and hope that you'll be able to get the full, 100% holiday experience!
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And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:59 PM   #64
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HMMM...in your vast vault of experience, how busy do think Thanksgiving is going to be??? Just curious, and am thinking about getting an extra day park pass so I can go to the parks the day of arrival, as I should be checked into my hotel by around 3:30pm. Intend to fly into my fav airport SNA, as I find it much easier to fly in and out of (although the takeoffs and landings are so much fun!!). Normally I don't check out the DL hotels decorations, but it sounds like something I'm going to have to check out on my trip, especially during Christmas time. Thanks for all the great info Sherry!
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:59 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by BELLEDOZER View Post
HMMM...in your vast vault of experience, how busy do think Thanksgiving is going to be??? Just curious, and am thinking about getting an extra day park pass so I can go to the parks the day of arrival, as I should be checked into my hotel by around 3:30pm. Intend to fly into my fav airport SNA, as I find it much easier to fly in and out of (although the takeoffs and landings are so much fun!!). Normally I don't check out the DL hotels decorations, but it sounds like something I'm going to have to check out on my trip, especially during Christmas time. Thanks for all the great info Sherry!
I've never actually been in the parks on Thanksgiving day, and I haven't been there for Thanksgiving weekend in many years. So any thoughts I have on how crowded it could be are based on what I have deduced from other people's info, comments and reports. I've heard that it is pretty crowded on that day - but probably not post-Christmas/New Year's Eve level crowds.

Fellow DIS'er Mariezp was at DLR just last year for Thanksgiving and could answer the crowds question, and she did the big Thanksgiving buffet meal at the Disneyland Hotel. She had begun a Pre-TR ("Turkey Day With the Mouse") but has not actually worked on the report yet because her photo storing site (Webshots) decided to discontinue their storage services and all of the links to all of the photos Marie has posted in assorted threads and trip reports were going to become invalid - not to mention that she had to download all of her photos (thousands and thousands) back to her PC to be able to store them elsewhere. I think she became exhausted after that episode so I don't know when Marie will pop into this thread to offer any insight into Thanksgiving day crowds.

The hotels are never decorated for Halloween Time, so you haven't missed anything there if you haven't been paying attention to the hotel decorations on your Halloween trips. I think that on Halloween day/night, there is a photo spot set up in the Grand Californian Hotel but that's about it.

However, during the holiday season it is a whole different story. The holiday season is much more detailed, extensive and involved with its decorations and holiday festivities around Disneyland Resort than Halloween Time is, and that includes the 3 hotels. There are Christmas trees in pretty much every store and every restaurant. (The Goofy's Kitchen tree is really fun.) There's themed holiday music playing in each land. California Adventure is decorated for the season, whereas for Halloween Time it is pretty sad. The holiday season is a whole different ballgame than Halloween Time!

All of the hotels are in the spirit of the season (as I mentioned yesterday, they usually get their decorations right after Thanksgiving, but this year it could be slightly earlier since Thanksgiving is so late in November), but the GCH is particularly festive. During the holidays, when the Grand Californian Hotel tree is up, Santa poses for PhotoPass pictures and carolers come in to perform by the tree, while taking requests from people sprawled out on the couches and in chairs. A pianist plays holiday music, then a guitarist strums some tunes. It's a really nice environment. However, the tree at the Paradise Pier Hotel is my actual favorite tree, though the whole environment is not as inviting and comfortable as the GCH's is.

So, yes, be sure to check out the hotels towards the end of your trip to see if any of the trees have gone up and the festivities have begun!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:26 AM   #66
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I'm so sorry to hear that Mariezp has had so many problems with webshots. The trip couldn't have happened at a better time for me. The kids and I were involved in a pretty major crash a couple of weeks ago (got taken out by a distracted driver). We walked away from the crash with minor, but really annoying injuries(vehicle was written off). I'm starting physio today, and it's helping me keep focused on the trip and not my injuries. My DS 9 will probably need to start physio next week for his injuries. It's frustrating me, and am hoping the physio will help me recover. At least the trip is keeping my mind off the pain. Insurance co is already talking about a cash settlement for my injuries, but won't talk to them until I'm fully healed from crash. I can't wait to go and see the parks will all the Christmas decorations!! At least I know that the parks will be busy that day, and gives me more time plan around it, and be aware of it. Thanks for the info Sherry!! Because we've always stayed off site, I've never gone into the the DL owned hotels. But it sounds like it's something worth seeing, and am going to have to make an effort to explore the hotel decorations while I'm down there.

Last edited by BELLEDOZER; 01-23-2013 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:32 PM   #67
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I'm so sorry to hear that Mariezp has had so many problems with webshots. The trip couldn't have happened at a better time for me. The kids and I were involved in a pretty major crash a couple of weeks ago (got taken out by a distracted driver). We walked away from the crash with minor, but really annoying injuries(vehicle was written off). I'm starting physio today, and it's helping me keep focused on the trip and not my injuries. My DS 9 will probably need to start physio next week for his injuries. It's frustrating me, and am hoping the physio will help me recover. At least the trip is keeping my mind off the pain. Insurance co is already talking about a cash settlement for my injuries, but won't talk to them until I'm fully healed from crash. I can't wait to go and see the parks will all the Christmas decorations!! At least I know that the parks will be busy that day, and gives me more time plan around it, and be aware of it. Thanks for the info Sherry!! Because we've always stayed off site, I've never gone into the the DL owned hotels. But it sounds like it's something worth seeing, and am going to have to make an effort to explore the hotel decorations while I'm down there.
I think if Webshots hadn't become a nightmare for Marie and ruined her incentive to sign onto DISboards, she'd be able to pop in and give a first-hand account of what the parks were like on Thanksgiving Day!

I'm so sorry to hear about the crash you and the kids endured a couple of weeks ago! Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, but still...even minor injuries and a wrecked car are problems no one wants to deal with. I hope that the physio is able to work wonders for you and your son. Having something to plan for or look forward to later in the year will definitely be helpful!

Since the 3 Disney hotels are so close and easily accessible from Downtown Disney (well, the PPH is across the street from the GCH but still close), it is worth a trip to check out the decorations and Christmas trees in all of them. Plus, they have extra gift shops to explore - sometimes the hotel gift shops might have items that have sold out of the shops in the parks.
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:40 PM   #68
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I rarely have accidents, and this was the first major one in 15+ years, and that's a miracle in itself, with all the crazy drivers here. Yes it was a bad accident, but it would have been much worse, had I not been able to do a last second evasive manouver in attempt to avoid the collision. So I'm happy with all occupants of both vehicles walking away from the crash relatively unscathed so to speak. My shoulder/neck problems I'm being very careful with, as I don't want it to become a chronic condition. I'm hoping the physio is going to solve the problems, with the insurance covering most of the costs of the physio. We'll just see how it goes. Vehicles can be replaced, people can't. I'm definitely going to check out the hotels decorations while I'm there, as it sounds like something worth seeing. Thanks for all the support Sherry!
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:03 PM   #69
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When will we know if DL will have a Christmas Party?

Aloha,
My family is planning a trip to DL this year from Dec. 16-21. How soon will we know if they will start doing a Christmas Party at DL? Would I have to buy a regular park ticket in addition to the party ticket? Just trying to figure out my budget and itinerary. Mahalo in advance!
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:07 PM   #70
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Aloha,
My family is planning a trip to DL this year from Dec. 16-21. How soon will we know if they will start doing a Christmas Party at DL? Would I have to buy a regular park ticket in addition to the party ticket? Just trying to figure out my budget and itinerary. Mahalo in advance!
Hello, Kuilima!

Welcome! I'm glad you joined us.

About a possible party - well, I could be very wrong in my assessment/observations of how Disney does things but it seems like when they have something major to announce - like a major event coming for the holiday season - we would find out at least 3 months before the season begins, if not earlier than that.

The season officially begins in November. If there were to be a separate Christmas party, I am guessing that the Disney Parks Blog would break the news of this in August at the very latest (like last year in August they told us about the 20 nights of the Candlelight Processional/ceremony, which was unprecedented). I kind of think they would tell us about it even earlier than that. They would want to shout it from the rooftops, start building excitement and make it sound as though this party was going to be the best thing ever, and they'd want to do this early enough and far enough in advance to lure people into planning holiday trips. They wouldn't wait until just a month before.

I'm pretty sure that you'd only need to have a party ticket if you wanted to attend the party, and you'd probably be able to get into the park a couple of hours before the party actually started (if this is run the way the Halloween parties are run). If you wanted to visit the park(s) earlier that day (before party hours) you'd have to have a separate ticket/Hopper.
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:39 PM   #71
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Leilanie94 -

You're welcome! Will the November trip be your first time at DLR for the holiday season? I don't know what is in store as far as a Christmas party (I'm thinking we will probably get one for the first time ever), but even without a party the season will be amazing if it is anything like the 2012 season. Last year's holiday season was fabulous! California Adventure's makeover finally being done was a big contributor to that.

Anyway, stay tuned to Page 1 of this thread as I continue to organize it and add in more links and information that will be helpful!
Hi Sherry,

Yes, the November trip will be our VERY first time at DLR for the holiday season! We are so excited! Looking forward to Carsland and all the holiday food, decorations, and festivities!

We are staying at the Grand Californian.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:00 PM   #72
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Hi Sherry,

Yes, the November trip will be our VERY first time at DLR for the holiday season! We are so excited! Looking forward to Carsland and all the holiday food, decorations, and festivities!

We are staying at the Grand Californian.

Thanks again!
You're going to love Christmas time at the GCH!
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:47 AM   #73
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This last Thanksgiving day wasn't that bad. It was busy early, but started to lighten up around 4 (except the monorail line-everyone had the same dinner time I guess), we left to have dinner at 5 at Ralph Brennan's. When we went back into CA around 8, crowds were not bad at all. Friday and Saturday seemed lighter than a normal weekend for us (I was solo on Saturday).

I have some pictures of the crowds in a TR, early in the week it was pretty busy, but we still had fun.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3028672
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:09 AM   #74
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This last Thanksgiving day wasn't that bad. It was busy early, but started to lighten up around 4 (except the monorail line-everyone had the same dinner time I guess), we left to have dinner at 5 at Ralph Brennan's. When we went back into CA around 8, crowds were not bad at all. Friday and Saturday seemed lighter than a normal weekend for us (I was solo on Saturday).

I have some pictures of the crowds in a TR, early in the week it was pretty busy, but we still had fun.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3028672
Chris -

You probably didn't notice, but I had added your TR to the first page of this thread (in the specific TR post) a while back! I didn't forget you!

Hopefully Mariezp or someone can post specific photos from Thanksgiving Day in this thread. She actually did the Thanksgiving Day buffet at the DLH too, so it would be great to get info about that!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:20 PM   #75
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They do work for December. It is called HOJO Anaheim. I just booked a backup room there for 25% off.
what code did you use for 25% off?? The dis code i have only showed up for 15%.
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