Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disneyland > Disneyland Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-14-2013, 02:08 AM   #1
YukiPhnx
The Minnie to my Mickey
 
YukiPhnx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 3,011

We have free RT flights, where do we go? Disneyland! July '13 TR~ (NEW!!!-12/16)

Hello and welcome to the TR of my first trip to DLR!

This trip was completely unexpected, totally last minute, and much too short. Here are the basic details.

When: July 1-July 3. Yup, we left Canada on Canada Day! Wearing my finest Canadian gear of course
Where: DLR and USH (But I'm going to exclude that 2nd part)
Accommodations: The Stanford Inn Anaheim

The cast of characters are my then-fiance (now husband) and I, Andrew and Yuki.


My younger siblings, Frances and Kelvin.


With special appearances by McDuff, my Duffy the Disney Bear


and Frances' rock star bunny, Sassafrass.


This is a trip FILLED with firsts. Of course, what else would you expect from a first-timer's TR?

So if you're ready for a TR filled with fun and adventure....
You're in the wrong place.

Haha, just kidding. If you're ready for lots of side and background stories, tons of silly poses, and some Disney bounding,
COME ALONG AND JOIN ME
as I try to relive my very first time at DLR.

CONTENTS
The backstory
The Cast

Day 1
The Arrival
The Check-in
The Cozy Cones
The Tower of Terror
The Dinner
The World of Color

Day 2
The Magic Morning
The Plaza Inn
The Plaza Inn Cont'd




Last edited by YukiPhnx; 12-16-2013 at 08:44 AM.
YukiPhnx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2013, 03:40 AM   #2
YukiPhnx
The Minnie to my Mickey
 
YukiPhnx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 3,011

The backstory

This trip was so amazing and unbelievably awesome. It all started in the beginning of May, when my family and I were on our way home from a great cruise. We had just arrived back in MCO and was waiting for our flight with Airtran when we heard the announcement that our flight had been cancelled.

Not only is this our first time flying with Airtran, this was also the first time my family decided to fly out of Buffalo Airport. We live in Toronto which is only a 2 hr drive from BUF and I've known so many others that have made the drive to save a lot of money. We finally had the opportunity to do this and saved over $1000 in flight tickets!

Back to MCO, we were all worried that we wouldn't be able to make it home that night. It was a Sunday and Andrew and I needed to get back to work on Monday. Little did my family know....I was secretly hoping to stay another night so we could go to Downtown Disney... Well...my wish came true! Airtran tried their best to book us a flight but since we had such a large group (7 of us!) the best they could do was a flight out the next evening.

Here's where Airtran becomes amazing and the catalyst to our DLR trip. Not only did they put us up in a very nice Suite close to the airport and give us all food vouchers, we were all given free roundtrip flights to anywhere in the States (provided they're available)! At the time we were over the moon with how lucky we were and how Airtran was so great. Turns out, this is standard! I now love flying within the States. Everything is so much easier.

So now we had 7 free RT tickets linked to our names and a year to use them up. Since Andrew and I were moving to China in September and we had our WDW Disneymoon in Aug, we had to use these up SOON. After days of thinking, I figured that the best week for us to take this trip was sometime around July 1st since it was a holiday for us. My first destination was Orlando. I discussed this with my family and it was agreed upon that only Andrew, my two sibs, and I could go on this trip. I called up Airtran and asked for availability of flights and there was nothing.

So where to next? Chicago? New York? Las Vegas? And then it hit me.
DISNEYLAND.
Of course! It's usually very expensive for us to travel to the West Coast and it's been a dream of mine to go to DLR.

So I called Airtran back and they said,
"Yup, there are flights available on July 1st, returning the 5th".
I book these flights, knowing I could cancel in 24 hrs, and sat down with my family.

I had to ease them into this since I mean, this is their trip too, not just my own fantasy come true.

Me:So...looks like Orlando is out. So I booked Los Angelos.
Kelvin: Why? What is there to do in Los Angelos?
Me: Well...there's Hollywood.
Frances: Oh yeah!
Andrew: And what else?
Me: You know...it's Los Angelos! There's lots to do.
Frances: What a minute....where's Disneyland?
Me: In Anaheim.
Frances: Oh, so it's not in Los Angelos.
Andrew: Ok, so what do you want to do in Los Angelos?
Me: Disneyland is really close to LA
Frances: Disneyland? Are we going to Disneyland?
Me: That's where I want to go, yes.
Kelvin: Are we going to do something else?
Me: Um...we can also do Universal Studios Hollywood.
Kelvin: Ok, that sounds good.
Me: So...we keep the flights?
Them: Yup! We're going to LA!

*Fireworks go off in my head*


And this is the story of how Airtran helped make my dream of going to DLR a reality.

I never thought this day would come as soon as it did. I have been listening to the Disneyland edition of the DIS Unplugged and had built up a mental list of what I wanted to do IF I ever got to the chance to go.

And now here I was, planning a trip to DLR in 2 short months!!!

But seriously,



Last edited by YukiPhnx; 09-14-2013 at 05:33 AM.
YukiPhnx is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 09-14-2013, 03:45 AM   #3
YukiPhnx
The Minnie to my Mickey
 
YukiPhnx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 3,011

The Cast

Some more basics about the trip before we start. For our tickets, we bought the Southern California CityPass that included 3-day Parkhoppers to DLR with a Magic Morning, 1-day Universal, and 1-day San Diego Zoo. Since San Diego was so far away, we decided to just focus on DLR and USH. We still came out in the green.

I also pre-ordered Photopass Plus for the first time. It was exciting to try this new PP out. We took as many PP pictures and ride photos as we could!

Now, onto the cast!

Your author, Yuki. I'm a self-declared SUPER GEEK. I'm into all kinds of geek that includes but is not limited to...Disney, anime, cosplay, Settlers of Catan, Munchkins, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, DS games. Power to the geek! I'm also a scrapbooker.


My DH (then fiance), Andrew. He is also a super geek but he will never declare it. We recently got married and moved to China and am now living in Beijing where he is getting his IMBA.


My younger sister, Frances. She shares my love of Disney and is a lot of fun to pick on. Andrew gave her the nickname of Sassafrance and it's stuck with her to her chagrin. We also like to use the term "It's FRANTASTIC!" to describe something she loves, such as Doctor Who.

The resemblance is uncanny, no?

My younger brother, Kelvin. Also known as Beans. Which is what I will refer to him as for the rest of this TR. He's a little harder to convince to have fun but knows how to do it...we think. Although Frances and I share the same interests, Beans and I are much more alike. This trip will be a test of courage for him as he (as a 21 yr old), is terrified of roller coasters. California Screamin', here we come!



Last edited by YukiPhnx; 09-14-2013 at 05:33 AM.
YukiPhnx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2013, 01:51 AM   #4
dizneeat
DIS Veteran
 
dizneeat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Austria
Posts: 13,926

I am definitely along for the ride, Yuki!

Love to see pics of DLR, especially since we had to push back our trip to California and DLR to 2016. (I just cannot be without cruising - out of Florida - for three years. )

LOVE the introductions and that Airtran kind of "made you" make this trip.
__________________
Players: Karin Tom Find our trips here: Magicaldisneytrips
DLRP: Aug 12 - 21, 2014 to put our APs to good use
WDW, DCL: July 26 Magic/Med March 29 Magic/Western
Aug 22 Fantasy/Western Aug 29 Fantasy/Eastern
TR Feb 2014: Did you feel pressured ... TR 2013: Get off the ship ..... Pre TR 2014: DREAMing, some MAGIC and a little bit of Paris! Visit my other TRs/dining reviews here:

dizneeat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2013, 09:22 AM   #5
YukiPhnx
The Minnie to my Mickey
 
YukiPhnx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 3,011

Day 1: The Arrival

The only flights we were able to get for LAX left BUF at 6am. We live in Toronto which is 2 hours from BUF. Our plan was to take a nap at 8:30pm and wake up by 1:30 to start our drive by 2am.

All was according to plan when my sibs showed up at Andrew's apartment at 2am....but went awry when Beans discovered he left his wallet back home so we all went back at 2:15am.

We were finally on our way at 3am, about an 1 hour off our schedule...but we were sure we could make it because we gave ourselves PLENTY of time for incidentals! Also, the highways are empty at that time in the morning.

We stopped by a service station located in the town of Grimsby. I love the name of this place because it's the name of Prince Eric's butler!

When 4:30am approached, we realized that we might be late for our flight so Andrew put the pedal to the metal and we drove as fast as we legally could!

Crossing the border is always a lot easier when driving across. I love the smile that most officers have when they hear our answer to "Where are you going?" which is "DISNEY!!!"

We made it to the airport by 5:30am for our 6am flight!!!

Luckily, we found a parking spot in the Long Term Parking Lot that was close to the airport and dashed our way to the gate. Since we were only going to be gone for 4 days, we made it a mission to only bring a carry-on suitcase so we had no bags to check.

We made it onto the plan just MINUTES after the gate closed.
CLOSE CALL.

Another thing about these free flights were that they were connecting flights. As soon as I got on the plane, I slept until we arrived in Atlanta.

Look at me sporting my Olympic Canada hoodie!


I was also wearing a red shirt with a giant white thumbs up on it and the Canadian flag printed on it.

We got breakfast at Popeye's and I had some very salty biscuits and gravy.

I have to say, we LOVED how friendly the Popeye's workers were! They were just so nice and everything. I love Southern hospitality.

When on the plan again, I showed my sister the info booklet I created for the trip. I made a similar one for our Disneymoon. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of it.

It was essentially a small 4x6 photo album with 20 sleeves inside of it. A lot of the sleeves were filled with little 4x6 sheets of info such as our hotel details, our airbnb details, Touring Plans, driving directions, our schedule, and basically anything else we needed to know and have on hand for our trip.

I'm really proud of it and the empty sleeves were a great place for keepsakes and park maps!

We're flying over LA!


We landed! You can see the excitement on their faces.




We booked a car with Budget so we waited patiently for the shuttle.



We probably stood there waiting for a good 15 minutes while we saw multiple vans show up for other rental companies.

Up next: The Check-In




Last edited by YukiPhnx; 10-22-2013 at 11:02 PM.
YukiPhnx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2013, 09:41 AM   #6
DisneytheKid
A bad attempt at Billy the Kid
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Posts: 1,572

Awesome review so far Yuki! I can't wait to read more. Oh, and congrats on the wedding!
__________________
Jan 2013 Bucketlist trip, Jan 2009 Engagement trip
Nov 2007 Our first trip togeather, Dec 2005 Family trip
Nov 2004 School Trip, Nov 2003 School Trip
Countless times during the 80's and 90's
DisneytheKid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2013, 01:11 AM   #7
burly
DIS Veteran
 
burly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: In the shoe, with all the kids
Posts: 1,343

I'm following, are you or did you do a trip report from the honeymoon?


KIM
burly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2013, 02:25 AM   #8
YukiPhnx
The Minnie to my Mickey
 
YukiPhnx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 3,011

Quote:
Originally Posted by dizneeat
I am definitely along for the ride, Yuki!

Love to see pics of DLR, especially since we had to push back our trip to California and DLR to 2016. (I just cannot be without cruising - out of Florida - for three years. )

LOVE the introductions and that Airtran kind of "made you" make this trip.
It's so great to have you here!

Yeah, if it weren't for Airtran, this trip would've never happened.
YukiPhnx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2013, 02:25 AM   #9
YukiPhnx
The Minnie to my Mickey
 
YukiPhnx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 3,011

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneytheKid
Awesome review so far Yuki! I can't wait to read more. Oh, and congrats on the wedding!
Thanks so much! I'm so happy you're here.
YukiPhnx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2013, 02:27 AM   #10
YukiPhnx
The Minnie to my Mickey
 
YukiPhnx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 3,011

Quote:
Originally Posted by burly
I'm following, are you or did you do a trip report from the honeymoon?

KIM
Welcome aboard! I will be doing a TR for my honeymoon as soon as I get my photopass CD. I'll definitely post a link over here.
YukiPhnx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2013, 10:20 AM   #11
DisneytheKid
A bad attempt at Billy the Kid
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Posts: 1,572

Looking forward to hearing more
__________________
Jan 2013 Bucketlist trip, Jan 2009 Engagement trip
Nov 2007 Our first trip togeather, Dec 2005 Family trip
Nov 2004 School Trip, Nov 2003 School Trip
Countless times during the 80's and 90's
DisneytheKid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2013, 06:37 AM   #12
YukiPhnx
The Minnie to my Mickey
 
YukiPhnx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 3,011

Day 1: The Check-in



So sorry for the lack of updates. I was suddenly caught with a cold and over here in China, it takes a little while longer for me to recover. Sooo...back to my story!

The Budget shuttle finally arrived and drove us to the rental center. When we got there, we were happy to see there were only about 5 people in line in front of us and about 3 agents working at their desks.

It SEEMED like the line would move quickly. But it didn't...customers would spend 10-20 minutes at the counter and by the time it was our turn, we had already been in LA for an hour.

Even though we had rented cars before, this is the first time I've experienced the whole "insurance dance". This is how the whole encounter with the agent went.

Us: We have our confirmation papers here. We're looking for a full-size.
Agent: So, where are you guys from?

The agent proceeds to chat us up and get friendly with us while I make comments about how hungry I am. After about 5 minutes of this, he FINALLY looks at the confirmation papers we hand him, type in some stuff and then continues to chat with us.

We tell him that we really want to get going because we have not eaten in 6 hours. He pretends to not hear me and starts to talk about insurance.

Us: We have our own insurance.
Agent: Well, does it cover California? *blah blah blah*
Us: Yes, we know our insurance, we know we're good. We just want to leave.
Agent: Are you sure? You are much safer with *blah blah*
Us: YES, we KNOW. Now stop selling us what we don't want and let us pick up our car! (Yeah, I was pretty upset by then).

The agent pouts a bit, finished up the paper work and tells us to go out onto the lot. That whole ordeal took us 30 mins. It was no wonder our short line moved so slow.

When we finally made it out to the lot, we were kind of confused. There were cars....and some signs...but nobody around at all. We just wandered around and found some cars parked next to the "Full Size" sign and chose a car....The keys were in the front seat.

We chose a Mitsubishi which we were very satisfied with! Great fuel economy.


We also loved the license plate.


We loaded our stuff in the back and got in the car. On our way out, we asked the parking attendant for directions to the Interstate and were finally on our way to Anaheim!

The drive down to Anaheim wasn't very bad on a Monday afternoon. We had planned to get to our hotel by 1:30pm but left the rental center at 2:15pm. We were REALLY starving by then.

We found our hotel, the Stanford Inn and Suites Anaheim with little trouble. It's right down the rode from DLR and also only a block away from the Toy Story Parking Lots.


I would highly recommend this hotel for its space, price, and convenience. For only $100 CAD/night, we were able to get a family room.





Off to the right of the front door was a little room attached.

It has its own TV!

My brother slept in those bunk beds comfortably and he's nearly 6 feet! The two beds in the main room are Queen-sized. There's an in-room fridge and safe and free breakfast in the morning. I am definitely staying here again when I return.

Everyone unpacked, changed, and were ready to hit the parks for some FOOOOD!

Here I am in my ToT Disneybound outfit. Maroon-coloured to match the bellhops

Up Next: The Cozy Cones



Last edited by YukiPhnx; 10-22-2013 at 11:02 PM.
YukiPhnx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 10:05 PM   #13
YukiPhnx
The Minnie to my Mickey
 
YukiPhnx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 3,011

The Cozy Cones

We were ready to head out at 3:30pm. We were all starving but at the same time REALLY EXCITED to get to the parks.

We drove to the Toy Story lots which were only a block away and boarded a shuttle bus.


Look at how EXCITED they are.


Oh my god, we're there!


Oh my god, that's a train from the Lone Ranger!


Oh my god, I'm so excited!!!


But first, McDuff has to sit on something first.


One thing that really grabbed me was the fact that the two entrances were ACROSS from each other!!! For some reason, I always thought they were beside each other? I dunno....but this just seemed SO COOL to me. It was unbelievable how close the two parks were. I mean, I had always known they were close but I never imagined they were THIS close. I'm a WDW girl here, gimme a break.

I'm so FREAKING excited to be here!!!!


Our first park was DCA because I had made us reservations at Carthay Circle for dinner. I also wanted to save DL for the Magic Morning the next day.


Because we had CityPass tickets instead of regular park tickets, we had to get our pictures taken before we entered the park. This was only supposed to happen once but it happened EVERY TIME we entered a park because something was wrong with their scanning system.

It's so beautiful!




My sister was just as excited as I was, since this is only her second Disney park. Her first one was back in 2006.


Dinner tonight!


You could tell Beans was really excited too.


The first thing we did was walk into Guest Relations and get ourselves some "First Visit" buttons! I never got to have a WDW one so I was actually REALLY excited about getting a DLR one. Thanks to these buttons, I was able to have some GREAT conversations with various CMs about Disney and WDW!

After that business was taken care of, the others asked me where we were going to get food and I set our sights for the Cozy Cones! I had been drooling over their food porn and couldn't wait to finally try it!!! I mean, what a great idea! Food in pretzel cones!

Walking towards Carsland was pretty unreal. You turn a corner and there you are, looking right down Radiator Springs. It was incredibly beautiful. I can't even begin to described the awe I felt when I first saw it.

Tow Mater! My fave Cars character!


Radiator Springs Racers in the distance is just too majestic for words.


Cone hats, so cute!




I've heard the lines here can get REALLY bad and it's a hassle if your family wants different foods. Luckily, my family is good with sharing and you can get drinks at every station, so we had no problem at all. Also, since it was the early afternoon, there was nobody in line.


We got both types of cone foods. The Chili Con Queso and the Chicken Verde.




Andrew also got the alcoholic Pomegranate Limeade which he found very refreshing.

These cones were SO GOOD. If I had to choose...I would get the Chili Con Queso again but they were both VERY VERY good. We thought it was a great snack to share between two people. It was just what we needed to tide us over until dinner.

I think it also has to be said that it was very hot on that day. The sun was just blazing and we were already sweating.

I took some more shots after I took a short bathroom break.


And then I noticed that Tow Mater and Lightening has literally ROLLED UP to the Cozy Cones!!! Like, actually driving up to the M&G spot!!! Eyes all blinking and stuff! It was sooo awesome.




As much as I loved Mater, we decided to save him for another day. So where to next? Well, the Tower of Terror was close and my sibs had never been. So that's where we headed!

Up next: The Tower of Terror


Last edited by YukiPhnx; 10-22-2013 at 11:01 PM.
YukiPhnx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 10:59 PM   #14
YukiPhnx
The Minnie to my Mickey
 
YukiPhnx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 3,011

The Tower of Terror

Goodbye to Carsland for now.


It was really cool to walk through "a bug's land". I don't care much for the ride in Animal Kingdom but I LOVED this area. I really like the movie and the theming for this area is gorgeous!




Of course, we had to get Frances to pose with Francis the ladybug. This was just too good to pass up.


This looked like a smiley face to me.


And here we are at last. ToT is probably my top Disney thrill ride. I could ride this attraction over and over and over again nonstop. I actually started watching The Twilight Zone because of this ride.


So kids, are you ready?


The wait was 13mins. Which means it's the perfect time to go!

Here's a redneck shot of our first ride, since we haven't picked up our PP+ card yet.


Reactions? Frances was pretty shook up from the ride. She was literally shaking. Beans took it a little better, even though he's the one that's never been on a proper roller coaster.


We headed towards Buena Vista St to pick up our PP+ card, stopping at Aladdin to see when the next showing was. I was also itching to buy my first Disney Dooney and Burke bag!

I have loved those D&B bags since they were first released. I really wanted one but back then I was still a student and didn't make that much with my part-time job. After I graduated, I told myself I would work extra to get myself a D&B on my next Disney trip. It felt great to finally buy a D&B bag that I earned. I think that makes it better.

On our way to Buena Vista St, we also spotted this great Monsters University display!


We loved these signs.


With Photopass Plus card in hand, we set off towards Grizzly River Run to check out their wait time.


But first, a picture with the man that started it all.








Just as we were nearing the FP kiosks for GRR, found this cat lurking on the bushes.




According to a nearby local, this cat lives there.



Unfortunately, the Standby wait was 40 mins and the FP return was during dinner time, so we back tracked and got in line for Soarin instead.

20 minute wait on an afternoon????? WHAT IS THIS ALTERNATE UNIVERSE????? It was pretty unreal, knowing how long the lines get at Epcot. I could barely believe my eyes!

I definitely enjoy this line a lot more than the Epcot one.






It's much more interesting because it's flight-themed and so has all these history bits.

Oh btw, Andrew holds the camera which explains why you can see me in so many of the photos.

Is it just me, or does this guy look like Neil Patrick Harris?

Nobody else? Ok, just me then.

It was a very nice ride! I haven't been on Soarin since my first trip to WDW in 2006 and had forgotten what the ride was like. We all agreed that we wanted the 1st row next time. If only it were easier to ride the one in Epcot...

Up next: The dinner


Last edited by YukiPhnx; 10-22-2013 at 11:09 PM.
YukiPhnx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2013, 01:57 AM   #15
DisneytheKid
A bad attempt at Billy the Kid
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Posts: 1,572

Can't wait to read more!
__________________
Jan 2013 Bucketlist trip, Jan 2009 Engagement trip
Nov 2007 Our first trip togeather, Dec 2005 Family trip
Nov 2004 School Trip, Nov 2003 School Trip
Countless times during the 80's and 90's
DisneytheKid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.