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Old 01-08-2013, 12:04 PM   #1
rszdtrvl
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We are going to IDAHO??? A DL PTR Feb 18-22!

We are a fun family! Love to travel, and always love to see new things. I am lucky that I married a great guy who loves it as much as I do, and super lucky that DS also is a traveler.

The Cast :
DH (38)
Me (37)
DS (16)

DH was somewhat reluctant to go back to Disneyland. In the past we have gone during Spring Break, and needless to say, our last trip in 2010 was somewhat of a disaster the last day. The crowds got to us and we spent a majority of the time that afternoon in our hotel room.

It took some talking into him, but DH finally agreed that we could have one last big family hoorah at Disneyland while DS is still in school. He is a Sophomore now, and growing up so quickly.

We decided to go during our school "Intersession" - a week where there is no school in February. Not realizing at the time that Disneyland would still be busy because of Presidents Day, and GASP! other schools having the week off too!!

Needless to say, between Presidents Day week or Spring Break - Presidents Day won. I am sure it will be busy, but from what I have read it won't be as busy as Spring Break. We can do this!!

DH and I decided to not tell DS. Right now we have planned to just have him figure it out on his own. We are guessing either an employee at the airport or TSA will end up letting him know. But now I am just wondering if DH should toss him the "I'm Going to Disneyland" shirt I pruchased for him the morning we leave. Decisions decisions.....

We decided to leave the day before we fly out and stay at an airport Park N Ride hotel. The price is actually equal to or cheaper than parking at the airport would be (Seattle). In the past we have done that before we leave, and it always works out.

The IDAHO thing. We told DS that we are going to fly to Idaho (well, actually into Spokane) to visit FIL that week. Needless to say, FIL always lives in the least populated areas, and DS is not pleased. Especially when DH and I are telling him about the famous "Pea Soup" that we had one day at his house when DS was a baby, and the fact that he will be lucky to get a cell phone signal, much less internet connection. We are having a good time teasing him. And he is none the wiser - even with me on the Disboards all the time.

We told him that while we would love to go to Disney, it won't happen right now because we are obligated to go visit FIL because we already told him we are going there. But hopefully, during Spring Break or Summer we can do Disneyland - IF - we find a good deal.

To get him to save his money, we have told him that when we get to Spokane (wink wink) we will rent a car and try to shop somewhere - either the mall or an outlet mall. DS is a shopper, and to help make the trip to "Idaho" not be as disappointing, we have told him that we would make sure to shop.

Our tentative plans. I say tentative because I am just about the most indecisive person ever. I changed one reservation 2 times in the same phone call!!

Sunday, the 17th :
Stay overnight at hotel.

Monday, the 18th :
Take airport shuttle to airport.
Take supershuttle to hotel in Anaheim (Ramada Maingate), and either check in or have them hold our luggage.
Either get lunch or go to DCA and get lunch.
Our tentative plans for DCA are : Lunch (unless we already got it), Aladdin, Turtle Talk, Screamin, Soarin, Little Mermaid, Mad T Party. Tinker around Cars Land - possibly ride RSR using single rider line if it is not super crazy. Maybe see World of Color.

Tuesday, the 19th :
Take Grayline to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!!
Transformers
The Mummy
Jurassic Park
Simpsons
Shrek (???)
Terminator 2 (???)
Studio Tour
NBC Universal Experience (!! MUST do!!)
House of Horrors (???)
Blues Brothers (???)
Waterworld (???)
Animal Actors
Special Effects Stage (???)
CITY WALK!!

DH said that if we are going to Anaheim, we absolutely HAD to go back to Universal Studios. DH collects Transformers, and on our last trip to Universal, we had a great time. We really want to go on the new TF ride and go on the Simpsons ride again. We have seen Shrek multiple times, as well as Terminator 2, so we may not see them again. DH has been through the House of Horrors before, and we never have had any inkling to see The Blues Brothers, so those are iffy too. Not sure about the Special Effects Stage either. Never saw the NBC Universal Experience, and I really want to see that, so it is a must do for us! And shopping!! DS gets to shop at City Walk (not an outlet mall in Spokane, LOL). When I say he is a shopper, I mean it! He loves clothes, shoes, etc. We went to City Walk last time were were at Universal, and only puttered around a little bit. I think DS will really want to spend a lot of time there. Which makes it even better that DH and I splurged and got FRONT OF THE LINE passes for us!! We know we can only use them one time, so we will save them for the afternoon or if wait times are over an hour. DS will be shocked, as we have always looked at those who have FOTL passes with envy. Now we will be the ones getting envious looks. The cost was more, but I think it will be worth it!! We signed up for the LA tour after Universal with Grayline but unless 8 people total sign up it won't happen. So, that is still up in the air - we should get an email from Grayline on the 15th with more information about that.

Wednesday, the 20th :
Disneyland Day! Possibly DCA as well!
Only thing super planned on this day is our lunch at Carnation Cafe. We will know more as soon as the schedule comes out. We may end up "winging" it this day. You never know.

Thursday, the 21st :
Disneyland & DCA day!
This is our Magic Morning day, so we will definitely start out in Disneyland, doing our Fantasyland and Tomorrowland things.

Last edited by rszdtrvl; 01-15-2013 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:30 PM   #2
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I always have huge plans to make an awesome trip report and it never happens. LOL.

Oh well.

DS finally figured out where we were going, as our descend began into Orange County. He was getting confused at all of the swimming pools he saw, and then one time when the captain of the plan said "Orange County" he was like "huh????" Crazy enough, he was just a big sad that we were not going to Idaho.

This trip was fun. Minor mental breakdowns from the entire family - DS whining (he has Aspergers and is just plain spoiled) and DH whining (he was tired - DS whined about this also) and me having to deal with everyone's whining. I am glad that DH and I decided that this would be our last big family hoorah while DS was in school (he is a Sophomore). Give me VEGAS next!!

Sunday, Feb 17 : Got to our park and ride hotel in SeaTac : SeaTac Inn and Airport Parking. Would I recommend??? Noooooo! We go there, and there was a weave on the ground. A WEAVE!! As in HAIR weave. Just tossed on the ground.



Yep. We stayed "In the Ghetto". Made for an interesting night. DH swore after that night that we would ONLY fly out of Portland airport from now on. Easier drive, albeit 35 minutes longer. And there are not as many shady hotels.

Monday, Feb 18th : Flew out of Seattle. Landed in Anaheim and left our bags at the hotel (Ramada Inn Maingate) and headed to lunch @ Tony Romas.
HUGE servings. DH loved it!
From there we went to DCA!
Crowds were kind of busy, being a holiday (Presidents Day).

We ended up going on :
Jumpin Jellyfish
Toy Story
Screamin (only a 20 minute wait - single rider)

And then we went back to the hotel, ordered pizza from Marris, and then I think we went to Disneyland and went on Pirates of the Caribbean (my notes are messed up, but that sounds right).

Tuesday, Feb 19th : Universal Studios & Hollywood Tour.
We got Front of the Line passes, but didn't need them.
Check out these wait times!!



And that is at 2pm!!

Went on :
Simpsons
Transformers
Mummy
Jurassic Park
Studio Tour

Lunch was at City Walk - Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood! (Good portions, reasonable price)
Shopping at Lids (City Walk)

Went back to the park and went on :
Simpsons
Transformers

Did the NBC Experience (not as good as I expected it to be - movie props, etc.)

Went back to City Walk and purchased Cinnabons (the Cinnabon in the park was closed.)

Back to Universal to see Shrek.

*** Will write more later on today***

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
Susie63
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Kids.. who would have thought he would be upset about not going to Idaho. Grandpa will be happy to hear that story though. Looking forward to the rest of your TR.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
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Shrek 4D - not the movie character.

A few random photos of Universal Studios Studio Tour:







And then on to our LA tour.

We were so exhausted after a day at Universal that we didn't really enjoy the trip as much as we thought we would. That, and the fact that our bus driver was not a very social person. She definitely had attitude.

That being said, we stopped at the Hollywood Walk of Fame and got to souviner shop for a half hour. Got to see the Chinese Theatre. Saw Beverly Hills (from the bus), stopped on Rodeo drive so we could take photos of the sign. And the driver pointed out certain celebrity things about buildings (Viper Room, where River Phoenix partied before he died - the building Britney Spears got her hair all buzzed off, etc.) And then back to our hotel.

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Old 02-26-2013, 09:00 AM   #5
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Wednesday, Feb 20 - DISNEY DAY!

Followed our tour plan to start :

Star Tours
Space Mountain

And then we veered off the tour plan :

Autopia
Haunted Mansion
Splash Mountain (fast pass)

Lunch at Red Rocketts (sub par meal.....)

Went to DCA and :

Tower of Terror
Aladdin show (DO NOT MISS this show - it was fantastic!!)
Soarin using our Fastpass
Screamin

And then Downtown Disney for Dinner @ ESPN Zone and shopping.

Thursday, Feb 21 - MAGIC MORNING (that wasn't)

We decided to skip our magic morning. It was this day I realized that I am the only one who really likes Disneyland and the magic. Next time I told DH I would just go by myself (or maybe on a Dis Diva's trip).

We arrived at the park around 9am, and decided to do everything we still wanted to do.

Disneyland :

Indiana Jones
Jungle Cruise
Tiki Room (and Dole Whip/Dole Float)
Mint Julep Bar for Beignets and Mint Julep (Beignets were amazing - wish I bought a 6pk instead of a 3pk and the Julep was not horrible either)
Took Disneyland Railroad to Toon Town
Went on Roger Rabbit
Took the Monorail to Downtown Disney for Lunch
Earl of Sandwich Lunch
Went to DCA
Sun Wheel
Screamin
Souviner shopping (finished it up)
Back to the hotel where we all proceeded to have a typical Disney meltdown and argumentative conversation. read : Everyone was tired and wanted to just stay at the hotel for the rest of the day. *I* was going to just go back by myself if they didn't want to go back with me.
We all went back to DCA :
Radiator Springs Racers
Ghiradelli Sundae : Presido Passion (aka : SUPER YUMMO!!)
And back to the hotel to sleep and get ready to leave on Friday

Photos from the top of the Sun Wheel and of DCA :











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Old 02-26-2013, 09:03 AM   #6
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Oh - and DS did get to go to the Mad T Party at DCA on Monday - it wasn't super busy though. And he got to play some arcade games too.

And we cancelled our dining plans, because in the end, we decided we didn't want to be tied down by them - especially with the Fastpass enforcement.

I thought it was an adventure - DH and DS I know enjoyed it, but not as much as I did.

As for another family vacation..... Maybe in a few years. DH and I want to go to Vegas later on this year for our birthdays.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:31 PM   #7
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It happens that sometimes not everybody enjoys it as much as we do How was your experience at the Ramada? We will be staying there next month.

Thanks for sharing your report!
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:43 PM   #8
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Ramada was good. The hot tub was very nice after a long park day. The rooms were a good size and we felt safe there. The walk to/from the park was not bad at all - even after a full park day.

Breakfast buffet was not great. Very small room. Walk into it and to the left is donuts and a huge pile of hard boiled eggs. Cereal is further down. Across from cereal is milk and juice, toast/bagels and toaster. Outside the room is the coffee and cups/creamer/sugars.

We went to McDonalds one day, and grabbed donuts one day. One day we ate at the park and the other we ate the Cinnabons we got while in Hollywood.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:16 AM   #9
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Thanks a lot for the feedback!
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:28 AM   #10
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Loved your pics!
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