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Old 12-08-2013, 11:32 PM   #1
lisalawless1979
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Going to my happy place - DLR 2nd (!) Solo Trip in 2013 Dec PTR (DLH Concierge)

Who: Yours truly, alone!
What: 3 day, 2 night solo trip to DLR
When: Fri, Dec 20th through Sunday Dec 22nd
Where: DLH Premium View Concierge
Why: Post work (SF), pre-husband's family for Xmas (Seattle), My family for NYE (Arizona) trip to get me through the rest of the holidays...

More background:

I'm Lisa, a 34 yr old tech geek by trade, long time lover of the disney parks and disboards lurker. After a long time of Disney-park-loving shame and a few tough years of medical issues, I realized that when the Drs say "go to your happy place" it is always Disneyland and there isn't anything wrong with that. So, haters can step to the left, I'm heading to Disneyland by myself for the second time this year!



I've got a (non-disney appreciative, though supportive of my habit) husband, and a 13 yr old wonderfully nerdy step-daughter. She loves visiting the parks but not willing to get up early for EMH, so just partially dedicated and not down for the commando weekend Disney weekend. She has been known to take us on California Screamin' 6x in a row before I needed to lay down. She is not on this trip but you'll catch her in some past photos.



I've been to DLR more times than I can count, growing up in southern Arizona just driving distance away. As an adult, I've also headed to WDW with my family, once on a week long splurge at WDL Concierge



and on a wonderful treat where I won an all expenses trip for 2 through a sweepstakes. I brought my BFF for our 30th birthday and it was another once-in-a-lifetime trip, not the least due to me breaking my hip just 2 days before the trip. If you're going to injure yourself 2 days before a trip across the country, WDW is the place to go.





Checking back on these photos...you may already see where all these great memories come from - mostly, letting go and having fun, being goofy in ways I wish were more welcome in our day to day life.

So - this is the start of my planning.

My plans are already booked for the following: Arriving LAX Friday eve from SFO, limo to DLH, concierge level for some snacks/drinks as needed, then out Sunday evening back to LAX home to Seattle. What I plan between is still TBD....

One thing I loved from my solo trip in April: Not planning! So, we'll see where the wind takes me this time. I know crowds will be crazy but I've never seen Disney resorts at Xmas time so looking forward to that. I'm also looking forward to single-rider lines, and generally relaxing when crowds are too crazy. There's something so wonderful about not having to worry about doing what a group wants to do

Major items I'd love to be able to do this time around: Lille Belle, Cathay Circle Lounge, Holiday lights on the castle...and you know, Club 33 if I can swing it And of course...a mickey rice crispie. Don't know why but these always get me excited...



Looking forward to hearing from other folks coming around this time...or other Solo lovers like myself. Next up...um, are the crowds even crazier than I'm counting on?
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Old 12-09-2013, 12:16 AM   #2
lisalawless1979
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My last trip to DLR was in April. I was sick and grumpy.



It was a medically-mandated vacation for me to "go play" for a couple weeks. Of course I headed to Disneyland to kick it off.

Things I did at Disneyland solo which I wouldn't have been able to do with a crew:

Finally got see the Aladdin show (probably will not go again)!
Taking my time at the wishing well next to the castle
Single-rider line for so many things
Squeezing in a great spot for WOC because there's always room for one small person who isn't blocking a view
Never waiting in line because I could always come back later and find something better to do in line (see also: not having to do what someone else wanted)
The Little Mermaid line over and over and over. Nobody else would have stood for this! And I loved it
Leisurely lunch at Cafe Orleans listening to a live band
Leisurely wine and cheese cake snack mid-day at the GCH lounge
Pool time without having to entertain a kid :P
Talking to a train conductor about the details about running a stream train, not in a hurry to get off (still missed the lilly belle...)
Unfortunately: being flung around on the new Matterhorn sleds - the extra room was not a benefit for me, and I was aching after getting off that one (won't be on this trip)

I stayed at PPH and I wasn't impressed. For future trips, I would consider staying again just to get the EMH, but otherwise it just didn't do it for me for the Disney theming. I've stayed at GCH a couple times and it is beautiful, can't beat the location, but the rooms haven't impressed me either. This is why I'm stoked to try DLH.

I was there on Easter weekend (and Easter day!) and didn't even notice crowds. Either it wasn't as busy as I thought, or being solo just didn't make it as awful as it may have been with a group. My mind is open about holiday DLR this time around.

What I'm researching: best time to get RCR with shortest line. Best use of DCA EMH. I'm single rider so not sure how much I need to worry about timing there - also don't need to ride once. I'm also not a TOT or Soarin' fan, so for me it's all Screamin', TSM (at least once), Little Mermaid, Muppets, and maybe a few things I haven't tried (Monster's, anything else new in Carsland?). I love love love the theming for DCA now - so for me just walking around and experiencing everything is enough.

DLR I'm pretty good on my plan Mostly Indiana Jones, BTM, Space Mountain, Enchanted Tiki Room, then all of Fantasy Land. And another little fav, Winnie the Pooh. And plenty of hotel/Trader Sam's relaxing when lines are ridiculous.

I have just barely touched the surface of benefits of going solo. Looking forward to another whirlwind, but relaxed, trip.

Bummers: Not having a willing photo-taker for my silly photos.

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Old 12-09-2013, 06:20 AM   #3
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Sounds Perfect!

You'll have an amazing time! I appreciate a good solo getaway, too! Can't wait to hear all about it!
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Brenda's Magical Disney Memories!
Disneyland, CA-Grandma & Jake(1st Visit) 1980/Dad & Jake-1982/Tinsleys-1986/Grandma, Mom & Ike-1988/ John-1991/Ike-1992/Grad Night-1993/Mom & Ike,1997
Disney World Week - Mom, Rick & Reagan - Holidays 2007 (1st Visit)
Disneyland Hong Kong - Mom, Reagan & Mike - 2010 (1st Visit)<--TRIP REPORT
Magic Kingdom - Reagan - Spring Break Cruise- 2012<--TRIP REPORT
Disneyland, CA & California Adventure (1st Visit to C.A.)- Dad & Reagan -Spring Break, 2013 <--TRIP REPORT
Disney World and Disney Magic Cruise! (1st Disney Cruise)- Mom and Reagan - Spring Break, 2014<--TRIP REPORT IN PROGRESS
Looking Forward To:
Mixing Business & Magic - (1st Solo Disney Trip) Conference & Disney World - June, 2014
London, Paris and especially... Disneyland Paris!! (1st Visit!) - September, 2014.

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Old 12-10-2013, 12:21 AM   #4
lisalawless1979
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I use google docs for everything. Everything. Family financial docs, travel planning, lists of to-dos, everything. I'm building a doc with relevant hours, reminders of events, possible things I want to check out during my trip. No schedule yet, just a list of possibilities around my schedule and interest. I'm always looking for something new at DLR and DCA...so there are a few things on here I've never done, and stuff I've done before. 2 Asterisks = MUST, 1 is a "never done before and very curious" and the rest are interesting but I could live without.



So, here's my list of things I want to do (and hours, etc) during the short period of time I'm at Disneyland!

Friday:
Arriving at DLH around 7pm.
DLR - 9AM to Midnight
DCA - 9AM to 10pm
Ice Skating: Friday and Saturday 3:00 PM 11:00 PM 1.5 hour chunks and it's $17 per adult chalet ?
Holiday Lighting Castle 7:30 8:30
Mad T Party

Saturday:
DLR EMH 7AM to Midnight
DCA 8AM to 11pm
Lilly Belle Passenger Car? *
Holiday Lighting Castle 7:30 8:30
WOC 9, 10:15 **
Ice Skating: Friday and Saturday 3:00 PM 11:00 PM 1.5 hour chunks and it's $17 per adult chalet? *
Sunset lighting in Cars Land neon lighting ~7:20pm
Mad T Party


Sunday:
DLR: 8AM to Midnight
DCA EMH: 7AM to 11pm - wide-right position to RCR
Lilly Belle Passenger Car? *
Ice Skating: Friday and Saturday 3:00 PM 11:00 PM 1.5 hour chunks and it's $17 per adult chalet?
Sunset lighting in Cars Land neon lighting ~7:20pm *

RIDES!!!

DCA:
CS (over and over and over) **
Little Mermaid (over and over) **
RSR (once) *
Toy Story (once) *
Wilderness Explorers Trail *
Monsters Inc (never been!) *

DLR:
Indiana Jones (Single Rider?) **
Star Tours **
Space Mountain **
Tiki Room **
Peter Pan **
Pirates **
Winnie the Pooh **
DL Train (Lilly Belle) **
Alice in Wonderland *
HMH *
Jungle Cruise *
Pinocchio
Small World Holiday
Matterhorn (Single Rider?)

Restaurants:
Trader Sams: 11:30am to 1:30AM **
Cafe Orleans (Assuming a sunny day with a live band playing) *
Cathay Circle Lounge (small plates, drinks, atmosphere) *
Ariel's Grotto (drinks, mostly, but love the view)
Napa Rose Lounge
Maurice's Treats
Blue Bayou
Carnation Cafe Breakfast (?)

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Old 12-14-2013, 03:37 PM   #5
lisalawless1979
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On a whim I reserved the WOC package dinner at Cathay Circle for 5:10pm on Saturday. I already have some regret because I don't like to schedule too much when I'm travelling solo. That said, I figured I could kill a few stones by eating here (already on my list), and getting "preferred viewing area" for WOC as I don't like to arrive too early. I'm hoping the space reserved is a good viewing area, and since I'm traveling solo I usually don't have a problem squeezing in to a smaller space where I can find it. I'm also short, so usually don't make adults too upset (I don't stand in front of children). Anyway if you've got feedback on whether or not the food, prix fixe or viewing area is a good or bad choice I'm open to it! I'm also wondering if there's anyway they'd let me sit at the bar as a solo visit, even with the package.

On my last solo visit (spring 2013) I just got the Wine Country Picnic Basket and the viewing area access was fine with me - but I wasn't clear on whether this option was still open.

I do enjoy WOC but if I'm going to spend any time getting in early I want to make sure I'm as close as possible
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Old 12-20-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
lisalawless1979
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I'm t minus 3.5 hours eta to DLH Hanging out at SFO now after an intense work week, ready to let Disneyland take me away. Flight touches down around 5:30, then pick up luggage and sedan to DLH. Can't wait to see what DLR is like at the holidays - first time!
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalawless1979
I'm t minus 3.5 hours eta to DLH Hanging out at SFO now after an intense work week, ready to let Disneyland take me away. Flight touches down around 5:30, then pick up luggage and sedan to DLH. Can't wait to see what DLR is like at the holidays - first time!
I hope you are having an amazing trip!!
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:20 PM   #8
scrpbookr
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Enjoy!

Hope you're having an amazing time!
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Brenda's Magical Disney Memories!
Disneyland, CA-Grandma & Jake(1st Visit) 1980/Dad & Jake-1982/Tinsleys-1986/Grandma, Mom & Ike-1988/ John-1991/Ike-1992/Grad Night-1993/Mom & Ike,1997
Disney World Week - Mom, Rick & Reagan - Holidays 2007 (1st Visit)
Disneyland Hong Kong - Mom, Reagan & Mike - 2010 (1st Visit)<--TRIP REPORT
Magic Kingdom - Reagan - Spring Break Cruise- 2012<--TRIP REPORT
Disneyland, CA & California Adventure (1st Visit to C.A.)- Dad & Reagan -Spring Break, 2013 <--TRIP REPORT
Disney World and Disney Magic Cruise! (1st Disney Cruise)- Mom and Reagan - Spring Break, 2014<--TRIP REPORT IN PROGRESS
Looking Forward To:
Mixing Business & Magic - (1st Solo Disney Trip) Conference & Disney World - June, 2014
London, Paris and especially... Disneyland Paris!! (1st Visit!) - September, 2014.

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