1st timer becomes a 2nd timer! Two trip reports collide! Trip Reports Complete!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by smile4stamps, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    Table of contents!
    PTR - Kinda boring... pages 1-5

    Trip Report
    Travel Day
    Day 1- Part ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE
    Day 2 Mickey's Halloween Party - Part ONE, TWO, THREE
    Day 3 - PART ONE, TWO, THREE
    Day 4 - PART ONE, TWO, THREE
    Day 5 - Part ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, FINAL Installment!!!


    Trip Report #2!
    Travel Day
    Day 1 - Part ONE, Part TWO, Part THREE, Part FOUR, Part FIVE
    Day 2 - Part ONE, Part TWO, Part THREE, Part FOUR, Part FIVE
    Day 3 - Part ONE, Part TWO, Part [​IMG]
    Final Day - Part ONE, Part TWO, Part THREE

    PhotoPass Photos - ONE, TWO, THREE

    Hi Everyone!

    I am Paula and I am planning my first trip to Disneyland! :surfweb: I have been a WDW a few times but never to DL and I live in the same state! :confused3

    About a month ago I was becoming obsessed with trying to go back to WDW. I could not get it out of my mind. I even had my husband agreeing to go as long as he could get into a few of the Culinary demos at the Food & Wine festival. Unfortunatly the ones he wanted to attend were already booked :confused3.

    So with that and the fact that I have worked REALLY hard this year to pay off some of our debt I came to my senses and realized a trip to WDW was going to be outside the budget and wouldn't happen this year.

    When I was obsessing about going to WDW a few people mentioned why don't I just go to DL since it is closer. My non-disney loving hubby had even mentioned that. So I asked him if he would go with me. Of course his answer was NO :confused:

    So then I was discussing my love of Disney with a friend and she mentioned she would LOVE to go to DL! :banana:

    So there started my planning.

    Having never been to DL I started combing the boards looking for info. I am trying to make this as budget friendly as possible.

    Currently we are planning to fly down on October 13 and stay through the 17th. (I originally had wanted the 12-16 but my friend has a prior obligation on the 13th before we leave.) I have not booked any airfare as we are waiting to find out if the friend can actually have the time off of work. We work in the same place but her unit is not as well staffed as mine and they are much more reluctant to let anyone have vacation. :headache:

    I would LOVE to stay on Disney property but that is not very budget friendly so I am looking for a CLOSE, CHEAP place to stay.

    I currently have reservations at 2 hotels and am considering adding a third until we can make up our minds!

    The 1st is the Super 8 on Katella. Cheap! About $200 for 4 nights. Says it includes breakfast but I have been reading that it is pitiful and the rooms do not have a fridge.

    The 2nd is Ramada Main Gate: Approx $400 for the 4 nights. Closer to DL, not as Cheap, can't remember if it has breakfast, has internet and fridge.

    The 3rd I am considering is Carousel Inn. Would be Approx $300 for 4 night, even closer to DL, includes a breakfast, has a fridge, fee for internet.

    I am also looking at the Quality Inn & Suites on Manchester. Would also be around $300, has breakfast, internet, fridge, not quite as close as Carousel.

    The breakfast isn't as important as the fridge as I am already planning to bring cereal. I need the fridge for my Almond Milk (to go with either my own or the motel's cereal) as I am lactose intolerant.


    So WHO is going. Well there is ME. I'm Paula. I've been to WDW 5 times, 4 times with my Parents and once in 2009 with my hubby for our Anniversary. NEVER been to DL even thought I've lived in CA for 7 years (althought NorCal, about 6 hours away)

    Then there is my friend. Her name is Hong. She has been to DL twice. She says for one day each time. Has also been to WDW one time for 5 days (I think)

    We are both HUGE disney fans and both of us agree that character interaction is a MUST. When I went with my hubby last year to WDW I thought the character interaction was just for kids but then really missed that I didn't do it so this time we are stopping at any characters we come accross!

    That is a really long post! Wow. Sorry!
     
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  3. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    So I'm STILL trying to figure out where to stay. I think that is my biggest dilemma! :rolleyes1

    We are trying to make this trip as economical as possible but I also do want a bed that is comfortable enough to sleep in each night.

    I think my preference for a place to stay is the Quality Inn & Suites. Its about the same price as the Super 8 but I think a little closer. (I have a CC that I can get a discount on the room)

    My second choice is the Carousel Inn but I haven't seen very many reviews of it either on the Disboards. I like that it is close to the pedestrian walkway!

    For food we are planning to have cereal and granola bars for breakfast and then eat out lunch and dinner. We are likely going to split entrees and appetizers to save money that way.

    I've not spent much time looking at restaurants (The opposite of what I did for my planning to WDW.) Is there any must eat items/places?

    What places offer the most economical choices?
     
  4. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    Okay so i have another Dilemma besides where to stay.

    How long to stay?


    We are arriving late on October 13th. The current plan is to leave October 17th but flights are pretty expensive for that day so here are my options.

    Leave Saturday the 16th flight cost $114
    Leave Sunday the 17th flight cost $234
    Leave Monday the 18th flight cost $134
    Leave Tuesday the 19th flight cost $114
    Leave Wednesday the 20th flight cost $89

    Regardless of where we stay the first couple days if I stay beyond the 17th I will probably switch to the Quality Inn & Suites after that for a rate of approx $42/night.

    So HOW many days are TOO many for a trip to DL? I know I could spend WEEKS at WDW with no issues but not sure on DL since I have never been there.

    The person I am going with would still be leaving the 17th (or if I decide to leave the 16th we would leave together) so I would be solo the rest of the trip.

    What would you do? :confused:

    (I am crossposting this to the DL forums since I'm not sure if anyone is reading my PTR!)
     
  5. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    I finally made some decisions!

    We will be flying down on Wednesday October 13th. Staying at the Quality Inn & Suites on Manchester. My friend will leave on October 17th and I will leave on the 19th.

    My friend will have 3 full days of park time and I will have 5!!

    I can now cancel my reservations for the Super 8 and Ramada Maingate.

    The Quality Inn is costing $55 more than the Super 8 but I think it will be worth it. We will get the refrigerator we need at no additional cost :-)
     
  6. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    Good News! In my OCD planning I was rechecking my rates for the motel and found a better price! I was able to save $20 on the portion with a friend and another $15 on the 2 days I am by myself!

    Anywhere I can save money is a plus!
     
  7. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    3 weeks! 3 weeks! 3 weeks!

    Just 3 weeks till I head to DL!!!

    I wish we were able to leave earlier so I could get my AP processed on the 13th but it looks like we won't get there till after the parks close :-(

    Oh Well! I am still super excited!!! I only work 9 more days till I start my vacation time! :cheer2: :cheer2:
     
  8. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    Costumes or no costumes.

    I am trying to figure out if we should do costumes for the Halloween Party.

    These are some of the options we have thought of.

    WE found some Harem type skirts with some jingly coins on them. We thought we could be Harem Girls but not wear anything skimpy. (The skirts alone are $25 so that gets kinda pricey)

    Also thought we could be a couple of the fairies. We would just buy some wings with coordinating t-shirts and probably just jeans. (I found some adult size wings for $10)

    I'd really like to be a disney character. I am a plus size girl though so it is hard to find costumes.

    So not sure what to do...

    Another option is no costumes...
     
  9. tinksdreamwishes

    tinksdreamwishes DIS Veteran

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    I bet your really excited- cant wait to read more! You can try ebay for plus sie costumes- they have a lot!
     
  10. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for visiting!

    I've checked eBay. The problem becomes that most adult plus size costumes are slinky seductive costumes or expensive... Will keep looking but so far I am still very undecided!
     
  11. magichusky

    magichusky Mouseketeer

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    How exciting for your first ever DL adventure!!! :cheer2: You should stop by City Hall in DL and pick up a "1st visit" button.

    I've never been to WDW (going for the 1st time this Dec!!!) but most people tell me that 1 week there is standard. You for sure won't need that long to do DL and CA Adv but for me, the phrase "too much of a good thing" simply doesn't apply to Disney! If I do a commando tour from 8am-12am and hoard FPs like there's no tomorrow, I can pretty much do both parks in one day (but I wouldn't recommend it since it takes a few days to recover from such insanity!). :rotfl:

    As for your costumes, I'd suggest maybe a headpiece (like a fun something or other from a Disney hat shop) and a coordinating t-shirt. I have one of those stuffed animal Nemo hats that everyone loves and I also have a Sleeping Beauty tiara. The fairy wings sound awesome! If you were planning on going on rides during the party though, the wings might be cumbersome.
     
  12. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    Another visitor!! :banana::banana: Thanks for stopping by!

    I had already planned to stop for my 1st time button! I made my hubby wear one in WDW and we also wore our anniversary buttons!

    I like your idea of a T-shirt and hat/tiara... I do plan on going on rides and the wings things may get tricky.

    However I love the thought of actually dressing up for Halloween. I guess we will see what best fits the budget!

    I wish I had my tiara from my wedding. I would wear that! Unfortunately it is at my parents in WI and I am going there AFTER DL and my parents are awful at mailing me things!

    As for WDW I think I could spend a month their and still not do everything! For me a week is definitely the minimum. Of course when we went we did the Deluxe Dining so pretty much only did half days in the parks as it was just because of how I planned our meals.

    I don't like going commando because then I feel you miss the details of Disney but that is just my opinion. I plan to take LOTS of pictures to memorialize this trip in my memories!
     
  13. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Hi there! Just dropping in when I noticed your dates for the trip. I will be there at the same time from the 14th to 18th and will be doing the 15th party as well. I'm debating on bringing a costume as well since I'm trying to limit myself to a carry-on.

    Here's hoping for great weather and good times ahead!
     
  14. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for visiting! I know I will be checking my bags.. I will be away from home for almost 3 weeks going from DL to WI so need to pack for multiple types of weather. Plus I am planning on packing water and snacks and stuff. Thats the advantage to flying SW. 2 free bags!

    However, I am SO hoping that this HOT weather is over! Its hard enough staying cool inside my house let alone all over the parks!

    I'm still undecided on the costume front. I think it will cost too much to buy a costume so I may just forget it and have a great time as myself!
     
  15. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    For WDW I had everything planned out from the shows we would see to which rides we would do first to where we were going to eat.

    This trip is VERY different. Because it is a strict budget trip (at least for the first 3 days) I do not have any dining plans.

    Day 1: Arrival
    We likely won't get into Anaheim till after the parks close but if per chance we get their early enough than I will go redeem my AP voucher for my AP (provided I don't reconsider the AP), And yes I do plan on entering the park to get the AP without doing anything else. A hard restraint but I want to hit the next morning full steam!

    Will probably just grab something cheap for dinner and hit the sack!

    Day 2: Thursday October 14

    Breakfast at the Motel
    Enter DL for Rope Drop (hopefully)
    Hit Fantasyland first (I plan to ride Dumbo!!)
    Around 9:45 run to DCA to get fastpasses for WoC (I can't believe the picnics are sold out!)
    Head back to DL and pick up where we left off.
    WoC is at 8:15pm -- will see that and then decide if we want to go back to DL or head back to the hotel.

    Day 3: Friday October 15
    Breakfast at the Motel
    Enter DL for Rope Drop (If my friend gets a 3-day pass, if she gets a 2-day we will only be doing MHP that night)
    Tour DL or hang out on main street for a couple hours hopefully catching characters
    Head over to DCA at 10:00am
    Ride TSMM and Soarin!
    See Aladdin @12:40pm at DCA
    Head back to motel for a rest
    Head back to DL around 4pm to enter for MHP!

    Day 4: Saturday October 16

    We will probably sleep a little later since the MHP goes to midnight the day before.
    Head to the parks.. Do whatever my friend wants to do since it will be her last day.
    Nighttime we will see either Fantasmic or Fireworks (or both if we can figure it out!) I will leave the choice up to my friend

    Day 5: Sunday October 17
    First solo day!
    I will probably still eat breakfast at the motel
    Will decide on other meals throughout the day. A definite is a Mickey Pumpkin Apple! And possible a Monte Cristo and Cafe Orleans
    My plan is to get my picture taken with any characters I come across.
    I will also see whichever Nighttime show I haven't previously seen

    Day 6: Monday October 18

    Last day :-(
    I will do whatever I feel like I have missed previously including character pics, Princess Fantasy Faire, and Pixie Hollow!
    Any rides I plan to do again. Probably lots of TSMM! I love that ride!

    So it's not a very concrete plan but at least it organizes my thoughts a little!
     
  16. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    So I've decided this thread needs some color!

    The pics will not be of DL because I've not been there but a few of me in WDW with my hubby!

    Hubby and I our first time together in WDW and MK! As you can tell from his expression he is not totally excited :lmao:

    [​IMG]

    Acting Goofy! This pic also shows the bag I am contemplating using for the first few days in DL. Since we will be bringing in snacks and water this bag can hold it all and still be comfortable to lug around!
    [​IMG]

    Hubby Finally SMILING!! :goodvibes
    [​IMG]

    One of my only pics with a character... I plan on remedying that this time and doing TONS of character interaction!
    [​IMG]
     
  17. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    How long have you lived in Cali? I'm curious since you make it to WDW every few years.
     
  18. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    I've technically been in CA for almost 8 years. I was out of state for almost a full year to get my nursing degree though.

    I've been to WDW once since moving to CA and that was because my hubby promised when we got married that we would go!

    All of my other trips to WDW were when I still lived in WI with my parents.
     
  19. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    Hi!! I decided to join you pre-trip report. I think that I might have picked a different hotel, one that is a little closer. But, all in all it sounds wonderful.
     
  20. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    I would have LOVED to pick a closer hotel but the price would have been a lot more. I was able to get the Quality Inn for $240 for the 1st four nights and $88 for the 2 I am solo. All the closer hotels were around $100 a night, The Plaza was the cheapest of the close hotels at $70 so this saves quite a bit of money.

    I was talking to funball the other night and she said it's pretty close to the HoJo which people seem to not have any issue walking. The only issue may be at night with tired feet... if needed we can grab ART to the HoJo and then just walk the little bit to our hotel.

    I am concerned about the distance but saving a big chunk of money was also VERY important!
     
  21. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    We used ART for the first time this year and I really actually thought it wasn't bad. Most days we drove though because I have free parking with my AP. The price is good, and that makes it worth it. The cost is a big part. There are usually so many people walking that it's not like you will be on the street alone if you decide to walk. I know that we went by it on the Disney bus from the Pumba parking lot.
     

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