A Return to the Happiest Place on Earth

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by annmarieda, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    Since I have been home a week and I know I have been neglecting all my dis friends and all the many threads that I am not only subscribed to but am currently writing.... I thought I better get to writing my TR for our (for us) spontaneous trip to DLR.

    My goal will be to get this done as quick as possible and not drag it out endlessly. (I tend to do that with all my reports) So I hope you will all enjoy this and bare with me as I attempt to recall the wonderful, yet quickly fading memories (thankfully, I took notes) of our trip to DLR on July 5 to July 10.
     
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  3. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    I am so in here, Ann! Can't wait to read all about it. :goodvibes :cool1:
     
  4. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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  5. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl2: I was thinking I was going to be able to start some before anyone showed up! I am so glad you are here!!! I have so much catching up to do...but work has been crazy. I have continued to train for the ToT 10miler... AND now someone wants me to train for the princess half. :faint:
     
  6. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    Perfect time for me to be online ..... now that I am on vacation, Ann. Sorry to "intrude" so early. :rotfl2:

    I love the thought of you doing the Princess half! It would mean you would be there the same time we are!!!!!!!!!! :woohoo:
     
  7. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    So in case you are just now meeting me lets start with some introductions.

    There is myself. I am Ann ( :wave:) I find that Disney has become a very comfortable place for me. I try to go to Disney in one way or another at least once a year. It is an easy trip to plan and I know what to expect. Everything from the sites to the smells to the sounds make me feel happy. I am not a total ride enthusiast, but I do like BTMRR a lot. Characters are not something I have in the past spent a lot of time with. My older children did not like them so we didn't do autographs. My youngest does like them though so I have begun to fit them into my plans and find that the more I do, the more I like it. Tink use to be my most favorite spunky character, but slowly the classic "Disney" quality of the two mice are drawing me closer to Mickey and Minnie being my favorites. I mean... red, white and black are my favorite colors...so it would seem as though they would be a natural choice.

    [​IMG]

    Next there is my dh, Steve. He is slowly admitting that he loves Disney too. I think in many ways for the same reasons I do. It is familiar and easy. He has a chronic disease that causes him a fair amount (or unfair) of grief. Do to this he tends to spend more time in the room than I would probably like. (but am forced to understand) Disney is an easy enough trip for this reason since I can go off on my own and he also doesn't need to feel as though he completely misses out.

    [​IMG]

    Next there is our oldest son, Zach. Zach is 19 and in the military. He joined at only 17 and is quickly on his way to making this a life long career. (by fall he expects to no longer be a private..but a specialist or corporal) His current orders have him placed in a full time position (9 to 5) just down the street from where Steve works. He is now at an age where he is beginning to let himself enjoy Disney again. He also has a new girlfriend (it always seems to me like he has a new one :rolleyes) that is into Disney and they are talking about doing a trip together. Course, as I just mentioned he does tend to go through the girls maybe faster than I would like...and so a trip may be a bit of an ambitious goal. I am afraid to say that I really like this girl. I have become attached to his girlfriends before...and it is kinda sad to see them go. I just am trying really hard not to REALLY like this girl. (but are they not a cute couple?)

    [​IMG]

    Our youngest son is Alex. Alex is 16. Alex is 16. Oh, yes... did I mention that Alex is a 16 year old boy? :rotfl2: In other words he is a grumpy gus who is too cool to be in Disney. He does try to be nice on these trips though and so for that I do give him credit. I just wish he oohed and awed a bit more about being IN Disney.

    [​IMG]

    Last there is our youngest child, Zoe. Zoe is a bit part of why we go to the parks. She is such a joy and so fun to do Disney with. She is our little princess. Zoe does have some special medical needs and this has in the past complicated our trips, but she is a trooper and never lets anything get her down..even if Mom and Dad get a bit tired.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    Please know... you were not intruding!!! :rotfl: I was just surprised someone got here so quickly. Plus...I am just slow.

    Really? You would be there the last week in February? :scratchin I am soooo close to signing up. Really, since my partner in crime has signed up...got her airfare AND has a room booked at AoA... I really need to. I just have not had the time to be on the computer since getting back from DLR. It would be super cool to see you!!!
     
  9. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    We will be there the week before the Princess marathon and leave the weekend (Feb 23) when it is on ..... but I guess there should be enough time to at least say hello (and a little more) and keep our fingers crossed for you!
     
  10. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    So as you have seen from the pictures or guessed from my intros, we are a disney going family. It all started in 2002 when we took our kids to DLR for the very first time. It is funny to think how young my oldest kids were. Kira (our daughter who is married) was only 11 at the time. Zach was 9, Alex was 6 and there was no Zoe. I fell in love with the parks. I loved how each trip could be different. The park seemed to be a living breathing changing place that could be enjoyed over and over again. Add in a stay at a different hotel or eating at a new restaurant and the experiences seemed limitless.

    Our first trip to DLR we stayed at Embassy Suites. It was super nice, lots of space, good breakfast (cooked to order) but way too far from the park. The shuttle (that guests were asked to sign up to take at a specific time) always reminded me of a cartoon clown car. It would pull up and a crowd of people would rush out from no where and jam on it, leaving those of us who had actually signed up to take that particular shuttle waiting for the next. We also used Disneyland's version of a dinning plan. Not the best plan, IMHO. Unlike WDW where you get credits to use how you see fit, you are given vouchers with a value up to a certain amount. You basically prepay for the voucher (ie. a $25 voucher cost $25 and is worth up to $25) If you get a meal for less than the voucher, you lose the fund you put in. If you get a meal that cost more then you have to kick in the difference. On this trip we also decided we were not fond of the food we did get inside the parks. So between the lost park time due to shuttle operating times and the food being not our favorite, it was definitely a situation where we thought "next time"

    Next time came the following year when we also took along my mother and her (now deceased) husband. This time, we stayed at Park Place Inn. We could not have been closer to the park and it was PERFECT for going back and forth. No lost park time on that trip! Food wise, we dinned in DTD and enjoyed our meals much more. This only left us wanting for more. Unlike the previous trip that made us look to next time as a redo, this trip made us look to next time for MORE.

    At this point, we were heading into trying to add to our family. It was not an easy journey and unlike our first three children who came to us easily, miss Zoe was going to take her sweet time in finding her way to us. For this reason it was not until 2006 (when she was a year old) that we returned.

    This stay was at Residence Inn. We got to experience using the ART and stayed in a (what was then called, and may still be) the penthouse suite. It has two levels, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen. It was nice having all the space. Steve was just beginning to show signs of his illness and so having a "home like" room was a benefit.

    The following year, we took a trip again to DLR and stayed at Desert Palms. It was not as close as Park Place Inn, but not as far away as Residence Inn. We could walk with not too much trouble. The kids now were older and both Kira (our oldest) and Zach were able to go off by themselves (I believe Kira was 17) At the same time, I had a good friend on a trip to WDW. We talked throughout our trips and she was amazed at how much there was at WDW that while she was not totally into it (she still has only taken that one trip to Disney with her family)she was sure I would LOVE it.

    That caused a trip to FL to check it out for myself. I cheated on my beloved DLR and sadly fell in love with WDW. My love affair with WDW continues to this day and I do consider it more "home" than DLR. Yet, I still hold a very special place in my heart for DLR.

    Ok, if you made it this far in my rambling you might be wondering "good grief, just get to the point where you elaborate on how it was that you got to go on a somewhat spontaneous trip to DLR" I know, I know... I ramble. ;) But I wanted to share a more detailed look at my past with DLR.

    So fast forward to 2012. We JUST took a long 2 week trip to WDW in December of 2011. Steve (and I for different reasons) said he would no longer be going on trips to Disney. I began training for the ToT 10 miler which also would then include a trip in the fall to WDW. Thoughts of two more trips to WDW were in mind as well. So obviously, I was not at all thinking of planning a trip to DLR. One could also assume that Steve was not. However, when the idea of how to use mileage points that Zoe was about to lose came up it was Steve who suggested that we take a quick trip down to CA. At first I did not give much thought to it, but it did not take me long to look at my work calendar and pick some dates that would work. I originally thought that maybe Kira and her dh, Josh would also go. Then Zach almost pulled out which was going to cause Alex to not be able to go.

    In the end though, the trip went off wonderfully and all but Kira and Josh had a very magical trip...

    The End...

    Just Kidding....

    Next Chapter: 7/5 - Getting Out the Door
     
  11. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    Love the intro and your elaboration about why you went back to DLR. :thumbsup2

    And now I am waiting for MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!! :rotfl2:
     
  12. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    :wave2: Ready for some more adventures!

    You're oldest son's GF is adorable. Both of my sons have the cutest GF's right now and they both have lovely personalities, so I know how you feel.

    Can't wait for more!
     
  13. lovethattink

    lovethattink DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! Thanks for the pm. Great start!
     
  14. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    I'm here...be back when I get to office to read
     
  15. momabaarjo

    momabaarjo Cupcakes, Cocktails, & Crap Load of Pixie Dust

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    Here I am, and I even made it on the first page!
     
  16. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    My goal today is to get a couple more updates done after work. Right now... I am being bad and haven't left yet. I have a flexible schedule...but still should be responsible and get on task. Course... I had to wait for Zoe to get up right?

    I am so glad you are here! I have been trying to catch up on your TR..it move FAST! I will get there though!!!

    I think she is cute too. She and he are very compatible. They both are in the Army National Guard. She doesnt live too far from us, but they had never met until both were sent to the same AT this summer. They are from different units (so they can fraternize) If they both had not been assigned the same duty, they never would have met. Come to find out though...they both are out of the same armory..so although they are different units (or companies :scratchin I can never keep all the military jargon straight) They have the same duty drills..so they can commute together up to Seattle. :banana:
    Thanks. I am so glad you got the pm...and were able to come here. I appologize for not having been to yours in a bit. I promise to get caught up soon though. Course, I am sure I will just fall behind again. I cant seem to stay caught up. :sad2:

    :wave: So glad you are here. I hope things are going ok... as with everything I am behind. Your family continues to be in my prayers though. :hug:
    :banana: I hoped you would pop in! I know that cars land is something that would really appeal to you and yours. I don't want to give too much more away, but suffice it to say... none of my kids or myself are into Cars... but OMG!!! I think that area is a MAZING! I suspect that no themed area (other than maybe Harry Potter at US) is better done.
     
  17. tweeter

    tweeter Mouseketeer

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    Hope you don't mind if I join in. I've been lurking on your preTR and I can't wait to hear about your trip. My DS and I have a "boys week out" planned for mid November.

    Thomas
     
  18. EastYorkDisneyFan

    EastYorkDisneyFan DIS Veteran

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    Coming by to join in the fun.
     
  19. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: I am so glad you came out of lurkdom! The more the merrier and the more to hold me accountable for finishing this TR!

    A boys week out I am sure will be a fun week. I know when I go out just with the girls... it really is. I also notice that Steve seems to have a much better time if he has one of the boys to "hang" with when we are out..

    I don't know... fun? I think I may bore you all do death. ;) Or maybe put you to sleep. Still... glad you are here!!!
     
  20. lilpixiebabe101

    lilpixiebabe101 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! I'm here! I love you ramblings about your families DL backstory. I can't wait to hear the fulllll dis closer on Carsland and on Miss Zoe with the surprise details!
     
  21. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    7/5 - Getting out the Door

    For those just joining, this trip was to be a surprise to Zoe and Alex. For this reason, I had packed them prior to this day. I had to finish all my work for the week (which meant yes, working on 7/4) We were all set to go on 7/5, or so I thought. I forgot to pack myself. :eek:

    We did follow the plan to tell the kids to pack an overnight bag so that we could stay in a hotel and go swimming. They went along with it just fine and had their bags packed before I did.

    Loading up the car was a bit trickier. After all, we couldn't let Zoe or Alex see all the luggage in the back. I was happy to have Zach's assistance in this. He sent Zoe to get him things and would then tell her he changed his mind so she would have to go back. He told Alex to hunt for something in the back yard (I don't remember what, but he went along with it). All this deception just so we could load up the car. :rotfl:

    Finally, we were all packed and loaded. I had wanted to be out by early afternoon, but I don't think that 3pm counts as "early" Traffic was not horrible, and we arrived at the hotel by 4pm. Checking in went fine, although I was in line behind a family who was checking in a group. Apparently, there were some sports teams (children's) staying at the hotel. It made me worry about where we would be placed and if we would in fact be able to swim. I also found that I had not reserved parking for our trip. I was happy to find it was not a problem to add it and at only $5 a day it seemed like a good idea in order to leave our car in their lot and to be able to use their shuttle.

    This is the lobby of the hotel.
    [​IMG]

    Next Chapter: 7/5 - The Start to a Great Vacation
     

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