A Six Thousand Kilometer Road Trip to Disneyland and Back- TR has started on page 37!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by DisneyStitch626, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    So I have only been on this forum for about a week, and just reading everyone’s trip reports is getting me so excited for my own trip! :cool1: It also helped me decide that I really want to write about my own trip, so I can look back and have all the day to day memories. But like I said, I am really new to this forum, so I apologize in advance if I don’t have everything written properly. I am trying to remember all the abbreviations and things correctly.

    Our trip isn't until October, but there is no harm in getting some ideas together a little early. This will be my second trip to Disneyland and my DBF's first ever trip. It has been over 13 years since I have been, and it was before DCA was constructed, so a lot of this trip will be new to me as well. Also the last time I went, was in October 1996, and back then they didn't decorate the park for Halloween like they do now (or at least it wasn't when we were there between Oct 11-15th), so I am excited to see all the cool things they put around the park. I am also kind of sad that DBF won't get to see some of the rides (SM and HM) in their original state, before he sees the Halloween versions, but it should still be a spectacular time!

    Our plan is to drive down. We are coming from Alberta, Canada, and it just seems like flying is way too expensive. Also, with Dillon never having been to the US before, I thought it would be really enjoyable to take a nice road trip. It will be fairly long, but well worth it. Let’s hope DBF enjoys it as much as I know I will.

    We will be driving from Red Deer, which for those of you that don't know (if there is anyone reading this); it’s about an hour and a half north of Calgary. According to Google Maps, it will be about a 26 hour drive in total. We plan to leave right after work (hopefully the bosses let us go a little early) on Thursday September 30th, and drive as far as we can. Probably stopping in Great Falls. Our goal is to make it to Disneyland in the afternoon/early evening of the Saturday, so we can catch Fantasmic. This is just in case they are only playing it on the weekends, as I hear on off seasons, that is what they do. Since the schedule for it probably won't be posted for another several months, I am squeezing this Saturday evening in, just in case. It is one show I really want to make sure we don't miss. Anyways, we will be driving down through Salt Lake City and then eventually through Vegas, and then finally to Disneyland! We plan to spend Saturday-Thursday in the Disney parks, and then start the long trip back on Friday. We hope to spend an afternoon and night in Vegas on the Friday, then continue our way home and hope to make it to my Dad’s Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday evening. Monday is a holiday, so I hope to get back to Red Deer as early as possible, so we can have that day to re-coop before going back to work on Tuesday.

    I don’t really have a lot planned yet for the time in Disneyland, but for the most part I think we will keep it that way. I would like to have one or two nice meals there, and since the Tuesday will be my 30th birthday, I hope to have a nice meal in the park or at DTD that day. For the rest of the time, I think we will be saving money and eating at places on Harbor.

    There are a few certain things that I want to make sure we do, but as far as time-lines, we will probably just take it as it comes. We plan to stay at the Ramada Maingate. I have heard mixed reviews about the place, but we really won’t be spending a lot of time there, other than to shower and sleep, so the hotel isn’t that big a deal. I would LOVE to be able to stay at one of the Disney hotels, but they are just too expensive for us this time around. The Maingate is also the hotel I stayed at the last time, and from what I remember, it wasn’t a bad place. It is really close, and that is one of the main things for me. Since we will be spending as many hours as we can in the parks, we want something close by, and I am sure our feet will thank us for the short walks back in the evenings.

    There are a few major things I would like to make sure I see and do while we are there. Hopefully - with it being kind of off-season - none of these things will be shut down for refurbs.

    Here is my list:

    Space Mountain – this was my favourite ride the last time, and I want to see if it still holds it’s place!

    Fantasmic – as I mentioned before, seeing this is one of my greatest wishes.

    Meet Stitch and Mickey – I hope to get pictures with many characters, but these two are a must! I just hope I don’t miss them!

    Pirates Of The Carribean – I think DBF is looking forward to this one the most. And it’s a classic, so I would really not want him (or I) to have to miss it.

    Matterhorn – This ride was shut down when I was there, so I would really like to be able to go on it this time.

    Churros – By far my favourite thing the last time I went. I am looking forward to all sorts of other foods as well, but we can’t leave without having at least 2 of these!

    These are just a few of my wishes, but I am hoping that none of the major rides are closed, as I really do love them all, and I don't want DBF to have to miss out on any. Also, with never having been to DCA, I hope none of the major attractions there are down. From all the trip reports I have read, I am really looking forward to TOT and TSM! And of course, one of the things I can’t wait for -- shopping!! :love:

    Well this is all I have for now. I will be updating as I have more ideas and plans for our trip. I have 7 months to wait, and if I am this excited now, I am afraid to see what I will be like in the days before we go! :yay:
     
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  3. SilverSynchro919

    SilverSynchro919 Who needs a Pal Mickey when I'm around? =P

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  4. Tiggeye

    Tiggeye Been there, done that, going back

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    We were there in January for the first time, it was fantastic. They were just setting up a light show in DCA. Looking at the pictures for it, put it on your list of must do's. Also, Napa Rose was a great place for a romantic dinner.
     
  5. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    Oh yes! I've heard about that light show! World of Colour! I will definitely be making time to see that! And thanks for the dinner tips! I will have to look into it.
     
  6. cmp1111

    cmp1111 DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great trip! Good luck with the long drive.

    We do have a separate section under "trip reports" for the pre-trips that haven't yet happened. I'm going to go ahead and move you over there, but can't wait to hear more about it.

    Thanks so much for taking the plunge and writing! :goodvibes
     
  7. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for moving it for me! I did not realize it was in the wrong spot! :)
     
  8. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    So I have decided that I think I want to make at least a couple meal reservations for when we are there. I have been reading so many trip reports, and I just want to try all the food I can! It looks so good! I will definitely be making one for breakfast at the PCH Grill on the 5th, because I hear that is where I have the most chance of seeing Stitch AND Mickey, and what better way to spend my 30th birthday, than having a meal with my two favourite Disney characters!!! :yay:

    Yesterday I had a bit of a crisis. I put in my favourite movie to watch before bed (Lilo and Stitch of course) cause I hadn't watched it in a little while ( a little while is probably about 2 months, I love that movie!) and half way through it freezes!!! I take it out, clean it off, put it in, and it freezes again! I even tried it on another player, no dice! :mad: Looks like I am buying myself a new copy of Lilo and Stitch very soon! I have had that one since the day that movie was released, so I am a little sad. Looks like I watch it too much! :lmao:
     
  9. PrincessPiperMommy

    PrincessPiperMommy Mouseketeer

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    Have a great time. If you have a chance, I would suggest Blue Bayou for dinner. The atmosphere is awesome!
     
  10. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    Ok, so Dillon and I were talking last night, and we have made some adjustments to our trip. We figure if we are going drive on this trip, we need to make the most out of it. It will probably change again, because we still have over six months to wait, but we are liking this, so here it is:

    Wednesday Sept 29th

    Make sure everything is packed and pretty much waiting at the door. Get the car filled up and all ready to go.

    Thursday Sept 30th

    -Get off work at noon (hopefully), and go home to load up the car.

    -We hope to leave by 1 p.m. and drive as far as we can. Our goal is to make it to Dillon MT (Dillon wants to stay there, he likes the name :lmao:) and it actually makes a good stopping place, time wise. We should arrive there about 11 at night if all goes well.

    Friday Oct 1st

    -I would like to be on the road by 5 in the morning. Dillon will probably not want to be up, but he can sleep in the car, and I will drive! :drive:

    -We are going to try to do the rest of the way there this day. Google maps says 16 hours, but I am going to add 2 hours in case of traffic. So I hope to arrive at our hotel around 11 at night. That will be a perfect bedtime to get a decent amount of sleep for our first day in the parks! :yay:

    Saturday Oct 2nd - Wednesday Oct 6th

    :woohoo: 5 full fun-filled days in the DLR!!! :woohoo:

    Thursday Oct 7th

    -We will head out early that morning and head for Las Vegas. We figure since we are going to be passing it, we might as well take advantage!

    -I am aiming to be there mid-afternoon if traffic is ok, and then spend two nights at the Planet Hollywood Hotel. I have heard good things about it. It is pretty central to the few things I would like to do in Vegas.
    -see the Belagio fountains (although after seeing World of Colour, these might not be so exciting...)
    - visit the M&M and Coca-cola stores - i love everything coca-cola, and I am sooo looking forward to a vanilla coke! They took it away here in Canada!!! :mad:
    - Get a souvenir Eifle Tower drink from the Paris Hotel. My brother just raves about the one he got.

    Saturday Oct 9th

    -start the drive home and hope to make it for my Dad's Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday!! I can't miss the best cream cheese mashed potatoes around!! Mm-mmm! :mickeyjum
     
  11. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    I really want to try that place. I have seen pictures of the Monte Cristo, and it looks soooo good!
     
  12. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    Crisis averted! I buffered the dvd a bit - Stitch works good now! phewf!
     
  13. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    So after reading some trip reports, I think we are going to add a stop at the Disney Soda Fountain to our list. We will probably do that when we leave for Las Vegas. Now that we are spending an extra night in Vegas, I am sure we can spare a couple hours and make the stop.

    Also a bonus for me. Michael Jackson's star is on the same block (or one really close) as DSF, so that will be a really special thing for me to see. Might as well while we are down there!
    :banana:
     
  14. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    I thought I'd do just a small update on our planning.

    There might be a little bit of a glitch in our trip! Dillon's brother and his fiance have been thinking that they want to get married in Mexico in October. They really would like the immediate family to be there. That means Dillon and I as well. And as much as I LOVE Mexico, this would mean we couldn't go to DL!!! :sad1: It would be just too much money for both trips, and could also be over lapping, depending on the date they choose. I sure hope they change their minds! I am looking so forward to this trip! You only turn 30 once! But I guess a family wedding is pretty important as well.

    Either way, I am going to continue the planning for now. I am going to book our hotel this week!! At least that is something I can cancel if need be. Oh I hope I don't have to! I really really hope!
     
  15. cmp1111

    cmp1111 DIS Veteran

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    Congratulations to your brother, but I know what you mean. I love my BIL, but his wedding nixed any chances of a WDW trip for us last year. ;)
     
  16. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    Good news!!! :dance3: We got the hotel booked and paid for!!! :dance3:

    We will be staying at the Quality Inn on Harbour. It is probably not the greatest hotel, but I found a good rate, and it's still really close to the park. And really, we aren't going to be spending much time there anyways! It came to just under $400 for 6 nights. Not too shabby! :woohoo:

    Now lets just hope we can keep our plans!
     
  17. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    So I am able to get 2 extra days off work to add to my vacation time! I work quite a bit of overtime and I am able to use those hours as extra days off. So I am going to use them then.

    So now the plan is:


    Wednesday Sept 29th - Get off work at 5 p.m. and pack up everything in the car. Drive down to my Mom's in Calgary to stay for the night. It's only 2 hours from Red Deer, but it's 2 hours closer to start our road trip early the next morning.

    Thursday Sept 30th - Get up at about 4 - 4:30 a.m. and be on the road by 5. Our goal is to try and make it to Salt Lake City. Google says it's about 14 and a half hours, but I am not sure if that includes wait time at the border, traffic, etc, so I am going to estimate about 16 hours. That puts us there at about 9:00 pm at night. I figure if we take turns driving, we can do it. We will probably stay at a Motel 6 or something close to the highway.

    Friday Oct 1st - Get up about 8, I want to sleep a little later, as we will probably be pretty tired from our long day of driving the day before. But I'd like to leave by 9 a.m. and it's about 12 hours (I added a couple more again, just in case) and that should get us to our hotel at 9:00pm. Hopefully we can get a good nights sleep to be up bright and early for our first day in the parks!

    Saturday Oct 2nd - Our first full day in the park! I don't know if I will plan a whole bunch for the first 2 days. It might get fairly busy as I heard this is when Gay Days is going on. So we might just walk around and try to get on as much as we can, and to try and get to where the crowds are not! I am hoping to catch Fantasmic! though, as I am not sure it will be running every night of our trip.

    Sunday Oct 3rd - No plans as of yet. I am hoping that World of Color will be running every night, as it will still be fairly new. I would like to catch it once without a camera and once with. So I can enjoy it at least once without the lense blocking my view!

    Monday Oct 4th - I am hoping the parks start to slow down, so we can ride as many things as we can. Might make a PS for this day. Either a lunch at BB or a dinner at GK.

    Tuesday Oct 5th - My Birthday!! I will be making a PS for breakfast at the PCH Grill in hopes of seeing Mickey and Stitch. It will be a great birthday meal! Does anyone know what time I should aim to be there to meet the most characters? We will probably go on more rides, maybe start some shopping for gifts for ourselves and our friends and family.

    Wednesday Oct 6th - Our last day :sad2:. We will probably make the other PS for this day. Either GK or BB, which ever we didn't do on Monday. Then we will finish our shopping and try and get in anything we missed, or ride our favourites. I want to take an hour or so with my DSLR and walk around just taking pictures of things. Not sure if it would be better to do that on the weekend when everything is busy, or wait until we've done everything we want to do. It just seems like if it's not going to be too busy, I'd rather use that time to be on the rides and things. :confused3

    Thursday Oct 7th - I would like to sleep in a bit this day. We will be really exhausted I'm sure. I would like to be on the road no later than 10:30. We plan to make a stop at the Disney Soda Fountain for lunch and search for a few stars on the Walk of Fame. Maybe walk around there a bit. I hear we might see someone famous! Who knows! We won't take up too much time here as we are heading for Las Vegas, and would like to be there at a decent time. We are hoping for 5 or 6 pm at the latest. We will be checking into the Planet Hollywood Hotel (hopefully) for the next 2 nights.

    Friday Oct 8th - We will be exploring as much of LV as we can. I would like to visit the Coca-Cola and M&M stores. I am mostly just wanting to explore and shop. I am not a gambler, I don't really want to spend much money on shows, and I have recently learned that I am most likely allergic to alcohol. I guess those Eifle Tower drinks are out of the question for me! I would also like to try and catch the Belagio Fountains, and since PH is just across the street, it shouldn't be too hard.

    Saturday Oct 9th - Time to start heading home! We will head out probaby about 9 or 10 am and make it as far as we can. We'll have to grab a hotel somewhere and then drive the rest of the way home the next day. We almost all the way. We would like to make it to my Dad's Thanksgiving dinner on that Sunday!! Can't miss that!! Mmmm. We hope to maybe drive back to Red Deer that night so we can have all of Monday (Thanksgiving in Canada) to relax before starting work on Tuesday.


    So that's the plan. Sounds pretty good so far to me! I just hope we can fit everything in. That is a lot of driving, and I just hope we can get as far as we can so we don't lose park time!
     
  18. kaoden39

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

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    Hi there!! It all looks good, and exciting.
     
  19. DisneyStitch626

    DisneyStitch626 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! I hope it all works out! :)
     
  20. kaoden39

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

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    Me too!!
     
  21. LindaM

    LindaM <font color=blue>What happens when my goats have g

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    We are doing the same trip as well but in May. We drove to Vegas last year, and it was amazing. The 15 is a great highway, your plans sound great.
     

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