A Solo Trip 28 Years in the Making-Oct 16-17th, 2012

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by DaveinFallsChurch, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Welcome!! :goodvibes And thanks for checking in to my first PTR for Disneyland!!

    As I am beginning to wrap up my TR from our WDW visit in April, I figured this would be a good time to get this PTR going. Didn’t realize until today that I was only a little over 100 days in the countdown – 111 days to be exact. So here we go!

    A little bit about myself and this upcoming trip. I’m a 38 year old “Disney freak” as some of my family and friends call me. Been more obsessed with all things Disney since our kids (DD5 and DS2) were born, but my parents planted the seeds early by taking me to WDW and Disneyland as frequently as they could. So if I ever end up on a couch in a psychologist’s office discussing “how Mickey and Minnie make me feel?”, then you can be sure I will be sending them the bill! :rotfl:

    Speaking of my parents, it was with them 28 years ago that I made my last trip to Disneyland. Don’t worry – I won’t torture my fellow DISers and will refrain from posting a thread titled “Been awhile – What’s New at Disneyland since I’ve last been?” ;) That would be a long long thread. I do have very fond memories of DL specifically going on the Matterhorn with my younger brother over and over again. I think I remember that ride more than others at DL because it was one of those that didn’t exist at WDW.

    Anyway, as you can tell from the title of this PTR, I will be going solo this time. I will be attending a conference in San Diego in October. Being so close to DL, I couldn’t resist making an overnight side trip to Anaheim right before the conference begins. I’m hoping to hit all of my priority rides during this short time period but of course I’m realistic and understand that I may not accomplish this. I’ll still be happy being able to take a lot of pictures, go on some of the rides, and soak in all of the magic that Disney has to offer. And if I could go on Radiator Springs on the single rider line with only 15 minutes of waiting, that would be icing on the cake! ::yes::

    Since I don’t know the lay of the land very well, I’ll be asking for a lot of advice and help from all of you so hope you stick with me and help me out as I gradually unveil my grand plans of touring DLR! On the way to October, I’ll also provide mini-TRs on our upcoming Fourth of July trip to Colonial Williamsburg with my family and a guys-trip to Vegas in August. Not to worry – all of my friends going on this trip are from my pediatric residency, and pediatricians in general are a harmless bunch so the Vegas trip will definitely be G-rated. :lmao: Plus, it’s for our fantasy football draft so you have that geek factor mixed in as well!

    Look forward to counting down the days with you!
     
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  3. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    TRIP REPORT

    First Impressions

    TUESDAY OCTOBER 16TH 2012
    Part I: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles - How I Traveled to Anaheim
    Part II: Getting My Kicks on Route 66 - A Visit to Carsland
    Part III: Discovering Whole New Worlds Beyond the Fifth Dimension
    Part IV: Life Could Be a Dream, Sh-Boom 1 - DCA Night Scenes
    Part V: Life Could Be a Dream, Sh-Boom 2 - Cars Land Night Scene
    Part VI: Eat, Sleep, and Repeat - End to a Great Disney Day

    WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 17th 2012
    Part I: Here You Leave Today - Rope Drop at Disneyland
    Part II: A Dash of Halloween, A Sprinkle of Christmas and A Pinch of "Nightmare"
    Part III: Drink Up Me Hearties......and Eat a Corndog
    Part IV: And a Smile Means Friendship to Everyone.
    Part V: Keeping an Eye Out for Any Pianos Dropping From the Sky
    Part V: A Slice of Main Street USA
    Part VI: Up a Lazy River by the Old Run Mill
    Part VII: A Soundsational End

    LIVE REPORT

    Posts #145 through #221

    DLR TRIP PLANNING

    Picking the Dates and Getting to DLR
    Choosing a Place to Stay
    General Approach and Outline to My Travel Plans
    Pros and Cons of a Solo Travel
    Prioritizing the Rides (DCA)
    Prioritizing the Rides (DL)
    Eating and Snacking My Way Through DLR
    Dining Reservations
    Touring Plans Day 1
    Touring Plans Day 2 Part I
    Touring Plans Day 2 Part II
    Main Street Touring Plans

    MINI TRIP REPORTS / PICTURES

    Mini-TR Colonial Williamsburg July 4-5th 2012, Part I
    Mini-TR Colonial Williamsburg July 4-5th 2012, Part II
    Mini-TR Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum
    Mini-(Day)TR Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
    Night Tour of DC Memorials 1
    Night Tour of DC Memorials 2
    Mini-TR Las Vegas August 16-19th 2012, Part I
    Mini-TR Las Vegas August 16-19th 2012, Part II
    Mini-TR Las Vegas August 16-19th 2012, Part III
    Mini-TR Las Vegas August 16-19th 2012, Part IV
    Mini-TR Las Vegas August 16-19th 2012, Part V
     
  4. PrincessShea

    PrincessShea Always planning...

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    I just read through and really enjoyed your Poly TR, so I am checking in here! DH and I are ardent WDW fans and finally ventured over to Disneyland this past September. It's a lot more manageable than WDW, obviously, but still great fun. I look forward to reading about your plans :thumbsup2
     
  5. DisneytheKid

    DisneytheKid A bad attempt at Billy the Kid

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    looking forward to following along!
     
  6. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Happy to have you onboard! Hope you can share what you experienced at DL as I move forward with my PTR.

    Welcome and thanks for joining in! :thumbsup2
     
  7. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    In contrast to the large amount of time and energy spent trying to pick the right time to go on previous vacations, this particular trip required almost no hardcore analysis at all when it came to picking the dates. No historical weather charts. Barely looked at the crowd calendars. Almost felt too easy! ;)

    My conference dates at San Diego pretty much dictated when I could go to DLR. Main conference activities that I need to attend are from October 18th (Thursday)-21st (Sunday). I have to fly back home on the 21st as I have to go back to work on the 22nd. That left me with the only option of arriving a little early to San Diego and making a quick side trip to Anaheim. Sooo, the plan is for me to fly in to SD at noon on Tuesday 16th, head straight up to Anaheim, then return to SD late at night on Wednesday 17th.

    At first the dates seem to work out too perfectly. I would be visiting DLR midweek so the crowds would be managable. And, I was very excited about the possibility of attending Mickey's Halloween Party on the evening of the 16th since speculation had been that the Parties would be held on Tuesday and Friday nights! So you can imagine the tinge of disappointment when the dates were released in the past week - MHP is scheduled for the 15th, the only Monday party for the whole season. :sad2:

    It took me a couple of hours to shake off the disappointment and realign my plans. I'm sticking with the same dates and will have to try for MHP for another time. I'm still very excited since many of the Halloween elements in DL will be available for me to enjoy especially when I read that HM and SM are re-themed for Halloween! Plus, all those pumpkin heads of the Fab Five taking up the decorations!! :thumbsup2

    When it came to figuring out exactly how I would travel to DLR from SD, it came down to two choices. Rent a car and drive myself, or take the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner. Once I compared the prices, it became an easy choice. I'm taking the train!! I'm actually pretty excited about this. Haven't been on a train in a long time! The fact I won't have to worry about traffic around Anaheim is another plus. And I heard the coastal views on this trainline are pretty good. There's always the possibility that the trains could be running late, but that's something I'm willing to take.

    I would love to hear any thoughts, advice, or helpful tips about the Pacific Surfliner!
     
  8. solana131

    solana131 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Dave :wave2: Looking forward to following along from Williamsburg (such a great place) to Vegas, to Disneyland! So how far is it from SD to Disneyland? Is the train ride an overnight thing or a few hours?? Sounds like a great way to do the trip...no contest to a rental car :)
     
  9. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Welcome!! Happy to see a familiar face!:goodvibes

    It's only a 2 hour train ride from SD to DLR - so very convenient! And I'm really looking forward to the views out the window too.

    Picture of the Pacific Surfliner
    [​IMG]
     
  10. auprincess

    auprincess DIS Veteran

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    Hey Dave!! Looking forward to following your PTR! Disneyland is on my radar for a future trip (2015 to be exact, lol). I've tried doing a bit of research, but just haven't quite figured out much. Good thing I've got plenty of time!
     
  11. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Hope this PTR and eventual TR can serve as a scouting trip for ya. ;)
     
  12. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    A brief "life update": Our home and neighborhood has been without power for the past three days and it maybe at least another couple of days before we get it back. With the heat index reaching 105 degrees over the weekend, we had to check in to a hotel. The kids at least think this is another vacation with a lot of pool time in the hotel. Trying to juggle our work schedules to stay with the kids since their camps and daycare are closed as well. This morning, we had to throw everything out from our fridge.*

    Most likely we'll be without power until it's time to drive down to Williamsburg for the 4 th. I 'll have to call down and make sure they are operational. If you're in the same affected region, I hope you're staying cool and safe.
     
  13. Zuzu03

    Zuzu03 DIS Veteran

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    Here for your DLR PTR! So sorry to hear about your power woes down in the DC area - I really hope your power gets restored soon. What a hassle! Have a safe trip to Williamsburg, can't wait to see pictures!
     
  14. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Thank you and welcome! So happy you could join in! :thumbsup2

    I'll definitely be posting some pics from Williamsburg so stay tuned! :goodvibes
     
  15. NStramler

    NStramler Mouseketeer

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    Well if they are without power... just bring the family to Disneyland. I am sure the kids would not mind and as of now.. we have power!!! Just trying to help you out with another suggestion :cheer2:
     
  16. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    I'm with you and with the amount of money we're spending on hotel and such, the thought did cross my mind that we could be at DLR or WDW instead! :lmao:
     
  17. solana131

    solana131 DIS Veteran

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    Ick! No power just sucks Dave, so sorry :sad2: And to have to uproot the family just makes it that much worse. Good thing the kids are young enough to be able to see it as a mini vacation :)
     
  18. auprincess

    auprincess DIS Veteran

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    oh no! That is awful! We are having 104* days here ~ I can't imagine not having power. Stay cool!!
     
  19. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    We got our power back!! Even though it was just a little over three days, it felt like a week! We're "moved" back into our house now.
     
  20. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    For this decision, I took the minimalist approach. It's going to be only for one night. All I will do is use the room to sleep and that's pretty much it. Will not be using the pool (don't have time to!). And I'm not a big breakfast person so the breakfast spread is not as important either. Plus, I'll be by myself.

    Sooooo, I looked for the cheapest one that was within 15 minutes of walking distance from DLR. Came up with this one for $60.

    Quality Inn and Suites at the Park
    [​IMG]

    From what I can tell from Trip Advisor, it's not going to be the best motel/hotel but I think it will work for me. Lodging for this solo trip is just not going to play a role on the level of my enjoyment. ;)

    I did browse through the Disneyland Resorts and boy, they do look tempting. I'll have to look into those again when I bring my family back. Just can't justify the cost when I'm traveling without my family.
     
  21. solana131

    solana131 DIS Veteran

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    Looks like a good choice...that totally makes sense. Save your money to try some new California Mickey treats :)
     

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