California, Here We Come! DLR, Hollywood, and San Diego *OCTOBER 15-23, 2011*

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by LoveMyTwoPrincesses, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for coming over Jenny! I think this is going to be the longest two days that I have had in a long time. The bags are packed and I am so ready to go.

    I didn't realize that you stayed at the HOJO when you went to CA. Did you have a kids suite or what type of room did you have? The girls can't wait to use the pool.

    Do you have a place that you liked to eat when you were in San Diego? There are so many choices that I am having a hard time narrowing it down.

    I think a swim will feel great after spending so much time on an airplane. The girls always have extra energy to spare, but I think they will be even crazier than usual come Saturday!
     
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  3. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    I am expecting that we will be up bright and early on Sunday morning. The time difference will be two hours for us, so I wouldn't be surprised if the girls are up by 5:00 am! :scared1:

    Since we will be up so early I think that we will try to have a large breakfast this morning. I signed up for coupons from both Mimi's Cafe and Millie's, so I was considering one of these two as an option. It looks like Mimi's opens at 7 and Millie's opens at 6, so this might help make the decision.

    Once we are fed we plan on heading to Hollywood. I printed a driving tour of L.A and it has us beginning in the Hollywood and Highland area. We plan on looking around the forecourt at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. We will also walk over to the Kodak Theatre. They suggest heading to the Babylon Courtyard for a look at the Hollywood Sign. When we finish up here we will drive towards Hollywood and Vine to take in some of the surroundings.

    Once we finish up there we plan on checking out the La Brea Tar Pits and then heading over to the Farmer's Market for some lunch. When we are filled up we plan on heading to Beverly Hills to see the shops on Rodeo Drive.

    For the late afternoon and evening we would like to head out to the Santa Monica Pier or Venice Beach. Would you suggest taking Wilshire or Sunset to head out that direction? After a long day of running around we will head back "home" to rest for our first day at Disneyland!

    Up next: Day 3
     
  4. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    Today is the day we have been waiting for! We are headed to Disneyland! To start things off right we will be attending Magic Morning. We figured that it would be a great way to start and with Magic Morning not typically being held on Mondays I am hoping it will less busy with people not realizing that MM is going on. A girl can hope! We are hoping to accomplish a lot in Fantasyland, with Peter Pan being our first stop. I can't think of a better ride to start with!

    I have been using both Touring Plans and Ridemax to help with our planning. With that said, I have three different itineraries planned for each day! :rolleyes1 The only thing that is a must-do for this day is to see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies since this is the only day they will perform while we are there. We also plan to wrap up our day by seeing the Mickey's Soundsational Parade. Does anyone have any good viewing tips? It is showing at 4 and after having an early start in the morning the girls will probably be getting tired. The nice thing about my MIL coming with is she would be willing to stay with the girls back at the hotel if Stu and I wanted to come back to the parks.

    Up next: Day 4
     
  5. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    Today the plan is to spend the day at California Adventure. I am hoping that I can convince one of the kids to hit the opening at Disneyland before DCA opens, but otherwise I might spend some time at Disneyland alone. When DCA opens the plan is to head directly to Toy Story. We have done the rope drop at Hollywood Studios the past two years to ride Toy Story, so I am interested to see the difference in how the stampede is!

    Our main thing that we want to see today is the Aladdin show. We are really looking forward to this one. The girls are also really excited to take Grandma Sandy on Tower of Terror. She is terrified of heights, but she said she would be willing to go on anything that the girls wanted her to. She may regret saying that to them because goodness knows that they haven't forgotten that she said it! I think Stu is really looking forward to California Screamin'. It should be a great day!
     
  6. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    Today will be our last day at DLR. :sad1: Thanks to some kind DISers we will be headed to Toontown Morning Madness to start our day! Once we see the ceremony I plan to head over to DCA for passes to WOC while the rest of the crew gets in line to meet Rapunzel. She started meet and greets at WDW the week after we were there last year, so the girls are anxious to get a chance to meet her.

    The plan for the rest of the morning is to see anything we missed or wanted to see again at Disneyland. Once we are satisfied that we have done everything that we want we will head over to DCA. To wrap up our time at DLR we plan to see WOC. It should be an awesome way to end our stay!
     
  7. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    Subscribing!!
     
  8. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    Welcome!!
     
  9. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    Well, we are currently sitting in Salt Lake City waiting for our connection to John Wayne. To say that my kids are excited is an understatement! It was fun to listen to the family that is near us at the gate just tell their children that they are headed to Disneyland. I would love to surprise my kids, but I would never be able to keep that secret! See ya next week!
     
  10. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    We just left Main Street for the last time tonight. :sad1: The last three days have been absolutely fabulous. I was sad to leave, but the last hour and a half that I spent at Disneyland couldn't have been better. I can't wait to share with you about the fun that we had.

    We will be headed to San Diego in the morning, so thankfully we don't have to leave California just yet!
     
  11. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    The day that we had been planning for the last 10 months had finally arrived! We were headed to California! Due to an early flight time, our alarm went off at 3:45 am. I was thankful that I got to bed at 9 the night before, but boy did that alarm seem to go off right when I fell asleep. The kids were pretty slow moving and I could hardly blame them. We made it to the airport by 4:45 and the waiting game began. Our plane left on time at 6:15 with some pretty happy people aboard.

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    We had an "It's A Small World" moment on this particular flight. The seat next to my MIL was empty for the longest time. At the last minute a woman came down the aisle to occupy the seat and she happened to be a patient from my office. She was a very nervous flier and she was glad that my MIL had no desire to have the window shade open. They were perfect travel companions!

    We ended up arriving in Salt Lake City about 20 minutes early, which meant we now had about a 3 1/2 hour layover. When we went to have some breakfast at **** Clarks the server told us we would need to patient because the food would take about 30 minutes to arrive. Thankfully we were in no hurry.

    After a two hour flight we finally arrived at John Wayne. This airport was the perfect size for us. It was just so easy and after the horror stories I have heard about LAX, I am glad we made the choice that we did.

    We made our way to the Hertz counter to pick-up our car. After checking in we made our way across the street to retrieve the car. Of course the girls needed a picture with John Wayne first.

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    Soon we were on our way to the HOJO. I was so relieved to find that the traffic was light on our way. From the time we landed, used the restroom, picked up our car, and drove to the HOJO it took us 1 hour and 15 minutes. It was 1:30 when I went and tried to check-in. They said that our room wasn't available yet, but they gave us our room number and parking pass so we could park right away. We had planned to head to Target right away for supplies, but we were starving! We decided to head across the street to Mimi's for a late lunch.

    Mimi's was super convenient and the food was pretty tasty, but our server must have been having a really bad day. When she initially came to take our order she was awesome, but she quickly went downhill. First she brought out everyones drinks but mine. She said she would get it, but then she disappeared. After about 5 minutes someone else brought my drink and about a minute later she showed up with one. Next our meals arrived, but both my MIL and I had ordered soup with our meals. She said she forgot them, so she would get the soups now. We ended up getting them when we were done with our meals. Both when we ordered and when it was time to pay our bills my MIL asked for a separate ticket because she wanted to pay for her own meals. First our server forgot to split the tickets so she disappeared for about 10 minutes and when she did split them she came back to the table three times to ask which credit card belonged to which ticket. When she came back to the table with my ticket to sign she ran it for a completely different amount and had overbilled me for about $15. At this point she disappeared again. I finally couldn't stand waiting any longer and headed to the front and asked to speak to a manager. She took care of cancelling the incorrect transaction and charging me the correct amount, but I was annoyed that it had gotten to that point. Hopefully my credit card statement will be correct when I receive it! It was disappointing because the food really hit the spot!

    At this point we were ready for a Disney fix! We decided that we would walk to DTD and check it out. I really enjoyed that it only took about 9 minutes for us to arrive at the baggage check. Of course we had to time ourselves to see if the walk time that the HOJO stated was true! Once we made it through we all stopped and took it all in.

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    It was fun to catch our first glimpse of the Halloween decorations at Disnelyand.

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    After gawking for a bit we made our way to DTD. Erin was pretty happy taking pictures along the way and had to take time for a photo shoot with Ava. It was pretty cute watching her direct Ava on how to pose.

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    They also had to stop and make a wish at the fountain.

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    We made our way all the way through DTD and I had to grab a couple of pictures of the Disneyland Hotel.

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    We made a stop in the Lego store and I just love this mural!

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    I would say that the favorite stop for the girls was the Disney365 store. They would have stayed all night if they could.

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    I think Sandy was feeling the need to be fancy like her granddaughters!

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    After successfully spending some money at the World of Disney store we decided it was time to see if our room was ready.

    Up next: HoJo kids suite
     
  12. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    Love it so far!!
     
  13. Lovemy3babes

    Lovemy3babes Is always in need to get herself and her children

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    Great start!! How does the DTD compare to the one in FL? I also love that Lego mural! :goodvibes
     
  14. albertamommyof4

    albertamommyof4 DIS Veteran

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    sounds awesome so far
     
  15. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!

    DTD was a great way to start our vacation. The DTD in CA is smaller than the one in FL, but there was still a lot of great shops and restaurants. It was a fun atmosphere. Isn't that mural so cool?

    Thanks!

     
  16. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    We made our way back to the HoJo at about 5:30. When I finished up our check-in process I found out we were assigned to room 1518. The first number indicates what building you are in and the second number indicates what floor you are on-so we would be in building 1 on the 5th floor. I had booked a kids suite way back in January with the entertainment rate of $99 a night. All of the kids suites are located in building 1 and they are all on the freeway side of the building. We soon found that the gift shop for the hotel is also located in building 1. They had a nice selection of treats and souvenirs.

    Our room was the last room at the end of the hallway, as far from the elevator as possible. We did not hear any people in the hallway all week. Sandy was excited to find that we were near the ice machine.

    When we entered our room we came into the room with the bunkbeds. In this room there was also a small couch that had a twin sized hide-a-bed, a television, and its own bathroom. It was decided before we left that Ava would sleep on the upper bunk, Sandy would take the lower, and Erin would take the pull-out. Erin said that her bed was comfortable, but I don't think I would have cared to sleep on it for 5 nights.

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    There is a doorway that you went through that would take you into the room with a king sized bed. In this room there is another bathroom, televison, coffee maker, table and chairs, and refrigerator. It was so nice to have two separate rooms.

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    Overall we really liked our room. We noticed the sound coming from the freeway, but by the third night I didn't notice it anymore. Turning up the fan on the air conditioner really seemed to help. The only issue I personally had with our room was on the first morning. The outlet did not work in the king room bathroom, so I was unable to use the blowdryer they had and I couldn't use my staightener in there. It isn't that big of a deal, but a big reason we chose this room was for the convenience of having two bathrooms to get ready in the morning and now I had to share the mirror with three other females! We notified the front desk and they did have someone take care of it, but the outlet wasn't usable until our third morning. I was thankful to have my space back!

    Up next: Can we go swimming Mom?


     
  17. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    Love the update!!
     
  18. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    Thanks!!
     
  19. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    After unloading everything the girls decided it was time to go swimming! I was rather surprised that it had taken them this long to ask. We needed to return the luggage rack so the girls decided to hitch a ride.

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    After a short walk we found ourselves at the pirates cove. The girls were so excited to check things out. They thought the pirate ship structure was awesome.

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    Ava was excited to find a pool that was her size.

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    Erin didn't have time for the little pool. She was ready to do some sliding!

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    Stu decided that he needed to get in on the action.

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    It took a little while to convince Ava to try out the slides, but once she was ready she had a great time.

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    There was also a hot tub in this area that Sandy and I enjoyed. I also want to give you a heads up. There are water sprayers that the kids can shoot at people. Be sure you are paying attention when you walk by or you might end up with a face full of water. Unfortunately I learned the hard way!!

    Up next: Hooray for Hollywood!
     
  20. albertamommyof4

    albertamommyof4 DIS Veteran

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    Looks like they had a blast at the pool, thanks for sharing the pictures of HoJo's.
     
  21. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    Love the update!!
     

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