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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    All of us really enjoyed the parade. I'm glad it ended up being in the afternoon so we weren't too tired to enjoy it.

    Thank you! We really enjoyed our parade location. Hopefully the Matterhorn being down will still allow you to enjoy this great spot.

    Thank you! :goodvibes
     
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  3. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    After our enjoyable time at the parade we decided to make our way to the front of the park. There was an event taking place at 4:45 that I thought Stu and Sandy would enjoy-the Flag Retreat Ceremony. When we arrived at the flag there were already several people gathered, so all of the benches were taken. Stu and Sandy stayed off to the side, but I wanted a better view! I ended up standing in a great spot.

    In a very short time the Disneyland Band was coming our way.

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    If you are not familiar with the Flag Retreat Ceremony, members of the United States Armed Forces are honored. Music from each of the U.S. military branches is played. When the music is played from each branch, members of that branch (past and present) are asked to come forward. In this first picture you can see Stu and Sandy behind the gentleman that had come forward.

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    They began to play the music for the Marine Corp and Stu proudly came forward.

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    It was so cool to see all of the people that have served in the United States Armed Forces, both young and old.

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    Continued in the next post.


     
  4. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    After everyone had come forward they began to lower the flag.

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    It was pretty emotional to watch the flag being saluted.

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    Once the flag was down the honor guard folded the flag into the shape of the tri-cornered hat.

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    We really enjoyed our experience at the Flag Retreat Ceremony. I am so glad that I decided to move where I did so I was able to get pictures of Stuart's face. He was truly moved by the experience. He had several people come up to him following the ceremony to shake his hand and thank him. This was a really proud mom moment for Sandy.

    We had planned on leaving the park at this point, but nobody was ready! We decided to do a little shopping along Main Street before heading back to the hotel. One of the things that I really wanted to do was get silhouettes done of the girls. When we went by there wasn't anyone waiting in the shop, so we thought now was the time. This woman is truly amazing. She uses this tiny little scissors to cut out their profiles and I don't think her process took any more than three minutes! The amazing thing is that they looked just like them. After she finished her part the other woman glued them on the backgrounds. We were out of there in under 10 minutes. Amazing.

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    At this point the girls were ready to be done. We asked Sandy she would be willing to stay with the girls at the HOJO so we could go and scope out California Adventure for the next day. She was fine with that. We walked them back to the hotel and stopped at Quiznos on the way to grab them something to eat.

    Stu and I made our way back to California Adventure. We wanted to get our bearings so we would know where to go in the morning. We were able to see the people waiting to get in for the WOC. We talked with a CM and they advised us what time we should be lining up to get certain spots and where they would recommend us to stand.

    At 7:50 we decided we needed to ride at least one ride before we left. We made our way to Soarin'! They told us it would be an hour wait, but I think they were just trying to deter us from riding. We ended up waiting about 15 minutes and we were ready to leave the park at 8:12.

    Since we were kidless we decided to explore a bit more. We made our way to the Grand Californian and checked everything out. Once we finished up there we went to do a little more shopping at the World of Disney. We didn't last long there because it was absolutely packed. Feeling pretty satisfied with our day we made our way back to the HOJO for some well deserved rest.

    Up next: California Adventure

     
  5. Dizzy4DL

    Dizzy4DL Happiest when I have a countdown

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    I was so moved to read about your family's experience with the flag ceremony. How wonderful that Disney does this to honor our wonderful service men and women. :goodvibes
     
  6. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    Loved the update!!
     
  7. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    It was a wonderful experience. I think Stu felt truly honored.

    Thanks! :goodvibes

     
  8. Kathy Jetson

    Kathy Jetson DIS Veteran

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    Hi I'm here! I actually subbed to you Tr a long time ago but then things got really crazy around my house but things are back to normal now and I got all caught up. It looks like you guys are having so much fun! I've never been to Disneyland and I was really looking forward to your tr. If I ever get to go I think I will copy your touring plan for your first day of sight seeing and maybe try to stay where you stayed too! I've been checking and the plane tickets would be almost as much as a weeks vacation at WDW for us. I want to wait until carsland and California Adventure are completed until I get aggressive about going.

    I wanted to comment on Stu's experience with the flag retreat ceremony he really looked like he was moved in the pictures thats awesome he got to do that!

    I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!
     
  9. Lovemy3babes

    Lovemy3babes Is always in need to get herself and her children

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    I loved reading about the flag retreat ceremony. Do they do that every evening? How very moving! And thank you to Stu for serving our country. :goodvibes
     
  10. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    Hi! :wave: It has been pretty crazy around here too and I hope to get my report back on track in the next couple of days! We really did have a great first day at Disneyland. We really enjoyed that Disneyland was more compact, so it wasn't a big deal to zig-zag around to the different attractions. I think California Adventure will be awesome once the renovations are complete. There was a lot of construction walls up while we were there.

    We were fortunate with the price of our plane tickets for this trip. We are looking at taking a cruise for our next big trip and I wish the cost of the getting to the port was included!

    Stu really enjoyed the ceremony. He knew that I wanted to attend the ceremony, but he didn't realize that he would end up being a participant!

    The flag retreat ceremony was a highlight of our stay. From what I have read they have a ceremony every evening, but it does not always include the band. I was so happy that they were involved that day.

    I will let Stu know!
     
  11. mickeyplanner

    mickeyplanner DIS Veteran

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    last week, we received the 2012 disney vacation video and now our 5 year old keeps talking about going to Disneyland. She has been to WDW 5 times and we are headed back there in March and I love planning each and every moment of our trips.
    I stubbled upon your trip report and am enjoying it very much. Where did you find all your research for your DL trip? YOu seemed so prepared with everything, inclding all the discounts you discoverd on the Dis. Would you be willing to share your wealth of knowledge?
     
  12. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Disneyland was all new to me when we started planning our vacation, but I enjoyed every minute of the planning! I don't know how anyone planned a vacation before the internet was developed!

    The majority of the information that I used came from tips here on the Dis. I didn't know anything about the Entertainment Book until I started to frequent the Disneyland section of the Dis. I ended up purchasing the book for Orange County, but all I really needed was the card that comes with the book. I have seen posts that people have purchased just the card on Ebay for just a couple of dollars. I was able to secure the entertainment rate (50% off the rack rate) at both the HOJO in Anaheim and the Holiday Inn that we stayed at in San Diego. I know I spent less than $20 on the entertainment book and it was money well spent!

    I also like the Mousesavers site. I subscribed to the monthly newsletter and it always had a lot of information about different discounts that are available. It was in one of the newsletters that I received that I found out about the AAA discount that allowed us to get the great deal on our Sea World tickets. My MIL has AAA, so we got the adult tickets at the kids rate and the kids tickets were free!

    For our rental car we ended up booking through Hotwire. My DH has a corporate rate that he gets through work, but Hotwire ended up being a better deal.

    For planning our days in the parks I used both The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Ridemax. Ridemax was a fun site to mess around on to develop a touring strategy. I didn't end up using a specific plan, but it was fun to mess around on.

    If you have any questions let me know!
     
  13. mickeyplanner

    mickeyplanner DIS Veteran

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    Thank for the information, we do have an enjoyment and entertainment book and belong to AAA, sounds like I need to look at those discounts more closely.

    How did you get to us MM since you did not stay on a Disney property?

    I can't wait to read of your trip report as you finish it. Did you do the zoo in San Diego?
     
  14. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    At Disneyland you do not need to stay on property to take advantage of MM. If you have a ticket to the parks that is three days or more you are able to attend one MM. Typically MM occurs on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. During our stay there was a special event on Sunday, so they had the MM on Monday instead. It worked out great for us since it was our first day at the parks and we weren't worn out yet!

    I really wish we had one more day in San Diego. There was just so much to do and see. We didn't have time in our schedule to visit the zoo, but we did get to attend an event that Stu really wanted to go to instead. I can't wait to share about it!
     
  15. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    On Tuesday morning Disneyland was scheduled to open at 8 am. We planned to spend our entire day at California Adventure, but it wasn't scheduled to open until 10. From my research here on the boards I knew we would be able to get into CA at 9:30, but I would be wasting 1 1/2 hours of Disneyland time if I didn't go until then! I thought I would head to Disneylad to take some pictures by myself, but Stu and Erin decided to join me. Sandy and Ava decided to take their time and meet us at 9.

    We decided to go to Star Tours since we were there at opening. We quickly made our way through the queue and we were soon seated. The three of us were getting adjusted and were excited to get started. The next thing we knew we looked to screen to find out who the rebel spy was-and it was Erin! She thought is was so cool to be on the screen and to be the rebel spy. We all ended up loving Star Tours.

    After our journey we decided to take another ride on Space Mountain. Ava and Sandy made it pretty clear the day before that they had no interest in riding it again. Perfect for us!

    We were making such good time we decided to take another spin on Buzz Lightyear. I am sure glad that we decided to do that-I ended up maxing out the score! Don't ask me how I did it, I have no idea! :rotfl:

    We made our way out of Disneyland to meet Sandy and Ava. It took us a few minutes to find them because Sandy misunderstood where we were going to meet up. We made our way to line up at the turnstyles for California Adventure and were let in just a few minutes later. Our plan was for me to get us FPs for Soarin' while the rest of the crew made their way to the rope drop for Toy Story Mania. I was able to get the FPs pretty quickly and started to make my way towards my family. On the way I got caught up in the excitement and decided to grab passes for WOC just in case we decided to change our plans and see it that evening. I was able to get passes for the blue section.

    There wasn't really very many people waiting at the rope when I met up with the rest of my group. While we waited for the rope drop we tried to explain Toy Story Mania to Sandy. The kids couldn't wait for her to ride! With our spot in line we were able to get on Toy Story right away. Everyone loved it and wanted to ride again right away, but the line was already 40 minutes when we got off! :scared1:

    We decided it was time to ride Screamin'! Ava was too short to ride, so her and Sandy decided to ride King Triton's Carousel while they waited. The three of us loved Screamin' and decided to grab FPs for later.

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    When we got off Screamin' Sandy, Erin, and Ava decided to ride King Triton's together.

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    While we were waiting we noticed that Jessie was out for a meet and greet just across from King Triton's. The girls decided that they would like to wait and meet her.

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    I had to entertain myself by taking some pictures while we waited!

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    At this point Stu was getting antsy and I think he needed a strong cup of coffee! He decided that maybe that would help his mood, so off he went. While we were waiting they announced that Jessie was leaving and Woody would be coming out. The girls were pleased with this news since they have never met him before.

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    At this point Stu still wasn't back from his search for coffee. When I called him he said to go ahead and ride the Silly Swings and he would meet us there. When he finally got back he had been gone for about 30 minutes. Come to find out he had gone all the way to the Pacific Wharf Cafe. He was quickly forgiven for being gone so long when we saw what he had. He had gotten a boule with eggs and bacon that was good, but the cinnamon roll he brought us was fantastic! Just while we were eating it we had three different groups approach us and ask him where he got it!

    After refueling we decided to take a spin on Goofy's Sky School. Sandy decided to sit this one out, but the rest of us enjoyed it.

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    Up next: Rockin' and rollin' with Phineas and Ferb
     
  16. mickeyplanner

    mickeyplanner DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait to read more especially about San Diego. That is so cool Erin was the rebel! what is the insider tip on woc passes seating?
     
  17. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    I found this thread to be really helpful in making our plans to see WOC-

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2542717

    The first post in the thread includes pretty much all of the information you need to know. As we got closer to our trip I read the last couple of pages of the thread for the lastest information. Even with the knowledge we had going in, viewing WOC was still quite the adventure!
     
  18. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    Wow!! That's awesome that Erin was the Rebel Spy.
     
  19. Trentmom

    Trentmom <font color=red>A Christmas"y" tag for a Christmas

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    Hi there.

    I just found your TR and am really enjoying it. My family and I are WDW vets and we are looking at trying out DL next summer for the first time and we are planning on staying at HoJo's just like you did.

    The one thing my son really wants to do is see that Hollywood sign. I went to the link you posted and am trying to understand. Sorry if dumb questions :laughing:

    Is there any list with drive by drive directions or am I supposed to click each place we want to visit in that one day tour and just put addresses in our GPS as we go along?

    Really enjoying your TR. Sounds like you did a lot of research:goodvibes
     
  20. LoveMyTwoPrincesses

    LoveMyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

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    It was pretty cool that Erin ended up being the Rebel Spy! She was so cute when she realized that it was her on the screen.

    Welcome! Thanks for joining in!

    Erin was the one that really wanted to see the Hollywood sign in our group, so I am glad that we were able to find such a great spot for her to view it. When we used the driving tour I just put the addresses in our GPS along the way. It really was a great tour to use because it brought us to so many highlights, but we didn't have to rush at all to get them all in.

    I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the TR. I did do tons of research, but I enjoyed every minute of it!
     
  21. Trentmom

    Trentmom <font color=red>A Christmas"y" tag for a Christmas

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    That really sounds great.

    Thanks for the info

    Also, the Disney Soda Fountain place, is that just a gift shop or is that a place you can eat?

    Thanks :goodvibes
     

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