DVC Family Heads West - DL Trip Report with PICS Completed!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by tksbaskets, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    Greetings,
    I love reading trip reports and after writing one of my own only have a greater appreciation for those DISers who take the time to share their experiences. :goodvibes I hope to make it fun for you to relive our DL trip from June 18 - 22 and our stay at the BEAUTIFUL Grand Californian! We also left June 22 for a wonderful week cruise on the Disney Magic (but that's another trippie) pirate:

    Cast: Me, DISer, planner, keeper of the schedule
    DH: GREAT guy who appreciates Disney and all that goes with it.
    DS1: 17 AKA Grumpy
    DS2: 17 AKA Donald

    We are a DVC family (2006) and have been to WDW a few times ;) I was at DL in 1986 as part of a business trip so I was for all purposes 'solo'. (Shh...don't tell my boss I skipped an entire day of the conference to spend the day with Mickey)

    We arrived at the airport at 6:15 am (yawn). I've learned over the years that anything besides non-stop is SOOooo not worth it. Here we are ready for our 6 hour flight to California. (Are you humming the Beverly Hillbillies in your head??)

    Proof that teens can smile!
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    [​IMG]

    Next up: Sunny California:goodvibes
     
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  3. cseca

    cseca <font color=darkorchid>My legs are wimpy but my wi

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    HEY! I recognize that airport!!! :)
    I spent a good bit of time at that airport while I was still traveling with my job...

    Don't you just love DVC? :thumbsup2
     
  4. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    Sunny California from LAX to the Grand Californian

    On the sage advise of a fellow DISer I had reserved our own personal Super Shuttle van transportation from LAX to CGH. It was a bit more than if I had reserved the SS and waited until the van was full, waited through multiple stops, but after paying for our flights to CA it was a veritable drop in the bucket :rolleyes: After checking in the the dispatcher (pretty easy to find following the directions printed with our confirmation) we waited about 20 minutes for our van and were on our way!

    Our driver was very nice and chatted with Donald who wanted to sit in the front seat. I was watching the palm trees go by. California is 3 hours behind Michigan time which REALLY worked to our advantage this trip with teens and early entry mornings. You'll see why.

    As opposed to WDW you exit the freeway and here is DL! My first glimps:
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    Here we are prepared for a long and wonderful Disney Adventure:
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    The Grand Californian Hotel is stunning! Much like Disney's Wilderness Lodge in Florida. Here is the check in desk:
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    Our room wouldn't be ready until around 2:30 so we dropped our luggage with the Concierge (don't you love that word!) and headed off to Whitewater Snacks for lunch. I have learned after many cranky arrivals to WDW to NOT plan anything for arrival day beyond the pool and eating. We did plenty of both.

    On our way to WWS:
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    Boy we want our room so we can change into our suits and go here!
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    See Disney's California Adventure in the background?? Isn't that cool?? :yay:

    TIPS for Whitewater Snacks - they list the food you can order and there doesn't seem to be anywhere to get it. We learned that you grab the things you can (out of the coolers, soda, etc.) and proceed to the cashier to order the 'hot' food. Wish we had known. We wandered quite aimlessly for about 5 minutes before our Disney senses started tingling and we followed the line! I had a French Dip with some healthy side that escapes me and the men all had burgers and fries. They won.

    Our room wasn't ready until we found this nice spot in the bar with plugs for Donald and Grumpy:
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    Doesn't the furniture look comfy? Don't get too settled in our room is ready!!

    Up next: A room with a view and off to the pool :woohoo:
     
  5. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    We sure do! My total bill for our stay at the GCH was $36! I'll tell you why on day 2. Thanks for reading my post :goodvibes
     
  6. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    Don't forget your flip-flops at the pool!

    Our room was 3356 which was a theme park view with two Queen beds. Here is our view:
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    Not to let down my DIS friends but I didn't take a lot of room pics because we didn't spend much time there :) Here is the one picture to prove we did really have a room here (DH is multitasking):

    [​IMG]

    I have a cousin who lives in South Pasadena so I was really happy she could join us for dinner at Storyteller's Cafe at 6 pm (our 9 pm) She actually joined us at the pool. It was nice to visit with her while the boys soaked up the sun.

    We had unseasonably warm weather for our time at Disney Land. Off to the pool we went.

    TIP - if you want a drink flag down the cabana men and women. They seem to get first priority for drinks at the bar. I did miss that there is no refillable drink mugs at GCH.

    I hadn't even found a lounger (and there were PLENTY) and here are my guys :goodvibes

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    My cousin and I tucked ourselves under an umbrella and being the good host I went to the bar to fetch us a sarsaparilla (actually margarita!). I foolishly went without my flip-flops. After hopping back and forth in line on the hot stone I retreated to the comfort of the lounger and flagged down a Disney Hydration Specialist. We enjoyed our afternoon. Lovely pool, great company, and what a way to start our trip.

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    Grumpy's favorite spot:
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    We readied ourselves for dinner and headed to Storyteller's Cafe. We all had the buffet. Not cheap but very good. Here's the gang:
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    My only food shot today - dessert:
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    Up next - RISE and shine for Extra Magic Morning at Disney Land!!
     
  7. silence

    silence <font color=red>Missin' Mickey<br><font color=roya

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    I LOVE your trip report so far. Awesome pics!
     
  8. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Silence! Lots more to come. It's fun to re-visit DL. We loved it :goodvibes
     
  9. isyt

    isyt DIS Veteran

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    OOOHHH I want to go back to DL so bad!! If it wasn't for the 5 airfares! Thank goodness I have DVC also. Can't wait for the rest!!
     
  10. CrazyDuck

    CrazyDuck DIS Veteran

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    That is supposed to be a "Theme Park View"?
     
  11. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    I hear you about the cost to fly! We liked it so much we may spend a week there in the future.

    Yes, see the picture above with the crane? That was Disney's California Adventures. I had a little conversation with the registration cast member about this being a 'theme park view' when we checked in but all was well. We considered it a nice pool view. On the bright side it was RIGHT above the Storyteller's Cafe and close to the DCA entrance.

    Thanks for reading :)
     
  12. Daisybelle

    Daisybelle You don't have to go fast, you just have to go

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    I'm loving your report! It's making me 'home sick' for Disneyland though! :goodvibes
     
  13. disneymom8589

    disneymom8589 I am his Disney

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    We're going to DLR this December (DD's DBF is going to propose to her there and both families get to go watch!! :goodvibes ) I love your pictures!! This will be my 14th time to DL and I never get tired of it. Your pictures are getting me excited again! :yay:
     
  14. The Disney Fanatic

    The Disney Fanatic DIS Dad's Club Member #1

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    Wow! You have done it again! The beginings of another great Trip Report with great pictures! I've been giggling, smiling, and utterly enjoying myself while indulging in this TR. Thank you so much for taking time to put together another TR and sharing with your Disney friends. :thumbsup2 Oh yeah...you gotta love those Disney Hydration Specialists.:lmao:
     
  15. Mililani Mouser

    Mililani Mouser Mouseketeer

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    These pics are so wonderful! We'll be there next week!! When I saw the Theme Park View, I thought the same thing as Sy...

    Thanks for reminding me of what I have to look forward to (especially about the White Water Snacks).
     
  16. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    It's making me want to go back!! ;)

    14th time??? You lucky girl. Be sure to post about the proposal :goodvibes

    I'm glad you are enjoying the report. I'm at work now (shhh...) sure would like a hydration specialist about now ;)

    You are most welcome. More to come tonight after work. We hit Disney Land early entry next. Thanks for coming along with my family's trip to Disney Land :thumbsup2
     
  17. Mycutekitties

    Mycutekitties Mouseketeer

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    Can't wait to read more!
     
  18. ColoradoMom!!

    ColoradoMom!! Mickey and Me Disneyland 1971

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    LOVE IT! :cool1: Can't wait for more!

    Dying to see how you incorporated Longaberger in your visit.:rotfl:
    Just kidding - taking a wild guess from your user id - have we had this conversation already?

    Thanks for posting - and the pics are great. Hurray for boys!
     
  19. Alex2kMommy

    Alex2kMommy <font color=purple>I'm going a little nutso myself

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    OMG, I am so "homesick" for DL right now! I should not have opened this thread with all the awesome photos, that just made it worse! :lmao:

    Just one question: How do you get your DH and two teenage boys to pose and smile for these photos??? They're much better about it than my DH and two sons, who are only 8 and 4yo! What's the secret??? :rotfl:

    The hotels can guarantee only that you will get a "view room" if that is what you paid for. The view might be "theme park view" or "pool view". You can make a request for one or the other, and they will try to satisfy your request, however they cannot guarantee it.

    You may also get a "view room" without paying the extra cost, simply by requesting a view upon check-in; however, the chances of that are small if you go at a busy time. Again, they will honor your request if they can, but it is not guaranteed just because you asked for it.
     
  20. CrazyDuck

    CrazyDuck DIS Veteran

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    OK.... For my trip I'm paying an extra $600 for a "Theme Park View" and that is not what I expected! To the Original Poster: Did you pay for a "Theme Park View" or just a "View Room"? :confused:
     
  21. Alex2kMommy

    Alex2kMommy <font color=purple>I'm going a little nutso myself

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    Perhaps they have changed things since my last trip. :confused:

    But every time I've made a reservation, they've specifically stated that it is a view room, and they will do their best to get a particular view I've requested.

    Perhaps now they are breaking the view room pricing out into "theme park view" and "pool view". If you have it in writing that it's a guaranteed "theme park view" then I would be wrong.

    I should qualify that to say I'm talking about Disney hotels, not off-site hotels. Big difference, and sorry if that is what you are referring to! :worship:
     

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