** LIVE ** Great Glad Tidings Tell -- we're headed to DL! **Dec 7-14, 2010 TR**

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by specialks, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    :santa: TR for our Dec 2010 DLR Visit :santa:
    Dec 7-14, 2010


    This will be our 3rd family visit to the DLR (my husband and I have both been to DL when we were young). Our previous visits were in Sept so this will be our first Disney Holiday-time visit.

    Plans are still being made, but here is what I have planned so far...
    We will fly Alaska Air from SEA into SNA and then rent a car (priceline hopefully). We will be staying at the Residence Inn Anaheim Resort Area in Garden Grove for our whole trip. We have a really great rate for a kid's suite with bunk beds which my girls will love! I am hoping that since it will be "off-season" and this hotel is only 1/2 on an ART route; hopefully ART will work for us. We have driven previously but I wanted to avoid that this time. I would love to stay in walking distance but I can't get myself to pay the same or more for a less nice hotel with little or no free breakfast and also no kitchen. One of the big ways we keep out trip costs down is by eating a big (& free) breakfast at the hotel and then packing sandwiches & snacks into the parks. This could possibly change if Disney comes out with a great deal for the DLR hotels during our visit. But since we travel with my mom a suite is much valued and appreciated by all involved. This will be my first PTR and TR so I hope I can do a good job and bring fun & enjoyment to all! :santa:

    Me and my 2 princesses: ------- My husband and my mom with our 2 princesses:
    [​IMG] ---------- [​IMG]

    Our preliminary itinerary:


    Tues Dec 7: arrive in SNA, rent car, check into RI GG, enjoy the free reception meal and a glass of wine.

    Wed Dec 8: DCA day - my oldest daughter is finally tall enough for CS and literally cried in 2008 (she was 4.5) when we told her she couldn't ride it. Her favorite ride that year was Space Mountain. She is our roller coaster enthusiast. However, she doesn't like ToT (she tried it in 08 & 09) and now my youngest (just turned 4) is convinced she is going to give ToT a try. Crazy girls! This will also be our WOC night and I have preordered the picnics meals. I am hoping for a blue FP and bridge viewing.

    Thurs Dec 9: MM & DL day, 11:10 & 11:20 Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointments. We will probably try to catch the parade and/or the fireworks on this day.

    Fri Dec 10: Knotts

    Sat Dec 11: DL and/or DCA; 830 pm reservations at Rainforest Cafe

    Sun Dec 12: DL and F!

    Mon Dec 13: our last day so we might park hop to finish out with our favorites!

    Tues Dec 14: 6 pm flight home, we might head to a local beach just to see it and walk on it -- too cold to swim. (any advice on a good beach to drive to from DLR with our flight leaving out of SNA)??
     
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  3. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    Going for the holidays is a dream of mine!! Can't wait to see how this all goes for you!!!! popcorn::

    PS: You have 2 cutie-pies!!!
     
  4. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    Thanks DizNee Luver! I am a just a little head over heads in love with them! :)

    So, the most recent excitement for me about our trip is that there is a possibility the DEP will be back at DCA for this Christmas! That would make this trip complete for my 2 girls. They love watching the DLR vacation planning DVD and always ask why they can't see the christmas light parade. Here's hopin' and prayin' it makes it there for our visit!
     
  5. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    It's hands down, my favorite Disney parade & last spring when we went....it wasn't going.....totally bummed!!! This summer when we started the plans, we knew it would be up & running......UNTIL!!!!! they shipped it to WDW.....so once again.....no DEP!!! :headache:

    I thought I read something about it coming back as well......so fingers crossed that you will be able to see it & have me in spirit as it rolls on by!!!! :woohoo:
     
  6. designhawk

    designhawk Earning My Ears

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    I hope they bring it back for December, too. We're going to be there the 18th-21st.
     
  7. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    Well, here I am finally back again.

    We have been so busy with family visitors that I haven't been on the boards for a while. We have had someone visiting in our home since July 21! Crazy, but I feel blessed to have such a great family!

    As the new specials have come out for my dates it has me considering my hotel choice yet again. We have never stayed on-site because I can't bring myself to pay so much more per night and getting less space and less perks. We really love staying in suite hotels so we can have the kitchen and make our own lunches for the parks. Really saves time & money! However, since we are going during Christmas it makes me want to stay at one of the onsite hotels. I priced the GCH with the special and I would have to pay $245 more per night ($1715 total) to move to the GCH. I would lose the 2 BDRM/2 BTH, kitchenette, grocery shopping service, hot deluxe breakfast, and manager's reception dinner & drinks at the RI Resort and gain the atmosphere and close walk of the GCH. I also don't know how we would all handle staying in, what by all accounts is a tiny room, together for 7 nights. Hmmm, decisions, decisions...

    Also, I noticed that I could save about $200 by booking my current hotel & tickets through GAT. Has anyone had a good/bad experience with them?
     
  8. michelleh1

    michelleh1 Mouseketeer

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    I haven't used GAT, but they are a local company and a lot of people who live near me use them and are very happy with them. Remember you need to add in a shipping fee ($20) and consider the trip insurance ($30). I'm really interested in staying at the Residence Inn next time we go, so I'll be keeping an eye on your TR.
     
  9. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    Well, the tickets have officially been purchased. We got a fabulous deal with Alaska Air for $169 RT! We paid $280 last year so this is a real treat!

    My mother just made note that we are only 2 1/2 months out and our trip is coming up soon. It has me starting to think about the outfits I want to sew for the girls this year. I'm not sure what to do because I have read that December weather can be tricky and mercurial.

    These are the outfits I did last year for the girls for our trip in September:

    Minnie Outfits:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Snow White & Cinderella:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Tinkerbell:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    My girls can change their minds so fast that I try to wait as long as possible to find out what their favorites are. However, I can only wait so long!...
    We also want to visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique again this year and so far my youngest wants to be Rapunzel and my oldest wants to be Alice. I am thinking maybe Daisy Duck outfits would be cute this year. Who knows what else???
     
  10. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    So, got a fairly good deal on our car rental today. The quotes were outrageous -- $530 for the week so today I used hotwire and actually got our minivan rented for $280 total for the whole week. Still more than the last 2 years but far less than $530!

    Still wondering about what outfits to sew...any ideas??
     
  11. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    Weird double post error.
     
  12. disneylovingfamily:4

    disneylovingfamily:4 Mouseketeer

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    OMG! Your girl's outfits are adorable! Did you make them or purchase them?
     
  13. where's_my_prince

    where's_my_prince DIS Veteran

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    that minnie mouse photo is priceless :cutie:
     
  14. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    Thanks! I sewed them myself. I just used some purchased patterns and then added some things and tweaked them to fit what I wanted.

    It was so amazing. This was our MTTMM and there was no one around and we walked up that hill at the entrance and the next thing we know Minnie is running towards our girls. Our girls took off running for her and I'm calling out to my husband "get the camera, get the camera, GET THE CAMERA!!!". We missed the initial greeting and big hug but captured them walking back towards us. It was definitely one of those magical moments at DL (too bad we didn't have the tourist camera hooked around our neck!).
     
  15. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    So, I have decided that as much as I want to do the Holiday Tour, we are going to skip it. I already had a little worry over how my barely 4 year old and high energy 6 year old would handle the tour. Now my husband is FIRMLY against spending $200 for our family to basically get hot cocoa, a gingerbread man, and seats for the parade (he doesn't care much about the history and getting "FPs" onto HMH and IASW don't seem worth the money to him). His argument is that we will be there for 5 days and have plenty of time to spend an extra 45 min to get good spots for the parade and purchase our own hot cocoas and treats. He is very frugal and I appreciate that but it is a little frustrating. He wants me to be happy but all of his arguments are very valid and I think of what else that money could get us (2 appointments at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for my daughters), and it seems less important to me. My mom was really looking forward to doing it but she is also pretty laid back and I know she could use the $51 for something else. So, this is a case of marriage where you have to compromise to make your spouse happy :). But really, I am kind of making myself happy also by not spending $200 on something that I know my husband will not enjoy. Ahh, the joys of marriage :)
     
  16. goldies 5

    goldies 5 DIS Veteran

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    I don't usually get over to this side often, but the lure of Funball and Skiingfast romance, drew me in.
    Your girls are adorable, they will absolutely love the Christmas Season at DLR. We go every year at this time and it beats any other season hands down for us.
    My husband has never wanted to spend the money on the Holiday Tour either. Although I think it would be fun, it hasn't been necessary for us. We always stake out a spot and get a great view. The snow, lights and castle are dazzling. You will have a wonderful time.
    I know the DLR hotels can be pricey, but if you ever decide to do one of these, I doubt you would be dissapointed. There are many advantages, albeit pricey, to stay onsite. This is one splurge my DH cannot live without.
     
  17. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    Thanks goldies 5! We really want to stay onsite and my husband is willing to pay a little more for the GCH pool and walk, however, my mother travels with us and we really need a suite with separate sleeping areas. That is just too much money for one of the DL hotels. I tried to rent points and get a 1 BR at the GCV but there wasn't availability for most of the dates of our trip. Perhaps if my mom doesn't go with us sometime we can stay onsite.
     
  18. reyasmommy

    reyasmommy DIS Veteran

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    Oh my goodness, you have some adorable kids. They remind me of my own daughter.

    You're very talented, those dresses are amazing!

    Love your PTR thus far... I'm looking forward to reading more.
     
  19. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    Thanks reyasmommy!


    So, I just happened to check our flight pricing and realized they went down even more in price. With Alaska Air's flight price guarantee I was able to get a credit for future travel for the difference. I originally booked the tickets at $199.40 each and now I have paid $141.40 each. Such a deal! Last year our tickets were $280 or so.
     
  20. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    I have to say that this is the first trip where I haven't planned anything. I have our flights booked and the hotel booked but no clue about where and when we want to dine. My husband is pretty frugal and we don't eat out much but we have to have a few lunch or dinners. I think we might try Goofy's since we did Ariel's last year. I also might do a lunch at Ariels instead of dinner. Also, I have to make appointments for my daughters at the BBB. Uggg, it is only 1 month out so why haven't I made plans..???

    I am debating buying dining vouchers from LMT or another place bc I don't know if it will really save us money. I saw on the Christmas thread that the prices for character meals will go up on the 10th so maybe I need to look into that. Wow, I really need to get with it.

    One new note: my mother moved here (WA) from KS this year to be closer to me & my daughters. She is retired from banking but has been looking for a PT job. In this economy she has really had a tough time finding something. So, she decided to turn in an application at our local Disney Store and she was called back and offered a position as a seasonal employee!!! We are hoping that when the seasonal job ends (mid-Jan) that she will be offered a stay-on PT position! I am so excited for her. We are also looking forward to her discount on merchandise. We don't know yet if she will have any perks in the parks or on PH tickets but we are hoping! So exciting!
     
  21. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

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    So, I have two outfits planned at least. I am going to make Alice dresses for both my girls and also some pants & shirts for them to dress up like Jessie. I think I might make a no-sew poncho for the cooler nights in a Christmas print or colors with maybe ears on a hood...still thinking this one out.
     

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