Low season, high life DL adventures--complete 6/17!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Hawleys, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    It's official...we're going back to Disneyland in just under two weeks! Jan 29th to be exact. I've been wanting to start a pre-trip report but feeling guilty because I hadn't finished my August (yes, August!) trip report. That trip report is finally complete (http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2192566) so I can start this thread with a clear conscience. Well, almost...I never wrote a trip report for our Gay Days weekend...

    Here's the cast of characters:
    Me(32): Hawleys
    DW(31): Disboards name coming soon! Maybe...I'm trying to convince her.
    DFM(36): DW's childhood friend and one half our favorite couple.
    DFC(31): DFM's longtime girlfriend and the other half of our favorite couple.

    Here's a pic of DW and I from our August 09 trip
    [​IMG]

    No pics of DFM and DFC as I haven't asked yet if I can post a picture.

    M and C haven't been to Disneyland since they were kids and since they have had to hear ALOT about our trips this year, we were pestering them to come on a trip with us. A free ticket through the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day volunteer promotion is what finally convinced them. We had a great time volunteering last Saturday. You can read about our fun encounter with Mickey and Minnie here: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2296674&page=11

    Coming up: The hotel dilemma
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Belle Ella

    Belle Ella DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Messages:
    13,193
    Sign me up!!!
     
  4. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    Done. And welcome. :goodvibes
     
  5. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    I've been doing much waffling about where to stay on this trip. I booked the Hojo several weeks ago because the Entertainment Rate was available and because we had a really great stay in August. I know the rooms are clean and comfortable and the skylights are great.

    But...M and C are for now planning to just go to Disneyland for one day using their GADGADD tickets. (I'm sort of hoping they will upgrade to 2-day hoppers but that's $$$ so I don't want to push it.) DW and I have APs so we're going to trade one of our GADGADD tickets in for the fastpasses. Even so, to really show them the park in just one day, DW is insisting we need a Magic Morning. With just two days and two nights in Anaheim, I have to agree with her.

    Of course, to get Magic Morning, we have to stay at a Disney hotel. :goodvibes AP rates for Paradise Pier are pretty reasonable; $139 + tax and resort fee. But secretly, I've had my heart set on renting points to stay at the DVC villas at the Grand Californian. Despite some serious trolling on the DVC rent/trade board, I've been unable to come up with a rental. :headache: So somehow this morning, I talked to DW and she convinced me that we should just make a reservation at the Grand Californian. :dance3: OMG! She reminded me of how great we've been at funding our retirement and told me I could consider it a wicked early birthday present.

    Long story short: I got on the phone this morning and booked a Grand Californian park view reservation with a very nice part fairy godmother cast member. I can't believe it!! This reservation is an even bigger splurge than our original trip. The Disney snowball has hit me hard.
     
  6. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    Today I am doing my single digits dance! :cool1:

    We sent M and C a little pre-trip package yesterday. It included a letter from Mickey Mouse with Disneyland training tips (walk, walk, walk!), a Disneyland map and a CD of our favorite songs from Disney movies. DW had a blast making the mix and has been playing it pretty much non-stop. I just love the song "He's a Tramp".


    The weather in the Bay Area been nothing but rain, rain, rain, thunder and rain. Hope that everyone in SoCal is staying dry and safe.
     
  7. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    Just got Friday the 29th off from work so that we can fly in earlier in the day and spend more time at the Grand Californian...DW advocated for this plan even though we will pay a change fee on our plane tickets. She is becoming quite the enabler. :)
     
  8. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    Nasty weather seems to have subsided in the Bay Area.

    A big shout out to MyMonkies who shared preferred seating passes to the Pixar Play Parade which we have never seen. We'll be there on Friday evening! One week to go...:banana::banana::banana:
     
  9. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    ...until we head to Disneyland! I am so excited. I have a sore throat this morning but I am ignoring it and drinking lots of tea.

    DW and I have decided that over the course of our DLR visits this year we would like to experience all the attractions. That means that we're going to spend some time Friday going on NEW to us attractions like the Astro Orbitor and the Maliboomer. I'm scared (in an excited way) to go on the Maliboomer. I did a smaller version at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and really didn't like it at all. But I've done ToT several times since then and really liked it so I'm hoping I'll be ok. At least there is usually only a short line to be nervous in.

    Last night DW made a cute Disney first aid kit for DFM and DFC. Toy Story bandaids, ponchos and Lifesavers candy wrapped in plain brown paper with a red first aid cross drawn on it then tied up with plain twine. We found a cute Mickey tag to attach with their names.

    Fingers crossed for good weather and good health!!
     
  10. Dizneydaz

    Dizneydaz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    10,946
    Great report so far! Weather should be pretty good, but even when the sun's out it's a little chilly.DD10 and I went on Monday and wore our jackets most of the time.

    You'll love Maliboomer! My DD finally got tall enough just recenty to ride it and she just loves it. She loves ToT was well.:goodvibes

    Funny thing you should mention the Pixar Parade and preferred seating. I don't know where that is but on Monday my DD were walking by just as the parade was starting and there was a roped off area (for guest to walk from one side of the street to the other-the whole street is boarded off in Hollywood). A CM was just taking down the ropes so we were able to sit right up front with no problem. The area was right at the start of the parade route, just East of Sun Plaza and at the end of Hollywood.

    Hope you have a wonderful trip! I'm so jealous that you are staying at CG. We've never stayed at DLR but we have at WDW. I love staying on property. Unfortunately since we live so close it just doesn't make sense to spend the night. But I like the rate of $139 at PP. Sounds interesting!
     
  11. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    Hi Dizneydaz! We have our fingers crossed for good weather but will definitely bring our jackets as well. Thanks for the tip. Send me your good luck thoughts for the Maliboomer too! It seems scarier than ToT to me because you are outside so you can see how high up you are.

    I'll make sure to report back about priority parade seating...it may be so uncrowded that we don't even need it.

    As for staying at the Grand Californian, this is a total one time splurge for us and I can't wait! You may miss out on staying at the resort because you live so close but I wish I could get to Disneyland by driving for 30 minutes. Totally jealous.
     
  12. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    Here's the email DW sent to our friends to get them pumped up for Magic Morning. It made me laugh so I thought I would share.


    You guys said you were ready to go native with us.

    Your mission: Magic Morning
    Date: 20100130
    Time: 0700-0800
    Rendezvous: 0630, Disneyland Entry Gates

    Magic Morning Mission Objectives

    - Maximize Fantasyland Fun
    - Calibrate DFC's Scary Ride Meter using a Binary Search Algorithm

    Plan of Attack

    - 0700, Enter through gates and "walk with purpose" to through
    Sleeping Beauty's Castle to Fantasyland.
    - Hit Peter Pan, the most popular slow loader
    - Knock off Dumbo, the second most popular slow loader.
    - Engage the Matterhorn, the middle tier Disneyland roller coaster.
    Constructed 1959. No drops or loops. Harold, the Yeti installed in the
    1979 refurbishing.*
    - Investigate line for Finding Nemo, the third most popular slow loader
    - Return to Fantasyland, continue ground assault on desired rides
    - 0800, retreat to Tomorrowland

    Mission Reward: Sleep in as late as you want on Sunday, January 31st.

    Over and out.
    - Agent Collett

    * If Matterhorn goes well, Space Mountain, will be targeted. If not,
    the alternate target of Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road will be
    engaged.

    Code Phrases
    "Walking with purpose" - Fast walking. There is no running in Disneyland.
    Slow Loader - Rides that accumulate long, slow lines because they
    load/unload people into the ride slowly.
     
  13. Dizneydaz

    Dizneydaz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    10,946
    That's what makes it so great! One of the best things about Maliboomer is when you get to the top your bottom comes off the seat and your legs go up! So fun!
     
  14. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    Ooohh..my stomach dropped just reading this. I'm going to have to screw up my courage to do this!
     
  15. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    Getting on the train in 1 hour, the plane in 3 hours. Disneyland at 9am tomorrow! :cool1:

    Catch you all on the flip side.
     
  16. Belle Ella

    Belle Ella DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Messages:
    13,193
    Can't wait to hear all about it!!
     
  17. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    We're back and our trip was fantastic! DFM and DFC were great sports and we had so much fun dragging them around the parks to all our favorite things.

    Highlights were riding BTMRR while the fireworks were going off, relaxing in the jacuzzi at the Grand Californian and riding TSMM.

    Blow by blow trip report to follow in the coming weeks.

    Cheers!
     
  18. MeLaNie9

    MeLaNie9 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,085
    I'm in - we loved our DLR trip and GCH!!! You would never get me on that Maliboomer :scared1::scared1: or TOT:scared1: but can't wait to hear about your rides!
     
  19. Belle Ella

    Belle Ella DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Messages:
    13,193
    Glad you had a great time - can't wait to hear more details!!
     
  20. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    Thanks for the comments you guys! I'll try not to keep you waiting too long. :)
     
  21. Hawleys

    Hawleys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    501
    Thursday morning found DW and I packed and ready to go! Too bad we had to work. :sad1: DW headed out the door with her suitcase; I stayed home to take conference calls and do some last minute shopping and cleaning. My work load was light and I even managed to get a nap as I had been battling a cold for a day or so.

    For once I wasn't rushing around at the last minute to get things done and the day seemed to drag by. I just couldn't wait to get to the airport! Finally, 6pm rolled around and I trundled out the door with suitcase and backpack. Even though this was only a three day trip, we had filled our bags with all kinds of snacks. DW is on a strict medical diet which really prohibits us from eating at any TS restaurants. Also, DFM and DFC are on a strict budget because DFM is a post doctoral fellow at a Bay Area university which must standardize their pay scale nationally for government funded positions, ignoring cost of living differences. San Francisco ain't cheap! The food at DLR is (IMHO) overpriced and mediocre (with some shining corn dog exceptions) so we were all planning to eat lots of food from home.

    Back to our journey. DW met me on the train in Oakland and our BART ride to SFO was smooth. DW's homemade roast chicken sandwiches *yummy* were scarfed down while we waited to board. I took some cold medicine, crossed my fingers that my ears wouldn't bother me on the flight and we were up in the air and down at John Wayne before we knew it. Love the short flight! BTW, does anyone else feel like they are entering a cheesy club when they get on a Virgin America flight? There always seems to be pink neon lights along the walls and techno-ish music in the background.

    We waited maybe 15 minutes at the airport before our Super Shuttle van left but we were the first one dropped off at the Hojo. Yes, the Hojo! Don't worry, we stayed at the Grand Californian, too, but couldn't justify the cost for Thursday night when the plan was pretty much to go immediately to bed and try and get a good night's sleep before hitting the parks hard on Friday. With the Entertainment rate, the cost at the Hojo was about 1/4 of the Grand Californian.

    Check in at the Hojo was smooth and they had the box of food we had mailed ahead. The box included a full selection of minibar sized liquors. DW went a bit wild at BevMo! and came back with about 12 different things. :cool1:

    During our August stay, were were in Bldg 1, in a seventh floor Disney view room which I personally found to be a bit noisy for sleeping because of the highway. This time I opted for an NDD1 and we were placed in Bldg 3, directly behind the lobby building. It was a blissfully quiet and our room was spacious with a balcony, skylight, tons of drawers and an extra big closet with a cot where we could easily have stored our suitcases if we were staying for a few days.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mini fridge, microwave, Kuerig coffee maker and small safe were all there. There were two sinks, one in the bathroom, one outside which was great for getting ready in the morning.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The interior of Bldg 3 was a bit more beat up than Bldg 1, with noticeable scrapes in the stairwells especially. I'm sure this is from people moving their suitcases up and down as there is no elevator. Not a problem for us but if you had a large family or lots of luggage it could be a chore. The Hojo is so accomodating that I'm sure they would find someone to help with luggage if needed. The bathroom in our room was also a bit dated, sporting some retro grey and pink tile (I'll post pics soon). Our room had two oversized double beds which are supposed to be only 6 inches narrower than a standard queen. They looked awfully small to me and DW commented that if we had been staying here with DFM and DFC we would have had to get a room with 2 queens. DFM is a big guy and I just know he would be uncomfortable on that bed. Overall, I give the Hojo two huge thumbs up. :thumbsup2:thumbsup2 Great value, great service, comfortable beds, close to the park and sparkling clean. Just don't go expecting super luxurious digs and you won't be disappointed.

    Once we stowed our bags, we popped down to the convenience store to buy some mixers for our minibar. Good selection and prices were comparable to a corner market or gas station. Did you know that the Hojo offers a 10% discount at the market if you are an AP holder? Sweet!

    Back to the room to get ready for bed. I took some Nyquil for the cold and to help battle my Disneyland insomnia. I just get so excited about being at the parks that I can't sleep very well. We tucked in around 11pm. I woke up around 4:30am but managed to sleep on and off until about 6:15am. I know I slept bc DW told me she woke up around 5:30am and asked if I was awake yet...no response. :)

    We had set the alarm for 7am, figuring that would give us plenty of time to check out at the Hojo, check in a the Grand Californian and hoof it to park opening at 9am. But at 6:15am I woke up to find DW awake and ready to get moving. I was so excited that she was excited. I know she enjoys our DL trips but here was physical proof that she couldn't wait to get to the parks. DW is NOT the type to get up before her alarm, like, EVER.
     

Share This Page