Memories Begin in March! PTR

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by cristyhas3, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    Hi everyone!

    I'm pretty new here, and am loving all of your PTRs/TRs. They are so fun to read, and helpful for my own planning. And, they are making me even more excited for my own trip in March.

    I suppose you might want to know who the heck I am. I'm Cristy and, like so many of you, Disney has been in my heart for as long as I can remember (I'm 37). I've been to DLR 8 times and WDW once (I ran the Princess half marathon with some friends earlier this year).

    Me circa 1979 [​IMG]

    In my former life, I was an elementary school teacher. Now, I'm a wife, mom to three kiddos, and run my own business from home (sewing/quilting education). I live in Tempe, AZ -yay for driving distance to Disney!!!

    My Own Cast of Characters:
    DH is Clay. We've been married for 8 years. He's a physical therapist at the VA hospital here. His favorite Disney movie is Little Mermaid. We went to DLR together way back in 2002. He likes going, but hates the crowds.

    DS is Aaron. He's 7, almost 8, and loves science, origami, Phinneas & Ferb, and old Mickey Mouse cartoons. His first time at DLR was in 2009, for his 4th birthday. We'll be celebrating his birthday (belated) while we're at DLR. He got lost in TT, last time we went. Hands-down the worst 10 minutes if my life. He promises to stay close this time.

    [​IMG]

    DD1 is Molly. She'll be 6 on Jan. 9th. Molly is my rough and tumble princess. She loves art, reading, and stuffed animals. Molly was only 2 when we went to DLR. She can't wait to go on the roller coasters.

    [​IMG]

    DD2 is Nora. She just turned 3. Nora is very girly and refuses to wear anything but a dress everyday. Mickey and Minnie are her favorite characters and Lion King is her favorite movie.

    MIL and FIL. We're bringing my ILs along with us. They are wonderful people, very easy going, and we love spending time with them. They haven't been to DLR in 13 years. I think they are going to have a great time.

    Tentative Trip Details:
    March 7-12 (including travel days); 5 Day Park Hoppers
    Staying at The Tropicana (2 rooms because FIL's snoring is crazy loud).
    7th - Thursday. Arrive around 2pm, hopefully check-in early at the hotel. DCA for the afternoon/evening.
    8th - Character B-fast. DCA for the day. RSR (we'll bolt for some FPs), Soarin, WoC (if it's happening). We would love to enter through GCH , if possible. Maybe eat b-fast there and hope they let us through.
    9th - MM at DL. Maybe Minnie's b-fast. Hopefully see F!
    10th - Back to DCA. Lunch at AG. Head over to DL for fireworks, if happening.
    11th - Monday. Meet with friends for b-fast at Minnie's. See/Ride anything we missed or must ride again. DTD for dinner.
    12th - Drive home. :(

    I've been thinking about arriving a day earlier, spending the evening in DTD, relaxing, getting a good night's sleep. That will also give a full day in the parks on Thursday, getting more out if our park hoppers. What do you think?

    Thanks for reading along and offering suggestions!

    I'll be back soon with more trip planning updates, maybe even some old DLR pics from my visits.

    ~Cristy
     
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  3. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    Hi, Cristy!

    I noticed that no one had spoken up yet so I wanted to be the first, since this is your first DLR trip report!:dance3:

    I think that your plan to arrive a day earlier and hang out in DTD is a great one, if you can swing it. Easing into the trip rather than being launched into it full-throttle can only be a good thing, right? I think that by arriving in DTD the day prior, you can get enough Disney magic going to gear everyone up for being in the parks the next day. The World of Disney store can be a good source of that Disney magic, as can the Fantasia shop in the Disneyland Hotel.

    That's another idea - hanging out at the Disney hotels! Often times Goofy hangs out in the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel, greeting guests and posing for photos. In December 2011, my friends brought their young son to DLR for the first time and they started their first night in DTD and at the Disneyland Hotel, where a Goofy's Kitchen dinner was on the agenda (this was their way of testing the waters and seeing how their little boy reacted to characters before he got into the parks the next day - strangely, he seemed to be more interested in characters at the dinner than he was in the park!).

    Anyway, have a great time planning the trip!:yay:
     
  4. Minnie Sue Oz

    Minnie Sue Oz DIS Veteran

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    Hi Cristy:wave2:

    Sounds like a great trip you have planned. I too, like Sherry, totally agree on having some time in DTD the day before you hit the parks! That way you can have a good nights rest and be at the parks when they first open! There is nothing quite like being there early and you will get on more rides at that time too ( most of the time:) )

    Breakfast with Minnie sure sounds good too and it always has a whole lot of characters!!! The kids are going to have a ball!

    I will be looking forward to hearing more:thumbsup2
     
  5. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    It's almost New Year's, which means I'm getting close to being able to make dining reservations, YAY!! Here's my reservation wish list:

    B-fast with Minnie
    Ariel's Grotto
    Carnation Cafe
    Either Surf's Up or Goofy's Kitchen

    There might be another addition. We'll see.

    My kids are getting really excited. I've been telling them about pin trading, so when I won this huge lot of pins on eBay, my kids flipped. They've already gone through them all many times, and have their favorites. Some of them are for my friend and her kiddos. We're going to meet up for a day during our visit.
    [​IMG]

    Little by little, this trip is coming along. I ordered PP+, which got here just in time to say Merry Christmas to me. The stock photos on the CD, that comes with it are awesome!

    Planning our outfits will be fun. My husband got me a really fun Mickey shirt from Zazzle. I'm a pretty good tie-dye-ist, so I'm thinking of getting a shirt for each of us, and doing some fun dying on them. I made a dress for DD2, and might make a couple for the girls that are princess themed.
    [​IMG]

    We've been thinking about tacking on a day at the beginning of our trip for travel. This will give us a full day in the parks, the next day, instead of traveling and only spending the afternoon at DCA. I think we'd all be much happier, and less rushed, doing it this way.

    I'm getting more excited each day! I'm going to be in Ontario, CA for business, next month. I'll br at the Road to California Quilt Show. It's about 45 mins from DLR. I can't imagine being so close and not sneaking away to DTD for a bit. I'm going to squeeze it in, for sure!! I've never been to DTD at DLR. It'll be great to visit, and get a feel for it, without the kids in tow. ;)

    Here's a little free-motion quilting I did in honor of Mickey and Minnie.
    [​IMG]

    This is me during the Princess Half Marathon at WDW. It was amazing to run through the castle!
    [​IMG]

    I'll update again soon!
    ~Cristy
     
  6. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for saying hi!

    I think we are going to come in a day earlier. DH just has to ask for it off.

    I didn't even think if hanging out at the hotels for a bit. That would be fun! My kids would love seeing any characters before even getting into the parks. My DD, who's 3, asks to go to "Didneelan" everyday. She's never seen a character in person. She probably needs to be eased into it, too.
     
  7. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you!!! I'm giddy about this trip, and am so happy to have you all to "talk" to about my planning. DH isn't into the details of it all. I'm sure he thinks we could just show up and go commando. I don't think so. :lol:
     
  8. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    It's on!

    When I'm in Ontario, next month, I'm doing a recon mission to check out the Tropicana, and spend some time in DTD. My mom will be with me, so going together will be really nice.
     
  9. PHXscuba

    PHXscuba <font color=darkorchid>Mouseketeer since birth!<br

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    It's great you've started your trip planning and the pre-trip report. I have gotten so many good suggestions from the folks who read mine.

    If you sew and tie-dye you will have some awesome outfits for your trip! I have seem some great Mickey-head tie-dye instructions on the Creative DISigns section of the DIS. And your daughters are still young enough that you can convince them to match. Mine have gotten too big.

    If your tie-dye stuff turns out cute please show it off. I am scared of doing it (mostly the mess). Though DD13 did it in her home ec class and made DS7 a shirt for Christmas that turned out well.

    PHXscuba
     
  10. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you!!

    I actually did a tutorial on my blog on how to tie-dye shapes: http://www.sewmuchlikemom.com/2012/10/making-tie-dyed-shapes-tutorial.html?m=1

    It can be messy, but if you use the bottles with narrow tips, it's a bit tidier.

    Here's a pic of my kiddos and their shirts. [​IMG]

    I'll definitely post pics of what I come up with, good or bad. ;)
     
  11. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    Hold up! Stop the presses!! I can't believe this, but DH wants to stay at PPH. faint::

    Last night we were talking about our trip, I told him how I was thinking of PPH, but the $ part was the only thing giving me doubts. He said he'd rather feel like he's on vacation in and out of the parks. The daily early entry really convinced him, though. Since we haven't been on a vacation in 4 years, and before that it had been 3 years, he wants to go for it. I'm even more excited now!!!

    I think we'll keep this a secret for the kids. It will be awesome when we walk in and they say, "We're staying HERE?!?!"

    Woohoo!! Now I'm off to change our reservation!!
     
  12. PHXscuba

    PHXscuba <font color=darkorchid>Mouseketeer since birth!<br

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    Awesome for the PPH!! Maybe we'll see you!

    My DH is kind of the same way -- he'd rather stay a little nicer and go a little less frequently than go bargain-basement and be looking out his window at the hotel he could have stayed in. And the early entry is a huge perk during a busy time of year. You're lucky you can all fit in one room!

    PHXscuba
     
  13. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    Make sure you take the famous "short cut" when going to and from the PPH!

    A lot of people tend to get the impression that the PPH is really far away. It's not. But, when you follow the actual signs on the property of the PPH that direct you to the parks it can seem like you're walking quite a bit out of the way. It takes too much time to go the 'suggested' route.

    So the best thing to do - and a much more interesting walk, I might add - is to go out the front entrance of the PPH (where the parking guys are), veer a bit to the left to get to the light at the corner, and cross the street (Disneyland Drive) to the Grand Californian Hotel. Then just cut through the GCH lobby (which is always a treat) and follow the signs to either Downtown Disney (which will take you straight to Disneyland) or to California Adventure if you want to use the special GCH entrance into California Adventure! The PPH and GCH are across the street from each other, so it's just a more appealing walk than going that roundabout way that the PPH signs would tell you to go.

    I love the PPH! I started out merely 'liking' it as a less expensive replacement for the Disneyland Hotel when I first stayed at the PPH back in 2000. But it has grown on me over the years and now I feel very content and comfortable there. I like the kind of laid back, surf/beach/nautical theme. I hope you love it too!:cool1:
     
  14. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Love your TR...Love your pics! :thumbsup2
     
  15. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    It would be great if our paths crossed! We check out on the 12th.

    Yes, it's nice that our kiddos are young enough that we can all fit in one room. My ILs are coming too, but they have a separate room.


    Thank you for the tip! I've heard about entering through GCH, and I'm really looking forward to that special little touch.

    I'm so excited about staying there. I hope at least one of our rooms (ours or my IL's) can get that magical free upgrade. pixiedust:

    Thank you! I'm happy you're here!
     
  16. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    It's official! We're going to be guests of PPH!!! :woohoo:princess::beach:

    And, drumroll, please... :rockband:

    WE LEAVE 2 MONTHS FROM TODAY!!!!!!!!!! :drive::banana::banana::banana::banana:

    DH and I decided to keep the hotel switch a secret from the kids, and his parents. I cannot wait until we walk in to the front desk and my kids realize that we're staying there. We've watched the 2012 vacation planning video dozens of times, and just got the 2013 video. We've watched it a bunch of times, already (BTW, except for the addition of Carsland, I think the 2012 video is much better, and includes info on more rides and features). When they show the hotels, my kids get so excited and say they wish they could stay at one of them. I'm just tickled to make this wish come true for them.

    Up next:
    *Decide on dining and make reservations
    *Plan outifts/make dresses for the girls
    *Work on our plan for the parks
     
  17. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    I'm going to DTD tomorrow!! I cannot wait! My plan is to stop in DLH, and if Goofy's hanging out, have him sign a postcard for my kids. When they get a postcard from Goofy, in the mail, they are going to flip!!

    I'm just going to take my time, get some dinner, and soak up all the magic I can. Since we're staying at PPH, I'll probably stop in there, as well just to check it out.

    For our actual trip in March, I reserved Goofy's for our arrival night to celebrate DS's birthday. I need to make the rest of our reservations, but I'm waiting for the hours to be posted, for our dates first.
     
  18. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    I think that sounds like a great plan for tomorrow! That's a good idea to check out the PPH and get the lay of the land!

    When I have seen Goofy hanging out, he has been in the lobby of the tower where you check in at the DLH. Sometimes he is right around the actual check-in desks and sometimes he is kind of standing over in the area with the bronze Mickey and Minnie statuettes by the elevators.

    Be sure to stop in World of Disney too - just because it's so darn huge and there are so many things to see!

    Oh, and another idea if you have time - there is a Walt Disney Travel Company office in DTD. It's around a corner (from either AMC Theaters or Earl of Sandwich) and not on the main path. They have some cool free books that you can pick up for Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line (the Cruise Line book is actually quite substantial). The DLR and WDW books list all of the hotels, all of the lands and various other fun things.
     
  19. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    DTD was so much fun! I ended up getting to go twice. I'll update with a few pics once I get them uploaded.

    While I was there, I walked the route from PPH to the DCA entrance at GCH: 7 mins. And the route from PPH to DL, through GCH/DTD: 11 mins. Not too bad.

    I'll be back!

    Our trip is in just 36 days!! I cannot wait!
     
  20. PHXscuba

    PHXscuba <font color=darkorchid>Mouseketeer since birth!<br

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    Thanks for timing the PPH to parks route. We'll be using that one too! Did you get any yummy treats from Marceline's? That's why I love walking through DTD!

    PHXscuba
     
  21. cristyhas3

    cristyhas3 Mouseketeer

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    You're welcome!

    I walked in, but the line was crazy long. I got some of my all-time favorite Goofy's Cherry Sours from World of Disney, though. Yum.
     

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