(More than)A FIVE years of Trips! -- TR Started! Day One - updated 6/10

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by hurleysweety, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008


    Current Trip Report:
    California Dreamin' - Celebrating our FIFTH anniversary!
    1. "Wouldn't it be funny if we got APs?"
    2. Digging up the Past AKA How a Cancelled Dream Vacation was a Blessing:goodvibes
    3. Driving all over California
    4. As a Bonus, Park your Car for Free
    5. Delicious Disneyland Treats & Sleepin' in Santa Barbara
    6. Priceline Express Rocks - One More Hotel Booked!
    7. My Online Shopping Addiction and San Francisco Plans
    8. Ocean, Cottages, and a Castle?! - Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway
    9. Help Me Pull off a Great Surprise!!
    10. That Darn Last Minute To Do List
    11. Day One: Finally on Vacation!

    Past PTR/TR's:

    Cars Land Beach Trip
    1. We Can't Stay Away
    2. My Super Special Cars Land Strategy - :rotfl:
    3. Gotta Love Priceline - Beach Trip & More
    4. Let's make a DINING Schedule!!
    5. Hollywood Plans are So Hard!
    6. We got our Go Card!
    7. Plans, plans, and more plans + Studio Tours Booked!
    8. We're back from our trip!
    9. Tips for getting on RSR + June 20th DCA Crowd Video

    How to plan a trip to Disney in FOUR days or less!
    1. We're going again!
    2. My hotel searching journey of endless search
    3. We leave in 3 days!
    4. TEN hours til we leave and I haven't even started to pack!

    OMGoodness! We're Going Premier!
    1. Santa's BEST stocking stuffer EVER
    2. Finally Booked!
    3. I love touringplans.com for Disneyland!
    4. World of Color = Crazy Obsessive Planner's Dream
    5. Just an off day...
    6. Alright, lets go to Disney, NOW!
    7. No...say it ain't so...
    8. Trip Binder Complete - Let's go!
    10. Mini TR - Saturday Morning & elecTRONica question???
    11. We're Home - Sunday Mini TR
    12. Day One - Part One
    13. House of Blues Review
    14. Day One - Part Two - We saw World of Color!
    15. Day Two - Part One (Picture Heavy!)

    I need to get outta here! One last AP Trip planned in 3 days PTR
    1. We're going this weekend
    2. All the plans I haven't made
    3. We're Here + Our "icky" Hotel Review
    4. First day quick review - its busy!
    5. 2nd Day Quick Review - OH my, it gets busier!
    6. 3rd Day Quick Review - Less Crowded, Less CMs
    7. Day One - Part 1 - No crowds and lovin it!
    8. Day One - Part 2 - Seminars and Lunch
    9. Day One - Part 3 - Parade, Dinner, and EO?

    Our Super Merry Christmas TR!
    1. Our Plans
    2. Happy Thanksgiving
    3. Our Hotel
    4. More About Us
    5. AP Appreciation Days
    6. Mickey for Christmas
    7. Itinerary is HERE!
    8. Mini Live TR
    9. More Live TR
    10. A beginning...
    11. Day 1
    12. Day 1-continued
    13. Day 1 - Nightime!

    September Trip
    1. Our Plans
    2. Ever changing Plans
    3. Plans Made!
    4. Dining Plans
    5. Our Itinerary
    6. Planning Binder
    7. 3 days til we leave
    8. We're Here!
    9. Live Update
    10. Food Porn
    11. More Food Porn
    12. Even More food porn

    Anniversary Trip
    1. About Us
    2. Honeymoon Pictures
    3. T-shirt Designs
    4. My Crocs!
    5. Live Update
    6. Day 1 - Our GCH Surprise!
    7. Day 1 - Part two
    8. Day 1 - Part three
    9. Our Anniversary Dinner - Storyteller's Cafe
    10. Dinner Continued

    DH Birthday Trip:
    1. More About Us + Wedding Photos!
    2. Our hopefully great Hotel!
    3. The AP Story of Deals - Sorta...
    4. What food to eat?
    5. I made a MONTE CRISTO!
    6. Blue Bayou - A rant, a rave, a review
    7. Food I want to EAT! (DTD)
    8. 2 Weeks, 4 Days
    9. Thanks to the Tag Fairy!
    10. Our Schedule!
    11. DHs parents want to take us to dinner!
    12. Honeymoon Pics!
    13. So now I feel bad...Mother's Day Festival = Fundraiser!
    14. NEW and REVISED schedule
    15. 9 days til our trip and DH IS GOING DISNEY!!!!
    16. My Planning Journal!!! - New Photos!
    17. We're BACK! Day 1 is complete w/ PICTURES!
    18. Day 2 - Part one - FOOD porn, crowd levels, and frozen treats!
    19. Day 2 - part 2! - Pirates, Aladdin, and random pics!
    20. ESPN Zone Review
    21. Day 2 - Our nightime Adventures
    22. Day 3 - daytime - DCA, here we come!
    23. Day 3 - nightime - In the parks til they closed

    So its been about a year since I stumbled upon the greatness that is the DISboards and I'm proud to say that I am a pro at clicking the minimize button as my boss walks in at work and many late nights where DH wonders if I'll ever get off my laptop. And this brings me to my second pre-trip report for DISNEYLAND!

    I couldn't be more excited for this trip since it will be the beginning of a great year filled with many random weekend trips that will sometimes be surprises to DH or his surprises to me. I can see it now..coming home from work on Friday and DH sitting there on the couch and as I walk in, "Hey, wanna go to Disney?" OOhhh, the joys I can already come to expect from these trips...

    Anyway, here are the details:


    :woohoo: Me - 23 - Graphic Designer - Lover of Disney and Pirates
    Favorite Ride - Splash Mountain
    Most hated ride - Winnie the Pooh (went on with my parents when I was a
    teen and we all made fun of it the whole time, sure I'll love it when I have

    :cool2: DH - 25 - Insurance Broker FT, Spring Training Coordinator for the Milwaukee Brewers PT - Loves me and therefore loves Disney
    Favorite Ride - Toy Story Mania
    Most hated ride - Tower of Terror (or anything that drops)

    May 7-10

    Marriott Suites, Garden Grove

    Driving, and also driving to park each day

    Coming up next:
    More about us, our wedding and honeymoon last May and our APs!
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  3. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

    Aug 17, 2006
    To funny about the Pooh ride. I call it Winnie the Pooh on acid. My kids kind of thought I was nuts. My oldest saw Across the Universe recently and understood what I meant. I had to laugh. It reminds me of the black light posters that were so popular in my childhood.
  4. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    Yes I agree! I really love Across the Universe and totally understand what you mean. When I saw the movie in the theater, I leaned over to one of my girlfriends that was with me and said, "Oh good, now I know what its like to trip on Acid..." :rotfl:
  5. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    Alright so, here are some more details about us:


    We got married last May 31st. It was a wonderful day with great weather and great planning (two type A personalities - our day had EVERYTHING scheduled complete with times and phone #s!)

    We left for WDW on Sunday and spent the week there until leaving for a second reception with DH's extensive extended family in his home state of Colorado. If we hadn't done that, we would have spent 10 days in WDW. But it was important to my MIL that we do that for all her 30 some cousins and I enjoyed the extra chance to celebrate a party entirely focused on the celebration of us! Plus MIL did a LOT of planning for it as well!

    So off to WDW, we had a great time. We stayed offsite at the In-Laws timeshare (large enough to sleep 8) and didn't want to leave. I fell even more in love with DH while I was there as we developed a passion for all things Disney as we finally got to share it with each other. :hug: On the trip we discovered DH's love for Toy Story Mania and my realization that all my love wasn't going to get him on any ride that dropped, except Splash Mountain. Guess I'll have to wait for other trips to ride TOT or any coaster type ride (not the type to ride something alone). He loves Thunder mountain though, go figure! Won't go near Space Mtn..


    Oh, and did I mention we will be celebrating DH's BIRTHDAY? I'm pretty sure I'm much more excited than he is, but I can pretend otherwise. I remind him every day of my excitement. And he is also happy to go, but reminds me this won't be an annual thing and that I should enjoy each trip this year. I guess that is okay with me. I don't want to get burnt out on DLR, but even more so, don't want DH to burn out during this year.

    So coming up next:
    Our APs that have been my most favorite sale/discounted/budget friendly item I've ever decided to purchase. (And my craze for always getting a good deal!)

    EDIT: Details on our hotel coming up next!

    Our plans are coming together quickly and we leave for our first trip of many in 57 days! :woohoo:
  6. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

    Aug 17, 2006
    I love the picture with the date. That's a cute idea. My DH and I had our honeymoon at DLF. It seems like a life time ago. It is 17 years this Summer.
  7. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    So we are staying at Anaheim Marriott Suites. I got the rate through priceline for $44/night! At that rate, I didn't even care what the hotel was like, until I saw these pictures from the website!

    At first glance, the hotel looks a little dated, and at this point I hadn't figured out how far away the hotel was:

    So then I looked at some of the guest rooms and immediately wanted to take a nice long nap:

    And then the best news ever was brought to my attention. An oh so lovely establishment has placed itself right in the middle of the lobby. Ladies and gentlemen, I present my peaceful haven in the midst of Disneyland exhaustion:

    So then I looked on tripadvisor.com. I love that website. It seriously makes picking and choosing a hotel so much easier. And there is always a recent review unlike other sites where the most recent is over six months old!

    So here are the stats from Trip Advisor:
    Check Rates and Availability: $187 (WOAHH! I'm glad I'm not paying that much!)

    This review is GREAT:
    We had a fabulous 5 night stay. The hotel was top notch with excellent customer service. The bed was very comfortable, yummy breakfast, and what a nice perk to have a bar in the hotel for a drink after a long day at Disneyland. FYI... they also have a Starbucks in the lobby and three restaurants (Italian, Red Robin, and Outback Steakhouse) are right outside the front door.

    This review SCARES ME:
    I've stayed at this hotel once before and was completely unimpressed but it has been several months so I decided to give it another try. Unfortunately, this place is worse than I remembered. The hotel is very run down - rooms as well as common areas. Furniture is extremely old and the couch and desk chair have stains that I don't want to even begin to guess what they are. Rug did not appear to be vacuumed. The self-parking, which is free, is also rather inconvenient. It is located at the back of the hotel. You must walk through the entire hotel to get to the front desk, lobby and elevators. The parking lot fills up quickly so parking in the lot after 8:00 pm forces you to park in one of the very last spaces at the end of the lot. It is not a practical hotel for the business traveler.

    Hopefully this won't be a big deal since it is from a business traveler standpoint. Having stayed at both the Sheraton and the Carousel Inn, I do know that the hotel is where you sleep in DLR. Its not really that important to have all those extra special amenities as if you were staying somewhere else. As long as its clean and I don't get any bed bugs, I'll be a happy camper! And DH could sleep at a motel 6 and probably care less so no worries there. He couldn't even believe we got a Marriott hotel on Priceline! I just hope that our future trips have just as great of deals. ;)

    Coming up next:
    The AP story...I promise its coming this time!
  8. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    It goes by so fast! I can't believe we're already coming up on one year!
  9. MommyWithDreams

    MommyWithDreams <font color=deeppink>What has the Dis done to me?

    Jan 10, 2007
    Hi there! Loving your TR so PTR so far. Your save the dates were really gorgeous! As for the review on trip advisor........there's always going to be one negative comment, even for the Ritz Carlton. :) I'm sure it will be great.
  10. Queenbillabong

    Queenbillabong <font color=green>Second <img src=http://photopost

    Feb 26, 2008
    We stayed at this hotel before - and did not get the great rate that you did! It was a nice hotel - and the Starbucks is awesome :thumbsup2 You mentioned that you're driving to the parks...... why not use the ART? There is a stop right there and it's so convenient (that's what we did and never had any issue). You can get a week's pass for way less than parking (unless you have a premium AP).

    Have a great trip :woohoo:
  11. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

    Aug 17, 2006
    I have a friend who swears by that hotel, she will not stay anywhere else. You got a great rate too. My DH and I stayed at a Marriott's in Beverly Hills and I wasn't pleased with part of our stay so I contacted their headquarters and they gave us 40% off or our stay because they stand behind theor reputation.
  12. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    Thanks for reading! Truth be told, those weren't the actual save the dates that went out, just used online. I'm a graphic designer so I made like 5 before I could actual commit to just printing one! And thanks for the advice on trip advisor. I want to be optimistic about it!

    Oh I'm so glad to hear good things about the hotel! And we actually do have a premium AP (well...on May 7th we will!) and I'm so glad that we'll get the free parking. I did the tram thing back in 2003 with my family and we really enjoyed the convenience of it - so thanks for the tip!

    I was absolutley shocked at the rate. I'm pretty sure its all I talked about for about 2 days with all my friends who really could care less about Disney. And regarding the hotel - good to know that they'll listen to unsatisfied customers! Hopefully we won't have to contact headquarters- but good to know they will help! :)
  13. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    So backing it up now...
    Last December I read about the great deal that Cosco was offering with the $50 gift card deal. I remember I was in this constant roller coaster every time I would go on the boards. First you had to be in southern Cali, then maybe they might not have them. But then maybe someone could get them for you, but then maybe they would not be able to get enough. Oh man...but then they came online! FINALLY! :goodvibes
    So after about a whole day of convincing myself it was worth the money since DH said yes right away - I purchased our tix and they came about a week before Christmas. MERRY CHRISTMAS to us! We now had Deluxe AP passes with a 50$ gift card each.

    Total Spent: $269 deluxe pass x 2 = $538
    Gift Cards and Promos = $100

    Then, for Christmas, DH and I each got a $25 disney gift card from my parents

    Total Spent: $269 deluxe pass x 2 = $538
    Gift Cards and Promos = $150

    And then DH sent in to get our Disney Reward dollars from our Disney Visa

    Total Spent: $269 deluxe pass x 2 = $538
    Gift Cards and Promos = $270

    And since it's DH's Birthday, we have a "fun card" amount that we can apply to the cost, (thanks to the DIS boards, I know I can do this!)

    Total Spent: $269 deluxe pass x 2 = $538
    Gift Cards and Promos = $339

    But DH and I want premium passes since our jobs won't allow us to take much time off during the weekends, they'll often be weekend trips.

    So $389 x 2 = $778 - $538 = $240 = cost of 2 Premium pass upgrades
    Total cost out of pocket:
    $538 - $339 + $240 = $439 :thumbsup2
    Thats LESS than the price for 2 deluxe passes! We end up saving around $100 and we get premium passes. I was so stoked when I figured this all out. But since the $538 is already paid off, this trip is actually going to cost us just hotel and gas! And I get to tell myself we "get" the $100 gift cards to spend on food and such! :banana:

    Anyone need to correct me, feel free!

    Oh, and God Bless the CM that gets to deal with all this around an hour before DLR closes on DH's birthday! :headache: I just hope it runs smoothly with all the birthday, upgrading, reward dollars, and gift card mess!
  14. Dizneydaz

    Dizneydaz DIS Veteran

    Jul 12, 2005
    Gotta love disney math! Waiting to hear more.
  15. blabbermouth

    blabbermouth DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2008
    Sounds like a fun trip. What an amazing hotel deal!! Hope to hear more soon.
  16. KrazyKat4DIS

    KrazyKat4DIS Mouseketeer

    Mar 10, 2009

    I love Tripadvisor too. I won't book a hotel without consulting it first.

    Looking forward to hearing more! :surfweb:
  17. Sarah84

    Sarah84 DIS Veteran

    Aug 6, 2008
    Sounds like a great trip, what a good deal with the hotel. Those pictures are gorgeous :)
    Look forward to reading more
  18. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    Okay, so I'm getting really excited about our trip now. I keep checking out the menus on allears.net and scoping out the new food pictures on the Disneyland dining thread and man do I get sooo hungry. DH pretty much thinks I'm nuts for trying to plan what I would like to eat in 40 days at 6:30 for dinner...:lmao: But oh well, I'll still try to plan. I'm not really sure how I am supposed to guess when I'll be hungry, or if I'll be in the park, or resting in the room around lunch time. Or if I'll want to sit and enjoy a nice relaxing table service restaurant, or a quick bite between rides. Oh man...I am a planner and that is apparent...but to plan each meal - that must be some kind of special gift! I feel so clueless as to what food will sound good and how much I'll want to spend. I know one thing so I will share the ONE meal plan we actually have and must do while in DLR on this trip.

    Breakfast - at home
    Lunch - eating on the go, either from home or fast food
    Dinner - McDonalds or Taco Bell - or something quick

    Breakfast - room
    Lunch - ?
    Dinner - ESPN Zone to celebrate DH's birthday (surrounded by sports, sports, and food)

    Breakfast - room
    Lunch - ?
    Dinner - ?

    Breakfast - room
    Lunch - on the road
  19. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

    Aug 17, 2006
    I am one of those people that has a hard time making the PS for dining so far in advance. Like you I cannot say what I will want or when I will want it. There are so many choices of where and what you may want. I make the plans loosely and then go from there.
  20. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    Good plan to make loose plans...that way I can be flexible with my ever-changing mind. :lmao:
  21. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

    Feb 2, 2009
    Coming in a bit late, but still here for all the good planning stuff!!!!! Loving the pics!!! I'm a visual reader....so the more pics, the better!! So hubby deals with the ??? Brewers???? can't remember what I read now.....anywho... what state are you in....I saw that you were driving so I got confused...doesn't take much for me to do that :rotfl:

    The plans so far so good & look forward to reading more!!!

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