Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by funatdisney, Apr 5, 2011.
Great pics! Thanks for posting.
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Thank you, tksbaskets. I am going to DL tomorrow with the Hubby. I'm hoping to take a few pics and update my album.
Have a blast!!
Nice to hear from you and hope u have a great time.
Good to hear from you, Brett. And thanks for checking in.
Well I thought I would make this weekend trip an entry for this trip report. So some back story, because every trip I make to DL has a back story.
I am a DVC member and as an owner of GC Villas, I know it is very difficult to get a room at the Grand California Villas (there are only 48 folks) during the months of November and December without booking 11 months in advance.
But I was able to to get this room last month! I couldn't believe it. Not only was I able to book a one bedroom during a busy December weekend, I was able to book it, when I had passed the chance to book it two times before the third time charm.
This is how it happened. The DVC website allows online booking. For fun and to see how difficult it is to get a room during one of the busiest times of the year on short notice, I started to check available of any room size weeks at a time. I checked every week until mid-January. Literally last month, this one night for a Saturday check in for a one bedroom came up as available. "Wow" I thought, "that is a find." Especially when the Candlelight Processional was just announced. And then I passed it up! I did the same week sweeps a few days later and the same room and day came up. I was really considering it when I got distracted and passed it up again. Later I thought, "Darn. I didn't book that room." Then a few days later, I was sweeping the weeks and it came up a third time. I didn't hesitate this time. I booked it. What can I say, it was meant to be. The third time's a charm right?
My girls (15 and 17) didn't want to go. Something about school and what not. Teenagers! Who can figure them out. Missing out on a trip with mom and dad and preferring to stay home alone with out the "parental units". We thought they are now old enough and responsible enough to stay by themselves. So we are going... by ourselves. I am excited. I was able to go to DL on Nov 8 (for the hotel Christmas pins release - it was a short day). I did a short walk through Carsland. Not everything was up, but I was so impressed with what they had already put up. I thought I would like to see Carsland finished and at night. What I saw was so clever and thoughtful. It was like the powers that be gave an early Christmas present to the Imgineers and told them to go to town. "Let your your inner Walt come out and have a great time!"
So I am on my way in an hour. I can't wait to see Carsland at night and, of course, the Castle at night. I so love seeing Sleeping Beauty's Castle at night decked with all those twinkling lights. It just isn't Christmas without seeing the Castle, one of the most regal and gorgeous buildings in the world during the Holiday Season.
Hope to take picture and look forward to eating yummy holiday treats and spend some lovely quality time with Hubby.
Be back soon.
Ok I got here yesterday around 11am. Traffic not too bad and the weather was pretty good. Hit a few downpours, but Anaheim was rain free when we arrived.
I checked into our villa and took off to do some pin trading with cast members at Guest Services and the gift shop. I knew the room number we were assigned. They tell they don't know what room you have, but it is printed on the registration form. It should be. You are signing to agree to Disney's terms for staying at their hotel. It is like a legal document. We had room 1514. I don't like first floor rooms, but hey we got this room last minute and we were only staying one night. So I went to check out the location. The room is located in a good spot. It faces DCA next to the emergency gate to the pool. Still not bad. there isn't much traffic there, especially with the rainy weather.Most people wouldn't go for a swim anyway. I was happy to note a cast member was working on the room and we had a good chance to get into the room before 4pm. Took some pictures, too.
I liked these plants near the fireplace.
Some of the outdoor fireplace
Some of the GCH Tree ornaments
Went to the gift shop. The 2013 ornament was on display ready for any takers. The CM told me they have only been out for a week.
I bought one on the day I left, but there were only a few left. I know they will restock them and I can get one the next time I go to DL, but I bought one anyway. I always get the next year's dated ornament in Dec because I'll forget, thinking I have plenty of time to buy one. Before long, it is the end of November and all the dated pins and ornaments are sold out. At least I can trade for a pin, but I can't for an ornament.
For those that love merchandise displays. At the Acorn gift shop
I found my Hubby. Hubby had an "situation" at work and was taking care of it when I met up with him. He waved me off signing to me to go ahead of him (we are both fluent in American Sign Language - comes in handy in times like this) He really needed to take of things. I signed I was off to Downtown Disney. I had some pins to buy!!
The first of the 20 Candlelight performances was scheduled later that night. I knew there would pins released for this event. There were - two Chip n Dale pins, one with a green back round. the other with a red back round. Got me those and a few others. they were really nice.
Some pictures of DTD
There was a few Holiday mini stores, selling nonDisney holiday merchandise. Here are two
Toys for Tots was there. Don't you love men in uniform?
A nice place for a photo, next to Earl of Sandwich
(More about Earl of Sandwich, which is amazing!!!)
Playing with Photobucket. Here is one of the night photos of the SB Castle taking during the Candlelight Processional. SO wished I had a tripod.The
"icicles" were not on. I went back later for those pictures.
After buying the pins in Downtown Disney and having heard no word from Hubby, I decided to go into Disneyland to find the 12-12-12 pin. I heard from someone while in line to buy the Candlelight pins, there were a few left at the Westward Ho. I was happy to see the pin was there. After buying my pin, Hubby called. We decided to meet at Earl of Sandwich. On my way out I took these pictures.
The stage for the Candlelight Processional.
The podium the guest narrator stands. Well put together and festive.
This display flanked both sides of the stage. I think this is a good place for a photo
Disney Parks Blog featured the design for Candlelight merchandise in one of their postings. I love the design and wanted a t-shirt. You can read the posting by clicking on this link: Disney parks Blog 2012 Candlelight Ceremony Merchandise at Disneyland Park The entry lists what merchandise will feature this year's design and where to find them. I was happy to find these t-shirts out and displayed at the souvenir shop before you walk under the railroad tracks. The one next to City Hall
I am very pleased to say the t-shirt more than met my expectations. I bought one on my way to meet the Hubby. They also had a woven throw blanket I wanted, but I'm watching my pennies. Maybe if I go back before the 20th. That is if they sell out first.
It was crowded at DTD. More than usual I think. Especially with the forecast of rain. Whereas it wasn't that crowded at DL, IMHO. Took me some time to get to the Earl's place.
Crowd at DTD
Finally get to Earl of Sandwich. There was a line of about 40 people, but let me tell you, it doesn't take that long. They pretty fast considering it is a counter restaurant. It took me about 20 25 minutes to get to the front. I know that seems like a long wait, but not really. That's pretty fast considering the number of folks in front of me. Plus the sandwich is SO WORTH THE WAIT!!!
Hubby and I had eaten at Earl of Sandwich in WDW a few times. I remember the first time I had one. It was a late afternoon and with two toddlers we just wanted to eat and quickly. EoS had a long line, but it was the best of the options available. We were impressed that it didn't take that long to get our order in. When we got our food (again pretty quickly remember we had hungry toddlers in tow we would have definitely noticed a long wait), we were more than ready to eat. That sandwich (we had the roast beef) was so good. It was warm, fresh and the beef was excellent. We were so impressed with the Earl, we made a point to eat there again during that trip and every trip to WDW thereafter. Now we can eat there at least 6 times a year!!
Ok back to this trip. Once inside, I noticed the back wall of the food prep area was filled with white-yellowish bread. Yes folks, the bread is baked until brown with your sandwich fixin's if you ordered a hot sandwich. Oh I was looking forward to eating my sandwich so much. I ordered the Holiday Special and got a pasta salad. It was made of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Like a Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich. Hubby got a roast beef sandwich and a bag of chips.
EoS runs like this: when you reach the counter, you only put your sandwich order. After that it is like cafeteria style. You move forward to open refrigerators to pick out any sides or bottled drinks you want. You can get a soft drink but you order that when you get to the cashier. When you are finished paying for your food, they hand you a pager that vibrates when your order is ready. Go sit down and wait a few minutes for your food. It didn't take long for us to wait.
I was so hungry and it tasted so wonderful, I forgot to take a picture of the sandwich before I ate. I remembered after I had eaten half. So a picture of half a sandwich will do.
Messy. I know but oh sooo good!
Earl of Sandwich will take your AP discount. The sandwich is big enough to fill my tummy, I will only order a sandwich next time and skip adding a side item. Hubby saved his chips for later. Yep sandwiches only will be more than enough to keep us going all afternoon.
Another interesting note I would like to add about the EoS. You can get soft drinks (Coke, Diet Coke, etc. and iced tea) which are self serve. Unusual for Disneyland. One can save a little money by ordering a small drink and refill their drink before you take off. The AP discount, refilling (or topping off a cup which is what I do) and the best tasting sandwiches ever makes EoS a good choice to eat.
We will probably make a visit to the Earl every time we stay at DLR. It is a good choice for your check in day. We like to cook our meals in our room (one of the reasons why we bought into the Disney timeshare saves time and money), but that is not an option for lunch when we first arrive. Before we would eat inside one of the parks, which isn't the best food and can be expensive. The Earl of Sandwich is a good way to start a vacation IMHO.
Looks like you are having fun! We stayed at the Villas last year. So lucky to get it for a week after Christmas. Can't wait to see more.
Nice to see that you are having a great time at the DLR during the Holiday season. Great pictures at DTD and pictures of the CP at DL. Have a great time.
Just as we finished lunch, I got a text from Disney telling me the room was ready. Sweet! It was only 1:20pm. Usually our room isn't ready until 4pm (literally). Hubby and I head to the room. We were assigned room #1514 on the first floor. I don't like the rooms on the first floor at the Villas. Rooms on the first floor tend to have no privacy and there is always a noise problem. True it is easier to not have to use the elevator and since we use the bbq, transporting the beef to the bbq is more convenient. Remember I knew where our room was located as soon as I checked in. I decided to not make a fuss about the room because we were only staying one night and all the cons I mentioned above wouldn't matter. Boy was I wrong. More on that later.
Room #1514 is is wheelchair accessible. We have never stayed in a room for a wheel bound individual. The room is slightly different than what we are used. Some of the differences we noticed: in the kitchen the cabinet under the sink is removed, the microwave oven is on the counter (not above the range) and the counters are lower. In the master bath, the commode is not in a separate small room, but out in the open. We didn't mind these changes. Just something different.
Hubby and I wanted to stay until Disneyland Park closing which was at 12am. I especially wanted to see Carsland at night and take some pictures. So we decided to take a nap. I needed one because I had a heck of a week I could use a few z's.
We were woken up by a car horn. A quick honk. That was weird. We were just outside the pool area and the furthest point from the street. There are more car honks in a matter of five minutes. We couldn't get back to sleep so we decided to get up Again a car honk. A short quick beep beep. The same kind of horn would beeping every few minutes in an irregular pattern. Quite annoying. We thought it could be coming from valet parking, because there was a lot of activity at the hotel that evening with Candlelight and two major parties scheduled (a valet CM told us two Christmas parties of 500 attendees each were planned that evening)
We got about an hour and half nap. I felt well rested. We weren't hungry. No need to cook dinner yet. Hubby wanted to go into the hot tub (one of his favorite things to do). I wanted to go into DL It was dark already and I thought I could get some night time pics in DL and go into DCA after dinner.. Only I forgot to pack his swimming trucks. Darn. We ended up splurging and buying one at the Acorn gift shop. A cute solid black one with a white Mickey head on one of the truck legs. I think I'll store those in the suitcase to be sure I WONT forget them again.
While he was enjoying the tub, I went into DL. The first Candlelight was in progress so I thought taking the Monorail would be a good choice to get into DL. I knew the DL trains were not operating during the Processional, but I wasn't sure about the Monorail. On my way out I stopped by Guest Services to ask if the Monorail was working during the Candlelight Processional. The CM called operations. He told me the Monorail is operating but only one monorail was on line. That will add some time, but I was fine with that. On my way I go.
The Dickens singers were taking requests as I walked by.
When I arrived at the Monorail station in DTD, the line was pretty long, but still I wanted to take it in. I figured it would take two trips before I get on, but I was fine with that. I get to the waiting platform, and listened to the announcements. The announcements explained one Monorail was in operation and would taking passengers one way only. All Guests were asked to exit the cars when they arrived in Tomorrowland. The Monorail cars would arrive every 10 minutes. I lucked out and I was able get on the next car. A few people got out of line when they heard the announcements, pushing me further up the line. Whoo-ho. Those Monorail cars can hold a lot of people.
When I got to Tomorrowland I headed to the Castle. It was pretty empty. I didn't have to fight the fireworks crowd to get the shots I wanted. I could hear the Candlelight performance in the back round.
Here are a few pictures I took of Sleeping Beauty's Castle.
As I mentioned in another post, the icicles were not on. Could it be because of Candlelight? Not sure, but I wanted some picture of them I would have to come back later. (I was able to)
Next I headed to It's A Small World.
I don't think these are very good. I think my camera is shot. It is about 5 years old and with the kids using it for projects and me lugging to DL and other trips for years, it is beginning to preform less than its stellar self. I also need a tripod. Lots of these shots I took without a flash. I had to find a secure spot (like a wall or bench) to keep from moving and ruining the shot.
As I was taking pictures, I hear my name being called. I don't pay any attention. My name is a very common name so I have learned to ignore my name when I hear it in crowded places like DL. I turn around to find my way t' another spot for pictures, when I hear my name again, but much closer. I glance around and I see someone I know from my hometown. I run up to him and give him a big hug, telling him, I'm always astonished how I to run into people from Ventura I know in Disneyland and never do at home. BTW if I am at DL for a full day, I always run into someone I know from home. My friend was with his wife and twol kids (they are a young couple) in line for IASW. I stay with them in line, catching up and chatting about DL.
When I finish, I head back to the room. Time to cook dinner. I am hungry! More on that in the next installment.
Separate names with a comma.