Not too shabby for a consolation prize! A Dec 2013 TR! Update 5/3 p. 28 COMPLETED!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by rentayenta, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    Hi and :welcome: to my pre-trip report. I am powerless against not writing pre and post trip reports. This is my 3rd active report at this time. :blush: Thank you for joining in. Be warned, I like to write in fragmented sentences. And my reports are picture heavy. See how I just did that?

    First, a little about the title.

    I applied to be a part of the 2014 Disney Parks Moms Panel and made it to Round 2. I did not make it to Round 3. I found out this past Thursday and was fairly and temporarily heartbroken. If you aren’t familiar with the Moms Panel go to the official Disneyworld site and you’ll see the logo. Click there and it’ll explain. Although my process ended much sooner than I would have liked, my consolation prize for not making it isn’t too shabby. I am always tossing around the idea of a trip during the winter holidays; sometimes they happen and sometimes they don’t and up until yesterday my chances of visiting Disneyland during the holidays were slim at best. Don’t cry for me Argentina. It gets better, promise.

    Rewind to yesterday at Starbuck’s. I heart you Starbuck’s. They have been doing a B1G1 Free all week so DH and I have been hitting the decaf grande white chocolate mochas pretty hard. Some of our best plans have been born at the local Starbuck’s. Kinda creepy huh? LOL! :lmao:

    We had briefly talked about a possible trip over the holidays but with DH’s crazy schedule it wasn’t looking good. Until yesterday. As we sat, listening to Wilco, chatting, and reveling in our mellowness, DH brought up Disneyland and said he’s needing a fix. That’s all I needed. We whipped out our phones, compared calendars, and came up with dates. I know Walt said it all began with a Mouse but around here, it all begins with a date.

    We have dates! :woohoo: I have a consolation prize.

    Our family is comprised of myself, DH, and our three children (16,14, and 12). Our middle DD will turn 15 while we are in California. This trip is a little bit Christmas and a little birthday too (sung to the tune of Donny and Marie’s Little Bit Country). I have been in Utah far too long as I am using Donny and Marie lyrics and referring to them twice on the first page. Someone save me.

    Me: I'm 44 y/o, mom of 3, wife to 1, and self-proclaimed Disney freak. I love it. I always have. I am from So Cal and grew up going to Disneyland. My father would take me weekly as a child. I have the happiest memories.

    DH: Anchor extraordinaire, firefighter, hardworking, the Ricky to my Lucy. He also mines diamonds in Africa and travels all over for another part time gig.

    Gabby 16: Motivated, funny, straight shooter, snotty teen. She's determined to move out of Utah as soon as she graduates high school and I think she'll do it.

    Chloe 14: Artistic, dreamer, eclectic, snotty teen. Chloe's idol is Mary Blair and I have no doubt she'll have every success.

    Joshua 12: Witty, soccer loving, straight A's, snotty pre-teen. His goals are to be ether a pro soccer player or a HS History teacher.

    Before we get into the nitty gritty, I’d like to share some photos from prior trips. We love our Disneyland. These are only a small sample.

    This one has my father (pre-stroke) in it.

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    Continued in next post.....​
     
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  3. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    If you are still with me, thank you. If you'd like to see more current photos, please check out my other reports (links below). :goodvibes

    I don't know that I can adequately convey how happy I am to be taking this trip. The winter holidays are my favorite time of the year to visit the Disneyland Resort. The sights and smells and sounds evoke pure joy. I am so excited for the 5 of us to spend 2 magical days at the Happiest Place on earth. :cloud9:

    Up next: the plan and trip details.
     
  4. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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  5. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    well you KNOW I'm here!

    I am loving the pictures of the kids, wow on Chloe's hair change. I knew but hadn't seen pictures of her when she was that little. So much fun to see them grow up in those pictures.

    M at the grill is classic!

    I feel horrible I didn't know you'd made it to round 2. You'd be AMAZING!

    Perfect consolation prize.
     
  6. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    Yay! I'm glad you're here. I thought it would too confusing to combine my cruise report with this one as I still have a ton to plan.

    Isn't Chloe's hair crazy straight? It started to get wavy and then mad curly when she began her Increlex shots (treatment for her IGF1-Deficiency). The docs swear that the medication doesn't have anything to do with her hair turning curly but as you can tell she had stick straight hair before and up until she began the shots and that was way before puberty hit. I'm sure she'd be elated that I mentioned her name and puberty in the same sentence. :rotfl:

    I didn't tell anyone I applied but the kids and Michael. Once I made it to Round 2 I told my friend Sadee, the coworker who would have filled in for me had I made it on the panel, and a few other hopefuls on Twitter. I am proud of my essays and video, I was totally me, nothing staged or edited, and spoke and wrote straight from the heart. I'm damn funny too; they're missing out. ;)
     
  7. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    Nice to hear that you and your family will be going down to the DLR in December. Hope you and your family have a great time.

    Very nice pictures of your family from your past Disneyland trips.
     
  8. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    OK! I'm here too! And you can definitely have a chapter at my house too!
     
  9. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    Thanks Bret and :welcome:. We're truly so excited, at least Michael and I are excited. The kids don't know yet. ​


    :woohoo: You know it! How did your first time entertaining in the new house go? ​
     
  10. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Everyone seemed quite impressed. Not to be stuck up, but I'm not sure how you wouldn't be. The house is insane! I keep pinching myself that "I"am going to live there! The show got out really late 11PM, but we were all in a great mood because it was so irreverent and funny. We almost polished off two bottles of bubbly/wino… though folks were tired they wanted to explore and hang out.

    We spent a few minutes at the Tiki bar, but mostly moved about the place and then went home and crashed!
     
  11. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! Need to come back and read :)
     
  12. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    You don't sound stuck up, you sound happy. :thumbsup2 And you should be happy. It's a beautiful home and you're going to make wonderful memories in such a peaceful place. You come across as grateful and excited not stuck up at all.

    Sounds like an awesome night. Funny you entertained at home and then went home after. :rotfl:

    What show did you see? ​






    :welcome: friend. I'm so crazy nuts excited for this trip. We haven't done Disneyland during the holidays for quite some time and its total magic. I'm wrapping my head around just having two days but heck, a few days ago, the whole trip was off the table. pixiedust:
     
  13. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Young Frankenstein, the Musical. Funniest. Show. Ever. The movie was made at a time in History when you couldn't really talk about those kinds of things. Now that what was R rated back then is PG13, it was really funny. Mel Brooks wrote the songs, so you KNOW it has to be funny!
     
  14. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    Loved the movie so I'm guessing the live show is even better. Mel Brooks is great. Funny we were just talking about ratings and what was R years ago would be PG13 or maybe even PG now. Where was the show? You ladies are always on the go go go. I was out of my robe for a total of 5 hours yesterday. :rotfl:

    Sounds like a great evening. :thumbsup2
     
  15. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Oh my goodness those kids were cute, and so tiny!!! I know they start out that way but it's always fun to see photos :)

    I'm sorry about the Moms Panel, you would have been fabulous, their loss :(
     
  16. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    :thanks: They grow up so fast. It's amazing how quickly time flies. Chloe has changed the most to me. A lot of people don't recognize her from toddler photos.

    We have so many magical memories of our times at Disneyland. ​



    You're sweet, thank you. I'm over it now and only imagining how crappy I'd feel if I got cut after Round 3. From what I gather, they take
    20,000 applicants. They waddle that down to 250-350 for Round 2. They chop that down to about 40 for Round 3, and then from there between 10-20 make it. I feel pretty good getting into Round 2. Can't be everyone's cup of tea and I'm okay with that.



    I can't believe you go to WDW in less than 3 weeks. VGF, here you come! :woohoo: Are you so excited?



     
  17. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    About the Moms Panel, I totally believe the Lord has plans with everything, might have been the timing of the whole thing.

    I won't believe I'm going to the VGF until I'm on the plane. It's been a lifelong dream of mine to stay there. Very very excited :hyper:

    I'm so glad this trip is happening for you guys, what wonderful family time! :cheer2:
     
  18. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    I love your prospect of a consolation DL trip! What a great way to spend the holiday time. :thumbsup2

    There's nothing like snow on Main Street during that time of the year!
     
  19. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    I agree. :goodvibes Had I made it, we would not be doing a holiday family trip this year. We think alike. It all works out how it's supposed to.

    I'm so excited for you. I've been lurking in the DVC section and the pics I've seen are beautiful. What a fantastic addition to our choice of DVC resorts.


    Me too. We always have such a blast and every trip is so different. I think that's part of what people miss when they ask why we are always going to Disney. Each trip has a general familiarity but also varies in lots of areas. ​



    :welcome: Thank you for joining in. Snow on Main St is my very favorite. :cloud9: I had tears streaming down my face the first time I experienced the Disneyland snow. We live in Utah and I know our slogan is The Best Snow on Earth but I think even disney has us beat.

    It's the best consolation gift ever. Part of the fun for me is planning and anticipating with friends and family. ​
     
  20. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    It was at the Carpenter Center, real close to the new house.
     
  21. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    :thanks: to all those who are reading along and a special thank you to those who post. I really enjoy sharing and planning with everyone. Reading other’s reports are so much fun and I like seeing the parks through a different set of eyes and experiences. pixiedust:


    I talked about dates earlier and wanted to share that we had two sets of dates to choose from.

    Option 1: Dec 18-24
    Option 2: Dec 25-31

    Both are 7 days and both would have worked. Both sets also have pros and cons. Either way DH would have to fly out earlier than us and we’re driving home a few days later.

    Dec 18-24 looks like this. We all drive out the 18th, do the parks the 19th and 20th, DTD the 21st, and DH flies home that evening. The 22nd and 23rd will be beach/fun/So Cal days and we’ll drive home 12/24. DH works at the FD on 12/24 and will be home from work at 8 am Christmas morning.

    Dec 25-31 looks like this. We all drive out Christmas Day, do the parks the 26th and 27th, DTD the 28th and DH would fly out that evening. The kids and I would have our beach/fun/So Cal days on the 29th and 30th. We’d drive home the 31st.

    Both options are viable but there are a few reasons Option 1 works better and is the one we chose. :woohoo: I love it when a plans comes together.

    Both plans have Michael getting off shift and requiring we hop in the already packed car. The pro to not leaving Christmas Day is we can relax, enjoy the day, and DH will make a yummy turkey dinner. If you’ve read my other reports or are my FB friend, you know Michael is an amazing cook.

    Score: 1/0 Option 1.

    The week between Christmas and New Year’s is the busiest week of the year at the Parks.

    Score: 2/0 Option 1.

    We could have had the kids open the trip up as their Christmas gift in Option 2.

    Score: 2/1 Option 2.

    Realistically , we’ll still buy the kids a bunch of souvenirs.

    Score 2/1 Wash.

    If by chance the weather looks bad, which is a real possibility, leaving So Cal and having to stay the night in Vegas on 12/24 is far more appealing then on 12/31. The cost of hotel room and the crowds both scare me. :crazy2: If the weather looks bad though, we’ll leave a day earlier if necessary.

    Score 3/1 Option 1.

    My friend who we’ll be staying with during the non-Disney part (and maybe the Disney part, still working on the details) is leaving for out of town 12/28. While we could still stay at her house, I want to spend some time with her. Option 2 doesn’t allow for that.

    Score 4/1 Option 1.

    We usually spend Christmas Eve with my in-laws. I adore my in-laws, they are wonderful people. Driving home 12/24 won’t allow us to spend the evening with them but will allow us to be with them Christmas Day in our home. If we leave Christmas Day we wouldn’t see them at all on the 25th and in reality only see them for a short while on 12/24 because I’ll need to be packing the car etc. Its close to being a tie but I’m giving the point to Option 1. Love fuzzy Disney thinking.

    Score 5/1 Option 1.

    Kenneling the dogs. I’m not doing it this year. :lmao: I am having Michael ask his folks if they’ll keep them while we are gone. The kennel we use is amazing but closed on Sundays, holidays, and only open until noon on Saturday. Option 1 has us paying for the dogs to be kenneled for 7 days which adds up to $210. Option 2 has them being kenneled for 8 days which is $240. Both are bad but if Michael’s folks won’t keep them, Option 1 costs less.

    Score 6/1 Option 1.

    Holiday fun and festivities. Option 1 will force me to be finished, wrapped, and delivered by 12/17. I help organize a holiday gift drive for kids in the DCFS system. We usually have the hardest push the week before Christmas for kids who are pulled the days leading up to Christmas; they are removed from their home but not in a foster home yet. They are in limbo and often forgotten during the holidays. I will have to make sure someone will take care those last fews days and children who enter the system. Every child deserves a Christmas. Option 2 doesn’t have any abnormal time constraints.

    Score 6/2 Option 2.

    The kids will have to miss 2 days of school. They are doing amazing this year and have done so well. It's near the end end of the term which is good. The term ends in mid January so they'll be able to make anything up. This is a BIG con though for Option 1. It's worth 2 points.

    Score 6/4 Option 2.

    Michael is off New Year's Eve and Day and we're looking into a night on the town; dinner and dancing sans kids. :flower3:

    Score 7/4 Option 1.

    The above reasoning and rationale made Option 1 the winner. So officially our dates for the trip are Dec.18-24.

    While I haven’t got all of details ironed out, like where we’ll sleep on park days :rotfl: I do have a loose itinerary. We’ll have 7 glorious days and even though 2 of them will be spent driving, it’s totally worth it.

    Up next: our loosey goosey itinerary.













     

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