Oct 14-17:A Solo Trip to Disneyland! Day3: Single Rider Shuffle

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by SurfinTX, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Hello everyone and :welcome: to my Solo? DIS trip report to Disneyland!

    This will be my first trip to Disneyland as well as anywhere in California.

    The Cast:

    That's me on the right, Tom. I'm 39 and have just came back from Disneyworld June 11th. This is me baking in the hot Florida sun at EPCOT.
    [​IMG]

    Now the reason I have a question mark after Solo is that there is a chance that I can bring along Dianna (on the left), my wife and my love, over that weekend if everything works out. It's a longshot but I am putting forth a big effort to see if I can get this done.

    I am currently in the early stages of planning due to my workplace not being clear on how many days I will have to enjoy myself after my training is done. So hang in there and find out with me how fun a Solo? trip can be!


    LINKS:
    7/20: Preliminary Itinerary
    7/20: Hotel Update
    8/2: Still Waiting on Disney
    9/21: Summer Updates
    10/6: One Week to Go!

    Trip Report

    Day 1
    Part 1: Have Gun. Will Travel.
    Part 2: A Lot Happened on a Work Trip but must be Skipped for the Readers Sakes!
    Part 3: Who Needs a Cantina Band Anyway?
    Part 4: You will sense Disney Magic when you are Calm and at Peace.
    Part 5: So We Meet Again Dr. Jones.
    Part 6: Riding that Attraction is not my idea of courage. It's more like, suicide.
    Part 7: A Twisted Holiday
    Day 2
    Part 1: Not So Sunny California
    Part 2: It's Not My Fault!
    Part 3: This is Actually Kinda Like Cropdusting Kid.
    Part 4: What an Incredible Smell You've Discovered!

    Part 5: So This is What Being Inside a Two Meter Exhaust Port Feels Like!
    Part 6: I Really Didn't Want This Much Attention!
    Part 7: Yo! Ho! Yo! Ho! A Pirate's Life for Me!
    Part 8: This is Halloween!
    Part 9: Getting Buzzed at MHP!
    Day 3
    Part 1: Saturday Magic Morning
    Part 2: Curiouser and Curiouser.
    Part 3: Oh Alice! You Tease!
    Part 4: My (Magic) Kingdom for a Cup of Coffee!
    Part 5: The DCA Marathon.
    Part 6: Single Rider Shuffle
     
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  3. WheresTheLove

    WheresTheLove Mouseketeer

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    Hope your wife is able to join you! I look forward to reading more! You'll LOVE Disneyland! :thumbsup2
     
  4. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    I'm glad you made it over to my Pre-TR! I'm hoping Dianna will be able to enjoy this with me as well. I'm keeping my options open and flexible right now. :teacher:
     
  5. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Itenerary

    Where? Anaheim International Inn Travelodge
    When? Oct. 14th-18th

    How? Every so often my work sends a few people to train with the vendors of the tools we use. This time I was selected and now have a free roundtrip flight to LAX. I have already worked it out with our travel company to extend the duration of my stay so I can enjoy a few sights of Los Angeles. Specificaly Disneyland and Universal Studios. :thumbsup2

    Preliminary Itenerary: Assuming I'm Solo.

    3 Day Disney Bonus Parkhopper
    1 Day Universal Studios

    Thursday - Depart work training Thursday at 1:30 pm.
    Check-in at 2:30-3:00 pm.
    Grab early dinner (Mimi's?) and then head for Disneyland.
    Catch a few rides and then watch either Fantasmic or Fireworks.
    Sleep.


    Friday - Take Gray Line to Universal Studios - Pickup 9:30
    Arrive at Universal Studios 10:15
    Ride! Ride! Ride! but Simpsons first.
    Park Closes at 7:00 pm. Head back.


    Saturday - Bonus Hour Morning. Get there early!
    Catch Fantasmic or World of Color...or something like that.


    Sunday - Keep riding and parkhopping! See, pretty flexible, eh?

    At this time I have no plans as far as dining. If I am solo then I will probably be eating counter service but maybe something nice one night.

    If Dianna is coming then the plan will be totaly different (and far more expensive).
     
  6. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Hotel Update

    So how did I end up in the Anahiem International Inn Travelodge?

    Over my last few vacations I have used Priceline to make my hotel reservations. Usualy I do very well bidding on rooms and have had several fantastic deals on 3 and 4 star hotels. This time I was looking to save a bit of money and try a two star hotel since they seem to have the most free starter breakfasts in the morning.

    Checking the maps I see several hotels that fit the bill all within a block of Disneyland including a Super 8 and Holiday Inn Express. I placed a bid of $47 which was right above half the average rate. Crossing my fingers I submit...and find them selecting a hotel that was only $2 over my bid and considerably farther away. :headache:

    [​IMG]

    Just about a mile. Oh well! I'm a grown man and I can make the hike. What was grinding on me, however, was the price I paid. Well, the good news is that Priceline has a guarantee that if you find a better rate on your room than you bid they will match it and give you back $25.

    Well today I logged in and searched my hotels rates and they have dropped to $34 a day (if you stay 4 or more days)! I'm calling them first thing in the morning. I'll update on how it went afterwards.

    <Keeping my fingers crossed>


    UPDATE: After calling Priceline they agreed to the lower price plus an extra $25 off so I am perfectly pleased with the rate I got! pixiedust:
     
  7. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    I'm afraid of using those travel sites to book motels!! We looked at a few motels when we had to do a last minute trip last April (09). We found a place, close & cheap....great reviews (not sure from who). We arrived to find the most disgusting place EVER!! Ick....from now on....I'll pay the extra & go with Disney Travel.

    Well I'm sure your wife is hoping it's not a solo trip!! :rotfl: Hopefully things will work out & you both can enjoy the parks during Halloween-time!!

    Look forward to seeing how this all goes!! (I will miss a couple weeks, as I'm leaving this Saturday for 12 days!!) :cool1:
     
  8. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Welcome Diznee Luver! :welcome:

    You really have to do your homework with bidding, no doubt. Even after all the studying I still missed that Travelodge as an option for a two star hotel. I had great luck in New Orleans and other trips around the U.S. but this time just wasn't optimal.

    No worries though since I just finished my call with Priceline and they agreed to match the price as well as the bonus $25 bringing my average daily rate down to $36 after taxes! That's a big chunk of change for spending inside Disney!
     
  9. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    :thumbsup2 That's great!!:woohoo:
     
  10. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    A new PTR!! I know nothing at all about Disneyland! :sad2: So...looking forward to hearing all about your plans! I hope it works out to be a duo trip and not solo!!!
     
  11. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! I don't know very much about Disneyland, so I'm sure I'll learn a lot.
     
  12. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    I'm so glad both of you are joining me on this Trip Report. There will only be a few updates until I get a little closer to departure time so hang in there!

    This is a first for for me as well so I'm in the middle of a big learning curve. There are two big differences in DL when compared to DW.

    1. Disneyland is much smaller than DW. It is completely ringed by other hotels and restaraunts. This gives you many options as far as budget and conveneince.

    2. There is no dining plan per se at Disneyland and only 3 hotels on-site. A lot of WDW visitors have to adjust for this and the boards are full of topics on that subject.

    At this point I'm calculating the odds right at 40% that Dianna will be able to join me after my training is finished. The problem is money and time as usual. Me alone will cost about $400 if I keep myself under control in the parks. With Dianna I estimate the cost at about $1200 - $1400 depending. Still far cheaper than having to pay for it all so it's budget crunching time and keeping the fingers crossed.
     
  13. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Still Waiting on Disney.

    Here it is. August has arrived in north Texas and with it the sweltering days of summer. Yesterday it hit 104 deg. and more of the same is expected for today. Oh how I am California Dreamin':cool2:

    The biggest question mark for the trip is what are the park hours and event times for Disneyland in October. At WDW, due to the ADR system, hours for the parks are posted six months in advance so that the 180 day planners can get an idea what park they will want to visit and eat at.

    For this trip though it's not such a big deal not having those hours. Since I will be Solo or with Dianna we can be pretty loose with the schedule and plan on eating a lot of quick meals both inside and outside of the parks.

    Here is what I do know. Disney will be having Mickey's Halloween Party on Friday the 15th from 7:00-12:00 pm at a cost of $54 inside Magic Kingdom. Also from Thur-Sun Universal Studios Hollywood will have it's Halloween Horror Nights running as well but times and prices are unknown at this time.

    As a solo traveler I do not think I would want to attend these events without anyone I know. I'd love to do certain meet and greets as well as see the fireworks show but that alone is not worth the added cost I think. If Dianna can get there early enough on Friday then the Mickey's Halloween Party is a no-brainer.

    The biggest hurdle for Dianna to go are the kids. School will be in session and we will need someone to care for them if we are both gone for an extended period of time. My parents live just over an hour away so it would be possible for them to come down to get the kids from school Friday. Dianna would need to get back Sunday to pick them up so they can get to school the next day. That means we will be flying and transferring seperately both coming and going.

    None of those issues are a deal breaker on their own but put them all together as well as tacking on about $700 in cost and you can seew hy we are leaning towards her not going. I am not giving up hope because there is a lot of time left. You never know if a sweet deal on tickets for the parks or airlines may pop up just like my room rate did!
     
  14. tinksdreamwishes

    tinksdreamwishes DIS Veteran

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    hopefully you will get a great deal! :cool1:
     
  15. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    So how is the planning going? Maybe it will work out and Dianna will be able to go.... pixiedust: for a good deal! Solo is fine, but it is so much better with one you love!! Last year's trip with just the kids and I was wonderful! But, I like having Keith along with us so much better...hurt foot and all!!
     
  16. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Sorry that it's been a while since I posted. There were a few other events that happened over the last few weeks that have limited my time on my own TR. Still plenty of time for everyone elses though. :laughing: There is no doubt that going with Dianna will make this a memorable vacation but it's starting to look more and more like she will not be able to go. I'm preparing an update pretty soon so stay tuned!
     
  17. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    After WDW Summer Events

    Now that summer is officialy over and school has started things have calmed down enough that I can now focus on my upcoming trip to Disneyland. (which you all were waiting so eagerly for my next installment. Right?) <crickets chirping>

    Before I go any farther I would first like to announce that this in fact will be a Solo trip. Over the last few months we have had a series of events that have forced me and Dianna into this decision. The TV going out was the coup de grace. :headache:

    Now that we have made the commitment to a Solo trip I can now firm up many of the plans I had been working on for the last week so hopefully I can post an update about the trip soon.

    Now without any further ado here are a few pictures of me and my family over this summer after we had returned from Disney World.

    This year the Dallas Zoo has opened a new exhibit called the Giants of the Savannah, a major expansion that allows the animals to roam about instead of being penned in much smaller enclosures as it was in previous years.

    [​IMG]

    The kids were very excited to see all of the new african theming.

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    Soon we are greeted by a wonderful view.

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    To say that this was a huge improvement to the Zoo would be a gross understatement!

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    Nearby we found a giraffe feeding station. The kids went wild over this!

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    A bit further on there was a Lion and Cheetah viewing area that had zoo keepers on hand to answer questions about the big cats.

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    There are only a few feet separating us from these predators. Is she looking at me as the next possible snack?

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    The zoo had set up a cute display where you can sit in the cab of a Land Rover and the big cats could jump on the back for photo ops if they were in a mind to do. Unfortunately, no kitties took us up on our offer that day.

    [​IMG]

    The kids loved the whole experience and I promised them we would return another day.

    In August we took off for a camping trip to a small place called Lake Meridian State Park. It's about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth and even though it is so close it is relatively unknown to everyone in Dallas. It's right on the northern edge of the Hill Country with plenty of rolling terrain, streams and small lakes scattered about the area. When we arrived there was no one at any of the other sites.

    Here we are strolling out to our own private lake.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are plenty of facilities inside the park including showers, fishing and boat ramps. This facility was built by the CCC back in the 30's.

    [​IMG]

    The fishing was amazing! I think we will come back next time prepared to cook them. As it was we just caught and released but the kids were never bored.

    [​IMG]

    The small town of Meridian is about two miles away.

    [​IMG]

    At one time it was a bustling boomtown after several sizeable oil fields were discovered nearby in the 50's but is now on the decline. Still, for the curious there is plenty to see if you just spend some time looking.

    [​IMG]

    If your looking to get away from it all and really decompress I would have to recommend taking a short drive and spending a few nights at Meridian State Park.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    Yea! I was wondering just the other day if your trip was still on! Sorry Dianna cannot go :sad2: but maybe it will give you a chance to "scope it all out" and then you will know the ins and outs for another trip! :cool1:

    The Dallas zoo pics are so cool! Question: would an adult running over children to get to the giraffe feeding area look bad?? :lmao: I love giraffes and as soon as I saw that picture I thought "I want to do that!!"

    We just bought a camper and have been looking for places to go within 5-6 hour drives from home. This may be slightly further but I think I may have to look into that state park! The fishing will be a definite plus for Keith and Chris!
     
  19. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Lol! I wonder what your reaction would be if I told you Snow White was handing out the lettuce? :lmao:

    About Lake Meridian, there are plenty of pads and spots with water/elec. I always have wanted a camper but never had the right vehicle to tow one. The screened shelters are very nice since 8 of them are right on the lake with an amazing view in the morning as you rise. We are lucky to have several state parks within 1-3 hours to choose from.
     
  20. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    I think you know what I would do if it were Snow White!! :rotfl: Too funny!!

    We have a pop-up that we just got but we are hoping to use it often! I am definitely going to check into this park!

    You only have about 2 weeks left!!:woohoo:
     
  21. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Well we are down to 7 days!

    Just because I haven't been posting many updates here doesn't mean I'm not working on the details for the trip.

    As of now all tickets have been purchased.
    I have a rough plan on touring the parks.
    I have my only dining reservation set plus a special meal booked as well.

    Why no details? Well I have a few plans for this trip report but I would like to hold back any details until after I get back. Needless to say it will be in a completely different style from the Disneyworld report I did this last summer.

    Well, I guess I can give away one bit of information for all of you.


    I managed to convince Han Solo to accompany me on my trip!

    [​IMG]

    As you can see he is really excited to be hanging out with a man of adventure like me!

    So stay tuned and find out what crazy situations we will find ourselves getting into next week!
     

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