Operation Disney in December--PTR followed by TR!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Mommy2PrincessAbby, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Mommy2PrincessAbby

    Mommy2PrincessAbby DIS Veteran

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    Considering I've been adding to this report for nearly 2 years, I don't know how you missed me either! Lol :banana:

    We're in St. Helens, just a little north of Portland. :wave:

    Okay, I have been washing Tink gifts and summer clothes today, and started putting stuff in the carryons. Dd's Cinderella dress is so huge I will be surprised to get it in her bag. I've set out the bulk of the toiletries... Shampoo, conditioner, hubby's gel, floss, toothpaste, wet ones, hand sanitizer, travel Lysol, Advil, Benadryl, and Claritin, cheapy ponchos, deodorant, lotion, sunscreen, q-tips, first aid stuff including good blister band aids. I have hats and sunglasses out and ready. Need to grab our tevas... We'll wear our comfy tennies on the plane. I have holiday glow wands, glow necklaces, Disney travel crayon packs that I got at target for fun surprises.

    Last minute things will include chargers, phones, camera, iPad, iPod, my pillow (no one else is picky about their pillow like i am), and my white noise machine. Oh and tooth and hair brush!

    I still need to fill a travel bottle with dd's bath soap, my face wash, and one for my face lotion, oh and one for my leave in conditioner.

    Phew! Almost ready... This weekend is a wash since we'll be in Seattle celebration dh's folks's 50th anniversary. So I am down to only a couple days really to pull it all together and clean house!!

    :santa:
     
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  3. Mommy2PrincessAbby

    Mommy2PrincessAbby DIS Veteran

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    I love how I keep getting emails from Disney telling me how close my trip is. Most of the tips aren't news to me, but its cool they send them anyway.

    The main weather sites cannot agree other than it will be over 70 when we are there. Some say 80 a couple days. I am packing summer clothes and a couple sweatshirts for night. Even just 70 will feel great since we've been barely 40 the last few mornings.

    My best friend got to wdw yesterday. Neither of us has been to the other person's park before... And we compare notes all the time. I am glad my trip is soon, cause I can hardly stand it seeing her pics and can't wait to blast her with a few of my own-of things she can't go see/do of course! :)
     
  4. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    5 days!!! :cool1: Any disney email or real mail is exciting!!! :banana:

    I'm glad to see the forecast is getting better and not worse.......bring on the sun!!! :cool2:
     
  5. Crazy4Disney06

    Crazy4Disney06 DIS Veteran

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    Everyone's trip is getting so close!! I'm getting very excited about ours too!!
     
  6. Mommy2PrincessAbby

    Mommy2PrincessAbby DIS Veteran

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    2 more sleeps. We are all packed... The weather looks like it has settled on around 70 each day, we'll take it. I get to print my boarding passes when I get up tomorrow! :banana:
     
  7. ociana

    ociana Mouseketeer

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    So excited for you! I hope you have an amazing trip and you come back to share all about it!!!!!
     
  8. Mommy2PrincessAbby

    Mommy2PrincessAbby DIS Veteran

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    I only have to work 6 hours today and load the car!!

    Printing my boarding passes right now!!

    Will see you all when we get back, and maybe I'll even figure out how to post pictures!

    :cool1::banana::yay::dance3::woohoo::cheer2:
     
  9. Mommy2PrincessAbby

    Mommy2PrincessAbby DIS Veteran

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    Hi all! We're back... but think I better get started here before I forget stuff!

    Let's start with the PPH!

    I booked a theme park room, and requested a king bed (since the 3 of us end up in one bed anyway.) When we arrived (10:15 am after landing at SNA at 9:40, grabbing a cab, and zipping straight to the hotel)... they told me that the new rooms had no king beds in the theme park view. Bummer, but not that big of a deal. She had a cute black and white photo of all the fairies for my daughter and said she would text our room number to us when it was ready. So we left all our stuff with the bell captain and headed for DCA!

    Fast forward to that evening. We got back to the PPH around 9:30 pm, checked in with the bell captain (we were willing to haul our stuff upstairs ourselves, but they offered to bring everything right up.) We went to our 10th floor room, and walked in... oooh'd and ahhh'd over the gorgeous DCA view, I lysoled the switches and handles, phones and remote. And then our bags were there... about 3 minutes after we got into the room! What service!

    Daytime view from the room:

    [​IMG]

    The beds were very comfortable, bathroom very nice. Sink water got much hotter than the shower. Hubby did find more hot water at night then I had in the morning. Plenty of towels and washclothes, that were replenished everyday whether we hung them on a hook or not.

    Guest services left us a voicemail each night telling us about stuff going on the next day in the hotel. And we used the wake up call service for all our wake-ups (morning and naps) and it worked great.

    We also used room service twice. They give you a window of time for the arrival--and I put a specific time next to that. So for the 6:30-7 am choice--I wrote 6:45 please... and they were there promptly at 6:45. For the 6-6:30 option, I wrote "as early as possible" and they got there at 6:15 am. Room service was very tasty btw... but more on food later.

    Fast forward again... the day before we left I used the un-manned business office to print boarding passes. You let yourself in using your room key, and there are 4 computers. On the screen you have a choice of pay-to-surf or print boarding passes--which is free. If I had my confirmation number with me, the nice cm at the guest services desk would have printed them for me. But I needed to log in to Alaska to get my info. It worked great, and because it is un-manned they have nice long hours, so you can squeeze in a stop in there to get your passes.

    Overall, I love this hotel, I did miss having access to the concierge elevator (we did concierge last time), because the elevators are slow. The walk is super easy when you cut through the Grand, and I would definitely stay here again.

    Okay, more to come... lots to tell you all!
     
  10. Mommy2PrincessAbby

    Mommy2PrincessAbby DIS Veteran

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    Okay... so we headed into DCA around 10:30 am... went thru the Grand entrance, and got Soarin FPs right off... then headed for the Symphony Swings... on the way, we jumped on Little Mermaid (walk-on), so our 1st ride was before 11 am on the 1st day. Then we did Goofy's Sky School, and grabbed lunch at Paradise Garden Grill--I forgot to ask for the sauce on the side, and was past the point I needed to eat, so while it was good, I was feeling queasy, so I can't be real objective.

    Then it was off to the Symphony Swings 2x without getting off, walked over (while my dd was being brave) and did Screamin (her 1st time ever!) and then came back and did the swinging gondola on the Fun Wheel. This was our longest line yet--15 minutes. As we were making our way around, I realized that my goal at not going into Radiator Springs the 1st day wasn't going to happen... so we walked through... A little note here... I LOVE Carsland... it is amazing!!!

    90 minute line for the RSR, but only a 15 minute wait for the tires... I really liked these! Only got to ride once myself... dd and dh went on another day again. The trick is not to lean too much, and to stick with the lean... it takes a few to get the movement going in the direction you want. We saw so many people being inpatient switching their "lean" too fast... fun ride!! Tow Mater was only a 10 minute wait, and is super fun too... listening to Mater give safety precautions in Spanish is hilarious though!

    We also walked on TOT and Monster's Inc, rode Soarin with our FPs... and got the 1st Starbucks of the trip... I am telling you that I did not factor in my hubby's need for good coffee in my budget. We went to Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical ALOT on this trip!! Oooh.. I wanted to say, while waiting for dh to get his caffeine, dd and I got to catch the Trolley/Newsboys show... super fun and cute! We saw this a couple times (we were around FF&P often) and we also saw 5 and Dime show a couple times. These were really great. Added so much to the theme of Buena Vista Street!

    We park hopped at 3 pm to go see the parade, and go to Blue Bayou for a 4:50 pm dinner... CP was starting to crowd the entrance, but it was okay to get around (this night... more later.) The parade was supposed to start at 4, I thought it would start by Small world... but I was tricked, it ended at Small World... anyhow, we spent a long time trying to get near Small World in a spot we could see from. I am dead serious when I say I have NEVER seen so many people camped out for the parade... especially since it was a weekday! The parade was nice... but not my favorite. Maybe because we had to stand and look over people, I am sure that didn't help the ambiance.

    Dinner was wonderful... dh got the jambalaya (he ate every bit), and I got the steak (don't remember the cut right now)... super tender. After dinner, DD wanted more big rides... so we did BTMRR (she used to hate this ride)... in the dark--and she loved it!! We went twice! We also did Pirates, and then it was time to go find a spot for the 8:45 fireworks.

    The fireworks seating/standing was what ticked me off... we were about 3 groups back, on the road--slightly to the left of the castle (bad location BTW... sit right of the castle, but I digress.) And in past experience they have announced everyone needs to stay seated for the fireworks. This did not happen... and everyone domino effect stood up... so no one could see, and it was a bust. Really ticked me off. The fireworks were nice.... but again, not my favorite.... I liked the Halloween ones better and the regular ones they do with all the rides and the lasers around the hub (RDCT?)

    Castle all lit up:

    [​IMG]

    After the fireworks, we slowly strolled with the rest of the world out of DL (which was now closed) and made our way back to the hotel. It was a good first day. Lots of rides done, and everyone's feet were feeling pretty good still!

    Day two later!
     
  11. Mommy2PrincessAbby

    Mommy2PrincessAbby DIS Veteran

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    I forgot to mention the vacation planning custom gift I ordered for my dd! When we got back to the room our first night, there was an enormous wicker basket on the bed (I wish there was some way to get it home!) inside were: a bouquet of 4 Mickey rice Krispy treats on a stick, a bag of Christmas candy corn, a big disney photo album, the Disneyland UNO game, the Christmas light (light up) necklace, green sequin ears headband with a red sequin bow (totally sold out I understand, and probably could have sold them to 20 different people we were asked about them so much), and a wrapped gift that had the Disney character figurine I asked for (Mickey, Minnie, goofy, Donald and chip & dale in a sleigh.) All for $147... This included a $40 custom basket charge, the rest was the actual cost of the items. Needless to say dd was thrilled!!

    Totally worth it, and was a great surprise!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. ociana

    ociana Mouseketeer

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    Welcome back!!!!! So far your trip report is great. Can't wait to hear about the other days and see photos.
     
  13. Mommy2PrincessAbby

    Mommy2PrincessAbby DIS Veteran

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    All right... I am back... and yes my feet are still sore!

    Day 2 was Thursday the 6th, DL opened at 8 with early entry, so we did room service at 6:45 am and were in line by 7:30... went to 18/19 where the tree blocks and were maybe the 6th family in line.

    Just a note to say our passes/ID showing was no problem. Just had them out in advance. But they are still tweaking things. We pre-signed our pass, and it was no problem on Day 1. But this morning, the cm had to take time to write our names above our signature... and then fast forward to Day 6, that cm almost didn't let us in, because they had been told that very morning to only accept tix that had the name once (we pointed out that we only wrote it once!) Anyhow, she let it go because it was Day 6 of 6.

    We got soooo much done. Went straight to Peter Pan of course (hubby did NOT understand this at all--and then couldn't believe the line behind us that stretched to the castle gates.) We were about 30th in line.. no big deal 5 minute wait. Then we did Toad and Alice (which was closed, and opened right as we walked up) so both were essentially walk on. Then we spotted the non-existent Matterhorn line, and headed that way. Rode the left with 10 people in front of us, then hopped into the line on the right with 10 people in front of us... (with all the Matterhorn discussion--we liked the ride, yes it was bumpy, yes the seats could use more padding, do not put tall people in the front car!! But all in all, we still loved the ride.)

    By 8:45 we'd ridden 5 rides. Decided to head for Space! Rode Space (dd loved it this trip!!), hubby ran up right at 9 and got FPs for it for later. Walked over to Star Tours--basically a walk on, rode (super fun now, I like it much better than I used to!), and we were able to FP it right away too. Then we crossed the park to BTMRR, and rode 2x in quick succession... basically as quickly as we could get up there. Then we rode Pirates and HM... then we crossed back and re-rode Space and Star Tours, and DD and DH rode Astro-Orbiter... such a great morning!

    By now it was almost 11:30 and we decided to head over to DCA, but stopped and got a corn dog from the Red Wagon 1st and people watched. I can't remember exactly, but I think we just hung out in front of Starbucks and watched the Newsie/Trolley show (I loved the Buena Vista Street performers!!) and then strolled over to get TOT FPs and watch Aladdin. There were technical difficulties in the beginning of the show, but they worked it out, and it was great. I miss the flying carpet--but understand the reasoning for stopping that.

    After Aladdin we did a slow stroll over to WCT for our WOC dinner. This place has not ever had the best reviews, but hubby and I both got the filet and it was amazing! Super tender, not fatty, and very well cooked. DD got meatballs and pasta and no sauce. The desserts were wonderful, but way too much for the 3 of us.

    After dinner we needed to head over to WOC, the line ups are still a mess IMO, the general standing line was already huge at 6:45 pm (8:15 show), and they hadn't made an official line yet for the WCT/CCT people. We hung out until 7 and ended up about 3 families back in that line. The CMs walked us in before the regular FP folks, and when we got to our section I asked to go to the wet zone. We were allowed to go wherever we wanted, and I wanted front rail, on the diagonal with the Fun Wheel that I have seen in the WOC sticky. So that is where we went. The show of course was amazing. Prep and Landing was super cute, Merida was wonderful. But all of us loved Jack Sparrow the most!

    When the show was over, we worked our way back to the Grand entrance with the crowds--most of which were headed out the front gates. Another great day in Disney!

    Here is a view of WOC from our room... I didn't take pics when we were watching from the wet zone--too mesmerized!!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Robindianne

    Robindianne DIS Veteran

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    Beautiful!
     
  15. Mommy2PrincessAbby

    Mommy2PrincessAbby DIS Veteran

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    Friday December 7th, DCA opened at 7 with EE... my original plan was not to get up quite so early and do DL instead. But DH and DD wanted to ride RSR, and therefore our best bet was early entry.

    Alarm went off at 5:45 am, showered, dressed, and waited on room service. They begin serving room service at 6 am, and I had written "as early as possible" on the room service request thing. At 6:15 they finally arrived, and my protein hounds DH and DD got their breakfast and we were out the door at 6:30. Got in line at DCA, probably 10th family back, walked with a purpose once inside, and got within a couple families on the front right. They lead you slowly all the way in and thru the queue. I'd say that by 7:20 we were near the front of the queue and almost on the ride. RSR was great!! We lost, but oh well... DH and DD went and did tires and Mater, and I went to the FP line.

    Standing about 100 people back in the FP line, I was hearing people talk about how your whole group has to be there. So I texted DH that he needed to meet me in line with DD before 8... they got there at 7:50, the regular opening people were led in and lined up behind the EE line, and by 8:10 we had RSR FPs for 1 pm.

    Then we headed straight for Toy Story, and rode 2x in quick succession with very little wait. DD then wanted to ride Goofy's Sky School again, so we walked over there and got to go around twice without getting off. At this point it was still early (9:10 am!) and we figured we'd cross over to DL and see what was up with Indy. When we walked up, they had just let the 1st group go on for the soft opening and there was a break down. So the CMs told us we had to disperse and come back later. Well, I sat down and waited while DD & DH did Tarzan, and when they came back we did Pirates together... by the time that was done Indy was open again. It was about a 30 minute wait, but we got on!! We ended up riding it 3 times on our trip, and 2 of the 3 the ball was working, so they are still figuring things out.

    By now it was 11:30 and we needed to get to our lunch ressie... so we took the train to the monorail, and the monorail into DTD to go eat at Rainforest Cafe. This is DDs favorite place to eat, and we don't have one by us, so it is a must on every trip. After lunch it was nap time zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    We woke up from nap around 3:30 and walked into DCA and rode RSR with our FPs, probably a 20 minute wait (lost again!) Then we went and parked it in front of Carthay Circle, DH got Starbucks for us, and we waited for the tree lighting. Unfortunately our angle was bad. The "performance" was on the main street facing FF&P, and we were across the cross street. But we saw them light the tree and heard everything, and then just a few minutes later the Pixar Parade started, which is probably my favorite parade.

    They have had to make a few adjustments because of the trolley cables, so while our spot is good, further down the parade route would be better for some of the performers to fully do their tricks.

    After the parade we crossed to DL--which was an absolute madhouse, CP was going on (beautiful!! saw 3 minutes of it!) and we were directed to walk through the shops to get down main street, had a wonderful dinner at Big Thunder Ranch and then checked in for F! dessert seating.

    I was trying not to stress about being early for check-in. Dinner was at 6:30 and I probably got in the check-in line at 7:45... Had a great talk with a cm from Aulani while I waited and DD & DH went and got HM FPs. By the time I got to the ressie table, there were no seats in the 1st two rows... we settled for 3rd row, off-center. When we came back at 9 (after riding BTMRR) to sit down it became apparent that DD and I wouldn't be able to see. We ate our snacks and set them down, and just as the show was starting moved over to the left and stood against a rope and watched from there. DH joined us eventually, and the view was really good and we enjoyed the show. The kicker was the fireworks... boy!! Our view was soooo much better from F! seating than from the Hub... go figure. And the snow, when it started was right above our heads. We got pummelled with snow!

    After the show we got on HM, and then worked our way back to the hotel exhausted!!

    Here is the Carthay tree lit up:

    [​IMG]
     

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