I've been a huge Disney fan for YEARS, in fact my brother just recently gave us siblings copies of dvds that he recorded off old video tape of my first visit to Disney, I was a pre-teen, our parents took us to Hawaii and then California to visit a sister and her family, and of course we just had to go to Disney! That was quite a feat for us, seeing as we lived in Alaska! I miss my parents tremendously (both passed on several years ago) one of many things I loved about them was their sense of adventure, they are why I love to travel to this day!! Anyhoo, I also instilled the love of Disney into my kids, our daughter went when she was 10 months old, and now she's 20, our son's first trip was when he was 4 and she was 7, now he's 17! We've been to both DL & WDW, and even on a 3 night Disney cruise! Well now that the kids are older, circumstances are right now that our entire family can't make it on the trip, although I'm going at the end of this month, they can't go due to school/work obligations, I had enough miles for a o/w ticket, and with a great airfare on the other leg of the trip, I just had to do it!! We haven't been there during the holidays since 1999, so I know it's changed a lot, especially with the addition of Carsland in DCA! My own family (dd, ds & dh and I) have been going since 2009, and I even went earlier this year during a travel agent seminar and then again afterwards when my husband came down to meet me for our 21st anniversary! So it's not like I haven't been since 1999, just not for the holidays!! Ok, now that I've been all over the place with this, I'll start the PTR: Cast of characters: Myself, oldest sister (who just retired last year) and her daughter, my niece, who is only 5 years younger than me. All adults!! When? Nov. 30-Dec. 8 Where? Disneyland, of course! We are doing 4 nights there, then heading to Vegas for the big kids playground! We were going to stay at the CCI, but my niece & I upgraded us to the PPH! 4 nts, 3 day parkhoppers. I am kind of tempted to upgrade when I get there to a 4 day PH, but my niece & sister are thinking of using that as a down day, or shopping! The entire package is purchased, and I just spoke with DL Travel this morning, the documents will be sent very shortly, I think this week!! SO EXCITED!! As far as the plans, we get there early on the 30th, around 9:30a, I booked us the Magical Express, so I figured we may get there between 10:30-11a depending on whether our flight is on time, speedy bag retrieval, bus timeliness, route/stops, etc.! I requested early ck-in, especially since we are flying all night, taking two flights to get there, and I'm assuming we will all need a nap! I also requested a view room, hope we get this, my sister retired last year and she hasn't been to DL for YEARS and this would be so special for her!! She doesn't like a lot of pomp & circumstance, but I want to make it special for her! Plans for that day, depending on whether or not we get to ck in early, we may have to go to the parks! (that will be soooo hard, huh? I'm thinking we'll eat lunch somewhere, maybe in DCA, perhaps Flo's Diner in Carsland? I also like the Garden Grill area, or Pacific Wharf, maybe Cochina Cucamonga or maybe a sit down like Storytellers or Napa Rose? I can't wait to show them the beautiful Grand Californian lobby, all decked out! Heck, I can't wait to see it that way myself!! If we get to ck in early, I'm sure we will all need to lay down and nap after the all nighter flights! Once we get to ck in and take a nap, whether it's earlier or later, I want to make sure and go to Main Street to enjoy the festivities, because that's basically the only night that Town Square will be untouched by the CP the whole time we are there, since it starts on Dec. 1 for 20 nights! I want to see the changing of the castle, judging by You Tube videos, it's after the fireworks show! Other than that, I think we will just soak in the atmosphere of the holiday season, whether it's enjoying the lobbies of the hotels, shopping in Downtown Disney (neither of them have been) or riding on some classic rides like POTC or HM!! I am so excited, I can barely sleep a wink these days!! I made a reservation for Carthay Circle on Saturday night, but we'll have to play it by ear, because I'm not good with making dining reservations so far in advance, especially in DL, since it seems easier to get into places. I'm not sure what the crowds will be like that weekend though, so I made it just in case! I kind of wish we were going to be there for 5 days, there are so many places I want to eat at and so little time! I want them to try the Pomme Frittes @ Cafe Orleans, the Fried Green tomato sandwich @ Hungry Bear, the skewers @ Bengal BBQ, a Dole Whip, Mickey Cookies, and loads more!! I saw that the French Market has added like 12 new items to their menu, so I'd love to eat there, believe it or not, I've never done that!! We usually go to Cafe Orleans, and we've also eaten at the Blue Bayou!! that's another place I wish we could eat at!! Boo hoo!! I'm used to going for at least 5 days at a time. I'm not a fan of "wild" rides, I skip most of the mountains, I do Splash Mountain though. So that is one thing we won't have to worry about is waiting in line or getting FP for Space, Matterhorn, BTMR, Screamin, TOT, etc. I don't feel left out at all, I just go on the ones that I can handle and I'm fine! I can't wait to do the train ride, Winnie the Poo, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Storybook Canal, IASW and more!! My all time favorites are Soarin', Monsters Inc, Peter Pan, HM & POTC. Oh and I want them to see Aladdin, my sister has never seen it, although my niece went with her husband a couple of years ago, but I think they were only there for a day!! I'm considering doing the holiday tour, although it doesn't sound like they are up for that, it's a lot of walking, and honestly, with my ankle/foot problems, I may have to skip it too ;( I'll have to play it by ear and see how I do this time around. Planning on packing a small rain type jacket, although I dread the thought of it, since I've never experienced it yet there! Have to be on the safe side, though. This time around I will be packing a few warmer items, just in case. I know it gets chilly there, even in May/June in the evenings, so I want to be prepared! I wanted to get tickets to the CP for Monday the 3rd, but still waiting to see when they will offer the dining pkg. With Kurt Russell being the narrator and it being the first day available to the general public, it might not be an option anyway. Either way, we will enjoy our time there!! I plan on doing some Christmas shopping, my daughter has Duffy and loves to change his outfits (yes, she is 20 and still plays with dolls, haha) and I'm sure I'll hve to get some cool tshirts or something for my husband and son, and of course, stocking stuffers!! On Tuesday the 4th, we will be taking the Lux bus from Anaheim to Vegas, where we stay for 4 nights before heading home. My niece and I want to see Journey/Loverboy on the 7th @ Planet Hollywood, so I'm planning on buying our tickets today!! What a blast from the past, 80's here we come!! Her and I aren't big gamblers, so we will probably shop, eat, take in a few shows and just relax before we head home! I can't wait, can you tell??