Suprise Disney Christmas Trip Report!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Amommy21, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Amommy21

    Amommy21 DIS Veteran

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    About a week ago DH asked me, "So what would you rather have for Christmas? Those earrings we saw the other day or a quick trip to see Disneyland?" Was he serious? My reaction was pretty much like my child's (PM me for a link to video). Once I realized he was serious we decided to plan this as a surprise for our little boy. We packed our bags and woke up at 3am. Our son was so sleepy and it wasn't until we were almost to the airport that he started asking questions about where we were going....

    And that's the story of our decision to break all our own rules and go to Disneyland at Christmas. 2010 has turned out to be the parks busiest December to date. And because a day at Disneyland can mean at least 10 miles of walking we never plan to visit the park on an airport day. This is not something I recommend doing with young kids or old parents! LOL! After two airports in one day I really prefer a swimming pool, shopping and a nice dinner.

    Because we are Annual Pass holders this year we weren't too worried about missing out on anything and knew this would be a great trip since we were really going to visit Santa and see Disney decorated for Christmas. So it was ok for us that this would be less than a 72 hour trip

    And although it really was extremely crowded Saturday, Sunday and even Monday, it was warm and sunny... 80 degrees highs! Honestly, we would have loved a little rain because we are so used to rain anyway and rain at Disney means low crowds. But it did feel good to feel the sun on our face!


    Saturday ~ Disneyland ~
    By the time we checked into the hotel and got over to the park it was about 11 am. First up you gotta get your Christmas Mickey Ears! The Christmas plaid was soo cute!

    Disneyland was all decked out for the holidays! The big tree was beautiful! So we had to get a few family pictures.

    Although I had seen pictures of the castle at Christmas, I was still amazed at how beautiful it was! At night it looked like an ice castle.

    The park was SUPER crowded. And we skipped fantasyland altogether.
    Somehow we wind our way through the crowds to Jungle Cruise

    Because we had been up since 3am after Pirates we were ready for lunch at the Blue Bayou. After lunch it was time to get this Christmas party started at the Haunted Mansion Holiday. DH made a silly joke and the fast pass attendant sent us through to the front of the line!

    Then it was off to ride Big Thunder Mountain or as we call it the Wildest Ride in the WEIRDerness! We spotted Woody and Jesse from Toy Story on the way and we had to get a photo.

    And finally it was time to go to the ranch to visit with Santa. The line wasn't too long and Santa's cabin was pretty cute. Our son asked Santa to surprise him! Obviously he is well cared for and doesn't have a want in this world! LOL! Mrs. Claus was also there and we were so looking forward to seeing her. By the time it was our turn she had some cookies burning or something and dissappeared :(

    We did get to see Pluto, who was was having and identity crisis. The ranch had some animals including the 2009 Thanksgiving Turkey pardoned by the President. (Did you know they sent them to Disneyland? How do you think they make those giant smoked turkey legs! LOL!) We also saw all Santa's favorite reindeer and our son thought that was a lot of fun. It was hard to take photos because they had set up such a protective barrier to keep them safe from kids I guess...

    Fantasyland was a mad house and we headed over to the Matterhorn. When the rickitiest ride in the park breaks down when your in line and you stay in line because that makes it all the more exciting. We enjoyed some treats like a Mickey dream bar and ended up with a pretty resonable wait.

    We got off just in time to catch the Christmas Parade from the raised parade viewing by small world. I think we waited longer for the parade to get to us than for any other rides on our trip!

    And finally Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear and it was getting dark - time for fireworks! We were looking forward to the special Christmas display. After picking the perfect spot to eat dinner at The Plaza Inn with a great view of the castle we waited and waited and well, 30 minutes after they were supposed to start we found out they were canceled due to winds (which must have been way up high!?!)

    All the waiting and well, ourson fell asleep. We decided to call it a day when he woke up and begged to go on Indiana Jones before we left the park. We obliged because we had fast passes. And after a quick ride through Pirates again we finally got back to our hotel about 11pm.

    You can see we only managed about 18 attractions. Definately not our usual routine. Did I tell you it was very crowded? But a great first day. The boys fell asleep the moment they hit their pillows. Day 2 -3 coming up...
     
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  3. Dizzy4DL

    Dizzy4DL Happiest when I have a countdown

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    Sounds like so much fun! Can't wait to hear more....:goodvibes
     
  4. TheColtonsMom

    TheColtonsMom DIS Veteran

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    WOW those would have to be some earrings to even come close to being in a contest with a trip to Disneyland.
     
  5. Disney Dreams

    Disney Dreams Proudly afflicted with TDMA!

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    ONLY 18 attractions?!?!?! That's a LOT!

    What a great surprise for you and ultimately for your son, as well. Glad you are having a fun time. Fireworks, take 2, tomorrow night.

    Have a great rest of a trip,
    Dreams
     
  6. Davids-Coco

    Davids-Coco <font color=green>Sometimes my inner monologue isn

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    Amazing! Sounds like a blast thus far! What a wonderful surprise.
     
  7. SnowWhite09

    SnowWhite09 DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great first day. Looking forward to hearing about day 2 and 3! Just FYI, I would have chosen the trip to DL too, but unfortunately living in Australia doesn't allow for 72 hour trips - LOL! :rotfl:
     
  8. Amommy21

    Amommy21 DIS Veteran

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    They were amazing earrings, but DH scored $50 flights (each way) and pricelined Holiday Inn for $50 a night... so they weren't going to break the bank anyway. We like to stay at The Grand and it was a big sacrifice for me. I almost had a panic attack when we checked in because I am spoiled and have OCD. But when DH told me about the trip we agreed it was because it was a cheap quickie and we wanted to surprise our little one for Christmas time... so I tried not to make too big of a deal about it... though DH said he thought I was totally going to loose it and refuse to unpack my belongings.

    So Holiday Inn... it's just around the corner on the back of The Mickey and Friends parking garage. Rooms are ok. I think they could have been much cleaner and although they were supposed to be newly remodeled well... it's not THE Grand! LOL! We did not use any hotel amenities like the pool, shops or cafe downstairs. We literally dumped out baggage and ran to the parks and were only in our hotel room long enough to shower and sleep.

    Though it is so close, you cannot easily walk. So we used ART. It is on a 3 stop route and Holiday Inn is the first stop on the way home... But Monday they combined us with route 11 and we waited forever on both ends and had a much longer bus ride. That was frustrating. When we are at the park, we like to be at the park. And we really take advantage of the access at the Grand. Spending lots of time waiting around for transit outside the park isn't worth cheap hotels to us normally.



    You can read about our previous trip in Sept here...
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2553608

    We plan to go one more time in February before our passes expire.
     
  9. MonkeyDishwasher

    MonkeyDishwasher <font color=teal>Yes!!! I got the first non-topic

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    I don't know if you happened to look at the reindeer, but you may have noticed how sharp and pointy their antlers are. Perhaps the barricades have something to do with that.
     
  10. jacs1234

    jacs1234 DIS Veteran

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    wow,what a fun trip. How exciting to surprise your son. We surprised our 4 last year, they got up and got ready for school and we told them we were going to Disneyland. I LOVE surprises.

    I'm looking forward to the rest of your trip report.
     
  11. ironpig70

    ironpig70 DIS Veteran

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    Glad you guys had fun. Sounds like lots of fun to be had. We will be there in about 4 days. I cannot wait.
     
  12. Amommy21

    Amommy21 DIS Veteran

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    After only a couple hours of sleep the night before we got a later start than we planned for Day 2 and by the time we got to Disney California Adventure it was about 10:30. There wasn't as many Christmas decorations because so much of the park is under construction with all the new Cars Land coming 2012. And because it was Sunday we thought there would be lower crowds... no such luck as this really was the busiest December to date.

    We waited entirely too long for our Disney Visa Meet and Greet.. come on, can't they bring in anyone else besides Pluto and the Chip and Dale? Maybe change up the characters yearly? After a quick ride through Monster's Inc. and Muppets 3D we were already getting hot and hungry. We didn't pack prepared for the sunny 80 degrees days!

    Because it was the holidays we decided to gorge ourselves on a TurkeyLeg! This is a once in a lifetime experience... and I mean, something you need to only experience once in a lifetime! More like turkey ham... not that great. We had one in WDW a few years back... think we don't need to do this again !LOL!

    We found Santa on the pier in a beautiful victorian coat. The sun made for such surreal photos! We are used to seeing Santa on a dreary rainy day! And I think even Santa must have been enjoying that warm sun, just looked at his sunburned cheeks! I would have loved to see Santa in an Aloha shirt and this victorian Santa at the ranch in DL.

    And that's when we found Duff The Disney Bear! Who went everywhere with us the rest of the trip! (more about him later)

    Screamin' was a walk on, but because we were tired and feeling hot none of us felt like going on three times in a row like our previous visit... So we decided to get the big wait over with for Toy Story Mania. Why they can't put this on Fast Pass I'll never know! We should have skipped the Visa Private Meet and Greet and just headed right to Toy Story - live and learn!

    By then we were ready for a break and decided to have lunch at Storytellers. I think DH only really loves this place because of the bread... can we say mini wonder bread loaves? I admit I even ate a piece! Awsumb and I love the chicken corn chowder!

    After lunch we found Minnie outside Soarin' in her flight get up and used FP to walk onto Soarin' Over California a family favorite.

    Our son was begging to go to the Animation Academy. Why have we never done this? Probably because we were in Playhouse Disney! That's the thing about Disney, if you think there is something you have grown out of there is always something to grow into! I have no artistic ability, terrible handwriting and can't even draw a stick figure.

    My Mickey was pretty good. Ok, so my Pluto looks more like Goofy! But it was fun. I was suprised how many people threw these out. What fun souvenirs! But we made art perfectly worth framing! This will be a new tradition for us!

    That's right, we went to two classes. Awsumb could have done this all evening! But we pulled ourselves away to join the party at ElecTRONica! They were showing a special TRON preview in the Muppets theater. Looks pretty nerdy, but my boys are excited for it.

    And finally time for MY favorite ride in the park - The Tower of JOY!

    My son hated that ride. He was tired and even more traumatized than usual. So we popped into bugs land to ride the little bug cars. it's simple, but I think he loves it because he can ride in his own car! And even better because Duffy was his passenger!

    Back to the ElecTRONica party to get a front row spot to see Laserman! Forget World of Color - Go to Laserman!

    We had late reservations at Napa Rose and didn't want to be late to see Auntie and Uncle! We were so glad to see them and have a chance to relax. Dinner was AMAZING, of course! Awsumb didn't make it to dessert, which was too bad for him becase the apricot sorbet was so refreshing!

    We made it back to our room after 10pm where we hoped to get some sleep before our last day.
     
  13. Amommy21

    Amommy21 DIS Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    The Story of Duffy The Disney Bear
    One day, Mickey Mouse was getting ready
    to set sail on a long sea voyage.
    Minnie Mouse made him a special teddy bear
    to take with him so he would never be lonely.
    Minnie presented her hand sewn bear
    to Mickey in a duffel bag.
    Mickey loved the bear and named him Duffy.


    As Mickey and Duffy sailed on their journey,
    they visited all sorts of exciting places
    and make new friends along the way.
    At the end of their travels,
    they sailed back home
    for a wonderful reunion with Minnie.


    Mickey and Duffy shared their magical
    memories and photos with Minnie,
    who was thrilled that Duffy was such
    a great friend and companion for Mickey.

    Where will you take your Duffy?

    [​IMG]
    Duffy is all the rage in Tokyo. And isn't he so cute? He's soft, cuddly and a classic. We just fell in love with him and had to bring one home! DS carried this giant teddy bear all over Disneyland. He went on all the rides including California Screamin' (which goes upside down), The Matterhorn and Space Mountain.


    Because Duffy is new at Disney's California Adventure the cast members give you lots of attention and say things like, "I like your Duffy Bear" or "That's sure a big Duffy Bear." Which of course DS just loved. And if you are lucky enough to get to hold Duffy DS will give you these instructions each and every time he hands him over to you, "Hold him under the arms (I guess so his head doesn't pop off?), rub his tummy and scratch him behind the ears!"


    DS sure enjoyed carrying around his new best buddy. And apparently he makes a great pillow if you happen to fall asleep before dessert at Napa Rose with Auntie and Uncle!​
    [​IMG]
    And at the end of the day,
    that's what makes the perfect teddy bear.
    [​IMG]
    Have you hugged Duffy yet?
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Amommy21

    Amommy21 DIS Veteran

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    Day three up next...
     
  15. TheColtonsMom

    TheColtonsMom DIS Veteran

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    The pics of your DS with Duffy are ADORABLE. How big is that bear? And how much is he going for? trying to budget one in for my DS.
     
  16. Amommy21

    Amommy21 DIS Veteran

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    $60 and worth every penny. My son LOVES it! I don't usually let him go overboard with stuffed animals. And he has never had anything big, so it was a special treat. he is 9 and this will probably be the last year he wants to do such childish things, so I went with it. AND because he is 9, he carried it and took care of it the entire day. He went on all the rides and it was a lot of fun for him.
     
  17. Amommy21

    Amommy21 DIS Veteran

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    Although we woke up at 6:00am and planned to get right over to the park it was still 8:30am by the time we arrived. The sun was already feeling pretty warm and I knew my son would be miserable in long sleeves. So I stopped In Disney Clothiers and found a cute baseball Mickey baseball t-shirt for Awsumb. This store always had great finds and a different selection that The Emporium.

    We ran through Space Mountain a couple times with only 5 minute waits. Then over to Buzz Lightyear, Matterhorn and finally to see Small World Christmas. We had hoped Monday would be slow, but it was still super crowded, evidenced by the lines in Fantasyland. So we chose Peter Pan and Snow White before heading over to Pirates! DH decided to make quick reservations at Cafe Orleans this day because they have some of the same menu items as Blue Bayou. This is the second time I have been there and once again the service was terrible. DH never even received his soup and was served the wrong entree. There was no attempt to make things right and well, next time we will just go back to our usual Blue Bayou tradition. THEY did give us a pewter Nightmare befor Christmas figure and I will have to get a photo of it... I guess they have a new one each week during Christmas? I didn't know anything about this.

    DS wanted to see Pooh & Friends, so we headed over there while Kenneth picked up some Fast Passes. We made it through just before they closed off the line to see Pooh and Tigger. Back over to Thunder Mountain Railroad x2 and over to play at the shooting gallery.

    The crowds were pretty thick as we headed over to Indiana Jones & The Jungle Cruise. The line to get a dole whip was nuts and I was about ready to start thinking about making our way too the airport. The cool treat refreshed us and DH talked us into one last trip through Space Mountain so we could use Fast Passes we had picked up that morning. By the time we got back to the hub we caught the end of the Christmas Fantasy Parade. DH put DS on his shoulders and we followed the last parade float down mainstreet! What a fun way to say goodbye to Disneyland and all our fun last minute Christmas visit!

    Although it was only 5:30 the park was closing at 6pm for a special evening event. Half the exit gates were closed as they set up for the next event... So it was a major bottle neck to get out of the park. 5 minutes after we left the park the magic was over and the craziness of the lasty 72 hours caught up with me. I was super tired and well, DONE! A limo service responded to our taxi request and our driver took us to the airport in record time just before the main evening traffic. We made it home and were all sleeping snuggly in our beds by midnight...dreams of Dole Whips and Mickey Bars dancing in our heads!
     
  18. where's_my_prince

    where's_my_prince DIS Veteran

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    yeah another duffy fan!!! the way your son loves his duffy warms my heart:cloud9:
     
  19. Amommy21

    Amommy21 DIS Veteran

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    Oh, my thread seems to have been moved?
     
  20. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    Yes. It's a trip report so it has to go in the Trip Report section of the DL forum. Only the planning-related threads stay in the main DL forum. Many other thread topics get split up into the different sub-forums.
     
  21. Eeee-va

    Eeee-va Happiest robot on Earth

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    I LOVE your son and his Duffy together...adorable!
     

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