The Franco bunch's first summer vacation Trip report from Summer 2013

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Markie Mouse, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Ok, we are going in late June for my daughters first summer vacation. The plan is to stay at the PPH the first couple nights as we cannot afford to do it for the whole trip. After that we will be staying at either the Tropicana Inn or Best Western PPI. There will be 2 character meals (Ariels Grotto, and the other undecided). We will be using the So Cal city pass, so there will be Universal Studios and Seaworld pics in this TR. This will be a special trip as its the first we wont feel guilty about as we worked our butts off to get we are and we can finally afford to take this trip. I will admit my last 2 trips I probably could have used the money for other things, but this trip is now that other things as we paid off a lot of debts, buying our first house, and have our careers going.

    Here are some pics with my camera with the new Lens.

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    DSC02355 by Rocklobsta85, on Flickr

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    DSC02380 by Rocklobsta85, on Flickr

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    DSC02431 _Snapseed by Rocklobsta85, on Flickr

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    DSC02514 by Rocklobsta85, on Flickr

    A locket with a picture of my late aunt. All the little girls got one this year.
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    DSC02757 by Rocklobsta85, on Flickr

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    DSC02716 _Snapseed by Rocklobsta85, on Flickr

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    DSC02712 by Rocklobsta85, on Flickr
     
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  3. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Well some changes I had to make. We will only be staying 2 nights at the PPH. This is due to us making a trip to Vegas in July, and wanting a nice hotel their too. So we cut a couple thing out of our DLR trip budget. The other being only 1 character meal. And it will most likely be Surfs Up!. After reading its seems the best choice for our family as its the only one to have Mickey and all 3 kids love Mickey so it's a no brainer. Well off to bed, only 4 months to go!!!
     
  4. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Well, its 3 months and 3 weeks to go. Saturday was Bellas 6th bday party. Some more changes have been made. We are changing it from 4 nights at PPH to just 2, and 1 less character meal to save more money for our Vegas trip. Both are special to us. Here are some pics of my daughter party. My wife made a Wreck it Ralph cake. It has a bowl in the middle that was filled with diet coke and when we blew out the candles, the mentos were dropped in(just enough to make it sizzle).

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    DSC03118 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

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    DSC03123 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

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    DSC03125 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

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    DSC03141 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

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    DSC03145 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

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    DSC03156 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

    Grandma and Great Grandma
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    DSC03159 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

    Cousin Joe(head of chess club...really!)
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    DSC03160 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

    Birthday girl with Bday haircut
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    DSC03161 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

    Cousin Alyssa(cinderella for short;)
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    DSC03162 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

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    DSC03163 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

    Nina bought matching shoes
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    DSC03164 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

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    DSC03165 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

    Hope this video works
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/77607181@N05/8501160735/
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    DSC03168 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

    New bath robe and nite light
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    DSC03188 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

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    DSC03208 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

    She waited a few months for this one.
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    DSC03210 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr
     
  5. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Well thats it for today. Have to work in the AM, I hope these next 3 months go by quick. They should though as we are buying a house and a car. 2 lengthy process's.
     
  6. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Taxes in today! Will update about what we go with.
     
  7. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Need some help deciding, I can afford PPH but it will cut into food and souvenir budget, I know I've stated how much Diznee Luver influenced my trip and I want to stay, but does staying there really add $945 of magic?
     
  8. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    anyone???
     
  9. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    I've been staying at the PPH since 2000 (that was when the Disneyland Hotel's prices rose and I realized that the PPH was a cheaper option). I really like it.

    My last 3 PPH stays were very lucky in that I got free room upgrades to park view rooms each time (whereas DizNee Luver paid for her park view room in December and for this current Feb/March trip. But she shared my 2011 room, so she benefited from that free upgrade!). I don't know if I would actually pay for a view room - no matter how much I enjoyed the view - if money was even a slight concern. I might pay for a view. I might not. But I would still want to stay onsite.

    I am a seasoned PPH veteran (and have also stayed at DLH and GCH), but I don't necessarily think it's for everyone. For me, it adds to the 'magic' of the whole trip to stay onsite (and especially when there's a free upgrade). However, I don't think that everyone views it that way. There is definitely a solid argument for saving money on the hotel and spending it elsewhere. You may end up shelling out the money and not feeling that it was worth it - and then you'll never get that money back.

    And, as for Goofy's Kitchen - I don't know if you'll end up there or not, but I think I mentioned to you in my TR a while back that there is usually at least one Princess in the restaurant (and often times 2 Princesses). Goofy's is the only other character meal besides Ariel's that has any Princesses, so that could be a benefit for you...and the huge buffet, with many options for the whole family, doesn't hurt.

    However, Mickey is at Surf's Up - and how can you beat meeting Mickey?

    The Goofy's buffet is much larger than the Surf's Up buffet or the Storytellers Critter Breakfast buffet.
     
  10. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Thanks SherryE, thats exactly what I'm struggling with. It costs $800 more to do 2 nights at the PPH, and while we budgeted about $5k total for this trip(gas, hotel, tickets, meals, and souvenirs) it still feels irresponsible to spend $400+/night for a hotel that we'll see maybe 12 hours of our 1 week trip......But, that View!!! Oh man, choices. :scared:
     
  11. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    The view is wonderful (especially at sunrise and at night, when the DCA lights are twinkling). The funny thing is that when I noticed I had gotten a free upgrade to a view room in 2010, I spent more time in the room...just staring out the window!:rotfl2: I don't know that I would have been staring out the window as much if not for that view!:rotfl2: I kept gravitating towards the window every time I was in the room. In 2011, I shared my room with DizNee Luver and 2 other people so I didn't spend as much time enjoying the view even though I was upgraded again. And in 2012 I was back at the window once again, admiring the DCA view!:rotfl2::rotfl2:

    But...I'm an oddball. Most normal people and families are not going to be lingering around the window for large chunks of time, staring out at DCA from the PPH. As you said, maybe 12 hours of your trip will be spent at the hotel.

    I would think that if the difference in expense was only a couple hundred bucks - or even $300 - to stay at the PPH instead of staying off-property, it might be more worthwhile to those who are unsure of whether or not to stay onsite.

    An $800 difference, however, is a big deal! That could go for more character meals or more souvenirs.

    I think that even some folks who have stayed onsite are not necessarily sure that it was worth it. I've read some reviews in which the people posted that they enjoyed it (whichever Disney hotel it was) but that they were not sure if they'd do it again because the price is so high. Whereas, other folks end up staying onsite and never want to stay anywhere else. (Even Laurie/DizNee Luver keeps going back to the PPH, even when she thinks she is going to stay off-property!)

    So, again, I am definitely in the pro-staying onsite camp (when I have the money available to stay onsite, that is) and it does enhance my overall Disney visit, but I can definitely, totally see the benefits of saving the money and using it towards something else because the prices are so high to stay onsite.
     
  12. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the advice, as soon as my taxes are actually in I will decide. I guess I will just go crazy and rack my brain about what's more important, a view or more treats/meals. Thanks Sherry, I will try to look for PPH reviews and see what other people say too, although your advice has helped out trips before; for ex. the xmas trip.
     
  13. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    I'm always glad to be of help in any way I can be - that's what I'm here for!

    I think that waiting until the taxes are in sounds like a good plan. That way, you have more time to think about it.

    I think that, for your specific situation, you should keep an eye on the trip reports from the people who are about to stay at the PPH for the first time ever, as that scenario will be the most relevant to you. I think you've already posted in PHXscuba's TR thread so you must be subscribed to it. She will be at the PPH very soon.

    The other person who jumps to mind is cristyhas3 - she has a Pre-TR called "Memories Begin in March," and she will also be staying at the PPH for the first time ever in just a short time.
     
  14. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Tax money on Monday!!!:cool1: Will post an update. After reading reports about picture taking issues I am wondering if I should buy my tickets from disneyland.com or do a package from getaway today. I might even make it a 6 day PH and just go to the parks on arrival day(not our usual tradition) and get pics out of the way for our MM. I hope it is smoothed out by June. I couldn't imagine them running this picture taking, with ID and ticket signing at the gates thing during peak season.
     
  15. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    I can't imagine it either. It sounds like it would be crazy. They were not doing that at the gates when I was there in December (or when I was there last June for the Cars Land preview, for that matter).

    I almost forgot - when I was referring to PHXscuba and cristyhas3 above as being the 'ones to watch' for first-timers' reviews of the Paradise Pier Hotel (whereas you already know that I am a PPH fan and that Laurie/DizNee Luver is a PPH fan, and our reviews will be positive), I neglected to mention the Trip Reports to watch for Goofy's Kitchen first-timer reviews, which may be of interest to you:

    Bret/mvf-m11c - He is currently reporting on the January trip he took in which he ate at Goofy's Kitchen for the first time in decades, so it was basically like the first time. He just posted his Goofy's segment a couple of days ago. If you haven't already checked out his TR thread (and he has many TR's in one thread, as I do), I think you will enjoy his photos because you take such great photos yourself! He uses a DSLR and his fireworks shots, especially, are spectacular.

    lsulindy - She seems to have temporarily disappeared from her TR, but when she last checked in she reported on her first time at Goofy's Kitchen (earlier in February).

    pixleyyy - She is a WDW vet who did a TR for her recent December DLR visit. She ate at Goofy's Kitchen for the first time and reported on it. She may have even stayed at the PPH too, but I can't recall. Also, she is a professional photographer, as I remember it, so she's got some great shots in there (a lot of great family photos - good composition!).

    Escape2Disney - Her recent TR (which is short) for her December DLR visit involved her first stay at the PPH, and I think it was her first time at Surf's Up with Mickey, if I remember correctly. She also went to Club 33. (In fact, Escape2Disney, DizNee Luver and I were all staying at the PPH at the same time in December, and we all ended up at Surf's Up at different points in our trips!)



    So those are just a few TR's you may want to check out for those Goofy's, PPH and/or Surf's Up reviews from first-timers!
     
  16. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the links and helping in enabling in my DLR addiction. But that's why the DISboards are here right?
     
  17. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Well, things came up. We are staying all 8 nights at the BWPPI. We wanted more breathing money for the time being. But its booked!!!! :cool1: Summer can't come soon enough.
     
  18. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    I will be following along on your trip report which must be exciting for you and your family since you are a few months away.

    When I went to DL in January and saw at the turnstiles that there were CM's just before entering the turnstiles taking pictures of the guests to make sure that the ticket belongs to that person and not someone else. This process took some time when my group had to get a picture and signed the ticket to confirm that it belongs to them. Luckily, I didn't have to hand them my AP to them outside the turnstile since my picture is in the system. I can understand why the DLR is doing this and there were times that the lines were so long that it was just crazy during the slow season. I don't like and hope they will resolved these issues during the summertime.

    You will have a great time at BWPPI since I have stayed at that hotel a lot of times and a great location where it will be a short walk to the DLR.
     
  19. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Awesome, thanks for joining. You're one my influences here on the boards for trip reports. Let me know what you think of my photos. Throw out some critiques. I decided no PPH this time but wife is already talking of doing a trip with just me and her on a weekend for my Birthday in Dec so maybe even might stay at the DLH then.
     
  20. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    Thank you Mark. I looked at most of your photos on your trip reports and they are very nice. I am not really good at critiquing photos that well. All of your photos are great especially your family pictures where they are all excited. It would have been nice to stay at PPH during your upcoming trip but the extra savings at staying at BWPPI will help you in the long run. That would be a great honeymoon trip for the two of you to go to the DLR during the Holiday season and possibly staying at the DLH.
     
  21. Markie Mouse

    Markie Mouse Mouseketeer

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    Well thanks Brett. I agree, a honeymoon weekend trip without the kids would be nice. But it would have to be in secret and we would have to take it to our grave because our little girl would loathe us for going to Disneyland without her. :guilty: . With that extra money we saved, we ended up using it for a down payment for our new(ish) car. It's gonna be an awesome trip. One question I have for you, How do you take such nice WOC without a tripod? Is it just experience has taught you how to steady your hands or is there a trick you know?
     

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