The One With Harry Potter: A 16th Birthday Trip

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by theworldneedscolor, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. theworldneedscolor

    theworldneedscolor DIS Veteran

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    Come one, come all, to my very first trip report! I started a PTR back in August or September, but I may have totally forgotten about it, who really knows? :rolleyes1 I really did want to do a trip report when I got back, I swear! I was just so busy with school that I didn't have the time. We are going again in March (which I will talk about later), and this afternoon I developed the Disney Fever. Yes folks, Disney Fever. Its symptoms include, but are not limited to, randomly breaking out into dance and song, drawing Mickey heads on everything, spending hours on the DIS, lifting your dog into the area while singing the Circle of Life....you get the point. Anyways, boy, did I get it bad. So I decided to relieve my fever, I could relive my last trip through a TR!

    Here's the cast:

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    ME! I'm Ellen, a self-diagnosed Disney freak. I loved Disney movies growing up, but I didn't develop my obsession until the past few years. There's no way I can pick a favorite movie, although I can safely say that I have watched the Lion King the most times. My favorite princess is Belle; I even had an imaginary friend named Belle as a kid. I also love love love the Muppets! I own too many Disney clothing items to count, and my just collection keeps growing. I am currently in love with my Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt :love:

    My mom also came along on this trip. Well, if we're being honest here, she actually made the trip happen pixiedust: We went for my sixteenth birthday (which was at the end of the summer, so October made the best sense financially), and I can happily say that it was the best present ever! She may not be as crazy about Disney as me, but she doesn't complain about indulging me :thumbsup2 She is a major thrill ride junkie, and her favorite rides are Big Thunder, Splash, Space Mountain, California Screamin' and the Tower of Terror. She also loves Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, as do I :cool1: Oh, and she too is a huge Muppets fan! I haven't decided if I'm going to blur her face out of the pictures or not include them at all. She's not too fond of the idea of strangers seeing her on the internet. :confused3

    Without further ado, I shall begin this trip report! :yay:

    Table of Contents

    Day One: Arrival
    Day Two: Part 1-College Tours and Surprise Family Visits
    Day Two: Part 2- Exploring Carsland
    Day Two: Part 3- Our New Favorite Parade!
    Day Two: Part 4- Finally, we're at Disneyland!
     
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  3. theworldneedscolor

    theworldneedscolor DIS Veteran

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    Day One: Arrival
    There arent very many pictures for this update. Sorry!

    Our flight was in the evening, so I went to school for the majority of the day. Of course, I was far too excited to actually accomplish anything, but thats besides the point. I left school during mentoring aka study hall aka an hour where nobody does anything. I got home from school, and had to wait around for my mom. Im pretty sure it is impossible for her to not save her packing until the last minute. :headache: I was worried we would be late to our flight, because our airport is almost two hours away, but we got through security really quickly and had a ton of time to kill.

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    I got a the chili (super yummy!) and the Sweet Italian sausage, which was also pretty good.

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    I am in love with these! PDX is such a beautiful airport :lovestruc

    There are no flight pictures, because I was far too scared to look out my window. I am really, really afraid of heights. But I made it safe and sound! The tv definitely helped the time pass, so if youre nervous about flying, I would book with an airline that has those built in tvs. We flew JetBlue, by the way. We arrived at Long Beach airport, which is tiny! It seemed like a bunch of modular buildings. At least it was quick to get in and out of. We picked up our rental car, and were in Anaheim in no time at all! We stopped at Target to get some groceries, then headed to the Fairfield Inn. While I was looking around in the gift shop, my mom checked in and found out we got a free upgrade to a themed room! :cool1:

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    I was so excited when I walked in and saw this lovely room :love:

    By this time, it was almost midnight, and we needed some sleep before our busy day tomorrow!
     
  4. junmatno

    junmatno DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing! We love the fFi! We are headed down this June for graduations!
     
  5. theworldneedscolor

    theworldneedscolor DIS Veteran

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    Yay, my first subscriber! :cool1:

    We also love the Fairfield. It was clean and comfy, and the theming was great for it being a non-Disney hotel. We are Mariott Rewards members, so I think we got a free night or two, which is always a plus. The distance was great, especially after a long day in a park. The only complaint we have is that the hallways are outdoors, motel style. My mom took us when we were in elementary school, and she says she was always worried about us falling over/through the railing.
     
  6. theworldneedscolor

    theworldneedscolor DIS Veteran

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    Day Two: Part 1- Colleges Tours and Surprise Family Visits

    This section is going to be lacking in the picture department. Sorry!

    Even though we weren't headed to the parks until later in the day, we still had to wake up bright and early for a college tour at Scripps. While my mom got ready, I went downstairs to their little food court. I found it annoying that I had to wait in a twenty minute line behind people make huge breakfast order, even though all I needed was one cup of coffee. I brought the coffee back to my mom, and we had a quick breakfast of peanut butter sandwiches. Yummm. :rotfl2:

    As we were waiting for valet to bring our car around, we talked with them about the best way to get to Claremont. They were nice boys, but not great at giving direction. Google Maps ended up being the best way to go. Unfortunately, we still managed to get lost. The signage is majorly lacking on the California freeways! Lucky for us, we arrived at Scripps college with time to spare.

    What a beautiful campus! I fell in love at first sight :love: And of course, the tour guides made it sound even more amazing. They even have regular trips to Disneyland! :cool1:

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    This is their library. Well, they share a bigger one with the other Claremont schools (there are five total, I think?), but this is their own little one. It had a beautiful stained glass display inside.

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    That’s me!

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    Other miscellaneous campus pictures.

    After the tour, we walked around for a bit on our own and visited the gift shop. We live in a university town, so we are used to a huge campus store. Scripps’ was about as big as my bedroom, which is pretty gosh dang tiny. I ended up with a mug, and my mom bought my younger sister a stuffed squirrel in a Scripps t-shirt. It’s not even their mascot. They just have a lot of squirrels there apparently. :confused3 :rotfl:

    On the way back to Anaheim, we stopped for lunch at a little bakery that our tour guides raved about. We shared a ham and cheese croissant, and it was pretty tasty. The ham was a little tough, though.

    Overall, I would give Scripps an A rating. It is a gorgeous campus, and all their academic and social activities sounded amazing. The town it was in was really cute, and they are close LA and Disneyland. However, their acceptance rate is 30%, so it would be a bit of a reach for me.

    Finally, we were on our way to Disneyland! We did stop at our hotel to change, and while we were there, a got a Facebook message from one of my cousins. It turns out that her sister, who is a flight attendant, had a stop in LA and was spending the day at Disneyland. I texted her right away and made plans to meet up.

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    WE’RE HERE!

    My cousin, Alana, was in California Adventure, so that’s where we headed first. She was with one of her friends, and they were in line for Tower of Terror. My mom and I walked around for a while, and noticed that Grizzly River Run had a short line (I think around 15 minutes). We had never ridden before, so we hopped in line.

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    Ponchos on! Excuse the crude editing method...

    My mom liked the ride, but I was not particularly impressed. It seemed very mild.

    Alana and her friend were waiting for us at the end. We took pictures and chatted, and then headed to the Grand Californian to use their bathrooms. I’m surprised they let us through since none of us were hotel guests, but no complaints there! Afterwards, we decided to part ways because we had different things we wanted to do. We mentioned meeting up for dinner, but it never happened. They’re in their mid twenties, and they probably didn't want to hang out with a high schooler and her mom :rotfl:

    Up next, we explore Carsland and catch the parade!
     
  7. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    This is really good Ellen!!
     
  8. theworldneedscolor

    theworldneedscolor DIS Veteran

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    Wow, it's been a while! I swear, I'm not a slacker, I have just had an absurd amount of schoolwork :scared1: But worry not, your committed story teller is back! :cool1:

    P.S. Sorry the pictures are so big. I'm not sure how to change my upload size on Photobucket, and it takes forever to change the sizes individually.

    Day Two: Part 2- Exploring Carsland

    After meandering around for a few minutes we decided to head over the new Carsland. We aren’t big fans of the movie, but everyone had been raving about so we figured we might as well check it out. On the way we had to stop to get pictures of the gorgeous Carthay Circle.

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    First stop, Cozy Cone Motel!

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    I had been dying to try to Chili Cone Queso. We also got a Chicken Verde, which turned out to be a good thing for me.

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    I ended up disliking the chili, but loving the chicken. My mom was the exact opposite. We both thought the bread cone with a little too much. Overall, I would give it a B+.

    The line for Radiator Springs was crazy long, and Luigi’s Flying Tires did not look very appealing to us. Mator, on the other hand, had a wait of about twenty minutes, so we headed over there.

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    I loved the signs in the queue; they were hilarious! I actually have quite a few more pictures of them, but I figured that might get a little redundant for you all. Anywho, for some reason the ride stopped while we were in line, so we had to wait an extra ten or so minutes. Also, there was a family in front of us from Spain, and their kids, while cute, were very rambunctious. The parents appeared to not care, and let them run all over the places, including into my legs many times. Oh well, what can you do?

    The ride was a blast! We were quite surprised by how much fun we had. Still, we probably wouldn't wait more than 20 minutes; it’s basically a beautified fair ride.

    I have to say, I was very impressed with Carsland on a whole. The theming is spectacular! Still, until the crowds die down, it probably won't be an area we returned to often.
     
  9. theworldneedscolor

    theworldneedscolor DIS Veteran

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    Day Two: Part 3- Our New Favorite Parade!

    We had planned on riding the new Little Mermaid ride next. It was under construction the last time we were in Disneyland, so I was pretty excited. However, on the way out of Carsland we ran straight into the beginning of the Pixar Play Parade! We had never seen it before and there was an open spot, so we decided to wait and watch. I took a ton of pictures, but I’ll just share a few.

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    This guy is wearing a wet suit and full snorkel gear. Like what even? Can you imagine what he tells people when they ask about his job? “Oh yeah, I bike around Disneyland with a snorkel.”

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    What a creeper.

    I have to say, I loved this parade! All the performers looked like they were having a blast, and I thought the costumes and floats were really fun. Watching the dancers made me really want to be a Disney entertainer :love:

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    We walked the long way around Paradise Pier, which makes me think we rode California Screamin’, but I’m not entirely sure.

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    Little Mermaid! Yay! This was my sister’s favorite movie as a kid, which means I have seen it literally hundreds of times.

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    I am sad to say that we were very disappointed in this ride. We thought it was very boring, and we generally like the traditional slow moving dark rides. Also, it seems like they took a step backwards with the animatronics. I feel like they could have done so much better. Ugh.

    Up next, reasonably sized pictures! :rotfl:
     
  10. theworldneedscolor

    theworldneedscolor DIS Veteran

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    Day Two: Part 4- Finally, we’re at Disneyland!

    As much as I enjoy California Adventure, it can’t begin to compare to Disneyland. I haven’t been to Disney World yet, but I think I will feel the same way. Disneyland is Walt’s place, the true original. There’s a truly magical feeling around it :wizard:

    So, of course, I was beyond excited to cross the esplanade and enter the Happiest Place on Earth. Also, this was our first time during any holiday season and we were looking forward to seeing all the Halloween decorations we had heard about.

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    I loved these pumpkin heads; too cute!

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    This sign makes me giddy every time!

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    And of course, you gotta love Captain EO :thumbsup2

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    We were a little underwhelmed by the decorations. There was a huge pumpkin, but mainly it was orange and yellow bunting and a few miscellaneous things here and there. We still loved it, and it really got us into that Halloween spirit!

    Unfortunately, this is where Day One has to stop. I don’t have any more pictures and I can’t remember what we did from here. I do know that at some point we returned to California Adventure and saw World of Color for the first time. Park hours were extended, so we were able to hope in line for the second show just as the first one was starting. We were about twenty people back and were able to sit on the bridge, which was nice. When we were let in, we got a spot right along the railing! I personally loved the show; it was a lot of fun and even had me tearing up a little during some parts (both happy and sad!). My mom, on the other hand, thought it was just okay.

    Here’s a few Photopass pictures from earlier in the day that I forgot to include:

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  11. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    This is good so far!!
     
  12. theworldneedscolor

    theworldneedscolor DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! I'm glad you are enjoying it :flower3:
     

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