The Wettest, Merriest, and Happiest Birthday/First Visit Nov/Dec 2012 TR! 2/13 FINAL!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by danimaroo, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

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    KAREN YOU'RE HOOOOOME! I hope your WDW trip was amazing! I am actually heading over to your TR now to catch up on it! I'm so happy you started one already! I'm planning on getting mine started here this week and I can't wait! I'm super excited to catch up on yours.

    Hahaha, yeah, I had a feeling you'd feel my pain! Matt was actually okay with stopping, but just preferred I give him a heads up. Ohhh boy. During our WDW trip, I just finally kept telling everyone to go ahead without me and that I'd catch up to them. :rolleyes: I did a lot of stopping and then running down Main Street. :laughing:


    Yeah it was such a good find by Matt! Fit in very well on our tree with all of the other Disney ornaments we own. :goodvibes

    Yeah, DCA is a really awesome park at night. Mickey's Fun Wheel is beautiful! I could have watched it all lit up for much longer than I did, haha. I hope you are able to get there! It's definitely a must-do for any Disney fan. I can't wait to go back.

    Bahaha, yeah, Matt has gotten better about letting me stop and get my photos. I just can't help it! Especially in Disneyland because there is SO much to take photos of, especially when it's brand new to you!


    I know, I'm sad, too. But at least I get to jump right on in to writing ANOTHER TR! Woohoo! I just don't know what I'll do when that one is over, haha.

    We were there for 2 1/2 days, since Thursday we didn't really get into the parks until 3 and they closed at 8 (though we hung out in DTD after). I would say it's enough days if you are like us and REALLY just go all out. However, if I had the ability to choose, I'd probably have gone with 3 1/2 days, just so we could have taken more mid-day breaks. We pushed ourselves hard on that trip, and I prefer to take it a little bit easier when touring the parks.

    But, if we are stuck doing 2 1/2 again, I think we'll be okay since there are definitely some rides/things we'll skip next trip (Holiday Time Tour, some of the dark rides in Fantasyland, etc.)... But I'd say 3 1/2-4 days would be perfect!


    Me too! I was so happy Matt spotted it because he was pretty excited for it! It was definitely one of our favorite ornaments on our tree.


    Bahaha, they crack me up, too! I love him for it.

    I hope to see you over in my WDW TR!! Aww, why won't you be going back? I saw your signature has Beach Club Villas in it/looks like you have a ticker... That's where we just stayed during our January trip! It's our favorite resort. :goodvibes
     
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  3. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Wow I can't believe how packed DL was for you that night! The crowds of people in your pictures is unreal.

    You got some really beautiful nighttime shots of both parks. I love the different feel that Disney parks take on once the sun goes down and everything is lit up. So beautiful.

    Speaking of beautiful...WORLD OF COLOR!!!! Seriously, I wish I could watch that show every single night for the rest of my life. It is SO perfect and amazing. I just love it!!! :yay:
     
  4. marDgreen88

    marDgreen88 DIS Veteran

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    Hahahahah omg. That ride photo is just too funny! :lmao: That one is on par with the Buzz Lightyear one from last year! That one cracked me up for like a solid minute.

    Hahah sorry for my lack of comments on things but all I can think of to say is "such and such is pretty." I bet World of Color was spectacular!!!

    I'm sorry, but I'm too excited about the WDW TR to be sad about this one ending! I'm weeeeird.
     
  5. beachphotog

    beachphotog Pass me a margarita

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    Oh holy picture at California Adventure! I can't imbed it from my phone but that first one you posted of it at night? Amazing!
    Love meeting random people in the parks and having long conversations about Disney! It makes me so happy and I feel like someone understands me!!
    Lol at that ride picture! So amazing and hysterical!!
     
  6. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

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    I know, it was so bonkers that day! I couldn't get over the crowds... but I guess at least we now know how to deal with them when we're in Disneyland! Haha.

    Thank you very much! The parks totally take on a different feel at night and I love it.

    World of Color was really wonderful! I was happy we got to see it, even if it was raining. :laughing:


    Bahaha, I'm glad you thought it was as hilarious as I did. Because every time I look at it I laugh really hard. AND that you remember the Buzz one from last year! Hahaha. Don't worry, we have a lot of hilarious ones from our WDW trip, and even better, because we did the PhotoPass+!

    Haha I know what you're talking about! There is a lot of pretty-ness happening, especially at night!

    OMG, I am so excited to start it! I think I am going to post my final chapter of this/final thoughts tonight, AND have a link to my WDW TR up!! I only have an intro at the moment buuuut I'm just too excited not to post it. :hyper:


    Oh thank you!! Some of my photos didn't come out terrible, which made me happy! But thank you, that's an awesome compliment!

    Haha yeah, the family was SO incredibly nice! I love people like that!

    Hahaha, I agree, I was dying... still am! :laughing:
     
  7. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

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    Chapter Twenty-Five: A special treat, and saying goodbye... for now.
    Day 3: December 1st, 2012


    After World of Color ended, we decided to make our way back over to Disneyland. The park was open until midnight tonight, so of COURSE we were going to head back on over. What, did you think we'd end our trip NOT in Disneyland?!

    As we were heading out, Matt decided he really wanted a churro... So of course, we stopped and got him one!

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    Most of the crowds who left California Adventure were heading out of the parks in general, so it wasn't too brutal getting into Disneyland. The hard part was dodging all of the crowds who were also leaving Disneyland, since Believe... In Holiday Magic had just ended.

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    Buuut, Disney being awesome, made crowd control work so that those coming into the park could head on the sidewalk, making our lives a bit easier.

    Since Matt had gone with a churro, I was really craving a snack of my very own...

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    If you haven't guessed by now... I obviously was jonesing for a Dole Whip Float! And what do you know, it came with a cute umbrella and all!

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    So this was my first time having the float. I'd had Dole Whip on our previous trip to Disney World (my first Dole Whip and first time meeting one of my favorite DISers on earth, Rachel).. The float was EXACTLY what I wanted right then! I was in the mood for something sweet but also a little something to drink, so it was perfect.

    We wandered towards the hub while I ate/drank my Dole Whip float, and enjoyed the view of the beautiful castle.

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    We decided to head back towards IASW again, in hopes of seeing the projection show that they have every so often..

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    Because of all the rain, the reflections for photos were pretty neat!

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    The projection show began and we sat and watched it in awe. It's kind of similar to the castle projection show in Disney World, but obviously it's projected on IASW and is holiday-themed.

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    I highly suggest you catch this. It's a pretty fast show but really entertaining to watch if you're nearby!

    After the little show ended, we turned around and headed back towards Fantasyland, taking in the last bit of time we had in the park..

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    Oh Matterhorn, I will ride you again next trip! You were cheesy but still such a classic.

    Tea Party had been closed due to the rain. One day I will ride this, especially since it's outside! I loved all of the lanterns lit up at night.

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    We walked along the secret path to the front of the castle and I took more photos of it all lit up.

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    Snow White's fountain is even more gorgeous at night! I loved that little area so much, especially when there weren't a lot of people around. I found it a nice place to really reflect. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true!

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    Matt took one last photo of me before we headed for Main Street..

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    It was still pretty busy in the park, but a lot more walkable once the fireworks had ended...

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    We did our usual goodbye to Main Street, which is one of my favorite places to be at night. There is something so beautiful about everything being lit up and having both the castle in the distance, and the beautiful tree nearby.

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    I LOVE photos of Disney balloons. They just scream childhood to me, so whenever I have an opportunity I try to capture a photo of them.

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    I still love that the Magic shop is in Disneyland. It's got so much history, and I love that Disneyland has preserved shops like this one.

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    I had to have one last goodbye with the beautiful tree on Main Street. I loved seeing it every time we stepped into the park.

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    We waved one last goodbye, and headed out of the parks. It was sad, but we were okay because we knew we'd be back again...

    Plus, ya know, Christmas was in a few weeks, and then we had a trip to Disney World planned. It's amazing how when you know you have another Disney trip planned, it makes the goodbye ten times easier!

    We got back to our room, finished all of our last bits of packing, and I obviously sat in the tub because that's how I roll. Eventually I went to bed around 11 because we needed to be up EARLY for our flight back to Seattle!

    Continued in next post
     
  8. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

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    Chapter Twenty-Six: Getting up at 4am is completely unacceptable
    Day 4: December 2nd, 2012


    Our alarms went off at 4am and I am fairly certain both of us just laid in bed staring blankly at the ceiling through the dark... both wondering why we thought it was a good idea to book a 7am flight back to Seattle.

    We eventually got ourselves out of bed and got everything together pretty quickly, and I made sure Mickey was packed in my bag!

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    We said goodbye to our room, and headed outside to look for our shuttle to the airport.

    He showed up within 10 minutes of us getting outside, and we were on our way... in the park, leaving Disneyland. WOMPWOMP.

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    We got the airport really quickly and realized how tiny it really was when we noticed there were literally 4 check-in areas. 4. for the entire airport.

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    JetBlue wasn't open yet (man, we had a knack for getting there too early), so we sat down on the floor because there were all of 6 seats in the ticketing area. Yes, again, that airport was that tiny.

    Clearly Matt was not awake, and instead went into full-on zombie mode. In fact, I'm not sure he even knew he had arrived at the airport.

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    Finally, some seats opened up nearby, so we sat there, and the CUTEST family came over and sat across from us. Their daughter had on an adorable Toy Story Jessie hat and was just so cute. I couldn't even handle it. I see things like that and it gets me so excited for having kids one day and bringing them to Disneyland and Disney World!

    Anyway, we were finally able to check in and I think we may have seriously been one of the first people to go through security that morning. We made it through really quickly, and sat in the tiniest waiting area. It literally seated everyone for all flights leaving out of Long Beach. Think of that TV show Wings, it was basically like that. But I didn't mind it because of how quickly we got through!

    We waited for awhile and finally a little store opened up and I got us some breakfast while Matt hung out. I came back and Matt was looking THRILLED to be sitting in the airport this hour. Can't you tell?

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    We got on our flight and lucked out that again, no seat between us, so it was a pretty relaxing flight... EXCEPT FOR THE TURBULENCE.

    Ohhhh the turbulence. It doesn't usually bother me that much but it was CONSTANT, so I got pretty nauseous on that flight. But I had Mickey my back, so at least I had him for comforting as I felt like I was going to throw up everywhere.

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    We finally landed, found our car, and headed home after a SUPER fun adventure in Disneyland.:)

    Continued in next post
     
  9. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

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    FINAL THOUGHTS

    Okay, first things first, I have to say, writing TRs takes a lot of time and energy and dedication. I know that might sound silly but it really does.

    That being said, I LOVE writing them. It allows me to revisit my vacation and remember how much fun I had on a trip. It's a way for me to have the memories to go through whenever I feel like it. It's also a fantastic way to meet new people who GET Disney the way you do.

    That really happened with this trip. Writing this TR, especially now, it made me realize how much fun I had in Disneyland. It was different from Disney World, but it's a place that I would love to visit at LEAST once per year, if not more.

    I also want to thank all of you who faithfully followed along on this TR, as your comments kept me going and definitely kept me entertained, as well! :)

    Highlights of the trip

    • I cannot state how much I enjoyed visiting Disneyland at Christmas time. The decorations blew my mind, and I couldn't believe how they were scattered throughout both parks, not just in one certain area of one park. The snow on Main Street was absolutely magical and I was so happy to be in that moment.

    • I loved how close everything was so it was very easy to knock things out really quickly in the morning, especially in Disneyland. Being able to get that much done in a short period of time allowed us to have even more time to explore other areas that we probably wouldn't get to in Disney World.

    • I loved how even though there's not nearly as much space in Disneyland as there is in Disney World, Disney has made an amazing effort to use all of their space very wisely in Disneyland. The side streets, and the little details they put in truly show how much effort they put into making the park feel as immersive as they can with the small space that they have to work with.

    • Carsland was SERIOUSLY impressive. If this is any indication of what Disney can do in the future, I think it shows something extremely promising for all Disney parks.

    • Haunted Mansion Holiday and It's a Small World were both AMAZING. I was so beyond impressed with each of them for their own reasons which I've already spoken about, that I can't wait to go back and see them again. They were both rides that I wanted to go on again repeatedly because I'd find something new and exciting in their details.

    • Blue Bayou was fantastic, both the atmosphere and the food were wonderful! I would love to go back here again, and I'm sure we will, even for lunch or just dessert!

    • I loved going on California Screamin' with Matt, because it was one of those rides I found myself smiling and just having way too much fun on. Paradise Pier is probably at the bottom of my list just due to its theming, but I REALLY loved California Screamin'.

    • New Orleans Square easily was my favorite area of Disneyland. Combined with the decorations for Christmas and all of the details that went into the side areas, that was an area I wanted to keep going back to and exploring more.
    There are not-so-awesome parts of the trip, but where's the fun in that? The ONE thing I will say is that I hope some day we can stay in the Grand Californian (it'd be through DVC), because one of the biggest issues I think we both had with Disneyland was the moment you stepped out under the sign to Disneyland Resort, you were slapped in the face by reality.

    Random people on the street selling balloon animals, light up swords, cars blaring music, etc. It just kind of left a sense of "We're not in Disney anymore." Unfortunately, on-site hotels cost an arm and a leg, so unless we do DVC, we'll be sticking with Desert Inn, which was a FANTASTIC place to stay, especially for such a small price and the location couldn't be beat. But yeah, that was probably the biggest downside to Disneyland; I didn't feel as immersed the whole time as I do in Disney World because of this.

    I had someone bring up how I'd rank all of the different night time shows I've seen. This is excluding parades (But big ups to MSEP!), but this would be the order of my favorites:

    1. Wishes/Celebrate the Magic (I see these as one "show")... I'm not usually a fireworks person but Wishes sets itself apart. LOVED Celebrate the Magic, too (Wreck-It Ralph!). Watching CtM then Wishes is an amazing thing.
    2. Illuminations... It's SO different than any other nighttime show out there, and I love the integration of World Showcase. I do find certain parts of it to be too long.
    3. World of Color... I really loved it but I actually felt like it was slightly too long and while it's an amazing projection show, I would have cut off maybe 5 minutes.
    4. Believe... In Holiday Magic... I want to see this when the weather isn't crappy to get a better judgment. The snow and the castle changing colors were wonderful though.

    Matt's ranking of the 4, and his reasons:

    1. Illuminations... "It's the most unique, has a lot of different elements, and is the most surprising overall."
    2. Wishes/Celebrate the Magic... "Best fireworks hands down, Cinderella Castle is a perfect focus, and the projection show is really good."
    3. Believe... In Holiday Magic... "The light show on the castle and the snow make it. The fireworks are lackluster but the rest make up for it."
    4. World of Color... "Cool concept, but it ends up just being a projection show. I like the film clips they include, but I wish they had done a bit more with the water beyond projecting on screens of it, goes on a little long."​

    We've never seen Fantasmic, so we can't really judge that one in the mix. At some point we'll probably check it out.

    As for the future!

    As of right now, we are planning on returning to Disneyland again this year before our awesome Golden Tickets expire. We're leaning towards early November, because we loved the Christmas decorations and also because it'll be a slower time to go, avoiding the insane crowds that come in for the Candlelight Processional. I'm hoping to make it a 3 1/2 day trip, just so we have more time to explore and really enjoy the parks... and not feel guilty when we need a mid-day break, haha. But 2 1/2 would probably be a-okay for us, too, since we'd skip certain things next time.


    TWO MORE AWESOME TREATS I HAVE FOR YOU GUYS!​

    #1 Some of you have seen this, but I actually made a video of our trip!

    It's not very long, mainly because I didn't get all of the video I wanted due to the insane amounts of rain we experienced. BUT I am still pretty proud of it and think it came out decently! If you're a Coldplay fan, then you might enjoy listening along to the music, as well.

    Please feel free to watch it here on YouTube and let me know what you think!

    #2 I have started my WDW TR!!!

    Yes, if you remember from earlier, we went to Disney World from January 17th-January 27th. I have FINALLY started the TR for that, so if you enjoyed our adventures in Disneyland, I think you may enjoy our adventures in Disney World.

    I promise there's some pretty hysterical moments in that trip, and there will be an EPIC video for that one as well, as I was able to take a lot of video during our trip. (And yes, no big spoilers, but let's just say there's footage of Matt dancing that you won't want to miss)..

    I'M JUST SHOWBOATIN' AROUND THE WORLD!.. and getting pooped on. Jan '13 TR!

    Thank you all, SO MUCH, for following along with this TR. It was an absolutely pleasure sharing our experiences, and for me to share my first visit to Disneyland with you all! I hope to see your faces over in my WDW TR, as well! :)


    pixiedust:pixiedust: THE END! pixiedust:pixiedust:
     
  10. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

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    Heading over to your WDW TR now!

    Thanks for sharing your DLR trip with us! Now I want to visit at Christmas! :laughing:
     
  11. marDgreen88

    marDgreen88 DIS Veteran

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    Okay SO... I was reading this on commercial breaks during Survivor (SO HAPPY IT'S BACK!!) so I forgot everything that I wanted to say, but I will be able to FULLY focus on your NEW TR!!!!! :hyper: I'M VERY EXCITED. Aaanyways, I'm really glad that yall had a great trip to Disneyland despite the rain and such. I have enjoyed this TR so much!!
     
  12. arbolita

    arbolita DIS Veteran

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    First off - Yayyy I'm so excited you've started your WDW trip report! I wish our trips would have overlapped more, because it would have been fun trying to spot each other in the background of the other person's photos, haha.

    Do you feel like 3 days was enough, or do you wish you would have had an extra day to see and do everything?
     
  13. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

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    Yay, awesome! And I'm glad you enjoyed my DL TR! I highly suggest visiting around Christmas time. It's so awesome!

    Funny enough, I am responding to this while watching Survivor! Hahaha. Saggy undies Philip is back in action! But I'm not understanding how these people are considered "Favorites" when a lot of them were noooot likeable on their seasons.

    Glad you are excited for my new TR!! I am super pumped to have it started now!! YAAYAYAY.


    YAY ME TOO! And I agree, I wish they did, too! That would have been so funny if we were in the background of each other's photos. :laughing:

    I think for a first time trip to Disneyland, if you're like us and are okay with constantly going without breaks (which isn't the norm for us, but we knew we were on a serious time crunch), then 3 days is pretty decent! I think if I could do it all over again, because we had the Holiday Time Tour which took up a good amount of our time, I'd have done 3 FULL days (vs. the 2 1/2 we did).

    I'm hoping next time we go we are able to do 3 1/2 days. Even with 2 1/2 days next trip I think we'd be good since we won't be doing a tour and will probably skip a few things that we did this last trip. There are certain areas I'd like to spend more time exploring next time, but I felt like we got a LOT done in our 2 1/2 days. :thumbsup2
     
  14. mommy2allyandaveri

    mommy2allyandaveri <font color=0066CC>Disney or otherwise. Sucks<br>

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    Absolutely loved your TR, and am currently reading your WDW PTR. I'm reading in nice and slow so I don't run out of stuff to read.

    I think you might be the best TR writer ever!

    On a side note, isn't Long Beach the WORST airport to fly out of? Sitting in a portable, hardly any food choices. Then you have to walk outside to get to your plan. Thankfully it wasn't raining, who wants to sit on a flight when you are wet? Yuck! I don't think we will ever fly out of there again.
     
  15. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    I really loved this TR! It made me wish we had another DL trip in the works, because I really loved it there SO much more than I ever thought I would! Now I just know whenever we do make it back, we need to go for the holidays. I loved all of your pictures of the decorations, the lights, the ride overlays. Beautiful! I'm glad you both enjoyed your time despite the rainfall.

    Heading over to your WDW TR now!
     
  16. Susan121302

    Susan121302 Mouseketeer

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    Ooops, just realized my ticker is a leftover from our last trip....I may put up a disneyland ticker though for this August. Headed over to your other TR.... can't wait!
     
  17. 407-W-DISNEY

    407-W-DISNEY DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for the TR! You really do a great job telling us about your trip!

    I have to admit I laughed out loud of the picture of Matt being in Zombie mode at the airport!! I'm STILL laughing!! sorry Matt - no offense!!

    That is so cool about the golden tickets...some day I shall have one, some day...

    I often wondered about loosing the 'magic' when you are in Disneyland.....no wonder Disneyworld is so HUGE!!!
     
  18. DisneytheKid

    DisneytheKid A bad attempt at Billy the Kid

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    Hey Dani,

    Thanks again for the great Trip Report! We were there a couple weeks after you and stayed at Desert Inn as well. Couldn't agree more with what a great hotel it is for the price. Loved all the pics and commentary. You and Matt are a really fun couple to see enjoying Disney!

    Now I've got to start reading your new TR...:cool1:

    Thanks again,

    Mitch
     
  19. DharmaLou

    DharmaLou Once a Princess, Always a Princess

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    Major sadface that this TR is over. I loved it. I'll be checking out your WDW TR as we're planning on WDW in 2014 (along with an early 2014 DLR trip for me for the Tink half)

    You mentioned being so excited to take your own kids to Disney - and it's awesome. I've been to DLR & WDW probably a dozen times combined and it's awesome, but this past trip with DD who had just turned 4 was truly magical. It's so fun to see Disney through their eyes!!
     
  20. LadyFaire88

    LadyFaire88 Earning My Ears

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    Awesome trip report! Visiting Disneyland around Christmas time is at the top of my to do list so it was fun to see, esp. From someone from my neck of the woods. :) heading over to your new WDW trip report now.
     
  21. stacy~**

    stacy~** DIS Veteran

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    This is a great photo!! Even though I am deathly scared of the Fun Wheel, I am a HUGE fan of the Paradise Pier theming and the Fun Wheel is, of course, the centerpiece!! Beautiful water reflection...perfect, goosebump giving picture!! :love:

    SO sad to see your trip end BUT the good news is I plan to move over to your WDW report so it isn't goodbye!! Yay!!
     

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