Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by jforever52, Mar 21, 2011.
I've tried to answer your questions as best I can below
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Thank you so much for answering. I have ordered the DVC DVD, so should have that in the next 2 weeks. I'm not sure this is the way for us to go, as we are a family of 6 & it would take quite a few points for a stay. But we're going to investigate it more before deciding.
We've never done the baby swap, so this might be something to look into before our holiday trip.....we will probably need to do this!!
I hope it works out for your family....we have not regretted going DVC one bit! If you have any questions after you watch the DVD let me know, I'd be happy to help. If you like to use me as a referral you can as well!
Day 2 Continued-California Adventure, World of Color
After taking a break at the hotel to swim, we decided to head over to California Adventure to ride Monster's, Inc. before our dinner reservations at Wine country Trattoria. Noone in our family had ever ridden this ride...in fact before this trip, we hadn't even realized it existed!!!!
We walked through the Grand Californian to use its entrance to the park:
We waived goodbye to our "home" and promised to come back in May. After entering the park we headed over to Monster's, Inc.
Pictures from the cue:
And the ride:
I know, not the best quality...we must have been giddy with excitment over the "new" to us ride! After finishing it up we headed to our World of Color dinner reservations at Wine Country Trattoria. I shared by pasta with DD:
Me and DS:
The food was excellent! Everyone seemed to enjoy what they ordered (and what everyone else ordered as well). My favorite part of the meal was the pomagrantent-lemondade...try it!!!!
Now we have officially tried all three dining options for World of Color. I think Wine Country was my favorite. I really enjoyed the food as well as the restaraunt itself. It was nice to sit outside in the early evening and enjoy the meal. My least favorite was Ariel's Grotto...the food was not very good (especially the dessert) and the whole experience felt rushed. I also think that it is worth the cost to get the fast passes to World of Color...if you are planning on eating at sit-down restaraunts anyway.
Earlier in the day, DH had grabbed fastpasses for Soarin' so after eating we rode Soarin' before grabbing our spot for World of Color:
Here's the scenery:
I waited outside with DD while everyone else road. Then the rider-switch fast pass combo came into play. Woohoo! I rode with DS and my parents again while DH headed over to World of Color to reserve our spots. After riding we headed over to meet up with DH. He had scored us the exact same location as we had the time before! Perfect viewing in my opinion!
After the show....which was AMAZING, we headed over to the bumber cars in Bug's Land. I took DD on Heimlich's ride while everyone else finished up the bumper cars. I had thought it would be quick (the sign said 5 minute wait) but THEY ended up waiting for me!
Rides completed! We decided to head back to the hotel to watch the fireworks from the room. They did not dissapoint. Completely satisfied with our day we headed off to bed!
Next UP-Day 3-Toon Town, Savenger Hunts and Attempted Train Rides
The morning of Day 3 we opted to get to the park and eat Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast. We entered the park and beelined for Blue Ribbon Bakery. After purchasing our rolls we sat down to eat and discuss our plan for the day. In October we had seen masses of people participating in a mouseears scavenger hunt. Originally, we had thought we might try to participate in an upcoming event but the timing wasn't going to work out. Mouseears allows you to purchase a past scavenger hunt for $25 off their website...which I did! We were going to split into 2 teams (boys v. girls); however, when my family (minus me!) looked over the contents of the scavenger hunt they got discouraged. It was REALLY hard!
I put the scavenger hunt on the back burner and we headed off to Toon Town:
As you can tell it was MATCHING SHIRT DAY!!!!
First up was Roger Rabbit:
Pictures from the cue
Your jewelery sure look sparkly under the pink lights!
After exploring Toon Town, we headed back to It's a Small World. When we exited the ride we were approached by a family on their own scavenger hunt. They needed to take a picture with a group in matching T-Shirts. We were happy to oblige!
Next up was Autotopia. DD had fallen asleep, so my mom and dad waited outside the ride with her while we went on it with DS:
Picture of me waiting for DH to exit the ride:
After the ride we headed over to Blue Bayou for lunch. My parents had never eaten there and had specifically requested we go there. We checked in and were seated within 10 minutes....right on the water! The food was excellent. DH and I split the Gumbo, which was the perfect amount of food. DD woke up right when we got there and was GRUMPY...needless to say it was a difficult meal for me, but everybody else had a great time.
After lunch my family decided they wanted to do part of the scavenger hunt. One of the quizes gave you pictures of different iron railings in New Orleans Square. Your job was to find the street address of each of the railings. These street numbers corresponded with a letter that you used to solve a puzzle. We worked on the puzzle for about a half-hour. It was a lot of fun and we completed it!
By that time the park was PACKED! We headed to main street to attempt another puzzle...this time it was to find certain items listed throughout the windows in Main Street.
Up Next-We get 5 family fastpasses, just for doing a good deed!!!
Day 3-The hunt continues and a BIG reward!
Okay, so when I left off we were traveling to Main Street to do another section of our scavenger hunt book. On the way we stopped at the restrooms. My dad found a pin lanyard in the stall. He brought it out with him and upon further inspection we noticed that the owner had put a phone number on it to call if it was found. We immediately called...and got the lanyard's owner's dad (since the owner was a 5 year old boy). Apparantly, the owner had been EXTREMELY upset about losing his pin lanyard. We arranged to drop it off at the lost and found location at the front of the park.
Crisis adverted for an unknown family we headed down Main Street in search of our scavenger hunt items. About 1/2 way through our hunt most of us decided to divert to Moments with Mr. Lincoln (DH doesn't care for this attraction and opted to finish the scavenger hunt on his own). The last time I saw this I remember wearing headphones...there used to be a very cool part where they discussed cutting Lincoln's hair...no headphones but still enjoyable. We left feeling super patriotic.
After seeing the show we turned in the lanyard. We gave the CM the owner's information and asked him to take a picture of us. He told us to wait a moment and left us outside. He reimmerged with 5 family fastpasses. These passes get a maximum of six people into most rides (Toy Story Mania was excluded) through the fast pass entrance. If the ride doesn't have fast passes then you simply walk up the entrance to gain instant admission!!!!! We were SO excited about these passes. Prior to receiving them we had discussed heading back to the pool because the park was so crowded, but the passes gave us renewed energy.
We headed over to the Matterhorn (which was posting a 2 hr wait) and completed the whole thing (including a rider-switch) in about 20 minutes. This is what a family fastpass does to your mood:
After the Matterhorn it was Buzz Lightyear to the rescue:
I won by the way!
After Buzz Lightyear we headed to Haggendaaz before treading to California Adventure:
When we finished our icecream we went to California Adventure to ride Soarin' one more time. Then it was over to Screamin'! Only DS, my dad and I wanted to ride the ride, so we grabbed a family of three and took them along with us.
By that time, it was time to go over to Ridemakerz, so we handed off our one remaining fast pass to a family of 6 we passed on the way out of the park. The boys went to build a Mustang while my mom and I did some shopping in Downtown Disney:
I picked up some Easter and Birthday presents for the kids and my mom got some makeup. Ridemakerz was REALLY cool! Even though it was busy, DS got some really special attention from the workers and ended up with a really cool remote control car.
Then it was time to leave:
The next morning we picked up my parents car. Before leaving LA we drove to Galco's to buy some vintage soda pop. This store was amazing!!!! We left with about 20 bottles of vintage soda...which tasted delicious!
Whew!!! What a great trip it was...and the trip report is finished just in time for us to leave for our May 2011 Trip! Updates soon I promise!
Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your reports. We're from Elk Grove, so just down the road.
I noticed that we were at DLR the same weekend in February! I tried looking for us in the background of your pictures, but no luck!
Have a safe and fun trip next week!
Thanks for the well-wishes neighbor! I like to scan pictures from other's trip reports that correspond with our dates for candids of our family...haven't found us yet, but I'll keep looking!
Arriving at the Park-Sunday, May 8, 2011
After almost a year of waiting, our week-long trip to Disneyland was here!!!! Technically, our travel began on Saturday, May 7, 2011. We left to spend the night at my in-laws house (to cut about 2 hrs off of the drive time). The plan was as follows: the girls (ie. me and DD) would fly to Orange County and catch a bus to the Grand Californian) the boys (DH and DS) would drive...taking an epic man-trip down I-5. We had timed our departure so that we would be arriving within an hour or so of each other.
On Sunday, May 8th we all got up early and prepared to leave. My gracious mother-in-law drove me and DD to the airport; we left around 4am. I got a call while in transit that the boys had left around 4:30am...the man-trip had begun!
My flight left at 7:30am. There was only 17 people on the flight (of 147 seats). DD and I got to spread our legs and enjoy the flight. This was espcially great because it was unexpected--DD was riding as a lap child. Southwest gave out mother's day cards (sealed in plastic with an envelope--I guess I can use it next year?). The only hick-up was that Southwest requested proof that DD was under 2. I hadn't thought this would be an issue and unfortunately I didn't have anything on me!!!! Thankfully they let us board the plane. When I was reunited with my purse I found a medical identification card with her birthdate on it and used that for the return trip.
Upon arrival at John Wayne International Airport, DD and I caught a bus to the Grand Californian. We arrived about 10:00am. The place was packed!!!! Pirates of the Carribean had premirred the night before and as a result the lobby was hoppin'! In addition, there was a ton of mom's and families headed to Storytellers for mother's day brunch. DD and I checked in and requested a room with a view (if it was available). The CM said that he could find one for us; he then took my cell phone number and said that we would receive a text with our room number when the room was ready. DD and I set out to find some food at Whitewater snacks. On the way we saw the actress who played Billie on Days of Our Lives (sorry I can't remember her name), walking to brunch at Storytellers!!!!
After eating a bagel and some grapes, DD and I decided to hang out at the fire pit while we waited for the man-trip to end:
The firepit (sorry, taken by iPhone and note the best quality):
DD in her rocker:
We also expored the hotel (these pictures were taken later in the week, but they make sense to show here):
The lobby had a pianist playing soothing Disney music, which was needed considering the fact that the ENTIRE lounge was beginning to fill up with people waiting for rooms.
About 11am I got a call from DH. They were in Anaheim. I explained that the room wasn't ready and that we should leave our stuff in the car and go the parks for awhile. DH had it in his mind that he was unpacking EVERYTHING immediately....about 20 minutes later DH and DS arrive pushing a stroller piled with stuff about as tall as my husband is (and he is 6'5"). It had all of our luggage, pillows, toys and food we had packed from home in addition to all the electronics--computer, Nintendo DS. It was hilarous!!!
He arrives, and I tell him no room yet. I check on the room. I tell him no room yet. So we immediately go about the business of actually packing our stuff in the bags so that we can shut up the zippers. This takes about 15 minutes. Once completed we check our stuff with the bell hop, stop at WhiteWater to get some food for the boys, and then head to the parks!!!
Up next: a short visit to DCA and do we EVER get our room?
Following along. Was the actress Lisa Rinna? Or "the other one'? I love Lisa Rinna as she was the original.
THANK YOU!!!! Yes it was Lisa Rinna...and she was super cute in person (I just love her hair cut)! She was going to mother's day brunch with two teenagers that I am assuming were her daughters
Liking the TRs! We are going back in 3 weeks and will be getting APs this year too! We just moved to the Grass Valley area so we are "neighbors" ?
Our 2nd AP trip is booked for Oct. the same dates as your initial TR! We are excited for Halloweentime! We are booked for Dec. as well to see all the holiday magic!
What was the reason between traveling seperate? Why not all go one way or the other? That's pretty cool that you could almost leave at the same time and arrive at nearly the same time.
We decided to travel separate for a couple of reasons. We've all driven down to Disney twice in the past 6 months or so. My daughter (almost 2 now) does okay on the drive down, but has typically lost her mind on the way back. The only way to calm her down is to play Beach Boys music....over and over again. After our last long car trip DH was ready to throw the CD (which we have titled "Serenity Now!!!") out the window. On our last trip DH suggested the fly/drive combo, partly so he didn't have to listen to the Beach Boys anymore and partly because we thought it would be fun for him and our son to do some male bonding....that is how the Man-trip came to be!!!!
My son, loved the idea of traveling down with just his dad and decided to plan some "man" activities for the trip. When I asked him what that meant he told me they would be: (1) eating beef jerkey; (2) stopping at a truck stop; and (3) peeing on the side of the road!!!!!! Needless to say, I am SOOO glad I wasn't present for those activities.
We all didn't fly down because we needed the car to go to some non-Disney activities we had planned (ie. baseball games and the LA Zoo). Fortunately, Southwest offers some really good deals for Northern/California Flights so the flight now didn't bust our budget at all. We probably won't do it again though because DD is almost 2...we're going to have to start paying for plane tickets for her shortly.
Glad your following along neighbor!!
You will love DL at Halloween. We fell in love with the place! Haunted Mansion was definetly my favorite change for the holiday season. I think we rode it 6 or more times in the short time we were there!
So after checking our mountain of stuff with the bellhop and grabbing a quick bite to eat, we headed over to California Adventure. DS was literally bouncing up and down with excitement! We didn't want to do anything too involved because we were really just killing time until our room was ready (we were all DYING for a shower).
We decided to take an immediate right outside the Grand Californian entrance to the park and head to the Redwood Creek Challenge. DS had never expeirenced this part of the park before...I vaguely remembered it from a visit to the parks in 2000 with my family. Anyway, first up was the tire zip line! DS LOVED it. He rode it about 5 times and then we were off to do the ropes course and explore the cave to find out what our spirit animals were (I was a beaver, DH was a moose, and DS was a skunk!)
After about 15-20 minutes we decided to head over to Grizzly River Run. DH and DS got in line and I went over to the viewing area to see if I could get a picture of them coming down the last drop. There was a nice CM photographer in the area who was taking pictures of family members as they came down the drop. We chatted for about 20 minutes and then I started to wonder were the boys were...the line had only posted a 10 minute wait. Then we started to see empty tubes coming down the drop. I decided to walk over to see how the line was moving. Turns out that a plank on the loading dock had come loose...the ride ended up closing for several hours.
Here's DH and DS waiting in line (they were so close to the front too!):
DH and DS were given a family fastpass, good for up to 5 people for any ride but Toy Story Mania. We used it later in the week for Autotopia.
After getting the fast pass we went to the Midway to play some games. I loaded up the points card and we all played the water balloon game; since we were the only one's playing, DS ended up winning a Dumbo! Next up was skeet ball...DH won Bullseye! I tried my hand at Casey's pitching challenge....and I didn't win anything!!!! We ended up speding $20.00 on the games and came out of it with 2 full size stuffed animals. Perfect sourviners for just about what we would have spent for one in the store.
After the Midway, we walked over to Blue Sky Cellers to get a better look at the Cars Land Construction:
And shot a picture of the Golden Gate (since I think they are tearing it down soon):
By then we (and by "we" I mean me and DH) were feeling ready to get to the room. We decided to go back to the hotel and check in to see if our room was ready. The entire lobby was packed when we walked in, which is no small feet given the immense size of the Grand Californian lobby! DH found some rocking chairs by the firepit and sat with the kids and I went over to the check-in area to see if our room was ready. It wasn't... A CM told me that there was a lot of people waiting for rooms and that it was taking longer than usual because they had not expected this many people today. I found that a little hard to believe since the Pirates premier had happened the night before
Anyway, we got out our iPhones and let the kids watch cartoons while we waited for a text telling us we could go to our room. Just so you know, I think that the internet capacity at the Grand Californian was maxed out this afternoon, EVERYONE had phones out and were doing something on them. It was actually quite funny to watch.
At 4:40pm we got a text that the room was ready!!!!! We promptly headed over to the DVC Villa area to check out the room. Here it is:
The view at night:
I loved the room, the view, the free toiletry's, the comfy bed, the view, the quiet calmness I felt when at the hotel, the view....it was totally worthy spending some time waiting in the lobby for it to be ready!
Up next, shopping and Disney after dark!
That is a lovely view!!
That really is a great view. And kids are never ready to leave the park(at least mine). They get so tired but don't want to go.
After getting into the hotel and freshening up we got in our car and headed to Ralphs to do a little grocery shopping. We got some lunch meat, brats, condiments, bread, water, sodas, fruit and other snacks to last the week.
After loading that into the hotel room we decided to head over to California Adventure for dinner. We ended up eating at the Pacific Warf Cafe. DH and I both had clam chowder bread bowls and the kids split the kid's meal (turkey wrap). The food was good but it was NOT the same as eating a sourdough breadbowl in San Francisco! As a North-California girl you need to know: If you are looking for an authentic Boudin experience I am afraid you can only get it in San Francisco...and it is totally worth the experience!
Belly's full, we decided to head to Disneyland for the evening. Our first stop....The Tiki Room of course! This has become our traditional first stop and who are we to break the tradition? After Tiki it was starting to become dark. We decided to ride Pirates of the Carribean. Here's a picture of my favorite tree:
The POTC stage and seating was still set up in the area where stoller's were usually parked so the CM's directed us to take the stoller in line with us. CM's down the line were valleting the strollers for you. How nice of them!
After POTC we headed over to the Jungle Book to ride it at night! I had never done the ride at night. It was fun...definetely a different experience in the dark.
After the Jungle Book we headed over to Big Thunder for a ride. We noticed they were offering a sneak preview of the new Pirates Movie (in 3D!!!) over by the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. They had Pirates entertaining the crowd and a whole show developed before you got to see an entire scene of the movie!!!!! We are going to see the movie this weekend and the sneak peak really got us in the mood for Pirates!
After seeing the sneak peek we decided it was time to head back to the hotel for the evening. We got back just in time to see the late showing of World of Color:
AMAZING!!! I just love WOC and got to watch it almost every night from the comfort of our hotel room.
Day 2 is up next (with more pictures I promise!!!)
Lucky you with WOC. We are planning on seeing it for the first time this trip.
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