We Defected to the West! DLR 2013

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by mom2rtk, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    Is everyone over the cold winter enough to venture back in?

    Welcome along on our DLR in December trip! I know I'm late getting under way, but that's just how things go here sometimes. First, I had to finish up my December 2012 WDW trip report. :lmao: If you haven't read any of my past trip reports, they are all linked in my signature.

    I'm Janet. And this is my Disney partner in crime, my 13 year old daughter Katie.

    [​IMG]

    We're not new to DLR. This was in fact our 5th trip to the parks. But most of our Disney trips have been to WDW. Our last DLR trip was summer 2010. And I'm sure you all know things have changed a lot since then. All of our prior visits had been fairly brief, 2 or 3 days tops. I really wanted to do the parks once where we didn't feel as rushed. So with fastpass plus rolling out at WDW in 2013, it seemed like the ideal time to make our move.

    So who's up for a trip back into the cold. And I do mean cold..........
     
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  3. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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  4. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    wooohooo! Joining in!!!
     
  5. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    The Plan:

    Katie is in 7th grade now. I've taken her out of school every year for a week long Disney trip since kindergarten. It really hasn't been a problem. She always has a lot of work that first week back, but the teachers have been great. Now that she's in middle school and I know our days of doing this are numbered.

    As it turns out, switching to DLR this year was a good move for many reasons. Not the least of which was that DLR requires less advance planning. So it drove me crazy that I didn't have any planning to do, but I was thankful that I didn't more planning to do. :rotfl2:

    Katie had a part in the school play in 6th grade and loved it. It was a great experience for her, a great way to meet lots of new friends just as she was entering a big new school. So I knew she'd want to do the play again in 7th grade. Of course, we had no way of knowing when the play would be until after school started in August, and we couldn't go until after the play was over. Last year it was in mid-November. On top of that, our middle son was leaving for college (the first to leave home) and I wasn't comfortable making commitments on dates until I knew more about his schedule. He wasn't coming (sadly, he's not a huge Disney fan) but I wasn't going to take a chance on being gone any time he might be home.

    Eventually I committed to early December. My husband loves Disney too, but doesn't come every year. He passed this time since he used so much of his vacation time getting our son off to school and wanted to keep some days for when he would be home on breaks.

    I really struggled with where to stay. We always stay onsite in a value hotel at WDW. There are no value hotels at DLR. I toyed with staying at one of the Good Neighbor hotels to save money. For us, it really is a place just to sleep. We are the sort to hit the parks early and stay til we drop. At one point I even booked an offsite location. But the more I thought about it, the more unsure I was.

    I am a light sleeper. I sleep very poorly in the early morning hours. We were coming from the central time zone, so odds were I'd be up by 4 or 5 local time every morning. In the end I knew it would just kill me to know the parks were open and I was just pacing the room. Katie is pretty easy going and has seemingly endless energy at Disney. So I knew it wouldn't be hard for her to be up and at the parks. So when Cheaptickets ran a 20% off promotion, I jumped in and booked the Paradise Pier. In the end, it was that daily early entry that sealed the deal for me.

    We have stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian on prior trips, so it only seemed fitting that we should try out the third of the onsite hotels.

    It still frustrates me to no end that we can only get a 5 day ticket at DLR. I'm quite spoiled at WDW being able to get a 10 day ticket, and spend a few shorter days in the parks. We love visiting the parks on arrival and departure days, then taking at least one short day mid-week. With only 5 days at our disposal we were going to have to change our strategy. I know everyone says you can "do" the parks in 3 or 4 days. But I knew I wanted to do it ALL! So I knew 5 days barely do it for us. Just once, I didn't want to leave at the end of a DLR trip mourning everything I had missed.

    So I bought tickets (10% off through Orbitz/Ebates! :cool1:) and booked flights. We were headed west! :cheer2:
     
  6. BellaBaby

    BellaBaby (Im)patiently waiting for next trip to Disney!!

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    We are heading to DL at the end of May. Really want to see Carsland...and kinda waiting and watching how the new FP+ evolves. I've seen alot of your comments on the subject and totally agree. In the meantime, we'll enjoy FP Legacy this year!!:thumbsup2
     
  7. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    I totally agree about the 5 day ticket. I could go more days easily.
    Also I kept reading how DL has longer park hours, but it surely didn't when I was there. They parks closed early every night except the weekends and there is so much to see and do that I just couldn't do it all. Of course, having so many things down for refurb cut into what I could see as well.
     
  8. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    Yeah! Welcome to the west! :cool1: And might I add.... what a gorgeous state you live in. We are in Missouri and our first 4 trips to DL were driving trips. That first day of driving across Kansas is always brutal. But then we got to Colorado...... and :cloud9:

    The longer park hours probably wouldn't have helped us. After being up and at early entry rope drop every day I usually run out of steam anyway. :faint: You are far better at burning the candle at both ends than I am!

    And I could totally go for a 7 day ticket to DL. I would have loved to start with fireworks that first night, then gone into the parks for an hour or two on our down day. With the time change, we probably would not have done a park on departure day though. Which is a shame. I really love doing that at WDW.
     
  9. BellaBaby

    BellaBaby (Im)patiently waiting for next trip to Disney!!

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    Thanks for the compliment on our state! :) Yes, moved here almost 20 years ago, but grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. We still drive back to Il every few years to visit so I know about those boring drives through the midwest.:upsidedow

    And actually last year during spring break we drove to Kansas City to spend a few days at the Great Wolf Lodge. It was fun once we got there, but what a long, boring drive!!
     
  10. DisneyFreak06

    DisneyFreak06 DIS Veteran

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  11. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    Yep. Long. And boring. That about covers it. :) Yet that's exactly what we're thinking of doing again this summer. We have driven west from KC 4 times (although the trip I'm reporting here isn't one of those drives). We're not going to DLR this summer, but are thinking of driving into the Southwest again to see more of the national parks. More specifically, we never did justice to Canyonlands, so we want to spend more time there. Plus revisit a couple other favorites along the way.

    Hey Tina! So glad you made it! :cool1:
     
  12. DISNEYaddict4evr

    DISNEYaddict4evr Now some person I don't even know reminds me there

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    Oh boy!! :surf web:

    Since I will most likely not be winning the DIS photo contest to DL this will be a close second per enjoyment :)
     
  13. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    Yeah! Glad you found us! :welcome:

    And can you believe I completely forgot to even enter. :sad:

    In other breaking news, I won't be winning the lottery either. For reasons you can probably guess. :rotfl2:
     
  14. czmom

    czmom DIS Veteran

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    I'm here!!! :flower3:

    Looking forward to reading along. And YES, it was cold. I don't think I warmed up until last week- seriously. :rotfl2:
     
  15. joy13

    joy13 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in!!! Can't wait to hear all about it, we've never done DisneyLand.
     
  16. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    Hi Wendy! Hi Joy! So glad you both found us! :welcome:

    I didn't fret too much about the cold. After all, we are survivors of the WDW cold snap of 2010. But it honestly did hamper some of the things we wanted to do. I'm really crossing my fingers for better weather this year. I think we paid our weather dues last year!
     
  17. DisneyFreak06

    DisneyFreak06 DIS Veteran

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    I love reading your TRs, you have such great photographs and fun stories, so it's like I'm there. :)

    At least you COULD enter! Hahahaha I'm not allowed.

    I am still waiting for winter to leave here. I think Spring went to WDW for the Winter and doesn't want to come back yet. (But this week we're above 0 so I'm now happy!)
     
  18. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    Thanks Tina. :goodvibes

    That stinks that they wouldn't let our friends to the north enter. I would have totally cheered for you to win. You know..... since I forgot to enter and all. :lmao:

    I hope spring comes your way soon. We've had some glimpses. And it's amazing what it does for one's mental well-being. :)
     
  19. KCmike

    KCmike Never have fallen asleep on any

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    I missed the entry on your old trip report but saw your post on Flickr and knew something was up so I did a quick looksy around the Disneyland Trip Report boards and found you. This is going to be fun!

    No trip to DL this summer? A trip to the Southwest sounds great though.
    Any Disney trips in your future this year?

    My youngest daughter, wife, and I are headed to Boston for four days this Summer. My daughter has been saving up money for this trip. We are thinking of catching a train down to NY for one day while she hangs out with her best friend who moved away a year ago. I've never been to the North East and am excited about it. I really want to visit Cape Cod.

    If all goes well we plan to possibly head back to Monterey in October. We have been saving our two roundtrip Southwest tickets for just the wife and I to go and spend some real quality time together. We are toying with the idea of a day in Disneyland but aren't quite sure. Really the whole thing is a dream right now. We had notions of hitting WDW for October to see the Boo to You parade and ride the Seven Dwarfs ride but California just adds more for us to do outside of Disney. We kind of got this crazy notion to start looking at Condos or homes for when the kids graduate College. Florida offers more affordable housing but my heart is drawn to Cali but my pocketbook won't allow it. I know its still a distance in the future but I think maybe I would enjoy being a SNOWBIRD. That way I could still enjoy when the kids grow up and start having a family of their own but I could still getaway especially when its cold.

    Alright enough rambling. Back to your report!! :cool1:
     
  20. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    Hey Mike! So glad you found us! :cool1:

    I was actually just thinking about posting a second notice on my trip report since sometimes email notices don't make it through.

    I'm still planning on DLR in November or December. But we usually take a trip somewhere in the summer. There really just is nothing like hitting the open road. But we're just not going all the way to California this time.

    The trip to the northeast sounds awesome. That is an area of the country we really have not done. Mostly I suppose because I prefer wide open spaces. We did drive to DC back before we had kids. I do wish we had done it again though.

    Let me know when you commit on your fall plans. I can tell your heart is definitely in California (even if it's not in San Francisco!). But yeah, I hear you on the cost. Can you imagine living within a daytrip of DL though? :cloud9:

    Can you believe our kids are both finishing up their first year of college? It's a year I'll be quite happy to have behind me.
     
  21. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    I'm here, so excited you've started your DLR trip report! :cool1:

    Awesome that you were staying at Paradise Pier, completing the trifecta!

    Wow I had no idea that you could only get 5 day tickets, not cool!
     

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