We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals - Updated 1/15

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by tayalltheway, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    1. "Love Actually" - You have probably not followed any of my holiday trip reports (they're all in one big thread), but I have mentioned Love Actually about 100 times, over and over, every year. My readers are probably sick of me talking about Love Actually! I am a sucker for almost all Christmas movies or TV specials in general, but I have said repeatedly that -- just as you said -- Love Actually is not only one of my favorite Christmas movies, but one of my favorites movies of any kind, period! It often pops up on cable at non-Christmas times of year, such as (of course) Valentine's Day, Halloween and even St. Patrick's Day! Currently I think it's in the Cinemax rotation (it jumps back and forth between HBO and Cinemax), and then after it has done its 'uncensored' run it will probably move over to TNT or ABC Family in its PG-rated form.

    In fact, in my last two DLR holiday trip reports (from Dec. 2012 and Dec. 2011) I used specific verses from Christmas songs as intros to each individual segment, to kind of set the holiday scene and punctuate the scenarios. The funny thing is that in one installment (from the 2011 report, I think), I used lyrics from Bill Nighy's wonderful "Christmas Is All Around" rendition.....and no one knew what it was!:rotfl2::rotfl2: (I guess that idea went over well!:rotfl2:) One person even suggested that she may have to Google the lyrics to find out what song it was!:rotfl2: Well, I take that back -- fellow DIS'ers Molly/bumbershoot and Jenny/rentayenta are also big Love Actually fans, but otherwise, no one knew it.

    I found another person who seemed to know about Love Actually in the Walking Dead thread here on the DIS (because of the Andrew Lincoln tie-in), but it seems that many folks have not seen it, not heard of it or just don't like it.

    So when I saw your Love Actually comment, I got excited and had to speak up! I thought, "Yay! Another kindred spirit!":cool1::rotfl2:






    2. The Paradise Pier Hotel tree - What I always say to people about that tree is that they have to be sure to see it in person. While it looks pretty in photos, it does not translate as well in photos as it does in person. Do you agree with that assessment?

    I love, love, love the PPH tree. Color-wise, and in terms of overall allure, the PPH tree is by far my favorite. It does seem a bit detached from its surroundings in a way -- it doesn't blend into the PPH as well as the GCH tree blends into its setting. Rather, it stands out. But I have been in the PPH lobby in the past when people were literally gathered 'round the tree, oooh-ing and aaah-ing, mesmerized by the warm, deep glow of the blue-green colors. It is truly striking up close. At times I have wanted to run into the PPH lobby and burst into song at the sight of the tree!:rotfl2:

    As far as overall context and theme, the Grand Californian Hotel tree definitely wins the race because it fits so well in that 'elegantly rustic' theme -- the dim lighting, the dark wood, the hearth, etc.

    Both the GCH tree and the PPH tree have an edge over the Disneyland Hotel trees, because they are towering. The DLH trees suffer from not having a big cavernous space to thrive (otherwise known as "low ceiling-itis").:rotfl2:






    3. I loved your photo of the twinkly outdoor GCH trees as the lights were coming on! I love those trees! I love to see them both at dawn -- just before sunrise, when everything on the GCH property is still and quiet -- and at dusk before it gets dark. There is something about the twinkly trees against the background of the deep pre-dawn and pre-dusk blue sky that fascinates me!






    4. The carolers at the GCH - I love them too! This is definitely an area where the GCH wins out over the other 2 DLR hotels. While the carolers visit each hotel, the settings at the PPH and DLH are not conducive to relaxing in comfy chairs with beverages in hand, enjoying the music around the trees. The GCH lobby environment is perfect for really being able to enjoy the carolers because the overall atmosphere is inviting and you can actually gather 'round the tree. I have seen people sprawled out on those sofas, feet propped up on the tables, snacks and drinks in hand, shouting out requests. I have seen children stretched out on the carpet in front of the chairs and sofas. It's lovely -- and it's a great thing to do at Disneyland Resort to enjoy a tiny bit of the holiday cheer without spending any money.

    I often recommend to people on this board that they should take a couple of hours to visit the GCH lobby during the holiday season so they can sit comfortably and listen to the carolers. Unfortunately, I have recommended it so much that now I can't find an available seat when I try to sit in the GCH lobby!:rotfl2: I have talked it up so much that I have talked myself right out of a chair!:rotfl2:




    I'm already a Christmas fanatic, but I must say that looking at your photos has given me that "Can we just skip all of summer and fast forward to the holidays?" kinda feeling!:rotfl2: I need to get back to DLR and see the PPH tree and the GCH tree! That's what a great TR does -- it makes the reader want to be in that particular place, at that particular moment in time!:thumbsup2
     
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  3. Cheshirecatty

    Cheshirecatty DIS Veteran

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    Loved all the pics you've posted lately--especially the one of you two together in Santa's chair, the trees lit up with white twinkle lights outside of the Grand Californian, and the Paradise Pier tree, which we love!

    You and Tracy do such fun things together--you really enter into the spirit of things and it's so fun to read about them. I love how you participate in acitivites that some wouldn't do unless they had kids--they are missing out!

    I second SherryE in that I too, wish we could bypass summer and just get to the Holidays, but enjoying your posts about the Christmas season are helping!;)
     
  4. tayalltheway

    tayalltheway Mouseketeer

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    I definitely agree about the PP tree. It was fun to see and matched very well with the theme of the hotel! Something like they have at the GC would look very out of place at PP.

    I definitely recommend Disneyland at Christmas-- and we only saw the hotels and Downtown Disney! We're already looking so forward to seeing the actual splendor of the parks decorated this year!

    1. That's funny about Love Actually. I just consider it to be a Christmas classic along with all the rest and always assume everyone else does too! :confused3 I don't know of another movie I've ever seen that uses the music in its score so perfectly. When the music swells at the climax with Jamie walking through the streets of Portugal and Sam running through the airport, I am always reminded why it's one of my favorite movies ever.

    2. I'm glad the PP tree isn't like the GC tree. They're two very different hotels and the feeling of one is much different than the other. We really liked that one as well. It was very pretty in its own way. You're probably right, though, that it doesn't translate as well to pictures as the GC one.

    3. We loved those tree lights. They're so simple yet SO pretty!

    4. Having the carolers definitely felt like an "attraction" we could enjoy without needing to pay admission to the parks. We loved how festive and just joyous the whole GC lobby was.

    Of course, in general we just LOVE Christmas too. Definitely one of my favorite times of the year anywhere, but especially in Disneyland.

    Glad you're enjoying the pictures! We really do try to DO as much as possible whenever we can. We certainly enjoy making the most of our days :) And I'm sure some people think we're weird with all the things most people don't do without kids, but they are indeed just missing out on the fun!

    Yes, I would be fine if Christmas came soon. In addition to the decorations coming back, we've been talking recently about how we want to see Haunted Mansion Holiday again!
     
  5. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    The girl at the counter scowled at your for using a 2-for-1 deal?? I agree. If they don't want people using it, they shouldn't offer it. It doesn't matter what the admission price is!

    That is a very cute "zoo"...more of a menagerie than a zoo. I love the bears and the raccoons. Hoping to see more pictures of this place in future posts. I love animals too.


    I haven't been to the SDZoo in a while. I had to google to see what the price is when you said it was almost as expensive as DL tix. Not quite....but single admission to the zoo is pricey. The price to the SDZ costs nearly the same as the Melbourne Zoo here. We have a yearly membership to the Melbourne; and that gives us unlimited entry to the Melbourne Zoo, the Werribee Wildlife Park (African safari) and the Healesville Sanctuary (it houses indigenous marsupial animals). If it weren't for the fact that you have to drive 2 hours to get to SD, the yearly membership might be worth it for you and Tracy.
     
  6. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    That's a cute little zoo, I didn't know it was there either.

    At my house, we just leave cat food outside for the feral cats and we get to see possums, raccoons, and skunks all for free! :rotfl:
     
  7. RI Disney Star

    RI Disney Star Mouseketeer

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    Hi Taylor. I just found your TR and have finally finished reading through it. I’m planning a trip to Disneyland next year. You are a really good writer and I’ve enjoyed reading about your adventures.

    I live on the east coast and can certainly understand wanting to move to California. The weather really gets to us sometimes. You picked a good time to move. You missed a lot of snow this past winter. One storm we got over 2 ft. of snow. Just last Saturday the temperature was 48 degrees at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Today was a nice day though.

    I really enjoyed reading about your stay in Colorado. My sister lives there, in Highlands Ranch. I’ve been there at least 10 times (probably more, I’ve lost count) in the last 20 years.

    Colorado Springs…been there several times. I’ve done all the touristy things there….Garden of the Gods, Olympic Training Center, Cog Railway to the top of Pikes Peak, Broadmoor Hotel. We always went to an ice cream shop in the Broadmoor whenever we were in the area. Loved Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, feeding the giraffes, so much fun! All your pictures brought back many memories.

    My niece attends CU in Boulder. Last time I was in CO we went to Boulder but really didn’t have much time there. I’ll definitely go back when she graduates.

    Glenwood Springs…been by it but never stopped. I’ll have to put that on my bucket list for the next trip. One trip we drove all the way to Grand Junction to see Colorado National Monument. It was beautiful.

    Sorry about your troubles on moving day. Glad you are settled in now. Looks like you made a great choice and everything worked out in the end. It’s a really cute apartment and I love the ear hats on the wall.

    I’m sorry you didn’t get jobs at Disney. Here is a quote from Walt Disney. “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Well said Walt! Hang in there, you never know what the future holds for you but I think there will be bigger and better things for both of you.

    Your Thanksgiving dinner looks great. Except you are missing something…..something green….veggies!!! (Sorry, the Mom in me just came out.) Homemade pumpkin pie is the best…so glad you were able to get more ingredients so you could make it again. Can’t have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie!

    Christmas at Disney looks awesome. Your pictures are terrific. What kind of camera do you use?

    Sorry for being so long winded.

    p.s. How has your health been? I'm hoping you are doing much better.
     
  8. monkey30

    monkey30 Dreaming of my next vacation!

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    Great updates! LOVED the tree in at the grand. It was so pretty when we were there in December. I understand how easy it is to just sit and relax and lose time there.
     
  9. DLRfan31

    DLRfan31 A Pirate's Life for Me!

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    I found your threads last night and have loved reading about your adventures moving to Disneyland. You are proof it doesn't take tons of money to enjoy yourself in any situation.

    I look forward to finding out how long it actually took you to find jobs, and also hear about when you finally got to enter The Parks. I give you so much credit, being able to wait. I would have had a nervous breakdown being so close and yet so far......LOL
     
  10. QueenJen

    QueenJen Mouseketeer

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    Taylor - I have been enjoying reading about all your adventures with Tracy. I do not post much, but had to pop on and thank you for your post about the OC zoo. I have lived in OC my whole life and have never been nor did I really understand what was there. After reading your post tonight, I called my mom to see if she wanted to go for her B-day......she was thrilled.

    As an OC native, I'm sure there are many other fun things to do that are overlooked. I look forward to reading about your future outings and I'm sure I'll pick up some more excellent ideas!
     
  11. tayalltheway

    tayalltheway Mouseketeer

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    Our thoughts exactly regarding the 2-for-1 deal. Lame. Oh well, we certainly enjoyed the zoo nonetheless.

    I guess when I was looking at the San Diego Zoo prices, I was looking at the ones that give you access to both the zoo and the safari park, at which point it does rival Disneyland prices. If we were to do both parks, it would actually be cheaper for us to buy the yearly membership than for us both to get tickets, so we will definitely do that when we do make it down there. Wish it were just a LITTLE closer. The Melbourne Zoo package sounds like a great set of places to visit! I would love to go to a marsupial-specific zoo. They're among my favorite animals.

    We were glad to discover the zoo too! Sounds like you've got quite the zoo at your house too with all those occupants! :rotfl2:

    Thanks for the compliments on the report! I love writing it, so I'm glad you like reading it!

    We definitely picked a good time to move away from the east coast! We actually had just had our UBox sent out from where they were housing it in New Jersey about a week before Sandy hit. Since it was being stored in a coastal town, I'm sure we would have been very worried whether it got flooded and damaged... And we ABSOLUTELY did not miss the New York winter this year. After six of them, I don't think I could handle another!

    Glad to hear you've enjoyed frequenting CO. I'm actually writing this from Denver right now. Tracy's on a business trip here, of all things, and I tagged along of course. I don't think I've ever been to Highlands Ranch (maybe passed through it, but don't really remember) but it sounds like you did ALL the touristy things in Colorado Springs.

    You'll definitely have to try to spend some time in Boulder someday. I may be a little biased toward my hometown, but I think it's the best place in CO. Glenwood, too, is a must-see sometime. Just don't ride the go-karts.

    Moving day was definitely lame, but at least it's in the past now and we still love our place. I'm glad it all worked out in the end.

    We definitely haven't gotten discouraged not working for Disney. Now's just not the right time, but it might come along someday. For now, however, both Tracy and I are happy with what we're doing.

    Honestly, we would have had some veggies with our Thanksgiving dinner, but we thought it would just be too much food. Usually we have green bean casserole, but with just the three of us, it would have been too much. Yes, homemade pumpkin pie is the best!

    We really loved Christmas time at Disneyland and I'm glad you like all the pictures. 90% of my photos are taken with my Canon PowerShot S95 (which is a nice point-and-shoot), and the other 10% are just my iPhone.

    And no need to apologize for being long winded! I'm CERTAINLY long-winded when I write my updates, so I like a good thorough response :)

    Healthwise, I'm doing okay. Definitely better than I've been sometimes and as under control as I think it's likely to be. Just have to take each day as it comes and roll with the punches!

    Hope you keep enjoying reading along!

    Glad you liked the updates. We love that Christmas tree too! One of my favorites I've ever seen! The whole atmosphere of that lobby is just so beautiful and relaxing :thumbsup2

    I'm so glad you found the report and have been enjoying it! :cool1: We do, indeed, pride ourselves on making the most of our time despite not having an excess of money.

    Don't worry, we made it into the parks before TOO much longer. It was still definitely TORTUROUS sometimes how long we had to wait though.

    Yay! I'm so glad you could learn about the zoo from this TR. I'm sure you'll thoroughly enjoy it, especially now that you will have appropriate expectations. Hopefully we'll keep finding fun and unique things to do around OC, and I'll keep writing about them as we do! Thanks for reading :thumbsup2
     
  12. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    What a great update! Love your hats. They look great. :thumbsup2


    Nice! You go check out the hotel and you have an extended meet and greet with Goofy. What a great afternoon!
     
  13. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    What cute ears you made without the massive Disney cost! :thumbsup2

    That's so great that Goofy practically spent the afternoon with you two! The Disneyland Hotel has a whole different magic that we have also just begun to discover. I'm eager to hear of your findings!

    I just found out about the feral cats of Disneyland. On our visit in January we saw one at DCA, you don't the story of my partner Fran, but she will try to adopt any feline that she comes across. It was quite a spectacle. Since then I have seen quite a few cats, I'm curious to hear your stories.
     
  14. RI Disney Star

    RI Disney Star Mouseketeer

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    Your Santa hats are too cute! :santa: So crafty.

    I love the teacup chairs. The teacups are one of my first memories of Disneyland! I'm hoping to be going to Disneyland next January, I will definitely have to check out the hotel and sit in the chairs.
     
  15. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Hey! We were just watching a Tivo'd episode of Huell Howser (if you don't already watch his programs you would love them on PBS) and he went to the Starr Ranch in OC and I bet that would be a place you two would love. If you haven't been there already, you should check it out! :thumbsup2
     
  16. tayalltheway

    tayalltheway Mouseketeer

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    Glad you like the ears! I can't take much (if any) credit for them as Tracy did most of the work!

    We definitely enjoyed meeting Goofy and spending lots of solo time with him. It's the kind of thing that would NEVER be able to happen anywhere at WDW, so we liked that it was a unique Disneyland experience.

    We definitely appreciated not having to lay out the Disney bucks for our ears :thumbsup2

    We also really like what we have explored of the Disneyland Hotel. It's great how different the three hotels are because they all offer such unique things to do.

    We honestly didn't believe there would really be cats around the parks until we started seeing them for ourselves. Do you follow the kitties on Twitter? It's @disneylandcats

    I'm glad you like our hats. They were a fun idea!

    You should absolutely check out the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel when you're there. In addition to the teacup chairs, there's a huge Mary Blair mural in the carpet. It's all very cool.

    We will absolutely look into it. I'm sure we'd thoroughly enjoy any ranch! :thumbsup2
     
  17. laur roo

    laur roo Mouseketeer

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    TEACUP CHAIRS!!!!!!!! I want one, I want one! Those are probably the coolest Disney chair I have ever seen. Can you steal one for me? Well, not really cause I don't want to get you in trouble with Disney. And that is so cool that Goofy just plopped down with you in the teacup chair! What a fun little treat!

    Do I sense some kitty foreshadowing? I mean, stray cat in DL, meow bumper sticker (even though not directly related to kitties with your explanation), and the fact that kitties are cute and irresistible?? :cat: I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

    Looks like you guys had an awesome Christmas, even if it was gift-light. It doesn't matter how many presents you get, as long as they're good, and in your case, Disney gifts are about as good as they come, so you made out pretty well. I love the matching Pluto hat for Duffy! I have wanted a Duffy for quite awhile now, and since he's all over your TR, I keep thinking about getting him. I wanna dress him up all cute and stuff, but I don't think I would get him a bjorn either, just cool outfits so he can travel in style.

    Looking forward to more updates to see what the new year has brought you guys out in Cali!
     
  18. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    What a sweet Christmas you two had! You two are really cute! Such thoughtful gifts that you gave each other too!

    I do not tweet, so I don't follow the cats on Twitter, maybe if they had a Facebook page, I might.
     
  19. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    That's a wonderful Christmas you two had. I love your gifts to each other. :goodvibes


    And I agree with franandaj....the two of you are soooo cute!
     
  20. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Alison - If you don't already do so, you need to check out Grumpy Cat on FB. ;)
     
  21. summerw

    summerw Mouseketeer

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    Sounds like you guys had a great Christmas. I love that they were almost entirely Disney-related gifts. And love the santa ears.

    Shockingly, I've never been to that zoo. Unwittingly, I'd skipped irvine regional my whole life and only rode the train this Easter. We used tickets we bought as part of a booklet for kids Easter activities. I wouldn't have paid $20 either.

    Be sure to catch the Orange Street Fair at the end of the summer. Super crazy but tons of food booths etc. Go earlier in the day for fewer drunken college students.

    And I haven't been to the Disneyland hotel since they had dancing waters there. Love the teacup chairs.
     

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