A Solo Trip: It's the Spirit of the Season at the Disneyland Resort! Dec. 1-7, 2017! *COMPLETE 1/26*

Lesley Wake

Bright Suns
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
While traveling on the new train route, I was able to have a great view of the Mark Twain Riverboat!

That is pretty cool! I do like the new route along the river and think the Imagineers did a really good job with the Frontierland pathway changes.

After I said goodbye to the Disneyland Resort, it was time for me to go cheer on my favorite sports team! That team is the Anaheim Ducks! The Anaheim Ducks are an expansion franchise for the National Hockey League, and they came into the league in 1993. Now, who was the first owner of the team? That would be Disney. When the Anaheim Ducks came into the league, they were known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Now, isn’t there a Disney movie called the Mighty Ducks? Yes there is! There is actually D2 and D3!
Go Ducks! When they were still the Mighty Ducks I loved the huge duck head in the arena that would blow smoke and light up with red eyes whenever they scored! My family ended up going to Star Wars Night and I got a photo with Wild Wing dressed up as Kylo Ren!
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AMusicLifeForMe

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
That is pretty cool! I do like the new route along the river and think the Imagineers did a really good job with the Frontierland pathway changes.


Go Ducks! When they were still the Mighty Ducks I loved the huge duck head in the arena that would blow smoke and light up with red eyes whenever they scored! My family ended up going to Star Wars Night and I got a photo with Wild Wing dressed up as Kylo Ren!
View attachment 296106
That is the scariest Wild Wing has ever looked...LOL! I miss the days when he would fly down from the ceiling.
 
  • AMusicLifeForMe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    Day 7: Fun In The Sand, Sun, And Wind!

    Today was definitely bittersweet. This is the day that I would be leaving Southern California and traveling back home to the midwest. My trip wasn’t quite over, so I was still able to do a couple things before heading to the airport.

    My day started with what everyone always hates to do when they are on vacation. That is pack the suitcase.

    After packing, I would check-out of the hotel and make my way to the rental car. I was off to my first destination of the day.

    My first stop of the day was the Buena Park Mall. I wouldn’t recommend going to this mall if you ever go on a trip to Southern California. I only went here, because I was meeting a really good friend of mine, and I also know this area really well. If you ever want to travel to a mall in Southern California, I recommend the Brea Mall.



    My friend and I would grab some lunch at Chili’s.

    After lunch, I had plenty of time before I had to be at the airport. So, I decided I would go on a little drive. There is another theme park really close to the Buena Park Mall. In fact, you can see it from the mall. That theme park is Knott’s Berry Farm.



    Knott’s Berry Farm is definitely a great place to go if you are looking for some more “thrill” type rollercoasters, but it is also themed really well. It is not on the same level as Disneyland, but this is a park that I actually went to a lot growing up in Southern California. I would not go to it on this trip, but it was nice to drive by it on my way to my next destination.







    Across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm is the water park called Soak City U.S.A.



    I would be traveling down Beach Blvd. for about 30-40 more minutes until I reached Huntington Beach. I’m in California. I had to go to the beach!



    It was a very windy day in California again. So, there wasn’t a lot of people at the beach due to the wind.

    I would then go on a 10 minute walk to toward the Huntington Beach Pier.











    One of my favorite restaurants is located in Huntington Beach. That restaurant is called Duke’s.



    I would finally arrive at the Huntington Beach Pier.











    I would make my way toward the end of the pier which offered great views of the sandy beach and the ocean.







    Normally I would be wearing a hat, but the wind was so strong that I had to take my hat off and hold onto it.







    At the end of the pier is a restaurant called Ruby’s Diner. This is a Southern California restaurant chain. They are located all over the area, but this location is my favorite. You can eat in this restaurant and have an amazing view of the ocean while you eat. It is definitely a great experience. Unfortunately I didn’t eat there this trip.



    I reached the end of the pier!



    So, it was time for me to make my way back.





    I would then walk across the street to see if one of my favorite shops was still on Main Street in Huntington Beach. Sadly, it wasn’t there anymore.



    I would then walk 10 minutes back to my rental car, and I would drive to John Wayne Airport. It was time for me to leave Southern California.
     

    AMusicLifeForMe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    Day 7: Traveling Home!

    I would arrive at John Wayne Airport and drop off my rental car. That was a very easy process since this is a small airport.

    Next, I would arrive in the terminal, and the check-in process was also really easy due to the size of the terminal.



    I checked-in, and I was through TSA in about 5 minutes. I think that is a new record for me.

    So, it was time for me to find my gate.



    My favorite hockey team has a bar in the John Wayne Airport. I really wanted to eat there, but I wasn’t hungry at all.



    It was time for my first flight of the evening. I was off to my least favorite airport which is Las Vegas!



    On the flight, I would watch the New Orleans Saints vs. the Atlanta Falcons game.



    I would arrive in Las Vegas to the sound of slot machines.



    I would then have a long walk to find the gate for my connecting flight.



    It was time to find a place to eat since I had about 2 hours before my flight home. I would later find out that my flight got delayed which I was not happy about. I would have a very long evening ahead of me.

    I would finally board my plane in Las Vegas to the surprise of figuring out that there were only about 45 people on this flight. I don’t think I have been on a plane that has been so empty before. It was actually really nice.



    It was time to go home!!!



    Bye Las Vegas!!!





    I think since there was not a lot of people on this flight, the flight attendants gave cans of drinks to each of us. I ordered an apple juice.



    I would finally arrive at my hometown airport! It was also a lot colder than California.



    It was rather late in my hometown so the airport was empty. I think we were the last flight of the evening to arrive.





    I would finally arrive at home at 3:52 a.m. I think it was time for bed.



    This officially means that my trip back to the place where I grew up (Southern California) was over.

    Stay tuned for more updates that will be posted
    in a couple days.
     

    Capang

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2014
    I'm having a tough time keeping up with which TR is which lol. I love the California pics. I’ve been to the Cali/Nevada state line many times but never jumped the border or made it to the coast. Someday.

    I love that you included Knotts. I grew up on Cedar Point, owned by the same company and similar style of parks. Cedar Fair parks are definitely the place for high thrills.

    The views taking off and landing in Vegas are always great.
     
  • AMusicLifeForMe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    I'm having a tough time keeping up with which TR is which lol. I love the California pics. I’ve been to the Cali/Nevada state line many times but never jumped the border or made it to the coast. Someday.

    I love that you included Knotts. I grew up on Cedar Point, owned by the same company and similar style of parks. Cedar Fair parks are definitely the place for high thrills.

    The views taking off and landing in Vegas are always great.
    Sorry lol...I think I should start slowing down my vacations. Oh wait...I have. :D

    Most people don't realize what company they are apart of. We have an amusement park in my hometown that is owned by the same company.

    The views might be great in and out of Vegas, but that airport is my least favorite. I have several reasons why lol.
     

    Capang

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2014
    Sorry lol...I think I should start slowing down my vacations. Oh wait...I have. :D

    Most people don't realize what company they are apart of. We have an amusement park in my hometown that is owned by the same company.

    The views might be great in and out of Vegas, but that airport is my least favorite. I have several reasons why lol.
    Does the Vegas airport still have the smoking rooms? I haven’t been back in half dozen years or so. I was always surprised they had those.
     

    AMusicLifeForMe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    Does the Vegas airport still have the smoking rooms? I haven’t been back in half dozen years or so. I was always surprised they had those.
    I didn't notice those. I don't think I ever have. I don't smoke so I guess I just never have needed to look for those.
     
  • Capang

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2014
    I didn't notice those. I don't think I ever have. I don't smoke so I guess I just never have needed to look for those.
    If you didn’t see them then they are gone. There were several, most right by the gates. Some were an actual room with glass fronts while others were areas by the gate that had clear plexiglass dividers that only went up maybe I feet. The smoke would billow over the top and just hang in a cloud. Like I said, you couldn’t miss them. I’m a former smoker and even I thought it was gross.
     

    AMusicLifeForMe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    If you didn’t see them then they are gone. There were several, most right by the gates. Some were an actual room with glass fronts while others were areas by the gate that had clear plexiglass dividers that only went up maybe I feet. The smoke would billow over the top and just hang in a cloud. Like I said, you couldn’t miss them. I’m a former smoker and even I thought it was gross.
    Now that you mention it, I believe I have seen them on previous trips. I didn't really adventure far from my gate to notice them though on this trip.
     

    lookingforthemagic

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2008
    I have enjoyed your trip report! We are leaving Saturday for our first trip to Disneyland, and first real trip to California. Seeing your pictures of the beach are making me want to rent a car and go, even if just for the day. We live 15minutes from the beach on the east coast, so my husband doesn't see it as a big deal to go to the beach. But I'd love to experience the Pacific-at least to just dip in my toes!
     

    AMusicLifeForMe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    I have enjoyed your trip report! We are leaving Saturday for our first trip to Disneyland, and first real trip to California. Seeing your pictures of the beach are making me want to rent a car and go, even if just for the day. We live 15minutes from the beach on the east coast, so my husband doesn't see it as a big deal to go to the beach. But I'd love to experience the Pacific-at least to just dip in my toes!
    Thank you for joining in! I hope that you have a great trip! If you have any questions about Disneyland or Southern California in general, feel free to ask. :)
     

    AMusicLifeForMe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    Embassy Suites Anaheim South Review!

    The Embassy Suites Anaheim South was a great hotel to stay at. This is usually my go-to hotel when I come to California and staying offsite.





    The hotel offers 1-bedroom suites with a sofa-bed in the living room, as well as, a king bed or double beds in the bedroom. The hotel has a pool that I did not use on this trip. There is complimentary breakfast each morning which is really good. There is also a managers special each afternoon where you can get complimentary drinks, soda, and appetizers.

    The hotel is a good neighbor hotel, and has a Disneyland desk in the lobby.

    The hotel also offers transportation to the Disneyland Resort for $6 per person (price can change). If you have a big family, make sure this is worth it for you incase you have a rental car. The parking for the Toy Story lot might be cheaper for you than having your family take the bus. The Toy Story lot is literally a block away from the hotel.



    Here are some pictures of the lobby area:













    I would end up getting a double bed suite. I originally had a king bed room, and I will explain some more further down in this report why I had a room change.

    Here is my review of my room:

    The room I had would have a couch, a chair, several lamps, and a coffee table in the living room.



    There is also a table where I would say it’s a dining table, as well as, an office area. There are 4 chairs around the table.



    There is also a T.V. in the living room.



    There was a nice counter in the room that had a sink, as well as, a refrigerator.



    The bedroom had 2 double beds and an end table with a lamp that separates the two beds.



    The bedroom had a closet type piece of furniture, a T.V, a dresser with nice sized drawers, and a mirror.



    The bathroom was a good sized bathroom. It had a bath and a shower.





    You can say I had a great view of “nothing” from my bedroom.



    So, my 6 days at this hotel were great. I really enjoyed my time despite the issue I had on my first day. My Dad wanted to use his Hilton Credit Card to get points so he put the reservation in his name. It made a big issue, because my Dad had faxed something to the hotel a couple days in advance, but when I got there, they said that they didn’t have any of the papers my Dad had faxed. So, I had to wait an hour for my Dad to go home so he could send me pictures of a couple things that they needed to let me stay in the room.

    Now, I wouldn’t make this a huge deal, but this has happened more than once now at the same hotel.

    In the meantime, the hotel somehow didn’t have a king room anymore. So, they offered me to take a double bed room, but they would give me free parking in the process. I had a rental car and if I took this deal, I would save more than $100. I gladly accepted.

    So, despite this small issue on my first day, the hotel is really great. I highly recommend the Embassy Suites Anaheim South if you come to Anaheim anytime soon.
     

    AMusicLifeForMe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    Bought Merchandise!

    Here is where I am going to show you what I purchased on this vacation to Southern California!

    As a Disney Pin collector, I was able to get some more pins on this vacation.

    I would get a limited edition pin for the 25th Anniversary of Aladdin!





    I would also get an It’s A Small World Holiday limited edition pin!



    The last pin I purchased on this vacation was the 2017 Disneyland Candlelight Processional pin!



    When I went to the hockey game, the Anaheim Ducks had a giveaway where they gave socks in the style of a Christmas sweater. You can bet I was happy to have socks representing my favorite sports team! However, I later found out that these socks won’t fit on my feet. :(



    The final piece of merchandise I purchased on this trip was a Mighty Ducks hat at the Anaheim Ducks hockey game!



    I hope you enjoyed looking at the merchandise I purchased on this vacation.

    My conclusion will be posted in a couple days.
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    I enjoyed looking through all your pictures! We were there one of the same days as you - December 4th! Sounds like a really awesome trip!
     

    AMusicLifeForMe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    Conclusion!

    Hi everyone! Sadly, this is the end of my trip report about an unforgettable trip back to the area where I was raised. I would like to thank each of you for taking the time out of your busy days to read about my experiences at the Disneyland Resort and around Southern California. I hope I helped you a lot with your trip planning.

    So, here are a couple highlights from my trip:

    My first and probably the biggest highlight of this trip was seeing the Candlelight Processional 3 times. This really was an incredible experience to see this in Disneyland again. It had been many years since I had seen it at Disneyland, and I was happy that I was able to catch many performances of it. If you would like to see my highlights video of the Candlelight Processional, you can find the link to it in my Table Of Contents on page 1.



    My favorite restaurant from this trip was definitely Carthay Circle. If you want to have a nice dining experience inside any of the two parks, I highly recommend this location. I also like the Blue Bayou at Disneyland, but I was not able to get in there on this trip. If you go to Carthay Circle, I do recommend the World of Color Dining Package.



    My favorite rides of this trip had to be Haunted Mansion Holiday and It’s A Small World Holiday. Now I usually say that my favorite ride is Big Thunder Railroad (it still is), but I was just really happy to see the Holiday overlays to the Haunted Mansion and It’s A Small World again.





    My emotional highlight of this trip was saying farewell to Paradise Pier, as well as, my final ride on California Screamin. I’m pretty sure that Pixar Pier is the one change that Disney has ever decided to make that I will NOT be in favor of even once it opens. We will see though.



    A Christmas Fantasy Parade is always a highlight during the Christmas season!



    It was also great to be inside Disneyland Park on Walt Disney’s Birthday!



    It was great to see my favorite professional sports team (the Anaheim Ducks), and I also had the best seats I have ever had at a game. It definitely helped that the Ducks won! :)





    My final highlight of this trip was that a trip to Southern California is not complete without going to the beach!



    So, I would like to thank each and every one of you for reading this trip report. It means a lot to have several dedicated readers that have followed me throughout several trip reports. If this was your first trip report that you followed me through, I would like to thank all of you again for joining in. Hopefully I will see all of you in my past trip reports and many more trip reports to come.

    If you have any questions about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani, and Disney Cruise Line, I would be more than willing to answer any of them. Feel free to message me at any time.



    So, in the words of Mickey Mouse…”See Ya’ Real Soon!!!"
     

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