Best Trip Ever! - Nov 2017 TR

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Glynis4, Nov 14, 2017 at 2:16 PM.

  1. Glynis4

    Glynis4 Mouseketeer

    Oct 6, 2016
    We are back from our very first Disneyland vacation - it went by so fast and I can't believe it's already over. We had such a fantastic time and I hope we'll be able to go back one day!

    Our family:

    Me, DH, DD5, & DD2


    Our journey to California started out a bit eventful - it was the first big snowfall of the year in our city so it took us twice as long to get to the airport as it should have. So we were a bit worried we were gonna miss our flight, and rushing through the airport, and we decided that DH would take our double stroller to oversized baggage while I took the kids up to the security line. Well, DD5 lost her balance on the escalator and fell backwards down it. My hands were full with the carry on luggage and DD2, but luckily there was a man a dozen steps behind us that stopped her from falling any further. Needless to say, DD5 was a bit traumatized and crying, and I was a bit worried she had injured her arm, but she was very brave and we all got through security and her arm started feeling better. She ended up having some gashes to the back of one leg, but it didn’t slow her down at all and was all healed up by the end of our trip. Very thankful that she wasn’t seriously hurt. We ended up sitting on the plane for a long while before taking off, so by the time we arrived at our first stop, we had just enough time to go through customs and get to our gate before boarding our next flight. And this was our plane: !!!

    I was definitely the one most excited about it lol. The flight was uneventful and we got into LAX a few minutes early (just after 4pm). We were aiming to catch the 4:30 Disneyland Resort Express bus and I was super nervous about the possibility of it not showing up or being really late. We were out on the centre island waiting for it by 4:20, and at exactly 4:30 it pulled up :). This was at Terminal 2. Those 10 mins standing waiting for it were the longest 10 minutes ever though! There were tv’s and a washroom on the bus, so it was perfect for the kids.

    DD5 relaxing on the bus:

    The only downside was that we were travelling in rush hour traffic, so it took about 1 1/2 hours to get to DLR. And then there were 3 families to drop off before us (1 family at each of the DLR hotels), so it was another half hour before we got to our hotel. Plus a bit of a wait to collect the bus fare. It ended up being close to 7pm when we got to our hotel (HOJO). Such a long time on the bus after a full day of flying. But it was cheap and comfortable :).

    We had room 2-307 at the HOJO. The tower overlooking the pool, 2 queens. The carpet was in need of being replaced, but the beds were super comfy, large bathroom, fridge & microwave. It was perfectly fine for our needs. Unfortunately our double stroller wouldn't fit through the room door (it fits through standard sized doors, but maybe hotel room doors are smaller?? or maybe doors were just narrower in general back when the hotel was built) - anyways, that was a pain, packing/unpacking the stroller outside the room so we could fold it up to take it in/out. We had never travelled with the double stroller before so didn't even think it might be a problem! Luckily we were kinda in the back of the hotel so the hallway wasn't busy.
    View from our balcony (we had a fireworks view too, which was unexpected!):

    We had groceries delivered to the hotel from Vons, and they were there waiting for us when we checked in. Awesome! We hadn't had supper so we snacked on some veggies and bagels and called it a night.

    Next up, our first step into Disneyland :)
    Jaina likes this.
  2. Glynis4

    Glynis4 Mouseketeer

    Oct 6, 2016
    Day 1

    We started our DLR adventure with magic morning (8am) at Disneyland Park. So exciting to finally be here!!

    We didn’t arrive quite as early as I had planned, but there were no lines at security or the entrance, so we were riding dumbo by 8:12am!

    ll7h5KtGSz+ZJJVE%jTR+w_thumb_6250.jpg UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6251.jpg

    Next up was the Carrousel (8:20, no wait), followed by Pinocchio (5 min wait). This one was scary for DD2, and it turned out that EVERY dark ride was scary for her :(. There are a lot of dark rides at Disney! But she dealt by burying her head in the lap of DH or myself. I thought she might get used to them, but even Winnie the Pooh and Ariel at DCA had parts where she was scared. Poor girl :(. Next up was Tea Cups, then Alice in Wonderland (I liked Alice better than Pinocchio).
    We ended up waiting a bit for Alice (10-15 min?). It was around 9:15 when we got off it, so we had a bathroom break and headed for Nemo Subs. I really liked this ride! DD2 did not. It’s a pretty long ride and she kept asking when it would be over.

    After that we decided to head to Toon Town for the opening ceremony (1 hour after park opening, 10am). It was so much fun! It was our first interaction with characters and both girls were pretty hesitant about going up to them at first, but quickly warmed up. Minnie came over to pick up DD2’s Minnie ears which had fallen off, and gave them kisses, and it was so sweet.
    We toured Minnie’s house first, and met her in her garden, she was great and we got lots of good pics. I should mention that I bought maxpass pass every day of our trip, just for myself, solely for the photopass aspect of it, and it was totally worth it. We saw lots of photopass photographers around and could have utilized them even more if we had more time.
    UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_64ba.jpg UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6275.jpg

    Then it was off to Mickey’s house, and he was standing right at the door for a quick pic. No interaction here :(.

    We walked through his house and then explored all the rest of toon town (except gadget’s go coaster, we came back another day for that). There was a quick 5 minute rain during this time, no big deal, there were lots of places to take cover. This took us to 11am and we decided to have a churro break. Mmmm.
    And then we realized we were really hungry so we headed to the Jolly Holiday bakery for lunch. Love this place! The location is just so nice for sitting and people watching/random parade watching/character watching. And the food was good, we had the soup and grilled cheese special and the caprese sandwich. And the Matterhorn macaron, delicious!

    Meeting Moana was a priority for us today, and she was showing up on the app as only being around a few times during the day, so we headed over to her meeting spot, but we were a bit early, so DD5 changed into her Moana dress and we went to Tarzan’s treehouse to kill some time.

    Continued in next post.....
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  4. Glynis4

    Glynis4 Mouseketeer

    Oct 6, 2016
    And then, we met Moana! She was very nice, DD5 and her danced together :)

    Next on the agenda was storytelling at the Royal theatre. On our way, we caught the Disneyland band with Mickey & friends (12:50pm). So fun!

    We still had some time before the 1:15 Beauty & the Beast show, and there was no line for the Royal Hall, so we zipped in and met Snow White, Ariel, and Elena of Avalor. The girls were thrilled, so many princess hugs :). Ariel in particular was really good with them, they are both pretty shy but she was making jokes and had them laughing.

    The theatre show was quite good! After that, we rode Buzz Lightyear. I didn’t get to experience it to its fullest extent because I had a toddler buried in my lap the entire time :rolleyes:

    Next was Star Tours. We hadn’t planned to do any of the “big” rides, because I wasn’t sure if DD5 would be into them - well, she wanted to do every.single.ride. Lol. So we rider swapped Star Tours, DH and DD2 went on Astro Orbitor (which they ended up doing a lot over the next four days, DD2 loved the high flying circular rides).

    It was getting close to 3pm and people were starting to grab spots for the 3:30 parade, so DH went to get popcorn while I found a spot, and look who came by! DD5 was quite smitten by him :)

    The parade was amazing, the kids loved it, and we called it a day after that. Bought a Mickey balloon on the way out and both kids were still smiling :)


    Also, so glad I took this pic because the next day those awesome pumpkins were all taken down.

    We ordered pizza and salad from Marri's for supper, it was very good and delivered quickly. Early to bed!
    Jaina likes this.
  5. momtohms

    momtohms Mouseketeer

    Jul 16, 2012
    Following along! It sounds like you guys had a great first day in the parks :) Looking forward to hearing more about your trip!
  6. Glynis4

    Glynis4 Mouseketeer

    Oct 6, 2016
    Day 2

    Back to Disneyland today! Opening was at 9am and we were ready and waiting for rope drop at 8:30. I thought there was going to be a countdown or something but it was pretty low key haha. We were on a mission to ride Peter Pan first thing, so off to fantasyland we went. It was kinda confusing to figure out where the line started for Peter Pan, with people coming from all directions, but we made it and waited about 15 minutes. It was a good ride, but it felt so short! I can’t imagine waiting 30+ minutes for this! DD2 didn’t like that it was dark :worried: To make it up to her, we went on the Carrousel (one of her favs) - it took much longer than anticipated, because the CM walked around and checked every single child's belt strap thing (that didn't happen when we rode it the day before). BUT, it was worth it, 'cause DD5 got Jingles (I was the only one who really cared about this lol) :)


    After the carrousel (9:30am), we headed to Frontierland- the plan was to get FP’s for the 9pm Fantasmic show. Got those and headed to BTMR. Or so we thought. We went the wrong way and ended up at Splash Mountain. So DH and DD5 rode that while me and DD2 went on Winnie the Pooh (another dark ride, but she was mostly ok with it, except for the dream sequence - ok, so half the ride). I tried to buy one of those chocolate peanut butter sandwich treats from Pooh Corner but they were sold out :(. Never did end up getting one this trip. DD5 wasn’t a huge fan of Splash, she didn’t like getting wet (she was at the front).

    After that we did make it to BTMR (just after 10am). DD5’s first roller coaster! We were at the front (a reoccurring theme!) and she loved it! She rode again with DH right after. One thing to note, when I made my “daily plans”, I didn’t allot enough time for riding all the rides with height requirements twice. Even if the ride is only a 5 minute wait, it takes time to walk through the empty queue, get loaded, walk to the exit, find your waiting family...

    Anyways, by the time we had finished with BTMR it was already 10:30. I wanted to ride Pirates before the line got long (the app showed a 5 min wait), so we headed there and walked on. And this is when I realized we needed to give DD2 a break with the dark rides - she was so scared the entire time, and even threw up a little either during or right after the ride. It was just a tiny bit so we didn't realize right away :sad1: I wasn't a huge fan of the ride either, and felt that DD5 was a little young for it. So, we figured we take a bit of a break by going on the Disneyland Railroad. And look what we found on the way there:


    Nothing like some Mickey beignets to cheer everyone up! We debated getting the 3 pack or the 6 pack - good thing we went with the 6 pack ‘cause we devoured them in about 5 minutes. So good!

    We rode the train (11:15am) to Toon Town and DD5 got to ride her roller coaster (Gadget's Go Coaster). Then we hopped back on the train to New Orleans so we could collect our stroller and head out for afternoon naps. Both kids were tired. We stopped at Bengal Barbecue for a little snack, DH got the beef, DD5 got the bacon wrapped asparagus, and I got the veggie skewer. DH thought that the veggie one was the best, it was very tasty.

    It was around 12:30 when we got back to our room, and the kids slept til 3:30 :) I was really happy they napped so long, since tonight was going to be a late one. I think I booked a FP for Space Mountain during this time. The one and only time I used MaxPass for a FP lol. None of us had really had any lunch, so we stopped at Panera Bread on the way back to the park. First ride once back at the park was Jungle Cruise (4:40pm). I think we waited 5 minutes. We were totally spoiled the first 2 days. The park was not crowded at all and we hardly had to wait in any lines. Jungle Cruise was cute, DD2 was very apprehensive about going back onto a boat, but I promised her it wasn't in the dark, and she did ok. We had a few minutes before the 5:30 Mickey & the Magical Map show, so we rode Casey Jr. circus train (which ended up being a bit of a wait, but we made it to the show on time). We were monkeys in a cage :P
    We rode the Storybook Canal Boats later on in the trip, and if you have to pick between one, I preferred the boats.

    Mickey & the Magical Map was awesome! Everyone really enjoyed it. I must say, the shows were my fav part about the parks. So well done.

    After the show, my Space Mountain FP was up (6pm)! Space was my one must do ride. It had been one of my favs from my DisneyWorld trip like, 16 years ago! Also I wanted to gauge DD5's ability to handle it. She wanted to ride it so bad, but I was a bit unsure. It was fun :). I thought DD5 would do ok on it too. DH and kids rode (can you guess?), Astro Orbitor while I was on Space. Good times :). Funny thing is, I didn't ride it a single time! DH rode it at least 5 :P


    It was time for a visit to the Enchanted Tiki Room next (6:30). And a dole whip :). We just shared one since we were having supper right after. Rancho del Zocalo was where we headed for supper - it was ok, I don't remember anything particularly memorable about it, I think the rice was quite good?? The kids were already getting tired at this point, so I do remember chocolate milk being spilt and narrowly avoiding a complete meltdown by one of them. But we made it through supper and then got our spot for Fantasmic. I think it was shortly after 8 and we ended up getting a decent spot. We entertained our kids with our iPhones while they waited :). It's not something we often do, but it was such a long wait and it was so late for them. Some guy near us was making comments about them being so young to have their own phones, glued to the screen, etc... :rolleyes1They let us bring our stroller in (not sure if this is the norm), so the kids kinda sat on the handle bars and could see everything. It was quite cool with the spray. We had brought ear protection for DD2 and I am SO glad we did, it would have been too loud for her if we hadn't. It's quite a spectacular show. We were standing to the right of middle, and our view of the projections was great, but it wasn't great for seeing the floats, as they started out where we were, so we couldn't really see them as they got closer to the middle and around to the other side. We stayed put for the fireworks, which were also fantastic, I couldn't believe how long they went on for! By the end of them we were quite cold and tired, so we got out of there as quick as possible and straight to bed :)
    Jaina likes this.
  7. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

    Jul 22, 2005
    So much fun! Following along to see how the rest of your trip went! I'm so glad you had light crowds the first couple days. It makes all the difference with little ones!

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