Discovering Another Mad Dash (Oct 14): Heading Home and Finally finishing this TR #1523 (05/03)

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by PrincessInOz, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    Jan 2011 Trip - Introductions

    Hello fellow Dis-ers and lurkers alike. Welcome to my first ever DisneyLand PTR/TR.

    That’s not to say that this is my first ever visit to DLR; nor is it my first ever PTR or TR – it’s just that this is my first PTR for Disneyland! A great lasting Dis-er friend of mine (franandaj) and DLR expert asked me to start this PTR/TR. It is about 5 weeks to my trip; so I thought I'd procrastinated long enough.

    I've been a lurker on the DisBoard since 2004 and got heaps of great info about how to go commando style for my World trip in 2005. I finally decided to de-lurk in February this year; when my extended family of 9 decided to invade the World in May 2010.
    As you can see from the number of posts I’ve clocked up since Feb, I’m clearly a shrinking violet type.

    This is me – taken at the Epcot Flower and Garden festival in May.


    I call the above picture - The Goofball and the Golfball. No prizes for guessing which one is the Golfball!

    Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have been very fortunate to visit the World twice this year. My second trip coincided with the Food and Wine festival and Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party and the title for this PTR/TR was inspired from this trip. I flew 2 days from Australia to spend 3 days at WDW and am now doing another mad dash of flying 14 hours (one way) to spend 1 day at DLR. But more on this later….

    PTRs and TRs of both 2010 trips (of mine) can be found in the standard location below.

    Here’s a photo of me – taken at MNSSHP. So that there are no mistaken identity issues, I’m the one on the left.


    Another great lasting Dis-er friend of mine, DisneyFirefly, took this photo. If it looks strangely vaguely familiar, that’s because Firefly has a PTR/TR started in this section of the Boards and there is her version of the photo (taken by me) in her introduction. She’s heading to DLR to celebrate her birthday. For the record, Firefly’s version of her photo has her standing on the right (so that there are no mistaken identities either!).

    The full Mad dash Traveling Cast include my DH and DS10. This is a picture of us in May, trying to stay incognito, complete with Men In Black sunnies.


    BTW - Those eagle-eyed amongst you might notice that DS is wearing a Soarin' T-shirt. That shirt was purchased at DCA in November 2008; during our last visit to DLR.

    I hope you stick around for this PTR/TR – no seat belts required, feel free to keep your hands, feet and head or any other part of you outside the car – and remember….no liability will be assumed by the writer at any time!

    Nov 2012 Trip

    I was fortunate enough to make another Mad Dash back to California for November 2012.

    You may find that this PTR/TR has continued to grow since the Jan 2011 trip as I decided to extend on this thread rather than start another one.

    Don't worry - it's not you; it's me.

    The Quick Links in the second post should take you through the various sections/days of each trip.

    Thanks for reading!

    Oct 2014 Trip

    Save the Date! It's a Family Ceremony that pushed me into making another Mad Dash. And as there's space on this thread, why start a new one, right?

    The Quick Links in the second post should take you through the various sections/days of each trip.

  2. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    Quick Links

    JAN 2011 PTR/TR links

    PTR section
    My travel plans
    ESTA and APIS
    Details Schmetails SoCal
    OT Dinner at Maze (Food Porn)
    Details Schmetails Central Coast, California
    Car Hire and other DisOrganisation
    Details Schmetails NorCal
    2 week countdown
    Friends In a Box Meets
    1 week countdown
    5 days countdown
    2 day countdown

    TR section
    Get Set for TR
    The Dash across the Pond is always Mad!

    Day 1 at SoCal: Downtown Disney

    Bad Line Karma and Settling into Anaheim!
    DTD at night Rounds off Day 1

    Day 2 at Disneyland Resort

    What Happened to Our Must Do Rides? A Swingin, Hangin and Shootin Mornin at DCA

    Disneyland at LAST....

    Day 3 - Road Trip: DLR to Solvang

    Day 4 - Road Trip: Solvang to Monterey

    Day 5 Road Trip: Monterey to Silicon Valley

    Day 6 NorCal: Silicon Valley

    Day 7 NorCal: Silicon Valley again

    Day 8 NorCal: Downtown San Francisco

    Day 9 NorCal: Downtown again

    Day 10 NorCal: Final Day

    OT A weekend in the Life of Melbourne

    Final Thoughts - The End

    NOV 2012 PTR/TR links

    PTR section

    Another Mad Dash And so it Begins
    About e-Tickets, Credit Cards and ESTA
    Converting 2D friends-in-a-box into 3D friends-for-life
    About Whatnots and My Travel Plans
    The Double Waa-aah Mummy
    The Three-legged Dilemma
    TWO Weeks sounds better than FOURTEEN days
    White and Black is not always Shades of Grey
    Seven Days of One; One Week of the Other
    Three Days and Two Work Days to Get Through!
    Nearly time to go and what's in my bag?

    TR section

    And. So. It. Begins (Get Ready and Sub in Now)

    Day 1: A very long day

    Day 2: GroundHog Day

    Day 3: Disneyland

    Day 4: SoCal to NorCal Changeover Day

    Day 5: NorCal - Around the Bay in a Day

    Day 6: NorCal - Cruzing the Cabrillo

    Day 7: NorCal - San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

    Day 8: NorCal - San Francisco: DisMeets and Parks

    Day 9: NorCal - Around the Santa Cruz Mountains

    Day 10: NorCal - In Search of my Final Day

    OCT 2014 PTR/TR links

    PTR section

    Save The Date
    The Great e-Paper Exchange
    Honest-to-Goodness Plans
    Don't Forget to Turn in your Paperwork
    Three Weeks to Warm Weather
    The Fine Art of Arbitrage
    Black to Basics
    I've.Never.Worked.So.Hard.At....Chopping Down a Tree (4 Sleeps to Go)
    I've.Never.Worked.So.Hard.At....Cleaning out my Wardrobe (3 Sleeps to Go)
    I've.Never.Worked.So.Hard.At....Clearing out my In-Box (2 Sleeps to Go)
    I've.Never.Worked.So.Hard.At....Doing Nothing (1 Sleep to Go)

    TR section

    Kick-Starting This Report

    Day 1: Departure and Arrivals

    Day 2: 'Us' Time and Family Celebrations

    Day 3: It's a Wild Animal Sort of Day

    Day 4: Lazy Family Day

    Day 5: Welcome Home to Disneyland

    Day 6: Park Hopping at Disneyland and California Adventure....It's All About the Rides Today

    Candy Cane Breakfast (Discovery #40)
    Strolling into the Park
    It's All About the Rides Today.....Lightspeed in Space
    It's All About the Rides Today.....We All Live in a Yellow Submarine
    It's All About the Rides Today....Driving a Classic
    It's All About the Rides Today....In Search Of....Harold
    It's All About the Rides Today....Time for a Cup of Tea
    It's All About the Rides Today....It's a Small World Doll Store Parts 1, 2
    It's All About the Rides Today....Pirates; but we're NOT in the Caribbean
    It's All About the Rides Today....999 Happy Haunts
    It's All About the Rides Today....All Washed Up with a Splash
    It's All About the Rides Today....But We Do Have to Eat
    It's All About the Rides Today....Big Thunder Mountain
    It's All About the Rides Today....Time for California Adventure
    It's All About the Rides Today....Radiator Springs Racers
    It's all about Rides Today…Who Said Toys were Cute and Fluffy? It's Just a Story!
    It's all about Rides Today....Grizzly Bearing down the last Mountain
    It's all about Rides Today....Soarin' in the real California
    It's all about Rides Today....The Official DisMeet
    It's all about Rides Today....Dole Whip Float
    It's all about Rides Today....Night Time in Carsland
    It's All about Rides Today....World of Colour Parts 1, 2
    Not My Disney Shopping Loot
    Pizza Press Dinner (Discovery #63)

    Day 7: Hanging around Casa Nueva, Long Beach

    Day 8: Hanging around Long Beach

    Day 9: Out and About in Los Angeles

    Day 10: Last Day in Los Angeles

    Thanks for reading!

    Last edited: May 2, 2015
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  4. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

    Nov 15, 2009
    :yay: Yay! I'm first! NOT LAST! :yay:
  5. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Down Under Disney Lover x

    Feb 5, 2008
    Excited to hear your plans - love Australian trip reports! :cool1:
  6. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 2009
    Hurray! I'm third and not some other insignificant number!!!
  7. DisneyFirefly

    DisneyFirefly DIS Veteran

    Aug 25, 2009
    And I'm fourth and I'm here! :yay:
  8. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

    Nov 15, 2009
    So I'll spill the beans about at least one thing...I have a friend who is a Club 33 member and I was able to get her to make a reservation for us so we'll be having lunch there at I think 1:00PM with my DP and PrincessInOz's family. I have a feeling that the boys will not be able to take the laid back pace of Club 33. They may be dying to get out into the park while us gals sit back and enjoy the food!
  9. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    :woohoo: SUBSCRIBERS!!

    Right words; wrong thread....:laughing:

    I love Australian TRs too....especially if they are MINE! ;)

    You're NEVER insignificant. I'm touched that you're subbing in when you're on holiday at the WORLD!!


    :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

    Someone's going to Club 33!! It's ME!!!!

    (franandaj - thank you! thank you! thank you!)
  10. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    When: I’ll be departing Melbourne on January 19th and because I’m crossing the International Date Line, I’ll be arriving Los Angeles on January 19th. The expected flight time is 14.5 hours.

    (Melbourne city at dusk)

    We’ll be departing San Francisco on January 28th and arriving home on January 30th. Yup – another 14.5 hours home.

    What the?: To put this 14.5 hours into perspective, this is like getting on a plane in Los Angeles and flying to New York, turning right around to head back to Los Angeles, turning right around and heading back to New York again.
    If it sounds like a Mad Dash to you, then that would be because it IS a Mad Dash - one that all Aussie travelers do if they want to get to MouseLand.

    Where: I plan to stay 2 nights in Anaheim followed by 2 nights of itinerant travel up the PCH and ending up somewhere in Silicon Valley for 5 nights.

    How: I’m still working out how I’m funding this…suffice to say, it barely borders on legal.

    Why: DH has yet another business trip to make to Silicon Valley. He needs to be there for the week commencing 23rd January until the 28th January. As this corresponds with school summer holidays in Australia, DS and I thought it would be fun to tag along.

    We also plan to add a couple of days at the start of the trip as pure holiday, which is why we’ve ended up with a couple of days in Anaheim and the road trip up PCH1.

    Our Itinerary looks like this:

    19th January: Depart Melbourne and arrive Los Angeles. Pick up car hire and head to Anaheim (accommodation to be advised in a later post). Hopefully catch up with my aunt and try not to fall asleep.

    20th January: DLR/DCA. Lunch with franandaj at CLUB 33. Catch World of Colour at night and try not to freeze. This is my ONE DAY at DLR; so I hope to make the most of it. Careful planning is required if I'm going to meet DH and DS needs for wild rides vs mine for wild rides and also catching up for a long lunch with franandaj. :scratchin

    21st January: Start driving up. Possible stop options – Santa Monica, Farmer’s Market, Camarillo, Ojai.
    Another possible option was to meet up with Shushh. Yes – strange to think that I’m doing a DisMeet with a fellow Aussie all the way in Los Angeles; but it was a distinct possibility for a while. But we have worked out that it probably isn’t practical as she is disembarking from a Disney cruise on this day and we really cannot plan to meet as anything is possible during disembarkation.

    We plan to stay in Solvang and arrive there around 3 or 4 pm in the evening.

    22nd January: Continue driving up. Possible stop options – Hearst Castle, Big Sur and every turn along PCH1.
    We plan to stay in Carmel or Monterey on this night. It all depends on whether my accommodation of choice will allow a one-night stay on a Saturday night. I hope to have this sorted….sometime….preferably before we arrive in Carmel or Monterey.

    23rd January: Arrive at our Silicon Valley home. This is where we choose to stay when in Silicon Valley.

    Our lounge room.


    Our kitchen.


    The master bedroom, King Bed.


    Sink area.


    Master bedroom ensuite Bathroom.


    There is a walk-in robe to the side of the sink area; but I don't have a picture.

    If we’re really lucky, we may get allocated a 2-bedroom suite. This way, DS will have his own bedroom. If we’re not lucky, then DS will be sleeping on the sofabed in the lounge room.

    Either way, it will be fantastic to be back in the Bay area.

    24th – 28th January: I don’t have any real plans for how we are going to spend our time from the 24th – 28th of January.
    I know I want to go to the Walt Disney Family museum in the City (Presidio) and DS will probably want to take a trolley ride, a bus ride, a ferry ride, a train ride and any other modes of transport possible.

    We will probably catch up with my cousin and DH’s uncle and cousins that live in the Bay Area.

    I’m also hoping to catch up with another Dis-er who lives in Northern California. We haven’t made any firm plans yet; but she knows I’m heading her way.

    Oh…and I want to SHOP!

    28th – 30th January: Depart San Francisco and arrive back in Melbourne on the 30th January. After I get home, I'll probably crash out on my bed!

    Any thoughts and comments on my proposed travel plans and itinerary?

  11. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

    Nov 15, 2009
    If you stay onsite you can get your WoC FPs starting at 9AM rather than 9:30when they open up that part...unless you do one of the dining packages (which I'm sure you will still be still stuffed from lunch!) :rotfl2:

    You're staying in Belmont right? I'm sure you've been to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf...have you been to Fort Point? We have done CW reenacting so we loved that. Have you been to the Exploratorium? Your DS might really enjoy that. The museums in Golden Gate Park are always nice too.

    Sounds like fun!
  12. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 2009
    Wow, what a great hotel room. I'd be more than happy to stay there! DH thinks its hilarious that I'm making plans to meet up with other Aussies overseas. Also planning to meet up with Jade if we end up going back to the States in September...

    Anywho, I've got your number. Will call on the 21st if a meet is remotely possible and to see if you're still vaguely in the same area! I suppose we could always come down to Melbourne again or you to Sydney. Would be easier I suspect, or maybe not!

    Oh and always keen to hear what you are up to, no matter where I am!
  13. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    I started a thread on things I've done around San Francisco in the Aussie section. (Link included if anyone is interested) Pretty much yes to all the above and then some. Fort Point is my favourite end of the Bridge and we've always tried to get to GGP with every visit.

    Which reminds me....I now have photos of Stamford and Half Moon I should probably update the SF thread too.

    The hotel room is one reason why I keep going back again, and again, and again! :teeth:

    I'm glad to see that I'm not the only Aussie who thinks it's not strange to meet up with other Aussies in the US. :laughing:
  14. Jade+3

    Jade+3 DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2006
    I thought I had replied the other day, but obviously I hadn't.

    Shushh, you have to return in September!! But you need to decide now so you can get free dining.

    Princess, that is a great hotel room. We stayed in Pismo Beach rather than Solvang. It seemed quite nice but we did not have time to explore the town. I really wanted to call into Solvang, but once DH is on the road he does not like to stop.
  15. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    Today I found out that there is yet another bit of new travel bureaucracy to deal with.

    For the last few years, the US have re-introduced the equivalent of a visitor's visa. The visitor's visa used to exist more than 15 years ago where Australians wishing to enter the US had to complete a form (paper....remember those days??) and then send the form, passport and money to the US embassy for them to put a visa entry stamp into the passport. Then the visa waiver came into effect between the US and Australia and we didn't have to worry about a was all done when we entered the US through customs.

    The new equivalent of the visitor's visa is called the Electronic System Travel Authority. You go into a website (run by the Department of Homeland Security) and complete the form online. In return, it spits out an alphanumeric number of way too many characters for me to count! But that number becomes your ESTA for the next 2 years; or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. ESTA used to be now costs about $14 for the pleasure of filling in your details online.

    I now find out that in addition to the ESTA, we now have the APIS...Advance Passenger Information System. The airline collects this information for travel to and from the US. It is apparently used to screen people against the US Watch List.

    Do you think it might be worth suggesting that they screen the ESTA against the Watch List????
    Or...that they should screen the person's ESTA application against the Watch List before they approve the entry?


    Hmm...wonder how long it will be before there is a charge for APIS? :lmao:

    I'm also guessing that this is a one-way thing and that US travellers coming to Australia don't have to worry about anything like this...or maybe you do. If anyone knows, please enlighten me.

    I'm also guessing that Oprah did NOT have to worry about a visa...given that Australia threw incentives in her direction to come on Downunder.

  16. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    Hi Jade! Thanks for stopping by. Pismo Beach is nice and I wouldn't turn up the opportunity to stop there. But we wanted DS to see something different on the road. He'll have lots of opportunity to see the beach driving up and Solvang is so quaint and different. Maybe you'll get to stop on your next trip :teeth:
  17. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
  18. Jade+3

    Jade+3 DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2006
    I am sure you will take plenty of photos at Solvang. I was disappointed not to go there, but DH likes the beach.

    Is the APIS something new?
  19. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010

    I'm pretty sure that I didn't have to do this in October. Either that or they are starting to enforce it a bit more. I went on-line via the Qantas website. Our family friend TA did fill in some of the fields (passport number, passport expiry date, name, gender etc) but she didn't know where we were staying.
  20. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

    Nov 15, 2009
    This is absolutely hilarious!!!!! :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:
  21. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    Anaheim Arrival Day

    DH and I decided to stay at the Residence Inn Maingate at Anaheim. We stayed there in 2008 and found it really convenient on a number of fronts.
    1. The rooms are clean and comfortable.
    2. A full cooked buffet breakfast, plus make-your-own-waffles, is included in the nightly tariff.
    3. It is a 10-minute walk to the park entrance.
    4. It is close to the restaurants at Garden Walk where the Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang, California Pizza Grill and Bubba Gump can be found.

    We did debate staying at Grand California, HoJo and Candy Cane; but in the end, it was the breakfast that swayed the decision. So, we’ve booked in for the 2 nights.

    So, after flying into LAX and picking up the car hire, we will make tracks for RI and check ourselves in. That should leave us the afternoon and night to consider what we do.

    I have an aunt that lives in SoCal and will need to catch up with her. At this stage, it is looking like the night of Wednesday 19th. I’m not really sure how this is going to work and I figure we’re going to be dead tired from the 14-hour flight. But, we don’t have any other option. I’m hoping that she will come to visit us; rather than us having to drive to her.
    If it weren’t for this catch up, I think DS and I would love to get to Disneyland and spend the rest of the day and night there after arriving from Oz.

    Disneyland Day

    We have only one day planned for visiting the parks at DLR. For this Disneyland Day, DS and I plan to hit the following must-do rides (including those at California Adventure):
    • Big Thunder Mountain
    • Space Mountain
    • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Tea Cups
    • Soarin’
    • Peter Pan

    Maybe rides
    • Screaming
    • Indiana Jones
    • Jungle Cruise
    • Dumbo
    • Nemo

    Sadly (or thankfully), the following family favourite rides are closed:
    • Splash Mountain
    • It’s A Small World
    • Big Bear
    • StarTours
    • Mulholland Madness

    I’m hoping that the parks won’t be too busy and that we can get on the rides without long wait times.

    Our food for this day will consist of two events that have already been booked in.

    Thanks to franandaj, we have a booking for lunch at Club 33 (yes, THAT Club 33). :yay: :yay:

    I’ve googled the lunch menu and it looks fantastic; particularly the dessert cart! Needless to say, I hope that I don’t embarrass our hosts by the fact that I’m planning on taking as many photographs as possible in the establishment.

    Lunch promises to be THE highlight of this trip; and I am so looking forward to it, not just because of the special location but particularly because this will be my first DisMeet with franandaj. I’m really pleased to be able to meet her in person, as she has become such a special, lasting friend on the Boards.

    I figure that the DS will probably be full and bored with food after about 45 minutes; and that he will probably want to depart and hit more rides. We might resort to bringing an electronic babysitter for DS so that DH can stay a bit longer to enjoy the food and locale. The alternative will be that DH will head out with DS and I’ll stay chatting with franandaj over a longer lunch and coffee.

    For dinner, I have pre-ordered a World of Colour picnics with Reserved Viewing for all 3 of us. DS and I will be enjoying the All American whilst DH has opted for the Mediterranean Vegetarian picnic. I contemplated the Taste of Asia picnic but in the end thought that I would prefer the cold chicken, instead of cold salmon.

    The other reason for me wanting to have the day at Disneyland is so that I can see World for Colour. I didn’t want to queue up for a fastpass nor did I want another sit-down dining meal for dinner (after the big lunch at Club 33).
    Plus, neither the Fireworks nor Fantasmic are scheduled for the night; and so I figured this would mean that WoC would be the premier attraction for the night.
    So, the picnic was a reasonable alternative. I had to wait until my one-month window was opened before I could book the picnic but I now have my Will Call prebooking all sorted out. WoC will be screening at 8.15 pm on the day.

    We will probably have to head over to DCA after lunch in order to hit the must-do’s and pick up the picnic before getting in line for WoC. I’m guessing that we’re going to have to bring warm clothes for the day, and possibly waterproof ones at that!

    Anaheim Departure Day

    After our 2 nights and 1 day at Disney, we will start our drive up Pacific Highway to the Californian Central Coast.

    When we go on a touring drive, DH and I are absolute fiends when it comes to stopping at every possible attraction that strikes our fancy on the way. Therefore, we have no plans other than have booked our accommodation for the night…..

    Oh! And there is a chance of another DisMeet with Aussie Shushh and her family on this day. It all depends on her schedule and disembarkation process from a cruise!


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