First Timers Visit Over Easter! Can we see it all?

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by StarWarsMomofGirls!, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Hello Everyone!

    Welcome to my 1st Disneyland Trip Report! And I am so excited to get this Trip Report started.

    This trip was kind of spur of the moment trip! DH had been traveling to LA a lot recently and each time we would toy with the idea of all of us going out with him, but the timing never worked out. Well... This time it did!!! Woo Hoo!!! And thankfully, Disneyland is soooooo much easier to plan a last minute trip.

    So, I am sure most of you are wondering who we are...

    First up is our youngest Gwen! She is our sassy gal! She is 7 and currently completely 2nd grade. She has recently found a love of macaroons and this trip just feed her love for them!
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    Next up is our oldest, Morgan! She is our slightly more conservative thoughtful girl. She is turning 10 in 3 weeks! Eek! And slowly turning into a tween!!!! She is completing 4th grade and killing it at school. She found a love of macaroons on this trip!
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    Next is my DH, Andy. He works hard at his job and doesn't always travel this much. He has grown to love Disney World as it is a place that he can truly unwind. As you can see, he is a big Marvel-Nerd... I mean enthusate! ;)
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    And then there is me! Ariella, head of this crazy group! I am the planner for our usual Disney World trips.I work 32 hours and week and spend another 32 hours doing, well mom stuff.
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    So, now that you know who we are, I hope you will hang around and follow along with our adventure.
     
  2. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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  4. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Following! Looking forward to hearing about this one! Your girls are already so grown up compared to the first of your TRs that I read. :lovestruc
     
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  5. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    So, how did this all come about?

    I mentioned before Andy had been traveling to LA a lot since October and each time he had to go, we would talk about all of us going out there with him. But the timing was never right. And then one snowy day here in Jersey, Andy found out he had to go AGAIN over the girls Spring Break. Which is probably the worst time for me, as that leaves me juggling childcare all by myself and still work!

    But since it was over the girls break, we could ACTUALLY go! And since Andy had to be out there, we didn't have to pay for his airfare. We had just been to Disney World in February so we really shouldn't have gone. But it was kind of good timing and really when will the timing work out again!

    Thankfully, Andy was up for it! Woo Hoo!

    Once we decided to go, I jumped on these boards and tried to learn as much as I could! And as you all know, these boards are just great for getting the needed information. And I quickly formed a "plan"

    So the plan was for all of us to fly out SUPER early Thursday, March 29th and me and girls would fly back on the red eye on Monday, April 2nd.

    Did I mention this trip was going to be a surprise for the girls?!?! Up next how we sprung the news on them!
     
  6. BellaBaby

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

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    Joining in! I've been following your WDW TR and thought I'd jump over and check out DL!! :dance3:
     
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  7. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    The Big Reveal!

    So, it was super last minute, so keeping it a secret wasn't too hard to do! We really had to keep it a secret for maybe a month? We had Morgan's class play on Wednesday, so we decided to tell them after the play was over.

    Morgan is def more quite and reserved and we were super surprised when Morgan decided to try out for a speaking role. And she was super nervous that day! And I am pretty sure she didn't sleep so well the night before. But she did awsome!

    Her play was about Saving the Earth!
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    Here she is doing her speaking part.

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    And her smiling after the fact, that she concurred her speaking role!

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    And a quick Video of her speaking part if you so feel inclined to watch! (It's short, 19 seconds)

    Morgan did amazing! As did all of her friends.

    After the show we headed back to the house, where I had left out a suprise for the girls to find when we got back.

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    Since we were going to be gone over Easter, I pulled out there Easter Baskets and basically filled them with travel stuff. The plush animals are actually travel pillows that turn inside out to be the travel pillows. Some things to do on the plane and some chewy candy for take off and landing.

    AND what turned out to be the most important thing, a kids travel guide to Disneyland.

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    This first video, I just love Gwen's reaction to when I explain the animals are neck pillows! You can also see the VERY concerned look on Morgan's face as she is processing all of this.

    And then in this video, you can see Gwen's excitement and Morgan's downward spiral.
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    Right after this, Morgan full out cried! Oye... I was def worried that, this might be the case. She is a little worrier! She was worried about the time difference and the long flight. And well, not knowing what to expect!

    But thankfully, I had ordered that guidebook! She ended up taking the guidebook up to her room and started reading. And I think it helped settle her nerves a bit. Even though she cried, I am glad we waited till the last minute to tell them. If we had told them earlier, Morgan would have fretted about it for days...

    We finally got the girls settled and in bed for the night. Andy and I finished packing as much up as we could. And went to bed ourselves, as we had to get up at 3:00 AM!!!!
     
  8. DLo

    DLo DIS Veteran

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    Hopping over from your WDW tr. i haven’t been to DL but it is near the top of my bucket list. I am always interested to read how WDW vets like / plan / tour DL.
     
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  9. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Poor Morgan! I was always the worrier like her, and big changes can be hard! Glad to know already that she enjoyed herself in the end :) But Gwen's reaction is priceless! She really is a little spitfire!
     
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  10. Sherrkel

    Sherrkel Disney World Dreamer . . . My Home Away From Home

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    Would love to follow along - planning our first DLR trip for October this year and look forward to hearing about your experiences :-)
     
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  11. Raeven

    Raeven DIS Veteran

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    Following along! :wave:
     
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  12. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    Jumping in from your Disney World Trip Report :wave:
     
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  13. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Following!
     
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  14. Tracy161

    Tracy161 DIS Veteran

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    Which one is Andy? :rotfl:

    Exactly! You only live once, right?!

    Great job, Morgan!!! :goodvibes

    That'll be me in a month... :scared1: And even worse on my flight home as my flight from Orlando is at 6am! :sad2: The things we do for Disney :rolleyes:
     
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  15. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

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    How fun is this? I'm loving it... and my heart broke a little for your worrier. I've got a couple of those myself and being informed always helps. Can't wait to read about your adventures!
     
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  16. vamassey1

    vamassey1 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here too!

    Great start. Morgan did great on her speaking part. Your girls really offset each other. Can't wait to see them "do Disneyland".
     
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  17. UrsulaTime

    UrsulaTime Mouseketeer

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    What a brave move, Morgan!

    Another case of Mother Knows Best.

    I can't wait to read more about the trip!
     
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  18. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    They really are! I have to go back and read my first report, I feel I like I know everyone so much better now, I think re-reading that report will be fun!

    Thanks for coming over!

    Thanks for following me over here! I def think WDW vets tour that park differently than DL vets! We are so commando folks!

    Ha! Guess I couldn't leave a cliffhanger of would Morgan enjoy herself!

    :welcome: Thanks for following along! I hope my tr helps with your planning!

    Glad you are here!!!!
    Thanks for jumping over!

    HELLO!!! See, I couldn't wait to start this trip report. I totally lied! oops!

    It is totally our mentality right now. Morgan is getting so big. I feel like the clock is ticking on when they will be too cool for us.
    Seriously, it is all about how we can be in Disney for the longest!

    Thanks for coming over!!! I am so excited to get this trip report really going! They really do offset each other. They are best of friends but so different.

    Thanks! Thanks for coming over to read about this trip as well! That book really did come in handy! Morgan carried it around the park for the first day as well!
     
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  19. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Day 0: Travel Day

    We all woke up at 3:00 am and managed to be out of the house and on our way to the airport by 4:00 am. We are lucky and are fairly close to the Philly airport. And at that time of the morning we flew there. Morgan tried to count how many cars we would pass on the way, thinking we would only see a few. But once we were on the highway quickly realized it was too many to count. We did manage to make it all the way to the airport with literally only stopping at one light!

    So, soon enough we were parking in long term parking and hopped on a shuttle bus to the main terminals.

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    The early hour didn't stop the girls from being all smiles on the shuttle bus!

    We flew Spirit for this trip, so we had to check our bags. And headed to security. We BREEZED through security!!! I think they sent us to an informal family line, and they let us keep most things in our bags. We were done so fast it was amazing! Our terminal was pretty busy with folks waiting for coffee and breakfast items.

    We just stopped at the little mart and grabbed drinks for the plane and found our gate.

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    The girls entertained themselves turning there head pillows inside out and back again. And before long we were loading onto the plane.

    Our flight was uneventful and onetime. The girls did get a little restless on the last hour of the ride but they survived!

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    Morgan's view out the window as we got closer to California!

    We landed and found our way to baggage claim. Got our suitcases and changed into more California weather clothing. We grabbed coffee and headed out for a shuttle to get our car rental. Morgan and Gwen were getting hungry as it was lunch time. So, we said we would try and get something to eat once we had the car.

    We got our car and headed out! With no plan or idea where to grab something to eat... We should have grabbed something in the airport just to know that the girls had something in there bellies. But we didn't. We got on the road and said we would just stop when we saw something. Well, that didn't really work out so well either.

    We finally decided to just get up to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and grab something there. But of course, LA traffic made it take forever. But we made it. Parked and wandered around a bit. There was a Weitzel's Preztels right across the street, so we popped in there and grabbed some pretzels for the girls. And then popped into the Mexican place to use the bathroom and get something for Andy and I. No pictures, as I was not in Disney Trip Report mode yet. It was food and it was enough to keep us going.

    After we ate, we checked out the area a little. We got to see the real Grumen's Chinese Theater.
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    The girls said that it didn't look like the one in Hollywood Studios.

    And we checked out a few of the stars. We tried to find Minnie's star but I couldn't find anything online saying where it was and it was super busy today. And we were all tired and dragging just a bit.

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    There was a lot of people dressed up as different characters trying to make money. And an Asian group walking around with a loud speaker talking about god. It was really annoying.

    I wanted to see the El Capatain Thearter.

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    And then we decided we were done with the area. We were probably only there for an hour total. But it was enough for us.

    We headed out and followed directions to Griffith Observatory. I was really dragging at this point, so I was hoping to maybe drive around the area and then head to the hotel. But once we were there Andy and Morgan wanted to get out and walk around. So we did. It was also really busy here.

    We took a shuttle bus up to the Observatory, as there was no parking at the top. It was a pretty muggy day. But we did get to see the Hollywood sign!

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    Did a little sight seeing of the area!

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    Gwen was really into looking through the telescope.

    After we got our fill of checking out the sights, we headed out. We were all tired and kind fo plodding along. We headed towards Disneyland!!! I was so excitied!!!

    The drive took forever! Traffic in LA is no joke! But we made it there. The girls entertained themselves with those animals for most of the ride. I remember thinking that we were so lucky that they got along so well. They didn't use there iPads the whole car ride. Which was great.

    I am going to continue this in the next post... We finally make it to Disneyland!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  20. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Day 0: Downtown Disney

    We made it to Anaheim and found our hotel fairly easily. We were staying at the Tropicana Inn & Suites. It was perfectly located!!!! We were right across the street. We checked in and unloaded our stuff in the room.

    I had reached out on the boards here for hotel recommendations. And a few folks had said that this hotel had recently been renovated. So we went with it. And it had. The rooms were clean and very nice. I mean it was a hotel nothing magical about it like a disney hotel. But it def was what we expected and needed for this trip.

    We needed to return the car rental so we headed out almost immediately. Filled up the tank just up the street and found the Alamo Car Rental drop off location. I had thought that the Alamo office was located right in Downtown Disney but we ended up around the corner, on the back side of California Adventure. I wanted to grab some quick service dinner in Downtown Disney, so we walked around to get to Downtown Disney.

    It was a LONG walk!!! Morgan was dragging at this point. All she wanted to do was swim at the hotel pool. But we slowly made our way all the way around.
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    We found this sign on the back side of the park. We were literally on the wrong side of cars land at this point. And Man! They seriously built right up against the edge! There was a back road and then the cars land building!

    Morgan complained the whole walk over. But we made it to Downtown Disney. We got to see the Disneyland Hotel, which was def farther of a walk than our hotel. And the Grand Californian. Which I would have LOVED to have stayed at but just not this trip. We went through security to get into Downtown Disney with no problem.

    And right there was Earl of Sandwich. So, we got in line here and ordered food to go. We made a deal with Morgan to get food to go, so we could head back to the hotel and swim. Again no food photos but they were good sandwiches. And the girls wanted the frozen lemonade that they had. It was SUPER tart!!! Almost too tart. I don't think we ever finished it.

    After we got our food, we just kind of strolled along checking out Downtown Disney. It was busy but not that bad.

    I was so happy to finally be in the Disney bubble! The day had been nice to see some LA things but I was feeling more relaxed now!

    We found the Lego Store and checked out the lego creations! Of course!
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    Gwen was super excitied to see Jasmine.

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    Darth Vedar was up on the balcony judging everyone from above!

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    And they had a hulk! I tried to get the girls and Andy to recreate there photo in front of it from Disney World, but no one was feeling it. Sigh.

    We moved on... And I glanced in one of the bakery stores and noticed the food plush!!!! I was a little too excitied to see them! And the girls were super excitied. They didn't even know they existed.

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    I stole this from the web, as I did not take a picture of the display. Bad trip reporter! At any Rate, the girls asked if they could get one, as there one thing for the day. And we said yes, as I had no idea if we would see them else where.

    Gwen decided on the macaroon plush and Morgan decided on the pretzel plush. And I grabbed the Dole Whip one for me, since we had been searching for it last trip to Disney World and couldn't find it. I have pictures of them with there goods a little later.

    We paid and moved on. We continued to just stroll along, not really stopping anywhere just taking it in. And then we came across a kiosk with ears on it. And Gwen (god love her) screamed that they had the ears I wanted. Rose Gold ones! So, we stopped. I didn't bring ears for us, so I let the girls pick out a pair as well.

    They took awhile to decide but this is what we ended up with:
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    Morgan decided on the flower ones, which a bunch of people asked her about on this trip. So, they must have been new. And Gwen finally decided on the red sequins ones.

    With all of our purchases, it was def time to head to the hotel! We made our way out of Downtown Disney and got our first glance at the parks! It was just amazing how close everything is here!

    We made it back to our room, changed into swim suits and headed down to the pool area. We swam a bit, but it was chilly now that the sun had started to go down. So, Andy and I only participated in the hot tub portion. But it was good to chill a bit.

    We headed back to the room to shower and eat dinner.

    I had left out items from Mickey for this trip. I decided that Tinkerbell was too busy in Disney World for Mickey needed to take over here in Disneyland. I also decided to just leave a bunch of stuff out on the first night and not something each day like we usually do in WDW.

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    I ordered PJs and shirts for the girls and then I still had some pins from my batch off of amazon, so I left some of those as well.

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    Gwen was super glad Mickey came. They had been talking about whether Tink would come or not.

    Soon, we had everyone showered and had eaten food and settling into bed.

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    Gwen with her Macaroon

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    And Morgan with her pretzel!

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    And at 8:00 LA time, the girls were out! They had made it from 3:00 am East Coast time all the way to 8:00 pm West Coast time! I don't know how they did it. But they did. Andy and I chilled a bit and went to bad soon as well. We were all super excitied for actually get into the parks tomorrow!

    Up next Disneyland!!! Would we be jet lagged and crabby? How would we do?!? I was seriously nervous for what the mood would be for the girls!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  21. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Haha, that is a good way to put it!

    She also tries up at the top of the Redwood rope course-I tried to pick her up but she couldn’t see much, so we gave up

    They are so cute! I keep considering the Dole Whip one but finally decided to skip it!
     
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