Our "quickie" trip report

KelliR

<font color=009900>Baton Coach, Seinfeld Addict, S
Joined
May 29, 2001
Our 10 day Christmas vacation to Southern California was to visit my sister and her family for the holidays. (She lives in Glendale).

We spent one night at the Disneyland Hotel. It was absolutely WONDERFUL!!!:D A truly magical experience that I would love to do over and over again!:teeth:

Our family of 4 is the cast of characters...My DH and I are in our 40's and 2 DD's ... a 5 year old and a 13 year old. We left the Buffalo airport (and the snow and the cold) on Sunday December 22nd. Our Southwest flight was very smooth and uneventful, with a very pleasant stop in Phoenix...on our way to Burbank. The Burbank airport is small and quite convenient. The National car rental is right on sight and within easy walking distance. They only had an Astro van available ... but I felt more comfortable driving a smaller mini-van in LA traffic...so the guy at the counter (Keith) called Alamo and got a Dodge Caravan for me. That was greatly appreciated because it had the car seat built in!

We checked in to the Sheraton in Pasadena where we stayed the 10 nights on SPG points. We went out to Spago that night for dinner and it was delicious! Impeccable service, great food, and beautiful atmosphere.

On Monday morning we awoke with a sick kid. She coughed all night long so we went to a walk-in clinic. No infection, just a lot of congestion and bad allergies ...so we headed to DISNEYLAND...and dispensed the sudafed throughout the day.We hit tons of traffic on the 5 so it took us over 1 1/2 hours. We had a little trouble just finding the hotel. It was a much later start than we hoped to get but what can you do? I checked in and the room wasn't ready yet so we headed over to DL. We walked out the back of the hotel and to the monorail. It was very interesting to see all of the sights on the way to the park. And when we arrived ....CROWDS!!! I expected that, but it was truly a SEA of people!!!

We were meeting my sister, her 2 sons 15 & 13 and a friend 13. Lucky we had our cell phones or we never would have found them. It seemed everyone had the walkie-talkies and they just weren't working as well as they should. The phones were a lifesaver. We watched the Christmas parade and it was my DD5's favorite thing of the day. I had gotten Fastpasses for the Haunted Mansion before the parade. A three hour wait to get in so we headed to Toontown. We saw Goofy Santa and stopped to see "Minnie's Christmas Party" show which was enjoyable. We all enjoyed the "snow" (being from Buffalo!).

We then tried to make our way over to the Haunted Mansion. That took over a 1/2 hour. Trying to maneuver through the crowds was very difficult. Then some of the passages were blocked off by ropes and CM's because it was just too crowded. The haunted mansion was FANTASTIC! Being decorated with "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was phenomenal!!!:tongue: :tongue: :tongue:
The DD5 was scared, but intrigued by it all.

It was about 6:30pm by then and it was getting cold. We decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel. It definitely wasn't worth our admission price ... I would have loved to go on "Indiana Jones" ... but that is the price we pay for going over Christmas.:rolleyes:

We took the monorail back to the Disneyland Hotel and picked up the key to our room. Number 2543 onthe 7th floor in Sierra. It was great. The whole wall was window with a fantastic view. We strolled around Downtown Disney and at at Catal. DELICIOUS!:)

We than hurried back to the room to watch the 9:30 fireworks from the room. That was my favorite part of the entire 10 day trip. :D It was truly spectacular!!! We opened the sliding glass doors (that was a little scary) and the view was incredible!!!

The next morning we went to Goofy's Kitchen. It was the most enjoyable charater breakfast experience I have ever had. There were about 10 characters there: Cruella, Donald, Goofy, Genie, Jasmine, Belle, Beast, Snow White, Ballou, etc. Each and every character took their own special time with my daughter. Belle was exquisite. Snow White stayed at our table for 8 minutes!!! It was truly magical. She took the time to write a long note on the paper table cloth. She watched as DD5 printed her name and commented on her penmanship. She carried on a real conversation with her ... she didn't just ask her the "stock" questions. She inquired about her family, why she was in California, what her Holiday plans are, and she learned the names of her Aunt and cousins and kept referring back to them. I can't describe what a wonderful experience it was!:D We tore the note off of the table cloth and it was displayed on my sister's refrigerator!

The grounds of the DL Hotel are very nice. The pool looked great but it was a bit too cold...although some hearty souls were partaking!

That was the end of the Disney part of our trip. We did enjoy seeing the floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade being put together later in the week. And the parade was breathtaking in person!:D

I would definitely stay at the DL hotel again. My DD5 would like the border from the hotel room in her bedroom. It was stars and pixie dust all the way around the room..finishing with Tinkerbell at the end. Not a bad idea to bring some of the Disney magic home!!!
 
Sounds like a busy day for all - even with all of the crowds - and I have to agree the Rose Parade is awesome! - thanks for posting!
 















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