The Wettest, Merriest, and Happiest Birthday/First Visit Nov/Dec 2012 TR! 2/13 FINAL!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by danimaroo, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    Welcome, my friends, to our Christmas Delight.
    Come witness a ghoulishly glorious sight.

    I'm so glad you've decided to join me on what is one of the soggiest, merriest, happiest, exhausting, and downright funnest birthday/first trip vacations to the HAPPIEST place on earth, DISNEYLAND!


    I'm your main gal, the writer of this lovely trip report, DANI!


    Or you can call me Danielle, either way, seriously. I'm a (just-turned) 28 year old gal from the Seattle area (though big ups to my hometown of Boston), and I work for a Top 40 website in online advertising, and I'm just going to go ahead and say it: I'm a total goober. Most of you guys who've read my past PTRs/TRs already are quite aware of this, but it's true. Hopefully that's cool with you guys, because yeah.

    ANYWAY. I'm pretty obsessed with Disney parks; I've visited Disney World 4 times now (with a TR for our last trip that you can find in my signature), with a 5th trip happening in a month and a half. :yay:

    This trip that you're about to read about it is my FIRST. TRIP. EVER. to Disneyland!

    Outside of my love for Disney parks, I have a MASSIVE Vinylmation collection (okay, this is kind of Disney parks-related, so sue me), and love trading and collecting them, which you will see throughout this TR.

    I also love traveling up to Mount Rainier, hanging out with my doggies (and yes, even our snotty old kitty named Snifter), spending time with my partner in crime Matt (who many of you already know, or are about to meet here shortly), playing video games and board games, crafting, writing, photography, and making dorky video montages of my life.

    My Disney Favorites

    Disney Park: Magic Kingdom
    Disney Character: Mickey and Pluto
    Disney Movie: Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled and Lilo and Stitch
    Pixar Movie: Wall-E
    Disney Attraction: Expedition Everest, with Disney World's Splash Mountain a very close second (and yes, DISNEY WORLD's, we'll get to that later)
    Disney Snack: School Bread
    Disney Restaurant: Raglan Road and Via Napoli

    This here's the wildest ride in the wilderness!

    Anyway, enough about me, fa real. Let's talk about my other half, best friend, partner in crime, and most awesomely awesome husband, who was a big part of this trip!


    That's Matt. Say hello to Matt. He's been to Disney World around 23 times, and this was his third time going to Disneyland, though he hadn't been since he was 13.

    Matt and I have been married for over 2 years now, and have been a hot item for almost 10 YEARS. We were such little doobies when we first met, as seen here:


    Matt works at a Top 40 website (and yeah, if you haven't figured it out yet, we actually work for the same company!)... He loves playing video games, visiting Disney parks, reminiscing about old attractions that are no longer around, painting mini-figs for Warhammer 40k (and playing it), reading, snuggling our animals (we're known to make up and sing songs to them) and basically just being an all-around awesome person.

    Matt's Disney Favorites

    Disney Park: Epcot
    Disney Character: Oswald, Donald Duck, and Stitch
    Disney Movie: Lilo and Stitch, Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Pixar Movie: Ratatouille
    Disney Attraction: Haunted Mansion
    Disney Snack: School Bread, Churros
    Disney Restaurant: Raglan Road

    Second thoughts? Too late!
    Head back, face forward and hold on like you mean it!

    Okay, now that all of THAT is out of the way, let's get to the details of this trip.

    When: Thursday, November 29th - Sunday, December 2nd

    Why: For my birthday and also to visit Disneyland for the first time ever... AND to see all of the Christmas decorations!

    Where we stayed: Desert Inn & Suites

    Though it was a quick trip in theory, we ended up spending around 33 hours in the parks over a 2 1/2 day period, not counting the time we spent in Downtown Disney. And guys, we got a LOT done, and a LOT to cover, so this TR will be chock-full of a lot of fun experiences!

    One other thing I want to mention...

    As WDW "veterans", while there are some comparisons between the two parks obviously (especially with attractions, which I will most definitely discuss in this TR), Matt and I both treated our trip to Disneyland as seeing it as a very different experience than Disney World.

    I'll go into it more later, but we wanted to appreciate Disneyland Resort on its own, and not get into a silly debate of which resort is overall better.

    Do we have a preference? Of course, but we thought by going into this with a very open mind and trying to appreciate those differences instead of criticizing them, it'd leave us with a way better experience.

    Still up for a fun TR?

    It's time for our holiday tale to begin
    There's no turning back now

  2. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    Table of Contents

    Day 1: November 29th, 2012

    Chapter One: "I'M TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP!!!"
    Chapter Two: I've Got a GOLDEN TICKET!
    Chapter Three: I feel like I'm in Bizarroland right now!
    Chapter Five: "I am NEVER going on Splash Mountain again!"
    Chapter Six: Well that is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen...
    Chapter Six: Well that is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen... PART TWO
    Chapter Seven: "Uh yup, you're buying that, no questions asked."
    Chapter Eight: "Okay, where the HECK is this place?!"

    Day 2: November 30th, 2012
    Chapter Nine: Oh my God, are they really RUNNING?!
    Chapter Ten: Okay dude, enough of the enthusiastic clapping&
    Chapter Eleven: Pewpewpewwwww... ZERO POINTS? REALLY?
    Chapter Twelve: I'M GONNA WRECK IT!
    Chapter Thirteen: Flying ponchos and getting whipped in the face by rain...
    Chapter Fourteen: It smells like fresh bread around here!
    Chapter Fifteen: Matt must feed his caffeine addiction!
    Chapter Sixteen: Corn dogs, Makin' Friends, and a Holiday Time Tour!
    Chapter Sixteen: Corn dogs, Makin' Friends, and a Holiday Time Tour! CONTINUED
    Chapter Seventeen: Fact: It's not a good idea to ride Space Mountain when full of delicious jambalaya
    Chapter Seventeen: Fact: It's not a good idea to ride Space Mountain when full of delicious jambalaya CONTINUED

    Day 3: December 1st, 2012
    Chapter Eighteen: Snaggin' 3 sets of Fast Passes in a half hour isn't a bad start to the day!
    Chapter Nineteen: That's a whole lotta different Christmas trees in one area!
    Chapter Twenty: Exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle & a Christmas card photo!
    Chapter Twenty: Exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle & a Christmas card photo! CONTINUED
    Chapter Twenty-One: We get to meet& The PUMPKIN KING!
    Chapter Twenty-Two: "Ready... Set... GO!": Our first experience on Radiator Springs Riders!
    Chapter Twenty-Three: Heading back into Disneyland... and things are gettin' cray cray!
    Chapter Twenty-Four: We escape the crowds and do some California Adventuring!
    Chapter Twenty-Four: We escape the crowds and do some California Adventuring! CONTINUED
    Chapter Twenty-Five: A special treat, and saying goodbye... for now.

    Day 4: December 2nd, 2012
    Chapter Twenty-Six: Getting up at 4am is completely unacceptable

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  4. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    Chapter One: "I'M TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP!!"
    Day 1: November 29th, 2012

    We woke up to our alarm going off at around 6am. Im fairly certain I was in such a crazy daze because I didnt get much sleep the night before. I kept staring at Matt while he tried to sleep, telling him, IM TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP! I know, weve all been there.

    When I finally came to my senses, I hopped out of bed and got myself ready! I had straightened my hair the night before (ha, that ended up being a joke, but well get to that later), and did some last minute packing before bringing my stuff downstairs.

    We snuggled with our doggies for a while and then left the house at 7am for the airport. Our flight wasnt until 10:30, but we (read: MATT) wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to drop off our car at the parking place, catch our shuttle, check in, get through security, and most importantly& GET STARBUCKS.

    Im telling you, if that man doesnt get his Starbucks fix, it can be a disaster.

    We made it to the parking place by 7:25, and as soon as we got out of the car, there was a shuttle about to leave. We scrambled to get ourselves checked in (my handy dandy Disney folder wasnt prepared I guess!), and then frantically hopped onto the shuttle.

    I dont even know why we were so panicked; I think we felt bad holding up the family sitting on the shuttle.


    Anyway, we were both super excited to finally be on our way! The shuttle dropped us off at the JetBlue terminal, and we walked in to see no line. WOOHOO!

    This was exciting until we noticed no JetBlue employees aaaand a sign saying that the counter wouldnt open until 8:15.


    Matt was sad because that man was on a mission to get his darn coffee. I was laughing at the fact wed arrived so darn early we couldnt even check in!

    We sat down in a nearby area to burn time, where Matt chose to read and I chose to basically sit and do nothing because I was too excited.


    The counter finally opened and we got our bags checked, made it through security, got our Starbucks, and made it to our gate& all in a half hour.



    For whatever reason, I didnt take any photos while we waited for our flight. Im lame, I know. But there wasnt a whole lot happening anyway, so youre not missing much.

    Oh wait, the reason I didnt take many photos was because an old lady sitting near us decided to start talking to us. Booooy she loved to talk!

    Now, Im totally the type of person who feels at ease when someone talks to me before a flight. I love it.

    Matt, on the other hand, not so much. It gives him MORE anxiety to talk to strangers, so I could tell he wasnt thrilled, hahaha.

    We finally boarded our flight at around 9:30, and ended up lucking out with a seat between us, which was pretty nice.

    We spent most of the flight watching TV, reading, and I actually started typing up notes about for my TR like a good TR-writer does, ha.



    2 and a half hours later, and wed landed in Long Beach!

    I have to say, it was quite nice to have such a short flight, compared to how long it takes us to get to Disney World!

    Now here is where I was weirded out& When we off the plane, we were outside and had to walk down a ramp. I think Ive only ever boarded/de-boarded a plane outside like.. once, years ago. This just seemed so bizarre to me!


    We started to walk towards the airport and I was laughing at how TINY it was. I mean, such a dinky airport. But this was also a good thing because it meant dealing with way less people in getting out of there.


    After we got our luggage, we went to the tiny shuttle area and our driver from Zippy Shuttle was waiting for us.

    Id done research on a well-priced private shuttle service to pick us up from/drive us to the airport. Zippy Shuttle was suggested to me by a few people, so we ended up booking with them.

    It cost $88 round-trip, and I was pretty happy with that considering taxis were more expensive.

    Unfortunately, it was raining when we arrived, though it seemed to clear up temporarily while we drove along. The other really odd thing was that it was SO HUMID.


    I had no idea it got humid in California, but ugh, it was pretty gross out. I knew the having my hair down was not going to fly because I was just a hot mess, so I figured once we got into our room I could re-do my hair.


    We got to our hotel, Desert Inn & Suites, and walked in to check in. Unfortunately our room wasnt ready, and they basically didnt have room to hold onto our luggage, so we decided to wait for it because the guy said itd only be another 20 minutes.

    I was kind of annoyed because I just wanted to drop off our luggage and GO BE IN THE PARKS. Torture is in the form of being across the street from Disneyland but having to wait to go& I swear. Matt seemed okay with it though, as he just read while he waited.


    I decided while we waited to go outside and take a few photos, and I caught the funniest thing ever. There were some men out front working on the hotel exterior, and I went to take a quick photo just to show off what the place looked like. Anyway, after we got back from our trip and I looked through my photos, I noticed that one of the men actually smiled BIG for my photo, even though I was not trying to get a photo of him! Hahaha, this just cracked me up!


    Just look, Disneyland was across the street and yelling to me, "Come play with us, Dani." (Hahaha, not gonna lie, I just cracked myself up with that well-done Shining reference).

    Also, yes, that's how close we were to the parks.


    Anyway, I think we ended up waiting for more like a half hour before they told us our room was ready. As Matt got our keys, I overheard the guy mention something about an upgrade.

    We walked to our room, and at this point I was just so excited to finally have our room. It was pretty nice, especially for the price we paid per night. However, I didnt really notice anything that screamed upgrade to me.





    Matt went into the bathroom and said, Um, this is the upgrade they must have been referring to.

    It was a lovely ginormous Jacuzzi tub.


    Ill get to this later, but this upgrade was a life-saver during this trip.

    Anyway, we freshened ourselves up a bit, changed, and I did my hair.. and before we knew it, we were FINALLY on our way to Disneyland!!



    Continued in next post
  5. Twoboysnmygirl

    Twoboysnmygirl DIS Veteran

    Aug 31, 2008
    I've been not-so-patiently waiting for this!!! Subbing!

    Ooooh, and I'm FIRST! ;)
  6. Nermel9

    Nermel9 DIS Veteran

    Mar 18, 2009
    I'm here!!!! I'm SO excited for this TR you have no idea! :dance3:

    Wow, that IS a tiny airport you landed in! :eek: I thought the one in NY that I was telling you about on Twitter was small, but it's huge compared to that one!

    That's so weird that it was humid in CA! I didn't know CA got humid either, I thought they had perfect, dry weather in the 70's year round!

    Your hotel room looks nice! It was walking distance from DLR? That's one of my requirements for a DLR trip, I want to be able to walk there, and by walk, I don't mean walk for 20 minutes, I mean, I want to step out of the door and be in the parks! :rotfl2:

    Can't wait to read more!
  7. marDgreen88

    marDgreen88 DIS Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I'm so excited for this! And you know I'm here. Because duh.

    I'm so glad that yall wanted to experience Disneyland for what it is, and not what it is compared to WDW. That is exactly how I want to do it if I ever get there myself. I believe we've talked about this on twitter before, but I will never understand how people can be so petty about the differences in the parks. They act like it's some big competition, when of COURSE it isn't. They are both DISNEY. Ugh. But yeah. Good for yall! :thumbsup2

    Hahha aww, what a precious hotel worker smiling for your picture. I can't believe how out in the open stuff is at DL! Like oh hey, there it is. HAHHA.

    KEEP GOING!!! :hyper:
  8. DenGrampy

    DenGrampy Earning My Ears

    Nov 13, 2008
    Joining in. We will be there in 16 more days. :banana::banana::banana:
  9. Minnie Sue Oz

    Minnie Sue Oz DIS Veteran

    Jul 23, 2008
    You had me hooked from.........."It's time for our holiday tale to begin, there's no turning back now" so............. I have "come all the way in"!!!:cool1:

    Can't wait to hear more. I am way over here in Australia and have visited Disneyland 3 times ( so far!!! ) in my life. I will be doing a really big trip in 2014 that will see us getting to WDW for the very first time. I am keen to hear your tale and hear what you think of my favourite place in the whole wide world!!!

    Looking forward to more:thumbsup2
  10. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

    Oct 23, 2008
    Joining in! :wave:
  11. MrsBearcat

    MrsBearcat Mouseketeer

    Feb 4, 2012
    I'm here now let this Disneyland party begin popcorn::
  12. 407-W-DISNEY

    407-W-DISNEY DIS Veteran

    Nov 23, 2009
    I'm here!!! Cant wait to hear all about your trip!
  13. Aurora1972

    Aurora1972 Mouseketeer

    Jun 24, 2012
    Excited to hear about the rest of your trip! popcorn:: I read your previous trip report when we returned from our WDW trip in May. I needed a Disney fix and picked yours because you used the word "goober"! I'm a proud goober myself!:) I've never been to Disneyland. Its cool that you can just walk across the street from your hotel! It sounds like you had a great trip so far!:thumbsup2
  14. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

    Aug 10, 2008
    Okay, so I started slacking on your PTR (sorry!!!! :sad2: I am so ashamed of myself...), but I'm all in for this TR!!

    Almost this entire update had me :rotfl: but those parts especially had me :lmao: :rotfl2: :rotfl: :lmao: :worship: !

    I think I would be like your husband, being so worried about getting there early that we get there TOO early, especially with airports!! I FREAK. OUT. about even the thought of missing a flight, so we are usually there extraordinarily early, and it has helped us out more than once when the check in counter was a madhouse. :scared1:

    Oh my gosh, how can I not mention the luggage tags?! Where on earth did you get those or did you make them? They are FABULOUS!!

    I find it slightly odd that a hotel across the street from Disneyland does not have anywhere to store your luggage??? :confused3 I'm sure they have to have people coming in at all times of the day who just like you want to get straight to the parks! At least you didn't have to wait too long for your room, although when Disneyland is across the street yelling in your face for you to come on in, even five minutes must feel like an eternity!! It does look like a really nice room though, and you just can't beat being so close to the park gates. :thumbsup2

    This is how excited I am about this TR!! :yay:
  15. GrandCalifornian

    GrandCalifornian Can't Wait To Go Back

    Mar 16, 2012
    We have been looking forward to this TR and are so glad it is here! We frequently visit DL, and used your TR for all sorts of great ideas while getting ready for our WDW trip, so reading about your DL experience will be fun. It is great to appreciate each resort for the unique things it has to offer, and they are all so much fun. We can't wait to read more.
  16. mouseketeer70

    mouseketeer70 Mouseketeer

    Jun 30, 2008
    Hooray!!!:cheer2: So ready to join in for another Dani and Matt adventure (and live vicariously through your DL trip report! It's on my bucket list and I WILL get there one day.) popcorn::
  17. dara00

    dara00 DIS Veteran

    May 31, 2009
    I'm in! Can't wait to hear about it!
  18. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    YAY! So glad you are here Karen! :goodvibes I am trying to write as much as I can when I have time so I can keep up with the demand... and also make sure this TR is done before we leave for Disney World! :rotfl:

    Aww YAY! I'm glad you're here and I'm SUPER glad you're so excited for my TR! I think it'll be a good one! We got so much done and I feel like I have tons to share!

    Haha no I was not joking, it was so tiny! But it wasn't bad and the people were very friendly at that airport. I will definitely fly there again next trip to Disneyland!

    UGH I swear we just have bad luck with humidity. Like on our wedding day, it not only rained (and our plan was to have the ceremony outside), but it was also SUPER humid... which is NOT the norm for Seattle! I think humidity just likes to torture me.

    Our hotel room was very nice, and we only paid $109 a night! Not bad considering it is LITERALLY across the street from Disneyland and really is a 5 minute walk. I mean, you have to walk across the street, then down the little area where the shuttles drop off people, and then you're at the bag claim. I think it's probably the closest one... even closer than Disneyland Hotel!

    Not quite as close as Beach Club is to Epcot, but still, I was impressed. And it made a WORLD of difference after our days in the parks where our feet were just hurting. :rotfl:

    HAHA YAY! So glad you're here, Marissa. It just wouldn't be the same without you. :goodvibes

    Yeah, I just don't like the whole like, angry battles I've seen over which is better. NEITHER IS BETTER, they're both different from each other. Like you might have a preference of which you enjoy better, but you don't need to be a nasty noodle about it. That's right, a nasty noodle.

    Hahaha, that guy just had me dying! I'm still laughing at that photo.

    And yes, I was very much thrown off by how it's like... You can be standing across the street with normal people and staring at the entrance to Disneyland. Very weird. I'll get into that more later in my TR.

    I have another chapter or two written up! I'll probably post it tonight or tomorrow morning depending on how busy our night is. I CAN'T WAIT. :yay:

    Awesome, and welcome! I'm so happy you've joined!! How exciting that you'll be there so soon!! We just had an amazing time and I am seriously excited for anyone who gets to go there in the next few weeks. It's breath-taking. :goodvibes

    Haha I am so glad you like that little quote. It's just so well done, can't wait to even get to that part... :thumbsup2

    That's impressive that you've been to DL 3 times all the way from Australia!! And how exciting you'll be going to WDW for the first time in 2014! Oh my goodness, you are just going to absolutely LOVE it there. :goodvibes

    YAY! Obviously glad you're here. :goodvibes

    WOOHOO! I can't wait to post my next update here tonight or tomorrow!! :yay:
  19. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    YAY! And I am SO excited to share it, we had such a wonderful time! :goodvibes So happy to have you in on the fun!

    Thank you, I think it'll be a good one!! :) And that's awesome you read about our last trip to WDW! I find myself reading people's TRs to help with those Post-Disney Blues, haha.

    Also, love that you are a goober as well! Hahaha.

    Disneyland is really neat in seeing the history of where it all began! It was very surreal to just walk across the street and be strolling into the park! It took a little getting used to, that's for sure, especially since we're used to staying on-site in Disney World and no off-site hotels are anywhere in sight really!

    Haha doooon't even worry about it. I'm SO far behind on way too many TRs and PTRs, and I feel awful! I have just been so stinkin' busy, but I'm really hoping to catch up soon, while trying to make sure I keep this TR going! It's a hard balancing act, so don't feel bad!

    Hahaha I'm glad my update cracked you up because I was dying at some of this stuff!

    When we walked up to the ticket counter and they had a sign out I was cracking up. I mean, we arrived THAT EARLY?! Matt had a look on his face of just sadness that he couldn't have his coffee, hahaha. I'm definitely the type to arrive early, as well, but we were just ridiculous. :rotfl:

    Thank you for the compliment on our luggage tags! I actually made them myself! Not gonna lie, I was pretty proud of them! I even made separate ones for our WDW trip, too. :goodvibes I actually threw them together in Microsoft Word, it's pretty easy to do! Then I just had FedEx print them, and I laminated them at the store!

    Okay so, it was kind of weird. Like, after the guy told us our room would be ready in like 20 minutes, we were like, "Okay, well can we just store our bags?" and he kind of looked at them and was like "umm well, not really sure we can fit them..." and I was a weebit annoyed because like you said, wouldn't you have a lot of people who want to store luggage when they can't check in?! I just thought it was silly and we decided to just wait it out. I mean, I'm glad we did anyway because I really wanted to change and do my hair, but it definitely seemed bizarre to me!

    The room and location was perfect though, seriously. And the fact he upgraded us for free was REALLY nice, so that more than made up for the half hour wait!

    It makes me so happy that you're so excited for my TR! Seriously! :goodvibes

    Aww I'm so glad you're here! I remember getting some great advice from you for this trip, so thank you!! I'm glad my TR came in handy, as well! :)

    I can't wait to share the whole thing with you guys! Again, glad you're following along!!

    YAY! Super happy you're here for yet another dorky Dani and Matt adventure. :laughing: I have to say, you should most definitely try to make it out there! Hopefully this TR helps persuade you a bit. ;)

    I can't wait to share more! Glad you're back in for another one of my TRs. :thumbsup2
  20. GatorMommy2007

    GatorMommy2007 Mouseketeer

    Sep 25, 2010
    Always love your reports! Subbing in for this one as well!
  21. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    So happy you're here again!! :goodvibes :yay:

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