When Does a DL Trip Become "Real" For You?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by Little E, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Little E

    Little E Mouseketeer

    Apr 3, 2016
    I think I posed this question on the Disboards' WDW section before one of our WDW trips a while ago, but I'm so excited for our first DL trip, I figured it would be fun to pose this question again in the DL section too.

    Our trip, which includes me, DH, DS 16, and DS 14, will be from August 13-17, 2018. I just paid our trip's final payment today, and I booked our dining reservations last night. I. AM. SO. EXCITED. We are staying at the DLH, and we have three dining reservations...dinner at Steakhouse 55, Blue Bayou, and Naples.

    We've been planning and dreaming about this trip since last fall, and now that dining ressies are booked and the final payment has been paid, the trip actually feels "real" to me!

    So, here's the question...when does a DL trip feel "real" to you? When you first start planning? When you make reservations? When you start packing? When you arrive? I'm curious to know when your magical vacation actually feels...well...real? pixiedust:
    CateinPhoenix, ktlm, julesann and 3 others like this.
  2. gerilyne

    gerilyne DIS Veteran

    May 14, 2013
    For me, it is at the 2 month mark, when I can start making dining reservations (for the handful of restaurants that are on my must due list) but really I have many mini-milestones. Under 100 days, booking flights, under 90 days, making the final payment, at the 60 day mark.... I am looking forward to this next trip feeling 'real', for some reason it still doesn't to me.
    julesann, arasekim and stubby like this.
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  4. chickapin parterre

    chickapin parterre DIS Veteran

    Dec 18, 2014
    ....interesting.......because the visual concept of approaching Disneyland has more magic than that long drive thru woods to WDW.....so my disappointment with WDW was that lack of the Matterhorn reaching for the sky instead of the massive WDW parking lot experience I had. So my magic begins with the visual of the Matterhorn......and as a kid in the community school bus trip to Disneyland in the 60s, the Ontario Stockyards were the signal that we were close to the sight of the Matterhorn, to this day...bags of steer manure for sale ....remind me of Disneyland

    BLAZEY DIS Veteran

    May 29, 2006
    Plane taking off the day we leave for Disneyland.
  6. O'12ears

    O'12ears Earning My Ears

    Apr 17, 2018
    Our general planning starts a little over 60 days out, so we can make meal reservations at the 60 day mark, but it isn't "real" just yet. The micro-planning starts a few weeks out: creating a daily to do lists, and a basic game-plan. That's when it starts to feel real.
  7. Heather1101

    Heather1101 Mouseketeer

    Jun 20, 2007
    I guess once we have hotel, tickets, and food reservations made it starts to feel real, but that moment of reality honestly doesn't hit me until we land at LAX.
  8. BillFraser29

    BillFraser29 Earning My Ears

    May 14, 2018
    Two parts here...the drive down from Northern California and hopping off the freeway at South Harbor. And then once in the parks, entering the building in the PoC queue.
    kylie71 and arasekim like this.
  9. Laurieloo1414

    Laurieloo1414 Earning My Ears

    Jun 8, 2014
    It doesn’t feel real for me until we go through the turnstiles, see the plaque above us and walk through the tunnel... I always tear up at that very moment...
  10. tlcdoula

    tlcdoula DIS Veteran

    Apr 7, 2009
    I think a few weeks out when I have all the park hours and start figuring out plans etc. Then when I leave work and head to the airport I usually have a bit of a panic attack lol. I always work the day we leave so I am always second guessing myself on what I have forgot to do etc..
  11. peterpanandwendy

    peterpanandwendy Mouseketeer

    May 13, 2014
    Gah, this is a good question. I think it feels real when we see the Matterhorn poking up over the fence... but, like PP, I cry when I read the plaque over the entrance tunnels. So it feels 'real' before that... but it really hits me when I read that plaque. I cry so bad. I really wish they would make replicas that I could put up in my house :(:(
  12. Little E

    Little E Mouseketeer

    Apr 3, 2016
    This is what I love about the Disboards...I love all the valuable information and special memories and experiences that folks share. I am a WDW vet, but a DL newbie...it's so much fun to hear from DL lovers about what makes a DL trip real! Thank you for sharing your love of DL; I didn't think it was possible, but I am even more excited for our trip now!
  13. PHXscuba

    PHXscuba Mouseketeer since birth!

    Jul 7, 2008
    I have several layers of excitement ...

    1. Everything paid for -- hotel, tickets, T-shirts.

    2. Spotting the Matterhorn driving east across Ball Road from where we stay with family before our trip starts.

    3. The trash cans! :rolleyes: Nothing says Disney to me like the themed trash cans. I know, I'm weird.

    4. The music in the Esplanade and on Main Street before opening.

  14. katyringo

    katyringo DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2017
    I dunno when we booked for the first time last year- it being a lifelong dream to go but my parents couldn’t afford it and now I was taking my kids... when the screen popped up on the Disneyland website after I paid for everything and it was Mickey and it said “your going to Disneyland”... I burst into tears.

    It felt really really real when landed on the plane. I just couldn’t believe it.

    Now our next trip is completly paid for and I just don’t think it’s going to feel real to be until we land. I dunno. To many last minute disappointments in my life I suppose lol...
  15. Indiana Scott

    Indiana Scott Bothell Washington

    Jan 20, 2009
    Odd but it becomes real for me as I tie my sons shoes just before we leave our hotel room. When we're home and I have to tie them for him before he leaves every day, I always think of DL as I'm doing so.
  16. arasekim

    arasekim Earning My Ears

    Jan 26, 2013
    Felt real today when I made our Goofy's Kitchen reservation! But also walking through the esplanade listening to the music and heading to POC, as it's ALWAYS our first ride! So many great memories. Will be there in 58 days. Can't wait!✨
    julesann and Indiana Scott like this.
  17. ashley0139

    ashley0139 DIS Veteran

    Sep 24, 2009
    Did you know that there is a keychain? So that you can carry it with you always.
  18. beachdreamr1229

    beachdreamr1229 DIS Veteran

    Mar 12, 2013
    The night before we go, when we're packing up the van to leave the house before the crack of dawn, trying to get the kids to bed early, and doing all those last minute things before the trip. I always have trouble sleeping the night before because I'm so excited.
    azdisneylover likes this.
  19. dotfurio

    dotfurio DIS Veteran

    May 22, 2014
    I think for me it's when I pick a date.
    Didi8367 likes this.
  20. RainyDayPixie

    RainyDayPixie Mouseketeer

    Jun 10, 2007
    When I hear the chime at the turnstile. I tear up when I walk down Main Street.

    Indiana Scott likes this.
  21. choirboy501

    choirboy501 Yankee Racers - Founder

    Mar 5, 2008
    When I walk through the Esplenade the first night there, and see the Monorail and the turnstiles on both sides.

    I’m always short of breath when I realize where I am.

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