View Full Version : yellowrosedtxn - Dec 19-26, 2007 - Grand Californian "Christmas Adventure - LONG"
01-16-2008, 03:15 AM
Here are the first couple of days of our trip report. I have it typed, I am just tweaking the other days.
Cast of Characters:
Dad – age 61, 4th time to Disneyland
Me – age 41, 5th time to Disneyland
DD1 – age 16, 5th time to Disneyland
DD2 – age 12, 4th time to Disneyland
DS – age 11, 4th time to Disneyland
19 Dec – Wednesday – Travel/First Day
The day started at 2:30 for me. I really didn’t want to get up because I just gone to bed around 11:30 the previous night, so with that amount of sleep really had me wondering why I keep choosing these really early morning flights. After my shower, I made sure dad was up; which he was. He then got the kids up around 3:00 am. Everyone made it into the van and off we started (around 3:25). Our flight didn’t leave until 6:15 but I wanted to make sure we were there in enough time to get there. It was a good thing we left early because it was foggy. In addition to it being foggy out I wanted to be prepared because you never know what you might run into. Fortunately we got there safely but as soon as we were parked and dad was trying to get the luggage out, my DS got sick in the parking lot. He warned me at home that he wasn’t feeling very well. He said he felt like he was going to that. After all of that, we got through security rather easily and headed to where the plane was going to take off.
Our flight wasn’t scheduled to take off until 6:15 am but we had to board the plane at 5:55. Usually I remember to bring food for the plane ride, but being so busy with getting ready and for Christmas, I actually forgot. There was nothing open to get any kind of food except Starbucks and the line to that was horrible. Everyone was hungry too. We finally get ready to board the plane and they tag our carry on luggage because not only are we in a little plane, but you have to walk out on the tar mat to get too it! Next time we fly United, I am going to make sure we don’t leave before 8:00 am because the stewardess said that is when the bigger planes start taking off.
We are in the air to Denver, my son gets sick. Poor little guy doesn’t have much left got get sick on, but he manages it a couple of times just going to Denver. Later I found out there are absolutely NO snacks on this flight. No peanuts, no pretzels or no anything. We did get a drink, which did not help Josh. Keep in mind, the plane only has four seats across and I am sitting by myself (well with someone else who is not in our group). Everyone else is sitting behind me. The girls are together, and my dad and DS are together.
When we get to Denver we find out that we pulled into gate B84. Our next gate out? B18. I thought with an almost two hour lay over we would be going from one gate to another. Man, I didn’t expect to have to walk that whole way. I didn’t realize how big the Denver Airport was. About half way down to our gate, I couldn’t take it any more. I was starving and so were the kids. There it was a McDonalds and a few other places to eat. I am not a HUGE McDonald’s fan, but my kids like it. Dad refused to eat there. So, for the sake of my stomach and for the kids in the long line I go. I finally get up to the counter, get the food only to realize that we have about 30 minutes until we board the plane AND we still have a long ways to go to get to the gate. We pack up everything we own and head down to the gate so we can sit down and FINALLY eat.
We are fed, fat and happy. Ok, well maybe I was the only fat one but at least my headache was going away because I got food. My son ate, and so far he kept it down. Our turn comes to get on the plane; we are told that when we go to board the plane to please, don’t take a lot of time with the putting your luggage in the over head bins because the walkway to the plane can get very cold. I am thinking “No problem”. We give them our tickets, head down the walkway, gets all the way down to where you board the plane and had to stop. I mean a dead stand still. Please don’t take this wrong, I think everyone has the right to fly, but if you have people that are in wheel chairs or special needs people or even people with small children, then they should be boarded first, get them safely to their seats, THEN start boarding other passengers. But no, we are all standing out in the walkway area as they help three people in wheelchairs to board the plane. It was cold inside that walkway, as was previously stated by the stewardess, but after standing there for a while you don’t really notice it. They finally get the people that need assistance on the plane. Again, I don’t have a problem with people who need assistance, but don’t sit there after keeping everyone standing in the cold walkway for such a long time and tell everyone else that you are on a tight schedule so get your luggage stowed so we can go-kind of thing. That is what the flight attendant started saying to us after we finally started to board the plane. “If you can please stow your luggage quickly because we have people standing in the cold breeze way” and “We are going to lose our place in line on the run way if you all don’t hurry.” That kind of thing. That made me so mad because I am thinking YOU all are the ones that took forever to even LET us start to board!
This time everyone in my party was sitting together. I sat between DD2 and DS, at DS’s request. Remember he had eaten while we were waiting to board the plane, but that didn’t last long as we went into the air and hit turbulence. Poor guy looked white as a sheet and next thing I know I am looking for the sick bags. After a while, I finally got him to rest for a little while. He started to feel better by the time we landed.
Then we had to figure out how to get to the hotel. I have never used Super Shuttle or any other shuttle service, after we get our bags, we go out to the curb and ask the lady there how to get our the shuttle. She was very helpful with getting them to pick us up. I thought I paid for an exclusive van on the website, come to find out, that wasn’t the case. I told him that when I made the reservation online it showed that it was exclusive. He said that a lot of people were having problems with online orders, he said that the best way to be sure would be to call Super Shuttle to verify the reservation. I was thinking I have to figure out how to get that changed for our return flight because I really wanted to be able to spend time in Disneyland before heading home on the 26th. My dad and I were talking about calling United to find out how hard/expensive it would be to change our flight out of Ontario, on the 26th.
Once we got to the hotel though, everyone was really nice and helpful. Our luggage got stored, I made sure we had our tickets to get into Disneyland; I went to stand in line to check in. We got checked in and a room was already available. Please keep in mind that we paid for a resort view. I decided we needed to check out that room to make sure it would be what we really wanted. What I found was not what I wanted. When you stepped out onto the balcony (I believe it had a balcony but I did not stay in the room long enough to really look around) the only thing you could see was the hotel across the way. If you looked down, I believe there was a garden. If you looked to the right, I believe you could see California Adventure off in the distance but you also got a nice view of a crane and blue tarps. I was not happy. I immediately went down to the desk, stood back in line (because you couldn’t just go up to the counter to talk to anyone – even though I had just left there five minutes prior) which took away from my time of going into the park. I asked if we could possibly be moved to another room with a better view. I showed the desk clerk where I wouldn’t mind having a room, preferably a resort view because that is what we paid for, but I would take a Down Town Disney View and as high up as possible so we could view the fireworks.
The cast member looked over the rooms and showed me room number 3435 but said she could only get us the third floor because everything else was taken. I then asked her if all the resort view rooms were taken as well, and she said yes. I said if that is all that you have left I would take it. Then I asked if they had a roll away bed because there were five of us staying in the room, she proceeded to tell me that the only thing available was a sleeping bag with a mat. I was shocked at that because even at the Disneyland Hotel you could get a roll away bed. Therefore, not only did I not get the room I wanted/paid for, I had to sleep on the floor for the whole week. (I wouldn’t allow my dad to sleep on the floor, and I didn’t want my kids to get sick sleeping on the floor either.) I expected more out of a hotel that you pay a huge amount of money for especially at Christmas time. (Now I knew going into all of this that we would get a sleeping bag, but at the same time I hoped for more.)
After getting the room switched, we headed for Disneyland. I brought my little video camera to capture the moment. We got through security with little to no problems. Then it was through the front gates. The excitement was building, especially for me, because I have waited for so long to be able to do Christmas at Disneyland. The tree was beautiful and I love the Castle! I like the decorations on the street lights and down the streets. I loved seeing the decorations in New Orleans Square. Keep in mind that our day started our rather early so about this time though we were all getting pretty tired. My dad decided to he would head back to the hotel so when the room was available he could get in there and try to get rid of his headache. Starting around 3:00 I called the hotel to see if the room was ready. It was not. I kept calling the hotel every 20 minutes or so after that first time. Finally, right around 4:00 the room was ready, or so we thought. They gave us the room number, told us how to get there but when we did get there, the ladies cleaning the room were not done. They did hurry though to get done; shortly there after we were in the room.
The room we were in was over World of Disney, which was ok, but when you looked out the balcony window, you got a nice view of a sculpture. If you looked down, you got a nice view of a roof. I really would have preferred being on a higher floor. But at least I was able to see fireworks – when they had them. We got our luggage and I set to work with getting our little tree set up. DD2 helped me with getting it set up and decorated. It was just a ten dollar-32 inch fiber optic tree that I got at Wal-Mart before we left and brought it along, with some decorations, but it turned out cute.
For the most part the first day was shot after that. Everyone was tired. I fell asleep right around 8:00 pm (which was almost 10:00 in Texas time) and after being up at 2:30 am and traveling, I was beat. From what I heard my kids finished watching the new Bring it On movie, and then they fell asleep around 9:00 pm.
01-17-2008, 03:54 AM
20 Dec 2007 - Thursday
I woke up at 4:43 am. Technically, though it was 6:43 am in Texas, so I am usually at work by that time. I got up and showered as quietly as I could. When I was done with the shower though, dad got up. It was after 5:00 and he was ready to get up as well. He thought that the thermostat wasn’t working in the room. I told him I would go down to the desk and ask about it. It was after 6:00 am when I did that. After I went down to talk to someone though my dad fiddled with the thermostat again and it started working. Oh well. I don’t know if they ever sent up anyone because shortly after that I left for the morning.
It was about 6:40ish and I decided I would go do Early Entry (EE). My son woke up and heard that I wanted to go so he wanted to come with me. The good thing about this room was where the exit was located. The exit was very close to the security gates of Disneyland. We got through the security gates a little after 7:00 and headed right in. DS and I got our first picture in front of the Christmas tree with our Photopass. After that, we went to see how the line was for Finding Nemo. It wasn’t bad, but because my dad and the girls weren’t with us so we didn’t ride. That kind of upset my DS but he said it wouldn’t be as fun because everyone wasn’t there. He looked rather glum. He decided we should ride the Matterhorn, so off we went. That cheered him up a little bit. Shortly after that, we rode on Buzz Lightyear. That seemed to help him to get out of the glums.
Dad and the girls finally showed up just before EE was over. We got a picture in front of Walt, Mickey and the castle. From there we got a fast pass to Indiana Jones (which we never did use) and headed over to Splash Mountain. Dad passed on the ride, but the kids and I went. I got a little wet, nothing major (thankfully) because it was chilly. We got in line to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. I figured we had enough time to ride before our Priority Seating (PS) for Carnation Café. When we were done riding that, we only had four minutes to get to the restaurant, so DD2, DS and I hiked over there to make sure we could get our seats. (This later became something my son and I would do upon occasion – hiking that is.)
After we were seated, we ordered. I got the crossianwich, Dad got Oscar’s special, DD1 had the kids waffles, DD2 and DS had the apple pancakes. Later I asked the waiter if Oscar was there, only to find out he was not. The waiter (and I forgot his name) said that Oscar had some cancer on his shoulder and he had it removed. The waiter said that Oscar wouldn’t be back until after the first of the year. Then he said that Oscar was retiring around the 31st of March. He said that Oscar and HR (I am just assuming that is who he was talking about) were trying to work something where Oscar could work part time as a greeter only. That would be nice AND it would give me another chance to get a picture with him and his autograph. Therefore, I wasn’t able to get the autograph and picture I was looking for, but I did get the Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe.
Shortly after that, things kind of blur. We really didn’t ride many rides, we just kind of walked around looking at things. We were all still adjusting to the time and the weather. When we left Texas it was in the upper 70’s closer to the 80’s. I don’t know if I got a cold or what but I can barely breathe half the time. We decided to rent a car to go to the Character Warehouse and then to either Target or Wal-Mart to pick up some much needed medicine. It was a good thing we went to the warehouse because I found some very good bargains. They had a stuffed Tinker Bell in a red dress at the park, but they also had her at the warehouse. At the park she was $14.00, at the warehouse she was 8.99. Being the Tink freak I am, I got her. Then I found some Koozie cup/bottle holders for a really good price. I picked up several for my co-workers. I was VERY excited that my son found those. After spending enough money (but really saving a lot as well), we were off to find food. DD1 wanted to try In-and-Out burger. DD1 is always reading about famous people who eat at these places, so she wanted to go. The food was good for what it was and a lot cheaper than at the resort.
Off to Target we go. We went to target because that is what we found first. We got some Dayquil and a few other essential items. I had to get some new shoes because for some reason the shoes that I brought just rubbed my feet the wrong way. I got some shoes that were a lot more comfortable. The problem was my feet already hurting. Back to the resort we go. I think we just pretty much hung out at the room after that.
We are all still pretty wiped out but we did get to see some fireworks from our room. That was cool. I am going to do my darndest to see the fireworks on Sunday evening. My problem is I get up at 4:30 or so in the morning so by the time it is 9:25, I am pretty wiped out.
01-17-2008, 03:55 AM
21 Dec 2007 – Friday
Let’s see. Today was not an early entry day so we headed down to the park right around opening. The kids wanted to go ride Splash Mountain. We headed there, dad didn’t want to ride. He decided he wanted to take some pictures. The kids and I rode, trying to take pictures along the way. I got some pictures but some of them came out pretty bad. After riding that we rode Haunted Mansion Holiday. That was cool. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this ride after reading everyone else’s opinions. I don’t dis-like it but in a way I would like to ride the original one right after this one because I think I would just want to compare them. When you wait so long between trips, it is hard to remember how the rides are. But I did like this one. Then we headed over to Pirate’s Lair. I got the map - YEAH, then my dad reminded me I wanted to get “The Merriest Holiday Hunt” from the Grand Californian for the kids to do. So, I had to rush from the lair back to the hotel. (When you stay at that hotel, they give you a sheet of paper of what the resort offers to their guests the next day. Well you had a period to pick up the treasure hunt. I was running out of time, therefore, I had to rush back to the hotel.) I got the paper and headed into Disney California Adventure (DCA). I called dad to say I got the paper he said they would meet me so we could do the Meet and Greet. I waited for them to show up. Come to find out, Dad and the kids decided to ride Pirates again, then they road the railroad train all the way around the park.
Since they had not showed up yet, I decided to buy a new bag. I brought a bag with me to carry all my stuff in but the problem I had were the straps were so small they were cutting into my shoulders – they were cord straps. I got a backpack. I also bought a couple of other little items so I could get the collectible tins.
Since dad and the kids weren’t over there yet, I had time to take everything back to the room. Then I waited and waited and waited. Finally, they showed up, so we went to the meet and greet where we saw Goofy and Mickey. Somewhere along the way DD1 and I had gone to one Meet and Greet with Chip and Dale. Anyway, after all of that, the kids and I went to Tower of Terror to get some fast passes. Well the ride showed only a 13 minute wait. So we rode it – twice. Dad called to find out what was taking us so long, and we told him we rode the ride. He figured we did, so he went looking around at other things. After that, we headed to California Screamin’. We rode that once, and got fast passes. I felt somewhat sick after riding that though.
We all headed back to Disneyland because we had a PS for Café Orleans. DD1 and I tried the Ratatouille. DD2 and DS had the Monte Cristo. My dad had the gumbo soup and a salad. We all got the Pirates Punch – except DS. He got a sprite in a punch cup though. The girls and I got the lighted Tink clip-on, while the guys got Hook (of course).
Things are a little jumbled in what we exactly did, but I think dad and the kids headed back to the room because while it was nice and warm in the sun, it was very cold in the shade. I know we went our separate ways again for a while and did exploring, I just can’t remember what all we did.
01-17-2008, 03:53 PM
22 Dec 2007 – Saturday
This was another EE day but it was also THE DAY! The day I have read about for the last 18 months and how hard it could be to get a handmade candy cane. DD2 and DS wanted to do EE with me. They knew that I would be standing in line for the hour of EE so I could get one of the first candy canes.
We got into the park, I told them to stay together and enjoy the rides. I went to the bathroom before I got into line knowing that I was going to be by myself and I didn’t want to have to chance getting out of line later and losing my place. I later learned that probably wouldn’t have been an issue because I got to know the people around me and like me, they really wanted there candy canes. Unlike me though, most of them came with at least one other person. I got up to the Candy Palace and there were five people in front of me. Technically, there were six because there was a man with his two sons there. He placed each son at a different opening so the boys had a better chance of getting to the head of the line before anyone else jumped in. The previous day I asked where exactly I would need to line up in order to pick up my candy canes and I was told that inside the Palace you had to line up in front of the register and head towards the back of the store. I met Suzibell and her husband as well as a man named that goes by WitFit from this board. We hung out together until they were done with making the candy canes. The CMs were nice enough to give us a crossword puzzle to do as well as a coloring sheet. We watched as the canes were pulled, the color put into them and the flavoring was added. I didn’t realize how very nice looking and the size of the candy canes. We had no problems with people jumping in line, which I had read about with other people that had that issue, but I was very happy when I got my canes.
We were doing the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour so off I went to get checked in. Before that, we had a bit of drama. Apparently DD2 and DS were on It’s a Small World when she dropped her Tigger back pack and it happened to be open. Well inside that was her ticket. Since I was not with them, I didn’t know for sure if that was where she lost her ticket or not, but when they had met up with my dad and DD1 who finally showed up. They went back to the area; spoke to a CM and then dad called me. He told me that I needed to go to City Hall to see if anyone might have turned it in, but I needed to talk to Debra because she had been informed of what had happened. Therefore, we all meet up and go into City Hall. Debra asked to see the other tickets so they could see where the ticket number would match up with the other tickets. She confirmed that she had an 8-day ticket with four days used (including that day). She then gave Brit a one day ticket and a four day ticket to complete out trip. Throughout the rest of day I checked back in to see if anyone might have turned it in and I went to Lost and Found a few times. No one turned it in. I didn’t figure they would, but I know that there are some honest people out there.
So, we got to where the tour started and our guide’s name was David. He was nice and knowledgeable. Fortunately even though the park was filling up, it didn’t feel like we were in a rat race. We had a good time. My DS, is usually very quite and doesn’t really like talking to any one he doesn’t really know, spent a lot of time talking to David and asking a lot of questions.
We got to ride on the Jungle Cruise, we didn’t even get to see the Tiki Room. That was ok though because my family usually goes there at least once during our stay. It was kind of ironic but on this vacation we didn’t go to the Tiki room at all. Our tour then took us to Club 33 (the lobby); dad and I took a lot of pictures in there. I found out how big “The Club” really was. I didn’t realize it was as big as he told us. We were supposed to go to the Tiki Room to see the show, but didn’t get to see it because of the time crunch. We did get to meet a very special “person” though. I got her picture. That was fun. David said the special “person” should be changing after the New Year though.
Soon after that, we headed toward the castle. I found out where the “spike” for the center of the park was at one point, but learned that every time they would put a decoration there, someone would steal it. Therefore they quit putting a spike there, and it is only a little silver disk. We then talked about Tomorrowland and the plastic house. There were some interesting things about Disneyland I didn’t know about.
We eventually got back to where the tour begins and sat down to our lunch. They changed the menu so you could no longer get the chowder in the sourdough bread bowl. That bummed me out because that was the only time/place where you could get that food. David gave us a fast pass for whatever ride (except for Finding Nemo) that we wanted to ride because we didn’t get to ride anything else. He also told us that if any of the people that took the tour wanted to ride the Lilly Belle we could go up to the Main Street station. We had ask one of the CMs if they had anyone that would be able to ride with us in the Lilly Belle and to let them know that we had taken the tour earlier and to show them the badge that we had got.
When we were finished eating, Dad said he was tired so he headed back to the room for a while. The kids and I were off again to check things out. We were trying to decide on what we wanted to use the fast pass for. We headed over to DCA for a while. We got pictures taken on the bridge in front of Ariel’s Grotto with California Screamin behind us. I had the kids stop a lot to get pictures taken so I could buy the photo-pass CD. After that, dad came back into the park so DS and I met him while the girls took off to ride a few rides.
Somewhere along the way dad, DS and I ended up back at Disneyland. Dad and I were getting hungry and I wanted to see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies so we took DS with us to see the show. The show was funny. My son even enjoyed it. DD2 said she wanted to see the show, but we didn’t get back there again this trip so I told her that we would have to make sure we go back to see them on our next trip. Shortly after meeting up with the girls, my dad headed off on his own again. Later we all met up again and decided to ride on the Lilly Belle. We had to wait for the two trains before the Lilly Belle came. Along with the five of us riding on this train, there were three other people that were riding as well. We met Len, Larry and Elaine. Larry and Elaine were on the committee to bring the Lilly Belle back and to help get her cleaned up and ready for use. Len is their son. They were all very nice and told all kinds of interesting stories. There were also some stowaways that got on with us. They were told that the car they were riding in was reserved for special occasions/people. The CM that rode with us told the four of them that they could only ride on the Lilly Belle if it was ok with all of us. We all decided could they stay. I had a lot of fun riding the Lilly Belle with Leonard and his family.
Dad was getting tired again or he just wanted to go to take some pictures (I can’t really remember) so the kids and I headed back out into Disneyland to figure out where we wanted to use that fast pass. On this trip, we got many fast passes that we didn’t use. I am not sure why this trip was so different and we didn’t use them, but we never seemed to stay out past 8:00 on most nights, so we just didn’t use them. It could have been because it is colder at night there than it is at home or it could have been because there were so many people we didn’t feel like fighting the crowd everywhere we went. It was only around 6:30ish because the evening parade was about to start. We went to see how long the line was for Finding Nemo – still too long. We decided that we wanted to use our fast pass for the Matterhorn. They said that the line wasn’t that long if we didn’t want to use the fast pass but we wanted to use it because we were getting tired and wanted to go back to the hotel soon. It was fun because it was dark outside and scarier inside because it is dark. (I hope all of that made sense.)
Earlier in the day, we had gone back to the room and I decided to do some laundry. Well dad was in the bathroom, and DD2 and DS were messing around on the bed. DS accidentally fell off the bed and somehow cut his wrist. Therefore, when I came back up to the room I had found out about the cut. It was kind of a deep cut. Not life threatening or anything but it looked nasty. Dad put a couple of band-aids on his wrist. Later on, the kids and I were riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, it was getting dark out and I like riding this ride during this time of evening. When we got off the ride, DS’s cut was bleeding again. I decided to take him to the First-aid station. They took a report of what happened and gave us a couple of bigger band-aids and sent us on our way. The band-aids reminded me of moleskin because were square and bigger than a regular one AND they stayed in place a lot better than a normal band-aid.
01-17-2008, 04:32 PM
23 Dec 2007 – Sunday
Since today was not an EE day, the kids and I went into Disneyland early enough that we were able to ride some of the rides in Fantasyland while it was not overly crowded. We rode Pinocchio, then the kids rode on the carrousel, we then headed over to ride on the Storybook Canal. Every other time we wanted to ride this ride it was closed. So, since it was open and the line was not long we wanted to go ride it. Well actually it was DS that wanted to ride it and I am glad that he had us do it. Now, let me tell you, people just make me nuts. As we were going to the ride there was a little girl (not really little, probably 8 to 10) who RAN in front of us to get on the ride first. I mean we were right at the entrance way when she ran right in front of us. Now the thing is she would not move until her mom got there. Her mom smiled at us as she went right around all four of us to get to her daughter. I was glaring at them the whole time because not only was the girl rude, but her mother condoned it. She saw what her daughter did and didn’t bother to correct her or anything. Then on top of that, the father decides to join them. Keep in mind that there was NO ONE behind us at this point so they could have let us four go in front of the TWO of them so their whole family could be together to get on the boat. However, that is not what happened. The dad decides to go to the EXIT to wait for his wife and daughter so they can ride the boat together. The reason he didn’t join them in the line was because there were people that were behind us and it would have been harder for him to get through that line. Keep in mind there were probably eight people ahead of this family and the CM’s didn’t see what all had happened. When the CM wanted to fill this boat, she allowed this family to cut in line ahead of those other eight people. I am talking about the WHOLE FAMILY (granted it was only three people, but that isn’t the point) got to go ahead of the other eight people to get onto the boat. I was seething by this time, if for no other reason that it teaches that child that it is ok for her to act like that to get her own way. My kids were just as upset as I was because it was just rude for them to act that way. The only good thing was we were NOT on the same boat with them because I probably would not have enjoyed as much. Ok, back to the ride. I really loved that they decorated the trees outside the little houses. The detail that goes into the Christmas decorating just astounded me. After that, we rode on Casey’s train.
Our next tour was the Discover the Magic Tour. I thought this would be cool because we would get to ride on six different rides. Overall, it was fun, but it is truly a tour for kids 5 to 9 years old. On this tour, there were only two families. Mine and another family of three. Our tour guides were Erin Monet and Krystal. I have to give those girls a LOT of credit. I couldn’t do the job that they do. The other family consisted of the mom, the daughter and Peter. (His is the only name I can remember.) Peter was celebrating his 6th birthday but that was a week away. I’ll just say that this was an interesting tour. It was very crowded in the park. Of course we had to act like a pirate, or swing across a bridge. Sometimes we even swam across the street to get to the other side. We rode the train over to New Orleans Square where we rode Pirates of the Caribbean. (That is where we acted like a pirate.) From there we went to Tarzan’s Tree house. We then swung across the bridges and swam over the hub road to Buzz Lightyear. We had to learn to be a space ranger so we could ride the ride. After we rode Buzz Lightyear, we then headed over to the Carrousel. All along the way, you have to find “treasure chests”. In the treasure, chests there were puzzle pieces. After you gathered all the pieces, you had put it together to figure out whom you were going to meet. I won’t spoil it for those that don’t want to know, but you can pm me if you want to know. It was fun, but I will never take that particular tour again, unless I am taking my grandchildren, MANY many years from now. When we got done with our visit everyone was getting hungry so we headed off to find food.
After we sat down to have lunch, I was starting to stress. There were SO many people everywhere. I am not claustrophobic but I don’t like people that are either rude, in a hurry or the ones that want to just STOP in front of you for no other reason than to do it. Makes me nuts! Anyway, shortly after that the kids and I headed over to Santa’s Reindeer Roundup. We hung out there for quite a while. I got the kids the cookies to decorate, and we got color sheets to do as well. We just sat there and chilled out for a little while. My dad was busy taking pictures all over and met up with us there.
A little while later, we headed back to the hotel for a while for a short rest. I wanted to try to see the fireworks and get it on video. I asked if anyone wanted to go with me, but no one wanted too. I went out to the hub and found a nice spot on a bench. I sat there for over two hours only to have them cancel the fireworks. I met some nice people though and got some pictures of the castle when it was all “iced’ up. I was sad that they cancelled the fireworks, but still enjoyed my time there.
01-17-2008, 05:17 PM
24 Dec 2007 – Monday
Early Entry day!!!! All of us had decided that we were going to get on the Finding Nemo ride. This was the morning we were going to do it. My son and I decided we were going to race over to that ride. Mind you, there were several people that were running to get to that ride, but I wouldn’t allow him to run. I was walking rather fast and my side was hurting but still I was not running. My son got to the line first and then I got there. The line for Finding Nemo was not yet open, which was good because the rest of our party wasn’t there yet. Shortly after we got there, they were going to open up the line. I told the CM’s that my dad and the girls were on the way but had not arrived yet. They said that if they didn’t get there before they open the line, they would allow them to catch up with me. Fortunately, they got there before they started to let everyone go through the line for the ride. It was exciting because we got to be on the first sub of the day! How cool was that? That was a fun ride, one that I am happy to say I rode, but not one that I would stand in line for several hours for.
After we rode that, we went on Alice in Wonderland. That is a cute ride. I love going on these rides and take lost of pictures. I am sure I bugged the heck out of the kids because I kept taking pictures. They hate it when I take the pictures, but love them when we get back. I wanted to go to Mickey’s Toontown Morning Madness. I ended up going by myself. The kids and dad had done it a few years ago and didn’t really want to go back. I wanted to video tape the morning parade because I missed it a couple of years ago. I had a total of five Morning Madness passes and I was only using one of them, so I decided to see if I could find someone who had up to four people that wanted to go in. I found a mom, with two young daughters that were dressed like princesses who had never been to the morning madness. The mom said that her girls only wanted to meet the characters and that they could care less about the rides. The little girls were only about 3 and 5 if I remember correctly. They did not have tickets to get in, so I offered three of the ones I had to her. She said that her husband and son were off riding rides. I asked her when they were leaving and I think she said the day after Christmas. So, then I asked her if she had ever seen the Aladdin show over at DCA. She said no, but she wanted to take the family because one of her girls wanted to be a singer. I gave her my priority seating vouchers for her whole family so they could see that show as well as the Muppet 3D show and Golden Dreams. She was very surprised and happy. I figured since I wasn’t going to use, them I wanted to give them to someone who might.
After Mickey’s Morning Madness, we met up and went to ride Indiana Jones. This ride is fun, but I’ll tell you it jars your system. The kids and I then went to Splash Mountain. I love riding that ride, but it was on the cool side that morning. My daughter saw the Dream Team handing out fast passes to people getting off Winnie the Pooh. I thought I would hurry onto the ride to see if we could get some, but to no avail. I did get a good picture of the bears in the ride, upside down. Hahahaha that was fun. The kids and I then went to see Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger. I asked them if they would autograph some bookmarks for my son’s class.
The kids and I then headed over to DCA to do the Character Meet and Greet. We got over there around 11:00 and took some pictures with Chip and Dale. Then Goofy and Mickey showed up. We got a few more shots with our photopass and my camera. We headed over to Bugs Land. I had never actually been inside of A Bugs Land. The kids and I rode Heimlich’s Chew Chew, the bug bumper cars and we rode balloon ride. Once we were done with that, we got saw Lilo and Stitch hanging out close to Santa’s beach blast area, so I got their autograph some of the bookmarks.
Later on, we took to the Holiday Tour. Our tour guide’s name was Chandra. It was hard to hear her some times. We had a large group. I don’t want to speak badly of people, so I will pretty much stop there. Most of them seemed nice, but there was a lady that had brought her daughter who was in a stroller but didn’t pay for her to take the tour and she was upset when they didn’t have a headset for the little girl. I’ll leave it at that. The tour was interesting. Because it was Christmas Eve, it was very crowded. I did learn some things about Christmas and Kwanza that I didn’t know before. I took several pictures. We rode on “Haunted Mansion Holiday”. I rode that one a couple of days before hand, but liked going through the second time. We were going over to ride “It’s a Small World Holiday” before the parade, but because we took such a long bathroom break we weren’t sure if we would make it through the ride before the parade started. It didn’t look like we were going to make it so before we sat down for the parade, we got our Christmas mug filled with hot chocolate and a very good cookie. Chandra later asked another CM if we could ride IASMWH after the parade and the CM said yes we could. I would have been really disappointed if I had not been able to get on that ride because that was the one ride I had not been able to get on the whole time we were there. I also had not been able to get to see the whole parade since we had been there, so I was looking forward to both. I had seen bits and pieces of the parade, but never the whole thing. I was able to video tape it while DD1 used my good camera to take pictures. Once the parade was over (and what a great way to “end” Christmas Eve!!!) we did go ride on “It’s a Small World Holiday”. Dad had decided he didn’t want to go on the ride again because he went on the ride Saturday. Instead, he headed over to the castle to stake out a place for the fireworks (IF they showed). I took several pictures on IASWH, mostly to see how my camera would work inside the “dark” ride. Some of them turned out well, especially if I left it on continuous feed rather than trying to click one shot at a time.
Dad said he didn’t want to wait for the fireworks but wanted to head back to the hotel room. DS decided to head back with him, while the girls and I waited it out to see if we were going to be lucky enough to see the “snow” and the fireworks. The girls had fast passes to Space Mountain. DD2 wanted to ride; DD1 didn’t want to. DD1 gave her fast pass to her sister so off DD2 went. I told her to have her phone available and on so I could call and check up her, which I did several times. She missed the first “snow” fall. DD1 thought it was cool, except for the fact that she got some “snow” in her mouth or something and said it was nasty! Shortly after that, DD2 came back. We hung out for another 45 minutes. The Fireworks were a GO! Since it was Christmas Eve, the park was closing at 9:00. After the fireworks, it was FUN trying to get out of the park. We took our time. DD1 met a couple of guys from Utah (their parents were with them and they seemed like a nice couple). They were her around her age though but I wasn’t all that thrilled they were exchanging phone numbers, but then I figured as long as they stay in Utah… ;-)
We were on our way out and my dad calls to say that the “boys” were hungry and asked if we could please pick something up. We went to LeBrea Bakery. I don’t remember exactly what we got, other than some soup and sandwiches, but it was good. When we got back up to the room though, my DS was sleeping. I tried to wake him up, but he was out like a light. The girls opened one Christmas present (their pajamas) because it is a tradition in our family, but because I had not brought a lot of presents with us, that was all they got to open. Everyone was pretty much beat so when we got done eating, changing or whatever we were doing, LIGHTS went out!
01-17-2008, 05:39 PM
25 Dec 2007 – Tuesday
IT’S CHRISTMAS!!! Everyone was up and at it early, sort of. Let me explain something about my kids. When it comes to Christmas Morning, unless they set their alarm clocks, they don’t get up. I mean DD2 and DS3 get up fairly early, but DD1 will sleep until whenever someone gets her up. This is the case even at Christmas. So, for as long as I can remember I am the one that wakes up the kids or they set their alarm clocks. So, for them to get up early on their own it was kind of refreshing. The kids opened up the few presents that they had, then we got up and got ready for EE. I figured since it was Christmas that it wouldn’t be crowded for EE. Boy was I wrong. It was very crowded. Fortunately, we weren’t that far back in the line to go in. Once in we headed over to Fantasyland to ride Peter Pan. Dad didn’t want to ride Peter Pan because he did that the day before. I think he headed somewhere to take pictures. The kids and I did the ride, and then we rode Dumbo, Snow White and Alice. I think. It was pretty crowded for EE and then when the park actually opened it got worse. I do know that I bought several things that went on sale that day. I got a sweater; it is like a jacket. It is pink with the word Tink across the front of it. I got shirts and sweatshirts that had Christmas 2007 on it. We got Santa hats; and some of them had ears on them, they were all half price. That is pretty much what we did. We shopped until I was about to drop. DD1 wanted to find an ornament of the castle. It looked like a gingerbread house/castle. Of course, we couldn’t find them ANY WHERE. I know at some point we looked all over Disneyland and then went to DCA.
Eventually everyone but me went back to the room. When I did finally go back to the room, I had the ornament and a few other things. That whole day was a blur to me now because there were people everywhere, we shopped a lot and I was really tired by the time I went back to the room. I know that in the afternoon I went back to the hotel to start packing for our trip to go home. We had one more place to go eat and that was Story Tellers Café for Christmas dinner. The buffet cost $30.00 per adult (which is what everyone in our party was considered because the kids were all over the age of 10). DD1 didn’t want the buffet because she was not all that hungry. We had an early lunch because we knew we would be eating at Story Tellers, but she just didn’t have a huge appetite. She decided to get the personal pizza instead. Dad and the other two kids got in the buffet line. I think I had gone back to the room for something, so when I came back, I further back in line than they were. Well our waiter was a very nice guy. He came back to the table and told DD1 that it was going to take a while for her pizza to get done so she could go get something from the buffet line. Dad had wanted me to go up with them in the line, but I started to talk to the people around me and had several enjoyable conversations. Danielle got in line with me to grab something to eat though. A little while later, she got her pizza, but she was already full so she just took the pizza to go. Everyone got full and we left.
We got the luggage pretty much packed and DD1 wanted to see Disneyland’s Electrical Parade. We met some nice people from Canada while waiting for the parade to get there. There was a nice woman that was having problems with the camera that she just got for Christmas. When she took pictures, they were blurry. I figured out it was set wrong – like it should have been set to manual instead of auto or something like that. Once we got that fixed, she was taking wonderful pictures of the parade. She was very happy with her pictures after that.
When the parade was over, we headed back over to Disneyland. Earlier in the day I had stopped by City Hall to see if I could get a picture of Mickey and the gang’s picture autographed for my son’s teacher. They asked me if I would like to have Mickey and the gang or Winnie and the gang. I said either of them would be wonderful. They ended up doing both. They told me before hand that it might take a few hours, so after we had gone to the Electrical Parade at DCA we ran over to Disneyland and picked up the pictures.
When I finally got back to the hotel, I was extremely tired. The rest of the night was spent getting ready to go home the next morning.
I have decided that although Disneyland is beautiful at Christmas time, I will never go back. It was just way too busy for me. I missed my “Christmas routine”, once the kids get old enough and I am on my own, then I might just go back, but until then, I don’t think that is going to happen.
01-17-2008, 05:41 PM
Pretty much this day was spent leaving the hotel and heading home. We didn't get to go into the park at all, like I wanted to do, but we never would have made our flight if we had. The kids were excited to be home because as soon as we got their they were able to open their Christmas presents.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this and hopefully it wasn't too wordy.
Thanks for reading.
01-21-2008, 02:16 PM
Thank you for posting this with each day next to eachother! I have something to read during my commute tonight! :)
01-22-2008, 03:56 AM
You're welcome. I tried to get it out all in word and check it before I put it in here. I know I overlooked some of the things we did, but for the most part I got it all down.
01-22-2008, 06:14 AM
I loved reading your report and it was a pleasure meeting you in the Candy Cane line! What a trip! I am exhausted reading it! LOL! Sounds like you had a great time and did a LOT in during your stay! I want to go to the Merchandise Warehouse sometime as well. I am also glad you made it to the tour on time.
My name here is not Suzibelle. (I am Suzibelle elsewhere.;) )
Thanks for sharing your tale. I should get around to posting a TR of our Christmas trip. We ended up catching the flu and staying in bed for most of the rest of our trip after we saw you! :crying: We managed to get to the Park a couple hours each day, but I lost my voice completely and Ralph did not feel well either. We still had a great time! We are going back next Wednesday on the 29th to celebrate my b'day on the 30th and spend 4 days there! We always go for my b'day every year and then it is off to WDW in May for a month!!!!!!!!
It was such a joy meeting you and talking with you! And, we got the CANDY CANES! YAY!!!!!!