Travel dates: Mon Feb 16 through Sun Feb 22.
Days at DLR: Tues Feb 17 - Fri Feb 20
Travel method: Via car from Northern CA
Accommodations: Howard Johnson
Ages Represented in Group: 36, 36, 7, 4, 17 mos
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: Mostly experienced
Monday Feb 16th - Drive from Northern CA to Anaheim
Drove down to Anaheim from Northern CA on a very stormy day. As a result of the snow and ice, the Grapevine was closed and we were diverted through Tehachapi Pass, along with everyone else and their Grandma. The added distance of the detour, plus holiday traffic, plus the rainy weather added 4 hours to our trip making it a 12 hour trip. This wasn't really that big of a deal, especially since we got to play in the snow and take in the snow covered scenery.
Upon arriving for check in, my credit card would not go through and the clerk was required to call the credit card company for authorization. GREAT! It turns out that there was a security hold on my card because we had used it to buy gas in so many different cities across the state that week which flagged it as possibly stolen. Pretty cool that they're watching out like that but 20 minutes on the phone with the Visa people after being stuck in the car for 12 hours was not exactly my idea of a smooth check in. Obviously this had nothing to do with HoJos and in fact, the guy was super nice about it and very patient with the Visa company. We finally got into our room (bldg 6, first floor, $59 entertainment rate) unpacked and soon fell asleep.
DCA Trip Highlights:
-My husband took the 7 year old to the Animation Academy where they learned how to draw Goofy. We'd never been there before and will definitely be going back.
-Met Handy Manny for the first time.
-Had a blast, as usual, at the Pixar Play Parade and didn't get hit with one drop of water (I didn't see them spraying anyone, as the weather was chilly.)
DL Trip Highlights:
-Ate at Redd Rocket Pizza Port for the first time and were really pleased with their caesar salads. The pizza was pretty much mall pizza fare and a bit dry, but the kids loved it and portions were ginormous.
-Yay for the 32 ounce soda!!!!!
-Met Donald Duck for the first time in years.
-My husband and niece got SOAKED on Pirates of the Caribbean one night. During one of our trips last year, we got splashed by a canonball but this time around they said a wave hit them after the second drop, soaking them in the front row. The boat was full but no one else seemed to get that wet. They were easily as soaked as you'd get on SM; their jeans and shirts were sopping wet. I watched them exit the ride and they were waddling towards me in their wet jeans. Hours before this, I had taken my 17 month old on it and thank god we didn't get drenched, she'd have freaked!
-Two words: tigger tails!!! My husband and niece love these treats which are only sold at the Pooh's Corner shop but they're too sweet for me.
-We had preferred seating for Fantasmic! for the first time ever. While it was great to have the awesome view, chairs to sit on and plentiful snack boxes, it was a bit pricey for us ($59 adults, $49 kids) and something we'll probably do only once a year rather than on each and every trip.
-My niece riding Space Mountain, Matterhorn and Star Tours for the first time.
-Minnie and friends plaza inn breakfast is always a hit with us. This time around we saw Minnie, Goofy, Capt Hook, Eeyore, Tigger, Pinocchio, Fairy Godmother, Chip and Dale, and I think that's all.
-And from the 'Why didn't we do this sooner' department - yay for pressed pennies! The two older kids each started a collection this trip. DL sells pressed penny books at $7 each. The books each have 48 penny pouches and 9 nickel/quarter pouches. The pressed pennies themselves cost 51 cents each, so for $34 total, the kids were able to get 20 pressed pennies each plus their own souvenir book. Finding the penny machines was a fun game and the kids loved choosing which pennies to press. They've played with the pennies (yes, I said, "played with the pennies") so often since we've been back that I totally feel like it's worth the money. We'll continue our penny quest on our next trip.
For the first time ever, we lost two items on this trip: sunglasses and my daughter's hat. The sunglasses can be replaced but losing my daughter's hat really bummed me out because of its sentimental value. She's been wearing that hat since she was 4 mos old and I was planning on saving it for her because we have so many photos of her wearing it. We filled out a form with the lost and found folks and are hoping some kind soul may have turned it in after we left.
Overall, an awesome trip and if all goes well, we'll be back at the parks in mid-March.
Thanks for reading,