View Full Version : Oz - Spring Break - April 3, 2010 - April 8, 2010 - Disneyland Hotel

04-15-2010, 02:36 PM
Travel dates: April 3, 2010 to April 8, 2010 – Spring Break – 6 day park hopper
Travel method: Airplane, Rental Car
Resort: Disneyland Hotel
Accommodations: 2 queen
Ages Represented in Group: 37, 35, 8, 6.
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: DH 1 trip, ME 4 trips, K 2 trip, A 2 trips. 1st time staying on property. All other trips have been crazy 2 days ALL day at park on holiday weekends.
Cast of characters: DH, ME, daughters K – 8, A - 6
Comments: DH – Hates roller coasters. K – starting to like roller coasters. A – hates the word roller coaster, makes her feel sick to her stomach just talking about them. ME- Would spend all my time on roller coasters.

I know this trip report is really long. So if you want to skip the details below (there are my tips at the bottom) I can sum in up in 3 points.
1. Disneyland Hotel is worth the money.
2. Early Entry cannot be beat for getting rides in.
3. Go with the flow. Even in 5 days you can’t do it ALL. Well – maybe if you don’t try to set the tea cup record and your kids walk faster than a snail and don’t want to sit on every bench/wall on the property.

Packed and ready for early flight. K has a 101 temperature!! At least Tylenol/Advil combo keeps it down!!

We arrived in LAX around 8:30 am, picked up the rental car and drove to Disneyland arrived shortly after 10am. We checked into the Disneyland hotel and a room wasn’t ready yet. I requested a renovated room but the cast member told me none were available but she would see what she could do. She came back with a room with fireworks view on the 9th floor. This worked great since K wasn’t feeling well. We checked out the pool and headed to CA Adventure.

On our way to CA Adventure we decided to get lunch at Tortilla Joe. Great burritos. Huge. We got 3 but could have shared 2 between our family. It was fun to sit in Downtown Disney. Into CA from Grand California. We picked up FP for Soarin and watched High School Musical. Then to Mike & Sully. Line was not very long we moved the whole time. Then we watched Muppets 3D. When that was out Drawn to Life was starting so we watched. I tried to get my daughters to volunteer, but they were not interested. We meet Cinderella and Woody. No interest in getting pictures with Mickey. Then we went to watch Aladdin with Preferred Seating. The show was amazing. I wish we could have watched it a second time. We were on the main floor but I would like to watch again from the balcony level. Picked up FP to Tower of Terror and got the message our room was ready and went to our room, unpacked and had a little quiet/nap time since it was an early flight and then went to the pool for an hour. The pool was great. My girls enjoyed it. But we noticed during the week that people are chair hogs. And it is hard to get a couple chairs together.

We had dinner reservations at Ariel’s at 6:10. So back to CA Adventure. Dinner with the princesses was okay. Food was good – not great. We have done Ariel before and nothing had changed. The advantage is seeing the princesses without a line. The lighting inside was horrible for photos because the sun was going down. The Cinderella we meet that afternoon at Drawn to Life was the same Cinderella and remembered my daughters. She asked them a few questions about what they did that afternoon. I thought it was fun she remembered them. My package came with a free character meal, it was really nice to just give the vouchers and be done. With the dessert plate there were berries and my daughters were arguing over who got how many raspberries so I asked for a few more berries (so it could be even) and the server came back with a big bowl of berries!! After dinner my girls really wanted to go to bugs land. So we rode all the rides there and then went to Soarin. Used our FP and walked on quickly. Couldn’t even look around. Daughter A hated Soarin. She did not like not having her feet touch the ground and she felt like she was going to fall out. She cried through most of the ride. We gave away our Tower of Terror FP, no one wanted to go on it with me and it was late. We headed back to our room. The girls were ½ asleep when the fireworks started so DH and I watched the fireworks with the music.

Easter & Early Entry 7:00 am –Easter bunny came during the night. The girls found plastic eggs around the room and we made oatmeal in the room and had a banana before heading out. As a side note: When we checked in they told us there would be an egg hunt on Sunday at 9:30. I wish I would have known before hand to plan around but I already had breakfast at Minnie’s. We were on the monorail and in the park by 7:15am. We headed straight for Peter Pan, Dumbo, Tea Cups, Nemo (I was not impressed by Nemo, felt cramped and uncomfortable could be because A was sitting on my lap) then onto Buzz, Autotopia, Astroblasters and then PS - breakfast at Minnie’s at 9:30. We sat outside and it took a long time for the characters to come around (Minnie, Eyeore, Rabbit, Piglet, Captain Hook, Chip, Mr Penguin). Food was good. French toast really yummy. It would have been nice if there was more seasonal fruit/berries. Mostly melon and grapes. I purchased character meal voucher and it was nice to provide it and be done. I love the character meal voucher. At Minnie’s it was harder to follow the pattern the characters were following.

After breakfast back to Fantasy Land for the rides we missed – Line for Alice was 20 min so we passed. Walked on Snow White, Pinocchio, the Casey’s train, carousel, tea cups again (we may have set the tea cup record this trip) and then over to It’s a Small World. My husband HATED this ride. He could not believe how long it went on. The park was staring to get crowded to we headed back via main street and down town Disney. I do have to say to walk from the castle back to Disneyland Hotel on average took us an hour and cost $20.00. My daughters are the SLOWEST walkers and get easily distracted by flowers, birds and fountains. Which was fine. And someone always wanted a drink, pretzel, cookies on our walk back. My husband walked one time by himself from the hotel to the gate and made it in 7 min. But he walks fast and has long legs.

Back in the hotel we had naps and K & DH went down to the pool while A was still sleeping. Then the most wild ride….EARTHQUAKE….. I was on the 9th floor and the building swayed for about 2 min. I looked around the room and realized that nothing would fall on my daughter and covered her up with the blankets to protect her from shattering glass then held onto the side of the bed until the shaking stopped. (I found amusing the guy in the hallway yelling “It’s and Earthquake – run”. He needs a little Earthquake 101). Once the building stopped swaying I opened the door and saw the housekeeper walking by, I asked her if were we evacuate to and she said yes. So I woke up my daughter, got shoes on her, grabbed my purse, DH wallet and his cell phone, our jackets and headed down 9 flights of stairs. On the 4th floor there was a group of housekeepers talking so I asked if we continue to evacuate and she said yes. So I headed downstairs and out the door and everything was completely normal. No one seemed alarmed, no cast member giving directions on what to do, no damage. I was shaking really bad, someone had to open the pool door for me, since I couldn’t hold my key still enough to put it in. I found my DH and K was playing in the pool. They said on the ground, the water splashed out of the pool, and it felt like someone pushed his chair. So it took me about an hour to calm down. We had an early dinner by the pool and then went back up to the room for an early bed time. I was in condition to go on any rides. I have to say, at the hotel, there was no communication about what was going on in the park with rides or activities, all rumors of what the other guests were saying.

Light Sprinkles - We had breakfast at Goofy’s kitchen for 8:15 reservations. I think this was my fav character meal. A variety of characters (Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Alice, Captain Hook, Balou, Jasmine) and the food was fun. The characters followed a pattern around the room. They had breakfast food, pizza, hot dogs cupcakes, salads and a little more variety of fruit!! Again I had meal vouchers which made paying for it nice. My girls did not eat their money’s worth at ANY of the character meals though. Not sure if they even ate more than a bowl of cereal at any of the meals!!

After breakfast we went into CA Adventure via the GC entrance. We were going straight to Toy Story and since we were in CA Adv when the park opened we had a head start to Toy Story. Remember I have slow walkers…..so every head start counts!! We walked right onto Toy Story and loved it! By time we finished and went to get back into line the wait was 30 min. So we moved on. DH and K rode the Mickey fun wheel. A thought it went up to high. Then K & I rode Mulholland Madness. I HATE that ride, feel like you are going to fall over the edge. Then DH & K rode again. Back over to bug land and all the Bugs Life rides again. Then we went over the Animation Academy and watched Turtle Talk with Crush. Not so impressed compared to everything I heard. The girls explored and we spent probably a good 45 min in the different rooms. When we came out there were a lot of characters in the lobby but my girls weren’t interested. We decided to venture over to Disneyland.

We grabbed a sandwich for lunch from the café. Not that great. And then went over to adventure land. We rode Jungle Cruise and the DH & K rode Indiana Jones. Had a 30 min wait so we figured why not. A and I went to get a dole whip and look around the shops. K hated Indiana Jones. She was sitting on the outside she felt like she was going to fall out. When they K & R were done we used the rider switch and I walked on, they didn’t even finish their dole whips by time I was finished. By this time it was getting close to the afternoon parade so we headed over to the find a place to sit. They were setting up the ropes for the walkways and I asked a cast member where we could sit and she said it didn’t matter since everyone stood anyway. As I turned around to look for a place another cast member came up and asked if I was looking for a place to watch the parade and I said yes, he said he had some seats if I was interested. So we went over and sat in the VIP benches. There was only one other family sitting at the benches and they did not invite anyone else to sit there. Pretty fun!! The parade cast members were great about interacting with my girls but they had no interest in dancing in the street. So I went and danced!!

After the parade we headed over to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. Both girls actually enjoyed it. We walked around a little more then decided to head back to find something for dinner. We made a HUGE mistake of going to ESPN Zone. They said there would be a 30 min wait which I figured was reasonable at that time. But after waiting for an hour I was ready to go eat oatmeal packets in the room but our table was ready. It was the Final 4 so the place was packed, loud and the tables were not turning over. If I would have known, we would have never waited. The food was really good and a lot but my girls barely ate any food. Next time I would make an order to go and sit by the pool and eat!! After dinner we took a little hot tub and watched the fireworks from our room!

Early Entry 7:00 am again. On the monorail at 7 am. This time, the girls got to pick the rides. Alice, Teacups, Mr Toads K&I did a test ride to see if A would like it. Past the test, back in line, while on the ride the second time it broke down so we got passes to come back. Snow White, Pinocchio, Carousel. Then we went to Big Thunder Mountain. I rode while the kids and DH waited. I thought K would like so I got 2 FP for us to come back. Haunted Mansion had a 5 min wait but they had NO interest in going there. Then we went over to ride Pooh. Rode the train to the other side of the park for Mr. Toad with the passes, the Carousel, Buzz, DH rode Star Tours, the girls made it inside the que and decided they were not interested. We watched the end of Jedi Training and meet up with DH. Then K decided she wanted to do Jedi training. So her and DH sat for 30+ min to wait for the next training while A & I got a snack and sat at a table in the shade. Jedi training started and she got picked!!! So she became a Jedi and then we had lunch at Carnation Café. After lunch it was getting warm. K really wanted to do Grizzly River Rapids (I KNEW there would be a long standby) but we went and checked it out – 120 min. We passed and went back to the hotel for rest and decided to go Henry’s Market that was nearby to restock our snacks/fruit. It was nice to load up on fresh fruits and veggies. Picked up soup and sandwiches for dinner. We planned to eat by the pool. But the pool was cold and it was windy outside. So back in we went and had a picnic in our room with a view of the park. That night we went and watched the Electrical parade. Again so nice to use the GC entrance. Quick little walk and we were on the parade route. And at the end the last float was going by with the DL fireworks in the back ground. Very cool.

Toon Town Morning Madness - Rode to the park via monorail again. We were in line at 7:45 and the monorail left Downtown Disney at 8:00 am. By time we got into ToonTown it was 8:15. But that is mostly due to my slow walkers. There was a large crowd around “Town Hall” where Mickey comes out my girls weren’t interested so we went to explore. K rode Gadgets coaster 3 times in a row. A wouldn’t go on it. We went on Roger Rabbits and then spent time looking around. It was nice we got to go into Minnie’s house before she got there but couldn’t get into Mickey’s for a look. By 9am we were heading out of ToonTown. Picked up 2 FP for Thunder Mountain. K was still trying to decide if she wanted to go. We decided to go on Splash since there was only a 20 min wait. We picked up 2 FP for Splash if K wanted to ride again later. The line moved quickly and K loved splash. We decided to go see the Tiki room since that was on my must see list. Both girls decided they wanted to try Grizzly River Rapids so we thought we would get FP. When we got there the line to get FP was about 15 min, stand by 60. So we decided just to get in line. From when we got in line to when we got off the ride it was 45 min. And we were continuously moving. The girls LOVED the ride and I got soaked. So back to the hotel we went through GC. The girls and I got into our suits and went to the pool. On our way we ran into Jasmine, Captain Hook and Goofy, in the lobby. They played around with my girls and 2 other kids in the lobby. It was a nice surprise. We played in the pool and hand lunch by the pool. Again chair hog issues!! We went back to DCA for the Pixar parade. It was great!! Then we headed over to DL. We got on the train at Main Street and the girls & I planned to get off at ToonTown. DH was going to tomorrow land. The girls enjoyed the train so much we rode it all the way around and back to ToonTown. Loved the stretch from Tomorrow land to Downtown with the Grand Canyon and the Dino’s. DH went and watched Captain EO. The girls and I went on the Tea Cups. We rode them 4 times in a row. Since the parade was starting there wasn’t much line. On one tea cup ride the parade was going by. The characters were fun interacting with us on the ride. Think we went on a couple of other fantasy land rides but I was a blur after the tea cups so many times. We planned to stay for fireworks but K was starting to get a fever. We walked back through DTD, grabbed dinner at Napalini. DH & I watched fireworks from the room the girls were asleep before they started. I never got to watch them from the castle like I wanted too but figured 4 nights from a hotel room with the music was a pretty good deal!!!

Our last day – K woke up with a fever and did not want to go into the park. So A and I headed off for early entry. Rode the monorail and did all of A’s fav rides in Fantasyland. Peter Pan was the only one we skipped because by time we got there it was 20 min. We rode It’s a Small World since DH wasn’t with us and then walked back through the park/DTD so we could say goodbye to the castle. We got back to the room a little after 10 and checked out.

We had lunch reservations at the American Girl Café at the Grove Shopping Center in LA. My girls loved to look around at the dolls and have lunch with their dolls. We caught a flight home that evening from LAX.

** It wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be. We really spent our time on rides from park open until 11 am. By 11 we really noticed the lines getting longer so we would head out for a rest. You can get a lot done between 7am and 11 am. Our plan was to use FP in the afternoon but didn’t really work out because K wasn’t feeling up to it.

**Before we left each girl knew how much they had to spend in the park and at American Girl place. I kept a pad of paper in my backpack so we could make notes of what they wanted. On Wednesday night we went back and got what was on the top of their list. This helped us stay in our budget. I tend to over buy for them and it really taught them a lesson about choices. Especially when we got to AG girl place and they were happy they didn’t buy plastic toys at DL.

**When K was on a big ride I would take A to get a penny pressed. This made her feel like she got to do something special and was inexpensive. It’s also really fun to play I spy while waiting in line.

**I had scheduled a sitting for the girls as Disney 365. I had them look around the store on our first day. They didn’t really seem interested. They go more excited about the pool. So I cancelled the appt and saved myself $$$.

**Leave the camera at home. My friends were shocked with this! I am a picture freak. But DH’s camera started having a problem on Sunday, just before I read an article about how we often miss vacations because we are so busy taking pictures of it we don’t get to experience it. It used to be after 36 pictures you put the camera down and enjoyed the vacation. So we did. We took a couple pictures with my blackberry but for the most part, there will not be a photo album full. It was a lot less stressful for me trying to get the perfect pose and always saying stop – let me get the picture.

**The unofficial guide – I heard about this book on line and picked up a copy that was a couple of years old from the library – the tour plans really did provide some great insight.

**No pressure to ride rule.– I would tell the girls HONESTLY what the ride was like before going on it and they could decide if they wanted to ride. No pressure to make them go.

**Preferred Seating is worth the call. Even if you are late you get the first table. It beats standing in line for an hour. It was nice to have 1 sit down meal scheduled every day. The rest was counter meals which is nice for splitting since my girls don’t eat a lot.

**Bring food from home – Even though we flew I brought oatmeal packets and apples/oranges. The fruit in the park was VERY expensive. A small odwalla juice and melon cup was $8.00. Supplementing from home when possible made it more affordable.

**I had the girls wear matching shirts/dresses usually in bright colors. Made it much easier to spot them if they weren’t near me. I also had red/white polka dot dresses for them to wear. Cast members remembered them throughout the week for their dresses.

04-15-2010, 07:41 PM
It sounds like a great trip! Thanks for sharing! :)

04-16-2010, 06:17 PM
how do i book the P. seating for aladin?

04-17-2010, 04:13 PM
how do i book the P. seating for aladin?When you purchase a package through WDTC, you get vouchers for preferred seating.