View Full Version : DisneyMom4Life - May 7-9, 2010 - Howard Johnson's

05-17-2010, 11:27 AM
Cast: Ivy, 33(Me, Disneyland veteran); Mom, 60(Disney Grandma!); Kari, 6(Daughter, LOVES Mickey & Friends and the Pixies); Mia, 2.5(Daughter, loves the princesses)
Dates: May 7-9, 2010
Hotel: Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel
Transportation: Car
Disney Resort Experience: I have been going to Disneyland since I was a baby. My husband and I have also been taking our girls to Disney since they were infants. Momís first trip was in 1959 (wasnít that when Matterhorn opened?)
Comments: Fun time at Disney for just us girls!


It wasnít until just right before leaving that I noticed that I had planned a weekend at Disney with our Deluxe passes blocked out on Saturday! Darn you, blockout dates! Oh well, despite about a third of our trip being park less due to the blockout date, we had a great time and are excited for summertime to come so we can start taking trips during the week and not worry about weekend crowds (although the summer crowds will make up for that) or blockout dates (except on Saturdays and 4th of July weekend). My husband wasnít with us for this trip since he was in Vegas for the weekend visiting his parents, but it was nice to have girl time as much as I missed him. Anyway, Iím getting ahead of myself. Hereís how our special Motherís Day weekend was.

Day One: Friday, May 7, 2010

Kari had already missed two days just recently in March to go to Disneyland for her birthday, so I didnít want her to completely miss today. Today, I dropped her off at school, finished the last minute packing, dropped the dogs off at my parentsí house, picked up Mom, then picked Kari up after school got out for her, and then we were on the road at about 11:30am. The girls were hungry and it was gonna be an hour and a half till we got to the resort, so we stopped and got the girls McDonaldís and then we continued our way. We had our first sight of the Matterhorn for the trip at about 1pm when we arrived. But no park time right now, time to check in at Howard Johnsonís.
I did my research and decided to book this over a Disney hotel since we are saving up and are gonna splurge and stay on property during our trips in the summer. I also almost considered Best Western again, but since we had a blockout date on this trip, we needed a hotel that had a good pool for Saturday. The Castaway Cove looked great, so I knew the girls were gonna have a ball swimming there on Saturday when not at the parks. Howard Johnsonís won. After checking in, we dropped our stuff off at the room. We can embrace how nice the rooms looked later. Time to head off to the parks! The parks werenít as close, so we had to walk a little more, but at least we didnít have to drive and pay for parking.

First we did California Adventure. It was pretty busy, but at least is wasnít wall to wall people. We got a FP to Grizzly River Run and then headed off to find someplace for Mom and I to have lunch. Pacific Wharf Cafť sounded good, so Mom took Mia to find someplace to sit while I took Kari over to an ice cream stand so sheíd have something to snack on while Mom and I ate. The food was tasty. I had a turkey sandwich and Mom had clam chowder in a bread bowl. Kari ended up eating about half the bread bowl, haha. Time to hit the rides now! I REALLY wanted to ride California Screaminí since I hadnít ridden it in a few years. Mom took the girls to go ride Tritonís Carousel while I went and rode in the Single Rider line. Ah, what a ride! I forgot how fun it was! Whew! What a rush! Time to head back to the family. I didnít see them at the exit, so I called Mom to find out where she was. She wasnít answering her phone! Maybe theyíre back over at the carousel? Nope, not there. Mom finally called me telling me that theyíre in line for Mickeyís Fun Wheel by the time I get all the way to Paradise Park! UghÖnow I have to walk ALL the way back where I came from. They were at the front by the time I got there, it turned out they had been at the front of the line for about five minutes and they were waiting for me to get there. Aw, thatís sweet, but next time, ANSWER YOUR PHONE!

Anyway, we enjoyed our relaxing ride on Mickeyís Fun Wheel before moving on. Kari wanted to try Mullholand Madness next. Mom stayed out with Mia while I took her on the coaster. Itís not my favorite, but itís not bad either, so it works for a good coaster. After Mullholand, we waited it out for Toy Story Mania. Normally, I wouldnít wait 40 minutes for it, but I figured itíd be more like 30, so we waited for it, and I was right. I knew the wait time would probably be longer later in the day when all the other locals start coming in after work. After a fun ride on Toy Story (I broke 170,000 points, yay!), we started heading over to a bugís land. First, we rode Francisí Ladybug Boogie and then Flikís Fliers. It wasnít until we were heading over to Itís Tough To Be a Bug that I noticed that my camera was missing! Uh-oh! Shoot! I told Mom to take the girls on Heimlichís and to wait on the movie while I search for my camera. Maybe itís over at Flikís? Nope. Over at Francisí? Not there either. Uh-oh, maybe itís at Toy Story Mania! I make the long trek over to Toy Story Mania and ask the Cast Member there if they found a camera. As it turned out, they did and they sent a camera matching my description to the lost & found. Phew! Okay, Iíll just grab it on the way to Disneyland.
After reassuring my camera was safe, Mom called me and suggested that we start making our way out of the park before the Pixar Play Parade begins. I decided to have them meet me at Grizzly River Run so Kari and I could use our FP. The others met up with me and then Kari and I used the FP. Mom and Mia left DCA and headed over to the lost and found so they can claim my camera. It was nice to have some one-on-one time with my beautiful daughter. We didnít get as wet as I thought we would, which is a good thing because I didnít bring any extra clothes and it wouldíve been a pain to have to walk all the way back to Howard Johnsonís to change. I called Mom after Kari and I were done with Grizzly and she and Mia were both at Disneyland already.

Off to the happiest place on Earth! I went off to Guest Services to claim mine and my motherís celebration buttons (weíre celebrating Motherís Day, so why not?) We headed off to the Matterhorn so Kari could ride that for the first time since it was closed during our last trip here. Mom wouldíve gone on it, but itís become too rough for her and her old age (sadly). It was once again just me and Kari going on it. Kari liked it, but she said she liked the other ones better. Maybe this one was a little too rough for her? We still had a fun time on it. Mom stood in line for Astro Orbiter with the girls while I went and got Space Mountain FP for me and Kari for later in the evening. I jumped into the line after grabbing the FP. Thatís one thing I hate about these kinds of attractions. The lines are SLOW. But, what have we got to lose, right? No rush! Then, it was time for Buzz Lightyear. After riding Toy Story Mania, this ride doesnít seem as fun, but we still love both this and Toy Story.
Now, it was time for dinner. We had 6:15pm reservations for Carnation Cafť. It was 6 by the time we got off of Buzz, so we were a few minutes late in checking in, but no biggie. We were able to get our table quickly. We had a great dinner, which consisted of half a sandwich with loaded baked potato soup for me, a chicken croissant for Mom, and macaroni and cheese for Kari. Yum! The Celebrate! Street Party was going on during our meal. I donít care for the parade that much, but the girls like it and Kari loves the ďI Love Rock Ďn RollĒ part, so it provided some entertainment for us.

After dinner, we went off to Fantasyland to get some rides done. I wouldíve suggested Space Mountain, but we had just eaten and I wasnít sure how Kariís stomach wouldíve handled it. We rode the Carousel, Mr. Toad, Alice in Wonderland, and Casey Jr. Mom then took Mia back to Main Street so we could get seats for RememberÖDreams Come True. Kari and I headed back to Tomorrowland so we could use our Space Mountain FP. Another fun ride on Space Mountain! Kari enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, so it was a magic moment as I put it. Then it was back to Main Street. We got ice cream and sat waiting for Remember to start. I havenít seen this show since last Spring, so it was nice to see it again. My favorite fireworks show! Mia slept through the whole thing, Mom enjoyed it, and Kari was able to stand on the concrete that surrounded the partners statue and see the fireworks just fine, so we technically werenít blocking anyone.

Mom then took Mia and left the park while Kari and I decided to hang around. I had to break the news to her that we couldnít go to the parks tomorrow, so I decided to make Friday night a late night for us. We went back into Tomorrowland after the crowds died down a bit and we rode Star Tours. I wasnít sure whether Fantasyland was back open at that time, but we checked and it was open again. This time, we rode Snow White and Pinocchio. It was getting late (11:15pm) and the two of us were getting tired, so we decided to call it a night at this time. We braved the walk back to Howard Johnsonís and went straight to bed. Mia was asleep, Mom was awake watching TV, but went straight to sleep when Kari and I did. We were asleep by around midnight.

Day Two: Saturday, May 8, 2010

We slept in this morning because of our late night last night. Blockout date, no parks today. I thought that today, weíd spend some time at Castaway Cove and then maybe do some shopping over at Downtown Disney later in the afternoon. Our plans worked to perfection. We were all awake by 9am and we were all ready to go by 10:15am. All of us were hungry, so we decided to go try Mimiís for brunch. It was so YUMMY! There was so much to choose from and the portions were really big! If we ever stay here at Howard Johnsonís again, Mimiís will be a must hit. After brunch (or early lunch), we went back to the hotel to do some swimming at Castaway Cove. I loved the theme of this and the girls had a ball at it. It wasnít the Neverland Pool at the Disneyland Hotel, but this was a good replacement.

After swimming for a while, we went back to the room to change and relax a bit. Nobody needed a nap, but I did need to update my trip report notes. The girls watched some TV with Mom while I started on my trip report. When I was up to date, it was time to head to Downtown Disney! Kari got a Build-a-Bear Workshop gift card for her birthday, so she wanted to use it. I love the Disney outfits at this shop. Kari made a tan bear and bought a Peter Pan outfit for it. She loves him and carried him around for the rest of the trip. Then, we just went through the different shops looking around. I needed ideas for birthday gifts for Mia (she turns 3 in June).

When we were done shopping for a while, we looked for someplace for dinner. Mom and the girls wanted to go to Rainforest Cafť, but it was packed and my husband has the safari club card, so I wasnít sure whether we would still get priority seating. Oh well, maybe in the summer. Instead, I suggested ESPN Zone. We went in, got seated after waiting for 10 minutes and had a delicious dinner. Mom, Kari, and I split some cheese fries to start and then came dinner. I had a chicken wrap, Mom had a Caesar salad, and Kari had sliders. It was all really good. Definitely someplace to eat again at later in the future.

Then, it was time for more shopping. We ended our evening with a trip to Haagan-Daz for some ice cream. Yum! We walked back to the hotel then and heads were on pillows by 9pm. Tomorrow was a big day. We were leaving the park tomorrow at 6pm, so we had to get there early in the morning.

Day Three: Sunday, May 9, 2010-Motherís Day

Yay! Motherís Day! A holiday for Mom and me! After getting up and dressed at a decent hour, we checked out of Howard Johnsonís, and parked at Mickey & Friends making it to the park at 9am. First stop, Riverbelle Terrace for Mickey Mouse pancakes. Ah, I grew up on Mickey Mouse pancakes, what a great way to start out a fantastic Disney day. The weather was beautiful AND the Rivers of America were full again! On our last trip here in March, they were still drained, but yay! The river looked so pretty with the sunny blue skies. After a yummy breakfast, I went and got FP for Indiana Jones. Now that Kari was tall enough, she wanted to try it. My little daredevil!

Then, we went on Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. This was my momís favorite ride back when it first opened and it always will be. Because it was Motherís Day and I knew my mother wanted to, we rode Haunted Mansion once more. Kari and Mia wanted to go on Winnie the Pooh next, so we hopped on that and rode it. Kari and I had to kill some time before we could get another FP, so we went to the Pooh shop and looked in there for a little while. Then, I got the two of us FP to Splash Mountain. Kari wanted to ride Big Thunder next, but alas, it was down for refurbishment.

Instead, we hopped on the railroad and took the train over to Toontown. I wanted to hit Mickeyís House and see if we can visit with the talking one. After arriving in Toontown, Kari wanted to play on Donaldís Boat for a little bit. Mom watched her while I took Mia on Chip Ďn Daleís Treehouse. By the time Mia grew bored of the treehouse, Mom met us over at Mickeyís House with Kari. We went inside, looked around and then got in line to meet him. We met him, but not the talking one. Darn it. Oh well, the girls enjoyed spending a few minutes with the mouse himself and Mom and I enjoyed it as well. Iím kind of bummed we couldnít see the talking mouse, but maybe next time if theyíre still running the test OR if it becomes permanent!

Kari wanted to go DCA by now, so we left Toontown planning to take the train back to the entrance, but she changed her mind and wanted to ride itís a small world first. Okay, change of plans! We hopped onto the happiest cruise and set sail. Mom hasnít been on this ride in years, so she hasnít seen the new additions. She liked the new additions, but really missed the rainforest scene. I agreed. But alas, Iím not an imagineer, so what can I do? After small world, we caught the train this time and rode to the entrance. Off to DCA! I got Kari and I FP to Soariní and then we went off into Hollywood.
Originally, Mom and the girls wanted to ride Mike & Sulley, but they were letting people in for the next Aladdin performance. Change of plans once again! We decided to watch the show. I absolutely love this show! Mom does too! Kari didnít really get Genieís jokes. She told me after the show that she just laughed because everyone else laughed. Shocking, I watched her laugh and I thought she literally understood the jokes. Something tells me sheíll be an actress when she gets older. Anyway, we enjoyed the fabulous show (which is staying at DCA longer! Yay!), and then it was time for lunch. We went to Award Weiners. I had their portobello mushroom philly and Mom had the BBQ hot link. Kari had a kidís hot dog. It was yummy and Iím glad it was open this time around.

Now, we were ready to ride Mike & Sulley. The girls and I love this ride and Mom loved it too. Very cute! It was pretty tough getting through Hollywood because of the construction going on. So, we just left Hollywood and went back to Sunshine Plaza. Kari and I wanted to use our Soariní FP, but they werenít due back for another couple hours and we wanted to head back to Disneyland before it gets crowded for the Celebrate Street Party and before Pixie Hollow closes. I walked up and gave this couple our FP, but it turns out that they had FP from earlier in the morning that they never used, so they asked if we would like to use them since we had to leave soon. Heck yes Iíll take them! Wow! I love good FP luck! Kari and I ended up going on the ride anyway and loved it. We ended up doing a stroller pass because I wanted Mom to try this with Kari. Iím so glad she did. Mom came off feeling exhilarated and ready for more thrills. Hmm, maybe she shouldíve tried this on Friday.

After Soariní, it was back to Disneyland. This time, we went off to Adventureland. I gave Mom my Indy FP so she could ride with Kari. We did another stroller pass (which is AWESOME!), so I got to ride with Kari after all. And yes, she did like the ride except she didnít like how the boulder rolls toward you, so she just shut her eyes at that part. Iím glad my daughterís this good with thrill rides. Iím not sure how Mia will be with thrill rides, but Iíll take her on Gadgetís in about a year or two and see how she does with that one.

We were kind of stuck in Adventureland because of the Celebrate Street Party, so we went to the Tiki Room. Mom and I wanted Dole Whips (yum!), so we got them and caught the next show. Mom also grew up with this show and loves it. Mia slept through the whole thing like always. After the show, we went on the Jungle Cruise. The skipper wasnít that good, but we were good sports and still pretended to laugh at his jokes. By this time, we could cut across Main Street and head over to Pixie Hollow so Kari could try and get another autograph. This time, we saw Silvermist. She was very nice and signed Kariís book. Then, it was onto Tinker Bell. Sigh, no Terence again. After seeing Silvermist, Kari had all the signatures except for Terenceís.
Kari and Mia visited with Tink for about a minute and then out of Tinkís house, Terence came out! Sweet! Kari greeted him with a big hug and he signed her book. He was really sweet to her and interacted with Tink very well. I must say, this young man deserves a raise! One of our best face character interactions! After taking some shots with them, it was time to bid farewell to Pixie Hollow again. However, as we were leaving, we turned around and saw Terence coming after us! It turned out that after he signed her book, he accidentally set it down to take the photo. Wow, thanks a bunch for that! Kari thanked him and then we said bye one last time. That wouldíve been REALLY bad if we lost that book! Kari loves her autograph book!

Anyway, after Pixie Hollow, we had to go check in for our Cafť Orleans reservations. They had us seated in less than 10 minutes and then Kari and I were ready to go ride Splash Mountain. Mom had a nice time relaxing with Mia while waiting for us. We got considerably wet on Splash. Good thing we planned on leaving right after dinner (why do you have to be so far away San Diego, why?). We had a great dinner. Kari had mac & cheese, Mom and I split the pommes frites and then I got the Monte Cristo (heavenÖ) and Mom got a Caesar salad. Mom liked the Monte Cristo better than her salad (canít blame her). We also opened our Motherís Day gifts at dinner. Kari made us cards at school on Friday. Mia gave us scribbled pages from her coloring book (cute!), and then Mom and I swapped gifts. I also put my husband on speaker while I opened my gift from him. I was a new chain for my cross! So pretty!

Once we were done opening gifts, our waiter, who was excellent, offered us a Mickey beignet for dessert. We politely declined and decided to just get ice cream on the way out. Time to head out of the happiest place on Earth again. We stopped off at the Main Street Cone Shop to grab ice cream, then it was time to head home.

A great trip! Despite us losing a whole day at the parks due to the blockout day, it was awesome having a weekend to spend with my mom and daughters! I enjoyed going to Disney for Motherís Day and canít wait to celebrate with my mom and daughters again next year! Next trip will be near the end of June for Miaís 3rd birthday and to finally see World of Color!

05-17-2010, 12:15 PM
Sounds like a good time! I was there at the same time as you! :) Wasn't the weather wonderful?

05-17-2010, 04:58 PM
Sounds like a good time! I was there at the same time as you! :) Wasn't the weather wonderful?

Oh yes! The weather was gorgeous! It was warm enough that I actually swam at the HoJo's pool with my girls! Sounds like you had a great time on your trip too! After reading your report, I just might have to try and sneak a trip with no husband or kids, hehe.:D

05-17-2010, 07:07 PM
Ya you should! Everyone should at least once!