View Full Version : Disneyland Resort - May 19-22, 2010 - Paradise Pier

05-31-2010, 01:12 AM
Travel dates: May 19th through May 22nd
Travel method: Driving 454 miles from Northern California
Resort:Disneyland & California Adventure
Accommodations: Family thought BW Stovalls, but really Paradise Pier(I'll explain)
Ages Represented in Group: 39, 38, 12, 8
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: Annual Pass holders. Dozens of trips over the years.
Comments: Many surprises for my family during this trip.
Cast of characters: Just me, my wife, and our two children.

We normally travel to the DLR during the week before Thanksgiving. We love the lack of crowds that time of year, and the weather is mild.
My wife and i were very proud of our children's performance in school this year, and decided to surprise them with a quick 3-day trip the week before school got out.
We picked up each child from school on Wednesday. When each of them got to the van, they found a pair of Golden mouse ears on their seat. it didn't take long for them to figure out what was going on!
While they were very surprised, the biggest surprise was reserved for my wife. She was under the impression that we were staying at the Best Western Stovalls motel. Little did she know that the day before we left, I had cancelled that reservation, and used our AP's got get a nice rate at the paradise pier hotel!
We normally stay on property, but to help keep costs down on this short trip, we had agreed on Stovalls. Seeing my wife's face light up when we pulled into their driveway was awesome (even if it was 11:30pm).
Although her reaction was NOTHING to my sons reaction to finding out that we were going on this trip!
I am new to the boards here, so I cannot post the link to the video yet. But if you go to youtube, and search for, "you're going to disneyland" you'll find it. You will not be disappointed. My username on youtube is also Drevlo.
Anyway, we had a Magic Morning on Thursday, so a 6am wake-up call was in order to ensure we'd make it to the gate by 8am. A little over 5 hours of sleep was not my favorite, but I made it work.
Thanks to the Magic Morning, we were able to knock out Space Mountain, Star Tours, and Buzz in no time. We then waited about 15 minutes for Nemo. By the time we got off of the subs, the park was opening to the general public. I took my kids on Matterhorn (my wife's back does not like this ride!), and then we headed through Fantasyland to Thunder Mountain.
After that I snagged some fast passes for Indiana Jones, then we did the famous Pirates/ Haunted Mansion 1-2 combo! We were excited to see the Mansion in its original form. We hadn't been to the park in a "non-Christmas holiday" themed month in about five years. So it was nice to see it without Jack and Co. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE the Nightmare overlay, but we missed the original! By the time we got off of those two, our fast pass time was ready! So over to Indy and Jungle Cruise we went!
The best part about the early start was that we were able to hit most of our favorites before lunch. As the crowd started to swell a bit, we shot over to ESPN Zone for lunch (thanks Monorail!).
After lunch we returned to the park and found an oddly short line for Autopia...so we jumped on it.
After hitting a few of the Classic fantasyland attractions, we decided that we were satisfied with what we had done for that day. The Paradise Pier pool and water slide was calling us!
Following a two hour swim session, we prepped for dinner at Jazz Kitchen. We LOVE this place!
Dinner was followed by a fairly early (9:30pm) bedtime.
Friday was our California Adventure day. We got up a little early, and hit breakfast at Story Tellers Cafe at the GCH. From there we used the alternate entrance to California Adventure there at the Hotel. While waiting to get in, we took our traditional picture with "Chappy", an older gentlemen who works the turnstile at the entrance. We've been taking pics with him for four years now!
Once in, we rushed over to Toy Story Mania, and then literally walked onto Calirofnia Screamin'. The line was so short that when we got off, we let our kids get right back in line to ride it again!
From there we walked along Paradise Pier to the Mali-Boomer. Sadly, my son was about 1/2 inch short...so he stayed behind with mom, and my Daughter and I went (maybe in November, my son!).
We kept walking around that end of the park, and stopped to let the kids ride Mulholland Madness twice in a row. From there the long walk over to Tower of Terror. I NEVER get tired of that ride!
From there we all hit Monsters Inc. My son and I rode it a couple of more times, while my wife and Daughter hit the Muppets 3-D show.
After Turtle Time (which, for the first time EVER, was a little disappointing) we walked over to Soarin'.
My wife wanted to take a little rest, so we got some food...and the kids and I played around at the Redwood Creek trail for a while.
We were itching to hit the Grizzly Peak rapids, but the line was longer than we wanted to wait.
With most of the park knocked out, we decided to hit the pool again!
We again followed a 2 hour swim session with a nice dinner. This time at Hooks Pointe. In the middle of our dinner, we could not help but notice that the staff was somewhat distracted by something outside. It turns out that Katherine Heigl was heading in with some friends to eat. Small world, eh?
The plan for after dinner was to head back to Disneyland for a little while...but our bodies said no. :)
Instead, we did a little shopping at the Hotel gift shops, and then headed to bed.
A Saturday drive home awaited us.
Overall the trip was exactly as we had expected. A little more crowded than we'd normally like, but very much expected.
The kids had a blast, as did the parents.
I hope you enjoyed my trip report. :)

05-31-2010, 06:54 AM
I searched for the link and found it and can post it for you. That was so sweet when he cried! I am glad he had such a good time.


05-31-2010, 10:01 AM
awww that video is so cute! I love watching things like that. I remember when I was in 5th grade and was suprised....I thought my parents were lying to me! haha. sounds like you had a great time!

06-23-2010, 04:22 PM
Looks like you guys had a really nice time! I also can never get tired of the Tower of Terror:)

06-23-2010, 06:58 PM
Glad you had a good time!