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Family5LovesDisney
03-22-2005, 03:50 PM
Just returned home today! I told my husband that I wanted to move to San Diego.........a gorgeous city and not too far from Disneyland! :p

This will take several posts.............

After visiting Disney World many times over the years, I finally made it to Disneyland! I seem to remember someone on this board asking me why in the world would I go to Disneyland when I could go to Disney World?? Now I can answer that a trip to Disneyland (even though CA is a much longer trip from NJ then FL) is WELL worth it. And we will go back there again!!!!!!!!!!! :)

We arrived last Tuesday afternoon after a long flight from Philadelphia. It only took us a short time to get to Disneyland from the LA Airport. We only were lost once and it wasn't a major mistake! We found the Disneyland hotel quite easily! We could spot it before we arrived! We weren't sure what to think as it's a lot different then the resorts within Walt Disney World (and we have stayed at them all!) No one at the valet seemed interested in helping us but that was fine. We pulled over and got out all of our luggage (a ton since there were seven of us in all) We left the car in front and walked in. The boys loved the large Mickey Mouse Statue that you see right before you get to the front lobby. There was a boarded up section of the lobby (I think I read somewhere that they are doing some renovations?) and NO LINE! The people at the check-in were most helpful! My husband went off to park the van we had rented while we went to our rooms.

We were in the Marina Tower (I was sad because everyone on this board said the Sierra Tower was the way to go) but everyone else was happy since we were in the same tower that we had checked in at and didn't have far to pull the luggage! We were on the 8th floor and we were facing the front of the Marina Tower (overlooking where you come into the front lobby) We all found the view to be nice. To the right we could see the Matterhorn and Big Thunder Mountain and we had a great view of the mountains off in the distance (something we really appreciate being from South Jersey where it's FLAT as can be) I didn't even notice the parking lots as I keep looking over at the park and the mountains. I believe this was a Standard/City View Room but we thought it was great! We were given an adjoining room with my parents. Both rooms had two Queen sized beds. Our room was larger then my parent's room as we had a larger entry way and a separate vanity outside of the bathroom. The decor was really nice and the rooms were very clean!

.........................will continue more tomorrow (feeling quite jet lagged now with a touch of vertigo!)

Hakuna Makarla
03-22-2005, 04:08 PM
oh my I got to read this!! Ok, you got to finish this tomorrow as I love trip reports!!!!!

Family5LovesDisney
03-22-2005, 05:10 PM
We did enjoy the Marina Tower. I don't think it was any longer of a walk then the Sierra Tower to the parks. Our pixie dust glowed each night. We turned all of the lights on when we came back to the room each night and left them on for a little while so it could "charge". I think I enjoyed the glowing wallpaper more then my kids did! I also loved the Disneyland park theme mixed in with the floral comforter and I loved the etched designs of Disney on both the armoire and the headboards. I also liked the Disney figures mixed in with the topiary theme wallpaper in the bathroom. And the Mickey hands holding the lights on either side of the bathroom mirror were fun too!..............

Back to the report..............

After a very light snack lunch over at Whitewater Snacks (and checking out the Grand California hotel), we headed back to our room so the boys could get changed and go swimming in the Neverland pool. Needless to say, they spent hours in there enjoying themselves. The waterslide was their favorite part. My husband and I enjoyed the hot tub to relax the back and neck after a six hour plane trip. There are some renovations going on around the boat and they have that area closed off at the pool but the slide was working fine and my boys LOVED it!

For Dinner, it was off to Downtown Disney and the Rainforest Cafe. We had to wait about 25 minutes at 4:30 in the afternoon..........quite the popular place. It's a fun place to eat and this one seemed much larger then the one at Downtown Disney in Florida with the two levels and the large fountain in the back.

We had no trouble at all spending the rest of the night checking out the shops (especially the huge Disney store and the Lego store)

Plus we squeezed in some snacks from a bakery before we headed back to the hotel to go to bed (quite early as we still felt like we were on EST)

rentayenta
03-23-2005, 04:59 AM
Love it!!! It sounds like you had a great time thus far! :D



I think I liked the Pixie dust more than my kids too. :geek:

sdfilmcritic
03-23-2005, 05:08 AM
I think I liked the Pixie dust more than my kids too. :geek:Oh renta, you're such a purist. :)

CoasterChickie
03-23-2005, 06:15 AM
I'm enjoying your trip report so far. Thanks for telling us all about the Marina Tower since I usually stay inthe Sierra Tower and have always wondered what the others are like.

Waiting to hear about the rest of your trip! :)

Family5LovesDisney
03-23-2005, 07:06 AM
First day in the Parks........

WEDNESDAY, March 16th

The park opened at 9:00 and we had breakfast Priority Seating reservations at Paradise Pier for Lilo & Stitch at 7:20 a.m.

Breakfast was a great way to start our magical vacation at Disneyland. My youngest son was so excited when he heard Elvis music playing in the restaurant. The buffet was a nice spread. Everything looked and tasted pretty fresh. They were making eggs and omelets to order. You could even have a full Mexican breakfast if you wanted. I loved the fruit tray........fresh fruit in N.J. in the winter isn't the greatest! So I gorged on HUGE strawberries, fresh papaya, and golden pineapple! I also splurged on a chocolate filled croissant when I was done breakfast. Character interaction was great. My boys especially enjoyed the games that Stitch came out to play.

TWO SPECIAL KUDOS

1. To the cast memeber who was Pluto that morning.......my youngest son LOVED Pluto so much that I think he wanted to take him home on the airplane. They were playing some sort of line dance and Aaron started to cry because he had been behind Pluto all through the games and he "lost" Pluto. Pluto turned around, picked Aaron up, and carried him over and then held his hand! It made my son's day! Mine too! :)

2. To our waiter! I was concerned that my youngest son had not eaten anything and would be hungry after we left. He brought out three small boxes of cereal for me to take along when we left. It sure came in handy when my son was hungry about an hour later! ;)

Family5LovesDisney
03-23-2005, 07:08 AM
I'm enjoying your trip report so far. Thanks for telling us all about the Marina Tower since I usually stay inthe Sierra Tower and have always wondered what the others are like.

Waiting to hear about the rest of your trip! :) It seemed like it was just as close to Downtown Disney as the Sierra Tower. The Bonita Tower looked like it was the furthest away.

Terri
03-23-2005, 07:19 AM
I can't wait for the rest of the report!
I especially like hearing that your boys loved the pool at DLH. How old are they? My DS is 11 and we have specifically planned on spending every other day at the pool - for relaxing and for him to swim! (We don't get much of that in Alaska :p )

yellowrosedtxn
03-23-2005, 07:22 AM
I love this trip report. Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to hear more about it. I'm so glad you guys had a good time. I can't wait for my own trip. LESS THAN 3 Months now!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!

Family5LovesDisney
03-23-2005, 07:49 AM
I can't wait for the rest of the report!
I especially like hearing that your boys loved the pool at DLH. How old are they? My DS is 11 and we have specifically planned on spending every other day at the pool - for relaxing and for him to swim! (We don't get much of that in Alaska :p ) My boys are 10 1/2, 7 1/2, and 4 1/2 (they all have birthdays coming up in the next two months) The two oldest boys loved the pool and water slide! They even enjoyed the hot tub. They spent about 4 hours at the pool and could have spent more time. I think your son will LOVE swimming in that pool! My boys even found some "friends" to play with which made it more fun! My 7 1/2 year old is our "lady killer" and sure enough.......he was holding hands with some cute little girl in the hot tub at one point. I could have died. I don't know where he gets that from!

rentayenta
03-23-2005, 07:52 AM
The pool is great! My kids loved it, even in the dead of California winter. ;)


More report please..............

Family5LovesDisney
03-23-2005, 09:02 AM
So................after breakfast...............off we headed to Disneyland!

I had a Ride Max schedule for that first day so we could pretty much see everything we wanted and then take it easy the next two days.

We were in line by 8:30. We rented a locker and put our coats in there because it had started to warm up!

They let us all in a little early and down to the front of Main Street. My husband has been asking the night before (when we were in Downtown Disney) where was the castle?? We stood in the entrance and he kept asking "Where is the castle???!!!!!!!!" As we started down Main Street, my husband started laughing and pointing and so did my boys.........they were like "Oh my gosh........it's in MINATURE!" (they were comparing it to Disney World's Cinderalla's castle) I made them all HUSTLE so we could get to the FRONT of the line at the end of Main Street...........I had schedule to keep! LOL! :p

We all had a good look around as we waited at the top of Main Street! I saw that everything was much more compact then it was in the Magic Kingdom but the Magic was certainly there!

At 9:00, we ran to Peter Pan's Flight and had a 5 minute wait! A favorite ride to start the day! From Peter Pan, it was off to Pinocchio's Daring Jorney with a 0 minute wait. They don't have this ride in WDW so we enjoyed it! It was quite cute. Not as detailed as some but we enjoyed it for a first. From Pinocchio, it was off to Snow White's Scary Adventures another 0 minute wait. We like this ride too now that the boys are older. It scared my oldest son really bad when he was only two! After Snow White, it was off to the Matterhorn! Another ride they don't have in WDW! The wait was only about 10 minutes. We rode the track that was closest to the castle for the first ride. A BUMPY ride! Fun but I felt like someone had taken me and given me a good shakin'!!! Alice in Wonderland was next! Another ride unique to Disneyland! I loved it! It was fun how part of the ride was outside. My husband is not familiar with that story but he kept saying........Lewis Carroll must have been on some serious drugs when he wrote this, huh?! Which I thought was pretty funny! Small World was closed just for the day so we had to by-pass that. We were AMAZED at the front facade! That was one thing we continued to notice throughout the day...........they do a much better job at the front facades on many of the rides at Disneyland as compared to WDW! The topiary animal trees, the working clock, EVERYTHING about "It's A Small World" was magical!

Big Thunder Mountain was next with a very short wait. My husband and I both thought this version was slightly better then the one at WDW. Maybe just our opinion as we were still shocked at the difference in "It's A Small World"! I did the GOAT TRICK for the very first time and it really worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAHOO! :D

Next up...........fast passes for Autopia! After we picked up the Fast Pass for this ride, we noticed that the line for the Buzz Lightyear ride was pretty short so we went there. It was only a 10 minute wait! I think this is pretty much the same as the version at WDW but I'm not exactly sure. It's a fun ride and my husband killed us all with a score of 240,000! I only had 16,000!.........

We ate lunch at the Village Haus which was okay. Some typical overpriced burgers, fries, and soda but it did the trick for filling us up!

Afer lunch, we used our fast pass tickets for Autopia. I will never want to ride the WDW version (Tomorrowland Freeway) again! This was WAY BETTER! I just loved how the road twisted and turned and offered views of the monorail. And I loved the cute cartoons in the line while we were waiting to board. The "Car Park" was adorable with the car fountain. We all enjoyed this ride a lot!

The Fast Pass was broken at The Indiana Jones ride but the wait time said 30 minutes. We did a ride switch........my parents took my older boys and the cast member handed a ride switch pass good for two adults to me and my husband. It said to go through the Fast Pass Lane after the other party returned. We went in Tarzan's Tree House while we were waiting. Cute.........Nice views from the top! My son really liked the interactive area down at the bottom. The wait was only about 20 minutes at Indy so my parents and boys came to find us when they were finished. BOY DID I LOVE THAT RIDE! Nothing to compare it to at all! I had read that it was a little bit like the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom but there was NO Comparison. This was WAY BETTER and less jerky too!

OFF to the ENCHANTED TIKI ROOM!...................All together now...........In the Tiki Tiki Tiki ROOM! What a treat to have the original version and not the "under new management" version they have at WDW! You could see that everything was fresh and clean! It was wonderful! Even my father liked it........(an inside joke.......he used to chaperone the High School Students on their Senior Class Trip to WDW and when he had to be the "jail keeper" for students who got in trouble........he would punish them by making them sit all day in the Enchanted Tiki Room)

We did catch a quick character parade.......or whatever they were calling it. It was cute and the characters all danced in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

I HAD A DOLE PINEAPPLE Whip! YUMMY! Thanks for that TIP here on the boards!

My boys wanted to ride Astro Orbitor and the line wasn't too bad so they did that. We went into Innoventions by mistake. Didn't know what it was..........had to PRY the children out of there! They could have spent hours in there. It was boring to me and my husband. More for teenagers and young children! (we thought it was the old Carousal Of Progress Ride by GE)

Faith Trust & Pixie Dust
03-23-2005, 09:09 AM
I am loving your report--keep it coming! I'm glad you experienced our version of the Disney magic.

Family5LovesDisney
03-23-2005, 09:14 AM
I FORGOT to add that we saw "Snow White's Enchanted Musical" at 12:30. We had pretty good seats too! LOVED That show! That "Mirror" was amazing. My husband thought that Dopey looked like a Ferengi (if you are a Trekkie you will get that joke)
A wonderful show and another thing unique to Disneyland! (are you starting to get the picture.........we liked Disneyland better then Magic Kingdom! Yes, we did! Tell more about that later)

Mommy2NicknMax
03-23-2005, 09:18 AM
Sounds like a great trip so far!! Can't wait to hear more!

Earkid
03-23-2005, 09:53 AM
I am so loving your trip report. The story about your dad's history with the Tiki Room had me LOL!! Keep the reports coming. :)

Crazy4DL
03-23-2005, 09:55 AM
This is so much fun reading your report - glad you had so much fun.

Terri
03-23-2005, 10:29 AM
My husband thought that Dopey looked like a Ferengi (if you are a Trekkie you will get that joke)

LMAO! My DS thought the same thing last year when we went and saw the show! (and he was 10 at the time :p )

More! more! this is a WONDERFUL report!

Family5LovesDisney
03-23-2005, 10:39 AM
Okay..........Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............where was I?!

I think I was at the point where I had to drag my children out of Innoventions. :eek:

We had dinner at the Carnation Cafe on Main Street. I liked the outside dining and another character mini parade came by while we were eating so we had a good view from our table. It was starting to get a little chilly so my husband went to the locker and got our coats after we had ordered dinner. I had pot roast and mashed potatoes and it was very tasty. My children ordered something fun ........I think it was a Peanut Butter Painter's Pallet. It came with a Peanut Butter sandwich and toppings.........raisins, chocolate chips, banana, jelly, and marshmallows. My middle son, who is a human vacuum cleaner, put everything on his sandwich and eat it all! YUCK! :p They gave us a ton of lollypops when the bill came and I stashed them away in my purse for future gratification!

After dinner, it was off to Pirates of the Caribbean. There was no wait! Ride Max was right on again with the time to go! ANOTHER Ride where the front facade was so much nicer then WDW! And the ride was SO much better! More scenes and I loved those two splash downs at the beginning. It was interesting how the ride started out going through the restaurant. It reminded me of Mexico in Epcot and the Land in Epcot. WE all enjoyed this ride. But I did notice some gum on the underside of two arches. I can see that they have been taking it off but there were still some remnants (I remember reading about this in an earlier post)

After Pirates, it was off to the Haunted Masion! I loved the building! Very different then the building at WDW! Is that stretching room a real elevator? It felt different then the WDW version. I think there were a few extra things through out the ride as well. My favorites are always the heads that look like real heads..........those men that are singing (not sure how to describe them) but they are amazing!

After Pirates, it was off to Winnie the Pooh. No waiting time there either! The ride is about the same as Disney except for the outside boarding area which I like better. Better theming around the whole ride too then at WDW!

We set sail on the Sailing Ship Columbia for a night cruise. The music they played stuck in my head. And that BELL which everyone had to ring OVER and OVER and OVER (my three guys were right in on that too!) :D

We were pretty worn out after that and mananged to stumble back to the monorail for a ride back. It was interesting to see the "city" around Disneyland. I saw a few motels and a huge McDonalds. Staying right at the Hotel and going through Downtown Disney sort of shelters you from the outside world! (which is why we will do ANYTHING to avoid Highway 92 in Florida and we always stay on Park property)

Our pixie dust glowed and left me with happy images as I drifted off to sleep! PURE MAGIC! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Wendi
03-23-2005, 10:45 AM
Lovin' this report!!! Thanks for sharing!

Terri
03-23-2005, 11:04 AM
I think I was at the point where I had to drag my children out of Innoventions. :eek:

I swear...I'm going to tell my son it isn't open when we get there. I absolutely hate going in there - for exactly the reasons you mentioned - the kids never want to leave and it's boring for adults. The sad part about our upcoming trip is that DH hasn't been in there and he'll think I'm nuts about going in and...well you probably get the picture :rolleyes:
Maybe I'll tell them I'll be shopping as long as they are in there...hmmmm.... :p

bradk
03-23-2005, 12:53 PM
Is that stretching room a real elevator? It felt different then the WDW version.

very funny thing. the stretching room is an elevator (i assume i'm not spoiling anything on this 40 year old ride) which exists because there was no room in DL for the whole attraction, so it was designed so you go down and under (i believe) the railroad tracks.

it's so popular that they built the stretching room at WDW, but since they weren't as needy on the real estate, the elevator goes up.

i think :)

Family5LovesDisney
03-23-2005, 01:06 PM
very funny thing. the stretching room is an elevator (i assume i'm not spoiling anything on this 40 year old ride) which exists because there was no room in DL for the whole attraction, so it was designed so you go down and under (i believe) the railroad tracks.

it's so popular that they built the stretching room at WDW, but since they weren't as needy on the real estate, the elevator goes up.

i think :) The thing I don't understand is why, with all the extra "real estate", didn't WDW make better facades for the entrances to some of their classic attractions (like It's a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean)

I have been told that the stretching room doesn't actually move at WDW but I may have received inaccurate information.

Family5LovesDisney
03-23-2005, 01:07 PM
I swear...I'm going to tell my son it isn't open when we get there. I absolutely hate going in there - for exactly the reasons you mentioned - the kids never want to leave and it's boring for adults. The sad part about our upcoming trip is that DH hasn't been in there and he'll think I'm nuts about going in and...well you probably get the picture :rolleyes:
Maybe I'll tell them I'll be shopping as long as they are in there...hmmmm.... :p
SHOPPING sounds good! Especially on your own since men and boys hate to shop for the most part (I am out numbered here with four boys and just me!) Let them go in and get vertigo! That moving circle around the core set off my vertigo really bad! The floor was rolling and coming back up to met me! YUCK!