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View Full Version : My trip report (while my DD naps)



markarkaymat
09-21-2005, 10:47 PM
If DD happens to wake up, this might get cut short...
The Travelers: DF (65), DM (54), DH (30), DD (15mos), & me (27).

We decided to take my DD to Disneyland for her first time and what better time than the 50th celebration. We had already planned a trip to MI to visit family friends and decided if we were going to go all the way to MI from HI then we should stop off at Disneyland. So we went to MI first, which was GREAT but too short (I shortened our time in MI to expand our time in Disneyland)...

09/13/05 - We arrived at LAX from DTW at about 3ish. We went over to National to get our car. I had originally got a full size for 187 but we decided to get the collision insurance which bumped it up to 250 for 7 days. When we were in the process of filling out our paperwork I asked the person helping us if they always had vans in their Emerald Club Aisle (or whatever it is actually called). She mentioned that they usually do but not always. I told her that I was hesitant about just doing the Aisle thing because I didn't want to get stuck with an Intermediate but then am kicking myself since they had vans. She offered it to us for the same rate. That was a nice way to start our vacation, 250 for a van for a week. We drove over to Carousel Inn & Suites. Although I had a lot of problems confirming my reservations with the hotel (I booked through Travelocity and spent a little over a month trying to get my reservations confirmed) we checked in with no problems. We paid $60/night for a room with 2 queen beds. Add in the free continental breakfast, fridge and microwave and what a deal that was. Although I admit that we only took advantage of the free breakfast once or twice. The hotel lobby was very nice, the room was clean. My only complaint upon arrival was that the AC did smell moldy making the whole room smell moldy, which we got used to after a few days (although now that I have a cold I am thinking I should have requested a room change). We were able to hear people walking around outside and also the kids upstairs running or jumping around in their room. We dropped off our bags and went to the Disney character Warehouse. I got the 10% off coupon online and was quite anxious to start my Disney shopping. The bargain hunter in me took over and I didn't buy as much as I thought I would. Especially since I stacked codes and got stuff on Disney Direct. Next we headed to Mimi's Cafe for dinner. My DM went to her sister's house so it was only DF, DH, DD (who was sleeping) and me. DF & I shared the meat loaf (which they so kindly split up and served on 2 separate plates) and DH had the BBQ chopped salad (which I had a fair share of). The meat loaf was a little salty but the bread and salad were good. Being warned of the large portions we did not end up with much leftovers. We went back to the room to settle in and get a good night's sleep for Disneyland.
09/14/05 - We got up early (my DM stayed the night at my Aunt's house and met up with us before we left for Disneyland). We ate breakfast at Mimi's Cafe. The service was great!! The fresh squeezed orange juice was SO delicious! I shared an omelette with DH (I don't remember which one it was but it had broccoli in it), DF had bacon and eggs (standard breakfast fare but when you add in the free muffin, too much for him to eat), and DD ate Mimi mouse Pancakes. I was most impressed by DD's meal. For only $3.99 she had 2 pancakes shaped like Mickey oops I mean Mimi Mouse, fresh fruits (a slice each of watermelon, cantalope, honeydew melon, and orange), and warm milk. After breakfast we headed to Disneyland. We got there a few minutes after opening. We headed straight to Dumbo. DD seemed to enjoy it but I don't think she really grasped the concept of being on a "ride". We took her to Peter Pan (since I wanted to avoid the long lines in the sun as suggested somewhere). She didn't seem to enjoy this ride at all. She cried after we got off the ride, I figured she was scared from the ride but it just occurred to me that she might have actually cried about having to get off. We then rode the Carousel since it was right there. She loved this and did cry because I took her off. We headed over to Blue Bayou to make our 11:30 lunch reservations. We were too early to check in so DH ran over to Splash Mountain to get Fastpasses for us while DD walked around. We checked in and got a waterside table. I had never knew about the Blue Bayou, hadn't even noticed it when I rode Pirates years ago (even my DF didn't remember there being a restaurant). We ordered the Calamari (it was the best Calamari I have had yet!!) to start with. DH ordered the Chicken Caesar salad (it was so so), DF had the Jambalaya (it was SO good but not so spicy, although I am half korean so it might account for the lack of "heat" to it for me), DM ordered the gumbo soup, DD had the chicken breast/mash/broccoli, and I ordered the Prime Rib. The Prime Rib was so so to me, I like straight horseradish, not the creamy style so I swapped with DF which was good since DF likes his meat and I thought the Jambalaya was the best entree ordered. DD couldn't sit still even though we had her favorite (broccoli) for her to eat. We tried to hurry through the meal. Dan was a great server but was sent on break leaving us with a replacement that hardly came around. DD doesn't like jello so DH ate her jello dessert. We found BB to be a nice break from the hustle and bustle (even though it wasn't too crowded) but I don't think we'd go there again. DH rather save the money and eat at Mimi's but I definitely think it is something you should experience at least once. More than once if you love the Pirates. After lunch we headed back to the room for a break. DD absolutely cannot rest while in the park, too much going on. DF & DM took DD back to the room while DH and I went to Downtown Disney. DH only allowed me to look around first (I am a compulsive shopper) which was good. We found some star wars character lego key chains which we got for my DB & DH. DH & I went back to the room and we all headed back to Disneyland. DH & I used the Splash Fastpasses. DM & DF took DD to small world. DD seemed to like it (that's what DM said but I think DM liked it more, at first anyway). DF spent most of his time watching the stroller because he was convinced that strollers get stolen more than they actually do. The whole time he watched the strollers none ever got stolen (how he remember who belongs to what stroller is beyond me because he often asks me the same question over and over again). DH and I also rode Buzz Astroblasters, DH favorite ride. DH scored about 47000 and I scored about 43000, not bad on our first try....right? We met up with my parents and strolled through Disneyland. We went back to the hotel and DH made a McDs run for us (had to try to collect all the toys and cards).
Dh just brought back Subway for dinner...continue tomorrow I hope...

IcDkRy16
09-21-2005, 10:55 PM
Wow! Sounds like you guys had a wonderful time. Awesome trip report, I can't wait to hear the rest.

potterphreak
09-22-2005, 07:42 AM
Very nice trip report! What's the 10% off for the Character Warehouse? And how do you "stack codes" for Disney Direct? Can't wait for my report!

Whittibo
09-23-2005, 06:49 AM
Sounds great so far! Love the detail you're including.. thanks!

markarkaymat
09-23-2005, 10:43 AM
Very nice trip report! What's the 10% off for the Character Warehouse? And how do you "stack codes" for Disney Direct? Can't wait for my report!

Thanks! The disney character warehouse is like an outlet store for disneyland & some disney world merchandise. We found some pretty good buys (I especially liked the dark chocolate dipped mickey pretzels for 3.99, they're great gifts to bring back for people). I found the 10% off coupon on the internet and printed it out. http://www.thechamber.net/cgi-bin/foxweb.dll/wlx/dir/wlxcpn?ec=lbyklLsiprtbx4mpmc&ID=HNDgKiGb

Stacking codes at disney direct is quite confusing at first. It has to do with logging in and out but you have to have multiple discount codes (and some people feel that it is like cheating or stealing and don't like it, can become highly controversial and I don't want my trip report to become a controversy, PM me and I will try to explain)

markarkaymat
09-23-2005, 12:22 PM
I forgot to mention that on 09/13/05 we watched the Parade of Dreams and LOVED it. The CMs seem to LOVE their roles and just seeing their smiley enthusiastic faces gets me totally into the Disney spirit. I have to admit that prior to planning this trip I was not a big fan of Disney. Loved the videos and movies and stuff but didn't care for the parks. I am proud to say that forums (and my DD experiences) have changed me and I now LOVE Disney and am trying to plan another trip next year to get a second helping of the 50th. :D

09/15/05 - Sea World. We got up and took advantage of the "free" continental breakfast that Carousel offers. I can't complain about something free and it is hard to not enjoy cinnamon rolls. I never actually went up to see the spread since my DH & DM did the food runs for us. But they returned with cinnamon rolls, various mini muffins, some type of chocolate vanilla cake loaf, OJ (way too strong on concentrate), coffee, and oatmeal. We also had some other food we snacked on so breakfast was sufficient. The drive down was not so bad. DD spent most of the ride sleeping :) and even though I printed out directions I found thatbeing the navigator wasn't difficult. DD wasn't interested in anything BUT the dolphins outside the Journey to Atlantis ride. She sat there while DH & I rode, then while DM & DF rode. She protested when we tried to pull her away. the dolphins were neat, black and white, first time I ever seen those. There were several big windows to the tank so there was a lot of viewing room for strollers to park in front of. We took her to the penguin exhibit and she seemed only mildly interested in the penguins. We then thought that the otter show might be good for her, nope. DD just wouldn't sit still, she seemed extremely bored. Then we thought since she liked the dolphins so much that she'd love the Shamu show, wrong again (good thing my DH talked me out of dishing out to do the dine with shamu thing). We left quite early and decided to get our In-n-out for lunch. Driving to In-n-out...we got lost. We were going to the wrong way on the right road. but it was fun to see another part of San Diego. After In-n-out we went to Viejas. The drive didn't seem so bad especially with full tummies. We shopped at only a few stores (the Nike outlet was a must for DH since he gets 20% off employee discount and is in love with the company he works for). the drive back seemed SO long. After getting back on DF & I were hungry so DH ran over to get 2 happy meals for us, still trying to get all the toys and cards.
09/16/05 - Goofy's Kitchen!! Used my AAA card to get 10% off. Pluto was at the entry to take pictures and we also got pictures with Max, Goofy, Mary Poppins, Dale, Geppeto (sp?), and Donald. We saw the Mad Hatter but he didn't come around. The food was good. Made to order omelets yummm. I really suggest doing at least one character meal (if the budget allows for it), DD was not frightened but I think it was the daily interaction with the characters that got her to love them by day 3. We tried to get the 50th pressed pennies at the Disneyland Hotel gift shop but it was out of order. We headed to Disneyland. Back to small world for DD & DM, DF was back to stroller watching and DH & I went to ride some other rides. It wasn't as busy as I expected for a Friday but then kids were probably still in school. DH & I met up with DF and tried to get DF to ride something. He loves ice cream so we bought him mickey mouse ice cream popsicle. It was REALLY frozen hard and he managed to break off both ears and he ended up making a mess. It was quite amusing to watch. We had to leave early since we were going to have dinner with my Aunty & family. We had dinner in Rowling Heights (?) at a korean restaurant. food was okay, I'd rather be eating mimi's.
09/17/05 - Morning Madness. We had to get up early to be at Disneyland at opening to make it to Morning Madness. I managed to buy 8 tickets for Morning Madness on eBay and Saturday was one of the days we could use it. I expected Morning Madness to be quite a bit more crowded than it was. We managed to get pics with Chip, Mickey, Minnie, another with Donald and we passed on Goofy, Dale, and Max. Morning Madness is a good time to do pics & autographs. I thought I had picked out a great spot not in anyone's view, little did I know that the masses would care little about staying out of my view and I ended up having to put DD on DH's shoulders (but I did make him stay out of other's view). If you go to Morning Madness here's a tip. When the characters are doing their entrance parade-ish thing, watch them as they just come out (between Minnie's house and the restrooms) and then head straight over to the tables. Stand directly in front of the gate thingy in the middle of the tables (in front of the gazebo thing, if this is confusing PM me and I will elaborate). Most people watch the whole parade-ish thing then head over to the gate to get the best view, and you'll already be there =) Since it was Saturday and a lot more crowded than Wednesday and Friday we headed over to DCA. I anticipated DD loving the puddle park, she didn't. i think the water was too cold and to forceful for a 15 month old. She enjoyed watching the other kids run around and play though. We rode Grizzly (fun), Tower of terror (fun the first time, sick after the second), Mullholland Madness (sp?), and Soarin (fun). I was in the middle in the 2nd row. Try to get the middle in the 1st row, I bet the ride is much better from there. Ate at the Pier, had clam chowder, corn chowder, & nachos. The food was good (except the nachos). We managed to catch Blcok Party Bash which we thought was better than Parade of Dreams, only because it is MUCH more interactive with the kids getting up to dance (even some adults were invited to dance). I totally forgot about the tip about standing by the planters to get the balls, but luckily Atta threw one to me so DD could have one. We managed to collect quite a bit. DM & DH followed the parade to the next stop (we watched it at Sunshine Plaza) and got more balls. DH did give balls to people who asked for their kids and if we noticed well behaved kids without balls we shared with them also. DD needed a break so we went back to the hotel. We got ready in time to get over to Disneyland to watch the Fireworks. We got a spot on the right sidewalk facing the castle. No view of the projections and a tree blocked some of the view of Tinkerbell but we did arrive late and for being late, we felt they were good seats. DH & I tried to head over to small world to see if it would be a better view. We didn't have enough time and started to notice that CMs were corraling the herds of people. I got nervous and so we tried to get back to DF, DM, & DD. It was proving harder than we thought. they were not allowing traffic to flow to the hub area and had the herds going in circles (many were upset since they just wanted to exit the park and not steal someone's spot). DH & I figured to cut through the Plaza Inn, worked like a charm. We were then told that traffic was one way but i explained that my parents were right there and they let us go. When we got to the roped off area I excused us and asked if we could get through. The lady sitting down must have thought we were trying to squeeze in while everyone else waited. I explained that my mom was right behind her and she still refused to move. My mom had to stand up and explain that I am really her daughter and then she moved out of the way so that we could walk to our space we saved with our stroller. The fireworks were fantastic. DH video taped it but he hasn't had much experience with the video camera and I am afraid I might get motion sickness watching it so if anyone has it taped and is pretty steady, please please PM me and I am willing to buy a copy.
09/18/05 - Happy Birthday to me!! DF went out to get krispie kreme for my birthday breakfast since I LOVE krispie kremes. He got lost so he took a little longer than expected but I was VERY grateful. We headed to Disneyland since I had to pick up my tickets for balcony fantasmic. DM had gone off with my Aunt to have breakfast with her brothers and sister and to visit my grandma at the cemetary. DH, DF, DD, & I toured Disneyland. DH & I took DD on small world. One of my best memories will be seeing my DD's face light up and seeing her clap as we're about to enter the tunnel to small world while you can just barely hear the song. She would then start bouncing in anticipation...I am sold...Disneyland will forever have a place in my heart! Lunch and Redd Rocket's Pizza Port, DH was not impressed. The only thing he liked was his soda refills. We had to cut our day short to go to a family dinner in LA (which we also had to cut short to make it back in time for Fantasmic). We got back and rushed over....the entrance lines were long and I was fretting about not checking in on time. DH ran over to the Gallery and checked us all in. by the time we got there we parked the stroller at Blue bayou and went up, just in time to get seated. I managed to be the first caller and had perfect seats!! The desserts were delicious. The cheesecake....oh the cheesecake. I wish I had eaten more. There was quite a few of everything left over when we all left so I was glad that none of the other patrons were those expecting to get $56 worth of dessert. If any of you were up there with us and my DD managed to ruin your experience, I sincerely apologize. We tried our best to keep her out of your way and she isn't very disruptive but at times cannot sit still. My DM tends to be a little rude, I tried to keep her out of people's view. :( But Fantasmic from up there....DO IT! Not much waiting and definitely an unbeatable view!! With the Krisipie kreme breakfast and Fantasmic buffet, the only thing that could have made my birthday any more perfect was in-n-out lunch. oh well...there's always next year!
09/19/05 - Last Day :crying: I didn't realize how sad I would be knowing that this would be our last day at Disneyland. We had breakfast at PCH Grill (10% off with AAA). We enjoyed this one much more than Goofy's only because it wasn't as crowded and our interaction with the characters was great! Stitch and Lilo were there along with Minnie Mouse and Max. It was Monday and not really crowded so only have 4 characters was sufficient (more than even since there were so little of us). Minnie danced with DD (priceless) and DD did not wanna come back to mommy even. It was great. DF is a goof ball. The had a sign saying minnie pancakes and mickey waffles next to a sign that had chicken taquitos or something. Anyway, they put the wrong tray in front of the wrong sign (but they were all next to each other) and DF grabbed a taquito thinking it was a pancake. I don't know what was wrong with him that day maybe too much disney so his imagination was running wild. He was eating it and then he said it had too much bell peppers so he didnt' want it. I didn't think anything until he asked me why they would put bell peppers in the pancakes. LOL, we were rolling. I was like, are you serious dad? and he said the sign said minnie pancakes. He's such a dork sometimes. We went to Disneyland and DM gave DD her last dose of small world, 5 times. DH and I rode some other rides and we met up to take a break. We managed to catch Ariel and Belle before we left. Belle was having a ball (tee hee hee) playing with DD. We had lunch at ESPN Zone, it was a little pricey but when you think about the quality, and size and factor in being in a resort area, it is a great value. We wanted to catch block party bash one more time. A very awful thing my DM witnessed and later told me, one family sitting next to us had 2 girls. They danced and was having a blast during block party. At then end we gave them 2 yellow balls thinking they didn't catch any. They actually caught a blue ball and so they returned one yellow ball to us. A few seconds later the little girl dropped her blue ball and the lady sitting next to her grabbed it and gave it to her son who already had a red ball. All of this occured well after the ball were shot out so there was no confusion as to whose ball it was. I cant believe it. Her son already had a ball so now he had 2 and this little girl had none. Luckily a CM threw the little girl a yellow ball (I don't know if he saw what had happened or not). I cannot believe some people. Kids I might believe this happening, but a grown woman taking advantage of a little girl's clumsyness was in my opinion monstrous. We're all there hoping to give our kids a grand ol' time, but not at the expense of another child. I was actually pretty upset. Good thing DM told me after we had all left. I might have explained to the woman the proper thing for an adult to do. We then had to drive to LA for one last family dinner.
09/20/05 - check out. Our sink started backing up, luckily it was our last day and we aren't much of complainers. We lost the use of our room since they needed to fix the problem. Luckily we were all packed by 7 am and didn't really care except that it would have been a little more convenient to have had access for a few more hours. We tried to find trader joes but got lost after getting bum directions (unless there really is one in the anaheim plaza off euclid). We head to LAX and tried to find an In-n-out. after asking for directions and driving around for 20 minutes, we settled for McDs :( Came home...and back to reality...sucks.

Summary:
Definitely watch Block Party Bash, Parade of Dreams, the Fireworks, & Fantasmic. We didn't get to see Aladdin :mad: but hopefully it will still be there when we go next time. For block party bash we sat right where the parade enters the plaza area. we got to the parade about 15 minutes til start and still had front line seats. Plus not too many people = greater chances of getting balls.
Character meals truely is the best time to get photos and autographs. Morning Madness was good too. We totally forgot about the free meet & greet. I am kicking myself....I paid 60 bucks for pics of DD & pooh and all of us in front by the 50, free woulda been nice!
Above all, don't forget that everyone is there to have a good time. Don't push your kids in front of everyone waiting in line because you think you're entitled to making your kids happy. This happened to us numerous times. My DD was carried to the characters (she would run up to them and ruin other's pics so we carried her until it was our turn) and often times parents thought that if their kids walked over in front of us it was okay because they're kids. Had the kids gotten excited and done it on their own and had their parents tell them there's a line they need to wait their turn, I'd have NO complaints. But parents pushing/urging their kids to cut in line...that's just plain rude.

Side note: I did manage to run over 2 people with my stroller. The first incident a teenager was walking alongside my stroller and pushed the stroller to the left so that she could get to where she wanted to go faster making me run over someone's heels. I did apologize to the person I ran over and sternly looked at the teen. The second, a lady without looking walked right in front of me and wasn't moving as fast. I didn't have enough time to stop and so I managed to run over her toes, I did not apologize and her grown daughter scolded her :D

garrett240
09-23-2005, 01:53 PM
09/16/05 - We had dinner in Rowland Heights (?) at a korean restaurant. food was okay, I'd rather be eating mimi's.
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Hey! My folks live real close to Rowland Heights! Much of Rowland Heights have Asian areas. You most likely got "real" Korean food.

Thanks for posting the Trip Report. It sounds like a blast!

coronado_g
09-23-2005, 07:03 PM
Greta trip report. Sounds like you and the family had loads of fun and did lots of stuff that you obviously planned with care. Good for you!