Christmas Magic in Disneyland?! Don’t mind if I do! TR-AIH

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Canadian Harmony, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    What does that mean? Means: as it happens! I’m going to try to update each day and add photos later. The first few posts will be without pictures, so people can get a quick report. I’ll add photos later - once they’re uploaded someplace that doesn’t charge.

    We left our house around 8:30 for a 12:57 flight out of Victoria. We live about an hour away so we wanted to get around any potential problems. Good thing we left early - there was a school bus which hit black ice and took out the trailer of the Canadian men’s Olympic rowing team! One of their sculls went through the driver’s window and he ended up in hospital. None of the kids were injured and the rowing team made it to the lake for practice! But we weren’t going to wait in a long line, so we turned around and went a different route.

    A few km down the road, there was tree falling going on, so we were stopped for 10 minutes there. Thankfully, it was clear sailing to the airport.

    We were first in line at the Delta desk and made it through security easily. We had about an hour to wait, with a 2 hour connection in Seattle. Turns out, our incoming flight was delayed out of Seattle and instead of leaving at 12:57, we left at 2:25, when our Seattle flight to Santa Ana was boarding! Delta assured us if we missed the flight they would reschedule us on another flight. There were 21 people who needed to make that connection.

    After going through customs and security and the train... the 21 of us found ourselves waiting for the 6:50pm flight. My family grabbed a bite to eat, canceled our Rainforest Cafe reservations, moved the Karmel pick up (and was assured of pick up... an hour after landing), and then waited for our flight to board.

    So here we sit, expecting to get to our hotel before midnight if all goes well. I wanted MM tomorrow but it doesn’t look like that’s happening now.

    Will be back tomorrow with an update!
     
  2. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Update already! I talked to the ticket agent at the gate and explained the circumstances, asking if we needed to check in with new boarding passes. Turns out, our little family of four ended up in first class!!

    First Christmas magic - waived checked bags fee on our way due to being in the military. Second Christmas magic - first class to Santa Ana!
     
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  4. RedHotMama

    RedHotMama Mouseketeer

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    I love your positive attitude through all your challenges! You are going to have a great trip!
     
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  5. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Day 1 in the Parks! We got to the gate and through security then saw a huge line up outside DLR so we decided to start in DCA.

    We had a photo with Mickey on our way to Flo’s for breakfast. I bought MP right away so we booked our first MP - Racers! We took a spin with Luigi on the way and then Mater.

    We had a few more minutes so wandered over to CS (with another MP) and though I didn’t like it a lot, it grew on me, so I’ll probably do it again this week.

    Then back for Racers, and booked for TSMM. We took a ride on the Fun Wheel - DH and I on the non-swinging side, the kids on the other side.

    Lunch was at the Pier with all of us having different things and I had a lovely margeurita. Then over to play games on the boardwalk before a sunset drive in Racers.

    We met Groot, hit Monstropolis, and then took a drive. Before our GotG MP, we’re enjoying bites in Carthay Circle Lounge.

    So far, it’s been a lot of fun.
     
  6. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Christmas Magic: the server at Carthay mixed up our bill with a more expensive one. When I sent it back to fix, she charged us even less on a different bill. When I mentioned it to her she said her manager was okay with it and we ended up saving almost $50!
     
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  7. tzeitel

    tzeitel Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda

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    We have done Carthay Circle, but not the lounge. Was thinking of trying it in May. How was it? Do you think it's a good spot for lunch?
     
  8. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Day2 - Disneyland. We were in by 8:05, met Daisy, took a horse trolley up to the castle, decided PP was too long and went to the carousel. It didn’t matter I was first in line, as a little kid raced past me and got on Jingles. DH said we’d come back for MM and I’d get my ride then. We then rode BTMM, Pirates (walk on), and trolley’d back to the entrance for our brunch at Storytellers.

    It was awesome and I got video of my DD11 dancing with Chip! Then back to the entrance - with over an hour wait to get in for our line!

    We missed our Indy FP, so I booked us on Buzz and we headed there. My knee started acting up so I ended up walking much slower than usual.

    We took the monorail around, then the train from TL to NOS where we waited for our friends. When they arrived we headed to Rose Taverne for lunch. The poutine and grey stuff was amazing!

    After our goodbyes, we hit HM on FP then took the Mark Twain and then Columbia around ROA.

    The kids want to shop their way to the hotel and I’ll end up sending DH to CVS for supplies while I try to fix my knee.

    I have MP for Indy tonight, so hopefully I’ll feel better enough to make that and get at least ONE PP photo today.

    Crowds at rope drop was great. By 9 it was a mad house. Now at 4:30 it’s not quite as bad, but still busy.
     
  9. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    The Lounge was lovely. The kid’s menu isn’t bad and the appies were filling for hubby and I. The drinks are fab though and the service was top notch.
     
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  10. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Merry Christmas!! Once again the family moved at what I considered a snail’s pace, but we ended up at the security gates around 7:15. The line up for those with bags was very long, so DD11 and I went through the no bag line while DH and DD13 ran back to the hotel for her meds.

    I told them which line we were in and I kid you not - we were just about to go through the gates when DD13 and DH came running up to us in line!

    We scanned our tickets off my phone and when I went to make our first MP purchase, I wasn’t in the park! So while I spent the first hour in line at City Hall, DD11 went to meet Donald. I was finally officially in the Park, and we had our photo in front of the amazing tree.

    We wandered up to Jolly Holiday for a fab breakfast and then had time for a Jungle Cruise before our Indy FPS kicked in.

    I met Moana (kids bailed), and then we headed to Small World Holiday which by this time was about an hour on standby. Thank goodness for MP/FP! I’m not usually a Small World person - once a year or less is good enough for me - but the holiday overlay is gorgeous and I love it!

    Then we were hungry so we had a bite at Galactic Grill and then DD11 and I got some Wookie Nookie while DD13 and DH caught the movie in the launch bay.

    Then it was time for our Buzz MP and right after, our Star Tours MP was up.

    I LOVE the new ST!! It’s right out of the new movie and just awesome!

    Then we decided to take the train around the park and then to ToonTown for our Roger Rabit MP.

    Tonight we have a 5:30 at PCH Grill with Mickey, so we’ll probably wander up Downtown Disney and hit the LEGO store for DD11 and the dress store for me on our way to dinner.

    We’re still deciding about FPS for after dinner. I’ll want to hit BTMRR for a night run with DD11, but we’ll see what happens.

    Hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas Day!
     
  11. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

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    Loving this. And you had such a great attitude about the missed connection. Our first Disney trip we missed our connection and we've flown nonstop since... but this trip we're connecting again. Praying that if we miss, we have such a laidback attitude.
     
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  12. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Double post
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  13. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Ugh! My phone is showing me stuff that isn’t there! I’ll repeat this post when I get to a computer, but tl:dr - food was good, characters great, walked back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  14. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Boxing Day = USH Day! We got to Enterprise on Katella just after 8am and there was already a small line up of people checking in. There were only three working the counter and one of those was answering the phones too. You’d think they’d bring in a couple extra people to handle the crowd, but they didn’t. We got our Kia Soul after about 20 minutes, and we were on our way.


    DH didn’t bring his reading glasses and he was my navigator so i missed a turn, but it wasn’t a big thing. We ended up at USH after about 45 minutes and I asked the parking guy if my disabled parking placard was good in Cali. It’s not, but he gave us Frankenstein parking for only $25 - Christmas Magic right there!


    We walked around to the security then to the front where pictures were taken and we were waved through the middle ticket lines as we only had single day passes.


    Finally we were in! We headed straight for Harry Potter and this is when u realized I should have investigated the front of the line passes. It was a 4 hour wait for one of the rides! DD13 wanted to do the wand ceremony so we stood in a 40 minute line for that.


    DD11 was grumpy because she didn’t want a wand and so I told her if on the odd chance she was chosen, to say she didn’t want a wand but her sister did.


    We were the last four to go in with the group and it was awesome! Sure enough, DD11 was chosen! When the wand maker asked her if she was there for a wand she said, “No, but my sister is,” then he said the magic was strong in them both and they were both chosen!!


    I took video, naturally, and it was truly magical! It ended up the original wands he chose for the girls were meant for the other person, so he turned them around and voila!


    The look on DD13’s face was worth every cent of the wand price and every minute of the wait. And even DD11 got into the spirit (see what I did there?) of the event. I ended up with professor MacGoniggal’s wand (not interactive).


    We then wandered through Hogsmede and the stores. I was admiring the house scarves but for $40... meh. Next time.


    We went to Filch’s Emporium in the bottom of Hogwarts where the girls were put under the Suggestive Sorting Hat (go to the far row of tills on the right of the store) and DD11 used the rest of her money for a metal bookmark from her house, and then we went to Honeyduke’s for a chocolate frog ($12) and a cauldron cake (in which you spend $12 but the cauldron can be reused in the oven for new cake) and finally ended up in line for a meal at the Three Broomsticks.


    We decided on the Great Feast for lunch and DD13 had a warm butterbeer and DD11 and I had a frozen butterbeer. DH had a real beer. The frozen B.B. tastes like a Starbucks Vanilla Bean crap with a shot of caramel. We loved it! We couldn’t eat it all so a nice chef gave us extra plates and some tin foil and we wrapped it up (they don’t have carry out boxes) in our backpack.


    We headed to the tram tour. It was a 50 minute wait but I really wanted to do it so we waited. The lines were moving quickly once they moved and the Grinch came down to make people laugh.


    The tour was awesome as usual. I haven’t been to USH in about 17-18 years or so, so the new King Kong thing was awesome, as was the Fast & Furious bit. Then we wandered to Whoville where we did a silly photo, had a photo done with Max (poor old dog, he was so calm I thought he was drugged), and then I stood in line for a photo with The Grinch. It was marked an hour, but I think it was probably 45 minutes. He was hilarious and I was suckered into paying $25 for the photo.


    I had sent the family down to Jurassic Park and as I was coming down the third escalator, they left the line because DH misunderstood my text about dinner. After checking the app for wait times, we decided instead to go back up to ride the Flight of the Hippogriff. The girls and I went through the 40 minute line while DH waited for us. It was a fast ride and not too bad all considered. That’s when DD13 realized her camera was missing!


    It wasn’t just the camera - it was the Disneyland ticket and Gift Card she’d clipped to the outside of the case too!


    We went to the Three Broomsticks hoping it had been handed in, but no luck. The server even went to check where we’d been sitting, but it wasn’t there (not surprised as it had been 4 hours by this time).


    On our way to the gates (we were eating dinner at the Hard Rock), the lights were lovely and we wandered quickly through Super Fun Land, Baker Street, and Gru’s street.


    We lodged a claim at lost and found and hoped for the best.


    We wandered down to City Walk and was about half an hour early for dinner but they seated us right away. Dinner and drinks were yummy and dessert was at Menchies as our local one went out of business in October and the girls miss it. Just before we went back to the car, I called L&F on the off chance it was there - nope. So we’ll call again Wednesday morning as we’ll be in the area anyway. If it’s found after we leave, they’ll mail it to us in Canada for free, so that’s nice.


    DD13 is beside herself and cried in my arms last night that she wanted to go home. She left us a note which just breaks my heart. We’re trying to be cool about it, and make it a teachable moment: if you’re not going to Disney, leave the cards at the hotel.


    Today is a visit to the Autry Museum and then the Griffith Observatory before a surprise meal at Medieval Times! Then we return the car and head back to watch fireworks at the hotel.
     
  15. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    The 27th - Autry Museum & Medieval Times! The drive to the Autry took a little longer than usual because of road construction, but we arrived at a good time because few people were there.

    Got a great parking spot and decided on an early lunch. Good food in their cafe and of course, I tried a Sarsparilla! Like root beer but not as strong of a taste.

    The museum itself is awesome. Their portable exhibit which was closing soon was the history of play and toys. Cool artifacts and old toys including a section on Walt and even a Howdy Doody marionette!

    After wandering around for an hour, it was time to head out - after a trip through the gift shop. It’s a really good one good one too with cool stuff to look and and buy.

    Then off to Beuna Park and Med Times! What a cash grab it is, but we will probably never go again and the kids were a great age to appreciate it all. DH and I ended up with metallic glasses which came with our cocktails and DD11 got a purple cup for her slushie. We had a $20 phot done, and then looked around the gift shop for later.

    The show was good and fun with beautiful horses and yummy food. After, the girls each got a crown headband and I got a t-shirt which says, Hail To The Queen on it.

    We dropped the car off ($63 total!) and hit CVS for DD13’s bathing suit. A quick walk to the hotel and we changed for the pool.

    Thursday is our Magic morning so we’re in bed early!
     
  16. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Thursday! Our Magic Morning day. My family was game and we made it to the park gate at DLR by 0615. We were second in the line we chose. By 7, of course, the lines stretched halfway across the esplanade.

    First stop: Peter Pan! Essentially 5-8 minutes. Then I finally got Jingles on the carrousel. Next was Mr Toad as the family hasn’t ridden it before. Finally, Alice. Then we left FL and hit TL where DD11 and I went on Space in the standby line with a 30 minute line.

    It was now after 8 and close to our Plaza Inn breakfast. We were seated on the porch after our photo with Minnie and DD11 and DH went in to get their food. Not one character came to our table while DD13 and I waited.

    While the slow omelet line kept me busy, DD13 made it back in time for Rafiki and Max. The slooooowwwwweeeeessssttt lady behind the premade stuff finally got my bacon and sausage on a plate and I was able to get a waffle, some watermelon, and a croissant and return to our table.

    Then Tigger Chip and Dale, and Capt Hook popped by. We left before Eeyore and Peter Pan came by.

    A photo at the statue then off we went to our MP to BTMRR. We went to mercantile to get DD11 some decent shoes, me a shirt, and DD13 a wee purse. Then I introduced the joys of pressed pennies to the kids.

    Turns out Flynn and Rapunzel we’re meeting in FL so we went over there and saw these two little girl in amazing Rapunzel and Mother Gothel outfits in front of us. They have a talented mum who made them. The costumes I mean .

    Next was the raft over to Tom Sawyer’s Island. Well, once the other raft came to replace the one having engine problems. The kids loved it! We laughed like crazy when DD11 ribbed the gold bar and the skull popped up and scared her. But we had I leave about half an hour later to make our way to Small World and find a spot for the parade.

    Mickey Bars we’re devoured (and apparently used as an elbow loofa for DD13), as we waited. Once the parade started, some guy decided to squish himself in between DD13 and a little kid beside her. Because waiting is apparently for suckers.

    Aaaanyway, we saw the awesome holiday parade and then headed to the Corn Dog cart and had a snack. Then off to the Tiki Room for some singing birds (both sides of the Dole Whip cart was busy so no joy for me).

    Time for DD11 and I to hit Our Indy FPs and DD13 went through Tarzan’s Treehouse. We made it unscathed and went to visit Pooh and his friends in a portable bee hive.

    Next was our FP for Splash - just the kids and me. Super fun as always. Then dinner!

    We were going to try BB but nothing on the menu attracted the kids. We ended up at Cafe Orleans and had a wonderful supper. We had only a 10 minute wait, so that was sweet. Then it was time for the girls and I to hit BTMRR in the dark with our final FPs of the day.

    So. Much. Fun.

    Then shopping in DTD! First - LEGO store for the girls, then the Dress Store for me (Minnie dress and a Minnie Dooley & Burke!! Yay me!), and DH went off to World of Disney to get some wine stoppers and a nutcracker for me.

    I swung into Pandora to check out a starter bracelet and may end up there again tomorrow to burn off the last of our gift cards.

    No nutcracker at WoD and so we’ll try again in DCA tomorrow.

    DH and DD11 are in the pool. DD13 and I are vegging in front of the tv before maybe hitting the observation deck for fireworks at 9:30.

    I’m so happy about my dress!
     
  17. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Disclaimer: I’m writing these on my phone so please excuse autocorrects I don’t catch. I will edit for spelling and grammar once I’m back on a proper computer in the cold, cold north.

    Today: DCA and the Hunt for a Nutcracker.
     
  18. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Last day at the parks :(

    We ended up in DCA and the first MP we got was for Racers... at 1:30! DH began his hunt for a Nutcracker for me. He’s bought me one every Christmas since we started dating. He especially wanted one from the Parks because we were here for the holiday and all that jazz. After a bit of back and forth between shops on BV street and a phone call to Disney central, it turns out there was a Minnie at China Closet.

    DH ran over while the girls and I waited in line for Olaf and Kristoff and the two sisters inside Animator’s. He got the last Nutcracker in both parks! Disney Magic at work again! He somehow got the window where no one was lined up at DLR and again on the way back to DCA!

    We went to Smokejumpers for a Lon early lunch and the music track just made me so happy!

    Our next FP was Soarin’ but we had a big of time to kill, so DD11 and I got a quick FP for Screams and then we let the kids loose in the Redwood Forest. I met Santa Goofy there, and DD11 had a great interaction with Chip, and then it was time for the first of three FPs in a row: Soarin’!

    The family loved it. DH said that was the size of tv he wanted for the bedroom. Ha!

    Then we had just enough time to meet Thor and Loki before our Racers FP would kick in... until Racers broke down and we got a multi experience pass. After a quick photo with Mrs Incredible, we met the two hunks from Asgard, and we went onto Grizzly with that multi-pass. After, we had a quick photo with two of the Brer bears.

    I had the pork belly from the Festival of Food, DH had a hot dog, DD11 some popcorn, and DD13 a pot de creme. Another tour on Screams with DD11 and it was time for a last spin with Mater. We have the girls a choice - stay late and do GotG, or leave early and go to the pool. They chose the pool so I canceled the FP for GotG and we went to DTD for some last minute retail therapy.

    There’s a whole story about Pandora here but I’ll save it for the big report next week.

    We went back to DCA for our farewell dinner in the upstairs of Carthay. My kids are jerks and we won’t take them to nice places anymore. The meal was delicious and the price wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

    They all left and I paid them headed back to DTD to empty some cards.

    I did a great job too, and I still have some left for the next trip down!

    After a dip in the pool, we have pre-packed most of our stuff and have gone to bed. We’re leaving at 5am tomorrow for our flight and we’ll be back in the cold weather and snow by 4pm.

    Thanks for following along and stay tuned for the real TR complete with photos really soon!
     
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  19. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

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    Have a safe trip home! I've enjoyed reading along!
     
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  20. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Glad you came along!

    We’re sitting in Sea Tac waiting for our flight which departs in just under 3 hours.
     

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