It's Been More Than Two Decades, but I'm Finally Going "Home"!-A DLR PTR *updated 1/9*

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by ashw100, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl2:Okay, because I was gonna say that's crazy.

    Thank you so much for all the info, you're the best. We will just go in hoping for the best. We're not trying to hit every ride or go crazy. It's really more about having some Disney magic for our birthday. We can always go back, so if it's too crowded we'll just enjoy what we can. I am not the go with the flow type, but I am really trying to be for this trip.
     
  2. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Oh, and for some reason I just thought of your son and Imagineering. I've read all the books because I was obsessed with becoming an Imagineer growing up. Eventually I became an engineer, and actually my company does a lot of work with Disney, so I've gotten to have the best of both worlds! Anyways, if you wanted something as a Christmas present for your oldest, here is something I'd recommend:
    upload_2017-11-1_14-39-36.jpeg
    They have it on Amazon, as well as other fun imagineering stuff!
     
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  4. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    Wow that's awesome, so cool that you get to do what you love. Thanks for the recommendation, he is going to love this. Putting it on my list :thumbsup2
     
  5. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    So how did this trip come to be?? It started a long time ago, but basically I decided that I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday at Disney World. I am not a fan of turning 30. I pretty much spent none of my twenties the way a normal person does. While I don’t regret any decisions I have made, it seems to be making getting older harder, since I never really got to be young and stupid either:confused3. I hope that makes sense, but anyway it seems like a fun idea to counterbalance that with being able to be “young” and “carefree” at Disney when turning 30. Of course our whole life got turned upside down last year and the prospect of going to Disney for my birthday seemed unlikely.

    My mom offered to take me to Disneyland when I turned 30, but her whole simple idea of a small trip has evolved into something else completely that I can’t really talk about now. Hopefully if it all pans out in a future PTR...

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    But basically my 30th birthday to Disneyland got pushed aside for this other thing. So back to no trip for my thirtieth:sad:. Well a few weeks ago the wheels started turning again. We will have WDW APs through November 2018, and I thought about taking just C to WDW for MLK Jr day. But Joe doesn’t have that day off work and then I would have to ask my mom to watch the other two and that didn’t sound appealing. Then I looked at President’s day weekend, which Joe does get off, but that was crazy expensive. Then I remember that Joe gets a floating holiday for his birthday. But of course if Joe is coming, than everyone has to go and that is probably going to be too expensive.

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    At the same time, Disneyland is nagging in the back of my mind. As much as I love WDW, I will always consider DL my first love and I have been trying to make a DL trip happen since the 60th celebrations. I’m a stubborn person and I refuse to give up until I KNOW there is no way I can make something happen. So instead of assuming DL will be too expensive I decided to just look how much plane tickets would cost to California. Low and behold it would be just $100 per person, for a round trip ticket.

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    Then I remember I have Delta miles and try to see if I can use some of those. When I looked at using these for two tickets for Joe and I to go to MCO in 2016 we didn’t have enough, but these tickets were so cheap I thought I would check and tadapixiedust:. We have enough miles for as all to fly into LAX for free!! If that’s not meant to be...well then don’t tell Joe, because that’s how I got him to agree to the trip:rotfl2:.

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    With flights settled, I now had to book a hotel. This was so much harder and I still don’t think I have settled on where we are staying. Right now we are booked at the Homewood Suites Convention Center, which is nice, but it’s a little far. I am trying to book a package direct with Disney, which is difficult because everything is “booked up”. Of course if I go directly to each hotels website there is availability. I have a few more weeks to decide, so we’ll see.
     
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  6. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    I can totally understand why you wanted to celebrate the dreaded "30th" at Disney!

    Wow $100 roundtrip?? How can I find some of those :rotfl2: That's awesome!
     
  7. Woth2982

    Woth2982 DIS Veteran

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    Hopping in! I love DL, mainly because it still feels like "Walt's Park" where WDW feels more corporate. BUT We stayed at the Red Lion Hotel twice when going to Disneyland. Also stayed at the Hilton. Both walking distance, but I prefer Red Lion. It is maybe 3 or 4 blocks from the main gate. Max a 10 minute walk, and right next to a walgreens to stock up on snacks for the room. It is a no frills hotel, but it is CLEAN and the beds are comfy!
     
  8. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    That is awesome you got free flights!! That is the best feeling ever!!
    I understand about wanting to stay close to the parks. But it seems like the closer you get to the parks without actually being on Disney property, the properties don't seem as nice. Why is that?!
     
  9. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Hmmm, you have me curious now. If you ever write this, I'll be a loyal reader!

    I'm also like this. Sometimes to a fault. I feel you.

    Wow!! That's, like, unheard of!

    Double wow!! That's awesome, Ashley! Definitely meant to be!
     
  10. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    Hopefully this will ease the pain a little.
    I know right? I was shocked. There were actually a few airlines with round trips from LAX under $200 I guess a perk of moving closer to the west coast.

    :welcome:Very interesting, thanks for your input I will look that one up.

    I know it is so frustrating. I think it is because they are older hotels, maybe. All these non-chain hotels have very inconsistent reviews as well. It is so confusing.

    :rotfl2:Hopefully it all comes together soon and I can write about it.


    In this case it worked out, being stubborn pays off sometimes.


    I know and it's not Spirit :rotfl2:


    :thanks: Gotta get the deals while there hot
     
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  11. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    30 was a good year. I turn 36 tomorrow. I can barely move. Threw out my back on Sunday doing some strenuous labor.

    I bent over and changed a diaper.

    Seriously.

    Enjoy 30.

    That's the key. No regrets. Young and stupid is overrated.

    Awesome! That's gotta be a sign! You can't turn that down.
     
  12. cindianne320

    cindianne320 DIS Veteran

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    Following along! I've never been to DL, and it's definitely on my Bucket List!
     
  13. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    Happy belated birthday! And thanks for the pep talk :rotfl2:

    Hopefully you can get out there, I know I am pumped to get to go back.
     
  14. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    Trying to decide on a hotel for Disneyland has seriously been so frustrating. I just really feel like I do not know enough about the area there and reviews are all over the place. On top of that there is limited availability to book directly with Disney. So for all those reasons, I have just decided it is better to book a Disney hotel.

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    It is obviously more expensive than staying off property, but I just feel more comfortable this way. Also, it's only three nights, so I can some what justify it...right? So what hotel did we choose...

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    I am so excited about this. When I was 8, we took the monorail over to the Disneyland Hotel and got to each lunch there. I was always just in awe of how awesome that would have been to stay there. Of course, now that I am older and I have had experiences like this, I am not in awe anymore. But I still think it is cool as heck and I am excited to fulfill little 8 year-old Ashley's dream.

    Plans are starting to come together and next week I get to make dining reservations.
     
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  15. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    Totally makes sense to me! This was our thought process when we went as well. Of course it was our first ever trip and we planned it as a once in a lifetime experience. It was just easier to know what you're getting. Although we chose GCH and I know if I ever go back I'm staying at Disneyland Hotel! I think you made a great choice and I'm sure you'll be happy with it. Even if it does cost a little bit more.
     
  16. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Seems like more and more I'm just saying: "Disney, take my money!!" :)

    But I think this is totally a legit plan! I'd probably do the same.

    YAY! This will be an awesome experience! I'm sure you'll love it!
     
  17. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    How awesome that you'll be staying at the Disneyland hotel!
     
  18. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    I am so glad you said this, I think I needed reassurance. So many people don't recommend staying onsite because it's cheaper and close to stay offsite, but this is just so much less stressful for me. You hit the nail on the head though and it's the reason I opted to stay onsite, I know what I am getting this way.

    :rotfl2:I try to be discerning when throwing my money at Disney, but this seemed like as good a reason as any.


    I think so, and I finally get those awesome fireworks headboards that I can never get at WDW, because my family is too big to stay in a princess POR room.

    I know I am just too excited :dancer:
     
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  19. ashw100

    ashw100 DIS Veteran

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    This week I got to make dining reservations, and I went back and forth many times. I even wrote an update and then ended up deleting it all and started over. I think now though I have finally decided what we are doing for our ADRs for the trip. In order to get what I wanted I will have to upgrade to park hoppers, but I think that will be good for us anyway.

    Saturday 2/3

    Brunch, Minnie's Breakfast in the Park-Plaza Inn

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    I am really excited about this one for the characters. I know you can get a funky collection of characters here and hopefully we can even meet someone new. The food I assume will be mediocre Disney buffet fare, but that's okay we're used to it.

    Dinner, Cafe Orleans

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    I know this may seem weird, but this is the meal I am most looking forward to. The Mickey-shaped beignets and monte cristo sandwich sound amazing to me and I can't wait to try them.

    Sunday 2/4

    Dinner, Blue Bayou

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    I am hoping to get a Fantasmic package here, but right now they haven't opened up the booking for this yet. I am excited to eat here for the location, but the menu is a little too fancy for my taste. I have pretty simple tastes, hence the excitement for Cafe Orleans, but I still think this will be a nice dinner. Also, this is Joe's actual birthday, so it will be fun to have a fancier dinner this night.

    Monday, 2/5

    Breakfast, Goofy's Kitchen

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    This one I am a little torn on. I have heard really great things about Storyteller's Cafe, so I want to go there. On the other hand, I want to be able to eat in my hotel, which means Goofy's Kitchen. Plus my family has a tradition on WDW trips to eat at Chef Mickey's on departure Day, and this location is similarly themed, so I like that symmetry. But if anything gets canceled it will be this one.

    And that's all I have. It was so hard to narrow down, but with such a short trip cuts had to be made. We ended up skipping a WoC dining package for this trip. The only location that interested me was Ariel's Grotto and I think that is going to be closed for the Pixar Pier refurbishment. That's why the park hoppers came in, I wanted to go back to Disneyland and eat there instead of being stuck at DCA.
     
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  20. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    I would be excited about this, too. I've seen both those items in people's TRs and they always look good and seem to get good reviews.

    Looks like a good ADR plan! Hard to keep things narrowed down on a short trip. :sad1:
     
  21. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    The Plaza Inn breakfast is great- lots of characters and I actually liked the food when we went.

    Blue Bayou is really nice, a good spot for a birthday dinner! And if you can get the F! package it's even better!
     

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