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Old 11-21-2009, 08:37 PM   #1
Kayla's Mom
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Our Holiday/Birthday Trip Report - Tons of Pics! : )

We just returned from our trip for my DD's 8th birthday. We were there November 13th-17th. My mom and dad joined me, DH, DD8 and DD2.

We left Phoenix nice and early on the 13th and with the time change arrived by 1:30. Our rooms at Hojo weren't ready yet, so we drove directly to the character warehouse (my dad and DH were thrilled...). DD8 had some birthday money burning a hole in her pocket so she picked out a couple of things and I found some cute pajamas.

We headed to Hojo's and my parent's room was actually ready so we unloaded all of our stuff into their room. We had connecting rooms which turned out to be really nice. We were in building 2, which is our favorite building and even though we could hear some traffic noise, it didn't bother us.

After getting changed into some warmer clothes we headed to DTD where we had a PS at Rainforest Cafe. We unfortunately didn't take many food porn pics this trip, sorry everyone. Thanks to the poster that posted all of the RC coupons here while back. I used the 99 cent kids meal coupon which worked out great. When our server first brought our bill he had only given the discount on one of my DD's meals. After I questioned him he did make the adjustment on the other meal too.

We also went to Build a Bear, where they let me use 2 $5 off $25 coupons (we spent over $50), my AP discount, my $10 reward certificate and allowed me to purchase 2 $10 gift cards for $5 each (a promo they were running). Coupons and discounts excite me!

Here are some pictures to get this report started...I will have to finish this hopefully tomorrow....

















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Old 11-21-2009, 09:36 PM   #2
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Those are beautiful pictures!! The castle was so beautful all decked out for Christmas!
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:41 PM   #3
Kayla's Mom
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Originally Posted by letthembelittle View Post
Those are beautiful pictures!! The castle was so beautful all decked out for Christmas!
Thank you!

So Day 1 at the parks was Saturday, the 14th. Since there was MM that day, we headed straight to Frontierland and rode one of DD's favorites, BTMR. We did POTC and HMH, Splash and Pooh. DD2 does great on all of the rides she is tall enough for. She loves Matterhorn, HM, POTC and Gadget's Go Coaster.

Highlights of Day 1:

*I bribed DD8 to go on Space Mt. I told her if she tried it I would pay her $10.00. I was pretty sure she would love it, but she was scared to try it because she tried TOT a couple of trips back and HATED it. So therefore, was scared to try Space. Her favorites are BTMR, Splash and Muholland Madness, so I was pretty sure she would love Space too. Thank goodness I was right, she absolutely loved it! I was a little nervous because she recently broke her elbow (surgery and all), and got her cast removed a few days before our trip, but the doc assured me it was ok to ride all rides. I paid up after the ride and she went and bought a giant lollipop.

*We got the girls silhouttes done, this time by a different gal than we normally have had do them, they turned out well, but don't seem to be quite as accurate and the ones we previously had done.

*We caught musical chairs again at Coke Corner, this time Peter Pan was there as well, so that was neat, as I have never seen him at DL before. Just prior to musical chairs we also saw Gepetto and the girls were able to get his autograph, another one we have never gotten before.



*From another poster's awesome idea we got the Disneyland Encyclopedia of Animated Characters book for the characters to sign this time around. Each girl had one, so they were rather heavy, but such a cute idea it was totally worth it (plus DH carried them )

*I saw Maynard! I was so excited and recognized him right away. My parents thought I was a little crazy though.... He singled us out during the Tiki Room show. He said that we were sitting underneath the birds that had just eaten soft peaches and gave us napkins to put on our heads. So if you don't want to be part of the show, you might not want to say hi to him! )



*We ate a Pizza Port (yummy chicken fusilli ) and Cafe Orleans for dinner. I was excited because I finally had someone to split the Monte Cristo with (my mom)! The Pommes Frites were awesome as usual, and they brought out DD8 a birthday beignet.

Can you tell we are from AZ all bundled up in hats and mittens??!!



More random photos:







Love the teacups at night!







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Old 11-22-2009, 01:06 PM   #4
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We watched the afternoon Christmas parade and walked up about 15 minutes prior to the start and got a great view:















I SOOOO want to be a roller-skating snowflake lady....









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Old 11-22-2009, 01:07 PM   #5
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More to come...!
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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Day 2 we went to DCA. We were there just prior to opening at 9:30. My dad had to change out his WDW ticket so it took a few minutes longer getting through the gate, but we still made it to Soarin' and were off before official park opening at 10:00. We then high-tailed it off to TSMM (along with everyone else!).

Highlights/thoughts from Day 2:

*DD8 went on Screamin' - she loved Space so much she said "her brain was telling her to try Screamin'!" She loved that too, but I made the mistake of letting her drag me on it two times in a row...let's just say, I learned my limit...

*There was a very short line to see Santa over by Ariel's Grotto, although DD2 wouldn't go near him.

*I made a promise to DD8 that if she would try Space Mt, I would try the swinging gondolas of death (aka - Mickey's Fun Wheel). I have been on the stationary ones before and hated those, and heard so much about how scary the swinging ones are....Well, I wasn't a huge fan of them, but they definitely weren't as scary as I thought they were going to be. The barf bags inside the gondolas were pretty funny to see (not so funny if you have to use them though I would imagine!).

*I finally tried a funnel cake, my mom and I split one with powdered sugar --- very good!

*The lagoon still wasn't anywhere near full.

*We saw the show Drawn to Magic. DD8 was chosen as one of the participants (the gal saw her birthday button). She got to keep the drawing of Cinderella which was really cool!



*We picked up our free child's movie tickets for the Princess and the Frog at the large gift shop on the left (after you enter). It was very quick and easy and we are really excited to see the movie.

*We ate at Farmer's Market (chicken caesar salad) and Taste Pilot's for dinner (I miss the old fries! )

More pictures:







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Old 11-22-2009, 04:45 PM   #7
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Day 3 (Monday the 16th, DD's actual b-day) we started out at Disneyland. I pre warned my parents that there was going to be a mad dash by everyone to Peter Pan. My parents already know that I am a freak when it comes to planning and teased me the entire trip about being their tour guide. My dad got rather excited after learning the ins and outs of Fastpass, which was pretty funny. So after everyone made the dash to Peter Pan (which my dad was pretty amazed at), we rode pretty much everything else in FL.

Highlights from Day 3:

*Lunch at Carnation Cafe and visiting with Oscar. I was very disappointed that I didn't get a picture with Oscar on our last trip, so was super excited to see him when we walked up for our PS. For those that don't know, Oscar is the chef and has been at DL for 53 years and will possibly be retiring soon. He is just the sweetest man.

Me and my mom with Oscar:



*After Carnation Cafe I had to get my supply of chocolate drizzled macaroons at Blue Ribbon Bakery. I just love those things!

*That evening we had a PS at Ariel's Grotto. We saw Princess Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, and of course Ariel. This was our first time there since the menu changed. All 4 of us got the tri-tip, which I thought was very good. Both of my DDs got the mac and cheese, which they didn't like anywhere near as much as the kind they used to serve. They really missed the mac with the hot dog made to look like an Octopus.

More pics:







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Old 11-22-2009, 05:15 PM   #8
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Day 4 (Tuesday the 17th) - My parents headed home that day, so it was just DH, me and the girls on our last day. We went to DL and it was my mission to see the Billy Hill show. At about 12:55 we happened to be over by the Golden Horseshoe so we walked in and found lots of empty tables. I had never seen the show so didn't know what to expect. Well, long story short, I totally misread the schedule and we sat and watched the Laughingstock show. I didn't realize what had happened until the show was over and I looked at the schedule again. Billy Hill wasn't playing on Tuesday! So, once again...I missed it! My first clue should've been when we walked in 5 minutes before show time and there were still plenty of seats available. DH and I tried to get a table about 20 minutes before a Billy Hill show in September and the place was packed!

Highlights of Day 4:

*We only had to wait about 25 minutes at Pixie Hollow and saw Tink, Iridessa and Terrance. This was by far our best character interaction, Tink and Terrence were great. We spent at least 5 minutes with them.



*We saw some of the new show with Princess Tiana. Everytime we were in New Orleans Square they were parading around and either getting on or off the boat, so the song has been ingrained in my brain since we got back! We waited in the meet and greet line for Tiana and Prince Naveen for about 20 minutes, which I didn't think was too bad. I just love Princess Tiana's dress....





*I tried one of the jalapeno cheese pretzels, which were just ok IMO, but got much better when I went back and got a side of hot cheese to go with it.

*My LGMH finally paid off on our last day! I was in the bathroom by Space Mt when another DISer noticed it! She was super nice and said she is usually on the WDW boards, but I was very excited someone saw it, as I didn't see any while we were there.

*We ate at Rancho Del Zocalo for lunch (yummy Hacienda salad) and Ralph Brennan's Express Kitchen for dinner, which was very good. The kids meals were huge IMO, very good value.

All in all, the crowds were very low on our trip. The evenings got crazy, but during the day lots of rides were walk on and FP machines for BTMR and Buzz weren't even open some of the time.

More pictures:















This is what DD2 looked like after 4 days without a nap!



Well, I think that about wraps it up! Let me know if you have any questions!
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:57 PM   #9
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I've so enjoyed reading your trip report! My DDs are close in age to yours (younger is 3 and older will turn 7 on the first day of our trip).

I think the musical chairs is one of the most under-reported activites at DLR! I'd definitely like to fit that in on one of our days. Did they have the time posted for musical chairs anywhere?

I also read the thread about that wonderful encylopedia and I was lucky enough to get my hands on one. Since DH thought it was a great idea (or family is big on books, but DH has low tolerance for "toy clutter"), I shouldn't have a problem getting him to lug it around in the backpack. I need to pull it down and see if there's a blank page for Princess Tiana where I can tape in a picture. I also think her dress is just gorgeous! I'm very much looking forward to the movie.

Your DH takes beautiful photos! I hope he doesn't mind, but I right-clicked on the night-time castle photo and set it as the wallpaper for my laptop.

Where did you sit for the parade? We'll be doing the Holiday Tour on the 12th, so we'll have VIP seating, but my DS and DN are visiting with us on the 9th and DMIL and DSFIN are visiting with us on the 11th and we might want to do the parade on one of those days, as well. Looks like you had prime spots! Did you have to wait long to get them? Did your DH use a tripod to take the photos?
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3TinksAndAnEeyore View Post
I've so enjoyed reading your trip report! My DDs are close in age to yours (younger is 3 and older will turn 7 on the first day of our trip).

I think the musical chairs is one of the most under-reported activites at DLR! I'd definitely like to fit that in on one of our days. Did they have the time posted for musical chairs anywhere?

I also read the thread about that wonderful encylopedia and I was lucky enough to get my hands on one. Since DH thought it was a great idea (or family is big on books, but DH has low tolerance for "toy clutter"), I shouldn't have a problem getting him to lug it around in the backpack. I need to pull it down and see if there's a blank page for Princess Tiana where I can tape in a picture. I also think her dress is just gorgeous! I'm very much looking forward to the movie.

Your DH takes beautiful photos! I hope he doesn't mind, but I right-clicked on the night-time castle photo and set it as the wallpaper for my laptop.

Where did you sit for the parade? We'll be doing the Holiday Tour on the 12th, so we'll have VIP seating, but my DS and DN are visiting with us on the 9th and DMIL and DSFIN are visiting with us on the 11th and we might want to do the parade on one of those days, as well. Looks like you had prime spots! Did you have to wait long to get them? Did your DH use a tripod to take the photos?
Thank you!

They do not have musical chairs times posted -- it's at 2:30 though.

We just had Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen sign the inside cover of the books.

No problem at all as far as the wallpaper!

We were at Coke Corner for the musical chairs and stood right by the curb in front of Coke Corner. We walked up about 15 minutes prior to the start of the parade.

DH did not use a tripod.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:15 PM   #11
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That was such a fun trip report! I'm glad you had so much fun! And yes, your DH's pictures are such a treat! I'm so excited to go myself!
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:27 PM   #12
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I love your trip report, you did a great job! What is the one tip you would pass on that helped you and/or made your trip better?
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:34 PM   #13
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Very fun trip report! How did your DH get such nice night shots? Tripod or very steady hand?
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeee-va View Post
That was such a fun trip report! I'm glad you had so much fun! And yes, your DH's pictures are such a treat! I'm so excited to go myself!
Thanks Eeee-va!

Quote:
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I love your trip report, you did a great job! What is the one tip you would pass on that helped you and/or made your trip better?
Thanks! Probably just to maximize Fastpass and get there early!

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Very fun trip report! How did your DH get such nice night shots? Tripod or very steady hand?
Steady hand!
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:16 PM   #15
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All of your pictures are FANTASTIC!!! You need to post them on all the picture threads. I really love the one of the Evil Step Sisters and this one:

Quote:
That's wonderful you got to meet/take pictures with both Maynard and Oscar! Both very famous CMs!! We've met both of them, but I didn't get any pictures with them. Both very sweet people.

I'm glad you had such a great trip!!
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