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Old 01-12-2012, 03:36 AM   #136
areweindisneyyet
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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Mia - I'm just only catching up now on DLR. Your time there just seems so perfect! No wait, fantastic ambience, great service, room views. Just awesome! So glad you had such a great time after all those months of planning.
Hi PIO

Yes the planning made the trip seem effortless and truly magical. All the early morning phone calls and flipping the trip around truly paid off and we all had a great time. Sad it had to end. Next trip wont be til March 2014 and back to Europe, with just DH and I. Wondering if we should go via New York or keep them as two very separate trips. Lots of time to think about it. Although with enough Frequent Flyer points for us all to get to the west coast I shall keep my eyes open for a good deal at WDW. Just have to go there one day

I will get back to your pre trip report soon, I am so looking forward to your Hong Kong trip. It is somewhere that I would really like to go. At the moment I am running between three computers doing lots of little things to catch up. Back to my old self soon I am sure.

Thank you for all your support and help along the way. Your input and just being there was really important to me If I get home to Melbourne this year I would love to catch up for lunch in the city one day, have to wait for a wedding date to be set.

Mia
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:42 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by areweindisneyyet View Post
Hi PIO

Yes the planning made the trip seem effortless and truly magical. All the early morning phone calls and flipping the trip around truly paid off and we all had a great time. Sad it had to end. Next trip wont be til March 2014 and back to Europe, with just DH and I. Wondering if we should go via New York or keep them as two very separate trips. Lots of time to think about it. Although with enough Frequent Flyer points for us all to get to the west coast I shall keep my eyes open for a good deal at WDW. Just have to go there one day

I will get back to your pre trip report soon, I am so looking forward to your Hong Kong trip. It is somewhere that I would really like to go. At the moment I am running between three computers doing lots of little things to catch up. Back to my old self soon I am sure.

Thank you for all your support and help along the way. Your input and just being there was really important to me If I get home to Melbourne this year I would love to catch up for lunch in the city one day, have to wait for a wedding date to be set.

Mia
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:57 PM   #138
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Hordes Fed... Back to the Trip Report

OMG

When I left you last in January I was going off to feed the kids and now here I am in JULY (and helping DD12 and her best friend cook a 3 course meal for eight tonight). As you can tell food is just fabulous at our place.

We are up to the Thursday December 22.

This morning we headed to DL for opening and made it. Yippee. Off to ride Matterhorn again three times without hopping off, Fast passes for Star Tours, rode Space Mountain, Buzz and the main focus for the morning, meeting Tinkerbell at Pixie Hollow. We were second in line and DD2 was just about jumping out of her pants with excitement.







Pixie Hollow

We met Rosetta and Tink much to the delight of DD. We weren't there for long but another job off the list. Our aim was to make it over to DCA for park opening and get onto Toy Story Mania. After a quick run through Soarin during early entry we made it too rope drop at the bridge for our dash to Toy Story Mania. In Disneyland it had felt a little windy, well in the open expanses of DCA it was a gale. Hats, scarves, children(well not off the ground...) were flying away with the wind.It was not pleasant. We made for Toy Story Mania as on our last visit in 2007 this was only 6 months away from opening (a bit like Carsland this time). We have the Wii version and have been in training. We enjoyed it, but even going straight from rope drop we waited for 50 minutes. Noone (except me) wanted to stand in line again for this one. We headed further round and rode the Mickey Fun Wheel (I went for TOT Fastpasses, it makes me feel green). The girls went on Goofy's Flight School, Symphony Swings and the Jumpin Jellyfish (DD2 loves it).



Grandpa and DD1 ready for battle!

The wind was really awful. I had made reservations at the Carnation Cafe for lunch which we were going to abandon to spend most of the day at DCA but we were all miserable and decided a nice seat tucked out of the wind for lunch sounding pretty fine. So after a quick detour to use the the Tower of Terror tickets we headed back to Disneyland. After trying to split the group of us and sit us at opposite ends of the Cafe we were finally seated at two tables near each other. We had different waiters and of course DH and I got the one that seemed a tad clueless. But, her would not ruin my experience. I had heard about the baked potato soup and I was determined. It was just divine and I was devastated that it had to end. DH had the Shepherds Pie which he also enjoyed. After a couple of coffees and hot chocolates the girls and Grandpa went in search of ice cream. Grandma and I ventured into the shops and DH waited as a meeting point. He is such a good sport.




We had at this point just over an hour to kill before we had to meet for the Holiday Tour. We headed to the Jungle Cruise. DD2 was complaining that her legs were sore because of her pants rubbing. We had the same problem in Europe. She has really sensitive skin which reacts in cold weather. She had problems with the pool water in Hawaii as well. OT Found a great relief cream in Sephora. Anyway, now with only 25 minutes I start out at a run back down to Downtown Disney to the surf shop to get a pair of Roxy tracksuit pants. Into the toilets next to City Hall and YEAH we are ready for the Holiday Tour in comfy pants.

While I was running down Downtown Disney she did manage to meet Donald outside City Hall.



So the tour started at 3pm, I had collected our tickets early that morning from City Hall and we had to meet at around 2.30 at the gazebo in the Tour Garden to the left of City Hall. People began assembling. This was around the time of the first parade of the day.

Three separate groups departed on the day with around 15 people in each group. We were the last of the three groups to head off. Each of us received a special tour tag that identified us as part of the group. We all also received earphones to hear instructions from our tour guide along the way. Our tour guide had a magical candle that would be powered by our Christmas spirit. We had to yell out Happy Holidays to make it work. DH hates anything were group participation is involved and the tour was just within his limits.





Whilst walking music also played in our ears. As we walked down Main Street special Christmas traditions were pointed out at Walt's Apartment, Hannukah in one of the stores on Main Street. As we walked passed the candy store we all received a sample of fudge. The air vents that send out the smells to Main Street were also pointed out. We wandered through Fantasyland, past Reindeer Roundup, through Frontierland to New Orleans Square. In each land we spoke about Christmas traditions in Europe, in the new Frontier and in New Orleans. We learnt lots of different ways to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays.

We then went to the front of the line at Haunted Mansion all decorated for the holidays. This was my only time for the whole trip. My youngest DD is not a fan, however because it was part of the tour she went along which was great. Was happy to ride again.

We then boarded our private reserved carriage for our train ride from New Orleans Square to Toon Town where we were encouraged to join in a Carols sing a long which got the whole train bopping along. Very nice.

On disembarking we made our way to Its a Small World were again we went straight to the beginning for our magical tour through Christmas around the world. I do really love this ride at Christmas.

From here we headed back to Toontown to collect our Hot Chocolate in Souvenir Cup and a Christmas decorated Mickey Gingerbread Man. We took these with us back to the promenade outside Its a Small World where the three row of chairs were waiting.





Each group had a set of seats around 8 across. Grandpa was not having his girls miss the front row (as they were the smallest) and walked briskly at the front to reserve our front row seats. He was not nasty or mean, just determined. There were no bad seats but he is a Grandpa after all who adores his only two grandbabies. He would have taken the back row for them to sit in front.

We sat and shortly afterwards the parade began. Just as good a view of waiting in the gutter. The dancers and characters all came over to dance and high five us (including Woody!). It was truly enchanting.

The tour concluded here and we handed back our headsets and received our special Holiday Tour Pin. We then continued to enjoy our evening at the park.



Would I do it again? Probably not for DH and the kids as we can brave the gutters but for my parents it was a great way to spend time and save their weary bones waiting for the parade. Also knowing that we had it planned we did not have to worry about when to put the tour into our plans. We could also make the most of the slightly shorter queues whilst the parade was going on.

Am I glad we did it? Sure am, it is a must do just once and it was a really special memory of the trip.

We headed back to the Hotel through Downtown Disney. Grandma and Grandpa took the girls ahead and DH and I stopped and grabbed Pizzas from Napoli and did some last minute shopping which we wrapped that night. We still had not found the Diagon Alley Harry Potter from way back in Hawaii, we had checked at the Lego Store in Anaheim the first day and had been ringing them, and also the store in Hawaii who were holding one for my brother to collect. As we walked past they were unpacking boxes and out popped a Diagon Alley, DH grabbed the pizzas and I ran to get it.

With smiles on our faces we headed back for a nice night in. We had planned to watch the fireworks from the balcony. This was the last night they ran until Boxing Day due to an workplace health and safety issue.

Tomorrow: LA and Warner Bros Studios.

DH just wanted to enjoy the parade go by.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:09 AM   #139
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You're back with a great update!

That Holiday Tour definitely sounds like a one-time must do; especially with Old Fogies around. Love the holiday mugs. What a great souvenir.

ETA - Perfect update for Christmas in July time!
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:29 AM   #140
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Friday morning we headed over to get breakfast at Concierge Lounge. Nice way to start the morning.







Today was to be a non Disney day. DH, DD1 and DD2 had not seen LA except for the drive from LAX to Disneyland so we booked a tour with the Anaheim Tour Company and the wonderful Tom collected us in an eight seater van to tour us around LA for the day. We booked the Hollywood half day plus Warner Bros. We started touring Star Homes before parking just off Rodeo Drive. We walked down to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and used their bathroom. We walked up and down Rodeo Drive. Spotted Alyson Hannigan from the American Pie Movies and How I Met Your Mother. DH also spotted his Christmas present.



We then drove to Sunset Strip for lunch at Carney's Hot Dogs for lunch where we had Chilli Burgers, Dogs and Fries. Very nice.



Next stop Warner Bros for our Studio Tour. This was great. We watched a short Warner Bros background movie before heading out with our tour guide. We were with one other family of three. As it was the Friday before Christmas the place was empty but that gave us pretty much free range to visit. We started in the City Square, and I got to visit the Gilmore Girls House which is now used for Pretty Little Liars and the Mentalist. The main attraction for us Aussies much to the amusement of our American guide and fellow British family was of course. SQUIRRELS.







Then off to the set of The Big Bang Theory. We drove through Merlott's for True Blood fans. It is so watching those scenes now knowing that their are Production Offices on the other side of the trees.

Next stop the Friends set, and we jumped on the couch. A museum of Movie Cars including Harry Potter had the girls very excited. To finish we headed to another museum where upstairs the entire floor was devoted to Harry Potter. We were all sorted into our houses. DD2 was very happy to be in Griffyndor, DD1 well just dont ask and they gave her two goes.










This was great and would love to go back when shows were shooting.

After a short stop in the gift shop we headed in search of the Hollywood sign. Tom got us nice and close which was great.



He then dropped us for an hour outside the Chinese Mann Theatre. We checked out some foot and hand prints. DD1 has the same size foot as Johnny Depp. We walked into the Kodak Theatre before looking at some of the Stars on the Walk and stopping at the Disney Soda Fountain for hot chocolate.







We called in at a couple of hotels on our way back to Disneyland including the one from True Lies with the horses in the elevator and the other a beautiful old dining room where major Hollywood events were held.

It was a fantastic day and crossed lots of the list. Cannot recommend Tom and Anaheim Tour Company enough.

Tomorrow back to Disneyland and Christmas Eve!!
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:42 AM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
You're back with a great update!

That Holiday Tour definitely sounds like a one-time must do; especially with Old Fogies around. Love the holiday mugs. What a great souvenir.

ETA - Perfect update for Christmas in July time!
Thanks PIO, I have been absent for awhile. The first half of the year has just been crazy with husband working away from home for most of Jan to March and he is off again on Monday for four months. I just sadly did not have time to get on here. So my mission is to get this trip report done. My reward is to get back to your Hong Kong trip which I have started reading the pre trip report what seems like a long time ago. Type away Type away.

The mugs are great. We use them all the time. You can get them in the parks over Christmas but this was part of the tour price.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:58 AM   #142
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Christmas eve

CHRISTMAS EVE!

Very excited. The presents are wrapped, we have a tree in the room. Dinner booked at the Blue Bayou. There is snow on the mountains that we can see from our suite in the distance. Closest I have been to a white Christmas. Doing well.

Made early entry and hit all our favourites early. Rode everything in Fantasyland before official opening. In line for Fastpasses for Star Tours before 8, rode Buzz to fill in time before 8.20 Space Mountain availability. Headed back to Frontierland, Big Thunder, Pirates, Indy, Jungle Cruise then Splash Mountain before taking a break and heading back to the Hotel to wash and enjoy the pool.

Our dinner reservation for Blue Bayou was at 5pm. Caught the monorail back in and used Star Tours and Space Mountain fastpasses before hitting the Bayou. On checking in I requested a seat by the water. I was told we would have over an hours wait. Everyone was warned that we were sitting by the water and it would take as long as it took, thats why I booked early. Well 25 minutes later we were sitting by the water watching fire flies.

Christmas Eve was my grandparents wedding anniversary and eating seafood is part of the tradition of the evening. We had a truly wonderful time. The boys had Jambalaya for entree and then Surf and Turf for main. They had a roast special which we opted for which was lovely. This was the perfect way to spend the evening. We headed out into New Orleans Square and enjoyed the lights and atmosphere. We rode Jungle Cruise and Big Thunder at night before heading back to the hotel to get ready for our visit from the Big Red Man.

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:22 AM   #143
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Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas

We awoke to children screaming, HE CAME HE CAME!

Grandpa had already snuck over to Concierge to bring back coffee's BLESS HIM

Let the unwrapping begin. Santa's lots was demolished and there were some amazed and happy faces. Thank goodness we had started with an empty case to gather the booty on the way. The girls had packed their stockings and they too were filled to the brim.

We then all exchanged gifts for each other. We had set a $20 limit per gift which had been fun collecting along the way.

The girls played with their goodies and Grandpa did another coffee run. Our plan for the day was to experience the parks and go with the flow. And that is what we did. If we didn't go on a ride that was fine.

We just made breakfast over at Concierge. We then dawdled down Downtown Disney. The girls climbed on the lego bricks. All Grandpa had wanted for Christmas was Jimmny Cricket but he did not arrive, but lo and behold he was on the trash can the Grandpa was resting on waiting for the photos.

For a Christmas gift I had purchased memory bricks before they closed last February for each family. I had wrapped the replicas and put them under the tree. Everyone was very keen to find our brick. During the week their had been lots of conversations about how cool it would be to have a brick. I told them you couldn't get them anymore and they were all a little sad.

Our bricks are right under the monorail track centre front to the entrance so each day a little bit of me is right there.



View of Disneyland from our bricks.

Inside we went and for once visited the Gallery just inside the right entrance. We had so much fun in here looking at all the memorabilia. We then stopped for more coffee on our way to the candy shop. Morning Tea for the girls were sherbert sticks. Must tell you wandering down Main Street at 11am is much better than peeling potatoes for Christmas lunch. I might be a tad depressed this year.

Next stop Frontierland. We entered off the hub. None of us had every done the Golden Horseshoe and we timed it perfectly for a show. Well what a laugh. Grandma even got the CD to take home with her. It was a lovely way to spend an hour. We got a chilli bowl from the Horseshoe Restaurant and Fries and sat on a bench overlooking the Rivers of America.







Christmas Lunch

We decided it was time to visit the Pirates Lair and spent over an hour running around and trying all the bits and pieces. I love sitting and watching everyone at the bottom of Splash Mountain.

We headed back to the mainland and picked up some Churro's, should be a staple part of any Christmas Day. The lines were very long and fastpasses gone. If we had got to the park first thing like normal we would have been fine, but we knew that we were forgoing the rides today for just the ambience and fun.

We caught some of the Christmas Parade before heading back to the hotel to change for dinner. The kids fitted in a quick swim and a play session before heading over to the Grand Californian Hotel's Storytellers Cafe for Dinner.







We had roast meats, potato mash, rice sides, pasta sides and we sat by an fireplace and it was just lovely. A very special Christmas Day indeed.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:27 AM   #144
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Personalised Bricks , chilli, pirates, parade and storytellers with the extended family. Compared with peeling potatoes by yourself for Christmas lunch.

Yes....that is a hard choice indeed.


Fantastic that your family is now immortalised in brickwork at the Happiest place on Earth.



(And I don't have much typing left on my HK TR.)
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:11 AM   #145
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good to see your back hard at it!

awesome pics.....and you'll have to give us more info on tom and the hollywood tour....

so excited to be going as well next year.....now back to finishing your trip report
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:21 AM   #146
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I your update, it all sounds so wonderful DL at Christmas time is so on my bucket list pulls on the heart strings
Glad to see you got the Lego
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:58 AM   #147
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Great updates! What a wonderful Christmas! The tour sounds fantastic and how smart of you to have the foresight to get the personalized brick. Very special indeed.
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