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Old 10-13-2013, 07:41 PM   #1
dizneefan13
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Smile Our Winter Adventure starts any day now!

I decided I would write about our upcoming trip to the Happiest Place on Earth if for nothing else, to keep me occupied sometimes when I'm over-the-top excited about actually [B]being there[B] just three weeks from today...November 3rd!!!

DH and I have been planning this months long adventure since 2010 when we both realized how much we really love the parks and each year we want to spend more and more time there.

We are semi-retired (each having a little home business to help pay for our Disney addiction), parents of 3 grown kids and 4 terrific grandkids who help us keep feeling like kids ourselves.

Since 2010 we have made several pilgrimages to our happy place, our shortest trip lasting a week and our longest, Fall of 2011, was 7 weeks. Even with the longest of trips, we have always been sad to leave. This revelation gave me the idea, why not "winter" near Disneyland.

Lots of people head to Arizona and Florida for the winter. Having little interest in those locations, we both knew that if we were to "snowbird" it would be in Southern California.

So, with our first Disneyland day being just 3 weeks from TODAY! I decided to start a Pre-Trip Report and just babble on about our plans and expectations for (at least) two glorious months in the OC.

I'll try and post a few photos on my next posts.
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Yay! Just had 3 wonderful weeks at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Last edited by dizneefan13; 10-24-2013 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:09 AM   #2
BeautyAndTheBeast22
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How exciting!! I'm here and can't wait to hear more
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Sarah , DH (Chance) , DS-13 (Aidan) , DS-11 (Brennan) , and DS-2.5 (Kiptyn)
2013: Visions of Sugar Plums (Dancing Sugar Plum Fairies That Is!) A Pre-Trip Report
2010: Brave Attempt at a First PTR/TR!
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:45 PM   #3
dizneefan13
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Thanks Beauty! Glad you're here.

I guess I will start by talking about our very flexible plans. I'm not one to micro manage every last detail. I pretty much go with the flow, having a general idea of what I want to do, and when. DH pretty much goes with whatever I come up with. He has learned over (many) years that I'm a pretty good trip planner.

As things stand right now, we will leave here on Friday, Nov 1. We always stop at Medford, Oregon our first night. This gives us about ten hours on the road, counting rest stops, stopping for breakfast etc. Getting to Medford about 3 p.m. we check in, freshen up, then drive a few miles to the historical little town of Jacksonville. Its a cute little place, home of the Britt Festival each summer. We have been there for a few concerts. We just really like the feel of the place. It has good restaurants and lots of shops and touristy stuff. Gold was discovered there in the 1850's and after that was mined the economy slowed way down which resulted in many of the buildings from that time having survived. So it has an Old West kind of feel to it.

The next night we usually just stop somewhere south of Sacramento. I'm considering a couple days in San Francisco, but that will depend on whether or not I find a reasonable hotel rate for a night or two. If we do, we will leave a couple days earlier, Oct 30.

Either way, we will be in Anaheim on Nov 3, our first day at Disneyland! We will stay at BWPPI for two weeks on our first round of park hopping. We are so excited to get to the parks and take our time soaking in every bit of Disney magic. We don't have to hurry and can take breaks and relax as often as we like. Past experience, though, has been that we pretty much can't stay away, being so close. We may do a day at Knotts and drive to the beach. On previous trips we have visited the Long Beach Aquarium, Newport Beach, walked around old town Orange, etc. But having AP's and being as Disney crazy as we are, we don't miss many days visiting Mickey.

After these two weeks we will go to Las Vegas and spend Thanksgiving with friends. Time here is kept pretty flexible. I can gamble a day or two and have had enough. DH likes the casinos more than I do, so depending on if we lose the farm or not LOL, we'll play by ear how long we stay. Our daughter has a condo there, where we can stay, although she is seldom because she travels for work all the time.

She also rents a little cottage in L.A. where we can stay as well. So, the two weeks after BWPPI at Disneyland, we have a couple places we can chose from to stay. (for free!) Yay!

Dec 10th we will be back in Anaheim for another round of Disney. This time we will stay until Dec 29th. At this point we will pretty much be deciding what to do next. We have friends and relatives in Cal., Nevada, and Arizona so if we're not to burned out, we just might keep going if we can find some fun stuff to do.

We will do some L.A. touristy things while staying at daughter's cottage. I want to do the Warner Bros. tour, we will go to Universal, some of the museums, and hopefully go to Catalina and spend a night. I've read lots of fun things about visiting this island.

So other than the several weeks booking in Anaheim, we're going to be pretty flexible and figure it out as we go along. We have traveled this way before and its always worked out really well. In 2011 we spend 5 great unplanned days in San Francisco because I got a great last minute deal on a hotel there by Fisherman's Wharf.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #4
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Two Weeks and Five Days !!!!!!!

Ohmygosh, you'd think I was 10 years old as excited and anxious as I am right now. Its taking every last ounce of self control I can muster not to head for California NOW! I keep thinking we could stay in L.A. until our reservations in Anaheim, but even then I would be nuts knowing Disneyland is within reach and I wasn't there.

So....I'll just have to let some steam off here and talk about our upcoming trip.

I'm pretty sure our daughter and 10 year old granddaughter will be joining us for a few days probably in November. She is checking into plane tickets now and it looks like she can get airfare for under $400 for them both. Not bad. It will be so much fun having them with us and having fun together for a few days.

Our oldest will probably be joining us too, but no idea when or for how long. She is gone so much for work that she never knows where she will be much ahead of time.

We also have friends from Arizona who are Disney nuts too, that will most likely be there during our stay. They are lucky to live relatively close. They hit the parks for a few days about every six weeks! I am so jealous!
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:22 PM   #5
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Just under two weeks until we are there. I am happy knowing that in two weeks from NOW I will be there, soaking in all the magic.

DH is excited too, but my overwhelming excitement is a little much for him. I have to remember to reign it in a little and not make him consider committing me to the nut house

We are talking about leaving before Nov 1. We could drive straight to L.A. and stay at daughter's until the 1st. Wouldn't add much to the vacation budget. But he knows me and he said, well being that close you know you will want to drive to Anaheim and hit the parks. its at least an hour's drive, hoping for no traffic jams. So of course I would be tempted!

Or we could take our time driving down and stop at the Redwoods, San Francisco, and Monterey area. We did that once before and I loved it! We will go to those places again. Being the flexible planner I am, who knows for sure when. <my San Fran look

As soon as I know which way we're headed here, I'll be sure and update.
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Fish are Friends not Food.oh really?

Yay! Just had 3 wonderful weeks at the Happiest Place on Earth!
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #6
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Its looks like our anticipation has won out and we will hit the road from Seattle to Anaheim on Sunday. Our reservations on Harbor don't start until Sunday Nov 3 so we will stop in LA at daughters upon arrival in SoCal and see what happens.

I have a hunch we will make the drive to Anaheim a couple times and visit the parks. I mean, one hour each way depending on traffic of course, isn't too bad.
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Fish are Friends not Food.oh really?

Yay! Just had 3 wonderful weeks at the Happiest Place on Earth!
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:39 PM   #7
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Okay I'm almost out of control.

I'm just plain giddy and restless counting down these last few days until we get in the car and drive drive drive until we get to the magic!

I've taken to watching YouTube videos of the parks and the rides to keep me entertained somewhat. (there are some really good ones out there these days!) The ones with Tony Baxter are so good and some of the folks posting their "home made" video do a fantastic job! The HD pov are so cool!
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:47 PM   #8
Sherry E
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I couldn't help but speak up -- You'll be in L.A. (where I live) doing touristy things; you're visiting DLR during the holiday season (both in November and December), which is my specialty; and you are considering a trip to Catalina Island...my other favorite place in SoCal (aside from DLR)!

Please let me know if you have any questions or need help planning. I hope you have also peeked in on the Disneyland at Christmas/Holiday Season Superthread (page 1 of the thread), to find out about all that will be going on during your November/December DLR trips! You have a lot of fun in store.

I'm actually supposed to be writing an article/blog for DIS Unplugged (the same section of this website that does the podcasts) about Catalina and the current free birthday boat ride that is being offered by Catalina Express, but I have not completed it and fine-tuned it yet.
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And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:27 AM   #9
dizneefan13
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Hi Sherry,

Yes I am so thrilled and excited to be able to spend so much time in the parks during the holiday season. Two years ago we spent about two weeks there at this time, ten days the first time. Then we went to Vegas for a week, and then back to Anaheim. I think that is where the notion began of a long term visit. DH and I absolutely love Disney during the holidays.

I do think we will get an overnight trip in to Catalina. I have viewed some of your TR's and can easily see what a beautiful place this is to visit. Can you recommend a hotel or B&B?
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Fish are Friends not Food.oh really?

Yay! Just had 3 wonderful weeks at the Happiest Place on Earth!

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