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Old 07-24-2014, 10:50 PM   #1
paisleymoo
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Smile Christmas at Disneyland 2014!!! Pre-Trip Report - Updated 7.28


A note before we begin:
Hello!
I have been using these forums as reference for so long and for so many trips I am SO excited to finally be adding my very own trip report to them! As of right now this is a pre-trip report for an upcoming vacation I am currently planning!! The trip will be in December of this year and I simply cannot wait!



Allow me to introduce myself.


(an old photo of me from my last trip in 2009)

My name is Kameko, I'm 22 and a pre-nursing/anthropology student in northern California. It's tough to say who my favorite character is although it becomes a little easier when you break it down into categories. For example, my favorite classic Mickey and friends character is Goofy while my favorite Winnie the Pooh character is Tigger. My favorite princess is Jasmine, although I love mermaids so I definitely have a soft spot for Ariel. Honestly, this list could go on and on but I won't bore you with that! My favorite ride in Disneyland is probably star tours followed closely by the Matterhorn. In California Adventure my favorite ride is Soarin' over California (which flies right over my home town!) I have been to Disneyworld once, and would be going there again on this trip if it were financially possible, and Disneyland three times. My most recent trip was to Disneyland in 2009. So, needless to say this trip is LONG overdue! Joining me on this trip will be....


This guy!


(what I came home to on my last birthday)

This is my boyfriend of almost two years Daniel. He is also 22 and a sociology student at the same school I go to. He is not here right now (I'm writing this at work ...shhhh!) so I can not inform you of any of his favorite Disney things! However, I can give you a little bit of his Disney background! He has family down in the LA area, and lived there for some time himself, so whenever his family ventured down that way it was with the primary goal of seeing his Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. They went to Disneyland but only for a few hours here and there, maybe a full day if it was a long trip. He has never experienced Disneyland the way I (and I think most of us on this forum) vacation there. In fact, he has never been to California Adventure at all! I think he may be starting to think I'm crazy due to the whole planning...process. Nevertheless, he is almost as excited as I am to be taking this trip!


Check in soon for updates on our CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA trip to Disneyland this December. I will be posting links to all the updates right here so you won't have to dig around for them! There will be plenty of pictures to come so don't worry I will fill your need for Disney eye candy! (and I'll try to not go quite as crazy with font colors haha)

Hope you stay tuned to see what happens, and in case I need any advice or assistance from you other true Disney fanatics out there!
Have a good night and talk to you soon!!




Table Of Contents

Part 1 - Planning
1. Our Trip So Far - An Overview of What to Expect post #4 p. 1
2. Itinerary Overview post #11 p. 1 or Detailed Itinerary post #17 p. 2
3. Our Plan for Dining at Disney! post #13 p. 1



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Old 07-24-2014, 11:24 PM   #2
Mary Jo
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Moving this over to our Trip Reports Forum. Looking forward to your trip planning and the actual trip.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:45 AM   #3
paisleymoo
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Thanks for the welcome Mary Jo, and thank you for moving the post. For the life of me I could not find the appropriate place for DL trip reports, only DW!
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Pre-Trip Report, Christmas 2014: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3307985[/COLOR]
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:27 AM   #4
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Chapter 1. Our Trip So Far - An Overview Of What To Expect


(hiking trip in Big Sur, don't let that O's hat fool you! I'm a die hard A's fan, just love that darn duck! Too cute!)

This will be our first trip to Disneyland together!
Dates: December 21st - December 27th (moved up one day from original plan)
Ticket Option: 5 day park hoppers
Dining: you can find our dining plan HERE post #13 p. 1
Hotel: OFFICIALLY BOOKED!!! We will be staying at 'Americas Best Value Inn Anaheim' Only a ten minute walk to the parks, FREE PARKING, FREE BREAKFAST, FREE WIFI, HOORAY!! and was able to find a great deal. It's nothing fancy but all signs point to it being clean and that's really all I care about.
Getting There: We have about a six hour car drive to look forward to! Although google tells me to expect a slightly different amount of time, experience tells me I'm right on the money.

So why Christmas time? Honestly I have always wanted to go during this time. I know it is when Disneyland is at it's busiest, but it doesn't matter. We will have five glorious days in the parks to soak it all in. Hopefully this will be enough time without feeling pressured to rush due to the crowds. Also, due to my CRAZY school schedule, this is really the only week we could even go. Like I said before this trip is long overdue for me and as for Daniel he is supportive of my craziness and willing to play along with nearly as much enthusiasm.
What's the Point? For me this trip is a much needed break from school and work. It is a chance to get out of my tiny town and into a place I miss so much. The point of this trip for both of us is to get away together and enjoy ourselves. Neither of us has a reason to stay home for Christmas so it isn't like we're sacrificing a family dinner or anything like that.
You mentioned Splurging? Yes, I want to experience Disney in a way we never quite did on family trips. I want to have meals at the nicer restaurants, Napa Rose, Steakhouse 55, Blue Bayou (which even if it isn't that great of food, I'm fine with paying for the experience. I've even got Daniel excited for this one. When I told him it was inside Pirates of the Caribbean he responded, "whatever other restaurants are inside rides, book them." Oh silly boy ) and bring home souvenirs to decorate our home.
Do you really need to plan THIS much SO early? The short answer...Yes. I feel like with Disney you can never start too early. The more information you have the better prepared you are. Plus, many hotels are already sold out for the dates I will be there. But really the main reason for me to be getting all my plans in place so far in advance is because I will have a three week window between summer and fall classes. Once the fall semester starts I will have close to zero time to commit to planning.



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Pre-Trip Report, Christmas 2014: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3307985[/COLOR]

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Old 07-25-2014, 12:41 PM   #5
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Count me in as a reader of your report

I don't think I've ever read one about someone being at the parks for Christmas day, I'm excited to hear your tips on crowds, special things to do, etc!

I am going to DL in November, so the holiday decorations will be up, which I am SO excited about! My boyfriend is coming too, & he has similar limited Disney parks experience (went once for like a day or 2 when he was 9) as your boyfriend--isn't it exciting to go with someone that doesn't have a lot of DLR experience? There's just so much for them to see and do! This will be my first time going to the parks with a significant other, which I am very excited about--I think Disneyland is the perfect place to go for couples

I'm going nuts with excitement for planning, so I love reading holiday pre-trip reports I totally agree with you about wanting to go all out & having a nice meal at one of the fancier restaurants. You mentioned Blue Bayou, which I agree about the atmosphere being more worth the expense to eat there than the food itself. Have you thought about doing a lunch there, like at 11:30am & maybe sharing something to make it cheaper? That way you guys could have a fancy evening meal at somewhere like Steakhouse 55, etc. The reason why I suggest lunch for Blue Bayou for a early lunch is because I think you have a better chance for waterside seating, which is a big part of the experience I also am putting two thumbs up for Carthay Circle for a fancy dinner option--it would be totally new to both of you, since you said you haven't been since 2009 & I think Carthay opened in 2012. It's a very nice place with amazing food.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:15 PM   #6
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ishbit92 (and paisleymoo too, of course!) --

You mentioned never having read about someone being at the parks on Christmas.

Under my replies to Cindy/meljensmom in this post, you will see links to recaps and reviews of Christmas Eve/Christmas Day trips in 2013 and 2012, from various people who follow my Disneyland at Christmas/Holiday Season Superthread (in which we just began our 4th Annual, photo-filled Theme Week Countdown 5 days ago, which will continue into early November -- everyone is welcome to join in and follow along with us!).

Some of the other info (Christmas dining, etc.) in that post might be of interest or help to you, paisleymoo, as you plan your Christmas trip!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
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 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014

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Old 07-25-2014, 01:27 PM   #7
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Hi ishbit92! Thanks for hopping on board!

I havent heard from anyone who has been there Christmas day either so I'm a little worried about crowds and such. But like I said I'm willing to deal with it in order to go. It really is exciting to go with someone knowing I'm going to get to show them all the little hidden gems of the park, and heck even the big gems! (I mean the poor boy's never been on space mountain! )

Thanks for the advice as far as dining options go! I have considered eating at, for instance, Blue Bayou for lunch rather than dinner. To me it just feels like our big fancy meal of the day should be dinner, although I wish this was a notion I could get over. I have definatly noticed Carathy CIrcle, I'm not sure when it was put in the park, but I know I've never been there. We will be eating here for sure! I know they offer the WoC dining package both here and at Wine Coutry Trattoria (I know I know Ariels Grotto too but of everything Disney related this is the ONLY place I have ever had a bad experience so we will not be going there.) Do you have any experience with this package? Do you know if it's worth it at all? Or if we should just get the normal FP for the show. I also hear that you don't even necessarily need the FP but with the dates we'll be there I certainly don't want to chance it!
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Pre-Trip Report, Christmas 2014: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3307985[/COLOR]
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
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Sherry! Thank you so much for the link!!!
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:01 PM   #9
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Welcome to our crazy group!

Wow 2009! There have been huge changes to DCA since your last trip. Including a Little Mermaid ride that honestly is one of my favorite rides! I look forward to following your trip report. We went last January right at the end of the holiday decorations so we were there for the last two day of NBC overlay of Haunted Mansion. It was kind of fun to have Christmas at the beginning of the trip and watch the decorations get less as the days went by.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaoden39 View Post
Wow 2009! There have been huge changes to DCA since your last trip.
I know!!! I am so excited to see them! As I mentioned my BF has never been to CA so it will be a new expereince for both of us. I will be one of the crazy people using my magic morning at CA so I can b-line straight to radiator springs racers and try to avoid a two plus hour wait! (buuuut I will probably still wait if I need to )
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Pre-Trip Report, Christmas 2014: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3307985[/COLOR]
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:14 PM   #11
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Chapter 2. Itinerary Overview

Day One- December 21st
We will be driving down this day


Day Two - December 22nd
We will be spending all day in Disneyland this day, my plan is to go crazy and get some of it out of our systems so we can take Christmas eve and Christmas day a little slower

Day Three- December 23rd
We will spend the whole day in California Adventure this day, don't ask me why but I enjoy starting trips by spending one whole day in each park


Day Four- December 24th - Christmas Eve!
Christmas Eve, time to take it a little slower and enjoy the holiday!

Day Five - December 25th - CHRISTMAS DAY
Take it slow, enjoy CHRISTMAS IN DISNEY


Day Six- December 26th
One last day to do anything else we missed, or want to do again!


Day Seven- December 27th
Heading home



This is just a brief overview to give you, and myself, an idea. MORE TO COME!
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paisleymoo View Post
I know!!! I am so excited to see them! As I mentioned my BF has never been to CA so it will be a new expereince for both of us. I will be one of the crazy people using my magic morning at CA so I can b-line straight to radiator springs racers and try to avoid a two plus hour wait! (buuuut I will probably still wait if I need to )


When we were there in January the rest of our group ran for Radiator Springs and I played tourist. They waited about an hour in line. Not really bad. It maybe busier while you are there so it will vary.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:17 PM   #13
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Chapter 3. Our Plan for Dining at Disney!

Like I mentioned before, food is really one of the things we will be focusing on on this trip. I wish Disneyland had a dining package that worked the way the one in Disneyworld does however we will make due. Partially due to the fact they don't, I plan on a big portion of the budget for this trip going towards our meals. We tend to eat our meals later than most people, breakfats around 9:30 or 10, lunch around 1, 2, sometimes as late as 3, and dinner at about 9 or 10. We are not glued to these times but they are what we are used to. I'm hoping this will play to our advantage as far as crowds and ADRs go!
Don't forget dessert!...Oh don't worry...we won't

Day One - December 21st
Breakfast: At home, before we hit the road
Lunch: Somewhere along the drive, most likely In N Out because...why not
Dinner: Somewhere either in Downtown Disney or at one of the Resorts as we will not be going to the parks this day. After a quick run through of the restaurant Daniel is thinking Ralph Brennan's, although I'm not too sure. I've been here once before and wasn't thrilled by it. Any thoughts?
Day Two - December 22nd
Breakfast: River Belle Terrace - After Jungle Cruise of course, because Jungle Cruise ALWAYS comes first
Snack: Fruit most likely, the best treat in the middle of the day. Just something to hold us over until dinner
Late Lunch/Early Dinner: Blue Bayou, needed it to be after four so Daniel can order off the sinner menu and get steak
Snack: This is it! Disney corn dog or turkey leg. One of each and we share? I think yes!
Day Three - December 23rd
Breakfast: TBD
Lunch: TBD
Dinner: TBD
Day Four - December 24th
Breakfast: Flo's V8 cafe, after we rush over to radiator springs racers of course. maybe we'll even get lucky and they'll allow magic mornings at CA this day!
Lunch: Cove Bar, we plan on filling up on appetizers and drinks and snacking a little more at a cart or stand before dinner should we find ourselves hungry
Dinner:Carathy Circle...for Christmas Eve Dinner? Sign me up!
Day Five - Christmas Day
Breakfast: Plaza Inn, a must on each trip, what better day than Christmas!?
Lunch:TBD
Dinner: Napa Rose. MERRY CHRISTMAS, because really that's what the holiday is all about right? Spending money?

Day Six - December 26th
Breakfast: TBD
Lunch: TBD
Dinner: TBD
Day Seven - December 27th
Breakfast: Steakhouse 55, I really want to go here but was trying to cut out one of the massivley expensive dinners from the trip, I feel this is a good compramise. Plus, it will allow us to enjoy our final morning with one more bit of Disney excellence!
Lunch: Philippes! For those of you haven't heard of this place it is "home of the original french dip sandwich" It is a tradition for Daniel which we will be honoring. I can't speak for how good they are because I have only ever had them after they have sat in a car for six hours being brought back (soggy bread = my worst nightmare)...but I guess the fact that people do that speaks to how good they are all on its own.
Dinner: Hopefully by this time we will be back home, though I doubt I will feel like cooking which means...pizza?
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Pre-Trip Report, Christmas 2014: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3307985[/COLOR]

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Old 07-25-2014, 05:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaoden39 View Post
When we were there in January the rest of our group ran for Radiator Springs and I played tourist. They waited about an hour in line. Not really bad. It maybe busier while you are there so it will vary.
I am perfectly fine with an hour long wait, last time I was there Toy Story Midway Mania had just opened and the lines were outrageous. So the group opted to skip it, which, while I don't regret it, it isn't something I want to do this trip because I'm not sure when I'll be able to make it back. The same thing happened when I was in Disneyworld and Expedition Everest had just opened, that one I regret a little bit
Thanks for the info!
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:06 PM   #15
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Hi Kameko!! I love the plans so far
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