Another One-Day Wonder (Halloween Party Sept 2018 complete)

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Jaina, May 17, 2018.

  1. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Well, I already failed at one of my excel data sets (3:30) but it's for a good reason. YOU. GUYS. (AZ version of Y'ALL) I just got an e-mail (replying to a text I sent back for more information in a sweepstakes I entered for a local grocery store last month) saying I won one of their prizes. "Potential winner" because I have to send back the W-9 and affidavit that I don't work for the grocery store or the sweepstakes company in any way. I looked into the company and the website, and it wasn't unsolicited, so the only way it could be a scam is if someone hacked their text account? I'm thinking 60/40 chance I am going to receive a couple of big (not huge) Disneyland gift cards! Enough that we can definitely do the 1-2 day family trip I was hoping to make happen in February or May. AAAAHHH!!
     
  2. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    Holey Moley!!!! That is incredible news!!!
     
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  4. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    Congratulations! And like a good DISer, we expect to see you on the boards planning your trip and making a PTR so we can all follow along!
     
  5. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Oh, you know it. :)
    I got a confirmation from the store's FB page that it was legitimate, and got a confirmation from the sweepstakes center that my paperwork is now submitted correctly and I should expect delivery in 6-8 weeks. (Though I ask you, why do things still take that long??) I'm pretty darn excited. With a family of 7, the money doesn't go that far (not even enough to give us two full Disney days) but it's enough to make sure this trip HAPPENS!! And can I say that the only thing better than winning money is winning money that HAS to be spent at Disneyland? :) :) And I still have this awesome little trip coming up in less than two weeks now! My Disney life is good right now!
     
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  6. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    I'm sure you're all sooo interested, but I am excited to report that I got an e-mail from UPS with shipping information for my cards, which should be arriving TOMORROW. Woohoo! It's so much nicer to plan with "cash" in hand! I'm pretty sure that I'm using one of the cards to pay for most of our tickets when I take my whole family for one day (either the end of February or the 1st of May, but May is winning out for several reasons) just before our tiniest princess turns 3. She is in LOVE with Mickey Mouse and the gang, so I'm pretty excited for that. But with the other one I had been really torn about what we wanted to do. Add another day? (There's not a whole lot DD3 can even do there with Bug's Land down. She won't be 40 inches yet; she's barely 32.) Go just DH and I? Go solo? At this point my plan is to take my sister with me (She grew up going to Disney too, obviously, but has only been back once, in 2016 with her little family in the last 10 years, and hasn't been to California Adventure since 2005. When she was like 15.) and do one day at California Adventure, probably in November. I'm super excited about that plan. And I haven't decided what to do with the rest. I might just buy two more 1-day tickets and hoard them until I super duper want to go, and either go with DH, or just take a solo trip.... :-D For your enjoyment, pictures of my sister and me at our last trip to Disney together. (When I was engaged to my husband, but everyone else was still youngish and living at home. Somehow it was his family and my family all there at the same time... I wish I would have been doing trip reports back then!) You can see recent pictures of us above/on page 3 in the Hawaii trip mini report.
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    Bonus points if you can identify where each of these pictures were taken!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  7. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    DL gift cards don't expire (at least, not in CA -- you might want to double check this for AZ), so if you aren't sure what you want to do with that last gc, you should be able to save it until you have a sure use for it. We collect Disney gift cards and save them for special needs -- they sure do come in handy! Weren't you and DH thinking of getting APs for the next year so you could take the kids to the parks individually? The extra gc might come in handy for that!
     
  8. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    No, I was asking about when tickets bought now will expire. I found it on the website though. :-) We do want to do that, but it might be more like 2 to 3 years before that happens. We just have to see how finances are looking next year! My husband owns his own business, so it’s definitely unpredictable! Anyway, I should be getting my Disney fix in during this next year at least! :-)
     
  9. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    People are posting that tickets purchased now (through LMT and certain other vendors) are good through early 2020. And Disney tickets retain their original monetary value even after their expiration date. So, even if you couldn't make a trip before your tickets expired, you would just take the tickets to the booths at a future date and only pay the difference between the tickets' value and the current ticket price at the time of your visit.
     
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  10. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

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    How fun! I won a $100 gift card from an Etsy seller on Instagram and I had so much fun spending it. I can't imagine a big amount!!
     
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  11. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    They're here!!!
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  12. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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  13. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    Today's THE day!! Looking forward to your trip and MHP report! Have a truly magical trip! :)
     
  14. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    We just got back this evening! I'm downloading and uploading photos, and I'll try to do a quick recap (with helpful stuff) on the main board and then get my trip report done here! :)
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  15. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    Love it! Magical memories... :)
     
  16. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    Such a sweet picture!!! :)
     
  17. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Here we are! It's time to report on our fun little trip!!

    We left the Phoenix area about 1:30 PM Saturday afternoon. That drive (about 6.5 hours without bad traffic and with two gas/bathroom/food stops) is always a little longer than I would like it. It would be nice if it was more like 3 hours. But it's do-able, and faster than the 8-9 hours it always was growing up! We didn't really run into much traffic (though I'm always amazed how many cars are on the freeways at any given time of any day in southern California...) DD mostly wanted to watch stuff, so she finished Guardians of the Galaxy (it's a little old for her, but I knew she'd enjoy the ride more if she knew the characters) and watched some of The Greatest Showman, and we listened to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Audible. I would have preferred more sing-a-long music and less movie dialogue from the back seat, but it was her trip. :)
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    We got to La Habra (where my friend lives) about 7:45 that night, and my friend and I stayed up until after 12:30 talking. That was nice, but I was pretty tired! I guess it helped me get ready to stay up at the party, right? My daughter enjoyed playing with her girls, even though they're a little younger. We went to church with them, and then had a big delicious dinner with my other friend (who lives in Anaheim and is expecting baby #3 in 6-8 weeks) and her little boys, and it is always so nice to spend time with them!

    Monday morning I tried to sleep in, and the benadryl I took the night before helped me keep falling back asleep until almost 8:30, which was good since I'd been up late the night before. And before we knew it, it was time to get dressed and ready. My DD was chomping at the bit to get to our hotel, and to get on Disney property. :) We forgot the forearm covers that go with her costume, which was sad, but we -almost- forgot the pants, so we were just glad to have them! I'm a little traumatized from forgetting the Hogwarts robes hanging next to the back door that one time we went to Universal Studios Hollywood... I went ahead and printed our tickets rather than try to bring them up on my phone, especially since I bought them in 2 different purchases, and didn't want to hold up the line.
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    We left La Habra about 10:30 and arrived at the Quality Inn and Suites Anaheim at the Park about 20 minutes later. The hotel wasn't much to look at on the outside, but the location was decent, the rooms were remodeled and clean, the beds were comfortable, the front desk staff was friendly and helpful and the free breakfast was plentiful. I would stay there again. It was $123 total for the night. We got settled in, and then headed east on Katella until we hit Disneyland Drive, which we took up towards Downtown Disney. My DD wasn't interested in stopping in the lobbies of Paradise Pier or the Disney Hotel. Silly goose. The walk wasn't bad. DIS people assured me I could cut through the GC on the way back at night, though I couldn't enter through the lobby, so I knew the walk at night would be a little shorter.
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    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
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  18. whitneyebz

    whitneyebz Mouseketeer

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    Hi! I just finished reading your trip report from...November 2016? I think? I like to read TR's with families similar in age to ours (ok, I love all TR's!) Our last trip was a year ago (Nov.2017) and I really thought we wouldn't be able to go this year, but...we are going on a last minute trip in about a week!! Aaaaah! My DD is 9 and has seen all the Guardians and Avengers movies (so have all my kids, lol, but she's close in age to yours) and I think it's the perfect age for those movies! So fun! Gotta get them into it early ;) Excited to see how your day went! I am so happy we get to go during Halloween time!!
     
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  19. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    Your daughter looks so cute and excited!!! :)
     
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  20. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    That's awesome! And I get what you mean. I love all trip reports, but the ones with a bunch of little kids making things crazy definitely speak to my own experience. :) That's awesome that you get to do a last minute trip!! I hope you do a little report (or a BIG one!) and post pictures! My son (just older than my daughter) started watching Avengers with his dad at more like 8/9, but she gets unsettled by things a little easier than he does. I don't see me letting her see Guardians vol. 2 without me fast forwarding or muting a few things that -I- found a little scary or disturbing. :) We're a couple of softies. And don't even get me started on my 8-year-old. Most of the Disney movies (animated) I want to watch she doesn't like because they're "too scary!" (eyeroll)

    Thanks! She was truly living her best life that day!
     
  21. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    We walked into Downtown Disney (security had no lines) just after 11:30, which I think made our walk about 15-20 minutes from our hotel room to security. It was interesting to see all the closed shops, and what Disney has done to brighten them up. We did a little browsing for my shopping-minded daughter at the little kiosk carts. I hadn't eaten and was kind of starving, so I got a corn dog from the Blue Ribbon cart. I don't know if it was just inferior to the ones in the park, or if I messed it up by ordering a "Kid's Dog," but I didn't enjoy it as much as usual. Next time I won't skimp on money or calories, and just get the original! If I had known how much real food I -wouldn't- be getting the rest of the day, I would have gotten the regular for sure!
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    We had to check out the Lego store, of course, (my whole family is super into Legos) and then we decided to go ahead and get DD lunch at the Jazz Kitchen Express, since beignets were definitely on her list to eat! She got the popcorn chicken and fries, (It was okay. Nothing special at all) which she ended up sharing with me over the next hour or two, and we split the bite-size beignets. She was in heaven. They were super good, and she thinks they were probably her favorite treat that we ate.
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    After that we of course had to check out the Disney dress shop, and we oohed and awed over everything (and she gasped at the prices... I did too, occasionally!), and picked out a pumpkin cupcake from Sprinkles to share in a bit. I also super enjoyed the Disney Home store. After that we spent a good 45 minutes in the World of Disney store, even though it's a bit shorter than usual right now. So many fun things! I wanted to get all our window shopping done before, when the clock wasn't ticking on our in-park experience. I loved all the fall decorations in Downtown Disney; they were super cute, especially the creative pumpkin set ups!
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    We stopped just short of the parks at the nice outdoor eating area at the La Brea Bakery express, and rested and checked out our cupcake. It was extremely good, but after that, we were both a little sugared out. At this point it was just befor 1:30, and we had almost an hour to kill before evening getting in line for our 3 o'clock entrance.
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    So of course, we rode our first "attraction" of the trip, and took the tram over to the Mickey and Friends parking structure, and went up to see what we could see of the Star Wars construction. Not as much as last time I was there, since there's a big building blocking most of it. :) But it was still a fun little excursion, and one of the cast members while we were waiting to depart DTD was friendly and chatty. DD had already had a lot of comments on her costume from people, so she was excited about that. One thing I noticed is that people seemed a little friendlier and less stressed during all the Halloween Party stuff than they sometimes do at Disney lately. Everyone was just excited to be there. :)

    After we got back from the parking structure, we went ahead and camped out in the shade at the far left of the CA entrance gates (in the shade - at 2 PM the air was pleasant, but the sun was hot.) People started forming actual lines somewhere between 2:30 and 2:45, and we jumped in to the one closest to us to wait. With no designated party-entrance lines, it was a little messy outside CA for that 20-30 minutes, but I hope no one with active park hoppers waited in those lines with the Halloween Party guests, who had to wait until exactly 3 PM! We had a good time chatting with the people around us. Two were some sisters, dressed as Peter Pan and Wendy, and that made me excited for my sister-trip in early December!
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018

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