Disneyland 2019 - the 4th 5th bday celebration: PTR

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by FeistyDisneyMom, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    The good thing about that end of DTD is that you'll have two choices for security/bag check right there. And neither one is busy most of the time. So if the DLH bag check is backed up for some reason, just walk around the corner behind the ESPN Zone building to the DTD bag check (maybe 3 minutes walk?). It's nice to have the option. If you decide to go through the DLH lobby, give yourself lots of extra time for this. The kids will be very distracted by all the decor, possible characters in the lobby, the tea cups and the Autopia car (if they catch sight of it!); and the adults will want to look at all the old photos and memorabilia.
    Starbucks West (that's what it's called on the app) is right there past the EOS, before you get to the Lego Store, so you could place a mobile order before going through security and pick up as you go by before heading for the gates. (I think the bigger Starbucks is called Starbucks Downtown Disney.)
     
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  2. FeistyDisneyMom

    FeistyDisneyMom Mouseketeer

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    DH is pretty happy with the larger coffee offering this trip. Seems like our first trip in 2012 there didnt seem to be any quick places for coffee. I can't wait to check out DLH! We've gone through the DTD check several times. I'm a little worried that the walk back to the house is going to feel like forever, but it seems worth it to avoid parking. If we watch MMM in main street, is it worthwhile to walk to monorail and take it to DTD? Or better for tired people to head straight for the normal exit?
     
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  4. Jaina

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

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    I've never done this, so someone else might have a better answer, but I think you'll probably end up just spend the same amount of time possibly waiting in line, which is harder on feet than walking at the end of the night. Just my opinion! It would definitely be worth it to scout out your walk in your car the day before, and see where pedestrians can get through to the DTD bag checks area. We almost did an airBNB over in the direction, but I was too unsure about where we'd actually be able to walk in through.
     
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  5. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    DTD bag check is where the valet pick up/drop off was, at the sidewalk entrance between ESPN Zone and Rainforest Cafe. You can't enter the old valet area with a car any longer -- pedestrians only. So if you are on Magic Way and turn at the signal for DTD -- (a) keep going straight on the sidewalk, past the parking booths, and head straight for the DLH -- the DLH bag check will be on your left, just across the crosswalk from the Sorcerer's Hat. If you (b) stay on that sidewalk, past the parking booths, past the Lilo lot, and turn left at the crosswalk toward the old valet lot, heading toward Rainforest Cafe, you'll see the DTD bag check.
    At the crosswalk where you decide whether to keep going straight for the DLH or to cross to the left for the DTD bag check, that corner is the Uber/Lyft drop off/pick up point. You'll see people waiting for their rides there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  6. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    Okay, here's an idea (just throwing this out there): if on the first day, it becomes clear that the walk back to the house just isn't going to happen, can you send some of the more able bodied souls back either walking or by Uber (using the Harbor side pick up/drop off lot -- closer to the front gates), then one of those adults can drive your car to that same pick up lot to get the rest of you? There are a few benches at that small lot for your crew while you wait. You could send the driver & group on ahead, then slowly make you way to the pick up lot to wait with snacks.
    Otherwise, I agree with the pp that the monorail won't save you much time or foot stress. Just make sure that after MMM is over, you don't leave with the main herd. Pull over to a pre-designated bench, rest spot, doorway, etc. to let the main crowd pass by. Then collect your group and make your way out without all the pressure and stress. Before exiting DTD, there is one last restroom stop on the west side of the Lego Store, before you get to the Starbucks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  7. FeistyDisneyMom

    FeistyDisneyMom Mouseketeer

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    Great point - we will have a ton of time on Sunday to scout things out, and might even catch dinner in DTD. That'll help get things in order for Monday morning!

    That makes sense. Such a pity there isn't street access at Steakhouse 55!

    That's a great idea! We'll have plenty of drivers. We plan on taking it easy after the show. With any luck we can grab a bedtime snack and people watch for a bit before taking kids to bed. We can take turns being the runner for the car (if we end up needing that).
     
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  8. FeistyDisneyMom

    FeistyDisneyMom Mouseketeer

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    Big news - WoC will be back in time for our trip! This is awesome! Now I just have to decide when to fit it in. We'd planned on MMM our first night in the park, but could manage a lunch or dinner package (or just FP it). Wednesday we could fit in a dinner package timing-wise, but unless WCT opens up, probably out of budget. Thursday we could watch, but we have tea that afternoon so not really thinking a dinner or lunch package would really work. And Friday is our only shot at F! Hrm..... so many decisions! Do I break my food budget already? Do I cancel the tea and do dinner instead? So many choices..... And this is why we plan.
     
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  9. Jaina

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

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    I'm excited about WOC too, but I'm having a hard time getting my kids on board. (eyeroll) From everything I've read, doing the dinner does not necessarily mean you'll have a better spot than those with regular fastpasses. It's still a bit of a mad rush, and you usually have to stand during the show. If I was going to pay for spots (which we won't) I would do the dessert party, where you get to sit... Otherwise I would just study and read and FP it!
     
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  10. VandVsmama

    VandVsmama DIS Veteran

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    I'd love to see WOC, but my kids & my DH are just not interested in standing for over an hour. If we ever see it, it will have to be with the dessert party...and that usually doesn't end up in our budget!
     
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  11. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    The WOC Dining Packages do help get you better viewing because they give you relatively limited access to a better viewing area (up front, center for WCT and further back, center for CCR). How crowded the dining package areas are depends on how many people booked packages that day -- it changes every day. But since only people who reserved packages can access those areas, you are competing for good viewing with a smaller group than you would be in the free FP areas. We usually do CCR when we do a WOC dining package (not the Dessert Party) and have had great viewing every time. We try not to book during times when we know it's going to be super crowded, like Christmas Week.
    You don't have to stand for an hour -- you'll stand while waiting in line for your area to open (unless you find a spot to sit on a bench or on the ground), then once you're allowed into your section and find your spots, you'll be allowed to sit on the ground while holding your spots. Members of your group can take turns going to get drinks and snacks and taking kids to the restroom. When it is time for the show to start, CMs will ask everyone to stand, and the crowd will start moving forward. With the exception of VIP, HC, and Dessert Party seating, all regular viewing for WOC is standing. But you don't have to stand the whole time while you're waiting for the show to start.
     
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  12. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    If you want to try free FPs, get them early on Wednesday (go to the machines -- last time I checked they were next to LM in DCA -- double check this) and have your plan of attack in place. If all goes well, great! If your group wants to see the show again on Thursday, you have the time for a repeat. If Wednesday doesn't go well, you can try a do-over on Thursday.
    Make sure to read the first post of the WOC Superthread carefully and thoroughly. HydroGuy knows his stuff. Have your husband read it, too. You're going to need grown up help with this one, the more, the better -- but at least one other trustworthy grown up to help you. I've done WOC with large groups, and it is really hard to carry that load on your lonely shoulders. A lot of decisions that might have to be made on the fly, so having 2 of you working together can really help.
    Whatever you decide, free FPs or dining package, come back with any questions. Most people show up to WOC without a clue. If you not only have a clue, but a great plan -- you'll be set!
     
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  13. FeistyDisneyMom

    FeistyDisneyMom Mouseketeer

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    Well, I booked WCT for Wednesday, but I'm already having second thoughts. We have done WCT on previous trips and I enjoy it, but I am starting to worry about budget. We're paying for the entire group (the other 2 adults included), and man - things add up fast! We've been lucky enough to have seen WoC on each of our last 3 trips, but I'm struggling to remember which trips we used FP and which we did package. Hydro's WoC thread is golden - I have read it twice, but so much good info I kind of want to print it out and take it with me! I will probably end up cancelling the package and just go with FP. I wish you could use MP to grab it! Good point about having Thursday as a do-over. I stress a bit, but honestly I am loving this planning and these 'problems' of sorting out all the options! I'm of half a mind to book the dessert party for DH and I and volun-tell my brothers-in-law that they are babysitting that night :rotfl2:
     
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  14. FeistyDisneyMom

    FeistyDisneyMom Mouseketeer

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    An update on all my DIY pre-trip plans: I've almost finished putting together electronic copy of ONE Journal. I'm using pages linked from the WDW section on these boards, but the pages I liked most are WDW specific, so I'm trying to make some of my own, and just matching fonts has been time consuming. It is surprisingly hard to find a good match to Disneyland font versus the Walt signature font! TBH I was more than a little shocked when my first google search was unsuccessful.... Still hoping I get at least ONE of these planned projects done...

    I'm also refreshing/fixing up dresses the kids already have. If I get them back in 'ok to wear in public' shape, it'll save me a trip to our local Disney store... Fingers crossed ;)
     
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  15. FeistyDisneyMom

    FeistyDisneyMom Mouseketeer

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    Itinerary Day 1-3 Getting There

    Day 1: Friday March 8
    • Big kids attend school while mom and dad pack up the van & maybe decorate it (I’m trying to figure out how to decorate the big van so it kind of looks like the Disney shuttles).
    • Our family will be all packed up and loaded and kids in jammies and ready to leave Frisco by 5.
    • Travel activities, possibly including vacation journals will be given to kids - hope they like them and don’t argue over which one is best.
    • First stop: Irving, TX to pick up BIL and then niece, and potentially have dinner. We want to be back on the road by 7:30pm.
    • Next stop: Austin, TX to pick up other BIL and make brief pit-stop before driving through the night to El Paso.

    Day 2: Saturday March 9
    • Arrive in El Paso in the morning and do brunch with MIL & FIL. Drivers hopefully can nap while kiddos hang out and work off some energy!
    • Dinner as a big family, and then back on the road by 8pm to drive through the night to Anaheim!

    Day 3: Sunday March 10
    • Arrive in Anaheim area and find a breakfast place.
    • Check out the ocean! Play on the beach (Huntington or Crystal Cove are current front-runners)! Do touristy things!
    • Grocery shopping!
    • Maybe meet up with other family in the general SoCal area - TBD.
    • Check-in to rental house around 4pm.
    • Hopefully send kids immediately to swim so I can unpack their things in an orderly fashion, including any surprises I manage to put together!
    • Hangout in DTD for the evening - probably dinner at Splitsville or Earl of Sandwich; oldest kiddo may try to do the VR thingie.
    • Hopefully watch fireworks from the rental house!
    • Get to bed early if possible.

    Next - Day 4: DISNEYLAND AT LAST!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 7:33 PM
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  16. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    Is it possible to book WCT for later in the trip? That way you can try the free FPs on Wed. and, if it works (fingers crossed!), you can cancel the WCT package and save some serious money. If it doesn't work well, you'll still have the package as a do-over. Just a thought... (And I'm totally down with the "voluntelling" babysitting so you and DH can get a date night Dessert Party! LOL!)
     
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  17. Jaina

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

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    I vote for this plan! You guys deserve a few beautiful hours to yourself!

    This is also a great idea, if it's a possibility. Do you just have to cancel 24 hours in advance?
     
  18. FeistyDisneyMom

    FeistyDisneyMom Mouseketeer

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    I've got a high tea scheduled for Thursday at 1, and I've heard it goes 2 hours, and then Friday is our only shot at F! so I already booked HB for that. If I do end up going the Dessert Party route (I haven't even let myself check availability so it might not even be an option), would we need a ticket for the baby? She's almost 2, so not really an infant, but also still unticketed. I don't really want to leave her with the uncles because she's such a wild card, especially at night after being over-stimulated all day. She might just be passed out, she might have had a major nap and be up (she's working through nap changes right now, so one day she'll take a 2 hour nap and go down for the night by 8:30, and another day she skips all naps and is up until 11!!!

    We might skip WoC Wednesday entirely and just try for it on Thursday. The kids might not want to get their hair wet (BBB is earlier in the day on Wednesday). We've been so blessed to see it every trip, and have had pretty great views. DH believes we did regular FP last trip, but this was also in September 2016, with crowds not being as big an issue.
     
  19. FeistyDisneyMom

    FeistyDisneyMom Mouseketeer

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    Itinerary: Day 4 - DISNEYLAND FINALLY! (and maybe DCA?)


    Day 4: Monday March 11
    Park hours: 8-midnight

    General plan: Hit DL early and stay late!

    Morning:
    • Rouse the troops (which hopefully won’t be too hard because of the 2 hr time difference)!
    • Feed light breakfast snacks to avoid any hangry issues.
    • Walk to the park & pick up Starbucks in DTD (can you do mobile ordering outside the park for that location? Yet another thing to research….). Target is to get through security by 8; not worried about making rope drop, just want time to explore Main Street a bit before breakfast, and book FPs using MP.
    • If we get through early enough, and didn't buy them the day before, this is when we'll have kids pick ears/hats.
    • Plaza Inn breakfast buffet, reservations at 8:40. When I booked them, I thought the park opened at 9, since hours weren’t yet showing and other Mondays were at 9. Normally I like to book it as early as possible, but I think this turned out well, because the other adults and my oldest aren’t really morning people and I could use a dose of ‘stop rushing people’ and take it easier.
    • DD5 (guest of honor) has said she’d really like to do Toontown first, so after breakfast the plan is to walk through FL or take the train around and spend the rest of the morning in toontown.
      • EDIT: I got through the whole trip and realized I hadn’t dedicated any time for Pixie Hollow. We will definitely visit Pixie Hollow after breakfast, and instead of walking to Toontown, we will head to the Tomorrowland RR and take the train around to Toontown. Recent postings indicate RD of Toontown isn’t a big deal right now, and we’ll miss it anyway given our breakfast timing.
    • FP for RR and definitely hit GGC asap. DD2 is too small, so we'll try to RS GGC.
    • We’ll check lines for Mickey’s house and any other characters. We’ll have just seen Minnie, so not too worried about that one, although the kids LOVE her house.

    Midday:
    • Lunch probably at Daisy’s Diner/Pluto’s Hotdog place and yummy treats from Clarabelle’s after.
    • All the kids are eager to do iasw too, so hopefully we’ll get that in there.
    • Since I got MP, I’ll be doing FP for something; Space Mountain would have been my first choice, but it’ll be on refurb so maybe Matterhorn since we’ll be in that general area? Star Tours? I dunno. I’ll be checking to see RSR times too (put those hoppers to work).
    • Depending on how the FP stuff works out, we may hit mickey and the magical map that afternoon to give kids some down time, OR we may end up going back to the house for naps, and/or split the group to do different stuff. I’m still working out various options :D

    Afternoon:
    • Afternoon in Fantasyland or Frontierland wandering, catching FPs, check out Royal Theatre shows, hanging out with characters. The kids would love to meet Tiana and do the Riverboat.
    • Tom Sawyer’s Island (which we’ve never done),
    • Hop to DCA if we got RSR FP, but kids love the parades, so if we are in DL we’ll catch soundsational for sure.

    Evening:
    • No dinner reservations. It’ll either be CS or eating at the house. If kids did a late nap, we’ll probably eat at the house. Otherwise, if they did stroller naps, we’ll hit CS. I pretty much like all the foods, and would love to experiment with mobile ordering. We’ve got no real food restrictions this time (only lactose intolerance, and we’re bringing oodles of Lactaid pills for the trip)
    • Evening in DCA exploring (hopefully with RSR FP especially if we didn’t get an afternoon one), probably entirely focused on Cars Land.
    • Back to DL to check out MMM at 9:30. I’m keeping my eye on info about viewing and snagging good spots. If we strike out the first night, we can always try again - and we’ve got one last chance our last day when we see F!
    • After MMM, almost certainly some of the group will head back to the house for bedtime. I hope to stay until park close though because I am a crazy lady. Unfortunately, I’m also the one who usually puts the kids to bed, so this could get stressful and tricky. Most likely DH will head back with the littles so I can park storm with the bigs (what we call our littler and bigger children respectively), but then send me a frantic message 45 minutes later that the littles have mutinied and I need to go back asap. Adulting is hard sometimes!

    We may end up staying in DL the entire day. I’m not sure how hoppable everyone will feel like being, but I like the flexibility - especially since we can line up FP in advance. This first day especially we will be focused on letting the 5 yr old lead the way for a lot of things, but it’ll also be a chance for the adults to get comfortable with everyone and there is a very large possibility that my younger brothers-in-law will be eager to go on more thrill rides than my littles, and that the bigs will appreciate having the option of going with them or hanging with us. My DD11 is a major nightowl, and with nothing planned for the following morning, it might be fun to try to close the park. We’ll also have a good idea of just how long that walk back to our rental house is; after scouting it out Sunday, it might mean calling it a night a bit earlier than I’d like to ensure none of the adults get overtired too!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019 at 1:02 PM
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  20. FeistyDisneyMom

    FeistyDisneyMom Mouseketeer

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    Itinerary: Day 5 - A ‘Rest’ Day (Beach & other touristy things in LA)

    It kind of pained me to put Tuesday as our rest day - that’s prime DL MM time! But they didn’t have the BBB slots I needed until Wednesday (5 kids in as small a window as possible), and I did seriously consider throwing caution to the wind and doing 5-day hoppers. DH has previously expressed how much he enjoys downtime and more peaceful vacationing, and I’m trying hard to be mindful of him and also my own well-being - I’m not quite as young as I used to be with a never-ending motor, and after a 24 hours of driving followed by hopefully a full day 12+ hours in the parks, I can probably use a rest day too.

    We may head to the beach and do touristy things, or we may stay in the house the whole day. Or hit DTD some of the day. Who knows! If anyone has suggestions, feel free to share ‘em!

    If we do the beach, Huntington and Crystal Cove are the current front runners.

    Whatever we do, we’re going to try to get everyone bathed and in bed relatively early. I’d like to get moving early the next day!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019 at 3:30 PM
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  21. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    Just some thoughts:
    Is it possible to be flexible with Monday as your rest day? Just in case? Mondays have been pretty busy days fairly consistently over the past year -- good in the mornings, but then the crowds build fast. Tuesdays are usually better. Wednesdays have been consistently good. So, if there is any flexibility in the schedule and you can play things by ear, you might want to think about that. If not, just keep going with your great planning skills and use MP and those morning hours to your advantage.
    ETA: Just saw that Monday is your DD's birthday -- so go ahead and celebrate in DL! (Get a birthday button and I'm Celebrating buttons for everyone else!) Just be sure to start early, use MP, stack those FPs, and stay ahead of the crowds. Some Mondays haven't been so busy, so hopefully this will be one of those!

    Yes, you can mobile order at both Starbucks (Starbucks DTD and Starbucks West) from outside the parks. We usually place our order from M&F, and the order is ready by the time we get to the counter.

    IASW has FP, so you can use that to get your crew on that ride whenever the line looks too long.

    Baby won't need to pay for the WOC Dessert Party since she's under 3.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 4:00 AM
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