Our Crazy Holiday Trip (late November 2016) - update 8/16

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Jaina, May 4, 2016.

  1. Jaina

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

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    Complete!
    Actual trip report starts on page 5!
    (Also, sorry some of the pictures are huge. I was still figuring out imgur when I uploaded some of them...)

    Day 0 - Traveling

    Day 1 - Disneyland! (on very little sleep)
    Day 1 - Toontown, Mickey and Tiny Meltdowns
    Day 1 - Tomorrowland and Tiredness
    Day 0 and 1 - Video links

    Day 2 - A chilly Magic Morning
    Day 2 - Beignets, Babies, and Burgers
    Day 2 - A Little Too Much Screamin'
    Day 2 - Video

    Day 3 - A Sudden Change in Plans
    Day 3 - A Little Magic
    Day 3 - Boardwalks and Splashdowns
    Day 3 - Video


    Day 4 - A California Morning

    Day 4 - Divide and Conquer
    Day 4 - An Overpacked Parade
    Day 4 - All the Lights
    Day 4 - Video


    This seems so far out to me, but I'm already super excited about it, and I just wanted somewhere to collect my thoughts, since between then and now I'll be having a baby, and who knows what shape my mind will be in.
    :rotfl2:
    I have tentatively planning this trip (for like 6 months) for the first week of November, since low crowds are important to us with our band of small children. But the other day DH told me if we were going that close to Christmas, he'd rather us go when all the decor was up, (which none of us have seen) and enjoy the seasonal stuff even if it's more crowded. So I settled on the week after Thankgsgiving as our best bet for "lesser" crowds, haha, and already have reservations at like 3 motels.


    So if anyone knows of any trip reports here that happened the week after Thanksgiving in the last few years, please link them for me!!

    Our cast of characters will include me :tigger: (34), DH 8-)(33), DS10 :darth: (he will be a "Disney adult" at 10, haha), DD8 :tink:(almost 9), DD6 princess: (6), DS2 :mickeyjum (almost 3), and our new baby DD0 :cutie:, due the first of August. She will be 4 months. The closest I've come to taking a baby to Disney is when DS2 was 9 months, and I took a single-day trip with just him and some girlfriends, with their little ones. (Trip report in my sig) SO not the same thing just being responsible for him vs taking my whole entourage!
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    party:

    Trip preparation posts will include how our last (only, so far) family trip went, me being crazy and trying to put together matching shirts and stuff, figuring out which hotel will be the best fit for us (and mostly, our budget, which really enters into it with lots of us!), and deciding how many days we're going to spend, what our priorities will be, etc. A lot of that might depend on if I have another c-section in August (hoping not!) and if this new baby is an easy one or not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  2. ClaraOswald

    ClaraOswald DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing!
     
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  4. Jaina

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

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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  5. DisneymoonJess07

    DisneymoonJess07 I

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    Looking forward to reading about your trip!!
     
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  6. Jaina

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

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    Thanks! I'm shopping a little too much right now trying to figure out shirts. I know it will be easier now than it will be after baby comes. :) Pictures to come of what I've pulled together so far!
     
  7. ClaraOswald

    ClaraOswald DIS Veteran

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    Fun! We're boring and don't do any special shirts.
     
  8. Jaina

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

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    We got some good financial news, and the trip is looking a little more concrete. :) YAY! I might even make a reservation closer to the parks... Right now we're probably staying at a hotel in Buena Park because with 7 of us, we pretty much need two rooms, and that gets expensive fast. I've been trying to work on our shirts (which I enjoy putting together because it's like Disneyland-nesting and because I'm a picture/video person, and they make me happy forever afterwards). These are the shirts we did last trip:
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    Anyway, right now I have 4 lime green shirts in the dryer that I'm planning to do a fun freezer paper stencil/pencil dot outline with.
    I've never done freezer paper before, but I have stencils cut out (a different one for each person) and I'm going to try it today! (I'm doing all of this shirt stuff early because I know once baby girl is here there won't be time or energy for such projects, and because it brings me joy and distraction, which I need in the third trimester...)
    I need to find green shirts for DH (no problem), DS2 and baby girl (those two will be trickier. Also, babies are known for NOT wearing the same thing all day, so I might need to just grab some coordinating colors for her).


    And I also bought these ears for me and the girls like 6 months ago (with SOME Disney trip in mind) at the outlet because they were $7 a piece. Not sure what to do for the boys, but maybe these hats, if we still have the other one. (DH and I bought them when we were engaged...)

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    So that's what's going on so far! I'll post pictures of the green shirts when I see how these 4 turn out today! :) Thanks for following along!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  9. ClaraOswald

    ClaraOswald DIS Veteran

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    Love the shirts! I wish we had a Disney store around here. I'm pretty cheap though so I'll probably try to find some Disney shirts for my son at Walmart or somewhere. I did find him a Nemo/Dory shirt (and shorts) at Kohl's last week. Hopefully I got a size that will fit him in February!

    How affordable are the hotels in Buena Park? Will you have a car?

    Have you checked out the Desert Inn and Suites on Harbor? They have a lot of different types of rooms and they are probably one of the more affordable places within walking distance. Also, you can book a room with them and cancel, for free, up to 48 hours before.
     
  10. Jaina

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

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    They have cute shirts at Target, but they're more like $10/a piece, whereas I got the kids' shirts for $6 at the Disney outlet... We got some before at Walmart for our last trip!

    I have been using Booking.com and finding some good deals (which is why I now have like 8 reservations) and I like that it keeps everything in one place so I don't accidentally forget to delete one of our reservations in time. All the reservations I've made so far don't charge until you stay there, and are cancellable up until a day or two before! I have stayed at the Desert Inn & Suites before with my own (original) family, and you can't beat the location. I have several reservations at the Buena Park Hotel & Suites (which gets good reviews) for 2 rooms at about $50/night. So we have two rooms for 3 nights for around $350 with taxes. That is our cheapest one. I have also reserved rooms at Anaheim Maingate Inn (iffy reviews, but right by the Mickey Parking Structure), Anaheim Lodge (good reviews mostly, but more Buena Park area), Anaheimer Islander Inn & Suites (close-ish, decent reviews), and the one I'm hoping we can keep that I just made - a bunkbed family suite at the Portofino Inn. (Good reviews, walking distance to Disney, but even closer to the Toy Story parking). It's more like $500 for 3 days. (But if we stay closer like that, we'll save about $60 in parking over the three days).

    We will have a car, since we'll be driving from AZ. :)
     
  11. ClaraOswald

    ClaraOswald DIS Veteran

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    Ah...having a car will be nice, for sure. And those are some great rates! I've never used booking.com before.

    The only hotels I've stayed at are the Anaheim Plaza, Desert Inn, and Anabella.
     
  12. Jaina

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

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    We have stayed at the Plaza (and liked it very much - at least the Deluxe rooms) and the walk was great, and at the Candy Cane Inn (on a trip without kids - it's very nice, and has a shuttle, or you can walk). We stayed in a hotel right by the Anabella once. The walk was more than we were expecting for some reason. :) Even the walk from the Portofino will be a bit much for us - I see us walking over to the TS Parking lot. But it's nice to have walking be an OPTION.
     
  13. ClaraOswald

    ClaraOswald DIS Veteran

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    We stayed at the Anabella back in 2006 so it was before Cars Land and I think the parking was different. We actually walked across the street and just down a bit to hop on the tram. I don't think you can do that from Katella anymore.

    We stayed at the Plaza 3 or 4 times and the last time was just not good. And now I think we're spoiled by the walk from the Desert Inn...haha.
     
  14. cptmemo

    cptmemo Mouseketeer

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    You always have such cute shirt ideas--I remembered the green ones you made and shared from your last trip. We're going the week after you it looks like. Planning on flying down 12/2, then 12/7 we're driving to Phoenix to see my inlaws, and 12/11 flying back to Oregon. We've never gone at Christmas time either, I'm so excited!
     
  15. Jaina

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

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    So fun! December is a great time to visit Phoenix, too, haha. :) THe shirts are in progress. They're more work than I expected! But what else am I going to do, fold laundry?
     
  16. Jaina

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

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    So I got the first four shirts done (haven't found ones for DH or DS2 yet). They took WAY more time than I expected/hoped. I used fabric paint (with a brand new pencil eraser for a stamp), fabric markers, and a little bit of puff paint. I'm mostly happy with the way they turned out, but I'm a little iffy. Especially on Elsa, who it's hard to even see who/what she is. I think these would have been better all the same template (like maybe the castle) but I wanted to make sure everyone liked their shirt, so I was trying to personalize them. DS2 will be Buzz Lightyear and no idea on what DH will want yet.

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    The Yoda one is slightly darker material, but mostly it's a little shadowed for some reason.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  17. JBF1982

    JBF1982 Earning My Ears

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    Following. I love all of your shirts and Disney gear; so cute! I have 4 kids so I am also interested to read from the "large family" standpoint. We last went with kids, in March 2013, when we only had 2. Anyway, I read your other two reports and loved them and look forward to reading about the development of your trip plans!
     
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  18. Jaina

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

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    It's a whole different ballgame with so many, isn't it? Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed at the thought of 5, but I already feel overwhelmed sometimes with four, and we always make it work. And I wouldn't want to send anyone back. :) But it does make traveling and Disney trips much more expensive, and need a little more planning. Our last trip when they were younger was great, so hopefully we can avoid anything major going wrong this time, and have another good trip! I grew up the oldest of 5, and we made it to Disney every 2-3 years and made a lot of good memories.
     
  19. Jaina

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

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    So, hotel updates. I have spent WAY too much time on the computer trying to research, compare, and decide in the last two days. I canceled several of my reservations through booking.com. I'm hanging on to the Buena Park Hotel & Suites ($360 for two queen rooms/3 nights - also booked there the first week of November, actually, as a back up) and the Portofino Inn ($506 for the bunkbed kids' suite/3 nights), but I just booked the Stanford Inn & Suites (kids' bunk bed suite with two bathrooms) through getawaytoday.com for the same 3 nights. The third night is "free," so only $403 for the 3 nights WITH the trip change/cancellation insurance they offer. It's further than one or two of the others, but I think we'll be happier with it. It's enough room for all of us (2 queens, a set of bunk beds, and a sleeper couch, and the two bathrooms are a big plus), and they're supposed to have a pretty decent breakfast. That will be nice, since our kids will be up early and looking for something to do/eat several hours before the park opens. (They are mostly up before 6 AM every. single. day. and that will be 5 AM California time. Hoping the park will wear them out!)
    http://www.stanfordinnanaheim.com/rooms-en.html#item_21


    Our transportation options are walking (not the best - it's not THAT close, and even with the double jogger we have several sets of little feet we don't want to wear out OUT of the park), walking 10-15 minutes to the Toy Story Lot and grabbing the bus the rest of the way, driving to the Toy Story lot and parking ($20/day, but it might be worth it. We'll see.), or taking ART. My selfish plan involves DH dropping us all off at the front, then going back and parking the car and taking the ART in, haha. Has anyone relied on the ART recently? How was it? I haven't ever ridden it. I do have fun memories of staying at the Jolly Roger Inn as a kid, and either taking its tram, or hopping on the one at the hotel next to us... That's mostly the extent of my experience with riding some form of transportation to the Parks. :)
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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  20. Jaina

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

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    Okay, this is not totally related to our trip, but we got some of -these- last night, and once we opened the 7 we had, DH sent me back to the store to get more... through much feeling-of-the-bags for key pieces and through the help of others gathered around the table, I came home with 11 more, and no duplicates (other than Stitch, who we had two of in the first grab). My kids (and husband) are obsessed! The combination of Legos and Disney is a dangerous one...
     

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  21. Jaina

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

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    Okay, this DOES have to do with our trip, and I'm super excited about my find today! I went to our Disney Store Outlet (about 15-20 minutes away) hoping they had a different size for one of the shirts I already got (nope) and found these! All their Disney Parks merchandise was 75% off, but these had already been marked down a bit, so they were only $7.50 each (originally $45 in Park)!! My little monsters are going to be so cute in these in November! (because it will -probably- be cold part of the time, right? Of course, that's what I thought about our end-of-February trip last time, and they were having a heat wave...)
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    They only had bigger size, so my little guy's will be a little big, no matter how much he grows in the next 6 months, but how cute is he? :) (He was not impressed to be trying on a jacket, but humored me for a quick picture, so I could convince my husband that we needed them...)

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
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