Quantcast Pre-Thanksgiving 2011 Trip
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Las Cruces, NM
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Pre-Thanksgiving 2011 Trip

    Disneyland November 20-23rd
    DH and myself, celebrating DH 32nd BDay! Meeting up with my sister, bro-in-law and niece (nearly 7)
    Hotel: Holiday Inn and Suites (within 1 mile of parks)
    Park Hours: Disneyland 8-midnight daily, California Adventure 10AM-10PM daily

    DH and I drove from NM to AZ on Saturday Nov 19th (his bday) and stayed with my parents. An easy 5 1/2 hour drive. Grabbed Jimmy John's sandwiches in Tucson for lunch and had Elephant Bar for his bday dinner. Good night of sleep then up at 5:30AM to hit to road to Disneyland! Stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a couple donuts, coffee and munchkins for the drive. On the road by 7:15AM. No traffic until we were within 30 miles of Disneyland. Even then, we were moving quickly. Door to door, the drive took 6 hours. Stopped at Panda Express just down the road from our hotel for a quick lunch. We checked into our hotel. We had the choice (at that moment) of double beds or king accessible room. We opted for the king accessible so that we would be a little more comfortable. We unloaded/unpacked because it had started to sprinkle. By the time we were done, the rain had stopped. So we put on light jackets and started our walk to the parks. Our hotel is next to the Mickey and pals parking structure. So just a quick walk by that and then we are at the top of Downtown Disney (near the Disneyland hotel). On fresh legs, it takes us 15 minutes from our hotel to the ticket booth. On tired legs it took us 20-25 minutes. No lines for tickets, we walk right up and get out Deluxe annual passes. Only takes about 2 minutes. We just need to go in and have a photopass photographer take our picture. They no longer have your picture on your card, but your picture pops up on their screen when they scan you in the turnstile. Picture taken and we are ready to hit Disneyland! We will eventually meet up with my sister and her family but they are in line for a ride right now. So DH and I go off to find something to ride. I honestly can't remember what we rode and when during our trip! Our goal was to see many things but also just enjoy and relax a bit! We've been to Disneyland many times and will be back a couple times in the next year. We were at the park maybe 30 minutes when the rain started again. We had mixes of sprinkles then downpours. It rained off and on for about 6-7 hours. We packed our panchos and umbrella and were definately used! Lines were not too bad due to the rain. Our first ride of the trip was Indiana Jones Ride with about a 30 minute wait, great first ride! We even saw the hidden Mickey shirt on one of the skeletons! We then met up with my family. I know we hit a lot of Fantasyland due to low crowds. I know we rode Peter Pan, Mr Toads Wild Ride, Pinochio, Snow White, the carrousel, the off to Jungle Cruise. We ate dinner together at an empty Pinnochio Village Haus!! It was earily quiet and it was only about 6:30PM! Maybe only a dozen families total in the entire place! My sister and her family left not long later (they got in the day before). My DH and I stayed until probably 8PM. It was getting chilly and we were damp from all of the rain. We went on Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion and then headed to California Adventure. We hit a few rides like Tower of Terror and Toy Story before heading back to our hotel around 10PM. We stopped in World of Disney in Downtown on our walk back (common for every day of our trip). We picked up a few items for a friend that send money for the items. Found her things right away! Then headed "home".

    We ended up changing rooms on our 2nd day because we couldn't get the TV to work. It would turn on and go to their hotel menu, but you couldn't actually watch any channels. The phone on that same wall did work either. Since they couldn't figure out what was going on, they asked if we wanted to change rooms or just stay in the room with an unknown timeframe on the repairs. So midafternoon day 2 we moved to the room directly across the hall, so easy to move! Took us maybe 5-10 minutes to do the change. I will say the hotel was nice and quiet. And I know the house keeping does a great job keeping things clean. When we walked by rooms they were cleaning, we even saw them pull the dresser out from the wall and were vacuuming!

    We got up at 6AM each day to give us enough time to get ready, eat breakfast and walk to the park. Our hotel doesn't have breakfast so we had bought a box of pastries from Sam's Club before we left for less than $7 and would be more than enough for our trip. So I really don't remember what we did each day, but I will provide a list of attractions, shows, and places we ate during our trip! Pirates of the Caribbean was the only attraction closed while we were there. The rest of our trip was sunny and even warmed up during the day! We wore long sleeves under our t-shirts for the day. We even had to remove our under shirt during the day. We wore jeans at all times. For the evenings we took a little warmer coats and gloves and we were perfect!

    Disneyland Rides/Attractions we saw on this trip:
    Haunted Mansion Holiday, Thunder Mountain, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Indiana Jones Adventure, Jungle Cruise, Tarzan Treehouse, Toontown, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Alice in Wonderland, It's a Small World, King Arthur Carrousel, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Peter Pans Flight, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough, Snow White's Scary Adventure, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Space Mountain, Star Tours (5 times).
    Fantasmic, Belive in Holiday Magic fireworks spectacular, Magic Memories and You on It's a Small World, A Christmas Fantasy parade, Santa's reindeer Round-up.
    Gibson Girl ice Cream parlor, Corn Dog cart on Main Street, Pinocchio's Village Haus, Mickey Ice Cream bar at cart in New Orleans square.

    California Adventure Rides/Attractions:
    Monsters Inc Mike and Sulley to the Rescue, Twighlight Zone Tower of Terror, Toy Story Midway Mania, California Screamin', Mickey's Fun Wheel, The Little Mermaid-Ariel's Undersea Adventure, Soarin' Over California, Blue Sky Cellar.
    World of Color, Phineas and Ferb's Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party.
    Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta (Great spaghetti and meatballs we could share!), Pacific Warf cafe (amazing soup bread bowls)

    So the weather cleared out each day of our trip and got warmer each day (in a good way!). I think the day we left we were up to the low 70s. The crowds got heavier each day of our trip. Sunday was light due to the rain with 15-20 minute wait times on average. Monday-Wed we often saw wait times of 30-60 minutes. We used our fastpasses whenever possible. However, we found on this trip that even those lines were long. One night we had fast passes for Tower or Terror. The stand by line was 80 minutes. With fast passes we waited nearly 30 minutes! This was a recurring event on our trip. I think the crowds were more than they were expecting. All of the rides that have more than one track, were usually still only running one side. If they would have opened up all options, the lines would have been a lot shorter. For example, Screamin' has 2 loading areas, but they only used 1 the entire time we were there. Tower of Terror has 6 elevators, but they were only running 4. One screen broke down on Soarin for a while, so they were down to just one. But we took it all in stride and just enjoyed our vacation!

    On our last day, the day before Thanksgiving, we strolled through and did some rides, did some shopping and last minute pictures. We didn't get back to our hotel until 3PM. We got things arranged for our drive back to AZ and were on the road at 3:15PM. My sister and her family left about 2 hours before. She called me right before we got in our car and she said traffic was really bad. So we got in our car and hit the first freeway going 5 mph! We were only on this road for a couple of miles but it took us about 15 minutes. We got onto the 91 and it was horrible traffic! We were often stopped or going just 5-10 mph. In the end, it took us 2 1/2 hours to drive 40 miles!!!!! We stopped at In-n-out in Palm Dessert and everyone else decided to eat there too! I think it turned out to be a 30 minutes to stop to order and get our to go order! We arrived at my parents house at 12:15AM AZ time. So our 6 hour drive became an 8 hour drive home! Thankfully everyone was driving safe and we didn't see any accidents.

    So we had a great time at Disneyland, despite the crowds. If something was too busy for our liking, we just went to something else. It was a wonderful relaxing time and are already looking forward to our next trip, hopefully early spring before spring break crowds. There were many things we didn't get to do on this trip, so we hit them up next time! We couldn't believe we never rode the monorail. But every time we went to get on, it was a really long line that was going to take 30-40 minutes to get on! Next time!
    Dreaming of Disney World every day, until I can get back there again!
    Disneyland at least a dozen times growing up!
    July 1997- Wilderness Lodge (HS Graduation)
    December 2009 & 2010- POP Century (7th & 8th Wedding Anniversaries)
    November 2011, April 2012, October 2012, January 2013 Disneyland

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Post Thanks / Like


    Thanks for the report!
    Michael aka: NotaGeek

    INTERCOT Insider Live Podcast Staff
    WDW 1/6/16 - 1/11/16 - BRING ON THE COWBELLS!

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    upport INTERCOT Sponsors!

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