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Old 06-04-2018, 10:23 AM   #1
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Disneyland / California PTR

I apologize in advance if it takes me too long to write a TR after we go on this. I've been horrible in the past at making trip reports. To be fair, there are lots for WDW so I'm not usually doing anything special from what others do. In fact, we tend to take it easy and enjoy food and relaxing. We had several days in March that we actually only rode two of the three fastpass rides and then nothing else!

But Disneyland it seems doesn't have as many trip reports, so I really want to do one fully. So here goes.

Our plans will be to fly in to LAX after my wife takes her second test for some stock certification. Equity Edge Professional? Not sure. but I'll take here there to downtown Denver, drop off the three dogs at a dog sitters place, go home and load luggage in the van and get the kids, then go wait. Test ends at 1:30 and our flight is at 3:30. I want her to have the full time if she needs it (I doubt she will though).

At that point we run out to DIA and drop off bags at the outside counter. I've found a $20 will help get them checked in outside at a much much much faster counter than waiting inside. Run the car to long term parking and then meet up inside to go through security and get to the gate.

I work for the airline I'm flying on, but purchased tickets so we could pick seats and make sure we get there. However, since they seem to upgrade people since Business and First are not oversold, but coach is, I've had some success at getting moved to Business or First when they find out I am an employee, but paid for my ticket. They respect that and will put us there before someone that didn't pay for a ticket (true employee standby). Doesn't always work with the smaller planes, but we choose big aircraft so that this can hopefully happen.

Before 9/11 I could fly First all the time. After 9/11 the airlines contracted systems and planes, and its much much harder to fly standby at all, much less business or first. But...first world problems, am I right?

So then we will arrive at LAX and rent a minvan four our trip, and head off to the HoJo Anaheim that is a ten minute walk from the front gates. We will have four nights staying there, and four days in the park. Planning on getting the park hopper and the MaxxPass to try it out. I'm usually up early, so I plan on going to the opening of the parks, going inside to make the MaxxPass reservations, then when the family arrives we have some set up.

I'm not sure if there is a max character limit for these posts. I think I'll stop and post this and then start another post.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:56 AM   #2
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We have a great friend that lives in LA now. She does remote work often (may be in the UK or Scotland right now; does a lot of work in AUS too) who flies back in the same night we arrive. Cindy will be staying in the same hotel and doing several days with us. We also have a niece that graduated college last year that is working in LA. We hope to have her come after work and either eat at Downtown Disney, or we will get her in to play with the girls on rides until it closes. Either way, we will have additional family/friends with us which will be nice.

On the fourth park day we do have to have the vehicle out by 3 pm. So I'll probably take it to Mickey parking when we leave the room. Might have to go make the Maxxpasses first, then go back to pry everyone out of bed and pack to load the minivan. The pan at that point is to play all day, then when we get tired (and the rush hours abate a little) we will drive out to Santa Barbara to The Lavender Inn. Looks quaint, like a B& B, although it isn't. Sleep in a little, then drive the rest of the way to Hearst Castle. Somewhere in there we will have to go by San Lois Obispo since we have another niece going to school at Cal Poly and is still there. This is the little sister to the first niece in LA. SO we have to see her and have lunch with her. Then off to Hearst Castle for a couple tours.

We have two Corgis who are cute as buttons, and we have fallen for the breeds. We bought some patches for my daughters from a lady on a Facebook corgi group. In the following conversation, we found out that she has six corgis, (Corgi Castle on FB and something similar on IG), lives near Hearst Castle, and in fact, is one of the people that dress up in period costumes and give the tours!! Talk about a small world, when we are headed there within a month of meeting her!

But then, sadly, she has a wedding to go to in the UK, so she wont be there when we are. That was a bit of a bummer. The Neptune pool has been closed since 2014 because it was leaking water badly. It is being repaired, and will be open again by August or so, but will be closed while we are there. Or...empty. People don't get to swim in it. But it is beautiful when filled. I expect to see Greek Gods to be eating peeled grapes by it when I see it.

Regardless, we will do two or three tours and then head out. There was a landslide on Highway 1 that took out road and a bridge, so we will backtrack a bit to get over to 101 and then head up to the hotel we have for two nights in Monterey. As an interesting side note; on the road that cuts over to 101 from Highway 1 south of San Simeon, if you look to the south as you are driving, you will pass Hidden Valley Ranch. Its the front gate that you see on the HVR ranch seasoning packets. Not a huge point of interest, but we found it a nice little side note of interest when we passed it the first time.

Once up in Monterey, if its light enough out we might do 17 Mile Drive, or go to Half Moon Bay. If not, we can walk to the wharf from our hotel and have a nice dinner. going the other way from the hotel the next morning will be the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We definitely want to spend time in that, and then see 17 Mile Drive, if we didn't get to it the day before. Maybe see the lighthouse, walk around the town. Possibly go to Carmel by the Sea. We will see how much time we have.

The next morning we will drive up to San Jose to do a tour of The Winchester Mystery House. I know my girls will find it very interesting. I know they have candlelight tours on Halloween night. I would love to do that, but my wife who loves to watch haunted places shows and loves scary movies (I don't) will NOT even consider doing that. lol

After the WMH we will head into San Francisco. This will be a Saturday, so not as busy as a weekday and can then ride the cable cars and be tourists. Would like to walk over part of the Golden Gate Bridge and go to Golden Gate Park too. And of course, I'd love to go visit the Walt Disney Family Museum. I will have to see if I can get the rest of the family interested in that. After the day in San Fran, we are going to drive out the Vacaville to stay the night. My wife and I lived in Vacaville for 9 years before kids, both with the USAF, and then various jobs including the airline I am with. So a lot of that morning will be taking to our apartment and house we rented, try to get on the base to show them where I worked, and if not, maybe we will skip over to Napa for a bit. Then we head back to SFO and fly back home that evening.

We had planned on a few days in Lake Tahoe, but decided to do another trip in a year or two that will start in San Fran (or Sacramento), go into Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, then the redwoods, Crater Lake in Oregon, and on up to Seattle. Maybe Canada and see if there is a 4 day Alaskan cruise on Disney Cruise Line. We will have to see how overtime goes for me.

We love Disney, and are working on expanding the girl's ideas of trips to include the world outside of Disney. (They are 12 and 10. I suppose I should add that up in the first post!)

Last edited by Timon_HakunaMatata; 06-04-2018 at 11:01 AM..
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:14 PM   #3
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Oh wow, your plans look fantastic!

I was looking at an itinerary that involved Hearst Castle and the Winchester Mystery House at one point for our spring 2019 trip, but we ended up opting for Napa Valley instead. I'd still like to visit them both one day, so I can't wait to hear what you think of them both.

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Old 06-04-2018, 08:49 PM   #4
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Your itinerary is looking great!
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:39 PM   #5
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Plans look great. Good that you'll be visiting other areas besides DL. I've been to Monterey and Hearst Castle and enjoyed them both quite so!

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Old 06-08-2018, 09:58 AM   #6
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Your plans look great!
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:00 PM   #7
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Great plans! I loved Hearst Castle and 17 mile drive, and of course Disneyland!

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Old Yesterday, 11:58 AM   #8
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Sounds like a nice trip planned. Can't wait to read more
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