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Old 08-11-2015, 01:31 PM   #76
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Checking in and all caught up! Sorry for the frustration in making ressies. Hope you get all you are hoping to enjoy!
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:33 PM   #77
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what a PITA.
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:05 PM   #78
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Glad to hear that they now have shuttles to the resorts. That was our big complaint. Its been 14 years since we've been. May have to rethink another trip here.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:24 PM   #79
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I'm glad you started. I remember trying to plan my Disneyland trip and freaking out about making ADRs. Apparently they don't understand the 180 days concept.
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:34 PM   #80
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I hope you get your ressies soon...such a pain to have to keep checking each day. We have used SuperShuttle in Phoenix, which was great. It was cheaper for us to take that to an off-site car rental office across town, than it was to rent directly at the airport. They took us right there, but we did have to share and make a couple of other stops along the way. No biggie, as we were not in a hurry, and we had a 2 hour drive up to Sedona.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:19 PM   #81
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I can't believe how soon your DL trip is!
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:59 PM   #82
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I have noticed that WDW dining CMs are chatty and friendly. Hopefully the package opens up soon. We had planned on doing that exact one when we planned our trip. The menu looks divine! I have not tried Super Shuttle but I am following closely because that was what we had also planned on using.
No luck today! But I will not give up!

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Unfortunately Cam, your experience pretty much matches mine when it comes to dining reservations and as for park hours... Don't even get me started on that! I don't think you'll have experienced that yet, as they're supposed to be out six weeks beforehand. Well, from what I've experienced "supposed" is the right word.... just to warn you.
I think I remember that about park hours from your trip report. We had actually been looking for park hours until I remembered from here, probably your TR, that they don't open as early as WDWs. I have taken for granted how much I enjoy planning a WDW vacation. I won't in the future as this as been much more interesting than I expected.

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It's a good thing both you and Luke are retired now. I can't imagine having to call every day for ADRs if you were juggling working schedules!
No kidding! I am working online, but I wouldn't have much time for that if I were still teaching. I've been getting on soon after I get up each morning.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:02 PM   #83
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We used the Gray Line Disneyland Resort Express bus service last November. They were affordable, $46 each for a round trip, (although that has now gone up a couple of dollars), and were excellent, we thought. The buses were clean, comfortable, easy to find and use, and offered an excellent service. It helped that our resort, the Fairfield Inn by Marriott, was one of their stops along the way - this meant that we were effectively taken door to door.

I would definitely recommend them, although I don't know how they compare price-wise to Super Shuttle.
Thanks for the info as I'll pass that along to Luke.

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Disneyland planning sure seems to be frustrating. Hope things get easier.
Me, too! But today was not the day to get easier.

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I didn't realize the two parks were so vastly different in planning processes (probably because DL is still out of reach for us)? When my parents took us, we walked up to the park window and bought our passes for each day (walked from our hotel down the street). This was well before the California Adventure and DtD expansions though.
From trip reports here I knew they were, but its definitely become more clear since we hit the 60 day mark.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:03 PM   #84
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YAY! I found your DL trip report! I love your trip reports!
I can't help with the dining.. I didn't do it when I went 5 years ago..
for coming on board!

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Oh, my fingers are crossed for you getting Blue Bayou today! As far as I'm concerned, that is a MUST DO!
We have heard that about Blue Bayou from several folks so it was our number 1 pick.

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So exciting! Cant wait to hear if you got the ADR's!
An update will follow all my responses here.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:07 PM   #85
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I'm so excited you've started your report! I just booked a trip for April (had to cancel our trip for November) and am interested to follow along. We've been to DL twice and both times had the most magical time. We used the Gray Line Disneyland shuttle and it was very good (we also found a coupon somewhere).

I can't wait to hear about your experience at Ralph Brennan. We ate there on our last trip and it was wonderful. We sat upstairs by a window watching all the people in DTD below. The food was great!

Looking forward to reading more of your plans and following along on your trip.
I'm definitely going to have Luke compare Gray Line to Super Shuttle. Now I'm hoping we get a table upstairs by a window.

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Yay, so happy to hear I can make ADR's online for our November trip! See, I knew I would learn a few things from your PTR. On our 2013 trip we were going to use Super Shuttle, but then I found a coupon and ended up using a car service which was awesome. He was right there waiting for us the second we grabbed our bags and took us right to the DL Hotel. Super Shuttle goes to all the area hotels. A couple of the other PP's there for the same races used Super Shuttle and it worked really great for them.

Are you flying out of LAX to go home too? We flew into LAX and out of SNA. For SNA we were able to take a taxi and it was easy and very affordable.
Yeah, I'm already being helpful! We are flying out of LAX since that is what worked with our SWA rewards points.

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Oh, how frustrating!
Absolutely! Makes me want to growl.

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Old 08-11-2015, 09:12 PM   #86
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Cam, we used Super Shuttle from the SNA (John Wayne Airport) to DL back in 2005 and they were OK. I thought the van was kind of dirty and the air conditioning wasn't working properly but the airport isn't that far to DL so I it was alright. I would read reviews on the shuttle coming from LAX since that is quite a bit farther distance. Sorry that you're having such a difficult time with the dining reservations. Back in 2005 I hadn't made any reservations ahead of time, and we just would walk up to a restaurant and if they had availability then we ate there. I did make a reservation for the Blue Bayou the day before when we were in the park before I heard that it wasn't that easy to get in. I know things are different now though. I did feel during past trips to DL that some CM's did not exhibit the same "magic" that most do in WDW.
Thanks for the review, Linda! I have shared your comments with Luke along with the other folks, so he is planning some comparison shopping tomorrow. I have heard that about the CMs at DL, too. I'm really hoping that they are all geared up for the 60th and behaving better.

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Checking in and all caught up! Sorry for the frustration in making ressies. Hope you get all you are hoping to enjoy!
I'm hoping the ressie making gets easier, but after today, I'm not holding my breath.

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what a PITA.
You got that exactly right!
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:14 PM   #87
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I hope you get your ressies soon...such a pain to have to keep checking each day. We have used SuperShuttle in Phoenix, which was great. It was cheaper for us to take that to an off-site car rental office across town, than it was to rent directly at the airport. They took us right there, but we did have to share and make a couple of other stops along the way. No biggie, as we were not in a hurry, and we had a 2 hour drive up to Sedona.
Thanks so much, Carolyn! Luke is wanting to get this lined up soon.

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I can't believe how soon your DL trip is!
One of the first things I do each morning is check my countdown app, and it seems the numbers are ticking down quickly.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:31 PM   #88
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Signing in! I just returned from my first trip to DLR (we've been home 10 days). I LOVED it there!!! It certainly is different than WDW but there was so much I loved about it. One thing we did that was terrific was the Welcome to Disneyland tour. This is a 2 1/2 hour walking tour of both parks. It did help us get acclimated to our new surroundings and our guide was GREAT. We rode 2 attractions during the tour (Little Mermaid and Pirates). Be forewarned, I sat in the front of the boat on Pirates and got pretty wet! I've never gotten wet on PotC in WDW. We also got to choose priority seating for one show. We chose Aladdin. So worth it! With PS, you are let in to the theater before everyone else and allowed to choose your seats. Pick the first row in the second level. Other package perks, they will make dining reservations for that evening for you, you get FPs for Star Tours, Indy, and WOC to use that day, you get a Disneyland pin. The cost was reasonable. -$20 per person with our DVC discount.

We used Super Shuttle to get back to LAX from DLR. The price was about $17 per person (check for discount codes online). I had a good experience and would use them again. They will send you a text with a link to track your shuttle. We were given a 15 minute arrival window and received a call at the end of the 15 minutes checking to be sure our shuttle had picked us up (it hadn't yet, but pulled into the driveway as I was speaking to the rep.)

I'm sure I'll have more to chime in on as you continue your PTR. I had considered doing a TR but, as a teacher, I'm gearing up for back to school and I'm not sure if I'll get around to it.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:33 PM   #89
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Another ADR (and crossing my fingers for two) and the Grand Californian

No joy today on the ADR front, though I will admit I suspected this would happen as todayís ADR was for the Fantasmic Package at Blue Bayou. Currently, there are no dates open for the entire month of October. I thought about calling, but the CM would probably just tell me the dates werenít up for her yet either. I did check again on the World of Color package at Wine Country Trattoria and no dates are open past October 3. Neither restaurant would even show any openings for dinner times, only lunch. So as of now, we still have no reservations for Thursday, October 8 and Saturday, October 10. No doubt what Iíll be doing first thing tomorrow morning Ė logging into Disneylandís website to make an ADR for October 11, and checking about two dining packages that may or may not be open yet. Come on Disneyland get the packages up!

So moving on to another now more pleasant topic Ė our resort, the Grand Californian. For us, it was imperative if we were to afford this trip that we get a room using DVC points. Luke began stalking the DVC website weeks before we could book, and excitedly told me every day that studios were available still for all our days. Then the first day that we could book, no studios, no one-bedrooms. So we remained calm, and moved the vacation forward a day. He went on the next morning, no studios, no one-bedrooms. These rooms were magical disappearing overnight. So day three, Luke got up extra early, logged in, and snagged a one-bedroom villa in the Grand Californian for October 6 Ė 12. Iím pretty sure when I got up about an hour and a half later, the two us did a happy dance around the living room. Really, the whole trip was hinging on using our DVC points as we did not have money budgeted to pay cash and we were not adding debt. We would have preferred to get a studio as our current use year points would have covered it and left us some to bank. But in the end we didnít have to borrow any points, so that is great. I am also excited about having a washer and dryer in the room as I plan on packing lighter and now laundry will be convenient. Iím hoping that Luke and I can find time to take the tour of the resort that Cheryl mentioned in her TR. The photos of this resort have me thinking that it will be one that Luke and I love along the lines of Animal Kingdom Lodge and especially Wilderness Lodge. And just think how many photos I can take of it myself. We are planning on using the pools and maybe even that special entrance to California Adventure.

NEXT: Another ADR, maybe a World of Color and/or Fantasmic dining packages, and Flights
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:37 PM   #90
SuperDave
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Glad Luke was able to score a room for the GC with some work! That is so aggravating with the ADRs and I would be losing my patience as I know you are! We are just spoiled with WDW's ADR routine!
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