Just psyching myself up, and thought some folks might be interested in it. It was my wife's first trip. From the archives of Alt.Disney.Disneyland.
Trip Report - Oct 2nd to 4th - Part 1 [LONG]
Part 1 - Getting There:
While I remember visiting Disneyland several times during my childhood, my second to last visit was perhaps 5 or so years ago, when the Rivers of America was drained, and construction walls were up announcing the forthcoming Fantasmic!
My last visit was about two years ago, when Tomorrowland was still under construction. That visit involved a chum, his friend, and myself. This third person, alas, was only interested in riding all the big rides as quickly as possible, and then leaving the park before any of the parades or shows. I did get my first ride on Indy, and had used the DIG to prepare for my trip - but I was still largely unaware of the a.d.d. newsgroup.
This time, my wife Lori announced that we might think of going on a trip, as she had three days of vacation to burn before the busy season started at her workplace. Since she got to pick the itinerary of our last trip, she let me pick the location for this one. Since I had discovered the a.d.d. group, reading trip reports had worked up the desire to go back to Disneyland - and the thought of finally getting to see Fantasmic! was more than enough motivation in itself. My wife was not sure if she would enjoy DL, as she had never attended, but thought that at least the weather would make a pleasant change from the Seattle rain. Lena, a housemate of ours, was interested in going along as well.
In fact, we had previously plotted a trip earlier in the year, but had to cancel the plans due to scheduling problems. This time, we had plenty of time to prepare, and we fixed the exact date based on the latest time Lori's work would allow her to go. I researched various web sited, queried the newsgroup, and made reservations via the Internet.
One interesting problem was that I wanted to try the Candy Cane Motel, as it was generally recommended, and I didn't wish to pop the price for the Disney hotels, as least not while the monorail was down. Several hotel reservation search engines showed the Candy Cane as being booked up during my desired dates. However, before going with an alternate, I called them direct - and it appeared they had plenty of room!
We plotted on flying in Friday evening into Burbank - it being recommended by a friend who lives in Hollywood - and getting a rental car and driving to the Candy Cane. Reservations for Medieval Times had been made for Saturday dinner, and plans for later in the week (the Getty Museum, Universal Studios) were arranged. The return flight was set for Wednesday, later in the evening.
I reserved plane tickets online, as well as the rental car. The phone was used for Medieval Times reservations, and Getty parking reservations - 2:30 PM being the earliest available time when reserving two weeks in advance! We planned to stay at my Hollywood friend's apartment for our last two nights, as it was nearer the Getty, Universal, and the Burbank airport. I generated driving directions between the various locations via MapQuest online. I stopped by AAA and got three day flex passes, as well as Universal tickets.
So much for the logistics of planning. I spent the final week before the trip whipping myself into a Disney frenzy via various web pages, postings, and discussion. Finally, Friday arrived, and we were off. The flight over (on Alaska) was pleasantly uneventful. After some slight confusion finding the rental place - I had chosen Dollar rent-a-car, and they are located in the Hilton across from the airport - we got our car, and drove to the hotel. My wife was relieved to find the hotel pleasant, as she still refers to my last hotel choice in Vancouver as "hotel Satan".
Getting to sleep turned out to be slightly more difficult than expected, as a childlike anticipation had set in: tomorrow morning I'd be in Disneyland!
(part 2 to follow immediately)