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  1. #1

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    Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    My hubby and I are taking our 3 yo and 5 yo boys to Disneyland this summer as a surprise. We are celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary and my oldest starting kindergarten in the fall. It will be their first trip but my husband hasn't been in over 15 years and I haven't been in 10 years. Needless to say we are very excited. So my first question is: Do I tell the hotel we are celebrating our anniversary? Will there be any perks?

    We are driving as my hubby and I both enjoy cross country drives and my boys have been doing this since birth and are fine in the car (not angels but they do okay). Since it will take 2 days (we're in Texas) we aren't surprising them with the trip until the 2nd morning. They'll think we are taking our usual trip to New Mexico. Any tips or tricks for a memorable surprise?

    We're staying at the Disneyland Hotel as it kind of just pulled at my husband and I. It seemed to me (after hours of research) to really encompass all that is Disney. We are currently booked in a Premium View Concierge. Is the concierge service worth it? We tend to prefer staying in suites as we don't go to sleep as early as the little ones but to add the concierge service to a suite is a bit ridiculous. My pull to the concierge service is the breakfast and free snacks. But with the suite we'd have a fridge and microwave so I could easily take care of that in our room. Thoughts?

    We have 4 day park hoppers and the 4 day dining plan. To be honest the dining plan is really about the convenience for me as I know most people feel it isn't worth it. We ARE the types to order the biggest meal and my boys can eat football players under the table so I really think we will get our money's worth. Any favorite dining spots? Or preferences? Tips? Tricks?

    I'm an overly prepared mommy, as my oldest has an allergy to corn, so we will drive cross country with enough snacks and drinks to feed a small army. I know I can't take a cooler into the park but is there a limit? Like if we have 2 backpacks and 1 of them is nothing but snacks and water bottles and Gatorade will they say no?

    My oldest is very tall (5 yo and 47") and chances are that by the time we get there he'll be able to ride everything, currently he can't get on California Screamin'. And my "little" one, who is 3 and fearless, is 41" so a couple of things are off his list but not many. Any thoughts on toddlers/ young kids and rides? Overcoming fears? Tips on helping them overcome said fears?

    And last, we get one night to ourselves, as we have family in the area who are going to babysit. Ideas for a date night at Disney?

    I lied, one more thing... anything I've missed or should include? I'll take all info I can get, I don't believe in being too prepared. I'll have that map memorized, I promise!

  2. #2

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    Quote Originally Posted by mrscptgreen View Post
    And last, we get one night to ourselves, as we have family in the area who are going to babysit. Ideas for a date night at Disney?
    Book the Chef's Table at Napa Rosa....about the best and most elegant "adult" date night thing you can do at the park in my opinion. It will be a 3 hour dining "experience"...not just a meal! Second choise for a date night would be dinner at Carthay Circle Restuarant.

    ...or you can book the Fantasmic Dessert viewing for just the two of you, but that is something that you would most likely want to experience with the kids.

  3. #3

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    I looked at the concierge, but it was just too spendy for what you get in my opinion. All the rest looks pretty spot-on, but I can't remember what all they checked when we went last.

  4. #4

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    I looked at the concierge, but it was just too spendy for what you get in my opinion.
    It's def spendy. And I'm beginning to think for that amount of money I'd just prefer the suite. I'm going to wait to alter any of our reservations though until 31-35 days before. Just in case some special or discount runs.

  5. #5

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    Quote Originally Posted by ParkHopper1 View Post
    Book the Chef's Table at Napa Rosa....about the best and most elegant "adult" date night thing you can do at the park in my opinion. It will be a 3 hour dining "experience"...not just a meal! Second choise for a date night would be dinner at Carthay Circle Restuarant.

    ...or you can book the Fantasmic Dessert viewing for just the two of you, but that is something that you would most likely want to experience with the kids.
    Thank you! We had thought about eating with the kiddos before our evening out but my husband brought up just grabbing them something quick so they can get some rest before our last day in the parks. And then we can have that Romantic night out. The Carthay sounds nice, I'm not sure I want to spend 3 hours eating when I could be riding the rides my kiddos aren't tall enough for.

  6. #6

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    I would skip conceirge since you've already bought a dining plan and plan on bringing snacks.

    You may also want to look into connecting rooms.

    Ask to see a chef anywhere your son needs to eat and isn't sure if it's corn free. They can offer alternatives to meet his needs.

    I'm going to guess that the 3yo will do anything the 5yo will. Be positive, remind them that Mickey Mouse officially endorses this attraction.

    For your date night you can extra FPs with your kids' tickets to use for yourselves.

    Whil your kids think you are going to NM, maybe surpise them to say you are going to California to see the mountains, shore, or to ride a train. Things that are half true but can be done in Disneyland Resort.
    Be Cool Stay in School!
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  7. #7

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    Also, to clarify, Carthay isn't a three hour meal. The three hours is only for the chef's table at Napa Rose.

    The idea of using your kids tickets for fast passes is great!

  8. #8

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    Hi I hope you guys have a wonderful time.

    I don't recommend the concierge as I never felt I got to use it and I stayed at the grand Californian. Even at the DLH there never seems to be enough time to justify it, just my two cents.

    I have never used the food plan as I also order big and splurge out of convenience. If you can try any of the following: the carthay, blue bayou, Bengal BBQ, any of the Resturants around DLH, napa rose, storytellers cafe, holiday bakery, carnation cafe, and napollini in downtown Disney. Some you can call ahead and get reservations ahead of time and I highly recommend doing that. I highly recommend the Matterhorn macaroon from the holiday bakery if you like coconut

    Do not miss fantasmic and see world of color. When you first go into Disneyland stop by city hall and get the kids a free first time button and if they are enforcing the strict fastpass times be mindful of the time window. What helps us is the mousewait app for your cellphone that tells you ride wait times and crowd levels, at least that way you can get an idea of what you can accomplish before the fastpass window.

    sorry for the long response hope this helps and have a magical time.

  9. #9

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    I would look into the PhotoPass Plus thing - After all I've read about it, it's something I would definitely do with my (future) kids!!

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  10. #10

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    I would highly recommend the Carthay Circle for a date night. It's a great restaurant. You also get premium viewing to WOC if you each order a meal and get an app or dessert there. It's the perfect way to round off the night, ask your server for the later show. Plus you will already be in DCA which has all the best thrill rides that the younger ones wont be able to do

  11. #11

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    You may also want to look into connecting rooms.
    I didn't even know that was an option. Do I just ask a CM about it when I call?

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    Ask to see a chef anywhere your son needs to eat and isn't sure if it's corn free. They can offer alternatives to meet his needs.
    I was shocked to find corn on the accommodated allergy list for DL. That's not the norm anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    I'm going to guess that the 3yo will do anything the 5yo will. Be positive, remind them that Mickey Mouse officially endorses this attraction.
    He's actually the leader/ enforcer/ Destructo (that's our nickname for him). That's a great idea to remind them that MM endorses it... or Lightning McQueen, he can do NO wrong in our house.

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    For your date night you can extra FPs with your kids' tickets to use for yourselves.
    I would NEVER have thought about that!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    Whil your kids think you are going to NM, maybe surpise them to say you are going to California to see the mountains, shore, or to ride a train. Things that are half true but can be done in Disneyland Resort.
    That is an awesome idea! Thank you!

  12. #12

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    I would look into the PhotoPass Plus thing - After all I've read about it, it's something I would definitely do with my (future) kids!!
    I've already signed up! We're planning on taking our little point and shoot and nothing else. The idea of hauling my canon around had me having heart palpatations, so when I found the PP+ thing I was instantly sold.

  13. #13

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    I know you are sold on the dining plan and that's fine if that's what you really want. But IMO it isn't worth it because while Disney food is ok day after day of eating nothing else can get a little boring. After awhile you might want to take advantage of the restaurants on Harbor and in Garden Walk, which don't offer the dining plan. And if you have good transportation you may want to venture outside the Disney bubble to try something different.

    Once again if you want to stick with the dining plan all the power to you. Just some things to consider in regards to the dining plan.

  14. #14

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    Quote Originally Posted by CassiefRN View Post
    The idea of using your kids tickets for fast passes is great!
    While the wife and kids do Ariel's grotto, I usually loop Calf Screemin' on their ticket fastpasses or single rider. Works out great.

  15. #15

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    Re: Interested in feedback for our vacation plans...

    Quote Originally Posted by mrscptgreen View Post
    I've already signed up! We're planning on taking our little point and shoot and nothing else. The idea of hauling my canon around had me having heart palpatations, so when I found the PP+ thing I was instantly sold.
    We've been underimpressed with the photopass results. The shots out of our Dx-format Nikon were always better, and framed how YOU wanted the shots, not the CM taking the pics. I'm dragging a full-frame Nikon and FAST glass with me this time around. It is a bit of an inconvenience (heavy combo), but its the pics you want, when and where you want, how you want, and in print-quality.

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