Well, I thought I would write a trip report of our recent trip to DL to celebrate DD's 9th birthday. We usually have a big party for her birthday at my mom's community room, but since my mother passed away, I felt we needed to do something very different and special for DD.
I offered her a trip to DL and to stay in the DL hotel (we always stay in the Harbor hotels since we are on a budget) instead of a party. Then when I went to price the trip it was going to be too expensive ($210 a night) so I had asked for suggestions on how to make a birthday trip special on a previous thread.
Well, a fellow MC'er (SCUBAbe) gave me a great suggestion to check out AP rates at the DL hotel (my Ap had expired, but I was going to renew them on the trip). I did and got the same rate at the DL hotel that I was paying for a Harbor hotel, so DD's dream of staying at the Dl hotel came true.
We left Saturday morning from San Jose and made it to Anaheim in record time (about 6 hours). I needed to go to the park first to renew my AP before checking into the hotel. We parked in the lot (and took the parking receipt with us to the park- thanks to a suggestion here), took the tram to the park and went into DL and right to AP processing. The line was 1 1/2 hours long! Good thing we got there early! While I waited in line DH & DD looked at the shops and even caught a performance of the Dapper Dans (DD's favorite). Once we got inside, processing the AP's was fast. We then left the park, took the tram to our car and drove over to the DL hotel to check in.
No real fanfare upon check in (no characters, etc.). However, the CM was very nice, answered all our questions and gave DD a birthday button (which she proceeded to wear for the entire trip- not just on her birthday!). We had a room in Bonita (I had requested Sierra- due to recommendations here, but didn't get it). We had a view of the parking lot, oh well. The room was basically a standard DL hotel room. It had really nice touches and details, but I'm not sure I would pay $210 a night for it. I missed my microwave, coffee pot and short walk to the hotel that I get with a Harbor stay. On the other hand, the grounds and atmosphere were fantastic, the pool incredible and the staff was very friendly and helpful. DD was absolutely thrilled with the room and everything about the stay at the DL hotel.
We ended up going off property for dinner after a walk to Downtown Disney and finding it packed. After dinner, we took the monorail into the park. We wanted to catch the fireworks, but they were starting and it was Sat. night so I knew we'd never get a seat. We opted to walk right on Buzz instead. We love that ride. It's so much fun. We then got off Buzz and went over to Thunder Mountain which was a surprise because even though it's DD's favorite ride, she has been too scared to ride it at night until this trip. It was great as always. We then walked on to POTC for a quick ride (we also noticed the missing AA on the bridge- DD said, "Where's the guy with the foot hanging?"). After that, we decided we should go back to the hotel since we were pretty tired. We took the train to Main Street and walked through DD back to the hotel.