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  1. #1

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    Question Need Help/Suggestions for a Special Disneyland Trip..

    My entire family are big Disneyland fans. As for myself, I am a certified Disneyland nut. My parents are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary on September 11th. Every year since 9-11 they haven't been able to enjoy their anniversary because they share it with a tragic day in history. When my mother calls to book reservations somewhere and people ask on what occasion, she says, "Our anniversary" and then they ask what date.... at that point, the usual response is, "I'm so sorry." "Sorry to hear that." I can't stand it when people say that...it is hard enough to stay positive on a day that everywhere you go, you are reminded of 9-11. Anyway....

    My sisters and I are trying to plan something very special for our parents, not only for their anniversary, but especially for my mother because she lost her both her brothers last year. Disneyland is the perfect place for them to go on vacation, they'll have minimum exposure to 9-11 memorial coverage and with it being such a happy place and the history of our family memories, I know it will comfort my mother and help ease her grief. It is really important that my sisters and I plan out something very special...

    The problem is... I don't even know what to plan for them. In all my years going to the park you'd think I would be on top of this. I am not though. I just can't collect my thoughts to come up with a serious plan. If it was your parents and they were dealing with loss etc. how would you plan out a Disneyland vacation for them? So far, my father got a special surprise for my mom, it is a Disneyland 50th Anniversary Brick I cannot wait to see my mom's face when she see's it for the first time

    Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated !!! I will reward you with a sprinkle of pixie glitter at the Mice Chat July 17th meetup

  2. #2

    • Yes its that much fun!
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    Just parents? whole family?
    It all depends. If its just them you should book the Grand Californian, a 2-3 day park hopper and have them do a mini wine/food tour thru the Theme parks and Hotels! Other than the Bayou (at POTC) its fairly easy to get reservations. I have done this for my parents and its a wonderful way for older people to enjoy the theme parks in a whole new light!
    and if you can afford it the walk in walts footsteps is a facinating look at Disneyland and runs at a slightly slower pace than you would expect at the theme park. If it becomes a family trip you will need to chagne things up a bit but try to stay with the attractons that really thrill the kids because it'll bring a tear of joy to your parents. I know that sometimes there can be nothing more enjoyable than a wine tasting party at DCA just watching the world rush by seeing the smiles of the kids and I do believe that DCA is really a unique escape for someone over the age of 25. I know that I'm throwing just a lot of generalizations out there but the most important thing is to make it your own. go on rides that you wouldn't ever see your parents on go on a hidden mickey hunt find a book about the lore and rumors of disneyland (kevin Yee of Miceage has some great works) make it a scavenger hunt try to find old remenants of look ago rides and movies. (the portrait from the movie blackbeards ghost in pirates or the organ from 20,000 leagues in mansion to name a few.) try to find the last two ticket booths where you could purchase the infamous E ticket or find the oldest things (living and petrified in the park.) I guess what I'm trying to say is avoid just running from one e ticket attraction to another. I was reading on another thread that people were upset because charicters were trying to play with the children instead of signing autographs and gettin pics taken! try to play a simple game with the charicters they love nothing better! and I guarrenty that it'll be a memorie that with last longer than some autograph!

  3. #3

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    Thank you FromWithin for your reply and suggestions! It is going to be just my mom and dad that are going. I was going to drive down there and set things up along the way without them knowing if I had too. Make them think that a Cast Member did something for them when it was actually me. We were totally thinking of the Grand Californian I love that hotel, it reminds me of the Awhanee in Yosemite!

    I didn't think that a tour would really be a good idea for them because my father had an accident a couple of years ago and had to have back surgery so he has to regulate his standing/walking/rides etc from now on. It meant so much to me, my sisters and the grandkids that he sat on the Main Street Curb with us for the entire parade. I know he was in pain but he wouldn't admit it. That's part of the reason why we weren't thinking of booking them a tour, my dad will never admit he is in pain or that he can't physically do something. It's like we have to be the parent for him!

  4. #4

    • a kiss for a thimball
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    well... can he sit in a wheel chair... that is always an option... or you could rent one of thoes buggies...

    the blue buyou (sp) is definatly a must... that is a great romantic experience... and is loads of fun... you might also try to set up some sort of treasure hunt all buy yourself... like one morning your mom and dad get a knock on the door and there is a CM with a message for them... and that could lead them to all sorts of different things... even childish scavenger hunt games are fun for older people...

    well that is all that comes to mind right now
    -Miss Wendy Lynn

    The second star to the right
    Shines in the night for you
    To tell you that the dreams you plan
    Really can come true


  5. #5

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    Thank you for your reply Wendy_Bird! My dad will not sit in a wheelchair. I already tried this on our previous trips. If he won't admit he is in pain, he REALLY won't admit he needs to sit in a wheelchair.

    The Blue Bayou is ALWAYS a must when we go to Disneyland. Yum yum yum.

    FromWithin also suggested a scavenger hunt...I was thinking about it but I am not sure how to do it. My mother knows Disneyland like her own home, she has gone so much with me, my sisters and the kids. My father however, he gets to go once a year at most. Is a scavenger hunt really that much fun when you already know the park in and out? What's your experience?

  6. #6

    • Man O Lantern
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    I suggest calling Walt Disney Travel Company and asking for their assistance. They're helping with our December trip, and I'm blown away by their service. Also, through WDT, if you stay 4 nights on Disney property, the 4th night is free. We're staying at GCH for the first time on our next trip for a little less than $200/night, including taxes and fees, plus we're getting all the WDT goodies, including early entry to Fantasyland, the pin and lanyard, preferred seating at Aladdin, Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness, and the $10 ESPN Zone cards. We're also getting "priority seating" at Goofy's and Storytellers.

    You can arrange other things like turn-down service in the hotel room, special items to be placed in their room each day or night, etc.

    1-714-520-5050

    I don't recommend using disneyland.com, as the prices over the phone were significantly lower, plus when I was booking online, the GCH rates were way higher and the 4th night wasn't free.

    My birthday is on September 11th, so I can relate to trying to take that day back as your own. We spent my birthday in NYC last year and visited Ground Zero....I'll remember that forever. I'm sure your parents will remember this trip forever.

  7. #7

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    AnotherPixie, you are getting some great suggestions. I surprised my wife with an anniversary celebration at the Grand Californian a few years ago. Simply awesome. I reserved a concierge suite. The concierge arranged for a balloon bouquet, a congradulations picture signed by Mickey and Minney and a "Happy Anniversary" from all cast members who saw our name tag. We had a great dinner at the Napa Rose at the GCH. I reserved the priority seating for Fantasmic which was very fun. Hopefully you can get them some castle view seats for the 50th fireworks show. We just saw it and it is as good as fantasmic. The concierge can offer some more suggestions. Have a wonderful celebration for your parents, and have a HAPPY Sept 11.

  8. #8

    • a kiss for a thimball
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    i too feel like I know the park liek the back of my hand...

    what I was talking about was a personal scavenger hunt... like ask the people at the front of the rides to hold onto recreations of pictures of them with messages on it... and then have a riddle as to where the next picture is... something along thoes lines...
    -Miss Wendy Lynn

    The second star to the right
    Shines in the night for you
    To tell you that the dreams you plan
    Really can come true


  9. #9

    • Yes its that much fun!
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    My favorite is always the movie props... when they opened ToT for the cast members I just stared at everything in the library (I loved the Twilight Zone Series) while everyone else was running to get on the ride. There are the engines from Hot lead Cold Feet behind Thunder Mountain. The best thing is to find an older CM (one whos worked there for a while not nec. old.) and ask them about an old attraction. As for the wheelchair (I have the same stubborn parents) I tell them that its more comfortable than a wood or metal bench to sit in and a great way to haul souvineers! Of course they always end up pushing each other around!

  10. #10

    • Big Kid
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    Re: Special Disneyland visit

    Exactly 30 days prior, call (714) 781-4400 and book the Fantasmic Dessert Buffet on the Disney Gallery balcony. They'll love it!
    If you want to make someone feel special, this is a sure-fire way to do so.

  11. #11

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    Call (714-300-7526) or email ([email protected]) Vacation Planning and tell them what you are doing and they can help you with some plans,suggestions,etc. They have always been a huge help for us everytime we are doing something special at the resort. We also agree to getting them PS for Fantasmic,they will love it up there!! There is also an Arts & Crafts tour at the GC they can do.

  12. #12

    • Hooterville, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wendy_Bird
    i too feel like I know the park liek the back of my hand...

    what I was talking about was a personal scavenger hunt... like ask the people at the front of the rides to hold onto recreations of pictures of them with messages on it... and then have a riddle as to where the next picture is... something along thoes lines...
    That, sounds like a great idea! People on this board are so creative. I'm always amazed.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  13. #13

    • Minion
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    I don't think this has been mentioned, but maybe you could buy them the bride and groom mouse ears and use that puff paint stuff to write "35 Years" on them. Also, I would strongly recommend telling the hotel that it's their anniversary ahead of time, and see what they can do. Maybe even explain the Sept. 11th dilemna to them, and they can go the extra mile for your parents.

  14. #14

    • a kiss for a thimball
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    you could just get the hotel to take the tv out of the room... then they dont have to worry about watching any of the 9-11 coverage...



    jk
    -Miss Wendy Lynn

    The second star to the right
    Shines in the night for you
    To tell you that the dreams you plan
    Really can come true


  15. #15

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    Thank you!!!!!

    A very big THANK YOU to everyone who posted idea's and suggestions. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

    It turns out my uncle has just been diagnosed with Lung Cancer so my parents announced to us last night that they will be taking their anniversary trip at the end of September to visit him and other family in New York City. How ironic is that? They will be in New York City of all places. At least it will be at the end of the month...

    My sisters and I are now collaborating together to plan a party instead. We need some celebrating to fend off the bad news. I'm sure everyone here knows how that goes, you have to just keep on moving on, smile all you can while the ones you care about can see it.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions....there is always next year

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