Trip Report! Disneyland & CA Adventure!

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carlsbaddrew's picture
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Trip Report! Disneyland & CA Adventure!

Many of you have read that the wife and I had to cancel our big WDW trip this fall because we had a surprise pregnancy! We are very excited about our new little one (due 2.17.14), but we're pretty bummed about the trip cancellation. In order to quench our Disney woes, I changed our 1 year anniversary plans around from a lo-key beach hotel stay to a more splurgy short Disney CA trip. Here's the pre-trip gameplan!

TRAVEL:

We are lucky to live only 55 miles from Disney in CA, so we'll be driving up next Tuesday morning.

HOTEL:

After some research, I chose a really romantic looking place called The Anabella. The location is incredible. The Hotel looks directly at the perimeter of CA Adventure on Katella (ie: it's about 90' from CAA's back wall). We had contemplated staying at a Disney Hotel, but the only one I'd even want to stay at is the Grand Californian. Sadly their "basic" room starts at $550.00 a night! No thanks! Disneyland Hotel & Paradise Pier aren't worth the money in my opinion, so I was happy to find the place we did. We picked their best suite available and it was only $220.00! I can't wait to check in!


View from the grounds! Right across the street from CA Screaming!

Cute Patio's outside ground level rooms.

Great rooms. See the Disney love in there? Bunks for the kids too!

Another room style. There are quite a few styles on the website. Plenty of unique rooms.

1 of their great pools!

Beautiful Lobby.

Main Entry.

DAY 1: Disneyland

-ADR @ The Blue Bayou for Lunch! This is the famous table service spot that overlooks Pirates of the Caribbean. The boats cruise right by you as you dine waterside. The Blue Bayou is indoors, but designed to feel outdoors. It's pretty incredible and very romantic. I took my wife here the day before I proposed.

-ADR @ Napa Rose for Dinner. This place is inside Disney's Grand Californian Resort. We've never been so we're excited to try it! Too bad the wife won't be enjoying their extensive wine list!

*Reserved seats & dessert service for FANTASMIC! These seats are incredible. For those that have never seen Fantasmic inside Disneyland, it's very different than WDW. Seating with a good view is pretty limited, and folks will wait for hours and hours to get said seats. Not to mention they aren't even seats!!! It's just a spot on the ground. It's not like DHS where nearly every seat is a good view of the show with the very functional greek-style amphitheater bowl. The reserved seating/dessert service tickets we booked are pricey ($60ea) but we wanted to splurge and do something special! Not to mention we have a mountain of vacation savings we won't be using this fall now haha.

This is the venue Disneyland uses for Fantasmic. Tom Sawyers Island is the "stage", and Rivers of America is where all the water action happens. It's very similar to MK's Liberty Square area, but much larger.

DAY 2: CA Adventure

-No lunch ADR. We will prob want to enjoy the pool before checking out and heading into the Park.

-ADR @ Wine Country Trattoria for dinner

*Reserved seating for World of Color! Access to the reserved viewing area for WOC was included with the ADR we made for WCT. They have 3 table service restaurants you can do this through, and it's pretty reasonable considering you get a nice dinner out of the deal.

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Wow! This sounds like a blast.

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disneydoc wrote:
Wow! This sounds like a blast.

Thanks. Im pretty jealous you'll be in the "world" in 4 days! Have a great time!

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The Anabella looks absolutely lovely boutique hotel! What a great find, you'll have to let us know how it is in person. I looked it up on google maps and the location looks great. We own at Grand Californian and stayed there last May, but honestly the Disneyland Hotel will always have a special place in my heart. I've stayed there through so many remodels it's almost like it's always a new hotel. rolling Just out of curiosity, which route are you going to take to get to the front gate, down Disneyland Drive and through DTD?

I absolutely love Fantasmic! but I'm usually disappointed by it at WDW. It totally needs to be seen on the Rivers of America to get a true appreciation for the show. "Seating" is unique that's for sure, but I don't feel like it's difficult to get a good view. You just have to be prepared for the camp out. I've always wanted to do the dessert box seats you guys should really enjoy that. We tried to do WOC without dinner seating last year and said we wouldn't make that mistake again. I keep trying to convince people to go to Wine Country Trattoria with me for dinner and no one in my family ever thinks it sounds good. One of these days I'll get there!

Looks like a fantastic getaway is planned!

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Your hotel looks gorgeous and it sounds like a wonderful trip! I know you've said you've been to DL a lot but it looks like you have a lot of new experiences planned to make it a unique and wonderful trip for you and your wife. Can't wait to hear all about it, have a great time!

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We are headed to Disneyland in October for our anniversary. I can not wait to hear about the fantasmic dessert package & the world of colour dinner package.

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Looks like you have a great trip planned carlsbaddrew. Have a ball!

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What a fantastic find for the hotel - looks great! Your trip sounds wonderful!!!!!! Enjoy!!!
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Sounds like a great trip. I'm so glad you were able to fit a little Disney magic into your schedule.

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Woo hoo!! Plans sound great drew!! And I think I have to have that Mickey lamp in the hotel room!!!!

Thanks do sharing. Can't wait to hear all about it whe you get back. And happy anniversary in advance mickey

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Kristen K. wrote:
The Anabella looks absolutely lovely boutique hotel! What a great find, you'll have to let us know how it is in person. I looked it up on google maps and the location looks great. We own at Grand Californian and stayed there last May, but honestly the Disneyland Hotel will always have a special place in my heart. I've stayed there through so many remodels it's almost like it's always a new hotel. rolling Just out of curiosity, which route are you going to take to get to the front gate, down Disneyland Drive and through DTD?

I absolutely love Fantasmic! but I'm usually disappointed by it at WDW. It totally needs to be seen on the Rivers of America to get a true appreciation for the show. "Seating" is unique that's for sure, but I don't feel like it's difficult to get a good view. You just have to be prepared for the camp out. I've always wanted to do the dessert box seats you guys should really enjoy that. We tried to do WOC without dinner seating last year and said we wouldn't make that mistake again. I keep trying to convince people to go to Wine Country Trattoria with me for dinner and no one in my family ever thinks it sounds good. One of these days I'll get there!

Looks like a fantastic getaway is planned!

I have many great memories of the Disneyland Hotel as well, but none of those memories make me feel the need to part with $450 of my hard earned dollars per night haha!

Yes we will probably walk down Disney Dr and go through the Grand Californian for CA Adventure access, and for Disneyland, we'll sneak around the AMC 12 and hop on the monorail.

Last year our trips to Disneyland/CA Adventure were never longer than 7-8 hours because of our two year old. Camping out for Fantasmic just wasn't in the cards. We did get spoiled once though! I had a employee of mine who also worked a part time crew position on Fantasmic. He got us primo reserved seats one night for free! They were right next to the dessert seats. What a perfect view and in comfy chairs no less! Thats what sold me on booking those for this trip. It was unforgettable. And that's how my daughter got to see it for the first time. I'll never forget that moment. She held me tight for the "scary" parts and cheered for Mickey at the end. Amazing.

Fantasmic in CA just feels like a bigger show! I agree thats it's more fun to see here than at DHS. The fact that it takes place right on the river where you most likely spent part of your day on increase the magic of it all!

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Drew I am so glad you are able to do Disney. I know it isn't the World but at least you are getting the Magic. Your plans look great. Enjoy and have a wonderful time.

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I'm glad to hear you'll get some Disney magic this year. sounds like a great trip

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Oh my goodness this sounds like such an awesome trip!! I've only been to Disneyland once when I was sixteen and my grandma won an all-paid-for trip (we stayed in the Grand Californian: I had no idea it cost so much!!). All of your plans sound really special and like it'll be the perfect anniversary trip: and your hotel is beautiful!

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I want to go to Disneyland! Sounds like a blast!

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I stayed at the Annabella a few years ago when I squeezed in a day at DL after a friend's wedding. I didn't get to use most of the amenities since I was only there a few hours between park time and leaving for my flight, but it was a REALLY nice room. Only hiccup was that I got out of the shower at 0dark30 to discover there were no bath towels!! waiting Oops. But otherwise, perfect. I booked it through Expedia and got a REALLY good deal. Closer in to your date, I might suggest double checking the travel sites to see if you can get the same room category at a deeper discount. Good luck, have fun, and take pictures!!

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JMUDukz wrote:
I stayed at the Annabella a few years ago when I squeezed in a day at DL after a friend's wedding. I didn't get to use most of the amenities since I was only there a few hours between park time and leaving for my flight, but it was a REALLY nice room. Only hiccup was that I got out of the shower at 0dark30 to discover there were no bath towels!! waiting Oops. But otherwise, perfect. I booked it through Expedia and got a REALLY good deal. Closer in to your date, I might suggest double checking the travel sites to see if you can get the same room category at a deeper discount. Good luck, have fun, and take pictures!!

Very cool! I wish we we're able to take a few more days off and enjoy the hotel a bit more... We're only at the hotel for one night Sad

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This sounds terrific! I love the outdoor patio at the hotel...how charming! And......congrats on the new little one to be clapping

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So we added an extra night! We check in tomorrow! Can't wait!

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So... i certainly failed to post a timely trip report here. Opps! Work & life got very busy this summer! We also forgot to bring our camera so we only have a few bad cell phone pics from the trip, but I did want to update ya'll on the highlights.

1. My wife is 20 weeks preggo now. IT'S A BOY!!!!! clapping We are beyond excited!!!

2. Radiator Springs was incredible! Wow. What an amazing ride. It was the perfect disney mix of thrill, story, impeccable set design, etc. I was really blown away. The lines were insane, so we opted to go single rider. DHS would benefit in bringing this ride over. It's truly the jewel of "cars land".

3. The Fantasmic Dessert reserved seats were wonderful! You MUST do this with a near empty stomach as you certainly get a ton of desserts & cheeses in the sampler. Unlimited drinks (non alcoholic) too. Our "waiters" were excellent and took wonderful care of us. Our view of the show was impeccable. We LOVE disney shows! If you have cash to burn... this is a highly recommend splurge.

4. Aladdin @ CAA. Wow! This was a really incredible show. 45 mins long. Amazing indoor theater that seats nearly 2000, and a needed relief from the summer heat. The genie character steals the show with his flawless comedic timing and current pop culture jokes. Get a taste of what it's like here: [url=]Video clip of Aladdin at DCAA[/url]

5. World of Color Dinner package. Skip the dinner package part and eat where you please. You can get great seats via the show's fastpass system. The show itself is amazing. Wow! I was floored. It covers a lot of disney animation and even some live action film (pirates) history. This was my first time ever seeing it. Very impressive and sooooo sooooo different than any of the other disney spectacular shows.

6. Napa Rose. Woah! So good. Probably the best food I've ever had at Disney in CA. I had the lamb chops and a lot of beer. Smile I highly recommend. We felt a bit under-dressed, but they didn't make us feel that way. Very classy and very romantic.

7. The Anabella Hotel. This place is great! Don't expect disney level customer service, but the grounds, price, & proximity are hard to beat for the parks in CA. We loved staying there, and we'll certainly be back. I am usually the first guy to feel that it's not a fully realized Disney trip without staying at a Disney resort. CA is different. They only have 3 Disney resorts. Demand is very high and so unfortunately pricing is pretty high as well. For me, two of the hotels seem to lack the atmosphere I feel at the FL resorts. This is partly to do with those both being high rise buildings. I love how most of the FL resorts aren't much taller than 3-4 stories. The Disney properties in WDW really transport you away from everything. Since Disney CA is right in middle of a bustling city, the vibe is MUCH different.

Those are the highlights! I hope you enjoyed reading everyone!

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Congratulations. congrats

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JanMcG wrote:
Congratulations. congrats

Thank you! I felt it move/kick for the first time today!

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That sounds like a wonderful trip and thanks for the tips for the shows! I'll probably do dessert package for Fantastmic since that it's my favorite show at WDW. The Genie in the Aladdin show is very funny! I will definitely see it when I go out that way. I may look into the Annabelle for when I go out to DL.

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SO glad to hear that you had a wonderful trip - it sounds fantastic!

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congrats on the baby boy! So exciting! Thanks for coming back and giving a recap! Hubbie will be very jealous to hear DL has an Aladdin show....that's his favorite movie! Maybe I can use that as leverage to get a DL trip in the future.... crossfingers

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Allie wrote:
Hubbie will be very jealous to hear DL has an Aladdin show....that's his favorite movie!

I think one of the cruise ships has a Aladdin show. biggrin Big smile

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Even better! awesome

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Allie wrote:
congrats on the baby boy! So exciting! Thanks for coming back and giving a recap! Hubbie will be very jealous to hear DL has an Aladdin show....that's his favorite movie! Maybe I can use that as leverage to get a DL trip in the future.... crossfingers

It's really really great! It feels like a Broadway show with very cool special effects & high production value. You don't even have to wait very long because almost every seat is excellent!

We just got back from another overnight DL/CA stay with our 3 year old. It's so fun to go back and watch your kid take in all the magic for the first time! It's an amazing experience. I've also really enjoyed going on rides I've not been on for 15+ years because my daughter wants to try everything! I went on Casey Jr, Storybook-land & Dumbo.... some of my favorite rides as a kid!

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So happy you have a son on the way! clapping