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Trip Report Christmastime and Thanksgiving at Disneyland 2022 (Completed)

Hello everyone, it's been awhile since I did a trip report. Actually it was August of 2022. I admit I've been lazy but I haven't been absent from the parks. My husband (Brad) and I have taken quite a few trips together to WDW. I've taken some solo WDW trips, gone to Disneyland twice (once solo and once on a girls trip) and I had intentions of doing trip reports but it never happened. Oh and on some of those trips I have been able to meet up with a few magicians have have some fun. Some magician meet ups were planned and some of you kindly spotted me in the park and said hello.

So anyway, I feel it is finally time to add to the fun trip reports on here with one of my own again. And if I start this as a pre-trip report, the rest will follow. I am a completist.

So when: I leave in a couple hours. So November 22-28

Where: Disneyland!!!

Hotel: Best Western Park Place Inn (right across the street from Disneyland and so much cheaper than a Disneyland hotel)

Leaving from: Minneapolis/St. Paul (I live in Wisconsin)

Flying into: SNA (John Wayne airport) NOT LAX because I'm not crazy.

Who: me (Amy) and my husband (Brad)

Who we have to leave behind: our beloved schnauzers Kapono (she's 11) and our new puppy (obtained in August) Baxter (named after our favorite Imagineer)

The plan for tonight: Check out Downtown Disney. Brad wants to buy a Magic Band + to do the Bounty Hunter game and maybe a beer for me at Ballast Point. Tomorrow is a Disneyland day with lunch at Cafe Orleans, drinks at Trader Sam's and Ogas. We were going to do the Main Street tour with a visit to Walt's Apartment but after hearing reviews about it I cancelled it. We have been in the apartment before.

Thanksgiving Day we will be at DCA and checking out Festival of the Holidays. On Friday will be our Holiday Tour and Fantasmic. Other fun stuff breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen, World of Color dessert party, all the holiday stuff, and Brad's first time at Avenger's Campus.

Hope you enjoy the report, I'll try to post a few things while there and add more once we have returned.

Oh and if anyone reading is in Disneyland at this time and sees us please say hello!!!
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JenniferS

Time To Be Movin’ Along
Premium Member
I'm late, but I'm here!

I have never been to either park during the holidays, but from the few photos you've shown it looks like California outdoes Florida in the holiday decor.
If I recall, MK lost the garlands that strung across MSUSA due to the height of the Maleficent float in the FoF parade.

Those garlands and the castle icicle lights were a big part of what really made MK shine at Christmas. Projections are cool, but man those icicle lights were beautiful.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at DHS were fabulous too. The pictures and videos never did them justice. You could feel the music thumping in your chest, and because you were so jam packed on that street with thousands of other people, you could feel it thumping in their chests too. (The good old days. Sigh) I cried. Every single time.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
If I recall, MK lost the garlands that strung across MSUSA due to the height of the Maleficent float in the FoF parade.

Those garlands and the castle icicle lights were a big part of what really made MK shine at Christmas. Projections are cool, but man those icicle lights were beautiful.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at DHS were fabulous too. The pictures and videos never did them justice. You could feel the music thumping in your chest, and because you were so jam packed on that street with thousands of other people, you could feel it thumping in their chests too. (The good old days. Sigh) I cried. Every single time.
Yeah, I remember hearing the garland was taken down because of Maleficent. I do really miss the icicle lights. Even in pictures and video they were stunning.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
At the airport now to head home, then to my sisters house to pick up the dogs. It will be a long travel day but I guess there is a snow storm on its way in for Tuesday at home. So we want the kids home with us tonight, plus Brad has to travel to Chicago tomorrow for a family funeral.

Anyway, it has been a fantastic trip and I can’t wait to report about it. I mean I have to finish the report right?! I don’t know how some of you report live! I get so wrapped up in my time at disney I barely have time to do my journaling. But a huge thank you to all the live trip reporters!

Look for more updates soon!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Baxter is SO cute!!! 😍 Can't wait to hear all about the trip!

I'm here and following along, I've missed your trip reports!

Two posts in, and there is beer involved! I love it. 🍻Hope you both have a fantastic time!

Have a great trip!

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The love is for getting there and the pictures. Not the magicband stress.


Happy to be following along! We are headed to DL for a couple days between Christmas and New Years, so this is great for getting us psyched up.

Sorry to barge in here but we just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to all of the magicians in the US. Have a wonderful day. Really enjoying your report and the Christmas photos in Disneyland are so colourful.

Welcome (belatedly) to the trip report!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
I'm late to the party, but I'm in. Disneyland is so beautiful with the Christmas decorations!

I LOVE all things holiday and all things Disney so I am sure excited to read your report!

I'm late, but I'm here!

I have never been to either park during the holidays, but from the few photos you've shown it looks like California outdoes Florida in the holiday decor.

Another belated welcome to the trip report!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
November 23, Day One: Disneyland day!

I'll start with our first full day since I already gave enough info on our travel and evening at Downtown Disney.

We started the day with our basic Best Western Park Place breakfast. The breakfast is a basic hotel breakfast but they do change the menu up a little each day. Today was make your own (although their are attendants that plate your items for you) breakfast burrito that included chorizo eggs. The breakfast is located on the upper floor of the restaurant next door. That restaurant used to be the nasty (not that I ever ate there) Captain Kidd's buffet but now it is a Mexican restaurant which has gotten good reviews but we didn't have time to try it out.

So after breakfast we crossed the street and took a selfie at the entrance sign! That is one reason I like staying at this Best Western, it is literally across the street from the main Harbor Blvd entrance. The BW Anaheim Inn is second best it is about 45 seconds further down the street.
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Security wasn't quite open yet but soon we were let in and queued up at the gates. I left Brad in line and took a picture through the gate of the beautiful train station. Brad hadn't been to Disneyland since we went to D23 Expo in August of 2019 (I've been back twice since then) so he was super excited to be back. He was also super stoked to be able to ride a Disney train again.

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The wait at the gates was under 5 minutes because Disneyland & California Adventure have a 30 minute early entry for resort guest so we were let in about 7:20-ish. There is no separate turnstile for resort guests so we all get let in at the same time. Since we weren't Disney resort guests we didn't have to rush and could take our time to leisurely walk down Main Street.

There wasn't a photopass photographer (ever) at opening in front of the train station so we had to selfie it. In fact we never did get a photopass picture of us in front of the train station. We were in line later in the trip in the afternoon before our holiday tour and we were about 4 parties back when the one person in front of us had 25 people show up and join him in line! Ugh! We knew we wouldn't have time for that and to get to our tour so we left the line. Anyway...
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And now for beautiful Main Street USA..... I love the garland over Main Street and notice that the tree is lower to the ground here than in Magic Kingdom. There is no standing under this tree like in MK.

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We made our way to the hub and I like that there is a rope in front of the Partners statue at Disneyland, it lets me get some unobstructed pictures of the snowy castle and the statue. Then we wandered over to the rope for the non-resort guests and early entry hadn't begun yet and we got a front placement in front of the rope, so more unobstructed pictures until the running of the resort guests began.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Day One: November 23, 2022

While we were waiting for rope drop we chatted with some people around us and checked Genie +. We had Genie+ added for all our days and it is SO much better at Disneyland than WDW. I told Brad this and that we wouldn't have to rush right away to book our first attraction or get the Rise lightning right away because things get booked a lot slower than at WDW. I don't think he beleived me until he saw it for himself. If any of you ever used Maxpass at Disneyland that is basically how Genie+ works at Disneyland. The ability to book the lightning lanes at a slower pace and actually get many booked throughout the whole day really makes the extra $$ worth it.

Back to the day...while waiting for rope drop we also saw that Alice in Wonderland was not open yet, it was supposed to be during the extra 30 minutes for resort guests. Usually Alice is my first ride, it is my favorite dark ride which is strange because I don't really like the movie. It was a bummer to not start the day with that ride. So we decided to head through the castle to another dark ride and nope it was not Peter Pan (spoiler alert we didn't end up going on Pan at all), we headed for Snow White's Enchanted Wish. Brad hadn't been on it since it was changed from Scary Adventures and we basically walked on to the attraction. He liked the changes and it was almost as good as Alice for me.
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After Snow White we decided to check if Alice was open and if not go on the Storybook Boats, but first we had a teacup "ride" together. It is the only cup B will get in, he doesn't like the spinning of the actual attraction.
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And then magic happened...Alice was open! We each had our own caterpillar and enjoyed the ride.
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Next we made a rest stop and on our way out of the bathroom I saw something that makes Disneyland great...just random roaming characters! It was Merida just wandering around and chatting with people.
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I took an opportunity to ride the tea cups, which I call the lame-o cups because I can't get them to spin as fast as I can at the Magic Kingdom. So I usually just sit back and enjoy the view in Disneyland.

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While I was enjoying the slow tea cup ride and Brad was watching me, I noticed Merida standing behind Brad. So I pointed her out to him and he visited with her.
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After I got off the cups we headed to our next stop, the Storybook Boats. We both liked that there were tiny Christmas decoration in the village scenes there too. I didn't get a picture but we love seeing the ducks next to the little buildings on this ride, they look like duck giants!
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