Trip Report Food and Wine Coast to Coast: Part 1

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello WDWmagic friends and welcome to another TR. For those who are new or those who need a refresher I am Erica and I am known for love of Disney trips, travel mishaps and obsession with cheese fries.
My last trip to WDW was in May 2019 and of course I have been plotting how and when to get back obsessively since then. Our next WDW trip will be in September 2020 for a very special birthday and include more extended family. The trip has been in the works for a long time coming but I felt like a year and a half between trips was such a long time to be away from my happy place.
I attempted to plan a quick Fall trip for myself and the kids with my sister but the dates would have worked out to one day in Orlando flying in and out on either end. I was super bummed that it didn’t work out.
In November, R took a long trip to California to visit his dad and participate in a video game convention (people think Disney is a weird hobby?). I wished at the time that myself and the kids could join him but I had too much going on with work.
A few weeks later, I started looking at prices for WDW and Disneyland for winter. We decided on Disneyland so that we could combine a visit with R’s dad..and really so I can do this again: 5044437A-22A0-4055-99C1-63E612AB7416.jpeg
Our dates worked out to line up with California Adventure Food and Wine Festival, and with our September trip already booked, we will be hitting Food and Wine on both coasts this year.
It has been over 2 years since we last visited Disneyland but here we are on our last trip there:F7503C6D-CA50-48B6-BEDA-DF6582FC7169.jpeg
I have everything for September planned out over multiple spreadsheets but this trip we have zero concrete plans other than a hotel room and rental car booked and we are leaving TODAY! I am so excited to see what this trip brings and crossing my fingers we get to join the resistance. I will attempt to go semi-live for this TR as my kids still need plenty of downtime in the room and I can’t sit still for a second on Disney Trips.
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
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First one here! Have a wonderful time at the Happiest Place on Earth!
 

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It’s a little after 4am in California but a) I don’t adjust well to time changes and b) IM IN DISNEY so clearly I have been awake for an hour trying to get back to sleep. I can’t get out of bed for fear of waking sleeping children so I guess it’s time to update my TR!

Travel Day February 29 Part 1:
I had a whirlwind of a work day Friday trying to make all the preparations needed to take a week off, so an afternoon flight
When we woke up, I was able to clean the house which always makes me feel better before a vacation and R whipped up an amazing breakfast and we all got our vitamin c.
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We were able to make it out the door on time and we stopped at a Jersey Mike’s near our house to pick up sandwiches for the trip.
I don’t think I have ever experienced such a smooth travel day. We made it to our gate with just enough time before boarding to get the kids to the bathroom and stock up on water.
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O insisted on taking a “Selfie” during our brief wait.
Our first leg of travel took us to Chicago. It was a slight bumpy flight but everyone was content with movies and sandwiches.
The layover was a quick one and the kids enjoyed the view of our pilot while we waited to board again4C6BE1B0-72BB-4237-BD74-3A55CD4EA781.jpeg652A0647-2587-4714-AA15-EB514D57B8EF.jpeg
Z was my seat mate for the second (and longer) leg of the trip. We watched Frozen 2 for a while and then watched the sunset from the plane window. F5242AAE-5F28-44B5-89E5-E2DA0D06AF4F.jpeg
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Z began singing the opening song from Lion King because he said the Sunset reminded him of that. He also was confused at the lack of Sand and abundance of buildings in “Sandy Ay Go”.
The San Diego airport brings back some not so happy memories of ending up without a rental reservation after a booking mistake and paying hundreds of dollars to fix it while trying to manage toddlers. I did a lot of research and planning to prevent any trouble this time around.
O threw a wrench in the plans by having a colossal meltdown mostly because she was up 4 hours past her normal bedtime but R took care of her while I grabbed our luggage and we used the walkway (requiring 2 elevated rides) to the rental car shuttle.
All rental cars in San Diego are off site and share the same shuttle, not knowing this made for stress in the past but this time was super smooth now that we knew. Our driver pointed out the sights as we drove by and they had TVs that played little clips of airport info that the kids said made it a “Disney Bus”.
It was a little past 7pm and the rental car center was pretty empty. We booked through budget and signed up for their “Fastbreak” free membership. It entails entering in more personal information upfront but saved the hassle of the sales up charge pitches that always seem to guilt trip R.
Within minutes of getting on I 5, Z was out like a light. O was sleeping more lightly when we stopped for some food to fuel R and myself 6988EBE3-EF96-496F-A742-F91B098BAA21.jpeg1F907012-0ECA-4104-8415-E69EA5786D58.jpeg
The burgers hit the spot and will hopefully keep me from needing any Disney burgers @Back!Elbow!Shoulders!.
 

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Back!Elbow!Shoulders!

Premium Member
Here! And good call on getting your burger fix outside of Disney. I’ve heard a lot of good things about In-N-Out but the closest one to me is in TX so I’ve never tried it myself.

Hope you have a great trip. Sounds like you’re off to a good start.
 

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster

Hi! I can’t wait to hear all about it!
Thanks for following!
Sounds like a fun trip. Food and Wine at DCA has some good stuff, enjoy!
Thanks!
Here! And good call on getting your burger fix outside of Disney. I’ve heard a lot of good things about In-N-Out but the closest one to me is in TX so I’ve never tried it myself.

Hope you have a great trip. Sounds like you’re off to a good start.
Thanks! I think the burgers were pretty good but at that point I would have eaten anything so I might not be the best judge.
 

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Travel Day February 29 Part 2:
After grabbing some food, we decided to drop by a gas station to pick up water bottles for the room. We paid 30 cents a bottle instead of 3$ not too bad.
The drive to Anaheim took a little under and hour and a half from San Diego at around 7pm. We had a pretty quiet ride but California drivers really don’t know how to maintain their lanes.
Since the travel had gone so smoothly I was convinced there would be an issue with checkin. Not only was it fine we were actually upgraded to a suite.
We carried the sleeping children to bed and started unpacking before passing out ourselves.
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Two separate rooms and two bathrooms was a nice surprise.
 

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Disneyland March 1 Part 1:
This morning I was up way earlier than I should have been and I was not able to get myself back to sleep. I was worried about waking the kids so I stayed in bed until I heard little voices coming from the other room..before 5am.
O and Z hadn’t seen the room the night before, and they were thrilled with the bunk beds. They wanted to climb up top and I tried to convince them to get some more sleep up there but they were wired. We watched some tv then when R woke up I decided to get ready for the day so I could go get breakfast.
I picked up a quick breakfast to go from a restaurant near our hotel and much needed coffee for myself.
We originally planned on letting the kids sleep in but since they were awake I asked R if we could get ready to head out to the park by 7:30. He said yes but didn’t seem happy about changing plans and wasn’t actually ready until much closer to 8. He was not interested in getting there before park opening even when I explained that it would save us time in the long run.
Our hotel is just a few minutes away from the parking entrance to the parks so once everyone was ready we walked over.
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The California weather was not what I was expecting. It was the same temperature as it has been at home in New England most of the past week. 7D1FC135-46EE-47A1-AE8C-562411CB0FFC.jpeg
The security lines were slow moving. We hopped in one a few minutes shy of 8. The group behind us was discussing their plans and wondering if they were too late for a boarding group.
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The lines at the park entrance were a little less chaotic and we were soon within sight of the castle.10BBD5A6-5638-4EEF-A8A8-F35DBE1DED19.jpeg
I quickly checked to see if there were still boarding groups available even though we probably weren’t planning on riding today. The regular boarding groups were done for the day but I managed a back up boarding group of 155. At this point it might actually be called today but it’s highly unlikely my plans will work out to go on it.
Our first stop of the day was the bathroom. I wanted to take a picture of the Alice bathroom but then thought better of it.
The kids wanted to ride Alice but the line was already piling up and I promised we would ride another then. I made our first fast pass for the day with Maxpass as we walked to their second choice. Z’s only ride request was Small World so I made a FP not really knowing what the lines would be like.
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We had a great spin. A7760EB8-BCB7-471E-A9BF-B9B96602DAA1.jpegThen we spotted some friends wandering the park.
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We hit up the storybook canal boats and enjoyed watching the Disney ducks splashing around as we waited. O and Z were named honorary whale watchers and got to sit at the front of the boat.882C0663-03B7-4D08-B716-3916AADB07B6.jpeg
They both loved all the little details on this ride. I was more amused with the ducks even though the ride is cute the duck antics of crash landing and then other ducks standing still as statues just made me smile.
Next up: More pictures than you needed of Small World
 
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ELeigh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
March 1 Part 2:
Z loves most of the rides but this morning when I gave each kid a chance to choose one must do ride for the day he chose Small World. We had a fast pass but the ride had a delayed opening and no one was even in line yet when we got on. I quickly made our next fast pass as we walked through the queue.
The kids loved pointing out all of the details and I snapped so many pictures because they like to look back at them. To say they loved it would be an understatement.1E95EABD-98B4-447F-9B01-6B4DCE8F1895.jpeg7F3B15BA-FCFA-4EF6-A3BD-6BC74D4208B5.jpeg4DC097D7-AA7A-4D6B-8C6D-579B960E7E0C.jpegBFE47D4D-83F6-4CE6-9387-2A489CE2D93C.jpeg8F0F8D88-8B11-4AA3-8EA5-3455B410E30A.jpegB5FEF2BF-FBD6-4589-9E31-9225ABF1459A.jpegDF9059C7-6C28-4164-81AA-A29186DDDBDB.jpeg
The kids were loving pointing out the Disney characters but when they saw this 96B20132-3489-4EA2-9F2B-C0815836E98E.jpegThey went wild.
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They have loved the “Donald Duck boat ride” for a couple of years now and with Disney plus launching they have been watching many different versions of the three cabelleros. 4E008590-35E9-4AC4-8BB0-76453DA2D800.jpeg
I already have a feeling we are going to need to repeat this ride. Stay tuned for more Small world 😂
 

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
March 1 Part 3
As promised, more Small World. Let’s just say it’s safe to assume we will be riding it every day of this trip. D5A13443-FAA1-4E90-AD71-9F894A5AA060.jpegC019626C-18A6-4950-B05D-46AD5763324A.jpegD7BA1A36-F426-4242-9A59-DD1C444D0314.jpeg4BC7CF55-5DB9-4AF5-80EB-0CA16032404A.jpegC3F917DA-DE73-4CD8-819A-1F77243F950D.jpeg
I found this postcard hilarious considering the weather was so cold and threatening rain at that point.
Next up was another trip to a bathroom. While O and I waited she posed for a picture15417382-F60A-4A22-B0DD-15D1EB72C5BA.jpeg
We headed into Toontown and ran in to this guy 44AA58C8-0FF6-4A72-99BC-85BB495CC11D.jpeg He was making his ears into Mickey ears to tell the kids he liked their Mickey gear 1EFDEA4B-A7ED-4173-AF9A-3E55E070671D.jpeg This picture shows the aforementioned weather.
 

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
March 1 Part 4
We explored more of Toontown including Goofy’s house. B1144583-9989-47C6-92C8-00C6B4278CA7.jpeg381082C9-2B25-4778-BFFC-956922C82C4B.jpeg15B527D5-7751-42B2-AC38-6CFA091C70CF.jpeg5E4A5232-2058-46C6-A069-601112A2514A.jpeg
Z loved this piano he would have stayed a while but I encouraged him to move on so we could ride more rides. We rode both Toontown rides (with no photographic evidence):
1) Gadgets Go Coaster which has new meaning for the kids since Chip and Dale rescue rangers hit Disney Plus. Z loved it.
2) Roger Rabbit’s Toon Car Spin: I loved Roger rabbit as a kid and I found some cute little nods and got to explain to Z some of the characters but I think the best we can say is that it checked off O’s request of the day to go on a ride she has never been on before (she totally meant Space mountain but oops sorry kid).

Our next fast pass was up so somehow R convinced myself and the kids to go on the Matterhorn. I knew little to nothing about it but R saw it and thought it looked cool. The ride itself was fine for the kids, but the Yeti was terrifying. O screamed her head off and Z was just frozen in his seat afterwards. Safe to say it’s a long tome before we do that again.
we took a little side trip to visit Pinocchio. It was an ok little ride and the kids enjoyed the glimpses of Figaro whom the adore as well as Jiminy Cricket. Z ride with me and narrated the ride for me. 610B3667-F136-4F63-B4C6-FBE42364EE1B.jpeg
We had promised a snack for over an hour but the only things available we’re still breakfast and we had eaten breakfast already. Finally we made our way to the only open pretzel stand. I think the Pretzel line was one of the longest of the day.
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We got a few of these beauties to share. I first made sure the kids were settled with theirs before taking a picture. R made a comment that he was so glad I was enjoying taking pictures of my pretzel when other people didn’t get one yet and I was confused for a second until I saw I was still holding his on my lap. Sorry buddy TR comes first apparently.
We made yet another thrilling bathroom visit (3 for all of you counting). And checked out all the baby Yoda mercy at star traders. We didn’t make a purchase but R is determined to take some of that home. I’m going to need another suitcase after we hit Galaxy’s Edge.
23C47D62-8EC6-4194-902F-C0F1DC57AC61.jpegOur next FP was for “Pewing Zurg” as Z likes to call it. He re-enacted this brave journey later in the evening for his grandparents and I’m sure it was the highlight of their day
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We were stuck in the first room for a while which is the only reason I made it above space cadet. Z got his personal best score of 11,000. 44C36E6A-5217-44E1-A91B-A13105ED0476.jpeg
 

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
March 1 Part 5
We had one final fast pass for the morning for Autopia. Z was my driver and he took me on a bumpy ride. Despite 100 warnings not to bump cars we saw several others doing it. Luckily I was in charge of gas and kept a safe distance.
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It was now a few minutes shy of noon and what does one do when it’s noon at Disneyland and they are still full of Mickey pretzel?

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Apparently wait in a line to see if Plaza Inn fried chicken lives up the the hype. I had a top five things I needed to try this vacation and the Mickey Pretzel was one of them (I have never had one at WDW somehow). Plaza Inn fried chicken was number two off the list.
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We all sampled a little of everything. The biscuits were very dry and not worth the calories. The chicken was very good but the pot roast was better and I personally loved the green beans. We probably had more food than we needed but we polished it off somehow.
After that despite being stuffed to the brim, we still had some room for dessert. The kids and I each picked a treat from the candy shop and I crossed number 3 off my list.95CFEE80-E157-4CF1-A7A8-EDFF25390F80.jpeg
Churro toffee lived up to all of the hype for me. I took a bite and saved the rest for later.8FE235AA-9820-405F-A830-0CE4835E50C9.jpeg77AAA571-114B-4306-9992-7E109FA250A6.jpeg
The kids picked treats to match their outfits.
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R picked his favorite treat and was nice enough to share.
With that we decided to make our way out of the park. A long day of travel and only a short amount of sleep made it imperative that the kids have a nap. I was thinking of napping but ate the rest of the churro toffee in bed instead.
 

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
March 1 Part 6
When the kids woke up from their nap, they had some visitors R’s dad and his wife were here. The kids usually see them about once a year but it’s been almost two years this time, making this trip more of a priority for us. 7A71A122-FC09-45E3-89B3-9A5C496F3173.jpeg
They were happy to see grandpa wore his Mickey gear as well.
The grandparents didn’t have park tickets for the day so R had asked them to babysit. We quickly changed the kids into their warmer gear for Downtown Disney and we got ourselves spiffed up for a date.
We had originally had a late reservation for Napa Rose but moved it up as we knew we would need to get the kids to bed at a more decent hour.
This was our 3rd trip to the Grand Californian’s signature restaurant and it never disappoints.
We started with bread service and some drinks. I didn’t take note of the name of the cocktail I ordered but it was a rum based tropical drink and it was amazing.1CE8B0F3-13C9-4C99-B0A0-AE7DB3A05E74.jpeg04730FFB-F37B-4AE7-B418-710F3234235F.jpeg
We were seated within view of the Chefs table. This is a special dining package with no set menu and something like 10 courses. We did this last time we were here and it was amazing. I saw that it was the same chef working that we had dined with so I took a sneaky photo.E53DAA35-172A-4791-B88A-7F3806900073.jpeg
Next up we had some appetizers. The first was a pizza with grapes, camenbert cheese prosciutto and caramelized onions. We both agreed this was super tasty. 6E232390-483D-4260-8901-D4E05A30E09D.jpeg
Our second course for the evening was the Smiling Tiger Salad “spicy beef, Asian greens, lobster shrimp fritters, and coconut vinaigrette. 216BE006-22DE-4D2F-A3BC-06B088DBD9BA.jpegThey split the salad in half for us. It was amazing there were spicy, creamy, crunchy and sweet flavors all mixing together.
I may or may not have gotten a second rum drink before the main course.BDE8C06C-2C9F-4447-90EF-C98973CA7EA0.jpeg3875C652-39E2-4D9D-870E-2FE50C73F900.jpeg
For our main course we split the filet which was served over a brisket with some vegetables to accompany. We also got a side of Brussels sprouts because they sounded really good and they did not disappoint. The entree was definitely good but the smiling tiger salad was the star of the show.
As we ate, our boarding group for Rise of the Resistance opened up. We though about going while the grandparents still had the kids but the practicality of finishing dinner and heading back to the park within the hour return time allotted seemed like too much of a stretch plus we were both exhausted from our park day.
We decided on dessert as a consolation prize and went with a frozen strawberry panna cotta that was covered in “meringue chips” which were amazing. Our server informed us that the berries used were specially grown to be more concentrated in flavor through water deprivation. They were really tasty.2A2A8419-DC4C-490C-B387-C38DDB936C2B.jpeg
As we dined, another couple was seated next to us and I saw something that really made me cringe. After their meal, the woman pulled out a shaker bottle and began mixing some kind of protein shake at the table, spilling some of the green goo onto the tablecloth. I don’t think this would normally bother me but this is a high end restaurant.
Overall it was a great meal and we decided to call it a night afterwards. We met back up with R’s dad to get the kids and ended day one with some much needed sleep.
 

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ELeigh

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Original Poster
Day 2 March 2 Part 1
This is what Z liked to call the “middle day”. The park opened at 9 and we planned to be there earlier to try and beat some of the crowds. R’s dad (I will refer to him as D and his wife as W) and his wife planned on taking the monorail in and meeting us in the park. We got through security and we’re held in line at the entrance until 8:45, we were about halfway between the two park entrances. Once we were let into the park there were just seconds to spare until opening and the mad dash to get boarding passes ensued. As our whole party wasn’t coordinated it wasn’t in the plans to ride today but figured I should just see what happened. We ended up with group 84.
Next I started making fast passes and chose Big Thunder for our first one. We had plenty of time beforehand so we decided to meet up with D and W at space mountain.
This was a first for both kids. O was beyond excited but Z was excited to joke around in line and I don’t think he actually realized what ride it was going to be. He put on a brave face but afterwards he told us he would not like to do it again. D8167798-57C4-46E6-9840-63323A12AF75.jpeg
After space we had a fast pass for big thunder. We had some time in between so I suggested stopping to meet Mickey and the timing was perfect as his meet and greet had just opened up.2A3E80A4-12B9-4141-ABDF-5ADF6D4CC657.jpeg
The kids enjoyed exploring Mickey’s house. We had a short wait and then we were brought in to see the big guy. 58DE293C-1364-41E6-BFE2-14B53BA06235.jpeg
He was in his steamboat willie attire with a steamboat willie set background. With another must do checked off our list we headed for Big Thunder.
We accidentally ended up on another planet instead...oops. A quick trip to some of the shops and then we turned around.
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I tried not to look around too much because I wanted to save my first real experience of the land until I could actually see the whole thing. We were soon on the right track to Big Thunder 83F13457-4D55-4E2C-BDD2-EA1EC8F9578E.jpeg
The kids wanted to ride with the grandparents so it was like a little date for myself and R.
I was worried Z was going to hate this ride as well but he loved it! After riding I can confirm that not only was it Z’s first time this was also my first time ever riding either coasts version because I had zero memory of it. I loved it and Z agreed. He can’t wait to take on the one at WDW for his birthday.
After big Thunder we had a fast pass for Splash Mountain. Z was afraid of the “going down part” but deciddd he could be brave if he sat with his grandpa again.
It was a great trip and the kids both loved their first time. The sang along with the songs and Z ended up getting the brunt of the splash and he was soaked. The ride photos were unfortunately down which was a bummer.
We decided on a treat next because everyone was getting hungry.
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Dole whip is always good but this one really hit the spot when paired with some rest for our feet. O got a brain freeze and decided the cure was to luau in the sun.
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We ate outside the Tiki room and when the next show opened up we made our way in.
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This is a blurry picture but it captures Z’s excitement to be there. He loves tiki room almost as much as small world. He sang every word to the songs and danced in his seat. He asked me to take pictures so of course I have a hundred blurry pictures of tiki birds on my phone now.
 
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