Thursday, July 10, 2014

California Trip Day 2, Part 1- Getting to the Grand Californian and Disneyland!

We woke up and headed into breakfast in the concierge lounge.  I wasn't feeling hungry (and knew that I wanted to eat my way around Disneyland in the next few days so didn't want to waste tummy space :) )  Then we took the hotel shuttle back to the airport so we could take the SuperShuttle out to Disneyland.

We hadn't made reservations since we didn't know what time we would get there.  The lady called a shuttle and said it would be about 15 minutes.  5 minutes later, one pulled up.  Nice! I had heard that it takes a while for the SuperShuttle to leave the airport.  It took us a while to get through, but nothing too bad.  Or so I thought.  That was just the first loop.  Apparently, they drive around until they get a full van.  Ugh.  Finally we were on our way and we were the first drop off--at the Grand Californian!

(courtesy of the Disboards)

We went to check in and the guy at the check-in counter was very nice however there were some problems.  I asked to see if we could upgrade to a full park view (I had only paid for a deluxe partial view theme park room).  He told me they didn't have any at that resort (uh, yes you do.  They aren't abundant, but I know you have them.  A simple "they're all reserved" or an "that's xxx amount of money" would have worked but don't lie about it. )  Anyways, he came back and said that they didn't have any of the king bed rooms that I had booked left and gave us two vouchers for dinner at several places on property--including Steakhouse 55.  Fine,  I'll take 2 Queen beds for that!  No problem!

Anyways, we left our luggage at the hotel and headed into the park.  I was so excited!

We saw the Dapper Dans on bikes headed up Main Street

  We had to stop for the obligatory castle picture since we were wearing the cute shirts I had made from AwkwardStyles on Etsy!

(the castle is so short, Kory almost blocks all of it!)

  Then we headed straight to Indy to get Fast Passes and then headed to the Haunted Mansion since it's one of the things I'd never done at Disneyland.

Then we headed over to Big Thunder Mountain.  Luckily, the lines weren't terrible and we didn't need Fast Passes.

Their new revamped Big Thunder was awesome!  Their ending scene had a great effect!  Definitely better than WDW's.

By that time I was really hungry so we headed to the Little Red Wagon to get the infamous corn dog.

MMMM...sooo good!

We headed back to Indy and in line, we saw Melissa Benoist from Glee.  Yes, I'm a dork and tried to take an inconspicuous picture. (and not a flattering picture of her.  Sorry Melissa!)

We went and saw Mickey and the Magical Map.  Great show!


We headed back into Fantasyland.  I wanted to checkout the line for Anna and Elsa.  Yup.  Just as crazy as at WDW!  They have a cute Olaf that talks though!

Random cute pic

Then we headed into the Royal Theatre to see a show.  I was hoping for Tangled because I heard Flynn Rider was funny but we saw Beauty and the Beast.  We got there late so the section we were seated in couldn't see Lumiere.  Booo.

Then we rode some more Fantasyland rides.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Snow White's Scary Adventure

Pinocchio's Daring Journey

 Casey Jr. Circus Train (this was actually cute!)

And we got some Pixie Dust at Peter Pan.  The line was only 45 minutes (when it had been a lot longer all day) so we decided to wait in line.  Just as we got in line, a cast member came up and grabbed us and said our shirts were cute and congratulations on our anniversary.  She took us in the back way and our 45 minute wait turned into 5!  Nice!

We headed back to the hotel to grab our luggage so we could go check out our room and get ready for dinner at Steakhouse 55.

Well, when we got to the room, it turned out that not only did we not get our King bed room,  we didn't get the deluxe partial theme park view that we paid for either...we got a Downtown Disney view.  (And the walk from the elevators to our room took forever!!)  But I felt that since we got the vouchers I couldn't complain.

I'm just going to say this now.  I don't think the Grand Californian was worth all the extra money to stay there.  And I'm not one to say that lightly.  The room was only okay.  We had issues with the hot water.  We had to run it for about 10 mins in the shower for it warm up and the water in the sinks weren't warm either.  No, I didn't complain to the front desk because we knew that being cast members, we'd be on the low end of the importance totem pole and we weren't in the room long enough to wait for someone to come out.  And the view wasn't that great.  I liked my room at Paradise Pier just as much and the view was 100 times better. Yes, the lobby of the Grand Californian is a lot nicer than Paradise Pier, and maybe if we were going to hang around the hotel instead of always being at the parks, it might have been worth it.  But for this trip, it wasn't. (And we found out later that night that one of friends who were there at the same time had problems with the room they booked not having the right bed set up and the one they were moved to had mold issues). The one advantage (and it was a big one) was that you get from California Adventure right to the hotel.  We used that entrance almost every time.

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