Disneyland: Our First Christmas Back Report

Destination: Disneyland Resort

Dates: December 27-30, 2008

Adventurers: Rich & Kathy, aka Two4disney, veteran Disneyland and WDW travelers and Trip Reporters, last seen in September in the Bountiful Birthday Baseball Beach Bash.

Resort: Disneyland Hotel

Celebration: Holiday Magic at Christmas

As a recap – Kathy grew up about 8 miles from Disneyland and after Rich and Kathy went to WDW for the first time together in 1999, we decided to move to Florida. Our dream came true in 2003. But right before moving back west we lived behind the back entrance to Walt Disney World, close enough to hear the train whistles on Main Street, the boat whistles on Bay Lake, and the fireworks every night.

We made our first trip back to Disneyland this past May after living near WDW. We bought Annual Passes for both of us and we stayed at Paradise Pier. In September, we made a return trip and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel. We were progressing to the Grand Californian and had reservations to stay there in early December. However, Kathy began consulting at Rich’s company and due to scheduling conflicts; we had to cancel that trip.

At first, as was discussed in the trip planning section on Passporter, we were going to stay offsite near the beach and pop into Disneyland a couple of times. But knowing this would be a busy time of year and realizing we’d rather spend the bulk of our time soaking up the holiday atmosphere and go to the beach for a day outing, rather than the other way around, we checked availability for the Disneyland Resort hotels. It was rather last minute so we were delighted to discover there was availability at the Disneyland Hotel – and we even got an AP rate. We enjoyed our stay there before and we’ll just have to put off our stay at the Grand Californian until next year.

Because we’re expecting huge crowds, our focus is on seeing the decorations and riding three specific rides (2 themed for the holiday): Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, and Toy Story. We’ll check out the decorations for Minnie & Mickey in Toontown and the Blue Sky Cellar in DCA (previewing the upcoming changes to DCA.)

This Christmas season we’re really missing the wonders of Walt Disney World. We had become accustomed to enjoying Christmas at WDW every year so we’re thrilled to be able to soak up some of this special Disney atmosphere at Disneyland and we can’t wait. This will be our first Christmas at Disneyland since moving back from Disney World. And we love taking a trip to Disneyland during the week after Christmas Day and before New Year’s as we used to do when we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is our first year driving in from Las Vegas and we’re just hoping the weather will be clear between here and there this time of year, and we’ll be keeping a watch on the weather reports.

We made two PS’s: one at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and the other at Tortilla Joe’s. We also have plans to meet an ex-coworker of Kathy’s from San Francisco who also grew up in Orange County.

Happy Holidays!

Rich & Kathy

About Rich Eckardt

Byzantine Catholic Convert. Knight of Columbus. Celebrant of the Divine Office.