Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Anaheim Hilton
When: February 13-16, 2015
Why: Valentine’s Weekend
Day One – Friday, Plan:
Drive to Anaheim, check into hotel, Downtown Disney, Hearthstone Lounge, Grand Californian, Disneyland Park
Day One – Friday, Actual:
We left our home in Las Vegas at around 9 a.m., stopped for our usual lunch in Barstow at Del Taco and arrived in Anaheim at around 1 p.m. Originally, we’d booked a new hotel over by the Honda Center. But when we saw the weather forecast for pool weather, remembering the fabulous time we’d had at the Hilton pool last September, we switched hotels.
Last time we booked a Lanai view room, which is on the same floor as the pool (the 5th floor), but this time we went for the Disney view. We left the car with the valet and checked in. Check-in went smoothly and we were soon resting up from the drive in our room. Rich’s job is challenging and takes a lot of energy, so we were hoping for some rest and relaxation on this trip.
We discussed our transportation options:(1) take the shuttle or (2) valet park at Downtown Disney. We chose the latter. We left the hotel at about 5 p.m. and parked at Downtown Disney at 5:15 p.m. We walked through Downtown Disney (can be a bit of a walk) and headed for the Grand Californian, which we had skipped on the last trip and wanted to make sure we stopped in on this trip.
We tested out our new camera by snapping a shot of the fireplace in the lobby. That phto came out a bit blurry so it looks like we need more practice.
Then we toured the gift shop. We noticed a slick, red wallet for Kathy but at $45, decided to wait until we’d saved up enough points for that. Then we headed to the Hearthstone Lounge, one of our favorite watering holes on Disney property.
We ordered our favorite Habanero Margaritas and Robusto Flatbread.
Habanero Margarita – Patron Silver tequila, sweet & sour, Monin habanero lime syrup and freshly squeezed lime juice.
“Robusto” Flatbread – Topped with Chorizo de Bilbao, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Burrata Cheese and Romesco Sauce.
After reviving ourselves with our FAB and snack, we headed for DCA through the Main Gate. The whole Condor Flats (Soarin’) and Grizzly Peak Recreation Area is closed for refurbishment and is walled off so you can’t walk through there at all. We’re wondering if guests can even access DCA through the GC gate since it’s in that area.
We hadn’t been to Disney since last September and just entering DCA from the front gate reminded us of the Disney magic and how we really can’t be away from it for very long. We do miss having frequent access to it in Florida.
We wandered a few of the shops and turned left and headed down to the Tower of Terror area. We love the theming of that ride and love to tour the gift shop even when we’re not riding the attraction. There was a 90-minute wait, so we entered the gift shop. (We weren’t that serious about riding it since we’d just had our FAB and snack). We bought 2 ToT shot glasses, looking forward to recalling our ToT experiences while drinking tequila shots back home.
We took the back entrance from ToT through Bugs Land to Cars Land. The Cars Land magic has definitely disappeared from living in our own version of Radiator Springs in Las Vegas. We stopped to watch a few cars.
We then continued walking back to the DCA entrance. Our 3-hour parking time was about up and we wanted to stop in and pick up some chocolate in Downtown Disney. We stopped at the Ghirardelli cart near the stage and picked up a Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Caramel Bar – YUM!!
Ry Bradley and his band were playing so we stopped for a couple of songs and some dancing. What a fabulous performer and what a fabulous kick-off to our Valentine’s Day weekend.
We picked up our car, drove back to the Hilton, and enjoyed our Ghirardelli treat.