Summer of 2016 Kickoff: A Disney and Beach Getaway Trip, Day 2, Part 2

We valet parked at Downtown Disney and then headed for a peek at Trader Sam’s to see if we wanted a drink there or Hearthstone Lounge at the GC.

The inside now seemingly identical to the one at WDW was crowded and the outside seating was a bit in the sun. Overall, it didn’t really call to use and we really wanted to settle in at Hearthstone Lounge.

Our “usual” seating area was available but we soon noticed the substantial chairs and table had been replaced with wimpy ones – that was so weird. And they no longer offer a bowl of snacks.

We ordered 2 glasses of MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir instead of the Margaritas this time (especially after a Mai Tai for lunch), and our usual delicious Robusto Flatboard for dinner.

rich_margarita_gcOriginal table and chairs

IMG_6955New chairs (small table out of view)

We stopped in at the gift shop and Rich found the 60th Anniversary t-shirt he’d hoped to find on our trip last year. So he used our points for the purchase and we also got our usual box of Mickey shortbread cookies.

And then we made our way to World of Disney to see what else we could find. We noticed the retro Disney kitchen ware on a MouseSteps video of WDW so the display here at Disneyland caught our eyes. We bought 2 snack bowls, and are thinking about returning to get even more stuff.

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We also picked up a couple of Mickey Krispie Treats.

IMG_6965Shopping was so much fun and reminded us of when we lived behind WDW and used to stop in on DD and shop.

We made our way back to the valet with one eye on the time. We’d only been gone for 2.5 hours so we had 30 minutes to get back. Or so we thought.

We stopped by to listen to Griff Hamlin on the stage, watch a bit of Angels baseball on the big screen outside ESPN and then over to the valet desk to settle our account and pick up our car.

Well, much to our surprise, it was now $12 for valet parking instead of the usual $6. Okay, so they doubled the price. And then we discovered it was $12 for only 2 hours – not 3. So valet parking, much to our surprise, cost us $18 instead of the $6 we were expecting. That will certainly deter us from using their service in the future.

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We drove back to our resort, picked up a container of milk in the gift shop, enjoyed our Disney snack, and then went to bed.

Originally, we were supposed to stay until Monday but we’d done all we wanted to do on a holiday weekend and were anxious to get back home and have some rest time before starting another work week.

The next morning, we had coffee and breakfast in our room, packed, check out, and then hit the road. We made good time (1 stop for gas before we entered the freeway) and arrived back in Vegas after just 3.5 hours.

Final Thoughts

We had no desire to buy tickets for the parks on a cloudy, crowded day.

The beach and just relaxing was the best part of the trip.

So annoyed by Disney charging more and offering less with both apparent without even entering the parks. Don’t want to see how they’ve decimated our favorite part of the park (Frontierland, Rivers of America, Big Thunder Ranch and the path to Fantasyland) for Star Wars, which seems totally inappropriate for location.

We get it that they will make more money with Star Wars there than Big Thunder Ranch but it’s just too brutal for an original Disneylander like me.

We might return for our anniversary in August or for Christmas or for Food & Wine next Spring.

But, in all likelihood, the next time we do Disney will probably be at WDW – not Disneyland.

About Kathy

Author of Cruise and Travel-Themed Novels ("Real Women Wear Red" / "Real Women Sing the Blues"), Songwriter & Poet