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Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
501 posts
31 reviews
Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

Hi, Trip Advisor was invaluable in helping with my planning, so I thought I would share our holiday that started in Anaheim in mid September…

Day 1

My family (myself, husband and two girls 12 &14) started our one month USA adventure with four nights in Anaheim. Our Air New Zealand flights from Adelaide via Auckland were as comfortable as a long haul flight could be, we chose to book two sky couches (equivalent of six seats) and having the extra space definitely made things easier. We booked a Karmel Shuttle from LAX and after an easy transfer we arrived at Disney’s Grand Californian – our home for the next 3 days!

The hotel was amazing and we are so glad we chose to stay there, it made a relatively short trip much easier, the DCA magic mornings allowed us get through heaps of rides and having fantastic pools to relax in each afternoon was great! In saying that, our previous trip to Disneyland was also fantastic and we stayed at a much more reasonably priced hotel.

After checking in and freshening up we took the ART to Outlets of Orange to get our US sim cards, we chose the AT&T 30 day prepaid, which gave us unlimited data, text and US calls, which was really useful throughout our trip.

With our jet lag catching up with us we made a quick stop at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner before grabbing cereal and milk for breakfast at 7 Eleven , and heading back to our hotel for an early night.

Day 2

Our plan was to use our magic morning at DCA and be at the gates by 8am, however we woke well after 9:30 and made it to the park just before 11! Entering the park through the hotel was so easy and after arrival we added Max Pass to our tickets and started our day. Because we wanted to use photo pass getting Max Pass was an easy decision for us and we found it so useful in getting through lots of rides, with minimal waiting. We spent the day in DCA , getting through all the big rides except Guardians of the Galaxy. We had lunch at Flo’s diner in Radiator Springs which was really tasty. Late afternoon we headed back to the hotel to chill out by the pool before spending a couple of hours in Disneyland. We used our Max Pass to book a fast pass for the Haunted Mansion (loved it!), and explored the park until it closed at 8pm. Dinner was at Naples in Downtown Disney for tasty wood fired pizzas.

Day 3

Today was a Disneyland Magic Morning and we arrived at the gates at 8am ready to explore. In the first hour we were able to complete Star Tours, Space Mountain and Toy Story, before heading over to Pirates of the Caribbean and booking a fast pass for Indiana Jones ( 2 of my favourite rides!). We tried to get a table at Carnation Café for lunch but it was fully booked so we booked for the following day and headed out to La Brea for lunch (anther great meal). After lunch and some time at the pool we headed back to Disneyland to explore some more and were lucky enough to run straight into Mickey and get some photos! Dinner tonight was at the Cheesecake Factory again – its one of our favourites!

Day 4

Our last day in the parks and also the night of Mickey’s Halloween Party!!! Our day started with the DCA Magic morning at 7am, and we headed straight to Guardians of the Galaxy – we all loved it, probably our favourite ride in either park! We spent the rest of the morning visiting our favourite rides for one last time (the girls did the Incedicoaster twice) before heading to Carnation Café for lunch. Lunch was yummy, I love the baked potato soup and we had a great table near main street to watch a small parade that went through. After lunch we headed back to the hotel to chill out for a couple of hours, as we had a late night ahead and a 4:30am start to get back to the airport! We arrived back in the park around 4pm, got our bands for the party and wandered around until the trick and treating started. The girls loved collecting all of their treats and the park was quite enough that we could walk on to most rides without waiting. The atmosphere was also wonderful, lots of people were dressed up and there was great sense of excitement. The parade and fireworks were amazing and the highlight of our visit, it really was a special night…. Exhausted we headed back to the hotel for a short sleep before our early departure back to LAX to begin the next leg of our journey in Colorado

10 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
39,337 posts
1,019 reviews
1. Re: Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

Sounds very fun! 😎

Level Contributor
2,156 posts
22 reviews
2. Re: Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

Great trip report, really enjoyed reading it.

Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
2,186 posts
192 reviews
3. Re: Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

Never apologise for a 'long' report! It's a nice one- glad you all had a great time!

(Mine are usually longer, with less info. I'm a real waffler!)

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
427 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

yes, that wasn't long at all but a very interesting read. Sounds like you made great use of your time there and had an enjoyable trip.

My husband and I are staying at GCH (DVC Villas) for the first time next trip - we normally stay offsite - so was good to read that you enjoyed your stay there, it certainly is expensive, even renting DVC points, but I'm choosing to just ignore how much it is costing us - it's a special Anniversary trip so I decided to splurge.

Hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in the US - sounds like you had a great trip planned.

Thanks for reporting back on your trip!

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
33,195 posts
6,438 reviews
5. Re: Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

Fun trip

Thanks for your trip report.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
Level Contributor
30,753 posts
94 reviews
6. Re: Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

Thanks for the Trip Report, sounds like you had a good visit.

San Jose, CA
Level Contributor
956 posts
10 reviews
7. Re: Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

Interesting. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Down Under
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
8,009 posts
32 reviews
8. Re: Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
94 posts
32 reviews
9. Re: Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

loved your TR was a great read.

we were at the halloween party on the 17th

it was amazing unforgettable experience.

still eating candy from trick or treating

We all dressed as pirates it was such fun

United States
Level Contributor
2,939 posts
143 reviews
10. Re: Trip Report 3 Days - Family of 4 (LONG Sorry)

THANKS for sharing

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