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Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

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Scottsbluff...
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Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

This forum helped a great deal in planning our vacation with 2 children, ages 5 and 7, so wanted to pay it forward with our experiences. We made some wonderful memories at Disneyland!

The Howard Johnson is a great place to stay. Very comfortable beds, hardly knew anyone else was in the hotel, great housekeeping, pleasant front desk etc. Easy walking distance to the parks. I used points from my Wyndham Rewards credit card and got 3 of our nights free! :)

The Karmel Shuttle was also wonderful. We used this service on our return trip to LAX because the Disneyland Express can't get you there before 7 am. Karmel driver was super friendly (at 5 am!), ahead of schedule (make sure you are ready 15 min prior to your scheduled time,) and it was a great price.

I would not recommend the Disneyland Express. After arriving at LAX and waiting for 15 min at the airport in the center island, the bus that came through was already full of passengers. We waited another half hour, and almost didn't get on the next one for the same reason. Didn't get to sit with one another. It then was a good 2 hrs before reaching our hotel after many, many stops. Expensive as well.

Pacific Wharf Cafe: wonderful, delicious sour dough bread. Now that I'm home, I wish I would've just eaten every meal there.

Cafe Orleans: Pommes frites- yummy!

Cafe Orleans: Monte crisco sandwich - not so yummy. Way too rich (and I usually like rich!)

Mickey's Halloween Party: This will probably offend some locals, but here is my honest opinion. Wish I would've skipped this and the outrageous price tag that came along with it. Spent the evening standing in long lines to trick or treat at 4-5 stations, then moved on to the next one. If you want tons of candy that you then have to figure out how to pack in your luggage, and love standing in lines, then this is for you. Didn't feel like the parade or fireworks show were anything as fantastic as their regular counterparts.

Our families favorite ride: Splash Mtn.

If you are attending the parks for 3 or more days, I would highly recommend taking a day off in the middle of your trip. We went to the beach and it was a great respite from the crowds, noise, etc.

Aladdin in the Hyperion Theatre is a must, as well as Fantasmic!

Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

thanks for the report....love hearing about other's trips....count down 6 days

Edited: 04 November 2012, 03:39
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2. Re: Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

Thanks for the report! Disneyland is so much fun! :)

Yucaipa, California
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3. Re: Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

Three nights free! Well played. Glad to hear you liked the Howard Johnson's. I hope to read a review soon!

I'm not offended at your remarks about Mickey's Halloween Party. It's good to hear various opinions. Me, I don't care too much for halloween period. I did have a tentative day trip to DL planned during Halloweentime and was really happy when it got postponed to mid November.

I live in a rural area (which is becoming more developed) near a pumpkin patch that my family has enjoyed visiting every October. I am also near an apple farming community in the hills above us, so I enjoy harvest time (after the day trippers have gone). I feel like there is too much good old fashioned stuff to enjoy here (at a bare min. of cost) than to go to a Halloween Party at Disneyland! I would probably go to one if I wanted to get into the park for less than the normal one day one park admission, though, and the free parking.

After seeing video, I do agree that the Remember, Dreams Come True Fireworks are better than the Halloween Screams Fireworks. I can't wait to see the Christmas fireworks and snow! Hope my visit doesn't get postponed again.

Edited: 04 November 2012, 09:27
Yucaipa, California
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4. Re: Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

By the way, how did you like the Soundsational Parade? Isn't the first part amazing with the drummers and the Mickey Mouse Club Song? I just get so much into that. That last unit, the Mary Poppins one, is so great too.

United States
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5. Re: Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

Thanks for report! We walked 11 miles in the resort yesterday & are enjoying some pool time. After our Bible meeting this afternoon we'll probably go back to the park. I like your idea for taking a day off. We just upgraded to Annual Passhomders yesterday! We have another trip planned for January.

Scottsbluff...
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6. Re: Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

You're welcome...reporting back is the fun part! :)

I was very impressed with the Soundsational Parade. Awesome music, unbelievable costumes. And where in the world do they find those girls who look exactly like the cartoon movie princesses?!?!

Austin, Texas
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7. Re: Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

I would agree with you overall that Halloween in my opinion is lame Christmas much better..My son is doing the college program he may be your ride operator in January.Thanks for the report.

Yucaipa, California
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8. Re: Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

The OP didn't say Halloween was "lame", nor did I - even though we gave our honest opinions about the party, etc. I'm sorry to harp on this, but this is the second time I saw you use the word "lame", Barry B. Is it possible to choose your words more carefully and thoughfully? Since "lame" means stupid, it's going to offend some who like Halloweentime at Disneyland.

Edited: 05 November 2012, 05:29
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9. Re: Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

What beach did you go to and how did you get there?

Scottsbluff...
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10. Re: Trip Report: Oct 28-Nov 2; Howard Johnson

We made two stops at local beaches: Huntington Beach and Crystal Cove State Park just south of Corona Del Mar. Huntington beach was fun - there is a pier you can walk out on and watch the surfers and also a Ruby's diner at the end where you can eat with some nice views. Our family enjoyed Crystal Cove much more: absolutely breathtaking beauty, and we had fun tide-pooling. My daughter counted up to 68 starfish at low tide. Everything- the sand, restrooms were perfectly clean and unspoilt at Crystal Cove. We did have to walk down a steep hill in order to get to the beach from the parking lot up on the cliff. Parking at Crystal Cove was $15 for the day, and I believe you had to leave by sunset. Parking at Huntington was cheaper if you wanted to pay by the hour.

We took the "scenic" route from Anaheim - just drove south on Harbor Blvd, and it pretty much takes you right to the Pacific Coast Hwy - go north to Huntington, or south towards Laguna for Crystal Cove. I'm sure it would be much faster to take a freeway if you don't have a lot of time. I think it was about a 45 min drive on Harbor Blvd. I had actually researched a lot on Laguna (just a little farther south on PCH) and had planned on going there, but after seeing Crystal Cove, we were content to play there. It was my kids' first time seeing the ocean, and I think it was the most memorable day of our trip! :)