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Unread 16 Jun 18, 07:43 PM  
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stace&tink
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Stace goes SOLO to Disneyland California. Dec 2018. Pre-trippy.

Hello again dibbers.

Here we are again documenting the lead up to yet another SOLO adventure.

This time slightly out of my comfort zone Im counting down to a trip to Disneyland in California this December! Eeeeekk!


Ive been desperate to get to Disneyland in Anaheim for about the past 2 years now but had been nervous about going solo as I dont know it like I do WDW.
However, at New Years I plucked up the courage and booked myself a week to the original house of mouse.

Life has been busy since, I wanted to get my 2017 Walt Disney World trip report finished before starting this and then I went to Disneyland Paris for my 30th Birthday (which was awesome).
I got here eventually though.


Long story short, I booked this trip at New Years after being told at work that I was getting a bonus pay out in March. I only had 1 weeks annual leave left to play with and was originally looking at WDW but out of curiosity got some quotes for Disneyland and they were much more affordable. I already had DLP and Mexico booked for this year and with a mortgage and bills to pay by myself I wasnt expecting to be able to have my normal 3rd holiday a year that Id got used to, but with the help from this bonus it was just about doable.
However come March payday I never received that bonus and found out I actually wasnt getting it at all! Yep panic set in.

I cant comfortably afford this trip now, but the thought of cancelling it and then going in to work every day knowing that Im not getting this holiday because of their miscommunication and basically screwing me over doesnt sound appealing either! So, in the nature of a true holiday lover I am doing everything I can to make it happen. Im selling bits and pieces, my social life is taking a bit of a back seat unless doing things that arent too costly, I dont need any new clothes etc so am avoiding going into town or browsing online and Ive cut my shopping bill down by a third. If I have to live off of pasta and cereal for a while then so be it! Thankfully, I dont feel like Im really missing out on anything so far. My friends are happy with nights in and pizza as much as I am, and I enjoy taking my dog for long walks which gets me out.

Im pretty good at setting myself a budget and sticking to it and fingers crossed by September when I have to pay the balance off I should have saved enough. Then I have a couple of months to get some spending money together.

I picked December as 1) it meant my 3 holidays this year were nicely spread out. 2) I loved the Christmas party at WDW last year and decided I'd love to see California's castle all iced out. Plus it'll get me well in the mood for Christmas.

The whole affordability thing has definitely taken the shine off the excitement as for a while Ive been worrying if Id be able to get the money together to even go. Once again, hard work and determination seems to be paying off.

Ive been to Disneyland once before about 8 years ago. We were only there from around 11am 9pm and barely scraped the surface of each park so Im very excited to go and do it properly. Even if a little nervous too. The new Pixar Pier area at California adventure is looking fab!


So, on with the plan

Just me travelling... sure you've all figured that out by now. Disney and Holiday enthusiast. (If I could travel for a living I would)
I'll be 30 years of age when I take this trip.

Friday 30th November Ill finish work around 3.30pm hopefully (planning to go in early and work through lunch so I can leave off early) I'll drive straight to my parents then my dad is driving me down to Heathrow. Or I'll drive home and dad will pick me up and take me to Heathrow - TBC.

Ive booked a nights stay at the London Heathrow Central Travelodge for 26. I have stayed at the Gatwick Central Travelodge several times now and never had any problems so hope its the same for Heathrow. Ive not booked any food as not entirely sure what time Ill arrive so no doubt dad will stop somewhere along the way and well grab something.



Ill take some snacks for in the room later. I imagine itll be a shower, and chill in bed kind of night.

Saturday 1st December There is a shuttle that picks up at the Travelodge and goes to the terminals so I plan to catch that.
My flight departs at 9.40am. I plan to check in on line at work the day before so dont have to be at the airport too early, however I will probably still aim to get over to the terminal for 7ish. Plenty of time to bag drop, get through security, wander around the shops and have a nice breakfast somewhere. Im hoping theres some sort of Wetherspoons place. I dont really like plane food and even if its ok its never filling so I like to fill up on a big breakfast before boarding the plane.


Scheduled arrival into Los Angeles (LAX) is 12.55pm.


I have a shared shuttle transfer booked which will take me directly to my hotel. I have no idea how long itll take but have read a lot about LA traffic and have been told to expect it to take a couple of hours.

Im booked into the Castle Inn and Suites on South Harbor Boulevard for 7 nights. Its only a 5 minute walk to the entrance to Disneyland and in my opinion a little Disney themed even though its not actually Disney. I did look at the Disney hotels but the price difference was just silly.




So Im staying 7 nights and have a 5 day Disney Parks hopper ticket.
I also have 2 Starline Tours planned. The first to The Warner Brothers Studios and Stars homes. And the other is a day trip taking in Hollywood, Beverley Hills and Santa Monica.



As much as this trip is primarily to visit Disneyland, I also dont want to waste the opportunity to see more of a new place. Im excited to see the walk of fame and Hollywood sign and see a few of the touristy sites. I know its not going to be the best weather to see Santa Monica but Im not going to sun worship (shocker) haha I just want to see the pier and take in some new sites.



So I plan to have 4 full Disney days, 2 days out and then Ill use my 5th Disney day on either arrival or departure day. Id like to use it on arrival day as I think my pick up will be mid-late morning on departure day but Ill just wait and see what time I arrive at the hotel and how Im feeling. I might just get settled and go have a nice meal somewhere instead.

There are plenty of restaurants within minutes walk of my hotel. Ihop and Dennys for breakfasts, Cheesecake Factory, Bubba Gumps, PF Changs, Tony Romas and others for dinners. Im not going to go hungry haha. There are also several places in Disney Id like to try. Some serious planning needs to be done on the food front as I cant eat everywhere haha. Why do I have to love food so much?!

I cant really plan my dining and which park Im going to do when until the park hours are released. I understand fireworks don't happen every night here? It appears that Disneyland release theirs much later than WDW.

Im also hoping to get some pennies together to do the Walking in Walts Disneyland footsteps tour. I loved Keys to the Kingdom tour in WDW so would love to do a tour in the original Disneyland. As much as I love the attractions and shows, I really love the history!
Id also like to do a character breakfast and plan to get maxpass each of my Disney days for fastpasses and photopass. I read its $10 pp a day which I dont think is too bad at all.

Ive decided not to worry about Universal. Other than the studio tour I dont think its too different to Florida and Im hoping to join some family on a non-Disney trip to Florida next year (I will hope for a day at MK) and we will do Universal plenty there, so while money for this trip is not free flowing Im happy to ditch it.

Saturday 8th December I fly back home at 3.15pm. Landing at Heathrow at 9.30am the next day.

Im not entirely sure what the weather will be like. Im hoping for jeans and tees during the day and happy to sling on jumpers in the evenings. I have so much more research to do I feel like I know nothing about Disneyland and California haha. This really is going to be abit of an adventure.



Thats it for now. Ill do another update when I have some more plans and a bit of an itinerary put together. Any hints, tips or advice will be greatly appreciated. xx
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Unread 16 Jun 18, 10:49 PM  
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EmmaBolan
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Super excited to hear about the rest of your trip!

I'm a little bit (actually a lot) jealous! I need another Disney trip in my life right now
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Unread 17 Jun 18, 07:46 AM  
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Unread 17 Jun 18, 09:12 AM  
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kaydee
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Sounds great...well worth saving hard for! Enjoy planning and Im looking forward to reading all about it x
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Unread 17 Jun 18, 09:30 AM  
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Oohhh, sounds fab! Enjoy the planning and I look forward to hearing all about it!
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Unread 17 Jun 18, 09:31 AM  
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LOU LOU DISNEY
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Sounds amazing!
Were just back from our first visit & were hooked! We went for the day from Vegas & did both parks & loved it! We just missed out on Pixar pier, but cars land surely made up for it! Its the best Disney theming ever! We rode radiator springs racers twice single rider with minimal wait!
Its a brilliant park & very like DLP.
We also did Hollywood, Santa Monica etc & loved it too! Minnies Star was easy to find as was Walts & Mickeys & lots of Disney characters, theyre all on the main crowded part of Hollywood boulevard near Chinese theatre.
Santa Monica is beautiful too & we were in bev hills, Hollywood sign all on our tour. Youll love it! Have lots of fun!
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Unread 17 Jun 18, 11:37 AM  
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Sounds a great plan, we stayed at the Heathrow Central Travelodge and it was really nice, you need the room key to enter the corridors on your floor so that made it feel extra secure. Mrs. P left her purse in the room but it was too late to go back for it, so phoned them and they kept it in the safe until we got back.

We also stayed at the Castle Inn and again thought it was a great choice, only 2 blocks from the gates, probably more like 10 minutes walk but easy and the roads you have to cross all have lights controlling them.

Plenty of places to eat on the way to/from the park. I would recommend the Pizza Press next door, it's like a Subway for pizzas, they start with the base and you add toppings the pizza then goes through an oven on a conveyor and comes out ready to eat, around $10.

We went in November but they were changing some ride from Haloween to Christmas but it was starting to feel Christmassy, tree up etc.
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Unread 20 Jun 18, 01:15 PM  
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stace&tink
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Originally Posted by LOU LOU DISNEY View Post
Minnies Star was easy to find as was Walts & Mickeys & lots of Disney characters, theyre all on the main crowded part of Hollywood boulevard near Chinese theatre.
That's good to know thank you. I was going to ask later on if anyone could point me in the right direction so I don't waste time looking in the wrong places. Thank you.

Originally Posted by pompeyboy View Post
Sounds a great plan, we stayed at the Heathrow Central Travelodge and it was really nice, you need the room key to enter the corridors on your floor so that made it feel extra secure.

We also stayed at the Castle Inn and again thought it was a great choice, only 2 blocks from the gates, probably more like 10 minutes walk but easy and the roads you have to cross all have lights controlling them.

Plenty of places to eat on the way to/from the park. I would recommend the Pizza Press next door, it's like a Subway for pizzas, they start with the base and you add toppings the pizza then goes through an oven on a conveyor and comes out ready to eat, around $10.
All really good to know thank you. I'll make a note of Pizza Press.
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