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Surprise Trip to Disneyland

November 27, 2011

This has been a busy few months.  We packed up and moved from our apartment of the last two years in Switzerland back to our home in the SF Bay Area.With the unpacking, adjusting to new schools, reconnecting with old friends and family and making new connections in the community, there hasn’t been much time for travel.

But of course, the itch to get out there and find adventure remains.  So with little free time, I planned a last minute trip to Disneyland to enjoy the Halloween splendour – just my youngest son and I for a couple days.  Decided I wouldn’t spill the beans and instead told him that we were going to get up early to visit my office.  As we approached the office, I said that I broke my special Mary Blair coffee mug and would need to get a new one for the office.  He was ok with that.  So we drove to the store via the Oakland airport because the only store that sold the Mary Blair mug was at Disneyland!

I’d like to report that my little guy jumped for joy and showered my with affection after learning the news that we were sneaking away to Disneyland for a couple of days. Truth is, he stared at me dumbfounded and confused.  Oh well!  I guess he doesn’t like surprises.  The trek to Disneyland was quite easy – Jet Blue to Long Beach airport and then a cab ride to the Disneyland gates.  Once we got to Disneyland, the excitement hit and my son had a permanent smile on his face for the duration of the trip.

Disneyland goes all out for Halloween.  The decorations begin at the gate and you can’t help getting caught up in the magic of the Fall season.  A highlight of the season in the Haunted Mansion Holiday which is inhabited by Jack Skellington and his Nightmare Before Christmas neighbors for the Halloween and Christmas seasons.  You can meet Jack and Sally themselves for photo opps in New Orleans square and there’s Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy for those looking for an adrenaline rush.

Finding good deals on accommodations isn’t always easy with a last minute trip.  We ended up staying at Howard Johnson’s Anaheim motel the first night, which is a great place to stay for budget minded looking for a place walking distance to the park.  We moved to the Disneyland Hotel for our second night, to enjoy the new Monorail pool and tiki themed Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sams.  Probably could have found better deals for both options with pre-planning, but didn’t fare too badly with rates, considering we purchased with less than a week’s notice.

What a special weekend escape we had full of Halloween magic!  It was a wonderful surprise that I hope my son will remember forever.  I know I will.  And now I’m wondering…can we squeeze in a trip for the Christmas holidays?

For help planning your holiday escape to Disneyland, contact me at or check out our website

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2012 8:20 am

    Sounds like it was a fun trip! I like Disneyland but I prefer Disney world more, you should come over to florida for your next trip! 🙂

  2. May 22, 2012 8:30 am

    Yes, I’m definitely due for a trip to Walt Disney World. Hopefully, next year!

    Grin Travel

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