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Trip Report – Day 1, Part 1 – Arrival Day!

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Woohoo, I’m finally starting my wedding Trip Report!  I figured I’d start at the beginning – with our Arrival Day! Our first day didn’t go very smoothly, as you’ll soon find out.  But nothing catastrophic happened, and I only cried once, so, small victories?

Disneyland Hotel entrance
Original photo from Trip Advisor

Day 1 – Thursday, May 17, 2012
Part 1, because a lot of stuff went down on this day.  A lot.

Thursday, two days before wedding day, was the day we were leaving for the Disneyland Resort!  The day started on a negative note with a text from Mr. BFT’s parents and sister that their flight was cancelled and they were put on a later flight out of a different airport and instead of arriving around 2pm, they would be arriving around 8pm.  I felt so bad for them.  Little did I know this was only the start of some bad luck on this day.

My parents arranged to stop by our apartment with their van on their way to the hotel at 10:00am so they could help transport our DIY crap.  They were right on time and between the four of us we were able to Tetris everything into their van, which was a major help!  I had a bit of a bridezilla moment because I was trying to take inventory of what was going with my parents and what was staying with us, but the guys were taking stuff and packing it in faster than I could write!  Also, by the time we were done loading the cars, my hair, which I had styled at the salon that morning for our “engagement” shoot with our photographers that afternoon, had completely fallen and all the curls were gone, so that was a major waste of time and money.

My goal was to be on the road by 11am but we were running a bit late.  After we packed up my parents’ van, we had to pack up my car, say our goodbyes to Walter, stop by the grocery store and fill up the gas tank.  We were finally on our way to Disneyland at around 12:15pm.

We had a quick and uneventful trip to Disney.  We parked the car in self parking and met up with my parents in the lobby.  Everyone was starving so we went to Tangaroa Terrace for a quick lunch.

After our quick lunch we all went back to the lobby to pick up some last minute Welcome Bag items.  I wanted to get park maps and schedules and I thought I may have to go all the way to the park gates, but I thought to ask at Guest Services at the hotel and they gave me what I needed!  (YAY Guest Services!)  Then we checked out the little gift shop and I decided to get lollipops for each bag, which were a hit with at least one of our guests:

Our neice and Flower Girl! Isn’t she a cutie?

After gathering all the items, I moved my car next to my parents van (they had the boxes with the Welcome Bags) and everyone helped assembly line style to add our new items to the bags (thanks mom and dad!!).  Then Mr. BFT organized all the bags so one box had all the bags for the Disney hotels, and one box had all the off-property bags.  Then we loaded the boxes in my car and we set off to deliver all the bags.

Delivering to the off-property hotels was relatively uneventful.  Some hotels were confused as to what we were doing (which I thought was weird – surely there are a ton of weddings in that area so this can’t be THAT odd???) but some hotels were very helpful.  When we were done,  I dropped Mr. BFT off at the Disneyland Hotel lobby and he took all the Welcome Bags for our guests at that hotel to take to Bell Services while I parked the car.

After parking, I went back towards the lobby and saw my parents unloading their van with a bellhop.  I saw my dress and grabbed it, along with a Rubbermaid bin that I knew contained my shoes, veil, tiara, jewelry, rings, and marriage license.  I decided I would rather keep those things with me verses check them with Bell Services!  Then I made my way to the lobby and here’s where the day started doing downhill.  I found Mr. BFT in the lobby with all the Welcome Bags still, and he said the hotel simply wouldn’t take them.  He checked with Guest Services and Bell Services.  We had about 10 bags and they were heavy so I knew we had to get rid of them.  So I said I’d get in line for check-in and I would ask about the bags.  There was no wait to check in so I gave the Cast Member our information and we were told to wait off to the side.  Then a Cast Memeber, Tracy, came up to us and said to come with her.  I told her we would but we have the issue of the Welcome Bags.  After explaining our situation, she had us follow her to Bell Services, where they told us they could take them for $3.50 each.  I was getting annoyed but asked Mr. BFT what he wanted to do since he was the one who was carrying them.  He was in no mood to pay and said he’ll carry them to the room and we can just deliver them ourselves.  Whatever!

Tracy said she was taking us to our room.  This was really interesting to me because I’ve never been escorted to our room before and I assumed we were getting some kind of VIP treatment.  Our coordinator knew I would have loved a suite upgrade but she warned me that it’s really difficult to do for a stay as long as ours (seven nights) so I assumed we wouldn’t get it, but when we got this personal escort, I got my hopes up that maybe we were getting upgraded!!!  Then she led us to the Adventure Tower (I had requested Frontier Tower since that is my favorite tower) and I got bummed for a second BUT THEN I thought, ohmygosh, we were upgraded to a Signature Suite!!!  But that was dashed when Tracy pressed “8” in the elevator (all the Signature Suites are on the top floor) and I knew at that point we were being led to a regular room.

Here’s where I start sounding like a brat.  I had it in my head that was I was going to ask how much it cost to get a suite if we weren’t upgraded.  I was also interested in a balcony room in the Frontier Tower if we couldn’t get a suite.  But mostly I really wanted the Frontier Tower because I like how secluded it feels.

When we got to our room, it was upgraded to a pool view, which was nice.  But I told Tracy I didn’t realize what was happening and I wanted to talk to someone about paying for a suite upgrade or requesting a balcony room (I made a point to make sure I said “PAYING for a suite” so everyone didn’t think I was expecting anything for free).  She said she needed to check me in to this room first and then she’d call and talk to our wedding coordinator about the suite and also the Welcome Bags and see if they could take them for free.  Tracy said she would call me on the room phone after researching availability for my room requests.  I asked how long it would take because we had a photo shoot to get to, and she said it wouldn’t be long.  So Mr. BFT and I were stuck in this room without our luggage, we couldn’t settle in because we weren’t sure if we were moving, and on top of all of that, Mr. BFT was dealing with one of our videography friendors who said he may have to bail on our wedding because he got hired for a gig that paid $25,000 for one day of work.  We obviously couldn’t tell him to NOT take that job but Mr. BFT was upset his friend was putting us in that position.  Mr. BFT was really stressed about it, but I wasn’t, I kept thinking about how I’m not going to have time to get ready for our photo shoot and we may have to cancel.

To make a really long story short, there were a lot of back and forth phone calls between us and Tracy about pricing, and some stress tears on my end, and comforting hugs on Mr. BFT’s end.  We ultimately decided to cut our trip short a night so we could afford to splurge for the suite, but the whole thing took about two hours, and it should have taken only a few minutes if we had checked in at the front desk, like normal people.  Tracy also came back and took all of our Welcome Bags to be delivered.  I’m not sure why they changed their mind and decided to take them, but we were happy.  We later found out that only about half our guests got their bags, which was very frustrating and in hindsight we should have just distributed them ourselves!

Since this is getting so long, I will stop here and continue with Part Two soon!  But I will leave you with a sneak peek of our engagement shoot this same day.  Yes, we made it to our shoot after all (spoiler alert)!

Disney's California Adventure engagement picture Disneyland Grizzly Rapids
Photo by Root Photography

Watch for Part Two next week!!!!!

About Mindy

Mindy Marzec is a life-long Disney fan who grew up in Los Angeles. She started This Fairy Tale Life to share Disneyland travel tips for adults. When not at Disneyland, you can find Mindy at home snuggling with her cats and re-watching Thor: Ragnarok for the billionth time.