We (my husband and I) have been back for a week now. So it is time to start a day by day account of our Adventures by Disney Southern California trip plus a few extra Disneyland days.
Overall the trip was excellent. It was our first Adventures by Disney trip. We really enjoyed the experience and hope to do more trips with them in the future.
Before I get started, just a note on how much of what we experienced I will report on. One of the great things about Adventures by Disney (ABD) is that they like to include surprises in your trip. When I was researching this trip, I read some trip reports from previous guests and read about activities that were actually “surprises” but I didn’t realize that when I was reading them. I don’t want to spoil a surprise for anyone so I am not going to share any activity that was not listed on the itinerary that you receive from ABD. Now there were some other little things that happened along the way that were little treats. Those I will include but anyone that is going on this trip in the future should note that they may not occur on every trip.
So now we start with Day 1 (ABD Pre-night)
Chris, my husband, and I flew out to California from NY the day prior to the start of the ABD trip. We didn’t want to worry about any flight delays or problems and there is a 3 hour time difference so it was great to have the extra time. It was a rainy NY morning so it was a little slow getting to the airport, but our flight was on time and we had a smooth, uneventful flight out.
We had booked our pre-night stay with ABD so we would be heading to the Loews Hollywood Hotel which is where the Hollywood portion of our trip would take place. Also because the pre-night was booked through ABD, we were entitled to use the private transfer from the airport. (If you do not book your pre-night through ABD, you have to arrange and pay for your own transportation to the hotel.)
As promised, we arrived in baggage claim to find a driver waiting with an ABD sign that had our name on it. He had an empty luggage cart and we ready to help us with our bags. There was some confusion about what carousel our luggage would be coming out on and he was great about going back and forth between a few of them until we found the right one. Once our bags were collected, we walked out to his car and enjoyed a quiet ride to hotel.
The check in process was relatively smooth. At first there was some confusion about finding it in the computer but it was quickly retrieved and we were all set. Our driver had mentioned that he hoped we would get a room on the side where we could see the Hollywood sign. So the first thing we did was open our window… and there it was!!
The room was very nice. It had a king size bed and good amount of space around the rest of the room.
At this point, we were starving so we dropped our bags and headed out to walk to Fat Sal’s. We had seen Fat Sal’s featured on Diners, Drive ins and Dives and we actually passed it on the drive to the hotel so we knew exactly where we were going.
Fat Sal’s is known for its “fat” sandwiches which basically cram a lot of different items into a hero size sandwich. Chris and I each ordered a different kind so we could cut them in a half and then trade so we could each try 2 kinds. So we ordered the “Fat Sal” which was roast beef, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, gravy and French fries. Yes, all of that on one sandwich. The other one we chose was the “Fat Anthony” which consisted of lettuce, tomato, 3 different Italian meats, chicken fingers, onion rings and French fries. We also ordered cheese fries to share. Yes, that is a lot of stuff on the sandwiches and while they weren’t small.. they actually weren’t ridiculously huge either. Of course, we also had just gotten off a 5 hour flight and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast. We didn’t have any trouble finishing them. We both agreed that the Fat Sal was the better of the two. We really liked the gravy and everything together just worked.
After finishing up there, we went to walk a bit around the hotel. The hotel sits right on Hollywood Boulevard so right outside you have the Walk of Fame, the Chinese theater, the El Capitan Theater and the Disney / Ghirardelli store. We didn’t spend much time. Just took about 30 minutes to look around.
Unfortunately, there was some interesting folks on Hollywood Boulevard. Now, I am quite used to what we call “scary” characters (people dressed up like different characters that want a tip to take a picture with them) from being in Times Square. Times Square is also home to people that want you to take their tour or buy their CD or whatever else they are selling. A simple “no” while you keep walking is usually enough for them to move along. Not so on Hollywood Boulevard. I found these folks to be quite aggressive and they don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. While we didn’t have any problems, it does make for an unpleasant experience when you just want to walk around and look the celebrity stars or hand and foot prints outside the Chinese theater.
After a brief walk, we were ready to relax in our room for the night. When we got to our room, we had a voice mail from one of our ABD guides, Summer Rose, reminding us to stop by to meet them in the hotel tomorrow for a welcome package. We were very excited to get started!
I have been a huge Disney and travel fan since childhood. I love going to new places and, of course, heading to Disney as often as I can.