View Full Version : Idaho Mike- May 2-12, 2008 - Howard Johnson's
05-14-2008, 08:21 AM
Travel dates: May 2-12, 2008
Travel method: Driving from Boise, Idaho
Resort: Howard Johnson's
Accommodations: 2 queen beds, building 2, room 206
Ages Represented in Group: 37, 36, 7, 5, 2
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group:DW not sure, many trips. Me: 7th trip, DS7: 5th trip, DS 5: 5th trip, DS 2: 4th trip
Cast of characters: DW(37) Me(36) DS(7), DS(5), DS(2)
We started out by deciding that we would drive, due to the weather being nice, and airfare being very high. With 5 of us going, even at $3.75 a gallon for gas, driving was way, way cheaper. I worked 8-12, and then we picked up my oldest at school, and hit the road by 1 pm Mountain time, intending on ending up in Bishop, CA by nightfall, with about 4 hours to drive in the morning. The drive was pretty uneventful, and we tossed around the idea of driving all the way to Anaheim that night, but decided to stop in Bishop, because it was late, and we didn't have anywhere to stay in Anaheim anyway. Stayed at the Comfort Inn, it was clean and comfortable, and they didn't charge us an arm and a leg. Bishop is really a nice little town, tucked away into the mountains, we would end up staying there on the way home as well. Got up around 8 on Saturday, grabbed a bite to eat, and hit the road. Took about 4 hours or so to get to Anaheim, I was the first to spot the Matterhorn as we drove down Ball Road! After a quick Target stop, and checking in, we were in the park by about 3 pm Saturday. It is just hard to explain to anyone who hasn't been there the feeling that you get when you walk through the entrance gates, it just transforms you somehow, I always feel like I am 8 yrs old again, and my wife is the same way. We stopped to get autograph books and a pen, and then headed into the park. We had decided that the Matterhorn would be our first ride, since my youngest son is now tall enough to ride it (in fact, he is 39", so he will be able to go on almost everything next time!) We forgot that it was time for the Parade of Dreams, so it was very crowded around the Matterhorn, so we held off on that, and grabbed FP's for Space, and hopped on Buzz. After Buzz, we did Star Tours, and then headed back to the Matterhorn. I wasn't sure how my son would do, but he LOVED it. My oldest was also very excited, because he can ride solo on most things now. Grabbed a bite to eat at Tomorrowland Terrace, and then headed back to Critter Country to ride Pooh, and work our way out of the back corner of the park. Did Pooh, HM, Pirates (crab was there and functioning all week!), and the Jungle Cruise. We then rode Big Thunder, my 5 yr old's favorite ride, and decided we would go stake out a spot for Fireworks. Found a GREAT spot over towards IASW sitting on the wall just around the corner from the face painting spot by the Matterhorn. Oh, did I mention we arrived 15 mins before the fireworks were to start, and no one was there? Anyhow, we sat there until 9:30 or so, when they announced that the fireworks were cancelled due to high prevailing winds. Boooooooo (can't do much about it though). Went and rode Space with our FP's, and that was our last ride for the night. Everyone was exhausted, so we went back to the Hojo's to get some rest, as we had Magic Morning at 7 am Sunday. Back with more later, gotta go mow the lawn before work!
05-14-2008, 03:06 PM
Sounds like a fun first day -- I'm looking forward to the rest of your report!
05-14-2008, 03:42 PM
Wow! Sounds like fun, so far. I know what you mean by that "Special Feeling", most people just think I'm nuts.:fez: I'll watch for more about your trip.
05-14-2008, 09:21 PM
Day 2: Well, I will say one thing, when the park opens early on a Sunday, nobody wants to get up early for Magic Morning. I would venture to say there were about 20 people in line at each gate when we got there, and the lines didn't get much longer by the time they let us in! After getting strollers (love that Disney VISA), we headed straight to Fantasyland. Did the requisite Peter Pan and Dumbo first, then Toad, Alice, Teacups, Pinocchio, Carousel, Casey Jr (rode the caboose for the first time) and Storybookland. Didn't get on Snow White just then, but the lines are never long for that one, so we figured we did well to get on everything else by about 8:30. Went to Main St to look for characters, and hit the jackpot, with Donald Duck (only saw him on weekends this trip), Cruella, Chip, Dale and Pluto (Goofy was also out, but figured we'd get him later. My oldest son went up to a CM, appropriately named Mickey, to trade pins, and Mickey asked us if we were staying all day, which we replied we were. He asked if we liked Fantasmic, which we of course said YES! He then proceeded to award us a dream of priority seating for Fantasmic for the 9pm showing! I know not everyone thinks the Million Dreams thing is a good idea, but it sure made our day! We then headed over for DCA opening to use our Disney VISA character meet n greet. We got Goofy and Max, and Goofy was in rare form that day. He met me with a running tackle right away, pretended to be afraid of a chair that was nearby, did some shadowboxing with my sons, and was generally, well...Goofy. Got some great pictures, and had one of our best character interactions ever! We then rode Monsters, which is always a hit, watched Drawn to the Magic and met Snow White afterward (my boys don't like the Fantasy Faire, but they do like meeting the princesses). Then it was Tower of Terror time. My 5 yr old has been going on it since he was 3, but my 7 yr old had always been afraid. He decided he would try it out this time, so we headed in. Last time he said he would go, we had to exit before we boarded the elevator, but this time he made it all the way through! I could tell he was nervous, but he made it through just fine. He decided one time was enough, but he was proud of himself for making it all the way through! We then got FP's for Soarin', and then walked on to Grizzly with no wait. Didn't get too wet until the geyser at the very end. I swear they have changed it so that it erupts more frequently, because until this trip, I had NEVER been hit by the geyser, but the 3 times I rode Grizzly, I was 3/3 in getting completely soaked by the geyser. Picked a bad day to wear denim I guess. We went to the PT Flea pin shop, as it was gift with purchase day, and bought some new pins, and got 4 Minnie Jungle cruise pins free with purchase. BTW, if anyone gets the Chip n Dale one in June, I'll trade you a Minnie for it. :) Went over and got FP's for Screamin, which were only for about 45 mins later, so we shopped around, peeked through the Toy Story Mania fence at Mr. Potato Head (very cool), rode King Triton's carousel, and then Spencer and I rode Screamin, while the rest of the family went on the Sun Wheel (red cage). Hit Mulholland Madness (well, not me, but the others did), and Soarin, before heading back to DL. Made sure to get Indy FP's, as we hadn't done that one yet. Did several other rides, then went and took our seats for Fantasmic. Even though you are sitting on concrete, it is exceptionally nice to have a front & center, unobstructed view of the show. First time all of my kids have seen it, as the 2 youngest were always asleep in the past. After the show, they invited us to stay to watch the Fireworks, which we planned to do, but once again, they were cancelled :( We decided to ride Indy for the last ride of the night, and then headed back for sleep time. We used to be a family that went from open to close, but we decided on this trip, that early closings weren't so bad, and even on the 11 pm and midnight days, we were gone by 10-10:30. Must be getting old! I'll try to cover the weekdays with more concise reports, as we were not in the park as long.
05-14-2008, 09:38 PM
OK, not sure how I forgot this, but I think I mixed up 2 days (Sun/Mon). Me and the 2 oldest actually left around 11:30 for the Angels/Orioles game on Sunday. This was my 5 yr old's first baseball game ever. He seemed to have fun, but he got bored quickly. Once I got him some cotton candy, things were much better though. My 7 yr old is a baseball veteran, this is his 5th game he has attended. Angels won 6-5, Torii Hunter hit a huge 3 run homer, and everyone left happy. So, everything in DCA after Tower of Terror in my previous post actually happened on Monday. Whoops!
05-16-2008, 10:31 AM
Day 3: Monday. We opened the day in DCA, did our Disney VISA character meet n greet again, got Chip n Dale this time around. Then we did the first show of Playhouse Disney. We really liked the new show, it was definitely time for a change, and the kids were really into it, especially the 2 year old. For what happened the next few hours, reference my previous post where I mixed up the days. Went on Soarin, Screamin, Sun Wheel, Grizzly, Mulholland, etc.... Went back to Talk to Crush after that, and my 7 y/o was chosen right away to tell Crush where he was from etc... and then Crush asked to talk to me as well. I got the standard "You're just getting started" line when he asked how many kids I had! It was a bit of a different show though, he brought out a Buzz Lightyear toy he found on the ocean floor, hadn't seen that one before, and then Dory came out to teach us to speak whale. We seem to always get Dory these days. Spencer, Cameron and I then went to the animation academy, and learned how to draw Tigger. For anyone that hasn't done this, it is kind of a fun way to spend 20 minutes, and teaches you that even someone with absolutely no artistic talent like myself could still draw a character. We then staked out a spot for the Pixar Play Parade. We liked this one much better than Block Party Bash. Very fun, high energy, great crowd interaction. Bugs Life float was working properly as well, so that was a bonus. For those who complain about the bursts of water, all I can say is "Get over it, it's water!" That made it all the more fun for us, and everyone around us as well. Looking forward to seeing this one again in October. We then headed over to Disneyland for the last couple of hours and did a few rides before heading off to bed.
05-21-2008, 08:20 AM
So, I left out our Goofy's Kitchen experience on Monday for a separate post. We had PS at 8 am, and when we arrived we got to take family pictures with Dale who was posing for pics out by the cash register area. We were quickly seated, and I went to get some food for my youngest son. By the time I got back, Alice was already at our table, and having some great interactions with my boys. She was very friendly, interested in what they were doing, where they were from, etc..., and spent a ton of time at our table. Everyone else got their food (no one wanted to try the PB&J pizza), but Spencer was jazzed that they had regular pizza in the morning! I went to get my food, and came back to find Gideon the cat from Pinocchio visiting our table. Spencer had a messy face by that time from his pizza, and Gideon handed him a napkin to use. Then he wrote "even bad guys use their napkins" on our tablecloth! Goofy then hosted an impromptu macarena dance over by the buffet, but none of my boys wanted to go up and dance. It was quite entertaining nonetheless. We had visits from Chip, Goofy, and Pluto at our table shortly thereafter. Chip drew a picture of himself on the tablecloth, and it was pretty good for a large furry chipmunk! If we hadn't made such a mess, I would have taken the tablecloth with us, but it was quite filthy by the time we were done. We saw a Penguin walking around from Mary Poppins, but he never made it to our table. No worries though, we met him at Minnie & Friends later in the week! Food was excellent, as was the selection. They kept things full and fresh the entire time. The only disappointment was the pineapple on the fruit tray, about the blandest pineapple I have ever had, but what are you gonna do? Anyway, we left full and happy, and had a better experience than the first time we went to Goofy's in 2004. A great start to the morning!
05-21-2008, 08:31 AM
Tuesday May 6th.
This was our 2nd magic morning (we bought our park hoppers through getaway today, you get 2 MM's from them), and oh boy the lines were really, really long, back to the DCA gates. Much different than Sunday morning, that's for sure. We once again headed over to Fantasyland, and Peter Pan was already wayyy too long, so we hit Dumbo, Mr. Toad, Pinocchio, Snow White, and the Carousel. We looked over and saw that there was no wait for Casey Jr, so we got up there and managed to all get the monkey cage for the first time. Sometimes myself and the boys have ridden in it with others, but usually there were others ahead of us who also wanted to ride in the cage, so the whole family was never able to fit. Yay for the monkey family! We did the Matterhorn, and then decided to bite the bullet and get in the Nemo line. David, my 2 yr old didn't get to ride it last year, as he was asleep, so he kept saying "I wanna go on Nemo dad" all week. Wait from start to boarding time was 35 minutes, so not too bad at all, and the line moved consistently. I actually enjoyed it more this time than last year, maybe because the weather was cooler, and the wait time was shorter, not sure. We rode in the "Voyager" sub this time. David loved it, and wanted to go on Nemo again and again (we did not ride it again this trip). Next it was time for Jedi Training Academy. Spencer was jonesing to get picked, as he was passed over last time, even though he had a Star Wars shirt on. This time we had the bald instructor, and he chose Spencer to become a young Padawan! They really do a great job with this show, and are really helpful and encouraging with the kids, it is really fun. Spencer got to battle Darth Vader, and he did great, although on the shot to the head, he missed twice, but the instructor just encouraged him "A little closer this time!" "One more try!" We got some fun pictures, and he was excited that he finally got picked. Cameron doesn't seem to like to do "audience participation" type things, so he didn't try to get picked. The rest of the day, we just took it easy, cruised around DL, and did rides at a leisurely pace. We did finally go on Splash, and stupidly, I said I'd ride in the front. Bad idea if you want to stay dry. I got a tidal wave after the big drop, and was drenched for the rest of the day, but it was still a blast. We also met all the pooh characters while we were over in that neck of the woods, and they were great as usual. Another excellent day!
05-21-2008, 10:56 AM
Another great episode! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip!
05-21-2008, 11:44 AM
I love hearing about your trip. Thanks for taking the time to share with us! I am staying at the Howard Johnson's in June with my family. How was that experience for you?
05-21-2008, 09:31 PM
Hojo's was great as usual. The only drawback was that the main pool area was under construction, but the end result is going to make it even better. My kids are really looking forward to the pirate ship!
More of the trip report tomorrow, got to get some sleep now :)
05-24-2008, 04:50 PM
I think I'm losing my mind. The 2 older boys and I actually left the park around 4:30 on Tuesday to go see the Dodgers/Mets. I found a deal for $2 tickets in the upper deck, and couldn't hardly pass it up. We cruised down I-5, and got within 1 mile of Dodger Stadium when all of a sudden gridlock on the entrance/exit to the Pasadena freeway. After spending about 45 minutes trying to go 1 mile, we finally got into the stadium lot around 6:15.
OK, seriously people, $15 to park my car? I paid six bucks for THREE tickets, and I have to pay $15 to put my car in a lot? Absolutely ridiculous. Frank McCourt (Dodgers owner, not the author) should be ashamed of himself for that garbage.
Anyhow, after hoofing it up no less than 4 flights of stairs, we found ourselves in the upper deck. As usual, the stadium was about 1/3 full close to game time. We spent our $50 in food, and went to our seat. It was very special to find that Cameron's seat was covered in dried relish. After no usher seemed interested in cleaning it, or finding someonte to clean it, I went and got some wet paper towels and took care of it myself. YUCK.
The game itself was actually very good. Starting pitchers left a little to be desired, lots of walks, and sloppy pitching, but we got to see a steal of home by Moises Alou, and an inside the park home run by Blake DeWitt, neither of which I had ever seen in person. For some reason, Cameron's attention span was much longer at this game than at the Angels game too, so that made it very nice. Weather was beautiful, stadium was gorgeous, and the Dodgers ended up winning, although Takashi Saito made it interesting in the end.
I know there is a pocket of "true" Dodger fans, but most of them lived up to their reputation of "show up in the 3rd, leave by the 7th inning". Come on, I know it is L.A., but stick it out eh? The game was actually close. I guess since we don't get to go to a lot of games, I appreciate it a bit more, but it is just ridiculous that people spend maybe 4 innings at the game. end of rant.
05-27-2008, 09:45 AM
This is taking me forever to complete, but here's another day.
Wednesday: San Diego Zoo time, and U.S.S. Ronald Reagan.
Left the hotel around 7:30 heading south on I-5. pretty easy drive down to SD, with a couple of slowdowns for traffic, but nothing major. Arrived at the zoo with no problems, and headed in. We hadn't brought a stroller along with us on this trip due to the Disney VISA stroller benefits at the park, so we rented a double stroller at the park, which led to some bickering and fighting amongst the 2 younger boys, but it was harmless. So...most people when they enter the zoo seem to head directly for the bus tour, which we also did, until we saw the lines, and then turned around and set off on foot. Let me tell you, the bus tour later in the day is the way to go. No lines, and you can sit and rest after walking the zoo! We headed off to the gorillas and other primates. Gorillas were entertaining as usual, I could watch them and the orangutans all day long! Got some great pictures there. Then headed down to see the tiger, which is my all time favorite animal, and it was out and about, and beautiful. Did a few other exhibits, and then headed up to the polar bear plunge. Polar bears definitely know that people are watching, and they usually put on a good show for the spectators, and today was no different. I think it was my youngest son David's favorite part of the zoo. Got some good pics, as well as some zebra pics, and then headed up to see the pandas. Compared to when we went in 2004, the pandas were much better this time. 2 adults in full view, and the cub up in the top of the tree. We got some awesome pictures of the adults, and I really gained an appreciation for these giant beasts. Very cool. Walked around and saw some other cats, like leopards and a jaguar, went to the elephants and giraffes, and got more great pics. Wandered down and saw the bears, the grizzly cubs were cool, and the brown bear decided to take a dip in his pool, so that was fun. We finally made our way up to the camels, and lastly the koalas. Koalas just look so cute and cuddly, makes you want to take one home! I really enjoyed them as well. Then we headed over and did the bus tour sitting in the top deck. My sons were more interested in saying hi to everyone on the ground, but that was ok anyway, you don't really get to see that many animals during the bus tour. Then we headed over to the skyfari, and took a ride over the zoo. Reminded me of old school Disneyland, although there was no Matterhorn to go through, LOL. Ended the day with the reptiles, saw some cool crocodiles, and neat multicolored lizards, and everyone had a fun day. Spencer got to buy a gift in the gift shop since he was so well behaved, so he chose a stuffed ferret. He thought it was an otter, but I told him it wasn't, but he didn't care, because it was "soooo cute." By this time, it was about 4:30, and I called my friend Mike Beckman, who is an electrical officer on the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, and he told us to come down for a tour! We met him in the visitors parking lot, and he drove us down to the ship. After signing in, we headed off for a tour. WOW, what a cool ship. I guess you don't appreciate the size of these things, or what they are capable of, until you actually get to go inside of one. We went first to the room set up as a tribute to the Reagans, and there were a lot of great pictures and other neat mementos in there. We were able to go to pretty much every deck, every level, and saw everything from the kitchen to the flight deck to the sleeping quarters. Went up and down lots of narrow stairways, those were fun to navigate, as they go nearly straight up and down, and the steps are not very wide, but we all survived. All the doorways are oval shaped, with about a 8 inch border at the bottom that you have to step over. That is in case there is water on the ship, it will help slow down the flooding. Hopefully that never happens! Mike said they called them "shin bangers" or something like that. We got to take some great pictures up on the flight deck with a plane (there was only one on board at the time). My sons asked oh, about a million questions, but Mike was great with them, and answered them all. I think everyone was just in awe the whole time. We finished up the tour, and then headed off for a tour of the base. We drove around for a while and then stopped to grab a bite to eat. He then drove us back to the parking lot, and we took some pics together (we have known each other since kindergarten, but I hadn't seen him since 1999!) He said it was good timing, as they were going to be shipping out in a couple of weeks, so we felt really lucky to have gotten to tour the ship. We then headed back to Anaheim, to complete a great day for everyone!
05-27-2008, 11:21 AM
As an avid Mariners fan and employee, $15 for parking is actually quite reasonable! To park in any of the garages its about $20 and a mess to get out of at the end of the day! Even as employees we have to pay anywhere from $2 - $5 to park in one of the garages. I just went last week as a fan and left field parking went from $10 to $15 in one season. In order to park for any cheaper you have to park way out in the boonies. It sucks but they know people will pay!
05-27-2008, 02:44 PM
Sounds like a wonderful trip! No worries about mixing up your days - it is amazing how much you can pack into a day, isn't it? They do kind of start running together, but since it is all fun, doesn't really matter the order, does it? Does HoJo's still have one pool area open? Thought I had read somewhere that they did. I've not stayed there, but might on our next trip.
Thanks for sharing!
05-27-2008, 06:13 PM
Yeah, the "Garden Pool" is still open at Hojos
I have been to several Mariners games, and we always used to park underneath the overpass for free. It's a bit of a walk, but not really that bad. That really stinks that they charge employees! BTW, only paid 8 bucks to park at the Angels game, in the main lot.
05-28-2008, 09:09 AM
Ok, here we go with Thursday.
Thursday was pretty uneventful. We actually slept a little bit, and decided to take it at a leisurely pace. We actually opened the day in DCA, and went over for our Disney VISA character meet & greet. I think we took advantage of this 4 times on this trip, and if you have the Disney VISA and are not doing it, you should, because you get some great one on one time with a character or two, and a great picture out of it too. A couple of times they gave us 2 vouchers for pictures because we each had a VISA. It depends on the CM whether you get 1 or 2 I guess. Anyhow, we got Chip & Dale again, but a nice surprise, as they must have been switching out characters, and Pluto walked up to join us. He snuk up behind the photographer, and tapped him on the shoulder, and did the old "move to the opposite side of the shoulder you tapped" trick. Anyhow, we had a blast with them again, and got a family photo with all 3 characters this time. We felt lucky, as the next family only got Pluto. After that we rode Monsters again, and then I tried to get someone to go on Tower of Terror with me, but no one was interested. We decided to go over to A Bug's Land, as that would probably be the only time we did that area of the park. We met Flik & Atta right away, and got pics and autographs. Then we rotated through the entire land, doing Flik's Flyers (we were applesauce), Francis' Ladybug Boogie, Tuck & Roll's Drive-em Buggies (slowest bumper cars EVER), Heimlich's Chew Chew Train, and went to see It's Tough to Be a Bug. For the first time ever, no member of my family got scared during the show, and my wife finally felt the sting in her back. She must have been leaning forward the other times we saw the show, not sure. By this time, we decided to go see the Aladdin show. We got in just as the lower level was filling up, so we had to sit in the way back. It was a good show, we had a cast that we had never gotten before. Aladdin appeared to be Asian/Hawaiian, but it was so dark I couldn't tell. We got the African-American Jafar, and he was by far the best one we have ever seen in this show. He was great! The Genie was hilarious too, and it seemed like he ad-libbed a lot more than I remember other Genies in the past. He was very flamboyant as well. Last time we had a Genie with a New York accent, so this one was polar opposite. Anyhow, it was a great show! We then got FP's for Soarin and Grizzly, and went over to Mulholland Madness so the rest of my family could ride. I sat with David, as it is not my favorite ride, the cars have zero leg room, and I am not comfortable in them. By that time, we could go on Grizzly, and during the first ascent, there was spray shooting from several pipes that I do not remember ever being there before. Was this new? My wife thought so as well, and so did some of the people in our raft. Anyhow, it was a nice surprise. We had a great ride, but did not get very wet until you guessed it, the geyser at the end. Right as we got there, it erupted, and you don't get too wet if you are on the side of the raft that goes into it first, but if you are on the opposite side, once you pass over the geyser, it blasts everyone on that side of the raft, and you get drenched. Guess where I was sitting LOL. So, I then rode Soarin completely drenched, and then we headed over to DL. I figured if I was already wet, might as well go on Splash, so we got FP's for that. Rode Pooh, HM and Pirates. After Pirates, we ran into Jack Sparrow on the walkway to Adventureland. Spencer handed him his autograph, and he said "What is this petition I am signing???" He signed it on top of Spencer's head, and then kept wandering around. You have to be very patient with him if you want a photo or an autograph! David, my youngest just kept following him with his autograph book until Captain Jack stopped, looking irritated and said "Oh, you still want me to sign this, well all right." He signed all 3 boys books, but does not "pose" for photos, so we had to take some candids. We found this out again when we went over to Tom Sawyer's Island next, and the CM told the crowd the same thing, he doesn't pose for pictures. I took the 2 older boys over to the island, and we listened to the Bootstrappers for a while, and then explored the island, including the caves. Spencer got lost, as I couldn't keep up through the caves, they are just too tight! He found a Pirate CM, and eventually we met back up on a trail, but that was no fun. At least he knew what to do! We went to the back of the island, and there was Captain Jack again, goofing off around his treasure. A little boy was climbing on it, and Jack yelled "HEY! GET DOWN!" I thought the boy was going to cry, but he didn't. This Captain Jack did a really good job of staying in character, but I'm sure they have to be careful not to be too mean! We left the island, and then rode Big Thunder. We decided to stop and eat at Rancho Del Zocalo, so I had the enchilada platter, and it was really good. Would have been even better with some meat in the enchiladas, but oh well. We had never eaten there before, and really liked it. I think for the rest of the day we headed over to Tomorrowland/Fantasyland and did Buzz, Star Tours, Matterhorn and Space Mountain before calling it a night.
05-28-2008, 09:34 AM
Mike, have faith regarding the Chip and Dale Jungle Cruise Pin- I'm going on the 1st and the 5th:)
05-28-2008, 10:02 AM
I love reading your report! I am so wishing I was going to Disneyland this summer. But unfortunately that isn't going to happen!
05-29-2008, 08:48 AM
Here we go with Friday, another lucky day for Spencer!
We got in the park in time for rope drop, and then watched the stampede as people headed for Nemo, like usual. We went to Fantasyland, and were pretty much able to get on everything again, except for Alice which had broken down while we were in line. It is definitely nice to get in there and do an entire land, so that you can pretty much avoid it the rest of the day. We went over to Buzz again (seemed like this was the ride we did the most this trip), and I was able to score over 1,000,000 for the first time ever. Yes, the ride stopped in a good location :) My wife didn't believe me, so I emailed the picture to myself for the first time, so now I have proof! We went to DCA to do the VISA meet n greet again, and got Pluto by himself this time. Once again, very fun, and got a great picture out of it. We rode Monsters again (another popular choice for us), and I can never seem to get Roz to talk to me, even when I blow her a kiss. She always picks out Spencer to talk to because he has glasses, or she picks David because he's usually wearing a sorceror hat. LOL We went to watch Drawn to the Magic, which was on the street this day, due to a band, or dance thing going on in their usual location. We got right up front, and noticed that the artists were different from the ones we usually saw. The "Woody" artist was named Spencer, and so I thought it would be cool if my son Spencer got picked by Spencer the artist to participate in the show, and wouldn't you know it, he did! He got to go up and pose like Hercules, flexing his muscles, and talked with the artist for a while. We had Sorceror Mickey, Woody, and Cinderella today. Then, once the show was over, Spencer (animator) came over to Spencer (son) and gave him the drawing of Woody!!! We went inside the Animation building, since we hadn't met Woody yet, and got pictures, and Woody signed the drawing as well. Then we went into the attached store (Off the page?, can't remember the name) and a cashier there was kind enough to not only rubberband it, but wrapped it in tissue paper and bubble wrap, and put it in a bag for Spencer, all without even being asked! We were very appreciative of this. Now we will have to go get his artwork framed for his room! We pretty much did every attraction that we could the rest of the day, and then decided to go see the Fireworks, with the hope that they would not be cancelled this time. We staked out our usual place on the pathway from FL to IASW, right by the face painting place, and once again, there was almost no one there. We waited oh, 10 minutes, and the show was on! We had a great view of pretty much everything, including Tinkerbell flying from the Matterhorn. I cannot recommend this location enough to people who don't want to stake out a spot by the castle. You will not have to wait at all, and won't miss a thing as far as viewing! The 2 youngest boys were asleep by this time, and I don't know how the booms didn't wake them up, but they didn't. We decided we would have to do fireworks again Saturday, this time with everyone awake!
05-29-2008, 05:01 PM
Great story! Keep it comin!
06-10-2008, 08:13 AM
Sorry, got lazy, and busy, but I'm back to finish it off
Saturday: Park opened at 8, we rolled in around 8:30. We had pretty much done everything except watch the Electrical Parade, but we decided to pass on it this time around, so that the boys could watch the fireworks from our newfound spot (yeah, boo me if you want, but my boys don't like the EP all that much anyway). We went in and upgraded to AP's again (YAY) and then hit a couple of rides, before heading to DCA for the last time this trip. We didn't know that the AP people were supposed to give us a blockout pass when we upgraded, since it was a Blockout day, but they let us in since we had our receipt showing that we just upgraded. We cruised around, met a few characters, did Monsters, Soarin, and Grizzly one last time (dang geyser got me again!), and then headed back to DL. We pretty much just hit all the standard rides, but went at our own pace, no rushing this time, and everyone was in a good mood for the bulk of this trip because we didn't go full speed ahead the whole time. Cameron had been resisting going on Splash, but we finally got him on it on this day, and he remembered why he liked it so much before. Then of course he wanted to go on it over and over and over haha.
Night rolled around, and we watched the fireworks from our good spot, and all the boys were awake this time. They all loved it, although David was a little frightened by the mortar booms, but I can't blame him, they are really loud! After that, we left, and got a good night's sleep for Mother's Day on Sunday.
06-10-2008, 08:28 AM
Sunday, Mother's Day
We had an 8 am reservation at the Plaza Inn for Mother's Day (the whole meal cost us less than one person would have cost at the Mother's Day brunch at the DL hotel, btw.) They let us in through a special entrance since the park was not open yet, and gave my wife a carnation to wear.
We were seated immediately, and noticed that there were a ton of characters out, probably double the usual amount. I'm guessing that was due to it being a holiday, but we sure didn't mind! From memory, we saw: Minnie, Pluto, Tigger, Eeyore, Captain Hook, Max, Rafiki, Brer Fox, Peter Pan, Alice, and Mad Hatter. All of them came to our table except Rafiki, and Brer Fox skipped us for some reason, even though he went to every other table in our section. All of the characters were great as usual. Captain Hook threw the boys books on the table after signing, like he was disgusted. David had a tantrum at one point, and Max came over to comfort him, and made him feel much better. Alice and the Mad Hatter were awesome, and this was the first time we had actually gotten to meet the Mad Hatter, so that was a highlight for the boys. They are really into the autograph thing, and like to see how many they can get each trip. I think they got 4 on this trip that they had never gotten before: Fairy Godmother (met her by the castle), Handy Manny, Mad Hatter, and Gideon. We ate for about an hour and a half, and then left to go do some shopping, as it was our last day.
As we were walking down main st, right by the fruit cart near the locker entrance, my wife missed a step, and fell off the curb, spraining her ankle. I cannot say enough about how helpful the CM's were. The girl on the fruit card immediately got on her walkie and called a nurse. DL Security was there immediately with a wheelchair, and the nurse wheeled her over to first aid. She ended up sitting in there for probably an hour and a half, before she felt good enough to leave. They gave her a complimentary wheelchair, and off we went again. As it was our last day in the park, we wanted to do our favorites one last time. We hadn't planned on Fantasyland due to the lines, but since we had the wheelchair now (yes, I know, evil), we decided that we would go on Peter Pan, Mr. Toad and Alice one last time. My wife commented that although it was nice to get on quickly, she would still have rather had a good ankle! After FL, we rode Buzz, and then headed over to Haunted Mansion. Rode HM for the 7th time, and this was the only time I didn't guess our hitchhiking ghost correctly:( We decided that Pirates would be our last ride for this trip, so we headed over there. There was already a long line in the wheelchair entrance, so she decided to tough it out, and walk through the regular queue. She seemed to do ok, and we had a nice leisurely boat ride to finish off our last day. Went to the emporium and did some last minute shopping, and then headed off. My wife always cries when we leave, and today was no different, as she had been tearing up even before we entered the park, and didn't really stop, esp. after she hurt her ankle. I always tease her, but I have to admit it is emotional, even if I don't actually cry. Those of you who live nearby don't know how good you have it, and we are very jealous!
We loaded up, and headed out on the road, for our drive to Bishop. Got to Bishop by about 9 pm, and stayed at the Comfort Inn again. Got a good night's sleep, and headed out about 9 am the next day, for a nice easy drive back to Boise/Kuna.
I think this might have been my favorite trip so far, just because it was low stress, we went at our own pace, we had some great experiences, especially Spencer! All the trips to Disneyland are special in their own way, but this one was just awesome.
Looking forward to the next trip in October, for Mickey's Halloween Party, and celebrating Cameron and Spencer's birthdays as well! Hopefully this one will be the best one yet!
thanks for reading
06-16-2008, 03:08 PM
Thanks for finishing up your story. I'm glad you guys had a great time and hope that your wife's ankle has improved!
We decided that Pirates would be our last ride for this trip, so we headed over there.
Pirates is definitely my favorite ride at DL! I still think it is the best that Disney has to offer. Magnificent theming, some thrills, fantastic storytelling, unbelievable artistic achievement, very humorous, wonderful technology!
Funny though, I usually finish up my day on Space Mountain! I like to leave on an exhilerating high note!
Those of you who live nearby don't know how good you have it, and we are very jealous!
It's definitely a different experience, but I don't know if you can really compare the two. In your case, you go several days in a row and immerse yourself in everything Disney. It's a true get-away from your everyday life. And it sounds like you can forget your cares and have a wonderful vacation.
Being local, I have the chance to go frequently, but I'm never really away from my real life. This includes commuting on the freeways to and from the resort. Of course, I try to immerse myself while inside the gates and always have a great time. I don't get all weepy, but I am usually very hesitant to end my day at DLR, and generally push to do one last thing before hitting the road. I usually pay for it the next morning! I went yesterday for Fathers Day (and Birthday weekend) and stayed to just short of closing. It was about 1:00 AM before getting home, and that alarm was very disturbing this morning to get up for work!
So I guess "the grass is always greener"...sometimes I think how nice it would be to just be able to walk over to my hotel room at the end of a long day of celebrating at DLR, knowing the next morning I'd be getting up and doing it all over again!:)