FINALLY...I'm done writing my trip report! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed living it!
Friday, January 28, 2011 (74 degrees)
Plan: Fly down in the morning; check-in to the Del Sol Inn; Disneyland/DCA until closing
Actual: I had gone to bed the night before around midnight, with James following around 1am. I then woke up about 5am and started getting ready; I got James up around 5:45am and we were ready to go around 7am. Steve backed his car into the driveway so James could load our bags and we were on our way by 7:10am. It was pretty foggy, but the traffic was manageable and Steve dropped us off about a half hour later. There was a short line to check our bag in at the kiosk and we had a very short wait with TSA as well.
We perused our options at the food court and decided upon Quiznos (veggie sandwich combo for James, a turkey sandwich for me, and a bottle of water for the plane = $21). James ate his sandwich, I ate of mine, and we saved the chips and water for later. After we ate, James went to go wash up and I suddenly realized that we were missing the tote bag with James back support belt and the blankets that he uses to stay warm on the plane. When he came back, I sent him off to TSA and he soon came back with his belongings (first thing to go as you get older is your mind LOL!); I was very glad he didnt have to go to Lost & Found to collect them!
We walked over to Gate A13 around 8:30am to wait for our flight; James read the paper and I updated my trip notes. They started boarding around 9:10am for our 9:35am flightwe had A31 & A32 due to our Early-Bird check-in option and sat in seats 13 A&C since the exit rows were already taken. The flight was very full, but we managed to NOT have someone sit between us. We pushed back a few minutes late, and it was close to 10am before we actually took off; not sure what the delay was due to.
We had our usual drinks (ginger ale for James and Coke Zero for me) and they gave us each one packet of cocktail peanuts (sometimes you get one packet and sometimes you get twonot sure what determines how many!). We had a handsome male flight attendant serving us; he got a kick out of me taking care of James (ordering his drink, getting the peanuts, etc.) and said something about what would James do without meI said Exactly!.
We landed just after 11am at Gate 3, and I could barely wait to de-plane so I could get to the restroom! We had a short wait for our suitcase and then we walked over to the SuperShuttle waiting area. The coordinator sent us over to the left side to wait for our van (right in the middle of the smokers) and then our van drove up to the other side and we had to walk all the way back over to meet it! We waited a few minutes so they could try to fill the van up completely, and then we left around 11:45am with 7 passengers aboard (they can carry up to 9). I ate the rest of my sandwich on the way, and the driver really booked it over to Anaheim.
He dropped us off just after noon at the Del Sol Inn (3rd stop; tip = $4), and JT quickly checked us in. JT was very friendly and helpful, and he checked to see if our room was ready (we received #237 over the carport as requested); they were almost done, so we waited the remaining few minutes and then hauled our luggage up and checked things out. Everything was fine, so I quickly changed into shorts as the weather was warm (70s) and gorgeous! I also got my fanny pack ready, along with my lanyard and our Annual Passports and we were on our way around 12:30pm!
We decided to get a quick bite at McDonalds first, so we headed up Harbor. The timeshare people were in front of the Anaheim Desert Inn and tried to offer us a $100 American Express gift card if we signed up for their presentation; James asked for $150 and they said no, so we kept walking. There was another employee in front of the Quiznos (Mohammad), who made the same offer to us; when James countered with the $150 request, he called us back to negotiate! Mohammad agreed to $125, so we said that we would think about it and stop on our way back from McDs. He gave us a coupon for 10% off there, and we continued walking.
We shared a Big Mac combo and a small hamburger ($7 after the discount), and discussed the timeshare offer. We met back up with Mohammad and agreed to do the presentation the next day at 10am since that was our day off from the parks ($20 refundable reservation fee); we concluded our deal and headed on over to Disneyland Park (DP). We went through the bag check very quickly and were inside the park at 1:15pmI was SO excited to be back!
We walked over to Tomorrowland and noted that it wasnt nearly as crowded as it usually was on a Friday afternoon. I picked up Fastpasses (FPs) for Space Mountain at 1:25pm for 4:50pm, and we decided to see Captain EO (walked right into the theater). We had a FANTASTIC Cast Member (CM) welcome us and I really enjoyed seeing this show again! Michael Jackson was in his prime and the songs and dancing were just great; Im so glad they brought it back!
We next rode James favorite ride: Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters (15min wait). James score was 439,900 (#70) and mine was a respectable 172,700; we emailed the photo home and then walked over to Fantasyland to check things out there. Things were pretty busy (as usual), but we did ride Pinocchios Daring Journey after a 5min wait.
This weekend was the Disneys Character Fan Days back in the Festival Arena, which was supposed to showcase rarely seen Disney characters, so we moseyed back to see what was going on. The line for Esmeralda, the Jester, and Frollo was pretty long so I skipped it, but I did have my photo taken with Daisy Duck and with the Country Bears (James didnt want to participate, so he just waited for me). They did a big fanfare of bringing out the next set of characters about this time, which included the Seven Dwarfs, King Louie & Baloo, and the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, and White Rabbit. When I saw Captain Hook, Wendy, and Smee come out, I quickly went over to join their queue. I had a 15min wait, but laughed when Hook noticed my Tink light-up figurine I had on my lanyard and demonstrated his disgust over it! I also told Smee that his tummy was showing so he tugged down on his shirt to cover it up! It was great, and I wish Id spent more time there but James was itching to move on.
We headed over into Frontierland and just missed riding the Sailing Ship Columbia by about a minute, so we walked on over to Haunted Mansion; it only had a 5min wait (2:55pm) so we quickly joined the queue for our doom buggy. Afterwards, we went back over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (BTMR) because I could get FPs at 3:20pm and it was almost that time now. Their FP clock seemed slow, but once I was able to get the FPs (4pm) I hurried back over to join James at the Columbia dockdarn, we just missed it AGAIN!
We next went to ride Pirates of the Caribbean (10min wait), where they had both sides queuing; we took the left side and kept moving until we were aboard our vehicle. We sat in the last row and there was a lot of water on the floor that we tried to avoid! We walked around the Adventureland Bazaar a bit and I ended up buying 4 Disney gift cards (Tron, Bambi, Tink, and 101 Dalmatians) with $5 loaded on each one of them (I then use them later in the trip and keep the cards as souvenirs); total = $20. While I was taking care of that, James went across the way to get us FPs for Indiana Jones Adventure (Indy) around 4pm (5:30pm).
We walked back over to check out the Columbia again and it was now out of serviceI guess we werent meant to ride it this trip! We decided to check out the menu at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante and ended up splitting the carne asada & enchilada platter with a Coke Zero ($15 after the AP discount)both the carne asada and the enchiladas were very tasty!
After we ate, we decided to ride BTMR with our FPs; they had switched the queues since last year so now the FP queue is on the left and much shorter than it used to bemakes a lot of sense!
After our wildest ride in the wilderness, we saw that the Mark Twain Riverboat was coming in and thought about trying to ride it but decided to head back to the motel for a break instead. I stopped at the Market House on Main Street to get my friend Susie a silicone Mickey icon pancake/egg mold that she had asked for; while I was waiting in line I started drooling over the cookies they had on the counter and ultimately bought one to snack on along with her Mickey mold (total = $11).
We next stopped at City Hall so I could pick up our birthday buttons; even though my birthday was in December (the same day as Walts), I was belatedly celebrating it and planned to wear the button the rest of the trip (James would only wear his on his ACTUAL birthday). I also inquired about a new Disney Dollar design (I like to collect the $1 ones as souvenirs), but it was the same one from 2009.
We left Disneyland and headed over into Disney California Adventure (DCA) via the temporary entrance. James waited inside Greetings from California while I picked up FPs for Soarin over California at 5:10pm (5:55pm). The sun was going down and it was rapidly cooling off, so we left DCA and walked back to the motel. I picked up a couple liters of water from the gift shop at the Anaheim Desert Inn ($7), and we were back in the room by 5:30pm. James napped for a couple of hours while I updated the trip notes and just relaxed.
We were up by 7:30pm and out the door by 7:55pm. We headed into DCA to ride Soarin with our FPs; there were a bunch of rowdy guys on board who were a bit obnoxious on the flight, but we were happy to be riding in row B1 again!
We were off by 8:20pm and left DCA for DP; again we were surprised at the fairly low crowd level for a Friday evening! We had a pretty good spot for the RememberDreams Come True fireworks at 8:45pm, but they were delayed for about 10mins first; I just LOVE this presentation! We had a really good view of the Matterhorn and Sleeping Beauty Castle for the special effects they use on them, so that was cool too.
After the fireworks were over, we headed over into Tomorrowland to see Scot Bruce (Elvis impersonator) at the Tomorrowland Terrace; he wasnt playing yet (it seemed like the fireworks delay pushed everything out!) so we split upJames rode Buzz (404,600) while I rode Space with one of our FPs (standby = 50mins!). I was able to walk all the way into the boarding area before stoppingnice! I had the front rowFABULOUS; I just LOVE this ride and the music! As soon as we are dispatched and the music starts playing, I get this HUGE grin on my face and it doesnt come off the entire time! Afterwards I took a picture of the ride photo with my camera (thumbs up!) and headed out.
Scot Bruce was now performing so I stopped to watch him sing Teddy Bear while taking a couple of photos of himhes so good, and the girls all squeal for him; cracks me up! I was going to ride Space with my second FP but it had gone down, so I checked out the Captain EO merchandise at Star Traders before waiting outside of Buzz for James to come out. I also picked up Buzz FPs (10:10pm) just in case!
We met back up and headed over to Adventureland so we could ride Indywe had to go through Frontierland since the first Fantasmic! had just let out and people were streaming out from Adventureland towards Main Street. We used our FPs for Indy, which still took 20mins, and then rushed over to catch the 10:15pm showing of Fantasmic! Well, the fireworks had apparently delayed this as well, plus they were having some technical issues, so it didnt start until 10:45pm. The viewing area was pretty empty, and we stood on the bridge over the Pirates entrance to watch it; our neighbors had not seen it before and were thinking of leaving before it started, but I convinced them that it was well worth the wait!
However, I was pretty disappointed that there was no Pinocchio and NO MURPHY!!! Will we EVER get to see her?
The rest of the show was great as always; afterwards we headed for Main Street since the park was officially closed. We stopped at Refreshment Corner for a kids turkey hot god meal with chips and water for James and a regular hot dog and chips for me ($12); it was VERY busy at 11:10pm, and we took our food back to our room with us.
We watched TV while we ate our hot dogs and I also unpacked our suitcases and updated my trip notes. After a quick shower, we were both in bed by 1amexhausted, but very happy!
Saturday, January 29, 2011 (64 degrees)
Plan: Disneys Character Warehouse; World of Disney; Tortilla Jos @ 5pm
Actual: The alarm went off at 8:15am; I slept well but James tossed and turned! We got ready and had breakfast: I drank a protein shake and James went over to the motels breakfast room for some cereal (they were already locking the door 10mins early!). Mohammad called twice during this time to make sure we were still coming for the presentation (we only answered the 2nd call because we didnt recognize the phone number).
We left the room around 9:40am and walked over to meet Mohammad; the car arrived and took us over to the Worldmark Anaheim property for our timeshare presentation. Nelson was our primary salesman and Selene was in charge of the overall presentationboth did a very good job at what they do, although we were really just there for the incentive! Another family from Sacramento was there too; not sure if they signed up or not. I drank some Diet Coke while we were there, and we were finally able to leave just after noon with our $125 American Express pre-paid card and our $20 cash deposit back!
They drove us back to the Del Sol and I changed into shorts from the jeans Id worn earlier. We walked over to the bus stop and waited about 20mins before the north-bound bus finally arrived, followed immediately by a 2nd bus (we saw two different buses going south during this time). I paid $8 for two day passes and we sat across from another family who was also going to the Disney Character Warehouse outlet, so I gave them advice on where to exit and directions to the store.
We were starving (it was 1:30pm by now) so we went directly to the In & Out Burger for lunch; we had our usual fare of two hamburgers (plain for me!), two orders of fries, and a medium Diet Coke for us to share ($9)YUM!
We next walked across the street to the Target as we were searching for replacement clip-on sunglasses for James because one of the clips had been bent the day before. This is a pretty big Target, but they didnt have what we needed; then we remembered that there was a Costco back behind the In & Out, so we walked back over there and fortunately found what we needed ($14).
After this short delay, we headed over to the Disney outlet storeSCORE! I bought clothes, gifts, and a bracelet ($40 after a 15% discount coupon); the best deal was a 2008 Disneyland sweatshirt for $9 (74% off)!
We also stopped at Dollar Tree for some water and pretzels ($4) and walked back over to the bus stop. Our luck (?) continued as we waited another 15min for one to arrive! There were two Cast Members who boarded with us: one was with Lost & Found and the other one was from Tomorrowland. I dont like seeing the uniforms off-property though, and wish they would change the policy back to where the uniforms stayed at the Resort.
We arrived back in our room around 4:30pm, freshened up, changed into our evening weather clothing, and left around 4:50pm for Tortilla Jos. I checked us in just after 5pm and we had a very tasty meal of chips, salsa, two cheese enchiladas ala carte (me), a chicken fajita burrito (James) and two Diet Cokes for only $12! I had signed up for the Patina Restaurant Group email club, and they had sent me a $30 gift certificate good for up to 60 days after my birthday (just made it in time!), so this was a fantastic deal!
Toting James burrito leftovers, we headed over to check out the shops and construction over at the Disneyland Hotelsuch a shame to know the waterfalls are gone forever.
We next headed to the Rainforest Caf where I purchased a shirt off of the clearance rack ($10 after the 10% Safari Club discount), and then we went into the Grand Californian Hotel to check out their shops. We also sat in their lobby for awhile, people-watching and enjoying the overall ambiance!
Our final shopping destination was the World of Disney, where we bought a Jiminy Cricket figurine, a Dooney & Bourke wristlet (I cant afford the bigger purses!), a World of Color t-shirt, and other miscellaneous stuff ($173 after the 20% Annual Passport renewal discount coupon)OK, Im done for the night now!
We walked back across Harbor around 8:30pm and stopped off to check out the roof view from the Anaheim Desert Inn (weve watched the fireworks in the past when our relatives have stayed here). We then went to our room briefly to drop off our purchases and then went back to their roof to watch the fireworks at 8:45pm (wonderful as always!). We were back in the room by 9:15 and James watched TV while I updated the trip notes and showered; we were in bed by 11pm.
Sunday, January 30, 2011 (58 degrees)James 51st Birthday!
Plan: Disneyland/DCA; birthday lunch at Blue Bayou @ 11:30am; World of Color @ 9:15pm (picnic option)
Actual: The alarm went off at 7:15am today, but we were already awake. We got up, had some breakfast (protein shake and toast for me; leftover burrito and cereal for James), and headed out around 8:45am into a cloudy day (rain was in the forecast). We were through the turnstiles at DP just before 9am and we made our way through the shops on the right side down to the Main Street Photo Supply Co store, where we were held until rope drop. However, somehow the door got accidentally unlocked beforehand and we started exiting the store; a security CM asked us to wait a minute and then we all were allowed into the Hub once rope drop occurred.
We headed straight to Peter Pans Flight (as usual) and waited 10mins for our trip to Neverland, and then we hopped aboard King Arthur Carrousel since it was a walk-on. Mr. Toads Wild Ride (Winky) was also practically a walk-on and then we waited about 10mins for Alice in Wonderland (green/green caterpillar); this was our first trip on Alice since they had made the changes to the outside portion of the ride, which was unfortunate, but apparently necessary.
We checked the waits for both Storybook Land Canal Boats and the Matterhorn Bobsleds and decided to skip them both since they were a bit longer than we wanted to wait. We headed into Tomorrowland where I picked up FPs for Space at 9:45am (10:40am) before we rode Buzz together; James score ranked #22 at the time (551,900) and he easily beat me (175,600) as usual!
We stopped in front of the Castle for some PhotoPass pictures, and then headed over to DCA just after 10am. James went to get FPs for Soarin (10:55am) while I visited with the tortoise-shell kitty by the Zephyrshe came over towards me and rubbed all around the track, but I was too high up to pet her!
We walked over to the Mission Tortilla Factory for some corn tortillas, including extra 3-packs in honor of our birthday buttons, and then checked out the brand-new exhibits at the Blue Sky Cellar celebrating the upcoming arrival of Ariels Undersea Adventure; they also have a new motion map thats very cool, plus a new video!
We walked through Fliks Fun Fair and headed over to ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (a 5min wait, although the sign outside listed a 13min wait). It had started to sprinkle when we exited, so we just put the hoods up on our rain jackets and headed over to the Disney Visa meet & greet with Pluto!
We headed back over to DP and took the Disneyland Railroad over to the New Orleans Square station, where we disembarked and checked in for our 11:30am reservation at the Blue Bayou. I requested a waterside table, and we were seated accordingly about 5mins later. Our server Jessica was terrific, and she used our camera to take a photo of us before bringing us our Diet Cokes and some of their wonderful rolls. James & I both had the Tesoro Island Chicken and he ate my salad & veggies, while I helped him eat his potatoes! Jessica brought both of us the birthday chocolate mousse (YUM), and then we settled the bill ($77) before heading out around 12:30pm.
We picked up FPs for Indy (1:30pm) and we walked over to check on the status of the Columbia; it was not sailing today so we headed back over to DCA. I stopped to pick up our free photo while James picked up more FPs for Soarin (1:30pm), and we met back up to walk through the rain over to Sonoma Terrace to pick up the World of Color (WoC) picnics that I had pre-ordered the day before we left Sacramento. James then headed back to the motel with the picnics and photo so he could take a nap, and I headed back to DP around 1:15pm for some solo fun time!
I hurried over to the next Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show at 1:30pm; it was VERY crowded due to the outside rain and people looking for food, but I was able to find a last-minute seat upstairs and shared my table with a couple of young gentlemen. Three out of the 4 Blue Team members were present (different bass player), and I took a bunch of photos while I enjoyed their show as always!
I picked up FPs for BTMR (2:30pm) and then headed over to the Enchanted Tiki Room, a favorite of my fathers back in the 60s so it holds a special place in my heart. After the gods were appeased, I walked over to check out the Character Fan Weekends, but the area was closed (probably due to the rain, although it had pretty much stopped by now) so I headed over to Tomorrowland via Fantasyland (which was PACKED).
I picked up FPs for Buzz around 2:35pm (3:15pm) and then rode Space with one of my earlier FPsfun as always! I next decided to watch Captain EO again, so I worked on my trip notes while I waited for the next show; I again enjoyed my blast from the (80s) past!
I was going to ride Space again with the other FP, but it was now down so I did some EO shopping in Star Traders; the original total after the 10% AP discount was $36 (Captain EO t-shirt, pins, and a Walt Disney World nightlight) and then I remembered that I still had a 20% AP renewal discount coupon for any $50+ purchase that was expiring today, so I went back to the store, returned the items, and re-purchased them along with another WDW nightlight to meet the $50 minimum (new total after the discount = $46).
I could get more FPs and Space was back up, so I picked up another set just after 4pm for 6:35pm (time was just flying by this afternoon!) and walked over to Adventureland. There was very little wait at the Bengal Barbecue, and I picked up a couple of Banyan Beef skewers, a Mickey pretzel, and a rice krispie treat ($15) for my dinner. I also picked up a 6-pack of Mickey beignets from the Mint Julep Bar ($8) and took the food back to the room around 4:30pm.
James woke up when I arrived and he ate one of the picnics while I enjoyed my skewers and the beignets. We freshened up and headed back to DP around 5:30pm.
James rode Buzz (711,000 = #62) with a FP while I rode Space with my 2nd FP from this morning. I picked up another set of FPs for Buzz (7pm) and met back up with James to see if he wanted to ride BTMR with our FPs; he wasnt interested so we split up again. I gave away the BTMR FPs, and rode Space (had to wait 5mins for the 6:35pm FP to be valid) while James rode Buzz (506,100). We met back up and headed over to DCA.
We checked out ElecTRONica, which was pretty cool but LOUD; lots of energy though! We checked out the TRON trailer in 3D and watched Laser Man at 7:30pm. I took some video of the area and also photographed the TRON motorcycle they have on display over by the Muppets entrance before we left the area.
We went to ride Soarin with our FPs, but they were not neededthere was no one in the queue at all! James asked for Row B1, but there was no video so they herded us in our original order over to the other side to ride there after a short wait. The CM also said happy birthday to us (using our names) over the loudspeaker as we were waiting in the queuemust have been a slow nightLOL! Soarin was outstanding as always, but I was stressing over getting into our WoC queue without a long line in front of us!
We went to the WoC FP return queue for the Yellow section behind Grizzly River Run (GRR) around 8:20pm, and they let us into the viewing section at 8:45pm. We found a spot at the rail and the entire viewing area was fairly uncrowded for the duration. I DO think this performance date/time was a perfect choice, due to both the earlier rain and it being the second performance on a Sunday night during the off-season.
We waited 30mins for the show to start at 9:15pm and enjoyed the lights of Paradise Pier, especially Mickeys Fun Wheel, while we waited. The only downside was how painful standing on concrete was to my back, but OMGthe show was AMAZING!!! The colors were so vivid and the music was beautiful toowe both LOVED it! We also enjoyed the TRON tag at the end; I hope they do more of those in the future (perhaps add a tag for Pirates 4 next time?).
James was cold afterwards, so he went back to the motel while I went back to DP to see if Murphy would make an appearance during the 10:15pm showing of Fantasmic! I again found a great spot along the bridge above the Pirates entrance, and was THRILLED to see Murphy for my first time! WOWshe is FANTASTIC, and Im so glad I got to see her at last! There was neither Ursula nor Flotsam & Jetsam, so hopefully Ill get to see an entire show without issues SOMEDAY! The downside to this show was the inconsiderate guests who had to talk nearby the whole timeHONESTLY!!!
The park was closing and I was exhausted (I had been in the parks 9am 11pm, with the exception of a one-hour break in the late afternoon), so I dragged myself slowly back to the motel, took a shower, and was in bed shortly after midnightanother WONDERFUL day spent!
Monday, January 31, 2011 (63 degrees)
Actual: Boy, I was tired and achy when the alarm went off at 8:15am today! We got up, had breakfast (protein shake and leftover corn tortillas for me and cereal and the Mickey pretzel for James), and headed over to DP just before 10am. They had two bag check turnstiles open and there were HUGE lines at both, so they opened the third one over to left side nearest DCA. We hurried over there and got through fairly quickly before entering DP.
We first walked up into the Main Street station and signed up for a ride in the Lilly Belle at 3:15pm, before heading into Fantasyland. Peter Pans queue was already pretty full (approximately 20min wait), so we walked-on to Toad (Winky again) and then waited about 5mins for Alice (pink caterpillar).
The queue for the SBL Boats was pretty short so we waited about 5mins to ride with CM Megan (Ariel). We made a left turn after exiting and rode its a small world after about 5mins (we heard the clock chime 10:45am as we entered and 11am as we exited!).
We next headed into Mickeys Toontown and rode Roger Rabbits Car Toon Spin after another 5min wait; I was surprised that James didnt try to hold the steering wheel to keep it from spinning but he was fine afterwards. We looked through the Gag Factory for a bit, and then walked back over to catch the Disneyland Railroad over to Tomorrowland where I picked up FPs for Space at 11:30am (12:10pm); standby was only 10minsWOW!
We headed over to DCA and picked up FPs for Soarin (12:20pm) before heading over to the Disney Visa meet & greet; Pluto was again waiting for us and we posed for the usual photos. We walked over to get some free tortillas (CORN!), and then stopped at the Pacific Wharf Caf for lunch (veggie chili, turkey sandwich, WoC light-up glass, chocolate chip cookie, and a large Coke Zero = $31).
James wanted to check out Toy Story Midway Mania (TSMM) so we headed over there with my sandwich & chips leftovers; the queue didnt look too bad so we got in line. After about 20mins, James easily beat me 177,700 to 133,600!
I was interested in getting FPs for tonights WoC show so we headed back around towards GRR and secured two in the Red section. It was after 1pm and James was ready for a break, so I sent him back to the motel while I stopped to pick up our free photo at Greetings from California. There was a bit of a line for the PhotoPass section, so I bought a couple of Disney gift cards (TRON and a Mickey/Minnie Valentines Day themes) with $5 apiece loaded on them while I waited (total = $10).
After I picked up my free photo, I looked around the store for a WoC magnet; they dont seem to have released any yet, so I left the Resort. I stopped at Cold Stone Creamery for a sweet treat (I ordered a Love It sinless sans fat with M&Ms, but the clerk sold me a Gotta Have It size instead @ $5! Oh well) and took it back to the room. I enjoyed my dessert and updated my trip notes while James napped. I also answered a reminder call from SuperShuttle about our pick-up tomorrow.
I woke James up around 2:30pm and we headed over to DP around 20mins later. We checked in at the Main Street train station and waited for the train to arrive. They herded us all together and loaded us into the Lilly Belle, along with a conductor who told stories and answered questions during our trip around the park. I took a bunch of photos of the plush interior and elaborate fixtures, and asked the lady across from us to take a photo or James & I (I returned the favor for her as well). When we arrived back at the station, I hung back so I could take a few more photos with the car unoccupied; unfortunately, I ended up dropping my camera case and didnt realize it until the train had departed. We went back into the station to report it and they asked me for a description; turns out someone had found it and turned it in within that short amount of time!
We headed into Adventureland and picked up FPs for Indy just before 4pm (4:40pm), before heading over to Frontierland. The Mark Twain was docked, so we quickly boarded. I asked a CM about the process to be on the crew and he told me each pilot picks their own crew (if they want one), so he told me to look for the pilot (CM Mindy). James and I split up and found her on the 2nd deck; I asked about being on her crew and she said great timing and invited us to join her upstairs in the Pilot House! We had SUCH a blast, and I took video from my vantage point the whole trip. CM Mindy was friendly and informative, and instructed me how & when to pull the cords for the whistles and bells from time to timevery cool!
After asking CM Mindy to take our pictures in front of the wheel, we disembarked and headed over to the Golden Horseshoe Saloon to see the next Billy Hill show at 4:30pm. This time all 4 of the ones Im familiar with were present; they did the same show as the day before, but I still loved it and took video the whole time from upstairs.
We next waited about 15mins for BTMR and were put in Row 13it was EXTREMELY bumpy and rough and not an enjoyable ride for either of us; we will ask for a closer row in the future!
James was hungry so we stopped at the River Belle Terrace and bought him a veggie salad and large Coke Zero ($15); the dining room was pretty slow and it was getting dark by this time. After James finished eating, we stopped to ride the Jungle Cruise (walk-on) with Skipper Kevin on the Irrawaddy Woman; he did a great job! We also rode Indy with our FPs around 6pm; even with FPs it still took about 15mins to get all the way back to the ride building!
We headed over to Tomorrowland and split up so we could ride our favorite attractions again (Buzz & Space)! However, I found Space to be down (of course) and I was starving anyway, so I went to Redd Rocketts Pizza Portit was very busy and had a HUGE line for the cashier because they only had one open with about 20 guests in line! They FINALLY opened another line and after waiting about 10mins I was enjoying a slice of cheese pizza and a bottle of water ($9).
When I was done, Space was back open so I jumped in line with my FP; there was no CM at the top so I pocketed my FP and walked right in! When I got off, I walked back around and got in line with the same FP; this time there WAS a CM outside the building, so I surrendered my FP and rode a 2nd time back-to-backI was having SO MUCH FUN!!!
I met back up with James outside Buzz; he had ridden several times, but only emailed one score home: 629,300 (#86); unfortunately, the photo was missing on his highest score!
We headed back over to DCA and entered the WoC section for the Red zone about 20mins before the 8:15pm show; we stood directly behind the benches for the disabled guests and had a pretty good view again. The show was just as fabulous as the night before, but again the standing was just murder on my back!
Both parks were now closed, so we walked back to our room around 9pm. I started our packing, updated my trip notes, showered, and was asleep around 11pm again.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011 (64 degrees)
Plan: Check-out of the Del Sol Inn; Disneyland/DCA; fly home in the evening
Actual: Well, all good things must come to an end and today is the end of our wonderful trip.
We got up around 7:45am and had our usual breakfast while finishing up the packing. We checked out just before 10am ($300), stored our luggage (lockers @ Desert Inn = $2), and headed over to DCA. James picked up FPs for Soarin (10:40am) and we met up over at TSMM, where we proceeded to ride 3 times in a row with very little wait! James, of course, beat me all three times:
1. 201,000 vs. 158,900
2. 207,600 vs. 178,100
3. 186,300 vs. 148,800
What a great timeyou cant ride 3 times in a row within 30mins over at Walt Disney World!
With the pathway blocked past Mickeys Fun Wheel, we walked back around the long way to ride Jumpin Jellyfish (walk-on). It was now time for a snack, so we picked up some free tortillas (CORN!) and then headed via Fliks Fun Fair over to the Disney Visa meet & greet with Chip and Dale, who were looking pretty sporty in their hats & striped ties!
We walked through Off the Page, where I ended up buying a couple more Disney gift cards with $5 loaded on each of them (Tangled and Happy Birthday Mickey; total = $10), and then we stopped at Taste Pilots Grill for lunch. There was no other guests present (around 11:40am), and I proceeded to give our order to the CM (cheddar burger, regular burger, chocolate chip cookie, and large Coke Zero = $25). Imagine our surprise when the CM handed our receipt over to another CM (Krystyn) who proceeded to congratulate us on being VIPs!
Krystyn escorted us over to a reserved table set with a white cloth tablecloth, blue cloth napkins, real silverware, and tiny bottles of ketchup and Dijon mustard, and brought us each our own glass of Coke Zero. She later brought us our food and then a large to-go cup full of Coke Zero when we left, along with a Dreams birthday card which several of the staff had signedwe felt so special and it was lovely; thank you everyone!
We went next door to Soarin around 12:10pm and used our FPs to ride with about 25 Japanese touristsTHAT was interesting! We then headed over to catch the first Disneys Aladdin A Musical Spectacular show @ 12:40pm; it wasnt very crowded at all and they were only seating guests in the Orchestra level so we sat in the 3rd row over to the right side. We saw a new Jasmine, but recognized the other leadsthe Genie was hilarious as always!
We next went to visit Sully, Mike, and Boo over at Monsters Inc. (near walk-on) and then I picked up our free photo; they were extremely slow but we finally left DCA and headed over to DP around 2:15pm.
Our final day was going by quickly and we still had a couple of things we wanted to do so we first headed over to see the Jedi Training Academy at 2:25pm; they had a new (to us) Jedi Master & Apprentice, and we got a kick out of watching the kids as usual (especially the really tiny ones!).
We asked to ride in the nose on Monorail Blue and loved it as always (round-trip). I was taking pictures of the view but my camera batteries both died on me before we were done (I had neglected to charge them overnight because I didnt think it would matterI was wrong!).
We wanted to end our trip with rides on our favorite attractions, so I rode Space (near walk-onshocking!) while James rode Buzz twice; they were again having issues with the ride photos so he only was able to email one home (738,500 = #39). We met back up at 3:30pm and I people-watched in Town Square while James used the restroom; all too soon it was time to say good-bye to The Happiest Place on Earthfortunately, were due back here in early April!
We left the park around 3:50pm and picked up our small luggage from the lockers at the Desert Inn; I changed from shorts into jeans and we walked over to the Del Sol to pick up our big suitcase. We were ready to go at 4:05pm, SuperShuttle picked us up at 4:25pm, and we were at the airport by 4:35pmWOW.
We tipped the driver ($4), checked in two bags with no wait, collected our boarding passes (A24 & A25 thanks to the Early-Bird check-in option), and went through the TSA line (no wait). We grabbed some dinner at McDonalds (Big Mac meal and plain hamburger = $10) and settled in to wait for our plane. It was coming in from Providence and was delayed, so I updated our trip notes while James did some reading.
We finally boarded (12 D&F) with about 85 on board; we pushed back about 30mins late (7:15pm) and were airborne 10mins later. One of the flight attendants made a joke about the crazy lift-off they have to do out of this airport (Shhhwere flying over rich people), which drew a big laugh from everyone! We had our standard fare (Coke Zero, ginger ale, and TWO packages of peanuts this time), and landed about 8:45pm. Our luggage came out quickly, we called Steve to pick us up, and we were home by 9:30pmanother trip safely over!
Up Next: I had earlier booked a trip to the Resort for April 6-11 with our airfare from the canceled December trip, and have subsequently found out that our great-niece Molly will be there with her middle school band that same weekend (what great timing and foresight I had!)! So now her parents and little brother (who will turn 3 on April 8th) are planning to join usYAY!!!
A wonderful trip; it was SO GOOD to be back!!! The crowds are pretty low at this time of year, so I think I will try to make this trip an annual event going forward!
- Just going to Disneyland again!
- Earning my 16th credit for a free round-trip flight on Southwest Airlines!
- Using the Patina Restaurant Groups certificate for (practically) a free meal!
- Our delicious lunch at the Blue Bayou (waterside table & yummy chocolate mousse!)
- The VIP service at Taste Pilots Grill
- Riding in the Lilly Belle
- Helping CM Mindy pilot the Mark Twain
- Seeing World of Color not only once, but twice!
- Watching Captain EO again (also twice!) after all these years
- Splitting up so I could enjoy Space Mountain while James could ride Buzz over and over again
- My alone time on Friday and Sunday afternoons while James napped
- Watching TWO performances of Billy Hill & the Hillbillies
- Riding Toy Story Midway Mania THREE times in a row within 30mins!
- Seeing some different characters during the Character Fan Days weekend
- Watching the TRON 3D previewvery cool!
- Enjoying the corn tortillas!
- The fairly light crowds
- The sunny afternoons on Friday, Saturday, & Tuesday
- The reason we were able to go (losing Cyrus)
- Only riding Peter Pan, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Monsters Inc. one time apiece!
- Missing the Columbia, Matterhorn, California Screamin, Its Tough to be a Bug, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and Critter Country
- The rainy weather on Sunday and the cold nights EVERY night!
1/28 = 74/43/0.00
1/29 = 64/40/0.00
1/30 = 58/49/0.12
1/31 = 63/44/0.00
2/01 = 64/44/0.00