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Thread: A Grand Circle Tour [Day Trips 2011]

  1. #101

    Trip 44: February 5
    Time: 8:20am to 1:10 [DLP 8:20 to 10:10] [DCA 10:10 to 1:10]
    Cast/crew: Walt(9months), Nancy(4), Roy(7), Kim(33), and myself(35)

    While Roy took his mom on the nickel tour of Jolly Holiday Bakery, the baby and DD and I ran for some Space Mountain FPs. We met up in Frontierland. The two older kids and I exited BTMRR to find the baby fed and changed and cooing at ducks along Rivers of America banks west of the MT dock. DW took her boys to PotC while Nancy and I got to make good on those Splash Mountain plans of six days ago. We got a log to ourselves; cant remember when, if ever, thats happened. Kids climbed their favorite treehouse while baby and I waited at the base and wife shopped in one of her choice spots: Adventureland Bazaar / South Sea Traders. As a family we cruised the jungle.

    The morning was marked by the kids anticipation to meet up with DWs sisters family (Kims sister, her hubby, and 3 boys). And they were to be accompanied by friends and their teenage boy. Reportedly theyd spent the previous day at DLP and were primed for DCA today, so I got over to DCA lickety-split to begin stockpiling FPs while DW and DD remained at Disneyland to ride Space Mountain. My boys and I crisscrossed the park grabbing a handful of Screamin FPs, stopping at Redwood Creek, grabbing a handful of Goofys FPs, then meeting up w/ DW and DD (who rode over on the monorail and entered through GCH).

    In-laws and friends were running late so Nancy and I hit up ToT; Roy hopped aboard his fave: Tuck n Rolls. Every chance I got I went on another FP run. When it was all said and done I had 8 for CA Screamin and 8 for Goofys Sky School. Good thing, too: by the time our other group arrived so did the crowds. At about 11:45 we became a party of 13, eight of whom walked right onto CA Screamin (Roy was the only one from our family). DW and I took the babies (her sister has a 1 year old) on King Tritons.

    When DW and Nancy stayed in DLP earlier to redeem SpaM FPs a funny thing happened: it broke down while they were in line, and so they lucked into one of those 6-person any ride/ any park Choice FPs . fast forward to later that day when 6 from our party (Roy, Nancy, two cousins, and two of in-laws friends) approached the special access of Toy Story Midway Mania to redeem the pass only to find the ride closed . Then an even funnier thing happened: in one of those classic right place/ right time magical moments we (all except Kim and two babies) were browsing around the TSMM exit shop and, bam, the ride opened suddenly. Ten of us walked right on, no wait. Better still, we salvaged the 6 person Choice pass for another ride. I gave it away to in-laws friends.

    My bro-in-law let my kids and his throw away some money on the Midway Games, then my kids got their last ride of the day on Goofys Sky School as two of another party of 8. DW and I babysat again. Great times and great company. An exhausting morning for DW and me, nonetheless. Sorry kids but the Super Bowl is not to be missed, not even for Disneyland. So we wished loved ones a magical day.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

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  3. #102

    Trip 45: February 9
    Time: 4:00 to 8:00 [DCA 4:00 to 6:50] [DLP 6:50 to 8:00]
    Cast/crew: Nancy(4) and myself(35)

    The element of surprise can be so underrated. To wit, Nancy nominated Soarin Over California first on the playlist. Ariels, ToT, or Redwood Creek in DCA or Big Thunder, HM, or Buzz Lightyear in DLP almost always takes the honor. But out of nowhere, Soarin. I was caught so off guard by the suggestion, I failed to recognize its brilliance. My initial thought was either We cant do that first cuz we never do that first or- if we really wanna do that we can get a fastpass and ride it later but luckily I suspended those thoughts and kept them to myself. The ride was outstanding because, well, it always is and because it was her idea along with being absolutely spontaneous.

    Animation Academy featured Daisy Duck. Halfway through the lesson I got dj vu all over again: dawned on me that yeah in fact, weve done this one before. Sorcerers Workshop and Beasts Library were closed for the day; we tried Monsters, Inc. next and it was temporarily shut down. We rode Tower of Terror, Francis Ladybug Boogie, and Heimlichs Chew Chew. Paradise Pier soft serve was a staple of our summer trips but it seems like that long since weve been there, so we stopped for two cones. Nancy had another great idea: Lets stop and sit on a bench. We staked one out between Man Hat n Beach and Mickeys Fun Wheel and ate our ice cream. Great spot. The park was somewhat bustling for a February weeknight. Great atmosphere. Another thing, the little girl can throw down on a soft serve cone.

    To round out DCA we hit up swings, Goofys, and Redwood Creek. My notions about Silly Symphony were realized: once you leave the tandem seat, its not the same goin back. After the ride, I peered around the way to check the height requirement for Nancy to ride alone (so that I, too, can ride alone). Its 48 inches. Uh-oh, I thought thats California Screamin territory and shes not yet even tall enough for Indiana Jones, which is 46. Oh well, I should know better than to hope she grows up real fast.

    A mini-tour of DLP included Haunted Mansion, King Arthurs, Toads, Alice, the Mad Tea Party, and a stop at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. DDs simply a great park companion: easy-going, selfless, flexible, cheerful, and fearless.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  4. #103
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidwayManiac View Post
    Oh well, I should know better than to hope she grows up real fast.
    Ahem, MY baby girl is currently in Afrika, and has been for the last 2 and a half months. Be careful what you wish for.

  5. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by candles71 View Post
    Ahem, MY baby girl is currently in Afrika, and has been for the last 2 and a half months. Be careful what you wish for.
    Thanks for reminding me. And I know, I'm relishing the tandem seat. Will have the rest of my life to ride my own swing.
    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  6. #105

    Trip 46: February 14
    Time: 4:25 to 8:25 [DLP 4:25 to 8:25]
    Cast/crew: Nancy(4), Roy(7), and myself(35)

    Of late the kids curiosity has been piqued by Disneyland trading pins and lanyards. As gifts for Valentines Day, we treated them each to a starter set from Store Command. Nancy chose a princesses lanyard with four pins (Belle, Tiana, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty). Roy chose a Mickey set 6 Mickey pins and a Fantasmic! or some such stars type themed lanyard. Nancy held on to her for originals but did trade an old pin of ours Roy found a couple he really liked a lot and traded two of his originals; in return he got Genie and a grim grinning ghost. They had a blast. They called their dear mom to thank her for the gift. She mentioned later the excitement in their voices was remarkable. Good for them. How wonderful to find new things!

    Before the pin purchase we rode Star Tours, and after we rode Space Mountain. Dinner was from Stage Door and we sat in one of Golden Horseshoes side booths and enjoyed it while reminiscing over Billy Hill shows. After dinner we took in HM, Winnie the Pooh, and PotC. Out of the blue Roy asked What about the Disneyland Railroad? Can we ride it? Can we ride it? Are you kidding of course we can ride. Id ride it anytime, any trip but got tired of asking cuz the kids interest was unenthused to say the least. So this was music to my ears. We headed up the steps of NOS station almost immediately. I wasnt leaving an opportunity for second thoughts.

    Lets see the last time we rode the railroad was, well, maybe about 25 trips and 6 months ago. Seems I recall Triceratops and T-Rex we behind a curtain then. Tonight, good to see theyve returned. Also tonight, the Tomorrowland Station was out of commission. We made it a full round trip. Sure, theres a fair share of predictability and repetition among trips tonights rides namely were nothing at all out of the ordinary - but each trip also contains its own uniqueness like the kids getting their pin sets and their dad getting a for-the-first-time-in-a-long-time Disneyland Railroad ride. Needless to say, it made my day.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  7. #106
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidwayManiac View Post
    Thanks for reminding me. And I know, I'm relishing the tandem seat. Will have the rest of my life to ride my own swing.
    Sometimes we all need to be reminded. Whistler is in the beating the boys off with a stick mode. She is one gorgeous girl. Cute report. Yeah, our May trip we got home and realized we hadn't ridden the Railroad!

  8. #107

    Trip 47: March 4
    Time: 3:15 to 7:15 [DCA 3:15 to 5:25] [DLP 5:25 to 7:15]
    Cast/crew: Walt(10months), Nancy(4), Roy(7), Kim(33), and myself(35)

    Older two kids and I walked over from Mickey and Friends while DW stayed with a sleeping baby at car. Where the walking path empties into Downtown Disney, from there its simply more convenient to walk through GCH to get in DCA than it is to enter through the bag check and esplanade. Over time were using GCH as a thoroughfare more and more. Perhaps its not designed for that, but DCA is not supposed to be designed like a maze either. So we cut through the hotel, where it was quickly apparent we had shown up on the weekend of a cheerleading event.

    Of course, entering through GCH can mean only one thing: an obligatory stop next door at Redwood Creek. I looked around, noticed its not the barren playground we enjoy early mornings and late nights. The zip line and rock wall lines were too long for the kids to enter, and the climbing net was shut down to boot. Unfazed, Roy and Nancy made their own fun.

    Your baby changes and grows each day, however most of those changes are hardly noticeable but occasionally they jump out at you. Like today, as DW and daughter rode Jumpin Jellyfish, I held Walt nearby. He waved and smiled at girls then turned his head as the Phineas and Ferb float/parade thing approached, and arched his back / maneuvered to get a better view, and laughed at the processional and music as it passed. On our trip to the resort a month earlier, he wasnt as involved in stuff. Now, hes acutely aware of his surroundings. When he rode Tritons a little while later, he screamed and clutched to his dolphin when it was time to depart the ride; hes never done that.

    DW and I traded off holding the baby: she took the two older kids on Silly Symphony Swings, then I took them on Goofys Sky School. Next, Kim and youngest two rode King Tritons Carrousel; Roy and I got a front seat on California Screamin. Everyone was up for soft serve at Paradise Pier but no one was up for waiting in line 20 minutes for it so we headed on to Bugs Land. More lines. Pass. Animation Building. Ah, refuge. From the heat, the crowd. Besides, we could all use a Crush fix so we sat in. Sure enough, Crush singled out Nancy and talked to her but, bless her heart, she couldnt remember my #1 best ever in the universe Crush question (What are the names of your 65 kids?) so she asked him to name his favorite color. Interestingly, theyve added two new components to the show: Dory and a whale. To me, having extra characters simply means less exposure to Crush so its a net negative. Subtraction by addition. Still a super show, regardless.

    There was a little discussion about dinner: Plaza Inn, Jolly Holiday, Pizza Port, or Rancho del Zocalo? In the end, Rancho was most agreeable to everyone. This isnt a restaurant review so I wont make it one except to say that a) we wont be back and b) if I wanted refried beans straight out of a can, Id visit a grocery store not a restaurant. All apologies to loyal Rancho enthusiasts, but were spoiled by having outstanding Mexican cuisine in SoCal . this simply is not it, imo.

    A stop in Critter Country confirmed the lines there werent doable. Five of us crammed in a single Doombuggy. Yeah, were getting too big for that. DW took kids on BTMRR while I put the baby in PJs for the trek home. Again, tram was extremely crowded so off awalkin we headed to the parking structure.

    Given the circumstances the trip was successful. Ive never been as exhausted and uneager to attend DLR as I was today. Lifes become insanely busy, were a little sleep deprived, my allergies are ragin outta control, and yet the pressures on since this little window is the one sliver we have for DLR in about a three and a half week span. After all, well go for a Sunday afternoon only in extenuating circumstances. Despite it all, a visit to Disneyland has a sort of cathartic effect thats welcomed.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  9. #108

    Trip 48: March 12
    Time: 8:30am to 4:30 [DLP 8:30 to 10:20 and- 2:20 to 4:30] [DCA 10:20 to 2:20]
    Cast/crew: Nancy(4) and myself(35)

    Im a believer that park hours accurately reflect DLRs anticipated crowd levels. Accordingly, when the weekdays show 8am to midnight openings in mid-March, although it raises an eyebrow, Ive learned better than to question it. I can hope for light crowds, but I expect heavy ones. And the latter is exactly what showed up today. Not a problem, as the park is very easily navigable for a party of two. Still, waiting a couple rounds for King Arthurs Carrousel and not finding a seat at Billy Hill were a little surprising, I must say. Cant recall those experiences.

    Here are the rides/attractions/shows we attended:
    Space Mountain, Gadgets Go Coaster, Roger Rabbits Car Toon Spin, Splash Mountain, Winnie the Pooh, Francis Ladybug Boogie, Tuck n Rolls Drive em Buggies, Monsters Inc., Tower of Terror, Aladdin at Hyperion Theater, Star Tours, BTMRR, and King Arthurs Carrousel.

    Here are a few of things that stuck out:
    - From the queue/observation deck of Space Mountain you get an excellent vantage point of Matterhorn. Were almost never in that queue because we use FP but today was an exception since it was our first ride. Matterhorn looked different somehow (darker?) but I shrugged my shoulders and thought Eh, its under construction. Probably same old Matterhorn. Until I saw this thread.
    - Two things about BTMRR fastpasses. Theyre back to weekday distribution and- theyre still good all day after the window opens, although the CM did a double take at our passes (close to three hours past their window) and appeared on the verge of saying something.
    - On our way out of Disneyland the first time, we deliberately travelled through Adventureland to check DDs height at IJA. We do this from time to time. The anticipation is very exciting. Shes about 1/8 inch away now. Shell probably wear different shoes and ride our next visit. Shes gonna love it, I think.
    - Unlike last trip, I had a couple good food stops today. First was at Taste Pilots for the egg and sausage breakfast burrito tasty and the bar has sort-of-fresh pico de gallo which makes all the difference. Second, Troubador (one of my faves) offered up the butter, sour cream, bacon and chives baked potato. They forced my hand on that one as the barbecued chicken was sold out. Turned out I was happy it sold out; the potato I ended up with really hit the spot. Speaking of food (venting here) why bother having a churro cart in Bugs Land if it remains closed until noon? Churro is an all-day food, granted, but seems highly in demand in the morning. We checked that cart so many times and I got so tired of hearing about it from DD that we walked all the way over by Redwood Creek to get a churro. When we walked directly back to Bugs Land, sure enough, the churro cart there was open. Doh! From my experience that cart remains closed daily til about noon. wtf?
    - The actor playing Aladdin was new to me and played the part superbly, imo. Six months after the incident, there is still a fair share of the audience looking for the flying carpet during A Whole New World. We had front and center mezzanine seats. Good show.
    - When we re-entered DLP Nancy was bound and determined to get one of those looking glass balloons. Against better judgment, we went ahead even though we still had a couple hours left in the park. The lead and CM selling the balloons seemed rushed and left ours tethered to what mustve been 12 feet or more of string. Sure enough, we got only a few steps away, a gust of wind knocked the balloon/string back, someone stepped on and snapped the string and off it flew. Faucets, on. Oh, dear. Just breathe, child, its only a balloon. Thats when I knew we were nearing the end; DD is not typically emotional like this. We got a voucher for a replacement balloon, but waited to redeem it until on our way out of the park a little while later.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  10. #109

    Trip 49: April 4
    Time: 6:30 to 10:30 [DCA 6:30 to 9:15] [DLP 9:15 to 10:30]
    Cast/crew: Walt(11months), Nancy(5), Roy(7), Kim(34), and myself(36)

    When they were infants and toddlers we didn’t bring our first two kids to Disneyland. They’ve more than made up for lost time so there are no regrets, but I have to say if I’d known then that an 11 month old could have a conscious, engaged, fun-loving, and mostly well-mannered time at Disneyland it may’ve been different. He has such fun. Not sure who has a better time: Walt having fun –or-us watching Walt have fun.

    Following a stroll around Paradise Pier and dinner (more on that) Roy and I boarded California Screamin’ with front row seats. But we didn’t ride. We sat in a holding pattern – second in line for the countdown – for what was probably about 20 minutes, after which some maintenance guys got us out while CMs scribbled us a Choice good for up to six in your party fastpass. You know right where I’m headed with this little beauty, and so did DW who had been riding King Triton’s with other two. Directly, the five of us entered Toy Story Midway Mania. I was relegated to playing lefthanded while holding Walt so, for the first time, Roy topped my score.

    We enjoyed a round of soft serve ice cream. So good. Roy always orders swirl and gets it in a cup, eventually turning it to soup near the end; Nancy is a purist and insists on eating hers strictly from a cone and exclusively vanilla. In the nicest way possible I couldn’t care less – cup or cone, vanilla or chocolate - and just wanna eat it. Ice cream gave way to Redwood Creek or Bug’s Land. The kids are big fans of Bug’s Land but did it really stand a chance up against Redwood Creek? … I should’ve known. The zip line waits were really short allowing Nancy and Roy to ride and ride repeatedly the way they like. Walt had the. best. time. watching them zip along, especially big brother who he often can’t take his eyes off.

    DD wasn’t tall enough to ride Indiana Jones Adventure, for at least the next 12 hours. As a consolation, her mom took her to Big Thunder Mountain which cured any dejection. The two boys and I headed to Winnie the Pooh, but the baby fell asleep on the way. Roy went ahead alone. Last thing I heard as he left us was (to the CM at the Pooh entry) “It’s OK I’m 7 so I can go on this alone.” “OK, go right ahead then.” lol. Every time I hear that it reminds me of Jim Carey as Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber just as he’s about to do a header off the jetway, he turns, flashing his credentials and announces “It’s OK. I’m a limo driver!”

    We met up with the girls and I took the older two on Splash Mountain, which is invariably empty at night when its south of 60 degrees. A full day of park fun awaits tomorrow so we called it a night. About dinner: it’s only worth mentioning because we tried something new. DW and I split one of those steak skewer plates w/ the yogurt/flatbread/rice/cucumber salad from Mediterranean Grill. It was not bad at all and the baby was, in particular, enjoying the rice – he’s sampled about enough table food to know he no longer needs/wants baby food. Roy got a pizza from Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta and loved it. I had a bite and must say it had a unique unconventional pizza flavor to it. Can’t put my finger on it but maybe the cheese was really sharp. I don’t know, but Roy enjoyed it enough to devour the entire thing.

    Walt watching big sis and bro on the zip lines at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail:


    About to board Toy Story Midway Mania and the next morning on Dumbo:

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  11. #110

    Trip 50: April 5
    Time: DLP 9:30am to 12:50 and- 7:45 to 12:30
    Cast/crew: Walt(11months), Nancy(5), Roy(7), Kim(34), and myself(36)

    We limped into the park around 9:30, which is later than I wanna show up but since we were in for a two-a-day I shrugged and went with it. Running to get Space M. fastpasses, I found Tomorrowland in midday form and texted wife dont come here. Tentative plan had been to ride Buzzs Astro Blasters, but that got scrapped the second I saw a 25 minute wait. Plan B: the carrousel (which is always a great standby option). Next up: Dumbo, then we ate. River Belle Terrace breakfast has something for everyone which is why its such a great landing spot for us, plus its intimate w/ a great location.

    Undeterred by being turned away the night before, Nancy was ready to make another run at Indiana Jones Adventure. She passed all three measurements this time. The night before she wore Nikes, today she wore Skechers. Therein lies the difference between a 46 and a 45 & 15/16 child, apparently. She was thrilled all throughout the queue, the ride, and even after and asked to go again. After IJA, DW and baby came from Winnie the Pooh and met us in NOS. Churro feedings and feeding ducks ensued. Two older kids and I rode Splash, well it was more of a series of stops and goes more than a ride. At least twice I thought wed be evacuated. Apparently the stopping & going continued after we exited; other parkgoers lost patience with it all, prompting this scene Id never seen before (snapped on my phone heading outta Critter Country):A few seconds later they were back in their log and on their way.

    DW and the kids were Space Mountain bound, and we headed that direction via Frontierland. Nearing the hub I could see a bustle of activity among the pin traders outside Westward Ho!. Roy and Nancy have been doing quite a bit of trading lately. There was a sweet lady there doing one-for-one swaps (same as the CMs) and she had a nice selection, so nice that Roy and Nancy couldnt make up their minds. I was trying to facilitate the whole thing and make sure we didnt rip the lady off. It became pretty involving at a certain point. Kim and Walt kinda sat back and enjoyed the show. Kim told me later it took all she could muster not to lean over and whisper in my ear Look what your lifes become. Thats a little inside joke we make at each other when were caught up in some activity that was unimaginable in the pre-kid years. And shes right; weve walked past the pin traders a thousand times - not once was it our cup-o-tea. Kids change everything.

    Walt and I grabbed a set of Star Tours FPs and headed to the esplanade while the others made good on their Space Mountain plans. Thats a wrap on the morning. We returned around dark for part 2 of this trip. To be continued.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  12. #111
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    I LOVE the picture of you and Walt with your Toy Story glasses on. It is just perfect and needs a frame. Or on your fridge.


  13. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by candles71 View Post
    i love the picture of you and walt with your toy story glasses on. It is just perfect and needs a frame. Or on your fridge.


    ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    agree

  14. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by candles71 View Post
    I LOVE the picture of you and Walt with your Toy Story glasses on. It is just perfect and needs a frame. Or on your fridge.
    Quote Originally Posted by letshavefun View Post
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    agree

    Thanks. DW likes it. She featured it on her blog and I'll definitely include it the family calendar I make at Christmas.
    Walt has countless of those ear to ear smiles each trip. When he's really enjoying himself he'll begin smiling like that and pumping his legs (whether being held or riding a carrousel) and it's just priceless.
    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  15. #114
    Trip 50 continued

    The evening visit began same as the morning: a trip to Tomorrowland revealed Buzzs Astro Blasters had a wait longer than wed endure. DW and the two older kids fastpassed onto Star Tours while Walt and I hopped on King Arthurs Carrousel. When we reunited we wanted to visit iasw, but it was closed for the picture show (Magic, Memories, and You I think its called).

    Fantasyland was a little too crowded and frenetic for our tastes, so we hightailed it outta there. Up Big Thunder Trail and onto Kims favorite evening ride and the ride thats Nancys favorite any time of day: btmrr. The girls did that while we three guys headed to Haunted Mansion. I held Walt through the stretch room and onto the doombuggy, but once we boarded he was content as possible on his big brothers lap. He sat still as could be the entire ride, mesmerized. Same was true as these two rode baby-in-lap next ride too (Pirates of the Carribean) which we were on all five together. There are things I write down to remember and things Ill remember whether I write them down or not like, for instance, riding alongside two boys one in the others lap older boy proud, protective, nurturing and younger boy safe and happy, attentive.

    If Roy has a Disneyland food thats his second favorite (fusilli pasta is his 1st) its hands down the beignets. So when we split a 9-pack 4 ways it was out of respect/pity/fear (I dont know, work with me here) that we deferred and gave him the extra beignet. And sissy could take em or leave em so he got nearly all of one of hers. In Roys case thisd be a recipe for a sugar high of epic proportions but even so, he faded fast. Same story as ever. In the early afternoon he cant be reasoned with when were napping. Dad, Im fine I dont need a nap. Then around 9:30pm @ DL: Dad, you were right I shoulda taken a nap. Im too tired. Exhibit A in why kids who dont nap arent permitted to attend late night trips from home. Tonight we happened to be staying in Anaheim, though, so Roy could attend and retire semi-early with his mom and little bro. His swan song was the days second go on Indiana Jones Adventure with Nancy and me. Not a bad way to end the night.

    DD and I had about 80 minutes to do our thing before closing. We very rarely take advantage of rider switch but the Space Mountain rider switch is rad. It routes you directly down through the Guests with Disabilities entrance and onto the ride. No waiting. Makes you feel like a rock star. Literally you could go from the arcade to seated in a space rocket in less than a minute, its that fast. Good things sometimes come in pairs so we redeemed a rider switch for Star Tours. Best ride combination ever. It went Kashyyyk (Ive only ever experienced this one once before in a dozen or more rides) to Coruscant. Cant tell you the times I go Hoth to Naboo but it sure seems I get that sequence nearly every time (borrring, after a while). For my money Ill take tonights sequence - Kashyyyk to Coruscant - every time. So fun.

    We finished up the evening on Alice in Wonderland, then Mr. Toads and the rarest of rare treats: Peter Pans Flight. We entered the queue at about ten til midnight and when we exited the ride at 12:25am DD looked around Fantasyland and observed Daddy look. Theres nobody here. Ahhh yes, the spoils of a nap I suppose. Life is good if youre Nancy. Through persistence and good timing she, in about a 30 hour period, managed to ride twice apiece Indiana Jones Adventure, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Star Tours, and Space Mountain.
    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  16. #115

    Trip 51: April 12
    Time: 4:40 to 8:25 [DCA 4:40 to 6:25] [DLP 6:25 to 8:25]
    Cast/crew: Nancy(5), Roy(7), and myself(36)

    Tower of Terror was outta fastpasses when we showed up there at 4:45. This came as a surprise to me. One of the kids was being a contrarian about riding it anyway so we picked a couple easy ones everyone could agree on: Tuck n’ Roll’s Drive ‘em Buggies and Heimlich’s Chew Chew. At first blush, Heimlich’s is a useless little waste of space that’s over in the blink of an eye. But it has the most inexplicable appeal, and I like it more each time I ride. The smell of animal crackers, I mean …. man I could keep riding it on end just to relive that moment. Plus there’s the monologue – things like “Please to remain seated”. lol. Then Heimlich goes into his Spanish version, in a German accent no less. Oh, and in English he exclaims “I miss you already” which DD and I recite to one another each morning. Use to be Tigger’s “TTFN, TaTa For Now” each morning but Tigger’s been upstaged for now by Heimlich.

    I guess we’re on a little ice cream cone kick because we naturally veered to the Paradise Pier ice cream window for some. Again. Then we found a bench where the pier and WoC viewing meet. Ate ice cream, visited. Spot looked out perfectly across to Mickey’s Fun Wheel which may explain why a couple parties stopped and requested I snap their picture. We walked in the direction of Goofy’s and it was down. Contemplated symphony swings but thought between ToT and Goofy’s maybe it wasn’t our night for DCA so I kinda said enough already. Roy had been requesting Animation Academy, anyway, so we did that. Sketched Pluto and it turned out nice.

    On to Disneyland Park where we each picked a single ride. Roy chose first: Splash Mountain. I chose Winnie the Pooh, and Nancy elected Haunted Mansion. The objective was to exit by 8:00 and we were right on schedule as we passed the little kiosk outside the guided tours office. I don’t know what it’s called – it’s the one between the guided tours office and the bag drop/news stand and it’s underneath the DLRailroad track. They sell a lot of pins at the kiosk I’m referring to and, anyway, Roy had found a really cool one there a week earlier. It opened kinda French Door style and had a nice old school image of Walt Disney on the inside. It was about $14 or 15. To discourage impulse buying we encourage the kids to think on it and hold off until the next visit. Usually they’ll forget, which is proof positive they didn’t need to spend their money on it.

    Well, he didn’t forget and that little parenting strategy backfired because the pin was nowhere to be found tonight. Great. Just perfect. The CM there suggested the Emporium and we combed their pin selection. Not there either. So we got derailed to the tune of 25 minutes and had no pin, to boot. Roy handled it well; all the more reason I’ll be on prowl to find the pin if possible.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  17. #116

    Trip 52: April 22
    Time: 8:30am to 3:30 [DLP 8:30 to 3:30]
    Cast/crew: Nancy(5), Roy(7), Kim(34), and myself(36)

    Part 2: 8:45pm to 12:05 [DCA 8:45 to 10:20] [DLP 10:20 to 12:05]
    Cast/crew: just me

    Our dear friends from Atlanta fit in a Disney day on their West Coast swing. Will and his wife Michelle and their 4-year-old daughter M.H. Recently they put in 6 days at Walt Disney World so they had a nice lay of the land already far as park touring and fastpasses and the such, which is nice.

    The first two hours in the park were productive: the group visited Dumbo, King Arthurs, Princess Fantasy Faire, Gadgets Go Coaster twice, Alice, and Pixie Hollow. Besides holding a place in the PFF line for a few, I experienced none of it since I was off on a FP gathering spree. At 8:30 I grabbed a Space Mt. 7 pack, then around 9:20 I got 3 Splash/ 4 Star Tours; 9:30 a Soarin 7 pack, 10:00 a WoC set of 7, 10:25 3 for Goofys and 4 for Screamin, then 4 for Splash & 3 for Star Tours about 10:30. A little later loaded up on IJA and btmrr FPs and we were pretty much set for the day from there.

    Half the group enjoyed burgers from Tomorrowland Terrace but we all ate in the air conditioning of Pizza Port, where the rest of the group got food. Lunch was preceded by Space Mountain and followed by Star Tours. I wouldve guessed otherwise, but our guests werent ready to bolt for DCA just yet, so we rode Splash Mountain, Winnie the Pooh, PotC, and BTMRR. This trip exceeded our normal stay by about 3 hours and the kids were wearing down (in fact Roy sat out Winnie and Pirates; I sat out w/ him). Wed reached our limit, but dear friends were all systems go. We issued a few DCA pointers, gave them the inside scoop on the shorter of the two Dole Whip lines (they later said this was the best info they received all day), and made tentative plans to meet back up later that night. I wrongly assumed our friends would join us at the house for afternoon naps and regroup for the night trip. With a single day at the resort, naps and several hours away just wasnt in the cards.

    I didnt get all the details, but a few of the highlights our friends took in after we left them included all the rides in/around Paradise Pier (except CA Screamin and Goofys, which M.H. is too short for), Bugs Land, Soarin, and the Soundsational Parade. To Michelle, the park parade is the Disney must-see. And Im pretty sure Will rode CA Screamin and IJA alone. When we parted company around 3:00, Will half-jokingly said he had plans to stay til closing. I dared him to, and told him Id close the park down w/ him if he followed through on the plan.

    He called that night to say its on and about an hour later I met up as they exited their 2nd (or 3rd?) jaunt on Soarin. They had switched out their 9pm WoC passes for the 10:15 show to maximize riding. Will and I rode Tower; he commented several times about the noticeable differences between the DLR and Florida versions of Tower. Michelle and M.H. stopped in BL I believe, then rode Aerials. The four of us reconvened for WoC. The two girls headed back to the house while Will and I finished up on Jungle Cruise, HM, Buzzs, and Star Tours. The JC skipper had great timing; he offered up one or two one-liners I hadnt heard and even delivered the old standards with enough originality to get laughs.

    Today I gained an appreciation for out-of-town visitors and their endurance and urgency for getting it all in. My buddy Will opened and closed the park (wife and daughter put in 14 and a half of the 16 hours) without even the luxury of a short nap . That defies everything we believe and practice about parkstorming (i.e. for us visits are limited to 5 hours at a time usually, middays are avoided altogether, naps are a prerequisite to attend late, etc.). I fully understand it, though. Only one day, all that expense. Id be damned if Id stop for a nap, too. From open to close, its Go Time. My hats off to you.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  18. #117

    I'm impressed by the stamina myself! The afternoon heat and crowds get to me too. I would have to really focus and stay lean to do that again and a lot of afternoon time would be Mr. Lincoln, Main St. Cinema, Splash and GRR of course with HM and POC that are very very cool. Dole Whip line was absolute madness while I was there and needless to say I did not get one! I am impressed that you joined him.

    So nice to hear about the JUNGLE CRUISE.....I haven't heard a new line in years and while I don't complain to City Hall simply because the Skipper does it by rote it is fun to see a new spin and good timing. As long as I know it is there. Rock on Jungle Cruise!!!!!


  19. #118
    Quote Originally Posted by MadasaHatter View Post
    So nice to hear about the JUNGLE CRUISE.....I haven't heard a new line in years and while I don't complain to City Hall simply because the Skipper does it by rote it is fun to see a new spin and good timing. As long as I know it is there. Rock on Jungle Cruise!!!!!
    Best line was as we approached the flipped over jeep: "Oooh an EXPLOSION! Let's get closer." For all I know it's an old rehashed line but I never remember hearing it and the timing was spot on. Was a good time.
    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  20. #119

    Trip 53: April 29
    Time: 9:00am to 12:40 [DLP 9:00 to 10:50] [DCA 10:50 to 12:40]
    Cast/crew: Nancy(5) and myself(36)

    If I couldve justified a drive to Disneyland solely for Fantasmic 20th tickets, I wouldve. But I couldnt. So DD and I parlayed that into a few hours of rides and shows. We got the F! private annual passholder vouchers first thing.

    Since Indiana Jones Adventure is Nancys latest and greatest ride, she asks about it all the time. Its cute. But we needed mature fastpasses first, so we killed a little time on BTMRR and PotC. Then Nancy was measured and passed all three times in the queue of IJA. Maybe Im wrong, but seems passing the height test -then- riding adds to the enjoyment of the ride.

    We stopped for Tower FPs that we didnt end up using. Rode Francis Ladybug Boogie. Attended Crush the talking Turtle show. Muppets in 3-D Vision was our final act. Ill say this: if Statler and Waldorf could star in the production and occupy the spotlight 90% of the show, wed have something. A very funny something. But as it exists its just meh at best, in my opinion. This show calls to mind some dialogue from the muppets movie DD keeps playing over and over lately, like this: Muppets, Im gonna give it to you straight, youre just not famous anymore. (Fozzie or some character hilariously responds Gee I wish she woulda given it to us a little more curvy). To me this show has a very dated Honey I shrunk the Audience feel to it. Beckoned by an afternoon slate including a birthday party and older bros baseball game, we exited earlier than preferred.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  21. #120

    Trip 54: May 2
    Time: 4 to 9:10 [DLP 4 to 9:10]
    Cast/crew: Roy(7) and myself(36)

    There are five of us and we enjoy visits to DLR as much as almost anywhere. Lots of memories. Dear wife and I were engaged 12 years ago on the Storybook Land Canal Boats; with Walt Ive discovered a completely new-to-me love and excitement and joy of the parks as seen through the eyes of an infant (now toddler); and Nancy storms the parks with an abandon and endurance that makes her truly a girl after my own heart.

    But this fanaticism, this Disney craze, this obsession that drives us to the resort 50 to 60 times a year . It all started with Roy. When he was 2 and 3 most resort visits mom would stay home with young sis and Roy and Id tour the parks alone. Id knock him off preschool and we were off . free to roam, to discover. I remember his first trips on Soarin and Splash and Space Mountain. I remember him dancing in the streets at Christmas under a shower of fake snow, so excited. Ill never forget pushing him back to Mickey and Friends late at night 'cuz the tram queues were too long; as he passed out sitting upright with his mouth agape and a half eaten churro still in his firm grip, the cinnamon and sugar frost around his mouth appeared as a white & brown goatee. Some images like these are cemented in my memory.

    Roy and I get to the resort alone now less frequent than before, so it was with a little nostalgia that we set out on this trip. Just us two. Just like old times. Hes seven now but seems so much older to us. Any parent can identify with looking at the kids and asking Where does the time go? One of our baseball dads recently pointed out that over 1/3 of the boys formative time with us (under our roof) is well over. Ah ghees, its almost too painful a thought to bear.

    The success of most visits is gauged by the number of rides we attend. Not tonight. We just kinda ambled along at a nonchalant pace. Gadgets had a forever line and Troubador had no line but also no baked potatoes so we said phooey to both, and to Fantasyland in general. We tried boarding Mark Twains wheelhouse twice but both times it was reserved; later we decided on IJA to find it closed for the day. Looking back, I guess we had to roll with the punches several times but there was no disappointment or urgency.

    The nights main event was dinner. We ate for the first time at Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. Here is a Cliffs Notes version of the restaurant experience:
    -the entertainment is superb; its enthralling for the kids and dry and witty for the adults and the musicians/singers are very talented.
    its all you can enjoy which doesnt mean you ought to enjoy all you can, but I did. Criminy we ate a ton; you wouldnt believe how much if I told you.
    Roy loved the entire experience:the food, the entertainment, and the company (he became friends with a couple boys from Utah; the older one had a starter Lanyard and one pin Roy gave the boy three pins of his own so he could get started trading).
    Roys in love. Not with a girl. But with kielbasa; for my money the ribs were the best part of dinner.

    As dinner reached an end it dawned on me wed been in the park three hours and ridden one ride (before dinner wed rode btmrr and spent a good chunk of our time at the petting zoo). Our meal was followed by a Haunted Mansion jaunt. We got our own boat on PotC. That was fun. Not as fun was losing to the boy on Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters. We finished out the night hot on the trail of the baby Tigger pin Roys been pining for. He had it once, then traded it to his sister but has regretted it since. This nice guy trading one-for-ones outside Store Command searched his collection but couldnt come up with it; same for a nice CM at the Emporium. We almost hit pay dirt twice. Oh well. Roy keeps pleading with me to just order it on eBay. Now wheres the fun in that? Half the excitement is the hunt, the action. Its the journey, my boy, not the destination.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  22. #121

    Such a great trip report again. I was bummed not to make it to BIG THUNDER RANCH last trip but will put that on the roster for future trips. What a great father and son time. So cool. Love the trip reports MM. Thanks.


  23. #122
    Quote Originally Posted by MadasaHatter View Post
    Such a great trip report again. I was bummed not to make it to BIG THUNDER RANCH last trip but will put that on the roster for future trips. What a great father and son time. So cool. Love the trip reports MM. Thanks.
    Big Thunder Ranch was a great time resulting in the combination of a lot of things: weather was perfect (cool but not cold), we were both really hungry, the food was good, it wasn't all that crowded, great entertainment, and probably most exciting of all it was new-to-us. Now DW and DD are eager to try it so it'll be fun seeing it new-to-them.
    I know BTR is not a character meal so the comparison is not perfect, however when I consider where I'd prefer drop $24+ per adult - Ariel's, Goofy's Kitchen, Minnie and Friend's Breakfast, or BTR - I'll take BTR. There are number of reasons this is the case, not the least of which being the character meals seem contrived and the food at Ariel's Grotto is a joke. But I digress.
    Yes, yes indeed. Get to Big Thunder Ranch, MadasaHatter.
    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  24. #123

    From the previous Big Thunder Ranch excursion, here's Roy just about to throw down on his second (or 3rd?) plate of kielbasa.

    And from this trip, here's a picture taken on a phone of a picture. But it features the quintessential Nancy e-ticket beam.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trip 55: May 8
    Time: 4:25 to 9:20 [DLP 4:25 to 5:45 and 8:10 to 9:20] [DCA 5:45 to 8:10]
    Cast/crew: Nancy(5) and myself(36)

    Never experienced walking right on to Indiana Jones Adventure until tonight. The outside queue was empty. The inside was nearly empty. After IJA Nancy climbed the tree formerly known as Swiss Family Robinson. We doubled up on Space Mountain by grabbing FPs and getting in the standby queue. I figured the IJA standby line took 5 minutes, so certainly Space Mountain would be quick and easy. Wrong. But we waited it out anyway and not for nothing: each time when the lights come up at the end they reveal Nancys bright gleaming smile and giggliness. Always worth the wait.

    I had to eat. The Mousepad reviews of the hot link corn dogs are favorable so I stopped at Corn Dog Castle. That hit the spot. Silly Symphony Swings next. Nancy has a homing device that alerts whenever shes within 1,000 feet of Paradise Pier soft serve, so like bees to honey we zeroed in. Enjoyed ice cream from our usual spot (sort of between the pier and WoC viewing on some benches). At Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, Nancy zip lined and honed her rock wall skills. When shed had her fill of the play area (thats what the kids call it) she requested Tower of Terror (pictured above). When we exited, the clock on DCA was a few minutes from expiring so we had to choose something close by. Monsters Inc. it was. Such a cool ride. Really underrated.

    You can never ride Space Mountain enough, apparently, so Nancy asked to go there as we turnstiled back into DLP. The FPs were burning a hole in her/my pocket so we used them. Our last ride was PotC. Dear Daughter grabbed a churro across from Great Moments on the way out to cap off a lovely evening.

    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

  25. #124
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    He is old enough to cook kielbasa at home. Just a thought. We serve tortellini with alfredo sauce with it, and B was just about Roy's age when he decided he could learn to cook it.
    Great reports as usual. Love her smile. I've seen that same look on B's face when about to "tuck in" to a favorite dish.


  26. #125
    Quote Originally Posted by candles71 View Post
    He is old enough to cook kielbasa at home. Just a thought.
    Ha! You read my mind. Haven't bought kielbasa since my college days when I'd make it w/ a marinara and angel hair. Boy, it's been a while but I gladly picked one up for the boy at the store just the other day.
    Your attention, please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. Aboaaard!

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