Tina Allman - October 2001
* Time of Year: Fall
* Travel Method: Personal Car
* Resort: Offsite
* Accommodations: Suite
* Ages Represented in Group: Toddler, Adult
* Disneyland Experience Represented in Group: Veteran, Infrequent, Rookie
* Comments: Tina tells us the story of an extended weekend trip to the Disneyland Resort with a whole bunch of people. The troupe enjoyed their time at Disneyland, California Adventure, and Downtown Disney -- making good use of the park hopper passes they bought for the visit. Allonna, Tina's niece made her debut appearance at Disneyland on this trip.
October 20-24, 2001
Cast of Characters:
* Allonna (2 1/2) first trip to DL
* Myself (32) Disney fanatic, Allonna's auntie
* Jennifer (29) Allonna's mom & my sister
* Ole (52) My dad, Allonna's grandpa
* Mary (50) My mom, Allonna's grandma
* Dorene (55) very close family friend
* Jerry (67) married to Dorene, close family friend
* Kay (31) Jerry & Dorene's daughter, close family friend
I am the avid Disney lover and have been to DL many, many times. All of the others have only been about 3 or 4 times. Of course this was Allonna's first trip.
This trip was planned about 1 year ago. My sister and I decided that when Allonna was 2 1/2 she would be ready for Disneyland. This trip was all about Allonna (well almost all, we did do some grown up stuff too!). The dates of the trip were October 20-24, 2001 and the hotel we chose was The Anaheim Desert Inn and Suites. I become the tour planner and made all of the reservations and plans for the trip. I even created a detailed itinerary that we sort of stuck to throughout the trip. I made reservations for Goofy's Kitchen and the Blue Bayou 30 days in advance by calling Disney Dining. This worked out great!
We invited lots of friends and family to come on Allonna's first trip, but only 8 of us were there for the whole time. There were a few others that were there only for the weekend, making our total 14 for dinner on Saturday night. We decided that next time we go it will just be the family as it was hard to please everyone.
DAY 1 - SATURDAY OCTOBER 20, 2001
This was basically a travel day, although we did end up in one of the parks in the evening! We left Antioch at 6am and headed to Tracy to meet up with my parents and their friends. We met at about 6:45 and had a great breakfast at The Orchard in Tracy. We got on I5 at about 8am. We stopped for gas a few hours into the trip and at about 1:00pm we pulled into Hamburger Hamlet in Valencia. I highly recommend this restaurant for those of you traveling down I5. You take the Magic Mountain exit and turn left to get there. The food is really good and the prices are reasonable.
We were back on the road by 2pm and we arrived at the Desert Inn at about 3pm. We had no trouble checking in to the hotel. Of course the rooms we got were at the very end of the hotel! We unloaded the cars and lugged everything up. Allonna wanted to go swimming so we all headed to the pool. The pool at the hotel is really small. It is too small for the number of guests at the hotel. It is indoors though, which was nice. No sunburns!
We went back to the room to change for dinner. We were going to be meeting 6 of our friends who were already in the park. We left the room at 5:45 and walked over to ESPN Zone. I hadn't been to Disneyland since all of the new stuff opened and I loved Downtown Disney! It looked so cool. We checked the little map and found that ESPN was at the other end of Downtown Disney. We didn't check out the shops, as we wanted to put our name in for dinner since we would be a party of 14. We got there at about 6:15 and they told me it would be 60-70 minutes. Turned out it was only 20 minutes and we were seated at 2 separate tables. The restaurant was cool. It is very noisy though! You have to be prepared for that. We were seated right under the rock-climbing wall so we got to see everyone trying to climb the wall. Our waiter was excellent and the food was very good. It is a bit pricey, but then everything in Disneyland is! We enjoyed the meal a lot!!
After dinner my Aunt and two cousins went back to Disneyland, my sister, myself and two friends headed for DCA and everyone else went back to the hotel. This was my first experience with DCA and I was really looking forward to it. We went in at 8pm. The Electric Light Parade was just starting. We headed over to do Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It wasn't starting for about 40 minutes so we went on Superstar Limo. I thought it was very cute. I loved the look of the Hollywood section! After doing the limo we got in line for Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. The CM's ask trivia questions and if you answer correctly you get a pass to sit in the ring of fire. I answered the first question right! The whole game was very cool! I loved sitting in the ring of fire. I felt like I was really on the show!
After Millionaire, we headed over to Condor Flats to do Soarin'. I had heard nothing but great stuff about this ride and I was really looking forward to it. It was awesome! I loved it. I was cheering and clapping at the end. It was great. By now it was closing time so we left DCA and went back to Downtown Disney to do some shopping at the World of Disney. I was very overwhelmed in this place because it is so huge. I bought a camera bag and a few other small things and then we walked back to the hotel to get some much-needed rest before our first day in Disneyland.
DAY 2 - SUNDAY OCTOBER 21, 2001 - DISNEYLAND
We woke up at 6:45am and went over to IHOP at about 7:45. Boy were the prices outrageous! The food wasn't even very good. We headed over to DL at 8:45 and got right in. We came around the corner onto Main Street and Allonna saw Goofy and Pluto! She was so excited! We waited in line and got their signatures and she took a picture with each of them.
We walked over to the Haunted Mansion and got right on. It was incredible. I loved it! They did such an awesome job redecorating it. The whole theme was just great. Even little Allonna liked it. Next we went on Pirates and scared the you know what out of Allonna. She cried the whole time. I felt so bad. After we got off the ride she kept saying, "no more scary rides Auntie". I am so mean!!! We decided we should take her to Fantasyland. We took a group picture in front of the castle. It turned out really cute! Right as we came through the castle, I saw Esmerelda. Allonna got her picture and autograph. The first ride Allonna went on in FL was the carousel. She loved it! Next we took her on Dumbo, which she loved even more. She kept telling us that she was flying. It was so cute! After Dumbo we went on Mr. Toad and once again freaked the poor kid out. She cried the whole time. We decided not to take her on anymore dark rides.
We next headed back to New Orleans Square. Our lunch reservations for Blue Bayou were for 11:30 and they asked us to be there 10 minutes early. After waiting for about 10 minutes or so we were seated right away. Because there were so many of us we didn't get a table on the water, but it didn't matter we had a great time. The food was delicious, as always! I had my usual crab cakes! My parents had never eaten there and they both loved it. My dad had the Monte Cristo and thought it was the greatest!
After lunch we browsed the shops in New Orleans Square and then took the train over to Toontown. Allonna's favorite character is Mickey Mouse so I took her to his house first. She was so excited to meet him! I then took her to meet Minnie Mouse and she was excited about that too! The line for Roger Rabbit was really long and we wanted Allonna to see Animazement so we left TT and went to the theater to get good seats. We sat right in the middle. We all loved the show. It was cute! Allonna really enjoyed the music. She kept asking me for the Beast though! He is not in the show, only Belle is. It was cracking me up the way she kept asking to see him!
We decided that we all needed a little break so we headed down Main Street, did some shopping, and headed back to the hotel. Allonna fell asleep the minute her head hit the pillow. The rest of us had no problems resting either!
At about 6pm we headed over to DCA to get good seats for the Electric Light Parade. A friend of ours who has been there several times lead us through the park to some benches right in front of the Golden Vine Restaurant. They were great seats! While we waited, some of us went back up front and got ice cream from Burr-Bank. It was delicious. About an hour before the parade was to start, I decided that I had to check out Screamin' so 3 of us headed over there. There was no line at all, we walked right on. It was amazing! I loved it. I felt like I was flying. It was great. We went back to meet our friends and watch the parade. The last time I saw the parade was when it was leaving DL. It was exactly like I remembered it. Allonna loved it! She saw Mickey at the beginning and got very excited. The best part for Allonna was when Snow White came along. She got so excited she started screaming for Snow White. It was too cute! I asked her later that night what her favorite part of Disneyland was so far and she said the light parade.
The parade ended at about 8:30 and we were all pretty hungry so we walked to Downtown Disney and decided to try out Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen. It was a bad choice! The food was not that great and it was way overpriced. At least the company was good!!! We went back to the hotel and fell right asleep.
DAY 3 - MONDAY OCTOBER 22, 2001 - DCA
We got up early and headed out the door at about 8:45am. We walked over to La Brea Bakery and had coffee and some pastries. It was very good. We sat outside and waited for the rest of our gang to make their way over to meet us. Eventually they all made it and we went into DCA right when it opened at 10. Our first stop was Muppets 3D. We thought Allonna would love it, but she didn't. It scared her. We next went into Millionaire and I once again got a seat in the ring of fire. Actually 3 out of the 10 of us got to sit there. It was so much fun. I almost made it to the hot seat. I was second. Oh well, we really enjoyed playing the game.
After Millionaire, we took Allonna on Superstar Limo. She loved it. In fact, she screamed when she had to get out of the car! Next we went into the Animation building. Before going in we ran into Milo Thatch and Kida from Atlantis. Allonna took her picture with them and got their autographs. I really enjoyed the animation building. It was cool seeing the little movies and taking the personality test. Turns out I am Lady! My dad was Buzz Lightyear and my mom was Cinderella. We had fun in there. After the animation stuff we headed over to the Soap Opera Bistro for lunch. It was wonderful! The food was great, but the atmosphere was ever better. There are actors that come in and do scenes and they get you involved. It was hilarious! We had a lot of fun in there. Several of us had the Fun Fondue for dessert. It was yummy!
After lunch we made our way over to the Bountiful Farms area and we saw It's Tough to be a Bug. Once again we managed to scare Allonna. All of the adults liked the show! It was getting warm so we let Allonna play in the water for a while. She really enjoyed that. We took the tour of the tortilla factory and the bread factory. Next we headed over to Paradise Pier. We rode Screamin' twice in a row. The park was empty. It was like having the park all to ourselves. We took Allonna on King Triton's Carousel twice. She really liked that! Next my dad took Allonna on the Ferris Wheel. She loved that too. We played a few games and won Allonna a little dolphin. She was excited about that. I noticed that a lot of the little shops and food stands weren't opened. Some of the rides weren't operating either. The Eureka Parade was going to be starting so we found a bench near the pizza place. The parade was a lot of fun. We really enjoyed it. Allonna would have loved it, but she fell asleep right before it started. We really wore her out.
After the parade we walked over to Soarin'. Everyone loved it! The park was closing when we were done with Soarin' so we did a little shopping and headed over to the Rainforest Caf for dinner. We had to wait for about 45 minutes. The food was really good. We love this restaurant. Poor Allonna slept through it all. We walked back through Downtown Disney and explored some of the shops. We bought caramel apples at the candy shop and went back to the hotel. We were very tired. Went to sleep at about 10.
DAY 4 - TUESDAY OCTOBER 23, 2001 - DISNEYLAND
We woke early and headed to DL at 8:15am. Today was our early entry day so we could get in at 8:30. Tomorrowland and Fantasyland were open early so we headed for Tomorrowland. My sister took Allonna on Astro Orbiter. She loved it! Again she kept telling us that she was flying! We did Star Tours and Space Mountain then took Allonna on Autopia. This was the longest line we waited in the whole trip. It was even longer than Soarin'. Allonna loved driving the car! She couldn't stop talking about it. My sister and I took Allonna over to FL to meet some princesses while everyone else went to see Honey I Shrunk the Audience. Belle is Allonna's favorite so we waited in her line first. Next we met Snow White. The lines are so long for the princesses! We also took her on Dumbo again!
We had a reservation for 11:30 at Goofy's Kitchen so we got on the Monorail at about 11am and headed over to the Disneyland Hotel. Goofy's Kitchen was great! Allonna had such a great time! She met Goofy, Pluto, Genie, Jasmine, Terk, Baloo, and the Mad Hatter. He was very funny! He kept singing off key! Allonna didn't like him very much. The restaurant was pretty empty so she got to spend a lot of time with the characters. The food here was very good, but it is a little pricey. It was like $25, but that included tax and tip.
After lunch we went back to Fantasyland. Allonna got to meet Cinderella, The Fairy Godmother, Ariel, and Princess Aurora.
We headed over to Adventureland and went into the Tiki Room. Allonna loved this too! She was singing and dancing the whole time. It was so cute!! Next we did the Jungle Cruise and she enjoyed that as well. Some of the adults did Indy. There was no line at all! I had never seen this before. We walked right on! It was amazing!!
We all decided that we were pretty tired. We did a little more shopping on Main Street before leaving the park. Everyone wanted to do Soarin' again so we went into DCA just for that! We then went back to the hotel and rested for a while and then we went to Tony Roma's for dinner. It was good.
DAY 4 - WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 24, 2001 - TRAVEL DAY
We left Anaheim at about 9am and stopped for lunch in Coalinga. We were home at about 4:30pm.
This was a very fun and different trip for me. I am used to going to Disneyland with just me and my husband so it's always been about what we want to do. This time was about Allonna. We never even made it to Frontierland or Critter Country, but that was ok. We were able to get a bunch of characters to sign Allonna's book and she was able to do rides that she liked. She seemed to have fun meeting the characters!
We are hoping that when we take her next year, she won't be quite as scared! We never even took her on Peter Pan, Snow White, Alice, or others because we thought she might freak out! This trip was about taking things slow and letting Allonna do as much as she wanted to do. It was fun, but I can't wait to go back in February with my husband!!!