View Full Version : Sisters' Trip - BWPPI - April 23-25, 2010

04-28-2010, 09:41 AM
Cast of Characters: Me (grown woman) DL veteran and avid Mouseplaneteer; My sister (she’s my big sister) loves Disney and has been on half a dozen trips. This is our third trip together as adults.

Hotel: Best Western Park Place Inn

Travel: Drive to Airport, Fly Southwest to Orange County, then Disney Bus to Hotel

Prelude: I already had a trip planned for July of this year, but I was in need of something else. My sister had an airline ticket to use before it expired. I found a good flight and hotel rate and asked her if she’d like to go and the trip was on. I sent her my flight information and she got a flight to Orange that arrived thirty minutes before mine. Her flight home was departing ten minutes after mine. So we’d have almost the whole time together.

I had wanted to try Napa Rose, and my sister agreed. It was going to be expensive, but we thought we should try it at least once to see what the hype was about. So we planned to spend more money on one meal, than on our room for two nights. We got some excellent advise about seating at the chef’s counter and the like.

As we got closer to the trip, I came very close to changing to the Grand California Hotel, but decided not to.

Day 1 – Friday, April 23
I woke up at 3:59 a.m. One minute before the alarm went off. I ate a good breakfast, knowing there would likely be no good food available for a while. I checked online and the parking lot I wanted to use at the airport was open, and my flight was on time. The weather was awful in Colorado. And I wasn’t thrilled to be driving in the dark and pouring rain. I left the house around 4:45 am. The drive turned out to be pretty quick and uneventful. I arrived, parked, and caught the shuttle to the airport proper. I would have walked, if not for the pouring rain. Two other folks got on the shuttle. She was very mad at him because of the bad weather. Like it was his fault! She was cold. Of course she wasn’t wearing a jacket. Her new shoes were going to get all dirty! They were plain pink flip-flops. He’d forgotten his sunglasses in the car. She’d forgotten his camera. There was some talk about going back for them. I just knew I was happy to not be around her much longer! The shuttle arrived at the airport and I jumped off as fast as I could.

The security line was fairly short. As I walked through the metal detector, the agent asked “Are you really going there?” I realized I was wearing my “I’m going to the Disneyland Resort” shirt. “You betcha!” was my answer. I managed to get a seat on the little train that takes you to the gate area. I consider this my first ride of the trip! I got a coffee and a water and went to wait at the gate. I had a bit of time, but not too much, before we boarded. I read a magazine and sipped my coffee. We boarded on time. Only about 50 folks on the flight. I got a good window seat. Naturally, the guy sitting in the aisle seat fell asleep almost immediately.

We pushed back from the gate and sat, and sat, and sat. Finally there was an announcement. Some light was coming on and we couldn’t take off until someone checked it out. So we pulled back into the gate. As we did, I turned my phone back on and texted the family and my sister “flight delayed” so they wouldn’t worry. Then, when we pushed back away from the gate only 35 minutes late, I quickly texted again “on our way.”

Naturally, after the delay and the full cup of coffee, I had to use the restroom. I was near the front of the airplane, but knew I couldn’t jump up and wake up sleeping aisle man in time to get to the restroom before someone else grabbed it. So I just walked to the back. There was one other man waiting ahead of me. He was unsure if the restroom was occupied. So he pulled the door open. It was occupied! He mumbled something about needing to lock the door. I made a mental note to be very careful to lock the door when it was my turn. When the man came out of the restroom, he sheepishly said something about the door being difficult to lock. After he returned to his seat, the flight attendant picked up a little bottle of air spray and sprayed it in the direction of the restroom. I never realized the implications of the flight attendants preparing food in the area right outside the restroom. Yuck.

I got back and “snacks” had already been served. But the flight attendant asked me if I’d like something to drink. So I got spicy tomato juice. I only drink it when flying because I want something with flavor, but without caffeine or sugar. That hits the spot.

We only landed about 15 minutes late. We must have made up the time in the air. My sister was waiting at the gate. It’s so nice to have someone meet you as you get off the airplane. I miss that. We went to the baggage area to get my suitcase. I checked a bag because I like to wear sunscreen in the park, but don’t want to pay a fortune for it. And those little bottles you can get for travel are so expensive. It would take four of them to get me through the trip anyway. So we wait for my bag. And wait, and wait. And they’re all off the plane and mine isn’t there. I walked to the luggage counter there. The woman at the desk was really nice. She was able to tell me immediately that my suitcase had taken a detour to Salt Lake City. It would be back in time for the two o’clock delivery. Would I like them to deliver it to me? Or (for a $50 credit) would I be willing to come and get it? I chose delivery and gave her the name of my hotel. She said they’d call me for the address when they were ready to deliver. I wasn’t really worried about it, as I’d packed everything I needed for the parks on day one in my carry on. Be prepared!

And, finally, we were off to the Disney Express Bus. Or not. The bus runs once an hour and wouldn’t arrive for 45 minutes. Sheesh! So we went back in to the airport to freshen up and have a bite to eat. I only got pretzels, anticipating the yummy Disney food in store. We had a chat and I got caught up on the news about my sister’s ex-husband (the man has lead a life of excess in many ways and his body is falling apart on him) and then it was time for the bus. While on the bus, my sister asked how we’d get to the hotel. This surprised me, because we were riding the bus that would take us there. She thought the bus would only stop at the Disney hotels. I told her the bus would drop us in front of our hotel. But I’m the little sister and she didn’t believe me. So I bet her a Dole Whip that the bus would take us to the hotel. Of course, I won. She has no faith in my Disney knowledge. Poor thing.

Of course our room wasn’t ready. But we could leave our bags and they’d call us. I let them know my independently traveling suitcase would also arrive for me later in the day. And we were off to the parks. We walked through the gate at 11:00 a.m. California time. The gate attendant was complaining about being cold. I had to laugh at that. It was something like 70 degrees and he was wearing a jacket! He was standing in the shade, though.

We looked at the Disney art in the new gallery. They have some loverly stuff there. We decided to make our first attraction Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. My sister was looking forward to it because Obama was added to it. Uh, no, that’s Disneyworld in Florida. Again, she didn’t believe me. I should have made a bet with her every time she did that. I wouldn’t have had to pay for any snacks! While we were looking around the lobby and waiting for the show to start, my phone rang. It was something about my son and what he’d be doing on Saturday. Would I be okay with changing the schedule? I recommended they speak to my son or husband about that, since I was out of town. But it was a good reminder to put my phone on vibrate.

After Mr. Lincoln (without Obama!), we shopped our way up Main Street. I may have seen Malcon10t or MickeyDogMom. She was standing next to the Magic Shop talking on the phone. She had a blonde lab puppy with her. Since she was on the phone, I didn’t get to find out. At the end of Main Street we turned and headed over to Pirates of the Caribbean. That is my traditional first ride. There was no one going to the left line so I did. We had a very short wait. We noticed lots of school groups of music folks. Tons of them. In matching shirts. By and large, they were pretty well behaved. It’s just that there were so many of them. At one point that evening, I saw an adult at the front of one group, holding up his lit smart phone for the kids to follow. Interesting “flag”.

After Pirates, we were hungry so we headed to Café Orleans. They told us the wait was 20 to 40 minutes and we were okay with that. We were seated 14 minutes later. Of course, we ordered the Pommes Frites.

Off next to the Haunted Mansion. Again, no one was going in the left line so I did. I’m not sure we were meant to. We may have been the victims of a chain changer on that one. We were, and the fifty people who followed us in were, too. As we walked inside the building, I realized my phone was ringing. I decided to answer it later. We got mixed in with a high school group. The boy in the vehicle ahead of us kept calling out to the guy in the vehicle behind us. At the beginning (before he realized we were in the middle), he reached out his hand, joking that he was scared, and asked me to hold it. I should have grabbed it. But I didn’t. Perhaps for the better. It might have gotten us kicked out! We went over to Splash, but the wait was very long. And it was a tad breezy. We never did ride Splash. We went to Pooh Corner where I got a Red Magic cupcake. The last one! I was disappointed to realize it had just regular cake frosting on it. I like mine with cream cheese frosting. I only ate half. A woman saw me eating it, though, and asked where I got it. I told her that I’d gotten the last one and it wasn’t very good. We decided to head to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. On the way, I realized I should check my phone messages. It was the airline (Southwest). They needed the address of my hotel in the next ten minutes so my bag could be on the two o’clock delivery. Of course thirty minutes had passed since then. I called them to apologize and ask when the next delivery was. They had taken care of it. They knew the name of the hotel, so they called the one they thought it was and confirmed that I was registered and my bag was already on its way. I thanked them over and over again. That was great service! So we continued on to Big Thunder.

We only waited about 15 minutes in the stand by line. There was a family behind us who have seven children! They’ve brought them all to Disneyland a couple at a time over the years and they were here finally with the youngest two. One of the boys was upset to be missing his soccer game the next day. Not a Disney fan, I guess! He was about nine, so it surprised me. I rode the ride in front of a young girl (around 11?) who shrieked VERY LOUD through the whole ride. Even the non-scary parts. Just to be funny, I guess. It wasn’t. It was deafening. I turned around and took a good look at her so if I was going to be on any other rides with her, I could wait and take the next one. Her dad was with her. I think he should ride in front of her next time. Who lets their kid do that?

We stopped on the way to Fantasyland to look at the pond along the path there. And to take a photo for some fellow park fans. We rode the Carousel. It was lovely. As we got off, my sister noticed some cars were running on the Matterhorn. She hoped they’d open it earlier than Sunday. No, I said, it would open on Saturday. She insisted it was Sunday. Another lost opportunity to win a bet.

Then we went on to It’s a Small World. There was a little guy in the row behind us (18 months?) who did not like the ride at all. From the time he saw the first doll, he cried. His family tried to soothe him but he was having none of it! About half way through the ride, he quieted down. They began pointing out the animals instead of the children. As we got off the ride I looked up to the bridge and realized we needed to pause as a proposal was made. I saw a young man (he looked about 12!) holding the hands of a young girl. There were two women there with cameras poised. We all clapped when she said yes and hugged him. Then we were off to more shopping! We did look at the parade for a while. I kind of liked it. Of course, I watched the kids dancing at the show stop, not the likes of Mary Poppins. We shopped for pins in the little shop at the exit there. I found a set of locking pin backs and commented on them. My sister grabbed them out of my hand and asked if they had any more. Sadly, no. So I couldn’t get any.  I did find some pins for my boys back at home, though. A sneaker for my older son (he did a ceramic sneaker in art this year) and a Star Wars one for my younger son.

We went to Toon Town. The Cartoon Spin line was too long, so we saved that for later. We did spend quite a bit of time in the shop, there. We stopped initially to look for more locking backs. I bought some Mickey Mouse ears (my first pair of the traditional ones, although I have some YOAMD ears). And…. I got one of the D&B bags. The largest black one. Yay!

We kind of wandered around a little until we found ourselves in Downtown Disney at the World of Disney. We found more pin backs there so we were both finally able to stock up. We headed back to the hotel. On the way back, my sister tried to go to the far right (where the trams are). I re-directed her back to the middle path. Later in the trip she tried to go to the left (where the other trams are) and I had to redirect her to the middle. How hard is it to take the middle path? Neither of my kids ever tried to do that on our other trip.

We got our bags at the front desk (my runaway was there) and went up to our room. We couldn’t get our keys to work in the door. I went down to the lobby and they did something on a machine at the desk. By the time I got back upstairs, my sister had the door open. She was the one (being the big sister, of course) who unlocked the door each time we went back to the room. So I didn’t know my key didn’t work. We settled into the room. My sister opened her pins to put on her lanyard and used the locking backs. There are no directions with the package, so she spent a few minutes (like 10!) figuring it out. She told me I’d have to figure it out for myself. So I timed myself. One minute 14 seconds. We should have had a bet on that one, too! I called my family on the phone. My son’s baseball game was canceled because of snow. I may have mentioned it was in the 70s where I was. I wouldn’t be that cruel, though, would I?

Back to the park. We rode the train all the way around. While we were at the Fantasyland/Tunetown stop, the operator talked about the next station being in Saturdayland. ??? Because it was Friday, and we were going to Tomorrowland! Then we walked up Main Street at night. I love it with the lights just coming on. And the balloon vendors and the popcorn vendors. And the great smells. People aren’t as tired as they’ll be later in the evening and they’re not in as much of a rush as they were that morning. It’s that magical in-between time. We had some chicken at the Plaza Inn along with some sister talk. Not only do parents and children remember different stories, sisters do, too. I was talking about a couple funny things that happened (she was there!) and she didn’t remember. After our lovely chicken dinner, we wandered over to the Jungle Cruise. We had skipper Ben. He told a couple new jokes and he gave the old standards some enthusiasm. We also had an appreciative audience on our ride. It’s always more fun when everyone’s into it. We shopped a bit in Frontierland and watched the fireworks for a bit and then decided to head back to the room. We were tuckered out from our early start that morning. We each got ready for bed and I shared Bennett’s yoga pose to relieve foot pain. My sister found it did relieve her foot pain a bit, but it really helped her back. She was a very happy woman. Our bed was pretty soft. And the room was loud (201). There was all the noise from the busses and the people hollering as they crossed the street. I thought I’d take a long time to fall asleep, but I was asleep in minutes.

Number of steps: 13,322 (about 7 miles)

Day 2 – Saturday, April 24

We both woke up early at 5:45 am. That’s about 15 minutes before the alarm. I was happy when the alarm did go off on time at a reasonable volume. I felt remarkably well rested. I went in to take a shower and ran the water for a long time. There were signs all over the room about a water shortage. Yet I was running the water for 15 minutes to try to get it warm. No dice. So, I called down to the desk. Her maintenance man didn’t come on duty until 6:30, she’d send him up first thing. So I decided I’d take a cold shower then contact the Grand Californian to see if they had any rooms for the night. I’ve camped in the snow. I’ve pottied in the woods. I could do it. While I was washing my hair, the water warmed up. The remainder of my shower was lovely and warm. And the shower pressure was good. When I got out I called back down to tell the desk clerk “Never mind.” I figure we were the first ones up and it just took a while for the hot water to get to us. Doesn’t any other guest at that hotel do Magic Morning? At 6:45 my sister was kind of dawdling through her morning routine. I suggested I leave and meet her in the park. She thought Magic Morning was at 7:30. She didn’t question me when I told her it was at 7:00 (thank goodness!) so we managed to get through the gates at 7:10. Not too late. Our first ride of the day was Space Mountain. That’s the only time we rode it.  As we walked up to go in, they were just letting people walk up the ramp. Good timing! We were in the second car of the day. We went over to Nemo because there was no line. But then we noticed there were riders on the Matterhorn (I told you so!). So we hustled over there. Never did ride Finding Nemo. The new cars weren’t running, but the operator said one of the new cars was there on the track around the corner, uncovered. Alas, when we went to look it was covered up.

After that we made a commando raid on Fantasyland. I’ve never done so many FL rides in succession in my life. We rode Peter Pan, Snow White, Pinnochio, Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, Teacups (for the first time since 1986!), Alice in Wonderland (my sister didn’t know this ride existed), Storybookland Canal Boats, Dumbo, and the Casey Junior Circus Train. With a short stop in the Mad Hatter to look around. By that point, we were ready for a bite of breakfast. We went to the Hoffbrau House. My sister ordered the fruit plate and I got the eggs/bacon/potatoes special. The food was surprisingly good. It was pretty empty there, too. And they have you pay before you pick up your food (unlike Riverbelle Terrace the last time I went) so you actually get to eat hot food!

We trooped back through the castle and I went to convert my parkhopper to an Annual Pass. I love doing that. As we walked up the steps, my sister asked “If I get an Annual Pass, will you come here with me at least one more time this year?” Of course! So we both converted. She got a blackout day pass, too, but my person neglected to give me one. No problem, when we realized, I went back and it was easily cleared up. They took a new photo of me, since I am a few pounds lighter than when I got the other photo. I still look kind of loopy. Then we felt we missed something in Fantasyland and realized we hadn’t done It’s a Small World today. We figured we’d do IASW as many times as possible without my boys because they hate that ride. We tried to go to Space Mountain (you can see now why we walked so much each day, can’t you?) but the ride had just closed so it was a no-go. Then we went to Indiana Jones for a fast pass. We didn’t use it, though, just never got back over there. While we were over there, we rode Pirates again. As we got on Pirates, I got a text from HB that some friends were getting together in California Adventure. So while we floated past the restaurant, I sent a reply. When we got off Pirates, I had another message about a meeting place so my sister and I split up (we needed that!) and I went off to meet my HB and company.

It took me FOR EVER to find them. They were at the café tables in front of the Food and Wine building. That building/area is the best hidden secret of the Disney parks. It was harder to find than the secret bathroom! I felt like an idiot wandering around there. But then Hannahbelle patiently described where it was and guided me in. I was so happy to see my heart friends and their darling children. DearFunFamilyOfFour (and children), HB (and daughter), Fairest (child free today) and FoolishMortal (and Boo) were there. The food was grand. We were all good looking. And the children were above exceptional. HB’s daughter was older than the other girls but so sweet with them. We ate and talked and talked and talked. I had the beef slider, the soup, and the profiterole from the Food and Wine building. It was all okay, but nothing to write home about. I guess the soup was actually very good. And it was small portions, which is good because I was saving room for Napa Rose.

We all went on Monsters Inc. together. The girls went in one car and the women went on another. Rozz asked one of DFF4s daughters to scream for her and responded “Oh, a professional!” Then we met up with FMs DH and Grr.

We decided to head over to Splash Mountain so some of us could ride (mostly me and the kids!) but the line was waaayyy too long. Some of us got fast passes, but I declined as the return time was too late for me to go before dinner and I didn’t want to go after dinner because I’d freeze to death. I also predicted, correctly, that I wouldn’t be in the mood after dinner. And, as it happened, California Adventure was closed before I’d have a chance to get over there anyway.

The plan was changed to Soarin’. The group had smartly procured fastpasses ahead of time and even had one for me to use! Aren’t the hearts the most thoughtful people? And good planners, too. After Soarin’ we headed to the Paradise Pier area. On the way I realized I had a message from the Napa Rose for a confirmation call. I tried but could not catch the phone number to call back and confirm. I flagged down Fairest to tell her I’d meet the folks at Paradise Pier because I was going to Napa Rose to confirm. She told me not to worry, she had their number right here. And she did! Very knowledgeable people, these hearts. And helpful, too. So I confirmed my reservation and was able to stay with the group. I had a nice chat with Hannabelle while everyone else went on Mulholland Madness, Jumpin’ Jellyfish or made a run for ice cream and fast passes. I feel like I’ve known her all my life. And Foolishmortal reminds me of another friend from California. So easy going. Then the group herded over to Toy Story Midway Mania. On the way we had to stop in the shops and look at the tote bags. Nice! Our fast passes for Screamin’ weren’t good for 45 minutes, so we agreed we’d wait 50 min for TSMM. We waited and chatted and took photos. After that we rode Screamin’. HB’s daughter graciously let the little girls go ahead of her so they could be in the very front. She is so sweet, that girl!

After that I had to say good-bye to my friends and head back to our room to get ready for Napa Rose. I will see them again. I will miss them! I texted my sister that I was on the way and she had just arrived at the room. Of course, she let me in, so I didn’t know my key wasn’t working. I brought a new dress and high-heal shoes to wear. I wanted to get dressy. My sister decided to just wear her sweater and jeans. Which is fine. People wear both. We got ready and it was about 5:15 so I suggested we leave. We still had to go through security and get there in time for our 5:30 priority seating. I thought that was cutting it a bit close. On the way past the lobby my sister decides to stop in and see if they have Wet Ones. She’d run out and she likes to use them (subtly) at the table before she eats. She doesn’t like Purell, which everyone carries. Sigh. When she decided to stop, I was about to jump out of my skin. Would we get there in time? If it had been a protracted “let me check the stock room” conversation in the gift shop I would have just left and had her meet me there. Fortunately, it was quick. Just after we crossed the street, my sister asks what time it is. When she realized how close we were cutting it, she practically starts running. I was trying to keep up with her in my heals. And I don’t wear them very often so it was really hard. We did manage to get there in plenty of time and were asked to wait in the lounge. I was probably the most tense I’ve been on the trip. How would they know which of the parties to bring to the table? They seemed pretty blasé about the whole thing. And then they seated what seemed like a dozen parties. And we were still sitting there. Finally they came to get us. Tension gone! We were seated at the chef’s counter seats five and six. Naturally, my sister took seat five (the good one). But I elected not to make a fuss and let her sit there. I spent a lot of time looking over her shoulder at the food, though. When we were seated, the host noticed I was wearing a black dress and whisked away my white napkin before I could place it in my lap. He brought me a black napkin. So no white lint on my black dress. They think of everything! We perused the menu briefly and spoke to our dining companions. Two wonderful women from Santa Clara. They really were fun to talk with and we enjoyed their company. The souse chef spoke to them about their allergies and dislikes. He asked them if they liked or disliked certain foods (Cornish game hen, raw fish, etc.). But the souse chef walked away without speaking to us about our allergies or dislikes. Isaac, our waiter and sommelier spoke to us about our wine flight. I decided to get the wine flight. I told him I liked reds and Silver Oak was my favorite. But no souse chef. We turned back toward the kitchen and a moment later, Chef Andrew Sutton walked over to ask us about our allergies and dislikes. He was marvelous. He asked me if I liked Brussels sprouts. I’m not sure why, no one was served any! He asked if I liked raw fish (I do!) but didn’t serve me any of that, either.

Pretty soon the first taste arrived. It was a little cheese thing. I would have eaten a couple dozen of those if I could. It was followed (for me) by a ravioli filled with spring pea puree and there was some halibut there and I had lamb for the main course. During the second course my sister mentioned she was tempted to lick her plate.

Chef Andrew stood at that counter like the conductor of an orchestra. He’d tell who to take what where. It was not chaotic or angry but there was some yelling back and forth. “Which of these is the medium?” “How many of these do you need?” “I need the lamb for #7.” It was fascinating. I’m glad my sister sat in seat #5 because I would have just grabbed the food up there and ended up eating another person’s dinner. It all looked so good.

Each course would be set in front of us and then Chef Andrew would come over and tell us what it was. But for one course, he came over and told us he wasn’t going to tell us until after we ate it. He did say my sister’s (it turns out it was beef) was one of their most popular dishes. He told me mine was a “triple threat.” I could tell I had some mushrooms going on at one point, but couldn’t really tell what the other two parts were. And there was a great fruity winey sauce. I thought it was beef of some sort. He finally came and told me a triple threat was the same food prepared three ways with three distinctive tastes. My food was veal. It was pureed and stuffed into porcini mushrooms (which is evidently pretty difficult). It was rolled with other yummy ingredients I don’t remember (mushrooms?) and sliced. And the other way I don’t remember. But they all three tasted different. And the sauces? Amazing, incredible, terrific, stupendous, and every other superlative you can imagine. It was all so yummy. I’m sorry I can’t remember everything. I have a bad memory and five glasses of wine! I tried to eat very slowly so I could taste every bite. It was divine. Words cannot do justice. And it was worth every cent we paid. The wines were also incredible. We started with a chardonnay. I’m not ordinarily a chardonnay fan, but this one was marvelous. Then I had a pinot and it was also excellent. I got a full glass of my Silver Oak, while my sister got a cabernet that was even better. I didn’t know that was possible! And, of course, we finished with Magicale. I had forgotten to mention that to Isaac. It was soooo good. My dessert was a Scharffen Berger Chocolate "Truffle Cake" (incredible, of course) and a chocolate chip ice cream thing connected by a candy ribbon.

At one point, the women with us were ooohhing and ahhhing over a desert that was plated at their end of the counter. “Oh, how nice.” “What a wonderful idea.” “Won’t that be a great surprise?” Then I saw them watching something intently that was going on at another table. I looked where they were looking and saw a young man on his knee, then there was the hug, the photo and the applause. She said yes. They had written the proposal around the outside of her dessert plate. Isn’t that a grand idea? At the end of our excellent meal, we said good bye to our dinner companions. I went over to congratulate the couple. They were very gracious. And, of course, I thanked Chef Andrew. He was very sweet. I bet women throw themselves at him. Particularly after the wine flight! Sadly, we had to leave. But we knew we would be back.

We returned to our room. In my case “hobbled.” My feet were very unhappy with me after my earlier jog in the (not so) high heels. My sister was in for the evening. I changed back into my park clothes (and shoes, Hallelujah!) and moseyed back for some more Disney ambience. I got into the line for Buzz just as the fireworks were starting. I didn’t do too well, so I won’t mention my score. The line for Space was too long. I should have ridden it anyway, though, as I had too precious few trips on this visit. I did go to Captain EO. When they asked who had seen it before, about a dozen of us raised our hands. When they asked who wasn’t born when it was out before, almost everyone else raised their hands. I felt old. The attraction was an obvious attempt to capitalize on the Star Wars mania of the era. It was kind of whimsical, but not the kind of thing I’ll be going back to see. Just not that entertaining. It was kind of like a walk down memory lane to see Michael looking like he did in the old days. I was so tired, I decided to head back to the room. I tried the Monorail, but the line was the longest I’d ever seen it. It was part-way down the ramp! So I just wandered back slowly up Main Street and back to our room. Where my key did not work! I went down-stairs to the desk, where they told me it was activated and should work. But it didn’t! This was probably the point at which I decided we wouldn’t go back. They were not the least bit helpful at this point. Wouldn’t come upstairs to help me, either. So I went back up and banged on the door. Thank goodness my sister was still awake!

Number of steps (not including the dressed up steps): 17,686.

Day 3 – Sunday, April 25
We both woke up around 7:00 am. We’re early risers by nature, so wake up early even when we’re dead tired. My feet were still unhappy, but willing to try one more day. We realized we would move very slowly today. We packed up our bags. There was a little re-arranging but we managed to get everything to fit without too much struggle. When I went in to shower, the shower head wouldn’t stay up on the rod, so I had to sit down in the shower to wash my hair. My feet liked this, actually, but it made it hard to rinse off, holding the shower head up with one hand and rinsing with the other. The water varied between too hot and too cold. We took our bags downstairs to the desk to hold while we stormed the parks one last day.

We arrived at the park (Disneyland) by 9:00 a.m. We stopped at the entry shop to buy some post cards. Did they sell stamps? No. You could buy them at the Disney hotel desks, though. In other words, if you’re not staying on property, we don’t care. The woman was kind of snippy. Probably because my sister called her a man! My tummy was a little unhappy from the rich food and (mostly) the wine from last night. So we went to Fantasyland for breakfast at the Hoff Brau House again. This time there was a long line, but you still got your food hot because of the pay first policy. The man in front of us commented that we all stood looking at the menu while we waited in line, but people got to the register before figuring out what to order. All but one woman. She ordered really well. Knew what she wanted and ordered fast, but gave the cast member time to put it in the register before she went to the next item. When he read back the stuff, she caught one item he missed! And she had her payment ready. I caught her eye and nodded to her. I’d wait behind her in line any time. She was good! I got the fruit plate this time, to be good to my tummy. I think that was appreciated. Oh, and a hot chocolate. That was the best hot chocolate. Perfect temperature. Blended. Just enough chocolate. Yummy!

After breakfast, we went off to ride Pirates, then the Haunted Mansion, then Indiana Jones. The posted wait on Indy was 35 minutes, but we were off the ride and out the exit in 25. They keep the ride line “artificially long” there by having most of the waiting done outside the show building. I wonder what the point of that is?

After Indy, I wanted to stop at Bengal BBQ for a bacon wrapped asparagus. It’s a tradition. My sister wanted to use the restroom and buy a Coke (in a bottle). I suggested she go off and use the restroom and buy the Coke. I knew she’d have time to finish the soda before I was served! And I was right. Not only is that a terribly long line in general (because they cook the food pretty fresh) but a woman in front of me was joined by nine additional people as she got to the front of the line! Now, it was too her credit that she managed to figure out what everyone wanted so she could order more quickly for everyone. But that volume of food was just overwhelming at the BBQ. So the line got really long behind me. Thank goodness no one in the large party wanted bacon wrapped asparagus!

We shopped our way through the shop there across from the Jungle Cruise. Again we had to ask for the stupid Wet Ones! No, they didn’t have any. Remember back on the first day when we had the bet about the bus? And I won? We decided this was the time to pay off the bet, so we went off to have a Dole Whip. We would have gone to the Tiki Room, but we didn’t have time before our noon priority seating at Carnation Café. So we sat on a bench near the hub and people watched while eating our delicious treat. At this point, I’d had a fruit plate, a bacon wrapped asparagus and a Dole Whip in less than three hours. But I couldn’t pass up Carnation Café! When we got there, we discovered I’d made a mistake. Our PS was for 12:30. The CM apologized profusely and I told her it was actually a good thing. We trooped back to the Tiki Room and watched the show. I was just getting nervous about the timing of our reservation when the show ended. Perfect timing. I remember that show being longer. Then we went back to the Café for some turkey sandwiches and yummy loaded baked potato soup.

When we shopped on Friday night I’d seen a lanyard with a watch on it (a Mickey Mouse watch, of course) and thought I’d like to get it to wear at work. So back to the shop we went. It was still there, right where I thought it would be. So I got it. We shopped our way back down Main Street to City Hall. We wanted to check about where we could get a taxi back to the airport. We thought about taking the bus, but it would have taken about two hours to get to the airport. We wanted that Disney time! At City Hall, the CM told us the taxi stands had all been moved to the hotels. We asked if there was anywhere else, as we didn’t want to haul our suitcases through security to get a taxi. No, I’m sorry. There we were again, second-class citizens because we weren’t staying on property. That really irks me. We decided the BWPPI people could probably help us when we were ready to leave.

Since we hadn’t had a chance to ride the Main Street vehicles yet, we decided to take the double decker bus up the street. We ended up on the top level at the front. A perfect place to reflect on the beauty of Disney. And save a few steps. We went to the photo shop then to see our (very few) photopass photos. They were awful! I had my eyes closed in all but one and I looked totally awful in that one. So we passed.

Our last ride attraction was Buzz Lightyear. I did a little better on that trip, but still not good enough to share my score. We realized then that we were done with Disney (for this trip) and wanted to start back home. So we rode the double decker back up Main Street. Although we knew we wouldn’t be back, we still got hand stamps.

At the hotel we asked the desk if they could call us a taxi. They said it would be five minutes, but it was ten. We didn’t mind, we were sitting in their very pleasant lobby to wait. Our driver was marvelous and we had a lovely ride to the airport. I won’t take the silly bus ever again. We got out of the taxi in the 84 degree weather a mere 20 minutes after leaving our hotel. I checked my bag and we were through security in a flash. Our gates were near each other, but we had a few minutes to sit near the bar in a nice setting and chat before my flight left. Both flights were on time. That’s the best time to have everything go as planned – when you’re bone tired at the end of your trip. At the appointed time we said good-bye and my sister headed to her gate while I got in line. My flight was absolutely full. I got a nice window seat and mostly slept all the way home.

Back at the airport in Denver, the temperature was 40 degrees or so and dropping. My bag decided to come straight to Denver without side trips to other cities, I found the door to the parking lot shuttle, the shuttle was there, and I remembered where my car was. I was also the first person dropped at their car. All in all, a good trip. The drive home was uneventful, except for the last 10 minutes with blowing snow. I just slowed down and took it easy. I walked in our door at 9:00 pm and was greeted with enthusiastic hugs and a nice salad with grilled chicken. I couldn’t ask for more!

Number of steps: 9,589

04-28-2010, 02:01 PM
AAAAH what a great report CW!!! Im so glad you had a good time with your sister. Napa Rose sounds awesome! I've been there one time but would like to try again at the Chef's counter. :D:D

It was cool reading a report that I was a part of!!!! :cool:

04-28-2010, 02:46 PM
Great trip report! Of course, the Napa Rose part was my favorite....and the part about the Hearts!
I could imagine that your feet were angry with you! You are so tall that I can't imagine you needing to wear heels too often.
Again, it was SO nice to meet you!

04-28-2010, 02:55 PM
WOW!!! This is a fun, easy to read report, I will be back several more times to get my Disney fix. My question is, and you had said duriing the Napa Rose section that you had a poor memory, what is that you do as an occupation or hobby that allows you to recall such depth of detail as you write. You included all the tiny details, picture perfect. That is what I like about your report, the tiny details, like the screaming of a girl behind your ear while riding BTMR. That happened to me and was so deafening, That I can still hear the scream in my ear from your report a month later. So thank you for your all time and this is the first report that I have responded to, such was your detailed visit so great for memories!!!!

04-28-2010, 03:38 PM
I thought I spotted the yellow lab too! I wasn't sure though :) Glad you had a great trip!

04-29-2010, 10:19 AM
WOW!!! This is a fun, easy to read report, I will be back several more times to get my Disney fix. My question is, and you had said duriing the Napa Rose section that you had a poor memory, what is that you do as an occupation or hobby that allows you to recall such depth of detail as you write. You included all the tiny details, picture perfect. That is what I like about your report, the tiny details, like the screaming of a girl behind your ear while riding BTMR. That happened to me and was so deafening, That I can still hear the scream in my ear from your report a month later. So thank you for your all time and this is the first report that I have responded to, such was your detailed visit so great for memories!!!!

I suppose I have a poor memory for food, but a good memory for pain! I did take some notes as our trip progressed but wasn't able to take any during my Napa Rose visit. I did have my phone on my lap to take a photo of my food and even forgot until I got to the main course!

I work with spreadsheets and databases in my work and it is very detailed. I like to make it easy for people to retrieve the information they need easily so they don't have to remember anything! :)

04-29-2010, 01:33 PM
Great report! Yum--Napa Rose!

04-29-2010, 02:56 PM
CW- I don't think it has anything to do with a poor memory. It's much more likely that it has EVERYTHING to do with the wine flight!

04-29-2010, 06:26 PM
CW- I don't think it has anything to do with a poor memory. It's much more likely that it has EVERYTHING to do with the wine flight!

Okay, let's go with that!

05-23-2010, 04:24 PM
Sounds like you had a very special time! :)

05-24-2010, 02:37 PM
Great report Codewoman! Sounds like too much fun! That was a lot of steps taken! I alway wonder how many in a day!!

05-24-2010, 09:14 PM
Great report Codewoman. My DD and I have done an end of school year trip for the past 7 years, and I am having a lot of regrets at not planning one this year. Reading your report really makes me wish I'd tried a little harder to figure out a way to pull it off.

05-28-2010, 10:35 AM
Great report Codewoman. My DD and I have done an end of school year trip for the past 7 years, and I am having a lot of regrets at not planning one this year. Reading your report really makes me wish I'd tried a little harder to figure out a way to pull it off.

I agree that it would have been nice to have an end of year party. But with the graduation and everything else, that would have been tough to do.

06-18-2010, 02:24 PM
Great trip report...makes me eager to return as soon as I can (even though I just had a Disney fix at WDW last week!).

Regarding the Indy queue: I think the reason they hold the stand-by queue completely outside now is because they merge the FastPass queue at the entrance to the temple. That's why you (usually) can walk through the majority of the queue before stopping near the film room. When this attraction first opened, they filled the queue completely (I think this was even before FP back in 1995) and it took a long time to get through it on the busy days (heck...it takes a long time to walk it ANY day...LOL!). :D

06-23-2010, 03:59 PM
It sounds like you had a great time!