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Trip Reports
10-16-2005, 06:10 PM
* Time of Year: Summer
* Travel Method: Plane, Rental Car
* Resort: Disneyland Pacific Hotel
* Accommodations
* Ages Represented in Group: Elementary, Adult
* Disneyland Experience Represented in Group: Infrequent
* Comments: Janet's report on her family's trip to Disneyland included

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Well, I finally managed to get my family to Disneyland for a short trip. Thanks to everyone who posted hints over the last several months and special kudos to the DIG and the Unofficial Guide (which I did buy).

So what did we do? We flew down from SFO on Thurday afternoon. The kids were both out of school as of Thursday morning so we were able to check into our hotel, the Disney Pacific, by 7:15pm. I had arranged the plane, the hotel reservations, the car, and pre-purchased our 5 day flex passes weeks ago so everything went real smoothly.

After dinner in the Summertree (very nice and quiet, good for husbands nerves) we went to the park by monorail. Stood at the front of the queue area and asked nicely so we rode into the park in the front with the driver. That is so cool.

Oh, the trailers everyone is wondering about? Those are changing rooms for the parade dancers.

We only had until 10pm since the park closed early for Grad Night so all we could do was Space Mountain (LOVED IT!!! 20 minute wait), Star Tours (10 minute wait), and the Jungle Boat (no wait). Indiana Jones seemed to be down, temporarily.

But, who was running the Jungle Boat? The infamous MAYNARD in the flesh. Boy, is he weird. But the kids loved it. He pulled up a 7 year old to drive (so he didn't have to) and generally gave us the strangest version of the cruise I've ever heard. He refered to Indy as the "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Bologny Sandwich". He gave the driver a certificate at the end. Tried to encourage a couple of other small ones to jump overboard. Unsuccessfully. Anyway, I was glad to have seen him at least this once.

So with that, we hopped the monorail back to the hotel and settled in. After all, the park opened at 8:00am the next day with no early entry and we wanted to be in there real early. All the books/guides say to GET THERE EARLY and that really is the best way to do it.

Friday morning, we walked to the park since there was a considerable line at the monorail station. They opened the gates at 8:00am and we went in. Since most of the people went to stand in line for Indy, we went on Splash Mountain (no line), Big Thunder (5 minutes), and several others prior to finally getting in line for Indy. We figured the chances of not standing in at least some of a line were slim so we picked the time to stand in line when other lines had started catching up in length. Indy was great. I now know how hard to push the pole to activate it. <<<GRIN>>> Or, as my daughter put it "You knew that was going to happen!".

Ate lunch, in the Blue Bayou, saw the Lion King parade at 2:00 from the central square, then went back to the hotel for a rest and swim. Ate at the Monorail Cafe, and was back in the park by 7:30pm. Stood in the central square again right in front of the Partner's statue and watched the parade. Not a bad spot really, since you see the parade from the side and then as it goes down main street.

Found the light and sound structure for the second showing of Fantasmic about 20 minutes before they raise it and so had a pretty good view of Fantasmic with only a reasonably short wait.

After Fantasmic, went into the Haunted Mansion so that we could avoid the long lines of folks leaving. I liked the new stuff in the attic and the Hearse in front.

So, now we went back on the monorail with no wait and got back to the hotel. Unfortunately, the next day was early entry at 6:30am (1.5 hours before they open the park to the general public) so we did not get as much sleep at we should have. We did not get to the park until 7:45am but that was still early enough to do Space Mountain again (no wait), the Alladin VR, Autopia, and Matterhorn with very short waits. Discovered Roger Rabbit had a short wait thanks to the central board, so went to Toon Town and did that and the Gadget Go-Coaster. Now the monorail driver on Thursday evening told me that the people mover track was going to host a new speeder ride based on the Go-Coaster technology. Like 70 miles per hour and a lot longer though! Having ridden the coaster, the new ride should be really cool.

Finally got back in line for Indy. It was a 90 minute wait but it had been 2 hours earlier and at least we got to ride everything else first. One thing about it, if EARLY in the morning there is a long line for Indy, no one is in line for anything else.

That afternoon we saw the Pocahontas Show. I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised. In some sense, leaving out the comic characters tightens up the story and keeps it more even so it was a much better show without Meeko, Flit, and Percy.

Went on a few more rides then back to the hotel for a swim.

We went to Stromboli's that evening for dinner, then back to the park for more Space Mountain, and Star Tours again. (Yes, my daughter loved Space Mountain.)

Finally, we left the park, went to the hotel and went to sleep. Slept late the next day (Father's Day) and ate at the SummerTree for breakfast. Pooh and Tigger were there (Tigger had a small accident knocking over my son's OJ with his tail, which was pretty funny) and then we called it quits for this trip.

Best things:

* Space Mountain, Indy, riding the monorail in the front, Space Mountain again.

Best tip:

* Get in early, and if Indy has a long line, go on everything else first. Leave when you get hot and tired and the lines are really long and come back in the evening.

Janet Miller