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Thread: Pammer ~ August 20-22, 2016 ~ Offsite

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    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Sacramento, CA

    Pammer ~ August 20-22, 2016 ~ Offsite

    Travel dates: August 20 22, 2016
    Travel method: Plane
    Resort: Anaheim Del Sol Inn (Off-site)
    Accommodations: Standard
    Ages Represented in Group: Adult
    Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: Veteran
    Comments: A quick, hot, & final trip on my current AP!
    Cast of characters:
    • Pam, 55: trip planner/writer and self-proclaimed Disney Queen
    • Heidi C: Fellow Disney fanatic that I met through MousePlanet (+ family)

    The Planning

    I started thinking about one quick final trip to Disneyland on my current Annual Pass, which will expire at the end of August, and came up with August 20-22; I later found out that it could be very busy since the summer AP block-outs will cease that weekend but OH WELL! The other downside is that it most likely will be very hot, but at least I will be at Disneyland!

    I then found out that Heidi, my online friend from NH whom I met through MousePlanet several years ago, will be arriving with her family on my departure day so we quickly made plans to meet up before I have to meet my shuttle that afternoon!

    Lodging: In late March, I made reservations at the Anaheim Del Sol Inn on Harbor Blvd. (a 5-minute walk from the parks; total for 2 nights = $265).

    Transportation: I booked airfare on Southwest Airlines from Sacramento to Orange County in early June when there was a fare sale using points (equivalent cost = $69 each way); total TSA fees & Early-Bird option came to $41.20 round-trip (without points the total cash cost would have been $168).

    I also made reservations with SuperShuttle for travel to/from my motel ($18 round-trip after the AAA group discount was applied).

    Tickets: As mentioned before, I have an active Deluxe AP which will be expiring later this month.

    Priority Seating: I booked the Frozen Pre-show Package for the 4pm show on my arrival day ($52.93; no AP discount); I plan to just hit counter-service places for everything else since I am solo this trip.

    Disney Visa Rewards Card: I had accumulated a $74 rewards balance on my Disney Visa Rewards Card (DVRC) since I had last redeemed rewards for my trip to Disneyland in May so I transferred the moneywhoo-hoo!

    The Itinerary

    The pre-planning was done, and I was ready to go! Here was my planned schedule:
    • August 20: Fly down to Anaheim; check-in to the Del Sol Inn; Disneyland/DCA; Frozen Pre-show Package
    • August 21: Disneyland/DCA
    • August 22: Check-out of the Del Sol Inn; Disneyland/DCA; meet up with Heidi; fly home

    Update: A week before my trip, I injured my right knee; I briefly considered canceling my trip but my doctor recommended that I use a cane or a crutch as support and to use RICE (rest, ice, compression, & elevation) as much as possible, so Disney, here I come!

    Friday, August 19, 2016 (pre-departure date)

    Actual: I worked all day and printed off my boarding pass (A33 = Early Bird check-in), then I came home, finished packing, and went to bed at a decent time for once before a Disney trip!

    Saturday, August 20, 2016 (84o)
    Plan: Fly down to Anaheim; check-in to the Del Sol Inn; Disneyland/DCA; Frozen Pre-show Package

    Actual: I was awake off & on after 5:30am, and both James & I finally got up around 6:45am; we both got ready and left the house around 7:35am. Traffic was light on this lovely Saturday morning and James dropped me off at the airport just after 8am.

    I juggled my luggage and hobbled with my crutch through the check-in line with about 10 people in front of me. If I'd been healthy, I wouldn't even check my bag as it was small enough to stow in the overhead compartment of the plane; however, I figured it would be easier to just check it this trip (17#). I also requested pre-boarding so I could sit in the bulkhead seat at the front of the plane for the extra leg room. They offered me a wheelchair to the gate as well, but I thought I could make it on my own so I declined it for now; she also ordered a wheelchair for me in Orange County just in case I needed one when I arrived.

    I was done by 8:15am and took the elevator upstairs to catch the tram over to TSA; I had TSA Pre-check clearance so I had a quick wait in that security line behind about 6 people. The agent gave me a loaner wooden cane to use through the metal detector while my metal crutch went through the x-ray machine with my carryon luggage.

    I was done with TSA around 8:30am, filled my reusable water bottle, and sat down to get organized [turn my phone on, enter Heidi's & her husband's phone numbers, enter the Disneyland 60th sweepstakes (word-of-the-day = pirates), and check Facebook]. Around 9am I used the restroom and went down to my gate to wait for the pre-board announcement.

    There were several of us waiting, and I managed to be the first one on board so I got the aisle bulkhead seat that I wanted. We had a full flight and flight attendant Herb said a couple of funny things as people were boarding (C Group is for center) and during the pre-flight safety briefing (Read it before you need it)!

    We pushed back on time at 9:45am and they served us pretzels since someone onboard had a peanut allergy; I also had Diet Dr. Pepper as my drink. I listened to Disney tunes on my MP3 player and read a WDW trip report by Sheri Niklewski during the flight, and then we landed on-time just after 11am. I was the first one off of the plane and saw several wheelchairs against the wall when I entered the terminal but nobody with them, so I just kept on going.

    I stopped at the restroom and then took the elevator down to bag check; my bag arrived a couple of minutes later and I hauled everything down to Ground Transportation to meet my shuttle. I was able to sit in the front passenger seat and we left about 5mins later!

    I was the first one dropped off around noon (tip = $2) at the Del Sol Inn; my room wasn't quite ready but Paul checked with Housekeeping on the status and I decided to wait since it was only about another 30mins. James called as I was sitting down on the couch so we caught up for a few minutes; afterwards I worked on my trip notes while I waited. Around 12:30pm, Paul told me that the room was ready (#105 downstairs by the breakfast room) so he checked me in, gave me my freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and towed my suitcase over to the room for me.

    This room was really nice and a bit fancier than our usual rooms over the carport; the bed was raised up a step and I was afraid I was going to fall during the night but there were built-in nightlights along the base (whew!). There was a hand rail in the bathroom, so I was pleased about that. I took a few pictures of the room so I could show James later, got organized, ate a cookie, and headed out just before 1pm.

    The man in front of me at bag check was very uncooperative with the security CM on opening up all of the compartments in his backpack, so I moved over to the other line when they called for assistance. I was through both bag check and the metal detector very quickly, and the jerk was still in line at bag check with multiple security CMs around him; I'm not sure what his problem was, but I'm glad the Resort was promptly addressing the situation.

    I headed into Disney California Adventure (DCA) around 1:10pm and stopped at Guest Relations to ask about a disabled pass. CM Taylor was very helpful; she asked me a few questions:

    1. How long could I stand in a line? (about 15-20mins)
    2. What if the standby wait was more than 30mins? (I wouldn't get in a line that long; I would return later)
    3. Could I rent a wheelchair? (No, I don't have the upper body strength)
    4. Could I rent an ECV? (No, I was afraid of driving one within the busy parks)

    Based on these answers and the fact that I was solo, needed extra time to get in & out of the ride vehicles, and needed to avoid stairs, CM Taylor gave me access on my AP for the duration of my trip. She also explained the return time process to me (they check the wait time for an attraction and tell you when to return; you can only hold one return time at a time, but can change it or get a new one once you ride; you can also hold separate FPs since they don't affect the process) and signed me up for my first attraction (Soarin' Around the World at 1:55pm).

    I left Guest Relations and hobbled as quickly as I could over to the Chase Disney Visa meet & greet in Hollywood Land before it closed at 1:30pm; I was the last guest and had a fun interaction with Stitch.

    I checked the wait for Monsters Inc. as I passed by; it was 20mins so I kept walking. However, the sneak peek of the new Pete's Dragon movie was about to start so I went inside to see it; it was pretty good (better than I had expected) and had Robert Redford in it (boy, has he aged!).

    I then walked over to ride Soarin' just before 2pm; wow, it was great and I LOVED it!!!

    I stopped to get a new return time (Radiator Springs Racers at 3:45pm), took a restroom break, and then picked up a FP for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (5:25pm at 2:45pm), before heading over to check-in for the Frozen pre-show package. They gave me a lanyard & pin, an alcoholic drink coupon, and put an orange wristband on me, before sending me inside to wait for the show.

    They had 3 photo backdrops with PhotoPass photographers present at each, so I got in line at the first one to pose for pictures. As I was finishing up, here comes Olaf with his arms outstretched! I stayed to take photos with him...

    ...and then stopped at the other two spots for additional photos.

    I also enjoyed some sugar-free orange shave ice and popcorn; however, I had read previously that there would be non-alcoholic beverages as well, which I thought meant soft drinks, but they only had water and cider! I asked for a Diet Coke and a very nice CM went to get me one (from presumably Award Wieners) ~ that was so nice of her!

    Note: at $49 + tax, I thought that this package was over-priced and a bit expensive for families; I think they should offer a discounted price for no alcohol or for children. However, the convenience factor outweighed all of that for me in this instance!

    About 3:45pm, they walked us over to the side of the theater and we were admitted before everyone else; we had our pick of seats and I sat in the front row of the center section! The show started 15mins late and I thought it was great; whereas Aladdin probably had a wider appeal than Frozen, the vocal talent was wonderful and the actors who played both Olaf and Sven were very expressive. In fact, I even considered buying another pre-show package for Sunday afternoon! be continued
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013

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    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Saturday, August 20, 2016 (84o) ~ Part II

    More pictures from the Frozen show:

 be continued
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013

  4. #3
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Saturday, August 20, 2016 (84o) ~ Part III

    The show took the better part of an hour and my FP for ToT was almost good, so I headed there next ~ lots of fun as usual!

    I took a restroom break and then went to ride RSR just before 6pm with the pass; the CM wanted to put me in the back row of a vehicle to fill it up, but I told him that I needed the front left or center seat to accommodate my knee so I waited for the next car. We had the left side for a change and our car won the race!

    I went over to the Cozy Cone Motel in hopes of buying a pulled pork cone for dinner, but it was no longer on the menu so I continued on my way. I stopped at the Info Booth outside of Cars Land to get a return time for Hyperspace Mountain (7:25pm) and then stopped at Smokejumper's Grill around 6:30pm. I got the kid's hamburger with fries & Coke Zero ($6.79 after the 10% AP discount), which was the perfect portion size for me. I enjoyed my meal and gave the little bottle of Smoothie to the family next to me, as it wasn't a flavor I cared for.

    I crossed over to Disneyland Park (DL) around 6:45pm and told the CM at the entrance that I was still hanging in there when she asked me how I was doing! I headed into Tomorrowland and tried to get a FP for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters; however, they had swapped the machines with the ones for Star Tours and I ended up with one of those instead (10:30pm at 7pm)!

    I headed into Star Wars Launch Bay for the Chase Disney Visa Star Wars meet & greet with Kylo Ren (no wait)...

    ...and then checked out the queue for Chewbacca; it was quite long so I left.

    It was time for my Hyperspace return time, so I did that next; thank goodness for the extra time they give you to get in & out of the vehicles! The bad thing is that your picture is gone from the monitors by the time you get there; I did ask at the counter to see the photo this time, but it makes me uncomfortable since I normally dont buy them.

    As I walked past Tomorrowland Terrace, I paused to watch Scot Bruce ~ A Tribute to Elvis for a few minutes. The DL website had not shown any bands for my trip beforehand, so I had not realized that he was performing tonight! be continued
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013

  5. #4
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Saturday, August 20, 2016 (84o) ~ Part IV

    I next got a return time for Star Tours (8:25pm) and headed over to the restrooms by Alice in Wonderland in hopes of finding a seat for the Paint the Night Parade; it was 45mins away, but the built-in seats were all taken. I was able to sit on a corner of the White Rabbit statue, which wasn't very comfortable but was better than the alternative of standing!

    Many more people came and completely filled in all of the open spaces; I was worried someone was going to bang into my injured knee or knock over my crutch, but fortunately nothing happened (whew). I had an excellent view of the parade, although it was missing the first float with Tinker Bell.

    I waited for the crowd to thin out and then headed back to Star Tours by way of the Tomorrowland Terrace to ride around 9:25pm; I took the elevator so I didn't have to stand on the ramps (Stormtroopers, Wookiees, BB8, & Naboo).

    The Disneyland Forever Fireworks were in progress when I came out and Main Street was gridlocked, but I finally was able to make my way to the park exit just before 10pm; I saw the CM from when I came in a few hours before and she said to me "Still hanging in there?" as I passed by ~ LOL!

    I hobbled across the street and stopped at the Mickey & Me Outlet for 2 liters of water and a Coke Zero ($10.44), before continuing on to my room. I dropped off my merchandise and went to get some ice for my knee; I then called James around 10:30pm to touch base. I also spent some time icing my knee & calf while updating my trip notes & watching TV. I then showered, turned on Brave, and went to bed shortly after midnight.

    Steps: 13,289
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013

  6. #5
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Sunday, August 21, 2016 (85o)
    Plan: Disneyland/DCA

    Actual: I slept well, with no leg cramps this visit! I was awake around 7am and got up for good about 7:15am. I iced my knee, drank a protein shake, got ready, and was out the door at 8:30am. All 3 bag checks were open and very busy; however, there were no lines at the gates for either park. I entered DL and stopped at City Hall to ask about attraction return times; none could be assigned until the park opened in 5mins, so I decided to head up to the kiosk at The Hub.

    Note: My usual routine on a Sunday morning at DL is to be at The Hub for rope drop, walk as quickly as possible to Peter Pan's Flight, and usually be on the ride within 15mins; however, I knew that would be difficult to do today with my knee injury and crutch! This is where the access pass helped me tremendously ~ I could go at my own pace, avoid the narrow queues in Fantasyland, and also avoid stairs and standing for long periods of time. It enabled me to do much more this trip than I could have otherwise and also made me much more compassionate to the challenges of the disabled; I definitely missed being mobile!

    I stood behind a couple of guests at the kiosk and watched the rope drop ceremony and subsequent stampede throughout the resort; after a few minutes passed, the CMs started assigning return times to those of us in line ~ around 9:05am I had a return time for Peter of 9:15am!

    I hobbled into Fantasyland and rode Mr. Toad's Wild Ride within a couple of minutes (Toady); when I exited it was time to ride Peter! I again was so thankful not to have to negotiate the narrow queue with a crutch, as even the short narrow queue for Toad had been extremely difficult for me.

    After Peter, I stopped at the kiosk next to Dumbo the Flying Elephant to get a return time for Hyperspace Mountain (9:45am at 9:20am) and then went to the exit of Alice in Wonderland, where the CM welcomed me without a return time. Standby here was less than 10mins, and I was on within 3mins (yellow caterpillar); again it was helpful to avoid the narrow queue and have extra time to get on and off the vehicle.

    I headed into Tomorrowland, intending to get a FP for Star Tours, but it had just gone down so I rode Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (240,500).

    It was now almost time for my Space return time, so I headed over there; after I checked in, I asked for another return time (10:20am) as it IS my favorite ride! I had a great ride and was off just after 10am; I used the restroom and sat down nearby to update my trip notes until I could ride again at 10:20am.

    After another fun ride, I stopped at the kiosk across from Star Traders to get a return time for the Indiana Jones Adventure but it was down, so I got another return time for Peter (11:05am). As I was chatting with the CM, I mentioned trying to get a FP for ST earlier when it was also down, and she gave me one that she had that was good for right then! Another example of Disney magic~

    I went over to ride ST, and asked to take the elevator so I could avoid the ramps in the queue; this ride was exactly the same as last night except for the ending (Stormtroopers, Wookiee planet, BB8, and Coruscant)!

    I went over to ride Peter again just after 11am and then stopped at the kiosk for a return time on Indy (11:30am), which was now open. I went to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, intending to get a FP for later, but IT was down, so I went to ride Haunted Mansion (5mins) before it closed the next day to install the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay.

    I hadn't ridden Winnie-the-Pooh in quite a while, so I went there next (5mins) and then walked all the way over to the exit of BTRR to see if I could ride (it was now open); however, the CM wouldn't let me on without a return time! I know that is the rule, but I was hoping that he would have made an allowance since I couldn't get a FP earlier and was already there. Oh well~

    It was almost time for The Laughing Stock Co. show at noon, so I found a table inside the Golden Horseshoe Saloon to sit down & watch the show.

    After the show, I rode Indy around 12:20pm and then stopped at the kiosk at The Hub to get a return time for RSR (1:15pm). I next stopped at the Corn Dog Wagon for a corn dog, chips & large Diet Coke ($11.47, after the 10% AP discount) and sat on a bench back behind it since all of the tables were taken; I enjoyed the corn dog and saved the chips for later!

    I headed over to DCA around 1:10pm and did the Disney Visa meet & greet with Stitch again...

    ...and then got in the Frozen standby line to see if I could get into the 1:35pm show; that didn't work out and all of the FPs were gone for the day so I guess yesterday's show will be it for this trip.

    I picked up a FP for ToT at 1:40pm (2:55pm) and then went to ride RSR; I got a kick out of the CM at the FP split who was trying to be helpful in telling me how to go to the left to avoid the stairs (yes, I know; thats why I have the access pass today!). I thanked him and then waited about 20mins to ride RSR, due to several parties in front of me; they ended up putting a family of 5 with me (we lost the race this time!).

    I stopped to get a return time for Toy Story Midway Mania (2:35pm) from the kiosk outside Cars Land, and then hobbled over to The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure; I ended up leaving after a couple of minutes because the line was all the way to the entrance and barely moving.

    I went to Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta for a Coke Zero ($3.20, after the 10% AP discount) and found a shady spot outside to take a break around 2:25pm. I enjoyed the potato chips from earlier with my soda, while updating my trip notes and resting my knee.

    After my break, I went to ride TSMM; I scored 171,100 which was the best in the car!

    I next went to use the bathroom next door and realized that I still had the 3D glasses from TSMM, so I took them back to the attraction ~ OOPS! There was a kiosk outside of California Screamin', so I stopped to get a return time for Soarin' (3:55pm); I recognized CM Taylor, who had given me the pass the previous day, and thanked her again for her help beforehand.

    I walked back over to ride Ariel (10mins) and then walked over via "a bug's land" to ride ToT with my earlier FP around 3:40pm; I got through the library fairly quickly, but the boiler room queue was backed up almost the entire way so it took about 20mins to ride.

    After ToT, I went to ride Monsters Inc. (10mins) and then rode Soarin' around 4:30pm. I next stopped at the kiosk across from the Carthay Circle Restaurant; the CM surprised me by saying that my pass still showed the 10:20am return time for Space! That really confused me, since I had made & used return times for 5 other attractions since then and no one else had mentioned that the Space one was still available; in fact, I thought that would have prevented me from getting a return time for another attraction. Oh sweet mysteries of life ~ be continued
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013

  7. #6
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Sunday, August 21, 2016 (85o)

    I headed back to DL and stopped at First Aid around 5:15pm to rest and ice my knee; several guests came in to the room I was in for a variety of ailments while I was there, and I left around 5:50pm.

    I checked with the Tomorrowland kiosk and sure enough, my pass still showed the Space return time from this morning! I picked up a FP for ST (6:50pm) and then went to ride Space; there were several parties waiting and the CM said it was a 20min wait, so I decided to get another return time (6:35pm) and come back after I got some dinner.

    I went to Redd Rockett's Pizza Port just after 6pm for a slice of cheese pizza and a large Coke Zero ($10.38, after the 10% AP discount) ~YUM!

    I left at 6:20pm and went to the SWLB to see Kylo Ren (no wait)...

    ...and then Chewbacca (10mins)...

    ...and then I timed it just right to watch the Path of the Jedi just before 7pm!

    It was time for a third ride on Space around 7:10pm, and I was loving every minute of it!

    I next stopped at the kiosk for one more return time, this time for Jungle Cruise (7:35pm at 7:25pm!), and I stopped to ride ST with the earlier FP; I again used the elevator and had almost the exact same ride again (Stormtroopers, Wookiees, BB8, and then Boba Fett)!

    I crossed over to ride Buzz (5mins) and scored a crappy 83,100, due to a bad sight on my gun; there was no picture which happens all too often on this ride!

    I walked over to ride JC with Skipper Jaclyn on the Suwanee Lady; she knew several of the guests on board and we enjoyed a nice voyage with her.

    I next stopped at the Camera Center to see my photos from this visit and ended up buying a bunch of them (4x6 and 5x7; total = $38.88); the Paint the Night Parade was passing by around 9pm and I enjoyed the music while shopping both there and later at the China Closet Clothiers where I bought a tank top and a purse ($58.22, after the 10% AP discount). I would have loved to find a seat somewhere to watch the parade again in its entirety, but I really didn't want to stake a claim on a bench for 2-3 hours beforehand nor did I have the stamina to wait another 2 hours for the second parade. 

    I sat down on a bench in Town Square across from City Hall and watched as much of the fireworks and projections that I could from my seat; it would have been nice to have a better view from Main Street but I didn't have the strength to stand there for the 20min presentation either!

    After the fireworks were over, I left DL and hobbled back to my room, arriving around 10pm. I iced my knee, called James, updated my trip notes, and kept dozing off & on until about 1am! Then I finally took a shower and was in bed for good by 1:30am. 

    Steps: 19,964
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013

  8. #7
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Monday, August 22, 2016 (84o)
    Plan: Check-out of the Del Sol Inn; Disneyland/DCA; meet up with Heidi; fly home

    Actual: I was awake around 7am and finally got up around 7:30am; I iced my knee, drank a protein shake, packed, got ready, and checked out of the room around 9am ($265.18 for two nights). I stored my stuff with the front desk staff and headed out; bag check was again very busy but lines for both parks were short.

    I went into DL, stopped at the kiosk by The Hub for a return time to Pirates of the Caribbean (9:30am) and then I picked up a FP for BTMR (10:05pm). I hobbled over to ride Pirates, and they gave me a boat to myself!

    I went back to the kiosk to got a return time for Peter (10:25am) and then went to see the Beauty and the Beast show at The Royal Theatre (10:15am); they were only half full and the show was very good as always!

    After the show I cut through the breezeway over to BTMR, but of course it was down so no BTMR this trip! 

    I went back to ride Peter one last time around 10:45am and then got one last return time for Space (11:25pm) at the kiosk. I was hungry so I went to Coke Corner for a hot dog, chips, and large Coke Zero ($10.18, after the 10% AP discount), and ate while sitting at a table outside.

    After I finished eating, I went to ride Space one last time around 11:30am and then stopped at the kiosk for a return time for Soarin' at 12:30pm; I had noticed earlier how busy Fantasyland was and Tomorrowland was also now a zoo, and I couldn't leave the area fast enough. I walked down Main Street, said good-bye to Walt's lamp at his apartment, and headed over to DCA one last time around noon.

    I headed over to the Disney Visa meet & greet, where it was Stitch again! As much as I would have liked to see him again, I asked to wait for the next character (Daisy) who arrived around 12:30pm.

    It was now time for a final ride on Soarin' and then I sat down on a bench to check my phone; Heidi had called a few minutes earlier so I called her back ~ she was just walking in to DCA and we met up a few minutes later!

    We visited and took some pictures together...

    ...and soon her husband Jim and sons Jimmy & Cam arrived as well; it was great to meet them in person but all-too-soon we had to say goodbye.

    I left for the motel around 2:45pm, collected my bags from the staff, and met my shuttle driver around 3pm. We had a smooth commute to the airport and I got in the Southwest check-in line with about 20 people in line before me. I didn't mind, as I had a couple of hours before my flight was due to leave; however, I noticed on the flight monitor that my flight was delayed 90mins! I could also see that the flight before it was also delayed (originally was 4:20pm and now was 4:40pm), so I inquired about being moved to the earlier flight; they had room and there was no extra charges due to the flight delays! I checked-in my bag (now 18.4#) and received a pre-board voucher with my new boarding pass.

    I also had TSA pre-check on this pass and was through check-in very quickly; I called James to let him know of the change in my flight plans and went to wait for my new flight. I boarded at 4:45pm (first one, ahead of all of the wheelchairs even), and asked about pretzels instead of peanuts; the flight attendant gave me two packages before anybody else had even boarded, and then she gave me two more with my Diet Dr. Pepper during the flight! We had a smooth flight to Sacramento and arrived around 6:10pm.

    I had just retrieved my bag when James called from the cell phone lot; I said to come on over and he picked me up a few minutes later. We stopped at a nearby In-n-Out Burger for burgers and a soda ($7.49) and arrived home around 7:30pm.

    Steps: 10,998

    Up Next: We have a 5-day trip planned with our nephew, his wife, & two kids in mid-November! 


    Even with my injury, I did A LOT ~ and how wonderful to meet a Disney friend from the East Coast! 

    Highlights include:

    • Meeting Heidi & her family!
    • Everyone who accommodated my injury (Southwest, SuperShuttle, Del Sol Inn, and the Disneyland Resort)
    • The "firsts": Frozen and Soarin' Around the World
    • Riding Hyperspace Mountain and Peter Pan's Flight several times!
    • Seeing Paint the Night and the Disneyland Forever Fireworks one more time
    • High temps in the mid-80s, when it could have been MUCH hotter!

    Lowlights include:

    • My knee injury; I would have MUCH preferred to be mobile!
    • Missing some of my favorites; however, there is always the next trip to look forward to!
    • Seeing Paint the Night and the Disneyland Forever Fireworks for the (possibly/probably) last time 
    • Not seeing World of Color ~ Celebrate one last time

    ...until next time...
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013



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