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Thread: Pammer ~ June 10-13, 2017 ~ Offsite

  1. #1
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA

    Pammer ~ June 10-13, 2017 ~ Offsite

    Travel dates: June 10 13, 2017
    Travel method: Plane
    Resort: Anaheim Hotel (Off-site)
    Accommodations: Standard
    Ages Represented in Group: Adult & Teenager
    Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: Veteran & Occasional
    Comments: Graduation trip!
    Cast of characters:
    • Pam, 56: trip planner/writer and self-proclaimed Disney Queen
    • Molly, 17: Pam's great-niece & high school graduate!


    The Planning

    Our great-niece, Molly, graduates from high school in 2017, and we decided to treat her to a trip to Disneyland as her graduation gift! It will just be us two, as James thinks its too hot and crowded in June for him. 

    Since Molly graduates on June 1st and I wanted to avoid the DL Grad Nite dates, I consulted Molly's mom Sarah (my co-conspirator) and we came up with June 10-13 (Saturday Tuesday). I wanted to surprise Molly, so she won't know until she opens up her graduation gift from us the week before (Sarah will make sure Molly doesn't make any other plans for the trip time until then ).

    Lodging: In early October (when I first began scheming ), I made reservations at the Anaheim Desert Inn on Harbor Blvd. (a 5-minute walk from the parks; total for 3 nights = $404).

    Transportation: I booked airfare for me on Southwest Airlines from Sacramento to Orange County in early February when there was a fare sale using points (equivalent cost = $49 each way); total TSA fees & Early-Bird option came to $41.20 round-trip (without points the total cash cost would have been $128).

    About the same time, I booked refundable round-trip airfare with Boutique Air for Molly to fly from the Merced airport to LAX ($198; they are the only airline to fly out of Merced and only fly directly to LAX and Oakland). She would land about 40mins before me on Saturday and then depart about 2hrs before me on Tuesday.

    I also made reservations with SuperShuttle for travel to/from our motel ($18 round-trip for me & $30 for Molly after the AAA group discount was applied).

    Tickets: We each have active APs and are blocked out on our arrival day (June 10).

    Priority Seating: I made several dining reservations for our visit:

    • June 10: Rainforest Cafe @ 4pm (early dinner); Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen @ 6:45pm (dessert & music)
    • June 11: Carnation Cafe @ 4:30pm; World of Color Dessert Party @ 9pm
    • June 12: Blue Bayou @ 11:30am; Main Street Electrical Parade On-the-Go Package @ 3:45pm (1st show)



    Disney Visa Rewards Card: I transferred $189 out of our rewards balance on our Disney Visa Rewards Card (DVRC) to cover our Disney park meals and any park incidentals.


    The Itinerary

    The pre-planning was done, and we were ready to go! Here was our planned schedule:

    • June 10: Fly down to Anaheim; meet up with Molly; check-in to the Anaheim Desert Inn; early dinner @ the Rainforest Cafe; shopping @ Downtown Disney; dessert & jazz music @ Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen
    • June 11: Disneyland/DCA; early dinner @ the Carnation Cafe; World of Color Dessert Party
    • June 12: Disneyland/DCA; lunch @ Blue Bayou; MSEP picnic package
    • June 13: Check-out of the Desert Inn; Disneyland/DCA; fly home



    Friday, June 9, 2017 (pre-departure date)

    Actual: I worked all day and stopped at Arby's for lunch as I had a coupon for a free slider with the purchase of a meal; I figured I could eat the slider & fries for lunch today and keep the regular roast beef sandwich to eat at the airport tomorrow before my flight. I also printed off my boarding pass (A24 = Early Bird check-in), before packing and going to bed around 11pm.


    Saturday, June 10, 2017 (73o)
    Plan: Fly down to Anaheim; meet up with Molly; check-in to the Anaheim Desert Inn; early dinner @ the Rainforest Cafe; shopping @ Downtown Disney; dessert & jazz music @ Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen

    Actual: I got up to feed our kitty Sidney around 6:40am and then dozed off and on until finally getting up for good around 8:30am. I finished with last-minute things & drank a protein shake, then James loaded up the SUV and we left just after 10am. We had to wait for a train down the street and then James realized that he'd forgotten his wallet (a sign of the way things would go later for me today!), so we went back to the house to get it (luckily only 5 minutes away).

    We were on our way for good around 10:15am and experienced light Saturday morning traffic on the way to the airport; we said our goodbyes and I went in to check my bag in at the new self-service kiosks which also prints out your luggage tags for you. I got confused putting it on and did it wrong, but the attendant said it was fine. They didnt have one line to give your bag to the attendant (where it was also weighed to ensure they are not overweight) but several unofficial lines, and I was lucky enough to pick someone helping a customer needing full-service so it took several minutes!

    I was finally done and went up the escalator to catch the train to the terminal; Good Day Sacramento was there with a mariachi band celebrating Alaska Airlines beginning flights to Cabo San Lucas and I was caught on-camera very briefly as I passed by!



    The Pre-TSA line only had 2 people in it, so I was quickly through around 11am. I filled my water bottle and sat down to enjoy my Arby's sandwich from yesterday (I had warmed it in the microwave right before we left). Molly texted me to say they were on their way to their airport, which worried me that they were cutting it a bit close (their airline says to arrive at least 45mins before the 12pm flight)!

    I called James to update him about Molly and the mariachi band (he had gone shopping), and then updated my trip notes. When it got near to my boarding time at noon, I headed down to the gate (B22). I was texting back and forth with Sarah on Molly's departure progress (she took off almost 30mins late) until I boarded my flight and had to go on airplane mode. I got an aisle seat in the exit row and the flight pushed back a few minutes late even though we weren't completely full.

    I had Diet Dr. Pepper and honey-roasted peanuts while working on my game plan for tomorrow; I had a chatty lady next to me who lives in Sacramento and flies down to Orange County just to have her hair extensions done! Wow

    I landed 5mins early at 1:50pm, retrieved my bag, and headed down to catch my shuttle; I was first on just after 2pm but we didn't leave until 2:30pm! While sitting on the shuttle, I heard from Molly that she had landed at LAX but couldnt find where to get her suitcase, nor could she find anyone to help her from the airline! It was only an 8-seater plane ~ we all thought that they would hand it to her when she deplaned before getting on the van to take her to the terminal! I felt helpless since I wasn't there to help her, but Sarah talked her through it and Molly finally had her suitcase about an hour after she had landed (it was with Canada Air, who shares the same terminal as Boutique Air).

    As my shuttle was approaching the Anaheim Desert Inn (ADI), James called to say that they had left a garbled message on the machine about a problem with my reservation; I said that I had just arrived so I would check. I went up to the counter to check in and the desk clerk looked up my reservation and then went to the back office; another staff member then came up to tell me that they had been unable to run the first night's deposit through my credit card and subsequently contact me so THEY HAD CANCELLED MY RESERVATION AND HAD NO ROOMS LEFT!!!

    I was shocked and livid; I already knew they would charge before I arrived (when I cancelled two days' before this past April, they had no problem charging me then!), but I had no idea there was a problem with the card. They claimed that they had called on Friday (James was home the entire day and there were NO messages on the machine) and confirmed my phone number twice while I was standing at the counter. They said they could prove it with their phone records, which they never did produce ~ I don't know what number they called originally, but it wasn't mine!

    After going back and forth with the second staff member, I finally got passed on to the manager on duty; he was the one who left the message earlier today. That message didn't even come in until after I had left for the airport, so they really didn't give me enough notice period! They'd had TWO days to call, and the only message we got came in just a few hours before I arrived? THEY SUCK!!!

    I insisted they find me another room nearby and they came through in that respect: a much nicer two-king bed executive room down the street at the Anaheim Hotel (AH; formerly the Anaheim Plaza Hotel). The AH gave me a 15% AP discount so it only cost me an extra $50 or so, but there was no free continental breakfast (that I was counting on to feed Molly!), no rooftop firework viewing, and it doubled our walking commute time (which you really notice at the end of a long day walking around DL!). I'm just grateful that I didn't end up with somewhere several blocks away at double or triple the cost or even homeless!

    I called the AH and made the reservation from the lobby of the ADI, and they were able to run my credit card for the first night's room rate with no problem at all! I then called James to bring him up-to-date and he suggested I go on down now and check-in at the AH, rather than wait for Molly to arrive (she was finally on her shuttle!). He also called her for me (she hadn't answered when I had tried a few minutes earlier) and told her to ask her shuttle driver to drop her off at the new property.

    I walked my luggage and me down to the AH and checked in around 4pm; the room (#250) was in the far back corner (of course) and on the second floor, but they have ramps instead of elevators so I was able to get up there easily enough. The hotel has several buildings and I had to refer to the map a couple of times to find my way!

    The room was large and easily accommodated the two king beds and remaining furniture; however, I was surprised at how small the TV was! The tub was separate from the two sinks and toilet, but there was no in-room safe & microwave (only a mini-fridge).







    I called the Rainforest Cafe since we obviously weren't going to make our 4pm reservation; they said they could wait for 15mins past, but that wasn't going to work out either. They had no more reservations for the next hour so I just cancelled.

    Molly called to say they had gotten off of the freeway and her driver had agreed to drop her off at the new place, so I went back to the lobby to meet her. I belatedly thought that I should have tipped the driver an extra couple of dollars for accommodating the new drop-off, but I'd left my cash in the room (I had already prepaid her tip with the reservation)!

    We hugged and hiked back to the room to drop Molly's stuff off, stopping at the onsite gift shop to pick up two liters of water ($6.90). We both were very hungry and decided to just eat at The Pizza Press, which had moved onsite from its previous location up the street. They weren't too busy yet and I ordered a cheese pizza with a soda and Molly got the Jr. Editor (small pizza, drink, & cookie); with the 25% hotel discount, the total with tax & tip came to $18. The new space had lots of seating room compared to the postage-stamp sized one before, and we ate everything!

    Fully sated, we left for Downtown Disney around 5:30pm and looked through several stores, including the World of Disney, the Disney Vault, and the RFC retail store, where I bought a strapless top/dress ($21.54).

    We walked around the Disneyland Hotel grounds & shops, and then stopped at Guest Services to pick up an I'm Graduating button for Molly and an I'm Celebrating button for me. We next walked past the wedding garden, but the ceremony was over and the newlyweds were taking photos while their guests visited off to the side.

    We arrived a bit early for our 6:45pm reservation at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, and were seated at a table near the stage. The plan was always just to have drinks & dessert while enjoying some live music, so I ordered a Diet Coke and Molly ordered a Shirley Temple. We were still pretty full from dinner, but ordered some garlic bread and beignets. Our server Brendan also brought Molly a couple more beignets with a candle to celebrate her recent graduation, while we enjoyed listening to Crawdaddio's show at 7pm; all very nice!









    I paid the bill ($30, after the 10% AP discount) and we took our leftovers back for tomorrow's breakfast. We stopped at the Disney Vault so Molly could buy a shirt and then headed back to the room. We detoured over to The Cove Market on Harbor Blvd. so Molly could get some Dramamine (plus Pringles for the room) & I bought a gallon of water ($4.80).

    We arrived back in the room around 8:30pm, and we cranked up the A/C because it was so humid in the room! We got settled, I took a shower, and then called James around 9:45pm; Molly fell asleep before 10pm! We had heard the fireworks around 9:30pm ~ it would have been nice to watch them from the roof at the ADI but they screwed us from enjoying that perk!

    I updated my trip notes while watching Beauty and the Beast on Freeform, and went to bed just after 11pm.

    Steps: 13,265
    Pam
    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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  3. #2
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Sunday, June 11, 2017 (72o)
    Plan: Disneyland/DCA; early dinner @ the Carnation Cafe; World of Color Dessert Party

    Actual: I slept poorly (lots of dreams) and was awake at 6:30pm; I woke Molly up, who fortunately had slept well! We got ready, ate the leftover beignets, I had a protein shake, and we left around 8am. We went through security and got in a long line for Disney California Adventure (DCA) around 8:20am; a light mist was intermittently falling on us and they let us through the turnstiles starting at 8:30am.

    At the end of the street, they had two Cast Members carrying signs for the Guardians of the Galaxy ~ Mission: BREAKOUT!: one for FASTPASS and one for Standby. We got in the FP line and it kept moving until 8:45am, where we ended up in a backstage area behind the Disney Animation building. While we were waiting, it started raining! It was hard enough to get us to pull out the ponchos, but it was mostly done when the park opened at 9am.

    The FP line started moving again and we had FPs at 9:10am for 12:05pm. We next walked through "a bugs land" and then Cars Land and then over to pick up a free sample from Ghirardelli's (chocolate caramel) and The Bakery Tour (sourdough bread). We made it back to Toy Story Midway Mania by 9:20am and were on around 9:45am; I beat Molly 185,200 to 156,400 and had the best score in the car!





    We circled the lagoon clockwise and decided to ride Goofy's Sky School (this was a favorite of ours to ride together when Molly was little) and then we rode The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure.

    After a quick bathroom break, we decided we were getting hungry so we walked over to The Cozy Cone because I wanted Molly to try their bread cones. Molly got the chili cone queso and I got the same, except I substituted chicken for the beef chili ($19.37). We found a table near the Lightning McQueen meet & greet and enjoyed our quick lunch; Molly liked the filling but wasn't crazy about the bread and didnt eat it.

    We were now eligible to get new FPs, so we got them for Radiator Springs Racers around 11:20am (7:15pm, which fits into our schedule perfectly), and then did for the Chase Disney Visa meet & greet in Hollywood Land with Stitch.





    We next went to see Frozen ~ Live at The Hyperion (12pm show); they wouldn't let us into the Orchestra level, but did direct us over to take the elevator up to the Mezzanine level since there were way too many stairs for me to climb! We sat in the back near the right and enjoyed most of the show; we had to leave right after the troll segment to beat the crowd and make it over to Guardians before our FP window ended at 1:05pm!







    Even with FP we weren't on the actual ride until 1:20pm; we waited longer to ride in the front row too. In a nutshell ~ I LOVED IT!!! (Molly liked it but not as much as I did!) They have six versions of the ride, and the drop sequence is programmed to whichever song you get (we had "Burnin Love" by Elvis Presley); the song blares in the background the whole time you are going up & down ~ it was so much fun!



    We next headed towards the park entrance, looking in the various stores along the way (I was looking for the Feline print of the Dooney & Bourke letter-carrier purse, which apparently sold out within days of its release last November!). We also stopped at Guest Relations to get our buttons personalized, before heading over to DL around 2pm.


    ...to be continued
    Pam
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Sunday, June 11, 2017 (72o) ~ Part II

    We rode the yellow Horseless Carriage down Main Street, then walked over to get a return time for Indiana Jones Adventure (Molly's favorite) of 2:50pm, and then went to see Tangled at the Royal Theatre (2:30pm show).



    After the show, we went back to ride Indy but it was down; in fact, several of the major attractions on this side of the park were down including Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, & Splash Mountain! I talked to a CM, who changed the return time over to a digital FP good all day (if the ride is up).

    We walked over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad since it was up, but it was very crowded with all of the other rides being down (we later heard it was a massive power outage that affected both parks!); the return time for it was 70mins away so we kept walking towards Fantasyland.

    We got a return time of 3:55pm for Alice in Wonderland at 3:10pm, and then we sat down to watch the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show at 3:30pm.



    We went back to ride Alice at 3:55pm and then headed over to The Carnation Cafe for our dinner reservation.

    We checked in at 4:15pm and were given a pager; we sat down to wait and Molly realized that the bottom of her lanyard was missing, which held her AP, RSR FP, and motel room key! She had it a few minutes ago when she used it to ride Alice and she thought it might have snapped off when she got out of the ride vehicle.

    Right then the pager went off, so Molly backtracked our route towards Alice while I was seated at our table outside (I had requested an outdoor table so we could watch Mickey's Soundsational Parade as it passed by). The hostess said that people lose their passes all the time, and we just needed to go to the ticket booths to report it missing & get a courtesy pass; they usually are turned in/found and if not, a replacement pass would cost $20.

    Molly called a few minutes later to say that she couldn't get back to Alice due to the parade crowds & closures, but that a helpful CM had told her the same thing about the lost pass that the hostess had just told me, so she was on her way back to the restaurant.

    I ordered a cheeseburger & Coke Zero and Molly ordered the patty melt with water; we also shared a chocolate shake ($46, after the 10% AP discount) ~ everything was yummy and we were able to enjoy the parade as it passed by too!



    We left around 5:15pm and went into the Emporium; I saw a top I liked and tried it on, but decided to wait to buy it for now. As we walked through the store, I saw a lady with the Feline D&B purse that I had been searching for! I pointed it out to Molly and then struck up a conversation with the guest and her friend, who ended up giving us two anytime FPs! That was SO kind of her! 

    We next went to City Hall to explain our lost AP and FP issue; the CM took my RSR FP and added two digital ones to my AP so whew! I then realized that I had left my reusable water bottle in the Emporium where I had tried on the top, so I went back to retrieve it.

    We had a quick bathroom break and then went out to the ticket booths to report Molly's lost AP and got a courtesy pass good through Tuesday. I also bought a couple of cute gift cards with $15 loaded on each of them for my collection.

    We went back in to DL and rode Indy with the earlier digital FP; then we crossed the park to the Star Wars Launch Bay to do the Chase Disney Visa meet & greet with Darth Vader ~ I was very annoyed to discover that they had changed the time from 4-8pm to 2-6pm and it was closed! (I like my freebies!) We could have done it when we were watching the Jedi show earlier ~ bummer!

    As we were walking through the retail section of SWLB, we ended up chatting with a CM who looked & sounded just like Nathan Lane!

    We headed over to DCA around 7pm, with Molly planning to use her anytime FP at Soarin' Around the World and me using mine on Guardians; however, the FP return line was 45mins for Guardians and 35mins for Soarin' (both due to the earlier power outage) so we decided to meet up at RSR and use our digital FPs there for now.

    The RSR FP queue was also long (standby = 135mins) and we had a long wait at the disabled line too, but finally rode around 8pm. An interesting thing happened near the end of the race; we were winning and suddenly our car came to a complete stop! The car started back up a few seconds later, but apparently there were a couple of baseball caps on the track, although we later noticed not all of the cars were being stopped like we had been.



    We next went back to Soarin', but the FP return line was over to the entrance of Smokejumpers Grill (one of the theaters was closed)! So we went over to the Information kiosk and asked the CM to put the anytime FPs back on my AP as digital ones that we could use the next day.

    We walked down to Ghirardelli's for another chocolate sample and then sat down in the Pacific Wharf seating area to wait for our next event. I called James and left a long detailed voice-mail about our day; then we used the restroom before heading over for the World of Color Dessert Party at 9pm.

    We were seated at a low table, and warned that we may have to share the table (it was for 4); however, they weren't sold out so we were able to spread out. Our server was Jodi and she was EXCELLENT! We each got two drinks apiece with our food (champagne for me; Molly got a Shirley Temple first and then a hot chocolate) and Jodi brought us extra bread when we asked for it later too! The food was an assortment of fruit, cheese, & desserts, and Jodi boxed up the leftovers for us after the show. It was so nice to be off of my feet and Molly planned to tell her Mom later that this was the only way to see the show!







    I played the Fun Wheel Challenge on my phone at 9:30pm and then we enjoyed WoC at 9:45pm, even more so since we were sitting down and also had a great view!







    After the crowds thinned out, Molly went to the bathroom and I stopped at Embarcadero Gifts (across from Ariel's) to get a plastic bag to carry our leftovers in. I also bought a Mickey-head-ice-cream-bar-shaped gift card ($15) and told the CM she even looked like Ariel!

    I saw that Mater's Junkyard Jamboree had only a 5min wait, so I texted Molly to meet me there; it was her first time on it and we had a lot of fun!

    We stopped at Guest Relations so I could leave a compliment with CM Kelly about CM Jodi; I also told her about Molly losing her pass, so she checked to see if it had been found yet but no. We thanked her and left DCA around 11:10pm to head back to the motel; DCA was already closed and DL was closing in less than an hour but we were just too tired to do anything else!

    Molly was asleep around midnight; I showered and called James before turning in around 1am.

    Steps: 23,670
    Pam
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Monday, June 12, 2017 (75o)
    Plan: Disneyland/DCA; lunch @ Blue Bayou; MSEP picnic package

    Actual: We both slept well and the alarm went off at 6:30am; while Molly was in the shower I remembered that I needed to call SuperShuttle and update the pickup location for our reservations tomorrow (both were now only 5mins later than they originally were). I had a protein shake and we were out the door around 8am (about 30mins later than I had planned).

    We went through security and in to DL; the yellow Horseless Carriage was at the curb so we rode it with CM Ken to the end of Main Street like we did the day before.

    We headed to Peter Pan's Flight and got a return time for 9:25am at 8:40am, and then rode Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (Cyril) after about 10mins. We crossed over to ride Snow White's Scary Adventures (Doc), where I rubbed the apple at the entrance to make it cackle, and then we rode Pinocchio's Daring Journey.

    The Disney app showed BTMR was only a 5min wait, so we went to the exit to ask about riding; however, the wait was actually 20mins so we got a FP for 9:50am at 9:15am instead and then went to ride Pirates (15mins).

    We walked over to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh (5mins), but decided against Splash Mountain as we didn't want to get soaked. We picked up a FP for Haunted Mansion at 10am for 10:40am, and then walked over to ride Peter Pan but it was down.

    We next went to the Royal Theatre to see Beauty and the Beast, but they had cancelled the show due to technical difficulties; however, they had a special meet & greet with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider for those who were still in the theatre. I know how hard it is to see Flynn these days, so we stuck around; we let everyone else go before us and then had some great interaction with both characters!





    We walked over to the exit of BTMR around 10:45am to ride with our FPs (so I can avoid the stairs) and then rode HM with those FPs around 11am; we got right on and went right to the Blue Bayou to check-in for our 11:30am reservation.

    We were seated a few minutes later and were seated at a waterside table; we had a great server (Espy)!



    Molly and I both had the salad (Molly ate mine!) and the flat iron steak with extra potatoes instead of the veggies; I had a Diet Coke and Molly had iced tea and we both enjoyed the yummy bread too!



    Espy brought a special dessert in honor of Molly's graduation and some extra bread to-go too ($88, after the 10% AP discount)!



    We tried Peter Pan again, but it was still down so we left DL. We checked Lost & Found for Molly's pass, but they said it still had not been found, so we went over to DCA around 1pm.

    Molly stopped at First Aid for some Band-Aids (she had a sore spot on her heel) and I went to Soarin' for FPs; 3:25pm was too late a return time for our schedule so I stopped at the Information kiosk to activate the anytime FPs from last night. I asked for Soarin' FPs and then met up with Molly at the Chase Disney Visa meet & greet just before the line closed at 1:30pm; we had lots of fun interacting with Daisy!







    We next got in line for Monsters Inc. (30mins) & I worked on my trip notes while we waited. After a quick restroom stop, we went to see Turtle Talk with Crush but had just missed it, so we went to ride Soarin' with the electronic FPs (waiting extra to ride in row B1).

    We headed out and saw the Red Car Trolley News Boys riding the Trolley (we had seen them on our way in too!) along our route; we entered DL around 2:45pm and rode the red Horseless Carriage down Main Street (CM Kat).


    ...to be continued
    Pam
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Monday, June 12, 2017 (75o) ~ Part II

    We walked over to Peter Pan and FINALLY rode it ~ YAY!!!

    We saw Gaston near the Snow White Grotto wishing well and then went to get a return time for Star Tours at the attraction entrance; the CM said I had to go to the Information kiosk to do that and I was confused since I usually get them at the attractions themselves.

    We went to the Information kiosk and they said the ST CM was mistaken; they CAN issue a return time at the attraction! We got a return time of 3:55pm and then picked up a FP for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at 3:30pm for 4:10pm.

    We next went to see Darth Vader at the Chase Disney Visa meet & greet; unfortunately, there was no extra CM to help the photographer and she would only take an extra picture with ONE of our cameras ("I only have one hand")! I was stunned ~ I have taken dozens of these meet & greet photos and have NEVER encountered such a rude photographer before who would not accommodate cameras from everyone in the party! I don't think she was just playing a part since she was with Lord Vader either; it totally messed me up and I didn't enjoy the character interaction like I usually do.



    We walked outside the area and I got more annoyed by the second, so I sent Molly back to ask the CM outside the meet & greet entrance what the name of the photographer was (Jamie) ~ looks like I will be stopping at City Hall to leave a negative comment on her tonight! 

    We left SWLB and walked over to Aladdin's Oasis to check in for our Main Street Electrical Parade picnic around 3:40pm ($58.16, after the 10% AP discount). Molly chose the lasagna Bolognese and Sprite...



    ...and I chose the chicken and a Diet Coke...





    We sat in their seating area and enjoyed a peaceful meal that was relaxing and in the shade!

    Around 4:30pm, Molly went over to Indy to get FPs (9:45pm) while I waited at the Oasis, then we went over to ride ST with our return time; for some reason my AP didnt show the return time but the CM let us in anyway when I mentioned CM Dave at the Information kiosk was the one who had given us the return time of 3:55pm (apparently I had enough details that the CM believed me!).

    We went up the elevator and had the Stormtroopers, Hoth, Admiral Ackbar, & Coruscant; the ride bothered Molly's equilibrium (she had to take the 3D glasses off) but I enjoyed it as usual!

    We walked over to get a return time for Space Mountain (6:20pm) and then came back to ride Buzz around 5pm with our FPs; I know I beat Molly, but her score didnt appear on the photo (I think it was around 56k, whereas I got 188,900).



    We emailed our photos home and then and went to see Path of the Jedi; Molly really enjoyed it and said she needed to watch all of the Star Wars movies again!

    We sat down near Galactic Grill to review what was left on our list of things to do & see, and then decided to ride its a small world around 6pm; we went through the accessible entrance and were on within a few minutes.

    We next went to see Mickey and the Magical Map at 6:25pm; this was also new to Molly and she liked it a lot!












    ...to be continued
    Pam
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Monday, June 12, 2017 (75o) ~ Part III

    We walked back to Space and rode with our return time around 7:10pm; I LOVE THE ORIGINAL VERSION AND I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS THE END OF MY SECOND DAY AND I'M JUST NOW RIDING IT!!! OMG ~ it was so much fun!!!



    We walked over The Hub and Molly stopped for a hot chocolate from the ODV cart while I went to Jungle Cruise for a return time; they told me it wasn't needed but the accessible line was quite long! Therefore, we met up at the Enchanted Tiki Room, but had just missed the show (7:40pm)! 

    We walked over to the seating area outside the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe to rest our feet & I worked on my trip notes; around 8:15pm, we walked up to the MSEP picnic viewing area across from iasw. Molly found a spot to sit on the ground while waiting, but I knew I would have had lots of difficulty getting up if I did that so I found a spot to lean up against a stair railing until the parade started at 8:45pm. The woman behind me protested that I was blocking her view and I said that it was just temporary until the parade started; my feet were hurting so badly that her attitude irked me and made me add something about she wasn't watching anything right then, was she? Everyone that was seated on the planters & stairs had already been warned by the CMs that they may get blocked by people on the walkway, so I knew I had paid good money to stand wherever I darn well pleased! OK, rant off ~

















    I really loved seeing the MSEP again, even though my feet were screaming at me throughout the entire thing! I don't think Molly had seen it since it was at DCA years ago, and she had been so young then I doubt she remembered much about it. Nevertheless, we both really enjoyed it!


    ...to be continued
    Pam
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Monday, June 12, 2017 (75o) ~ Part IV

    After the crowds thinned out, we found seats on the planter to watch the Remember ~ Dreams Come True fireworks (from DL's 50th anniversary, which I think is the best version so far); we missed seeing Tinker Bell fly from our position, but had a great view of the fireworks and the projections on the iasw faade.





    After the fireworks, we walked through Fantasyland and through the Big Thunder Mountain Trail over to ride Indy with our earlier FPs around 10pm; lots of fun!

    We next rode JC via the exit (which was now empty) around 10:40pm; we had Skipper Alex on the Nile Princess, who was very funny! Since Molly had her graduation button on, he kept saying that "the grad needs to learn this" throughout the ride; he also had no bullets in the gun and clicked through the chamber six times ~ Molly & I were in stitches, a delightful way to end our day!

    Of course, we had just missed the 11pm Tiki Room show, so we stopped at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor for a couple of double scoop nut-dipped waffle cones ($12.91); Molly had mocha almond & chocolate chip cookie dough and I had cookies & cream and mint chocolate chip. There were no seats in the parlor, so we sat in the now-closed lobby of the Carnation Cafe to eat our treats.

    After we were done, we stopped at the Emporium around 11:40pm so I could buy the shirt I had tried on yesterday ($35,87, after the 10% AP discount), and then we stopped at City Hall where I was helped by CM Kelly, the same CM who had helped me the night before at DCA!

    I left a compliment on Espy from the Blue Bayou and a complaint on photographer Jamie from the SWLB, and then asked CM Kelly to check on Molly's AP; the good news was that it had been found the night before! The bad news was that it had been destroyed (as per their standard procedure) and Molly now had to get a free replacement at the ticket booths, which were due to close in 10mins!

    Molly hurried out to get her replacement AP and I asked to leave a positive comment on CM Kelly because she had been so sweet (she said that she had trouble sleeping last night worrying about Molly and her lost AP!) & helpful! She called another CM over to help me and then I said goodbye to CM Kelly and left.

    I went across to the Disney Gallery to check on the AP version of the Space 40th anniversary shirt, but they were sold out so I left DL (which was now closed) and met up with Molly, who had no line to get her replacement AP!

    We hobbled back to the motel around 12:30am; I showered, called James, and worked on my trip notes until turning in around 2am (Molly had crashed around 1:30am).

    Steps: 24,029
    Pam
    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



  9. #8
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Tuesday, June 13, 2017 (80o)
    Plan: Check-out of the Desert Inn; Disneyland/DCA; fly home

    Actual: The alarm went off at 7am, but neither of us got up! Then around 8am we both decided to sleep in another hour ~ we were just too tired!

    We finally got up around 9am, packed up, and left to check-out around 10:45am; as I opened the door, the bill dropped down on top of me! I looked over it and saw that I had been charged for parking, even after I had told the clerk at check-in about 3 times that I didn't have a car!

    I stopped at the front desk to get the bill corrected ($452.45 for 3 nights), and then I left my bags with the Bell Desk. Molly & I went to The Pizza Press and shared a pizza ( cheese & pepperoni/bell peppers = $10, after the 25% hotel discount), and drank our leftover water with our meal.

    They had closed the main front parking lot this morning for repairs and told us the SuperShuttle pickup would now be in the north parking lot at the Valet post, off of Disney Way. We stood up against the building trying to be in the shade, and Molly's van arrived just before noon. We hugged goodbye and the driver told me she was in good hands ~ bye Molly!

    I felt sad as I walked over to DL and went to get a return time for Space; it was for 1:30pm, which was too late for me so BOO!

    I went back and got a FP for Buzz (12:40pm) and then decided to go back and catch Path of the Jedi again; it was just about to start so I went in and enjoyed it again. Afterwards I went to Space Mountain Image Capture to see if they had the AP version of the 40th anniversary shirt; they did so I bought one in my size ($29.08 after the 10% AP discount).

    I next rode Buzz with my FP (169,500) and saw they had the new digital FPs machines setup (but covered)...





    I then went over to catch the Tiki Room at 1pm, but I just missed it AGAIN, so no Tiki Room this trip. Since I had less than an hour before I had to leave, I really didn't have time for any rides so I decided to just shop.

    I stopped at The Candy Palace to get a couple of the peanut butter treats that I love so much, and also bought a cookies and cream cupcake because it looked so good ($12.57, after the 10% AP discount).



    I continued to browse the shops on Main Street and bought a Main Street Electrical Parade shirt at the Disney Showcase ($24.23, after the 10% AP discount). I paid with a Disney gift card and CM Cheryl made a Hidden Mickey when she circled the remaining balance on my receipt; very clever ~ all CMs should do that!

    I found a shade spot in Town Square to eat my cupcake; it was kind of a disappointment because the frosting was too firm from being refrigerated and didn't seem as fresh as the cake.

    I said goodbye to Uncle Walt & DL...



    ...and walked back to the motel around 1:45pm. I retrieved my luggage and changed into my jean skort in the restroom, before going out to the pickup spot next to the Valet. I got a text from SuperShuttle with an URL so I could track my van's progress as it came from Buena Park up to the time it arrived in the lot. The driver told me he was going to mark me as a no-show when he couldn't drive in the front lot; I was standing with the valet the whole time and would have thrown a royal fit if that had happened!

    I eventually made it to the airport, checked in my suitcase, and got my boarding pass (A49). I quickly went through the TSA line and over to Carl's Jr. for a Famous Star combo ($10.14). After I finished eating, I hung out there until it was time to go to my gate (#20).

    I boarded, sat in an exit row on the aisle, and pushed back on time around 4:40pm. I enjoyed Diet Dr. Pepper, honey-roasted peanuts, and pretzels while listening to Disney music on my MP3 & playing Solitaire on my phone. We landed on time at 6pm and I got irritated with the woman across the aisle and a row behind me when she & her teenage daughter didn't wait their turn to get off the plane and cut several of us off who were seated ahead of her. When I commented as much to her, she turned around and rudely said that they weren't assigned seats; I replied that it was a matter of plane etiquette! What a lovely role model she is for her daughter; that she was more important than everyone else & shouldn't have to wait her turn.

    I got my bag and called James to come pick me up, and then we stopped at In-N-Out Burger on the way home because James was hungry (I was just really tired and wanted to go home!). We each had a burger, and shared some fries and a soda ($9.53). After we finished eating, we drove home & arrived around 7:45pm ~ another trip in the books!

    Steps: 10,313


    Up Next: I am interested in another quick trip in late August, so I have made tentative plans for a solo trip August 26-28; James thinks I am nuts because it is so hot at that time so we shall see what happens. If not, we have a 5-day trip planned around our wedding anniversary in late October (before our APs expire in mid-November)!


    Summary

    What a joy to spend some quality time with my great-niece! I think she enjoyed it as much as I did. 


    Highlights include:

    • Spending time with Molly!
    • Seeing everything that we wanted to!
    • The delicious food!
    • The various live entertainment performances around the Resort
    • The great weather
    • Riding Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time ~ FUN!
    • Getting the anytime FPs!
    • CM Kelly!
    • The World of Color Dessert Party
    • Seeing the Main Street Electrical Parade one more time!
    • The impromptu meet & greet with Rapunzel & Flynn Rider




    Lowlights include:

    • The hotel drama!
    • Molly losing her AP
    • The rude photographer at the Darth Vader meet & greet
    • Only riding Space Mountain once!



    As always, thanks for reading!!!
    Pam
    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



  10. #9
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Pammer View Post
    ...and then went to get a return time for Star Tours at the attraction entrance; the CM said I had to go to the Information kiosk to do that and I was confused since I usually get them at the attractions themselves.

    We went to the Information kiosk and they said the ST CM was mistaken; they CAN issue a return time at the attraction!
    To clarify this a bit more; when I went to Disneyland last August, I had just injured my knee a week prior and was on crutches. Since I was solo, the CM gave me the ability to get return times for any attraction at either park, so I could minimize my standing and climbing; this could be done at any Information kiosk or at the attraction themselves. Since I still have issues with standing long periods of time and especially with climbing (I can slowly go down stairs, but still can't put weight through my right knee for climbing up stairs), they gave me the ability to get a return time at DL only (DCA's queues are much more accessible-friendly) at the attractions themselves; I thought the CM had said not to go to the kiosks, only the specific attraction, which is why I was confused.
    Pam
    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



  11. #10

    Pam,
    What a wonderful trip report. Congratulations to Molly on her graduation.
    I think of you often - so glad to see your health return and you are able to get to DL. And did I read right that the last trip, James even flew. Wow!! I am so glad you are able to travel together again.
    Ellen


  12. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Drexel Hill, PA

    I love your reports. What a great present for your great niece. Sounds like you had a great trip with just a few problems. I would love to be a frequent visitor like you so I am living through you. Looking forward to reading your next report whether it's in August or Oct.


  13. #12

    Exactly why I came online today; to check for a report from you. Now I have reading material for lunch break!


  14. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Beautiful Orange County, CA

    Pammer, I really enjoy your reports. The detail that you put in makes me feel like I was there with you. And what a nice bonding trip with your great-niece


  15. #14
    It was a good day! Malcon10t's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Modesto/Waterford
    Blog Entries
    1

    I am glad your niece made it ok. I've had to quit using Boutique Air out of Merced as they have left us stranded more often than we have had flights completed. I am wary of them now. I was just waiting to read how your niece's flight was canceled!

    Glad you had a good trip (other than the hotel, and have had trouble there too, but so many like it.)

    Planning 3 trips at once...

  16. #15

    Pammer ~ June 10-13, 2017 ~ Offsite

    First time reading your very detailed report. You can look back on this years from now and verify yes I ate there lol

    Hey I'm from Sacramento too. My friend was on that flight that Good day was filming too funny.

    DLand/DCA-9/17,5/16,9/15,3/15,11/12,9/10,4/09,4/06,7/00
    1st time cruising ever was "Cruise to Nowhere 1/2011"

  17. #16
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by EJ4Disney View Post
    Pam,
    What a wonderful trip report. Congratulations to Molly on her graduation.
    I think of you often - so glad to see your health return and you are able to get to DL. And did I read right that the last trip, James even flew. Wow!! I am so glad you are able to travel together again.
    Ellen
    Thanks Ellen! Yes, James has flown down to DL about 3 times now that he is managing his sleep apnea & high blood pressure; whenever he has "episodes" now, they aren't to the same degree that they were prior to treatment and are much more manageable! He just needs good sleep beforehand, so we try to schedule flights in the afternoon/evening. That will be tougher to do whenever we make it back to FL (which I'm hoping will be in late 2018!; he's ready to fly that far, but I have to plan way ahead to save that many vacation days).

    Quote Originally Posted by suejacken View Post
    I love your reports. What a great present for your great niece. Sounds like you had a great trip with just a few problems. I would love to be a frequent visitor like you so I am living through you. Looking forward to reading your next report whether it's in August or Oct.
    Thanks Sue!

    Quote Originally Posted by spectromen View Post
    Exactly why I came online today; to check for a report from you. Now I have reading material for lunch break!
    Thanks Kelly - I hope you liked it!

    Quote Originally Posted by josephfive View Post
    Pammer, I really enjoy your reports. The detail that you put in makes me feel like I was there with you. And what a nice bonding trip with your great-niece
    Thanks Joseph; I like to re-read them sometimes or go back for reference, so that helps me too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    I am glad your niece made it ok. I've had to quit using Boutique Air out of Merced as they have left us stranded more often than we have had flights completed. I am wary of them now. I was just waiting to read how your niece's flight was canceled!

    Glad you had a good trip (other than the hotel, and have had trouble there too, but so many like it.)
    Oh wow...that's scary about Boutique Air! Luckily Molly didn't have THAT problem (we had enough other issues this trip!), but that would have certainly been par for the course the way so many other things were going.

    What I like about Anaheim Desert Inn has always been the location (and price), so this made me wary of them as well; I did leave them a poor rating on Trip Advisor and will definitely ensure they put the charge through correctly beforehand on any future trips (or I just spend more $$ to stay at my usual Del Sol, which I know you aren't fond of either but I've always been treated well there at least!).

    Quote Originally Posted by CADisneyFam View Post
    First time reading your very detailed report. You can look back on this years from now and verify yes I ate there lol

    Hey I'm from Sacramento too. My friend was on that flight that Good day was filming too funny.
    "it's a small world", right? I had known before I left home that GDS would be out there, but had perfect timing to walk behind them at the precise time the camera was filming the band!
    Pam
    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



  18. #17

    Fantastic report Pam! You always do the best detailed ones.

    Living life to the fullest

    http://www.oilyhabit.com/

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