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View Full Version : A BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov&Dec2010 @ VGC & AKV... 2 UPDATES 3/6 Post #85 & 86


stopher1
01-06-2011, 01:53 PM
For those of you who have experienced my other TR’s, or have encountered me on various threads, you’ll probably know that I am a bit of a fortunate guy in that I like to tack on time (when possible) to do something fun. If I can’t tack on a day at the beginning or end of a trip, I’ll definitely try to at least seek out something fun in the area I’m in… for example – when in NYC, I love to see a show, or a Yankees game, or ride the subway, or take the Staten Island Ferry, or, or, or. When in Philly, I enjoy seeing some of the historical sites. Everywhere has something to see or do, if you only take the time to explore. Some places just happen to have the best themed experiences on the planet… Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong – and if I’m “in the neighborhood”, you’d better believe I’m going to tack on some time and go see some old pals and enjoy some great architecture too – sometimes even have a great meal. SOLO. Because I’m comfortable enough traveling & touring on my own (that and I can’t always afford to bring the family along on a work trip!)

So with that in mind, it’s time once again for a SOLO adventure by stopher1 (vs. my FAMILY adventures when at least one other member of the family gets to go with me). I travel a lot for my for work, and those travels just happen to include both California (headquarters is located in Orange County – the home of Disneyland, and a few other things in case you were somehow not aware) and my regional territory (24 states on the eastern half of the country) naturally includes Florida (the home of Walt Disney World – again, just in case you were somehow not sure where that plane takes you each time you go to the World! ;) )

This trip report is actually the compilation of 2 individual trips that were made within one week of each other – to opposite coasts and resorts… and has lots of DIS meets in it as well!! Filled with the parks, resorts, old friends, family, friends from my DL CM days via a reunion of Carnation Plaza Gardens friends, WL Groupies and DISDads… so why have 2 separate reports, but rather lump them together into 1! It’s more fun that way – especially since within this single report you will be able to see some of the Christmas decorations at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in one…without the personal expense of flying there yourself!

We’ll begin this tale the day after Thanksgiving 2010, as I prepared to fly west for my company’s annual “end of year” meetings where we go over the current year, and do some planning for the upcoming year. Everyone in the company is there, regardless of where they reside in the nation (there are only 41 of us in all on the team… about half are regional folks in 4 offices around the country). I normally don’t like to fly the day after Thanksgiving, typically the Saturday or Sunday after, but that was the plan this year – and hey, the airport was extremely light! Practically everyone was already where they wanted to be. Upon arrival at John Wayne airport in Orange County, waiting for my bag to come off the conveyor, I was greeted with this SIGN – probably about 6’x9’ in size (or bigger) on the wall of the airport.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1126-00.jpg

I can't wait to stay at Aulani!


I would not be checking in to the Grand until Saturday afternoon so that Friday night I was able to go down to our family retreat house… my FIL’s condo overlooking the beach in San Clemente and spend some time with him. He was diagnosed with cancer this past summer, and time with him is precious. Here’s the view from his living room window, which can never be obstructed since there is a public access staircase from the bluff his condo is on down to the actual beach below.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1126-01.jpg


He insisted on taking me out to dinner that evening, so here we are at Islands, one of my favorites from So. Cal.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1126-11.jpg


This is a view from the top of the stairs in the morning. Notice the train tracks near the water’s edge? Amtrak’s Surfliner runs right along the coast for quite a stretch there from Dana Point on south to Oceanside. It’s a fun sight to behold when the train goes by, and you can hear the horns blaring all through the day and night when it is approaching / passing.


http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-04.jpg


Here's a view looking south along the coast, with the Pier in the distance. It's a nice walk from his place.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-14.jpg


It was an absolute delight being able to spend my evening and the next morning with him. It was just the two of us, and in the 19 years I have known him, it was honestly the nicest, most open and caring ongoing conversation we've ever had. It was neat.

I left my FIL’s place around noon, had a quick bite for lunch and proceeded north along the 5 to my destination.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-17.jpg


For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of staying at the Grand Californian, the hotel was built literally adjacent to Disney California Adventure, with a private entrance leading directly INTO that park, putting you just steps away from both Grizzly River Run (like Kali River Rapids) and Soarin’ (Over California). Both theme park and hotel were built on the original Disneyland parking lot. Parking for the Grand is either via Valet (with underground parking under the new Villas wing), or self-parking, across Disneyland Drive. That’s the route I took, being the relative cheapskate that I am. After checking in, I drove over to the lot, and then walked back to the hotel. This is the view of the hotel from across the street, specifically the new wing opened in September 2009 with the 48 DVC villas in it. The rooms you are looking at here are all hotel rooms for cash guests. The DVC villas are on the other side, either looking towards the pool complex, or over and in to DCA.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-171.jpg


Since it was just me, naturally I didn’t need anything larger than a Studio. I had requested an “upper floor, theme park view” room. The hotel is only 6 floors high. I got level 3. So the first park of my request was sort of honored, but not fully. I did get a theme park view…but the room itself was way down at the end , next to the GV that looks out over DCA’s Paradise Pier… so the GV juts out further than the rest of the rooms do… so my view was of the park, but not very good – at least for seeing World of Color. But that’s okay. There would be ample opportunity to see it later on, as you’ll see.


I was in

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1713.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1711.jpg

Here are a few quick pics of the room itself.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1719.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1715.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1717.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1720.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1721.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1722.jpg


Any the view out my window. Straight on is Paradise Pier… kind of blocked by trees. WOC is really off to the left. I could only see a tiny bit as seen in this view later that evening… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1748.jpg

Up next… DTD, old friends time in Disneyland itself. See ya real soon.

stopher1
01-06-2011, 01:54 PM
A BI-COASTAL Adventure continues...

Update 2: "I'll Take a Lamplighter, a Coke and a Hot Fudge Sundae, please" (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=39491335&postcount=21)
Update 3: Mostly Pictures with Less than Normal Dialogue (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=39569168&postcount=31)
Update 4: Disneyland After Dark (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=39600526&postcount=43)
Update 5: Monday, Monday... (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=40164202&postcount=59)
Update 6: A Work Week Begins (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=40210925&postcount=85)
Update 7: Meetings, Meetings & More Meetings - Anybody Want Another Meeting? (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=40216182&postcount=86)
Update 8: Coming soon...




OTHER ADVENTURES

A Daddy Daughter Adventure (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=39239590#post39239590)
SOLO Adventures: WDW June 2010 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2486325)
It WAS Live: Triple Whammy...THV/AKV/VWL January 2010 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2369934)
SOLO Adventures: DL November 2009 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=34802572&posted=1#post34802572)Father-Sons Adventure: Star Wars Weekend May 2009 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=32048269#post32048269)
SOLO Adventures: DL May 2008 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1840928)

Captain_Oblivious
01-06-2011, 04:21 PM
Ok, I'm jumping in here, too... although I think you missed an opportunity to combine this with your other ongoing TR into one big schizophrenic report. :rotfl:

Can't wait to see more of the Grand Californian! It looks awesome! (like its cousin, the WL)

Of course, the view from your FIL's place is pretty sweet, too.

BigEeyore
01-06-2011, 04:33 PM
Two TR's going at the same time? That is ambitious!
I think I've mentioned to you before that I used to be a CM at Carnation Plaza Gardens in DL over the summers of 1990-91, also worked at Village Haus. When were you there? I heard about that reunion. I'm sure we know some of the same people!
We stayed at VGC back in May and loved it! Absolutely hands down the best DVC property yet! We just missed the opening of WoC, got to see them testing it in the evenings (sort of, had an obstructed view like you). Look forward to more! :goodvibes

lakelandgal70
01-06-2011, 04:33 PM
Can't wait to see more pics!

kikiq
01-06-2011, 04:35 PM
Ohhh, it's my DisDad of the Year...don't you love that sign at John Wayne...it's a "sign" anyway you look at it. Can't wait to read your report.

AND I love the GCV rooms, if they sold that 2 bedroom villa as a condo, we would have sold our house and moved;)

KeepSwimmingDory
01-06-2011, 04:41 PM
Love it!

I really hope we get to stay at VCG sometime. Trying to get that in the plans!

stopher1
01-06-2011, 04:53 PM
Ohhh, it's my DisDad of the Year...don't you love that sign at John Wayne...it's a "sign" anyway you look at it. Can't wait to read your report.

AND I love the GCV rooms, if they sold that 2 bedroom villa as a condo, we would have sold our house and moved;)

Oh my golly, me too! I loved it when we were there in a dedicated 2BR last week...but that's a 3rd TR that has yet to be started.

Oh and of course it's a SIGN. I meant to say that... really I did. I was still thinking of the poster sized sign inside the elevators at VGC that I saw so many times last week while there... now I'll have to go back and correct the original post so it's correct there too. Sign. Of course it's a sign. ;) Believe me, I do know it's a sign. I was a Signage manager/purchaser for my former employer's stores across the country for a couple of years... I do KNOW it's a sign.

afwdwfan
01-06-2011, 04:55 PM
I enjoyed your last solo TR, so I've been looking forward to hearing about this one. As confusing as it the whole bi-coastal bit sounds, I think this has potential to be a very informative and interesing trip report for those of us who haven't made it to both parks.

dvczerfs
01-06-2011, 06:32 PM
im in stopher!!!:thumbsup2 great shots again!! glad you got to spend time with your fil. hes in our prayers. he looks good for eveything thats going on. cant wait for another update. on a side note, i dont see a ticker in your sig.?:confused3

stopher1
01-06-2011, 09:16 PM
Ok, I'm jumping in here, too... although I think you missed an opportunity to combine this with your other ongoing TR into one big schizophrenic report. :rotfl:

Welcome Mark! So glad you could join in the fun. :)

Yeah, I kind of thought of making it all one big report, but then it would really be a mess - and I'm a bit too much of a neat freak to have a mess like that on my hands... so I figured what they heck, go with two...




Can't wait to see more of the Grand Californian! It looks awesome! (like its cousin, the WL)

Of course, the view from your FIL's place is pretty sweet, too.

Oh, and it IS awesome too. The Lodge is definitely my favorite resort at WDW... but I must say, that the Grand is actually my favorite resort by Pete Dominick. Side by side, the Grand wins for many reasons, though I do love the themeing of the Lodge. Let's just say thank goodness there are a few miles between the two or I'd have a hard time choosing which one to stay at if they were both at WDW.

Oh yeah, the beach place is great. I could live there full-time and never get tired of that view. Definitely the reason he snapped it up all those years ago when it was available.


Two TR's going at the same time? That is ambitious!

And a bit crazy... especially when I finish sorting out the pictures from the trip the entire family just got home from last week... back at DL and the Grand, in a dedicated 2 BR...with my SIL and nephews along. I hope to have 3 going in a week or so... :scared1: But WELCOME! Nice to have you here. :)


I think I've mentioned to you before that I used to be a CM at Carnation Plaza Gardens in DL over the summers of 1990-91, also worked at Village Haus. When were you there? I heard about that reunion. I'm sure we know some of the same people!

Yes, I believe you have mentioned that before. I was at CPG from 87-89. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see if you do recall/know any of the same people, since a photo or two could be surfacing in the not too distant future.


We stayed at VGC back in May and loved it! Absolutely hands down the best DVC property yet!

Ooooohhhh - I will agree with this statement 100% (sorry Groupies reading along.... )


Can't wait to see more pics!

And I can't wait to share some more! Welcome! Glad you could join in. :)

stopher1
01-06-2011, 09:26 PM
Love it!

I really hope we get to stay at VCG sometime. Trying to get that in the plans!

Welcome Dory! :) I hope you can get to stay sometime in the not too distant future. It really is a wonderful place. It definitely has the feel of the Lodge, but a somewhat different vibe too. A bit more subdued elegance and grace, and a little less rustic charm. But just as cozy, if you can imagine it. The fireplace is fabulous too.

I enjoyed your last solo TR, so I've been looking forward to hearing about this one. As confusing as it the whole bi-coastal bit sounds, I think this has potential to be a very informative and interesing trip report for those of us who haven't made it to both parks.

And I'm happy to share! Welcome! :) Glad you came along. I literally was on both coasts within a week of each other... less really. In DL and the MK less than 1 week apart. Kinda fun, kinda crazy. Definitely kinda ME! I hope I can provide something useful and informative... but I guess only time will tell, and you of course can be the judge of whether or not you find anything useful. ;)


im in stopher!!!:thumbsup2 great shots again!!


Great to have you here Dave! Welcome!! :)

glad you got to spend time with your fil. hes in our prayers. he looks good for eveything thats going on.

Thanks again. He's doing alright. This was at the end of November though. He's gone down hill a bit since then, unfortunately. If I get my 3rd TR started, you'd see a difference in anything I happen to post with him in it (he DID make it to DL with us on that trip at the end of December... so he might show up again... we'll see)

on a side note, i dont see a ticker in your sig.?:confused3

Good observation! :rotfl: I've been meaning to put it up again, but just haven't yet. With 3 trips on my rotating ticker that were completed in November and December... it was hopelessly outdated. And I figured I'd rather sort through pics and start my TR's first, and then get around to putting it back up later. But just in case you're wondering, there's a visit to WDW planned for April, and October, and back to DL at the end of November again... and who knows, there could be another something sprinkled in along the way to either coast depending on work travel needs. It'll be back up soon enough though.

dvczerfs
01-07-2011, 09:14 AM
we will be there the last week of sept and the first week of october.:thumbsup2

FreezinRafiki
01-07-2011, 11:29 AM
I'm here, Stopher! I'm so far behind on everyone's trip reports it just isn't funny. I see you posted an update to your Daddy/Daughter adventure - and if work and life ever slow down just a bit I'll actually be able to read it.


That’s the route I took, being the relative cheapskate that I am.

Now this sounds familiar, but I can't quite place from where...:thumbsup2

And if you're insane enough to have 3 or 4 or 5 TRs going at once, I'm insane enough to read them!

dwelty
01-07-2011, 11:50 PM
Fellow former DLR Castmember checking in. Adventureland-Frontierland Attractions 1988-1991!

Can't wait to read more. I am lucky to live an hour from DLR, but have been known to schedule client visits in Central Florida with a DVC stay included! Great minds think alike.

stopher1
01-08-2011, 09:49 PM
we will be there the last week of sept and the first week of october.:thumbsup2

:thumbsup2

I'm here, Stopher! I'm so far behind on everyone's trip reports it just isn't funny. I see you posted an update to your Daddy/Daughter adventure - and if work and life ever slow down just a bit I'll actually be able to read it.


Now this sounds familiar, but I can't quite place from where...:thumbsup2

And if you're insane enough to have 3 or 4 or 5 TRs going at once, I'm insane enough to read them!

I think I just am that insane Barry... now to just see if I can actually accomplish it. Birthdays and other celebrations this weekend have gotten in the way... hopefully tomorrow I can have something for this one and the other one in the way of an update.

Fellow former DLR Castmember checking in. Adventureland-Frontierland Attractions 1988-1991!

Can't wait to read more. I am lucky to live an hour from DLR, but have been known to schedule client visits in Central Florida with a DVC stay included! Great minds think alike.

Welcome! Glad to have you here. Which attractions were your favorites to work while you were there? And which weren't?

dwelty
01-09-2011, 04:29 PM
:thumbsup2







Welcome! Glad to have you here. Which attractions were your favorites to work while you were there? And which weren't?

My favorite, Mark Twain, it was relaxing and laid back. Least favorite, Jungle Cruise, always on for 8 hours was exhausting. I also liked Tiki Room. Air-conditioned and you could catch a few zzz's during the show ( I was a lazy college kid). :rolleyes1

stopher1
01-09-2011, 04:42 PM
My favorite, Mark Twain, it was relaxing and laid back. Least favorite, Jungle Cruise, always on for 8 hours was exhausting. I also liked Tiki Room. Air-conditioned and you could catch a few zzz's during the show ( I was a lazy college kid). :rolleyes1

That's cool. I love the Mark Twain, and got to pilot it once myself, though that wasn't while working there. That was pretty cool. Oh yeah - and I love going in to the Tiki Room to this day... though I do like the show too - but the a/c is terrific. And taking a Dole Whip in with me makes it quite nice as well.

Wherem I Now
01-09-2011, 10:46 PM
Wow Stopher, Three trips in two TRs at the same time?

Then knowing that you work, travel, have three kids, I have one question... Do you SLEEP???

I can't seem to keep up just reading and you're writing two TRs and posting other stuff as well. :worship::worship::worship:

franandaj
01-10-2011, 12:09 AM
subbing in even though I can't keep up with all the TRs that I'm in on! :lmao:

stopher1
01-10-2011, 11:10 PM
Part II: “I'll Take a Lamplighter, a Coke and a Hot Fudge Sundae Please…”

So checking in to my room early was a good thing, except for the poor park view, but hey the room was literally moments from both parks, so I wasn’t complaining. It was only about 2 pm, and I wasn’t supposed to be over to my friends’ house for the Carnation Plaza Gardens reunion til 4 – so I had a little time to kill. I wandered the grounds and lobby, and got a couple of pics.

Looking straight out - then DOWN from my balcony

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1724.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1725.jpg


Outside near the pool, on the "wedding lawn", looking back at the DVC villas

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-175.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-0015.jpg

The outdoor fireplace, near the same spot as above

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-0014.jpg


The lobby Christmas Tree

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-179-1.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-178.jpg


Outside near the Porte Cachere - the "approach", and then nearby

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-173.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-174.jpg


Then started to head out to DTD. I knew that I didn’t want to actually enter a park, because then I would be tempted to ride something and might be late… but hey, I was right there… and DCA is right there… and Soarin’ is right there too… and DCA has a SINGLE RIDER LINE. Easy choice! Within 5 minutes I was inside the park and approaching the FP Return / Single Rider CM. I asked for my SR Card, and was waiting my turn within just a couple of minutes more. Soon enough (about 3 minutes later), the CM was calling to me, and assigning me to my row for immediate boarding. SCORE! Entering the queue to fastening my seat belt in about 6 minutes – when the Standby queue was hovering at about 60 minutes. There’s just something wonderful about going SOLO.

Upon exiting the ride, I decided it would be best not to tempt myself further, and made my way back in to the Grand through the hotel entrance, and then out in to DTD. I wandered a little bit, and quite uncharacteristically… did not take any pictures. I worked my way down towards the AMC Theatre and hung a left to walk down the path towards the hotel self-parking lot, and then left on my way to find a dessert to take to the party. Marie Callender’s was calling to me – another favorite from all the years of living in So. Cal. A couple of her yummy pies would be a nice addition to the evening’s fare.
I quickly entered the address in to the GPS on my phone, and was off. I knew the general direction of where I was headed, but my friends had moved since the last time I was at there house… 9 years ago! Thankfully it wasn’t far from where they had lived previously.

Now to backtrack a bit… this party was originally going to just be dinner between another former CM friend, Nancy, who lives in Minnesota, but goes home each year for Thanksgiving to visit her parents. We had chatted on FB for a few weeks about possibly getting together since we were both going to be in the area at the same time. And then it started to grow from there, as we each talked about who we might like to see while there and such. Last Fall while there I had opened up the possibility of a get together to several others (sadly missing Nancy’s dates by only a matter of days). About 7 of us were going to get together then… but sadly I got violently ill the night before we were supposed to meet. I felt it best to tell them all and let them make their own decision about whether or not they wanted to be around someone who had revisited dinner multiple times during the middle of the night. Most of the ones who were going to be there decided against it, but thankfully my friend Patty was very stubborn and threw caution to the wind, not really giving a care, figuring I’d flown all that way and “why not?” So she came over to the hotel and we had a nice visit. Plus I got to meet here adorable daughter.

So here we are back again this year, and now Nancy and I were set to see about 12-15 people, give or take some. A FB Event page was set up, and over the course of the time, our friends Dan & Connie opened up their home to be the gathering place, instead of in a restaurant as Nancy & I had been planning. Soon we started to see people announcing their intention to come, or their regrets for having to miss it. Several remained “Maybe’s” all through the process, so it really was a guessing game as to who actually would or would not show up. In the end we had a blast. It was great to reconnect in person with them all. Several of these folks I hadn’t seen in 20 years. Others I’ve been in contact with for the duration. Several of us attended each others’ weddings, and have watched our kids grow through regular communication, Christmas cards, and definitely Facebook. Not to bore you completely, but here are just a few fun shots from the evening.
Here Dan, a former fry cook there at CPG fires up the grill once more – flipping burgers for his guests once again.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1731.jpg


Here, several of the gang reminisce and look at old photos and scrapbooks from our days together as we … as the “Traditions” handbook from the Disney University training always said… “we work while others play”.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1727.jpg


Back in those days I worked the "front lines" - the cash registers selling "Lamplighter" (cheeseburger), "Great American" (double cheeseburgers) and other similarly named combo meals (CPG WAS technically part of Main Street, U.S.A., even though we were under the umbrella of "Fantasyland Foods"); I also scooped ice cream, or made "set-ups" (getting the buns sauced, and ready with lettuce & tomato); made the fries (VERY greasy - but MUCH WORSE when you closed and had to clean those greasy overhead screens); and yes, I was a fry cook too - flipping burgers. It was a fun but crazy time in my life.



Here it is and I am ... back in the day

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/DL%20Nov%2009/021.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/DL%20Nov%2009/CPG2.jpg

And now... a sad shell of it's former "glory".


http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/DL%20Nov%2009/Upload111.jpg

CPG was closed officially in 2000, and the restaurant part was torn down thereafter. Where it stood is now just an overflow patio from the neighborhing Rancho del Zocalo restaurant in Frontierland. The red & beige striped umbrellas in the back of this shot are where the restaurant once stood. The band / dance floor is still there... oh to be back in the day hearing that wonderful Big Band music once again and watching all of the old couples come out to dance. In it's heyday, CPG was host to many, many wonderful Swing and Big Band bands - both real big names, and a lot of pretenders too. Now it's pretty much just home to the Magic Music Days program with the high school kids. Not quite the same in my mind!



Here I am with some of my friends

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1735.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1745.jpg

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http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1127-1738.jpg


Being a native Californian, I do have a lot of different family and friends living there still. Each visit I make, I try to see someone – or several someones. This trip had two such events that night alone. Sadly, my camera battery had died before I got to my next gathering, and I wasn’t able to document my get together with some old friends from Jr. High School. We had agreed to meet at 9, so I had to cut my time with the CPG folks short. I was very bummed to leave – but honestly can’t wait to get out there again and spend some more time with them in 2011.

I left the party with a happy heart, and headed back to the Grand. My other friends had agreed to meet me there, and so we enjoyed some time together in the Hearthstone Lounge. It really is a very nice bar area. We laughed, we reminisced, we had fun again like it was 1984. Then it was time for them to go, but I quickly let them come up to see what the room was like. (Being a good DVC member, I’m always on the lookout for possibilities to share my love for Disney, and the awesome accommodations with others who don’t necessarily “get” the DVC program. One already said he might be contacting DVC soon himself… now wouldn’t that be nice? )

My friends left, and I decided it was time to hit the sheets. It was approaching midnight, and I was going to be in the parks the next day. So with that same mentality – I will bid adieu for now, but will be back with more soon…

kikiq
01-10-2011, 11:26 PM
Part II: “I'll Take a Lamplighter, a Coke and a Hot Fudge Sundae Please…”

The band / dance floor is still there... oh to be back in the day hearing that wonderful Big Band music once again and watching all of the old couples come out to dance. In it's heyday, CPG was host to many, many wonderful Swing and Big Band bands - both real big names, and a lot of pretenders too. Now it's pretty much just home to the Magic Music Days program with the high school kids. Not quite the same in my mind!

Now, wait a minute, my friend...do you mean to tell me that my DH and I are teleported to yesteryear every Saturday night when we go to DL to listen to the swing bands. I mean those old couples are still out there, maybe we are being teleported back in time. But I mean to tell you the bands are still there Saturday nights. And I'm pretty sure a few of those old couples were dancing when you were last there;) Saturday nights = Swing band night = date night for us. But don't count on seeing us old fogies out there:lmao: My DH does a mean toe tap and I'm usually dancing with my grand daughter or swaying if she's with us.

franandaj
01-10-2011, 11:29 PM
Wow! Thanks for sharing those old photos, I remember when it was a hopping restaurant destination. Sadly our community band is one of those groups that graces the stage for the Community Arts Showcase, but without the restaurant to draw people, it's hardly the destination it used to be.

Glad you had fun with your old friends!

stopher1
01-11-2011, 07:37 AM
Now, wait a minute, my friend...do you mean to tell me that my DH and I are teleported to yesteryear every Saturday night when we go to DL to listen to the swing bands. I mean those old couples are still out there, maybe we are being teleported back in time. But I mean to tell you the bands are still there Saturday nights. And I'm pretty sure a few of those old couples were dancing when you were last there;) Saturday nights = Swing band night = date night for us. But don't count on seeing us old fogies out there:lmao: My DH does a mean toe tap and I'm usually dancing with my grand daughter or swaying if she's with us.

That's wonderful to hear. I haven't experienced it in a while, and the few Saturdays I've been there over the past few years there has been nothing going on there...I mean nothing... a completely empty stage, nobody around except people trying to stake a spot to watch the fireworks...so my bad for making a generalization. I'm happy to hear it is still swinging there.

dvczerfs
01-11-2011, 09:21 AM
great update stopher!! love the old pics and its great how you guys still get together. :thumbsup2 (burgers look good too!:thumbsup2)

Emma's Dad
01-11-2011, 10:55 AM
Made it in time to read 2 installments! I am sooo slacking here. As always, your TR has started off beautifully! Looks like you had a lot of fun reminiscing with your friends. Looking forward to future updates :)

Dizny Dad
01-11-2011, 12:20 PM
Thanks for sharing . . .

BigEeyore
01-11-2011, 12:54 PM
Wow...what memories...CPG, Lamplighter combo, the big band playing at night. Takes me right back to those fun summers. Scooping ice cream...if the vanilla was rock hard you knew you were in for a bad day, and what was in that Fantasia ice cream anyhow? I think I recoginize a couple of people in your staff picture taken back in the day - the guy on the top left, the guy in the middle in the tie, and is the guy on the right named Ken? I have only kept in touch with one person from my DL days, but what a great experience I had working there! That is so fantastic that you have kept in touch with so many!

DiznyDi
01-11-2011, 07:31 PM
Wonderful that you make it a priority to get together with old friends. You give new meaning to the phrase "so much to do, so little time."

stopher1
01-13-2011, 08:52 AM
great update stopher!! love the old pics and its great how you guys still get together. :thumbsup2 (burgers look good too!:thumbsup2)

:)

Made it in time to read 2 installments! I am sooo slacking here. As always, your TR has started off beautifully! Looks like you had a lot of fun reminiscing with your friends. Looking forward to future updates :)

Welcome Don! Glad to see you here.


Thanks for sharing . . .

Welcome Rich! :) I'm happy to do so.

Wow...what memories...CPG, Lamplighter combo, the big band playing at night. Takes me right back to those fun summers. Scooping ice cream...if the vanilla was rock hard you knew you were in for a bad day, and what was in that Fantasia ice cream anyhow? I think I recoginize a couple of people in your staff picture taken back in the day - the guy on the top left, the guy in the middle in the tie, and is the guy on the right named Ken? I have only kept in touch with one person from my DL days, but what a great experience I had working there! That is so fantastic that you have kept in touch with so many!

Oh yeah, the memories are thick. CPG was awesome, but just being a part of it all was such fun, even when CPG went down for a rehab and I was sent off into the wilds of NOS/FRL, or to other FL locations like Village Haus or Yumz. I loved working at the BT Ranch too. Only did it a few times, but it was neat. About the picture, I remember most of the people in that shot, but unfortunately the guy with the bow tie... I have no clue who he is.

Wonderful that you make it a priority to get together with old friends. You give new meaning to the phrase "so much to do, so little time."

Thanks Di. Yes, every trip I make west I try to see at least one someone or pair of someones from days gone by outside of family, though it's usually more than that. Friends are another one of the spices of life!

stopher1
01-16-2011, 10:26 PM
The next day was Sunday, and I was headed in to Disneyland. In looking back I really didn't take as many pictures as I remembered - but it is what it is. And, for this update, I'm not going to comment on a whole lot, but let the pictures do the talking (mostly).


The security check point - not quite as permanent looking as the ones at WDW... and still NO "Guests Without Bags" line. Ugh.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001.jpg


Having passed through the tunnels and out in to Town Square

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-0012-1.jpg


The Christmas Tree (I'm still sad about the fact the tree is artificial now... what the 2nd or 3rd year now, I don't remember. I much preferred the real trees of old). Like the buildings on Main Street, the castle and elserwhere in the park, the ornament utilize "forced perspective", getting smaller as the tree gets taller.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-0013-1.jpg


Hello Mickey!

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-0014.jpg


I LOVE Main Street, USA!!!

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-0016-1.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-0017-1.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-0018-1.jpg


Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle by daylight (still my favorite castle)

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-0019-1.jpg

A trip into Tomorrowland... Star Tours returns May 10th. Wish I could be there.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-00110.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-00111.jpg


Across the pathway for a relatively short wait for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-00116-1.jpg


Then further in to Captain EO! (nostalgic fun, and oh yeah, I like the film too) At WDW it's just plain old Captain EO - at DL it's Captain EO "Tribute". Whatever. I think plain old Captain EO is better. Rock on Epcot!

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-00114.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-00112.jpg


And a quick trip on Space Mountain. Here, the interior queue, getting ready to go down the ramp to board

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-00117-1.jpg


Amazingly, that was the last picture I took for the rest of the afternoon. Crazy, but true. I didn't take any more until that evening when I went over to DCA to watch World of Color. But that'll be in the next installment.

stopher1
01-16-2011, 10:45 PM
This next installment is about World of Color. I originally posted most of this back on the night or the next day within the DIS Dad's thread, and so I'm just paraphrasing it here for ease. This was mainly for my WDW-Centric pals who have never been to DL before... so any DL vets, you could even gloss over or skip this if you'd like - since you know all of this, and most likely, know even more than I do!

So picking up from the previous installment - I enjoyed DL throughout the rest of the afternoon. Ate dinner at Carnation Cafe on Main Street, and eventually headed back to relax in the room for a while, and enjoy the hot tub. DL would be open until Midnight, and I still had another day to enjoy it, so I wasn't worried about rushing back in to the park just yet. I decided since it was Sunday evening, I would skip attempting to see the two earlier WOC shows and wait for the last one at 10:15. I figured I'd have a better chance of getting a "good" viewing spot... and I am so very glad to have made that decision!

***************** (from my earlier DIS Dad's Club post in November)

Just as a background for the rest of the guys who may or may not know what it is... World of Color is an all-new (June 2010) water, laser, pyrotechnic show at California Adventure. It is about a 23 minute show that uses hundreds of fountains, and is truly a technical marvel. I had seen the entire show after it opened on youtube, but wow - there's just NOTHING like seeing it in person. Plus as I said earlier, I was in the very FRONT row, literally separated from the water only by a chest high fence.

The show's name is inspired from the old Walt Disney's World of Color TV program on Sunday nights (one of several iterations of that show that was originally named "Disneyland" and started to air in 1954 on ABC to help Walt introduce the concept of his theme park to the nation - but later renamed several times. World of Color was the name when tv was transforming from B&W to Color) and actually starts using the original narration from that show. It incorporates tons of Disney's animated film arsenal, plus some snips/clips from the Pirates films, etc. There was a cool Tron "tag" at the end as well, advertising the new film. If you like Fantasmic!, this is 95x cooler IMHO. Because the entire show is run via computer, with no human actors, etc - it can be reprogrammed and updated relatively quickly. It has been so very popular this year since it opened, and I've been reading online that they're talking about change outs for Christmas, Halloween etc to add additional interest. That will be pretty cool too, IMO.

Here are a few pics, and I'll try to post the short video clips as well.

Just moments before the show began. I was again, right at the water's edge. Off to the right side a bit, but still have a great vantage point. I couldn't see the mist screens as well as I would have liked, but hey - I'll be back here in just 4 weeks so I can hopefully get a more centered view then.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Disneyland%202010-SOLO/PB290161.jpg

In the background you see Mickey's Fun Wheel, which is used at various times in the show, and California Screamin' and Toy Story Midway Mania. All got in on the act during the Tron end-tag. That was pretty cool.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Disneyland%202010-SOLO/PB290162.jpg

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http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Disneyland%202010-SOLO/PB290179.jpg

The fountains dance, and colors change - choregraphed to the music and clips playing too. I think my absolute favorite part was when they did the Genie's song "Friend Like Me". That was amazing. Not sure if I have any pics or not, but maybe. And the sequence where Woody meets Buzz, and then he proceeds to fly around the room was cool, but even better was when Buzz encountered Zurg, and Zurg proceeded to shoot at Buzz. Lasers were flying everywhere, and the water cannons were shooting off.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Disneyland%202010-SOLO/PB290188.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Disneyland%202010-SOLO/PB290196.jpg

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http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Disneyland%202010-SOLO/PB290219.jpg

stopher1
01-16-2011, 10:48 PM
Here are a few video clips - again, they're short, my camera only does 10 sec clips. I didn't have the video camera with me.

http://s292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Disneyland%202010-SOLO/?action=view&current=PB290202.mp4

http://s292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Disneyland%202010-SOLO/?action=view&current=PB290203.mp4

http://s292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Disneyland%202010-SOLO/?action=view&current=PB290204.mp4

http://s292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Disneyland%202010-SOLO/?action=view&current=PB290214.mp4

Wherem I Now
01-16-2011, 11:59 PM
Those are great pictures Stopher! The detail on the buildings is amazing. :thumbsup2

KeepSwimmingDory
01-17-2011, 09:02 AM
Very cool stopher! Thanks for sharing the details about California because it has been so long that it is hard for me to even remember it. And it was before California Adventure opened. I so hope to get back there! One of my sons loves all the laser light/water fountain type shows etc and World of Color would be amazing to him.

I love the photos of Main Street and enjoyed seeing the details there. Love that Crystal Arcade sign photo. :)

dvczerfs
01-17-2011, 09:16 AM
nice pics stopher!!! the trees are getting smaller.so are the decorations on the trees. i dont remember a live tree at wdw but i do remember the decorations and the tree being alot bigger.:thumbsup2

stopher1
01-17-2011, 09:22 AM
Those are great pictures Stopher! The detail on the buildings is amazing. :thumbsup2

Thank you. I agree, the level of detail is incredible.

Very cool stopher! Thanks for sharing the details about California because it has been so long that it is hard for me to even remember it. And it was before California Adventure opened. I so hope to get back there! One of my sons loves all the laser light/water fountain type shows etc and World of Color would be amazing to him.

I love the photos of Main Street and enjoyed seeing the details there. Love that Crystal Arcade sign photo. :)

I hope you can get back sometime, it really is so neat. There will be more pictures of Main Street coming up.

nice pics stopher!!! the trees are getting smaller.so are the decorations on the trees. i dont remember a live tree at wdw but i do remember the decorations and the tree being alot bigger.:thumbsup2

Yeah, the end of the live tree era was a big thing. Very sad. It used to show up backstage sometime in early October while it got "dressed". They would always fill it in with some artificial branches to make it look "perfect", since no real tree ever really looks "perfect". But the whole "green thing" led to the demise of a real tree. And to boot, they went last year to LED lights, so it has a really strange look to it at night, IMO. Later on I'm planning on a side-by-side of DL & the MK's tree. There is quite a difference in the overall look of both!

FreezinRafiki
01-17-2011, 03:01 PM
The pictures are great, Stopher. So familiar, yet so different.
Disneyland is certainly on our "must do" list, but we're holding out until Cars Land opens in a few years.

tea pot
01-17-2011, 05:54 PM
Loving it
I really need to go over to that side of the "World"
Looking forward to More :surfweb:

Captain_Oblivious
01-18-2011, 02:33 PM
Wow, I've really fallen behind on your TR's! Sorry about that. I'm working on catching up.

First of all, I think the GC hotel looks amazing. Can't wait to see it in person someday. And I'm glad you could meet up with old friends.

Secondly, I'm with Barry in that it's probably best for us to wait till Radiator Springs opens up before going to DL. But I'm really intrigued by all the ways it differs from WDW. Thanks for posting all of the pictures. WOC looks like an awesome show!

Simba's Mom
01-18-2011, 10:41 PM
Now, wait a minute, my friend...do you mean to tell me that my DH and I are teleported to yesteryear every Saturday night when we go to DL to listen to the swing bands. I mean those old couples are still out there, maybe we are being teleported back in time. But I mean to tell you the bands are still there Saturday nights. And I'm pretty sure a few of those old couples were dancing when you were last there;) Saturday nights = Swing band night = date night for us. But don't count on seeing us old fogies out there:lmao: My DH does a mean toe tap and I'm usually dancing with my grand daughter or swaying if she's with us.

Are you seriously saying that they've restarted the swing bands on Saturday nights year-round now? I know that in the last couple summers, the Disney All-American Band (only performing from mid-June to mid-August) comes in and does a swing set on Saurday night. And don't poo poo their quality as too young for that style msuic-many of the members of DAMB are experienced Big Band Musicians, though still in college earning their chops (including DS).

stopher1
01-18-2011, 10:46 PM
The pictures are great, Stopher. So familiar, yet so different.
Disneyland is certainly on our "must do" list, but we're holding out until Cars Land opens in a few years.

2012. Carsland opens in 2012. Start planning Barry - I'd say 2013. Evan will love it, I'm sure. Heck, I'll love it!

Loving it
I really need to go over to that side of the "World"
Looking forward to More :surfweb:

:) Yes you do! Do you still have the map I drew for you? If so, I'd love it if you would scan it and email it to me - it might come in handy later on...


Wow, I've really fallen behind on your TR's! Sorry about that. I'm working on catching up.

First of all, I think the GC hotel looks amazing. Can't wait to see it in person someday. And I'm glad you could meet up with old friends.

Secondly, I'm with Barry in that it's probably best for us to wait till Radiator Springs opens up before going to DL. But I'm really intrigued by all the ways it differs from WDW. Thanks for posting all of the pictures. WOC looks like an awesome show!

No need to apologize Mark - glad you could stop by at all. :) The Grand IS amazing. Wow. I love it so much. I'm ready to go back now...

stopher1
01-18-2011, 10:59 PM
Part IV: Disneyland After Dark

Following the conclusion of World of Color at DCA, it was now about 10:45ish, and DCA was closed...but Disneyland was open until Midnight. Across the esplanade I went. Being a Sunday evening, with school the next day, I knew it would not be super crowded during that last hour, and I was very correct. I got to enjoy a LOT of the park in that short time. Here are some of my adventures.

The Partners statue

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001148.jpg


Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle, by night

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001134.jpg


A close-up of one corner

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001141.jpg


I love how it wraps around to the back side more this year

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001136.jpg


Of course being much smaller than Cinderella's Castle at the MK, there is no restaurant upstairs, but there is the Castle Walkthru with the Sleeping Beauty Diorama. Very nice. Sedate. Classic. And these cool murals on each side of the inside of the castle breezeway.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001137.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001139.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001138.jpg


It's A Small World Holiday. This is hands-down my favorite aspect of Christmas at Disneyland.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-00127.jpg

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http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-00161.jpg

stopher1
01-18-2011, 11:10 PM
I was literally able to ride everything in Fantasyland, plus I went over and enjoyed Big Thunder Mountain before working my way back down Main Street, U.S.A.. Had some fun conversations with the cast members while I was at it.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001150.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001153.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001156.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001159.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001161.jpg


Back in to Town Square, first the Opera House, home of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001166.jpg


The Emporium

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001167.jpg


The Fire Station, with Walt's apartment above

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001169.jpg

City Hall

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001170.jpg


And the Train Station

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001171.jpg

and then looking back after passing through the tunnels, and headed for the exit

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001174.jpg

Since it's such a nice short walk from the main gate back to the Grand, I was literally in my room in less than 10 minutes (I lingered in the lobby enjoying the fire place for 2 or 3 minutes first).

The next day was check-out from VGC, but more time in the park, before I had to head off to the work portion of my trip...but that doesn't mean at all that it was the last time in the parks that week by any means. :confused3 Hmmm. More about that later.

3 Hobbits 2 Disney
01-18-2011, 11:10 PM
How cool is that...It's a Small World for the holidays. Love it.

Loving your trip report. Maybe I'll have to incorporate your strategy into my next California trip.

Thanks for sharing. :goodvibes

stopher1
01-18-2011, 11:17 PM
How cool is that...It's a Small World for the holidays. Love it.

Loving your trip report. Maybe I'll have to incorporate your strategy into my next California trip.

Thanks for sharing. :goodvibes

Thanks & Welcome!

Oh yeah, not only is it decked out both outside and in, but the music is changed too. It's the same overall theme, but "Deck the Halls" and "Jingle Bells" is worked in. It's much more enjoyable, IMO than the traditional version. This was the 14th or 15th year they've done the holiday overlay for IASW now, and it is such a crowd pleaser.

kikiq
01-19-2011, 12:58 AM
Are you seriously saying that they've restarted the swing bands on Saturday nights year-round now? I know that in the last couple summers, the Disney All-American Band (only performing from mid-June to mid-August) comes in and does a swing set on Saurday night. And don't poo poo their quality as too young for that style msuic-many of the members of DAMB are experienced Big Band Musicians, though still in college earning their chops (including DS).

Now I can't say all through summer as I was up in northern Cal for most of it taking care of my Dad, but my DH and I go to Disneyland two Saturdays a month and listen to the bands. I would say that most Saturday nights there is a swing band. Our favorites are Tim Gill and Doc Anello. There are some bands that we haven't heard yet. I know that earlier this year there was a group of young folks that would "dress" and just dance the night away. Our favorites are a couple that I'm guessing are entertainment CMs. They dance during the Remember fireworks. It's so cool, to see them dance to the firework music in the dark. Very professional.

Simba's Mom
01-19-2011, 10:40 AM
Now I can't say all through summer as I was up in northern Cal for most of it taking care of my Dad, but my DH and I go to Disneyland two Saturdays a month and listen to the bands. I would say that most Saturday nights there is a swing band. Our favorites are Tim Gill and Doc Anello. There are some bands that we haven't heard yet. I know that earlier this year there was a group of young folks that would "dress" and just dance the night away. Our favorites are a couple that I'm guessing are entertainment CMs. They dance during the Remember fireworks. It's so cool, to see them dance to the firework music in the dark. Very professional.


That's interesting info, thanks. I passed it along to DS so he can see what he missed!

dvczerfs
01-19-2011, 12:31 PM
great pics stopher.:thumbsup2

FreezinRafiki
01-19-2011, 12:51 PM
Across the esplanade I went.

Gesundheit

:rotfl2::lmao:


It's A Small World Holiday. This is hands-down my favorite aspect of Christmas at Disneyland.

That's quite an attraction! How long do they have to shut it down for to put all that up?



The Fire Station, with Walt's apartment above

It's hard to tell from the picture - is that Walt's lamp that it lit up or are there Christmas Lights in the window?

stopher1
01-19-2011, 03:30 PM
That's quite an attraction! How long do they have to shut it down for to put all that up?

I believe, but could be off a bit, that it takes 6 weeks to install, and then 3 or 4 to remove it all afterwards. It's up and ready to go when the Christmas season kicks off once Halloween moves out.

They do similarly with the Haunted Mansion Holiday (Nightmare Before Christmas overlay), but that one covers both Halloween and Christmas, so it's ready to go by Labor Day. That too takes several weeks to prep, and then 2 or 3 to remove. So yeah, both attractions are down for a good chunk of time twice per year.


It's hard to tell from the picture - is that Walt's lamp that it lit up or are there Christmas Lights in the window?

Yeah, sorry, my camera doesn't do the best with nighttime shots. But you can't expect much from many point and shoots, or the operator for that matter. :rotfl:

There's a mini Christmas tree up there behind the window. It's a lamp on a table most of the year, then a small tree during the Christmas season.

nuts
01-19-2011, 07:13 PM
I've always wanted to do the Pro Bowl in Hawaii followed by the Superbowl. Maybe a Trifecta is better (Aluani, VGC, SSR)?

stopher1
01-19-2011, 09:37 PM
I've always wanted to do the Pro Bowl in Hawaii followed by the Superbowl. Maybe a Trifecta is better (Aluani, VGC, SSR)?

That sounds pretty awesome to me!! :thumbsup2

Captain_Oblivious
01-20-2011, 03:04 PM
The night shots are great! Even if it is a point-and-shoot. :thumbsup2

Whoever came up with the idea of making the icicle lights for the castles was a genius.

Oh yeah, not only is it decked out both outside and in, but the music is changed too. It's the same overall theme, but "Deck the Halls" and "Jingle Bells" is worked in. It's much more enjoyable, IMO than the traditional version. This was the 14th or 15th year they've done the holiday overlay for IASW now, and it is such a crowd pleaser.

IASW with Christmas lights and less annoying music? Sounds like something I might actually try. :rotfl2:

Muushka
02-02-2011, 04:29 PM
Hey Stoph! Those pictures of Small World all decked out for Christmas are so pretty, I might actually get Mr Muush to ride it!

tea pot
02-02-2011, 10:03 PM
Beautiful, Beautiful

Stopher....You are so right I just have to get out there at Christmas especially to see the Holiday Small World.

Thanks a bunch for the great pictures ;)

DisneyDadC
03-01-2011, 11:47 PM
The pics man the pics:thumbsup2:thumbsup2

Rental01
03-02-2011, 01:12 PM
Thanks & Welcome!

Oh yeah, not only is it decked out both outside and in, but the music is changed too. It's the same overall theme, but "Deck the Halls" and "Jingle Bells" is worked in. It's much more enjoyable, IMO than the traditional version. This was the 14th or 15th year they've done the holiday overlay for IASW now, and it is such a crowd pleaser.

Gunboats yet? Please? :D

stopher1
03-02-2011, 10:38 PM
Part V: Monday, Monday

Life sure gets in the way sometimes of what you really want to do… updating your Trip Report! My gracious it’s been about 2 months since I last updated this. Bummer for those following along, who’ve probably all but given up on me by now… Christmas is long gone, Valentine’s has come and gone, and the little green leprechauns will be out in force in just a couple more weeks… I’d better get crackin’. “Sherman, turn on the way back machine” – it’s time to go back to the 2010 Christmas season once more…

…here’s where we last were when I last updated…

Since it's such a nice short walk from the main gate back to the Grand, I was literally in my room in less than 10 minutes (I lingered in the lobby enjoying the fire place for 2 or 3 minutes first).

The next day was check-out from VGC, but more time in the park, before I had to head off to the work portion of my trip...but that doesn't mean at all that it was the last time in the parks that week by any means. Hmmm. More about that later.

Here are a few more photos from the lobby of the Grand – to reset the mood for you…

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001184.jpg


http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001180.jpg


http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001181.jpg


And some lamps from the lobby too (I love taking shots of architecture, décor, and furnishings, if you haven’t yet figured that out)

This one is from the central lobby area, near the built in sofas

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001176.jpg


And this one is from the Registration counter - I love the dragonflies in the glass

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1128-001178.jpg


Monday morning arrived, and yes it was check-out day. I would be transferring my gear down to the Crowne Plaza in Irvine for the work portion of this trip. But I didn’t need to check-in in Irvine until that evening… so it was another fun-filled day in the parks. I pretty much had my gear ready to go early, and took it down to the car. Then it was a relatively quick walk back to the Grand for a quick walk-through and entry in to DCA. I took a few shots of the resort on the way. Here are a couple of the outdoor fireplace, wedding lawn area and the pool area.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-0014.jpg


http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-0015.jpg


http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-0018.jpg


Today I wanted to ride the Silly Symphony Swings. And check out the new (to me) exhibit in the Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar – (it was the pending Little Mermaid ride having replaced the World of Color that was there the last time I went in there). So I worked my way over in to the Paradise Pier section of the park. Here I was standing directly in front of Toy Story Midway Mania, with the California Screamin’ loop above.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00122.jpg


And here was my score from TSMM. Not too shabby, but of course lots of room for improvement there.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00112-1.jpg


And here I turned around and am looking directly north across the Paradise Pier lagoon at the construction of the new Little Mermaid ride.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00119.jpg



It's kind of funny to look back now, at this picture from 3 months ago, when I've been watching the construction progress on two different websites I follow and how much further along it is since this picture was taken. Grand Opening has now been set for early June. I can't wait to ride it...


As you are looking north across the lagoon, to your left as the walk path curves around the lagoon, you find the Silly Symphony Swings. This ride is new, but it is not, in the sense that it replaced the original swing ride from when DCA first opened in 2001 - the Orange Stinger. Let me just say straight off, I LOVE this little ride. Oh my goodness. I never cared for the old version - but this completely rebuilt, redone swing ride is so much better, and way cooler. I love the theming too, of the old Silly Symphony cartoons, especially Mickey’s Band Concert, especially this great topper that was put on. It really is so fun… and the music from the Band Concert cartoon sure helps too.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00131.jpg


And finally a little video of it – it was such fun. I think I mentioned that, didn’t I? Fun. Yeah. I could go for a ride on the swings right now actually. They were fun.

http://s292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/?action=view&current=2010-1129-00132.mp4

stopher1
03-03-2011, 07:50 AM
Here are just a few pics of the model for the new Little Mermaid attraction. I looks very immersive and cool. I can't wait for it to open, and some time next year for it's clone to open up in the MK. My DW and I have talked for years about how poor Ariel got the shaft with no ride in Fantasyland like the other princesses did. Finally her day is coming. Needless to say my DD who absolutely ADORES Ariel is pretty stoked about this new attraction.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00141.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00143.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00147.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00151.jpg


Wandering around DCA produced a handful of other pictures as well. The park is under heavy construction thanks to the major renovations, redos and that new little land they are building, Carsland. 2012 and beyond will have a lot of cool new stuff to take pictures of - but for now, a few old standbys.

Here the old Mulholland Madness is behind construction walls as it gets remade in to Goofy's Sky School. Since this was taken the entire track has been repainted blue. Makes sense since the coaster is supposed to be about flight.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00128.jpg

That is of course, the Grand Californian right behind the coaster too.

Mickey's Fun Wheel with California Screamin' behind it

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00137.jpg

Part of the viewing area for World of Color - Paradise Park, overlooking the lagoon

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00138.jpg


And then here is the lobby of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I miss the 4D room from the WDW version here, but I do like the double stacked elevators. My kids definitely prefer this version to Florida, as they don't like the 4D room. Oh well, to each his own. No matter - I love this attraction, and the immersive environments of the lobby and the library.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00153.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00154.jpg

dvczerfs
03-03-2011, 08:07 AM
nice pics stopher! :thumbsup2

Wherem I Now
03-03-2011, 08:24 AM
That's really cool to see a behind the scenes of the ride plan. Does Disney usually display the mock-ups of the rides like this? It's the first time that I've seen one. :thumbsup2

afwdwfan
03-03-2011, 09:26 AM
Somebody hand me a broom, I just walked into a big cobweb. :lmao:

Thanks for the update Stopher, look forward to being able to see the pictures after I get home from work. I wish that they'd build a Carsland in Disney World too, but maybe this will be what I need to finally get that first trip to the West Coast and more specifically Disneyland.

DisneyDadC
03-03-2011, 02:40 PM
we are hoping to do Disneyland next yr as my daughters school band will be headed out there.I know where to go for any info I may need there:thumbsup2

FreezinRafiki
03-03-2011, 03:13 PM
Nice update Stopher. We were tossing around the idea of heading out there in 2012, but I think we'll push it back a year to make sure Carsland is open and some of the "newness" has worn off (and hopefully, the crowds aren't as bad?)

Captain_Oblivious
03-03-2011, 03:58 PM
Nice pictures! It's amazing to see this park and see things that look so familiar, and yet completely different. And I'm with Mike--I've never seen them put out a model that gives you an idea of what the ride will be like. But I hope they do it more often!

franandaj
03-03-2011, 04:16 PM
Nice update. I haven't made it to Blue Sky Cellar in the long time (they still had WoC last time I was in there!) :lmao: Nice to see what the Ariel ride is going to become. We're there the few days before all the big openings, so hopefully they'll be doing soft openings in the days before.

To those who have never seen previews like shown here...they started doing this in the Blue Sky Cellar in DCA a couple years ago. When it originally opened, Mondavi sponsored the Winery and they showed a film about wine producing in California. After Mondavi pulled out it sat vacant for a long time. A couple years ago they started previewing upcoming projects at DLR, now that they have changed it to a preview center it is very popular and there is almost always a crowd enjoying the exhibits. It is constantly changing as new exhibits are in development.

stopher1
03-03-2011, 09:43 PM
Nice update. I haven't made it to Blue Sky Cellar in the long time (they still had WoC last time I was in there!) :lmao: Nice to see what the Ariel ride is going to become. We're there the few days before all the big openings, so hopefully they'll be doing soft openings in the days before.

To those who have never seen previews like shown here...they started doing this in the Blue Sky Cellar in DCA a couple years ago. When it originally opened, Mondavi sponsored the Winery and they showed a film about wine producing in California. After Mondavi pulled out it sat vacant for a long time. A couple years ago they started previewing upcoming projects at DLR, now that they have changed it to a preview center it is very popular and there is almost always a crowd enjoying the exhibits. It is constantly changing as new exhibits are in development.

Yeah, WOC was the last model I had seen in there as well. I read various websites each week, and always love seeing what is going on in the Cellar.


Disneyland has historically had numerous Preview Centers, with actual attraction models. This model in particular, while at DCA, instead of DL proper, is certainly more of an inside view than an outside view. Most of the models in the past have been the exteriors. Models have been a very important part of the imagineering process for many, many years. The earliest models weren't kept, sadly, but over time, they started to see the value of keeping them. Thank goodness for that, because there are some amazing models on display still in different places. One of the most fun I've ever seen (I have a photo somewhere), is of the inside of Space Mountain at DL - the single track version, not the tandem track of the MK. You could actually move around the platform it sat upon, and with your eyes, or your finger if you were a pointer (like me), follow the track from the station all the way up, down, around and through until you got back to the station. It was awesome.

When I worked there, the Preview Center was on the east corner of Main Street, USA (currently a shop), and it had the model for Splash Mountain. Actually, many of the models on display inside One Man's Dream in the Studios park in Florida were at one time on display in Disneyland. Prior to the Blue Sky Cellar, the last Preview Center was inside the exit area of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and hosted the preview art and models for Disney California Adventure park.

WDW had it's own preview center at least a couple of times. The first being for the initial resort construction itself. It was located on Hotel Plaza Blvd, in what is now the Athletic Association building (if you WDW vets are familiar with that area at all.). Later they had one inside the MK by the old Walt Disney Story attraction, inside what will soon be the new home for Mickey & Minnie - there in the Exhibition Hall. It hosted a preview model of Epcot back in the late '70s and very early '80s.

franandaj
03-04-2011, 01:15 AM
the last Preview Center was inside the exit area of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and hosted the preview art and models for Disney California Adventure park.


I remember that too. Since we get to DL much more often than WDW we do get to wander around the park and see what is going on. We need to remember to head out and check out DCA as well!

stopher1
03-04-2011, 08:49 AM
Leaving DCA and crossing the esplanade over to the entrance to Disneyland, these color banners advertising WOC were everywhere.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00156.jpg


One of my favorite sights...

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00157.jpg


And my all time favorite sign...

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00158.jpg


The park was getting ready for the annual Candlelight Processional the next weekend. Too bad I was going to miss it at Disneyland - but - I would be seeing it at Epcot in just a few days, so I wasn't too disappointed. At Disneyland it is still performed on just a single weekend each December, and is still in Town Square (even though they took it and moved it for a few years back in the '90's) unlike the cash cow it's become at Epcot, being performed 2 or 3 times nightly for the entire month of December. Gotta get those dinner reservations to ensure a seat...

At Disneyland the seating is found throughout Town Square, with standing room behind the various chairs set up. The orchestra is right down on Main Street itself. I haven't attended at Candlelight at DL in at least a dozen years now, so I cannot say for certain if it is still done this way or not - but in the past when I have seen it - and participated in it - one of the best parts was the processional itself, where the mass choir would actually process down Main Street. That was always phenomenal to see. The other really cool part I love is to see the trumpeters up on the roof of the Train Station... it's all just so magical. A must-do for any Candlelight lover, at least once, IMO.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00162.jpg

I still remember singing near the middle of that tree platform back in the day... such fun it was. I have it on DVD (transferred from video) - and enjoy watching it each Christmas season. The first year I was in it, it was broadcast on the still-relatively new Disney Channel and we taped it. How fun was that? I still have my sheet music too!


One of my favorite attractions at Disneyland. Oh how I wish they would use these more at WDW. I love the hustle and bustle of the parks, but it sure is nice to just sit back, relax, and go that whopping 2 miles per hour every once in a while.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00163.jpg

I took the above shot from the upper level of another of my favorite attractions at DL - the Omnibus. I love that double decker bus. Another great way to get aroud.


As we approach the castle

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00165.jpg


After going UP Main Street, USA - I went back DOWN Main Street, this time on the Trolley.

"Bert" was on duty that day. He was a good boy, really, except for not stopping on his mark and overshooting the stop by about 5 feet. Our driver said he'd be retiring in about a year.

The Trolley stops right across from this lovely little home. I wonder who lives here? Oh that's right - it's Sleeping Beauty! And this must be her "Winter Castle". Like WDW, DL now drapes out the castle with all kind of lights that look lovely by night - but very gaudy by day. The snow detail on the turrets and roof make it look so very neat though.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00168.jpg

Here are a couple of images from the trip back down Main Street.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00171.jpg


Still showing cartoons

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00172.jpg


http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00174.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00175.jpg

FreezinRafiki
03-04-2011, 09:03 AM
So similar, set soooo different from the only Magic Kingdom I've ever known/seen. Thanks for the trolley tour!

I pretty sure you're going to be biased to your roots of Disneyland, but I'm going to ask anyway - which castle is your favorite? Having never seen Sleeping Beauty's in person, it seems so small compared to Cinderella's. Certainly, building techniques improved in the 20 or so years between them being built, allowing for a much larger and taller castle in Florida, but I'd like to hear your opinion...

stopher1
03-04-2011, 09:21 AM
I pretty sure you're going to be biased to your roots of Disneyland, but I'm going to ask anyway - which castle is your favorite? Having never seen Sleeping Beauty's in person, it seems so small compared to Cinderella's. Certainly, building techniques improved in the 20 or so years between them being built, allowing for a much larger and taller castle in Florida, but I'd like to hear your opinion...


You are correct in your assumption Barry, Disneyland's castle is my favorite - of the castles I've experienced, however - there are certainly aspects of the Magic Kingdom's that I love as well. Heck yeah - I love that you can see it from a mile away at the TTC. It was designed that way on purpose - to build the anticipation of crossing that Seven Seas Lagoon - or going all the way around it on the Monorail. That was a very important and intentional design feature by the imagineers. Conversely, Walt wanted the scale of the castle at Disneyland to be diminuitive, keeping with the scale of the rest of the park. He didn't want it to be imposing and overbearing.

When comparing the two - I personally say that Sleeping Beauty Castle is intimate and charming, while Cinderella Castle is regal and grand. Both have wonderful qualities. I love the restuarant aspect inside Cinderella's - and I love the Walk-Thru Diorama inside Sleeping Beauty's.

Sleeping Beauty Castle was made of wood - pretty much standard stick construction. Cinderella Castle is steel and fiberglass. Both have their pros and cons.

Cinderella Castle was designed to have both the restaurant and a Disney family apartment way up overhead - Sleeping Beauty Castle was designed as an empty shell. The Diorama wasn't added until about 4 years after the park opened and had to be shoe-horned in to the empty, feral cat & flea infested insides.

And you certainly cannot beat the myriad photo opportunities that Cinderella Castle provides. The placement and the overall shape and design allowed for so many wonderful shots that Sleeping Beauty Castle just doesn't allow for. However - you can get much closer to Sleeping Beauty's and get the entire thing in a horizontal frame than you can Cinderella's - and I definitely like that. I don't always want a vertical shot with the castle background - but unfortunately to do that at WDW - you simply cut off most of the castle - or stand way down in Town Square.

But both actually, are second in beauty, in my mind, to what was created for Disneyland Paris. That castle is one I really want to see - especially the dragon's lair that was built down underneath.

dvczerfs
03-04-2011, 10:35 AM
great pics stopher!!! do they still keep the lamp on in the second floor of the firehouse?

Captain_Oblivious
03-04-2011, 10:53 AM
Awesome pictures, and it felt like I was really taking a tour of Main St. USA. Thanks for showing the plaque as you enter Disneyland as well--what a great quote.

tea pot
03-04-2011, 11:23 AM
Stopher
I'm so Loving your TR of DL
It seems to me that DL is far more intimate and personal more people sized.
I can really picture Walt taking his daughters there on a Sunday afternoon. princess:
Looks like I need to start doing some serious trip planning for a combo DL and Aulani visit maybe 2012

What time of year would you suggest to go? (I would love to see Small World at Christmas but DH couldn't get two weeks off together in Dec.)

Looking forward to More :surfweb:

stopher1
03-04-2011, 08:30 PM
great pics stopher!!! do they still keep the lamp on in the second floor of the firehouse?

Yes, they do.


Stopher
I'm so Loving your TR of DL
It seems to me that DL is far more intimate and personal more people sized.
I can really picture Walt taking his daughters there on a Sunday afternoon. princess:
Looks like I need to start doing some serious trip planning for a combo DL and Aulani visit maybe 2012

What time of year would you suggest to go? (I would love to see Small World at Christmas but DH couldn't get two weeks off together in Dec.)

Looking forward to More :surfweb:


:) Thanks tea pot.

Disneyland definitely IS a lot more intimate. One of the things that the Imagineers tasked with designing the Magic Kingdom in the late '60's that they felt was a flaw of DL, and then "fixed", was to widen the walkways, make the buildings taller, and make everything more spread out. You definitely lost the charm of the original that way.

A DL / Aulani trek sounds like a great trip to me. We're actually planning that for mid-2013 ourselves.

Southern California really is such a different market than Florida. It's not quite as clear-cut as to when you might go. With 36 million +/- people considered locals - and over 1 million annual passholders alone... tons of different school systems (some of which are on year-round tracks), it's kind of hard to actually make a recommendation. Anything that I say would be disputed by someone else. I will say that they don't have the same seasonal events like WDW has, nor are the points "seasons" the same. Personally I love going in the spring, or fall. So. Cal does not have the same humidity issues that Florida does, so summer time is okay, but it can be very hot. Winter is also very nice. So Cal has great weather throughout the year, really, and each season makes for a nice DL visit.

One other thing to add - the park has been there for 56 years. Many of the trees are original plantings from when the park was being constructed (moved there from elsewhere) - so there is a LOT of shade; especially given the smaller nature of the park, and the closer proximity between attractions and entire lands. Even though there are way more outdoor queues than you find at WDW, there is not the humidity factor - so don't let the uber vegetation scare you. It seems to make the park HOTTER at AK, but not at DL. Like WDW, of course all of the buildings puff out the a/c with their open doors, etc, but there are often cool breezes that blow through off the ocean (only about 20 minutes away). Plus, even in the hottest days of summer, evenings can and do often cool down. When we lived just 10 minutes away from DL and would go each week - there were many a day that my DW would want to put on a sweatshirt once the sun went down, even in the midst of summer.

franandaj
03-04-2011, 08:56 PM
Teapot,
I'll make a reccomendation that could be disputed by others. I would suggest May, most of the rehabs that they started in January will be complete, it's not totally overly hot like in the summertime. Lots of the local kids will still be in school. I wouldn't travel in September or October because it can still be very hot. However, as Christopher pointed out, CA doesn't have the humidity of FL, and almost any time of the year the weather is pleasant.

It's a fabulous place to visit, you should definitely plan to stop through and stay a while.

stopher1
03-04-2011, 08:59 PM
The first iron coaster in the world - the Matterhorn Boblseds.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00177.jpg


Heading in to Frontierland. I love the decorations throughout the park at Disneyland

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00179.jpg


The Petrified Tree that Walt gave his wife Lillian as an anniversary present in 1955 for their wedding anniversary... she quickly found a nice place for it in the park and had it set up there.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00184.jpg


Even all these years later, I still miss the original Golden Horseshoe Revue. The show closed in 1986, but it is still fondly remembered

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00188.jpg


About to board the Mark Twain

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00187.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00186.jpg


On board the Mark Twain, looking out over New Orleans Square - hands down my favorite land in any Disney park. Pirates of the Caribbean first opened in this land in 1967 and still delights and draws large crowds. It's in the left side of this photo - the cupola with the flag on top is the portion of the building where the entrance is. Just to the right, the green wrought iron draped balcony, is what was to be Walt's apartment for entertaining VIP's and guests - above the entrance to POTC. Sadly he died before ever using it. It became the home of the Disney Gallery in 1987, and then in 2008 was transformed in to the "Dreams Suite" for that silly "Year of a Million Dreams" promotion. Since the Gallery was booted from that coveted space, it later found a home in early 2010 in the former Bank of Main Street space on Town Square. It's a nice space, but nothing as special as its former home, to say the least. The Bank of Main Street was actually a working Bank of America branch, for many, many years - and the only BofA branch open on a Sunday in all of Southern California when it was an actual operating bank. I don't remember the year it shut down operations, sometime in the early 2000's, and then it became the AP processing center for several years.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00193.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00196.jpg


Here's a view inside the apartment, of the Living Room, after it was converted to the Dreams Suite.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/DreamSuite_LivingRoom01.jpg


And the view from the balcony, looking out over the Rivers of America

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/DreamSuite_Balcony01.jpg


Passing the Sailing Ship Columbia, docked and not in use that day

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00198.jpg


Coming up to and then passing the Haunted Mansion (my all-time favorite attraction), all decked out for Haunted Mansion Holiday - or as I affectionately say - taken over by that wierdo Jack Skellington and his Nightmare Before Christmas pals. (I know that many, many, many people love that overlay... but I don't. IMO they should have left that classic alone - BUT - it draws huge crowds, so there you go).

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001106.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001100.jpg


A replica of the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe - and also used at night as Captain Hook's ship in the Peter Pan sequence of Fantasmic! - the Columbia is a very cool ship indeed. You can even go down inside and see what life was like on a ship in the 1790's. I've always loved that ship.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00199.jpg


Some nice moosy friends along the banks of the Rivers of America, as you continue the journey around Tom Sawyer Island.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001101.jpg

dvczerfs
03-05-2011, 06:38 AM
wow, nice pics stopher. i have to get to dl one day. i didnt know about the tree that walt gave lilian.it has allmost the same same shape as mad. mtn. do they to a tour at dl like the keys to the kingdom at wdw? i also like how the entire place is decorated. wdw mainly just decorates main street and thats it.

stopher1
03-05-2011, 07:32 AM
wow, nice pics stopher. i have to get to dl one day. i didnt know about the tree that walt gave lilian.it has allmost the same same shape as mad. mtn. do they to a tour at dl like the keys to the kingdom at wdw? i also like how the entire place is decorated. wdw mainly just decorates main street and thats it.

There some various tours offered, yes.

I really like the seasonal decorating at Disneyland, because yeah, they do tend to get into the season in each land, and customize the decorations appropriately. It's quite nice. New Orleans Square actually is my favorite for decorations (as well as my favorite land), because they tend to just over the top with it and it's really cool - though 2010, was slightly diminshed over 2009... kind of like what's been happening at WDW each of the past several years.

cj9200
03-05-2011, 09:15 AM
wow, nice pics stopher. i have to get to dl one day. i didnt know about the tree that walt gave lilian.it has allmost the same same shape as mad. mtn. do they to a tour at dl like the keys to the kingdom at wdw? i also like how the entire place is decorated. wdw mainly just decorates main street and thats it.

I did the Walking in Walt's Footsteps tour which was pretty neat. It was a number of years ago so I would check to see if it is still offered.

Agree on pics expecially NO Square. I agree with you Stopher, that is my favorite land at DL.

stopher1
03-06-2011, 02:30 PM
In Mickey's Toontown, the central area

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-Nov9.jpg


Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin
http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-Nov8.jpg


Goofy's Bounce House

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-Nov7.jpg


Heading down to Adventureland
http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00178.jpg


Inside the still ORIGINAL Enchanted Tiki Room (I love that show - especially when I sit there with a Dole Whip in hand... :love:)

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-00181.jpg


Next to the Tiki Room, Aladdin's Oasis - sitting empty once again while I was there. The story telling was a nice use of the space, as were photo ops, but I really wish they would reopen a restaurant in that space. The old Tahitian Terrace was so cool (think the Spirit of Aloha show at the Poly, WDW vets). But with the outside rethemed this way - it would be a really cool character dining location with Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, the Genie... come on Disneyland... let's get it going.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-Nov3.jpg

Across the way, the Adventureland Bazaar. This one goes all the way back to opening day. Sure, what is sold inside has changed through the years, but the shop is original.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-Nov4.jpg

Moving west through Adventureland,

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-Nov2.jpg


the Bengal BBQ (under the hexagonal thatched roof) serves up some yummy food!

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-Nov1.jpg


The temple entrance of Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, definitely unique to Disneyland - though it kind of isn't. WDW vets, did you know that Dinosaur at AK is actually the exact same ride - just dressed and themed to dinos instead of Indiana Jones? When I rode it the very first time, my mind's eye kept saying "Indy should be standing right there - the snake should be right here, the rats should be here, the poison darts should be here.... ". AK needed another ride, and the Imagineers just happened to have this great new ride that had opened at DL a few years prior... so bam, retheme it, build a different looking show building, turn out most of the lights but throw in a bunch of strobe lights and there you go...

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-Nov6.jpg

dvczerfs
03-06-2011, 03:16 PM
nice pics stopher.:thumbsup2

stopher1
03-06-2011, 03:27 PM
Back down in to Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. - getting ready to leave soon for the work part of the trip. But first, a stop in to see the updated Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show. It had been done for a rehab for a long period in 2009, and finally re-opened just two or three weeks after my end of year visit in 2009 - so I was excited to be able to see it. The new lobby area right outside the theatre itself is gorgeous. But first, a few other shots from the outer lobby and the pre-show area.

Here is the model of Disneyland on opening day. This model was created in 2005 by the then-current Imagineers to represent what the park was like in 1955 for the park's 50th anniversary celebration - The Happiest Homecoming on Earth. This giant 3D map is behind glass, so some of the pics have reflections of light fixtures in them...

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001122.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001124.jpg

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http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001127.jpg

And a model of Sleeping Beauty Castle

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001129.jpg


The aerial view painting Walt used on the old Disneyland tv show in 1954 to showcase to America what Disneyland the place would be like... at least this is an image of that aerial view painting - it could be the original, but it could be a copy too - I cannot say definitively, though it probably is.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001131.jpg


This next picture is of a piece of art that I just really liked, a lot, showcasing Disneyland's first major expansion back in 1959 - when the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Monorail and the Submarine Voyage where all added at the same time, and opened within days of each other

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001130.jpg


Here is the model of Splash Mountain, that I referred to on an earlier page. This model was actually featured prominently in the old Preview Center location, in the southeast corner location of Main Street, U.S.A. Back then it was the Disney Showcase - for the life of me I can't even recall the name of the shop that occupies that space now - the stuff they stock in that shop is "that" memorable. :rotfl: It's next to the Magic Shop though, I do remember that much.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001132.jpg


Moving further in to the lobby, you come to the inner lobby, dedicated to the Lincoln show. The intricate, hand-carved model of the U.S. Capitol has returned.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001133.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001135.jpg


Much of the woodwork, which used to be painted white, has been stripped and stained a nice rich brown. The doors to the theater as well. The fireplace at the back of the lobby area is new.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001138.jpg


The maquettes for the "Spirit of..." statues found in the American Adventure at Epcot have found a home and are on display.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001136.jpg


I absolutely was mesmerized by this new portrait of Abraham Lincoln. It was hanging on the wall next to the fireplace, and is simply excellent.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001137.jpg


Above the fireplace was a digital screen, with a rolling film about the production, Walt's fascination with our 16th president, and other such information. It was really neat.

Finally, inside the theatre, enjoying Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. This figure seems to be the most realistic, articulate animatronic I've ever seen. It was magnificent. I enjoyed this version very much. It removed much of the nonsense that was added in to the last version (early 2000's update), and restored a lot of the original script, though it was certainly revised. Definitely one I will return to again.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001140.jpg

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001142.jpg

Upon the conclusion of the show, I exited the theatre, and it was time to bid the park adieu. I didn't want to leave. So I lingered in Town Square for a while. Went in to the Emporium for a few moments, and then found a bench to sit on for a while. I knew I would be back to Disneyland in just a matter of 3 1/2 weeks with my family - but even so, I didn't want to leave. But alas, I finally did. The work week of meetings was calling... and I would be heading east to Florida in just 6 days... so it was time to move on. I sure did want to see World of Color one more time, but it wouldn't be that night. Hmmmmm, the wheels of my mind were turning....

stopher1
03-06-2011, 04:25 PM
Part VI: A Work Week Begins

There's really just something about being in Southern California, especially when you are a Disneyphile, and you are physically only about 15-20 miles away from the park. The draw is amazing. Of course for me, it has always been amazing - even as a child and I had no way of transporting myelf the 35 miles from my home to the park. It started early, and remains constant all these years later. It's harder to reconcile & deal with nowadays, living 2200+ miles from the original Magic Kingdom, and nearly 1000 miles from her eastern cousin. But I manage pretty well each year, if I do say myself.

Tuesday was a full day. FULL of meetings, meetings and more meetings. Large group meetings, and smaller break-out sessions. The evening was to have some "forced fun" with dinner and an activity. It was a "dine around" kind of experience - in that each team member was given a list of official restaurants - and was to choose several options. Then each team member would be selected by the leadership as to which restaurant they would be dining at. The goal was to mix up the team members who don't normally interact together, to somehow build better relationships with those they don't currently work with. Well let me tell you this - it hasn't worked for each of the past 6 years my company has tried this. The dinners are dull, boring and full of "top surface" conversation that doesn't bring about bonding or any kind of "team building".

With that in mind, I opted to be a rebel and skip out, choosing my own dinner plans. Sure it meant I was foregoing the company paying for dinner... big whoop. I didn't care. I was headed to Disneyland! World of Color was on my mind - and I would not be swayed. As soon as the mass group meeting was dismissed for the day - I was out the door, headed to the hotel to quickly change and get ready to burn rubber on up to Anaheim. Unfortunately this IS Southern California, and burning rubber just isn't possible much of the time. T R A F F I C!!!

If you've never been in "rush hour" traffic in the Los Angeles basin... then you just don't really understand. First of all - "rush hour" is such an oxymoron, since it is by no means an hour, rather more like 3 or 4 hours of peak drive time... on each end of the traditional working day - but of course so many folks have unusual schedules too, so that can easily stretch out to 5 or 6 hours of bad traffic on both ends of the traditional working day... and nobody is able to rush anywhere. LA freeways. I learned to drive on them... I both love and hate them.

Thankfully I lived in the OC for 8+ years, and in greater So Cal for many more than that... so I knew my way around with and without the assistance of the freeways. Before long I was pulling up to the parking lot at the resort, jumped out and was on my way in to Disneyland proper. I decided to pick up something on the way, cheap, so I'd already eaten dinner - but dessert was on my agenda - and an in-park dessert would just satisfy that desire. I worked my way half way up Main Street, and took a right at Center Street. The Cone Shop... a much shorter wait than on the west side of Main Street at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor! A hot fudge sundae, with the seasonal Peppermint Stick ice cream was on my mind... yummmy! I got my sundae and headed up to the Plaza Pavilion seating area where I would spend the next 15 minutes enjoying both my sundae, and people watching. The lights were twinkling in the trees, the Christmas music playing in the background - deep sigh - as the magic was once again working on my soul. Even though it had only been a single day since I had been there - it was just so nice to just be sitting there in the park, soaking it all in once again. :cloud9: I took no pictures while there - just made more memories. It was fun.

After that little interlude, I decided I wanted to enjoy something so classically Disney - so Walt, I moved across the hub by a few hundred feet and was standing at the entrance to Adventureland, and the Enchanted Tiki Room. :) I mentioned previously that I love this show - and so it was time to enjoy it once more. And honestly, the "only way" to "properly" enjoy it (at least in my mind), is with a Dole Whip in hand. So :scared1: - even though I had just moments ago polished off that luscious hot fudge sundae - I sidled on up to the Tiki Bar and ordered my Dole Whip. And yes - I finished it all - and that is part of how I have such a fabulous, round shape. :rotfl: Two desserts in one night. My DW would be appalled - but then - that is part of the beauty of solo traveling, isn't it? :confused3

I wandered through Adventureland and Frontierland for a little bit - checked out some new pins, and some other stuff in the shops, and then went over to get on the Haunted Mansion. Even if I am not thrilled with the Nightmare overlay - I still love that attraction. And I will admit that the intense smell of the giant gingerbread house on the dining table in the ballroom/dining room scene was superb.

By this point it was time for the DL fireworks - Believe in Holiday Magic. I enjoyed part of the show from Town Square, but left before it ended, as I needed to get over to DCA before 8 pm, which was the stated closing time that evening. When it gets dark at just after 5 pm - fireworks can happen early! They were at 7:45, following the Christmas Fantasy Parade. over at Disney California Adventure, there were two WOC shows, and the final one would be at 8:10, and I had to be INSIDE the park if I wanted to see it. AND I DID! I checked my phone right after entering DCA, and saw that it was about 7:53. Excellent timing.

I worked my way over to the WOC viewing area, via the Condor Flats route around past Soaring Over California, Grizzly River Rapids, and up through the San Francisco street area. I was in the line of people entering the roped off area, and the CM just let everyone in. FP's were NOT a major issue that day apparently. I ended up in the blue area, and had a decent spot along the bridge. I was able to video the entire show with my phone that night. I won't post any video - or even a lot of pictures of the show since I already have - except this one - because I like it so much, even if I've included it already (may have - don't remember now). This is from the end of the show, when guests are exiting the viewing area.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/Nov_Dec%2010%20-%20Bi-Coastal%20DL%20and%20WDW/2010-1129-001121.jpg

stopher1
03-06-2011, 10:40 PM
Part VII: Meetings, Meetings, & More Meetings – Anybody Want Another Meeting?

The next day was Wednesday, and again… filled with MEETINGS!! Ugh. But then, of course, this was my company’s annual end of year meetings week… of course it’s going to be full of meetings. Tonight’s dinner was not one that I could get out of – unfortunately – like the day before. I was the assigned driver – and it was my individual team going out to eat. I had also been the one to pick our destination – so I kind of had to go. Of course the World of Color yearnings were creeping up on my throughout the day, but alas – I could not act upon those yearnings on Wednesday. But that’s okay, because the restaurant destination of choice that night, is one of many favorites from my Southern California upbringing. Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant at Knott’s Berry Farm… SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!

As a child, my parents took us to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm many times throughout the year; every time we went to Knott’s, we ate at the Chicken Dinner Restaurant. School fund-raisers were held there, church functions, banquets, and many family gatherings. It is just part of my heritage, let alone Southern California’s. Yummmmmmmmm. It is definitely on my must-do list every time I go out there.

The restaurant itself goes back to the mid-1930’s when Mrs. Knott opened up her tea room to help out financially – it was afterall, the middle of the depression still. The dinner’s fame started to spread, and throughout the ensuing years her business just took off. As Knott’s Berry Farm grew from more than just the actual berry farm into a themed entertainment area, and later into the actual theme park that it became – the restaurant just kept growing and growing. The lines were amazing – and many, many times, still are. If you ever get to Southern California – be sure to include a stop at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant – especially if you love fried chicken… it is still the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve eaten lots of good friend chicken throughout this country).

On THURSDAY however – I once again answered the call from deep inside, and left those meetings at the end of the day and headed straight up to Anaheim. Once again, I picked up some dinner on the way, and upon entry into Disneyland, stopped at the Cone Shop on Center Street for another hot fudge sundae, with peppermint stick ice cream. Again I sat on the patio at the Plaza Pavilion, and enjoyed my dessert whilst people watching, and again left the camera alone taking no pictures. Pure heaven.

Again I wandered around through the park, this time wandering through Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, enjoying Pinccohio’s Daring Journey, Casey Jr. Circus Train, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds before once again heading down Main Street, U.S.A. so that I could get over to California Adventure before 8pm. Again I watched the fireworks from Town Square, and yes, again I was inside DCA just moments before 8. TONIGHT however, it was a very different story regarding the FP’s for WOC. This time I was turned away by the CM, and told that I could stand on the back side of the lagoon in various spots to watch the show. I found a spot at the end of the boardwalk just past the bar area of Ariel’s Grotto, right in the corner where the boardwalk turns left.
I was bummed at first, but later realized it was good to experience from many different vantage points – and that was true. I was thankful of course that this wasn’t my first viewing with an “off” vantage point. Having seen it before, I knew what to expect when, and was able to fully enjoy the show without any kind of wondering what was next. I was actually able to fully enjoy the technical aspects of the show much better this way as well – especially from the vantage point that I had. Thinking about my viewing spot as the face of a clock – if the show is between 10 and 2 – I was at 9, so I was right up close to the action; certainly not the best location for a first time viewing – but GREAT for not caring about what’s going on and seeing the “how’d they do that” aspect. Even at that close, and weird angle – the show wowed me again, and I left very, very happy.

FRIDAY came, and was once again filled with more meetings. It was the last day of meetings though. They ended at noon. And I had a flight to catch by 2. So sadly, there was no time for a final quick jaunt up to Anaheim. I would spend one day at home on Saturday, and then Sunday morning – I’d be right back to the airport catching a flight to Orlando. Next up… Walt Disney World and Animal Kingdom Villas! See ya on the east coast…

afwdwfan
03-07-2011, 08:56 AM
Wow, I am jealous of all the opportunities you have to get to DL and WDW, but I have to say that those evening visits to DL in the evening after your meetings look like a slice of Heaven on Earth. Just leisurely walking into the park to enjoy some dessert and a few select attractions... what a way to relax and unwind after a long day of meetings!

Captain_Oblivious
03-07-2011, 10:24 AM
Wow, updates galore! Thanks for posting all of the pictures. I'm endlessly fascinated with them. And at first glance I have to agree with you--New Orleans Square just looks like a fantastic theme, with details galore.

And I also agree with Andy--being able to walk into DL, grab a dessert and sit back and relax with no agenda does sound a little bit like heaven.

FreezinRafiki
03-07-2011, 11:23 AM
Fantastic updates, Christopher. Being able to take a quick jaunt to one of the parks for a hour or two - you've really been blessed. Hard to imagine doing that at WDW, though. Being that large and having that much land really helps with expansion and controlling exactly what guests see and experience, but they can never replicate that "neighborhood amusement park" feel that it seems like Disneyland has.

dvczerfs
03-07-2011, 12:08 PM
very cool stopher.:thumbsup2

Emma's Dad
05-03-2012, 10:13 AM
Next up… Walt Disney World and Animal Kingdom Villas! See ya on the east coast…

That almost sounds like something I would have used... popcorn::