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bumbershoot 01-28-2008 01:21 AM

solo trip report!
Hello, I'm Molly, and perhaps I should belong to Disney Anonymous. If I were TRULY a member of that I would have to sneak an e on the end of anonymous, wouldn't I? So I'm OK, right? Not really in need of an intervention before I go again?

Well in this case, it was an intervention if sorts that caused my solo trip. An intervention of "you are getting more tired and crabby every day, I don't think you should wait until April, maybe we can make a quick trip happen" from my hubby. And I was tired. We had a vacay in December, and you can read that report somewhere on this page or perhaps the second one in to the trip reports. About 1.5 days in DLR with my 3 year old, then at midnight hubby arrived, we spent 2.5 days all together in the parks, then hubby left around 2pm on that third day of his trip, to go back home to work the next day. My brother arrived later that day, and DS and I spent nine days in San Diego, in a ChildFree home. My brother and SIL love my son, but he was grating on everyone's nerves.

And that, my friends, was because I was selfish with a capital S. So, um, Selfish. I wanted to visit my bro and be away from WA for 9 days, so that's what I planned, the feelings of my boy be gosh-gollied! Selfish. I was also selfish at DLR, wanting everyone to get up and go when I did, being bothered when Every Single Day I was "late" getting there. But when I did try to just go and let them sleep in, they pitched their own sorts of fits.

So I got home very cranky. Perhaps I should scan, or take a picture of, the picture Eamon drew of me when we were on the plane...he does the age-perfect figures of people. BIIIIIG head, legs going straight down from the head, sometimes there are arms...the expression on his self-portrait is a smile. On DH's portrait it's a smile. On mine, his beloved mother, is a really nasty, grim, mean expression. He said "that's you, Mowy!" whimper.

And so...DH said "let's make this happen." And happen it did.

Friday the 25th I caught my 7:50am flight. Switched planes in Sacramento and sat myself, kerplunk, right behind a newly-3 year old girl who was going to...where? where could this 3 year old possibly be going while on a flight from Sac'to to Orange county? oh you're good, you got it! Disneyland! Disneyland! Disneyland! That's what she kept saying, loudly and excitedly. And then she played peekaboo with me, and her mother tried to stop her until I told mom it was OK, just like I do with DS when he plays peekaboo with people on planes...stop them unless you're told it's OK.

So, um, hi, guilt? Yeah hi, I see you stopped in....go away!

I've never been away from DS, not even in sleep, before. I mean, not overnight. DH is quite proficient at parenting the boy, so I do get out. I even let my friend watch him one afternoon, while I went to a baby shower. But overnight? nope. So this was rough.

I got in, went to SuperShuttle at the ground transportation area. Oh, by the way, I liked the OC airport (aka SNA in airport code speak). Cute, just big enough, just small enough...pleasant.

The drive was fast and pleasant, with a conventioneer from Wisconsin who has never been to a Disney park, and never plans to go to a Disney park. Yowza.

I stayed at the Carousel. I had a good rate. Or so I thought. 48 hours before my stay, when I would have had to cancel at 72 hours out per either Carousel or Travelocity, I noticed that Paradise Pier had a $139 rate for their AP5 promo. More than Carousel, but with MM. And HoJo had released more Entertainment Rate rooms at $20 less than I was paying for the Carousel.

But...Carousel is closer, and even though I knew I'd be traveling with The Herd, I did feel safer on this solo trip staying as close to the park as possible.

Carousel and Anabella are the same company, so don't be surprised that they look just the same inside their rooms. I didn't know they were the same so I was a bit weirded out! I liked Anabella better, though...service is better at Anabee, and they have a proper restaurant instead of Quizno's on speeddial.

Unzoomed view from right outside my 4th floor room., that hotel back there is ugly! They should really renovate it or something. I've heard it's haunted.

The room.

I'm editing in info here, because I feel better about them after having sleep since last night. The edited in stuff will be italicized.

Review of Carousel! Meh. The continental breakfast is really sad. Donuts, fruit, bleah coffee in tiny cups with no lids. Some sort of juice in a machine, cereals... They did have the option to buy warmed-over breakfast Sammies from Quiznos, but they had meat in them. You could also buy lattes and such. But I was paying $20 more than I would have at hojos if I had know HJ had released the Entertainment rate so late in the game! I checked and checked, and a week out I got busy and forgot, and I lost. I didn't want to pay money to supplement a sad "free" b'fast.

The breakfast...I have an expectation with a continental b'fast, and that is pastries, not donuts. Or pastries AND donuts. But still, pastries. Some goopy danish that I never eat anywhere else. And that wasn't met.

Also, honestly, I was running late so I could only have a small amount of coffee due to their cup sizes. If I had been on time I could have had refills.

When I got back to the hotel late that night, a shower with hot water (the water got VERY wonderfully hot!) to help sore feet (I was going to take a bath but ewwww, not in that was actually better than apartment tubs I've lived with, but at least in those apartments I knew that I was indeed cleaning them, and that if it was scummy looking, at least it was clean but scummy looking) caused the smoke detector to go off. Repeatedly. If anyone here was nearby, I do apologize. One does not expect steam to set off a smoke detector. At least, I didn't. Now I do.

If I hadn't been alone, that wouldn't have happened. A companion would have told me it was getting steamy, or would have turned on the a/c. So that only happened because I was alone. Now, should it have gotten that steamy? I don't know.

The bed was very very comfy, and I slept like a rock. I woke up in the exact same position that I fell to sleep in, which was flat on my back, and that's not my normal sleeping pose. I'm a side-sleeper, but it was so comfy and I was so tired that I just passed out! The sheets are soft and pretty (I'm a sucker for white sheets).

There was a fridge and a microwave in the big bureau. They were both to the right; I didn't know there was a microwave until I got curious and opened the cabinet above the fridge. I assume there was a TV and drawers on the left, but I never looked.

They did very kindly keep my one and only bag for me the next day, when I checked out around 7:30am, and they let me rummage around in it when I got there after 5pm to wait for my shuttle. They did not, however, let me know that the shuttle had arrived, as they said they would. Harumph.

By the way, here's the view to the right directly upon hitting the sidewalk outside the Carousel. I did use a little bit of zoom on that picture. I remembered that while getting to sleep last night. Not much, and you could read the sign with the naked eye, but there is a bit of zoom. You can see a guy walking, and to give perspective, he's walking across the street between HoJo and Mimi's...that crosswalk is a big one, but it looks small in the picture.

That's right. You can see the HJ sign. Nothing's *that* far away (well, until the nighttime walk back, but that's just relative distance, ha ha). My feelings about the Carousel were too colored by annoyance at the "deal" not being as good as I could have gotten elsewhere at the last minute. I booked through Travelocity at a AAA rate that I could have gotten through them, but I was wanting to get Sunshine Rewards credits for booking through Travelocity (and I did) so I went through them instead of direct. I don't know who set the policy, but my reservation required cancellation before 72 hours out, and I had forgotten it was that far in advance, so that was my fault and I shouldn't blame Carousel.

Their b'fast room is smaller than it appears online, but has a great view! Watching fireworks from there would be incredible, even though you wouldn't hear the "story" or see the stuff on the castle or IASW.

Next...I go across the street!

BillyFan 01-28-2008 01:56 AM

I can't wait to hear more!

bumbershoot 01-28-2008 03:21 AM

Wow. My son just fell asleep on the couch by himself. Yes, I know it's late. He suddenly fell asleep after 5:30pm and only woke after 7, which spells big trouble for normal bedtime. DH was beyond exhausted after they picked me up at the airport last night so DH couldn't do his part (very very important part) in getting DS to sleep, and hubby just kept falling asleep himself. So DS was up up up up, and was lying in my arms until 5 minutes ago (when I first started writing this part) when he said he was sweaty and needed water, went over to drink some water, then got onto the couch and now he's fallen asleep.

You have no idea how odd that is for him.

I'll write some more before taking him into the bedroom for proper sleep.


The walk of course is brief and pleasant. This time I had the opportunity to hear the music piped in. And through my visit I couldn't help but marvel at their speaker systems. I mean, something can be going on in one spot, but not that far away something else can be going on, and you can't hear, under normal circumstances, one from the other. It's quite amazing, how specific their sound system is.

Tinkerbell is looking at bit psycho, but I'm sure they had to make her eyes really big so that those without zoom lenses can really see her eyes. She looks fine if you don't hit that zoom.

I took this pic for Eamon. He loves that picture, he loves Jack Sparrow (though he's never really seen the movie), he loves pirates, he begs us to let him see the POTC trilogy....but he's currently terrified of the attraction. 3 year olds...:confused3

I walked in, and saw the cute vehicles. Well, why not ride one? I went over to one and hopped on. Since I was alone, I had conversations with people the whole trip long. They all wondered why I was alone, and all marveled that hubby would help this trip happen. So I rode a horseless carriage to the castle. Fun!

Along the way I saw some real characters.

When they dropped me at the castle, I saw a band over in that little area to the left of the castle. It was a high school band. I listened and caught some video. They sucked me in by playing some of the big dramatic music from POTC, and they were playing it well. Alas, it was a medley of sorts, and I lost interest. But I did stick around for a few minutes to watch and smile and clap when they finished that varied piece. I think I remember that they were a group from Temecula.

The first thing I was planning to do was go on Haunted Mansion. But I was hungry.

So instead I had lunch at Rancho del Zocalo. Here's a hangy thing (might be a lamp, might just be a Pretty!)

Instead of the huge meal Robert (DH) and I shared when we went before, I ordered the kid's meal of a bean and cheese burrito. That comes with a drink, and you can get soda on request, so I requested that. To get the little cup you go and pay, get the cup (and "fun straw" that changes colors in cold liquid) from the cashier, then go back in for the soda.

It was quite tasty, no matter what the picture implies.

This, on the other hand, was NOT as tasty as it appeared. The top part including the cake in the middle was fine, but the bottom "crust" and the lighter part above it were bad. The part below the cake layer looks the same as the top, but it is not not not.

So that's two Rancho desserts I've been unhappy with. When we first went there we had the Tres Leches cake, and we didn't like it very much at all.

Bird at my table.

After lunch, I went to get a FP for Indy. I did a bit of random walking b/c I was hoping to run into a Dream Squad. :) So I did the secret pathways from one land to the next whenever I could!

I went to get a fast pass, but the wait was insanely short. So I got the FP (never used it) and rode. Fun fun! The ride broke down just before we got to the "movie" room, but people were calm about it. We watched special CMs come in and look official while leaning on the gates and talking. Didn't see anyone doing any work, but eventually it was fixed and I got on board.

While waiting, I took pictures of the upper walls and ceiling.

I was put in the driver's seat next to two young women and their preteen...well I don't know what the younger one was to them. It was her first ride and the older girls/young women were tormenting her, but it was just hilarious. Usually I'm not big on screams unless you're actually scared, but the way they were doing it, with huge laughs in between, just cracked me up. And you could tell they went on it often, b/c they knew everything coming up.

Wandered around...they were filming something about the Dream Suite, and a big camera crane was in NOS. One of the big "did you know" secrets is out now, b/c they made the WD and RD golden.

I don't remember if the discussion was here or elsewhere, but just in case it was here and whatever people were talking about it read this:

DS is sleeping in bed now, rather than on the couch with no blanket. Just in case anyone was worried.

bumbershoot 01-28-2008 03:45 AM

That day Pirate's Lair was closed every time I went by.

Which led to this. Ack! A pirate!

He loves just walking around, and doesn't seem to care what you want him to do.

Following him there were young women/older girls squealing like he's actually JD. There was also the Mom Squad, each trying to get his attention so that he would say hi to their little darlings. And there are those with cameras pressed to their faces.

The woman pictured *below* got SO incredibly lucky. She was a Mom Squad member, and the kid she was trying to show Jack was a tiny baby. She had baby facing out, which is a no-no for those under about 6 months, and I personally (and professionally as a retired chiropractor) don't like it unless you have a pouch and seat the baby in a Buddha position rather than dangling from the crotch in the Bjorn, but that's beside the point. For some reason she was bound and determined to get herself and baby into a picture with Jack. Perhaps she was delusional and thought that "Jack" was baby's father, or something? Not sure.

I almost talked to her, because she was being pretty rude. Calling out, yelling, at Jack, not saying please, not being nice about it.

Now...we've seen that Jack before (or for the believers...we've seen Jack looking that exact way before, but other times he has looked a bit different). Back in September on Pirate's Lair, in his designated meet-n-greet spot, we watched what happens if you're rude to him. No, he doesn't pillage and plunder, but when a woman said rudely "oh you WILL sign the book", he closed the book, handed it back, and turned his back on the woman and her older children, and never did go back to her. The CM with him just shrugged and said that he's a pirate and will do what he wants to.

I was just about to let this woman know that she might be alienating him, when she finally got nicer, and as she got nicer, he looked at her.

When he looked at her, he saw the baby, and he reacted with surprise and a bit of fear. Asked her if she knew she had a large barnacle growing on her front, and told her that she really needed to have that looked at. I love that reaction. I don't think she got a posed picture, but she might have gotten a paparazzi shot, I don't know.

Lady in the purple, straps to hold on the barnacle showing.

I decided that part of my time there was going to be all about leaving when the experience is as good as it's going to be. So after that funny barnacle thing, I took my leave of the entourage around Captain Sparrow.

After that, I went on Haunted Mansion. Here's the one thing I took a picture of in the queue.

Yay yay, it did not disappoint! I was so saddened by the holiday version in December, and I was nervous for regular HM. Oh man did it creep me out, though! I've read that they did a bit of sound refurb while taking down the holiday overlay, and the guy's voice right in my ears, combined with the stuff going on on the ride...shivers. The doors whose knobs all start to shake (and one door appears to breathe :scared: ) got to me, and then as you're passing a grandfather clock there's a shadow that comes down. I figured out that it's a skeletal hand reaching down, but the first time I rode I thought it was a shadow of someone walking past, and I nearly screeched.

The graveyard scene is uber-freaky to me. One room there's a heartbeat sound...augh....scary!

I really liked it. :woohoo:

Then over to Splash, where I sat in the back seat and wore a poncho while the 4 others in the log scoffed and got soaked. :rolleyes1

I sauntered along, looking around as I wrote on my list I wanted to do ("look around Critter Country b/c you never get to", "sit and watch everything going on in NOS", "look around Tomorrowland b/c you're always looking for Buzz for Eamon").

Did you know there's a waterfall next to the exit of the Pooh ride?
I for one did not.

Here's a picture of the filming area for the Dream Suite.

Noticed that the Mark Twain was getting ready to go, and I ran, er, walked very briskly but never having both feet off the ground at once, over. It had started to sprinkle, so I sat in front with my poncho back on, and enjoyed the ride!

Picture of the Columbia as seen from the MT.

Walked back behind BTMRR.

Still no Dream Squad. Sigh.

But I saw that the Casey Jr train was open, and I finally noticed where the line started, so I went on that. Kinda odd to be an adult going on it alone, but oh well.

The point of this picture is to show the bars of lights down near the tracks. I assume they light things up in interesting ways, but from my point of view, they just looked fun.

The castle from Casey.

With my old camera I couldn't get anything like this zoom. I :lovestruc my Canon S3. And remember, this was while the train was moving.

bumbershoot 01-28-2008 03:53 AM

I feel that I should do a big cliff-hanger thing like others do.

My urge is to just keep on going until I pass out, but then go back in and edit for days b/c I have remembered something else.

I think what I'm going to do is leave you with this, because I thought it looked cool. And I'm going to go to sleep.

Next....will she have dinner somewhere? Will she ride her fave ride (attraction) at DL? Will her feet fall off from the extra walking she's doing to find the Dream Squad? All to be answered, if she remembers to do so, in the next installment of "I Left My family For The Disneyland Resort!"

actionvaughn 01-28-2008 04:54 AM

I really hope you eventually ate... :lmao:

I'm lovin' all your pictures. Looking forward to more!

jnjusoioa 01-28-2008 09:34 AM

Hi Molly, your trip report is great so far and I am really enjoying it. Glad you are sharing it with us.:goodvibes

jnjusoioa 01-28-2008 09:36 AM

Also, I am a little nervous about staying at The Carousel now, is Ho Jo's much better? In your opinion, just curious, I don't even know if Ho Jo will have anything for the dates we are going in March but I am nervous about The Carousel because I am a bath person and if the tub is yucky and it just doesn't sound all that great. And Ho Jo's doesn't look like from your picture that it is much further away, a few feet maybe.

Also do you know the name of the shake place in CA by It's Tough To Be A Bug, someone posted about it and said to try the date shake, I am trying to figure out what that is and where the place is. Thanks.:goodvibes

jnjusoioa 01-28-2008 09:37 AM

Did you see a lot of photopass photographers??

thewesterberg 01-28-2008 10:15 AM

Very fun to read about your solo trip - can't wait to hear more!

I'm heading there with friends in a little over a week!:banana: Two of us are leaving our kids behind (the other gal is single), so I can identify with the guilt (although my friend is heading to WDW a few days after we get home with her family, so no complaining from her!) My hardest decision right now is do I go back to the hotel in the evening for the beginning of the conference we're attending or do I skip out on the opening session and stay at DL! :confused: There will be 3 more days of workshops, I'm only doing 1 day of DL, this is suppose to be a re-charge event for me, do I do what I :::want::: to do or do I do what I'm :::suppose::: to do! :confused3 More guilt...

So going on Splash Mountain is good with a poncho this time of year... that's good to know! I really want to do it, but was thinking I'm some nut from MN who's going to be ecstatic that it's above 30 degrees and I'll wear shorts and sandals, and act like it's summer, because it's California after all!

Golfing Goofy 01-28-2008 11:58 AM

Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you, hahahahaha :rotfl:

Your TR is so fun to read and I love the pictures. Serious DL withdrawl symptoms on my part.... Thanks for sharing.

daisy_77 01-28-2008 12:27 PM

Great TR, Molly! :thumbsup2

bumbershoot 01-28-2008 01:48 PM

Hi! Thanks for reading, everyone! :)


Originally Posted by thewesterberg (Post 22823825)
My hardest decision right now is do I go back to the hotel in the evening for the beginning of the conference we're attending or do I skip out on the opening session and stay at DL! :confused: There will be 3 more days of workshops, I'm only doing 1 day of DL, this is suppose to be a re-charge event for me, do I do what I :::want::: to do or do I do what I'm :::suppose::: to do! :confused3 More guilt...

So going on Splash Mountain is good with a poncho this time of year... that's good to know! I really want to do it, but was thinking I'm some nut from MN who's going to be ecstatic that it's above 30 degrees and I'll wear shorts and sandals, and act like it's summer, because it's California after all!

Obviously I don't know what sort of conference, and this is only my opinion based on conferences and seminars I used to attend. But when I would skip the first evening, I usually felt left out, and not as pumped up as everyone else (there's something about the first night). Now, I never had Disneyland to go to instead of the first hours, so that's different. But I did feel a bit behind.

The poncho's just to keep you dry. Unless you're wearing all fleece (doubtful!) any water on you is going to be uncomfortable. Out in MN you probably don't purposely walk around in wet clothes, because it would make you colder than you should be! Hubby and my brother got head-to-toe drenched in September, and even though it was a nice hot day, they were very uncomfortable.

And if you get soaked, it's soaked all the way through. As the dripping guy in the front of "my" log said..."adults can't buy underwear at Disneyland!"


Originally Posted by jnjusoioa (Post 22823027)
Did you see a lot of photopass photographers??

I saw approximately 18 million photopass photogs. :rotfl: There were very many, and I was sad that I wasn't taking part.


Originally Posted by jnjusoioa (Post 22823017)
Also, I am a little nervous about staying at The Carousel now, is Ho Jo's much better? In your opinion, just curious, I don't even know if Ho Jo will have anything for the dates we are going in March but I am nervous about The Carousel because I am a bath person and if the tub is yucky and it just doesn't sound all that great. And Ho Jo's doesn't look like from your picture that it is much further away, a few feet maybe.

Also do you know the name of the shake place in CA by It's Tough To Be A Bug, someone posted about it and said to try the date shake, I am trying to figure out what that is and where the place is. Thanks.:goodvibes

I figured out the name of the place. Sam Andreas Shakes. Looking at, it even says "Try the delectable date shakes, a uniquely California creation". :)

I bet if I weren't all alone, I would have liked the Carousel better. But I was focused on writing about it, so I noticed faults. If someone else were in the room with me while I showered, they would have told me about the steam (the place has a moisture problem, as you can see by the condensation on the windows as you walk to your room) and it wouldn't have gotten to the point where it set off the smoke detector. Having the alarm go off made the front desk more nervous than usual because of the Monte Carlo fire that day (which I was not aware of until they told me). For some reason I was expecting something better than just donuts at b'fast; I had a *pastry* expectation, even if it was just Costo pastries.

Though I did leave, while eating my donut, thinking about John Belushi's Saturday Night Live commercial for the breakfast of champions, little chocolate donuts. They weren't little, they were normal sized, but they were the same as little hostess-style chocolate donuts. :)

And it bothered me that I was paying 79 + $2 resort fee + 15% tax, instead of $59 + 15% tax for HoJo. I thought I had a good deal with them (better than I found for September or December with Carousel) but then I looked around too late (with the 72 hour cancellation stated by either Travelocity or Carousel, I don't know who set the 72 hours) and frustrated myself. :confused3

If you are going to look around at other hotels, make SURE you know what the cancellation policy is for you, and do not look after that period.

I remembered last night, and I'm going edit the post, that I did use a bit of zoom on the picture of the sidewalk. But I could read the sign with bare eyes; I don't have bionic eyes even though Robert says I do. :rotfl: I used the zoom, well I don't know why. But it really is not that far away, once you've crossed the big street and then the little street that is the entrance to, I think, the Tropicana.

Remember this map.

All that said!!!!! I slept like a rock that night. The bed was rather comfy, and there wasn't much outside noise at all. The sheets were pretty and soft.

Oh and there was a microwave in the room! That big bureau held it in the top right cabinet. Below that is a bigger mini-fridge. I assume the rest had a TV and drawers, but I didn't even open those. I didn't know there was a microwave.

I didn't need to, since I was on Alaska vs Southwest, but if I had wanted to check in online, the staff at the front desk would have done that for me and printed my boarding pass. They do have public computers for a small fee, and they do have wireless for a fee (4.95/hour or 9.95 for 24 hour access), but said that they are happy to do the boarding pass for no fee. :)

Oh, and the window coverings are big wooden slat "blinds" instead of curtains. I love that look (the Anabella has it too). So aesthetically it was pleasing.

You know, now that I had sleep, I think I'll edit some of the above into my post about the hotel. I was feeling bad about the place last night but now can remember more good stuff.

mommy_2_two 01-28-2008 02:20 PM

Sounds like a fun solo trip.

Waiting to hear more!:surfweb:

bumbershoot 01-28-2008 02:38 PM

When last I left off, er, second to last, I was taking pictures of the fence around Nemo. :)

Eh, my pictures of the sub are boring and typical so I won't bother.

Next I went on Star Tours! It's my favorite. It's hard for me to develop favorites, so the fact that it's my fave is a big deal! The fun of a coaster with the safety of a motion simulator. I'd love to know how they do it. Soarin', too. The other times I went on ST I've been in the exact same seat, far right in the first row. But this time I was more in the middle-left, in the second to the last row. Wow, it was even better!!!!
I came out and saw Honey I Shrunk the Audience, and remembered that it was on my list, so in I went! They show Kodak commercials (basically) as the pre-show in the waiting area, and I kept tearing up. So I was there and watching images of family, kids growing up, etc, and I was missing my boys so much...but I know that if they were there I would be focused on keeping Eamon in line, making sure Robert was having fun...might not even look at the screens...

We went in and it was a good show/attraction! I wasn't expecting the movement of the audiences, that's for sure! And that 3-D, wow. I was cool when the Moranis character came out in his little hover thing, but then there's that explosion and everyone, including me, screamed. Suspension of disbelief aside, that was a good shock! The snake was, too...but I didn't get the effect of the mice, and I was bummed about that. The people in the middle of the audience were screaming, but I felt nothing. :(

I liked it. I can see that you wouldn't want to go on it a ton of times, but I think it's a good show for the first time viewing it. And, of course, there will always be first-timers viewing it. Of course, my positive feelings about it might be helped along by Eric Idle as the host!

Next I could check off "look around Tomorrowland".

I'm such an 80s the neon. I once thought I would have a loft apartment with a big neon Billy Idol, just like in St Elmo's Fire.

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