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Rainforest_Elf 09-18-2012 02:16 PM

"Aren't We A Little Old for Disney?" Trip Report,9/10-9/13 LOTS OF PICTURES!!!
Hi All!!

I haven't done one of these in awhile, and truthfully I never finished my first Trip Report from October 2008, but let's look beyond that for now :rotfl2: But I'm here, and I'm ready to share my adventures of my recent trip to Disney!

I'm a semi professional photographer, so photos are a big part of my life, so grab some popcorn, have a seat, and enjoy my trip report! Pictures will be posted either later this evening or tomorrow! Can't wait to share the trip with y'all!

An Introduction!
Day 1: Traveling and Downtown Disney
Day 2: Disneyland!
Day 2: DL, Continued!
Day 3: California Adventure
Day 3: CA,The Sequel
Day 4: Last Day At Disney

DinaBina 09-18-2012 09:23 PM

Okay I'm on board looking forward to it!

Rainforest_Elf 09-18-2012 10:15 PM

An Introduction
Well, before I get into the trip report, let me introduce to you, the stars of this report!

Hi! I'm Rachel. I'm 27 years old, love my dog, photography, and long walks on the beach :rotfl: I also still love my Disney movies, so Disney is always a great vacation spot in my mind!

My little sister, Stephanie, however, doesn't agree. She think's Disney is for little kids, and she hates screaming children, crowds, and rude people (but really, who doesn't?). Anway, she's 23, and just got her degree in HR Management. She's very serious and is going to be the boss somewhere, someday.

We had talked at length about a vacation after she graduated college in August, and eventually, after a LOT of deliberation, we decided that Disney would be the best bang for our buck, even if Stephanie was reluctant. Our last trip to Disney together was in 1995, and let's just say Stephanie's time was not the best. She was too little to ride many of the rides, and she was very ill for a great portion of the trip. So not only does my sister not really care for crowds and children, but she didn't remember Disneyland being a place of happy memories. She also thinks Disney is just for kids... and thought that we might even be a bit old for Disneyland.

I set off to change that for her.

This is me! Age 10...

My little sister, age 6.

When we went with our parents in 1995, we had our portraits done in chalk, and our parents to this day just love these. When we told them we were going back, they wanted us to get an updated portrait with the two of us. Did we do it? Stay tuned to find out....!

Well, I think that's long enough for a who's who! Stay tuned for Day 1 of our trip report!

DisneytheKid 09-20-2012 01:13 AM

Cool! Looking forward to reading more!:)

Rainforest_Elf 09-21-2012 11:06 PM

Day 1: Downtown Disney!
Hello again!

Hope the plethora of pictures I'll be posting will be worth the wait! Ha!

My sister and I are from Oregon, so we headed off for PDX mid morning on Monday the 10th.
Luggage loaded into the back of the car! We are off to the airport! Look at that hideous suitcase though with the jungle animals on it. I'll tell you what though, you never get confused at baggage claim about which bag is yours.
Now, I have never been to gate A in the Portland airport, which must be where the smaller planes take off, because this gate was so tiny and compact, and there was nothing down there but a starbucks! Oh the humanity!
We actually borded the plane outside! Only time I've done that before was flying in a 4 seater Cessna aircraft!

Well! We made it to Long Beach, and I was hot, tired, and just wanted to get to the room, and so I didn't take any pictures until we were checked into the hotel and in our hallway...
Our magical, magical hallway!

We stayed at the Paradise Pier, and I really enjoyed it. Clean rooms, easy walking distance, and the perks are worth the extra money, in my opinion.
We were on the 10th floor, room 38 :)
Had to take my own photo of the room. Standard PPH room, but with park view :)
The view from the room! We could hear people on California Screamin' even with the windows closed.

Once we had settled in and had a little break, we called my friend Lee, who lives in LA and had driven up to Downtown Disney to get dinner with us. Lee and I have been friends for 6 years, but we had actually never met before.... I know, I know. I'm an internet geek. Hopefully I didn't lose you with that revalation :rotfl2: Anyway, Lee and I met playing World of Warcraft, and have been good buddies ever since! So when he found out Steph and I were going to Disney, he took a day off work to come see us!

Anyway, I gave him a call, and he informed me that he had just bought an annual pass and was moving his car around, so he told us to meet him in the lobby of the Grand California.

A quick crossing of the street, and we were in the GCA lobby! I love that place. I'm from the Pacific Northwest, born and raised, so that place really feels homey to me.

Lee showed up after a few minutes, and we were on our way to find dinner. We settled rather quickly on Jazz Kitchen.
Feta, Chicken, and tomato flatbread. It was soooo good.
My sister, Stephanie, got a salad with grilled chicken on it.
Lee got shrimps!

After dinner we wandered DTD a bit more, stopping in shops. When we found ourselves in the DL plaza, Lee decided he would buy his girlfriend, Tiffany, an annual pass. Tiffany would be joining us later for drinks, so this would be a surprise for her.
Stephanie and I waiting for Lee to buy his annual pass.
Disney Store!
Love this. I'm a huge Star Wars nerd.
Love this, too, because I love dragons. But! I cannot place this little fella. Can anyone tell me who this is?!
Not a huge fan of legos, but even I appreciated this. Totally amazing.

At this point, we were just waiting for Tiffany (Lee's girlfriend) to show up, so we stopped at Trader Sam's at the DLH to grab a drink and wait for her.

I don't drink, so I just got a water, but Stephanie on the other hand....
She got a Tiki drink with a GLOWING ICE CUBE! How cool is THAT?

Tiffany finally arrived, and Lee casually brought out the new, shiny AP he had bought for her.
She was thrilled! What a lucky girl!!

Tiffany needed to get some food, so we left Trader Sam's and headed down to Tortilla Joe's so she could get something to eat.

After dinner, it was nearly 10pm and we had been wandering around since at least 4, and we were ready to call it a night. We said goodbye to our friends and headed back to the room so we could be rested for our first day in the park!
Look at that view!! I found myself looking out the window every chance I got!

More trip report to come, stay tuned :)

DinaBina 09-22-2012 12:03 PM

The tiny dragon is Figment from Imagination ride.

Teki 09-22-2012 03:16 PM

Dragon is Figment from WDW :thumbsup2 Love your pics cant wait to read more!

LuckyRabbit 09-23-2012 07:45 PM

That night view is amazing! I have never seen a shot like that, wow.:thumbsup2

tksbaskets 09-23-2012 08:01 PM

I'm in! Looks like you are having fun already. Got to love a sisters trip. :goodvibes

bumbershoot 09-23-2012 10:18 PM

I hope you did get new portraits done!

" We actually borded the plane outside! Only time I've done that before was flying in a 4 seater Cessna aircraft!"

We did it out of SNA two trips ago, and on our last trip out of Seatac, I think. It's SO weird, "in this day and age", to be walking on the tarmac.

Rainforest_Elf 09-24-2012 11:32 PM

Disneyland! Part 1
Well, here we are at the good stuff! What you all have been waiting for...! Pictures of the park itself!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

As you'll remember, we were staying at the Paradise Pier Hotel, which meant we were entitled to Extra Magic Hour. The park opened at 10am all three days we were vacationing, which meant we could begin our adventure at 9am! Our plan was to spend all of our first day at the resort at Disneyland only.

We awoke around 6:30am to get ready... almost everything I read online said that showing up 30 minutes before the gate opened in the off season would more than likely make us the first people in line. More on that in a minute...
I raced to the window when I woke up to look at the Sunrise over California Adventure.

We wanted to be in line by 8:30am, but so did everyone else! By the time we got to the baggage check area, the line was already back to the World of Disney, and we were there EARLY, like I'm talking 8:15am, people. It wasn't super far back, but still, I had expected there to be no one in line! Ah well, the line moved quickly once they began checking bags.
I did see my first feral Disney cat while waiting for bag check.
Surprisingly, they already had the Halloween decorations out.

When they let us in at 9:01am, I paniced and forgot my plan. "Just start walking, just start walking!" I told my sister. I had no idea where to go or what to do! "Peter Pan! I think Peter Pan is first!" My sister rolled her eyes and began marching down Main Street to Fantastyland. We stupidly forgot a map, so she didn't really know where to go, but I knew it was passed the castle, so we booked it over there.
A random photograph to entertain myself while we waited in line for Peter Pan.

Stephanie was not impressed. I knew I had to get her onto a more serious ride, so from there, we walked to the Matterhorn, which was a walk-on to ride. Amazing.

I didn't really take any pictures during that time, and honestly, I did not think our Extra Magic Hour through very well, because we only rode 2 rides in 60 minutes. Bad planning on my part.

We headed back out towards Main Street for breakfast at Carnation Cafe. Before stopping for food, I had to get a Partner's Statue picture.
We had to wait about 10 minutes for breakfast, even though we showed up 5 minutes before our Priorety Seating time at 10am. Stephanie had a bad headache, so we sat in the air conditioned lobbey of the Carnation Cafe for a few minutes, then I ran across the street to the fruit cart for a couple of bottles of water.
Once we were seated, we both ordered fairly quickly, and we ordered the same thing! A Mickey Waffle with a side of chicken sausage, and a fruit plate! Honestly guys, this was not only the cheapest breakfast we had during our vacation, but it was the best and as you'll see from the rest of my trip report, we went to some nicer places for breakfast. Loved Carnation Cafe the most.
Fruit plate.

After breakfast, I thought Pirates of the Carribean would be a good, quiet ride to relax on, so we headed that way.
Blue Bayou, getting ready for the lunch crowds.

After pirates, it was about noon, and it was HOT outside. My phone was saying it was 90 degrees, and since I am a pooh sized person, I don't like extra heat. It was time for Splash Mountain.

It was a walk on. Even when I had a fast pass for this ride 4 years ago, I remember having to wait 20 minutes for the ride. Not today!

Now, somehow, I got lucky and got put in the front seat! Stupidly, I didn't remember how wet one gets on Splash Mountain, and what did I bring with me? Why, my Nikon D80, of course! Stupid, stupid, stupid. My sister grabbed it from me and hid it beneath her shirt and her vinyl purse, and it was a good thing too...

Because after I got off that ride, EVERY inch of me was soaking wet. From top to bottom you guys, every nook and cranny was wet. My sister got pretty wet as well, but she was smart and had stategtically hidden her phone and her electronics under her purse, protecting them from the water.

My iPhone, however, was in my back pocket, and it did not like getting wet. More on that later though.
Random shot of New Orleans as I waited for Steph.

One of my "must do" items was riding on the Mark Twain Riverboat. I had wanted to since my first trip to Disney in 1995. However, in '95 it was down for refurbishment. When I went in 2008, the people I went with didn't want to waste time on it because "it didn't go fast." So I knew this was my trip to make it happen!

My camera is telling me we made it over to the Rivers of America at 12:16pm, and we were the first ones in the waiting area. I had heard that if you asked the right person, you got to "Captain" the Mark Twain, and this trip was all about special things for me and my sister, I wanted to see if that would work.

As we entered the turnstile, I asked the young cast member closest to me, "How can you ride in the Wheelhouse?"

He responded "Do you want to?"

I grinned my biggest grin and said "Yes please!"

The young man chuckled and informed us to hang out near him, as he was the next trip's Captain and that he would take care of us.
Little young to be Captaining a River Boat, wouldn't ya say? :lmao:
Apparently Walt used to take naps in the Wheel House! How cute!

Well, I think that's my image quota for this post, and gets us about halfway through our first day in Disneyland. More trip report coming very soon!

tksbaskets 09-25-2012 09:39 AM

Off to a great start. It is so cool that you got to ride in the Wheelhouse! I'm enjoying your trip report and looking forward to the next installment. popcorn::

DinaBina 09-26-2012 12:55 AM

Off to a wonderful start!! How cool is that?! Maybe when my son gets older we'll do that! I bet he'd love it!:hourglass

disneydeb64 10-31-2012 02:08 PM

Awesome TR so far! Just added "ask to ride in Mark Twain wheelhouse" to my birthday trip itinerary for next year! :yay:

Carolwoodpr 10-31-2012 06:47 PM

I am not so patiently waiting for the rest. Loving the pictures and the report. Can't wait to hear about the iPhone.

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