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Old 12-30-2009, 09:01 AM   #1
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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stopher1's Solo Adventures: DL Nov/Dec '09

A Report compiled together from items originally posted as stand alone pieces on the DIS Dad's Club Thread, a heavily WDW experienced group of guys, with little to no DL experience - Dec. 2009 I was out in CA on business, having book-ended the business trip with DL visits staying at the PPH on the front end, and the VGC on the back end.

So for my friends in the DIS Dad's Club - a compilation of my posts.

Here we go...

So ok, I'm sitting in my room at the Paradise Pier Hotel waiting for the parks
to open - not til 10 today - but that's cool since DL was open til midnight last night, and I stayed until the very end when the end of day announcement was made "Ladies & Gentlemen, boys & girls, Disneyland has now ended it's operating day. Thank you for coming and we hope you'll be back soon. For your shopping convenience, Main Street will be open for an additional hour" AHHH, home. It sure was fun to be there. Can't wait to go back for a few hours today before I have head over to the office and start a week of meetings.

For your viewing pleasure, especially those of you who have not been to DL during the Christmas season - here is a sampling of my evening last night. Heavy on It's a Small World Holiday. Normally I'm not a huge IASW fan, though I do ride it, but I AM a huge SW Holiday fan - though I definitely prefer the DL original to the shortened/modified MK version, even with the controverisal additions made to the DL version last year (they added in doll-stylized versions of Disney characters to the respective world areas they are from ... i.e. Alice & Peter Pan in England, Mulan & Mushu in China, Aladdin & Jasmine in the Middle East, etc). The holiday overlay is now in its' 13th season and still going quite strong. If you ever have the opportunity to go to DL between early November & New Year's - take it!!! No other IASW currently gets this overlay.

Today I plan to get photos of the Haunted Mansion Holiday and will post them later as well. My camera battery died last night when I rode it...so I need to go back this morning. I definitely am not a fan of Nightmare Before Christmas, or the overlay, but since it's now in its' 9th season - there definitely are some diehard Jack fans that like it.

The Tree in Town Square


Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle


Believe...in Holiday Magic, the Christmas fireworks show...good, but nothing overly exciting


Years ago this "snow fall" enthralled my DW & I when we lived in Orange County... now after living in the midwest for 9 winters, I wasn't as "oohing" and "ahhing" as most on Main Street were. (And honestly, soap flake bubbles getting into your eyes & mouth just isn't fun either)



Like many of the DL attractions, the queue and loading platform at IASW are completely outside. A huge difference from the MK. Plus the oversized facade that the revised version at the MK is based on. Here covered in thousands of sparkling lights for Christmas. They have a little "lighting" ceremony every 20 mins or so, where it goes completely dark, then has a fun lighting projection show on it of lots of various holiday images on the normally white & gold surface, that then finally explodes in burst of color at the end of the 1 or 2 minute "show"


Entering the SW show building



The seasonal overlay isn't just a cosmetic exterior one either... once inside, you see all kinds of holiday delights, including Santa inside his workshop, and hear him reading a list of names

Each room is decked out for the holidays, and the soundtrack is modified! They took the original music, and interwined Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls and other Christmas music into it. It works wonderfully, and really is a refreshing change from that endless, tortuous tune.













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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
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DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!

Last edited by stopher1; 06-11-2010 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:02 AM   #2
stopher1

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They've definitely "fixed" the hula girls - sped them up quite a bit...man were they ever shaking their bottom halves














Getting ready to exit the show building and head back outside to disembark there lots of "kid type" stylized greeting cards



Back outside just in time to catch another glimpse of the great clock tower in action. The doors open every fifteen minutes and dolls dance around as the clock marks the time - very fun stuff



More later guys
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:03 AM   #3
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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Ok guys, here are a few more photos from my time at Disneyland and California Adventure this week. I'm staying in the Grand Californian right now, with a a view overlooking DCA's Paradise Pier. I'll post of photo of that soon too. It's gorgeous.

The Grand Cal has its' own private entrance directly into DCA. You can only use it by being a guest at one of the 3 DL resort hotels. Both the Paradise Pier Hotel & Grand Cal overlook it, but the PPH is across the street. The new DVC villas actually look out over Paradise Pier... in fact I'm sitting here in my room right now with the slider open, listening to screams coming from folks on the roller coaster and up in Mickey's Fun Wheel.

This photo is looking back at the hotel after entering DCA from the private entrance.


Once inside DCA, Soarin' is a short 2 minute walk in one direction, and Grizzly River Run (like Kali, but actually better) is 1 minute in the other direction.

I don't know how familiar any of you are with all of the construction that's going on at DCA over the next several years. Some of you are, and some aren't I'm sure. But basically Disney is pouring over a $1B into "remaking" this park that basically didn't pan out as the suits in charge back when it was being designed fiigured it would. It was "built on the cheap" - and unfortunately - it SHOWED! There are some beautiful areas of this park, and many, many tacky areas too. Here's a mini-map of what it will be like when everything they're doing is completed in 2012. The all new CARSLAND is in the top, and will have an awesome new racing ride, that's supposed to be "Test Track 2.0 or more" - using improved technology - but racing multiple vehicles at a time. The new Little Mermaid ride is under construction (also recently announced for the MK at WDW, Toy Story Midway Mania opened last year (it was actually approved for DCA first, then they decided to throw it in to DHS, and construction at DHS was less intensive, so it opened there first) - as well as a major retheming/makeover of the main entrance area and the Paradise Pier area and its' attractions; as well as the massive new World of Color show.



Here's a pic of TSMM, with Califonia Screamin' right above it (it really does goe under the coaster - the entrance is in front of the coaster, the main show building behind it - which is why construction at DCA was more intense than at DHS!
And Mr. Potato Head, right out front and center. They weren't operating the Single Rider line the day I went, so I decided to skip it... I didn't want to wait 45 min. I'll catch it in FL in January.



Much of Paradise Pier is behind construction walls right now... here's one advertising the new World of Color show set to debut next March or April


Concept artwork for the new WOC show - taking the best of Fantasmic!, merging it with the best of the fountain show at the Bellagio in Vegas - adding about 15 years worth of new technologies - and bam! - should be a homerun.



Here's a look of Paradise Bay - as they continue getting the lagoon ready. The entire thing was drained last year, and they entire year has been spent retrofitting it for this incredible looking new show. There are something like 1,800 fountains in there. A whole new viewing area is being constructed to hold like 8,000-10,000 people. The new villas at the Grand Cal that DVC built have their own private viewing platform at the top (just like BLT's fireworks viewing platform) that you can only use while staying at the VCG on points - but of course, most of the DVC rooms themselves will have phenomenal views too.

here's a view of the massive show platform out in the middle of the water that they're finishing (that's the Paradise Pier Hotel in the top right, across the street, but at 14 floors, there are lots of great views into DCA)


And a view looking down at it all from the top of Mickey's Fun Wheel

The rounded structure near the left middle of this pic is Soaring Over California - and just a "little" above that to the right are the spires of Space Mountain.

For those that aren't familiar with the DL resort, DCA was built on what was originally the parking lot for DL from 1955 - 1998. The two park entrances literally face each other, and by my paces are 105 steps apart. Here's a view looking north from just inside DCA (standing underneath the "mini Golden Gate Bridge" that the monorail (or OBA) crosses over looking directly north to the entrance of DL and the Main Street station, with a view of the original Disney Mountain - the Matterhorn, celebrating 50 years this year. It was the original iron tubular roller coaster - built inside of a themed mountain to boot - Walt sure was cool. Not only did he give us a great coaster, but he had them put it inside a mountain as well. Growing up in So. Cal, whenever we went to DL, the sight of the Matterhorn from the freeway was always so cool! Still is, but I don't get to see it as often living in the Midwest.


Ok guys - I'll post some more later. I'm going to head back over into the park for a while to enjoy the nightlife, as well as the fireworks.
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:05 AM   #4
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
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Some more pics from DCA...

when they redid the "Sun Wheel" into "Mickey's Fun Wheel" last year...some classic characters joined the fun. Here's our fav on one of the gondolas...


The old "Orange Stinger" swing ride has been dismantled, and in 2010 will be replaced by "Silly Symphony Swings", based on the Mickey's Band Concert cartoon from the '30's.


...in 2011 Ariel finds another home at DCA (currently she's the "star" of Ariel's Grotto, which is a character meal location along the waterfront), in the big new splashy dark ride. I'm sure the WDW version's queque will be more expansive and fun given the amount of available land there vs. DCA - but both should be really cool! My DD5 is thrilled, and cannot wait for this one to open!


...here's a view of the DVC Viewing Platform for World of Color. One of the other things about the Grand Cal rooms is that the soundtrack will be pumped directly into the rooms via one of the channels on the TV, just as DL's fireworks soundtracks are now - so in theory you could enjoy it from the privacy of inside your room too, without having to step outside onto the balcony - I guess that would be good on a cold evening. But certainly since the DVC rooms are so close, and truly do overlook the Pier, you'd definitely be able to hear the music from your balcony. The standard hotel rooms no, so having the music pumped in is ok, but I don't believe any video of the show will be broadcast, just the audio.


...there are so many areas of DCA that support the whole "built on the cheap" statement I made earlier. Too many "off the shelf" rides, boardwalk games, non-descript buildings - but there are a few areas that the Imagineers were able to plus without breaking the budget. This is an example. Paradise Pier is supposed to celebrate the beach culture of Southern California, as well as celebrating the multitude of beachfront amusement parks that dotted the CA coast throughout the 30's, 40's, '50's and '60's. This drinking fountain could have been just that, but they went the extra step, and gave it that "at the beach flavor". This is the kind of stuff I love to see.


...a quick trip into A BUGS LAND and the decorations at Flik's Fun Fair


After a while in DCA, I went across the esplanade into DL.

My favorite sign...


Walt's apartment, above the Fire Station - note the covered patio to the left, which was designed for his grandchildren to be able to play on, when they were staying with their granddad in the park


Like so much of the park, the Omnibus is decked out for Christmas...


Holiday Goofy greeting his fans...


"Mine, mine, mine!" , the birds squak as the subs pass by


One of the subs passing through into the caverns. I wasn't a huge fan of layering on the Nemo theme to the original submarine voyage...but was a huge fan of almost anything that would bring them back from "the dead". DL closed the subs in '98... and finally reopened them in '08 with this new theming. Anything is better than a 7 million (+/-) gallon lagoon sitting there idle.


While in line for the subs, an OBA came passing by overhead into the station


While on the subs, Darla can be seen...


...along with lots of other marine life. Once the subs pass into the caverns, then the same kind of animation technology is in place like the Nemo attraction at Epcot. This one at DL just has more, and is longer than Epcot's version - and takes place actually underwater. They developed some special kind of viewing boxes for underwater that house the actual animated sequences. Dory, Marlin, Mr. Ray, Bruce, the angler fish, Nemo...they're all there. It's cool, even if I prefer the original.


OK - now I'm off to enjoy the jacuzzi for a while guys. Gotta get my enjoyment out of this place for a while longer before I leave tomorrow! More later.
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:06 AM   #5
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney Commando View Post
stopher1: Thanks for posting those pics, looks like a lot of new stuff coming in the future.

My DS would really like the Cars section and with Test Track 2, looks like this could be our 2012 trip. It would be awesome if they made the test cars look like the race cars from the movie
Commando: They have begun construction on new CARS LAND, I didn't think to capture any photos of that that I recall, but they are definitely moving dirt! Here are some concept art pics I took from the "Blue Sky Cellar" preview center that they opened up last year to highlight all of the many changes coming to DCA. Cars Land itself is supposed to have 2 or 3 attractions, as well as shops and a restaurant, all themed to Radiator Springs. Looks pretty cool. At this point my guess is it'll be open by spring 2012 to really capture the summer guests. It's hard to tell, but it does seem/appear like the Cars characters will be found throughout the attraction, or at least in different parts of it, on the sidelines. The regular ride vehicles will probably just be generic though, like the second concept art pic shows. I think, since Cars 2 will have already come out by then - they'll probably want to be able to capture any new characters in that film in the overall land as well - so maybe that's why the concept art is generic, maybe not. I'm not sure.



I am looking forward to seeing in person the updates at Space Mtn in WDW...but for now, here's a shot or two of the inside of the DL version's queue. This version was completely remade in 2005. The track was completely replaced. When SM debuted at DL in 1977, they had to do quite a bit in order to make it fit in with the smaller, more intimate park that is DL vs. the larger, more spacious park that is the MK. The entire building's circumference is smaller, and the entire thing had to be sunk down 15 feet into the ground to make it fit. They also made a single track, vs the dual tracks at WDW, but to keep capacity high, they did away with the single row seating, and put in dual seating rows (like at Splash in WDW). The redo in '05 added in an awesome soundtrack, via onboard speakers behind every person's head. The DL version also has an incredible up ramp, and some awesome graphics inside. At Halloween this year, they actually put in a special overlay called "Ghost Galaxy", and was jam packed pretty much all the time, with the FP's gone early in the day (this is one that definitely should have a single rider line!). I wasn't able to experience Ghost Galaxy, but my friends out here who did all said it was awesome. Sure to be repeated next Halloween season no doubt.




As promised earlier, I think I did anyway, here's a couple of shots of IASW during the daytime.

One of the things I really love about DL, is the real gold on the spires of the castle, IASW, Dumbo and several other places. I remember my first day orientation when I started working there, learning about how it was Walt himself who said they had to it there, because any cheap imitations would be too obvious to the guests. Again I say wow, what a cool guy. It just sparkles and shines in the sunshine!


Here the IASW clock is about to mark another quarter hour. The dolls come out from the center, and then in both directions, circle around to the sides and go back in as the giant center doors open and giant blocks tell the time


This is the original version of IASW that was at the New York World's Fair in '64-65. It was then transferred lock, stock & barrel to Anaheim. The only thing that didn't make it was the original sign out front - so a whole new facade was created for Disneyland. Mary Blair who designed much of the interior settings and color schemes designed the facade. (She's the same one who designed the great big mural in the Grand Canyon Concourse at the Contemporary). Then when Walt dedicated it in '66, he had lots of children in various cultural costumes pour waters from the seven seas into the canal.

BTW - if anyone is interested in a map of DL or DCA, I grabbed way more than necessary so I could mail them out to anyone possibly planning a trip west. I definitely got a set for you Christian! If you want one, just PM me with your address. I think I've got 35 or more. I'll grab some more in the morning though, before I leave just in case.

Up at the ranch, the Big Thunder Ranch, that is - Santa has set up shop. Back in the '80's and well into the '90's, the ranch was home to a petting farm, and the Big Thunder BBQ restaurant (which I worked at for a short while during my tenure at the park). In the later '90's it became a shell of its' former glory when the restaurant was closed, and the animals finally disappeared by around 2000. But each year at Christmas, Santa reappears and brings his reindeer along. Santa will be inside the log cabin for photos, and his deer friends are around in the old animal corrals for all to see. They do have a few goats again, but it's nothing like it used to be with horses, cows, sheep, goats and the chickens of old. The restaurant has reopened, but nothing like it used to be either. But - open restaurants are certainly better than shuttered ones!



I remember so well back in '76 when the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland closed in Frontierland, to be replaced by the "Wildest Ride in the Wilderness" in '77. Back then, the Rivers of America were drained as well, and all of Frontierland became "the great wall of construction walls" at DL, just as Paradise Pier at DCA is currently surrounded by them.


Passing through Frontierland, along the river's edge into New Orleans Square, I enjoyed the new "Tiana's Showboat Jubilee". It was a fun little show, even though I have no clue about the new Princess & The Frog film yet. It definitely made me want to see it. The songs were quite enjoyable. I'm really hoping this return to traditional animation is a smashing success for Disney! I want more 2D animation.


Like WDW - the procession passes through the land, and then onto the riverboat. The Mark Twain, as I read online a couple of days ago, was actually used in the P&TF film. Apparently the crew animating the film made a day trip down to Anaheim in order to actually record the whistles of the Mark Twain in order to incorporate them into the film. Since the film is set in New Orleans, it certainly does feel appropriate to have the show in New Orleans Square here at DL. I haven't seen it in Liberty Square/Frontierland at WDW, but I'm sure it plays well there too.


Then it was on to the Haunted Mansion Holiday - where Jack Skellington and friends from Hallowweentown have taken over my beloved Mansion. It's actually this way now for more than 1/3 of the year... since it opens up this way right around Labor Day, and stays this way until after New Year's... such a bummer when you want to see the real version. I am NOT a fan of this overlay at all...but I cannot dispute its' popularity. 9 years running, with people clamoring to see it. And many people do love it. I don't. To each his own. Here are a few shots of it for those of you have not experienced it.







Then again later in the dark...



And a couple on the inside... the stretching portraits are changed to look like stained glass windows that then "break" when the elevator starts stretching (because yes, at DL the Stretching Room IS actually an elevator, unlike at WDW. At DL, for operational purposes, the whole thing could not fit inside the berm, so you enter into the plantation house, and then have to get beyond the berm into the show building...so you go DOWN underground and then pass underneath the railroad tracks via the Portrait Corridor - [added in to the WDW version during the latest update when the cool endless staircase scene was added]. At WDW, 1) the water table is entirely too high to allow for going down too far, despite the MK being built on the 2nd floor with the utilidors underneath as the basement, and 2) the entire facility, house facade and show building are located inside the berm - so there was no operational need like at DL. So at DL the floor goes down and the ceiling is stationary, vs. at WDW the floor is stationary and the ceiling goes up.) Followed by a giant Jack in the ceiling vs. the traditional hanging corpse just prior to the doors opening into the Portrait Corridor and on to the doom buggies, or as the HMH calls them, the "black Christmas sleighs"




At the loading area...


...in the Grand Hall, there's a giant gingerbread carousel with Zero on it. The traditional blue china dishes have been replaced with black spiderweb plates, and there's a giant Nightmare themed CHristmas tree over near the ballroom dancers. The smell from that carousel is wonderful!!
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:07 AM   #6
stopher1

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I didn't get an attic shot, but here's Jack at the entrance to the graveyard


followed by some of his handiwork inside the graveyard



Oogie Boogie has replaced the Hitchhiking Ghosts, playing "game show host" to see what kind of prize each sleigh will get as they pass by the crypt mirrors. I got the "?" or "Surprise" one each time I rode. Little things were popping up with each mirror I passed, instead of a single item that was supposed to be next to me like the traditional hitchhiking ghosts are.


Here are a couple of shots of New Orleans Square decked out for Christmas



Ok - now I have to upload more photos. Maybe I'll get more done tonight, and maybe not...
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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