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Old 11-30-2010, 01:40 AM   #1
Markie Mouse
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The Franco bunch's first summer vacation Trip report from Summer 2013

NEW 2013 Summer PTR on Page 6


One More Disney Day TR page 5


March 2010 Mini Trip Report
Let me start by saying I think it is so cool to find other Disneyland/Disney fanatics here on these boards. I am 25, married with 2 children. I currently have 2 jobs, one being a Sony rep on the weekends and the other being a recording engineer in Scottsdale AZ. My obsession with Disney began in my mothers womb as my parents took a trip to Disneyworld while she was pregnant. Then we returned to DLR every year until my parents divorce(not meant to be heavy) when I was 12. For years I wanted to return but never could. 9 years later after being married for 3 years with a kid of our own we decided to go before my DD turned 3. From then the obsession was rekindled. We went on a short trip in March this year and it was not magical due to crowds, humidity and heat. My wife and I decided another trip this year would help get that bad experience out of our heads. I have never been to DLR during the holidays and it made sense(Sherry-E helped a little too).

Cast
Me-Mark


DW-Manda


DD3-Bella


DS11months-Zeke


DSis-Cedes


From 12/08 to 12/13

As a Sony rep I get some perks, one recent one is being sent an SLT a55 DSLR camera. I will be taking it along with my Samsung P&S camera and my Flip Ultra HD so I will have plenty of stored memories. I am new to this so any tips or requests are welcome. Hope I can add a perspective to these boards as Im not as seasoned as some of you DIS-vets but this should be fun.

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Old 11-30-2010, 01:54 AM   #2
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I forgot, here are some pics from my march trip while I wait for December 8th to come by.

Bella waking up on the way to the park


My favorite way to start the day.


She loves modeling


My twin brother


Modeling again


Playing like daddy




Her B-day gift


Waiting for the princesses




Getting a kiss from Snow White


You know where Im at


My favorite part


Baby Zeke had to stay in AZ last time so this will be his first visit but the love for Disney has already begun
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:28 AM   #3
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Woo hoo! I'm glad I helped a little in encouraging this trip!!! I try to wield my influence around the board and inspire DLR holiday trips where I can!!

What a cute family you have!! Love the dimples on the model-in-the-making!!

You all will absolutely love being at DLR for the holiday season! Plus, it's been quite chilly lately, so, to me, it feels more Christmasy. It's fun to bundle up and get comfy with cocoa and all that. You may or may not encounter some crowds but I think you'll be free from humidity. The good thing is that even if you run into crowds, you will have enough days in the parks to kind of spread everything out. Also, while the holiday season is really popular, there are many people who will still be at work and school and not out on vacation yet, so that will be an advantage. I think the fact that you're arriving on a mid-weekday will be helpful.

When you went to DLR in March, I wonder if you got caught in the Spring Break crowds?
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And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:54 AM   #4
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Subbing! cannot wait to hear more!
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Woo hoo! I'm glad I helped a little in encouraging this trip!!! I try to wield my influence around the board and inspire DLR holiday trips where I can!!

What a cute family you have!! Love the dimples on the model-in-the-making!!

You all will absolutely love being at DLR for the holiday season! Plus, it's been quite chilly lately, so, to me, it feels more Christmasy. It's fun to bundle up and get comfy with cocoa and all that. You may or may not encounter some crowds but I think you'll be free from humidity. The good thing is that even if you run into crowds, you will have enough days in the parks to kind of spread everything out. Also, while the holiday season is really popular, there are many people who will still be at work and school and not out on vacation yet, so that will be an advantage. I think the fact that you're arriving on a mid-weekday will be helpful.

When you went to DLR in March, I wonder if you got caught in the Spring Break crowds?
Yes, it was definitely spring break. I will never go again at that time. I can only hope the crowds are more manageable or at least they act more polite during the holiday season. I got tired of people jumping over my kids stoller while she was in it mind you or people moving our stroller yards from where I left it.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:42 AM   #6
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Yay, you started your PTR/TR. I had to smile when you mentioned Sherry having a little something to do with the decision to go during this time. She's such an advocate for DLR during the holidays!

I hope you have a great time with your family. Looking forward to reading along!
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:48 AM   #7
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Have fun, the timing looks great for low crowds. Can't wait to here how it goes.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:08 AM   #8
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In fact this was the crowd at opening. 8am(you can't see it but there was already a huge line behind me for the Train)


I had a whole 1GB card full of pictures but the card broke there were more pics of the crowd levels. Indy was 70 mins and they even close off part of the Jungle cruise queue for Indy. Nemo was a 4 hour wait, and Haunted Mansion and POC broke down throughout the day so the lines were horrific when they were temporarily operational. We ended leaving early around 10 one night and 7 the other only staying till midnight for one of the nights. They were midweek as well, Wed., Thurs., Friday but it was bad. The weather sucked too. The night we arrived on tues it was 70º and breezy but the day at the park were 80º and windy, 79º and %60 humidity, and finally 86º with 60% humidity. Yuck. I know this is not Disney's fault but I also lost my belt and had recently dropped from 380lbs to 350lbs so pants size dropped (Im now almost under 300) so holding my pants up all day was added stress. Im hoping this trip will give me the magic I remember from my childhood.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Markie Mouse View Post
In fact this was the crowd at opening. 8am(you can't see it but there was already a huge line behind me for the Train)


I had a whole 1GB card full of pictures but the card broke there were more pics of the crowd levels. Indy was 70 mins and they even close off part of the Jungle cruise queue for Indy. Nemo was a 4 hour wait, and Haunted Mansion and POC broke down throughout the day so the lines were horrific when they were temporarily operational. We ended leaving early around 10 one night and 7 the other only staying till midnight for one of the nights. They were midweek as well, Wed., Thurs., Friday but it was bad. The weather sucked too. The night we arrived on tues it was 70º and breezy but the day at the park were 80º and windy, 79º and %60 humidity, and finally 86º with 60% humidity. Yuck. I know this is not Disney's fault but I also lost my belt and had recently dropped from 380lbs to 350lbs so pants size dropped (Im now almost under 300) so holding my pants up all day was added stress. Im hoping this trip will give me the magic I remember from my childhood.
Maybe buy some pants that fit? I relieze it may be a hassel to keep buying pants, especially when they'll be to big soon, but I would suggest a local salvation army. A couple pairs of jeans should only set you back $10 and when they get to big, you can donate them back.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:32 AM   #10
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Just a quick update, wife got a new job that pays very well so I have , potentially, a new PTR to start soon. I have a couple questions, 1) can you request a certain tower at the Disneyland Hotel to make sure you get the best view of the park 2)can you upgrade the 3 day pass on a city pass so cal ticket 3). Will it be ridiculously busy June 21-29? 4) should I really do a trip report for the next trip, since this isn't going so well, is it a waist of time? Should I just leave the camera holstered and enjoy my trip and see the vacation through my eyes instead of through the lens?
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
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Markie Mouse -

Hi there! I just wanted to pop in and let you know that I'm here. Actually I have been subscribed to this TR thread since you first started it way back when. So when I saw that it was suddenly active again last week (I got an e-mail alert) I didn't recognize the title and was thinking, "Whose report did I subscribe to?"

When I opened up your TR and saw that it was you, I instantly remembered your cute family and your lovely photos (which, I am guessing, is one reason why I subscribed in the first place oh so long ago, along with the fact that you had taken a holiday trip to DLR largely based on the info you got from the Christmas Superthread and I wanted to see how it went)!

Congratulations to your wife on the new job!

You know, these trip reports are a tricky thing in terms of gaining viewers/commenters. You'll definitely get them because your photos are great and people will notice, but it is a lot of work to keep the reports active and interesting on an ongoing basis. So you have to decide to either stick with it and commit to it - and that can be very time consuming - or to bow out before you spend too much time!

Just to share my experience so you will know that I understand - my TR thread is just a few pages from having to be closed because it will reach the 250-page limit. I was hoping that some of my longtime lurkers would come out of hiding and speak up before it closes. Only one or two lurkers have spoken up. I've been adding TR's to that thread since 2008 (and the most recent one I've been working on since last month). In the 4+ years that I have been working on the trip reports in that specific thread, there have been many, many times when I felt like I was posting to no one, and no one was saying anything - and some of these times were when I posted some of my very best photos and I was sure that people would like some of them! Thankfully, I have had a couple of faithful subscribers who stayed with me when others left!

And then there have been other times when all kinds of people came out of the woodwork, spoke up and said, "Your pictures are beautiful," "Your TR is great," etc., etc. So it really seems to ebb and flow with the viewers/participants in these reports. They go through phases where no one says much and it can be a bummer. And then they go through those phases where a bunch of people surprisingly speak up.

I can understand your feeling of "Should I even bother doing a TR." I feel that way all the time. But...don't leave that camera holstered! I love taking photos sooooo much. (On my December trip to DLR last month I only went on 3 rides over 4 days because I was so wrapped up in taking pictures.) I know that YOU love taking photos (and great photos at that!), so I would suggest that you keep taking them on your trips because you love it! And the readers/subscribers will join in as you keep posting, if you keep this TR active! Maybe post a little something in it every day or every other day - like a random photo here, a random photo there.

We would all be lucky to be able to enjoy some of your fabulous pictures so I hope you will continue sharing them here!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:36 PM   #12
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Yeah, Sherry. You pretty much nailed it. Thats how I feel most of the time, and why I stopped for so long. I work full time, school half time, gym 3-4 times a week, have kids and a wife, homework, house work, writing songs for an upcoming project. I love posting on here to share my Disney trips because it also makes me feel like I'm on the trip again. I guess I'll just keep it going, and see where it goes. It's just crazy when I see yours, Glenbo, Diznee, and many other awesome trip reports, I wonder if I'm missing something that people want to see.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:19 AM   #13
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Day 4

We decided to go to rope drop at DCA again and see Mickey Mouse club house show for the kids. The line was kind of long but should be expected for a Friday. We got there about 9:15am and the check in was going a bit long,


DSC01401 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr


DSC01403 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

It was about 10:15 before we finally got into the park. Everyone made a beeline to soarin and TSMM while I cut left and headed towards Mickey Mouse Club house. There wasn't anybody there at first. So I line up in front of Taste pilot and wait because I guess the other side of the park wasn't open yet.


DSC01420 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

It was pretty windy that day, I remember I had to chase my kids blanket a couple times. I waited and chatted with a couple of CM's about leap day. They didn't see any of the drunk I experienced but they said it happens a lot with special late night events like that at DLR. I forgot their names but they seemed pretty happy to be at work.


DSC01424 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

As we were waiting, a huge crowd made there way over to the same area. I didn't realize its better to line up on the right because thats the side they let you in first. So of course we fall to the middle of the crowd. Another note is while waiting, I guess a group of cheerleaders were in line and the CM's had convinced them to give a mini performance. Sure enough the girls got out there and did a Disney themed cheer. Was pretty cool, my daughter has since told me she wants to be a cheerleader.

Here is a pic of some of the crowd

DSC01426 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

and there they go

DSC01430 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

I don't know why, but I really love this show. So do my kids, they ask for this show at the beginning of the trip but had to wait till the last day. We got in and I took a few pics. I don't know if I need to explain the show, but its all the Disney Jr big shows thrown together in a puppet show. Its interactive and has some pretty cool surprises.

DSC01432 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr


DSC01434 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

His first time seeing this show while knowing the characters.

DSC01453 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

Her second one but she knew what to do,

DSC01454 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

after we decided that it would be a kids day, do what they wanted and it was pretty fun that way.

Bella w/ Zeke at DAC by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

My middle boy flipped when he saw Jake

DSC01485 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

We took a trip inside the animation building only to find out it Beast library was closed down. I was looking so much exploring this place again. But we got some nice photos of movie poster for upcoming releases(at the time)

DSC01499 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr


DSC01516 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr


DSC01519 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

I love this thing

DSC01510 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

So not being able to walk through the best part of the building, we had to figure out what to do next......


DSC01522 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr


To Be Cont..........
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markie Mouse View Post
Yeah, Sherry. You pretty much nailed it. Thats how I feel most of the time, and why I stopped for so long. I work full time, school half time, gym 3-4 times a week, have kids and a wife, homework, house work, writing songs for an upcoming project. I love posting on here to share my Disney trips because it also makes me feel like I'm on the trip again. I guess I'll just keep it going, and see where it goes. It's just crazy when I see yours, Glenbo, Diznee, and many other awesome trip reports, I wonder if I'm missing something that people want to see.
Who is Glenbo? That's a trip report I'm not familiar with!

None of us are reinventing the wheel with these reports. We're simply being ourselves and posting photos. The audience for our reports will ebb and flow, as I mentioned previously.

Honestly, I had a spike in followers and commenters when I did the Cars Land/Buena Vista Street preview last June and quickly began posting photos - simply because I was the first person (or one of the first people) to start posting extensive Cars Land photos in the TR section and people were curious. I also had a spike in followers when I went to DLR on the first day of the holiday season last November because, again, I was the first one to start posting extensive Cars Land/Buena Vista Street Christmas photos in the TR forum and people were curious.

After the November holiday day trip, though, a lot of people disappeared and were not around when I did my December 2012 report. Add to that the fact that several others were doing holiday trip reports too and I didn't stand a chance at picking up extra/new readers because the readers' attention was drawn to other reports (no matter how many photos I posted).

So that novelty factor has a lot to do with it. If there are only one or two holiday TR's going on, it's a sure bet that people will speak up. If there are many holiday TR's going on at the same time, the readers pick the reports they want to stick with and avoid the others!

A lot of the TR 'audience' has to do with timing, too. If your TR is at or near the top of the page for a while, on a regular basis, people will automatically see it when they come to the TR forum and will be curious to take a look because it's active. If the TR forum is really hoppin' and a lot of people are doing reports, thus causing yours to drop down the page rapidly, fewer people will see your TR because I think that a lot of folks do not look past a certain point on the page (probably not past 15 or 20 reports down, I would guess). A lot of TR writers will bump their reports just so that they don't drop down the page and become invisible.

Some of it also has to do with promotion - Laurie/DizNee Luver, for example, promotes her TR's on Facebook. There are other DIS'ers who mainly stay on the WDW side of this board but when it comes time to do a Disneyland TR they bring their WDW followers with them to the DLR side of the board. So, promotion is key. You could always start a thread on the main Disneyland planning forum, saying "I started a trip report! Please come and join me!" A lot of people have done that - and it usually succeeds in attracting followers.

Finally, another thing I have observed is that too much of anything can be a bad thing. I see it in my own reports and in other folks' reports. If I write too much, people tune out. No one wants to read too much. If I don't write too much but instead post hundreds and hundreds of photos, people can tune out then too, or their comments get less frequent. I think that people generally have limited time to devote to reports, so even though posting a lot of photos is good there can come a point where people start to get quiet or tune out if there are too many photos. As DIS'er tksbaskets once said, it's good to find a balance between photos and prose!

So it's kind of all about timing, promotion and balance of narrative and photos!

It also doesn't hurt to find photo subjects or perspectives on subjects that are not the norm. Ever since 2010 I have gotten in a habit of trying to take at least a couple of photos that are original, or come from a different perspective/angle. On this past December trip I was all about the Mardi Gras masks, photographing them in detail. I wasn't the first person to get mask photos, but mine were the first in-depth ones I had seen. Sometimes my ideas are successful and people like them (some folks even copy the ideas), and sometimes they are clunkers - but at least I try to come up with different ideas here and there. I don't like to just take photos of what I've seen others take photos of - I like to try to put my own stamp on a lot of the pictures if I can manage it.

You have a good eye for photo subjects (as evidenced by all of the photos you have posted in this thread thus far), so it should not be hard for you to come up with interesting, original and imaginative ideas!

You'll pick up followers - I know you will!
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**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014

Last edited by Sherry E; 02-02-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:00 AM   #15
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Day 4 part 2

Well after feeling so tired and spent from being sick we decided to start with a couple of shows. We started with Muppets, which we absolutely love. It was Zeke's first time seeing the show and he loved it. He is a big Kermit fan and would light up every time he was on the screen. But after seeing the 3d dude(forgot his name) he took off his 3D glasses.

I love the detail in this place

DSC01524 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

Where statler and waldorf put on their show

DSC01525 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

After a show whats better than.....Another show!

DSC01526 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

Great show but a bit intense and loud for little ones.

DSC01528 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

Afterwards we decided to have one last theme park meal for the trip at Pacific Wharf cafe. This place was so yummy! In fact so yummy I didn't take any pictures of my Clam Chowder bowl and my wifes turkey sandwiches. The lines do get long but the atmosphere, service and theme really make you feel like you are transported off property somewhere at a beach restaurant. After Lunch I was so tired I went back to the Hotel and took a nap.....but not before facing my fears and boarding Cali Screamin. I will say, I overhyped this ride. I hate drops and loops but Disney made this ride perfect, fun enough to please the hardcore but not too crazy were novice coaster riders would be forever intimidated. Well nap time.....


But here are some picks my wife took while I rested.

DSC01538 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr


DSC01540 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr


DSC01542 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr


DSC01544 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr


DSC01547 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

My little funny man

DSC01549 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr


DSC01553 by Markie Mouse, on Flickr

I'll be back soon to update and finish this TR and possibly start my 2013 PTR???????
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