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Old 12-10-2009, 02:27 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by onelilspark View Post
I'm so excited to do the Tiki Room when we go!!! It's the WDW version that's changed over the years and I miss the original! (Though what I remember as the original probably isn't!)
I think the Tiki Room is way underrated. I love it. I hope you are not disappointed!
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:43 PM   #47
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So after Casey Jr. we were supposed to ride the Storybook Land Canal Boats -- no such luck. We decided to head over to IASW. I had been wanting to see this since our first day, and here we were on our last day and I still hadn't seen it yet. I was willing to stand in any length of line. It turned out to be one of our longer ones, but it wasn't too bad.



Unlike the Holiday version of Haunted Mansion...I really really really liked the Holiday version of IASW. It was so happy and festive. DS3 and DS6 especially enjoyed it, excitedly pointing out different things throughout the ride and saying to me, "Take a picture of that!" and "Did you get a picture of that?" I loved it. A few pics:





I liked how they switched off singing the regular "It's a Small World" song with Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls.



I really liked all the cards at the end...





DS9 had been looking at the map and wanted to choose where we'd have our next meal. His decision led us over to Mickey's Toontown. Again, it's our 4th and final day and we still hadn't made it over...



The kids enjoyed some pizza and I had a chef salad. (I've had better.) We explored a bit and then DH headed out to finally get his big huge Turkey Leg and I took the kids to Gadget's Go Coaster. (Years ago I saw Stevie Wonder riding this rollercoaster. ) DS6...a little nervous. DS3...silent and straight-faced. DS9...thinking it wouldn't be fast enough or long enough. It was fun. We ended up riding 3 times in a row. Sadly, this was all we saw of Toontown.
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:47 PM   #48
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DS3 joined the ranks of the other kids who thought it meant "No Dancing Allowed." He also intrepreted the bottom part of this one to mean "You're Not Allowed to Buckle Your Seatbelts."


Great pics of IASW. My kids and husband still haven't been on this as it has been down for refurb or the overlay every time we have gone. I haven't been on it in about 20 years. We were really hoping it would open a day early, but no such luck. There is always next time.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:47 AM   #49
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Great pics of IASW. My kids and husband still haven't been on this as it has been down for refurb or the overlay every time we have gone. I haven't been on it in about 20 years. We were really hoping it would open a day early, but no such luck. There is always next time.
I bet your kids will love it...although Riley might be a little disappointed that there isn't a big thrill factor involved.
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:18 AM   #50
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After Toontown, we headed toward Main Street to assess the parade seating situation. I'm not normally a "stake out a spot hours ahead of time" kind of girl. But one of my priorities this trip was to see the Christmas parade at night while sitting on Main Street directly across from Crystal Arcade. Was that too much to ask? And this was my last chance. It was 1 hr. 30 min. before the start of the parade. As we came up from Toontown, we could just see the crowd getting thicker. There were already people sitting and waiting. I was sure I would have to find another spot...but lo and behold...my spot was still available. So we parked the stroller and sat down on the curb for a bit. DS3 had fallen asleep in the stroller by this time, so we didn't have to try to entertain him. That was nice. After making sure we had enough space, DS6 and I headed back to Best Western to get our jackets. We usually had them in the bottom of the stroller, but with changing hotels and being in a rush...they were forgotten. Boy, that sure was an easy jaunt. We were back in no time. When I got back, DH asked me to take a picture of this menorah:



He had been talking to a CM about it while I was gone getting the jackets. She mentioned that Walt had wanted it put there. I think this is the only "picture request" he had the entire trip. Except pictures of the falling snow, maybe.

Speaking of snow...we got to watch another snowfall while we were sitting there. One of my very favorite things from this visit.



DS9...catching snow in his hand, instead of on his tongue.

After the snow I took care of another one of my priorities. I wanted to have the kids' silhouettes done. I had seen a video online of a lady named Sylvia who had been doing it there for decades and it looked like she did a really nice job. Well, Sylvia wasn't there. I took one child at a time to the silhouette shop, and even held a sleeping DS3 on my lap (and held his head up) while she went to work. She did it very quickly. This was something I had been really excited about when looking forward to the trip. But, I was really disappointed in the end result. I could barely see DS6 and DS9 in theirs, and couldn't see DS3 at all. DH couldn't see the older two boys at all in theirs, but could see DS3 in his. For anyone wanting to know, the cost is $9 per person and you get 2 silhouettes, the second being the mirror image of the first. There goes the Christmas present for the grandparents... oh well. They are still a fun souvenir, and I'm still planning on framing them, but it would be nice if you could tell that they were our 3 boys and not just some random children.

I took a few more pictures of Main Street window displays.

I took this one of the little hot chocolates because my sister brought these back to me after a trip to DL years ago, and I still have the empty little containers lined up on top of my stove. It was just fun to see they are still around.







Had a bit more time to pass, so we got the kids some ice cream and just enjoyed the sights. Up next, parade pics.

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Old 12-11-2009, 02:22 AM   #51
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There are certainly better parade pics out there, so feel free to skip this post.



I loved these little soldiers! I guess they weren't so little...











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Old 12-11-2009, 02:30 AM   #52
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And a few more...



These gingerbread men were cute and scary to me all at the same time!













Well, the parade was over. It was a fun parade. Too bad DS3 slept through the whole thing! When he saw some of these pictures, he was wondering what they were from. I told him there was a parade while he was sleeping. He said, "Yeah, they were trying to wake me up but I was still sleeping."

OK, time to hop to DCA for the last couple of hours...
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:11 PM   #53
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Fun pictures of the parade. It looks like a really good parade. I don't blame you for staking spots out. I especially like the Mickey and Minnie snowmen. Too Cute!!


You are right about Riley. She would probably be waiting for a drop or something in the middle of IASW.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:03 AM   #54
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So off to DCA we go. Closing had been at 6pm all week, which seemed WAY too early, so it was nice to have until 9pm on our last night.

First stop, Monsters, Inc. We had tried to hit this earlier in the week but it was shut down. We were glad to see it was open and there was no line. I pulled DS3 out of the stroller and tried to get him to wake up. Once he saw the fun Monsters stuff he was bright-eyed and ready to go. I thought this ride was really cute and well done. We all liked it. Earlier I mentioned that Roz has always scared me a bit. And it didn't help that she rolled straight toward me during the Pixar parade. Well here we are, at the end of the ride, and she starts talking to me! I had no idea we'd be coming in contact with a "live Roz." The 3 boys were up front, then I was in the second row by myself. She said, "Young lady in the second row..." and then asked me a question. I wasn't sure exactly what she said - it totally took me off guard. I can't even remember my answer now. Actually, I think I said "yes." Now I'm remembering... She asked me something about whether or not I had seen a child and I replied "yes." Then she barked, "Wrong answer!" So I changed my answer to "no" and she said, "That's right...you didn't see a thing!" Scared me to death.

From here we headed to Paradise Pier. We decided to ride the carousel. I loved all the colors. DS3 and DS6 are big fans of carousels, I'm finding out.



Next up, Screamin'. I went with DS9 while the others did the carousel again and again. The line was short. Good thing since we didn't have FPs. I noticed the crowd in line for Screamin' on a Friday night had a different feel than the crowd in Disneyland. Anyway, I was excited to take DS9 on his first ever upside down rollercoaster. He was looking forward to it too. That is, until we were all latched in and started to pull away from the loading area. "Mom...I changed my mind." "What?!?" "I changed my mind. I don't want to ride this one." Then zoom, we were off! I yelled at him to close his eyes if he was scared, and I left my hand on his leg the whole time. (Not a mad yell...a "so he could hear me" yell. ) I loved this ride, but I'm no spring chicken anymore and would not be able to do it 3 times in a row or anything like that. DS9's reaction? "That was cool! Can we go again?" He also mentioned that he felt like his face was going to fall off when we did the loop. Well, I wasn't up to doing it again right then, so we met the others and decided to hit Toy Story one last time. Me and the kids, that is. DH didn't care to stand in a 40 minute line, so he headed over to ride Maliboomer 3 times instead. The TSMM wait ended up being 35 minutes. Our longest line of the trip by far. But it's such a cool ride, and I loved finding rides that all the kids thought were cool.

So we finish our spin on Toy Story and meet up with dad. Now it's his turn to go on Screamin' with DS9. (He had ridden it a couple of nights earlier. When we were headed to Toy Story the first time, we got separated and he took a detour and walked on to Screamin'. It was kinda funny -- he had no idea there was a loop until it was right in front of him. ) I took the other 2 for another spin or 2 on the carousel. It's closing time now, and I was really wishing I had taken the younger 2 over to do Soarin' one more time instead of the carousel. That was one of my favorites.

Time to say goodbye to DCA...





...and head back to Disneyland for the final time. And the sadness intensifies.
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:47 AM   #55
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OK, so we head back to Disneyland for the last 3-ish hours. When we finally got over there, the fireworks were about to start. I wanted to watch them one last time. DH took the older 2 boys to ride Indy, I think. Oh yeah...it was Indy. I remember DH said that DS6 put his head down during the ride. "I'm tired dad. I'm just going to rest my eyes..." Actually, he just didn't want to look up. Meanwhile I found a bench near The Gigantic Christmas Tree and watched the fireworks with DS3. I was especially glad that I got to watch the snow fall one last time. The snow really was a highlight for me. It's just kind of funny that it was a such a highlight. I've seen at least 3 real snowfalls since we've been home. The real ones from the past week just aren't as magical. So here's my last snow picture. Kind of hard to see, but it's there.



My main goals for the rest of the night: Sit on Main Street and sip hot chocolate and enjoy the Christmas music. Ride IASW. Check to see if Storybook Land ever opened up. So, after the fireworks and the snow, DS3 and I headed to Blue Ribbon Bakery. I ordered 2 hot chocolates, a holiday brownie, a chocolate chocolate chip muffin to eat for breakfast the next morning (I knew I'd need a little piece of Disneyland with me the next day, as our time in the parks would be over), and the cutest little (actually it was quite large) Mickey cookie you ever did see.





We found a place to park ourselves on Main Street and enjoy our treats. This was our view:



I think I took about 10 pictures of DS3 eating his cookie. I don't know if it was because I thought it was the cutest thing ever, or if it was because I wanted to capture every possible moment we had left.



After we finished our treats we decided to go toward the light. The light of IASW, that is. I ended up detouring a bit to check on Storybook Land. Yay! It was running! We got in line. DS3 was getting very sleepy by this time and wanted me to hold him. That was OK. I was in a wanting-to-snuggle-because-I'm-getting-sadder kind of mood. I only got one picture during the ride - it was too hard to hold him and take pics at the same time. The calm sail of the boat all but put him to sleep.



I wish I would have gotten some pictures of the cute little Christmas decorations that were on some of the little houses.

The others were waiting for us when we got off. DS6 joined us while the other 2 went off to use Space FPs. Off to IASW. Both boys really loved this ride, so they perked up when they found out where we were going. The line wasn't as bad as I was expecting for a holiday time Friday night. I had wanted to take some nighttime pictures of the outside, but I only got one.



My battery died on me with not much warning. So this is my last picture. Oh so sad.

When we finished up with IASW, we had time for only one more ride. My favorite "last ride of the trip" is Pirates. I've always liked to go on that one last, to draw things out a bit. We met the others over there so we could do our last ride together. We walked on. It doesn't seem like there was anyone else in our boat, or even in the boat behind us. And what do you know...when we were going up the hill at the end of the ride, DS3 asked if we could ride again! This coming from a boy who had "Don't ride POTC" on his Disneyland to-do list. I was really hoping it would be like 11:57 so we could ride it again. I checked my phone and it was 12:01. It was sad telling him that was it. No more.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:13 AM   #56
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New Orleans Square was pretty dead when we got out. We headed toward Main Street. I had some Candy Palace treat shopping to do so the guys hung out at Coke Corner while they waited, accompanied by pretzels and cheese sauce. All 3 boys were asleep by the time I got back. They hardly put a dent in their pretzles. So, DH *had* to finish off 4 pretzels and cheese. He said this was one of his favorite moments of the trip. Eating all those pretzels in peace and quiet and enjoying the Christmas music. I left them again and went tree ornament-shopping. When I came back, I decided to wake up DS9 and take him to press some pennies. This was something he was looking forward to doing, and I think he had only done 2 up to this point. When we finished up with that, a CM was clearing out Coke Corner. I went ahead of everyone else on to the Emporium. I still had one more thing I needed to get. After all the shopping, we sat by the big Chrstmas tree for as long as we could. I think it was almost 1:30am by the time we forced ourselves to get up and head toward the exit. Ugh. I was so not ready to leave. When we were almost to the tunnel I turned around and looked at the tree and whatever else I could see from that point. Then they started up again. I didn't have my sunglasses this time, so I might have appeared crazy lady-ish to some. Oh well. It's not like they'll ever see me again. Then we walked out.

We have been home for 2 weeks and 2 days now. Our Disneyland part of the trip ended 3 weeks and 3 days ago and I'm STILL in that post-Disneyland slump. When will I stop with the "4 weeks ago today I was riding the train around Disneyland, eating my first Tigger Tail, watching it snow on Main Street..." etc. etc.? My DS9, who is now DS10, is feeling it too. He had an assignment at school last week: write one paragraph about time travel and use 3 of your spelling words. I'm pretty sure the teacher had in mind that they travel hundreds of years or so back in time. The paragraph my son wrote began "I would go back 14 days..." The word "pirates" happened to be on his spelling list, by the way.

Well, I guess that's it. Questions? Comments?

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:07 PM   #57
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Wonderful!! Wonderful! Bravo! Encore encore!!

I was so sad to see your TR end! I tell you, not only did you get really clear, wonderful photos, but you got some great perspectives and views of things in photos. For example, your attention to the window displays is very appreciated. I had been thinking I wanted to see more photos of those on the DIS. I love the fact that you snapped a photo of the Mickey cocoa (I would have done the same thing)! You got such great photos of the characters being playful, and even a shot of a horse's butt! I have been eager to see the different Christmas trees around the resort in the shops and out of the way locations, thinking they were themed to those places, so I was pleased to see the trees at the Golden Horseshoe, as no one ever gets a picture of them. And how about that cake? I have been hearing about that Mile High cake, and I guess the only place to get it is at the Golden Horseshoe, and I am anxious to try it! Was the holiday brownie any good? And was it just a chocolate brownie with the holiday decorations on it or was it an actual holiday flavor too, like peppermint? (I know Starbucks seels chocolate peppermint brownies around the holidays so I wondered if DLR had them too.) Oh, and I also love IASW Holiday - both the ride itself (did you catch the smell of peppermint as you sail past the candy factory section?) and the gorgeous, stunning facade lit up at night. It is definitely among my favorite holiday things at DLR. And as for Jungle Cruise, even though all the skippers tell the same jokes, basically (sometimes they mix it up a bit), some of them are just so much more engaging. We have had some duds, and then others who delivered the same lines but were just so charismatic or interesting that they 'sold' all the corny jokes.

Anyway, the last two years I was able to get to DLR during the holidays and stay for a few days at the GCH and the PPH, and this year has not been on my side in any way. I am trying desperately to get there for one day to see all the holiday magic, and I would truly choose to go there during the holidays over any other time of year, and your TR just made me that much more determined.

Now get back to DLR soon so we don't have to wait another 13 years for a TR!!!
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:01 AM   #58
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Wonderful!! Wonderful! Bravo! Encore encore!!

I was so sad to see your TR end! I tell you, not only did you get really clear, wonderful photos, but you got some great perspectives and views of things in photos. For example, your attention to the window displays is very appreciated. I had been thinking I wanted to see more photos of those on the DIS. I love the fact that you snapped a photo of the Mickey cocoa (I would have done the same thing)! You got such great photos of the characters being playful, and even a shot of a horse's butt! I have been eager to see the different Christmas trees around the resort in the shops and out of the way locations, thinking they were themed to those places, so I was pleased to see the trees at the Golden Horseshoe, as no one ever gets a picture of them. And how about that cake? I have been hearing about that Mile High cake, and I guess the only place to get it is at the Golden Horseshoe, and I am anxious to try it! Was the holiday brownie any good? And was it just a chocolate brownie with the holiday decorations on it or was it an actual holiday flavor too, like peppermint? (I know Starbucks seels chocolate peppermint brownies around the holidays so I wondered if DLR had them too.) Oh, and I also love IASW Holiday - both the ride itself (did you catch the smell of peppermint as you sail past the candy factory section?) and the gorgeous, stunning facade lit up at night. It is definitely among my favorite holiday things at DLR. And as for Jungle Cruise, even though all the skippers tell the same jokes, basically (sometimes they mix it up a bit), some of them are just so much more engaging. We have had some duds, and then others who delivered the same lines but were just so charismatic or interesting that they 'sold' all the corny jokes.

Anyway, the last two years I was able to get to DLR during the holidays and stay for a few days at the GCH and the PPH, and this year has not been on my side in any way. I am trying desperately to get there for one day to see all the holiday magic, and I would truly choose to go there during the holidays over any other time of year, and your TR just made me that much more determined.

Now get back to DLR soon so we don't have to wait another 13 years for a TR!!!
Thanks for the comments/compliments! I am so wishing that I would have taken more pictures of window displays. I kept thinking, "Oh I'll go back later." Never happened. Now I'm kicking myself. Lots of fun stuff. I think I even have one more Christmas tree pic that I forgot to slip into my TR. When I find it I'll post it in the Disney at Christmas thread just for you. As far as the brownie goes...it really wasn't that great. It was kind of dry, and the only holiday-ish thing about it was the decorations. I had wanted one of those Mickey gingerbread cookies I had read about, but Blue Ribbon Bakery didn't have any. I don't know if they didn't sell them, or if they were just out because it was 10:30 on a Friday night. I was disappointed that I didn't get to try one. Another reason I must go back! That list just keeps getting longer... And no, I didn't catch the smell of peppermint on IASW! Adding it to my list...

Here's to hoping things work out for you to go this month...
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:25 PM   #59
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I loved your trip report and all the beautiful pictures! Thank you so much.

I'm so excited that you now have your DS9 with whom to share Disney magic! Wishing you many happy returns...
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:25 PM   #60
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Another DISer who loved your trip report! Thanks for taking the time to post. We leave a week from Saturday!!
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