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Old 02-10-2010, 03:09 PM   #16
tksbaskets
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Disney Land Holiday Tour

DH was refreshed from his rest and ready to meet us for the tour. Isn't it great that the GCH is a leisurly 10 minute walk away? We met at the Tour Gardens. There were three groups for the 3:15 pm tour. Our tour guide was Kirsten. We all had nice headphones so we could hear our guide without her having to shout. The little ones in our group had a bit of a hard time keeping them on.... We were all given a little paper 'ornament' that designated us as a part of the tour - like the blue lanyard and head phones didn't!



Off we went down Mainstreet talking about the decorations and the different buildings. Every once an a while Kirsten would play a quote from Walt Disney for us. We also sampled some yummy fudge from the candy store. Here we are in Fantasy Land.


Next we went to the Haunted Mansion. I showed you some pictures of the NMBC overlay but what was nice about this tour was walking right on to the attraction. Kirsten checked in with the castmemeber and we followed our little candle right onto the ride. SWEET! We went to see the reindeer and pardoned turkeys and then off to IASW.

By now it was getting to be dusk. My family would NEVER have ridden this ride if it wasn't for the tour. It was really great! The boats go outside (not at WDW they don't) and the outside overlay turned on right when we approached the castmember outside the attraction for our priority entrance.

Here is the clock outside:


The ride itself was very nicely re-done to include holidays around the world. My pictures were less than great in the ride without a flash but you can get the idea:







After we got our group all back together we went to a snack counter for our hot chocolate and gingerbread cookie. My guys all consumed theirs before we we even got to our priority seats for the Holiday Parade. Now here is where reading the DIS boards was a downer. Our mugs were not the adorable holiday red ones I had seen in earlier reports. Sigh, I guess after Christmas they revert to the generic blue Disney Land mugs.

Our seats were padded folding chairs right across from IASW. My family chose the back row (2 of 2) because we didn't have young children in our party. Happy DISers here!



I practiced the utmost restraint to wait to consume my awsome cookie (made exclusively for tour guests) until I could take a food porn pic for my trip report. It was hard because my guys were practically drooling over theirs!

SUPER YUM


Our parade view:




He liked me!


My favorite couple:


Yes, teens still pose for pictures with their old folks


Kirsten gave us each a collectable holiday tour pin while we waited for the parade. The parade concluded our Holiday Tour which was worth every penny!

Next up: Paradise Pier Hotel for dinner and don't forget our accumulted FPs

Our next day at Disney's California Adventure begins our personal Toy Story Mania!
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:14 PM   #17
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I just love the photos you took of everything. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:47 PM   #18
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I loved hearing about the Holiday Tour! Thanks for sharing. It was also nice to see college age boys having fun with their parents. I have 3 boys (4, 7, and 10) and I just have visions of everything going downhill once they hit teenagerhood...like they won't want to have anything to do with us anymore. Can't wait to read more... BTW, how much snow did you get?
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Littleprincess2010 View Post
I just love the photos you took of everything. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks I have about a hundred more pictures to share before we're done. I'm glad you are enjoying them.

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Originally Posted by deejdigsdis View Post
I loved hearing about the Holiday Tour! Thanks for sharing. It was also nice to see college age boys having fun with their parents. I have 3 boys (4, 7, and 10) and I just have visions of everything going downhill once they hit teenagerhood...like they won't want to have anything to do with us anymore. Can't wait to read more... BTW, how much snow did you get?
We've been very blessed with our boys and our mutual love of Disney! The boys have always enjoyed and looked forward to our family vacations at Disney. It was an especially great time this trip as the boys are now away at college. It was wonderful to have them all to ourselves for the week. They tell us if we keep taking them to Disney they'll keep coming with us. I bet your boys will be the same way

Snow report - 8 inches of snow and DH had a 'snow day' today. We have impressive piles after he plowed the drive today!
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:11 PM   #20
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Dinner at the PCH Grill at the Paradise Pier Hotel

We went back to our room to drop off our new mugs before we headed to our dinner our 7 pm reservation at PCH Grill. I mistakenly thought it was a long walk from our hotel. When we asked the concierge we found it was literally right across the street.

We checked in and were soon seated. Nice bright atmosphere:


DH had his appetite back and we were all pretty hungry. Well PCH Grill gave you a LOT of food. If we went back again DH and I would have split our fish and chips. We did not need to soup ahead of dinner

YUMMY!


Both boys got steak and said it was delish:


After dinner we went back through our hotel and headed to Disney Land to use our three fast passes!

First we rode Haunted Mansion. This was fun because the cast member thought that our 8:50 AM return time was PM and told us we were early When he look again he waved us right in!

Here we noticed another difference between DL and WDW, you can not got through frontier land and circle around - whoops! We did find ourselves ride outside of Winnie the Pooh so we rode without a wait. That's what happens when you arrive during Fantasmic!

We then went over to Tomorrowland and the boys and I used our fast passes for Space Mountain. What a ride! My guys do know how to cut up for the photos!


Next we all rode Buzz Lightyear. We sent our email pics home and made it to Mainstreet in time to see most of the fireworks over the castle and see the 'snow'.

We were back in our room at 10:15 pm and got ready for our first day at Disney's California Adventure!
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:28 PM   #21
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California Adventure!

December 28, 2009
We were able to sleep in today because DCA doesn't officially open until 10 am. We went to White Water Snacks for a very tasty breakfast and were waiting at the DCA private entrance to DCA at 9:30 am. This entrance is pretty much right across from the Grizzly River Run. We were quickly through security.

There is a rope by that ride and you line up waiting for opening. The security cast member encouraged us to go and ride Sorin' which is open at 9:30 am. We went and enjoyed it with no wait. By the time we were done it was about 10 minutes to 10 so we lined up at the rope and waited for 10 am. This is also when we found out that at 9:45 am a first group of Toy Story Midway Mania guests were walked back to the attraction If we had known that we would not have ridden Sorin'! Do not dispair DISers - tomorrow I will let you know our most excellent 'TSMM plan'!

We hotfooted it back to Paradise Pier and pretty much walked right on TSMM! I did convince the guys to stop for a quick photo!


Our cars malfunctioned and stopped 1/2 way between the attractions. We alerted the cast member at the end and were given 're-ride' tickets that we promptly used! Ride # 1 1/2. Here is our first score of the day:


Of course in every photo, my score is the lowest When you exit Toy Story you go upstairs, drop off your 3-D glasses, go downstairs, exit through a gift shop, and do a race walk to the left to get back in line! After our re-ride, we rode another time with a very small wait (about 20 minutes)

Mr. Potato Head is very entertaining! By the end of the vacation we could pretty much say his lines with him


View from the front of the line:


Since this was almost our third ride of the day I took a short break and went quickly to California Screamin' for fast passes for later and then met my impatient guys at the entrance to TSMM. The wait time was 30 minutes and we decided it was worth the wait. We rode 4 1/2 times before lunch and Grumpy got the high score each time. He was most proud! We took times and alternated who rode with whom. Great fun!



We arrived a bit early for our 1:00 pm lunch reservations at Wine Country Trattoria and asked to be seated inside. What a gem of a restaurant
!

Lunch was delish! We had soup and salad for appetizers. Grumpy had a meatball sub:


The rest of us had lasagne - YUMMMMmmm


After lunch we rode California Screamin'. Here is the one pic with my DH riding it. After the ride he decided he wasn't all better from his previous motion sickness so he begged out of spinning/twisting rides for the rest of the day.

No need to buy this one - the computer was a bit 'off' and we didn't all show in the pic.


Next off to Hollywood Pictures Backlot and rode the Tower of Terror! We also bagged fast passes for later I found my Blackberry took much better pics of the ride photos than my SLR digital.


We then enjoyed the Muppets 3-D which is one of our favorite attractions no matter which park we are at We then enjoyed drawing Pluto at Disney Animation. If you've never done this it is worth the small wait. We watched a cute film and then a Disney artist walks you through drawing a character.


Here are our attempts:



Obviously my guys aren't going to college on an art scholarship but it sure was fun! This is what it was supposed to look like


By now it was around 5:30 pm and we headed back to Paradise Pier. The boys rode Mickey's Fun Wheel (in the moving cars ) and I did a spot of shopping and then DH and I indulged in one of our favorite pass times - people watching while waiting for the guys to finish their ride.

My boys are in the Donald car.


The wait for TSMM was 45 minutes so we snagged fast passes for California Screamin' and waited to ride TSMM. Worth the wait. The guys all snagged turkey legs and we went back to our room to relax a bit. I went to WWS and got those yummy beef nachos again!

Next: Evening at DCA
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:30 PM   #22
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After the Vikings lost their football game we went back to DCA and used our fast passes. It was a little after 9 pm and the park closed at 10 pm. First we rode Soarin'. DH went back to the room and Grumpy, Donald and I hotfooted it to Paradise Pier to use our California Screamin' fast passes. It was AWESOME to ride that great coaster in the dark. When you ride the inverted loop you could see the moon and the fireworks over at Disney Land

We got off of California Screamin' 5 minutes to 10 and literally RAN to TSMM and made it in line with two minutes to spare. The TSMM cast member who was working the line actually walked right behind us to make sure no one else got in line. We were grinning the entire time!

Here is my and Donald's final score of the day:


When they post the top scores if it was someone in your car (yours or behind you) it posts green. Grumpy was the only one on the other side. Happy guy too!


SPOILER ALERT:
We knew from our Adventures by Disney guide Daniel that there were some 'tricks' to help you earn more points on Toy Story Midway Mania. Back at the room we conducted an extensive search... If you don't want to know how to work together to get maximum points on TSMM don't read my day 4 posts! It was SOOoo much fun when you work together!
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:48 PM   #23
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!!! There's a Jamba Juice in DTD! Awesome!
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:04 AM   #24
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!!! There's a Jamba Juice in DTD! Awesome!
Our boys made many stops there
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:18 PM   #25
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Still here...
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Done! It's 4 Trips in 1! Christmas, Spring, Halloween... Then Went Back For Ice Cream!

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2342117
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:49 AM   #26
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Can't wait to hear the TSMM tips! Great trip report.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:31 AM   #27
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enjoying your report especially the photos
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:56 PM   #28
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Still here...
Darned taxes took me away from my trip report

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Can't wait to hear the TSMM tips! Great trip report.
Thanks....here they come!

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enjoying your report especially the photos
I appreciate you following along...more photos coming now!
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:57 PM   #29
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Day 4 December 29, 2009
Spoiler alert...don't read if you don't want to know how to work as a team and unlock 'Easter Eggs for more points'
*
*
*
*
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Toy Story Midway Mania Fever! Day 4

We woke up with dreams of high scores dancing in our heads from our successful internet search the night before. It was better than story time when the boys were little as we all circled around my netbook and I read from our favorite new ebook "Guide by Patrick Seybert" I give him props because these really work! For the full scoop see his great post!

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/showthread.php?t=314883

It was great to find that you can earn many more points and have a lot of fun working as a team

First we needed to fortify ourselves with a tasty breakfast from White Water Snacks! LOVIN' the time difference as much as our teens as 8am in CA is the crack of 11 at home Three American Breakfasts and a breakfast burrito later we were prepared for our morning.

We were the very first in line at the security entrance from GCH to DCA. We happily chatted with the cast member manning the security table until 9:30 arrived and we were let through the turn styles. This time we didn't head to Soarin' first but stepped right up to the TSMM rope!

Michigan boys at what their bodies believe is 11:30 am


At about 9:45 one of the TSMM cast members walked us in a single file line back through the park. Now this is great! No running, no pushing, no strollers knocking into the back of my ankles


We slowed down a couple of times to make sure our line was still together and strolled leisurely by Ariel's Grotto and over to TSMM. Here we are #1 in line!!

Ride #1 of the day, time 9:50 am

We took turns who would be partners. My job was to NOT mess up the score of my son (whichever was riding with me). I am happy to report I held up my end with the kids and only had a breakdown in communication with the hubby - whoops.

Game one - Practice round
- I just kind of rest my hand and 'site' in my puller (like it makes a difference in my score!)

Game two - Ham and Eggs
- When you car pulls to a stop you are either on the side with the hen house in front of you (bottom left) or the barn (top right). I found it easiest to be on the hen house side. Hen house side: in the bottom corner a fox will pop out worth 500 points. Shoot it, and two hens will run out, worth 1,000 and 2,000 points respectively. Barn side: At the top of your half of the screen, you will see a barn. You will need to shoot all the targets in it, and it will flip. Also get the little mouse running up the side. Now, three mice targets, worth 2,000 points each will be in the barn. They are very small, and will hide from you. Shoot all three, and the entire screen will fill with 1,000 point targets for you and your teammate to hit.

Game three - Bo Peep's Baaa-loon Pop
- I love this one because it's easy to get the extra points Each person has 5 balloons on the top corners of their screen which are in a cloud, which, when shot, produce water. Each teammate should shoot exactly FOUR of these balloons. Then, when both people are done doing that, try and coordinate shooting your respective last water balloons at the same time! If done correctly, the screen will now rain with 2,000 point balloons. Shoot them as fast as you can.

What we did was shoot four of the five balloon and then ask your partner "OK?" if they haven't gotten four yet, shoot something else while they are getting them. When you both pop 4 of the 5 then say 'NOW' and after confirming shoot your fifth. The 2,000 balloons come down and along with a happy sound!

Game four - Green Army Men Shoot Camp
- honestly this one if pretty tough for me but I can do it! Coordinate with your teammate, because about 5 seconds into the game, each side of the screen will have a 2,000 point plate pop up into the air. If both sides hit theirs at the same time a tank will appear and shoot out 6 plates, each worth 5,000 points. In between the tank shooting, aim only for 1,000 and 2,000 point plates.

After I busted my plate for my partner I just broke whatever plates I could. My men were aiming at the plates on purpose - to each their own

Game 5 - Buzz Lightyear's Flying Tossers
- The secret in this game is deceptively easy, but if you mess up, it will be frustrating. There will be a rocket ship filled with 8 aliens worth 100 points each. They will re-spawn shortly after you hit them. Work with your teammate and ring them all before the re-spawn. The rocket ship will blast off, and the Easter egg unlocked.

The Easter egg is a robot's mouth that will open and close. When it's open, a point value will be shown, starting with 500, and eventually reaching 2.000. Throw as many rings into the box as possible when it is open.

When it is closed, stay on your side, and focus on these targets, in this order:
Jetpack 2000
planets 500
far away alien 5,000

Frankly I had trouble getting anything in the mouth of the robot so I happily ringed the other things above.

Game six, part 1 - Woody's Rootin' Tootin' Shootin' Gallery
- Get ready for your dominant arm to fall off! Time to work with your partner again! To start out, the screen should have 7 targets. When each target is shot, 3 to 5 new targets will pop out. The objective here is to shoot each target once! It is important to note that the targets will re-spawn. So, do not waste times shooting the same ones twice!

If you and your teammate have quickly cleared the screen of each bulls-eye, then each target will disappear, and the screen will explode full of new bulls-eyes worth only 2,000 and 1,000 points. The best strategy here is to rapidly fire at everything you can.

Game six, part 2
- Your car will begin moving along with the screen. This part is very short. Keep and eye out for the bigger targets. You should be able to hit at least three targets worth 2,000 here.

Game six, part 3
- There will be two mine carts traveling toward you. Alternate hitting them from left to right. After the first three, a bat will appear above worth 1,000. Quickly hit him, and go back to hitting mine carts. Another bat worth 5,000 will then appear. Tag that one too, and finish with the mine carts. If you've done this correctly, your two final mine carts will be worth 5,000 each.

Now you are done, grab your cell phone and capture your score (sans flash of course) for all of posterity. Once again, please note I'm always the low score.

Grumpy and me:


Our round - green means the score came from your car so it was Grumpy and Donald!


We said a quick 'thanks' to the cast member letting us out and did a pep-step up the stairs, toss the glasses in the bin, down the stairs, wave at the guy trying to sell the TSMM game for one of the game systems my boys have, into the entrance for TSMM. WHEW. Breathing a little heavy we boarded our cars for our second turn, time: 10:00 am. After this turn we headed over to get FP for California Screamin' and waited in the stand-by line for TS two more times.

We rode four times by 11 am along with baggin' the CS FPs. Our family was happy but our arms needed a rest!


DS was quite proud he was currently both the high scores. Now if he put that much pride into his college studies....



We headed back to the room to drop off our sweatshirts (you couldn't say that with ease at WDW) and headed over to DL for our Cafe Orleans lunch reservations.

Now you know all our secrets for TSMM. Go forth and have a blast!!
Next up: Holy cow where did all these people come from! Cafe Orleans.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:14 PM   #30
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Cafe Orleans & Tatiana's Riverboat Show
Our reservations were for 11:30 am so after a short stop at our room we headed right to DL. The crowds were NUTS. If you didn't stay to the right, you couldn't move!


We bagged FPs for Indy (5:20 pm) on our way. We were seated outside near the fence/railing promptly after checking in. I loved being able to people watch, DH not so much as he felt people were watching him eat.



Warning - Food porn -
The gumbo was DELISH


We had heard so many rave reviews about the Monte Cristo sandwiches DH, DS1, and I all had them. DS2 dared to be different. I had cheese. Found it to be like a big fried dougnut. Perhaps we all should have shared one. I couldn't eat it all due to it's richness. Quite the yummy dippin' sauce - save some of that for dessert!

Ham and cheese:


Cheese:


DS2:


Most excellent benets


The Tatiana's Riverboat Show paraded right by us and after lunch we stopped and watched the show along the river. My men even admitted it was good

Just a couple of pics from that:




Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
We really enjoyed Mr. Lincoln's new show (in the theater at the start of Main Street) Much like the Hall of Presidents, minus the 43 other ones. The Steve Martin movie about DL's 50th anniversary that used to play in the theater was playing in the lobby. LOVED it again!

We walked off a bit more lunch and headed to Tomorrowland to catch the Jedi Academy again and bag FPs for Buzz (4:20) It was great to have the FPs to be able to enjoy the movies and academy with time you'd have been in line without a FP. The stand-by line for Indy was NUTS!

Back to our room for a rest and dinner at WWS (yes my friends some time had actually passed between lunch and dinner!)

We were at TSMM again at 8:40 pm stood in the s/b line (about 45 minutes). Then we used our FPs for California Screamin' (DH opted out). In line again for TSMM at 9:30. Got off at 8 minutes to 10 and did the mad We-can-make-it-up-and-over-and-down dash and made it into line right before the cast member closed it off. WHEW!

For anyone counting - Rides on TSMM today 6!!

Just a couple of pics of the evening at DCA.




Guess where we are headed in the morning......
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