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Old 04-24-2010, 03:24 PM   #31
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Sounding like a great trip!
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:41 PM   #32
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Love the bag Tonya!!!
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I saw the bag too and just smiled
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I noticed it too.
I love my bag!!! And once I finally start my trip report you will see that it will become an important theme on my trip. (There were a few twists in my trip that made it "interesting".)
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:51 PM   #33
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Great installments Dodie....Really enjoying following along.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:00 PM   #34
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Tour Day Three (Thursday 4/15):
Can't believe how much you guys were doing in one day. So cool!!
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:10 PM   #35
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Can't believe how much you guys were doing in one day. So cool!!
This is why, even though no one else felt sorry for us (and they shouldn't have), we were and still are all exhausted! Phillip and I averaged 5 hours of sleep per night once we reached Disneyland. It's also why I couldn't find time to write my trip report while the trip was actually happening.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:21 PM   #36
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Love your trip report. A friend and I are taking this Adventure in November so I am hanging onto your every word.
I never thought I would want to go to Disneyland but after reading another trip report...I can't wait to go.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:56 AM   #37
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Dodie - you are just doing a fab job with your trip report!

Note to self - need to save more money for Mickey's of Glendale! LOL Thank you for covering this in your report. It's nice to know that the prices are a better rate then in the parks and such plus I love that exclusiveness of the merch. Everytime I go to either WDW or DL as much as I say I won't be doing much shopping, I always manage to do more than anticipated. Don't know how that happens.

Can't wait for your next installment!

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Old 04-25-2010, 12:20 PM   #38
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I'll probably get 4-16 posted tomorrow night.

I'm currently uploading and resizing my photos from 4-16. I may end up having to divide this day into two posts because I have 48 pictures I want to share! It was another jam-packed, non-stop day!
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Old 04-25-2010, 03:39 PM   #39
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Thanks for your updates Dodie!

It's really great to see what happened.
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:09 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodie View Post
This is why, even though no one else felt sorry for us (and they shouldn't have), we were and still are all exhausted! Phillip and I averaged 5 hours of sleep per night once we reached Disneyland. It's also why I couldn't find time to write my trip report while the trip was actually happening.
It was amazing how much we crammed into every day!! I wouldn't change a thing even though I'm still recovering. Everything was so great I couldn't miss a second of any of it!
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:56 PM   #41
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Dodie thanks for writing this and I am looking forward to more, and I was there. I miss being with my friends, but having this is great!
John and I split up when we were at MOG as well. We did quite a bit of damage in there as the prices were so good.
I worked through all or most of the clothing, John focused on pins etc..
You can just refer to him as the pin man, that is what I have taken to calling him.
I got a nightmare before x-mas shadow box, and John got a really big Haunted Mansion shadow box with our 40% off coupons.

Looking forward to the next installment!

As for getting back on track it has been hard, but I am finally back on track with time and sleep!
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:54 AM   #42
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Tour Day Four (Friday 4/16):

Theme: Walt’s World
Word of the Day: Attraction


The theme for this day should have been walking and standing. Someone in our group had a pedometer and, even with our big meals and exciting stops, we managed to walk over 10 miles before our evening free time in the park!

It was another 7:00 a.m. start in the Grand Californian lobby. Once we were all gathered, we walked to the area right in front of Disneyland. (This is one of the coolest things about Disneyland in my opinion…stepping outside of your resort into Downtown Disney, taking a short walk to the park gates. Very compact and convenient.)

We stood in the area between Disneyland and California Adventure for a few minutes. You could feel the excitement building.







We were told that we could take pictures of the empty Main Street, but it was explained that some Cast Members might be out working and that some Cast Member gates might be open. If those gates were open, we were not to take pictures of backstage.

Finally, our tickets were scanned and we stepped through the gates and onto Main Street USA. It was amazing to walk toward the castle with no one blocking your view or photographs.





One of Donald’s cousins, a permanent Disneyland resident, leads us toward Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.











Those in our group who had never visited Disneyland before were gathered for a “newbie” photograph:



I can’t begin to tell you how many photographs we all took while we stood at the hub.

Then it was time to start our walk toward Club 33 for breakfast!



Lots of excited people…



THE door…





Our group was larger than just our ABDers. It included our host of course, the west coast DISer with a Club 33 membership who was the reason we were all there; the Disneyland DIS Unplugged correspondents; and other invited west coast guest. I think we numbered around 65 total.

We all took a deep breath as the door opened. We were really going to get inside!

Kathy (kab407) and I entering Club 33…



The first thing you see is the lift. No way we were going to all use this, so we dashed up the stairs, everyone taking pictures as we walked.



The table from “Mary Poppins”…



Phillip calling Disney Visa to ask for a higher credit line (LOL)…







One of the dining rooms that our group filled for this breakfast…



Others in the group took much better pictures of the club, the food, the atmosphere. I’m sure they’ll post them soon. In the meantime, this is the toilet in the ladies’ restroom…



And here are some flatties (Paul and Alicia) looking out the window at the “peasants” below…



The facility is, as you would predict, beautiful. Our buffet breakfast was served from silver chafing dishes and we ate from good china using silver utensils.

The only unfortunate thing here was that it was another example of Disney (ABD? Club 33?) not listening to the preparatory information that had been given to them about our group – its size, its fanaticism.

We had been told we had two hours in the club. However, ABD tried to shorten that time to accommodate the rest of the day’s touring. Eventually, they finally figured out that wouldn’t work and gave us back the allotted 2 hours.

There is a small armoire of Club 33 items on display that can be purchased. Although many of us tried to make these purchases in “stages,” i.e., I stood in line at the armoire while Phillip ate and then he took pictures of the club while I ate, the staff was just not prepared for the onslaught that was the DISers with their credit cards. They appeared shocked at the interest in the merchandise and their system wasn’t able to handle the rush. (It’s a good thing we had the full two hours or we would not have been able to get through the purchase of merchandise and the eating of breakfast. Even then, we were cutting it close.)

Phillip and I each bought a polo shirt and cap. We picked up a nice lapel pin and a couple of Club 33 2009 Holiday pins.

The time passed very quickly and it was time to move on. The guides took pictures of us on the stairs as we exited and, suddenly, we were outside in the fray with the other Disneyland guests.

This should give you an idea of how far we were willing to go for our flatties (Kathy (kab407) with a handful by the Club 33 sign)…



I love this picture. It’s VERY representative of the week for me!

***I’m going to split Friday 4/16 into two posts because I have so many pictures I want to share.***

Friday 4/16 to be continued…
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:17 AM   #43
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Amazing... Club 33 looks great!
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:42 AM   #44
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CONTINUED - Tour Day Four (Friday 4/16):

Theme: Walt’s World
Word of the Day: Attraction


There won’t be any pictures for awhile because we were heading straight backstage and we stayed there until lunch. No photography is allowed backstage.

The first thing we did after leaving Club 33 was to go backstage behind the Indiana Jones ride. If you’ve never been to Disneyland, then your only basis of comparison for this ride might be the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom. Get that out of your mind. Although the vehicles are the same, the ride is a completely different experience. There are lots of different combinations, so your ride is different each time. The theming in this attraction is, I believe, just some of the best that Disney has ever done.

We got to see how the vehicles are maintained and got a demo of how they operate. Then we were led through a back door into the exit line to waiting ride vehicles to experience it for ourselves!

We then made our way through the park over to it It’s a Small World where we paused for a minute before heading backstage again to discuss the history of this attraction and how it differs visually from the one at Disney World. (It’s actually quite a beautiful building.)



We spent a few hours touring backstage (this is where we racked up some of those miles walking I mentioned earlier). We first got to talk to the folks who maintain the Disneyland railroad and got a lesson on how the steam engines work.

We also spent time learning about the fireworks and saw the fireworks launching area. Fireworks logistics are different at Disneyland because there are residential areas so nearby. (Can you imagine what it would be like if you lived next door to Disneyland?! I'm sure there would be positives, but there would also be a LOT of negatives!)

We saw the building where they store the parade floats and got up close to one of the ones from the Christmas parade.

Then we moved to the corral area that’s one of the oldest parts of Disneyland – there from the beginning. This is where the animals live and are cared for. (There are lots more animals at Disneyland as there is more horse-drawn “traffic” on Main Street and they have a small petting zoo.)

From this point, we went back into the parks to have lunch at something for which there is no equivalent in Walt Disney World, the Big Thunder BBQ, next to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This is an outdoor, picnic-type setting with all-you-can eat food similar to that of the Hoop-Dee-Do Review at WDW: chicken, ribs, slaw, beans, and cornbread. It was really good and they had live entertainment too.



We were then divided into three groups to make the afternoon’s touring easier, as there were six separate things we were going to experience. We added one of the Disneyland Ambassadors as a third guide at this point and we had back-up from Joey of the ABD offices.

Our first set of three things that we cycled through were riding the Lilly Belle (the VIP “Presidential” train car on the Disneyland Railroad), seeing Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and visiting Walt’s apartment over the Fire Station on Main Street.



Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was interesting. I knew it had originated at the famous New York World’s Fair and was then moved to Disneyland, but I was surprised to see how much of it had influenced the American Experience in the American pavilion at Epcot.

The Lilly Belle train car was actually something Walt had wanted to create so and Lillian could entertain VIPs with a circle tour of the park, but this hadn’t happened before his death. The idea was shelved until sometime in the 70’s, when a train car was converted to a luxurious spot for VIPs to relax while they circled the park.

Riding on the Lilly Belle:





Gaining access to the apartment was, of course, a highlight. We were joined by another Disneyland Ambassador as we entered the apartment. No photography was allowed inside, but I will tell you that I honestly felt that Walt’s spirit was alive in this place. It’s much smaller and more “primitive” than I imagined. Nothing fancy by any means, although it’s decorated with antiques. Just a main room (where the Disneys had two couches that were pull-out beds), a small kitchenette wall in that main room, and a full bathroom. There is a lovely terrace area outside the side door though that may have been my favorite place in all of Disneyland. I could just imagine Lillian sitting up there in the shade with the grandchildren while the hubbub of Disneyland churned down below.

We feel very lucky to have been able to experience this.

The guides took pictures of our small subgroup in the apartment with our cameras.





Our next set of three activities included a private boat for our group on Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean, a viewing of the show in the Tiki Room (with a special demonstration/guest afterward), and a surprise that none of us were expecting.

We were really looking forward to Pirates since, the only other time we were at Disneyland, it was down for refurbishment. It did not disappoint. If you’ve not seen the Disneyland version of Pirates, you’ve not seen Pirates. From the double drops to the float past the Blue Bayou Restaurant, to the more fully-developed story, it is so much more detailed and wonderful than the WDW version.

We enjoyed the Tiki Room too. We rarely do this at WDW, especially since they messed it up with their “Under New Management” changes a few years ago. What was cool about this though was the fact that we stayed behind after the rest of the audience departed. We then got to hear more about this attraction (how it was originally intended to be a restaurant) and how these original audio-animatronics worked. Our guide, Michael, then brought out one of the orchids from the show and let us each see how the mechanism actually works that allows them to “sing.”





Then it was time for our surprise! We were going to get to tour the Disneyland Dream Suite. If you’re not familiar with this, this is the suite that Walt had begun to design before his death. It was originally intended to serve as a way that he and Lillian could host overnight guests (family, celebrities, VIPs, dignitaries, etc.) inside the park, since their apartment wouldn’t suffice for that. It was never completed. Finally, in 2007-2008, it was completed, based largely upon the original design, and eventually used in conjunction with the Year of a Million Dreams promotion.

Pictures don’t do it justice and words can’t describe how wonderful the “kiss goodnight” effects were in both bedrooms. The touch of a button caused amazing lighting effects and animation to occur.

It is a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom suite situated over the Pirates of the Caribbean, with a large sitting room and a wonderful balcony/patio overlooking the Rivers of America.





The suite had some of the most beautiful light fixtures I have ever seen. Seriously. I need an Imagineer to create some light fixtures for me…





The children’s bedroom had a model of the Disneyland Railroad up above on a shelf…



During the “goodnight kiss,” this train suddenly came to life and wound its way around the entire room, dodging other decorations on the shelf, to come back to rest in its original case.



Another amazing light fixture, this one pewter, in the children’s bedroom…





The lovely patio area…



After each of the groups was finished experiencing each of the second set of adventures, we met back up where we were given 5 fast passes good for the rest of the day and evening and told that we could meet back for a reserved seat for the early evening parade. We were then set free for the evening!

I think it was about 4:00 at this point. Kathy, Phillip and I decided that a huge ice cream sundae was in order, followed by a trip back to the hotel to change into warmer clothes for the evening.

We made it back into the park just in time to slide into the reserved parade spot…



Some in our party even got “involved” in the parade…



We then spent a wonderful evening in Disneyland, using our fast passes and hitting the highlights. Our particular group ended up being Phillip, me, Kathy (kab407), Alissa (SpokaneMom), and Lauren (stenogoddess) and her husband Jeri. We had a great time together! Such a great time, that I apparently didn’t take any pictures. I do recall that it was very late when we made it back to the hotel (again). Tomorrow was going to be a less intense day schedule-wise and that was a good thing at this point.

To be continued…
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:03 PM   #45
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Dodie, I am LOVING your trip report. Thanks for taking the time to share with all of us.
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