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Old 05-14-2010, 08:03 PM   #16
TheTXTaylors5
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY THREE (April 15, 2010)
The Walt Disney Studios

The Walt Disney Studios



Walt Disney Studios is a working studio and not open for public tours like the others (Warner Bros & Universal). Once past the security shack, the bus dropped us off and we followed our ABD Guides to the Frank G. Wells Building.

Frank G. Wells Building


This building is home to the Disney Archives. When entering the lobby, you are greeted with large display cases filled with Disney “stuff”. One case displayed hats worn in Disney movies. Another had Disney memorabilia. There were also some with costumes from some recent movie like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Hannah Montana Movie. These were nice teasers to what was inside the Disney Archives room.

The display cases in the foyer of the building.



My favorite hat on display.


Soon the doors opened to the Walt Disney Archives and we all squeezed into the room ...




There were items in display cases from the first Mickey watch to orange juice cans. The bookshelves were filled with hundreds of books. The room was shock full of items.


(Thanks Lynne!)

We were suppose to meet with Disney Legend Dave Smith. He created the Disney Archives. But, we took too long at Mickeys of Glendale. He left about ten minutes before we arrived. That was a shame because we really wanted to meet him.

Check out Dave Smith's Disney Legends statue on the shelf.


A curator brought out this Audio Animatronic bird in a cage that inspired Walt Disney to create Audio Animatronic figures like the ones in Pirates of the Caribbean and the Enchanted Tiki Room.

The bird that inspired Walt.



We were lucky enough to see the first Disneyland ticket and parking pass.

First Disneyland park ticket.


A highlight for me is when we got to hold an Oscar and take a picture. I know why people on the Academy Awards are shocked when they hold it for the first time. It was heavy!

Bill and I accepting our award. (in our dreams!!!!)


Academy Awards
Walt Disney holds the records for number of Academy Award nominations (with fifty-nine) and number of awarded Oscars (twenty-six, below). Four of his Oscars were special awards, and one, his last, was granted posthumously.
• 1932: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: Flowers and Trees (1932)
• 1932: Honorary Award for: creation of Mickey Mouse.
• 1934: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: Three Little Pigs (1933)
• 1935: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: The Tortoise and the Hare (1934)
• 1936: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: Three Orphan Kittens (1935)
• 1937: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: The Country Cousin (1936)
• 1938: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: The Old Mill (1937)
• 1939: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: Ferdinand the Bull (1938)
• 1939: Honorary Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) The citation read: "For Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, recognized as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field" (the award was one statuette and seven miniature statuettes)[2]
• 1940: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: Ugly Duckling (1939)
• 1941: Honorary Award for: Fantasia (1940), shared with: William E. Garity and J.N.A. Hawkins. The citation for the certificate of merit read: "For their outstanding contribution to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures through the production of Fantasia"[2]
• 1942: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: Lend a Paw (1941)
• 1943: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: Der Fuehrer's Face (1942)
• 1949: Best Short Subject, Two-reel for: Seal Island (1948)
• 1949: Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
• 1951: Best Short Subject, Two-reel for: Beaver Valley (1950)
• 1952: Best Short Subject, Two-reel for: Nature's Half Acre (1951)
• 1953: Best Short Subject, Two-reel for: Water Birds (1952)
• 1954: Best Documentary, Features for: The Living Desert (1953)
• 1954: Best Documentary, Short Subjects for: The Alaskan Eskimo (1953)
• 1954: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom (1953)
• 1954: Best Short Subject, Two-reel for: Bear Country (1953)
• 1955: Best Documentary, Features for: The Vanishing Prairie (1954)
• 1956: Best Documentary, Short Subjects for: Men Against the Arctic
• 1959: Best Short Subject, Live Action Subjects for: Grand Canyon
• 1969: Best Short Subject, Cartoons for: Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day
(The above information was obtained from wikipedia.com)

In the hallway, was the multiplane camera used to create Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and many other Disney Classics. I had seen a special when I was younger on how they layered the images to create a cartoon. I was shocked at the size of the multiplane camera.




(Bill is 6'5". This picture can give you an idea of how tall the multiplane camera is.)

After the group browsed and everyone got their picture with the Oscar, we made our way to the Walt Disney Studios Grille for lunch. We were each given a voucher for a drink, appetizer, main course and dessert. The commissary was set up like a food court at the mall. They had a pizza/pasta station, fresh sandwiches/paninis and burgers to order, Chinese take-out and pre-packaged sandwiches and salads. Bill headed towards the pizza area and I headed for the Chinese take-out. I got orange chicken with steamed white rice and Dibs (ice cream) for dessert. The food was edible. It was on par with a mall's food court Chinese food (Panda Express). Bill and I had a nice quiet lunch together.



Bill enjoying his lunch.


There were five clocks in the dining area for all the Disney parks around the world.


My Rating:

After lunch, we met back outside. We followed the familiar ABD sign to the corner of Mickey Avenue and Dopey Drive. This corner is also known as Pluto’s Corner. Notice the paw prints in the cement. There are only three!




A.K.A. Pluto's Corner


Continued ...


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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:03 PM   #17
TheTXTaylors5
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY THREE (April 15, 2010)
The Walt Disney Studios - Part 2

The Walt Disney Studios



After a brief history of the lot and the outside of the different buildings, our Guides stopped in front of the Animation Building.




We got to go inside. In the hallways of this building are some one of a kind cels, sketches, paintings and storyboards used to create some Disney masterpieces. I couldn’t wait to get inside. When you first enter, you are met with a picture of Walt Disney. His presence is everywhere on this lot.

Walt greeting us at the door.


Wandering the hallway was like being in a museum. I am very lucky to have seen this amazing artwork.






This was on the floor midway down the hall.



(Bill can say he's touched some magic. He flipped through this animation draft. Oops!)

When we got to the exit, we were led into Legends Plaza. This is where Disney Legends are recognized for their contribution to the Company. Each legend has their handprint bronzed and placed on the wall. Inside the plaza are two familiar statues. One is the Partners statue with Walt and Mickey. The other is the bench with Roy and Minnie. Also, in the plaza is a replica of the award given to the Disney Legends. I have seen this plaza in pictures with the Seven Dwarfs looking down. It was surreal to be standing in the plaza looking up at the huge statues. Most of this trip was surreal. Don’t pinch me, I don’t want to wake up from this dream!



Partners Statue


Our group with the Partners Statue.


Bill and I with Roy and Minnie.


Disney Legends Statue


Some Disney Legends.




(The last words Walt ever wrote "Kurt Russell").

We couldn’t stay here forever. We needed to start our trip to Anaheim soon or we would be caught in rush hour traffic. But, we couldn’t leave without a quick stop into The Walt Disney Studio Store. This was a very small store. I found three pins for the kids and let Bill go pay while I went outside to wait. I was only in the way inside the store.




While waiting for Bill outside, I noticed a hospital across the street from the studio lot. It towered over the buildings and couldn’t be missed. After looking at it for a few moments, it donned on me what it was … Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. That is the hospital where Walt passed on December 15, 1966.

Providence St. Joseph Medical Center


All good things must come to an end, and soon we were heading toward the exit. If the trip had ended at that moment, I would have been a happy camper. The Hollywood portion of this Tour far exceeded my expectations. I can’t believe we have more magic coming our way!

We didn't venture too close to the sound studios and where the action is taped. So, I took some pictures from the parking lot and along the way around the lot.

Soundstage 2 is where Mary Poppins was filmed.




We loaded the bus for the last time on our way to Disneyland and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.

Our chariot awaits ...


COMING UP: We arrive at Disneyland and a change of plans for dinner.
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:04 PM   #18
TheTXTaylors5
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY THREE (April 15, 2010)
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel
Dinner at Steakhouse 55


While on the bus on our way to Disneyland, we were informed that instead of our welcome dinner and reception at Hook's Point, we were having it at Steakhouse 55. There was a loud cheer on the bus, as this obviously was an upgrade. Bill had made us a Priority Seating there for dinner the following night, our "free night". So, we were excited to get a preview dinner.

As expected, we ran into some LA traffic. So, the ride took longer than expected. I tried to take a nap. But, I just couldn't. With all the fun we had today, my adrenaline just wouldn't let me sleep. So, I watched the tv screen on the bus that was showing old Disneyland parades. They've come along way!

Finally, we exited the highway and were on Disney property. It was so nice to be back on familiar ground. We were here last year with the kids and just loved the Disneyland resort. Last time, we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel (I highly recommend it). This trip, we are staying at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel



The outside of the hotel.



The front door to the hotel.



The bus pulled into the resort and we all made our way into the lobby to pick-up our room key. The lobby is amazing. I was looking up more than forward. The style is classified as “craftsman”. It reminded me of the Wilderness Lodge at WDW resort.

The atrium area.



There was a special check-in desk open for our ABD group. Since, we were in the back of the bus, we ended up in the back of the check-in line. So, once Bill got to the front, he was informed that we were on a separate floor than everyone else in our Tour. Normally this wouldn’t haven bothered us, except we were THE only ones on a separate floor. Who did we upset???? We thought it was odd being excluded from the group. Even so, Bill reluctantly accepted the room cards and we made our way to our room. Once in our room, I do what I normally do … I went out on the balcony to check out our view. That is when I saw other DISers poking their heads out like prairie dogs. It was funny. That is also, when I realized being on a separate floor from everyone else was a bummer. So, Bill called downstairs to see if they could find us another room. I have to say, listening to him on the phone was painful. The Cast Member didn’t have a clue and they were talking in circles, getting nowhere. How hard was it to find us another room? Harder than I thought. Finally, a Manager called back and said they could try and get us another room later when someone checks out. Bill had spent so much time on the phone, it was already time to meet back up with the group for dinner. We had zero time to refresh. Very frustrating to say the least. We headed back down to the lobby as instructed earlier to meet for dinner. Our ABD Guides were at check-in. So, they knew we were not happy about being on a separate floor. When they saw us in the lobby, they asked if we were happy with the room. We were honest. But, told them it was being worked on.

Finally, our group was all there and we made our way out of the hotel into Downtown Disney. This hotel is in a great location, it connects to Downtown Disney and Disney’s California Adventure park. We were headed for the Disneyland Hotel, the location of Steakhouse 55. Downtown Disney was crowded for a Thursday night. We had to weave our way through the crowds always keeping our eye on the ABD sign ahead.

Entrance to GC from DTD.


Our destination ... The Disneyland Hotel.


Steakhouse 55



(photo from wdwinfo.com)

Our group arrived and we were greeted by friendly CMs pointing us towards the bar area. They had it roped off just for our group. Appetizers were waiting on a table. There were breads and an assortment of cheeses.

Appetizers waiting for some hungry Adventurers ...

(Thanks Lynne!)

A server came around taking drink orders. Bill and I both ordered wine, as this was suppose to be a wine tasting.

Wine Tasting Menu

(Thanks Tonya!)

A server came around with a mini menu for our main course that we needed to choose from.

Steakhouse 55 "Special" ABD Menu

(Thanks Tonya!)

Soon, it was time to head into the main dining area for dinner. We found a table with others and sat down to our first dinner at Disneyland. We had a salad appetizer and then our main course arrived. Bill and I ordered the New York steak, as did most people. We both like our steak cooked medium. However, something in the back of my mind told me to order it medium well. Bill ordered his medium. When our steaks arrive, mine was perfectly cooked medium. Bill’s however was still mooing. So, he politely asked them to cook it a little longer. When they brought it back out, the plate was scalding hot. However the meat was still undercooked as they only seared it on the outside under the broiler. Bill took a poll around the table to make sure it was not just him and we all agreed it was way undercooked for medium. So, the server came back over to ask how he liked it and he told him it was still undercooked. By this time, everyone at the table was done eating and waiting on dessert. However, the server insisted on taking the plate back and refiring the steak. At this time, Bill and I both decided NOT to eat at Steakhouse 55 the next evening. So while still at dinner, he called the Disneyland Dining number and made us a PS for dinner at Napa Rose the next evening. The server came back and proudly placed the steak in front of Bill standing there waiting to see if he was satisfied. I don’t know how, unless they recooked him a steak, it was MORE rare than before. That chef back there was a magician. At this point, Bill told the server forget it, please don’t bring me any more steak, I’ll just have dessert. It was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen at an upscale restaurant. If you are a steak restaurant, you should know how to properly cook a steak. With that said, we probably will give the restaurant another try on a future trip. Maybe, they were overwhelmed with 44 people ordering steak at the same time. Dessert was a yummy apple tart with vanilla ice cream.

Dinner at Steakhouse 55 ...

Salad


Main Course


Dessert

(Thanks Heather!)

My Rating:

After dinner, our ABD Guides informed us we were all heading over to Disneyland Park for a night of fun. On our way out of the restaurant, our Guide Michael told Bill he found us another room and that we could check it out after our evening at Disneyland Park. That was a relief. Now, we can enjoy the evening.

COMING UP: An evening at Disneyland Park!

__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:06 PM   #19
TheTXTaylors5
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY THREE (April 15, 2010)
Evening at Disneyland Park


We followed the group back through Downtown Disney to the main gate of Disneyland Park. Here our Guides gave everyone their Park Hopper ticket to be used the next three days. We were responsible for our park ticket. “No Tickey, No Mickey” was our ABD Guides slogan for keep track of your ticket!

Who wants a ticket?!?!?!?!

(Thanks Heather!)

Once everyone made it through the turnstile into the park, we made a sprint to The Haunted Mansion. We have been to Disneyland. So, we have made that first walk down Main Street to Sleeping Beauty Castle. I felt bad for those that this was their first taste of Disneyland because we honestly were running and weaving through the crowds. We got into the park right before the fireworks started.

The Haunted Mansion


We all made it to The Haunted Mansion and waited by a side entrance with our Guides for further instruction. While waiting, the fireworks started. We could “kind of” see them from our location, but it was not an ideal viewing spot.

Waiting outside The Haunted Mansion.


Before the fireworks were done, we were ushered in our own entrance to the ride. We really didn’t need a backstage entry into the ride because there was no one in the standby line. Everyone was watching the fireworks.

On our way in for some creepy fun ...



But, we were back-doored into the ride anyway. Our whole group took up one stretching room. We were cozy. I really like The Haunted Mansion at WDW. I was really disappointed by the Disneyland version. It seems shorter and different. I do like the exterior though. We want to come back one year and see the Nightmare Before Christmas version. We’ve seen it on youtube and it looks really cool. After our frightful journey with 999 ghosts, our Guides had a surprise for us … we had our own sub for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage waiting for us. Our group made the trek through the hub over to Tomorrowland.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage



Waiting in line to ride Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage .



While waiting for our sub’s hatch to open, our ABD Guides give everyone their pin for the day. I'm not big into Disney pins or pin trading. But, it has been fun getting these special ABD pins to fill up my ABD lanyard. This is such a great keepsake from the trip.

Our ABD Guides bid us good evening, they weren’t riding with us. But not before handing everyone five FPs to use on their own that evening. We had about two hours before the park closed. Those FPs will be handy!

Once we were all loaded into the sub, it slowly moved along. We were packed in like sardines. Before we knew it, the bottom of the sub scraped the bottom of the lagoon. No joke! Yes, it actually was bottoming out due to the weight. We were 44 ADULTS on the ride. Normally, there are children and adults to balance out the sub. We could hear our skipper talking with the control center. They did not think this was a problem and we continued on our voyage. This is a really cute ride. I remember going on the subs back in the early 80’s during my first trip to Disneyland. I will warn you, this ride is NOT for claustrophobic people. With all the people, it was getting hot in there and I honestly couldn’t wait to get out!

44 DISers almost sunk a sub.


(Thanks Anna!)

Once back on dry land, Bill and I found a group that was going on Space Mountain. We wanted to ride it too. So, off we went. This is one ride I like ten times better at Disneyland than at The Magic Kingdom. The ride is smooth and it feels like you’re going faster.

Space Mountain




Having fun with fellow DISers.


After Space Mountain, we decided to head back to the hotel and check-out our new room. We went to the check-in desk where two CMs were working and both occupied with people. So, we waited and waited and waited. Finally, I went and had a seat in the atrium while Bill waited in line some more. It was honestly ridiculous. I could see the CMs go behind this door at least ten times. What the heck were they doing back there? Finally after about thirty minutes, one of the CMs was done with their guest and it was our turn. We were told by our ABD Guide that there would be two new room keys WAITING for us at the front desk. So, all we had to do was pick them up and our other room keys would be void after midnight. That would give us time to move our things into the new room. The CM at the front desk had no idea what we were talking about. She typed a million keys on her keyboard and then disappeared behind that magic door. She came back out and said her Manager was busy and that she didn’t know anything about our new room keys. Then, she disappeared again for about then minutes. When she came back, she typed some more on her computer and then finally handed us two room keys. No apology for the wait or anything. Bill and I both agreed, we won‘t be staying at this hotel again. The architecture is nice. But, for the price you pay there needs to be competent people running it. We had no problems with the CMs when staying at the Disneyland Hotel. For some reason, the CMs at The Grand Californian were not trained properly. Thankfully, this was the last of negative experiences this trip. Everything after this was smooth sailing ...

After an exhausting day and evening, we went to check-out the new room before moving any bags. We were on the same floor as everyone else. Yay!!!! We were right around the corner. Bill flung open the door and I was pleasantly surprised. We had a Disney’s California Adventure park view!!!! Before the hotel changed their mind on giving us this “upgrade”, we went and got our bags and moved in. After unpacking, we fell asleep. We had to be up bright and early to meet for our Club 33 breakfast before the park opens.

Our "New" Room





Snow White is my favorite Disney Princess. So, I was very fond of this picture in the room.


It was dark. So, I didn't take any pictures of the view. I'll do that tomorrow morning ...

COMING UP TOMORROW: Breakfast at the infamous Club 33 and our Backstage Tour of Disneyland Park.
__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:06 PM   #20
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FOUR (April 16, 2010)
Disneyland Park

Today's Theme: Walt’s World
Word of the Day: Attraction
Pin of the Day:


(Thanks Tonya!)

Ever since we were told the news that we would be having breakfast at Club 33, I have been dreaming of what it would be like to enter that coveted door. Bill and I both know the significance and exclusivity of Club 33. If it wasn’t for this trip, we never would have had the opportunity to step foot inside the building. Dreams Unlimited (John and Kevin) played a major role in getting us this breakfast. Thank you!!!! ABD later told them, they were planning on surprising us with breakfast at Club 33 anyway. I think they wanted to try it out, like dinner at Steakhouse 55, for future Tours. We get to benefit from all this “research”. I’m not complaining!

We had to be downstairs at 7 am sharp. Yes, you read that correctly, we had to be downstairs at 7 AM!!! Who gets up at 6 am while on vacation???? We do. That’s who. I would have gotten up at 5 am, if it meant Club 33 was waiting with a cup of coffee for me. We got to bed at a decent hour last night. So, we hopped out of bed without any hesitation.

The sun was shining. It was going to be another gorgeous California day. I finally got my first peak of our view in the daytime.

Sunrise over Disney's California Adventure.




The view from our room.




Bill and Jennifer enjoying the balcony.



Our group anxiously waited in the hotel lobby until we were signaled by the Guides that it was time to move on out. We made the group walk over to the entrance of Disneyland Park. The park didn’t open for more than an hour and a half. But, there were guests (just a few) already in line. We made our way to the turnstile open just for us. Besides the CMs, we were the only guests in the park that morning.

Bill patiently waiting outside Disneyland Park.


We stopped in the entrance area and were allowed to take some pictures in front of the train station. There was a train already there waiting for the park to open. This is where we met Julie. She worked at Disneyland and was going to be our third Guide for the day where needed.

The front of Disneyland.



This plaque greets you as you enter the park.


Not a creature was stirring not even a guest. (Okay, maybe a few DISers.)



This year's Disney parks theme is "What will you celebrate?" (again).

This was located at the front of the park to greet guests.


We walked as a group down the deserted Main Street toward Sleeping Beauty Castle. It was so quiet and peaceful. I wanted to cherish every moment of this. Never will I see Main Street this empty again. The park was all ours. That in itself, was a dream come true.

Bill and Jennifer hand in hand walking down Main Street.

(Thanks Lynne!)

We made our way to the hub right in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The Guides took a group picture. Then, we were given time to take some pictures of our own in front of the castle.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

(Lauren's photo)

Our group picture.


Bill and Jennifer in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.



A view through the drawbridge.


Before I knew it, we were being ushered through Frontierland towards New Orleans Square.

Follow that sign!


COMING UP: Breakfast at Club 33
__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:07 PM   #21
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FOUR (April 16, 2010)
Breakfast at Club 33

The History of Club 33 (from wikipedia):
When Walt Disney was working with various corporate promoters for his attractions at the 1964–1965 New York World's Fair, he noted the various "VIP Lounges" provided as an accommodation for the corporate elite. This gave him the idea that culminated in Club 33. When New Orleans Square was planned, this special area for corporate sponsors and VIPs was included. Disney asked artist Dorothea Redmond to paint renderings and hired Hollywood set director Emil Kuri to decorate the facility. While originally intended for exclusive use by Disneyland's Corporate sponsors and other industry VIPs, when Club 33 opened in May 1967—five months after Disney's death—individual memberships were also offered.

Club 33 is a private club located in the heart of the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland. Officially maintained as a secret feature of the theme park, the entrance of the club is located next to the Blue Bayou Restaurant at "33 Royal Street" with the entrance recognizable by an ornate address plate with the number 33 engraved on it. When riding Pirates of the Caribbean, just as the ride departs, the Blue Bayou restaurant is visible, but the balconies above it are actually a part of Club 33.

Club 33 members and their guests have exclusive access to the club's restaurant, and the premises are not open to the public at large. It is the only location within Disneyland to offer alcoholic beverages, though Disneyland has a park-wide liquor license and has set up bars throughout the park for private events. Club 33's wine list includes vintages priced at $200. In addition to beer and wine, Club 33 has a full bar, though patrons may not order directly from the bar and must place orders through their server.


We were on a mission to find 33 Rue Royale, the secret address of Club 33.

Bill and I had been down this road before and even took our pictures in front of the Club 33 sign last year. So, we knew exactly where the “secret” door was located. It’s honestly not very hidden. It had a BIG 33 on the outside.

Outside Club 33



We waited outside for a few minutes and then the door opened. A nice CM named Dan greeted us and waved us in. He didn’t have to ask us twice. Everyone headed through the door without hesitation.

DISers charging into Club 33.


I have seen Club 33 on a couple of travel shows. So, I was excited to see the elevator, trophy room and of course the “throne”. We were escorted past the breakfast buffet into the main dining room. A server came around taking drink orders. Bill and I just sat for a minute to soak in the atmosphere.

Bill and I enjoying Club 33.




We waited for the buffet line to die down a bit and then went to get some food. It was the normal breakfast buffet items with a few extras like steak and potatoes.

The buffet.



My plate of yummy Club 33 food.


That steak was yummy!!!! I even went back to get seconds later on. After I took a few bites, I couldn’t sit any longer. I can eat anytime. I wanted to explore Club 33. We had the run of the place. We were the only ones in the restaurant. I was snapping pictures left and right.

Bill and I in front of the elevator.






Bill and I in front of the fireplace in the main dining room.


The ladies room.


"The Throne"


The Trophy Room

Walt had microphones installed in the chandeliers to spy on his guests.




I noticed a line forming in the hallway. The line was to purchase exclusive Club 33 merchandise. After I took all the pictures I wanted, I hopped into the still long line to place our order. There was a display cabinet in the hallway. A CM was taking people’s order and then having to run out back and gather the items. I don’t think they were prepared for this shopping bunch. Bill came and joined me in line. Once our order was placed, we were told to wait at our table and someone would come around to get our payment and give us our goods. That was fine with me, because it gave me time to get that second piece of steak. Initially, we were supposed to be out of Club 33 already by this time. But, I heard an announcement that our time there was extended. A loud cheer was heard around the restaurant.

The display cabinet of Club 33 merchandise.


Bill and I purchased:
(3) keychains
(5) pins
(2) Mickey ears
(1) collared shirt


We relaxed for a bit around the restaurant, soaking in our last few moments there.

Bill getting comfy on a couch.


The view from Club 33 looking down onto New Orleans Square.



Our time at Club 33 flew by and sadly we all made our way down the stairs back out into New Orleans Square. The whole experience was surreal. Did we really just have breakfast at Club 33???? It honestly lived up to the hype. What a great experience!

Bill and I on the staircase on our way out of Club 33.


COMING UP: Time to explore Disneyland Park and some Backstage peaks.
__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:08 PM   #22
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FOUR (April 16, 2010)
Disneyland Park Backstage Tour

By the time we exited Club 33, the park had been open for about an hour. The park was already crowded!!! We followed our Guides into Adventureland where they stopped in front of Indiana Jones Adventure.





We followed our Guides into the exit and made our way to a backstage door. No cameras allowed!

DISers heading backstage.


We were met by two CMs that work on the ride vehicles for Indy. We were led into a work room, where they test and do maintenance on the Enhanced Motion Vehicles (EMV). We got an up close look at one of the EMVs. Then, one of our travel mates got to control an EMV with a control panel. When our time with the ride technicians ended, our Guides wanted to know if anyone wanted to ride Indiana Jones Adventure. Bill and I did. So, we followed one Guide through a back entrance to the ride loading area. Those that didn’t want to ride followed the other Guide to wait outside. It was times like this, I felt like a VIP. We bypassed the long line and were escorted to a waiting EMV.

Indiana Jones Adventure








This is a bumpy ride! The last time I was on it was pre-lasik surgery. Because it was so bumpy, I took my glasses off last time. This time, I could see everything. It made the experience so much more enjoyable. I’d definitely ride it again! After our ride, we met back up with the rest of the group outside.

We heard the Guides say we were heading towards It’s A Small World. Once entering Fantasyland, the Guides stopped for a potty break. Then, we continued on to It’s A Small World. I guess I misunderstood, because I thought we were riding the attraction. But, we entered a backstage door to the right and before I knew it, we were officially backstage at Disneyland Park. Being backstage meant, put your cameras away. So, I don’t have any personal pictures from backstage. Just the wonderful memories.

This was exciting! A train was going by and our third Guide Julie told us to wave because they’re always onstage for the guests. We crossed under a bridge to a waiting engine on display. This is also where they have a roundhouse for locomotive storage (the other one is behind the Indy ride). Waiting for us were two CMs that take care of the trains.

A Disneyland steam engine waiting for guests.


We were given the ins and outs of the engines and how they work. Each steam engine modeled after antique ones. There are five engines currently used at Disneyland park (E.P. Ripley, Fred Gurley, C.K. Holliday, Ernest S. Marsh and the Ward Kimball). As of 2007, all of the Disneyland Railroad locomotives have been converted to burn biodiesel. Disneyland recycled its own cooking oil into biodiesel. Each engine must stop several times a day to take on water. I was surprised that to be a train engineer at Disneyland, you have to be a fireman with all the proper training and certifications.

Our very knowledgeable Disneyland locomotive Guides.





(The above pictures were taken by our ABD Guides.)

Too soon, we were being whisked off to our next backstage location. Along the way, we saw some ride vehicles and props just sitting on the side of the road. The one that stood out to me the most was a set of bobsled cars. It was so hard to not take pictures back there. I contained myself. We were led to an area outside the parade float storage hanger. I put hanger, because it was as big as an airplane hanger. They can keep two full parades worth of floats in there. We didn’t get to go inside. But, there was a Christmas float waiting outside for us to look at.

Also, while still standing outside the float storage building, our Guides pointed to a little building no bigger than two guard shacks put together. That was the command center for the fireworks each evening. Also, behind us was where they shoot the fireworks off. Our Guides told us that each evening a test balloon (just a normal white balloon) is sent up to see which direction the wind is blowing. Since Disneyland is located in a residential area, if the wind is blowing towards the houses behind the property, the fireworks are cancelled for the evening. Also, the Guides joked that the CM parking garage is right next to the fireworks launch area and that they have been warned NOT to park on the top level in the evenings due to ash and sparks falling and damaging cars. If cars are left up there, they are towed now. So, there is usually a mad dash of CMs rushing in the evenings to get to their car before the fireworks start. Once the fireworks start, no one is allowed outside the backstage area. I found all of this very interesting.

It was now time to mosey on over to the Circle D Corral (A.K.A. The Pony Farm) backstage. This is where Disneyland keeps the animals that are used in the park including the horses used to pull the trolley cars and the animals for the petting zoo at Big Thunder Ranch. For the holiday season, they care for reindeer here too. There was also a very talkative bird taunting us while a CM (Stable Attendant) gave us some history on the corral and the house that still sits there, The Pope House. It is named after horse trainer Owen Pope and his wife Dolly. They were hired by Walt Disney in 1952 to train the animals for the soon to be opened Disneyland. They lived on the property to take care and train the animals. The Popes are the only people to actually ever live at Disneyland.

The Pope House.

A sign hanging from the porch of the Pope House.

A 1953 photo of Walt Disney with a new pony is on display.



(Since we couldn't take pictures backstage. I found the above pictures on a Disneyland website.)

COMING UP: A change of plans for lunch.
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:09 PM   #23
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FOUR (April 16, 2010)
Lunch at Celebration Roundup
The Disneyland Story, Featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln


By this time, we had worked up an appetite from all the backstage super-speed walking. We had spent more time than expected at Club 33 this morning. So, the rest of the day was kind of hectic. We had a schedule to keep! We were led out of the backstage area under a tunnel. We came out right next to Big Thunder Ranch. CMs were waiting at the entrance to Celebration Roundup and herd our group in for some vittles. On the trip itinerary, we were suppose to have lunch at Café Orleans today. With our large group, this actually worked out better. We sat at picnic tables and enjoyed an all-you-can eat family-style lunch. There was chicken, ribs, corn bread, beans and coleslaw. Our drinks were served in mason jars. The food was tasty and there was plenty of it. While eating, a stage show started and the entertainers were singing old country songs like “Deep in the Heart of Texas”.

Lunch at Celebration Roundup.




The Entertainment



(Thanks Heather!)

My plate of yummy vittles.


My Rating:

After lunch, we walked as a group back down Main Street toward the flag pole hub. This is where our Guide Michael pointed out the plaque with Walt’s opening day speech engraved on it.



Our Guide Michael going behind the rope. Shhhhhh!


The plaque with Walt’s Opening Day Speech.


By this time, the park was bustling with people. Main Street and the hubs were like Grand Central Station. The streets were filled with horseless carriages, horse-drawn trolleys and an omnibus. We had to look out to make sure we didn’t get hit. There were way too may vehicles in my opinion.

This is when we split up into three groups. Our Disneyland Guide Julie took the third group. We were to rotate between The Disneyland Story, Featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, riding on the Lilly Belle and touring Walt’s Apartment above the fire station.



Our group was first to watch Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. We walked into the building and had some time before the next showing. So, we browsed the Disneyland memorabilia on display and the many pictures on the walls.

Waiting in the lobby ...




This plaque was on display inside the building.


Prior to the trip, I read about the history of this attraction … Back in 1964, Walt Disney presented Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at the New York World's Fair. This was the debut of the first animatronic human figure, Mr. Lincoln. I didn’t realize it until we got home, we were treated to an enhanced version of the attraction. It was refurbished and returned to the Opera House late last year.

COMING UP: Riding the Lilly Belle and a tour of Walt's Apartment.
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:10 PM   #24
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FOUR (April 16, 2010)
Riding the Lilly Belle
Touring Walt's Aparment


After our time with Mr. Lincoln, or should we call him Mr. President, it was our group’s turn to ride the Lilly Belle.



A view out the window of the Main Street station.


Jennifer looking out the Main Street Station window.


Bill relaxing before boarding the Lilly Belle.





Our Guide Jaime waving us aboard.


The Lilly Belle is a caboose car that is lavishly decorated in Victorian furniture and tapestry. Walt had the idea for a VIP car to transport Walt’s Family and VIP Guests through the park. Walt named it after his wife Lillian. Sadly, Walt never saw the renovation of the train car complete. After Walt’s death, the idea was scrapped due to the decay of the antique train car. Someone found the plans in the 70’s and made Walt’s dream a reality.

DISers take over the Lilly Belle.


Our group onboard.


It was fun boarding the Lilly Belle knowing we were now part of an exclusive group to ride on her. She has transported presidents, celebrities and even the Disney family around the loop of Disneyland. She is very posh. It was a very comfortable ride.

Bill and I enjoying the Lilly Belle.

(Thanks Tonya!)

The interior of the lavish caboose.




Someone asked what on the caboose was original ...

That's it!

While on the train, our Guide gave us the history of the train car and a little audio tour of the sites we passed. Along the train route Between Tomorrowland and the Main Street Station is a Grand Canyon and Primeval World Diorama. It was really neat to see the detail and forward thinking of the Imagineers because it was created under Walt’s supervision. Too soon, the train chugged it’s way back to the Main Street Station and we had to hop off the beautiful caboose.





We were told that our Guides were able to talk Disneyland into giving us each a special keepsake train ticket for the Lilly Belle. They don’t give them out anymore. Somehow, our Guides were able to pull some strings. Yea Guides!!!

Our Lilly Belle Ticket

(Thanks Tonya!)

They saved the best for last with our group. It was finally time to step foot inside Walt’s Apartment above the Fire Station.

Bill in front of the Fire Station.


We made our way backstage and up the staircase to the infamous apartment where we were met with a Disneyland Ambassador. I had seen photos prior to the trip. However, it looked much smaller and quaint in person. There were two couches in the parlor. One was Walt’s bed the other was Lillian’s bed. They use to have a picture of their parents above their bed. Now, there is a picture of Walt and Lillian above each couch. We got to relax in the parlor for a bit, even sitting on the couches and chair. I can say, I sat on Walt’s bed/couch! The apartment is like being in a time warp with the old furnishings and appliances. I was shocked at how “modern” the bathroom was for it’s time. We got to go out onto the patio area where Walt used to look out at the guests below. This was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. Bill and I appreciate Walt’s vision. We get “it”. I am always sad to know I was never alive when Walt was alive. I could never personally give him a proper “Thank You” for creating such an amazing place for us to take our children and create lasting memories. Being in the apartment was emotional for all of us. I still can’t believe we got to see the infamous lamp from the inside. There is a lamp that is kept burning in the front window as a tribute to Walt’s memory, except at Christmas where a Christmas tree replaces the lamp. Our Disneyland Ambassador told us the apartment is decked out during the holidays.

The Lamp.


We got to take a group picture in front of the lamp and window.


During our trip to Disneyland last year, Bill and I stood outside the Fire Station on our last night staring at the lit lamp in the window. We know Walt’s presence will always be there and within our hearts. He is forever our Uncle Walt.

We didn’t want to leave the apartment. But, the rest of the group was waiting outside for us to continue our touring day. We reluctantly climbed down the stairs and back out into the hub in front of the Fire Station. We were greeted by a Firemen band playing.



Our group outside Walt's Apartment with our Disneyland Embassador


COMING UP: A ride on Pirates of the Caribbean, The Enchanted Tiki Room and a tour of the Disneyland Dream Suite.
__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:11 PM   #25
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FOUR (April 16, 2010)
Riding Pirates of the Caribbean
Touring the Disneyland Dream Suite
Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room


We stayed in our three groups for our next set of Disneyland fun. We were to rotate between a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean, a tour of the Disneyland Dream Suite (above the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction) and a viewing at the Enchanted Tiki Room.

Our group was first to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.

Pirates of the Caribbean


Again, we were given the VIP treatment with no wait. We were led into the exit of the attraction in New Orleans Square and waited for the next boat. Our group took up the whole boat. Bill and I had ridden this attraction last year. We both agreed that it is better than it’s WDW counterpart. It is longer with some extra scenes.

The extra scenes ...


(Thanks Lynne!)

Also, the history knowing it was Walt’s last project makes it a true Disneyland gem. Once again, a great ride. I could have gone around again. But, our Guide Jaime was waiting at the dock to whisk us to the entrance of the Disneyland Dream Suite, located above the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.



A little about the history of the Disneyland Dream Suite …
On October 1, 2007 the Walt Disney Company announced that the recently closed Disney Gallery would be remodeled and turned into the Disneyland Dream Suite. The remodeled suite would be the realization of Walt's dream to have a larger private apartment built at Disneyland, and would be made available to randomly selected guests of the park. This was made a reality during the Disney Parks “Year of a Million Dreams” promotion back in 2006-2008. Mickey's Penthouse at the Disneyland Hotel was used in 2006 and 2007 for the Dream Giveaways until the Disneyland Dream Suite was completed in 2008. In remodeling the space into the “Disneyland Dream Suite”, the Imagineers used the original 1960s designs created by designer Dorothea Redmond and set decorator Emile Kuri in consultation with Walt Disney. The Disneyland Dream Suite includes a living room, open-air patio, two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The Disneyland Dream Suite.


We were led to the left of the POTC attraction to a waiting elevator. The front stairs of the Disneyland Dream Suite are not used. Guests are taken to the second floor by a private elevator. Our group was too big for the elevator. So, we went up in two groups. Once upstairs, we were greeted at the door by a Disneyland Ambassador. She was to give us a tour of the suite, pointing out articles of interest and creating some magic along the way. We were allowed to take as pictures as we wanted in here. The place was one big photo op.

Our group inside the Disneyland Dream Suite.




Bill on his way into the Disneyland Dream Suite.


Jennifer with our Disneyland Ambassador/Dream Suite Host.


As mentioned above, the suite was modeled after plans drawn up while Walt was still alive. So, the plans were in a frame and then our Guide would show us how close the room of today was in comparison to the plans. They were all spot on and kept with how Walt and Lilly truly wanted to furnish and decorate the space for their personal use.

The hallway with the plans.


Each bedroom had a special good night kiss element that was truly amazing. The master bedroom had a light show on the ceiling and walls. The second bedroom had a train that went around the room. Also, a park map picture lit up. I know the Disney Imagineers had fun creating this Suite.

Click the switch for some Disney magic ...


Main Bedroom


Second Bedroom




The living room had a special feature too. The grandfather clock lit up. The wall in the living room had a painted mural of the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle (Neuschwanstein Castle built by King Ludwig II).

The Living Room.





As expected, the main bathroom had some pixie dust. When you turn off the lights, the back wall and ceiling above the tub lights up like a thousand stars. Someone could have a very relaxing bubble bath in there.

The Bathroom



Our Guide had to move us from room to room to get the tour rolling because we had another group coming in after us. Otherwise, we probably would have hung out up there all day.

After we toured every inch of the Suite, we were ushered out and back to a waiting elevator to take us back down to “reality”. The Suite is still used for Disneyland Guest. I assume celebrities and those with money have the option to stay here. Surprisingly, it is also still used in sweepstakes and to surprise random guests to spend a night in the lap of luxury. Who knows … you could be next!!!!

We were off to our next destination ...



We were heading back through Adventureland to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Our Guide Michael ushered us into a back row just as the show was about to start. What timing! We have seen the WDW version and honestly can’t stand it. However, we actually liked the Disneyland version. It was cute! For some reason the normally annoying tune "The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room" didn’t bother me quite so much today.




After the show, we were told to wait and let the rest of the guests exit. Then, the lights came on and we were the only ones in the theatre. We were given a little history on the Enchanted Tiki Room. The bird in the cage we saw at the Disney Archives is what inspired Walt/WED Enterprises to create the Audio-Animatronic birds for the Tiki Room. The show was originally going to be a restaurant featuring Audio-Animatronic birds serenading guests as they ate and drank. When that idea was scrapped, it was turned into a show. Our Guide pointed out that the seats along the back walls are actually the booths intended for use in the restaurant. Also, the fountain in the center of the room was originally planned as a coffee station for the restaurant. Our Guide opened the doors to show us that it is currently used for storage. Then our Guide said he wanted us to meet a little friend. That is when he went behind a door and came out with one of the singing orchids from the show. It was neat to see it up close and personal. It was very delicate. So, Michael had to wear gloves while holding it.

Michael with the singing orchid.


We were done with our “official” touring for the day. Our ABD Guides gave everyone five FPs and our pin for the day. We were on our own for the evening. By this time, Bill and I were so tired and in need of a nap if we were going to make our dinner that evening at Napa Rose. So, we left the park without using a single FP. We went back to our room to take a nap and refresh before dinner.

COMING UP: Dinner at Napa Rose. One word teaser ... YUMMY!

__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:12 PM   #26
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FOUR (April 16, 2010)
Dinner at Napa Rose (On our own.)



Prior to our Adventure, Bill made a Priority Seating at Steakhouse 55 for this evening. We looked at the menu for Steakhouse 55 and Napa Rose and thought Steakhouse 55 fit our tastes better. However, after our first night dinner fiasco, Bill changed the PS to Napa Rose. I believe, sometimes things happen for a reason. If we didn't eat at Steakhouse 55 that first night, we may never have eaten at Napa Rose this trip.

Napa Rose was just an elevator ride away from our room. It was conveniently located inside the Grand Californian Hotel. We arrived about ten minutes before our PS and were told they were running behind and that we could wait in the bar area. We made no other plans for the evening. So, we were fine and appreciated the slow-dining experience here. We sat in some comfy chairs near the bar and a waitress came over and took our cocktail orders. It was a nice relaxing way to start dinner after our hectic and fast-paced day at Disneyland Park. Before I could finish my cocktail, our table was ready. The Maitre’ D carried our drinks to the table. Now, that’s service! We were seated at a prime table near the kitchen.

Bill and Jennifer at Napa Rose.


We could see the hustle and bustle behind the line. Chef Andrew Sutton was there that evening overseeing the kitchen and I actually saw him cooking a bit. He’s from Dallas. So, we knew of him.

Chef Sutton in action.


To be honest, the reason this wasn’t our first choice this trip was because I wanted a casual non-stuffy meal. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it is a four star restaurant with a price tag to prove it. But, I never felt uncomfortable. We even saw a couple of children enjoying dinner with their parents when we first arrived. By the time we left later in the evening, it was strictly adults. The staff was very friendly unlike some upscale restaurants we’ve dined at. I think sometimes, servers forget WE control their tip. Luckily, this was nothing but a positive experience.

Bill and I are not big wine drinkers. But, we do appreciate a good wine when we find one. Bill had a Riesling at our Steakhouse 55 dinner and really liked it. So, he was looking to try one here. Every server at Napa Rose is a sommelier. That really helped with wine novices like us. Our server was great. She picked us out two wines she thought would compliment our entrees. Bill had two glasses of his Riesling this meal. He really must have liked his wine! I had one glass of a red wine. I honestly can’t remember the name. But, it was good.

Bill enjoying the evening (and wine).


Jennifer showing off the menu and enjoying the evening.


We weren't at the table for more than a minute when our water glasses were filled and an assortment of breads were offered. We're in California. So of course, we both went for a piece of sourdough bread. It was hard on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. However, we didn't want to fill up on the bread. We wanted "real" food. So, we only ate one piece.

Our bread assortment.


It was time to order ...

The Menu


Appetizer

Signature Pizzetta - smoked American Prosciutto, red flame grapes, caramelized onions and cambozola cheese.


At first, I was going to ask them to hold the grapes. However, I didn’t and am glad. The pizzetta was so good and the grapes added a little sweetness to it that complimented the onions. It was light and not too bready (I like thin crust pizza). The pizzetta was a great appetizer to start the meal. We had more food to come …

Entrée/Main Course

Jennifer ordered …

Zinfandel Braised Angus Beef Short Rib - risotto of wild rice, pine nut and dried cranberries with winter squash sauce


Bill ordered …

Grilled Petit Filet of Angus Beef - Crispy Yukon Gold Potato Gnocchi, Grilled Onions, Green Beans and Merlot Jus.


Instead of the potato, Bill asked for onion rings. He saw some on another dish and our server was happy to make the substitution.

The rib was so tender, the meat fell right off the bone. My mouth is watering right now remembering this meal. It was so good! Bill gave me a bite of his steak. It was perfectly cooked and had great flavor. If you have a high quality steak, you don’t need to fuss with it too much. The meat will speak for itself. Now, this is what a steak is supposed to taste like! Yum! We also ordered some side dishes to accompany our entrees. We’ve been to enough upscale restaurants to know, the side dish for the entrée listed on the menu is just garnish. If you want a “real” side dish, you need to order one. We decided to order two side dishes.

Side Dishes

Roasted Brussells Sprouts - with parsnips and hazelnut brown butter


Truffled Mac and Cheese - orecchiette pasta with parmigiano-reggiano and infused with truffle oil.


Growing up, my two favorite veggies were brussels sprouts and parsnip. Yes, I grew up a weird child. They are still my favs to this day. I was in heaven with this dish! The brussels sprouts were cooked perfectly and the parsnips still had a little snap to them.

The mac and cheese was served piping hot in a copper kettle with what looked like panko breadcrumbs on top to make a nice crisp layer. Bill took a couple heaps of the mac and cheese and then concentrated more on his steak. He didn’t care for the “upscale” mac & cheese version too much. He said it tasted “fishy”. So, of course I tried it. Why is that? Someone says something tastes bad and you have to try it too. To me, it was creamy and a spoonful of goodness. I think what he tasted and didn’t like was the truffles. I give it a thumbs up on the decadence factor. It was very rich and filling to be a side dish! Sadly, we only ate about half the dish. Such a waste.

We cleaned our plates of our main entrée though. Both were delicious. Normally, we don’t have dessert. But, we’d come this far on our Napa Rose food journey. So, we opted to look at a dessert menu.

Dessert

Flourless Scharffen Berger Chocolate Cake - with double chocolate chunk ice cream


Freshly made mango sorbet


I like anything chocolate and recognized the name Scharffen Berger. They make the best baking chocolate. However, I was stuffed at this point. So, I asked if I could eat the ice cream now and take the cake to go. Our server was fine with that and had the cake put into a box for me. Bill’s favorite fruit is mango. So, a mango sorbet was a perfect choice for him. Bill said it was very refreshing and the perfect way to end this excellent meal.

We were in the restaurant over two hours. However, the time went by quickly. With great company and fantastic food, this experience was well worth the sticker shock of our bill. You don’t want to know how much this meal cost. But to me, it was well worth it. A great evening with my husband is priceless.

When exiting, I noticed some wine bottles on display with Pixar characters on them. I thought they were cute. So, I took a picture. Little did I know, I would learn more about these tomorrow.

The Pixar wine bottles.


When outside the restaurant, I asked Bill to take a picture of me in front of the sign. Some passerbyers asked if we wanted one together. So, they took a picture of us ...

After a wonderful evening at Napa Rose.


My Rating:

After dinner, we headed up to our room. We had to meet the group downstairs tomorrow morning at 7 am. That wake-up call comes all too soon. We've been having so much fun though. We can sleep when we get home. Tomorrow morning, we head over to Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel for a breakfast buffet with some Disney characters before our touring day at Disney's California Adventure. It should be an entertaining breakfast with our bunch.

TOMORROW: Breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen and our DCA Tour. Also, we had a surprise celebrity siting at DCA. Hint: My "Pixar" Idol
__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)


Last edited by TheTXTaylors5; 05-15-2010 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:13 PM   #27
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FIVE (April 17, 2010)
Breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen

Today's Theme: Behind the Orange Grove
Word of the Day: Forced Perspective
Pin of the Day:


(Thanks Tonya!)

We were getting use to this getting only ourselves ready in the mornings. I felt pampered as I could actually properly brush my hair and apply make-up. However, today I felt casual and threw my hair into a baseball cap. We made the usual trek down to the lobby to meet our fellow Adventurers for breakfast. Once all the gang arrived, we headed over to Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel for our breakfast buffet.



We had no wait. We were escorted right into a back room. It was about 7:30 am and the place was half empty. Yea! More character interaction. After the server took our drink orders, we followed the herd to the buffet to scout out it’s offering. Again, the normal breakfast buffet items including an omelet station and pancakes station. I chose to get a made to order omelet and some other yummy items. Since we were at Goofy’s Kitchen, I felt the need to revert to my childhood and I grabbed worms in dirt for breakfast too. Nothing says breakfast like gummy worms in the morning. Yum! Yum!

There was a variety of characters here. I honestly didn’t see any rhyme or reason to the characters. We encountered Goofy, Chip, Dale, Balou, Snow White and Mulan. I saw Pluto on the way out waiting for guests.

Goofing around ...


Bill is as tall as Goofy! (Do I see a future profession in his future?!?!?!)





It was fun watching all these adults interacting with the characters. Snow White is my all-time favorite princess. So, I had to have a picture taken with her. However, she came by while I was up at the buffet. When our Guides heard she was my favorite, they went and got her for me. She even showed me how to do “princess hands”. It was cute. She was a really good Snow White.

Jennifer and Snow White.


Then, Goofy had to get into the picture too.


Pluto bidding us an Adieu ...


After our bellies couldn’t eat one more Mickey waffle, we exited the restaurant and back out to Downtown Disney. We headed back to the Grand Californian to pass thru on our way to Disney’s California Adventure. The Grand Californian has its own entrance into Disney’s California Adventure park.

My Rating:

COMING UP: Ever wonder what is behind the Soarin’ screen? 44 DISers know …
__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:14 PM   #28
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FIVE (April 17, 2010)
Disney’s California Adventure Tour:
Soarin' over California
Turtle Talk with Crush
Animation Academy
Tower of Terror


Disney's California Adventure park.


The next time we visit DCA, the CALIFORNIA letters will be gone. I know the renovations to the park entrance will be amazing and very fitting for the park. It’s still sad to know that there will be no more pictures of the kids in the letters.

We entered Disney’s California Adventure park thru the guest entrance at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.

DCA entrance at GC.



It was still before park opening. So, we entered an empty park. We headed towards Condor Flats. We passed by Goofy. He gave us all a salute as we were on our way to “soar”.

Pilot Goofy


Our Guides stopped in front of Soarin’. I was excited that this was our first stop. This is one of our favorite attractions at Epcot (WDW).




Bill waiting to enter Soarin'


The group made its way into the empty hangar. We split into two groups at this point. It wasn’t the same groups from before. They just split the line in half.

Waiting for our flight instructions.


For those that haven’t ridden Soarin’, you want the front row. That way, you are the highest without feet dangling above you. We got the front row!!!! It was such a relaxing ride. I didn’t want to get off. As the other group exited the room, our Guide Michael asked if we wanted to ride again. Of course we all said “YES!!!!” So, our group hopped back on for another soar over California.

Up, Up and Away!


After our second ride, we were led out of the theatre and then through a restricted door. Where were we going??????

What is behind this door?!?!?!


The other group passed us as we went down the stairs. They all had BIG smiles on their faces. Whatever was ahead must be good. Then, we were led into a room where I felt like I was under the bleachers at a football game. That is when a CM came out and told us that we were behind the Soarin’ screen! It is HUGE. Then, we hear the other group enter the theatre for their second ride on Soarin’. We got to experience the ride from a different perspective. It was neat seeing the lights reflect off the screen. I never knew the screen was made of metal. I thought it was like a big movie theatre screen. We were so close to the screen, we could see all the holes in the screen. Pretty cool! I will never look at Soarin’ the same way again. If we had more time, the CM said she would have shown us the big pellets they use for the different smells on the attraction. Again, our group was very large. So, sometimes it took double the time to do things like this. After the ride ended for the other group, we met at the front of the building.

I didn’t hear what we were doing next. I just followed the ABD sign. We entered the Hollywood Pictures Backlot section of the park.



Our Guides led us into the Disney Animation building.



This is home to Turtle Talk with Crush, Animation Academy and the Toy Story Zoetrope. We missed this building during our last trip. So, this was all new to us or at least for this park. We’ve been to Turtle Talk at Epcot and the Animation Academy at DHS. Our first stop was a private viewing of Turtle Talk with Crush.



This technology amazes me. Luckily, neither Bill or I got called upon to speak. Always when we do the one at Epcot with the kids, our kids get chosen to speak and somehow we get roped into it too. It was nice to sit back and watch others interact with Crush for a change.

Turtle Talk with Crush


(Thanks Lynne!)

After our meeting with Crush, we headed over to the Animation Academy where a Disney Imagineer was waiting for us.



I will be the first to admit, I don’t draw Disney characters very well. However, I did pretty well at our DHS lesson. So, I was looking forward to this. The Imagineer announced that we would be drawing the big cheese himself. Everyone let out a big cheer. I have the experience at DHS to compare this one to and THIS was a crash course on how to draw Mickey Mouse. I don’t know if the Imagineer had a lunch date or what, but he was going way too quickly for me and the others.

So, this is how you quiet a group of DISers ...


I know I could have done better with more time. But, here’s my masterpiece …


Bill and others with their Mickey Mouse artwork.


The group showing off their artwork.


Our Guides gave every couple a tube to put their artwork in. The Guides would take the tubes and give it to us at dinner this evening. That way, we didn’t have to lug them around the park. We all met back in the lobby of the Animation building. Bill and I went over to check out the Toy Story Zoetrope.

Toy Story Zoetrope




It went on while we were standing there. It is amazing! It really looks like Jessie is swinging the rope and Woody is riding Bulleseye. I'm glad we got to see it.

In the lobby area, our Guides gave everyone their pin for the day and five FPs. This was the end of our tour for the day. We had the rest of the day to do as we wish. We just had to be down in the lobby at 5:30 pm to meet for our Farewell Dinner. While in the Animation lobby, our Guide Jaime asked that if anyone wanted to ride Tower of Terror to follow him. We were game! So, we followed the group to Tower of Terror.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror


We went right through with no waiting . Our whole car was nothing but DISers. It was a hoot!

DISers on Tower of Terror. The hotel will never be the same again!


COMING UP: DCA on our own. What will we do?!?!?!?!
__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:15 PM   #29
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FIVE (April 17, 2010)
Touring Disney’s California Adventure with some new DIS Friends
Lunch at Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival


After riding Tower of Terror, we met up with a group of DISers that were heading towards California Screamin’. We had Fastpasses in our pocket and we were ready to use them.

Follow that Mickeysaber (Tonya our fearless leader)


We made our way through A Bug’s Land towards Pacific Wharf (This was a new pathway since our last trip.). I have to say, A Bug's Land is very cute. We spent some time there on our last trip. However, we had no kids with us this trip. So, we rushed through there as quickly as possible. There was a parade or something about to happen (I think it was the High School Musical 3 party thing), so we had to make a detour through the Pacific Wharf area and then made our way over the bridge to the Paradise Pier area.

When were here last year, this is what Paradise Pier looked like …


It’s had a few changes since last year. It looks like this now …


Since we had our trusty ABD FPs, we could get into the FP line immediately. We waited maybe five minutes and then were boarding the cars. Bill and I both went on this last year. However, we rode it separately because we have two children that don’t meet the height requirement. We still have to do the Rider Switch thing. Only for a couple more years and then we can tour the parks like “normal” families. So, this was our first time riding together! It is fun sitting at the beginning right before you go up the hill because you know that fast start is going to happen. You just don’t know when you’re going to be slingshot into space.

A few people in our group didn't ride and took this picture.

(Thanks Dodie!)

I love, love, love this ride! It is so much fun. I kept my hands up the whole ride. It’s times like this, I am so glad I have a big kid for a DH. He was next to me laughing and screaming with the rest of us.

Having fun on California Screamin'


We survived!


Our group decided to go on Toy Story Mania next. However, the line was pretty long and they don’t offer FP (like at DHS). So, we couldn’t just whip on in like at California Screamin’. Someone in our group was looking at their park map and time guide and noticed the next showing of Disney's Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular started in about 30 minutes. We had wanted to see it during our last trip. But, it was never playing because we were there during the week. Since they are removing Aladdin from the park, we wanted to see it before it was too late. So, we made our way back over to the Hyperion Theatre in the Hollywood section of the park.



There was already a crowd waiting to enter the theatre. We got into line and waited about 20 minutes before the doors to the theatre opened and we were ushered in. I don’t know how, but we got amazing seats. We were in the second section on the ground level center stage. These seats gave a full view of the stage and were perfect when Aladdin came in on the elephant because he passed right in front of us. This show needs to be brought to Broadway. It was spectacular. For the time in the theatre, I forgot we were inside a theme park. I’d highly recommend it, but it is leaving DCA. I hope you can see it before August 15, 2010.

Bill and Jennifer waiting for the show to start.


Some pictures from the musical ...





(Thanks Lynne!)

You’re probably wondering what will take its place. I found out that Toy Story – The Musical that is currently playing on the Disney Cruise Lines will take over the Hyperion Theatre in early 2011. We’ve seen Toy Story – The Musical on the Disney Wonder. It was cute. But, Aladdin was better in my opinion. I haven’t heard where Aladdin will make a new home? The new Disney ships might be a nice place …

Our little group exited the theatre. We were all starving by this time. By luck, we were visiting during Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival. By chance, we found the entrance to the Taste of California Marketplace. If we hadn’t been following our group leader, Bill and I definitely would have been having Award Wieners for lunch. The entrance was hidden without any arrows or major signage pointing people in the right direction.



The venue was set-up with one section roped off for the wine seminars and the other side had a bar area with tables. We got into line and ordered some tastings for lunch.



Jennifer ordered …

White Cheddar Soup featuring Karl Strauss Pale Ale with smoky bacon served in a Boudin’s sourdough bread boule.

The soup in a boule of sourdough was quite good. Okay, it was better than good. Normally, I use the top and dip it in the soup or chowder and leave the boule. I ate all the soup and all the bread. I didn’t want to leave any to waste. I wanted to savor every morsel of the soup.

Bill ordered …

Beer Battered Halibut featuring Karl Strauss Woodie Gold beer battered halibut with traditional malt vinegar.

Bill liked his fish. He said it was crispy and hot. Since all the entrées were a sampling, the piece of fish was pretty small. I asked him if he wanted another piece. But, he was fine.

Dessert …

Ghirardelli Chocolate Profiterole - A cream puff filled with vanilla pastry-cream topped with chocolate ganache.

Bill and I split the profiterole. It can best be described as an éclair. It was delicious.

Bill and I both ordered soda as our drink. I was really thirsty and wine just didn’t sound very refreshing. Instead of a regular soda fountain, they had a Coca-Cola freestyle machine. The touch-screen gives you the option from 106 varieties of drinks. You could have a cherry coke or a peach Sprite. You got to add flavorings to the basic Coca Cola products. Since this was such a new concept not just to us, but to most visitors, there was a CM nearby to answer questions. It was a neat concept. However, it kept breaking down. We eventually just got whatever soda was currently working. Our group found some tables near the bar and we started munching on our lunch.

Bill trying to figure out the Coca Cola freestyle machine.



We were sitting at the table relaxing for a bit after our meal, when I hear the announcer at the wine seminar introduce a familiar name ... Mr. John Lasseter and his wife Nancy. I hopped out of my seat and had to see with my own two eyes if it was really him. I had two people on my “Disney Dream Wish” of people to meet. The first was Marty Sklar. Bill and I got to meet him at DISapalooza this past December. He was the nicest man.

Bill with Marty Sklar.


Jennifer with Marty (I had such a cheesy grin because I was sooooo happy to meet him.)


The other man was John Lasseter. We just love the Disney/Pixar movies. The man is a genius! Come to find out, The Lasseters own vineyards in Sonoma Valley. I never knew there was a Lasseter Family Winery. They make and sell their own label of wine. Now, I’m really glad I took a picture of those wine bottles at Napa Rose. I want one! We weren’t part of the seminar. But, a nice man let me and some others just stand there for a few moments to listen and take some pictures.

John Lasseter at the wine seminar.




(Thanks Lynne)

We were now fed and ready for more park action ...
__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:16 PM   #30
TheTXTaylors5
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ABD California Backstage Magic Tour - DAY FIVE (April 17, 2010)
Disney’s California Adventure on our own.

Our group was moving on. We made our way over to the attraction Monsters Inc.: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue.

Monsters Inc.: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue



We rode this last year and like it. So, we were happy to ride it again. The queue area is cute with all the pictures, phone booth and vending machine. Soon, we were boarding a car on our way to Monstropolis. Very cute!

The queue ...




I really liked the vending machine.


She is such a ray of sunshine. Love it!

(Thanks Heather!)

This is where we left the group and went on our own, just the two of us. On our way through Sunshine Plaza I had to stop and take an obligatory "balloons shot" ...



Since we were there during the California Food and Wine Festival, there was a huge tent set up in front of the sun for the cooking demonstrations. Guy Fieri was going to be cooking today. We only watched one Next Food Network Star show and it was the year he won. Since then, we've followed his career. He did a really good Disneyland Christmas special this past winter. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Of course we watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. That show always makes me HUNGRY. So, it really would have been nice to see him cook in person. However, his presentation wasn't for another few hours. We would've had to wait in line for an hour pre-show too. That would have been cutting it too close to get back and change for dinner. So, we kept on and started heading back towards the GC entrance inside the park.

The tent set-up for the cooking demonstrations.


On our last trip, Grizzly River Run was down for most of our trip. So, we never got to ride it. We planned on heading back to the resort to relax. But, this was the perfect time to ride GRR. I knew we were going to get wet and were heading straight to our room at the Grand Californian afterwards. So, we got into line using our ABD FPs.

Grizzly River Run



Waiting in line.



This ride looks so innocent. I will tell you now, you don’t get wet on this ride … you get SOAKED!!!!!! There wasn’t a dry person in our raft. Even if you don’t get soaked on the falls, you get soaked by sprayers.



(Thanks Lynne!)

Bill and I both came off the raft soaked with our clothing stuck to us. But, you know what … it was fun!!!!!!

Post Grizzly River Run ... Bill and Jennifer are soaked!


We were heading to the GC entrance from the park when I spotted an ice cream cart. I could not believe that we leave tomorrow and I haven’t had a Mickey bar. That would be blasphemy to come all this way and not have my “must have” park treat. So, Bill and I grabbed a Mickey bar and sat outside the entrance to GC eating our treats.

Enjoying our Mickey bars.



While sitting there, some DISers/travel mates were coming in for more park fun. They sat and chatted with us for a bit. Bill and I finished the heaven on a stick and we exited the park. We were semi-dry by this time. So, we popped into the resort gift shop to pick-up some souvenirs for the kids, my Mom and the Nanny. Initially, I wanted to visit World of Disney in Downtown Disney to do some souvenir shopping. But, this store had everything I needed. It was a quick shopping trip and then we were on our way to our room. We had about two hours before we had to be back downstairs to meet for our Farewell Dinner. That gave us enough time to shower, change and relax a bit.

COMING UP: Our Farewell Dinner.
__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS14 DD12 DS9 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 11/DLR ~ Avengers 1/2 Marathon Weekend (1st 1/2 Marathon!), 11/AKV ~ Annual Thanksgiving Trip; 2015: 01/DLR ~ Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend (5K & 1/2 Marathon), 04/POR (Spring Break), 11/BCV ~ Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon, 12/AKV & DCL (Magic) ~ Christmas Trip; 2016: 07/DCL (Magic ~ Med) & Disneyland Paris (20th Anniversary Trip)

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