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Old 10-29-2010, 09:20 AM   #61
SurfinTX
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Day 1: Part 6 -Riding that Attraction is not my idea of courage. It's more like, suicide.

Leaving New Orleans Square, me and Han see a long line for the Haunted Mansion. Since it was the Halloween Season Disneyland had a special overlay called Huanted Mansion Holiday.



I took a picture of the entrance but it didn't turn out well. In fact, after checking all of my pictures I didn't get any of the entrance I liked. Also, while the overlay is in place they add a fastpass option for the attraction. Unfortunately those had all run out by this time. Looking at the line I decide that it would be better to try later on and continue into Critter Country.

Around the bend we see this...



Han immediatly said: "Uh Uh! Nooo Way are you getting me on this ride!"
Me: "Why not?"
Han: "Do you know what would happen to my rougish reputation if anyone saw me here?"

Well, I wasn't going to try to force him since he had the gun so I let him go on his way. We agreed to meet back at the room later on. Now I decided to plow on since I wasn't worried about my manly reputation at all.

The ride was a walk on.





I would have to say that this was the first ride so far that was not as good as the WDW version. No hopping and the honey smell was nearly non-existant. Exiting the ride there is a shop called Pooh Corner. I'm not too sure if there is a quick service spot inside there but I picked up these pictures sometime between Pooh and my next ride.







Many of the bakeries and candy stores had selections of Halloween treats just for the season if you are looking for them. Since the Pooh corner is as far as you can go in this direction I backtracked to...



The line here wasn't so bad at about 10 minutes and I was loaded with a bunch of silly teenagers. Again, my personal opinion is that the WDW is better but not by much. There are a few things missing but the view of the park is just as dramatic at night as you sit above the Rivers of America for a moment.



Only a bit wet it was now time to use that Fastpass I had picked up earlier. Circling around the Rivers of America I find that Big Thunder was still at about a 30 minute standby. Happily jumping into the FP line I was loaded within 5 minutes!



After missing out on this ride during our summer WDW trip I don't have a recent memory but going from my '07 trip the rides are very similar. Also, a mist had started to fall which made the ride very fun as your view became partially obstructed and very few parts are lit at night. All in all a great ride that night!

By now it was approaching 9:00 p.m. and at this point I had covered everything I had planned (plus a bit more) except the Haunted Mansion. Now was a good time for some shopping for the family and get a few pins I had seen online.

D23 Trick or Treat Pin


Jack Skellington with Stained Glass


These first two I really wanted but everywhere I went there were none to be found. I kept seeing other pins in the series but I didn't really like those. The search for these two pins would tie me up for hours in the coming days. The next three I eventually picked up.

Jack and Zero Haunted Mansion Holiday


Mickey's Trick or Treat Party


Halloween Screams Disneyland


While hunting I did pick up a Bolt plush for Madison
and a Princess pin.


A Jedi Micky plush for Michael.
This pin for Kyler.


At this point I still hadn't made up my mind on what to get Dianna so I'd let that be for a while. All told I had shopped nearly every store from Tomorrowland to New Orleans Square and everything in between. It was now time for the highlight of the night.


Up Next: One Twisted Holiday
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:39 AM   #62
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Been MIA....Grand Jury Duty called again and let me just say that in the midst of hearing all about the crime and grime I turned to a co-juror and said "I think I want to go back to Disney World!"

So, I missed lots, meaning a lot of catching up!! First The Golden Horseshoe looked so cool for a counter service! Keith would LOVE that one! I may need to show him your TR and try to talk him into a trip to DL because Second...I really, really love New Orleans Square and I kept wanting to jump into the pics for POTC!! Third....the Indiana Jones ride sounds very cool and I love the irony of Han loading up for an Indiana Jones ride..... Fourth, I had the Dole Whip (ice cream only due to Chris not ordering correctly) and loved the ice cream only version and, hence, I am a little nervous about trying it float style! Okay I think that is all of my commentary for now~but I can't wait to hear how BTMRR compares to the one in WDW!!
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:15 AM   #64
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I am so loving this trip report. You are a great writer!!! So much fun! I love Han Solo. So he didn't like the name Indiana, huh?...

Can't wait for more
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:09 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinksThree View Post
Been MIA....Grand Jury Duty called again and let me just say that in the midst of hearing all about the crime and grime I turned to a co-juror and said "I think I want to go back to Disney World!"

So, I missed lots, meaning a lot of catching up!! First The Golden Horseshoe looked so cool for a counter service! Keith would LOVE that one! I may need to show him your TR and try to talk him into a trip to DL because Second...I really, really love New Orleans Square and I kept wanting to jump into the pics for POTC!! Third....the Indiana Jones ride sounds very cool and I love the irony of Han loading up for an Indiana Jones ride..... Fourth, I had the Dole Whip (ice cream only due to Chris not ordering correctly) and loved the ice cream only version and, hence, I am a little nervous about trying it float style! Okay I think that is all of my commentary for now~but I can't wait to hear how BTMRR compares to the one in WDW!!
I think I spent most of my time in and around New Orleans Square this trip. The Haunted Mansion, a train stop, POTC and several restaraunts kept me coming back. Next time it will be the ice cream only. Maybe if they serve it with a pineapple wedge?

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And then you posted BTMRR while I was posting! So glad to hear that both Splash and BTMRR are pretty similar! Those are two of my faves and I just think it would eb wrong to deviate much! And great pins!! Good job!!
I'm sneaky like that. I really wanted those other two pins but they were already gone it seems.

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I am so loving this trip report. You are a great writer!!! So much fun! I love Han Solo. So he didn't like the name Indiana, huh?...

Can't wait for more
I'm glad you're enjoying the trip report. In this trip report Han can be a lot of fun...but then he can be a pain in the butt...for a fictional companion.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:14 AM   #66
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Day 1: Part 7 - One Twisted Holiday

Having finished up shopping for now I check the time and see that it's 10:30 and getting pretty close to the 11:00 pm park closing. I quickly made my way back to New Orleans to check on the Haunted Mansion one more time.

On the way I see the Ray Bradbury Halloween Tree lit up.



and a few glowing balloons...



My good luck this day was holding on as I see only a small line to go into the mansion. As I walk through the queue I take a few pictures when I can. Spoilers are everywhere from here on in so if you want to experience the Haunted Mansion Holiday for yourself then stop now. You have been warned!





Just outside the stretching room...



and inside the stretching room.



Jack looking down at us!



After leaving the stretching room you proceed to the loading area with this new background.



On the ride itself you will find many changes along the way.







and near the end Oogie selects a "fun" holiday treat for you in your Doombuggy.



Spoiler ends. What can I say? The Haunted Mansion at WDW is one of my favorite attractions and has a lot of sentemental value to me. Seeing it with a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay is like nirvana itself.

Now it was closing time and the remaining crowds were all moving thier way towards the exit. Since I was walking back to the room it would be another 20 minutes to get there. My legs were tiring but it wasn't too bad. I have to say if you have a Hotel on Harbor St. walking is pretty safe with crowds coming and going most of the day. The mist was really settling in by the time I reached my room and it was nice to take a hot shower and finally settle in at midnight. Han was already passed out with a glass of blue milk on the table next to him.


Next up: Not So Sunny California
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Old 11-01-2010, 04:40 PM   #68
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Great update! Awesome pictures of all of the decorations. Haunted mansion looks super, and I love those glowing balloons!!!
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:39 PM   #69
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I am loving your report! And Han in the pictures is just cracking me up! Him loading into an Indiana Jones ride vehicle...
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:55 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinksThree View Post
Well, I say you had a pretty successful 1st day at DL! That Haunted Mansion looks so awesome!! I love that attraction!!!!
Looking back at that day I almost have to say it was as close to perfect as a half day at Disneyland could be. The crowds were reasonable and the weather went from perfect to a bothersome drizzle right at the end. Something I just discovered - The Nightmare Before christmas Blu-ray has a tour of the Haunted Mansion Holiday on it. I pulled out for the kids' party this week and was surprised to see it as a bonus feature!

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Great update! Awesome pictures of all of the decorations. Haunted mansion looks super, and I love those glowing balloons!!!
Thanks! Nighttime shots can be tough without a nice SLR but I tried to hold as steady as I could.

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I am loving your report! And Han in the pictures is just cracking me up! Him loading into an Indiana Jones ride vehicle...
Thanks Merrydeath! Han just didn't know what he was getting into when he was "volunteered" to accompany me!

I'm preparing the next update now. This one will take a bit of time and as you see them you will understand why. Stay tuned!
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:40 PM   #71
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Day 2: Part 1 - Not So Sunny California

...flying back home it seemed nothing was going right. Now on top of everything I was landing in Washington D.C. Wandering around the airport I wonder what I'm going to do next?...

Jerking a bit I wake up. It's dark. This is not my bed. Looking over at the end table I see the glowing numbers of my alarm clock. 6:30 a.m. My brain begins to catch up. I'm in California...not in Washington D.C. I struggle upright but I feel that I didn't get a good nights sleep. Maybe 5 hours tops. Still, I'm now on vacation and there is a lot to do today. I shrug off my weariness and get dressed.

I notice Han is not around. Looking outside I see that the drizzle hasn't let up and there is a low layer of clouds hanging over us. Wonderful. It's not all that cool outside so I pick my Jack Skellington T-shirt and a pair of jeans and hope that it warms up. Ready to go I head down to the office area to check out the continental breakfast at 6:45. Suprisingly it hasn't opened yet. Hmmm. I would have thought that it would be open earlier than this. This would be a problem tomorrow. Hanging out a bit I am surprised by a Tram pulling into the entryway.



Han: Hey buddy!
Me: What in the world are you doing in that thing?!
Han: I found it over in the Toy Story parking lot. Figured we would arrive in style!
Me: No way! You gotta take that thing back before we both get in trouble. You will stick out like a sore thumb! Speaking of which...aren't you a bit overdressed?
Han: It's the only coat I have. Don't worry...I'll have all of this sorted out.

Driving off I looked at my watch and noticed that it was 7:00 already and the breakfast had been made available. What can I say? It is very basic at the travelodge with donuts, cereal, croissants and toast. Drinks are orange, cranberry, and apple juice with coffee. Might I suggest the apple or cranberry since the orange tastes like Tang or Sunny D. Still, it's complementary and fast so I'm not complaining.

Not seeing Han anywhere I head off on Harbor St. at 7:15 for my misty walk to Disneyland. Twenty minutes later I'm swinging into the bus area and notice a small crowd had formed by now at bag check. By coincidence Han strolls up nonchalantly.

Me: So. I don't see your, um, transport anywhere.
Han: I had, uhhh, run into some old friends.

Not getting any more explanation than that I saw that he had got rid of the coat somewhere at least. Bag check opens at 7:45 and from there it's a quick walk over to the front gate.



The line forms and I find myself about 10 back.



Behind me the lines build and just before opening there is quite a crowd waiting.



A big difference I found at DL is that they do not let you into the courtyard area in fron of the station to do a rope drop. They select a family of the day who will get to help with the countdown and get a few pictures. The turnstiles are booted up which sing "Whistle While You Work" when ready. At 8:00 a.m. the gates are opened and you're off! Well, you hope so and pray that the people in front of you don't have ticket problems. Or have strollers. My line seems to be a bit slow but not too bad. A minute later I quickly walk around the station tunnel and stop dead in my tracks to see...



Alice, the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit! All together. I was sorely tempted to get a picture with them but the line had several groups in it and was growing by the second. Having to be satisfied with just taking a quick picture it's off to the races to get to our first destination.

The crowd ahead of me.



The plan this morning was a bit counter-intuitive. The crowds were dividing pretty evenly for Fantasyland and Tomorowland. Turning into Tomorrowland almost the entire crowd went for the Space Mountain line to get FP or ride immediatly. A good strategy for those near the front but not so good if you are a hundred or so behind them. I take a left turn and head over to...



You can see Han is proud to be first in line. Notice the Monorail happening by at that moment.

Finding Nemo, formerly 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, had an equivalent at WDW but is now cemented over and will not be included in the Fantasyland makeover. I have only a faint memory of it from 1983 so I made it a point to ride this once during this trip. This is a slow loading/unloading ride so it is critical to get on the first few subs or you will end up spending a lot of time waiting here.

Our sub driver.



A steep entrance into the sub. I would think it would be difficult for those who are handicapped.



Inside and about ready to go. Hope you are not claustrophobic!



A few pictures underwater.





Then the ride proceeds underground and none of those pictures turn out. The total ride time is about 7 minutes and I have to say it was fun to see the Nemo changes. Once was enough for this adult rider and taking one last look back I take a picture of some familiar seagulls.



Next up was to backtrack a bit and head into Space Mountain. Now it was time to grab a fastpass which I failed to take a picture of. Return time was 10:45-11:45. With Fastpass in hand it was again just a short walk over to...



This ride is exactly the same as the WDW version. You sit down and try to shoot as many targets as you can.



I had a bit of luck this ride and the ride stopped for brief moments. Taking advantage of that I manage to rack up a score of



Not too shabby for me! Just a quick mention of the gift shop for Buzz. Here you can find many of the rarer collectible pins behind a glass display case. It's here I pick up most of the pins I had shown earlier.

With that out of the way now it was time to swing over to the edge of Fantasyland to ride another first for me.



Yes, the Matterhorn!



The wait here had built up to 10 minutes but wasn't too bad. The cars are similar to the ones at Space Mountain in WDW. The ride winds both inside and outside the mountain as you descend and can whip you around a bit. The overall thrill factor is near WDW Space Mountain for me with maybe a nod to Matterhorn for having a few nice elements along the way including encountering an Abominable Snowman and splashing through some water.



It was now past 9:00 am and time now to get a move on for the next part of my plan. Walking back to the castle I notice an old classic car parked waiting for someone to hop on. Looking over at Han he shrugged and we took a ride in style as he would say.





Relaxing and thouroghly enjoying myself I can only imagine what will come next.


Up next: It's Not my Fault!

Last edited by SurfinTX; 11-04-2010 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:34 AM   #73
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Oh, the Matterhorn! This was the first roller coaster I really loved! My sister and I were highly amused by the CM costumes there which are modelled after Bavarian traditional clothes and we are from Bavaria.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:08 AM   #74
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Great updates Tom. I'm enjoying seeing these Disneyland rides that I'm not familiar with -- the DL Haunted Mansion, the Nemo sub, the Matterhorn.
Thanks Glennbo! I'm trying to detail the differences between the parks as much as I can. Also, I swear I'll comment on your TR soon. The last 3 times I tried the boards went down for maint.

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Oh, the Matterhorn! This was the first roller coaster I really loved! My sister and I were highly amused by the CM costumes there which are modelled after Bavarian traditional clothes and we are from Bavaria.
I noticed that! I read about the history of the ride and didn't know they had a break area built into the mountain that holds a basketball half-court! I'm such a DL noob!
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:17 PM   #75
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I love the opening ceremony at MK. It is a must every trip....DL's opening is a little disappointing!

I remember 20,000 Leagues...vaguely! Cool that they transformed the one at DL for Nemo....we love Nemo in our house. Dory is my inspiration at work..."Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!"

I have heard so much about the Matterhorn....I want to go!!
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