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Old 11-17-2011, 06:39 PM   #1
Poohs100AcreWood
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"Insert witty title here!" - A PTR

It is now about two weeks before I head off to Disneyland, so I figured I would finally start a PTR, that will morph into my TR. And this is my first, so please be kind!

(Catchy title will be updated after I return. Who knows what will happen while there? )

My mini trip is planned from Dec. 2-4, and we will be staying in a king suite at La Quinta. This hotel is not super close to the parks, and that's okay. We know the area well enough not to get lost, and the price for 2 nights there is less than half of that of a single night at a resort hotel.

Let's start some introductions, shall we?


DSD, DM, Me, taken 2 years ago in line to Indiana Jones (none from last year, as my camera had issues)

My mother, Pam (DM) and stepdad, Norm (DSD) will be with me this time around, as they always are. None of us have been to Disneyland since last year on my birthday, so it will be exactly a year.

DM: An accountant. She is probably the reason why I have been so obsessed with Disney my entire life. We've lived in CA since I was born, my first visit being when I was 9 months old, and we've gone 1-2 times per year since. She's not too Disney obsessed, but does enjoy it.

DSD: Works for US Postal Service. He is a recent convert to Disney, since joining the family about 5 years ago. I don't think he fully "gets it", but goes to see everyone happy anyway.

Me: A pharmacy technician. All of my free time is spent heading to local areas to find places and things to photograph. You'll see in later updates that most of my planning for this trip has revolved around my camera.

This trip has been planned for a long time. Pretty much since March. But as I update, you'll quickly see that despite it being planned early, nothing gets done until the last moment. The perfect example is me switching hotels last minute just yesterday.

Let's hope everything manages to fall into place in the next 2 weeks!
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:40 PM   #2
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Chapter Links

Pre-Trip Report

Day 1 Agenda: Steppin' Out Solo
Day 2 Agenda: We're Starting HOW early? and Camera Problems


Trip Report

Dec 2: Part 1 - Let the Journey Begin!
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Last edited by Poohs100AcreWood; 12-27-2011 at 11:07 PM. Reason: Adding chapters
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:35 PM   #3
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:29 PM   #4
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Day 1 Agenda: Steppin' Out Solo

Day 1 Agenda: Steppin' Out Solo

While originally considering this trip, if finally occurred to me that I've never met any characters. I've been going since I was practically born, but according to my parents, they never had me meet any. They tried with Mickey and I screamed bloody murder, so they dropped it.

So, my goal this trip? To do what I've never done before!

I just received an autograph book in the mail and I'm going character hunting! That brings me to my first day's itinerary.

Arriving late morning because of Los Angeles rush hour traffic, I'll need to start off with the three biggies: Pixie Hollow, Princess Fantasy Fair, and Rapunzel. This works out perfectly as I'm solo for the first day and can wait in long lines without the parental units complaining or ditching me to do something else. PFF is going to be a long wait because I want to go back more than once. I had reservations for Ariel's Grotto and cancelled them to save money. Because of that, I need to hit ALL the princesses.

From there, I need to do the Nemo subs, as the parents don't care for it, Small World (round 1) for pictures, and general picture taking, as well as shopping and sightseeing that I never have the chance to do on one-day trips.

This day will be my most relaxing day, as I'm by myself, can go at my own pace, and do what I never have before.

Any suggestions on what I may have missed? I feel like there is so much more that I'm missing and have never seen before.

Up next, camera troubles!
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:36 PM   #5
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:02 PM   #6
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Day 2 Agenda: We're Starting HOW early?

Day 2 Agenda: We're Starting HOW early? and Camera Problems

Sometimes I swear I have OCD. The perfect example is me trying to get all my photography gear ready for the trip.

The thing is, I've never seriously taken my good camera and accesories anywhere that wasn't for a photography class. Especially not at Disneyland, where I wanted something light and a camera with good zoom. You know, in case I'm a little further back in the crowd during a parade. Well, when I realized I wanted better photos than I was getting, and that I was finally taking my good camera seriously, I went into panic mode.

About a month ago, I bought a low-light lens. And then this past week, a zoom lens and a new flashy camera strap. What was missing? A camera bag that I could carry comfortably for three days. And, oh yeah! It has to be fashionable. That's where the fun began.

There are several sites that sell nice looking purses equipped to carry cameras, but they're $80-$200. Not entirely unreasonable, but right now, I can't afford that. So I made my own. Basically just found a purse I liked that was big enough and then made some foam inserts. Not the best looking thing, but it gets the job done!

And for those of you who could care less about my camera, how about something else?

Day 2 agenda!

We have 7:10 am reservations for the Minnie and Friends breakfast at the Plaza Inn. It will be good for me, since I'll have been at Disneyland the day before and can go to the hotel at any time to rest up, or go to bed early. DM and DSD will be arriving late Friday night after DSD gets off work, probably close to midnight. As of right now, DM had no idea what time the reservation was and now wants me to push it back until 8 am. I'll be calling later today to see if we can get it changed.



From there, we sort of have a tradition of what we do. Fast passes for Indiana Jones, then on to stand-by for Space Mountain and Star Tours. After that, we sort of play it by ear. Lunch and dinner are undecided as of now, with Blue Bayou or Cafe Orleans as a possibility. Only thing I know is, I will be getting a Dole Float!



I will be doing many meet-and-greets the day before because my parents don't want to wait for me, but there are a few I have to wait for, like Pooh and Friends. They'll probably be at the breakfast, so if they are, I'll meet them there.

This day is mostly for rides, as that's what my parents came for.

I am only two days away! I will update day 3 agenda and last minute details tomorrow.

**These pictures are not mine!**
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:15 PM   #7
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Love the plans!! I also love your name.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:59 PM   #8
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I was officially back Sunday night. I just finished editing all my photos and have a LOT of them. I'll be starting my TR tomorrow sometime.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:27 PM   #9
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Can't wait, I'll check back in tomorrow.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:04 PM   #10
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Note: My internet was down for a long time, so I apologize for this being so late!

Dec. 2: Part 1 - Let the Journey Begin!

Let me preface this with letting you know that I didn't really get the hang of this TR thing until a little late in the game. I knew to take pictures of basically everything, but it didn't sink in until later. So it starts off sort of jumbled and mostly pictures with characters, but it gets better!

I started out early Friday morning, but not too early. I didn't want to be in the middle of rush hour traffic. I dropped off the animals at the pet sitter, and was on my way, hitting traffic, but it wasn't too bad. I got there around 10:30 am and this was the first sight that greeted me.



Well, not really, but it was the first thing I remembered to take a picture of.

I was already in the Christmas spirit, and the day hadn't even begun yet. I ran to get a locker and found these two along the way, but their line was already closed.





I wanted to head to the castle next, but fortunately for me, something was making a huge racket and crowd right down the middle of Main Street. Isn't he cute in his bandleader outfit?



But I couldn't get to the castle before getting a picture of my two favorite guys.



The castle was as beautiful and magical as I always know it to be. I'm not sure why I don't have a front picture of the castle for this day, but this was the best I had. I think I remembered to get one on a later day.



The side of the castle was fairly quiet and it was peaceful to just wander around and listen to Snow White's wishing well.





The day was getting off to a good start, and I wanted it to continue as I headed off to meet my first characters. The princesses! The line said 60 minutes, but I think it was 30-40 minutes. It was quick and I was definitely happy about that. But just which of the princesses did I meet?

An amazing Tiana! She was talkative and beautiful and I'm so glad I met her.



Belle. Pretty, but sort of a dud. She was really quiet and sort of awkward.



And Ariel. SO sweet. She asked me how far I had swam to visit her.





You'll find out that her and Rapunzel are my absolute favorites, so she gets two pictures.

By this time, it was around noon, and I hadn't had a single thing to eat all day. I chose the closest place, which happened to be the Troubador Tavern. After much debating between the baked potatoes, I decided on the barbecue chicken one. And I'm glad I did!



With a full belly, I headed to the next closest meet and greet with the main mouse himself.



I get a kick out of these chickens every time.



I loved meeting Mickey. He first took forever signing my book and when he handed it back, I knew why. He wrote "Happy Bday" beside his name. Turned out he would be the only one who did that this trip.





I left Mickey's house and noticed Minnie greeting outside her house. I turned that one down as I'd be meeting her at breakfast the next morning. I headed out of ToonTown, where I grabbed a few pictures of Small World.





That's all for this update. Next part, I continue the meet and greets, as that was pretty much my entire first day's events. I also just got back from an additional two days, as I didn't get to do everything I wanted to this time around. I will be including those pictures and report in here as well, including more food pictures, since this weekend severely lacked in them.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:06 AM   #11
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Wonderful! Can't wait to read more.
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