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Old 12-22-2012, 05:52 PM   #76
danimaroo
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Chapter Seven: "Uh yup, you're buying that, no questions asked."
Day 1: November 29th, 2012


After we de-boarded our lovely boat, we wanted to head back over towards Haunted Mansion Holiday, as we really wanted to ride it at night!

We tried walking over behind Big Thunder Mountain and past the Big Thunder Jamboree area, but some guys walked towards us saying that it was closed/roped off.

Welp, we turned around at this point, but I didn’t mind taking some photos along the way.

The only way for us to get back towards the main hub and over to New Orleans Square was to go through Fantasyland, to Tomorrowland, then hook around over through the Main Street area. Basically, it was a super long walk.

But we didn’t mind, especially since these were areas we hadn’t been through yet! As we walked over, I stopped by Finding Nemo and snapped a few photos because it just looked so pretty at night!



Also, every so often, you’d hear the infamous, “MINE! MINE! MINE!”



We also noticed another popcorn stand and a little puppet Rocketeer was turning the popcorn! I’d remembered hearing that every popcorn stand in the park had a different puppet turning the popcorn maker, but Matt especially loved this one because The Rocketeer is one of his favorite movies.





We were excited to spend more time in Tomorrowland the following day, especially seeing Space Mountain in the distance, but we had other plans for tonight!



On our way through Tomorrowland, we thought it’d be fun to at least stop by Star Traders and do a little shopping… because you know we just LOVE to get our Disney shopping in!

Star Traders had TONS of awesome merchandise, especially a lot of great Star Wars stuff. They also had a large amount of Jack Skellington/Nightmare Before Christmas stuff. Out of the corner of his eye, Matt spotted a hoodie that he immediately liked.

Matt usually has a hard time finding Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise that he’ll actually wear. A lot of it is just kind of overdone or too Ed Hardy-esque for him. But this hoodie was seriously PERFECT. He loves plaid and it wasn’t overly flashy.



I told him he definitely had to buy it because it was the first thing I’d seen EVER in the parks that was NBC-related that he actually liked. He agreed and decided to buy it for himself.

After we paid (and used our awesome 20% off AP discount), we headed back out and over towards the main hub.



As we walked from Tomorrowland, this was when I actually first saw the castle completely lit up with the icicle lights and all. I was most definitely taken aback by how BEAUTIFUL it was! It was everything I always dreamed of it being, seeing that castle completely lit up for Christmas.





After a few minutes of ooh and aahing at the castle, we continued on our way over towards New Orleans Square. We knew we needed to see Haunted Mansion Holiday all lit up at night!!



You can see it below in the first photo that again, there was no wait. It was awesome to be able to just walk on up to it! And guys, this is SO cool at night.









Okay, so, AGAIN, if you don’t want to be spoiled on something REALLY cool for this ride, you should just skip the next part, because I’m about to post a really awesome photo/describe something amazing to you. BUT I totally understand if you want to save it for a future trip to Disneyland if you want to be surprised, too!

So stop reading this now, and click on the link below for the next update!

Continue in next post













Okay, for those of you who don’t mind being spoiled or have been on the ride, I wanted to show you a photo I caught during the stretching room scene that I didn’t mention earlier.

So, after the room stretches, you know how normally our Ghost Host mentions that there are no windows or doors, and you can always take his way out, and then you look up and see the hanging body?

Well, this is also changed during the overlay. Instead, when you look up, all of a sudden the lights flash and you see this:



Yes, a MASSIVE Jack Skellington face, where he wishes everyone a Happy Holiday! The first time I saw this earlier in the day, THAT was most-definitely a jaw-dropping moment. I just had no idea about it so I pretty much thought it was the coolest thing ever.

I got a few other shots, and also just tried to enjoy the ride and spot new things I hadn’t noticed before.







Next update, we go on the hunt for some dinner at a familiar spot, do more exploring/shopping, and call it a night!

Continued in next post
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:52 PM   #77
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Chapter Eight: "Okay, where the HECK is this place?!"
Day 1: November 29th, 2012


After we got off of Haunted Mansion Holiday, it was around 7:50pm and the park was closing in 10 minutes. We wanted to get out of the park before all of the crowds did, especially since we were planning on seeing Believe… in Holiday Magic the next night.

On our way out we caught a few of the fireworks but both noted that you couldn’t see much due to the clouds from the rainy weather.

Seeing that it was only 8 o’clock, we were both pretty hungry AND we were in the mood for shopping, it only made sense for us to head on over to Downtown Disney!

We knew exactly where we wanted to get dinner, but also had no clue where it was in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland’s DTD is somewhat similar to WDW’s, in that there is a World of Disney, D-Street, Lego Store, and a few other familiar stores, but I don't know, it's definitely different, too!

Like, in WDW’s DTD, you have a lot of Disney-centric stores over in the Marketplace area, and then less Disney as you get towards the West side where the House of Blues are, etc. In DL it's more just all mixed together.

As soon as we walked in, we figured because World of Disney was RIGHT in front of us, we’d go in there first before we got dinner.

The World of Disney has a way different layout, so that threw us off in trying to find the plush animals/pillow pet section. We finally found it in the last room of World of Disney, and I pointed out the Stitch pillow pet that Matt has basically wanted forever.



He’d been talking about it since he first heard about it earlier this year, and when we finally found it, the boy actually questioned whether or not he should buy it! Hahaha, I was like, WE ARE BUYING IT, NO QUESTIONS ASKED!

I think he felt kind of guilty because I hadn’t bought a ton for myself, but I reminded him that I would find something later and not to even worry about it!

After Matt bought Stitch, we left and went on a hunt for dinner. We seriously walked for what seemed to be an eternity (at this point I thought we were about to end up in Hong Kong’s Disneyland resort) before we FINALLY spotted this sign.



Bad photo, I know, buuuut... YUP, of COURSE we were headed for Earl of Sandwich!

When I heard they were opening one in Disneyland’s DTD in the fall of 2012, I was super excited to eat there just because I loved it so much during our last trip to Disney World.

The line wasn’t bad at all, and soon enough we ordered our food. Matt ordered The Original and I ordered the Cannonballs, then I grabbed a side of potato salad, Matt got macaroni salad, and we both decided to get bread pudding.

There is way more seating outside than inside, so Matt grabbed us a table and I waited for our sandwiches. They made those things darn quickly, and before I knew it we were both sitting and opening our sandwiches.

I remember we were both pretty burnt out at this point, both from just having a long day and also being so hungry! Also, the seating area is kind of in the dark and under this tent (and heating lamps, DARN THOSE LAMPS!)… so between that and me being hungry, I was a bad DISer and only got this super lame photo of my sandwich on my iPhone.



That being said, IT WAS SO GOOD. Earl of Sandwich just never disappoints! Between getting some food in my stomach and just resting my feet for a few minutes, I was pretty happy.

The only bad part were the heat lamps above us. I mean, I get Californians are used to much warmer weather, but I was not finding those heat lamps necessary because it was still humid out. Yuck.

We finally finished our dinner, and both ended up saving our bread pudding for later since we were super full from our dinner.

On our walk back, we decided to stop by D-Street so I could look and see what Vinylmation they had for sale. I was elated to find that they had these AMAZING Toy Story ones I’d wanted forever! Originally, they were only released in Japan, so getting them sent here would have been way expensive.



Yes, they are basically Andy’s drawn version of all of some of our favorite Toy Story characters! How freakin’ adorable are they?!

I’m just glad Disney made the awesome decision to sell them in Disney parks a few months later! Again, I was happy to use my awesome AP discount, and we headed out and back to our room.

When we got back, I realized there was going to be no way for me to continue wearing my blue Chucks, just made on the fact that they offer NO arch support. I love them for during my work week but not for when I’m walking a lot!

But before I worried about the sneaker situation, I pretty much bee-lined it for the bathroom, turning on the water for the Jacuzzi tub so I could give my feet some relief!

That thing reallllly saved my poor feet. It’s funny, because Matt tends to have more back pain than anything else, while I struggle with foot pain and blisters.

After a nice long bath and quick shower, I tried on my new long-sleeve Disneyland shirt I’d just picked up at the Emporium, and then made the smart decision to blow dry my sneakers!





Hahaha I took photos because of how ridiculous it looked, but it ended up being a super good idea! While Matt took a bath, I worked on my sneakers, and then when he came out he ended up working on his.

After blow-drying our sneakers, I got into bed and typed up all of my TR notes for our first day! I think Matt ate his bread pudding and said it was just okay. I decided to save mine for the following morning to eat as a quick breakfast.



Anyway, we headed to bed at around 11, as we planned to be up at 7am the next morning to make it to Disneyland for rope drop.

Next update, we do rope drop for the first time and experience what is known as the, um, Candy Cane Dash.

Continued in next post

Last edited by danimaroo; 12-27-2012 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:39 PM   #78
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My Mom is in love with the Stitch pillow pet, so it's currently sitting under our tree for her gift!


I also have issues with blisters...on the bottom of my feet. It's the worst! I have to rotate shoes when we're at the parks and I have two pairs of flip flops that don't give me blisters. I don't know what I'm going to do when it's cold at the parks!

When we moved into our house, my parents got us one of those heaters for our patio as a house warming gift. My parents are borderline ridiculous, so it's a funny gift. But I'm sure as we become more and more Floridian, we'll love it!
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:57 PM   #79
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The Finding Nemo sub/thing/area looks cool!

I NEED a Disney pillow pet. Ack, they're all so cute! Love the Stitch one.

I've never had Earl of Sandwich before but man, even your 'super lame phone' picture makes it look good! Yum yum.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:36 PM   #80
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What lens did you use for most of your photos? A 50?

I sympathize with your feet. I am about your size and while I'm fairly active, I can't say I walk 10 miles a day like we did at DLR. I brought my New Balance walking shoes (I do my 5K walks in them) and TOMS. I switched back and forth. My ankles hurt horribly in the NBs and my arches/bottoms of my feet killed me in the TOMS. I couldn't win. DH wore Chucks every day. I would get home and fill up bags of ice and wrap my feet with them both during our mid-day breaks and at night when we would get home.

Maybe when I lose 100lbs...
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:16 AM   #81
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Yay! Glad to see more chapters! Can't wait to keep reading
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:55 PM   #82
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You are totally making me want to go to Disneyland! I've been there but not since 09.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:14 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onelilspark View Post
My Mom is in love with the Stitch pillow pet, so it's currently sitting under our tree for her gift!


I also have issues with blisters...on the bottom of my feet. It's the worst! I have to rotate shoes when we're at the parks and I have two pairs of flip flops that don't give me blisters. I don't know what I'm going to do when it's cold at the parks!

When we moved into our house, my parents got us one of those heaters for our patio as a house warming gift. My parents are borderline ridiculous, so it's a funny gift. But I'm sure as we become more and more Floridian, we'll love it!
Oh I hope your Mom loved it! It's so darn cute, Matt uses it sometimes when we're watching TV in bed.

Ugh, blisters are my worst enemy. Matt thinks I have weird feet or something because he rarely gets them in Disney! I bought new New Balance sneakers which seems like they'll be good for the parks, and then hopefully I'll find a good pair of either Tevas or something else for when I want to wear something that can handle water.

Haha, I could see that heater being really nice for when it's cold out but you want to sit outside! I just wasn't a fan of it when it was so humid outside.


Quote:
Originally Posted by marDgreen88 View Post
The Finding Nemo sub/thing/area looks cool!

I NEED a Disney pillow pet. Ack, they're all so cute! Love the Stitch one.

I've never had Earl of Sandwich before but man, even your 'super lame phone' picture makes it look good! Yum yum.
It was a really neat area!!

Yeah, I have Eeyore and I really love him. They're super soft and comfortable. It's hard to not want to buy another one, hahaha.

You need to eat at EoS at some point! It's just so good. I'm sure we'll go there at least once during our next trip!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DharmaLou View Post
What lens did you use for most of your photos? A 50?

I sympathize with your feet. I am about your size and while I'm fairly active, I can't say I walk 10 miles a day like we did at DLR. I brought my New Balance walking shoes (I do my 5K walks in them) and TOMS. I switched back and forth. My ankles hurt horribly in the NBs and my arches/bottoms of my feet killed me in the TOMS. I couldn't win. DH wore Chucks every day. I would get home and fill up bags of ice and wrap my feet with them both during our mid-day breaks and at night when we would get home.

Maybe when I lose 100lbs...
I actually was using my 35mm f/1.8! However, on my camera, I have the whole 1.5x magnifying thing happening, so it's more like a 50mm, which is kind of a bummer for shots where I want to get more of the scenery in. My only "wider" lens is my kit lens, which isn't anything amazing. I do love my 35mm though for everything else. It's SUCH a great lens.

OMG I totally hear you! I actually just bought a brand new pair of New Balance sneakers for our trip, and I'm starting to break them in. I own 3 pairs of TOMs but could never wear them all day in Disney! I know the bottoms of my feet would hurt like crazy, plus my feet always get hot in them so I'm fairly certain I'd develop terrible blisters... kind of like I did in NYC when I got lost trying to find our office and I was wearing TOMs. I'm thinking about trying on Tevas so I have something that I can walk around in but that's breathable.

I'm sure if I lost weight my feet wouldn't get so sore, so I just need to continue the weight loss! I do know because of all my ankle sprains from playing basketball and softball, that my feet are pretty much forever messed up, but I'm sure it'd help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneytheKid View Post
Yay! Glad to see more chapters! Can't wait to keep reading
I'm glad!! I'm planning on having longer updates because I REALLY want to have this TR done before we leave for Disney World in 3 weeks! Buuuut we'll see, that's kind of an ambitious goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dara00 View Post
You are totally making me want to go to Disneyland! I've been there but not since 09.
Oh you should so go back! I just really loved it! I can't wait to go again!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:13 PM   #84
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Chapter Nine: “Oh my God, are they really RUNNING?!”
Day 2: November 30th, 2012


I woke up to Matt’s alarm going off at 7am, and I’m not going to lie… while I was excited for another day in the parks, I had a really hard time getting myself out of bed! I think the exhaustion from the previous day had settled in, but as soon as I recognized where I was, I got up and got going pretty quickly!

I ate my leftover bread pudding, after warming it up a little in the microwave. It was pretty mediocre, but at least it was something to eat! I put on my sneakers and they were still a little damp, but the blow dryer definitely helped!

We were out of our room by 7:25, and headed over to the Main Gate of Disneyland. We arrived at around 7:35ish, to some lines but nothing too awful!





In Disneyland, they don’t open the gates until around maybe 5-10 minutes before park opening, and there is no opening show like Magic Kingdom.

Our plan was to head over to the Candy Palace so we could get in line for the infamous Candy Canes. Jen, AKA Nermel9, had tweeted to me about these amazing candy canes that they make in the park, and they were featured on Food Network, etc. They make them fresh in like 3 batches, but only make 120 per day, so it’s not super easy to get your hands on them.

After her heads up, I read up about them on the Disney Food Blog and thought it’d be awesome to get a couple! The other thing I read about them, though, was that people would literally RUN DOWN MAIN STREET to get in line for them.

Um, RUN? That must be a joke. Who the heck runs for candy canes?

Anyway, as soon as the gates opened, I saw about 3-4 middle-aged women get through the gates and yes, they RAN. I knew they were running for the candy canes. Hahahaha… Matt and I looked one another and were kind of bewildered because we had no clue that people really were going to RUN for them.

We chose the non-running path and just walked briskly. There really was no reason to run; we got into line and were probably around 30 people back.







We stood in line and found out that they way they do it is they give out wristbands that tell you what batch number you are and when you can come back to get them. If you don’t come back before 4, they will sell yours to someone else.

We waited for a little while, and I decided to just take photos while we stood around.





We weren’t too worried about it, and finally the line began to move as they gave out wristbands. We ended up being part of the first batch, so we were told we could come back after 9:30.





I was a little worried as tons of people went past us while we’d been waiting in line for our candy canes. But honestly as we started to walk past Main Street towards Tomorrowland, we weren’t too worried about crowds at that point.





We decided our first thing to do was either ride Space Mountain or just grab some Fast Passes. With the wait being a whopping 10 minutes, we actually decided to go with FPs so we could go on a few other rides before they got crowded.





We headed out of Tomorrowland, and clearly the crowds were just INSANE.



Matt had expressed interest in going on the Matterhorn, and after I’d read up on the new sleds, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on it because I’d heard of people saying they were extremely uncomfortable.





We walked over anyway and I told Matt I was more than happy to let him go on, while I took some photos and held onto our backpack. So off Matt went! It was kind of weird to not be going on a ride with him, just because I don’t think I’d EVER gone on anything by myself before on our trips!





Off he went, and I waited for his bobsled to come around the corner…







As you can see, the bobsleds are definitely cramped, but Matt had a smile on his face so I was guessing it wasn’t too awful.

He got off and told me I HAD to ride it, that he’d hold onto our backpack and take photos while I went on. Considering it’s a Disneyland classic, I decided to just go for it. If he is 6’5 and can ride it, I can ride it at 5’9!

Oh mind, you there was literally no wait for either of us. As you’ll see in the photos below, the same family that rode with Matt rode in front of me. No one was in the area to ride it!





Anyway, while the bobsled is definitely not roomy for your legs, it’s really not bad at all. It is VERY similar to Space Mountain Disney World in terms of the way you are seated, so maybe because I was used to that, this totally didn’t bother me much.

If you’re like me and you’re not tiny, I suggest pulling the seatbelt out before you actually sit down so you have a much easier time buckling it in.

Funny enough, I went on the opposite track than Matt had just gone on, and it was actually pretty fun! Well I mean, I just thought it was really neat to see something that had so much history, you know?

I think Matt’s description of the ride was best: “It’s like a somewhat cheesy 60s pre-cursor to a lot of Disney Imagineering, especially Expedition Everest.”

That being said, it’s definitely a must-do if you go to Disneyland, but I also wouldn’t say it’s something you have to ride repeatedly, either.

We both were very happy we got to ride it during our trip, new bobsleds and all! I’ve heard one side is smoother than the other, and I believe it’s the Tomorrowland side. It’s definitely jerky but I wouldn’t say it’s any jerkier than Space Mountain Disney World!

(Keep reading below!)

Continued in next post

Last edited by danimaroo; 12-27-2012 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:14 PM   #85
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Chapter Ten: Okay dude, enough of the enthusiastic clapping&
Day 2: November 30th, 2012


After we left the Matterhorn, we decided to go on all of the classic Fantasyland rides that you cant find in Disney World.

Our first stop was Mr. Toads Wild Ride!



I have to be honest, this ride would have scared the bejesus out of me as a kid. I mean, seriously, its kind of like a little nightmare youd have as a kid!

That being said, I still really enjoyed it and loved seeing this ride, which was replaced in Disney World by Winnie the Pooh.

All of the classic dark rides are very close to each other, so we walked a short distance and hopped on Snow Whites Scary Adventure.



Id been on this in Disney World, and because it no longer exists there, we felt we had to go on it in Disneyland just because. I still think its terrifying when the Evil Queen turns around and her face changes, for real!



After SWSA, we hit up Pinocchio aaaand yup, again, pretty creepy for a little kid to go on. I think it was at that moment I realized how many classic Disney movies have some seriously crazy stuff going on in them that can really scare a little kid!







Im pretty sure we tried to go on Alice in Wonderland but it was closed, so we figured wed come back later to ride it.

We headed out of Fantasyland over towards Frontierland, and I made us stop near Big Thunder Ranch to get a photo near the sleigh! Unfortunately it was super wet so I was not hopping in that thing.



We noticed there was NO line at all for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We obviously decided to go on it, especially without a line!



It also dawned on both of us that we hadnt been on BTMRR in nearly 2 years because it was closed in Disney World last January!





We had a lot of fun on it, and opted to sit in our own cars because there was seriously no one on it and then I could take more photos/video.





Matt pointed out the turtles to me and I got very excited. I basically LOVE turtles!





Its fairly similar to WDWs version, but is in need of some TLC for sure! I believe they are closing it in January for a fairly long time, so Im glad we got to ride it with no line!

I do remember that on this ride, there was a man clapping his hands over and over again; evidently he was VERY excited to be riding for a second time in a row or something, hahaha. He seriously clapped the entire time we were on it, so I was kind of glad to be exiting the ride.

After we got off, we were both starving. That bread pudding wasnt really cutting it for me, and I think Matts Pop Tart hed eaten wasnt doing the job either, so we decided to look for some place to get food!

We spotted a few people sitting outside of the River Belle Terrace, so we decided to see what they had for food.

Matt went with a coffee and pancakes, bacon and eggs, and the bacon didnt actually look horrible!



I decided to go with chocolate milk and the infamous Mickey Mouse pancakes, which were actually pretty adorable. And yes, Im clearly 5 years old.



As we went to pay, the CM at the register complimented my Minnie headband/bow and asked where Id bought it, or if I made it. I told her I made it and she wanted to know how, hahaha. It made me happy that someone enjoyed my bow enough to want their very own!

We sat down and ate our food and it was actually pretty good! Well I mean, I was just happy to be eating actual food at this moment. Though I did feel slightly guilty to be eating the super cute Mickey pancake& but he was delicious.

After we finished eating, I looked at my watch to see that it was only 9:15. We had done a LOT in an hour and 15 minutes, seriously!

Next update, we do some exploring, experience Space Mountain for the first time, and meet a character Ive been looking forward to the most!

Continued in next post

Last edited by danimaroo; 01-01-2013 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:30 PM   #86
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I love your TR!! I want to see your Minnie ears. I made the bow on mine too. Can't wait for your next chapter.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:44 AM   #87
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You are an updating machine! Perfect for me, I like to just keep reading and reading! So will this new change about AP discounts effect (affect? sheesh.) you in 2013? I was thinking that the premium "golden ticket" would still get you your 20%, but I wasn't sure? I cannot believe how much you got done in and hour and 15 minutes! I was even perplexed when you ordered breakfast food after all that...I though it surely would have been lunchtime!!!
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:31 PM   #88
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It still cracks me up that people get so serious over candy canes over there! I bet they were so good though!

The Matterhorn! Oh man, how I wish I could ride this! It looks like SO much fun! It's such a classic, ahhhhh. I need to go to Disneyland, it's really not funny anymore.

You're so right, a lot of the classic Walt Disney films are pretty freakishly scary. I mean, the evil hag in Snow White alone gave me a nightmare once. You know the part where Snow White is like tending to her newly baked pie and suddenly she just APPEARS in the window? Scary stuff. And the whole Pinocchio Please Island turning bad little boys into donkeys thing? EEK!!! Haahah, I will never understand that, but still love it.

Hope you got a chance to ride Alice! Your pancakes look YUMMY!
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:15 PM   #89
PracPerfPatricia
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Your tr is making me desperately homesick to go back to DL...

So you got golden tickets for the infamous DL candycanes huh... I assume you will be showing photos later along...lol...? (I actually saw a Christmas at Disneyland Food Special Guy Fieri (he of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives) did and he showed them making those candy canes... people really do go wild for them ... so I'm curious to hear your review...

I happen to fall into the camp that likes the Matterhorn... probs more for the Dis history of it as much as the ride... how cool would it have been to see Alpine Climbers scaling that thing?

Love me some BTMRR... It was down in Florida when we went- we were there at the beginning of the month... (OMG... it feels like forever...)

Wow IASW... fabulous... really lovely...
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:35 PM   #90
Stringbean&Wingnut
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Hahaha the candy cane situation sounds INTENSE there!! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of that experience!

Awwwwwww Mr. Toad!!! I miss that ride SO much!!! (I know it's entirely random, but was the fortune teller there Madame Sara like it was in WDW? I would always like to point out that her name was spelled the same as mine! (Sans an h) )
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