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Old 05-14-2000, 09:49 PM   #1
Rajah
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VonDrake says goodbye to Disneyland, Sunday May 7th

Cast: Rajah (trip report writer, long time Disneyland fan), VonDrake (first trip to Disneyland), and "Tracy" (long time friend of Rajah's and "chauffer" for the trip)
Date: Trip: Vondrake: 5-5-00 through 5-7-00
Rajah: 5-5-00 through 5-12-00
This post: 5-7-00

After our long day yesterday, VonDrake wasn't ready to get up when I was. I really wanted to try again for the Fantasmic Dessert Buffet, even though VonDrake would be leaving that afternoon -- one of my other friends was joining me for the evening and I wanted to try again. So I got up and over to the park by 7:30 while VonDrake stayed to sleep in a little longer.

I was able to get tickets for the 10:30 Fantasmic and still got in line in time to watch the Disneyland Band (hopefully not an endangered species now that the WDW Magic Kingdom Band has been disbanded) open the gates at 8:30.

I joined up with VonDrake at Carnation Cafe and we checked over the menu, but didn't find anything we wanted to eat so we grabbed a chocolate-filled croissant at the Bakery next door and a couple of drinks before we hit the rope drop. That croissant was really good! I expected it to be too sweet, but it turned out to have just the right amount of chocolate to be good without being overly sweet.

We finished our breakfast just before the rope dropped, so we joined in the herd of people moving for Rocket Rods right away (since VonDrake refused to ride with the singles line). Does anyone know why they start queuing people up outside and making a line outside well before they start letting people in to the inside queue? That makes no sense to me...

We thought the queue was pretty cool, especially the circlevision room, but by the time we got on the ride we agreed it wasn't worth more than about a 15-20 minute wait. I even rode on the front seat so I could get some pictures -- they call those little bumps wheelies? While it was kinda neat, and I do think it's a ride worth going on once, I definitely wouldn't recommend waiting more than about 15 minutes for it, and certainly not the 75 I've seen people waiting.

Next we hit Space Mountain, which only had about a 10-15 minute wait. This has become one of our favorite rides in the park, unlike WDW's Space! It sure feels like it ends up going a LOT faster than just barely above 30 mph!! We enjoyed the light on the lift, too... ("Um... is that light going to move? Light? Um.. mooovee!") For just a coaster, Space is our favorite. But I still prefer Thunder Mountain's theming just a little. Unfortunately, the music wasn't working at all today. At least not on the times we rode.

After Space we tried Star Tours, which was a little better than the last time I went on it. The first time I went on Star Tours at Disneyland, it left me dizzy and nearly sick for almost an hour. So I was hesitant about going on it again, but VonDrake really wanted to and this was *his* part of the trip, so I agreed. I didn't come off quite as dizzy as I have in the past, but I also closed my eyes at key points so that I *wouldn't* get sick. I don't know why, but WDW's Star Tours leaves me just a little dizzy and I'm usually fine by the time we leave the shop after the ride, but Disneyland's Star Tours leaves me dizzy well after we've left the shop. And they're the *same thing*...go figure.

Once we got off Star Tours, it was time to hit the Blue Bayou for lunch reservations once more at VonDrake's request before we had to meet my friend Tracy. On our way over to New Orleans Square, we happened to glance up at the Matterhorn and low and behold, there are *people* climbing it! Perfect timing, as this was one of the remaining things VonDrake and I both wanted to see. So we watched the climbers for a few minutes before continuing on to the Blue Bayou.

Luckily, seating was still available with no trouble, so we headed over to the Haunted Mansion with reservations in hand. We were supposed to meet Tracy at 10:30 in front of the Mansion, but she's almost always late, so I sent VonDrake off to get a couple of Mint Juleps (YUM!!) while I waited for Tracy. So, naturally, since we were expecting her to be late she was on time. [img]/infopop/emoticons\icon_wink.gif[/img]

We just sat on the brick wall in front of the Cafe and Haunted Mansion while we finished our drinks, then we decided to go on the hunt for Club 33. I knew basically where it was, but had never found the door so we searched and searched, walked right past it, then I turned around and laughed as I finally saw it. I couldn't believe how many times I've walked past that thing and never noticed it! Especially since I knew basically where it was supposed to be.

After that we just hung around New Orleans Square for a few minutes watching the bands until it was time to check in for our 11:30 lunch ressies. This time, VonDrake had the prime rib and I tried the cajun chicken salad with a mint julep while Tracy had the Monte Cristo. I really liked that salad much better than I expected, and would get it again if I didn't want a Monte Cristo. And those Mint Juleps are really, really good!

After lunch, the last couple of hours were dictated by VonDrake (at my insistence): We headed over to Space and got three fastpasses there (after watching some of Mickey's Matterhorn Climb, another lucky timing and another thing we wanted to see), then came back to New Orleans Square and Frontierland for one more ride on Pirates and a trip over to Tom Sawyer Island. The last thing we were able to hit with VonDrake for the day was Space -- again, without the music. Then we had to return to the hotel and grab his stuff then take him to the airport (remember, I got to stay longer for a conference). Once his plane took off, (BTW, the "ASAP" pizzas at the Southwest gates are really, really good!!) Tracy and I returned to her house to meet her puppy then to the store to get me more contact solution since I didn't bring enough. By the time Tracy and I returned to the park, it was around 8pm, just in time to get a good spot for the fireworks -- between Coke Corner and the Photo shop again. After the fireworks, we rode Indy twice -- which was very nearly a walk on, I couldn't believe it! Then we watched some of how the dragon works in Fantasmic from over near the Haunted Mansion. It's really neat to see how Maleficent works during Fantasmic, if you're into the behind-the-scenes kinds of things like I am.

For the remainder of the first showing of Fantasmic, we rode the Haunted Mansion, then checked on Splash. The wait was too long and Fastpasses were out for the day (I didn't mind, it was too cold to get wet anyway), so we went over to Thunder Mountain instead. I was at first a little mad at the CM who told us that no we couldn't wait for a spot near the back, even waiting a train or two. But then I saw that there were at least two groups waiting on the other side (handicapped/ front-of-the-line-pass entrance) for those same cars, and we would have had to wait 3 or 4 trains so I wasn't quite so miffed. Even though I would have willingly waited 4 more trains to ride in the back. Oh well, I got to ride several other times this trip, so no real loss. Then we checked in at the buffet and got two seats right on the edge and right up front.

I don't know if they've changed the buffet or if it's just my memory, but I don't know that I'd pay for it again unless I was with someone who really wanted to do it. I seem to recall a much greater selection of desserts on the buffet last year, and the seats weren't as tightly packed as they were this time. I'm pretty sure they've cut down on the selection and squeezed in four more seats. Last year at this time, I was able to fit a video camera on a tripod in front of me to record Fantasmic. This time, even if we had been sitting in the same place my mom and I sat last year, there wouldn't've been any room. And while the desserts were really good, there were only 3 or 4 selections, and I remember several other choices available last year. But I suspect they ended up having too many leftovers so they cut down on the selection. So, next time I'll probly just go for a spot at the bridge.

After Fantasmic (one good thing about sitting where we were -- I was able to get some pictures that I hope turn out), we hurried over to the Rocket Rods so Tracy could ride them. The wait was 30 minutes, but I wanted to sit up front so I could get some pictures of Tomorrowland at night (even if they do end up as nothing but neon abstractions) so we waited the 30 minutes. Then it was over to Jungle Cruise for the last boat of the day. We *almost* had a boat all to ourselves, but they waited for another two passengers before we took off. We had a pair of guides this time that weren't as good as Jungle Dave. They were both fun, but not as good. I got the feeling that one of them was being trained on the ride, and keeping that in mind she did a good job.

After our cruise, we did some shopping and I picked up a crystal hummingbird for my mom for Mother's Day, then we returned to the hotel. Let me tell you, I was glad to have Tracy to walk with -- even with the two of us together, I wasn't too comfortable walking down Harbor just the two of us at 12:30 am. We made it back with no problem, I was just glad I was moving over to the Disneyland Hotel for the rest of the week.


-Rajah
cdrtrisal@aol.com
Rajah and VonDrake's Honeymoon
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Old 05-16-2000, 02:52 PM   #2
Mary Jo
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Re: VonDrake says goodbye to Disneyland, Sunday May 7th

<font color=navy>Rajah,
I'm really enjoying your trip report. You're giving me some insights I hadn't considered before - & I like the idea of seeing Fantasmic from the HM side & see the behind the scenes effects.</font>

<font color=blue>Mary Jo</font>
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Old 05-16-2000, 03:52 PM   #3
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Re:THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR POSTS

WOW IT'S SO NICE TO HEAR FROM OTHER PEOPLE IN THE WORLD THAT LOVE DISNEYLAND AS MUCH AS WE DO. WE GO EVERY TWO YEARS AND REALLY MISS OUR OFF YEAR. I GUESS IT GIVES US LOT'S OF TIME TO PLAN AND SAVE MONEY FOR OUR TRIP THOUGH. OUR FAVORITE PLACE TO STAY AT IS THE HOWARD JOHNSON. THEY HAVE TWO VERY NICE SIZED POOLS AND BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPING. THE FIRST TWO TIMES WE WENT WE STAYED AT THE PAVILLIONS BUT DECIDED IT WAS TO FAR AWAY AND WANTED TO STAY AT A NICER HOTEL WITH A LAUNDEY FACILITY. LAST YEAR WE STARTED AT THE PARK INN INTERNATIONAL, THE ROOM WAS DIRTY, THE POOL WAS TOO SMALL, DEPTH AND WIDTH AND I HAD SOME CLOTHES STOLEN FROM THE LAUNDEY ROOM. MY HUSBAND RAN UP TO CHEAK ON US AT THE POOL AND WHEN WE GOT BACK TO THE ROOM AND I WAS LOOKING FOR MY FAVORITE NEW SHORTS AND UNDER CLOTHES, THEY WERE GONE AND SO WERE SOME OF MY HUSBANDS CLOTHES.THIS WAS MY LAST STRAW AND THEN WE MOVED OVER TO THE HOJO. WE WILL BE STAYING THERE FROM NOW ON. THE DISNEY COMPANY JUST MOVED US OVER WITH NO PROBLEMS SINCE WE HAD A DISNEY PACKAGE VACATION. I JUST WANTED TO SAY THIS IS A WONDERFUL SITE AND THANK YOU TO WHO EVER IT WAS THAT STARTED IT.
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Old 02-26-2001, 05:48 PM   #4
Marla Hellwig
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A fun filled Disney day for all. Thanks for posting!
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