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Old 08-13-2008, 10:21 PM   #1
Sleepless Knight
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The Mouse, The Princess, and 42: Finally Updated 10-8-07!!

Hi everybody! Hi Doctor Nick! Oh wait, wrong cartoon. Let's try that again.

Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? Okay, we got it right the second time around. Fellow mouseketeers the time has come to once again attempt to relive my adventures and experiences in the Happiest Place on Earth. As always, we start off this trip report with a prologue. Everybody neat and pretty? Then, on with the show.

Prologue: As many of you know from my last trip report, I'm an accountant, which means that the first 4 months of the year are our busiest season. On account of the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the Walt Disney Studios, this tax season was especially busy on account of the just under 60 hours weeks I was putting in at the office to help make up for my trip to Disneyland.

In the more stressful and insane moments of tax season, I would always find some refuge through realizing that when this tax season was all said and done with I would be able to do my now annual post tax season visit to Disneyland. So this trip, while planned even before I made my last visit, had its' official beginnings in late March in my friend Cindy's store. On this day Cindy was having a Pixar event featuring Pixar story artists who had worked on many Pixar classics. And of course since many of us at the store are like family anyways, we started reminiscing about how fun our last trip was. And with that we hatched an idea. What if we planned our visits to Disneyland for the same time? And so it begins.

Further planning would come in May when we got together for another event at Cindy's store, this one featuring Margaret Kerry, the concept model for Tinker Bell. Let me tell you something about Ms. Kerry. This woman is, in short, Tink. She has the same bright blue eyes, the same spunk, and has very strong opinions. She's a lot of fun to meet(and I'm not a Tink fan). This day also happened to be her birthday so I can say that I actually celebrated Tinker Bell's birthday with Tinker Bell. With that it's time for another random Disney trivia note. Given that most people figured that Walt Disney was off his rocker(shows what they know), part of the conditions on getting the loan to build Disneyland meant that core Disney characters such as Mickey could not be used to promote the park because they did not want those characters to be “stained” by the “failure” of Disneyland. So Walt decided to use Tinker Bell to promote the park and of course, Tinker Bell ended up becoming a mega star with the success of Disneyland. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, on this day we decided to firmly set travel dates of the first week in June. So, with travel dates set and everything, all craziness and insanity broke loose in my life just days later. My life decided that early June was too far away to go on a roller coaster so instead of the controlled Disney variety, I got to ride the emotional variety. Within days of booking the hotel, the emotional chaos hit. It was in the words of Charles Dickens, the best of times and the worst of times. The age of hope and the age of despair. This trip went from set in stone to very up in the air. In fact, I was still wrestling with whether or not this was the best time to go until minutes before the hotel cancellation deadline of 48 hours before check in time.

I guess you could say that the next day was when I hit bottom. The emotional roller coaster delivered it's final punch and it was, in some ways a tough and brutal day as some hopes and dreams were dashed. I did have one consolation though. I was leaving for Disneyland in the morning and perhaps there I could find relief from the insanity that my life had become.

Now, with the prologue concluded, it's time to introduce you to the cast.

Yep, that's me. Mild mannered accountant by day, Star Wars, Disney, and MST3K geek by knight, Jedi Knight that is, searching for his Jedi Princess. Said search currently contains lots of thorns and a dragon.

You may remember Stitch from the last TR, when we had diabolical and completely silly plans to add the actual Sleeping Beauty statue from behind the castle to my collection.

And now we present a stream of thought moment in this TR. My iTunes is currently on a random playlist of Disney music and it's playing Sing, sweet nightingale from Cinderella. Let me tell you, those stepsisters sound awful. It's painful to hear. Hopefully the next song will feature the girl of whom it said, “the nightingale's her troubadour, bringing his sweet serenade to her door.” Her voice is far more pleasant to listen to.

Now returning to your regularly scheduled TR. And so at 7:00pm on the rock bottom day, I decide to go to bed. On the advice of my brother I'm going to try leaving at 4:00am to avoid L. A. traffic altogether and make it to the parks nice and early. And of course, this proves to be challenging. Why? Because on occasion I have battles with insomnia. (In fact at WDW, I asked a certain princess famed for sleep if she had any advice for an insomniac). Given my challenges getting to bed before midnight, it gets much worse when you try to do it before 8:00pm. Well at about 10:00pm or so I finally succeeded in falling asleep, where I slept quite well until 4:30 in the morning, or half an hour later than I had planned to leave. It probably worked out for the best that I set my alarm for 4:00am instead of 3:00am, so after a quick shower and a shave, I threw the final items in my car and began the journey with the rousing strains from the Pirates of the Carribean movies to help keep me awake.

And roughly 5 and a half hours later, I reached my destination. That's right I had arrived at the Anaheim's Best Value Inn and Suites Astoria! I figured I should check in before heading to Disneyland so I wouldn't have to worry about it at the end of the day. What can I say about this hotel? Well, it's very close to Disneyland and was really cheap, so I liked. In short, when I visit Disneyland, I want a clean room and a roof over my head since otherwise I live in the parks.

With my stuff in the room, I hop back in the car and make the long two minute or so journey to Disneyland. So I give Stitch a call and he informs me that Disneyland has been invaded by loads and loads of schoolchildren of a field trip so we decide to visit what will soon be known as Disney's Construction Adventure. After meeting up in the esplanade, we head on into the park, which is not crowded. Seeing as how I missed the Tower of Terror on my last visit we decide to head over there first. Then on our way over to Monsters, Inc. I notice a crowd of people lined up across the street from the Hyperion. And at this moment, the despair and frustration of the past few weeks, especially the last couple of days, begins to wash away. For there stands the symbol of my hopes and dreams. When dark times come, I find comfort in her story. I want to be the valiant prince who conquers evil.

So, having an idea of what the story means to me, Stitch humors me by standing in line with me so I can meet Princess Aurora. Aside from Stitch I'm probably the only single male over the age of 6 or so in line. And then Aurora announces that she can only see 3 more families before she has to take a nap. And I am nowhere near the front of line. In the immortal (if unpopular) words of Darth Vader, “Noooooooooooooooo!”(of course my brain did this silently as I would have looked incredibly ridiculous and probably freaked more than a few people, including myself and Stitch out). As she leaves to take her nap, I ask when she'll be back. As a side note here, I love how Sleeping Beauty refers to her breaks as naps. What a great Disney touch. She says she'll be back in about an hour, so it's not too bad. It just means that we have to kill an hour or so in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot which is easy enough to do,, so we head over and enjoy Monsters, Inc., check out some of the activities in the Animation building. With that we decide that it's time to eat lunch, so it's off to Award Wieners. While Stitch grabs lunch, I save us some seats across from the Off the Page, where I have another “how lucky am I?” Disney geek moment. Since Off the Page is a Disney art/animation store, they obviously display Disney art in the windows, but this isn't just artwork available for purchase inside the store. They also have large reproductions of concept art and sketches from Disney classics. And that's when my moment happens. In the window, is a very large replica of a model sheet from none other than Sleeping Beauty. But what makes this special is that I happen to have an actual photocopy of the model sheet given to me by a friend of mine who actually worked on Sleeping Beauty's Princess Aurora unit under Marc Davis. So I enjoy another Syndrome like moment as I “totally geek out” over this.

Well, after a nice lunch at Award Wieners, we head over to Muppet Vision 3-D and take appropriate time to find all the great hidden gags in the queue. Combine muppet puns and Disney's obsession with theming and you have a fun combination. Upon leaving Muppet Vision, I look over and see a small crowd gathered in the area and there she is. Once again, Stitch humors me as I stand in line to meet Princess Aurora. As I wait my turn, a great cast member in character moment happens. A family near the front of the line doesn't quite realize that their turn is next, so while assorted people and cast members explain to the family that their turn is next, Princess Aurora takes hold of her dress just like she does in the movie and begins to dance in place to Zip a dee doo dah as it plays over the speakers. This is perhaps one of my favorite things about meeting characters as an adult because I recognize just how in character the cast member is.

As my turn comes I think about what to say, but can't really come up with anything. It seems like my mind goes all Ralph Wiggum or something, but I can't really ask Princess Aurora “so. . . do . . . you, like. . . stuff?” In the end I go with the tried and true. When my turn comes, I give her a princely bow and she responds with her movie perfect princess curtsy(watch the scene where Aurora sees her parents for the first time). We exchange pleasantries and she asks me to stand like Prince Phillip, which I do(though I'm missing a sword since Disney won't let me carry one around the park). At which moment disaster strikes.

Or rather it would have if not for PhotoPass. As you may remember from my previous report, I don't trust my camera. It has this tendency to wipe out the batteries at the worst time possible on me. And so, since it decided to behave itself at the Walt Disney Studios, it now decides to wipe out the battery when I'm meeting Princess Aurora. Somehow, I'm not totally surprised by this, but I made sure that a PhotoPass photographer was there, so he's been taking pictures all along and I'm safe. Princess Aurora realizes what has happened and she observes that my camera is sleeping. My time concluded, I thank her for her time, she thanks me and I leave to let the next family have their turn.

Maybe I should have told the photographer that I was going to bow


I love this border


When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true


Chances are pretty good that the CM portraying Aurora has no clue about what Disney's version of Sleeping Beauty means to me. Sometimes I have a hard enough time explaining to others what the film means to me. Sometimes I feel a bit out of place as one of the few single adult men standing in line to meet Princess Aurora, but every time each Aurora has been very sweet and kind to me, giving me as much time and attention as she did the little children right before and after me. And on this day after all the chaos in my life the past few weeks, this Aurora has no idea how much it meant to me to get a picture with her. So in addition to commending her to Disneyland about her work, I'm saying it here. In the offhand chance that anyone reading this may know this CM, if you could pass on my thanks to her, I'd appreciate it.

And so Stitch and I continued our wanderings through the park. We enjoyed the short lines at California Screamin' and commented on how much better that area looks with Toy Story Midway Mania opening(seeing as how this trip happened the first week of June, the attraction was not open yet). We catch the single rider line for Soarin' and as luck would have it, we end up on the front row. The old Disney magic is really flowing today. Stitch has to meet up with his family for dinner, so I'm going to enjoy the Pixar Play Parade.

Well, I'd like to give you a better review of the Pixar Play Parade, but I can't. Remember, my camera is still sleeping. I'm beginning to think the thing is a teenager. It eats batteries like a starving teenage boy(and I was always hungry at that age) and sleeps like one too. Suffice it say, I quite enjoyed this parade. I thought the float detail was outstanding and I loved the unique way that each float sought to capture the Pixar movie in question with specific props to Jack Jack sitting on top the omnidroid with flames coming out of his head.

With that I decide to leave DCA and head over to Disneyland figuring that the schoolchildren have gone home now and the park will be much quieter. So I just wander around Main Street for a few minutes before deciding to get some dinner at Rancho del Zocale. This is perhaps my favorite quick service place in Disneyland. I love the generous portion sizes and the Mexican food is quite good. Plus, free refills on drinks is a huge selling point for me. As I'm finishing up with dinner, Stitch calls me and we meet up again, to head off to more rides, including Splash Mountain where we avoid the front row(and the certain drenching therein). We also endure the phenomenon of some teenagers screaming bloody murder in the Haunted Mansion. I know this is a controversial topic here on the boards. No one is saying that you can't have fun, but there really is no need for a blood curdling scream on the Haunted Mansion. Save that for something truly scary. By the end of the day, we got real good about spotting “screamers” in line and timing our getting in line to miss their “antics.” We also take in Matterhorn at night, which Stitch has never done before.

Well, on this night Disneyland closes at 11:00pm, but for whatever reason there will be no fireworks show this night, which means that ToonTown is open until the park closes. So, Stitch and I decide to head over and see if the line for Roger Rabbit is doable. Turns out that it is, as in we're able to walk right on to the attraction. There are only a handful of people who even realize that ToonTown is open. After Roger Rabbit, we decide to wander through Mickey's house since it's just fun to do so. And Mickey's house is virtually empty. This is so much fun. With Mickey's house empty, we take time to enjoy things like a photo of Mickey and Walt on the mantle, and all sorts of great references to classic Disney cartoons. Realizing how empty ToonTown is, we check out the line to go meet Mickey and it's as empty as the rest of the place. I kid you not, the only time it takes us before we meet Mickey is the time it takes us to wander through the empty queue.

At this point, I'm now officially beside myself. I got to see Princess Aurora without having to even consider the gamble known as the Princess Fantasy Faire. See, here are my thoughts on the PFF. If you just want to see princesses and/or admirable female heroines who were not born into nor married into royalty, the PFF is probably great for you. But if you really only want to see a certain princess, then the PFF is bad news. So, now after getting to see Princess Aurora, I get to see my other favorite Disney character with no wait. And fortunately there is a PhotoPass photographer there, so another memory is saved because of PhotoPass. While I know that Disney would like you to not even take your camera into the parks and just use their service, that's not realistic. But on a day like today, I really love this service. Because of it, I have pictures to go along with the memories of seeing my favorite two Disney characters.

Hey, Pluto's trying to sneak into the picture


You know sometimes I think the Mouse is my oldest friend on the earth. I mean I've known Mickey since I first slept in my nursery.


Having met the big cheese, Stitch and I innocently decide to head over to Gadget's Go-Coaster. Like the rest of ToonTown tonight, it's empty, so we go on the ride. This is really a fun little roller coaster, even if it's super short. But if there's a small wait, I easily say it's worth going on. And after the ride, we decide to hop right back in line and go again and again and again and again. There's no line, and we're having fun. After a brief break to climb through Chip and Dale's nuthouse, we head back to Gadget's Go-Coaster and ride it again and again and again and again. Something must have made us nuts, but we continued to do this. After a while the cast members recognized us, so they just told us to stay in the coaster when one ride cycle ended. We closed our eyes and pretended we were on Space Mountain. We attempted to sing Pirates of the Carribean, but forgot the words(I guess we're not true Disney nerds yet). Pretty soon, the CM said welcome back, and for some of you, welcome back for the 23rd time. Periodically we would switch up cars on the coaster, riding in the front, the back, and the middle of the ride. On occasion we would get out of the cars and walk through the line just to give our legs a chance to move. And so it continued, with the cast members laughing along with us (and probably at us) on account of our craziness. And so the night continued until at precisely 11:00pm, our wild ride came to an end and we had successfully ridden Gadget's Go-Coaster 42 times in one night. The cast members told us we must have set some sort of record. I'm not really sure what we set a record of, but it was plain, old-fashioned, silly fun.

You're probably asking yourself why we opted to ride Gadget's Go-Coaster 42 times in one night. Well, I am too. In the end, I suppose the ultimate answer comes down to one thing. Because it was there and because we could. It was insanely, and I emphasize the insane part, fun.

And if Stitch so desires, he can give you his version of the story. Tune in next time for tomorrow's adventures, where my camera decides to behave again.

Last edited by Sleepless Knight; 10-09-2008 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:46 PM   #2
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Well, my, my, Sleepless Knight, what a wonderful first day of a TR. Love all the detailed thoughts you provide and the pix. I cannot believe you rode Gadgets 42 times, holy moly! It is a fun little coaster, but 42 times! The border you love with Aurora was not available when I purchased the Photo Pass in April. I really like it, too, and you and the princess look very cute.

Looking forward to more.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:34 AM   #3
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I still really can't quite believe that I rode it 42 times either. It was just one of those crazy things that happens sometimes. Since it had no line, it became easy to keep doing it. As a random note, if you close your eyes, it sort of feels like Space Mountain since you don't know where you're going.

As it turns out, I just missed the duel with Darth Vader photopass pic on my visit, so I know how it feels to just miss something with PhotoPass. I will make up for that on my next visit at the end of this month though. I'm hoping to finish this TR up before that one so I can jump right into writing it when I return.

And thank you for your kind words about the pics and my writing. Sometimes I get burned out on writing, so compliments help motivate me to keep going. While I hope that somewhere in the midst of the details I offer something useful, at the very least I hope to entertain.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:54 AM   #4
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Fun trip report! Great pictures too. I imagine that once you started riding Gadget's Go-Coaster it became a challenge to see just how many times you could get in before closing time. Going to be hard to top your record!

Glad to hear that your camera lives! Now bring on the rest of the report!
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:01 PM   #5
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Photopass is so cool. I can't wait to try it on our trip. My 6-yr old can't wait to meet the princesses. Thanks for the report!
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:20 PM   #6
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Riding the gocoaster 42 times is indeed one of those things where you end up wanting to figure out how many times you can go on it. It's also possible to ride it 42 times in a row more or less without losing your bearings. I suspect that Space Mountain would begin to disorient me after 5 times if it takes that long.

And PhotoPass is a wonderful service. Because of the incident with my camera on the first day, I made sure to take lots and lots of PhotoPass pictures so I could "justify" buying the whole CD. After all, I had to be able to print the pictures of me with Mickey and Aurora. Be sure to check out all the "fun" pictures that you can take with it such standing with the ghosts on Haunted Mansion, fighting Captain Hook, sitting with Mickey, and my personal favorite, dueling with Darth Vader(which they told me about on this visit, but I just missed. I had been home two days when I started seeing pictures of the photo from Disneyland. Good thing I have an annual pass so I can get the picture on this next visit.

I hope your son has fun with the princesses. My brother was 8 in 1994 when he met Cinderella and ran away from her at WDW because he didn't want to be kissed. Priceless stuff. When we went back in 2006, he was more than willing to wait in line with me to meet Aurora. (Well, we met others too, but only because Aurora was there).
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:11 PM   #7
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Now I'm kicking myself for not using the Photo Pass photogs when I was there last month. It was just my daughter and myself so it's pretty much a pictoral account of her time at Disneyland. Which is awesome but I'd love to have had some quality pictures of the two of us. I suppose I shall just have to go back!

So I'm liking that you go to Disneyland so often. That way there are lots of stories to read when I take my little breaks at work.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you have something to look forward to at work. A nice thing about PhotoPass is that when you don't have someone to take a picture, the PhotoPass photographer is always available to take the picture for you.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:00 PM   #9
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I was wondering what the 42 was going to be. My Mom & I rode the Go Coaster 2x in a row in our night time visit to Toon Town back in 2001. It was fun just to be able to stay on & not get off, but 2x was enough. Sounds fun though.

Ohhhhhhh hearing you talk about Pixar stuff reminds me to ask are you going to write anything up about your visit to their studios?

Once again envious of all the cool Disney people you have met!!!! How cool that you met Tink.
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Old 08-31-2008, 03:27 PM   #10
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Riding Gadget's Go Coaster 42 times in a row is pretty much my best Disneyland memory ever. It still packs a punch.

This past trip to Disneyland beats every trip I've gotten to go on, and will be put in the record books as such.
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:09 PM   #11
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Awesome TR so far. Thanks for sharing!! I definietly need to find out more details about the PhotoPass. It sounds great and I want to take advantage of it when we go (less than two weeks to go, woohoo!)

Oh, and thanks for the review of the Pixar Parade even though it might not seem like much. Just reading that makes me want to see it when I wasn't really interested before.

Looking forward to reading more!

P.S. I used to work as an accountant at a CPA firm, so I totally get the tax season thing.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyLove View Post
Awesome TR so far. Thanks for sharing!! I definietly need to find out more details about the PhotoPass. It sounds great and I want to take advantage of it when we go (less than two weeks to go, woohoo!)

Oh, and thanks for the review of the Pixar Parade even though it might not seem like much. Just reading that makes me want to see it when I wasn't really interested before.

Looking forward to reading more!

P.S. I used to work as an accountant at a CPA firm, so I totally get the tax season thing.
Trust me, PPP is by far one of the best parades Disney has done, on par with Parade of Dreams and beating Block Party. You shouldn't miss it.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:34 PM   #13
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Seeing as how I've been away from the boards on account of being in Disneyland I have lots of questions to answer and comment on, so here goes.

I'm undecided on a Pixar report at this time. Depends on if there's enough interest and if I can finish up this report in a short period of time. Of course now I have a whole new DLR report to write and plan for another one, so that's the way things go.

The Pixar parade is a lot of fun. I recommend seeing it, especially if you love the Pixar films. To be honest, I enjoyed the Play Parade a lot more than I did Block Party Bash. I liked BPB, but not enough to see it more than once. I've now seen the Pixar parade twice and once I get around to the lastest TR, there will be photos.

stitchon, I couldn't bring myself to go over to ToonTown this past weekend. It just didn't seem right to ride Gadget's Go Coaster by myself.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Sleepless Knight View Post
stitchon, I couldn't bring myself to go over to ToonTown this past weekend. It just didn't seem right to ride Gadget's Go Coaster by myself.
Heh, I think it's more about potential embarrassment than not having me by your side.

Hope you are having fun!
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Old 09-13-2008, 01:10 AM   #15
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Chapter 2: A Morning Misadventure and How I Inadvertently Became a Cast Member

Well, life often has a way of interfering with my attempts to write trip reports. Sorry for the very long delay in this one, but with no further ado, I present the latest installment of the report.

After a good night's sleep I awoke quite refreshed and prepared to face another day. I even remebered to charge my camera batteries in the hopes that it would behave today. Due to grad night this evening Disneyland was closing at 9:00pm, so I wanted to take advantage of every hour the park was open. And so everything went swimmingly. I got to the Mickey and Friends lot, pulled my AP out of my lanyard pouch, placed it on the seat of my car(remember that), parked the car and walked right out to the tram. I was making great time and should be in the park close to opening, or so I thought. As I stood in line to walk through security I noticed some other guests park tickets and made a horrifying discovery. My AP was not in my lanyard pouch. And instantly I remembered what had happened.

Upon getting my AP back along with my parking pass, I placed the AP on the floor since I was in such a hurry. And of course I left it there. So I got out of line, made the short walk back to the tram and had the entire tram to myself as I headed back to the parking structure where of course I found my AP. AP in tow, this time I made it to Disneyland with no further ado and only about 15 minutes after rope drop. This is something worth keeping in mind. We read time and time again about the merits of being at Disneyland early, early, early because that is prime touring time to hit the most popular attractions. This counsel still holds true. However, it's not the end of the world if you're a few minutes late. As I did this morning you will still be able to get a lot done if you want to.

So I head over to Space Mountain, pay my respects to my favorite droids in the galaxy and help take out Emperor Zurg, who is so much like Darth Vader that it's awesome. He's got the robotic voice, imposing visage, and dark flowing cape. Not to mention that whole conquering the galaxy obsession. And of course after Buzz Lightyear I walk through the gift shop and it happens. I see pins, lots and lots of pins.

Yep, I'm one of those pin collecting people. Not really a trader though. I've made a few trades here and there with cast members, but by and large(it's your superstore, all you need and so much more, happiness is what we sell, that's why everyone loves BnL) I just collect them. See at this point I only have two pins on my lanyard, an M Magazine (The Magazine of Mice and Men) giving you advice on what to do so that she'll love you at once (upon a dream date) featuring two well versed experts on once upon a dream. The other pin features Jedi Mickey. I've decided that I want to have a few more pins on my lanyard, but there's a bit of a catch. After repeatedly seeing my mom lose (and find) a beloved Christmas pin she had traded for at WDW a couple of years ago, I will only put duplicate pins on my lanyard. I don't want to lose one. I do have the locking backs, but don't want to risk losing a beloved pin, so again the duplicate rule holds.

So with all that, I buy some more pins for my lanyard(and duplicates for safekeeping)p that show off my favorite things. I added 3 Sleeping Beauty pins, two of Aurora and one of Mickey as Phillip and Minnie as Aurora dancing in the clouds, and 3 Star Wars pins, the Rebel Alliance mouse ears, Imperial mouse ears, and Jedi Mickey battling Darth Goofy. I also picked up a pin to commemorate 42 trips on Gadget's Go Coaster. It features Chip and Dale and it says Completely Nuts and Proud of It. Appropriate, isn't it? With my new pins in tow, I head over to Frontierland so I can lock them on m lanyard and go on some more attractions. On my way over there, Stitch gives me a call. We meet up, he sees my new pins, and decides to get some for himself, adding a nice Stitch pin, which proceeds to fall off his shirt despite the locking pin back when we go on Thunder Mountain Railroad. There's a reason why I buy duplicates. If I ever lose one, I'm still safe.

Being bold adventurers we decide to wander over to Splash Mountain. And this time there would be no saving us. Yes, we got the front of the flume with me in the very front row. Let's just say they don't call it Splash Mountain for nothing. We got drenched, and I took the brunt of it, but I was the lucky one. The key with Splash Mountain is that it's the little drops that do you in. Those are the ones that send water up over the side of your flume and right down your shoes and socks. Well, except for me(cause I had my tray tables up and seat back in the full upright and locked position.) Bonus points for naming that Weird Al reference. You see when you sit in the front row, you get something very important, a covering for your feet. With my shoes firmly ensconced in the very dry front of the log, my upper body gets absolutely drenched, but my shoes and socks are dry as a bone.

Drenched Dorks Having Fun at the Happiest Place on Earth


Stitch, on the other hand, isn't so lucky. He's soaked from head to toe. I got the better end of this one since at least my feet are dry. And besides that it's a hot day and we'll dry off soon enough. We walk right on to Winnie the Pooh where we look behind us in the right room to see the guys from Country Bear Jamboree. I miss that attraction. I probably wouldn't miss it quite so much if the ride that replaced was worth waiting for, but Pooh is really only worth going on if it's a walk on. It's not even worth waiting 10 minutes for. Cold, wet, and hungry, I mention to Stitch that I've heard about these things called Tigger Tails. And so we head into the shining example of the Pressler/Harris era at Disneyland. The Winnie the Pooh gift shop. This gift shop is absolutely beautiful. They spent more money on the gift shop than they did on the ride. And it shows. The Tigger Tails are quite good and I also notice that Disneyland sells a cookie featuring both white chocolate and raspberries. It almost tempts me, but I'll have to try it another day.

So with that we head over to Haunted Mansion and encounter more screamers. Now being well versed in what screamers look and act like, we can spot them from a mile away, so we take care to go away from them on rides. Next up it's a ride on POTC, where we manage to dry off some more. Still feeling piratey, we wander over to Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. The elusive Jack Sparrow is wandering around, being followed by a gaggle of admirers who wish to get their picture taken with him. We just wave to the scoundrel and wander around the island, finding all sorts of cool things they've hidden there. We also find the spot where you can see the flumes come out from Splash Mountain so we enjoy seeing the wall of water right before it drenches the unsuspecting people on the flume. Chances are there was someone watching us not many minutes when we got the drenching.

After lunch, we ride Buzz where Stitch attempts to set a futility record by spinning his car around the entire time and shooting both guns in his car. He probably succeeded. We also take a ride on Space Mountain where we notice this incredibly cool detail. Space Mountain opened in 1977, 11 years after Walt's death. Yet, Walt had plans for Space Mountain before he died. Space Mountain was designed by John Hench, who if you remember from my Walt Disney Studios report, was one of the 3 artists who helped design Disneyland.



We wander over to find Fantasyland nearly deserted around 4:00pm in the afternoon probably on account of all those Lakers fans in the parks heading home to catch game 1 on the NBA finals tonight. We ride everything in Fantasyland, including Peter Pan and Mr. Toad in about an hour and a half. I've never done that in the middle of the afternoon in my life. It's usually insanely crowded. Dinner time soon rolls around and we go off to meet up with Stitch's family. It's good to see them again(remember that we all know each other from the Disneyana store that we hang out at). At this point, Stitch is now spending the rest of his visit with his cousins, so once again I fly solo in the happiest place on earth.

As I head over to Tomorrowland to see if I can collect another fastpass for Space Mountain, I learn that someway, somehow I've become a cast member. I'm not really sure how it happened, but my guess is that it has to do with my now relatively loaded lanyard. As I near the hub, I get asked by a wobbly teenage guest if I have a park map for him. I come here so often that I don't even need a map. I could probably walk through the park in my sleep. I tell him I don't and he questions me as to why I work here and don't know where the park maps. I tell him they do have them at the entrance(forgetting about the kiosk over near Adventureland) and he asks where that is. I tell him the entrance is just down Main Street and show him where to go and he's completely confused. He seems to think that he entered Disneyland from up near the teacups and Small World. I tell him there's only two entrances to the park, but neither one of them are near Small World and he asks me what the teacups are. When I tell him he decides that they sound cool and attempts to head off to find them. I figure that he's decided to get a head start on his graduation celebration by getting drunk and/or stoned very early on. He probably won't be long for the park tonight given that he's not really sure of where he is now and probably confused about the cast member who didn't have a map to the park. And lest you think that he's the only person who thought I was a cast member, I would encounter other guests who mistook my lanyard for being a cast member. However, as we will soon learn, there are benefits to wearing pins on your lanyard that show off your interests.

I check in at Main Street Jewelers. I've had my eye on those wonderful artisan watches they create there since I first spent significant time in that store in February. While there a CM notices my lanyard and heads back to see if she has any other Sleeping Beauty pins. While I don't have traders on my lanyard, I do carry them in a small pin book just in case. In addition to the trade we made, she gives me two other pins, one of Pooh bear that she just wanted to get off her lanyard and a Flora pin since Flora is in Sleeping Beauty and she knows I love the film because she knows I love the film. I learned something this day. If you show off the characters/movies that you like on a lanyard all sorts of interesting things can happen to you. Some people think you work at Disneyland and those who actually work at Disneyland may do something nice for you.

Given that it's now nearing the time for the parade, I decide to watch the parade, so now for a few random parade shots.



Presiding over the festivities


Health to the princess, wealth to the princess. . .


Hail to the Chipmunks!?!


After the parade, I hit a few more rides and leave as the masses of high school graduates are gathering in the esplanade before taking over Disneyland for the rest of the evening. It's okay with me though. At least this gives me a chance to get another good night's sleep especially since Disneyland is open til midnight tomorrow and it will be a long and exciting day.

Coming Soon: A Rodent Problem at the Hotel. . .

Last edited by Sleepless Knight; 09-13-2008 at 01:32 AM.
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