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Old 10-07-2008, 10:48 AM   #1
Hound 109
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Hound's Perfect Storm 1 Day Report. Report Finished & Cliff Note version on Page 1.

I'm aware that many who post here (particularly WDW vets) unfortunately only dedicate ONE (or two) days for Walt's park (& DCA).

In an attempt to provide info to the one day commando.....I'll attempt to summarize our 14 hour day in an easy read Recap:

- Date - Thursday 10/8/08 (spur of the moment trip)

- Stayed Wednesday night at the Paradise Pier Hotel (in order to get MM the next morning).

My DS/9 Padewan Alec & I know the park well & enjoy zigging when others are zagging & we also enjoy commando'ing DLR.

- Up at 6:15am in the Paradise Pier.

- Had a surprisingly good & convenient room service breakfast for one (that DS/9 Alec & I split)...worked out to about $8 apiece.

- Out the door at 7:16am (walked across the street, thru the GCH & thru DTD to the Security Gate at 7:25am)

- 5th or 6th in line at the Security Gate, which opened at 7:30am (for the 8am MM). 2nd in line at one of the MM turnstiles at 7:32am.

- 8am Entered for Magic Morning....a priviledge we qualified for because we stayed at a Disney hotel...even though we had only purchased a One Day Park Hopper Ticket. General Admission (for folks w/o MM) would be at 9am that day.

We did in order for MM:

- Peter Pan (always first) One of the first couple of people on. (If you're not one of the first on be prepared for a line).

- We skipped Dumbo which would have been next. (but Alec didn't want to ride it)

- So we did Alice in Wonderland next. (Great little dark ride, & NOT available at WDW!)

- Matterhorn first one side....then the other side.

- (skipped the Teacups for now) & rode Mr. Toad. All of the above we enjoyed with no lines...because we were first on PP.

- We skipped the Carousel & Nemo because neither Alec or I wanted to ride them & skipped Pinocchio & Snow White because they rarely have much of a line & we'd do them later in the day when it's more crowded elsewhere.

- Next was Buzz Light Year (no line)

- Then just prior to the end of MM we hopped on Space Mountain (5 min. line)

- Used the restroom next to SM ride dump. It's now 9am so we picked up our first FP of the day (here at SM).

9:05am....off to the left side of the park.

- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad aka BTMRR (not opened yet.....said it would open in 15-20 min.....rats)

- Holiday HM (not opened yet....would open in 15-20 min.....double rats) This rarely happens, but not to worry if it does.

- Indy - 20 min. wait & 10 minute ride. (I normally would NOT have ridden Indy at this time....i would have ridden the two rides above (or Splash or SOMETHING)....and then would have picked up a FP here at Indy as the SM FP window opened up (approx 10am. today). But because we WEREN'T successful at riding BTMRR & HM at this time, i made a quick change in plans, & went ahead & rode Indy now.....figuring i'd need FPs for BTMRR or Halloween HM for later.)

- Picked up a Holiday HM FP at 9:55am (not normally needed or even available except at Holiday periods)

- Splash Mtn. - 15 min. wait.

- Cookies at Pooh Corner (because we like a little snack at 10:20 am).

- Skipped Pooh because Alec didn't want to ride it.

- BTMRR - 6 min. line.

- Picked up a BTMRR FP at 10:45am (our third).

- Walked DOWN Main St. as the hordes were walking UP Main St. & hopped to DCA with 3 FPs in our pocket to use at DL later in the day.


- Picked up a FP at Soarin at 10:55am.

- Since we needed to check out of the Paradise Pier Hotel & were going to the hotel we elected to ride Grizzily Rapids now. NOTE: I normally like to ride Griz Rapids immediately before our "rest".....because in the event we get wet....no problem, we just change in our room 3-5 minutes away. If it had been hot out, we might have picked up a FP for Griz, since Griz would likely have a line. But since there was no line at Griz (& because we were going to our room), we rode it now.

- Got a little wet on Griz Rapids, but no worries because we would be in our room changing socks etc. in 5 minutes.

Check Out & Mid Day Rest

- Walked into the GCH side entrance (next to Griz), picked up a "to go" lunch (to split) at Whitewater Snacks, crossed the street into the Paradise Pier to our room.

- Ate lunch, packed, checked out & I put our luggage in our rental car in the garage while Alec relaxed for about 45 min. & watched TV.

- Out of our room at 12:25pm (only about 90 min. past checkout ).

Back thru the GCH into DCA. (5 min. walk)


- Picked up a California Screamin' FP at 12:35pm.

- Toy Story Mania - (30 min. line) but munched on a churro bought from the nearby churro stand.

- 1:20pm - Alec rode the Orange Stinger (no line), while i watched him & strategized.

- 1:30pm - Grabbed a Corny Dog & a Coke from the Corn Dog palace & sat next to the Zephyr and munched. (not sure if these are still open)

- 1:40pm - Rode the Golden Zephyr (no line).

- 1:50pm - Rode Screamin' with our FPs (no line).

- 2pm - Alec rode King Triton's Carousel (next door) while I rode Screamin' again by going thru the Single Rider line.

- 2:15pm - Grabbed a Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel, crossed over the bridge back toward the front of DCA. Glanced at the Pier Food Courts on the right..... & also the Tratoria on the left...both were fairly empty & had Mrs Hound been with us, this would have been a great time for a nice al fresco lunch, since it was a pretty & sunny day.

- Decided to pass on Bug's Life, we've done it often & we like it, but with only one day to tour, we skipped it & all the other Flik rides except:

- 2:30 - Heimlich's Choo Choo (A Guilty Pleasure ride that cracks us both up.) 10 min. wait (but we finished our Pretzel in line).

- Took a few pictures in & near Sunshine Plaza.

- Monsters Inc. (10 min. wait)

- Turtle Talk with Crush (we love it each time we see it) A 5 min. wait & 20 min. show.

- We passed on Tower of Terror (Because Alec hates drops) & the Aladdin Show (WHICH IS A MUST DO FOR ANY DISNEY VISITOR!!!!) was closed that day.

- We've done Muppets over a dozen times. We like it (alot), but would prefer something new at that location. (so we passed).

- 3:15pm ish - Used our FP for Soarin'. Once we got to boarding, we told the CM we'd like to wait one cycle so we could ride on the top row (row A). IMO....always worth it.

- Walking back toward Sunshine Plaza, we spotted an Ice Cream stand. Grabbed a Mickey Bar to share (because we can ).

Hopped back over to DL at around 3:40pm.

- Entered DL decided to ride the Horse Drawn Carriage Taxi (with a few other people also on board)....it was fun.

- Hopped off the Carriage in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle & walked into Frontierland to Alec's favorite.... BTMRR.

- 4pm - Rode BTMRR using our FP picked up this morning. (no wait with FP.....50 min. standby line). & picked up a new BTMRR FP (for return in an hour).

- Rode Pirates of the Carribean (line was out into the street, but it moves fast & we boarded in less than 10 min.)

- 4:40pm Holiday HM (using our FPs from this morning). Over an hour standy wait, less than 10 minutes with our FPs.

- Grabbed some fries & cotton candy & sat & looked out at the island formerly known as Tom Sawyer's. We did Pirate's Island last time & decided to skip it this time. It IS a must for young ones though & is a great place to romp during the crowded afternoon.

- Back to BTMRR. Picked up a new FP (for return in an hour) & rode it again with our old FP. (50 min. standy line, but our FP line was 2-3 min.)

- Stepped into the the Golden Horseshoe & watched the Billy's Hillbilly Music show for 10 minutes.

- Strolled around the corner into Adventureland & climbed Tarzan's Tree.

- Walked by Indy (It was an hour standby line at 5:50pm....thank goodness we rode it in the morning.) & enjoyed a 5 minute wait for Jungle Cruise (a nice ride to rest on & also one of our favorites).

- Walked next door & passed by the LONG line at the Dole Whip stand & entered the Tiki Room outdoor waiting area. Alec purchased a Dole Whip Float (for us to split) in the non-existent line on the Waiting area side. We sat down & enjoyed the island tropical sights & sounds while we slurped our Dole Whip. When the Tiki doors opened & all went in, we exited back towards the HUB. The outside line for Dole Whips had hardly moved. We looked at our watch & it was time for our BTMRR FP return.

- Repeated the BTMRR drill. Picked up a FP (return in an hour). Walked by a 55 min. standby line & rode BTMRR again (2 min. FP line.) Sat in the back row, because we asked & because Alec wanted to.

- Took the back way around & toured for about 5 minutes the fabulous Carved Pumpkins in the Big Thunder Ranch Area. (It's now the BBQ restaurant area....but maybe they still have pumpkins in October?)

- Continued on thru Fantasyland & rode Pinocchio & Snow White (both with 5 minute or less lines). I personally think Pinocchio is a great little ride with wonderful details & the fact it's not offered at WDW should make it a Must Do for the WDW Vet.

- We continued into ToonTown to ride or pick up a FP Roger Rabbit, but both the ride & FP the machine were temporarily shut down at that time.....

- .....so we consoled ourselves with a couple of Knackwursts from the Enchanted Cottage (aka as the Sausage Joint)....it's located next to the Princess Fantasy Fair & rarely has much of a line. (& i think they've changed the name of this CS place). Good quick food for a carnivore & they have a quiet sitting area to eat & relax.

- Both Casey's Train & Storybookland had moderate (but very slow moving) lines & Alec is not a big fan of either....he also stated again that he didn't want to ride Dumbo (which had a big line), nor the Carousel (which didn't have a line)......so we headed back to our own personal "HUB" this trip.....the BTMRR.

- Same drill. Picked up a FP with an hour return. Strolled past the 55 min. standby line in 3 min. & rode BTMRR again with the old FP.

- 6:50pm - At this point it was getting dark...& we returned thru FL (a parade was getting ready to start) to Roger Rabbit.

- 3 min. line thru the second best queue at DL imo...& rode RR. Next we went back thru FL, we tried to Storybookland, but it was closed for the Parade.

- No line for the Madhatters Tea Cups, so I had no good reason to object (except for all the junk food that we had eaten ), so we rode it.

- Watched the parade for a few minutes while we waited for the Tea Cups to get started.

- On our way back to BTMRR, we stopped at Rancho del Zocolo & split a plate of beef fajita tacos & a piece of tres leches cake & relaxed.

- 8:15pm - Picked up our final BTMRR FP, walked by the 55 min. standby line & enjoyed BTMRR (again) following a 2 min. FP line.

- After BTMRR we crossed the HUB (which was getting crowded prior to the Fireworks & headed toward Space Mountain.

- Used our FP (that we picked up at 9am) & walked by the 65min. standby line & rode SM following a 7 min. FP line.

- Chose not to ride Buzz (because of the 30 min. line & because we rode it that morning) & meandered thru AdventureLand & FrontierLand on our way back to BTMRR.

- 9pm - Used our final FP at BTMRR. Walked by the 45min. standby line & had a great ride following a 2 min. FP line.

- Sat down on a curb on Main St. near the HUB. Alec wanted a corny dog, so i bought one at the nearby red Corn Dog Truck.

- At 9:15pm (waiting in anticipation for the 9:20 or 9:30pm Fireworks). Alec asked if we could skip the Fireworks (he was done....kaput).

- Instead of pushing him, we exited DL & walked back thru DTD to the Paradise Pier. He made it as far as the GCH before his zombie walk turned to actual sleep walk.....so I carried the young Padewan the final 200 yards (thru the GCH, across the street & over to the Paradise Pier parking garage) over my shoulder.

- 9:35pm - Pulled the car out of the the PP garage & onto I 5 heading north.






STORYBOOKLAND CANAL RIDE, IT'S A SMALL WORLD (far prettier at DLR & especially the holiday version), TIKI ROOM, TOON TOWN, JEDI TRAINING ACADEMY (if you have a 4 - 11 y/o), PIRATE'S LAIR ISLAND, THE FIREWORKS, THE ALADDIN SHOW, MULLHOLLAND MADNESS. (I don't have an opinion on Princess stuff or parades).


STORYBOOKLAND, PIRATES ISLAND, MULLHOLLAND MADNESS, TOWER OF TERROR, STAR TOURS, MATTERHORN (twice more), TOADIE (again), HM (again), Pirates/JungleCruise/Indy/Splash/California Screamin'/Soarin' (again).


THE TRATORIA (late lunch or early dinner), A STICH OR GOOFY'S CHARACTER BRUNCH (after MM), CARNATION CAFE (brunch).

Here is some good basic info for the first time DLR visitor:

If you are a WDW veteran, then here is your primer.....a must read!!:

HydroGuy's "DLR for the WDW veteran tip thread". http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1162599

Also, lots of good info for the WDW vet in Mary Jo's tip thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=802084

Regarding touring DLR....the two most important things to remember is to:

- Get to the parks BEFORE opening &
- Know how to use FP at DLR

30 minutes early is typically when security opens (so getting in THIS line 5-15 minutes prior to security opening is best). Being one of the first 8-10 families at Security will get you up front (probably first thru third family) in line at the DL turnstile. Being very near the front of the turnstiles is important (to me) so that:

- If it's an MM day, I'm first on Peter Pan...if i'm first on PP then the rest of MM flows easily. & even if i'm not doing PP, i would want to be first on Matterhorn...or SM (or whatever) during MM.

"Critique of MM/EE" by Hound 109 www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1392671

- Even on a non MM day, I want to be one of the first few the turnstiles so i can get to the ST, SM (or Indy) FP machine first (to start the FP collection clock). Then we'll hop on our first ride a minute or two later & begin the important first 90-120 min. of the day at DLR.


"Getting the Most Out of FastPass During High Season" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=885132

"FastPass for Dummies and Smarties - A Photographic Explanation" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1186052

"Which Fast Pass First?" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1107718

"Strategies For Using DL and DCA Opening Time Differences to Collect More Fastpasses"

"Why I Park Hop" http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1491961

If you have kiddos ages 4-11, then Jedi Training is a must:


Regarding getting to the Security Tent 35-45 min. prior to general admission (or MM) opening.....in other words... 5-15 min before SECURITY opens:

The one time that I strolled up 5 min. before MM opening (instead of arriving 35 minutes before opening), I was way back (40-50 families back) at the turnstiles when i walked up. 2-3 rides could have been ridden by the time I've made it thru the turnstiles 10-12 min. after opening.

Plus there's lots to do while you wait the 30 min.... Pics to take, maps (& touring plans) to study, sunscreen to put on, McBreakfasts to munch on, people watching to do, talking to others in line who are as pumped up as you.

& if they "let people onto Main St." early.....the first ones thru the turnstile are also the first ones on the rope on Main St.

Some may think that this thought process is kind of anal (& they're right )....& many will say they prefer to "go with the flow".......But I (& many others here) also like to "go with the flow".......but we will tour (& collect FPs) very scientifically the first 2-2.5 hours, & then because we are so productive those first 2 1/2 hours...... we are able to "go with the flow" the rest of the day (AND we ALWAYS are able to enjoy all of our favorites ).

The Actual (full) Trip Report is below:

I was planning/contemplating a Dec. visit to SoCal to visit my 90 y/o mother (& to visit Walt's park for 1 or 2 days )......when several coincidental factors came to my attention within a 36 hour period on Sunday & Monday.

It came to my attention that:

- Padewan Alec's weekend tennis tournament (draw) had been cancelled.
- I had two SW tickets that were about to expire (one in late Oct. & one in late Nov.)
- Padewan Alec's school had a "Teacher Work Day" on Friday & he would be off.
- The Paradise Pier Hotel had the AP 7 rate available for Wed. and/or Thur.

After consultation with "the boss" aka Mrs. Hound....i was advised that she (not being a disney geek) instead of going to SoCal, wanted to visit her sisters in a nearby town & hang with the pups this weekend, but She insisted that.....

.......Padewan Alec & I go to DLR BABY!!!!!

SO.....flights/rental car/PP hotel were nabbed in a nanosecond yesterday & in less than 28 hours Alec & I will be winging it to DLR (on Wed. night).... up for Thurs MM..... all day Thurs. & Fri morning at DLR.....& then two days visiting with the elegant & fun loving Matriarch Hound prior to jetting it back to Austin.

Thought I'd share since so many here can relate to spontanious quick trips...$139 rate for the PP....Halloween (seasonal) overlays.....& the need to "ride the wave" when that perfect storm hits.

It was only Alec & I who enjoyed this one day DLR visit, but since several have asked, I'll introduce the family Hound with a pic from DD's wedding in June....from left to right:

Mrs. Hound, DD Haley, Haley's new hubby Clint & Mr. Hound 109.....Padewan Alec (DS) is in front.

& there's a reason he's known far & wide as Padewan Alec !

Hound's One Day Commando Tour thru DLR. 38 rides, 6 meals & 6 snacks.

Not for the faint of heart, but LOTS of info for the WDW Vet visiting for one or two days:


Last edited by Hound 109; 07-15-2011 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:17 AM   #2
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Nice! That sounds like a fun and spontaneous trip - and a sweet deal on the hotel. Are you going to try to get tickets to the Thursday MTOT party?
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:24 AM   #3
Errrr... what?
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WOO HOO! A truly beautiful concatenation of coincidences.

That's awesome! Hope you and lil' Hound have a great trip! Say hi to Darth Maul for me, Alec.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:31 AM   #4
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Nice! Don't you love it when things like that happen? Like for instance when an event gets scheduled in your destination after you've planned?

Like last year, I booked my birthday trip to the Land, only to afterwards find out my birthday was going to be one of two days around the country that they were going to have a special showing of a Star Trek episode in theaters... And the theater in DTD was showing it!
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:35 AM   #5
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Great to have you back in SoCal Hound! Have a wonderful trip and see you at the parks!
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Janomi View Post
Great to have you back in SoCal Hound! Have a wonderful trip and see you at the parks!
Thanks Janomi!

& it gets better.....check out the forecast for the next few days (particularly Thurs. & Fri. ):


from QueenBillabong
Are you going to try to get tickets to the Thursday MTOT party?

We'll probably do DL Thur. night....i see the fireworks will be showing....plus Alec & i are DL ride junkies.

from Avalon
WOO HOO! A truly beautiful concatenation of coincidences.

That's awesome! Hope you and lil' Hound have a great trip! Say hi to Darth Maul for me, Alec.

Thanks Avalon! Alec will say "hi" to the evil doer after he drops some awesome jedi moves on his dark behind.

from Dbanzai
Nice! Don't you love it when things like that happen?

Yep....it's like finding out Toadie or the Matterhorn is opening up after being closed for repairs all day.

Hound's One Day Commando Tour thru DLR. 38 rides, 6 meals & 6 snacks.

Not for the faint of heart, but LOTS of info for the WDW Vet visiting for one or two days:


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Old 10-07-2008, 12:07 PM   #7
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Woohoo for you guys! Make sure you give Mrs. Hound an extra kiss for being so awsome.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:24 PM   #8
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Very kewl, Hound! It's great how things come together sometimes, eh? Have a terrific time!

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Old 10-07-2008, 01:41 PM   #9
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By the way..............can I trade my DH for you? I love him to pieces, and he humors me about DL, but he is not the Disney freak either. So when we go, he finds other things to keep him amused. Like car shows, and the like. Usually he will join us in the afternoon, after gallvanting around looking for other entertainment.

Anyways, have a great time!!!

We are going next week too! Woo hoo!
First time for us to see DL in the fall.

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Old 10-07-2008, 01:46 PM   #10
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Like I said in my other post to you. . . the "perfect storm" hit one week too early!! Hope you and your Padewan Alec have a mouserific time!

DLR trips: 3/98 (Stovalls); 12/99 (Islander); 12/02 (DI); 12/03 (DI); 12/04 (Portofino); 4/05 (HoJo); 6/05 (GCH); 9/05 (HoJo); 12/05 (HoJo); 2/06 (DLH); 1/07 (HoJo); 11/07 (HoJo); 2/08 (HoJo); 4/08 (HoJo); 6/08 (Ramada Ltd.); 10/08 (PPH); 3/09 (HoJo & Club 33 Baybee!); 2/10 (HoJo); 12/11 (HoJo/DLH)
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:46 PM   #11
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Ohhh, have FUN!!!!!!
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:13 PM   #12
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Lucky for u!!!!!!!!! Have a great ttrip!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:19 PM   #13
I'm just excited for the BBQ! Yum YUM!
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Yay for the Hound family!! What a sweet Mrs. Hound!!

Hope you and little Padewan have an awesome time!!!!
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:29 PM   #14
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Hey, Hound, that is too cool! Yeah for Mrs. Hound! Have a great time. Of course, you know we will be expecting a full report.

I thought about asking you to swing through Decatur and let me hitch a ride with you but I guess I really wouldn't do spontaneous very well. I am a perpetual planner! Oh well, we'll be there in 33 days! Anyway, grab a churro for me!
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:46 PM   #15
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I'm so jealous and excited for you HOUND!!!!

Can you bring home some pictures of the Haunted Mansion Overlay? Scratch that. Bring home tons of pictures of everything. The KCmike family is having major DL withdraws right now.

Have a great time out there!!!! We loved Halloween at DL. Have safe travels as well.
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2014 Boston/Cape Cod/Martha's Vineyard
2013 Disneyland Christmas
2013 WDW, Universal, and SeaWorld with the kids and their High School Marching Band Event
2012 Back to Disneyland for a late June/Early July Vacation|2011- WDW Grand Floridian/Port Orleans Riverside |2010 - Disneyland/Monterey 20th Anniversary Day trip and 1st time to see Christmas at any park (BWPPI) 2010 - Disneyland (Grand Californian) |2009 - Disneyland/San Francisco/Monterey/ Yosemite National Park (Disneyland Hotel) |2008 - Disneyland/San Diego (Hotel Del Coronado & Hojo) |2007 - Disneyland (Fairfield Inn) |2006 - WDW - Port Orleans Riverside |2004 - WDW - Port Orleans Riverside |1996 - WDW - Dixie Landings |1993 - WDW - Offsite |1992 - WDW - Condo in Kissimmee |1990 - WDW - Condo in Kissimmee

Gear:Canon 60d, Canon xti, and a few lenses
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