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Old 12-20-2008, 12:00 PM   #31
Disneygrl36
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Day Two-Dec 9th 2008 Star Struck & a game show????

When last we left our travelers, we had just had a very yummy lunch at the Tam O'Shanter Inn & had experienced a wonderful morning exploring together. We had directions thanks to mapiglet fan to drive up closer to the Hollywood sign but by now it was getting to be around 1pm & we had such a great view of it from our room & from Griffith park that we decided we wanted to explore a bit more of Hollywood around the hotel before our meeting time of 4pm with the group. So after a quick stop at a convenience store to get some water & soft drinks for in the room, we decided to head on back & return the rental car. We went back to the room for a brief time & found these treats waiting for us.

This was our special book with all our meeting times & our itinerary.

After admiring our loot, we headed out again stopping by the lobby to check in with our adventure guides Diana & Kristin. They told us to meet up with them in the Canyon room at 4pm.

Off we went to explore Hollywood boulevard.
I am a huge Julie Andrews/Mary Poppins fan so I was excited to find her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame & then her hand prints at Grauman's.


Eric with Jimmy Stewarts hand prints......he loves him. In fact we are seeing "It's A Wonderful Life" at the Tennessee Theatre tonight.

Another attempt at an artsy shot at the Chinese theatre.

This one was especially poignant as we just lost Paul Newman not that long ago & I love that his & Joanne Woodwards are together.

How's this for love & devotion........getting down on the sidewalk in Hollywood to have your photo taken with your favorite star.

Did you know that no one has been nominated more times for an Academy Award than Walt Disney? He got 59 nominations & earned 26 awards. I think that more than deserves a star. In fact, he has 2 one for film & one for TV.
Another cute saying on the Road to Hollywood sidewalk in the Hollywood & Highland Center.

At the end of the Road to Hollywood or how some of us got here sidewalk is a big couch with the Hollywood sign in the background. Is it a casting couch????????????? What a great sense of humor Hollywood has.

These elephants are at the H & H center as well & we would see them again later. When they decided to build the H & H Center they wanted to recreate a movie set so this set with the big arch & the elephants was built in Hollywood in 1916 for the film Intolerance.

So it was getting close to time to meet up with our fellow adventurer's for the first time. We headed back to the room to freshen up & change clothes. We followed the signs to the Canyon room. They had cheese, crackers, veggies & sodas for us. We sat at a table with Andrea & Brian from Michigan. I had gotten to know Andrea on the thread for our trip & it was great to meet her & her husband in person. They gave us a little ice breaker game to do, but we were too busy talking & when Diana said you have a few minutes to finish your answers to the top portion we were like we better get to work. The top portion asked questions about you like what you were most excited to see etc. & the bottom portion was designed to make us get up & move about the room to get to know each other. We were supposed to find someone who had met a celebrity, could name all 7 dwarfs, had never been to Disneyland, had been to a studio lot & had visited all eleven Disney theme parks. We got all of them but the last one, although we did have a group member who has been to 8 of the 11. After this Diana & Kristin told us a bit about their background with the company & then they went around & asked us all to introduce ourself, where we were from & what we were most excited about seeing. We were a group of 24 adults as this was an adults only version of this trip. We had 2 mother/daughter groups, 1 mother/son group & 2 friends that were together & the rest of us were couples. We ranged from as far away as Maryland, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, to 2 couples from California.

After our getting to know you session, we were headed to dinner at the Trastaverte Italian Restaurant in the H & H Center. We walked across from the hotel after having our photos taken with a clapboard & this was the first appearance of the infamous Adventures by Disney paddle that we would follow for the rest of our trip.
We stopped & had a nice photo made.

We had our own private dining room in the back for the restaurant.
They served us red or white wine, 2 kinds of salad, antipasta & flatbread.
We were able to choose our entree of salmon, penne pasta with tomato basil sauce, veal scaloppini or chicken marsala. Eric & I both had the salmon & it was very tasty. I think I was too excited so I didn't take any pictures of our food until dessert. After we had enjoyed our appetizers & salad & they worked on our dinner, we had a little Disney trivia gameshow.

It was hilarious & by no means a high pressure game. The host was Matt & he was great & really funny & enjoyed having an adult audience. Our fellow adventurers that were picked seemed to really enjoy the show & I will always remember Mark & his great answers of "yes" & Karen for her frequent use of "phone a friend" for everything. It was alot of fun & before we knew it dinner was there. Diana sat on our end of the table & we had fun chatting with her & getting to know her.
Dessert was tiramisu & we were given our first pin-which became an exciting event every day. Every day there is a theme of the day & a word of the day. Today's theme was It All Started with a Mouse so our first pin was Mickey of course & the word of the day was Mickey Mouse.

After that we were told to meet in front of Twist the hotel restaurant the next morning at 7:50am & were set free for the evening.
We decided to explore a bit more & wanted to go get ice cream at the Soda Fountain since neither one of us really like tiramisu.
So we headed out across the street to the Disney Soda Fountain.

They have cool pictures of famous people that have stopped in & this was one of my favorites.

We both had an ice cream. I had the make your own sundae with one scoop of peppermint ice cream & hot fudge. The ice cream here is made by a California family & you can tell it's homemade premium ice cream. There were little pieces of peppermint in it. So yummy.

Eric had a double scoop sundae with chocolate & cookies & cream with hot fudge.
In prepartion for tomorrow when we would visit Jim Henson studios here a couple of pictures taken this night.
Inside the soda fountain....the Muppets.

And look who's star we found.

Once outside we noticed how cute the Christmas windows were.


We would be touring the El Capitan in the morning so is a fitting shot to end this day.

Exhausted from our long day, we headed back to the hotel & relaxed in the room. I did some journaling & did a live posting to my pre-trip report.
It had been a great day & we had a lot to look forward to tomorrow.

Up next---an organ, a famous person & a frog oh my
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:13 PM   #32
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What a great start to your trip report! Dh and I did this trip in June. I can't wait to hear your impressions of this adventure!
Aunt Cawa.......glad to have a past Backstage Magicer along. It was such a wonderful trip.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:33 PM   #33
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Still working on those notes for you! I think it is funny that I took pics of Jimmy Stewarts hand prints as well. He is my all time favorite!
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:02 PM   #34
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WOnderful start Melanie!
Nice view..no wonder you didn't have to drive to the sign!!!! This is going to be wonderful to read!
I am so bummed that we didn't get to Griffith Observatory..it looks like a lot to see..and Greg would have loved the steam train area...that just means we HAVE to go back sometime, oh darn

Looking forward to the next day!
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Old 12-20-2008, 06:59 PM   #35
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Sounds like a wonderful trip so far, love your pics
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:12 PM   #36
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Wow, y'all did a lot in one day. It all sounds like so much fun. I love how organized it all is. I would love to do an ABD one day. The Alaska one really appeals to me. But with a family of six........um yeah, I'd need to win the lotto first!

I was curious, what part of TN are you from? I have relatives in Morristown and they fly out of Knoxville too when they travel.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:10 AM   #37
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Catching up still!

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travelmel, I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to steal your Tinkerbell pic. I love it!!
That's funny! When I saw your siggie I said to myself, "Hm.. somebody else has the pretty tink.. I think I'll change mine."



No worries!

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My attempt at an artsy shot on the back of the observatory.
I love your artsy shot. I absolutely love your first moments of your vacation. You can tell by my silly Twilight TR that I just love the hunt for things like this. Not that your TR is silly, by any means, but I'm just saying that I respect and can relate to the quest for places of interest. I'm loving it.



P.S. My cousins and I used to drive up to the observatory for the laser light shows.. I'm not sure how we managed to survive *coughbadkidscough* the road down.

I want to eat at that place! Too cute. Thanks to Lookyloo for pointing it out to you and to you for pointing it out to me!
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:28 AM   #38
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Eric with Jimmy Stewarts hand prints......he loves him. In fact we are seeing "It's A Wonderful Life" at the Tennessee Theatre tonight.


I love the pics of you guys with the footprints. That would make a really cute framed pic for a wall or desk or something.

Hey what did you mean about the elephants and film intolerance? I've never heard of that... can you explain it to me?

It looked like the weather held out well for you. I love SO Cal at Christmas time - (Now that I don't live there anymore, that is! When you grow up there all that sunshine and blue sky can really get on your nerves when your dreaming of that White Christmas bit!) -

The Soda fountain looks so cute! I can't wait to see the El Capitain stuff. I've never been to either of these places. Great pics, what a wonderful first day.

P.S. I like the movie It's a Wonderful Life but I took my DD's to see it a couple years ago at this really cool theater by our house and they said, "That was ok... but.... mom..... didn't you think it was a little depressing?" I gotta admit... I do.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:28 PM   #39
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Next we drove further into Griffith Park to find the GP Merry Go Round where Walt used to take Sharon & Diane on his Daddy's day with them. This merry go round was part of Walt's inspiration for building Disneyland because all he could do was sit on a bench & watch the girls & he thought the parents should be able to go have fun with their kids. The Merry Go Round is only open on weekends now, so all you can see is the building here but it was still cool to know Walt had been there sitting on one of those very benches.
Just so you know, the original tour was going to take you to see the carousel, but they didn't open it so you were pretty much stuck looking at a boarded-up building. Not fun.

Why does the person at the red podium remind me of someone who was on my trip?

Also, Matt is amazing and hilarious and amazing.
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:37 PM   #40
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Still working on those notes for you! I think it is funny that I took pics of Jimmy Stewarts hand prints as well. He is my all time favorite!
Eric loves him Andrea. Watching It's a Wonderful Life last night in the restored Tennessee Theater (built in 1928 just like Mickey Mouse) was AWESOME!!!!!!!! Like movies were intended to be seen. We have a Might Wurtlizer too so it was funny because Eric & I were comparing the Tennessee to the El Cap all night.
Click here if you want to compare it too.......since you've been to the El Cap. We think it's bigger than the El Cap but their organ is bigger.
http://www.tennesseetheatre.com/abou...-virtual-tour/
It was cool to know we have one of the few organs still out there close by. They are showing Sound of Music after Christmas & we are so there.

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WOnderful start Melanie!
Nice view..no wonder you didn't have to drive to the sign!!!! This is going to be wonderful to read!
I am so bummed that we didn't get to Griffith Observatory..it looks like a lot to see..and Greg would have loved the steam train area...that just means we HAVE to go back sometime, oh darn

Looking forward to the next day!
I know, I have a list already of things I have to go back to see. If you can plan to go where you will be there on the 3rd Sunday of the month, that is when the LA Steamers open the barn & run the trains for the public. They were nice enough to do this for ABD specially.

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Sounds like a wonderful trip so far, love your pics
Thanks & Lots more to come.

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Originally Posted by mommaU4 View Post
Wow, y'all did a lot in one day. It all sounds like so much fun. I love how organized it all is. I would love to do an ABD one day. The Alaska one really appeals to me. But with a family of six........um yeah, I'd need to win the lotto first!

I was curious, what part of TN are you from? I have relatives in Morristown and they fly out of Knoxville too when they travel.
Yes beth we did do alot. It was a busy day but fun. We were busy this whole trip, maybe that is why I was so tired when we got home & now have a cold. ABD is great. I cannot recommend it highly enough. You could gamble a bit there in Vegas & maybe you will win big enough to splurge on a trip. We live close to Morristown Beth. Small world isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelmel View Post
I love your artsy shot. I absolutely love your first moments of your vacation. You can tell by my silly Twilight TR that I just love the hunt for things like this. Not that your TR is silly, by any means, but I'm just saying that I respect and can relate to the quest for places of interest. I'm loving it.



P.S. My cousins and I used to drive up to the observatory for the laser light shows.. I'm not sure how we managed to survive *coughbadkidscough* the road down.

I want to eat at that place! Too cute. Thanks to Lookyloo for pointing it out to you and to you for pointing it out to me!
Glad you are enjoying my side trips. It really was a great day & I wanted to pack as much in before the ABD trip started as I could. I was pleased we were able to fit it all in, but I am already starting on a list of what we need to see next time. The Tam O'Shanter is a lovely place to eat & you can make a reservation on line.

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Originally Posted by travelmel View Post
I love the pics of you guys with the footprints. That would make a really cute framed pic for a wall or desk or something.

Hey what did you mean about the elephants and film intolerance? I've never heard of that... can you explain it to me?

It looked like the weather held out well for you. I love SO Cal at Christmas time - (Now that I don't live there anymore, that is! When you grow up there all that sunshine and blue sky can really get on your nerves when your dreaming of that White Christmas bit!) -

The Soda fountain looks so cute! I can't wait to see the El Capitain stuff. I've never been to either of these places. Great pics, what a wonderful first day.

P.S. I like the movie It's a Wonderful Life but I took my DD's to see it a couple years ago at this really cool theater by our house and they said, "That was ok... but.... mom..... didn't you think it was a little depressing?" I gotta admit... I do.
Let's see. At the Hollywood & Highland Center, they recreated a set from the film Intolerance which I believe was a silent film. There is a big arch that is Egyptian looking seen here from across the street

& then 2 huge elephants on pedestals.

These are copies of the sets they made way back then..........a nod to old Hollywood when they built the center.
The weather was good while we were in the Hollywood area, but it was a bit cold in the evenings at Disneyland & it rained on us our last day. All in all, though we were prepared with jackets/ponchos etc so we were fine.
You should go see a movie & then get ice cream at the soda fountain next time you go. We were going to go see Bolt while there, but decided to do other stuff. Wish we had had more time to do all we wanted to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hack2112 View Post
Just so you know, the original tour was going to take you to see the carousel, but they didn't open it so you were pretty much stuck looking at a boarded-up building. Not fun.
Why does the person at the red podium remind me of someone who was on my trip?
Also, Matt is amazing and hilarious and amazing.
Hey Max &
That would be awesome if they could get them to open it up, but I agree not so fun just staring at it all boarded up. That would be a nice addition.
I don't know why that reminds you of someone on your trip. I think this was her first ABD trip.
Matt was great & really funny. It was a great way to start out the trip.


More to come. I am uploading photos from Day 3 right now.
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Old 12-21-2008, 06:25 PM   #41
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Day Three-Dec 10th 2008 An organ, a famous person & it's too long for the frog oh my

We met the group in front of Twist this morning & headed out to the Disney Soda Shop for a special breakfast. They are not usually opened for breakfast, so this was a treat for us.
Here is our menu

Eric had a Mickey waffle & I had scrambled eggs & bacon. His was cuter so you get to see it.

The ceiling in the Soda shop

We had time to browse the store after breakfast. It was like a small Disney store-I looked at some pins but didn't buy anything, although later wished I had bought the CD of Disney music played on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ.
Then, it was time for our tour of the El Capitan theatre.
We had a tour guide named Mike whose love of the theatre was evident in the way he talked about it. We started out in the lobby & he talked about the history of the theatre & how at one point it closed & was boarded up. Disney bought the theatre & restored it to the way it is today & now they show movies complete with the organ playing, a stage show, a curtain show & then the movie being played. What a great way to see a movie!!!!!!!!
We went into the theatre & here are some detail shots. T


The organist was playing Disney music as we came into the theatre.

He talked to us about the Mighty Wurlitzer of which there are not many left.

It is an amazing instrument & has all the various instruments up in the rafters & when he presses the buttons those instruments are actually played-as in a drum stick strikes the drum, etc. Amazing. There is one organ pipe that he demonstrated for us that is able to shake the whole theatre. Really fascinating.
Here's a little video of him talking about the organ.

He played a few name that Disney tune songs & 2 people in the group won that CD I wish I had bought.
After that we were treated to the curtain show.

We were also able to go up on stage & see some of the riggings that work all the various curtains.

Eric on stage

And my foot on a peformer's mark

As we were leaving that part of the theatre, the singers came out to do a sound check for the holiday show they are performing.
We next went upstairs to the Hall of Fame & talked abit about the restoration project with Ed who had been instrumental in getting the project going. I am so glad that they did this & did not let this beautiful theatre just sit there & rot away-that would have been a real shame.
They had some great photos & memorabilia up there.
The 40th anniversary of Mary Poppins.

Monster Inc.

A shot of the theatre from the balcony.

After this we were taken downstairs to the lounge area & then got a group photo taken on the stairs. I really enjoyed our time at the El Capitan & wish we had been able to go back to see a movie there, but we just ran out of steam/time. A lot of our group did go see Bolt & saw the holiday stage show.


Then, we went right next door for our tour of the Jimmy Kimmel live shows set. We were not allowed to take any photos in there because it is a working studio. It is in an old Masonic temple that has been bought by Disney/ABC. Before it was Jimmy Kimmel live, they used to use it to set up events that went along with the movie they were showing next door-like a Toy Story set up with Woody's line dancing lessons in the front room. Here we met Uncle Frank who is the security guard on the show & who is really Jimmy's uncle & our tour guide on of the associate producers on the show. We saw the control room & I could not believe how small it was. They all sit together in there looking at lots of screens. The funniest thing was the huge bottle of Tums in the middle of the room. We also went into the sound/tape room which was even smaller & had a lot of complicated equipment in it including a sound board that had so many different buttons & knobs on it, I would have been really scared to touch it lest I ruin everything. We also went to the editing area & saw some people working on editing tapes to run on the show.
We then went upstairs to the make up room, which was once again really small-do you see a theme-with one chair. They had lots of stuff in there like fake eyelashes, wigs & various forms of facial hair. We could also poke our head in some of the guest dressing rooms. I was struck by the fact that some of them had showers in them. Up here was where the elevator was as well & this brought up some ghost stories-a woman has been seen along with a guy in a zoot suit many, many times. Pretty spooky. We went down to the green room which had a very hip/loungey type feel too it. They have video games, a pin ball machine & a pool table to keep the guest entertained, along with a bar of course. They said lots of people that aren't even on the show just like to come hang out in the green room & Uncle Frank was proud to tell us that their green room was the most popular one in town. Then they took us in the studio & Uncle Frank talked abit about Jimmy & how down to earth he is. He has several family members working for him. Uncle Frank said it was his "fault" Jimmy was in show business. He & his family moved to Vegas after he left the police force. They took Jimmy's grandmother with them, so soon Jimmy's Mom decided to follow them to Vegas. While there Uncle Frank did security for Frank Sinatra & Jimmy caught the show business bug. He told us some funny stories about his time there-including one about when Snoop Dog was on the show & Jimmy told him Uncle Frank only made 6 arrests in his 20 years as a cop & then Snoop Dog coming over to hug him & tell him he was his kind of cop. He was a real character. While we were in there, who should pop his head in & say "What the heck is going on in here?" but Jimmy Kimmel. He told us not to believe a word Uncle Frank said & waved to us all. Our guides said that had never happened so pretty darn cool.
We were able to have our picture made on the stage with Uncle Frank taken by our guides. This is a picture of our picture that they made into a photo postcard for us.

After that we went outside in the back of the studio to where they do the live music concert segments-they also have a small intimate lounge in the front for music acts as well. Out back, they have a bigger stage & lots of lights & speakers. They told us about how crazy it was when the Jonas Brothers performed out there & how the girls were trying to bribe people to let them in & then how later Walt Disney World called them to discuss how best to handle their security. It was cool to be back behind the studio & we could see the parking area & there was a school ball field right across from that side of the studio.

Next we were loaded onto our awaiting motor coach where Don our driver was waiting. Our guides had water/snacks if we wanted them for the bus ride.

Next up, we are headed to Jim Henson studios--finally the frog oh my!!!!
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Old 12-21-2008, 06:46 PM   #42
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The theater looks AMAZING! And how cool that you got to eat breakfast at the Soda Shop. Loving your report so far, keep it coming!
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:51 PM   #43
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Ha! A Jimmey Kimmel Drive-By!

Nice work!
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:45 PM   #44
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The night the Jonas Brothers were there was the day we had our tour of the studio. There was already a line outside the entrance to the outdoor stage.

And Uncle Frank is amazing. And funny. Did I mention how amazing he was?
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:27 PM   #45
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Location: Camarillo, California
Posts: 5,246

Great TR so far! (that rhymes!)

I love that you guys went to see Walt at the cemetary. What a beautiful gesture from you 2.

Adventure's by Disney looks so MUCH FUN! The whole thing and I love how they do little things for you guys like leave all those treats out! Wow! So exciting!!!!
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