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Old 06-22-2009, 12:24 PM   #1
Kayla's Mom
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Disneyland Backstage Tour Report

Day One (day before tour)

DH and I arrived at Disneyland on Friday (the day before the tour) and got to DL about 3:00. The first thing we did was go to the Blue Ribbon Bakery so I could get a coconut macaroon. Then we had to get DH an ice cream sandwich. Next on the list was grabbing a fast pass for Splash Mt. I was so looking forward to doing the canoes for the first time (we always go in the off season), but for some reason they weren't operating. I thought they ran daily in the summer, but maybe I was wrong? So we then did:

Small World (sign said 20 minute wait, was less than that)
Buzz (sign said 20 minutes, was about 10)
Autopia (25 minute wait -- only about 15-20)
Monorail (haven't done that in years, about 10 minute wait)
Rode Buzz again (10 minutes or so)
Jungle Cruise (5 minute wait -- was a little longer than that)

We then had dinner at Carnation Cafe (had to get my Loaded Baked Potato soup!).

Next we did:

Pirates (15 minute wait -- I believe it was about that long)
HM (practically walked right in)
Pooh (just about walk on)
Then used our FP for Splash. I have NEVER gotten so soaked riding SM, I was drenched!

By this time it was about 8:15 so we decided to sit on the curb around the hub and wait for Magical. About 20 minutes until showtime they started playing the announcement about the winds and the show possibly being cancelled. They did end up showing the fireworks but as soon as Baby Mine started playing everything shut off and the lights came back on. They had cancelled the show. I was so disappointed because I was really looking forward to seeing Dumbo fly.

We then went to ride Buzz again, this time I scored just over 400k! I couldn't believe it! I usually can only score right around 100k. I also smoked DH's score! (There aren't many things I can beat him at, so I was extremely proud of myself!)

We also rode the Storyland Canal boats which I hadn't done at night before, it was really nice.

We decided to walk over to the second showing of Fantasmic. We got over there about 10:15 and stood directly behind a roped off area for wheelchairs (to the left of the entrance for the Mark Twain). In the 15 minutes before the show, we saw numerous people push their way in to that area and one verbal argument break out. Not sure where the CMs were for this area, but one didn't show up until the show already started. It never ceases to amaze me how some people have no regard to others and think nothing of pushing people to make their way to the front.

Our final stop of the night was Gibson Girl for some mint and chip ice cream. Then back to Hojo's to get some sleep before the big tour day!

We had a great day and even though there were a lot of people, it was all very manageable and fun!
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:33 PM   #2
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Tour Day!

So, it was finally tour day! I had been looking forward to this for weeks and had been driving everyone around me crazy talking about it!

We got to La Brea Bakery about 8:15 to meet up with some other Disers on the tour. It was so great meeting everyone! Don, Jenn, Melissa, Michael, Carol and everyone else -- we loved chatting with you all! Then I got to finally meet Mary Jo and Nancy who were just awesome too!

So a little before 9:00 we all headed over to the meeting spot at the mosaic between the parks. At about 5 minutes after nine I think we all started looking around wondering what was going on. Nobody had shown up yet from the Disney Institute. Now, DH had been teasing me for days about this tour, since we didn't have much detail about the tour, what we were doing, etc. So he had teased me that we were all going to show up for this tour and there wasn't going to be anyone there to take us on it. So, you could say I started getting just a teensy bit nervous when no one was there. Pete immediately got on the phone with the Disney Institute to try and see what was going on. Carol joked that we were actually supposed to be at Disney World (that is where our original confirmation said the tour was at).

At 9:30 two people carrying Disney Institute flags started walking toward us. I felt sorry for these people because they had no idea they were late. It turned out there was a miscommunication somewhere and they had been told 10:00, even though all of our confirmations said 9:00 SHARP. So they got our wristbands on us and had us sign a sheet with our email addresses for a survey.

Bruce and Ryan were the facilitators. DH and I were with Bruce's group and he apologized profusely for the misunderstanding on the time.

The first spot we went to was to the right of the kennel (which is to the right of the Disneyland entrance). We went to costuming which I can only describe as HUGE. It looked like a monsterous dry cleaning business with the rows and rows of shirts, pants, etc. stacked on top of each other. This was not, unfortunately where they had the character costumes. I kind of wanted to see rows and rows of princess costumes, but they were for security, Tomorrowland Terrace CMs, Critter Country, etc.

We were given a little brochure with interesting facts about costuming. (For example: there are over 900k individual costume pieces!) Another interesting thing they had was similar to a brochure rack, they had a little laminated card for what each outfit should look like. It showed the specific pants, shirt, hat, etc. Kind of like a little cheat sheet. Each garment has a barcode on it which tells when the garment went into use and how many times it's been laundered, etc. On the outside of this building they had signs posted showing guidelines for jewelry, makeup, facial hair, cell phones, etc. They said "Good Show" and "Bad Show" and showed pictures as examples. So one side would show how the makeup should look (Good Show) and one side would show how it should NOT look (Bad Show)!

On to the next location....next we went to Main Street by the Train Station. Bruce explained to us about the trash cans and how back in the early days they were just plastic bins with the word Waste on them and how much this bothered Walt. One of the trash can companies ended up coming up with the design you see today which hides the waste from guests. We also learned how all light bulbs get replaced at 80% of their life expectancy so they get changed before they are burned out.

We made a quick stop on Main Street to see the newest windows that were installed honoring imagineers, I am sorry to say I don't remember their names.

We headed over to the Small World area, but by this time I was extremely hungry and when I get hungry--I get dizzy. Shannon, who was the special events CM with our group was awesome and hung back with DH and I so I could grab a churro. DH asked about the landscaping and she did confirm that every night crews come through and trim, re-plant, etc. We caught up to the group backstage to the right of Small World and went back around to where the train roundhouse is. We heard about how they use canola oil for the trains now, which makes it smell like french fries. We also got to see up close one of the train engines. This part dragged a little IMO because only a couple of people could see the train engine at a time, so it took quite awhile.

From there we went over behind Toon Town where we were able to sit down and rest and grab a bottle of water. We sat down facing a large building with parade floats in it. The doors were open, so we could see some floats, but I think we all wanted to go have a peak inside! This is also when Pete made the annoucement that the Disney Institute was going to refund us ALL of our money because of the mixup on time. I was shocked!

So here we heard about how the fireworks are shot off and saw the tubes they are shot out of. DL has their own firemen on duty during the fireworks show, I believe he said 30 of them. After sitting for a few minutes and hearing about the fireworks, we walked past the barns and original farmhouse that was there before the park opened. This is also where we saw Goofy roaming around backstage.

We went through a tunnel and ended up out in Frontierland. We were now heading over to the Splash Mt area. This is where DH couldn't take it anymore and had to grab an ice cream sandwich! We had a quick potty break and went over between the exit of Splash Mountain and Pooh's Corner (where the Pooh characters disappear to) and went backstage again. Here we came around to Outdoor Vending. They had some Splash Mt logs out on little carts in the street -- I would have loved to get in one and have had my picture taken....!

Kim from Outdoor Vending was awesome. I forgot to mention that for each little stop we did, there was someone from that department that talked to us. She took us inside and showed us how the carts had evolved over the years. She also talked about the new light up balloons a bit. She said they were having the guy who invented them come and teach the CMs how to blow them up properly. She said that they were on their third order of 1000 after only one week! Before we left this area we got to pick a sorbet or Mickey bar (or soda too). For those of you keeping track, that means that between DH and I we had already had 2 Mickey bars, a churro and an ice cream sandwich all before lunch!

From Outdoor Vending we walked around the backside of the big green buildings that house POTC, HM and Indy. We could actually hear the ball scene in Indy as we walked by. We came back around the backside of City Hall and the Firehouse and this is where we saw Goofy, Chip and Dale, but CHIP (or was it Dale?) didn't have HER HEAD ON! I think my hubby was a little traumatized but it was a highlight for me, for sure. As soon as she saw our group coming she shoved the head back on though! We passed by a full length mirror that said something about checking your costume before you go onstage and then we were out on Main Street like everyone else. But I did feel sort of special there for a minute with everyone looking at us as we came out from backstage.

So we were taken back outside the gates and given a cool pin with Walt on it that says "It's Kind of Fun to do the Impossible". This is where some random guy that wasn't with our tour decided he was going to push his way into our group and get one for himself.

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour, there were a couple of parts that dragged a bit, but for a Disney fan, I loved it. DH isn't quite the fan that I am, but he said he enjoyed it too. I will say that I would have loved to have gotten to go inside more buildings (with the floats, rides, anything!)

After the tour Pete was kind enough to take us all to Naples in DTD for lunch. Thanks again Pete! We had a great time and a great visit with Lara (Forevercrusing).

This is my first report and I am sure I missed some things here and there, so go easy one me, but hopefully others from the tour will post their reports!

Edit: Forgot to mention that someone did ask about the dragon in Fantasmic and when it will be fixed. They told us they HOPED to have it fixed by the 4th of July.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:03 PM   #3
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Thanks, I enjoyed it emensely.

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Old 06-22-2009, 02:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing your report.

It was great meeting you.


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Old 06-22-2009, 04:21 PM   #5
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Thanks! That was a great report!
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:03 PM   #6
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I read your 2nd part and you really shouldn't reveal to much about the tour you took. I remember when we did our Tour, we made a promise to not reveal what we saw. This is why kids are not allowed on the Tour, it will take away the Magic of DisneyLand or Walt Disney World.
Maybe you should edit out the Tour and just talk about it in general terms.
Plus, you went to DisneyLand, this is actually the Walt Disney World Trip Board. I don't have a problem with you posting here, but we do have a seperate board for DisneyLand trips.
Please edit out the edited swear word too.

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Old 06-22-2009, 05:09 PM   #7
Kayla's Mom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMari View Post
I read your 2nd part and you really shouldn't reveal to much about the tour you took. I remember when we did our Tour, we made a promise to not reveal what we saw. This is why kids are not allowed on the Tour, it will take away the Magic of DisneyLand or Walt Disney World.
Maybe you should edit out the Tour and just talk about it in general terms.
Plus, you went to DisneyLand, this is actually the Walt Disney World Trip Board. I don't have a problem with you posting here, but we do have a seperate board for DisneyLand trips.
Please edit out the swear word too.

OhMari
Yikes! I am sorry! We weren't told not to say anything -- I didn't realize I was doing anything wrong. I guess I figured small kids wouldn't be reading this. I will delete the part you requested -- I thought I was ok not actually typing the word she said. I didn't realize I posted in the wrong forum either...now I see that I did -- thank you! Please feel free to delete my post, I certainly don't want to cause trouble.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMari View Post
I read your 2nd part and you really shouldn't reveal to much about the tour you took. I remember when we did our Tour, we made a promise to not reveal what we saw. This is why kids are not allowed on the Tour, it will take away the Magic of DisneyLand or Walt Disney World.
Maybe you should edit out the Tour and just talk about it in general terms.
Plus, you went to DisneyLand, this is actually the Walt Disney World Trip Board. I don't have a problem with you posting here, but we do have a seperate board for DisneyLand trips.
Please edit out the edited swear word too.

OhMari
Wow! You're a moderator?? Remind me not to post on the boards that you moderate.

Do you ever say anything nice?? Or anything nicely?
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:23 PM   #9
OhMari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayla's Mom View Post
Yikes! I am sorry! We weren't told not to say anything -- I didn't realize I was doing anything wrong. I guess I figured small kids wouldn't be reading this. I will delete the part you requested -- I thought I was ok not actually typing the word she said. I didn't realize I posted in the wrong forum either...now I see that I did -- thank you! Please feel free to delete my post, I certainly don't want to cause trouble.
If you want me to move it to the DisneyLand threads, I can, I just thought you should do some editing before I move it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ImTooExcitedToSleep View Post
Wow! You're a moderator?? Remind me not to post on the boards that you moderate.

Do you ever say anything nice?? Or anything nicely?
Most times I send a PM to the person, but there were so many guidelines that were broken, I thought I was actually being nice about it. I'm going to post the guidelines.




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