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Old 04-06-2010, 06:26 PM   #46
mommy2allyandaveri
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Just catching up on your TR, LOVE IT! Glad there are many installments left for me to enjoy.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:12 PM   #47
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Great TR! I'm in! We're staying at the Villas in two weeks for our first time in the new wing. I hope we get a view like yours!
Good luck franandaj! Fingers crossed for you.

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Can't wait for more.
Ok, update coming soon. Glad you are enjoying reading.

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Just catching up on your TR, LOVE IT! Glad there are many installments left for me to enjoy.
Thanks mommy2allyandaveri!
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:29 AM   #48
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Jan. 29--Day 1, Part 8

After the Pixar Play parade, which was tons of fun, we ambled over to DL to use some of our FPs from the morning. As the sun was starting to go down and the evening was getting chilly, we decided to hit Splash Mountain first. Back row so we didn't get too wet.

Then over to Space Mountain. Lookin' good in the photo!

DW stopped at the counter after at the ride exit where you can purchase photos. Instead she bought a very cute t-shirt with astronauts in space suits riding space mountain and making devil horns.

At this point, DFM and DFC were scheduled to arrive at the Grand Californian in a couple hours. We headed back to DCA so that we would be closer to meeting them. We had FPs for ToT and Soarin' from earlier in the day. We hit ToT first. The construction walls along Hollywood Blvd. made it very difficult to get there. Too much traffic in too little space. I can't wait to see the new trolley! No Disney park should be without a train. Purists might say a trolley doesn't count but it works for me.

After ToT, DW sweet talked me into buying some "dinner". What can I say, I'm a sucker for ice cream.



I wouldn't recommend the waffle bowl. Maybe it was late in the day, or maybe nobody buys them except us but it was very stale. The ice cream and caramel was delicious. After polishing off our treat, we made the short hop to Soarin' and used our FPs.

Then off to do another new ride for us, Jumpin' Jellyfish!

We did everything wrong on this ride. First, we saw from a short distance away that they were loading so we jogged to try and make it. In fact, we jogged right over the yellow line where you're supposed to wait for the next cycle and were reprimanded by the CM. We waited for the ride to cycle, then made our way to one of the jellies facing out over Paradise Pier. I decided to leave my purse on the ground. Got reprimanded for that as well and had to unbuckle and collect it. Then two little girls wanted to sit together but next to their mom. Of course, our jelly was in between the two empty ones so we unbuckled again and changed jellies. Of course, my purse was tangled. By the time we finally got settled, I think the CM were just ready for us big oafs to leave. The ride is nothing special for adults but I'm sure would be fun for little ones.

Our friends called to let us know that they were leaving the airport so we headed over the the Great Hearth at the Grand Californian to wait for them. We were both tired and it felt good to sit and relax and people watch. Once DFM and DFC arrived, we took them to the front desk to get their Keys to the Magic. Then we headed up to the room and show off our AMAZING view.

Sometime between reaching the room and going to bed, we reminded DFM and DFC that we should all plan on being at the gates for Magic Morning at 6:30am. There was a small rebellion on their part. Not morning people. We tried to explain that Magic Morning is golden time, not to be wasted by sleeping, eating, taking pictures, greeting characters or shopping. They absolutely refused to get up so early. DW was pretty upset because one of the big reasons for springing for the Grand Californian was to give M and C a Magic Morning. Their time was so limited we figured it was the only way they would be able to tour Fantasyland. She tried to keep the mood light but it was hard to clash about touring style the very first night.

Here's a cliffhanger for the next installment...will DFM and DFC tour early or sleep in?
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Old 05-30-2010, 01:01 PM   #49
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Jan. 30--Day 2, Part 1

Here's a question to ask yourself: Are you the type of person who gets things done in a timely manner of your own accord? Or are you the type that needs a deadline to make things happen?

Clearly, I fall in the second category. Our final trip to DLR is fast approaching and so is my self imposed deadline to finish my trip report BEFORE we leave.

When I left you last, DFM and DFC were grousing about a proposed early start to hit Magic Morning. The big question is did they get up? And the answer is....


No.

DW and I got up and made our way to the gates on our own. DW was bummed that DFM+C were missing out on the best part of the day and desperately trying to reorganize our itinerary for various possible start times. But Magic Morning worked it's magic and we were smiling while we rode Peter Pan (always first), Dumbo, KA's Carousel and Snow White. The friendly CM on Snow White handed us Celebrate! buttons. I put mine on. DW's went in her pocket. She's too cool for school. We were just heading over to the Matterhorn when DW's phone rang. DFM+C were at the gate! They were going to meet us at Fantastyland! And MM wasn't even over yet. Yea!

We gave them big hugs and big props for crawling out of bed. First choice was PP but we had been in line for just a few minutes when the ride went down. Shoot. Next choice was Mr. Toad which everyone loved. It's an intense ride, especially if you are a kid. You get blown up, run over, tried, convicted and sentenced to hell. Ever notice how hot it is in the hell room? Love it. Next up was another spin on Snow White.

After breaking M+C in on the Fantasyland rides it was time for our first roller coaster--the Matterhorn. Neither M or C are big roller coaster fans so this ride would determine if we would even attempt some of the other "thrill" rides.

M+C were apprehensive but game to give it a try. DW suggested they go in the front of the toboggan. They actually kind of liked it and DFM said that his childhood memories of giant loops and drops and frightening yetis had perhaps been distorted by the passage of time.

Since MM was drawing to a close and they had passed the Matterhorn test, we decided to give Space a try while the lines were relatively short. M+C were down, especially since we told them that Space Mountain is pretty much just like the Matterhorn but in the dark. It turns out that not everyone shares this sentiment...

As we stepped off the ride, I noticed that DFM was staggering a bit. I put my hand on his back to steady him and asked if he was ok. When he looked at me, his face was green. We didn't appreciate the full extent of his motion sickness until we slowly made our way up the stairs to look at our photograph. Can you tell who's having fun and who isn't?



After a brief rest and some water, DFM felt better and we walked on Buzz. Everyone loved this ride. DFM said that he was feeling well enough to tackle Star Tours. Bad decision as this brought on more motion sickness. After another recovery period, we left Tomorrowland and crossed the plaza into Adventureland where we picked up a FP for Indiana Jones. In the spirit of doing some non-moving rides, we tried Tarzan's Treehouse but it was closed.

Jungle Cruise was up and running though. IMHO, the Jungle Cruise is just ok. Maybe I'm not embracing the spirit of the ride but I just don't "get" it. What's the point? I like real animals, especially birds. So you can imagine my excitement when we saw a wood duck swimming in the channel just before the dock.

*This picture is from the internet, I did not take it.*



In fact, I was so excited that I stood on the dock pointing him out to our group. Apparently, Disney frowns on actual wildlife viewing if it interferes with ride flow and I was unceremoniously escorted off the dock by a CM!

Next up: Ahoy mateys!

Last edited by Hawleys; 05-30-2010 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:09 AM   #50
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Jan. 30--Day 2, Part 2

I'm down to 4 days before we head to Disneyland again and I WILL finish this trip report before the wheels of the plane leave the ground. Even if that means I'm taking advantage of the free wireless at the Oakland airport.

After the Jungle Cruise, we made our way to Pirates. The line was under the bridge but moved very quickly. Since there were four of us we had our own row. I'm always impressed with how immersive that first bayou scene is. Everything is so calm and quiet with just the banjo playing and maybe a few insects. Then you enter the dark tunnel and...who know what lies ahead? It's creepy and awesome.

After exiting Pirates, we hot-footed it over to Splash Mountain where we grabbed a FP and rode Winnie the Pooh. Trippy Heffalumps, I love you so.

The standby wait time for Splash was ten minutes and on a whim we decided to go for a spin. DFC was nervous about the big drop but admitted after that it looks worse than it is. Hear that all you nervous nellies? You can do it too! We all came off the ride wet in various degrees, from damp to dripping. We took a few posed couple shots at the WTP hunny pots meet and greet area. The results were fantastic, everyone looks so relaxed and happy.





Next we made our way around Splash Mountain to the Haunted Mansion. Neither DFM or DFC remembered the stretching room and it was fun to see it with fresh eyes.

An adventure with Indy was calling to us. Up until now, DFM+C had been somewhat skeptical about collecting Fastpasses as it was early in the day and lines weren't that long. They just didn't get what all the fuss is about. This ride would be our first chance to show them the magic of the fastpass. There was a significant line outside the Temple of the Forbidden Eye and as we were waltzing past, fastpasses in hand, DFC commented that she was digging the fastpass now that she saw how it worked. Our FPs only got us about halfway through the indoor queue before we encountered a line but still cut our wait time dramatically.

We were all starting to get hungry and thinking about heading back to the Grand Californian for lunch. I sent DW and DFM+C to the Fronteirland shootin' exhibition while I dashed over to the BTMRR fastpass machines. One of our favorite memories from our trip with our nephew was riding BTMRR while the fireworks were going off and we were determined to repeat the experience.

After we finished our shootin', we rolled down Mainstreet, planning to go back to the hotel. At the last minute, we decided to stop at the Ticket booth and cash in my Give A Day voucher for fastpasses. The CM checked all our ids and gave us a voucher that we needed to take to the Guest services area right next to City Hall to exchange for the actual fastpasses. Instead of getting the FPs right away, we wound our way through DTD back to the hotel. At this point, several people in our party (like me ) were super hungry.

We had all kinds of yummy food in our hotel room. Loaves of bread, fancy cheese, chocolates and a variety of drinks that we had purchased at the Hojo convenience store the night before. DFM+C brought salads and sandwiches from Trader Joes. We had a lovely meal which highlighted my only real complaint with our room at the Grand Californian. There was no place that four adults (or even two adults and two children) could sit together and eat a meal. The balcony was too small. The table inside could seat three (barely) and the space between the bed and the table was too small to let anyone get by to go to the fridge.

After lunch, we changed into swimsuits for a visit to the giant hot tub by the Mariposa pool. In yet another example of great service, we called for two additional robes for DFM+C and they were delivered within 10 minutes. I had hoped to go down the Redwood slide but that pool was closed for renovation so we had to make do with the hot tub and a quick dip in the cold pool. Then off to the room for a nap. I was too keyed up on Disney to sleep, even though I needed it. I was still taking the Dayquil/Nyquil like candy in an attempt to deny that I was sick. I occupied myself reading a magazine, then slipped out of the room to go take a look at the Redwood pool and poke around the Acorn gift shop for lack of anything better to do. I found some white chocolate covered pretzels that DW can eat (she is on a very restricted medical diet) and bought those for her with my room key. This transaction was the first and only time I was asked for my id when making a purchase with my room key. Of course, I hadn't brought my purse with me. The CM was very nice and ran the purchase anyway but heads up that you might (and probably should) be asked for your id when using your key to the magic.

Once folks had woken up from napping, showered and dressed, we headed back to DL. The CM working at the guest services booth was excited as this was her first chance to give out GAD fastpasses. We received 6 FPs each, 3 Donald and 3 Daisy.

Donald's FPs were good for any of the following rides:
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
Rodger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
Indiana Jones Adventure
Soarin' Over California
California Screamin'
The Twillight Zone Tower of Terror

Daisy's FPs were good for any of the following rides:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Autopia
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Grizzly River Run
Mulloholland Madness

At this point, DFM was in serious need of some coffee. We stopped at the Blue Ribbon Bakery to purchase a very expensive cup of mediocre coffee (DFM's opinion, not mine ) Then we dodged the Celebrate a street party thingy on our way to Toontown (DFC's requested destination). Toontown was pretty packed with wee ones but we still had fun exploring Donald's boat and Chip and Dale's treehouse. Then we toured Mickey's house. None of us realized that we were in a queue to visit Mickey until we lined up in the holding area just before you meet Mickey. The holding area is the room where they show classic Mickey cartoons. We debated ducking out since there were several parties in front of us. While we debated what to do, the parties in front of us were ushered in. Next thing we knew, we were being led into our meet and greet. Mickey was quite the gentleman although none of us really knew what to do. We sort of awkwardly got our picture taken and left.



After our very shy encounter with Mickey, we explored Goofy's house, somewhat relieved that he wasn't actually in residence. Then over to the jail for some clowning photos.






Last stop was Roger Rabbit's cartoon spin, since we had GAD FPs to use.

Ok, I'll stop there as this is turning into a mammoth update. More to come soon. Chow Disers!!

Last edited by Hawleys; 06-15-2010 at 01:04 AM. Reason: Added photos!
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:48 AM   #51
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I'm glad you're committed to finishing this report! I love "family" trips and there aren't many on this board! I'd love to see you post something on the G&L board because they don't seem to know that DL exists!

Loving to hear about your trip, you two have such fresh views to my "been there a million times" perspective!
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:51 AM   #52
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Sounds like you had fun! Cant wait to read more from the old and the new trip!
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:51 PM   #53
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I'm glad you're committed to finishing this report! I love "family" trips and there aren't many on this board! I'd love to see you post something on the G&L board because they don't seem to know that DL exists!

Loving to hear about your trip, you two have such fresh views to my "been there a million times" perspective!
Hi franandaj.
Yes, I AM going to finish this report.
The G&L board is clueless about DLR. Maybe I'll post a link to my trip reports to try and drum up some interest.

I really enjoyed your VGC report, especially the pictures of Club 33. What was the Napa Rose cooking school like?
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:52 PM   #54
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Sounds like you had fun! Cant wait to read more from the old and the new trip!
Thanks tinksdreamwishes!
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:29 AM   #55
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What was the Napa Rose cooking school like?
The Napa Rose cooking school is the *BEST THING EVER*! ! ! ! It is so cool and the one thing about F&W that I live for every year. It's major expensive, but you get to actually cook in Andrew Sutton's kitchen! It is the best! I've done it for the last three years and each time I have learned something new and fantastic. For the past two years DP has lurked in the restaurant while I cook, either taking pictures or just reading a book and they have been very welcoming, Andrew Sutton always greets us when we see him (at dinner in his restaurant, the Taste event) and this year they even gave her a plate of the main course for her own since she was lurking around (not that there wasn't enough chicken since ALL of us made a whole chicken!) but that was very thoughtful!

This year my friend Suzie also did the cooking school and she also agreed that it was amazing. They taught us how to make pasta from scratch and she has already made the recipe they taught us and started expanding to other recipies with homemade pasta.

And as I type this you remind me that I need to catch up on my TRs. They have been long abandondend for quite a while and I have a few more things to catch up on!
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:42 PM   #56
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The Napa Rose cooking school is the *BEST THING EVER*! ! ! ! It is so cool and the one thing about F&W that I live for every year. It's major expensive, but you get to actually cook in Andrew Sutton's kitchen! It is the best! I've done it for the last three years and each time I have learned something new and fantastic. For the past two years DP has lurked in the restaurant while I cook, either taking pictures or just reading a book and they have been very welcoming, Andrew Sutton always greets us when we see him (at dinner in his restaurant, the Taste event) and this year they even gave her a plate of the main course for her own since she was lurking around (not that there wasn't enough chicken since ALL of us made a whole chicken!) but that was very thoughtful!

This year my friend Suzie also did the cooking school and she also agreed that it was amazing. They taught us how to make pasta from scratch and she has already made the recipe they taught us and started expanding to other recipies with homemade pasta.

And as I type this you remind me that I need to catch up on my TRs. They have been long abandondend for quite a while and I have a few more things to catch up on!
Hey franandaj! I've never cooked in a professional kitchen. It sounds exciting. And challenging. And delicious. Was the equipment very different? Did you get to wear an awesome hat?

Homemade past is the best! My parents gave us their old pasta maker and we've had so much fun using it. Just basic egg pasta but because it's fresh (and we slaved over it) it tastes so much better.

Glad I can inspire someone else to work on their trip reports. It's fun to write them but it can take a long time. Just have to remind myself how much I enjoy reading about other peoples' trips when I can't be there myself.

On that note...off to work on another installment.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:51 PM   #57
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Yay for another installment I cant wait to see the end and you are gonna do another for the trip that's only days away!!

BTW, have ya'll made it to the WDWFM in S.F. yet?
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:22 AM   #58
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Yay for another installment I cant wait to see the end and you are gonna do another for the trip that's only days away!!

BTW, have ya'll made it to the WDWFM in S.F. yet?
Belle Ella Oh, it is so nice to hear from you. We never made it to the WDWFM. We are officially lame. Did you?
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:36 AM   #59
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Belle Ella Oh, it is so nice to hear from you. We never made it to the WDWFM. We are officially lame. Did you?
I forget to make 'the rounds' on occasion. I've been checking in with your updates but never seem to post anything, lol. And I guess I am officially lame as well. I haven't been either. At this rate it will have been open for a full year and still nada! I'm possibly going this weekend with family if they don't have to work, but it's just as likely to not happen.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:09 AM   #60
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Jan. 30--Day 2, Part 3

Part 2 finished with a "spin" on Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin. Spin is in quotes because after our experience on Space Mountain and Star Tours, it was pretty clear that DFM needed a spin free environment to truly enjoy the ride.



We meandered under the railroad out of Toontown and jumped in line for IASW. It was one of the longer waits we had that day, around 15 minutes. We had fun trying to guess the countries as we traveled around the world.

Since the train was pulling into the Toontown station as we exited the ride, we hustled over and hopped on board for the ride to New Orleans Square. (Wow, as I write this trip report, I'm amazed by the number of attractions we experienced in a single day. Not that number of attractions should be the measure of a day at DL, leisurely days are lovely too, but with only one day in the parks, it's nice that DFM+C were able to see so many things.)

In New Orleans Square, we found that Tarzan's treehouse was open and trekked up and quickly down. It's a pretty short route. I could have spent some more time poking around with the interactive stuff (drums anyone?) at the bottom of the ride but everyone else seemed ready to leave so we did. Maybe when I go back in a few days I can convince DW.

DW and I were starting to get the shakes from lack of roller coaster riding so we cut through Frontierland (with a stop at conveniently located ladies room) to BTMRR. Yay! Like Goldilocks and the three bears, we had finally found the perfect rollercoaster for DFM+C. Matterhorn--too jerky; Space Mountain--too vomit inducing; Big Thunder--just right!! What to do with reviews like that? Get another FP of course.

Our next stop was the Tiki room where we all shared churros and a Dole whip. This was my first Dole whip experience and it was good. Not sure if it's worth all the raves it gets on the boards but if DW bought me one, I would thank her heartily and dig in. No soft serve, no matter how delicious, can compare to the raspberry sherbert/mocha ice cream swirl that I grew up with. I also took an opportunity to check out the infrequently used Tiki room bathroom. Clean and relatively private. Two big thumbs up.

I enjoy the Tiki Room, especially when I'm in need of 20 minutes in some air conditioning but it's not a must do for me. DFM+C however, truly enjoyed the show and chided me for underselling it. I think that as a concept, it's hard to explain without seeing it. Imagine me trying. "You see there are these animatronic birds that sing to you and a magical fountain and the walls talk and...oh heck...it's air conditioned."

At this point, the sun was starting to dip and we decided that if we wanted to use our Splash FPs now was the time. We really didn't need them as there was hardly any standby line. After riding, I almost convinced everyone to go again but DFM was wet and starting to get cold. Instead we headed back to the Grand Californian to get jackets for the evening. Somehow heading back to the hotel turned into a stop at the penny arcade where DW gave everyone a penny. Then a quick stop at the Main Street Cinema. And finally, we ducked in to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. The show was just fine, although a little heavy handed on the patriotism for my taste. The big draw was all the stuff in the lobby. There were original models for Disneyland and all kinds of other interesting goodies. I could have stayed for an hour just poking around. DW has agreed that we will spend some time there on our next trip.

We finally made it back to the hotel. We chowed down on the lunch leftovers and broke into our minibar. After a drink, I was definitely ready to hit the park but DFC was fading fast. It took some convincing but we finally got everyone out the door and pointed in the direction of the monorail.

The monorail was another new attraction for DW and I. The view from the platform in Tomorrowland is beautiful. All the lights of the park are laid out before you. Such a nice surge of anticipation when you step out of the train.

We used our GAD FPs to ride Buzz again, a special request from DFM. We poked around Fantasyland, hoping we could get on Peter Pan but it was just way too crowded so we circled the back way around Frontierland to get in line for...BTMRR! We rode during the fireworks. Afterward, DFM commented on how perfectly timed the fireworks were. Every time we came out of a tunnel, there would be an explosion of color above our heads. I can't recommend this enough. If you don't want to watch the fireworks from the castle, go to BTMRR. We got in line again immediately and watched the end of the fireworks from the queue. It was fantastic!



After the fireworks, we wanted to ride Peter Pan but there was already a long line of folks waiting at the rope to Fantasyland (Fantasyland is closed during the fireworks). Instead we rode on the Storybookland Canal Boats which I find to be very romantic. Finally, we got in a 30 minute line for Peter Pan as DFC REALLY wanted to go. At this point, I was just dying. My Dayquil was wearing off, the alcohol was wearing off and the sleep deprivation was killing me. I was too tired to even enjoy my flight over London. We all agreed that we were done and dragged back to the hotel to pass out.

Whew! Mammoth update complete. Day 3 coming up.

Last edited by Hawleys; 06-17-2010 at 07:05 PM.
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