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Old 06-15-2010, 02:18 AM   #1
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them, Walt Disney
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,102

Mom's 50th Birthday Surprise Vacation Trip Report

Okie dokie!!!

So we are home now after an incredible vacation. I will try and keep this as brief as I can as so much happened during the trip.

As my Pre-Trip report stated my mom, dad, mums best friend, and myself booked a trip to Disneyland for pleasure only, but really it was for my mom's 50th birthday and some family (Who mum rarely sees) were coming 2 days into the trip to jump out and surprise her. We had it planned to get my dear mumsie to the hub in front of the castle, and then have the camera rolling as the family rolls up.




Day 1:
May 29th Flight came in a half hour early around 10:30am, no luggage lost and our luggage came out of the carousel first which was SWEEET!, got a cab which cost us $37 to get to our hotel, and we got there straight away. The cab driver was chatty and friendly and very helpful. It was really hot in Cali and that was so nice coming from pouring rain Vancouver BC. Our hotel was the Tropicana. We have stayed there before and loved it, although the beds on our last trips were very hard. Our rooms werent ready but the hotel was nice enough to store our things as we headed to the park for some lunch and play time.

We headed to the park and there were NO lineups at the ticket booths and barely anyone in the esplanade. We thought this was SO strange for Memorial day weekend, but we headed straight into the main DL park and leisurely walked Main Street going into some shops, the old time Cinema etc. We headed into Tomorrowland and hit those crowds that were definitely not at the main gates. We went to Captain EO, and I am sorry. I dont mean to disrespect Michael Jackson as he is like the ultimate human, but seriously it was the most flamboyant thing I have ever witnessed if you know what I am saying. Not that I have a problem with that what so ever, but it wasnt my cup of tea or my families. That was the last time during that trip we saw the show. We then headed to get fast passes for Space mountain, and proceeded into Innovations to check out the house of the future.

After we left Innovations we went to Fantasyland and were packed in there like Sardines. It was now reaching about 1:30-2:00 and we were hot, a bit tired from being up at 2am to catch a flight, and not liking the crowds much. We did manage to check out the new Gepetto's Sweet Shop and found that to be an adorable little candy store, and we got a treat and headed to Big Thunder Ranch to see some goats

We then left BT ranch to jump on the Mark Twain River boat to see the new additions. We then realized were so tired we had to leave and see if our room was ready and have a nap. So we headed down Main Street to luck out and see Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck standing there with like no line up. We walked right up to both and had pics before heading out the gates and back to the hotel.

The hotel room was ready, and they upgraded us for free to a suite. It was near the back and it was 2 rooms with a joining door. Our package we booked was for 2 rooms with a king in each, but this was so much nicer and it was on the 3rd floor where the only breakfast room is. The rooms also were updated with new beds, mattresses, pillows, flat screen TV's etc. God Love Ya Tropicana.

We all decided to have a nap and all crashed for literally 3 hours. We woke up starving so we headed down the road to Milli's. Lets just say it was OK but definitely not like its neighbor sister Mimi's.

We then headed back to the park, got Fast Passes for Soarin, went and tried Mohallands Madness, the new Symphony swings as it was opening day and a walk on, the Maliboomer, Screaming, and then walked over to Soarin to use the fast passes, and found NO LINES!!! We thought it was closed, but everyone flooded over to the other park for the fireworks and opening weekend of Fantasmic and so we were able to walk on Soarin as many times as we wanted in a row without waits. It was crazy. But so fun. We then went and had a tea and a cookie, and as soon as the fireworks were over, we headed over to DL.

We used our Fast Passes for Space Mountain, then went to Fantasyland to ride the rides we couldnt earlier that day. Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Casey Jr. and then we headed back to the hotel to CRASH!!!!!

DAY 2!!!

We slept in, then headed to Mimi's for that famous honey bran muffin, and decided it was so hot and we all forgot to pack bathing suits, so it was going to be a shopping day.

We decided to go check out the mall the locals call "The Main", and so we went to the front desk to ask for a cab. They recommended their car service and quoted us $17 to go to the mall. We said sure no problem. The car service the Tropicana recommended picked us up and took us to the Main. The driver said $60 please. EXCUSE ME!!! No no no!!! We were quoted $17 by the Tropicana and that is what we are paying you. We argued with him, and got him down to $30 and told him to not bother picking us up. After an afternoon of shopping, we called a cab and it cost us $13 to get back to our hotel. Trust me we had it out with the girl at the front counter. Even our Taxi driver on the way back said that Yellow Cab knows about this tagged team car service with the Tropicana and its so not worth it. They rip you off as eveyone gets a cut for the recommendation. So whatever you do if you stay at the Tropicana, is GET YELLOW CAB!!!! DO NOT ASK OR SAY OK TO THEIR RECOMMENDED CAR SERVICE!!!! IF TROPICANA RECOMMENDS A GUY NAMED TOM... WALK WAY.

Anyways back at the hotel now we went for a swim and then headed to DCA's Hollywood backlot to the Animation studio to see Turtle Talk with Crush, the Toy Story Zerotrope (Or whatever they call it), Went to Bells library, sang in Ursulas grotto, and went back to Soarin as again it was another night of walk ons. We then went to DL but the crowds on Main Street getting out were NUTS!!! So we just sat and relaxed before we opted to leave the park and go to Ihop for a 10pm dinner, and back to the room to bed.

Day 3:

Today we were all in a good mood. Mom's unexpected guests were showing up, and their flight was coming in at 9:30am in LAX and were heading straight to our hotel. That meant I had to have mom out of the hotel by 10am at the latest. We went to Mimi's for breakfast again, and then went straight to DL. Again the plan was for the unexpected guests to drop their luggage and come straight over to DL and hide at the hub and text me on my phone to let me know they were in place. We figured they were going to be in place by 11am. Our calculations were totally accurate on that too.

We got to DL, and watched the bands on Main Street, and I suggested going to Adventureland to just take in some smaller non time consuming things there, like the Jungle Cruise, Aladdins story telling, Tarzans Tree house, poking around the Indy store etc. Worked like a charm. While on the Jungle Cruise I get a text saying we are in place. As soon as we got off, mum said "Lets get a fast pass for Indy". I was like UM NO NO NO!!! I WANT ONE FOR SPACE MOUNTAIN. I had to get mum over to the hub, and this was my excuse to go over that way. She was getting quite annoyed with me, but I stood my ground and dragged her over to the hub.... I saw my brother and his girlfriend hiding behind a light post and so I got my mom into place where she couldnt see them come up behind her.... This is what happened

MOMS SURPRISE!!! The Hub and Coker Corner right after.


After the Surprise we headed to DCA to the Bugs Life 3D show and Muppets 3D. We then saw Handy Many, and then went for coffee and ice cream. We then went to the hotel for a shower and a change of clothing to get ready for the bus to pick us up and take us to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament.

Medieval times is fun. We have been a few times. Good food and the portions OMG. They literally give you half a chicken to eat. WAY TOO MUCH! But good if you like meat. This time we sat in the red section and our Knight one. He was pretty cute I have to admit and Megan (Bros GF) and myself were lucky enough to get pics with him after the show.

After MT we went back to DL to ride Soarin, Screaming, & Toy Story before heading off to La La Land back at the hotel.

Day 4:

Mimi's for our normal everyday breakfast, we to DL to the Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, got a Dole whip, Headed to DCA to the Hollywood backlot to see if Aladdin was playing and no it wasnt, but we tried the Tower of Terror for the first time and that became an instant favorite. I dunno if it was for the ride itself or if it was cause we saw Jake Gyllenhaal walking out of the TOT looking all scruffy with his beard and all . The ride was so fun though.

We then went back to the Animation studio for Crush, singing, the zerotrope, etc just cause Megan has never been in there. We then went to Paradise pier and had some salads for lunch, before hitting the Grizzley River Run. We then headed back to the hotel for a swim and met some nice people who lived an hour from us. We all became instant friends and decided to go have dinner together that night.

We went for dinner at Tony Romas, and then went to DL to catch the later showing of Fantasmic. We got the seating area which was nice and got prime viewing. The cement was brilliant to sit on. Although it was like 9:30 at night, it was still super warm from the heat that day.

Back to the room for some shut eye.

Day 5:

Breakfast at Mimi's of course, then went and checked out Pixie Hollow in DL. I freaked when I found out that Fawn was going to greet us first. She is by far my favorite fairy and I was happy to give her a hug. Tinkerbell and Terrance were there and to see them was super fun. I even got them to say a little something on video to my friend back at home who is a crazy fan. They were really sweet and said they wished she were there.

We then left Pixie Hollow and went on the Matterhorn, and the moment we got off, we saw the Queen of Hearts, and the Mad Hatter with no lines, so we had pics with them, and headed to the house of the future again as Megan nor my Bro had ever been in there. Afterwards we went to a Tomorrowland store to look for hats and take crazy pics, and then went on Finding nemo subs.

We then headed back to the hotel to give my mom a gift for her birthday which was a sash, a birthday button, a sparkly tiara with a 50 on it, and we all walked to the Disneyland hotel for mum's 50th birthday dinner at Goofy's Kitchen.

I dont think I have ever had so much fun in my whole life as I did that night. Goofy's was amazing. We wre put in a room with a bunch of mostly adults and some older children. So the jokes that some of the characters pulled were UM quite out there. We saw Goofy, Pluto, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, The White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter, and Princess Aurora.

The Hatter grabbed my camera, turned it on video and ran around the room like an idiot video taping random things. Trust me its total Youtube material and will be posted. It will be a big hit. Specially the part where he ran up to Daisy and said "OMG LOOK ITS DINNER TOMORROW"!!!! OMG The room literally erupted!!!! Then the camera goes back to Daisy and she makes the hand jesture pointing at the Hatter and making that coo coo finger spin! As we got up to leave Goofy pulled me into the dance floor area and we started doing the Twist and others joined in. What fun. As we were leaving, my mom was paying for the picture of us with Pluto that they take of you as you enter the restaurnt, and Pluto was signing asking me how dinner was. I said delcious but I am so full. I joke with him as him and I made the movements of being full and cold sweats and how you want to just sit on the floor. Man being able to play with Pluto for about 5-10 minutes was a blast.

As soon as we left Goofys, we wandered into DTD and there was this AMAZING Mexican band playing on a big stage and again us girls all started dancing in the street. We got other to come join us doing the cha cha. Me having spent some time in Cuba learning some Spanish Dancing and having taken years of Salsa dance, I was able to teach some people. We danced a few songs and the band loved the fact we did this and got a big crowd going.

We then wandered into Sephora and other stores in DTD before taking off into DL to hit Space Mountain one time before we were all just ready for bed.

Day 6:

Today was Universal Studios and Hollywood day. We drove into LA and went to Universal for the day and then drove right into LA. We wanted to go see the hand and foot prints at the Chinese theatre but we couldnt get in there. We ran stright into something better....

A HOLLYWOOD PREMIER!!! The A-Team premier was going on and we were able to find a place to watch the stars walk the read carpet. We saw Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson, Jessica Biel, George Clooney, Quinton Jackson, & Carson Presley. They had choppers flying around, a big tank that rolled in, the A-Team van brought in Liam Neeson etc. It was amazing. This besides Goofy's was the highlight of my trip. Defintely one to cross off the bucket list. I got to go to a premier in Hollywood.

Day 7:

Mimi's, DL to see the Castle, went on Pinocchio, Toon Town, then went over to DCA to see Aladdin. I really needed some space after that as too much family can be overwhelming, so I took off to DTD to wander the shops, get a drink and just relax. I went back to the hotel for a swim, and a nap and watched the last bit of the movie 7 pounds with Will Smith. I met up with my family who were in DL and had staked out a spot for the Celebrate street parade. That was so fun I got to dance in a Disney Parade!!! HAHA! Of course when they call you out, I totally went. I got to dance with Tigger. Great fun. My mum and dad decided to have some time to themselves so Beena my mums friend and myself decided to walk to the Garden Walk and have dinner at the Cheesecake factory. AMAZING FOOD!!!

We then headed back to DL to meet mum and dad at Coke Corner. We headed over to Adventureland to Indy which was now open again after 2 days of referb, we hit the Jungle Cruise to see what it was like at night, and then we went back to the hotel to bed.

Day 8:

Today was Sandiego Zoo day. We got up at 7:00 am went and had a continental breakfast, and went outside for Gray Line bus tours to pick us up. This is the first time to Sandiego Zoo. For some reason the drive there didnt seem as long as the way back, but still a nice drive. We were in a double Decker bus the entire way there and back and had a nice table to sit at.

The Zoo was fun. Not as exciting as I hoped, but it was still fun. We checked out the sky gondolas, and had lunch at a Tree Top Cafe, we covered a good majority of the park. Skipped the Pandas as the lineup for that was stupid. But we did spend a good 45 minutes with the Orangatangs. There were a few right up at the glass, and were so goofy. Especially this one who wanted to check out all the things I had in my purse. I sad down right next to him and put some on, then pretended to put some on his lip and he did this little pucker thing and smiled. Made everyone laugh. Then he kept making this goofy grin as I played with my cell phone. He seemed to love that.

After the zoo closed we got back on the bus, and we headed back to the hotel totally starving. We met up with the rest of the party, and we all went for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory again. Cant beat it. This was our last and final dinner before we went back to the hotel to pack as we all went home the next day.

Day 9

We all spend the good portion of the day in DL as all our flights werent till 6pm that night. We all kind of split that day and went to our favorite rides one last time. Beena and I took off to the Tower of Terror and there was literally a 10 minute wait so we rode 3 times before we hit DL for Autopia, Nemo, Star Tours and meeting up with the group for a coke at Coke Corner and a hug good bye.

Our flights were delayed due to fog in San Fransisco our connection. We were to land back in Vancouver at 11:00 that night, but didnt actually get in until 3am. It was an exhausting last day, but the trip was well worth it.

Crowds this time of year... decent. Very manageable. LOADS of high school field trips though, so teens everywhere, but some rides were walk on's and others like Space, Indy, and Splash were in definite need of Fast Passes.

The weather was nice and warm, up in the 70's. Very little June Gloom. The park hours were extended except for every Thursdays for Grad Night. And if you wanna be in a very very low crowd, go to DCA in the evenings on nights they have Fireworks and Fantasmic. You and maybe 500 other guests or so it seemed basically have the park to yourself. Its pretty sweet.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:49 AM   #2
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what a wonderful trip report! I got teary watching your video of your mom! It was so sweet- your a great daughter! Sounds like you all had a trip of a lifetime!

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies."
~ Peter Pan
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:39 AM   #3
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What a wonderful surprise for your Mom! Loved the video!
Mom & Son - The Last Time? August 2013 ~ Mom & Son Take on Spring Break - March 2013
Mom & Son Head to Food & Wine - November 2012 ~ Mom & Son - One More Time with Dad! August 23rd - Sept 3rd 2012
Mom and Son Take on the Land! - July 2010 Trip Report
- Mom and Son Going Back -Another 10 days of Deluxe Dining 8/25 - 9/5/2011
Mom and Son Eat the World -11 days of Deluxe Dining ~Mom and Son Eat the World Part 2-With Dad this Time

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Old 06-15-2010, 08:59 AM   #4
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I'm so glad everything went off without a hitch and your Mom loved her surprise.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:10 PM   #5
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i am so happy you had such a good time. i watched your you tube video of your moms surrpise. tears came to my eyes. so sweet!
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:25 PM   #6
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Thanks! I am super stoked it went over better then expected. I am really happy she didnt figure anything was up. She's pretty much up to par and you cant put anything past her, but that was a brilliant moment. She sure deserves it.
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