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Old 09-14-2010, 12:00 PM   #1
FlameGirl
I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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FlameGirl and family's PHOTO HEAVY 2010 Christmas marathon TR ~*FINALLY COMPLETE!!!*~

Hey there! I've been around the DIS for a while now and have successfully completed two trips in that time, and can you believe I've never yet done a trip report?

A little history lesson (relax...there is no quiz afterwards):

Way back when I met my husband in 2005, he announced that he would never return to Disneyland. I was crushed...my daughter was five at the time, the perfect age for fun family trips to the land of The Mouse, and the new love of my life was completely anti-Disney. He has two grown kids from a previous relationship and explained that he'd been there, done that already, and he was over it.

"But....but..." I stammered. "But you've never been there with ME."

He was not budging. Come to find out, his previous trips consisted of going during the summer when the crowds are at their highest, the sun is at its hottest, and they had a very strict budget and stayed way off property in a (what he referred to as) "budget" hotel. When my husband says "budget", it usually means "ghetto". So, his Disney experience hadn't been everything it could be, I got that, so I quietly started scheming to find a way to change his mind.

And then, as if by magic, two years later in 2007 he told me he MIGHT be willing to renegotiate his previous stance on a trip to Disneyland. That was all I needed...I immediately called Alaska Airlines and booked a trip!

We went for three days, the week after Thanksgiving, and stayed at the DLH. We flew into SNA and cabbed it to the hotel. The plan was to poke around DTD that evening and then hit the park first thing the next morning.

We caught up with Goofy in the lobby of the DLH:



I don't think she even really gets what a phone booth is:



By the time we made it to DTD we were starving, so we headed to Tortilla Jo's. We wanted just a little something to tide us over until dinner...his daughter (who lives in Martinez, CA) was flying to Maui and had a layover for the night in LA, and would be joining us for dinner. We decided to split an order of the chicken nachos, and my daughter had a kid's quesedilla (I can never see or hear the word quesedilla anymore without hearing the gramma from Napoleon Dynamite say "Go make yerself a gosh-dang quese-DILLA" ) and we thought we'd have a couple drinks to calm the traveling nerves. When the check came, I almost fainted: $85 so with the tip, it came to almost $100.

I call this shot "$100 Nachos at Tortilla Jo's



We were indoctrinated quickly into the school of All Things Disney Will Cost You a Bloody Fortune after that experience.

I will miss you, waterfall:



We finally met up with my stepdaughter and headed over to ESPN Zone for dinner. But of course, we were still full from our $100 nachos, so we just had a glass of wine and chatted with her.

The next morning, we sent the stepdaughter off on her way on the DLH shuttle, and we headed for Uva Bar for breakfast before the rope drop:



The hoard before the gates opened:



This sign always gets me:



Ack!



To Be Continued.....

Last edited by FlameGirl; 01-14-2011 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:07 PM   #2
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:26 PM   #3
FlameGirl
I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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Nemo was still pretty new, and I had lurked around here enough to know it probably made the most sense to head straight to Nemo when they dropped the rope. What a mob scene! People were SPRINTING towards Tomorrowland and they had a CM planted to direct people by saying "The Finding Nemo submarines are this way!"

We didn't run. I refuse to mow down small children to ride a ride. I mean, I'm a bitter old hag, but I draw the line at injuring babies.

I remember the submarine ride from way back when I was a kid in the 70's so I was really happy to hear they were doing another submarine ride.

My favorite part of the ride:



We liked the ride. I know it has mixed reviews, but I think it's fine for what it is. We did all agree that we had seen it, and wouldn't need to stand in line to see it again.

Now, let me take a minute to back up a bit. Back BEFORE I met my (mostly) wonderful husband, I was a single mom, and had an opportunity to stay in LA for a few days in the summer of 2004. A guy I was dating was invited to a very hoitey toitey computer nerd / gamer elite 4th of July party at some super rich guy who is one of the people that developed some first-person shooter game's house in the Hollywood hills. Kids were not invited so I mentally flipped that party the bird and took my kid to Disneyland for the day.

Did I mention it was the Fourth of July? What was I THINKING?

We actually had a really good time, except that my darling daughter is kinda chicken of everything and only wanted to ride IASW. She wouldn't do POTC, HM, no dark rides, period...she wouldn't have DREAMED of Indy...so we walked back and forth between IASM and the Jungle Cruise and Dumbo and the Carousel about a thousand times. Finally, FINALLY at the very end of the day, she agreed to go on POTC. So, we go get in line and wait and then we are the next people to board and then she starts FLIPPING OUT. I got her to calm down enough to get her on the boat (I know I'm coming off like a child abuser here, like I forced her onto a ride, but I KNEW she would love it once she stopped freaking out...) and she enjoyed it. So we went on POTC several more times before watching fireworks and heading home. Seriously? She freaked out when she found out we were going into the whale on the Storybook Canal.

OK, back to 2007. We decided we were going to hit POTC first, and everyone agreed. Wouldn't you know...my little angel got up to the loading gate and started freaking out again. We let the other people behind us go, and more people, while we talked to her reminding her that she had already been on this ride and LOVED it, etc. She was hysterical. Finally, my husband picked her up and put her in the boat while a CM looked at us like the worst parents ever and we were off! Yippe! I swear, our trips are not complete without tears in the first few minutes.

Of course, as soon as we started moving, she remembered how much she loves the ride so when we got off, we found the CM that was giving us the stink eye and she went up to him and told him that she loved it and we were getting in line to ride again.

So now, POTC is the new IASW. She wanted to ride it over and over and over, and still wouldn't go near the Matterhorn, Indy, or any of the big kid rides.

The Jungle Cruise remained a favorite, as well:



We were able to talk her into the HM, too:





I am the biggest Tim Burton fan alive, and NBC is one of my favorite movies but the HMH leaves something to be desired for me. I miss the regular HM, but hey, it's not IASW so I can't complain too much.

At some point I convinced the gang to go into the Tiki Room:



We got a Dole Whip while we waited for the show:



After the show, we came outside and I caught my daughter rolling her eyes. I asked her what that was for..."that was really dumb" she says. My husband nodded. Whatever family!

We found Balou wandering around outside of Bengal BBQ:



(my daughter looks so goofy in this photo!)

Teacups:



(I am always the photographer on our vacations. I am in virtually zero photos.)

The castle is so pretty when it's lit up at Xmas time:



To Be Continued...
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:29 PM   #4
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I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle Ella View Post
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It may just be you and me!
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:47 PM   #5
FlameGirl
I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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My daughter (OK, I'm tired of typing "My daughter" and "my husband" so from here on out, My Daughter = Natalie, and My Husband = John. Everyone clear?

Natalie wanted to have lunch at the RFC and somehow we got right in, with a table right next to the aquarium. We really lucked out!



This little fish captivated me. He swam in place, watching us the entire time. Another, bigger fish might come along and he'd dart off, but always would return to that spot, watching us. Kind of adorable, kind of terrifying.



I know I'm leaving big gaps in this TR but it was three years ago, I'm amazed I remember anything!

I neglected to mention that we had decided collectively that we picked the perfect time to go to DLR as the crowds were at a minimum and almost everything (except Nemo) was walk-on. That really can change the entire experience!

After lunch, we headed back on over to HMH and then on to Toontown.



These were all taken with my camera two cameras ago. Actually, if you want to get technical, it was three cameras ago. This camera was stolen while I was on a trip to Vietnam, so I ended up buying a newer version of the same camera while I was still in Vietnam (I just love being able to say "back when I was in 'Nam...) and that ended up being a hunk of junk. I bought a new P&S camera when I got stateside and then about a year later, I upgraded to my new big girl SLR which I'll be taking on our trip coming up in November / December. Woohoo! This is all to say that the quality of many of these is not great. That is partially due to the cheap P&S that I was using and partially due to the fact that I had no idea what I was doing back in '07. I've come a long way in that time.

This photo cracks me up. "OK Mom, please take the picture already..."



We ran into Mickey:



IASW all lit up for the holidays:



Dinner was at the Blue Bayou:



The expressions on their faces tell me we were pretty tired. I remember John and I both had the prime rib and it was excellent! Natalie had a PB&J and a side of 7 year-old meltdown. I think I mentioned we were all exhausted.

I just love it in there:



And we've reached the end of day two.

To Be Continued...
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:50 PM   #6
FlameGirl
I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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How the heck do you edit the title of your own post?
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:26 PM   #7
FlameGirl
I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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And then, the skies opened up and smited us...

Day Three.

We woke up early on day three and noticed that it was raining. I'd read / heard that DLR could be kind of fun in the rain because it took the crowds down to virtually nothing. I peeked outside and noticed people making their way to the parks wearing ponchos and carrying umbrellas. I laughed at these people. I mocked them! We all did, actually. The three of us, we were so arrogant. "HA!" we said. "These WIMPS!" We are proud SEATTLITES...we aren't afraid of a few rain drops!

John went down the lobby for coffee as Natalie and I got ready for our day. When he returned, he had three ponchos with him.

"Have you LOST your MIND!?" What are you doing buying ponchos!? I thought we agreed we are tough Seattle folks...we don't melt in the rain like these OTHER people!" I was incredulous.

"Honey, it's raining pretty hard out there. I bought us all ponchos. You don't have to wear yours if you don't want to."

"Fine, I won't. Ponchos! Pshhhhh." What a traitor!

And then, I stepped outside. And it was not unlike a monsoon. I quickly put on the poncho and John put on a smirk.

By the time we reached the Esplanade, we were soaked. TO THE BONE. It rains frequently in Seattle, but it rarely ever rains hard. It's usually just a light drizzle. This was a torrential downpour and I was not prepared. And it was COLD! When we got inside the gates, we went into a store on Main Street and all bought sweatshirts and baseball caps. I can't prove it, but I suspect that Disney manufactured the rain that day to increase sales.

That's John and Natalie in the lower right:



We were miserable. The plus side was, Splash Mountain was a walk-on and you really didn't have to worry about getting wet! This was Natalie's first time on Splash. The first little drop she yells "That was AWESOME!!" just as a wave of water came up over the side of the boat directly into John's crotch. Which of course created an unstifle-able fit of giggles in me. She really wasn't a fan of the big drop and we couldn't get her on the ride again after that.

After Splash, we HAD to get out of the rain...we were soaked, freezing and in misery. We decided to get on the Mark Twain to try to dry out.



Empty





The Hungry Bear was PACKED with people all trying to get out of the rain:



After our boat ride, we headed over to NOS where we ran into Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew:



He really was amazing...what a character. I really wish they'd bring him back!



It was about then that we had had enough, and headed back to the room to dry off. John gathered up all of the wet clothes and shoes (which were completely soaked) and went off in search of the laundry facility. When he got back, he said the entire place was full of people drying their shoes so all you could hear was CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK of shoes in dryers.

Natalie and I hung out for a while and ordered a bit of room service while watching those Princess Bedtime Stories things on the tube. We decided that if the rain didn't let up some, we would throw in the towel and not go back.

Amazingly, the rain DID let up and either stopped completely or scaled back to a light drizzle, which we can deal with. After a nice long break, we headed on over to DCA.



I will miss those letters.

John and I went on TOT while Natalie waited for us inside the queue.







Next we headed over to the Animation Studio for Turtle Talk with Crush.



This show is so much fun and I love that it's different every time. Crush asked one little girl from the audience where she was from and she yelled out "DISNEYLAND!!!" except it came out more like DEELAND! so Crush kind of looked confused and then started mimicking her...hard to explain but it was hysterical.



It was now dinnertime, so we decided to check out WCT. It was decent...John had the chicken alfredo lasagna which was by far better than whatever I had, which was so not memorable I have no idea what it was. While we were eating we asked Natalie what she wanted to go on next. Her answer was very predictable: Pirates! of couse. Then I got creative.

"Natalie, if you will go in Indiana Jones Adventure ONE TIME, we will go on Pirates of the Carribean (omg I just remembered when she was little she used to call it "Pirates of the Carri-be-ON") with you THREE TIMES IN A ROW. Her eyes LIT UP, and then narrowed. I could see the thought process working itself out on her little face. Pirates three times in a row? Awesome. IJA? Yikes. Ultimately, it was too good of a deal for her to pass up and and so a deal was struck.

We headed on over to IJA right away so that there wouldn't be enough time for her to chicken out. While in line she kept asking "what's this? what's that" and we realized she had never seen the movies. We told her she would LOVE the movies and I'd order them from Netflix as soon as we got home. Distraction, distraction, distraction.

I have to say, I was so proud of that kid that night, she didn't try to get out of the deal and even though she was scared, she went on that ride...kept her eyes clamped shut the entire time and screamed her little head off. As soon as it was over she said "well, let's head on over to Pirates!" which of course we did. And we rode it...three times in a row.

Now, I love POTC. It's one of my favorite rides. But we had been on that ride at least 10 times during our three days there and by the end of the third time on Pirates? We were soooooo over it. She was having a blast though and like I said, I was so proud of her for challenging herself and keeping her word.

After Pirates, we were wet (again) and cold (again) and pretty much done, so we headed back to the hotel and said goodbye to the park for this trip.



To Be Continued...
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:35 PM   #8
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I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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Our flight back to Seattle wasn't until the late afternoon, so we spent the time we had before leaving for the airport at Build-A-Bear workshop, then headed over to the AMC theater and caught Enchanted which we loved.

Natalie wanted to make a Rudolph reindeer at BAB, didn't want any clothes for it, just the reindeer. John and I were so irritated that she couldn't just skip right to the line to pay for her animal, instead, we were forced to go through the other lines where they try to upsell to children all of the accoutrements. "What kind of a reindeer doesn't wear any clothes!?" the girl in the clothes station asked Natalie. It was so annoying.

After the movie and BAB, we headed over the the DLH Lost Bar for a snack and to play with the remote control boats.



I call this photo "Mickey and Johnny Walker":



That was John's scotch, not mine. Blech.

OH MY GOD AVERT YOUR EYES IT'S A NAKED REINDEER:



I caught this little old guy feeding french fries to these birds:



And now ladies and gentlemen...we have reached the end of my 2007 trip report! Next stop...2009!
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:03 PM   #9
FlameGirl
I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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So, fast forward two years...

We decided to make another trip to see Mickey and Co. and since we'd had such good luck with the timeframe from the last trip, we stuck with a good thing and scheduled our trip for the week after Thanksgiving. This time, we'd be staying at the PPH and we had four day PH's. When I bought the tickets, my husband said "FOUR DAYS?? We'll never be able to stand it for FOUR DAYS".

We flew Alaska Airlines once again, and once again landed at SNA. That little airport really cannot be beat. Our flight took off at 6:30 AM and since we almost learned our lesson the hard way (we came dangerously and almost tragically close to missing our flight to Mexico...for our WEDDING) we are now two-hours-before-flight people. We have been converted! Which means, we were up at 3:00 AM. Ugh.

We landed a little bit early so we were on the ground before 9:00 AM, and since we didn't check any luggage, we were in a taxi and headed toward Disneyland by a little after 9:00. I told John I didn't think we would be able to check into the hotel until 3:00, but that I wanted to at least see if they'd keep our luggage for us. Well, I was in for a surprise...we got right up to the front desk where the nice kid told me that he would be happy to check us in to our room and give us keys right then! I asked him if there were any way to upgrade the room and he put us right in to a park view room. Sweet!! So, amazingly, we left Seattle that morning and was in the park in time for park opening!

Since we were staying at the PPH (which we all agreed the room was much nicer than the room we'd stayed in at DLH) we crossed the street and took the GCH shortcut. Natalie decided the first ride we should hit was GRR (I was disappointed...it didn't feel quite right starting off in GCA...my vote was for Pirates) but we weren't about to tell her no. We walked right on the ride and had a boat? to ourselves...and we were off! We were all laughing and having a good time until we got to the big drop and then Natalie started screaming and crying...she had ducked down to avoid a splash of water and hit her face / nose on the bars to hold onto. So, because no trip to Disneyland isn't the same without tears within the first hour....yeah. We finally got her calmed down (I know it had to hurt...nothing worse than getting socked in the nose) and headed on over to Disneyland.

Now, on our last trip, I didn't know this but at the time, Natalie had found a Pirates Aztec gold medallion that she wanted and for some reason, John had told her no. Well that kid has a memory like a steel trap because as soon as we got to Adventureland, she headed directly into the shop she had seen it in. She had her very own Visa gift card that she had been holding on to for the sole purpose of Disneyland since her birthday in September and she knew exactly what she wanted to buy. Even before going on any rides. She went in, found it immediately and wanted to buy it. I had neglected to activate the gift card yet so I told her I'd buy it for her. I still didn't understand why John had told her no on the previous trip. And you know what? That kid still wears that thing around her neck every day.

By this time, we were starving so we thought we'd grab a couple skewers at Bengal BBQ but no such luck...they weren't open yet. We walked on Pirates (we couldn't resist teasing Natalie a little bit and asked her if she was going to freak out again this year), hit up IJA and Splash which she absolutely loved this time around and then finally, mercifully, Bengal BBQ was open.

I just have to say that I love this area in Disneyland...I think it's my favorite spot. I love sitting across from the Jungle Cruise and hearing that....I don't know what it is exactly....steel drum music? Coming from the direction of Tarzan's Treehouse...I just love it. Can't explain it.

We spent the majority of that day between Splash, IJA, Pirates and HMH. By 4:00 or so, we were all exhausted, so we decided to call it an early day and headed to Naples for an early dinner. We were hoping to catch the balloon guy there like we did on our last trip, and we lucked out!



Natalie wanted him to make her "Zero" from NBC.



See how much she's changed from the last trip?

You can see the Pirate's medallion in this photo and remember from last trip when we all bought sweatshirts during the monsoon? This is the one she bought. It was HUGE on her then and fits her just right now.





We headed back to the hotel where Natalie and John went for a dip in the pool. I went off in search of a glass of wine and to read my new book - Cesar Milan's puppy book. Just before we left, John and I sneaked away and picked out a Great Dane puppy that we would be surprising Natalie with for Christmas, so I could only read it when she wasn't around.

To Be Continued....
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:42 PM   #10
FlameGirl
I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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The next day, we slept until we woke up. Which sounds ridiculous, but what I mean is, we didn't set any alarms. We were so tired from the day before, we didn't want to kill ourselves getting there at any particular time.

We thought we'd try to grab breakfast downstairs at PCH Grill. I don't know what we were thinking...I had totally forgotten that this was a character breakfast - we aren't huge breakfast eaters and really we just wanted a bite. Well, we got roped into the buffet thing and we are REALLY not buffet eaters. Natalie ended up eating a tiny little Mickey waffle, I think I ate a small forkful or two of some scrambled eggs and a taquito. I also had some of the teriyaki salmon on my plate but it was disgusting and completely inedible.



Uh oh...it looks like I let her leave the hotel room without brushing her hair:



Oops.

John was the only person out of the three of us who really had much to eat and of course, this is Disney, so when we got the $75 bill for breakfast, I vowed "never again". I'll eat a stinkin' pretzel or something next time, but I'm NOT paying $75 for breakfast again. As soon as the plates were cleared, John mentioned that he was suddenly not feeling well, so he went on back to the room while Natalie and I decided to hit the parks without him.



We'd been on Soarin' on the last trip and Natalie did not enjoy it. I convinced her that she was a little older and that she should give it another shot. And she did. Well, the second we went UP...she started to hyperventilate. I was spending more time watching her to make sure she wasn't going to barf than I was watching the screen...and she was holding her breath (not sure why) and her eyes were closed tight, so when we got off, I told her she never ever had to go on it again. I think her brain just cannot accept that she is only a little bit off the ground and not 300 or 400 feet. It scares her to death. Bad Mommy.

After Soarin', we decided to make our way back to Disneyland. I told her that it might be fun to surprise Dad, and when he calls us, to be able to tell him that she went on the Matterhorn! She was determined to try out some of the bigger kid rides this trip and Matterhorn was on the list of rides she wanted to try. She said she liked that idea so we headed on over to Fantasyland and got in line on the left. I couldn't remember which one is supposed to be faster.

When we loaded into our bobsled, I told her I was going to hang onto her from behind and that I wouldn't let go. She was so cute...she screamed the entire time and again, wouldn't open her eyes. But for some reason, she says she just "likes to keep her eyes shut" on some rides....not that she was unhappy. We got off the ride and she screamed "I DID IT!!!" and I was so proud of her, once again. Shortly after that, John called from the hotel and I handed the phone to Natalie so she could tell him her big news. After she did, she handed the phone back to me and he told me he was starting to feel better and would give me a call once we were back in the park.

Natalie and I headed on over to POTC and rode that...and then I heard my phone ringing. Oops. I was amazed that I even had a signal down there! Luckily, we were in the very back of the boat so I whispered that I'd call him back in a minute. I don't think anyone even noticed.

After Pirates, we were waiting around in NOS for John when we ran across this group of Pirates...and their little groupie.



He was pretty cute. Honestly though, I kind of got the impression that the mom had dressed him up like that to get the attention of the guy on the left...the kid has a photo of him on his back made to look like a "wanted" poster. I could be wrong...who knows.

After we found John, we headed on over to Frontierland. Once we were there, Natalie wanted to find a pair of Mickey ears, and she knew just the ones she wanted (again from our previous trip). I stood outside the store and used my iPhone to activate her gift card and when I went inside, I found her holding a pair of "Pirates" Mickey ears. Shocking!

She paid for her ears and the CM asked us where we were from. The couple behind us overheard that we were from Seattle and they told us they were from Tacoma. Then, another couple overheard us both and told us they were from Yakima. Guess it was Washingtonian week in the parks! Then the CM asked us if we were here celebrating anything. We told him not really, that it was just a family trip. He asked Natalie when her birthday was and she told him "September 13th" and he says "Well, you're here celebrating your birthday!!" and pulls out a birthday button. So for the rest of the trip, people would stop Natalie and say "Happy Birthday, Natalie!!" and she would sheepishly say "thank you", knowing that her birthday had been 2-1/2 months before. She still wore that button every day though!

After we had Natalie decked out in her: Pirates Mickey ears, Pirates sweatshirt and Pirates medallion we headed over to BTMR.



We got all the way up to train cars ready to load and Natalie freaks out. The CM told her she could walk through the car to the exit while we rode, and that made her happy. After the ride, she apologized and told me she promised she would try it the next day.

Next we headed on over to IJA. We had already gotten fastpasses but found that the line was so short, we never really needed to use them...the FP line only take you to the indoor part of the queue and the standby line was never backed up to the outdoor part so a few times, in the FP line, we went under the rope when we realized it was a waste of Fastpasses (there was no one behind us so we weren't line cutting). This was now Natalie's very favorite ride. Since our last trip, she had seen all of the Indiana Jones movies and loves loves loves him / them. She was even Indiana Jones for Halloween one year.



She's so cute on the ride, too...she talks to Indy....in the part where he's holding the door shut from whatever is trying to get in she yells "Hold 'em tight Indy!!" or something like that...and when the puffs of air that hit you that are supposed to be blowdarts, she ducks from them...I can't explain it but it's hilarious. She totally gets into it.

The theme of this trip was: IJA, Pirates, Splash. Lather, rinse, repeat. Those were really the only rides that she was really interested in going on so we did a lot of walking. After IJA, we were headed on over to either Pirate's or Splash and caught Tiana's Showboat Jubilee countless times.



We really enjoyed this! The music is great and while we didn't know it at the time, we LOVE the Princess and the Frog. Such a great movie.

After a bit we found ourselves in line for Pixie Hollow. We didn't really know what to expect and had no idea that the line would take for-freaking-ever but there you have it.



I have no idea what this fairy's name is.

This little girl was adorable. She had clearly just had the works at BBB and she was so excited to meet Tinkerbell she kept darting out of line and past all of the other people waiting. Her mom was trying so hard to keep her in line but the kid was just not having it.



Then we got to meet Tink! She was pretty funny...she saw all of Natalie's Pirates stuff and said "Are you a pirate? I HATE pirates!!" So she teased her a little bit. I got one photo on my phone of Tink's grumpy face and with her arms crossed, having to pose with a "pirate". We bought a set of Disneyland DVD's called "Disney Secrets" or something and I see this very same Tink all over them now.



To Be Continued...

Last edited by FlameGirl; 09-14-2010 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:03 PM   #11
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I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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We headed on over to Tomorrowland where we rode Buzz, then John and I rode Space while Natalie waited. Then she spotted this....thing...and was drawn to it for a little while.



By this time, we were getting hungry and I wanted to check out the Lobster Nachos that everyone raves about at the Cove Bar so we decided to make our way to DCA. Naturally, when we got there, the Cove Bar was closed so we had to come up with Plan B. In the mean time, we spotted these guys.



This was our first time seeing the Army men and we just loved them. I hope they never leave.

After the aborted lobster nacho mission, we decided to give Tortilla Jo's another shot....



...and then headed back to Disneyland to do the Indy, Pirates, Splash, HMH circuit. We also rode the Matterhorn again...this time at night which is a first for me. I love the Matterhorn at night! After the Matterhorn, we got in line for Nemo which ended up being a huge mistake...there was a kid with one of those flashy glow necklace things sitting directly behind us and ALL WE COULD SEE the entire time was the flashing reflecting in the glass. Super obnoxious. I couldn't believe his parents didn't ask him to cover it up or turn it off during the ride, and I can't believe a CM didn't say anything about it either.

Next we hit BTMRR and Natalie was still having no part of it so John and I rode it alone. I liked the Matterhorn at night better.

My memory is a little fuzzy here, but I think we headed back over to Pirates again and when we got off of that, we discovered the fireworks in progress so we stopped to watch that. It was our first time getting to see it "snow" so that was pretty cool.

And then something amazing happened. We were right in front of a popcorn stand and Natalie asked if she could have some. I wanted a Diet Coke so I said sure. I approached the cart and ordered a bag of popcorn and my Diet Coke and the woman handed them to me...and then I was puzzled. I asked her how much I owed her and she said "Oh, we are shutting down the cart and we have to throw all of this out anyway so it is free!" I was pretty sure they weren't throwing out all of the Diet Cokes, but hey, I'm not one to argue.

I was really adverse to fighting the crowd to make our way back to the hotel, so I suggested that we find a bench and people watch until the crowd thinned out, which was fun. We talked to a big group of people and they asked us to take their picture in front of the castle.

Next up: Day three...
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:23 PM   #12
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I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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Day three

We got up bright and early this morning and headed to Whitewater Snacks for breakfast, which turned out to be a MUCH better alternative for us than a character breakfast.

After we ate, we headed straight to TSMM as we had never been on it, and wanted to get there before the line was outrageous. When we got there, it said the wait was going to be 30 minutes. We knew it was now or never so we stuck it out.

We had talked to a cast member the day before named Gene who was sweet as can be. He asked us if we'd ever been on the ride yet, and then said it was like Buzz Lightyear, only 10x better. And he was right! WHAT a cool ride. Natalie and I rode together and John was behind us, alone. Of course since he didn't have a passenger with his shooting at all of his stuff, his score smoked mine. We really had no idea what to expect so all of the little 4D effects really surprised us and we LOVED it. Unfortunately we never got to ride it again due to time constraints...oh well. I sure wish they'd put a FP in that ride.



When we exited TSMM, we saw Woody and Jessie and Natalie really wanted to get a photo with Woody. As she was standing with him, the Army guys went by and Woody and Natalie both saluted them.



John and I really wanted to ride California Screamin' and Natalie wanted no part of it, so we gave her John's phone and she went off to ride the Carousel while we rode CS. I love that ride, too. I told Natalie that it was much smoother than the Matterhorn, but she was not to be swayed.

After CS, we headed over towards TOT and again, Natalie wanted no part of it. Again, we gave her John's phone and let her go to Bug's Land while we did TOT. I was a little nervous about this, and I called her about 4 times in the 20 minutes or so we were apart. She was good though...she stayed right in the area we told her she had to stay in and answered the phone right away each time I called her (neurotic).

When we met back up, we headed back over to Disneyland and found Pluto and Goofy right around the Christmas tree so of course, Natalie had to get her photo with these guys!





And then, it was finally time for her BTMRR moment! She kept her word and went on it...she and I sat together and John was alone. It ended up bombing though...all of the noise that the train makes freaked her out. The whole time she was sort of ducking down with her face close to the bar and I was so worried she was going to hit her face like she did on GRR I kept telling her to lift her head up but nope, she wasn't having it. When we exited, I told her that maybe she could try it again another time with earplugs and she seemed to like that idea. Oh well.

The rest of that day and the entire next day we spent doing the Indy, Pirates, Splash and HMH circuit. At one point, there was no line whatsoever for Splash so when we came to the exit part, Natalie looked at the CM and said "Can we go again?" and he said sure so we were off again. And then we came to the exit once again and she said "again! again!" and he let us go a THIRD time. Does anyone else experience this...my spine starts to really hurt after a while on that ride...like it's getting bruised because the back of the seat is so hard and the ride is jerky / bumpy enough that my spine takes a beating. I find myself leaning forward sometimes just because it's so uncomfortable. Anyway....on our third trip through the mountain, during the riverboat scene, I noticed that the donkey was missing an eyeball! I was pretty sure it had just happened because I would have noticed it before. I asked the CM when we got off if that was something they wanted to know and he was really surprised to hear about it. Poor donkey.

Later that afternoon, John was, once again, not feeling well, and he decided to head back to the hotel for a while. Natalie and I decided it might be a good time to hit the Animation studio in DCA for a bit. We saw the Zoetrope which we both loved, saw Turtle Talk with Crush, wandered through the Beauty and the Beast library thing, and then discovered that we absolutely LOVE the animation academy thing. We did it four times in a row! It was so much fun and we drew: Grumpy, Daisy Duck, Pluto and Jack Skellington. Jack was the last character we drew and by this time, John and returned from his little break and drew with us. It was such a great way to take a quasi-break and really kept us entertained.

After the Animation studio, we decided to try out Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen for dinner and we were so glad we did. The food was excellent! While we were eating, Natalie asked if she could go back for one more ride on Indy and Pirates. John said he was starting to not feel well again, so I told her we would hustle back but there was no guarantee we would get them both in.

And we did. She said she wanted the last ride to be Pirates, so we went on Indy first. As soon as we got off, we hustled to Pirates and got on that. Near the end, she asked me what time it was. It was 2 minutes to closing time. She asked if there was any way we could ride Indy again and I told her I didn't think so, but we would give it our best shot. So we went tearing off of Pirates toward Indy, mother and daughter, and she was so excited. We rounded the corner to Indy....and it was roped off.

"We're too late sweetie. The ride is closed."

And then the waterworks began. She was crushed! I explained that I had told her we probably wouldn't make it but she got her hopes up anyway. So I walked my poor, crestfallen little girl back to the hotel where she pouted some more. I also reminded my husband how he didn't think we would ever be able to stand 4 full days in the parks.

And that is it for the 2009 trip! We started planning this years trip....while we were at the airport waiting to board our plane home.

Thanks for reading and up next: our 2010 PTR!


Last edited by FlameGirl; 09-14-2010 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:40 PM   #13
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I kind of wonder if it is because of a certain expectation
I'd say go for it!
 
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2010 ptr

The cast of characters: The usual suspects. Me (40), DH (45) and DD (11).

We are flying out on Thanksgiving and land at LGB around 3:30 PM. We're staying at the Best Western Park Place Inn...for TEN nights, coming home December 5th. We booked through Costco Travel and I'm really liking how you can make payments, with no interest.

We decided not to stay on property for a number of reasons. The first being, ten nights is a long time and would be pretty expensive to stay on property. Secondly, we wanted a place with a microwave and fridge so we can help minimize some of the cost of eating while we are there. And lastly, I think the hotel we're staying at this time is actually a shorter walk than any of the other on property hotels.

We are renting a car at the airport to drive to Anaheim and then to grocery shop, and then getting rid of the car the next day.

We got 6 day park hoppers with our package, and we were going to get additional 2 day hoppers until someone gave me the brilliant idea of upgrading to AP's which turns out to be cheaper than the 2 day PH's. So I think we may actually spend 10 full(ish) days in the parks. That seems like a lot, and I really hope we don't burn ourselves out forever on Disneyland.

I think the plan is to eat breakfast either in the room or - gulp - try the free continental breakfast offered by the hotel, which frankly, scares me. It's at Captain Kidd's next door and I've heard nothing but bad, scary things about that place. So, if it doesn't work out, we will bagel / cold cereal it for breakfast. Then, if I'm organized enough, I'll pack a lunch or some snackie type foods to store in a locker, then eat a nice dinner.

Our dinner list is:

Blue Bayou
Cafe Orleans
Ariel's Grotto WOC
WCT
Jazz Kitchen
House of Blues
ESPN Zone
Rainforest Cafe
Naples

Um, I think that might be it.

We're also going to do the Fantasmic! dessert thing and of course, WOC.

Natalie is primed and ready, oh my heavens. She has done nothing but watch ride videos, Disneyland DVDs, etc. for weeks now. She's convinced she's going on TOT and California Screamin AND Space Mountain. I'll believe it when I see it. Also, John even admitted that he's getting excited and you'll remember that he was completely anti-Disneyland when we met. My, how things change.

Well, that's about it. Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment!
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:25 AM   #14
McNic
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I'm in. Lovin the report so far. Hopefully your daughter can get herself on those "scarier" rides. I'm 28 and am trying to pump myself up for CS and Tot! I am going to try my hardest not to bail. I figure if I can go skydiving, surely I can make it through these rides
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:10 AM   #15
Belle Ella
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I just love how it goes from "NEVER" to 3 days, to "never more than 4" and now to 10!! If only the natural progression in my life worked that way. You can definitely take your time in enjoying everything for that long!
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