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Old 03-02-2011, 12:02 AM   #16
zanzibar138
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Tabitha is so cute!

Have been having such a great time over here, although both of us are starting to get pretty tired - we've been going hard!

Tomorrow is our trip to Universal, then a day off theme parks before more Disney :-)
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:31 AM   #17
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The Trip Report Begins... Day 1!

We got home this morning, and I am so excited about our trip I just have to get started on the TR straight away

We were up at 7am for our 1:15pm flight on V Australia. We live over an hour from the airport and had to go via the in-laws place to leave the car, then they drove us in to the airport. We also wanted to leave plenty of time in case things went wrong, since we've never flown overseas before.

As it happened, it was a fairly uneventful process, once we found the V Australia counter. Once us and our bags were checked in, we went to have some morning tea to fill in some time. Then Nick and I went through security and where they check the passports, and walked all the way to the end of the terminal where our boarding lounge was...

The flight was slightly late boarding, but must have had good tail-wind as the flight ended up being slightly less than 14 hours Our seats were in about the second last row, but at least we had a window. I managed to watch Toy Story 3 again, and a few other movies, play some games, and tried unsuccessfully to get some sleep. I was actually surprised at how quickly the flight went. Unfortunately we didn't have the greatest luck with food. Our flight attendent forgot to put the last few meals in the oven, so ours were late, and when they did come out, it was still a bit raw (and was chicken, so not good ). Had a decent brekky of pancakes though so that kind of made up for it.

Coming into LA, we were surprised at how built-up the area was, right up to the airport! There was just block after block after block of houses, with no end in sight! A bit different to Australian airports where there's usually a bit of farmland around closer to the airport, and a bit of land between blocks of houses.

When our flight landed (at about 9am), it took us about an hour to get through immigration, get our bags, and get through customs - it's a lllloooonnnngggg process! Made our way out to the roadside where there were shuttle buses lined up. It was a bit windy and pretty cold! Here's our first photo on American soil!



And here's our shuttle bus pulling in. It took us a while to get used to the different style of cars and buses over there!



The shuttle took us straight to the Hojo, which was great as I was really struggling to stay awake by that stage! Going along the freeway, it reminded me heaps of Perth! There were heaps of gum trees around, and the train line down the middle of the freeway just topped it off. Then we had our first taste of tipping. The driver seemed please, so we assumed we got it fairly right

After checking in we went straight to our room, right on the top floor, a few rooms up, with a Disney view. Here's some pics of the view:

View of the pool area



View of Disneyland



View of DCA



We were planning to get straight into sight seeing when we arrived and try to get into the new time straight away, but I was just too exhausted not having slept at all on the plane. We allowed ourselves a 2 hour nap. Then we headed out to try to find some lunch.

We thought there must be something at GardenWalk, which seemed to be just like a regular shopping centre... wrong! Was a nice walk though. We got to see a whole heap of the hotels (scoping it out for next time!) and the entrance to Disneyland. I was pretty impressed by these trees:



We ended up walking back to Downtown Disney (which was my original plan anyway ), and had some lunch at Tortilla Joe's.



We couldn't believe how good the service was! And it continued to amaze us throughout our trip. Anyway, when we arrived here we were immediately given a bowl of cornchips and some salsa to munch on while we waited for our meals. I couldn't believe the size of the Coke I ordered either!



After lunch (which was kind of an early dinner as well), we wandered around Downtown Disney. We never ended up getting to the Rainforest Cafe, but I still got a photo.



And the hotel I would have liked to stay at



We were pretty impressed by the Lego store. I took heaps of photos of their Lego creations! We wanted to stock up because Lego is so much more expensive over here, but couldn't really due to our luggage restrictions



Then we wandered into the World of Disney store. Big mistake! We were there for ages, and still only got halfway! I didn't buy anything on the first night... I was so overwhelmed with everything that was available and couldn't choose! But I had a great time taking pictures





On the way back to the hotel we passed this sign promoting the new The Magic, The Memories and You show.



We got some drinks at the hotel gift shop on the way back - again, couldn't believe how cheap things were

Then sat on the balcony and watched the fireworks We had an awesome, uninterrupted view.



Then it was off to bed for a good night's sleep before the big day ahead!
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:03 AM   #18
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Too funny ...when we saw Oliver we said he was the lost twin to our Mary Jane then came Tabitha...wish I had a pic of MJ at the ready in Photobucket but I will have to dig one up...I guess they are actually triplets LOL
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:08 AM   #19
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Sounds like a great first afternoon in California! Hope it gets even better!
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:11 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheColtonsMom View Post
Too funny ...when we saw Oliver we said he was the lost twin to our Mary Jane then came Tabitha...wish I had a pic of MJ at the ready in Photobucket but I will have to dig one up...I guess they are actually triplets LOL
It's funny, because when we got Oliver we'd never really seen a cat with his colouring and markings before, but since we got him, they're everywhere lol!

He still has a pretty unique personality though Never met a cat quite like him!

Aww I miss the cats - Nick's going to pick them up tomorrow while I'm at work so I have to wait until tomorrow night to see them At least we get Riley back tonight It's so quiet here with no animals!
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:52 AM   #21
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Lovely update. Glad to see you made it safely through customs in LAX.

Can't wait for your next update.

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Old 03-17-2011, 05:36 AM   #22
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Day 2 - Part 1: Gospel Brunch and Downtown Disney

The big day was finally upon us - the day when I would finally go to Disneyland!

First up was checking out of the Hojo and into the Peacock Suites. We decided just to walk, which was a big mistake! It was more than a half hour walk, and dragging our big suitcases along, especially near the entrance to DL, wasn't the best fun! On the plus side, the guy at the Peacock Suites was really good and helpful, and they had a room ready for us. We dropped off our suitcases, had a quick look around, and headed back out for our 11am booking at the House of Blues.

Here's a quick snap of the Peacock Suites on the way out:



The walk took about 20 mins from our room to the entrance to the bus area:



We were pretty surprised to see so many gum trees around:



We went to the House of Blues to check in for our brunch, only to be told that there was no sign of a booking for us anywhere. And also that the first session started at 10am, not 11am. We were advised to book for the 1pm session instead. So off we went to the box office to book the 1pm session.

Unfortunately it kind of messed up our plans for the day. We hadn't bothered to rush to Disneyland before the brunch because I didn't want to be there for a couple of hours and have to leave. So then we were still in the same situation, but it was going to be even later by the time we got in there! We were both pretty hungry as well as we hadn't bothered with any brekky. So we decided to try out the LaBrea Bakery.



Our server was called George and it was the best service we had on our entire holiday! The food was great too - we shared a serving of the sourdough pancakes and a bowl of fruit. It ended up being our 'go-to' for brekky :-)

After brekky we still had some time to fill in so we thought we'd wander through the half of the World of Disney store we didn't get to the previous night. I found my favourite - Piglet!



A bit before 1pm we wandered back to the House of Blues and went to the upstairs waiting section.



We were there for quite a while, then finally got called over to the stand for someone to seat us. The seating area was downstairs. When we arrived we were immediately directed to the food area. There was a good variety of nice looking things to eat. I was pretty impressed with the bacon in the US generally - always nice and crispy. We couldn't figure out what the 'biscuits' were. For us biscuits are the same as cookies!

We were allowed about an hour to eat as much as we wanted, and drinks. Then the show started. It was a great, high energy show. Nearly all of the singers and band were from the same family! There was heaps of audience participation, and I found myself being quite glad it wasn't my birthday when the birthday people had to get up on stage and sing and dance! I didn't want to disturb people with the flash, so this was about the best photo I could get:



After the show, some of the singers and band members were out the front, and I thought about getting a photo with some of them, but in the end I didn't want to disturb them. I don't like to make a fuss!

Next up, the big event - my first steps in Disneyland!
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:11 AM   #23
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Oh no...all that anticipation and they didn't have a ressie for you?
Was the room at the Peacock nice?

And 'biscuits' are rock scones that they have with cheese sauce or something similar. I've never acquired the taste. I much prefer our scones.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:57 AM   #24
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Hello again and welcome home!!!

I am soooooo glad you had a good time. I will be looking forward to the rest of your story and what you thought of Disneyland itself. I find myself wanting to go back every time I have a spare moment to myself.

And as for the kitties being triplets, I think that is just wonderful!!! Tabitha is a wonderful kitty too who has her own personality and "talks" to my daughter like she was a person!!!

So, looking forward to redaing more!!

Sue
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:18 PM   #25
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Minnie Sue - Oliver does that too! We can have 10 minute conversations

Princess - not sure what happened with the bookings for the brunch... apparently Disney Dining don't do them, but the lady I was talking to at Disney Dining sounded like she had everything under control Thankfully no problems with the other 3 bookings I made with her.

The room at Peacock was ok. It was a one bedroom suite, so there was a little sitting area when you first went in with the couch and tv, and then there was the bedroom and bathroom. There was also a fridge which was handy. I was expecting more kitchen facilities, but in the end it didn't really matter.

The building seems to be getting a bit old and not maintained that well. The bathroom door wouldn't shut when we arrived. We called down to reception and they got someone up to fix it. It was also quite loud in the room. We could hear the people above us clumping around, and the people next to us had a baby. The plumbing was really loud and every time the people above us went to the toilet or had a shower it woke us up. It was clean though and having the extra space of the sitting room was nice for the week, on the few occasions we were actually in our room!

I can't wait to go back! If it was up to me, I would choose to go back to Disneyland for all our holidays
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:36 PM   #26
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Dang I forgot to get a pic of MJ for you guys ...but she too is a character and she talks too LOL they all really were seperated at birth!
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:09 AM   #27
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Welcome home, sounds like you had a fabulous time so far. Look forward to reading more. Only 9 more sleeps for us!
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:28 AM   #28
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Day 2 - Part 2: First Impressions

We finally walked through the turnstiles at about 3:30pm. As soon as we were through we were greeted by this:



I didn't know what to do! I didn't know whether to try to get a picture with Mary, or take pictures of the station area, or just get into the park to see what was there... In the end Nick took charge and we continued on under the bridge to Main Street USA. That's when it really set in. I was just completely overwhelmed and went into a bit of sensory overload! There were a few characters around - we walked right past Tweedledee and Tweedledum, then I saw Mickey! I wanted to get a picture with someone, but I didn't know who, and I didn't want to spend my first hour in the park lining up for a character picture. So we continued down Main Street. I wanted to look in the shops, but I didn't know which ones, and I didn't want to spend my first hour at Disneyland looking at shops! I was on the verge of tears - not good ones, but just wanting to take everything in and do everything, but there were so many people, and I didn't know which way to turn! In those few moments I completely forgot everything I had spent years researching and learning about Disneyland, and just wanted to do everything at once!

At the end of Main Street there were more characters. I wanted to line up for Pooh, but again, I didn't like the idea of standing in line when there was so much to see!

We decided to go through the castle to Fantasyland. I took this picture on the way (I'm pretty proud of it!):



Going through the castle, I remembered about the walk-through, and it looked pretty quiet, so we decided to give that a go. I guess you could say that was our very first attraction at Disneyland! We found that there were a few people in there already, and kind of rushed through. Then we headed towards Toontown.

I was checking out the lines for all the rides as we went, but they were all so long! I'd forgotten which rides had fastpasses, or where on earth they were, and hadn't bothered to pick up a map at the gate. We went past IASW and as we went past the train station, Nick suggested it might be a good idea to just get on the next train, take a few deep breaths, pull myself together, and have a bit more of a purpose when we got off.

There wasn't much of a line for the train, so we got on the first one that came through. While we were waiting I took some photos of the station and surrounding areas.



As the train went around, I started to calm down. I was hoping the ride was refresh my memory on the park layout, but it didn't really help. I took a few more photos as the train went along, but didn't really get any good ones as the light was fading a bit much for my little camera.

We decided to do the whole round trip, and got off the train at Toontown Station where we had gotten on. The IASW clock was going when we got off, so I took a few photos.





Then we got some fairy floss from one of the carts near IASW and continued wandering through Tomorrowland. We ended up back at the main hub, and thought we'd check out the other side of the park and headed into Adventureland.

When we saw Tarzan's Treehouse we thought that looked like fun, so up we climbed. Again, there were a few people up there, so I didn't feel like I could really enjoy it and take everything in. I was good fun though, and Nick enjoyed it too.



When we came down from the treehouse, I noticed Indy was right there and there were fastpass machines. I was just heading into the fastpass area to check it out, when someone went up to Nick and offered him 2 fastpasses! Our first bit of pixie dust

While we were waiting for our fastpass return time, we headed further along into New Orleans Square. We wandered along the back streets and saw the train station there, then headed to the Haunted Mansion.



I couldn't believe my eyes when it said the wait time there was only 15 mins, so I thought we should take advantage of that!



The line moved really fast and in no time we were in the stretching room. I kind of knew what to expect, but it was still really impressive. I loved the theming on the other side of the stretching room too, with the skeleton portraits, and the lightning through the windows. We both really enjoyed the ride itself, and I vowed to take more photos next time for my Goth friend.

I looked longingly at Critter Country as we came out of the Haunted Mansion, and we walked along the river back towards Indy. When we walked past Pirates, I noticed the wait time was only 5 mins That one I really couldn't believe, and I had to ask the cast member if that would be accurate. She said it would be, so we hurried along to join the back of the line there. 5 minutes later we were in our little boat yo-ho-ing along.

It was our first look at the Blue Bayou, where we would be having lunch on Tuesday. I wasn't expecting it to literally back onto the water - I thought it would be behind a window or something! I was really looking forward to our lunch after that!

The drops took us a bit by surprise, as most rides we've been on have the drops at the end. But it was great fun! And we really liked all the animatronics and special effects - Nick especially liked the part where the dog was singing along.

After Pirates, we were both feeling a little hungry. I remembered someone mentioning the skewers at Bengal BBQ, so I suggested we go there. It was right by Indy anyway. I had a Bengal skewer, and Nick had one of the hot ones. We really enjoyed them, but I think Nick was hoping for a bit more!

While we were standing there eating, someone else offered us fastpasses for Indy! Seemed like late afternoon/early evening was the time to be standing around next to the ride

Once our yummy treats had gone down, it was just about time for our Indy fastpass return. The standby line was at about 40 mins, and it was a great feeling to just walk right past it I wanted to spend more time in the queue area looking at the theming, but I didn't want to hold up the people behind us, so we just walked through.

The ride was great! It's unlike anything either of us have been on before. It wasn't as scary as I was expecting. Although I decided next time I would go on the ride before eating...

Next up, the evening entertainment!
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:44 AM   #29
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You're at Disney!

Lovely pictures! You got a great picture of the friends and I love the one you got of Mary and Bert.

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Old 03-18-2011, 10:19 AM   #30
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Wow what lucky FP Pixie dust came your way that day!
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