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Old 07-12-2013, 01:53 AM   #331
tayalltheway
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Chapter 45
Disneyland Is Your Land


We got in the shortest line into Disneyland, got to the front, and had our passes scanned. The cast member let us know that we would need to find one of the wandering PhotoPass photographers (the ones without a tripod) to take our AP photos. Then, with that, we were allowed to walk through the gates and into the Happiest Place on Earth.



We made our way through the tunnel under the iconic sign welcoming us into the worlds of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.



As we walked through, we caught our first glimpses of Town Square.



And as we rounded the corner, we could see right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A.



At the end of Main Street, the castle beckoned us and welcomed us home.



By this time, I had definitely started tearing up a little. The music was piping, the sights of Main Street were everything we had hoped for, and we were finally home.



We walked pretty slowly, just taking in everything we could.



Finally, we got to the hub, and we officially thanked Walt and Mickey for letting us enjoy their park.





Our first destination was clear. After all, we always do the same ride first at any of the Disney resorts. Since it had been closed on our last trip to Disneyland, however, this was going to be a brand new experience for Tracy and I.

We took the long way because we didn’t know any better yet, so we walked through Adventureland.







Coming into New Orleans Square, we saw a sight that had never greeted our eyes on our last trip—an open Pirates of the Caribbean!



The line was posted at around 20 minutes (which is longer than we try to ever wait for an attraction), but we had to make an exception to ensure that we started off our time as AP holders right with a ride through the place where dead men tell no tales.



We joined the queue and admired all the lanterns hanging from the tree.



Going through the left side probably wasn’t the best choice this afternoon because it had a few more switchbacks than the right, but once we made our decision, we had to stick to it.



Eventually, we got into the building and were greeted with the paintings of famous pirates—most notably one Captain Jack Sparrow.





The barker bird squawked at us while we waited, and luckily it wasn’t too long before we made it to the front of the line.



Many more eloquent people than I have expounded on just how much better the Disneyland version of Pirates is than its WDW counterpart, but I don’t think we knew in what way to expect it to be so good. Almost immediately, we were struck with just how long the ride is here. You really get to experience a story with a beginning, middle, and an end. We loved seeing all of our favorite scenes from the version we were used to, and everything about them seemed better too. Then there were all the scenes that don’t exist in the WDW version, which actually helped tell a story. One thing I remember noting to Tracy right off the bat was that it became much clearer how they had used the attraction as inspiration for the Pirates films. After we finally reached the ramp back up to ground level and were splashed back into the unload area, we disembarked feeling thoroughly impressed by this Pirates of the Caribbean. Already one of my favorite Disney rides, it quickly jumped to the front of the list.

Heading back out into New Orleans Square, we looked across the Rivers of America to see the giant crane erected at Big Thunder Mountain.



After missing out on Big Thunder at WDW because it was under refurbishment during our May 2012 trip, now we were here in Disneyland right at the beginning of the attraction’s nine-month overhaul. Tracy would have to wait a long while before experiencing her favorite ride.

The sun was already hanging low in the sky as we ventured toward the next classic attraction.



On our last trip, The Haunted Mansion was all decked out in its holiday glory with the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. Now it was looking like the stately, eerie manor that it is meant to be for the other nine months out of the year.



Luckily, the wait to go into the Mansion wasn’t nearly as long as our line for Pirates had been, so we queued up and made our way through the graveyard.



Entering the Haunted Mansion, everything became very familiar based on what we were used to at WDW. Of course, it’s still a little jarring when you realize that the stretching room is actually descending, but everything about the buildup to the ride was exactly what we were excited for. As our carriage approached to take us into the boundless realm of the supernatural, we felt more than a little giddy to get to experience yet another true Disney classic. The ride definitely feels a little shorter than the Disney World version (since it is), but we really enjoyed it in its traditional form. We also enjoyed the “old school” hitchhiking ghosts since we hadn’t gotten to see them in years. I think we got Tracy’s favorite ghost (the bearded one) on our first ride, and we enjoyed poking him in the mirror.

“Grim Grinning Ghosts” permanently stuck in our heads, we moved back out into New Orleans Square, ready to continue our adventures.

Continued in Next Post
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Last edited by tayalltheway; 07-17-2013 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:00 AM   #332
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*Squeeeeeaaaallllll*

You're in! You're in!

And no less than Pirates! Aaaarrrr. Great first ride, mateys.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #333
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YIPEE!!! So glad you are finally enjoying the parks! Can't wait to hear all about your visits.

Tracy's Lady and the Tramp tee is so adorable. Can you tell me where she got it? I'd love to get one for my daughters.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:08 PM   #334
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You just can't beat walking down Main Street USA with the castle in the distance!!
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:08 PM   #335
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Exciting!!
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:52 PM   #336
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Seriously you two are to cute for words.



Yay on your AP's

I am counting down the days until my DH next trip in Sept.
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:29 AM   #337
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That is so awesome, we are in! Er I mean YOU two are IN!
Good luck on the job...
Hope your health is better.....



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Old 07-13-2013, 11:40 AM   #338
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Yeah I feel like WE are in too after following your story from the beginning. I am very excited for you!

We are older and our kids are grown now and we want to spend at least a few months each year snowbirding in the california sun so your journey has been very helpful and interesting to us!

And yes I have wondered too, how are you feeling Taylor? I hope your illness has kept at bay in the past few months.
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:38 PM   #339
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Hi Taylor and Tracy!

First, thanks so much for the offer of advice regarding college theatre programs - I am very likely to follow up with you on that at some point. Our older boys are only 13 and 14 but our oldest has been on this path since age 5, so we think his interest is likely to continue. They watched your videos on youtube and are inspired - really funny and your singing voice is excellent. Really hope you'll have the opportunity to perform again at some point.

Actually, one quick question - our 14-year-old's strengths are acting and singing (theatre classes, heavily involved in school and community theatre, private voice lessons, choir, etc.) Any advice on the importance of dance skill? He's taking dance lessons but it doesn't come naturally, so he's a little discouraged in that department. I know he would appreciate any encouragement or advice!

On to your trip report - wonderful!!! I'm so happy for both of you - what a joy! Since I'm a mom, I'll be even happier when I hear that Tracy secured a job and is happy with her work, but I'm guessing that's in an upcoming report that's just around the corner. I love the tradition of Pirates as a first ride in any park - my father (a Pirates enthusiast who BTW introduced me to Minnie at age 2) would be proud!

Also continuing to enjoy reading about your resourcefulness - lots of tips in your report that benefit all of us! Thanks much!

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Originally Posted by DLRfan31 View Post
And yes I have wondered too, how are you feeling Taylor? I hope your illness has kept at bay in the past few months.
Wondering the same - please let us know how it's going.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:39 PM   #340
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[QUOTE=pixarmom;48954758] watched your videos on youtube and are inspired - really funny and your singing voice is excellent. Really hope you'll have the opportunity to perform again at some point.


I must have missed where you mention your videos. We would love to check them out. How do I find them?
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:05 AM   #341
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I haven't been on the boards in forever (and a day...) but having a s-l-o-w night at work and decided to peruse ... wow, your TR just sucked me right in! Love, love, love. I'm all caught up and I can't wait to see further adventures with your AP.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:03 AM   #342
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Yay
Honestly, this is like reading a good book that you just can't put down!
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:10 AM   #343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tayalltheway View Post
Yeah, you finally made it into the park! I love how cute and excited you both look in this picture! I can't wait to read more about your adventures at Disneyland, my most favorite place in the whole world! Our next trip will be in December and your stories increases our anticipation even more!
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:32 AM   #344
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This report is obviously going to take a bit of a change from this point out. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading about our exploits IN Disneyland as much as all the buildup.
Aw man, I didn't want to hear about Disneyland... guess I'll have to stop reading now...

First off, CONGRATS on finally getting those APs (6 months ago, lol)!!! You guys deserve them. And it's pretty cool they can do a payment plan if you live there instead of having to drop all the $$$ at one time. That's probably pretty helpful for you guys and for families with kids that might not be able to drop it all at once. So cool!

And your first trip into the parks looks like a blast! Can't wait to see what hijinks you and Tracy have been up to these past months inside of DLR! More updates please!!! (I mean, when you're not spending time in the parks, providing us with more update goodies for the future)
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #345
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I'm so glad you all finally got passes! At the same time, I agree that it is fabulous you got to see so much of your new area in the interim.
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