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Old 03-05-2014, 12:48 AM   #1
julesann
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My Trip Report (long): 2/22-2/26 Dapper Days and Sibs Adventure

Saturday
Although we visited DL several times when we were children, and even had a family trip staying at the DL hotel in 1970 that must have really stretched our parents’ budget, my brother and I made our first trip together to DL as adults for my 50th birthday 5 years ago. Our families joined us on this Halloween time trip along with our 75 year old mother who went on all the rides with us (except ToT) wearing her shower cap for Splash and GRR. We all had so much fun we went again the next year in November. Last year, db and I decided we would make a trip together as our families weren't ready to go again (can you believe it!), and we needed some fun time as our dm had just had a serious health scare. We had a magical February trip, staying offsite at the Anabella, and realizing we were compatible DL adventurers and maybe even DL fanatics. At that time, we made plans to return with our families for his 50th birthday in December, 2014. Our dm passed in September and after a beautiful Celebration of her life that included wonderful photos of our prior family trips to DL, we decided we would go again this February on another sib trip, to celebrate her memory and stay at the GCH (with great DD rates), which we had walked through each day from the Anabella to DTD saying ‘gosh, I would like to stay here one day’.

So, I met my db at 8:00 a.m. in Sacramento as he and I each live an hour and a half south and north, respectively, of the airport. It was an easy flight to SNA. When we arrived, I used my new Uber ap with a $20 off promo code so it only cost us $12.00 to go from SNA airport to the GCH even though the driver missed one freeway and it took a little longer to get to DLR. Check in at 11:30 was a breeze and we got a small upgrade to a Woods/DCA balcony room above the NR. After hearing dark and gloomy reports of the rooms, I thought our room was pretty and bright with its mission style furniture and it seemed spacious, but then again there were only two of us in the 2Q room. We quickly unpacked and decided to get in line at the Ticket Booth to get our first ever (woo hoo) APs. It all went smoothly even with a bit of a midday wait at the booths.

We were in DCA having tri-tip sliders and Lobster Nachos (a first) by 1:00 at the Cove Bar (after grabbing a fp for Soarin’ as it goes down for refurb in one more day). The Cove Bar is a great spot to soak in the ambiance of Paradise Pier and I thought the food was very good. I would have never known about it except for Disboards. (I actually wouldn't have known about a lot of things without this great board. Over the past 6 months, I made up pages and pages of notes using excerpts from this board!) We got a FP for CS; used our FP for Soarin’ , went on CS and hopped over to DL which felt fairly crowded, but it was mid Saturday afternoon. We got a FP for my favorite, IJ, and as the wait for Pirates was fairly long (and we try not to do a line over 20 minutes) we skipped it (even though I like to start my DL side with Pirates) and went on HM and that ride seemed better than ever. We then went back to our room, changed into warmer clothes; had a cocktail at the Hearthstone Lounge and then headed back into DCA, walking through CL enjoying the neon atmosphere and got a FP for ToT. I finally got to see Muppets 3D (I thought it was very fun; my db patiently endured it for me); we rode ToT and got dinner at the Cocina Cucamonga—my chicken burrito tasted very institutional and I did not like it at all! Then we headed back into DL, got a FP for IJ, wandered around and realized at 10:00 we were exhausted so we headed back to the hotel so we could get a good night sleep before our 7 a.m. EMH. We decided to ride GRR just before we headed in and this was a terrific night ride and oh so fun to get chilled and soaked and then go into the GCH.

Sunday- Dapper Day
We were up around 5:30 and ready to go by 6:15. I had the Starbuck’s Via and hardboiled eggs I brought from home; my db just had the coffee and we were in line at the GCH entrance by 6:25 for our EMH. Db picked up more coffee for us at White Water Snacks. I wanted to go in through the main gate after reading about the slow entry into DCA from GCH, but db wanted to use this entrance and it did seem as if it would be fine as we were about 14th in line. However, security did not open up bag check early and it began it right at 7:00 so, when we started walking in, we could see the main gate folks go through more quickly and they got to RSR first. We still had a fairly short wait—about 20 minutes. TSMM was down so we went on CS which was a walk-on and SoC. We got a fp for RSR and ToT and rode them after breakfast. We ate at Flo’s and I enjoyed my fruit plate (with a mini muffin and yogurt) and my db thought the American breakfast was quite tasty. We then went on Bug’s Life (I never get tired of, or not spooked by, this one), rode ToT and then went back to the GCH to change into our Dapper Day outfits. It was hilarious to watch db try to tie a bow tie for the first time in his 49 years using a Youtube video on his phone. He could not figure it out. The DD folks couldn’t help him either, but the staff at the GCH knew the one person who could tie it for him and he got the job done—yeah Disney staff!!

DL was amazingly crowded, though people watching was fun as there were so many creative DD outfits and we fit right in. We got a FP for IJ; the line for Pirates wrapped along the ROA--I have never seen it this long. It was crazy. We went on HM and had a great interaction in line with these local young men who had the most amazing pin collection. We then struggled to find our way through the Pirates line to get to our 1:00 p.m. reservation at Café Orleans. We had a 10 minute wait (I am soooo glad I made reservations) and wandered the stores in the adjoining area and then I got to enjoy my first Monte Cristo with pommes frites. I’ve been thinking about these for a while now. My db and I split them and they were decadently rich and delicious and everything I heard they are! We also split the salad although I didn’t like the raspberry vinaigrette and we decided we could have split these 3 dishes between 3 people and have been very satisfied as it is all so rich. I want my ds to try this when we come back in Dec.

We then rode IJ, got a fp for SM, did some photo ops in our outfits (I had my first character meet with my sister in polka dots--Minnie Mouse) and were planning to go on the Mark Twain for DD but the line again wrapped around the river front—holy moly. So we decided to go into DCA and we rode the Red Trolley to ToT and walked back through the Animation Building and then headed back to our hotel around 4ish to have a drink at the Hearthstone. The GCH was jammed for DD and there was a line at the lounge. We sat at the bar, but the staff was totally overwhelmed and they looked frazzled and didn’t get to us for over 10 minutes so we decided to sit on our balcony and have a glass of wine. We then put on sweaters and walked through DTD to the Uva Bar where I enjoyed a Phil Collins cocktail and we shared a dinner of small plates that were delicious.

We then took the train to NOS, got another Indy FP, finally got on Pirates as the line had dropped significantly, then made our way to the hub for a perfect viewing of the fireworks and waited for about 30 minutes (db got us hot fudge mmmm-mmmm Sundaes from the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor while I held our spot). At 8:41 the announcement came cancelling the FW because of winds and I was sad as my db hadn’t seen them in years and we had a perfect viewing spot and it was their last night. Oh well-- there’s always next time. We then walked with the crowd and decided to try to see the first showing of F! We went up to the bridge over Pirates and found an almost perfect viewing spot. We had planned on seeing it at 10:30, but we were feeling pretty tired and this worked out well. The show was fabulous, as always, and we decided to take the train back to the MS station, as it goes down for refurb on Monday, and call it a night.

Monday
Well, I was darn sure I wanted to be one of the first ones on RSR and this was pretty easy as EMH wasn’t until 9:00. We were up at 6:15 and having breakfast at 7:30 at Whitewater Snacks. I thought the yogurt parfait was delicious (I’d already had my hardboiled egg) and db had the American breakfast and thought it was good also. We were second in line at security at 8:15 and they started bag check around 8:20 or and we were first at a gate. They also let us into DCA about 8:45 and we walked to the first rope drop where we did wide right which I wasn’t really clear on, but I did it anyway and was sooo glad I did as they walked us down the road and then had us get in a single file line. I did get elbowed by one young woman who really wanted to be in front, and I kept my DL gracious calm and we were third on RSR! Woo hoo!

We then went to TSMM and had a roaring good time even though my db outscored me times 3. After this, we went on CS and ToT. Things are a bit blurry here (I need to write it down each evening); I know we headed into DL and got fp for IJ (of course) and SM, rode HM and Pirates, went to Innovatations (it wasn’t worth it to us); tried to go to lunch at the Hungry Bear (it was closed) and ate at a restaurant on the river across from Splash—it was ok. We then rode IJ and SM. We decided to take this time to see Mickey’s Map and we walked right in and sat in the mid back as I read this was a good viewing spot. I think next time I would like to be a little closer. We did some shopping on Main Street on our way back to GCH.

After changing into warmer evening clothes, we headed into DCA for our 5:30 WOC reservations at WCT. We showed up at 5:25 and the Pixar Parade was just arriving in this area—what an ideal place for viewing it. We asked for a street side table so we had to wait, but I got to watch the parade from the top of the restaurant stairs. Our timing was just perfect; we finished dinner around 7:30 (I really enjoy the WOC dinner here and had the same thing I had last year: the filet mignon) and walked to our viewing area and were able to get the last two spots right on the railing. We got a little wet, but it was the first time (out of 3) that I got to see WOC without anyone blocking my 5’3” view: just magical! We ended our evening relaxing and listening to the talented pianist play delightful classical tunes in the GCH.

Tuesday
Today is our last day and we have our EMH in DL. I really wanted to be one of the first ones in again and we woke up before our alarm around 6:00 a.m. We were out the door by 7:00 and walking through DTD. The La Brea bakery was closed and no one was at security although one family was sitting on a side bench. We walked back to Haggen Daaz for Peet’s coffee and I got in line around 7:30 while db went to La Brea for a yogurt parfait for me and a pastry for himself and he just got back when the line began moving. We were first at a Gate and we walked rope drop down Main street. We were at the front of the line, but didn’t run at 9:00 to FL, but walked quickly and got passed by some mad stroller dashers and adorable children racing to FL. We got to Peter Pan with about a 10 minute wait (this is one of my very favorite rides) and after this we did a few other FL rides. I am enchanted by the blue fairy on Pinocchio. Alice is on my wish list this trip as I don’t think I’ve ridden it since I was a child, but it was a long line so we skipped it and went on ST and SM and then headed over for regular rope drop into Frontier Land.

I learned my lesson—if you are not there by the beginning of rope drop, the cues into IJ, both the ride and the FP, build up quickly. We missed it by a minute so we walked by the lines and went on HM and Pirates and then came back and the lines were gone and we got a FP for IJ. We wanted to ride on the ROA but we also wanted a fp for RSR for nighttime. I found Mousewait to not have any accuracy, so I was using Ask Otto, an automated DL phone number, and found out that this can also be fairly inaccurate. When we got on the Columbia it said RSR fp return was 11 am and when we got off 20 minutes later, it said it was a 7-8 pm return time. Db ran over to the DCA, but we missed our window and they were gone. That afternoon we rode IJ and SM with a FP, walked through Toon Town, and we rode Alice as the wait was only about 15 minutes. We also did the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through (I think this is a very sweet and magical treasure) and listened to Snow White sing and made a wish in the wishing well.

We did a little more shopping on Main Street and then went for a late lunch at the Cove Bar having the sliders and the pizza (both were good, but a little cold). I had wanted to try the lounge at CCR, but it felt too dark and closed in for the beautiful aftenoon. We headed back to the GCH, changed into warmer clothes as it had cooled down quite a bit. I took this time, as there wasn’t any wait at registration, to turn in my $250 in Target purchased gift cards and get a voucher for a taxi for the morning while db shopped in DTD for his 22 and 24 year old dds. We met for a drink at the Uva Bar, (I really like their Phil Collins) and then went to Carsland to watch the lights turn on. I found this occurred right at the time the weather site said it was sunset—5:45. It was still a little light for RSR so we rode ToT with a 10 minute wait, did SR for RSR and this was less than 20 minutes, then did almost a walk on for CS. We thought it was time we tried the Ghiradelli Sundaes I’ve been hearing so much about and my hot fudge mocha chip waffle cone Sundae was ohhh so good. When we finished, it was close to park closing (8:00 p.m.) and we decided to do another night ride of GRR and joined a great group of folks who laughed with us through all the soaking. We hoped the CMs would let us go again as we finished at 7:58 but they said we had to get off and go around and by the time we climbed up the stairs, the ride was closed. It must have been a long day for them. We then went into the GCH (love that short walk) and db had a nightcap by the fireplace and I took a hot bath.

Wednesday
We were up and in our taxi by 7:30 and at the airport before 8. It wasn’t as hard to leave knowing I now have an AP and a family reunion trip planned for early December and maybe I can find a way to get back before then! What a great trip we had—relaxing, playing, dressing up for DD, laughing and acting like the kids we once were, thinking of our Mom enjoying the parks with us and our children, and being so grateful for past and present DLR memories.
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Last edited by julesann; 03-05-2014 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:08 AM   #2
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Tl:dr

Well I skimmed some of it
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:53 AM   #3
vladimir p
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i really tried to read, but i just can't stand the abbreviations in this forum
thanks for a very detailed trip report!
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:40 AM   #4
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Sounds like you had a great trip! I loved reading all the details. Thanks for posting
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:29 AM   #5
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Sounds like a fantastic time! I can't wait!!! Love reading trip reports while I wait impatiently for my turn.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:31 AM   #6
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I love all your details of your trip ! Made me feel like I was there.
Delightful ! !
It sounds like you had a wonderful time Making Memories !
Thank you for sharing your trip report.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:47 AM   #7
inluvwithbuzz
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Sounds like you had an amazing trip. The part about your 75yo Mother riding all the rides made me smile. I hope to be at DL for the 100th anniversary when I am 75. Its on my bucket list.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:15 AM   #8
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I loved your TR. Felt like I was right there with you! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:54 PM   #9
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Thank you for your trip report, enjoyed reading it!
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:09 PM   #10
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How fun!!! Thanks for sharing! That was a fantastic trip report and I can tell you and your brother had a great experience.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:57 PM   #11
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I loved your trip report. I remember going to WDW with my mother when she was 80. I hope some day, when I am gone, my DD and DS will go to DLR and remember all the trips we have taken together.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:55 PM   #12
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LOVED your TR. Wish I had your room... that's on my must stay list. I was across the hall looking at the pool.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:48 PM   #13
julesann
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I am glad I got moved to the right section. .

Quote:
Originally Posted by momjeeps View Post
Sounds like a fantastic time! I can't wait!!! Love reading trip reports while I wait impatiently for my turn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinder-ellah View Post
I love all your details of your trip ! Made me feel like I was there.
Delightful ! !
It sounds like you had a wonderful time Making Memories !
Thank you for sharing your trip report.
I really appreciate all of your kind thoughts and words about my trip report.
Quote:
Originally Posted by inluvwithbuzz View Post
Sounds like you had an amazing trip. The part about your 75yo Mother riding all the rides made me smile. I hope to be at DL for the 100th anniversary when I am 75. Its on my bucket list.
Yes, sharing it with our Mom and our children was such great memories. I'm glad it made you smile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smiles33 View Post
I loved your TR. Felt like I was right there with you! Thanks for sharing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney127 View Post
Thank you for your trip report, enjoyed reading it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DizMe View Post
How fun!!! Thanks for sharing! That was a fantastic trip report and I can tell you and your brother had a great experience.
We really did have a great time! Thanks for the good thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucysmom View Post
I loved your trip report. I remember going to WDW with my mother when she was 80. I hope some day, when I am gone, my DD and DS will go to DLR and remember all the trips we have taken together.
I hope for the same with my children. That is amazing that your Mom was at WDW with you when she was 80!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoever View Post
LOVED your TR. Wish I had your room... that's on my must stay list. I was across the hall looking at the pool.
Thank you, whoever. I thought your TR was awesome also. It looks like were there at the same time enjoying the parks!
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Past magic : 1964, 1970, 1976 (grad), 1978, 1981, 1999; Feb, 2007; Oct, 2008; Dec, 2009; Oct, 2011; Feb, 2013; Feb, 2014.
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