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Old 08-18-2014, 01:58 AM   #1
whoever
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Matt's August, 2014 Solo Trip Report.... dubbed "The Club Tour"

OK time to put together my second solo trip repot... it starts out much like last time, in San Diego where work often finds me...

08/14/2014
My original plan was to leave the office as soon after 1600 as possible... a few additional meetings which found their way on to my calendar mean I wouldn't be leaving until after 1700. By this time, I knew the traffic would be outrageous from previous experience, so I took the two members of my Scottsdale team out to dinner at Casa Guadalajara in Old Town San Diego for dinner. We had a great time, and the food was pretty good. Afterwards, I got on the road as soon as I had dropped everyone off and picked up my luggage...The road was packed the entire way, but was moving along pretty well. I made it up in decent time, and after a trip around the block after missing the one way into the Anaheim Plaza Hotel & Suites off of Disney Way, I finally made it in coming off of Harbor. Checked in, drove around back, dumped the luggage in the room, strapped on my backpack, and I sped off at 22:09.

22:20 - After a short walk up Harbor, I cruised through bag check, passed under the tracks, and breathed a sigh of relief as the park unfolded before me. Given I had precious little time, I went towards my two favorite places in the park.... Adventureland and New Orleans Square...The line for Pirates was short, and six minutes after walking in the park, I was loading into my boat. It was then that I heard one of the saddest things I've ever heard at the park... the family behind me had two children who were asking all sorts of questions which I didn't mind, but the answers the adults were telling the children nearly brought a tear to my eye... one of them asked about the alligator in the bayou, to which the parents replied "Itís not real... NOTHING at Disneyland is real.... " That was sad...don't kill the magic...kids lose it too early as it is these days.

22:44 - With time being what it was and Indy being a LONG queue, I decided BTMRR would be my last ride of the night... I love riding it at night because you can actually see the effects in the first cavern vs. not having time for your eyes to adjust during the day. It was a great ride, and the effects were doing GREAT...I got off, and it was 11 on the dot, but they were still allowing people to enter the queue. I dashed back in, and the platform was packed. I requested a rear seat, and got the second to the last row. Turns out I was to be on the last train of the night. Let me tell you, I had forgotten how much faster sitting in the back makes the ride feel. it was HAULING you know what. At twelve minutes after eleven, I was off, and the park was officially closed. I hurriedly made my way towards NOS as I had some new additions I wanted to see with my own eyes.









I wandered down Royal Street looking up. It was familiar, yet different. I passed by that famous green door, never to be used again, and under the old bridge to the Grand Salon and saw my first glimpse of the Noveau gates cordoning off the Court of Angels. The new bridge they added to allow the servers access between the Grand Salon and Salon Noveau was something I wasn't prepared for even though I had seen the pics of it online. I'm definitely not a fan of this feature. I know why its here, but I wish they had figured out another way to accommodate what they were after. I examined the new entry to Club 33. It was actually understated, so I was pleasantly surprised given how much angst I had read about it online. A quick trip down the East side of the French Market, and I could see the Noveau ceiling treatment through the windows. How I desperately wished I was up there having a night cap. On my way out, I paused to examine the new window in the Grand Salon. Its BIG.... Its BRIGHT... It needs some curtains or maybe some glass that's a few steps deeper in hue...
























Afterwards, I stopped for some pics in Adventureland and by the Castle... the water wasn't still like last time, but I still got some decent shots. I noticed the moon lined up over in Tomorrowland, so a few pics of that, and it was time to head out. I stopped on Main Street and took a pic of the elusive bulb which has an identity crisis. So fun.















23:32 - Out through the esplanade, and I decided instead of going left to my hotel, I was going to go round out my Tiki mug collection from Trader Sam's...
As I walk up, itís a mad house... the entire fire pit area is PACKED with a sea of people... this doesn't bode well...I enter through the doors, survey the room and spot a SINGLE barstool over on the West end of the bar up next to the tiki post... I saddled up gave a nod to my fellow west-enders who were working on an Uh Oa! and a Daiquiri of some sort...I told the bar tender I'd take one of those... gesturing to it. He informed me they only serve to groups of two or more... these guys apparently haven't met me... I'm Catholic...if there's one thing I do pretty well in this world, itís enjoy an adult beverage. Not to be daunted, I settled for the next best thing... a HippopotoMai-Tai (only one glass to go after that, and it would be that Uh Oa... ). As I was enjoying that libation, my previous bar mates moved on and a new crew of younger kids came up. I got to talking with one of them name of Caleb. He was staying at the Grand and his friends and he were having a great time at the parks so far. We chatted about this and that, and it was time for another pick-me-up. I went with the Mosquito Mojito this time around. I really liked that one. As I was enjoying that, Caleb and his crew finished their drinks and moved on, to be replaced by a young guy and gal, and another gal sitting further down at the end. They ended up doing Patron shots... with training wheels (salt and lime). They decided that wasn't enough, so I joined them for another round. Just give me mine in a clean glass... that's all I need. By now, it was time to start heading back. I got the bartender to sell me just the Uh Oa glass because I'll never get a chance to share one with somebody as my wife doesn't really drink much. Paid and walked out with Katelyn. We started chatting on the way out, turns out she was from FL, and we debated the pros/cons of World vs. Land. She was here with her friends, and it was her last night. After a few mins, we parted ways, and I began my LONG walk back to my hotel at 1:15. It was a pretty quiet walk through DTD and the Esplanade at that time of the morning. The hose crews were out in full-force, as well as leaf blower crews down by the bus drop offs. Got back to the hotel at 1:40, dropped my stuff and crashed for the night... I'd be back up in four hours...


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Old 08-18-2014, 09:17 AM   #2
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Great shots, solo time can be a blast.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:17 PM   #3
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Beautiful photos!
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #4
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The next day of the trip may take a while. I'll get the first installment up tonight.
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:39 PM   #5
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Absolutely gorgeous photos---makes me want to be there NOW!
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:55 PM   #6
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I moved you over to the Disneyland Trip Reports forum (which is always where full DL trip reports should go)!
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:02 PM   #7
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Nice!!!! Happy to see that NOS looks great, other than that terrible off-center window! Hopefully they'll do a cosmetic fix for that.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:38 PM   #8
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Day 2...8/15/2014

Woke up at 5:30... just can't sleep anymore...surfed the net on my phone, checked emails, and got ready at a leisurely pace. Made my way over to bag check around 07:30. As it was an EMH for DL, the esplanade was packed. I got in the shortest appearing NON-EMH line I could find... Entry 31. It was already hot in the sun, which did NOT bode well for the rest of the day.



After the EMH lines cleared, it thinned out a bit, and we entered the park for rope drop I presume around 8:40. It was a nice, leisurely walk down Main Street. This is where I went RIGHT where I nearly always go LEFT. It was a new experience for me. Lined up for rope drop at the transition to Tomorrowland.






Rope drop was promptly at 9am, and I was quickly swarmed and passed by throngs of RUNNING people. If you don't already know me, let me tell you about my #3 DLR pet peeve. RUNNERS. If I had my druthers, I'd have them caught and taken all the way back to the main gate. Simply no reason for it. By the time I got on Space, they were still cycling empty ride vehicles through the station. Those runners acted rude, possibly dangerous to save the time of ONE trip around space. Ugh... By a quarter after nine, I was off space... fun... not as fun as BTMRR or Splash, but fun none the less.




I then made my way to Star Tours. Walked through the queue up to the point where the droid X-rays you. People were jumping over to the NON-open lane, and weren't getting turned back. They should make people who enter NON-open lanes go all the way back to the start of the queue. That's probably my #4 pet peeve. The ride was jerkier than I remembered it, and over way quicker than I remembered it. 15 minutes later I was headed over to Adventureland to explore this Juju thing I had heard about...

I purchased the full packet, along with the two pieces of Juju you can buy (I think they were the Tree, and the Tooth). I let the CM come up with a name for me.... I regretted it... "Muttonchops Matt". I had a few stumbles, looking for a "ship-mint", but was able to complete the tracking quest (Elephant), and get my Pineapple Juju as well (the parfait was pretty tasty). By then it was getting close to the time they normally start the Carthay tours, so while eating my parfait, I boogied it over to DCA and Carthay Circle. Made it with 10 minutes to spare. Hung out front and waited for the tour to start. Our tour guide was Ryan, and he was an exceptional guide. His delivery and knowledge were spot-on, and the tour was great and HIGHLY informative. I really liked the three private dining rooms, Hyperion, Premier, and Buena Vista. The tale I was told is Hyperion is where they made Snow White, which Premiered at Carthay, and which allowed Disney to build Buena Vista. Not sure if that was just a tale, or actually how they came up with the names. Of particular interest was the few ton limestone base to the table in the Premier room. It was a replica of the Snow White wishing well. I was told the Premier requires a $1000 deposit, which from dinning at Carthay I know to be pretty much any meal with a drink or two per person... May have to do that someday...

Our guide also told us about how Walt's Uncle's garage where Walt first got his start out here was purchased and relocated to the Garden Grove Historical Society. I'll need to check that out one of these trips. We were also given a trivia question.. How many Oscars did Walt Disney Win? There were two correct answers...26 or 33...Twenty-six full size and seven small ones for the dwarves... the only non-regulation Oscars ever awarded..... For anybody curious as to the address of Carthay Circle Restaurant... 1937... the year Snow White Premiered...Of extra interest, we were informed of the "Disney Point". This is how every CM points with two fingers. Where this originated, is not the cultural norm one would expect which is some cultures find one-finger pointing to be rude. It’s because Walt always had the cigarette in photographs of him removed in post-processing, so it always looked like he was pointing with two fingers. Not sure of that tale, but it was a good one, and they had a print of the first picture of him released by the archives which actually had the cigarette still in his hand. Pretty neat.

By 10:55, the tour was over, and I made my way over to Off the Page. I had six more DCA attraction poster prints to get, so I placed my order, paid, and headed back towards Carthay... I had an appointment to make, and it had the numbers 1-9-0-1 involved with it...
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:46 PM   #9
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As I'm eagerly waiting out front of Carthay on pins and needles at 11:30, I'm looking around...and I finally look at my phone... I had received a txt, and hadn't felt the phone buzz... and it was already 6 minutes old. Said come on inside and tell them who you are joining... Ryan stepped out of nowhere and opened the door for me. It was quite magical all around. I stepped inside, said hi to the hostess, and asked sheepishly for my host by name...We made our introductions, and were whisked off to our seating area. I was like a kid in a candy store, head on swivel, trying to take it all in. I had never expected to be able to go where even some C33 members themselves cannot go, so it was quite overwhelming. I settled into a highly stuffed settee across the table from my host, and we got down to introductions and general conversation. A few moments later, the bartender of the lounge came over to take our order as we were the only people in the entire lounge. I asked for a water while I browsed through the drink menu and landed on the Carthay Martini...gin of course... A few moments later, a cart was rolled up, and the show started. The Lillet Blanc... dusted into the glass with a perfume atomizer. The famous crystal clear ice sphere formed right then and there with the ice mold. The Hendrick's gin shaken by itself with some crushed ice, and then poured smoothly over the ice sphere in the glass... two truffle-stuffed olives for Mickey ears, and it was done. I sadly didn't take any pictures of it as-made, but it looked and tasted superb and did snap one of the aftermath.... My host and I continued to talk, getting to know each other better, talking about life, family, circumstances, everything under the sun. It was great. We were joined by another family briefly, and I took an opportunity to wander the lounge a bit and take some pics of all the great art work and artifacts displayed. At some point, I had another martini, and we whiled the day away until it was time to head back out into the HOT and crowded park. Before we left, we each got some of the first branded 1901 items... a chocolate square... and before I knew it, it was over. A quick glance at my watch said we had spent two hours enjoying the club. An experience I will never forget.




















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Old 08-20-2014, 11:03 PM   #10
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After I left the club, my host and I said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. I was a bit at a loss as to what to do, but being I was so close to Cars land, I headed over to Radiator Springs Racers. I hit the single rider line, and it was walk-on. I was literally in my car pulling away from the platform 5 minutes after stepping out of 1901... what a treat. It was a fun ride as always, but we lost... Given that I HATE losing, I jumped right back in SR line..... and lost again... By the time I got off the ride for the second time, it was 1403 and I was getting hungry.










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Old 08-21-2014, 01:01 AM   #11
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I made my way to one of my favorite watering holes in DCA, Cove Bar. There was a line at the hostess extending beyond and behind Donald's photo spot. Being that I was a single individual and not really picky about who I'm sharing a bar with, I asked the hostess to seat me at the soonest opportunity, which she did a moment later. Now despite having read/heard/seen/smelled the lobster nachos, and have never actually had them, so one order of those and an order for a Tower 10 IPA was placed. I think they gave me somebody else's order because I hadn't taken but one or two sips of my beer and the nachos were out. You can see that I also didn't really stop to drink the beer while eating they were so GOOD. I'm sure if I looked at the timestamps on those pics, only a few minutes had elapsed... my gosh did I enjoy those nachos.








While I was sitting there, I looked up and saw this:





I have to say... it was true... THAT is Disney magic. Not a care in the world...Took my time, relaxed a little, then headed over to Screamin' at 15:30. SR was walk-on. Ended up riding it twice in a row...

























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Old 08-21-2014, 01:21 AM   #12
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I left the Paradise Pier area about 15:48 and wandered around for a bit before heading over to DL. I had some Juju to get to finding. Hit the DL gate at 16:35 and proceeded to Adventureland. As my last nametag has lost its adhesive, I decided to get a new one and a new name to go with it. I was promptly dubbed... Mumbai Matt. Empowered with my new moniker, I quickly whipped out my map, grabbed my rubbing pencil, and headed for the unearthed stone on a crate over by the Indy queue. A rubbing later, I had translated the first clue... it lead me to Aladdin's Oasis where I spotted the second maker... A quick translation later had me at the Indiana Jones Adventure outpost sticking my hand into dark recesses... only to find... no Juju... had I got it wrong? Was there another clue? No, the Juju just hadn't been replenished (it was quickly taken care of). And I had it.. the Juju of knowledge.

Empowered by the new knowledge, I thought I would take a crack at the piranha Juju...a quick to trip to the dock, some tests, a joke or two over the speaker, and I had it!! I also remembered I had asked for a map of the Jungle Rivers every time and they were always out... this was my lucky day it would appear as I received that coveted piece of Disneyana as well. It was turning into a very fortuitous day. I tried for some Venomade and the snake Juju only to find it sold out for the day, so that would have to wait.

Being that it was now 17:15, I decided to go for the Parrot Juju... a Dolewhip, and a trip through the Tiki room had me stocked picture-wise to retrieve it. Imagine my dismay upon returning to claim it and being told they wanted NEW candidates to JOIN the Tiki room. I had misunderstood the clue... the Tiki Gods took pity on me and awarded me my Juju anyway. I headed up Tarzan's tree to try to find all the rocks for the Tree Juju to perform magic on, and only happened across the one at the base of the tree over by the river next to the Pirate's queue. The magic was weak apparently this late in the afternoon... I got some interesting sound and nothing else...Ah well... it was 18:05, and I had a serious hankerin' for some Haunted Mansion..












999 happy haunts... always room for one more...























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Old 08-21-2014, 12:40 PM   #13
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LOVE your photos! Especially of the club and the HM How cool to sit in the Walt chair!! Envious! How awesome
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoever View Post
...I really liked the three private dining rooms, Hyperion, Premier, and Buena Vista. The tale I was told is Hyperion is where they made Snow White, which Premiered at Carthay, and which allowed Disney to build Buena Vista. Not sure if that was just a tale, or actually how they came up with the names. Of particular interest was the few ton limestone base to the table in the Premier room. It was a replica of the Snow White wishing well. I was told the Premier requires a $1000 deposit, which from dinning at Carthay I know to be pretty much any meal with a drink or two per person... May have to do that someday...
The $1000 deposit is not always needed. A friend made several dining reservations for a trip last month, but passed on the Premier room because of the deposit. Disney Dining called her back, and offered a Premier room reservation without a deposit. It's not clear if this is a policy change or just a special exemption.

I have dined in the Premier room, and it is the best place at DLR for a special group meal (parties of 8 to 12).
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonsuch View Post
The $1000 deposit is not always needed. A friend made several dining reservations for a trip last month, but passed on the Premier room because of the deposit. Disney Dining called her back, and offered a Premier room reservation without a deposit. It's not clear if this is a policy change or just a special exemption.

I have dined in the Premier room, and it is the best place at DLR for a special group meal (parties of 8 to 12).
Even at $1k, when divided per seat its a bargain. That's like $80/person... that's an appetizer, and entree, and a drink.
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