44 DISers invade LA! DIS Unplugged/DU Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic! Pictures!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Dodie, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. meg8182000

    meg8182000 Mouseketeer

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    OMG - I'm loving your trip report! :thumbsup2

    I'm going on this tour August 8th - 13th and am getting so excited after reading your review. :yay:

    I'm hook and can't wait for your next installment.

    meg
     
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  3. Dodie

    Dodie <font color=green>Survived the big crash<br><font

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    Glad so many of my buddies and fellow adventurers are along for the ride here! It's been a long time since I've taken the time to write a trip report. It's nice to have readers. :)

    Thanks so much. As for the Haunted Hollywood Tour, it was okay. We got to see a lot of stuff in the two hours. Like I said, it was kind of a mish-mash since our guide was kind of "odd." I wouldn't say we saw much "haunted" stuff. Some murder scenes (i.e., Manson), where Marilyn Monroe died, stuff like that. But, it was only $35 apiece - not too bad.

    Welcome. I hope I don't spoil anything for you. Please remember that this was a "special" version of this tour, since it was sponsored by the DIS, we were a much larger group than normal, they were testing some new things with us (restaurants and such), and so many of us already knew one another beforehand. However, even without all of that, I would highly recommend this trip! It exceeded my expectations at every turn. I'm not even to the "good stuff" in my report yet!
     
  4. cocowum

    cocowum <marquee><font color=deeppink>Have <img src=http:/

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    Great update Dodie! :thumbsup2

    Love the bag Tonya!!! :lovestruc:love::lovestruc
     
  5. macman752

    macman752 DIS Veteran

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    Super job Dodie! Can't wait for the next installment.
     
  6. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    Wow! That would've been my absolute favorite, too! :cloud9:

    (Although riding the replica train of Walt's would be pretty fantastic, too!)

    Loving your report...


    Kathy
     
  7. meg8182000

    meg8182000 Mouseketeer

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    Welcome. I hope I don't spoil anything for you. Please remember that this was a "special" version of this tour, since it was sponsored by the DIS, we were a much larger group than normal, they were testing some new things with us (restaurants and such), and so many of us already knew one another beforehand. However, even without all of that, I would highly recommend this trip! It exceeded my expectations at every turn. I'm not even to the "good stuff" in my report yet![/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the welcome and not to worry - I am aware of this being a "special" group trip which had some extra perks but it's still fun to read. I'm also skimming some of it as like you said I don't want to spoil every surprise but just trying to get an idea really. ;)
     
  8. Renysmom

    Renysmom <font color=darkorchid>Just wondering what is goin

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    I saw the bag too and just smiled :goodvibes
     
  9. Dodie

    Dodie <font color=green>Survived the big crash<br><font

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    It's even better when you know that bag was FULL of ziploc bags of flattie clothing and accessories!
     
  10. Dodie

    Dodie <font color=green>Survived the big crash<br><font

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    Tour Day Three (Thursday 4/15):

    Theme: Making the Magic
    Word of the Day: WED Enterprises


    Our luggage had to be packed, tagged, and left inside our hotel room door by 7:00 a.m. Our breakfast was a buffet at Twist, the restaurant on the mezzanine of the Renaissance. After breakfast, we all gathered in the lobby to wait to board our motor coach. This was going to be an action-packed day and we were all excited about it.

    But we were late departing. There were other buses loading before ours. We were held up almost an hour, which would keep us behind schedule for the rest of the day. Not insurmountable by any means, but with an itinerary as packed as this one, it certainly didn’t help.

    Once we boarded the bus, we headed to one of the places most of us had been waiting for most, Disney Imagineering headquarters! The traffic was horrible (probably worse because we had gotten a late start) and we were late in arriving. They never rushed us though. They just continued to adjust the schedule throughout the day to accommodate this.

    The complex is in a series of non-descript buildings in an industrial area. The only tip-off as to what may hide inside is that the buildings are numbered with signs that look like Cast Member tags.

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    We were absolutely not allowed to bring any cameras or video equipment to Imagineering. It all had to be left on the bus. So there’s nothing to SHOW you about this part of our adventure, but it was the HIGHLIGHT for me, for sure!

    I can barely describe how cool all of this was. We were all given guest badges that we needed to wear both at Imagineering and later at the Disney Studios. We then met our host for the day, Disney Imagineer David Fisher. Our tour started with a background movie about Disney Imagineering. Then suddenly, a black curtain in the room opened up and there stood Lucky the Dinosaur! If you don’t know about Lucky, he was the first free-roving audio-animatronic figure ever created by Disney's Imagineers.

    Here is a link to a video of Lucky as background: http://disney.go.com/videos/more/?content=10773#/videos/more/&content=10773

    Lucky was SO EXPRESSIVE! It was shocking actually. The sounds he made, the facial expressions, his movements. It was awesome to interact with him and we each got a chance to do so. The guides had each party stand with Lucky and we got our picture taken. I can’t wait to see these! I’ll come back in and share them once we do get the CD. It seems like such a little thing, but it was a complete surprise and just very cool

    We toured Imagineering, seeing an audio-animatronics demonstration in a room that was filled with priceless original molds and models from the parks – president’s heads, movie stars from the great movie ride, animation models, and the original Italian marble statues of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves from the Disneyland Park, which have been removed and replaced by reproductions in order to save the priceless originals.

    We then walked through the room where the Imagineers work on the huge scale architectural models for the park changes and other large projects. We saw the model of the new Fantasyland. We could see parts of the model for the new Cars Land for DCA in the background. People were painting and doing detail work on these models. You couldn’t help but notice huge models (10-12 ft. tall maybe) of brooms with buckets (like the ones in Fantasia) in the corner of the room. Someone in our party asked what those were for. David said he thought they were for the new cruise ships. WOW! COOL!

    After returning home, one of our fellow Adventurers noticed this picture on the official Disney blog. Sure enough, there they are! The brooms! Looks like they’ll be hanging off of the ship by the logo just like the statues on the current ships. And we saw them first!

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    This is the point when the group gets to shop at Mickey’s of Glendale. Mickey’s of Glendale is the Cast Member shop located in Disney Imagineering headquarters. Most groups get 30 minutes. Because there were so many of us, they had promised us an hour instead. However, because we were running late, they shortened that hour to 45 minutes.

    Um. Yeah. Right.

    As we entered the store, the guides handed each of us a 40% off coupon that was good for any one item that we purchased (obviously to be used on the most expensive item we purchased). We were reminded about the 45 minute time limit.

    The store was amazing for many reasons. Because the intended audience is Cast Members, the prices were incredibly reasonable. Most of the merchandise was specifically branded with “Walt Disney Imagineering.” Almost everything in the store was only available from that location.

    44 Disney fanatics (we warned them), two cash registers, Disney merchandise you can’t get anywhere else, 45 minute limit? Let’s just say, by the time the motor coach actually pulled away from Imagineering, it was TWO HOURS LATER! ;)

    Personally, Phillip and I shopped separately so we could make the best use of our time. The thing we were happiest about was, as soon as you walked in the door, there was a huge display of Haunted Mansion Imagineering merchandise. If you are a Haunted Mansion fan, you know that there is just not much of this merchandise in the parks. Here, there were polo shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, caps, t-shirts, mugs, pens, pins, prints, etc.!!!! We both did quite well in this area. In fact, this is where Phillip made his most expensive purchase – a Haunted Mansion letterman style jacket. You know the kind. Wool body with leather/vinyl sleeves, snap front. This one is black and has a HUGE Haunted Mansion logo on the back.

    Like I said, the prices were very reasonable. As an example, I purchased a Walt Disney Imagineering university-style hooded sweatshirt. Something similar in the parks would probably be $65. Here, it was under $30.

    My big purchase was a watch. They didn’t have a lot of jewelry or watches, so I was pleased to find a women’s black faced rectangular watch with a Sorcerer Mickey and Walt Disney Imagineering on the face. Even this was priced originally at $48, but I used my 40% off coupon. Quite the bargain.

    Some in our group purchased framed artwork. Lots bought limited edition Imagineering pins. As members of the group checked out, we made our way to the tables in the courtyard outside and watched others walk out with their bags and bags of purchases. Cheering for each person. Counting bags. Joking about who had purchased the most. Like I said, we had taken two hours instead of 45 minutes. It was a blast!

    Once in the bus, we were able to pull out our cameras again during the short trip to the Disney Studios. Once we arrived, the first activity was our tour of the Disney archives. Because we had started late, and had grown even later as the day progressed, we unfortunately missed our opportunity to have famous Disney archivist Dave Smith present to us, but one of the assistant archivists made the presentation and, surprise, we were able to take pictures (we had thought we wouldn’t be able to)!

    There were cases of really cool memorabilia everywhere and we were shown some very special pieces like opening day Disneyland parking passes and tickets, awards, etc. We each got to hold one of Walt Disney’s Oscars and have our picture taken with it. Literally a chance of a lifetime type visit.

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    A parking pass from Disneyland's opening day...

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    We made the short walk to the Disney Studios Commissary where we were handed meal tickets and sent to choose our (very late – I think it was almost 2:00 by this point) lunch. The food was good. It was foodcourt style. Unfortunately we didn’t see anyone famous.

    We then set off on a walking tour of the studios. I loved these buildings. Everything was very Art Deco. The buildings and grounds were beautiful.

    A friendly, well-fed, Disney Studios squirrell...

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    Our guide, Michael, tells us about the Animation building...

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    Legends Plaza at the Disney Studios...

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    Look closely. "Dodie" is a Disney Legend...

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    We ended our studio tour with another QUICK shopping stop at the Disney Studio Store. Again, there were items here that were only available for purchase at this shop. The shop is very tiny though, so this shopping stop wasn’t quite the same frenzy as the earlier one.

    Loaded back onto the motor coach, we discovered what was probably the worst ramification of our running-late ways. We were in LA rush hour traffic on our way to Disneyland. The trip took about an hour! Once we arrived, we all checked into the Grand Californian, and had a few minutes in our rooms before it was time to meet downstairs in the lobby for our walk to dinner.

    Phillip and I had stayed at the Grand Californian once before, but I just have to say that this resort is just stunning. Especially if you’re a fan of Arts and Crafts/Craftsman style architecture. Our room faced the courtyard and the Disneyland monorail runs through this courtyard at regular intervals.

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    We met to walk through Downtown Disney to our dinner.

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    We had known we were walking to the Disneyland Hotel at the opposite end of Downtown Disney, but we thought we were having dinner at Hook’s Pointe, but we learned instead that we would be dining at Steakhouse 55! Upgrade baby!

    We had a lovely small pre-dinner reception with our choice of wine and some wonderful appetizers. We then made our way to the dining room (we filled up an entire one) for dinner. The meal was very, very good.

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    After dinner, it was finally time for Disneyland! We were given our 4-day park hopper tickets and followed our guides into the park. Many in our party (probably about half) had never been to Disneyland before, so that initial entry and first glimpse of Main Street USA and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was a milestone.

    As a group, we made our way to the Haunted Mansion, where we were taken in through the exit, given a stretching room all to ourselves, and taken through to the doom buggies as a group! Such cool access!

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    Next stop was for the group to ride the Finding Nemo Submarine Ride, where they proceeded to load about 40 of us into a single sub. Maybe this was not such a good idea. Apparently they don’t usually load 40 adults into one of these subs at a time. The sub hopped. Then it dragged bottom. We could hear the pilot frantically talking to homebase about the situation. He was told to “just keep going.” Not the best experience if you are slightly claustrophic and basically trapped inside a tin can with 39 of your closest friends. Eeek.

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    We had been given one fast pass for this night, along with our park hoppers. We didn’t have long, maybe an hour or an hour and a half, as it was probably 10:00-10:30 at this point. We met up with Tom Bell (DIS Unplugged Podcast Disneyland correspondent) at this point and twelve of us made our way to Space Mountain, where our spaceship immediately stopped and was detoured to the left because our “train was too heavy.” Again? We’d bottomed another ride out? We all blamed Steakhouse 55. We were taken back up and reloaded into separate cars and got to take off the second time! (Disneyland’s Space Mountain is awesome!)

    We hit Big Thunder Mountain Railroad too. This ride is twice the ride as the one at WDW. It’s faster. It’s longer. It’s GREAT!!!!

    I don’t remember what else we did. I do remember that we closed down the park at midnight. This would become a trend that’s tough to keep up when you have to keep starting your following day by meeting at 7:00 a.m. However, tomorrow morning we had something GREAT to look forward to. Breakfast at Club 33!

    To be continued…
     
  11. DVCsince02

    DVCsince02 <font color=green><font color=deeppink><marquee>Ev

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    I noticed it too. :love:

    :laughing:
     
  12. AlexJB

    AlexJB Earning My Ears

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    Sounding like a great trip! :)
     
  13. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    I love my bag!!! :love: And once I finally start my trip report you will see that it will become an important theme on my trip. (There were a few twists in my trip that made it "interesting".) :scared:
     
  14. ADP

    ADP <marquee><font color=red>I'm a huggin' fool</marqu

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    Great installments Dodie....Really enjoying following along.
     
  15. Renysmom

    Renysmom <font color=darkorchid>Just wondering what is goin

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    Can't believe how much you guys were doing in one day. So cool!!
     
  16. Dodie

    Dodie <font color=green>Survived the big crash<br><font

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    This is why, even though no one else felt sorry for us (and they shouldn't have), we were and still are all exhausted! Phillip and I averaged 5 hours of sleep per night once we reached Disneyland. It's also why I couldn't find time to write my trip report while the trip was actually happening. :cool2:
     
  17. scrappinDW

    scrappinDW Mouseketeer

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    Love your trip report. A friend and I are taking this Adventure in November so I am hanging onto your every word.
    I never thought I would want to go to Disneyland but after reading another trip report...I can't wait to go.
     
  18. meg8182000

    meg8182000 Mouseketeer

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    Dodie - you are just doing a fab job with your trip report! :worship:

    Note to self - need to save more money for Mickey's of Glendale! LOL :goodvibes Thank you for covering this in your report. It's nice to know that the prices are a better rate then in the parks and such plus I love that exclusiveness of the merch. :cool1: Everytime I go to either WDW or DL as much as I say I won't be doing much shopping, I always manage to do more than anticipated. Don't know how that happens. :confused3

    Can't wait for your next installment!

    meg
     
  19. Dodie

    Dodie <font color=green>Survived the big crash<br><font

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    I'll probably get 4-16 posted tomorrow night.

    I'm currently uploading and resizing my photos from 4-16. I may end up having to divide this day into two posts because I have 48 pictures I want to share! It was another jam-packed, non-stop day!
     
  20. crazydisneyman

    crazydisneyman <font color=blue><marquee>My "Muddy Buddy manly si

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    Thanks for your updates Dodie!

    It's really great to see what happened. :thumbsup2
     
  21. Circusgirl

    Circusgirl Queen of the Moisture Festival. Allora!

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    It was amazing how much we crammed into every day!! I wouldn't change a thing even though I'm still recovering. Everything was so great I couldn't miss a second of any of it!
     

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