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. katscradle

    katscradle <font color=deeppink>Left a special sweetness for

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    Dodie thanks for writing this and I am looking forward to more, and I was there. I miss being with my friends, but having this is great! :thumbsup2
    John and I split up when we were at MOG as well. We did quite a bit of damage in there as the prices were so good. :)
    I worked through all or most of the clothing, John focused on pins etc..
    You can just refer to him as the pin man, that is what I have taken to calling him.:rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:
    I got a nightmare before x-mas shadow box, and John got a really big Haunted Mansion shadow box with our 40% off coupons.

    Looking forward to the next installment!

    As for getting back on track it has been hard, but I am finally back on track with time and sleep! :thumbsup2
     
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  3. Dodie

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

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    Tour Day Four (Friday 4/16):

    Theme: Walt’s World
    Word of the Day: Attraction


    The theme for this day should have been walking and standing. Someone in our group had a pedometer and, even with our big meals and exciting stops, we managed to walk over 10 miles before our evening free time in the park!

    It was another 7:00 a.m. start in the Grand Californian lobby. Once we were all gathered, we walked to the area right in front of Disneyland. (This is one of the coolest things about Disneyland in my opinion…stepping outside of your resort into Downtown Disney, taking a short walk to the park gates. Very compact and convenient.)

    We stood in the area between Disneyland and California Adventure for a few minutes. You could feel the excitement building.

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    We were told that we could take pictures of the empty Main Street, but it was explained that some Cast Members might be out working and that some Cast Member gates might be open. If those gates were open, we were not to take pictures of backstage.

    Finally, our tickets were scanned and we stepped through the gates and onto Main Street USA. It was amazing to walk toward the castle with no one blocking your view or photographs.

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    One of Donald’s cousins, a permanent Disneyland resident, leads us toward Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

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    Those in our group who had never visited Disneyland before were gathered for a “newbie” photograph:

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    I can’t begin to tell you how many photographs we all took while we stood at the hub.

    Then it was time to start our walk toward Club 33 for breakfast!

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    Lots of excited people…

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    THE door…

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    Our group was larger than just our ABDers. It included our host of course, the west coast DISer with a Club 33 membership who was the reason we were all there; the Disneyland DIS Unplugged correspondents; and other invited west coast guest. I think we numbered around 65 total.

    We all took a deep breath as the door opened. We were really going to get inside!

    Kathy (kab407) and I entering Club 33…

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    The first thing you see is the lift. No way we were going to all use this, so we dashed up the stairs, everyone taking pictures as we walked.

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    The table from “Mary Poppins”…

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    Phillip calling Disney Visa to ask for a higher credit line (LOL)…

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    One of the dining rooms that our group filled for this breakfast…

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    Others in the group took much better pictures of the club, the food, the atmosphere. I’m sure they’ll post them soon. In the meantime, this is the toilet in the ladies’ restroom…

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    And here are some flatties (Paul and Alicia) looking out the window at the “peasants” below…

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    The facility is, as you would predict, beautiful. Our buffet breakfast was served from silver chafing dishes and we ate from good china using silver utensils.

    The only unfortunate thing here was that it was another example of Disney (ABD? Club 33?) not listening to the preparatory information that had been given to them about our group – its size, its fanaticism.

    We had been told we had two hours in the club. However, ABD tried to shorten that time to accommodate the rest of the day’s touring. Eventually, they finally figured out that wouldn’t work and gave us back the allotted 2 hours.

    There is a small armoire of Club 33 items on display that can be purchased. Although many of us tried to make these purchases in “stages,” i.e., I stood in line at the armoire while Phillip ate and then he took pictures of the club while I ate, the staff was just not prepared for the onslaught that was the DISers with their credit cards. They appeared shocked at the interest in the merchandise and their system wasn’t able to handle the rush. (It’s a good thing we had the full two hours or we would not have been able to get through the purchase of merchandise and the eating of breakfast. Even then, we were cutting it close.)

    Phillip and I each bought a polo shirt and cap. We picked up a nice lapel pin and a couple of Club 33 2009 Holiday pins.

    The time passed very quickly and it was time to move on. The guides took pictures of us on the stairs as we exited and, suddenly, we were outside in the fray with the other Disneyland guests.

    This should give you an idea of how far we were willing to go for our flatties (Kathy (kab407) with a handful by the Club 33 sign)…

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    I love this picture. It’s VERY representative of the week for me!

    ***I’m going to split Friday 4/16 into two posts because I have so many pictures I want to share.***

    Friday 4/16 to be continued…
     
  4. AlexJB

    AlexJB Earning My Ears

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    Amazing... Club 33 looks great! :)
     
  5. Dodie

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

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    CONTINUED - Tour Day Four (Friday 4/16):

    Theme: Walt’s World
    Word of the Day: Attraction


    There won’t be any pictures for awhile because we were heading straight backstage and we stayed there until lunch. No photography is allowed backstage.

    The first thing we did after leaving Club 33 was to go backstage behind the Indiana Jones ride. If you’ve never been to Disneyland, then your only basis of comparison for this ride might be the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom. Get that out of your mind. Although the vehicles are the same, the ride is a completely different experience. There are lots of different combinations, so your ride is different each time. The theming in this attraction is, I believe, just some of the best that Disney has ever done.

    We got to see how the vehicles are maintained and got a demo of how they operate. Then we were led through a back door into the exit line to waiting ride vehicles to experience it for ourselves!

    We then made our way through the park over to it It’s a Small World where we paused for a minute before heading backstage again to discuss the history of this attraction and how it differs visually from the one at Disney World. (It’s actually quite a beautiful building.)

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    We spent a few hours touring backstage (this is where we racked up some of those miles walking I mentioned earlier). We first got to talk to the folks who maintain the Disneyland railroad and got a lesson on how the steam engines work.

    We also spent time learning about the fireworks and saw the fireworks launching area. Fireworks logistics are different at Disneyland because there are residential areas so nearby. (Can you imagine what it would be like if you lived next door to Disneyland?! I'm sure there would be positives, but there would also be a LOT of negatives!)

    We saw the building where they store the parade floats and got up close to one of the ones from the Christmas parade.

    Then we moved to the corral area that’s one of the oldest parts of Disneyland – there from the beginning. This is where the animals live and are cared for. (There are lots more animals at Disneyland as there is more horse-drawn “traffic” on Main Street and they have a small petting zoo.)

    From this point, we went back into the parks to have lunch at something for which there is no equivalent in Walt Disney World, the Big Thunder BBQ, next to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This is an outdoor, picnic-type setting with all-you-can eat food similar to that of the Hoop-Dee-Do Review at WDW: chicken, ribs, slaw, beans, and cornbread. It was really good and they had live entertainment too.

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    We were then divided into three groups to make the afternoon’s touring easier, as there were six separate things we were going to experience. We added one of the Disneyland Ambassadors as a third guide at this point and we had back-up from Joey of the ABD offices.

    Our first set of three things that we cycled through were riding the Lilly Belle (the VIP “Presidential” train car on the Disneyland Railroad), seeing Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and visiting Walt’s apartment over the Fire Station on Main Street.

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    Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was interesting. I knew it had originated at the famous New York World’s Fair and was then moved to Disneyland, but I was surprised to see how much of it had influenced the American Experience in the American pavilion at Epcot.

    The Lilly Belle train car was actually something Walt had wanted to create so and Lillian could entertain VIPs with a circle tour of the park, but this hadn’t happened before his death. The idea was shelved until sometime in the 70’s, when a train car was converted to a luxurious spot for VIPs to relax while they circled the park.

    Riding on the Lilly Belle:

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    Gaining access to the apartment was, of course, a highlight. We were joined by another Disneyland Ambassador as we entered the apartment. No photography was allowed inside, but I will tell you that I honestly felt that Walt’s spirit was alive in this place. It’s much smaller and more “primitive” than I imagined. Nothing fancy by any means, although it’s decorated with antiques. Just a main room (where the Disneys had two couches that were pull-out beds), a small kitchenette wall in that main room, and a full bathroom. There is a lovely terrace area outside the side door though that may have been my favorite place in all of Disneyland. I could just imagine Lillian sitting up there in the shade with the grandchildren while the hubbub of Disneyland churned down below.

    We feel very lucky to have been able to experience this.

    The guides took pictures of our small subgroup in the apartment with our cameras.

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    Our next set of three activities included a private boat for our group on Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean, a viewing of the show in the Tiki Room (with a special demonstration/guest afterward), and a surprise that none of us were expecting.

    We were really looking forward to Pirates since, the only other time we were at Disneyland, it was down for refurbishment. It did not disappoint. If you’ve not seen the Disneyland version of Pirates, you’ve not seen Pirates. From the double drops to the float past the Blue Bayou Restaurant, to the more fully-developed story, it is so much more detailed and wonderful than the WDW version.

    We enjoyed the Tiki Room too. We rarely do this at WDW, especially since they messed it up with their “Under New Management” changes a few years ago. What was cool about this though was the fact that we stayed behind after the rest of the audience departed. We then got to hear more about this attraction (how it was originally intended to be a restaurant) and how these original audio-animatronics worked. Our guide, Michael, then brought out one of the orchids from the show and let us each see how the mechanism actually works that allows them to “sing.”

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    Then it was time for our surprise! We were going to get to tour the Disneyland Dream Suite. If you’re not familiar with this, this is the suite that Walt had begun to design before his death. It was originally intended to serve as a way that he and Lillian could host overnight guests (family, celebrities, VIPs, dignitaries, etc.) inside the park, since their apartment wouldn’t suffice for that. It was never completed. Finally, in 2007-2008, it was completed, based largely upon the original design, and eventually used in conjunction with the Year of a Million Dreams promotion.

    Pictures don’t do it justice and words can’t describe how wonderful the “kiss goodnight” effects were in both bedrooms. The touch of a button caused amazing lighting effects and animation to occur.

    It is a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom suite situated over the Pirates of the Caribbean, with a large sitting room and a wonderful balcony/patio overlooking the Rivers of America.

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    The suite had some of the most beautiful light fixtures I have ever seen. Seriously. I need an Imagineer to create some light fixtures for me…

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    The children’s bedroom had a model of the Disneyland Railroad up above on a shelf…

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    During the “goodnight kiss,” this train suddenly came to life and wound its way around the entire room, dodging other decorations on the shelf, to come back to rest in its original case.

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    Another amazing light fixture, this one pewter, in the children’s bedroom…

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    The lovely patio area…

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    After each of the groups was finished experiencing each of the second set of adventures, we met back up where we were given 5 fast passes good for the rest of the day and evening and told that we could meet back for a reserved seat for the early evening parade. We were then set free for the evening!

    I think it was about 4:00 at this point. Kathy, Phillip and I decided that a huge ice cream sundae was in order, followed by a trip back to the hotel to change into warmer clothes for the evening.

    We made it back into the park just in time to slide into the reserved parade spot…

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    Some in our party even got “involved” in the parade…

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    We then spent a wonderful evening in Disneyland, using our fast passes and hitting the highlights. Our particular group ended up being Phillip, me, Kathy (kab407), Alissa (SpokaneMom), and Lauren (stenogoddess) and her husband Jeri. We had a great time together! Such a great time, that I apparently didn’t take any pictures. ;) I do recall that it was very late when we made it back to the hotel (again). Tomorrow was going to be a less intense day schedule-wise and that was a good thing at this point.

    To be continued…
     
  6. Madi100

    Madi100 DIS Veteran

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    Dodie, I am LOVING your trip report. Thanks for taking the time to share with all of us.
     
  7. cocowum

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

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    Thanks for sharing this TR with us. It's awesome!!! :goodvibes
     
  8. georgemoe

    georgemoe <font color=royalblue>Beverages? There were bevera

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    Outstanding trip report Dodie. Love it! I'm going back to the beginning to read through it again! :goodvibes
     
  9. ragtopday

    ragtopday Proud Member of Red Sox Nation

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    I read everything through today and can't wait for the next update - this trip sounds absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it with the rest of us!
     
  10. Disneygrl36

    Disneygrl36 Happy DVC member!!!!

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    Hi Dodie :wave:. I went on this trip in Dec 2008 & I am so enjoying reliving it with you.
    We went to the Roosevelt for burgers too & they were delish. I really want to go back there & stay sometime.
    Reading about the changes they have made is interesting. Not big ones, but I really wanted to see what had changed.
    We didn't get to do the archives on our trip. Loved the picture of Mary Poppins hat. :woohoo: I am a huge MP fan!!!!
    Loved your Club 33 experience. Jealous!!!!
    Can't wait to read more. Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. Dodie

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

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    Tour Day Five (Saturday 4/17):

    Theme: Behind the Orange Grove
    Word of the Day: Forced Perspective


    We met at 7:00 a.m. again in the Grand Californian and walked through Downtown Disney to have a character breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel. This was a really good buffet breakfast and the characters were bountiful!

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    After breakfast, we entered Disney’s California Adventure before it officially opened and headed straight for Soarin’ over California (as the ride is known here – where it originated).

    Isn't the Disneyland monorail just so much neater in a retro sort of way than the WDW one?

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    Once again, we were divided into two groups, although we had no idea why.

    The group Phillip and I were in was loaded onto the ride – everyone on the top row! No dangling feet! We love this ride anyway, but we really enjoyed our private ride very much. Once it was over, everyone was cheering “Again! Again!” They had us sit back down and ride a second time – and we actually thought it had been because of our pleading.

    As we exited the ride, we met the other group coming up some steps. They were very psyched. Pete was saying that he had experienced the most awesome thing he’d ever experienced. The group was raving, but they wouldn’t tell us why.

    We then turned down those same steps and found ourselves behind and below the screen of Soarin’. The screen is actually perforated metal, so you can see through it from the back. We watched our counterparts being loaded onto the ride and they hollered at us, the difference being that they knew we were watching them, where we had not known.

    It was an amazing vantage point. We could see the pictures on the screen, hear the music, and see how HIGH OUR FRIENDS WERE REALLY BEING LIFTED on that contraption! Holy cow! (I almost wish I hadn’t seen that part.) The "cars" really move around quite a bit, side to side, up and down, tilting. More than you realize when you're on the ride. It was funny to watch everyone lift their feet at the same times too. It’s one of those things that you have to experience to appreciate probably, but I’ll just say that most in our group were as impressed by this experience as they had been by anything else on the trip.

    Oh – and it ended up that our group had gotten the second ride NOT because of our persuasiveness, but because a door had been locked, preventing the other group from getting down the steps in time to witness our first ride. ;)

    Once reunited, we made our way together to Turtle Talk with Crush. Phillip and I have never done this in Epcot, so it was interesting to experience. We then had an animation experience where we all learned to draw Mickey Mouse.

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    We were assigned cardboard tubes to save our “artwork.” These tubes would become even more important later that night.

    We were each given five fast passes for use for the rest of the day and told that the day was ours, but, if we liked, we could have an optional group ride on the Tower of Terror. Most in our group chose to do this, although some did not. I was in the “did not” category, but went with the group to experience the pre-ride and queue. The interesting consensus of most who rode was, although it was fun of course, this was the first attraction they’d experienced that was actually better at WDW than at Disneyland. The line area was not nearly as detailed and “boiler-room-like” as the one at WDW for instance. And the effects weren’t the same on the actual ride.

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    Some of us then made our way to the California Screamin’ rollercoaster to use a fast pass.

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    Tonya’s mom Carol and I sat this one out, but we got pictures of those who rode, just before their “launch.”

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    After that, Tonya remembered that the Aladdin show is nearing the end of its run. Everyone had heard such good things about it (including seeing it on one of Samantha Brown’s shows), that we decided it would be worth the wait for the 1:00 show. We made our way back to the Hollywood area of DCA and found our place in line. I think we waited about 30 minutes before they seated us.

    It was well-worth the wait. Broadway caliber show for sure. It was a very entertaining hour. I can see how, by fleshing the story out a bit, this could be Disney’s next Broadway offering.

    Starving, we decided to sample some of the Food & Wine offerings from the main area.

    You’ll find more information about the Food & Wine offerings in other places. I just know that what I had was good (cheese soup and a wonderful pear salad) and Phillip had some sliced beef sliders and a cheese plate. He played with the interactive Coke machine and I had a small glass of beer. The best part of this meal was that we met up with Don (SFBayDon) and had a nice chat while we ate.

    Inadvertant post-meal hidden Mickey, captured by Phillip...

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    After this, Phillip and I were just completely wiped out. We returned to the Grand Californian for a much-needed nap. It wasn’t that this particular day had been so taxing. It was more that we had just reached our limit for a bit.

    Our farewell dinner was scheduled for that evening. We all met in the lobby once more and made our way to a lovely conference room in the Grand Californian Conference Center where tables had been set for a rather formal meal. Wine was offered for this meal as well and there was a buffet serving line set up just outside in a small courtyard area. This meal was truly very good, especially for “conference center/convention” food.

    Pete stood up and made some comments about the trip and the fact that we were celebrating Walter’s birthday, even though Walter had conveniently slipped out of the room at this point. Seems Walter is not much for a “fuss.” Pete quite eloquently expressed what most of us had been feeling about the trip, the people, the guides, ABD, and how our expectations had been surpassed.

    Pete also told us then that Dreams Unlimited would be picking up the tab so that we could each receive the 1000+ Photopass CD of all of the photographs the guides had taken throughout the trip at no charge to us. Classy and unexpected!

    When Walter returned to the room, the group presented him with the special birthday gift to which we had all contributed. I’m going to borrow Karen’s (klam_chowder) words to explain what he received, since she was the one who coordinated the gift (with help from Katherine and John).

    Here is a picture of Walter with the gift that our ABD group presented to him for his birthday:

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    Walter was very surprised and quite touched by the gift. It was wonderful to have been a part of something which Walter (and therefore Pete) found so moving!

    Here was Walter’s response, which many of you read here on the boards…

    The ABD guides then showed us a slideshow made up of some of the pictures they had taken throughout the trip. I was surprised at how moved I was. Spending this kind of time with people, even if it’s a large group of 40+ people, with this kind of itinerary, sharing things that you all have an affinity for, creates friendships beyond what one would expect. I would have been much sadder if I didn’t know that we were going to see most of these folks again in December on the Podcast Cruise.

    While all of this was going on, Disney artist and historian, Stacia Martin, who has been with Disney for over 30 years, was calling each party up one-by-one to draw a personalized sketch of our favorite classic Disney character – signed specifically for and to us. Phillip and I chose Pluto and, although I don’t have any pictures of it to share, we will be matting and framing it to hang in our family room. She was amazing. She talked to us the entire time she was drawing about the history of Pluto and all of his classic cartoon shorts!

    Those cardboard tubes from this morning’s animation activity miraculously reappeared and the drawings were carefully placed in them for transport home! It is AMAZING!

    Then, to top it all off, the big cheese himself and his best gal showed up for photo opportunities with all of the adventurers! Mickey and Minnie joined in the fun and were quite gracious in posing with everyone.

    When it was time to depart, we were reminded about our fast passes and told that we would have a special private VIP viewing area near Main Street USA for the Disneyland fireworks scheduled for 9:30 that evening.

    We ran back up to the room, dropped off our loot, grabbed a jacket, met up with Kathy again in the lobby, and headed over to Disneyland for the fireworks.

    Our fireworks area was roped off near the Plaza. It was a great location. We slowly gathered there as people began to arrive. ABD guide, Jaime, earned his pay that night by showing his stuff as a Cast Member who’s done a little bit of everything at Disneyland. He continually ran folks off who stood in front of our ropes (and even one person who slipped under them). He was like a bulldog. It was great to watch.

    The Disneyland fireworks are impressive. More impressive than Wishes in my opinion. It was a great way to cap off our farewell dinner.

    After the fireworks, we added a few local DISers to our party and began to make our way round the park, using those wonderful fast passes (and sharing them with the locals). Pirates, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, we did them all. Phillip, Kathy and I shut down the park by finally getting the chance to ride the Matterhorn, which had been down earlier and only seems to be open on weekends. It’s a rough ride, but it’s a classic and THOSE 40+-year-old Yeti monsters actually work!

    It was almost 1:00 a.m. by the time we made it back to the hotel room. We were very glad we’d added an extra night to our trip (as had many in the group), so tonight wasn’t our last night.

    To be continued…
     
  12. Tonya2426

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

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    Although I would love to take credit for remembering and suggesting the Aladdin show (mainly because it was on my must do list and can't believe I didn't even remember it), I think it was actually Sharon or Alissa or Lynne who suggested it. (Can't remember who at this point - that is how tired we all were at this point in the trip.) :confused3

    No matter who suggested it, Aladdin was a great show and well worth the short time we waited to see it. :thumbsup2
     
  13. Dodie

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

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    I hear THAT!
     
  14. katscradle

    katscradle <font color=deeppink>Left a special sweetness for

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    Dodie you must have been right up front when that girl Julie was taking us from the tiki room to the Haunted Mansion. She lost about half the group and when I realized we did not know where to go I paniced. I thought just b/c she knew where to go she should have made sure the group stayed together. If it had not been for Bill hearing me yell I am sure there would have been half the group that would not made it the the Haunted Mansion.
     
  15. Dodie

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

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    Post Tour Day (Sunday 4/18):

    Theme: Now it’s time to say goodbye…
    Word of the Day: Imagination


    Our farewell breakfast was the Chip ‘n Dale Critter Breakfast at Storyteller’s Café in the Grand Californian and scheduled for 7:00 a.m. So, with barely any sleep, we again managed to get ourselves up and going and headed toward breakfast.

    We sat with Pete and Walter, who had to eat quickly to catch their ride to the airport. We had the rest of the day, but we did joke about who was going to “snap” at the sight of a furry character first, Pete or me. We actually both ended up handling it quite well, I’m proud to say.

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    Phillip’s best “bear face”…

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    Loved both of these guys - each unique in their skills and Disney background! (ABD Guides Jaime and Michael)...

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    We decided to get to Disneyland early and head to Fantasyland to ride all of the classics. Kathy came with us. We went to the monorail station in Downtown Disney because we hadn’t done that yet. It deposited us inside Disneyland and we headed for Fantasyland.

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    I think because it was a Sunday (a locals day apparently) and we got there so early, the lines were non-existent to manageable all throughout Fantasyland.

    We hit all of the things that exist there that are not at WDW, like the Casey Jr. Train, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and the Storybook Land Canal Boats. Of course, we went on Peter Pan and Snow White too. It was a lot of fun.

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    Inside the “wild animal” car on the Casey Jr. Train…

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    Phillip cannot stand to ride It’s a Small World, so he sat that one out, letting Kathy and I go while he waited for us on a nearby bench.

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    We headed for some other favorites like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Pirates. As we stepped off of Pirates, the Blue Bayou restaurant was just opening for lunch. On a whim, we checked and there was availability! I can now say that I’ve eaten there. The ambience is wonderful, I just wish Phillip and I would have split the Monte Cristo. We wasted quite a bit of food.

    After one last ride on the Haunted Mansion, we split up to do some shopping on Main Street. Phillip and I then decided to head over to the monorail station, to take it back and see the other half of the loop. The weather had suddenly taken a brisk, cool, windy turn for the worse and the temperature probably dropped ten degrees while we were standing there waiting for the monorail.

    Once we got back to the hotel, we sorted through all of our precious, irreplaceable purchases, figuring out how to carry those on the plane vs. putting them in our checked luggage. (Several folks in our group actually shipped their things back home, but we managed to not have to do that.)

    Phillip wanted to nap, but I was afraid if I did that my day would be over because I wouldn’t want to get back up. I went downstairs to use the computer to check us in for our flight and picked up a really nice DVC Member fleece pullover in the GC gift shop. As I was headed back to the room to stash my new fleece, I nearly bumped into a couple walking through the lobby. The first thing that drew my attention was the fact that the man was wearing a really cool “Cars” themed Hawaiian shirt. Phillip and I love that movie and always complain about how there is no adult merchandise for either it or “Bolt” (our other favorite). I was thinking about asking the guy where he’d purchased it, until I realized that it was John Lasseter himself! (I knew that he had done a presentation at Food & Wine the day before, so I assume that’s what he was doing again.) I chose not to bother him (even though I do wish they had adult “Cars” merchandise). This would be the first of two brushes with “greatness” on this day.

    I texted Kathy to see if she was back and if she wanted to meet me. We had a glass of wine and spent an hour chatting before saying our goodbyes until December and heading back up to our respective rooms.

    I woke Phillip from his nap and we decided to head back through Downtown Disney doing some window shopping, especially since it was still a little windy and cold. Our goal was to go back into the Disneyland Hotel to look at the memorabilia on the walls that we had missed on our other two visits.

    After we had walked back to the Grand Californian, he and I stopped for a couple of appetizers (dinner) and a drink in the bar to top off our trip. Once we were seated, I looked at the table next to us and saw this (stealth photo taken with my iPhone)…

    [​IMG]

    There’s no mistaking that hair and those glasses on the back of his head. It was Guy Fieri of the Food Network. I knew he was also there for Food & Wine, so I wasn’t surprised to see him necessarily, but it did count as my second brush with “greatness” for the day. I didn’t bother him either, although a couple of annoying people did.

    Even though we’d already bid our farewells, I texted Kathy again about our famous table neighbor. She was nearby, so she stopped in to share in the drinks and appetizers. It was now, honestly, time to call it a trip, go upstairs, and really pack.

    To be continued…
     
  16. katscradle

    katscradle <font color=deeppink>Left a special sweetness for

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,738
    Glad you got the 2 sightings that must have been wonderful. :)

    I have to say the farewell dinner was fabulous! :thumbsup2

    I got a Snow White drawn, but I guess that is no surprize to anyone. :rotfl2:

    I too am glad we had the extra day. We spent about 2-3 hours in the hot tub in the late afternoon. That made my feet feel a little better, and then we headed into DL in the evening to ride a few last rides. :)

    We then started out of the park at about 11pm and John wanted to check at guest relations for a few last pin trades. So Anna Kim and I walked slowly back to the hotel. Well John had my wallet and roomkey card in his park bag, so I called him and told him I was going to wait in Anna & Kim's room. He said he was on his way.
    So a few minutes later he showed up with a very special gift for me.
    We then went and dropped off my gift in our room, and headed for a last drink in the bar. We sat sipped our drinks and talked by the outdoor fireplace. It was a wonderful end to a very wonderful trip! :)
     
  17. Tonya2426

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

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,891
    Julie was terrible leading our group through the park. She just took off like a bat out of heck and was clueless as to whether anyone was following. It was all I could do not to pull out the lightsaber and take over. :rolleyes1
     
  18. katscradle

    katscradle <font color=deeppink>Left a special sweetness for

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,738
    I wished you had of I would have felt sooo much more secure knowing I had the lightsaber to follow! :worship::worship:
     
  19. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,892
    :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

    I love this report! Goin' back for more....


    ... now I'm finished, but I still want more!!

    Glad you had such an incredible, unique, and above all, fun experience with so many great people!



    Kathy
     
  20. Circusgirl

    Circusgirl Queen of the Moisture Festival. Allora!

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,627
    No! Don't let it be over again!

    I finally just got the first installment of my trip report up. My dad is extremely ill and I have scheduled an emergency trip to see him this weekend. Things have been crazy because of this, so I'm behind in all of the things I have meant to be doing. Once I get to New Hampshire there may be some quiet time to work with my photos and the report.
     
  21. Dodie

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

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 1999
    Messages:
    6,674
    As for Julie, I agree. Her short stature, the fact that she was dressed all in black, her fast pace, and the fact that she wasn't holding up an ABD sign made her VERY difficult to follow.

    Jaime also had quite a brisk, take-charge attitude regarding pace, but he always held the sign up high so, even if you couldn't keep up, you could see where you were going.

    I found Michael the easiest to follow. His pace was more reasonable, he held the sign high, and he tended to just be more aware of the whereabouts of the group in general.

    Joey, although he didn't necessarily lead us, was very knowledgeable and helpful. I loved how he explained the many different combinations of experiences you could get on the Indiana Jones ride by using coins on the table. He also helped me find a "hidden restroom" near the Tiki Birds when that was a necessity! (Those restroom breaks were sometimes few and far between in my opinion - but I'm sure this was made even more difficult by our sheer numbers.)

    I'm not finished with this trip report yet. I want to talk about the trip to the airport and our return home. Plus, I have some gushy summary type stuff I want to say. I'll try to do that yet this week.

    :cloud9:
     

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