A BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov&Dec2010 @ VGC & AKV... 2 UPDATES 3/6 Post #85 & 86

Discussion in 'DVC Trip Reports' started by stopher1, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. cj9200

    cj9200 DIS Dad #412

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    I did the Walking in Walt's Footsteps tour which was pretty neat. It was a number of years ago so I would check to see if it is still offered.

    Agree on pics expecially NO Square. I agree with you Stopher, that is my favorite land at DL.
     
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  3. stopher1

    stopher1 <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    In Mickey's Toontown, the central area

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    Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin
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    Goofy's Bounce House

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    Heading down to Adventureland
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    Inside the still ORIGINAL Enchanted Tiki Room (I love that show - especially when I sit there with a Dole Whip in hand... :love:)

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    Next to the Tiki Room, Aladdin's Oasis - sitting empty once again while I was there. The story telling was a nice use of the space, as were photo ops, but I really wish they would reopen a restaurant in that space. The old Tahitian Terrace was so cool (think the Spirit of Aloha show at the Poly, WDW vets). But with the outside rethemed this way - it would be a really cool character dining location with Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, the Genie... come on Disneyland... let's get it going.

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    Across the way, the Adventureland Bazaar. This one goes all the way back to opening day. Sure, what is sold inside has changed through the years, but the shop is original.

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    Moving west through Adventureland,

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    the Bengal BBQ (under the hexagonal thatched roof) serves up some yummy food!

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    The temple entrance of Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, definitely unique to Disneyland - though it kind of isn't. WDW vets, did you know that Dinosaur at AK is actually the exact same ride - just dressed and themed to dinos instead of Indiana Jones? When I rode it the very first time, my mind's eye kept saying "Indy should be standing right there - the snake should be right here, the rats should be here, the poison darts should be here.... ". AK needed another ride, and the Imagineers just happened to have this great new ride that had opened at DL a few years prior... so bam, retheme it, build a different looking show building, turn out most of the lights but throw in a bunch of strobe lights and there you go...

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  4. dvczerfs

    dvczerfs DIS Veteran

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    nice pics stopher.:thumbsup2
     
  5. stopher1

    stopher1 <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    Back down in to Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. - getting ready to leave soon for the work part of the trip. But first, a stop in to see the updated Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show. It had been done for a rehab for a long period in 2009, and finally re-opened just two or three weeks after my end of year visit in 2009 - so I was excited to be able to see it. The new lobby area right outside the theatre itself is gorgeous. But first, a few other shots from the outer lobby and the pre-show area.

    Here is the model of Disneyland on opening day. This model was created in 2005 by the then-current Imagineers to represent what the park was like in 1955 for the park's 50th anniversary celebration - The Happiest Homecoming on Earth. This giant 3D map is behind glass, so some of the pics have reflections of light fixtures in them...

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    And a model of Sleeping Beauty Castle

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    The aerial view painting Walt used on the old Disneyland tv show in 1954 to showcase to America what Disneyland the place would be like... at least this is an image of that aerial view painting - it could be the original, but it could be a copy too - I cannot say definitively, though it probably is.

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    This next picture is of a piece of art that I just really liked, a lot, showcasing Disneyland's first major expansion back in 1959 - when the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Monorail and the Submarine Voyage where all added at the same time, and opened within days of each other

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    Here is the model of Splash Mountain, that I referred to on an earlier page. This model was actually featured prominently in the old Preview Center location, in the southeast corner location of Main Street, U.S.A. Back then it was the Disney Showcase - for the life of me I can't even recall the name of the shop that occupies that space now - the stuff they stock in that shop is "that" memorable. :rotfl: It's next to the Magic Shop though, I do remember that much.

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    Moving further in to the lobby, you come to the inner lobby, dedicated to the Lincoln show. The intricate, hand-carved model of the U.S. Capitol has returned.

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    Much of the woodwork, which used to be painted white, has been stripped and stained a nice rich brown. The doors to the theater as well. The fireplace at the back of the lobby area is new.

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    The maquettes for the "Spirit of..." statues found in the American Adventure at Epcot have found a home and are on display.

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    I absolutely was mesmerized by this new portrait of Abraham Lincoln. It was hanging on the wall next to the fireplace, and is simply excellent.

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    Above the fireplace was a digital screen, with a rolling film about the production, Walt's fascination with our 16th president, and other such information. It was really neat.

    Finally, inside the theatre, enjoying Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. This figure seems to be the most realistic, articulate animatronic I've ever seen. It was magnificent. I enjoyed this version very much. It removed much of the nonsense that was added in to the last version (early 2000's update), and restored a lot of the original script, though it was certainly revised. Definitely one I will return to again.

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    Upon the conclusion of the show, I exited the theatre, and it was time to bid the park adieu. I didn't want to leave. So I lingered in Town Square for a while. Went in to the Emporium for a few moments, and then found a bench to sit on for a while. I knew I would be back to Disneyland in just a matter of 3 1/2 weeks with my family - but even so, I didn't want to leave. But alas, I finally did. The work week of meetings was calling... and I would be heading east to Florida in just 6 days... so it was time to move on. I sure did want to see World of Color one more time, but it wouldn't be that night. Hmmmmm, the wheels of my mind were turning....
     
  6. stopher1

    stopher1 <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    Part VI: A Work Week Begins

    There's really just something about being in Southern California, especially when you are a Disneyphile, and you are physically only about 15-20 miles away from the park. The draw is amazing. Of course for me, it has always been amazing - even as a child and I had no way of transporting myelf the 35 miles from my home to the park. It started early, and remains constant all these years later. It's harder to reconcile & deal with nowadays, living 2200+ miles from the original Magic Kingdom, and nearly 1000 miles from her eastern cousin. But I manage pretty well each year, if I do say myself.

    Tuesday was a full day. FULL of meetings, meetings and more meetings. Large group meetings, and smaller break-out sessions. The evening was to have some "forced fun" with dinner and an activity. It was a "dine around" kind of experience - in that each team member was given a list of official restaurants - and was to choose several options. Then each team member would be selected by the leadership as to which restaurant they would be dining at. The goal was to mix up the team members who don't normally interact together, to somehow build better relationships with those they don't currently work with. Well let me tell you this - it hasn't worked for each of the past 6 years my company has tried this. The dinners are dull, boring and full of "top surface" conversation that doesn't bring about bonding or any kind of "team building".

    With that in mind, I opted to be a rebel and skip out, choosing my own dinner plans. Sure it meant I was foregoing the company paying for dinner... big whoop. I didn't care. I was headed to Disneyland! World of Color was on my mind - and I would not be swayed. As soon as the mass group meeting was dismissed for the day - I was out the door, headed to the hotel to quickly change and get ready to burn rubber on up to Anaheim. Unfortunately this IS Southern California, and burning rubber just isn't possible much of the time. T R A F F I C!!!

    If you've never been in "rush hour" traffic in the Los Angeles basin... then you just don't really understand. First of all - "rush hour" is such an oxymoron, since it is by no means an hour, rather more like 3 or 4 hours of peak drive time... on each end of the traditional working day - but of course so many folks have unusual schedules too, so that can easily stretch out to 5 or 6 hours of bad traffic on both ends of the traditional working day... and nobody is able to rush anywhere. LA freeways. I learned to drive on them... I both love and hate them.

    Thankfully I lived in the OC for 8+ years, and in greater So Cal for many more than that... so I knew my way around with and without the assistance of the freeways. Before long I was pulling up to the parking lot at the resort, jumped out and was on my way in to Disneyland proper. I decided to pick up something on the way, cheap, so I'd already eaten dinner - but dessert was on my agenda - and an in-park dessert would just satisfy that desire. I worked my way half way up Main Street, and took a right at Center Street. The Cone Shop... a much shorter wait than on the west side of Main Street at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor! A hot fudge sundae, with the seasonal Peppermint Stick ice cream was on my mind... yummmy! I got my sundae and headed up to the Plaza Pavilion seating area where I would spend the next 15 minutes enjoying both my sundae, and people watching. The lights were twinkling in the trees, the Christmas music playing in the background - deep sigh - as the magic was once again working on my soul. Even though it had only been a single day since I had been there - it was just so nice to just be sitting there in the park, soaking it all in once again. :cloud9: I took no pictures while there - just made more memories. It was fun.

    After that little interlude, I decided I wanted to enjoy something so classically Disney - so Walt, I moved across the hub by a few hundred feet and was standing at the entrance to Adventureland, and the Enchanted Tiki Room. :) I mentioned previously that I love this show - and so it was time to enjoy it once more. And honestly, the "only way" to "properly" enjoy it (at least in my mind), is with a Dole Whip in hand. So :scared1: - even though I had just moments ago polished off that luscious hot fudge sundae - I sidled on up to the Tiki Bar and ordered my Dole Whip. And yes - I finished it all - and that is part of how I have such a fabulous, round shape. :rotfl: Two desserts in one night. My DW would be appalled - but then - that is part of the beauty of solo traveling, isn't it? :confused3

    I wandered through Adventureland and Frontierland for a little bit - checked out some new pins, and some other stuff in the shops, and then went over to get on the Haunted Mansion. Even if I am not thrilled with the Nightmare overlay - I still love that attraction. And I will admit that the intense smell of the giant gingerbread house on the dining table in the ballroom/dining room scene was superb.

    By this point it was time for the DL fireworks - Believe in Holiday Magic. I enjoyed part of the show from Town Square, but left before it ended, as I needed to get over to DCA before 8 pm, which was the stated closing time that evening. When it gets dark at just after 5 pm - fireworks can happen early! They were at 7:45, following the Christmas Fantasy Parade. over at Disney California Adventure, there were two WOC shows, and the final one would be at 8:10, and I had to be INSIDE the park if I wanted to see it. AND I DID! I checked my phone right after entering DCA, and saw that it was about 7:53. Excellent timing.

    I worked my way over to the WOC viewing area, via the Condor Flats route around past Soaring Over California, Grizzly River Rapids, and up through the San Francisco street area. I was in the line of people entering the roped off area, and the CM just let everyone in. FP's were NOT a major issue that day apparently. I ended up in the blue area, and had a decent spot along the bridge. I was able to video the entire show with my phone that night. I won't post any video - or even a lot of pictures of the show since I already have - except this one - because I like it so much, even if I've included it already (may have - don't remember now). This is from the end of the show, when guests are exiting the viewing area.

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  7. stopher1

    stopher1 <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    Part VII: Meetings, Meetings, & More Meetings – Anybody Want Another Meeting?

    The next day was Wednesday, and again… filled with MEETINGS!! Ugh. But then, of course, this was my company’s annual end of year meetings week… of course it’s going to be full of meetings. Tonight’s dinner was not one that I could get out of – unfortunately – like the day before. I was the assigned driver – and it was my individual team going out to eat. I had also been the one to pick our destination – so I kind of had to go. Of course the World of Color yearnings were creeping up on my throughout the day, but alas – I could not act upon those yearnings on Wednesday. But that’s okay, because the restaurant destination of choice that night, is one of many favorites from my Southern California upbringing. Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant at Knott’s Berry Farm… SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!

    As a child, my parents took us to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm many times throughout the year; every time we went to Knott’s, we ate at the Chicken Dinner Restaurant. School fund-raisers were held there, church functions, banquets, and many family gatherings. It is just part of my heritage, let alone Southern California’s. Yummmmmmmmm. It is definitely on my must-do list every time I go out there.

    The restaurant itself goes back to the mid-1930’s when Mrs. Knott opened up her tea room to help out financially – it was afterall, the middle of the depression still. The dinner’s fame started to spread, and throughout the ensuing years her business just took off. As Knott’s Berry Farm grew from more than just the actual berry farm into a themed entertainment area, and later into the actual theme park that it became – the restaurant just kept growing and growing. The lines were amazing – and many, many times, still are. If you ever get to Southern California – be sure to include a stop at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant – especially if you love fried chicken… it is still the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve eaten lots of good friend chicken throughout this country).

    On THURSDAY however – I once again answered the call from deep inside, and left those meetings at the end of the day and headed straight up to Anaheim. Once again, I picked up some dinner on the way, and upon entry into Disneyland, stopped at the Cone Shop on Center Street for another hot fudge sundae, with peppermint stick ice cream. Again I sat on the patio at the Plaza Pavilion, and enjoyed my dessert whilst people watching, and again left the camera alone taking no pictures. Pure heaven.

    Again I wandered around through the park, this time wandering through Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, enjoying Pinccohio’s Daring Journey, Casey Jr. Circus Train, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds before once again heading down Main Street, U.S.A. so that I could get over to California Adventure before 8pm. Again I watched the fireworks from Town Square, and yes, again I was inside DCA just moments before 8. TONIGHT however, it was a very different story regarding the FP’s for WOC. This time I was turned away by the CM, and told that I could stand on the back side of the lagoon in various spots to watch the show. I found a spot at the end of the boardwalk just past the bar area of Ariel’s Grotto, right in the corner where the boardwalk turns left.
    I was bummed at first, but later realized it was good to experience from many different vantage points – and that was true. I was thankful of course that this wasn’t my first viewing with an “off” vantage point. Having seen it before, I knew what to expect when, and was able to fully enjoy the show without any kind of wondering what was next. I was actually able to fully enjoy the technical aspects of the show much better this way as well – especially from the vantage point that I had. Thinking about my viewing spot as the face of a clock – if the show is between 10 and 2 – I was at 9, so I was right up close to the action; certainly not the best location for a first time viewing – but GREAT for not caring about what’s going on and seeing the “how’d they do that” aspect. Even at that close, and weird angle – the show wowed me again, and I left very, very happy.

    FRIDAY came, and was once again filled with more meetings. It was the last day of meetings though. They ended at noon. And I had a flight to catch by 2. So sadly, there was no time for a final quick jaunt up to Anaheim. I would spend one day at home on Saturday, and then Sunday morning – I’d be right back to the airport catching a flight to Orlando. Next up… Walt Disney World and Animal Kingdom Villas! See ya on the east coast…
     
  8. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    Wow, I am jealous of all the opportunities you have to get to DL and WDW, but I have to say that those evening visits to DL in the evening after your meetings look like a slice of Heaven on Earth. Just leisurely walking into the park to enjoy some dessert and a few select attractions... what a way to relax and unwind after a long day of meetings!
     
  9. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    Wow, updates galore! Thanks for posting all of the pictures. I'm endlessly fascinated with them. And at first glance I have to agree with you--New Orleans Square just looks like a fantastic theme, with details galore.

    And I also agree with Andy--being able to walk into DL, grab a dessert and sit back and relax with no agenda does sound a little bit like heaven.
     
  10. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    Fantastic updates, Christopher. Being able to take a quick jaunt to one of the parks for a hour or two - you've really been blessed. Hard to imagine doing that at WDW, though. Being that large and having that much land really helps with expansion and controlling exactly what guests see and experience, but they can never replicate that "neighborhood amusement park" feel that it seems like Disneyland has.
     
  11. dvczerfs

    dvczerfs DIS Veteran

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    very cool stopher.:thumbsup2
     
  12. Emma's Dad

    Emma's Dad DIS Dad #115 8^) Virginia Beach, VA

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    That almost sounds like something I would have used... popcorn::
     

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