I'm Walkin' on Sunshine....

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by LoveMyBeautifulGift, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

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    Let me start with a huge thank you to all Disers out there...this trip was magical and wonderful and fabulous and just amazing in large part due to the information I gleaned from the Dis, so Thank YOU!!! :worship:

    Now to the trip report...

    Testing my newfound skills at adding text links:
    Paradise Pier Hotel and the World of Color View
    Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness
    Breakfast with Minnie
    Magic Morning in Fantasyland, Lunch at Goofy's and Back to Toontown
    Opening the Park, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Lunch at Ariel's Grotto
    World of Color Picnic (Blue Disability Viewing Area)
    Adventures Await
    Breakfast at Storyteller's w/ Chip'n'Dale, Toy Story Midway Mania and DCA
    Fantasmic Dessert
    Last Day in the Park
    Surf's Up Breakfast at the PCH Grill
    What Didn't We Do?
    Apples to Oranges-Attempting to Compare Character Meals
    Photopass Photos
    Speaking of Photopass...Notes for the Next Trip
    Souvenirs

    For those who didn't read the PTR (here), this was a girls only trip for myself :yay:, my mother :hippie:, my 2 sisters :hug:, and my 6yo princess:. I spent a lot of time on the Dis researching and prepping for the trip and was ready to burst with excitement by the time the trip finally happened :banana:.

    We left on the 4th (from the East Bay) later than we expected...my mother had a last minute prescription issue w/ her insulin, which took up a large chunk of the morning...however, once we hit the road, we made great time (for us, at least ;)). We hit Santa Nella for at about 12:30 and stopped to let :hippie: and princess: eat and stretch.

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    The McDonald's has an outdoor playplace, which was nice for the princess:. We stopped for about a half hour then hit the road again.

    W/ Disney music playing the whole way, we drove down 5:

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    The princess: was very excited about the "cat in the hat" silo, lol. Somewhere along the way, we realized my GPS had shut down and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't turn back on (since our return, I have found out that the cigarette lighter in my car is not connected, therefore the GPS was not charging, lol)...luckily, I came prepared w/ mapquest maps (in my wonderful blue binder :lovestruc) and all of our phones had GPS ability.

    We reached Lost Hills at about 2:45 and filled the tank, then continued on...we stopped in Castaic at 4:30ish for a brief break before we pushed on to Temecula. The indoor playplace was pretty big, and there was a family on their way out from Disneyland, so the kids got to play while we adults chatted all things Disney :thumbsup2

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    We were back on the road in about half and hour and all was well until everyone else dozed off (including my navigator :hippie:) and I merged left when I should have merged right...I realized something wasn't right pretty quickly and woke everyone up so someone could check the map/use a phone for GPS. However, by the time we got back on track we were stuck behind an ugly accident :sad2: ...so, we crawled through traffic (the accident was in the carpool lane, which only made things worse) before stopping at a place called Hungry Howies. I had a delicious salad, and ordered what I thought would be just a small amount of cinammon sticks but turned out to be this:

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    This thing was HUGE! The 5 of us barely put a dent in it...we finally arrived at my cousin's house at 8:45, where we spent the night catching up on family news (cough: gossip: cough) popcorn:: :eek: :rotfl2: :lovestruc and sharing a bottle of wine. We finally hit the sack somewhere around 1, when my cousin realized her 1 year old would be up for her wee hours feeding soon...
     
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  3. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

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    The next morning, we slept in to the lovely hour of 7 am :rotfl: when my cousin's 1 year old woke up the princess: We spent the day playing/going to the park/soaking up the sun. We had a blast...I only wish I could have convinced my cousin to join us in the park for at least a day...while there, the princess: explored the native wildlife:

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    My cousin couldn't understand why the princess: wanted to keep the rabbit, to her, rabbits are vermin...

    We finished the day w/ some comedy central and lots of laughter, then the next day we woke up early to pack and hit the road by 10:00...

    Our first stop just over an hour later was the Character Warehouse for some pre-trip souvenir shopping...I must say, I just don't get it :confused3...I know some people :love: this place, but we will not be returning...The store was organized poorly, the cashier had attitude and demanded to know how we knew about the store since we weren't locals (and curled her lip when we told her we had heard about it online) and the prices are too high for things that are old, irregular, sized wrong, or just plain ugly...not that we were able to leave w/o the princess: wanting a ridiculously overpriced cash register (the kind of junky, plastic, peicy toy you find at Big Lots, but priced at 3x the price) that her nana promptly bought her and some shirts that :hippie: insisted were great for my brother and father...I wasn't expecting great things from this store (or maybe somewhere in my mind I was, which explains the disappointment) but I was a bit let down by the lack of choice and more than once I picked somthing up and promptly put it back laughing after I read the price...

    I will say that I am glad we stopped at the store if for no other reason than I was able to remind my mother and the princess that we would not be purchasing everything the princess laid eyes on and that we had a whole week to get through and a finite amount of space to bring all of our things back home in...

    Then it was on to the hotel! :banana::banana::banana: Finally, we were really going to Disneyland!!!! :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2: :yay: :yay: :yay: :banana: :banana: :banana:
     
  4. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

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    When we arrived at the Paradise Pier Hotel, everyone was over the moon. We passed the line at the front desk and rode the glass elevator up to the concierge lounge...Mom and sisters were suprised and glad we got to bypass the line, and everyone was grateful for the snacks and cold drinks in the lounge while I checked in...then it was back downstairs to have our bags brought in and to get mom's ECV (which we got from Deckert Surgical for 8 days for 175.00 total; and which worked like a dream the whole week)...while doing that, we took a minute to pose with Goofy:

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    ...and then took long enough to sort out who was going to be sleeping where and stash the luggage accordingly and check out the view...

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    ...and to find the first of the suprises for the princess in the bathroom (where I had pulled it out quickly while she was admiring the view from the window) and then it was off to DTD!

    We had ressies at Rainforest for 3:00, but first I needed to stop at WDTC to sort out a character meal voucher mix up. The lady there was fabulous and fast, and I left not only with the right vouchers but $15.00 in snack vouchers as an apology for the mixup :cool1:. Then it was on to Buid-A-Bear to use the gift card that the princess: found in the goody bag...it was ridiculously crowded downstairs, but we quickly found our way upstairs to get our bear stuffed and fluffed...then it was back downstairs to find all the cool Disney apparel that can only be found at this particular location...we may have exceeded the amount of the giftcard, but we decided to take it as a lesson for next time rather than put anything back (really, we couldn't put back any of the cool outfits that we wouldn't be able to find at our own BAB, could we? :rolleyes1).

    We had appetizers and dessert at Rainforest, since the princess had to have a volcano and the :hug: always split an appetizer platter wherever we go and call it a meal...the princess got the souvenir cup w/ the slurpees all mixed up in the cup, and my sister had an amazing strawberry banana drink that was very refreshing until you got to the end and it was all alcohol ;) Made me almost wish I had ordered it, but there was enough for the two of us to share...

    We wandered DTD, stopping here and there for small purchases. "I Can't Believe We're at Disneyland!" was like our mantra for the day, we all said it at least once while checking into the hotel and meandering DTD...we made our way all the way to World of Disney, at which point everyone decided we should go ahead and head back to the hotel.

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    Please excuse the mess...it was mid-week before I finally took pics of the room and we were quickly gathering a mass of stuff and making a mess of the room, lol...

    We all unpacked and showered and before we knew it, World of Color was showing and we were glued to the window w/ the music playing on our t.v.

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    We loved our view of the show...we could just make out some of the characters (Nemo, Buzz...) and watching all the colors and the wheel was just fascinating and amazing...my sister (who was sitting near the desk) was able to just see some fireworks, too, btw. We could hear the music through the windows, we didn't really need the music from the tv, but we having it play behind us while we watched just added to our absorbption in the show...we were all giddy w/ happiness and excitment as we watched...

    After the show, my sister and mother made the dubious choice of eating the cheescake they had brought back to the room from Rainforest :sad2: and we soon all fell asleep to dreams of Disney!
     
  5. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    It all sounds like it was wonderful!!! The view from your room was amazing!! I can hardly wait to read all about it!!

    Welcome home to all of our liquid sunshine!
     
  6. davidsprincess

    davidsprincess <font color=teal>Courtesy Loretta!! Courtesy!<font

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    Loving it so far!! Sounds like the perfect start to your first day.:thumbsup2
     
  7. Lorelai

    Lorelai Tagless Thus Far

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    Wonderful TR so far...can't wait to read more! By the way...it sounds like your group grew by two. :goodvibes Where along the way did your cousin & cousin's baby join you?
     
  8. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

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    It was wonderful! Even w/ the construction, the view couldn't be beat...we were able to watch WoC every night from the comfort of our room...

    It was a great start! At first it was sort of surreal...like...am I really here? Is it really time? And then we were walking down DTD and taking it all in and :banana: inside, lol...

    Unfortunately, we didn't grow by two...we stayed at my cousin's house in Temecula Friday night-Sunday morning...we had invited her to join us when we made the plans and invited her again before we left (even if it was just to meet us for lunch or something one day) but she wasn't exactly enthralled w/ the idea of bringing a one year old to Disneyland...but we did have a blast at her place :thumbsup2

     
  9. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    I think we might have been at the PPH at the same time!! (we were in a view room on the 9th floor) We checked in the morning of the 7th & checked out on the 10th. Loved watching the WoC from the room!!! Loved this hotel!!!!
     
  10. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

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    As soon as the alarm buzzed on Monday morning, I popped out of bed and pulled open the curtains while practically singing "We get to go to Disneyland!", lol...I was ridiculously chipper :rolleyes:...The princess: was ecstatic to find an invitation to dine w/ Minnie waiting for her and got dressed quicker than I've ever seen her get ready. :thumbsup2 We stopped at the concierge lounge, grabbed a quick bite to eat and got some waters (btw, we had to ask for bottled waters every time we wanted them during the week, they weren't in the fridge), then I led the way across the street, through the GCH and up to bag check...my sister kept asking if I was sure about where to go, but then we were there...I scoped the setup and moved to an empty slot in front of a table where a CM was setting up...:hippie: wanted to know why I wasn't standing in line, and I told her there would be more than one, then we had a nice chat w/ the CM about scoping the tables to see which would be open (basically, if CMs are hanging out at the other end of a table, it will be open). After chilling there for about 10 minutes (it took way less time to get to the tables than I expected), they let us move on to the front gates...:yay:

    While waiting to get in, I reminded everyone that we were going to bypass the castle on the right and head over to MTMM, but first we were going to have to wait for rope drop...at this point, the :hug: were beginning to express doubts about being up so early if all we were going to do was wait around, but I just told them they would be glad we were in front once the park opened ;)...at rope drop, we met a mother/daughter who were very excited to be at the rope, and chatted a couple times w/ the awesome CM who was in charge of rope drop that day...soon there was a small crowd of people standing behind us and my sisters were talking about how glad they were to not be at the back of the crowd, lol.

    Finally, rope drop! Boy, I never realized how quickly I could walk with purpose while pushing a stroller! :thumbsup2 We were at TT in moments and straightaway we see Pluto and Minnie :woohoo:

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    Then we split up, w/ the :hug: heading to RR and :hippie: princess: and :yay: making our way back to Minnie's house/etc. The princess: absolutely fell in love with TT! We spent the morning exploring Minnie's house, Chip and Dale's treehouse, Donald's boat and riding Gadget's Go Coaster so many times I lost count...she didn't even want to stop to watch the show...luckily my :hug: grabbed buttons for everyone.

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    While we played, we spotted Chip and Dale, Goofy and the :hug: told me Donald was at the show, though we never saw him roaming about...Finally I convinced the princess: we needed to head out, since she had received an invitation to breakfast w/ Minnie...we stopped at the 5 and Dime for some ears, and the princess: decided she wanted this hat instead:

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    ...which she proudly wore all day...and then we were off to Breakfast with Minnie!
     
  11. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

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    We strolled up to the Plaza Inn and parked the stroller and ECV off to the side...check in was a breeze as we just gave them our names, took the group shot on the porch, handed over the vouchers, grabbed our pins and they showed us our table...our reservations were for 10:30 and our end of the restaurant was still pretty full, although outside was only one family who came in just after we did...we filled our plates from the buffet (mickey head waffles, fruit, scrambled eggs, french toast, bacon, sausage, etc.) and sat down to enjoy the meal...soon the characters were coming back in fairly rapid succesion...Minnie was first, and she just adored the princess:s dress and hair bows...next was Eeyore, my sister's favorite character:

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    Tigger hugged the princess: so well she practically disappeared:

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    Fairy Godmother was very excited to have an entire page each in 2 seperate autograph books and bragged about it to Chip and Dale who were following closely on her heels (she even pointed out to them that they had to share a page in the larger book, lol):

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    Hook and the Fox character (Foulfellow? not exactly certain bc he stayed cleared of our table after the Fairy Godmother shooed him away bc he was scaring the princess:) came out too:

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    As did Perla, but Perla never made it to our table :confused: One minute she was at the next table over, the next she was gone...what was interesting to me was that the Fairy Godmother seemed to be acting as the character manager for the meal...she was circulating the entire time, and after she left our table, I saw her step outside, chat with the family that was on the porch, then come back in and lead Eeyore and Tigger outside...Fairy Godmother came back to our table several times, and each time she asked how we were enjoying our meal and which characters we had seen...then towards the end of the meal, she sort of swept through the tables and the characters headed out of the room ahead of her as she went...

    We had a fabulous start to our day and our trip! In TT, we felt like we had the park to ourselves :goodvibes...the characters at Breakfast w/ Minnie were so friendly and always circulating :lovestruc, it was perfect! We headed back to the hotel on a cloud, laughing and chattering about how much fun we had had, all the great character interactions, how excited we were for the rest of the week, etc...

    We spotted Cruella hanging out by the firehouse on our way out:

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    and watched as she ran away from Chip when he tried to give her a hug...she told my sister to make sure to keep the book open after signing it so none of the other "creatures" contained in it would contaminate her page, lol...

    Back at the hotel, we stopped in the concierge lounge for some sodas, chips and cookies, then it was upstairs for the :hug: and :hippie: to chill while the princess: and I hit the pool...we had a great time and the princess: even made friends w/ another little girl who was swimming...I almost wasn't able to convince her we needed to get back to the room, but in the end the draw of the parks won out...

    Back at the room, we found :hippie: and my youngest sister feeling :sick: (our best guess is that it was the cheesecake they dragged around all day before consuming) After making sure they knew where the Immodium and Pepto were, and getting some more Sprites, the princess, myself and my other sister headed over to DCA...

    We walked on to Monsters and rode it 4 times before heading over to Muppets 3D (mom can't do 3D anyway, so this was a good chance to do it w/o leaving her cooling her heals), then got caught on the wrong side of the Pixar Pals Parade while trying to check out the setup for Aladdin:

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    After the parade dispersed, the crowd immediately surged over to Aladdin...so anyone wanting to catch the show should check the schedule...the parade stopped right in front of the theater, and we could not cross the street while it was coming down nor did we feel like braving the crowd just to ask a CM where we would line up for preferred seating later in the week...

    We turned right around and stopped for a minute (or 15) to chat w/ a DVC CM who offered the princess: a button...poor guy was probably bored out of his mind having to stand there all day while people ignored him to watch the parade...

    We stopped at Engine Ears to get Potato Head parts, then walked on to Soarin' :woohoo:...what an amazing ride...we lucked out and got row b-3, and I really felt as though my feet were going to touch the ocean and I was so busy looking at the screen I didn't even notice the feet of the people above me...after we got off Soarin' the princess: asked if we could go back to see the castle, and so back to DL we headed...really, how could we not go to the castle on our first day at DL? what were we thinking? lol...we walked through the castle, rode IASW, and managed to catch Mickey (who hadn't been in his house that morning until well after the show followed by a line of people from the show) before he headed out for the day...then we rode Gadget's again (twice), and the princess: discovered that the fountain plays music when you step on the little circles, so we played with it until they announced it was time to leave...the princess: was asleep well before we made it back to the hotel...my face hurt from smiling so much, but still, I smiled away as I told mom and sister about our afternoon while prepping for the next day and watching the last half of WoC...I fell asleep thinking about how our day had been just pure magic....
     
  12. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

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    Tuesday morning was our first MM, and of course we were headed straight to Fantasyland! We rode Dumbo twice before splitting up...then (w/ the princess: leading the way) we rode the carousel, the teacups and Alice twice (the second time we went through Alice, I noticed a PP photographer snapping candids of people as they came through the ride...he wasn't giving anyone cards or taking cards, just snapping pics ..my guess would be for Magic, Memories and You):

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    Then we headed over to Pixie Hollow, where we waited in line for about 10 minutes to see Iridessa and Tinkerbell:

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    Iridessa was very happy that she had her own page in the autograph book and that the princess: knew her name/who she was...Tink was very friendly, too...and chatted with our little fairy for the day about growing up to be a great inventor...

    The exit led us right to a little cart/shop where we picked up some stuffed fairy dolls, a headband and a wand for the little fairy...the :hug: split off, and :hippie: and I took the fairy on the Storybookland Canal before catching the monorail to get to lunch w/ Goofy at 11:00:

    Getting to the lunch was a bit of a puzzle as we missed the sign at first, but once we got into the hotel, we were able to make our way there easily enough...we were checked in and had a seat to wait about 5 minutes before it was our turn to take pics w/ Goofy...we were glad we waited, because the groups ahead of us were kind of rushed through their pics, but we got to hang out w/ Goofy and Peter Pan (and even play a little hide and seek) for a few minutes while they got our table ready):

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    Once inside, we grabbed some food (peanut butter and jelly pizza, worms in dirt, along w/ breakfast and salad fixings) and then sat at our table (up the ramp on the right after you come in the door)...and sat...and sat...eventually Pluto came by for a quick minute, then Baloo stopped by for a little bit longer:

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    Dale came by, too, and he sat and had a nice chat w/ the fairy by writing on the paper tablecloth:

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    Unfortunately, we were having so much fun playing w/ Peter Pan when we came in that we never asked for his autograph, so the fairy insisted we wait until he came around to our table...after another long wait, we asked our server if Peter Pan would be visiting the tables or if he was only out front...he went to check, and a few minutes later the character manager came over to say that Peter would be making rounds in a few...about 10 minutes after that, she came over to our table and led us to him...

    I think we must have picked a really bad time or had a really bad seat for this meal...or maybe both...we heard music and someone announcing dancing for the kids, but we couldn't see it from where we were at and the princess was not interested in going to find it bc she didn't want to miss a character if they came around...we actually saw our server more often than we saw any characters...we actually hung out longer than the alloted 90 minutes, hoping we would see more characters....our little fairy was unaffected by the lack of characters, as she was enjoying her lunch and chatting about the characters we did see and how fun they had been...but :hippie: and I were a bit disappointed with the progression of the meal...after having spent so much time playing with Goofy and Peter Pan to get into the meal and have the briefest of moments with so few characters (except Dale) was a bit of a let down...

    After lunch, we headed back to the hotel, where mom rested and we swam...then it was back to DL, where we went back through the castle, rode Peter Pan (at the fairy's insistence, she had to ride it after playing w/ Peter Pan that morning, even w/ the line, lol) and then Casey Jr., Its a Small World, back over to TT, and Peter Pan again (this time through the exit since we convinced :hippie: she could do the ride w/ no problems)...

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    The fairy thought it was adorable that Mickey and Minnie have the same picture in each of their homes...as you can see in the pictures, we had a wonderful day w/ low crowds, great weather and fun times!

    As the day drew to a close, the little fairy asked for pizza, so we stopped at Pizza Port, which turned out to be a waste of time and money, since she took one bite and then wouldn't eat the rest :lmao: (we are a bit spoiled about pizza...we have a wonderful pizza shop just a few blocks away that makes the most amazing delicious thick crust, fresh toppings pizzas ever...yum...). We then headed over to the penny arcade to meet the sisters and played around in there before heading back to the hotel...we stopped in the concierge lounge where I grabbed a plateful of the yummy quesadillas and a plateful of chocolate covered strawberries before heading upstairs to order a burger for mom and fries for the fairy from room service...we enjoyed our food by the window watching WoC once again...where the fairy passed out before the show was even over...

    After picking up a little bit and prepping for the next day, then taking a very short shower (more on this later) I hit the bed once more smiling and reminiscing on what had been another magical day...
     
  13. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

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    Everyone loved the hotel...the princess: particularly loved the pool and :hippie: loved the concierge lounge...more specifically, the coffee in the concierge lounge, lol...

     
  14. wulaishiwo1

    wulaishiwo1 Earning My Ears

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    a trip to Disney land with family members, sounds great! I went to the Disney in HongKong with my sister. We two also had a great time there. I have a secret dream that one day I go there with my husband and my children, and my parents!:dance3:
     
  15. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

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    GAH! Just lost an hours worth of trip report by clicking one too many times :headache: :lmao: Ah, well, its fun to look at the pics and share the magic of our trip w/ people who aren't tired of hearing about it already, lol...
     
  16. AussieDisneyNut

    AussieDisneyNut Mouseketeer

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    Sorry you lost some TR ... I am sometimes technology challenged too! I still haven't worked out how to post a photo! :lmao: But I am enjoying your report, it is helping me keep the dream alive in these last few frantic days of packing and organising! :rotfl:
     
  17. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

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    Wednesday morning found us at the gates first, and then at the rope first! By now, the family was as eager as I to get to the parks ahead of the crowds and we all had a spring in our steps that carried us quickly to the rope...After waving at the characters in the window at Plaza Inn and waiting very patiently for a 6yo, the princess was chosen to open the park!

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    She was very excited, even though at first she wasn't sure what was going on...she got a laugh from the people near us when the CM asked her if she was excited (yes) and if she knew what the button meant (no)....

    After she pushed the button, the CM gave us a head start and we headed straight for the PFF...while I was still keeping up the pace, there were a few runners that got ahead of us, but that just meant we got to spend a few minutes laughing it up with the great CM managing the line...

    Inside PFF, we saw Aurora and Snow White:

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    Next we headed back to FL, and took a quick spin on the carousel before checking for our 10:00 appointment at the BBB. The BBB was packed! There were a handful of customers just wandering the store shopping, and a cluster of people around the check in kiosk...when we finally got through to the CM, we were given a pager and told it would be about 15 minutes...sooo...back out the door we headed and into Sleeping Beauty's Castle for a quick tour...

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    Upon exiting, we found Fairy Godmother taking pics in front of the statue, but our beeper went off and it was time to meet our own Fairy Godmother! The FGIT asked which princess she wanted to be, then led her over to the dress, shoes, etc...she was given a choice of 2 accessory sets, which I think were: gloves w/ purse; crown w/ wand; or jewelry...then the FGIT said she had to go consult with the mice and birds and would be right back...we wandered around the store looking at the other princess attire, and then we were led back to the changing room.

    It was just as crowded in the back! The salon area is 2 rows of chairs with seats for the parents in front of each chair...you walk between the seats and the chairs, and almost every chair was full, plus there were people lined up at the back wall...the FGIT held open the curtain and told us that the mice hadn't been able to make glass slippers in the princess's size, but that there was a pair in the next size up and a pair of flip-flops in the right size...

    Well, quoting the princess here: "Everyone knows Cinderella needs her glass slipper to become the princess"...and our little princess was not leaving without a pair of glass slippers, lol...Not a huge deal, she was in a stroller most of the day and we had a pair of shoes to swap out if she got tired of them...so:

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    After she had changed, we were given a bag to put her clothes and shoes in and led to the station where she would get her makeover...our FGIT was very quiet, but very friendly and she listened to and responded to the princess very happily...the princess was consulted on everything from which style up-do she would like to which colors of make-up she would wear...and...score! They had nailpolish! Woo-hoo!

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    I wish during this process our PP photographer had taken more pictures, but she was working the 2 stations on either side of us as well, so, I pulled out my camera and clicked away....after the transformation was complete, the FGIT turned the princess around to face the mirror, they said the magic words, and presto-chango the curtain opened to reveal her transformation...

    Afterwards, we were led to the back of the salon where we waited to get into the carriage room, ie the photo room...I loved the room...the carriage and the little scene they had set up were perfect for little girls getting princess makeovers...the princess: beelined it for the animals and sat right down smiling...the PP photographer here was different, and absolutely wonderful with the princess...I felt as though she would have been happy snapping pictures of the princess all day...I asked for a couple of specific things (such as the princess blowing a kiss from the coach) and she was like "great idea!" and "absolutely!"

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    ...however, the princess soon grew tired of posing and so we headed out to wait for our pictures to be brought to us, then headed on over to the wishing well for a minute of peace and quiet while we all stretched a minute and regrouped...

    Side note: when I asked the PP photographer in the carriage room about it being so busy, she said they are always busiest between 9 and noonish and commented that most of the people they see are headed over to dine with the princesses afterward (like us, of course)...she said the best time is after two, but of course that doesn't help anyone trying to make a princess lunch, lol...

    Our next stop was the silhouette shop, so I could get one done of the princess: on a guaranteed good-hair day ;), and then we headed over to DCA...we rode the Jumpin' Jellies, Golden Zephyr and had a quick visit with Duffy before checking into our 1:00 appointment...we were told we would be paged in about 10 minutes, and we were glad to wait in the air conditioning on the chairs while the other groups scheduled for the same time began trickling in...

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    The princess caught up on her reading, and we all people watched as the crowd at the top of the stairs/in the doorway grew...

    At last we were beeped, and we headed down the stairs...first up was Ariel, and we were told that we would only get 1 chance for a picture/autographs w/ Ariel:

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    We were seated at our table, a nice booth near the doors that kept us away from the noise of the restaurant while still giving us a great view of the goings on...the princess: enjoyed the appetizers:

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    ...and we ordered our food before the ceremony began...the princesses circulated slowly around the room, stopping at every table and taking the time to sign autograph books, spend time with the children and chatting with the adults before taking pictures...it was absolutely wonderful!

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    ...our princess: was dazzled by the princesses and I know I was grinning like a dopey fool each time she hugged a princess or her face lit up while conversing with a princess...

    The food was YUMMY! I had the chicken and everyone else had the tri-tip, all with mashed potatoes and veggies...the server even brought over extra olives and pickles for the princess when he noticed she wasn't eating her seashells...delish! and our drinks were never empty, either...we were so stuffed by the end of the meal, that we had to take our dessert back to the hotel.

    After the meal, we waddled over to Wine Country Trattoria to pick up picnics for WoC for the night (Monday had been our planned night for the show, but w/ mom and sis sick, we decided to wait until Wednesday when we would be in the park anyway)...we lucked out and they still had blue FPs w/ the picnics :yay:...after bagging everything up in the WoC bags they gave us for ordering so many picnics, we headed back to the hotel...

    It took some creative reorganizing of the meals to get everything plus the dessert in the fridge, but we managed it, and then it was time for the princess and I to swim while everyone else passed out, lol...

    After the break, we headed back to DCA, where the princess: insisted we take her auntie on Monsters and then the princess:, nana and sis #2 headed to Bugs Land while sis #1 and I rode Tower of Terror (standby, 10-15 minutes)...Then we walked down the pier and I showed everyone where we would be heading to get to TSMM on Friday...when they saw how long the line was, the sisters were like "NO WAY"...but I convinced them if we played our cards right, we would be able to walk right on :cool1:...it was pretty crowded on the pier, so we decided to work our way back and see if we could find a place to sit and rest for a bit....
     
  18. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    150
    Grabbing some ice cream, we headed back towards the WoC area...already people were standing around and CMs were clearing people out of the walkways and telling people there was no need to line up so early, etc. etc...:lmao: :rotfl:...it was about 6:20 when we grabbed a bench behind the WoC standing area, and by 6:30 a CM came over to let us know that at 6:45 they would be clearing the area out to get ready for the show and to tell us we didn't need to wait around, everyone who had a ticket was guaranteed a seat, etc....

    We chatted w/ the CM for a bit, and then I asked him where we might expect to be directed, since we were blue section and :hippie: was in her ECV...he showed us the preferred disabled seating area and said hopefully they would let us sit there, and that the bench on the far left front of this section has the best view of the show...

    Finally we had to move, so we rounded the corner and stood by the fence just next to the WoC entrance....there was already quite the crowd of people and it only became worse as the minutes ticked by...then, at almost exactly 7:00, they let everyone in...we were directed to the benches to the left of the preferred section (when facing the wheel) and chose the bench on the far right up front...we thought about splitting up, since the blue area next to us was completely empty for about 15 minutes, but we figured it would be better to stay together and we could swap out turns sitting on the bench until we needed to give up the seats...

    Soon vendors were circulating through the crowds and we wound up with some light up cotton candy for the princess:...we broke out our own glow sticks, and shared with the family that joined us on the bench...we wound up w/ 3 families sharing the one bench/area behind the bench...and we all chatted about our trips and laughed at ourselves for lining up so early for the show, and how we would hate to be the CMs trying to convince everyone not to line up...

    Our view of the show was pretty good...we were almost center and we had a fabulous view of the character projections and larger fountain displays...

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    ...although I could barely see the little screens/bubbles or some of the lower fountain displays; and I can't imagine that :hippie: could see them any better since she was sitting down, even though she told me she could...we definitely got a different perspective and saw way more details than from our room...and we understood better what was happening/the progression, so to speak...we waited for the crowds to clear before heading slowly back to the hotel...thank God for the shortcut through the GCH! Back at the hotel, I wished I had the energy to go down to the hot tub to soak my feet, lol...but settled for propping them up on a pillow while discussing the next day's plans with everyone else before passing out...
     
  19. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    150
    After some discussion the night before, we set the alarm late and skipped MM on Nemo...we needed the extra sleep and our bodies were getting tired of running on full-speed...we took our time getting ready this morning and strolled towards the park...:cool1:...none of us had it in us to move anywhere fast this day, lol...

    We entered the park at opening, and were behind the crowds as they rushed in various directions...we stopped to take pics w/ Alice and the Mad Hatter...these two are amazing together! We had seen them in the park all week, working from FL to the front gates and back several times a day, and they always kept up silliness going...the princess: would not go near the Hatter, because, and I quote: "he is mad...don't you know what that means...it means he's Crazy!"...lol...but, while we distracted the Hatter, she stood next to Alice for a moment...

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    Alice sat down to read her section of the book, reading some sections out loud and showing them to the Hatter...when the Hatter read, he was quite suprised to learn he had a lisp, lol...Alice told him that she didn't want to tell him on his un-birthday...:lmao: Really, these two were awesome together, I don't see how they could bring out one w/o the other...


    We then meandered over to BTMRR, waiting in a 15 minutes (or so) line...then it was over to the Mark Twain for a nice leisurely ride in the shade of the second level...

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    The princess was very excited to see ducks in the water and carefully pondered before she named each one...

    After Mark Twain, we walked over to Pirates...the princess did not enjoy the ride...she didn't scream or anything, but she scrunched up really close to me and asked if next time we could go without her...

    Then we stopped and the princess and I checked out Tarzan's Treehouse while the others shopped for a little bit then grabbed some Bengal BBQ skewers...we also took a minute to admire the flowers:

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    The princess adored this plant and wanted to know if we could plant one in our yard, so we had to take a pic...lol...

    After they ate, we headed over to the Golden Horseshoe, but somewhere along the way we lost sis #2...had to wait for her to find her way over...while we did so, we chatted w/ one of the CMs from the show...the princess had fun exchanging knock-knock jokes w/ him...

    Once inside, we grabbed nuggets and fries for the princess and rootbeer floats for everyone else...then we settled in upstairs to wait for the show...which we then wound up leaving early because the princess: couldn't take the loud noise...we didn't realize it when we picked our spot, but we were right under a speaker...something to think about when picking a spot...

    We headed over to Pooh's Corner, which had just opened that day...we rode Pooh a couple times, took pics w/ Pooh and checked out the candy shop before heading on over to Tom Sawyers Island...

    We let the princess: roam and explore...she turned into a bit of a pirate: for the day, lol...we had expected it to be hot and bake in the sun, but the trees and buildings provided plenty of shade, and the caves were very cool...we made plans to make this a picnic spot next time we visit, bc everyone thought it was a great spot to take a break from the park...

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    After the island mom and sis #2 were ready to head back to the hotel, but sis #1, princess: and myself were just getting started, so we headed over to the petting zoo...what a joke! Goats in a pen does not a petting zoo make, lol...the princess petted the goats and then we washed/sanitized before starting for FL...we didn't make it more than 20 steps before we ran into Jessie and backtracked a few paces to take pics behind BTMRR and across from the petting zoo...well...the princess refused to take a pic w/ Jessie, or even go near her for that matter, so we got some autographs and headed on our way...

    We rode Alice, then the Matterhorn (which was a 10 minute standby until someone lost their prescription sunglasses on the ride and insisted they find them :sad2:)...since we were 1st in line and they told us it would only be about 5 minutes, we decided to wait it out...glad we did, bc the princess loved the ride...

    After scoping the lines for everything in Tomorrowland, I convinced the sister and the princess to check out Innoventions w/ me...wish we could've skipped the intro part, but once we got in, we had fun...the CM working the pre-show of ASIMO was giving out buttons to people who got the answers to the questions on the screen right, and gave one to the princess just because she raised her hand and asked nicely, which of course just made her day...the princess was in awe of ASIMO...

    Afterwards, we decided to scope out FL, and hopped on Peter Pan before the princess asked for another trip to TT...we rode Gadget's Go Coaster, then :hippie: met up w/ us and took the princess: into Minnie's house while sis and I rode RR...then we headed back to Tomorrowland (with a quick stop to walk on to Dumbo) and we hopped onto Nemo through the exit w/ :hippie: on her ECV...we all thoroughly enjoyed the ride, but I was very glad we hadn't had to wait in a long line for it...:hippie: managed the stairs ok, but afterward she was ready to head back to the hotel...

    Overall, we were able to spend the day recharging our batteries and relaxing before taking on the crowds and the longer days of the upcoming weekend...we know we could have done way more, but we just rolled w/ the flow and skipped over anything that looked like waiting...
     
  20. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    150
    Friday started bright and early for the princess:, myself and :hippie:...we had Breakfast w/ Chip & Dale scheduled for 7:30...so up and over we went....

    The food at Storyteller's was pretty much the same breakfast buffet we had all week, although we were given the choice to order off the menu...we were seated on the left of the restaurant (coming in from the doors) in the central section near the railing...unfortunately, the 1st 3 characters to circle the room did exactly that, circle the edge of the room and head right out the door...the princess: was :sad1: crushed after watching Chip, Meeko and Terk walk right past us on one side, around the room and out w/o even waving hi....

    We had asked our server after Chip and Meeko didn't seem to see us, then after Terk walked on past, I headed over to the check in desk and let them know our section wasn't getting any character interaction...shortly thereafter, the Cast Manager came over and apologized and let us know the characters would be coming back around...which they started to do about 10 minutes later...

    Once they did start coming into our section, the interaction was everything you would expect it to be...hugs, autographs, pictures, etc...

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    Just before 9, we saw the sisters pass by on their way to the DCA entrance and decided it was time to join them...

    Here is something I haven't seen anyone mention-they were handing out FPs for WoC to everyone standing in line before they even opened bag check...they had stacks of them and were giving people as many as they said were in their group...which severely cut down on the line as most people then headed on over to DL...they ran out of these FPs by 9:10 or so, and then they were telling people they could get them at GRR getting in the park at about 9:30...

    We lined up, waited a few before bag check opened then went through the gates...we by-passed everyone who stopped at GRR for WoC fastpasses and headed over to line up at the rope to wait to be let in for TSMM...we debated going on Soarin', but the mass of people that filled in behind us convinced us otherwise, lol...

    We got in and walked briskly to TSMM, a ride that everyone enjoyed but, nonetheless, not something I would wait 45 minutes + for...I guess I just have a low tolerance for lines, lol...

    Afterwards the princess:, myself and :hippie: rode the carousel a few times while :hug: rode CA Screamin' and grabbed FPs for it later...then we headed over to Mickey's Fun Wheel...outside only, thanks anyway, lol...

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    As you can see the princess thought this was the coolest ride ever, and I managed not to freak out and actually enjoyed the ride the second time around, lol...

    After Mickey's Fun Wheel, we stopped for a picture w/ Woody:

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    That soldier was hilarious...he was giving everyone in line orders to prepare them for their experience, lol, and then he convinced Woody we had shrunk Bullseye in the dryer and they tried to stretch him out...

    Then the princess, myself and :hippie: headed over to Bugsland, stopping at It's Tough to Be a Bug first...BIG MISTAKE...the princess freaked out during the wasp scene and we had to leave...here she is explaining to her papa about the bugs stinging you:

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    We left the show and headed over to ride Heimlich and all the other rides:

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    Then the sisters caught up to us and we wasted an hour trying to decide what to have for lunch...no kidding...:rolleyes:

    We stopped at Award Weiners...nope, mom wanted fries...we stopped at Taste Pilots, nope, the :hug: thought it was way overpriced and refused to buy anything...finally :idea: I lead them out of the park and over to Whitewater Snacks...only to have the princess need to use the bathroom...no problem...you guys go ahead and order, we'll be out in a minute...

    Only...when I came out, the sisters were back at the hotel and :hippie: said they just wanted to order room service and relax in the room...only problem...there is no room service for lunch! :laughing:

    We wound up getting sandwhiches/burgers and fries from the Surfside Lounge that were pretty yummy, but I wish we had made that decision an hour before instead of traipsing all over the place...:sad2:...

    After eating, the princess: and I watched a movie and played w/ her toys while everyone else took a nap...we were resting up for the excitement and crowds still to come that evening...
     
  21. LoveMyBeautifulGift

    LoveMyBeautifulGift Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    150
    Friday evening we strolled DTD before heading into the park...we had a few souvenirs to pick up still, and we knew we would forget them on Saturday, plus we weren't in a hurry since the only thing on our agenda for the rest of the day was Fantasmic...

    When we made it to the park, we stopped at City hall, where I picked up our Fantasmic tickets and some Disney Dollars...then we strolled into Adventureland and stopped to ride the Jungle Cruise...my :hippie: loves this ride...then we strolled over to the Fantasmic check-in area and sister #1 volunteered to get in the line that had already formed...she told us right after we left, the CM working the line took down our reservation info and wrote our names on the seating chart and our assigned row (front row, all the way to the right) on the backs of our tickets...

    We hung out in Critter Country for a little while, stopping in the Briar Patch to pick up some hats/ears and chat w/ the funny CM working the machines...this turned out to be a great time killer, as the drawers were being pulled and they couldn't ring anyone up for about 10 minutes and they couldn't monogram anything until it had been paid for...so we all took the chance to use the bathroom at Hungry Bear (not open, but the bathroom was) just soak up some atmosphere/people watch outside...

    When we finally headed back towards Fantasmic, the princess: bundled up in her stroller and promptly fell asleep...:headache::rolleyes::laughing:...

    As we checked in, we parked the stroller and the ECV out of the way, and a CM took out tickets then introduced us to the CM who would show us to our seats and help us throughout the show...we were so happy to have seats to sit in for the show (especially after all the standing for WoC earlier in the week) :woohoo:...that alone made it worth the price for me, lol. The CM working our section was very solicitous and brought us all cocoas (there were other options, but cocoa was the consensus) and pointed out where to watch for the fireworks and where we could see Tinkerbell...

    We had a great view of the fireworks...and we very clearly saw Tinkerbell, too, for anyone wondering...just when everyone was settling back w/ happy smiles, our CM brought over our dessert trays...YUM! The lemon tart and cheesecake were absolutely delish!

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    He also took our picture (and everyone else in the section) and waited for us to check it (his suggestion) in case we wanted another one...

    We got more cocoa and settled in to watch Fantasmic! What an amazing show! :hippie: said the show was worth the cost of the seats, lol...even if she didn't get dessert or cocoa, lol...

    The princess: woke up as the princess floats drifted by and was promptly popcorn::...at the end of the show, the CM came over and asked us if we would like any more cocoa before we left, and even brought :hippie: another dessert tray because she had dropped hers at some point (she got so wrapped up in the show she said she forgot she was holding it, lol)...

    The Fantasmic Dessert just added that extra magical touch to our experience...we all felt a little pampered and very comfortable as we sat in our folding chairs and covered w/ a blanket while we sipped our cocoas and watched the show...

    At this point, the princess: was glad to have seen the last half of the show but upset because she had missed the first half...she asked if we could watch it again, and of course I caved...really, why not? I enjoyed the show, I wanted her to see it, she was going to be up crying or up enjoying the show...so it was a wash, lol...Mom and sis #2 headed back to the hotel and sis #1, myself and the princess strolled behind the crowd for a minute while everyone else cleared out...sis #1 wanted to stop and order an umbrella, and offered to get one for the princess:, so we spent a minute picking designs and arranging for pickup the next day, then headed back down to the seating area to find a good spot...

    We wound up front and center, great seats (other than the fact that we were on the cold hard ground :rolleyes:)...we all piled on top of the blanket and pulled the edges up to keep out as much of the cold as we could...when the second show started, we were just as mesmerized as the first time around...seriously, I :love: Fantasmic...and so does the princess: and :hippie:, both of whom asked if next time we go, we can see it more than one night...

    In the end, the princess: made it long enough to see the end and then get back in her stroller before she fell right back asleep...:thumbsup2

    On that note, we decided to head back to the hotel and call it a night.

    (BTW, we did take pictures of the view and the seating area, but somehow I lost them :confused3:rotfl:)
     

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