My Unexpected Decemeber Weekend Trip to DL. Christmas at Disneyland! post #66!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by funatdisney, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. funatdisney

    funatdisney <font color=deeppink>Disneyland, <font color=blue>

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    First a little about myself. I love three things: family, horses and Disneyland (not necessarily in that order, but I refuse to tell anyone what the order is). I have a DH, who loves me like the Dickens and encourages my passion for DL, and two teenage daughters, ages 13 and 15 (not always accommodating with my DL passion, but they are DL devotees in training and are given some allowances). I used to go to Disneyland at least twice every year while growing up in the SF Valley. Starting in 2003, my family has been Annual Passholders. We were going to DL once a month and staying at the GCH twice a year for a three or four days vacations. We have gone to WDW four times. We also have been DVC members since 2007 with our purchase of Saratoga Springs. We later added points from the Villas at the Grand Californian. It is safe to say that I am a Disney Enthusiast.

    Second, some history. About three years ago, right after our last trip to WDW in 2008, our business started to feel the effects of the recession. By late 2009, we were deeply effected by the recession, and we had to cut out one of our trips to DLR as well as decrease our monthly trips to DL. Instead, we rented out our points to so we could keep our DVC membership. In 2010, I was not going to DL but for every three to four months. We did manage to go every October for a very short trip and attend the Halloween parties every year, which is a personal goal of mine. Last November, DH, a software programmer, started working again, and we are back on our feet. So I am telling you this because after drastically cutting out Disneyland visits, I am suddenly finding myself in Disneyland. I say “finding myself”, because between January 1 and March 17, I have gone to DL six times! Three of the six day trips were actually planned. How is that possible? Well I owe it to a volleyball.

    So how does a volleyball have anything to do with me finding myself at Disneyland? Well this is how: my DD(13) plays club volleyball. This year is her third year playing Club volleyball. The last two years she played in another club, but decided to play at a different Club this year. So far this year, three of her five tournaments have been no farther than 10 minutes away from DLR. THREE. And we aren't done with the season yet. In fact, this Sunday (April 10) they are playing in Cypress Collage (10 minutes from DL), and the weekend after that we have a three day tournament in Cypress! The last club had only three tourneys the whole year and only one of them in two years was near DL. Every time there is a volleyball tournament nearby Disneyland, we go into DL for a few hours.

    And get this: my friend calls me this morning to ask me to go DL with her tomorrow!

    And this: DD(15) wants me to take her friends to DL this Thursday! I asked her, “What if your friends can't go?” (I know how fickle high school girls can be and most times plans like this never pan out) Her reply, “I want to go anyway. You and I can go.” The training is finally starting to sink in!! I might “find myself” in DL three times this week alone! It is like the gods are trying make up for lost time. And I am more than pleased that they are. “Go for it!”, I tell them.


    Truthfully, I have been thinking of starting a trip report for a while. My knowledge of the parks in the various ways I have visited DLR may be interesting to some, but mostly I need a way to document what I have learned with the many day trips and vacations I have had and will have in the future. This is an exciting time with DCA's renovations set to be completed by 2012, and the opening of Star Tours 2 and the Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure this June. Let's not forget the new parade, Mickey's Soundsational Parade starting on May 26th. All these new and exciting events and openings can have a seasoned DL vet confused and bewildered. I don't know how I am going to manage my way through these openings, and essentially, discover a whole new DCA next year.

    Also, I would like to find a place to post my pictures. I have discovered my camera. Well, I mean DH's camera. I have been taking pictures of my visits to DL since September 2010. I was able to attend three of the Family Fun Weekends and have taken lots of pictures from the three weekend events. I have also made a snapfish Disney calendar where I have posted a few months in the Halloween Superthread and the Christmas Superthread. But I have more calendar months others may want to see. I have pictures from, my October and December trips. And many more from the day trips I have taken in the last three months.

    Thus, the real purpose of this TR is to post my pictures and relay my experiences from my many day trips and three to four day vacations. So the pictures will come with the telling.

    This me, taken last January.

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    I will begin with the day trip I will take with my friend, Joy. What a great way to start: with Joy. She should prove to be a lot of fun and it will be just the two of us for most of the day. Oh... BTW, I will have started this thread with my 2000th post. Really I didn't plan it that way ;)
     
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  3. deejdigsdis

    deejdigsdis I

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    Bring on the pictures! :yay: And the calendar pages. If I remember correctly...you opted for a different layout than the Disney layout, right? I really liked the clean look of your pages. (If that really is your calendar that I'm remembering!)
     
  4. TheColtonsMom

    TheColtonsMom DIS Veteran

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    popcorn::So glad you started this finally! I am subscribed and ready to soak in your wisdom & experience! Esp since you are Halloween crazy and we are finally going to see DL at Halloween for the first time this year. I am so with you on my family, my horses & Disney in some order and sometimes different orders depending on the behavior of my family & horses at any given moment LOL
     
  5. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    Finally Liza that you have started your own TR and can't wait to read and see more pictures of your days.
     
  6. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    Any reason to sneak over to the parks is a good reason. It will be exciting to see some before and after the new rides openings.
     
  7. funatdisney

    funatdisney <font color=deeppink>Disneyland, <font color=blue>

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    Thank you for subscribing, Sherri. I had to laugh about the order of your passions depending on the behavior of your horses and family. I certainly can relate. They have their days. I mean the horses. One member of my family is always having their "moment" everyday, especially the two teenage girls!

    I have never realized that you have not been to DL for Halloween Time. Halloween Time and you would be a perfect match. Hopefully the Day Trip Gods will see fit to send me to DL in September as much as humanly possible. I would love to write about the details during the fall festivities in DLR. I do have a 4 day trip planned at the VGC for Dec 18 to the 21st. I just haven't made my ticker for it. I think my signature gets to busy with three tickers. I will make the Christmas ticker after DH and I get back from our romantic weekend in July.

    Thank you, deejdigsdis for following along. I think you commented on my calendar on another thread. I will post them, but I would like to do that a little later. I want to post about yesterday's trip and then I have another day trip tomorrow. Once those are done, I'll get to the calendar pics.

    Bret, glad you have found me. I quickly started this thread two nights ago in a rush. Not the very best time to start or post a thread, but I wanted to get it started before more day trips ensue. I just can't tell what the Day Trip Gods have in store for me. Happy to know you are following along!

    I completely agree about any reason is a good reason.

    I have always had a tried and true way of touring the parks from "commando style" to "at my leisure relaxed style to" to "got to trade every pin I brought purpose of this trip" style. The new attractions and the new way DCA is being configured will completely change the way I tour the parks for now on. It will be trial and error, but I am a quick learner and there is fun in the learning. I am up to the challenge.

    I am very excited about the new changes. When I first walked in to DCA, I knew that it wasn't what Walt would have built, but that it didn't bother me or upset me. I just kept thinking, "This place has good bones. There is so much potential here!" I am truly glad to see this park grow into it's potential and I am very excited to discover the new changes.

    i will try to post tonight. In the mean time I've got to catch up with my home to do list and get ready for tomorrow's trip.
     
  8. funatdisney

    funatdisney <font color=deeppink>Disneyland, <font color=blue>

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    Well I have run out of time. I will make a report after tomorrow for two days worth of day trips.

    For this trip, I will be by myself. My DD and her friend will hang out on their own and I will meet up with them for lunch and dinner. I can take a lot of pictures and do some pin trading. I got back into pin trading, which I quit about six years ago. I am finding the hidden Mickey pins fun. I am developing a plan on how to pin trade with the CMS to complete some of the Hidden Mickey series I like. Besides, I like talking to the CMS and I am finding pin trading is a great way to pick up a conversation with them. For those that may not know about the Hidden Mickey pins, they are pins that you can not buy in the stores. They are pins that are placed on CM lanyards and guests are encouraged to trade pins with them. The Hidden Mickey pins are issued in themed sets like a set of 5 Villains pins or a set of 6 Christmas pins. Of course, you have to have pins to trade with. No worries there, I have lots from 6 years ago.

    I hope it doesn't rain, but I hope the threat of rain will keep the crowds away. I will see tomorrow. Either way I should have a good time.
     
  9. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    I imagine you will have a great time chatting with CMs while looking over thier pins. That will probably cut down your time to take photos though.
     
  10. funatdisney

    funatdisney <font color=deeppink>Disneyland, <font color=blue>

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    Last week was one busy week! Out of three opportunities to head into Disneyland, I was able to go twice; Tuesday, April 5 and Thursday, April 7. My friend , Joy, drove on Tuesday and I drove on Thursday, which saved me some wear and tear (on me not my car).

    I will start on with Tuesday, April 5.

    First, some things about me and the drive. I live an hour and half north of DL with no traffic. I can do DL in a couple of hours or all day long. Either way is fine with me. What I hate, if I am driving, is TRAFFIC! I will do anything to avoid it. I know the rush hours and the hots spots for traffic for most freeways between me and DL. I can handle crowds, hot or cold days or feisty teenagers, but traffic will stop me from making a trip down to Anaheim. I just won't go if I have to deal with it. Remember, this only applies if I have to drive. If I am a passenger, I can deal. No problem. The other restriction is making sure that I have enough energy to stay awake for my drive home. I am good at determining when I am getting too tired and risk getting too sleepy for the drive home. I make sure I leave long before I hit that wall. That can be anywhere from 8 pm to 10pm at night.

    My friend Joy asked me to meet her at her house at 8:30. She was taking her DD and four of her friends for a day trip to DCA. We left at about 9:30.am I know we will hit downtown LA traffic, but I don't mind. I am not driving. The kids wanted to stop to eat, so we didn't arrive until 12pm. Again, I don't mind, I am on Joy's time and she is on the teenagers time, which is unbelievably slow. No big deal, Joy and I caught up with each others lives. We have many things in common. Her DDs (older than my two) have been in club volleyball for years, we are parent leaders for our kid's school district and we both love Disney.

    [​IMG]
    Joy is a &#8220;joy&#8221; to pal around with at Disneyland.

    When we arrived at DLR, Joy wanted to buy APs for her and her youngest daughter. That took some time because she needed to get a Disney Reward Visa card from Guest Relations. After activating the Rewards card, she had to decide on getting the So Cal Select or So Cal card. I talked her into the So Cal because she doesn't like crowds and really only wanted to visit the Park during off season days. The So Cal had more off season days available than the So Cal Select card, so I thought that it was a better deal for her. She agreed. She then went back into the Guest Relations line to buy them. We are planning on taking lots of future day trips together, which really excites me. I now have a buddy to go to DL with!

    While waiting for her to get the passes, I went to take some pictures of the lines outside both parks. I will have to say here that I didn't take much in the way of pictures that day. I just didn't get around to it, but I will post what I did take.

    Lines for Disneyland at around noon.

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    For DCA. The line is long, but it was a fast line.

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    At noon, we could enter on the left and exit on the right. At the night, you entered on the right. I got confused when we went to meet the kids to go home, and walked all the way to the left side of the entrance, only to be told to enter in the other side.


    A picture of one of the promotional banners. I like to take pictures of these banners, because they change with every new promotion, which means about every year.

    [​IMG]

    The teenagers went on their way with instructions that we will meet them for dinner at 4 pm, and we were left to our own devices. Whenever I talk to someone who gets an AP, they always remark how they feel so relaxed and the pressure to see and do everything disappears. This happened to my friend. She didn't want to do any of the rides, which was fine by me. There were at least one hour waits for most rides, and most of the fast passes were all issued. She just wanted to walk around the park, enjoying the sites around her. She had only one thing on her list she wanted to do. She wanted to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

    Some pictures of this and that.

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    I thought this was quite different than I am used to. The new Carthay Circle Theatre wil take up quite a big space where it was open before. I was trying to imagine how much space this new building will take. I came to the conclusion that it will take up a larger area than I first thought. I am looking forward to how it will look when done. It should be an impressive building that a guest will see when first entering.

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    A crowd picture.

    Because I am getting back into pin trading after a 6 year absence, before we left, I asked her if it would be alright if I do some light pin trading throughout the day. She said that would be fine. I asked because people have different ideas about touring the Parks, and some do not have the patience for pin trading. Especially with me. I usually spend some time talking to collectors or cast members. She, in fact, encouraged me to pin trade. I asked her if she ever got into it and she said yes, but didn't want to get into it again. I suggested we go into Californian Adventures to relax and get a bite to eat at WhiteWater Snacks. She liked this idea, so we headed into the GCH for a snack.

    Here is some of the pins I took to trade with. I had enough trading pins for two lanyards. Just in case. I got to trade all of these and a few more.

    [​IMG]

    After that we sat in the the GCH lobby and talked about this and that. I got a chance to pin trade in the hotel. We had a nice time. To be able to relax inside the GCH lobby is really one of my favorite things. Silly I know, but it is so elegant and beautiful in the GC. It quickly has a calming effect on me.

    It was getting close to 3 pm so we decided to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. I hadn't seen it in years, and my DH told me that it had changed back to the original story line. I liked the way it was before they took it out for the 50th Anniversary. I thought the the storyline was kinda neat. I remember feeling tingles down my back when the soldier went to the barber. The scissors snipping around your ears was so real, you wanted to move away from the scissors. Remember when the fly buzzing around your head? That was pretty scary how real that felt. I was curious if I would remember anything from the original. I was surprised how much I did remember. The song about the two brothers fighting on different sides had me back as a child. I remembered how much I liked that song and the story it told. I thought it was worth seeing it and will see it again. GMWML is one of my favorites. No matter the storyline

    Next, we went into DCA to meet the kids for dinner. While waiting I took this pictures because I thought may not be left after the renovations.

    [​IMG]

    I also liked this wall. It is very colorful and I like the message.

    [​IMG]

    We decided to eat at Downtown Disney. One of the kids has a severe reaction to dairy and eggs. He explained that if he even touches cheese, welts will form where he touched it. Downtown Disney, we felt, had more restaurant options to be sure that he could order something safe.. He looked at every menu from all the Downtown Disney restaurants to be sure he could order something. We ended up at the ESPN Zone. I have eaten there before, but it was about 4 years ago. I ordered a hamburger, which I liked. It isn't one of my favorites, but it will do in a pinch.

    [​IMG]
    ESPN Zone

    After dinner, the kids went there way, after it was decided to go home at 10pm. Nothing much happened after dinner. Joy and I went back to pin trading and enjoying Disneyland at night. Over all, it was a good day. I enjoyed catching up with my friend whom I don't see very often. It was a treat to be with her the whole day, whereas we are lucky to get together for lunch a couple times of year. Nothing like keeping up a friendship and no better place than Disneyland to do it, too.

    Next, my April 7 day trip into DLR. A completely different kind of day. I toured the parks by myself and scored on pin trading!
     
  11. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    Sounds like a really great day!
     
  12. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    I would say that you had a great time with your friend and got to do some things at the DLR. It's a good idea that you convince your friend to buy the SoCal AP than the select since it has more day options. It is also good to hear that you got back to the pin trading. Even though I don't do pin trading at DL like I have been in the past, but it is always nice to see those guests with bag load of collectible pins. Nice TR Liza.
     
  13. TheColtonsMom

    TheColtonsMom DIS Veteran

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    I wonder why they switch which side is in/out at DCA from day to night?. seems like it would confuse alot of people and cause crowd whirlpools! Seems a weird strategy with the construction walls already only leaving one way in & out... Sounds like you and Joy had a wonderful day!

    I haven't done GMWML since I was a child although I liked it then it just is one of those things we have been missing. This last trip was Colton's first and I wasn't sure he would like it yet at age 6. However right after we got back (not presidents day actually right after Christmas Vacation was over) he started studying President Lincoln at Kindergarten and now really wants to see GMWML when we go in October. Says after the show he wants to give him a hug... gonna have to squelch that one as him rushing up to hug Mr Lincoln may give some CMs a start LOL.
     
  14. funatdisney

    funatdisney <font color=deeppink>Disneyland, <font color=blue>

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    When I looked at the days that the SoCal Ap and the times of year she planned on visiting DL. the SoCal Ap was, by far, the best choice. Besides, I knew that there would be more days available for us to go together. With her Disney Rewards card and some gift cards she had, she only had to pay $45. A great deal! I reminder her that she would save on parking if I came along since I have a PAP. Hee Hee anything to get us to go to DL together. thanks, Bret for the compliment on my TR.

    I think they switched the entrance to the other side because WoC ended after parking closing and they wanted the guests to leave on the side closest to the security tables. I was wondering how they were going to manage the mass exit after the last WoC show with the park gates under construction. I found out when we met the kids at the WoC. We left in the middle of the show. They had the big side gate wide open to accommodate the large crowd exiting the park. It still seemed a bit small for the amount of people exiting, but what could they do?

    When the kids were younger, I used to have them visit GMWML every February, I thought is was very educational. How neat that Colton got interested in President Lincoln.
     
  15. TheColtonsMom

    TheColtonsMom DIS Veteran

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    I still have not quite figured out what exactly he learned about Lincoln that makes him think he really needs a hug! There are lots of moments that could be the qualifying thing but I wish I knew what exactly it was! Also I can't imagine that anamatronics are all that huggable KWIM?
     
  16. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    Did he study pennies? Mine has, and builds the lincoln memorial out of legos and it's his favorite President. DS also wants to know if I went to Monticello.
     
  17. TheColtonsMom

    TheColtonsMom DIS Veteran

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    He did and now he wants all my pennies AND $5 bills! I have yet to have to build the lincoln memorial from legos (but we did model paint 200 legos battleship gray after school yesterday for that other lego project we discussed) Did you get a pic of his Lincoln Memorial? Colton would love to see that! (of course then he will have to build it) I think the boys will get on famously if we pull of that camping trip this summer LOL
     
  18. funatdisney

    funatdisney <font color=deeppink>Disneyland, <font color=blue>

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    I am going to go out of sequence and do a trip report of my time I spent at Disneyland yesterday. Some of you may be curious what it was like the week before Easter.


    My day trip was a half day trip. My sole purpose for my trip was to buy the Alice in Wonderland Piece of Disney Movies pin. This is the fourth pin in this series. I have the second (Bambi) and the third (Cinderella), but missed the first one (Snow White). My plan was to get to the park before it opened, rush to Little Green Men Command shop and buy two pins. These pins are unique, because each pin has one frame from the movie featured for that month. Each pin is different, and they usually pick a scene from the movie featured for the pins. Not knowing which scene the pins would feature, meant that the sooner one gets to the pin store, the better selection one has. Sometimes the frames will have part of a character cut off or the frame doesn't have interesting characters in it. So it was important for me to get there as soon as possible.

    I managed to arrive at 7:15am (as my trusty Sprint Navigation app predicted – I love that app). I headed to the LGCS, and bought two pins. The scene frames were from the tea party. Excellent and most were good shots. I got a frame of the Mad Hatter excepting a cake from Alice (you could only see her hands, but the Mad Hatter and the cake was in full view), and one of Alice holding the cake (before she gives it to the Mad Hatter) Nice picks if you ask me.

    Next, I headed over to Westward Ho Trading Co. to pick up two more. This time I found the mouse floating down with his umbrella (he lands in the tea cup) and another one of the Mad Hatter. I went outside to the trading tables to talk to some traders. I continued on to the Main Street shops to trade with CMs. Remember this is a pin trading trip, but I did take my camera and took a few pictures.

    What stuck me most about the park was the feeling of spring. Flowers in bloom, the green grass and blue skies with billowing clouds all spoke to me of spring. I was moved to take landscape shots and Disneyland in the Spring shots. So here you go:

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    The ducklings were on their own. No momma in sight.

    I also took two waterfall/streams shots. Can you guess where the second picture was taken?

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    [​IMG]

    The crowd level was light in the morning. It drizzled so much everything was wet. At about 10 am or so, the drizzling stopped, sun came out, and so did the crowds. By noon it got to feel like it was a holiday week in DL. Here is crowd shot I took in what I call “The Indiana Corridor”. It got much heavier later in the day.

    [​IMG]

    Two treats that caught my eye. I just love how the caramel looks like honey oozing out of the honey pot.

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    Cute Easter Bunny.

    [​IMG]


    I ate lunch at the French Market and was able to get the 25% coupon from the bottom of one my receipts from my pin purchases. The coupon was also on the entertainment schedules you pick up when you first enter the park. I guess the coupons offered this week were the same type offered during Christmas last year and worked the same way. The coupons were good for 25% off if you ate between 11:00 and 11:30am and 3pm to 4:30 pm with a purchase of an entree. They were only good at some DL restaurants. None of the restaurants listed were in DCA.

    Some planters. I like taking these because they are lovely and sometimes they change them out for the season.

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    And my favorite picture of the day:

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    Almost a picture postcard.

    I ended up leaving at 3pm. I had originally planned on leaving at noon, but I wanted to stick around for the 1:30 to 3:30 CM trading at Westward Ho Co. I called DH and asked what was on his schedule and if I could stay longer than planned. If he had a meeting, he wouldn't be able to finish in time to pick up the girls. His schedule was clear and he didn't mind picking up the kids. He said to go ahead and stay. After all, I had already spent the gas to get down there. I married a winner, girls! Speaking of gas, it is getting very expensive to take these day trips. Soon it is going to hurt and I will have to curb the number of day trips down a bit.

    So off I went to Westward Ho to look at some private collections and get more info on the pin trading world. When attending the Westward Ho CM trading times, I have been able to complete some of my hidden mickey pins series. For this trading experience, two CMS brings out one book each, and guests are allowed to trade up to two pins with each CM. There is a line, but it is worth the wait. I got two Christmas pins I have been looking for and two hidden mickey pins. Overall, I had a great time trading with the CMS in Disneyland. Usually, I do lots of trading with the hotel, shop and DVC CMS with great success. This time, the CMS in Disneyland that I met were into pin trading and I had a grand time talking pins and gabbing about this and that.

    I wasn't looking to the drive home. Remember how I hate traffic? Well I knew I would run into traffic for sure with a 3pm departure time. I checked my wonderful Sprint app and it told me I had a two hour drive time. Not bad. I decided to leave. I got home at 5 pm and the traffic wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. And so ends another day trip to Disneyland 2011.

    I will write about the trip I took two weeks before this one. On that trip, I was on my own, but my DD(15) and her friend went with me. I was basically the ride, which was fine with me. That TR will include my adventures of pin trading, a food review from the Hungry Bear Restaurant, and a rainbow.
     
  19. 6Smiles

    6Smiles DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a wonderful, calm, and peaceful day. I adore the pictures you were able to take. How lucky to get to go to DLR so often and :sad2: for these dreadful gas prices. I would think the travel costs increasing might motivate the Disneyland Powers that be to rolling out an incentive to help out of town consumers. (sorry for getting OT). I would love to see the pins you got today if you'd like to share.

    Kris
     
  20. funatdisney

    funatdisney <font color=deeppink>Disneyland, <font color=blue>

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    6Smiles, I plan on taking some pictures of the Alice pins, once I figure out how to beam a light behind them the right way so the picture frames are seen. I really like the ones I got. Later in the morning. most of the pins with Alice and the Mad Hatter were sold. I also got a "Opening Soon" Goofy Sky School pin.
     
  21. 6Smiles

    6Smiles DIS Veteran

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    The opening soon Goofy Sky school pin sounds awesome. I'll be checking back to see your pins.

    Kris
     

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