Backstage Magic August 18 - 23, 2019: Update 9.10.19 Day 4 Partial

Chirple

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Hello, and welcome to my second ABD trip report. This one I'm actually doing in the same year (hopefully, same month) in which the trip took place! I don't have any photos to add yet. In comparing what we did during our trip to other trip reports, they are comparable.

Pre Pre ABD Day 1

Who we are: Dan and Carol, a middle-aged couple with no children who love Disney. He will tell you that I’m the “Disneyholic”, but he is right there with me. This was our second ABD in 3 years, the first being AZ/UT.

With an early departure on 8/16, we decided to finish packing on 8/15 and put our suitcases in the car that evening. I also took out the recycling; regular trash would be taken out the next morning. This allowed us (well, me) not to be running around in a panic on departure day.

We set the alarm for 4 am to leave the house by 5:30 am. We had purchased premade coffee from Dunkin’ the night before for my husband; all he needed to do was heat it up in the morning. Trust me, he needs this morning coffee.

We prepaid for a preferred parking spot in Newark’s P6 Economy Lot (more on this with our return). We parked right across from the bus stop; it would be easy to find the car when we got back. We didn’t have long to wait for the airport shuttle bus, but we were the last terminal stop on the route (C out of ABC).

Terminal C was very busy for an early Thursday morning. We had to wait for access to a kiosk to get our checked bag tags. Then we waited for bag drop. Then we once again patted ourselves on the backs for having TSA Pre-Check because the security lines were out of control, including TSA Pre-Check. The difference between our line and the regular one was that we at least kept moving.

We had United Club passes (came with our credit card), but the regular club was no where near our gate. In fact, our gate was not far past security. It was also located in one of the shorter areas of the terminal; I walked from gate 103 to gate 110 to get my Dunkin’ coffee.

Flight was scheduled to depart at 8:30 am. The pilot notified us that we’d be taxiing for 25 minutes but still arrive on time. The flight overall was uneventful and quiet. We paid for Economy Plus seats, which provided us with earlier boarding and extra legroom. We didn’t need any overhead storage space on this flight.

Once we landed in Orange County (SNA), our luggage came out quickly. We crossed the street to the shuttle pick up area as I checked in with Super Shuttle. We were the first ones to arrive. The driver loaded our luggage into the van, but we hung out in the fresh air until the other passengers started to arrive. There were 7 of us riding together. The family of 3 also had tickets to that night’s Angels vs White Sox game (which turned into a nail biter).

We were burning DVC points for our pre-pre days; we chose to stay at the Paradise Pier Hotel. It took a while to get checked in as there were two people working the reception desk, and the two families being assisted seemed to be either a bit dramatic or taking an awfully long time. When a third CM came out, we were able to check in quickly. Our room was ready which allowed us to go up and drop our bags. The room was nice and clean, but we looked directly on to the pool deck (4th floor). There is no true quick service at this location, so we had lunch in the Surfside Lounge. The food was good, and they took our 10% DVC discount.

I had showered before we left and still felt clean and presentable. My husband used time between lunch and the baseball game to shower. I took a walk through Downtown Disney (walking past the Disneyland Hotel) and window shopped. When you visit Disneyland’s Downtown Disney area, you must go through security (bag check and metal detectors). Once you’ve cleared it, there is no other security check to access the parks.

We decided to eat dinner at the ballpark. We requested an Uber, and we did not have to wait long. We picked her brain about best options for after the game, and she suggested that we cross the street or walk away from the park to request our ride back. Once she dropped us off, we snapped a couple of photos out front. The park was still empty. We easily found our seats, and my husband went off searching for food. He came back with a nice pulled pork sandwich and sides. I went looking for food, and I found nothing appealing to me. I ended up with a box of popcorn for dinner.

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Once the game was over (Angels barely squeaked out a win), we walked across the street and down the road to Embassy Suites. From there we called for an Uber, and he was there quickly. For the record, we initiated conversation with both drivers, and they were extremely helpful and kind. We were seriously overtired, but we were glad that we pushed ourselves to acclimate to the time change.

Pre Pre ABD Day 2

On Friday we had brunch scheduled at the PCH Grill in our hotel. I got up and showered. The food offerings were not extravagant, but we enjoyed everything we ate.
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While my husband got ready, I took a walk over to the Grand Californian, hung around the hotel for a bit, and then walked back. I went to our hotel pool and sought out a shady spot. Once he was done getting ready, I took him through the route I had used the day before to get to Downtown Disney. We first wandered around the Disneyland Hotel property and checked out the historic photos.

NOTE: When we last visited Disneyland in 2001, my husband was going through some very stressful personal issues. He could not enjoy himself, and he left California with a negative feeling about Disneyland. He would tell people over the years that it was horrible./NOTE

As we walked through DTD, Dan remarked how it looked so different from when we last visited. He loved it. I almost fell over hearing that from him. I took him to the Dress Shop because there was one dress I really liked and wanted his opinion. He thought the pattern was really cute (the new Mickey & Minnie floral dress). I decided to try it on, but I needed his help with the back zipper and hook & eye. Once the dress was on, we both thought it was flattering on me. I used my 10% DVC discount for it. We moved on to the World of Disney store and looked around. I bought a couple of shirts, and he really liked the one t-shirt I bought (unisex) and said he wanted to get one for himself and for his sister. For some reason he wanted to wait to buy them.

We decided to eat at the La Brea Bakery & Café. Since we wanted an actual table, we had to wait on a short line (were told 15 minutes and waited 5). Dan had the chicken pot pie with side salad. The pot pie itself was not large, but the filling was rich. I had the Asian Chicken Salad; it was very good. We splurged with chocolate cake for dessert. It was delicious! When were done eating, we walked back to our hotel.

He was still hungry and made it our mission to find plain popcorn. All we could find was flavored popcorn. After giving up, he asked someone at the Cali Pop stand where he could get plain popcorn. Apparently, in order for Cali Pop to keep carts in DTD, they cannot compete with the popcorn that Disney sells in the parks. He settled on a Wetzel’s Pretzel. It was getting chilly so we each got hot tea from Starbucks and people watched. We also became a source for a scavenger hunt. When we were done, we walked back to our hotel, pulled out our clothes for the next morning, and prepared our bags for departure.

We did not enter either park during our pre pre days.

Pre ABD Day

For Saturday 8/17 we had pre-arranged our ABD pickup. We had to meet the driver by 1 pm in front of the Grand Californian. Two things to note here: 1) you cannot access the Grand Californian the way you can the other Disneyland hotels. You must have a room key to get through the gate or use the voice box to call the security attendant. 2) It was very easy to walk our luggage across the street to the Grand Californian.

We were able to have a late breakfast at the Surfside Lounge in our hotel. We walked across the street with our bags and waited in the curbside pick up location. Our driver arrived about 10 minutes late due to traffic, and he said it would take around 1.25 hours to get to Hollywood. He was right. We had a nice chat with our driver before each of us fell asleep in the car. We pulled into the Loews Hotel entrance at 2:25 pm and got dropped off. The lobby was packed. We stood in line to check in only to find out that the computers were all down. They took my name and cell number and said they would text us when the computers came back up. Since we had no room yet, we left our bags with Bell Services. We walked over to the Hollywood and Highland Center to grab lunch. We ate at the Italian restaurant. The food was good (he had a calzone; I had salad), but it was very overpriced. We also checked the directory to see if, by chance, there was a barbershop in the center. No luck.
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Before we arrived my husband had called Loews to see if there were any barbershops nearby. They told him there was one not too far from the hotel and to check with the Concierge in the lobby. We did once we finished lunch. Dan was given a map with the location of the barbershop, and off we went.

NOTE: The barbershop is Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, which has locations all over the country. We were not familiar with Floyd’s, and no one advised Dan that he should make an appointment. It was approximately 0.8 miles from Loews (left on Hollywood Blvd, right on N. Cahuenga Blvd). Dan was told over the phone that the shop is closed on Sundays; this is not true. https://www.floydsbarbershop.com/hollywood/ /NOTE

Once we arrived at Floyd’s, Dan was told there was a 2 hour wait (see NOTE about appointments). The door listed the hours, and he was able to make a 1 pm appointment for a haircut and shave on Sunday. Due to the lack of information relayed by Loews staff regarding the barbershop’s operations, we lost Sunday as a touring day.

We walked back to the hotel, and here is where Dan will tell you was a HUGE highlight of his trip—we found Adam West’s star on the Walk of Fame. It’s located in front of where Frederick’s of Hollywood used to be. I took a couple of pictures, but they weren’t to his liking. I also received a text from Loews that the computers were online and could check into the hotel. We completed check in and gave our luggage claim ticket to the person at the front desk. He said we had to be in our room for luggage delivery, and up we went. (You need to use your room key to access the different floors.)

Being that this was our pre-ABD day, dinner was on our own. Having passed the Pig ‘n Whistle, I looked up their dinner menu; it sounded really good and reasonably priced. I had visited this establishment with my friend in 2001 just for a drink at the bar, and I thought it was a place Dan would like due to its history in Hollywood. I was not wrong on all accounts.

When we left the restaurant, Dan wanted to have his photo retaken with Adam West’s star. As the obliging spouse, I did. Then he said I could post them on Facebook. He rarely gives the okay on his pictures.
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Before we left to get dinner, we checked to see how late Bodega (in-hotel Starbucks coffee, snacks, water, etc) was open because we needed water to take evening meds. It was closed, but we noted a 7-11 across the street and purchased water there on the way back.

We were still wondering about breakfast (when I posted the question in the Backstage Magic meets thread) and decided that we would probably eat at the hotel’s restaurant anyway (Preston’s).

Next up: Backstage Magic ABD Day 1!
 
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acndis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Yay! Glad you are writing a report. We actually went to a Dodgers game on our pre-day and had an AMAZING time. A ball game is a great way to start this trip.
 

Chirple

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Yay! Glad you are writing a report. We actually went to a Dodgers game on our pre-day and had an AMAZING time. A ball game is a great way to start this trip.
Thanks! We would have gone to a Dodgers game if they were home during our trip. I was at an Angels game in 2001; it was my husband’s first time there.

I have been trying to add pictures from my iPhone, but they keep showing up sideways. I checked the Technical Support forum and did a Google search, but I haven’t seen anything to resolve this issue. Anyone have tips?
 
  • sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    I have been trying to add pictures from my iPhone, but they keep showing up sideways. I checked the Technical Support forum and did a Google search, but I haven’t seen anything to resolve this issue. Anyone have tips?
    The pictures show up sideways because the new DIS software does not compensate for rotated pics like the old software did. I know how to fix it on a PC (open the pic in Paint, then save it. Paint automatically rotates it correctly - DON'T hit "rotate"!) I don't know if there's something similar on an iPhone.

    Sayhello
     

    Chirple

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    The pictures show up sideways because the new DIS software does not compensate for rotated pics like the old software did. I know how to fix it on a PC (open the pic in Paint, then save it. Paint automatically rotates it correctly - DON'T hit "rotate"!) I don't know if there's something similar on an iPhone.

    Sayhello
    Thanks, that worked! My pictures are a little blurry because I shrunk them down a lot.
     

    Chirple

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    ABD Day 1

    The adventure begins! We were long overdue for vacation this year; normally, we have already traveled before May. We were both really looking forward to this trip.

    On Sunday morning, I opened our hotel room door to find a letter from our ABD guides Dean and Shannon. They were meeting on M Level (outside of Preston’s) between 9 am and 2 pm. The letter also mentioned that we’d be meeting at the same spot for dinner at 5 pm. Since Dan was in the process of showering, I went down to meet them. Dean was there alone and already assisting another person from our group so I grabbed a chair nearby. As I was waiting, another person from our group got in line behind the first person; I eventually moved to behind her. When Dean became available, Shannon returned so both the woman in front of me and I were assisted at the same time. I talked to Shannon about breakfast; she confirmed that for this adventure breakfast is not included if you’ve booked a pre-day. I checked in and got our information, luggage tags, and duffel bag (which came in handy later). Shannon and Dean said that even though the letter states 5 pm for dinner meetup, it was actually 5:15 pm. Shannon said we were a small group, but I didn’t know what that really meant (since our last ABD there were only 11 of us). I immediately liked both of our guides and looked forward to introducing Dan to them.

    NOTE: During our initial meet with the guides, they asked you to pre-order your Tam O’Shanter lunch. It is the only meal we had to pre-order. /NOTE

    After Dan finished getting ready, we went back down to M level for breakfast. I introduced him to Shannon and Dean, and he placed his lunch pre-order selection. Regular breakfast in Preston’s is fine; there’s also a buffet option. Dan just wanted his coffee before anything else. He had the ricotta corn cakes (aka pancakes), and I had an egg white omelet with veggies and dry rye toast.

    With a quick stop to the room for a bathroom break, we headed out to Floyd’s 99 Barbershop. We arrived a little before 1 pm, and he was taken immediately for his haircut and shave. We were out the door by 1:20 pm. Compared to the local barbershop at home, this was a lot pricier. I would call Floyd’s a less fancy hair salon; cheaper than a regular hair salon but more expensive than a barbershop.

    We walked back to the hotel and grabbed a light bite from Bodega’s (open from 6 am – 6 pm). I had a cup of mixed fruit, and Dan had the same mixed fruit plus a bagel. There is a small seating area outside of Bodega, but there is also a lot of seating in the lobby.

    After our snack, I went to Walgreen’s (Hollywood Blvd level of Hollywood and Highland Center) to get some hand ointment for Dan. I decided to head back to the room by taking the stairs on each level of the H&H Center, all the way up to level 5 (pool level). I took the Hollywood sign picture from the 4th floor bridge. You need your room key to access the 5th floor pool level or the 3rd floor M Level of Loews.

    At 5:06 pm we headed down to the area outside of Preston’s for our meeting place. Shannon and Dean escorted us back into the elevators to a conference room on the 19th floor.

    We went around the room and made our introductions. There were 25 adventurers; 6 were under 18. We were a group that had a lot of DVC members and returning adventurers. We played a game to see which tables would get to line up for the buffet first, and thanks to @Mousequake his table and ours won.

    Food choices were pretty good. The choices were roasted mixed vegetables (I went back for seconds), salad, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, fish, beef, and chicken. I took one small piece of each protein, salad, and vegetables. Dinner beverages included were wine, soda, and water. Dessert was coffee, chocolate cake (we both had this; it was a bit dry), and cheesecake (pieces were huge).

    After dinner we hung out and chatted quite a bit with @ScottishFansie (seated next to me). I felt a bit bloated after dinner so I changed my clothes and headed to the gym (5th floor). The gym was not fancy, and not all of the weight machines were in good working order. I gave up on them after a bit and did a self-taught spin class on the one spin cycle.

    Time for bed since breakfast on Day 2 starts at 7 am!
     

    acndis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2012
    We loved Shannon! Such a great new guide. We also had Michael R. who is a long time ABD guide but new to us. It was a fabulous team.

    I have heard wonderful things about Dean, too, but we have never had him on a trip.
     
  • OKW Lover

    Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2004
    Enjoying the report so far! You didn't mention if there was a bonus activity after the welcome dinner. Was anything offered?

    We've had Dean for two of our ABD trips. Great guide!
     

    Mousequake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2012
    Enjoying the report so far! You didn't mention if there was a bonus activity after the welcome dinner. Was anything offered?

    We've had Dean for two of our ABD trips. Great guide!
    We were on the same tour last week-- there was no bonus activity after the welcome dinner. I asked Dean about that, but he said usually most of the group didn't participate so they scrapped it.
     

    Chirple

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    Some people purchased tickets to see The Lion King at the El Capitan. We were close to doing it since we wanted to see inside the theater, but neither of us has this movie as a "must do" so we skipped it.
     
  • Chirple

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    ABD Day 2

    Today we were spending in and around the Hollywood area. Breakfast was in Preston’s between 7 and 8:15 am. We had access to the full buffet (had an omelet station and could get egg whites). We were dressed very casually—me in shorts, a sleeveless cotton shirt, sneakers; he in shorts, a sports jersey, sneakers.

    We started the walking portion of our tour getting background on the Hollywood and Highland Center and why there were certain pieces of architecture included. We were also shown how the Oscar’s red carpet works in relation to the Dolby Theatre, which is inside the H&H Center.

    NOTE: When I was in Hollywood in 2001 with my friend, the theatre (Kodak back then) and the center were not yet complete. It was nice to see the finished structure./NOTE

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    We then moved on to the TCL Chinese Theatre. It was my husband’s first time in Hollywood so this was a big treat for him to see in person. We met our guide who took us inside. We were provided with popcorn and water. While in the lobby we were given some history about the theatre and the footprints and were shown a brief film about it. He then took us back outside and gave us some fun facts regarding some of the displays.

    Once our theatre guide left us, we were given about 40 minutes to look around some more but had to meet our group by 10:30 am in the hotel lobby to get our bus. We used this time to look at the signatures and hand/footprints. We opted to use the restrooms in the hotel lobby vs going back to our room. Shannon and Dean had snacks out; the snacks consisted of chips, craisins, apples, and other items. I only saw apples, but I think at some point there were tangerines, too.

    We boarded the bus and headed to the Jim Henson Company. We met with a Muppeteer, and he gave us the background of the studio as well as a hands-on experience for those who wanted it (most of the kids).

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    (Shannon is wearing the Miss Piggy ears!)

    After the studio we boarded the bus and headed towards the Tam O’Shanter for lunch.

    NOTE: While riding around Hollywood, Shannon and Dean would give us historical information, whether it contained tie-ins to Walt Disney or not./NOTE

    Our lunch was very good. The beef brisket that I had ordered was a sandwich with sides--mayo-based potato salad and vinegar based coleslaw/beets, as well as pickle chips. It was a lot of food so I ate just the meat part of the sandwich and gave the potato salad to my husband. He had ordered the prime rib, which came with creamed spinach and mashed potatoes. It was a thin slice of prime rib so he was a little disappointed with the size of his protein portion.

    NOTE: Make sure you take a look at the two artist drawings outside each of the restrooms here./NOTE

    Post-lunch we went to the Griffith Park Merry Go-Round. Most of us rode a horse, some sat in the carriages, and others chose not to ride. They chose music from Mary Poppins as we went around. We loved it!

    NOTE: The weight limit for each rider is 200 lbs. Obviously, they will not weigh you so you are on the honor system./NOTE

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    On the return back to the hotel, we were given information about an optional activity. All but two of our 25 opted in; the other two had left our group after lunch.

    Evening was on our own, but we had to get our luggage ready for the 7 am luggage pull. Luckily, since there are only 25 of us on this adventure, there was extra space under the bus. We used our duffel bag to store our dirty laundry; we tagged it as our third bag (and had given Dean the total number of bags we had going under the bus).

    Regarding OYO dinner here, some of the “quick service” locations within the H&H Center close early. On the website we found a place that served healthier food than others, but it was closed by the time we got there. My husband ended up with a burger and fries from Johnny Rockets. I was not hungry.

    ABD treated us to whatever ice cream we wanted from Ghirardelli’s, which is across the street from the H&H Center.

    Tomorrow breakfast starts at 7, but our bus departs at 8:15.
     
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    Chirple

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    ABD Day 3 (how is this possible already?)

    I was looking forward to this day’s activities since I read the itinerary so long ago. I will state upfront that I was not disappointed.

    After breakfast we boarded the bus and headed to the Walt Disney Studios. This was going to be our big “shopportunity”, too. We were permitted to take photos inside the buildings. We walked around the campus while we listened to Dean and Shannon talk about the history of the studio and what shows filmed there. If you are interested in the history behind the magic, you will find this day fascinating.

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    Once we were done with the studios tour, we were given a lunch voucher. We had a set time for lunch and shopping. I did some damage in the Studios store and in the employee section. I then met my husband in the commissary and grabbed a cup of chili (Walt’s favorite that day). While we were eating, I told him that the employee section had some Star Wars t-shirts and suggested that he check them out. Since we had to pass the store to get to the bus, we stopped back in both sides. We started talking to the young man who worked in the studios store, and we discovered he was originally from NJ (our home state). We moved over to the employee side, and my husband found a Star Wars t-shirt that he loved. I told him that because it was sold here that it would not be something that “everyone” would own. Both sides of the store took our 10% DVC discount.

    Back on the bus and off to Imagineering. We were not allowed to take any photos inside the building. We did one of the funniest things here inside “the Dish”. Well, it was fun for most of us. Those who suffer from motion sickness on a regular basis might not find it fun. In fact, some people had to step out of the room. I can suffer from it once in a blue moon, but I find that if I move my body along with the direction of the screen that it eliminates the problem.

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    These hats were given to us at the end of our Imagineering tour. The back reads Walt Disney Imagineering. Pardon the crazy eyes; we are selfie failures!
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    I know I’m not providing a lot of detail here, and it’s on purpose. Some things should be discovered in real time.

    We wrapped up our tours and headed out towards Disneyland. Shannon and Dean pointed out interesting things about the area.

    NOTE: California law states that all passengers in a moving vehicle must wear seat belts. Therefore, Shannon and Dean could not engage with us during any of our road trips as Casey did on the bus for AZ/UT. No games, no Disney movie. We had soft music playing during the drive. We were fine with this./NOTE

    Before long (comparing the drive between Monument Valley and Moab!) we arrived at the Grand Californian Resort (no more spa). Shannon handed out our packets that contained information about the Disneyland parks and Downtown Disney as well as our room key. Wait, we only have one key. We advised Shannon of this, and she said she’d get us another one.

    I think most of us were staying in the same area of the resort because a bunch of us were all going to the 3rd floor. Our room was lovely; it overlooked the pool. Our luggage was brought up promptly. That bag of dirty clothes? It needed to be washed but would have to wait.

    We freshened up and then met everyone back in the lobby to walk over to Disneyland Park together. We were having dinner inside the park at French Market, which is located near the Haunted Mansion. I had the chicken but doubled the green beans and skipped the potatoes. I took fruit for dessert. I think Dan had the same except he did not double his veggies and did have the potatoes. Chicken was a bit dry, but it wasn’t terrible for theme park food. We had a reserved area to eat outside.

    Shannon and Dean said that if anyone wanted to ride the Haunted Mansion we would be doing it as a group at a designated time. Meanwhile, we already had a Fastpass loaded to our tickets and could use it then or later.

    After years of frustration using Walt Disney World’s Fastpass system and growing accustomed to nearly every ride having it, it was so strange to only see a handful of rides in both parks have it. We decided to ride Indiana Jones with our Fastpass, even though Standby wasn’t that long. Funny story: in 2001 my husband rode this 6 times in a row. He loved it. However, his negative mood overshadowed his enjoyment so he completely forgot how the ride worked. I tried to refresh his memory, but he had to experience it again to remember why he loved it so much.

    We finished early so we headed back towards the Haunted Mansion. We decided to buy our first box of Disney popcorn. It was saltier and greasier than what you get in WDW so I realized at that moment I could not eat much of it during the trip. It was good, but it was a bit much for me. Our group rode the attraction, and then Shannon said that we would have a reserved spot for Fantasmic that night if anyone was interested in going.

    Knowing how much laundry we had in that duffel bag, we decided that it was our priority to get it done. We had last done laundry at Paradise Pier right before we got picked up by our ABD transport. Some of the items needed to line dry, which is why I wanted to finish it on Tuesday night. The closest laundry room to us was down the hall and on the first floor. Unfortunately, there were only 2 washers and 4 dryers in this location. The other laundry room on the opposite side had more machines. (I had already scoped out the closer location earlier.)

    I took the duffel bag (that I could not even close) and headed out. Someone else was using both washers, but there wasn’t much time left on them. There were 3 wooden chairs around a coffee table so I sat down and watched TV to wait for the washers to complete their cycles. When they finished, I waited for the clothing owner’s return. And waited. I gave them 15 minutes to come back before I started removing their clothes from the first washer and piling them on top. After I tossed one bag of clothes into the first washer, the owner finally came back. She pulled her clothes out of the second washer, and I started putting the rest of my clothes in there. Meanwhile, another family came in looking to use a washer, but I already claimed both. I sat in the room and watched TV while the wash cycles ran through. They were less than 30 minutes each.

    Right before my wash cycles ended, that family came back with a bag of wet clothes. I’m not sure where they washed them considering they would have had to started later than I. Two of the dryers were occupied by the original person’s clothes, and now the family took one of the two remaining dryers. This meant I had to shove two loads of wash into one dryer. Luckily, the dryer cycles were 60 minutes so it accommodated the extra clothes. I took my line-dry items back to the room, hung them up, stayed in the room until just before the end of the cycle, and then got our clean clothes.

    I included a lot of laundry detail in this report in case others were thinking about doing wash. Another family in our group wanted to do laundry, and I gave them the heads up about the closest laundry room. The url they provide to check the status only shows the bigger laundry room machines.

    Clean clothes folded and repacked. Next morning we needed to meet at 6:45 am in the lobby. I clearly wasn’t getting much sleep on this trip!
     

    Chirple

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    Enjoying reading this trip report very much! I hope you'll be able to post the rest of it soon :lovestruc
    Thank you! Work has been a little hectic these last two weeks. I started day 4 in my Word doc. I am currently only posting photos from my phone; I do have more on my camera and need to boot up my personal laptop in order to put them in a file.
     

    Sleepy425

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 11, 2011
    I’ve been considering this ABD, and am so glad you’re writing such a detailed report. I’m getting concerned that I won’t be able to do it after all. I can’t take elevators, so a meeting on the 19th floor isn’t something I can handle. Were there many experiences that involved elevators or enclosed spaces (the thing that you said causes motion sickness would probably be too much for me if it is an enclosed room - I can’t do anything like Star Tours). I don’t want to spend so much money if I will have to opt out of a lot of things.
     

    OKW Lover

    Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2004
    I can't think of another significant event that requires an elevator ride other than the welcome dinner on the top of the Loews. As far as enclosed spaces go, I suspect some of the park attractions may be an issue for you but those are easily sat out.
     

    Chirple

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    I’ve been considering this ABD, and am so glad you’re writing such a detailed report. I’m getting concerned that I won’t be able to do it after all. I can’t take elevators, so a meeting on the 19th floor isn’t something I can handle. Were there many experiences that involved elevators or enclosed spaces (the thing that you said causes motion sickness would probably be too much for me if it is an enclosed room - I can’t do anything like Star Tours). I don’t want to spend so much money if I will have to opt out of a lot of things.
    Hi, is it that you can’t take elevators at all or just use them to access floors higher up? Our room at Loews was on the 16th floor, but there were others who were staying on lower floors. We had to use the elevators at Loews to access guest areas. However, we split our group of 25 into 2 elevators and did not share with anyone else when we went to our welcome dinner so we had space around us.

    At the GCH we used the elevators between lobby level and the 3rd floor; I am not sure if there are stairs you can use. The elevators were not crowded anytime we used them.

    One member of our group suffered from terrible motion sickness. She was the first to leave the Dish at Imagineering. It is an enclosed room with an open doorway; you are not forced to stay in the room.

    Would you be okay in The Haunted Mansion stretching room? It’s an optional group activity to ride together.
     

    Chirple

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    ABD Day 4

    Disclaimer: due to the amount of running around we did and early meet times, I had stopped taking notes starting with this day so it’s all from memory. Today (9.10.2019) I am posting a partial update.

    We all successfully made it to our meeting spot in the lobby by 6:45 am. It was rough on my husband, who had not yet had any morning coffee. I’m not kidding. Seriously. I think it’s part caffeine addiction and part psychological.

    As a group we made our way towards Disneyland Park through the DTD entrance at the Grand Californian. We met with a cast member who opened the exit gate for us. At this time they took our photos when we entered and scanned our tickets. If you leave and re-enter the park or hop to the other park, there is no more hand stamping; your photo confirms ticket association.

    Once through the gate, we stopped in front of the Mickey head and had photos taken. I snapped a picture of Dean and Shannon, who were Disney bounding as Mickey and Minnie (they are too cute).

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    (Is that Mickey photobombing Shannon or vice versa?)

    The gentleman who owned this backpack was a sweetheart. He, his wife, and their friend were from Japan; he was also visually impaired (used a white cane to assist) and themed his backpack daily.
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    Before we made our way up empty Main Street USA, our guides took photos of us. It was amazing to have this all to ourselves; I’m used to bobbing and weaving through crowds! We also had an opportunity to have photos taken with the Partners statue. Then we had our photo shoot in front of the castle. What a great experience for us!
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    I asked Dan to take a picture of me with the Partners statue; technically, he did! LOL!
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    I posted the photo below on my FB page and said: I am so happy to be here even though my feet hurt!
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    I am wearing my Haunted Mansion shirt in honor of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion's 50th anniversary.

    After our pictures were done and the park was opened for the day, we moved on to our character breakfast at the Plaza Inn. There were stations where you could get already-made-food and an omelet station. The character interactions were adorable; we always feel a little awkward with it but try to get into the swing of things. I think my husband follows my lead because he’s not one to seek out character interactions (I will). Before leaving, Shannon mentioned that you could get a cup of coffee to go. I asked the CM at the omelet station if they had any cups, and he said no. Next thing I knew, he found me with a to-go cup. Other members of our group also had to-go cups. This helped my husband tremendously.

    More to come.....
     

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    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Caffeine addiction is real!! I totally empathize with your hubby!!!!

    :)

    Sayhello
     

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