Rajah sees Disneyland alone - Monday, May 8th

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Rajah, May 14, 2000.

  1. Rajah

    Rajah DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
    Cast: Rajah (who has been to Disneyland many times before, but this was her first time to go more than an hour alone), and "Art" (a friend from online, and the only online friend Rajah ran into on the trip)

    Well, I don't recommend that lone females with overactive imaginations who are unaccustomed to traveling alone stay by themselves at the Castle Inn and Suites. I was perfectly fine, had no problems beyond my overactive imagination, but I also got very little sleep that night.

    Even with little sleep, I was up early enough for early entry that morning. Granted, early entry wasn't until 8:30 am, but still after no sleep, that's too early in the morning /infopop/emoticons\icon_wink.gif But I made it to the gates before they opened, and just gaped at the crowds. Even that early in the morning, the crowds were backed up all the way to the construction fence in the back! We hadn't seen this kind of crowds just to get in the park even during the weekend, but then again all weekend the hours were early enough I guess most people didn't want to get up that early because the crowds were certainly there later in the day, especially on Saturday!

    Despite the huge crowds at the gate, the park swallowed them up pretty quickly so I was able to accomplish most of what I set out to do this morning. That was, try to take pictures of every shop, eatery, or attraction in the park. This morning, my goal was to get most if not all of Main Street and Fantasyland, and what I could get of Tomorrowland. I was able to do so with very few people in any of the shops, and even made it to Toon Town about the time the gates opened there so I could get pictures of a nearly deserted Toon Town.

    By the time I finished Toon Town, I had to hurry back to the hotel so I could meet Tracy and get checked out. She was going to give me a ride over to the Disneyland Hotel and then the intention was we would catch lunch before she had to go to work.

    If something in my wording makes you think something happened, you're right. I got back to the hotel with no problem, finished packing my stuff up with no problem, even got checked out with no problem and a few minutes to spare before the 11am checkout time.

    Only, no Tracy. Well, no big deal, she was only a few minutes late and as I think I mentioned before, she does tend to run late at times. So I waited. And waited.

    And waited.

    And waited.

    And called, no answer, so I waited...

    Finally, just over an hour after she was supposed to be there, I gave up and ended up walking up Harbor dragging my luggage behind me. Thankfully that consisted of nothing more than a backpack (well balanced) and a suitcase with wheels. So it wasn't *that* bad of a hike. I had no trouble finding the right tram and getting over to the Disneyland Hotel dropoff.

    The hard part was finding my way around the construction and with no map to the registration desk, which of course was on the complete opposite side of the hotel complexes. But I finally found it and got checked in, only to find that my room wouldn't be ready for another 3 hours. I was exhausted and very ready to sleep for a few hours, but no room meant no room, so I checked my luggage with bell services and headed back over to the park. In some ways, this may have been a mistake (I'll get to that later)... a mistake I didn't discover until just before I checked out. But I'll tell you that part later.

    So back over to the park I went, on my first ride ever (or at least first ride I remember) on the Disneyland Monorail. Pretty cool /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I really liked being able to get on at the hotel and get off in the middle of Tomorrowland, although that felt strange -- entering the park without going through Main Street.

    Well, if I couldn't take a nap, I decided food was definitely in order, so I hit the first place I found: Redd Rockett's Pizza Port. I'd heard good things about this place and it was right there in front of me, smelled good, and had seats. Good enough for me. So I grabbed a dish of spaghetti and meatballs and a surge (!! Was this the only place in the park they serve surge? I was happy /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ). I thought the spaghetti was decent. Not excellent, but pretty good and I'd definitely eat there again on another trip.

    Well, food did the trick. I wasn't as full of energy as I would have been if I'd been able to get a nap like I wanted, but I at least felt better. So my first stop was right next door: Space Mountain, especially since there was supposedly only a 15 minute wait.

    Well, while I didn't only have a 15 minute wait, I did get to see what happens when Space Mountain goes 101. Apparently they were trying to get too many people who needed assistance into one car and the timing got too far off, because even before they finished seating this group of "special needs" people, they had to start taking them off and the lights came up and everything. It didn't take them long to get everything back in synch, and I even got to see how they add another train to the track (pretty snazzy). So I guess it wasn't that bad having to wait for them to bring the ride back up, especially since their "20 minute delay" turned out to be no more than about 5 minutes. And then much to my surprise and pleasure, the soundtrack was working!! That was my favorite ride on Space Mountain: the first time through with the sound track. So cool!

    After Space, I realized I didn't have a picture of the Tomorrowland train station, so decided to catch the train over to Main Street just for the fun of it. Once off that, I decided for no apparent reason to catch the horse-drawn buggy that was loading and ride that to the other side of Main Street. Despite the fact that I needed a locker on *this* side of the Street. Oh well, it was fun and I got a picture or two while on the buggy. I just ended up walking back to the photo shop to get more film (I ended up taking as many pictures on this 5-day trip as I did on our 10-day honeymoon, and I still had to buy 8 more rolls even though I brought nearly twice as many rolls as I expected to need!!). Film is fairly expensive in the Land: $18 per 4/pack. But that's not as high as I expected, really.

    As I was walking back toward the lockers, I noticed someone starting to set up some ropes over by a little shop on Main Street. It only took me a moment to realize I'd stumbled on the famous Dapper Dans, another group I hadn't ever seen much of! So I stopped to watch their little show and FINALLY discovered what those neat instruments were called: They're the Deagon Organ Chimes, and no I don't know if I've spelled that right. May even have been Geigon. But is was something along those lines, and the Dans have a really cute song that introduces them. I had a lot of fun getting to watch their show from beginning to end for the first time that I can recall.

    Only problem with standing to watch the Dapper Dans as I did is I had a place right in the nice hot afternoon sun, so by the time I (already tired from not enough sleep and two previous full days at the park) got to the lockers, I wasn't thinking right. I went straight back and found a locker, put the stuff in it, took out the key, and was already back on Main Street before I realized -- I hadn't needed a coin! So I got away with a free locker that day!

    I set back out to continue on my quest to photograph everything in the park and hit Adventureland, New Orleans Square, and Frontierland with stops at Indy, Tarzan's Treehouse, and the line for Woody's Roundup. When we were told that the next show was full and it would be a 45 minute wait for our chance to watch a show, I decided not to stand in the sun another 45 minutes -- after all, I'd be in the park for another few days and would have another chance to catch it. So instead I hopped over to the Mark Twain and asked if I could ride up in the wheelhouse, something else I really wanted to do this trip. I was told that there was already someone up top for this round, but if I wanted to go ahead and board and just wait on the third story for the next round, I could ride up top that time most likely. So I went around once then waited for the captain to come down and take me up. When she didn't and more people started to load onto the boat, I caught her attention and was told to come on up, so I got to ride around the river in the wheelhouse. It's pretty cool up there, even if all you get to do is ring the bell and the whistle and turn the steering wheel. The view is really nice, and it's a special thing to do that I'd recommend to people /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

    Once I got off the Twain, I wandered back over to Main Street (just wandering) and decided to grab a hot dog and sit down on Coke Corner, just on the off chance Rod would come out and play again. He didn't, but another guy was there who wasn't bad. He wasn't Rod, but he wasn't bad either. So then I glanced at my watch and noticed it was coming up on 6pm... what to do now? I had earlier toyed with the idea of trying to actually *be* in the parade, but couldn't decide if I wanted to go for it or not. So I wandered up and down Main Street and asked a few questions until I found out how they selected people to be in the parade. Then I watched the Omnibus and a few cast members come out and start hunting people down. I followed them up and down Main Street until we got to the Hub, and then decided what the heck, might as well. I had nothing better to do. So I asked one of the two CMs who was selecting guests if I could give it a try. She said yes so I grabbed my hat (lion hat, of course) then ran back to the locker to drop off all my stuff. The only thing I was regretting was that I didn't know anyone in the park that night to take pictures.

    When I caught back up with the Omnibus, I took one of the few remaining seats and rode along down through Fantasyland where the CMs tried to get everyone to sing a song. We started with Zip-a-dee-do-dah and then Small World, but never once was the CM able to get both the top and bottom levels of the Omnibus to sing together. Ever heard those two songs in the round? Quite interesting and quite humorous. Especially when you get a few people who actually know the verses of the song trying to sing around those who only know the chorus or maybe one verse.

    Once the CMs finished grabbing their 45 guests, they had us all sign a release and then we got to go back stage. Not very far back stage, but still it was back stage. They had a tent set up where they had all of us gather while they divided us into our groups. The first group was of hippos and rhinos: they were doing the ballet dances with the Fantasia hippos and elephants. Then came a group of what were apparently monkeys and bears. They were doing more dances with Baloo and Louie. Then was a group of every other animal: foxes, rabbits, lions, zebras, etc. They were each paired with a character and walked and danced the parade route with that character. Then came the last group, the group I was in. There were 8 of us total, and we were the rope carriers!

    They gave us each a big fluffy cloud-bag full of confetti and we were told that every time Mickey's float (right in front of us) threw confetti, we were to throw confetti as well. Then, every once in a while two of us were tagged to duck under the rope and go dance with the penguins from Mary Poppins. The rest of the time, we were to carry the rope, smile, and wave. Very easy, you'd think. Well, I discovered a new-found respect for those people in the parades! Carrying the rope is more complex than it looked -- you had to keep track of the CM guiding us and make sure you didn't get too close to or too far away from the penguins. You also had to make sure you were close enough to the guests to keep them from running around or in front of the rope while not actually stepping on anyone. Then you had to keep track of the music to know when to throw confetti. It was a lot more complex than it looks, especially with only 5 minutes of preparation. At the same time, you were to smile and wave at the guests, and I found it a lot of fun to try to single out those families or kids who were looking directly at us and to wave especially for them. We even had one group who cheered on the rope carriers specifically, and it was fun to hear how often people begged for the confetti. And then trying to keep the dance moves straight -- even though it was a simple dance, if you didn't *all* know what you were doing, it was very easy to mess up and if one person messed up, everyone got messed up.

    Oh, and before the parade moved out it was really neat. Being in the last group was IMO the best, because we got to have a very close and long look at all of the floats and the characters. It was great! If you get to be in the parade, I highly recommend requesting the rope carrying group!

    Another thing I noticed was that somehow during the parade, my exhaustion and aching feet just completely disappeared. I didn't notice them again at all until I got back to my locker after the parade. It was a very fun experience, and I'm really glad I went ahead and tried it. It's a lot of fun from the inside!!

    After the parade, I grabbed my stuff from the locker (most of it anyway) and hiked all the way back up to exactly where we started -- back up at Small World. I'd heard this was another good place to view the fireworks, so I found a place to sit after asking around to find the best place up there, then crashed for about 45 minutes and made a few phone calls. That was when I discovered that Tracy hadn't just abandoned or forgotten me this morning (was it only this morning?) -- she'd had car trouble on the way in and by the time she got to a phone to call me, I'd already checked out of the hotel. And they didn't have my cell phone number until she and her fiance (who had to come rescue her) returned to their home and were able to check the answering machine. So I felt a lot better knowing that Tracy was okay. Turns out, she'd just run out of gas since they'd made the wrong assumption their gas gauge wasn't working properly. Oh well, no harm done really.

    So I waited over by Small World for the fireworks and really enjoyed people watching. One father and his son had those expandable Star Wars toys: the dad was playing with one of the double-ended light-staffs while his son moved between two different light sabres. His mom occasionally joined in with the other light sabre as well. It was really cute.

    After the fireworks (which are good from Small World but much, much better from Main Street BTW) I was cold, but I wasn't ready to return to the hotel just yet. So I returned to the central area of Fantasyland and decided on taking a ride on Toad. That warm sequence I figured was hot enough to warm me up since I'd stupidly left my jacket back at the hotel. While in line, I ran into the group of people who had been cheering for the rope carriers -- I was still wearing my parade hat. And I also started up a conversation with the guy behind me who was a regular who came over nearly every night after work.

    After Toad, I went over to Pinnochio. Imagine my surprise when during the Pleasure Island sequence when the two cars go back toward each other, there was the same guy again. We'd independently chosen the same ride once more, and laughed and waved at each other. Next I decided upon Snow White. I paused for a moment and made some comment to the guy when he got off, and we ended up both heading for Snow White again. When I saw that, I laughed and invited him to join me (I didn't get the feeling he was following me, we just happened to keep picking the same rides). So we struck up more conversations and imagine my surprise when I discovered I *knew* him from online!

    Some of y'all might remember my occasional Disneyworld riddles I post on the Inspiration Board... Well, when I first started posting them, I commented that I got the idea from a guy on ADD (that's alt.disney.disneyland, one of the few newsgroups (if not the only) I occasionally lurk on). I'd occasionally popped back over to check out his Disneyland riddles (he's good, btw). Well, the guy I ran into happened to be the guy who posts those riddles on ADD.

    After we got off Snow White, we decided to hook up for the rest of the park's few opening minutes and ride Peter Pan together. I sure didn't mind -- after my entire day with no one to talk to, I enjoyed having someone to visit with. And getting to exchange riddles was fun. After Peter Pan's Flight, the park was closed so we made our way back to the entrance by way of the answers to two riddles he'd stumped me on while in line.

    Then we both ended up on the same tram and since we were in the middle of a conversation when we reached his stop, he offered to give me a ride back to the hotel. I somewhat hesitantly said yes, but something told me I could trust this guy and I was really tired and didn't relish having to walk from the tram stop back to the entrance in a hotel complex I still didn't know very well. So I took him up on his offer and he showed me a few trivia things about DCA and the construction, then dropped me at the front desk and gave me his phone number so we could meet up again later in the week if I wanted to. I thanked him, returned to the front desk to get my room assignment, then gave the room number to the bell services guys and trudged up to the room (Marina tower, 5th floor facing the pool). I barely made it there before the luggage did, and let me tell you that room was a VAST improvement over the room we had at Castle Inn and Suites. Very cozy, very nicely decorated, and I felt MUCH safer there than I did at the Castle. And I was very grateful to Art (the riddle guy from ADD) for giving me a ride straight to the front gate. I would most likely have been fine walking from the tram stop, but a lot can happen to a lone female in unfamiliar territory, even on Disney property.

    After my luggage arrived, I gave Tracy and VonDrake a call to let them know I was back okay and what room I was in, then I *crashed* for the night.

    Rajah and VonDrake's Honeymoon
  2. Judy from Boise

    Judy from Boise Watch out – might take away your

    Aug 24, 1999
    Rajah, Iv'e enjoyed all of your reports ! So glad that Von Drake enjoyed our beloved DL !

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  4. Michelle

    Michelle <font color=darkgreen><i>"It's like Lord of the Fl

    Apr 21, 2000
    Hey, it IS a small world! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif How amazing that you ran into someone you knew...but didn't know that you knew! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Great report, as always!

    Cruise & Inspiration Board Co-Host
    Disneyland Board Co-Host
  5. tammyh-oregon

    tammyh-oregon <font color=navy>Missed a DISer by > < that much!<

    Aug 19, 1999
    have really enjoyed reading your reports. We met "Art" over Halloween 1999. He is a great guy with alot of knowledge about the park. He showed us somethings we have never known about. The thing we learned and like the best is catching Fantasmic from the rear.(the docks in front of Big thunder are pretty good for this)

    Glad to hear you had a good time

  6. goofydaddy

    goofydaddy Earning My Ears

    Mar 31, 2000
    great report, i think i'll try disneyland alone... well actually i did, when i was in 7th grade, i was separated from my group of four. I brought $20 for the class trip and it lasted me the whole day...finally caught up with them after a few hours... never felt alone, just felt peaceful...oh well whatever...

    DVC member (Disney
    Verandah Club)
    5/2 11:40 pm castaway
    cay evening and again
    on morning of sea

    Disney Wonder
    wdw/swan april 2000

  7. Rajah

    Rajah DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
    It was fun running into someone I knew. Didn't surprise me that much since there are so many regulars that I have at least heard of through here, Laughing Place, or ADD. But running into one that I actually recognized and thought would be fun to meet -- and without planning it -- that's what was so cool. I am really sorry I missed all the DIS regulars, though. I did look for y'all! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

    Tammy -- Art is very cool, and has some really interesting stories. He tried telling me about catching Fantamsic from the side/rear, but I'd already discovered that - -just on the opposite side over near the Haunted Mansion. But his little tidbits of information (more info will come in the next trip report post whenever I can get to finishing it) were very interesting. It's a lot of fun to see the park from the eyes of a regular, even if only for a brief time /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

    Goofy -- I didn't know what to expect with seeing Disneyland entirely by myself. Most people say once you see Disney by yourself, you won't want to go with a group again, but I definitely didn't experience this. Then again, being an only child, I never had to fight with my family over which ride to ride next. My parents were really great about letting me see whichever ride/attraction I wanted to do, as long as it wasn't on the complete opposite side of the park and there was something else we wanted to do right in front of us. And when I've been with my friends, usually they turn to me to lead them around the park anyway so I rarely have had times when I really wanted to see A while the rest of the party wanted to see B and as a result I never got to see A. So that aspect of being in the park alone didn't make a difference to me. But I did enjoy it more than I expected to. I think I was more relaxed about touring when it was just me, because I wasn't rushing to lead whomever I was with to the different attractions so he/she/they wouldn't miss out on something. I was just wandering and letting the flow of the park take me wherever I ended up for the most part. I'd do it again, but not for a whole trip unless I had plans to meet with someone for part of the day and only spent part of each day alone.

    Rajah and VonDrake's Honeymoon
  8. nativetxn

    nativetxn <font color=teal>Moderator<br><font color=red>Hono

    Feb 15, 2000
    Rajah: This was very entertaining. How great you met up with someone you've wanted to meet.

  9. KarenT

    KarenT Mouseketeer

    Oct 27, 1999
    I'm thoroughly enjoying your trip reports, but I have to tell you something funny. Up until this last report I thought you and VonDrake were a gay couple. You make no reference to being female until post #3 and I have a very good friend named Rajah (who is male) so I just assumed...Now I'll have to go back and read them all over again. LOL

  10. Rajah

    Rajah DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
    ::laughs:: Nope, KarenT. I'm 100% female /infopop/emoticons\icon_wink.gif I just use the name Rajah because that was the Disney character I got on a Disney-MU*. I just made the character female over there and it's stuck /infopop/emoticons\icon_wink.gif

    Rajah and VonDrake's Honeymoon
  11. Marla Hellwig

    Marla Hellwig I'm not lost, it's called creative exploring

    Mar 25, 2000
    A great Disney day you rope holder - lol. Thanks for posting!

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