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  1. #1

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    It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008 Updated 1/13/09!

    Coming up with a plan…

    Almost immediately after our trip in September 2007 I began making plans for our 8th annual family trip in 2008. On Apr 1, as a surprise for our son, I came up with the idea to ask one of his friends if she, Alex, her sister, Savannah, and their father, Don, would like to join us on our trip. She responded with a yes so the planning really kicked in!

    Decisions! Decisions! I had first selected Nov 10-21 but DH suggested we stay right up til Thanksgiving, which would have been until the 26th which was fine with me as I never turn down an opportunity to add a few days to our trip. However, Alex said they could take the week of Nov 9-16. So, even though I had wanted to avoid the possible crowds of the Veteran’s Day weekend, I backed up the dates we had chosen to go and planned for our family to stay an extra week. I really wanted to be in the park for the Christmas season on the 21st so we could see the new castle lights and meet Santa at the Reindeer Roundup but didn’t want to be rushed so we went ahead and opted to stay a few extra days to the 23rd and ended up with a little over 2 weeks to spend leisurely at the park.

    As soon as we narrowed down the exact dates I called and made reservations for our room at the Anaheim Desert Inn. I have found that booking as early as I know the dates can often save quite a bit, so on April 16 I booked for our November trip. I got a very good rate. We have stayed with them during all of our past trips and they have become, somewhat, a part of our tradition. Nothing fancy. However, they provide all we need, are reasonable, very close to the park and clean. They also offer a large family suite, which is basically 2 rooms for about the same rate as one standard room at one of the Disney properties so that cinches the deal for us.

    In April, I also booked a limousine from U-R-THERE-Limousine Service to pick us up from the airport. I thought the kids would get a kick out of it, and frankly, I would too! I told DH but wanted to let it be a surprise for everyone else.

    My next step was to start watching American Airline fares. I didn’t last long! I ended up booking those in April too simply because the price they were offering was already as low as what we paid the previous year.

    Then from there, I spent a lot of time perusing all things Disney which also included lots of time spent on message boards taking notes and making plans for our to-do-list. Thanks to all who have added to my useful information!

    Alright, I know, I know! Get to it already! Well, here it is:
    Trip Report November 9-23, 2008

    November 9, 2008 Getting there.
    After much anticipation, our day to head to Disneyland finally arrived! I really liked the new plan of choosing an afternoon flight so we could get to California on Sunday evening and not mess up an entire day traveling. When we arrived we would have the option to decide whether to go to the park late or just wait until morning. Our flight was originally scheduled to leave at 3:15 pm but was delayed until 3:40 pm. We don’t fly very often so we like to be at the airport PLENTY early. Also, we find it kinda helps build even more of the excitement to at least be making progress towards our destination! We left our house at about 12:15 pm. and headed to DFW where we were supposed to meet our traveling companions at 1:30.

    We made a call to see if they were on the way to the airport. Well, they obviously do travel often enough to not get worried about arriving late because Alex, our son’s friend, was not even at home but they were expecting her at any minute. We decided we probably should have followed her example and went to church but alas, we appeared to be backsliding. We were hoping God knew us well enough to know that if we didn’t get an early start we would probably end up being late. That’s usually the way it goes.

    We arrived at the Park Air Express to park the car for 2 weeks and called to check to see if she had made it home yet. She had and was currently in the process of packing. Nothing like waiting until the last minute! We made it to the airport, checked in and sat around acting goofy while we waited for them to arrive.





    Several other conversations transpired before they were finally actually in route to the airport. They seemed to remain much calmer than we were. They did finally arrive about 2:30.


    We had just enough time to spare to grab a bite to eat. We ate one of the best turkey sandwiched I think I have ever had at some little BBQ joint inside the airport. We finished our meal and did not even get seated in the waiting area before they started boarding passengers for our plane. Our flight left on time and thankfully was uneventful. We even arrived on time!

    When we got to the airport, Don headed to the men’s room but somehow we lost track of Savannah. After a few tense moments for some of us, she shows up unaware that we did not know where she had been. (It brought back memories of when we had lost Alex at the movie theater some months back. These two girls are very independent and apparently do not rely on explaining their whereabouts.)

    Anyway, since all was well we made our way to the baggage claim area where we were met by a driver holding up a sign with our name on it. How cool is that? He looked just like the driver in Driving Ms Daisy. Don was pretty sharp to catch on that we would be riding in a limo but the kids remained clueless until we were actually standing in front of the limo. (It ain't easy to get a good picture of a 10 passenger limousine and a bunch of people in a dark garage.)


    With her typical reaction, Savannah let out an ear piercing squeal of excitement.





    The limo was very cool! We enjoyed the lights, music and clowning around in the ceiling mirrors.






    DS loves making crazy faces but he looks a bit more normal, and handsome in this picture.

    We had some good laughs about the country hicks riding in the limo.
    We even broke into a round of the Hee Haw song, “Where oh where are you tonight? Why did you leave me here all alone?”, complete with “phttttt you were gone”. We had only been with our traveling companions a few hours and I was already reduced to tears from laughing so hard! I can only imagine what the driver must have thought. However, I imagine while we were pretty strange I bet he gets some real doosies! At least we were sober.
    So anyway, the limo was a big hit! And, U R There Limousine Service was excellent! Everything about them was very impressive. We arrived at Anaheim Desert Inn and got our luggage all unloaded.

    When I checked in, I found that our grocery delivery had already arrived about an hour early and had been stored in a backroom for us. This was just fine with me because it meant we would not have to waste any time sitting around waiting for them to show up. So, after we got our luggage and groceries to the room we set out to the park to pick up our tickets.


    I had opted to get our tickets from GetawayToday.com because they offered 8 day park hoppers with 2 free magic morning days. After the 8 days, my plan was to upgrade us to our annual passes. As it turned out we did not use the MM entries because we were no good at getting all 7 of us up that early. DH was not very happy that we only had a paper pass instead of a nice AP with his picture on it. He rather enjoys being an AP snob. Needless to say, next time I will just go ahead and get the APs.

    While DD and I were rearing to get into the park, the majority vote was that everyone was tired and just wanted to rest and head to the park in the morning. Whaaa! I travel with a bunch of party poopers! Since we also wanted to enter the park all together, we conceded and decided we might not suffer too much by waiting til morning to get to the park. Hunger had hit so we headed into Downtown Disney which ended up being a total waste of time and energy because it was pretty crowded and the waits were too long so we ended up just going back to Denney’s next door to our hotel. They had some really great nachos but I would have preferred my cheesecake to have not been frozen. After that, and much to my disappointment, we called it a night.


    November 10th, our first day inside the park!

    I was awoken by a phone ringing at 5:00 am. Don was calling Alex. He had forgotten to pack his sneakers so he had walked to Target to get some for walking in the park and wanted to see if they needed anything else while he was there. Already awaken by the phone, still on Texas time and excited toget to the park, I went ahead and got up and started getting ready. Everyone else lazed around a bit and then Alex and Savannah began working on homework. I realize it was important that they keep up with their studies since they had taken time from school but, golly… it was our first day! We finally made it to the park at 11:00. It was a beautiful day and not too very crowded.




    Our very first ride was Pirates!

    This is my favorite ride. Every time I ride it I see something different. It was fantastic to be back! I don’t think Savannah liked it very much. She is very sweet, gentle, and innocent and doesn’t like violence. I’m not too sure she was very crazy about being in the dark with a bunch of sword wielding pirates and skeletons.

    Looking back now, I guess we were not being very thoughtful of frightening newcomers but since it was right there what do you think we headed to next… HM!






    Right as we were pulling up the hill from the loading area there was a CM, acting his creepy, part who reached in to grab me. I thought it was pretty funny! I am glad he was on my side because I am sure Savannah would not have thought so. She obviously was not impressed with this ride either.




    I can understand how she might feel. When we first started coming to Disneyland we didn’t much care for HM ourselves. We aren’t much into ghost and goblins or anything so related. We don’t do Halloween and we don’t watch scary movies. However, over the years and after doing HM on the Christmas tour, where DD decided she loved it, we have come to look past any deep meaning and just value it as a well themed ride.

    Since we had gotten to the park so late it was already lunch time so we headed to Plaza Inn. It is DH’s and DS’s favorite place to eat in the park. Not me. I don’t like packaged gravy mix but I went along to get it out of the way. DD and I shared the chicken which is usually pretty good but, boy, have those chicken legs shrunk! They also did not have much of a dessert selection so no strawberry shortcake for me. The guys were very satisfied.

    When we got through with our lunch it was almost 2:30 which is just about time for them to start playing musical chairs. I have always wanted to see it but have never taken DD because we are usually taking our midday break at that time of day. It looked like a perfect opportunity since we were already in the area so DD and I split from the main group and headed for Coke Corner. We got there just in time and DD jumped right in with the kids. Peter Pan, Alice and Mad Hatter were all there and they were wonderful with the kids! It was so much fun to watch and DD had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, Alex had forgotten her camera and I had loaned her my camera for the day. Luckily, I did have DD’s new camera so I was able to take some pictures.












    After the game we got autographs and pictures with Peter and Alice.



    DD did not want Mad Hatter’s. I think he makes her nervous!

    We headed over to Splash to meet up with the others. They had taken Don on his first ride. As worthy of any first time, he came out drenched! He was a good sport though and they have some hilarious memories of the ride.




    As is most often the case with large groups, we could not decide on a ride everyone could agree on so the “big kids” headed to SM. Apparently, they did did some clowning around while waiting in line.








    DD and I headed to Peter Pan but it was very crowded, as usual, so we passed on by and ended up on the Teacups. Then, we headed to Alice and popped out on the upper level during the parade. From there we thought about riding Nemo but decided to wait until we could all ride it together which ended up being a mistake because they rode it without us. That was the last time we had that thought!

    We met up with DH and watched our first show of many in the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room. DD and I just love that show! From there we took a ride on the Jungle Cruise. Johnny was our captain and a very good one too. When we got through, it was getting cooler and since this was our first year without our stroller to cram full of coats we would have to go back to the room to get them. DH wanted to go back to the room because he is always the first one to get blisters but I convinced him to stay with DD just long enough to ride Astro Orbitor, which I just hate, while I mad a dash back to the room to get the coats. He left when I got back and DD and I headed towards Pirates. She HAD to have some popcorn along the way and as soon as she got that she changed her mind and decided she wanted to go make her own hat. I agreed, if we could check the lines in Fantasyland along the way. It was pretty crowded and Storybookland was closed for the parade so we just went straight back to Toontown. Got the ears made, which I expect she will probably wear a couple hours and be done with. We headed back to see if Storybookland had opened back up but it hadn’t and we ended up trapped by the parade. Then, we drifted towards Tomorrowland to check on Nemo but it was long too so while deciding what to do next, DH calls to say that he is still in the park and supposed to meet back up with us and head back to the room to order in pizza. I cannot believe that everyone is ready to call it a day and that I went all the way back to the room only to get back and do well, let me see…. buy some popcorn, a set of Mickey ears and do a lot of walking. Not one single ride! I am thinking to myself what is wrong with these people? (grumble, grumble) I comply again, so we hop on the train back to Main Street Station and head back to our room by 7:00. UGH! When we got there, Alex was already asleep. I ordered pizza and planned to sit down to watch a pay per view movie but the darn movie wouldn’t work so we had to just watch something on the regular stations. I found out that I was a lot more worn out than I thought and soon fell asleep too.
    Last edited by mariezp; 01-13-2009 at 07:11 AM. Reason: update
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-14



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  2. #2

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    Wonderful so far!
    Oh, I'd love to go to Disneyland for that many days, hehe.
    And I've always wanted to play Musical Chairs. xD
    Can't wait to see more!
    For certain you must be lost to find the places that can't be found. Elseways, everyone would know where it was.

  3. #3

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    Thanks for stopping by MysticalSkye.

    I was thinking I should add a little more about the game, because as in typical Disney fashion, they have their own magical style. When we arrived, Alice, Peter and Mad Hatter were dragging up chairs from the tables for the game. The children began helping as they arrived. Then they announced that they were going to play Musical chairs so all the kids lined up around the chairs. Then, the piano player whose name I forgot , began playing little snips of songs. When a child had "lost", they escorted them up to the platform in front of the piano where they got to tell a joke or riddle. If they were too shy or could not think of one Hatter would tell one for them. They were all corny jokes, of course, but it was all sooo cute! The whole time the characters were bantering between each other and the kids, as well. Anyway, when it got down to the last chair and two children, instead of leaving the chair in one place they told the children to keep their eye on THE CHAIR and then rounded up a bunch more chairs and started sliding them all around mixing them up. When the kids had sufficiently lost track of THE CHAIR they declared it a tie and the game ended. So much better Disney style with no losers and a single winner.

    After the game kids were lining up for autographs. DD wanted Peter's. He took off because he had to go get ready for the parade but told us to follow him so we did. He finally stopped by where the characters exit back stage and started posing for pics and signing autographs. He was a great Peter and did a fantastic job staying in character. After we'd had our turn we headed back to catch Alice. We just barely made it because she was trying to make her escape too.
    If you haven't watched it... GO! It was one of the highlights of our trip and as you will see later we didn't go just one time. Of course, anytime DD manages to achieve becoming one of the participants she is happy. I think she is destined for the stage!
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-14



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  4. #4

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    Great report, can't wait for more!
    Check out my page at www.myspace.com/wheresmickey

    Check out my pin collection at www.pinpics.com. User name is WheresMickey




  5. #5

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    Great Trip Report so far. Can't wait to see more.

    As far as getting to the airport early, you never can be too sure when your going to DFW. That place is beyond huge.


  6. #6

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    I am enjoying reading about your trip..Would love to hear more!

  7. #7

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008 Updated 12/07!

    Thanks to those of you who are reading along with me! I finally got a chance to add some more!

    November 11th, Veteran’s Day and our first chance at MM.

    Today was Veteran’s Day and the park opened at 8:00 so I had been a little concerned that it might be a little more crowded. I honestly can’t say that I did notice a big difference but then again I tend to get absorbed in my own little world. There was no waking up at 4:30 this morning. I finally managed to sleep a few hours longer and made it until 6:30 which was not ideal since this was our first shot at using our MM entry. The original plan was to get to the park at 7:00. I made a mild attempt at getting everyone up and at em but when Alex started eating cereal at 6:50 I had a pretty good idea that we were not going to make it. We got headed out the door fairly soon afterwards but along the way Don made another pitstop to grab a bite to eat from the hotel’s free breakfast selection. While we were standing around waiting I snapped a picture of DD in her new ears she made yesterday.


    She had fun picking out the parts but I can’t say they are any more special that the ready made ones, just another way for them to make money, but I guess DD likes them. Already she had worn them longer than I imagined! When we made it to the park it was actually not too crowded but our MM attempt had failed. :sad2:

    The men folk and the teens headed to Matterhorn. DD and I headed for Storybookland which we finally caught opened! It was wonderful. I have to admit that I really like riding it at night best. Oh, you know how on Jungle Cruise you always get to see the backside of water? Well, I got to thinking how I had never looked to see what Monstro looked like after he sneezed his tail right off and I remembered to take a picture. So here it is, the backside of Monstro:


    Kinda disappointing, I know. I felt the same way! Anyway, here's a couple more from Storybookland.




    We followed up with a spin on the Teacups. When we were done we ran into the rest of the bunch and went for another ride. DH sat this one out and operated they video camera. The kids loaded up together in one cup and Don was stuck with me.


    After that DH decided to join DD and I on Alice in Wonderland. Next we rode Pirates and Haunted Mansion for our second time. DD thought up a creative way to sit waiting in line. She used DH's feet for a chair.


    From there we made a thorough investigation of Tarzan’s treehouse, much to the chagrin of DH, I’m sure. He was looking rather bored. :bored:




    Did Mrs. Potts used to be upstairs on a table? The table was gone. Mrs. Potts is now located by the pots and pans on the lower level.


    I've never noticed this before.


    From there we decided to cut back to Fantasyland via the road less traveled, AKA Big Thunder Trail.

    I needed to stop off at the little girl’s room to powder my nose. While inside the restroom I ended up witnessing a poor little girl fall out of her stroller and hit her head. The mother, who I can imagine was in a hurry, made the mistake of sitting her in the seat without making sure she was all the way down or buckled. When she turned the stroller, the little girl was actually sitting on the side and when mom went to take off the momentum of the sudden turn made the poor thing fall back and land flat on her back, striking her head against the floor. I imagine she was okay but she took a pretty hard fall. So, even though I do know how easy it is for accidents to happen and there are times it could have probably easily have happened to me, please moms make sure your little one is firmly seated in the stroller before moving. This reminder has been brought to you by one of the concerned moms from the “there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I-club”.

    Next up was a ride on Casey Jr. DD took some photos on this one.


    I think this thing is a dragon.


    We followed up with a flight through Neverland.


    Peter Pan is my favorite dark ride in Fantasyland. I just wish it was a little longer and they could find some way to make the line go faster. But, alas, just to make the best use of the time waiting in line, I just always try to think of it as a good opportunity to visit with my family.

    When we got off the ride it was just about time to meet up with the others for our lunch at the Rainforest Café. We decided to meet them at the monorail station since the Thibeaux family had been looking forward to riding it. The new cars are really pretty. We were actually about 25 minutes early for our reservation so we looked around in the souvenir shop.








    Of course, DD had no problem finding all sorts of things but since we were still early in our trip we talked her into waiting a few days before deciding if a toy parrot was exactly what she just had to have.

    We were finally seated. I ended up right underneath a chimp. Everybody else was a big chicken! We had quite an assortment of orders. DH and Don both tried their Parmesan Crusted Snapper. DS had salmon. Alex had the Rasta Pasta. Savannah had pizza. DD had shrimp. I went with just the plain old fish and chips because I could not make up my mind. Even though we really didn’t need it, we had to have a Sparkling Volcano because they are just wonderful so we got one for the kids to share. I also ordered the Bananas Foster because I wanted to try it. The guys were more than willing to help me finish it off. It was okay but I think I will just help with the volcano next time. Everyone really did enjoy their food. However, the service was very slow and the price was a bit much so we will most likely skip going there next trip.

    When we came out the kids all wanted to go see Madagascar 2. It sounded like a good way to rest so off we went. We all loved this movie! I know DS did because he and Alex sat off by themselves. We have already been using a ton of movie quotes. Since DD hasn’t figured out how to whistle yet she can just imitate King Julian. We all gave it a thumbs up! :thumbsup2

    Well, you would have thought that would have been enough rest but it appeared that the traveling was catching up with all of us so we went ahead back to the room for awhile. Too bad because we missed the special Veteran’s Day flag ceremony. I had planned to take Don to see it since he is a veteran but I didn’t realize the time until it was too late. Anyway, I was getting a headache. DD had been working on one of those giant swirly suckers and her tooth had gotten very loose so she wanted to go back to keep from losing it in the park. Also, the artist in her wanted to go back to the room so she could draw Jack and Zero from NBC. :artist:

    After lazing around the room for awhile it appeared that I was the only one ready to go back to the park. :hyper: Everyone else seemed to get interested in something else, like games on the PC or shows on tv. And even my sidekick, Emma, was not ready to go back yet. She was working on her tooth and didn’t want to go back until she got it out because I had promised to buy her a toy when she did. Bah hum bug!

    For some bizarre reason I tend to forget to take pictures at night so from here to the end of the day you will just have to use your imagination!

    We finally made it back to the park around 6:30 which wasn’t so bad since the park was opened until midnight. Upon entering Main Street we managed to get caught by the parade again. Some timing we have! Oh well, we made our way down to the Market House for DH to get a coffee and me a yummy White Hot Cocoa. From there we made our way to our guest’s first ride aboard the Jungle Cruise. Our skipper was not quite as good as the last one and I have to admit that I really like riding this one better during the day because at night you are limited to how much you can actually see and they seem to hurry through much faster. Savannah’s response was “interesting” which just happened to be the same response she had given for Pirates and Haunted Mansion. Hmmm, do I see a trend here? :scratchin Anyway, next we took them for their first viewing of the Enchanted Tiki room. Can you guess what Savannah’s description was for this one? If you said “interesting” you were correct! From there we were planning to see if she would like Peter Pan but as usual, the line was too long. Instead we rode the Carousel, Dumbo and Toad. I saw my first Micechat celerity! I saw PirateMunkee when we rode Dumbo.

    We tried to hop a ride on the train but it had closed at 8:30. At this point Savannah was getting cold so DH took her back to the room. DD and I stayed and were glad we did. We got in line for Nemo at 9:02 and only had a 15 minute wait.

    After that we made our way through the fireworks which was pretty cool because we took the path right in front of the castle. Since I have never camped out a spot this was the closest I have ever seen the castle during the fireworks. It was very pretty. DD wanted one more ride on the Jungle Cruise so we did that and than made our way out of the park.

    Savannah was already asleep by the time we got to the room. So we all wolfed down some Denney’s and hit the sack. I was pretty tired so I knew I would not be getting up early in the morning!
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-14



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  8. #8

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    Great Report. WOW! That is one long stay. I should try that once in a while! Keep it coming. =)
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  9. #9

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    Yes, very long stay indeed! I think the longest i've ever been there was for five days and it was the BEST!! Can't wait for the rest!




    not a kid and still love DISNEYLAND??

    OF COURSE I DO!!!



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  10. #10

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by mariezp View Post
    Then, the piano player whose name I forgot , began playing little snips of songs.

    If you haven't watched it... GO!
    Was the piano player Michael? Based off the fact that Peter was there, sounds like the day my friend went which was a Monday, which meant it should've been Michael.

    AND YES. GO TO MUSICAL CHAIRS. It is wonderful.

    And it makes me sad that kids are afraid of Hatter. It must be that nose of his. The one you saw that first day is the guy I always see, who is super sweet and does not deserve the kids who are afraid of him ><
    Last edited by Dreamer20k; 12-08-2008 at 08:26 PM.

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  11. #11

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    Well, I am hoping everyone has not given up on me, I am going to try to get some more posted about this here trip! Thanks to those following along. Dreamer20K, I do believe the piano players name was Michael!

    I have to blame my absence from the board on a certain portly, jolly fellow that showed up at our house!


    He seemed a little out of place here at our house so I felt obliged to make him feel a little more at home so I have been busy decorating and acting the part of an elf by shopping for those toys!



    Anyway, now on with the report!

    First, my Photopass pictures have arrived so here are a couple of group photos that missed making it on the first day of our trip. Remind me to never stand in the front of the picture again with a panoramic landscape picture on my shirt ... well, without someone standing in front of me at least! And, next time not first thing in the day when the sun is shining in your eyes! Just call me squinty!








    November 12
    I woke up this morning with a headache so I was in no rush to get headed into the park. Apparently we are out of sync with our traveling companions because this morning they were up and rearing to go.

    We decided to start our day at California Adventure because we had reservations at Ariel’s Grotto for lunch. We made it into the park at about 10:30. We headed straight to Soarin where we walked right in to the loading area. We had about a 5 minute wait from there since we requested front row seats. I absolutely LOVE this ride! Apparently Don did too because he was so excited about what a fun ride it had been. On the way out of the building, Savannah realized that she had left her phone behind under her seat on the ride. So we stood around for awhile and waited and then decided there was no point in DD and I waiting because everyone else was heading to Screamin next so we went ahead and went our separate ways.

    We headed to Jumpin Jellyfish which was my DD’s favorite ride last year but was not the case this year. We waitied in line and just as we were about to get on she chickened out because she was scared of how high it went. Go figure? From there we met up with DH because the wild bunch, except for DS who was just going along to watch, were going to ride the Maliboomer. We opted to go much calmer and rode King Triton’s Carousel. We were able to ride 3 times in a row without getting off because there was hardly anyone else in line. Next we took DD and let her play around in the boat playground area. She looks like she takes her playing very serious in these photos but it really was just very sunny.








    Shortly before 1:00 we met up with the others at Ariel’s. I checked us in and while we were waiting the guys decided they would sit this one out because they had been noticing that all the men were leaving. So it ended up just being the girls for lunch. They called our name and we were sent to where they were taking pictures with Ariel.


    It must have been rush hour because they hurried us through there and quickly got us seated at our table. Shortly after we had made our selections they brought out the first course which was the antipasti tower which did not really impress anyone very much. It was kinda blah. When our food arrived we did all enjoy our meals. I wasn’t sure what to try so I decided to go with something that I would not normally eat so I chose the Spinach and Ricotta Agnolotti. I was pleasantly surprised but it still is not something I would order everyday. Alex had the Herb-Crusted Chicken Breast, Savannah had Seashell Pasta and DD had the Meatball Lollipops. When we were through with our meals, they brought out the shared dessert platter.


    None of us found anything outstanding. I suppose serving dessert this way helps cut down on the portions they have to serve. However, I really prefer to choose my own dessert. Overall, the meal was good but it was overpriced. I really prefer the old style menu they used to offer where you could choose your own salad and dessert.

    I did have fun taking pictures of the decor!








    The Princesses were all great and we got some pretty pictures.









    This may be one of our last character meals because I am starting to think that this type of meal is a lot of work, trying to get a bite, jumping up for a picture, getting one more bite and hopping back up again. We'll see. I have plenty of time to change my mind before next year.

    My head was really hurting at this point so I wanted to go back to the room for a nap. We headed over to meet up with the guys who were on Grizzly Rapids.


    DH and DS had gotten out fairly dry.


    DS took great pleasure in pointing out that he was dry and


    Poor Don was soaked AGAIN!


    DH offered to take DD to the Grizzly Peak play area while DS, Alex and I headed back to the room. As it turned out DD got to play but Savannah was too big to participate so they did not end up staying very long. DH was very proud of DD because even though she tends to lack in the coordination skills, (she gets that from her mother) she did manage to make it all the way across on the swinging disc!

    Meanwhile back in our room I had been trying to nap but somewhere outside a continual banging was taking place. I managed to bury my head in the pillows and finally doze off enough to ease the pain. When I woke up I was recharged and ready to hit the park again. Unfortunately, DD had a different idea. She didn’t want to go back! She was deeply engrossed in playing video games with Savannah. So, I did the only thing I could… I had a good boo-hoo. Apparently the headaches and the stress of trying to keep everyone perfectly happy was finally catching up to me. Not one of my finer moments but at least DH understood. Looking back, I think I get myself so worked up for everything to go perfect and when it doesn’t I have got to learn to go with the flow. Okay, I can work on that but I don’t know if I will ever get used to the idea of my little ride buddy preferring someone else’s company to mine. Guess that's one of the downfalls of my being a stay at home mom and being used to spending all my time with my kids and enjoying them. I don't share very well.

    So… after about another hour of me twiddling my thumbs, the masses finally decided they were ready to head back to the park. We stopped off at the Cold Stone Creamery where I grabbed myself a yummy smoothie. Me thinks the family has a new favorite treat to add to our ever growing list!

    Once we were inside the park, we hopped on the train for a quick trip back to Toontown. We were planning to ride Roger Rabbit but it was closed so we headed over to check out some of the other things in the area.






    We strolled around in Donald’s boat.


    I wish this one came out better but I have not gotten used to this new camera and the new settings yet.


    Then we went to Mickey's house.






    The Mickey that was on duty this night was wonderful! My DD was so happy to see him! I love this first picture!






    We visited Chip n Dale’s house.




    And finished up Toontown with Minnie’s house.











    From there we drifted through Fantasyland and rode Snow White.

    Afterwards we went for another show at the Tiki room.
    My DD met a little girl there named Emily who appeared to be just about as exuberant, energetic and talkative as she is. You would have thought they had been friends forever! While I was trying to convince DD that she needed to stay with me, the little girl came over during the show and ended up sitting with DD. They ended up hanging onto each other through the thunderstorm part like they were really scared. They were a pretty cute pair.

    Next we got on the Jungle Cruise. Our skipper this time was Jenn. She was very good! I am still trying to decide if she was also a performer in the Drawn to the Magic show over at CA. From there we quickly jumped in line for our last ride on Pirates. When we exited the park was closed.

    On the way back in we picked up an order from Denney’s while the kids ordered pizza…again.
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-14



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  12. #12

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    November 13

    Well, this morning was one of our other MM entry days, and since the park opened a little later you would have thought we might make it this time. Nope. I received a phone call from my friend who was house-sitting while we were away. She couldn’t get in because our automatic gate opener had bit the dust. Luckily, we have another friend who just happens to be the one who had installed the gate quite a few years ago. So, a few more phone calls and our gate was scheduled to be fixed and we were on our way.

    We made it to CA about 10:30. We were all in agreement on what to ride for once so we rode Soarin again. Next we headed to Grizzly Rapids. I came out pretty dry this time but poor Savannah did not have a dry spot one her. My gallant son ran into the gift shop and bought her a $20 towel.


    With Savannah all wrapped up in her new towel, we headed to Monsters, Inc. I really feel for CMs trying to operate the rides when people like our group came along. In hindsight, I suppose you should always put the experienced park goers up front… but we failed miserably by putting the newbies at the head of the line where they almost 101ed the ride trying to figure out who was sitting where and how to get loaded. We did finally manage to get on the ride but not before my DD got caught on the wrong side of the gate and part of the group was asked to disembark from one ride vehicle and made to wait for another. It looked like a scene from a Three Stooges episode.

    From there we watched the Muppets.




    When we finished there it was time to split up because the big kids wanted to ride TOT and I am NOT going on that one! DD and I decided to go check out the Animation Studio. Our character to draw was Minnie. Boy, are bows hard to draw! When we finished up everyone had gotten hungry so we went to eat at Taste Pilots Grill. They were very slow and the burgers were rather bland this trip. I think next time I will try their ribs since I just recently read a ringing endorsement for them.

    When we were through we headed over to DL. DH wanted to upgrade our passes to APs because he didn’t like carrying around a paper ticket but mostly he wanted his photo on it. We made an attempt at upgrading but I did not have my receipt with me and the lead was not there so they said we would have to come back later.

    DD wanted to play musical chairs again. We were a little early but we went ahead and grabbed a front row seat. DH and DD sat and waited while I went and made a mad dash to go get a milk shake or something along that line. As always, the ice cream place had a long line so I ran into Blue Ribbon Bakery and tried one of their blended mochas, which BTW was very good.

    Our oldest DD called while I was racing in and out of stores. She wanted to let me know that she was at the hospital. DSIL had hurt his leg while on his job. Poor guy has the worst luck! During our conversation I did inform her that we had come to the conclusion that we would not be bringing anyone else with us except them from now on. DD is about as crazy about DL as I am which makes them excellent to share a magical trip.

    Shortly after our phone call Alice and Mad Hatter showed up. No Peter this time. This round of musical chairs had about a dozen kids participating.








    There was one little girl who wanted to watch but appeared to be too shy to play. However, as time went on she came out of her shell and was all over the place. The child was precious but she kept getting in the way of the children actually participating and she was even physically hanging onto Alice. Poor Hatter finally gave up trying to divert her and eventually just sat down with her to keep her still. She ended up practically sitting in his lap. The entire time I guess the mom was entirely oblivious. She was on her phone most of the time. DH and I both agreed that Hatter and Alice deserved a medal for their skill and patience for babysitting some children while trying to do their performance at the same time. I tell you, this mom deserved her own award for self absorbed guest of the day. When the game was over, we headed back to our room for our midday break, shaking our heads in disbelief at some people.

    Later in the evening when we were recharged we decided to head back into DL. Our first ride of the evening was Buzz. I beat the men! Whoo-hoo! Ride photos are really bad, well... except Don still looks good.




    Next up was Haunted Mansion and then another ride on a so-so Jungle Cruise. In defense of the captain, our boat load was really a boring unresponsive bunch. It’s got to be really tough to try to be humorous looking into a batch of blank stares.

    DH offered to humor DD with another trip to the Tiki Room while I got to go ride Indy with the thrill seekers. DS and Don tickled poor Savannah when the rats landed on the hood so we were all temporarily deafened from the high pitch shrieking. We must have all been pretty tired because we decided to call it a night and head back to our room. On the way out the castle was lit. It was so beautiful! And silly me, I forgot to even take a picture! Heck, I didn't take very many pictures at all today.

    Alex got her face painted in DTD today.
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-14



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  13. #13

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    I'm absolutely enjoying this trip report! Keep up the excellent work, mariezp! You're quite an excellent narrator.

  14. #14

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    Thank you, SorcererPHD! I am glad you are enjoying my report.


    I am really on a roll today! So here's another day to share.

    November 14, 2008

    I don’t remember what time we finally headed out this morning but you can be assured that we did not make it at park opening. We headed for CA to ride Toy Story Mania for our first time. There was only a 20 minute wait and we absolutely loved it!


    DD loved it so much that she and I went back and rode it a second time.


    I got my highest score of the whole trip on this ride. I think the harder I tried the worse score I got so here I was still running on beginners luck!


    While waiting in line I saw a girl with a Texas Tech shirt so with my normal Texas drawl I asked her if she was from Texas to which she replies “No, Australia…” in her very Australian accent. She went on to say that they had played them, Texas Tech, yesterday. Since I was a bit thrown off by the response I forgot to even ask her what sport. Also, while standing in line we talked to a lady about pin collecting since DD has begun to show a slight interest. The lady liked to collect cast member pins and pointed out to us how you look for the hidden mickeys. So we got our pin trading education for the day. There was another group of 3 ladies in line who appeared to be very serious pin collectors. They were wearing denim vests that were covered front and back almost completely with pins. It was a very nice looking and, to me, a unique way to display their pins. I wanted to get a picture but never could get a clear shot because of all the people in line between them and me.


    Afterwards we rode King Triton’s Carousel where the ride operator, Kimmie, entertained us with ocean/Disney related jokes. I told her she should become a jungle cruise skipper because she really was pretty good.

    We had reservations at House of Blues in DTD at 1:00 so we left the park and headed in the proper direction. Along the way we stopped and watched the parrot show in front of Rainforest Café. Kyle was the performer at this particular show. It's a cute little show and you can as questions if you ever wanted to know anything about parrots. Those birds are pretty smart and have some amazing strength in their beaks in order to be able to crack the nuts the trainers give them.





    When we arrived at HOB we were seated outside where they moved most of the umbrellas around just for us to keep the sun out of our eyes. We had never eaten here before but thought we would give it a try since Don is originally from Louisiana. I was a bit afraid of the food being spicy. I ordered shrimp with cheese grist and was surprised that it was not spicy at all but actually rather bland. Everyone else had the same thought on their dishes too. The portions were huge but with the bill coming to a total of nearly $200 with the tip we will most likely not be making a return trip. Oh yeah, I did have to try the White Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding but again was left less than impressed.

    We considered watching Madagascar 2 again but our timing was no good and it was quite some time until the next showing. DH decided to check in with ESPN Zone to see if they might be able to catch the UFC fight this Saturday but no luck. We started heading back to the room and got just about to the package checking area when DD suddenly decides she has got to go NOW! So we zip into CA and rush her to the restroom. As we left from there we were pleased to discover that there are actually restrooms available in between the parks just to the left of the turnstiles which is good to know in case the problem should ever arise again.

    On the way back, I snapped some pictures of some of the roses out front of the Anaheim Desert Inn. They are not a fancy place but they do have some nice flowers out front!


    I took a really good nap and woke up to the Wizard of Oz on tv. We headed back into the park at about 6:00. We stopped by to upgrade our passes which was a slow process that annoyed DH. At least we were successful this time around. We got a fellow whose personality was less than charming. DH has very little patience for grumpy folks, perhaps because he can be a grump himself. I like to think of them as a challenge and generally have them smiling by the time I am done. This guy was no exception.

    To appease DD for having had to endure standing in line so long, we stopped by and got ice cream. I decided I was in need of a second batch of jelly beans. I made the mistake of letting DD help me because I had an ice cream in one hand and was holding the bag in the other. Her job was to pull the handle to release the jellybeans into the bag. She was a bit slow on the stop process so I ended up with $25 worth of jellybeans! I have enjoyed them greatly since the trip but I do feel compelled to warn anybody who might not look first that Disney jellybeans are $12 per pound!

    Next, we headed to Autopia where we were able to hear the live band playing from the Tomorrowland stage while we waited in line. They were playing some oldies from my era. Eagles, a little Pat Benetar... "hit me with your best shot... This ride was the longest I have ever had on Autopia. We got in a car just behind a family who had split each one of their many children up in their own individual cars. Everyone of them was having a hard time pushing those darn gas peddles down. I knew we were in trouble when the first child started off. Oh well, it gave me a chance to pay more attention to the scenery. I even spotted the mouse hole! Eventually we were off and headed to try to catch the train to Roger Rabbit but our timing was off again because Toontown was closed. We thought about hopping back on the train again back over to NOS but we piddled around talking to a CM back by Small World. We got into a conversation about the changes made and she let us in on a little secret that there might be a soft opening on the 19th. Whoo-hoo inside info! Just before we left, I remembered that I had one of the pins I had made up for special CMs so she was our first recipient of the Peterson appreciation button.


    I forgot to get her name but she told us she would be working SW and to look for her when we rode it.

    By the time we finished chit chatting the last train had come and gone so we hoofed it over to HM through a somewhat light Fantasmic crowd. The rest of our group had planned to watch the fireworks but they called to say the show had been cancelled so they were heading in for the night. After our ride on HM, we rode Pooh and Pirates. Then we grabbed some clam chowder and called it a night too.
    Last edited by mariezp; 12-26-2008 at 01:18 PM.
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-14



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  15. #15

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    Re: It's Gonna Be A Long One! Our Trip Report Nov. 9-23, 2008

    November 15, 2008

    Another slow start. This is our guests last day so DD and I will probably start hitting the parks earlier next week. We headed out the door to find an ugly gray ashy sky. The fires are burning again this year. We made it in the park and were approached by yet another survey taker. All of them so far have been via e-mail and nothing very long so I say what the heck. We headed for the canoes but they were closed due to the high winds and ashes. So, we hopped on Pooh since we were already on that end of the park.

    From there our group split up because DD wanted to go to Pirates again and I was the only one willing to go with her. I snapped a few photos while standing in line. DD loves Speedy Gonzales even if he is not a Disney character. Ya'll have probably noticed from most of her photos that she cared some stuffed animal with her every day.


    Here's how the sky looked today. YUK!




    While we were on the ride I had to chuckle to myself at the conversation going on between the people behind me. Man asks “So when did they put in this ride?” Woman responds “I don’t know.” Man says “Well, it had to have been after the movie was made.” Woman responds “No, it’s been here since the park opened.” At least she got a little closer than he did. (I did my research and it actually opened in 1967.)

    We met up with our group at the exit so we could arrive a little early for our Blue Bayou reservations to request a waterside table. When they said the wait would be a 1-1/2 to 2 hours we decided second row from the water would be just fine. Kevin was our waiter from Alaska. Did you know they say Ya’ll just like we do here in Texas? I liked it! Anyway, everyone enjoyed their food. Our Cajun food expert agreed that their gumbo was much closer to authentic Louisiana cuisine than HOB. I had the Monte Cristo, DH and DS had the Mahi-Mahi, Don had salmon, Alex had Tesora Island Chicken, Savannah had macaroni and Emma had the child’s salmon so we sampled almost everything on the menu. Three of them decided to split a cookie boat. DS and I opted to get our own ever so yummy crème brulee. I had saved up enough Disney Reward Dollars on my Visa to pay for the meal so it almost didn’t seem to hurt so much when we got our bill.

    Afterwards, DD and I took another Pirate cruise and met up with DH later at the NOS station to completer our circle trip around the park and back to Main Street.










    On the way back in to the hotel, I stopped off in the lobby to inquire as to whether or not our movie channel box had been repaired. It is sort of our tradition to watch a movie each evening while we eat whatever we have ordered in for the night. Every movie we had tried had been to dark or flipping and they had sent the repair man over several times with no improvement. So far it hadn’t been a huge deal because we had company with us. However, they would be leaving soon and we wanted to make sure we could watch the movies even if we had to switch to a smaller room when they were gone. The manager assured me that we could get our movie tonight even if I had to call through the main operator.

    After I got that settled, off I went to the laundry room to catch up on a week worth of laundry. I really never mind too much because it is the only time I have during the trip that is nice and quiet. I pack a drink, a candy bar and a book and sit in silence for just a little bit. When I get done all I have to do is ring for backup help toting the laundry back upstairs. I figure I might as well learn to enjoy it because there is no way I can pack enough clothes to last for 2 weeks!

    Alvin and the Chipmunks came on tv just before we were starting to head out the door. So automatically DD wanted to stay and finish watching. Savannah was finishing up her homework so I took the opportunity to check in on the board since the others had headed on out and the computer was free. By the time we finally headed back into the park it was already dark. I couldn’t tell if is was still smoky but the smell was pretty much gone and there were no more ashes falling out of the sky.

    Once in the park, we decided to head to Peter Pan since it is one of our favorites and Savannah had not been on it yet. The line was about as long as usual but we went ahead and waited anyway. From there we went to Storybookland and followed up with a ride on the teacups and Casey Jr. They are all so pretty at night! We were going to drop Savannah off with the rest of the group who had been waiting to watch Fantasmic but as we were about ½ way there, DS called to say they had stopped the show and they were over in Fantasyland now. DD and I waited at what we call rendezvous bridge over by Big Thunder while DH escorted Savannah back over to Peter Pan. Poor DH finally arrived back and we headed to HM and then walked straight on to Pirates. The crowds had really cleared out. I assume it was because of the fires. We decided to call it a night and grabbed some corn dogs on the way out to take back to the room. WRONG! That is a terrible thing to do to a perfectly wonderful corn dog because they turned soggy and were horrible. From now on, this girl eats her corn dog right there in the park while it’s nice and hot and crispy!

    We were all tired so we didn't even end up watching a movie. DD did spend a little time before bed drawing some of her favorite characters.


    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-14



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

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