Hi all! This is my first trip report here on MiceChat. Not my first trip...just first report! Unfortunately, my camera went on the fritz just prior to the trip and I don't have pics.
Well, December 8 is my birthday and my wife and I decided a few months back that we'd like to see the park during the Christmas season again. We initially planned a huge 5-day trip with a motel stay across from the park. Well...you know how finances go with this economy. The good thing is we were still able to go but had to pare down the trip to three days and we stayed a few blocks south on Harbor. Oh well! We were lucky to be able to go.
We left Northern Cal about 9:30pm on Sunday nite. I'm a little crazy and I drove straight through on I-5 through horrible valley fog! We arrived at the Denny's across from the park around 4:30am and caught a few Zs in the parking lot before waking up at 6:30 to have breakfast.
We arrived at the gates a little before opening. The line-up at the gate was pretty light. We were very happy to see that.
Our usual tradition is to go clockwise through the park with our first ride being the World Famous Jungle Cruise. I couldn't break that tradition. Our skipper was not my favorite. He piloted the boat a little fast for my tastes and just didn't seem to be enjoying himself. Oh well, we still had a good time and maybe he was just having a bad day.
From then on, we were able to get on every major attraction with minimal waits! It was great! Indy was just about a walk-on. We got my 4 1/2 year-old son Wes to try Matterhorn and Space Mountain for the first time. He seemed to actually enjoy them although his pic from SM showed an expression that was a mix of both pure terror and pure joy!
Since we had made all of the major attractions and needed to check into our motel (the Ramada Limited Suites near Harbor/Orangewood), we left the park around 3:30pm and figured we'd come back in the early evening to DCA (since DL had the early close). Well...remember how I had driven straight through Sunday night? Uh...yeah...I fell asleep around 6:30pm and didn't wake up until 6:00am then next morning!
Anyway, we had the Magic Morning Early Entry for Tuesday and decided to take advantage of that. We used it to hit the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. We hadn't ridden that since opening week. My wife and I actually enjoyed it better this time than we did the first time. We sat next to the sub skipper and he was very friendly and personable. He chatted up my son prior to departure which Wes thought was cool.
After hitting a few attractions at DL, we decided to head over to DCA. I was looking forward seeing the work being done at Pacific Pier firsthand. The Blue Sky Cellar is great and makes me very excited for DCA's future.
Once again, the crowds were very light. Pretty much everything was a walk-on. TSMM wait-time was around 15 minutes...at the most.
My son is a big fan of Playhouse Disney so we checked out that show for the first time. It was really great! My wife and I actually feel that that show was the highlight of the trip! Wes had a blast, dancing and singing along.
We decided to do the Boudin and Mission tours. We hadn't done those since our first visit to DCA. My son loved it. During our Boudin tour we had a nice experience. Near the end, we were standing by the glass at the final baking area as the crowd filtered out. We noticed that one of the bakers (I wish I had gotten his name) was motioning for us to wait a sec. I was curious as I had no idea what was up. I saw him walking toward the exit area so we made our way there too. He met us with a bag of freshly baked Mickey Mouse-shaped sourdough bread! He handed it to Wes. That was very neat. I don't know if they do this often, but it was the first time for us! We noshed on that all afternoon.
We decided to finish our day back at DL. We went back over and decided that we really only had a couple hours before early close. We caught HMH one more time as well as POTC. We then had an early dinner at River Belle Terrace. It's been awhile since I've eaten there. The BBQ pork sandwich was good...I just don't remember them being so expensive!
We then caught the train and rode it around to Tomorrowland. My boy wanted to catch BLAB and Star Tours before we left for the evening. He wanted to leave before the fireworks. He's a little frightened of them. Mission accomplished: attractions experienced and out before the fireworks.
The next and final day was a short one. We decided it was safer to just do a half-day at the park and then drive home. Wednesday was the busiest at DL but even then, it wasn't that bad. We left by 1:00pm. We had a safe drive home and the fog was minimal this time.
In conclusion, I think that this was our most enjoyable trip in a while. It was a combination of great weather, light crowds, and some first-time experiences. Sorry I don't have pics!