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  1. #1

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    Trekkie Dad's birthday trip to Disneyland: A report

    Friday, October 28: Wouldn't you know it? The plane was late!. My wife, Jimmie, and I were supposed to land at 3:40, but it was more like 4:30. And it didn't seem like the diamond lanes gave our shuttle any advantage in the heavy traffic. When we got to hotel, we dumped our stuff on the beds and high-tailed it over to the hub just in time for the 6:00 meet.

    I immediately recognized CrazyLegs (She was not surprised), and was introduced to several others (Wolfy999, Grumpy4, DLCM, DisneyKat, et al). After some lively conversation, we parted ways, as I was meeting Carl, one of my old roommates from college days. Carl was delayed, so Jimmie and I headed over to Thunder Mountain. Carl arrived at the park and called us while we were standing in line, so I instructed him to meet us after we got off the ride.

    We had dinner at El Zocalo (I had grilled shrimp) and then headed in the direction of NOS, taking in HMH and Pooh. As the first Fantasmic show was running we threaded our way over to Indiana Jones. When we exited the ride, the fireworks were just ending (oh well!) and we waited for the crowd to disperse before heading over to Tomorrowland to take in Buzz. Then Carl and I rode the Matterhorn. (It's my favorite classic ride.)

    Then it was back to NOS to ride Pirates and find a spot for Fantasmic!, which Carl had never seen. We sat near the water, just in front of the dessert seating area.

    I'm not a big one on shows and parades, so we don't see Fantasmic! that often, but it was nice watching it with someone who hadn't seen it before. But that was pretty much the end of the day for us.

    Saturday, October 29: Up bright and early, I grabbed a snack, and we got in line for park opening. We headed straight for Space Mountain. We found it to be at least equal to its predecessor, darker, a little more intense, and it felt faster. I liked the fact there were no headrests in the new cars to block the view. Then we went on Peter Pan and Thunder before heading for breakfast at Riverbelle. (Jimmie had to have her MM pancake.)

    After breakfast, we headed over to DCA to ride Soarin', Jimmie's current favorite ride. We got row 1, center section, next to a family that had never ridden it before. (Funny how that intensifies the experience!) It was starting to warm up, so I talked Jimmie into riding GRR. We walked right on and sat in a raft with a couple of pre-teen boys who were already soaked from a previous ride. The extra water was turned off (whew!), and though we were immediately offered another run, we left the boys behind, not wanting to press our luck.

    Jimmie's friend Marge arrived, and we met her back in Disneyland near the hub. Marge is a smoker, which annoys Jimmie greatly, especially since Marge can't pass a smoking area without stopping to light up. (And this would go on throughout the day.) We walked over to Space Mountain to get fastpasses (return time 2:00), and then rode Big Thunder on the way to the Pirates. After a coffee break, we headed for the hub to see if any Chatters were there.

    It was unclear if any Chatters would be there, but we stuck around to watch Mickey scale the Matterhorn before heading over to meet Carl and my son Spencer for lunch at Rainforest. Spencer arrived on time (barely), but Carl was late, so it was a while before we were seated. Everyone enjoyed lunch. (Mine was Rasta Pasta.)

    We then split up. Jimmie gave her Space fastpass to Spencer, and he and I headed for Disneyland. Jimmie and Marge went into DCA to ride Soarin', and Carl went home.

    Before Spencer and I rode Space, we got two more fastpasses for 9:45. We then did Buzz and went into Innoventions to see Asimo. It was just after 4, and the next show was at 5, so we had some time to kill there. Most of it we spent in the health area, but we spent a few minutes in the "Virtual Vacation" room before we bailed out to make the Asimo show on time.

    Jimmie and Marge met us outside Innoventions, and we took the train over to NOS to get fastpasses for HMH and ride Pooh before reporting for our 6:50 reservation at the Blue Bayou.

    Now here's where a BB CM blew the surprise. He asked me what kind of birthday bucked I wanted, when Jimmie pulled him over and said I wasn't supposed to know about it. The cat was out of the bag. And it got worse when another CM came over twice to first tell her that Buzz was out of stock, and then that Mickey was out of stock, and the remaining choices were Princess and Pooh. I found this pretty amusing, so I got to choose Pooh.

    For dinner I had the salmon filet. The salad with red pepper dressing was especially tasty. Then came the bucket with the little cake that we shared. As the CMs sang the BB Birthday song, I remembered hearing that most servers hate having to sing. (I'm a singer myself, and I considered asking them to show a little more enthusiam.) Even with the surprise blown, it was still a lot of fun.

    After we left the BB, Marge dashed off for a smoke, and we met in front of HMH with our fastpasses. After the ride, she had to have another, and as Fantasmic was starting, we headed for the train to get positioned near Small World to see the fireworks. It's a very good show there, not over the top like at the hub, but still quite impressive with the projections.

    Now it was finally time to ride Space. I had given my FP to Jimmie (to replace the one she had given to Spencer for earlier in the day) so she could ride a second time. But Spencer decided to head home, so he gave his FP to me, so I got to ride a third time that day.

    After Space, we saw the Star Tours wasn't busy, so on we went. When we exited I spotted CrazyLegs checking out the Star Wars merchandise in Star Traders. We had a nice little talk about our shared passion for Star Wars. (I saw the original 10 times in the theater when I was 27-28.)

    Even though we'd have an extra hour to sleep in, we called it a night after that.

    Coming up: Trekkie Dad's actual birthday at Disneyland.

  2. #2

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    The actual birthday

    Sunday, October 30: (I am reminded that I was born on a Sunday.) The extra hour of sleep was helpful. As usual, I was the first up and ready. We packed all our stuff and took it downstairs to be stored until we were to be picked up by the shuttle. Then we had breakfast at Mimi's (fitness omlette and large OJ) and headed for the gate. When I went through the turnstile, the CM greeted me with a "Happy Birthday!" and showed me the message displayed on the turnstile screen. There was my name and the words "Happy Birthday."

    I went directly to City Hall and got my sticker. Jimmie was already in the Emporium, and as I went in the door, a young guest wished me a happy birthday. I soon found out it wasn't only CM's greeting me. Random strangers were also wishing me a happy birthday.

    As soon as the rope dropped we headed for the Matterhorn. I had hoped to ride both sides quickly, but the FL side was not running. (At least my favorite side was going, and there was no line.) Then, in rapid succession, we rode the teacups, Alice, Mr. Toad, Snow White, Pinocchio, Casey Jr., Big Thunder, Splash, and HMH. (And I got wetter on Splash than I did on GRR the day before!)

    A word here about Spash: I am not fond of the steep drop, but I really like the rest of the ride. In fact, I find the drop less scary at night when visibility is low. So here I an riding it in broad daylight, and it's... it's not that bad! (And the line was really short, too!)

    After HMH, Jimmie insisted on shopping at the "Nightmare" shop, and as I waited outside, the little food stand opened up, and I noticed it was now just 11:00. Still an hour to go before the meet at the hub. Certainly there was time to ride Indy!

    But it was not to be. "TST" was displayed as the wait time, and it looked like people were not going in. So we took the opportunity to ride the Jungle Cruise. I didn't catch the skipper's name, but her delivery was good if not outstanding. When we got off, we headed back to Indy. "TST" was still displayed, but they were letting people in. "Our computer is down, and that's why we are not distributing fastpasses. The wait is about 20 minutes," we were told. It was now about 11:30, time enough to ride and still be on time for the meet.

    The standby queue was empty, and we got all the way to the rotunda before catching up to the line. Soon we were watching the safety spiel, and all seemed well when, as we climbed the stairs, an alarm rang, and the ride stopped. The disappointment was audible. We were told we would be led out if we didn't want to wait. I looked at my watch: 11:40. I figured we could wait 5 more minutes before bailing out.

    But soon the CM's took everyone out through one of the cars, and it was clear no one was going to ride Indy any time soon. Back in the rotunda, we found ourselves waiting to get out. A CM was telling us the delay in exiting was that everyone was being given FP's good for any ride except Space. (And all the people who had been behind us were now ahead of us getting out.) That's when I heard a guest say that the ride had stopped because something had run across the tracks. I had no idea where she got that information from.

    But we made it to the hub on time. Looking for CL, I walked right past a couple of Chatters who recognized me from Friday and called out my name. This was a larger group than Friday, and several couldn't stay long, and the rest of us were undecided as to where to have lunch. Wolfy999 proposed Whitewater, and several others decided on Pizza Port. Jimmie and I decided to go with the Whitewater group, as Jimmie likes the burgers there. Darkbeer was headed for ESPN Zone, but said he would stop at Whitewater on the way.

    We got our food, and I sat between Jimmie and MrMainStreet. The conversation was lively, and I heard some history on the beginnings of MiceChat and a few of the personalities here. (Don't worry, most of it was good.) When the group started to break up, Wolfette gave me a big hug that surprised me. How sweet!

    The remainder of us went into DCA, and Jimmie and I used our FP from Indy to ride Soarin'. Then we went into the Animation building to watch Turtle Talk. After that we saw the muppets. From there we went to the wharf so that we'd be in the area when we got hungry. (It was now about 4:00.) I decided to check out the Cove Bar, but it was closed, so we settled for 'Ritas back at the wharf. An all female Mariachi band came out and started playing. They moved away from us, but eventually worked their way back in our direction.

    Then there was a commotion. Someone had spotted a mouse running around under the tables. Most people were not alarmed, and the mouse seemed as tame as the birds you see begging food at Riverbelle. The band started playing "It's a Small World." Then one of the players spotted my sticker, so I got the "Happy Birthday" treatment. The mouse was soon forgotton.

    It was nearing 5:00, and we weren't hungry, so we decided to have dinner later at the airport. We headed for the entrance for some last minute shopping. That's when Block Party Bash started. I stood outside the shop and watched. When it was over, we waited for the crowd to disperse, and then we headed back to Hojo's to collect our stuff and wait for our 6:00 shuttle pickup.

    By 7:00 we were checked in at the airport and through security. Plenty of time to eat before our 8:40 flight to Sacramento. I munched on fish tacos and a side of avocado. The flight was unevenful and we home and unloaded by 11:30. All in all a very good day.

    I took a few pictures during the trip. You can find them here.

  3. #3

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's birthday trip to Disneyland: A report

    Sounds great thanks for sharing!

    Oh yeah Happy Belated Birthday!




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  4. #4

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's birthday trip to Disneyland: A report

    Wow sounds like you had a great time. I am jealous.

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's birthday trip to Disneyland: A report

    Happy Belated Birthday...lucky that you got to spend it at Disneyland!!

    Thanks for sharing the TR and photos!!

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's birthday trip to Disneyland: A report

    Sounds like you had a great time and everything worked out perfect for you! Happy late bday :-P I read in your post how you wrote that sitting next to someone in a ride who hasnt rode the ride yet makes intensifies it and makes it more magical...I think thats true too :P It makes me reflect on my first time riding the ride and how excited i was anyways great post keep it up!

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's birthday trip to Disneyland: A report

    Awsome trekkie!! I loved reading it!! good pics to!

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's birthday trip to Disneyland: A report

    Happy belated B-day! Glad to hear you at a great time at my favorite Park!

  9. #9

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's birthday trip to Disneyland: A report

    Sounds like a wonderful birthday and a great trip!! Thanks for sharing.



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