Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    359

    A slacker's trip report

    Well, unfortunately, our trip has been over for a little over a week. We had a great time and got to spend some quality time with family.

    For background, my sister (whom it's had been way too long since I had seen) had booked a vacation to California which, of course, included Disneyland. With me living in Arizona and her living in Wyoming, it was the closest that we had been to each other in years. We didn't have a lot of time to plan (or save), but I knew that I had to get out there and see my sister and her family.

    As usual, we drove out to California. It's about a 9 hour drive for us but, for a guy that likes to drive, it was no big deal (I hate having to ride for a trip like that, but my family are champs). I had to work that morning so the wife and kids were waiting with baited breath by the time I got home. Heck they even had the majority of the car packed by the time I got home (an absolute first). It was about 7:00 when we pulled up to our hotel. We stayed at the Tropicana (for the 3rd time in a row). We absolutely love the location (but hate the pillows so we always bring our own). We had vouchers for the (no longer available) 6 day hopper passes and we were starving so we headed to the esplanade to redeem our vouchers and grab a bite to eat at Downtown Disney.

    When we redeemed our vouchers for tickets we were asked for all of our identifications. I didn't think much about it at first, but midway through her punching our data into the computer I asked the CM why it was necessary. She told us that the reason was twofold. First of all, it's an anti-fraud measure, and secondly our information could be used to replaced a lost or stolen ticket if we provided our i.d. and the card stock receipt that she printed out for us. I don't know if they do this for all tickets or just those redeemed via vouchers, but I will request this documentation and service the next time I visit the park. After our tickets were in hand, we headed to DD for some much needed food. It was a long wait for our DD favorites (RFC and HOB) so we decided to shop around a little bit and take in the atmosphere, instead (amazing how quickly you can forget how hungry you are when your eyes start to wander). After wandering around DD and seeing my daughters' favorite street performer (Brother Yusef) we decided that that hungers pangs would no longer be ignored. We just happened to be standing in front of Tortilla Joe's. I was a little hesitant as I've seen less than favorable reviews of TTJs (to be fair, I've heard some very good reviews, also. Can't please everyone, I suppose). My daughter, who loves Mexican food, didn't skip a beat. "Let's go there". And away we went. By this time we are all exhausted. We figured we'd "eat something light" and be on our way. With that in mind, we all ordered Nachos. Um, big mistake. We were expecting a LOT smaller portion per plate. We ordered 4 and could have easily gotten away with two. It would have worked out perfectly, too. DD1 and I had steak nachos and DD2 and the wife had chicken. And, no plate of nachos is complete without a nice margarita (especially on vacation!). After stuffing ourselves to the gills on some of the best food groups on the planet (steak, cheese, nacho chips, sour cream and guacamole *those area all the food groups, right?*) we were ready for bed and the first of our six days in the park. As we walked out to the back patio to return to our room the Fireworks had just begun. Perfect timing and a great way to get us excited about our upcoming week.

    Ah, there's no better way to cure a case of the Mondays than to start your week at Disneyland. We anxiously waited at the Main Gate, my daughters begin to review a who's who of the ticket match for the week (DD1 had the Mickey ticket, DD2 had Donald Duck, the wife was Pluto for the week and I, appropriately, was Goofy). It was finally here. The moment that we had been waiting months for. Through the gates we stop at the Photo Pass CM for our traditional first pic in front of the flower garden and train station. Then it was off to the left hand tunnel for two taps on the right hand wall and enter the park (a tradition for our family. I have no idea why or how it started but we've done it everyday that we've visited Disneyland. On our final day we exit the right hand tunnel, as you face the park, and tap twice. But, ONLY on our last day). We actually broke one tradition this visit. We, typically, take a train ride around the entire park before we exit the train at New Orleans Square. This time, for some reason, none of us had the patience for this. We were ready to go and we had all week to ride the train. Off to the left side of the park we went (after a stop at Market House for free re-fill coffee, of course).

    My sister and her family arrive today! More to come.......

  2. #2

    • Indiana Scott
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Bothell Wa.
    Posts
    1,886

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    Sounds like a fun time, Pictures?

  3. #3

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    50

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    what an awesome tradition! who else has some like these? maybe i need to create one?!

  4. #4

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    359

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
    Sounds like a fun time, Pictures?
    More TR and pics to come!

  5. #5

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    183

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    Great post. I liked when you said that for the first time the car was almost entirely packed by the time you got home because I imagine how excited your family was . It's great that you and your sister and her family get to see each other again! Have a wonderful time!

  6. #6

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    359

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    So, as promised, here's more of our trip!

    Let's see, where were we? Oh yes! the left side of the park (our favorite by far). Lucky, lucky us. We walk towards Indy for a Fast Pass. No need! 5 minute wait time?! Too good to be true. We typically ride Haunted Mansion first (because it's so close to our traditional train station stop), but this was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. I just love the queue for this ride. Great attention to detail. And,s o begins one our funnest traditions in Disneyland: meeting new people in line. First group, a lady and her daughter with two friends from Washington. Nice people and very well mannered girls (ah, if only HALF of the grad night kids were half this respectable. More on that later).

    After Indy (which REALLY needs some TLC. Hopefully the rumored refurb becomes a reality) we head to Pirates (by far our family's favorite ride). I just love this ride. I love the smell, the long slow ride, music, scenery. This ride has it all for me. I think really the reason that I love this ride so much is it's the last ride that Walt worked on in Disneyland. When you consider is vastness and all the tiny details you can tell that the entire experience is a culmination of all the things that Walt had learned while twisting and turning Disneyland into what it had become. Absolutely love this ride.

    Next was, of course, The Haunted Mansion. This is another that's at the top of our "to do list". Not just on each trip, but EVERYDAY of our trip. There are two rides in the entire park that we absolutely do not miss on ANY day. They are POTC and HM. Even if we spend all day at DCA (which we actually did for the first time this trip) we go to DL to catch these rides before we head back to the hotel.

    By this time, all of our phones are blowing up. My nephews are texting every passing thought on their way to their hotel. What they just passed. How far are they from their hotel (of which we have no idea, as we are not SoCal residents. LOL). They are anxious to see us and us them, but they also are aware that their Disneyland Vacation doesn't start until tomorrow. Fortunately, we have reservations for RFC to meet up with my sister and her family.

    They finally arrive and let us know that they've dumped their stuff at the hote3l and they are heading to DD. It was so great to see everyone again. My two oldest nephews just graduated and it was so cool to see them as young men. My two youngest nephews were brimming with the excitement that only a 5 and 7 year old can have for a Disneyland adventure.

    Off to RFC we go. As always the food and service was great. The atmosphere was perfect (especially for the little ones) to set the Disney mood. A great meal and time were had, but the kids were squirming like worms on a hook. $230.00 and a full belly later we were on our way.

    First stop? The Lego store, of course. Who doesn't love Legos? The new displays at the store are very impressive. But, honestly, Lego displays can ony keep two little boys happy for so long. The youngest boys were interested in nothing but the "Build a Ride" store (we had stopped in before lunch to "take a peek". I don't recommend this, BTW. Wait until after you eat to show boys any store that specializes in custom car building). I "owed" one of my nephews a birthday present from the month before (I had actually planned to get him his gift on our trip) so off we went to build hot rod cars. I spared no expense and actually offered to buy my other nephew his car, also. My sister wouldn't allow it (thank God. The total for one car was $116.00. EEEEK!)

    At this point my sister was ready for a little RnR at the hotel to get ready for their first day in the park. We bid them farewell and returned to Disneyland for a whirlwind of activities that only Disneyland can serve up.

    To be continued...................

  7. #7

    • Boise Mouse
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    156

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    So happy to finally read your TR! Can't wait to read more! Post! Post! Post. (Seriously making me think mine was a little truncated..... dang-it!)


  8. #8

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    359

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by boisemice View Post
    So happy to finally read your TR! Can't wait to read more! Post! Post! Post. (Seriously making me think mine was a little truncated..... dang-it!)
    I'm a bit of a rambler. This thing will probably take me three days!

  9. #9

    • Boise Mouse
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    156

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyrand1 View Post
    I'm a bit of a rambler. This thing will probably take me three days!
    Ramble-shhhhmamble! Keep it coming. I love hearing of other traveler tales!
    Last edited by boisemice; 06-25-2012 at 07:32 PM. Reason: Spelling error


  10. #10

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    239

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    Good TR so far!

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. #11

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    359

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    So................

    I almost forgot. Before we met up with my sister and her family we had a light breakfast at the Jolly Holiday bakery. Gosh I forgot how much I loved some of the food. We all had light pastries and by accident I had a Matterhorn Macaroon (I actually ordered a White Macadamia Cookie, but when I opened my bag there was a MM in there, instead). I was actually, quite happy with the mistake, actually, because the case that we were perusing to order from was out of macaroons (and I indeed wanted to try one) but another case had some (combined with the misunderstanding) which led to a fantastic taste experience!

    Anyhoo, after returning to the park for a couple of hours, it was time for a little RnR at the hotel. Swimming pools, movie stars. O.K. there weren't any movie stars (those would be spotted later in the week). I can't tell you how much our family enjoys staying at the Tropicana. It is such a short walk to the room, thus removing the guilt factor from leaving the park. We've stayed at other hotels using shuttles and it's such a pain. The turnaround time is a little longer than we like, also. We can go to the room, hop in the pool, get dressed and be back in the park in an hour (if we really felt like rushing it. But, who wants to do that on vacation?) We stayed at the Laquinta Inn a couple of blocks away, years ago, and it took atleast that long just to get on a shuttle make the other stops and get to our room. It would have been faster to walk (and we did a few times), but after a long day of boot camp for the feet at DLR, who wants to walk another two blocks to their room? I'm aware that many people do, and I applaud your perseverance, but not for this kid.

    Like, I said earlier, the only thing I (personally) don't like about the Tropicana is their pillows (my wife doesn't either, but my daughter's love them. To each their own, I suppose). For those thinking about staying there, don't count on the "Continental breakfast" being anything more than cheap danishes and donuts. There is also some fruit (apples and oranges, I believe). Anything other than coffee, juice, and the above offerings come at a cost. If you have access to a car on your trip, I highly suggest hitting the Target on Harbor and loading up on some groceries, if you're looking to save some money. We actually stopped before we even checked in. We bought some snacks to take to the park (granola bars, fruit snack, trail mix, etc.) plus some cereal, milk, bottled water, PBnJ fixins, and Microwave popcorn and chips. The refrigerator wasn't big but there was plenty of room for our milk (half gallon), waters for the next day, 2 liter of soda, jelly, and yogurts. I realize that I'm going backwards a bit here and this info might be better suited for the hotel reviews section, but when I read trip reports I'm looking for every little nugget of info that I can get from others' trip experience. Hence, I felt it was appropriate to include this info in my TR. Hope this helps some of you considering the Tropicana. With that being said, their sister property (The Carousel Inn) is just as close of a walk and Micechat member friendly! Unfortunately, it was too late for us (by the time I learned this info) to try and make changes. I WILL be looking into them for our December trip, however (more on THAT later).

    That first day was a bit of a whirlwind with my sister arriving and the excitement alone bringing us to exhaustion on our first day. Knowing that we never really gave ourselves a rest from the time that we left home we left the park at around 10:30 to get some much needed RnR.

    I envy my sister's husband. You see he traveled with himself and four other boys...........in a family suite.............with two bathrooms......and one actual suitcase per person (except for my sister's "load". I didn't actually go to their room to see what my sister had packed, but I've traveled with my sister before). I, on the other hand traveled with 3 girls (ahem, excuse me, women) in a double queen room with one bathroom. Let's just say, I would have swapped two of those boys for two of my women and thrown in a sympathy $500.00 for the trouble! There's nothing like 3 catty women waking at 5:00 in the morning, fighting over counter, bathroom, and mirror space to make it to the park for an 8:00 opening (and still being late). You would never guess that the smiling group of ladies at the Main Gate are the same people I saw in the hotel room a short 10 minutes earlier. I'm almost certain that I saw a tuft of fur float off of one of my daughters' ears as we prepared to enter the security area. Lucky me, only five more of these "Magical Mornings" coming up! Thankfully, all of these ladies are bonded by blood and, as far as I know, they are obligated by law to love each other. Otherwise, I'm not sure that they would speak to each other for months following this week long test of perseverance, compromise, and forgiveness.

    For those of you girls/ladies who wonder why it's hard for a guy to commit, sometimes? It's because of the above scenario. You may be great kissers, better lovers, super friends, romantic souls, the whole ball of wax. BUT, we know. WE KNOW that you have a deep dark secret. It may be your bathroom time. It may be the kitchen. It may be the something else altogether. But WE KNOW that you possess the killer instinct. And, until we see it and deem it worthy of enduring there's no way we're committing. (I hope all you ladies know, I'm kidding, of course).

    So, here it is. Our first day in the park with my sister and her family! Naturally, they're in the park by the time we arrive (another tuft of hair floats from a shoe. Who's shoe I have no idea, but I'm certain that it's ours. The better part of two decades makes you familiar with your family's markers). I pass my nephew as he exits the Indy Fast Pass line and ask him where everyone is. "They're in line for Pirates, I'm just getting FPs". I stop to get our own FPs and head to POYC. The line moved so fast that we missed my sister, but fear not! There's treasure at the end of that there ride. Treasure that a thousand souls couldn't keep a 5 and 7 year old away from. The trap is set! Lo and Behold we find our family after our ride exactly where I knew we would. Shoulder deep in Pirates treasure!

    After promising the boys every single thing in the store "later" we were able to drag them out and take trip through Tarzan's tree house (I do wish this was still Swiss Family Robinson themed). After that we figured it was time for some laughs and adventure so where else would we go but Jungle Cruise?! Unfortunately our skipper had either done this ride one too many times or was new. Either way it was one of the worst skipper experiences we've had. I remember the skipper's name, but I won't post it. I just hope he/she gets better or gets another attraction.

    Realizing we're heading the wrong direction, it's time for HM and some Splash Mountain FPs. We DO have two young Jedis to get ready for training, you know. No time to waste..............................

    ---------- Post added 06-26-2012 at 11:44 AM ----------

    After exiting the Jungle Cruise and before heading to HM and SM areas, my oldest nephews just HAD to hit the Bazaar and the Indy Store. The last time they were in Disneyland (2002) they made off with a haul of whips, Indy hats (the child's version) and play sets. Some things never change. The "big boys" were still into Indy and his goods. My nephew found out from a CM that it wasn't legal in the state of California to sell "real" bull whips (not sure is this is true or not) as it is deemed a weapon. One sale down, but there still those wonderful leather hats. Both would end up with one before the trip was over.

    Off to HM we go! The little guys were a little hesitant to hop an on attraction titled The Haunted Mansion and the first few moments were a little tense, but after entering their Doom Buggy all was well. This was the first indicator that this trip would be a little different than expected. It was now a test of wills. What the little guys were willing to ride and what they weren't. The tone for the trip was set and compromises would be made. Unfortunately that would mean a little splitting up.

    After HM we decided to "find the threshold". BTMM was the litmus test. The little ones were excited in the queue. They loved the speeding train whizzing by and the dinosaur bones. So far, so good. Then it was time. Time to load the train. It just so happened that my 7 year old wanted to "ride with Uncle Randy". "Fantastic!", I thought. This will give me a chance to convince him that nothing was "scary". Just my luck we get the last car. Ugh! Away we go. I try to play it up as the funnest experience in the world. I'm whooping and whooing. Hands up in the air. The works. My little companion try to mimic what I am doing (except hands in the air. In fact, I'm certain his fingernail prints are still in the bar that you can hold) with eyes the size of grapefruits. The ride ends and we get ready to exit our cart and the first thing out of his mouth is "I'm never riding that again." LOL. Oh well, can't say we didn't try. Maybe a little Shooting Gallery time will liven the mood............................?

  12. #12

    • Boise Mouse
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    156

    Re: A slacker's trip report

    More great updates!

    We stayed at The Marriott Residence Inn, with two bedrooms, two baths, and a full kitchen. I will say.... the two baths and full kitchen help out so much! And they have a great BBQ area, and a full hot breakfast. It is just past The Laquinta (which we too stayed at during one of our trips in 2005), and the walk is just shy of a mile. The walk there is great.... everyone is excited, feet are not tired, etc. The walk home is a little rough.

    Your tips on groceries I couldn't agree more with! I actually flew in ahead of the rest of my family and went shopping.... Costco, Walmart, and, believe it or not, The Grocery Outlet. The Grocery Outlet has an AMAZING wine selection. (Don't knock it 'till you've tried it... crazy I know, but they have HUNDREDS of wine, not just from Cali, but from all over. We have one in Boise, and that is pretty much where we buy from. Give it a shot it you can.) Anyway, groceries, even the bare essentials, are great to have on hand.

    So glad you had a Matterhorn Macaroon.... sadly, I forgot about this one little detail! I so wanted to try one. And a Tiger Tail. Didn't do that either. Man, I better start planning our next trip!

    Looking forward to reading your continued journey. And paaaaa-leeeeezzzzzeeee tell me you all had Dole Whips!


Similar Threads

  1. April 24, 2005 trip report
    By cstephens in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-26-2005, 10:48 PM
  2. EXPO 2005 (Aichi, Japan) Trip report/Photos
    By TDLFAN in forum MiceChat News Archive
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-12-2005, 10:24 AM
  3. I'm Leaving on a JETta...(Future trip report)
    By Retlaw Yensid in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-05-2005, 01:11 PM
  4. Trip Report 4/4 - Regis & Kelly coming to DL
    By Importance in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 04-05-2005, 09:34 AM
  5. Trip Report (4/1 & 4/3)
    By shark_hugger in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-03-2005, 04:11 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •