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  1. #1

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    Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    So here it is… my first ever solo trip report. I’m going to actually start off with my San Diego portion just because I haven’t been in a LONG time, and while I was there on business, I took advantage of several of the local sights and attractions.

    6/2/14... 0700... dropped off at Terminal 4 to catch my 0740 flight to San Diego... delayed about 45 minutes in leaving. Got to SD, and went to check into the hotel and pick up my lead BA who had been there since Friday as her husband was running in a marathon. They had some trouble at the hotel with a rowdy party above them which went unmitigated, so she had gotten both herself, and me (the boss) upgraded to beach bungalows for the regular room price. Yay. At any rate, staying on the beach was great, and for way less than staying over by the office about 9 miles inland. Here was the view from my room at the Bahia Beach Resort:








    And my ugly mug… I can’t do a selfie worth a darn.


    First night, we walked down to the beach and had dinner at Wavehouse and did some people watching and chatted about work.



    The second night, we went to Old Town, grabbed dinner at one of the local Mexican joints, cruised around the Mission Hills looking at 7-figure homes with Ocean views, and then cruised out to Coronado.





    The last night, we just cruised down the strip a little bit, as we were in the mood for steak, hit the Tony Roma’s in Mission Beach. Tomorrow would be work and the trip up to DLR!!!

  2. #2

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    looking forward to the DL portion of the trip report! I've never been to San Diego but that view from your resort is beautiful! I may have to look into it
    I believe my future must be brighter than my past. Without that belief, I'm just waiting to die.
    --> Zero to Hero Transformation

  3. #3

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    6/5/2014… Dropped off coworker, dropped off work rental car, got personal rental car, and pulled out of the rental lot at 16:00. Made HORRIBLE time leaving SD. At this rate, I’d never make it to DLR. After Carlsbad, it opened up, and I was MOVING. That was… until I hit an immigration checkpoint in the middle of nowhere. I guess I looked legal because they just waved me past, but boy, what a cluster that was. Probably took 15 mins to get through and I was back to making excellent time.. UNTIL about 12 miles from my exit, I was reduced to a speed less than the average 4 year old could walk. I took the time to catch up on emails and chat with my coworker who was now back in Phoenix. Time has never passed so slowly in my life.




    18:10… I’m pulling into the Super 8. Checked it, grabbed room 108 (right up front), dropped the luggage, changed, grabbed my stuff, and I’m out the door at 18:28.

    18:41… after powerwalking to DLR due to sheer excitement, I noted while in bag check, the teenage girl next to me had the HM Dooney… the red lining one. What a lucky teenager.. somebody loves her.
    18:45… I’m at the ticket booths… finally… I am an Annual Passholder!!!!



    And walking in for the first time as an AP!!



    18:51… I’m through the gates and take my usual right underneath the entrance plaque. I’ve got a copy of this plaque hanging in my hallway on the way into my girl’s playroom and a smaller one on my file cabinet at work. It brings a smile to my face every time I read it. As I pass under the train tracks, the real world dissolves and I’m in the happiest place on Earth!
    My timing could have been a bit better because the rush hour congestion I had faced getting to the park hit me in the face as I entered the park in the middle of a parade, and I was ushered right, right, till I couldn’t go any more right, and was stuck in the corner over at Mad Hatter, unable to move, and unable to see the parade. After 5 minutes went bye, a CM let us cross the parade, and I was off down Main Street.



    Given it was parade time, there was no getting to the west side of the park, so I snaked through Tomorrowland… with Space Mtn Down for refurb, and 45 mins showing for Star Tours, I decided to head to The Matterhorn for a single rider ride down the Tomorrowland side (my favorite of the two sides). I arrived at 19:06 only to find it was 101. Man, I’m not catching any breaks tonight. I waited for a break in the parade to cut across the parade route to Fantasyland.




  4. #4

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    I snaked through the incredibly crowded North end of Fantasyland, went down Big Thunder Trail, and grabbed a Big Thunder Fastpass at 19:15. The wait for standby was posted at 45 minutes, so I headed to my usual first ride of the parks when arriving mid-day… PIRATES!! Pirates had a posted 25 minute wait, so I hopped in line, observed some of the nuances of the queue, and caught up on work emails. They were pretty spot-on with the wait time.






    I noticed a couple things from the latest refurb. First, the light sabre is no longer in the barrel of swords, and the Lego on the chest is gone. Second, the lighting is turned up in certain areas, which actually kind of kills the mood because you can see them streaming from on high through the mist.







  5. #5

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    19:59… off of pirates. Swung by Pieces of Eight to reconnoiter one of the souvenirs for my eldest daughter, and then headed over to another of my first must-rides of every mid-day trip… Haunted Mansion!!! There was a posted 15 minute wait.






    I was happy to see the dueling ghosts were back.




    And the Hatbox Ghost played me a tune



    They really need to switch to rear-projection from the Black Widow.




    By now, it was 20:30, and I was getting hungry, so time to boogie over to Trader Sam’s. I get sad seeing the back side of the Adventureland signage. Along the way, passing through a CROWDED NOS, I overheard a teenager yelling expletives into his phone… my head snapped around and I just shook it in a disapproving manner of someone who hopes the younger generation will someway wise up. A nearby mother noticed this, and also commented on the foolishness of “kids these days.”



    And even more disappointing… my usual turnoff… The Grand Californian is our Disney home…


  6. #6

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    Walked into Sam’s at 20:50, and lucked into a lady getting up to leave who was sitting at the corner of the bar. Sat down, and started to peruse the menu. I landed on a Krakatoa Punch and an order of Shrimp Tacos. The Lime Tartar Sauce on the tacos was superb and I really liked the Krakatoa. I had got the Shrunken Zombie Head on my last trip, and it wasn’t really my thing, so I was pleasantly surprised at the Krakatoa (and I needed the mug for the collection). The Volcano show was cool. After seeing and hearing no less than 7 Shipwreck on the Rocks go across the bar and watching the ship get struck by lightning and sink I went for one myself. It sure had a kick to it, and I’m used to straight bourbon. That thirstily consumed, I collected my two collectable mugs for the tiki collection, and headed out at 21:30. I stopped at the Adventureland tower and scoped out all the cool stuff in the lobby.




    On the walk back, I stopped for a few minutes to watch the DL fireworks from Downtown Disney.



    22:00… After a quick jaunt to the west side of the park, I’m going Single Rider on Splash.






  7. #7

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    22:15… I’m off with enough time to do another HM run before my FP time is valid for Big Thunder. Some nice shots of the Gargoyles. I’ve got a 1:1 version of them from one of the original casts I need to get cleaned up, finished, and staring at me from on high for my own home.










    On the way over to BTMRR, scoped out some of Fantasmic!


    Hit the Queue at 22:41 The new effects on Thunder were great!



  8. #8

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    22:50… off and heading over to Indy only to find it 101. Man, that’s the second time today I had seen it 101. 22:59 and I’m waiting in the Jungle Cruise queue. They are only running a handful of boats tonight, and it is SLOW going. Saw a member of the Hidden Mickeys Social group in the queue. He couldn’t decide if he wanted to go or stay, and finally left. I’m finally in the boat, and…. “Wave good bye to all the beautiful people on the dock… and now wave good bye to the rest of them.






    23:30 and I’m off to do my shopping from earlier at Pieces of Eight. After I crossed that off of my list, I jumped on Pirates at 23:36. It was practically walk-on.








  9. #9

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    With just minutes to spare after getting off Pirates, I boogied to Indy and jumped in the queue at 23:55. It was a REALLY rough ride tonight… I noticed the Imagineers had removed Bones’ hat during the last refurb. Man.. all the Easter eggs are getting removed. I also see that the Eeyore parking sign behind and above the projector in the queue is also gone. Had never seen this version of Mara on previous trips.




    6/6/2014…00:25 and I’m walking past the Adventureland Bazaar in an empty Adventureland. I swung by the Castle and Fantasy Faire for some late night picture taking.








    A deserted Tomorrowland




    And time to call it a night… I’ve got some shopping to do on Main Street though.


    After completing my shopping, I left the park at 00:41. As I’m standing there looking back reflecting on my first day as an AP, I see a Disneyland cat, an orange tabby. It’s coming from East of the main gates and just walks over, and straight through the fence like it wasn’t there. Before I could grab my camera, it sped up to a trot and was gone into the park.

    After a LONG walk back to the Super 8, I stopped by the 7-11 and grabbed some Gatorade to rehydrate and finally walked into my room at 01:05. I’ll have to be up in just over four hours, so it’s off to bed ASAP.

  10. #10

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    Awesome pics! Thank you for sharing!
    "I do not like to repeat successes. I like to go on to other things." - Walt Disney

  11. #11

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    Whew... that took me 2 hours just to write and put the pic links in. Stay tuned for the rest of Friday... Should have it up tomorrow. I've processed all the pictures, so its just typing the TR, but I've got a lot to share on that one.

  12. #12

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    Great trip, great tr! You should have kept the work rental emailing in traffic. Also your Disneyland ap should be a write off if you work in line.

    hope you get to go again soon!!

  13. #13

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    Quote Originally Posted by smartlabelprint View Post
    Great trip, great tr! You should have kept the work rental emailing in traffic. Also your Disneyland ap should be a write off if you work in line.

    hope you get to go again soon!!
    I did try to keep the work rental, but going between airports jumped the cost to the point it got flagged by the system so I had to just get my own transportation. Thankfully next time I'm there, we should have a company car in SD I can use for the trip, but I'll have to drive back to SD with it vs. flying out John Wayne.

  14. #14

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    Nice Report. The drive back to SD isnt so bad at the end of the night... I do it all the time. The last 15 miles or so driving to DL in the afternoon are rough, glad you had some emails to catch up on to keep you occupied

  15. #15

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    Re: Matt’s first ever solo trip to the Disneyland Resort… (and some San Diego time)

    Great TR! Thanks for posting!

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