This is my first ever trip report, it’s long but I know I’ve enjoyed reading these kind of reports in the past, so here is mine
Trip report 2/17/06 to 2/20/06
Cast: DH, 7 yr old DD and me.
I want to start by saying this is my 6th time at DL in the last 5 years, but I never “knew” the Fastpass details, so it was a COMPLETELY NEW experience. Before this trip, we almost never did FP because it was such a pain to have to come back to the ride in that “window” of time. Now, we had time to literally stop and smell the flowers, take in the scenery, all the wonderful details of DL, and enjoy our trip without rushing from one side of the park to the other. Please don’t flame it, I know some of your hate the way FP works for crowds later in the day, but for a family like ours that only makes it to DL once or twice a year it makes a huge difference in the enjoyment level!
Thanks to all who have posted food tips in the past! Our family got to experience a lot of wonderful “FIRSTS” in this trip. (including our very first Dole Whip, I’m already craving one)
Now here is my trip report, sorry that it’s so long , I’ll break it up by days.
Friday February 17, 2006.
Leave San Francisco at 6:30 am. The trip was a surprise for DD, she knew we were going somewhere for the weekend but she thought it was Santa Cruz or Monterey. We got her in the car and I took her gold Mickey ears and told her: “you are going to need these!” Weather was rainy but thankfully traffic was not bad at all. Smooth sailing all the way until we hit LA at about noon. OMG I have never been in that kind of traffic. I live in the Bay Area but LA traffic is just crazy! I know, I should have know it was a getaway Friday but I figured if we get there by noon people are still at work (wrong)
We made it to our hotel (Park Place Inn) at 2:45, had a quick and pleasant check-in as usual. I love this hotel! We quickly unloaded the car, got situated in our room and went to eat a late lunch at IHOP. I had decided not to stop given the bad traffic so we had all survived on water, sodas, fruit and chex-mix. We were starving! After a quick meal we walked over to the ticket booths to get our passes. The lines were long but moving quickly. Got our 4 day hoppers and we were in the park by 4:30. So exciting!
DD decided she wants to go on Space Mountain 1st…mmh, let’s see what the line looks like. 50 min wait. Not too bad, we think, we need to digest our food a little anyway. So we get fastpasses for Buzz (SM FP had a return time of 11:00, I knew we wouldn’t make it) and get in line. After about 30 minutes we are told the ride is “experiencing difficulties” and it will be about 10 minutes wait. We wait for another 15 and since the line is sill not moving we give up since DD is getting antsy to go on other rides. We rode Buzz, TMRR, Pirates and finally Indy. We had a quick Bengal BBQ dinner and a Dole Whip for dessert (first time eating both of these, what a treat and thanks for the recomntdation). We head back to Tomorrowland, we ride Matterhorn (30 min wait), Star Tours (10 min) and Buzz (25 min) again. By now we are exhausted but exhilarated to be here and happy that we got to do so much. The rain is starting to come down and it’s late, so we call it a night and we are back at our room by 9:30pm. The bad news: our room is “connectable” and the people in the other room have loud, screaming, crying kids, we can hear them through the connecting door and DH is not happy. We try to sleep hoping the kids will settle down…no luck. We call the Front Desk and ask if they could nicely call them and ask them to keep it down; the call seems to have no effect. I finally walked to the front desk at 11:00pm and asked them if we could have another room in the morning. They said we could (another reason I love this place, good front desk staff and customer service). The only bummer is we have to pack all our stuff and check out and then wait until 3:00pm for a new room. Oh well, better to repack than 2 more nights of bad sleep.
Saturday February 18, 2006 BIG DAY
It’s EE day. We really tried to be at DL by 7:00 but after the night we had it wasn’t easy. After a quick McDonalds breakfast, we grab our ponchos (it was raining very lightly) and we make it to the front gate by 8:15. Alice and the band are out, DD gets to dance with them, visits with the Mad Hatter, Mr. Rabbit, Queen of Hearts, etc. she’s so happy!
We catch a ride in a wagon (first time ever) and head over to Space Mountain. Get FP and then get on the stand by line. Finally get to ride it and it’s awesome! We ride Buzz again and then head over to Fantasyland while it’s still early enough. We ride Snow White, Pinocchio and Mr. Toad.
We head to Toontown to see Mickey, he was so great, he danced with DD and signed her book “to my best dancing partner ever” PURE MAGIC!
By now it’s time to get another FP so we go to Indy and again get to ride it (this is probably our “family” favorite ride, a really close second to Splash Mountain). We do Pirates, Splash and Winnie the Pooh. We also stand in line to see Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. We go to the candy store to get Tigger Tails (another first, yummy!... reading the boards makes for a whole new food experience at DL). We save them for after lunch since we were eating lunch at Hungry Bear. The lines were long but it was wonderful to sit overlooking the water, watching the ducks and the canoes, I can’t believe we had never done this before either! We went on Pirates (again!) and walked back to the hotel at about 2:30.
DH wanted to take a nap and we needed to check into our new room. I took DD swimming (the rain had let up) and I sat in the hot tub for a while. We rested a little in the room, showered and got dressed. We had 6:20 reservations for Ariel’s Grotto but I wanted to see the BPB parade. We got into DCA at about 5:15, perfect timing! DD and I watched the parade at Sunshine Plaza while DH went to get FP for Soarin’ and then stood in line for coffees (almost 25 mins!).
We took a stroll down the Wharf, listened to the mariachis while we drank our coffees, and then walked over to Ariel’s Grotto. We were 15 minutes early so they told us to come back. We rode the Carousel and then came back to be seated. It was a little chilly but we wanted to sit outside by the water. We had a heater right over our table, and there was only one other family out there. The views were incredible, the characters got to spend a lot of time with us since it was so dead out there, it was great! The meals were yummy, we were so stuffed after dessert, we just sat there and drank more coffee and hot chocolate for DD. She was energized after visiting with all her favorite princesses. I was ecstatic that I didn’t have to chase them around the castle anymore . Our server Letty was wonderful. All in all, this was our favority dining experience ever.
We strolled (or rolled more like it) over to Soarin’ used our FP and were out of DCA back to DL at about 8:50. We found a spot to watch the fireworks by the train station. It was great. What a magical day/night we had. We used our FP from earlier and rode Indy, Jungle Cruise (which we had never done at night, it was cool, DD had forgotten about the piranhas from last year and she jumped out of her seat!) TMRR,Buzz and Space Mountain. We had FP for Splash but could not use them, the ride was breaking on and off throughout our whole stay. We did the Tikki Room and had another Dole Whip in the middle of the rainstorm (DD had never been in the Tiki Room and she thought the storm was real! more magic!) By then, it was midnight and, like Cinderella, we felt sad the spell had to be broken. We were in bed by 12:30, a little wet and exhausted but happy.
…To Be Continued…