Disneyland Trip Report September 3rd through the 13th 2007
As you can see we really love Disneyland! While some folks could not imagine wanting to spend 11 days at the park, we think it is the only way to go! Having so many days gives you time to take on the rides over and over again, explore at a leisurely pace, plenty of time to enjoy all the shows, enough time to notice tiny details and store up enough memories to last us until the next year. We had time enough that we were also able to leave the park when we thought it got too crowded. And, we also enjoy taking a mid day rest break and coming in early to order take out food and watch a movie together before passing out from the days activities.
Only one down side to having so many days at DL…..it does take a really long time to get your trip report finished! Now on with the report!
Our flight was scheduled to leave DFW at 1:10 pm but ended up delayed by about 30 minutes. Our family, DH, DS-16, DD-7 and I, were still excited to be leaving and arriving on the same day, as all our previous trips have been by train or car. We arrived at the Anaheim Desert Inn about 3:30. Got checked in and made our way to the park by 4:00.
We had intentionally planned our trip to catch the Haunted Mansion before it went down for its Halloween makeover so it was our first ride of our day. This was the first time we had ever been able to see it without the NBC overlay. The family was mixed as to which way we liked it best. The guys liked it without the overlay since we are not really fans of NBC. The girls kinda like it with the overlay. My DD is 7 and liked it better with the Christmas music. I am not totally decided. It did seem rather bare after having seen it before with all the added decorations during the holiday season but it was nice to see it once without NBC. We made sure to see it twice before it closed down the day after our arrival.
Next we hit Pirates which is a family favorite. Even more so this year! My DD decided it was her favorite this year too. Last year she was afraid of the “drops”, Davy Jones and the ugly skeletons. By the end of our trip (after about a dozen rides) she was no longer hiding her eyes for anything.
The remainder of the day was spent with the guys doing the big rides and the girls hitting the smaller ones. Casey Jr. and Storybookland were also scheduled to go down the following day so they were the next on our to-do-list.
We rode each of them a couple of times and managed to get in the Carousel, Small World, and Pinocchio before heading over to CA for the ELP, which just happens to be my favorite parade.
Thanks to some garnered tips, we headed to the back of the park to watch the parade so we could beat the crowd out the front gate after the parade before they all headed to DL. We made it in the park and grabbed a spot to watch the fireworks. We finished up catching the HM, Jungle Cruise and Indy.
We were so glad we got to catch the rides that were going down for refurbishment! For it being a holiday, the park did not really seem too crowded by the time we got there. It was VERY hot. Thank heavens for shaded lines and misters!
I must say that I really love the off season! The park did not open until 10:00 so we did not have to rush like crazy to get to the park so early! (Although it would not have been a problem… my sleep habits were SOOO messed up from the different time zone that I was not able to sleep through a single night without waking up WAY early.) We did make it to the park for opening so we headed to Fantasyland.
We rode the Teacups, Alice, Snow White, Dumbo and the Carousel. (3 times)
To our surprise Big Thunder Ranch had not closed for refurb. We spent a good deal of time there.
After that my DD was feeling brave and tried Big Thunder. She was a real trooper but when she got off she said NEVER AGAIN! We strolled by and saw Sally Mae trying, yet again, to snag herself a husband!
Afterwards we headed back to our room for lunch. We had a grocery delivery scheduled so we watched Ratatouille on TV while waiting for the driver to arrive. This was our first time to try ordering online from Von’s. It was very nice to have the things we needed in our room. We probably saved a small fortune by ordering soft drinks and bottled water!
We headed back to the park where we rode Pirates again. I rode Splash with my son, then Pooh and the Tiki Room.
I decided to tough it out and waited in line about an hour to ride Nemo. I loved it! Those imagineers did a fantastic job! I believe this may be my new favorite ride.
First on our agenda was to get our traditional family photo in front of the castle. Then we hopped on the train and all headed for Roger Rabbit. I have to admit I did not ride this even once on our last trip. The guys split and the girls hung out in Toontown.
We spend a good amount of time playing with all the gags. We visited Mickey in his house.
We looked for Chip and Dale at there house but I don’t think they stay home much. My DD begged for Big Thunder Ranch again so we visited the animals there again.
I was determined to do some things I have never done before so first on this list was have lunch at the Carnation Café. I had the Chicken Pot Pie but was not overly impressed. It had too much celery and peas for my liking. DH said the potato soup was the best he ever had. And DS said the meatloaf was good. The highlight was that we did get to meet Oscar. He was such a nice man and very interesting to talk to. It turns out he is originally from our part of the world. He was born in Texas. He said that DL is a better place to work for now than it used to be in that it is better organized than it used to be.
We made our way to CA to ride Soarin, which is my favorite in CA. DD wanted to ride Jumpin Jelly Fish. (3 times)
DS and I rode GRR. Then we headed back to our room for our afternoon break.
DD and I headed back into DL after several hours rest. On the way in we stopped at the train station to see if we might get to ride tender. WE DID! It was so cool!
Our engineer was Barbara and Al was the fireman.
They were so nice. They did say that Disneyland was a good place to work. It was a great trip and I would recommend it to anyone.
We finished off the evening with the Tiki room, Peter Pan, Small World and Buzz.
My DS had a private Jiu-Jitsu lesson this morning so DD and I scheduled breakfast with Lilo & Stitch while they did that. They had a good selection of food which was good, especially the banana French toast. The hawaiin salmon on the buffet was very good too. We only saw Lilo & Stitch and Minnie. However, they were very attentive so that made up for the lack of characters. The kids lined up and danced and played games. Later they came and spent a good amount of time at our table. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it an 8.
We made our way into the park where the weather was finally beginning to cool down a bit. We did the Tiki room, again, Jungle Cruise, Astro Orbitor, Buzz, and Big Thunder Ranch AGAIN. We grabbed lunch at Bengal BBQ to take back to our room. This was another first for me. The bacon wrapped asparagus was quite yummy.
Later we rode Pirates which put us in the mood to go check out the new Pirate Island. We did not check out every nook and cranny because it was dusty and hot. What we saw looked pretty good but personally I would rather be on a ride.
Afterwards, I decided to brave Nemo again which had about a 45 minute wait. We met some real nice folks in line so the wait didn’t seem quite so long. When we finished there we rode the teacups and then called it a night.
First thing this morning was Aladdin’s Oasis. The show was great as always! DD didn’t make it on stage this time but she did provide the “Wish noise”, which was “POOF”.
While I was still in the mood for shows, I tortured my DD by dragging her to the Billy Hill show. I think they are hilarious but she thinks they are creepy. Anyways, I have always seen the Elvis Billy but he was not there this time. Still a good show. Afterwards, we hit Pirates, Splash and Pooh before we headed to the French Market for lunch. This was another first as I had never eaten in the establishment before. DH & I had the clam chowder which was fair. DS had chicken he rated not as good as Plaza Inn. DD did not eat well anywhere so her vote does not count. Queenie was strolling around so the guys made sure to sit in a back corner. Overall, we were not very impressed with this dining place but at least we tried it once.
After our midday rest we headed back to CA to see Aladdin. We sat further back and really enjoyed being able to see the entire stage which we decided is something you miss when you sit up close. Great performance.
Next, we grabbed a spot for Block Party Bash. This was also the first time we had watched the entire performance. It was fun and very energetic.
My DD got to dance with Bo Peep.
Next up was Soarin, followed by Jumpin Jelly Fish. Then we headed back over to DL. Rode Pinnochio, Dumbo and the Teacups. The weather was so much nicer today. However, after 7:30 the park started getting extremely crowded so we headed back to our room for pizza and a movie.
We did not really get in a lot of rides this day but the weather was fantastic and it turned out to best one of our very best days! First thing we did in the park was stop to get Emma’s silhouette made. It took all of about 5 minutes! Simply amazing! The ladies were so nice. Their names escape me but one had been there 32 years and the other 28 years.
Next Emma participated for the first time in the Nestle Junior Chef cookie making class. This is truly another of the hidden gems at DL. Who would think cookie making would be so fun? The class probably had about a dozen kids, 2 assistants and the chef. The chef was super with the kids and it was very well organized. Each child helped add the cookie ingredients and got to spoon cookies out on the baking sheet.
A little pixie dust was sprinkled on to speed up the cooking time. In no time the cookies were retrieved from the magic oven. Everyone was given a cookie to take with them. A big Mickey cookie had been made up and my DD said if she could have one of them she would share it with everyone. The chef rewarded her because she wanted to share with a set of Tinkerbell pins, one to keep and one to give to someone else who was doing something nice.
I was so proud of my daughter! Now we had a new quest… to find another child to give the extra pin. It did not turn out to be such an easy task!
Next was the Tiki room. Then we wasted time in Frontierland. We watched the Laughing Stock show. During the course of the show one of the blindfolded potential husbands pulled an alcoholic beverage from his pants pocket and took a swig. Added quite a new twist to the show! We didn’t think it was a staged part of the show but if anyone knows otherwise, do let me know. With still more time until it was time for out lunch reservations, we spent some time smashing pennies and playing with the Woody machine. We were lucky enough to run into Farley the Fiddle Player. He was fantastic and kept us entertained with a great assortment of songs.
We headed to our favorite restaurant, Blue Bayou about 10 minutes early and asked for a waterside table. They said it would be an additional 30 minutes but before we could even sit down to wait they called our name so we got seated even before our actual reservation time. I had the Monte Cristo. DH had the Cajun-Spiced Salmon. DS had the Port Royal Mahi Mahi. We each had Crème Brulee for dessert. We were all very happy with the food and completely stuffed when we left. We rode Pirates on our way out of the park. Then I got to go back to our hotel and do laundry.
Later we returned to ride Alice, Pinochino, Toad and Snow White before I went to check in for our PS for Fantasmic. We had great seats, front row at Tower B. We were served our dessert boxes and drinks while waiting for the show to begin. This was our first time to watch the show and we did enjoy it very much. The seats were well worth not having to camp out for hours. However, the desserts did not really add a great deal of value. We ended up throwing out probably 50%. Still undecided as to whether PS is worth the cost but I am glad we tried it at least once.
Our day started at with us doing the Discover Magic Tour. We started our tour at 10:00am with 2 guides, Kelly & Albert.
There were about 18 people on our tour. Apparently, they are still working to perfect their tour, as I had heard on the new tours they were looking for a book but on our tour we did the treasure chest hunt. We started with clues which led us to different areas and rides in the park.
We rode Pirates, Buzz and King Arthur's Carousel and visited Tarzan's Treehouse. We stopped for a frozen treat mid way through the tour. The tour ended at Mickey's house.
Mickey was the only character we met. Kelly & Albert provided a nice tour with cute constant chatter between each other. The kids got their photos taken with Mickey and were given a pin at the end of the tour. (I think it was the end... the group sorta scattered out and we just left.)
My DD is 7. She did not like all the walking but she tends to be whiney. She did say she might like to try again when she is older. My DS is 16. He said it was okay. Coming from him, that would be considered a pretty good rating. My DH said he did enjoy it. And I would rate it a 7 on a scale of 1-10. I think it would be an improvement if each tour were limited to only about 12 people because with so many the group tended to get scattered out which made it hard to hear what was being said. Also, they let the kids read the clues which also made it difficult to hear. I am glad we did it once and would probably do it again.
I am not much of a shopper but I had set aside this day to get some shopping done since the AP sale had begun.
The Downtown Disney store was a mad house so we grabbed a few things and cut the shopping trip short. We shared some beef nachos from Tortilla Joe’s on the way back to our room. They were pretty good and were huge in portion.
In the evening we went back to CA. Rode Jumpin Jelly Fish, King Triton Carousel, Monster’s Inc and all the Bug’s Land rides.
We caught up with our guys and did Soarin and GRR and then called it a night.
I was determined I was going to give Innoventions another try this morning since I had not stepped foot inside the place for several years. They did not open until 11:00 so we rode Autotopia and watched the Jedis train for awhile. We headed in and tried some of the games. By the time we finally left I had decided it would probably take several more years before I even considered returning. IMHO most of the stuff inside is something we already spend time doing at home so I would really rather be on a ride or watching a show instead. Nuff said.
We met up with our guys and grabbed the Monorail to DD for lunch at the Rainforest Café. Always fun, fairly good food but sorta pricey. DH and I both had the shrimp platter. DS loved the salmon, which was a huge portion. DD had popcorn shrimp which she actually ate! We split the Volcano dessert between the 4 of us and still could not eat it all.
In the evening we spotted the Ratatouille pre parade. We rode Pirates, Roger Rabbit, Dumbo, Pinnochio, King Arthur Carousel, Small World, Nemo and finished with the Jungle Cruise.
On our walk back to the room, I spotted a girl deserving of the Tinkerbell pin. She was probably 11 or 12 and was walking with her dad, mom, 2 siblings and pushing a double stroller loaded with another 2 siblings. I was watching her as she talked to the ones in the stroller. She had to stop because something got tossed out of the stroller so I eased up to mom & dad who had stopped. I asked them if I could give their daughter something. I proceeded to tell them how we got the pins and how I was supposed to bestow this pin upon someone doing something good. I told her that she must be a good girl to be so helpful with her family. She seemed a little embarrassed but very pleased. Mom said she was a big Tinkerbell fan so it looks like I picked the right girl.
Duty calls.... I'll be back with part 2 later!