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Old 09-20-2013, 03:05 PM   #196
Tinker326
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Good job on getting all those rides in 1.5 hours. That's someting only hard-core DIS fans can acheive. Bravo.

Like DW's shirt with Marie on it. Cute!
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:44 PM   #197
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Getting up super early to do Morning hours is something I would do. I hope I get to do that one morning of my trip next year.
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Maybe March 2015 trip to Universal Orlando (Going to the Dark Side maybe).
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:50 AM   #198
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Great job on all those rides. As a local we rarely do anything commando. However, this last trip with PIO about killed us! This was our first DL commando trip that I ever remember!
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:22 AM   #199
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I remember seeing your facebook posts that morning after we drug ourselves out of bed. Amazing accomplishment & nice photos of an almost empty Carsland.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:55 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by khertz View Post
What an amazing morning!!! All those rides on RSR before 8 am are quite a feat. It's kind of crazy to see Cars Land so empty. I miss it there so much! I hope we have a chance to take Paxton back while he is still crazy about Cars/Lightning McQueen.

DW's pic with Meeko is adorable. I love Meeko!
Meeko is definitely a cool character! I've gotten my picture with him before at AK. The ability to enter Carsland early is maybe enough to get me to stay at a Disney property in the future. I didn't get a picture of it, but as we were getting off the ride the third time - you could see the thousands of people streaming into the park!

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Originally Posted by Tinker326 View Post
Good job on getting all those rides in 1.5 hours. That's someting only hard-core DIS fans can acheive. Bravo.

Like DW's shirt with Marie on it. Cute!
DW loves Marie. Kind of funny that we basically did everything we wanted in DLR before breakfast.


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Originally Posted by tstidm1 View Post
Getting up super early to do Morning hours is something I would do. I hope I get to do that one morning of my trip next year.
It's well worth it. We did something similar last year at DL, and we knocked off like 9 rides (mostly in Fantasyland) before the park opened.

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Great job on all those rides. As a local we rarely do anything commando. However, this last trip with PIO about killed us! This was our first DL commando trip that I ever remember!
Being local and AP holders does give you that luxury. I don't consider myself a full-day commando - really we do that for about 2 hours in the morning, even in Florida, and then we mellow out pretty quickly. You'll see the rest of the day we definitely slowed it down!

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I remember seeing your facebook posts that morning after we drug ourselves out of bed. Amazing accomplishment & nice photos of an almost empty Carsland.
Ha! Yeah, I did post about that. There's nothing I love more than NOT waiting in lines. Definitely my least favorite thing about our trips to DL. I miss slow season!
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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
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July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:00 AM   #201
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Day 7 - Leaving DGC behind...

So, our plan for the day was to spend a little more time in the DL park (we had had enough of DCA by this point) and then come back and transfer our stuff to our new hotel. So, we passed through DTD on our way to Disneyland. We stopped to look at jewelry. I had promised DW to get her some nice Disney Jewelry, as its been a while since I’ve been able to afford to buy much. (With her going back to full time has freed up our financials considerably.) She looked at some stuff and after getting passed the diamonds (some stuff running for $5000 or more) she settled on a necklace and earrings in the range I had given her. (We’re talking a few hundred dollars here – these expensive vacations don’t leave a lot left for pretty things.)

On the way into Disneyland, we ran into the Disneyland Marching Band, who were coming down main street. I just HAD to stop for some pictures! Mickey was helping with conducting duties!









We swung by Space Mountain to get a fastpass for later, and the return time was 1:50 to 2:50 PM (we got it around 11 AM) and so we decided to try the Matterhorn. The line said like 25 minutes, so we decided to go for it. We were about 15 minutes in and probably about 10 minutes left when we noticed there was a sign for single rider. So we jumped out of line, found the entrance, and again walked right onto the ride as a single rider. (Why don’t people use these single rider lines here? Lesson to all, find out what rides have single rider,and use them wherever possible.)





We headed over to Small World next, and on the way ran into to fellow ABDers from our trip. They were on the way to Small World as well, so after I got a frozen lemonade, we rode it together.



They were going to go and get seats for Mickey and the Magical Map – but it was still 30 minutes before showtime and I didn’t really want to wait that long. So, we headed over to Frontierland to ride the Columbia. We just missed it by a minute, so waited for it to come around again.



Here’s me as I appeared on the Columbia…



And here’s my inner feelings of being on a boat…



Some scenes from around the Rivers of America:











At least we weren’t these people. There was one lady who didn’t even have her paddle in the water. I would’ve been splashing her with each stroke had I been near her. (Carry your own *** lady or stay on shore!)



After that we headed over to the Jungle Cruise with a stop for a Tiger Tail (not to be confused with a Tigger Tail).



The wait for Jungle Cruise was also about 20 minutes, not too bad. First time in a long time I’ve waited in a JC queue…really hot and really slow moving, would upstairs then downstairs. But we had a MUCH better skipper than our nighttime cruise of a few weeks before. Favorite joke of the trip – “There’s our Python sitting in a tree – H-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…SQUEEZING THE LIFE OUT OF YOU!”

We headed for the Tiki Room – where we found "DarthVader92" standing outside a closed Tiki Room trying to stalk Disney Legends and Executives. Apparently there was an event going on inside for the 50th anniversary, and that was why Richard Sherman, Bob Gurr, Tony Baxter, Bob Iger and I’m sure others. I was crushed (not because I didn’t get to meet Bob Iger, but because I missed out on my favorite attraction) and really hoped it was open later.

With the Tiki room closed, we did a little shopping and I finally got my Indiana Jones hat that I’ve wanted for years! Next Halloween all I need is the whip! There was some confusion with the credit card, so it took a little bit to straighten out. After that, we headed over to ride Space Mountain again. Still fun, but the damn ride upsets my stomach. It was now approaching 3 PM and we were going to try and catch Mickey and the Magical Map. We grabbed a Mickey Bar and a bottle of water and found a seat for the show. It was pretty good. The “plot” was sort of stupid – but the sequences were mostly pretty good – except what was with the “Stitch” segment not having Lilo or Stitch?

At that point we were ready for a break, so went back to the Grand Californian and got our bags to transfer to the Tropicana. While clearly a huge step down, the King bedroom we had was clean and spacious and you certainly can’t complain about the location – which is probably about the same distance from the gates of DL as the Grand for $380 a night less.
So here’s the point at which I am going to slag on the Grand Californian. There is no doubt that it is a nice looking hotel, and if you like that Wilderness Lodge style it can be very appealing. However, in the three nights we were there, we didn’t really experience anything that would tell me it was remotely worth the money it cost. Sure, it was super close to DCA, but the walk to DL was still about 10 minutes. Our room view was that of a parking lot. The pool area, while pretty, was crowded and impractically sized. We didn’t really get to try out many of the amenities, but who had time when we were in the parks the whole time. And that’s my point. It’s one thing when you are traveling to Aulani and staying at the hotel for the trip, sure splurge. But for DL, there’s no point. It was fine, but if you had told me I could’ve saved $300 on the trip and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, I would’ve jumped at it. The ONE advantage it had that made it worthwhile (to me) was the early entry to the parks feature. (I wouldn’t even say the entrance within the hotel was that huge a deal, since we were always hopping back and forth between parks anyways and there was really no convenient way for that.

Meanwhile, The Tropicana Inn on Harbor Boulevard was $120. It was literally across the street from one of the DL entrances, and probably about a 10 minute walk from the main DL and DCA entrances. We stayed here in 2012, and had an even better room location this time. IT is definitely a great hotel for the budget traveler. Is the Grand Californian twice as nice. Sure, but is $380 more dollars a night worth it? Not for us.

To be continued next post.
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:11 AM   #202
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Day 7 - The last of the park time

So, we showered and I took a nap while Ulana got ready for our dinner at Catal.

The group ended up being about 10 people. DW had to go beforehand to try and get her shoes back (which she left in the GC) and was able to get them but it took a little while. Here are shots of our meals.

DW had the scallops. Food was very good but portion seemed very small! (Three scallops for what $25?)


I had the prime rib.



We also got a side of truffle mac and cheese



We sat outside and it was very nice catching up with everyone on their day and also talking about what we liked and disliked about the trip. Overall, a very good meal, but not quite the rave that Peter Wener and Kevin Khlose made it. This wasnt helped by the fact the servers seemed easily confused by the orders and couldnt keep things straight. Considering no-one was here we were surprised by this.

We then as a group (without DW who went shopping instead) went to the Mad T Party which was really a lot of fun but clearly directed at a younger crowd.













I can see where they say the quality of musicians/actors in California are much higher than Orlando. They were very good. I must say the Alice was a bit sexier than you typically think of that character&







That went until about 10 PM when the group broke up for the last time, with most people heading back to their respective hotels. Ulana and I werent done, so we headed into DL for one last shot at the Tiki Room. Wouldnt you know it, still closed. I was soooo bummed. I told the CM guarding the gate. Luckily (I guess) she gave me a pass that was good to go to the front of the line on ANY ride in the park. In fact, it was good for SIX people meaning I had to find a few more.



We wandered over toward Fantasyland and passed through the new Fantasy Faire section. There were some cool bonus things and this young couple (dont know if they were a couple or just friends or what) were showing us some cool stuff about the area, including Clopins Music Box.



Notice some of the characters in the background of the music box, including Belle and the beast in human form, Peter Pan, as well as many others. We also saw the animatronic Figaro:



And of course Rapunzels tower, which didnt really do anything,



I offered them to join us for the free ride, but they werent interested, said they already had one of those to use sometime. (Kind of got the impression they might be CMs on an off-night.) So, we decided to head into Fantasyland. We decided against Peter Pan, and went over to Alice, where the line was pretty long. We asked a few people to share our pass, and two different group said no thanks. Then we saw a couple with two small children and asked them if they were riding Alice. They were very thankful for the offer and joined us in line. We rode that, and then went over to also ride Pinnochio and Snow White again, which both had very short lines. Meaning we worked in all the classic dark rides except Peter Pan. By this point, it was about 11:30 PM and we were running out of steam. Stopped into the chocolate shop on the way out, and also did a survey before heading to the hotel. Ulana had a bad shopping experience earlier and wanted to let them know.

Bedtime was again near midnight youd think wed be getting pretty tired by now. Hey, youd be right. Did about 13 rides/attractions today, a few more than previous days, but not a ton.

Just a few more hours tomorrow morning, and this trip will be done. In the meantime:


The Good

First ones on Toy Story Mania!
Three times on RSR in 34 minutes? Are you kidding me?
A lazy day at Disneyland with no pressure to accomplish things.
Dinner and Dancing with new friends

The Bad
The crowds, the crowds, the crowds. I am too used to going to WDW in slow season! I had enough of the crowds. It re-affirmed that once we cant take DD out of school after this year, we will be stuck with end of August if we want low crowds!

No TIKI ROOM - curse you Bob Iger and your minions!

The Ugly
A trip all about Walt Disney and behind the magic and NO TIKI BIRDS! Are you freakin kidding me. The 50th anniversary wasnt for a few more weeks too. Damn you Bob Iger, Im selling my stock!!!

One last morning left! Good thing we are 42 days away from our NEXT trip!
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK

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Old 09-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #203
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Good wrap up to the trip! But where's the pics of DW's new Disney jewelry??! I just saw yesterday there is some new Mickey Diamond Ring being debuted....... I think the price tag was 5,000. Chump Change!

In DL it's hard to justify the cost of any of those Disney hotels (and this is from someone who WILL NOT stay offsite at DW) because there are so many other much cheaper hotels CLOSER to the front gates.

42 days. Wow, we are so close!!! Can't wait. Ordered my photopass plus today!
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:16 PM   #204
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Good wrap up to the trip! But where's the pics of DW's new Disney jewelry??! I just saw yesterday there is some new Mickey Diamond Ring being debuted....... I think the price tag was 5,000. Chump Change!

In DL it's hard to justify the cost of any of those Disney hotels (and this is from someone who WILL NOT stay offsite at DW) because there are so many other much cheaper hotels CLOSER to the front gates.

42 days. Wow, we are so close!!! Can't wait. Ordered my photopass plus today!
I'll tell DW to wear them to dinner! They were NOT $5000, though.

I am in agreement, won't stay off-site in Florida, won't stay ON-site in California.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:55 AM   #205
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Day 8 - The Finale

Slept in today until almost 7:00 AM! Whoo hoo! We got up and headed for breakfast at Steakhouse 55, since we never got to eat there. (We were originally going to have dinner there last night – but they had a private wine event.) It was quite a walk all the way to the Disneyland Hotel from the Tropicana, but a nice restaurant and a very nice meal. It definitely had that “old Hollywood” feel of like a Brown Derby or something.





DW ordered the pancakes with wild berries:



I had the French Toast with bacon and home fries.



Both meals were very good and very filling.

After that we walked around the Disneyland hotel a bit. We had been here the other night at Trader Sams, but hadn’t really had time to look around the resort. It is clearly a nostalgia fueled resort, ideal for the Disneyana fan:





Old merchandise displays in the Fantasyland Tower:





The Monorail pool slide – which looked WAY nicer than the crappy Grand Californian pool slide:



In the center of the resort – Tangarora Terrace (which was open for breakfast) and Trader Sam’s.







We headed into the Frontierland tower. I had forgotten about that they had a full-scale model of the BTMRR model, which was really cool!











After that, I headed back to the room while DW did a bit more shopping. We were ready for the van to the airport at 10:30 AM. The shuttle stopped about a zillion times, and one of the passengers was really freaking out about how late he was. Our flight was only 15 minutes after his, and we had about 1 1/4 hours from when we were dropped off, but it was plenty of time. We were super exhausted for the whole day, and ready to head home. Some minor delays on the flights, but for the most part we got home with no problems whatsoever.

This was a supremely awesome trip. Amazing is the word I constantly use to describe it. There were almost too many great points to list – I came up with a list of 34 of them. My top two are easy though, the experience of getting to tour Imagineering and then getting to eat at Club 33. To me those two items alone made the price of the trip more than worth it.

If I had to pick a number three, it would be all the great people we met. It was so fun to do this trip with a bunch of people that are as Disney obsessive as we are. (And quite honestly in some cases much more so.) Many of us have become friends on Facebook and we are hoping we can see a few people when we head to Orlando in just a few short weeks.

The disappointments of the trip were relatively minor, with really MY biggest disappointment being missing out on the Tiki Room. A few of the experiences definitely were lesser than the top experiences, but overall the level was so high – I feel little right to complain. (How come none of us got to stay in the Dream Suite Dammit!)

There are people that do this trip multiple times, but I can’t imagine doing it again would remotely live up to the first time. I could see MAYBE re-doing it again with our daughter in 6-8 years to let her get these experiences as well – plus I would expect some changes by then. But, for any DIS/Disney fan I would recommend saving your money so you can do it!

We loved getting to explore Disneyland with a fist full of Fastpasses. But DW and I both agree our favorite of the two is Walt Disney World – a place we will be heading to in just over a month.

If you haven’t already, please join in with my Pre-trip report, the link is HERE. As for the rest, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you so much to everyone that read along. Writing a Trip Report only feels worthwhile when you know that someone is reading it. I've had almost 30,000 hits on this thread, which is about 20,000 more than our trip last year to DL/Australia which lasted 28 days, so I know lots of folks are reading along, and that is what keeps me spending my free time writing up this event. (That and so I can remember it a year from now!) So, thanks once again, and hope to see you all around the parks!
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:17 PM   #206
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You are welcome for reading along..and you will absolutely see me around the parks...in almost one month.

I still would love to do this trip but still can't convince anyone to pay the money and go with me.

Thanks for letting me share your adventures via the trip report.
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:31 PM   #207
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Thanks so much for sharing your trip report. My husband and I leave for the same trip in one week from today and are very excited. We've both enjoyed reading along of your Backstage trip so we know what to expect but also know each trip is a little different. So glad you posted the last report before we left. I know it takes time to put all this together and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and photos. Have fun on your next trip to FL.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:12 PM   #208
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I enjoyed your report, too, Pete!! And, you didn't give anything away that I didn't already know........plus, ABD has spilled more beans than you have when I've contacted them to provide changes in flight info!

I'm on the BSM tour starting in a week, too, and am busily getting work done for my job for when I'm gone as well as trying to start pulling things together to pack. The last week before any trip is kind of crazy!!!
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:45 AM   #209
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You are welcome for reading along..and you will absolutely see me around the parks...in almost one month.

I still would love to do this trip but still can't convince anyone to pay the money and go with me.

Thanks for letting me share your adventures via the trip report.
Thanks for joining in! I'll try and convince your DH or DMom that it's worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tara1979 View Post
Thanks so much for sharing your trip report. My husband and I leave for the same trip in one week from today and are very excited. We've both enjoyed reading along of your Backstage trip so we know what to expect but also know each trip is a little different. So glad you posted the last report before we left. I know it takes time to put all this together and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and photos. Have fun on your next trip to FL.
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I enjoyed your report, too, Pete!! And, you didn't give anything away that I didn't already know........plus, ABD has spilled more beans than you have when I've contacted them to provide changes in flight info!

I'm on the BSM tour starting in a week, too, and am busily getting work done for my job for when I'm gone as well as trying to start pulling things together to pack. The last week before any trip is kind of crazy!!!
Hey, make sure you two say "HI" to eachother. The pictures don't even really do the trip justice. It really is something else. You will wind up as tired as you've ever been but will have the time of your life! (Small piece of advice: At DL we went back to the room for a brief rest/nap mid-day each day - and it did wonders. We outlasted everyone else most nights. There's no opportunity for this the first two days, however.)
__________________

1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:24 PM   #210
khertz
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Another great TR in the books (er...boards), Pete! I really enjoyed reading along with this trip. I always get my interest piqued when they do podcast episodes about their DIS exclusive BSM trips, but then I quickly forget about that. Reading this TR has made me REALLY want to do this trip now!! It seems like such an amazing experience for true Disney fans, who love it beyond just the parks.

As for your last update, wowza that breakfast looks delicious!! And the monorail pool slide looks like a ton of fun. We both enjoyed the opportunity to check out the Disneyland Hotel as well. Definitely the quintessential DISNEY hotel!
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JULY 1994 // Offsite & Universal Studios & Busch Gardens | APRIL 1998 // All Star Music & Universal Studios |FEBRUARY 2001 // All Star Music & Universal | MARCH 2003 // All Star Music & Universal // Hard Rock Hotel | FEBRUARY 2004 // All Star Music & Universal // Royal Pacific & Sea World | OCTOBER 2007 (Disneymoon!) // Port Orleans French Quarter & Universal Studios // Royal Pacific | DECEMBER 2009 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/ TR | JULY/AUGUST 2010 // Wyndham Cypress Palms TR | NOVEMBER 2011 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | MAY 2012 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove TR | AUGUST 2012 // Disneyland 5 Year Anniversary Trip // Peacock Suites TR | OCTOBER 2012 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | OCTOBER 2013 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal // Royal Pacific PTR/TR | MAY 2014 // Wilderness Lodge Adventures at 40"! May 2014 TR
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