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Old 04-26-2009, 10:12 PM   #1
radiatorsprings
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Birthday trip in November 2008

I am in the planning stage of my 24th birthday trip and I am too excited to wait so I wanted to write this trip report to relive last year's trip.

My boyfriend of 4 years (about 3 and a half at the time) and I decided to go to DL again in 2008, this time for my birthday, because we had gone there in Feb/March for two half-days and felt like it wasn't enough. We had mostly gone that time to watch his niece in her cheerleading competition so we were following his family around most of the time and could not really focus on what we wanted to do. The best part about that trip was the tour of the Dream Suite! (I can post pictures of the inside if someone wants to see.)

Anyway, we (I should say "I") planned this trip starting about 3 months ahead of time. I booked the hotel (Anaheim Plaza) online and we bought our parkhoppers in August. While I was counting down the days, I began doing research online about the parks. I discovered DIS and then the madness began! I started checking the boards almost every day, reading up on all of the good tips. The bf told me I was crazy looking at DL message boards all day but he was thankful in the end when we didn't have to wait in lines longer than 30 minutes (and that was for TSMM).

I'll give you a brief introduction but no pictures, sorry! I don't have pictures of us available except the one(!) we took in DTD that you'll see in the report.

My name is Tiffani, and I'm 23. I grew up in the bay area and have lived here all of my life. I work in an arts and crafts store as a supervisor/lead cashier. I have been working there for 3 and a half years now. I also go to school. I've been to Disneyland a couple times when I was a baby/toddler that I don't remember and a couple more times that I remember, including Grad Nite. I've never been to any other Disney parks. I love Disney movies, especially all of the Pixar ones. I also love the Nightmare Before Christmas and have since I was little, so much that it makes my bf sick when I recite the entire movie when watching it lol.

My boyfriend's name is Roberto and he is 24 now (23 at the time of the trip). He also works at the same arts and crafts store, but he's a framer. He's been working there for about 2 and a half years now. He's been to Disneyland a few times and Disney World once. He loves music, Star Wars, and Space Mountain. Ironically, he's deathly afraid of roller coasters. He says that Space Mtn is not considered a roller coaster because it doesn't go upside down and you can't see how high you are when on it...I'm just glad he rides stuff with me at DL because everywhere else, he only goes on the kiddy rides!! He will not ride Screamin' or Tower of Terror, though.

Now, on to the trip report!

Day One: Monday November 10, 2008
We woke up at 3am and got dressed. I pulled the car up to the apartment and we loaded the rest of our stuff in. We finished pretty quick and were on the road leaving Vallejo by 3:45. We stopped in Livermore to check my oil and transmission fluid (it leaks) and they were both good so we were back on the road. We watched the sun come up while driving on I-5, the first sunrise I ever saw. We started getting hungry so we stopped in, I think, Kettleman City for some Jack in the Box breakfast. My boyfriend had to use the bathroom and luckily the restaurant was open on the inside so he ran in after we went through the drive-thru while I started eating my breakfast in the car. After we were back on the road, I was beginning to get tired so when we stopped at the Grapevine for gas, I got some sugary snacks (soda and skittles lol). We decided to try a side route in order to bypass the LA traffic so we took I-210 to Hwy 57. It was definitely not a short cut but we didn’t experience any stopping traffic so it was ok.

We made it to our hotel, Anaheim Plaza Hotel, at around 11:15. I called my mom while we sat in the car in the parking lot to tell her we made it there ok. We went in to the hotel to ask if our room was ready but it wasn’t so we just took our parking pass and went back to the car.

After that we decided to check out the Disney Character Warehouse outlet store. It was ok, we didn’t find anything we liked. We then decided to walk around the Orangefair Mall area. We went to Target to buy the rest of the groceries like water and drinks. When we got back to the hotel, they had a room ready for us so we checked in and unpacked. The room had a weird smell to it but it wasn’t too bad, we got used to it over the time we stayed. The bed was comfortable but I never sleep in hotel blankets so we just lay one of our blankets down and sleep on top of that with our own pillows and blankets. We also bring our own towels to hotels, the only thing I used their towels for was to cover the ground when I stepped out of the shower. They were kind of thin. We also brought our own shampoo, conditioner, soap, and hair dryer. I can’t use hotel soaps because they dry out my skin and hair. I also put the do not disturb sign on the door the entire stay until we leave because I don’t think it’s necessary to clean the room while we’re still using it. I’m also a little creeped out by someone being in the room. Anyway, the room was nice for just using it to sleep and shower. Some of the channels on the TV were static-y. The only thing I didn’t like about the room was the sliding door. It was cool to be able to go out on the patio to sit and relax but the door lock was kind of shady. It didn’t look like it worked too well, because I could open the door an inch or two while it was still locked. It made me feel kind of unsafe but I guess no one could really get in since the patio is fenced in.

After putting our groceries in the fridge and febrezing the room (lol), we walked over to Downtown Disney to get a feel for the walk we would be doing several times a day.


We were surprised at how crowded DTD was for a Monday. It was probably caused by the 4 day weekend that some people were having because of Veteran’s Day. Our first stop was World of Disney where I bought my boyfriend a Darth Maul Mr Potato Head for 40% off. After that, we went to Rainforest Café to get a reservation for my birthday dinner (even though my birthday was on Saturday the 15) and encountered a long line. Once we got to the front they told us the wait was two hours, however the girl told us to check back in an hour and they might be able to fit us. So we roamed around DTD for a while, looking at everything.


We checked the movie times for Madagascar 2 because my boyfriend knew I wanted to see it but the next time after our dinner would be over was 10 something and I was too tired for that after waking up at 3 in the morning.

After an hour, we headed back to Rainforest and they told us to wait by the aquarium. After a few minutes they led us up the stairs where we waited for a minute. They then seated us in the corner, but it was cool because we felt like we were alone. My boyfriend ordered a hamburger and I ordered the Rasta Pasta. It was so good. We then ordered a Volcano. My boyfriend wimped out after only a few bites so I was left alone to finish it. I made it about half way before I had to stop because my stomach felt like it was going to explode.


We then hobbled back to the hotel with our full stomachs to rest. We ended up falling asleep early because we were exhausted. Good thing because I was waking us up early to get to Disneyland when it opened at 8am. Waking up at 6:30 was not something we do often, especially my boyfriend who thinks waking up at 11:30 is early.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:04 PM   #2
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Day Two

Day Two: Tuesday November 11, 2008
It was easy for me to wake up early because I was so excited to get to Disneyland. I got dressed quickly and made sure my boyfriend got up on time. We got to the gates at 7:30 and got in line. There were already quite a few people in line but a lot less than how many people were behind us by the time 8 o’clock rolled around. They picked out a family to do the opening but I couldn’t really see what was going on from where I was standing and because I’m short. They opened the gates at 8 and we headed through the tunnel to Main Street (we always go right to get in). We headed to Space Mountain, got a Fastpass first, and then got in line. The wait wasn’t that long, so we were on our way. This ride works really well to wake you up.

After Space, we headed to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at around 8:20. I noticed that the Fastpass machines for this ride were closed, and I think they were closed our entire trip. Buzz was pretty much a walk-on. I found it difficult to aim on this ride and my boyfriend easily beat me.


Next we headed across the park to Indiana Jones. But not before I snapped a shot of the Partners statue.


We rode IJ with a short wait and then rode Pirates of the Caribbean. After that we went back to Indiana Jones because our window for a new Fastpass had opened up, so we grabbed a Fast Pass for it.

Next our Priority Seating time of 9:30 at Carnation Café was getting close so we headed to Main Street. We walked up to the booth and told the CM we had a PS but she could not find my name. I was starting to get nervous because the line for the restaurant was long and we had not eaten anything since last night at Rainforest. An older woman CM came up to the booth and asked the other CM what was wrong. She told her that my PS was not in the system. The older lady (sorry, I didn’t get her name!) told me to wait to the side and she would figure it out. After a few moments, she told us to follow her and she sat us at a table. I was so thankful that she did this for us even though my PS was not found. That was the first time I ever tried Priority Seating and it didn’t work! I had called a few weeks early to make it but I don’t know what happened.

Anyway, our breakfast was great. I had the Mickey waffle with sausage but gave the sausage to my boyfriend because I’m not a huge meat eater.


My boyfriend got the croissantwich but I couldn‘t get a picture before he dug in, sorry! After breakfast we headed back over to New Orleans Square to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday for the first time at about 10am. I love the Nightmare Before Christmas so of course I loved all of the decorations and had to take a lot of pictures everyday.













The wait was only about 10 minutes. I tried to take some pictures of the ride but my camera sucks in the dark so I just took video.

After HMH, we headed over to Splash Mountain. I hadn’t rode this since 2003 so I was excited to experience it again. If was my boyfriend’s first time riding it so he was scared, as you can tell.



The wait was longer than all the other rides we had been on that day but we were lucky that we heard the CM ask for a party of two so we raised out hands really quick. So we got to bypass some of the line and get into the back of one of the boats with a family. My boyfriend somehow leaned forward while we were going down the falls and hit his “manhood” on the back rest of my seat so in the ride picture his face is distorted by the pain. The family we were riding with commented that they loved his face in the picture and I started cracking up because he had told me what happened right before. I wonder if they bought the picture lol.

After that my vision is blurry and I forgot what we did but according to my notes, we rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, then Mr. Toad, Star Tours, and Peter Pan. Somewhere around there I took pictures of the castle at 12:30, according to the timestamp on my pictures, and then I had a Dole Whip and my boyfriend a Dole Whip Float around 1pm. We sat on a bench near the castle as we enjoyed our first Dole Whips.





We then park-hopped to California Adventure. We first went to Soaring and saw that it had a long wait so we got Fastpasses. We were getting tired so we decided to take a break at the hotel. So we went back to the hotel around 2pm. I took a picture of our fast pass haul for the day.

After a short nap, we headed back to CA Adventure around 4:30. Soaring broke down and the Fastpass line was backed up so the CM told us we could come back anytime with our Fastpass until the park closed (which we already knew because of DIS J). We didn’t know what to do next so we just started walking. We decided on riding Grizzly River Run. Then we walked through San Francisco to Paradise Pier and got in line for Toy Story Mania at around 5pm. The wait was around 30 minutes I think. I beat my boyfriend!







After that we headed to Soaring to see if it was running and it was so we used our Fastpasses. We were able to make the wait even shorter by raising our hands when they were looking for a party of two again. After that we walked over to the Hollywood Pictures backlot and checked with a CM when the next Turtle Talk with Crush show was going to start.





I think it was starting in 15 or 20 minutes so we went inside and tried to get in line at the doors. A CM told us we could not get in line yet but mentioned that we should check out all of the cool stuff in the Animation Building. We saw the Toy Story zoetrope which was really cool.

When it was almost time for the show to start, we got in line at the doors. When they were opened we speed walked to the front row lol. The show was really funny. After that we headed back to Disneyland to get some dinner. We ate at the French Market. I got the Four-Cheese Pasta & Vegetable Gratin and my boyfriend got the Plantation Citrus Chicken with extra potatoes instead of vegetables lol.

After filling up, we headed to Indiana Jones to use our Fastpasses that we got in the morning (thanks DIS for the tips!). After that we rode used our Fastpasses for BTMRR, then for Space Mountain where we bypassed a huge line. We then rode Autopia together in the same car. My boyfriend is a crazy driver! No wonder I don’t let him drive my car. The fireworks were going off as we were on the ride so it was a romantic drive. After that we went to Fantasyland and rode Alice in Wonderland, the teacups, Snow White, and Pinocchio. After that we I think the park closed because I don’t have anything else in my notes for that day. I know we fell asleep early again (we’re used to staying up till about 1am).
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:09 PM   #3
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Day Three

Day Three: Wednesday November 12, 2008
The park opened at 10 this day so I woke up around 8:30 to take a shower. I let my boyfriend sleep in a little. After my shower, I woke him up but he was being a slow-poke so we didn’t get to the gates till 9:45. They were letting people in right away but we had to wait on Main Street until 10. Too bad I couldn’t see or hear the opening ceremony going on at the front of the crowd L. We got in position and once the ropes dropped we speed walked to Tomorrowland. We needed our morning wakeup routine so we got in line quickly for Space Mountain but not before grabbing a Fastpass first!


We got out of the ride around 10:15 and then got on Buzz.



We then went shopping at Star Trader because one of our co-workers sent us on a mission to find her a Darth Vader hoodie that she couldn’t get when she was in the parks in August. Unfortunately, they no longer carried any Darth Vader hoodies.

We crossed the park to Indiana Jones but found out it was down so we continued to Pirates of the Caribbean. We came out of that ride and shopped at the store before I took pictures of the beautiful decorations around New Orleans Square.











At this time is was 11am and we went over to the Haunted Mansion for more pictures and a ride.















When we came out of there I took a picture of Splash Mountain because I knew I would never ride it again this trip because of the events that occurred on the ride yesterday with my boyfriend lol.



I took some pictures of the rides as we walked over to Indiana Jones to grab a Fastpass and then over to BTMRR.







After that we walked through Fantasyland to get to the Matterhorn. I took pictures of Nemo because I knew we probably wouldn’t ride it especially with the long lines all day.









It was now almost 12:30 so we walked over to catch the Jedi Training Academy. We sat in the back on the floor but my boyfriend wanted to bad to be picked. I had to keep telling him it was only for kids. I took lots of pictures and video of Darth Vader and Darth Maul because he loves them.







The show ended around 1pm and my boyfriend’s feet were killing him so we headed back to the hotel for a break.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:10 PM   #4
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Day Three continued

continued...
When we got back, my boyfriend took off his shoes and saw that he was getting blisters everywhere. He was wearing an old pair of Vans slip-ons, not a good choice for all the walking we were doing. So we headed over to Target to get him some of those squishy insoles. He also got a pair of new shoes for like $20 that were better for walking but still looked “cool.” (too bad he never wore them since then) When he was ready, we headed back to the parks and entered California Adventure. We were hungry so we walked to the Pacific Wharf Café to get some bread bowls. My boyfriend got the Monterey Clam Chowder and I got the Vallejo Vegetarian Chili (hey, that‘s where we‘re from!). We shared a Chocolate Cream Puff for dessert.







After eating, I told my boyfriend to get in the fish net thing so I could take a picture.



While I was taking a picture, a lady walking by asked if I wanted her to take a picture of both of us in there. I appreciated the gesture because as you can tell we don’t have any pictures of us together from the trip but I couldn’t help but picture her running off with my camera while we were stuck in the fish net lol.

After that walked over to Grizzly River Run and got wet, then back over to Toy Story Mania where my boyfriend beat me.





We didn’t really know what else to do after that and I think the park was close to closing so we headed back to Disneyland. We used our Fastpasses for Space Mountain and then for Indiana Jones. Then we rode Pirates, Jungle Cruise, and BTMRR. The park closed at 8 so we headed back to the hotel to rest our feet and eat a small dinner with the groceries we had in our fridge.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:19 PM   #5
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Day Four and Five

Day Four: Thursday November 13, 2008
This day was our last day in the parks and we decided to use our Magic Morning privilege. We got to the gate around 8:30 for MM at 9. We walked over to Space Mountain (morning tradition!) and rode it. There weren’t too many people in the park so we jumped back in line and rode it again. Then we rode Buzz and the Matterhorn. When MM was over we went over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and rode it twice because the line was short. We walked over to Indiana Jones to get a Fastpass for later and then headed over to ride POTC. Unfortunately, it was closed because it broke down so we went on to ride Haunted Mansion.

After that we passed Splash Mountain and rode the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. We got some peanut brittle from Pooh Corner and sat in front of the Haunted Mansion to eat it and rest a little. After that we walked over to POTC and it was running so we rode it, then rode Indiana Jones.

Right before we left for CA Adventure, we grabbed a FP for Space Mountain for later. Once in DCA, we headed to Grizzly River Run. The line was so short that we rode it three times in a row. I think no one wanted to ride it that day because it was overcast. We got soaked and walked through San Francisco to Mulholland Madness. I thought we were going to crash! After that we got in line for Toy Story. We had already gotten our 3D glasses and had just got to the part where the line enters the building when we heard the ride broke down. The CMs announced that we were welcome to wait but they didn’t know how long it would take. The people in the front of the line stayed but we just left the park. We were bummed but at least we already got to ride it twice on our trip. And my boyfriend probably was happy that he won the last time we played.

After that we headed back to the hotel to take a break. We went back to Disneyland at 4:30 and headed to Café Orleans for an early dinner. I ordered the French Onion Soup and the Pommes Frites. My boyfriend got the Monte Cristo. We also ordered the Mickey Beignets for dessert. They brought out my soup and the fries and said my boyfriend’s food would be a moment. Meanwhile my boyfriend was fine “sharing” my fries. After a minute or two they brought out some kind of chicken sandwich for my boyfriend. We told them that he had ordered the Monte Cristo. I don’t know if it was for a different table or if the waitress misunderstand my boyfriend. He did kind of pronounce it weird. I made sure to check the internet before our trip to figure out how to pronounce the food I was going to order lol. The correct dish was brought out after a little and the waitress apologized for the mistake. Once we were about done with our meal, she said that she would put in another order for the beignets because the other ones were getting cold. I thanked her for not serving us cold food but I didn’t think they were going to make the dessert until we were done with our meal. Anyway, we finished our dessert and felt like we were going to explode, in a good way. Despite the misunderstanding, this was the best meal we had at the parks and we are definitely going back on our next trip.

Since we were right there we got on POTC since we could sit for a while and let our stomachs relax on it. Next was Haunted Mansion again. I love the Nightmare Before Christmas version better than the original. Then we used our Fastpasses for Indiana Jones and Space Mountain (can you tell these are two of our favorite rides?). Took a picture of the castle between “land hopping.“



The park was closing soon so we got on the Matterhorn as a last ride. Once we got off, there was still about 5 minutes left so we were like, “Hey, let’s see if we can get on Nemo.” We walked over there and got in the line. They closed the line right behind us and a few other guests. We got to ride the last submarine of the night with just a few people other than us. I liked it better this way because I was scared of riding in the first place since we are both sort of claustrophobic. We had plenty of space so we didn’t freak out. It was kind of scary descending those stairs though. In the end, the ride was cute but I don’t think I would ride it again. After we exited the ride, we were escorted out of the area by some quiet CMs who were just following behind us while we walked towards Main Street. We did a little last minute browsing and shopping the stores and then slowly walked to the exits. As we were getting close to the gate, I started feeling like I was going to cry. I didn’t want to leave. However, I reminded myself that I would be back.
I took a picture of the hotel sign when we were walking back to our room.




Day Five: Friday November 14, 2008
We slept in a little this day but had to wake up to pack everything and clean the room. Once we had everything packed I noticed that we were running a little behind. We had about 15 minutes before check-out. We rushed to put our stuff in our car but had to go back to get the rest. My boyfriend started packing everything into the trunk while I went back to get the rest. I tried to use my keycard to get back in but it wasn’t working. So I ran back to my boyfriend and told him what happened. We checked our clocks and still had time but I started freaking out that we were locked out without half of our stuff. I ran to the front desk and they had to give us a new key. Once we got everything out of the room, I went back to the desk and checked out.

We were on the road at about 11am. We didn’t encounter too much traffic through LA. We stopped near Six Flags for some Burger King on the go. We made it all the way to Kettleman City before we needed gas. We stopped for gas and a bathroom break and were back on the road. We didn’t make any more stops and got to Vallejo around 6 or 6:30.

This trip was the most fun I have had at Disneyland since I did not feel rushed like all of my other trips. We were able to go at our own pace and do what we wanted to do without having people telling us to come meet up with them and ride what they want. It was a fun way to spend my birthday even though my actual birthday was the next day (and I had to work). I can't wait to go again.
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