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Old 12-01-2009, 02:04 AM   #1
deejdigsdis
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"IIIIIIIIIIIIII'LL DRINK TO THAT!!!!" April 6 - April 11, 2014 Post #854

OK, if I had any clue my November 2009 trip (aka ending my 13 year Disneyland Drought) would snowball into getting an AP and taking 4 more trips... I would have organized this thing a little better. I just thought it would be my one trip before heading back in a few years. (Little did I know.)

April 2010. 11th Anniversary Trip 4 1/2 years late http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2342117&page=5 Post #74

October 2010. WELCOME FOOLISH MORTALS. http://www.disboards.com/showthread....342117&page=11 Post #155

January 2011. "Disneyland just isn't the same without Splash Mountain, is it Mom?" http://www.disboards.com/showthread....342117&page=18 Post #257

April 2011. "No honey, the Billy Hill guys aren't robotic like the Pirates..." http://www.disboards.com/showthread....342117&page=26 Post #386

November 2011. Finally! Setting Sail On The Sailing Ship Columbia After 15 Years... http://www.disboards.com/showthread....342117&page=41 Post #603

October 2012. WELCOME FOOLISH MORTALS. VOLUME 2. http://www.disboards.com/showthread....342117&page=49 Post #729

April 2014. "IIIIIIIIIIII'll Drink To That!" http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post51366171 Post #854


ENJOY!




OK, here goes my first TR...

As mentioned in my title, it has been over 13 years since my last visit to Disneyland. Far, far too long. When I was growing up we would go to DL almost every summer for 3 days. I have many happy memories of Disneyland being my very favorite place to be. Fast forward to adulthood...DH and I went to DL with my family a week after we got married. (Does anyone have a picture of a couple taking a nap by the little door near Alice in Wonderland from Aug. 1994? That was us. I just remember having my eyes closed and people walking by, commenting on how cute we looked and taking our picture.) We visited again with my family in Aug. 1996, where we re-enacted the napping near the little door so I could have my own picture. Then, that was it. The drought began.

Now 13 years and 3 sons later, here we are. Earlier this year my DS6 saw a commercial advertising the "get in free on your birthday" campaign. He said, "Mom, you need to take us while we are young so we will enjoy it." I thought this to be rather profound for him, and it got the wheels turning. The research began. I booked the HOJO Kids' Suite in July for $99/night. No Entertainment Card needed. That was just the rate. I found Disboards in August. I planned and planned, and watched DH roll his eyes a number of times (part of the reason we haven't been back ), and kept the kids in the dark about my plans. Finally, I couldn't keep it in any longer. At the end of September we celebrated "Talk Like A Pirate Day" one week after the official "Talk Like A Pirate Day." The kids woke up to this poster:



I spent the day preparing a Pirate Treasure Hunt for them. I had bought wooden pirate-themed ornaments at Michael's. I typed up rhyming clues in a pirate-talk/pirate-y font and taped them to the back of the pirate ornaments.



One clue after another sent them all around the neighborhood. The last clue led them to a Pirate Treasure Map. They had to figure out what location was represented by the map, and then we were off to a little beach in a local State Park. They ran down the beach until they found the big black X and began to dig.



They each dug up a little treasure chest with puzzle pieces and chocolate gold coins.



The put-together-puzzle:



The part about the hitchhiking ghosts was what gave it away for DS9 and DS6. DS3 was too busy stuffing chocolate coins into his mouth to pay attention.

They also found an envelope from Mickey containing strips of Mickey Mouse wrapping paper. They had to count the strips to find out how many days until we would leave, and then they made a countdown chain with the strips. It was nice to talk about the trip openly with someone who wasn't doing this: I held off buying our park hoppers because DH's boss has a friend that works at DL, and we were waiting to see if we'd get any free-ness out of that relationship. A few days before leaving, we found out it wouldn't work out. So, off to buy our 4 day hoppers at The Disney Store. Now, I still think the ticket prices are a bargain for what I get out of the DL experience (or did years ago...). But wow, it's not 1982 anymore, is it?!? I recently came across my old Disneyland Passport from that time period...1 day Child ticket for $9!

More to come soon...

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Old 12-01-2009, 02:23 AM   #2
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Back sooner than I thought...

We headed out for our 18 day round trip road trip (decided we'd fit in some visits with friends and family and time things to hit our usual Thanksgiving spot on the way home) on Nov. 11th. We arrived at HOJO on the night of Sat. the 14th, after spending that day at Legoland. We checked into our Kids' Suite and were not disappointed. It was plenty big for the 5 of us. We loved our 6th floor location. Our neighbors were the outside wall and the ice machine area. As far as the infamous freeway noise goes, it didn't bother us at all. It was quite noticeable when we first entered our room, but we got used to it really fast. We didn't use the A/C to drown it out, the kids never even noticed the noise, and it just wasn't an issue.

Our first day in the parks was Mon. the 16th. I was way too excited to get a good night's sleep. Finally, everyone was ready to go. The walk from HOJO was easier than I was expecting. DS9 and DS6 never complained about it. DS3 was always in the stroller. He never complained about it either. When we reached the Disneyland Resort sign I was all smiles. But it didn't quite feel like I was there yet -- that was unfamiliar territory. We breezed through security, passed the ticket booths, and headed toward the turnstiles. That's when the happy tears started. I was back! I didn't know if I would ever make it back there, and here I was, about to pass into that magical realm. Anyway, I was glad I was wearing sunglasses. I didn't want to appear too crazy-lady-ish.

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Old 12-01-2009, 02:42 AM   #3
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OK, just had to make sure the picture-posting thing worked.



I was just so excited. We passed the Mickey Head flowers, then on through the tunnel.



Don't worry, I won't be giving a second-by-second play of the whole visit.



It's sinking in...I'm really at Disneyland! After heading through the tunnel, I sent DH and the kids to City Hall to get "1st Visit" buttons. I headed down Main Street. The tears were still coming. I knew I was going to cry. I just didn't know if it would be because the Disneyland that I knew and cherished from yesteryear (yesterdecade?) was all but dead (that's what it seemed like in all the research/reading I had done -- so much had changed), or if it would be because I would just get that same old feeling when I passed through the turnstiles and tunnel and entered Main Street. I am happy to report that the Disneyland I knew was alive and well at that moment.

So I am heading down Main Street alone. Where? To Space Mountain to get FPs for later. I did stop in the middle of Main Street and take this picture.



Oh yeah, just in case one might notice that our family is conspicuously missing from the pictures that I post, there is a reason. For the past 7-ish years DH has worked in the field of providing treatment/therapy to s** offenders. This work has taken its toll and led us to be a bit more protective of our online family privacy. Hopefully it won't detract much from the TR... I for one love to look at complete strangers' pictures and read about their DL adventures.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:19 AM   #4
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After picking up the Space FPs, I headed back to the big Christmas tree. The guys had gotten their buttons and we noticed some filming going on.





Anyone know who this is? DH heard the name "Zach" mentioned, and something about an ABC Family show.

My next order of business was to hop on the Disneyland Railroad at the Main Street Station. When I was young, that was always our first thing we did, to put us in the Disney mood as we caught glimpses of what was to come. Seeing as how this was my kids' first visit, I wanted to take a roundtrip ride and watch their excitement build. As it turned out, I think it was just my excitement that was building. They were more wondering why we weren't doing anything while everyone else was.

So we get off the train at Main Street and they already needed a snack. We just sat on the benches right there while they ate pretzel sticks and pumpkin seeds. I took a few more pics.







I just loved all the poinsettias everywhere. Just beautiful!

Alright, break time is over -- I'm wondering how they will ever make it through the day...taking a break after being there for maybe 30 minutes?!? Off to Adventureland we go, straight to Tarzan's Treehouse.



DH stayed down below and I headed up with the kids. They loved this and took a little bit more time with it than I would have, but that was fine.

Next up...POTC! A favorite of mine. DS9 and DS6 were looking forward to this one. DS3...not so much. I had shown him home videos and youtube videos to no avail. "Mom, I'm not going on the Pirate ride. It's too dark and there are too many pirates and it's too long." We got in line -- oh wait, there was no line -- we just walked on. DS6 and DS9 sat in the very front by themselves, then DS3 sat between me and DH in the second row and was fine. I just love that ride.

Haunted Mansion was next. Again, we walked right into the house. I asked a CM where the FP machines were for later. He just said, "You won't need them today." All the kids were fine with this one, although they were really disappointed that they didn't get to see the hitchhiking ghosts. Afterall, that is the clue that clued them in to the fact they were going to DL. For me, I didn't care for it at all. The Holiday version, that is. I tried to just enjoy it for what it was, but it was hard. I missed the floating candles and the "Hurry Baaaack! Hurry Baaaack! Be sure to bring your DEATH certificate!" I could be remembering it wrong - it's been a while.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:44 AM   #5
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Time to get a little wet. Off to Splash Mountain we go. Line was 5 - 10 min. long. All the kids were fine in line, until DS9 used the words, "50 foot drop." DS6 got anxious at that point. I told him I would ride in the very back with him so we could sit together, so that's what we did. DH was in front of us, with DS3 in front of him, and then DS9 front and center. DS6 began to cry a bit, but enjoyed it by the end. I held him tight during the drop. DH on the other hand FORGOT to hold DS3 the best he could, and he slid clear forward during the drop. He seemed OK, but still...

We decided to do Pooh next. Well, it was right there, but DS3 needed to feel safe, I assume. Another walk on. The kids loved it. I wish I knew to look for Max, Buff and (what was the other one's name) from the old Country Bear Jamboree. I didn't find out about that until after our trip. Anyway, I went to go check out the Splash line. 20 minute standby, 25 minute FP return time. Is that weird? I grabbed FPs, we rode Pooh again, then that cute little Pooh Corner was calling my name, so in we went to check out those Tigger Tails!



Yum! I meant for the 5 of us to share the 2 tails -- they seemed like they would be really sweet. DH, DS9, and I had maybe 5 bites between us, and the other 2 boys ate the rest. Very cute and very sweet. Time to get in line for Splash. Once DS3 figured out what we were in line for, he started to cry. So I got out of line with him once we reached the loading area, and we just waited for the others to get off. We got a child swap pass and DS9 hopped back on with me. At this point this is his favorite ride.



Time for lunch at Hungry Bear. I remember this being a favorite when I was younger. I like the location. I had to get another picture:



DS9 said, "You're taking a picture of a garbage can?!?" Anything that looks unchanged from my childhood is picture-worthy to me! I remember these trash cans so well!

Seems like a good stopping point. Laundry is out of the dryer and I can go to bed now.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:20 AM   #6
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Great TR, cant wait to read more!
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:07 PM   #7
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Great TR so far! We are leaving in two days and seeing all of the Christmas decorations up is getting me so excited!!

Those Tigger Tails looked delicious...I may have to give one a try.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:22 AM   #8
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OK, leaving the Hungry Bear...

I'm pretty sure we went on Pooh yet again. DS3 said this was his favorite ride so far. I was glad to find something that he loved...but then he told me why. "The elephant has gas and it so funny!" My other boys agreed. I must have missed that part. That doesn't sound very Disney-esque to me, but all the boys say they heard it. Can anyone enlighten me? Leave it to my boys to work that topic into any conversation.

On to other things. We noticed the raft was coming back and there were only a few people waiting to go over, so we decided to head to the island. A big hit with my boys. They reminded me that on the vacation DVD it shows pirates running around the island with the kids. They were disappointed that they didn't see any. Do they really do that, or was that just part of the advertising? Anyway, they still had fun.



DH rested at a picnic table with a good view of the river. He hurt his back a few months ago, so he was glad to have a chance to rest while I followed the kids around. After exploring a good while we re-joined Dad at the picnic table on the river. The Tiana Showboat Jubilee was sailing by.



We had a view of the back side, and it felt like we were getting our own private showing. I thought it was a good time to break out the Mickey/Goofy/Pluto Pez dispensers that I picked up at home before the trip. They thought that was a fun surprise.

Time to head back to the mainland. We walked around the edge of the island that has that stage-type place to go back to wait for the raft. It was roped off such that we couldn't get to the loading area. The raft CM came over and started impatiently telling us that we weren't supposed to be there. There were other people sitting in that stage area watching the Tiana show and he actually started yelling at them in a "get out of there" sort of way. Surprising. A couple others waiting for the raft told him that the other end wasn't roped off, so people (including us) didn't know they weren't supposed to be there. After an exasperating sigh he let us through. He didn't undo the rope - we had to climb over. It was all kind of odd.

I was ready for some adventure, so we headed to Thunder Mountain. About a 10 -15 minute wait. I put DS3 inbetween me and DS6. He was silent with a straight face the whole time. After it was over I asked him if he liked it. With his straight face and monotone voice he said, "No. It was fast." I guess it was then that I resigned to the fact that this wasn't going to be the visit where all the kids would ride all the rides. And kids are so different. DS6 cried when he didn't like a ride -- not loud and screaming or anything. And DS3 just has a silent straight face the whole time and you're not quite sure what he's thinking.

By this time it was getting dark, and so pretty with all the lights. We headed to Fantasyland and felt like the Carousel would be a good place to start. It looks so pretty and inviting at night. All the kids liked that one. We did it twice since there wasn't a wait. We noticed that Pinocchio had no line so we went there next. I forgot how scary those dark rides can be.

On to Teacups...



Everyone did this ride - except me. I just can't do the spinny stuff. It was fun to watch everyone else having a good time. Again, so pretty at night.

I had been dying to see the Holiday version of It's a Small World, so we headed that way next. Along with everyone else, it seemed. I heard another guest say, "It's like everyone is just drawn to the light." The closer we got, the more crowded it got. This was the first time all day that I felt it was crowded. We reached a point where we were told we could go no further with our stroller, or else we would get trapped. Whatever that meant. So we turned back to go toward Matterhorn, when this "Cherish the holidays forever" spiel came over the speakers. We happened to be in a perfect spot to enjoy the falling snow. It was beautiful and it really did look like snow! I had read about the "bubbles" on the DIS, but I was expecting little round bubbles, like the kind you blow. It wasn't that kind -- it really did look like snow. My kids are very familiar with snow. DS9 stuck his tongue out to catch the snowflakes. "Ewww! It's really soap!" Even he was fooled. The funny thing was that he stuck his tongue out a few days later to catch snow and was surprised that it was still soap!

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Old 12-02-2009, 12:42 AM   #9
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What a sweet trip report! I had maybe a 5 year drought and I thought that was bad! Sunglasses so people can't see you get teary-eyed...what a great idea!

(That snow bit made me laugh!)

I THINK they used to have pirates on the island? There was some sort of show too, though I don't know if it was on the island or back on the mainland, since I never saw it. At any rate, they've been gone for quite some time. Maybe when/if the next PotC movie comes out...

I'd been wondering what it was like to see Tiana's show from the island, so thanks for that info.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:52 AM   #10
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Hi there goofycathy and cinderella-princess!

After the snowfall, we headed to the Matterhorn. I hopped on with DS9 - less than 10 minute wait. He loved it. A little jerkier than I remember, but I loved it too. The line was still short, so DH and DS9 hopped on while I waited with the other 2 boys. At this time, Matterhorn is now DS9's favorite ride. Now was a good time to pull out the glow bracelets I picked up at the dollar store at home before the trip. Another one of those great DIS tips. Of course my boys joined them together in such a way that they were lightsabers.... Anyway, it's pretty dark there in some areas. The glowing things definitely helped us keep the kids with us more easily as we maneuvered through the nighttime crowds. We brought out new ones every night - they looked forward to that.

Meanwhile, DS3 fell asleep in the stroller. We decided to finally use those Space FPs I picked up first thing that morning. I took DS9 over while DH took the other 2 and got DS6 some pizza at Pizza Port. Then DH took DS9 on Space while I sat with the other 2 boys. Yay for Fast Passes and less than 10 minute waits! I was really looking forward to this one, and riding it with DS9 for his first time. I think I was about his age when I finally went on it for the first time. I remember having to get out of line once at the last minute. A girl from home had told me that it was an upside down rollercoaster, and I had never done one of those before, and I got scared. Back to current times...I had read that Space Mountain was closed for a long time and totally re-done. I have to say that it felt the same to me. Granted a memory can get fuzzy after 13 years, but what is different? Besides no giant chocolate chip cookie-looking asteroid flying around? (Oh how I missed that!)



Space Mountain is now DS9's new favorite ride! Poor Matterhorn only got to be #1 for about 30 minutes.

Well, DS6 hadn't seen any action in a while, declining to ride Matterhorn and Space. DH took the older two boys for their first ride on Buzz. I sat with a sleeping DS3 and watched the people go by. I thought about my first day back to Disneyland after so many years. It was mostly perfect. I was worried I wouldn't recognize anything and that everything would have changed. I was pleasantly surprised how much was the same - and how it felt the same - after all these years.

Park closing time. Wow, where did the time go? When I grew up we always went on a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday in July or August. The hours were 8am to 1am. And we stayed the whole time. So this business of park hours being 10am to 8pm was strange. But it ended up being good for our family. There's no way my current family could handle those long hours, and I'm sure if we were taking a break I'd be feeling antsy about needing to be in the park as much as I could so I wouldn't miss out on anything. So this was good. We took our time walking back down Main Street. It is such a sight at Christmas time. I absolutely loved it. I could have sat there for hours, looking up and down the street, listening to the constant Christmas music, soaking it all in.

So that's the end of Day 1. We walked back to HOJO. No complaints yet about the walk. Totally doable.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeee-va View Post

I'd been wondering what it was like to see Tiana's show from the island, so thanks for that info.
It was fun. Louis the Alligator - or is he a crocodile - waved to us for the longest time. Just us, since we were the only ones there. It reminded me of a time years ago when my family was sitting in the lower Hungry Bear area when the darkened Mark Twain boat sailed by after a Fantasmic show. The lights were all off and you could barely make out all of the characters. Anyway, they all started waving and it was so fun because it was just us. Good memory!
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:46 PM   #12
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And now for a bit o' Christmas Cheer...









I just loved looking in all of the windows on Main Street. Fun stuff!
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:34 AM   #13
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Day 2

First on the agenda:



Actually, the plan was to use this morning as our Magic Morning. Once we headed to bed Mon. night, and I was so tired, I decided we'd do MM on Thursday instead. Wed. was our beach/rest day, so it made more sense to me to go the day after our rest day, rather than the day after a Disneyland day.

Once again we didn't get the early start that I had hoped for, but I still wanted to try to catch the first JTA of the day. DS9 and DS6 and I rushed ahead to try to get there before it started. Luckily there were still rope-side seats 10 minutes from showtime. We had watched videos of this on youtube and were really excited. It looked like such a cool show. DS6 had been going back and forth on whether or not he wanted to participate. In the end he decided not to. I think he kind of regrets it, though. I know he would have loved it, had he given himself the chance. Anyway, DS9 held up the sign he made - which he thought of all on his own - "Jedi Rule -- Sith Drool." I thought it was clever! He ended up being the second child chosen. Woo Hoo! He was the only one with a sign, as far as we could tell. It was so fun to watch. It is really well done.

I thought Darth Maul was so scary!










I liked the clever Master that we had. What a fun experience for all the kids involved in the training. DS9 got to battle Darth Maul in the end, which is what he was hoping for. It kind of looked like they had the older kids battle Darth Maul, and the younger ones took on Darth Vader.

The Dark Side was defeated. DS9 is now an official Padawan.

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Old 12-04-2009, 01:53 AM   #14
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So after JTA we decided to do Autopia. The line was 15 minutes long, which just seemed so long since it was our longest line yet. I always laugh a lot on this ride. I let DS3 steer and I just had the giggles the whole time. Just the jerking back and forth and the steering wheel spinning out of control on its own...is it just me? DS9 was riding on his own in front of us and he seemed to be having a hard time keeping his foot down on the pedal. DS3 just squealed and squealed and had a blast.



We had PS arrangements for Carnation Cafe, but had a few minutes to spare, so DH took all 3 boys on Star Tours. This is another one I can't do. I remember getting sick on it years ago.



Time for our Meet-n-Greet with Chef Oscar! I had been looking forward to the famous Loaded Baked Potato Soup. We were seated right away and I spotted Chef Oscar immediately. He is such a cute, kind-looking man. He walked by and I told him that I was there to try the soup.



He told me that if I liked it, he would give me the recipe. I was sure I would. That kind of soup is right down my alley. After we ordered, he pulled a chair up to our table and chatted for a while.



I said, "I bet you have some good Disneyland stories to tell us." His reply was, "I don't know about that!" Awww - I was hoping to hear some fun stuff. DH nonchalantly recorded the 10 minute conversation - which sadly got deleted before I even had a chance to watch it. I probably wouldn't have been able to hear anything anyway. He spoke very softly. I asked him to repeat things a couple of times, but after that I did a lot of smiling and nodding and "Oh!" at seemingly appropriate times. I just couldn't hear him very well and I didn't want to keep saying, "What?" It was fun anyway. He told me how to make the soup. He made a special point of telling me to make sure I use HEAVY cream so it doesn't burn. He signed the copy of the recipe that he gave me - on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. There was one little empty spot on the page and he told me to put a picture of me and him in that spot, frame it and hang it in my kitchen.



I ordered the 1/2 sandwich and cup of soup, but upgraded to the bowl for $2 extra.



I wish I would have gotten a picture of my kids' peanut butter sandwich palettes before they dug in. They were so cute! 2 pieces of white bread, pb, jelly, and little cups of raisins, bananas, and marshmallows. Only at Disneyland will I pay $7 for a pb and jelly sandwich!

DS6 liked his this way:



This one was DS3's:



Doesn't that look appetizing?? When I was first going through my pics I thought it looked like a cheesy broccoli concoction. He is a picky eater so I was surprised that he wanted everything on it and actually ate it.

Lunch is over...time to head to DCA for our very first time...
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:01 PM   #15
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Forgot to give my review of the Loaded Baked Potato Soup. SO. SO. GOOD. I think I was saying, "This is soooo good!" the entire time I was eating it.

OK. I ran to get FPs for Indy to use later. We never did get to use the ones from the day before. I met the guys back at the fire station. They were all sitting in the fire engine. Here is a view of the tree from the fire station. At 1:00pm.



More Train Station Pics... Yes, Folks...Disneyland IS open!





I love it when I happen to get a picture of a clock without trying. It's fun to see what time the picture was taken.

Look who we saw on our way out of DL in front of the Guided Tours building:



I think this is hilarious! This is DS3 in the picture with Chip. He looks like he's been posing with Princesses all day! Or at least watching Princesses pose all day. Which he hadn't.



Still trying to make our way over to DCA... I love these posters in the tunnel.



OK. Confession time. I've just never had a desire to visit DCA. I've always been a Disneyland fan, but I thought everything was just fine the way it was. I loved walking through that big old parking lot. (Not so much at 1am after 15 hours in the park.) I'm just not one that is big on change when I like things as is. I could have easily stayed at DL the whole time and never hopped. I wasn't anti-DCA, I just wasn't particularly interested in it. But...the rest of my family was, so off we went. That's up next.

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