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Boring old Trip Report from 1999


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  • Trip Report Boring old Trip Report from 1999

    Just psyching myself up, and thought some folks might be interested in it. It was my wife's first trip. From the archives of Alt.Disney.Disneyland.

    Trip Report - Oct 2nd to 4th - Part 1 [LONG]

    Part 1 - Getting There:
    While I remember visiting Disneyland several times during my childhood, my second to last visit was perhaps 5 or so years ago, when the Rivers of America was drained, and construction walls were up announcing the forthcoming Fantasmic!

    My last visit was about two years ago, when Tomorrowland was still under construction. That visit involved a chum, his friend, and myself. This third person, alas, was only interested in riding all the big rides as quickly as possible, and then leaving the park before any of the parades or shows. I did get my first ride on Indy, and had used the DIG to prepare for my trip - but I was still largely unaware of the a.d.d. newsgroup.

    This time, my wife Lori announced that we might think of going on a trip, as she had three days of vacation to burn before the busy season started at her workplace. Since she got to pick the itinerary of our last trip, she let me pick the location for this one. Since I had discovered the a.d.d. group, reading trip reports had worked up the desire to go back to Disneyland - and the thought of finally getting to see Fantasmic! was more than enough motivation in itself. My wife was not sure if she would enjoy DL, as she had never attended, but thought that at least the weather would make a pleasant change from the Seattle rain. Lena, a housemate of ours, was interested in going along as well.

    In fact, we had previously plotted a trip earlier in the year, but had to cancel the plans due to scheduling problems. This time, we had plenty of time to prepare, and we fixed the exact date based on the latest time Lori's work would allow her to go. I researched various web sited, queried the newsgroup, and made reservations via the Internet.

    One interesting problem was that I wanted to try the Candy Cane Motel, as it was generally recommended, and I didn't wish to pop the price for the Disney hotels, as least not while the monorail was down. Several hotel reservation search engines showed the Candy Cane as being booked up during my desired dates. However, before going with an alternate, I called them direct - and it appeared they had plenty of room!

    We plotted on flying in Friday evening into Burbank - it being recommended by a friend who lives in Hollywood - and getting a rental car and driving to the Candy Cane. Reservations for Medieval Times had been made for Saturday dinner, and plans for later in the week (the Getty Museum, Universal Studios) were arranged. The return flight was set for Wednesday, later in the evening.

    I reserved plane tickets online, as well as the rental car. The phone was used for Medieval Times reservations, and Getty parking reservations - 2:30 PM being the earliest available time when reserving two weeks in advance! We planned to stay at my Hollywood friend's apartment for our last two nights, as it was nearer the Getty, Universal, and the Burbank airport. I generated driving directions between the various locations via MapQuest online. I stopped by AAA and got three day flex passes, as well as Universal tickets.

    So much for the logistics of planning. I spent the final week before the trip whipping myself into a Disney frenzy via various web pages, postings, and discussion. Finally, Friday arrived, and we were off. The flight over (on Alaska) was pleasantly uneventful. After some slight confusion finding the rental place - I had chosen Dollar rent-a-car, and they are located in the Hilton across from the airport - we got our car, and drove to the hotel. My wife was relieved to find the hotel pleasant, as she still refers to my last hotel choice in Vancouver as "hotel Satan".

    Getting to sleep turned out to be slightly more difficult than expected, as a childlike anticipation had set in: tomorrow morning I'd be in Disneyland!

    (part 2 to follow immediately)
    Last edited by Chanfan; 09-05-2010, 10:45 AM.

    "I DIG A.D.D."

  • #2
    Re: Boring old Trip Report from 1999

    Part II - Saturday, Oct 2nd - Disneyland!

    OK, so getting to sleep had been difficult, but not everyone wanted to get up early. Still, we managed to get up, get prepared, and get the Candy Cane supplied breakfast (toast, bagels, cereal, juices, and fruit). My wife rolled her eyes at the site of Lena and I bouncing up and down in anticipation - Lena hadn't been there since she was eleven. We boarded the shuttle, wound our way around the street construction, and debarked in the blue zone in front of the Magic Kingdom.

    We followed the heard towards the park, peering at the DCA construction. Our flex passes were stamped, and we passed the turnstiles. Lori commented that she didn't like the weird electronic "boing" the turnstiles made as people passed through.

    We circled around the barrier covering the Mickey planter, and I heard the familiar sound of the recording announcing the arrival of the Disneyland Express at the Main Street Station. We stopped into one of the Main Street shops (General store?) in the hopes of finding a mocha for Lori - amazingly, the older CM was quite cranky when she curtly announced that we would have to go to the bakery for "flavored coffee". The CMs at the bakery were perfectly courteous, however, and supplied the necessary liquid.

    That out of the way, we headed inwards to Adventureland. Lori was amazed that the park was so clean - being used to the local state fair, which tends to not be. Alas for me, the Tiki room didn't open until noon. The Jungle cruise didn't open until 11. We moved on to Indy, and got in line.

    Any worries I had about my wife possibly not enjoying Disneyland were quickly dispelled. She had some concerns about the ride either being too- coaster like (as she doesn't generally like coasters) or to hard on her back, but decided to go ahead anyway. She was amazed by the queue - indeed, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. I was sorry that I had forgotten to print out decoders for the runes. Lori positively chided me when we reached the spike room and I touched the pole marked "Danger - Do Not Touch". :-) I was afraid the room wasn't working, but it was only still resetting. We continued to enjoy the little touches in the line, and I had fun jiggling the rope down the well. When we finally finished the ride, Lori had a big grin on her face- I believe she said "That kicked ***!"

    We followed that up with a ride on the Jungle Cruise, but I felt the skipper we got was only adequate in his banter. Since the Tiki room still wasn't open, we moved on down to Tarzan's Treehouse. I liked the new interactive bits, but still have some nostalgia for the Swiss Family Treehouse. Being greeting by a CM holding a big boa constrictor at the bottom helped dispel that feeling.

    Next, we headed over to the Haunted Mansion, whose line was still quite short. It was long enough to allow for a wind past the pet tombstones, and I impressed my co-travelers with tidbits of information about the carriage and such. The ride was quite enjoyable, with one minor breakdown that happened before we reached the doombuggies, and only lasted about a minute. It was a joy to watch my wife's reactions to the ride, especially to the hitchhiker at the end.

    Since it was now past noon, I managed to convince my party to head back to the Tiki Room. We got there in plenty of time for the pre-show show, which I had missed on my last visit. I had a pineapple juice, while Lori had a pineapple piece - both being quite nummy. The show was somewhat enhanced in our eyes by what appeared to be two business travelers - one being Polynesian, and his friend pointing out various bits to him to see how offended he would be. We found it amusing, and soon forgot about them when the show started. Lori surprised me by having little reservation about singing along with the birdies. :-)

    We wondered over to Big Thunder Railroad, with Lori opting out of the ride. Lena nerved herself up for it, being acrophobic, but deciding that the ride looked like it didn't go unacceptably high. She enjoyed the ride, as did I, but I forgot to do the goat trick.

    Afterwards, we wondered into New Orleans Square, and stopped in for a bread bowl full of chowder. We followed this up with a ride on the Mark Twain. I almost asked to go up into the pilothouse, but saw that a mother was also trying to get the captains attention, so I bowed out in favor of her little girl. I think she got more out of pulling the steam whistle than I would have! Much of the rest of the afternoon involved stopping into various shops and browsing. We had to head out in order to drive over to Medieval Times, but we did go through Sleeping Beauties Castle first. I remembered to give the turnstile a couple of extra pulls. We also had time to take a trip around the park on the railroad. It was gratifying to have old memories tickled by the site of the Grand Canyon and the prehistoric version of the same. I do kind of wish they'd update it a bit.

    We had to leave the park around 4:30 or so, in order to make our dinner reservations. Mediaeval Times was amusing in parts, corny in parts, but I was in a good enough mood to generally find it enjoyable. I can see how kids would like it quite a bit, but it did certainly have that "Tourist Trap" feeling to it - in that they always seemed to have the hard sell on, to get you to buy crap. This also seems to be the case with Universal Studios.

    For some reason I don't much find that problem with Disneyland - it's more like they just do an excellent job of making it ultra easy to buy things. The only problem I had with their marketing was when ride queues exited through stores - otherwise, I didn't find it intrusive.

    Anyway, after dinner and the show at Mediaeval Times was over, we headed back to the hotel. Lori decided that she was tired, and would go to bed. Lena and I were still raring to go, so we headed back to the park.

    We decided that it might still be problematic getting Lori to go on some of the rides in Fantasyland - and anyway, the lines weren't too bad. We hit Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Pinnochio's Daring Journey, Peter Pan's Flight, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White's Scary Adventure. I tend to equate many of these rides, as they tend to all use flat illustrations. I do enjoy Alice (which doesn't use flats), Peter Pan (gotta love those ships!), and Mr. Toad (can't quite explain it - perhaps it has something to do with going to hell for bad driving?). Lena especially enjoyed Alice, as she's a big Lewis Carroll fan.

    Finished with our journey through Fantasyland, we rode the Matterhorn and Space Mountain. The latter broke down while we were in the queue, and took a while to get fixed. I did take a snap of the tracks while the lights were on - I'll have to see if it comes out.

    Ended the night by deciding to wait in the seemingly endless line for the Rocket Rods - unfortunately, during the wait, Lena felt ill, and decided to return to the hotel. I stuck it out, and did enjoy seeing the circle vision again. The ride itself was fun - not worth the extra long wait, perhaps, and a little short. I'll agree with what some others have posted - it feels a little fast for a tour, but a little slow for a thrill ride - but would be enjoyable if you didn't have to queue up so long.

    Finally, returned home on the next to last shuttle, to receive a comment of "shame!" from the wife for coming in after midnight. Hey, I warned her I'd be staying until the park closed… :-)

    (Day two and three to come later. Hope I'm not being too long winded here…)
    Last edited by Chanfan; 09-05-2010, 10:45 AM.

    "I DIG A.D.D."


    • #3
      Re: Boring old Trip Report from 1999

      Part III - Sunday, Oct 3rd - Fantasmic!

      Despite getting back to the hotel quite late, I manage to get up fairly early. We ate a few items at the Candy Cane breakfast buffet, and hopped the shuttle over for our first uninterrupted day at Disneyland.

      Lori wanted to get some "real food", so we stopped at the Carnation Cafe. Lori had the Croissantwich, Lena a truly gigantic cinnamon roll, and I had a Mikey waffle.

      After breakfast, we wandered a bit, ending up in Tomorrowland. Lori wanted to go on the Astro orbiter, so we got in line, Lena opting out to take pictures. After a slight mishap of trying to squeeze two adults into one orbiter, we took our ride.

      Lori liked the sound that the Rocket Rods were making (which I admit is cool), and wanted to queue up, despite the posted hour wait. Lena was also keen to go, having missed out after standing in line the night before. They got in line while I headed off to walk around and take another ride on Indy.

      After they finished up riding the Rocket Rods, we hooked back up, and headed over to the Haunted Mansion for another ride. This time, the ride broke down just when we were in front of the hitchhiking ghost mirrors - again, only for about a minute. I took the opportunity to take a picture - hope it comes out!

      As it was nearing noon, I head to the hub for the A.D.D. meet. I peered at a likely group, but didn't spot any A.D.D. pins. However, I recognized a few of them from web photos, and headed over to introduce myself.

      People were quite friendly, and it was nice to be able to put faces to names. I got to view the Freakin' Adorable One, see the mighty golden float being used by Adrienne, view the red carpet being set out for new folks, and get my pin from Al. I also met Kevin, Andrew, Jennifer, Verbal, and many other folks who's names I've embarrassingly forgotten. I've never been very good with names.

      I do remember one fellow popping off to get my wife a sticker after I informed the group that she was a Disneyland virgin - thanks for that, she enjoyed it! Sadly, I managed to loose the A.D.D. pin later in my trip, so it didn't even make it home. That's a good excuse to go back, come to think of it...

      We weren't hungry for lunch yet, so we bid the A.D.D. folks adieu and headed off into Frontierland.

      We ended up selecting the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Lena encourage Lori to try it out, as she had ridden it the first day, and found it didn't set off her acrophobia. Lori got her nerve up, and enjoyed it! This time, I remembered to try the goat trick - worked fairly well for me.

      Since the girls were riding high on the concept that they could stand Disneyland rollercoaster-like attractions, we headed over to Splash Mountain. Now, Lori and Lena both had trepidation regarding the big drop - drops being one of the main thing Lori doesn't like in coasters. Still, they queued up with me.

      They seemed to get mighty quiet in the line, so I happily sang the Tiki Tiki Tiki Room song to distract them. We finally made it to our log - they "forced" me to take the front seat, which I was more than happy to do.

      I'd forgotten that there's a few little drops in the ride, including one that always seems to get me more wet than the big drop. Lori was delighted with the show along the way, especially the chickens(?) can- caning, showing off their bloomers. She makes period costume, so she found this especially amusing.

      Well, we made it through the big drop, and the picture turned out well enough that we purchased it. I have a nice expression of enjoyment, Lori's head it tucked down, Lena shows pure terror. :-) Lori also purchased a Splash Mountain T-shirt to proudly display the fact that she braved the ride, although she vowed never to ride it again that trip.

      I then convinced them to go to the Country Bear Playhouse, as I had not seen the vacation version of the jamboree. Again, we all found it quite enjoyable, and Lori sang along.

      By then it was time to head back to Main Street to see the Mulan parade. We took the side of the street the sun was still beating down on, as it was mostly empty, the wiser folk having arrived earlier so as to be able to sit in the shade. We did see an amusing pre-show performance by the street cleaning crew.

      The parade was very enjoyable! I thought the various floats were great, and the performers were quite good. I did somewhat cynically observe to myself that some of the balancing bits seemed rigged - balanced jugs attached to the heads. I also thought that the ladies with the spinning toys should have done something more exciting with them, but they still looked good. I would later have my cynicism exploded in a subsequent viewing of the parade!

      After taking several pictures of the parade (and attracting the attention of the two-man Chinese dog, which posed and winked nicely), we headed back to Tomorrowland to go on Star Tours. Lori enjoyed it quite a bit, as did I, but the motion-simulator rides tend to make me slightly motion sick.

      We then headed over to Small World, which one of Lori's friends had made her promise to go on. Despite my worries about the saccharin factor and the virus-like song, Lori liked it quite well! We did, of course, subsequently have quite a bit of trouble getting the song out of our heads...

      We then popped back over to Indy, since Lori liked it so much. She really wanted to go on the Rocket Rods again, but the line was still quite long.

      We finished up our riding by heading over to Toon Town, playing with some of the interactive bits, and Lena and I going on Roger Rabbits Cartoon Spin - which I found OK, but not worth the long wait in the deceptively hidden queue. I'm not a big fan of spinning, however.

      Finally, we headed over so that I could finally get to see Fantasmic! I had underestimated the crowds (as we didn't really have to show up early for the Mulan parade). We decided to grab a bite, then stand for an hour. Fortunately, we picked a good spot, just to the right and slightly behind the center tower. I had read that the center tower was the place to be, and it sure seemed to afford an excellent view! It was a little cold, and Lori and Lena both picked up sweatshirts. I had read about that before, but the cold didn't get to me as much - must be my natural insulation. We chatted with some other guests in our area, so the hour passed relatively quickly.


      I'll say that again:


      We were blown away by the Fantasmic! performance. I'd read a bit about it, seen a quicktime movie or two, but none of that really prepared me for actually experiencing it. I can see why it would be well worth your time to steak out the riverside seats several hours early. I knew I was truly astounded when, oh, about half way through I realized I was standing there with my mouth hanging wide open. I closed it, but only a few seconds had passed before I had to open it with an "ooh!" or "ahh!" I just gave up and left it hanging open.

      I'd go into particular details, but why bother - if you haven't seen it for yourself, make absolutely sure you schedule it in to your next trip. I was sad I hadn't stopped by on Saturday, as I'd have been more than glad to see it twice.

      Suffice to say that we all were thrilled, and thought it was the perfect way to end a day at Disneyland. We headed back out of the park quite happy, bubbling over with talk of the performance, and stopping to pick up some jackets - two Tiggers, and one Eyore.

      Part IV to follow - our last day at Disneyland <*snif*>!
      Last edited by Chanfan; 09-05-2010, 10:45 AM.

      "I DIG A.D.D."


      • #4
        Re: Boring old Trip Report from 1999

        Part III - Sunday, Oct 3rd - Addendum

        Whoops - so much was happening on Sunday, I forgot a little tidbit.

        After we had finished viewing the Mulan parade, on our way to Star Tours, as we neared the Astro Orbiters, I heard the ride spewing forth this weird travel itinerary. I thought it was odd, and peeked over to see what was up.

        The CM in the booth was giving an amusing narration for the Astro Orbiters trip, describing the destination planet, and then winding it up with instructions to put tray-tables in the upright position. I peered closer, and saw what I had suspected - it was the fabled Maynard!

        I quickly took out my camera, and snapped a pic of him as he returned from unloading passengers. He spotted me taking his picture, and went into one of his famous poses. He then advised me that all proceeds that I made from publishing the picture on the Internet should be forwarded to him, and he returned to the control booth.

        We stayed a bit to listen to his spiel - he had an amusing description of the Dolphin planet that the next batch of Astro Orbiter pilots where headed for. He advised them that in the event of a water landing, they would sink immediately to the bottom.

        After laughing at his story and antics, we continued on our way...

        Also, I just reviewed my vacation pictures - alas, the picture of the ghost hitchhiker in our doombuggy that I took when the ride stopped didn't come out very well. I did get a fairly clear picture of part of the track inside Space Mountain.

        And I'll have to get large reprints of the picture of my wife getting a hug from Eyore. It's extra cute!
        Last edited by Chanfan; 09-05-2010, 10:45 AM.

        "I DIG A.D.D."


        • #5

          "I DIG A.D.D."


          • #6
            Re: Boring old Trip Report from 1999

            Wow, wall-o-text.

            I was able to convince her to go back (in 2000, and again this year).

            I will say I like trip reports - not only do you get to see how others enjoy the parks in their own ways, but it was great to be able to read such a detailed account of my own trip years later, when I'd forgotten many of the details. It's worth it just for that!

            "I DIG A.D.D."


            • #7
              Re: Boring old Trip Report from 1999

              How did you remember all that?


              • #8
                Re: Boring old Trip Report from 1999

                Oh, I had posted that to the alt.disney.disneyland newsgroup in 1999. Google has it in it's archives.

                [edit] Unless you mean how I remembered my trip at the time… I took notes at the end of each day.
                Last edited by Chanfan; 09-05-2010, 12:35 PM.

                "I DIG A.D.D."


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