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Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

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  • Trip Report Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

    Here we go, another Whoever Trip Report. This one is our annual (looking to actually do it annually) family week-long vacation from Arizona to Disneyland. For those who don't know the players, there's myself, Matt (aka; whoever), my wife Amy, my oldest Katherine (nearly 8 as of this trip), Charlotte (5.5 as of this trip), and Victoria (barely 2 as of this trip). Accompanying us are Lindsey and Reese (5ish), who are good friends and have accompanied us on Disneyland trips of past.


    Said in my best Peter Pan voice "Here we go!!!"


    10/20/2014...05:13. Pulled out of the garage after a WAY TOO LONG getting everybody up and into the car debacle. We can't ever seem to leave on time, and I had hoped to be on the road by 04:30. The sooner you check into the hotel, the better your chances for your sleeping arrangement request (for us, a queen and bunk beds) and potential for pixie dust upgrades to the room location or view. The kids were pretty zombie at this hour of the morn, but none were deciding to sleep.


    The children's tablets engaged their eyeballs at 05:38 after we were half way across the valley. Around 6AM, we encountered some slowing and traffic near exit 81. A tractor-trailer had overturned in the left lane and was being righted. At 07:00, we pulled off for our usual fuel stop at the Flying J while still in AZ. California fuel is easily a dollar more per gallon just a few miles down the road to best to keep the tank topped in Arizona (smell the freedom!!!).





    At 08:44, Victoria had given up the fight and decided to take a nap. The girls ate lunchables (or more accurately made a mess with lunchables). Right about this time, we were coming up on the windmill farms. They looked to be getting a decent breeze. Shortly afterwards, we entered the Moreno valley. We engaged in a debate as to the nature of the visibility obscuring material floating everywhere. Was it smoke? Fog? Smog? A quick google weather check indicated it to be "intense fog", and it was thick. I'd never seen it this thick in lower CA in fact. For desert dwellers like us, fog is something we only see locally maybe once or twice every ten years (thankfully).





    Around twenty-four past nine, we passed the Rubidoux exit. We both said it simultaneously... Rubydoo!!! (Yes, it would be Ruby-dough, but it wasn't for us right then and there). The Ruby-Doo was Amy and my favorite beverage during our last dining experience at Club 33.


    Just two minutes past ten, we were sitting at Ball Road and State College Blvd. There were some road flare ashes from what must have been an accident the prior night. Katherine having an overactive imagination and propensity for creativity said they must be a beignet trail. It would henceforth be referred to as "The Great Beignet Mystery".


    At a quarter past ten, we had disembarked the vehicle (no minor feat given the Tetris-esque packing routine) and were checking in at the front desk with Kiki.


    Tetris Volvo as pictured:







    She looked long and hard and after probably ten to fifteen minutes we finally were guaranteed a bunk-bed room. They would text us with the room number later (we've always received it at the desk in the past, so I don't know if they just didn't know which would be ready first). The girls had established themselves in front of the TV watching Pluto or Goofy shorts on the lobby TV.








    After check in, I headed over to the concierge to inquire about the Art of Craft tour. I was informed there was no tour today contrary to the schedule I had been provided. Not to be stymied, I booked a Friday tour for 1PM.


    By 10:49, we hit Downtown Disney. We were going to head over to Trader Joe's for lunch. A brief stop to oogle the Lego store and we were on our way to the Disneyland hotel.















    They were working on the sorcerer hat, so we jogged left, went by the smoking area for the Adventureland tower, cut through it, and made our way over to Sam's. We arrived and were told they didn't open for another half an hour (11:30 opening). Grr... We made a snap decision, and went for Tangaroa Terrace. I grabbed two salmon meals for the girls, some shrimp tacos for Amy, and I got the Ahi. The Ahi was great!! Much better than the last time I had it. Amy's shrimp tacos must have been equally good because they disappeared in short order, and the girls devoured their salmon like nobody's business.









    Satiated, we decided to head back towards DTD, but first we would make a stop into the Frontierland tower to check out the scale model of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Afterwards, we headed through the Rose Court to see where the girls will get married someday. They decided to show us how they would walk down the aisle... or not walk...


















    Afterwards, we made our way back to DTD and hit the Lego store. It was the least crowded I had ever seen it. You could ACTUALLY MOVE. I really liked a few of the kits, but they were several hundred dollars, and that wasn't in the budget. I'm kind of surprised Disney hasn't bought Lego or at least licensed Disney Parks to them as building kits. That would be a mega money maker. We split at World of Disney. Having a Premium Annual Pass, I was able to enter the parks this day even though I hadn't purchased tickets for the family other than the Halloween Party ones for later that day. I headed through bag check, and into DCA to hit up Katz Camera where I would redeem my voucher for my physical Photopass Plus. This was my first time using PP+, and I was eager to see if it was worth it. Ended up being a fraction of a dollar per picture from either the park attraction cameras or the Disney Photopass photographers. Once I download them (part of the package, or you can request a CD), I'll see if they compare to my camera's shots from the same operator. I don't shoot a flash pretty much ever, so there's always a risk of not having as good of a shot. Afterwards, I met back up with the girls in World of Disney and we headed towards the hotel to take advantage of the pool.






    Last edited by whoever; 10-26-2014, 09:23 AM.
    My Spring, 2017 Dapper Day Trip Report
    My Fall, 2016 Dapper Day and Club33 Trip Report
    My Summer, 2016 Walt's LA tour with Bob Gurr and Marty Skylar
    My Summer, 2016 Family Firsts Trip Report
    Matt's September, 2015 Solo after the Safari Sunrise Trip Report
    World Famous Jungle Cruise Safari Sunrise Premium Experience Trip Report
    My February, 2015 Dapper Day Trip Report
    My October, 2014 Family Vacation with Mickey's Halloween Party
    My September, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report
    My August, 2014 Solo Trip Report - 1901/C33 Jazz Club
    My June, 2014 Solo Trip Report
    My February, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report
    My Epic May, 2013 Trip Report
    My October, 2011 Trip Report
    My October, 2010 Trip Report

  • #2
    Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

    Your girls (Amy included) are simply adorable. Can't wait for more!


    Thank you to Poisonedapples for my awesome signature!
    KellyMcG86's Disneyland To Do List

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    • #3
      Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

      Yeah!!! Glad to see your TR up!

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      • #4
        Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

        Yay! I can't wait to see the rest!
        Follow me on Instagram: @disneylovingnurse :ap:

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        • #5
          Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

          Originally posted by whoever View Post
          ...They would text us with the room number later (we've always received it at the desk in the past, so I don't know if they just didn't know which would be ready first)...
          The policy at GCH is to not give out the room number until the room is ready, although it is clearly printed on the check-in form guests must sign.

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          • #7
            Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

            Fun! Fun! Fun!

            Can't wait for more!
            Your girls are so adorable, I have one 4 year old girl. I can't imagine two more of them! Sleep....what is sleep?

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            • #8
              Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

              Great report so far!
              Merrily on our way to nowhere at all.











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              • #9
                Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

                Great trip report! Looking forward to more.
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                No matter where you go, there you are.

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                • #10
                  Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

                  Oh how fun. We have never stayed at Grand Californian but it looks so nice. We ate at Tangaroa Terrace on 10/12 and had almost the same thing, salmon, fish tacos but hubby had the pulled pork and said it was very good. Although he did go to Trader Sam next door and get a Longboard. Can't wait to see more.
                  "You can't judge a book by its cover."
                  "No, but you can tell how much it is going to cost."

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                  • #11
                    Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

                    Once settled in the room, we called Lindsey, gave her the room # and took her food order. She and Reese would be coming to our room to get ready and we'd all head out from there. We had decided to grab some food to go from White Water Snacks. Since they only have Chili Dogs, I ordered up two of them plain (just hot dogs), a kids chicken nugget meal, a kids cheese burger meal, an order of beef nachos and an order of chicken nachos. Food for seven: $44.93 after my Premium AP discount. Not bad. I'd heard a LOT of good news about the nachos. To tell you the truth... I wasn't impressed. They were OK at best. Kids seemed to like their food though.


                    By now it was getting time to get dressed up and get going for Mickey's Halloween Party. The Halloween parties at Disneyland started back in 1995 as Mickey’s Halloween Treat. The early parties had pumpkin carving, hayrides, vines growing up over Sleeping Beauty Castle, and a witch flying down from the Matterhorn. They did the party for only two years though before shutting it down, not to continue it again until the early 2000s and this time it would be in Disney's California Adventure instead of Disneyland. After a few years, they renamed Mickey's Halloween Treat to Mickey's Halloween Party and returned it to Disneyland, which is the Halloween party we know and love today.


                    I had pre-purchased our tickets for the party way back in July when they first went on sale. I had used my Disney Visa card to get a discounted rate for my whole party equivalent to the Annual Pass holder discount. If you are using an AP, you must have a valid AP for every member of your party or so they say in the fine print. Tickets were $56 a piece at the special rate, which was a savings of $14 per ticket over general rates.


                    What does that $56/head get you? Entry into Disneyland from 3PM till Midnight. Trick or Treat bags to fill with all the candy you care to stand in line for, tons of character meet and greets, the ability to wear costumes as an adult into the park, special parades, and special fireworks. Admission is capped at around 40k people give or take to my understanding so the park isn't really all that crowded, which makes for some great abbreviated attraction wait times. They close the park at 7PM to all non-event-ticketed patrons and usher them out. All in all, it’s a pretty good deal, and this would be our third time experiencing it.


                    We had decided to go as a costumed group of the cast of the animated Peter Pan.


                    Amy: Captain Hook
                    Me: Mr. Smee
                    Katherine: Peter Pan
                    Charlotte: Tinkerbelle
                    Victoria: Michael Darling
                    Lindsey: John Darling
                    Reese: Wendy Darling


                    At 17:20 we passed through the turnstiles and into Disneyland. We had received a TON of compliments and people taking pictures of us on our walk from the Grand via DTD to Disneyland. Once we were inside the park, I hit the Opera Hall for the Annual Pass holder giveaway, which was a frosted rice crispy treat and a Big Hero Six drawstring backpack bag (that would come in handy at checkout on Friday as one of our other bags had ripped in half). The rest of the party had gone to City Hall so Lindsey could get her park hoppers for the rest of the trip.












                    We left Lindsey there, and headed for Peter Pan (what other first ride could one possibly do dressed as the characters from the movie?). We got there at 17:39 and hopped in the VERY long line. Lindsey joined us a few minutes later and we waited... and waited... and waited... until as we were just about to go down the aisle to the turnstile and.... Peter went 101 at seven minutes past six. We tried to keep everybody calm, but the kids were all getting antsy. Finally, fourteen minutes after it ground to a halt, they had it fixed, and started loading again. Whew!!!







                    I had a distinct feeling of being watched every sixty seconds or so as I was waiting in the standby queue. I wonder what was giving me that feeling.





                    Victoria wasn't quite sure what to make of these silly people surrounding her.










                    You'll have to excuse my photography on this trip. I was primarily shooting with my 24-70mm f/2.8 which just can't do the pitch black rides like my f/1.4 prime can.














                    My Spring, 2017 Dapper Day Trip Report
                    My Fall, 2016 Dapper Day and Club33 Trip Report
                    My Summer, 2016 Walt's LA tour with Bob Gurr and Marty Skylar
                    My Summer, 2016 Family Firsts Trip Report
                    Matt's September, 2015 Solo after the Safari Sunrise Trip Report
                    World Famous Jungle Cruise Safari Sunrise Premium Experience Trip Report
                    My February, 2015 Dapper Day Trip Report
                    My October, 2014 Family Vacation with Mickey's Halloween Party
                    My September, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report
                    My August, 2014 Solo Trip Report - 1901/C33 Jazz Club
                    My June, 2014 Solo Trip Report
                    My February, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report
                    My Epic May, 2013 Trip Report
                    My October, 2011 Trip Report
                    My October, 2010 Trip Report

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

                      AWESOME COSTUMES! Now we want to see yours!

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

                        After we departed Pan, we were desperate for a Disneyland Photo pass Photographer. Since I had the Photo Pass Plus, I was bound and determined to get my money's worth, and they usually set up outside a nice backdrop. I asked around and each CM I asked just said "Maybe that way". I ended up over by Alice when a CM said go towards Small World. They are doing a Frozen backdrop one there. Off we went. Let's see how those turned out...















                        And Anna and Elsa joined us!!!





                        My Spring, 2017 Dapper Day Trip Report
                        My Fall, 2016 Dapper Day and Club33 Trip Report
                        My Summer, 2016 Walt's LA tour with Bob Gurr and Marty Skylar
                        My Summer, 2016 Family Firsts Trip Report
                        Matt's September, 2015 Solo after the Safari Sunrise Trip Report
                        World Famous Jungle Cruise Safari Sunrise Premium Experience Trip Report
                        My February, 2015 Dapper Day Trip Report
                        My October, 2014 Family Vacation with Mickey's Halloween Party
                        My September, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report
                        My August, 2014 Solo Trip Report - 1901/C33 Jazz Club
                        My June, 2014 Solo Trip Report
                        My February, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report
                        My Epic May, 2013 Trip Report
                        My October, 2011 Trip Report
                        My October, 2010 Trip Report

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

                          Looks like a great time!!! Great costumes!!
                          A crowded day at Disneyland beats a busy day of housework!!

                          According to my princess, its not Star Wars land its "You stole my goats away from me!!......in progress land"


                          etsy.com/shop/FantasyFunTutus

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                          • #15
                            Re: Matt's October, 2014 Reunion Trip Report (with Mickey's Halloween Party)

                            I love the costumes!
                            Disneyland Blog Posts: http://findingmyinnerbombshell.com/tag/disneyland/

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