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Disneyland or Bust: TR May 23-26th 2007


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  • Disneyland or Bust: TR May 23-26th 2007

    Ok, report first, pics second then some advice last!

    I had planned to go to Disneyland and to see my Dad in Monrovia several months ago, and when my BF Phil heard I was going we talked and he thought an adventure filled birthday weekend would do him good! (He hadn't been here since 1980 when he was 8 yrs old!) He had no idea what was in store! An adventure it was!

    [On a side note: Phil and I dated in high school and lost touch after he graduated a year ahead of me... 17 years later we reconnected in February and started dating again in March. In the hopes of a long future with him... I actually thought this short trip would be a perfect exposure to my heaven on earth: The Disneyland Resort! I also want to say that Phil has arthritis really bad and gets tired very quickly... so many naps were needed during this trip!]

    Lots of firsts on this trip: first Early Entry, first birthday button, first battle with traffic, first flight into Ontario, first need to take park breaks during the day, first time freezing in MAY!!! etc etc etc! I should also preface this by saying I'm just not into the whole pirates hype! Not my bag baby - don't flame me!

    We had to get up at 4 to make our 8:30 flight in Phoenix - we were coming from Tucson. Phil picked me up on time, and he even let me drive his brand new car to Phoenix (which he strategicly planned so he could sleep more!)! Flight from
    Phoenix to Ontario was good, I was upgraded on a rental car - but to a MiniVan... Yucc! To me that is almost a downgrade from the Dodge Caliber I was promised - but I felt a bit safer in the parking lots they properly call freeways! I've never hit more traffic in Cali in my life - unless it was rush hour, critical mass or there was a huge accident. We got on the road and we headed down the 60 to the character warehouses in Pomona and Fullerton. Ate at In n Out in Fullerton, then headed to the park about noon. Had the entire west side of the park conquered by 4ish - no ride had more than a 15 minute wait which was a pleasant surprise! Did the whole row from Winnie down thru NOS and Adventureland to Jungle Cruise, did Buzz, grabbed a churro and rode the Monorail out then went to DCA for a bit before it closed. After a nap back at the hotel we finally went out for dinner about 10:30 - just did Carl's Jr in Cypress after driving for 20 minutes looking for food that was appealing and still open.

    THURSDAY, MAY 24th
    Next morning we woke to construction noise from the Anaheim Garden Walk going in next to our hotel (the Super 8 on Katella, east of Harbor - it's a decent place, free WiFi and the price was right! Plus a total bonus was the hotel attendants at the front desk actually spoke English!!!). Thursday we planned to head up to see my dad in Monrovia (near Pasadena) and then go to a studio taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson with the hope of being back in Huntington Beach for sunset. Well, a normally 45 minute drive to my dad's took 2 hours - I have never actually parked on a freeway before. The 5 freeway north was unbearable, the 605 was not bad, then 210/134 got hairy again. Spent about an hour at my dads. Then we went and hiked around Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale looking for Walt Disney's grave site and the church where my parents were married. Walt's grave was easy to find, but the roads around the Wee Kirk were under construction. When we left there, I was still determined to do everything we had planned that day. We went thru Burbank, stopped at the NBC Studios gift shop, then we proceeded to Hollywood! Yikes! Hit a ton more traffic on the way to Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store on Hollywood Blvd. Parked at the Hollywood and Highland center which was really crazy busy but pretty convenient looking back on it. Walked across the street to the soda fountain and decided on the walk back to skip the show taping since we were totally pooped and just go to the studio gift shop. Had pretzels at Auntie Anne's at Hollywood and Highland and shuffled off to CBS studios. Once we had the rubber glove treatment by the security guards, we were allowed a 5 minute trip into the gift shop. After that, we made our way to another parking lot, this one called the 101 freeway, then the 110, then the 405 freeway! We literally inched along and didn't hit clear sailing til the 22! (What was with the traffic? Holiday weekend or no... it was absolutely insane!) We finally made it back
    to the hotel after a 2 1/2 hr drive! After a short nap, we headed to Huntington Beach pier, watched the sunset, froze our patooties off and then went to the Lazy Dog on Beach for dinner and stopped at Target next door to buy warmer clothes for the following 2 days. (Again, what was with the weather... normally it is shorts and a tshirt for me... I was in sweats and freezing!! yes, I'm from AZ - so anything lower than 90 degrees might as well be snow... but I couldn't believe it was SO cold (atleast after about 3 pm)!)

    FRIDAY, MAY 25th
    Friday we didn't hear construction noise and we got a rather lazy start. Went to Disneyland about 11, started the day off at DCA, rode Monsters, Soarin, Mulholland, saw the Bugs movie and walked the pier, then hopped parks. Had Phil's birthday lunch at the Blue Bayou which was really relaxing - got souvenir menus and movie posters - which I'm sure everyone has seen by now. I had picked him up a birthday button at City Hall - he loved everyone wishing him a happy birthday... from CM's to guests! After lunch we departed and made a short stop over at Ron Jon's at The Block, then we went back to the hotel for another nap then we were off to Kinkos to print our boarding passes for Saturday (another traffic fight up Harbor to Fullerton @ the 91). Once we got back to the park we headed to DCA - Phil wanted his bag of free birthday tortillas (corn) and then we got a good viewing spot for the fireworks - on the curb right infront of the Photo Shop at the end of Main Street. They were amazing - absolutely beyond words! Got on Buzz afterwards to allow the mass exodus crowds to go down a bit, had a pretzel at coke corner then we called it a night. On the way out the tram announcer dude was like "I hope you had all your dreams come true today at the Disneyland Resort..." and I turned to Phil and told him my dream came true: watching the fireworks with someone special! (ok guys, go puke and come back when you're ready to continue!)

    SATURDAY, MAY 26th
    Saturday we had early entry. This was a god send! We were at the park by 7:15 and had 5 rides done by 8 am! Mr. Toad, Alice, Matterhorn, Small World - everything over in that vicinity. After getting soaked on Splash, we decided to purchase our picture. While in line for said picture we gave up our ONE opportunity for a dream giveaway as everyone exiting Splash got dream ears! (the ONLY time I even saw anyone out - and I had my eyes peeled - a free souvenir is a free souvenir!) We got churros for breakfast and headed back to the hotel to check out. After that we went back to the park and got another free bag of birthday tortillas - yea flour this time! Hopped and saw the First 50 years/Steve Martin movie, strolled thru Toontown and ate lunch at Pizza Port. Rode the Monorail out to Downtown Disney where I purchased the many caramel apples I promised to folks back home and we headed east towards Ontario airport! Flight back to Phoenix was unbelievably empty and we waited quite a while for it (we left super early in the event we hit traffic - again!). We were dead when we landed and still had a 2 hour drive home! After delivering some apples I crashed hard!

    Would I do it again - heck yeah, would I change anything, definitely - always room for improvement... I'm just hoping I can talk Phil into going on another trip with me someday in the future - but I'm afraid he may require a ton of arm twisting, lots of raspberry green tea frappucinos from Starbucks and perhaps a wheelchair too!

    Stopped off in Fullerton to get Phil a taste of a cheeseburger animal style! Yum-o! We have a new In n Out here in Tucson, but there is like a 3 hour wait!

    Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, CA. Surprisingly the gate to the secluded garden where he is located was open, so we walked right in and found him behind a row of thick trees. Someone had left a fast pass for Space Mountain dated earlier in May along with a picture of Mickey. It is not hard to find at all. Just to the left of the Freedom Mausoleum - so if anyone is in the neighborhood - stop by and pay your respects (see also

    This is the Wee Kirk o the Heather church where my parents were married. It is a reconstruction of a church in Scotland (my family is from there) and it is on the other side of the cemetery from where Walt is buried.

    Hollywood! The new Pirates movie was coming out the day after our visit.

    Huntington Beach Pier. This was a fairly clear day overall... but there wasn't much blue sky! And we froze!! I will never get over how cold it was! If you're looking for a cool sunset - come to AZ! Even sunset on the pier can't beat it!

    After the fireworks on Friday night. The obligatory free Buzz ride photo! Phil is the only one yet to beat me on this ride - but I'm beginning to wonder how accurate this is - since I know where all the targets are and he didn't and he still beat me (twice no less!).

    Man, did we get soaked (you can sort of see the difference in color on my sweatshirt)! This was early in the morning on Saturday... we walked right on towards the end of early entry! I had some Disney Visa rewards dollars to use before we departed, so we decided to get this pic! I've never seen a funnier look on Phil's face!

    me and Phil being dorks on our final tram ride to the car!

    1. If flying Southwest, use your hotel's wireless to do online check in but
    don't bother looking for a printer... just request a reprint when you get to the airport!
    2 a. Fly into Orange Co/John Wayne instead of Ontario... the $5 or so difference is SO worth it!
    2 b. Flying in to OC will allow you to save money by taking the DLR shuttle
    and not having to rent a car. Unless you plan to go elsewhere in Cali... in that
    case day rentals are cheaper at Budget on Harbor than at the airport! Regardless, always make reservations ahead of time for cars!
    3. When going with a relative newbie - ride rides and ask what they want to do, don't plan to pin trade OR spend alot of time in shopping lines OR even attend meets that they aren't interested in!
    4. Definitely go during the week if at all possible - Wednesday was by far the best!!!
    5. Use fastpass! And take advantage of Early Entry if your ticket is equipped!
    6. Always check the character warehouses first - you'd be AMAZED at the current mdse they have there!!! Granted most IS heavily discounted dated stuff from years past... check the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce website for a 10% off coupon for the one in Fullerton!
    7. Don't bother with Disney's Soda Fountain. I just didn't get it! Go
    to Baskin Robbins in your home town - it will be cheaper, totally less crowded, not overwhelmed with a bunch of pirate booty and 110% guaranteed to probably taste better!
    8. Take pictures - I wish I had taken more!
    9. Avoid any freeway with a 5 in it! (with exception to perhaps the 57 which wasn't bad)
    10. If you are celebrating a special event: Birthday, Anniversary, etc... ask for a button at City Hall - even 1st time visitors get buttons now!!!!11. and last but not least: Enjoy yourself!

    Last edited by CrystalPalaceGirl; 06-06-2007, 07:17 AM.
    :smart: :music: :vogue: :razz: :wave:

  • #2
    Re: Disneyland or Bust: TR May 23-26th 2007

    great TR!!! and what a fantastic story about you and your high school boyfriend! i'll think good thoughts for you.

    thanks for sharing all this with us.

    kingdom hearts <3er


    • #3
      Re: Disneyland or Bust: TR May 23-26th 2007

      Outstanding report, great to have my fellow Zonies posting here! Some day we'll have so many Zonies here, we can take over the place!

      Thanks for the great tips, I knew to check in online with SW, but I always busted my butt searching for a printer at hotels, I didn't know you could do a reprint, You're a smarty!


      • #4
        Re: Disneyland or Bust: TR May 23-26th 2007

        Originally posted by Max Fischer View Post
        You're a smarty!

        a smarty? don't make my ego flair! I learned this when I hit the check in counter with my bags! ugh! would've saved us an hour trek in traffic to Fullerton Kinkos!
        :smart: :music: :vogue: :razz: :wave:


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