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Matt's 2017 Spring Dapper Day Trip Report

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  • whoever
    started a topic Trip Report Matt's 2017 Spring Dapper Day Trip Report

    Matt's 2017 Spring Dapper Day Trip Report

    Here's my first (and maybe last) Trip report of 2017... Whoever and the family do Spring Dapper Day!!!

    Our trip starts in Sunny Phoenix. Amy and Charlotte had spent the night at the Arizona Science Center as part of Charlotte's Girl Scout Troop Outing. They were tired, cranky from camping out on concrete floors, and I went and retrieved them around 9am (they were still doing experiments, so the pickup took quite a while). I whisked them home, got Amy caffeinated, cleaned up, and we finished up the packing/loading of everything.


    As you can see, we used just about every spare inch of the cabin..





    We did manage to have a little space way in back, but nothing we could really use. Will be GLAD when we are stroller-less. I think this is the last trip with it. Takes up entirely too much space.



    And that's it... the Axiom is ready to set sail.. at 11:19!! It was going to be a late arrival for sure.

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    We broke free of Phoenix traffic after about 15 miles and it was time to see if we could make up some time due to our late departure...

    Well that doesn't bode well for the trip... 420 bald eagles under the hood, guzzling down 91-octane and screeching freedom out the tailpipe.



    Our fuel economy actually ended up not too bad for a 376 cubic inch V8 coupled to a full-time four wheel drive system pushing over 7000 pounds at reasonable velocity. 10 gallons of fuel to get us the 146 miles from Downtown Phoenix to the Flying J at exit 1, the last fuel stop before entering CA, land of egregious fuel tax and why I refuse to fill up in CA period. Averaged 78.92mph and 14.6 mpg for that first leg. From the AZ/CA border was 424 miles round trip to DL and back at an average speed of 59.44 mph and 15.76 mpg. The trip back from the border to home Tuesday night netted us 16.52 mpg at an avg speed of 78.05 mph. Weird how it got better. I blame the wind.


    It only took 37 minutes for the first "how long have we been driving" to get asked. It was going to be one of those trips wasn't it?


    At some point in the California desert, magic happened..


    One kid reading




    One kid doing homework (They were missing two days of school)



    And...one kid passed out with the Moana credits playing in her head phones makes for a silent vehicle and a happy captain of this ship.



    We pulled onto Katella at 16:27. We were getting close and everybody was starting to get excited!!





    We had the windows down, Paint the Night soundtrack cranked up, only to have the car next to us burning down the biggest joint ever. With Marijuana wafting into our vehicle, the windows had to go up our enthusiasm stifled slightly.

    There it is!!


    Yay!!! LOVE This part..



    Never had such a line like this.. usually we just pull right up.




    And we've ARRIVED!!! Our home away from home. The plate and BnL Sticker was a huge hit with the CMs



    A quick valet/bellhop/registration and we went right up to the room.

    The view from the room (2007) was nothing special, and all you could really see was the roof and the construction barriers for the pool renovation, but it was our home, and very close to the elevators and having the music from the lobby flow through our open door was a real treat. I still had the door wedged open to the lobby when the bell hop showed up within minutes of us getting up to the room.




    A quick adjustment to the camera pack gear loadout and I was jonesing to get into the park.




    Let me say a thing or two about the security this trip... it's not Security Theater anymore. It actually was VERY thorough. Could you still get a gun or knife into the park? Absolutely. Would it be difficult? ABSOLUTELY. They literally looked in every pocket, squeezed everything, even the kid's itty bitty cross bodies and people's wallets. AND... metal detectors on top of it all. PITA, probably not really making anything truly safer, but definitely cutting down on contraband. It was a real pain for my 5.11 backpack which has a million pockets and is designed for concealed carry of firearms (but makes a superb camera bag).
    Last edited by cakvalasc; 05-04-2017, 07:26 AM.

  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by HunterRose13 View Post

    I do. Your trip reports are some of the best post here. Your photography is incredible and I greatly appreciate your attention to detail. As a lifelong Disney fan that has not been able to make the pilgrimage to Disneyland in what I believe is now 4 very long years I extend to you a sincere thank you for your trip reports.

    Hopefully I can get around to driving up to Marceline, MO this summer and visit Walt's dreaming tree. That will probably be as close to Disney as I will get this year.
    Glad you enjoyed it!!

    Leave a comment:


  • HunterRose13
    replied
    Originally posted by whoever View Post
    Appreciate the kind words and glad you could come along. I often wonder if people read these things...

    Check out my November, 2016 Trip Report currently underway. I've got plenty of these in queue to finish up...
    I do. Your trip reports are some of the best post here. Your photography is incredible and I greatly appreciate your attention to detail. As a lifelong Disney fan that has not been able to make the pilgrimage to Disneyland in what I believe is now 4 very long years I extend to you a sincere thank you for your trip reports.

    Hopefully I can get around to driving up to Marceline, MO this summer and visit Walt's dreaming tree. That will probably be as close to Disney as I will get this year.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by mpabis525 View Post

    I am now banned from buying mugs .
    Banned schmaned... do what you want I say... you only live once..

    Unbelivable shots of Splash. My oldest dragged me on that for the first and maybe last time in 2015. Was more afraid of getting all my gear soaked so I didn't snap any pics. You guys all seem to have so much fun.
    Thanks! Nikons (at least the ones I shoot) are weather proofed... I've shot in the pouring rain to no dire effect). C'mon MIke, DO IT!!! Just ordered a D750 since they were like $1200 off sticker and had a "free" multi-battery mount included. Can't wait to rock Disney with it this November..
    Last edited by whoever; 05-30-2017, 02:18 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • mpabis525
    replied
    Originally posted by whoever View Post
    And here is the haul...


    Some close ups of the mugs




    I am now banned from buying mugs .

    Unbelivable shots of Splash. My oldest dragged me on that for the first and maybe last time in 2015. Was more afraid of getting all my gear soaked so I didn't snap any pics. You guys all seem to have so much fun.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by sbk1234 View Post
    Great trip report. Can't wait until the next one.
    I'm going back in time... November, 2016 is getting finished.. then July, 2016, then June 2016, then, December, 2015, then October 2015... The real question is how many will get done before my November, 2017 trip?

    Leave a comment:


  • sbk1234
    replied
    Great trip report. Can't wait until the next one.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by bamato View Post
    Man... what an awesome trip report. Thanks for taking us along for the ride. I looked forward to updates every morning from you, and I'm sad to see it's come to an end. You really captured the mood and pace of the entire trip on digital paper. I wish we had more of these!
    Appreciate the kind words and glad you could come along. I often wonder if people read these things...

    Check out my November, 2016 Trip Report currently underway. I've got plenty of these in queue to finish up...

    Leave a comment:


  • bamato
    replied
    Man... what an awesome trip report. Thanks for taking us along for the ride. I looked forward to updates every morning from you, and I'm sad to see it's come to an end. You really captured the mood and pace of the entire trip on digital paper. I wish we had more of these!

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    And here is the haul...

    Clockwise... Three Moana Sippers...Disneyland Picture Frame... Jungle Cruise Socks... Three Minnie Hats.. Mini Sipper Cup... Charlotte's Parasol... Two Mickey Trivets, Four Grand Californian Coffee Mugs (LOVE these, I now have a complete set of eight), Small World Dooney, Pressed Coin Wallet (we have all the pressed coins on real copper and real silver), Mickey fruit bowl, the new "fake" art tile (more on this later), Chip cup, Exclusive Matterhorn and Lion King Villain Pin, Mary Poppins Mug, Cheshire Cat mug, Four 500-piece puzzle set, Pirates of the Caribbean Popcorn bucket, BB8 sipper, and MSEP lanyards.



    Here's a close up of the frame with a pic of us from the previous Dapper Day in it.



    Some close ups of the mugs





    Some of the apparel..

    Grizzly River Run T-shirt, Grizzly River Run Hat, I Am Speed T-shirt, one of those add-on Disney backpacks, Grizzly River Run T-shirt for one of the girls.



    And the Minnie Beach Blanket



    And now my rant... the art tile..I've been kicking myself for not getting two of the ORIGINAL CRAFTSMAN art tiles instead of just the one I got. These are TRUE art tiles, hand crafted (as in craftsman style.. you know... by hand).

    My original one.. lovingly created..



    NOW.... they sell these CHEAP, China-made ones which are about 1/4 as dense, made out of some unknown material, mass produced.. total sell out Disney. You lose MAJOR points for this.



    Alas, I had to get one as I needed two to frame my Grand Californian Print as one original and one of the new "Fake" ones didn't look right because they are a different size, thickness, and glaze color. The originals occasionally come up on EBay for crazy prices (3-400 usually), so getting a second of the REAL ones is out of the question.



    I'm so sad to see Disney cheap out on those art tiles. So sad.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by laferney Road kid View Post
    thank you for the photos of Chickapin...always a party happening there.....but it looks like your youngest was soaking wet before the big drop.....priceless photo.
    Indeed it does. A fully-laden log certainly takes on water from nearly every drop if you are up front.

    .I was laughing so hard that wife had to leave her computer and look at mine of the big drop..
    Glad I could inspire some humor. It was a great time... Splash is one of our favorites...

    ..and thanks for the ROA info and the photo of the new rock work. Though when you come to visit the Columbia River don't expect any elk, it is all up and down cliffs .and surrounded by two freeways.....which does not seem to bother that Big Horn sheep that linger along the freeway on a certain section of the freeway. And as for Redwoods.....that is a California treasure.....though we do have Myrtle wood trees.
    Disney does a pretty good job of infotainment for sure even if it isn't 100% accurate.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Sufficiently soaked and sufficiently satisfied with Disneyland we chose to park hop over to DCA to round out our trip..




    Confirmed... The new GOTG is a hideous eyesore... Going to hate it till it gets torn down.

    The older girls and Amy went to do a round on Screamin' while I got in line for Cove bar... I was quoted a 30 minute wait which would hold true...

    Charlotte is my spirit animal here...



    The family returned about the time I was up to the hostess. I have no ideas where they got the dye-laced cupcake but it was perfect timing..







    We were seated in a great spot. Amy checked out the menu



    What was she going to order I wonder....



    She has mastered the "don't take a picture of me" pose...




    Lobster Nachos of course!!!



    And Mojitos... (what she was really eyeing up)



    We also ordered some Spinach and Artichoke dip with chips... also top notch... maybe not as good as we do at home, but close...

    They took off to hit the bakery while I finished my second beverage. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY love the Smoked Turkey...



    Amy returned and we headed back towards the Grand... about mid-way over the bridge between Cove and the mainland, we noticed the Passenger-side tire on the stroller was pretty much flat.. Not wanting to deal with it via the esplanade, we just headed back to the Grand.

    A relatively quick luggage retrieval and vehicle round up, we were loading.. Apparently we had increased in volume despite depleting the contents of most of the coolers, as we had to struggle to find a place for everything... We stacked the girls in amid luggage, finally closed the tailgate, bid our hosts adieu and hit the road at 16:50. Amy was driving so I tried to close my eyes most of the time...she’s a scary driver..

    Victoria did NOT want to be looked at much less photographed...





    Finally we were moving until we hit traffic... ugh.. a long time moving at a snail's pace.. I LOVE CA...

    And then... when we finally hit the 60, somebody chose to drive into the back of another vehicle causing a 1-lane restriction.. thank heavens I wasn't driving.. I'd be furious...





    As I constantly proclaim.. "Why can't people DRIVE?" Seriously.. there should be a competency test which gives you access to the fast lane and a break on insurance if you are competent...

    For the record, Amy hates when I do this.. I keep doing it..



    I think that's one of Mickey's ears from the sour bread mickey head we grabbed from Boudin on our way out of the park..



    Finally we were in Bat Country...





    The younglings were sufficiently entertained and silenced by the glowing boxes protruding from the headliner..



    At 20:45 we were fully fueled up and safely back in the Arizona Territory, we swapped drivers and it was time to throw on East Bound and Down and put the hammer down and take advantage of Arizona's superior speed limit...

    Look at that range... let's see how quickly I can knock that down....East bound and down, loaded up and truckin', We're gonna do what they say can't be done. We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there. I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run.

    I really need a screaming chicken decal for the hood of the axiom.. and a shaker scoop…



    We pulled into the driveway at 22:38, which is a much earlier arrival than we usually make. Glad to be home, the kids were carried inside and I proceeded to empty out the Axiom. It had been a long four days and a great set of memories made. Thanks for following me along...

    Leave a comment:


  • laferney Road kid
    replied
    thank you for the photos of Chickapin...always a party happening there.....but it looks like your youngest was soaking wet before the big drop.....priceless photo...I was laughing so hard that wife had to leave her computer and look at mine of the big drop....and thanks for the ROA info and the photo of the new rock work. Though when you come to visit the Columbia River don't expect any elk, it is all up and down cliffs .and surrounded by two freeways.....which does not seem to bother that Big Horn sheep that linger along the freeway on a certain section of the freeway. And as for Redwoods.....that is a California treasure.....though we do have Myrtle wood trees.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    It would take us 28 minutes to wind our way through the BTMRR queue and experience the wildest ride in the wilderness. I’ve always LOVED BTMRR, especially at night. You can see a lot of the exterior details during the day, but it takes on a whole different mood at night.

    We decided we'd park hop, but not before we did a round on Splash!! It was getting a bit hot. On the way, I noticed they had dropped the scrims on the ROA. The workers were working on the rock work... it's going to be pretty cool, but WAYYY too short with 1/4 of the River missing... Oh the price we pay for "progress" when Star Wars Land should have been a separate third gate..



    We got in the LOOOOONG standby queue.. and waited.. and waited... and waited... All the while trying to keep my kids behaving properly when they keep seeing other miss-behaving kids to draw influence from. Some of those "kids" were teenagers though which made it all the worse..

    FINALLY, we got to board our log...I really hoped I would have the entire log to ourselves, but running at this time of the day, they filled it to capacity which means I had to CRAM my camera bag between me and the seat which is no small feat...





    And we were off... BTW, I hummed Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah the entire time I was writing this part of the TR. I really need to find a copy of the Song of the South...





    While out of focus, I did notice this guy has a mint julep.... give me!!



    Showing a little bit too much here which is why I'm reminded NEVER to look behind you on a dark ride..



    Here we go!!!



    This would be Amy's why in the heck did I agree to ride this and get soaked face.



    And Charlotte's "Can we do it again" face..



    I'll be so happy to see the train running through the finale again..



    I had never noticed this little guy before. He's Out of Focus, but he'll make a great subject to try to reshoot on future trips..



    Always loved this scene..



    One of these days I'll get a proper shot of Mr. Owl instead of this grainy, underexposed hot mess.



    Charlotte and I were the adventurers this trip..



    After our soaking, it was time for a bathroom break for the girls. While I waited, I noticed this.. I love the back story to all the attractions..






    Leave a comment:


  • IzzyInWonderland
    replied
    Matt I can't believe I haven't chimed in yet but thank you for this marvelous TR!! Your reports are always detailed and fantastic so thank you for taking the time to share. It's giving me intense withdrawals and I can't wait to get back. Can't wait for the wrap up and of course photos of "the haul".

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied

    By the time we made it all the way through the LONGEST PP Queue I think I've ever seen, it was 09:13. We decided we needed to hustle it over to Tomorrowland and grab some Space Mountain before it got too busy. I grabbed some Star Tours FP along the way.

    The Space Mountain Queue was NOT light this time of the morning..



    The girls seemed to be taking it in good spirits as we NEVER wait in the standby queue for Space..



    Charlotte was a thrill seeker of the family this trip for sure..



    Our trip through the Standby queue had taken almost 30 minutes. It was going to be a short morning at this rate..

    Since we were in the neighborhood, we jumped in standby for Buzz.. It was a relatively short wait. I did OK, but I did not hit any of the secret targets for some reason. Wonder if they had them turned off. Oh well. We grabbed Victoria a new bubble wand as hers had stopped working earlier in the day, and I grabbed an "I am Speed" Cars t-shirt on our way through the gift shop before we headed over to Star Tours. We were off Star Tours at 10:34. We split up and I headed back to the room to deal with the luggage while Amy got the girls lunch..



    I hit the room and did some rearranging and grabbed Charlotte's parasol by request. I sat on the patio and enjoyed a bit of downtime while waiting for Bell Services.



    Bell Services grabbed the luggage at 10:53 (one of the easiest check-outs ever) and I headed back to the parks. As I entered, I noticed one of the Jitney cars so I hopped on for a ride to the hub. This was the last Main Street vehicles I had to cross off my list which was pretty fortuitous.



    We were going to meet up on Adventureland, so I grabbed one of those excellent Pork Belly Skewers. For those that are friends with me on Facebook, you know I'm a wizard with pork belly. Disney did a great offering here... darn good for "fast food". Another Moana Sipper got added to the tally (I think we have three of them now).



    I connected with the family and short order and we decided a BTMRR trip was in order so we jumped in the queue at 11:55.



    3 in the back two up front..









    Charlotte was staring down that goat something fierce..



    Charlotte the thrill seeker this trip yet again!!







    I love how the Dominguez Palm stands out from just about anywhere in the park with an elevated perspective.





    I love how the ribs of the T-rex make a tunnel.







    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by Meville View Post
    Thanks for continuing this, so much better than the bickering in other threads.

    I think Alice is up there with Pan as the best Dark Ride at DLR, but it is too bad that PP was down for EMH...
    We did get to PP, but it took the rest of EMH...

    Also, really cool Carpet; such a unique piece to have as a replica.
    Love my replica props, especially the Disney stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    By the time we got off the Tea Cups it was 8:23. We decided to try PP... it was open, and they were just leading people through the queue... unfortunately, this is where the line started...yes, by the old Frozen M&G...seriously? Oh well, this was going to be our only chance, so into line we jumped to burn the rest of our EMH...





    Atleast I was afforded some time to survey the surroundings for some shots..







    Ever get that feeling you are being watched?



    And away we go..... appologize for the graininess ahead of time. Shooting f/2.8 and Peter Pan don't go hand in hand.



    Remember me saying I shoot wide open? This scene could have benefited from stopping down from f/2.8. It probably would have been great at about f/4 to get everybody in focus... sadly, there would be no way to capture the pic at that aperture..



    Entering Neverland is truly my favorite part of the attraction... I LOVE this show scene.



    I honestly don't know how to get this scene right. It definitely needs f/1.4 and a longer shutter than 1/80 but on a moving ride vehicle in full manual mode with manual focus, I simply can't do it.





    Smee is another elusive one... f/2.8 isn't getting it done.



    Leave a comment:


  • Meville
    replied
    Thanks for continuing this, so much better than the bickering in other threads.

    I think Alice is up there with Pan as the best Dark Ride at DLR, but it is too bad that PP was down for EMH...

    Also, really cool Carpet; such a unique piece to have as a replica.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    The parade wrapped up around..21:10. Amy went back to retrieve the parasol by herself while I took a sleeping Vic, a Riding Char, and a shouldered Katherine.... it was painful and I was overloaded with a heavy camera bag lugging three girls...Katherine dropped off my shoulders at World of Disney. We walked through just to quickly get a glimpse of what we needed later on in the trip before we left and we finally arrived at the room at 21:25.

    Morning found us early yet again. Amy was bound and determined to have the room packed up completely with only me sent back for check out and bell services so we were hustling to plan what we needed for the day vs. what could go in the 12-14 checked items we had...

    It was 07:24 before we left the room before an 08:00 DL EMH. It was going to be tight..

    I always love this fountain... sometimes it's rocking high, sometimes just gurgling away..



    Char's hair was just awesome here..



    And Katherine's hair still wet from her shower..



    Due to our late start, we were WAYYYY back from rope drop.. at the Candy Palace of all places...



    A glance behind us was no better, EMH was FILLED to the square..






    As this was our only DL EMH during our entire trip, our first stop was an obvious Peter Pan... sadly.. it was NOT RUNNING for EMH (seriously, DL. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER). PP is a 50% readiness for any EMH. Just get those CMs there 15 mins early... seriously.. )

    We quickly re-routed, made a decision between Dumbo and Alice and Alice won out.



    The Alice update has to be one of the seamless combinations of projection and practical... the tumble down the rabbit hole has never been better.



    The twins as practical.



    The flowers as a combination of practical and projection.



    Good ole caterpillar as practical.. sorry for the grainy photo



    The Cheshire cat a combination of practical and projection... so good.







    The cards painting the roses... again, seemlessly blending projection and practical.



    The queen looks great every time..





    And the queen emulating Amy as she appears to me every couple days...



    Projected guards are a slight improvement over the old painted ones..



    The vine... I'm old enough to remember it when it was a real vine and not the garbage it has become...



    Not too long ago, the vine was still close to this... such a shame.



    Love the tea party... always a good time.



    We quickly checked Peter once were off... still down.. (Again.. seriously, Disney get your stuff together). Dumbo had a HUGE line by now as a result, so we hit teacups..

    Char was happy NOT to share a teacup with anybody but me..








    Last edited by whoever; 05-27-2017, 10:11 AM.

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