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Matt's 40th Birthday Disneyland Trip. Club 33, Napa Rose, and Adventureland Suite!!!

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  • Meville
    replied
    I was not aware of the ice trick on Indy, what a great effect!

    Looking forward to the Club 33 experience. Was you oldest actually looking forward to it? Or does she also have the "too cool to show excitement" that both my kids eventually grew out of?

    Leave a comment:


  • lnpowers20
    replied
    Originally posted by whoever View Post
    Dear god, it is on youtube. How embarrassing!

    Leave a comment:


  • lnpowers20
    replied
    Originally posted by whoever View Post

    And how the two adult women spent most of the week... staring at their phones..
    I am obviously Maxpassing so that we can plan our next rides!

    Leave a comment:


  • mpabis525
    replied
    I totally get the feeling of anticipation walking to The Club. I will never forget that feeling and hope all of you don’t either. One day your kids will hopefully (if they don’t already) understand just how magical and amazing that feeling is.

    this TR came at just the right time. It is helping me get through my doldrums before my birthday trip in the fall.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Eight-O-Clock found us still getting ready at the Hotel. While we were getting ready, our Destination Sitters, Sitter, Kathy arrived at our Hotel on the Fifth Floor, 2349. Her Name as Linda and she appeared pretty friendly. Our kids are a HANDFUL, but given that the major antagonist, Katherine was going with us, I expected a reasonably calm night for her.

    Amy was still getting Katherine cleaned up after a long day in the park when she arrived..



    Lindsey and Reese showed up not too much later, and we quickly got the kids settled in and we were out the door!!



    The trip through DTD was one with an electricity in the air. EVERY time we head towards 33 with a reservation ahead of us, we are thinking about how we got to this place. It's Walt's original club. How grateful we were to even have an opportunity for an invite. Lindsey's heart was beating out of her chest, and even though I've been a few times, I was still excited and nervous. It NEVER GETS OLD.



    After passing through the turnstiles, we stopped for a Disneyland Photopass Photog to grab some flash pics (I have a Speedlight, but did NOT bring it with)





    Our walk down Main Street was both leisurely, and full of looming suspense for the night ahead...



    Amy was doing a Club 33 Dapper Bound of sorts.. She had the colors. The deep Blue, the Yellow, the Club 33 Earrings I had bought her on the last trip to the club. She was also sporting her Blue Club 33 Dooney Cross body I had gotten her for Christmas.



    Our Reservation at Nine, we milled around checking out all that NOS had to offer. FINALLY, it was time, and we needed to ring the bell, but who would do it?

    It was Lindsey's first time, so she had the honor!!!





    Complete with Video!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVTYIhQI5yI

    We were quickly ushered inside, and into the Courtyard.

    A GREAT pic of us all on the stairs...



    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    We rider swapped, and Lindsey, Amy, and the girls went on another round of Indy. While they were doing that, I hung out with Vic. She decided to break out into some interpretive dance as she often does. This girl LOVES to move..







    To pass the time, we headed up to Tarzan's Treehouse. Oh how I miss my Swiss Family Treehouse. The movie and the Disneyland interpretation of it. All I dreamed of as a boy reading and re-reading the novel (even though they ended up in a cave for their permanent dwelling in the book).

    The view of The Dream Suite from up here is great. The wind wasn't pushing the flag to see, but that flag is specific to a period in American history. For those of you who have read my previous TR, I went into this in some great detail, but in synopsis, the flag is a 30-star flag, which was only in use from 1848-1851(Wisconsin being the 30th state to join the union, and California being the 31st). The significance of this specific point in time is somewhat of a mystery, but can speculate. There's a lot of theories, but the general consensus is that New Orleans had its golden age between the war with Mexico and the American Civil War. This is the time represented by that flag.



    I seem to always snap this SAME Picture. I just love Sabor's placement here.



    I don't tend to mess around with long exposures, but since I had some time to kill..



    I don't know if it was always here, but there's a great seating area over by the North end of the Twain/Columbia loading area. Made for a nice place to chill.



    We had an early dinner reservation for Cafe Orleans to get the kids fed for dinner. I took a selfie with my surly tween while we waited for our table...



    After we had eaten, it was time for one last attraction before we headed back to the hotel(s) to get ready for our dinner back here in the park. Big Thunder fit the bill. There's a pretty involved backstory with Big Thunder I may write up one of these days. It's pretty awesome. That's what Disney is about after all, story-telling.



    Only one of 5 people caught focus with this one, but it was too good not to post.





    Focus was on Amy's hand, but the expression was amazing.. had to post.





    Star Wars Land is looming...


    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Kids were getting hungry again. Katherine, Lindsey, Amy, and I had dinner plans not too far off, so we just grabbed some skewers from Bengal for the girls to snack on. Charlotte LOVES Steak.



    We had some Indy MaxPasses queued up, so on we went. Mara's room was looking as good as ever.



    Either I just noticed this, or it’s a new effect, but there was I believe projection on the sides of the room now based upon which of the 3 treasures you chose. Pretty cool. Is this new, or have I just never seen it before?



    Mara is angry. Who looked?



    This face is so creepy.



    Oh how I wish the original falling ceiling effect was still functional. For those who don't know, the energy beam from Mara's eye would strike the ceiling, causing it to start caving in. There was an ice maker in the ceiling which could produce hundreds of pounds of ice per hour, it would drop the ice via conveyor at timed intervals to align with the Mara energy beam... the ice would fall giving the effect of falling rock. It would accumulate and melt at the bottom. The effect was EXTREMELY short lived for a couple of reasons. For icemakers to work, they need filtered, soft water. They need regular maintenance. The ice maker couldn't keep up firstly, and secondly, they ice would not melt quickly enough at the bottom. It was a good effect, just poorly executed. I bet they could have figured out how to do it with foam blocks falling into a hopper to be sucked back up top to be reused over and over but hey... I'm just an operations guy, not an imagineer.

    Here's a video which describes this and all the other removed/non-functional effects.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9_Bxu16UQg



    Lots of skulls. Who's lighting all those candles?



    The lava effect does a pretty darn good job.



    Right when we started to head towards the rat log, the attraction broke down... for ...a. long... time. I was hoping we'd get a walk off, but after the engine noise and ride vehicle bumping us around for 20 minutes we were FINALLY going again. This was the same spot I was stuck at last time we were stuck on the attraction. Why couldn't I get stuck in the central chamber or even on the bridge?



    Given the ride vehicles are full of hydraulic oil to produce the effect, emergency oil cleanup kids were over our left shoulders...



    The good part... we got to go around again.. this time with no breakdown



    The fireballs are pretty tiny these days.


    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Back safely and even still retaining our heads, it was time to take another trip on a river boat. This time, it was a little larger however. First time on the Twain since the ROA reopened. While we were just getting underway, I thought to myself... I've NEVER noticed this boat on Tom Sawyer's Island. Has it always been there?





    A shot of Will Turner's Blacksmith Forge from a new perspective.



    Disneyland Ducks are so last year. Disneyland Geese are the new hotness.



    So this picture both makes me appreciate the details and question them. The clam shells are a great little touch. The harpoons... those have me scratching my head. Exactly what are we harpooning in rivers?



    Good ole Fort Wilderness... a shell of your once great glory.



    I have to say, this vista as you crest the bend in the river has me seriously concerned. Ugh... I'll reserve judgement, but the transition between Star Wars Land and Frontierland isn't looking so hot.







    Mike Fink's Gullywhumper is looking as great as ever.





    The wildlife on the island could maybe use some animation though.



    Cabin is well done. I still miss the burning settler's cabin though from my first trip to DL. The arrows from the attacking war party had been removed many years before, but the cabin still burned (still fire this time vs. war party flaming arrows)



    Sizeable new rock work for the Shaman



    The new trestle, and waterfall hiding the cave of floats (cousin to the cave of secrets) is great.



    Love the AA beavers chewing up the supports.



    Close up of the Shaman



    I like the AA eagle and its nest.



    New Indian village is well done.





    Would like to see the mountain lions animated as well.



    And a little bit of history on the Twain..




    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by Meville View Post
    I'm floored to hear about the electronics, a costly messed up situation.
    Agreed. The fact that the screens themselves and no other aspect of the device's function was impacted leads me to a specific event. Given that the camera was in my bag between my legs and padded, my phone was in my pocket, shock isn't the cause. The only thing I can come up with is some sort of electromagnetic event. Amy's phone acting up and requiring a reboot to function is also a tell-tale sign of something isolated to us on that attraction right then and there.

    Curious about your thoughts on the GOTG ride. I miss the TOT, but also have a blast on GOTG.
    Thematically, it is an atrocity that anybody should be embarrassed to be a part of. Experience wise of the actual ride experience, it is better than TOT. As I said in a previous TR, TOT was suspenseful thrill ride. Guardians is a fling you around party. It's less drops, more throw you up and pull you down air time. I see why it appeals to the masses.

    Leave a comment:


  • Meville
    replied
    I'm floored to hear about the electronics, a costly messed up situation.

    Curious about your thoughts on the GOTG ride. I miss the TOT, but also have a blast on GOTG.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    As it was now Noon, we decided that a swap over to Disneyland was in order. We made our way across the esplanade and headed for Adventureland. The queue for Jungle Cruise wasn't too bad, so we hopped in line for an exciting tour around the rivers of adventure.

    There were interesting plants all over. I'll point to some... here's one...



    I just love the nod to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade... A life saver from the ill-fated cargo ship, Coronado.



    Here's Ginger. Be careful... Ginger snaps.



    Beautiful detail on the crocs...



    Hey who's spraying water at the croc?



    Why its a baby elephant hiding behind its mother.



    The Indian Elephant Bathing Pool is probably one of my favorite show scenes. I have been so fortunate to have gone behind it too... the Disney Detail is astounding looking into it from the boat AND looking into it from land. The detail on all the elephants is simply amazing. For a different perspective on it all, check it out here:

    https://discuss.micechat.com/forum/d...-jungle-cruise




    Just love it.



    The gorillas attacking the camp is actually one of my least favorite of the show scenes. I don't know what it is about it, but it just doesn't speak to me. The Gorillas apparently like green beans based upon the emptied and crushed can sitting on the crate.



    Mommy playing with one of the kids while Father ransacks the tent.



    My second favorite show scene, the Lost Safari. Loved seeing it from the other side as well.



    You NEVER want to be low-man on the totem pole.. ever.



    The African head hunters!!!

    According to Tony Baxter, in 1954, Harper Goeff, the designer of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, hired Woody Strode to make a mold of his great muscularity for the African natives in the head hunter and Trader Sam show scenes. Goeff also used the same mold for the bodies of Frontierland's Native Americans.

    An athlete turned actor, Strode was a top-notch decathlete and a football star at UCLA. He became part of Hollywood lore after meeting director John Ford and becoming a part of the Ford "family," appearing in four Ford motion pictures. Strode also played the powerful gladiator who does battle with Kirk Douglas in Spartacus. Strode was a respected actor with strong African and Native American ancestry. He was Cree and Blackfoot on his father's side and Cherokee on his mother's. Obscure fact about Strode, he posed for one of two paintings commissioned by Adolf Hitler for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. He was even once referenced as "Simply one of the most ridiculously perfect human specimens to ever walk the Earth."

    Some of his notable film appearances which I've seen are The Ten Commandments, Spartacus, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Cotton Club, and The Quick and the Dead.

    Woody:







    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    I checked in with the family and we decided it was time to grab some lunch. We agreed to meet at Smokejumpers. I headed out from the hotel and made my way over. Ended up grabbing some Onion Rings, Chili-Cheese Fries for Amy and I to split, a burger for Katherine, and some Chicken and Waffle fries for the younger girls. We LOVE Smokejumpers. I feel it’s a vast improvement over Taste Pilots. Overall, Grizzly Peak Airfield is vastly superior to Condor Flats in its theming to this Disney fan. LOVE IT.

    This is kind of a family tradition. Back in 2016, I happened to snap a pic of Amy right as she was about to eat an Onion Ring. Katherine still just google searches for that today to get to either my MiceChat or Disboards Trip Reports. To this day, every trip, we stop by Smoke Jumpers, get an order of Onion Rings and I grab a candid pic. It's a really weird tradition, but we think it’s hilarious.

    Here is this Trip's Onion Ring Montage..



    Char was trying to get in on the action by photobombing



    Charlotte starting her own Waffle Fry tradition.



    Victoria wasn't playing. That kid LOVES Coke. Bacon and Sugary Soda... what can go wrong?



    Lunch completed, it was time to meet up with Lindsey and Reese for some Guardians MaxPass action. They ended up having a pretty big queue even for the Fastpass, so we got to see the West outdoor queue.

    I loved this plant. Didn't pay attention to what kind it was though.



    Growing up with both parents constantly working, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house. I remember my grandmother had a rock garden and had big chunks of blue glass in it just like these. Maybe they are the same ones...



    Another awesome plant I wish I had taken a pic of the name tag..



    What collector's garden is complete without a garden gnome?



    OK these next two pics I just LOVE. Narrow Depth of Field and great texture... can anybody guess the species?





    It was Corylus avellana, the common hazel... which produces... you guessed it... Hazel Nuts!!! Pretty cool little bush.

    Finally inside the queue, I just love snapping pics of the details. I didn't grab any pics of the Tower of Terror homage in Tivan's office this time through, but I did grab a few cool items.







    Once in the former boiler room, this is where Overlays like the Guardians falls a little flat. That's clearly a vintage chain hoist... of Terran origin with some hideous paint slapped on it to make it "futuristic and alien". Disney, I expected much more (or you could have left it the superiorly themed attraction, the Hollywood Tower Hotel... just sayin').



    A look down into the food prep area for some of the specimens in the collection. I don't often get to the second level oddly. This was a treat.



    Another hoist.. I LOVE the patina on this one.



    Harold of course.



    And a really good shot of Country Bear Vacation Hoedown's Delores. Even more importantly, the paintings from the lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel hidden under a sheet behind her.



    I can't quite make out her tag. Anybody have a better pic?



    And another angle as we made our way to our transport..



    Doh.. we can't always be in the front row I guess...


    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    After I recovered from my shock, I realized there was NOTHING I could do. We still had the opportunity to ride Guardians a few more times... which we did...





    I must admit, while I put on a good face for the camera, I was in VERY deep thought. HOW would I rectify this situation? I started looking at Amazon. How much was another camera body and could I get it same-day primed or even sooner at extra cost? Yeah.. .that was going to be over $1800 and wouldn't arrive until TOMORROW, which meant I'd miss Club 33 without a DSLR. While Amy, Katherine, and I had been many times, it was Lindsey's first trip, and as she is defacto family now, I wasn't going to let that happen. A quick text to Joe, and he was ready to offer up his old Canon body and his lenses. He could deliver it in the afternoon. I filed that away after extending extreme gratitude. I was reeling... thinking... a call to the closest Best Buy.. nope, we don't have that. Every googled retail store, intent upon buying a new body.. finally, I found Fullerton Camera.. they rent bodies and lens, and had one.. only problem.. they didn't open for another hour plus. Resigned to making a decision later in the day, I started to accept my fate and just start living Disneyland without photo-documenting it. I must say, I'm sure it was fun, but without the pics, I might have forgotten those parts even happened. That's part of why I photo-document. It makes the memories POP and it takes me RIGHT BACK to that place in time. I can hear the kid's voices in my ear. The wind rushing by.. The smells. That's my biggest motivation for trip-reporting. I can relive it the same way, with precision, year, after year, after year. It doesn’t ever fade.

    After a LOT of up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, it was time for breakfast. The family headed for Flo’s but I was headed up to the Chamber of Commerce to see what they could do. I filled out a report, showed them the devices, was handed a piece of paper and basically told "Call us later". I stopped at the camera shop across the street on the way back and inquired about renting or flat-out buying a body... NOPE. Defeated, I made my way back and caught up with the family on the Pier.

    Anybody who's close enough to me to be FB friends knows that Victoria is basically Ron Swanson. She'll KILL and entire pound of bacon saving one, maybe two pieces for me. We are truly kindred in this regard. I just hope she has the same mistrust for government and realization that Taxation IS THEFT that I do. Her appetite would NOT be stymied this trip, and she basically just wanted to shovel bacon into her face. I commend her.



    The older children not wanting to lose fingers or have their arms torn from their shoulder sockets, kept their distance.



    After sufficient cured and smoked pork refueling, it was time for some RACERS!! I'm not sure if we won or not, but gosh, darn it. WE WON!!!! The car full of this much ambition, grit, and raw RESOLVE HAS TO WIN!!!



    We normally make our way down to Paradise Pier... only most everything was DOWN. Screamin' DOWN, Toy Story, DOWN, Mickey's Fun Wheel of DEATH, DOWN... the Swings were going, but for whatever reason, we ended up at the Zeppelin.

    Vic was loving the wind!!







    The swings were spinning.



    The Fun Wheel... covered in scaffolding



    The entire area, in refurbishment.



    But finally, we hit Goofy's... It was a grand time!!



    After which, it was time for me to leave... I high-tailed it to the exit of DCA, marched my way against the flow of people intent upon pushing me back, closer to where I was coming from... Along the way, I had hit an Uber requests for the drop off lot. I made it to the lot and had but a 4-5 minute wait before my ride showed up. We headed north on Harbor and towards Fullerton... my equipment rental store first and foremost on my mind. Five point Two miles, a hair over Sixteen minutes, and $8.36 later, I was at Fullerton Camera. I must say, they opened the store early just for me after I explained my need on the phone. I brought my bag in, explained what I was after, showed them my gear and the issue, gave the rental body a once-over, re-adjusted all the settings to how I shoot, gave it a few shutters through my lens, and was satisfied. A quick credit card swipe and contract sign, and I was back on the street waiting for an Uber to take me back.

    This time, it would be a hair over six miles and almost Twenty-one minutes, but I was dropped at the Disneyland Hotel Lobby. I rushed up to the room, swapped camera straps between the bodies, clicked on my favorite lens, and was headed back to the park at a fast pace.



    I gotta say, anybody who needs a camera or lens rental or even used purchase, PLEASE go check them out. They literally saved my trip experience I was spending five-figures on. So grateful!!!

    http://fullertoncameras.com/
    Last edited by whoever; 08-17-2018, 07:13 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by TCadillac View Post
    Just curious, were your camera and phone screen damages related to the ride? That is crazy
    That is my speculation. Some sort of electromagnetic field. 3 impacted devices... 2 rendered completely useless, one requiring a reboot.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stormy
    replied
    Originally posted by whoever View Post

    I'll queue that up next!!
    Looking forward to it!!

    Leave a comment:


  • TCadillac
    replied
    Just curious, were your camera and phone screen damages related to the ride? That is crazy

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by Stormy View Post
    I'm STILL waiting for the cemetery pics from your Hollywood Disney tour!
    I'll queue that up next!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Stormy
    replied
    I'm STILL waiting for the cemetery pics from your Hollywood Disney tour!

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by Meville View Post
    Matt, a continued top notch trip report. Thank you for posting! Really like the details of your dinner at Napa Rose, seems like you guys had an incredible time.
    Thank you! It was probably one of the best meals of my life. It was a fantastic time.

    Originally posted by DisneyLifer View Post
    Your report on dinner was terrific. You make it sound enchanting. Yes, Disney can be a wonderful experience. Looking forward to your next installment.
    Thank you. I love fine-dining at the resort. Stay tuned for more great dining experiences!

    ​​​​​​​
    Originally posted by skoolpsyk View Post

    We may be quiet but it doesn't mean we're not enjoying the heck out it!!! Happy belated birthday!! (We ate at Napa Rose for my 40th as well, over a decade ago now; yikes!)

    Sorry to hear your work is so stressful, but it seems like you're able to able to work hard and play hard to keep a balance that works for you. (I was lucky enough to be able to quit work at 40--but when you don't have kids you get to do things like that!)

    Hope to enjoy your threads for many years to come!
    Thanks! Napa is such a great celebration spot. I tried to not work at all this trip vs. sitting on the phone in meetings on past trips while I was supposed to be watching parades. Such is life to try to do what I do.


    ​​​​​​​
    Originally posted by mre200200 View Post

    Napa Rose is also my favorite dining place at the Disneyland Resort. Between the Signature Pizzetta (that savory prosciutto and sweet red flame grapes, mmm) and the truffle Mac and Cheese, plus a slab of beef to go with it. Doesn't get much better.
    Mmmmmm we LOVE the truffle Mac. I put truffle oil on our when we make scratch-made mac at home. So good!! The Lobster truffle mac at SH55 even better!!


    I have yet to try Steakhouse 55 for dinner, so I don't have the complete picture yet. The breakfast at Steakhouse 55 has been fantastic though, so I really should give it a try.
    Its a really great experience and great meal. Honestly, Napa is $$$$, C33 is $$$ and SH is $$. It's a pretty affordable alternative and a GREAT and hearty meal compared to Napa and C33 which are more French tasting menus. Bonus if you get taken into the wine room at SH55 and offered samples.

    I've considered doing the Chef counter, but I wonder if it would be wasted on me. I am a much less adventurous eater (beef/pork/chicken, no veggies please). You've dined at Chef's counter a few times now. What are your thoughts?
    Based upon your restrictive preferences I don't know that it would be worth it. The dishes all have veggies and seafood is always on the menu I think. You could ask and see what they say if they would be as accommodating as you desire.


    Wow. That's really cool you got it all to yourself. I've lucked out on things like Pirates, small world, Gadget's, but never something big like Guardians.
    We were surprised, but wasn't challenging it. Let me tell you, that thing MOVED with only 5 people in it.




    I couldn't believe it when you told me. That's insane.
    ​​​​​​​
    I was just speechless... it was crazy. Amy's phone was acting up too, but a reboot got it working again.


    ​​​​​​​
    Originally posted by mre200200 View Post

    I'd wander the parks with you listening to you spout your knowledge.
    If I was a local I'd totally do a details tour. I've taken nearly every tour they've offered over the years so I've picked up on quite a bit in addition to all the books on Disneyland I've read.



    ​​​​​​​
    Originally posted by BecksyFreemo View Post
    I love your Tivan collection pics!
    What happened to your phone and camera!? The suspense is killing me!
    In one of my previous TRs, I went into the backstory on a great many of Tivan's artifacts outlining their origin and Disney/Movie tie-ins. If you liked this one, I would check out that report here:

    https://discuss.micechat.com/forum/d...33#post8541433



    ​​​​​​​
    Originally posted by nico843 View Post
    Your trip recaps are the greatest! I've been waiting for this one since I saw in the DA Facebook group you stayed at the Adventureland suite, keep it coming, it's tiding me over until I get to stay at the DL hotel in a couple weeks
    Yeah, it's taken a while to get to it. Appreciate the kind words. I did a separate and accelerated excerpt on the suite if you want a preview of it. It's here:

    https://discuss.micechat.com/forum/d...sneyland-hotel


    ​​​​​​​
    Originally posted by BiggestDisneyFan View Post
    Nice report and great family pics! Happy 40th!
    Thanks! It was a SUPER birthday treat for me with all this Disney awesomeness. Most people would go to Vegas or something for their 40th... I go to Disneyland.

    Originally posted by nico843 View Post
    Oh man, just rerouted to your Art of the Craft tour, somehow I missed it! ANNNND... just made a reservation for my upcoming stay!
    Glad you liked it and booked the tour. Please comment on that thread after you've taken the tour with your thoughts and any new aspects of the tour. I love seeing updates on it and LOVE the Grand.

    Leave a comment:


  • nico843
    replied
    Oh man, just rerouted to your Art of the Craft tour, somehow I missed it! ANNNND... just made a reservation for my upcoming stay!

    Leave a comment:

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