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

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

    So here's another trip report from Matt and family. If you don't know the players by now, go back and read some of my previous trip reports. That being said, this one is much like my others.. Slow... methodical... late... and jamb packed with details and specifics. AND... we are celebrating my 40th Birthday, so there is Napa Rose, Club 33, Steak House 55, and The Adventureland Suite at the Disneyland Hotel. So grab some popcorn and some churros and come along for the adventure....

    It all started on 3/20/18.... The time was 05:15... We had just pulled out of my driveway in Historic, Downtown Phoenix. I was a full 15-30 mins behind schedule... I'd make it up on the road. We had seven of us in the Axiom (for the un-initiated... my Freedom-guzzling, 450 bald eagles under the hood, luxury land-barge is called the Axiom... after you guessed it... that luxury cruise ship from WALL-E) and a full complement of luggage for 5 days in-park. We hit the highway and cranked it up over the open and largely deserted desert at this time of the morning...



    The sun was chasing us right over the horizon...



    First sign of civilization after leaving Phoenix and trekking west occurred at 7:01 and was the last stop for fuel before the land of Fruit-checks, $1.50/gallon in extra taxes and lack of personal defense options known as California... it's a strange land where I venture with caution...





    The Axiom ended up drinking 11 gallons of 91-octane... bald eagles don't come cheap especially at 13.5MPG, but when the black beast hits the blacktop, every one of them is needed for the passing lane...13 minutes elapsed before we were able to resume the westward expansion...

    Here's a blurry shot of the 6 females... and me.



    And here's a shot of how I would spend most of the drive... lost in my own music and thoughts. I don't know if you've ever spent 5-ish hours in a domestically-produced tin can hurdling across the desert, but if you have you know that 6 females inside a vehicle sounds like a flock of seagulls fighting over a french fry. Earbuds are a necessity..



    Finally at 10:23 local time, we dropped Lindsey and Reese off at the Anaheim Hotel, across Harbor from DCA. You might remember that from my August, 2014 Solo Trip report (1901 and Le Salon Noveau in that one). I quickly unloaded their luggage and we were back on city streets trying desperately to reach our destination...

    So close... yet so far...



    Getting closer...



    Star Wars Land... I WISH oh how much I WISH it had been a third gate where Paradise Pier is...



    Goodbye Axiom... see you in a few days...



    As I was waiting in line for reception, I was HOPING I got the gal from my last trip who checked us in for dapper day. I didn't, but I said hi and let her know I remembered her before we left reception. As we were doing a split-stay even though at the same hotel, lodgings were a concern. I discussed it with the reception host and was able to get into our preferred tower (The Adventure Tower). I think we were on the Fifth Floor for the first part of our stay with a great view into DTD).





    Char was being whiney..



    I just love these samples... We use H2O exclusively... mainly in the Grand's offerings (Sea Marine and Sea Salt), but I love me some Grapefruit Bergamot as well. I scanned one of those cards after our 2015 trip and blew it up to a 4x6 which resides in our bathroom as a picture. Love it.



    And finally... we were park-bound at 11:20.

    Last edited by whoever; 08-07-2018, 02:08 PM.

  • bamato
    replied
    All the photos show up for me, no click required. I'm using chrome.

    Leave a comment:


  • tensixmom
    replied
    So I love your photos and stories as always... question about the way it displays. Some (a few) of your photos display in the thread for me, and many others I have to click on a link to see them. Is that a weird browser thing on my end or...?

    I've recently started watching cooking shows and your descriptions of the food at Chef's Counter sound just like them!

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by napamaninsocal View Post
    Where to next? Casey Jr? The carousel? Dumbo Alice?
    Casey... I think I already post-processed some of it, just need the time to put it together. Been a crazy 8 days

    Leave a comment:


  • napamaninsocal
    replied
    Where to next? Casey Jr? The carousel? Dumbo Alice?

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by bamato View Post
    Those tacos look pretty good, but I'm not surprised that you were mislead by the habanero namesake. I'm pretty sure a lot of places cook them down so much in sauces that there isn't much heat left.
    I have a very heat-tolerant palate and love spice, so maybe I'm not the target demographic.

    Question, and maybe it was already answered... Did you bring your electronics on GOTG again? I'd have a little PTSD over that.
    I did. Had a second occurrence happened, I'd be LIGHTING UP CITY HALL.

    Bread bowl on a rainy day sounds like the epitome of comfort food... That's got me salivating as I read, even though I'd rather go for gumbo, or broccoli cheddar.
    Only gumbo if its what they served at Blue Bayou/Cafe Orleans. The stuff from the Royal Street Veranda is beyond meh.

    And great shots on Pinocchio and Snow White!
    Thanks. I really need my f/1.4 on those attractions though. Shooting f/2.8 is just too slow for really crisp captures.

    Leave a comment:


  • bamato
    replied
    Those tacos look pretty good, but I'm not surprised that you were mislead by the habanero namesake. I'm pretty sure a lot of places cook them down so much in sauces that there isn't much heat left.

    Question, and maybe it was already answered... Did you bring your electronics on GOTG again? I'd have a little PTSD over that.

    Bread bowl on a rainy day sounds like the epitome of comfort food... That's got me salivating as I read, even though I'd rather go for gumbo, or broccoli cheddar.

    And great shots on Pinocchio and Snow White!

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Well... given we took time to pack up the room this morning to minimize the time at check-out for our room swap, we didn't make it out of the tower until 7:46. EMH was at DCA today at 7AM... ooops. Oh well. Disneyland opened at 8, so we hustled over there.

    We stopped in front of the castle at 8:03 for a few quick family pics..



    First the DLR Photog. I really wish there was a way to pay extra and get some RAW captures. They use fill-flash and I wish I could tweak it down in post, but working with JPG is pretty limiting.





    Next up some shots out of mine..






    We made our way for Peter and jumped in queue. Time for a shot of the birthday boy. I LOVE my shirt. BEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!!



    Girls were posing as usual.



    Good shot of Peter on Big Ben.



    After a trip around London and Neverland with Peter, there was a perfect opportunity for a meet and greet!!



    We were determined to slam out Fantasyland, so into Snow White we went.



    I never noticed the detail on that organ before. I'll have to do some shooting of that on my next trip.



    I've always loved these crystals





    And since we were in the neighborhood... Pinocchio



    I can never get the Pepper's Ghost Blue Fairy right before this scene... doh.



    Loved the little music maker.



    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Everybody was ready for some dinner after Monsters. I was sent on a quest to retrieve a Turkey Leg... I did so while the rest of the girls got dinner from Award Weiners.



    Reese happy about building a Light Saber of her own.



    Vic being a sloppy eater..



    You can see Katherine was jonesing for some of Char's turkey leg. She was instructed to wait her turn as she had already eaten a hotdog.



    Charlotte meticulously dissected it. YUM. We do love smoked poultry. They say my smoked chicken legs taste just like it.



    I was hungry AND thirsty, so I popped over to the adult beverage counter at the far corner of the backlot, grabbed a Tower 10, and then hit up the Studio Catering Company Food Truck for some of their "Most Dangerous Tacos in the Galaxy". They were Barbacoa Beef Tacos with Green Onion Slaw, Cabbage, Pickled Onions, and Habanero Salsa.

    I found them yummy, but felt mislead by the "Habanero Salsa". It felt about a 3/10 on the heat-meter. I guess appeal to the masses and all that garbage...



    We attempted to see the Starlord and Gamora dance-off at 5:25, but they no-showed on us. While we were waiting, we met up with Cheri (@DizMe) and her daughters, made introductions for the un-initiated, talked about her daughter's big move, and compared notes on our Club 33 meals.

    Afterward, we headed over to Soarin' I just can't get into the new CGI-heavy Soarin' over the world. I want the original back, or a better-done World (prefer the original over California, maybe with updated footage).



    We were in the FP line for Guardians at 6:50 and didn't get off until 7:30. Crazy long wait for a FP for GOTG. Charlotte had her head down for this... not sure why.. strange kid.



    It was time for some dessert, and we headed over to Car's land to meet up with Lindsey at the Cozy Cone. Everybody got soft-serves and we headed across the way to Flo's to eat them as it was still raining.

    There was a Disneyland Photog there, so we snapped some group shots.











    I just gotta say... if I could ever have a second career, it would be working for Disney making up funny stuff people never actually read. This is a perfect example... Quality Oil... From the makers of Non-Quality Oil" OMG.. so good.



    By now it was getting late. Lindsey and Reese had another Guardians FP, so we parted ways. They went their way, we went ours. We'd meet up tomorrow.. it was the BIG DAY. On the way out of the park I stopped off for a bowl of clam chowder for Amy and I to eat. It was amazing after a cold, rainy, night. The sourdough was so comforting... oh how I love it.



    We hit the room at 8:40, got the kids in a warm bath, and Amy and I just relaxed. We would have a big day tomorrow and needed some rest.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by mpabis525 View Post
    I like the Monster's Inc ride but think it was crammed in there on the cheap so there is little kinetic energy. If it lives, I hope they redo it and spruce it up to what it should be. So much of hte dark ride is static. WHile I get that with the older ones in Fantasyland, I think this has so much potential.
    I'm just amazed at how well it does for being a static experience. I think it was really well done for that category of attraction. They used a lot of practical effects too and only 2 instances of projection that I recall. Maybe that's what speaks to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • mpabis525
    replied
    I like the Monster's Inc ride but think it was crammed in there on the cheap so there is little kinetic energy. If it lives, I hope they redo it and spruce it up to what it should be. So much of hte dark ride is static. WHile I get that with the older ones in Fantasyland, I think this has so much potential.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Around 4:30, it had cleared up and we decided to head back into the parks.

    It's always difficult traveling with a Sith...(somebody should tell her Sith traditionally use synthetic red kyber crystals in their sabers)



    Charlotte's legs are perpetually tired... Vic was kind and let her ride.



    Our first stop... Monster's Inc. Vic was excited to drive.



    Celia and Mike were hitting it off. Little known fact, the name for Mike Wazowski came from the father of the Muppet performer Frank Oz.



    I love the wide views of Monstropolis. Underappreciated I say



    Sulley seems to be perpetually carrying Boo



    Amy and I constantly make reference to Harryhausen's. Another little known fact, the restaurant is named after the late stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen. He has quite the assortment of movie credits under his belt. Here's all of them... some great ones here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9kmjW73-v4

    While octopuses in real life have eight tentacles, the Chef only has six; this is a reference to the 1955 science-fiction film It Came from Beneath the Sea, in which Ray Harryhausen, the film's special effects artist and animator, created an octopus with only six arms due to budget restrictions.

    If you look close, to the right of the sushi chef, you can see Marlin on the screen behind him. Finding Nemo was the next Pixar film after Monsters, Inc., and they worked it in to both the movie and the attraction. I love all the little eyeballs, the sake bottles, and the wrapped tentacle on the Octopus.





    Boo fits in the take out container perfectly.



    Back at Monster's Inc, Smitty and Needleman are clocking out.



    I particularly like the poster behind them. It's published by the Monster Occupational Safety & Hazard agency (MOSH). It depicts hazard symbols and what they mean.

    Left column from top to bottom:


    Scream Escaping - Caution: Escaping Scream can lead to low-level hearing loss. Check all seals and valves before handling.
    Electric - Caution: Electricity can cause severe bodily harm. Always check for current before handling.
    Radiation - Caution: Prolonged exposure in kinds can result in long-term health related problems, including loss of sight.


    Right column from top to bottom:


    Extreme Heat - Caution: Check surfaces for heat before handling. Serious burns and hair loss can result from heat.
    Poison - Caution: Harmful if touched or consumed. Do not induce vomiting. Not to be enjoyed as a beverage. (the symbol for this one is a skull and crossbones, but the skull has an enlarged cranium with a single eye... love it)
    Fire - Caution: Stay clear of fire zones. Use extreme caution if covered with over 40% body hair; hair loss may occur. (lolz... only 39% hair coverage... we are good)


    Then there's the pay rules....


    Maximum Labor Minimum Wage... 4.75 per hour.


    And a disclaimer:

    As proud members of the Monsters Incorporated Scare Team, you are both encouraged and required to work within, but not restricted to, Time Zone Scare Shifts of not less than fourteen hour increments, with additional scaring encouraged as required but not limited to non-overtime shifts in eight hour increments per shift. Compensation will be regulated according to scare counts tallied within each shift, proportional to scream surplus divided by scream loss, minus inter-time zonal redundancy overlap.

    Compensation occurs on every Thursday, not withstanding compensory delays in excess of, but not limited to, thirty working days for the duration of the pay period. Delays will be notified to scarers in advance as determined by the Compensation Delay Board and the Prompt Pay Oversight Committee.

    Compensation shall be in the form of, but not limited to, Scare Bucks drawn from the general monster funds, not withstanding withholdings from the Financial Debt and Non-Imbursement Department. All scarer rights are secured and guaranteed by Article 15: "In the Interest of the Company."

    MOSHA has published many public and private guidelines to assist employers in eliminating or perfecting programs to prevent outstanding efforts of this nature.


    It's almost like Disney wrote it as applicable to their park CMs...



    And Mike losing his mind now that there's a kid free on the scare floor.



    Randall showing us how he can perfectly match his background..



    He even stoops to stealing screams...



    They spotted Boo's door!!



    Boo bonking Randall!! He had it coming.



    Mike loves swinging from doors.



    Saying goodbye to Boo.



    Interviewing the CDA



    And Roz. I LOVE the interactivity of her and her witty commentary.



    All in all, Monsters Inc, is one of the best done dark rides with really limited animatronics. There's practically no movement in most of the vignettes. They make masterful use of mirrors with the doors, and the story progresses pretty great with pepper's ghost effects for Randall It’s a definite must-do and rarely has a line. The queue is full of great backstory and references as well. Totally underrated.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by bamato View Post
    SWEET! More photos. I've been waiting an eternity. It was a pleasant surprise this morning. Thanks Matt!
    Glad you liked it Brian. I had hoped to get more up last night, but got home late, had to put together some 21 Royal pics for another member over on the Dis, and pay tons of bills... ugh.

    Your C33 experience looked amazing. I've only dined once, and it was very busy, so I can't imagine what it would be like to enjoy the place all to yourself!
    It was AMAZING!!! I feel so blessed that I've gotten to experience the club and even more blessed that I've had simply remarkable and amazing experiences every time. It's some amazing memories we'll never forget.

    Leave a comment:


  • bamato
    replied
    SWEET! More photos. I've been waiting an eternity. It was a pleasant surprise this morning. Thanks Matt! Your C33 experience looked amazing. I've only dined once, and it was very busy, so I can't imagine what it would be like to enjoy the place all to yourself!

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by poohnpiglet View Post

    Wow. I could have said that a lot better. What i meant was I love how you take such detailed pictures of intricate details and sometime while on moving ride vehicles. I think my favorites are of some of the unique lighting fixtures. And somehow that came out cool pictures of lamps??

    I have no excuse. I have been reading through your trip reports and making lists. Next year is our 25th wedding anniversary and hubby's 50th birthday. So I am just trying to plan our trips and looking to see what extras I could add.
    I was just joking. Glad someone else sees the beauty and interest in such mundane things which most people never even notice.

    Leave a comment:


  • poohnpiglet
    replied
    Originally posted by whoever View Post

    LOLZ... If I was going to get a tombstone, I'd want that on it. Matt... knew... lamp.
    Wow. I could have said that a lot better. What i meant was I love how you take such detailed pictures of intricate details and sometime while on moving ride vehicles. I think my favorites are of some of the unique lighting fixtures. And somehow that came out cool pictures of lamps??

    I have no excuse. I have been reading through your trip reports and making lists. Next year is our 25th wedding anniversary and hubby's 50th birthday. So I am just trying to plan our trips and looking to see what extras I could add.

    Leave a comment:


  • mickdaddy
    replied
    Originally posted by whoever View Post

    We normally stay at the Grand, but this was Our third time at the DLH I think. Even when we stay at the Grand, we often rent a cabana at the DLH because we like the pools that much better than the Grand's.
    That might be a perfect option, we have never taken advantage of the pool hopping option.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by poohnpiglet View Post
    Love your trip reports. It is also helpful for those of us that only take pictures on our cell phones. Because if there is a lamp or something cool I want a nice picture of I know I can find a good picture that you took.
    LOLZ... If I was going to get a tombstone, I'd want that on it. Matt... knew... lamp.

    Leave a comment:


  • poohnpiglet
    replied
    Love your trip reports. It is also helpful for those of us that only take pictures on our cell phones. Because if there is a lamp or something cool I want a nice picture of I know I can find a good picture that you took.

    Leave a comment:


  • whoever
    replied
    Originally posted by mickdaddy View Post
    I do need to stay at the Disneyland hotel sometime I do love the grounds and offerings there, since we are DVC owners we stay at the Grand Californian which I love.
    We normally stay at the Grand, but this was Our third time at the DLH I think. Even when we stay at the Grand, we often rent a cabana at the DLH because we like the pools that much better than the Grand's.

    Leave a comment:

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