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Unplanned Father and Son Trip - 8/2-8/4

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  • Trip Report Unplanned Father and Son Trip - 8/2-8/4

    Finally getting around to my trip report from the start of August.

    Backstory:
    This trip was not to take place. Instead, my son spent all summer working in a leadership group at summer camp. The payoff was a trip to So Cal and this year a trip to Disneyland. Needless to say he was excited for multiple reasons. Unfortunately the week before the trip, he had a medical episode that nullified him going. To say he was bummed was an understatement. However, as parents, we knew we had to make it up for him.

    Instead of going for one day only to Disneyland with his peers and not be able to go off and do things by himself, he got to bring his me, my credit card, and all that we could possibly fit into 3 days (well, part of two and one full day). He felt we made up for it in a big way. To say he wound up on the plus side is an understatement.

    Trip:
    Ok, this was a real short notice trip and having just driven a speed run to California a few days before with my other son, I was not in the mood to drive again. So, we flew from Phoenix to OC. As we got through the TSA line in Phoenix, we were feeling good and excited. Only a couple of hours and we were back at Disneyland. Then I saw it.

    That night as soon as we got to the gate, the flight status was already listed as "Delayed". CRAP!!! Not again. We had this on our trip to Disney World in 2017 and the delay cost us our first day at the park. Argh. Well at least we would a full day and a half in but lose the Friday night.

    But the Tiki gods were on our side! WIthin 20 minutes, we found out a replacement plane was already in route and we would still be able to leave on time. That meant a full night at the parks was on! Score for us!

    The flight was uneventful apart from me wanting the pilot to kick that 737 to max speed and get there sooner. We landed and got our bags and headed off to our hotel. A quick check-in and we were pumped and walking up Harbor Blvd.

    And there it was...No, not the security line. Rather the pearly green gates of Disneyland.


    It wasn't much past 7:30 and we were in. I had prepped him as this was the first night of the Main St. Electrical Parade that it would be busy even with a light summer. Boy were we wrong. Sure there were people in the parks but it was so nice and enjoyable because the crowds were even lower than we expected.

    Quickly, we went to work and got on our major rides for the night. We beat feet over to Adventureland and started there. First up was Indiana Jones. My son love this when we rode it the year before for his first time. Both of us are cool single ridering as we can get on more rides. We snaked our way through the awesome queue until we got ot the last set of stairs and encountered a ride stop. Ugh. So close but so far. After about 20 mins we were back up and running. Fortune and glory awaited.







    We narrowly escaped thanks to Dr. Henry Jones, Jr.

    Next up was Pirates. With the first of the nighttime entertainment starting we were able to snake through the next few rides quickly. Of course we had to get the front row of the boat. The whole setting of Pirates is phenomanal. I will never tire of it. My son enjoys it more and more on each trip too. Having ridden it a few times the previous November, we were still surprised to see things we have never noticed before. Having ridden it several times since the 2018 changes, I do like the return several things leading up to the ship and fort. Hank (we have to call the octopus, Hank, is great.)






















    2018 Milestone Birthday Trip
    2017 Solo Birthday Trip
    2016 Solo trip and Club 33
    2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Final part
    2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 3
    2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 2
    2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 1

  • #2
    Great trip report so far. And these are some of the best photos I’ve seen of the inside of POTC. There’s something special about a Disneyland trip with just one of the kids. I’ve gone with just me and either of my daughters and it’s always brought special memories that we still talk about. Looking forward to seeing more of the report.
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ip-report.html
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...something.html

    No matter where you go, there you are.

    Comment


    • #3
      Always love a great positive trip report!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by sbk1234 View Post
        Great trip report so far. And these are some of the best photos I’ve seen of the inside of POTC. There’s something special about a Disneyland trip with just one of the kids. I’ve gone with just me and either of my daughters and it’s always brought special memories that we still talk about. Looking forward to seeing more of the report.
        It definitely a fun and different experience with only one son rather than the whole family. He is closer to my speed which is go until they kick you out. Just prior to this my youngest and I had a California weekend which was more laid back and his speed.
        2018 Milestone Birthday Trip
        2017 Solo Birthday Trip
        2016 Solo trip and Club 33
        2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Final part
        2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 3
        2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 2
        2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 1

        Comment


        • #5
          Extraordinary photos and so nice to see a father/son team at DL. Look forward to more! Thanks for sharing!

          Comment


          • #6
            After successfully escaping the pillaging, plundering, rifling and looting pirates, we headed over to Haunted Mansion. The unique thing here was that it was my son’s first time seeing the non-overlay Haunted Mansion. Despite a dozen visits to Disneyland, he has never seen the regular version because all of our trips have been during Halloween or Christmastime. That means we only see the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay.

            We FastPass-ed the ride and were on in mere minutes. Before I could even dial in my camera settings we were heading into the foyer.

            Hearing the regular ride spiel was a nice change of pace.









            I am still trying for my perfect shot of the Hatbox Ghost.




            Goings on in the graveyard.






            My best shot ever of the Hitchhiking Ghosts. It also helps I have only seen them on two trips since I have had my camera.



            2018 Milestone Birthday Trip
            2017 Solo Birthday Trip
            2016 Solo trip and Club 33
            2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Final part
            2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 3
            2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 2
            2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 1

            Comment


            • #7
              With Adventureland and New Orleans Square conquered, my son was ready to get back to Splash Mountain. This is by far his favorite ride in the park. Last year, he was spoiled when he got back to back rides on a Friday night by himself. I told him not to expect the same thing this year. Well, I was wrong. He got a solo ride and a ride with only one other person. Once again, taking advantage of everyone enjoying the nighttime entertainment worked to our advantage. However, the photos weren’t working at the time so he missed out on his pictures.



              As I don’t enjoy getting wet with tons of electronics on rides with drops, I sat out Splash. While my son was enjoying things, I heard the music start up for Fantasmic. Having never seen a second of it, I wandered over by the water’s edge near Splash and caught a glimpse of the show. Lucky for me, it was during the Pirates of the Caribbean part. Knowing my son’s ride would be ending soon, I only got a few seconds to take some pictures before heading back to meet him.



              With several rides under our belt and not much to eat for the last several hours, we needed sustenance. Thinking somewhat light but tasty, we both wanted some gumbo. We ran over to Royal Street Veranda. But it was closed. Ok. Strange that it would be shuttered at about 9:30 on a Friday night but we will deal. So we went over to the French Market. They too were closed. Fine, we will get sit down at Café Orleans. Nope, closed too. Seriously, can’t some guys get some soup?!

              So we settled on going back to Pooh’s Corner for some cookies. We love the Chocolate Chunk cookies something fierce. On the trip, we are usually good for one a day plus bringing some home. They are arguably the best dessert at Disneyland behind a Dole Whip.


              With food in our bellies, it was time to head to Shangri La…Galaxy’s Edge. We were both ultra-excited for this new land. Having raised him on star wars since he was four, this was going to be a great father son experience. My younger son would have to wait to get his trip to Batuu.

              Now, if you remember from the start, my son was supposed to go here with his summer group. That meant he was supposed to be the first of our family to experience it. I wasn’t going to let him miss out on that. It may be a little thing but he had to be the first into Galaxy’s Edge.

              The first steps into Galaxy’s Edge from the Hungry Bear side.

              2018 Milestone Birthday Trip
              2017 Solo Birthday Trip
              2016 Solo trip and Club 33
              2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Final part
              2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 3
              2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 2
              2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 1

              Comment


              • #9
                Thanks for sharing! I especially some of the different angle photographs from what typically see. Hope to see more!

                Comment


                • #10
                  Great pictures and write up. Looks like a fun time was had and many memories were made! Thanks for sharing.
                  Big Thunder Ranch > Galaxys Edge

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    This is great to see. It looks like you two are having a blast. Give my best to your son, and hope whatever medical issue kept him away last time is taken care of!

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
                      This is great to see. It looks like you two are having a blast. Give my best to your son, and hope whatever medical issue kept him away last time is taken care of!
                      Thanks. He is doing fine now. Waving off his original trip was the smart precautionary measure.
                      2018 Milestone Birthday Trip
                      2017 Solo Birthday Trip
                      2016 Solo trip and Club 33
                      2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Final part
                      2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 3
                      2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 2
                      2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 1

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        We slowly made our way into Batuu. I think I was making us take our time as I wanted to see everything that could be seen for the first time. For now, the Hungry Bear entrance is longer but a bit sparse. I imagine there might be a bit more added as they get closer to opening Rise of the Resistance.

                        After spying our first gift kiosk, we turned around and saw the first ships. The X-wing and A-wing were so cool to see in 1:1. HOnestly, they could charge to sit in those cockpits and everyone my age would just say "Take my money".





                        We continued on and encountered the entrance to the bazaar of the Black Spire Outpost. Yeah, the pulse was picking up a bit as we were almost there to the Falcon.


                        Of course, I made us go past the shops and stand first. We weren't going to run right through this on our first visit. That is not how I was going to roll. Strolling past the few shops and dining options, it was our time. We had to go see the Millennium Falcon for the first time. And there she was.


                        Almost 40 years of watching Star Wars (yeah, I probably started while I was in diapers) and I was staring at a life size recreation of one of the most famous ships ever created. It was cool. My son was enjoying it but not to the degree I was. Of course we had to get some pics before getting in line for Smugglers Run.




                        The 9th Wonder of the World!....The backside of the Millennium Falcon!



                        2018 Milestone Birthday Trip
                        2017 Solo Birthday Trip
                        2016 Solo trip and Club 33
                        2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Final part
                        2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 3
                        2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 2
                        2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 1

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          That smile says it all. Your son was obviously having a wonderful time. Looking forward to more report/pictures/commentary.
                          BarbaraAnn

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Actually entering Smuggler’s Run is one of the coolest queues in all of Disneyland. The imagineers definitely had fun with the detail. With a 60 minute wait, it was by far the longest time we spent in line the entire weekend. However, we were expecting that.





                            There were so many little Star Wars details to spot during the entire queue. Note, if you haven’t ridden it, the queue is more than the visible part inside the workshop. It does extend in beyond once you get upstairs.

                            As we worked our way upstairs, you got a real sense of change. It moved toward Hondo and his holding area. That animatronic was really cool. Very fluid and a great pre-show.




                            From here, you are then sent further along through the bowels of the building until you start entering the Falcon. It really does seem like you are in the ship. I wish we could have spent more time looking and being around the Falcon but we were quickly herded to our boarding area to get into our positions.



                            We wound up having a position of gunner for my son and engineer for myself. I won’t bore you with more details about the ride itself as I am sure many have mentioned it. However, it does take away from things that you keep having to look away from the screen in front to work your station. I missed half of the flight having to look at the buttons to press.


                            When we go back next time, I am definitely going to try and get more inside and cockpit pictures.

                            After our ride, we wandered around Batuu for a while longer. Nighttime truly is amazing.




                            Being late and knowing we had to be up early the next morning, we hung around the park a little while longer. Both of us hit Thunder Mountain and a couple of other rides before heading back to our hotel room. It really was a good first few hours for us.
                            2018 Milestone Birthday Trip
                            2017 Solo Birthday Trip
                            2016 Solo trip and Club 33
                            2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Final part
                            2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 3
                            2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 2
                            2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 1

                            Comment


                            • #16
                              Excellent report so far! Keep in coming!

                              Comment


                              • #17
                                5:50 came bright and early. Nothing like getting a five and a half hours sleep before heading back out for more fun and adventure. My son was a good sport about getting up early so we could be in line for Magic Morning. Fueled with a breakfast of champions on the walk over, Cliff bars and Diet Coke for me, we started our walk up Harbor from our hotel.

                                Not knowing what to expect for crowds on a Saturday, it was better to be safe than sorry. Fortunately, few others were up and we had a great spot in line, 5 back from the front. This wound up being the second trip in a row without a rope drop. We were all clustered at the gates waiting for the appointed hour, 7am.


                                Once those gates were open, it was on! Our family, no matter how old we get, still has the tradition of straight up the middle, first ride on the right through the castle. Yeah, I am talking about the boy, the myth, the legend, Peter Pan. The world is just right when you get on this quickly in the morning. We did take a 10 second pause for a picture in front of the castle though.



                                My son will probably be as tall if not taller than me. He isn’t far behind so the sight of the two of us cramming into Peter Pan’s pirate ships must be comedic. And we were off to Neverland.

                                I would love if this ride was twice as long. There is so much detail from the movie that can be displayed on the ride. Even with a really short ride, it is still a lot of fun. Being a short ride, there isn’t a lot of opportunity to get pictures on one of the toughest dark rides to photograph. Normally, I will wind up with about 3-4 decent pictures on the ride. However, even shooting on manual focus, I came away with my best ride ever, photographically speaking.






                                The toughest shot in the ride.




                                2018 Milestone Birthday Trip
                                2017 Solo Birthday Trip
                                2016 Solo trip and Club 33
                                2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Final part
                                2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 3
                                2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 2
                                2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 1

                                Comment


                                • #18
                                  Having returned from Neverland, we continued on our adventure through Fantasyland. Being that it was next door, we next went on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Up until a few years ago, I am not sure when I last rode it. The first time my kids were on it, they couldn't follow the story. At least it has some interesting scenes.




                                  We then headed over to Dumbo. As it was only about 7:25 at this point, the line was definitely short. You always have to take advantage of stuff like that. And we did. No matter how big my kids get, they will always have to have some pictures taken on Dumbo. The new queue was nice and helped things a bit too.



                                  Next up was the Tea Cups. My kids have always loved this as do I. My wife will sit it out every time with the exception of my birthday trip last year. For just the two of us, it was spin until we puke. We always get that things spinning.



                                  We then tried to go on Pinnochio and Snow White but both were not open that morning. Oh well, we could do them later in the day. However, that afforded my son a trip on the Matterhorn. For some reason, when I was little, I would go on the ride even though I hated it. Now, i am too big. When my wife and son rode it last year, I sat it out. They both agreed it was the right choice for someone as tall as I. I don't feel like testing out those new seats. So, my son hit the single rider line several times in a row to go see Harold.






                                  Maybe our next trip, I will try it.
                                  2018 Milestone Birthday Trip
                                  2017 Solo Birthday Trip
                                  2016 Solo trip and Club 33
                                  2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Final part
                                  2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 3
                                  2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 2
                                  2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 1

                                  Comment


                                  • #19
                                    With his several trips on the Matterhorn to start the mountain day, my son was geared up and ready to hit his last mountain left to accomplish, Space Mountain. For me, it was time to suck it up buttercup.

                                    I am not a big coaster fan but have done all four mountains with ¾ being when I was 8 or younger. It had been a long time since I was on Space Mountain and all I remember was not going willingly. However, I have always told my son that I would ride nearly all the rides with him on his first time.

                                    With blood pressure starting to increase and the pulse quickening, we headed over to Tomorrowland.

                                    There was barely a line this early in the day. As a result, we sped through and were in the queue in no time. Then it was right before me, the ride vehicle for us to get in. My son was all excited and trying to calm my nerves.




                                    Somehow, I was able to squeeze my body into the ride vehicle. Barely. And not pain free. Let’s just say there wasn’t much room for me in there.

                                    Fortunately, it was the Star Wars overlay. Scientifically proven, Star Wars makes everything better. Even after watching ride videos, I was still nervous. My son was all geared up to have fun. And then we rocketed off.

                                    I white knuckled it through the ride with every twist and turn. When we came to a stop, I had survived. And just like my son taking my on Thunder Mountain the previous fall, it wasn’t bad. Dare I say, I enjoyed it?

                                    The first ride photo says it all about how I was feeling on the first trip.


                                    Later on.


                                    As soon as we exited, we headed right back in line for another couple of rides.

                                    My wife was surprised I got on but she knew I would do it for my son. Ride pictures proved I did it.

                                    With Space Mountain conquered, my son had become a Mountaineer. I had promised him last time I would by a Mountaineer shirt after he tackled all four mountains. I would be glad to pay up and order it when we got home.
                                    2018 Milestone Birthday Trip
                                    2017 Solo Birthday Trip
                                    2016 Solo trip and Club 33
                                    2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Final part
                                    2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 3
                                    2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 2
                                    2015 Racing the Rain to Disneyland – Part 1

                                    Comment


                                    • #20
                                      Great to see you braving the fastest mountain and facing fears for family. You can't buy memories like those. And by all accounts, you made the right move avoiding the Matterhorn. Watching videos online is arguably more enjoyable because it comes without any of the pain of being cramped in the bobsled and jerked around the track.

                                      Comment

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