Jeanne's Disneyland Trip "Happiest Homecoming on Earth"
Here is my trip report from my first trip to disneyland, May 4-8th. It took me awhile to write it up! :-D But it's done! :-D
May 4th, 2006 - Arrival, First Day, Etc.
Okay, I woke up bright and early because my plane left at 9am. Alan came to the airport with my dad, mom, and I. My Dad and I said good-bye to everyone, and then we went into the Best Care Club for Midwest Express because my Dad's a member. After I raided their mini-frig for a soda and a juice, and I ate a warm chocolate chip cookie, we sat around for a bit, until it was time to board. We left the club and then we walked right to the gate, and got right on the plane. The plane ride there was pretty uneventful. We watched Chicken Little on the portable DVD player, and other than that, I read a book.
We landed at about 11:45am local Los Angeles time and we got off the plane. My first thought of looking at LAX, it looks like a giant bathroom inside. Seriously, all the tile on the walls reminded me of the bathrooms at my elementary school. So here I am at 21, and I'm thinking the airport looks like a giant bathroom, strange? Yes I am. We got our luggage and then we got our shuttle that we had arranged for through Disney. (No magical express out there!) We got on the shuttle and after driving around filling the shuttle up (3 of the members were going to a religious convention, so that made for an interesting ride), we headed towards Disneyland. My Dad and I were the first ones to be dropped off at the Disneyland Hotel. I for one, was highly excited as I saw the huge Mickey statue in front. We went inside to check in, it now being only 1pm. We checked in, and they told us we had to come back to information at 3pm to get our room keys. Then we left our luggage with the bell hops, and we headed towards Disneyland.
We walked out of our hotel and got on the monorail at Downtown Disney (since its really close!) and offers pick ups to only Disneyland Hotel guests. For those of you that don't know, Downtown Disney is what you walk through to get to Disneyland and California Adventure from the Disneyland Hotel. It's about a 10-15 minute walk, and their Downtown Disney isn't anything too exciting in my opinion. They check your bags at the bottom of the monorail and then they swipe your ticket because the monorail drops you off in Tomorrowland. We road the monorail and got off. I decided we should head up towards Mainstreet, so we did. We walked down Main Street, and my dad started filming everything. We stopped by the Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner, so we could get food, and we sat there and ate. I sat down on a bench and called Alan with a, 'I'm in Disneyland!' phone-call and then we headed into Disneyland, the first 50 years. We walked through the mini-museum, took some pictures, and then watched the video featuring Steve Martin. He started working at Disneyland, and in the film he talks about a Bra store that used to be on mainstreet (along with a working pharmacy and other things), but he does mention the Bra Store as one he misses the most, which is something I prefer not to wonder about. Then we walked through every store on both sides of mainstreet and looked at things. We also stopped in the MainStreet Cinema, which made me happy to see. Then we decided to take the monorail back because it was 3pm, and we could get our room keys.
We went back to the hotel, and got our room keys, and went to our tower (Bonita) which is the one farthest back, but it worked out perfectly, it has a waterfall and other things you can go through. We went up to our room (2791 which was on the 9th floor), and I started exploring the small room. The ceilings were lower in the hotel, so you could tell that it was an older hotel, but it had tons of great Disney stuff such as wall paper, glow-in-the-dark borders, and other things. We unpacked and then we got situated for going out for the night. I found that we had a mini-frig, so I located the soda machine, and other than that, we were ready to go!
When we got back to Disneyland, we started in Tomorrowland this time. We road Buzzlightyear, Autopia, and Space Mountain. Now let me just say, Buzz the guns that weren't stationary were cool, but the rest of it, I wasn't too impressed with. They do have targets worth different points. Triangles were worth the most, then diamonds, then squares, then circles were worth the least. We emailed the picture to my Mom and then we went on our way. As for Autopia, that was tons of fun! The cars were different, and the track seemed a lot longer than the one I was used to in Walt Disney World. You do a bit of "off-roading" in it, and you go through Car Park. I loved it, and we only waited about 15 minutes. Then we went to Space Mountain and walked right on. Let me just say now, the park wasn't that crowded because it was a Thursday. It was absolutely dead, which was great. Space Mountain is awesome. It has one drop only, and its a little one, the rest is just big circles, which I loved. The music really added to it, and it was a lot of fun.
After this we got dinner in New Orleans square. We ate at the River Belle Terrace, which became my favorite. I got a sourdough bread bowl filled with clam chowder and a salad, which was extremely delicious. My dad got barbequed Chicken with tons of little sides. After we ate, which I was stuffed, I decided I needed something a little more low key, so we went on the Haunted Mansion. That was fun, I could feel the floor moving, and other than that, there were some slight differences, but I enjoyed it. We explored New Orleans Square some, looking at stops, and outside of Pirates since it is being refurbished. We also hung around outside Club 33, and saw a ton of people go in. :-) After this, we went over to Adventureland. There we went on Indiana Jones and the Enchanted Tiki Room. Indiana Jones, I LOVED! The walk to the actual ride is a long one, but it was an amazing ride! :-D Some of the effects are awesome, and I definitely loved it. Then I went on Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, which used to be one of my favorites as a child. I loved this again, and it made me happy to see the original, which is way better than the Walt Disney World version. By this time, it was 9pm, and the park was closing. So, we went back to our hotel and went to sleep. When we got back to our room, I noticed that my Mom had had golden Mickey Ears delivered to our room for us. So I was excited to finally get my golden Mickey Ears, and we called to thank her. As I was going to sleep, I noticed the Tinkerbell "pixie dust" border in our hotel room glowed in the dark.
May 5th, 2006 - First Full Day in the Parks!
Okay, so we got up and after getting breakfast at The Coffee House at our hotel, we headed into Disneyland. I had a plan to spend a bit of time in Disneyland Park (Magic Kingdom) before we headed over to California Adventure. We got there, and we went on the Jungle Cruise. It was amusing, and then we walked through Tarzan's Treehouse, which was cheesy to the extreme, and I was disappointed. After this we went up to Town Square to watch the rededication ceremony. That was really cool, I loved it. Although, the guy who was Pluto was highly energetic, and the mayor, the way he talked drove me a little crazy.
After the ceremony, we went across the courtyard to California Adventure. Once in California Adventure we road a lot of things. We went on California Screamin, Sun Wheel, Jumpin' Jellyfish, Monsters, Inc., Games of the Boardwalk, Golden Zephyr, Mullholland Madness, Orange Stinger, and King Triton's Carrousel all before our lunch at Ariel's Grotto. To touch on a few, I loved Screamin, it is one of the smoothest coasters, that I've ever been on. Monsters, Inc is just like other fantasyland rides, but I was really impressed with it. It was a great ride, and they have a personalization at the end. I was sitting in the third row wearing my Golden Mickey Ears, and at the end Roz said "Young Lady in the Third Row, my what big Ears you have." So, that was fun. We went to Ariel's Grotto and had an amazing lunch. (We used the Dining Plan throughout the trip, and I ate more than enough food, I loved it, and this lunch was a lot of fun.) I convinced my Dad to wear his crown, so as I met the princesses (Jasmine, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, and Aurora) he was wearing his crown and taking pictures. We had an absolutely delicious meal (I had a salad, salmon BLT, peach cobbler, and cotton candy which they give to everyone), we went on our way.
We went towards "A Bug's Land" now. We went on Hemlich's Chew Chew Train (a little train), Flik's Fliers (kinda like Dumbo), and Tuck N' Roll's Drive'em Buggies (a mini-bumper cars). We also again took plenty of pictures and then we wandered around some more, looking through the Pacific Wharf, and looking at everything. We then went and got in line for Grizzly River Run. We waited for about 20 mintues, and actually did not get too wet once on the actual ride. I loved it, it was a great ride, lots of little drops instead of big ones, although there were a few big ones, and my Dad got more wet than I did. After this, we walked out because my feet were killing me from all the walking, and it was about 3:30pm. I wanted to put on jeans for the night since the park was open until Midnight.
After we went back to the Hotel and changed, we went to Fantasyland. There we went on Mr Toad's Wild Ride, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Pinocchio's Daring Adventure, Mad Tea Party, It's a Small World, Snow White's Scary Adventure, and King Arthur's Carrousel. It was great to be on Mr. Toad again. We also watched the fireworks "Remember, Dreams Come True" at 9:25pm. It starts out just like Wishes, but then it basically goes through all the lands at Disneyland and plays tribute to them. I loved the fireworks, and we recorded part of them. After we got done with everything, it was 10:30pm, even though the park was open until Midnight, I was tired. I thought we got on enough for my first day, and I called it a night a bit early. We had breakfast reservations for 8am, the next morning, and I didn't want to be too tired to spend more time in the parks the next day, so we walked through Downtown Disney, looked at stores, and then went to go get sleep.
May 6th - Full day at Disneyland
We went to our Breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen the next morning and besides having an amazing breakfast, we met a lot of characters (Aladdin, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Pluto). After breakfast we headed into the park. When we got to Disneyland, we headed back towards Toontown. There we walked through all of the houses and road Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin twice. We also met Mickey and Minnie. After toontown, we headed towards Frontierland to do stuff there. We shot guns at the Frontierland Shootin' Explosion! for awhile (I have really bad aim), and then we went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I loved it, even though it was a bit different. It was a great ride. Then we went through the Disney Gallery in New Orleans Square. We also got in line and road the Matterhorn Bobsleds. (Which again, I loved!, although someone should have told me to hold on!) After that we went on Columbia, the boat around the Rivers of America. We also went on the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country and met Tigger, Eeyore, and Pooh. After this, we got a small snack (popcorn for my dad, and a mickey pretzel for me!). After our snack, we went back to our Hotel to change for the evening and take a small break.
On our way back to our hotel, we decided to use your coupon where we got 10% off at the World of Disney at Downtown Disney. Now I had been looking around for souvenirs for me, and I decided I needed this retro Disneyland hoodie featuring tinkerbell and the mickey mouse club, a disneyland sweatshirt, and other assorted things. My dad and I planned well. We bought gifts for everyone all at once, saved a lot of money, and I was happy. I just picked up little things throughout the next day such as post-it notes, magnets, and other little things. It was fun! :-D Then we went back to our hotel to rest my poor feet finally. After this we went back into the park for Dinner.
The first thing we did though was ride the Disneyland Railroad. We road it all the way around. Then we got Dinner at Ranchero Del Zocalo in Frontierland which was absolutely horrible. After my yucky dinner, we left to go on some rides. We went through Innoventions in Tomorrowland and then we went to find a spot for the parade which was at 7pm (Parade of Dreams). I ate ice cream before the parade which made me cold, but it was delicious! After this we went on some more rides. We were going to watch Fantasmic, but I determined their set-up was stupid and after having a rotton Dinner, and I didn't want to stand and wait for another show after we stood and waited for the parade, so I said ***** it, and we went on rides instead. We went on Indiana Jones again, the Jungle Cruise again at night. We also went on the Tiki Room again. We then headed to Fantasyland and went on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride again along with Alice and Pinocchio. We also road the Matterhorn again. Then we went on the Casey Jr. Circue Train (which my Dad loved and asked to go again and again), and the Storybook Land C**** Boats. After all this, it was 11:15, and I decided to call it a night again because I was tired!
One thing I'll say though, during the fireworks, it's like everyone stops to watch those. We walked right on Indiana Jones during the fireworks along with many other rides. This was a huge change from Walt Disney World, and I took advantage of it every night since after we saw them.
May 7th - Last Full Day, lots of repeats, stuff
We started out at Disneyland again. We ate breakfast at the River Belle Terrace, why? Because Walt Disney ate their every Sunday morning while he was alive. I got a Mickey Pancake while my dad got pancakes, eggs, bacon. It was delicious! After we ate there, we went on Big Thunder Mountain again since we were nearby. We also then went through fantasyland and went on Mr. Toad and Alice. We then went on Space Mountain because we had gotten a fastpass early that morning. We also went on the Matterhorn again because it was quickly becoming a favorite. After all that we went to California Adventure to look around some more. We went on California Screamin' again along with walking through the Golden Vine Winery. We got lunch there. I got a smoothie and chocolate covered strawberries while my Dad got a sausage of some sort from AwardWieners. After this it was 2pm, and we decided to head back early to drop off some little stuff I bought. So we said good-bye to California Adventure and walked back to our Hotel.
We headed back into the park by 3pm, and we were there until 11pm when it closed. During this time, we went on a lot. We road the monorail in, and we started going on some stuff as soon as we got there. We went on Autopia, Space Mountain again, Buzzlightyear, the Indiana Jones Adventure, The 50 years of Disneyland exhibit, Mr. Toad (twice for that day), Alice (twice for that day), Matterhorn (again twice), Pinocchio's Daring Adventure, Casey Jr. Circus Train (For my Dad, he LOVED it), and our last ride of the evening was the King Arthur Carrousel. However, where did we eat Dinner? Why none other than the River Belle Terrace. Couldn't help it. I was addicted, and I miss it. We walked up Main street for one last time, and we headed out.
We went back to our Hotel and we packed everything up so we could be ready to go for the shuttle in the morning.
May 8th, 2006 - Good-bye Disneyland!
We basically got up, and got ready. We stole all of the mickey soaps and shampoos that we were given (two new ones each day!), and we made sure we had everything. I looked like a disneyland tourist wearing all my new disneyland stuff home since I planned it that way, so I had extra room in my suitcase. We got breakfast from our hotel, and then we headed out to wait for the Shuttle. We got picked up, and went back to LAX. We got there 2 hours early thanks to the stupid shuttle, time I COULD have spent in the park, since we still had one day left on our tickets (grr, but I survived), and we left at noon. We got home at 5pm. My mom picked us up and took us home where my boyfriend was waiting for me, and I quickly unpacked my suitcase taking out all the stuff I had brought home.
Overall, it was an AMAZING trip. I loved it, and I can not WAIT to go back. I can whenever I watch the 3 hours of video that my Dad shot, and he shot EVERYTHING. However, in person is better. I know I'll be back there many times in the future, even though its a pretty long plane ride away. I loved visiting Walt's first park, and it was really amazing. I can't really express how much fun I had, but I know that I"ll get there plenty in the future!