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THE BIG POST!!!

WARNING: This post will be long, and filled with pictures. You should only click here if you really, really want to and have time and a high speed connection. This concludes your warning. Further clickage comes with an 'I told you so.' Because, you know, I did.



I woke up at 2:30 in the morning on Tuesday, because I wanted to leave at four. The night before my mother said that she wanted to wake up at four. So, that plan went out of the water. But I figured that we could leave at 5 at the latest. Big mistake. We left closer to six, and so by the time we left the house I was already up for 3 plus hours. Not that it was all for naught. I was able to find out that I could play Mario Kart online with no lag. This pleased me, and continues to please me.

So, we're on our way to Anaheim. We stop at McDonalds because I'm hungry and it's probably the most expensive McDonalds I have ever been to. They didn't even have a breakfast dollar menu, what's up with that? My phone dies on the way over, so there's no way that I can watch movies like I wanted since the charger is taking up the slot while it charges. Instead, I play Fire Emblem and The World Ends With You on my DS. The World Ends With You is rather blah. That's actually putting it kindly, it's extremely blah. I don't like it. Fire Emblem, on the other hand, kicks ass. And I didn't even touch the PSP. Crisis Core be damned. Since I'm playing my game and not paying attention to the road since my mother is in the front seat, I don't notice that my father takes a wrong damned turn in LA. We're stuck in traffic for an extra 30 minutes. And the bridge keeps on shaking, making me fear for my life. It wouldn't surprise me at all if I died on the way to Disneyland. Really, it wouldn't. But we managed to get back in the right direction and we were at the park before noon.

My hotel was excellent. Paradise Pier for the win. I even got to check in early. AND, best of all, they gave me an upgrade for some reason, thus giving me a theme park view of California Adventure. None of the on site hotels feature a view of Disneyland proper. Nonetheless, it's a wonderful view.

Here's the view from the window by the elevator:

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And a view of the Tower of Terror by itself, from my room:

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And a view of the park from my room:

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And the rest of the view. If you look really closely you can see certain parts of Disneyland, like Space Mountain.

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So, my room goes by without a hitch. I'm excited, amped up, this is the start of my dream trip, after all! My parents have to go to Circuit City and their own hotel room, so they leave me to my devices. I say I will wait for them in Downtown Disney, because I want to spend money and start buying shit for my coworkers and try out that whole bag check thing that I heard so much about.

Before that, however, I go back upstairs and take a closer look at my room. Again, it was really a nice room. A little bit stuffy, however. And the television was tiny. But altogether it was worth it, well worth it indeed.

Here is my room with the beds:

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And the shower. It may seem stupid to take a picture of the shower, but, dammit, my shower here sucks and the shower there was so good...:

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So, I go and look for the pool. For some reason, which still baffles me, the pool to the hotel is on the 3rd floor of the hotel. I don't ask questions, but I was still like 'the hell?' It has a waterslide, though. A waterslide! I didn't go on it, because I don't swim, but the point remains.

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It also had a jacuzzi that my mother swore up and down she was going to use. She never did. I was thankful.

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Before I go to Downtown Disney and shop, I take a few minutes to look around Disneyland Hotel area, because it features what is easily my most favorite place in the entire park: the waterfalls. I'm not going to lie, that shit is so beautiful that it puts me in tears every time I see it. I love waterfalls. What I don't love is how long it takes imageshack to upload my pictures so that I can show them to you. Sigh.

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Then I finally go to Downtown Disney. One of my coworkers loves Betty Boop, so I get her a coaster set at one of the stores. Sadly, they do not do hotel delivery, which I think is pretty normal for Downtown Disney except for the World of Disney store. I also check out Department 56, which is all about Christmas and Halloween. Squee worthy, it was. But nothing too spectacular was seen.

World of Disney is a very big store. Think the Disneystore, but about five times bigger and better. There were many, many things there, and I immediately set to work on getting the stuff for my coworkers and picking up some things for myself. For myself I buy the all important Three Caballeros, and my yearly acquisitions of a cup and an ornament bearing the year I visit. This year there is no Stitch. It seems that Stitch has fallen out of grace with the Disney people, since he was not nearly as featured this year as he was in the years prior. I, of course, mourn. While I'm in line, the next person in line, I get a phone call from my parents saying that they're at my hotel and I need to get there since my mom wants to change. I tell them that I'm checking out and I will be there as fast as I can. So, once I check out (and experience the joy and wonderment that is the bag check service for the first time) I RUN from Downtown Disney to my hotel room. It would have been easier if I had gone to stay at the Grand Californian, or even Disneyland Hotel, because Downtown Disney is huge, and huger when you're running in extremely hot weather. Finally, I get to the hotel, only to find that my parents lied to me. They weren't even there yet, they still made me wait like 10 minutes. Bastards.

Turns out my sprint was the least of my worries. One, my parents couldn't find the hotel that they were staying at. Two, my mother lost the itinerary. Three, even if she had the itinerary, for some reason, the hotel didn't have the reservation I made. So my parents are screaming at each other, swearing at each other in the elevator while other people are there looking as uncomfortable as I was looking, and so on and so forth. It was not a good time.

I go back to Downtown Disney, because the last thing I want to hear is my parents screaming at each other. I'm dismayed, extremely dismayed. My trip appears to be going up in smoke. I vow to NEVER AGAIN TRUST SHATNER! That'll show him. I don't want to go into the park without my parents, and I buy my mother this Disneyland bag that is extremely pretty as a "I'm sorry your husband can be such a bitch and never shut the hell up about something even when he should" gift.

Now, here's the thing about Disneyland's bag check service. It only works until 2 hours before the parks close. California Adventure closes at 6, so I need to have my shit bought by 4, right? It's like 3:15 or something and I go into the park, because I'm not going to wait around for my parents and then have to lug crap around. I'd been at the park for about four hours and hadn't even gone in yet! What's up with that, right?

So, I go in, using the private guests only entrance that you can use even if you don't stay at the Grand Cali, which was unknown to me at the time. I rush over to Off the Page, my most favorite store in the entire resort, and I go looking for ornaments and music boxes. The things that were there the last time I went. Turns out, there aren't that many ornaments (SAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ORNAMENTS ARE MY LIFE!) and those music boxes are gone. I manage to buy some more gifts for my coworkers, and a few things for myself, too. Then I go to Greetings from California, the store that is largest in Cali park. I buy more stuff there and finally meet up with my parents. They're holding hands and shit. It's pathetic, seriously. Two hours before that they were at each other's throats. They checked into the Motel 8, where they remained until we left. I offered to pay for that, too, but they did not take me up on it.

With my parents and I finally all together, I immediately set my sights on the Tower of Terror. My father goes on it with me. My mother does not. It would hurt her back, or so she claims. My dad enjoys the ride, but it also makes him throw up. So, I don't ride it any more. I want to, but I won't go on that ride alone. It deserves to be ridden with other people. And it fit the mood, after the way things were going.

We walk around California Adventure some more, looking at stuff, since we only have until 5:30 for our dinner reservations at Hook's Pointe. My dad eats a corn dog and throws that up, too. He spent much time puking while we were at the park, he does. He throws up a lot. And we didn't even go on any spinny rides. He hates spinny rides.

Anyway, we get to Hook's Pointe earlier than we needed to (shock!) and I showed my parents the waterfall of beauty. They concur at its wonderment. And when we get back we can finally check in. Although our reservations were at 5:30, we probably got in a little bit closer to 5:45. So much for reservations, right?

It's a nice restaurant. And we order food.

It, of course, comes with bread:

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And I get the chowder. It was very good, but the stuff inside the park is better. Monterey style clam chowder trumps New England style:

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And, of course, I get Calamari. They put the squiddy leg things there, and I can't eat those! It just creeps me the hell out!

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My mom gets some chicken thing:

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And my dad gets some fish thing:


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All in all, the food is good, and the bill comes out to just a little below 100 bucks. Food is expensive at Disneyland no matter how you slice it, but if you go into a place that you sit down and get menus for, you gonna pay a hell of a lot more! It's all worth it, though.

So, my parents are tired. So am I, but I'm not going to the leave the park just yet. They take off for their hotel room, and I go and do some more shopping. Given the time, I can no longer do the bag check thing, which saddens me, but since I would be going back to the hotel right away I really don't care much about carrying stuff around. (At this point in the posting, image shack is very angry with me... so I will see about trying to post more pictures in a few minutes...)

I go and buy stuff for more of my coworkers. I think I was able to get about 30 of them on that first day. Not bad, considering how little time I spent at the park doing shopping. At the Five and Dime in Toon Town I come across a Woody doll for my cowgirl coworker. They had Jessie, too but she was 10 dollars more. In hindsight, I could have gotten her, but whatever. I buy that and some other stuff, and when I get back to my room I realize my Woody is gone. The context of the conversations brought up by that discussion are very entertaining.

I always wanted to do room service, but I was full and didn't feel like ordering another meal. I get some desert instead. It's like 15 bucks for that and a bottle of carbonated water. I didn't know it was carbonated at the time. I hate carbonated water. HATE IT.

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The next morning I wake up and grab my stuff. Much stuff. So much stuff. We have reservations for Lilo and Stitch's Aloha Breakfast at 8. My parents, once again, are late, but since the park does not open until 10, it really isn't a big deal. I FINALLY get my picture with Stitch, but there's a catch. My dad took it, and it was blurry. He left, again. Some day I will get a GOOD picture with Stitch, dammit. We also took a picture with Daisy. This was taken by the official photographer, so it was very good indeed. 35 bucks, but since money is of no concern, I buy it anyway.

My parents go back to their hotel room, and I tell them that we need to be at the park so that we can be at the front when they open the rope and let us run around. They aren't. My parents are always late. We make it to the park at like 10:05, and decide to get Nemo's Submarine Voyage out of the way. We were only 5 minutes into the park opening. The line couldn't have been that bad, right?

WRONG!

45 minutes in line. Biggest. Waste. Of. Time. Ever. Don't go on Nemo, people. Unless there is absolutely no line DO NOT GO ON NEMO. Thank you, that is all. We go to Space Mountain after Nemo, there is NO line. We bask in the glory, as do the people in front of us who experienced the same problem. Then I go shopping some more. I buy a Yoda Plush, an Ewok plush, and cards that depict Stitch as Yoda. I was sold.

We eat at the Carnation Cafe, which is nice. I forget to take pictures, because I suck. The pot pie wasn't all that great. I should have gotten a sandwich instead.

Big Thunder Mountain, Pooh (GOFER!), Haunted Mansion, the Tiki room. We do these things next. The lady who works at the Pooh gift shop understands my concern over the lack of gofer merchandise. But he has a cameo in the ride, and I, of course, take a picture of that. He has two, actually, but I didn't get the second one. Even so, Gofer: YOU ARE LOVED!

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After the Tiki room, we go back to California Adventure because, again, the whole bag check thing and I still want to go to Off the Page again and do some more shopping. Our reservations for the Blue Bayou aren't until 5:30. We also decide to go on Soarin', which, as some of you might know, is easily the most overrated ride in the park in my mind. I went on it to show my parents just how overrated it was.

My opinion of that ride changed tremendously. Why, you might ask? Well, for one reason and one reason alone: my mother got so freaked out that my father and I had to PRY her loose from the grips of the ride and she was shaking when we got off. We were laughing for a good twenty minutes. And we went on it again the next day. It wasn't as humorous, but damn it was funny the first time.

Back at Disneyland we take our official picture in front of the Mickey Head that marks the start of the park. We also take one in front of the castle. These pictures will be used for my the picture frames I got my grandmother. I had hoped to put the Stitch picture in there, but, as you read above, that doesn't work out the way I planned.

Finally, we get to the Blue Bayou. It is the most expensive place to eat in the park, because it is right next to the Pirates ride. Next to the Blue Bayou is Club 33, the only place in the park that serves booze. It costs 10000 to get in a year.

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While we're waiting my mom goes into the store right next to the restaurant, which is when we are called. I fear that we lose our spot, but the guy is nice enough to let me and dad go in by ourselves. Mom takes only a few minutes more.

Here's the thing about the Blue Bayou: it's dark. So dark that we can't even really see the damned menu. And, since it is so dark, I don't take pictures of the food. I don't even think I can. Nobody else took any pictures either. I got the chicken, which was delicious, my mom got ribs, my dad got salmon. The total? 97.79. But it was worth it. Mom says that the food is rich and therefore goes through her, so we forgo the planned trip on Pirates since it would suck if she needed to pee during the middle of it. Suck for her, at least. Once more, I part ways with my parents and return to Toon Town. I go on both the rides there by myself and get my Woody back. They replace him for free. Then I go and try to buy sweets for some people on my list and Vanessa, who loves those chocolate krispy things like nothing else in the world. My card is rejected. I go to the picture place. My card is rejected. What the hell is going on?

I call the bank. Turns out that they were worried that the purchases made on my card weren't from me. Nice of them to do, but, damn, it came at the worst possible time. I tell them no, it's all good, and they're like 'k.' So I can buy more stuff. I buy sweets, minus the krispies, at another store. Then I go to the hotel gift shop to do some more shopping and my card is rejected a second time!!!! Later, after watching Saludos Amigos and the Three Caballeros for the first tiem, I call the bank again and we get it all sorted out.

The next morning I have a reservation at 7:50 for Storyteller's Cafe. It's our last few hours in the park, and I'm sad. We get all my crap into the car, which is a miracle in and of itself. And we still have room for more crap! This is helped by the fact that I avoid buying the huge boxes of things like snowglobes and the like. It makes me sad, but I have to make some sacrifices, right?

We try and park, but the meter thing is broken. So, I get out of the car and run over to Storyteller's so that we can make the reservation on time. When I get there I am hot and filled with discomfort. And we wait like 15 minutes anyway. Turns out it's another character breakfast, featuring Meeko from Pochahontas (!!!!), Chip and Dale, and those two bears from Brother Bear. I take some more pictures, but the lighting is bad and they don't really come out, even with the flash turned on. Sigh.

We get to the park, but we once again miss the whole rope thing. They don't even actually open the gates until 9 anyway, which struck me as odd considering they usually let people beyond Main Street about 30 minutes before the park opens the first time. Anyway, we go to Space Mountain, once again meeting with no line, then the matterhorn. I forget that only Tomorrow and Fantasy are open, so we go on Mr. Toad and Alice in Wonderland. The Peter Pan line is once more an incredibly long thing. And I don't even want to think about Nemo's line. Most people we speak with are disgruntled about the Nemo line as well. Ha!

Finally, Frontierland opens, and we go on Big Thunder, but before that we get these dream fast passes that give us instant access to any fast pass ride in the park. They're wonderful. My parents gave theirs away, I kept mine. It's only good for that day, but, dammit, it's so cool! Thunder is done, Pirates is next, then Splash Mountain. Last time I went on that I got drenched. This time, not so much. It was a good feeling. Got a picture and a frame of us on the ride. As it turns out, most of the frames I got were up and down instead of left and right. And how were most of the pictures? Left and right. Fail. Plus, we need to crop that shit because the pictures don't fit in the frames as they are, even when you get rid of the borders. Trust me, I tried.

Splash is the last ride we do in Disneyland. I go and buy the pictures, and I buy some shirts (Donald for the win!) and those kripsy things for Vanessa. We continue to do shopping since my mother take forever. We go to Cali one more time so we can go on Soarin' again. My mom forgets her sunglasses on the ride, that she just bought the day before. She's sad, but she gets them back.

I go to off the page during the whole sunglass debacle, and I buy a trooper Donald statue (this trip was about Donald, as it turns out) and a nephew. I want to get the other two, but I can't. Now I'm a member of some Disney club thing because I bought the statue and through them I can order the extra nephews and other exclusive things. Hopefully this will be a good thing. We'll see.

The last thing I buy is a Stitch holding a crystal surfboard. And then we load the rest of the stuff in the car, and we're off. It's an uncomfortable ride, given the amount of stuff that I have in the back seat with me, but I manage. And, in the end, it was all worth it.

I can't wait to go back. I mean, I can, but damn... so much fun.

Next time, though... no Priceline! SCREW YOU, SHATNER!

Tomorrow I might post pictures of the stuff I bought for myself. Uploading is a pain.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
girltype
May. 3rd, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Love all the pics, but why so SMALL? I want to see details and yet I can carry see anything. *sob* But it sure must be nice to eat at sitdown places in Disneyland. I can only imagine your disneyWORLD post. O_O.
setsuna16
May. 3rd, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
That's the option it gave me. As long as it took to upload a single pic with that size I'm afraid to wonder how long it would take to do it otherwise...

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )