Tag Archives: trip report

Day 7, Part 1- Tour of Nassau

Our first stop on the Disney Dream cruise was to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. I totally forgot to mention that the doors (except for on the concierge level) are magnetized and a bunch of people decorate their doors.  We got some magnets at the parks specifically for that reason but people go all out with their doors.

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My aunt and I were the only ones going to visit Nassau as Georgette still wasn’t feeling great so they rested and explored the ship while we explored Nassau. But first, breakfast.  We went back down to The Enchanted Garden as they had a breakfast buffet as well and it was closer to the exit of the ship.

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Onto our first visit to the Bahamas.

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There were three ships docked and ours was easily the largest.

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We were so excited as neither of us has visited the Bahamas before.

We were a little overwhelmed because we had no excursions or anything planned but we thought we’d walk around near the ship look at a couple of shops and head back before lunch.  We were quickly bombarded with a lot of people offering tours of the island and we just kept saying no thank you.

We got to a square past all of the bustle and were about two seconds away from calling it quits and there was one guy nearby that had 6 people ready to go on a 2 hour tour and he just felt genuine to us so we decided to give it a go and it was the best decision we made that day.

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He told us all about the history of the Bahamas, specifically Nassau Island and how the slaves had to carve roads between the limestone that inhabited the island.

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Our first stop was at the bottom of the Queen’s Staircase.

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He dropped us off at the foot of the stairs and drove to the top to pick us up.

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It was absolutely breathtaking.  It almost looked like something you’d see in a jungle with all of the greenery.

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That’s a lot of stairs… But we decided to give it a go.  We just took our time and stopped at each landing.

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The Queen’s Staircase is named after Queen Victoria.  The staircase was hand carved by slaves to get stones up the hill to build Fort Fincastle.

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The stairs were named in the Queen’s honor as she signed a declaration to abolish slavery.
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At the top of the stairs are a few shopping options and a café.

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The Water Tower is also located just next to Fort Fincastle.  It is the highest point on the island. You can go to the top of the water tower but that wasn’t on the agenda for the tour.

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The shops had a bunch or touristy things but I ended up getting a fan for my mom and a little grass weaved bag for my sister-in-law.

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Fort Fincastle overlooked Nassau and Paradise Island.  It was originally used as a lighthouse on the island then became a signal station.

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Our next stop was hopping over to Paradise Island to explore the Atlantis Resort.

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They have a dolphin pool you can pay to swim with dolphins.
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The arch between these two towers is a suite all itself and our tour guide told us Michael Jackson stayed there at one point.  I thought he said it was around $25,000 per night and looking the suite up online I wouldn’t be surprised.

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We were dropped off at the front of the hotel to explore for 20 minutes. IMG_1322

They had some pretty fancy shops down from the lobby.  Nothing I could certainly afford to shop in!  IMG_1333

Further down was the casino.
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And this interesting glass sculpture.

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We decided to try our hand on the slots for a minute.

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And very quickly lost $20 each but that’s okay, it was fun! I got to say I gambled in the Bahamas at least!
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After that, it was time to get back on for the remainder of the tour.

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I am going to stop there and will continue with the rest of the tour of the Bahamas in the next blog post.  I hope you’re enjoying my VERY old trip report and am trying hard to get it all caught up because before I know it I’ll be on my next trip to Disneyland in one month!

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Day 6, Part 2- Onboard the Disney Dream

Well, hello again! I’m finally getting on to part two of our first day on the ship.  My family is dealing with a lot right now most notably my sister-in-law lost her battle with colon cancer last month so it’s been kind of hard to be distracted with anything else… Anyway on to part deux!

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So for whatever reason, we were able to take a shortcut into the side entrance of the check-in building and made our way through carryon bag check then up the huge escalators to the check-in stations.

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Once we got upstairs we made our way through the lines so we could get onto the ship.

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The Disney Cruise Line logo frosted into the “porthole” windows. Check in was pretty quick and before we knew it, we were ready to head onto the ship!

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I was sporting some Little Mermaid décor posing in front of a scale model of the first Disney Cruise Ship built, the Disney Magic.

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The backside of the model shows the rooms other stuff inside of the ship.

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Okay, finally we were off through the big yellow Mickey Ears to get on the ship!

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One you go through mickey’s ears you get in line to have your picture taken, then you give the announcer your party’s name and they announce your arrival onto the ship.

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The very first thing we did was make a beeline for our room to check it out and drop off our carryon luggage.

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We had a lovely room with a partial view veranda.

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We got the Bon Voyage package thinking that it would be more than it was but it was still neat to see.

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The bathroom is split into two rooms.  One is a sink and toilet and the other a sink and bath/shower so two people can get ready at the same time.

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The bed was super comfortable.

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The lamps had map shades with little castles on the locations of each of the Disney parks.

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The back of the sofa turns down to make a bed but my aunt and I just decided to share the queen sized bed since it was plenty big.

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We loved having the veranda too.  This is what a partial veranda looks like.  The others have dividers between the rooms and full view without that curve you see. We didn’t mind it at all though. Felt like we had a little privacy.

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After dropping out stuff off, we went to our cousins’ room to get them to go upstairs to lunch at Cabanas, the main buffet restaurant.

We surprised them for their anniversary with a hidden Mickey boquet.

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And some white zinfandel.

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Then we were off to lunch.  There are several elevators but the main elevators in the middle of the ship are the only ones that go to all floors.  Being that we were at the way back of the ship, we took the closest ones and it brought us right up to the restaurant.

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Cabanas is tropical themed with a lot of influence from Finding Nemo.

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Nigel from Finding Nemo was there to greet you as you came off of the elevator.

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You see wall sand sculptures of each of the park castles when you enter the restaurant.

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I ran and got us a table while our cousins checked out the food.  They had a ton of options to chose from and it was all pretty good.

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There was a beautiful Finding Nemo mosaic alone one of the walls.

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And the time zones of all of the Disney parks.

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I tried a few different random things as you can see and I’m sure I went for more.  We were starving and dinner was at 8 so we had a bit of time.

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By the time we got back to the room, our ship was off and running.  We decided to rest for a minute then go and see a movie before dinner.IMG_1156

I’m going to stop there and finish up the rest of day one in my next post which will come much sooner, I promise!

 

Day 4- Magic Kingdom

Well I was doing really well there on getting the trip report out!!! At least I’m almost 1/2 way done with the trip! I have been really busy with a lot of life complications that I’ll explain on my other blog but for now, lets get into day 4 of our trip!

We decided to grab a quick breakfast at the lounge area of our hotel.

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The lounge area was really neat and had a vintage library room feel.

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I loved the old toys and games they displayed on the bookshelves along with the books.

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Not that I want to keep complaining about the weather, but this gives you an idea of how humid it was… And us Californians with our dry heat are not used to this much moisture in the air! I know… We’re wimps!

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After our quick breakfast (which consisted of another bagel…), we walked through Epcot to get to the Monorail to head over to the Magic Kingdom. We had a friendly little hello from a squirrel.  He was pretty cute.

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So, apparently we can’t swim into Epcot from the Boardwalk… Bummer…

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Even the Manhole covers have hidden Mickeys on them.

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Ah, beautiful World Showcase.

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There’s the monorail!

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The Imagination Pavilion.

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Fountain by Spaceship Earth.

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Leave a Legacy at the entrance in Epcot.  They don’t let you add your picture anymore but it’s pretty cool to see who has.

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My cousins were bummed they couldn’t add anything…

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The big Spaceship Earth Ball.  That thing is so freaking huge!!!

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Made our way out of Epcot to head towards the Monorail.

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Scooter brigade following their leader! They look like three big kids!

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Had to take advantage of the great view of the ball.

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Got on the Monorail almost immediately.

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There is so much more room than Disneyland’s monorail!  We fit my aunt’s scooter in the middle of our space and our cousins’ were in another car on the same monorail.

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Pretty views of the resort.

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It took maybe 5 minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom.

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My only glimpse of The Grand Floridian (no joke, I wrote Californian… Oops!) and I definitely plan on making a stop there next time I visit to take a look around.

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There’s the castle!

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I know it’s blurry, but I was excited to see the inside of the Contemporary Resort! Besides, we were moving fast and my photo taking skills aren’t amazing…

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Outside of the Contemporary. I would love to stay here sometime! I’d love to stay anywhere who am I kidding but with a view of the Magic Kingdom and easy access to both Magic Kingdom and Epcot via the Monorail?! Who could ask for more?!

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The best view I got of Space Mountain.

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We made it!!!

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The front of the Main Street Train Station looks like a bigger version of the Disneyland one.

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Seeing this sign at Disneyland always turns me into a kid, and it was no different at the Magic Kingdom!

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Everything is so much bigger here!

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Definitely similar in looks but a lot bigger.

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Taking a casual stroll down Main Street.

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We stopped to take a picture with Walt and Mickey.

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This nice family offered to take our picture together.

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We had a fastpass that morning for the Seven Dwarves Mine Train so we made our way to Fantasyland. They were working on the front of the castle so we had to make a detour through the side entrance by Liberty Square.

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So pretty!!!

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Magic Kingdom marker.

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La Fontain de Cendrillon.

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See, that’s what it says…

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Backside of the castle.

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Hi Minnie!

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I was a doofus and forgot to put sunscreen on my pale body so we had to stop and get some so I didn’t become one giant red blister…

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Love the beanstalk vines climbing up Sir Mickey’s shop.

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Seven Dwarves Mine Train was shut down for a bit so we had to put off our fast pass and we decided to hit some of the other rides in Fantasyland while we waited.  Our first attraction was Mickey’s PhilharMagic which I was really excited to see and I loved it!

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We sat in the handicap section.

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The ride was up and running after PhilharMagic so we headed over to Seven Dwarves Mine Train!

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I love that there is more representation of the princesses such as Rapunzel’s tower.

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Of course you can dine with Belle and the Beast too which we would have loved to do but it’s next to impossible to make reservations there as it’s so popular… Next time though!

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Finally off to the Mine Train!

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I love the queue!!!

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We were right in the front row.  It’s like Big Thunder where really being in the back is more fun but I am glad we got the front for our first time.

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Yay! This by far is my favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom!

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I had to get these pictures from the ride as I have never seen happier faces!!! Four of the biggest kids!

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You end the ride seeing Snow White dancing with the dwarves.

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Ooo… Be careful, Snow… Don’t take any of her apples! Especially the red one.

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Our cousins wanted a little break so my aunt and I headed for it’s a small world.

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This is the first ride of our trip I was truly able to compare to Disneyland and I have to say I love Disneyland’s way better… Not only the façade but also the ride itself.  I still love the ride though.

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Selfie time! I do feel guilty for not taking more people pictures on our trip…

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Au Revoir Small World!

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I hope Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum aren’t harassing that poor little girl.  She doesn’t look too happy.  I wouldn’t be either especially with the Queen of Hearts standing behind me!

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Around lunch time we decided to head over to Liberty Square and had lunch at the Columbia Harbour House.

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The Fish and Chips were amazing! Super crunchy! I got the combo with the nuggets in case I didn’t like them (and because I’m 5 apparently) but there were so good!

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Our cousins had a hankering for a funnel cake after lunch and the Sleepy Hollow restaurant nearby sold them so I walked through some of the shops while they sat and had their dessert.

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Couldn’t miss out on the Christmas Shoppe!

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I got stuck on the other side of where there while the Festival of Fantasy parade went on so I figured I might as well enjoy it.

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Hi Ariel!

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I loved the Peter Pan float!

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And what’s a Disney parade without miss Tinker Bell! My absolute favorite!

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Merida’s float was pretty cool too.

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I got this picture totally by accident!

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The Fantasia Float.

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Of course Mickey and Minnie are the stars of the parade!

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The end. I am not really a parade person as I don’t like wasting several hours to wait while I could be going on rides or doing something better with my time but this was an amazing parade and I’m very happy I got to see it.

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We took advantage of being nearby the Haunted Mansion.

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I will admit they have better queue, but I like our mansion and ride overall better.

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The Queue was interactive.  If you put your hand on one of the instruments of this mausoleum, it would play that instrument.

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I love the nod to Thurl Ravenscroft. Not only did he voice the narrator for the Haunted Mansion, he voiced many other characters for Disney.

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This one was my favorite.

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Oh so THAT’S where Madame Leota is buried…

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It’s beautiful, and probably goes along better with the Liberty Square theme, but I like our mansion much better.

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I took a quick walk through Memento Mori which is the only all Haunted Mansion store (we don’t even have one in Disneyland). I didn’t get anything as I’m not a huge Mansion fan… (Don’t hurt me, I’m just a big chicken!)

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The liberty bell.

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We were all looking forward to seeing the Hall of Presidents.

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Lobby area.

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We sat in the back again which is nice because it’s high up enough so no heads are in your way. It was really cool to see all of the presidents together.

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After that, we walked through Fantasyland to get to Tomorrowland and saw Tigger and Pooh off to do something important.

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Now was my turn to get a sweet.  I was looking forward to getting one of the layered cake cups at the Cheshire Café and man it did NOT disappoint!

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Look at all of that sugary/cakey goodness! It was sooooo good! I wish they had these in Disneyland!

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We wanted to get out of the heat so we went in and saw Carousel of Progress which I was looking forward to seeing. It left Disneyland several years before I was born.

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It was neat to see the different new inventions in each decade they showcased.

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After Carousel of Progress, we split off from our cousins because they were pretty tired and they were going to park their scooters early to rest and wait to see the parade and fireworks.  So my aunt and I went off to go on the Peoplemover and even though it’s different, I never thought I’d have the chance to go on the Peoplemover ever again in my life since it left Disneyland in the early nineties and it was also one of my favorites as a child.

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They even have the escalating walkway like the Disneyland one had.

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So excited! We got a front car too so after taking this picture, my aunt and I sat on her side and had a great view from the attraction.

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The ride brings you all around Tomorrowland.

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After Peoplemover, we went through a couple shops in the area.

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Then we made our way back to the castle.

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So we could walk through to see the beautiful mosaics of Cinderella’s story.

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So pretty!
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It was getting into early evening and we wanted a good spot to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade so we headed over to walk through the rest of the park.

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The Diamond Horseshoe (I didn’t know they had one…) looks just like the Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland just a little bigger.

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Another thing that I was super excited to do and never thought I’d be able to see again is the Country Bear Jamboree.  My dad and I LOVED this show!

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Glad to see Max, Buff, and Melvin again. If you’re in Disneyland and go on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country, once you enter the Hunny Heaven room, turn around and you’ll see them hanging on the back of the wall.

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We were getting pretty tired and wanted to get a good spot on Main Street for the parade so we headed for a quick walk through Adventureland.

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Pirates was closed for a refurb so we couldn’t go on it anyway.

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I’m not sure if the Tiki Room Under New Management is still running but we skipped this attraction just in case because I heard it was awful and I didn’t want to taint my love of The Tiki Room.

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I love the look of the shops though. Has an outdoorsy market vibe.

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Watch out, he spits… No really, he does.  It’s a good way to cool off I guess.  The kids were enjoying it.

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The Magic Kingdom still has the original Swiss Family Robinson too.  I love the Swiss Family Robinson movie and was bummed to see it replaced in Disneyland but Tarzan’s Treehouse is neat too and they have a nod to the old treehouse by playing Swisskapolka on the gramophone at the bottom of the treehouse.

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My aunt wasn’t feeling all that well and decided to skip dinner. I just grabbed some corndog bites at Casey’s Corner and they were just okay.

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We parked her scooter and I sat on the sidewalk in front of it and we had a little big of time to rest.  Here’s Roe E Disney’s window.

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My aunt wanted to go into a couple of shops quickly so I had a quick facetime with my mom and my cousin who she was visiting down in LA for a couple of days so it was good to talk with them.  And I had to get in a selfie with my ears on.

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Before we knew it, the sun set and we were getting close to seeing the parade. This cute little girl and her parents were sitting next to us on the sidewalk and almost immediately, she comes up to me and told me that she was four and she loves Minnie (I was decked out in Minnie gear) and she talked to me for close to an hour. She was so cute.

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It was finally getting to be time for the parade. So many memories of things I loved as a child. It was great to relive them!

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A couple of minutes after the parade they had, Celebrate the Magic, a projected show on the castle.

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It was kind of hard to see some of the projections from the pictures but mainly showed some of the more popular animated movies such as Frozen, Alice in Wonderland, Wreck it Ralph, Rapunzel, and some others.

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Shortly after, they performed the fireworks, Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.

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No one does fireworks better than Disney.

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We were super tired after the fireworks so we did a little bit of shopping on Main Street and decided to head back to the hotel.  We had to take the bus back because the Monorail drops you off at the other entrance to Epcot and it was closed by then.  We did take the monorail to the parking drop off because that’s where we were told we had to go for the busses but it turns out they pick up right outside of the entrance to the park… Oops…

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Instead of taking the Monorail back, we thought it would be fun to take the Ferryboat.

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We finally found where we were supposed to go.

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Finally on our way back to our hotel room.

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We had an amazing day at the Magic Kingdom and it was very nostalgic for me and I can’t wait to go back.  Up next will be our last day at Disney World and since these seem to run really long, I’m going to start splitting up the days into parts with my trip reports so they are easier to read. Maybe easier to get out as well!  I hope you’re enjoying my trip reports and I will start working more on these once things die down a bit in a couple of weeks.

Day Trip to Disneyland!

As I mentioned in my last very quick post, I spent a day at Disneyland when I went to visit my cousin in LA.  We had a great time and I am seriously crossing my fingers right now that we get the opportunity to go back next year for the 60th Anniversary, also because I’m having withdrawals right now.  It’s really hard to only go one day to Disneyland when you don’t live close by and you love it as much as us fellow Disney Addicts do!

So onto the trip report!

It took us about an hour to actually get to Anaheim from Santa Monica and another 30 to get through the line to pay to park in the parking structure.  If you haven’t seen Disneyland’s parking structure, it’s huge!  I want to say the biggest in the world and at the very least, biggest in the US. Anyway I haven’t had to park at Disneyland since I was a kid (we’ve done it maybe 2 or 3 times in my life since we always stay somewhere with a shuttle) so this was a new experience for me.

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FYI- Not that I want to dwell on the negative of the day, but the Suburban in the bottom right corner is a big fat jerk.  Just sayin’.

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We parked on the second level which is Daisy’s level (each level is named after a Disney character so it’s easier to remember where you parked (remember, HUGE).  I took a picture of our section so we could remember where we were.  It’s a good thing too because we were practically on the opposite side of the escalators that go down to the loading area for the trams. The structure is pretty cool and very well organized which Disney obviously has to be.  They have one escalator for each level so you don’t have to hit each floor if you are parked several stories up.

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We managed to get on the second tram when we were in line so the wait wasn’t too long.

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The tram drops you off at the Esplanade end of Downtown Disney.

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We got into one of the entrance lines to get into Disneyland.  All of them were pretty long which is typical for the morning.  I did manage to find a Hidden Mickey in the roses climbing up the poles for the Monorail while we were in line.  Not sure if they do this on purpose but I would be surprised if it was an accident.

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Finally, we got inside.  After the long drive, some of us needed to use the restroom so we went in the right side (which is my tradition anyway) so we could stop at the restroom down the alley by the Disney Gallery.

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After the potty break, my cousin, Erin, wanted to get some ears.  She, like me, doesn’t like the hats so she went with one of the headbands.  I have the green and red Christmas version of the ones she picked out but since I was Disneybounding, I figured it wouldn’t work with the outfit.  Can you figure out below what I’m Disneybounding as below? I’ll answer later in the post.  It’s pretty obvious when you see the colors and the stripes on my shirt…

After getting Erin’s ears, we went into Tomorrowland to look at the line times for Space Mountain and Star Tours (Erin’s last visit to Disneyland was when we went in 2008 so she hadn’t seen the upgrade yet) and since both were long ( and my motion sickness would have gotten the better of me without food in my stomach) we decided to get fast passes for Star Tours then get fastpasses for Space Mountain later when we could get more.  Since we didn’t eat breakfast and we were in the area.  We decided a Churro was a good choice! And yes, this is me photo bombing Erin!

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After our healthy breakfast, we decided to hop on the Matterhorn Bobsleds.  I’m really sad that it’s just such an uncomfortable ride! They should have made the seats softer… I did sit in the middle seat this time and it was a little more comfortable because it was a tighter fit so I wasnt’ bouncing around as much.  And I do want to say, I’m 5′ 4″ and it had a hard time with fitting into the seat so I can’t imagine how hard it is for someone with longer legs than me!

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While waiting in line I noticed this wooden railing which I didn’t recognize before. I wonder if it’s new… I definitely like it though!

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“Remain seated please. Permanecer sentados por favor.”

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I’ve always loved the style of this ride.  I like the ambiance of it.  Of course, I am 1/4 Swiss Italian so I wonder if that has something to do with it.

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We had to get a selfie in at some point!

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Here’s a closer picture of that railing, and the little pathway I didn’t notice in line, or the lanterns.  Super cute! I would love to have that kind of ambiance in my non-existent back yard in my non-existent house…

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Up next since we were in the area was It’s a Small World.  This is definitely my favorite Holiday overlay in Disneyland.  I really love this ride.

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We had to get my beautiful mom in there at some point! Are you getting warmer on what I Disneybounded as? As I said, it should be pretty obvious.

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Santa’s checking his naughty and nice list. Untitled

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I can’t get over the smell of candles in this area.  I don’t think I’d be able to handle it very long as I get a big fat headache with synthetic scents but this one didnt’ bother me.Untitled

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Italy another part of my heritage.Untitled

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Africa.  I love this scene.  It’s always been one of my favorites.  I love that happy hippo! Untitled

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In the Hawaiian scene, at least at Christmas, I’ll have to look next time I go during the regular season, there is an Elivs bobblehead doll on the end of Lilo and Stitch’s surfboard.  It’s really hard to get a picture of as it moves up and down fast like it’s riding the wave but you can just make out something right infront of Stitch… Can you see it?

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I, like many Disney fans, am slightly disappointed in the US scene.  It just feels a little rushed to me…Untitled

Woody, Jessy, and Bullseye make an appearance.Untitled

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Lastly you enter the big room with all of the countries.  It’s like Christmas threw up in here and I LOVE it! Untitled

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I would totally buy an ornament that looked like this Peace on Earth sign.  Get on it, Disney!Untitled

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By the time we got off of It’s a Small World, it was time to head back to use our Fastpasses at Star Tours, but first I stopped to get some ears and just happened to find some to match my outfit, then we got Fastpasses for Space Mountain so we didnt’ have to hit that too late. I was also sad because they took Captain EO out of that theatre and put a temporary preview of Big Hero 6 in there… Which I saw by the way and it was amazing!

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C3PO reminds me of myself. I worry over everything! Oh and totally off topic, I saw the teaser trailer for the new Star Wars movie and although I’m not a HUGE fan of Star Wars (I enjoy it) I am really excited to see it!

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We miss you, Rex! Untitled

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After our ride, we decided we were all hungry and after looking at the choices and we all settled on the Stage Door Cafe which I have never eaten at before so it was a new experience or me. We did have to stop and snap some pictures of the castle since we were walking by it. Untitled

Okay, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m Disneybounding as the Cheshire Cat.  I got that top in the clearance section of my local Torrid store and knew I had to get it.  It is perfect for the Cheshire Cat! And the ears I got after we rode Small World.

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After lunch, we needed another potty break and the closest one I could think of was in Adventureland so we hightailed it over there.Untitled

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While waiting outside, I took advantage of taking a couple of pictures of the details. I love the details.  Everywhere you go, everything fits together so well.

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Okay, now since we were close by and it was closed for a refurb last time we were there, we had to go on Big Thunder. The line was about the length it always is but luckily it moves pretty fast so we got through fairly quickly.

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The train went right over our heads. Untitled

My dad always seemed to favor Frontierland.  Maybe since he was a child of the 50s and the western cowboy stuff was popular then.

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Every time I’m in line I try to get a picture of the train going across the tracks at this spot and usually I’m too late.  This time I was a hair too early. At least I was closer!

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Finally on the ride!Untitled

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I managed to get the turtles but not without my mom’s elbow in the picture too! Oh well.Untitled

It was a perfectly sunny day so I got some great pictures on this ride!

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And I finally got a picture of the goat! You’re moving pretty fast here, especially from the back so you have to get lucky, and I did.

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They added some red flaming lanterns to the last climb on the ride.  And where they used to have just rocks moving back and forth, they actually make it look like an explosion is happening.  Pretty cool addition to the ride. Untitled

It’s better in video but as you can see there’s more to it now.

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My dad loved that they kept the little town.

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We were just about at a point when we could get new fast passes so we headed over to Adventureland to get fastpasses for Indiana Jones.  It wasn’t quite time yet so we decided to go on the Jingle Cruise while we waited.

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I really want to frame this and hang it.  I love the colors.

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Like last year, they had the queue decorated for the holidays.

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They did add to the ride though and I heard this opinion from someone else too, but I wasn’t crazy about it. I mean here it looks okay but maybe we didn’t like it because our Skipper sucked… I mean, it was bad.  And too many jokes about fruitcake…

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See, here’s a gist of why there’s a bunch of Christmas stuff thrown all over the jungle.  Untitled

I do like this candle “tree”. Untitled

The line was long enough to have to go upstairs but it just seemed slower than normal.  It was definitely longer than we expected.

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I was “lucky” enough to have to sit in the middle so I didn’t get a lot of great pictures but I wanted to give you a gist of what they added to the ride from last year. So, the elephants got into the ornaments apparently.Untitled

I know, it’s blurry, but he’s so happy and festive! Untitled

The chimps got into the baking supplies.Untitled

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These guys are trying to decorate the pole. Untitled

The natives got into the Christmas sweaters.

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It was a very unimpressive ride on the Jingle Cruise.  I mean, it was probably the worse we’ve been on.  Our skipper was 0% funny.  I laugh a lot and I didn’t laugh at this one… I felt bad for her… Anyway, after that ride, we got our fastpasses for Indiana Jones, then did a little shopping in New Orleans Square before getting in line for Pirates of the Carribean.

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The line was super long but it moved fast. I was able to get some pictures of New Orleans Square at least.  I love their Christmas Decorations.

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Close up of my ears.  They didn’t Cheshire Cat ears but these worked and I would wear them again at the parks anyway.

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Finally got on the ride.  I really need a good camera for nighttime photos so I can get some better pictures on the darker rides.  Still, my phone didn’t do so bad!  Better than my point and shoot does.

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The skull and cross bones on the headboard above the skeleton in the bed are real human bones… Yea… Creepy…

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These are probably some of the best pictures I’ve gotten on this ride.  To be fair, we were stopped at this point waiting for the boats ahead of us to go up to the ground level. Untitled

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We were in need of a rest so we headed to our favorite place to do so.  The Tiki Room!  My parents always took a nap in there to get them through the day.  How they slept through the noise, I’ll never know but it was just enough time for them.  We would rush to the booths in along the walls (which never get filled anyway) so we can lay back and rest.

UntitledUntitledUntitledI love the waiting area for the Tiki Room and the little show they put on to keep people occupied.

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After our rest, it was time to go on Space Mountain because we had to take the Monorail over to Downtown Disney for our reservations at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.

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Then we got in line for the Monorail to get to the Jazz Kitchen.Untitled

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I love this view of Tomorrowland from our seat on the Monorail.

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If you want to splurge at a restaurant in Downtown Disney, I highly recommend Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.  The food is SOOOOO good!UntitledThey also have an express next door to get Beniets and a few other dishes.  They have the best snow cones there too.  Softest ice I’ve ever had!

 

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I ordered their salad (not pictured because I was starving!) and the steak medallions with crawfish mashed potatoes and green beans.  AMAZING!Untitled

 

We got their chocolate bread pudding soufflé again not pictured but you HAVE to get it! When we were done with dinner, we decided to walk off some of the over eating we did and walked back to the main entrance to Disneyland.
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Night time is the best thing about Disneyland at Christmas!Untitled

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I love the castle at night!  Especially at Christmas!
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It was time for our fast passes for Indy.Untitled

Our final ride of the night was The Haunted Mansion overlay.

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As I said last year, it smells like gingerbread in this part of the ride. Untitled

The doors open and close for the house.

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Can you tell what this is? It’s obvious to me since I took the picture but it’s Erin’s glow in the dark nail polish she had painted over her nails.  Anything like that will glow in these rides.
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It’s not a trip without stopping by to see my dad’s stone.

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I managed to squeeze in a little shopping before we left and I will share what I got at the end of this series of my trip.  I’m always sad to leave Disneyland whether I’m there 1 day or 10.  (I’ve never done 10 but I wouldn’t have a problem doing that one bit!) Overall, it was a great day with perfect weather at Disneyland.

Up next will be our visit to the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a little bit of the rest of what we did in LA.

Disneyland Trip Report Part Four- Day Three of Disneyland

Wednesday was our last day at Disneyland and we spent half the day with my cousins who happened to be there at the same time.

We started first thing going into DCA to get fast passes for Radiator Springs Racers.  The line was all the way into Hollywood Land but we managed to get passes for the late afternoon.

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As that was our only errand to run in DCA, we went right back to Disneyland.

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And walked through the tunnels into Main Street.

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I wanted to take a look at the newly renovated Market House which is now a Starbucks… I’m not a big fan and miss the old Market House, but what can you do???

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They have a mixture of Starbucks and Disneyland foods to choose from, and all of the drinks you can get at any old Starbucks.

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To the left of the ordering area, they have a little library looking area set up with tables and chairs.  It’s much quieter than the rest of the store.

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I’m so glad they kept the pot-bellied stove and checkerboard.  My dad and grandfather used to play checkers on that board back when my dad was a kid.

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A view of where we were sitting in the library area.  It was a lot busier than it looks.

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They had (not surprising) Christmasy decor that melded with the decor of the store itself.

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I like the idea of oranges on a tree like this.  Maybe with cloves stuck in them like my aunt does.  She would stud oranges all over with whole cloves then roll them in Cinnamon and they smelled really good! Totally reminds me of Christmas.

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I just got black tea.  (Yea… It was as light and weak as it looks…)

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And this breakfast sandwich that Starbucks sells I actually love.  It’s the Bacon Artisan Breakfast sandwich with gouda cheese on ciabatta bread.  Very filling and stays with you for a good amount of time because of the protein.

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Our first ride was on Storybook which we missed the last 1 or 2 times at the parks since it isn’t my brother’s favorite.  The line was only going to get worse and my cousins weren’t there yet so we took advantage!

Fun fact that most Disney geeks know is that this is one of the remaining old ticket booths from when they had E-Tickets. The remaining ticket booths are used for decorative purposes around the parks.

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We didn’t go on Casey Jr. which I would have liked to go on as well, but the parks were just too busy to go on everything we wanted to go on.

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And off we were going through Monstro’s mouth and into Storybook.

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I’m not going to be able to tell you each character’s house that I’m showing but I’ll name the ones I know…  This is Pinnocchio’s village.

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I want to say it belongs to the Mole from Mr. Toad which I haven’t seen and I feel like a bad Disney fan for not having seen it…

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This is the town where Alice lives.

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Her home is off to the right and the rabbit hole she fell down into is in front.

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Of course, who couldn’t recognize Agrabah where Alladin and Jasmine live.

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And the mountaintop where Cincerella lives.

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Looks like her carriage turned back into a pumpkin…

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I want to say the Seven Dwarves’ cottage but I really don’t know.  I just love that they decorated for Christmas!  So adorable!

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The famous “Giant” Patchwork Quilt.

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Toad Hall.  I never saw the film… Not my favorite ride in the park but it does have quite the following.

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Back around to Pinocchio’s Village. If I could live in any of the animated movie’s towns, I’d live here.

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And ending by Ariel and Prince Eric’s castle.

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We got a call from my cousins that they were in line in Tomorrowland for Star Tours so we took our time waking towards Tomorrowland.

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If you don’t know me from my other blog, I like taking photos of flowers…

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Walked past the old Fantasyland entrance/exit for Skyway.  Even though I don’t like heights anymore, I miss that ride.

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I missed the reindeer antlers on the rooftop in Frontierland (I’m sure it’s a Christmas thing).  You can spend a lifetime in Disneyland and still miss some of the details!

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They were hungry so we went to Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port for a snack.  We weren’t hungry so we just sat with them.

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If you haven’t eaten here, the food is okay.  Not horrible but nothing to write home about.  They have a few different pizzas which have a very thick crust, a couple of pasta dishes, salads and bread sticks.  Not the best and not the worst place to eat in the parks.

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I have a lot of memories of eating in this area when I was a kid before it was Redd Rockett’s

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It still looks like the 80’s to me and having Captain EO there doesn’t hurt either.

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After they ate, we grabbed fast passes for Indiana Jones.

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The line for Pirate’s was short so we went on that.

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My whole life I’ve been trying to get a picture of this and while it’s still not great, I’m getting better at it.

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Not bad of the auction scene either.

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Another famous scene, they’ve been trying to get the keys from that dog for 40 years. (Something my dad would totally say!)

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Back to Laffite’s Landing and on to another adventure!

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By that time, my mom and I were hungry so we went off to grab something to eat while they went on Haunted Mansion.

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My mom wanted to try the Lobster Roll at the Harbor Galley. They also have soup and a couple of other sea food dishes.

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We took the back way to get to the Hungry Bear Restaurant that not many people know about.  My mom even thought we weren’t supposed to be back here.

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It’s like a secret passage way!

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Great photo ops too!

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I was craving a crappy burger and that’s exactly what I got!

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The food here isn’t the greatest but the ambiance is amazing and you can get a great view of the river.

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It’s a counter service restaurant.  You first order your food and pay for it.

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Then move forward to pick your food up.

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We managed to get a table by the water.

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THe lobster roll looks good but my mom said it was terrible.  She said it tastes like canned lobster and we’re kind of food snobs and she paid a lot for it and if you’re going to pay a $13 for a lobster roll, I would hope they’d put some fresh lobster in it.  But, alas, we are on the west coast and it’s harder to find over here…  The chips were homemade and had old bay seasonings on them . Those were pretty good.

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As I said, it’s not much of a burger, but I like it.  Probably because it reminds me of being a kid in Disneyland. The fries were good too.  They have a condiments area where you can get ketchup, mustard, and other stuff for your burger.

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It’s fun watching the different boats going by.  Here’s the Mark Twain River Boat.

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The canoes which we did once.  Just once… You get a little wet if you have an idiot in front of you that likes to splash people and your arms are sore the next day…  I already walk enough while I’m here, I don’t need the added exercise! 🙂

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Then came the Columbia.

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They have additional seating downstairs as well as a restroom which we used before meeting back with my cousins.

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The entrance to the Pooh ride and the old entrance to The Country Bear Jamboree.  I miss that show!!!

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Splash mountain.  One of my favorite rides that I never get to go on…

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We still had time until we could use our tickets for Indy so we went on the Jingle Cruise.

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It’s amazing to me that they have details in places you don’t see very often.  I rarely have to go upstairs in the queue for Jungle Cruise so it was neat to see.

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And a unique view of Adventureland.

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The lone mechanical bird watching people go up and down the stairs.

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This is the old Tahitian Terrace that my dad LOVED.  It was a luau restaurant with a Tahitian show.  The food was really good from what my parents told me.  I vaguely remember the place myself.  But I totally think they should put something similar back into that area because not much happens over there.

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Fragile! Must be French!  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!

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Never noticed the chair with the fishing pole…

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Same with this sign!

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Our skipper was funny.  He kept picking on my cousin’s daughter and her friend who sat at the front.

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Yet another thing I never noticed before…

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Still had time on our hands so we got in line on the attraction side (while was busy too but not as bad as the other side) so they could get dole whips and I got a pineapple spear and a souvenir mug that I’ll show in my wrap up post…

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The outdoor show was going on while we were in line.

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After that, we got on Indiana Jones, then the girls split to do their own thing and we were off to DCA so they could ride some rides over there and we could use our fast passes for Radiator Springs.

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Again, we had a little time before we needed to be there and the line was only 20 minutes long so we went on Soarin’.  My absolutely favorite ride in DCA.

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Off to Radiator Springs!!!

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I don’t want to know how long the line was.  I don’t think I saw it shorter than 2 hours!

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Yay!

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I love the rocky mountains!

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A car shaped rock fountain.

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The entrance was under part of the rocks.

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The seating was 6 to a car.  3 in each row.

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We got a red car!

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I was the driver! They have seat belts like they do in normal cars but the middle seats just had the lap covers.

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There wasn’t anything to grab on to in the front.  I don’t know about the back.  I just had that one handle you see but it didn’t help much when I needed it.

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You start off by driving along the area before getting prepared for the big race.

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The views were lovely!

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Then it turns into the dark ride portion and you’re scrambling to get to the race. You get pep talks from the characters.

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Mater is right by your side too!

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You get a pain refresh from Ramone.

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And a final pep talk from Doc.

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Luigi and Guido are cheering you on!  Even though they only follow the Ferrari’s!

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After seeing Luigi and Guido, you race another car and there were a few dips, hence needing something to grab on to so I ended up screaming bloody murder to keep my stomach from doing somersaults.  I think we lost from what my mom said.  I was too busy trying not to let my stomach flip.

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See me screaming?!  What a dork!  I was white knuckling the side of the car! I felt bad for the girl in our row! Well really for the everyone in the car! Actually, I wasn’t that bad, at least I tried not to be.

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Overall, this was a great ride. I loved it!  Soarin is still my favorite, but this is definitely second in line!

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As I’m sure I mentioned (and it’s not surprising at all) everything is car themed right down to the flowers in the “flower pots.”

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We walked through some of the shops and I was tempted to get a ton of stuff for my nephew.

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Tower of Terror looks really beautiful when the sun is hitting it just right.

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I wanted to walk through Bug’s land and my mom indulged me!

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Sassy Francis is Sassy!

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Just like with Car’s Land, everything is bug related.  It’s made to make you feel like a tiny bug too!

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Even the benches were old popsicle sticks.

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They had christmas lights up too.

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Some lantern lights as well.  It gets pretty dark in here at night.

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Again, my mother indulged me by going on Heimlich’s Chew-Chew Train. We were the only set of adults in line…  Don’t judge me!

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Here comes Heimlich!

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You travel along and see all of the things he’s eating which are all his favorite foods.

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The first thing I smelled was the watermelon.  I don’t think the beginning of the ride had smell.

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You could smell the animal crackers too!

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I used to love animal crackers!

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The cupcake smelled too!

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As did the candy corn which is his ultimate favorite food!

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We didn’t go on anything else, but it’s really cute for the kiddies.

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The entrance to Flick’s Fun Fair. The santa is supposed to be an eraser head on a pencil.

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And a candy cane!

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We were supposed to meet up with my cousins but they were going to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack which is down where we’re staying and we wanted to eat somewhere on the resort for our last night.

We walked through the Disney Gallery area by Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

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I think this was an actual horse from a carousel in a park he used to bring his daughter’s to but don’t quote me on that.

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In honor of The Tiki Room’s 50th Anniversary, they had a lot of Tiki Room artwork around the gallery.

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They had an old map of Disneyland the way it looked in 1955.

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We wanted to try the Barbecue restaurant in Frontierland but we found out while in line that they only had seating for reserved guests and if we could find someone who was okay with sharing with us, we could sit there and we didn’t want to do that…

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We’ll have to try it next time.

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We were ticked though because we were starving and tired and just wanted to sit down and eat.  And they didn’t tell us until about 10 minutes after waiting in line…

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We were glad that’s where we ended up going.  They are very friendly here and the food is amazing.

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They have paper on the tables so we played some Disney inspired hangman.

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We split the soup 111 which is a sample of their gumbo, corn chowder and soup of the day which was sweet potato and andouille sausage.  They even split it into our own little bowls.  They were amazing!

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They had the Thanksgiving menu available that day as well (it was the day before anyway)  and I ended up having the pecan crusted Mahi-Mahi which was the first time I had Mahi-Mahi and I liked it a lot.  They had these “candied” sweet potatoes that tasted more like roasted and they were delicious!

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My mom had the filet mignon medallions with mashed potatoes and that was AMAZING! The food was SO good!!!

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We pre-ordered their famous chocolate bread pudding.  This is one of the best desserts I have ever had!  It’s like a chocolate soufflé with dark and white chocolate sauces poured in the middle.  Oh my sweet Lord!!! If you’ve never been and don’t mind splurging on a meal, go here!  You HAVE to!!

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We were going to try to do some shopping around Disneyland before leaving and got a chance to see the fireworks so we did that.

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I love that this picture came out poking like a christmas tree!

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The end of the show leaves you with snow!  It’s not real snow, more like little fluffs of foam but it was pretty cool!

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Overall, the fireworks were amazing, but my favorite will alway be the 50th Anniversary ones.  I have the music to it and still tear up listening to it.

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It was insanely busy and took forever to get anywhere especially with people walking in front of us.  It was really ticking us off!  We finally parked the scooter by the side entrance to the Emporium and walked through some of the stores.

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I got almost everything I had my eye on except for a calendar that had attraction posters and you could tear them off and frame them.  They had some left at the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney so I ran over there to grab it and did a little more looking over there before we headed back to our room for the night.

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I took some pictures of books I wanted to check out and this one in particular caught my interest.  I’ll have to look into it.

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This shirt cracked me up! Unfortunately, I don’t know any single men to get it for.

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After that, I took the tear filled ride back to our room and reluctantly went to bed.  I got a lot of stuff packed the night before so we could head to Fresno at a decent time.  Overall, and despite the crowds, we had a nice time in Disneyland.  I would LOVE to go back at Christmas time just pick a different week.  It looks like the first two weeks in December are prefect if you want to go for the Christmas overlay. Up next will be the Fresno leg of our trip and after that, I’ll show all of the stuff I got.

Disneyland Trip Report Part Three- Day Two of Disneyland

My mom was completely exhausted (frankly I wasn’t far off from it either) so I told her to sleep in a bit and I would meet her later in the park.  We did have the opportunity for an early entry that day however I just didn’t think I could get up early enough to get ready and be there before seven… I did get there just after opening so I didn’t miss much.

Before I got in I had to stop by and see my dad’s stone. I love how close it is to the entrance to the park.

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The crowds were not too bad so I decided it would be a good time to take some pictures.

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Another gorgeous day in the park!

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This is the first time I noticed this bench in the town square area of Main Street just across the street from the train station.

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I love the different facades of all of the stores on Main Street.

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The color of the Penny Arcade goes very well with the Christmas decor.

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I thought this was a fun view of the Hub.  The Matterhorn in the distance and the fire truck going around the bend.

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Had to stop and say hi to Uncle Walt and Mickey!

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I love this castle so much.  I know I haven’t been to Disney World and I’ve heard from plenty of people how once you see how massive Cinderella’s Castle is, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle will seem like a let down, but we’ll have to wait and see.  I don’t think I’ll ever love it any less than I do now.

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Decided to walk the other way around and have a visit at Snow White’s Grotto.

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Nice and quiet.

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It’s quite peaceful over here and even on a crowded day, it doesn’t get a whole lot of foot traffic.

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These statues were given to Walt Disney anonymously from someone in Italy in 1961.

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I love the architecture of Fantasyland.

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One of the remaining E-Ticket Booths in the park.

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The line for Matterhorn wasn’t that long so I wanted to get a ride on before it was too late. It was my first time riding in the new cars.

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Again, something I didn’t notice (Unless it’s new) are these cool “cabiny” (I am aware that is not a word) looking lamps.  They remind me of Lake Tahoe for some reason.

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The new cars fit one to a seat now. Not sure if that’s an improvement or not.

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The seats look roomy enough…

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You can’t quite tell, but it was kind of a tight squeeze for my legs and I’m short! Well… I’m average for a woman but I can’t imagine someone taller than me being comfortable… And I totally just noticed the bag holder in this picture… I don’t know why I missed that when I was on the ride! Overall, it was just as bumpy as if I was riding in my own seat before they were single seats AND the seats themselves were much harder to sit on. Not the most comfortable ride in the park!

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Eidleweiss Snacks wasn’t opened yet as it was still really early.  I haven’t eaten here yet, but they have some of the regular snack fair such as Chimichangas and Turkey legs in addition to Corn on the Cob.  So I need to get back there for the corn!

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It was early enough that Small World had a really short line so I got on that too.

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This is one of my favorite rides in Disneyland and I was so excited to see the overlay for Christmas. I heard it was amazing.

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Looks a lot different in the morning than at night.

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I like the color of the balls against the white of the wreath and garland.

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The Christmas overlay blends in very well with the theming of Small World which did not come as a surprise to me at all.

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I totally didn’t see the woman blowing the wind and snow until I saw this picture in the viewfinder of my camera.

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Santa at the North Pole!

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The area where this tree was smelled like candles.  A detail I wasn’t expecting.

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This area smelled like candy from what I remember.

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Italy

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The Middle East

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Asia

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Mexico

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Hawaii

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You go through a little tunnel to get into the next room and right before you get into it you go through bubbles.

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Dory and Nemo!

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You can’t see it, but there is a little Elvis bobble head doll on the end of Lilo and Stitch’s surf board which goes up and down.  Tried to get a picture but it didn’t work out.  My mom’s friend told her about it.

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I don’t think I’m the only one that is a little disappointed with the USA section of the ride.  It’s like they just half-assed it…

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It’s just cowboys and indians type stuff and there is so much more to our country.

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Now time for the finale room.

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Christmas threw up in this room.

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And I love it!!!

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Overall I absolutely loved it.  Small World is one of my favorite rides and the Christmas overlay made me love it even more!  I had a smile on my face the whole time I was on the ride.  Completely amazing!

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Toontown didn’t have many people in it so I decided to take some pictures there as we try to avoid it like the plague on most of our trips.  Despite it being primarily a children’s area, I love it. It reminds me of the Disney cartoons I watched growing up.  I like the lack of straight lines and hard edges.

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They decorated for Christmas too!

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This land cracks me up.  There are so many little things to do and see.  Like answering a phone and hearing a conversation on the other side or opening a door that shocks you!

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There is a lot of goofy (no pun intended) humor.

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The GAG Factory is a great store that I don’t think many people know about.  It’s located in the back right corner to the left of Roger Rabbit’s cartoon spin.

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This is a great photo-op area.

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Goofy’s house.

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Mickey’s house behind the Mickey Mouse water fountain.

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Minnie’s house.

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This snack stand reminded me of the old Disney cartoon where Mickey, Goofy, and Donald went on a trip with a motor home that kept falling apart.

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I was going to take a trip on Autopia but the line was super long and my mom called saying she was getting off the shuttle so I headed back to the entrance to meet her.

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We attempted to get a fast pass for Radiator Springs but they were already sold out.  It wasn’t even ten in the morning! The lines for the other two rides in Cars Land weren’t too bad so we took advantage of that.

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Looks different in the daytime, not in a bad way, just different.

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We went on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree first.

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The queue looks just like a junkyard.

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The ride has two loading areas and you go around four circles in sort of a figure-8 and as the tractors go around the circles the back-end whips you back and forth.

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It was a lot of fun!

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We strolled through the Cozy Cone Motel area.

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Everything is orange.

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It is so cute!  Each cone serves different foods.  We didn’t get anything to eat but maybe next time I’ll try it.

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The umbrellas are even cones which I realized the next time I watched Cars (I watch it every time my nephew, Nicky, comes over because it’s all he wants to watch!

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It’s so cute! I would want to stay here if I were on a road trip!

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Literally just like the movie.  I can’t get over it!

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Mater was greeting people.  The cars actually talk and I can’t remember how they work that out.

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Cone Christmas Tree.

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Route 66 Christmas Tree next to the Route 66 Store.

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Up next was Luigi’s Flying Tires. I got the biggest kick out of this ride.

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Once you get inside, you hear old Italian music like Dean Martin.  My dad would have LOVED this queue.

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I texted a picture of this to my brother and he thought it was really funny.

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Trash cans.  Only Disney fans with understand the significance!

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I think the tires are wrapped to look like blocks of cheese but I could be wrong…

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Luigi only follow the Ferrari!

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Olive Oil joke.

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Italian everything!  It reminds me of an Italian festival.

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Race car topiary.

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Lots and lots of Italian flags.

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You have to lean in the direction you want the tires to go.

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My mom’s “don’t take my picture,” picture. Had to add as proof I wasn’t there alone!

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They are big and roomy and the vents on the ground are what make you float.  It feels quite windy when you’re on the ride. It’s pretty fun and I’d go on it again.

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We walked around the board walk to try to figure out what we were going to do for lunch.

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I should have taken a picture with Duffy, there wasn’t a line!!!

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Another Christmas Tree.

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The line for Soarin’ was super short so we took advantage.

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They added the characters from Planes to the video.

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My hometown! (well not entirely but close enough!)

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Napa!

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Tahoe!

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Haven’t been to Yosemite in years.  We need to take a trip back.

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We decided to head back to Disneyland and get a hot dog for lunch.

The streets were crowded so we cut through some of the shops.

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After a quick lunch, we went on Pirate’s.

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I want one of those santas in the trees! Small enough to hang on my own tree.

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Didn’t go up in the tree either.

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The Disney Dream Suite.

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The light poles were decorated with masques and other New Orleans decorations.

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Each building had different decorations.

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I have no idea what those people were doing on that balcony.

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Gigantic mask.

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Finally got inside.

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I haven’t eaten at the Blue Bayou in a few years because our last meal wasn’t the greatest. Maybe another time because I miss the ambiance.

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We walked around a few of the shops and I got a really cute scarf I’ll show in my souvenirs post after the rest of the trip report.

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I love the shops in New Orleans.  They have stuff here they don’t have anywhere else.

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Nightmare Before Christmas Store.

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Walked back by the Golden Horseshoe Saloon.  They are ending Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. I hope they put something in here!

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We walked back to get in line for Matterhorn. The line was long but we didn’t care.  My mom didn’t get to go on and the line was only going to get longer.

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Mine! Mine! Mine!

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We walked back to Small World so my mom could see it.  I wanted to go on another ten times but we went twice.

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I also go Minnie Ears.  There is holly on the right side but you can hardly tell. It’s kind of behind the bow.  There’s a peak at my new scarf too.

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Can’t get over the candle smell!

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Africa is my favorite room.  Never could get a good picture but this isn’t bad.

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The reindeer made an appearance!

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Santa and his reindeer riding over the arch.

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Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye.  See, not much thought went into this room…

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Bear and a penguin!

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We took a ride on the Monorail to go have dinner in Downtown Disney.

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The line wasn’t too long.  This is a great place for a photograph.  The time of day wasn’t great for my camera though…

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We decided to eat at Naples Restaurant.

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Food wasn’t as good as it was before.

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We got the world’s best snow cones at the Jazz Kitchen Express. My mom got cherry and grape and I got coconut.  Hence the lack of color. It’s like eating snow!

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Back on the Matterhorn.

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Back by the Golden Horseshoe.

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Got ripped off by Shrunken Ned.

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Didn’t even get a card…

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Sat for a minute deciding what to do.

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We were both tired and decided to take a quick ride on Captain EO because God know’s how much longer it will be there.

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Then decided to call it quits and head back to the room. More fun with this camera app.

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I love Disneyland at night.  It’s so magical!

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The tree is gorgeous lit up.

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And that ended our second day at the parks.

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We got to bed as soon as we got back to the room.  We wanted to run straight into California Adventure to get fast passes for Radiator Springs Racers first thing and we were meeting my cousins who were spending Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day at the parks.

That’s day 2 for Disneyland. I hope you’re enjoying my trip reports. Stay tuned for our last day in Disneyland, then Thanksgiving weekend in Fresno!

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Disneyland Trip Report Part Two- Day One of Disneyland

I was so excited for this trip because I have longed to see Disneyland at Christmas time for years now and while it wasn’t the greatest week to go, I was so happy to be back. This was the first year it was just my mom and me at Disneyland.  My cousins were there on the last day (merely coincidence) so we weren’t alone the whole time, but I think it was nice because we didn’t have someone whom shall remain nameless whining and complaining the whole time.

Anyway! The weather was great.  It stayed between the low 50s to the high 60s while we were there so we did wear layers.  Mainly short t-shirts and pants (I could have worn cropped pants at certain points) and carrying a sweatshirt for the mornings and when it got dark.

We got 3-day shuttle passes because we were two miles away and at $24 total for both, it was way better than driving in and spending a minimum of $15 per day to park.  We’ve only ever drove in one trip and that’s when Anaheim started digging their nose in to getting some extra cash from us.  You know; because we don’t spend enough money on everything else…

We got on the shuttle close to 8 am which is when the parks opened and we arrived within just a few minutes.  Of course our space was the second to furthest space for shuttles… Go figure… But off we were towards the gates to the happiest place on earth!

So glad there were clear blue skies all three days in of our trip!

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We’re here!

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First glimpse of Christmas decor.

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The train was pulling up just as we got in the gate.

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This has to be one of the biggest Christmas trees I’ve ever seen! The one at Union Square in San Francisco is definitely bigger but this is huge and gorgeous!

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Lots of pretty decorations!

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We grabbed a locker first and the machine ate my mom’s $5 so we had to walk back to City Hall to get reimbursed.  On our way I had to get a shot of the firehouse because no one was in front of it.

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The details are just one of the many reasons I love Disney.  They even put a little baby tree in the window where the lamp used to be during regular days at Disneyland.

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The line was really long for City Hall and I noticed Alice and the Mad Hatter playing with a little girl.  Cute!

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We quickly decided we didn’t want to wait in that long line and we ended up going later on that night.  Walking back down Main Street, we saw a couple of windows were decorated by the Carnation Cafe.

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Cute gingerbread house.

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Our first ride was on the Haunted Mansion Holiday. I was so excited to see the overlay. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

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I love how they designed everything.

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I took some bad iPhone pictures. I should have used my point and shoot!

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They placed a big gingerbread house in the ballroom and the room actually smelled like gingerbread!

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Overall I was a tad underwhelmed as I was thinking it would be a little more light-hearted but it was still fun to see and I’d go again.

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Managed to get another picture from the other side of the mansion.

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We didn’t really have plans of what to do and I had an app on my phone for wait times from TouringPlans.com. If you want a wait time app, I highly recommend this one.  I’ll go over it in more detail at another time, but back to the trip! We got fast passes for Indiana Jones and decided to go on the new overlay of Jungle Cruise called the Jingle Cruise.  It was really funny.  Probably because of the new jokes for Christmas. Sometimes it’s good to hear new jokes.

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I don’t know if I’ve ever noticed this ticket booth before.

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I want to get a straight on shot of this and frame it.  I don’t know why, I just really like it!

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Of course, they did a great job of blending the decorations into the theme of the ride.

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To the boats!

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I actually love this idea for a tree, but with fake candles as I don’t want to burn the house down!

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Another thing I haven’t noticed, although I rarely have to go upstairs in the queue.  Or maybe it was just laundry day, who knows…

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Another cute little tree.

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Nice view of the shops and Bengal Barbecue but the timing was bad because the shadows kind of make it hard to see.

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Don’t quote me on this, but I think this tree is the oldest tree and only original in the park.  I know it’s in this area and I’m forgetting the details of it, but I’m pretty sure that’s the one.

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They used tropical plants to decorate the tops of the boats.

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Up next we went on Pirates because it was a five-minute wait and it wasn’t going to stay like that for long.

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After that, we were able to get on Indy with our fast passes.

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This ride has one of the best queues in the park.

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After that, we wandered around for a little bit and headed in to Frontierland.

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We decided to have lunch at Rancho del Zocalo.

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We both ordered the special, Chicken Tamales.  I was disappointed. Not much meat and it wasn’t shredded like they usually are.  I like their soft tacos much better.  This is one of our favorite places to eat so don’t get me wrong when I wasn’t happy with the meal.

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More decorations.

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We walked up towards Fantasyland, past an area where they have activities for the kiddies and I believe Santa was over there. We didn’t go in and I wish we would have.  Maybe next time.

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The White Rabbit wasn’t home… It’s a shame, I would have liked to have a spot of tea with him.

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We decided to take a ride on Alice in Wonderland.

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I have always loved this ride.

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I love their use of color here too.

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Which way do we go?!

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Another nice view on the ride, but the shadow ruined the picture…

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After that we went back to Adventureland so we could take a break off our feet and my mom could close her eyes in the Tiki Room.

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I want a tiki room in my back yard.

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This is one of my favorite attractions in the park.

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We did a little more wandering around and ended up in the back of Fantasyland.

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We were still tired so we took a ride (*cough 2 and 1/4 trips around *cough)

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This isn’t even as bad as it got with crowds in the park!

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We totally nodded off on that train! I don’t know why we were so tired!

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We hopped off in Tomorrowland and went on Space Mountain which we had fast passes for I just don’t remember when we got them…

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My favorite ride in the park!

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Unfortunately, my mom got BAD motion sickness from the ride and she was pretty much done for the day.  We went on things that were easier for her from that point on.  She loved that ride but she just can’t do it anymore and I understand.  I felt bad for her!

We walked back out to Main Street and I had to stop and take a picture of the Matterhorn.  So beautiful!

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Look at how pretty the castle is!!!

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We hopped over to the other park because I was dying to see Cars Land!

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I love the new look of Buena Vista Street.

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Little gingerbread houses in one of the windows.

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Next time I want to get a ride on the trolley.

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Nice view of the Carthay Circle Theatre and the fountain.

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The Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe which I found out is named after the Three Pigs. You learn something every day!

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Yay for Cars Land!

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A car snowman!

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Fillmore’s is a snack stand.

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Sarge’s is a store.

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The cozy cone motel was adorable!

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They really took great care to make this land look like the movie!

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They did an amazing job with the Christmas theming here too.

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Photo-op with a tractor.

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Should have gotten a shot of myself. Oh well!

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I couldn’t wait to get on this ride!

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Same with this one! I love the Italian theme!

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They had a string of lights around the tires outside of Casa Della Tires and a star on top!

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Another photo-op area!  There were just way too many people!

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Hubcaps adorn this tree.

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Look at how beautiful Radiator Springs Racers is at night!

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Wow!

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Ramon’s shop.

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We decided to eat at Flo’s V8 Cafe.  I heard some good things about this place.

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You could sit outside or inside. It was a little cold out so we chose inside.

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Motor Oil Christmas Tree.

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50s themed tree.

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I wish this was a real juke box.

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They had three meat options, turkey with gravy, roast beef with gravy, and pork loin with a Coca Cola BBQ sauce and a choice of two sides and a role.  Since it was a couple of days before Thanksgiving and my mom and I wanted to try different things on the menu we decided to skip the turkey and get the pork and roast beef so we could try each other’s meals, I got the roast beef with coleslaw and this corn succotash type dish. The roast beef was really flavorful and the gravy was amazing.  The rolls were really good too.  The corn needed a little salt, but it was good, and the coleslaw was pretty good too.  My mom really liked it.  I want to say it had a bit of a honey mustard taste to it.

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My mom got the pork loin with baked beans and mashed potatoes and gravy. The BBQ sauce was really good, but very sweet, so if you like sweet barbeque sauce (like I do) you’ll love it.  It does have Coca Cola in it after all. The beans had the same flavor as the BBQ sauce so it was a bit redundant to have both but both were very tasty.  The mashed potatoes were very good too.  They had the same gravy as my roast beef.

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All in all I would absolutely go back.  They had a selection of desserts there too but we were pretty full and decided to have dessert later.

They had different themed rooms from what I could tell.  It was all fifties inspired though and it kind of brought me back to my childhood because my best friends and I loved that era.  We all dressed up like little 50s dancers with poodle skirts for Halloween one year and to this day, that was my favorite Halloween costume.

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They had cacti outside of the window we were sitting by.

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They had Hudson’s diploma’s on the wall.

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Before heading out we had to get on our favorite ride in DCA, Soarin’ Over California.

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The line was pretty short so we couldn’t pass it up.

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I love this ride so much.  I love the music to it too.  I have the song as my ring tone when anyone calls.

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I love the symbol.  I wish they had it as a pin.

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Back to Disneyland.

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The tree was gorgeous lit up at night.

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I love the trees in all of the stores on Main Street.

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My mom and I split (and only ate about 1/3 of it total) a hot fudge sunday at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street.

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We sat near a pretty Victorian tree.

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And this, ladies and gentleman, is when I truly got just how magical Disneyland is at Christmas.

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There are no words to describe its beauty. I was in absolute awe. Totally speechless.

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The water wasn’t moving so my mom took a picture of the reflection of the castle on the lake.

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The back of the castle (which is really the front of the castle).

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Not too bad of a photo.  This was my very first ride in Disneyland when I was a baby. For that reason, the carousel will always have a special place in my heart.

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We continued walking around to take in Disneyland at night-time.

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We didn’t go on Small World as the lines are insane at night.

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And this is the reason why.  Another speechless moment for me.

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Disney never ceases to amaze me.

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We exited through the store.

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After that we decided to call it quits. It was a long day and we were really tired. My mom didn’t want to come in as early the next day so I decided to get up on my own and meet her in the park that morning.  So that ends the first day of our trip in Disneyland.  I hope you’re enjoying my trip report. I am pretty new with them and hope to get a little more organization as I get more under my belt.