TR - Get your Disneyfied Christmas B-Day Fix! - Goodies, Portraits, and Haunts! - updated 4/23

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by mnmrmustard, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. lwanthony

    lwanthony Music Man

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    Such a different experience than ours that night. We didn't have as good a view as you guys did, but we did have a relaxing dinner and a seat for the show. It was lovely and we would do it again in a heart beat.

    We sure wish they would bring back the dessert seating though. We had done that 4 different times and loved it. We did the dessert seating our last night for WOC and loved that as well.

    Keep up the great work on the report!

    -Lane
     
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  2. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    I'm glad you guys had such a great experience. Between getting there too late and it being such a long day it just wasn't the best scenario. Plus we are more adventure and ride people rather than show and parade people. It was the only "bad" part of our trip so I'm okay with it.

    Yes, the dessert seating concept is one that I'm always on board for :thumbsup2
     
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  4. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

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    :scared1: Just no! I worked there in the mid-80s and know exactly the area you're talking about. :(

    Phew! I'm so glad you talked to someone and got moved.

    :rotfl2:People are STILL doing that. :rotfl:


    I'd really love to see this someday. So pretty!
    NO bueno! :( He should have known better.

    And HUGE pet peeve of mine. How selfish can people possibly be? I mean sure, reserve a spot... but A spot. As in just enough for YOU.

    Lovely shot!
     
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  5. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    I am so glad you spoke up and got a better seat!

    I want to see Fantasmic, but I'm quite intimidated by the whole crowd control issue. Even with a package, it sounds like! It may never happen... Paint the Night is one parade/show I haven't seen yet though, and it is on my bucket list. :)
     
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  6. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, it was a total no-go for me, I would have rather sat at the back of the restaurant than have stayed at that table.

    Indeed they are - we had at least 3 boats call out for them :laughing:

    Oh yes, I highly recommend it - it is amazing how beautiful and alive the façade and topiaries of IaSW looks with all of those lights

    Yeah, and honestly I should have known better too. I've researched enough Disney park-related things and should have had this nailed down. I did confirm from another TR that the CMs do indeed let anyone with a Fantasmic! ticket into the central reserved area, not just dining package guests. Had I known the breakdown in logistics was that big I would have had us there over an hour early.

    Yeah, I almost took pictures of a couple of the setups. They had a full freakin' picnic set up taking up huge amounts of real estate.

    Thank you, I think that is one of PumpkinGirl's :goodvibes

    Yes, very thankful that we were able to be moved to a better table.

    And I would say on Fantasmic! it would depend on how long you and your family are willing to sit on the ground waiting for the show. For those who arrived and hour+ they had a great view and really enjoyed the show. If you have things to entertain yourselves and don't mind people camping out all around you it could be worth it.

    Otherwise you can do what me and others are doing and cross your fingers that they bring back the dessert viewing experience. That was set up in front of HM with chairs and a good view with none of the crush.
     
  7. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 6 - We Explore some Holiday Haunts and Join Pooh on his Adventure!


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    Okay my valiant followers, Fantasmic! has ended and we’ve strolled away from the “Believe” show. It is after 9:30pm and we have been up for almost 18 hours. So are we done??? Are we calling it a night???

    NO WAY! There is still too much Disneyland to be had and this is the only night the park is open late.

    We set our eyes on the Haunted Mansion and its glorious NBC makeover. We thought about it and we all realized we haven’t seen HM in “classic” mode as a family EVER! Roxy and I saw it as kids, that’s about it. But we don’t mind at all – we are in the “we love the NBC makeover” camp.

    The standby line was short so we cruised right in, passing this ever watchful fellow along the way

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    Soon enough we were in the elevator with its accompanying festive effects

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    I would have to say that the only feature I really miss in not experiencing the classic is the pictures in the stretching room, but the NBC ones are cute.

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    We moved on into the hallway, which also moved pretty quickly. I lagged behind to catch a couple of shots

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    After snapping those the queue was already here, just one turn before boarding!

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    We jumped on, the kiddos right in front of Roxy and I

    The flowers, the did sing!

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    And one of the kiddos got a great pic of Zero going for his bone

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    Leota rolled thru her spiel while Christmas-themed lights levitated among the cards

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    None of us were able to capture a clear shot of the dining and dancing with its epic ginger bread house and wicked tree :-[ However! The ride stalled out at the rise before Jack and Zero and I caught this stellar shot of the pumpkin hill with its flying ghosts

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    Jinx and PumpkinGirl got a selfie

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    And we were facing them so Roxy got a shot of them as a bonus! You can see the Fantasmic! cushion in PumpkinGirl’s lap

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    Soon enough we were on our way and rolled past Santa Jack and his faithful companion Zero

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    And then the obligatory front-facing shot of the pumpkin hill

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    And we can’t forget about Sally!

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    The ghostly jack-o-lantern spirits sounded their trumpets!

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    And after finishing our tour of the graveyard Oogie Boogie spun for our misfortune

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    Roxy and I ended up with a Candy Cane filled stowaway

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    We contemplated Splash Mountain but it was a bit chilly outside and we knew we were setting aside a water ride morning on another day of the trip

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    So on to Winnie the Pooh! It of course started with a Blustery Day

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    Then things got Weird!

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    Hi from the fam!

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    It is a cute ride but it does seem shorter than WDW’s offering of it. But I know it took the place of the Country Bear Jamboree *starts waxing nostalgic about the CBJ*

    Where will we go from here you ask? Our Day 1 park time is ticking away. Tune in for the next installment to see!


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    Click Here for Chapter 7 - Country Treats, Mountain Madness, and a Carousel Spin!
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  8. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    I don't love the Haunted Mansion (I don't like creepy stuff) but I can definitely appreciate it! That being said, the NBC overlay is much less creepy, so I prefer it. Surprisingly, my kids have done okay with both versions. And I love Winnie the Pooh, because it was one of my favorite movies as a kid!
     
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  9. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    It is almost more creepy because it always breaks down when you ride it, that's what got me as a kid. Now its much less scary and I expect those breakdowns. I'm glad your kids roll with both versions well. And Pooh is just such a classic.
     
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  10. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 7 - Country Treats, Mountain Madness, and a Carousel Spin!

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    We finished our adventure with Pooh and friends and of course couldn’t leave Critter Country without looking at the yummy holiday treats available here!

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    We didn’t end up getting anything at the time, but PumpkinGirl did pick up a Jessica Rabbit pin (sorry, no picture). This began a hunt for Jessica pins that lasted the rest of the trip.

    As you can see we had Critter Country to ourselves

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    Now where to go? We looked on the Disneyland app and it was only a 10 minute wait for BTMRR so off we went towards Frontierland! On the way I took a shot of the other side of HM

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    And the now Sleepy Island

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    …along with the lights of the dockside and the Columbia and Mark Twain

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    We headed into the queue for BTMRR and found that it was basically walk-on!

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    Soon our train was rolling in

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    We were towards the front with Jinx next to me

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    And Roxy and PumpkinGirl right behind us

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    BTMRR is of course EPIC at night! And when we got off the lines were still short so we jumped on and rode it again!

    After that we were really starting to feel that long day but wanted a little more magic. So I showed the family thru the shortcut by the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante past the Fantasy Faire to the side entrance of the Castle. As we were walking past it stopped to capture this grand reflection of it. See if you can figure out what’s different about the picture ;-]

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    This was the first time we had set foot in Fantasyland all day. It was busy, but not too bad. Looking at my watch it was about 10:20pm so we were getting down to the diehard park goers now. We saw that Snow White was walk-on so we took a journey on her Scary Adventure. We were all pretty tired and didn’t bother trying to take pictures on the ride.

    When we came out we looked at Peter Pan and decided that we’d give it a go, the line wasn’t getting any shorter that’s for sure. We made the best of the wait, which was somewhere between 30—40 minutes. But we were REALLY feeling the long day now. Eventually we heard “here we gooooo” and we were off! It was fun to soak in the classic feel of the ride and just enjoy the color and life of it.

    When we got off we talked and decided to take a spin on the carousel! I couldn’t remember the last time any of us had rode it, probably way back in 2005 during the first family trip we ever took when the kids were 6 & 9yrs old respectively. PumpkinGirl found hers first.

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    Jinx went up ahead to find his noble steed

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    And Roxy and I ended up right in between them

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    PumpkinGirl got a shot of the three of us

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    And then the obligatory selfie :-]

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    When our gallop around Fantasyland completed we hopped off and gathered to get a couple of pictures in front of the back side (or the front if you know your Disneyland history) of the Castle

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    We looked around and it was around 11:45pm with a park closing time of midnight. We were very tired but decided to go for ONE MORE RIDE!!!! Pinocchio was walk on so we ambled over and followed him on his ill-fated journey. I tried to take pictures on the ride but none of them turned out any good. We saw him restored to Geppeddo and the Blue Fairy gave her blessing and we were done for the day.

    Time to make for the exits! Tune in next time for some more great family pictures and our long walk out of the park.


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    Click here for Chapter 8 - Our Epic First Day Finally Comes to an End
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  11. NancyLuvsMickey

    NancyLuvsMickey DIS Veteran

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    Whew, what a day!!! I'm tired just from reading about it... I'm not a fan of NBC but love the NBC make-over of HM!!! And I love BTMRR at night!!! Can't go wrong with that ride... Like your Christmas hat too!!!
     
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  12. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    It was quite a day and I agree on NBC itself, I've only watched it in bits and pieces. But the makeover is spectacular. BTMRR at night was so very much fun! We were screaming and laughing the whole time on both rides.

    Thank you on the hat, I wish I could wear it year round!
     
  13. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 8 - Our Epic First Day Finally Comes to an End

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    We had just stepped off of Pinocchio and Fantasyland was thinning out quite a bit

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    We knew we were done and we knew we had conquered Disney in a big way on our first day. As a recap we managed the following from 1pm until 11:45pm:

    - Festival of the Holidays
    - Cozy Cone
    - Soarin' (FP)
    - Train from Main Street to New Orleans Square
    - PotC
    - IJ (FP)
    - Jungle Cruise
    - Blue Bayou Fantasmic! Dinner
    - Train – Full Loop
    - Fantasmic!
    - Believe in Holiday Magic (the first few minutes anyways)
    - Haunted Mansion
    - Winnie the Pooh
    - BTMRR twice!
    - Snow White's Scary Adventure
    - Peter Pan
    - Carousel
    - Pinocchio


    Whew!

    We headed thru the castle and I turned around to take a quick snap of it in all its majesty

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    We then wrangled a PP photographer and got the obligatory family shots with the castle in the background. As you can see our Oregonian weather acclimatization worked well to our advantage. The locals were all bundled up but we were still strolling around in t-shirts (plus me in shorts) except for PumpkinGirl, who wears a jacket in July :D

    Standard pose

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    Goofy Pose

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    Close-up with Roxy getting squeezed out by the kiddos

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    We then moved on to the hub for a Partners selfie including bonus double photo-bomb! You can really see the lights on my Mickey Santa Hat in this one!

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    We meandered on down to Main Street USA with the last stragglers leaving the park

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    Such pretty classic holiday lights

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    PumpkinGirl and I were walking together

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    While Roxy and Jinx walked ahead of us, arm in arm :goodvibes

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    We made it to the tree to find Mickey and Minnie having a special moment

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    It was very cute, and their CM handler was a riot!

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    They finished their proposal and headed off together

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    After they departed I stopped to grab one last selfie with the tree in the background

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    It was such a great feeling to have lasted to basically close out the park after our early wake-up and 20hr day. And I must say I LOVED taking our kids to the parks, but it was SO COOL being there with them as adults with no meltdowns or “I’m bored/tired” statements. We all knew we were tired, but it was SOOOO WORTH IT!!!!

    We headed out of the park and shuffled thru the walk back to the Desert Palms. Once back in our room we started our shower rotation and talked about the wonders of our day. We set out pin lanyards and clothes and talked about what our plan was for tomorrow. It was to be a day of rolling the dice for a special surprise, a long-awaited family reunion, and more Disney fun with thrills and characters!


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    Click here for Chapter 9 – A Possible Surprise and a Disney Trains Detour
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  14. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

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    Holy schnikies updates!

    Will have to do more tomorrow...


    Yeah, just no. Agreed, near the bus stations is a huge pet peeve of mine. No one wants that racket!

    Too funny!

    I missed the Osborne Lights... I hope I don't miss out on this too!

    We can't know everything. Sure, we can do our research and do our best, but have to rely on what we'd hope was sound info from CMs along the way too. I'm sad he steered you wrong.



    They really should crack down on this. Not fair to everyone.

    I need to see this!

    Darn good shot there! Nicely done!

    So cool!!

    Wax on, Friend! I love all those oldies.
     
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  15. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    LOL, yes - I've been busy! :hyper:


    I honestly don't know why they even have that table there :confused3


    That is a bummer that you missed the Osbourne Lights - we got to see them a couple of times and they were magical. Hopefully after the construction is done at DHS they'll bring in a custom Toy Story light show to replace it! In the meantime I also hope they keep that garland at DL!

    Yeah, true enough. Lesson learned!

    I was very surprised

    It certainly gives the mansion a different feel

    Thanks - it is always cool when you can catch those dark ride shots :thumbsup2

    Indeed, ahh the memories! I wish I had the pictures that were taken during our 1976 trip to DL, I know there was one of me on the Skyway. But my ex stepdad ended up with them and I lost contact with him in the early 80s.
     
  16. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 9 – A Possible Surprise and a Disney Trains Detour

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    Day 2 for us fell on Monday, November 27th. The kiddos were wiped out and sleeping but I was up with the sun as my internal clock never cuts me any slack. Still, I was excited because Roxy told me she was trying to set up something special for me. She said she couldn’t guarantee anything but that if it worked out I would LOVE it!

    So I got up and got myself together and headed upstairs for breakfast. The Desert Palms offers a hot breakfast every morning with a rotation of foods including some kind of eggs, some kind of meat and a bunch of other options. Fruits, yogurts, and cottage cheese along with several waffle makers. And pretty decent coffee. I was happiest on the mornings that they had biscuits and gravy!

    Roxy was still in the room getting herself together and just asked me to bring back a muffin or something. I sat by the window and gazed out upon CA.

    It has rained during the early morning hours but the blue sky was already peeking thru.

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    Roxy ended up joining me for breakfast and after finishing a quick meal we headed down to the parks. She explained to me that she had called about trying to get me on a tour of the Lilly Belle, the presidential car attached to the C.K. Holiday. For some history on the Lilly Belle read this article:

    Presidential Parlor Car - The Lilly Belle

    It had been out of service but was now back and it was my understanding that if you got to the park first thing you could got to the Main Street Train Station and see if there was a list to get on to take a loop in the car. If you didn't know, I have a love for trains and love reading about Walt’s history with them. That goes back to him working as a "news butcher" on a train his uncle worked on along with his own train travels. This eventually worked up to him building the Carolwood Pacific Railroad in his back yard. This railroad first had the namesake "Lilly Belle", with its first incarnation being a 1:8-scale steam locomotive.

    As part of my Disney train fascination, we’ll take a little detour to 2015 when I visited the Presidio in San Francisco which houses the Walt Disney Family Museum. It resides in a converted military barracks building on the post:

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    You may recognize this hand cart, which was sitting in the foyer when I was there (there’s a famous picture of Walt on it)

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    And of course this guy and his seven little friends

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    If you’ve ever wondered what the area of Walt’s Apartment over the firehouse with his lamp looks like, here you go!

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    The interior of the museum looks nothing like the old architecture of the exterior. The back of the museum has glass hallways that lead to the upper levels

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    There is so much to see that I can’t cover it here so I’ll just show a few highlights, especially ones that have to do with the subject at hand starting with the original Lilly Belle herself

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    …and the layout of the Carolwood Pacific!

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    Down from there is a complete diorama of Walt’s park in the early 60s right after the Matterhorn opened up

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    Just a couple more gems before I move on, first the original framework of Mr. Lincoln

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    And a Jose that you can actually operate!

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    Lastly a 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' look at the groundbreaking Multi-plane camera, first used in Pinocchio if I remember correctly

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    And specific to this chapter, I was lucky enough to be there when “All Aboard – A Celebration of Walt’s Trains” was on display in the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall

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    For some reason you could not take pictures inside, but an attendant was nice enough to take a picture of me in front of the sign at the entrance to the exhibit

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    There is Walt on that handcart! So as you can see, I’m not only a big Disney fan/Disney History fan …I’m also a Disney Train Fan! And because of that I’ll take you on a second diversion – lol.

    In October of 2016 I attended a conference at the Anaheim Convention Center. I was solo but did make it into the parks for a couple of half days. At that point the trains were down due to the construction and addition of that “left turn”, which afforded me the bonus of them having a mini exhibit in the New Orleans Square Train station.

    There’s that hand cart again, it certainly makes the rounds!

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    A pictorial history of Walt’s love of trains

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    Close-up of the Telegraph sign

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    The telegraph machine itself is usually seen from a distance either from on the train or at the station rail – it taps out the coded version of the beginning of Walt’s Opening Day Speech at Disneyland

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    The hidden speaker that makes it so you can hear the message being tapped out

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    And lastly an “exploded view” of a steam engine

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    So now that brings us back to the present. And Roxy knew something that I didn’t know. This was that they had recently started up a special tour focusing on Walt’s love for trains and included a trip around the park in the Lilly Belle!

    The Grand Circle Tour

    This tour had not been available when I was doing my research so I didn’t know anything about it. Roxy had found out after covertly talking to guest services. There was indeed a tour running while we were there, but it was full up!!!!! But they said it was worth a try to come on down and wait it out to see if there were any ‘no-shows’.

    So what do you think? Will my love of Walt and his trains be rewarded? Will I get to set foot in the prestigious Lilly Belle? Or will I shuffle away dejected as I watch the tour group walk away without us?

    Tune in next time to see!!!!


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    Click here for Chapter 10 - Does Mikey Take a Magical Ride?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  17. NancyLuvsMickey

    NancyLuvsMickey DIS Veteran

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    I'm betting that you'll be sprinkled with Pixie Dust and be able to go on the tour... pixiedust:
     
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  18. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Why thank you :goodvibes :goodvibes :goodvibes
     
  19. Susan121302

    Susan121302 Mouseketeer

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    I am loving your trip report, your writing has me right there with you guys! I normally just lurk around for info and never comment, but had to say something. Thanks so much for sharing! Can’t wait for another installment.
     
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  20. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Why thank you Susan, I really appreciate you saying that! I certainly enjoy writing/reliving it all and am very happy that others are getting enjoyment out of it too :goodvibes :goodvibes :goodvibes
     
  21. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 10 - Does Mikey Take a Magical Ride?

    Well I left you all with a bit of a cliffhanger. Sorry for the delay in getting this chapter out, the weekend has been hectic!

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    Before I started meandering down memory lane Roxy and I had just arrived at the entrance to the parks. We were there early enough that security was a breeze and got a good spot at one of the turnstiles. We made it in and went to the left tunnel and on to the Tour Gardens just to the left of the Courthouse. We found that several tour group members were already there enjoying coffee and pastries and trying to find a dry seat given the early morning rain. Were able to get our names on a waitlist and start the waiting game.

    We killed some time over by the tree

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    Mistletoe time!

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    We went back over and made small talk with a wonderful family that was going on the tour and found out they were from Northern Oregon! it was a mom and dad and their teenage son who had autism and was very excited about the tour. We watched people slowly check in and I kept count, knowing how many people the tour could handle and how many were present. It got to the last fifteen minutes and there was one party of two that hadn’t made it.

    I can tell you that those last 15 minutes were slow and torturous but they finally came to an end. The CM motioned us over and we were ready with our Disney Visa! They said we wouldn’t get the special donut or coffee but we’d get the rest of the package! Right after we finished the transaction, our CM Amy came out with our headsets (the rest of the group had theirs) and lanyards.

    Say hello to Amy!

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    Here’s my lanyard :-]

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    The tour started on the steps on the left of the Courthouse with some background on Walt’s youth.

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    From there we went thru the tunnel to the Mickey topiary and the view of the station. There was so much information that there is no way I can relay it to you now. Once that section was complete we headed back under while the Ernest S. Marsh steamed above

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    We worked back around to the Main Street side of the station and she continued with Walt’s next chapter of Train goodness. She was very knowledgeable and answered all but some of the technical questions that she was going to leave to the Engineer

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    We then moved into the Disney Gallery where several models were displayed, specifically the original layout of Disneyland and the original route of the train track. Back then they literally had cattle cars that they would load guests in to get the feeling of being cattle being transported – lol! Some of those cars are still in use, having been redesigned and opened up with seating.

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    We came out of there and stopped on the sidewalk. It was kind of funny, an oriental family came up and the father was REALLY trying to figure out what was going on. He eventually realized that if you didn’t have the headphones you wouldn’t be able to follow along. We headed up Main Street and stopped at the Main Street Magic shop, known famously for having had Steve Martin as a CM working there.


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    Something else represented there was the “Can Do” Machine Works – Roger Broggie Shopmaster! Remember that Multiplane camera? He helped create it! Remember Walt’s Carolwood Pacific Railroad? He helped build it! Remember the original Lilly Belle Steam Engine? That was him too! Beyond that he did some little things like creating the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, the Monorail, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

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    Talk about a key Imagineer! So much cool history. We were about to go into the movie house when Disneyland CM legend Ken came rolling by – Hi KEN!

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    Inside the theater we of course talked about trains in Disney Cartoons – Amy kept rolling with cool information

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    When we were done there she took us the rest of the way up Main street and then took us back in time to Frontierland

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    We of course had to stop by the petrified tree and then on around towards New Orleans Square. On the way I got a great early morning shot of Tom Sawyer Island

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    She took us thru to the restrooms for a quick break since our next stop had no bathrooms. After a quick pit stop I snapped a shot of the beautifully unique decorations they had up there

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    While we were waiting the rest of the family had gotten themselves together and made it into the park. Once they got in they found a certain someone who tolerated letting them get a picture – lol

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    They were just going to stroll around and window shop while we finished our tour.

    Getting back to us …..IT WAS TIME!!!!!

    We walked past the New Orleans Station platform to the right side where the ramp was and lined up. They boarded the rest of the train and then lead us past those on the train and those still waiting on the platform. It was a pretty special feeling as we walked by – we could hear people talking and asking about what we were doing and one lady actually knew the name of the car.

    Amy was stationed at the door of the Lilly Belle

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    We boarded the car and I had Roxy sit across from me in one of the chair from the Queen Mary

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    And I sat in a row of seats with the family from Oregon!

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    Gotta do a selfie too!

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    This was the view down the car from my seat

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    That’s our pic limit, I’ll come back around tomorrow to continue our special tou


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    Click here for Chapter 11 - We Travel the Park in Style and have a Special Family Meet-up!
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
    Jaina likes this.

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