Trip Report 2018-2019 A Year in the Land (Disneyland)...a multi-trip report

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Sunday June 23, 2019

It was around 1pm when we headed out of the park. We drove down to the north entrance visitor center in 29 Palms and looked around at the gift shop. I bought a Joshua Tree seed set for both me and my niece. I don't think either of us have tried to grow it yet, someday soon..
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Well, actually we just exited.
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After the visitor center we needed some food and we were hangry. I had packed some small snacks of almonds but that didn't seem to hold us over. We have seen so many Del Tacos around and we actually had been though thought of going to one for lunch. Seeing a Del Taco before this and even after this became a joke to us, there were just so many around.

We really enjoyed our lunch.... A LOT. We didn't know if it was because we were so hungry or it was so good. I'll go with it was so good. The cheese is shredded in house which is cool, there were even decent sized chunks of it in the tacos.
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Nom nom nom nom!
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After lunch we had planned to just head back to Palm Springs and go swimming at the pool. On the way we devised a different plan. Walt Disney fans will recall that Walt had a residence in Palm Springs at Smoke Tree Ranch. It turns out our hotel was a five minute drive from Smoke Tree Ranch. We didn't go (or try to go) past the gates, a picture out front was enough.
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Some of you might remember from other reports that Brad sometimes likes to golf when we are at Walt Disney World, he really enjoys golf. So in the spirit of making Disney connections he pointed out that we weren't that far from PGA West which is featured in the original Soarin'. And since Soarin' Over California was back in DCA (at least for the summer) I was game for checking it out. It turns out it was about a 20 minute drive from our hotel/Smoke Tree Ranch. But that was fine we enjoyed seeing more of the area. When we got there Brad said he was okay with just a picture of the sign. I encouraged him to keep driving through the complex I knew he wanted to see some of the course, and we got to see some of the greens. There was even a club house that was open to the public. I tried to get him to go in for a drink but he pointed out how dirty we were from hiking and he didn't feel comfortable going in there like that. But he was happy to see such a famous golf course.
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After that we drove back to the hotel and by then we were ready to do some laundry and hit the pool. Turns out we didn't do laundry, the washing machine and dryer were both $7.50! That seemed crazy to us. We had enough clean stuff to get us through the rest of the vacation. So off to the pool it was, some was in shade and some was in sun but it was all very refreshing.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
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Sunday June 23, 2019

After our pool time we got cleaned up and headed out to dinner. As we looked to see what was around for dinner we saw another Tiki Bar was close by. Tiki bar sounded good to both of us. The drinks weren't as good but we both enjoyed our food more than at the Tonga Hut. The food menu was limited and I was tempted to get the pasta dish but I couldn't bring myself to order an Italian dish at a Tiki Bar so I went with loco moco again. Our server had told us they had a super wild weekend and were out of some stuff but when I asked for soy sauce for my loco I was a little shocked when she said they were out. I expected some booze or something to be out of stock not soy sauce!

There were some interesting patrons in there, a few looked somewhat local and the rest tourists. There was a couple behind us and both guys had Disney Trader Sam's shirts on which was pretty cool to us. And a group of 20 somethings sat nearby and had some interesting loud (but not annoying) conversations including a long discussion of their recent experience at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge.

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I got the Palm Spring's Punch (it was really sweet) and B got the Mai Tai.
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loco moco
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After dinner we went down to the main area downtown of Palm Springs and walked around a bit. They have their own version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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There was a branch of a tee-shirt store we liked in Hawaii called Crazy Shirts, so we checked it out. Fun fact, a guy that worked for Disney (I think in animation or something like that) has a hand in Crazy Shirts and designs.
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We went for ice cream too. I thought about getting the Dole Whip but regular ice cream sounded good, it was Lapperts ice cream which we have had in Hawaii too. It hit the spot. We both got kids size. B got chocolate peanut butter and I got the Hana Road (their version of Rocky Road).
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Monday June 24, 2019 Tour of Palm Springs

We started today with breakfast down by the pool. It was a basic hotel breakfast but we enjoyed the view.
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I had booked us a tour of Palm Springs. The tour was billed as a bit of everything, we would take a nature walk, see celeb homes, and the windmill farm.

We met our tour guide in an IHOP parking lot downtown. It sounds sketchy but it was a reputable company and the tour turned out Awesome! The tour also turned out to be private, no one else was on our tour! Score! This time of year is Palm Spring's slow season, probably because of the weather it had gotten to around 109 the day before. Slow season was fine with us. Our guide took us to Indian Canyon which is a fantastic nature area and we had a short nature hike (mostly in the shade) to start.
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Our guide told us that according to legend this rock formation was the inspiration for Pride Rock in the Lion King. He said apparently the animators were having a hard time figuring out what the rock was supposed to look like when someone found a picture of Walt Disney on a horse (from Smoke Tree Ranch) in front of this and voila! So if the story is true super cool, if not it does bear a resemblance.
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looking toward Palm Springs
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Monday June 24, 2019

A look at a replication of a Native dwelling.
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My Lion King pose, I guess I should have stood the other way...
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Our nature walk was really good. Our guide, Richard was really knowledgeable for the whole tour actually. In the van he also had a lot of pictures and nature guide books too. He said he really liked to increase his knowledge to make the tours better. It showed!

Next we toured through the Movie Colony area of Palm Springs and we saw a lot of interesting celeb homes and just cool examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture. Richard told us that people in the area work really hard to preserve the architecture and the history of homes and buildings. That was cool, I hope that continues. We saw homes that had belonged to Cary Grant, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra. I thought it was really cool that Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorthory Lamour lived on the same street (same block) especially because of the Road to...movies they were in together. Richard also told us that so many Hollywood celebs had come to Palm Springs for a few reasons and one being that in most of their contracts with the Studios it limited how far they could live from the Studio and Palm Springs was at that furthest point.


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One of Sinatra's homes
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I think this was Dorothy Lamour's House Richard gave us a list of all the homes we saw in order, really nice, but that is upstairs and I'm feeling too lazy to get it. But it is right next to my picture of Bing Crosby's house on my camera roll and I remember that they lived next door to each other.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Monday June 24, 2019

Bing Crosby's House
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Then we went out to the wind farm, we had driven past this quite a few times. This was really the only disappointment in the tour, I thought we'd be getting out of the van and getting up close to them, but we didn't we just stayed in the van. Richard blabbered on about these too which was interesting at first but then I started to zone.
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There was a large solar farm there too. Richard mentioned that a downside of the solar panels is that some scientists believe that birds think that it looks like a large body of water from up high and that can cause danger to the birds. I don't know if that is true but later when we saw them from up high I could see how it looked like water.
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We continued to another famous home area. One of Liberace's homes.
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I think this house was used in the movie Ocean Eleven
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The house Elvis planned to get married in but his purpose for renting the house was leaked, probably by the gossip columnist that lived next door. So he had to escape the press outside and go to Vegas. Who did he call to help him escape....Frank Sinatra.
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I don't remember if this was a celeb home or not. I think I just found it cool looking.
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This used to be Clark Gable & Carole Lombard's home, it now belongs to Catherine Zeta Jones & Michael Douglas. Our guide said they are often in residence and had seen them, I guess they kept the original name Gable used for the home too. (Maybe even the color scheme)
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I think I just liked this house
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Monday June 24, 2019 Palm Springs

The tour was shortly after noon and we were dropped off in the IHOP parking lot. So we went to lunch at a place called Lulu's. It was a very modern looking restaurant, the decor was just fun. They offered a lunch prix-fixe menu. We both got the Caesar salad. I had chicken alfredo and a chocolate mousse type cake. B got meatloaf and a scoop of ice cream. The food was delicious!
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After lunch we headed to the Palm Springs tram and on the way we passed the Palm Springs welcome center. It totally reminded us of something from the Incredibles and when we went back to DCA a few days later and saw the "new" Incredicoaster load area all we could see was this building.
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I had pre-bought our tram tickets a few weeks ago so we didn't have to wait in the long line and soon we were on our way. The floor of the tram rotates which is cool. We didn't get a spot next to the window and actually I was next to a couple that thought I was something to lean on when the tram swung (as it passed posts). It was super annoying that they used me for support. It was an interesting ride and soon we were at the top.
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View of Palm Springs
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Coming up: More from the top, a "wild" night out in Palm Springs, and return to Disneyland
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
If you ever come out my way, I’ll take you to Del Taco. There is one ten minutes from my house.

Enjoyed the tour of Palm Springs. Such a different environment from places I’ve lived or visited.
Lucky girl to have Del Taco so close! HA! I was trying to talk B into drive to Florida this coming summer which would take us through your state but he is not into it. He said he wants to just get in a plane and have Disney drive him around. Maybe one day though.

A colleague of mine likes to go to Palm Springs during summer break and I thought he was a little crazy but I am so glad we went. I was actually very impressed with that area, the desert was pretty but the town itself was easy to get around and there were so many things to see and eat. A regional airline here has specials to Palm Springs so it might be a quick winter getaway sometime.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
OMG!!! What an unbelievable vacation you two had!!! :jawdrop: You saw so many interesting places, that I wouldn't even know where to start with my comments.

Suffice to say: WOW!!!! :joyfull:
Thanks, looking back on it is really bringing it into perspective. We were able to do so many different things and see a lot of different environments, it was really a lucky thing.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Monday June 24, 2019 Palm Springs Tram

So in my last post I showed you the view from the top and that was mostly desert but the view behind us reminded us of being in Sequoia again. We had gone from a temperature of about 106 at the bottom and now it was in the mid-60's. It felt nice though. The area at the top had a lot of trails. We thought about hiking a few but we were really just there for the ride and the views. We did walk around a little and just sat on some benches and enjoyed the view.

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On the way down we got a spot right next to one of the windows. And no one used me as their support post, so it was a much better trip on the way down.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Monday June 24, 2019

A few more pictures of the trip down. It is certainly not a trip for someone that is really afraid of heights, but I thought it was fun when the gondola would swing past the big posts. I wonder if the Disney Skyliner will do that!
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Passing another gondola.
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And a look back up the mountain.
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An old gondola now used as decoration.
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The spot in front actually had a "selfie spot" logo on the pavement. So we decided to be hip with the selfie.
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After the tram we checked out a few of the gift shops but nothing appealed to us so we drove back to the hotel. We wanted some relaxing pool time. Well, we got pool time. There were more people down there today than yesterday. There were a few couples and a group of guys who had decided to make the pool area their private party. It was a group of guys maybe in their early 30's-late 20's and they looked like a rough bunch. They were playing dominoes, drinking out of glass beer bottles (at a pool!), and had their music loud. And what music it was, it was some rap junk with lyrics so vile and offensive using terrible language towards women and racial offensive. I'm not a prude but that's just rude stuff. Everyone else looked annoyed at them but no one did anything. I wanted to complain but like I said they looked rough and a little scary, so I knew this wasn't going to be a time when I could play its a small world over it and get them to stop. I thought about going back to the room and calling the front desk but in the end we just put up with it too and chatted to each other as far away as possible. After about 20 minutes we had enough of them and we were ready to get out when a lady arrived with her young daughter and as soon as the kiddo arrived the volume on the music went down and a few minutes later the guys packed up and left. I'd never been so happy to see a kid in my life, I just wish she would have arrived earlier! It was a redeeming quality in the guys that at least they knew enough not to play that kind of music around kids.

Anyway, we were then able to relax a little at the pool for awhile longer. Then we had thought about going out for a nice dinner but neither of us wanted to get dressed up nicely again. We had been on the go so much we thought it might be nice to just relax for the night in the hotel room. So we showered, packed up (we were leaving the next day), and went to pick up dinner. We had chips in the room so we just needed sandwiches or something, but we ended up going through Del Taco drive-thru and picked up some more tacos to bring back to the room. So we hung out in the room, watched tv, and had a nice taco dinner. It was a relaxing night.

Coming up: Leaving Palm Springs and back to Disneyland for the last leg of our California tour.
 

PacNWTigger

Well-Known Member
Saturday June 22, 2019

Upon exiting the park we passes a large lake/reservoir. We noticed a few boats on it.
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Passed by some orange groves again.
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The drive took us on a huge stretch that was really boring and nowhere to really stop. We saw a lot of oil stuff.
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Eventually we found a place to stop for lunch, at a Jack in the Box, and get gas. The drive got a little more interesting sometimes.
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Finally we were close to Palm Springs, it had been a long drive. We stopped at the Cabazon Outlet Mall and visited the Disney Outlet there. I came away with 3 tee-shirts I had seen in the parks and basically got 3 for the price of one. Less than a mile down the road were the Cabazon Dinosaurs, an old style road stop. There was a mini-museum and we thought about going but in the end we just took a few pictures of the big dinos and kept heading towards Palm Springs which was the next town!
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I think that is where Pee Wee's Big Adventure was...LOL!!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Tuesday June 25, 2019......Our Anniversary. 14 years of marital bliss? ;)

We left Palm Springs early, super early, it was about 4:15am. I think I scared the poor desk clerk at the BW when I went to check out. It was about a 2 hour drive and a week day so we knew we would be encountered some rush hour traffic. Our goal was to get to California Adventure by park open.

We had one problem though....LaToya the Toyota. We were returning her at an Avis location near Disneyland had to return it by 5:30 pm, we had our luggage our room wouldn't be read this early, and we had a dinner reservation at 5:15 pm....

Option One: was to park one of the Disneyland lots (we have an annual pass so parking is included), go to the parks, then leave mid-afternoon drop off our bags at the hotel, then return the car and walk back (only 10 minutes from our hotel) to the hotel.

Option Two: Try to check into our hotel early or at least ask if we could store the bags for the day, return the car, and walk to Disneyland

We went with Option Two. Of course our room wasn't ready but I did a pre-check in and they were super nice about storing our bags. I even started with saying, "I know our room isn't available yet", so that they weren't thinking I was demanding a room. Then we drove over to the Avis car rental. It was 7:20 am and we had about 10 minutes to wait until it did open. The driveway to the car rental could only fit about 2 cars and we luckily were the first ones there.

While we were waiting to return the car I made a reservation for the afternoon at Oga's Canteen. It seemed like an appropriate thing to do on our anniversary. The car rental guy actually opened the place a couple minutes early. We waved goodbye to LaToya and walked about 10-12 minutes over to the Disneyland Esplanade. We entered California Adventure at about 7:50 am!

Our first stop was at Guest Relations for Anniversary buttons. As we were walking out of Guest Relations I put my finger through the writing on the button and smudged it. When I showed Brad he suggested getting another, there was no line, as we turned around I think the cm knew what we needed because she grabbed another button and started writing a new one! I didn't smudge my second one.
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We headed to our first ride of Soarin' and got in line right before 8am. The line wasn't long but we still waited about 20 minutes! That was a little frustrating at park open. After that we headed to Guardians and I rode once without Brad and then he rode with me. He can't handle back to back rides and since the line was non-existent when we arrived we thought it was better for me to hop on first and then we would use our fast pass together. Turns out we didn't need the fast pass that we used either, there was no line when I got off the ride the first time.
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I loved the Tower of Terror but I do think Guardians is more fun than TOT. With that said though, I do not want the TOT at Hollywood Studios to change.

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Then we went to Monstropolis. B claims to not care for the ride but I make him go on it and can get him on it when there is no/to little line. And guess what he says after it ever time, "That is a cute ride."
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We met up with Goofy by the Carthay Circle. Goofy liked B's shirt.
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Remember in the King's Canyon/Sequoia part of this report when I showed you Grizzly Falls. Well here it is again but this time at California Adventure!
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Next stop Radiator Springs and Racers! We used a fast pass on Racers and then walked on the ride again with single rider.
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Next we made our way over to Pixar Pier and found Forky. Brad had not seen the movie yet, I had seen it through a special D23 movie preview event in Minneapolis a week before it came out in theaters. So I knew who Forky was Brad did not but I assured him he was a cute good character. By now he has seen Toy Story 4 and did think Forky was a cute character.
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We rode Jessie's Critter Carousel. It was new to both of us, I was going to ride it when I took my solo trip but the wait was over 30 minutes. That's ridiculous for a carousel. Today the wait time was the time it took for the ride before us to end, perfect! The carousel animals are cute and the songs are fun. I'd ride it again with no wait.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Tuesday June 25, 2019
By the time we had looped around Pixar Pier we were hungry, we hadn't had much for breakfast so when I saw this shirt it kind of summed up our thoughts.
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I thought this one was cute too.
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We had about 20 minutes before our lunch reservation so we walked onto the Little Mermaid ride. I thought of @Tuvalu and her reports and I gave a wave. I looked over to Brad's clam shell to see if he was giving a wave and he was asleep in his shell!
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Then we headed over for lunch at Lamplight Lounge
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I told Brad the pink phrase must be his motto for me!
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And I had him pose next to the green one; my feelings for him!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Tuesday June 25, 2019

Finally some food! We started with drinks. A rum and Coke for B and I went for the Pizza Porter beer.
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We sat at the same table we had in November, so no new stuff to look at for us.
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I got the deviled eggs, which were good. We shared the nachos with steak and Brad got some steak sushi type thing.
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The nachos were okay, they look cheesy but it was really just in that spot. Needs more cheese.
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And a close up B's steak thing. He enjoyed it.
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We were too full and again didn't get the special doughnuts. We looped back to Toy Story Mania then headed to our fast pass for Guardians.
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Groot was out but the line was long so I caught him in between people.
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Special photo op for passholders.
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After Guardians we killed some time by going to Philharmagic again. We sat closer to the screen this time and that made the smaller screen better but MK's is better. After Philharmagic we shopped around and then it was around 2:30 pm and our room was guaranteed to be ready at 3 pm. So we headed out and over to the Best Western Park Place Inn. On the way out Oswald was just coming out for a meet and greet! I didn't realize he still came out. So of course we stopped.
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We made it back to the BW Park Place at about 2:45 pm and we were told the room wasn't ready yet and that it wasn't guaranteed until 3 pm. Ok, it was only 15 minutes early. So we got our luggage from storage and waited in the lobby. At 3 pm sharp Brad went back up to the front desk and asked about our room and now (only 15 minutes later) it was ready. So we went and unpacked and had a nap to recharge our batteries for the evening. We can't do a 4am wake up to park close without a nap!
 
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