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Trip Report I've climbed the mountain, I've crossed the river, and I'm almost there!

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Looking forward to reading more about your trip! After I experienced horrible ear pain after my first flight, I read about Earplanes. I used them the second time I went to WDW and it definitely made a difference! The first trip, it felt like my ear drums were going to rupture and I couldn't hear for a few days afterwards. I still had some discomfort with the Earplanes but it quickly went away and I could hear perfectly. Love them!
 

MinnieM123

Well-Known Member
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We waited less than ten minutes for our turn for tea. I love this ride so much. There's something about spinning and giggling and escaping from the real world for a minute or two, and I must ride it every chance I get. :joyfull:
I agree. You can extend the attraction's spinning fun from the teacups, when you go back to work. (Sometimes I spin around in my chair at my desk. ;) )
 

dclfan

Well-Known Member
I am sooo excited to hear about your trip. We just got back yesterday from our 3 weeks in Japan. I’m soo sad it’s over but at the same time I am completely exhausted lol. I can’t wait to hear about your journey and if we crossed paths or even visited the same spots/ restaurants in our travels. Did you have Sochu sours (lemon sours) while in Japan? I think that is what I miss most lol and the Ramen. Anyway thanks for sharing your trip report and I will be following along. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Tokyo Disney.

Side note: When in Tokyo Disney we played the same game in IASW. We kept score on who found the most Disney character dolls in the ride.
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Those seats are good for sleeping... you can put your head on the non window part!
Spoiler alert: we ended up liking the seats and were happy not to be right next to strangers. :)

Looking forward to reading more about your trip! After I experienced horrible ear pain after my first flight, I read about Earplanes. I used them the second time I went to WDW and it definitely made a difference! The first trip, it felt like my ear drums were going to rupture and I couldn't hear for a few days afterwards. I still had some discomfort with the Earplanes but it quickly went away and I could hear perfectly. Love them!
Glad they work for you as well! Before, I just assumed that was the way it was going to be, but M found Earplanes for me and they have made a huge difference in my travel experience!

I agree. You can extend the attraction's spinning fun from the teacups, when you go back to work. (Sometimes I spin around in my chair at my desk. ;) )
:hilarious: :hilarious: :hilarious:

I am sooo excited to hear about your trip. We just got back yesterday from our 3 weeks in Japan. I’m soo sad it’s over but at the same time I am completely exhausted lol. I can’t wait to hear about your journey and if we crossed paths or even visited the same spots/ restaurants in our travels. Did you have Sochu sours (lemon sours) while in Japan? I think that is what I miss most lol and the Ramen. Anyway thanks for sharing your trip report and I will be following along. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Tokyo Disney.

Side note: When in Tokyo Disney we played the same game in IASW. We kept score on who found the most Disney character dolls in the ride.
I'm excited to hear about yours as well! Will you do a TR? Yes I had some lemon sours and loved finding the character dolls in Tokyo IASW!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2, cont.





We exited the train at New Orleans Square.



We stopped to watch these guys for a moment:




Time for Big Thunder ride 2!






Row ten!


Almost there!





BTMRR is my favorite Disney coaster. Would that change after Tokyo Disney Resort?? Keep reading!

Pretty soon it was time for FP #7!



At the Space Mountain FP scanners there was a HUGE family (8+ people) arguing with the CM about when they could return for a FP and blocking the entire line of people that was forming behind them. :bored: :bored: :bored: I think some in the party had a currently active FP and had already passed the checkpoint, and some had one for later, and they were trying to talk the CM into letting them all go at once. Eventually we made our way through with some of the family inside the FP line and some still trying to talk their way in. The CM must have let the early people go, but instead of the on time people in front waiting behind for their family, they kept going and the rest of the family skipped a whole group of us waiting on line. :mad:

Despite that, we made it to the ride and didn't let the rude/annoying people in front of us bother us (too much).

But then...



About half way through the ride, we stopped completely, all the lights came on, and the CMs announced that the ride had stopped and someone would come assist us shortly!

We waited for about five minutes before two CMs came and released our brake so our car could finish the ride. We finished without music and with all the lights on! When we arrived back at the loading area we were offered another immediate ride, which we gladly accepted.


I was glad to be ON the ride and not waiting on line like these people!

On our second ride, all was going well, UNTIL...

WE STOPPED AGAIN!

This time we were in the holographic tunnel near the end, so it's like we ALMOST finished the ride. Incidentally, this is the same spot we got stuck on SM in 2017! And that's the story of how we got stuck on Space Mountain TWICE in a row!

Up next: We take a break from all the excitement
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2, cont.

We continued our journey around the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel.










Do you see the BEE???



We were hoping to find a place to enjoy a drink. Sadly Tangaroa Terrace was closed.



We checked out Trader Sam's but it was quite crowded. In the seating area outside TS, however, we met this sweet guy:





I recognized him from @lostpro9het's recent DL report. He was SUPER friendly and loved receiving pets and scratches from everyone. :inlove:


A fire? In this weather???

This reminds me. The weather was in the high 50s to mid 60s all day. We were perfectly comfortable in our spirit jerseys and leggings. We saw lots of people in full winter attire, even during the warmest part of the day!! And lots of restaurants with outdoor seating had heat lamps on!! I mean to each their own but that's just excessive.





Next we decided to check out the Paradise Pier Hotel. SN: is this hotel going to change its name now that Pixar Pier is a thing?



Inside PPH:









Since I've become accustomed to the extensive nautical theming of the YC/BC/BW area this hotel's public areas were very "meh" to me. I may prefer a lot of things about Disneyland over WDW, but WDW obviously wins as an overall resort.

That said, the Grand Californian is pretty amazing so we crossed the street to head there next!





Up next: the Grand Flo-I mean Wilderness Lo-I mean GRAND CALIFORNIAN!
 
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amjt660

Well-Known Member
Seeing SM with the lights on and finishing the ride with the lights on??
Priceless
I have been evac'd from WDW SM but not DLR

Do you see the BEE???
To be facetious - No I do not see @bee ?
I will lead to believe that now that you are participating in IG that we might see you and your lovely wife in this TR.
Some of us (cough old cough) folk do not do the insta thing so I hoped to see your smiling face at some point.

Max
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Seeing SM with the lights on and finishing the ride with the lights on??
Priceless
I have been evac'd from WDW SM but not DLR


To be facetious - No I do not see @bee ?
I will lead to believe that now that you are participating in IG that we might see you and your lovely wife in this TR.
Some of us (cough old cough) folk do not do the insta thing so I hoped to see your smiling face at some point.

Max
You're never too old for Insta! Ask @stephmax975 to help you!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2, cont.

Last time we visited the GC (in 2017) we entered from Downtown Disney. This time, we entered from the street, and weren't exactly sure where we were supposed to go. There was a car entrance where registered guests could tap their room key, and there was a pedestrian gate where guests could also tap their room key to enter. We didn't see an actual security person, so we did what might be considered "sketchy" and just waited for some actual hotel guests to tap their key on the pedestrian entrance and followed them in. I promise we are not actually sketchy people, we just couldn't find a more legitimate way in!




It's hard to see but there are festive lights on this tree!












Looks like the GC gets festive too!



Overall this is an absolutely beautiful resort and we would love to be able to stay here one day.

Up next: Dinner time!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2, cont.

By this point we were hungry for dinner so we went back to Downtown Disney in search of food. We checked out a few menus and decided to give Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria a try. We had heard that it's like Via Napoli in Epcot, but like, actually good. (For the record we have never had a horrible experience at VN like many other forum members seem to have had, but I don't think we've been there since we moved to NJ and became NY/NJ pizza snobs.)



The restaurant has an indoor dining room that serves a large menu, and an outdoor seating area that serves just pizza, salads, and drinks. We knew we wanted pizza so we went with outside, and we were seated immediately and quickly greeted by our server, Brianna.





We knew we wanted drinks, of course. I ordered a Paloma and M ordered a Mermaid Red. Brianna returned shortly to let me know that they were out of grapefruit juice and to ask if blood orange was okay. I said that was fine, and shortly she brought out our drinks:



Brianna let me know that the bartender upgraded my tequila as well at no charge to avoid opening a new bottle of the less expensive stuff. Fine by me! :joyfull:


Oops, we devoured most of the bread before I remembered to get a photo!

We went with a classic margherita pizza.



We also ordered the house salad because we were craving some vegetables.



In the end we had two slices left, which Brianna happily packed for us to take away.



And of course, that empty drink glass in the photo above means we needed more:


I had a Manhattan and M had a seasonal drink but I can't remember what it was called or what was in it. We both liked them, though!

Overall it was a great meal. The service was excellent and the pizza and drinks were quite good.

Up next: Back to the park!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
On our first visit to Naples, Em ate 5 slices of margherita pizza.....and she was only 7 years old!

She talked about that pizza for years.

On our next trip to DL she loved it just as much but ate fewer slices due to her preteen figure. 😉

When Via Napoli opened at Epcot in 2010, she couldn’t wait to go and was pumped to eat her beloved pizza once again. It’s still her favorite, but hates that the service is hit or miss (and most often a miss.)
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
On our first visit to Naples, Em ate 5 slices of margherita pizza.....and she was only 7 years old!

She talked about that pizza for years.

On our next trip to DL she loved it just as much but ate fewer slices due to her preteen figure. 😉

When Via Napoli opened at Epcot in 2010, she couldn’t wait to go and was pumped to eat her beloved pizza once again. It’s still her favorite, but hates that the service is hit or miss (and most often a miss.)
I've never had a bad food experience at VN like others seem to have had, but the service and loud atmosphere mean it's never our first choice in Epcot or the surrounding area. Naples, however, was a great experience with excellent service so I'd certainly go back!

@bee - you're making me want to go back to DLR!
Do it! Do it! Do it!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2, cont.

After dinner we took the Monorail back to Disneyland. In case you've never been to DL, the Monorail is more of an attraction than a mode of transportation, although it will take you between DL and DD. You can board the Monorail in either Disneyland (Tomorrowland) or DD. If you board in the park you can exit at DD, but everyone still on the train after the DD stop must exit at DL (so you can't just stay on taking up room all day). Additionally, if you board at DD you must scan your park ticket since everyone gets off in the park.

After we scanned:









This would be Day 2/2 for glorious sunsets!





IASW from the Monorail (there will be better pictures later, AKA photos I took while standing still!):





And we exited!



We made a bathroom stop somewhere in Fantasyland...



At this point I was on a mission to find a CM named Johnny who is friends with @captnblue. You can read more about my attempts in my PTR. Sadly I must have just missed him. :( But at least I got to enjoy beautiful castle views!





At some point I stopped keeping track of our MaxPass numbers, but I know we rode BTMRR one more time for a total of three rides.





By about 6:30 we were really feeling the jet lag and the previous day's travel, and determined it was best to wrap up our night soon. We had ridden lots of rides, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and consumed plenty of food and snacks!


Bye bye!

On the way out we caught a bit of the Christmas parade. We are not big parade people; in fact, I don't think we have ever purposely planned to see a parade except for when we watched the Electrical Parade in Disneyland in 2017. But if we happen to see one going by, we'll stop for a moment and enjoy it!





Up next: Gotta spend all the Disney Dollars!
 

captnblue

Member
At this point I was on a mission to find a CM named Johnny who is friends with @captnblue. You can read more about my attempts in my PTR. Sadly I must have just missed him. :( But at least I got to enjoy beautiful castle views!
We were both so bummed it didn't work out! I wish the first couple of CMs would have at least tried since literally all they would have had to do is pick up the phone, haha. But it's all gravy! Sorry to send you on a wild goose chase :facepalm:
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2, cont.

I was a little bummed we were too tired to stay for the fireworks, but we didn't want to push ourselves too hard before our big day of travel.

We still had a few Chase Disney Dollars (maybe 25-ish?) left on our rewards card, and since Tokyo doesn't accept them and we didn't have another US park visit planned yet, we decided to check out the shops on Main Street.







More parade!






Bad photo, but I have a great appreciation for fire departments, real and fictional!

We didn't find any merch we wanted, so we went with some treats for the hotel room and for the plane the next day.



We made the walk back to the Four Points, showered, enjoyed our fudge (see below), and got ready for bed and for a long travel day.


Chocolate peanut butter fudge. YUM!

We were already in bed when we heard a "BOOM" from outside. M got up to investigate:











We may have missed the fireworks in the park, but we got to watch them from our room! :joyfull:

Overall Disneyland thoughts: I love this place! The first time we visited in 2017 I was honestly expecting it to be a one-and-done, but the beautiful parks changed my mind. I love that I can stay at a mid-range hotel nearby and still be able to walk to the parks. I love the scale of everything, and that I can get from Tomorrowland to Frontierland so quickly. And I love, love, love, MaxPass. We were able to get tons of FPs throughout the day without running around from ride to ride, and we didn't have to reserve them in advance. We will definitely be back at DLR when time and money allow.

Hotel thoughts: The Four Points was nice and very comfortable. All the staff were friendly. However, it's just a little too far from the parks for me to be willing to stay there again. It was great for this particular stay since we just had one park day, and we saved over $100 by staying there instead of one of the closer hotels. But for a trip with three or more park days I think the distance would just be too much. Plus many of the closer hotels include breakfast, which is a time saver even more than it's a money saver. So, next time I think we'll try the Fairfield, Hilton, Courtyard, Best Western, or similar.

Day 2 Stats
Distance: 11.4 miles
Steps: 25751
Flights: 17
 
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