Welcome to our Weird and Mostly Wonderful Disneyland Halloween Adventure…

AKA

“A Gregarious Ghostly Gallivant”

(scroll past the buttons to see the Introduction)

Hello fellow DIS’ers! I was going to wait to really get into planning this trip. I was going to wait to tell my kids about it. And I was going to wait to start a Pre Trip Report. I guess when it comes to the Disney Parks my ability to have patience and let the calendar tick by is pretty minimal. Sooo, if you’re up for it, lets get rollin’! 

:woohoo:

Trip dates, location, and theme: Our days in Anaheim will be October 12th – 17th. We will be staying at the Disneyland Hotel (pool view). This will be our first time staying “on property” and we’re pretty excited about it. And as you may have guessed from the Trip Report title and travel timeframe, we’re doing Halloween Disney style 

:joker:

 Oh, and this is also my wife and my 15th wedding anniversary 🙂

Cast of Characters:

Me, I’m Mike (40) – I am Director of IT – Network and User Services at an Oregon community college – basically, I am in charge of the people who keep the computers talking 

:badpc:

 I enjoy photography, camping, bowling, and PC/PS2/Wii games. If anyone else is playing it, I am Tobias MacDougal on Pirates of the Caribbean Online (the whole family has characters) 

pirate:

DW Roxy (35) – she’s the Office Manager for a precision machine shop. She stays involved with both our girl’s schools and was formerly PTO (PTA) president and now chairs committees for the middle school’s band boosters. Right now she is getting over an addiction to Animal Crossing City Folk on the Wii 

:surfweb:

 She also enjoys bowling but isn’t doing any league stuff during the summer.

DD#1 Kyra (13) – AKA PumpkinGirl – She is 12 now, but will be 13 before we go. She enjoys reading Manga (Japanese comics) and is very into oriental art. She’s the only kid on her block with a set of samurai swords in her room 

;)

 She is in middle school and is a dedicated student 

:teacher:

 and also plays flute and piccolo for the school band. She just marched in our city’s Memorial Day parade and they got 2nd place overall! Recent news is that she will be marching as part of the Grants Pass High School Marching Band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in November 2010!!! 

:yay:

 Oh, and she LOVES collecting Disney Pins and Character Autographs 

:thumbsup2

DD#2 Gillian (10) – AKA WildChild – She is 9 now, but will be 10 before we go. This is our free spirit/daredevil 

:hyper:

 She like to run and jump and play and has a wonderful imagination. She mostly runs around with her two best friends and plays the cello in her school’s band. She wants to keep playing it this next year AND start learning the saxophone 

 To give you an idea about the kind of kid she is – she topped her last record (set at age 5) of riding ToT at Disneyland 7 times by riding BOTH ToT and RnRC 8 times at WDW last year 

:eek:

Nephew Kristopher (17) – My brother-in-law’s younger son. He has moved up to live with us and do his senior year of High School due to some transitions my bro-in-law is going through. Great kid, if a bit high strung. He loves video games and such and skateboarding. It is interesting to have a boy in the house, especially at such a pivotal time with him about to graduate HS and become an “adult”.

Disney Background:

Both my wife and I went to Disneyland as kids but it was mostly just a blur because we only did 1 day trips there. Roxy also went to WDW as a kid soon after EPCOT opened but didn’t get enough time there either.

In 2005 we did a January trip to Disneyland, which was our daughter’s first time – they were 5 and 8 at the time. We did 3 days there and had to contend with a bunch of rain, but got to ride everything we wanted due to the short lines.

We rode PotC at least 7 times, Matterhorn 4 times, and we finished our last night in the park with me and the kids riding Splash Mountain 3 times in a row without having to get out of the log. Only downside was that Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and California Screaming were all closed.

In January 2008 we did a big blowout family reunion-style trip to WDW. If you are bored you can check out the TR from it here: I’m Not as Tink as you Kronk I Am

Well that’s enough to get things started. I’m working on an itinerary and some custom t-shirt logos. I’ll post some more soon.

Pictures:

Before we get too far into this I have to warn you that I take pictures. I take quite a few pictures. hmmm….. Okay, I take a LOT of pictures. I took almost 10,000 at WDW/Sea World last January. You could say I have a problem 

:rotfl:

I did whittle it down to only POSTING 1,800 of them in the TR though…

…whaaattt 

:confused3

I also enjoy telling a story. So this thing will meander, grow, sputter and nearly fall on its face only to rise again like Robert Downey Jr’s career after a string of sober days and a decent script. It will spawn little orphan stories that get trapped out in the snow and have to be rescued by a square-jawed hero-type armed only with a FastPass and an extra large Dole Whip!

For lo, we are DISfans and our appetite for all things Disney is insatiable and not even a Beverly will quench it 

:wizard:

Ahem, got a little far afield already I see. So, back to the picture thing.

First I should do the obligatory pictures of the fam and I.

Me

And of course Pirate Mickey-hatted Photo-Taking me from our 2008 trip

DW Roxy (with a younger Bean)

Roxy at her company’s last Christmas Party

And swimming with Dolphins Roxy

My older DD PumpkinGirl at a Winter Carnival

PumpkinGirl just hanging out

And hanging out with Pirates!

Bean playing softball

Bean making one of her exceptionally silly faces

Bean right before our 7 trips in a row on RnRC

And just a couple of random shots from “The World”

Quick action shot of the ghosts on ToT

Look out Indy!

Mickey for dinner???

Rainforest glow

Did anyone remember to bring the marshmallows?

Yes, they did it on porpoise

and I’ll end with a little Illumination!

Well, that’s a little taste of where this thing is heading. If y’all enjoy reading this 1/10th as much as I enjoy making it I know we’ll all have a great time 🙂

Past Disneyland Trips!

PART 1

The first time was part of a one week whirlwind adventure in a rented Chevy Citation (now THAT was a stylin’ ride!) in 1976. It was me (age 7), my big sister (age 11) and my mom and ex stepdad. We hit Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Lion Country Safari (now closed), Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo.

I have no pictures from the trip. It seems like there should have been some, but nobody seems to know about them. Due to this I did some fishing on flickr and snagged a couple of images that other people took on trips there in ’76 😉

Disney itself was a bit of a blur, us trying to cover everything in one hot summer day. I specifically remember all of the red-white-and-blue theming for the Bicentennial. I also remember how cramped the submarine was and how much walking we did. Some of the high points were PoTC, Peter Pan’s Flight, and the Matterhorn.

From a nostalgia point of view I am happy to have been one of those “older folks” who go to ride on the Skyway

I really liked the “America on Parade” uhhhh, parade ;)  Here’s a sticker that I remember us putting on the Citation:

Here is a picture I found from the site Yesterland of it:

Oh, and I remember REALLY wanting to ride up in the top bubble of the monorail. And no, it didn’t happen.

And then there was the big letdown. I couldn’t ride Space Mountain :headache:  I sat outside the gleaming white facade while Menudo (or at least that year’s incarnation of them) were performing in front of it. I remember looking forlornly at it while they danced and sang. To this day I still equate the name Menudo to tragic disappointment :lmao:

But then there was the end of the day and my curbside seat for the Main Street Electrical Parade. That was the capper, that was the one bit that really got me. Without knowing it then, it is what really made me the Disney fan that I am today.

There was a feeling of total immersion in the experience. The lights, the theme song (which still gives me a bit of a charge when I hear it), and the pure Disney magic of it. It was a perfect way to end the evening and it washed away any tiredness I may have felt. I remember going to sleep in the hotel room humming the song (much to the consternation of my big sister, with whom I was sharing a bed – lol).

PART 2

Even though I had that Disney magic, it lay dormant inside me for the next 29 years :eek: It wasn’t until my daughters were old enough to really enjoy Disney (ages 5 & 8 at the time) that we planned a trip. I planned it and it was a bit of a goof on my part as to when we went.

I found a website that showed crowd levels and apparently the week after new years was some of the lowest numbers in the park. What I neglected to cross-reference it with was the amount of rainfall that So Cal gets in early January. Soooo, we basically went there during the wettest month of the year :thumbsup2

It was to be a 3 day visit to the parks. Part of it would be just us, the other part with one of my bro-in-law’s and his family. Granted, we had a lot of fun and the rides that were open had basically no lines. Unfortunately it rained for over half the time we were there, ending with an outright downpour that flooded parts of CA.

Here are some pics from that little adventure. They are a bit grainy as they are actually captures from video that I took there:

Any you may have wondered about Bean’s haircut being kind of “boyish”. The little imp had decided to give herself a haircut a week before we left. That was how short it had to go to even out the chunks she had taken out of it 😀

There are more pictures but not too many as it was too wet much of the time we were there to film stuff. And a lot of them were just the girls posed by all of the different themed Mickeys they had stationed around CA.

But as I said, no lines. Among the stuff we rode:

Matterhorn – 4 times
PoTC – 8 times
Splash Mountain – 4 times
All the fantasyland rides multiple times
Soarin’ – 3 times
ToT – 7 times for Bean (I only rode it 3 times)
Haunted Mansion – closed to change back from the Nightmare Before Christmas theme 🙁

AAAAANNNNNDDDDD – SPACE MOUNTAIN – CLOSED FOR REFURB!!!!! 

Still haven’t rode that bugger. Also, no parades and no fireworks due to a mix of off season and bad weather.

So obviously there was some stuff we missed out on. It was part of the reason I started planning our 2008 WDW trip back in 2006. I wanted to make sure we didn’t miss out on anything …or at least see as much as we could without going crazy or having our feet fall off.

So there ya go – a brief interlude on what has brought me here now, planning for a trip that is still 6 1/2 months away ;D Tune in next time when I ……..ummm, when I…..

….

….Hey Look – IT’S BIGFOOT!

*points behind you and disappears under my desk*

Graphics:

Okay, I did an aside about this, but I’m going to make a little graphics chapter here. As I may have said, we do up custom T-shirts for out trips. Last year we did a plain white T and a tie-dye’d version using this logo:

we got lots of compliments on the tie-dyed shirts – we were quite the site walking around

So I decided to put together some designs with a Halloween theme to them.

I’ll probably turn the black to transparent if we do them on black Ts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This one seems a bit on the plain side, but I’m not sure what else to do with it – suggestions?

I like the way this one turned out – just finished it this evening ðŸ˜€

And as always, if anyone wants a design done up with their DISnames I’m happy to do so!

EDIT:

Just finished the second Jack Skellington logo:

Travel Package:

Hey All!

One step closer to the fun We are 18 days out from Disneyland and I got a call from Sandra, our AAA travel agent – our travel package was in!!! 

:yay:
:woohoo:
:yay:

I went down there and signed the last of the paperwork and brought home this:

I brought it in and it has our Itinerary, flight info, DLH vouchers, Disneyland Express vouchers, a bunch of misc stuff, and this:

Guess it’s a very Goofy year down there – lol

Whoohoooooo!!!! 

:banana:

And Sandra said that the luggage tags were much cooler for DLR than WDW this year. Because you know it’s all about the luggage tags 

:lmao:

Final Sprint:

Okay, it is time for that last sprint to the finish! I can hear the chuckle of the Hitchhiking Ghosts and taste the yummy Halloween Treats 

:banana:

I have to work tomorrow, but have Friday off. By coincidence all 3 kids also have Friday off as a clerical day so I get to put them to work too 

:thumbsup2

All the prep work is done and I have my packet from AAA with the plane tickets, ME vouchers, DLH reservations, park tickets, MToTP tickets, and other miscellaneous fluff.

All the costume stuff is in except my Barbossa hat. But Roxy is on the ball and found the cell number for the guy who runs the company and left a voicemail (something that I hadn’t been able to find since it isn’t on their website). Yay Roxy! 

:yay:

The suitcases are inside but so far nothing in them. As I remarked above there is laundry to be done. But I have a good comprehensive packing list so I’m not worried.

Basically here’s what we have left to do:

– Buy T-Shirts for cutsom Ts (already have the designs and the decal paper)
– Do the T-Shirts
– Dye a shirt and a sash for Kris’s pirate costume
– Pack
– Drop dogs at dog sitters on Sunday
– Log in to airline website and choose seat assignments (can’t do it until Sunday)
– Load up the suburban
– hopefully get some sort of sleep Sunday night

On Monday we’re up at 4am and stumbling out the door by 4:30am. Arrive at the airport at 5am and check in. Flight leaves at 7am for LAX – 2hr flight.

Hopefully we’ll have enough time to get our bags and get to the ME bus by 9:30am, otherwise we’re stuck in LAX until 10:30am. I’m figuring that will be wishful thinking but stranger things have happened.

Get to DLH by either 10:30am or 11:30am depending on ME and stow the bags at the front desk. Then we’re off to a Rainforest Café lunch and on to the Magic Kingdom!!!!! 

:woohoo:

One minor bummer is that they just announced that the steam trains will be down for maintenance starting on the 13th, so that first day will be our only chance to ride it. Still, we’re luckier than some who are traveling in October who won’t get to ride it at all 

:sad2:

But all else is well and we’re ready to experience some Disney Halloween Magic on what should be a reasonably easy-paced trip to the land that Walt made 

:wizard:

…and so saying, Mike jinxes the entire trip 

:lmao: