Winging to Disneyland and Hitting the Park that Walt Made!

We woke up on our travel day – Monday, October 12th, at 4am after 1 1/2hrs sleep. We had stayed up late doing all of that last minute stuff that you think you’ll have plenty of time to do, but somehow ends up more complicated and time consuming – lol

Here’s the Ts that we did up for the trip:

We made it to airport by 5:30am for 7am flight – check-in was easy with no lines. When we got to the gate we found out the flight had been delayed by 30 minutes due to icing on the wings trying to leave their first hop. I was trying to keep focused but was very tired and was developing a cough.

We took off for LAX around 7:30am with a flight time of just under 2hrs. But about an hour in we had an in-flight medical emergency. A 24 year old guy passed out and was unresponsive. A call went out for medical professionals and a nurse sitting a couple of rows behind us volunteered. She worked with him while we diverted to SAC.

It was a fast decent but the pilots did good. The paramedics were waiting when we landed and took him off pretty quickly, but we still ended up being grounded for about 1 1/2 hours due to the paperwork. We were back in air just before 10am and landed at LAX around 11am.

It was an easy trip to baggage claim and the on to the “green island” to wait for our bus. Of course Bean managed to find an animal friend

We had to wear Roxy and my pirate hats on the flight since they couldn’t keep their shape if we tried to pack them. And I can tell you we got some looks here and there.

Here’s a shot of Pumpkin Girl giving me a “look” of her own while wearing Roxy’s

It was only a 20 min wait for ME bus and the fam kept busy with a spirited game of “patty-cake” – lol

And then came our magical chariot!

Bean wanted to sit up front behind the driver, so I sat up there too. He was a nice guy and we had a good conversation. Unfortunately my throat was starting to get worse. But I perked up when my eye caught this!

And then were were on Harbor and heading towards the resort itself

Quick glance at the theme park entrance

…and on towards the hotels

And the entrance to Downtown Disney, which would be our first stop after we settled in

Before hitting our destination we made a quick stop at the Grand Californian

Then back on the road

Thar she blows!

We got ourselves together and picked up our bags, tipped our driver and we on our way in 

On to check-in with no line at all – whoohoo!

We were given a free upgrade to a premium pool/park view in Wonder tower – Double WhooHoo!!!!!!

Here was the view from our room:

and a little panorama:

We drank the view in and then dumped stuff and headed out for lunch at Rainforest Cafe. On the way Bean stopped in to the phone booth

And the pool

Then a tree ate Kris

Bean and Kris wanted to drive the boats but we were hungry and called them away

Off to DTD and Rainforest!

The snake attacked Kris (sensing a theme here?)

We sat down and look – a shot of Roxy and I 

Kris and Bean took the camera around while we waited for our food

We had a great lunch. Kris had salmon, I had Rasta Pasta, Roxy had quesadillas, Gillian had chicken tenders, and Kyra had clam chowder and a kids pasta.

Here’s some pics from on the way out of Rainforest – exit thru the gift shop of course with that darned snake!

Some pics for Mr. Chill Gorilla

When we left Kyra was asked to be a demo subject for a color profile at the sketch booth. The artist did a great job and Kyra bought for $10 (usually over twice that).

While we were waiting Bean got caught up in a musical groove

I had a video of it, apologies for the poor audio/video quality – it did not convert well from an old format to MP4

We walked through stores and stopped into The World of Disney

While there we picked up our AAA lanyards. We didn’t care for the logos, but they were good lanyards. And it did come with a cool Disneyland pin.

From there it was OFF TO DISNEYLAND!!!! We walked on and soon caught our fist sight of the gates!

I looked up and saw the Steam Train on the platform. This was going to be the only day the train would be running so I told the fam it would be our first ride.

I had the fam gather under the Disney Character Pumpkins at the Exit gates

Then Kris took a close-up of us

And on we went through the entrance, glancing over one more time at the character pumpkins

Then it was through the tunnel and on to Main Street USA!

There was another train there so we headed straight up the stairs and had a seat. I looked over my shoulder and caught a shot of the Orange Monorail Train zipping by beyond the entrance gates

Then we were on our way down the tracks, sighting the Mardi Gras art

Then on to New Orleans Square Station

On we went into Splash Mountain, where I caught a shot of the River Boat scene

Then past the entrance to Splash Mountain

And the trapper’s shack across the Rivers of America

Saw the deer and elk and then the Indian Chief

We pulled into Toontown Station and I snapped a shot of the water tower

Off we went again and passed by IaSW, catching a shot of the topiaries

On to the dioramas! First the Grand Canyon

Then the Dinosaurs

We finished the loop and went on to New Orleans Square, this time getting off. It was early afternoon so all of the lines were pretty long. We decided to brave the Haunted Mansion. The theming was fantastic, right from the entrance gate:

Jack was in fine form

Here’s a shot of the Mansion itself and the walk up

Loved the pet cemetary

Bean gave me a grin while Kris …well, Kris acted like Kris

Kyra was busy reading all of the tombstones

The cat one was cute

I’ve seen pumpkin patches, but the jack-o-lantern patch was much cooler

The wreaths were great

We made it inside ahead of the 45 minute wait, so that was cool. The lobby was neat and the stretching room was VERY COOL. Unfortunately none of my pics from there turned out 🙁

From there we walked past the transitioning pictures:

We jumped on our cars next to a cool pile of presents with good ole Oogie Boogie lighting our way

It wasn’t easy to capture things inside the ride, but the jack-o-lantern mountain came out pretty cool

And ole Ooogie Boogie finished the show

Outside HM the Columbia had pulled into its dock and they were taking down the flag.

Caught a group canoeing around the river

And then it was time for a crowd favorite – PoTC!!!

Well after the long wait for HM we were surprised that the wait for PoTC was only 10 minutes – score! As we were strolling in I caught a pic of the Dream Suite. Man, I’d love to be able to stay there some time 


I grabbed a shot of the rededication plaque

And then we headed up the walk and I snapped a pic of the bridge leading into Tarzan’s Treehouse

We wound past the Dream Suite elevator entrance and back towards the entrance and Roxy thought she saw someone “famous” but wasn’t sure 


We wound back and sure enough it was a Food Network celeb, Reva and her hubby Mike from Merci Beaucoup Cakes. She has been on the Amazing Wedding Cakes show among others.

Roxy was jazzed and shook their hands. We kept going and she was feeling bad that they didn’t get a pic with them. I said it was fine to stop and wait for them, so we pulled over just inside the entrance and “pounced” when they came by – great smiles all around!

They were very good sports about it and even gave the girls “I Met Reva” buttons 😀 They got on a different boat and we went our separate ways (or so we thought) 😉

Pirates was fun as usual and I always enjoy DL’s version more because of the two drops it makes at the beginning.

After we finished there we strolled through some of the gift shops and Roxy ran into Reva again. After that it was bathroom break time and Roxy ran into Reva one more time in there – lol. She was really feeling self-conscious at this point and thought that Reva may think she was stalking her 😉

We turned back into Adventureland and saw that the Indiana Jones stand-by was almost an hour. Roxy picked up FastPasses for later in the evening and we hopped on the Jungle Cruise after only a 10 minute wait. Standard fun stuff on the cruise but sorry, no pics. By this time of the evening I was really starting to feel sick and was just exhausted so I mostly forgot I even had the camera 🙁

After the Jungle Cruise the kids walked through Tarzan’s Treehouse. I wanted to but was just too tired and was ready to have an encounter with a Dole Whip to soothe my throat. By the time the kids came down you could tell that the long day was getting to them too – lots of bickering between them.

We made a beeline to the Dole Whip stand and got some other food for the kids at the stand next to the Jungle Cruise. Kris was impatient and wanted to go do rides by himself and I said no, he needed to stay with us.

Not two minutes later Roxy walked up from a food stand and he asked her if he could go ride IJ on stand-by while we did the Tiki Room. It ticked me off but I was too tired to say anything, so Roxy gave the go-ahead (she didn’t know I had already said “no”).

While waiting for the Tiki Room to start Roxy asked what was wrong and I filled her in, she was very unhappy that Kris had played her and tried to call Kris. He was already inside IJ and had no cell reception so she ended up leaving to go find him while I took the girls into the Tiki Room. I slumped in a back corner and managed to capture a couple of shots:

I tried calling Roxy when it was over, but she was inside IJ by that time so I just got voicemail. I let the girls browse the shops across from the exit of the Tiki Room and they bought a couple of pins.

After we were finished in there the kids made a pit stop and Roxy and Kris showed back up. It turned out that IJ had broken down so Kris had just been stuck in line. Roxy talked to him about the whole scenario and he apologized for asking her after me saying “no” and we called it good.

While Roxy and him were talking I took a few shots of the entrance to Adventureland. The slow shudder makes some of the guests look like ghosts

We gathered ourselves together and headed for the Matterhorn. The wait was 20 minutes but it seemed to go faster. Here’s a shot of the riders coming in to unload:

We all rode on the right side and they wanted to jump back on and do the left side. I was too wiped out so I wandered around a bit taking pics while they rode. Caught the teacups at night

And the Matterhorn:


And a couple of shots of one of the Nemo subs entering the waterfall

And looking across the lagoon

I met back up with the fam – they had a blast doing the left side and said it was more fun. We decided we were done for the night and headed for the monorail station.

As we were walking I caught a shot of the pipeline that commemorates the opening of the monorail in 1959

Up the walkway we went and while we waited I took a shot of Tomorrowland:

Then came our monorail

We had good luck and managed to get the front car. I took a couple of shots of the fam as we rode.

We got up to the room just before the fireworks. I took a shot of DTD and the park beyond

I took a BUNCH of shots of the fireworks, but I was so sick and shaky only a couple turned out

We realized that we hadn’t eaten since lunch at Rainforest other than dole whips and snacks for the kids, so we ordered in room service and grabbed showers and hit the sack.

I was feeling pretty miserable by then and Roxy gave me some cold meds and a Tylenol PM. We were all out pretty quickly.

That’s it for day one, four more days of fun to go!!!