Mr., I'll Make a Fan Out of You, June 2017- WDW Lovers Take on Disneyland and the West! (UDx3 1/16)

Khokhonutt

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
I'm enjoying getting to see other WDW vets' take on DLR as well! However, I know we have a bit of a difference from reading your report, in that we're those WDW people who really like FP+. I didn't think we would when it first came out, but we've really taken to it. I'm sure that impacted the way in which we experienced DLR. Thanks for joining in!
I know we'll have to deal with FP+ at some point. I want to see Pandora and we love EPCOT. I've heard others say it's a matter of perspective. I guess we'll at some point.
 

Jfsag123

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Great trip! I laughed at the butt seats. I've got a picture of me in one.

This is in Deadwood, SD. I rode my motorcycle out there for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally last year.


Still not pulling off demure... :)
Absolutely perfect! :rotfl:

I know we'll have to deal with FP+ at some point. I want to see Pandora and we love EPCOT. I've heard others say it's a matter of perspective. I guess we'll at some point.
I would agree with that. For me it's kind of quantity/quality - we use more FP with the old system, but we're mostly just grabbing what's nearby and doesn't cause a conflict. With FP+ we'll use fewer, but I know they're exactly what I want when I want. Knowing that allows us to feel freer to go with the flow for the rest of the day because we know we'll get to see the main things we want to see. And we still grab plenty of extras after using the first 3.

Right there with you in the EPCOT love. It's my favorite park.
 

ErinF

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Those butts are seats. Niiiice.
I took this one because I’m immature:
I seriously laughed out loud at both of those pictures!!! :rotfl2:

And for the deer picture, it took me awhile, but I finally found it! :cool1:

Those bats give me the willies a bit, and I'm not sure which is more creepy, seeing them all fly out or seeing where they were all sleeping during the day. It's really cool that y'all got to do that though. You guys did some neat things on your road trip!
 
  • Disney Khaleesi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2014
    I'm usually a lurker, but I loved your last TR and my dad and I did a similar roadtrip out west a couple years back, so I'm super excited to read about all the different adventures your family has out there!
     

    soniam

    Wooden leg named Smith...
    Joined
    Jun 22, 2012
    Finally caught up! I was just thinking about you when you posted the link. I kept thinking, "how did I miss her WDW report?" Well, now I know how:) Disneyland is very awesome. I'm a bit jealous of the drive out there. I remember that little town outside Carlsbad Caverns. That had to be the place where we stopped. My uncle was living in Midland for a while when I was a kid. One visit we drove to Carlsbad Caverns. They didn't have an elevator then. I don't remember the walk down being bad, but kids never remember pain, just agony:) We didn't stay the night, so we only got to smell the bats:rotfl2: However, we have about a million, really, bats that live under a bridge in downtown Austin. I have seen them fly out at night. It's very amazing. The trip looks like a blast. I love the old hokey tourist traps and small parks.
     

    Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    Sorry for the delayed responses! I've been out of town this week, as I will be most every week for the next year. For those who may not know, I'm in my last year of a psychology Ph.D. program and am required to complete a full-time internship as the last thing. Mine is in Austin, TX and I live in Dallas, so I'll be going back and forth each week/weekend. Not the best, but we're making it work! Our reward to ourselves for making it through is a trip back to WDW we're planning for next July.

    Anyway, I worked on updates, but didn't get them posted. Lots coming today!

    I seriously laughed out loud at both of those pictures!!! :rotfl2:
    Glad to see my sense of humor may be appreciated here. ;)

    And for the deer picture, it took me awhile, but I finally found it! :cool1:
    Good for you! I took the picture and still couldn't find it without zooming in massively on my computer.

    Those bats give me the willies a bit, and I'm not sure which is more creepy, seeing them all fly out or seeing where they were all sleeping during the day. It's really cool that y'all got to do that though. You guys did some neat things on your road trip!
    So so creepy! But apparently I'm the only one in my family who thought so.

    What a great start to your trip. I am looking forward to reading more.
    Thank you!

    I'm usually a lurker, but I loved your last TR and my dad and I did a similar roadtrip out west a couple years back, so I'm super excited to read about all the different adventures your family has out there!
    Glad you came out of lurkdom! Thanks for the kind words about my last report. Would love to hear more of your thoughts about places along the way! This stuff was all new to me.

    Finally caught up! I was just thinking about you when you posted the link. I kept thinking, "how did I miss her WDW report?" Well, now I know how:) Disneyland is very awesome.
    Ha! Yes, I temporarily defected.

    I'm a bit jealous of the drive out there. I remember that little town outside Carlsbad Caverns. That had to be the place where we stopped. My uncle was living in Midland for a while when I was a kid. One visit we drove to Carlsbad Caverns. They didn't have an elevator then. I don't remember the walk down being bad, but kids never remember pain, just agony:)
    Lol! Well Alex can also be a bit dramatic. I loved the walk as we were doing it, but definitely felt it in my calves later. Glad to see someone else that can confirm the existence of Whites City! No one ever knows what we're talking about when we tell them about it.
    We didn't stay the night, so we only got to smell the bats:rotfl2:
    Whoo boy that smell sticks with you! The ranger told us that it's actually the birds that make the smell and not the bats like we thought, but I'm still suspicious of the bats. :laughing:

    However, we have about a million, really, bats that live under a bridge in downtown Austin. I have seen them fly out at night. It's very amazing. The trip looks like a blast. I love the old hokey tourist traps and small parks.
    Yes! As I mentioned earlier, I'm semi-living in Austin for the next year and one of the first things people recommended doing was going to see the bats fly from under the bridge. I was like "hard pass on that one, thanks!" Not ready for that experience again yet. :rotfl:
     
  • Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    Day 3, June 16: Arizona Sonora Desert Museum/Musical Instrument Museum

    We spent this day museum hopping in Tucson and Phoenix. We started out at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson. It’s like a hybrid zoo/museum/hiking park. The bulk of it is outdoors and it has animal, plant, and geographic exhibits relevant to the desert. It was hot, but we had a great time.



    Some pictures from the park:














    This is another picture I took because I’m immature…



    These are from the vulture exhibit. DH all of a sudden became super interested in vultures and had to spend a decent amount of time watching them and reading about them. The fascination ended as abruptly as it began. ???





    Next we checked out the geology exhibit. This is the kids touching a rock that’s supposed to be super old. I forget how old because I suck.







    They also had a cave/bat exhibit, which was cool for us since we’d just done the Carlsbad stuff.









    They also had a notebook in which they asked guests to write or draw something about the bat cave exhibit. Cora said she was going to draw a comic, which surprised me. Here she is with it:



    And here’s what she drew:



    If you can’t tell, it’s a bat looking into the cave saying “Hmm, interesting,” and a guy responding “You know that’s your habitat, right?”

    Getting some info about fossils from a docent:



    I enjoyed this sign from the bee exhibit:



    After a whirlwind morning at the Desert Museum, we took off for Phoenix and our next destination – the Musical Instrument Museum. While DH works as a speech-language pathologist, his bachelor’s degree is in music performance and he is still heavily involved in music, so we knew we had to stop here.



    I had looked at their activities online and saw that they’d be doing a class on the Blues for elementary school-aged children the day we were there, so I had signed the kids up in advance. They started out by making a jug band, which DH was recruited to join.



    They did a little lesson on the history of the musical style, then walked the kids to some exhibits in the museum that demonstrated what they were talking about, then finished up by allowing the kids to make an instrument of their own – diddley bows! Confession: I had never heard of these before this day. DH does not know this…







    The kids insisted on wearing their junior ranger vests here even though this in no way resembled a national park.

    The museum has exhibit galleries from all over the world sorted by region. They give you headsets to wear and when you walk close to an exhibit, they automatically start picking up the sound from the monitor there. We could have spent way more time than we had here. Some pics from the galleries:











    Ella Fitzgerald’s music:



    I am a bit of a Beatles fan (understatement of the year), so I loved seeing this;



    Cora stayed at the Beatles area for a loooong time.



    I finally got her to move. Then she found this:



    Of course, she parked it again for quite some time. Alex liked the Johnny Cash display.



    I have about 30 billion more pictures from this place, but I will spare you. All I can say is that if you have even the most remote interest in music and have a chance to visit, do it!

    We headed out at closing time, had dinner at the Outback Steakhouse around the corner from our hotel, and had a restful evening. Next day – California!
     

    Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    Days 4 & 5, June 17 & 18: Joshua Tree/California!

    It finally came – the day we would actually hit California! We set out early and were shortly celebrating as we crossed the border. Woohoo! Lots of California music played and there was much rejoicing. We had one more planned stop before arriving at DMIL’s house in Southern California.

    This was the sign that greeted us as we arrived at Joshua Tree National Park:



    Not exactly encouraging, right?

    The kids, of course, wanted to earn junior ranger badges here as well, so we started at the visitor’s center to grab booklets and maps. Yes, once again we were planning to hike in 100+ degree heat. What can I say, we’re crazy. But also well-prepared with snacks, water, and supplies.





    I enjoyed the answers people had provided to this question:



    The park itself was beautiful.















    We got back on the road, new junior ranger badges in hand, and finally arrived at our destination. Cora was thrilled to see her grandma’s dog.



    I was thrilled because DMIL makes a good drink and was very generous in providing them. ;)



    Day 5 – June 18

    Happy Father’s Day! We still had one more day before hitting Disneyland, as we planned to spend this day just hanging out with DMIL and DSFIL (step-father in law). However, we had to have a little Disney in our day so first up was seeing Cars 3!



    I liked it a lot, though not as much as the first Cars. I’ve never even watched the second one. The kids LOVED it.

    We also spent some time at Huntington Beach. We were greeted by the Jesus signs pretty much everywhere we went in Southern California. I didn’t know that was a thing there, but apparently it is. Or maybe it was just for us. ;)









    The kids had never been to the beach before, so they loved it. I lived in Virginia Beach, VA, for 5 years and don’t enjoy the sandiness, so not so much for me, but I loved seeing how much they loved it.

    We had a snack here:



    Then we headed back to DMIL’s house and had a cookout for dinner, which was great. On tap for the next day – Disneyland!
     

    Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    Day 6, June 19, part 1: Disneyland Resort!

    We finally made it! Those of you who read my previous report know that we have a bit of a thing with Disney costumes. For those who have not, here are a few pics to demonstrate what I’m talking about:











    DMIL is a seamstress and also a Disney fan, so she makes costumes for the kids, which the kids love wearing to the parks. We didn’t pull out as many on this trip as we usually do because it just wasn’t feasible, and most of what they did wear those of you who have seen my past report will be familiar with, as we only pulled out one new set this time. The kids are typically able to wear them for a few years before outgrowing them because DMIL can alter them, which is great.

    We were staying at the Hojo for the first 3 nights before moving for the final night. We wanted to be there for rope drop, but I was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to park at the hotel that early. I was very pleasantly surprised that the Hojo came through! They went ahead and gave me my decal and told me if I could find a spot, I could park, which I did.



    We walked down Harbor ready to go to the parks for the first time.



    As you can probably tell, this morning’s costumes were Belle and Beast.

    This was the mass of humanity we entered with:



    The security lines were loooooooooong. We settled in, anticipating a decent wait and missing the beginning of the first hour. However, a cast member walked by, spotted the kids and said “awesome costumes; follow me.” He then led us up to the front, where he opened a new security line and processed us first. Pixie dust before we even entered the park! DMIL was floored. She’s never actually gotten to visit a park with us with the kids in her costumes and I loved seeing her get to see how much magic it adds to our experience.

    We made it!



    If we were at WDW, we would have booked it to our first attraction like the commando vets we are. However, this was DLR and we were tourists, so first stop? Main Street pictures!





    Ok, WDW person truth time: the castle is small. Shocking right? I know everyone says this, but it’s hard to grasp the difference without seeing it. I’m used to the castle being a focal point in our Main Street pictures and you can barely see it peeking out over our heads in these. But you know what? I stopped caring almost immediately. I was surprised by how quickly I adjusted and came to really love the DL castle in its own right.

    Something else I loved? The DLR photopass photographers. They were so great! After taking our family pictures, the CM took a bunch of pictures of the kids and took a lot of time posing them. Here are a few of the shots we got at this point:







    After making our way up Main Street the first thing we did was grab fast passes for the Matterhorn.



    Then we headed over to it’s a small world. A non-traditional first ride for us, but it’s classic Disney and the kids really wanted to see the Disney characters that are in the ride in the DL version. I wanted to see the iconic exterior. My first Disney parks memory is seeing Disneyland’s it’s a small world façade as a 5 year old and being blown away.



    There was, of course, no one in line, so we walked right on and had a boat to ourselves.

    I liked the topiaries around the outside.



    And the post cards at the end.



    The kids had a blast yelling and pointing each time they spotted a familiar character and I didn’t have to worry about them being disruptive since we were alone.

    Next we just kind of had ride-palooza, which I found was a theme for DLR. Everything’s so close together you can knock a bunch out in a short period of time. We rode Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad, Snow White, and Pinocchio in rapid succession.



    Star Wars Land construction crane looming in the background:



    Just as our Matterhorn FP was coming due, Peter Pan emerged from somewhere and the kids wanted to see him, so I volunteered to run over to Space Mountain and grab fastpasses for all of us while DH and his mom dealt with the Peter Pan stuff. It was at this moment I realized just how much I had not missed being a fastpass runner. It was a short few moments later when I realized I had no idea where the fastpass machines for Space were. WDW person tip: Not that it matters much anymore with MaxPass, but they’re in the building all the way up by where you enter the line.

    Next we actually rode Matterhorn. It’s one of DMIL’s favorites. She is a native Californian and a DL vet from way back. DH and I both loved it and Cora REALLY loved it. Alex hated it. A lot. Said he was not riding it again for the rest of the trip. Spoiler alert: this would prove to be false.

    We decided to take a break and enjoy some of the atmosphere in the castle area while also stopping for a DL staple – churros!

    The kids look drunk because it’s sunny



    View of the castle standing right in front of it.



    Next we saw the Beauty and the Beast show at the Royal Theater. It was cute and funny and they let the kids sit right down front. While we were waiting for the show to start, Gaston walked by the tent, spotted Alex, and called out a challenge to “Little Beast!”

    After the show, we ran into another photopass CM who offered to take posed pics of the kids. She directed their moods in the shots lol





    It was getting hot, so it was time to change out of the costumes, though the kids fought me on that. Next up – a brief foray into Adventureland!
     

    soniam

    Wooden leg named Smith...
    Joined
    Jun 22, 2012
    Yes! As I mentioned earlier, I'm semi-living in Austin for the next year and one of the first things people recommended doing was going to see the bats fly from under the bridge. I was like "hard pass on that one, thanks!" Not ready for that experience again yet. :rotfl:
    If you want to meet up sometime while you are in Austin, PM me. We will be gone 7/27-8/13 (Orlando/cruise). However, we are usually around.
     
  • ErinF

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2016
    This is another picture I took because I’m immature…
    And I totally laughed out loud again because I am immature as well!

    They did a little lesson on the history of the musical style, then walked the kids to some exhibits in the museum that demonstrated what they were talking about, then finished up by allowing the kids to make an instrument of their own – diddley bows! Confession: I had never heard of these before this day. DH does not know this…
    Never heard of diddley bows either!! But that is so cool that they got to do that lesson.

    The kids insisted on wearing their junior ranger vests here even though this in no way resembled a national park.
    Your kids look so cute in their ranger vests, love it!

    I liked it a lot, though not as much as the first Cars. I’ve never even watched the second one. The kids LOVED it.
    Our whole family loved Cars 3. We saw it that opening weekend as well just days before we left for our trip. I just read on my Twitter feed that it is one of the lowest performing Pixar movies to date. That makes me so sad!

    We were staying at the Hojo for the first 3 nights before moving for the final night. We wanted to be there for rope drop, but I was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to park at the hotel that early. I was very pleasantly surprised that the Hojo came through! They went ahead and gave me my decal and told me if I could find a spot, I could park, which I did.
    Glad the Hojo came through for you! Did you all like staying there? It was our 2nd stay there and it remains well-liked by my entire family. When we checked in, I noticed a car with a TX license plate and wondered if it might belong to y'all since I knew you'd still be there that night.

    Pixie dust before we even entered the park! DMIL was floored. She’s never actually gotten to visit a park with us with the kids in her costumes and I loved seeing her get to see how much magic it adds to our experience.
    That is so great that she not only got to see them in their costumes, but she got to see them receive pixie dust b/c of them! Your first day sounds like it got off to a great start, can't wait to read more. :-)
     

    TEAMJACOB

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2010
    Your DMIL does a fantastic job! It is wonderful to see your son and daughter enjoy the outfits and each other.
     

    Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    And I totally laughed out loud again because I am immature as well!
    I appreciate the validation! :laughing:


    Never heard of diddley bows either!! But that is so cool that they got to do that lesson.
    They really loved it and I'm glad we did it. I wish they had something like it in DFW!


    Your kids look so cute in their ranger vests, love it!
    Thank you! It became an unexpected thing of the trip.

    Our whole family loved Cars 3. We saw it that opening weekend as well just days before we left for our trip. I just read on my Twitter feed that it is one of the lowest performing Pixar movies to date. That makes me so sad!
    Aw, that is sad! We became instant fans of Cruz. The kids love to randomly burst into "now reach for your lunch, now reach for your lunch!"


    Glad the Hojo came through for you! Did you all like staying there? It was our 2nd stay there and it remains well-liked by my entire family. When we checked in, I noticed a car with a TX license plate and wondered if it might belong to y'all since I knew you'd still be there that night.
    We did! The walk wasn't always the funniest at the end of the night, but I'd definitely stay there again. That may have been us! We were parked in the area seen in my pic above for the first couple of days, then moved to a space closer to the lobby on the 3rd day, as we were in building 1. I drive a black Camry. ;)

    That is so great that she not only got to see them in their costumes, but she got to see them receive pixie dust b/c of them! Your first day sounds like it got off to a great start, can't wait to read more. :-)
    It did! I likely won't get an update up until the weekend because of my new job, but I feel like I need to get moving with this thing!
     

    Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    Wow...that's awesome how your kids dressed up like the characters. Love that! Must have added to the excitement!
    It really does! Our first trip we didn't have any of the costumes, but for the 3 since it has always really added to the experience. We're very lucky!

    The costumes as always are amazing!
    Thank you! :)

    Your DMIL does a fantastic job! It is wonderful to see your son and daughter enjoy the outfits and each other.
    She really does! And the costumes are like magic for stopping the kids from randomly fighting with each other for no reason. They like to stay in character so it makes our lives a lot easier lol
     

    mnmrmustard

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 21, 2007
    Huzzah for a good road trip! Brave souls tackling the sand dunes in triple digits, but I can see how you were ready for it doing the daytime hiking to prep. I was stationed at Ft. Hood for 18 months and remember that particular flavor of heat and humidity to this day :scared:

    Love the kitschy stopovers and the bat flight sounded epic! And cool that your kiddos got into the Junior Ranger program, my kids enjoyed that very much when they were younger, the vests were a great bonus – awesome! Carlsbad looked amazing, thank you for all the great pics!

    Yay for stopping in Tucson, that was my old stomping ground when I was a kid and remember the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum well, we used to take field trips there! The bat ears and vulture wings are new, very cool. And nice musical interlude! Speaking of music, great that you had themed music set for different parts of your journey.

    Joshua tree looked beautiful. Yay for making it to your destination and giving your kiddos some beach time. I agree about the whole sandiness thing.

    AMAZING COSTUMES!!! And yay for them getting you to the front of the security line!!! I’m sure DMIL was proud :goodvibes

    Huzzah for your own boat for IASW and knocking out so many iconic Fantasyland rides in quick succession. I agree with your DD about Matterhorn …but still end up riding it again and again. Those costumes really pay off as far as interactions, I liked Gaston challenging DS and the posed pics!

    Can’t wait for more, great TR so far! :thumbsup2
     

    Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    Huzzah for a good road trip! Brave souls tackling the sand dunes in triple digits, but I can see how you were ready for it doing the daytime hiking to prep. I was stationed at Ft. Hood for 18 months and remember that particular flavor of heat and humidity to this day :scared:
    Ha! Yes, we will definitely remember the heat as part of our memories of the trip. It's seared in there, pun intended ;)

    Love the kitschy stopovers and the bat flight sounded epic! And cool that your kiddos got into the Junior Ranger program, my kids enjoyed that very much when they were younger, the vests were a great bonus – awesome! Carlsbad looked amazing, thank you for all the great pics!
    You're welcome, glad you enjoyed them! I really didn't expect to enjoy that part of our trip as much as I did, but it turned out to be wonderful.

    Yay for stopping in Tucson, that was my old stomping ground when I was a kid and remember the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum well, we used to take field trips there! The bat ears and vulture wings are new, very cool. And nice musical interlude! Speaking of music, great that you had themed music set for different parts of your journey.
    I actually had no idea that I had been to the Desert Museum myself as a kid. My mom took me to Tucson when I was 5 and I was telling her about where we had gone and she informed me that the memories I have of Tucson of a kid were at the Desert museum - such a great place!

    The themed music really was great. We now have songs we will associate with this trip forever. The music would play a much bigger role once we got to the Route 66 portion of our trip.

    Joshua tree looked beautiful. Yay for making it to your destination and giving your kiddos some beach time. I agree about the whole sandiness thing.
    Thank you! I usually get pushback when I express my distaste for sandy beachiness lol.

    AMAZING COSTUMES!!! And yay for them getting you to the front of the security line!!! I’m sure DMIL was proud :goodvibes
    She was so proud! And bonus for us: motivated to make more! :)

    Huzzah for your own boat for IASW and knocking out so many iconic Fantasyland rides in quick succession. I agree with your DD about Matterhorn …but still end up riding it again and again. Those costumes really pay off as far as interactions, I liked Gaston challenging DS and the posed pics!
    I was shocked by how much we got done in such a short amount of time! That is definitely a DLR thing.

    Can’t wait for more, great TR so far! :thumbsup2
    Thank you!
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates

    DIS INSTAGRAM

    Top