Tina Allman -- February 2002 -- Disneyland
February 9 - 15 2002
I am the avid Disney lover and have been to DL many, many, many times. My husband only went once as a child, but since we've been together (8 years) he has gone about 5 times!!!
This was our annual vacation. We usually go somewhere in February because it's a good time for Leland to get vacation. Last year we went to Maui and as we were splashing in the ocean one day, I asked my husband what he wanted to do next year. He suggested Disneyland so Disneyland it would be!!!
About 6 months before the trip I started checking out hotels. I really wanted to stay at one of the Disney properties, but knew it just wasn't in the budget. I was looking at the Holiday Inn website and noticed they were having a special where you pay for one night you get one night free at certain hotels. I called the 800 number and the only Holiday Inn near Disneyland honoring that special was the "newest" as they called it. It was formerly the Conestoga. I was able to get 6 nights, but only had to pay for 3. I think total I paid about $300. I though that was a good deal considering when I called the Disneyland Hotel they wanted $300+ per night!!!
DAY 1 - SATURDAY February 9, 2002 - Travel and Medieval Times
We left home at about 8am and dropped the dogs off at the kennel. We got on the road at about 8:45am. We grabbed some breakfast at McDonald's and sped down I5. At about 1pm we pulled into Hamburger Hamlet in Valencia. I highly recommend this restaurant for those of you traveling down I5. You take the Magic Mountain exit and turn left to get there. The food is really good and the prices are reasonable.
We were back on the road by 2pm and we arrived at the Holiday Inn at about 3:30pm. Check in was very quick and the front desk staff was very friendly. We found our room and unpacked. The room was very nice. It wasn't fancy, but it was clean and there was plenty of space. The bathroom was nice as the toilet and shower were in a separate room from the sink. We relaxed for a few hours and then got ready for dinner.
We headed over to Medieval Times at about 6:30. We had reservations for the 8:15 show and they suggest you get there over an hour early. This is my husband's favorite place to visit. He just loves it. Every time we go to Disneyland, we go to Medieval Times. We waited in a very long line! Usually there is no line at all. This is the first time we have ever been to Medieval Times on a Saturday night. It was very busy and crowded. We probably won't do a Saturday night again!!
We went to the bar and had a drink. Then we went into the gift shop. The early show had just gotten out and it was way too crowded. Leland bought a couple of shot glasses (we collect them). Finally it was time to go in. We were seated in the red & yellow section. We were in the third row, which was great! Last year we were in the front row and it was hard to see and we got dirt on our food from the horses. Dinner was excellent as usual. They serve chicken, ribs, potato, tomato soup, garlic bread, and a pastry for desert. You also get beer or soda and you can order from the bar as well (but you pay extra for that!!). The show was great and our knight was the winner! We had a fabulous time. We got back to the hotel at about 10:30 and hit the pillow!
Day 2 - Sunday February 10th - Disneyland
The park opened at 9am and the first shuttle we could catch was at 8:35 so we went to the hotel restaurant to have a light breakfast. The shuttle didn't come until about 8:50 and then we were on our way. The first stop was the Blue Ribbon Bakery for some coffee. We downed the coffee and headed over to Adventureland. We went straight to Indian Jones and got on immediately. Next we went on Pirates. We got right on that as well. It was not crowded at all first thing in the morning. The Haunted Mansion and all of Critter Country were closed so we made our way to Frontierland. On the way we ran into Woody and Jesse so I took my picture with them. We then rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It was great! We had not been on this ride in about 4 years because it was down every time we were there. Next we went to the shooting gallery. My husband loves this! He played for a little bit and then we headed over to Tomorrowland. There was a small line for Star Tours. We waited for only about 10 minutes and then got right on. It was fun as usual! We did some shopping and then headed over to Space Mountain. It was down so we decided to hit the Matterhorn. The last two times we were in Disneyland the Matterhorn was down so we were glad to be able to finally go on it. It seemed slower than I remembered it, but it was still fun. We then went on Small World.
We were getting hungry so we decided to try Pizza Port since we had never eaten there. Leland got a piece of Hawaiian pizza and I got the chicken fusili pasta. It was really good! It was also really big and I only ate about half of it. Next time we are going to share it! We wanted to try again to get on Space Mountain so we got in line. Right as we got near the end of the line, it broke down again! It looked as though we would never make it on this ride!! Next we went to the Starcade for about an hour. My husband is a video game freak so I left him there and went back in to the Star Traders to do some more shopping. I joined him in the arcade a while later and played several rounds of pinball, which is about the only video game I can understand!!! After playing video games for quite a while we went back over to Adventureland for another ride on Indiana Jones. It was about 3pm and the park still wasn't crowded. We only waited about 15 minutes for Indy. We went on Pirates again and then did a little shopping on Main Street. I wanted to see the Parade of the Stars so we found a seat on Main Street at about 4 and waited for the parade to begin at 4:45. It was a really cute parade. It was funny to see real people participating in the performance. After the parade we walked through the castle into Fantasyland. My husband was disappointed that the Villains shop was not opened. I dragged him on Pinocchio's Daring Journey. We hadn't been on a kiddy ride for a long time so it was kind of fun. Fantasyland was undergoing some major rehabs so it was kind of hard to get around there. We walked through it and went on Small World again. After we took a little rest break and sat down for a bit near the Matterhorn. We sat right by the cart that sells turkey legs. My husband really wanted one, but we were planning on dinner at Rancho Del Zocal so he didn't want to spoil his appetite. We got something to drink and just people watched for a while.
We walked back through Fantasyland and went to Frontierland. Leland played the shooting gallery again and then we went to eat dinner. We really liked this place. We both had the steak tostada salad and we thought it was very good. We took our time and talked and enjoyed the evening. After dinner we decided to try once again to get on Space Mountain. The wait was over an hour so we nixed that idea. We caught the train instead and rode all the way around the park. It was cool to just sit, relax, and take in the whole park. After going all the way around, we got off on Main Street and headed back to catch the shuttle. We had perfect timing. About one minute after we got to the waiting area our shuttle showed up. We went back to the hotel and watched the Olympics and went to sleep. We were both pretty tired!!
DAY 2 - Monday February 11th - Universal Studios
When we planned this vacation to the LA area, I knew I couldn't get Lee to spend more than 3 days at Disneyland so I gave him the choice of another theme park to visit. He chose Universal since it had been about 5 years since we had last been there. The park opened at 10 and we knew that Monday morning LA traffic would be terrible so we left at about 8:15. It took us over 2 hours to get to Studio City! The lines to buy tickets were very long, so we picked the shortest one we could find. After waiting for about 5 minutes they opened up an area with electronic ticket purchasing available. I practically ran over there to buy the tickets. The machines are like ATM's. You slide your credit card through and tell the machine how many tickets you want and then it spits them out. It was very easy and convenient and we had our tickets very quickly. Our first stop was someplace where we could have breakfast. Right in side the entrance was a restaurant selling breakfast so we ate there. We sat outside to eat and as we were eating I noticed that my husband had this huge grin on his face. I looked behind me and there was Charlie Chaplin! He was watching me eat. He wouldn't leave and it was making me self conscience about eating!! He finally left and made his way around to other tables. It was funny!!
The first attraction we wanted to visit was Terminator 2. As we made our way to that area of the park we saw Shrek. I just love Shrek so we took our picture with him! Then we saw the car from the Blues Brothers so I took my husband's picture with that. T2 wasn't starting for about a half an hour so we walked around a little bit. We got in line about 10 minutes before showtime. The show was great! We really enjoyed it. The show lets out into a gift shop so I left my husband in there and went to check out the Coca Cola splash area. It was pretty warm and already lots of kids were playing in the water. It was fun to watch them! My husband finally made it out of the gift shop (without buying anything! I don't understand how he can spend over a half an hour in a gift shop and not buy anything!!) And we made our way over to the Animal Planet show. It was funny. It amazes me the way they can train these animals!! As we were walking to the next attraction, I noticed that they sold turkey legs at this Bedrock themed food stand. Since Leland had been talking about the turkey leg ever since he saw them in Disneyland, he decided to get one. He really enjoyed it! I had some ice cream since it was getting hotter and hotter by the minute!! We next went down the huge escalators and made our way over to Jurassic Park. What a fun ride. It was also nice to get wet and cool off a little bit. After that we went to see Backdraft. I just love that attraction! There is an arcade in that area so of course Leland had to play for a bit. I waited outside and people watched. ET wasn't working so we went back up to catch the Studio Tour. The line was so long. We waited for about a half an hour, but finally got going. There was a lot of filming going on since it was a Monday. The X Files was taping something in the Amittyville area and several commercials were being taped in the back lot area. The tour was pretty cool. When were done we walked down the main street and hit a few shops. We waited forever to pick up the Shrek picture. Could those people be any slower???? We really wanted to see Waterworld and thought we missed the last performance, but at the last minute they added a show and we were able to see it. It's a really good show. After that we went through the Mummy Returns exhibit. That was a lot of fun. It's like walking through a maze and there are times when it is completely dark and you have to find your way out of a room. We had a lot of fun in there! We did a little bit more shopping then went over to the Citywalk. We browsed the shops and looked at all of the menus to see what we wanted for dinner. We ended up at the Hard Rock Café and had a great dinner. After dinner we shopped a little bit more and then headed back to Anaheim. It only took us 45 minutes to get back. We again watched some of the Olympics and then hit the hay!
DAY 3 - Tuesday February 12 - Disney's California Adventure
The park did not open until 10am so we slept in, which is a treat for us. We caught the shuttle at 9:35 and we were on our way. This would be Leland's first time at DCA and my 2nd. I was looking forward to his reaction to the park. We desperately wanted coffee, but the bakery was not open when we first arrived so we got in line for Soaring'. What a great ride! Lee loved it about as much as I did. We went back to the bakery and it was open! We got coffee and a cinnamon roll. It was delicious. We were going to go to the Hollywood section first, but it was roped off. We headed down the middle of the park towards the Bountiful Farm area. We saw It's Tough to be a Bug. It is such a cute show. On the way out we ran into Flik and Princess Atta so I took my picture with them. We checked out the Bay Area for a quick minute (since we are from the Bay Area, Lee was not really interested in spending too much time there) and then we walked over to Paradise Pier. This is my favorite part of the park. I just love how it is designed. We rode Screaming first. The line was very short; I think we only waited about 5 minutes. This is my favorite ride next to Soaring'. Leland really liked it too. We walked along the boardwalk and played a few games and went into some of the shops. We did not ride the Ferris wheel. Lee said it makes him nervous to ride a Ferris wheel. He went on Mali-Boomer and really liked it. I waited for him near the exit. That's just not my type of ride. We were getting hungry and were going to eat at McDonald's when Leland saw the Corn Dog Castle. That was it! He loves corn dogs so we had to eat there. I got a regular corn dog and he got a spicy polish corn dog. They were huge and greasy! It was pretty good, but after I ate it I felt kind of sick because of all the grease. We kept walking and went in to see the California Dreams movie narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. It was a really nice little movie. After that we hit the ATM for some more cash and headed over to Grizzly River Rapids. It was very warm (over 80) so we were excited to ride this! We got soaked and we loved it. We were in a raft with a lady from England who was not happy to be on that ride at all. Her son talked her into it and she was not a happy camper. It was fun though seeing her expressions as the ride went on!!!
After the rapids we walked over to the Hollywood Backlot. Lee saw the sign for smoothies and since it was so hot we thought that would be refreshing, but like a lot of stuff in DCA is was closed! We were bummed. We went in to see Muppets 3D, which was cute and then headed over to the Animation Building. I love this attraction! The movie on Walt Disney's life was great! It was fun seeing which characters we were like. I was Belle and Leland was Jafar. We had fun checking out that building. After that we went over to Millionaire and got right in. It was fun. The first contestant was an 11 year old little boy who did very well! We enjoyed that a lot. After that we got a drink and sat for a few minutes. I just love to people watch! We did a little bit of shopping then decided to head into Downtown Disney for the rest of the evening.
We went through the World of Disney and spent lots of money! We checked out all the little shops while deciding what we wanted to do for dinner. We were going to try the House of Blues, but the menu didn't look that great so we ended up at the Rainforest Café. We both really like the food there so that's where we went. I ordered chicken fried chicken and Lee had the pot roast. Everything was delicious. Lee is a big fan of deserts so we ordered the Volcano. First of all it was huge! I couldn't believe he actually ordered it. It was brownies, ice cream, hot fudge, etc... It was delicious, but expensive. It was $11.95!! My meal wasn't even that much! Oh well, it was vacation after all. After dinner we walked back through Downtown Disney and hit a few more shops. I bought a Carmel apple for later and we walked back to meet the shuttle. Once again we got there just at the right time. When we got back to the hotel we watched the Olympics (again) and then went to sleep!
DAY 4 - Wednesday February 13th - Relaxing day
Today we decided to just take it easy and relax. Normally when we come to Anaheim we are always on the go and then when we get home we are exhausted. This time we decided to take one day and just do whatever and relax. We slept in until about 10. This is amazing as at home Lee is out the door by 5:30am and I leave at 6am. We decided we wanted to see a movie. The guy at the front desk of the hotel was very helpful. He gave me directions to a huge mall called The Block at Orange which had restaurants, shops, and a huge movie theater. It was only like 5 minutes away from the hotel. We ate lunch at TGI Friday's. It was ok, but kind of expensive for the amount of food you got. We then went over to the theater to decide on a movie. We ended up seeing Ocean's 11, which was very good! It was strange being at a movie in the middle of the day. There were only about 4 other people in there with us. After the movie we had to go to the arcade (once again) so that my little boy, I mean husband could play more video games. He had a blast and since it was his vacation too I did not complain (too much). There was a Krispy Kreme right near the mall so we drove through and got some donuts to take back with us.
When we got back to the hotel we rested for a bit and then went swimming. We were the only people at the pool. It was great! We swam for quite a while then went into the hot tub and just relaxed for like an hour. It was heaven. Once we got back to the room, we were so well rested that we didn't want to change and go out for dinner. We ended up ordering pizza and having it delivered to our room. We just watched TV and relaxed for the rest of the evening.
DAY 5 - Thursday February 14th - Valentine's Day at Disneyland
This would be our last day at the park. We went in right when it opened at 9 and headed straight for the Blue Ribbon Bakery for coffee. We pretty much retraced our steps from the first day. We hit Indy first, then Pirates, and then the Haunted Mansion, which had just re-opened that day. We walked around New Orleans Square for a bit and then headed over to Tomorrowland. We rode Star Tours and finally made it on Space Mountain. We both just love that ride! I shopped and Leland played video games again! We were going to ride Autopia, but the line was so long! We went on Small World (which I couldn't believe my husband agreed to go on again!!!). Next we made our way through Fantasyland and for the first time ever in our relationship (5 trips to Disneyland), I convinced my husband to ride the tea cups with me! It was so much fun! I have always gone on that ride myself and it was neat to finally ride it with him. He had a blast spinning the cup! I also talked him into Snow White's Scary Adventure. This was so cool. We were like little kids! We had a 12:30 reservation for Blue Bayou so we headed over to NOS. I couldn't think of a more romantic place to spend Valentine's Day than the Blue Bayou. It was very busy, but we were able to get a seat by the water. The food was delicious as usual. I had the pork loin and Leland had the Monte Cristo. It was great!
After lunch we went on Pirates and the Haunted Mansion again and then got on the train. We rode the train to Toontown and then checked that out. We walked over to Fantasyland and rode the Matterhorn. Next we got something to drink and sat and people watched for a little bit. We rode Space Mountain and Star Tours again and then decided we were tired and that we should go back. It was about 6 and we headed down Main Street, stopping in almost every shop so that I could spend even more money. We also went to see the Lincoln show as I had heard it was new. It was fantastic! I was so glad we decided to stay and see it. We walked back to our shuttle stop and we were back at the hotel by about 7. We went swimming again and then my husband went to McDonald's to get some dinner. What a great Valentine's Day dinner huh? It was fun though. We had spent a lot on our Blue Bayou lunch so we thought that McDonald's would be just fine! We watched more Olympics and then went to bed.
DAY 6 - Friday February 15th - HOME
Leland wanted to get on the rode very early so we could get home at a decent time so he woke me up at 4 and we were on the road at 5am. There was no traffic and we made it home by 11am.
This was a fun, relaxed vacation for us. It was nice to take the one day off from amusement parks and just kind of refuel. Spending Valentine's Day at Disneyland was great! My favorite place in the world with my favorite guy in the world on the most romantic day of the year! It was so much fun!!