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Tami Olson -- September 2004 -- Disneyland (Offsite)


Cast:

  • Bobby Olson, My Husband – Disneyland Veteran
  • Tami Olson, Me – Disneyland Veteran
  • Brice Olson, Our Son – 2 years – 5th Disneyland Trip
  • Megan Olson, Our Daughter – 6 months – 2nd Disneyland Trip

We had sort of been planning a Christmas Trip to Disneyland, but decided that we didn't want to wait that long, so 2 ½ weeks before, we decided to go! We bought Annual Passes, so hopefully we will be able to go again at Christmas. I (Tami) am eating Low Carb, so this may be a helpful plan for others to consider for their vacation, since Disneyland has few really Low Carb options.

Friday - September 17, 2004
We got up at 5:00 am to begin the drive from Tucson to Anaheim. We were on our way by 6:30, drove by Bobby's brothers house to borrow his TV/VCR that has a car power adapter and were on the freeway by 7:00 am. Stopped in Phoenix for breakfast at Carl's Jr. (Low Carb Breakfast Bowl is great!!) and ran into morning traffic. We started a Tele Tubby movie for Brice in Phoenix, a Barney after that was over. Then he took a nap the rest of the way to Anaheim!!! This is amazing considering what the drive has been like before, he's been cranky & we've had to stop often to let him get out and calm all of us down – the TV was amazing. We arrived at our hotel at about 2:30.

(Here's a tip for anyone driving in from the Phoenix area – every time we've gone we take I 10 to 60 to 91 down to Anaheim. But we always get stuck for almost an hour just trying to change from the 60 to the 91. I looked at the map this time and noticed that if you take the 10 to 91 & don't take the shortcut on 60, it's only 3 miles longer, and no huge wait to merge onto 91!! Saved us a lot of time)

We checked into our hotel (which was doing construction of course, the last three hotels we have stayed at have all had construction. I guess that's good since the area is getting renovated), hauled al our luggage up to the room and organized enough to get packed to go to Disneyland. We were on our way by 3:30. We bought Annual Passes (AP) from a wonderful Cast Member named Cathy. She called me Alice because of the shirt I was wearing, talked to the kids and gave Brice a sticker. After entering Disneyland, we went straight to get our pictures put on the AP – not too bad of a wait. Then we headed over to Fantasyland. Dumbo wasn't a long wait (it rarely was all weekend), so Brice & I went on (Bobby gets a little sick on these types of rides). Then we headed over to Redd Rocket's Pizza Port – I wasn't hungry, so Bobby got a piece of pizza & I got a Coke for $8!! It always surprises me the first day or so at the prices. On our way out we stopped at the marble ball covered in water – Brice loved it. We were on our way to Bobby's favorite ride Pirates of the Caribbean (by the end of the trip it was also Brice's favorite – he's been asking to go on Pirate's since we've been home.) After looking the Pirate shop, Pieces of Eight, we headed up to the Gallery – it had the same old display of the Haunted Mansion with some movie props – cool the first time, but we didn't stay long. We headed back over to Fantasyland and rode the Carousel, Snow White & Pinocchio, and then the Carousel again! We wandered back to Toon Town were Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin was too long of a line. We played with some of the stuff in Toon Town, looked through the Gag Factory store and then Brice & I went on Gadget's Go Coaster. The height requirement is 35” & Brice is 36”. He was excited in line and didn't actually seem scared on the ride, but his body was tense the entire time. (Brice is also tall enough to go on Matterhorn, even though it's down for repairs again – that really surprised me). Now I'm hungry, so we decide to get dinner, again, and head over to the Stage Door Café in Fronteirland – Bobby's favorite restaurant. We ordered 2 Hot Dogs without the fries ($1 off the price), and a double cheeseburger without the bun for me - $19 with drinks. After we were done eating, we headed over to Jungle Cruise since we like going on it at nighttime – we had a pretty funny cast member. He was an older balding man – I have only seen college age kids working on this ride before. We were tired by now & really hanging around just to see the Fireworks (or Fire Booms as Brice calls them), so we got onto the Train at Main Street to do a tour around Disneyland. We never use the Train for transportation because it's too much of a pain to fold up the double stroller. It took forever to get around. We waited at New Orleans Square for 10 minutes; they announced that the other Train hadn't cleared the station yet! We had about 30 min before the Fireworks when we got off the Train, so we headed down Main St. & found that directly behind the Hub Main St was closed for seating, so we sat down and had a pretty great view. After the Fireworks were over, we squeezed our way out of Disneyland and headed to the hotel – did some unpacking & fell asleep.

Saturday – September 18, 2004
3:00 AM Megan wakes up screaming – a bottle doesn't help, nothing does. Then I realize that she's having trouble going to the bathroom – there's nothing really I can do to calm her down, so she screamed for a good half hour (Sorry if you were staying next to us). We went back to sleep until 8:00.

We slept in a little since yesterday was so long, got some breakfast and headed into California Adventure (DCA) at 9:30. It wasn't really open until 10:00, so we looked through some shops – got a box of Mr. Potato Head parts, just the neat parts, no body, arms, ears, etc We are giving this to Brice as a Christmas present & will just buy a regular Mr. Potato Head by then. It was $18, we also got a duckbill on a necklace that makes duck noses when you blow through the bill, $5. Brice loved it – Dad's know best I guess. We saw Goofy at the entrance to Hollywood while we were still waiting for the park to open. When it did, we headed over to Flik's Fun Fair. We all rode Hemmlich's Chew Chew Train, Brice & I went on Lady Bug & Flik's Flyers. I had never been on the Lady Bug since it's always been broke down – now I know why it's always broken. I don't know how they can keep the cars on the tracks, when they switch from one circle to the next, there's a big bump that makes the ride not fun and scared Brice to death. After that, we changed Brice into sandals and let him get wet in Princess Dot's Puddle Park. Next was It's Tough To Be A Bug Show and then Hollywood Backlot for lunch at Award Weiners. Bobby got two sausages and one fry ($6). Bobby doesn't do very well with lots of soda – so we brought in water and Sugar Free Kool Aid in water bottles this trip and he never bought a soda (saved $30 probably).

Since I am eating Low Carb – I usually bring in my own lunch and some snacks and then buy something for dinner. I brought in a Lunchable for Brice and had a Low Carb Meal Bar for myself (Chocolate Peanut Butter!! Yum, Yum). We were waiting for the Aladdin show, so we called Bobby's parents from a payphone and then headed to the Hyperion Theatre. The show is great, we've seen it a few times before. Brice loved the Elephant and still talks about it. We sat in the front row behind the middle aisle so that we would have a good few of the parade in the aisles. We browsed the Off the Page in Hollywood and headed back to the hotel for a nap. Our hotel is the second one from the crosswalk on Harbor, so it's about a ten-minute walk – closer than the Disneyland Hotel. Brice lay down and watched a movie while I washed bottles and re-did the Diaper Bag. Then we headed to the Disney Outlet Store. It is up Harbor about 20 min at Orangethorpe in a shopping center. It has all the discontinued, etc items from Disneyland. I bought two shirts, both less than ½ the original price and a light up necklace that has Mickey & '03 on it, originally $10, now $0.50!! Brice loved it and didn't know it was last year's. Brice finally fell asleep in the car on the way there, so Bobby and I took turns shopping and staying in the car so Brice would be able to sleep.

We got back to the hotel about 4:30 and headed to Downtown Disney and the Rainforest Café. The line was super long, even this early – so we decided to give up and try another time maybe and walked all the way back to Disneyland to go on Pirates again. We then went over and looked at the Castle (which is covered in tarps for the repainting for the 50th Anniversary and read the plaques placed on the temporary wall explaining what they were doing). We were thinking about dinner now and Bobby wants pizza again, but I can't really eat anything there – I don't want to spend $8 on a salad I won't enjoy & won't finish. I remembered seeing a vendor selling turkey legs near the hub – so I bought one for $6 and we headed over to Tomorrowland for pizza and a soda for me ($9). I had never had a turkey leg before – I think that it has some sort of a honey glaze on it (not so good for low carb, but it's vacation and it's much better than pizza!) It was huge & I shared it with Bobby. About halfway through it Bobby remarked that it looked like something you would have to eat on Fear Factor. It was about 7:00 now and I mentioned going to see the Electrical Parade in DCA at 8:00, so we ran over there and got seats right behind just one row of people near where the parade begins. It was great and Brice loved it of course. (I haven't mentioned Megan much because she's too little to care – usually she's asleep or drinking her bottle). After it was done we headed back over to DL for the fireworks at 9:25 – but we had some time to kill so we went into Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. We love this show since they added the 3D sound – it doesn't get enough publicity. This was the first time Brice had been on it and it was funny to watch him turn his head when you hear the noise & voices. We then headed down Main St to sit in the same place. We waited in the middle of the street since no ropes have been put up yet. The 15 min announcement for the Fireworks comes over the speakers - & I'm thinking, we were sitting down by now last night. About 5 minutes later two confused cast members come over, shine their light around, move some strollers on the curb – apparently looking for the holes for the poles & rope that they are holding. They finally GIVE UP!!! And go somewhere else. So, now a big group of us are standing in the middle of Main St, with 5 min to go before the Fireworks. We can't really move and still get good seats, so we stay standing there (it's so much better to watch them sitting down) while tons of people are pushing past us trying to get down Main St. during the entire Fireworks show! Then we headed back to the hotel – watched some TV and went to sleep.

Sunday – September 19, 2004
We got up, got breakfast at the continental breakfast (more about this later) and headed into Disneyland just before they opened. We waked up the stores on the right side of Main St and waited until 9:00 and just walked right out, without waiting in the mob on Main St. We went straight to Tarzan's Tree House since we figured morning was the best time to do it – the best time for our feet and arms carrying the babies that is! The leopard scared the heck out of Brice but he liked the stuff down at the bottom. Then we headed over to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – I really like this ride personally! Then we used the Single Rider Passes we had read about here on Mouse Planet for Splash Mountain. We just went up to the cast member who takes the Fast Passes and asked for two Single Rider Passes. I waited in line for Tigger, Eeyore & Pooh while Bobby went on. He got back in time to see Brice with Eeyore and Pooh. Eeyore loved Brice & Brice wouldn't stop hugging Eeyore – he looks really soft. Eeyore took Brice's hand and walked him over to wait for Pooh – really neat. Then I went on Splash Mt and we headed over to Small World. Brice didn't love this ride like he did last time – so we only went ton it once, yeah!!

Now we're getting hungry and head over to the Stage Door Café for lunch again – the same order as last time. Then we walked down Main St & browsed a little. Daddy just had to buy a crown for Megan ($8), even though she doesn't have enough hair to keep it on her head yet!! We also called to make reservations at Medieval Times from a payphone – 5:00 PM. We crossed over to DCA and looked in the Off the Page store again – Bobby was looking to buy a pin set or a cel or something! (We have a large Disney Collection at home) I didn't really love anything, so we put it off again. I ran over to Soaring for a Single Rider while Bobby & the kids stayed at the fountain in the ‘hub'. I came back and the band that rides around on the car was there. Bobby & the kids had been sitting next to the water and they honked him off his seat!! Brice loved the music, but we headed back for a nap.

At 3:30 we piled into the car and headed for Medieval Times – they said to arrive 60-90 min early! Brice falls asleep on the way of course. So I went and paid ($93!!) and got our table cards while we let Brice sleep some more. We all got blue crowns, even Megan & she looked so cute and went inside, went to the bathroom & they started calling us in to sit down already! If you haven't been to Medieval Times, it's a show that follows a story that 5 of the bravest knights in the kingdom are going to have a competition to become he next in line for the throne. You eat dinner, garlic bread, soup, ½ chicken, a rib, ½ baked potato, soda, dessert pastry & coffee while watching horses do some tricks & a falcon fly around the stadium. After dinner is done then the tournament begins… Brice didn't say much, but he talked about the horses & how they broke the spears & the sword fighting for the next few days. It's pricey, but it's a decent meal & a nice show for just under $50 a person. Under 3 was free – but it meant that we were holding a baby on each of our laps the entire time – it actually went OK.

By the time we got back to the hotel it was almost 8:00, so Brice went to sleep and we watched 2 movies on TV, at the same time (we had seen them both) and went to sleep.

Monday – September 20, 2004

We headed to Disneyland at opening time – 10:00 after grabbing some breakfast. We had a lot to do; we hadn't been on a bunch of our favorite rides yet!! We headed straight to Fantasyland – walked on Peter Pan, then over to Alice & Storybookland Canal Boats and then over to Dumbo – all within 45 min. We walked around the Mad Hatter's Shop and I bought a purple Tinkerbell hat ($18). Then we headed back towards Toon Town, Bobby & Brice went on Roger Rabbit since Megan's a little to small and she was asleep anyways. I sat at the tables and watched Pluto with some guests. Brice came out excited and said he wanted to go again – so I took him this time. Bobby was getting hungry by now, so he ate the foot long hot dog – it was huge, $6 with a big bag of chips. Brice had some applesauce I brought and some of Dad's hot dog. While we were eating, Chip and Dale came out – so we hurried to finish and went to stand in line. We waited for about 5 minutes and then Chip & Dale started walking down the line giving fast hugs… They were leaving!! We really hadn't seen many characters yet so I was bummed.

We headed over to do Winnie the Pooh again and used the single rider so we could both do Splash Mountain one last time too. Then we headed to Main Street and looked around a little – we were heading to Rainforest Café in DD. We ran into Pluto, Chip & Goofy in front of the bathrooms next to the Fire Station. Brice got to see them all, by the time we were done with Goofy, Chip didn't have any kids, and so we started all over again. He loves to give them hugs and high-fives.

We headed into Rainforest Café around 4:00 and were seated upstairs right away. We got to sit right next to the elephants – Brice loved it. I ordered shrimp and asked for all vegetables instead of the rice. Bobby ordered shrimp and pasta. Both were pretty good ($42 with our Rainforest Café discount card of 10%)– we just shared with Brice. We headed back to Disneyland ready to finish up all our rides. We took turns going on Star Tours. When I got back Bobby was upset because Brice was starting to throw fits. We decided not to take the time for a nap today because Disneyland closed at 8:00. He was pretty horrible while I waited too – but really not too bad considering all the excitement he had had for a few days. We headed over to do some rides for him. Brice & Dad went on Pinocchio, then Brice & I went on the Carousel again, and then Dad & Brice went on Snow White. Megan was asleep again by now and we didn't want two cranky kids! Brice & I went on Dumbo and then we headed over to the Jungle Cruise since it was getting a little dark. We wanted to look in the last shop in Adventureland – but it was after 7:00 so they had closed just that one shop already! After JC, we headed over for our last ride of the trip on Pirates.

We wandered back to Main St. since the park was already closed. We heard the piano player at Coke Corner as we walked up – we always end up sitting & listening to him one night. So, we went and stopped. Then we realized that the Cast Member was sitting down, listening to a kid play on the piano. He was amazing, almost as good as the Cast Member. We were curious, so we found out the story behind it. Ten years ago, when the little boy was 5, the Cast Member let him play on the piano a little bit. Since then he has been taking lessons and once a year he comes back to show the man how much he has learned! He was only 15, and was almost professional quality. This is one of those stories that really shows the true Disney magic.

As we headed out of the park, Bobby talked me into buying the Olszewski Castle (He was really bummed that I didn't like any pin sets and wanted to buy something) – I love it!! The kids were both asleep in the stroller while we shopped and we got a cute picture of them in the stroller next to the huge wooden Mickey in Disneyana. We headed home, did some packing up and watched TV until we went to sleep.

Tuesday – September 21, 2004

We woke up, got everything packed up, got breakfast and were on our way to San Diego and Sea World by 9:30 am. We left Sea World about 3:30 and got home to Tucson 11:00 pm.

Our Hotel

The hotel was OK – the construction was kind of a pain. They just repainted our room right before we got there, it smelled for the first day. The continental breakfast was OK – white & wheat toast with butter, jelly, etc., fruit (either apples or oranges when we were there – no bananas!!), juice & coffee. Our room was a little far from the elevator and the elevator was very busy since it's really the only one.

Eating Low-Carb

For a few weeks before the vacation I really checked sales and got snacks for the hotel for everyone. I made sure I bought myself some things that I don't usually eat so that I wouldn't feel deprived. For breakfasts I brought: Low Carb Yogurt & Yogurt Shakes (I hadn't tried these before – only OK), Low Carb Bagels (a little chewy if you don't toast them) and Peanut Butter & Cream Cheese to put on them. For lunches I brought Low Carb Meal Shakes, Meal Bars. I also brought tons of snacks and usually brought something into the park in case I wanted something or Bobby wanted to get a treat, like ice cream. I got Low Carb candy bars, peanuts, Low Carb cookies (very good dunked in coffee – a little hard), Sugar Free Jell-O. I also brought my own Low Carb coffee creamer & I usually bring my own coffee cup. I forgot & bought one at the gift shop – it makes the coffee take much better than they Styrofoam cups. I stayed the exact same weight through the vacation – which is usually my goal!

Tami Olson

rgardenantiques@aol.com


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