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Disneyland Jan/Feb 2004 Trip Report

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Disneyland Jan/Feb 2004 Trip Report

Trip Report for our latest trip to Disneyland, Universal and Huntington Beach. Enjoy!

**Myself- Carrie 40's
**Nephew- John 20's
**Friend/Co-worker- Tina 20's(Went her 1st time during busy season and walked out without riding anything, hating Disneyland)

***Desert Inn & Suites 1/30 - 2/7 2004***

Very friendly, helpful front desk clerks.
Easy check in, great rates at $49.00 a night for this stay. No credit card deposit required.
Credit card slide through in room to order pay per view movies.
2 Queen room, vanity outside of bathroom, large fridge, microwave, ironing board and iron, blow dryer, 4 cup coffee pot with one free package of coffee a day (2.25 for extra package). I brought my own and filters.
Free HBO, Disney & about 4 other channels.
Bring your own shampoo and conditioner, very little in the ones they leave for you.
TV reception wasn't great in our room but we lived with it.
Room was very nice and clean, everything worked in it. Beds were fine. Plenty of closet space. Housekeeping was good, no problems.
Very secure locks on door. No in room safe but available at lobby if needed.
Indoor pool and Jacuzzi. Lockers and bathroom next to it.
Small gift shop.
Nice laundry room, think it had 4 washers and dryers.
Free pastries, bread for toast, margarine, jelly, juices, coffee, tea & milk each am. Pastries were fresh each morning and they have great rasberry lemonade.
Parking is very limited, underground garage parking if top lot is full.
About a 5-minute walk from our room in the back to Disneyland ticket booths.
Near Denny's and Tony Roma's (Great food)& the food court.
We had a great stay here and would stay here again.
Great price and location.

***Friday- January 30 Day 1***

John stayed over the night before we were to leave so it would be easier. Tina met us at my house at 7:45 am, as we (Tina and I) had to work half a day.
We dropped John off at my nephew Jason's house, which was close to my work and on the way to head out for Disneyland.
Went to work and the residents (seniors in Assisted Living Facility) were all excited about us going, we had been counting down the days for awhile and I think they were ready to just see us go finally.
At 11 am we headed out, picked up John and were on Hwy 99 South headed to Anaheim about 11:15. Hwy 99 runs into I-5, which we took the rest of the way.
The drive there was great, no traffic, moved along perfectly... until we hit LA.
2 1/2 hours of bumper-to-bumper crazy drivers from LA to Anaheim and I have a clutch! I thought my foot/ankle was going to break off it was hurting so bad from stopping and going. When I bought my car I didn't think I would need cruise control, so my ankle was already sore from driving 7 hours.
In the middle of all of the traffic (including this lady reading and driving and swerving into all of the lanes) my nephew Jason calls to see where we are and after telling him he proceeds to play a joke on me. Something about a plane landing at Disneyland or the freeway and since I was already stressed about the traffic I believed him and started to freak out and tried to pull off the freeway. Then he said he was kidding and apologized for scaring me so bad.
We finally made it to Desert Inn & Suites around 8 pm, got checked in and unloaded. Front desk staff was great, paid cash ($49 a night) and didn't have to leave a credit card deposit for anything. Parking to check in was difficult, very limited parking.
At 8:20 pm we headed over to Disneyland & we got there just as the parade was ending so we followed the parade/crowd to the end of Main Street. We then stopped so John and Tina could get their AP's/pictures. Small line. I sat next to a family that goes often as they live just a couple of minutes away. I was a little jealous.
After the passports were done we went on Pirates. There seemed to be a small line the whole time we were there this trip, only a five-minute wait. But when we have gone before we always just walked right in. Maybe because of the movie and a lot of rides being down for refurb?
Next John and Tina wanted to do Haunted Mansion; I wanted to watch Fantasmic as that was my reason for getting to Anaheim before Disneyland closed. So I found a spot and waited for them and watched Fantasmic. I haven't been able to see this very often since we always go off-season. Some bratty kids sitting by me, standing on the railing, one even climbing over a rail and stomping down flowers by the fountain. I was behind the popcorn stand near the fountain in front of NOS train. I had a good view and still enjoyed the show.
Tina enjoyed the Mansion but said there was a bad smell in there, but there were a lot of people too.
Fantasmic ended and we headed over to Star Tours with the crowd also heading out. Very small line for Star Tours. Star Tours made John and Tina feel a little queasy, but they still wanted to do the Matterhorn next so we did the Tomorrowland side, nice ride when it is dark with Disneyland all lit up. John and Tina both liked this ride, their first time ever riding it.
Disneyland was closing for the night so we caught the last Monorail to Downtown Disney, as I wanted to show them the Rainforest Cafe. They decided they wanted to eat there and there wasn't a wait so we had a late dinner. I got the Rumble in the Jungle, very good. John had steak and ribs & he liked them. Tina had an appetizer; she liked it at the time but later said it wasn't very good. She had calamari on it and after she had eaten some we noticed that they were little baby octopus's deep fried, head and legs still attached, I think that's what changed her mind about it. Rainforest is still one of my favorite places to eat. This was the only time I ate there this trip.
Walked through Downtown Disney, looking in store windows and headed back to the motel and in bed by 12 am.
Seven days to go...
Note- it was fun to see Tina's first time reaction to things. Even John rode rides this trip he has never ridden before.
***Saturday- January 31 Day 2***

Woke up around 7 am, dressed and out the door by 8 am. John and Tina left earlier to have breakfast at Denny's.
I was going to contact one of my cousins that works at Disneyland to sign me in for the day as I have the S. Ca. Passport and Saturdays are blocked.
So we were going to all meet up later at Disneyland.
Got a hold of my cousin on her sell phone as I was going down the elevator at the motel and she was already at work but her brother had time so I planned on meeting him at the ticket booths and he would sign me in for the day.
We met at 8:20 am and I got a ticket and was in for the day, free!! Thank you Sean!
He had to rush off for work so I called John. He and Tina had just gone in so we met at the Mickey flowers.
We walked through Main Street, stopping to the side of the Walt and Mickey statue so Tina could look. She got a kick out of it. Headed to Fantasyland.
At Fantasyland we did Peter Pan, Mr. Toad's, Casey Jr. Train, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Alice in Wonderland, Small World. No lines for any of these rides. Favorites would end up being Mr. Toad and Peter Pan throughout this trip. First times for John and Tina.
Headed for Toon Town. Rode Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin went through Mickey and Minnie's Houses. Got pictures with both in the front of their houses as Toon Town was empty. Walked right on Gadget's Go Coaster, another of their favorites. Dec. 2003 when I went we had to wait about an hour in the hot sun for this 5-second ride. It is a fun coaster ride but the lines can get long. Nice to walk right on for a change. Looked around Toon Town awhile and then took the train to NOS.
We thought we would do Splash Mountain but it had a 30-minute wait and we didn't want to wait in line. Would have this wait throughout our trip. Even though the park was empty. All the mountains being down for refurb. I imagine. Decided to do the Pooh ride since it is new to me. It was fun but not any better than the other Fantasyland rides, nice and bright. We walked the trail back from Splash and watched the boats coming off the drop.
Walked through the park towards Main Street. I stopped and got a cinnamon roll and ate it as we walked out to DCA.
At DCA we headed to Bug's Land to do It's Tough To Be A Bug. I am not one for things flying at me so I ended up not wearing the glasses; it is just too intense for me. They really enjoyed it. Tina had been to DCA her last trip; she went there because Disneyland was too crowded, so she had done it before. First time for John. I had seen it before so I knew what was coming so I just kept the glasses off and stayed forward in my seat.
Then we had the great idea to do Grizzly even though we didn't bring our ponchos that day. Of course we got soaked. My feet got drenched. Luckily it wasn't too cold out so it was ok. Only thing was walking the rest of the day with soaked feet/shoes gave me blisters that lasted the rest of my trip.
Went to do Soaring but there was a wait so we got fast passes and went to White Water Snacks for lunch while we waited.
White Water Snacks was good. I had the kids cheeseburger meal, which was huge, and the bun tasted great, fresh baked. Large portion of fries and a kids drink, refillable. It was $8. I looked when we left and she charged me a regular cheeseburger meal, not a kids, I didn't say anything. It was good. Tina had the french dip and John pizza which they said was good but they thought it was a little expensive. She had a side of fries so that cost a little more. The french fry portions are huge, we could have shared mine. That was the only time we ate here this trip. I had heard about it and wanted to try it. Easy to find by the way...
Soaring was next. Even with fast pass we had to wait a little bit. We went to the theater to the left. I say this because my nephew Jason says the one to the right is not as good. Never been to that one. We would always go to the left this trip even though they did send some people to the right. We ended up in the front row right of the screen. I didn't care for the front row because I could see the black part of the screen and it distracted me. Center of row 2 I liked the best. I did look down because I heard a lady say you only go up 5 feet off the floor. It looked higher than 5 feet to me. This is a great ride. One of my favorites at DCA. If you are going, don't miss this ride. Get a fast pass if there are lines.
Walked around the park and ended up at Millionaire. I am not a trivia person so I just watch. I don't even bother playing. It's a fun show and you always hope the person in the hot seat wins. This is Tina's favorite and she did great this whole trip making it to number one a few times.
After Millionaire they wanted to do Muppet's 3D. I have seen this over and over. It is a cute show. Last time we had the kids with us and it was their favorite. So I sat and filled out a survey I had been given while they did Muppet's. Still a little wet from Grizzly the sun felt great sitting there.
Next was The Animation Building. I hadn't ever been inside and wanted to do it this trip. I can't remember the name of the show we saw first but it was about drawing the characters and them coming to life. But it ended weird, just cut off when the host left the stage. He was a great host too. Was just strange. It was up a ramp to the left after entering Animation. Next we headed to Beast's Library to see who we were most like. Tina was Lady from Lady and the Tramp, John was Scar? from Lion King. I was most like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Tina and John went back later in the trip and did some singing and voice overs in Animation and really liked it. We went out and thought we would see Aladdin but we just missed the showing. Watched testing of TOT for a few minutes and headed out of Hollywood Backlot.
Muholland Madness was next and had a line so we got fast passes. Then we saw single rider line and did that since we all planned on riding alone anyways. Tina ended up alone and John and I rode together. Tina didn't care for this ride, she felt like she was going to go off the track. John thought it hurt when you went around the corners but he liked it. I like this ride, it is jerky but the hills are fun.
Walked around to the Boardwalk so John and Tina could play some games. She ended up winning a purple frog on the ball in the basket game. Walked towards Screamin'.
Screamin' had a 30-minute wait but we went ahead and did it. It seemed more like an hour waiting. When we were finally almost up there they stopped the ride because they had found a hat on the track and had to go out and get it. They didn't know whom it belonged to but couldn't leave it on the track. I ended up in the very last car. For some reason this ride got to me this time. I have ridden it many times before and thought it was fun. Bothered my neck this time, seemed more forceful. John never rides coasters, so this one made him sick and the picture shows it. I had to keep my eyes closed the entire time this time. None of us rode it again this trip. Once was enough. Tina did buy the picture as a memento for John.
I left John and Tina at 4 pm and headed back to the motel. My feet were still wet and blisters were forming and they hurt. John and Tina went to look around Downtown Disney.
At the motel I fixed up my feet, rested awhile. John and Tina came back around 5:30 and they rested some and we all got ready to go to dinner.
One nice thing about being on Harbor is finding somewhere to eat. Lots of choices. We ended up eating at Tony Roma's. This place has the best food. Dinner is a little expensive, I think. Lunches are 2 for $12 specials. I wasn't very hungry so I had an onion Loaf appetizer and a salad. The onion loaf is like a blooming onion but in a loaf. It comes with bbq sauce as dip and I also got ranch. They were good but a little greasy. Salad was delicious. John had steak and ribs and Tina had steak and ribs too, I think... Best steak I had tasted. They said it was really good food also. Mine was $13.00 with tip and I'm not sure what they paid, seems like it was around $30. Back to the motel and to bed by 11 pm.
Six days to go...

Note- Plastic bag for your feet on Grizzly. Locker for your stuff, free for first hour. Poncho. Watch out for the Geyser.

***Sunday- February 1 Day 3***

Woke up at 6:30 am, showered fixed up my feet. Tina and John up. Showered and we were at Disneyland by 8:30 am.
Walked through the right tunnel and stopped at the gift stand and bought an antenna ball for my nephew Jason. Plus I needed change (4 dollars) to rent a locker. Rented the locker for my shoes in case the sandals I was wearing made my blisters worse. Actually made them better.
We walked through the Main Street stores and headed over to Riverbelle Terrace where I had wanted to eat breakfast. I didn't think it would be open during the week so I wanted to make sure I got to eat here at least once this trip. It's a tradition with my family. We eat breakfast here. Tina and John didn't want to eat there... So I told them to go ride and I would eat and wait here for them to return. I had the Mark Twain with Sausage and sat at a table over looking the walkway between Tarzan's Tree House and Pirates and enjoyed watching people go by. There was one group of Japanese Tourists that must have had about 100 people with them. I guess they all headed for Pirates, which is where Tina and John also went, and she said they took flash pictures all through the ride; she didn't like that too much.
They returned and we took the train to Main Street station, the park was filling up with people, getting very crowded where Saturday there was no one. They decided they wanted to leave, too many people for them, so we left and went to check out the Anaheim Tourist place by Mc Donald's.
At the Tourist place we found out what to take to go to Universal Studios, Airport Bus for $20.00 per person roundtrip. They had wanted to ride the ART around Anaheim but thought it went to the malls. It goes to the resorts only. So they found a shuttle that would take them to The Block for $8 per person round trip. So we headed back to the motel, stopped at Mc Donalds for them to eat breakfast.
At the Motel they called the shuttle and had to walk a couple of blocks down to be picked up so they left. I headed back to Disneyland alone as I still had shoes in my locker and didn't know John and Tina were not planning on going back that day.
I looked around the stores on Main Street and decided to have an ice cream. I had Fantasia in a waffle cup and took it over to Plaza Gardens and found a spot I liked and sat and ate while I watched people wander by. Quite a few of them by this time. Then I walked over to Adventureland and looked through those stores and Frontierland stores. Wandered around for a while by myself and then decided to go back to the motel.
I stopped on the way out and got a Tuna Sandwich from the bakery on Main Street to go. Then I walked to Downtown Disney and got an apple of the week from Marceline's to go.
Once back at the motel I called my sister who was supposed to be with us and talked for awhile. I really missed not having them there with me; it is different when you go with people you don't usually go with. Not bad, just different. She was wishing she were there also. Her health prevented her from going at that time, now she is fine and her and her husband will be going the 22 of February.
So after talking with her for a while I ate my tuna sandwich (good tuna but the bread was really dry) and decided to take a nap and had just fallen asleep when John and Tina got back from The Block. We all decided to go down to the hot tub since it seemed every one was at the parks today and it had been empty.
The hot tub felt good but it did have a strong chlorine smell. Maybe because it is indoors, there's no fresh air. Stayed there for about an hour and a half and went back to the room. Changed and decided to drive down to target so I could get some moleskin and more band-aids. Came back from Target and watched Ocean's 11 on TV and went to bed.
Five days to go...

Note- Tina got spoiled by the low crowds on Saturday and didn't want anything to do with Disneyland on this day with more people there.
But she does love Disneyland now because she knows she can go when there are less people and do more. So her opinion has changed quite a bit since that first visit when it was summer.

***Monday- February 2 Day 4***

Up early again, showered and I got my feet ready for the day, moleskin and bandaged up. Tina and John up a little after me. All ready and we decided to do the Cont. breakfast at the motel.
The breakfast consisted of some fruit, pastries (fresh), and bread for toasting, margarine and drinks, juice, coffee, tea, raspberry lemonade. I had pastry, orange juice & it was good. A light snack if you are starving in the am and want a quick bite as you head into the parks. There was always plenty of food when we were there. If pastries were low they were putting more out. Some people had trays carrying lots of food to their rooms. Staff was always friendly. It is a very small room and only a few tables outside, so space is limited.
We were at Disneyland at 8:40 am. It opened at 10 am so I thought we could go in an hour earlier at 9 am. Guess not. I guess on some days it opens only 1/2 hour early. This was one of those days. So we were very early. So we sat awhile and then walked down to La Brea Bakery and Tina and John had hot cocoa and yogurt. They liked the hot cocoa but didn't care for the yogurt, said it was really sour. She was thinking it would be like Mc Donalds. Sat and they ate while watching a large group of Tourists taking pictures of themselves in front of the fountain.
Ticket booths had short lines when we made our way back around 9:20 am. Looked all through the Main Street stores and the arcade until rope drop. Tina and John wanted to do Splash and I was still worried about getting my feet wet again so they headed that way and I went to my usual waiting spot. Noticed no one in line for Haunted Mansion so I decided to do that while waiting for them. I was the only one there. They waited and waited for more people to show but no one did. So they opened the elevator room and I was alone with the host, a little spooky. Then a family of 4 showed up. So there were 5 of us. I was the first in a buggy and it just kind of spooked me to think there werent a lot of people there. I don't know why. When I got off the host said, oh you're the first one on today and I answered that I was almost the only one on. Was a very different ride and the only time I have ever felt uneasy on it.
John and Tina showed back up and I told them about the HM ride and they wanted to go on it so we all went. There were a few more people this time but not many. The park was pretty empty.
I wanted some coffee so John and Tina decided to do Tarzan and I got some coffee at Bengal BBQ, which was open early on a Monday, strange. Riverbelle was closed so I was glad that I had breakfast there the day before. Wandered around some and John wanted to do the Matterhorn Fantasyland side. I still had coffee so I sat and drank it while they rode. I can't remember which side they liked the best but I am thinking it was Tomorrowland. I like Tomorrowland side at night. I didn't do Fantasyland side at night so maybe it is about the same.
Walked around the Subs discussing why they were gone. Tina had rode them years ago and she liked them so she was wondering. I had rode them before also but at that time being a teen I remember thinking it was kind of fun but a little unrealistic. Now I think it would be fun to have them back. Walked past Innoventions and in front of Red Rockets they had some guys practicing for a show. So we hung around until show time and it was acrobats, limbo guys. Sorry no idea what their names were. But they were great fun to watch and they could go very low when doing the limbo.
Next we went to HISTA and got there just as the show was beginning. I don't care for things flying at me so I didn't wear the glasses and I have seen this show many times so I know what to expect. It was Tina's first time seeing it and she really enjoyed it.
I was determined at eat at Red Rocket's at least one time this trip so we headed there. They didn't want to eat there... So I had Chicken Fusili and we sat and I ate.
After eating we headed towards Main Street and Tina had a corn dog from the Red Cart. These are my favorite corn dogs. She said it was very good. So they sat while she ate and I did some videotaping of the ride board and surroundings.
Candy store was next for desert. I got some milk chocolate honeycombs; Tina got a marshmallow dipped in fudge on a stick, delicious. Honeycombs were good.
Fantasyland was next where we rode Mr. Toad, Peter Pan, Snow White with very little lines.
They were ready to go to DCA so we went there and did Soarin', took the tortilla tour, and John and Tina went to Millionaire while I went to watch Aladdin.
I really enjoyed Aladdin. The genie was great. The whole show was great. After Aladdin we met up and it was almost closing time and they wanted to go back to the motel so we walked back, ordered Mexican food (delicious) to be delivered to the motel, had dinner.
We had decided before we left on this trip to go to Universal on Wednesday. Tonight they decided they wanted to go on Tuesday instead, even though rain was predicted. So Tina called airport bus and made arrangements for 8 am pick up Tuesday for Universal Studios ($20 each round trip). I wasn't too happy with the change in plans because of the weather reports but I wasn't going to go by myself on Wednesday, so guess I will be going on Tuesday instead.

***February 3 - Tuesday Day 5 Universal Studios ***

We all got up early, fixed up my feet again and walked out in front of our motel to wait for Airport Bus, and it never came. Tina had to call them again and found out we were supposed to be waiting in front of Park Place Inn so we missed that bus but another one was coming. Walked down and got on the Airport Bus with Disneyland all over the outside of it. Headed down to a few more stops to pick up people and to pay our fare. When it came time to pay one lady had forgotten her vouchers at her motel. The driver said she couldn't go and she was quite upset and yelled for her kids to get off the bus they weren't going. Then after awhile she and her kids got back on and the driver drove her over to her motel and let her off to run and get her vouchers. So they got to go after all. She apologized for holding the rest of us up. Really didn't take up that much time.
Lots of traffic going to universal and the driver wasn't afraid of any of it, he went where he wanted to go, not too concerned about anyone else on the road. Scared me a little bit but we made it safely and before opening.
We had bought all of our tickets online before coming, printed out passes that were on special, one day and a year free. Went right to the entrance and in without any problems. The ticket says you have to show the credit card you used to purchase it and I hadn't brought it so I was worried but all they asked for was a drivers license.
I hadn't been to Universal for over 20 years. I really didn't even recognize anything other than some parts of the tram tour.
We did Shrek 4D first and I didn't wear the glasses again, but John and Tina really enjoyed this show. I am not a 3D/4D kind of person so I thought it was ok, but I am sure I missed a lot not wearing the glasses.
Next we went down to the Tram Tour. Universal is set up on a hill so all around you can see the valley below and it is just breathtaking, I think that was my favorite thing about Universal was the views. There were very few people at the park so there wasn't ever much of a wait. Did the Tram Tour, which was great. Nice special effects I didn't expect and some I had seen before. Some were no longer there, like the parting of the Red Sea. I videotaped most of the Tram Tour and my family got a kick out of watching it. So many things on the tour seem so realistic, the flood, earthquake, Mummy tunnel, some I can't think of at the moment, oh the bridge that drops. Just didn't expect a lot of those things to happen, so we were surprised and it was fun.
Went back up and had a pretzel which was dry with cheese that was pretty hot/spicy. Then got in line for Back To The Future.
I really liked this ride. I only wish I had brought my glasses. It seemed to move so fast that my eyes didn't seem to focus fast enough. But I thought the cars were great, the ride was fun and reminded me of Star Tours. Tina and John liked it too; I think it ended up being our favorite of the rides.
We decided to go down to the Lower Lot, wow, didn't realize you had to go down so far. Good thing there are escalators to take you, stopped between escalators to look at the view.
Jurassic Park we did first, no lines at all. Walk right on. It was a cold day though and ready to rain at any minute. Wore our ponchos not knowing really what to expect. When it came time to go up the lift for the drop I got a little nervous, lift seemed like it was straight up and I was worried something might happen to make us fall backwards. After we were up I saw this waterfall and I didn't want to get wet so I covered my head with the poncho and ducked. Next thing I knew we were at the bottom and I missed the drop, never even knew we went over it. John and Tina really liked this ride also, they ended up going on it 3 more times. I was too worried about getting wet, especially my feet, to really enjoy any water rides. But they loved it and to I thought it was ok.
Backdraft was next and we had to wait for a show to end before we could go in so we had a little wait. I guess I thought you would go in and sit down. We had been standing in line awhile waiting for the next show so our feet were tired. We finally got in and had to stand. Watched a demo and then waited to go in the next room where I was sure we would be sitting.... No. Standing again. This was the big show with fire breaking out all around in front of you. Nice and warm. I didn't really care much for this show, although it is amazing how they do it. Tina doesn't like fire so she stayed to the back and it made her nervous. It is a lot of fire, real fire.
Near Jurassic Park they had a Panda Express, which we have and it has the best Orange Chicken so we decided to eat here. Also had Pizza Hut I think and something else. Lots to chose from in one place even though part of it was closed. I had the orange chicken, which was good. Tina had a cheeseburger, which she liked. Around $10 for each meal with a drink. While we were eating I watched a man climb all of the stairs to the Upper Lot, running up them like it was nothing. That is a lot of stairs. John wanted to try it, Tina and I declined. There really wasn't much more to see so we headed back up to the Upper Lot.
I was ok going down the escalators but for some reason going up made me kind of dizzy, weak feeling. I think it was like the lift before the drop on Jurassic, it goes straight up and I felt like I could fall backwards. I had to keep my head down all the way up and not look. We stopped between escalators and I took some video and pictures. I just loved the view.
Once back to the Upper Lot we walked around some looking in the shops and just seeing what there was. Stopped in the kids area where there is fountains and John and Tina looked around while I sat and fixed a band aid on my foot which was bothering me. A worker came up and let me know that if I had any problems I could go to first aid that they had bandages and supplies if I needed them. Nice of him to offer and kind of embarrassing as I thought I sat where no one would see me fixing it. Walked around some more and ended up by Terminator.
There was an Irish Pub in front of Terminator so John and Tina went in and got some drinks and we sat outside while they drank them. I loved all of the buildings in this area. They were so pretty and detailed. Terminator was ready to start so they downed their drinks and we ran to get in line.
It was ready to start in about 30 minutes I guess. So we waited in line and waited and waited. Finally we went in and we waited some more standing in front of video screens that interact with the audience and then showed a clip of what was going on, like a pre-show I guess. This seemed to go on forever and for the first time this trip my hip, which hasn't hurt in forever, started hurting from standing in one place for so long. Tina was getting restless to wondering when we would be let in for the show. Finally got in and sat down. At the beginning of the show people are on the stage acting out part of the movie. These involved guns, which I know, aren't real but made me a little nervous and at one time I almost walked out but felt everyone would notice me leaving so I didn't. This is another 3D show, which I don't care for so again I didn't wear the glasses and I kept my eyes closed for the most part. For some reason this show didn't make a lot of sense to me. All I could think when I saw Arnold was "Hey, there's our Governor". John and Tina thought it was ok but did not care for the pre-show. I can't imagine waiting in a long line for this show to only get inside and wait even more. It was a lot of waiting for us even with very few people in the park. We were first in line. Maybe if you are big Terminator fans it is worth it, but to me it wasn't.
When we came out of Terminator it was raining. Dug out the poncho and put up my video camera. Walked around some more looking at the buildings as much as I could. John and Tina like to go from ride to ride, not really stopping to take a lot of other things in. I wasn't familiar enough with Universal to go on my own and meet up with them later so I am sure there are some things that I missed seeing.
Found a candy store so we stopped and I got an apple for later and Tina got a few things and we sat for a while. One thing about Universal, there doesn't seem to be many places to get out of the rain. Maybe I just didn't know where to go. But it was getting very cold and our bus wouldn't be back until 6 pm. I think it was around 4 at this time. I was freezing and wet, feet were wet all over again from the rain and puddles.
Waterworld was about to start so John and Tina headed there and I sat and waited because I was afraid it would be something involving water. I had never seen the movie. I watched while everyone in the park ran to see this show, uphill even. It was quite entertaining. They kept letting people in as they came trying to close it off. Finally they stopped and some people weren't happy they didn't get in. It was the last show of the day.
I sat and ate some french fries while waiting for them and listened to the announcer saying that they had free coffee and hot cocoa at the theater by Terminator and that you could go inside and warm up. I really didn't know how to get back to Terminator and my feet/blisters were hurting so bad from being wet again that I didn't even attempt it.
John and Tina LOVED Waterworld, she said I should have gone. She really liked it. I was so cold and wet by that time I just wanted to get on the bus so I could warm up. It wasn't quite time for the bus so they walked over to the theater to get cocoa but I guess they ran out so we didn't get any. Then we headed out and out bus was there so he let us on early and it was nice and warm.
The drive back was a nightmare, traffic, traffic, and traffic. Almost sideswiped a car once and a little boy in our group was feeling carsick. Took us two hours to get back. Dropped us off at the bus stop by Disneyland, across the street from our motel so we didn't have to wait another 30 minutes, which was nice. My feet were so bad that I ended up getting blisters on my blisters. I didn't think I would make it back to our room, but I did and by the next day my feet were better.
Note- I really enjoyed Universal, Tina LOVED Universal and plans on going back before her year expires. I doubt I go back any time soon. Maybe once every two years or so, as something new comes. It was nice to go after so many years.
I am sure when I go back I will see things that I missed, not necessarily the rides but the scenery.

***Wednesday- February 4 Day 6***

I woke up early again, showered and bandaged my feet. I had been using Johns scissors to cut the moleskin and they broke. So I left early (alone) to go look for some scissors to buy.
I headed toward Disneyland, no lines, no one there. I went in and stopped at Carnation Café for breakfast. I had the Pecan Crusted Griddle Cakes. Very good. Cost around $9.00.
Walked around the Main Street stores and headed to Frontierland to look in those stores. The place was deserted. Took some pictures and walked over to Splash taking the back trail. Ran into some young girls that didnt speak English trying to ask me something I didnt understand and they didnt understand.
Splash was down. There was a log at the top of the drop just sitting there. Took more pictures and walked over to Haunted Mansion which was also down.
I got on the train at NOS, got off at Toontown and Toontown wasnt open yet so I walked around looking in the shops by Small World.
Walked to Fantasyland and got Braden some ears. I sat down by the Carousel to call Jason because Micah wanted pink ears and the writing was in yellow. I wanted to make sure that was ok with her. He wasnt home so I left a message and went to Tomorrowland to buy Isaiah the Star Tours ship he wanted. It is the one from the ride. Bought that hoping it was the right one.
By now it was lunchtime so I went to the Red Cart for a corn dog and Sprite. Sat down in my usual spot and ate while watching people go by. Jason called me back and said the ears would be ok. Then got a call from my cousin who works at Disneyland. Made arrangements to meet up with her at 2 pm (along with John and Tina) over at DCA, Condor Flats.
Took the train around the park from Main Street to Main Street and headed to DCA.
At DCA I sat for a few minutes and watched people go by. My feet were hurting from the blisters. I watched this little girl walking with her parents. She was around 2 years old. She would stop every few steps to dance with the music. It was so cute.
I met up with Sara, John & Tina, we listened to her friends sing near Soarin (they were great). John and Tina took off so Sara and I did Soarin after her friends finished singing.
Next we walked through the Grand Californian and she showed me some of the areas, it is just beautiful in there. Nice place to sit and relax. We didnt though.
We headed out of the Grand back into DCA. Walked over towards the entrance and stopped to get lots of pictures of myself with the characters. Not something I usually do but she insisted.
We walked out of DCA and said our good byes at the shuttle drop off. She had class and I went back to the motel to rest my aching feet.
Note- this was my fist day alone at Disneyland and I REALLY enjoyed it. I have to say it was the best day I had so far. I could do what I wanted & eat where I wanted. It was a great day! I took lots of pictures today of an empty park.

***Thursday- February 5 Day 7***

We were all up and ready by 9 am. We had decided to go to the beach today. Got in the car and took a turn at Katella and onto Beach Blvd to hwy1, ending up at Huntington Beach.
Parked the car in the beach parking lot at $1.50 an hour. Walked along the sidewalk to the pier. The pier is the longest concrete pier in California. At the end of the pier is Rubys Diner. Last year we went to Balboa Beach and ate a cinnamon roll from the Rubys at the end of that pier. Then we drove north and ate dinner at another Rubys. It was so good that I wanted to eat there again this trip.
We walked along the pier stopping to watch the surfers. I had my video camera to I took some video of them. There was a couple surfing together and he would lift her up over his head as they surfed.
We made it to Rubys and were seated by the window. I had the cinnamon french toast and it was delicious. Tina had the eggs with the sauce on them. Cant remember the name. She said they were great. John had ham and eggs, something like that. The food was very good.
We walked out along the pier towards the shopping area across the street. Lots of little shops to look in. John and Tina had a Jamba Juice on the way back. We stopped before leaving and sat on the concrete steps and watched the ocean, surfers and people.
I thought I would take a different way back to the motel. We headed south on hwy 1. Went through Newport and somehow ended up not making the right turn so we drove around awhile and then went past South Coast Plaza and found a freeway that led us back to Anaheim. Beautiful drive, especially Newport.
Back at the motel we all took a nap and around 3 pm headed back to Disneyland. Disneyland was pretty crowded. We did the Lincoln show; I had done it the day before and thought it was great so John and Tina wanted to do it. They really enjoyed it.
We then took the train from Main Street to NOS. Walked over to Bengal BBQ. They had skewers, which they didnt like. I had a pretzel. They wanted to leave Disneyland so we left and walked over to DCA.
At DCA we shopped some. I finally decided on something for Josiah. A Buzz ride vehicle.
Tina wanted to do Millionaire again. She had been at number one a few times but never made it to the hot seat. We got in just as the show was starting. Barely made it. This time she made it into the hot seat. She didnt make it to the T Shirt; she got the cap and pins. It was pretty exciting and she was thrilled. Took some pictures of her with her stuff and we headed back to the motel. Stopped by Dennys because I wanted a salad for dinner. Got a sandwich and salad. Neither was that great. Ate, watched Survivor and went to bed.
Note- Huntington Beach was great and so close to Disneyland. Because we went on a weekday there was no one there and plenty of parking. We could have parked by the stores for free if we had known. It was a very warm day, perfect for the beach.

***Friday- February 6 Day 8***

I started off this morning by packing everything I wouldnt need tomorrow and taking it down to the car on my way out. We would be leaving the next day.
I headed over to Disneyland alone. John and Tina said they were going to pack some things also. They were going to come later in the day.
I had my picture taken at the Mickey flowers and rode the horse and carriage to the end of Main Street.
I had my picture taken at the castle. I was the only one with a camera so I was afraid it was going to look like I was never there. I wouldnt be in any of the pictures that I had taken.
I went through the castle and did all of the Fantasyland rides, no lines. Looked through all of the shops, got Micahs ears.
Next I did the Matterhorn Fantasyland side, no lines. Took some pictures of the Matterhorn and walked to the bakery to get a cinnamon roll and hot cocoa. Sat in my usual spot and ate while watching people go by.
I walked through all of the stores again on Main Street and in Frontierland/Adventureland and in NOS.
Took the train from NOS to Main Street and headed to DCA. Called John and we agreed to meet to watch Aladdin at the 12:45 show. They hadnt seen it yet.
I sat by Burbank ice cream watching people/passing time.
Met up with John and Tina at 12 pm and we got in line for Aladdin. Front of the line but early so we had to wait awhile. Seemed like forever and the sun was pretty warm standing there. Finally got let in and had great seats, first row balcony. Right where cast walks in front of you during the show.
This show is great! They really liked it too. The Genie is so funny. After the show we walked through the stores and I headed back to the motel stopping by Tony Romas for bbq chicken lunch to go. Delicious, and huge portion. Around $10.00
I ate, napped, and fixed my feet up. John and Tina came back around 6 pm and they wanted Tony Romas for dinner so we went there and I had the onion loaf again, wasnt hungry. There was a large family eating at Tony Romas and one of their kids kept throwing a fit, screaming, wanting down. Tina was getting irritated. Then the family went to the manager and said the music was too loud, so the manager turned it off in our area. So the kid that was screaming was even louder now that the music didnt drown him out. Tina wasnt too happy about that.
I decided to go back to the motel to sleep as I wanted to get an early start home in the morning and they headed back to Disneyland, which I guess was packed.
I went to bed around 8 pm. They got back around 10 pm and decided to do their packing that they didnt do in the morning like they said they were going to do. So much for sleeping
Saturday we were up and out by 4:45 am and home by 11:45 am. No traffic, no fog. They slept while I drove. It is a boring drive on I 5 when you are the only one awake. Not much to see. We stopped 4 times, 2 times for gas.
Note- it was a great trip. I really missed having my family there.
But I enjoyed myself even when I was alone. I think I enjoyed Disneyland the most when I was by myself.
Desert Inn and Suites was great, no problems.
Planning for a family trip in December and hopefully everyone will be able to go this time. I am looking forward to it! I just hope I can do it with better feet, no blisters. Really made this trip more difficult, nothing like your feet hurting when you have to walk so much.
280 days to go until next trip!

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