Wednesday, 19 September 2012

California Trip, Day 6

7:20 AM - This is the latest I've slept in a long time. Hoping this is the beginning of a new trend.

8:00 AM - Out the door, headed down to La Brea Bakery for a nice breakfast before the tour. I have pancakes and Tracey has a croissant sandwich and both are outstanding. The food here is always excellent, I highly recommend you try it next time you are down here and looking for a light meal.

9:15 AM - Our tour guide comes and gathers us, and we head inside to prepare for our "A Walk In Walt's Disneyland Footsteps Tour". This is a new (revamped) tour, only 2 weeks old. We've never taken a guided tour before, and I thought this would be a nice one to try. This was one of the surprises I had for Tracey, although she has known about it for a few days.

The tour is very nice and features many tidbits of information. As a Disney-phile, I knew most of it, but there were some things that even I didn't know. Our tour guide was very knowledgable on all things Walt Disney.

Two particularly nice features to this tour. First, we got to go into the lobby of Club 33, the ultra-exclusive members-only restaurant which used to have a 10+ year waiting list, but now they have actually CLOSED the waiting list. Eating here is definitely on any Disney fan's bucket list, but it's likely that getting to go into the lobby is as close as we'll get since we don't know any members.

This is Tracey, in the Club 33 elevator. Very cool.

Normally that would have been worth the price of the tour alone, but it got SO much better. I'm actually getting goosebumps just typing this.

Recognize this place? No, of course you don't, because very few have ever seen it.

This is Walt Disney's private apartment, above the fire hall on Main Street. Many Disneyland Cast Members have never even been in here.

Many of the knick knacks you see here are originals, used by Walt and his wife Lillian.

This was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.

12:30 PM - After the tour (and lunch that was included) was over, we head across the courtyard to DCA to check out the new entrance, which has been totally redone to look like Buena Vista Street when Walt arrived in California in the 1920's. It looks exactly as I imagined it would. The characters are dressed in 20's garb, and the entertaiment brings you right back to that era. Disney has done a fantastic job with the re-imagining of this park.

We walk into one of the art studios and find a beautiful new piece of artwork that we buy. It's a painting of Walt and Mickey, in the 1920's. It's really breathtaking. Now if only we can find a way to get it into the car and get it home!

2:30 PM - Up to the room to update the blog and rest for an hour or so before heading back to the park. We have dinner reservations at Ariel's Grotto tonight. The food is always great...and princesses as a little added bonus :-)

4:15 PM - Rested and ready to go back to DCA. We wander around a bit, get pictures with Donald Duck in a funny little red and white sweater, and then check in for dinner. As usual the food is great here, and we get visited by four princesses; the only drawback to this place is that it's almost always the same four: Belle, Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White. It would be nice to see some of the other, lesser seen princesses....but I guess if that's the only thing I can complain about, I should probably shut my pie hole.

After Aurora has come and gone from the table, I ask Tracey if "Cindy" is the next one to come, and she remarks that it's funny that I feel like I'm on a first name basis with her. Honey, considering how often we come and how much money we spend here, I should have her cell phone number by now.

Oh, and Tracey wanted me to point out that she got ID'd when she ordered sangria.

7:00 PM - Dinner is over and we wander through the boardwalk, do a little shopping, and head back towards the room. I decide to go on the Grizzly River Rapids one more time since we are on our way back to the room anyway and I don't care if I get soaked; good thing, since I DO get pretty wet. This is a great ride at the best of times but it's even better when it is dark and you can't always see what is coming. Despite getting drenched, I am still the dryest one getting off my boat. We got hit pretty hard with water this time. The young kids on the boat with me looked like they had just showered with their clothes on.

7:40 PM - Back up to the room to upload all of today's pictures, update the blog and go to bed. Today was an incredible day and it's going to be nice to get up whenever we want tomorrow as we have no breakfast plans.

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