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Photo TR: Chuck Takes His Parents to Disneyland, Aug. 14-16


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Evenin' all,


My niece Sarah got married on Aug. 11, and being as I was heading out west anyway, I seized the opportunity to check out DLR for the first time since 2001. I also decided, with some support from my sibs, to treat Mom and Dad to three days at DL and DCA--it was our way of returning the favor for all the times they'd treated us.


The wedding went off without a hitch. The trip afterward had two hitches, but a good time was still had by all:


Hitch #1: Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. My plan was for an early dinner on Sunday night, followed by a few hours in the park (like when I was a kid). We got there at 5:30--but we didn't get out of the joint until nearly 9:00! Sheesh! So much for checking out Ghostrider.


Hitch #2: Mom was sick the first day we were to spend at DLR, so she had to spend the day resting (she was fine the next two days).


Some observations about DLR and DCA:


1. Pirates of the Carribbean--the new additions are excellent! A great ride has been made better (ditto for the Haunted Mansion's new, more fiendish bride).


2. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh--suckiest suck that ever sucked! They'd have been better off putting Superstar Limo in here. Well, pooh, not matter how you spell it, tends to stink.


3. 50th-anniversary fireworks--best DL fireworks ever! But getting in and out is such a pain, what with two Fantasmic shows a night, too. The joint was still jumping (and the lines still fairly long) at 10:00 pm.


4. Space Mountain--I know that many folks were disappointed that the "new" track follows the same route, but I've always liked that ride. The new music is good, too.


5. Tower of Terror--granted, this doesn't have as much atmosphere of the Florida version, but it's still a lot of fun.


6. Monsters Inc.: Mike and Sully to the Rescue--yeah, not a classic ride, but it craps all over Superstar Limo (which, in turn, craps all over Pooh).


7. California Screamin'--I'd heard that they added trim brakes to the bunny hills; if so, they weren't using them while I was there. This coaster still kicks butt, but what happened to the music? Did Disney finally give up on it?


Here are the pics.


Yay! Mom and Dad can save me now! More pics to come later.


See you in hell, oh sad-and-pathetic one! Who can save me from this sorry fate?


Off with his sad-and-pathetic head!


Here's the sad-and-patehtic rider--over here!


Nyah, nyah, nyah! You're so sad and pathetic!


And now, an extra-special, sad-and-pathetic ride on Alice in Wonderland.


. . . and local chapter of Weight Watchers.


I amble over the the Temple of the Forbidden Eye . . .


Hurry, Space Rangers! Zurg is attacking Vulcan! (Rode this twice, but couldn't get past level 3.)


Live long and prosper!


Ah, there it is!


I must catch the next transport to Vulcan!


After that, it was time to get spaced.


First up is a ride down the icy slopes of the majestic Matterhorn to say "hi" to Harold.


With Mom out of commission for the first day, I go "sad and pathetic." (You'll have to make your own tiny castle joke.)


This is as close as I got to riding Ghostrider. Sigh!


It took us two and a half hours to get this close to a fried-chicken dinner. Er, Mom (aka Betsy) is on the left.


Here's the view from our uber exclusive ToT room at Hojo's--but first things first . . .

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about Cal Screaming music:


on August 15th (last Tuesday):


morning - running 1 side, 3 trains (NO music)


afternoon - breaks down, evacuations


evening - running 4 trains, both sides! (WITH music!)

and it seemed to me that the trims were on less than before



it was all very interesting...

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Let's see, when last we left Chuck, he had been plucked from a sad-and-pathetic fate by the recovery of his Mom from her mysterious ailment of the day before. Let the Photo TR continue!


Mom and Dad are not as mobile as they like (especially Dad), so they were ECV jockeys for the remainder of the trip. And Mom is more daring than Dad, as we shall soon see.


Best not get between me and my monte cristo, son! Next--on to DCA!


We were able to grab a late lunch at the Blue Bayou the next day.


OK, how many of you have ever bothered to watch the flag ceremony? Show of hands, please.


Oh--and I thought BGE was jumping the gun on Halloween.


We amble down Main Street, only to confront this--the hell?


Mom's happy because our Small World boat matches her top.


We get on the Haunted Mansion, where I apply for a new job, only to be told I need to be dead first.


even though we didn't get the uber special Golden Boat.


Dad is enjoying his Jungle Cruise . . .


But this Whip is all mine! Mine, I tell you!


Dad shares a Whip with Mom while we wait for the Tiki Room.


Me Cholesterol-a-loa--God of Soft Serve! Let there be Dole Whip for all, mon!


and yer stoned, kid-harrassin' pirates!


yer ship-hijackin' pirates . . .


yer singin', cavortin' pirates . . .


Fer instance, yer flat, two-dimensional pirates . . .


Arghh, but first we sets sail fer PoC. Now there were many piratical types about that day . . .


Yes, we're here, soon. Now where's that monte cristo sandwich you promised me?

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Here's a little photo essay of our time at DCA, a park I actually rather like (and I'm not ashamed to admit it).


Even the California Zephyr is fun after dark, while you're waiting for the Electrical Parade. Thanks for reading.


I think DCA looks its best after dark--pity it's not open a bit later.


If you like your wild mouse in a box and decorated with random road signs and billboards, this is the ride for you.


. . . and Mulholland Madness.


. . . the Maliboomer (which is the only ride I know that comes with a sneeze shield but no salad bar) . . .


I did a few things without Mom and Dad, too--like California Screamin' . . .


Dad is a retired farmer, and as far as he's concerned, it's not quite tough enough to be a bug.


Her pants leg tells the tale.


She made it as far as the entrance--but did she ride?


Next, Mom tackles the Grizzly River Run.


. . .she loved it! (But her fave is still Thunder Mountain.)


Not even the demonic boiler scared her. In fact, to sum up . . .


Her sinister-looking son didn't scare her.


The smashed elevator doors didn't scare her.


She made it to the lobby--it didn't scare her.


But this is what she was really interested in.


Mom thought Monsters Inc. was a little better than Superstar Lameo.


OK--now I'm ready to go Soarin'!


I'm almost ready to go Soarin'.


Mom and Dad are ready to go Soarin'.


Hmm--looks like we're already in the Twilight Zone.


Let's see--what state does this park represent?

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^Mom's actually pretty daring. Dad used to ride Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain, but with his arthritis and knee problems now, most coasters are too rough for him (uncomfortable and painful). Mom was ready to tackle Screamin', but we ran short on time (she was kind of interested in Mulholland Madness, too).

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And thank you, Ward, for bumping up this thread. Nepotism at work!


And now, in honor of my Sacramento brother's shameless thread bumping, here's a look at the capitol city's Funderland (or "Disney's Sacramento Adventure"). I had some time to kill the day of my niece's wedding, so I took a rather long walk from Ward's house to William Land Park, . . .


It does wind through this nice garden, though. Seriously, Funderland looks like a nice place to take the kiddies (along with the nearby zoo and Fairytale Town).


Here's the Electro-autopia, formerly sponsored by Enron. Hmm--appears to be blacked out at the moment.


Careful--you may not get wet on the Rio Linda Rapids Run.


In the foreground, we see Soarin' Over Sacramento. Behind is the Governator-Go-Round, which goes around and up and down but never really gets anywhere.


Here's the entrance to Disney's Sacramento Adventure; unfortunately, there's still an hour before it opens.


. . . amusements! Let's take a look, shall we?


. . . which is full of trees and grass and water and ducks and . . .

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Hi Chuck,


Loved this trip report! Looks like your parents had a great time and I can see where you got some of your adventurous spirit! One year for my birthday I got my Dad on a Tilt-A-Whirl with me and he came off of it white as a ghost! I am the only ride-till-you-are-silly person in our family. Thanks for sharing your parents and your trip with us.



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My Mom has never accidentally ridden a roller coaster, but she has jumped into other theme-park arrangements blindly. A few years ago, when she and Dad were visiting in me in Virginia, they decided to drive down to WDW because they hadn't been there since Epcot was just a huge hole in the ground. Mom made the arrangements over the phone, and it went something like this:


Mom: I got us into some place called the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It's new. [in fact, it was opening week.] They said it's nice.


Dad: Um-umm . . .


Mom: And I got us tickets for something called Cirque d'Soleil. They're 65 dollars each.


Dad: That better be the best damn show in the whole wide world, then!


And he thought it was.

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