Monday August 10, 2015


My eyes fluttered open at 6:15 a.m.; Carol was beside me, fully awake, eyes wide open and staring at me. 


“Are you all a-twitter with excitement?” I asked. 


“Yes and no,” she replied, “I’m excited to be heading to Disneyland, but I’m dreading the five-hour flight.”  Neither of us likes sitting still that long!


We are on our way to California for the D23 Expo and several days at Disneyland.  D23 is the official Disney Fan Club and naturally Carol is a member.  Ever second year they stage a huge exposition at the Anaheim Convention Centre adjacent to Disneyland.  There will be thousands of Disney fans from around the world there to mix and mingle with Disney executives and Imagineers.  There will be presentations, panel discussions, seminars and of course there will be merchandise for sale!  Disneyland is celebrating its 60th birthday and there are all sorts of special anniversary events and activities we’re looking forward to.


There was no need for us to rush this morning!  All we needed to do today was drive to Toronto, so I had a leisurely morning reading the newspaper, doing the crossword, all my normal stuff.  Carol was busy completing her final check that we had everything we were going to need.  By 9:30 we were all set to roll so I loaded the luggage in the car then put our dogs Blue and Jake on top of the pile!  Carol’s parents have been looking forward to having their grand-dogs stay with them for the week while we’re away!

We made a quick stop at a nearby park where the boys had a bit of exercise chasing their ball, then carried on to John & Sybil’s where we dropped the dogs off just after 10:00 a.m.  After a short visit we were back on the road by 10:30; traffic was light and the weather was good so we made great time.


We pulled off for a quick bite of lunch at Whitby and noticed some ominous dark clouds in the western sky when we pulled back onto the freeway.  It wasn’t long before it was raining steadily, with occasional downpours.  Naturally this had an impact on traffic.  Everything slowed to a crawl and it seemed to take forever to get across the north end of Toronto to our hotel near Pearson International Airport.  The storm brought cooler air, as we drove from the east end of the city to the west end the temperature dropped from 79°F to 63°F.  The air-conditioning was turned off and the heater came on.


We were checked in at the Hotel Carlingview by 2:45 p.m. and relaxed in our room for the afternoon while the thunder rolled and the lightning flashed outside.


At 6:00 p.m. we hopped in the car in search of dinner.  We spent about 20 minutes of driving past restaurant after restaurant, pointing at each one and saying, “No, I don’t think so.”  Soon we turned around and came back to Lone Star, a Tex-Mex place across from our hotel, the same place we ate last time we were here.  After some tasty fajitas we headed home and settled in for the night.

Tuesday August 11, 2015


Carol and I were both wide awake at 4:45 a.m.; well before the 5:00 alarm was set to chime.  By 5:45  we were on the shuttle to Toronto Airport.  We hate flying out of Toronto, but there were no direct flights out of Syracuse.


Carol had pre-printed our boarding passes, so we went straight to the self-service kiosk to print a luggage tag for the one bag we were going to check.   The danged machine wouldn’t read my Nexus card.  That was just the first in a whole series of problems which made for a very unpleasant airport experience!


It was a smooth flight, but the in-flight movie system didn’t work.  They kept rebooting and rebooting until at last, there were movies available for the final 20 minutes of the flight.  Carol and I are almost certain that the flight home will be the last time we fly the unfriendly skies of Air Canada!

We landed at 10:45, picked up our Avis rental car - we were upgraded from a Chevy Cruze to an Impala and the rate was reduced!   Finally something good!

By 1:00 p.m. we were enjoying burgers at the In-N-Out on Brookhurst near Disneyland!

Carol picked up a few drinks and snacks for our room then off we went to the Candy Cane Inn.  It’s a great little motel that abuts the Disneyland property.  Directly over the rear of the motel courtyard are those giant Cadillac fins at Cars Land!


I rested a bit while Carol unpacked and then off we went to Disneyland.

By 3:30 we were walking down Main Street USA soaking up the sights and sounds.  The place has been spruced up and thoroughly decorated for the 60th anniversary celebration!

We decided to ride Mr. Toad, but after about 20 minutes in line the ride broke down.  We moved around the corner and had a ride through Wonderland with Alice.

By 4:30 we were settled in a comfortable, shady spot near It’s A Small World to watch Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.  It’s one of the new 60th anniversary events and we really enjoyed it!

We took a slow stroll to the hub and by 5:30 we were seated outside at the Plaza Inn waiting for our camping buddies Al & Jane.  Carol wandered off to look for pins and bumped into Al & Jane while she was trading.


We walked right in to the Plaza and had a great dinner while we yakked with our friends and caught up on each other’s lives.

Al and Jane hung out with us for the evening; we walked through Big Thunder Ranch then Fantasyland and ended up back in front of It’s A Small World for the new Paint The Night Parade. While we were waiting I spotted Tom Corless, Webmaster at a Disney fan site and a pin trading friend.  He joined us to watch the parade.  It’s another of the new 60th anniversary events and all I can say is WOW - they’ve raised the bar!  Far better than any other Disney parade so far . . . and that’s saying a lot.

We knew that fireworks were coming up and they would be the finalé of our day.  We stayed put at Small World to watch the Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular.  Fireworks combined with images projected on the Small World facade to deliver a stirring tribute to Walt Disney.  What a great way to end the day.


After a long travel day we were pooped.  We walked with Al & Jane to the park exit, said goodnight and raced to catch the 10:15 shuttle back to the hotel where we collapsed into bed.  Aaah . . . that felt good!

Wednesday August 12, 2015


We both did very well fighting the time change.  We slept until 6:00 a.m. - that’s 9:00 a.m. at home.  We must have been extremely tired the night before!


We puttered at the computer and had a coffee, then I headed out to enjoy the hotel’s complementary continental breakfast at a table beside the pool.


When I got back Carol was all set to go, we took the car down Katella Avenue, filled it up with gas and returned it to the nearby Avis depot.  After a brisk 2-block walk back home we caught the 8:15 shuttle bus to Disneyland.

I boarded the double-decker Omnibus and took a ride down Main Street USA to the hub while Carol scampered over to Tomorrowland to get FastPasses for Buzz Lightyear.  She went to the wrong kiosk and got Star Tours passes by mistake.  So she crossed the walkway and got passes for Buzz.  Bonus - I had an unplanned ride!

I met up with Carol at Peter Pan and we hopped in the long line.  It’s always long for this classic old attraction.

There was hardly any line at all for Mr. Toad so we took a spin with Thaddeus!


Then it was time for Buzz - Carol whupped me; she was gleeful . . . she really trounced me.

You can imagine how disappointed she was when the picture that you e-mail home had the wrong scores.  Too bad for her, but a whole lot less embarrassing for me!


Carol doesn’t like Star Tours, so I found a stranger from Reno Nevada in the 60 minute  line and gave him a FastPass.  He appreciated the short cut!  While I toured the galaxy Carol got FastPasses for Space Mountain, then she picked up two more for Buzz Lightyear - I guess she really wanted to for another win and another picture!

We wandered through Tomorrowland to the train station and boarded for the grand circle tour.  We rode all around the park snapping pictures.

By the time we detrained again in Tomorrowland it was time for our second ride on Buzz.  You guessed it, she beat me again.  Yup, the scores in the picture were messed up again!  She was not happy.

We headed to Space Mountain but the ride was down when we arrived at 11:30 so we sidetracked to Pizza Port for lunch.  By the time we finished our bowls of pasta the rockets were running again so we took a dark, high speed ride through space!  Carol won’t ride Space Mountain in Florida but she likes the California version!

It was very hot as we exited the park so we walked down Main Street through shops and Carol did some shopping along the way.

Just before we got to the exit the Main Street Philharmonic Orchestra marched past with some dancers so we stopped briefly to enjoy the show.

By then we had missed the shuttle so we decided to wander through the Main Street Cinema, looking at all the artwork and displays of concept art for the Disneyland Park. It is a very interesting area that is often overlooked.

As we walked out from beneath the train station we noticed a sky writer so we asked a PhotoPass photographer to take our picture.  I think she did a great job!

We caught the 1:15 shuttle back to the Candy Cane Inn and after a quick change we were enjoying a cooling soak in the pool.  Then I uploaded yesterday’s trip report and we had a well earned rest!


By late afternoon we were back in motion; we caught the 5:00 shuttle to the Disneyland and walked up Main Street checking out the store windows.  A left turn took us to Adventureland where we enjoyed the audio-animatronics show in the Enchanted Tiki Room.

We meandered down through Adventureland to New Orleans Square and on to the Haunted Mansion.  The line was less than a half hour so we joined the 999 Happy Haunts for a short tour.

Our dining reservation at Club 33 was for 7:00 p.m. but we checked in a bit early and were seated by 6:30.  Our second dinner at Club 33 and our first time there since they went through some major renovations.  What a meal!  It was a six-course extravaganza and everything was sumptuous.  The service and the presentation were outstanding!

We relaxed in luxurious surrounding for three hours while enjoying a truly wonderful fine dining experience.  We had hoped to see the Paint The Night Parade from Main Street but we were nowhere near finished our dinner when the parade stepped off at 8:50 so we’ll see it again another night!

Carol visited the little shop and picked up a few Club 33 items for her collection and we headed toward the exit.  Fantasmic was in progress right in front of Club 33 and the crowds were intense, but we forged through as best we could and caught the 9:45 shuttle back home.


Another swim to cool off and it was early to bed again!

Thursday August 13, 2015


We managed to stay in bed until almost 7:00 a.m. today.  I enjoyed a coffee while I uploaded the previous day’s episode of our exciting Disneyland adventure while Carol got ready to walk to the nearby Anaheim Convention Center.  Disney does not mail D23 Expo Registration Packages to overseas countries like Canada . . .

It seems that the idiotic bean-counters who make these bonehead policy decisions have a firm grasp of Return on Equity and Price/Earnings ratios, but they lack even the most rudimentary knowledge of customer service or geography!


Carol left at 7:30 and took a stroll to the convention center while I enjoyed a nice continental breakfast beside the hotel pool.

She was back, package in hand at 8:50 and we were soon aboard the 9:00 a.m. shuttle to Disney’s California Adventure!


It was already hot and uncomfortable when we got off the bus, and the forecast was for a high of 95°F.  Carol stopped to check out a few pin lanyards as we made our way up Buena Vista Street and past the Carthay Circle Restaurant on our way to Cars Land.

The FastPasses for Radiator Springs Racers were already as late as 1:55 to 2:55 and we knew that the chances of us still being there that late were somewhere between “slim” and “not a prayer”.  Carol picked up a pair of passes anyway, thinking we could always make some magic for someone later in the day.

We stopped for a picture as we entered Cars Land then took a spin through Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.

It’s a cute little ride for children, but this big kid likes it too! It really giver riders a “whip” as they figure-eight around the course!


After leaving the junkyard we headed directly to Radiator Springs; the standby line wait time was 45 minutes so we hopped in the “single rider” line.  We walked through so quickly that there was hardly time for pictures.

Within 5 minutes we were almost ready to board when I looked in the lane beside me and a familiar face walked by.  It was Bob, Juanita and their son Joaquin along with Tim and Carrie our friends from Ontario.  They were in the single rider line just behind us!  We waved and then boarded our cars!

Once again Carol’s car and mine ended up side by side and her car won the race!

We waited down the exit line and met our fellow Canadians for a short visit.  After chatting for about  just outside the queue Carol and I headed back to the single rider line for another race.  The others went on in search of different adventures; we’ll be seeing them tonight at dinner!



Then we took a second high speed run through Ornament Valley and past the Cadillac Range.

It was time for needed a break and a cold drink.  We stopped at Flo’s V/8 Café and shared a French Toast Brioche and a soft drink.  It was nice to sit in a cool shady spot for a few minutes!

What to do now?  Why not take a third run on the racers?  Good idea . . . we headed back to the single rider line for a third time.  The line was a bit longer, about 15 minutes this time.

Three times was enough, we wandered through “A Bug’s Land” to Hollywood Land; we wanted to ride Monsters Inc.

In line we chatted with a young man and his mother who were both celebrating birthdays.  He was a cast member in the California Adventure Park and he was very happy when Carol gave him our FastPasses for Radiator Springs Racers as a birthday gift!


We parted company at 11:45.  Carol wanted to shop and was heading to Downtown Disney; I hiked over to the main gate and caught the 12:15 shuttle back to the hotel.  I enjoyed our nice air-conditioned room for a while!

Carol was back at 1:15 and reported a good (but very hot) shopping excursion and a chance encounter with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!  I went for a swim while she cooled off in the room and we relaxed for the afternoon.

Later in the afternoon we were totally refreshed not quite so pooped, so we caught the 4:00 p.m. shuttle back to Disney’s California Adventure.

We headed directly back to Paradise Pier where I used the single rider line to take a spin on California Screamin’.  Carol doesn’t do that ride (it goes upside-down), so she stood along the rail and took my picture as we prepared for launch!


We walked down the pier and stood in line for a few minutes at Toy Story Midway Mania.  The sign indicated a 30 minute wait time but our eyes soon told us it would be much longer than that, so we walked back out the way we came in!

We strolled down to the end of the pier looking at all the tawdry carnival games . . . that section of the park just doesn’t feel like Disney to us.  We headed back toward Ariel’s Grotto where we were meeting a gang for dinner.  We were hoping to get in a bit early and escape the oppressive heat.  As we approached the restaurant we heard someone calling our names, it was James and Linda from Virginia.  We stood chatting with them for a few minutes and before long Al & Jane arrived. 

Al, Jane, Carol and I found seats in a cool corner of the restaurant foyer and waited for the rest of the gang to show up for our 5:40 dinner reservation.  We were all seated in the outdoor section of the restaurant for our “World of Color Dinner Package”.  The reservation guaranteed admission to a preferred viewing area for the World of Color Show.

There were eleven of us for dinner, Bob, Juanita and Joaquin, Tim and Carrie; Susan and Allison; Al and Jane; Carol and I.

After a very nice meal Al, Jane, Carol and I took a stroll out toward the park entrance where the ladies visited a shop and Jane picked up a few pins for her collection.

By 8:15 we were standing in our preferred viewing area, Susan and Allison had arrived a few minutes before us and staked our a terrific spot with no one in front to block our view.  Wow, what a wonderful show.  It has been revamped for the 60th Anniversary and is a very touching tribute to Walt Disney.

After the show most of us were stiff and sore from standing in one place for an hour and a half, so we found a park bench and sat for a few minutes while the crowd dispersed.  Then we walked through Pacific Wharf and took the back entrance into Cars Land.  It gives an amazing vista and Ornament Valley is even more spectacular when it’s all lit up at night!  We were inspired to ride it again, so Al, Carol and I entered the single rider line while Jane took a soothing rest on a park bench.

It was a great day, despite of the 95°F temperature we got a lot done.  But by 10:30 we were bushed.  We headed to the main gate and caught the 10:45 shuttle back to the Candy Cane Inn.  Carol set the alarm for 5:45 so we could get to the D23 Expo early and we both fell into bed.

Friday August 14, 2015


Ouch!  The alarm woke me with a start.  I heard running water; Carol was already in the shower so I sprang out of bed and got ready to face the day.



We were out the door and walking to the Convention Center by 6:20 a.m.

Along the way Carol sent a text message to our friend Gail; she had paid for the Sorcerer ticket package which allowed her to shop the day before we could.  We were Gold ticket holders.  Gail had kindly offered to pick up a few things for Carol.  We met her just outside the special Conference Center “Sorcerers Entrance” at 6:30 to pick up the logo pin and three Vinylmations Carol wanted.

While we were thanking Gail I heard someone call my name.  It was our good friend Deb Wills, founder of; she was out taking a few early morning pictures.  The four of us had a short visit before Carol and I headed on to the main entrance.

We were quickly processed through the entrance line, handed our goody bags, event booklets and maps, then directed through a door into a giant empty convention area where we would wait until the event opened at 9:00 a.m.  Yes, we were there 2 ½ hours early to be sure that some of the merchandise Carol wanted would still be available when she got to the vendors.  The Limited Edition items sell out very quickly.  Many are limited to 250 or 300 of each!


Our waiting area had all the ambiance of a cattle pen.  There was a bare concrete floor, bare concrete walls and bare concrete posts.  The floor had been divided into lanes with masking tape and everyone was directed to the appropriate lane based on their ticket category.  When we arrived there were over 3,000 people already there, they closed the door to the inside line at 7 a.m. and the remaining 10,000 people had to line up outside.


That’s why we got there early, Carol wanted to wait inside rather than outside in the 90 degree sun when the doors for the gold members opened at 9 a.m.


We settled in for our 2 ½ hour wait.  Before long we had established a nice routine; stand until your feet hurt, the sit until your butt throbs.  Repeat as necessary! 


There were plenty of rest rooms and a snack bar nearby.  Fortunately I saw the snack bar open and hustled over to get a muffin and a couple of bottles of water.  They were only open about 15 minutes before they ran out of food and coffee.  After only 15 minutes the place was closed and shuttered.


We had our strategy all mapped out, Carol was hitting the shops and I had three presentations I wanted to see, we would meet again at noon. 


By the time 9:00 a.m. rolled around there were some tired and uncomfortable people in our big cattle pen and no one was especially pleased when our entry time came and went with no sign of movement in the room.  It was 9:20 before the front of the line was admitted and it was 9:30 before Carol and I got to the Convention floor. 

 Carol raced off the Mickey’s of Glendale Store while I went to the Walt Disney Studios Stage for my first presentation, “The Art of the Story” presented by Disney writers Brian Kesinger and Normand Lemay.  This is the sort of thing I really enjoy, they were talking about the first month of a movie’s life, how the ideas are formed, how the plot takes shape.  They were talking about brainstorming and storyboarding!  I was really looking forward to this!  Unfortunately, the 9:00 a.m. presentation was more than half over when I arrived.  The theatre was in an open area in the middle of the convention floor, there was a raised stage area and a few padded benches, sort of like long footstools, to seat about 30 - 40 people.  I found a seat in the second row of stools but couldn’t hear the presentation.  It was drowned out by Disney Radio which was playing directly behind me and the PA system which boomed down from overhead, constantly welcoming everyone to D23 Expo.  I was jostled a few times by bags and strollers as people cut through the middle of the theatre to get to the exhibits on either side of us.  I gave up after about 15 minutes and left before the seminar concluded.

A short escalator ride took me up to Stage 28 for my 10:00 a.m. seminar, “The Big Retro Disneyland Slide Show” presented by Charles Phoenix.  This was much better, it was in a large private hall with good acoustics.  Charles Phoenix is a humorist and author who has collected thousands of old 35MM slides of Disneyland in it’s early years.  Many folks who sent him the slides also captioned the pictures or described who the people in the slides were.  Being a humorist, Charles used the information they provided to keep us in stitches for an hour.  He explained why Uncle Fritz from Germany wore that lovely three-piece plaid suit to Disneyland in 1957.  It was great to see all the vintage rides and attractions from those early days and the narration added another level of enjoyment.  If you get a chance to see Charles Phoenix present his Retro Slide Show do not pass it up!


My third seminar of the morning was “Before Ever After” presented by author and film producer Don Hahn.  His talk was based on his new book of the same title which tells the story of Disney Studio’s early days and the development of their artist’s training program.  He wove a fascinating tale and in the process managed to draw a thread which wound directly from Walt Disney through to the Cal Arts art school and it’s most successful graduates such as John Lasseter and Tim Burton.  The book isn’t available in stores yet, but it’s definitely on my wants list!


As soon as Mr. Hahn’s presentation was over I headed back downstairs to hook up with Carol.  She had finished shopping and was waiting on the main floor.  We found a spot to sit in one of the extremely crowded food areas and Carol filled me in on her morning while we munched some mediocre hamburgers.

She had gone directly to the Mickey’s of Glendale Store where they sell Walt Disney Imagineering pins.  These Limited Edition pins are only available in that store and they are very hard to get . . . highly coveted in pin trading circles! 


Access to the stores is controlled to prevent people from storming the shelves.  People are asked to line up and they are admitted in small groups.  Most products are restricted to one or two to a customer.


Carol was very pleased with the seven Walt Disney Imagineering Pins she picked up at Mickey’s of Glendale.

From there she went to The Dream Store where she found a few Vinylmations and a D23 pin. While she was standing in line she also had a chance to visit with our friend from California, Mari May.


As we ate lunch someone waved from the next table; we went over and said hello to Deb Koma and Kristin Ford from - we kept bumping into friends and acquaintances all day.

After lunch it was time to line up and wait again.  We wanted to see the 3:00 p.m. Animation presentation by John Lasseter.  This would be the most popular activity of the day and there would not be room for everyone so we were back in the cattle pen by 1:00 p.m.  Two more hours of stand ‘til it hurts, sit ‘til it hurts.  By 2:00 p.m. there were about 10,000 people in that room, all waiting for seats in a theatre which seats 7,800.


It was kind of frustrating knowing that the theatre, just up those escalators, was sitting there empty while we all sat uncomfortably on the floor.  Disney is normally very good at keeping guests comfortable and entertained as they wait in line, that doesn’t seem to be the case with D23.


Once again they were late emptying us out of the waiting room.  Any form of photography or video was strictly taboo!  Everyone was given a tough plastic bag and asked to seal their cameras, cell phones in the bag for the duration of the presentation.  They started this process too late and it took too long!  It was 3:20 by the time we made it to the escalator and rode up to the theatre.  This time however they had held the show up until almost all of the audience had arrived.  Carol and I were still about 30 yards from our seats when the lights dimmed and John Lasseter took the stage.  We scrambled to get seated in the dark!


We were well back in the hall but had a peripheral view of the stage to our left.  Fortunately there were plenty of huge video screens where we watched the action.  And there was lots of action.  They started with Walt Disney Studios then moved on to Pixar; we saw clips and highlights from all of the new animated features currently in production.  The producers and directors of each film outlined the plots and put the clips we were previewing into perspective.  Many of the voice actors were on hand as well.  We saw Ed O’Neill and Ty Burrell from Modern Family, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Randy Newman, Ginnifer Goodwin, Ellen DeGeneres and several other stars!  The staging for the event was spectacular, Randy Newman played the piano and sang “You’ve Got A Friend In Me”, a Samoan band played songs from the new movie “Moana” and toy soldiers rappelled down from the roof when “Toy Story 4” was introduced!  It was spectacular, almost good enough to compensate for the fact that we had to spend over 5 hours in the cattle pen!

The session ran well past the scheduled 5:00 p.m. finish.  It was 6:00 before we returned to the convention floor to visit some of the vendor stalls.  We said quick hellos to Beci from Mouse Fan Travel, Gary from Gary’s Collectibles in Missouri and Erin from Morehouse Collectibles of California.  It was 7:15 when we finally dragged our worn, tattered and aching carcasses out of the building.  We stopped at the first place we saw, a bar in the Desert Palms hotel almost next door to our hotel and had a quick bite to eat.

We were back at the hotel by 8:30 and managed to drum up enough energy for a refreshing swim before falling into bed at 10:00 p.m.  SNORE!

Saturday August 15, 2015


After our early start the day before we decided to have a more relaxing morning on Saturday.  We sipped coffee in the room and Carol joined me for a bite of breakfast beside the pool before we caught the 9:00 a.m. shuttle to Disneyland.

It was already stiflingly hot when we arrived!  We walked up the shady side of Main Street USA and ambled through a few of the shops then walked through Sleeping Beauty Castle to Fantasyland.

Once again we focussed on rides we don’t see in Florida; first up was Snow White’s Scary Adventure where the line was quite short and shaded!


We moved next door to Pinocchio’s Daring Flight and enjoyed another short and shady line as we waited!  Both Snow White and Pinocchio are old, low-tech rides, dark and mysterious but they are classics like Peter Pan.  It’s hard for us old geezers to pass them by!

We headed back to It’s A Small World but the line was huge, and all out in the blazing sun, so we carried right on past to Mickey’s Toontown.  We picked up FastPasses for Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and then entered the standby line.  Carol doesn’t like the spinning, so it was my job to hold the steering wheel firmly to keep us facing forward as we looped and weaved through the attraction.  That’s harder than it sounds, my hands and arms were tired by the time we finished.

We roamed around Toontown snapping pictures.

We wrapped up in Toontown and headed back to It’s A Small World.  Yikes . . . the line was still too long.

We took our time as we wandered over to the hub on our way to the Carnation Café for lunch.

At the hub we  hopped on the double-decker Omnibus about 11:15 for a ride down Main Street.  It was in the high 90’s, as you can see in the picture!

From Town Square we browsed our way up through the Emporium and were seated (indoors) in the Café at about 11:30.  We each had a bowl of their amazing “Fully-loaded” potato soup.  Delicious!  Then we shared a bacon-cheddar melt; also very tasty!


Our final stop of the morning was at Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln in Town Square.  This is one of the four attractions Walt Disney created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair.  As we left the theatre we couldn’t help but reflect on how much this must have astounded people fifty years ago!


We caught the 12:45 shuttle back to the Candy Cane Inn where we both had a cooling swim and relaxed for the afternoon.

We stepped out the door to catch the 4:30 shuttle and it felt like we were walking into an oven.  Carol pointed to the weather app on her cell phone and said, “Look, it’s 101 degrees!”  “Yes,” I replied, “but it’s a dry heat.”  The breeze from the roundhouse swing I ducked under felt good!


We crossed Town Square and browsed our way through the Emporium on our way to Adventureland.  The line was short at the Jungle Cruise so we took a humorous voyage around the world!

Our skipper, Cassondra, was terrific . . . probably the best we’ve ever had on the Jungle Cruise!

There was a 45 minute line at the Indiana Jones Adventure so we picked up FastPasses for later, then hopped in the line for Pirates of the Caribbean.  It’s funny how a number of small differences between this attraction and its Florida clone can make this one so much more enjoyable for us.

We finished at Pirates just in time to check in for dinner at Blue Bayou.  We had a delicious dinner as we watched all the pirate ships sail by on their way to adventure!  Our reservation was a special “dinner package” which included preferred seating for the Fantasmic show at 9:00 p.m.


After dinner we walked around the Rivers Of America area and confirmed where we were to check in later, then went on to ride the Haunted Mansion . . . the line wasn’t too long, we there was just enough time.  We made it through the line, into the mansion, through the stretching room and were close to boarding our doom buggy when the ride stopped.  Within a couple of minutes they announced that the delay might be a long one so we ducked out an emergency exit.


Before long we were seated on some concrete steps in front of the French Market.  Yes, preferred seating means that you sit on the ground, but the dinner package includes some cute little foam pads to park your butt on while you watch the show.  Our seats were great, we had a good view and I was surprised that Carol allowed me to use my cushion.  It’s a sweet little collectible!


The Fantasmic show here is quite a bit different than in Florida.  Peter Pan and Captain Hook swing around in the rigging of the Columbia as they fight and at the end all the characters sail by on a real steamboat, the Mark Train.

Just a few minutes after Fantasmic concluded the fireworks show, Disneyland Forever, began and the video portion was projected onto the water screens used for Fantasmic.  It’s an awesome show, Tinker Bell flies during the early part of the show and then later, during the Finding Nemo sequence, Nemo flies over the crowd too!


Once the fireworks were over we began our trek toward the exit and stopped along the way to use our FastPass for Indiana Jones.  We sat in the very back seat of the car and Carol thought it was bumpier that normal.  Don’t know if it was bumpier, but it’s an action-packed fun-filled ride!


We caught the 10:45 shuttle back to the hotel and I had just dipped my scorched and seared body in the pool when a hotel employee came by and said, “The pool closes at 11:00 . . . you’ve got two more minutes!”


The two minutes was long enough to cool me down before I flopped into bed.

Sunday August 16, 2015


We took it very easy this morning.  Carol wasn’t feeling very well the day before and was pretty sure she was coming down with a cold. By the time we went to bed last night she had a full blown cold. This morning she was feeling lousy and moving slow.  We caught the 9:00 a.m. shuttle to Disneyland and slowly strolled toward It’s A Small World.

We detoured through Tomorrowland to pick up FastPasses for Buzz Lightyear; there was a very short line so we rode right away, thinking we’d used the FastPasses later.  Once again Carol trounced me, 215,900 to 49,100, and once again the computer messed up the scores on the picture.  People who don’t read the text, just look at the pictures, will think that I’m pretty good at Buzz!  Please don’t burst their bubble!

We carried on to It’s A Small World and took a spin.  It’s nice to see the Disney characters spread out in this attraction.  We kept our eyes open to spot as many as we could.

We decided to head over to Frontierland so we gave away our FastPasses for Buzz.  A couple of strangers were very happy to get them!

We walked through Big Thunder Ranch to Frontierland.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was down when we arrived so we walked to New Orleans Square. 

The Haunted Mansion was almost a “walk-on” so we boarded a doom buggy and took a ride.


It was up to 94° when we came out of the mansion; we walked over toward the Golden Horseshoe and noticed that Big Thunder was running.  Carol grabbed a pair of passes and then we joined the 10 minute standby line.  The California version is vastly different than its Florida counterpart, particularly the old western village, a remnant of Disneyland’s earliest days!

The heat was stifling by the time we finished our train ride; we sat for about ten minutes in the Golden Horseshoe to cool down.  Carol browsed quickly through a few Frontierland shops and we made our way to Coke Corner for lunch.  We each had a “so-so” hot dog.  They still serve those dry, tasteless whole-wheat buns we had to endure for a while at Walt Disney World.  And they give you little plastic packets of condiments; they’re not nearly as good as Casey’s hot dogs!


We had a little time to waste before the next shuttle so we cooled off with some ice cream at Gibson Girl, then caught the 12:15 shuttle back to the hotel.


We relaxed through the hottest part of the day - the temperature peaked at 101°.

I had a soothing swim and we both enjoyed a short nap before heading out again.  When we caught the 4:30 shuttle back to Disneyland the temperature had dipped to a nippy 99°.  BRRR!


Carol was really dragging with her cold and I was knocked out by the heat!  We kept to the shaded areas as much as possible as we made our way back to New Orleans Square where we had a 6:00 p.m. dinner reservation at Café Orleans.  There was only a 15 minute wait at Pirates of the Caribbean so we detoured and enjoyed an adventure on the bounding main!

We checked in a bit early for dinner and were seated by 5:50.  We were in the outdoor seating area, under umbrellas.  The combination of shade and a gentle breeze made the extreme temperature almost bearable.  We shared a French onion soup, Carol had a beef crêpe and I had a three-cheese Monte Cristo sandwich then Carol finished with some beignets - I helped her just a teensy bit with them!  It was all yummy!


When dinner was done we had no energy left at all, so we ambled very slowly over to It’s A Small World and staked out a spot to watch the Paint The Night Parade.

Our friend Carrie and her husband Tim joined us just before the parade started at 8:50 and we all enjoyed it together.  It is just as impressive the second time around!  This time I watched the parade and Carol took the pictures.  She got some good ones!

As soon as the parade was over we said goodbye to Carrie and Tim.  They stayed to watch the fireworks while we made a bee-line for the exit.


We said goodbye to Mickey and caught the 9:45 shuttle back to the resort.  After a cooling swim Carol packed everything up for our trip home tomorrow while I played at the computer.  Tomorrow will be a long travel day, we leave the hotel at about 7:30 a.m. and should get home about 11:00 p.m.  Yikes!

Monday August 17, 2015


We woke just before the 6:00 a.m. alarm and quickly got ready to hit the road!  I had my last breakfast beside the pool and before long Carol came to join me for a coffee.  Our 7:25 airport shuttle showed up right on time and we made good time in light traffic.  We were in the Air Canada check-in line at 8:15.  Carol had completed our check-in online but we needed a tag before we checked our big suitcase.  There were three Air Canada flights checking in and only one harried agent.  So typical of our national airline!  After a long wait to drop off our luggage we were thankful for our Nexus cards.  We zipped through the TSA Pre-clearance line and stopped to relax with a cold drink before heading to our departure lounge.


There was a plane waiting when we got to the departure area about an hour before our flight and it boarded on time.  We pulled away a mere five minutes late and after a smooth and uneventful flight landed on time.  As always at Toronto International Airport, it took a very long time for our luggage to make it to the carousel!  It took an hour and twenty minutes to get out of the airport, even though we whisked through customs by using an electronic Nexus terminal.


A quick shuttle ride delivered us to our car and we headed east in light traffic.  We made a quick stop at a Service Centre near Port Hope for a bite of dinner and arrived at Carol’s parent’s home at 11:15 p.m.  Blue and Jake were very happy to see us!


We were home and unpacking by 11:45!


It was a terrific trip and we had a wonderful time, even though we were both disappointed with the D23 Expo.  We knew that it would be busy and that we would spend a lot of time in lines, but we were not really prepared for what we experienced.  We spent a total of 13 hours at D23 and about 45% of that time we spent in a staging area, I called it “the cattle pen”, where we waited for early-entry privileges.  Once we got our early-entry we lined up again to get into the venues we wanted.  We were in lines for more than 60% of the time and in the actual venues less than 40%.  Unless there are some very big changes to the process I doubt that either of us will attend the Expo again!


Disneyland was spectacular!  The 60th Anniversary decorations, the parades and fireworks were awesome.  Almost good enough to compensate for the poor organization at the Expo!


We don’t have another Disneyland trip in the plans right now, but you can count on one in the next few years!