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Excuses, Excuses...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I determined when I started this blog that I wouldn't populate it with posts apologizing for not posting, so...I'm NOT sorry. Yeah. So, um, there.

John and I are still in California, though, and with only one laptop and one day's reserve on CW, I'm just not able to write as much as I'd like to here. (And until you guys get about eighty thousand of your friends to check Epbot every day, I'm afraid the Wreckage will have to continue to take priority. Heh.) Rest assured that all will return to normal next week, though!

In the meantime, I will tell you that I'm loving the Disneyland downtime. Yesterday it took us four hours just to get down Main Street.

In related news: I love Main Street.

The old bank vault. Leave it to me to find steampunk inspiration in Disneyland!

Yep, I love the architecture, the signage, the window displays, the Dapper Dans, the lights...and yes, I am going crazy Disney fangirl on you right now. Sorry. But not really.

When we got here, the girl in the ticket window decided John and I were so cute that we simply HAD to celebrate our anniversary this trip. So she gave us buttons with our names on them, and now everyone is wishing us a happy anniversary two months early. It's awesome.

Carved capital building in the pre-show area of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, which I got to see for the first time.

Oh, and I'm collecting smashes pennies from the machines sprinkled around the park. (Pennies? Again? YES.) You'll see them pop up in a tutorial soon, so go dig up any you have from past theme park or museum visits and wait for further instructions.

No stalker sightings to report yet, which, to be honest, is a bit disappointing. I'm telling myself they're all just really *good* stalkers. :D I almost turned stalker myself, though, when I spotted fashion and make-up guru Shrinkle in the queue at Caption EO. My first celebrity siting! Woohoo! Turns out Leesha (aka Xsparkage) was also here, but I missed her. These gals make me seriously crave candy-colored hair. For now I'll stick to embarrassing John with my yellow boots, though.

So tell me, fellow Disney Geeks (aka Dizgeeks), what's your favorite often-overlooked thing here in California? I don't want to miss anything! (Btw, I haven't spotted the Rocketeer popcorn cart yet, but it's on the list!) We're actually here until Friday, which is good considering the crazy crowds. Whose idea was it to do this during June, again?

Posted by Jen at 11:09 PM Labels:

99 comments:

  1. One thing you shouldn't miss in California Adventure is the Animation building, big building on the right in the Hollywood backlot. You can do an animation class, voice overs, take a quiz to see which character you are, and watch Turtle Talk with Crush! I personally just love standing in the lobby to watch all the movie scenes they show. You could easily spend an hour or more in there!

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  2. If you ride "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye" (and you totally should, unless you don't like thrill rides), while you're in the thoroughly themed queue, try shaking the bamboo pole in the spike room.

    Um, what else...definitely get a churro. And ride the Haunted Mansion a couple dozen times for me.

    And I believe at one time earlier this year, they had a set of Steampunk Mickey pins. Don't know for sure if it was a limited edition, but I suspect it might be. Still, you may be able to spot a few somewhere, maybe?

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  3. I love Disneyland, I haven't managed to make it to the one in California yet but I have been to the ones in Japan (twice) and Hong Kong (both a bit closer to Australia). I love the themeing and attention to detail that goes into each area. I am trying to organise a trip to Disneyland and Disneyworld at some point in the future. Then I just have to make it to EuroDisney in France.

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  4. Well, we just got back a couple weeks ago, but took the our 2 little girls and did absolutely nothing adult-ish. Sooo, I suggest NOT waiting in line for an hour and a half to see 3 princesses. :) You're welcome. Glad to help with the "elimination process" list. (Unless, of course, you drag along a 4-year-old girl ... in which case she will smile so big it'll be totally worth it.)

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  5. Toon Town. so awesome. that is all :) (well, not all of the cool stuff to see, but that's my favorite.. and the Alice in Wonderland tea cup ride- for the kids, but still fun! )


    "loberco"; lobster rodeo?

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  6. I would have said Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln; however, you already mentioned it AND it used to be my favorite thing in the whole park and then they closed it for 5 years and re-opened it this year and it is not nearly as good. The way it used to be, you wore these cool headphones and you were a young soldier and it was like 3D sound, so you were actually there, in the White House talking to Lincoln, on the battleground during the Civil War, GETTING A HAIRCUT!! It was amazing. Now it is not =(

    Other than that, definitely check out the little art gallery on Main Street if you haven't already. They have a lot of really cool stuff that I'd love to waste my money on.

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  7. Oh wow. I am so jealous. Being an Aussie, Disneyland is a long, 'spensive way off. I've always wanted to go there- I'll probably be able to afford it when my kids have grown up.

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  8. Oh how I envy you. I haven't been to Disneyland since I was in 8th grade.. billions of years ago it seems. I loved the Haunted Castle ride. Then again I love anything scary lol.

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  9. Speaking of steampunk -- they've just started releasing steampunk pins! I'm not sure which ones are out at the moment, but one of my friends who's a cast member has at least the Donald and Daisy ones. ( http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010/03/the-mechanical-kingdom/ ) For some reason the link is super slow for me, but at the least you can google it.

    If you're going to California Adventure, be sure to get there early to get a fastpass for World of Color -- it's amazing!

    If you have some downtime at Disneyland, be sure to watch a bit of the Jedi Training Academy "show". It's ridiculously adorable... little kids three feet tall fighting Darth Vader and storm troopers with plastic lightsabers? Hahah. XD

    I'd try and ask at the Main Street train station if you can get a ride on the Lilly Belle caboose -- it's super neat, all Victorian looking and not many people get to go! If you wear your anniversary buttons, they might let you go as a special treat. :D

    Other than that... churros! Dole whip? I hear that's good. Hahah. Go through the Sleeping Beauty dioramas in the castle if it's open. Shoot. I dunno. The fireworks? (I'm so happy you're into the squished pennies!! Have you done any quarters? :D )

    Oh. If you stroll around Main Street probably in the morning, they'll probably have Peter Pan and Mary Poppins or Alice doing musical chairs, and one of the piano players doing a bit of music. Nice to relax! Sometimes at night they have music or dancing at the Carnation Plaza (the gazebo thing to the left of the castle as you're looking at it from Main Street).

    Okay, I hope I haven't crushed you in an overload of Disney. >.> Have fun!
    ~~ "Underneat that, the backside of water!" signed book owner. :D

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  10. Hooray! You're back! I seriously missed your epbot posts. Love the bank vault. I've never been to Disney Land so I can't help you there, but my sister adores those smashed penny machines and we get several every time she sees one. I think at some point I'm going to make a charm bracelet out of them for her.

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  11. Snow Whites wishing well. By far one of my favorite spots in Disneyland. Or the little popcorn carts that have little figures turning the drum. There is Oogie Boogie in New Orleans Square, the Yetti by MatterHorn and a creepy clown by "It's A Small World." :3 The little touches make the park the best.

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  12. I second Alyska's comment. the Animation Building really is a hidden gem that often gets bypassed.

    My top 10 oft-missed must-see's would have to be:

    * The Yeti and Oogie-Boogie popcorn carts (D'land)

    *The Mint Julep Bar (no, there's no booze in them, but they are SO yummy! and come with cherries!) (D'land)

    *When you're on Winnie the Pooh, just as you enter the Blustery Day scene, turn around. On the wall above you will be the talking mounted moose head from when the space held Country Bear Jamboree. (D'land)

    *Muppet Vision 3D. The posters advertising mupp-ified movies before & after the main theatre are hilarious and Gonzo's motorcycle in the front of the building is pretty pro. be sure you sit through the complete preshow; it's as long as the 3D show and just as funny. (DCA)

    *On Indiana Jones, as you exit the room with the heads on pikes (the stick, not the fish), there is a "bamboo" bracer holding up the roof. pull it. the special effect it triggers is guaranteed to freak out everyone in the room. (D'land)

    *The Tiki Room Pre-Show in the garden. much like the Muppet Vision 3D pre-show, this one is just as good as the show inside. Also, it's the original not the failsauce replacement version they installed at Disney World.(D'land)

    *Mission Tortilla Factory Tour. Watch the video. The whole video. when the dog says "maseca" you will pee yourself laughing. and hey, you get a free fresh pressed as you watch tortilla out of it! Yay free snacks in a pricy place to eat! (DCA)

    * Boudin Sourdough Bakery Tour. Hosted by Rosie O'Donnel & Collin Mochrie. 'nuff said. (DCA)

    * The photo op at the Catch-a-burger bilboard near California Screamin' on the boardwalk as it curves up over the California Screamin' launch pad. There is one burger perfectly positioned & proportioned for a great picture of you catching the burger in your hands or mouth as well as the words "Catch a Burger". (DCA)

    * As you're standing in line for Peter Pan (or thereabouts in Fantasyland) look up above Snow White's Scary Adventures (directly across form the Peter Pan queue). the Evil Queen peers out of her window periodically, pushing aside the curtain, narrowing her eyes, and scanning the crowd. (D'land)

    and don't miss the biggest hidden Mickey (to date)in the side of the Matterhorn (best viewed from the outdoor/on the roof portion of the Space Mountain line. it's only correct when viewed from one spot on the roof, so start looking as soon as you get up the big ramp and catch your breath.

    Have a Blast. There's nowhere on Earth I would rather be than at Disneyland!

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  13. If you are planning on going on a lot of rides, take full advantage of the "fast passes" for the rides. Indiana Jones and Space Mountain fast passes go quick, so you have to get them early...Toon Town is fantastic! There's all kinds of fun picture opportunities and Mickey and Minnie's house is pretty cool. Toon Town has a little extra "Disney Magic" to it...That area is mainly for kids, but when I go to Disneyland, the kid in me has free rein...

    During parades, the lines to the rides are a lot shorter, and I took advantage of that with my siblings when I was a kid, but when my husband and I went to Disney World for our honeymoon, we went to every parade that we could, and it was totally worth it. Disney goes all out, of course, and their parades and firework shows are pretty dang magical.

    Haha...Most of these things I shared are not really over-looked, but they're some of my favorite things at Disneyland and totally worth seeing or experiencing. :)

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you are planning for the pressed pennies!

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  14. I'm kind of partial to Bengal Barbecue, over by Indy. Also, a train ride is in order, just so you can be shocked and amazed by a) the difference from the Magic Kingdom and b) dinosaurs.

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  15. I think that there are several rides that are often overlooked by grownups that are actually quite rad. In Disneyland, Casey Junior's Circus Train is a great ride at night, but get the back seats of the caboose car. The walk-through of Sleeping Beauty Castle is amazingly beautiful. I also love the Tiki Room for it's Walt-y goodness. In California Adventure, The Blue Sky Cellar is a great sneak peek of artwork and coming attractions. Also, Bug's Land is awesome- the ladybug spin ride is great- if you both sit as close to the door as possible it will throw off the counterbalance and whip you around pretty good (if that's your cup of tea). And of course Toy Story is worth every minute in that line.

    Let me know if you plan on coming out between Sept and April, as I often do Club 33 lunches (another must do if you can) and you both are more than welcome to come!

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  16. Oh yes, if you have a sweet tooth (oh, my gosh, I am SO funny), Tiger Tails in Critter Country are quite the sugar shock. Marshmallows covered in chocolate. Orange chocolate no less.

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  17. Tigger Tails.
    Do not leave Disneyland without eating one. They only sell them in the Pooh candy shop in Critter Country.

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  18. have you found the hidden mickey heads on all the rides? there is a book you can purchase that gives you hints but it was more fun looking. the easiest ones to find are on big thunder mtn, pirates (there's two, ones reallllly small!) and on space mtn...good luck!!!

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  19. I think maybe every Disneygeek needs to pose near Club 33.

    When we were there on my daughter's birthday this year, we got to take a special ride on the Lilly Belle train car on the Disneyland Railroad - you are supposed to ask for it at Town Hall and if you are celebrating your anniversary (heh) that's just a PERFECT reason, I think. There is a hidden mickey on in that car, too.

    We love Main Street, too. And pressed pennies. Yay!

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  20. If you are digging the architecture, then you MUST go to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, if they still have it. The most amazing wood carvings in the main waiting area, to look like Toad Hall.

    And I love the waiting areas for the older rides, like the Jungle ride--real wood and real rope barriers, for example.

    And how could no one yet mention Pirates of the Carribean? Maybe because it is such a no-brainer. The atmostphere of that one beats all. Somewhere there in the French Quarter there is a restaurant that serves the yummiest gumbo served in bread bowls.

    Not that this has anything to do with anything, but if you ever get back to Disneyland in the Fall, they change the Haunted Mansion to be completely Nightmare Before Christmas. (Or did they make the switch permanently? Let us know, if so!)

    Favorite roller-coaster= the Matterhorn. Or Space Mountain.

    Ah, it is all so great! have fun!

    P.S. Why did the window girl think you two were so cute? Were you in costume?

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  21. I should have mentioned this at the book signing on Saturday, have the countdown chicken fusilli in Redd Rockets Pizza Port in Tomorrowland. My favorite meal in the park! Also the Dole Whip stand near the Tiki Room. Rides: Go on buzz lightyear as much as possible. And when you go on California Screamin', which you must, look out to the park as you go into the loop and watch the tower of terror flip upside down!

    Hubby and I will be there tomorrow night after work for a Disney Date! Maybe we will see you in the park!

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  22. Need to drive to Newport Beach and go to the Crab Cooker. Fabulous food in a dive. One of my favorite spots.

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  23. Have a salad at the restaurant across the street from Disney, I think it's called Michelle's. It's fantastic; I went three days in a row when I visited my bro last year (but the old-age memory has struck on the name)

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  24. Go on the Haunted Mansion ride, and when they pass the haunted ballroom, look for the bullet hole in the glass that separates you from the room.
    Yes. Bullet hole. That is tactfully covered up with a fake spider. :P

    I mean who goes around shooting guns in Disneyland?

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  25. Soaring over California is VERY cool! I'm an Anaheim girl, so I've been on everything tons of times, but the recommendations really depend on whether you like scenic rides where you get to look at cool stuff or fast rides that are more about the thrill. If it's nice and warm out, Splash Mountain is fun, but you do get soaked.

    Jenn in the comments said the Mr. Lincoln used to have a "cool headset"...I'm old enough to remember the show BEFORE that redo, so the current Mr. Lincoln is actually closer to the original show.

    Get a corn dog at the King of Corn (I think that's what it's called---it's by the giant dinosaur-shaped shop) at California Adventure. At Disneyland, it used to be in a cart off of Main Street, but now it's somewhere around the corner from the Golden Horseshoe review. It's a monster dog, but very tasty!

    Besides being at the parks, there's a cool burger & dogs restaurant called Jerry's Dogs in Orange (17th & Tustin) that cooks their food over a wood fire. It is SOOOOO good! You can get fries or homemade chips as a side--awesome! Maybe 10-ish miles from D'land.

    Or for a chili dog, PCH Hot Dogs--they have other types of dogs too, but their chili is the best! There's one in Orange off of Chapman and another in Huntington Beach, I think on PCH.

    I don't have fancy taste, so I can't direct you to anyplace "nice", but I would gladly recommend either of the above places for a quick casual lunch.

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  26. I am a HUGE Disney fan. If I flunk out of school I'm gonna go work there.

    It sounds stupid, but some of the "kid" rides are actually awesome, such as Teacups, Peter Pan, It's A Small World, and Big Thunder Mountain. :)

    It's worth it to go on the train at some point, maybe all the way around.

    In CA Adventure, go in the Animation building (follow the pixie dust!) then go all the way across and turn right. This is a series of interactive (and super-fun) rooms, including the library, where they ask you questions and tell you what Disney character you are! I'm usually Belle or Mulan. :D

    p.s. the space mountain here is better than the one in florida. just saying.

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  27. When I was a lot younger, my family went to Disneyworld in Florida. On Main Street USA we stopped at a bench for a quick rest, but we actually stayed their for a while. The reason wasn't that we were tired... it was that there was a dentist office across the street (above the real shops) and if you listen you can hear what is going on in their. It was rather funny actually, panicy patients and drills losing control etc.

    That small moment really stayed with me.

    Recently took my girlfriend to Disneyland in Paris for her birthday (it only a train ride away from us here in the UK). She got a badge with her name on it to say it was her birthday, and a phone call from the mouse himself!

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  28. I have lived in California my entire life and I am a Disneyland Annual Passholder (my husband & I will actually, hopefully, be in the park on Thursday evening). I must say, you should see Fantasmic! I know there is one in Florida but the one in California is better. And a new must, see World of Color. That show is fantastic! Avoid Mickey's Funwheel at all costs (OK, this is just me talking because I hate that thing, you can ignore me).

    Ride the Columbia sailing ship if you have the opportunity. Don't miss the Haunted Mansion (it is a bit different), Splash Mountain & ride the lovely monorail (I LOVE monorails!).

    Oh, and one thing you should do for sure... Billy Hill and the Hillbillies in the Golden Horseshoe. It's a great show, funny, funny guys and they're just the nicest people!

    The Toy Story ride in DCA is also a lot of fun (it's back near that darned rollercoaster (I hate loops!) and that wheel of death.

    Ohh... the Matterhorn! First tubular steel rollercoaster in the world. Not to mention it's the only one. :)

    One last thing outside of Disneyland but on property. Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen. Go there for dessert, order Bananas Foster. It's $16 for two people but it's worth it... especially if you like fire. ;)

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  29. ooooooh reading all of these makes me want to go to d'land soooo bad!if you haven't already you must start collecting and trading pins. the rule is if a cast member has a pin you want you can trade them one of yours for theirs. soooo much fun. no one has said anything about the monorail and i think that is a "must do" especially at night - also riding the train at night is something i love to do.

    p.s. my hubbs and i are such d'geeks that 13 years ago yesterday we walked out of our wedding to the theme music from the main street electrical parade!

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  30. I was there on Monday, but I didn't see you because I don't know what you look like. One thing you shouldn't miss, especially since they're on the chopping block, is the waterfalls at the Disneyland Hotel at night. Absolutely beautiful. Huge rushes of water illuminated by colored LEDs. They're being axed to make way for a new waterslide at the end of the summer. Also, the Lost Bar around there is a pretty nifty place to get a drink.

    Also, to Jenn who didn't enjoy Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln: The Lincoln show as it exists now is closer to what was originally in the Opera House. Further, the Lincoln figure is the most advanced audio-animatronic figure EVER. Watch it again.

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  31. Thanks for posting! We accept your notappology! :)

    Going to Disney during June is murder. Is it too late to tell you that, or should I assume you went in good faith already knowing? lol Have fun and have a "happy aniversary" :)

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  32. Someone already mentioned the Mission Tortilla factory at DCA, but that's always a must do for us. Same with the sourdough bread factory, even though that one doesn't come with free food. The air conditioning is nice though!

    Take the chance to eat at the Blue Bayou, right near Club 33 in New Orleans Square. Great food, and you get to watch the riders on Pirates of the Caribbean while you eat!

    Even though it's one of the most annoying songs ever, you have to go on It's A Small World. It was pretty much a rule for us that we had to go every time we visited Disneyland (which was a lot when we lived in So Cal), no matter how stupid it seemed. It just doesn't seem like a trip to Disney without Small World! And yes, we would sing "It's a Tiny Tiny World" along with the song. Yay Family Guy!

    When you go on Pirates, sing along loudly. See if the rest of the boat joins in. We do that all the time, and usually, the whole boat sings along happily, at least until the part where no one knows the words anymore!

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  33. 2 things: 1, there is still Captain EO in California? Holy crap. Of course, the next trip I plan has to be to Florida (for the 14th time), for Harry Potter Land, but I might have to go back to California too...haven't been in 15 years.

    2, I went to Disney for spring break during college, and my smashed-penny-obsessed sister made me take bags of pennies and quarters with me, to smash a penny at every machine I could find. I think I spent $100. I should demand them back for art projects.

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  34. I have a ton of those smashed pennies somewhere. A few quarters, too. Now I have to delve into my drawer o' crap and find them...

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  35. Club 33 is a good one, for sure.

    Also, in California Adventure, there is a show called "Drawn to the Magic" that plays on a small stage in front of the Monsters, Inc. ride. The show is cute-ish, but it's really a set up to meet Cinderella, Woody and Mickey. Three characters that generally have crowds and lines around them, and you can meet all three. There were so few people at that show that my kids got to play with Woody and Mickey both, and we were there for spring break!

    Oh, and for a bathroom break, there is one near the New Orleans square train station behind the mint julep stand. Nobody knows its there. Never a line. Awesome.

    And, please, eat at the Blue Bayou. You'll be glad you did.

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  36. I'm not a Disneyland fan (sorry - too many trips with too many children during the high season). But I am from L.A. If you like seafood, you should get someone to take you to the Fisherman's Outlet Restaurant in downtown L.A. It's not a real restaurant but more like the crab shacks of the mid-Atlantic/ New England regions. If you are looking for an authentic L.A. experience, and you like seafood, you want to go here.

    The other place I would recommend is Phillipe the Original, also in downtown just outside Olvera Street (the original center of Nuestra Senora Reina de los Angeles - now known as L.A.). This place invented the french dipped sandwich. It's an L.A. institution.

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  37. Go on the Winnie the Pooh ride--it's darling! When you go through the room where Pooh is just coming out of his dream, turn around and look up on the wall behind you. You'll see the three talking animal heads from Country Bear Jamboree. (I miss that show!) Also, you must get a Dole Pineapple Whip. If the line is too long, go inside the waiting area for the Tiki Room and order from that side. There's never a line. Then just "change your mind" about the Tiki Room and leave the waiting area. (Unless you actually want to see the singing birds and then have the song stuck in your head the rest of the day. "In... the... Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room, in the Tiki Tiki... etc.)

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  38. My favorite thing to do is look for the "hidden Mickeys" http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/disneyland/ I even downloaded the hidden mickey app for my phone. It's a totally geeky thing to do and i loved it!

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  39. I'm so jealous right now! I LOVE D-land!! I would live there if I could. Have fun without me. (/cry)

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  40. I love wearing the pins at Disney parks! We went for my birthday this year, and it was so fun! Everybody said happy birthday, even guests! And I got free candy and popcorn! Tons of fun!

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  41. Corn Dogs! There is something magical about Disneyland Corn Dogs!

    One thing I love doing is hunting for hidden mickey's!

    Also you gotta ride the canoes! LOL It just brings out the giddy kid in me!

    Oh and I can't wait to see what you are going to do with squished pennies! I have been collecting them since I was a kid and I still hunt around anywhere I go for a squished penny machine...and yet I have never found a way to display my collection!

    Totally excited.

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  42. Love, love, LOVE Disney World, but have never been to Disneyland. I really want to, though! (I am a HUGE Disney Geek, and have even converted my husband to become one! Yes, we collect pins and everything...) And, I have a TON of pressed pennies, so I'm so excited to see what will be done with them! :)

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  43. No stalker "sitings"? Have you been trying to place stalkers in a specific location?

    Or maybe that sentence belongs on a cake wreck.

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  44. Someone already mentioned the Animation studio, but I second that. It's the best! Also, make sure to get a Dole Whip Float in that line that is right next to the Tiki Room. They are delicious. When you watch the fireworks be sure to stand either on Main Street or on the right side of the circle in front of the castle (big tree on the left). Have a blast!

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  45. Definitely see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies if you can. Also, the mint julep bar is full of awesome!

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  46. OH! I forgot to mention the Disneyland Outlet! It's in Fullerton, a few blocks north of Disneyland. I *think* you follow Harbor north to the mall it's in? They are hit or miss. Sometimes it's just Hannah Montana pillows, but sometimes really kickass stuff. We got a stained glass hanging of Sleeping Beauty's Castle for $60 (I think originally $130?). Among other cool things. Here is the company's website:
    http://www.ams-liquidation.com/

    Sometimes they have stores that travel around. They come to San Diego every few months and stay for several weeks.

    PS. The word I have to type to prove I'm a real person is "teembaff" which just amuses me greatly for some reason.

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  47. That reminds me slightly of the 40 or 50 something year old guy who walks outside of the gates of my school in beige short-shorts and everything with no shoes. Apparently he's someone's uncle who goes to the school which makes that much more creepy. So right now I'm envying your stalker free trip. On another note, that bank door was AMAZING. Have fun in California, wish I could be there! ;)

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  48. Smashed pennies are the best! If you join The Elongated Collectors (TEC) they send you some with every newsletter. I also learned from them to used pre-1982 pennies with real copper for better results. Keep a lookout for souvenir holders, I bought mine at the Musee Mecanique in San Francisco.

    May also find http://courtofmiracles.net/disneydata/coins/ interesting.

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  49. I am seriously so jealous of you right now xD I haven't been to D*land in a year and a half, and that's a long time for me! I have alot of D*land secrets, but here are the 2 best:

    Find out what time the Mark Twain docks. Get there a bit early. Ask the castmembers that work on the boat if you can drive the Mark Twain.

    It's about as cool as it gets.

    You can do the same with the train 'round Disneyland-- get there early and ask if you can do the "ALL ABOARD" call and/or if you can ride up at the engine.

    NEARLY as cool as driving the Mark Twain.

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  50. Dole whip!
    California Screamin
    Haunted House
    Gosh there are so many in both parks! But those are the bigs ones!

    If you have a little girl to buy something for there is a stand in the area of Pirates that will paint her name on a parasole. Very cute!

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  51. A few must see and do’s from an insider cast member. In Calif Adventure you must see Aladdin at the Hyperion Theater at the end of Hollywood Blvd. It’s a 45 minute musical Broadway show that is one of the MUST see at Disneyland. It has flying carpets, elephants and camels. It is spectacular! Please don’t miss it! Toy Story is another fabulous ride to do. In fact you should do it every day you're there. Soaring over California is pretty great too. The new World of Color is something to see as well.
    Over in the Disneyland hotel is Goofy’s kitchen. It’s a buffet but so well worth the money. You will get 5-6 different characters that will come to your table and take photos with. Plus they have amazing food. One of their specialties is their Peanut Butter and Jelly Pizza! Yep, you read correct. PB & J PIZZA! And it is amazingly good. “It talks to your childhood,” I always like to say!
    Over at Disneyland do try and get on the Lilly Bell. Anyone can do it. They prefer that you don’t have kids who might run around while the train is in motion. You get the history on it and an amazing ride in the park. Not only can you ride on her, but you can ask to ride a Tender ride. That’s right behind the Engineer and Fireman on the Engine. That is an amazing experience too.
    I’m so happy that you took your time going down Main Street USA. Most people just rush on by without even looking at all the wonderful things that Walt put there for you to enjoy. Try a Gibson Girl ice cream and then go sit across the street on the front porch and watch the people walk by. Walt liked to sit there and watch all the people walk by as well. Look at all the detail’s that were put there just to create such an amazing place. Look at the flowers, as they are changed regularly and rarely does anyone every pay attention to the gardens.
    That is all. Hope to see you around! I’ll look for the yellow boots.

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  52. For general stuff to do around Los Angeles, I recommend the Grove & the Farmers Market on Fairfax & Beverly. Lots of great shops and food, and it's really close to the LACMA and Tar Pits (I work nearby at Museum Square). The Getty Museum is gorgeous. But as steampunk fans, you really must visit The Edison. http://www.edisondowntown.com/ Order a Brass Flower, it's my favorite.

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  53. I'm going to make suggestions for California Adventure (fresh in my mind 'cause I was there on Monday).

    Here's yet another vote for the Animation Building. The Animation Academy classes run every 1/2 hour (I think) -- you learn to draw a character, which is great fun. They change the character for each show, but i don't know how many they do each day before they repeat. The Toy Story Zoetrope is also in that building & is very much worth seeing. Turtle Talk with Crush is always great fun (yup - also in that building).

    There's a stage musical production of Aladdin at the Hyperion Theater, just 1/2 block (small block) from the Animation building. The show runs about 45-50 minutes and is quite impressive. The Genie is the best part -- he tosses in a LOT of jokes based on current events & pop culture.

    The Toy Story ride is awesome! The line is always long (no FastPasses) & the theming in the queue is not nearly as interesting as in FL, but the ride is great.

    If you like roller coasters, you MUST go on California Screamin'. The line hasn't been bad lately -- but there are FastPasses just in case.

    If you want to do anything in the Paradise Pier area (including Screamin', Toy Story, the Undersea-themed carousel, Maliboomer, Silly Symphony Swings, carnival games, and a few other things), get them done before dusk. The attractions in that area now close early so as not to conflict with World of Color.

    If you want to see World of Color (which should be a no-brainer -- it's AWESOME), you really need to get a FastPass for the best view. The passes are distributed right outside Grizzly River Run & you'll get whatever ticket you get (make sure to get tickets from the same machine or you could be in different sections). The 11:15 show is the least crowded, and you don't have to stand around waiting nearly as long as you do for the other shows.

    Soarin' is exactly the same as the ride in Epcot. Again, FastPasses are available, so grab one if you don't want to be in line for 45 minutes or more.

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  54. We'll be at California Adventures on Friday for a showing of WoC, so I will lightly stalk you by looking for a pair awesome yellow boots. We'll be a party of 5 plump adults with my 7 year old son in his blue wheelchair so if you see anyone that meets that description please feel free to say hi, it's probalby us. Glad to read you are enjoying Dland so much. It is one of our favorite places.

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  55. You definitely need to ride the Indiana Jones ride. It's my favorite (I've ridden it 155 times!) In addition to shaking the bamboo pole in the spike room, pull the rope in the center circular room and ask a cast member to point out the hidden Eeyore in the film room.

    Also, if you have the time, take one night to see the new dragon in Fantasmic, and definitely take a night to see the new World of Color show.

    And you know those photographers posted everywhere? Get them to take as many pictures of you as you can, and ask for lots of "magic shots." I found out toward the end of one trip that they offer a digital cd with all your pictures (including limited copyright) for about $60. Totally worth it if you get a lot of pics!

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  56. You might want to check out the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna if you're looking for something outside the park. http://www.sawdustartfestival.org/
    It's like a giant Etsy showroom with live music, food, and demonstrations (glassblowing, pottery, etc.) It's pretty fun, and downtown Laguna is adorable. Very cool little art town by the sea, and it's not too far from Anaheim. If you take the 241freeway, though (which I highly recommend, MUCH less traffic) it's a toll road so make sure you have quarters. Hope you're having fun!

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  57. Syeampunk at Disney...I love it.

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  58. Disney imagineers are simply the best.

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  59. Ooh, SO jealous! I'm glad you get to see Captain Eo. It's so My Teenage Years for me. "We're goin' in." Sigh.

    I miss Disneyland.

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  60. Haven't read all the comments but we are fellow Dizgeeks (is that the word you used? LOL)... okay first off food. There's a pizza place in downtown Disney called Naples or something like that... SOO GOOD. When I was pregnant we drove 6 hours from AZ to Disneyland for that pizza. And then the corn dogs in CAA are to die for. And if you are wanting to do a character breakfast, Goofy's Kitchen all the way. Def best food compared to other buffets. I'm sure you'll do it, but the Toy Story ride is totally worth the wait. It's soo fun!

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  61. aliceinwonderland14June 30, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Did you make sure to go on Space Mountain? My all-time fave ride EVER!!! Disneyland rocks!!

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  62. The Rocketeer popcorn is *usually* in Tommorowland kind of in the Space Mountain area. Have you seen the trash-can band yet? They're fun. :)
    A friend pointed out this crazy little detail on a recent trip: If you're standing at the end of Main Street (with the castle to your back, looking towards the entrance), there's a shop with red and white light-bulbs going around the foyer/ceiling entrance. Look closely at them - there is one lightbulb that is painted half red and half white because they didn't have enough to complete the pattern properly.

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  63. Find the Yeti popcorn cart by the Matterhorn!
    Fine Peter Pan and try to talk to him (hes super in character and kind of irritating....)
    Watch Tiana sing in New Orleans Square.
    Go visit the GIANT SHEEP in the petting zoo by Big Thunder Mountain.
    Ride all the Mountains.
    Go to the firehall to pay your respects to Mr. Disney
    Whenever you see the yeti on the Matterhorn ride yell out "HAROOOLD!" (thats his name)

    Haha I just got back from a trip there so Im full of love for the parks

    GO SEE WORLD OF COLOUR IF YOU CAN! It is FANTASTIC! Its fabulous. Go see it. <3

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  64. Here's another vote for the Animation building! We stumbled upon it last year... we had no idea it was even there, but it's worth it! Also, Ralph's Jazz Kitchen Express in Downtown Disney.

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  65. There's a garbage can in Tomorrowland that talks and is driven around by a hidden operator standing nearby. Its name is Push. I've only seen it a couple of times but it's hilariously cute.

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  66. I've heard that the Peter Pan ride in Disneyland is better than the Peter Pan ride in Disney World. People that worked in Disney World actually told me Disneyland's was better. Is this true? Or did you not try it.
    I've never been to Disneyland so I wouldn't know of anything awesome there but I've been to Disney world many times as I'm sure you have too.

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  67. YOU were at Disneyland yesterday? I was at Disneyland yesterday! I could have seen you and not even realized it! Of course, I probably would have noticed someone wearing yellow boots. I wanted to get down to La Jolla for the book party, but we were in Southern CA visiting my inlaws and didn't think they'd take to kindly to me ditching them.

    Have fun! Hope the crowds go away. Oh, and we found that California Adventure was way less crowded than Disneyland. OH! And definitely check out The World of Color at CA Adventure. Totally worth the wait!

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  68. Love the blog! Not is Disney, but right up your alley is the Winchester Mansion in San Jose. The website is kind of cheesy, but I swear it is a great time.

    http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/

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  69. I still have my Ariel smashed penny! I want to see what you're going to do with those. I got a bunch for my boyfriend on a trip I recently took, and put them in a smashed penny collection book. (I had no idea they existed until I got a bunch for him, lol.)

    I was born in Southern LA, but I don't remember much to do there besides go to Disneyland, the awesome doughnut shop near where we lived, closed. :(

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  70. My first time to post!

    But I am such a ridiculously huge DisGeek it's not even funny! I grew up in Florida, lived in lakeland for 8 years and had an annual pass for more.. so WDW is life. All that to say I finally made it DL last year in Feb for my birthday and I was just AMAZED..

    I'm sure you might have experienced the same thing as me.. I walked through the entire first day going, "this is exactly the same... BUT COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!!!" Or, "This belongs over here," or "we don't have that any more" or, "OH MY GOSH! WHY DON'T WE HAVE THIS!!!!!!!" (That last one, mostly about New Orleans Square...)

    Here's a short list of things that I found to be most awesome and should not be missed. (oh! If you can swing a Walk In Walt's Footsteps tour, it's TOTALLY worth it! Plus you get a yummy lunch)

    *definitely walk through SB's castle.. so cool, so retro..

    *There's a Julie Andrews/Mary Poppins horse on the carousel.. (she's one of my Disney favs)

    *make sure to check out the time capsule in front of the castle, just cause it's cool

    *The snow white statues on the side of the castle.. made of marble, given by some italian artist, totally NOT made to scale.. it's why the dwarves are way up higher than Snow, so at least she looks a LITTLE bit bigger

    *Get a "mint julep" in New Orleans square.

    *There's a guy who plays bass in NOS, he might be there when you are, he might not. He's one of an original trio of jazz musicians.. They were hand picked by Walt, from New Orleans, to come and play in the park. When he found them, and offered them the job, they had facial hair.. as any DisGeek knows, back in the day, that was a no-no, and they didn't want to change, so they turned him down. he liked them so much that he agreed to let them be as they were. I forget his name, but he's the only one still alive and can come and go and work as he pleases and he's super nice and very friendly. If you see him, stop and say hello, he's got a lot to say.

    *make sure to see the light on in the firehouse. Of course you know that when Walt was alive, when he was in the park, the light was on. Now that he's passed, they keep it burning all the time in his honor.

    and like others have mentioned.. The Aladdin show is totally worth it (if it's still running.. I'm not sure) and World of Color is AMAZING!! I watched it online the night it premiered and I was amazed.. I cannot even fathom what it's like in person.

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  71. Check out Suzanne Broughton's blog here:
    http://emphasisallmine.typepad.com/
    She's a native California girl and a huge Dizgeek, so her blog might have a few good suggestions on it...

    Her photography is inspiring, and you might recognize some local sights. I've never been to SoCal, but reading her blog always makes me want to go (just like Sunday Sweets makes me want to throw a party and Epbot makes me want a craft room).

    word verification: berin
    "berin mind that you might not get to see anything else if you spend all of your time reading the comments!"

    Now you two crazy kids go enjoy your anniversary!!!!

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  72. ....the hidden bathroom. You have no idea how handy it becomes. It's over before Rancho del Zocalo in the Carnation Plaza, pushed off to the side. It's a gift from God.

    Everyone else pretty much summed it up. Make sure you eat one of those mutant turkey legs to marvel at how massive they are.

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  73. Also, if you guys can get in (the schedule is weird so I'm not sure when it's showing) you really MUST see the Aladdin show in California Adventure. It alone is worth the price of admission. It's better than most Broadway shows I've seen.

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  74. I absolutely LOVE the Blue Bayou restaurant in Pirates of the Caribbean, I always get the Monte Cristo...yumm!!! My friends and I usually bounce back and forth from Pirates to Haunted Mansion to Indiana Jones to the Jungle Cruise ride (whose cheesy jokes NEVER get old) to the Tiki Room (excellent for resting achy feet) to Star Tours (this is when those Fast Passes really come in handy). At California Adventure they have wine tasting and if you happen to miss the wine tasting time the same place offers cheese platters and you can buy a glass of wine and enjoy it on their patio. Enjoy your time out here! Wish it was a little bit cooler for you guys and that I could go out and stalk you two, sadly work keeps me from going out and playing :(

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  75. You have to try the baked potato soup on Main St and the gumbo at the Blue Bayou or Cafe Orleans (not the stuff in the bread bowl). A Walk with Walt is a great tour if you have time and you get a pin! It's been a year since I was last there but if Victor is working at the Tower of Terror still he is not to be missed!

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  76. If you like coffee then visit the coffee place on Main Street that is near the lockers. You pay for a cup in the morning and hold onto your receipt, show it to them and you get a free refill later in the day - like when those dawgs are tired and need some caffeine!!

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  77. Hi Jen & John,
    I have been inspired by your posts of Steampunk. I love the Steampunk decotating and artifacts that you feature. I have been spending ages on the Steampunk Home site since you have posted the link. Now I am interested in going back a few steps and learning more about the genre itself. Can you recommend which books and movies are a great introduction to a novice like me?
    Lesley

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  78. I agree with the Goofy's Kitchen people. DO NOT SKIP THE ORANGE JUICE! The best orange juice I've ever had, in fact. I probably drank four or five glasses! It's not at all the same as the typical Donald Duck juice served everywhere else.

    The few that mentioned the Blue Bayou inside the Pirates of the Caribbean hit the mark, too. It has white tablecloths, it's cool, dimly lit, and the food is fantastic, Probably the nicest and most romantic restaurant open to the general public inside D-land.

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  79. So...this is kinda unrelated, but since you're all about the Steampunk (and if you have an iPhone) check this out! http://appshopper.com/games/steampunk-solitaire

    Thanks for all your blogging, I love reading your posts!

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  80. I have buttloads of smashed pennies! Unfortunately they're technically my 6-year-old nephew's "treasure" so who knows if he'll let me use them for your tutorial.

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  81. ooh you're asking a Cali girl who was practically raised at the Dland! okay, on Mainstreet, gotta check out the old silent movie theater, Mint juleps in New Orleans Square, Casey Jr railroad (go at night and ride in the caboose). in Cal Adventure, get free fresh tortillas and make sure to ride "Soarin." OH! and everyone talks about the bread bowls, well, in Cal Adventure, they make them fresh. So warm and yummers!

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  82. Ahh..I'm commenting late. But California Adventure is amazing. And as for beaches Venice and Abalone Cove will make you feel at home California style...too bad I'm posting this on your last day.

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  83. ooh you're asking a Cali girl who was practically raised at the Dland! okay, on Mainstreet, gotta check out the old silent movie theater, Mint juleps in New Orleans Square, Casey Jr railroad (go at night and ride in the caboose). in Cal Adventure, get free fresh tortillas and make sure to ride "Soarin." OH! and everyone talks about the bread bowls, well, in Cal Adventure, they make them fresh. So warm and yummers!

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  84. Being from Orlando as well, the things that stand out at Disneyland, for me, are the things that are different from WDW...Im not just talking about the different attractions (DCA's Sun Wheel...get the swinging gondola...scariest ride anywhere) or how even cloned attractions are different (hello, Haunted Mansion and Pirates!) but Im talking about the FOOD! My three musts are: getting a mint julep in Frontierland - it's non-alcoholic and oh so green and yummy, a monte cristo at the Blue Bayou and a corndog at the Corn Dog Castle in DCA (I hear it's under construction, but they're available somewhere else in the park and TOTALLY worth the hunt. Best and BIGGEST corndog you'll ever have)

    Enjoy your trip...I'll be there in Sept! woohoo

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  85. Oh Em Gee, I lerv smashed pennies and wish I could steal some of yours.

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  86. I was totally at Disneyland yesterday! Sadly, I don't know what you look like, so I wouldn't have been able to find you and say CAKE WRECKS ROCK! (So I did it virtually. Heh.)

    My favorite under-rated area of Disneyland is the Animation Pavillion. They know me at Turtle Talk with Crush... is that bad? :P Anyways, it's a great building to explore (and sing!!) in.

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  87. Billy Hill and the Hill Billies. Easily the best show at Disneyland (at least I think so anyway). It's highly entertaining. They perform in Frontierland about every hour or so.

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  88. If you guys get this before you leave Disneyland...

    My name is Leslie and I work at Disneyland, for the rest of this week I am working on the parade route... if you can find me I'll see if I can't make some extra special magic for you guys...

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  89. okay, so i pretty much never ever comment on blogs but now that you're in my backyard, at one of my very favorite places... have you two begun looking for the HIDDEN MICKEYS???? that, and if you have an iphone, there's an app that will tell you how to find them. and how long lines are (i don't have an iphone but i think they're different apps). for example, there are three hidden mickeys in the winnie the pooh ride... and one of the posts outside of splash mountain has a knot-hole (sp?) in the shape of a mickey head. and, if you have a pass to california adventure, play there too! :) :) :)

    oh, and i love your blogs TONS!

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  90. This is my first time posting here, although I've been lurking for a while now. :D

    My suggestion is to definitely get a Dole Whip (it's pineapple-flavored ice cream) from the cart right next to the Tiki Room sometime before you leave. The line to get one is usually super long, but it's very delicious and most certainly worth the wait. Have fun!

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  91. I'm a Disney geek, but all my Disney geekdom is centered on WDW. I LOVE WDW and ADORE EPCOT, but I've always heard that DL is great, too (even better in some respects). Hope you have a fantastic time out there and are ready to give a full report when you get back!

    P.S. Love the pressed pennies! We have a bunch from WDW.

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  92. I'm with everyone who said Blue Bayou. But you must make reservations immediately upon entering the park, or you may not get to go there at all!
    On Main Street, don't miss the "party line" phone on one wall of the General Store.
    Outside of Disneyland, if you get the chance, go to the Huntington Museum and Gardens for tea!

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  93. You just make sure to march yourself right over to the Tiki Room, and enjoy an amazing Dole Whip frozen treat. You can get these with or without pineapple juice (the Dole Whip Float), and both ways are equally wonderful. Delicious!!!

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  94. I discovered squished pennies a couple of years ago on a road trip. Now I check the squished penny website every time I travel so I don't miss one. It lists machine locations by state and city. Too bad I havent' been to Disney yet.

    Can't wait to see what you have planned for us.

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  95. I am on the edge of my seat (literally-- right at the edge of this worn out computer chair) in anticipation of the smooshed penny tutorial. I have so many of those scattered about the house. It never occurred to me I could actually do something with them.

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  96. If you want to meet Mickey and not have to wait in a line of fifty overjoyed/terrified kids and their parents, go to Mickey's house in Toon Town and when you are finished walking through there is a classic Mickey cartoon (in a blessedly air conditioned room) before you meet the big cheese! He is dressed in the fantasia costume which was a plus for moi!

    Also, am I the only one who didn't understand that the quarters you put in to the machine were in no way part of the pressed coin you got out? I was always fascinated by how they combined the coins to make it look copper..

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  97. Bonnie and I were going to follow you there and stalk you (not in a creepy way, though), but I have this...job...thing. Bah.

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  98. I've only been to the California Disney once, so can't rec much there, but I have a disney book recommendation! Cory Doctorow's Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom is a great read. (Science fiction novel set in Disney World!) And like pretty much everything else by Doctorow, can be had for free in ebook form from his site.

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  99. Steampunk Disney Items:

    http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010/08/disney-trading-time-for-steampunk/

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