The first time, we went up on the 17th and stayed at the Hilton. It was great, I’m really impressed with the hotel. Lots of walking, though.
I really wanted to get video of the fireworks and snow. I took my new little Sony Handycam with me as well as the Canon I got last year. I’d played around with the settings during the week, interested in getting some nice night shots. (More about the recorder in an upcoming entry.) We got up there fairly late afternoon, checked into the hotel, then went over to the parks. We hit DCA first and I took video of the decorations to put on the DVD I make of our annual October trip. Brian was getting hungry, so we headed over to Downtown Disney to find a place for dinner.
The lines were all tremendously long at all of the eateries and we settled on Tortilla Joe’s. I left the line and went walking around and found that besides indoor seating, they also had a little cantina to the right of the main entrance, where you could eat outside and also order drinks. I didn’t see any empty tables, but there were some vacant seats at the bar. I went up and asked the barkeep if we could order dinner there and he said we could. I called Brian on his cell and he came over, we parked our butts on a couple of bar stools and proceeded to drink too much and have a pretty decent meal. Brian had three margaritas and two Mexican coffees. I had three margaritas. These were strong drinks. I had my cell and started calling my friends. At one point while I was on the phone, I panicked when I noticed my phone was not on the counter. *lol* This is what one could consider “a margarita moment”.
Anyway, after we had our fill, we made our way over to Disneyland and found a decent spot in the hub where we could watch (and I could record) the fireworks. When they were over we walked around the park a bit. When things had started to clear out some, we went back to the Main St hub and I took the picture below (click on it to get the fullsized image) of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.
We were back at our hotel by midnight and we both got a great night’s sleep. The next morning we tried the restaurant at the Hilton and were very pleasantly surprised by the price, the quality and quantity of food. We will be staying at the Hilton again.
We checked out, then got into the car and went back to the park where I took video of Pirates of the Caribbean and of the Jungle Cruise. We came home in the afternoon and overall had a pretty nice time of it.
The next Wednesday, Brian had to take some templates up to one of the places in LA and he dropped me off in front of the parks. I had a pretty nice time, the first thing I did was buy some 50th Anniversary/Birthday shirts and put them in a locker, then I just kind of cruised around the parks. I went on Soarin’ Over California using the single rider line and got on almost immediately. Both parks were pretty crowded, so I didn’t do much riding. I did make it onto Small World and recorded the holiday themed ride. It was pretty warm Wednesday and I was sweating by the time I got in the boat. When Brian showed up, we had an early dinner, went on a ride or two, then had dessert and came home.
I’m looking forward to next year, after the 50th celebration and the holidays when the crowds hopefully die down.