Danny & Family

Just Some Random Stories About Me and My Family

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Sat. Morn. Post, Vol. 15 - Laura's B-day

My wife Laura celebrated her birthday this past week. She wanted to spend the day at Disneyland, and considering the folks over at Disney are allowing people to enter free on their birthday - the price was right. Earlier this year, I was able to take advantage of this wonderful offer on my birthday, as was our daughter Nina on hers. The other nice thing about the cost of admission (which by the way, is $72 per person for one park - either Disneyland or California Adventure) is that because our credit card points count towards purchases of anything Disney-related; we only had to pay $25 out of pocket. Only $25 for two people to get in to Disneyland. I think that's a bargain.

The down-side of this story is that it was a short day. We had to wait until the kids went to school, and then Laura wanted to go to breakfast. So we didn't get there until around 11:00 a.m., and we had to leave by 4:30 p.m. because Nina had her religious education class at 6:00 p.m. We couldn't miss this particular class because it was her turn to share something about herself with her classmates. It was also my turn to help out the teacher in the classroom. We made these commitments before we realized the date was also Laura's birthday, and before Laura told me she wanted to go to Disneyland.

On to the pictures. This one was taken just after we entered the park, and is on Main Street. I should mention that the whole park was decorated for Halloween.

The first ride we went on was the Pirates of the Caribbean. I didn't notice any Halloween decorations on this ride; it looked the same as always. Then we headed over to the Haunted Mansion, which was obviously given a face lift in honor of the upcoming holiday. Then we headed over to Big Thunder Mountain. While sitting on the ride (basically, a roller coaster that looks like a mining train) Laura had me take a picture of the two of us. You know this pose, I've show it before. I hold up the camera and point it at the two of us looking cozy. The problem is it's hard to aim, and I end up taking 4 or 5 shots to get one good one. Since I was unsuccessful in my attempts while sitting on a train - which began to move, making the attempt more difficult, we tried again after the ride. This time it was a success:

On the way over to the next ride, we stopped at a hat shop known as The Mad Hatter. Laura picked out a hat for herself, which is not pictured here, but will be shown in an upcoming post. Laura had me put on the hat pictured below just for fun:

We then headed over to It's A Small World. This past summer, Disneyland re-opened this ride after they had given it a full makeover. The hype was pretty big. I remember morning TV news reports covering the grand re-opening. The morning radio show I listen to broadcasted their show from the attraction the day it re-opened. I didn't see many changes at all. It was basically the exact same ride with those little dolls representing every corner of the world and singing It's A Small World in every language. There were a very few additions, some Disney characters added in where appropriate. Here's a picture of two:
After that attraction, Laura wanted to eat lunch. I wasn't that hungry since we ate a big breakfast, but it was her birthday and I didn't want to put up a fuss. She wanted to eat at the Blue Bayou, a restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean. We didn't have reservations, and the wait was over an hour. We opted for a nearby restaurant in New Orleans Square. After lunch, as we were headed to Main Street, we stopped and took a picture with Aladdin and the Princess Jasmine.
We then had to make a decision. There was only enough time to do one more thing before we had to leave. I had suggested going over to Tomorrowland and riding on Space Mountain. I had heard radio ads that this was really fixed up scary for Halloween. Laura wanted to find the place where Disney sold annual passes. Guess what we did?

Annual passes turned out to be a bargain. One current offer allowed you to use the same day's paid admission as payment toward the annual pass, and Disney would bill you over the next 12 months for the balance. The least expensive pass was $144, and when you consider we have already paid half of that today, the monthly payments are $6. We were thrilled to find out that Disney considered the free admission to the birthday guest (Laura in our case) as a PAID admission. We also took advantage of the pre-paid parking. To get our money's worth on that $79 fee, we would have to visit the park 6 times in the next 12 months. That seems easy to do even with the blackout dates our passes have. So the bottom line is I will be billed $18.53 for the next 12 months for the privilege of entering either Disneyland or California Adventure as many times as we want and NOT ever having to pay for parking. That works for me.

Laura had a great birthday, and we had a rare daytime date together without any interruptions.

See you next Saturday morning.

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  • At October 10, 2009 9:22 AM, Blogger R. Sherman said…

    The nicest thing I remember about living in SoCal (Anaheim) in 1967-68 when my dad was working for McDonnell Aircraft in Long Beach, was the eight visits to Disneyland. I've yet to take my kids, because I've preferred to use my vacations for hiking, but reading your post has caused me to reevaluate that decision. Though the $72 entry fee is a tad off-putting.



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