Random Photo for 02/11/16

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Today’s photo was taken after I had completed the Star Wars half marathon.  We visited the parks for a while and the sun was setting as I was passing by Paradise Pier.  I wanted a picture as the California Screamin’ rollercoaster was passing by.

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Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 7: A Quick Visit to DCA

Today was a Magic Morning for DCA. Due to various events, we hadn’t been able to take advantage of MM during this trip and today was our last day. First stop was Radiator Springs Racers. Moms doesn’t ride it, so I hopped in the single rider line.
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My car actually won, which is a pretty rare occurrence. There was no wait for Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, so we went on that. One of Mom’s favorites is Mike & Sully To the Rescue and we started to head towards Hollywoodland. First though, a quick flight on Flik’s Flyers which was just opening as we walked by. DSC00203
DSC00206 DSC00209 – I’ve never noticed this outside of the Hyperion Theater before
DSC00216 When we got to the ride, Sully was outside and character opportunities with no line are best. We successfully got Boo back to her door before started to head out. DSC00223 – I don’t know what I was doing here
DSC00224 DSC00225 – there’s usually no line for this so it’s easy to miss the details in the queue

It was time to head out and start to get on the road for the drive home. It was time to say goodbye to Disneyland for now.
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DSC00237 DSC00238 – I had to get a photo of this window at D-Street

We stopped at the concierge lounge for some snacks and drinks before loading the car for the drive home.

It was a fun, quick visit to my favorite place. I’m not sure when we’ll be back, but I’m hoping to get at least one more visit out of my AP.

 

 

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 1: What Was I Thinking?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 2: I Wake the Force Up for the Fourth Time

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 3: A First and a Favorite

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 4: Where I Accidentally Meet Thor

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 5: Remind Me Again Why I didn’t Do the 10k?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 6: Celebratory Visit to the Disney Parks

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 7: A Quick Visit to DCA

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 6: Celebratory Visit to the Disney Parks

I definitely needed a rest at this point. After a bit I started to get hungry, having only had 2 bananas and the snacks in the box they give you after you finish. I didn’t feel like going far, so we went downstairs to the Surfside Lounge and got some food to take back to the room. I had the chicken nachos & Moms had some wings. I didn’t take any pictures in the to-go containers, but the food was good, if not a little spicy for Moms. I ended up falling asleep for a few hours. Upon waking up, it was time to hit the parks. We used the Grand Californian to enter into DCA. Normally The Little Mermaid ride has no line, so Moms started in the queue and was shocked to see the line actually be a line. It was only about a 20 minute wait, but longer that we normally do for that. When we emerged back on land, the Golden Zephyr was open. That’s Moms favorite so we hopped in line.
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The crowds were too much for Moms and she decided to head back to the room. The friends who I failed to meet up with on Friday were in DCA right now so I found out where they were at. We hung out for a bit and lamented the loss of the Aladdin musical and while waiting for the rest of their group to ride Tower of Terror, watched a bit of the Pixar Play Parade
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DSC00129_HDR 00000 – this marching band was playing a familiar tune

We started to make our way out by following the Parade and waving to the people still sitting on the street. The plan was to hit Disneyland for a bit before I had to meet up with Moms for a dinner reservation. Unfortunately, my foot started to bother me and I decided to head back and rest up a little bit.
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We had looked into the PCH Grill the night before & it looked good. We decided that would be a good celebration dinner. It’s a buffet with an okay amount of choices. Most of the food was good. The s’mores bar with chocolate dipping sauce was definitely a winner.
IMG_1695 – I can’t remember the name of this Star Wars mousse they had

When we had booked the room, it came with 3 fastpasses for us to use. The only thing Moms rides that takes them is Haunted Mansion Holiday and that was closed. Since this was our last night, I felt obligated to use them. My foot was feeling better, so I made my way back to Disneyland. First stop, Star Tours. It was nice seeing the Jakku scene after having some reference to the movie. I looked around the Star Tours store for a bit, not really seeing much (that I didn’t already have). They had a cool light blue dome in the Build-A-Droid section, but no body parts to match. Afterwards, I hopped in line for Hyperspace Mountain. Space Mountain is a classic, but the way they use the projections for this version really kicks it up a notch. I like riding up front to really enhance the feeling of dodging TIE Fighters. DSC00166 – Disneyland Forever was going on as I exited Star Tours
DSC00167 – I wasn’t really going for a serious face here I still had one FP to go and was planning to use it to ride Indy. As I entered into Frontierland, I noticed Big Thunder Mountain standing there. I couldn’t resist. As I entered the queue, one of the Disneyland cats was sitting on the rocks. Those guys seem to be out more frequently. Big Thunder was a blast as always. It wasn’t too late, but my feet was hurting again so I decided to wrap-it up for the night. DSC00169_HDR
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I wanted to get the new Star Wars postcards from Wonderground Gallery before they closed and also pick up the ornaments I had seen at D-Street earlier. I got the postcards, but they had sold out of the BB-8 ornament over the weekend and I could only get the Kylo Ren. My niece’s birthday party happened the day before so I went back to World of Disney to find her a gift. Ended up getting her a Belle jewelry box and some Belle clip-on earrings. The jewelry box played “Beauty and the Beast” when you wound it and when I gave it to her, my niece kept winding it up. My sister was very thankful of my noisy gift.  My watch said I walked a total of 23 miles today.

 

 

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 1: What Was I Thinking?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 2: I Wake the Force Up for the Fourth Time

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 3: A First and a Favorite

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 4: Where I Accidentally Meet Thor

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 5: Remind Me Again Why I didn’t Do the 10k?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 6: Celebratory Visit to the Disney Parks

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 7: A Quick Visit to DCA

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 5: Remind Me Again Why I didn’t Do the 10k?

I don’t know if it was the anticipation or nerves, but I woke up once an hour before finally getting up at 3:45. I ate a couple bananas and headed out. I really didn’t know what to expect. It was cool, they had a stage set up with the announcers showing off Star Wars clips. Most people just milled about.
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At 4:45 the pre-show ended and we made our way to the starting corrals. Through a tiny gate in the back of the parking lot. 15,000 people trying to fit in a space wide enough for 2, with a streetlight in the way. It was pretty ridiculous. Eventually I got to Disneyland Dr. and headed for Corral D. Hey, I’m back at the Paradise Pier Hotel. We were too far away to hear and see the screens they had set up. Eventually the fast people started off and we made our way to the start.
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Our group started off around 6 am and we were all enthusiastic. We made our way into the Disneyland backstage areas and lots of that was quite tight. I couldn’t run the whole way, it was going to be a mix of running & walking for me. The first part was quite a bit of walking since there just wasn’t the space to get around people. I noticed all the character photo spots had lines that were kind of long and since I was worried about finishing in time so I just kept on going.
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The atmosphere while going through the parks was great. They had Stormtroopers out, the rides were on, and all the CMs we passed were cheering us on. Going through the Esplanade family members were lined up shouting encouragement as we made our way to California Adventure. For some reason the ground in DCA was wet, so you had to watch your step.
IMG_1656 IMG_1659 – I missed taking a picture of the 1st mile marker and decided I’d just take the even numbers.
IMG_1660 – BB-8 was a popular photo spot

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Leaving the parks was the first part where the allure of Disney couldn’t really push you, but the spacing finally opened up some. Around mile 6 were some high school cheerleaders, and as we turned onto Garden Grove there were some high school bands to play us on. As we started to enter the neighborhoods there were a few people sitting outside of their houses waving us on. As we approached mile 8, members of the 501st costuming group were on the side of the road as Star Wars characters. There were some more 501st as we approached mile 9 and it all helped to keep you going.
IMG_1664 IMG_1667 – click on this to watch the video
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IMG_1674 – click on this to watch the video

Miles 9-11 were the hardest for me. I didn’t have an idea of my location, my feet were starting to hurt, and our cheer squads were all gone. I started to walk a lot more. Around mile 10 I started to get a cramp above my knee. I pulled over to try and stretch it out and the front of my thigh started to cramp, switched it up and the back of my thigh started to cramp. So I just got back to it. I started to doubt if I’d be able to finish at this point. We passed one of the medical tables and I saw people getting some sort of cream and rubbing it on. I didn’t know what it was, but I stuck my hand out to get some as I passed by. I took note of the name, Biofreeze, before I started to put it on. It was a huge help and my leg pain was gone. The feet still hurt though. IMG_1675 – it was quite foggy at this point
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Mile 11 brought us to Harbor Blvd, which meant I now had some idea where I was at least, plus the return of the cheerleaders. Eventually I hit mile 12 and knew I was home free. I even got a little extra pep in my step. I texted Moms to let her know I was about 15 minutes out and she was already waiting near the finish. I wish I would’ve given her a lightsaber to give me to bring across the finish line with me.
IMG_1679 IMG_1680 – I didn’t realize at the time they had already shut off the timer by then
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I got my medal and anything free they were handing out. I sat down while I waited for Moms to make her way to the family reunion area. We met up and I just wanted to rest so we headed back to the room.

The Star Wars Run Disney event was a whole lot of fun. Big props to the 501st and all the people who stood on the side of the road cheering on a bunch of strangers. I’m planning on doing next year’s race as well, maybe try for the Kessel Run Challenge.

 

 

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 1: What Was I Thinking?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 2: I Wake the Force Up for the Fourth Time

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 3: A First and a Favorite

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 4: Where I Accidentally Meet Thor

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 5: Remind Me Again Why I didn’t Do the 10k?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 6: Celebratory Visit to the Disney Parks

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 7: A Quick Visit to DCA

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 4: Where I Accidentally Meet Thor

Moms decided to head back to the room and take advantage of the concierge level freebies.  I knew I had to be up very early the next day so I stayed a little bit longer to check out the Star Wars Launch Bay.  I’d seen it during our Thanksgiving trip, but wanted to check it out again.
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I like the models they have on display. Part of me wishes they would get a company to sell Star Wars ship models in similar sizes, but I dread the prices they would want. I hadn’t visited Super Hero HQ since the soft launch of the Iron Man experience, so I made my way upstairs. I was taking some pictures of the Thor props and entered a room hoping they’d have Mjolnir in there and I ended up in a Thor meet & greet. He was pretty good, plus I got to hold Mjolnir.

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After that I knew I needed to head back and get some sleep for my 3:30 am wake-up.

 

 

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 1: What Was I Thinking?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 2: I Wake the Force Up for the Fourth Time

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 3: A First and a Favorite

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 4: Where I Accidentally Meet Thor

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 5: Remind Me Again Why I didn’t Do the 10k?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 6: Celebratory Visit to the Disney Parks

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 7: A Quick Visit to DCA

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 3: A First and a Favorite

We left the theater and started back to Anaheim.  Traffic on the 101 was at a crawl, but luckily it opened up when we got to the 5.  This was our first time staying at the Paradise Pier Hotel.  It was the only one of the Disney hotels that wasn’t completely outrageous even though the only rooms left were concierge level.  That was a nice little treat and I wish we had more days to really take advantage of it.

DSC00014– those beach ball pillows had a card with them saying they cost $65 if they end up in your luggage. DSC00015
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The room was nice, not as magical as the Disneyland Hotel rooms, but the bed was comfortable and we had a good amount of space.  Walking through the Grand Californian makes the walk to the parks not so bad.

Today was the last day for the Expo and Moms wanted to check it out, plus I wanted some official merchandise.  My cousin wanted us to pick up the New Balance Minnie Mouse shoes for her.  As someone who isn’t really a runner, I didn’t know what most of the stuff they were selling was really good for, so I just mainly browsed.  In the official merchandise section I bought the RunDisney vinylmation and Moms bought me a marathon car magnet and the “I Did It” t-shirt.  It added some pressure since I couldn’t very well wear the shirt if I didn’t finish.
DSC00016 – the Mickey shoes were nice, but weren’t Mickey enough for me to bite the bullet. If they had some Star Wars running shoes I would’ve been in trouble DSC00017
DSC00018 – the Disney World Star Wars half marathon medals DSC00019– the Disneyland medals
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DSC00023-Pano – It’s nice that the Lilly Belle was out even with the Railroad closed

It was time to eat and we decided to eat in the parks.  We were trying to decide between Plaza Inn or French Market Café.  In the end the meatloaf at French Market won out.  The Cajun Meatloaf with the Worcestershire sauce is one of my favorite things to eat anywhere, not just at Disneyland.  The band was out and performing plus some of the train conductors at the New Orleans Square station were dancing along on the platform.
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I noticed the train was in the station and they were letting people up there. I went up and took some photos and checked out the train up close for a little bit. I think with the Railroad closed it’s a great that people are able to get up close with trains, since you don’t normally get that view of them.
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Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 1: What Was I Thinking?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 2: I Wake the Force Up for the Fourth Time

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 3: A First and a Favorite

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 4: Where I Accidentally Meet Thor

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 5: Remind Me Again Why I didn’t Do the 10k?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 6: Celebratory Visit to the Disney Parks

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 7: A Quick Visit to DCA

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 2: I Wake the Force Up for the Fourth Time

We were up bright and early this morning.  We checked out of the Fairfield Inn we were staying at and loaded up the car.  We’d be going to Hollywood this morning, but decided to stop by Paradise Pier to check in.  Our room wasn’t ready yet this early, so we got back on the road.  I’ve seen The Force Awakens in almost all it’s variations; 2D on opening night, IMAX 3D a couple days later, and then in Dolby Atmos a few days after that.  We didn’t have a Dolby Vision theater in Arizona though and the closest ones I knew of were in California.  Coincidentally we would be there.  I had purchased us tickets to watch the movie at the El Capitan in Hollywood.  They had costumes from the film on display and started the movie off with a laser lightsaber show.  Plus the aforementioned Dolby Vision screening.  It was Moms first time seeing it and she enjoyed it, to me it just gets better with each subsequent viewing.  Most of the costumes and props on display were at Star Wars Celebration, but the laser show was really neat.  It’s a cool theater, but the seats are cramped and it’s a pain to drive in that area.

 

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IMG_1578  – the roof of the theaters entrance foyer

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IMG_1596 – the interior of the theater as the credits rolled
IMG_1598 – they had this Lego display in the lobby

Hollywood Blvd was especially crazy when we went because later that day they were having the premiere for Kung Fu Panda 3.  So the street was blocked off in preparation.  We didn’t’ stay for the festivities, but would’ve had a good spot.
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Moms was getting tired and our room was ready so we started to make our way back to Anaheim.

 

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 1: What Was I Thinking?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 2: I Wake the Force Up for the Fourth Time

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 3: A First and a Favorite

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 4: Where I Accidentally Meet Thor

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 5: Remind Me Again Why I didn’t Do the 10k?

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 6: Celebratory Visit to the Disney Parks

Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Trip Report – Part 7: A Quick Visit to DCA