Blast to the Past: Day One, Part One

We left our home in Las Vegas on Friday, July 1 at about 9:30 a.m. and drove to the Disneyland Hotel, for a combination 4th of July and birthday trip. We stopped in Barstow at Original Tommy’s for an early lunch and arrived at the Disneyland Hotel at around 1:45 p.m. The traffic was a bit heavy right around the California Check Point station, so it took us a few minutes longer than usual.

We valet-parked the car, noticing that the fee went up from $17 per day to $22 per day. When we told the front desk it was my birthday (early birthday), we were given the usual birthday pin, which I ended up never wearing, but I have added it to my birthday pin collection – lol!

Our king room in the Adventure tower was ready and much to our pleasant surprise, it also had the same FABulous Disney headboard as our E-Ticket Club room had over when we stayed during Thanksgiving. You turn on the lights and fireworks display and “When You Wish Upon a Star Plays’ – need I tell you how romantic that is? Talk about seeing fireworks – lol!

But because we had booked a standard view, we expected to overlook a parking lot or something else unnoteworthy, but we got a Downtown Disney view on the third floor – guess at that level, it’s considered a standard view. We were thrilled to be at the tree level since trees are a rare sight in Las Vegas. lol!

The first thing we had to do was to upgrade our WDW AP to the Premier we had last year. We didn’t think we’d go to Disneyland this year due to the DCA construction so we didn’t renew it. It was closer to walk to the Annual Passport Center in DCA so we went there. They still had us in the system and we were upgraded in no time. It’s so appropriate that it says “California” and “Florida” on the AP – we are so both places!

We wandered through DCA and noticed the changes/progress, exited through the Grand Californian (the best way to get to either park, IOHO,) and stopped off at Hearthstone Lounge for our favorite Habanero Margaritas. This drink is now on the menu at the Poly and believe it or not, it’s even better there because the glass is tall and narrow and the habanero is more pronounced.

It was hot and humid for Anaheim and the lounge was packed with families. I think they were probably serving more cokes than FABs. It was annoying that our favorite little seating area was taken over by the little kids next to the big table where a family hung out. Why couldn’t the parents keep the kids from hogging the adult chairs? I suppose we could have insisted on sitting there, but weren’t up for making a scene.

After our refreshing drink, we made our way back to the Disneyland Hotel to rest. One thing we must mention: Disneyland seems to take more work than WDW, believe it or not, because when you stay at the DL Hotel, you must walk to the parks – there is no transportation, except for the monorail. But you begin strolling through Downtown Disney, take a sidetrip to DCA and the next think you know, you’re entering Disneyland from the front entrance.

Years ago, before Downtown Disney, you wouldn’t dream (at least, I didn’t) of walking from the hotel to the front entrance to Disneyland – there was a shuttle. Now the only shuttle is from the parking garage to the front gate. Your best bet is to take the monorail but there is often a half hour wait or sometimes the monorail isn’t even running so you can’t rely on it.

We napped in the room, absolutely loving our corner room with the awesome view of the trees – so peaceful – it was worth the stay just for this alone. Afterwards, we made our way down to the pool.

We’d heard that the pool was open and so we interpreted that to mean that the redo was finished. Not so. The only side open was the Retro Monorail pool, a hot tub, and a small pool, with the lounge chairs near the slide and the hot tub – not the pool.

There is a much larger pool area on the other side that is still under construction. So we were a bit disappointed by that. But the retro-ness was awesome – they’ve done a wonderful job!

The real draw for us was Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar and Tangaroa Terrace so after freshening up in the room, we went back down and ordered drinks and appetizers in Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar.

There was a wonderful Hawaiian band and we were treated to a couple of Hula dancers, too, since the lead singer’s family was sitting in the audience. We were totally swept away to Hawaii. It’s too bad that the Poly at WDW no longer has lounge entertainment – at least they didn’t the last time we were there in May.

Rich ordered the HippopotoMaiTai and I had the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum! We shared the Kalua Pork Flatbread – totally delish!

Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum

About Kathy

Novelist, Poet, Songwriter/Music Producer