Disneyland Reopens Buena Vista Street in DCA: Why We Won’t Be Going

Before I get into our Knott’s Berry Farm “Fall O’Ween” trip report, I wanted to acknowledge the news that Disneyland is scooching into DCA by opening Buena Vista Street for shopping and snacking – mostly shopping. I think we were all excited to hear this news – we’ve all been dreaming of a “Taste of Main Street” at Disneyland Park or a “Festival of the Holidays” type thing at DCA. But on closer inspection, some, like us, have realized that these tiny baby steps are not what we had in mind. My question is, is there time to then pull out a Holiday Festival after testing the Buena Vista Street opening? Or is this all there is? If so, we’re not interested.

Other questions, how will they do crowd control? They don’t seem to be going the Knott’s route by issuing tickets for a special event. So until they come up with a plan that interests us, we won’t be going. Disneyland only seems interested in selling more merch, not giving the fans what they can.

The other thing we won’t be doing is going to WDW until they open up Epcot before noon. We did see that holiday hours show Epcot opening at 10 but then early next year going back to the noon opening. We like to hit the parks early, take an afternoon break, and then return in the evening. With the noon to 8 pm hours, well, let’s just say, that doesn’t work for us. Buying a full park ticket for such limited hours… not interested.

Things are changing every day so we’ll all be tuning in for the next piece of this drama.

Disneyland Fights Back

Okay, after yesterday’s news that Newsom stated that there’s no hurry to open Disneyland any time soon (contradicting his smarmy tease earlier) confirming what we’d already suspected (why else “leak” guidelines that make it impossible), I thought this blog would go dark as my protest.

But today Disney Parks released this “true, scientific, and data-filled” statement, which I appaud (click on pic to enlarge):

It’s such an injustice and if ever there was a cause besides religious freedom that I would be willing to join forces in protest, it would be this one (at least in my head – lol!)

This is getting as crazy as this year’s presidential race! Enough already!

Disneyland Reopening Guidelines Leaked or… How to Look Good as a Politician

We were just saying last night how the Disneyland drama is making California Governor Newsom look bad and what was he going to do about that?

How about release the guidelines to open theme parks? But… what about when the guidelines are so strict, you can’t imagine them opening any time soon. Win, win, right? Not if you’re in the theme park business or employee or fan.

Why provide opening guidelines so much stricter than theme parks in other states (Florida) and/or other countries? Locals only? Yellow tier? I could see orange tier (the OC isn’t even there yet), but yellow? This “thing” will be over by then.

I’d say Governor Newson won this one. What will be Disneyland’s response? Or, perhaps, this is just the beginning of negotiations.

Anyway, check out the details and what David of FreshBakedDisney (YouTube) has to say here.

#Disneyland and the #Cruise Industry: Let’s Get This Party Started!

Disneyland and the cruise industry seem to have one thing in common (besides the fact that both are our favorite recreational choices): lots of talk about what they’re doing to restart but without any real dates. Both tried last summer and both were shot down.

The latest video I saw, uploaded by Sharon at Sea, was called “Carnival Cruise Line: Gearing up to Cruise Again.”

It looks awesome to me, and Florida and Europe have actually pulled it off, proving that what they are doing works. But restarting cruising in North America and Disneyland out west is still just talk. I’m starting to think by the time cruising and Disneyland actually get back to business, this whole situation will be over. And maybe that’s what Governor Newsom and the CDC are hoping for.

Enough delays. Give us some real dates. Give us something to start feeling!

If you’re feeling it, check out these videos (music created/produced by me during 50/90):

Cruising: Can You Feel It?

Disneyland Reopening: Can You Feel It?

Yay Knotts Berry Farm, Boo Disneyland

Watching “The Royal Dorks” (aka “FreshBaked Disney) and “Best Life and Beyond” (BLAB) on YouTube, we did some serious Trader Joe’s Fall haul ourselves. Rich made us the Pumpkin pancakes this morning with the Trader Joe’s cinnamon swirl topping to go with the pumpkin coffee. The pancakes with the swirl tasted like pumpkin pie. Yum for me, not so much for Rich.

The “Taste of Fall-o-ween” at Knott’s Berry Farm started on Friday and will go through Nov. 1. We have tickets for late October. The first video we saw posted was by “Ordinary Adventures” yesterday (these vloggers are super nice and actually respond to your comments, which seems to be rare in the Disney community), and this morning we saw Adam the Woo with several vlogger guests. No doubt more videos will be posted soon. “BLAB” just posted theirs, and I’ll update this post and more videos that we watch are available.

We give kudos to Knott’s for doing such an awesome job opening under these conditions and giving their fans something wonderful. Giving us a real Halloween! Something Disneyland could do, right? Really taking offense that they are not.

They’re definitely earning our business and we’re more likely to buy a Knott’s AP next year rather than one for Disneyland.

Musings by Morning Light

Again, I am up before the first morning light as the red-hued hint of the rising sun intersects with the last vestiges of neon from a nearby casino. One of the many things I love about the desert, filling me with a lifetime of memories that harken back to childhood.

At times I miss meeting first light of New Smyrna Beach out on my Florida lanai overlooking green grass, trees, and pond. Other times I’m reminded of our first Florida living adventure in the Tampa Bay Area.

And maybe because it’s been almost 2 years since our return to Las Vegas or blame it on the pandemic, but I can almost miss passing through El Paso on our way moving between the West Coast and Florida.

I’ve enjoyed our moving adventures (but not always those necessary in-between stages), although they have also meant leaving pieces of our hearts in distant places where you can’t just hop in the car at a moment’s notice and experience them again.

But being close by doesn’t guarantee peace as Hardy Falls attests. As we go about our daily business, the emotion sometimes overwhelms me as, just for a moment, I relive feelings of home and family, Skipper, Lovey, and Buddy, and I long to turn back time.

Gratitude for today’s blessings pulls me out of the past and into the future, one step at a time.

Happy 65th Birthday Disneyland: Our First Trip Back to Downtown Disney (#YouTube #Disneyland65)

Happy 65th Birthday, Disneyland! This was the day Disneyland chose to reopen nut the state of California (ie Governor Newsom) rejected them. And the way he keeps shutting down the state, who knows when Disneyland will open again.

But our recent trip to Downtown Disney was a real pick-me-up to help tide us over. We’d hoped to get back to Anaheim for Rich’s birthday and had made reservations at the Hilton (while we were lunching at Uva Bar at Downtown Disney), but Hilton just cancelled them. They’re not opening by mid August after all.

Listening to Walt’s opening speech on July 17, 1955, I knew I had to update our youtube channel with a video of our recent time at Downtown Disney. The video starts with our driving by the Grand Californian, on to the Simba parking lot, and then Downtown Disney, concluding with lunch at the Uva Bar (Catal).

The Downtown Disney/Newport Beach Birthday Trip

Yes, we did it. We finally decided to go forward with staying at the beach, booking outside dining at Tommy Bahama in Newport Beach for my birthday dinner, and the next day lunch and shopping at Downtown Disney. It was pretty awesome. And we felt totally safe. People were wearing masks (definitely at Disney) and most other places we went, too. Life felt almost normal – certainly nothing like what you read in the media. Ugh!

The tyrant governor newsom should investigate his “data” a little more thoroughly and figure out where, exactly, these spikes are coming from and the reasons for them. Because I could see no reason for them or the closures where we were. Of course, we stayed outside and chose wisely. It did seem a bit more loose when we drove by the donut shop on Newport Beach. People were wearing masks but I couldn’t say they stood 6 feet away from each other. Maybe that doesn’t matter as much if you’re wearing a mask?

Here are some photos from the trip starting with the birthday dinner at Tommy Bahama, Newport Beach, kicking it off with a Mai Tai:

First Sip

Incredible Calamari with Cilantro Slaw (shared appetizer)

Rich’s Ribs

Kathy’s Coconut Shrimp

Key Lime Pie to share (Rich insisted – lol)

First Cut

First Bite

Evening walk on Huntington Beach

Everything was delicious and we took half the rack of ribs and a couple of shrimp back to our beach hotel for dinner the next night.

The next day we drove to Downtown Disney at around 11 am to secure a parking spot in Simba Parking Lot before it was full.

The CMs teased us that Rich was wearing an Angels mask, and Kathy was wearing a Dodgers mask (to match her blue outfit,she explained). Yeah, right, they said – lol!

Not sure a Dodgers mask goes with a Mickey hat – lol!

We stood in line for about half an hour for entry to World of Disney (nothing compared to those who arrive later in the day).

In line, waiting to enter the World of Disney

After the walk from the Simba parking lot, temp check, and security, 30 minutes in line for World of Disney, 45 minutes and $200 of shopping later, we were desperate to take off our masks at the Uva Bar and have a drink and some lunch.

Scanning the menu from the iPhone

Rich toasts Kathy’s birthday with a glass of Spanish Chardonnay

Enjoying the atmosphere, company, and refreshments at the Uva Bar in Downtown Disney

Rich’s Fish Tacos (Garlic Fries substituted for Sweet Potato Fries)

Kathy’s American Cheeseburger, Garlic Fries, and a Glass of Argentinian Malbec

Lunching at the Uva Bar at Downtown Disney was Magical! We felt safe and it was so like us that we didn’t even feel cheated that Disneyland or DCA weren’t open. We’re just waiting for the Grand Californian to reopen. Oh, and our server noticed the Angels and Dodgers masks and said her boyfriend was Angels but she was Dodgers. lol! The food was delicious and we took half the fries back to our beach hotel for dinner, but they didn’t heat up well. Darn! They were so yummy!

We returned to our beach hotel and admired our World of Disney shopping haul: Baby Yoda plush, 65th Anniversary Photo Frame, “the child” top for Kathy, coral top for Kathy, the Mandalorian t-shirt for Rich, Disneyland 65th Anniversary socks for Rich, Star Wars mask for Rich, Baby Yoda mask, and Mickey Mouse mask (matches her purse) for Kathy.

All in all, it was an awesome and much-needed trip and great birthday celebration even though we were originally disappointed that Napa Rose wouldn’t be open. It was nice to change it up. We’ll see what’s open for Rich’s birthday.

We’ll be uploading some new videos on YouTube.

Birthday Trip: The “Plan C” Compromise

One reason I was up at first light is that I was thinking about Plan B (staying at Caesar’s), instead of driving to SoCal (Plan A) after Governor Newsom “dimmed” the lights on outside dining, bars, etc. At bedtime, we were both excited about Plan B. But somewhere during the night, I came up with Plan C, which is a bit of Plan A (SoCal) and Plan B (Vegas).

I still wanted to go to SoCal – it’s been too long since we’ve been during this house building project, and I need to see, smell, and hear the ocean. I need a road trip. It’s my birthday. So we will do the big dining celebration here in Vegas (Border Grill, one of my favorites), and then drive to SoCal for my birthday for a couple of days. It looks like Downtown Disney will open as planned with outside dining restrictions. You can read about it on AllEars. And we can drive down PCH to enjoy the ocean, and maybe even find a beach.

The other mood enhancers for today have been watching some DIS videos – here and here. I totally wouldn’t mind owning a Disney vacation home. 🙂

And I’m missing cruising. If you’re missing cruising, too, enjoy a virtual cruise here.

 

 

First Trip Back to Disneyland Property

Watching this morning’s youtube video: the one where Katie and Spence (Best Life & Beyond) meet up with Adam the Woo and Pixar Charlie to bike/scooter the perimeter of Disneyland starting with the Anaheim Convention Center (site of the D23 Conference each year).

When I got my notification, I wasn’t too sure I wanted to peek in. I’ve been trying to focus on living without Disneyland. 50/90 starts on Saturday and that should occupy my attention through September. October brings Rocktober and in November, there’s something similar to NaNoWriMo (novel writing month) called NaSoAlMo (album writing month). Anyway, you get the idea. Keep me distracted so I can forget about this crazy world right now. I can’t keep up with its ups and downs. I don’t want to keep up with the ups and downs.

I also realized these songwriting groups (mostly male) do for me what the old men on the front porch did for me when I was a kid – you know, the one I wrote about in this post. A nice change from the women in the living room (aka women writers) talking about babies – lol!

Anyway, I’m thinking we’ll keep our ressies near Disneyland and try to get into Downtown Disney on my birthday weekend.

My Orange County (CA) Life: Nostalgia, Disneyland, and Denny Pezzin

This morning Adam of The Daily Woo is eating his meal (Denny’s) at his favorite location outside the Anaheim Convention Center, talking about whether he will be interested in securing entrance to the opening of Disneyland. Well, of course, we would all love to since it’s happening on Disneyland’s 65th anniversary.

It’s really hard for me to be cut off from Disneyland. It’s one reason we moved back West each time we moved to Florida. The easy access to Disney World and the beach in Florida couldn’t compare to the much longer 4-hour drive to Disneyland and the beach from Las Vegas. Disneyland is special to many people, but especially to those who grew up there and maybe even more so to those who grew up there but no longer live there. Disneyland is family.

The years I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, working in Silicon Valley, were filled with trips to Disneyland just to touch that childhood nostalgia. My mother tells the story of us watching it being built when I was quite small and my step dad was in Korea. As soon as his stint was over, we went to Disneyland for the first time with my mother, step dad, his daughter (Sherry), and me. You might have seen this photo before:


Disneyland: then and now (me on the lower right, afraid of the “old Lady” in the rocking chair)

This was taken several years ago, perhaps around 2010. We updated the (now) version in the same spot just last summer when we were there on Rich’s birthday.

August 2019

As so many of us, I was also aware of being in Disneyland when Walt was walking around Main Street. My mother, ever so discreet, would say quietly, “There’s Walt.”

Back to my Silicon Valley days with trips to Disneyland in the 1990s. I would often stay at my favorite Embassy Suites where Denny Pezzin would perform his “One Man Show.”

Since then, he’d moved to Florida when we were there the second time around. His father was living there after his mother died and Denny was there to help him during his time of grief. Denny and his wife have since moved back to SoCal in the desert area where he performs at various venues with some trips to the OC (at least before the “Bob” affected our lives).

I subscribe to his YouTube channel and he uploads a performance daily (or close to it). So check out today’s Denny Pezzin performance, an Elvis Medley, “The Wonder of You” and “One Night With You.”

I’m really feeling the pull of my childhood and younger days and can’t wait to get back to my Orange County and Disneyland, especially Galaxy’s Edge, DJ Rex, and Oga’s Cantina.

Rich enjoying a Jet Juice at Oga’s Cantina

Grooving to DJ Rex

Pool Shopping and First Restaurant Dining In Experience (#Covid19 #LasVegasOpen)

With restaurants dining in service opening up throughout the Las Vegas Valley, we first thought we’d drive out to the winery and heat lunch there. But with the temps heading for the 90s, we decided we’d rather go pool shopping. With a dirt backyard, we need to figure out what it is we’d like to do back there. So we donned our masks and headed for one of the fiberglass pool people out in Henderson, to check out their showroom and to get the details on pricing, etc.

The pools looked soooo appealing, especially on a hot day, but we were a bit put off by the pricing. We thought they’d be less expensive than a gunite, but, still, it seemed a bit out of our reach if we hoped to continue traveling when we can travel. That’s the thing, with the world shutting down, did we really want to depend on it for travel and recreation or depend on ourselves, although limited to our backyard and places nearby going forward?

But I have to tell you, if I could do it again, I wouldn’t wear a mask when we’re just interacting with one business owner and a cat. He wasn’t wearing a mask, and I almost fainted wearing mine. I just can’t breathe in these things. And it was awkward wearing when when the owner wasn’t. While Rich was wrapping things up, I went out to the car so I could take this thing off.

Then, being close to Lake Las Vegas, we wondered if our favorite Mexican restaurant was open so we called them. “Yes, come on down,” they said.

We parked in the garage like normal and it was busy. We took the elevator to avoid people on the stairs, and Rich cleaned his finger after pushing the buttons. Families were all over, although I think we all kept our space from each other. We then hiked down a long set of stairs to the restaurant area and I avoided using the handrail.

There was a sign indicating social distancing. We were seated in our favorite row of tables, but the middle table was taken out in our row to offer up that space. Yay! This is the way dining should have always been. I’m liking this social distancing.

Our waitress was wearing a mask, we got out our hand sanitizer (as we’ve been doing for decades), to use after we put our menus down and gave our order. I tell you, first thing up: a Margarita to recover from that whole mask experiences. Chips and salsa were delivered by another waiter wearing a mask.

Lunch was soon on the tables and I totally enjoyed my tacos and Rich loved his enchiladas. It felt soooo good to eat out again, one of our favorite ways to celebrate life.

Later, we stopped by Target to buy some rugs for the new house – there’s always something new to buy with a new house. The supply was quite low and, wearing that stupid mask, I just couldn’t think straight. We ended up not getting what I wanted for the master, but, instead, used it to decorate the kitty’s room – lol!

Summary: it was awesome to be dining out again, but I may try to avoid places that require a mask. Themed masks are kinda cute but still claustrophobic.

I’m loving social distancing – it’s the way it should have been anyway. I’ve never been a fan of close-in dining, overcrowded theme parks or cruise ships that keep getting bigger and bigger. But I am so waiting to see if Napa Rose opens by my birthday in July, It’s become my annual tradition. So sad if it doesn’t. I’ve had enough of the world being shut down. It’s way too depressing. Even if I’m not going places, I like to think other people are.

Btw, we found the rugs we were looking for online, but, as keeps happening, they wouldn’t accept our address. Our neighborhood is too new and they rejected it as not being legit. Believe me, we’ve been through this too many times to mention.