Paradise Pier Hotel Archives

June 3, 2008

Disneyland Resort - Panama Canal Trip - Day 17

May 26, 2008
Disneyland Resort
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 60s.

The alarm went off bright and early. As I reached for my glasses, they weren't there. Huh? I hesitated for a moment and then I realized I wasn't on the ship anymore. 15 nights in one place will do that to you. I opened my eyes and found my glasses, LOL.

I showered and found my way to the Paradise Pier concierge lounge for some early morning coffee. The lounge is huge, very spacious and inviting. I found some "Hidden Mickeys" on part of the floor in the lounge too! There was a nice selection of fresh fruit and pastries along with cereal and bagels. The strawberries were outstanding!

Paradise Pier Concierge Lounge

Hidden Mickey Paradise Pier Concierge Lounge

Ann, George, Linda Mac and I all had a fun time at the Lilo and Stitch Character Breakfast at the PCH Grill in Paradise Pier. Since it was fairly early, the restaurant was pretty empty and the characters spent lots of time with us. We probably saw each one twice. On the other hand, the service was mediocre at best. We were in the process of actually sitting in the chairs the first time when the server came over to find out if we were doing buffet or menu. Umm.. can we sit down first and see the menu and buffet? Also, refills were slow as was the clearing of plates. In addition, we noticed lots of folks with Hawaiian leis and Lilo and Stitch buttons, we received neither.

Food is buffet style and very good. Made to order eggs, all kinds of fresh fruits, pastries, breakfast items and more.

This first one of Goofy is for Masayo.

Lilo and Stitch Character Breakfast Paradise Pier

Lilo, LindaMac, Deb, Stitch, and Ann at the Lilo and Stitch Character Breakfast Paradise Pier

Next port of call -- Disneyland! One of the things I planned to do was search for Hidden Mickeys. My good friend Steve Barrett has published several editions of a WDW Hidden Mickey Hunt Book and also one for Disneyland.

Deb and  Hidden Mickeys at Disneyland

We oogled at the Main Street Vehicles and made our way to Adventureland to get FastPasses for the Indiana Jones Adventure.

Adventureland at Disneyland

While waiting for the Fast Pass time we took in two great classic attractions - first the Enchanted Tiki Birds.

Tiki Birds in Adventureland at Disneyland

Tiki Birds in Adventureland at Disneyland

-- then the Jungle Cruise

Jungle Cruise in Adventureland at Disneyland

There was a huge promo going on regarding the new Indiana Jones movie. It includes many fun thing to do and see including Random Acts of Indy. Laura blogged about it.
While I didn't see any random acts of Indy, I was part of a very quick, hmmm "Act of Jack Attack" LOL.

We found Jane at her meet and greet just on the other side of Tarzans' Treehouse. As I began talking with her, Jack Sparrow snuck up behind and startled her. It all happened so fast, not one of us got a photo. Special Kudos to LindaMac for trying.

Jane in Adventureland at Disneyland

Then it was time for Indiana Jones!!

Indiana Jones in Adventureland at Disneyland

For lunch we'd be joining Laura Gilbreath (All Ears Disneyland Reporter) and her husband Lee, along with Beci and Chris at Blue Bayou.

While we waited for the place to open, Ann and George had a Magical Moment and received First Time Visitor Buttons!

Ann and George getting First Time Buttons at Disneyland

LindaMac, Laura and I posed on the New Orleans Square steps for a photo op.

Laura, LindaMac and Deb in New Orleans Square at Disneyland

Next up Pirates of the Caribbean (much better than MK counterpart).

Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland at Disneyland

At this point, Laura and Lee left us and went over to tour the DVC exhibit at Paradise Pier.

Next stop, Haunted Mansion . The recent enhancements in the Florida Attraction really give that one the edge in terms of our favorite.

Haunted Mansion  at Disneyland

Haunted Mansion  at Disneyland

Haunted Mansion  at Disneyland

Everyone enjoyed Winnie the Pooh. Unlike WDW, the DL version begins outside.

The Canoes still operate in Disneyland and I love the nostalgic feeling of them.

Canoes at Disneyland

Over to Tomorrowland for Buzz AstroBlasters. Again, enjoyed this much better than WDW especially since you can remove the laser gun to maneuver it easier. Another cool feature is that you can email yourself the photo taken during the ride!

Buzz AstroBlasters at Disneyland

Buzz AstroBlasters at Disneyland

Buzz Astroblaster E-PostCard  at Disneyland

On the way to ToonTown we saw Narnia's Prince Caspian riding by. The "construction" covering behind him is at Its a Small World.

Prince Caspian at Disneyland

I had never been to Disneyland's ToonTown and it was a most pleasant surprise. We all LOVED the theming and spent a great deal of time wandering around. We rode Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin and Beci did a good job keeping the taxi from spinning! We then spent time touring Mickey and Minnie's home. Goofy even has a place here too! Lots of fun scenery, lots of gadget to play with.

Toon Town at Disneyland

Toon Town at Disneyland

Toon Town at Disneyland

Toon Town at Disneyland

I was starting to get really tired and needed to go back to the room for a short rest. Linda Mac and I left the park and ended up stopping at the La Brea Bakery for a late lunch. It was quite good and helped to recharge our batteries!

After my rest, I met Linda Mac and attended the special DVC Member Gathering! Linda has reported on it already. I met some great Cast Members and learned a few things in the process. Linda has already blogged about the event.

I also forgot to mention in yesterday's blog, that I got a tour of the new Grand Californian Studio and One-bedroom villas. No photos allowed, but I really like the new layout. The dining table is larger than current one bedrooms, there are 2 full bathrooms, and the living area has a floor to ceiling window for more light. The balcony is accessible via a side door or from the master bedrooms.

A full and delightful day has come to an end. Tomorrow my last day in California so we plan to spend time at both parks.

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June 1, 2008

Disney Magic Cruise - Port of Los Angeles and Disneyland - Panama Canal Trip - Day 16

May 25, 2008
Port of Call: Los Angeles -- Disneyland Resort

Much as we wanted to sleep in, Linda had to disembark by 7:30am so we were up early. While she got ready, I went up on Deck 10 to watch the Disney Magic come into Port.

The sun was just coming up which made for a pretty sky. It was a beautiful sunrise on the starboard side.

Port of Los Angeles

Port of Los Angeles

Port of Los Angeles

We were escorted in by a boat shooting water fountains.
And greeted by a group of folks waving Mickey Hands and a Welcome Back banner.

Port of Los Angeles

Port of Los Angeles

Back in the cabin I looked at the report from the bridge and wowed at where we traveled the last 2 weeks. Follow the white line from north of Miami Florida to LA California.

Panama Canal Cruise

It was quickly time for Linda to head to customs and Los Angeles Airport. She had a 1pm flight home. I was heading to Disneyland.

Breakfast on Disembarkation morning is at the restaurant you dined at the night before. So, minus Linda and Sharon, the rest of us gathered. For some, it was hugs and teary goodbyes (until we meet again), for others we were headed to Disneyland.

As we were getting our belongings ready to depart, I received quite an amazing surprise! Disney Magic Captain Thord, who I had not met, came up to me and called me by name! WOW! That was an incredible magical moment and I was very honored.

Disney Magic Captain and Deb

Clearing customs was a lengthy process, but we were ready for that. It is quite different from Port Canaveral, so those used to that process will need to adjust. You leave the ship by group (character stickers are provided) and then clear customs withOUT your luggage. Once you are passed customs, you go down to the luggage area. A porter will be available to take your bags outside.

Although this photo doesn't show it, the outside area is small and conjested so keep your group together.

Port of Los Angeles

Before long we were on our van and our way to Disneyland!

Ann, George and I got off first at the Paradise Pier, Beci and Chris went onto the Disneyland Hotel. I had quite a difference experience this time at the Paradise Pier. It was packed in the lobby, the check in area is small, luggage service was SO backed up and the room was not ready. Ok, I wasn't expecting the room to be ready but....

I was staying concierge and the experience is QUITE different than concierge at a WDW resort. For those of you contimplating a concierge stay at Paradise Pier, I would advise you to think again.

First, there was no pre-arrival contact from the resort. At WDW, you either receive a phone call or a letter from the itinerary planning department to assist in pre-arrival dining reservations etc.

Next, there was no separate concierge check in. At WDW, you tell Bell Services you are concierge and are escorted to the club lounge to check in and get some refreshments. Also, if your room is not ready you then have a quieter place to wait and decide what to do next.

At Paradise Pier, there was no such experience and the Cast Member at the front desk actually seemed put out when I asked questions.

Ann and George's room was not ready either, so we decided to head over to the parks. While we didn't plan to go inside, I wanted to show them just how close the hotel was to Downtown Disney as well as the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park.

Tired as we were, we meandered to the park entrance. It was neat to see their expressions as it was their very first vist. Here they are near the mural of California Adventure. From what I understand, the mural will be going away as part of the extensive rehab scheduled for the park.

California Adventure

When we returned to the Grand Californian, we wandered over to Napa Rose. Dinner tonight was here to celebrate friend's anniversary.

Soon it was time for lunch at Storyteller's Cafe in the Grand Californian Hotel. This is perhaps my favorite sit down restaurant at Disneyland for all 3 meals.

We met back up with Beci and Chris and AllEars team member Linda Mac (who arrived in town several days earlier).

LindaMac and Deb at Storyteller's Cafe in Disneyland's Grand Californian

Also at lunch, the table next to us had 2 AllEars Fans, Walt and Liz, who also happened to be on the Panama Canal cruise!

Walt, Liz and Deb at Storyteller's Cafe in Disneyland's Grand Californian

We hung out more after lunch and then about 3:20 our rooms were ready! YEA!

Paradise Pier Room

It was supposed to be an upgraded room. Ann and George thought it looked the same size as their room, but mine had a make up mirror in the bathroom. It was on the third floor (335) but a patio room. It would have been very convenient for a family who used the pool. My preference is not to have a room on the ground level as I like to keep the curtains open for light and the door open at night for fresh air. If I wasn't so tired, I would have asked to move.

I took a quick 20 minute power nap, showered and was met my friends at the Grand Californian Lobby: Mari, Raleigh, Allison and Lauren. Linda and I had met Raleigh and Mari in 2005 on the Mexican Riveria Disney Magic Cruise. Last year, all four of them were our tablemates for the 11 night Mediterrean Disney Magic Cruise.

Gary and Karen were also part of dinner (as well as Ann, George, Beci and Chris) and also were on the cruise last year.

Allison, Lauren and Mari

Gary and Karen

Our experience at the Napa Rose was VERY disappointing. The food was spectacular the service bordered on horrible. I'll be writing a separate review on our dinner.

After dinner, everyone went their separate ways. We'd be enjoying Disneyland in the morning!

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Deb's Digest in the Paradise Pier Hotel category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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