Monday, July 11, 2011

Trip Report: A Perfect Day, Pt. 1

Mom and hubby came for their annual visit, and since it had been 4 years since their last trip to Disneyland, I decided it was time to rectify that situation. For whatever reason, most of the hotels in the area either seemed booked or charging sky-high prices (ah, the joys of sticking it to the tourists during the summer). The Anabella Hotel on Katella is a property I had always wanted to try, and since their rates were in the reasonable range, I decided to give them a try.

I am so glad that I did. Hands down, they are the best location/value/designed property I have stayed at in Anaheim excluding the Disney hotels. With its Mission-style theme and splashes of color from the bougainvillea, the look of the hotel was right up my alley. Front check-in was a breeze and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful.

Sometimes, the exterior of the hotel and lobby can be misleading. It can be a little scary putting the key into the door, not knowing what mysteries might lurk in the rooms themselves. The Anabella had no surprises, as the rooms themselves were spacious, clean, and very well appointed.

Best of all, the Anabella was a very short walk down Disneyland Drive to the Grand Californian & the rest of the Disney property, which was very handy considering I was with my mom and her hubby.

The first thing I noticed as I approached the park was the great progress on the new entrance area for Disney California Adventure:

Had I been thinking, I would have asked mom to bring out her sweater from this November 1965 (yes, she still has it!):

Instead, I settled for a photograph in the same location with what she was wearing (too bad my brothers couldn't have come at the same time to duplicate the shot!).

First up in the day's lineup was Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln:

The patriotism and showmanship of this attraction did not disappoint.

In fact, mom commented that she was impressed how the "actor" was able to lip sync to the prerecorded lines so well! Her hubby & I got a good chuckle out of that one.

With Anaheim heat bordering on the uncomfortable level, we craved more air-conditioned attractions! The Tiki Room fit "the bill" (pardon the bad pun) perfectly.

Mom's hubby and I tried to convince her that the birds were real, but she wasn't falling for it this time. Mom's a pretty smart cookie.

By the time we left the show, we were all humming the theme song, "Let's All Sing Like the Birdies Sing," composed by Robert Hargreaves, Stanley J. Damerell, and Tolchard Evans in 1932. It still holds up today as a very catchy tune!

As lunchtime quickly approached, we headed over to The Blue Bayou, which was a first time for both of them. The Tinkerbell drink sure lit up my stepfather's face!

As you can see by the happy look on their faces, lunch was a success! How could you not love a Monte Cristo sandwich from the Bayou?!?

Always looking for something special, I decided the next attraction would be the Mark Twain from the top—nothing but the best for mom!

The views (and thankfully the breeze!) were spectacular.

I made sure she signed the guestbook:

I know that they will both cherish their Pilot Certificates:

More to come! Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage & current Disneyland photos at my regular website.


Connie Moreno said...

Dave, great trip report!! I felt like I was with you guys!

Thufer said...

What a wonderful trip report and what must have been just an amazing day for you. From hotel room to Pilot Certificate, like Connie said; with you guys every step of the way.

Having Monte Cristo envy. (Thanks- LOL) The Tinker Bell straw is really cool.

What is Meadow Brook BTW? Any good story behind that?

Excellent way to spend a day with family. Good for you.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Way to go Dave! You know how to show the folks a good time!

Your mom still has that amazing sweater?? Great photos and a great day, WOW!

Major Pepperidge said...

So you're saying that Mr. Lincoln is NOT portrayed by an actor?

Daveland said...

Hi Thufer - Meadow Brook is a golf course in Pennsylvania. He's 82 and still playing!

Connie - I thought of you at the Bayou!

Tim - the sweater still has the dry cleaning tag on it.

Major - I hate to break the news to you...

TokyoMagic! said...

Disneyland should be selling postcards of your Tiki Room shots, Dave!

Great trip report....looking forward to Part 2.

Crosby Kenyon said...

To think I lived in LA for over five years and never got to Disneyland. Shame on me.

Mike, Studio City said...

You always have so much fun at Disneyland. I love that Mone Cristo. We are going to Disneyland in Sept.

trickortreat said...

I like the shots of your mom posing with the canon. If you could get her to come back in 2015 with the sweater and your brothers for a "50-years later" shot, that indeed would be fun.
How do you get a pilot's certificate on the Mark Twain?

Daveland said...

Mike - September is usually a good time to visit - not as crowded. Trickortreat - if you ride up top with the pilot, they give you a certificate at the end of the lap around the Rivers of America.

olegc said...

so how does one get to the captain's perch on top of the Mark Twain? I have tried a couple of times but no luck.

Daveland said...

Olegc - You just need to ask a cast member at the soon as you can before someone else does.

JG said...

Dave, the hotel appears to be on the site of the former Magic Lamp motel, which my hangout in the 60's and 70's.

We will have to try that one.

Thank you for sharing your fun with us.


walterworld said...

Correct JG. The Magic Lamp, Magic Carpet and the Golden Forrest Inn were combined (and totally refurbished) to create the Anabella around 2000.

We stayed there once and really liked it.

Daveland said...

Thanks for the info JG & walterworld on Anabella!

JG said...

Thank you, walterworld.