Friday, February 4, 2011

January 29, 30 --- Micechat weekend

What an exhausting weekend!  But it was worth it!
Saturday morning Dillon followed me in his car down to the Disneyland Resort.  We got there early and ESPN Zone was not opened up for us just yet so we looked around Rain Forrest Cafe that is next to it and decided to use the restroom in Downtown Disney before we went into ESPN Zone.  As we were walking up to the restrooms who did we see?  We saw the current Disneyland President coming out from the door next to the bathrooms that leads to the "backstage" area.  I'd never seen him in person before but had seen many pictures of him and he was wearing his Disney name badge that says simply "George"  We tried to see where he was walking off to as we were excitidely discussing "THAT has to be him!"  but did not want to be stalkerish so did not follow and went ahead and used the restrooms.
Dillon found daddy?

By then it was late enough that they were letting us into the ESPN Zone lobby to check in for our pre-paid breakfast.
We mingled a bit with our fellow Micechatters and then found a table.   I went out to the lobby once they had the table set up to buy a copy of Jack Lindquist's book.  That's what this breakfast was about afterall!  Once most people had gotten their food and had a bit of time to eat our leader, Dustysage got up and did some talking and introduced a very special guest....the current Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis!  So we found out where he was headed!

George K introducing Jack L

George K got up and talked a bit and introduced the very FIRST president of Disneyland, Jack Lindquist.  Then Jack got up and talked a bit.  It was amazing to be in that room.  The room was full of over a hundred die-hard Disneyland fans with two of the people who have played a huge role in making Disneyland what it is.  The co-author of Jack's book also talked a bit.  There was a slide show on behind them that Al Lutz had put together.
Current Disneyland President




Jack Lindquist
Dustysage thanking  George K and Jack L.

After the talking there was the book signing.  Long line of people. Jack Lindquist is a bit hard of hearing I discovered but soo sweet and spent a lot of time signing everyone who wanted a signature and speaking and taking photos.  And George K even stayed for a very long time allowing people to line up for pictures with him and signing stuff.  He easily could have bowed out.  He'd agreed to introduce Jack L. for a Disney fan community.  That alone was a big deal.  I'm very please to say that the current Disneyland president really seems to care about the fans and wants more than to just bring in as much $$$$ as possible, he also wants to make the guests truly happy.
Authors of "In Service to the Mouse"

Dillon Jennelle Jack Lindquist Melinda Combs

Dillon Jennelle George Kalogridis

After the breakfast was over and it was time to leave we had a chance to talk to Mrs. Lindquist for a few minutes while her husband was busy talking to other people.  We also got to meet his daughter.  The entire family seemed super nice.

The rest of the weekend took place inside the parks which requires admission tickets.  I have an annual pass but unfortunately Dillon does not so he left after the breakfast.  Saturdays events were all scheduled inside DCA.

We were to meet by the exit of Muppet Vision 3D at 11:30am for Mice and Go Seek.  Five of the moderators were introduced and then sent out to Hide.  We then had just under an hour to try to find as many as possible.  Each of those hiding had raffle tickets to hand out numbered 1-10.  The goal was to get as many tickets with the lowest numbers as possible.  I ended up running around with a guy named Tom who usually partners up with his teenage daughter but was there alone because she had something to do for school that day.  We walked quickly through several areas of the park but never did come across any of them.  Found out later that one was hiding in the locker room, another was hiding inside a tree in Redwood Challenge...don't know how we missed him since we were all over that area.  Another was over by Tower of Terror.  Another was in Pacific Wharf somewhere.  Not sure where the other was or the exact location of a few of them.  The first place winner had found 3 of the 5.  More than half of us did not find any.

After the awards were given out for that people all slowly moved from the Muppet area over to Pacific Wharf area for the lunch meet.  Most of us did not eat much or at all because the breakfast was so filling.
The second game of the day was Eye Spy.  For that we met over at Sonoma Terrace Golden Vine Winery just outside the Blue Sky Cellar.  Tom and I partnered up again but did not do very well.  We just guessed at the last minute.  I wish I could get my hands on an answer key because I still do not know what most of the answers are.

Tom left immediatly after that because he had to go pick up his son.  He did not even get to stay to find out the winners.
Whiel the game was scored we all filtered into the Blue Sky Cellar.  By now it was 4pm.  I have never seen that room so packed.  After a while they started letting people know it was time and we filtered back out to get the results of the game.
There was no official dinner meet but a group that calls themselves RCMC (Royal Court of MiceChat I believe) was having a meet up in Down Town Disney and one of the girls who was organizing that invited me to join them so I did.  The restaurant was Jazz Kitchen Express.  I got a popcorn chicken kids meal and ended up giving most of it away because I did not like it.  The chicken had a weird flavoring.  I think it was some type of cajon type thing.  But the conversations were good even if the food was not.
I was freezing tho because I loaned my jacket to a girl I was hanging out with "m.s. fighter" because she only had a tshirt on and I had a sweatshirt on.  I didn't complain though.  She gave me my jacket back before she headed home.

After dinner I went in the bathroom at the Grand Californian hotel before heading to the meet up in the hearthstone lounge there and put my thermal shirt on.  At the lounge many people were drinking and we played a trivia game.  I made it almost to the end of round one.  I was the third or fourth to the last person on our team.  They split us into three teams and then the last 2 standing from each team made it to the second round. And then the top two of those made it to the final round.  It was pretty fun.
I didn't win anything in any of the games but they were still fun.

After that we headed back into the parks for ElecTRONica.  Though people didn't stick together very well in this part as we did during most of the day there were quite a few of us scattered around the Hollywood Backlot area.
The park was closing at 10pm.  I could have headed over to Disneyland for a short while but since I knew I had another full day ahead of me I went ahead and left by 10pm and headed home.  The tram was a total pain.  I usually park in the Toy Story Lot since I discovered it but since I was starting the day at ESPN zone and leading Dillon to the DTD parking I went ahead and parked in the structure.  The trams were always a pain but since they added doors to the tram it's gotten even worse.

When I got home I talked to Dillon online a bit and to Margo a bit who i'd met at the the meet.  Then i got a bit of sleep.

On Sunday I was in the Toy Story lot bright and early.  I was into the park before the rope drop.  I took advantage of the empty shops on main street...everyone was outside on the street instead of the shops.  I looked around and waiting for the rope drop so I could head to Frontierland to meet up with the Micechatters for breakfast at the RiverBelle Terrace.  I got myself a Mickey pancake and sat with another "newbie" named Ann who goes by ChEars! on the site.  Was a nice breakfast and then we all headed toward the train station in New Orleans square for the grand circle tour around the park.  It started raining as we were on the train.  From there we all headed over to the Mark Twain Riverboat for a trip around the Rivers of America.  It was raining pretty good during most of this.  We still had plenty of time before the big noon hub meet so we all went on Thunder Mountain.  I've never seen so many people try the goat trick at the same time.  It wasn't discussed ahead of time but we all just did it.
By now it was time to head over to the hub.  Margo and I had talked online and then on the phone as we were getting ready before leaving that morning and she had said she would be there in time for the breakfast. But now it was noon and she had yet to show up.  I had tried calling her but just got her voicemail.  I finally heard from her on the Twain and she had locked herself out of her apartment and had to wait for a locksmith.  She called again during the noon meet and asked if I could run over to the monorail and get her.  she's in a wheelchair and was on the monorail already.  So I went over there and found her and pushed her back to the hub.  We arrived back at the hub just as everyone was moving to the castle for the group photo.  It was pouring as we stood there for the photo and the raffle.  When that was done people scattered to get food and meet back at the outdoor tables nearby.  The tables had umbrellas but where i was sitting the table was covered by not my back.
Margo and I went over to first aid so she could use the restroom then got pasta at plaza inn and joined the others at the tables. We sat with Ann.  Because of the rain most of us took refuge as soon as we were done in the Golden Horseshoe where we would be seeing Billy Hill later in the day.  We took up the first two rows of tables, most of the third and a few other scattered tables in there.  The show was good of course, always is.  And I videotaped most of it.  I haven't uploaded the vids (its in two parts) anywhere yet.
From here we all headed back over to New Orleans where we met up with D23's Disney Geek, Jeffrey Epstein.  He gave out some copies of the latest issue of the D23 magazine and did a little trivia game giving winners pins and patches and stuff.
The last scheduled event was going on Pirates and Haunted mansion as a group.  It was Character fan days tho and since with Margo in a wheel chair she woudln't be able to ride it with everyone very easily since she enters from a different way she wasnt going to go on those and asked if i wanted to join her in checking out the character fan day family fun weekend stuff instead.  Unfortunately they closed up the area early due to rain so we didn't get to see the rare characters.
I spent the rest of the day with her.  we rode the carousel and I'm not sure what else we did before we headed over to the other park.  We got fast passes for World of Color, we went on Toy Story Midway Mania, we got back up that damn hill which pushing her almost killed me.  I hate the pier hill.  Then we saw alladin.  sat in the front row.  They were having a meet and greet before hand so we saw some friends coming out from that and spoke to them briefly before we went in.
We then got to SIT for world of color.  Because she's in a chair we were in the disabled area.  There's a bench in there and I was able to snag a spot on it which is great since I was hurting bad by that point.
We watched a bit of the fireworks from the entry way of DCA and i took a potty break and ran into a couple other micechatters and exchanged some contact info with them before heading back over to where margo was parked and then into the other park.  Once inside Disneyland we saw that Ragtime Robert was playing in Coke corner so stopped in fora listen.  Mr. Daps was in there watching so we talked to him a bit.  When Robert had finished his set I was able to finally tell him how adorable his grandchildren are.  I'd seen their pictures on his facebook.  We then headed back to tomorrowland and watched Captain EO before catching the monorail out of the park.  She was parked in the Disneyland Hotel lot and so I went to her car with her and helped her get in her car and then she drove me over to the Toy Story lot.  We stopped on the way to the car to talk to a couple of the security guards who were just standing around.  They were nice.  Pretty much everyone who works for disneyland is pretty cool.

I was so sore and tired when I got home.  but it was worth it.



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