BACKSTAGE MAGIC BY ADVENTURES BY DISNEY
Caution: This blog contains spoilers, if you do not wish to know some of the surprises or magic involved with this trip please do not read any further.
June 3, 2008
Day One - "IT ALL STARTED WITH A MOUSE"
The word for the day is Mickey Mouse
The day began with a 4am wake up call from our phila. hotel to get us up and moving in time for our 6:55am flight to LA. Since the excitement had been building for weeks , I don't think either of us slept very much..so excited , too much anticipation of what the next week would hold.United Airlines was on time and the flight was relatively smooth. A little over 5 hours and I am now in California. Lax is a large and confusing airport, I would opt for the other airport for this trip if possible. We made our way to baggage claim and there was the man holding the sign I was waiting to see "ADVENTURES BY DISNEY" with our names underneath, how exciting. He introduced himself as John and said he would be our driver to Hollywood and would handle our luggage. Off we went outside the terminal to our Town Car that was waiting, when a woman came running up behind us and said " Hi, I'm Robyn, one of your adventure guides and we are so excited to have you on this adventure. John will take care of your luggage and take you to the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, where Quinn your other adventure guide is waiting. After a short ride in our town car we arrived at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel and there waiting inside was Quinn, with a bigger then life smile on his face and few welcoming words.
He gave us our story book ( which is the detailed itinerary for the week)
handed us our room keys,( no checking in at the front desk , it was all taken care of by Quinn) instructed the bellman to take our luggage upstairs and reminded us that all gratuities for bellman, driver, housekeepers are all ready included. We asked for directions to the Kodak theater and the Disney soda fountain & studio shoppe ...he gave us our directions which was to walk to the corner, turn left and we'd be there
Reminded us to met the group at 4:00 pm on the mezzanine of the Hotel for our welcome reception.
We were escorted upstairs to a lovely and well appointed room.
One the desk we a few gifts from adventures by Disney. Mouse ears luggage tags,
cooldanas, H2O lip balm, H2O mist, portable fan, Adventure by Disney pens, folding duffel bag, which comes in handy later in the week and a Disney Rubik cube.
We unpacked the one bag for Hollywood quickly and headed out to see Hollywood. We had a quick lunch at the Disney Soda Fountain and Studio shoppe, the food was very good , browsed the merchandise and then headed to the Kodak theater (home of the Oscars) for a 45 min. tour. We found the tour to be interesting and the areas we were shown included the backstage areas, dressing rooms, wall of fame, and the private VIP lounge . At the end of the tour the give you a commemorative postcard that can not be purchased.
Tip: If you are interested in this tour...go to the Kodak theater web site and print a coupon for discount on the admission.
After our tour of the Kodak theater we walked down to Grumman's theater, took photos of many of the old time stars hand and foot prints and then strolled back towards our hotel looking for famous stars on the Hollywood walk of fame.
We found Donald Duck, Snow White, Roy O. Disney and many many more.
It was nearing 4pm , so we hurried back to our room to change for the welcome reception and dinner.
A t 4pm we met at Twist Restaurant in the hotel for cocktails, soda and snacks and what I would call a met and greet session.
The entire group, all 19 of us and our 2 guides Quinn and Robyn who we fast grew to love mingled snacked and drank.
We were given a questionnaire that we had to go around the room and ask the other adventures questions, many Disney related. We had about 10 minutes for this and then Quinn ( our MC) reviewed the answer with the group.
I must say it is a nice way to meet and introduce yourself to others.
Following a few more minutes we headed thru the hotel to the Hollywood & Highland center for our first dinner as a group at Trastevere Restaurant.
Dinner began with antipasto and salad served family style and of course wine.
Entree orders were taken and there was choice of chicken, veal, salmon or pasta.
While we waited for dinner we played the craziest game of Disney Trivia.
The MC had many of us laughing so hard , tears we're falling down our faces.
While everyone was eating Robyn and Quinn moved around to all the tables and chatted with everyone. Dessert which was Tiramisu or cheesecake was served and shortly thereafter most people left for a good night's sleep
But not before Quinn's nightly reminder of where and when we were to meet in the morning. This became a ritual , as well as the theme for the day, and the word of the day, which you will see as the days go on.
Tip: If feasible come in a day or two earlier if traveling from the east coast,
it will help with the time change exhaustion and there is plenty to do in the area
before the tour actually starts.
Summary: It was a great start to a wonderful vacation. We felt like once we were in Disney's hands, well more specifically the hands of Robyn and Quinn we
were well cared for and the only thing we had to do was have one of the best vacations of a lifetime.