View Full Version : DCA Opening Day

02-09-2001, 01:14 AM
Well, I don't know if this is some sort of omen but DCA was not very crowded on opening day. The wife and I headed over yesterday hoping that we would be able to "get in"....no problem getting in. They weren't even bothering with fast-pass. We rode California Soarin' 3 times with only a 10 minute wait each time. There were literally more employees and press than guests. Maybe it will pick-up this weekend. Maybe people couldn't get the weekday off. I just really expected a huge crowd for opening day. Any thoughts?


02-09-2001, 06:12 AM
It looked like it was going to be pretty "cold" in Anaheim.

<font size=3>D°o°die</font>
<font size=1>March 2001 - WDW Surprise!! (Disney Institute & Dixie Landings)
March 2001 - Our first trip to Disneyland!! (Grand Californian)
March 2000 - WDW (All Star Music)
May 1998 - WDW (Dixie Landings)
March 1997 - WDW (Dixie Landings)
May 1996 - WDW (Dixie Landings)
March 1995 - WDW (Dixie Landings)
March 1994 - WDW (Honeymoon! Dixie Landings)</font>

02-09-2001, 07:50 AM
It was one of the prettiest days of the year.
72 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. They can't blame the weather.


All Smiles
02-14-2001, 01:00 AM
Did it really get to 72? We weren't at DCA until the next day (Fri. the 9th), but we were in Anaheim and it was CHILLY, especially when the sun went down! (And I'm from Eastern WA, were we left temps in the teens! Highs in the 50's in CA just FEELS colder!) We too were shocked at the lack of crowds on Friday. We purchased tix on Tues, and were severely warned by the CMs that admission was not guaranteed. - that they expected line waits of 90min to 2hrs, and that people would be camping out the night before opening day, not to mention lining up that morning. We feared Friday may be just as bad or worse, as many start their weekend excursions early, or work a 4-day week. NOT SO! All rides were basically walk-on. Even the "E-ticket" ones. It was a pleasant surprise for us, but you couldn't help but feel sad for Disney. It's like they threw a big party and no one showed up.

As far as DCA itself, I both enjoyed it and was somewhat disappointed by it. It is certainly not my favorite Disney park, but I thoroughly appreciated much of what was there. Highlights were definitely Soarin'Over CA (and I'm sure would have been Screamin' if I was not pregnant, and had to sit it out), and a well choreographed and high energy stage show in the wonderful theater in the Studio area. Disappointments included Superstar Limo, a badly plotted acrobatic show in the Studio area, and a lack of quality food and restaurants. What we did find in the way of "nourishment" (with the exception of the sourdough soup bowls in Fisherman's Wharf, which were quite good) were barely edible and ridiculously overpriced. And I'm quite accustomed to Disney food and prices! Part of this problem could have been a "freshness" issue due to the lack of guests that day, and the previous day. That's just speculation. I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. I was hoping that DVC would bring the same type of higher food quality that MGM and Epcot do, for instance, when compared to Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. That didn't seem to be the case.

Well, I didn't mean to write a trip report, but I guess I have rambled a mini one, haven't I? We are true Disney nuts, and overall, I enjoyed more than I was disappointed about. The park is really quite beautiful in places, especially the Pier area at night. While I can understand the contraversy over the Paradise Pier area, I also recognized that it was very well "themed" as an amusement park, but without the big down sides to the typical ones. One might say it is the "ultimate" carnival. The lively atmosphere, and colorful, fun rides, but more spectacular, and safe, and clean than any carnival you'll ever find elsewhere!

I have many more opinions and observations, but unfortunately, I've already spent much more time responding than I had planned!!! :) lol. Hope someone may find it helpful.


[This message was edited by All Smiles on 02-14-01 at 04:14 AM.]

02-14-2001, 11:42 AM
Krista, where did you eat in DCA? I got the distinct impression the food quality was above average here, but I have to admit I ate in only a few of the outlets.


All Smiles
02-14-2001, 03:44 PM
First food experience was stopping at the Cafe at the Wharf. We wanted sourdough bread, and I couldn't find any signs, or it on the menu, but I asked, and they said they sold it. She pointed at the rounds behind her (the same ones they use for soup bowls). I ordered one and it came to $5 something! I just about fell over, but I wanted bread. After a few minutes of confusion between several of the CM's, she explained to me that they weren't selling the sourdough loaves yet (until after noon, when they had a stockpile) but she could give me the soup bowl (the ones she had already pointed out), and would give me two. I said I didn't really want that much bread, and could I just be charged less for one, but that was clearly beyond her comprehension, so I thanked her and took my large bread supply and went on my way. No big deal, and the bread was good.

Next food experience was by far the worst. We ate at the Chips, Strips and Dips (something like that) and ordered zucchini strips w/ fries and chicken strips w/ fries. These were $6.99 ea, no drink icluded. The fries were cool, and tasted stale. Very stale. The zucchini had either a freezer-burnt taste, or an "old grease" taste, I couldn't decide, but they were bad enough to completely waste my 6.99 without batting an eye. Not worth the calories. The ranch dressing dip for them was disgusting - the worst kind of mayo-tasting ranch I've ever had. I was told it would be $.65 for another dipping sauce. The chicken was OK. I actually filled a rating card out there. It was the worst food I've had at a Disney park.

Next I found some fresh strawberries at a fruit cart, and they were very good - even at $2.50 for the bag, I was pleased. I also had the broccoli/cheese soup bowl in bread from that same first cafe, and it was also very good. Good enough that we went back there for dinner. I tried my DH's clam chowder before ordering mine, luckily, as it was VERY clammy. Yuck! I ended up ordering the same broccoli soup again, and was content.

Our group, in general, had a difficult time finding food that sounded good. We're not really into the greasy fried stuff, but the healthier choices were often a bit too exotic and risky sounding. Baked potatoes were listed in the brochure, but weren't available yet, according to the CM at the restaurant they were advertised for.

The final food experience of the day was when we sought coffee and desserts at the train in the central entrance area (sorry, don't remember name). The coffee was not great (I had to go back for more flavoring - I'm not sure they put it in the first time) and the goodies we all purchased (about 5 different kinds in all), though they LOOKED scrumptious under the glass, were stale tasting and feeling. A big disappointment considering, again, the excessive costs for the little things.

Maybe we just never found the right places, or again, maybe they had over prepared for the first couple days, and instead of wasting things, had tried to continue using it until they depleted the supply. I wouldn't think Disney would do that, but I don't know why else we would have such bad experiences. I hope it WAS an exception. Normally, eating is one of our highlights in Disney parks. :) Well, with the exception of DL and MK. I have some favorites at DL, but they always seem to be closed.

Glad to hear others thought more highly of the food at DVC. Maybe we will have better experiences on our next visit!


02-15-2001, 12:11 PM
I think Disney blew it by letting in too many people prior to the official opening in the park and that goes for all the media types and Disney Clubers, AP's, and various other priviligites.

Lack of official opening crowds and the possible power outages are combining for a DCA PR nightmare.

I think, with all due respect, that the food All Smiles ate was just the run of the mill junk food which always tastes bad no matter where you go.

Next time I would try some of the actual restraurants if you want good critic proof eats.


02-15-2001, 02:41 PM
I would have to say, at the prices they are charging in DCA, I wouldn't expect to get run of the mill junk food, even at the counter-service options. From the menus, it certainly OUGHT to be better than that, and I did actually find the Farmers Market to be a real change from the norm. Krista's experience is not one I would like to repeat anywhere, and I think it is an issue worth watching. Yes, the restaurants are very good, but you shouldn't have to pay in excess of $30 a head to get a decent meal.


Marla Hellwig
03-05-2001, 05:39 AM
Was surprised to hear about "lack" of crowds - maybe the weekday had something to do with it. Thanks for posting!