View Full Version : DL and DCA- better than expected!!

08-03-2001, 08:41 PM
WDW, DCL and DL- arenít you jealous!!

Cast Me, Wendy, 32, High School Biology teacher from Aberdeen, Scotland
Doreen aka mum, 67, retired

Yes just reading the title must make you so jealous but bear in mind I have saved all year for this. Mum and I always vacation together since my dad died. We have a great system- I pay and she drives. We get on very well- she is as big a Disney nut as I am.

I have posted the entire trip on the trip report boards so include only the Anaheim portion here.

Thursday 19th July
Flew from Orlando at 5.30pm and arrived in LAX at 7pm. I had timed the flights so we could reach Anaheim in daylight. All was going well until mum went to pick up the car at Dollar. They were unhappy because we were using a prepaid voucher and rudely tried to get her to upgrade. They then left us waiting almost 45 mins before the car arrived. Of course by know it was getting late and we had to negotiate our way in the dark. We arrived in Anaheim without too many wrong turnings.
I had booked the Carousel Inn and Suites- the fourth time we have stayed there. It is much improved- the rooms have been redecorated, the elevators painted and the staff even friendlier. Most importantly we can be INSIDE either park 10 minutes after leaving our room.

Friday 20th July
Today was our first visit to Californian Adventures. We very impressed- I had read a lot of negative reviews but we both enjoyed the park.
We were on Soaring over California before 9am. It was great- I loved the way we were in the screen- we even got the smells of oranges and menthol. We headed to Screaminí but it wasnít working yet, so did the fixed cars of the Ferris Wheel. Great views of the rest of the park but still a bit stomach churning- I could not pluck up the courage to do the moving cars.
Neither of us would contemplate Mailboomer but we did the Jumping Jellyfish. I did Mulholland Madness- very jerky and then we both went to Golden dreams. What a wonderful moving show. I came out with tears in my eyes. By this time Screamin was working so I got fastpasses and we got a snack at Paradise Pier.
I loved this rollercoaster. I am not keen on going upside down but this one was so smooth and on my second ride the soundtrack was on and this made it even better. It was getting warm so we grabbed fastpasses for Grizzly Rapids (4hours later.) We wanted to investigate Grand California Hotel so we took the shortcut and entered the cool of the hotel. It was lovely and reminded me a lot of the Wilderness Lodge. We went then to Downtown Disney and used the DC coupon for Yriba, Yriba. It was great- lots of tapas to choose from. Even better instead of the 15% discount we got 20%. We wandered into Department 56 and got some great gifts. I headed back to the hotel and met mum back in the World of Disney store. Itís nice but not as good as the Orlando one.
It was time for Grizzly- by this time there was a 3hour wait- no ride is worth waiting that long. Of course we were on within 10 mins. It was a great ride but you get totally soaked. We walked around a bit to dry off and then headed to the Hollywood Backlots. We did the Muppets show and then Superstar Limo. It was ok but not worth the 20min wait. We then went to the Hyperion Theatre for the Steps in Time show- it was excellent. We were hungry again so went to Hollywood and Dine and got some Chinese. I made my DC card very visible but I had to ask twice for the discount.
Next stop was Soaring to pick up some fastpasses and then headed back to the hotel. After a brief nap we went back to the park, did Soaring and then watched the Electric parade,

Saturday 21st July
We had a long lie and then headed to Walmart. We love Walmart and always make a point of finding one when we are in the states. We then headed to the Block at Orange. The atmosphere is always great here with a good range of shops and restaurants. We hadnít seen Shrek yet so we picked up tickets for that and then grabbed lunch at the Chinese. We both enjoyed the film- so funny. After a coffee and brownie at the Corner bakery we went back to the pool.
We love the Block at night so we went back and had meal at Left at Alberque. Of course the shops proved too tempting and we spent a fortune at Off Saks 5th Avenue.

Sunday 22nd July
We were at Disneyland by 8am. Did Indiana and picked up fastpasses, then Big Thunder. Pancakes at Riverbelle Terrace were good as usual and then we did Indianna again. We headed to Fantasyland and did Peter Pan and some of the other rides. I had booked brunch at Ralph Brennanís Jazz Kitchen so we exited Disneyland. Mum had a great burger and we split a salad. I loved the beef tenderloin I ordered though I could have done without the grits! The bread pudding was accompanied by some wonderful live jazz music.
I went back to DCA and did the rollercoaster again. We spent the evening watching the parade and the fireworks.

Monday 23rd July
Mum wasnít feeling well today so I went to Disneyland solo. I headed to Splash, picking up a fastpass for Indiana on the way. Then did Haunted, Pirates, Big Thunder and then used my fast pass. I headed to Tomorrow land for French sticks and then went to Toontown- I love the rollercoaster there. I also did Roger Rabbit before going back to Space.
After checking on mum I went to DCA and did Golden Dreams again and of course the rollercoaster. I also went on the wine tour. Feeling peckish I wento the Soap Opera Bistro- what fun. I was in the nurses station of General Hospital and became one of the Drís wife. I had a great lunch- soup and salad. I met mum at the cinema and we enjoyed American Sweethearts.
To cool down I did Grizzly using the singles line.
I went back to DL and did Indiana and Space and then went back to DCA and did Soaring twice using the singles line.

Tuesday 24th July
I did early entry at DL but spent the time at the queue for Matterhorn- I wish they would install fastpass for this, far more necessary than it is for Haunted. I then did Splash and thunder and after using my fastpass for Indiana I went for a croissant and coffee at the Blue Ribbon Bakery. After meeting mum we went for lunch at the Soap opera Bistro. This time we were in the Country club from All My Children. Another fun lunch. We went to the Animation studios. I did the personality test in the Beastís Library- I was Cinderella. I also did the Karaoke- I was awful.
We went back to DL to do Animazement. After a rest at the hotel we headed back to our last night at DL. We did Haunted, Pirates, Matterhorn, Fantasmic, Thunder, Casey Jr train and finally Itís a Small World. What a great day.

Wednesday 25th July
After breakfast from McDonalds we headed to Newport Beach. I tried priceline for the first time and ended up with the Newport Beach Marriott Suites for $60. They let us into our suite and we headed to South Coast Plaza. As if we didnít have enough luggage we were going shopping!!
I got a suit for school and some great tops. We went back to the pool and then went for a lovely thai meal. It was sad to realise that our monthís vacation was almost over.

Thursday 26th July
After checking out we headed to Fashion Island. I just had to build-a-bear for my great niece. That was such fun- we even put in a heart and DNA. Lunch was at Wolfgangís Puck and then unfortunately we had to collect our luggage. After a few wrong turns we arrived at LAX. Our flight back to Heathrow was uneventful. We knew we were back in the UK when we entered the terminal building and the air con was broken. Eventually we arrived back in Aberdeen.
A lovely surprise amongst all the bills and junk mail was a Mickey Mouse card from my e friend Barbara. I greatly appreciated the lovely thought.

This was a wonderful vacation and I am already planning the next one.

08-04-2001, 09:59 PM
I just read you entire trip report. Wow - you had some trip!!!!! :D

Me jealous? nah ;)

08-06-2001, 12:44 PM
Your trip sounded wonderful. It doesn't sound like you missed a thing. We are going in 6 weeks and staying at the BWPPI, next door to where you stayed. I was happy to read how close it was for you to go back and forth from the parks to your room. It's the main reason we chose this motel. Can you tell me what "The Block at Orange" is and where is it? I'm heading over to your WDW trip report now.

08-06-2001, 05:04 PM
Thanks for the report. Sounds like you have a great travelling partner. Something you wrote made me realize we should always cherish the time we can spend together with our loved ones.

08-06-2001, 07:43 PM
The Block at Orange is a shopping/dining/entertainment centre- a bit like Downtown Disney but cheaper. It is about 15 mins from Disney and great fun.
Yes I agree about cherishing time with loved ones- people think I am mad going on vacation with my mum but we get on and we enjoy the time together.

Marla Hellwig
08-06-2001, 09:15 PM
What a great time you had. I will be checking out DCA in just a couple of weeks. Thanks for posting!

08-13-2001, 11:08 PM

Sounds like you had a great time. We'll be going to DL for the very first time in March and I'm so excited!!!! I heard that there was going to be a build a bear shop put into downtown disney. Is this true? Was there one there when you went? Also, how long did it take to get your bear? I want to do this for my dd as she will be turning 3 on this trip. I think it would be really fun for her to get to pick out her very own teddy. I think I remembered reading on their website that it takes 2-3 days for your bear. Did you have to wait that long or were you able to take it with you when you left the store? Sorry for all the questions but I really want to do this for my dd.


08-14-2001, 10:45 AM
There wasn't a build-a-bear workshop at Downtown Disney. We did the one at Fashion Island at Newport Beach. I think it took us less that 30 mins to get the bear-it is such fun and I am sure your DD willl love the experience.
Have a great time.

08-14-2001, 12:40 PM
Thanks Wendy. I'm excited now!!! :D