DDW does Disneyland! - 6/28 Complete w/ Grand Finale of WDW Food Photos!
Hi everyone! :wave2: Im DonaldDoleWhip, and Im here to share some thoughts on my latest Disney experience. The last time I started a thread like this was almost 10 months ago for our August trip, which was fantastic and included my first ever Dis meet (thank you Brenda for suggesting it!). However, I also headed down to WDW over winter break and sent some updates to the incredible Live Update thread (thank you Barb for keeping it going!). I've really enjoyed sharing so many WDW updates, but this report will be different from my previous ones.
Why? Well partly because I'm now old enough to drink in the US, which means sampling some interesting Disney beverages for the first time. :thumbsup2 But also because this isn't a WDW report.
Earlier this week, my mom surprised me with a short trip to LA (one of my favorite places!), including 2 nights at Disneyland. We got back earlier this week. Surprise! :woohoo:
More updates are coming up soon - I just wanted to kick things off. Can't wait to get started on this report! :goodvibes
(Dining updates are bolded)
Early Morning in DCA
Bonus Pics of California Adventure
Buena Vista Street - Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café
Napa Rose - Part One
Napa Rose - Part Two
DCA at Night - World of Color
Adventureland - Bengal Barbecue
New Orleans Square - Monte Cristo Throwback
Frontierland - Rancho del Zocalo
Critter Country - Hungry Bear Restaurant
Fantasyland - MK vs. DL
Toontown and Tomorrowland
Jolly Holiday Bakery & The Matterhorn
Carthay Circle Lounge
Bonus Pics of Carthay Circle Theatre
WDW Trip Announcement
Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar
Flo's V8 Café
Paradise Garden Grill
Grand Finale - Part One
Grand Finale - Part Two
Yay!!! I'm so here!
Darn that we missed you since I was traveling in the Midwest at the same time! But heck, I'm looking forward to your reviews!!
Im in! Glad you got your disney fix in !:goodvibes
YAY! Just when I was saying we were soooo past due for another great DDW review thread! All aboard, captain! :cool1:
Good to see you Mr. DDW! Looking forward to your DLR reviews! (And hopng there will be a WDW review soon ... maybe mid-August! ;) )
Woohoo!!! The gang's all here and ready for a DDW Dining Report! :woohoo:
Love your reports!! Can't wait to read this one
:woohoo: Another DDW thread!! :cool1:
Signing on and really looking forward to the first update! Like Vicki, I'm also hoping for a new WDW review in the near future. :thumbsup2 :goodvibes
Introduction - Our California Adventure
To help get you into the California state of mind, here are some of my favorite pics from our past trips to California. I've always loved the place since our first trip to San Francisco in '07. We headed to LA the following year, and I really think both cities are amazing. (LA gets bonus points for the consistent sunshine and for having Disneyland nearby, but it loses points for the traffic). ;)
The Original Chinese Theatre
Hollywood Walk of Fame - my favorite Disney character has a star!
Of course, we stopped at Disneyland for 2 days during our first trip to the LA area. Disneyland Park was definitely worth a visit, with so many unique sites and attractions that make it distinct from MK.
Sleeping Beauty Castle
Matterhorn (the first steel roller coaster!)
Space Mountain (I prefer Disneyland's over MK's because of its smoother track and synchronized on-board audio)
Indiana Jones Adventure (WDW still needs its own Temple of the Forbidden Eye!)
Disney's California Adventure, on the other hand, was another story. To put things in perspective, we visited in early 2008, so while the DCA makeover had been announced, none of the major work had started. (I believe Toy Story Midway Mania was the only new thing under construction)
The Sun Icon (I've read that this was supposed to be the park's original icon. Really?!)
Paradise Pier from our room at GCH (the construction site in front of us eventually became the Grand Californian's DVC wing)
A closer look at the Sun Wheel, Maliboomer, and Orange Stinger, with the Paradise Pier Hotel on the right
One of the few redeeming factors of DCA was the Grizzly Peak area, which I've always liked. Also, the park had a pretty strong lineup of attractions, with opening day hits like Soarin' Over California, Grizzly River Run, and California Screamin'.
Part of me is still surprised that the DCA makeover actually happened. For starters, it required admitting that DCA 1.0 was basically a failure. However, these pics remind me that the DCA makeover was practically a necessity. Besides a few decent attractions, the park didn't strike me as a very happy place to spend time. And with the Happiest Place on Earth right next door, something needed to change.
Well, I can happily say with no reservations that DCA (now known as Disney California Adventure - they dropped the possessive!) feels completely different to me now. Between the charming entertainment and nostalgic establishments of Buena Vista Street, the total immersion of Cars Land, and all the placemaking in between, I had no trouble spending more time in DCA than in Disneyland this trip! There's so much to experience now at DCA - wonderful attractions, food, music, architecture, and color. (In fact, I'm listening to the World of Color soundtrack right now!)
There are definitely going to be food updates here, but they'll be mixed with plenty of posts on DLR as well (especially California Adventure). I'm still blown away by DCA, so you'll be hearing about it whether you want to or not! :lmao:
But in all seriousness, I hope you enjoy. :goodvibes
Great intro!! I've never been to California and really loved seeing your beautiful pictures and reading about your overall impressions with DL and DCA. From the pics you posted of DCA in its original form, I can totally understand why you felt it didn't really have the Disney "magic" we expect from anything that carries the Disney name. It looked a little dull and uninspired. Except for the Mickey icon gracing the roller coaster, it really could be any amusement park anywhere in North America. But judging by the final picture you posted, things are definitely looking up. :thumbsup2
No worries about posting pictures that aren't food-related! Your photos are gorgeous and I'm really looking forward to seeing more! :goodvibes
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