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Old 07-14-2011, 12:14 PM   #1
Dream BIG
MickeyMancuso's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Webster, NY
Posts: 43

4th of July Week at DisneyLand 2011

-Just back from a two week National Park and Disney Land adventure planned by my lovely wife.
Flew to Pheonix- spent the night in Sedona. Beautiful!
Drove to Painted Desert and and Petrified Forest National Parks-drove through and made stops (amazing)-spent the night in Flagstaff, AZ.
Drove to Grand Canyon-stayed at the Lodge- WOW! Must do family adventure.
Made incredible drive from Grand Canyon to Exceter, CA. Drove nearly 80 miles on old Route 66- stopped at a Ghost Town-walked with wild donkeys-what a great time.
Enjoyed Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (lots of bears at Sequoia-was GRREAT)
Drove to Tenaya Lodge outside of Yosemite. Pricey $$$-but beautiful. Yosemite was c-r-a-z-y crowded. Used the shuttle system to complete the hikes.
After two nights drove to Monterey, CA. 70 degree difference from Arizona. Great seals up and down the coast-Pebble Beach, Pacific Coast Hwy down to Anaheim. Traffic in LA is insane.
Used DVC Points and stayed at the DisneyLand Resort (Newly renovated room)- pool view (of construction-and the new monorail pool).
Averaged 90 with humidity each day.
On the 4th we did Magic Kingdom. Rode most rides we wanted-lines were summer heavy. Used FP system-held passes until after the break. Waited too long for the break-exceptionally crowded at 4:00 PM (Parade time at Disney Land). Enjoyed the lunch choices at Carnation Cafe. Watch Fantasmic-and then directly saw the 4th of July-Fireworks - they were spectacular.
We upgraded to concierge-made breakfast e-z. But you pay $$$-but with three picky kids-strong early riser like me, and late of day Mrs.-worth the reduced headache.

On the fifth we followed the crowd across the street. The new entry looks just like Disney Studios Orlando-in 2012-Cars Land-and this park may be one of the best destinations on the West Coast. Disney does need to work on traffic patterns for guests in the park. I do miss the spoke design made famous at Magic Kingdom.Appears to take much longer to move throughout this park-but the attractions were great. Lines again were summer HEAVY. We did use our resort guest Fast Passes to ride the roller coaster when our 7 year old announced she was ready to give it a try. Glad we did-because the next day-she was not ready to go again-even though we rode it 2x on the fifth.
We did see World of Color. Not a huge fan-the crowd was unkind-stockade standing room only for 60 minutes-followed by standing for 20 more minutes of show-with around 3,000 other end of day hot guests-after paying way too much for the picnic lunch and the FP. The music was great. But truly-a challenge for anyone not tall enough to see over the average sized guest (who appear to be 6'5" when standing in front of you).
-We did go back to the same park-to wait in line to ride Toy Story Mania at Park opening (45 minutes). See my earlier posts regarding what I was told about why they are not planning to add Fast Pass to this attraction. Ariel's Adventure never really had a line-was fast loading and a nice attraction. Not my favorite ever, but nice.
-Enjoyed the monorail pool-but the crowd was intense-and the clarity of the water became an issue in late afternoon.
On day four we went back to Magic Kingdom-explored the island-rowed canoes and did all of the things we wanted to see a second time.
Top things I learned:
1. America's national parks are a treasure we should not under value.
2. Other guests-can make your Disney experience less enjoyable.
3. My family found Disney Land's park employees less informed about their own park-than we were---hadn't seen or experienced that level of "not sure" answers in WDW.
4. We traveled 3,500 nautical miles by air, and 2,100 miles by car. Truthfully-the kids were fine. But I (the driver) was tired.
5. Disney is very close to closing me out of dining on property. Pricing for menu items is simply too high.
6. Fast Pass system needs to be updated to recognize the sophistication of park guests-everyone was carrying a cell phone with wait time apps...more people were following the apps-then checking wait times anywhere I looked.
7. Indiana Jones ride still outshines the new Star Tours attraction. I do wish that ride was in Orlando too.
8. Harry Potter is still the best man made attraction I have experienced.
9. Cars Land is going to be huge...
10. Playing with my kids, versus watching my kids play is still how I love to adventure! (that is vacation for the rest of you(
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:38 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,729

Sounds WONDERFUL! Glad you had a wonderful trip.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:03 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: In the Az desert
Posts: 471

The ghost town you spoke of...was that by chance Oatman? We live about an hour from there. It is really a great place(better in the winter when the weather is cooler here).
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