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Old 08-27-2011, 02:12 AM   #1
Aussie Wendy
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Trip report DLR and NY

Hiya all. Am posting this here since DLR was really an add-on to a trip to the east coast focusing on NY and Washington-I also managed to squeeze in the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas as add-ons too (usual dilemma more time at DL vs new experiences).

This may take a while as am new to uploading photos to Photobucket and it seems to take FOREVER and my pc is not letting me use the bulk uploader!! Had good intentions to take lots of food porn pics but somehow that never happened. The meal was always 3/4 diminished before I'd remember. This was my hubbie and I's fourth trip to Disneyland but the last visit was in 97 so lots of changes including the addition of DCA. Our last Disney fix was WDW in 2008 as a surprise graduation pressie for our daughter (now almost 20) so it was great to compare. We are both more crazy about Disneyland than she is but she happily lets us indulge.

If I can fathom how I will put links in the body to the posts below (a post per day) but if they don't work anyone interested will have to trawl.

Day 1: That never ending day
Day 2: " Home" again and part 2
Day 3: A final fix and off to LA
Day 4: An unsuccessful day in LA (forgive us DLR)
Day 5: Heading east
Day 6: 4th July in NYC
Day 7: Downtown and Broadway
Day 8: Getting lost in Midtown
Day 9: From dinosaurs to Shakespeare
Day 10: Help there's too much left to do
Day 11: Washington DC
Day 12: A day in the Capital
Day 13: Museums and more museums
Day 14: Mini road trip Phoenix to Grand Canyon
Day 15: Grand Canyon vistas
Vistas continued
Day 16: Farewell to the canyon
Hoover Dam
Welcome to Las Vegas
Day 17: Sort of like Epcot but not
Last evening

Day 18: Home again, home again..
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Last edited by Aussie Wendy; 04-09-2013 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:32 AM   #2
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Just settling in and waiting
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:52 AM   #3
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:58 AM   #4
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:01 AM   #5
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:08 AM   #6
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:14 AM   #7
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Day 1: That never ending day
This was our first experience with V Australia and we can highly recommend them. As we were able to book our seats on-line prior had nice forward seats (boo to Qantas who now make you pay for this) so got served early with full choice of food options. Also felt like we had more leg room than Qantas flights. Good range of movies and TV shows kept us all happy (though not quite as good as Singapore or Malaysian Airlines in range of choices especially in TV). Is it just us or do others get ridiculously excited about checking out all the movie options and planning entertainment to fill a flight? This trip ticked off The Tourist (buy-worthy), Gnomeo and Juliette (very funny and buy-worthy when price comes down), Tangled (another great Disney offering) and Hereafter (different and enjoyable). Hubby enjoyed Rango. Main meal was good-Morrocan style couscous salad, choice of chicken with saffron rice or lamb and mash-both were tasty and banana cake. Mid way through the flight when everyone was sleeping but it was only late arvo to our body clocks so we were watching movies of course, they served chicken rolls-they were only so so. Breakfast before landing was choice of spinich frittata with bacon, toms, mushrooms and fried pots (yum) and hubby had pancakes and peaches and both came with yohurt and usual croissant. Never got too stuffy which is a big consideration for me in flights. Had a bit of a lively arrival as through thick fog and as the plane was coming in to land we suddenly aborted and swerved steeply back up and had to circle so landed 45 mins late. The pilot was all off-hand about it though.

Immigration was busy and LONG. We were amused by all the officials wanting TimTams so if you want to speed up your wait maybe bring a packet or two along as a bribe? By the time we got through everyone else had collected their bags and ours was circulating lonely around the carousel. It was now 8.45am and I figured we'd missed the earlier Disney Express and have to wait but sauntered outside and there it was so instead had to run. Had printed out a discount coupon from Anaheim VC website prior to leaving Aus so that was good.

Got dropped off at HoJos around 10.30am. From previous experience we find the trip across to the US often leaves us shattered so had splurged (with a great rate anyway on a standard room) and booked the preceding night so could go straight to our room. Nice and comfy and quiet on the ground floor in the building just behind reception with really comfy beds and all the amenities you want (like fridge, coffee maker, toiletries etc).

We all took a nap though for the first hour elephants in the room above (sounded like kids were jumping on and off the beds ) kept us awake. Around 3pm restored we headed out to explore the resort and Downtown Disney. The kids pool area is brilliant if you had little kids.

Loved how short a walk it was to the gates

but reluctantly bypassed and had fun checking out the stores in Downtown especially Lego and Disney.

Headed back to Mimi's next door to HoJos for dinner. Really impressed-we had the small plates which still came with a large salad, smaller size main-just right for us small eaters-and what seemed to be full size desert for only $14 as well as a complimentary basket full of delicious "real" bread-not that awful sweet stuff you so often get-and what appeared to be carrot cake - we took that back for a breaky snack. The whole meal was so good-annoyed I forgot to take a pic. Stocked up at HoJo's minimart with bagels and butter for breaky (to go with brought along vegemite) and happy to be in bed early. Just asleep and woken up to amazingly loud bangs and vibrating windows-what the..oh its the fireworks
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Disneyland 84, 89, 97; WDW Xmas 2008; DLR & NYC June 2011; TDR April 2012; DLP May 2013; WDW & USF/IOA Oct 2014
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:02 AM   #8
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Great first day!

I am like you. I love checking out the movies and entertainment before going. I always get on the plane all ready for the movies I will watch on the flight

The room at HoJos looks great!

Looking forward to reading the rest of your report
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:30 AM   #9
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Day 2 DL and DCA
but first - rather rude I didn't introduce us properly-here's a pic from 2008 of the 3 of us-DD had just finished senior high school and it was a surprise trip as I knew she (and all of us) would love all the extra Xmas trimmings-and we did. Couldn't believe the night of MVMCP-it was FREEZING!! Down to only a couple of degrees-certainly felt like Xmas!


Back to 2011. The day I had been waiting for. Woke up just before 6 and we were at the gates by 7.40 with a short queue in front and we were let in to the end of Main St at 7.50. Star Tour riders were in a separate queue to the right. Here's a pic of the crowds even though we tore through the gates with our print-at-home tickets (which worked great btw).

I power walked up to Star Tours for FP while the slower troops headed to Indiana Jones (return time 11-12 as MM so early park goers could get in q first-still only 5 min or so wait to get to the machines). Even though it was the last 2 days AP's could visit the parks before summer closures the park seemed quiet that early. We had an almost walk-on to Indy-then the ride broke down. Like others around us we were debating abort or stay (as we were next to go through to the loading area) but after about 10 mins it was working again. Still love the ride but it needs a major refurb as I gather from the boards it is always breaking down! All the effects were working on the ride itself at least. Next was our all time favourite Pirates - walk on and time for a pic after in the gorgeous New Orleans Square (I think this area is so much better than WDW-actually for MK itself DL is wonderful and my preference of the two but I do like Epcot and Animal Kingdom at WDW)


then Haunted House (3rd fave)-5 min wait

Splash-15 mins wait? and since we were that end rode Winnie the Pooh and checked out all the sickly cakes in the bakery. DH and I decided to queue for BTMR-getting busier now and longer wait. The triple bends at the end didn't agree with DH-he discovered in 2008 roller coasters made him feel sick but thought BTMR would be fine Plans to ride Space Mountain were therefore cancelled.

Headed back to Tomorrowland to use our FP. I liked this view which I don't remember from before.

LOVED the new Star Tours-couldn't believe the queues for regular entry though-over 2 hrs partly in the sun. DD who gets motion sick found the 3D effect combined with motion was too much though-she had to shut her eyes for half of it and reluctantly didn't ride again but glad she saw it once. I got two more FP when we got out-return time 11.30-midnight!

The guy who checks the bags-entertains the queues well.


Decided time to walk over to DCA since we had never seen it before (I had bought us 2 day Park Hoppers). By now the aprk was getting very crowded. Here is who we met on the way out

and always love the horse and buggies


Entry under a mini Golden Gate

I got us FP for Soarin (return time 5pm ish) - loved the machine shooting out cool water mist

then walked around to Paradise Wharf and found a nice seat in the shade and bought lunch. DH and I had a Mexican salad but I found the meat rather too spicy-the rest was great and DD had a kids meal from Lucky's Fortune Cafe which she said was good.


Kids mealfrom Luckys



We decided we had time to catch the 12.40 showing of Aladdin so raced through Bugs Land to get there and got seats in the top balcony near the back. Not the best of seats but still really enjoyed the show-Disney does mini musicals so well.

View of Tower of Terror-too terrifying for us- from outside Aladdin.

and one of the street scapes

Afterwards DD and I wanted to check out the Animation Studios-we had fun wandering around trying different things but DH developed a stomach ache (that spicy lunch as he ate my share of the meat?) and decided to head back to the hotel. After we were done DD and I checked out a bit more of the area and rode Monsters Inc but decided it was too hot and we were ready for a rest so reluctantly bypassed Bugs Land for another day.

It was good to be staying so close -we were back at the hotel in 10 mins and had thought we might have a swim but that took too much energy so we just vegged in the air con dozing and catching up on diaries. Around 5pm we returned-first to DCA to use our FP for Soarin'- love that ride and got top row which was brilliant! We walked past Grizzy River Rapids (I had planned to do that before lunch but we had been too hungry and too long in DL) and explored the walkways with great views of the ride and scenery-love the wolf head. Looks like you get soaked. Hope to do it tomorrow as also missed the similar ride in AK in 2008.


Continued in 2nd post as it spit the dummy when I uploaded.
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TR DLR, NY and more July 2011
TR Japan 2012
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:36 AM   #10
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Continued.
Running late as always, hot footed it back to DL but mssed the first half of the parade. Still got to watch some of our faves like The Lion King, Tinkerbell and Mary Poppins though. The parade seemed heaps better than the one in MK in WDW in 2008 and wished we had planned to watch it all properly (I since have on Utube!). (My photos aren't very good so not uploading many)


To escape the crowds and as preparation for Washington DC we ducked into Great Moments with Mr Lincoln then watched Captain EO-brought back some very old memories-DD was somewhat shellshocked and amused she felt a Star Wars imitation, I thought it had aged rather well and still good 3D!! We were hungry now but struggled to find something decent to eat - no doubt the experts could have give us some tips. We all felt like a typical burger and fries and couldn't seem to find any! Ended up with chicken nuggets and fish and chips from I think Stage Door Cafe but we had a long wait for my chicken nuggets-meanwhile the others fish and chips was left waiting in the collection hatch so were stone cold by the time we got them. We walked back to the Hub and got a spot to watch the fireworks-briliant as always. Loved you could see Tinkerbell really well and she did some amazing aerial acrobatics -unlike WDW and impressed by Dumbo too.






Then over to Rivers of America for the second showing of Fantasmic. It had been a hard decision - this or Colours but I didn't want to miss the fireworks and the need to waste time in the am queueing for Colours (or spending more $ on meal) and then queueing early to get decent spot put us off-have to save something for our next visit! We got a sitting possie near the lake to one side to watch Fantasmic. I thought this was much better than WDW-maybe it was just our mood. Not very good pics so just a couple:



After the show time for a nightime shot of the castle

and then through to Fantasyland-it was still packed with people. We did the walk through the castle with the Sleeping Beauty story which was very good and we had it to ourselves-not sure about the point of that funny little room with the projector screen story? The teacups were pretty at night.

We rode Pinocchio which had a shorter queue and by then it was time for Star Tours again. Really enjoyed it but bit disappointed we got the same exact sequence as the am. Noticed a different audience-cheering and whooping and much more livlier than this am's! Collected DD and walked down Main St as they announced the park is closing.

End of a very happy day!
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:24 AM   #11
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Loving your trip report! Keep it coming.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:00 AM   #12
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Great trip report.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:08 AM   #13
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Loving your pics, brings back so many great memories!

It looks so busy!

More, More, More!
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:45 AM   #14
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Aussie Traveller-catching up on your TR from NY which I'd missed before-(and loving)can't help but notice the coincidence reading about you preparing for a tornado and the news currently-it must this time of year-hoping the current one isn't as big and damaging as they are fearing. I know we get cyclones (though Brissie mostly not) but tornadoes seem much more scary to me for some reason.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:45 AM   #15
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Your picture of the tea cups at night is gorgeous. We were in DL in September 2009, and standing in line for - and then riding - those tea cups at night was so lovely. I remember thinking that I would love to hang lanterns in the trees of our backyard to remind me of that beautiful night.

I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of your TR.
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