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Old 07-31-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
Chumpson's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Troutdale, OR
Posts: 288

Disneyland/DCA July 24-26

I know this is narrative, but I wrote it for the family and memories. You can skip to the recap if you want to see how much was done. There were some things that caused some days to be better than others.

California Trip 2012—Day 12, Disneyland/Disney California Adventure

A little later out of the hotel than I would have liked, but we have already had breakfast and are on our way to DL by 6:30. Arrive at the bag check at around 6:40 and then proceed to get in line. As per our plan for early entry we quickly make our way through Main Street and head toward Fantasyland. There ended up being a couple rides in Fantasyland we would normally do, but the kids didn’t show any interest so we skipped them. The order of rides were Peter Pan(always first the wait gets long quickly), Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland. At this point we decided to head to Tomorrowland and ride Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters and Space Mountain. Now that early entry is done we grabbed fast passes for Space Mountain and headed to Frontierland for the 8:00 rope drop. Rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and the family rode Winnie the Pooh while I got FPs for Star Tours. We then decided to ride Splash Mountain standby line. Next we toured Tom Sawyer Island which was a fun place to walk around through the tunnels, across wooden bridges and just sight see. We then made our way to Big Thunder Ranch to see what pin fishing was all about. Basically you took a turn fishing for a magnet fish with a metal lure on a rod. Depending on which fish you landed you were able to trade for certain pins. We were hoping it was free pins, but no such luck. Next we grabbed FPs for Indiana Jones and headed to Disney California Adventure.

Now for those that are using this as some sort of guide, here is the BIG KEY. You will notice that I have grabbed FPs for Space, Star Tours and Indy. Most if not all I could go and use right now, but I am going to hold them until later when the lines get even longer. I have used 8:30am FPs at 10:00pm, don’t worry about the end times, they will still take them, you just can’t go early.

I went to get FPs for Grizzly River Run, but it closed so we grabbed FPs for California Screaming and Tower of Terror after walking through Radiator Springs. At this point you might ask, “How did you get both those FPs?” Well I read online that currently Screaming doesn’t connect to the other FP machines. In affect you can always have a FP for Screaming. We saw Mr Incredible and Elastic Girl, then went to Animation Studio to draw Chesire Cat. The kids haven’t done this yet and I thought Connor would love it. This was something we missed, but I did it a number of times with Dan when we went. Pretty fun to learn how to draw the characters. Back to the hotel for naps after grabbing FPs on the way out of the park for Soaring at 1 o’clock. I currently hold FPs for 5 rides which will make our afternoon a lot more fun without waiting in line forever.

After naps we hit the pool for 40 mins, changed, picked up mom at the hotel room and headed back to the parks. 4:00 we headed to DCA for Screaming, then rode TOT(all but mom), saw a bit of the parade on our way to DL. Back in DL we rode Indy, and Splash (6:10)with FPs from earlier. Grabbed another FP for Splash(return time 10:20) and went to ESPN Zone for dinner. They said the wait would be about 45 minutes which was about perfect as we were waiting for Tim and Tara to arrive from the airport by way of the hotel and getting passes at the ticket booth. In the meantime I bought three ten dollar cards the kids could use to play games in the upper room while we waited for TnT. Tim and Tara treated us for dinner, a pleasant surprise. With belly's filled we loaded up on the Monorail back into DL at 9 to ride Space Mountain w/FPs. After Space it was time to get ready for the fireworks, so we met up with mom and headed to Mainstreet. Mainstreet was very crowded and we ended up watching father away than I would have liked, but it was still decent viewing. It was standing room only, so I hope Connor and Bailey saw enough to enjoy the show. Other than Tinkerbell and Dumbo flying I liked the old ones better. Something about the “Dreams” song/saying just made it seem more magical to me perhaps it is just a sentimental thing, but I know I do like the old ones better. Next we went to Star Tours, all but mom and rode. I LOVE what they did with this ride it is totally Star Wars now, much better than the show before especially for a Star Wars guy. We then met up with mom and headed to Splash for a ride with FPs. After Splash we went and did our last ride on Soarin in DCA as they were closing at 11:00. When we arrived home we found a set of Disney shirts on the beds for everyone, most cool. Tomorrow we tour with Tim and Tara without early entry.

Recap—20 rides, Fireworks, 30 minutes for Chesire Drawing, 2 hour dinner(wait included), 3 hour break for naps and lunch and left 1 hour before DL closed. Pretty good use of the day?

California Trip 2012—Day 13, Disneyland/Disney California Adventure

Tim and Tara joined us for breakfast in the room at 6:50ish. We were at 7:35 for the 8:00 opening, they were letting people in for rope drops. My plan was to try and get FPs for Radiator Springs Racers, but we found out RSR wasn't open until 12:00 so we altered our plans and decided to start the day in Disneyland today and would come back early tomorrow for RSR FPs. In the DL park for rope drop at 8 we sent Jeffrey to Space for FPs and we were going to meet at Indy but it was closed, quite the bummers to start our day. I waited for Jeffrey while everyone went on Splash, little frustrating as they were supposed to go to BTMRR, but chose Splash without letting me know. Jeffrey and I walked around a bit waiting at BTMRR until we were finally able to make cell contact with them. Next we did Matterhorn, I don’t think many liked this ride due to all the jerking of the cars and people it does. Then got Jeffrey got FPs for Star Tours while Tim, Tara, Connor and Bailey rode the Tea Cups. Met up did Buzz, I got a higher score this time something like 450,000, much higher than the rest of the party of course. Did Pirates at 9:30. Picked up FPs for Splash and rode it stand by with five min wait. Tried send Connor to get FP for Space, but my son came back with void slips as he got there a little too fast and didn’t wait for the time to change. Sent Jeffrey to Space to fix the problem and get the FPs that he got too soon. Next we headed to DCA sent runner to get FPs for GRR. Did Tigger drawing at Animation Studio. Then Monsters Inc for all but Lisa and me. I got FPs for Tower after waiting in line with Lisa at Aladdin. After a scare that we wouldn’t connect, apparently the Monsters ride was longer than I expected we met up and got into Aladdin to watch the 11:55 show. After the show I sent family home as I went and got FPs for Screaming, Soarin and Indy(yes, I went all the way back into DL to get them. This is what you do to make it better for your whole family). Back for naps and lunch at 1:45, it took 6 mins to walk to hotel from bag check. Currently hold FPs for Space 2times, Star Tours, Splash, GRR, TOT, Indy, Soaring, Screaming. That will make a pretty good afternoon/evening don’t you think?

Back at the hotel we had lunch, took nap, then hit the pool, probably around 3 hours in all. First in DCA we walk toward TOT we saw the parade going by in opposite direction, which was pretty fun. Rode TOT with FP at 5:30, rode screaming, GRR as well, both with FP. Then went to White Water snacks for dinner. This place is in the Grand Californian Hotel, but tucked away with small crowds, decent prices and decent food. Joseph was more than magical for Lisa and getting her gluten free stuff from another restaurant in the hotel. I made sure to tell management about his efforts. At 7:45 we entered DCA through the hotel entrance and rode Soarin with FP as well as TOT. Left DCA to go to DL at 8:45. We weren’t planning on coming back and I had left over FPs so I had my kids give seven FPs to TOT to a family and they received hugs and thank you from the group. Apparently someone in the family was having a birthday today so I guess we chose wisely. This is one of those ways to “spread the magic” , Lisa says to “Pay it forward”. Star Tours at 9:10 with FP while wife waited at the end, Connor was the spy this time around. He said before that he wanted to be the spy, but we weren’t sure how they did it. Pretty cool that it was him. I yelled, “Get out spy!” We then decided the best course of action would be to trek over in front of Haunted Mansion during the fireworks to get front row seats for the second showing of Fantasmic. This plan worked again like a charm, we were front row center. TnT went to get ice cream with Connor, the rest of us held spots. After the fun show of Fantasmic we rod Indy w FP. Space was closed so we got ice cream for the rest of us and headed out at 11:45.

Recap—14 rides, Tigger Drawing, Aladdin, Fantasmic, 3 hour nap/break.
No early entry today. Morning wasn’t as structured, could have been better, but still got a lot done.

California Trip 2012—Day 14, Disneyland/Disney California Adventure

Today the plan is to get FPs for RST. I got in line, but received a phone call from the family that it wasn’t worth the wait, apparently they can see the line and how long it is where I am just way back in line. Got out of line and went to TSMM, but it was closed, guess I should have stayed in line. Grabbed a FP for Screaming and rode S14creaming standby, met up with the family at TOT after I grabbed FPs for WOC and GRR. After riding TOT standby, grabbed another FP for TOT and hustled over to get another for Screaming. The others went to Sorcerer's Workshop. We met up did Arial's, and GRR standby. Finally did some shopping and headed off to DL. Sent Jeffrey for FPs for Space then met up to ride Splash standby. We made our way up the path to fish for pins at Big Thunder Ranch, then rode the train around the park from Toon Town area. I got off at when we got back to Toon Town went to BTMR for FPs, headed to DCA got FPs for TOT, picked up an ice cream FP on the bridge on the way to get FPs for Screaming, then back to DL for FPs at 1:05 for Splash. Yes that was a LOT of walking, but will make everyone happy later. The family finished the ride on the train by going to Main Street and heading home for lunch after getting an ice cream for Jeffrey. TnT got off at Tomorrowland for "other things" they needed to do. Back in the hotel for naps at 1:25, family already fast asleep. I currently held FPs for WOC, GRR2x, Screaming 2x, Space, BTMRR, TOT, Spash.

After naps and pool I took the passes headed out a couple minutes early from the hotel, went to Space for FPs and met everyone going into DCA. We rode GRR twice w/FPs, then went on screaming twice with FPs. Currently 6:15. Went to TOT and rode with FPs .Lisa, Tara and kids went to get in line for WOC. Tim and I went to ride RSR with FP that was gifted to the family while I was getting FPs earlier. I guess while they waited in front of DCA while I was getting the Space FPs someone was leaving and couldn’t make use of the FPs for RSR. I guess karma does exist. The was cool, but I guess the anticipation was too high, I would never wait as long as these people have been waiting, but then again I wouldn't wait that long for any ride.

Next we met up with the family in line for WOC, ate and waited some more. Took Connor and Bailey on Screaming w/FPs while others held our seats for WOC in the front row, by the fence. Got a corn dog for Bailey and waited some more for the show. At 8:30 they announced the show may be cancelled. Boo! 8:45 the 9:00 WOC announced cancelled, pissed that we wasted 2 hours. After making our way through the crowd we headed to TOT to ride FP, there was a 55min standby wait. A family was waiting outside debating if they should go in as they didn’t have fastpasses. I said, "You look like you need FPs" and doled out 8 to them. They were very thankful. I was explaining to my kids it is a little way to make someone’s day that is really important at DL or anywhere else. The little things do count. Our three kids and I used other FPs to get in line, the rest of our party was sitting this one out. When in line I saw three people leaving the standby line, one with a birthday button, I asked them if the line was too long and it was. I gave them our last three fast passes and said, Happy Birthday! 9:22, now inside TOT waiting to ride. Rode, then headed to Space, after minor delay with the ride we boarded and rode at 10:25 with FPs. Headed to and road BTMRR and Splash, both with FPs. Finally back to Space where Lisa finally joined us. 11:25
Finished off the week with ice cream and people watching on main street. We found the bench and seats on one side of the street that make perfect spots to enjoy the environment while eating. Then a photo in the square between the parks and our trip was complete. Until next time Disneyland!

We didn’t get as much done today, mainly due to the 2 hours planning around WOC and TSMM closed in the morning. I would have had different plans had I known all of this. Too bad still….

Recap—14 rides, 3 hour nap, 2 wasted hours at WOC, Gifting FPs, Ice Cream
Pretty good day. Getting started early makes a big difference with the FPs.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:51 PM   #2
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Thanks for taking the time to write out your TR. Great info on your FP plan
Jan 2013 Bucketlist trip, Jan 2009 Engagement trip
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2000
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Wow - you managed to get so much done, with ample stops for ice cream! I'm impressed. How do you know when you can get a new FP (aside from those for Screamin) - how do you what time you can get new ones?


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Old 08-03-2012, 01:02 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Troutdale, OR
Posts: 288

It tells you on the bottom of your Fastpasses when you get them. The main key is to hold them in the morning and use them later.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chumpson View Post
It tells you on the bottom of your Fastpasses when you get them. The main key is to hold them in the morning and use them later.
Note to self: Stock up on screamer FP
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