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Old 09-08-2012, 09:28 PM   #31
Mary09
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Originally Posted by MaloCS View Post
If I ever go back I will do my best to avoid the locals and more specifically, the Annual Pass holders. After all, I'm going to Disneyland to see Mickey Mouse, not Bob from Pasadena.
I think I prefer Bob from Pasadena (who usually is laid back, affable and has good advice about DL) than the foreign tourists who mob WDW, often acting like their lack of English excuses their lack of manners.

I do wish to avoid any Friday nights in May that might be grad nights, though. Or maybe it's just any Friday nights, I'm not sure. The teens are a bit much for me.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:45 PM   #32
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From now on I will arm myself with the knowledge of when every single Annual Pass holder has the opportunity to visit the park and I will avoid those times.

Spring Break? Nope. Fall Break? Nope. Teacher Planning Days? Nope. State Government Furlough Days? Nope. President's Day? Nope. Columbus Day? Nope. Martin Luther King Day? Nope. Ground Hog Day? Nope.

Maybe there's a week or two in the year where the out of state tourist can visit Disneyland without the onslaught of locals.
I would have thought that there are black out dates for AP holders over spring break?
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:14 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by ronandannette View Post

Please, please give yourself a break - I'll bet you already have much more information that you can possibly implement. Every new "must do" or "don't miss" is just another opportunity for disappointment if things don't go as planned.

DL is WONDERFUL; you can't help but have a fantastic time if you stay flexible, stay in the moment and don't allow yourself to obsess about how it "should" be going. The memories will make themselves!!
I'll echo this! A good friend who is also a travel agent that specializes in Disney says his number one problem is people who set up unreal expectations from themselves. They read about all of these magical things that happen at DL and WDW online and expect EVERY SINGLE THING to happen to them on their trip. Disappointment ensues when they don't.

Just go with the flow, enjoy the magical experiences and 'pixie dust' moments that you are lucky enough to experience, and you'll have a great time!
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:25 PM   #34
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My recomendations are quite simple; take your own sweet time. Our first trip to DL was with "Disney Commandoes", ie: do everything as fast as possible cause for what it costs to be here "we are going to do EVERYTHING". My memories of that trip are of sore feet.
A year later we went by ourselves as a family and just "Wondered" through each section of the park until we had explored everything in it. We rode almost every ride, went in every shop and store, watched every show, and inquired about every door we came to. We had a fantastic trip, it was great. There are basicaly two types of park guests at DL;(1) the ones that basicaly are running or in a big hurry to get EVERYWHERE and (2)the people that are the way of the people in group #1. This second group walk slowly looking at everything and photographing what they look at for more than three seconds. They are usually smiling and appear to be enjoying themselves. I am one of the leaders of the second group and yes, I usualy enjoy myself....
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:47 PM   #35
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I echo the above.......

We plan on taking our time. There were some things we missed last time, some of the little secrets that we plan on checking out. We plan on doing a couple sit down meals which we did not do last time because we thought it was too much money and we did not want to "waste" time. This time we have budgeted in some special extras. I wish we had done that last time....budgeted things right in. We are eating lunch at the BB, going on the Happiest Haunts tour and we even have $40 set aside so we can get the Mickey and Minnie candy apples......last time we couldn't bring ourselves to fork over the 40 bucks for them and we regretted it.

We saw way too many families that were trying to pack everything in....and no one looked happy. One family stuck in my head were beside us during the fireworks....it was excruciating waiting for them to start for an hour, their 2 little kids were D O N E. They had been there all day from rope drop going, going, going. I know because the Mom was telling me about everything they had done. It was like a contest to see how much she could get checked off her list. The one little guy finally fell asleep just before they started and the parents spent half the show trying to wake him up so he would not miss them.

We have a loose plan, the kids have a list of stuff they really want to do...those are "must-do's", the rest we will just play by ear. If DS wants to spend half a day riding BTMR over and over and his sister does not we will split up for a few hours and meet back up....no biggie. We are basically going to let the kids direct how things play out. That is ussually when the magic happens anyways.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:19 PM   #36
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I agree with several of the previous posters here: follow your fun! If you loved a ride, go again! If you are tired, take a break. It's great to have a touring plan to help minimize wait times, but don't let it turn into a Bataan death march racing from one attraction to the next.

A couple of other hints: Utilize child swap and FP so you can maximize your ride time. We like to trade off and have one of us take DD3 on Buzz Lightyear while the rest of the group rides Space, etc. I always see one parent and a small child just sitting in the hot sun waiting for the rest of their group, and it always looks miserable! So feel free to use that time to go on a ride yourself!

Also remember that FP windows are not enforced at DLR. That gives you a lot of flexibility!

The last thing I like to suggest with kids is to book a character meal as early in the trip as possible. It will save you a ton of time waiting in line if you can see Minnie at breakfast, vs. standing in line with fidgeting children. So I'd do that, but also be willing to wait in line to meet characters if that is what your kids want to do.

Basically, just go with the flow and try to keep your expectations minimal, and you'll have a great time! Don't try to force the magic, it will just happen! Have a great trip!
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:11 PM   #37
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SUBBING!!! Total WDW veteran, but have never been to DL. Planning a trip in 2 years, so I have 2 years to learn all I need to know! Keep the suggestions coming please!
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:32 PM   #38
Mary Jo
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OMG....thank you for sharing this! Guess we are going to start an amazing "supper" tradition too! We are going to be the "coolest" parents ever when they get to have this one night for supper! Wonder how much that costs.....lol....Hope they still have it!

Here's the menu on the DIS. The price is $21.99:

PCH Grill Menu
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:59 PM   #39
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Coca Cola

It was recently that we found out that Coca Cola Refresment Corner sells raspberry, chocolate, vanilla & cherry coke.

I wonder how many delicious cherry cokes I could have drunk
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:06 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by MaloCS View Post
We just took a trip to Disneyland back in February, 2012 and came to realize that the park had a different feel then our last trip in September, 1998. For all intents and purposes we were Disneyland newbies.

First, the amount of locals armed with Annual Passes seemed to be the rule and not the exception. Second, I have since learned that there really isn't an off season, at least when compared to the years prior to 2000. Third, we were completely naive about FastPasses and how they could help or hinder the Disneyland experience. And fourth, we were totally clueless to the fact that seemingly unimportant holidays were catalysts for exaggerated crowds.

If I were to offer the advice to a person like me I would tell them to avoid ALL holidays, not just the big ones. I would also tell them to find out when the local schools have time off, not just the Spring/Fall breaks but the occasional teacher planning days as well and avoid those like the plague. Lastly, I would emphasize the importance of using the FastPass system.

I wish someone would have enlightened me to these tips because I would have avoided the President's Day holiday like it was the second coming of The Black Plague. Never again will I put myself or my family through that experience. From now on I will arm myself with the knowledge of when every single Annual Pass holder has the opportunity to visit the park and I will avoid those times.

Spring Break? Nope. Fall Break? Nope. Teacher Planning Days? Nope. State Government Furlough Days? Nope. President's Day? Nope. Columbus Day? Nope. Martin Luther King Day? Nope. Ground Hog Day? Nope.

Maybe there's a week or two in the year where the out of state tourist can visit Disneyland without the onslaught of locals.
Wow, this post is a good example of why reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone has a unique perception shaped by their own personality and expectations.

My husband and I were in the parks the same weekend as Malo. It was my husband's first visit and my first visit after a 20+ year absence. I was so much like a newbie that we didn't use fast passes during this trip because we didn't know about them. We felt so much love and excitement and energy in the parks that we KNEW we had to become AP holders. We talked to so many new people and took in so much with so much more still to see. It was an AP holder who told me just how awesome BTMRR is in the very last seat and then offered to switch places so we could experience it complete with the goat effect. It was another AP holder that told us how awesome the lobster nachos are at the Grotto.

Since becoming an AP in April we have gone Memorial Day and Labor day weekends. Every trip has been truly truly magical, a real blessing. Just let yourself have a great time. Do you trust me? (Aladdin reference)
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:27 PM   #41
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Wow, this post is a good example of why reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone has a unique perception shaped by their own personality and expectations.

My husband and I were in the parks the same weekend as Malo. It was my husband's first visit and my first visit after a 20+ year absence. I was so much like a newbie that we didn't use fast passes during this trip because we didn't know about them. We felt so much love and excitement and energy in the parks that we KNEW we had to become AP holders. We talked to so many new people and took in so much with so much more still to see. It was an AP holder who told me just how awesome BTMRR is in the very last seat and then offered to switch places so we could experience it complete with the goat effect. It was another AP holder that told us how awesome the lobster nachos are at the Grotto.

Since becoming an AP in April we have gone Memorial Day and Labor day weekends. Every trip has been truly truly magical, a real blessing. Just let yourself have a great time. Do you trust me? (Aladdin reference)
Your experience proves that while people can experience the exact same circumstances and challenges, your perspective and attitude will determine whether your experience will be positive or negative. Thank you for sharing your story!
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:53 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by theluckyrabbit

Your experience proves that while people can experience the exact same circumstances and challenges, your perspective and attitude will determine whether your experience will be positive or negative. Thank you for sharing your story!
I think that applies to pretty much all things in life.

A bit OT but does anyone here have experience with a reluctant Disney traveler? I k ow DH will totally be into the food aspect of the trip (he's always planning his next meal), but anyone else have some tips? I do think that once he gets there with our kids he is going to have a blast just seeing it all through our DD4's eyes. But just in case...
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:29 PM   #43
Mary09
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The reluctant traveler in my group enjoys it much more when we have a very close hotel she can go retire to at will. Some like to disappear to a quiet corner with a bar in DCA.

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Wow, this post is a good example of why reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone has a unique perception shaped by their own personality and expectations.
While that's true, it's also true that everyone's experience is unique. Just because one poster found the crowd obnoxious and another didn't doesn't necessarily mean it's their personality and/or expectations. They experience different people at different times, different CMs, different lines, etc.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:48 PM   #44
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There are lots of great threads about 'Things you wish you knew' and 'Secrets of...' that are wonderful and offer *tons* of great advice (I've got the notes to prove it!) but we're going for the first time in December and I'm wanting to create the best, most magical experience possible, so am looking for tips specific to that.

If you could re-create your first trip, how would you do it? What did you do on your first trip that was awesome (create a tradition, etc...), what did you do that was not so awesome, what do you wish you did looking back?

DS is 5 and DD is 2 so everything we do will pretty much revolve around them
We do a few things we try to repeat: take pics of them at the troll in norway (with viking hats and swords!)

always try to take the sword from the stone (one day we'll get it!)

try to wake tinkerbell at her store!

take a pic in front of cinderella's fountain so the crown is on my daughter's head!

we always go to chef mickey's the first day, so we feel like we are in disney!

visit the barber shop for pixie dust (my kids have no patience for the whole bbb thing, and I never wanted to spend the money!)

I wish we had started taking a pic at the same ride each year, at the measuring stick, so we could have a growing picture..would have been cute!
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:52 PM   #45
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We do a few things we try to repeat: take pics of them at the troll in norway (with viking hats and swords!)

always try to take the sword from the stone (one day we'll get it!)

try to wake tinkerbell at her store!

take a pic in front of cinderella's fountain so the crown is on my daughter's head!

we always go to chef mickey's the first day, so we feel like we are in disney!

visit the barber shop for pixie dust (my kids have no patience for the whole bbb thing, and I never wanted to spend the money!)

I wish we had started taking a pic at the same ride each year, at the measuring stick, so we could have a growing picture..would have been cute!
Is this list for DLR or WDW?
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