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Old 10-04-2012, 02:04 PM   #1
Lizzim
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Sept 2012 - Disneyland California

My boyfriend and I (Rob, 32 and Lizzi, 31) have made several trips to WDW in the past 5 years but had never been to Disneyland...until this year.

I have posted this trip report in my personal blog - but have copied it here for ease of reading...but unfortunately the photos have not copied across - EDIT. - photos fixed now....so if you would like to view them...my blog is here:

http://lizzim18usatrips.blogspot.co.uk

Sept 22nd - Day 1 - Travelling

This year we thought we would try a trip to the West Coast...and Walt's original park....Disneyland!

We were flying this year with Air New Zealand as I got a great bargain on flights....£480 return

So, we headed to heathrow and arrived around lunchtime. We quickly checked in and went through security...this went quickly as we had some fast track vouchers

The flight took off on time, and the legroom was quite generous for economy.

Luckily the flight was a little faster than expected and we landed in LAX at around 7pm.

The immigration queue was unfortunately really long and it took us about an hour to get through and collect baggage and then clear customs.

We quickly got the shuttle bus to the hire car pick up and managed to get off the bus quickly and so were quickly able to collect the car.

After last year's Lincoln Towncar disaster (Rob did not like that car!) I booked him a standard suv with Alamo - which meant he could pick the car from a row! He chose a GMC Terrain which was apparently a big improvement on last year!

So, car collected and off we went to find the hotel. We were staying one night at the Doubletree Anaheim.

We checked in and went to bed as we were really tired....and we needed to get up fairly early the next day to head to DISNEYLAND!!!!

Sept 23rd - Day 2 - Disneyland

So, we got up and headed down to try and find breakfast. We met a guy in the lobby who had some spare buffet vouchers and he gave us two....so free breakfast

The buffet was just ok...but it was free so we were happy

After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and drove to the Grand Californian - which is where we were staying for the rest of the California trip.





We knew we would be too early to get our room so we parked the car and dropped off our bags and got our room key for later and then headed over to Walt's park

It was a weekend day so I was expecting the park to be quite busy. It actually wasn't too bad but a few of the lines were long.

Once we got in the park we picked up a fast pass for Space Mountain and went to ride Buzz Lightyear as it only had a 10 minute wait.

This is a fun ride but Rob beat me in the scores

Afterward we popped over to Innoventions...this has some similar attractions to Epcot in WDW but isn't as much fun without spaceship earth. I actually think I would have preferred the Carousel of Progress!

Back over to Space Mountain and with our fast pass we only waited a few minutes (standby was 45). This is a great ride and I think I prefer it to the WDW version - it seemed to be less bumpy



We then popped to get a fast pass for Star Tours before having a wander around the park.



We took a quick walk past the Matterhorn - which had a long line and no fast pass so we decided to try that another time.

We went to Toon Town and the Roger Rabbit ride only had a 10 minute line so we had a quick ride

We then went across to the Big Thunder Ranch to see if there were any halloween characters out.

Guess who I met?!



Halloween Goofy!

Yay! I was very excited to meet a halloween character as we were unfortunately not able to go to any of the parties due to the date of our trip

We then went and had a ride on the Mark Twain riverboat - this seemed to be a much shorter trip than at WDW.





Boat ride over and we headed over to Splash Mountain...it had a 50 minute wait but we decided to ride anyway as it was most definitely Splash weather

We met some locals in the queue and had a nice chat with them while we waited.

We eventually all got to ride in the same log



We all got pretty much soaked...but it was really warm so this was quite refreshing

We headed back across to ride Star Tours which was really fun. And then I think we rode It's a small world.....but I'm not entirely sure!

It was now about 4pm so we headed back to the hotel to see if our room was ready. It was and we got ourselves an amazing view:





We did ask at check-in whether there were any theme park views available but we don't know if that had anything to do with our room allocation or not!

We got our bags brought up and unpacked so that everything was organised. Then we had a little rest before heading back to the park.

I really wanted to see Fantasmic and the fireworks and they were only showing on the weekend due to it being off-peak.

We got back the park and went to get some food. We ate at the Hungry Bear restaurant. We probably should have eaten earlier but had not really felt hungry until now.

After dinner we decided to find a spot to watch Fantasmic. I had originally planned to watch the second show but we were getting tired and so decided to watch earlier so we could go to bed after the fireworks.

I much preferred to WDW version of the show...and mostly because they have seats there.

We had the most incredibly rude man and his family push in front of us and a family with small children. He then proceeded to block the view by moving about and he was so horrible to his wife that I decided not to ask him to stop!

To top things off - he then put his child on his shoulders halfway through the show to block the view for even more people

Once the show was over we headed back to Main Street to watch the fireworks.

We managed to get a reasonable spot just at the top of Main Street with a great view of the castle. The fireworks were much better than I expected...and the Walt references were brilliant

So, fireworks over we headed back to the hotel.

I was getting ready for bed and suddenly I heard music from outside.......then I realised it was World of Color (spelt the American way just for Jennifer!)



So, day 2 over......what a great start to our Disneyland trip!
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good start to your trip. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:37 AM   #3
Lizzim
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Sept 2012 - Disneyland California (Part 2)

So, this morning we were heading to California Adventure but before that we needed some breakfast.

We headed into Downtown Disney and decided to eat at La Brea Bakery. I think we both had a breakfast platter but I can't really remember.

We were finished just after 9 and so headed across to the park for early entry.

There were queues of people waiting which was a little confusing but we eventually realised that it was people who weren't staying in a Disney hotel who were waiting for park opening at 10!


We headed straight to Carsland where the line for Radiator Springs Racers was already 40 mins but we got in line because we figured the line would just get longer....and the temperature would increase making the wait even more uncomfortable.

Luckily the wait time was accurate and the ride didn't break down! And we got on the ride just before 10



The ride was quite similar to Test Track at WDW which was expected but the race element was quite fun...even if our car lost.



We decided to skip the two other rides as they didn't seem that appealing to us. I went to see what the line was like for fast passes for later....I walked all the way back to the Carthay Circle restaurant (which is far!) and the line was still going!

I decided that I would give the line a miss....as by the time I got there the fast passes would probably have run out anyway!

So, we went across to California Screamin' which had about a 10 minute wait....

On the way we bumped into Donald Duck...in his sailor outfit. No piccy at the moment as we used Disney's photopass and my cd hasn't arrived yet.

This was a great ride....not too bumpy



We then had a wander around the park and picked up a fast pass for Soarin' on our way to the Tower of Terror. The wait here was 13 minutes.....spooky

We unfortunately got a group of young girls on our ride....who screamed the whole time (even when it wasn't remotely scary)!

Still, it was a good ride - but the Florida version is my favourite



Not my best ride photo

Next up we headed back across to Soarin' - lots of travelling back and forth across the park!

I really like this ride - but prefer the theming on the Florida line. Rob however does not see the appeal of it though and has started calling it Borin' or Snorin'

I picked up another fast pass once we got off the ride and then went to get a World of Color fast pass in case we decided to watch it from the park.

We did consider riding the Grizzly River Rapids but decided that we didn't want to get that wet....so instead we got refreshed by the waterfall:



We then went back to the Paradise Pier area via Ghiradelli's for lunch and rode some of the classics:


•Mickey's Fun Wheel



View from the Fun Wheel

•Silly Symphony Swings
•Golden Zephyr



•Goofy's Sky School

We stopped and had a drink next to Goofy's before heading back to Soarin' again

I think after Soarin' we went and took another look around Cars Land. The details here are very impressive!

While we were here I met Mater....!



Again no piccy...but I'll update once I have them

We also saw another Cars star:



We decided to pick up a Soarin' fast pass on our way out of the park. We also met Flight Attendant Minnie so I got a few pictures with her - again they'll be here soon

We had a little rest in the room and got pizza and Naples before going back to the park to take a look around at night







We took another ride on Soarin' and decided to skip World of Color (watched it from the balcony).

Tomorrow was our last Disney day...and there is a lot to write so I'll add that later
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:59 PM   #4
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Great TR so far, following along, we were there about the same time.

Haven't started mine yet!
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:00 AM   #5
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Today was our last day at Disney but first we had breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen

Our reservation was for 8am but it didn't take us as long to walk there as we had expected so we arrived about 15 mins early.

We checked in and paid our bill (making sure to get our DVC discount) before having our photo taken with Goofy.



We were then seated at our table and before our server even reached us we had our first character.



Our server arrived and took our drinks order and then we headed to the buffet. We both had omlettes with bacon, sausage etc.

Soon enough another character arrived.





The selection at the buffet was really quite varied...including pizza which Rob was really tempted by...but in the end he couldn't eat any!

He did take an interest in the desserts which were available...and I got some worms and dirt - just because I could!



I don't normally pose in this manner - I was following an instruction from Jasmine!



While we were eating we saw Rafiki wandering around...but unfortunately we didn't get to meet him. I think we must have missed him when we were at the buffet

I was very excited to see the next character though



We did wait for a little bit longer in the hope that Rafiki might reappear...but he didn't. We did see Chip for a second time though.

We also had our photo package delivered as we had the photopass plus. This really worked out as quite good value for us as we had 5 or 6 ride photos plus the photo package..and then our other photos from the parks.

I wasn't planning on a 4th part to this but I haven't time to write about our day in the park right now...so will try and add it later
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:08 AM   #6
Lizzim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttig34 View Post
Sounds like a good start to your trip. Thanks for sharing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey30 View Post
Great TR so far, following along, we were there about the same time.

Haven't started mine yet!
Thanks, nice to know someone is enjoying reading
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:36 AM   #7
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Sept 2012 - Disneyland California (Part 4)

So, breakfast finished and we headed back to the hotel quickly before going to Disneyland.

The plan was to get on the Matterhorn first as it has no fast pass. Well, that didn't work so well as it was broken down on arrival.

So, we hopped on Space Mountain quickly as it had a short wait.



Then we decided to go over to Big Thunder Mountain to complete the set....we like this ride but only if it has a short wait as it's a little bit bumpy.

We still need to do Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Carribean so we went over to see how the lines were.

Got to Pirates and the wait was only 5 minutes.....so off we went. This was a great ride and I will conceed that it is better than the WDW version.

Over to Haunted Mansion next and I think the wait was 10 or 15 minutes...but that's ok to see the Holiday version.





As we were waiting in line we saw a character meet nearby....definitely needed to see if we could catch them on the way out.



Having managed to get a few of the must-do's under our belt we decided to go back and see if the Matterhorn was working yet.

On the way we had a quick look at Tarzan's treehouse.



We also stopped in Aladdin's area (not sure what it is called) and were happy to see Aladdin and Genie.



Got across to the Matterhorn and the posted wait was 10 mins....I don't think they update this very well though and we probably waited 15 or 20. I'm glad we did the ride but it was much more bumpy than I was expecting.

Next up was Toon Town....I really wanted to have a look at Mickey's house although I wasn't really looking to go on any of the rides here.



We decided to take the railroad for a little bit so went to the stop to wait. We encountered the most grumpy cast member ever here (but didn't see what her name was).

A guy ahead of us got on the train and put his stroller in the wrong place...she blocked the entrance and yelled at him to move it. Then shut the gate and told those of us waiting...that we should have just got on the train.....how?!

The train then left without us.....now we are adults so not a big deal....but there were children ahead of us in the line who could see empty seats and couldn't figure out why they weren't allowed on!

We got off the train at Main Street and took a wander before ending up at the Jungle Cruise....this is always fun.

We rode the Mark Twain riverboat on Friday and so we decided to see if we could have a go on Columbia.

Luckily it was sailing today and so off we went.







Once we were off the boat we headed over to the Big Thunder Ranch to see if there were any different characters out. Pumpkin Donald was there but he seemed to be playing some kind of game

I did however meet this guy:



I was hoping to meet one of the villains and there was a show happening in about 15 mins so we took a quick look at the animals.







We headed back across to the hub and as we arrived there was a fire engine about to leave. So we took a little ride down Main Street.





As we arrived we spotted this fellow doing a meet and greet



And then just across the way we saw someone else



We were getting hungry and so we had a look around for somewhere to eat. We decided to try the Carnation Cafe - this was a nice meal and a bit of a surprise....we walked in expecting a quick service location and then realised that it was table service

We went back for a break and did a bit of shopping at Downtown Disney as well.

When we returned in the evening we headed across to see what the wait was like for the Nemo submarines.

We grabbed a fast pass for Star Tours on the way so we could ride that before we left.

Got to Nemo and there was only a 5/10 minute wait. This was a fun ride and it's a shame they don't have something similar at WDW. Disneyland Paris has a submarine thing but it is a walkthrough....this was much more entertaining

So, Nemo done we went across to Star Tours. I would have ridden Space Mountain again but it had a long wait...so Star Tours would be our last ride

It was a different version than the other day which was nice

We finished up in Disneyland and had a quick look in the shops.

I was looking for some pins to add to my collection and had seen one I liked earlier....but couldn't find it now.

We looked in World of Disney and even they didn't have it....so we walked down to Pin Traders and thankfully they had it!

So, all pins got.....up tomorrow....Universal Studios!
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:01 PM   #8
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Well the rest of the trip moves away from Disneyland but if anyone is interested my next entry is online:

http://lizzim18usatrips.blogspot.co....hollywood.html

I won't post it here because it's off topic and I'm not sure anyone is reading any of this anyway
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:59 AM   #9
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Great trip report! Thanks for taking the time to write all of it and for posting all the pics! Glad to see you both had a great trip!
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:45 PM   #10
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Great trip report! Thanks for taking the time to write all of it and for posting all the pics! Glad to see you both had a great trip!
Thanks

Again off topic....but here is the Grand Canyon update

http://lizzim18usatrips.blogspot.co....sept-2012.html
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:37 PM   #12
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Really enjoying your TR

Thanks for posting
Thanks
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:38 AM   #13
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Sept 2012 - Grand Canyon to Las Vegas

Today we go from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas

http://lizzim18usatrips.blogspot.co....las-vegas.html
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:40 PM   #14
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Las Vegas

Today is the Vegas update - almost time to go home

http://lizzim18usatrips.blogspot.co....las-vegas.html
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:31 AM   #15
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Final (not very interesting) update: http://lizzim18usatrips.blogspot.co....-and-home.html
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