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Old 09-22-2012, 01:45 AM   #136
Melbourne5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mum from oz
Sounds like a good relaxing day. Thats a pretty good deal on a big room like that. I'm stilling tossing up where to stay in Anaheim.
It was the saving grace. We booked as I am Hilton honors member ( so included in tariff is free wifi and continental breakfast). To be honest the hotel was way too big ( aimed at conventioneers) and had a variable service level ( not like the Hilton at universal city/studios). I wouldn't recommend it. We had to wait at the Sheraton park hotel ( about 5m walk and closer to DLR) for a pickup one day and the service, amenities and size were more to our families liking. Would seriously consider this one if we went back that way and were off site. Will cover it more in the next few updates.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:38 AM   #137
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Great info on the hilton as we were considering that one. We stayed at the Sheraton Park and really liked it last year. We found the walk to the parks from there to be fine. Our only issue is we need are extra bed and they cant fit more than two queens in a room for our next trip.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:45 AM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvel
Great info on the hilton as we were considering that one. We stayed at the Sheraton Park and really liked it last year. We found the walk to the parks from there to be fine. Our only issue is we need are extra bed and they cant fit more than two queens in a room for our next trip.
If you do book the Hilton look for queen studio rooms. These are the family rooms with 2q's and a sofa bed.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:10 PM   #139
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August 27

A great sunny California day greeted us for our first day in the Disney parks. Breakfast was a bit of hotch potch of things. We had vouchers for the Hilton restaurant or starbucks. We choose starbucks as the line was incredibly long to get in for breakfast at the restaurant and they had only given us 2 vouchers ( unlike the 5 up the road for all of us L) . So it was coffee, juice, pastries all around and we found a subway like place called submarina who did a fantastic footlong ham and cheese toastie which was consumed by the 3 lads.

We made our way down to the massive lobby and purchased our week long ART transport ticket. I think it’s a good deal for around $50 for 5 of us for 5 days. Our hotel had its own route ( shared with marriot) and was about 10m non stop trip to the parks entrance.

We had arrived!

Straight through the gates to California Adventure and its new look entrance ( think Hollywood studios) and a look around Beuana Vista Street. Its quite a buzz with lots of activity , singers, characters and the trams going up and down. We wanted to go head first so we went straight off to Carsland USA.

WOW – it’s a sensory overload!

We made our way to get our fastpass for RSR first and were lucky enough to get one for lunchtime. The fast passes are near the bugs life area so make sure you go there first before going to carsland ( lesson learned).

Back we went to carlsand and a stop at the crazy cone motel for some churros and a drink. The churros had some chocolate dipping sauce and were very very nice…..

The main street area is a great replica of radiator springs and has lots of shops and a few eating places. There was plenty of activity going on. We saw lightning and mater go up and down the main street ( I even spotted the guy in black who was steering the remote control for the cars over the raod…cool job).

Our first ride was Luigi’s tires. I had read a lot of negative comments about the ride and to be honest I agree! It was kind of like being in a human sized air hockey machine. It was slow, hard to move and steer . The kids enjoyed it though and the theming was excellent.

We then headed to Maters Junk Yard Jamboree. This is a fast moving ride a bit like the crazy cups over in Disneyland but with a mater tractor instead. Great theming, cool ride and the kids really enjoyed the music and fast moves of the ride.

We took a look through the shops and they are all really unique in their offerings. Ramones is good for adult stuff like tshirts, hats etc. I got a lightning mcqueen / rsr watch for fathers day . I was very impressed!

Both times we visited carsland it was busier than any other part of the parks ( both DCA/DLR) . It was hot,noisy and very crowded. It was hard to really enjoy as the crowds were huge but in most other parts of the park quite small.

Anyhow we went for a walk around to ride soarin before we haeded back to RSR. We grabeed lunch over at the test pilots café while we were there. Soarin is such a lot of fun and no matter how many times we ride it it’s a very enjoyable experience.

Well it was time to head back to RSR and we were pretty excited to be going. We were not let down. The theming and staging areas were really impressive and the when we got to our turn to get in our car it had taken no longer than 25m with the fast pass.

The ride is similar in design to test track. You got through an outdoor section then go indoors for some dark riding and scary moments with all those cars before winding up at luigis and guidos for a race off with another car. Some serious fun as the racers reach about 100km p/h before finsishing up. A sensational ride and nothing left to spare in terms of the way Disney have laid it out.

We spent the rest of the day over taking in grizzly river rapids, TSM & California Screamin before we headed over to DLR for dinner at the Blue Bayou. We were a bit early so with only a 5m wait time we hopped on the POTC ride and enjoyed some much needed air con and jack sparrows company of course. Dinner was a big let down. Our server was just not interested and franky hopeless. Took ages to be served, fed and no followups left us a little surprised how low the standards were from our previous visit to BB a few years back. Food was good though. We headed over to splash after this for a quick dip before heading back to the hotel for a much needed rest.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:22 PM   #140
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That's a shame about BB....but it sounds like you had a great time at CarsLand.

Did you buy any food in CL? If so, how was it?

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:48 AM   #141
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Carsland sounds fun. We had a similar experience at Blue Bayou, it was the biggest disappointment given the big raves it gets on DIS. The service was super average and the food the same. We had a good seat near the water which was nice, the atmosphere is unique and worth a visit, but it put us off ever bothering to go again.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:10 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvel
Carsland sounds fun. We had a similar experience at Blue Bayou, it was the biggest disappointment given the big raves it gets on DIS. The service was super average and the food the same. We had a good seat near the water which was nice, the atmosphere is unique and worth a visit, but it put us off ever bothering to go again.
We found a lot of the cm's this year were 'just' doing their job.... Little bit less pixie dust this trip.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:13 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz
That's a shame about BB....but it sounds like you had a great time at CarsLand.

Did you buy any food in CL? If so, how was it?

Thanks for sharing.
We did flo's v8 cafe on our 2nd day for dinner. Food was appalling and expensive. We ended up going out of Carsland finding a hot dog stand for a fill up! Then went back in again. Their shakes were great though. They do need to work on the menu for kids and adults. Mains were mostly roast of the day. Kids mini version or macn cheese. Our kids didn't eat it! Sad because the atmosphere is great.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:01 AM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne5 View Post
We did flo's v8 cafe on our 2nd day for dinner. Food was appalling and expensive. We ended up going out of Carsland finding a hot dog stand for a fill up! Then went back in again. Their shakes were great though. They do need to work on the menu for kids and adults. Mains were mostly roast of the day. Kids mini version or macn cheese. Our kids didn't eat it! Sad because the atmosphere is great.
Dang! I had them on my list to go eat at. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:13 PM   #145
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August 28

Some well earned rest and a Starbucks breakfast started our day. A swim and splash at the hiltons pool and kids water playground too. It was then time for our art bus up the road for 5m and our day at Disneyland.

We strolled up main st USA and headed for a coffee and bite to eat at the jolly holly bakery . Great treats at this spot. Looks a lot like crystal palace at Wdw but that's the only similarity.

Fuelled up we headed for a day of fun starting in tommorowland. Astro orbiters , star tours, space mountain x4 , a utopia to name a few. The park crowds were very light and that meant multiple rides.

We ventured through fantasyland and enjoyed dumbo, cases jones, it's a small world and took in the parade . It was a hot day but fun filled. We ended up over at the hungry bear for dinner near splas mountain. Great burgers all round but the sweet potato fries were NOT a hit. They were supplemented by a huge milk chocolate, caramel gooey green apple on a stick and a lemon honey bumble bee cake. Lots of goodness. We are drawn to hungry bear as its always quiet,cool and nice views of the lagoon area.

Lots of splash mountain and big thunder railway and then some popcorn and a dole whip whilst we watched fantastic to end the night. Well almost. We made it out the front gates and the fireworks started so we camped in the middle of the 2 parks with about 500 new friends who had a similar idea and enjoyed a terrific view. A very quick art bus back and all tucked up for a big shopping day tomorrow.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:41 AM   #146
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Sounds like a great day.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:33 AM   #147
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A busy but wonderful day.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:19 PM   #148
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August 29

After a long day/ night in the park it was a good sleep in followed by our new daily routine of a swim/ splash at the Hilton pool , some washing ( conveniently located in pool area) , Starbucks brekkie with our Hilton coupons and then up for a change and a quick walk to Sheraton park hotel ( 5m) to wait for our bus up to the citadel outlets for an afternoon of shopping.

Bus was 30 m late which wasn't flash as by the time we arrived it was 130 with a 330 departure ( only other was 6pm and the kids would have killed us by then!!) so it was a power shop....

We came out of the Nike factory shop with all new runners, Lycra, tshirts etc. very good value. Some good shorts at under armour ( 1/3 price of Australia), nautica shop for polos ($20ea) and perfume as well from one of the shops cheap as chips...gap outlet was huge but just not much for us this time around and a quick trip to toys r us for a trinket and it was time to fly...really should have got earlier bus as I am sure there was more good stuff lurking around the next corner. 30 m back to hotel and another dip before art bus to downtown Disney and dinner at the rainforest cafe.

We really like the rainforest. Always something happening. I had made a reservation and was able to walk straight in. We were up on 2nd floor . I didn't realise how big it was. Anyhow a monster platter, ribs, chicken and a few burgers later we were stuffed. Well we did have a little bit of room for a shared 'volcano' for dessert. Now they are something...particularly the theatrics from the servers to announce one being delivered. Lots of fun for everyone including ds1 as it was also a birthday ish party too for his 14th.

Took in all the sites of downtown Disney, brought ds3 his birthday present from Lego shop without him knowing ( amazing) ..some cars Lego. Even at resort prices was at least 40% cheaper than home.

All that shopping wore us out and it was an early night.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:59 PM   #149
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Good job on buying the pressie without him spotting it. That's near impossible!

I'm looking forward to taking my boys to the Rainforest Cafe I always enjoy it and I think they'll ALL really enjoy it
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:59 AM   #150
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Nice report. The prices of everything is just amazing, even without any discounts.
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