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Old 01-11-2013, 10:46 AM   #31
khertz
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Before visiting DL for the first time, I had read on the boards hundreds of times that PotC in DL is soooo much better than in WDW, and I just couldn't understand how it could be that much better. Then I rode it!! The extra scenes and drops add so much to the whole experience. After 2 back to back DL trips, riding it in WDW again I looked at DH and said, "It seems so short now!" I agree with you, WDW definitely got the better queue but that is about all.

New Orleans Square is one of my favorite parts of DL park, even as a NOLA native. I think because it embraces the things I love about the city the most, like the architecture and the narrow alleyways with small shops tucked in them, without the trash or creepy people.

I am TOTALLY with you on Mickey's Fun Wheel! DH forced me onto one of those swinging gondolas and I absolutely hated the whole entire experience. He will never get me on them again! I wasn't so much freaked out about the height of the ferris wheel itself, but the swinging was too much. I'd do the stationary ones, but that's it!

I'm looking forward to your World of Color update! Hands down, my favorite show in any Disney park!!
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:13 AM   #32
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Day 3, Part 3: Disney California Adventure

At the Pacific Warf area we looked around at the different food options avalible. From your regular burgers and sandwiches to Chinese and Mexican style food. However none of it really sounded all too great at the moment. So we decided to head back in to Cars Land. Once again going thru the Warf enterance. I thought the view of the Cadillac Mountain range was incredible during the day. Its even more amazing at night when its all lite up. Words seriously can't discribe how great this is to see in person. Pictures only do it so much justice.






As we approched Downtown Radiator Springs we noticed a large crowd of people in the intersection. What was going on was DJ's Dance n' Drive Street Show. Its a small show that takes place when one of the "import" Cars named DJ rolls into Radiator Springs with his stereo blasting and Neon lights glowing. The Waitresses then come out of Flo's V8 Cafe and they do a little show. As we came to the crowd though the show was just ending and DJ was heading out. We caught part of it again later.



Since we were still hungry we decided to walk in to to Flo's to see what options they had for dinner. Being in Cars land the place was pretty crowded so after Kiera decided on what she wanted she took Daniel and went to find a place to sit. For those unfamiliar with the Movie Flo's is a Dinner style eatery on Route 66. So it has American style Diner type food. One of the reasons for this trip was to visit Cars Land so we might as well eat at Flo's as well. Outside you may notice that Flo's looks different then it does in the First cars movie. Since Radiator Springs is a popular place once again after Lightning McQueen came to town Flo's has since had some additions built on. If you watch Cars 2 you will see that Flo's in the movie reflects how Flo's in Cars Land looks after the additions. However i'm not sure if in the movie Flo's connected into Doc Hudsons Docters office as the Hospital is one of the areas of the restaurant. On the back side is another large eating area with a large window looking out at the Cadillac Mountain Range and you can faintly hear the Racers engines as they go past in the distance.




Pricing at Flo's was similar to many other counter service food locations at the resort. I ended up getting the NY Strip Loin with a side of Mashed Potatoes and Pasta Salad. Kiera just got the Kids Menu Turkey Sandwich. With the kids meal they will try to sell you on the "Lightning Mcqueen" box meal that is almost double the cost of a regular kids mean. Although not promoted you can still get normal, cheaper kids meals here. Overall I thought the food was pretty good. It was filling and I wasn't dissapointed with it. We had also got a milk for Daniel that he fell asleep drinking. Although Flo's is Counter Service they still had bus boys coming around cleaning the tables and even taking your food for ya when you were finished.




Since Daniel was asleep we decided to look around some of the different shops in Radiator Springs. Luigis Tires isn't a shop in Carsland but it is the entrance to one of the Lands 3 rides that we would go on at a later time. Across from that though is Ramones. When Cars Land was being built I really hoped we would see unique merchandise in each shop much like it is in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Unfortunatly it still seemed though that all the shops carried the same items with just a small nitch of specific merchandise. The thing that Romans had that none of the other shops did was the Low N' Slow Car Club merchandise and apparal. This was the stuff that I thought would most appeal to me however I didn't like any of the designs of the stuff. Still it was fun to look around at some of the design features of the shop and the Hood "samples" of Ramones Paint work that were hung around the shop. You can also buy the Luigis Tires hats here.





Cars Land looks great during the day but it becomes even more magical and surreal after dark. Theres just such a cool feeling to cruise down the street and be surrounded by the Neon Lights everywhere as the sounds of 50's style music echo thru the streets. It takes you back to a simpler time and age. And if your in the Land when the sun goes down I guess they do a little show as all the Neon in the town turns on although we never got to see it. I do wish they could have made the street as long as they did in the film as it does get cut short once you pass Ramones and Luigis but it understandable given space constraints. In front of the Courthouse there was a Photopass Photographer set up so we went and got some pictures even though Daniel was asleep.







The next shop we stopped by was Radiator Springs Currios. And unfortunatly in my opinion this is the store with the biggest missed oppertunity. Instead of the generic Cars merchandise that you can find everywhere this shop would have been perfect for selling random route 66 inspired odds and ends. And people would have likely ate it up. The walls of the shop are themed with many of these odds and ends however they are just for show. They are not for sale. Instead what the store gives you is your normal run of the meal Disney and Cars merchandise with it also being the pin tradding and purchasing location. This store could have been so much more but now its just a snooze. Although it is the only place you could buy Carsland post cards.





We went back across the street to Flo's again because it also now had a photopass photographer out taking pictures. Daniel was still asleep but oh well we took the photos anyways. As we were taking the pictures though DJ rolled back in to town and started his dance party thing under the traffic light. The waitresses all came out from Flo's and the party started. Its unique and the crowd seemed to like it. I assume that this show only takes place after nightfall to take advantage of all the Neon and LED lights that are on DJ. We never saw it during the day time but then now that I think about it we never saw Red the firetruck after dark so they must trade off.




After watching the Dance Party Daniel finally woke up from his nap and we started to make our way to the Cozy Cone Motel. The Cozy Cone serves two purposes. First of all its another food/snack location in Carsland serving all sorts of Cone inspired eats and drinks that are different at each cone. The 2nd function though is that its also where you can meet Lightning McQueen or Mater (but not at the same time) for there Meet and Greets.


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February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:15 AM   #33
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This time of night was one of the shortest waits we saw in the times we spent in Radiator Springs to meet Lightning McQueen so we hopped in line because we had to get a photo with him. The line moved quickly and we got to meet Lightning. Daniel just loved him and the meet and greet experiance here is MUCH better then the one in the Hollywood Studios in Florida. In Florida the characters just sat there with engine sound effects. And that was all. In Cars Land though the vehicles do speak. Although they rotate thru a number of preset phrases they at least attempt to speak to you. There eyes will also move and parts of the body move and shake. Daniel really liked seeing Lightning and it was great to meet him.





Since we were at the Cozy Cone I decided to get us a treat. In addition to the Cone inspired snacks they also designed a few different specialty drinks. One in particular is called Reds Apple Freeze. Although those of you who have been to the Magic Kingdoms recent Fantasyland Expansion in Florida may also know the drink as Lefous Brew sold at Gastons Pub. This drink has been compared to Butterbeer which is sold at the Wizarding World and is possibly one of the best things i've ever taisted lol. Just like the Frozen Butterbeer, Reds Apple Freeze is a frozen slush drink with a foam topping. Although the drinks may be similar in looks and texture they are very different in taist. Reds Apple Freeze is frozen Apple Juice with a Passion fruit/Mango Marshmellow Foam. So what did we think. Honestly we did not care for the drink at all. Where Butterbeer is an addiction and one of the best drinks ever the Apple Freeze is just not that good. I liked the Frozen Apple Juice. What was really bad though was the Foam. It was just horrible. That first drink I took was only the foam and it wasn't good at all. Kieras thoughts on the drink pretty much echoed mine. Like I said the apple slush itself was alright but unlike the Butterbeer where the foam stays seperated from the slush the foam on Reds Apple Freeze quickly melted and blended with the Slush ruining that as well. Between the 2 of us we never even finished the drink. I'm happy that we gave it a try but its not something I would get again. Ether as Reds Apple Freeze in DCA or as Lefous Brew in the Magic Kingdom.




The shop across from the Cozy Cone that we next checked out was Sarges Surplus Hut. But your not gonna find any Surplus here. Instead its a Glorified Toy Store. Thats right all thats sold at Sarges is Toys. Again though the themed decor around the shop it self is great as it really gives the impression of an Army surplus shop. Unfortunatly once again though there is no unique merchandise to be seen anywhere for sale in the shop.






You've probably noticed by now a bit of the Christmas decor all around Radiator Springs. The Christmas decor was very well done in the Land. From the Air Filter Garland, Tire Wreaths, Tool Snowflakes, and Santa Stanly Statue to the unique touches to each individule shope. If you havn't noticed each store or ride has a Christmas tree out in front that reflects the owner. The City Christmas tree is great as well being covered in Hubcaps for the Ornaments. And don't forget the Original music wrote to make many Christmas Classic songs relatible to Cars playing thruout the area. Christmas in Radiator Springs is really cool and i'm glad this was when we got to see it. I would really like to see Pixar make a Carstoon Short film about Christmas in Radiator Springs sometime.



We found another Photopass Photographer taking pictures towards the town and mountain range and it became one of my favorite photos of the trip. This was the only photo we got of us and the town in the background as we never thought to do another one during the day. We also walked over to Maters Petting Zoo in front of his Junk yard and got our photo taken with a baby tractor.




With 15 minutes left until the park officially closes at 8pm and 30 minutes until the start of World of Color I thought now would be a good time to head over to the viewing area so that we could get a good spot for the show. But as we were walking past Maters Junkyard Jamboree we noticed that they posted wait time was only 5 minutes. So we figured what the heck. We have enough time. Maters and Luigis rides both have a 32inch height limit and we knew Daniel could be cutting it close. We pulled him out to see if he was tall enough but he was still about an inch short. So we would have to riderswap on this ride as well.

I couldn't really find any info regarding Riderswap on Mater or Luigis before our trip so I'll let you know how it works real quick. For this ride we got the riderswap card at the enterance to the attraction. Then the first person waits in the normal line and rides. When they are done the 2nd person riding will enter the ride using the riderswap card thru the Alternate Enterance. This enterance is for those guests who need assistance and bypasses the main line. Although this late at night it probably didn't make much of a difference but it would save a lot of time during the day.

I would ride this first so I entered the main line and made my way thru the Junk Yard que which was extremely shortened do to nobody being in line. I wish I could have got a closer look but there are many junk and props scattered thruout the Junkyard that actually tie in to the Mater Tall Tales Carstoons. The story of the ride is that Mater is having a hoedown with Baby Tractors and you've been invited to join in on the dancing. Theres a large Jukebox set up that plays like a dozen different original songs all sung by Mater. Although this sounds like it could be annoying if your not a fan of Mater the songs were actually pretty fun and never got annoying. I only waited 1 rotation before I was sent out to board one of the vehicles.






The ride is actually pretty simple. Each baby Tractor is pulling a trailer that you sit in. It then travels amoung 3 turn tables making the trailers whip out as it catches on of the turntables going the opposite direction. Frankly I was surpised at the kick this ride has. When it whips the trailer some of times it thru me pretty strongly to the other side of the trailer. I was laughing the whole time and had a great time on it. I can only imagine it being funner with another person and then you could play "corners" with them lol.





When I got off the ride Kiera then took the Riderswap card and rode the attraction as well. She too waited only 1 rotation and then it was her turn to ride which was kind of fun to watch from the sideline. Daniel also seemed to like watching the tractors go round and round. Overall Maters is a great little ride and fits the area nicely. Its just too bad that if you've followed the DCA construction from the beginning you can see that many of the Cars Land budget cuts came at the cost of Maters Junkyard Jamboree. In the early concept art the ride seemed to be more of an outdoor dark ride as the tractors moved thru different scenes of the junkyard whipping you around corners. There was even suppose to be a full size Mater Animatronic. But those got whittled down to the simple ride we have now. Its still a good ride. It just could have been better.




The park was now closed and we were leaving Radiator Springs for the day. So what are my thoughts on the land. Its amazing. Its very well done and the best i've seen from Disney in a long time. The Wizarding World in Orlando set a very high standard that I thought CarsLand would never come close to touching. However Carsland surpassed my expectations in nearly every form. Is it Harry Potter good? I don't think so. But it came alot closer then I thought it would. RSR is a very solid attraction for a park that desperatly needed it. Maters is a very fun and family friendly ride that people of all ages will enjoy and although we didn't ride Luigis today we would get the chance to later on in the week. The food locations were great as Flo's has a very fun atmosphere with good food and great views and the Cozy Cone offers many different unique snacks and drinks you won't find anywhere else in the resort. The themeing and scale are perfect and the rockwork is breathtaking. Honestly the only complaint I have with the land is the shops. They had the chance to make them very unique and sell specialty merchandise yet instead they filled them with the generic Disney and Cars stuff you can find everywhere inside and outside the resort. For such an amazing land I hope John Lassiter can pull the strings needed to brink in some unique merchandise later on.

Although the park had officially closed for the day our night wasn't over yet. We made our way back to Paradise Pier so that we could watch tonights showing of World of Color. We pulled our fastpasses earlier this morning so we had spots in the Blue section. I didn't know how hard this would be to find but they had it very well marked. I also expected there to be a large stroller parking area so we were suprised when we were told to take the stroller into the area with us. The viewing area was very packed but we walked down to about the middle area. The view didn't seem too bad where we were at so we stayed in the walk area and had a curb behind us that we could stand up on. I don't know if we were suppose to be where we were as we were still in the walkway but getting to the show so late nobody else ever came down the walkway.



Paradise Pier soon went dark and the Pre show for World of Color started. They have done preshows for a few movie releases but for Christmas time the preshow features the Christmas TV specials Prep and Landing. This was our first experiance of World of Color and our jaws dropped. It was incredible. We were in for quite the show. Just a heads up now though there is gonna be alot of pictures from World of Color. However there won't be alot of words to accompany them as I find it pretty hard to discribe shows lol.



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February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:16 AM   #34
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World of Color is a nighttime show designed specifically for California Adventure and as of right now there is no where else that you can the show. Think of the show like the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas but amplify it by 100. The show features Dancing fountains that can change between multipule different colors. But the fountains aren't all. The show also features Pyro, Laser, and fog effects. The lighting on Mickeys Fun Wheel is also used during the show. The highlight of the show is multipule Mist screens where Video is projected from some of the most classic and memorible moments from Disney and Pixar film history. All of which is syncronized to music.








As the show officially started and the fountains came to life in hundreds of different colors the feeling you get is pretty amazing. We were just in Awe. As the show unfolded it was very obvious that Daniel loved the show. This probably made him the most excited he was for anything this entire trip as he would not stop laughing and clapping and bounching up and down on Kieras shoulders. He loved ever part of this show and it was one of those moments where seeing his excitment totally made the trip worth it.







World of Color brings to life scenes from the movies in a way that you've never experianced. Each film segment had the show doing unique things from specific colors to strobe lights to even bubbles in the air. Disneyland also released some Ear hats called Glow with the Show that change color and interact with the show. Although i'm sure the experiance is much better when everyone in the crowd is wearing the hats.







The bad thing about the show though is the viewing area. Its really crammed and its all standing room. Because of this it can make the show hard to view. Yes its our fault that we got to the viewing area late and were stuck towards the back. But when we first got to the area we had a perfect view of the Lagoon. The problem was once the show started parents started putting kids on there shoulders so they could see. Now I don't think thats bad itself as we even had Daniel on our shoulders. The problem I had was many of these kids that were on the shoulders were between 4-5 feet tall. I'm sorry but these kids are way to tall and really ubstructed the view for those behind them. We ended up moving back up the pathway ramp where we eventually found a better view that wasn't so blocked. My point is if you don't want to deal with blocked views make sure you arrive early. No matter what section your in.





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February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:17 AM   #35
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World of Color really unfolds all around you so watch in all directions. There were parts of the show that even took place on the California Screamin Roller Coaster and of course the lights of the Fun Wheel. I really enjoyed the show when the lasers were on and the Fire parts were really cool as well.







Overall I was very impressed with World of Color and it is no contest the BEST nighttime theme park show that I have ever seen. The show is incredible in a way that I can't explain. When you think of it being a water fountain show it really doesn't sound all that great on paper. But it is something that you have to experiance to understand. Never has a show effected my emotions in the way World of Color did. It is truely special and magical and something to not be missed when going to the Disneyland Resort.







With the show over and the park closed for the night we started to make our way back to the front of the park with the rest of the crowd. As we entered Buena Vista street we saw (and heard) the Disneyland fireworks start. It was actually kind of neat to see the fireworks over Buena Vista street as thats a location you don't typically think to watch the fireworks from.










We decided to walk thru the Ellias and Company shop on the way out to see what merchandise the shop had. On each vacation we always purchase a Christmas Ornament and also a post card for each place we visit so we walked thru Ellias and Company to see what options we had. This store is the large entry shop that runs the entire side of Buena Vista Street. The inside is also richly detailed as it is athentically themed to be just like a 1920s Department Store. During the day this is also where you can meet Santa during the holidays. After looking around we exited the shop without purchasing anything and exited the park for the day.




Although our park time was done for the day we still had the nearly mile long walk ahead of us back to our Hotel. We made a quick restroom stop in Downtown Disney and then started the walk back with a suprising amount of people also walking with us. Of course most of them though were going to the Mickey and Friends parking structure as they didn't want to wait for a tram so after passing the structure we were by ourselves the rest of the way to the hotel. When we reached the hotel we found that we made it back in time to stop by the pool. We only had 15 minutes so it wasn't enough time for a quick dip however there was enough time to just sit by the hot tub and soak our feet after a long day of walking in the parks. One thing we loved to do on some of our Orlando trips.




We finally retired to our Hotel room where we promptly started getting Daniel and ourselves ready for bed. We thought this morning came early. Well tomorrow we would try being up and out the door earlier as tomorrow would not only be our full Disneyland day but its also the only day that we would be able to use our Magic Morning allowing us into Disneyland an hour before it opened. We looked forward to what the next day had in store for us.



And with that Day 3 is complete. Stay tuned as the next update will start our Disneyland day. Thanks to all of you following along and sharing your comments. Please keep them coming. Thanks again.
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February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:32 PM   #36
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Day 4, Part 1: Disneyland

Our 2nd day at Disney was soon upon us and it came earlier then it did the previous day. Today would be the only morning that we could use our Extra Magic Hour at Disneyland that comes with any 3 day or higher parkhopper ticket. I was up at 6am to get ready for the day and Kiera wasn't far behind me. Extra Magic Hour would start at 8am and we wanted to be there right when it started. Of course Daniel had other plans for us. It figures that the day we needed to be out the door early was the day that he didn't want to wake up earlier. He even stayed asleep as we dressed him.



With Daniel sleeping longer then we expected we didn't leave the hotel until 8:20am. Yes 20 minutes after we wanted to actually be in the park. We walked quickly though and got to the park probably the quickest we did out of any of the days we walked. The monorail passed us overhead today as we were walking behind Downtown Disney and Daniel seemed to like watching it go past.



Soon we were at the park though and walking towards the turnstyles. Since the park wouldn't be officially opened for about another 20 minutes only a couple turn styles were open for those using the Extra Magic Hour. We walked thru the gates and took advantage of the lite crowds at the park at the moment and got our photos taken with the Main Street station.




After the photos we entered a pretty empty Main Street. It seemed so odd seeing the park so empty since it hadn't opened yet. There were some characters out with some small lines to meet them but we decided to head further into the park to start our morning with getting some rides out of the way. Main street is much more enjoyable when its so empty.






At the end of Main Street was where they were holding the rope to hold guests back that didn't have Magic Morning admission. For those who did though there were signs directing us where to go near the Tomorrowland Enterance. The CMs running the checkpoint asked us for a paper though that we should have got at turnstyles saying we were Extra Magic guests. But they gave us nothing. That was ok though. We just told them we didn't get a paper and all they needed to see was our tickets to verify they were valid for it and we were on our way.



We walked passed Tomorrowland and walked to the parks Icon Sleeping Beauty Castle. And just like at the Main Street Station there was practically nobody waiting for the photopass photographer so we stopped again to get our pictures taken before the crowds decended on the park. If your going to the parks soon you'll notice that a section next to the Castle is walled off with construction going on. This is where the new Princess Fantasy Faire is being built and will be the place to meet the Princesses once its completed.






When we were done with our photos we walked into Sleeping Beauty castle and entered Fantasyland. This is where we would be starting our day as none of the rides here use Fastpass and could get long waits later in the day. Entering Fantasyland you'll notice that the look of the area is completly different from its Florida version. You won't find the midevil style tents for the attraction enterances here. Instead you'll find a quant little European village. The facades are all very well done and very detailed. Seeing how well themed Disneylands Fantasyland is makes me sad for the Magic Kingdoms. Yes they just got the Fantasyland Expansion and that looks great. But they didn't fix the ugly old Fantasyland facades dispite this being the perfect time to do so. Plus Disneylands Fantasyland offers so much more then Floridas. Even with there new expansion. In the end Disneyland as the better version of the 2. Even after the Magic Kingdoms expansion.




We parked the stroller and got in line for what is typically one of the longest waits in Fantasyland. That ride is Peter Pans Flight and dispite it being Extra Magic Hour the ride still had a 25 minute wait posted. We figured what the heck. We planned to ride it at some point so we got in line. Plus when we got in line we only had 5 minutes until the official park opening. So much for our Extra Magic Hour.



After waiting over 20 minutes we were finally loading on to the Peter Pan ride. This ride was one of the originals that opened with the park and was very unique from other traditional dark rides as the track was above the riders and the ride vehicle was suspended from it to give the sensation that your flying. Unlike Florida the Disneyland version does not offer Fastpass so be prepared to wait if this is something you want to ride. We soon started our flight and we were soon flying over London and off to Neverland. Ironically this was one of the rides that Daniel got a little scared on. Especially during the London scene when you fly over the city. Once we got to neverland though he was fine and he liked seeing Captain Hook as i'm sure he recognized him from Jack and the Neverland Pirates. As with all the Fantasyland Dark Rides Peter Pan seems short but its still a pretty good ride. Compared to the Magic Kingdoms version I would say Disneylands is the better of the two. Not only is it the original but (dispite being short) it still felt longer and has an additional scene or two compared to the Magic Kingdoms. This is a ride worth seeing but its not something I consider a must see. I just don't understand the crazy lines this ride gets.




When we finished Peter Pan we walked right next door to go on our next ride. This ride is also a Disneyland Classic and Opened with the park. Its also one that no longer exists in Florida and one that I hear many people missing there. This ride is Mr. Toads Wild Ride. This is a ride I loved as a kid dispite not really knowing what the story was lol. Now i'm glad that I get to share it with my son. As a child I just loved driving the car thru the building. But now that I understand the story its pretty funny. Basically what Mr. Toads Wild ride has taught me as an adult is to not Drink and Drive or else your gonna die and go to Hell. Yep that pretty much sums up the ride lol. Don't miss out on this especially if visiting from the east coast. Of course though as with all the Fantasyland Dark rides I wouldn't consider it an absolutly must see ride.






After a quickstop by the Restrooms we continued on to our next attraction. The Casey Jr. Circus Train. This train ride is yet again a Disneyland Original and can't be found anywhere in Florida. It is part of small area of Fantasyland called Story Book Land. There are 2 ways that you can see Story Book Land and that is by seeing it from above on the Casey Jr. Train or you can get up close and personal with the miniature sets by going on the Storybook Land Canal boats. When we visited the resort back in 2008 we visited Storybook Land by going on the Canal Boats. So we figured this time we would switch it up by taking the train instead. Plus Daniel would probably like the train more. The wait time posted was only 10 minutes but it turned out to be more like 15 as we had to wait 2 trains before it was our turn. When I was a kid I loved to go in one of the cage cars but this time we just got one of the open cars and we were on our way. On the train you will loop around Storybook Land a few times and the views of the minilands are great. However you won't get any sort of story like you will on the boats. This ride is simple and something that kids really seem to enjoy. However its not something that you should go out of your way to see.



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Old 01-21-2013, 04:33 PM   #37
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Continueing on with the Fantasyland Dark rides we next came to Pinocchios Daring Journey. Although it may seem very familiar and similar to the other Dark rides in Fantasyland this ride wasn't built until 1983 as part of the New Fantasyland. However it is a ride that you will not see in Orlando so it may be worth checking out once. We practically walked right on to the ride and were on our way. The ride is a very simple dark ride that basically retells the movie. So it isn't anything too exciting. It continues the darker tone that many of the Fantasyland Dark Rides have and it was pretty clear that Daniel didn't care for it. Again these simple dark rides aren't really something thats a must see if your pressed for time or dealing with heavy crowds.




As you've probably guessed next up was yet again another Fantasyland Dark Ride. This time it would be Snow Whites Scary Adventure. Although this ride recently got removed in Florida it is still going strong in Disneyland. However just like Pinocchio there was no wait in line for this ride. Snow White, Peter Pan, and even Mr. Toad were all designed in a way to tell you the story as if you were really the main character. When the rides first opened you didn't see Snow White or Peter Pan anywhere in the ride because you were them. However I guess this confused a lot of people so as the rides got minor updates those characters were added in to the ride. Which tends to make the ride a mess at times. This is the case with Snow White as there are times when the ride is kind of confusing with whats going on. Oh and the ending has to possibly be the worst ride ending of all time. Yeah the Little Mermaids ending is pretty bad over in DCA but at least you get to see a happy ending. Snow White ends so ubruptly that you'll scratch your head wondering what just happened. Its kind of a shock that the ride is over at that point. I'm glad we got to ride Snow White in the Magic Kingdom before it was removed because when comparing the 2 the Magic Kingdom version was diffenitly the better of the two. I would hope that maybe the Disneyland version could see some plusing by using some of the removed peices from Florida. Although the facade in Disneyland is much better then the Magic Kingdoms was. And don't forget to watch the window for the Evil Queen to make an apperance looming over Fantasyland.



With most of the Fantasyland Rides done I told Kiera that it was time for us to go on an Adult ride. Yes many of the Fantasyland rides are Cute and Charming but that still doesn't change the fact that most of them are kiddie rides. We had been in the park for nearly 1 1/2 hours and it was time for a thrill. And we wouldn't even have to leave Fantasyland to find it. We loaded Daniel back into the stroller and then started to make our way over to the Matterhorn Bobsleds.



As we were walking to the Matterhorn though we came across Alice and the Mad Hatter so we stopped to see how Daniel like them. They were so great with Daniel although he didn't quite know what to think of them. Every now and then he smiled but it was cute that they got down to his level so that he could see them up close and were really great with him. It was kind of funny though that they kept telling him happy birthday because of the shirt he was wearing. Yes we got him that shirt for his Mickey Mouse Birthday Party he had back in September. We just figured it would also be fun for him to wear it in the park.






For the first part of Last year the Matterhorn underwent a fairly substantial Referbishment. It was closed for 6 months and in that time Effects and Scenes were touched up, the Mountain was completly repainted from head to toe, and new Bobsleds were added to the track. Gone are the days of cuddling that special someone in front of you on the Matterhorn. Now each person has there own indvidule seat. Because of these new seats the Height Requirement is also higher now then it was before. The mountain itself looks better then ever. Gone is the mostly white look and now you can see dark rock underneath the snow caps. The paint job gives the mountain a much more realistic look. Unfortunatly one of the things they didn't do with this Referb was do a completly track replacement like they are currently doing on Big Thunder Mountain and they did with Space Mountain back in 2004.

So how did this Referb turn out as far as the ride experiance go? Well I would soon find out. I planned to ride the ride using the newly added Single Rider line but with the Mountain only having a 10 minute posted wait the Single Rider Line was closed at the time. The wait wasn't bad though so we asked for a Rider Swap Card that they gave us right at the enterance to the ride and I entered the line to ride the Fantasyland side of the Ride. In almost no time I was climbing into the bobsled and started the ascent up the mountain. The Matterhorn truely is a great ride. One of Walt Disneys classics that he himself got to go on. It also revolutionized Roller Coasters as we know them today as it was the first Steel Tubular coaster to exist. As I started to descend down the mountain you will run in and out of caves and even come across the Abominal Snowman which dispite being very simple actually works and comes across more scary then the Disco Yeti at the Animal Kingdoms Expedition Everest. I mentioned the fact that the track wasn't replaced and thats really the only negative I can give the Matterhorn as it makes for a pretty rough ride. Couple that with the fact that the new Bobsled seats are just plastic with no cushioning and it can get rough. Although dispite it being a fairly rough ride I would say its still much better then the Magic Kingdoms Space Mountain track as that ride is easily the roughest thing i've ever been on. Overall I am still impressed with Matterhorn and consider it a Do Not Miss attraction. Its a ride I diffenitly prefer to the Magic Kingdoms Space Mountain (which has a similar track layout as it was suppose to be the Magic Kingdoms Indoor Matterhorn) But I think I like Expedition Everest (which is like a modern day Matterhorn) more. Yes the Yeti is broken but the thrill seems higher, the backwards portion is great, and the ride is pretty smooth. Still don't miss out on the Matterhorn when at Disneyland.



After my ride on the Mountain it was now Kieras turn. She took the Rider Swap Card and entered the ride near where the Single Rider enterance is. While she rode I decided to run back to Toon Town with Daniel and pull some Fastpasses for Roger Rabbit to save us waiting in that line later in the day. We ran back to Toon Town quickly and got to the Fastpass Machines only to find that they hadn't been turned on yet for the day. I know that Roger Rabbit is disconnected from the Fastpass system so I figured that when the park is slow they must not offer Fastpass for the ride. So we quickly walked back to the Matterhorn with no Fastpasses and timed it just right as Kiera finished her ride right as we returned.

Located next to the Matterhorn is the final Fantasyland Dark Ride that we had to go on. Again this ride is not one that you will find at the Magic Kingdom or anywhere in Walt Disney World. Its also my favorite out of all the Fantasyland Dark Rides. This ride is Alice in Wonderland. The posted wait was 15 minutes so we got in line and waited it out. We soon boarded our Catapiller and were on our way. As with the other Dark Rides You are simulating Alice but where it seemed confusing on other rides it actually works here as Alice is a much longer ride then all of the other Fantasyland Dark Rides. Daniel even liked this ride as its much more colorful then the others. The outdoor section of this ride is also unique as you exit the building and then descend down outside above the que area. Although do to OSHA regulations the outdoor section looks horrible right now as addtional plateforms, handrails, and tarps surround the area until a permanant fix can be done. Although this is another retelling of the movie rides it is easily my favorite Fantasyland Dark Ride and one I wouldn't miss when i'm at the park.



Right next to the Alice in Wonderland ride is the Mad Tea Party Teacups. This ride is also located at the Magic Kingdom however unlike there the Teacups in Disneyland are out in the open. They are not covered which makes the ride look much better in California. The wait was posted at 10 minutes but we literally walked right on to the ride and found a teacup. When we rode this in Florida Daniel was asleep during it so we were intersted to see how he liked it. When the ride started we spun the cup very slowly not only for Daniels sake but also for ours as we just can't seem to handle the fast spinning anymore. Daniel really enjoyed the ride and loved looking at the other teacups as we went past. So which ride is better? Well this is something you can't really base on the ride itself since both Teacup rides give you the same sensation. So it basically comes down to astetics. In which case I think Disneylands Teacups being out in the Open look much better then the Magic Kingdoms. Especially after nightfall.





With most of Fantasyland completed we started to make our way back towards Toon Town and our final Fantsyland ride. But first we made a stop by the restrooms again that are located next to the Fantasyland Theater. For years the Fantasyland Theater has been used for the Princess Fantasy Faire but with there new area being constructed next to the Castle the Old area is being converted back to house a theater production this summer staring Mickey Mouse. The Theater is all walled off but you can still make out some of the construction going on.





Our Final Fantasyland ride we planned to go on is "Its a Small World". Yes this ride is also at the Magic Kingdom but its so much larger and more grand in Disneyland. And for the Christmas Holidays the ride recieves a Holiday Overlay as the whole ride inside and out is decked out for Christmas. Instead of the Fascade inside a Fascade that you'll find in Florida the Fascade in Disneyland is huge and amazing. And its even better at night during the Holidays.





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Old 01-21-2013, 04:35 PM   #38
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We waited only about 10 minutes before we were boarding the ride and starting the Happiest cruise around the world. You will hear the regular "its a small world after all" song upon entering the building. But you will soon notice other songs as well as for the Holiday overlay 2 christmas songs are also mixed in making the ride much more tolerable. Each country or scene is done up with Holiday decore to resemble what it would look like in that part of the world.







And another thing unique about Disneylands version of the ride is that it features figures of popular Disney Characters spread thruout the ride in there respective countries. I know that this was something that may Disney fans seem to hate but I for one really like these addtional figures as I think it adds to the atmosphere and excitment when you find them. Some are pretty well hidden and blend perfectly into there surroundings. They really don't stand out like some people may lead you to believe. Being the Original version the Disneyland ride is also much longer then the Magic Kingdoms and has additional scenes. Daniel really enjoyed the ride clapping to the music and stareing and pointing at the different figures.







If you can't tell already I prefer the Disneyland version much more then the Magic Kingdoms version of the ride. Usually i'm able to find something I like a little more between the 2 versions but not here. Nothing about the Magic Kingdoms ride is better then Disneylands. So here Disneyland wins by a landslide for having the better of the two. Small World is a Disney classic that although can be annoying at times shouldn't be missed when visiting a Disneyland style park.







We have had a very busy and fast paced morning so far. In just over 3 hours we had completed the majority of the Fantasyland rides with the exception of Dumbo, King Aurthers Carosuel, and the Storybook Land Canal boats. All things that weren't a high priority for us. We were now not only done with Fantasyland for the day. But also for the rest of our trip.




And that concludes this update. Stay tuned for more of our Disneyland day soon. Thanks for following my report and looking at the photos. Please feel free to comment or ask any questions. Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:06 AM   #39
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Carsland looks so awesome at night and decorated for Christmas. I was not too impressed with the merchandise there either. I was hoping to get some kind of Carsland specific shirt, but there was only one decent one available and it was a men's style so DH got one for himself. It was the RSR t-shirt. And we had taken that trip without DS so we were hoping to get him something Carsland specific, but all of the kids apparel was the same generic Cars stuff you can find anywhere. Pretty disappointing!

I totally agree with you on WoC. Definitely hands down the best nighttime show in either of the Disney parks! That was probably my most favorite thing we did on both of our DL trips last year. I tear up during the show every time.

I really love Fantasyland at DL too. The style is much prettier and more "fantasy" appearing than MK's version. Plus there are just SO MANY attractions crammed into that space! I love dark rides, so I like that there are more of them available there than at MK. IASW Holiday looks so incredible! I really hope we are able to take a holiday DL trip in the near future. I would really love to experience that. And it is definitely better than MK's version too!
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:47 AM   #40
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Just caught up with your TR. DLR at Christmas is so magical aint it? Great pics BTW, good angles and moments.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:09 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
Carsland looks so awesome at night and decorated for Christmas. I was not too impressed with the merchandise there either. I was hoping to get some kind of Carsland specific shirt, but there was only one decent one available and it was a men's style so DH got one for himself. It was the RSR t-shirt. And we had taken that trip without DS so we were hoping to get him something Carsland specific, but all of the kids apparel was the same generic Cars stuff you can find anywhere. Pretty disappointing!

I totally agree with you on WoC. Definitely hands down the best nighttime show in either of the Disney parks! That was probably my most favorite thing we did on both of our DL trips last year. I tear up during the show every time.

I really love Fantasyland at DL too. The style is much prettier and more "fantasy" appearing than MK's version. Plus there are just SO MANY attractions crammed into that space! I love dark rides, so I like that there are more of them available there than at MK. IASW Holiday looks so incredible! I really hope we are able to take a holiday DL trip in the near future. I would really love to experience that. And it is definitely better than MK's version too!
If you ever get the chance to make a DL trip at Christmastime I diffenitly recommend it. Crowds are low the first couple of weeks (after thanksgiving) and the whole resort looks so festive and amazing. We had some friends go to WDW the week before we went to DL and they said they were very dissapointed by the Christmas offerings in Florida. Plus you don't only get Small World Holiday but also the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay as well.

I really wish we could have seen WOC a 2nd time. Infact we did have Fastpasses again our final day in the parks but never made it back (you'll read why later). I don't know what it is that makes the show so special. Its so simple compared to some other nighttime offerings. Yet it blows the rest of them out of the water.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Markie Mouse View Post
Just caught up with your TR. DLR at Christmas is so magical aint it? Great pics BTW, good angles and moments.
Thank you. Yes Christmas is very magical and our favorite time to go to Disneyland. I think its sad to hear though that many of the Disneyland Christmas offerings may only be part of an upcharge "Christmas Party" like Florida has starting this year. I really hope the rumors aren't true as Disneyland is so magical at Christmas and i'd hate to pay extra to experiance it all.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:14 AM   #42
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Day 4, Part 2: Disneyland

The next land we entered after finishing Fantasyland was Mickey's Toontown. I still won't forget seeing the Toontown commercials on TV as a Child back in 1993. This new land looked so much fun and amazing. It had 3 rides, and all of the characters houses including a huge bounce house for Goofy, Playground boat for Donald, and a huge ball pit and slides for Chip and Dales Tree House. It looked like so much fun. In 95 I finally got to go to Disneyland and experiance Toontown for myself. It was all I hoped for. Except for one thing. By this point I was too big to do any of the play houses. No bounce house (which I was most excited for) for me. Still the area was fun and unique and after that trip I had a new favorite traditional style dark ride in Roger Rabbits Toon Car Spin.

Unfotunatly in that time since the 90's Toon Town has become a shadow of its former self. Toon Town turned out to be a huge Liablity issue for Disney so they came in and striped the area of much of its fun in the name of safety. The Bounce House no longer bounces. The Tree House is practically closed down, The Jolley Trolley is perminantly parked and only avalible for photo ops. It also doesn't help that some of the franchises in Toon Town are only relevent to those of us who were kids in the 90's. Kids today don't know who Gadget is from Rescue Rangers who has a Roller Coaster in the land. And with all the Legal issues that surround Roger Rabbit many kids don't know who he is ether. Luckly Mickey and the Gang is back in the public eye thanks to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show. Dispite its apparent issues though Toon Town is a greatly themed land that shouldn't be missed. Toon Town is probably one of the most picturisc of all the lands and there are many photo ops you won't want to miss out on. It even gets decorated for Christmas. Although it has had many decorations imported in from the now defunct Toon Town Fair from WDW and these decorations are worse then the old ones (the trees for example).




Toon Town is worth checking out even if you just browse thru the area. I really hope Disney sees fit to do a referbishment on the area and even expand it sometime in the future. Unlike Florida it is not bad enough to remove all together. The area still looks great and is alot of fun. it just needs more to do. Roger Rabbit is solid but the West side of the area could see an additional ride. I think a Mickey Mouse themed dark ride could go very well if they could find the room. I think removing the Go-Coaster and some how importing Mickeys Philharmagic from the Magic Kingdom would work in Toon Town as well. The area just needs a little help.




We parked the stroller and headed towards the first Toon Town attraction. Roger Rabbits Toon Car Spin. This was the flagship attraction of the land when it opened and still one of the best rides in the park. Plus Disneyland is the only place in America where you can go on the ride. I tried getting a fastpass earlier for the ride but at the time the fastpass machines were closed. They were up and running now though but that wouldn't be a big deal as the ride only had a 10 minute wait posted. Toon Town was somewhat desgined around the Toon Town you see in the Roger Rabbit film and this ride will take you to the more Dark Side you don't see out front of Toon Town. The que is one of the most elabratly themed ques in the whole resort as you make your way thru dark alleys and villianous warehouses before finally boarding your cab. The Villans from the film are back and are looking to get even with Roger Rabbit by kidnapping his wife Jessica Rabbit and trying to kill him. Your along for the wacky ride as he trys to save her. The unique thing about this ride is unlike your traditional dark rides where the vehicle stays in one position you can spin the Cab around like a tea cup. Which makes the ride extremely fun. Although since the spinning mechanisim is the steering wheel it makes it more difficult to spin then the teacups are. The ride doesn't have a height limit but this ride requires all riders to sit on there own. No lap riders. Daniel was just fine to sit between Kiera and I. This ride is great and one not to be missed in my opinion. But I may be biased as it is my favorite traditional dark ride in the park.






It was after noon by this point in the day and we were starting to get hungry. But we wanted to finish Toon Town first so we wouldn't have to come back to this area of the park later in the day. We looked around the Town and got some photos with the Gags set up around the area. Daniel really liked the Fireworks factory and he pushed the bar down himself and got a big kick out of the sound effects. We then walked across the town to the neighborhood are where other then the Go-Coaster the only other things to do now is see Mickey and Minnie in there houses. We didn't care to see Minnie in her house but it has become somewhat of a tradition to see Mickey in his house at Disneyland.










The wait time posted outside Mickey's House was posted as 15 minutes which we figured wasn't that bad. Daniel really enjoyed seeing Mickey's house and loved playing on the furnature and seeing parts of the house as we made our way thru it. When we "exited" the house into the back yard we finally meet the end of the line. If you havn't been thru this Mickey Meet and Greet I have to say that this is probably the most detailed que that isn't for a ride. Between the House and Yard and Barn there is so many little details and interactive gags all over the place. Although we met the end of the line we still had a wait ahead of us. We slowly moved thru the barn before coming to the screening room where the line came to a dead stop for over 10 minutes. Knowing how the Mickey Meet and Greet is set up with 3 seperate Meeting rooms I didn't think you ever stopped. But I guess they must have only been using 1 of the 3 rooms today. By the time we were finally escorted in to the dressing room to meet Mickey we had waited over 30 minutes.








Daniel loves Mickey Mouse. Between all his toys or plushes to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Show that he watches over and over again we figured he would be so excited to see Mickey in person. Plus the interactions Daniel had with Mickey in Orlando were some of the cutest Characters meets we did as Daniel really loved seeing Mickey. So we figured we would see a repeat of that. When it was out turn to finally meet Mickey, Kiera set Daniel down to see if he would run up to Mickey. Upon seeing Mickey Daniel did start running towards him with a big smile on his face. However about half way to Mickey he stopped dead in his tracks and the big smile quickly turned to a look of Terror as he turned around and ran back towards Kiera in Tears. He was afraid of Mickey. Even when we got our picture taken you can see that he was not Its funny to look back on now but kind of sad too that he was so scared to see somebody he loves so much. It was clear to us now that he would not have the same excited Character interactions like he did in Florida.



Having finally meet Mickey and with our stomachs getting very hungry we decided that we were now done with Toon Town for the day and even for the trip. We saw all that we wanted to see and would now be on our way to the next destination. Which would hopefully include somewhere with food.


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Old 01-28-2013, 02:16 AM   #43
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Where we were going was an area of the park where Submarines take you deep below the ocean, Ships fly you deep in to space, and Monorails travel overhead. We were heading to one of my favorite areas of the park. Tomorrowland. We passed back thru Fantasyland and around the Matterhorn and then walked passed the Sub lagoon officially entering the land.






We were of course hungry and ready for lunch so where would we head first? Well we made our way towards the Monorail. Unlike Walt Disney World where the Monorail is used strictly as a transportation method outside the Magic Kingdom, in Disneyland the Monorail is still considered a ride. But although its is technically a ride it does leave the park and even has a stop located in Downtown Disney. If you havn't guessed yet we decided to leave Disneyland and get lunch in Downtown Disney instead.



As we started to walk up the ramp towards the Monorail loading plateform you walk past the backside of the Autopia attraction. I loved the Autopia as a child as you got to drive a car. As an adult though its pretty boring and can get a long wait so needless to say we skipped it on this trip. Plus Daniel wasn't tall enough for it anyways. One thing for sure is dispite its issues Disneylands Autopia looks much better then the Magic Kingdoms Tomorrowland Raceway.




About halfway up the Ramp to the Monorail I remember something I needed to do before leaving Disneyland for lunch. I wanted to grab some Fastpasses for Star Tours. Unlike WDW, Disneyland still doesn't enforce Fastpass Return times. So as long as you have a Fastpass you can use it anytime of the day after the active time comes avalible. Knowing the Fastpasses would be active by the time we returned to the park it would end up saving us time later by grabbing the Fastpasses now. So Kiera and Daniel waited on the ramp as I quickly ran thru Tomorrowland to the Star Tours Fastpass machines and then I quickly ran back and meet back up with them.

Although I was fast I wasn't fast enough and we barely missed one of the Monorails and had to wait an additional 10 minutes for another Monorail to come. I took the time to take some photos from this unique vantage point. From the Monorail plateform you have a great view of the Sub Lagoon and the Matterhorn making for some great pictures. Soon though the next Monorail arrived and we went to board it. One thing that wasn't posted anywhere that we noticed though was that all strollers must be folded up when boarding the Monorail so keep that in mind as we struggled to get it folded quickly so we didn't miss this Monorail too.







The trip from Tomorrowland to Downtown Disney is a fairly short trip but still offers some great view of the parks below. Upon leaving the Tomorrowland station you will actually leave the park and travel outside the berm along Harbor Drive before turning and entering the Disney California Adventure Park. The Monorail passes thru 3 lands in DCA starting in Hollywoodland passing behind the Monsters Inc. Ride Facade, then passes thru the middle of Buena Vista Street (ruining the amazing themeing of the entry land for a moment as the futuristic looking Monorail goes past), then on thru Condor Flats in front of the Soarin' Over California Hanger. Just like in WDW the Monorail in Disneyland then passes thru 1 of its 3 hotels the Grand Californian Resort. However unlike in WDW where the Monorail really enters the interior space of the Contemporary its all outdoor space in the middle of the resort that the monorail goes thru. You make a turn again and then you pass over Downtown Disney and enter the Downtown Disney station. This portion of the ride is fairly short and the station is located a short walk from where we wanted to be.



The place we wanted to eat at for Lunch was a location that we have become very familiar with during our Florida trips. One month earlier Earl of Sandwich finally opened up a location at the Disneyland Resort and we couldn't be more happier. If you had read my past reports you know that we love Earl of Sandwich and visit it multipule times during our Florida trips. EOS is located very close to the Disneyland Hotel and is short walk from the Monorail. As we walked past the Rain Forest Cafe they had a little show taking place outside where they were showing some different Animals to the people watching.




Earl of Sandwich wasn't too badly packed at this time for still being so new. We waited about 5 minutes before it was turn to order and we waited inside the entire time. For Lunch today I got the sandwich that has become my favorite the full Montagu and Kiera got the Earl's Club. To go along with our Sandwichs we also got a bag of chips to share and decided to give there Holiday Peppermint Brownie to try. If you have been to the WDW location you will likely notice how incredibly much smaller the California location is compared to Floridas. Infact there is very little indoor seating in California. 90% of the tables are located outside. But don't worry the eating area is covered with heat vents blowing during the winter and fans to keep it cool during the summer. It was also fun to watch the happenings of Downtown Disney go on right outside your table. The food as always was amazing and I highly recommend making a stop by Earl of Sandwich no matter what Disney Resort you go to.



After lunch we made our way back to the Monorail station where once again you will need to not only give them your park ticket but also show your ID with it. We then ran up the stairs as there was a Monorail currently in the station and we didn't want to wait for the next one. Luckly we made it before it left. The Ride back to the Tomorrowland station is longer and a bit more exciting as the Monorail winds its way thru the area located above the Autopia tracks and the defunct People Move/Rocket Rods tracks (which look to be in an even sadder state in this area with all the fallen and broken tree branches all over them. You'll circle above the Sub Lagoon and pass by Fantasyland and the Matterhorn before arriving in the Tomorrowland Station. Beware that there is not a ramp down like there was going up so you have to take the stairs or elevator. The Monorail is an odd "ride" that I wouldn't say is a must see at Disneyland. But its a great way to exit the park for a quick lunch in Downtown Disney. The Monorails are also pretty cool right now as to promote Carsland over at DCA the Monorails have eyes on there windshields and also a mouth as if they were right out of that world. I think it looks great and much less intrusive then the wraps the WDW monorails have been getting for promotions.




Located directly under the Monorail Station is the Que and boarding area for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. This classic attraction returned to Disneyland 5 years ago with a Finding Nemo overlay with the film characters replacing the original ride. The wait posted was only 15 minutes so we decided to get in line.




Or should I say Kiera and Daniel got in line. Since our Star Tours Fastpasses were now avalible for use that ment that we could now get more fastpasses. So while Kiera got in Line for the Subs I quickly ran across Tomorrowland again but this time I was heading to Space Mountain. I figured that since the Nemo Subs are a longer ride we could time it just right to use the Fast Passes. So I pulled 2 fastpasses that were 45 minutes out for Space Mountain and then ran back and meet Kiera in line for the Subs.


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Old 01-28-2013, 02:18 AM   #44
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The wait for the Subs was more like 20 minutes but we were soon boarding the Sub and beginning our Journey under the Sea. The Nemo Sub overlay was installed at around the same time that Nemo took over the Seas pavillion in Epcot. Because the rides use similar tech in the form of the characters being projected onto clear screens to make it appear as if they are really swimming in the water. Because of this the rides pretty much follow the exact same story as Nemo is lost again and the Film characters are trying to find him. Even many of the screen scenes are the same projections. Although the story is delevered completly differently where as the Nemo ride in Epcot uses the run of the meal Omni Mover system the Nemo subs are unique in the fact that you are inside a REAL submarine really under the water level.




I'll just say it now that the Nemo Subs are significantly better then there Omni Mover cousin in Florida. The ride is longer and the story seems to make more sense compared to the condensed version at Epcot. Plus your experiancing the ride in a way that you can no where else on Earth. The Nemo subs get a lot of heat. I actually really enjoy the ride though. Yeah I loved the original too but frankly I don't think the Original version would hold up very well to todays standards. Yes they could have come up with a more original story instead of Nemo being lost again. However i'm glad that we have the Subs back again. I'd much rather have the Nemo subs then no subs. Although Nemo may not be a ride I would recommend to go on every time you go its one you must see if its your first time. I'm sure it will become a regular ride though for us as this ride was one of Daniels favorites of the whole trip. Just be prepared to wait as the ride has a low capacity and is very slow loading.





We couldn't have timed it any better as within 2 minutes of being done with Nemo our Space Mountain Fastpasses became avalible for use. So now we had a choice. Do we use the Star Tours Fastpasses or the Space Mountain Fastpasses? We decided to work backwards out so we started moving towards the enterance to Space Mountain. Knowing this was a ride we would likely want to ride again later we used our Fastpass/Rider Swap combo that we learned in Florida for the first time on this trip. Since I pulled 2 Fastpasses that basically means that we could also get 2 Rider Swap cards. As we walked up to the enterance I asked for a Rider Swap card but Space Mountain is one of those rides where you exchange one of the wait time lanyards for the Rider Swap card before boarding the ride. So into the Fastpass line I went and completly bypassed the outdoor que area and went right indoors where I didn't even find the line until I was in the boarding room. The que itself looks much better then Orlandos dispite there more recent update. There video games and Interactive que still isn't enough to make it not feel like the 70's. Disneylands que has aged much better and looks much more modern. It took almost 10 minutes to round the room down to the load plateform where I got the Rider Swap before being directed to the row.



Space Mountain differs quite a bit from its Florida cousin. Unlike the Magic Kingdom version there is only 1 track instead of 2 making the size of the building much smaller in Disneyland. But don't let size fool you because the Disneyland version is better then the Magic Kingdoms in practically every way. Remember that the Magic Kingdoms Space Mountain was designed to be somewhat of an indoor Matterhorn so the attraction seems to have more in common with that then it does with Disneylands Space Mountain. In Florida seating is arranged single file like that Materhorn where in California you sit Side by Side more like a traditional roller coaster. It also has more cars (or rockets) in the train then they do in Florida. The lift hill is much more exciting and better themed as you ascent to start your ride in space. Disneylands Space Mountain has onboard audio and a much better sound track then the random music and sound effects you'll occasionally pass in Florida. While flying thru Space you'll notice it much darker with more stars giving you the feeling as if you are really flying thru space as you really can not see when the turns and dips are coming. But the best part of all. Is unlike in Florida the ride track is VERY smooth. You'll feel like your gliding thru Space on your adventure instead of wishing your ride was over like Florida. There track is rediculously rough. I have never had a rougher ride then on Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom. The ride isn't even enjoyable in Florida because of how rough it is. So glad that Disneylands newer track doesn't suffer from these problems and offers an extremely fun and incredible ride. Put this one on your absolute Do Not Miss list and enjoy a thrilling ride thru space that doesn't rattle your brain.



As I exited the ride I stopped to see my picture from the ride and decided to load it to our Photopass+ Card. Kiera and Daniel were waiting for me at the rides exit as Kiera was trying to get Daniel to take a nap. It was now her turn to ride so we walked back over to the rides enterance and once again got another Rider Swap card for a later ride. Kiera then entered the Fastpass line with time card in hand and Daniel and I returned to where the rides Exit is located. He was so tired though that he had already passed out for a nap before we even got back to where we would wait. I kinda wish he hadn't fallen asleep as located directly across from us in the Starcade was the Wreck it Ralph meet and greet with Ralph and Vanillaphe from the movie. The line was only a 15 minute wait which would probably work perfect for Kieras ride but I didn't bother with Daniel being asleep. Kiera soon returned from her ride and also enjoyed it significantly more then the Orlando version.




And thats all for this update. We are half way done with our Disneyland day as I believe I still have 2 more updates from this day left. So stay tuned soon for the next installment. And as always thanks for following my recap. I really appreciate it.
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February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:36 AM   #45
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Although I never got to see the original Toon Town in DL, their version is still miles better than the old WDW version. Mickey's house is so much more fun and interactive than the WDW version was! DS loved playing with everything as we walked through, he especially loved dancing to the sounds of the washing machine. When we met him, Toon Town had just opened for the day, so Mickey was meeting right inside the doorway. So after meeting him, we were able to take our time exploring his house on our way out.

I grew up with Roger Rabbit, so I LOVED that he had his own ride in DL! We rode that one quite a few times on our two trips. So fun!

Space Mountain...it just can't be compared! DL's version is light years better than WDW's! And it's great that you can use the FP/RS combo to get a couple of rides in without having to wait long.

Great updates!
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