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Old 05-26-2013, 03:38 PM   #1
DonaldDoleWhip
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DDW does Disneyland! - 6/28 Complete w/ Grand Finale of WDW Food Photos!

Hi everyone! Im DonaldDoleWhip, and Im here to share some thoughts on my latest Disney experience. The last time I started a thread like this was almost 10 months ago for our August trip, which was fantastic and included my first ever Dis meet (thank you Brenda for suggesting it!). However, I also headed down to WDW over winter break and sent some updates to the incredible Live Update thread (thank you Barb for keeping it going!). I've really enjoyed sharing so many WDW updates, but this report will be different from my previous ones.

Why? Well partly because I'm now old enough to drink in the US, which means sampling some interesting Disney beverages for the first time. But also because this isn't a WDW report.

Earlier this week, my mom surprised me with a short trip to LA (one of my favorite places!), including 2 nights at Disneyland. We got back earlier this week. Surprise!

More updates are coming up soon - I just wanted to kick things off. Can't wait to get started on this report!

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Old 05-26-2013, 03:45 PM   #3
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Yay!!! I'm so here!

Darn that we missed you since I was traveling in the Midwest at the same time! But heck, I'm looking forward to your reviews!!
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:52 PM   #4
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Im in! Glad you got your disney fix in !
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:55 PM   #5
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YAY! Just when I was saying we were soooo past due for another great DDW review thread! All aboard, captain!
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:38 PM   #6
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Yay!!! I'm so here!

Darn that we missed you since I was traveling in the Midwest at the same time! But heck, I'm looking forward to your reviews!!
Yay, you're here! And I know - it was actually the worst timing ever for a surprise trip. But we'll definitely have to come back again and catch you there.

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Im in! Glad you got your disney fix in !
Thanks so much! It feels so good to be doing a Disney report again (even though it'll be pretty short). This past year has been such a huge pain - I've fallen so incredibly behind on the Dis, so now I have to make up for lost time.

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YAY! Just when I was saying we were soooo past due for another great DDW review thread! All aboard, captain!
Hahaha agreed - I hinted that a report would be coming really soon, as it's definitely been too long since last time. Hopefully the Disneyland twist will make this one interesting!
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:28 PM   #7
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Good to see you Mr. DDW! Looking forward to your DLR reviews! (And hopng there will be a WDW review soon ... maybe mid-August! )
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:39 PM   #8
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Woohoo!!! The gang's all here and ready for a DDW Dining Report!
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:27 PM   #9
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Love your reports!! Can't wait to read this one
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:58 PM   #10
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Another DDW thread!!

Signing on and really looking forward to the first update! Like Vicki, I'm also hoping for a new WDW review in the near future.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofySon'sMom View Post
Good to see you Mr. DDW! Looking forward to your DLR reviews! (And hopng there will be a WDW review soon ... maybe mid-August! )
Hi Vicki! I'm so excited to get started on some reviews again. It feels like a really long time that I've been preoccupied with school work (and while this summer will still be busy, I'll at least have evenings and weekends to check in here). Also, while I was catching up on some Live Update pages I'd missed, I saw some good news from you. Congratulations on the job! P.S. now that I have my summer work schedule, we're definitely trying to make something in mid-August happen.

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Woohoo!!! The gang's all here and ready for a DDW Dining Report!
Yay, you're here too! This 'dining' report might be relatively light on the food, but I'm going to make up for it with Disneyland pics.

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Originally Posted by DisneyMamato4 View Post
Love your reports!! Can't wait to read this one
Thanks so much! It's so exciting to be doing this again, and I hope you really enjoy both the food and non-food updates.

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Another DDW thread!!

Signing on and really looking forward to the first update! Like Vicki, I'm also hoping for a new WDW review in the near future.
Thanks so much for the kind words! An introduction of sorts is coming up really soon. And I think there's a pretty good chance that I'll get to share some WDW updates later this summer.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:32 PM   #12
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Introduction - Our California Adventure

To help get you into the California state of mind, here are some of my favorite pics from our past trips to California. I've always loved the place since our first trip to San Francisco in '07. We headed to LA the following year, and I really think both cities are amazing. (LA gets bonus points for the consistent sunshine and for having Disneyland nearby, but it loses points for the traffic).

San Francisco



Muir Woods



Monterey Bay



The Original Chinese Theatre



Hollywood Walk of Fame - my favorite Disney character has a star!



Santa Monica



Of course, we stopped at Disneyland for 2 days during our first trip to the LA area. Disneyland Park was definitely worth a visit, with so many unique sites and attractions that make it distinct from MK.

Sleeping Beauty Castle



Matterhorn (the first steel roller coaster!)



Space Mountain (I prefer Disneyland's over MK's because of its smoother track and synchronized on-board audio)



Indiana Jones Adventure (WDW still needs its own Temple of the Forbidden Eye!)



Disney's California Adventure, on the other hand, was another story. To put things in perspective, we visited in early 2008, so while the DCA makeover had been announced, none of the major work had started. (I believe Toy Story Midway Mania was the only new thing under construction)



Sunshine Plaza



The Sun Icon (I've read that this was supposed to be the park's original icon. Really?!)



Paradise Pier from our room at GCH (the construction site in front of us eventually became the Grand Californian's DVC wing)



A closer look at the Sun Wheel, Maliboomer, and Orange Stinger, with the Paradise Pier Hotel on the right



One of the few redeeming factors of DCA was the Grizzly Peak area, which I've always liked. Also, the park had a pretty strong lineup of attractions, with opening day hits like Soarin' Over California, Grizzly River Run, and California Screamin'.



Part of me is still surprised that the DCA makeover actually happened. For starters, it required admitting that DCA 1.0 was basically a failure. However, these pics remind me that the DCA makeover was practically a necessity. Besides a few decent attractions, the park didn't strike me as a very happy place to spend time. And with the Happiest Place on Earth right next door, something needed to change.

Well, I can happily say with no reservations that DCA (now known as Disney California Adventure - they dropped the possessive!) feels completely different to me now. Between the charming entertainment and nostalgic establishments of Buena Vista Street, the total immersion of Cars Land, and all the placemaking in between, I had no trouble spending more time in DCA than in Disneyland this trip! There's so much to experience now at DCA - wonderful attractions, food, music, architecture, and color. (In fact, I'm listening to the World of Color soundtrack right now!)



There are definitely going to be food updates here, but they'll be mixed with plenty of posts on DLR as well (especially California Adventure). I'm still blown away by DCA, so you'll be hearing about it whether you want to or not!

But in all seriousness, I hope you enjoy.

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Old 05-27-2013, 12:11 AM   #13
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Great intro!! I've never been to California and really loved seeing your beautiful pictures and reading about your overall impressions with DL and DCA. From the pics you posted of DCA in its original form, I can totally understand why you felt it didn't really have the Disney "magic" we expect from anything that carries the Disney name. It looked a little dull and uninspired. Except for the Mickey icon gracing the roller coaster, it really could be any amusement park anywhere in North America. But judging by the final picture you posted, things are definitely looking up.

No worries about posting pictures that aren't food-related! Your photos are gorgeous and I'm really looking forward to seeing more!
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Sept/Oct 2013 Dining Report: The Incredible Expanding Women - 14 Days On The DxDP - In Progress
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My first Dining Report: It's Time To Eat Again?!? 10 days of free dining with pics! COMPLETE!

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Old 05-27-2013, 12:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
To help get you into the California state of mind, here are some of my favorite pics from our past trips to California. I've always loved the place since our first trip to San Francisco in '07. We headed to LA the following year, and I really think both cities are amazing. (LA gets bonus points for the consistent sunshine and for having Disneyland nearby, but it loses points for the traffic).

Yes, but please add 2 points for it being home to Emmy and me!! Well, at least coastal Orange County!

Of course, we stopped at Disneyland for 2 days during our first trip to the LA area. Disneyland Park was definitely worth a visit, with so many unique sites and attractions that make it distinct from MK.

Sleeping Beauty Castle



Great photo! Look at that blue sky!

Space Mountain (I prefer Disneyland's over MK's because of its smoother track and synchronized on-board audio)

Me too. Just a minor gripe but they take your photo a the beginning of the ride in MK but at the end of the thriller ride at DL. The sound-track makes a huge difference too.

Indiana Jones Adventure (WDW still needs its own Temple of the Forbidden Eye!)

They recently spiffed up this attraction with a refurb. Did you see the old Eeyore sign in the queue where they play that old movie clip?

Disney's California Adventure, on the other hand, was another story. To put things in perspective, we visited in early 2008, so while the DCA makeover had been announced, none of the major work had started. (I believe Toy Story Midway Mania was the only new thing under construction)



I miss the CALIFORNIA sign. But I do love the new entrance. How did you get a nearly empty esplanade?? Great shot!


Sunshine Plaza



The Sun Icon (I've read that this was supposed to be the park's original icon. Really?!)

Hard to believe huh? The fountain behind that icon was nice but this was so un-Disney.



Paradise Pier from our room at GCH (the construction site in front of us eventually became the Grand Californian's DVC wing)



Pre World of Color days. No more maliboomer, the Orange zinger is now the Symphony Swings, and the were other updates to attractions in the boardwalk area.

One of the few redeeming factors of DCA was the Grizzly Peak area, which I've always liked. Also, the park had a pretty strong lineup of attractions, with opening day hits like Soarin' Over California, Grizzly River Run, and California Screamin'.



Part of me is still surprised that the DCA makeover actually happened. For starters, it required admitting that DCA 1.0 was basically a failure. However, these pics remind me that the DCA makeover was practically a necessity. Besides a few decent attractions, the park didn't strike me as a very happy place to spend time. And with the Happiest Place on Earth right next door, something needed to change.

There was talk early on about the misses with the theming and the general lack of Disny-ness. The park appeared to cater to the more mature park goer since it originally didn't have Bugsland either. Hollywood area had Who Wants to be a Millionaire live interactive game show. Especially not kid friendly even in that "land". And the concept of alcohol in the park was new so definitely a more adult experience.

Well, I can happily say with no reservations that DCA (now known as Disney California Adventure - they dropped the possessive!) feels completely different to me now. Between the charming entertainment and nostalgic establishments of Buena Vista Street, the total immersion of Cars Land, and all the placemaking in between, I had no trouble spending more time in DCA than in Disneyland this trip! There's so much to experience now at DCA - wonderful attractions, food, music, architecture, and color. (In fact, I'm listening to the World of Color soundtrack right now!)



Awesome photo! if that is your photo - it looks like you may have been in the VIP section since it is in front.

There are definitely going to be food updates here, but they'll be mixed with plenty of posts on DLR as well (especially California Adventure). I'm still blown away by DCA, so you'll be hearing about it whether you want to or not!

But in all seriousness, I hope you enjoy.
I'm excited to read all about your experiences!!!
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:02 AM   #15
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Great intro!! I've never been to California and really loved seeing your beautiful pictures and reading about your overall impressions with DL and DCA. From the pics you posted of DCA in its original form, I can totally understand why you felt it didn't really have the Disney "magic" we expect from anything that carries the Disney name. It looked a little dull and uninspired. Except for the Mickey icon gracing the roller coaster, it really could be any amusement park anywhere in North America. But judging by the final picture you posted, things are definitely looking up.

No worries about posting pictures that aren't food-related! Your photos are gorgeous and I'm really looking forward to seeing more!
Glad you enjoyed the intro! That's a great way of putting it - the park was lacking in Disney magic. That feeling is largely gone - they've worked on everything, down to the background music! (I really like this Victorian-style music loop that plays in parts of Paradise Pier.) As for Califoria, I absolutely love it. It's a tougher trip for us due to the 5-6 hour flight from NY, but I'd still highly recommend it.

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Yes, but please add 2 points for it being home to Emmy and me!! Well, at least coastal Orange County!

Of course! If work allows, I think I'd actually prefer to live in the LA area. Then we could definitely do a Disneyland meet up.

Great photo! Look at that blue sky!

Thanks! The weather was very interesting during our first DL trip - I think it's fitting that the DL pics are all decent but the DCA pics are sad and gloomy due to the sky.

Me too. Just a minor gripe but they take your photo a the beginning of the ride in MK but at the end of the thriller ride at DL. The sound-track makes a huge difference too.

I've noticed that too! The pics always are more interesting on DL's because the MK photo is taken at such a dull moment.

They recently spiffed up this attraction with a refurb. Did you see the old Eeyore sign in the queue where they play that old movie clip?

Nope, I must have missed it. We need to take a longer trip to DL so I can slow down and notice these things!

I miss the CALIFORNIA sign. But I do love the new entrance. How did you get a nearly empty esplanade?? Great shot!

I've seen a lot of comments about people missing the letters, and I definitely understand that. But you're right, the new entrance is great and really complements Buena Vista Street. Very similar to DHS's entrance (they both seem to be based on the Pan-Pacific Auditorium). And I got that photo by waking up way too early - couldn't sleep because I was so excited to be at DL. It looks like one other person felt the same way.

Hard to believe huh? The fountain behind that icon was nice but this was so un-Disney.

I've read about the fountain underneath the sun - sounds like it made some pretty cool wave effects throughout the day. You're right though - too bad it was completely overshadowed by the 'icon' above it.

Pre World of Color days. No more maliboomer, the Orange zinger is now the Symphony Swings, and the were other updates to attractions in the boardwalk area.

It's crazy how many changes Paradise Pier had to undergo, but I think the payoff was worth it. Besides the entrance area, that land felt like the biggest miss to me. Now it has a spectacular nighttime show, a Disney-themed dark ride, and an atmosphere that actually draws people in.

There was talk early on about the misses with the theming and the general lack of Disny-ness. The park appeared to cater to the more mature park goer since it originally didn't have Bugsland either. Hollywood area had Who Wants to be a Millionaire live interactive game show. Especially not kid friendly even in that "land". And the concept of alcohol in the park was new so definitely a more adult experience.

Great points - DCA was definitely trying to do something different, but it missed the mark by skimping on the details and the budget. (Those corny California puns everywhere don't count as true details. And Superstar Limo? That 'Disney' 'attraction' will always be remembered thanks to YouTube )

Awesome photo! if that is your photo - it looks like you may have been in the VIP section since it is in front.

VIP area? Oops. It's definitely my photo (and I've got more to share!), but now I'm wondering if I wasn't supposed to be there. I had a blue FP and walked straight down to the front without any CMs or barriers stopping me. Maybe someone was supposed to be there and turn me away? Either way, it actually turned out to be a bad thing as far as photos go - I had to put my camera away for most of the show because water was all over the place.

I'm excited to read all about your experiences!!!
Thanks so much! As another teaser, here's the only picture I got from the actual "World of Color" show.

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