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Old 07-26-2013, 07:19 PM   #376
tayalltheway
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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
I'm sitting here with the biggest smile on my face.

I have an identical hat to the one you're wearing.
I'm glad!! And it's a good hat. Definitely keeps the sun out of my eyes!

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Originally Posted by AussieMumma View Post
I love that statue of Walt & Mickey, it's so relaxed and carefree, the way I feel when we are in the parks
Counting down the days until we are there again!
I agree about the statue. The whole area just harkens back to such a cool time period. I love Buena Vista Street! Hope the days until your next trip pass quickly!

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Originally Posted by sarahk0204 View Post
Yes, we do!

Thank you for the update!
Of course! Thanks for reading!

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Originally Posted by tdashgirl View Post
Sorry, another cream cheese frosting fan here I agree with you though, it would have been nice if they included that info. on the bakery sign.

So cool that you were the Rebel Spy. I've been it exactly one time, back in January, and I've been on that ride tons! For some reason I get Hoth a lot and it's not my favorite scene

I love, love, love the new DCA. I liked, even loved, certain parts of the park before -- but not the park as a whole. Now I do.
Ugh, these votes in support of cream cheese frosting

I love being the Rebel Spy. My favorite is when they catch one of us making a ridiculous face! We always used to get Hoth. In fact, the first 5+ times we ever rode the new version, we only got Hoth. While at the time I was sick of it, now we rarely ever seem to get it and I miss it!

Definitely agree with you about new DCA. Neither Tracy nor I got to experience DCA 1.0 in all its "glory," but based on everything I've read/seen, I think the new DCA is definitely change for the better.
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:34 PM   #377
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Chapter 50
Get Your Kicks on Route 66


We continued through DCA past Grizzly Peak, which looked as beautiful as always.



Of course, the main attraction for the day—and the place we were most excited to see—was just ahead of us…



Welcome to Cars Land!



We were beyond thrilled to finally turn that corner and see the new land that had been teasing us ever since we spotted the construction from the top of Mickey’s Fun Wheel a year and a half prior.

In preparation for (we hoped) getting to DCA soon, we had re-watched Cars a week or two before this for the first time since seeing it in theaters. I really like the movie! I think it has all the qualities of a solid Disney-Pixar story, and I was so excited to finally see Cars Land in person. I know it’s been said time and time again, but it really felt like we were stepping right into the film.



Upon first entering, we just decided to wander through and see the whole land before trying to ride anything.





The vistas that make up Radiator Springs are definitely among the most breathtaking things I’ve ever seen at a Disney park.



Tracy has always had a bit of an obsession with traffic cones, so she just loves the Cozy Cone Motel.







We both had decided that Guido was our favorite character in Cars, and we were excited to ride Luigi’s Flying Tires, despite the negative reviews that seemed to inundate the internet.





I love the statue of Stanley. Truly everything from the town in the movie is here.



And of course, making it to the end of the street, we reached the current mecca of the Disneyland Resort—Radiator Springs Racers.



We knew that we certainly wouldn’t be making it to DCA in time to get Fastpasses for this attraction, but that didn’t stop us from drooling a little bit while we imagined riding.

Forcing ourselves to turn around, we began to walk back up the street toward the attractions with more reasonable wait times. On the way, we passed the Cozy Cone again.



We got in line for Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and the wait was only posted at about 15 minutes.



The queue had plenty of details to entertain us while we waited.







Plus it was fun to just watch the ride in action and listen to all the great songs they had recorded for the attraction.





Finally, we reached the front of the line, and Tracy and I boarded our tractor. He looks like such a pleasant sort.



The ride began, and it was a lot of fun, but boy was it violent. I found myself needing to hold onto the bar and Tracy kept slamming into me. Obviously, the whiplash effect is the point of the ride, but since my neck and back don’t do well with whiplash, this wasn’t the best attraction for me. I hate when I have to cross rides off the list because they cause me pain, but I had to label this one among those that I can’t ride too often.

While I was trying to shake off the neck pain, we headed over to Pacific Wharf.



Walking through Ghirardelli for the first time and getting a free chocolate caramel square probably helped me feel better…

Continued in Next Post
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 07-27-2013, 04:45 AM   #378
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In fact, the first 5+ times we ever rode the new version, we only got Hoth. While at the time I was sick of it, now we rarely ever seem to get it and I miss it!
I will dream about the day when I will miss Hoth

I would love to hear what you guys thought about Luigi's when you finally got to try it. The first time we rode it, thumbs down But, on our trip in late June, DH got FP for RSR so DD9 and I got to ride it 3 times in a row with very minimal waits (it was park opening and *everybody* was at RSR.) We got the hang of it and had a blast zooming and floating on air.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:33 PM   #379
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I have absolutely loved ypur report!!! I just decided the other day that when I get done with RN school I would LOVE to move to Cali and be a nurse at Disneyland!! My kiddos already want to move there lol....its gonna be a year before we get to go on our second trip but I absolutely can not wait
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:15 PM   #380
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Yay! You got to see BVS and Carsland. I agree, they are both awesome.

But I am one of the few who liked DCA even before it was redone.

I am loving your TR especially since we will be spending a few months down there this fall/winter.

You've given lots of good tips, not only about the parks but about what its like to live there.

BTW what's with this area not providing refrigerators in their apartment rentals???? I'm hoping to rent one reasonably. We'll be starting out with airbeds and camping chairs for furniture. This will be interesting...and fun I think! Although I'm much more adventurous than my husband...lol
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:09 AM   #381
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Originally Posted by tdashgirl View Post
I will dream about the day when I will miss Hoth

I would love to hear what you guys thought about Luigi's when you finally got to try it. The first time we rode it, thumbs down But, on our trip in late June, DH got FP for RSR so DD9 and I got to ride it 3 times in a row with very minimal waits (it was park opening and *everybody* was at RSR.) We got the hang of it and had a blast zooming and floating on air.
Believe me, there MAY come a time someday when you too will miss Hoth. Maybe...

I'll write about our full thoughts on Luigi's in one of the updates coming very soon, but I will say that our opinion of it is much like your new one seems to be, and the polar opposite of most of the opinions I've heard.

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I have absolutely loved ypur report!!! I just decided the other day that when I get done with RN school I would LOVE to move to Cali and be a nurse at Disneyland!! My kiddos already want to move there lol....its gonna be a year before we get to go on our second trip but I absolutely can not wait
I'm so glad you've been enjoying! Thanks for reading along

You should absolutely move here when you are done with school! I'm sure it's a great place to have a nursing job. Hopefully the time will fly by before your next trip here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dizneefan13 View Post
Yay! You got to see BVS and Carsland. I agree, they are both awesome.

But I am one of the few who liked DCA even before it was redone.

I am loving your TR especially since we will be spending a few months down there this fall/winter.

You've given lots of good tips, not only about the parks but about what its like to live there.

BTW what's with this area not providing refrigerators in their apartment rentals???? I'm hoping to rent one reasonably. We'll be starting out with airbeds and camping chairs for furniture. This will be interesting...and fun I think! Although I'm much more adventurous than my husband...lol
I think we honestly would have liked DCA before it was redone too, but I'm glad we love BVS and Cars Land!

I'm glad that reading along has helped you plan your long-term trip this fall! Hopefully you can utilize some of our tips when you're here. Your spirit of adventure sounds like fun, and I'm sure you'll make the best of your living situation whatever it ends up being!! And I have no idea what's up with the stupid fridge rule here. I'm glad we ended up not having to deal with moving one, but I'm sure the time will come someday when we do...
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:18 AM   #382
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Chapter 51
American Experiences


Exiting out from Pacific Wharf, we found ourselves with our first view of Paradise Pier.



We decided we were ready for an attraction without any line, and the surefire bet to satisfy that criterion in DCA is always The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.



We quickly walked inside and were able to board a clamshell almost immediately.



The easy accessibility is one of my favorite things about this ride, but I really like it in general! I think it’s a great dark ride in the spirit of the classics, and the fact that we never have to wait to get on means that we often pop in there for a break from the crowds, the heat, or whatever else is bothering us on any given day. After a short line, voila—we’re transported under the sea.

This was the first time we had ridden the attraction since the death of the soft-serve ice cream hair on Ariel, so that was a little sad.

Coming out from the ride, we headed into Paradise Pier proper.



Our first stop, though, was to visit our good friend Duffy!



I’ve already expounded on how we feel about Duffy in my WDW trip report, so I won’t rehash that argument now. But I will say that when Tracy met him at Epcot wearing her Duffy ears, he wasn’t QUITE as ecstatic as we were hoping. This time, though, he was pretty thrilled, so we were happy about that!



Right across the way, Donald was meeting in his nautical outfit, and he didn’t have any line either. We hopped right over and took a few pictures with him.



Character distractions done for now, we walked through Paradise Pier.



We were itching to ride Toy Story Mania, but the line was in the 45 minute range, so that would have to wait until some other time.



Instead, we decided to go for a spin on Mickey’s Fun Wheel.



Before you get too scared for our lives, remember that Tracy and I ONLY do the non-swinging version of this ride. We’ve seen too many green-faced people coming off of the swinging cars to risk suffering the same fate. Luckily, the line for the non-swinging cars is usually shorter anyway.





We boarded the wheel, and we were off into the air. Unfortunately, this was one of those days when they were putting groups of two (like us) with other small groups, so we had to ride with strangers. Oh well. What can you do?

Looking down from the top of the wheel, we could see Cars Land, and it brought back memories of looking down on the construction on our last trip here. It was a very different sight this time around.



We always love riding the Fun Wheel (from the safety of our stationary car), and this ride was no exception. Ferris wheels are just so relaxing.

Feet back on the ground, we continued the circuit around Paradise Pier and stopped to take a picture from across the lagoon.



We started to make our way through the Grizzly Peak area and back toward the front of the park.



Tracy decided she wants this awesome hat.



When we passed Condor Flats, Minnie’s Fly Girls were performing.



Our next stop was an exciting new venture. I know opinions are mixed among the community, but we were very excited to be able to go to Starbucks at Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Café!



Walking in, it was VERY clear that this was no ordinary Starbucks. It still felt almost 100% like an Imagineered Disney location, which is what I think most of the people who are against the Starbucks presence in the parks don’t understand.



When we got to the front of the line, we enjoyed the perk of getting our AP discount on our Starbucks drink. Getting 20% off actually made it cheaper than any of the other Starbucks locations in the area! Not only that, but since Disney and Starbucks had to prepare for the location to be one of the busiest ones in existence, they must have ordered way to much of all the specialty syrups. This meant that we could get a Pumpkin Spice Latte (our favorite fall drink) even though it was the end of February. We were pretty thrilled! Plus, we just love the Disney Parks Starbucks cups.



We were actually taking our drink to go and booking it over to Disneyland.



We had our first experience with Limited Time Magic to get to! Since this was President’s Day weekend, the Voices of Liberty were doing a special patriotic set before select showings of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in the Opera House, and we wanted to see the last show of the afternoon.



We arrived with plenty of time to spare and milled around the lobby of the Opera House enjoying all the cool décor. Finally, we were ushered into the theater (we may have broken the rules and brought our coffee in with us because we weren’t about to throw out any of that delicious drink).

The Voices of Liberty came out and performed a beautiful set.



They are extremely talented, and I think it’s especially impressive how good the Disneyland Voices of Liberty were despite not being a long-running group like those at Epcot. Unfortunately, this was one of the only times we would see the group perform before they got axed in April. The medley they sang was a really great mix of songs, and we liked how they interspersed speeches from several of America’s presidents. One of the singers totally spaced his lines in the middle of one of the speeches, though, which was a little awkward…

After the performance, I will be honest—we just wanted to leave. I was feeling dehydrated after the coffee and just wanted to get a drink of water, so I was NOT in the mood to watch Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at that time. Still, we didn’t want to be “those people” who left the educational/patriotic experience (just like we tried our darndest not to fall asleep on the Hall of Presidents in WDW), so we sat through it. Honestly, it wasn’t the way I’d like to experience the attraction, and I really should go watch it again sometime!

Finally, Lincoln sat back down and we were free to book it to the Refreshment Corner, where we got two large cups of water. We sat for a while, resting and rehydrating, and before too long, we were ready to continue our day.

Continued in Next Post
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 08-01-2013, 05:27 AM   #383
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Quote:
The easy accessibility is one of my favorite things about this ride, but I really like it in general! I think it’s a great dark ride in the spirit of the classics, and the fact that we never have to wait to get on means that we often pop in there for a break from the crowds, the heat, or whatever else is bothering us on any given day. After a short line, voila—we’re transported under the sea.
I couldn't agree more! A lot of people seem really upset about this ride and the amount of real estate it takes up -- but I think it's awesome. Classic dark ride, takes you into Ariel's world, is a super fast-loader ... I'm just not sure what people were expecting It's not RSR nor does it try to be ... and there isn't 2 hour+ waits!

And agreed about Starbucks. I think it was very nicely done, doesn't "scream" Starbucks, and the cups are super cute.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:41 AM   #384
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Just checking in again. I need to catch up on your last couple of posts again (I just did the quick scan tonight).....and hope to find time at the weekend. 3D life has been hectic!
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:35 AM   #385
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I couldn't agree more! A lot of people seem really upset about this ride and the amount of real estate it takes up -- but I think it's awesome. Classic dark ride, takes you into Ariel's world, is a super fast-loader ... I'm just not sure what people were expecting It's not RSR nor does it try to be ... and there isn't 2 hour+ waits!

And agreed about Starbucks. I think it was very nicely done, doesn't "scream" Starbucks, and the cups are super cute.
I'm just so glad there aren't super long waits for it here. I can't believe it's usually over an hour at WDW! At least we know we never need to ride it there since it's the exact same!

We LOVE the design on the Starbucks cups. I wish they would make a reusable mug with that design on them.

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Just checking in again. I need to catch up on your last couple of posts again (I just did the quick scan tonight).....and hope to find time at the weekend. 3D life has been hectic!
Hope real life has been more manageable this weekend! Don't you just hate when it intrudes like that?
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:41 AM   #386
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Chapter 52
Fly, My Pretties


After I started feeling better, we decided to head back to the car and grab our coats. Nightfall was approaching, after all, and we knew the chill would accompany it.

When we returned to the esplanade, we decided to head to DCA. We were getting hungry for dinner, and this time we decided to head to a restaurant that we knew wouldn’t disappoint us. We walked straight back through the park, therefore, and got in line at Corn Dog Castle.



If you remember our visit to this restaurant on our last trip to Disneyland, you will know how much we LOVED our Hot Link Corn Dogs. We decided now to split one of those, however, because getting our own last time had been way too much food. Not only was it a sound decision in terms of portion size, but it made it one of the cheapest meals we could get in the parks.



Our Hot Link Corn Dog came out, and we devoured it. It was SO GOOD—just as delicious as we remembered. With this one food item, Disneyland had redeemed itself from the previous night’s disappointments. We also ate and really enjoyed the Disney Kettle Chips that accompany the corn dog. They’re really good potato chips (better than we would expect for a side dish).

Appetites sated, we were left to decide where else we wanted to explore tonight.



We had heard all about the majesty of Cars Land after dark, so we decided to go in that direction.



I feel like even our steep expectations couldn’t prepare us for how incredible of an experience it is to see this area of the park lit up. The entire lighting design is just BRILLIANT, and it really brings the land to life. I said at the time (and I continue to assert) that Cars Land at night is one of the most beautiful things Disney has ever designed. Of course my camera can’t do it justice, but here were some of our favorite parts.









Unfortunately, the line for Luigi’s was still pretty long, so we decided to skip it for now and try again later.



I love the blinking traffic light!



We decided to head over to a ride that we knew wouldn’t have a line—because it quite literally never has.



King Triton’s Carousel is fun because we like all of the different options for sea creatures. This time, Tracy chose that otter, and I went for a sea lion because they are my favorite animals.



After enjoying our trip around the sea, we went back out of Paradise Pier.



We passed Duffy’s spot, and we liked how nicely it was lit up despite the fact that he’s never there when it’s dark out.



Now we headed back to Cars Land, and Luigi’s Flying Tires had almost no wait posted.



The ride has a really great queue area.





I love how these tires are called “Fettuccine Alfredo.”



And I also loved how, since the tires are like shoes for a car, they had this oversized “shoe measuring device” on the wall.



Guido!!



We made it outside very quickly, and were almost immediately to the front of the line.



Once we had heard the instructions, we found ourselves a tire.



Now, here are my thoughts on this ride. I know it has a very bad rap among Disney fans, but we LOVE it. From the very first ride, we had a blast! Honestly, as long as you listen to the instructions, it’s very easy to figure out how to make your tire move. You lean far enough that it starts to go, but not so far that it starts to scrape. You also DON’T try to bounce your tire. Our other major “secret” is that we always try to find the tire that is as isolated as possible. You want to be way far away from the rest of group so that you can pick up speed without getting into a traffic jam. All of these points in mind, we were ZIPPING around that giant air-hockey rink from the first go. We thought it was so much fun, and we continue to think so whenever we ride. Okay, off the soapbox…

Done flying on air, we exited Cars Land via its alternate portal (going into Pacific Wharf) for the first time.





The rockwork and that waterfall are just beautiful from that angle.



Continued in Next Post
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 08-05-2013, 07:27 AM   #387
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Fantastic pics of Carsland.

Love that hat Tracy's got. Really so cute!
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:33 AM   #388
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The weather looks great!
You two look like you are having so much fun!
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:14 PM   #389
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Love the Carsland pictures especially at night. Looks like a lot of fun for a child and an adult who's still a child (that's me)!

Question about the weather. I will be there Jan. 4 to 11. I was not planning on bringing heavy coats but it looks like you are wearing them. Should we bring them?
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:29 AM   #390
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Location: The Great Wide Somewhere
Posts: 681

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Fantastic pics of Carsland.

Love that hat Tracy's got. Really so cute!
Glad you like the pictures! I like Tracy's Duffy hat as well. It was a good choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by oypoodles View Post
The weather looks great!
You two look like you are having so much fun!
The weather was really nice in late-February, though a little on the cold side at night. We were fans. And we are indeed having lots of fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RI Disney Star View Post
Love the Carsland pictures especially at night. Looks like a lot of fun for a child and an adult who's still a child (that's me)!

Question about the weather. I will be there Jan. 4 to 11. I was not planning on bringing heavy coats but it looks like you are wearing them. Should we bring them?
It is definitely a lot of fun for adults with Peter Pan syndrome (which is exactly what we are!!)

When it comes to the weather, it's sort of hard to say. In early January, we were definitely wearing our heavy coats when night fell because it does get cold (30s and 40s). It seemed like we were always the only ones around in REALLY heavy coats, but we also always saw people in lighter jackets complaining about being chilly, and we never felt cold in our down coats. I guess I would say bring a variety of layers (whatever will fit in your luggage) and decide what to wear once you get here. At least you will know the days should be quite comfortable (probably highs in the 60s and low 70s).
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

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