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Old 03-26-2014, 07:32 AM   #61
PrincessInOz
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Glad that Cousin C was okay in the end. That would have been scary.

Great pics as always. Sad that it was the last Disney day.

Looking forward to SoCal.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:58 AM   #62
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You were smart to go on the rides during the fireworks. We do that often. THe lines for IASWH were really long even that late at night.

I love riding the railroad around DL. We've never done that at night. You got some wonderful pics of Silv and MP. I'm sure they treasure them.

The last day coming up already?? When do you go back again?

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Old 03-29-2014, 08:28 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Glad that Cousin C was okay in the end. That would have been scary.

Great pics as always. Sad that it was the last Disney day.

Looking forward to SoCal.
It would have been scary if someone happened to him. It was a good thing that nothing serious has happened.

Thank you PiO.


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Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
You were smart to go on the rides during the fireworks. We do that often. THe lines for IASWH were really long even that late at night.

I love riding the railroad around DL. We've never done that at night. You got some wonderful pics of Silv and MP. I'm sure they treasure them.

The last day coming up already?? When do you go back again?

TK
It is a good move to go on the rides during the fireworks. I always have to watch the fireworks even when I am in DL but since we weren't able to go on a lot of rides earlier that day, it was a good idea to go on them during the fireworks and F!. The lines at IASWH was just busy and glad that we were able to go on it the first night of the trip.

I will never get tired of riding the DLRR along with the monorail. You should consider riding the DLRR at night when you are back at the DLR. Even though you can't see too much when riding the DLRR at night and there are times when it looks so amazing to ride it especially during the holiday season passing by IASWH. Silv and MP treasured the whole trip even when we were back in Sacramento from SoCal. I will get to that on another post when I get closer to finishing this trip report.

The last day in SoCal is coming up for the December trip. I will be going back next month in April on the 25th to 28th. It won't be too long until the next trip back to SoCal.


The next post will be up shortly.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:35 PM   #64
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Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 1

Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 1

Quick walk-in at the Disneyland Resort

After a nice day at Disneyland on Saturday and an uneventful situation with Cousin C who was in the hospital but was able to be released that night, it was our last day in Southern California until we head back home later that Sunday night to Sacramento. Silv and MP are looking forward to going to Sacramento where we live since they have never been to Sacramento. On the last day for me during a trip, I do get a few hours in the park until it is time to leave and head on back home to Sacramento.

But during this trip, we will be heading on over to Universal Studios Hollywood for part of the day. It has been a long long time since I went to Universal Studios Hollywood. I have been to Universal Studios Orlando a lot during the WDW trips the last few years and I haven’t been to Universal Studios Hollywood in ages. So it was nice to go back to USH with everyone in my party.

It was around 7am when I woke up and everyone got up around the same time. Since Cousin C, Silv and MP only had 3 day park hopper tickets, we weren’t planning on going to the DLR that day. I was also not planning on going that morning as well since we plan on leaving around 10am to Universal Studios Hollywood. There was something that I wasn’t able to accomplish when we were there during the whole trip and it was kind of selfish of me to do a quick trip back to DL that Sunday morning when we should be packing all our bags and leaving that morning. I have done that on Saturday night by packing most of my bags. When I talked to DAW about it and she told me that I can go for less than two hours so I was excited to go back to the DLR for a couple of hours to go on a ride until it was closed for refurbishment.

I left around 8:20am which was a little late that morning to head on over to the DLR since it was during Christmas break. But I was glad to go in for a few hours to do some things that I haven’t done during this trip.

When I got to the area around the security check-point, there was a long queue to get through. It was not only the middle but on the left and right hand side which took some time to get in the parks. I knew that it was going to be a very busy day just like the other days but to get through the security check-point area took some time. It almost took 5 minutes for me to get pass through the security area.


After waiting in the security area for a few minutes, I was now in the Esplanade and I head on over to DL which was after 8:30am. The turnstiles were not that long where it took quite some time to get through the security check point that morning.


I entered the park and it was a little busy that morning where most people were walking in at Main Street and I head on over to the ride that I wanted to go on that morning.


Over at the Hub, it was not that busy.


I head on over to Tomorrowland and onto the ride. While passing by Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster, the wait times were in the 20 and 10 minute wait time which was not that bad in the morning.

The ride that I went on that morning was the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. After hearing that the ride will be down for over 9 months for refurbishment. This is the first major refurbishment for the ride since the FNSV debut in 2007. I don’t the ride has ever closed for that long time and the lagoon drained during it’s opening in 2007 when it was converted to the FNSV. I have read rumors on a lot of these different sites saying that the FNSV will be closed and the attraction will be something like a Star Wars based ride. It was going to be sad to see this ride that has reopened after a long time and closed for a new attraction. The FNSV is one of the most expensive rides to operate and manage but to close a classic ride will be sad. I loved the original Submarine Voyage when it was here in TL during my childhood and it was nice to see it reopened as the FNSV experience. It is not the same as the original Submarine Voyage but it is nice to be able to ride in the subs that I have rode when I was a little kid.

This was only going to be a fast ride as the only ride that day at DL so it was a good idea to go on it one more time if they are actually closing the ride. I read a few days ago that Bob Iger chairman and CEO of the WDC announced that the FNSV will be back when it opens in September. So it was nice to hear those comments that the ride will be reopened in September after its long refurbishment.


The good thing about riding the FNSV is that in the morning there is a short wait time while it can get longer later in the afternoon just like any other ride.

The sub that I was riding that morning was Mariner 407.


For the ride, I used the DSLR to take pictures where I didn’t bring my video camera. Mostly it is difficult to take pictures on the FNSV when in the caves. Here are my pictures from the ride experience that morning.

About to leave port.


I was on the starboard side of 407 Mariner which is the side that I want since you can see more on the starboard side than the port side. You can tell by the buoy where the Mine Seagulls are located in the lagoon.


The giant sea bass.






Now we entered the underwater caverns where it was going to be hard taking pictures. There were some shots that I was able to get some decent pictures while most of them are blurry due to no lights. But here are some pictures from the underwater caverns.







Underwater Volcano




Who is that blue fish on the right handside?


Now we are back outside the caverns and the two crabs are still fighting each other.


It was nice to ride the FNSV that morning in which it could be my last time riding it if the rumors are true. But after reading about Bob Iger comments about the FNSV, it made me not worry to much that it will be back up and running in the fall time.

When I got off the ride, I started to look at the lagoon before I left that morning.

When I looked at the Matterhorn from the TL which is my favorite side to look at it and the queue for Matterhorn Mountain started to be a little long that morning. But I wasn’t planning on riding it anyway.


I had a last look at the lagoon of the FNSV. When I go back next month to the DLR for my trip with my DAF, the lagoon will be drained and it has been a long time since I seen the lagoon drained. But it was during the construction of the FNSV. Now it will be for the refurbishment. I would say it has been over 7 years since I seen the lagoon drained.


307 Voyager heading on in the underwater caverns.


A look at the dock where some of the subs are on the side that morning like the 807 Argonaut & 107 Nautilus.


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Old 03-29-2014, 08:37 PM   #65
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Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 2

Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 2

Quick walk-in at the Disneyland Resort Part 2

Just after riding the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, I started to move on to the Hub to look at the New Year’s Eve set which will be used for New Year’s Eve. If I ever do come back to the DLR, this is something that I will want to do someday and be at the park during New Year’s Eve. During our first two days, the sets were not up and all of a sudden on Sunday, the sets are up in the Hub.



Big Countdown monitors on each side looking at Sleeping Beauty Castle.


I didn’t stay too long in DL that morning since I had to get back to the room and load up all of our bags since we will be leaving Anaheim that morning and on to our next destination in SoCal. But I had to do some last second wondering around the parks until I left that morning.



I started to leave the park that morning and there is a big bunch of people heading in that morning.


The Christmas tree at Town Square is so nice to look at each time passing by Main Street


I was in DL for about an hour that morning when I head on out.


After being in DL for most of the morning, I head on over to DCA for a quick look around before I head on back to the room and meet up with everyone.

It wasn’t as bad as DL that morning but still crowded.


One last look at the Buena Vista Street Christmas tree until it is taken down during the holiday season but it will be back up during the 2014 holiday season.




When I was around the Carthay Circle Theater, there was a stage along with light towers for the New Year’s Eve Celebration all set up for New Year’s Eve. Just like at the Hub at DL, the stage is all set up for New Year’s Eve at DCA.






Just for a brief moment in DCA, it was time to head on back to the Desert Inn and Suites with the rest of my party.


I exited DCA and now heading back to the hotel to meet up with everyone.


For only being at the DLR for about an hour, I head on back to the hotel before 10am. Everyone was all ready to go and all I had to do was just back all my bags in the van and we started to leave Anaheim and on to our next destination in SoCal.

We left around 10:30am that morning at the Desert Inn & Suites and now heading on over to Los Angeles. This will be it for this post and you will find out what we have done in SoCal that last day of the trip.


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Old 03-29-2014, 09:30 PM   #66
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I'm finally caught up again. I'm happy all ended well with your cousin.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:58 PM   #67
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Nice of your DA to let you head off to DLR for a couple of hours before heading out. Seems like you made the most of getting on FNSV. Nice pictures from the ride.


Look forward to you next update.
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:29 AM   #68
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Another great trip to DLR! Thanks for all the wonderful pictures. Less than a month until you are back and we go to Napa Rose!
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:56 AM   #69
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I'm glad you were able to sneak off to DL that morning and take a ride on the submarine. I bet the lagoon looks strange without water.

We've never gone to Universal Studios so I'm looking forward to hearing about that part of your trip.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:02 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACDSNY View Post
I'm finally caught up again. I'm happy all ended well with your cousin.
It was good that nothing was wrong with him during the trip.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Nice of your DA to let you head off to DLR for a couple of hours before heading out. Seems like you made the most of getting on FNSV. Nice pictures from the ride.


Look forward to you next update.
That was so nice of her to let me go in the parks for a few hours to be able to ride the FNSV before it is closed for the 9 month refurbishment. It is nice to hear that the ride won't be closing permanently for a Star Wars theme attraction.


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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Another great trip to DLR! Thanks for all the wonderful pictures. Less than a month until you are back and we go to Napa Rose!
Thank you Alison. It was a fun trip to the DLR during the holiday season even though it would have been better without the crazy Christmas break crowds. It won't be too long until we are back in SoCal and my DAF and I are looking forward to the Napa Rose.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
I'm glad you were able to sneak off to DL that morning and take a ride on the submarine. I bet the lagoon looks strange without water.

We've never gone to Universal Studios so I'm looking forward to hearing about that part of your trip.
Thanks TK. It was nice of my DAW to let me go to the parks for a couple of hours before we left that morning in SoCal. Seeing the FNSV all drained during my upcoming trip later this month will be strange since it was drained during the construction of the FNSV. I have seen the lagoon drained during the old Submarine Voyage and it was so strange back then.

The wait is no more and you will find out about what happened at Universal Studios Hollywood on the next post.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:08 PM   #71
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Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 3

Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 3

Universal Studios Hollywood and the Studio Tour 1

After we left the Desert Inn & Suites in Anaheim after being at the Disneyland Resort for 4 days (3 days for DAW, Cousin C, Silv and MP since I went on Sunday by myself for a couple of hours), we start to go on our next destination in Southern California. My DAW told me when we were in SoCal, she wanted to take Silv and MP to Universal Studios Hollywood. I had no problem of going to Universal Studios Hollywood with them since DAW wants them to experience something else then the DLR. It also was my first time going to USH in over 10 years which is around the mid 90’s. I haven’t been to USH in years and it was nice to go and see the difference when I last visited. I have been to Universal Studios Orlando four times since my last visit to USH in the mid 90’s.

I was mostly driving all the way to USH that morning but Cousin C was able to drive until I need a break. It was nice that he was doing okay after a scary incident the other day. But he was okay and he was looking forward to USH the most out of all of us since this was the event that he wanted to see even over the DLR.

Before we head on over to Universal Studios Hollywood, we stopped at a Denny’s restaurant around Universal Studios Hollywood since everyone was getting hungry that afternoon around 11:30pm. I thought that we were about to try one of those interesting restaurants that my DAW was looking at in Los Angeles. She was looking at a restaurant that she saw on the Food Network Diners, Drive-In & Dives but it was out of our way and we didn’t have a lot of time at USH so we just stopped at a Denny’s on the way.

After we ate at Denny’s we head on over to Universal Studios Hollywood around 1pm. Very interesting for me is that I will be going to two different resorts on the same day (Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood). This is not the first time for me to be at two different theme parks that are owned by different companies in which I have been to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando during my Florida trips.

We parked our cars and we walked through the Universal CityWalk on over to Universal Studios Hollywood park. The Universal CityWalk just like the Disneyland Resort where it is decorated during the holiday season. It almost feels to me that the Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles is much bigger then Orlando when we were walking on over to the park. I believe that the Orlando CityWalk is bigger over the Los Angeles version.




Universal Studio Store


We were at the front entrance to USH and it was all decorated with the Grinch Stole Christmas theme decorations.


The wacky Christmas trees


Before we entered the turnstiles to Universal Studios Hollywood, we had to pick up our ticket at the guests relations. We ordered the tickets online and my DAW had to pick up the tickets at GR. While she was in the queue, there was a problem with some of our tickets saying that we only had purchased three out of five tickets. My DAW told the staff that we had ordered 5 one day tickets where it only said three. So she had to talk with the management and showed her some email to confirm that she actually bought 5 tickets then the three. I was surprised to hear that we only got three tickets instead of five. I knew that my DAW bought five tickets since I was with her when we were purchasing the tickets on the computer.

So while DAW and Cousin C are at GR to work the problems, Silv, MP and I went inside USH.


When we got in Universal Studios Hollywood, it looked completely different when I have been here since the mid 90s’s. So it was all totally new to me since I am not a fan of USH. While we were walking in, SIlv, MP and I went in to some of the stores while we were waiting for DAW and Cousin C to come in the park.

The whole day was busy as expected during the Christmas break.


Not only the rides and shows but the food queues are also busy that afternoon with long queues.


After going into some stores, we head on over to the Studio Tour which is the highlight of the park in my opinion. We have been talking about going on this ride when we were in USH. But I was worried that the wait time was going to be in the hour plus range since we came late that afternoon. When Silv, MP and I head on down over to the Studio Tour ride, the wait time was already at 70 minutes.


We head on down the escalator and over to the USH ride. It has been years since I have went down the long escalators to the ride where the park is on a mountain and this is not flat like Disneyland. So I wasn’t used to taking escalators in the parks. Like at Universal Studios Orlando, there weren’t too many escalators like Universal Studios Hollywood.


While the three of us are waiting right at the front entrance of the Studio Tour ride for DAW and Cousin C, we were talking about the experience during the whole trip. Silv and MP were glad that it was with us.


When DAW and Cousin C finally made it into the park, they told us about the ticket issue and my DAW showed the management the email of the ticket purchasing of five instead of three that was in the system.

For all the trouble, we were given three priority front of line passes for the trouble. This was a great comp for all the trouble that my DAW had to endure at Guest Relations. So with one of our three front of line passes, we used the first one on the Studio Tour ride. It was great to get the front of line pass so we wouldn’t have to wait 70 minutes to get on the ride or we would have to wait a while that afternoon.

We got in the line and moved towards the front waiting for the next tram.


So we had two priority passes to use that afternoon and you will find out later on the posts to see what the other two rides that we have used that day.


In less than 10 minutes since we got in the queue for the Studio Tour, we boarded the tram and now on our journey through the Studio Tour. It has been years since I have rode the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood since I have ridden the version at Universal Studios Orlando and a similar version at Disney Hollywood Studios Studios Backlot Tour.

The host of the Studio Tour was Jimmy Fallon the star of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”.

Here are some pictures from the Studio Tour and it was hard to memorize the whole experience since it was over half an hour tour.








We moved on to the King Kong 360 3-D. This was the highlight of the Studio Tour experience since it is the world’s largest 3-D experience. It was very interesting to go through the King Kong 360 3-D experience that it lived up to its hype after seeing it for the first time.


The show lived up to its expectations and now we moved on from the experience and to our next area of the tour.


Next was the Universal Picture Cars that were used in the movies.




Cars from 2 Fast 2 Furious


The Flip Car from Fast & Furious 6


Stage 55 which is the Fast and the Furious Extreme Close-Up that we didn’t go through during the tour.


That will be it for this part of the post and it will be continue on the next post.


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Old 04-01-2014, 10:12 PM   #72
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Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 4

Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 4

Studio Tour Part 2

We were passing by the Jurassic Park prop vehicles that were used in the second movie “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”.




We were now in the Flood Flood attraction of the Studio Tour which the downhill flood effect has appeared in other films like Big Fat Liar and Fletch Lives.




During this area of the tour which was around Western Street, our guide told us that part of this area of the studios was shot for the movie “Saving Mr. Banks”. The bank and town that was used in the movie where Mr. Goff works located in the outback town of Allora. I was fortunate to see the movie and it was neat to see the scene where they shot the movie at Universal Studios Hollywood.




The King Kong Sea which is right next to a body of water around Skull Mountain Island.


We were entering the soundstage building of “Earthquake” which I have experienced when I ridden the Studio Tour. It is design to like like the San Francisco subway station and experiencing an 8.3 earthquake.


It was shaking on the tram.


And hot as well


We left the soundstage and back outside for the rest of the tour.


This was the Jaws event scene which we passed by it.


Some prop houses from the hit series “Desperate Housewives”.


During the holiday season at USH, at the Whoville is all decorated during the holiday season at part of Universal’s Grinchmas celebration. It was a musical spectacular for the guests that was riding the tram during the Studio Tour.




We were now entering the “War of The Worlds” set.






We are heading on back to the station and it was neat to look out from the top and see Warner Brothers Studios which is not too far away from Universal Studios Hollywood.


We have now got off the Studio Tour ride and now leaving the area to go to our next activity that day. It was nice that we got the front of line passes or we would still be in the queue to get on the ride that day.

That will be it for this post and stay tune for the next update at Universal Studios Hollywood.


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Old 04-01-2014, 10:30 PM   #73
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That was great you were able to skip the 70 minute line with the Front of the Line passes.

I haven't been to USH in many years so it's neat to see the changes.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:13 AM   #74
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What a pain to have to deal with admin to sort out 5 passes instead of 3. That is usually my worst nightmare and I print a hard copy of everything.....just in case. Glad to see that your DAW did the same thing.

At least you got 3 very valuable FotL passes for your time here.

I haven't been to USH since 2008. But it's always a fun park to get to.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:34 AM   #75
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Thank goodness you had a glitch and got the front of the line passes. The lines are really horrible when you were at USH.

I went once to USO. Such a different atmosphere than WDW. How do you feel the two parks compare in California?

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