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Old 04-06-2014, 01:21 AM   #76
mvf-m11c
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACDSNY View Post
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.
It was nice to skip the 70 minute standby queue with the FotL passes. We would have spent a lot of time in the queue and not to be able to do the other things that day.

Just like you it has been years for me to be at USH and I can't remember what USH looked like back in the 90s.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
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.
It was a pain for DAW to go through and thanks to the customer service that we were able to get 3 FotL passes to use that day and it was well worth it later on to be able to skip those long queues.

USH is a nice park but I don't enjoy it as much as the Disney parks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
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?

TK
It was good that it was all worked out by Guest Relations. It was nice to get the FotL passes for the trouble or we would have to wait a long time to get on the ride just like riding any of the big rides at DL.

When I compare the two parks in California, it is just like USO where it is not that enjoyable when I go in USH. It was nice to go back for the first time in years to USH but after being in the park later that day that I didn't want to spend more time there and want to head on out. USO is better in my opinion over USH where USO has much more things to do than USH where is only has USH park while USO also has Islands of Adventure. It will be very interesting in a couple of years how the newest expansion to USH "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" will do for USH after the big success of IoA WWoHP. I am also curious of how the new expansion of the WWoHP at USO will be like. It also gives me a reason to go back to USO when I got back to Florida.


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Old 04-06-2014, 01:23 AM   #77
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Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 5

Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 5

Universal Studios Hollywood Part 3

After we got off the Studio Tour which was nice to ride that day where we didn’t have to wait in the long queue thanks to the mishaps with the tickets. My DAW was not that happy to work out the situation with the tickets that afternoon but in the end it worked out really well while we saved about an hour of wait time to get on the Studio Tour.

Just like since we got here at Universal Studios Hollywood, the whole day just have been busy. It almost feel like we are back in DL but on a less busy scale where we were barely walking to our next destination.


As you can tell from the wait times for the rides that they were in the 40 minute plus range.


It was just crazy that whole day and it will be a long time until I come back to Universal Studios Hollywood in the near future. Well actually I might come back in 2016 where the new expansion “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will make its way to the West Coast. After experiencing the WWoHP at Universal Studios Orlando at Islands of Adventure in Florida, I am excited to see what the new WWoHP will be like at Universal Studios Hollywood in a couple of years.

When we got back to the upper level of USH, the park started to get a little busy around that afternoon. It was not that busy around “The Simpsons Ride”.


But when we walked pass by the Simpson ride, it started to look like Christmas break crowds.


After walking on the upper level, we went to the lower level and towards our next destination that day.


It has been a long time since I was in USH and I don’t like going down the escalators to the lower lot.


It was a little busy around the area but at least it was manageable then in the upper lot.


Our next ride at USH that day was Transformers the Ride 3D. This is one of the rides that I wanted to go on since it just opened in 2012.


The wait time to get on Transformers was 70 minutes which was a long time to get on just like the Studio Tour earlier that day. Buy since we got Front of the Line passes, we were able to skip the standby queue and enter the FotL queue which helped a lot.

It was a quick walk through the FotL queue.


We did hit the traffic and we only waited about 10 minutes to get on the ride which was way better than being in the 70 minute standby queue.


During the ride, I didn’t used my camera since I wanted to experience the ride and it was in 3D so the pictures wouldn’t turn out that well. The ride lived up to its expectations where it was great. My DAW didn’t like the ride that well since it was a little rough for her. Cousin C enjoyed the ride as well as Silv and MP.

When we got off Transformers the Ride 3D and back outside, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are greeting the guests. The wait time to get a picture with them is over 40 minutes which is better than 2 hours for a meet & greet with Anna and Elsa at DL.


While we were still in the lower lot, we went in the NBCUniversal Experience building. It features props, wardrobe and artifacts from the Universal film history.


The Original “Hero” DeLorean Time Machine was in the NBCUniversal Experience building.


Just when we were finished lookin in the NBCUniversal Experience building, we had one FotL pass to use that day before we called it at Universal Studios Hollywood. While we were still in the lower lot, we looked at what other rides to do. We thought about going back on Transformers but we didn’t want to go back on it. The other two rides that were in the lower lot was Jurassic Park: The Ride and Revenge of the Mummy. MP wanted to go on a rollercoaster during the trip in which we didn’t go on any during the DL trip. So she decided that we should use the last FotL pass for Revenge of the Mummy which is a rollercoaster type ride. DAW decided not to go on the ride since she doesn’t like to go on rollercoasters so the four of us went on the ride and I left my camera behind.

Luckily for us that we had the FotL pass to use so we wouldn’t have to wait about 40 minutes to get on the ride that day. The ride is an indoor steel rollercoaster that goes forward and backwards.

MP was glad that we went on Revenge of the Mummy as our last ride that day at USH. I was glad that it was a fine ride and it almost reminds me of Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom where it is not as scary at Revenge of the Mummy ride but it does have in common that it goes forward and backward.

When we met up with DAW, it was time to head on out of the park and leave Universal Studios Hollywood.


Going back up to the upper lot can be scary sometimes and daunting. Luckily it was just for this one day.



One last picture of MP, Silv and DAW enjoying the trip. Silv and MP enjoyed every minute with us when they got to SoCal.


On the way out of USH, it was neat to see the Christmas decorations.




Just ready to leave USH that day and it was not that bad for a few hours where we got to go on three rides and all those crowds.


That will be it for post and there is one more update from the December trip report until this will conclude the December trip report.

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Old 04-06-2014, 01:25 AM   #78
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Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 6

Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 4 – December 29th, 2013 – Part 6

Mexican Dinner & Last Night in SoCal

Just when we left Universal Studios Hollywood park, we walked on back towards Universal CityWalk. There were a lot of people walking through the CityWalk that night.


We were originally going to leave Universal Studios Hollywood and get a head start on the road back to Sacramento where the trip is almost over. But before we left, everyone was starving that day so we decided to have dinner in USH. It was nice to have dinner at USH where there were a lot of interesting places to eat that night.

For that night we ate at Camacho’s Cantina a Mexican restaurant. Cousin C loves Mexican food like the time we ate at Tortilla Jo’s at Downtown Disney on the first night of the trip and what better place to finish a meal is to eat at a Mexican restaurant at the CityWalk.


Just by the entrance was a Christmas tree which I had to get a picture of.


Luckily it wasn’t that busy that night as we were seated almost immediately in the restaurant.






Camacho’s Cantina menu


I had the Chile Verde which is tender braised pork smothered in special tomatillo sauce topped with red onions and cilantro. It also came with Mexican style rice and refried beans.


Cousin C shared with DAW and they got the Sepulveda Enchiladas which is two shredded beef enchilades with salsa roja, topped with crema Mexicana and it came with Mexican style rice and refried beans.


Silv got the Shrimp Taquitos which is four crispy rolled corn tortillas filled with shrimp, topped with creamy chipotle sauce, served with pico de gallo.


MP got the Chicken Enchiladas de Mole with Two shredded chicken enchiladas smothered in velvety mole sauce, topped with creama Mexicana.


After eating at Camacho’s Cantina, we head on back to the van in the parking lot and drove back home to Sacramento. It was about a 7 hour drive back home to Sacramento with a few stops on the way. I drove most of the way back home to Sacramento and we got home around 2am. Since we left around 7pm in SoCal and with all the stops on the way, I knew that we were going to be back home late that day.

This is a side when we got back to Sacramento the next day on the 30th. The next day, my DAW took Silv, MP and me to San Francisco. Since Silv and MP never been to California until this trip, DAW wanted to show them SF when they are here with us. It has been years since I have been at Pier 39 in SF since I mostly go to other parts of SF like China Town.

Here are some pics from that day.


We had lunch at Crab Stand


I had the New England Clam Chowder in the bread bowl


This concludes the December trip report where it was a very interesting one with all the Christmas crowds and both the Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood all busy. But we were able to do some of our activities during the trip. It would have been better if we went during a different time of the year to visit SoCal but that was the best time for Silv and MP to come to visit us. We did a lot of rides, shows, dining, etc. during the trip and we enjoyed it a lot. I did enjoy eating at those sit down character breakfast restaurants at Ariel’s Grotto and the Plaza Inn with Minnie and Friends. It is so amazing to see the Christmas decorations at the DLR every year and even though we were there during the worst time to visit the parks, it was enjoyable to be with DAW, Silv, MP and Cousin C. There were times where we didn’t get to do all the stuff that we wanted to do like some rides at the parks, shows, etc. But we did do okay during the trip. Even though Cousin C was in the hospital during the trip, it was a good thing that he was okay. It was also neat to be able to go to Universal Studios Hollywood for the first time since the 90s. That was a long time ago since I have been to USH and it was nice to be able to go on some rides that day.

This concludes the December trip report during Christmas break. Now this trip report is over, a new trip is coming up shortly in less than 3 weeks. I will be heading back to SoCal with DAF in a few weeks. This trip is a relaxation trip in which we have been working a lot. With my basketball season over in February, it was time to have a nice relaxation at the Happiest Place On Earth. So stay tune for a pre-trip report update of what we are planning to do during the trip.

Thank you for following along the trip report.

Last edited by mvf-m11c; 04-06-2014 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:31 AM   #79
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Nice trip, Bret.

Those crowds look very busy at both DLR and USH. That issue with the tix turned out to be for the best. I think you made great use of the FotL passes.
Love the food porn.


And take a look at those sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf. I was last there in 2012 and there were 5 lions in total. Glad to see that they've come back.


Look forward to the next trip and more pictures.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:19 PM   #80
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Bret --

I got caught up and now have some comments!

The HMH photos were great (especially the singing pumpkin heads inside the ride)!

I didn't realize it at first (back in September, during Halloween Time), but now I see that the purple and green zombies that appeared in front of DAW at the end of HMH were what the Limited Time Magic "Spooky Kooky" cookies (zombie cookies) were based on! For some reason it didn't hit me until now. I bought one of the cookies on September 13th and it was delicious, but when I looked at it I didn't realize that those zombies appeared at the end of the ride. The frosting was melting off of the cookies, so the zombies didn't hold up too well to heat.

One of my favorite details of the Autopia ride is not only the Mouse Crossing sign, with the silhouette of Mickey, but also the tiny mouse-sized tunnel on the left side curb. So clever and cute!

I don't know if I missed it somewhere, but what did Cousin C eat that landed him in the hospital? I know that something got stuck in his throat, but what was it? I'm glad he was okay, but how scary!

I think you're right -- there are some areas of Goofy's Kitchen that seem a little cramped (though not all areas) and there are some areas of Plaza Inn that seem cramped (though not all areas). When I ate outdoors at PI for lunch last December it did not feel too cramped, but when I ate inside at one of the indoor tables there it felt cramped.

I am both happy and annoyed that more decorations were added into Jingle Cruise between November and December. When I rode JC in November I didn't even get to see the upstairs queue because the line was so short, so I missed those decorations. The decorations on the boats were very minimal. Had I known that so many more holiday details would be added in along the course of the ride I would have made a point to ride it again in December!

Don't even get me started on that darn peppermint ice cream fiasco from last year -- it was there at DLR; then it disappeared and was not due to ever come back; then it suddenly appeared again for Christmas week; then it disappeared again.

Did you notice that the nighttime Winter Castle -- while still beautiful -- did not have as many icicle lights on it (or they were less visible) last year? I noticed it right away in November and I was reminded by seeing your picture of the Castle at night during December. The icicle lights were thinned out in some spots, leaving more of the Castle's color to be exposed. In 2012 the Castle was brighter and more shimmery at night because there were more icicle lights. Look at one of your photos of the Castle from 2012 and then compare it with your photo from 2013 and tell me if you see the difference.

Good ol' DLR -- they add cool stuff for the holidays that we like, but then they always end up skimping in some other area, though it is not necessarily in areas that people will notice a difference. If they thin out the lights on the Castle they probably assume it won't make a big enough impact to really bother anyone.

The lights on the GCH tree were different in 2013 as opposed to 2012 and years prior, as well!

Now I am curious -- which interesting restaurant from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives did DAW want to try (that you guys didn't have time for)?

About the USH holiday decorations -- You know, I think that Whoville looks really cute and I like the look of the decorations at dusk, as you all were making your way out of the park. Other than that, I like that they have Grinchmas -- I think it's a fun idea for those who are fans of the Grinch -- and the wacky trees are clever. However...it wasn't as colorful and whimsical as I thought it would be! The colors seemed rather flat for the holiday season, and not terribly bright.

Or maybe I am just spoiled by Disneyland!
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:02 AM   #81
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Finally got caught up! I'm not sure when I was last at USH, but I know it was sometime when I was employed so had to be prior to 2002. We must have had our company picnic there in 2001 and we upgraded our passes to that get a year free thing, and came back sometime in September if I recall correctly. It must have been pre 9/11 so the first weekish. Maybe 2000, but regardless it's been a long time!

I've been to Orlando twice since then!

I'm not sure I really want to go back, your pictures with the up the hill down the hill stuff make it seem very tedious, especially with the scooter. Fran wasn't using it the last time we went there.

I'm glad that your family had a good time and you were able to get in most of the attractions you wanted. That FOTL pass ended up helping out quite a bit. Good Customer Service on their part. Looking forward to the next trip where I have a Cameo and we get to have a GREAT meal together!
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:21 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Nice trip, Bret.

Those crowds look very busy at both DLR and USH. That issue with the tix turned out to be for the best. I think you made great use of the FotL passes.
Love the food porn.


And take a look at those sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf. I was last there in 2012 and there were 5 lions in total. Glad to see that they've come back.


Look forward to the next trip and more pictures.
Thank you PiO.

All the days that we have been at the DLR and USH were just busy and busy. The wait times were extremely high on all the rides. Getting the FotL passes with the ticket issue saved us hours of time on the rides. If you are going to USH during the Christmas season like I did, getting the FotL passes make sense. But for the price of getting FotL is a lot. It is good to get during the heavy season then the slower season.

Camacho’s Cantina was very nice Mexican restaurant.

There were a lot of sea lions on the Fisherman’s Wharf in SF during our visit.

Thank you for following along PiO and this upcoming trip should be a fun one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Bret --

I got caught up and now have some comments!

The HMH photos were great (especially the singing pumpkin heads inside the ride)!

I didn't realize it at first (back in September, during Halloween Time), but now I see that the purple and green zombies that appeared in front of DAW at the end of HMH were what the Limited Time Magic "Spooky Kooky" cookies (zombie cookies) were based on! For some reason it didn't hit me until now. I bought one of the cookies on September 13th and it was delicious, but when I looked at it I didn't realize that those zombies appeared at the end of the ride. The frosting was melting off of the cookies, so the zombies didn't hold up too well to heat.

One of my favorite details of the Autopia ride is not only the Mouse Crossing sign, with the silhouette of Mickey, but also the tiny mouse-sized tunnel on the left side curb. So clever and cute!

I don't know if I missed it somewhere, but what did Cousin C eat that landed him in the hospital? I know that something got stuck in his throat, but what was it? I'm glad he was okay, but how scary!

I think you're right -- there are some areas of Goofy's Kitchen that seem a little cramped (though not all areas) and there are some areas of Plaza Inn that seem cramped (though not all areas). When I ate outdoors at PI for lunch last December it did not feel too cramped, but when I ate inside at one of the indoor tables there it felt cramped.

I am both happy and annoyed that more decorations were added into Jingle Cruise between November and December. When I rode JC in November I didn't even get to see the upstairs queue because the line was so short, so I missed those decorations. The decorations on the boats were very minimal. Had I known that so many more holiday details would be added in along the course of the ride I would have made a point to ride it again in December!

Don't even get me started on that darn peppermint ice cream fiasco from last year -- it was there at DLR; then it disappeared and was not due to ever come back; then it suddenly appeared again for Christmas week; then it disappeared again.

Did you notice that the nighttime Winter Castle -- while still beautiful -- did not have as many icicle lights on it (or they were less visible) last year? I noticed it right away in November and I was reminded by seeing your picture of the Castle at night during December. The icicle lights were thinned out in some spots, leaving more of the Castle's color to be exposed. In 2012 the Castle was brighter and more shimmery at night because there were more icicle lights. Look at one of your photos of the Castle from 2012 and then compare it with your photo from 2013 and tell me if you see the difference.

Good ol' DLR -- they add cool stuff for the holidays that we like, but then they always end up skimping in some other area, though it is not necessarily in areas that people will notice a difference. If they thin out the lights on the Castle they probably assume it won't make a big enough impact to really bother anyone.

The lights on the GCH tree were different in 2013 as opposed to 2012 and years prior, as well!

Now I am curious -- which interesting restaurant from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives did DAW want to try (that you guys didn't have time for)?

About the USH holiday decorations -- You know, I think that Whoville looks really cute and I like the look of the decorations at dusk, as you all were making your way out of the park. Other than that, I like that they have Grinchmas -- I think it's a fun idea for those who are fans of the Grinch -- and the wacky trees are clever. However...it wasn't as colorful and whimsical as I thought it would be! The colors seemed rather flat for the holiday season, and not terribly bright.

Or maybe I am just spoiled by Disneyland!
Thank you Sherry. The pictures are getting better and better with every trip with the dark rides. I still have a lot to learn.

That is very interesting to hear that the zombie cookies at the end of HMH were close to the Limited Time Magic “Spooky Kooky” cookies. I really wanted to get one of those cookies during my trip in September but I was one day too late.

It is so interesting how the Imagineers put all these details on the ride to make it more interesting. It has been years since I rode the Autopia and it was fun to ride it.

Cousin C was with his old colleague from work. He had a pea stuck in his throat.

So it wasn’t me when we ate at GK. After looking at all different pictures of GK the seating areas were not all cramped. Outside at the Plaza Inn can seem like it is all crammed.

I thought the ride experience decorations on the JC should be left as is during the November trip since it does feel a little bit odd with the decorations during the December trip. I wanted to see what the queue was like upstairs but no one wanted to wait in that long queue so we never went upstairs as well. It would have been neat to see the decorations upstairs as well.

I won’t talk about the peppermint ice cream.

I wasn’t so sure of the icicles on SB Winter Castle this year when you compare it to the other years during the holiday season. When I looked at them so closely, it does look like in some areas of the castle when the icicles at night are not as bright as from the previous years. It did look like the castle this year looked less bright from the other years. I looked at both pictures from the 2012 and 2013 that when I compare them it does feel like the 2013 were less bright than the 2012.

This past year it seems like they added some new holiday merchandise during the holiday season than the other years where it is like the same thing over and over. It was nice that they added some new merchandise during the holiday season. You know that every year during the holiday or Halloween season that somewhere or something will be taken out for something new.

The place that DAW wanted to try during the trip in which we didn’t have time was “The Park’s Finest” which is about 10 minute drive from Universal Studios Hollywood. It is a BBQ restaurant that tri-tip and there signature homemade cornbread Bibingka. She wanted to try that place but leaving later that day changed our plans for the trip.

The Christmas decorations at USH was not that bad. I could have enjoyed the decorations a little more if we had time but we didn’t have time to go through all those different areas but overall it was nice.

Since we are Disney people and not big fans of Universal, we can be spoiled of Disneyland.


Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Finally got caught up! I'm not sure when I was last at USH, but I know it was sometime when I was employed so had to be prior to 2002. We must have had our company picnic there in 2001 and we upgraded our passes to that get a year free thing, and came back sometime in September if I recall correctly. It must have been pre 9/11 so the first weekish. Maybe 2000, but regardless it's been a long time!

I've been to Orlando twice since then!

I'm not sure I really want to go back, your pictures with the up the hill down the hill stuff make it seem very tedious, especially with the scooter. Fran wasn't using it the last time we went there.

I'm glad that your family had a good time and you were able to get in most of the attractions you wanted. That FOTL pass ended up helping out quite a bit. Good Customer Service on their part. Looking forward to the next trip where I have a Cameo and we get to have a GREAT meal together!
Just like you, I have been to USO way more times over USH. But there was a reason to visit USO during those times in Florida with “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and it will be the same thing for USH when it opens in a couple of years.

There are a lot of hills at USH and have to go up and down the escalators which can be old and scary at times.

We were glad to get FotL passes so we didn’t have to wait in those queue or it would have been a long time. The Customer Service at USH was great to work out the situation. We are looking forward to our trip in a couple of weeks and it won’t be too long until it is time to leave.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:34 PM   #83
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I just concluded Braving the Crowds after Christmas at Disneyland with Family & Friends. This was big trip in which we went during one of the busiest times at the Disneyland Resort which was during Christmas break. This was by far the busiest time I have ever been in the parks out of all the years I have ben to the DLR. But we were able to survive the crowds in which it wasn’t as bad as I have originally thought. We were able to go on some rides in which we didn’t do all the rides that we wanted to do but we were able to go on the rides that MP wanted to go on. It was nice to go to the DLR with my DAW, Cousin C, Silv and MP but it would have been better if we went during a different time of the season. We picked Silv and MP from LAX and we spent four days in SoCal and a couple of days in Sacramento where they had a great time. We spent three days at the DLR and spent half a day at Universal Studios Hollywood in which I haven’t been there since the mid 90’s. I was glad that we all had a great time even though it was really busy. Now it is time to get to the pre-trip plans of the upcoming trip in less than a couple of weeks.

Now I am planning my pre-trip for April 25th to 28th, 2014 which is our time to get away from the real world and enjoy the Magic.

Cast: Me Bret 32 and my DAF 62

This will be our first trip to the DLR this year in which my last trip was in December 2013 and my DAF last trip since November 2013.

The trip will be here quickly when I am working on this pre-trip planning. Right now here is what this trip is all about. It was time for my DAF and I to take a break from the real world from work and basketball to have a nice relaxation at our favorite place on Earth. It almost feels like it has been months since I was at the DLR. This was the best time to have our vacation since I have been busy with work these last two months and was lucky to get some time off these coming weeks until the trip. Just like DAF, she was busy with work too and glad to take some time off with me. Originally we were supposed to go on May 2nd to 4th, 2014 but I was told that they needed me that weekend so they gave me the 25th to 28th as my time off from work. This will be another four day trip in SoCal which it is nice to be in SoCal longer then the three days that we have been. It really worked well since it will be during the off-season at the DLR. This should be a very fun relaxation trip for the two of us.

Not only we are going to our favorite place on Earth, it will be even better where we will be eating at one of the restaurants that I have never ate at the DLR. The restaurant that we will be eating is the Napa Rose. The finest sit down restaurant at the DLR and after all these years, we have never ate at this place. I have heard great reviews about the restaurant that DAF told me that it will be nice to have dinner there one day. We will be having dinner with Alison (franandaj) and Fran for dinner on Saturday during the trip. They have ate at the Napa Rose and I have read from her past trip reports that they like eating at the Napa Rose. We also were able to get seats for the Chef’s Counter that day. I have been recommended this by Alison and others that your first dining experience at the Napa Rose should be through the Chef’s Counter. So the two of us are looking forward to having dinner at the Chef’s Counter with Alison and Fran. This trip also has a bonus on one of the days during the trip. When I have been looking on the D23 website and found out that the Mickey’s of Glendale store will be open to the Gold and Silver Members on Saturday the 26th which is the Walt Disney Imagineers store in Glendale California. I didn’t know about the shopping day at the MoG store when I booked our dates a couple of days ago. So this trip will be even special with the shopping at the MoG store and the Napa Rose Chef’s Counter experience.

Also during the trip, I have got new stuff to use during the trip. Ever since the December trip, I have got some new toys to use for the trip. I have bought a Lowepro Pro Runner 350 backpack to replace my Lowepro Fastpack 250 bag which will carry even more camera equipment along with a tripod which my old bag didn’t have. This will also be a great opportunity to carry my tripod on my backpack instead of carrying another bag which is a lot of weight on my shoulders. I also have borrowed my friends Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens which I am looking forward to use where I have used a lot of different lenses at the parks and this is the widest lens that I have ever used. I have read that photographers love the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens when used at the parks. And lastly, I will be using my GoPro during the trip in which I didn’t use it too much during the December trip. But this time, I got a head strap clip that I can wear the GoPro on my head. I plan on using the head strap while riding on rides at the parks. I am looking forward to wearing this when we ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad which just reopened after over a year refurbishment. That is another thing that I will be looking forward to heading back to the DLR. There are four things that I am looking forward to the trip. During the trip, I will do my usual rides, shows, etc. and of course taking pictures at the DLR. The one that I am looking forward to do is the long exposure nighttime pictures that I have seen on flickr. This is something that I wanted to do at night where I don’t set up my tripod and take long exposure shots. I have looked at PiO, KCmike & I’m mikey of their long exposure nighttime pictures and it made me want to try it. That’s why I love the threads of trying new things during my trips.

We will be driving down from Sacramento to Anaheim like we usually do or anyone that is going down to Anaheim. I always say this over and over on my pre-trip plans but I just like driving then flying. Since I bring a lot of bags with me it does make sense to drive down to SoCal instead of paying for a rental car and possibly pay extra money to check bags on a flight like on every trip except with DAW where we go in a different direction to SoCal which is on I-5. DAF and I mostly go on I-99 to SoCal and hook up the intersection of I-5 to SoCal since we stop at Livingston (close to Merced) that is always on my way to Anaheim to see my grandmother. Than after we stop at my grandmother’s house, we will head on over to Anaheim. We will be leaving on Monday morning back to Livingston and back to Sacramento that day. On the way back home, we mostly stop at Little Tokyo in Los Angeles on the way home to get some groceries that we can’t get here in NorCal.

We will be staying at Best Westerns Anaheim Inn which is our usual hotel where we stay during our trips to the DLR. We always enjoy staying at the Best Western hotels (Best Western Park Place Inn, Best Western Anaheim Inn & Best Western Stovall’s Inn) when we go to the DLR. Mostly our favorite hotel is BWPPI but the price wasn’t right and BW Stovall’s was a little longer walk than the other two. I like staying at BW Stovall’s when the D23 Expo happens at the Anaheim Convention Center. The tweener of the three hotels that we stay is BWAI where the price is right in between the two. BWAI is getting a major renovation where the front lobby was being worked on during the November trip and construction will still be going on until May. It didn’t bother us during our November trip and I would say that it will be the same thing.

I am planning on being in the parks for all four days during the trip. DAF has the DAP which she will be blocked out on Saturday during the trip. But with the shopping at the Mickey’s of Glendale store that morning to afternoon and dinner at the Napa Rose, it will make up a great Saturday for her. She will be able to go in the parks on those other days during the trip.

Our goals for this trip is to have a great relaxation trip and enjoy being away from work and everything. This will be fun with the shopping at the MoG store in Glendale and having dinner with Alison and Fran at the Napa Rose at the Chef’s Counter. This will be our first time eating at the Napa Rose and it will be enjoyable dining experience. Also during the trip, I will be using new toys for the trip including my new Lowepro Pro Runner 350 backpack, GoPro head strap so I can videotape the rides & borrowing the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. Like any other trip that I have done in the past, we will go around the parks and do what we feel like. I plan on trying a new spot to watch RDCT fireworks instead of watching it in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle like I have done in other trips.

Our DL plans for now and it will change when the trip gets closer and at the resort.

Friday – April 25: We Arrive in SoCal and staying at BWAI. We will settle in and then I will go to the parks later that night to go on rides and take pictures. I will also watch RDCT that night at this specific spot which I have been recommended.

Saturday – April 26: This will be the highlight day of the trip in which we will be going to Glendale in the morning to go shopping at the Mickey’s of Glendale store during a D23 event. Later we will have dinner with Alison and Fran at the Napa Rose at the Chef’s Counter. I will later go in the parks in the afternoon and night to take pictures.

Sunday – April 27: This will be another day in the parks going around and going on rides and taking pictures. I believe we will watch WoC that night and ride Radiator Springs Racers by getting FP’s early in the morning.

Monday – April 28: Will be the day that we will head on back home to Sacramento. But first, we will make a quick stop at Little Tokyo on the way home like we do most of the time.

This is only part of the plan and there will be changes during the whole trip. We might add more sit down seating at the restaurants, rides, or even go and do something in SoCal. There will always be something unexpected during the trip which I like a lot. This will be one fun trip in which it will be nice to leave the real world.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:33 PM   #84
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Excellent!

Your plans look great. And you'll have new toys to bring and try out. Looking forward to seeing your pics with the Tokina lens.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:24 PM   #85
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Sounds like some great plans Bret! I'm looking forward to our dinner at Napa Rose.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:44 PM   #86
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Sounds like you'll be having a great time with your Aunt, Alison and Fran.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:19 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Excellent!

Your plans look great. And you'll have new toys to bring and try out. Looking forward to seeing your pics with the Tokina lens.
Thanks PiO. I am looking forward of trying all the new toys for this upcoming trip. The Tokina lens is something that I have wanted to try for a while since I have read a lot of threads from other DISers have said that they like this lens. As you know that we are looking forward to our dinner at the Napa Rose with Alison and Fran.


Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Sounds like some great plans Bret! I'm looking forward to our dinner at Napa Rose.
Thank you Alison. I wanted to ask if you and Fran are thinking of going to the Mickey's of Glendale store in Glendale on Saturday where it is available to D23 Gold and Silver members? We plan on going to Glendale for that event. We are also looking forward to having dinner with you and Fran that night. I had to call the Napa Rose to make sure that our reservation is still on since I haven't received a phone call from them after making the reservation and I don't have a confirmation number. It is still a go and it will be fun.


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Originally Posted by ACDSNY View Post
Sounds like you'll be having a great time with your Aunt, Alison and Fran.
We will have a great time during this upcoming trip in which it won't be too long.


With the trip happening in less than 5 days with DAF, I have been talking to DAW about a upcoming trip with her and her BF DD4 (who is now 4 which she went with us during the January 2013 trip). Since DAW Premium AP is expiring at the end of June, she wanted to get one more trip before the AP expired. So we talked about it this past week and decided to go on June 20th to 22nd, 2014. She also asked her BF is DD4 can go with us during the trip and she had no problem with it. So I will be going back in less than two months after this upcoming trip. This should be another fun trip.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:50 AM   #88
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Yay for planning another trip to DL in June.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:40 PM   #89
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Thank you Alison. I wanted to ask if you and Fran are thinking of going to the Mickey's of Glendale store in Glendale on Saturday where it is available to D23 Gold and Silver members? We plan on going to Glendale for that event. We are also looking forward to having dinner with you and Fran that night. I had to call the Napa Rose to make sure that our reservation is still on since I haven't received a phone call from them after making the reservation and I don't have a confirmation number. It is still a go and it will be fun.
We are not planning on the Mickey's of Glendale event.

I wanted to ask, is the only way to make reservations for the Chef's Table by calling the restaurant directly? Recently online reservations for DL opened up and one of my friends from the UK wants to make reservations there in November. She asked me to find out if they can be done online, but I thought that for the Chef's Table they can only be made by calling the restaurant directly.

I'm definitely looking forward to Saturday night!
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:04 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACDSNY View Post
Yay for planning another trip to DL in June.
It is nice to have another trip after a couple of months from this upcoming trip.


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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
We are not planning on the Mickey's of Glendale event.

I wanted to ask, is the only way to make reservations for the Chef's Table by calling the restaurant directly? Recently online reservations for DL opened up and one of my friends from the UK wants to make reservations there in November. She asked me to find out if they can be done online, but I thought that for the Chef's Table they can only be made by calling the restaurant directly.

I'm definitely looking forward to Saturday night!
That is correct. When I called Disney Dining (not the Napa Rose number), I asked if I can make the Chef's Counter reservation but the CM told me in order to make a reservation for the Chef Counter is to call the actual number of the Napa Rose. Luckily, the CM transfer my call to the Napa Rose phone number. They didn't pick up and so I left a message. A few hours later, they called me back and I asked them if they had the Chef Counter available for Saturday and I was able to get the four seats for this Saturday.

I looked at the Disneyland Dining website and see if I can make an online reservation for the Chef's Counter. Unfortunately, it is only for the regular tables. So in order to get the Chef's Counter you have to call the Napa Rose.
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