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Old 06-13-2012, 02:10 PM   #451
hurleysweety
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Hollywood is so hard to plan!

I deem today, Hollywood Research Day (even though I'm at work. )

I have compiled all the studio tours information and have even made a map on google maps outlining where everything is in the Hollywood Area. We are currently gathering all our information so we can finally make our decisions on tours, go cards, universal studios, beach days, and so forth. Then we can finally make our dining plans for those days. Right now we have four days without any concrete plans, which happen to be the first four days we are there. I have hotels, so that's nice, but I'm feeling the last minute frustrations of planning. Ticket prices, driving directions, discounts and coupons, and more are all jumbled in my head. Instead of narrowing things down, I keep coming up with more to do! Ooops.

SO far, I would really like to see the following:
  • Two or Three Studio Tours (Paramount, Warner Bros, and Sony)
  • Farmer's Market
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Eat at the Disney Soda Fountain
  • See the El Capitan Theater (wanted to see Brave, but we're a week early)
  • See Grauman's Chinese Theater
  • Go to Griffith Park
  • Maybe go out to the Santa Monica Pier, rent bicycles
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Universal Studios, if we have time

I also made a Studio Tour Information Thread that is located on the Southern California board.

There is a Go Card for LA that offers admission to about 40 attractions or so that you can buy for $65/adult for one day. There are also 2, 3, 5, and 7 day passes, but that obviously won't work for us. The 3, 5, and 7 day passes include admission to Universal Studios as well. At one point, we were considering doing a 3 day pass, but it would be too much to try and squeeze in, plus they are $170/adult for 3 days. You would have to keep your butt moving. The nice thing is that the days don't have to be consecutive. So have 2 weeks to use them. I think we might do this to save money on the studio tours since all three combined would be $132/each. But I don't really think we could fit 3 into one day, right? That would be a nightmare if we got stuck in traffic somewhere.

So much to think about, no time to plan!

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Old 06-13-2012, 03:17 PM   #452
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We've done the Go Card before and are fans. Hopefully, you find the one that works well for you. We are watching Brave at the El Capitan on 06-24-12 and most likely eating at the Soda Fountain next door (for time not for taste). I wish we had more time down there as well, but DH cannot get more time off work. Other than the studio tours, we have done all of the others. If I had to pick a few, I would choose The Farmer's Market, The Santa Monica Pier or Universal Studios. The Walk of Fame, Grauman's, El Capitan, The Soda Fountain and Madamme Tussauds are all very close to each other. You may be able to see all of them.

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Originally Posted by hurleysweety View Post
I love your taste in "Disney Cuisine"! Too funny that we're eating at so many similar places. Maybe we'll bump into each other. I would love to do Carthay Circle as a sit-down, but DH can't get past the prices, even though I have told him it will be as good as Hollywood Brown Derby in WDW, our favorite restaurant, despite the "signature" price tag. But as reviews come out this weekend, maybe I can talk him into it. If we weren't doing Blue Bayou as well, we would probably do it. But since Blue Bayou is a celebration with friends, it wins on this trip!
While I find the steaks at The Blue Bayou and The Brown Derby to be lacking compared to some other Disney restaurants (Citricos, Flying Fish, Narcoossees, etc), I love the cobb salad at The Brown Derby. I love the amibiance of the Blue Bayou though, so I am sure you will have a great time at the party. Carthay Circle has the same head chef as Napa Rose, so I have a feeling it will be the best of the three. Hopefully, you talk him into it!
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:52 AM   #453
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Originally Posted by kmedina View Post
We've done the Go Card before and are fans. Hopefully, you find the one that works well for you. We are watching Brave at the El Capitan on 06-24-12 and most likely eating at the Soda Fountain next door (for time not for taste). I wish we had more time down there as well, but DH cannot get more time off work. Other than the studio tours, we have done all of the others. If I had to pick a few, I would choose The Farmer's Market, The Santa Monica Pier or Universal Studios. The Walk of Fame, Grauman's, El Capitan, The Soda Fountain and Madamme Tussauds are all very close to each other. You may be able to see all of them.
Too ironic we have such similar plans. When I first started my disneyland/disboard obession back in 2008 and began this PTR in 2009, I thought people were crazy for leaving Anahiem and doing something besides Disney. Now I can't believe that I missed out on so many fun things. Maybe we're just growing up. Wish we could see a movie at El Capitan - but we already saw Avengers. Whoops!

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While I find the steaks at The Blue Bayou and The Brown Derby to be lacking compared to some other Disney restaurants (Citricos, Flying Fish, Narcoossees, etc), I love the cobb salad at The Brown Derby. I love the amibiance of the Blue Bayou though, so I am sure you will have a great time at the party. Carthay Circle has the same head chef as Napa Rose, so I have a feeling it will be the best of the three. Hopefully, you talk him into it!
Ah yes, steak at Disney. The food at Blue Bayou is not the main reason we are going, but man I love that ambiance -- interesting considering that is why you go to a restaurant - to eat! Haha. The cobb is a must have for every Disney foodie. And it left me only wanting more. On both visits, we scheduled our Brown Derby ADR late in the trip, since we knew everything would disappoint afterwards! We're just getting our feet wet when it comes to "signature" Disney dining like Napa Rose or Carthay Circle (and hopefully Narcoosses on the next WDW trip, maybe in 2014?- dying for that lakeside view!). But I figure we have many trips ahead to plan a special meal here and there.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:06 AM   #454
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We got our Go Cards! We settled on the 2 day pass and are excited for the possibility to go on all 3 studio tours - meaning we'll get our money's worth by just visiting those three places. So everything else will be a bonus. For instance, there is a great aquarium right by our hotel that is a $22/adult ticket that we might be able to squeeze into.



My boss used to live in LA for 15 years, so has has told me all about the traffic we'll deal with on Monday. Basically we have two choices, leave by 2:30, or leave after 8pm. Such a different world over there!

So now I get to spend my night planning the best way two spend these two days. The hardest part is wanting to book the tours, but knowing that I can't until I have the card in my hand. Hoping that the tours are still available.

I also need to work on driving directions, dining options for wherever we might want to eat those first few days, and laundry. Ooohh laundry...please find a way to fold yourself...
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:34 AM   #455
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Sounds like you just have great taste in my opinion. We love to eat, so we mostly get the deluxe plan when we go to WDW. Disneyland has a dining plan, but it does not save any money. When every meal is full price oop, we eat less TS.

We love Disney and mostly go there now that we have kids. Before the kids, we mostly went other places, so I think you are ahead of the game. I love swinging by Hollywood or Santa Monica at the end of a Disney or San Diego trip, because we are unlikely to vacation exclusively in Hollywood.

I would love to read about your studio tours, since we have never done any of them. If you rave about them, I just might have to check them out on a future trip. My DH is not into studio tours at the theme parks, like HS or Universal, so I do not think he would want to do it.

I think we have two park days that cross each other, Thursday and Friday. We are both going to have fun, I bet!
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:35 PM   #456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurleysweety View Post
My boss used to live in LA for 15 years, so has has told me all about the traffic we'll deal with on Monday. Basically we have two choices, leave by 2:30, or leave after 8pm. Such a different world over there!
Oh LA traffic...This summer is the first time I have a car. Fortunately, I don't have to drive to my on-campus job, but I've had to drive around LA a few times over the past couple weeks and it is a little crazy.

When I went to the One More Disney Day on Leap Day, me and my friend left LA at 6PM and hit so much traffic (the first part was LA traffic, second was Disney traffic)! It took us 2 hours to get to the Mickey and Friends parking structure! But we're glad that we left then and not later because even though there wouldn't have been any LA traffic later, we wouldn't have been let into the parks!

Also, I've been living here for almost 2 years and haven't done 3/4 of the "Hollywood/LA" attractions. I've been to Hollywood Blvd a few times (was there when the red carpet/world premiere of the avengers was at the El Capitan) and I've walked to the Hollywood sign, but that's about it... I've never even been to Universal Studios except this past Easter because our church had a HUGE service there.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:14 PM   #457
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Sounds like you just have great taste in my opinion. We love to eat, so we mostly get the deluxe plan when we go to WDW. Disneyland has a dining plan, but it does not save any money. When every meal is full price oop, we eat less TS.

We love Disney and mostly go there now that we have kids. Before the kids, we mostly went other places, so I think you are ahead of the game. I love swinging by Hollywood or Santa Monica at the end of a Disney or San Diego trip, because we are unlikely to vacation exclusively in Hollywood.

I would love to read about your studio tours, since we have never done any of them. If you rave about them, I just might have to check them out on a future trip. My DH is not into studio tours at the theme parks, like HS or Universal, so I do not think he would want to do it.

I think we have two park days that cross each other, Thursday and Friday. We are both going to have fun, I bet!

Oh we love to eat too. As DH commonly says, "We're here for the food..." And we've been known to plan out our dining plans before we think about much else. In WDW, our park days are usually determined by when I can get those coveted ADRs at the perfect timing. DLR's dining plan is a bit of a joke. But I know some people like having everything paid for up front, so I see how it could be of use to some people. I think I'd end up getting to frustrated using vouchers. And I would love to do the DxDP someday, but DH thinks it might be too much food. He tends to eat healthier than me and doesn't like all the fried, sugary, calorie-laden things that my tastebuds are only ever drawn to in Disney (seriously, it just smells too good sometimes!).

I hope you guys have a great time too. I hope that the weather is nice, despite the usual "June Gloom." Also hoping for a bit under the expected 100,000 people. I'd be happy with 90,000...


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Oh LA traffic...This summer is the first time I have a car. Fortunately, I don't have to drive to my on-campus job, but I've had to drive around LA a few times over the past couple weeks and it is a little crazy.

When I went to the One More Disney Day on Leap Day, me and my friend left LA at 6PM and hit so much traffic (the first part was LA traffic, second was Disney traffic)! It took us 2 hours to get to the Mickey and Friends parking structure! But we're glad that we left then and not later because even though there wouldn't have been any LA traffic later, we wouldn't have been let into the parks!

Also, I've been living here for almost 2 years and haven't done 3/4 of the "Hollywood/LA" attractions. I've been to Hollywood Blvd a few times (was there when the red carpet/world premiere of the avengers was at the El Capitan) and I've walked to the Hollywood sign, but that's about it... I've never even been to Universal Studios except this past Easter because our church had a HUGE service there.
Part of me really wanted to go to Universal, "Cuz its right there!" but then I realized that it would be another day of theme park lines, food, etc and I think that three, during Cars Land's first week, will be plenty rides/attractions to last me awhile!

Hoping my boss's traffic advice works out well. One of our Hollywood days is a Sunday (the 17th), so we are hoping that will help a bit. And its also Father's Day, and what Disney is guessing will be the busiest day of the Cars Land weekend, as NO APs are blocked out that day, and most likely will be the last day for many people who planned a vacation just to see Cars Land (going back to work Monday, ugh). Glad to hear that you only got stuck in 2 hours of traffic. I've read about much worse! Also good that you made it into the parking structure, as I heard it was a nightmare after it was full. Eek. But I bet it was tons of fun!
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:31 PM   #458
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Studio Tours Booked/Hollywood Plans Made - we leave tomorrow!

Studio Tours have been booked! We are going to all three. Warner Brothers, Sony, and Paramount. We are starting at Warner Brothers one day, then we'll be going to Hollywood/Highland area to see Madame Tussads and the Hollywood Museum and to eat at the Disney Soda Fountain. Then we're going to try and make it over to the pier at Santa Monica by 5:30 to get an unlimited ride wristband since the pier is open until 10pm that night.

Then on our second Go Card day, we'll start at Sony Pictures in the morning, and then head over to Paramount in the afternoon. Then we're going to the Farmer's Market to look around and eat dinner. Then around 8:00 we'll head down to Anaheim and hope for better traffic conditions. We might head over to Downtown Disney for free 3 hour parking and just look around hang out. I can't stay away from Disneyland when I know its "right there!" for too long!

If my calculations are correct, we're definitely saving money with these cards!
Cost for Go Los Angeles Adult Card - $93.xx *2 Cards = $187.xx
- Cost for Warner Brothers - $49.00 *2 = $98.00
- Cost for Sony Tour - $35 *2 = $70.00
- Cost for Paramount Tour - $48 = $96.00
- Cost for Madamme Tussads - $20.00 *2 = $40.00
- Cost for Hollywood Museum - $15 *2 = $30.00
- Cost for Santa Monica Pier Unlimited Rides - $22 *2 = $44.00
Total Price for all attractions in our plan - $378.00
Total potential Savings - $191 (that's over 50%!!!!)

Our only concern right now is actually getting our Go Card. We found out we can only redeem our voucher at a location in Beverly Hills. That puts us about an hour out of our way on our drive tomorrow. But I know I will feel better having the card in my hand! We'll be calling another location in Buena Park to see if they are able to process the voucher since it will take us about 10 minutes out of our way. Wouldn't that be so much better?!

EDIT - DH has been awesome at calling these places while I'm at work. He found out from the Buena Park place that they will gladly process our voucher. No going to Beverly Hills for us!

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Old 06-15-2012, 10:07 PM   #459
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You have some excellent things planned for Hollywood and are sure to have a great time. I cannot wait to read about the studio tours. Glad you get to go to Buena Park to get your Go Cards.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:13 PM   #460
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Hi! Hope you're having a wonderful trip so far! When you get back we can compare Carsland reviews!!! Can't wait to hear your take on the new stuff!
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:17 PM   #461
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We're back from Cars Land!

Wow! What a great and amazing trip! We saw and did so many things that I cannot wait to share with you. We spent about 3 days in Disney, and 3 days around Long Beach and Hollywood and Huntington Beach. I took a lot of pictures of things outside Disney to help with anyone interested in planning a day trip or beach day while on their Disney vacation. Here is what I will be covering in this report:
  • Long Beach Port and Hotels
  • Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor
  • Long Beach's Rainbow Harbor and Shoreline Village
  • Madame Tussads
  • El Capitan Theater
  • Disney Soda Fountain
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Graumen's Chinese Theater
  • Highland & Hollywood Shopping Center
  • The Hollywood Museum
  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Sony Pictures Studio Tour
  • Paramount Pictures Studio Tour
  • WB Studio Tour
  • The Grove
  • The Original Farmers Market
  • Griffith Park Observatory
  • The LA Go Card
  • Huntington Beach (parking, shopping, dining)
  • Hilton Anaheim Hotel
  • Cars Land & how to get on Radiator Springs Racers (RSR)
  • LA Traffic
  • Hotel Tonight app

I'm really hoping to complete this trip report. I'm going to try and post something small each day and hope that eventually it is complete. Please ask lots of questions!!! That helps me out the most and keeps me motivated!
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:08 PM   #462
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Oh my goodness that's a lot of stuff you did! I love how the LA traffic gets the . I'll be thinking of some good questions! I'm in.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:30 PM   #463
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Oh my goodness that's a lot of stuff you did! I love how the LA traffic gets the . I'll be thinking of some good questions! I'm in.

Thanks! I might only have on reader, but its better than none and glad to have you here!
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:33 PM   #464
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Tips for getting on RSR + June 20th DCA Crowd Video

So today's post is actually of a thread that I just started. Its my review of RSR and getting on RSR. I posted it on the main thread so that it could help others like so many helped me before our trip, and so many other trips before that!

I posted a video of the crazy crowds, and also some info regarding how we got our FPs and on another day, our experience with the single rider line. Its the GOLDEN ticket, btw. DH and I lucked out and got to ride in the same car. Waited 45 minutes, even with 2 breakdowns!

Here is the thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2947756
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:38 PM   #465
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I'm following along! Hadn't heard of the GO Pass until I read your TR. We are going to Anaheim/San Diego in August for the first time and I am still trying to make decisions about what to see and do!
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First trip to WDW November 2006 - CSR
October 2007 - POR Riverside
September 2008- WL/MNSSHP
May 2009 - POR Riverside
Bought BLT DVC September 2009
November 2009 - BLT
April 2010 - Vero Beach
September 2010 - BLT/MNSSHP
November 2011- SSR
April 2012 - Disney Dream
August 2012 - GCV Disneyland
November 2012 Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
October 2013 - Port Orleans Riverside/MNSSHP
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