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Old 11-07-2010, 05:25 AM   #76
SurfinTX
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Originally Posted by TinksThree View Post

I love the opening ceremony at MK. It is a must every trip....DL's opening is a little disappointing!

I remember 20,000 Leagues...vaguely! Cool that they transformed the one at DL for Nemo....we love Nemo in our house. Dory is my inspiration at work..."Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!"

I have heard so much about the Matterhorn....I want to go!!
DL opening is nothing special...other than it's a must if you want to catch a few rides before the lines build.

Dory was a favorite for my niece when the Finding Nemo Teaser Trailer was running. She was three and kept repeating... "Nothin' in my noggin!"

We have about the same memory probably. I can remember waiting in line at WDW and then a bit of the ride.

The Matterhorn is good fun and won't freak out older kids. It's close to BTMRR for thrills.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:48 AM   #77
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Thanks for the TR! Gave me a good belly ache! Looking forward to the rest!
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:59 AM   #78
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Day2: Part 2 - It's Not My Fault!

Last you saw us we were heading out of Disneyland barely an hour after arriving. Why would we do that you might ask?

Well, an interesting thing about the layout of the Disneyland Resort in California is that the entrances to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure are so close together. They are litteraly less than one minutes walk from gate to gate. Today DCA is opening at 10:00 am and I want to take advantage of rope drop at this park to get on some very popular rides.

That begs another question. Why am I leaving DL an hour before DCA opens? That has a more complex answer. The long answer can be found in Hydroguy's Tips About Disneyland which can be found here.

HydroGuy's Tips Compilation

The shorter answer is that DCA opens in stages. First of all if DCA opens at 10:00 a.m. then the turnstiles open at 9:30. Why? Well there are several reasons. First of all the most popular ride in the park currently is Toy Story Mania. It's location is at Paradise Pier all the way at the back of the park. Disney has decided to prevent huge crowd management problems and what would likely be a stream of people running all the way. They created interior rope drops to slow people down and get the crowds closer to their destination.

DCA also opens Soarin' over California at this time. You can collect Fastpasses or hop on directly after the CMs open the gate.

Finally, DCA opened a new show this summer called World of Color. The popularity of this show is tremendous and large crowds head for Fastpasses for that show as well. More on that later.

Here is a pic as I was leaving DL heading towards DCA.



Notice a good size line has formed even though it's 45 minutes before the 10:00 "opening" time.

If you have a map of DCA handy...

http://disneyland.disney.go.com/maps/

after getting your parkhopper scanned you will enter the front of the park facing the Golden Gate bridge...which is a bridge for the monorail to cross over this area!

The crowd splits into two groups. One goes straight ahead to line up at a rope halfway to the Pier. The second group heads right and most pass by Soarin' (I can hear you WDW vets disbelief but that is just how popular World of Color is right now) and proceeds all the way over to Grizzly River Run's Fastpass stations. That is where the Fastpasses for World of Color are being distributed at this time. More on that later.

I, having decided not to watch World of Color today, did stop at Soarin' to collect my Fastpass.



With that in hand I follow the big crowd around Grizzly River Run. Along the way you will pass the entrance that the Grand Californian has to this park. Soon I see the huge lines for World of Color but I pass them by. Eventualy I get all the way around this side of the park and reach what shows on the map as two buildings where the yellow and turquoise paths meet.



Here you find a mini rope drop area that is much closer than the other rope drop location I mentioned earlier. I was all set to start my race to Toy Story Mania when the CMs announce that the ride was having technical difficultiies and would not be operating at opening.

You could tell that this entire group was attempting to go on that ride by the moans and groans. Han said, "It's not my fault!" since we all knew his luck with the Falcon. A nice lady struck up a conversation with me as we waited. Her family was somewhere behind her and you could tell she was a Disney fanatic. She recomended various attractions and sights which mostly agreed with my current plan.

Soon the rope doeas drop and the crowd presses forward. Here is where going without children is a huge advantage. Zipping through strollers and people half my height I was powerwalking my way to my new goal.



Notice the CMs lining the way reminding people to walk. Kids can rush ahead if they run but they are at a decided disadvantage if they are forced to walk. Soon only adults are in the front group. Rounding the Pier my destination is in sight. Han points it out.



Notice more CMs along the way? They are everywhere and will stop you if you are running. Well at least today they were since it was so slick.

Arriving at our destination...



Only a few people arrived ahead of me as a good portion of the crowd continued on to TSM. Even knowing it was closed people were going to stake a place in line just in case. Walking all the way to the loading area I found that we were going to be the first riders of the day!

With almost no wait we were off to the launch point. Many aspects of this coaster is similar to RocknRollercoaster including the launch. There is only one inversion, a loop, but the music goes well with the pier theme in this part of the park. Afterwards, though, I had to give the nod to RnRR due to better music, indoors and more inversions. For a budding thrillseeker this coaster is plenty of fun, however!

Walking along the pier I take a picture of TSM and it's location near the coaster.



At this time TSM was still down but a sizable crowd was still waiting. My plan for the day made it tough to wait for this so I continued on to...



This is a 160 foot tall ferris wheel that has both swinging and stationary gondolas. Loading for this ride can be lengthy so try to ride as early as you can. From here you can get some amazing views of the park!





Notice the barf bags if you ride on the swinging gondolas.



After about 15 minutes you will go through a cycle of loading, spinning and then unloading. Avoid if you are afraid of heights or you are suceptible to motion sickness.

A view from across the lake.



With that it was time to leave Paradise Pier. I was short of my primary goal of riding Toy Story Mania but I knew there was much more to see.


Next Up: This is Actually Kinda Like Cropdusting Kid.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:54 AM   #79
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....... Update! .......

(too early for witty feedback, thanks for the wonderful update)
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:24 PM   #80
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Paradise Pier looks like so much fun! Maybe it is just the theming? I don't know, but the ferris wheel with the big Mickey head definitely won me over!!

I am so glad Han was able to point the way...you may have never found your destination otherwise!! He is cracking me up!!!
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:28 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExpatDisneyLover View Post
Thanks for the TR! Gave me a good belly ache! Looking forward to the rest!
Glad you joined in! I'll try to keep the laughs coming.

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Originally Posted by Dizzy4DL View Post
....... Update! .......

(too early for witty feedback, thanks for the wonderful update)
For me it was quite late and I had to cut it off earlier than I wanted. The next part should have been included in yesterdays update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinksThree View Post
Paradise Pier looks like so much fun! Maybe it is just the theming? I don't know, but the ferris wheel with the big Mickey head definitely won me over!!

I am so glad Han was able to point the way...you may have never found your destination otherwise!! He is cracking me up!!!
Paradise Pier is a lot of fun these days. When the park opened the locals didn't like it very much. Many of the rides seemed to be non-Disney oriented. Now with TSM opened up the park is starting to come around. Disney is making a major investment in this park to add more attractions and I'll be covering that soon.

Han was a big help today.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:20 AM   #82
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Day 2: Part 3 - This is Actually Kinda Like Cropdusting Kid.

At the end of the last update, if you remember, I was leaving the Paradise Pier area. There were a few things I would like to mention before carrying on.

Currently Disney's California Adventure is in the middle of a major makeover. The company has commited a tremendous amount of money starting a few years ago to transform the park into something with more Disney atmosphere. Signs of construction are everywhere right now. You can see a bit of it in the edges of my pictures. There are a lot of cranes and fences up but I'm trying to keep a lot of those out of the pictures I'm showing.

The first ride that has been shut down that directly impacted my plans was Maliboomer. It was a vertical launch ride set between California Screamin' and Mickey's Fun Wheel. Currently all that is left of it is a few support structures as plans are to change it into a seating area in the midst of California Screamin'.

Ok. Now that I reminded myself about that particular part of Paradise Pier...lets move on.

Just as I walked by Ariel's Grotto and turned towards A Bug's Land I ran into these guys.



They had set up a percussion performance that had a lot of Sir! Yes Sir's! included. There was some crowd interaction as well as the Army Men tried to find out how motivated the kids were in the crowd.



After 10 minutes they moved on to other parts of the park and I turned into A Bug's Land but not before noticing a sign which is not pictured. It warned guests that currently the connection between The Tower of Terror and The Hollywood Pictures Back lot was currently blocked. In my planning I hadn't heard about this and needless to say it would be an inconvenience.

In a rush (and not taking any pictures) I make my way all the way through A Bug's Land and head straight for Tower of Terror and it's Fastpass machines.



If you look at the map now I was forced to backtrack all the way through A Bug's Land if I wanted to see more of the park. Han at this point looked ready to charge through the foliage but I talked him out of it. After returning to the front of the park it was now time (10:45) to use my first Fastpass and jump on Soarin' Over California.



After presenting my ticket the CM hands me one of these.



I'm not sure but I think solo riders might get these more often than others might since it was the third time in my three visits to get the wait time card.

With the Fastpass I had to wait about 10 minutes. It would have been faster but the CM held me up to be first on the next trip. This would turn out to be a nice thing since he led me to the first row of the middle bay.

Yep. That's where I'm at.



Front row top!



Not having people's feet dangling in front of you really does make this ride better. I have rode this a number of times at WDW but near the middle bottom and the perspective is just not as good as being on the top.

Of course Han had to make a snide comment as we flew over the orange groves that it's exactly like cropdusting.


Okay. I know it's a short update but it really should have been included in the last bit. Hopefully the next bit will not be long in coming.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:10 AM   #83
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Nice updates! If I ever go to DL I'm going to have to have you give me the lowdown on what order to hit the rides. It sounds like you know all of the ins and outs.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:31 PM   #85
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Nice updates! If I ever go to DL I'm going to have to have you give me the lowdown on what order to hit the rides. It sounds like you know all of the ins and outs.
HydroGuy's tips really helped a lot as well as looking over the boards for months with all the changes that have happened recently...like World of Color. Still, with the major makeover of DCA in a year everything will be totally different.

Quote:
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I totally agree! First row on Soarin makes the ride feel so surreal!! It also made Keith get motion sick!
I remember that in your trip report. You had all kinds of problems with Keith's foot as well that day.

Last edited by SurfinTX; 11-10-2010 at 03:49 AM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:31 AM   #86
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Day 2: Part 4 - What an Incredible Smell You've Discovered!

After having a thouroghly enjoyable trip on Soarin' we exit the ride and come back outside. Almost immediatly a strong smell overcame us. No. It wasn't the garbage masher or anything like that. It was hot popcorn and it reminded my tummy that I haven't had anything since 7:00 am. One thing I can say about Disneyland...good smells travel far. In Disneyworld I found that there was always a background "swampy" or decaying smell. The sheer amount of rain and water everywhere kinda wipes out everything else. Not here. It was free advertising to everyone within 200 feet. POPCORN!

Drawn more strongly than the Dark Side ever could we get in line. While waiting a character greeting spot was right next to us.



This kid was having nothing to do with Goofy this day.

The line was only 4 deep when I arrived but as soon as one was served more would be drawn to the enticing smell...and this bad boy...



Here may I present to you the Mickey Halloween Popcorn Bucket. At $8.50 I think it's a steal. Not only do you get a nice bucket of popcorn it can be easily cleaned and used to hold things or display...which I'll show later. Also let me tell you that they are a hot item and any stand that had them on display quickly formed a line until they were sold out. There are a lot of reports that they were gone from the parks for days until they were restocked.

Looking at the clock I was still doing pretty good as far as my plans were concerned and had enough time to fit in...



Monsters Inc. is one of my favorite Pixar films and was the first I had seen with my niece when she was three. This ride takes you through a quick retelling of the story.

The queue is full of funny tidbits about the city of Monstropolis.







After boarding our cars we get to see some of my favorite characters.







At the end Roz has her eye on you and makes random comments about the riders. When we came by I was sitting in the third row.

"You in the third row. Nice hair! Ha! Ha! Haaaa!"


Gee thanks Roz!

With that out of the way the next item on the list was one I was looking forward to for several weeks before the trip. Aladdin! This is a live stage show that many people have raved about on the DisBoards. Unfortunately, Disney had discontinued the show and was planning on changing it into a new presentation once the construction in the park had started winding down. Then, just a few weeks prior to when I was leaving, they announced that the show would be on for a bit longer!

Normaly Monsters Inc. is within a few steps of Aladin's theater. Unfortunately, as I stated earlier, that path blocked off at the moment. Han was not in the mood to make that long walk again and so we parted ways. I then had to hoof it all the way back around through A Bugs Land again to get to the theater.

I arrived 45 minutes before the show but since this was the first showing in over a month the line was already quite long.



The lower section lines were already full. Still, I had arrived just as the balcony seating line was opened and I got in right near the front. Time passes. Standing around 45 minutes alone is never fun. The time finally arrived right before 1 pm and the CMs escort us inside.





My seat wasn't all that bad on the front row center of the balcony. As the audience settled in announcements were made about smoking and flash photography. Interestingly, the repeated announcement was done in Japanese...not Spanish which I commented to myself. In the seat next to me a lady turned to me and asked if I knew Japanese. Come to find out she had traveled from Okinawa to Los Angeles and had ancestors from both the U.S. and Japan.

After a nice conversation which was 95% English luckily (I can read and hear much more than I can speak) the show starts. Spoilers follow.







The Genie was a hoot and kept making very current jokes...such as Lindsey Lohan's recent run ins. About midway through the show an amazing prop elephant moves through the aisles as he transports Aladin to the stage.





Aladdin getting dissed.



I tried to get pictures of the flying carpet. It was just too dark.



Luckily my 10x optical zoom didn't fail me.









The cast.



What can I say? The acting was great! The music performed nearly perfectly and there are nice surprises with the sets throughout. The show lasts one hour and doesn't cut much out. Nearly every song from the film is included and it doesn't feel rushed at all. Talking with other people, including that lady I mentioned at rope drop earlier, it is pretty much the best show Disney puts on at any of the parks. If you are going to Disneyland and Aladdin is showing...free up some time to see it. You won't regret it.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:42 AM   #87
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This was an awesome update Surfin! Great chapter title.

That popcorn bucket looks great, I'd definitely have to pick up one of those if I happened up on one.

And wow, "Aladdin" looks really good. Not frequenting the DL boards, I didn't even know about it. My daughter Marlene's school is going to put on "Aladdin" also, and she is planning on trying out for a role. She wasn't going to go for Jasmine, but I think we talked her into it. We'll see if she gets it.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:45 AM   #88
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Really cool updates and a lot of good info! Hard to believe how much has changed since the last time I was there. Got a really good laugh out of the instructions for the bus riders for Monsters Inc. The Alladin show sounds like great fun!!! Love to see that one!
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:31 PM   #89
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Wow! Thank you for taking pictures of the theater! Many people post pictures of the actors, but I had no idea what the theater looked like inside.
We may have to make the time to see it if it's still going in Jan/Feb. We aren't "show" kind of people, but you made it sound like a lot of fun.
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:44 PM   #90
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This was an awesome update Surfin! Great chapter title.

That popcorn bucket looks great, I'd definitely have to pick up one of those if I happened up on one.

And wow, "Aladdin" looks really good. Not frequenting the DL boards, I didn't even know about it. My daughter Marlene's school is going to put on "Aladdin" also, and she is planning on trying out for a role. She wasn't going to go for Jasmine, but I think we talked her into it. We'll see if she gets it.
I love my Mickey Popcorn bucket! Not that many could be found so if you go in October look early...or look for big lines at popcorn stands.

As far as Aladdin the show was really great. Unfortunately, there is no telling how much longer it will be on. They only extended it's run due to delays in the planning of what would be the replacement show (which I don't know).

Wow! I wish we had some decent choices like Aladdin for musicals in my day. All I got to do was Pipin and a 1940's Radio Show. Tell Marlene to break a leg.

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Really cool updates and a lot of good info! Hard to believe how much has changed since the last time I was there. Got a really good laugh out of the instructions for the bus riders for Monsters Inc. The Alladin show sounds like great fun!!! Love to see that one!
As I said earlier, if you blink it will change again. All I have talked about so far is Maliboomer being shut down and the construction block near Monsters Inc. and Tower of Terror. I'll have more info on some of the construction later. If you can catch Aladdin do so as soon as you can!

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Wow! Thank you for taking pictures of the theater! Many people post pictures of the actors, but I had no idea what the theater looked like inside.
We may have to make the time to see it if it's still going in Jan/Feb. We aren't "show" kind of people, but you made it sound like a lot of fun.
Check it out if you can. There are no guarantees Aladdin will still be running by that date. Also check into some dining options as I beleive there is some reserve seating near the stage. I didn't use that and figured I would just get there early.
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