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Old 08-16-2010, 01:20 AM   #1
MulanFan
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Near the Rockies
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Trip comments Aug 3-8, 2010

Since I learned so much from DISers, I would like to share my experiences and comments of our trip. I don't plan for it to be a comprehensive one, just some obervations of things that came up. Hopefully this will help the next person in planning their trip. If I think of anything else, I may add to it. Thanks!

Cafe Orleans for viewing Fantasmic.
We ate at Cafe Orleans on the day of arrival, and got the latest possible reservation. The food was great (I had the Monte Christo and the pomme frites). The pomegranate lemonade was awesome! We were able to stay and view Fantasmic from where we were, but missed the stuff on the surface. It was nice to be able to sit down at a table while waiting for Fantasmic, but we missed half the show so I don't think it was worth it.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
It was totally worth having DD (6) get her hair done. I got the hair and nail package, and purchased the photo package separately. I also got the scepter and glove/bag added. It was totally worth it. i did not see the note in the photo package that said I could get copies of the photos at the Photo store in Main Street (can't remember offhand, I'll add it when I do) until midnight that same day, otherwise I would have gotten more copies of the one large photo (package came with one large photo/1 pose, and 4 4x6s/2 other poses). Oh, and you can buy the bag and sash separately wihtout having to get the service (I seem to remember someone asking that question).

Fantasmic
Awesome show! Get there early - we were there around 7, and got one of the few remaining spots by the water with a decent view of the main stage (it was off to one side of the stage). People were understanding about one person in the party holding spots for the rest of the party, and there was not a lot of pushing or anything). We saved our spots and took turns getting dinner. Bengal BBQ was not too far away ...!

Bengal BBQ - great food! Wish the servings were larger though lol. I did not realize that there was only one stick per serving (I thought there was 2 per serving). Oh well. I got some popcorn and we were ok.

World of Color - awesome show! We got the picnic option and it was great. We picked it up around 2:30 so we could make sure we get the blue FPs (we did), took it back to the hotel for our break, and brought it back in. Security allowed it because it was a Disney meal. I just did not want to have it get warm and end up with food poisoning or something. The food was pretty good.

Tropicana Inn
This is the second time we stayed there, we picked it for its proximity and it was worth it ...! Hotel was decent, hot tub was great for sore feet, and we were glad it was so close as we went to rest in the room and cool off every day. They had a small gift shop and coffee shop on the ground floor, and the hospitality room (with free continental breakfast) was on the 3rd floor.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:46 PM   #2
DizNee Luver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MulanFan View Post
Since I learned so much from DISers, I would like to share my experiences and comments of our trip. I don't plan for it to be a comprehensive one, just some obervations of things that came up. Hopefully this will help the next person in planning their trip. If I think of anything else, I may add to it. Thanks!

Cafe Orleans for viewing Fantasmic.
We ate at Cafe Orleans on the day of arrival, and got the latest possible reservation. The food was great (I had the Monte Christo and the pomme frites). The pomegranate lemonade was awesome! We were able to stay and view Fantasmic from where we were, but missed the stuff on the surface. It was nice to be able to sit down at a table while waiting for Fantasmic, but we missed half the show so I don't think it was worth it.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
It was totally worth having DD (6) get her hair done. I got the hair and nail package, and purchased the photo package separately. I also got the scepter and glove/bag added. It was totally worth it. i did not see the note in the photo package that said I could get copies of the photos at the Photo store in Main Street (can't remember offhand, I'll add it when I do) until midnight that same day, otherwise I would have gotten more copies of the one large photo (package came with one large photo/1 pose, and 4 4x6s/2 other poses). Oh, and you can buy the bag and sash separately wihtout having to get the service (I seem to remember someone asking that question).

Fantasmic
Awesome show! Get there early - we were there around 7, and got one of the few remaining spots by the water with a decent view of the main stage (it was off to one side of the stage). People were understanding about one person in the party holding spots for the rest of the party, and there was not a lot of pushing or anything). We saved our spots and took turns getting dinner. Bengal BBQ was not too far away ...!

Bengal BBQ - great food! Wish the servings were larger though lol. I did not realize that there was only one stick per serving (I thought there was 2 per serving). Oh well. I got some popcorn and we were ok.

World of Color - awesome show! We got the picnic option and it was great. We picked it up around 2:30 so we could make sure we get the blue FPs (we did), took it back to the hotel for our break, and brought it back in. Security allowed it because it was a Disney meal. I just did not want to have it get warm and end up with food poisoning or something. The food was pretty good.

Tropicana Inn
This is the second time we stayed there, we picked it for its proximity and it was worth it ...! Hotel was decent, hot tub was great for sore feet, and we were glad it was so close as we went to rest in the room and cool off every day. They had a small gift shop and coffee shop on the ground floor, and the hospitality room (with free continental breakfast) was on the 3rd floor.
I remember back in 2005 sitting on the terrace of Cafe Orleans after the show had started.....could see the big stuff....but missed a ton from there. And I agree.....the food there is awesome!!

My DD 5 had a blast at the BBB!! We did the whole shebang!! Are you getting the photo CD? If so, they can add the BBB pics to it. There is a number on the side of the larger picture that can be added like a 2nd photopass card.

Wasn't the World of Color show all it promised & more!! Awesome show....wish we could have done it more than once!

We stayed at the Tropicana last year. Great location, nice staff, helpful housekeeping, clean rooms, quiet & nice & dark at night!! Would have no problem recommending this for others! (I didn't realize when we were there that they offered a small continental breakfast.....lol)
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:22 AM   #3
MulanFan
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ohh, I did not know that about BBB, I'll have to do it. Thanks for the info! We did the partial shebang - I got a couple of accessories and the photo package, with DD in the Belle dress she already had.

WOC was totally amazing! So was F! - I have not decided which I liked better.

You did not miss much with the Tropicana breakfast - the breakfast was ok if you like donuts and croissants, and they do have an option for you to purchase cereal and bagles. Plus, it means you have to get up earlier lol. I wish DD liked pop tarts - I would have been happy with that and an extra half hour of sleep ...!
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Old 08-19-2010, 12:27 AM   #4
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Observations part 2. These are mostly my comments on the rides that I made.

We did not get to go on all the rides we wanted But, we did enjoy the ones we were on. Most of my time was spent with DD6, who is really into princesses. She doesn't like the dark, so did not enjoy the dark rides as much. We did Peter Pan and Mr. Toad. She was a trooper on POTC, but did not like it (too scary).

She loved the carousels, Dumbo, FL teacups and gadget's go coaster (rode them several times). She enjoyed Small World and the Tiki Room (although the totems intimidated her a bit). She did not care for Roger Rabbit, and was so-so with Autopia. She did enjoy Finding Nemo, although was a bit uncomfortable with the dim lights. She did enjoy GRR and TMRR, but we only were able to ride them once. She watched the Jedi training academy but was not interested in participating (although perhaps it was because she was in a princess dress and all dolled up after BBB).

Goofy's Kitchen and Ariel's Grotto were definite hits. The food was good, at both, and we enjoyed having the character interaction. DD loved all the princesses (and I was thrilled to meet Mulan!).
At AG, we saw Ariel, Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White and Belle.
At GK we saw Goofy, Chip and Dale, Mulan (!), Minnie Mouse and Belle in her village outfit (blue). The characters seemed a bit more hurried this time around.

TTMM: We enjoyed the show, and proudly showed off the buttons we got after the ceremony on our lanyard ...! We saw Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald, but Donald did not stay long since he moved to the Main Plaza. And we were next in line right before he left. We would have been OK except for the line cutters who rushed to give a hug before he left ... DD was so disappointed, and we never did have a chance to meet Donald this trip. Oh well. She cheered up after getting on Gadgets go coaster (11 times - I think she liked it )

PFF: Loving princesses, of course we had to go to this. DD was a bit shy, so did not go and do the coronation ceremony (I had 4 WOC picnic meals, backpack with the days' stuff AND the camera bag, so I was not going down to the floor with all that stuff). DD did not do the signatures and photo afterwards, since we already had the signatures for the three princesses (Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White). We stayed for the storytelling, which was Ariel at that time. Then we went to the greeting line and met Jasmine, Belle and Tiana (yay!!). I was told Pocahontas also showed up there too, in addition to wandering around Frontierland, but we never saw her (bummer).

The Troubador Tavern was next to PFF, and they had BAKED POTATOES (yum!). It was a nice alternative to burgers and the like. Plus the sitting area overlooked the PFF floor, so we had built in entertainment Even if you are not there for PFF, I would check out the food. OK, maybe by that time I was ready for something nice and simple like a baked potato ...

A Bug's Life - DD loved almost everything there. Heimlich Chew Chew train was a favorite, and Dot's puddle got her soaking wet (we got her Keens in anticipation of this). She was not interested in the bumper cars, but rode everything else. We were here when she was 2 1/2, and Heimlich was also her favorite. However, I think by the time we make it back, she would have outgrown this area ... sniff.


DH's take on rides (we split up and he went on the larger rides with our friend): DH loved TMRR, Space M (twice), Calif Screamin, TSMM (only made it once, but would have gone again if the lines weren't so long). DH did not care for Captain EO. Matterhorn was OK, but lines were long. He thought Nemo was OK, and liked GRR (of course, HE did not get too wet ...).

Celebrate parade: it was a lot of fun, but only if you were in the right spot for a good view. I liked the energy, but could not see the dancing and had limited interaction. There were several charcters, there were 2 instances where the kids were able to participate. It was amusing to have the CMs try to herd the kids back to their proper parents ... At the end, they threw Mickey shaped confetti, which I thought was really cute.

Aladdin: we had Preferred seating, but did not get there early enough to take advantage of it. We decided to go in anyway and not wait for the next show, and ended up in the nosebleed section. It was OK, we had to lean over to see everything, but it was a different perspective and I thought it was cool to see the openings in the floor where the characters appear and disappear from the middle of the stage. We enjoyed the show, and it was nice to rest and cool off in the AC

River Belle Terrace breakfast - we went for a sit down breakfast one day, and went for the mickey shaped pancakes here. I got the Mark Twain, with potatos, eggs and sausage. We sat outside and had a view of the river and Mark Twain. Very nice.

Alamo rent a car: We rented a car for one day, and went to Santa Monica pier. Not doing that again - we spent more time in traffic than at the beach. The Alamo office was in DTD, so it was very convenient. The rental lot was down from the building. The person was friendly, but did not give good directions to the car or on how to return the car. Plus, the gate was broken when we finally managed to find the lot. We did have a nice dinner at Joe's Crab Shack, and shopped at the Disney Character Warehouse, so it was worth the effort. Next time, we would skip the beach or find a closer one.

OK, I think I've covered most everything we did (I am sure there are a few things here and there that I missed). It was definitely a great trip , flying into SNA was (for us) a very good decision. Not renting a car saved us some $$, and it was nice not to have to worry about knowing where to go. We did spend some time as a family for some things, and split up for others (that was a good plan). Daily breaks were imperative - we would not have lasted otherwise. Plus it was nice to dump the shopping back at the room so we did not have to carry it around lol.

Oh, one last comment. We got the autograph books that they sell in the stores, and it was very nice because it has a plastic pocket for photos on one side, and a space for an autograph on the other. I would definitely do that again.

For those of you who have read this until the end, thanks for allowing me to share our experiences with you, and I hope you enjoy your trip!
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