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Old 10-25-2010, 06:56 PM   #91
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So it begins:

I have to back track a bit because I loaded my iphone pics today and this picture is impressive as today Anaheim is ridiculously crowded. No room to wiggle at all. The Disneyland Hotel is squished between DTD and condos. But here it is in 1956:

Donald and I both awoke before our alarms. Excited! It seems really early to get up at 6 am but 6 am in Cali is 9 am in Ohio. And even though we'd been in Cali for a week we hadn't fully adjusted. So I'd say 6 am felt kinda like 8 am. No biggie.

We chose our outfits carefully as it was gonna rain all day and be in the mid 60's but perhaps go to high 70's. All I know is it was 50% chance of rain all day with 4-6pm 100% chance of thundershowers.

Donald (who HATES to be wet) chose shorts & a long sleeve button down shirt with a t-shirt under it and his rain jacket with a poncho in the bag just in case. And tennis shoes. I chose a sleeveless tank with jeans which I could roll up or down depending on how hot or cold it was & a sweatshirt and I wore my poncho right from the beginning, taking it & the sweatshirt off whenever need be. And tennis shoes.

We chose perfectly and were both happy with our choices. Donald was happy that he was in shorts because they were all the way under the poncho and never wet & I was glad to be in jeans because it did get chilly. And tennis shoes were the right choice but it was HARD to have dry feet. But too much walking and too cold for flip flops.

Disney experience helped here. The proven knowledge that wet tennis shoes are better than wet sandals when that seems illogical.

We were also happy with our $7.00 Target backpack. It had an outer waterproof pocket we kept the ponchos in while wet. We did, however, opt to go without our HD video camera. This made us sad because we wanted to take everything for the girls but with the rain it was too risky and this did prove to be the right choice, even though we missed it.

So. We got up & got going and start the wet and dreary walk to Disneyland. It was quite a different scene from the night before because it was empty. Not a soul to be seen.

It was barely light as you can see (Mickey & Friends parking to our left in this pic):

Our plan was to grab some breakfast and coffee on our way to the entrance but this proved problematic as no one was about and nothing was opened. Evidently early, early, early isn't in the Cali vocabulary.

Even the monorail had NO ONE on it:

I felt like maybe I was missing something with the Disneyland monorail. They looked newer and nicer but I never saw any people on them. Where do they go to & from? Much less important in DL than in WDW as far as I could tell.

Donald and I also thought the fountains at DL were less important than at WDW. At WDW they seem key to Epcot, for example. This one, near where DTD hits DL plaza seemed odd & no one stopped to appreciate it, neither the night before or anytime we saw it this day. It's a cool fountain but seemingly pointless:

We finally found something with movement: La Brea bakery. So we went in. But they told us they didn't open for another 10 minutes. It was around 7am and I was trying to follow Suzy's plan so I left and headed to the gates. Here's my view as I go to get my bag checked from La Brea:

When I got to bag check, however, Donald wasn't behind me. He had already dumped Suzy plan and was gonna chill till he got his coffee. Knowing how we only had one day and early is critical this upset me a bit. But when I checked out the plaza there was NO ONE there. Empty. There were a few families entering DL for early entry (which we couldn't do) and no one else. So I headed back to wait for coffee too.

Donald texting work:

I went into La Brea again to decide what I wanted and hovered with another guy. Finally a girl helped us (longer than 10 minutes!) She was still in her rain jacket and boots as she had just gotten there. But I didn't care. Give me my coffee & pastry and let me go. I LOVE chocolate filled croissants at WDW and always get one so I had to have one this a.m. But it isn't Disney. It's La Brea. And it was chewy not flaky. So I ate half and threw the rest away.

Coffee and pastry in hand we headed back to bag check where again, there were 6 bag check lines and no people with bags. I said to the guy who checked mine:

"I know what you're going to say, I can't go in unless I brought you coffee."

He didn't smile or think it was funny and just said, "I wouldn't say that. I always have coffee at home before I come to work."

Evidently I'm not cute in California. I'm just weird Midwest girl.

Also, he didn't check my bag. He really didn't care about my bag. The multiple times Donald and I went through bag check (4 times for me) I never saw any bags actually checked. They just kinda shook 'em. I don't know. I've just been through a lot of security check points and really, it wasn't a great one. Although as Donald pointed out, if your really wanted to blow up Disneyland you could just throw a bomb over a wall and be done. No need to go in the plaza. So maybe they just knew their job was pointless.

And finally: the plaza! It was 7:35 am and Cali Adventure opened at 10. Obviously no one was there:

I took this pic from where I was standing in line for DL. There were about 50 people in three lines. We hopped in one and a Cali family hopped in behind us. I listened to them the whole time. As previously mentioned, I don't always get west coast humor and I didn't get half of what this family thought was hilarious. It's such a cultural difference and I found them fascinating. I did take a moment to take this picture between the gate rungs:

More people were starting to come about 7:50. They had told us they would let us in at 7:50 but then didn't. And as more people came they opened to 6 rows and let the new people get in the new 3 lines. Which meant there zero advantage to getting there early. I wouldn't have minded since Donald and I were just soaking in the atmosphere (Donald kept saying: "I can't believe I'm here!") but it was raining. And 15 minutes less standing in the cold rain is 15 minutes that would have been nice.

At about 7:55 they let us in. I'd say we were in by 8. There is no finger scan here and you seriously cannot believe how much faster that made it go. AWESOME! HATE finger scan and this just emphasized why. We flew through the line.

The plan was for Donald to "run" and get Space Mt. FP's and I would go check out the Matterhorn line and text him if it was under 20 minutes. So he takes off and I mosey and Mickey comes out right about this time. Yea! Mickey! I'm not going to get my pic with him but wanted to take a simple shot. Well, some toddler came out of nowhere, and I mean nowhere. I'm pretty much just standing there and she plows into me, trips and goes face first flying into the pavement. I bend down to pick her up and by this point her parents are there and they look at me shocked like it was all my fault. So I said, "Sorry, I didn't mean to take your toddler out." The mom looked at me like I had grown horns. By this point, by the way, the kid is at Mickey. Again in my defense I said, "Really, I wasn't even moving." And the dad's like, "Whatever." But really didn't make a move towards Mickey. It was weird. All around weird.

Here's the pic I got right before the kid went flying. You see Donald "running" there by taking a photo Mickey.

Main Street:

Main Street at DL is less spectacular than MK. By a lot. And the castle is down right pitiful. But just the same. I now have a comparison! Yippee!

At this point Donald texts me to tell me that Space Mt is a walk on. I text back, "Duh, I KNOW that. But we need to ride non-FP rides." He claimed after the fact he was teasing but I have my doubts.

We met at Matterhorn as there was almost no line. As we stand in line I tell Donald about the toddler. And the lady behind me says, "I thought that's what Disneyland is all about, taking out toddlers." More humor I didn't really get. I was starting to get concerned.

Here's Donald and I on Matterhorn:

I tried the whole ride to get some pics of the ride but they all turned out a blur. Here's the only pic I got that turned out & it's after we stopped at the end.

Matterhorn seems like a very sad Everest. I realize they aren't supposed to be the same and Matterhorn has been around for awhile. But Matterhorn is a mountain and it has a yeti. So I couldn't help but compare. The Matterhorn has the saddest, silliest yeti you have ever seen. Glad I didn't have to stand in line for this ride. But also glad I rode it. It's just a fun little bobsled ride. And it really does feel like a bobsled. I know this because I did a bobsled ride before and it was just like that only I didn't have a brake control.

We went off plan immediately. Donald had felt like almost all the Fantasyland rides were important to him since we don't have them at WDW. So we opted to do them all right then as there were no lines. First we did Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. We love this movie and Donald has fond memories of riding this ride every year until he wasn't scared any more because he wasn't allowed on Haunted Mansion until he didn't cry on Mr. Toad.

There was no one even near this ride.

I loved it! Understand why they got rid of it because it's too scary for kids and most adults wouldn't enjoy it. But Donald and I and our solid Disney background this ride. ENVY!

Then we did Pinocchio. Very enjoyable, even though I hate the movie:

By this point it was RAINING. So we put our ponchos on and headed over to Storybook Land. Again ENVY! Really, really would like this ride in WDW. It's just a little thing and wouldn't be expensive. Come on, give us this ride.

The people in front of us hadn't realized it was going to pour and then were trapped on the boat when the downpour began. This evidently happened to a lot of people as many, many people were dripping wet all day. But Donald and I never got downpoured on without some rain gear on. Thank goodness, preparation was key for this particular day.

Disney princess homes in miniature:

Here are cacti that Walt had planted while he was in charge and still exist:

Snow White's dwarf's house:

Rabbit Hole:

This is to show you the scale. Do you see the duck?

Prince Eric's house:

Had it not been pouring I would have made Donald let me ride this over again. Maybe even two more times. But truth be told, it was just too rainy. By the way, you have a live narrator in your boat just like Jungle Cruise only it isn't funny, it's a little historical tour of Disney film sets in miniature. Just lovely.

Then we went on It's a Small World. But I think my pic count is gonna be up so you'll all have to wait to hear about more ENVY! till later tonight.

Last edited by estherhead; 10-25-2010 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:34 PM   #92
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Still before 9 am

It's a Small World is partially outside. I think it's very cute.

This Moose seemed totally random but I loved him:

Love this!

And in theirs are characters we all know and love. Love it!

Lilo & Stitch

By this time our FP was up and it was time to get another one. Suzy recommended Haunted Mansion as in DL it's Nightmare before Christmas themed and would be popular as the night time Halloween party crowds started to come. Plus, Indiana Jones ride has a single rider line.

First, though, I wanted to ride Alice in Wonderland ride.

Sadly, it wasn't open. As I already pointed out, I think Disney World is sadly lacking in Alice in Wonderland stuff so I was a bit sad. But while we were over there I opted to take a potty break. Good call! Check it out:

this! The only other lady in this bathroom was a surprised that a lady was taking a photo of the potty. But she came around and took her own shot. Because, come on, how many bathrooms are this cool? She saw my genius right away.

Why do you love Disney Parks? The bathroom stall doors are giant playing cards. Go ahead. Tell me another place you can find playing card bathroom door stalls.

Alright here comes a few Disneyland is truly beautiful shots. Truly, it's beautiful. Even in the rain (which had let up a bit.)

This is the Pirates entrance and New Orleans square:

At first I didn't like this as I love WDW Pirates entrance. But after riding Pirates I ended up coming around and thinking this was just totally gorgeous and fitting.

Another shot:

Tarzan's tree house, which we didn't do. I would normally have done this but it seemed VERY drippy.

All of these things are very close together. It's hard to tell in the photos but Disneyland doesn't have space. So everything is layered on top of everything. The thing I didn't like is the total immersion in a land is missing. All of the lands are layered. So you can see all the lands from all the other lands. But what I did love is you just do one little thing and then can do another thing right then.

For example, you know how the walk from Tomorrowland to go get FP's for Splash Mt and back is KILLER? Or how dreadful it is to start your Epcot morning racing all the way to Soarin' and then back to Test Track to meet the family?

Well, at Disneyland this never happens. We did all of Fantasyland and then got Haunted Mansion FP's and rode Pirates boom-boom-boom. No "death marches" as we like to call walking from France to your car at the end of Illuminations. Just lovely little strolls.

VERY nice.

Now, we rode Pirates. And I followed the very clear directions to not take flash photos. Which means this is all I have to give you:

Their Johnny Depp is right there, not in a little room set back:

Sorry, wish I had more because Disneyland Pirates ROCKS! So I'll just tell you about it. The entrance is very pretty and still piratey when you get in there. I did miss the stone fort feeling. But once on the boat everything is closer to you. It's like you can reach out and touch stuff. Plus, the animatronics are seemless. No jerkiness at all. I did miss the giant boat/fort feel as the WDW fort is SO big it's nice. But at Disneyland instead of feeling like you're watching a ship/fort battle you feeling like you're living it.

Super great Pirates. ENVY!

After this it was almost 10 am and time to go to California adventure. So we went to stand at another entrance.

Coming up tomorrow or Wednesday.

Last edited by estherhead; 10-25-2010 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:55 PM   #93
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More people were starting to come about 7:50. They had told us they would let us in at 7:50 but then didn't. And as more people came they opened to 6 rows and let the new people get in the new 3 lines. Which meant there zero advantage to getting there early. I wouldn't have minded since Donald and I were just soaking in the atmosphere (Donald kept saying: "I can't believe I'm here!") but it was raining. And 15 minutes less standing in the cold rain is 15 minutes that would have been nice.
In my defense......my only first hand experience at DL was this past June.....very busy season. Here is a picture of Main St. when we were there. This photo is taken 30 MINUTES BEFORE ROPE DROP!!!!!!!

If you were not at the front of the pack you could forget about walking on to any ride. And since Perla and Donald only had one day I felt it was important that they beat the "rush" which obviously was non existant on a rainy, cold, midweek day in October. Sorry Perla But wouldn't you rather by safe than sorry?
Me DH DS (17) DS (14) DS (10) DS (6)

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Old 10-26-2010, 08:17 AM   #94
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I don't think there were that many people the entire day we were there in both parks added together!
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:07 PM   #95
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My first step into California Adventure:

Here's what I knew about California Adventure before stepping foot into the park:

1. Michael Eisner had it built for cheap and everyone hated it and no one ever went.
2. New CEO is working hard to make it a viable park and is putting a Carsland in which isn't there yet.
3. It has a new World of Color which is the coolest nighttime show ever. After Fantasmic and Wishes.

I also had Suzy's plan which was to get there PRONTO and run to get WOC FP's. This give you a section where you are guaranteed to be able to see from the front.

It wasn't absolutely pouring when we got over there so I paused to take some pics. This is outside of the Soarin' building:

The Grand Californian is in the middle of this park, essentially. WAY cool.

This is where you get the WOC FP's. Next to the Grizzly Bear ride. We didn't ride this ride because it seemed kinda pointless to ride a wet ride in the rain. But I think it looks great.

Somehow I missed Donald. He had gone ahead to get them and I had moseyed so slowly taking photos that he missed me. I thought he was still in line so I sat on a bench (on my poncho) and he walked all the way back to the front. Whoops! So, he came back and we walked over to get Screamin' FP's and ride TSM. Had it been a busy day we wouldn't have ridden TSM as it doesn't have FP and it's the same as the DHS one only with a much less cool line queue. But the line didn't seem too bad so we hopped in.

Suzy had been so concerned about our FP collection and getting this WOC FP that I took a pic to see if we had done OK following her instructions.

Walking to Paradise Pier:

Potato Head is just right out pretty much on the main drag. It was cool unless you've been to WDW and then it's lame.

Here's my score. I was beating Donald until the last 60 seconds. He got to the 2,000's a tiny bit faster than me.

As you leave the ride there is this little room that shows the game this ride is based on. Kinda cool:

We did this on our way to the ferris wheel. There was one of these in the Disney Store on Time Square in June so we had pics like this already. But can you have too many?

You can see I'm in just my shirt as it was warm and not raining. This is important for later. Ponchos were in the backpack.

After this we rode the Mickey Ferris Wheel. Suzy told us to get on the non-stationary cars for a unique experience. We get in and there are barf bags which Donald and I thought was funny. Then we go up. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I am a very car sick person and this ride meant me very, very ill. It was all I could do to sit there. I cannot explain this ride. When the wheel is stopped is when you move the most as the cars are on runners. Sooooo sick. When the ride stopped and we were allowed off I have never been happier. I will never ride this ride again.

Donald thought it was incredible lame. He didn't feel you got to go around enough.

He went off to get ToT FP's while I went to the potty for fear of nausea.

This is where the ponchos being in the bag comes in. I went into the bathroom and it wasn't really raining. I came out and it was POURING!!!! Donald had headed off without a poncho, just his rain jacket. And he had to walk through Bug's Land which is cool but really, really drippy in a downpour.

We met up at the Monster's ride. But I'm gonna save that for later.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:29 PM   #96
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The Monster Mash

The Monster ride is awesome! Technology wise it's really not all that. The monsters don't even move their mouths to talk. So I can understand why they did something more cutting edge at Disney World. But just the same, for our kids this ride would be great. We LOVED it. Donald had super ENVY!

After we rode it once the CM at the end had us go through a little door to go back to the beginning and ride over if we wanted to because there was no line. We said yes for three reasons: One: It was pouring pouring and this is an indoor ride. We loved it and wanted a second look. Donald wanted to video the whole thing so our Boo could watch it over and over.

Which she has. Over and over and daily she asks to go to California so she can ride the Monsters ride.

At the end Roz does talk to the cars making fun of you. So there was a little nod to the Comedy Floor technology but way less advanced.

Since we were the only people in our car or anywhere near us, I went ahead and took 2 flash pics.

When we had left Monstropolis, we didn't want to walk through the monsoon to Disneyland yet and thought we'd hop to Muppets movie which is right there. I couldn't imagine it would be exactly the same as DHS since CA is a new park and that movie has 1995 hair. But sure enough, it was identical. Though perhaps that last seen into DHS was a little different because I didn't see the fluffy headed 1995 hair lady that's in the DHS one. But the balloons were the same. So maybe they just edited out the cheesy hairdo and shorts to make it a little less obvious?

Also, the film quality was much better than DHS. With HD in all our homes Disney really needs to make that movie a crisper film.

This is cute outside in the CS area attached to Muppets. No one was here because it was soaking and dripping. You got the idea at DL that they weren't used to rain like they are in Orlando.

After this there just seemed no choice but to head into the driving rain. We decided we'd have some lunch at a TS place. NO ADR needed since there were no people here.

I paused to take this photo as we exited because I thought it was nice:

CA is an unfinished park. What is there is fine and Bugsland and Paradise Pier are really well themed. But it's small and totally under construction. And it was raining hard. So I don't have very many pics of it. Sorry. Unlike MK where the construction is on the edge of the park and doesn't effect too much (except Winnie the Pooh disappointed me) CA felt very under construction. Lots of the roads were blocked and you had to go all the way around. Bugsland is dominated by a wall. And the other side of the park has a huge wall. So I was happy to be there experiencing it, but I didn't take many photos of the atmosphere. Cause it was a bit of a bummer atmosphere.

Then we dashed to DL. I picked out a place to eat but on our way we found this great Mexican place and we LOVE Mexican food. Donald at first was concerned because of this:

Looks a little wet!

But then I found a table in a nice little corner:

There were lots of inside tables:

So we went ahead and ordered. This place was set up more like a resort food court where you pick out everything you want in a little market and then checkout at a central location. I loved this set up and wished WDW would adopt it more in parks. Really liked it! Of course, it might not work as well when there are ton of people and that might be the issue.

Also, these meals were served on real china. That added a wonderful feel to the meal. A TS experience for CS prices. I think all this cost us just over $30.00:

Mmmm!!! Yummy. I loved my meal. I had heard about southern Cali carne asada all week but not had any. I'm sure Disney's isn't as good as an authentic place but it doesn't matter. I loved it. Two warm tortillas and those delicious lime chips were just the icing on the cake.

We were very proud of ourselves for obeying Suzy and getting lots of FP's. We were able to get so many because you simply didn't need them. But just the same we took a pic to make her jealous:

After lunch was Jungle Cruise:

Our driver was awesome and hilarious. Made me laugh multiple times. He teased at the end "Stay in school kids, stay in school." It was cute.:

Also at the end are piranha. So that is different than MK. Jungle Cruise at DL is equal to it at MK. So no envy.

Suzy had told us not to get FP to Indiana Jones because there is a single rider line. So that was scheduled as right after lunch. When we got to the front everyone in front of us (like a group of 15) went into the single rider line. So I hesitated because that was where we were going but I didn't want to be behind those 15 people. The CM said, "What's wrong?" So I said, "I'm supposed to get in that single rider line but I don't want to follow those people." She laughed, "There's no line at all. We're running both lines the same. So just get in the regular one if you want to see the cool walkway."

So, since it was our first time, we followed her advice and got into the regular line. It was a long, very well themed walk. But dark and impossible to film.

Donald loved this ride. LOVED LOVED this ride. I wanted to ride again because the feel of it is so similar to Dinosaur that I kept waiting for the dinosaur to try and eat me and didn't enjoy the theming like I should have. I was too scared. But there isn't any scary big moment in this ride. It's just a well themed Indiana Jones ride. And to be honest, I like Dinosaur equally. I know Indiana Jones name is a big draw, but I think they are fairly equal.

We'll have to do it on another trip, though, because we both felt our day flying away and wanted to accomplish more than riding rides over and over. And the rain had let up, thank goodness. So we did what we had wanted to do earlier. Walk around.

This band played my kind of music. And to their right back in a little alley was a meet and great with the characters from Tim Burton's Nightmare before Christmas. I don't care about them so I didn't stop but Donald watched them for awhile and then used the bathroom. Which left me watching the band alone. And that flute guy looking at me watched me the entire time I was watching them. It made me VERY uncomfortable and I was more than glad when Donald came out. You could say I could have just left except they were standing under the only shelter. And I wasn't creeped out enough to want to stand in the rain.

Next we did something kind of unique, at least unique for WDW goers. At DL they change the Haunted Mansion into the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion. Suzy had had us get FP's since she figured with the Halloween party that night it might start to get full as evening came. We showed our FP's at the front and no one even looked at them again. So we still had them at the end of the ride. And we walked right in. Literally into the little room and the doors closed behind us without us stopping once.

The little room at DL was lamer than at WDW. Not at all scary. And even this was themed with the movie. It was pretty clever all the things they changed.

Look what a pretty building it is:

I didn't take any pics inside. It would ruin it and be pointless. But I will tell you they change it commpletely! for this holiday. I can only imagine the effort that goes into this! A serious rehab every year. Do I think they should do this in WDW? I'm not sure. My gut says yes, if it's possible. But it certainly does change it 100% and I'm not sure what HM purists would say. Cause it takes the scare factor all the way out. It's just eye candy. No fear.

As we left Donald went up to a couple in the line (in the rain) and handed them the FP's. They were so happy.

And we moved on to make another comparison.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:20 PM   #97
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DL continued:

Alright, I swear I'll wrap this up quickly since I know all ya'll are actually WDW fans and I don't want to lose you!

So we then went to Splash Mt. It was shorter than ours but similar.

And we also attempted to ride Big Thunder because it said there was no line, but there really was a line.

So we got in line and then immediately got out of line and headed to Winnie the Pooh. Which was better than ours.

Really cool cars:

It wasn't pouring for a moment so we strolled a bit and ran across this:

This is a tower that was already there that they wrapped in hair:

The line is very awkwardly placed which means that everyone, including us, go to the front of line before realizing there is a line at all. And then the CM has to point out the line like really far away. It's weird. But I wanted to get a picture to send my girls so into line we got. Evidently people at Disneyland don't meet characters without children because each of the 3 CMs running this ride told us "Do you know you're in line to meet a character?" Well, duh?

We then headed out to Toontown to see the really great theming.

We checked out Mickey's house too, in the stairwell:

Then we met the big cheese himself. And this is the best picture EVER:

Seriously? I stood in line for this? And because we were adults and adults shouldn't meet characters it was like, step up to Mickey, snap a pic with our camera, push us out the door. So as I looked at the photo the door locked behind me and I was like: "Noooooo!!!!!!"

Also, this Mickey talked. Or made some kind of noise. All around, it was frightening and the picture is terrible. I could do with those 15 minutes back.

Then we hightailed it to Space Mt!

We had FP's so we didn't have to walk forever forever, but just plain forever. You know how you have to walk a long way in the WDW one? Well this is like that only really long & stupid and it seems like they are just trying to torture you.

But you get to ride together. Woohoo!!!

After this all the costumed people were coming in so we headed over to California Adventure. We were going to ride Screamin' but on our way over it started lightening and thundering and the wind was nuts. So.... we dumped that plan. And went to ToT.

I'll be honest, it's LAME. Ours is WAY better. WAY.

Right next to this is Aladdin and by this time it was dumping buckets, lightening, and thundering. So we were hoping to hop in. The guy told us the next show was in 30 minutes so we decided to get a bakery treat and a drink.

We checked the map under a tiny spot of shelter and then raced to the closest bakery.

When we got there we realized it was a bakery tour of sourdough bread. They gave us delish free bread but there weren't any sweets and sooner than later it was all done and we were dumped on the other side of the tour back into the rain.

I told Donald he needed a beer. It had been a difficult day. But he didn't want one. So we stood there in the driving rain and I said,
"You are getting a beer."

With my Mom commanding voice he had no choice.

So he reluctantly went and bought one. And moments later this was his face of bliss:

OK, I was gonna finish DL in this post but Suzy just called and told me I have to go to Kroger with coupons that expire at midnight tonight so I've gotta go do that before OSU starts at 8:00.

But stay tuned: The best part of our day started at this point! You ain't seen nothing yet kids! The ENVY turns super green!!!!
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:29 PM   #98
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The finish of Disneyland:

Hip hip hooray for Suzy! Spent $67.00. Saved $66.00. And bought 24 boxes of General Mills cereal plus two big pot roasts, raspberries, potatoes, frozen food, etc. etc. Awesome.

A few days ago there was an article on how people, both men and women, who have sisters are happier than those who have only brothers or are only children. It made me very grateful that my one sibling is a sister.

Then in this morning's paper there was an article about why big sisters are the coolest and I called in Mulan and read it to her because I thought it would be good for her to see why her position in the family was so important. And by the time I got done reading it I was crying. Seriously. And that was BEFORE Suzy tipped me off to the fact that I had 6 coupons that would expire tonight if I didn't go to the store. Just sayin'.

So back to DL memories.

Donald had his beer. And was feeling happier. So we headed back to Aladdin. It was now a steady downpour but not a torrential downpour. When we got to the theater the CM informed us that we would have to stand in the rain for 20 min before they let us into the theater and the show didn't start for another 30 minutes. Hmmm... This didn't seem very smart since there was no way the theater would fill up. But we did it anyway. Mainly because to get back out of the theater area you had walk back through Bugsland because the other way out was barricaded by construction. Which, as I pointed out earlier, is not very fun in the rain because the way it is set up the rain pools on the "leafs" above your head and comes off in waterfalls. And there is no real way to avoid the waterfalls. So since in the last 45 minutes we had walked through the Bugsland 3 times, we thought we would be less wet waiting in the rain, then walking under 3-4 waterfalls yet again.

The first 15 minutes were fine. But the last 5 it really started to come down and the group started complaining. The couple behind us were from Saskatchewan and we had been chitchatting but at this time they were ready to riot. And there was a bit of a chant "Let us in. Let us is." FINALLY they did. And we then all congregated right inside and shook, just like dogs. Donald and I were doing pretty well. When it thoroughly rained, I rolled my jeans up so that they were mostly under the poncho. And Donald was in shorts which the poncho covered. But just the same we had to get the water off the ponchos and into the backpack, just like the other 100 people.

Californians aren't used to rain and the CM's were so confused by all this and were giving orders which NO ONE was listening to. Because there is a certain logic to coming into a building and wringing yourself out so as to get rid of as much moisture as possible BEFORE sitting in your seat and getting it wet. But the CM's just couldn't understand. In WDW where it rains constantly the CM's know how to handle wet crowds. These CM's were like, "Oh my goodness! Why are you wet? Stop getting the floor wet. What are you doing?" It was weird for me. "Yup, we're wet. And we're gonna take off our ponchos. Deal with it."

Anyway. Once we were past the yelling and very confused CM's we were directed basically to the VERY front. We did refuse the super front and ended up maybe 3 rows back? They only filled the front middle section. The sides, back, and two balconies were empty. And our section wasn't 100% full. They tried to insist we fill every seat but truthfully there was just way too much wet stuff to squish us fully in and we all knew, again, logically, that the 100 of us were not gonna fill up a 5000 person theater and didn't try very hard. I know it's their job but you would think under the circumstances they wouldn't try so hard. The CM next to us got this completely and quietly & half heartedly said, "Fill every seat." But there was a guy up front that I swear would have physically moved people if only he had bigger muscles. His day was disappointing.

I cannot emphasize how amazing this show is. ENVY ENVY ENVY. Of all the things we did, this was the one I wanted most. PLEASE Disney? Please, Please? And I know it's a princess thing but Jasmine is a very small part of it. It is called Aladdin, after all.

Sword fighting scene:

The Genie is awesome. And you know how Robin Williams in the movie does pop culture humor? Well instead of doing his jokes, which would be old & tired now, the Genie is a comdien doing modern humor. He made jokes about stuff happening in LA THAT week! Lady Gaga jokes. Really current. And very funny. And still clean.

And you can kinda tell here, but Aladdin and Jasmine were GORGEOUS!!! And I think they were each played by twins. GORGEOUS.

Giant elephant parade:

You can see Aladdin's muscles here:

As I watched and was mesmerized I wondered if you would be able to pull this off anywhere but LA. Because the acting and singing was soooo topnotch. As was the humor. You could tell they lived in a place with a never ending supply of out of work actors. Top Notch. And gorgeous. Did I mention that?

When we came out it was sprinkling and we had already decided we were going to go into DTD and get dinner. Our plan was to stop at whatever restaurant was first. It ended up being an Italian place. And this is where I had ENVY too. I know we have the resorts around MK and it is similar. And Epcot doesn't need a place to escape. But the Boardwalk is simply not as convenient from DHS as is DTD in LA. It would be sooo nice to have the DTD in Orlando be cool like the one in LA. And to have real places to eat anywhere near DHS. CA and DHS to me are comprable. Except for the eating. And as we enjoyed our lovely dinner this evening I realized just how ridiculous it is that DHS has nothing decent to eat anywhere near it. BIG BOO BOO FACE!

Wood Fire pizza oven:

The restaurant and the amazing balloon hats being made for all the kids:

The entire hour and half we ate the rain outside was worst than it had been all day. A true thunderstorm and I started to get quite concerned about what would happen with WOC. I texted Suzy and she did a search on here but it hadn't rained in southern Cali since WoC premiered and so no one knew what happened in a lightening storm.

After we received that text we opted to order dessert and coffee to prolong our time in the dry dry eatery. Mmmmm... Tiramisu and coffee.

We donned our ponchos and dashed back into CA to their animation studios. At first we were confused because it's just a giant empty room and we couldn't figure out where we were going and there wasn't anyone to direct us. This is where their Turtle Talk is but we didn't do that. We did do the Beast's Library:
Good Beast:

Bad Beast:

Donald trying to figure out which Beauty & the Beast character he is:

He was Cogsworth and I was Mrs. Potts. We are SO BORING!!!!

This was a really neat place, we enjoyed their animation studio. But it didn't seem to have enough to do if there were tons of crowds. Just being Donald and I it was great, but I couldn't imagine the spaces with a billion people.

As we were walking by a CM asked if we wanted to draw a character. Uh, yeah. Totally do this like 4 times a WDW visit. We jumped right in and the door closed behind us. Sweet!

Their set-up: No tables.

Our animator:

My very pitiful Pooh. This animator wasn't the best. I didn't follow his directions very well AND, if I may say, his Winnie the Pooh didn't exactly look like Pooh either.

After this is was time, actually it was past time, that we should have been at WoC. We were concerned if it was even on but no one seemed to say it wasn't so we headed that direction and suddenly, bizarrely, you could see the moon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am not kidding when I say the clouds parted and the moon came out just over the WoC area and only for the time period that WoC was on. No rain at all. For 5 minutes before until 5 minutes after there was no cloud cover. And then the clouds realized there mistake and it started raining again. Thank you God!!!!

Our spot in the blue section was right behind a lady in a wheelchair and her family at the front rail. But we didn't realize how the show worked so we had to move to take good pictures. I can't really explain. But we had a nice spot but not the nicest spot.

I cannot explain this show to you. I'll just say this: you should see it.

Just sayin, you should see it.

After this we headed out with the crowd. There was a 14 year old boy walking with me that kept saying, "Mom, it's still going! You're making me leave and it's not over." And I have to say I was echoing his thoughts. I thought the World of Color thing was the end but it kept going after we were all walking away and there was no way to really stop and go back. At that point you're just cattle being pushed out saying, "Wait, I was tricked! I thought it was over and now I'm stuck with these people and I wanna go back and see the end." But instead you're just saying, "Moo." And being pushed toward the exit as you look behind you.

And the crowd we were with didn't walk towards the exit. They walked through the Grand Californian because they said it was a shortcut. So us and 1,000 other people walked through the hallways and entryway of the hotel which I thought would be annoying if you spent $400.00 to stay there. But it WAS a shortcut and we ended up halfway through DTD when we exited.

We did just a tiny bit of shopping for souveniers and then walked home in the rain. Yes, we went through the Disneyland hotel again. It was pouring. It just made sense to be inside for as much of our walk as possible.

We had checked out of our hotel that morning but were able to keep our car there. So we hopped in the car and got gas and drove across town to an airport hotel. Which, and I'm not exaggerating, was a 20 mile drive and we had to switch highways 9 times. I HATE LA traffic. And the next morning at 6 am we were at the airport on the way through security.

How do I compare WDW to DL? This is a tricky questions because I think our experience was not typical.

1) It was one day and two parks.
2) It was pouring, October, mid-week.
3) We didn't have our kids.
4) There is serious construction.

I loved that DL is quaint. I loved that Walt built the whole thing & is everywhere. I think CA is well on it's way to being equal to DHS. I loved WoC. I loved PoC. I loved DTD.

I didn't feel the same magic. The guests just weren't elated to be there. It was just a side trip to other, better sites. Not the whole immersion.

I really would miss AK & Epcot if I didn't have them. I LOVE them. DL is way better than MK. It's just that simple. It's easier to manuever. It's adorable. It has more to do. I love it. But it's Main St. and castle are VERY LAME.

I loved that I wasn't tired after our day. It's so manageable. But I missed the feeling that I had been transported to an entire magical city where everything is happy. When you step out of the gate there you are right back in yucky LA. And I really don't like LA. It's smoggy and dirty. And 10 lanes of traffic going every which way at ALL times of day.

So there ya go. I want to take my kids. But it will be a side trip to our Cali trip, just like it is to everyone else's. And if I lived out there you can bet your bottom dollar I'd have an annual pass just like they all do.

But I'm glad I'm an east coaster. I love my WDW.

And I really love my own house and my own town! I was so happy to get home to my girls and my life and start dreaming about March's trip to Ft. Wilderness and whereever else we end up!
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:16 PM   #99
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Liked ur DL review. I grew up in Cal and visited DL many times. We just started to go to WDW in May of 09. I agree with your "quaint" description. I also agree that all the parks make WDW. And the castles-no comparison.....
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:31 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by estherhead View Post
Hip hip hooray for Suzy! Spent $67.00. Saved $66.00. And bought 24 boxes of General Mills cereal plus two big pot roasts, raspberries, potatoes, frozen food, etc. etc. Awesome.

A few days ago there was an article on how people, both men and women, who have sisters are happier than those who have only brothers or are only children. It made me very grateful that my one sibling is a sister.

Then in this morning's paper there was an article about why big sisters are the coolest and I called in Mulan and read it to her because I thought it would be good for her to see why her position in the family was so important. And by the time I got done reading it I was crying. Seriously. And that was BEFORE Suzy tipped me off to the fact that I had 6 coupons that would expire tonight if I didn't go to the store. Just sayin'.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:15 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by MaryAz View Post
Liked ur DL review. I grew up in Cal and visited DL many times. We just started to go to WDW in May of 09. I agree with your "quaint" description. I also agree that all the parks make WDW. And the castles-no comparison.....
DL is so gorgeous! That Walt had quite the eye for garden-like settings. Like the Pirates/New Orleans Square corner there. It's spectacular!

This year we'll be at Epcot during the Garden show and I can't wait. I remember going once before with my parents LONG ago and what I remember most is all the topiaries. So I hope that they knock my socks off.

I also wish we could have a Carsland. I don't know why that wouldn't be built simultaneously in both areas. I realize Fantasyland needed an overhaul. But a Carsland just seems very smart in both places. Maybe at this year's convention coming up they'll announce that.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:33 AM   #102
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Today is Sunday. And Sunday's in our house are football and laundry days. Saturdays are also football days, but we tailgate and go to the game versus sitting on the living room floor watching the game while folding all the laundry I've washed through the week. Yes, I fold the things which will wrinkle badly the moment they come out of the dryer but socks, towels, sheets, jeans, etc. are just in a mountain on our laundry table until 1:30 Sunday. When they get folded and put away.

It is also the day I get prepared for the week food-wise and any thing else that needs done.

In addition to that we go to services AND today just happens to be the first day of college basketball season. Can you believe it's that time of year already? So we'll be heading over to watch a b-ball game as well.

But I promise that despite all that, at some point today I will take a break from folding and reward all of you who have been patiently waiting, another Epcot chapter. The next two weeks could be pretty crazy so it might be all you get for awhile.

No worries, though, we have a whole 6 months of winter before I get to go to WDW again. So it'll continue to move fast. I have to be done by at least February so I can have my pre-trippie posts! All of Suzy & my tips to planning how to skip lines. Didn't I do good at skipping lines in DL? Aren't you proud of me? Go on the only day it rains all year! Genius tip.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:02 AM   #103
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Loved the DL side trip! Too bad it rained all day, but I guess it worked out okay on the line-skipping thing! I've gotta get back there someday and see all the new stuff (we were there for one day in 2006). And, of course, enjoy their version of Pirates. You guys got so much done in your day...well done!
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:46 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Dugette View Post
Loved the DL side trip! Too bad it rained all day, but I guess it worked out okay on the line-skipping thing! I've gotta get back there someday and see all the new stuff (we were there for one day in 2006). And, of course, enjoy their version of Pirates. You guys got so much done in your day...well done!
Yup, you like us, will just have to go back! Our plan is to take our entire family in summer 2012. Boo will be 5 years old and able to ride mostly everything and the other girls will be 11 & 12. Still young enough to love it, but also old enough to remember Hollywood, Yosemite, San Francisco. We're saving our airplane miles (we have half saved already) so that would be free and we have friends who live in Thousand Oaks so our plan is to ship our camping gear to their house. Then we'll fly to LA, do Hollywood & sights for two days, DL for 3 days, and national parks for 5 days. Then finish in San Fransisco and fly home from there (shipping our camping gear back home.)

I think it sounds do-able and fun. That's why this year we are just doing Disney with our Annual Passes, which we paid for with 2010 vacation money. 2011 should be a cheap vacation year and we take that extra money and do a killer 2012 California trip. And in addition to everything we saw there will be the Little Mermaid ride and Carsland and the Goofy coaster. I think that would really round out CA and make it equal (actually, superior) to DHS. Which makes the DL complex a clear 3 day trip, perhaps even more.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:20 PM   #105
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I just said: "you like us." Instead of: "you, like us," I really don't know if you like us or not. But you should go back to DL in 2012 like we will be doing which is the point I meant to make!
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