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Old 03-18-2011, 08:06 PM   #31
zanzibar138
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Day 2 - Part 3: Disneyland at Night

So we'd just been on Indy, and decided to check out Frontierland since we hadn't been that way yet.

We walked along the river, past Big Thunder Mountain and the Big Thunder Ranch, and came out at Fantasyland again.

By this time I was really enjoying all the lights and the feel of the place at night time - we've never been to a theme park after dark before. Over here our theme parks all close at 6pm year round. It was getting slightly chilly though, so we made a quick stop to get out our beanies and scarves

We walked past Casey Junior, which got Nick's attention being a train. He decided that it looked too kiddy for us though, so we moved along. I really wanted to see 'Storybook Land', so when we saw it was a walk-on for the little boats we decided to give that a go. It was pretty cute, but I think Nick got bored quite quickly...

By that stage we were getting a little peckish and looking for something to eat. On our quest, we ended up in Tomorrowland.



And found Pizza Port:



Now that was more of the theme park type food we used to - overpriced greasy pizza and soft drinks... Still, I enjoyed my pepperoni. Our big mistake was thinking we might try some root beer (we don't have that in Australia). Yuck! I didn't mind it quite as much as Nick, so he ended up drinking the water that we'd brought with us, and I drank most of the root beer.

Going back past Buzz Lightyear, we noticed the wait time was only 15 mins, so thought we'd give that a try.



I really enjoyed the ride, and had great fun shooting at all the targets, even though I didn't score very high Nick didn't really get into the 'ride that's a game' and thought it was a bit weird. He still managed to beat my score though...



It was about 8:30pm when we got out of Buzz Lightyear. My main concern this first night was Fantasmic!, so I hadn't really factored in seeing the fireworks. But we thought since we were so close, we may as well stay and watch it, even if wasn't a great spot.

The first spot we chose was off to the side a bit behind one of the garden beds. We were told to move though as that was supposed to be a walkway. We ended up joining the masses in the road area of Main Street, directly in front of the castle. We weren't very far back, but still had plenty of people in front of us. It turned out that it was a great view! Once the fireworks started, we didn't even notice the people in front of us, and could see the castle very clearly. I got some great photos too!



Part of me wishes I didn't try to take photos the first time I viewed some of these night time spectaculars, and that I could have just enjoyed them without any distractions. But, not knowing whether we would see any of them again, I didn't want to miss out.

I'm pretty sure if I hadn't had the distraction of taking photos I would have cried. As it was I got quite emotional, and I did enjoy taking the photos. It was such a different experience than watching from the balcony at Hojos.

After the fireworks, we followed the masses back to the river to catch Fantasmic! It had always been my plan to watch the second show, thinking that the crowds would be much less, and I was surprised at how many people were just about running to get there! I was trying to keep up, not wanting to miss out on a good spot. Then when we got there we realised that all those people were still hoping to catch the first show, which had just started.

I didn't want to ruin my first viewing by seeing what was happening in the first show, so we went to the Riverbelle Terrace for some coffee and hot chocolate. It was my first hot chocolate in the US, and I was really impressed! It will take me a while to get used to Aussie hot chocolates again! We sat in the section facing away from the river while enjoying our drinks, and went out to line up when the first show finished.

It was a bit chaotic, trying to get around the people who were leaving, and not quite knowing where we wanted to be. We ended up getting in the 2nd row of the sitting area right in the front centre, which I thought was an excellent spot. I didn't realise you had to sit for the show though, so then I was a bit annoyed that we had the fence right in our way and thought next time we would go to the standing area to get better photos.

It was about 40 mins wait for the show, and we were both surprised at how quickly the time went, just reminiscing about our day and taking in the sights around the river. Then it was time for the show to begin!

I didn't get any great photos, mainly because of the fence, but here's a couple of decent-ish ones:







We were both really impressed with the whole show - Nick just couldn't believe how much effort they put into everything! He was particularly impressed with their use of the Sailing Ship Columbia and the Mark Twain. I was waiting for the dragon to come out, and I was not disappointed! It was amazing!

When the show finished we decided to see if we could get on some of the more popular rides. Our first stop was BTMR, which had a 5 min wait! We both really enjoyed the ride, and decided we would have to come back during the day to look closer at the theming.

After BTMR we made our way back into Fantasyland and decided to do the Matterhorn Bobsleds next. There was still about a 20 min wait for this one. It was fun, but I was expecting more thrills in the way of drops and turns, and decided I wouldn't bother waiting 20 mins for it again.

Next up was Space Mountain, which was also at about 20 mins. It was probably the least enjoyable wait, with not much to look at in the queue area and not being able to see anything else either. I was a bit nervous when we first set off, going through the tunnels of light. I was starting to feel a bit sick but once the actual ride started I was fine. Still, I thought I would have to be careful about when I rode that one!

It was still about 10 mins til closing when we came out of Space Mountain, and we thought about trying to squeeze in one more ride, but by that time we were pretty exhausted and the thought of the long walk back to the hotel and early start the next day made us decide it probably wouldn't be worth it.

So we said goodnight to Disneyland, and set off back to the hotel. Nick decided that the pizza we'd had before didn't really fill him up, so we decided to go back to the hotel via Maccas. By the time we'd eaten at Maccas, got back to the hotel, and ready for bed (including organising the cameras for the following day), it was nearly 2am, and we both slept pretty well!

Next up, character brekky at Minnie's.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:06 PM   #32
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Day 3 - Part 1: Brekky with Minnie

I forgot to mention in my previous post that when we got back to the hotel and were getting stuff organised for the next day, Nick announced that he had lost his ticket We looked everywhere, and he ended up deciding that he must have accidentally thrown it out! We decided there wasn't much we could do about it at that stage, so we would get up early in the morning to allow time to go to the ticketing office and see if there was anything they could do.

So after getting to bed at about 2am the previous night, our alarms were set for 7:30am We got ourselves organised and set off for Disneyland at about 8:30am.

Our first stop was the ticketing office. We were completely prepared for forking out another $200 for a new 5 day park hopper, but we had to ask if they could replace Nick's first. Good thing we did too! I still had mine, so I handed that over and from that they could see that I bought them both together or something. Then we just had to show ID and the credit card that we bought them with, and they were able to print out another ticket I couldn't believe it! Another sprinkle of pixie dust for us

It took a lot less time than I was expecting to get that sorted, so I decided to wander over to the World of Disney store at Downtown to get some Minnie ears. I had been far too overwhelmed to get any the day before!

After that we found the queue for the character breakfast entry and joined it. A lady came round with badges for character breakfast people and I put mine on immediately!

I was a bit disconcerted to see that they were letting the people in from the general admission lines, before we were allowed in! But when we were finally allowed in, and walked through the back of the shops to the Plaza Inn, I could see that all those people were still lining up to be let into the hub.



The Plaza Inn was just the cutest little restaurant I've ever seen!



After we had our photo taken, we were shown to our table in the sun room area.







Upon entering the restaurant, I started seeing some characters wandering around, and I started to get a bit teary. This was exactly what I was hoping for from Disneyland - taking in all the details, interacting with characters, having excellent service provided, and an extra sprinkling of pixie dust!

I pulled myself together and went to get some food. I've read reviews about the food not being that great at Minnie's, but I was impressed! There was heaps to choose from. I can't really think of anything I might have wanted that wasn't there! I ended up getting a Mickey waffle, some scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, and an orange juice. It was all very yummy!

No sooner had I sat down, then the Fairy Godmother came to visit! When she found out we were from Australia, she was very interested in the time difference, and which day we had twice when we arrived. I think for me it was good having a face character first that I could talk to. I hadn't interacted with any characters up until that point, and it made me feel a bit more relaxed about the whole thing.



After that I was very excited to see Tigger coming towards us!



And Chip



Then the mouse herself - Minnie!



At that point I was quite pleased to have my ears

Then our first villian, Captain Hook. It was only at this point I thought to get out my autograph book, so he is on the very first page!





Eeyore was next! I was very excited to see him!



We couldn't believe it when he started drawing a little picture of himself under a rain cloud as part of his autograph! It must be hard enough to just write a name with those hooves!

After that we had a few more characters come around again, and I got those who hadn't signed my autograph book to do so. The only ones who didn't end up signing were the Fairy Godmother, Chip, and Honest John. He came around to our table and was a bit weird... I was about to take a photo of him with Nick and he made a gesture like he didn't want to and took off! We didn't see him again either. Still, it's not like he was my favourite or anything.

We thought we'd seen all the characters we were going to see, and then Rafiki came out too!



By that time we'd been there for nearly our 1 1/2 hours, so we bought our photo package and left to start our day at Disneyland!

Next up, our adventures for the day.
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:19 AM   #33
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Day 3 - Part 2: Morning Adventures

We finally said goodbye to the Park Inn and set off to enjoy day 2 in the park.

I was keen on checking out some of the Fantasyland dark rides, but for something different I suggested we go around the castle, past Snow White's grotto.

I snapped these on the way through:









The line for Peter Pan was too long, which was kind of a recurring theme throughout our stay lol! So we thought we'd check out Snow White's Scary Adventures. I was most impressed with the theming in the queue area.



And this was our ride vehicle:



The ride itself was enjoyable, but could have been more exciting.

Of course I have heard wonderful things about Mr Toad's Wild Ride, and the wait time was only 15 mins, so I suggested we do that one next. Again, the queue theming was awesome!



And I thought I would take advantage of the stationary ride vehicle lol!



We were both impressed with the ride and said we'd be happy to do that one again.

Next stop was Frontierland for another ride on BTMR. The wait this time was 15 mins, and it was daylight, so I had the opportunity to snap a few pics of the theming.





It was great to ride it during the day to see all the little bits and pieces we had missed the night before. It was one of those rides where we saw something new each time we rode it

We wandered across to Pirates, where the wait was nice and short, so we rode it again.



And then we took a raft to Tom Sawyer Island.

We spent a fair amount of time there, just looking around. If I was a kid I could quite easily have spent the day there! Nick begged me to go up to the treehouse with him, but with the backpack on, I was certain that I would get stuck halfway up and have to be rescued, so I passed!



I found a hidden Mickey in this waterfall:



Then had a wander over the suspension bridge and through that area.



There was a photopass photographer at the pontoon bridge, so we got our first photos together, and our photopass card. It took me a while to convince Nick to use the photopass photographers, but I think once he understood that we would pay the same price for the CD whether it had 5 photos on it or 100, he started to be more willing. By the end of the trip, he was just getting the hang of it

We explored the back of the island.





And then we even saw the Mark Twain go past



Once we'd explored a bit further we took the raft back to New Orleans Square.

I wanted to get some more photos of the Haunted Mansion for my goth friend, so we did that while we were over that way.



And then checked out some of the Mardi Gras decorations:





We were about ready for a snack by then, so we headed for the Dole Whip stand at the Tiki Room. I got a soft serve and Nick got a float. It was good, but it didn't quite live up to my ridiculously high hopes

Next up, our afternoon adventures, including meeting the main mouse himself!
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:58 AM   #34
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Day 3 - Part 3: The Adventures Continue

The only place we still hadn't visited by the afternoon of day 2 was Toontown, so I suggested it might be worth checking out.







We went on a tour of Mickey's house, but Nick didn't want to stay for photos with Mickey. I was a bit disappointed as I hadn't met Mickey yet, but we snuck out one of the side doors.

Nick wasn't a fan of Toontown at all, so we didn't spend much time there. We had a quick wander around some of the buildings toward Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, then moved along.

By this time we were both feeling the effects of walking around all day, and were looking for somewhere we could just sit and take in the sights. We thought the monorail might do the trick.



We both enjoyed the ride, taking in the sights from the comfort of our seats

When we got off the monorail though, we were still feeling a bit tired and sore, so we thought we might find somewhere to just have a coffee and sit for a while more. I suggested Main Street might be a good place to start.

As we were walking towards Main Street, we saw this guy at the Corner Cafe.



We both immediately made a bee line!

Once we got our coffee and hot chocolate, we found a nice table outside and enjoyed the show We both thought he was great, and thought later we would try to find a CD of his to take back to Australia with us.

As we were leaving the Corner Cafe we saw this procession making its way up Main Street.

We followed along to see what it was all about. It turned out to be the flag retreat ceremony. I hadn't specifically planned on catching the ceremony during our trip, but it was interesting to see.



When the ceremony finished, we were in a bit of a 'history' mood, so we checked out the Lincoln theatre. I just loved this carrousel horse!



We spent quite a while in here checking everything out. Nick was quite interested in all the Disneyland history. I thought since we didn't get to go on Splash Mountain I'd get a picture of the scale model



After buying a couple of prints, we exited the store to find these guys out posing for photos!





One of the cast members told us we could check our prints at the news stand just outside the park to pick up later. We did that as the prints were a little cumbersome to be lugging around, and then made our way back to IASW for the start of TMTM&Y show.

On the way I got a couple of pictures of the rides all lit up:





There wasn't a big crowd for the show, so we got a pretty good spot just off to the side, far enough away to get an overall perspective. We were both pretty impressed with all the different lighting effects!



When the show finished we were both pretty keen to get back to our hotel and have an early night!

Up next... another morning at Disneyland, including Blue Bayou, and our first impressions of DCA!
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:53 PM   #35
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Day 4 - Part 1: Morning at Disneyland

We're late, we're late, for a very important date!



Yes, we were late - late for our Magic Morning!

We got through the turnstiles at about 9:30am, and wondered where to go first. I thought we'd go check out some of the Fantasyland ride lines and go from there. Boy, those lines sure were long! The longest I'd seen all week!

So, a bit disappointed that we seemed to have missed out on the benefit of getting there early, we wandered back to the Main Street station to see if we could at least see some characters.

We got there just as they were swapping some of the characters, and was I ever glad we thought of it! I had a great time there meeting all sorts of characters, and was first or second in line for all of them!







There was also a photopass photographer hanging around.



While we were sitting around between characters, Nick had a good idea that once we had seen some of the characters, to go and ride BTMR and maybe Pirates, then head off to LaBrea Bakery for a late brekky/brunch, and check out DCA. I thought that sounded great, but then luckily remembered our booking at Blue Bayou for lunch that day!

So we headed off towards New Orleans Square. On the way we had another look through Tarzan's Treehouse, since it was practically empty!



When we got to New Orleans Square, there was a band playing, and my immediate reaction was that it must be to do with the mardi gras celebrations. But then I saw Princess Tiana, so made my way over to join the line.





There was one more person allowed to have photos after me, then Tiana and her band went away.

I took some more photos of the Haunted Mansion (yes, more). This time I decided to focus on some of the details that people might not always notice.





We sat on a bench next to the Haunted Mansion for a while, just taking in the scenery and chatting, and before we knew it, it was nearly 11am. Our reservation was for 11:30am, and I had heard that if we wanted a waterside table we should check in early, so we wandered over to the Blue Bayou.

We saw these guys on the way.



When we arrived we were told we weren't allowed to check in until 11:25am, so we wandered around a bit more, and had a look at a couple of shops. When we went back there were heaps of people milling around, and it was a bit chaotic, trying to figure where we were supposed to go etc. But we checked in ok and the lady told us we would definitely get a waterside table, so I was happy

As we walked through the door to the dining area, I was just amazed at the atmosphere and the theming. We did indeed have a waterside table, which was really nice just looking out over the water. It took Nick a while to get used to being so close to the boats of Pirates - he didn't like the idea of people looking at him while he was eating. Once he got used to it though he thought it was quite fun.



The food was ok, not great. I had the ribs and Nick had the steak. There was a lot of it and I'm not a big eater, so I could only eat quite a small portion after also having the gumbo. Neither of us had ever had gumbo before, and we enjoyed it. We shared something rich and chocolately for dessert - can't remember exactly what it was though...

Halfway through our meal, we noticed the boats banking up quite a bit. They were there for ages - at least 15-20 minutes. In the end we saw the shadow of a cast member run past at the back, and a few minutes later the ride started up again. No more boats came down after that though, so they must have closed the ride. We did notice with Pirates particularly that it did close down a lot while we there.

After our lunch we decided we'd pretty much gotten a good overview of Disneyland by that stage, and were ready for a change of scenery, so we thought we'd hop over to DCA.

On the way out we saw Gepetto, so I stopped to get a photo with him.



Next up, our afternoon at DCA!
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:27 PM   #36
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I am really enjoying reading your TR, thanks for sharing!! Sounds like you had a great time, cant wait to hear more!

Oh, and we are arriving on a Sat and staying at the HoJo, so just curious...did you pay extra to have a Disney facing room/ balcony? I'd love to be able to see the fireworks like you did!
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:29 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purplegal View Post
I am really enjoying reading your TR, thanks for sharing!! Sounds like you had a great time, cant wait to hear more!

Oh, and we are arriving on a Sat and staying at the HoJo, so just curious...did you pay extra to have a Disney facing room/ balcony? I'd love to be able to see the fireworks like you did!
Glad you're enjoying it! I was beginning to wonder if anyone was reading

We did pay extra for the Disney view room. A number of factors made me decide it was worth the splurge:
* It was our first night
* It was our only night at Hojo
* We weren't planning to go to the parks that day
* I wanted to be able to watch in my pjs after our long haul flight

For all those reasons, for us it was DEFINITELY worth it! We may have had a partial view from another room, or been able to go down to the pool area to view it, but to be able to sit on our balcony in our pjs, drink in hand, and have a perfect unobstructed view... well it just got us both right into the Disney mood
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:11 AM   #38
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Day 4 - Part 2: Afternoon at DCA

It was so easy to hop from Disneyland to DCA - we literally walked out of one and into the other! It was pretty quiet so there wasn't a line for DCA which helped to speed things up. On the way over we saw this



We didn't go in with much of a plan - just thought we'd have a look around and see what jumped out. We thought the train in the entry area was pretty cool.



After we'd had a good look around, we continued on our way, and thought we'd just keep going right. We ended up at Condor Flats, so we got fastpasses for Soarin'. We checked out the cars characters while we were there, then kept moving.

Next we came to the Grizzly River Run area.



It wasn't a warm day (but not too chilly either), so this ride was a walk on! I got prepared by putting on my raincoat, but since I was sitting next to an exit the water came in through the side and I still got pretty soaked!



The ride was heaps of fun! So much better than the river rafting rides we have over here!

As we were leaving the ride, we saw Kenai and Koda heading into the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail! I immediately rushed over to get photos, and their keeper was nice enough to take one of me and Nick. You can see how wet I got on the rapids!



Since we were in the area we decided to explore.



We spent a bit of time on the rope bridges and climbing stuff, then went back down to the ground level to check out the other interactive experiences. It was all pretty cool - another place I could imaging spending most of the day at if I was a kid!



For anyone who's interested, in Kenai's spirit cave I found out my animal spirit is a moose.

Upon leaving the challenge trail area, we didn't turn to go towards Paradise Pier, but followed the track that went past the back of the river run.





When we figured it didn't go anywhere we turned around and followed it back to Paradise Pier. I checked out the work on the new Little Mermaid ride as we went past, but forgot to take any photos...

Nick saw Mickey's Fun Wheel on the other side of the river and wanted to have a go on that, so we tried to make our way over there. He thought it looked easier to go to the right, past the Silly Symphony Swings. Unfortunately that had been closed off, so we went all the way back to where we started from, then took the more main looking track. I was suprised at how far away the 'boardwalk' part was!

We went straight to the fun wheel, and thought we'd check out everything else on the way back. Now I'm generally not great with heights, so I was a bit nervous, and I certainly wasn't going to go in a moving gondola! I don't know if it was just the 'Disney effect' or whether I'm getting braver, but I had a great time checking out the views, and was actually sad when we started going down again!

On the way back we checked out some of the games and shops along the boardwalk area.





I bought a World of Colour t-shirt from one of the shops - it was my first souvenir apart from my ears.

It was only a 15 min wait for California Screamin', so we went on that. It was awesome! That second drop is really a killer! Nick thought it went on a little too long, but I enjoyed it and felt like it was actually worth lining up for (as opposed to those rollercoasters that go for about 20 seconds)... I really liked the music too - none of the rollercoasters in Australia have any kind of soundtrack.

After the ride we headed back up over the bridge, and passed this bear.



We went to the right again into the Pacific Wharf area. Nick was pretty pleased to see a beer cart.



We sat down while Nick drank his beer, and discussed our first impressions before moving along again. Upon leaving the area we wandered through the Mission Tortilla factory and enjoyed our free samples - yum!



I took some photos of the construction on Cars Land as we went past.



And we had a look at the display near the Golden Vine Winery.

When we exited there we spied a photopass photographer taking photos at the back of Grizzly Peak.



We wandered onwards through A Bug's Land. Didn't really take a lot of notice of it at this point to be honest.

It just so happened when we got to the Tower of Terror, that there was a Pixar Parade just finishing up, so we got to watch the end of that.



We decided against doing the Tower of Terror at that stage, but I took some photos anyway.





We were pretty impressed with the theming around the Hollywood Backlot area. I loved the facade of the Hyperion theatre.





Then we ran into this guy.



After we checked out the area a bit more, it was well and truly past our fastpass return times for Soarin', so we made our way back there. When we arrived there was a photopass photograher with the cars characters, and I convinced Nick to do that before Soarin'. Good thing too since there were only a few more people allowed after us.



Then we went to join the fastpass line for Soarin'.



We both loved the effect, and thought it was great! If we had one gripe it would be that the scenes change so dramatically - one minute you're soarin' over vineyards, then it suddenly changes to deserts and canyons! We thought it might have been nicer with some sort of effect between scenes, like you're flying through clouds or something. But I'm sure there's a reason why the imagineers didn't do that.

After Soarin' we thought we'd call it a night. We were both pretty tired by this stage!

I wanted to go back to our hotel via Hojo, as I saw some nice jackets in there that were half the price of the parks, so we went and got them. Nick got a t-shirt too.

We thought we'd try to avoid the masses from the Hojo to the Peacock Suites, and tried to go the back way. It was a bit hairy at times because there was no footpath and we nearly got run over by a couple of buses But we made it back safe and sound.

Then we checked out the laundry at the hotel and, while we were waiting, checked out the gift shop at the Peacock Suites too. While not as good as the Hojo's one, we still found a couple of things to buy.

When our washing was finished we ordered some pizza to be delivered to our hotel room and settled in for the night.

Next up, a change of scenery - Universal Studios!
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:30 AM   #39
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I'm here, and reading...just catching up. I love your pics. You and Nick look like you're having a really good time. Isn't it just great to be a kid?
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:49 AM   #40
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I'm here, and reading...just catching up. I love your pics. You and Nick look like you're having a really good time. Isn't it just great to be a kid?
Awesome! Glad to have you on board!

It was the weirdest thing at Disneyland - I felt like I had no responsibilities, no worries... When things went wrong it didn't bother me - even when Nick told me he lost his ticket I wasn't the least bit concerned. And I'm normally the biggest worrywart - even if everything's going well I'll find something to worry about It was almost like I felt someone was looking after us.

Made it a bit difficult for the next, non-Disney part of our holiday though Took me a good few days to get back into 'real life' mode!
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:56 PM   #41
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Just wanted to say I've been enjoying your trip report too!! Thank-you very much! My Family and I are heading to disneyland in just a couple days, so we're getting very excited!
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:52 PM   #42
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Just wanted to say I've been enjoying your trip report too!! Thank-you very much! My Family and I are heading to disneyland in just a couple days, so we're getting very excited!
Yay!

You'll have a great time!
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:58 AM   #43
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Day 5 - Universal Studios

Before we left Australia I booked our tickets for Universal Studios. We just went with the ones that included transportation since it was easier.

Another bright and early morning - 8am pick up. We stopped at another couple of hotels, then ended up at the bus depot. We were informed that a couple of the connecting buses were running a little late because of an accident on the freeway, so we had time to check out the little gift shop. It wasn't too long before we were off.

The bus driver was quite good, and pointed out a lot of interesting things on the way. There was some quite nice scenery coming up to Universal, and we also got some glimpses of the Hollywood sign.

The first thing we did when we got to Universal was get a photo of the globe. Good thing too as it was pretty crowded at the end of the day!



Then we decided we were both pretty hungry, so we thought we'd wander through CityWalk and see if we could find something breakfasty.





We were pretty surprised to see 'kangaroo paws' at CityWalk!



We ended up getting a couple of muffins and coffees from one of the little places, and got a cute sign for our front door that says 'Guard Border Collie on Duty'. When we'd finished our muffins we headed in to the park.

There were heaps of characters out just past the entry - I guess they were still there from opening. We didn't bother to get photos or anything though - not the same as Disney characters! I did get a photo of Donkey at his waffle stand as we passed...



I was headed straight for the studio tour, as I knew it would take a while and wanted to get it 'out of the way' so we didn't have to try and fit it in later. I figured the lines might not be too bad yet either.

We had about a 20 minute wait for the tour, which went pretty quickly admiring the view.



Which I enjoyed with my 3D glasses...



Nick, being a solar hot water installer, was distracted by all the solar panels on the hill opposite us.

Here's a few photos from the tour:

Going into the King Kong cave



About to be flooded



Jaws at Amity Island



Wisteria Lane



The set from The Grinch



Bates Motel



The set from War of the Worlds



I got heaps more photos, but can't put them all in this post!

Straight after the studio tour, we made our way to The Simpsons ride. The Simpson family was out for photos in front of the ride, but we didn't bother to stop. We got a kick out of seeing the Kwik-e-Mart and Moe's Tavern! We've all seen the front of the ride, so I thought I'd show what the queue area is like instead.



This was the longest wait we had all day (apart from the studio tour), and it was still only 15 minutes! Just enough time to see all the characters do their little bit in the queue area... Then we were shown to our 'ride vehicle'.

I have to say I was a bit disappointed with this one. I always feel like simulators are a bit of a cop out, and this was no exception. It was made worse by the completely nonsense storyline that kept making me realise it was just a simulator - I didn't really ever 'believe' the ride. And simulators make me feel a little queasy too so that wasn't the best!

Having said that though, you can't really go wrong with a Simpsons ride! It was great fun seeing all the characters, and the story was amusing and had some pretty funny jokes and references in there.

After we had a look in the gift shop, we made our way down to the bottom level. Those escalators sure were a pain! It took so long to get from one level to another! And only having 2 attractions downstairs made it seem like it wasn't really worthwhile. We probably would have ridden those rides more often if they weren't so hard to get to!

I mentioned how quite it was - this was the line for Jurassic Park



And on the ride



The Mummy was a walk on too. There were some shady looking characters hanging around out the front.



I was pretty concerned that guy was going to sneak up behind me and make me scream!

After riding all the rides it was getting to be about lunch time, so we made our way back to CityWalk. We passed this familiar looking car on the way.



Nick had been eyeing off the brewery place in CityWalk, so we headed straight for there.





Nick had fish and chips, with the beer tasting selection. I had calamari, which was pretty plain. It came with a dipping sauce but I'm not big on sauces and I particularly HATE mayo! There were also little tiny full octopus which was a bit of a turn off. In Australia calamari is usually just the rings.

We were both feeling a bit full after lunch, so thought we'd do something other than rides for a while.

As we went back into the park I took the opportunity to get a photo of this statue while it was less crowded.



As we were walking past the Shrek 3D show we saw there was a show just starting so we thought we'd go check it out. It's the same as the one at Movie World in Australia, but Nick hadn't seen it so it was worth doing.



After that we were a bit lost. Neither of us were really that interested in the shows. We decided to go and ride Jurassic Park again since that was fairly tame on the tummy. Then we figured we may as well try to get to the last showing of Waterworld.

By the time we got up all the escalators and back nearly to the front of the park we were pretty late, but they were letting us line up for late entry. They advised us that we would be in the 'soak' zone, and that we could get a bit damp, or completely soaked to the skin. Since we were just going to leave once it was finished, we figured it wouldn't be so bad if we got wet. A couple of people pulled out.

We were shown to our seating after what looked like the first lot of special effects. The seats were COMPLETELY SOAKED! It was like sitting in a puddle. But we figured we'd be getting wet anyway so it didn't really matter. As it was, there were really no more big splashes and that was the wettest we got. I thought afterwards if I'd have put my raincoat down on the seat instead of wearing it I probably would have been better off!

The show was quite good. I think we missed a bit of storyline coming in late, but it was more about the effects and the stunts anyway so it didn't really matter.

By that time the light was fading fast, and I didn't want to disturb people with the flash, so I didn't get a heap of great photos. Got a couple of decent ones though.



After the show we went to board the bus that was waiting for us out the front, and made our way back to Anaheim. On the way back the bus driver didn't do the commentary - just let us relax after a big day. It was a bit of a struggle to stay awake!

There were quite a few hotel drops before us, on the other side of Disneyland to where we were. It was cool to see the Disney owned hotels, and I definitely want to stay at the Disneyland Hotel or Grand Californian one day!

When we got back to our room I organised a bit of a schedule for the next day, just to make sure we did everything I wanted to. There were still a few rides that we hadn't done, and I didn't want to leave anything until Saturday, knowing it would be more crowded.

Then we had some left over pizza for dinner and hit the hay, ready for our next big day!

Next up, our more structured day at Disneyland and DCA!
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:53 AM   #44
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I'm enjoying the trip report so far! All of your pictures are amazing. I'm looking forward to reading somemore
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:16 AM   #45
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NEXT time, I recommend that you stop and chat with Donkey. He is absolutely hilarious! Love your pictures and I'm looking forward to your next day.
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