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Old 02-26-2011, 03:50 AM   #1
miss.potatohead
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Australian DLR + SF Trip, Jan 17-28 2011

What a trip! For the months leading up to our holiday, I'd spend hours on here each night, instead of doing the study I should have been doing for my final high school exams! Now that school has started and I'm about to start university, my sisters' and I have been experiencing a 'post Disney slump' and wanting to go back so badly so I thought I'd try and relieve some pain and recount our trip to Southern California for everyone to read!

A little background first. Family of 5, three girls aged 12, 14 and 18 (me!) plus mum and dad. I'd been to California before when I was really young, so don't really remember much, but as soon as I walked through the tunnel and into Disneyland, it all came flooding back to me My sisters' and I had been bugging our parents to take us there, especially as the younger two hadn't been overseas at all. It all kind of happened quickly and before we knew it we were on our way to the Happiest Place on Earth.

All up, we spent seven days in Anaheim and four in San Francisco, which was probably enough although I'm already planning to return!



Bye Bye Australia
We left Australia and (or so we thought) its hot summer of 35-40 degree Celsius (around 95-100F) flying Air New Zealand on the morning of the 17th January. The three hour flight to Auckland from Melbourne International Airport was easy with the in-flight inseat entertainment with over 200 movies, TV shows and CDs to pick from. The food was pretty good too, especially as we weren't expecting lunch as part of our package (it turned out we were meant to receive it, we just didn't know!)

Upon arriving at Auckland airport, we had around two and a half hours to do nothing before our flight left for LAX. By the time we got through security and found our way to the right area, we had a two hour wait in the terminal, which my sisters' spend imitating New Zealand's accent and saying "fish and chops" instead of fish and chips, and "sex" instead of six. If the people who were working in the airport were to go by, New Zealand seems such a friendly place to visit and it is definitely on my travel list once I get a job and can afford it!

We finally boarded the plane to LAX around 7pm local time and we were on our way! We watched many movies on this flight, although we tried to sleep too. Tomorrow When The War Began, Charlie St Cloud, Percy Jackson, Social Network, Eat Pray Love...and the food was amazing! I can't remember what I had specifically but it was so good! Hot meat + vegetables but still good! After an on/off sleep we were awoken at some crazy time of 3am (or what was 3am for Australian time) for breakfast of white chocolate and raspberry pancakes! Another three or so hours and we arrived into LAX at around 9am LA time (on the 17th! didn't even lose a day) and zipped through customs bleary eyed but eager to explore

We had pre organised a shuttle bus, I can't remember the company but it was pretty average service. We had to wait 15minutes for it to come, and when it did the car was a mess with coffee cups everywhere. We had to squish another 2 families into the car too but it wasn't too traumatic. An hour or so later we arrived at Residence Inn Maingate where we stayed for our 7 days in Anaheim. Can I just say, if you are willing to walk the 10-15minutes it takes to get to DLR, it's worth it! I'd read online of people complaining how far away it is, but if for us, it never took more than 15minutes walk, and most of that was spent waiting at the traffic lights. We secured an early check in and made our way to our family suite, which was a bi-level loft. Downstairs had a small kitchen tv/lounge area and two double beds with a bathroom. Upstairs was a double bed with bathroom. After shot gunning our beds and showering, we decided to avoid any jetlag and get going.

A quick walk and a small argument as to where Down Town Disney actually was ("surely you don't go through security JUST for a shopping area" - I was proven wrong) and we were in Disneyland! Well, close enough. My sisters' marvelled at the double levelled build-a-bear workshop (big fans of it here in Australia) we had a look at the other shops and went to the La Brea Bakery for a bite - our first experience of Chilli Cheese Fries! I don't think there is one more food in the world that I can love yet hate at the same time. It was so good yet so disgusting at the same time. We're not a big family, in terms of weight and food intake so we luckily only ordered 4 meals between 5, which occurred many times throughout the trip, sometimes only 3 were bought but we certainly saved a bit of money doing this. Also, we mistakenly ordered 'lemonade' thinking it would be Sprite/7up type drink as that's what we call it in Australia. Imagine five puckered up faces when we took a deep sip and discovered it was actually lemon-ade! haha it was okay though, much the same as what we call cordial.

After a bit more of an explore, we headed back to our hotel, took advantage of the "managers special" nachos which was served complementary on Monday night, watched some tv and resisted the urge to fall asleep at 6pm, but did so anyway, only to be awoken at 10pm when we heard the fireworks go off! That had me awake for the rest of the night which was annoying as I was determined not to fall victim to jetlag but I ended up having a couple of hours asleep in the end, and woke ready for our first day at Disneyland (which I'll write about in the next post!)

x

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Old 02-26-2011, 06:05 PM   #2
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Can't wait to hear more about your trip!!

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Old 02-27-2011, 03:54 AM   #3
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I suspect that you and I would have crossed paths at RI without knowing it. I was staying there from the 19th and checked out on the 21st.

And I was in San Francisco downtown area on the 26th and the 27th.

Looking forward to reading more.

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Old 02-27-2011, 04:46 AM   #4
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Oh really! That's quite funny actually. By the sounds of the accents there were a few other Australian families staying there when we were, we spoke to one lady who was from Adelaide when we were washing the clothes one day but that was about it.

I loved the accomidation though. Perfect for a family of 5 who needed just a bit more space than a regular hotel room.

Anyway I was going to post our first day at Disneyland now but I'll wait until I've uploaded the images then do it maybe tomorrow!
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:04 AM   #5
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Day Two! (part 1)
Tuesday 18th January

We woke around 7am and headed to the breakfast area of the hotel. The Maingate serves a complimentary breakfast between 6am-9am during the weekdays and 7am-10am (I think) on weekends. Traveladvisor had mixed reviews about the quality of the breakfast but we weren’t complaining! They had fruit salad, yoghurt, bread, bagels, muffins, waffles, hot meats (bacon/ham), eggs, potato gems, cereals and fresh fruit, as well as juice, milk and coffee. When we finished our breakfast we took the short walk down Disney Way and Harbour Blvd and to the happiest place on earth. Hearing the music as we walked through security *almost* drew tears of excitement for me. After a quick toilet stop, I tried to remember which line was meant to be the shortest, then gave up when I realised all lines were pretty much the same length. It was a 9am opening and I’m thinking we were in line around 8.30 and in the park by 8.50am so we experienced the Main Street welcoming. As we entered under the tunnel, the tears of excitement came (I may have just put the sunglasses on to hide them) and I knew I was finally after many years at the place I’d dreamt about for too long.



I’ll quickly say how amazing the weather was. After reading of floods and torrential downpour in the Christmas lead up in LA, we were slightly worried and went out and bought some thicker jackets (luckily they were cheap due to the Boxing Day sales). These jackets were worn only a few times, usually at night and mostly in San Francisco. We left an Australian summer only to experience a sunny Californian winter! We all wore shorts/t-shirts most days and only needed jumpers as it got cooler at night. Most days were a nice 77deg F but never less than 68F, which is between 20-25degrees Celsius. To put into perspective for any American’s reading this, where we came from was around 95F and our winters are around 59F so it was perfect weather for us!

I excitedly went into the Town Hall and asked for five “First Time” badges – the CM must have thought I was a weirdo as he gave me a funny look before he realised I meant First Visit pins…awkward. So we pinned our badges on (except Mum and Dad, they didn’t want to) and made our way down Main Street USA.

Another side note, when I was younger we went to Disneyland. I was around 3 years old so I don’t remember much, but we did buy a VHS of “A day at Disneyland” type tour around the park which I watched so many times over and over. Sadly we got rid of our video player so we weren’t able to watch it before we left but I remember one of the opening scenes of the tape, with Mickey walking down Main Street, waving to all the cast members with their oversized Mickey hand on. I was so excited to remember this as we walked down Main Street, being greeted by all the CM so that was a nice way to start the day.

Fantasyland
We continued through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle (with an obligatory photo in front of it) and made our way to Fantasyland. We lined up for the first ride we saw, Peter Pan, and had a short 10minute wait. This is where the fun started! As a family of 5, it it’s a little hard to all get on the same carriage of a ride, so we split into a three and a two. My mother, sister and I went on the first ship and my father and other sister on the next. Our ship had entered the scene of the mermaids, seconds from the end when it stopped. We were told not to panic and to stay seated. The lights were turned on and the power cut. A CM came over and said we were too far off the ground to exit (it was only a few meters but I guess safety comes first) and they’d have us out in a few minutes. We couldn’t see but we could hear the other ship behind us that my dad was in. A man came and got on our ship’s front, fiddled around with the bolts and said that a moon fitting (?) had fallen off and that’s why it stopped, so our ship had caused the stop! Anyway we moved to the exit bay and were done with PP.



Next was Mr. Toad. I honestly can’t see why so many people love this ride, but as I was reminded by my parents, many people would have ridden these original Fantasyland rides as children and want to show them to their children or have fond memories of them which makes sense.

Then it was Dumbo! We waited no more than five loads, so probably 15 minutes at the most. This is one of the few rides I remember from my first visit and I had fun fighting with my sister over the control stick. We had a walk on for Pinocchio and Snow White, which was amazing. The whole trip I was worried about lines, considering the only book I’d read since finishing school was the Unofficial Disneyland Guide which listed average wait times for most rides between 15-45 minutes.

After, we found our way onto the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups and spun ourselves silly, then staggered the short distance to Alice. Once we’d exhausted the main rides in Fantasyland, my sister’s bought themselves (or more so, my Dad bought) some Mickey ears. Now all three girls have a pair, although mine are circa 1995 and were sadly back in Australia as I didn’t think to bring them with me!

We ‘braved’ the 10 minute line for the Matterhorn, but we somehow ended up in the right side line without realising (the supposedly ‘less fast’ ride) but it was still a great ride to go on.


Mickey's Toontown
We passed it’s a small world, knowing it was closed for Christmas decoration removal, but not all that disappointed as the song is enough to drive anyone crazy in my opinion although it would have been nice to go on. Next up was Mickey’s Toontown where we took photos in the ‘jail’, walked across the talking buttons on the ground, turning knobs we 'weren’t supposed to' and just having fun.

We sprinted over to Goofy when he came out and had our first character photo. Then we went to Minnie’s House, where the lovely mouse herself greeted us with a photo opportunity at her front door. Many dorky photos were taken throughout her house. I was using a point and shoot camera I got for Christmas, a Finepix JX250, as I really didn’t want to risk losing or damaging my Canon DSLR 450D. Yes I lost some professional quality of my images but I’d much rather have that than lose $2500 worth of cameras and equipment along the way. Next stop was Mickey’s home. There was a family in front of us the whole way along but we weren’t sure of the etiquette. They kept stopping every thirty seconds to take photos, and everyone was held up behind them when they did so. Once I walked ahead of them, but they were rude about it and made a point of pushing past me when I was taking a photo later. We ended up being in the line to see Mickey at the same point anyway so it didn’t really matter. A long (considering the other lines) 20 minute wait and we had our photo with Mickey. Although pushy photo family decided that they needed ANOTHER photo with the mouse after they’d had their first one and waited for us to leave once ours was over so they had more time for Mickey to personally write in their child’s autograph book. Had to laugh when the mother was spelling out her daughter’s name letter by letter for Mickey as if he was an idiot…

Moving on. We had lunch in Toontown; a pizza, salad and a few turkey dogs between us all. Average food I guess but then again it isn’t a 5 star restaurant. Daddy’s turn for a photo with Pluto to go next to the one of him and the dog taken all those years ago (Pluto doesn’t look like he’s aged one bit, Dad on the other hand…)

My youngest sister and I lined up for the Pixie Hollow Princess meet and greet which we were in for around 20 minutes. If you have younger children who love the princesses it’s worth the wait, although the CM at the front told us that our wait was nothing compared to busy days. We saw Snow White, Ariel and Cinderella. They were all so nice and beautiful. Cinderella asked us where we were from, and we replied Australia, then she asked if we knew Nemo and we replied “of course we do, we’re best friends!” She also told us she’ll borrow her friend Jasmine’s magical carpet to come visit Australia because it sounds so beautiful. It was a good thing to do, mostly because my 12 year old sister was a big Disney Princess fan when she was younger but I wouldn’t have lined up any longer than we did otherwise.

... TBC
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:41 AM   #6
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I'm enjoying your trip report very much and looking forward to seeing some of your pictures.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:15 AM   #7
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^^^ ^^^ ^^^
Me Too! Me Too!
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:41 AM   #8
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I'm aboard for the trip!

Hi Princess! I have so been missing your TR!
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheColtonsMom View Post
I'm aboard for the trip!

Hi Princess! I have so been missing your TR!
Me too . I need another PTR....
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:43 PM   #10
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Update!
Sorry I've been quite busy with uni work but this was a perfect time to get out the DL maps, open up the photos and have fun remembering the trip!



DAY 2 (part 2)

Space Mountain was next and we made our way to Tomorrowland. By now it was probably close to 2pm but we were exhausted. We marvelled at the non-existent line, wondering why people would actually bother standing for hours just to go on a ride? Maybe we were a little naive and cocky as there was no line for us to wait in, but not all people are able to go to DL in the off season I guess. I have to say, Space Mountain was one of my favourite rides. I’d have loved to have gone on it with the lights on just to see what it’s like (although I’ve since watched it on YouTube with lights off) but I do think the darkness makes it feel quicker than it would be usually.



Walked straight onto Buzz but stopped to take some photos of the Buzz in the line. THIS IS SUCH A FUN RIDE! There are not that many theme parks in Australia (and none of them are the size of DL) but there are no rides like this here! I wish there were because it was great fun. Left the shop and we saw Buzz so we lined up and get a photo with him, and then we grabbed a churro to keep us going until dinner, then lined up for Astro Orbiters where I had a good conversation with a lady about the costumes that the cast members wear!

Then came the best part of the day! We went over to Frontierland and jumped on the next sailing of the Mark Twain. Waiting for the boat to go, we were on the top floor and I was telling my family how I’d read if you knock on the Captain’s door you might get to ride up top. The next thing I know, a CM asks if we want to ride with the Captain! YAY!



All 5 of us went up the top and we got to ring the bell and pull the whistle. The CM gave us lots of fun facts and was so nice. It was a great trip, especially as the sun was setting around us (despite it being 4.30pm)



By now it was getting quite dark (and cold! We were all wearing shorts and t-shirts!) and we had a quick exploration of New Orleans Square, which was when we rode the Haunted Mansion. The detailing of all the rides at both Disneyland parks amazes me; the costumes, the line up, the storylines – DREAMWORLD/MOVIEWORLD/SEA WORLD TAKE NOTICE!

So we rode HM and I don’t even think we had to wait before being escorted into the elevator room. When we came out into New Orleans Square afterwards, it was packed! We decided it was best to look elsewhere for dinner and made out way to Adventureland. We ate from the Bengal Barbeque, between the five of us we had the Chieftain Chicken, Banyan Beef (VERY HOT!), Bengal Beef and Safari (Bacon/Asparagus) Skewers. We only ate one each and there was no complaints, although thinking back on it now, there was no seating free so we sat on a small bench which made it a tad hard to eat saucey skewers in the dark, oh well I think I ended up with some of the sauce on my shorts which went unnoticed until the next day.

The line for Indianna Jones was at 40minutes and we weren't willing to wait that long - the FastPass return time was a bit shorter but even then we were getting restless. We then had a run around Tarzan’s Treehouse before we said goodbye to Disneyland for the day and made our way back to the RI Maingate. I’ll say here, we never had any issues walking back to our hotel at night (or during the day for that matter) despite it being a “longer” walk compared to some of the other hotels. We took South Harbour Boulevard then down Disneyway, until Clemintine where the RI is on the corner. We took both the Disneyland side of S. Harbour along the path which is a bit more covered) and the side where the motels and restaurants are and honestly they were both as safe as each other. Only once were we approached by a lady who kept saying how God has blessed my parents with beautiful children (she must have been blind!) but we never felt unsafe, even walking at 11pm. When we walked along Disneyway we went on the Garden Walk side, just because it was a bit more populated and brighter with the road lights. But we always felt safe.

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Old 05-10-2011, 11:36 PM   #11
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Day 3 – Wednesday 19th January, Universal Studios/Hollywood Tour


Today we jumped aboard the Southern California Grey Line bus which picked us up at 8am from ‘curbside’ of the RI. The bus then took us to the bus depot where we paid for the tour and had a chance to purchase any ‘cheap’ (not licensed perhaps?) Disney merchandise as well as other tourist buys. The tour we booked was called ‘Universal Studios Combo Deluxe’ which included transport, standard entry into Universal, and a tour of the Hollywood area (Beverly Hills, Melrose Place, Hollywood Boulevard etc). From the website, prices are $101 for adults and $86 for children (3-7). The drive took us close to 45mins-because of the traffic but we used the ‘car pool’ lane which sped time up considerably. Our driver said it once took him two and a half hours to get to Universal because of a traffic jam so we were pretty lucky. We jumped off the Grey Line bus when it arrived and took note of the bus number as that was the one we had to get back on later than evening. Walking into the park we noticed five large groups of children on Japanese school tours so I was initially worried about how busy the park would be. Turns out I needn’t be concerned as it was quiet all day. We started our day with the famous Studio Tour now featuring King Kong! We ended up getting on one of the first tours of the day and before we knew it we were on our way seeing the studios of Universal!



The tour was a lot of fun. Whilst the commentary was scripted in a very corny manner, we had some laughs and were never sure of what was to come next. It would have been nice to get some better photos (I was sitting on one end so I couldn’t always get a clear shot of the other side of the row) – I’ve seen photos of when my Dad went many years ago and a few of the items on display during the tour (the BTTF DeLorean) were available to have photos taken next to. Going through the studios, we drove past a van which had props from CSI – I noticed a severed hand and a few other limbs in the back and scored many waves from various people who were studio workers much to many people’s disappointment. We didn’t see Wisteria Lane (Desperate Housewives) as they were filming that day, as were they filming Parenthood.

The awkward moment when the King Kong simulation doesn’t work…the carriage made its way into the tunnel where we just sat, enclosed by a grey tunnel. Let down. The driver made a joke, saying Kong was probably asleep still then took us around again and this time it worked. It was scary but not too scary and the effects were cool! My sister later admitted to closing her eyes though! The flooding/earthquake set (from Lost or Heroes?) was also exciting to drive through, but Dad said they had used it for another film or show many years before because it had been used in the tour back in 1995…which you’d expect because things like that would not be cheap to make each time a film required an earthquake or flood.

Shocking photo so blurry but if you squint it looks almost normal!


And who could forget the famous Jaws scene of the tour?



The Whoville Scene looked very sad =( A friend of mine had been in America a few weeks before Christmas (during those bad storms) and she said they had little dancers in the ‘snow’ for this part, but I’m assuming that was probably only for Christmas time.


The War of the Worlds wreckage was amazing too. I felt like I was in the middle of the film! The amount of ruins there was and the size of it was surreal.



So the tour finished up and we found our way over to the Simpsons Ride. From off the top of my head, there was a 25minute wait for it, which was by far the longest wait we had for anything all day and it was only 15minutes to get into the building then another 5 – maybe 10 minutes lining up inside the ride. I had no idea what to expect from this ride, in all honesty because the building was so big I thought it might have been an actual rollercoaster! It was lots of fun and very fast moving but Mum came off it feeling a bit queasy. We saw Lisa, Bar, Homer and Marge waiting out the front of the Quik-E-Mart and grabbed a family photo then went to find lunch. We had a chicken meal and shared it between the 5 of us. It consisted of three legs of chicken covered in a VERY SWEET sauce, a cornbread roll, potato chips (not fries, ‘crisps’ but proper potato) with coleslaw and onion.

Now we headed down the longest line of escalators I have ever seen to the lower lot. I wasn’t in the mood to get soaked but after watching a few boat loads going down Jurassic, and not getting too wet, my Dad and I made our way into the line – wait – what line? Walk On! There was a rather large guy sitting next to me so our harness didn’t fit all the way down and my Dad was stressing me out, thinking that the drop was almost vertical! Uh it wasn’t much to my relief. I took my sister on it after, this time I was more calm not thinking I was about to encounter a complete drop and took in all the little details of the ride, although my sister was more concerned about getting her hair wet. I then experienced the Mummy Ride – OMG SO MUCH FUN! I loved it. I rode it another three times, no line, just got to go straight back on it

Time to go back up to the top lot. Except one of my sisters and I decided to run up the stairs (to burn off the disgustingly fatty chicken we had for lunch…) but we were feeling the lactic acid by the time we got to the last flight and walked the final stretch!


My youngest sister (12) and I then watched the Animals Actors show which was okay – it was cute to see the animals doing different tricks and I know they treat the animals well (or at least I hope they do). Then we found our parents and other sister (they had gone to the House of Horrors walkthrough), had a quick play in the Curious George Jungle House which is pretty much the same as the Wild Thornberry Ball House at Dreamworld in Queensland. Saw Donkey from Shrek and had a hilarious chat to him! I love the fact that whilst he appears animatronic, it actually talks to you and replies with your name etc (as there is someone behind/near feeding the information through). My middle sister (15) wasn’t aware that Donkey was done the way it was, so she said some rude things to him. He took it pretty well. Dad and I saw the Terminator 2: 3D show which was good, then we went and saw the last Shrek 4-D show for the day, it is exactly the same as the one at Movieworld in Queensland but there wasn’t anything else for us to do.

We went to eat dinner on the Universal Citywalk as we still had an hour and a half before the bus came to take us to downtown Hollywood. We ended up eating at KFC (yuck) but we were still full from lunch so my sisters and I shared a box of hot chips/fries. We had a quick exploration of some of the shops and bought a couple of those ‘I HEART LA’ shirts as gifts for friends back home. There was a shop that was just full of lollies and sweets and had these massive gummy bears (my favourite) the size of fists! But we didn’t buy any. We got on the bus and off we went. The bus tour was a bit disappointing, it was night so it was dark and photos from the bus were almost impossible because it had advertising on the outside windows, so the inside view of the bus could only be seen through small holes. Nevertheless it was a good experience seeing all the places of note, a few famous peoples houses (they were so famous I can’t remember who they were) but the driver pointed out where certain actors went for lunch etc… So we got off the bus near the Theatre and went to the hands. I really didn’t know many of the actors (how poor of me) but had a few photos with the Harry Potter ones and the others we knew. We walked along the main strip, stopping to take photos of the stars but I was weary of others on the street. I’m a worrier so I was concerned someone might try something funny on us because we were obviously tourists. The bus dropped us back off at our hotel and we slept ready for our day at DCA tomorrow.

My advice for the tour – if people really want to see Hollywood and all the sights and not feel rushed, do it separate to the Universal pack. Whilst it was good to do, I’d have preferred to have done it during the day and have longer than the 1 hour we had on the main strip of Hollywood. We did it together because we had no idea if we’d have another time to do it separately so it was just easier to do it all in one day.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:25 AM   #12
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Day 4 – Thursday 20th January, Disney California Adventure (+ Disneyland)


Our day at DCA did not disappoint. We were let into the park around 9.30 despite it not opening until 10 and we made our way over to Paradise Pier but not before getting our FB for World of Colour for the night. Can’t remember which zone we got, from distant memory I think it was blue. Standing near Screamin’ trying to decided what to start our day with, I remembered reading that Toy Story Midway Mania gets long lines regardless of the day so I made the family line up for that first. The clock said there was a 20minute line but we were certainly seated in our little ride carriage within 15minutes! I won against my sister, 78,100 to 49,200. Once we had a look around the shop (we were sure to be back there, Toy Story is my equal favourite Disney film, along with Lion King) we saw Woody and the Green Army Men for photos. They were very busy but a 10minute wait saw us up the front. Dad was going to take the photo on my camera, but then the PhotoPass lady offered to take it so we could have a family photo. We told her it wasn’t a family photo without our Mum, who was waiting with our bags outside of the line. So the Army Man went into action and went to find our Mum! It was hilarious watching him drag her into the photo. Maybe it was a ploy to waste some time or maybe it was some Disney magic, but as soon as our Mum got into the photo, out came Jessie! So we ended up having a photo with one of the three army men (the other two disappeared on their break!), Woody and Jessie! There were a few angry glares as we left, because Woody went on his break after our photo…but I’m sure there’d have been more opportunities. We then thought we’d have a nice, relaxing ride on the Mickey’s Fun Wheel. OH BOY WE WERE WRONG! We dared the moving carriage and let’s just say I feared for my life! I understand why there are sickbags in the moving carriage. My Dad and I rode Screamin’ which had a walk-on then we went to the Pacific Wharf Café for a early lunch.

The next land we ventured to was it’s a bugs land where we saw Safari Mickey, Chip n Dale, and Safari Donald Duck. We watched the ‘It’s tough to be a bug’ show which was one of the more enjoyable “sit down with 3d glasses” shows I saw at both parks. I certainly wasn’t expecting the nice poke in the back …we skipped the other rides in this area, only because they looked like the sort you could ride anywhere! I think Mum was keen to go on some of them, she was looking for a nice calm ride still after the Mickey’s Fun Wheel of Death. YAY then we rode the Tower of Terror over in Hollywood Pictures Backlot . I’ve said it before for other rides but this was another of my favourite! I was again pooping my pants when we were lining up in the rows before boarding the elevator, but another man from Australia who was next to me told me his three year old daughter had been on it six times and she hadn’t cried! So that made me harden up, still I was gripping on for dear life. When we got off, we convinced our Mum to go on it (she had opted out originally) but we convinced her it was fine so she came on it!!! She wasn’t too happy afterwards =/ hahaha. Once again, we walked straight into the room where they have the preshow. There was no one around! We walked onto Monsters Inc. – there was actually no line and the people working the ride had been sitting around doing nothing prior to us entering!

Line? What Line?


I liked the smells on the Monsters Inc ride! We then saw the Muppet Vision show; the theatre would have only had 75 people in it max. It was a fun show though. We spent a fair amount of time in the Animation Academy, exploring the little things to do in there, although we didn’t see Turtle Talk with Crush. We then rode Soarin’ which had a 15minute wait, before we left DCA and ‘hopped’ to DL. BUT FIRST! Hahah sorry I just remembered, we made our Mr Potatoheads at Engine Ears Toys. For $20 you put as many pieces (many Disneyland specials) into a cardboard box. I’d read all the tips, bring your own body blahblahblah before coming but I didn’t and just filled the body with smaller pieces. My sister ended up getting one too so we tried not to double up on parts. I collect MPH’s and have around 15 themed ones so it is fun to have a unique DL one in my collection now. Looking back on the time spent at DCA, it was very manageable to ride all the main attractions before 3pm (which was when we left DCA) although we forgot about Aladdin so that’s on the list for next time.

So we went back to Disneyland to finish off what we didn’t get done on our first day. We dashed to [/b]Adventureland[/b] and lined up for Indiana Jones. We had an estimated 25minute wait time so we took it and made our way through the ropes. The annoying thing was there was no CM checking for fast passes at the entrance of the temple, so people caught on and jumped the line but in the end everyone has to wait inside fastpass or not so I didn’t get too upset about it. Indy was such a fun ride. I sat on the front row on the right hand side which apparently is the ‘best seat’ – I was wanting to drive the van personally but I felt the full effects of the snake and will admit to ducking in case it got me! My bag wasn’t fitting in the satchel they give you to put all items in so I was a little nervous that my new Mr.Potatohead was going to be lost to the Temple of Doom but luckily my sister took it between her legs just in time!

As we made our way back to Tomorrowland, two teenage girls around my age came up to us and gave us a ‘front of the line’ pass, as one of them had been given it from a CM because it was her birthday but they were about to leave and wouldn’t have a chance to use it! We wished her a very happy birthday and thanked them for their generosity. Another ride on Buzz – although this time I certainly didn’t score as well as I had previously. We saw the line for Nemo Submarine Voyage and it was big. So we decided to use our front of line pass for this ride. Oh the looks we got when we ‘cut’ through the line! It was fun but certainly not worth the 45minute line that it had at the time. Autopia was worse though, at that time (around 4.30pm) it had a 60 minute wait. Needless to say we didn’t do Autopia at all on our trip.

Back to DCA for dinner. We ate at the ‘Lucky Fortune Cookery’ at Pacfic Rim Foods and it was delicious. I’ve decided I’ll have a food porn post later on but there was a lot from this place!



We rode Mickey’s Fun Wheel again, but this time it was fun because we had a stationary carriage so we took in the sights of DCA and surrounds, which was so beautiful at night, everything all lit up.

Another ride on TSMM where I got the best score in the vehicle! Not much of an achievement but I doubled my score from the first time.


It was only 7.30 and people were already lining up everywhere for WOC! And the show wasn’t until 9pm that night. We used the time to grab a quick drink and ride Screamin’ again, then we headed over to the viewing area. Looking at the map now, we were standing in the blue zone, in the far corner near the side handrail. Average spot for viewing as there was a nice tall pole in the middle of the view but my sister and parents had a better view from further back. I moved as forward as I could though to try and get a better view but it didn’t work out too well.


Only Disney would be able to make such a magical show. I had goosebumps the entire time and not only because it was cold, but just the atmosphere, the music, everything was so Disney perfect. Minus the pole. Once WOC was over, we attempted to beat the crowds leaving and made our way back to RI.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:46 PM   #13
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Great TR! I love reading all the details and can't wait to hear what else happened!
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:54 AM   #14
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Day 5 – Friday 21st January, Disneyland (CA in PM)


Today was to be our final day at the parks :’( It was a Friday so I had expected the crowds to be a bit busier than the other days we’d been at the parks but it wasn’t too bad, well in the morning anyway. We started the morning off with a ride on the Disneyland Railroad. We rode a full circuit on the railroad and got off at Main Street USA where there was a hustle of activity. The Mad Hatter was out the front of the park, directing the musicians, and then made his way to the circle area near the City Hall. We had photos with Mary Poppins and Bert, who were lovely. With only my sister and I having ridden Indiana Jones, and wanting to share the experience with the rest of the family (Mum wasn’t too keen but we convinced her), we headed over to Adventureland where there was absolutely no line up at all!


According to my camera, this was at 9.38am. We were off the ride by 9.50.

My youngest sister wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad which, on our previous days, had posted a 40 minute wait time. We wound our way to [b] Frontierland [b] and jumped in a 15 minute line for the ride. It was well worth it! From the outside it looked like any normal rollercoaster ride but it was so fast and I didn’t know when it was going to end! Our next stop was New Orleans Square where we rode The Haunted Mansion again, which had a 5 minute wait. A CM at the loading station was not letting people go on some of the doom buggies, for every five around two were taped and people were not allowed on. Apparently the sound wasn’t going through the speakers in some of them so they were not allowed to be used. A CM was waiting at the door just before the doom buggy enters the main part of the ride, jumped out and scared my sister haha that made me laugh (obviously it didn’t make her laugh at all). The ride stopped for at least 5 minutes as we were going through the part where the graves were. It then started up again but the sound in my sister’s doom buggy had stopped. When we got off the ride had been shut down for maintenance.

The next place we went to was Critter Country when we had a fun spin on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. My oh my that ride is psychedelic. I felt like I was tripping out! But it was fun nonetheless. Luck was on our side as we had walked straight on it, only to exit to a 5 minute wait (oh 5 minutes, so painful, NOT). Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore were out for photos, Pooh was cute giving us kisses by making a noise.

This whole trip the one food item I wanted to try were the potatoes from the Troubadour Tavern in Fantasyland . We tried the BBQ chicken potato, which was very sweet, and the broccoli and cheese potato. We weren’t quite used to this cheese from a bottle invention as it isn’t that popular in Australia…so my Mum was taken aback when she saw bright yellow ‘cheese’ on top of her potato. Even so, we all enjoyed our meals, we also had a Bratwurst.



Interestingly, I had been getting quite sore teeth by mid-afternoon most days. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the foods, or the drinks or what but it made eating quite painful which wasn’t good because I love my food! Overnight the pain would go away and return after lunch so I stopped drinking softdrink and drank more water but even then it didn’t help the problem. My dentist had no idea why it may have happened as when I returned it was fine, she said it was probably just an increase in sugary food.

After our lunch we (stupidly) took a spin on the Tea Cups. It wasn’t a great idea with freshly digested food sitting in our stomachs to go spin ourselves silly. The line for Casey Junior was long (for our standard, 15 minutes) but I really wanted to ride it so we stuck it out. When I first went to DL back in 1994 or sometime long ago when I was little, we bought back a vhs tape called ‘A Day at the Happiest Place on Earth’ and it had a section on Casey Jr. I always wanted to sit in the carriage with the caged bars, but I cannot even remember if I rode it when I was last there. So that was my mission, to ride in that carriage and the mission was accomplished.

Today wasn’t planned at all. We went across the park and back so many times! I’ve read posts on Disboards with people asking ‘how does this day sound’, ‘should we book dining reservations here or then’ and I think, why? Just go with the flow. But then again, there are people who can only go to Disneyland in peak season and want to maximise their trip. We rode almost every ride (and the ones we didn’t were by choice) within 2 days, with an extra day to re-ride other things or do rides we wouldn’t have wanted to have tried otherwise. I think we were lucky when we went that we could onto most rides or have no longer than 15 minutes to wait. We didn’t eat at any of the restaurants where reservations were recommended but someone I spoke to said they walked straight into the Blue Bayou at 5pm and had no wait without reservation.

So we walked back to Adventureland and sat through the tortuous ‘Tiki Room’. AHHHHH I wanted to scream and run out of there. It wasn’t too bad, but I have the ‘Classic Disney Vol 1-5 cds and I give them a good work out, but the Tiki song is the one song that I skip! The animatronics were amazing, just the music annoyed me. When the show was over I sprinted out of that place walked at a leisurely pace to get in line for the Jungle Cruise. What a hilarious ride/tour/show. I wanted to try a dole whip, so I lined up for a whopping 10minutes to get one. I wish I’d known about the ‘go through to the tiki room waiting area side’ trick before but it doesn’t matter! It was very yummy. It was unanimously decided to ride Peter Pan as our last ride at DL as it had been our first. Well luck wasn’t on our side as we stood in line for 35 minutes, got to the front only for it to break down. We were told ‘come back in 20 minutes or stay around if you want’ and we really weren’t in the mood so with that we said goodbye to Disneyland and headed over to DCA.



Over at DCA we adventured through Golden State to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Nothing too fun, just climbing through nets because I was too tall to go on the flying fox and other things in there. Our other day at DCA was slightly windy so the Golden Zephyr was not in action. Today it was! So we rode that at Paradise Pier as well as the Jumpin Jellyfish. I don’t know why they have the Silly Symphony Swings over in this area - whilst it is a different ride to the Golden Zephyr, they are also quite similar. We didn’t feel the need for another swing type ride after the Zephyr so we took the LONG way around to the other side of Paradise Pier due to the construction works going on. But then along the way we decided to have an early dinner. It was around 5pm and we hadn’t eaten since lunch around 12.

We ate at the Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill – I had the kids meal which was filling enough; Mexican rice, a soft taco and mandarin pieces as well as a drink. In a cute Mickey head bowl which I’ve kept. Another meal was bought from the Lucky Fortune Cookery. This is excellent value. For I think $6, you get rice and a choice of chicken/beef/tofu in different sauces, and it’s a decent size portions as well.

The sun was going down and it was getting cold. Toy Story posted a 40 minute wait! Shock horror, it was the longest line of the whole trip It was long and painful for us inpatient Australians. The line was extended further than the other times we’d ridden it and there were more turns around the line. Yet I was determined to beat my high score and this is by far my favourite ride at both parks. Finally after 45-50minutes we got on. And my pull string was broken. GRRR. Not happy. It wasn’t broken as such, more it had been pulled so many times that it no longer retracted back into the hole, instead it just lay limp. Meh. 100,500 was my final score. I’d beaten the other times (I think) so I was happy. We grabbed fast passes (the first time on the entire trip!) for Screamin’ which had an immediate return time, score! The standby line was 25 minutes too…so my last ride of the trip was on Screamin’. It seemed to go a lot faster at night but maybe it was because it was darker, who knows…I did thumbs up in my photo, cept it didn’t come up whoops maybe they thought I was giving the finger.

So that was our last day at Disneyland, in the actual parks. We still had a few more days in Anaheim, so the next report will be on the San Diego Zoo. But I can’t promise when that’ll be because I have uni exams coming up and I procrastinated my study for them by writing this. And researching for my (possible but unlikely) return trip next year.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:35 AM   #15
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I'm all caught up. Sorry - I seem to have missed a few of the updates. Not quite sure why.

Wow! Nice empty queues. That's what I like to see.

I'm glad you enjoyed WoC. I did too...
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