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Old 06-27-2011, 11:29 PM   #46
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We just returned from a mid-June DLR trip, too. We confess, we don't see what all of the fuss is about with ST. I guess we're just not fans, so we only rode once. Thus, we thought that in the mornings all of the other rides were pretty accessible (except, maybe, PP, which gets a line early!). We enjoyed LM -- a good ride, although not a great one. Monsters, Inc, was new for us, too; as others have said, it's only "ok" and no more. Never a wait that we saw. Rode Pirates TWICE w/o a single flash picture somewhere (this always, always happens at WDW). Maybe the folks at DLR are just more responsible or less camera happy? Not sure, but it was very nice.

Good trip. Lines app was very useful. Touring Plans crowd calendar was completely off on one day. Predicted a 2 for DL on what turned out to be a "grad night." The parks seemed PACKED, especially with teens and their families. Ugh. Early mornings on the other days were fantastic.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:29 AM   #47
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Hydroguy-thanks for the advice and your earlier as always, informative post.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:20 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenb View Post
Question... if DCA is so messed up right now because of the construction, do they have updated park maps to show how you are supposed to get around?
NO....... They show none of the Walls, and show Goofys, Boardwalk Pizza, and Paradise Grill as open, even though they are not scheduled to open until this comming weekend.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:27 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by helenb View Post
Question... if DCA is so messed up right now because of the construction, do they have updated park maps to show how you are supposed to get around?
No, same old park layout maps. Since the walking routes are changing so much and so frequently this is the only reasonable thing to do.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:48 AM   #50
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Thanks for the update!
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:09 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenb View Post
Question... if DCA is so messed up right now because of the construction, do they have updated park maps to show how you are supposed to get around?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneyland 1951 View Post
NO....... They show none of the Walls, and show Goofys, Boardwalk Pizza, and Paradise Grill as open, even though they are not scheduled to open until this coming weekend.
I'm looking at my DCA park map right now and it *does* show the corridor from Sunshine Plaza to a bug's land as "STREET CLOSED" with construction barriers. This is the section of the park where the Carthay Circle Theater is currently under construction and *was* the most direct route from the park entrance to the Paradise Pier section. Since they made the effort to print this on the park map, I'm guessing these particular set of walls will be up for a while.

However, as Disneyland 1951 posted above, my park map also shows Boardwalk Pizza, Paradise Garden Grill and Goofy's Sky School as open. Well, GSS is in soft open right now and the others will be open this coming weekend. But for anyone using these maps last week, there was certainly room for confusion.

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Old 06-28-2011, 09:43 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post
o This was my first Disney trip with a smartphone. I just got an iPhone a couple weeks ago and I am 100% sold on Touring Plans "Lines" app for the iPhone. Wow what useful info! Especially the FP window info. DS19 got MouseWait on his Android phone and he liked using that too. We compared info between Lines and MouseWait a lot over the three days. The data was consistent but I think the crowd forecasts in Lines and general app usability was better.
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I agree that Lines right now is the best for both the android and iphone. There are more people updating it. (I even saw that you were updating while I was there). However their forcasts' seem to be way off and based on last year without adjustments for the changes that have happened. We also had the official Disney App but I never used it after the 1st day... the UI was too clunky.
I've been using both the Lines app and Mousewait during my quick day trips as well. Like Hydroguy and AndyLL, I tend to favor Lines for its cleaner UI and usability. Having the available FP window information is really valuable. However, in my experience, it seems that Mousewait was being updated more often. If the wait time for a particular attraction in the Lines app hadn't been updated in 2-3 hours, I would switch to Mousewait and almost always found a more recent posted wait time. However, this is completely anecdotal and based on a small sample size from my experience, so your mileage may vary.

And like AndyLL, I purchased the official Disney "Mobile Magic" app (I think it's still only available to Verizon customers), but have used that the least. It takes too long to start up, runs slower and it's UI is not as easy to navigate. It's one advantage is that it's tied to the official DLR system so the wait times and FP window info *should* be the most accurate. But the other two apps work just as well for me on my Android.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:05 AM   #53
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Thanks for the "on the ground" report Trey.

A few questions / comments below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post
My 30th high school reunion brought me to SoCal this weekend and provided a good excuse to stop in at DLR for a few days. We were at DLR Thursday to Saturday (yesterday) so this is near real time. I collected some of my thoughts here for general discussion and info...

o Crowds were moderate - not that bad. All our days were blockout days for the SoCal APs.

o This was my first Disney trip with a smartphone. I just got an iPhone a couple weeks ago and I am 100% sold on Touring Plans "Lines" app for the iPhone. Wow what useful info! Especially the FP window info. DS19 got MouseWait on his Android phone and he liked using that too. We compared info between Lines and MouseWait a lot over the three days. The data was consistent but I think the crowd forecasts in Lines and general app usability was better.

o We flew in Thursday afternoon and I had a WOC dining reservation at Ariel's Grotto that night. We got in a a quick ride on Screamin and TSMM before dining. By coincidence we all decided on the pasta plate. I had the tri-tip last year which was great, and wanted to try something different. So I did the pasta. It was pretty good but not as good as the tri-tip.

o WOC was awesome. Again. After seeing it once again from the front of preferred viewing, I am unable to grasp how this show is not everyone's favorite over Fantasmic and RDCT fireworks. It is so good I believe even more strongly now my theory that it is the WOC viewing venue and not the show itself that leads to most of the non-positive reviews. Just like last summer when I saw WOC for the first time I got gooosebumps.

o The queue for WOC remains quite confusing. Not so bad as 2010 but still confusing. Now they had folks in a sort of/kind of queue up with all color sections and preferred dining in the same mass, which they did not really enforce. So even though we came to the area 90 minutes before the show, and were in the front of the mass of people, there were still people hanging around the new LM ride who rushed into line at the last minute. So by the time they let us go to the PD section itself we were like 15th in line. We did get to the front rail but off to the right and the view was not as good as the one we had last summer. But close. Why can't they make well-established and clear queues for this show? Even if you spend the time to show up early there is still a chance you could miss a prime spot. Kind of disappointing. There are enough good spots in blue, yellow and red that as long as you are near the front you should be fine. There are less prime spots for the PD section.

o The WOC FPs we got for dining at Ariel's said to return 8:30-9PM for the 9PM show. However, anyone following this advice would be behind lots of people who were allowed in on our night at 8PM to the viewing area.

o I saw the 9PM WOC and the 10:30PM Fantasmic! on the same night. The two really big things that Fantasmic has going for it over WOC are the Columbia Sailing ship that comes through in the middle of the show and of course the AA dragon Maleficient. They are both powerful parts of the show. IMO WOC has more power, especially after having seen both shows back-to-back. Some people say Fantasmic is better than WOC because it has a story and WOC does not. What I noticed is that most of Fantasmic is just like WOC - no story just lots of Disney characters coming through disconnected to the Mickey dream story. The princess and prince floats just come out for no good reason. There is the story between Mickey and the witch, but most of Fantasmic has no more story than WOC. My two cents.

Lots of great info on WOC.....thanks.


o We rode the Little Mermaid ride twice. We thought LM was a solid ride. Well done, good music, and contrary to some other reports of a too-quick ending, I thought the story of LM was complete. Was the ride a great ride? No. But it was a solid ride. Better than Monsters Inc. Better than ITTBAB. Not in the same league as TSMM, Soarin, etc.

Would you say it's a "solid" dark ride like Toady & Alice are "solid" dark movie rides in DL? If so that's great & exactly what DCA needs more of.


o For staying at the GCH we did get two complimentary FPs that we were told could be used for anything at DLR except WOC. We used them all on Star Tours which was a good decision IMO. Do not waste them on Little Mermaid.

This seems to be the consesus opinion with these DLR hotel special FPs.


o We rode Star Tours twice using the comp FPs we got a the GCH.

What time of day did you use them? & what was your Standby line & FP line observations at these times.

Did you enter the same FP line (with the hotel FPs) as other FP holders?



This ride is really good - just like everyone else said. I did have the good fortune to ride the old ST on the final day of operation last July. The old ST regularly made me feel ill so I usually skipped it. The new 3D version does leave me a little light-headed - similar to how I feel after Mission Space at Epcot. But I did not get sick. The lines were extremely long and if you try and ride it first thing and show up early at rope drop on Main Street, they do form a pre-rope drop line on the far right sidewalk. Some people missed this fact and were quite disappointed when they arrived at ST before the queue of people making their way through the rope walkways. We did not ride ST first thing so were not in this line, but could observe it as a non-participant.

o Do not miss Laser Man at DCA's ElecTRONica! Totally kewl five minute show! My two oldest (DS19 and DS18) almost skipped going with us to see Laser Man and afterwards were very glad they came.

Great info. Have never seen him.....thanks for the tip.


o DCA is a mess as you have read. To get to Paradise Pier everyone has to use the GRR route as the normal route is blocked by walls as has been recently reported. This makes the GRR path way really congested! The DCA entrance is also all clogged up with walls. And according to Al Lutz it is going to get worse before it gets better. I am sure by next June things will all be much better. Also note you can get from ToT to PP using the new BugsLand route.

o We rode Little Mermaid Saturday (yesterday) morning at 9:35AM - and they were only allowing Disney hotel guests to ride. We had to show our room key. It was a walk-on.

o After LM we got in line at the red tower at the rope at the PP bridge to ride TSMM. We would have been one of the first on TSMM that day and would probably have gotten to ride twice. However the TSMM CMs came out at 9:50 and told us that TSMM would open late that day due to technical difficulties. Bummer! We diverted to ride Screamin and then checked out Goofy's Sky School hoping for a soft opening and it was running at 10:15AM. Goofy's Sky School is a marginal improvement over Mulholland Madness. The ride feels better now - more appropriate for a Disney park. However, this was not a strong Disney ride from the start and GSS really amounts to putting lipstick on a pig.

I love that expression. & very true.


Eventually this ride needs to be removed like Maliboomer. It is better than before but still not right for Disney.

o We also rode LM Thursday evening at about 7PM before we saw WOC and the line was posted as 15 minutes but was actually just under 10.

o We saw the new SoundSational parade at DL on Friday at 4PM. We got a spot on Main Street. I like this parade. Totally good energy. Lots of good costuming. A few strange choices for the float design themes.

o After a midnight departure from DL Friday night we did a bleary-eyed Magic Morning yesterday/Saturday at 7AM. During MM we did 10 rides including Matterhorn twice....

Were both sides walk on? Did you ride Matterhorn after PP & Alice?


...and Space Mountain. Space was a walk-on as MM ended at 8AM. Everyone else piled into the Star Tours line for MM FYI and Fantasyland therefore had light crowds.

I'm thinking that those who just want to ride ST a couple of times (say on one day of a 3 or 4 day vist) will really be able to enjoy Fantasyland & SM (& BLAB) during the early morning on the other days. (say during MM or during the first hour on a non-MM day). Sounds like for a while that Star Tours will really suck the crowds away from our special early morning areas.


o If you have to buy park tickets do not wait until you come in for Magic Morning to do it. The ticket windows did not open til 7AM which threw me off because I needed a day ticket because my Deluxe AP was blocked Saturday. With MM at 7AM and the ticket windows opening at 7AM, you cannot be at the front of MM.

o Because of my blocked AP day Saturday I needed to get a day ticket. I have been carrying around a WDW ticket since 2006 when I had occasion to buy a 10 day non-expiring ticket. I only used 9 days of that ticket and wanted to use the 10th day at DLR. No one I spoke to knew how to make this work and all had to leave to talk with someone else to figure it out. In the end we got it exchanged for a DLR day ticket.

o I have never ridden Matterhorn both tracks back-to-back before. Yesterday/Saturday we did it during MM. We can now say with certainty that we prefer the Tomorrowland side.

Padewan Alec & I agree.....but Mrs. Hound prefers the FL side.....but EITHER Matterhorn ride is better than NO Matterhorn ride.


o I always love Condor Flats at DCA. The "land" just works so perfectly for a California theme. I hope that some ignorant manager somewhere does not get his or her hands on it and change it.

o Also along on this trip Friday/Saturday was my nephew DNe13 who lives in SoCal. He took violin lessons a few years ago from "Farley the Fiddler" who plays in Frontierland. We got to see Farley at his 12:30 show on Saturday and my DNe13 had a fun reunion with Farley and got to be a big part of his show. Fun experience.

o I am looking forward to another short visit to DLR after D23 in August!
Thanks again Trey. Great report.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:08 PM   #54
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o We rode the Little Mermaid ride twice. We thought LM was a solid ride. Well done, good music, and contrary to some other reports of a too-quick ending, I thought the story of LM was complete. Was the ride a great ride? No. But it was a solid ride. Better than Monsters Inc. Better than ITTBAB. Not in the same league as TSMM, Soarin, etc.

Would you say it's a "solid" dark ride like Toady & Alice are "solid" dark movie rides in DL? If so that's great & exactly what DCA needs more of.
LMAUA is definitely as solid as Alice and Toad IMO. As I said a cut above Monsters Inc. Not as good as HM. I would rank it a little above Nemo Subs - another ride that I think is solid and got a bad rap because it was so highly anticipated. I would put LMAUA on the same level of quality as BLAB and Jungle Cruise - solid rides but not specactular.

Quote:

o We rode Star Tours twice using the comp FPs we got a the GCH.

What time of day did you use them? & what was your Standby line & FP line observations at these times.

Did you enter the same FP line (with the hotel FPs) as other FP holders?
Let's see, the first time we rode ST was last Friday at about 7PM. The FP return line was very short. We got on the ride in 10 minutes. The standby was posted 50-75 minutes most of the time I checked - even late at night. At 7PM I believe it was 75 minutes thru standby.

The second time we rode ST was Friday night at about 10:15PM.

We were planning to ride it at 9:50 or so but what happens as you might expect is everyone leaving the 9PM Fantasmic and 9:30 fireworks show piles into the FP return line. And it was super long at 9:50. So we used our Space Mtn FPs and came back to ST at about 10:15PM and the FP return line was gone. The standby was about 50-55 minutes at 10:15 Friday night.

With our hotel comp FPs we used the same FP return line as everyone else.


Quote:
o After a midnight departure from DL Friday night we did a bleary-eyed Magic Morning yesterday/Saturday at 7AM. During MM we did 10 rides including Matterhorn twice....

Were both sides walk on? Did you ride Matterhorn after PP & Alice?
We did Peter Pan first (Always First! ), then Alice and then Matterhorn twice. So we got to Matterhorn at probably 7:15AM. The FL side had at most a one-minute wait and the TL side we walked on.

After that we walked on to Mr. Toad, Mad Tea Party, Pinnocchio, Snow White, Rocket Jets in TL and then got to Space Mtn at 8AM where we got FPs as the machines opened and rode standby which had a wait at that time of 1-2 minutes (almost a walk-on).

So we officially did 9 rides with the MM hour and then used our MM advantage to be in front of everyone else for Space Mtn - so I called it 10 rides during MM.



Quote:
...and Space Mountain. Space was a walk-on as MM ended at 8AM. Everyone else piled into the Star Tours line for MM FYI and Fantasyland therefore had light crowds.

I'm thinking that those who just want to ride ST a couple of times (say on one day of a 3 or 4 day vist) will really be able to enjoy Fantasyland & SM (& BLAB) during the early morning on the other days. (say during MM or during the first hour on a non-MM day). Sounds like for a while that Star Tours will really suck the crowds away from our special early morning areas.
Yes I think this is right. For MM they started letting us onto Main Street at about 6:45AM and had the rope at the end of MS. CMs were directing everyone on Main Street who wanted to ride ST during MM to a line on the sidewalk on the far right. It appeared that about half the people for MM went into that line.

The ST FPs ran out very early - like by 10AM each day - which seems very fast to me and I wonder if they are giving out less FPs. When Space Mtn re-opened in 2005 the parks were much more crowded than last week and the Space Mtn FPs lasted to 1PM each day. The ST FPs running out at 10AM is wierd.

But pay attention to this because a lot of people get the ST FPs and the return windows are so late they cannot use them. As we were coming into DL on Friday evening at 7PM after a dinner at Rainforest Cafe a lady exiting DL gave us 3 ST FPs she could not use because of the late window. We mixed those in with our comp hotel FPs and saved some of the comps for Saturday. My kids rode ST a third time Saturday.

In any case, the problem with getting a regular ST FP is unless you are there right at 8AM your FP return window will be 2+ hours out and it will suck up all your FP opportunities until after 10AM.

I like what we did - use the two comp FPs for ST and then use MM for Fantasyland which was even lighter than normal.

Another strategy to consider is if you can get ST FPs at 8AM after an MM you can use those and save one set of comp FPs for TSMM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:47 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post
Another strategy to consider is if you can get ST FPs at 8AM after an MM you can use those and save one set of comp FPs for TSMM.
You can use comp FP's for non FP attractions?
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:06 PM   #56
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You can use comp FP's for non FP attractions?
Also curious about this.

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Old 06-28-2011, 01:19 PM   #57
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The ST FPs ran out very early - like by 10AM each day - which seems very fast to me and I wonder if they are giving out less FPs. When Space Mtn re-opened in 2005 the parks were much more crowded than last week and the Space Mtn FPs lasted to 1PM each day. The ST FPs running out at 10AM is wierd.
My theory is that they are reducing the number of fastpass tickets while they are doing the comp fastpasses.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:20 PM   #58
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HG thanks for the observations.

We are on our way into the parks today!

What would your ST strategy be for offside staying, AP holders with no MM?

I have 3 mornings to visit, 2 of which are non-MM days.

I want to maximize FP collection and get a ST return time before 8pm
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:30 PM   #59
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When I got ST FP's on a nonMM day, I went there first thing, got the FP's, and had a return time on them of 9:10 a.m.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:35 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by camouseketeer View Post
HG thanks for the observations.

We are on our way into the parks today!

What would your ST strategy be for offside staying, AP holders with no MM?

I have 3 mornings to visit, 2 of which are non-MM days.

I want to maximize FP collection and get a ST return time before 8pm
I would get ST FP right at opening on the non-MM days. Return time should be within 2 hours.

With ST it seems everyone is getting FP for it which makes the other FP rides fastpass times earlier. We had no problem with getting the ST FP 1st and then doing our normal collection of FPs through out the morning.

At rope drop the right sidewalk will be for those riding Star Tours at opening... it will feed right into the queue.

To get Star Tours FP just stay with the normal rope drop crowd.
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