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Old 05-31-2012, 10:53 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by limace View Post
Enjoying your report, and feel for you over BB. I'd have lost it like that, too-late, stressed, and then after all that, you're paying huge money for BB food.
Yes, good point that I think I forgot to bring up in the trip report. Very expensive place to eat. When we were bring seated near the kitchens I almost just wanted to walk away and try again the next day, but we were both pretty hungry because we hadn't eaten since our CBD (cardboard donut) breakfast at the hotel.

Originally Posted by DisneytheKid View Post
I'm loving all of the great pictures!
Thank you! The one thing that made me pretty sad is that I didn't really get many good night pictures. I am someone who thinks that the parks just look so much more magical at night, and I'm not sure if its my camera or just my inexperience but I got very few good night shots.

Originally Posted by tffnyjean View Post
Great TR. I loved your description of the mad dash down mainstreet!
It was truly epic. I made a joke about it to the PP CM, and he was like oh yeah, its like that everyday.

I finished the update for the rest of Day 1, I just have to wait to post it until I get home because I think there are some pictures from Brian's phone that I need to upload.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:36 AM   #32
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Day 2: Conan O'Brien

I had a little zen moment on the walk back to the Super 8 and told myself to stop being stupid and calm down from the BB fiasco. It somewhat worked.

We grabbed our Conan tickets and headed out into the great wide LA traffic. And we found none...I think this was the only one of our many back and forths between LA and Hollywood where we encountered zero traffic.

I was having another issue though, my eyes have always been a bit sensitive to bright light, and I think the sun must be brighter in California than Ohio in May (or all the time, or I'm making it up, not sure which). Driving in the sun had been bothering my eyes a bit, even with sunglasses on. I had also made MISTAKE #4 right before we left the hotel. I got a different bottle of spray on sun tan lotion (I had brought about 4 half full bottles we've managed to accumulate over the years). I think this one was clogged, because instead of spraying a nice mist over my face (yes, I spray myself in the face with my sun tan lotion, intelligence duly questioned), it squirted out in a direct, tight stream right into my eyes (which were closed, by the way, but it still got through).

So there I am trying to drive to LA in the super bright sun with tears streaming down my eyes because I had sprayed myself in the face with sun tan lotion. Not a great drive. I don't remember why Brian wasn't driving, we may have still been not on great speaking terms because of the BB incident.

Capitol Records.

Glad we aren't in that traffic.

We manage to make it there without crashing (hoorah).

I think the drive took around an hour. We parked inside the WB Studios parking garage, which is outside of the actual studios and across the street. Parking was free!! Yay, free stuff!! Tickets for Conan were also free! Yay, free stuff!!

Yeppers, this trip report has pictures of garages.

How does one go about getting tickets for Conan? Well let me tell ya. I am a fan of Conan O'Brien on facebook, and the facebook page had posted an update that tickets were newly released for another couple weeks (I think
this was in early April) and I immediately went to his website and entered myself in the lottery for 2 tickets, Brian entered as well. I'm not sure how they determine who gets tickets, they do call it a lottery though. You just submit your info and a few weeks later we got an email telling us we had tickets.

I don't think I have the best luck, we missed Joel McHale by one day (Community and the host of the Soup). We are both big fans. Instead our guest stars were Piers Morgan,

he has a talk show type thing (never really watched it)

Ben Falcone,

the husband of Melissa McCarthy from Mike and Molly and Gilmore Girls, he was the airplane security guy in Bridesmaids and I think he is in What to Expect When your Expecting

and musician Ed Sheeran.

I think that is actually a picture of his Conan O'Brien performance (I got it from google, we weren't allowed to take pictures). He was super cute and a really good acoustic musician, I think his album comes out in the US in June.

We also had a special guest star, Marc Maron (which I'll explain later).

We went through security in the parking garage, they had the far corner of each floor set up to be the holding pens for each specific show taping that day.

I think they were taping the finale of the Voice (maybe, I don't watch the Voice) and that was on the floor below us. Everyone was dressed up super fancy for the Voice. We went through security and got a number on a piece of paper, that was going to be our lining up number. Think we were 79. We hung out in our holding pen, which really wasn't that bad. The parking garage was pretty cool inside since it was all in the shade and there were benches for all of us to sit on. Production assistants even came around and passed out popsicles.

They gave us about a 15 minute warning before it was time to line up and go in (I think we'd been there about an hour) so we decided to use the bathroom first. They had these fancy port a potties outside with the shows name on them. For instance, the Voice had their own port a potties and we had our own (ours were better, take that, the Voice!).

After using our designated bathrooms we came back in and they started lining us up, they lined up about 20 numbers at a time and a guide walked them off. We were pretty much in the last group, which was weird cause I knew we definitely hadn't arrived last at all (maybe we just aren't very photogenic so they wanted to make sure we were in the back?? I dunno).

We were walked into the studio lot, past the security guard.

My strategy for spotting celebrities was to peek down every street and little path, but I did not see any out and about

We did get to see the parking spots labeled for the Big Bang Theory and Chuck Lorre. That was a little cool. We entered Conan's stage after a long walk. He gets a permanent stage, so all his set is just left up all the time. We entered at the back and climbed some stairs, then were shown to our seats, in the very last row (boo). We were seated next to someone with a sign, so thought we might get on air because of them.

We are waaaay up on the right side.

After a few minutes a warm up comedian came out, he was super funny and did a lot of crowd interaction and picked on quite a few crowd members. Then it was time for the show to start, a producer came out and let us know about the Applause sign and then the Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band came out and played a few songs.

*Caution, these next few photos are taken from Google, since once again, no pictures allowed inside.

They were really amazing, they had the trumpet player do the 'hold that note' thing, where he just keeps playing the same note continuously, he musta held that note for at least 5 minutes.

Hold that note!

I had really been hoping we'd get to see the Puppy Conan skit. If you've never seen/heard of Puppy Conan, youtube this immediately. ADORABLE.

Then the show was starting. I'll just briefly summarize here, if you want to see clips youtube it, it was the Conan O'Brien May 8 episode. Piers Morgan thought he was way funnier than he really was, but I am a sucker for an accent so he was all right. Ben Falcone was all right, he talked about his cameo on Bridesmaids (he was the security officer on the plane) and Ed Sheeran was pretty incredible, and cute, that doesn't hurt anything.

I was really amazed at the show, they just run straight through it, no cuts, I imagine there are very few edits. They even paused the appropriate time for the commercial breaks, during which the band would play a song for us. The only time they did cut in the pacing was during a commercial break, Conan came out and asked if we'd like to participate in an extra guest (of course
we would, Conan), because the guest's schedule didn't work with the day he was scheduled to be on the show. That is where we got our extra guest, Marc Maron. He was very inappropriately funny.

Before we knew it the show was over (no Puppy Conan ) and Conan stayed on the set to sing his 'end of the show' song to us audience members. Then we were escorted across the studio lot and back to the parking garage.

Also, I feel like I need to add here is that Conan is one awkward looking human being. He is even skinner than he looks on TV, and so freakishly tall and his hair is just...yeah. I feel like the tickets shoulda come with a warning: Conan O'Brien, taller, pastier and skinner in person.

This picture doesn't even begin to cover the weirdness that is Conan O'Brien

By the time Conan was finished taping and we made it back to our car, it was 5 or 5:30, so prime time rush hour. The ride back to Anaheim was uneventful. Mostly because traffic had slowed to a crawl, I don't think any eventful can happen in 5 mph traffic. Except maybe the tortoise would finally win a race.

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Old 06-01-2012, 09:37 AM   #33
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Day 2: Disneyland at Night

Our plans for tonight had been to use our WOC fastpass....wait a minute, that is where that time dump happened earlier during the day! I knew we didn't spend a good 45 minutes wandering around in between IJ and HM. We headed over to DCA after IJ to grab a FP for WOC (got a blue FP and I think we got there at about 9:45 am). Then we jumped into the standby line of Soarin, since it had just opened I think we had about a 15 minute wait. Sorry everyone, I must not have taken any pictures of our small foray into DCA, so I forgot all about it until now. But that means I owe everyone a....

RIDE COMPARISON: SOARIN' OVER CALIFORNIA. It is the same exact film, in fact, both screens even have equally annoying little black squigglies/tears. I think the DCA queue is interesting because it has all the portraits up of the California aviators. Then again, I've heard the games for the WDW queue are also super fun (yeah, that's right, I'm a DIS'er, I've never stood in the standby line for Soarin).

EDGE: Its a scratch, they are pretty much the same.

I also honestly don't remember what we had for dinner. I know we each shared some of my left over Monte Cristo sandwich while we drove back (I had stashed the leftovers in the car). I am pretty sure we would have wanted something else, maybe we stopped along the way. Ugh, definite Rookie mistake to not take good enough notes.

What I do know is that we got back to the Super 8 at almost exactly 7 pm. This was not cool, as I knew we had to get into line to use our WOC blue FP pretty early if we wanted a good standing spot. So we decided to throw those out the window (not figuratively people, I don't litter, in the literal sense we threw them out the window) and we went back to DL to try to get
on a few rides and enjoy the nightieminess of DL.

I've gotta interject here with a note about the weather. NOTE ABOUT THE WEATHER. lol caps are fun. Anyway, in Ohio, if its been in the high 70's or low 80s in the daytime (as it was here), we would get a very nice warm night. That is what I assumed would happen in California, but not so. I thought it was horribly cold as soon as the sun went down and I wasn't really too happy about it, since I love being outside at night in the summer. The wind was extremely chilly, and it just wasn't nice. I was very happy I had a sweatshirt with me.

Pluto is not my favorite, but there was a big crowd around the Donald statue (of course there was, he is sweet)

We headed to...

We were able to get back on ST with little to no wait, yay!

Love C3PO, he keeps such a brave face when confronted with adversity

SM had a pretty long wait so we decided to head over towards FL.

Oh no whats happening?! Oh wait, its just my horrible nighttime photo taking skills. Ugh.

Its pretty dark but I actually kind of like this picture.

Along the way Brian (keen eye) saw that the Finding Nemo ride had absolutely no one in line. How did this happen?! Everything I read claimed that one would need to make it to the Finding Nemo line first thing in the morning if you didn't want to wait an annoyingly long time. So we were pretty excited about that and walked right up onto the ride.

Brian had loved the original submarine voyage, and enjoyed this one a lot too. I thought it was also good, and I was surprised how long the ride was. I was afraid I might be claustrophobic, but I didn't find the space to be too confining at all. That poor CM though who has to crouch in the middle of the sub, ugh, I could not do that.

This is what all of our photos from the ride looked like. I don't even understand how we did that, wasn't there at least a bit of light??

We headed over to IASM (is that right? it doesn't look right). And were able to get on with a 5 minute wait.

RIDE COMPARISON: ITS A SMALL WORLD. Hands down DL. I'm not in the camp of people who think the WDW version is super annoying (maybe cause I never got stuck on the ride), I think its a cute ride and a nice break to sit through it (my mom loves this ride, its her favorite). The DL facade is 100% better than the WDW version, I loved all the 'bush' animals. The ride also has more scenes on the inside, and I liked all the Disney character references, I think they fit in nicely.

EDGE: DL. Just all around, the facade, the extra scenes and the Disney characters.

After this there was only about 25 minutes until the park closed at 9 pm, so we got in line for the Storybook Canal Boats. The wait was around 10 minutes, but we had a bad experience in line. There were two women (probably in their late 20's or early 30's) who had a little boy (he was around 4-5 I think) and a baby in a stroller. The little boy was whining, and
one of the women grabbed him and started swearing at him telling him he wasn't going to ruin this ride. I didn't say anything (wasn't feeling up to a punch in the face from crazy), but come on lady. Its most likely way past this little boy's bedtime, who knows when/what he last ate, and there is never a reason to use filthy words around kids that age, especially if they are aimed at them.

I was very relieved we got a different boat than that group, and the ride was a lot of fun. I liked the fact that we had a skipper like the JC, and ours was funny. She kept making jokes about the monster guard ducks that were watching over the land (bah, all our night pictures of this came out bad). Overall, I thought it was a very cute little ride and I really enjoyed it in the dark.

Last edited by OhioStateBuckeye; 06-25-2012 at 10:44 AM. Reason: messed up some pictures
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:39 AM   #34
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Day 2: Trader Sam's

The ride ended pretty much as the clock struck 9, so we slowly made our way out of the park....into DD!

Yay awesome lego people!

We were on a mission though, so we didn't stop in any stores (well, that's a lie. I took a very quick stop into D Street to see if I could trade my Disney cruise line vinyl, the yellow lifeboat one. Well, trading was closed for the night...didn't understand why, but whatever. As a consolation I let myself get a star wars vinyl. Brian picked it out for luck. Then we made our way right to the Disneyland Hotel

and found Trader Sam's!

I borrowed this image from google since my nighttime pictures came out horrible. They have their watermark to show who took it so I figured it was ok to use.

So much excite (Borat quote) about this place!

We found 2 seats together at the bar and settled in. We ordered the Fish Taco appetizer (maybe that was our dinner??)

and I opened my vinyl. I got Princess Leia, I wasn't too pleased about it, I prefer the non-human star wars vinyls. I just think they look cuter, the humans are a little weird looking. I already had C3PO, a stormtrooper and Yoda from a previous trip to WDW. My little sister and I had been incredibly lucky and blind boxed C3PO, Yoda, Darth Vader and R2 (I got the stormtrooper cheap off ebay).

Then we got our drinks!

I woulda loved to get the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki rum if only to sing it out.

Brian picked the Shrunken Zombie Head (we love zombies, well, we don't really love them. I don't think anyone could really love something that is trying to eat your brain. But we do enjoy their effect on pop culture) and I had to get the Krakatoa Punch of course!

Yay red eye! Must have been the Tiki curse

If you can't tell, this awesome drink had a red glow cube! I heart the Disney glow cubes! And it was a souvenir cup! All levels of awesome!

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Old 06-01-2012, 09:40 AM   #35
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Day 2: Trader Sam's

Since I had done my homework beforehand I knew something special would happen. And oh boy didn't it! I loved this part! When the bartender was done mixing my drink, he pressed a button. The lights flickered, the two special 'windows' started to turn reddish and the volcano erupted!

The bartenders started yelling 'Its gonna blow! Head for the hills!' and one of them got an old timey red hand cranked siren and started to wind it, it made a really awesome siren noise, kinda like the ones you'd hear for air raids in old WWII movies. You can imagine how much more fun this got as the night went on and as people had more to drink.

Some of my favorite quotes heard round the bar as Krakatoa erupted: a woman shouted 'save the children!' a guy across the bar yelled back 'there are no children in bars!' hilarious to have been there.

2 guys drinking across the bar from us (they'd had quite a few by this time) ordered the Krakatoa. When the volcano was finished erupting, the guy who had not ordered the drink said, in a super sad voice 'I hope your happy, I died in the lava'.

All the drinks we had were veeerry good (we ended up getting a hippopotomai-tai to share (mostly so we could get a second souvenir glass).

The details in Trader Sam's were just amazing! So many funny little things. The beer taps had little tiki heads and red glowing eyes.

I cannot recommend this place enough, all the bartenders were awesome, the drinks were incredible and all the patrons were so much fun! We also decided we want to build a tiki bar at our house.

We had plans to come back either tomorrow or Friday night, and we were totally going to conquer the Uh'Oa! Little side note about that drink...I don't think I pronounced it the same way during the entire trip. I just could not wrap my brain around how to say it (even though I remember the scene from Finding Nemo).

Finally I let Brian drag me away and we wandered through the abandoned DD and took the looong walk (we definitely felt it tonight) back to the Super 8. I'm pretty sure we immediately fell asleep again.

UP NEXT: Our second day (and first full day) at DL/DCA.

QUOTEABLE QUOTES: 'Watch out for the monster guard ducks of Storybrook village!' 'I hope your happy, I died in the lava'

LOWLIGHTS OF DAY 1 (part 2): squirting myself in the eyes with sun tan lotion and the drive to Hollywood

HIGHLIGHTS OF DAY 1 (part 2): walking onto Finding Nemo subs, experiencing a real late night show taping, and

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Old 06-05-2012, 02:02 PM   #36
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We were not very bright eyed or bushy tailed when we woke up Wednesday morning, notwithstanding that fact I was still up a good 15-20 minutes before my alarm went off We still managed to get going, grab our CBD (cardboard donut) and head off on Katella towards DL.

And here was MISTAKE #5. Forgot the camera Had to make do with Brian's smartphone until we went back to the hotel for a midday nap/break. I didn't take as many pictures today because his phone battery is pretty notoriously weak.

We arrived at the gates about 10 minutes before the park opened at 9. We joined the masses at the turnstiles and joined everyone on the epic surge down main street. They had us all penned in at the hub (think it was still 5 to 9 at this point) so we stood with a big group of other people at the rope that would let us through the castle and into fantasyland.

The original plan for this day had been to head to the Nemo subs at opening, however we had luckily knocked that out Tuesday night and I decided to head straight to Peter Pan again this morning. Its one of my favorites and I figured this would be my last time to ride it since I don't enjoy waiting in hour long lines. Boo DL, get a FP for PPF.

The roap was dropped and we booked it for PPF, along with everyone else who had been waiting with us. We had a longer wait than MMH on Tuesday, but it was still only about 15 minutes. Once again, loved the ride. I asked Brian to try to get some good pictures of the ride without his flash, but no dice.

That was the best one...and it sucks.

One of my favorite WDW pictures is when we were momentarily stopped on PP over London, Brian managed to get an awesome shot.

Next we rode SW, we walked right on and there was absolutely no wait.

Now you see her...

Now you don't.

RIDE COMPARISON: SNOW WHITE. The rides are pretty much the exact same, except WDW's version has more opening and ending scenes. I do have to give props to DL for having the wicked queen appear/dissapear from the window.

EDGE: WDW. The DL version is just abruptly over, while I enjoy the ending scene with the prince and the happy ending at WDW more.

The plan was to head over to DCA when it opened, we still had some time however so we decided to get an IJ FP. Luck was not with us yet this morning, when we got there IJ was not running and the FP line was not open. To assuage our sadness (and hunger, a CBD was just not doing it) we decided to get an early morning dole whip.

We were the very first dole whip purchasers of the day (what?! you mean no one else buys a dole whip at 9:30 am?! I won't believe it). So we got a nice pin and had some JC CMs take our picture with our dole whip and prize.

Lets try that again JC CMs.

We slowly made our way out of DL and stopped in some Main Street shops. I wanted to get my fortune from the fortune teller but she was out of service. Instead I noticed this super cool old organ sitting on display.

Anyway, we eventually did make it to DCA. We grabbed a FP for WOC again (blue again yay!). Then we decided to knock out a few DCA rides so we headed to LM. This ride was pretty sweet, I loved how you went 'under the sea'. Disney (whether it be DL or WDW) definitely needs to get more dark rides like this one. I would love dark rides for 101 Dalmatians, the Aristocats, Oliver and Co, Lion King and what the heck, just do a dark ride for every movie.

I seem to like taking pictures of the ride vehicles.

Next we waited for TSMM, I think this was our longest line of the trip and was about half an hour. Its a fun ride, so we decided to wait.

RIDE COMPARISON: TSMM. I am pretty sure the rides are the exact same. I know a lot of people like DL's weather and so enjoy the outside queue...but have you people seen me? I am practically a vampire, so I enjoy being out of the sun whenever possible. And there is just more to look at in the WDW queue.

EDGE: WDW, just because of the queue.

We grabbed a FP for Screamin after wandering around lost for a good 15 minutes, could not find the line entry for that one. It was almost time for our lunch reservation at Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque so we headed back to DL.

Random pretty flowers.

The double decker bus was sitting there as if waiting for us, so we figured we'd hitch a ride to the castle. I am gonna do a little side note here,
as much as I think its awesome to have the 2 parks side by side like that, it can get to be a lot of walking between the 2 if you start gathering up FPes and doing a lot of hopping. It made me a lot more tired/hurt my feet more than I would have thought.

There were lots of seats available at Thunder Ranch and we were seated right away, one bench back from the stage. I apologize in advance
everyone, but I am going to use caps. I LOVED THIS FOOD. You were warned. BEST LUNCH EVER. The cornbread was awesome, the baked beans were awesome, the ribs were awesome, the cole slaw was....ok (I'm not a huge fan). We also ordered the cookie for dessert, that was probably overkill since we were already stuffed but I'd heard so many good things about it on the boards that I couldn't resist. It was super tasty, I just wish I hadn't already felt like an overstuffed baby hippo or I might have enjoyed it more.

The entertainment came out almost at the same time as our food. They were corny, but I like corny, and they did a good job entertaining the cute little kids. 'Hey Howdy Hey!'

Being so much stuffed after our lunch we decided to shamble around the area and look at the animals. Brian had a great interest in the
presidentially pardoned turkey, so we hung out with him for a while.

We even gave him a backstory and started to wonder how the president chooses a turkey to pardon. My theory is that all the turkeys must write an essay and the president chooses the best essay. I imagine this particular turkey's essay went something along the lines of:

Dear Mr. the President,
I believe I should be the pardoned turkey. My feathers are the glossiest and my red dangly thing is the reddest.
Thank you for your consideration.
Gobble Wobble

Then we got to meet Venus the horse. Her handler told us that she pulls the wedding carriage. She was an extremely distinguished, beautiful and gentle horse.

Brian loves horses but has never ridden one

And then the whole day was almost over right then as I spotted 2 mini donkeys. If you know me at all you know I have an unholy obsession with mini horses, and mini donkeys fall right up that alley. I sprinted over to visit the 2 donkeys and found out their names were Pocahontas (who is 18!! her handler said mini donkeys can live into their 60s!! which means if I were to get one now, it would most likely outlive me. geez) and the other donkey was Pocahontas' son, Pancho.



Then we visited a bit with the goats in the petting zoo,

Bandito. I named him...thought he looked like a Bandito.

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Old 06-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #37
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Day 3: Disneyland/DCA

we were finally able to tear ourselves away from the animals and we went on Thunder Canyon Railroad and only had about a 10 minute wait.

RIDE COMPARISON: I am not sure if there really is a difference between the 2, but I really enjoyed my ride on DL's.

EDGE: DL, for no other reason than I really liked my ride on it at the time.

We did a little weird park criss crossing and headed over to explore Toon Town. I wish I would have seen the Modern Family DL episode before we left, I most definitely would have called it Toonton (big fan of Downton Abbey). The whole area kind of reminded me of the toon area in Universal's
Islands of Adventure in Florida. I just thought it was ok, probably a lot more fun for kids than for me.

We walked onto RR (which is one of Brian's favorite movies as a kid). Geez this ride has a pretty long queue and they really want you to see all of it, even if there is no one else there. The ride was pretty cool, I was surprised Brian let me spin the car, he is not really into spinning.

From here we got on the train so we could do some relaxing. It was pretty nice just slowly moving around the parks getting a nice rest. I was surprised at the Grand Canyon and dinosaur scenes we passed through...which brings up another....

RIDE COMPARISON: I like both railroads and I think both parks did a good job in making them travel through interesting scenes (like Splash).

EDGE: DL, because of the Grand Canyon and dinosaur scenes.

We ditched the train at New Orleans and grabbed a mint julep and an iced coffee. I thought the mint julep tasted a lot like my toothpaste. It was still enjoyable, but I couldn't stop thinking of toothpaste while I drank.

We were able to see that the paddlewheel boat had just pulled up, so we quickly made our way over and were able to enjoy our drinks while sitting on the deck. I can't do a ride comparison here because I don't remember ever riding the WDW one (yes, I am properly ashamed of this and shall correct it when we go to WDW for Halloween).

Anyone know what that empty area in the water is?? When we went back on Friday it was filled in with water.

This used to be on fire?!

Yeah we took a lot of pictures while on the boat, hope you enjoyed your tour!

It was finally time for our POTC redo. It was really a shame what happened on the ride on Tuesday, POTC is one of our favorite WDW rides and we had really been looking forward to the DL version. So....

RIDE COMPARISON: POTC. the DL version is much longer than the WDW one. While I thought some of the scenes didn't really add anything (the one where the building/ship? was burning and you pass below/through it, its right before the jail scene) the swamp scene in the beginning was super cool. I love it when Disney does nighttime inside a building type things. Also really enjoyed the lightning bugs, I love those guys in real life so it was fun to see them brought to life in a ride. Also WDW's queue is much better.

EDGE: DL, for all the additional scenes, oh, and I also enjoyed the parrot at the end.

Next we rode on Pooh, I think it had a very short wait time as well, maybe 5 minutes.

RIDE COMPARISON: WINNIE THE POOH. For the most part the ride is the same, the WDW version has the updated interactive queue and you get to bounce along with Tigger in WDW.


Fancy that, another ride vehicle.

Splash had a very long line so we grabbed a FP. We were trying to knock out everything we hadn't done yet today so our next stop was to trek over to Innoventions.

We didn't really find too much to do in here...we played the game that showed us in the future (its the same thing you do on the way out of Spaceship Earth in WDW).

Then we aged ourselves with the class reunion display. Most of the downstairs including the house of tomorrow was closed.

RIDE COMPARISON: INNOVENTIONS. The one at Epcot in WDW is a lot bigger and there are a lot more things to do (prepping your house for a bad windstorm, collecting garbage, saving money in an adorable piggy bank etc.)


We started to head out towards DCA and stopped at Mr. Lincoln. We watched about 8 minutes of the little pre show movied and then were able to go inside. This was a really neat show. The Lincoln animatronic looked very life like. I am glad we took the time to stop in.

As you now could have guessed, there would be no nap time. I can just never make myself leave the parks, there is too much to do and see. I think we took a good hour relaxing on the train and boat though, so that would have to do.

We used our FP for Screamin'. I thought this was a really fun ride, it was super long for a roller coaster and I liked the fast start at the beginning.

At this time it was almost exactly 90 minutes til WOC. I had read up on all Hydroguy's threads and I was adamant about being in line at the 90 minute
mark. I asked the first CM I saw where the preliminary line was for the blue FP, she said there wasn't one and to just wait around for 15 minutes. We
headed toward LM, wondering what to do, when we came upon a line of people. I asked another CM what the line was for, and he said WOC blue FP.
So we jumped into that line. I think we were there for about 20 minutes, then they opened the ropes and let us into the viewing area.

I was aiming for the spot in the very front by the rail, Hydroguy had given this particular spot a green star. I couldn't figure out how to get down there, but Brian did so I went and joined him. We were the first ones there, so we claimed the corner spot and he went off to get us dinner while I saved the spot.

He came back with corndogs, they were pretty excellent, but come to think of it I don't think I've ever had a bad corn dog. I had my kindle with me so I played some fruit ninja and the time went by pretty quickly. We had some entertaining people next to us, I couldn't tell if they were locals or teenagers that were there a day early for grad nights but they were so excited for the show and the excitement was infectious.

I decided not to take pictures of this show as my nighttime photos suck, and I wanted to just sit back and enjoy for once. I was amazed at how long WOC is! It was pretty amazing, each time a new movie was featured I got excited all over again. For me, I think the best parts were Pocahontas in the canoe, they really did a good job with the rushing water. The Pirates part was also awesome, when are flames and Pirates not awesome?! The other best scene I think was the Buzz and Zerg fight scene, the laser work was sweet.

Originally we were going to do Trader Sam's Part 2 tonight, but Brian was super tired (I was too, I just never admit it while at Disney) so we went back to the hotel and crashed. We had to get up super early in the morning (surprise haha) so we could make it to our tour of Paramount Studios on time.

UP NEXT: We check out of the Super 8 and head over to Hollywood! (I can just hear the music from the great movie ride at WDW)

QUOTEABLE QUOTES: I don't think we had any today

LOWLIGHTS OF DAY 3 : we really didn't have any, maybe, if I had to pick, waiting in line for TSMM

HIGHLIGHTS OF DAY 3: getting our 'first dole while of the day' pin, Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque and WOC

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Old 06-06-2012, 10:34 AM   #38
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Yay!! Love the pics!
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by julsmom View Post
Yay!! Love the pics!
Thanks! I was beginning to think I lost all my readers
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:30 PM   #40
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Day 4: Hollywood!

We were up pretty early again (no rest for the DISer), this morning we had to get all of our stuff packed up because we were checking out of the Super 8 to move over to Hollywood.

This is where the scheduling hurt us. I really wanted a chance to see Fantasmic! and the DL fireworks, and this time of the year they were only offered on the weekends. So in order to fit all of our other activities in, we did the first 2 days at DL, then moved into our Hollywood hotel on Thursday, then went back to Anaheim and checked into a different hotel for our last
DL day. Very confusing and pretty tiring, I wouldn't do it again (or recommend it).

We had a tour reservation with Paramount Studios for 9:30 am so we were really trying to move it. We were both so wiped out we decided to stop at Starbucks for drinks and breakfast on our way to the 101 highway. I am not a regular caffeine drinker, so when I get coffee everyone better watch out, because I go a bit crazy (think non stop talking, bouncing off the walls kind of crazy).

Traffic was awful (it was regular morning rush hour, so I expected it). We figured we were going to be just a little late for our tour reservation, so we called the Paramount office and told them, there were no vacancies in the 10 tour and they said if we were a little late they could get us caught up with our group no problem.

Ugh, I hate being late, but I can never seem to be on time. I am 10 minutes late everywhere I go whether I leave my house earlier, on time, or later than I intend. Its a curse.

We did end up being exactly 10 minutes late, there was a parking fee to park in the little lot across from the Studio, I think it was $7, bleh. We were caught up with our group pretty quickly. There were only 9 of us in the group, 10 counting our tour guide, and we rode around in a little golf cart.

Some info about the tour: it is offered every half hour starting at 9 am until 2:30 pm. The 2 hour tour is $48 per person (this is one of the only activities we did that I couldn't find a coupon or discount for). We made advance reservations online, I think this is the way to go, as I said the tours all around ours had been sold out. I think the maximum amount of people allowed on the tour is 10, so they do fill up. I reserved our spot about a week out. They also provide a VIP 4 1/2 hour tour that you can read about on their site.

I could probably write for paragraph after paragraph on the Studio Tour and add all the cool little stories our tour guide told us: like a studio tour participant who, after the guide pointed out Tom Cruise's office) jumped out of the golf car, climbed a fire escape and started banging on his door yelling 'Tom Cruise! I'm your biggest fan! Let me in!'. Tom Cruise was actually in his office and was probably scared out of his mind, and he didn't appreciate this so after that the tour guides were not allowed to point out the offices of famous people who are presently working there (Tom Cruise doesn't use the office anymore, so they are allowed to point it out, and tell that funny story).

see the fire escape up ahead? Tom's office was on the second story, the man used the fire escape to get up to this office.

Anyway, I'll try to make this the condensed version of the tour based on our pictures, if anyone wants more info just send me a PM.

This is the little garden next to the day care. Back when Lucille Ball was running the studio she had the garden made so she could pose for pictures with her kids and the newspapers could publish them and show her spending time 'at home' with her kids. Apparently she got a lot of flack back them for being a working mom. The Brady Bunch also used this area for a lot of their scenes outside the kids' school. That tree is pretty memorable.

The brick office belonged to Kathryn Hepburn.

A list of all the shows filming there at the present time (our guide pointed out that Hawaii 5.0 does film in Hawaii, but they do some interior shots here)

Couple of guys from Cheers got drunk one day during filming (they weren't allowed alcohol during scenes but sometimes they would sneak it) and ran naked around the lot and put their hand prints in the wet cement here.

That is the Library exterior from Community

This is a good representation of what all the little streets looked like. Studios on either side with things like moveable prop trees in between.

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Old 06-06-2012, 01:31 PM   #41
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Day 4: Hollywood

Its amazing how they dress up regular parts of the outdoor Studios to look like outdoor scenes in the shows filmed here.

The moveable trees

Around the corner they were filming a commercial (I think for Kellog's?) It had a bunch of people in bear suits who had wrecked the zoo truck and escaped into the streets of New York, they even had a fire hydrant gushing water into the air. The security guard was telling us about it as we peeked around the corner, he told us the commercial reps had to tell the bears to tone it down a bit because they were acting way too exuberant. I'll be interested to see if this airs.

This pony was there for an episode of Big Time Rush, which was the only show being filmed at this time in late May. We got to walk onto their set (no pictures) and it was super cool to see how they make all these false hallways and walls look like a real hotel. Our guide also told us that this was one of the biggest sets because they had an actual real pool inside the studio (I've never seen this show, I'll need to watch).

This building was a part of their 'streets of New York', it was Angelina Jolie's office building in Mr. and Mrs. Smith

costumes being walked along.

The parking lot that is also their water stage. I think Bruce Almighty, the water walking scene, was filmed here, as was Master and Commander.

The outside of the closely guarded Glee set, our guide told us that some of the smaller sets are just packed up onto little moving platforms and they just wheel them in and out.

Generic looking back city alley. Think this was used for some NICS? scenes

The old entrance to the Studios, the upper left hand corner office belonged to the most famous Hollywood costumer, she is the one that Edna Mode from the Incredibles is based after.

The famous Hollywood sign is right to the left of stage 4 back there.

One of 4 Forrest Gump benches in existence. Guide told us one day Tom Hanks came into the studios and sat on the bench and handed out chocolates to everyone who wandered by. Told us that Tom Hanks is considered the mayor of Hollywood and is the nicest guy you could meet.

This is Paramount's private screening theater that is on the studio lot, proving once again that they will use any building available for a shot, this was also used in a Harrison Ford movie to stand in as the lobby of a downtown building.

This is the Studio Cafe, it also stands in for the coffee shop and Breadsticks in Glee (the interior)

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Old 06-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #42
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Day 4: Hollywood

After the excellent tour we headed to our hotel, The Magic Castle.

I had learned about this from DISer Spartangirl, and am very grateful to her as it was a highlight of the trip. The Magic Castle hotel is located in the heart of Hollywood, it is only a couple block walk from Grauman's, the well known Yamashiro restaurant is right above it on the same hill, as is the famous Magic Castle Club.

Now, the Club is the main reason we stayed at the hotel. The Magic Castle Club is an old building in the style of a Victorian mansion that houses an exclusive club for magicians. The only way to attend the Magic Castle Club is to be a member (they have magician members and non-magician members, both have to appear before the board to qualify as a member, and the yearly dues are quite a bit larger for the non-magician members), to be the guest of a member, or to stay at the hotel.

Spooky picture of the Club from their website.

Neil Patrick Harris is also the current president of the Club, you might be surprised how many famous actors/actresses actually practice some kind of magic and are members or perform at the Club.

Googling the Magic Castle Club is probably the best way to learn more if you are interested (I promise it is a very awesome place with an otherworldly feel). Anyway, more about the Castle later when we actually get to go inside.

Anyway, upon check in we were treated with a cool, complimentary beverage (some fizzy non alcoholic orange drink). Oh, if I haven't
mentioned it yet, the Magic Castle Hotel usually wins an award for best hospitality/customer service for California hotels. The front desk guy (who I wish I remembered his name) was amazing. He chatted us up and asked about our day so far and what else we planned to do.

He then provided us with a list of complimentary snacks and beverages (we are talking high class people, brand name pop, full sized candy bars, the works), and a list full of dvds we could borrow from their library. I was already feeling like we were at a Disney hotel, especially when he gave us even more pixie dust and informed us he was giving us a complimentary upgrade to a suite. sweet! There is a little underground garage where we got to park our car (who I had named Lil' Miss).

The lobby, when we left later to go sight seeing they had complimentary cucumber water sitting out

Armed with our first complimentary beverages we explored our room (upgrade wooo!!!). The room was so sweeet, and huge.

View from the balcony, the hotel was actually real small, there weren't too many rooms.

Me looking...weird

We found an armload of complimentary swag on the table, including a map that was marked with all our destinations for the day!

Told you these guys have awesome customer service!

They also had these super cute 'do not disturb' signs.

We ate some of our complimentary candy bars and headed out to explore Hollywood! Or Hollyweird, as our front desk friend called it.

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Old 06-07-2012, 12:33 PM   #43
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Day 4: Hollywood

It was a very short walk to our first stop, Madame Tussaud's.

We had pre-purchased our tickets online and saved about $10 each off the
gate price. Our online tickets also allowed for a free second visit, which we did not use. I would recommend a visit here, its pretty fun to
run around and get your picture with the statues, some are very lifelike. Some have props you can use to pose with the statues.

We took a ton of pictures, but I will spare you and only post a few.

Conan! Wax figure not as awkward looking as Conan in real life!

One of the more real looking figures

heart Thor

Master Chief!!

I think this pic is pretty funny

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Old 06-07-2012, 12:34 PM   #44
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Day 4: Hollywood

We spent about an hour to an hour and a half in here then walked about a minute down the sidewalk (which was covered with all the stars)

and explored the Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

I love movies, I've worked at movie theaters most of my life so I was very excited to see this place. We paid for a theatre tour and got to go inside the theatre and walk around the giant screen. You cannot imagine how big this screen is, its amazing.

The amazing women's powder room.

Each butterfly is hand painted.

The tour guide also told us a few celebrity stories, she had the chance to meet a lot of them since so many movies premiere here. In fact, Johnny Depp had just been there a few days earlier to premiere Dark Shadows.

The tradition is to rub the mannequin's shoulder for luck.

Then she took us outside to tell us stories about the hand prints. If you are into movies, this tour might be a good activity for you.

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Old 06-07-2012, 12:35 PM   #45
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Day 4: Hollywood

You can see some of the costumed people wandering around in front of Grauman's

We were starving by this point, so we walked the few blocks to Mel's Diner.

Along the way we passed the El Capitan Theater,

the Kodak Theater

and the Disney Soda Shop.

The food here was pretty good, I had a Reuben and I forget what kind of sandwich Brian had. The milkshakes were incredible and it wasn't expensive.

After we paid our bill, we got handed coupons for the next door Hollywood Museum! Score! This was another activity on my list, and I hadn't been able to find any discounts beforehand. So we each got a few dollars off admission.

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