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Old 06-17-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
DLR29
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Carsland Campout Trip 6/15-6/16 FINAL UPDATE 6/23

Hello everyone and welcome to my official report on the opening day of Carsland and Buena Vista Street.

It started on Thursday night...well technically EARLY Friday morning. I left USC a little after midnight. Got to the Mickey and Friends lot and parked no problem. Grabbed our blankets and me and my friend set off to stand in line! They were holding everyone waiting for the opening in the esplanade between DL and DCA. People were being lined up by the order of when you arrived. By the time we got our spot in line it was around 1AM.

There were 3 big sections of queue. One was in the front almost where the gates were. Then a big media platform for news stations separated that section from our "back" section. There was also a line for people who wanted to go straight to buy exclusive merchandise. That formed over by the ticket booths on the DTD side of the esplanade. Each section was made up of long rows of people that stretched from 1 side of the esplanade all the way to the other. If that didn't make any sense, here are some pics...

So we were in the "back" section of the line, but in the front row of it, which meant there was plenty of space to stretch out and try to sleep in a normal lying down position. This is a pic from our section of the "front" section. As you can see there's a big gap in between the sections.


Our row


This big stage separated the 2 sections. News from all over were here throughout the morning. This guy started at 4AM!


They let us walk all around the esplanade. Here's a pic of the front section. As you can see, the people in the middle of the sections had very little space.


Could also walk to the gates.


So weird not seeing construction walls! It looked fantastic. Soooo soon!


There were lots of CMs on BVS all night preparing for the morning



At 2:15 CMs gave us these red wristbands. This was to allow you to walk around, go to the bathroom/car/ticket booths, etc. and be able to join come back to your spot in line again.

I actually did try and sleep for a bit on my blanket with my backpack as my pillow. My friend slept a couple hours. A combination of excitement, not the most comfortable bed, and the noise from the Grad Night at DL all contributed to the lack of sleep that I got, but so worth it. Once the extremely loud grad students left DL at 3AM, I took this pic.


At 4:45 CMs were telling everyone to take all their stuff back to the cars because the line was about to start moving. We were told that the line would start moving around 6AM. I took the blankets and pillows that we brought back to my car at Mickey and Friends. They weren't running the trams, so I walked. Until 2 days ago, I didn't even know there was a walking path.

I got back and my friend and I switched places. I waited while she went and got us coffee at La Brea (they had a couple places in DTD open all night!). With all of the extra space now that everyone's blankets and sleeping stuff was gone, the front section started to move and fill in that empty space.

A little before 6AM, our part of the line started to move until they had separated the red wristbands from the yellow wristbands. They put all of us red wristbands (people who actually stayed there all night) in the "front" section and they kept the yellow wristbanders (people who arrived around 5AM) in the "back" section. So we were getting closer! Also it's getting brighter!


We waited in our spot in the front section for about an hour. People were getting interviewed by dozens of newscasters. The stage was getting used by lots of people. Tom Staggs, the chairman of Disney Parks, was out and being interviewed a lot. So many cameras...I'm sure I was on Good Morning America for a split second.

We kept being told that the park would open at 9AM...so we thought we had multiple more hours to go. A little after 7AM we started moving in! They winded the line so here's us about to get in.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #2
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thats awesome!! I kind of wish i was there.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:04 PM   #3
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That is so awesome!! *This* is the report I've been waiting for - thanks so much! Seems like such a special wonderful time and what a surprise for the gates to have opened at 7. Sure wish I could've been there.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:11 PM   #4
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We got in!

They only let the red wristband people in! Even still, we were towards the back of the people they let in. This was our spot on BVS:


We waited in our spot on BVS for about 20-30 min, so naturally I took a lot of pics. Oswald's


The path to the new first aid/guest relations.


So much detail. It looks good in pics, but WAY better in person!


Small details like the billboard on top of Mortimer's Market make this place so spectacular








They also had the Buena Vista Bugle, a newspaper that had fun articles about the entertainment offerings and BVS and Hollywoodland. There is one article about how lightning has just struck the Hollywood Tower Hotel! It's really creative and a great souvenir if you can get one. We, later, went to Guest Relations and got a date stamp on it to prove we were there on the 15th. Me and my friend read it while we were waiting on BVS. This may or may not have been staged


They had a big opening ceremony by the Carthay Circle down the road, but because we were so far away we couldn't see much. I could barely see some dancing and some characters. They piped in the audio for us in the back of the street though. I think they also had a big screen set up in the esplanade for the yellow and non wristbanders to see what was going on. Some more speeches and fireworks and things were getting closer!

After all of the ceremony stuff ended it was about 10-15 more min until we actually started moving. There was no official countdown, but whatever. We were going to Carsland! Going under the bridge


At the Carthay Circle, Tom Staggs and George Kalogridis (president of DLR) were shaking peoples' hands and thanking people for coming out so early. I shook George's hand!


Then we were off! The red wristbanders were the only guests in the park for about an hour, starting at the beginning of the opening ceremonies. We ran and got RSR FPs with like a 5 min line. By the time we finished getting our FPs, I think they had just let in the yellow wristbanders. And we headed straight for RSR!
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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Great report! Very fun to read your first-hand experience of this special day.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:22 PM   #6
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Great update on the camp out trip. I should have been there on opening day and brave the crowds on opening day, but I was happy about the AP preview last week. Thank you for taking the time and writing up your experience the opening day of BVS and CL.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by twilightsparkle View Post
thats awesome!! I kind of wish i was there.
Thanks for joining in!

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Originally Posted by Hoku View Post
That is so awesome!! *This* is the report I've been waiting for - thanks so much! Seems like such a special wonderful time and what a surprise for the gates to have opened at 7. Sure wish I could've been there.
Yes, after waiting since 1AM, and hearing many different things about when we were actually going to be let in, it was definitely a relief to start moving that early.

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Originally Posted by gardengirl2790 View Post
Great report! Very fun to read your first-hand experience of this special day.
Thanks! Carsland updates are coming up next!

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Originally Posted by mvf-m11c View Post
Great update on the camp out trip. I should have been there on opening day and brave the crowds on opening day, but I was happy about the AP preview last week. Thank you for taking the time and writing up your experience the opening day of BVS and CL.
While the opening day was just a neat experience, it would have been nice to be at those previews and have a lot shorter waits for the CL attractions!
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:35 PM   #8
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Here we go! The street looks fantastic...just like the movie. This is the least crowded the street will be for a long time. This was made possible because it was only us red wristbanders in at this point.


I was so excited that I just took a ton of pics on my "drive" down Route 66. Mater's is the first attraction and it's immediately to your left when you enter the land.


Across from Mater's is Fillmore's Taste-In. Themed after the hippie van's hut, this place sells fruit and juices.


Directly next to Fillmore's is Sarge's Surplus Hut, which is a Cars themed gift store. Didn't actually go in or get any pictures unfortunately.

Continuing on, to the left you have the Cozy Cone Motel, which sells little snacks all served in a cone shaped fashion. From ice cream to chili "cone" carne to "popcone", this place is a really unique place for noms.


Across from the Cozy Cone is Flo's V8 Cafe, which serves counter service meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Definitely one of the most creative places on the road. It just makes sense for Flo's to be a restaurant, and there's TONS of seating here inside and out. The CMs have cool retro diner costumes.


Next on the left is the Radiator Springs Curios Shop. I didn't actually go in, but it looks like a nicely themed gift shop.


Towards the end of the road on the left we have Luigi's Flying Tires, an updated version of the old "Flying Saucers" ride that used to be at DL where Space Mountain sits today. Think giant air hockey pucks meet bumper cars.


Red makes guest appearances on the main road every once in a while. I also found him later on the path between Carsland and A Bug's Land.


On the right side of the end of the street, across from Luigi's, is Ramone's House of Body Art, the final gift store of the land. Again, didn't go inside, but the outside looks fantastic!


At the end of the street is what we were heading towards...Radiator Springs Racers! That's up next.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:36 PM   #9
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Thanks for doing this. I think this is the best TR I have ever read!
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:56 PM   #10
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Awesome trip report. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:40 PM   #11
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Wow...I feel like I was there for opening day!! Love the TR, thanks for sharing your experience with us!
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:54 PM   #12
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We just watched the movie Cars and the introduction to Carsland and I thought: I haven't heard anything about Red, the fire engine, in all the talk about Carsland. So cute that they included him in the park. Thanks for the photos!
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by tinkermomma View Post
Thanks for doing this. I think this is the best TR I have ever read!
Wow, thank you! You are too kind.

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Awesome trip report. Thanks for sharing!
You're welcome! Looks like you have a trip coming up in a couple months! You're gonna love it.

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Wow...I feel like I was there for opening day!! Love the TR, thanks for sharing your experience with us!
Thanks! Yeah, it was such a unique opportunity to be there on opening day that I really want to share it with my favorite Disney fanatics. RSR review coming up now!

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We just watched the movie Cars and the introduction to Carsland and I thought: I haven't heard anything about Red, the fire engine, in all the talk about Carsland. So cute that they included him in the park. Thanks for the photos!
Red is a really great character meet and greet! You can't tell from that pic, but he has a fire hose on top of him that shoots out water every once in a while too. Great little detail.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:41 PM   #14
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We got in the line for RSR around 8:25 and it was backed up all the way to the entrance. They weren't using the extended line yet, but they were about to. FPs were valid yet either, so we thought the line would move pretty quickly. It did, but there were still lots of people in front of us. Fortunately, there's lots of stuff to look at in line. The sheer size of the mountains is incredible!




The queue is long and all open-air (with some places for cover). There are 3 little rooms towards the end of the queue, that house a bunch of switchbacks. They're themed after old shacks that used to be used for different car necessities.


One of the buildings is an old bottle house, which looks really cool.


A shot of one of some of the mountains from the queue. Also the Goodyear blimp was flying over Anaheim beginning in the early morning hours...I think it was like 4 or 5AM we saw it first.


In the building with the last set of switchbacks, you get glimpses of the beginning of the ride. You can see the cars roaming around.


All throughout Carsland (but in RSR's line especially), the plantlife was selected wonderfully to get a great desert-type atmosphere. Lots of cacti and dirt rocks.


So we're waiting and waiting, and we're almost there...the ride breaks down. But we can literally see the loading station, so we decide to wait it out. This was at approx. 9:35, so we'd been in line for a little over an hour at this point. Nobody was leaving the line.
A) All of the people around us were red wristbanders who had been sleeping outside all night and were NOT gonna budge for the biggest new ride.
B) Because of the layout of the line, it's VERY difficult to get out once you're already in. We were in (literally) THE farthest corner of the queue from the entrance.

So what did people do?


Everyone tried to go back to sleep again! This would have made crawling out of that queue even more difficult with everyone lying down and sitting...it was like that in the other places of the line that we could see.

But we waited it out. We saw them evacuate the ride...the power was off for about an hour, but we weren't moving from our spot. Finally the ride went into "creep mode" and the cars were cycling slowly. Then they got it up to full speed. Then they had some of the mechanics take a test run. 10-15 min later they started loading people again.

Now we were really close to the loading platform and very far away from the main road, so we had no idea what kind of a line was behind us. Apparently looking at pictures, when we were sitting there right next to the ride, the line had grown to over 5 hours and was using TONS of extended line. They had to close the passageway from Carsland to Pacific Wharf because they used that entire road for RSR's extended line. Apparently the line even stretched out to Paradise Pier! We, of course, were oblivious to this because we were in the mountain range.

With a little more than 20 more minutes of waiting, we finally boarded! It's a cool looking station because it's kinda half indoors, half outdoors and it looks like a cavern kinda thing...it's neat. Overall, we waited about 2 and a half hours for our first ride, including the long breakdown.


As for the ride itself...I loved it! I think it's exactly what DCA needs. It's incredibly immersive. It's on par with Indy with making you feel like you're in a movie. I won't give too much away because you really need to experience it for yourself, but it is a wonderful attraction. My only small complaint is that I think that the indoor scenes are slightly rushed. I would have liked to have the cars slow down a bit to really see more of the details. The car animatronics are the best Disney has ever created...I stand by that. They're life-sized, realistic cars!

The outdoor race portion is fun. Not as fast as Test Track, but the setting in the mountains is unmatched. You do get a few moments of airtime during the hills, which is fun. The turns I thought could have been a little faster, but overall it was still a very enjoyable experience. The racing part is cool too because you never know which track will win.

DCA really has something great on their hands, and I'm excited that RSR has now become a normal part of any trip to DLR!

Next update: Matterhorn redo!
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:49 PM   #15
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LOVE your TR so far!!! I can not wait to go in November!!
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