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Old 07-13-2012, 10:46 PM   #31
nancy drew
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Originally Posted by kaoden39 View Post
They have a jicama-mango slaw that I know they serve with the sandwiches and on the sandwich that is rather zesty and tasty. I don't know if you can buy it as a side dish but if you can try it I recommend it highly.
That sounds good! Does it have dairy or egg in it, though? I have a hard time finding suitable foods at counter service places.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:51 PM   #32
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That sounds good! Does it have dairy or egg in it, though? I have a hard time finding suitable foods at counter service places.


I hadn't thought of that. I am guessing that it may have eggs. I think the only way to find out is to contact guest services.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:03 PM   #33
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I hadn't thought of that. I am guessing that it may have eggs. I think the only way to find out is to contact guest services.
If it is mayo-based, then it has egg. Bummer! But that gives me an inspiration to try and make a vegan/gluten-free version at home. That's the kind of challenge I enjoy!
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:46 PM   #34
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Back to our trip!

So it was Saturday, which is always a really crazy busy day at DL, especially in the summer. So for us, that means scheduling a late breakfast at the Plaza with Minnie and Friends. I figure we can get to the park early and ride a bunch of rides while it is still fairly empty, then eat, see if any of the rides we like have short lines via one of the online apps, then either head to DCA or to the hotel for swimming. We then return at night, when a lot of the locals and people with young kids have left. I learned a valuable secret on this Saturday, that I'll share as it comes up in the photos.

So, the Plaza with Minnie and Friends. The only character meal inside DL, and they only have characters at breakfast (and the birthday thing? But we've never done that). We aren't breakfast people, but this is really the jackpot of characters, so we do it anyway. We always schedule a later meal, so it is more like brunch and we can just eat a later, smaller lunch that day.



This character meal has more characters than I've ever seen at one meal, and it is nonstop. Seriously, from the moment they bring you to your table, the characters are coming. And coming. And coming! The food is served buffet style, and we can't ever leave the table to get food because we will miss someone! I know, it really is a first world problem, but I hate the whirlwind in there and wish I had another adult to either stay at the table and take photos with the kids or go get food!

Anyway, sometimes the characters rush past you, signing your book, posing, and moving on. And then sometimes they stop and chat, and play.



Raffiki thought my son needed a haircut, and decided to illustrate that by conducting a static electricity experiment with his hair and his balloon.

I actually think DS gave this balloon to a little girl who was admiring it. We don't have a stroller to tie it to, and we can't bring it in the rides, so balloons are kind of lost on us. I forgot about him giving the balloon away until just now. Disney really is a magical place.

So after we left the Plaza, things took an interesting and very unexpected turn. We should have seen it coming, with the appearance of R2D2 earlier in the week, but really, who would have known there would be Stormtroopers hunting for rebel plans in Tomorrowland?





My kids are total rat finks, though, and pointed out Star Tours AND the Jedi Training Academy. I should be proud that my kids are honest, but really, these are the BAD GUYS!!! You just gave them what they wanted!!!



They were REALLY interested in what DD was telling them, as I was laughing behind her.



They shook her hand and moved on to find the Jedis and rebel base.



And as we walked on, we ran into Captain Rex! Seriously, what was going on???



But these things don't happen in pairs, they happen in threes. Who else did we see a little further on? Boba Fett. Seriously. And none of these characters had many people around them, and they were in Tomorrowland! Were we hallucinating? Can you see these characters??



We went in Innoventions and struck up a conversation with some cast members, when they saw DS's R2D2 popcorn bucket (coolest thing ever!!). I told them who we saw, and one of them said to the other "I didn't even know we had a Captain Rex or Boba Fett here" . I showed them photos and they were shocked.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:47 PM   #35
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So after being all full of food and The Force, we had to girl it up a little. So we went to Pixie Hollow to talk to some fairies.





I think DS was explaining his popcorn bucket (now headless, though the head was not lost; it was hanging on the side).



We ate a late lunch at Redd Rocket's. I know the kids enjoyed the water misting spray there, and the food of course.



I think this was on the back of a garbage can, or something. I just remember being amazed at the attention to detail. It was on the bottom back of something I could see from my seat outside the restaurant.



We decided to do a full loop on the monorail, in the front car.



We had to wait for a monorail to pass, as someone was already in the front car, but we got into the front and had a blast!





Maybe we didn't do a full loop, maybe we got off at Downtown Disney? I know we went back to our hotel, because I have this:



We came back to DCA for ElecTRONica, the Tron themed dance party. We were properly bedazzled with glowsticks (which we shared liberally with anyone we saw). The kids mostly loved dancing to the music, and I mostly loved watching them with an adult beverage in hand.





DCA has a whole different feel at night.



So, about that secret. During the day, people crowd in Bugs Land because of the spray area and the fun kiddie rides. That area seriously empties out at night (or it did that night, maybe WoC was happening?) but we got to practically walk on the 3 rides the kids wanted to do.



They really loved this one:





And another favorite. Make sure you inhale deeply as you go through the cookie box!



We rode Little Mermaid again. I really think we rode that more than anything else, even more than Small World.





I'm a bit claustrophobic and DD tends to panic. We've done the Nemo Subs before and enjoyed them, but I just didn't think we should try it because her panic was kind of at a high point. So we asked about doing the non-submarine version of the ride. This is a special version of the Nemo subs where you sit in a room, still enclosed but with a panic button (and not underwater) and you pretty much watch a video of the ride. The audio track plays on speakers, and the room looks like it could be a large and more spacious portion of a submarine (if subs had large and spacious portions). The nice thing was that DD could get up and move if she needed to, and she knew we could hit the panic button if we wanted it to stop. We didn't need to stop it, I warned her when things were going to get dark (I don't recall if the room got dark?) and when the angler fish was going to appear. She was fine, and might have been fine on the actual sub, but this was a nice alternative especially for me since I might have been the one panicking in the actual sub .







The next day we spent with my cousin, his girlfriend, her daughter, and their extended family. This was weird and awesome all at once. So, Cousin (DC) has always lived in California, and I've only met him a small handful of times in my life. His girlfriend has a daughter from a previous marriage, and they live together in SoCal now (used to live in NorCal). Her DD happened to have a birthday while we were there, and her party was planned during our stay, so they invited us to attend. We didn't have a rental car, so he had his assistant pick us up and drive us back. His assistant was awesome. She is a divorced mom like me, and we just chatted up a storm on the drive. It was all so weird, though, because I hardly know DC, and I didn't know this assistant at all (she is a business assistant, but also does personal assistant stuff, like chaufeurring us around apparently).

So the birthday party was at a Chuck E. Cheese, and after the party we had the option of going back to DLR or going to DC's house and hanging out, and maybe going to a water park (spray park, no slides no pool). We chose the water park/hang out. We only see each other once in a blue moon, so best to make it count.

So we ended up going to the water park with DC, his GF's DD, his GF's twin sister's husband (her twin was divorced and remarried, she and her husband each had 1 kid), and his GF's twin's DS. Got all that? I could barely piece together who was who, and didn't put it all together until later, I think. The kids went into the park together, and DC, the other guy (I can't even fathom what to call him) and I sat on the grass and talked. Well, they each kind of worked from their phones a bit, but we all talked too. It was good to catch up, and it wasn't long before I felt completely comfortable and we were talking about big stuff.

Anyway, we went back to DC's house, and the GF's twin and her step-DD came over, as did the GF's parents. So there were 5 kids and 7 adults. DC and GF cooked and grilled, and we all just hung out. It was so incredibly nice! Honestly, we don't do anything like that here, and that is just depressing! We don't really have big family here. Maybe I should start having things like that here, or something. I don't know. Anyway, all the adults were drinking wine and DC and I ended up having a heart to heart on the patio about our moms (sisters who have major issues). I can't get into it without getting very detailed, but it was good to talk to him and hear what he has to say, and to have some input as to what was going on.

All in all, it was good family time and I'm glad we spend time with them. I still haven't emailed that we are coming to CA this year, but plan on doing that this weekend. They are actually coming here at the end of August too, which is so exciting! I know we can't repay them for their hospitality, but hopefully we can enjoy each others' company.

Anyway, back to DLR, we had one more day at the parks before heading home. I almost extended our stay, as I almost do every year. We were VERY sad to leave. I never feel like we had enough time. Is anyone ever ready to leave DLR?
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:50 AM   #36
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So, I know we had another day at DL, but I apparently didn't take photos. I must have felt like just enjoying the day. I know Small World was our last ride, and that there were tears. Mine and DD's. I bought the kids frozen strawberry lemonades at the stand nearby, and we cried. But that's all I remember from the last day. We wanted to stay another day, and I called and tried to make it happen, but I knew we really should head home, so we did. I know it will be just as hard this year, and I can try to prepare myself, but I know we will want "One More Day". We always do.
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:39 PM   #37
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Wait, I just realized where the photos are from the last day. I am going to add them in tonight, and delete or edit my last post. So stay tuned for another round of photos. Coming up... Pirate's Lair, Jungle Cruise, ships that pass in the night (or day, I guess) and if I can find it, a rare look at a talking/walking garbage can.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:31 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by nancy drew View Post
If it is mayo-based, then it has egg. Bummer! But that gives me an inspiration to try and make a vegan/gluten-free version at home. That's the kind of challenge I enjoy!

What I liked about it is that it has a spicy bite that was a nice accompaniment to the fried green tomato. They have awesome hand dipped onion rings too.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:36 AM   #39
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I tend to be claustrophobic so I have avoided the Nemo ride because of it. Now that I know about that room I believe it I will check it out.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:37 AM   #40
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What I liked about it is that it has a spicy bite that was a nice accompaniment to the fried green tomato. They have awesome hand dipped onion rings too.
My son loves onion rings. I might have to indulge him (bribe him) at some point. Good to know!!!
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:17 AM   #41
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Trip Report Bonus!

So, I seem to be missing some photos, including photos of PUSH, the talking garbage can. I know I have a great one of DS giving PUSH a pretzel wrapper, and if you so choose you will see "The Man Behind The Curtain". I'll keep searching, but I can't find him anywhere. So if you find yourself in Tomorrowland, and you see a crowd around a garbage can, it is best to go investigate, especially if the garbage can is moving.

Otherwise, all I have to share is photos from our last day at DLR.

Do you ever get tired of seeing interesting photos of the castle? I don't.



We rode Jungle Cruise again. The kids really took to this ride, and I must say I appreciated the fruit stand near the exit.





We chose to ride around Pirate's Lair, before actually exploring the island. We've done this before, and always on the same ship. We've seen baby ducklings in May, which was truly special, and we always enjoy our trip around the island.





The Columbia wasn't sailing that day. We've never been on board the Columbia. I hope to make it happen this year, but if not it will always be the thing we try to do. I enjoyed seeing the two ships side by side, two ships passing in the day.



And on her own (never noticed the guy standing next to the ship until now)



We then explored Pirate's Lair. Such a fun place!!!







So, one thing you really appreciate on a longer trip to DLR is the foliage. There are such beautiful flowers there. Something you certainly don't see around here.



For the new DLR visitors, the castle is an awesome "Secret" character interaction site. At almost all times of day (not evening) you can find a princess or two on either side path. We like the Snow White fountain and wishing well, and we happened to catch Snow White herself there on our last day. We met Ariel there earlier in the day, and I'm sure Aurora was on the other side at some point. This is our favorite fountain (make a wish in the nearby wishing well, and head into Fantasyland through the castle):



Make sure you do the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough. We have done it so many times. Some of the "windows" take some time to reset, so give it some time and really enjoy it.

We also caught the tail end of a Mary Poppins show at the castle.



I forgot to mention that one day, when we entered the park, the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter were leading a dance game in the main entry area. And one of our favorite experiences was a game of charades with Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen near the Alice ride. This is in one of my other trip reports, but honestly this type of character interaction makes DLR my favorite. I see posts on Disboards all the time from people who thing DL is less immersive than WDW, and that DLR is smaller and less fun. Not so. There are all of these little fun games, activities, and shows that make DLR an amazingly fun and immersive experience. You just have to be open to finding them.

So another DLR exclusive experience is the Storybook Canal ride. You have to do this. It is best to do it early in the morning, but it is a classic DLR ride.







Another thing that is exclusive to DLR is the inclusion of Disney characters in Its A Small World. One of our favorite things to do is spot the characters on the ride. At WDW we just can't do anything like that, and we have to sit back and shut up and ride. DLR just totally wins at IASW.



Another DLR (DCA) favorite is the Aladdin show. Such a fantastic show. I have heard they aren't doing the carpet anymore, but I think the genie can carry the show.



We always love the Boudin Bakery tour in DCA. I'm bummed the Mission tortilla tour is gone (MASECA!!!). We have a Ghirardelli here, and it isn't nearly as much fun. We'll still tour the Boudin. Who doesn't want to see how they make Mickey Sourdough Bread loaves???



I can't believe I haven't shared photos of DD's favorite ride, Winnie the Pooh, or the treats at Pooh Corner. For the DLR newbies: If you are remotely interested in sweets and baked goods, that's the place for you. A DLR exclusive is the Tigger Tail. Don't ask, just get it. You can read more about it in another trip report of mine, but the kids love them. They also have amazing apples, cupcakes, and other confections. Don't ignore Critter Country!!!! Unlike WDW, there isn't usually a long line for Winnie the Pooh.

I'll go through my memory card tomorrow to look for photos I missed, but I think that's our trip. I'm really looking forward to our trip, now that we are under the 1 month mark!!! I look forward to spending my actual birthday in SD. I look forward to seeing Carsland, and seeing DCA without walls!!!!! We've only seen it once without walls, and that was on our first trip! It will look so totally different!!!!
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:39 PM   #42
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I'm having a minor freak out that I won't be able to eat anything on our trip, or that I'll trust someone who says I can eat something and it will turn out to be meat/dairy/egg/gluten. I'm pretty sure I ate something "wrong" a few days ago and I am still suffering. Last year on our trip I lost 5 pounds, and while I'd actually love it if that happened again, I still have this fear of going hungry, or throwing money away on meals I can't eat. I know things will likely be OK at Disneyland, especially at table service meals (which we aren't even doing many of), but counter service options are severely limited. And San Diego, well, I'm not too hopeful.

When we traveled to visit my mom in December, when I was still eating gluten, I had the worst time getting food. So many places pre-mix their salads, so you can't order something without meat or cheese or egg. Or they don't understand what "vegan" means, even when you explain it. For example, I had the following conversation with a server there:

Me: "I am vegan, I don't eat meat, dairy, or egg."
Her: "Oh, hmmmm. Do you eat fish?"

Really? I don't understand why I would eat fish but nothing else from an animal. Then again I don't understand people who eat fish and seafood but call themselves "vegetarians". Last time I checked fish weren't vegetables.

Same server said she would bring out "grilled vegetables" and a side salad with balsamic dressing for me. Great. Perfect. Well, not really. The balsamic dressing was as thick as whipped cream. I asked my mom if she thought they had used egg in it (as in mayo) and she said no, they just "emulsify" it to make it that consistency. No, sorry, unless they have vegenaise back there that dressing has mayo in it. Then the "grilled vegetables" were a soggy pile of shredded vegetables, soaked and glistening in a shiny golden liquid. I took one small taste and asked my mom if she thought they were covered in butter, and she tasted them and said she didn't taste butter. I asked what she DID taste and she couldn't identify it, but insisted it wasn't butter. After foolishly eating some of the dressing I wasn't going to risk the vegetables without asking. I asked the server "Do these by chance have butter on them?" and she said "Oh, shoot," or something and took the plate away. I ended up eating guacamole from the burger bar, I think (they couldn't even make a veggie burger for me, because they were using some boxed burger that had dairy and/or egg in it; and it took about 5 trips back and forth to the kitchen for the server to confirm that). And this was at a fancy golf club too, not a diner.

Anyway, that long story is the kind of thing that happens regularly when I go out to eat, which is why I don't go out to eat often. But on vacation, we kind of have to. I think there are some grocery stores near the hotel in SD, so I should be OK, but I worry about the unknown (Will I be able to find enough options at the grocery store? Will I overbuy or underbuy?). I'll bring a few things too, but still I'm just worried about eating in SD, and a little worried about eating at DL (though really at DLR I could just live on Jamba Juice and that would be cool with me).
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:38 PM   #43
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Bengal Barbecue will be your friend for sure. They have vegetable spears, they are wonderful!!


I decided to look at the menus to see what you can and cannot eat. I never realized how hard it was to find things that stick to your parameters. I can understand the panic mode. Honestly, I see vegetarian options, vegan is available but rarely and then you add the gluten free. I am not sure what grocery stores are in the area. There are a couple of Fresh and Easy Markets in the area. They might have things for you there. I don't know if you are familiar with them. You can find them at freshandeasy.com

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Old 07-15-2012, 07:15 PM   #44
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I am definitely looking forward to the skewers!!

I've made a list of a few places I know have options at DLR, maybe I'll post it here. And I know the table service places will work with me (hopefully the Surf's Up chef is more flexible this year). I called dining reservations and made a reservation for the Plaza breakfast with Minnie, and spoke with someone about our dietary needs. He said it shouldn't be a problem at table services. I may splurge and do Carthay. He said the chef is the same as Napa, and that he should be really good at working around dietary needs. SD is a concern. If there is a sushi place nearby, especially if it is a small place where I can just get a roll to go (there is a sushi place in the hotel, but I'm not sure how fancy it is and whether they will do take out) I can get an avocado roll. I'll bring my own travel packets of tamari (gf soy sauce). I'd even eat a cucumber roll.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:24 PM   #45
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I am definitely looking forward to the skewers!!

I've made a list of a few places I know have options at DLR, maybe I'll post it here. And I know the table service places will work with me (hopefully the Surf's Up chef is more flexible this year). I called dining reservations and made a reservation for the Plaza breakfast with Minnie, and spoke with someone about our dietary needs. He said it shouldn't be a problem at table services. I may splurge and do Carthay. He said the chef is the same as Napa, and that he should be really good at working around dietary needs. SD is a concern. If there is a sushi place nearby, especially if it is a small place where I can just get a roll to go (there is a sushi place in the hotel, but I'm not sure how fancy it is and whether they will do take out) I can get an avocado roll. I'll bring my own travel packets of tamari (gf soy sauce). I'd even eat a cucumber roll.

I don't understand why more places don't offer gluten free menu items. There are a lot of people that choose to go gf.
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