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Old 06-25-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
luvflorida
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Carter gives Cars Land two thumbs up!

Hi! I'm Luvflorida and I mostly post over on the Community Board forum. Since we had a trip planned for Disneyland this year, I've been reading over here a lot lately.

We recently returned from a short trip to Disneyland, as well as a day at Universal Studios, a Warner Brothers Studio Tour and a day at Huntington Beach. The main reason for the trip was, of course, Cars Land. We knew our 3 1/2 year old grandson would love to visit Radiator Springs!

I was going to just report on Cars Land, but I figured, what the heck, I'll write about the whole trip! Hope you enjoy my report and hope there is some information here that will be of some help to others. I will include lots of photos.

Some background info: We are new to the West Coast, having moved to Arizona four years ago. Living in New England, we were frequent visitors to Florida (hence my screen name) and have taken many trips to WDW over the years. Now that we've relocated to Arizona, my husband and I are having a great time exploring all that this side of the country has to offer, which is a lot!

We have three grown kids (youngest just finished college- yay!) and two grandkids. On this trip, it was my husband, me, our older daughter, son-in-law and grandkids. This was our grandson's second trip to Disneyland (he's been to WDW once also) and it was our granddaughter's first trip.

Aaaaaand...here we are:

Me (Sharon) and my husband, Larry.




Here we are, with our two, precious grandkids. They keep us young and are the loves of our lives! These pics were taken last summer during a beach photo session in Maine. The kids were 2 1/2 and 5 months old. They, of course, are older now, but Larry and I aren't. Ha! Ha!



And, here is Megan, our daughter, with Daniel, our son-in-law, and Carter and Vanessa.



Carter turns four in August and Vanessa just turned 16 months. Fortunately, Carter just reached 40" so he was able to ride RSR. We held our breath, though, when the CM measured him!



Carter is the sweetest little guy. He is our first grandchild!



Vanessa is our second grandchild and first granddaughter. She is a sweetheart, too! Just don't try to take cookies away from her!



EDITED TO ADD: To help locate each day, I've added the post number each day starts on. I also went back through and spaced picture captions so they're easier to read! Hope it helps when reading my trip report!

DAY ONE- begins at post #3 (travel/Universal CityWalk)
DAY TWO- begins at post #14 (Universal Studios)
DAY THREE- begins at post #21 (Warner Brothers Studio Tour/Anaheim/Downtown Disney)
DAY FOUR- begins at post #29 (DCA/Disneyland)
DAY FIVE- begins at post #44 (DCA/Disneyland)
DAY SIX- begins at post #64 (Huntington Beach)
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Last edited by luvflorida; 07-08-2012 at 11:38 AM. Reason: added post numbers and descriptions for each day
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:13 PM   #2
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Oops! I meant to post this under the trip reports for Disneyland. I'm not sure how to move it, or even if that's possible without a moderator's help. Help!
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:45 PM   #3
luvflorida
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Our trip dates were Monday, June 18th to Saturday, June 23rd. Larry had to be in Woodland Hills Tuesday on business, so he and I left Arizona on Monday. Megan, Daniel and the kids left a few days after us and met up with us mid-week in Anaheim. Monday and Tuesday night Larry and I stayed at the Hilton Universal, and Wednesday through Friday night we all stayed at the Candy Cane Inn. Our schedule:

Day One: Drive from Arizona to California, CityWalk at Universal.

Day Two: Larry in Woodland Hills, me at Universal Studios for the day.

Day Three: Warner Brothers Studio Tour in Burbank, drive down to Anaheim and meet up with Megan, Daniel and kids, dinner at Bubba Gumps, and Downtown Disney

Day Four: California Adventure and Disneyland, especially Cars Land!

Day Five: More fun at DCA and Disneyland Park, and more Cars Land!

Day Six: Huntington Beach

I hope you enjoy my trip report, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

DAY ONE- Monday, June 18th- Larry and I left Tucson at 7:30am and arrived at the Hilton Universal at 4pm. We stopped for lunch at Ruby's Diner right off I-10 in Cabazon, CA. This was our first time staying at the Universal City Hilton and we really liked it. The desk clerk was welcoming, even walking us to the elevator, waiting for the doors to open, and pressing the button for our floor. Here are some pics of the Hilton, our room, and grounds around the hotel.









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Old 06-25-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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Your grandkids are gorgeous! What a treat!

I'm glad you posted in the wrong place, as I never check out the trip report boards. But I'm glad to have stumbled over this.

-Bob
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandBob View Post
Your grandkids are gorgeous! What a treat!

I'm glad you posted in the wrong place, as I never check out the trip report boards. But I'm glad to have stumbled over this.

-Bob
Thank you! I suppose someone will be able to move it to the correct forum. I'm having issues with photobucket now.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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I want to go back to the Hilton just to spend more time in the pool area. It was very peaceful!
A nice place to just sit back and relax.





Our room was on the 14th floor, which as we all know, is really the 13th floor.
I thought the room was quite large. It was very clean, too!











Nice views from our room of Universal and the Hollywood Hills.




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Old 06-25-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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By 5pm, we were ready to head over to CityWalk to get something to eat. The Hilton has a shuttle that runs to and from Universal Studios and CityWalk, but after being in the car all day, we chose to walk. It's an easy walk, no more than ten minutes.

Taken from the pedestrian bridge between the hotel and park.


Pretty area!




We weren't super hungry, having eaten a late lunch, so we ended up just getting some food from Panda Express in the food court on the second level. It was a nice evening, so we sat outside and enjoyed the atmosphere. After dinner, we walked around a bit, bought some popcorn from Popcornopolis (love their popcorn!) and walked back to the Hilton. We relaxed a bit, then called it a night.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:31 PM   #8
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Thankyou so much for the info and pics! We are staying at the Hilton in 2 weeks and going to Universal Studios.

Thanks for sharing. Your grandchildren are adorable!
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:33 PM   #9
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Your grandkids are adorable! We went to Universal Studios last year for a couple of days...it was a really fun trip!
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:42 PM   #10
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Love it so far and very eager to hear Carter's opinions! My DS will be 4.5YO when we hit DLR next year so this may be a preview!
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:32 PM   #11
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Love it so far! Keep it coming!
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July 1994 - Disneymoon at Dixie Landings Feb 1996 - Dixie Landings October 1999 - Belle's first trip Dixie Landings Feb 2001 - Tink's first trip Dixie Landings Sept 2007 - POP with free dining! Dec 2008 - POP July 2011 - Disneyland! Jan 2012 - POP

Up next - Tink 1/2 marathon and Princess 1/2 marathon Coast2Coast baby! Uh oh - Dumbo Double Dare
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:14 AM   #12
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Keep it coming, Tucsonan here...

Go Cats! National Champs!

Going to do the trip in October.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:45 AM   #13
luvflorida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggieb9975 View Post
Thankyou so much for the info and pics! We are staying at the Hilton in 2 weeks and going to Universal Studios.

Thanks for sharing. Your grandchildren are adorable!
Thanks! The Hilton was wonderful, and I loved the proximity to US and CityWalk. Honestly, I think it took longer to get from our room to the front of the hotel then it did to go from the hotel to US. I would definitely stay there again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monica D View Post
Your grandkids are adorable! We went to Universal Studios last year for a couple of days...it was a really fun trip!
Thanks! Yeah, those grandkids are keepers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pesky View Post
Love it so far and very eager to hear Carter's opinions! My DS will be 4.5YO when we hit DLR next year so this may be a preview!
Carter loved everything about Cars Land. He got to ride all three of the attractions and he was just in awe when he got to meet Lightning McQueen and Mater. I loved seeing him experience Cars Land! We took lots of pictures of his adventures!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kindakrazy2 View Post
Love it so far! Keep it coming!
Thanks for reading along!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZwldcats View Post
Keep it coming, Tucsonan here...

Go Cats! National Champs!

Going to do the trip in October.
Go Wildcats!! This will be our fourth summer in Tucson and I think we're finally adjusting to the temps out here. We are New Englanders and used to very cold winters and mild summers. We are loving Tucson winters!
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:28 AM   #14
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DAY TWO-Tuesday, June 19th- Breakfast was room service (tasty and plentiful!) and Larry headed out around 8am for his day of business meetings and I left the hotel around 8:15 and walked over to Universal Studios. An entire day all to myself at US! I was excited! It was a beautiful sunny day, the crowds were light for most of the morning and I had a wonderful time!





I went through the turnstiles, waited with everyone at the front of the park and when the CM yelled "action", we were let loose. I headed straight for the studio tour and walked right on one of the first trams. The studio tour was the attraction I was most looking forward to experiencing and it didn't disappoint.

I was a little leery about the King Kong 3D part of the tour, but it was actually fun. I don't do roller coasters or any type of ride that has a lot of motion. The tram did rock back and forth during the King Kong 3D experience, but it wasn't so bad.



Jaws!




We went by the Bates Motel and witnessed Norman putting a "body" in the trunk of a car. When he spotted the tram, he started to come after us!


Some special effects




There was filming going on in one area of the tour, and as the tram went past, the film crew stopped to wave to us. They were filming for a new tv show, I think it was called Mockingbird Lane. Something to do with the old Munsters tv series.





The tour lasted about an hour, and since I had all day and there were no lines, I got on another tram and took the tour again. I liked it that much! Ha! Ha! The first time around I had a seat on the right side of the tram, so this time I sat on the left side. Really got to see everything!

Like I said, I don't do coasters or other motion-type attractions, so I spent the rest of the day exploring the park. I saw the Animal Actors Show, the Special Effects Stage Show and checked out the Universal Experience. The Universal Experience was also something I was looking forward to, but I was a bit disappointed. I had envisioned it to be much larger, with more movie memorabilia and displays, but it was quite small. It didn't take much time to see everything on display.

I grabbed a hot dog, chips and soda from a cart and got a front row seat for the Blues Brothers Show. They were very entertaining and I ended up watching them three times that afternoon.



I spent a few hours just checking out the gift shops and walking around the park. There was a British band playing 60s music from the upper deck of a British bus which I enjoyed listening to, especially when they played Beatles songs.

I left Universal Studios around 5pm and walked back to the hotel. I'll leave you with a few more pictures from US.













Donkey from Shrek was very funny! He had everyone laughing at his comments as people stopped by for a photo with him.

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Old 06-26-2012, 03:04 AM   #15
luvflorida
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DAY TWO- continued- So, I left the park around 5pm (US closed at 7 that day, but my feet were telling me it was time to go) and I walked back to the Hilton. Larry got back around 6 and we headed out again around 6:30. This time we took the shuttle over to CityWalk.

We ate dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.


We have the HRC access pass that lets you accumulate points toward food or merchandise. It's their version of a rewards program. Hard Rock is changing over to a different rewards program and I had received an email a few weeks back stating that any accumulated points would expire on September 30th. So we used our points and dinner didn't cost us anything. Our waiter said he thought Hard Rock has since changed the policy and is now allowing points to be rolled over to the new program.

Anyway, the food was good and the waiter was attentive. We sat outside, but by the time we finished eating, I was freezing. It was cold out and we weren't sitting near one of the outdoor heaters. Maybe it just felt cold compared to the 100 degree temps in Tucson!

We walked back to the hotel, relaxed for a bit, then turned in for the night. We had a lot planned for the next day, and we were looking forward to the arrival of Megan, Daniel and the grandkids!
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