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Old 11-07-2012, 09:37 AM   #256
DaveinFallsChurch
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Sounds like a good end to a great day! That meal looks yummy
I think I had even a better day, the next day: update post coming tonight!
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:19 AM   #257
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I just loved the Monsters Inc ride at DCA. One of my favorite dark rides ever! I hope we get to see more Monsters Inc in the WDW parks some day, especially now that they are making a sequel (or is it a prequel?).

You got some great night shots! I really love that one of the fountain. I never was able to see the entrance to DCA prior to making it Buena Vista St. so of course I can't compare, but they did a really beautiful job at the front of that park.

Just wanted to add, I was very disappointed in WDW that the Dapper Dans were not wearing Halloween vests nor were they singing Halloween songs on our trip!
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:49 PM   #258
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Hey, Dave - all caught up with your trip report - I was there the same time as you. I loved your photos of Aladdin, I loved that show too and those pix took me right back there. Likewise your Monsters Inc photos...and your pictures of an almost empty neon-lit Radiator Springs are just gorgeous! So glad you had a great time and were able to fit in everything that you wanted to do!
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:32 PM   #259
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I just loved the Monsters Inc ride at DCA. One of my favorite dark rides ever! I hope we get to see more Monsters Inc in the WDW parks some day, especially now that they are making a sequel (or is it a prequel?).

You got some great night shots! I really love that one of the fountain. I never was able to see the entrance to DCA prior to making it Buena Vista St. so of course I can't compare, but they did a really beautiful job at the front of that park.

Just wanted to add, I was very disappointed in WDW that the Dapper Dans were not wearing Halloween vests nor were they singing Halloween songs on our trip!
I'm hoping that there are more Monsters Inc as well at DHS. For our upcoming trip, I think I've convinced my kids that we should meet Sulley and Mike W! I think I'm more excited about that than they are.

That's a bummer about the Dans at WDW. Don't see why they couldn't do the same Halloween themes as DLR.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:33 PM   #260
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Hey, Dave - all caught up with your trip report - I was there the same time as you. I loved your photos of Aladdin, I loved that show too and those pix took me right back there. Likewise your Monsters Inc photos...and your pictures of an almost empty neon-lit Radiator Springs are just gorgeous! So glad you had a great time and were able to fit in everything that you wanted to do!
Thanks Velvetia! Looking at these pictures definitely gives me an opportunity to relive the whole visit!
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:39 PM   #261
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Here You Leave Today - Rope Drop at Disneyland

Wednesday, October 17th

Day 2 started unexpectedly early for me when my eyes opened a little after 3am. Darn jetlag! My body was thinking it’s 6am and time to get the kids up and ready for school! I tried in vein for another 30 minutes tossing and turning trying to fall back asleep. I spent another 30 minutes surfing the DISboards and finally was able to fall back asleep from 4-6am. I showered and got dressed. The water temperature for the shower at this motel was as advertised. It went from hot to cold to hot in a matter of seconds and I suspect it had something to do with how many other people were using the water as well. On my way out of the hotel, I stopped by the front desk to make a request to have an iron and aboard delivered to my room. The older gentleman manning the front desk said he would leave a note for housekeeping, but I was not very confident that he would follow through based on his demeanor and how he immediately got distracted by another guest while I was giving him my room number.

I started walking up Harbor Blvd around 6:50am. The street was pretty much deserted except for a handful of joggers. I walked north past the park entrances. My breakfast plans were to eat at Mimi's Café which is located right by the Howard Johnsons. I had an amusing flashback as I stared at the HoJo building. I suddenly remembered that this is where we stayed with my family 28 years ago when I was last here. All these years I couldn't remember the name of the hotel, but just seeing it brought it back. I walked into Mimi's as they were just opening the restaurant and became their first customer for the day. Ordered an egg benedict, coffee, and a LARGE orange juice.



I've never seen oj served in these types of glasses which gave me a chuckle. A few days later in San Diego, I was served oj in the exact same glass at Broken Yolk which begs the question – is this a southern California thing? The egg benedict was good. I browsed on my ipad while eating, checking the weather, my facebook page, etc. By the time I left, a few families were being seated. I walked backed south on Harbor towards the park entrances following a couple of families with earhats on as I crossed the street.



When I entered the plaza for the park entrances, it was just about 8am. On my left there were relatively long lines already forming for what I assumed was early entry for DCA.



On my right, there was also a line forming for DL but not as long.



At first, I mistakenly assumed that these were also for early entries as well so I stayed back not getting in a line while I took pictures. Shortly later, I realized that there shouldn’t be early entries for Wednesday so I got in one of the lines and was about 15 people behind from the turnstiles. It's funny how when you’re standing in line at Disney, time flies. I was just enjoying the warm sunshine while doing some people watching.

Disney Pumpkins!





Loved how they did her ribbon!




A little after 8:30am, they opened the gates and a stream of people walked through. I followed the other visitors, passing in front of the train station. I did miss seeing a rope drop show like the one at MK.



Main Street was covered and lined with its fall and Halloween decorations. A giant Mickey pumpkin stood in front of the flagpole.



Seeing Sleeping Beauty's Castle in the distance was just as magical as seeing Cinderella's Castle down Main Street.



I crossed over to the entrance of Tomorrowland where a rope held the crowd back. I made my way to the front and side of the rope. It was a little weird to see the Astro Orbitor so front and center by the entrance of Tomorrowland. At 9am, the rope dropped and there was a mad dash in. Nobody was outright running but there was definitely a push by the crowd with everyone walking fast. The mother of three kids who was pushing a stroller standing next to me right before the rope dropped, clipped her daughter’s heels as she rushed in. I made my way to the FP machines for Star Tours. Several people were already there rapidly inserting each park pass through the machines, then running off to Space Mountain which is where I was headed after I got my own FP for Star Tours. Even though I didn’t know exactly where SM was located, all I had to do was follow the crowd!



I entered the queue which snaked around a bit before exiting to an outdoor portion of the queue where the roof of SM was seen.







It really wasn’t that bad of a wait, probably only 10 minutes when I was seated. The guy seated next to me did not seem too amused about the ride or having to sit next to a stranger while his two female friends took the front seat. The ride was definitely much smoother than the one at MK. I had a blast riding it. They added some Halloween theming with projections of what can be best described as space ghosts. I don’t know how I feel about this theming – felt it was a little too hokey. But the coaster ride itself was great.

I walked over to Finding Nemo Submarine after exiting SM. I was excited about this since the last time I rode this was when it was called 20,000 leagues under the sea. I had no idea what this new theming was going to be like since I avoided looking up any pictures or videos.





Say it with me now - Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!



We were directed into the submarine where each of us sat in one of the fold out seats and each passenger has his or her own window.

Just a little crammed with an awkward view of the Captain's rear.



At first, the ride started out just as how I remembered it from my childhood. There were reefs and giant clams to look at as the submarine moved forward.



Pick a Pearl!



But shortly into the ride, we entered a cave and the ride turned into one very similar to the one at The Seas Pavillion at Epcot where digital projections of characters from Nemo were superimposed onto the water scenery.



Mt. Wannahockaloogie!






I think it was longer than the one at Epcot and was fun to watch. A 4 year old boy was sitting next to me with his father and he was loving the ride. As the ride ended, he was busy recounting the highlights to his dad. Very cute.

Next Up: In a Galaxy Far Far Away......
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:07 AM   #262
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Wow, if that's a large OJ I'd hate to see a small one! Does it come in a thimble? Or maybe a medicine cup?

Those pumpkins at the gates look amazing! And the big Mickey pumpkin on Main Street. I really loved seeing the Halloween decorations on our WDW trip, but DL looks like they do a much better decorating job. Those are pretty incredible!

Rope drop in DL is just not as good without the opening show. There is just something about that train coming down the tracks full of characters singing & waving that gets your blood pumping & excited for a day in the Magic Kingdom!

The Space Mountain queue is kind of cool in how it takes you up on the "roof" except it can get pretty hot up there with the sun beating down on you, so it loses it's appeal pretty quickly. They really seem to go all out for Halloween overlays there if they did something on Space Mountain! I didn't realize they did that. Although it sounds like it wasn't really successful, but I guess it's cool that they do more for Halloween than I realized.

I thought the Nemo subs were okay, but too long. And too like the Seas in WDW. I was glad we did it, but also glad we didn't wait a long time for it or I would have been really disappointed.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:31 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by khertz
Wow, if that's a large OJ I'd hate to see a small one! Does it come in a thimble? Or maybe a medicine cup?

Those pumpkins at the gates look amazing! And the big Mickey pumpkin on Main Street. I really loved seeing the Halloween decorations on our WDW trip, but DL looks like they do a much better decorating job. Those are pretty incredible!

Rope drop in DL is just not as good without the opening show. There is just something about that train coming down the tracks full of characters singing & waving that gets your blood pumping & excited for a day in the Magic Kingdom!

The Space Mountain queue is kind of cool in how it takes you up on the "roof" except it can get pretty hot up there with the sun beating down on you, so it loses it's appeal pretty quickly. They really seem to go all out for Halloween overlays there if they did something on Space Mountain! I didn't realize they did that. Although it sounds like it wasn't really successful, but I guess it's cool that they do more for Halloween than I realized.

I thought the Nemo subs were okay, but too long. And too like the Seas in WDW. I was glad we did it, but also glad we didn't wait a long time for it or I would have been really disappointed.
Sorry, forgot to post the pic of the oj. The cup on the first pic was my coffee. Here it is
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:43 AM   #264
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Sorry, forgot to post the pic of the oj. The cup on the first pic was my coffee. Here it is
That makes a lot more sense!!!
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:28 PM   #265
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That makes a lot more sense!!!
That must have been confusing, me forgetting to post the OJ pic
Anyway, I'm sure me drinking with that glass looked even more funnier than the glass itself.

I completely agree with you about the opening show at MK RD. Love, love, love it. Such a great way to enter MK.

The SM Halloween overlay was just off. So, when I described it as space ghosts, I should have said they really look more like space zombies. They are projected animated images where they roar at you or try to take swipes at you. It just didn't mesh well with the ride.

I think for me, Finding Nemo was more about nostalgia. I remember being mesmerized riding the same submarines when I was a child back when it was called 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I used to believe that we were in a REAL submarine and that we actually submerged under the water during the ride, and thought that was the coolest ride ever! I also remember feeling betrayed at an older age when I figured out how the ride worked.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:04 PM   #266
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A Dash of Halloween, A Sprinkle of Christmas, and A Pinch of Nightmare

Wednesday October 17th

When I exited Nemo, it was time to use my fastpass for Star Tours.



The wait was very short on the FP lanes. Walked by C3PO and R2D2 very fast. Slightly slowed down in the customs area with the security robot monitoring his heat sensing screen.



Door number two is where I was assigned. For this ride, our sequences were being stopped by a droid, pod racing, admiral Ackbar, and Bobba Fett and Death Star. The thrill element of the ride starts to fade the more times I go on it. But I still love being immersed in the world of Star Wars. After I exited the ride, I spent some time looking at the merchandises in the gift shop.

One of my favorites in the gift shop


Next up was the Matterhorn.



The last time I was here as a child, I remember going on this one over and over and over again with my younger brother. So, I had high hopes. I wasn’t sure where the single rider line for this one was so I started along the single chain-roped queue that wrapped around the base of the mountain. The end of the line stopped about midway. As the line slowly moved forward, I started a conversation with another single rider standing behind me. He was visiting with his family of wife and three kids from Salt Lake City. The rest of his family were at Toontown, and he was trying to squeeze in a ride. Turns out that this was his very first visit to DL and he was enjoying it as much as his children. We traded notes on our ride experiences so far. Before we knew it, we reached the point where the single riders are split off to the side of the line. I really enjoy meeting people at Disney. Most are friendly and have interesting stories to tell. As I was assigned to a train, I wished him a safe trip back home.

Once the ride started, I quickly became aware of some problems. My body was sliding up and down the seat with the dips, and being slammed into the walls sideways on the turns. The only thing I really remember well was the snow monster in its full functioning glory unlike his frozen Yeti cousin at AK. After that, I was too distracted with the task of trying in vain to hold on tight to the handle bars, bracing my body with my legs. It was a very rough ride and I felt a bit whiplashed by the end. I was happy to see the exit.

At least I thought the Matterhorn Mountain looked great.



Then I crossed the central hub again in front of the castle to head towards BTMRR where I grabbed a FP.



Dapper Dans hitching a ride!


I had about 45 minutes to kill before my window opened up. So next I headed over the Haunted Mansion. It had a different building exterior than the one at MK. But, it was decorated with the theme of the Nightmare before Christmas on the outside.









I thought it was very well done including what I call the “pumpkin graveyard”.



The inside queue as well as the ride itself was completely transformed as well. The stretching room was a real elevator.

One of the pictures in the stretching room




As we moved down, that’s when I realized that I forgot to change my lens on my camera that would have been more suitable for the dark photography. These pictures are actually from my second go around on the HM ride. One of the best parts of this ride was the dining hall where the centerpiece on the table was a tall gingerbread house – and the whole area smelled like gingerbread too!

Loading Zone








Gingerbread House!




Dancing Ghosts in front of a "Christmas Tree" decorated with pumpkins










Have to be honest, I have yet to have seen the movie Nightmare Before Christmas. But still, I really enjoyed the theming and was surprised how they were able to transform the attraction into something completely different!

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Old 11-10-2012, 08:21 PM   #267
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I have never seen Nightmare Before Christmas either, but I have to say, that overlay looks AWESOME!!!

Matterhorn...just got more jerky and uncomfortable the more we rode it. And I too thought it was pretty cool that the stretching room is a real elevator in DL rather than the ceiling rising in WDW.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:33 PM   #268
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I have never seen Nightmare Before Christmas either, but I have to say, that overlay looks AWESOME!!!

Matterhorn...just got more jerky and uncomfortable the more we rode it. And I too thought it was pretty cool that the stretching room is a real elevator in DL rather than the ceiling rising in WDW.
The HM overlay turned it into a completely different ride. And there's a lot more scenes that I wasn't able to get good pictures of. HM is a nightmare when it comes to photography, pun intended.

DD6 who had been in the past afraid to go on HM, saw these pictures and started wondering out loud whether HM was still really scary. So, I showed her a youtube video of the HM at MK, and she has now decided that she wants to try it! Finally!
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:17 AM   #269
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Wow, those Halloween decorations are amazing! I love HM anyway, but with the Halloween theming, I would have been over the moon! The ballroom scene looks absolutely incredible. Love, love, love it!!!!
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:42 PM   #270
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Wow, those Halloween decorations are amazing! I love HM anyway, but with the Halloween theming, I would have been over the moon! The ballroom scene looks absolutely incredible. Love, love, love it!!!!
The ballroom was my favorite - especially because of the gingerbread scents which smelled soooo good.
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