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Old 07-19-2012, 06:36 PM   #46
DaveinFallsChurch
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Prioritizing the Rides (DCA)

Before putting my touring plan together, I had to prioritize the rides I want to try especially since I know I wonít have time to go on every single attraction no matter how fast I run!

So here is how I prioritized the rides for DCA.

Priority Level 1 ( = Iím going to get on this ride even if I have to wait in line the whole day!)

Radiator Springs Racers: A no brainer, right? Iím hoping the novelty will have worn off a bit by October but even if it hasnít, I think this one will be worth the wait. Plus, Iím dying to walk down the main street of RS and immerse myself in the scenery which looks exactly like the movie!

Priority Level 2 (= Will be grumpier than Grumpy if I miss these)

Soariní: I really enjoyed this one at WDW. And the ending will be more fitting since it finishes above Sleeping Beautyís Castle!

Tower of Terror: I absolutely adored this one at WDW. I read that they donít have the ďrandomizationĒ of the drops at DCA. But itís not just the drops that I love about this attraction. The theming and details that went into each part of the interior of the hotel are amazing.

Little Mermaid: Iím considering this as a sneak preview of the FL expansion!

Priority Level 3 (= Curious but wonít be shedding tears if I miss them)

California Screaminí: Just so that I can say I tried all of the coasters at DLR. Sounds like itís a very smooth ride.

Monsters, INC: At first I thought this was the Laugh Floor equivalent. But on closer inspection of the description, itís a ride? That got my attention.

Toy Story Midway Mania: Gotta make sure I warm up my fingers, wrists, and hands with some stretching exercises while Iím in line. Last time I was on it, near the end, my hands were cramping up after the rapid fire I put on!

Leaning towards skipping

World of Color: Iíve heard the rave reviews. Iíve read that itís a must. But for some reason, so far I havenít been able to get excited about this one. Iíve been avoiding youtube videos on all the attractions that will be new to me, but I had to check it out for this one to get a better understanding of what the show was all about. Iím sure Iím underestimating this attraction and the videos donít do this justice. But it also sounds like thereís a lot of layers of trouble to go through to ensure I get an optimal viewing location including the color coded fastpasses and lining up early to get in. Given my tight schedule, I would have to give up a few other rides to fit this one in and as of now, not sure if this is worth it.

Goofyís Sky School: One of those rides which I know little to nothing about. Is it like the Barnstormer? Or is it more like Primeval Whirl? Iíve also heard it described as an outdoor Space Mountain. The description didnít sound like anything unique which is why Iím hesitating.

Luigiís Tires: It just doesnít sound like itís going to be worth the long wait in line. Although, the interior details inside Luigiís tire store looks pretty enticing. Plus, how do they accommodate single riders? Do they pair you up with another single rider? Trying to coordinate the shifting movements with a total stranger just doesnít sound fun to me.

Grizzly River Run: Mid October. If I do go on this, it will be in the evening hours. So the real question is, do I want to get wet?

Next Up: Prioritizing the Rides (DL)
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:58 PM   #47
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Change to Lodging Plans

After much back-and-forth in my head about my return trip to San Diego, I decided that instead of taking the last train out on Wednesday (17th) which would get me in at SD around 1am, I would take the first train out on Thursday (18th) and get in around 9am and not miss any of my conference activities. I think this will give me a more relaxed itinerary and more sleep! Plus, I would be able to try out an additional sit-down dinner at DL or Disney Downtown.

When I tried to extend my exisiting ressie at Quality Inn and Suites at the Park, I couldn't get the same cheap $59/night rate I initially got. So I started looking at other places and found Anaheim Plaza Hotel and Suites which offered $59/night for both nights! Plus, the location is a lot better with it being across the street from the entrances/gates. The ratings on Tripadvisor are comparable to the first hotel.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:37 PM   #48
DaveinFallsChurch
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Prioritizing the Rides (DL)

Priority 1 (=Will stand in line for as long as it takes! As long as they're open )

Indiana Jones: I have really high hopes for this one! And Iíve been avoiding reading any details about this ride because I want everything to be a surprise. Iím just hoping that the rumors of it going on refurbishment beginning in the fall do not come to fruition.

Star Tours: Noticing a trend here? Yes, Iím a fan of films by Lucas during his earlier years. Canít say the same for what he did to both franchises in the last 10 years. In any case, this is a must. If it was possible, would be happy to go on this over and over again.....as long as they're free of Jar-Jar.

Matterhorn: This is ranked high primarily out of nostalgia. I have very fond memories of this particular ride from 28 years ago and would like to go on it for olí times sake.

Finding Nemo Submarine: Also has a nostalgic factor. Before it was Finding Nemo, it was Submarine Voyage I believe. I remember the first time I went on the old version as a young child, I really believed that we were in an actual submarine. I donít think thatís going to happen this time, but you never know.

Priority 2 (= Not the end of the world if I miss these, but Iíll still be as sad as Eeyore on a rainy day)

Space Mountain: Iím hoping for a smoother ride than the one at WDW. And, excited to see what the Halloween theming looks like!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Heard many times that this one is far superior than the one at WDW. Itíll also be a good chance to really test out my cameraís ability to capture images in very low lighting without a flash!

Haunted Mansion: Itís Halloween time! There isnít another ride at DLR that is more perfect to go on during the Halloween season.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: Itís been over 10 years since Iíve been on Big Thunder. Iím way over due.

Priority 3 (= Curious enough to want to try these but ok if I donít)

Roger Rabbitís Spin: It just dawned on me how old this movie is Ė 24 years! Feeling a little old after realizing that. I remember thinking that the cartoon and human characters interacting with each other was the coolest thing ever.

Mr. Toadís Wild Ride: I clearly remember, as a child, having to sum up the courage to step on this ride for the very first time. For some reason, this one was always described to me by my parents as a ďvery scary ride!Ē and that had a long lasting effect. Once I tried it though, I loved it and went on it again right away.

Alice in Wonderland: Have nooooo idea what to expect for this one. Which is why I would like to try it!

Priority 4 (= only if Iíve done everything else and still have time)

Tom Sawyerís Island, Snow Whiteís Scary Adventure, Pinocchioís Journey

Next Up: Eating and Snacking My Way Around DLR!
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #49
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Eating and Snacking My Way Through Disneyland

Our last trip to WDW in April involved 13 ADRs. So this trip is going to be a huge withdrawal for me in terms of dining experience!

Attractions and rides will take priority over dining but I still have a couple of evenings after Park hours to try to sample some of the better cuisine DLR has to offer. Debated for awhile whether to try to fit Blue Bayou in but decided against it for this trip so that I could go on more rides. Here's my meal by meal plan. Will be going with on-the-go for breakfast and lunches.

Tuesday, October 16th

Lunch: Starbucks across the street from SD train station - Will grab a sandwich and eat on the train.

Late Afternoon Snack: I need some snack ideas for DCA. Any suggestions? Would like to snack on something while waiting in the single rider line for RSR.

Dinner: Right now, I'm leaning towards Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant. After DCA park closing, I'll check in to Anaheim Plaza Hotel, drop my backpack off then head over to dinner in walking distance.

Wednesday, October 17th

Breakfast: Denny's. Will get an early breakfast before lining up at the entrance for DL. A Grand Slam Breakfast should tidy me over for the rest of the morning!

Lunch: Corndog from Main Street. Heard there's a Little Red Wagon selling good corndogs near the Plaza Inn.

Dinner: I'm considering Napa Rose. Will eat after DL closes and this will give me an opportunity to check out GCH! I'll have to make a reservation once my 60 day window opens up.

Snacks: Throughout the day at DL, I'm going to look for opportunities to get a churro, Dole Whip, and perhaps something from the Jolly Holiday Bakery. I also want to try a Tigger Tail as well as a Tiger Tail! So many snacks to try, so little time!
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:41 AM   #50
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Any suggestions or recommendations for snacks I should try in DCA?
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #51
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I'm planning on trying the Dill Pickle popcorn at the Cozy Cone.

And a frozen banana at some point. They're Proustian for me - they take me right back to being 5 years old on my first ever DL trip!

Have you considered going to Trader Sam's Tiki Bar at Disneyland Hotel - or maybe you won't have time in your schedule? I'm definitely going to stop by there for a Krakatoa cocktail at some point during our trip...
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:10 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Velvetia View Post
I'm planning on trying the Dill Pickle popcorn at the Cozy Cone.

And a frozen banana at some point. They're Proustian for me - they take me right back to being 5 years old on my first ever DL trip!

Have you considered going to Trader Sam's Tiki Bar at Disneyland Hotel - or maybe you won't have time in your schedule? I'm definitely going to stop by there for a Krakatoa cocktail at some point during our trip...
Thanks for the tips!

I've heard seveal DISers talking about the frozen banana and been wanting to try it.

I didn't know about Trader Sam's Tiki Bar! There's still much to learn about DLR for me But just looked it up and the drinks they serve sound very intriguing. May need to swing by over there after dinner on one of the two nights I'm there.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:10 PM   #53
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Mini-(Day)TR: National Museum of Natural History

A couple of weekends ago, we took the kids to the Smithsonian Natural History of Museum. We hadn't visited it in awhile and DD6 wanted to see the dinosaur exhibit and the gem and mineral exhibit. So we headed out early and arrived at the National Mall about 30 minutes before the museum opened so we could secure a three-hour free parking spot in front of the museum. The kids played tag, and hide and seek with us while waiting for it to open. Not many places to hide along the Mall except for the trees.



We got in line at the entrance with about 5 minutes to go. There was a couple making their first visit to DC from Atlanta in front of us, who was also very nice enough to offer some gum for the kids. DS2 LOVES gums. What 2 year old doesn't, right? The doors opened, went through security, and we entered the atrium.



We headed straight towards to the dinosaur exhibit since this area always becomes the most crowded later in the day. Sort of like racing towards Dumbo when MK opens at WDW although I've heard FPs now have eliminated the need for that. Boy, did I get schooled by DD on dinosaurs. I would walk up to a fossil exhibit and say "Hmmm, let me see what this one is called" while squinting my eyes to read the display, but before I could even read the first word, DD tells me "Daddy, that's a parasaurolophus because it has a long crest and a duck bill!" She of course learned all this from a PBS tv show called "Dinosaur Train"

Even I knew the name of this one!




Next we headed upstairs for the minerals exhibit. Part of the exhibit includes a simulated mining cave with certain minerals embedded in the rocks. DD and DS loves it because it makes them feel like walking into a real cave!



They also had an exhibit about the Chilean miners that were rescued a couple of years ago. The Chilean government (or whoever owns the item) also donated the actual rescue capsule they used. I still remember watching that very moving moment live on my computer when the capsule pulled out the first survivor.



We made our way to the gem exhibits with all kinds of colors on display. This was DD's favorite part.



And of course, the Hope Diamond. Is it bad that whenever I see this display, all I can think of is the movie, Titanic?



Afterwards, it was time to grab a quick lunch at the museum cafe. We were looking for one of the elevators on the rear end of the exhibits when we came across this.



What's that you ask? Why, it's Titano-Boa of course! Yikes. Don't think I really needed to see that one. We got some food for the kids. Food prices tend to be on the over-priced side in the Smithsonian museums but since the admission is free, it doesn't bother me as much. After lunch, DD picked out a book about gems from the gift shop and DS picked out a book about dinosaurs. On our way out of the museum, we quickly passed through the Ocean exhibit.



And while waiting for the kids on their potty break, I found this totem pole tucked away along one of the staircases. Thought it was an odd location for an exhibit since this particular stairway doesn't see much traffic.



We got back in our car before our three hour parking was up and drove back home.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:49 AM   #54
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You make me want to go back to DC again! It was one of my favorite family vacations we ever took (and that includes 3 trips to WDW, so you should feel special ). I am so excited for my son to start school this fall. I know a have a few years before he starts learning about DC stuff, but it means our trip is getting closer. I just want to wait until he actually knows what some of the stuff is about before we go. Until then....Disney will be the trip of the year for us

Yikes! That Titano-Boa thing is really scary! Not a snake fan I'm not sure I could've walked by that thing!
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:39 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solana131 View Post
You make me want to go back to DC again! It was one of my favorite family vacations we ever took (and that includes 3 trips to WDW, so you should feel special ). I am so excited for my son to start school this fall. I know a have a few years before he starts learning about DC stuff, but it means our trip is getting closer. I just want to wait until he actually knows what some of the stuff is about before we go. Until then....Disney will be the trip of the year for us

Yikes! That Titano-Boa thing is really scary! Not a snake fan I'm not sure I could've walked by that thing!
There's so much to see and do, I think you could easily plan a whole week here. We're definitely spoiled with all of the museums, a good zoo, lots of children programming at the Kennedy Center, and also the close proximity to Baltimore - the kids really enjoy the Inner Harbor at Baltimore which has one of the better aquariums around! Just let me know when you do start planning that trip, and I can help you out!
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:10 PM   #56
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Night Tour of DC Memorials

DW and the kids are visiting family and relatives in Kansas City this weekend. I couldn't go since I had to work. I still have my evenings free and tonight, I decided to venture out to the National Mall to tour the memorials. I've been wanting to visit the memorials at nighttime so took this kids-free opportunity to stay out a little late AND get some practice on taking photos at night in preparation for my DLR trip. Still a newbie with my DSLR which I upgraded from our point and shoot 4 months ago.

After a 15-minute drive from our house, I parked by the Basin. It was still light out. Turned out that I picked a rainy evening. Had to wait out a passing of showers in my car. Then walked over to the WWII Memorial.





Next I walked over towards the Lincoln Memorial. The Reflection Pool is undergoing a rehab and with chain fences lining along it and the water drained, it just doesn't give you that majestic feeling. By the time I reached the Lincoln Memorial, the downpour started again and I had to take shelter inside the Memorial.



I followed the outer-edge of the Memorial building, still sheltered by the edge roofing to the back side where you get a beautiful view looking out west towards the Potomac River and the Memorial Bridge that leads straight into Arlington Cemetery. Even with the rain coming down, it still looked great!



As I waited out the rain, the sunlight finally gave out. When the rain ended, I walked back to the front of the Memorial and was rewarded with this beautiful view of the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building behind it. You can also see the WWII Memorial near the base of this picture.



Walked down the steps, and looking back at President Lincoln.



I then walked over to the Korean War Memorial. The centerpiece of this Memorial is the statues of a troop patroling the ground that were almost haunting at night.







The rain started coming down again, so I had to call it a night and nearly ran back to my car. Right before I got back in the car, tried snap a picture of the Jefferson Memorial across the Basin from the parking lot but I couldn't get a steady shot off, so this is the best I got.



Drove back home. I was out walking for about 2.5 hours. Glad I got to try it, but would like to give it another shot when it's not raining
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:43 PM   #57
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DC Memorials Night Tour 2

Went out again for another shot at a night tour of the memorials. Weather was perfect. This time, I walked around the Tidal Basin to visit MLK and FDR Memorials.



MLK Memorial





FDR Memorial











Jefferson Memorial

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Old 08-15-2012, 04:56 PM   #58
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Just purchased Amtrak tickets for the roundtrip from San Diego to Anaheim -getting excited! 62 days remaining!

Flying out to Las Vegas tomorrow evening for a weekend with friends from my residency.
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:49 PM   #59
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How did I miss the memorials updates?? Well those pictures are gorgeous! Looks like they have added a few more memorials since I went in the 80s . And they are definitely cool at night.

Yay for booking your Amtrak. It's getting close!!
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:30 AM   #60
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How did I miss the memorials updates?? Well those pictures are gorgeous! Looks like they have added a few more memorials since I went in the 80s . And they are definitely cool at night.

Yay for booking your Amtrak. It's getting close!!
It is getting close - just two more months! I'm going to be making my dinner ressie for Napa Rose in a couple of days.
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