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Old 07-28-2012, 01:16 AM   #1
dlinne
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Trip Report July 7-14

DISNEYLAND TRIP REPORT July 7 to 14, 2012

Cast of characters: Me, DH and DD (9)

Disneyland Tickets---6 day park hoppers purchased at AAA back in March (before price changes)

Photopass+--pre-purchased by mail for $69.99

Motel: Anaheim Plaza Inn and Suites (7 nights)—15 min walk to parks, never moved the car

Our Disney History—I went to DL for the 1st time in 1979 (I was 4) with my parents and little brother. I think we were there for 1 day. My 2nd trip was around 1988 (I was 13) with my parents, brother and sister. That time I believe we stayed a few days. I suspect my parents used a city pass or the equivalent of the time—we did Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Universal Studios and Disneyland on that trip. I moved to Southern California in 1997 and lived there until 2001. During that time I did 4-5 day trips to DL. One of those day trips was a date with my husband (before we were married). In March 2008 DH and I brought my DD and an honorary grandma on DD’s 1st trip to DL using 5 day park hoppers—she was 5. We went again in March 2010 when DD was 7. That time we did the City Pass which was 3 days at DL, 1 day at Universal Studios, 1 day at Sea World, and 1 day at San Diego Zoo. Then in February 2012 we went to Disney World for the 1st time for all of use (me, DH, and DD 9). We were there for 7 nights at All Star Movies Resort. We wanted to see CARS LAND and decided “what the heck” we are that kind of family—let’s do another Disney trip this year! So well planned this trip for July 2012.

Our Touring Style—
DD and I do not like big rides, I hate roller coasters and anything high off the ground. DH will occasionally do a coaster but doesn’t care enough to go off on his own, he’s more about just having fun as a family. So we never had to plan or attempt any of the mountains or bigger rides and focused more on the family rides and attractions/shows.

I tend to have a plan of things to get done. We don’t do a lot of “wandering”. We tend to walk with purpose. But we will stop to look at something that catches our interest. We are not so regimented that we can’t make changes. Also, this is the 1st trip that we took breaks in the middle of the day


Friday July 6
Travel Day—Drove from Oregon to Kettleman City (I 5 all the way). Stayed at Super 8—not thrilled with this hotel, seemed old and run down, pool was filled with sand




Saturday July 7

Drove from Kettleman City to LA

La Brea Tar Pits—1130-230pm—1st time here, lot of cool things to see, can go on the grounds without a ticket, ticket required for inside

Drove to Anaheim—decided to cancel the reservation we had at motel 6 (which would have cost about $75) and add a night to the reservation at Anaheim Plaza Inn and Suites. Adding one night cost around $170 with tax and fees. The rest of this reservation (6 nights) was paid for with airline miles (around 60,000) + $130 to upgrade to a preferred room. There was also a $4 parking fee per night.

330pm checked in to the Anaheim Plaza Inn Hotel and Suites

Swimming in the pool—very large pool, clean and bright, lounge chairs
and some shade. The pool is one of the best things about this motel.

6pm walked to Downtown Disney
Rainforest Café for Dinner—about 45 min wait
Bought beignets at the Jazz Kitchen Express—DD loved these!
Looked at the big Disney store, Lego store, listened to a street
musician

9pm Bed


Sunday July 8
530am wake up

635am Breakfast at the hotel restaurant--$9.99 each for buffet with kids eating free. Not bad for a hotel breakfast buffet. Included drinks. Walked to Disneyland.

715am In line for CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

735am—thru the turnstyles
DH went to the FP line for RSR—got in line right in front of Carthay
Circle (return time was 945-1045am)
Me and DD went to the rope—we were about 10 people deep from
the front. Someone was doing water art in the front, but we couldn’t
see.

8am—Me and DD to Luigi’s Flying Tires—posted 10 min wait, actual wait around 15 min. By the time we got on the ride, DH was watching from the exit. We enjoyed this ride and if the wait was 15 minutes we’d do it again. It’s a little weird to steer by leaning, but when you get it going it’s fun to kind of glide across the floor. I don’t think we’d want to wait more than 20-25 min for this one though.

820am We all got in line at Mator’s Junkyard Jamboree with a 15 min wait. This was more fun than Luigi’s. After we got off the line had grown to
about 45 min.


840am to 1025am
--Picked up a FP for WOC at Grizzly River Run
--Rode Little Mermaid Ariel’s Underseas Adventure 5 min
wait—enjoyed this ride and will ride again several more times
--Rode The Flying Zephyr 0 wait (even though it’s high up it
was nice and gentle for me—we liked the wind on our faces)
--DD and DH rode Jumping Jellyfish 5 min wait
--DD rode King Triton’s Carousel 2 min wait
--M&G Donald Duck in his red sailor outfit in a gazebo on Paradise Pier—15 min wait
--M&G Duffy the Bear on PP outside of a store—5 min wait
--Also stopped to take pics and look around a little

1025am Got in FP Line for RSR—20 min wait (regular line was around 180min,
single rider was 90 min)
--Rode Radiator Springs Racers—this is my new favorite ride! I was really surprised that DD said she didn’t like it and had her “cry face” on at the end—apparently the ups and downs were hard on her stomach. DD told her the secret is to scream to get that icky feeling out of the stomach—later in the week we get to ride again and she screams and feels much better
Didn’t get my ride photo on this one—had not yet picked up the photopass + card and didn’t want to go back to the ride later in the day to add it

1045am—Flo’s Café for lunch
DH and I shared the pork platter with Coca Cola BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes and cole slaw—really good! DD had mac-n-cheese

1115-1130am
--Bought DD Glow with the Show ears
--picked up a Soarin’ FP
--picked up Photopass+ card

1130am Hopped to DISNEYLAND

1145-1pm Big Thunder Mountain Jamboree
We loved this place. Big area with a stage, shaded by tents,
Newer chairs, very few people.
--M&G Chip and Dale in western gear—2 min wait,
spent 10 min dancing and playing with DD, stole her hat
--coloring with MM for DD—they spent 15-20 min coloring
together and communicating via written notes. This is one of
the highlights of the trip for DD
--Dancing with Minnie Mouse and other kids
--coloring with Mickey Mouse—he stopped for a posed pic
with DD
--M&G with Donald Duck and Goofy
with just a few min wait
--Watched Billie Hill and the Hillbillies—we enjoyed this fun
show, I wished I had my grandpa there, he would have love it
--roping activity with Donald Duck (DD)

After the Jamboree—did the petting zoo for 10 min or so with DD--found very cold water to fill bottles near the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

115-130pm—caught the last ½ of Alice and the Mad Hatter doing musical chairs at Coke Corner. I thought it was at 230pm and had planned to go for DD to participate. She said she liked watching and didn’t want to participate so we didn’t try again.

2-545pm—Back to hotel, pool and rest

615pm Dinner at Mimi’s Café ( I had a birthday coupon, my entrée was free)

715pm Back to CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

--Wine Country Trattoria to pick up AAA lanyards and Mator
pins. Looked in a small building at the CARS Land displays and film
--Hollywood Land
--Looked at Mad T Party for a few minutes
--Monster’s Inc ride 2X (no waits)

8pm WOC—went to wait for the 9pm show. Blue area, we were in the 2nd tier from the bottom at the rail. Decent view, great show!

10pm DD and DH rode SOARIN’ with FP—20 min wait
stopped at a shop and DD bought a stuffed Donald Duck with her money

1030 bed


Monday July 9

730am Arrived at DISNEYLAND GATES
breakfast in line

8am DH went to get FP for Star Tours
Me and DD rode Alice in Wonderland with 0 wait
Used Toontown Morning Madness Tickets (with AAA ticket package) to
enter Toontown an hour early—met up with DH there
--saw the Toontown morning show, everybody got honorary citizen buttons (not sure that this is called)—fun, cute show with the Fab 5
--Gadget’s Go Coaster DH and DD rode 8-10 times with almost no
wait times
--DD played in Chip and Dale’s Treehouse and Donald’s boat
--took some pics around Toontown
--Did not go to Mickey or Minnie’s house—that seemed to be were the lines were
and we’d seen them before
--Rode Roger Rabbit with 5 min wait

935am Lined up for M&G with Merida –about a 35 min wait, DD did coloring while we waited. Good interaction. Really irritating adult tourist was leaning over me by the rope while my daughter was interacting with merida snapping pics—I guess they didn’t want to stand in line, just get pics. It ticked me off to have someone’s camera on my shoulder while I was trying to take pics of my daughter.

10am went to Tomorrowland Terrace to wait for Jedi Training

1030am Jedi Training Academy DD was picked 3rd—she had a green
star wars T shirt and was holding a sign. The taller kids were
fighting Darth Maul on the ground, while the littler kids were on the
stage fighting Darth Vader. DD was taller and was on the ground with
Darth Maul

1120am Bengal BBQ for lunch—good but took really long for the order
Had Dole Whip floats after—was disappointed that the only choice is
pineapple soft serve—at Disney World we had pineapple floats with
vanilla soft serve and there was also orange soft serve. DD doesn’t
like pineapple—we gave hers untouched to someone sitting by us.

12pm Innovations Building

1pm Jungle Cruise 25 min wait—really hot, winding line

130pm M&G with Genie 8 min wait at Aladdin’s Oasis

145pm Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree
more coloring, Minnie, Mickey, relaxing for a bit in the shaded areas
Cowboy Roundup which was fun, DD participated in the dancing

245pm Star Tours with FP—15 min wait

310pm Got a spot near Pixie Hollow (standing against a fence) for the 4pm parade—all the good spots in the shade are already claimed. We are by a tree that is giving us a tiny bit of shade. DD ate a popsicle.

4pm Mickey’s Soundsational Parade
really fun parade, lots of colors, DD enjoyed. Again was irritated and amazed that some man was able to get behind me (mind you there is a fence, and it’s a place were really you can only be one deep because it’s on the parade path) to click pictures with a giant camera basically on my shoulder by my head.

5pm Back to Hotel—swimming and rest
DH walked to get McDonald’s for dinner and brought back to hotel

830pm Bedtime


Tuesday July 10

530am wake up

645am Arrive at DISNEYLAND gates for MM
7am MM—went to rope by Fantasyland

7-8am Magic Morning
1—Peter Pan (10 min wait)
2—Dumbo (5-7 min wait)
3—Mr. Toad’s (5 min)
4—Alice (5 min)
5—Pinocchio’s Daring Journey (no wait)
6—Snow White (no wait)
7—Tea Cups (no wait)
8—Buzz Lightyear (5 min)

8am Picked up FP for Star Tours
M&G Tinker Bell and Vidia (15 min)
Canal Boat ride (15 min)
It’s a Small World (5 min)

Walked to New Orleans Square
Tried to ride Haunted Mansion but it was closed down
Critter Country—rode Winnie the Pooh (2 min wait)
Picked up FP for Indiana Jones

10am Minnie’s Plaza Inn Character Breakfast
We saw: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Fairy Godmother, Rafiki, Chip, Dale, Eeyore, Fox (from Pinnochio), Perla (mouse from Cinderella), Minnie Mouse. Max was there but skipped our table’s section. Breakfast was ok, nothing special, but there were tons of characters—which of course is why we came! Photo of DD on porch—picture package was included because I had photopass +

1130-1215---
We stopped by 1st aid. I had woken that morning with the skin under
one eye swollen about a half inch off my face—DH insisted I stop to
see a nurse, he was worried about the heat. I think I had a clogged
tear duct which caused swelling and then dry skin (due to lack of
blood flow). It cleared up after several days.

Pirates of the Carribean (10 min)—got wet

Indiana Jones with FP—20 min

1215pm Voices of Liberty—we loved this, DD was thrilled and had a picture with one of the ladies. The Abe Lincoln show had some technical difficulty so we couldn’t see that

1245pm M&G Queen of Hearts near the DL entrance
1-5pm Motel for Pool and rest

530pm Dinner in Downtown Disney—Naples (had pizza)
A guy making balloons shaped like Disney characters worked for
tips—we got DD a Rapunzel balloon

7pm Back to DISNEYLAND

Star Tours using FP collected earlier—20 min wait

Autopia using standby line—about 25 min wait—a car broke down in front of us, caused it to take quite a while

830pm Went to the Hub to get a spot for fireworks—it was really crowded, found a spot near the entrance to Frontierland and sat on the ground with everyone else. At 915pm they started announcing delays due to
high winds, at 945pm they cancelled the fireworks

945pm Went to get a spot for Fantasmic 1030pm show
DD and DH sat on ground in one of the sitting sections, my legs
were cramping so I went to stand in the back—got a spot leaning
on a rail near the Café Orleans—not a great view, lots of
obstructions, but way more comfortable for me

11pm Rode Haunted Mansion with 5 min wait
went to Fantasyland—rode Carousel, Pinnochio,
and Casey Jr. Train with no waits

12am—left park, motel for bed


Wednesday July 11

815am Arrived at CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

830am Five and Dime Show at Carthay Circle—DD participated and they put a boa around her neck and danced with her—lots of fun

9am Newsboys show

930am Picked up a FP for Soarin’ (but then forgot to use them)

940-1120am Redwood Trail Challenge—did all the challenges, DD
rode tire swings
M&G with Doug (dog from Up) with 2 min wait
Wilderness Explorer Ceremony at 11am
M&G with Russell (Up)—with a 5 min wait

1130am Ariel’s Grotto Princess Dining for lunch
waited 15-20 min for a table (had ADR)
Picture and M&G with Ariel (got the picture package
included since I had photopass +)
Other princesses we saw at the table: Snow White,
Cinderella, Aurora, Belle
--all the interaction was
fine but rather quick. The food was good

115pm Little Mermaid’s Undersea Adventure (5 min wait)

Muppet Vision 3d (10 min wait)

145pm-310pm Dancing with Disney
DD spent a lot of time with Clarabelle. They alternated between “Ladies of Disney” characters (Clarabelle, Marie, Cinderella’s 2 stepsisters, Lilo, Daisy Duck, Clarice chipmunk) and the Villains (Prince John, Cruella De Ville, Sheriff of Nottingham, Jafar, Captain Hook, Smee, Queen of Hearts, Big Bad Wolf
DD was scared of Villains and didn’t want to dance with them

320pm Aladdin Musical Spectacular
we walked in right at 315 in the preferred seating section—he didn’t take my tickets (from AAA package), said there wasn’t time, just let us in. We
got in the 3rd row center. Love this show—3rd time I’ve seen it, always
new jokes and funny! Still no flying carpet L

420pm Animation Academy (Donald Duck)
The Sorcerer’s Workshop
Turtle Talk with Crush—DD asked the question “have you every found anything in the ocean and you didn’t understand what it was?” Crush brought out a foam hand and DD had to explain what it was, pretty funny show

Bugs Land Rides—Heimlick’s Choo Choo Train (15 min)
Francis Lady Bug Boogie (5 min)

545pm Exited the park

6pm Tony Roma’s for dinner
Then hotel, swim, bed

Thursday July 12

Happy Birthday to Me!

730am Got in line for CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
ate breakfast in line

DH to FP line for RSR (return time 1145am-1245pm)
Me and DD to rope drop—maybe 15-20 deep

8am DD and Me rode Mator’s Junkyard Jamboree with no wait

DD and Me went to ride Toy Story Mania—rode 3 times in a row with 5 min waits each time—after 3rd time the line had grown. DH was supposed to meet us at Toy Story—he wasn’t there yet. DD rode the King Triton’s Carousel 2 X while I watched her and the walkways looking for DH

915am Decided DH got confused and went back to Mator’s—he was sitting there, he’d forgotten step 2 and so stayed at step 1 (I should mention we don’t have cell phones)

Little Mermaid’s Underseas Adventure 5 min wait
It’s Tough to be a Bug show DD and me—10 min wait

1030am hopped to DISNEYLAND

M&G Gepetto (near the front)
Picked up FP for Star Tours

1045 Got in line for Rapunzel M&G (opens at 11am)

1120am M&G Rapunzel & Flynn Ryder --lots of interaction, DD asked about the crown and Flynn pulled it out, he stole her pen too

1145am M&G Brer Bear by Hungry Bear Restaurant. I had gone to the bathroom and had the camera, so DH took video but no pics

Lunch at the Hungry Bear—yummy lemon cupcake

1240pm Hopped back to CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

1250pm Radiator Springs Racers with FP 20 min wait—this time DD liked it too! Got the digital picture added to my photopass + card

Stopped to buy a soda at the Cozy cones Motel in a Cone Cup for DD

115-2pm Dancing with Disney again

2pm hopped back to DISNEYLAND

Star Tours with FP 20 min wait

3pm hotel—pool and rest

6pm Garden Walk for dinner---ate at the Cheesecake Factory

9pm bed


Friday July 13

730am DISNEYLAND
ate in line
rope drop by Fantasyland

8am me and DD Alice 3 times (1X without getting off the ride)
DH went to get FP for Star Tours, met us at Alice
Dumbo
Casey Jr. Train
Toad’s Wild Ride
Buzz Lightyear

910am Me and DD to Toontown—DD rode Gadget’s Go Coaster 8X—DH got FP for Indiana jones and then met up with us in Toontown
DD and DH Roger Rabbit 2X (hardly any wait)

1020am Mark Twain River Boat

11am Golden Horseshoe for lunch
12pm The laughing stock company show

1220pm Raft to Pirates Lair
Pirates Lair

145pm Back to hotel, swim, rest

515pm dinner at Downtown Disney Tortenga Tavern (used $30 b-day
coupon)

630pm DISNEYLAND
Railroad to New Orleans Square
Pirates of the Caribbean
Indiana Jones used FP—20 min wait posted—but ride broke down, took about 45-50 min DD is scared of this ride but rode it for my b- day—I think she liked it this time more than in the past
Tarzan’s Treehouse DH, DD
Star Tours used FP—20 min

8pm Exited park


Saturday July 14

930am checked out of hotel

10am Disney’s Grand California for Storyteller’s Breakfast
Saw--Chip, Dale, Terk, Koda, Kenai, Meeko

Started the drive home





Conclusion—

We had a great trip! It was great to have the extra time to relax back at the hotel and swim. CARS land was really cool—loved RSR. We also loved the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and the Dancing with Disney—neither were overcrowded and were good places to sit and relax while DD played. DD loved the Redwood Trails—1st time we did that one. Also Little Mermaid and WOC were new to us. We enjoyed both. Little Mermaid is like the Finding Nemo ride at Epcott. I really liked WOC—wish they had seating or a better system for the viewing area. I really like having the photopass prepaid. We didn’t get as many pics as we did at Disney World, but still enough it’s worth the money. There were not photopass photographers with all the characters and they seemed to be around more in California Adventure than in DL from what we saw. We like the character meals—no lines to see characters—yeah!
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:11 AM   #2
Velvetia
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I loved your trip report - thanks so much for posting. It covers pretty much exactly what we want to do when we go in October (we're not big on rollercoasters either - but my eldest son has said he wants to ride Space Mountain next time I'll just have to be brave and go on with him I guess!)

You got so much done and met so many characters - I haven't heard much about the Dancing with Disney, but I hope it's still going in October, and that we might have a chance to meet the Ugly Stepsisters! It sounds great, and the Jamboree too.

Were you following a touring plan, or had you just prioritised yourselves (very cleverly!?)

I am so pleased that Flynn Rider is still at the Tangled M&G - he stopped visiting the WDW one just the week before we went last year - and I want to see that smoulder!! hysterical that he stole your daughter's pen.

I'm really pleased to hear that Carsland is do-able, I think we'll copy your plan of action and have one adult line up for FPs whilst the rest of us go for Luigi's or Mater's.

Thanks again - there are so many great tips in your report
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
dlinne
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Velvetia--thanks for your comments. I did not have a strict plan. But I did have plans ideas of how to get things done. I had a list of every attraction we wanted to see. We missed a few but not many. I had times for shows and usually a plan of how we were going to see them, usually with a back up plan in case it didn't work out the 1st time. I ended up not using the back up plan for the fireworks because it turned out we had a partial view from our hotel room--my daughter liked watching them in the bed, so it didn't seem worth it to sit on the ground for an hour waiting :-)

CARS Land was the exception--that I planned out as best I could based on what I had read on the DIS boards. My husband (who is very laid back) was the challenge---i had to impress upon him the importance of quickly getting in that FP line for RSP and then firmly holding his spot (people were trying to jump ahead in large groups--it was a little insane especially on Thur). I chose to go to CARS land on APEE days because I figured the APEE crowds would be less than the EE hotel crowds--and I think that was probably right. Now I hear they are letting hotel guests in early everyday--not sure how that will effect things, but i'd imagine even more people will be there ahead of you.

We did see a lot of characters--this is always a priority with my daughter and I enjoy getting pics of her. I like the character meals because we don't have to wait in lines, but they are pretty expensive.

Dancing with Disney is a lot of fun and a nice air conditioned rest for the adults. The characters don't stop for autographs or pics, but I got some cute candid pics just by having my camera handy.

I don't know if Flynn Ryder is always there but he was a lot of fun.

I hope your family has a great time! It was so fun to be able to have the 6 days and go a little slower than we usually do. My daughter and husband really liked the pool breaks too.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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Wow. Great trip report! Thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed explanation of your family vacation! Glad to see you had a good time
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