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Old 08-22-2012, 06:53 AM   #16
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Sounds like a jammed pack first hour or so at DLR.

And I totally agree with you - every Disney location is different, special and the same as the others in it's own right. Comparisons are inevitable and everyone is entitled to their preferences.

Sounds like you have something to look forward to in June next year.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:19 AM   #17
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Joining in !! If you'll notice MY ticker .. me and my boys are heading to DL ourselves in just 6 weeks ! We are also staying at the Tropicana (couldn't beat the location !). This will be our first trip to DL as well and are pretty excited.
I am SO looking forward to your TR !

Sounds like a great first morning !
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneykiwi View Post
I'm here now.

Looking forward to reading along.
DK - thanks for joining in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Sounds like a jammed pack first hour or so at DLR.

And I totally agree with you - every Disney location is different, special and the same as the others in it's own right. Comparisons are inevitable and everyone is entitled to their preferences.

Sounds like you have something to look forward to in June next year.
It was pretty jammed pack - I ran our DL days similar to our WDW days - very "commando" for the first 2-3 hours or so to hit as many rides as possible while the lines are short, then slow down as the crowds increase. Sort of why I say all the time I don't really ever want to go to Disney with anyone else, we have our touring style that works for us and we are all happy with. (except DD sometimes but she's a cranky-pants!)

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Joining in !! If you'll notice MY ticker .. me and my boys are heading to DL ourselves in just 6 weeks ! We are also staying at the Tropicana (couldn't beat the location !). This will be our first trip to DL as well and are pretty excited.
I am SO looking forward to your TR !

Sounds like a great first morning !
Oh awesome! How long are you staying? We were able to cover most of the parks in the 3 days we were there, but admit i would've preferred 4.

We thought the Tropicana was just fine. I decent little pool/hot tub area, the staff was friendly and the rooms nice and clean, and agree you can't beat the location! As you'll see, we actually returned to the room twice the first day and back to the park - and likewise the 2nd and 3rd days we went back to the room, it's so convenient versus WDW! (Unless I suppose to can afford a monorail/Epcot resort). The rooms sizes were probably on par with WDW moderates, if you've ever stayed in any of them.

The one negative I would give it -the "continental breakfast" was pretty pathetic. Really just small convenience store danish and cereal. We didn't eat there, except grabbed a couple of apples to eat in the parks - and they were downright AWFUL...ended up throwing them out. We ending up going next door to McDonalds to get breakfast instead.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post





Oh awesome! How long are you staying? We were able to cover most of the parks in the 3 days we were there, but admit i would've preferred 4.

We thought the Tropicana was just fine. I decent little pool/hot tub area, the staff was friendly and the rooms nice and clean, and agree you can't beat the location! As you'll see, we actually returned to the room twice the first day and back to the park - and likewise the 2nd and 3rd days we went back to the room, it's so convenient versus WDW! (Unless I suppose to can afford a monorail/Epcot resort). The rooms sizes were probably on par with WDW moderates, if you've ever stayed in any of them.

The one negative I would give it -the "continental breakfast" was pretty pathetic. Really just small convenience store danish and cereal. We didn't eat there, except grabbed a couple of apples to eat in the parks - and they were downright AWFUL...ended up throwing them out. We ending up going next door to McDonalds to get breakfast instead. [/COLOR][/SIZE]
We're staying 4 days. Two days for each park. This way we can go back and re-do our favorite rides.
We are looking forward to being able to go back to the hotel during the afternoon, especially since we are doing the Halloween party our 3rd night there. Plus my guys love to swim, so hopefully it will still be warm enough the first week of October (I have NO clue about CA weather ! )

I've heard the same thing about the Tropicana .. clean, decent, but nothing spectacular. Breakfast is such a non-issue with us, it's usually cereal for us, but if the kids happen to be particularly hungry in the morning, we'll hop on over to McD's or somewhere to get a better breakfast.
We usually do a good size lunch and then a quick bite for dinner.
I had booked a hotel that was much further away, but when I called back to change our dates the TA recommended this hotel instead because of the location. I had NO idea there were hotels SO close to the actual parks. I was very psyched when I figured it out though. Definitely will be a change from the WDW experience.
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Moodyzblu View Post
We're staying 4 days. Two days for each park. This way we can go back and re-do our favorite rides.
We are looking forward to being able to go back to the hotel during the afternoon, especially since we are doing the Halloween party our 3rd night there. Plus my guys love to swim, so hopefully it will still be warm enough the first week of October (I have NO clue about CA weather ! )
The pool was not heated, so IDK if it will be warm enough for swimming, probably being a Northerner it will be fine for the kids, but maybe cool for adults. They also have a nice-size hot tub, though. Four days should be plenty to cover 90% of the stuff in the parks.

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I've heard the same thing about the Tropicana .. clean, decent, but nothing spectacular.

I had booked a hotel that was much further away, but when I called back to change our dates the TA recommended this hotel instead because of the location. I had NO idea there were hotels SO close to the actual parks. I was very psyched when I figured it out though. Definitely will be a change from the WDW experience.
Realistic walk to front entrances is about 5-7 minutes. DTD was what really surprised me. Being in the main plaza in front of the two parks, it was literally 15 seconds to DTD, or at least to the WoD end of it. It extends pretty far though.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:24 AM   #21
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Just catching up-miss a few days and lots to catch up on! So glad to see the TR starting and good to know you had a good time over here. Your park touring style is like ours-hit em hard and fast then slow down after the crowds build and take in other stuff. You sound like my DH though-he gets tired travelling too long and wants to go home-I push Europe trips out past 5 weeks and he gets cranky-4 is in his comfort zone- but from Aus it seems so far to go without making the most of it. Looking forward to reading along!
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:37 PM   #22
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Hey Skier Pete, great trip report so far! Im enjoying all the great commentary and pictures. Can't wait to read more!!!
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:30 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Realistic walk to front entrances is about 5-7 minutes. DTD was what really surprised me. Being in the main plaza in front of the two parks, it was literally 15 seconds to DTD, or at least to the WoD end of it. It extends pretty far though.
That's actually what I love about DLR compared to WDW. I felt like I spent most of my time at WDW on buses or ferries, and not enough time in the parks
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:47 PM   #24
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Just catching up-miss a few days and lots to catch up on! So glad to see the TR starting and good to know you had a good time over here. Your park touring style is like ours-hit em hard and fast then slow down after the crowds build and take in other stuff. You sound like my DH though-he gets tired travelling too long and wants to go home-I push Europe trips out past 5 weeks and he gets cranky-4 is in his comfort zone- but from Aus it seems so far to go without making the most of it. Looking forward to reading along!
Actually, I was doing the best of the bunch. I could've probably gone a little bit longer. DD was ready to go home after 2 weeks, and DW after about 2.5.
Four was plenty though - I missed some things about home by then.

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Hey Skier Pete, great trip report so far! Im enjoying all the great commentary and pictures. Can't wait to read more!!!
Thanks, I'm going to try and update at least twice a week if I can, I am also putting together a photo book and a picture DVD, so my free time is being split up somewhat. (I write the TRs during free time at home, then usually post during lunch break at work if I can.) Stay tuned for some updates right after this.

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That's actually what I love about DLR compared to WDW. I felt like I spent most of my time at WDW on buses or ferries, and not enough time in the parks
While I am going to hold off on declaring which place I prefer, I will admit that IS a very appealing part of DLR. That is why we generally don't hop at WDW...transferring between the parks just eats too much time.
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The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

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Old 08-27-2012, 12:54 PM   #25
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Day 2 - Subs and Toon town

DD was really chomping at the bit to find Nemo, so after checking with a nearby CM and finding out it was open, we went back to Tomorrowland. (What exactly does Finding Nemo have to do with Tomorrowland, anyways?)


The early parts of this ride brought me right back to my childhood. Looking out that little porthole and seeing the bubbles go by as we dived reminded me of how amazed I was at 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.


However, once the ride got “inside” it more or less turned into “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” as seen through a small, inconveniently placed porthole. It was still an awesome experience and a highlight for all of us. DD even wanted to get right back in line, even though the line had gotten longer. However, we said “NO” must keep seeing new things!!!! (We did re-ride on day 3.)
By now, it was getting awful late, it was already like 10 AM! So, we stopped for a sunscreen application and I speed-walked across the park to get Indiana Jones fast-passes. Next up heading over to ToonTown. I was kind of excited to see this as it was supposed to be such a more fully realized "land" that WDWs, but in reality it was actually very lame.



Very neat outer theming, but when you would go into things, there'd be practically nothing there. We checked out Goofy’s house, and Donald’s boat first and basically these were just walk-throughs with nothing there. DD started back in with her winning ways of not wanting to do anything by refusing to ride the Gadget Coaster, though no big loss to the two of us. She did want to see Chip and Dale’s tree house, which other than a narrow stairway was a whole lot of nothing.

We then went into Minnie’s house and explored a bit. Some of our favorite gags:




There was also a cake in the oven. When you turned the knob, the cake rose and appeared to bake, and then collapsed in disaster! Quite amusing.
We then wanted to go into Mickey’s house. Mickey was standing right inside the doorway, and there was absolutely NO line to see him! Of course, DD again refused to go inside. (ARGH!) I really don’t get her, she gets worse every trip with what she’ll do. I had told her we would not make her see any characters, but Mickey’s her favorite, and it really disappointed me that she wouldn’t see him.
Anyways, a few more shots around the main fountain:


We stopped for a banana break, and sat and watched a hummingbird flit around a flowering tree. I then made DD ride the Roger Rabbit ride. Big fan of the Roger Rabbit movie, and the ride was OK. It’s of course unfortunate that they could only use the Roger Rabbit-created characters (well, that and the weasels – which are from “The Wind and the Willows” and also show up in the Mr. Toad ride). It was pleasant but not that great. There’s no equivalent at Disney World, and honestly that’s just fine. In fact, I found Toon Town in general to be a bit of a letdown and made me feel like I won't miss WDWs ever lamer Toon Town in favor of Storybook Circus.

To be continued...
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:01 PM   #26
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Day 2 - It's a Small World

Next we headed out of Toontown and made It’s a Small World our next stop.



We really liked how it loaded outside, and the whole clock mechanism, which while being repeated at WDW, is much more intricate and clever here. This ride is a family favorite in which all of us really like it (DW and DD slightly more than me, as they never tire of it).


We actually really enjoyed the addition of the Disney Characters within the ride. I know there’s some debate over this, but for the most part it doesn’t feel overly intrusive to the feel of the ride and kept well within the Mary Blair style.
Alice and the White Rabbit:

Cinderella, Gus, and Jack:

One of my favorites, the cuckoo clocks (hey, isn't there one missing?):

Travel to India:

Mulan and Mushu:

Simba and Pumba (where's Timon?):

The three Caballeros:

The one exception I would claim to the addition is them putting Ariel in the ride. The dolls are supposed to represent the Children of the World, and you can argue that Aladdin and Jasmine, Cinderella, or Mulan characters can be represented as such. However, Ariel is a mermaid, and as such has no place on IaSW:

However, I AM OK with Marlin and Dory showing up, so go figure. (Actually – easy to figure – not fictional creatures, real fish.)

Slightly turned off by Stich being here, but again done in such a way as not obtrusive.

One of the goals of the trip is to see a real live Platypus in the wild. Does this count?
(Footnote: You better get used to blurry pictures of Platypuses now, as that's gonna be a reoccuring theme on this trip.)

As we call them – The “huly-huly girls”. (A reference to the animated British TV show Charlie & Lola)

There’s only 2 North American characters in the WDW version, but at least three here, Jessie, Woody, and Bullseye. I especially like the “Bullseye” gag.


Overall, I gotta give a slight edge to this one versus MKs, more for the outdoor queue area than anything else. (It's also funny how it is set off kind of on it's own, away from the rest of Fantasyland.)

That's all for today...more to come of course!
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October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:05 PM   #27
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IASW is one of the rides I am really looking forward to. It's always been a favorite of my boys and so I am anxious to see how they like this one.
Toon Town was never a favorite of ours in WDW, in fact the only time we went there was during MNSSHP. So no big disappointment here.
We are also looking forward to riding the Submarine ride.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:24 AM   #28
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Oh.....THERE's Perry. You finally found him!
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:26 PM   #29
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IASW is one of the rides I am really looking forward to. It's always been a favorite of my boys and so I am anxious to see how they like this one.
Toon Town was never a favorite of ours in WDW, in fact the only time we went there was during MNSSHP. So no big disappointment here.
We are also looking forward to riding the Submarine ride.
Oh, don't get me wrong, the subs were awesome to ride, if just for nostaglia's sake, but really its a kids ride, and any kid would absolutely love it. The funny thing is, 3 weeks later we rode the real thing on the real Great Barrier Reef! No, Dory though.

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Oh.....THERE's Perry. You finally found him!
Ah...you remember my original plan to make the search for Perry my TR title, however, I just got such a kick out of "I choose to be amused" that I had to use that. Fear not, though - the search for Perry will continue!
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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:31 PM   #30
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Day 2 - More Fantasy and Adventure! With Boats!

After IaSW, we were starting to get rather hot. DD wanted a little break. She had bought a Mickey PDA in Toontown and wanted to play with it. (Turned out to be a total piece of crap – the first one worked for a day, I got a replacement, and that one never worked at all!) Anyways, I swung over to BTMRR for FPs, and at the same time got a frozen lemonade and a pretzel for us to share. We then returned to Fantasyland, which was showing much larger crowds. We decided to catch a couple of the less popular attractions…specifically the Storybook Canal Boats.

The ride was an outdoor ride that started out entering through the mouth of Monstro the Whale, and toured many sets of miniatures of various Disney stories. I found this particularly interesting having just read Walt Disney’s biography, and how for a period of time in the ‘50s he had become obsessed with Miniatures and was originally planning a large area of Disneyland to be miniature, but couldn’t get around how it would accommodate guests. Apparently this was what was remained of the concept, which has changed miniatures over the years. Agrabah!

Is this Cinderella's House? Not sure

That's Cinderella's castle, only slightly shorter than the Sleeping Beauty castle! I know this because of the pumpkin on the road up to the castle.

The boats are steered by live CMs, and they told sort of punny jokes that made this seem almost like a fantasyland version of the Jungle Cruise. Truthfully I sort of liked this ride. Not that we needed to ride it more than once, but it definitely had its charms.

However, after we rode it, we then went on the Casey Jr. train ride. This train rides on a higher path over the same route as the miniatures in the Canal Boats. In addition, many of the cars, including the one we were on, are like animal cages. While it was a cute homage to Dumbo, it felt totally unnecessary with the canal boats being there.

Speaking of Jungle Cruise, that was what was up next on our list of attractions. We waded through the crowds and got over to JC pretty quickly after a potty break. The line was actually pretty short, less than a ten minute wait, and we were sailing on Jungle adventure. The DL version, while different than WDW, is quite similar and really mostly the order of the scenes is different. The jokes are much the same though:
"How do you know that's an African Elephant. Right...cause we're in Africa!"


Did you know the skipper trained him? SPEAK! Now – SPRAY THE BOAT!


Next up the African Savannah!


Oh look, those lions are watching over a sleeping zebra! Kids, you all know that lions babysit zebras all the time right?


I’ll let you fill in the joke for this one….


After JC – we used our Indiana Jones FP. Now, I have to give some backstory here – DD is obviously a bit of a fraidy-cat. But she has been VERY excited at the idea that there was an Indiana Jones ride, as she loves the Indiana Jones stunt show. Now, I had heard that it wasn’t as dark and scary as Dinosaur, but similar in ride configuration. I had never heard anything about specifics of the ride, but had heard it wasn’t that scary. However, as we started walking through the FP queue, DD was already starting to show signs of wanting to bolt. The creepy music and dark foreboding areas were sort of getting to her. I was pretty proud that she didn’t ask to leave, I think she was just real excited about it being Indiana Jones. Well, we got to the ride vehicles, and she wanted to sit in the middle. It turned out whoever had said it “wasn’t as dark and scary as Dinosaur” was only right by a matter of a few degrees. To our DD, this ride was pretty much a terror. She really just kept her eyes closed for the whole ride. Truth is, I honestly didn’t get to enjoy it much myself as I was too concerned about her. I remember there was a lot of stuff with a giant snake and collapsing bridge, and I think I really would have loved it had I been able to focus on it. (I can’t stand Dinosaur BTW – I think that ride is just “really dark, really dark – slow down – Dinosaur jumps at you from the right” and repeat that 5 times, very boring in my opinion.)

So, we got off Indiana Jones and DD said, “I am NOT going to ride THAT again!”
__________________

1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR

Last edited by skier_pete; 08-29-2012 at 02:37 PM.
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