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Old 09-20-2012, 02:03 AM   #1
Donald D Duck
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Highs and lows 16 - 19 Sep

Morning all. We are freshly back from four days staying at sequoia lodge so thought I'd share some thoughts. You'll have to bear in mind this is our first dlrp trip since June 2008. We came away from that trip pretty disappointed which ultimately meant we booked more or less straight away to go back to wdw the following year. Those trips however were just my wife and I, we now had a very nearly 2 year old in tow...

Highs

Manhattan restaurant, we went there to take advantage of the 25% shareholder discount for September and really enjoyed it. The guy playing the piano came over and talked to us because DD was watching him and he played isn't she lovely for her. Good food too, I had the L bone steak, delicious!

Sequoia lodge, lovely hotel, some issues which if you were being picky could have been disastrous but these things happen.

Characters, we had the best interactions. We started with Pluto in the hotel and then did meet mickey mouse in the park, DD was in love by then. We mostly did hotel meets including a couple at Disneyland hotel after eating breakfast there. I would really really recommend if you have kids who want to meet characters then pay for brekkie there (to avoid any guilt!) and spend a morning there. The time and attention you get as well as the organised queue was brilliant.

Daisy duck, ok another character, but DD was telling every character that we met that we were going to meet Daisy after, and I was worried we wouldn't find her. Luckily last day we watched the 20th anniversary train and just as I w explaining how daisy was very busy and might not stop, the train stopped and she got off. I ran with DD to a small but modest crowd. I wasn't going to resort to pushing but was also bring firm with our place. Telling DD loud enough that we had to wait for the other boys and girls who were there first etc, so hopefully daisy knew we were there and luckily she did turn and wave DD over. There are scrubs but to be fair daisy was shoeing other randoms away. I can tell you I felt like I had won the jackpot getting those photos and autograph in the book.

Weather was dry and mostly warm if not fresh first thing

Crowds were good except Sunday which scared us a little

We were debating using a locker at the train station for luggage when leaving having heard stories of massive queues but decided to stick with Disney express mainly because of our time in the morning. Glad we did as the desk was empty when we picked up the cases.

Salon mickey, only made it in on the last day. A lovely little treat first thing, but wow is it small! And she forgot to validate our park tickets so i had to ask nicely for a FP at big thunder mountain.

Smoking, not really a high as such but it was nowhere near as bad as I remembered. Perhaps because I was a lot more prepared for it this time than last.

Lows - none of these were bad enough to ruin things for us

Access pass, we saw a thread about this the day before we went and copied the form from the doctor you use for work which they accepted no problem. Except the pass is for you and one other person which with 3 of us rendered it useless. Now we never wanted to abuse it, but especially on the first day when small world had a 60 min queue we thought we would use it, but no. I had to sit on the side. As I say not a problem but it seemed strange. Later that same day when not planning to use I but just happened to be holding the green guide book they give you the CM at phantom manor said we could all use it.

One CM , on the flying carpets of all things the CM told my wife while sitting on the ride she could not ride because she was pregnant. I rode it with DD but she cried the whole way round. Don't get me wrong I know there are some rides that would be unsafe, but on day 1 when getting the pass etc, they were saying about pirates and even with that they would recommend strongly you don't ride it but wouldn't stop you.

Minor hotel problems, when we arrived we spent 5 mins in the room before we lost all power, but it was back on when we returned from dinner, but....

When we got back the room key wasn't working. I ran off to reception but there was a huge queue and one person behind the desk. I asked at the concierge to see if she could help but no, bearing in mind it was 10pm and DD, and DW, we're more or less desperate to get in the room to bed. Luckily a maintenance man let them in. As it turned out we seemed to have a very temperamental swipe card or reader, I wonder now if the cat got partially demagnetised?

Adventureland, I just find there is very little on offer here, except pirates which I did with DD, big mistake. She was fine on phantom manor but DW was there then. I think it was more people screaming when you do the drop which scared her. She got after it soon after when I got the camera out and showed her pictures of her with Donald at the DLH that morning

I'm sure there were more highs I'm not quite remembering this morning but overall an excellent time. Having left the last time thoroughly disappointed this time I can't wait to go back.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:04 AM   #2
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Welcome back. So pleased that your perceptions of DLP have been turned around and you had a fantastic experience.

Really pleased to hear about all these increased character opportunities as we are going ourselves next week - staying at the SL too.

I do feel for you with regard to the inflexibility of the access pass. A little flexibility here would have gone a long way! If an under three gets in to the park and eats for free then I don't see why they have to count as a "person" accompanying your pregnant wife.

Glad it was such a great experience overall and best wishes to your wife for the remainder of her pregnancy. Now you can start planning for your next trip as a family of four!
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:48 AM   #3
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Welcome back, pleased you enjoyed your trip this time
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:40 AM   #4
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Welcome back glad you had a great time.

I always seem to de-activate hotel room keys - although I miserably failed to do it with our Newport Bay one this summer!
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:07 AM   #5
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hi sounds like you had mostly highs. Glad to hear lots of character interaction.
Sorry to hear that you couldnt all use the access pass. When I got mine last october, there was 2 adults & my 2 year old & we had no problems using it for 3 of us. The CM at city hall asked at the time how many there were of us & put 3 on the top of card. Guess it depends what CM you get.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:06 AM   #6
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Nice to hear you enjoyed your visit this time and want to go back

The meet with Daisy sounds great - we've still never managed it, and that's after years of trying

Thanks for posting
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:10 PM   #7
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Welcome Back!

Wow! Sounds like a great trip! !

We too are hoping to meet Daisy on our next trip - scrum central on the last 3

I wonder if they will do another shareholder offer for November...?!!
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:05 PM   #8
cherrymarzipan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald D Duck View Post
Manhattan restaurant, we went there to take advantage of the 25% shareholder discount for September and really enjoyed it.
I'd forgotten about this and we love the Manhattan restaurant. Is the extra discount automatic when showing the shareholder's card or do we need to do anything special? Is the 25% only for the Manhattan? We go a week today and for the first time ever I seem to be planning our meals in advance!
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrymarzipan

I'd forgotten about this and we love the Manhattan restaurant. Is the extra discount automatic when showing the shareholder's card or do we need to do anything special? Is the 25% only for the Manhattan? We go a week today and for the first time ever I seem to be planning our meals in advance!
The email we got said you must have reservations but I think it was automatic, I handed over the card when asking for the bill and it came back with25% taken off. I did have a copy of the email on standby just in case!
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mummy Minnie
hi sounds like you had mostly highs. Glad to hear lots of character interaction.
Sorry to hear that you couldnt all use the access pass. When I got mine last october, there was 2 adults & my 2 year old & we had no problems using it for 3 of us. The CM at city hall asked at the time how many there were of us & put 3 on the top of card. Guess it depends what CM you get.
It wasn't too much of an issue just frustrating on day one because we thought there was obviously some mistake so had criss crossed the park trying to sort it out. I think it might depend on what card you are given? It seems the orange ones were already per stamped for one additional person but sometimes they will give a green family access card?

By day two most queues were so short anyway it didn't matter and those that did have bigger queues DW wasn't going on anyway. We did try it a couple of time, once on the studio tram where we were all allowed on and at meet mickey mouse. We were speaking with an English cm while waiting to meet pooh and she said we should have used the card there but also said it really depends on the cm.

We did have a great CM at Peter pan. He said no problem with the card but really advised DW against riding due to being pregnant, but he did say I could go through the FP queue with DD anyway.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mum to Belle

We too are hoping to meet Daisy on our next trip - scrum central on the last 3
I did say to DW that I was surprised Daisy wasn't about more. I know once upon a time she was a more minor character but she is pretty central on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (if you watch it )

Surely she is more popular than some that we saw like gepetto
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:04 PM   #12
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Glad you had a great trip .

The restaurant sounded a nightmare though!!

Great character interaction - we missed this during our June trip but I have been filled with hope that it might be better on our Nov/Dec trip as lots of people are coming back saying about characters about!

My DD2 was desperate to meet Daisy Duck in June - we were lucky that we had booked quite a few character meals (that was the main way we saw characters in June due to distinct lack of them in the park!). We had booked Cowboy Cookout and she is often there. So we saw her there, she didn't disappoint - she was lovely with my girls .
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:26 AM   #13
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Glad you found Daisy Duck

I love Adventureland! There may not be many actual rides but it's wonderful to explore.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:58 AM   #14
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Welcome back! Sounds like you had a lovely trip
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:32 AM   #15
Mum to Belle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald D Duck View Post
I did say to DW that I was surprised Daisy wasn't about more. I know once upon a time she was a more minor character but she is pretty central on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (if you watch it )
I may have watched it once or twice....
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