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Old 02-06-2013, 10:25 AM   #1
Elk Grove Chris
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Last Minute Trip-Feb 16-17

Hey,

Last minute combo trip, leaving next Friday.

Visiting a few campuses for my daughter next Friday in L.A. and Long Beach. She has been accepted to 2 of the 3 we are visiting, but not her first choice yet! Of course she will fall in love with that school when we visit.

Friday we fly up early from SAC to SNA. Tours start at 10, we should be back to Anaheim around 5-6. First time staying at Fairfield Inn (usually stay at Park Vue, never had issues with bugs, but getting a bit noisy last two trips).

We plan to have dinner at DTD, not sure where yet. We always do Ralph Brennan's first, might try something different this time. After dinner I will probably sneak into the park since I have an AP. Just got a new camera and want to take it out for a spin.

Saturday my DW and DS will drive down to Legoland. My DD and I will hit DL.

Sunday me and my DS will hit DL, my DW and DD will go shopping for a prom dress at the fashion district.

Monday we fly back home around 11. Tapping my feet under my desk as I write this.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:00 PM   #2
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Priceline came through-full size rental car $23/day at Budget.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
Elk Grove Chris
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Just got back from the land after a quick combo trip. Pretty much a last minute trip. My daughter is graduating this year and had applied at several colleges, a few were down south. She had been accepted to all the schools she applied for, except for her first pick. We toured all the ones up north, time to head south.

Our plan was to check out the other schools and her first choice since they were relatively close to one another, sort of. Two were in L.A, one in Santa Barbara (not so close-and soon off the radar), and her college of choice, because of her preferred major, was in Long Beach.

So we thought we would tour the two in L.A. and hit the one in Long Beach, then spend a day or two at DL. Two days before we were to leave, she heard she was accepted at Long Beach, so our last minute plans changed again last minute.

We spent the better part of Friday on campus, we pretty much walked the whole place. Pretty spread out campus, surprised to see more skating to class than biking. We liked what we saw and what we heard from everyone we talked to, she was definitely sold. A little scary for her mother and I, 400 miles away from our baby girl. Guess we will have to come visit her quite often, pretty sweet that DL is only 20 miles away from the campus. I foresee a lot of combo trips in the future.

New plan for the rest of the weekend, my Son and I hit DL on Saturday while the ladies shop for prom dresses. We switch on Sunday, my Daughter and I hit DL while my Son and Wife hit Legoland.

We left the campus around 3, headed to Anaheim. We checked into the Fairfield Inn. Nice place, walls a bit thin though, we were next to the pool and heard everything going on below. First time staying here, walk to DL was pretty short, a few hotels down from the main cross walk.

We headed to DTD for dinner around 6:15, hit the Uva Bar. DTD was packed, we were going to eat at Catal but the wait was like 90 minutes at 6:30. Food was great as was the service. We checked out a few of the stores, spent a lot of time in the gallery. Since we had been up since 4, we were all spent. We headed back to the room to catch some z’s.

Saturday-Feb. 16

Saturday morning my Son and I headed for DL. No free breakfast at the hotel, but McD’s is right next door, pretty nice. Grabbed some breakfast and headed out. Ladies were sleeping in, headed to the L.A. fashion district around 10.

We hit security around 7:20. Not too bad at the gates, most were headed for CA. Gates opened around 7:40, quite a few people just shuffling in for MM. They held us for rope drop at the Hub, not sure how they were checking those that had MM, I guess hotel key or at least a 3 day hopper. We decided to get a FP for Star Tours then go to Space.

We got onto Space after about 10 minutes in line. Since IJA was being refurbed on our last trip we wanted to check it out. Off to Adventureland, waited about 15 minutes to get on the ride. Looked like most everything was working, we only went through the central doors the whole weekend though.



We did Pirates next, basically walked right onto our boat. Noticed the hat guy had a few more hats than last trip.









Haunted mansion was next for us, about a ten minute wait. Grabbed some FPs for IJA after we got off around 9:30, return time at 3.







Got a text from my Wife as we headed over to CA, as they were trying on dresses, a car ran into the shop they were in. Fortunately everyone was ok, I guess the driver thought they were in drive and not reverse.

They were in the changing area and just heard a huge crash of glass. The shop owner offered to give them a dress for half off for the scare, which was nice of her since she was going to be out of commission for a few days with clean up. Sadly, my Daughter didn’t see anything she liked in that store.

So we headed to Carsland to see what the wait was for the SRL for RSR. Wait was over 60 minutes according to the CM’s, people lined up all the way to the sign. We opted out and headed over to Paradise Pier.



Cool backpacks all over the place.



We grabbed a FP for Screamin and got in the standby line, short wait, maybe 10 minutes. My Son is really loving this ride now.



It was getting a bit warm, I think it hit 85 today. It wasn’t exactly freezing up north, but we were used to a high of 50 for the last couple of weeks. So we were hot. We ducked into Animation Studio to cool off and because it really is a cool place to check out.

My Son getting a low five.





Strolled back to Screamin to use our FPs, waited for the front. Ride broke down as it was our turn to get on. No luck on getting the FPs back, everyone must exit, doh.

My Son was craving some gumbo so we headed back to DL around 1.



Grabbed some gumbo from the Royal Street Veranda, all 4 of their tables being used.

Grabbed some brick behind the stage of the French Market. Nice to have some tunes with our meal. DL was pretty packed at this time.

We got on the train at NOS to take it to Tommorowland. Train stopped for a few minutes along the way, I guess the train in front of us hadn’t cleared Toontown yet.



We got off and headed to get some FPs for Space, ooh, return time of 9:30. We bit the bullet and got in the standby line, pretty accurate, 50 minutes to get on the ride.

We did Buzz next, about a 20 minute wait. So as soon as we go on and almost made it to the first turn, the ride stopped. Guns still worked, so I racked up 50,000 points before it got started again, yeah, gonna win this round. Eh, no. Somehow my Son still wiped me out by 90,000 at the end, pretty good for a 12 year old.

We headed to Frontierland. Spent some time at the shooting gallery , it was about a draw there, but he would tell you that he won hands down. We probably spent about 30 minutes in the shop next door just checking out all of the different pins, picked up a few for the Ladies and my Mom.

Decided to take a breather and watch the parade. We grabbed a spot, hoping the shade would make it to us soon. Needed the umbrella near the bench behind us about 4 feet taller. Eventually we got some shade around 20 minutes before the parade.

Chatted with a nice couple from Canada next to us. They had been in the parks since last Friday, 5 days in all. They loved how empty the parks were on the weekdays, but didn’t get to see the fireworks. Unfortunately the fireworks were cancelled yesterday (Friday) because of high winds. As we are talking, this very nice CM walks over and recognizes them from last night. I know it is frowned upon to use CM’s names, but she deserves recognition. Her name is unusual, spelled exactly like the front of a ship.

She chatted with their little girl for about 5 minutes and she heard this was their last night. She had to attend to her duties, but returned a short while later with some pins and stickers for the two kids and let the parents know that she had a spot for them in the VIP section for the fireworks. Way cool.

Another CM chatted with us for a bit and gave us some Celebrating buttons as we told him about the college plans. Another one came by and sang the short but cute birthday song to a little girl on our other side. CM’s rock!

Crowd was getting a bit restless and they clapped at everyone walking down MS like they were the start of the parade. Pretty cool, high school band from L.A. started off the festivities.



Parade was awesome as usual.

I like how the camera caught the dress and everything else was slightly out of focus in this shot.







We lingered a bit in some of the shops and got a seat for the Flag Retreat Ceremony. During the ceremony, as the veterans and the various branches of the military were being honored, one of the veterans thanked Ernie for his service in the military and for his service at DL. It was pretty cool since he had just received the Legacy Award, well deserved.





Hit CA real quick to see if we could catch a little of the golden hour, just a little.





We headed back to the room to meet up with the Ladies. They were pooped from shopping all day and gave us a first-hand account of the crash.

We headed to DTD around 6:30, man was it packed. Wall to wall people. Since this was a last minute trip we didn’t make any reservations anywhere, we were paying for it now. Every place we checked had a 90-120 minute wait.

Lone exception was the Jazz Kitchen Express, it was only about a 30 minute or so wait in line. We had to stalk a table though, and then grab some chairs once they became available. Food was good, highly recommend their beef po’ boy.

After we ate we checked out some more shops. I asked my Son if he wanted to go back into the parks, but he was done at 9. Truth be told, so was I. On our usual trips we take afternoon breaks, missed that today. Gave away our remaining FP set to a young couple as we left, at first they were stunned, then said thank you.

Got back to the room as the fireworks were going off, knew that a few Canadians were having a good time, gave me a smile.

About 11, some kid is screaming bloody murder, hour straight. Could not tell where it was coming from exactly, but loud enough to hear. Several other people shouting to tell them to keep it down, so I never called the front desk. I assume the only reason he stopped was that someone from the hotel finally went to the room after an hour. Very thin walls indeed.

Last edited by Elk Grove Chris; 02-21-2013 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:52 AM   #4
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Such great pictures, thanks for sharing ! Sorry about the hotel screamer.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
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LOVE your pictures!
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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Thanks for sharing. Great pictures!
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:15 PM   #7
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Chris,

Great start to your trip report! My daughter is also off to college this fall. Oh my it hurts everytime I think about it. Congrats on the new camera! What lens are you shooting with primarily? Did you buy the body only? Loving the first set of photos you released. Did you say on some of them that your ISO was set higher than normal?
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:39 PM   #8
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Thanks for sharing your great trip report! And tell your daughter congrats on the college admissions
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:33 PM   #9
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Nice shots! Thanks for sharing them. And congrats to your daughter! My oldest went off to college 3 1/2 years ago, and I still miss her being around on a daily basis. At least those Disney visits will help numb the pain.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:43 PM   #10
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Great pics! We were there last week, but left on Saturday. Crowds were so much better on Wed/Thur vs Friday. I can only imagine it got worse on Saturday.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:33 AM   #12
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Thanks Cal-Pie, Hjgaus, Julydeya, KCMike, DisneytheKid, Butterfly123, CMpeter, Linda67

KCMike-Yes, I bought the body only. Most of time I have a 24-105MM L4 lens on, dark rides I am using a 1.4 50MM. I experimented with ISOs above what I had used on the 40D, which topped out on high at 3200. I used an ISO setting of 4000, 5000, 6400, and 12,800 on the dark rides. Overwhelmingly, anything above 4000 showed quite a bit of noise even though I had the high noise reduction setting on-which took away some sharpness too. I would say 1 in 5 of the photos above 4000 ISO were acceptable for me. Almost every shot at 3200 or below I think came out pretty good.

Will need to buy me some more memory cards, even thought the camera says 18MB, raw images register at 21MB a pop.


Sunday-Feb. 17

Headed out to DL around 7:30, my Daughter and I decided to wait until later to get something to eat.

The OZ Balloon was in the Esplanade, pretty cool.



Lines were not that bad at CA, we got through pretty quick. We got into the RSR FP line around 7:45, surprisingly near the Carthay Theater.





Once the line started moving, it took us less than 15 minutes to get our FPs, return time of 10:30.

We ambled over to Carsland to get into the SRL for RSR. Only about 10 people in front of us near the umbrella, oh, ride was temporarily down.



After about a 20 minute wait, the ride was up and running again.





We walked back through Carsland to get to the Tower of Terror. We grabbed some FPs and had a short wait in line to get on the ride, maybe 10 minutes.





This is the only ride that gets me a little anxious, have to wipe my hands once in a while so I don’t drop my camera. There was a little girl in line, maybe 4, and I thought ok here we go some parent dragging her little kid on this big ride. She loved it the whole time and they got back in line again. In fact it was more like she was dragging her dad onto the ride.

Headed over to the Wharf to get some eats, big lines, we moved on.

We made our way over to Paradise Pier to check out Screamin. Grabbed a FP, still disconnected. Good thing my Wife wasn’t here as we had churros for breakfast, hmmm. Short wait to get on, maybe 10 minutes.



Walked around the long way to Goofy Sky School, we both got on pretty quick in the SRL.





Headed over to LM, my Daughter noticed a grad hat on someone and chatted her up on where she got it, se wanted to wear one when she walked in May. No wait at the Little Mermaid, walked right onto the ride. My 17 year old daughter was singing the whole time on the ride.





Walked back over and got back on Screamin with our FP, I think the return time was less than an hour from when we got them. Wait for TSMM was consistently at 50 minutes, we decided to pass on it this trip.

Made our way back over to Carsland to use our FPs, took about 15 minutes to go through the line. As the FP line merged with the standby line a little kid in front of us got denied. His dad arguing pretty vehemently that he was tall enough outside the line and they just waited almost two hours to get on. You would think that the two sticks they use to measure should be the same.



On our way over to DL we used our FP for TOT. Hit DL around 11:30, crowds didn’t look too bad yet. We stopped and got the grad hat.

Went in the store next door to get her name put on it. A plaid CM walks in with a family to get around the line for Donald Duck, short Brittish looking guy. It wasn’t Rod Stewart, too short, but man he looked familiar. Any other celebrities seen on Sunday? We lucked out and the CM put the hat in the machine and it was done pretty quickly.



We walked over to Adventureland to get a FP for IJA, return time was at 4 already. Walked past Pirates, long line, made our way to HM. It was about a 15 minute wait to get on.





Line hadn’t died down much; we decided to do Pirates, line extended half way back to HM-30 minute wait.





We were getting a little hungry around 1:30, decided on Stagecoach Café. We shared some chicken nuggets and a corn dog and some sad French fries. I always forget to ask for fresh fries here, and they are always bad.

My Daughter wanted to head over to Fantasyland to stalk Flynn, no luck, only Princesses out. Rode Peter Pan after a 45 minute wait. Fantasyland was pretty packed. We thought about Matterhorn, decided the wait wasn’t worth it since it really wacked my back last time anyways.

We checked out a few shops on MS then headed over to the Frontierland shops.
We took in the Laughing Stock a little after 3:30. Love to see the different reactions of people getting roped into the show.



Hit the bathroom and headed over to IJA to use our FPs.



CMs were really making a point to tell everyone that return times would be enforced tomorrow.



We headed back over to CA, it was getting a bit congested in DL. Wait times not that terrible, just too many people milling about in the small walkways.

We grabbed a FP for Screamin again, return time was pretty quick. We got in the regular line, about a 25 minute wait.





Just as we got off, the ride broke down. We could see one of the coasters stopped on the last drop right before the picture zone. Hung out nearby for a while to see what would happen and to people watch. Ride was operational again after about 15 minutes. After a short wait we used our FPs and got on again.



We headed over to Carsland to get a couple of the Cone Cups for my 4 year old Nephew. We exited through the GCH to check on a table for dinner later. We stopped at Napoli’s to inquire about putting our name in for later, they said to come back later it should only be a 30 minute wait. We grabbed some kettle corn and headed back to the room.

Legoland had closed at 5 and my Wife and Son were already in the room when we got there around 6:15. We all freshened up a bit and headed out for DTD around 6:45. Checked into Napoli’s, hour wait. Fortunately they send you a text when your table is about ready, so we checked out some shops.

Food was good, service great, had an interesting view of the tram at the back of the restaurant. Checked out a few more stores, stopped at Marcelines to grab a few more goodies for our friends. Everyone was pooped, even my Daughter the night owl. We gave away our FPs for SM to dad and his young son, they were happy.

We had a good time, prefer a longer trip so we can relax more, but good time nonetheless. Probably be back in August or maybe Thanksgiving depending on how my Daughter’s schedule falls out.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:44 AM   #13
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Those HM pictures are great! Well I liked all your pictures! and your daughter´s hat
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:14 PM   #14
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Chris you got some classic shots there. Love the Tiki's with the trees in the background especially.

Do I see a little roll of the eyes from your daughter just behind the sunglasses? It wasn't a "not another shot Dad" moment was it?
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:54 PM   #15
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Yep, nice catch.
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