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Old 03-30-2014, 11:25 AM   #1
seagodess
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Oregon
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I'm baaaaack....

Hi everybody! I’m back from my trip to the happiest place on earth. I thought I would share some of my experiences and thoughts on my most recent visit. There were a total of 9 of us. 4 adults, 1 teen, 3 kids aged 9-6 and a 10 month old. We had 3 day PH’s, 1 day Universal Studios and Medieval times. DH, DS and I were there 2 years ago. SIL’s kids had never been and SIL & BIL hadn’t been since they were kids.

Disneyland/ CA
As most of you know, DL is awesome. We had a great day at the parks. Our first day was Sunday and I had every intention of getting there for rope drop for the first time. However due to the other part of my party being slow and unorganized, we did not make it. We showed up about a half hour after the park opened. Thank you to whoever gave the tip about line 14, it was very short and we made it through the gates very quickly. We went to see a couple characters in town square while SIL took her DS to City hall to get a DAS card. We started off with Tomorrow land and did almost all of it between the time we go there and early afternoon. We went to Innovations because DS really wanted to meet Thor and Captain America. In the whole 30-45 minutes we were in line, it moved MAYBE 3-4 people. We ended up leaving the line to go eat. We never did make it back over there and DS was very disappointed. We did a few more rides and watched Mickeys Soundsational Parade before heading back to the hotel for a nap. We came back later to ride some more rides and watch F!.

Tuesday was our next day in the parks. We went to CA for rope drop. I didn’t want to deal with trying to figure out the wide right thing since I don’t know CA at all, so I decided to jump in line for FP for RSR. Holy cow, that line went all the way back into bugs land. Not only was it all the way back there, but it was in sort of an S shape so it was even longer then it looked. I got out of line after about 15 minutes when I found out nephews DAS card would work in CA. I kept forgetting to look for the FP machine for WOC. I knew it was near GRR, but I only saw ones for what I thought were just for GRR. So one time we were over there DH asked 2 CM’s standing there and they said they were out. DH chatted for a minute about it and they asked if we had ever seen it and when we said no, they asked how many people were in our party and pulled some FP’s for the Blue zone out of their pockets. I thought that was really nice. Over all I think they did a really great job on CA. When we were there 2 years ago they were building Carsland and doing the whole referb, so it was just a bunch of walls and there was hardly anything there. I can finally say I agree with people when they say CA is a full day park.

Thursday was our last park day. We used our MM that day and went right to Fantasy land to do most of that. We spent most of the day doing stuff we hadn’t done yet and just relaxing a little without rushing things. This was the only day we did any hopping. We started in DL, took a break, came back to CA, and then hopped back over to DL in the evening for the fireworks.

Food
Our first day in town we did dinner at Goofys Kitchen. This was our first time here. The character interaction was great. We saw Goofy of course, Pluto, Minnie, Chip and Alice. Aladdin was there too, but he never got around to our area. Alice was awesome. I think talking characters add a lot to the experience. I never realized it until then, but actually being able to talk to her and have her ask questions was really great. I have been to a lot of buffet places, so I knew it wouldn’t be the best of the best food. However the food was awful. The pizza was soggy. The turkey from the carving station tasted like it would have been good if it was fresh, but it tasted like it was hours old. The deserts were good, so we filled up on those.

We went to Pizza Planet on our first day in the park due to us being right next to it when we decided we were hungry. Let me just start by saying I am not a picky pizza eater. I enjoy $1 tostino’s frozen pizzas. This pizza though was absolutely horrible. Nobody in our party liked it. We chocked some of it down just because we were hungry and spent so much money on it.

The corn dogs from the red wagon were awesome as usual.

Rainforest Café is a must do for us. The food was great. And as always we got the Volcano.

DH got himself a turkey sandwich from the Jolly Holiday Bakery one night. DS and I were not hungry but he got us a cookie, muffin and hot chocolates. Wow, they are good. Everything was really good. I was not hungry at all, but I kept finding myself eating DH’s sandwich. He also got a drink called Practically Perfect punch. Yummmmy!

DAS
Due to our nephews disability, SIL was able to get him a DAS card. The people at city hall even said they would put everyone on our party on it. I read that there was a limit of 6-7 people, so I wasn’t expecting that. However it was great. It was a lot easier to use then we expected and helped out a ton.

Child Swap
Due to SIL having a baby that couldn’t go on a lot of the rides, we often got a child swap pass. I read on here that you had to take the baby to the CM at the end of the queue and they would give you one. However whenever we asked for one, they always told us to ask for one when we got to the front of the line. That is how it worked on almost all of the rides. We forgot to ask one of the times for Screamin, so when we got to the front we asked and got an eye roll from the CM and a snotty “next time you have to ask for it when you first get in line”. Wow, well excuse us for doing it the same way we have been told on all the other rides.

Rides/Shows
I went on Space Mt for the first time… Wow, LOVE that ride. Its one of my new favorites. BTMRR opened a few days before we got there and we were very excited about that one. It is way better. It is much smoother. We found the same to go for Matterhorn. Granted it has been 9 years since we went on it, but we remember it being much rougher and jerky. Its not as bad as it used to be.

RSR… We were REALLY looking forward to this one. After hearing all about it and seeing the hype and then the crazy FP line, I thought it had to be one of the best rides ever. We finally got our chance. I wasn’t expecting the start of going through the town and seeing all the characters, but it was a nice start to the ride. We finally get to the race part, zoom….and then bam, its done. What? That’s it? Most of the ride is spent going through the town and not on the actual race. Needless to say, we were disappointed. It was a fun ride while it lasted and all, but I expected there to be more of the racing part.

We watched WOC for the first time and really liked it. I think they did a really good job with the lights and water effects.

We also watched the Remember the Dreams fireworks for the first time. They were pretty. Although not as great as I was expecting. The castle, lights and music really made the show extra special, but the actual fireworks were not as great as I had thought they would be. Other than the ones shaped like stars and hearts, they are the same type of fireworks I see every 4th of July.

Magic Morning
Maybe it was because it was spring break, or maybe because Tomorrow land and Fantasy land are the only thing open, but I didn’t notice a difference in crowds for MM. Almost all of the rides had pretty long lines. Main st wasn’t that bad, but once you walk through the castle, it was like it was the middle of the day. A couple rides had short lines, so we did those between the rides we put on the DAS card. So it helped on time a little.

Photo Pass +
I have not uploaded my photo’s yet, so I cant do a full review on this. From what I was reading, I expected a lot more photographers. I read that they were with characters and stationed throughout the parks. The only characters I found them with were at their houses in TT. I also only found 3 photographers stationed in DL its self. One just as you walk in the gates by the Mickey head of flowers, one on main st facing the castle (and this one I only saw once) and one right in front of the castle. I found a few more in CA. One with Donald near the Pier, one on the pier facing Mickeys Fun Wheel, one by the carsland sign and one in carsland.

Other stuff
We stayed at the Sheraton Garden Grove hotel. It was a very nice hotel. Beds were amazing. The pool is nothing to write home about, but we didn’t have much time to spend in it anyway. They also have the option to opt out of room service and for each day you do you get a $5 voucher for their restaurant. We did that most of the time, and ended up with enough to get breakfast for almost nothing.

We used the Super Shuttle and it was great. We only had to wait a couple minutes at the Airport and they had it filled within 5 minutes of driving, so it wasn’t long before we were on our way to the hotel. Much faster than the Disneyland Resort Express. They also picked us up on time on departure day.

We flew Virgin America for the first time on this trip. They were great. The best prices I found, which was the first selling point for us. Then they have very comfortable leather seats and free onboard tv.

We also did Universal Studios and Medieval times. We are all huge Medieval times fans and that was great. Universal was fun too. Jurassic park ride is one of our favorite rides from the whole trip. However I couldn’t go on a lot of the rides because most of them were 3D and I get really bad motion sickness.
__________________
ME DH DS

March 2005- 1st DL trip. My Honey Moon
May 2012- DS's 1st DL trip and 5th Birthday- Trip Report (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2934231)
March 2014- Trip report (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3256794)

Last edited by seagodess; 03-30-2014 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:43 AM   #2
Carolynleanne
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 417

Quote:
Originally Posted by seagodess View Post
Hi everybody! I’m back from my trip to the happiest place on earth. I thought I would share some of my experiences and thoughts on my most recent visit. There were a total of 9 of us. 4 adults, 1 teen, 3 kids aged 9-6 and a 10 month old. We had 3 day PH’s, 1 day Universal Studios and Medieval times. DH, DS and I were there 2 years ago. SIL’s kids had never been and SIL & BIL hadn’t been since they were kids.

Disneyland/ CA
As most of you know, DL is awesome. We had a great day at the parks. Our first day was Sunday and I had every intention of getting there for rope drop for the first time. However due to the other part of my party being slow and unorganized, we did not make it. We showed up about a half hour after the park opened. Thank you to whoever gave the tip about line 14, it was very short and we made it through the gates very quickly. We went to see a couple characters in town square while SIL took her DS to City hall to get a DAS card. We started off with Tomorrow land and did almost all of it between the time we go there and early afternoon. We went to Innovations because DS really wanted to meet Thor and Captain America. In the whole 30-45 minutes we were in line, it moved MAYBE 3-4 people. We ended up leaving the line to go eat. We never did make it back over there and DS was very disappointed. We did a few more rides and watched Mickeys Soundsational Parade before heading back to the hotel for a nap. We came back later to ride some more rides and watch F!.

Tuesday was our next day in the parks. We went to CA for rope drop. I didn’t want to deal with trying to figure out the wide right thing since I don’t know CA at all, so I decided to jump in line for FP for RSR. Holy cow, that line went all the way back into bugs land. Not only was it all the way back there, but it was in sort of an S shape so it was even longer then it looked. I got out of line after about 15 minutes when I found out nephews DAS card would work in CA. I kept forgetting to look for the FP machine for WOC. I knew it was near GRR, but I only saw ones for what I thought were just for GRR. So one time we were over there DH asked 2 CM’s standing there and they said they were out. DH chatted for a minute about it and they asked if we had ever seen it and when we said no, they asked how many people were in our party and pulled some FP’s for the Blue zone out of their pockets. I thought that was really nice. Over all I think they did a really great job on CA. When we were there 2 years ago they were building Carsland and doing the whole referb, so it was just a bunch of walls and there was hardly anything there. I can finally say I agree with people when they say CA is a full day park.

Thursday was our last park day. We used our MM that day and went right to Fantasy land to do most of that. We spent most of the day doing stuff we hadn’t done yet and just relaxing a little without rushing things. This was the only day we did any hopping. We started in DL, took a break, came back to CA, and then hopped back over to DL in the evening for the fireworks.

Food
Our first day in town we did dinner at Goofys Kitchen. This was our first time here. The character interaction was great. We saw Goofy of course, Pluto, Minnie, Chip and Alice. Aladdin was there too, but he never got around to our area. Alice was awesome. I think talking characters add a lot to the experience. I never realized it until then, but actually being able to talk to her and have her ask questions was really great. I have been to a lot of buffet places, so I knew it wouldn’t be the best of the best food. However the food was awful. The pizza was soggy. The turkey from the carving station tasted like it would have been good if it was fresh, but it tasted like it was hours old. The deserts were good, so we filled up on those.

We went to Pizza Planet on our first day in the park due to us being right next to it when we decided we were hungry. Let me just start by saying I am not a picky pizza eater. I enjoy $1 tostino’s frozen pizzas. This pizza though was absolutely horrible. Nobody in our party liked it. We chocked some of it down just because we were hungry and spent so much money on it.

The corn dogs from the red wagon were awesome as usual.

Rainforest Café is a must do for us. The food was great. And as always we got the Volcano.

DH got himself a turkey sandwich from the Jolly Holiday Bakery one night. DS and I were not hungry but he got us a cookie, muffin and hot chocolates. Wow, they are good. Everything was really good. I was not hungry at all, but I kept finding myself eating DH’s sandwich. He also got a drink called Practically Perfect punch. Yummmmy!

DAS
Due to our nephews disability, SIL was able to get him a DAS card. The people at city hall even said they would put everyone on our party on it. I read that there was a limit of 6-7 people, so I wasn’t expecting that. However it was great. It was a lot easier to use then we expected and helped out a ton.

Child Swap
Due to SIL having a baby that couldn’t go on a lot of the rides, we often got a child swap pass. I read on here that you had to take the baby to the CM at the end of the queue and they would give you one. However whenever we asked for one, they always told us to ask for one when we got to the front of the line. That is how it worked on almost all of the rides. We forgot to ask one of the times for Screamin, so when we got to the front we asked and got an eye roll from the CM and a snotty “next time you have to ask for it when you first get in line”. Wow, well excuse us for doing it the same way we have been told on all the other rides.

Rides/Shows
I went on Space Mt for the first time… Wow, LOVE that ride. Its one of my new favorites. BTMRR opened a few days before we got there and we were very excited about that one. It is way better. It is much smoother. We found the same to go for Matterhorn. Granted it has been 9 years since we went on it, but we remember it being much rougher and jerky. Its not as bad as it used to be.

RSR… We were REALLY looking forward to this one. After hearing all about it and seeing the hype and then the crazy FP line, I thought it had to be one of the best rides ever. We finally got our chance. I wasn’t expecting the start of going through the town and seeing all the characters, but it was a nice start to the ride. We finally get to the race part, zoom….and then bam, its done. What? That’s it? Most of the ride is spent going through the town and not on the actual race. Needless to say, we were disappointed. It was a fun ride while it lasted and all, but I expected there to be more of the racing part.

We watched WOC for the first time and really liked it. I think they did a really good job with the lights and water effects.

We also watched the Remember the Dreams fireworks for the first time. They were pretty. Although not as great as I was expecting. The castle, lights and music really made the show extra special, but the actual fireworks were not as great as I had thought they would be. Other than the ones shaped like stars and hearts, they are the same type of fireworks I see every 4th of July.

Magic Morning
Maybe it was because it was spring break, or maybe because Tomorrow land and Fantasy land are the only thing open, but I didn’t notice a difference in crowds for MM. Almost all of the rides had pretty long lines. Main st wasn’t that bad, but once you walk through the castle, it was like it was the middle of the day. A couple rides had short lines, so we did those between the rides we put on the DAS card. So it helped on time a little.

Photo Pass +
I have not uploaded my photo’s yet, so I cant do a full review on this. From what I was reading, I expected a lot more photographers. I read that they were with characters and stationed throughout the parks. The only characters I found them with were at their houses in TT. I also only found 3 photographers stationed in DL its self. One just as you walk in the gates by the Mickey head of flowers, one on main st facing the castle (and this one I only saw once) and one right in front of the castle. I found a few more in CA. One with Donald near the Pier, one on the pier facing Mickeys Fun Wheel, one by the carsland sign and one in carsland.

Other stuff
We stayed at the Sheraton Garden Grove hotel. It was a very nice hotel. Beds were amazing. The pool is nothing to write home about, but we didn’t have much time to spend in it anyway. They also have the option to opt out of room service and for each day you do you get a $5 voucher for their restaurant. We did that most of the time, and ended up with enough to get breakfast for almost nothing.

We used the Super Shuttle and it was great. We only had to wait a couple minutes at the Airport and they had it filled within 5 minutes of driving, so it wasn’t long before we were on our way to the hotel. Much faster than the Disneyland Resort Express. They also picked us up on time on departure day.

We flew Virgin America for the first time on this trip. They were great. The best prices I found, which was the first selling point for us. Then they have very comfortable leather seats and free onboard tv.

We also did Universal Studios and Medieval times. We are all huge Medieval times fans and that was great. Universal was fun too. Jurassic park ride is one of our favorite rides from the whole trip. However I couldn’t go on a lot of the rides because most of them were 3D and I get really bad motion sickness.
We had that child swap problem once too. It seems like it works different on certain rides or depends on the cast member you get. But yeah, we got a snotty look once at Soarin and when we explained that the previous cast member had told us the opposite he rolled his eyes and gave it to us
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:15 PM   #3
lucysmom
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When we went for Christmas 2012, the Photopass photographers were everywhere! We got tons of great pictures. Then, in 2013, there was a definite reduction in photographer availability. It was really disappointing. Well, since you were there for spring break, you would think there would be more photographers due to the holiday crowds. But I guess not.

I don't think I will get Photopass+ for our trip this year. It seems that DLR has cut down on the photographers. I'm not sure I got my money's worth last year. Even when we did find a photographer, there were long lines. Also, each photographer took 8-10 shots each time in the same spot. There wasn't a very good variety.

I am glad the rest of your trip worked out. It is a shame that some CMs were not friendly about the baby swap. Everyone is human, but when a CM is less than hospitable, it can really make a guest uncomfortable.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:55 AM   #4
seagodess
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Posts: 786

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucysmom View Post
When we went for Christmas 2012, the Photopass photographers were everywhere! We got tons of great pictures. Then, in 2013, there was a definite reduction in photographer availability. It was really disappointing. Well, since you were there for spring break, you would think there would be more photographers due to the holiday crowds. But I guess not.

I don't think I will get Photopass+ for our trip this year. It seems that DLR has cut down on the photographers. I'm not sure I got my money's worth last year. Even when we did find a photographer, there were long lines. Also, each photographer took 8-10 shots each time in the same spot. There wasn't a very good variety.

I am glad the rest of your trip worked out. It is a shame that some CMs were not friendly about the baby swap. Everyone is human, but when a CM is less than hospitable, it can really make a guest uncomfortable.
Surprisingly, there was never a line for the photographers. Sometimes there was one person getting their pictures taken, but that was it. I agree, I probably wont get it next time. Most of them had us do the same poses and took 2-3 pictures. I can just hand them my camera and get the same shots for free.
__________________
ME DH DS

March 2005- 1st DL trip. My Honey Moon
May 2012- DS's 1st DL trip and 5th Birthday- Trip Report (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2934231)
March 2014- Trip report (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3256794)
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