"Let's Choose a Swinging Car, It Doesn't Look Bad" First-Time DLR TR July 2012

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by WeatherbySwann, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

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    I can hardly wait to visit DL and CA soon! I love your style of taking in all the best attractions and yet still enjoying relaxing times like on Buena Vista Street. Did your grandparents enjoy the World of Color? How do you think this show compares to Fantasmic? Also does DL have Fantasmic still? (I'm sorry for all of the questions!)
     
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  3. WeatherbySwann

    WeatherbySwann Cacaw rawr

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    Thank you! I like to plan to not have a plan, if that makes sense... planning to have time to just explore without an agenda, but knowing the general area you'll be in.

    My grandparents loved World of Color, but they liked Fantasmic a lot more. That's one of their favorite things at WDW too, so that's probably why. Disneyland does have Fantasmic still, on Tom Sawyer Island. I enjoy both shows so much but if I had to choose a favorite, probably Fantasmic. They're just so different in their styles, one being all water and the other being mostly characters. Another instance about the dividing history line----Fantasmic is classic Disney up until early '90s with Beauty and the Beast, World of Color is classic Disney from the '90s through today. Both are so quintessentially Disney.
     
  4. heathsf

    heathsf DIS Veteran

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    I am so enjoying your TR! I've been to WDW 9 times and I'm going to DL for the first time in March, and this TR is exactly the information I've been looking for! Thank you for sharing!
     
  5. WeatherbySwann

    WeatherbySwann Cacaw rawr

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    Thanks! That was almost exactly me haha. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
     
  6. WeatherbySwann

    WeatherbySwann Cacaw rawr

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    Part 7: Step In Time
    Day 4
    Ronald Reagan Library


    Road trip! We rented a car and headed to Simi Valley to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library to see D23's Treasures of the Disney Archives exhibit. It's running there through April 30, 2013. This was a relatively last-minute plan. About a week before the trip, I realized we had an entire extra "chill" day scheduled just for Downtown Disney and exploring around DLR but without going to any Parks. I was struggling to come up with good ideas to fill this day with, so eventually decided to scrap it altogether and introduce the Reagan Library as an idea. My grandparents were very receptive to the new plan, and so we shuffled a few days around and ended up scheduling the Reagan visit for day 4.

    Earlier in the trip, we stopped by the Alamo car rental place in Downtown Disney, but ended up finding a better rate from a car rental service from a nearby hotel on Harbor Blvd. (I think it was Camelot, but I'm not entirely sure.)

    In any case, we headed off listening to our new Cars Land CD (great product!). The trip maybe took 2 and a half hours. I guess I never noticed it on the bus ride to DLR because I was so excited, but on this car ride I really paid attention to the California freeways.... and, well... they're disgusting. No green grass, litter everywhere, and overall just a very unpleasant look. Not quite the same as the roads back home!

    But the unsightly ride juxtaposed the contrast wonderfully for Simi Valley. The place is beautiful. Clean, aesthetically pleasing, and mountains everywhere.

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    We arrived to the Reagan Library around maybe 11:30-12. The main, permanent museum plays as a walkthrough biography of President Ronald Reagan, which I found to be far more fascinating than expected and spent a lot more time looking through than I thought I would. Artifacts, videos, messages, photographs, and artwork tell the story of Reagan's life before getting to board the actual Air Force One, the presidential private plane that was used through Clinton's tenure.

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    The tour includes a recreation of the Oval Office as it was when Reagan was president.​

    After Air Force One, we stopped to have lunch at the in-house restaurant. I think I got pizza or something.

    Then it's on to some more historical stuff (which looked great, but I skipped for time's sake because I was fearful of running out of time before the 5:00 closing), and then finally the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives!

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    Presented by D23, this is the largest public showcase the Disney Archives has ever done. Its presentation is very, very akin to Walt Disney: One Man's Dream over at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida, though here the artifacts hold greater historical significance and are in much greater abundance. (Truth be told, you'll see much more here than you will on the quick trip to the real Archives on Adventures by Disney's Los Angeles tour.)

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    The exhibit touches every major area of the Disney legacy, from Walt's early beginnings all the way to Tron, and everything in between, with something that is sure to fascinate every member of the family. My favorite had to be the jar of dirt from Pirates of the Caribbean. Given the location, history aficionados are kept in mind with a whole room devoted to the film National Treasure and another dedicated to The Walt Disney Company's many ties to United States presidents, both of which probably wouldn't be featured if the exhibit were showcased somewhere else.

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    It's important to keep in mind that even though this is indeed the largest collection that the Walt Disney Archives has ever put up for public appreciation, the exhibit is not a full-fledged museum itself like the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. We covered it all in about an hour when taking it all in slowly and going back to my favorite parts twice. By comparison, we spent about two hours looking at the Ronald Reagan things. Some elements are just lightly touched on when thinking about what could have been particularly animation after Walt Disney's lifetime, but we must be thankful for what is present rather than griping about what isn't, because truthfully what is here is nothing short of stellar. The Maleficent head from Fantasmic? The original book copy of Mary Poppins that Walt used as reference when making the film? This stuff is awesome.

    To get a scope of the magnitude of seeing these treasures in person, take a look at the pencil drawing below that Herb Ryman drew in one weekend; it was the first, initial plan for what Disneyland would look like. I had seen this drawing many times before on the Internet and in various books and documentaries, so I barely glanced at it when strolling through the Archives exhibit. That was, until a museum employee saw me taking pictures of other artifacts and pointed my attention to the Ryman artwork. "Now this is something that you want to take a picture of," he suggested, before recalling the story of the drawing. That's when it really hit me--yes, I had seen this sketch many times before, but this was the real deal, the original artwork, with the fine pencil detail visible in a way that just isn't clearly seen in copies. That was when I took a minute and realized how special a lot of the pieces on display were (and are). I may have seen some of them before, but to get a chance to see the actual real McCoys and not reproductions or pictures was incredible.

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    After having our fill of the awesomeness of the exhibits, we soaked in the view outside for a while before heading back to the car. However, since we were so close, we couldn't pass up a trip to the Pacific Ocean on the way back to Anaheim...

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    For it to be July, that water was COLD! It was so windy that we literally pulled up to the beach, got out of the car, ran to the water, stuck our feet in, and ran back to the car just to say we had stuck our feet in the Pacific Ocean.

    Anyone making a trip out to Disneyland between now and April 30 should definitely set aside a day for an excursion to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Including the somewhat roundabout trip to the coast (read: we got lost), the entire day took about ten hours (you can subtract about two to three hours from that if you cut the visit to the ocean). Plan on spending about three to four hours at Reagan. Pricing is very reasonable, with the highest ticket being the $21 adult ticket (plus there's a discount for D23 members and their families).

    It might be a little out of the way, but it is so worth it. From the looks on visitors' faces and the positive impression I got from employees for how the exhibit seemed to be pleasing guests, I hope that the Archives will consider other opportunities like this in the future, because this one is excellent. When one visitor was peering at a pirate ship vehicle from Peter Pan's Flight, a museum employee remarked, "Brings back a lot of memories, doesn't it?," to which the visitor struck up a whole conversation that I had the pleasure of overhearing about how Peter Pan's Flight was her favorite ride as a child, and so on. There are true personal connections a lot of people have with these treasures, and the opportunity to see such iconic pieces of Disney history up close and personal, especially considering they have never been offered in such vast capacity before, is a real treat.

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  7. lsulindy

    lsulindy DIS Veteran

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    Taking our first DL trip next year, and I'm loving your insights and writing!
     
  8. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for sharing your trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library! I haven't made a trip to DL yet since moving here and want to go see the Disney artifacts at the museum.
     
  9. WeatherbySwann

    WeatherbySwann Cacaw rawr

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    Part 8: Jolly Holiday
    Day 5
    Adventures by Disney: Lights, Camera, Magic


    I was really looking forward to this day. It was our Adventures by Disney tour day, and all three of us were really excited. I will preface the report of our ABD experience with these two notes:

    1.) This particular ABD tour is being discontinued as of January 18. It was first introduced in late 2011 and I suppose Disney has decided it's not worth the effort. We initially had to reschedule our tour date because Disney called and said we were the only party signed up for the day, so my guess is that not enough people know about the Lights, Camera, Magic experience.

    2.) That is a real shame, because it exceeded our expectations tremendously. Excellent service (one of the best showings of the Disney Difference I have ever seen), a full day (around 11 hours), unprecedented access, entertaining, insightful, and jam-packed. At $200 per person, it's also a bargain for what you get (especially considering transportation, lunch, and snacks are included). And there is absolutely no hassle involved, which we certainly appreciated after getting lost en route to the Reagan Library. For the Disneyland Guest who also wants to include Hollywood in their vacation itinerary, this tour is perfect. If more people knew about it, I'm sure it would be sold out every day it was offered. In fact, we were originally planning on coming back to Hollywood for another day on our own, but decided we had seen so much on this tour that we scrapped the extra HW day and added another Disney day to our Park Hoppers.


    Anyway.... this trip report will include all spoilers and surprises for this ABD tour, so if you happen to be taking it between now and January 18, don't read any further! It is also said to be a condensed, one-day version of the multi-day Backstage Magic ABD tour (which is not discontinuing), so same if you're taking that adventure. Know that you will have a wonderful time, but don't spoil all the fun for yourself. :)

    The day started with check-in at the Grand Californian at 8 a.m. We met our Adventure Guide, Robin, and she told us that things would officially get underway at 8:30, but in the meantime we could enjoy complimentary goodies in a nearby lounge. SCORE. One thing you will realize very quickly about this tour (and I would assume all Adventures by Disney excursions) is that they spoil you, so take advantage of what they offer! It's all-inclusive! I think I got hot chocolate or something, and after that we strolled around the GC for a bit.

    8:30 arrived and it was time to get things started. Robin introduced us to our Assistant Adventure Guide, Natalia, and our bus (excuse me, motor coach) driver, Don. All three of them were wonderful. The ride to Hollywood was pure Disney. Games and trivia with everyone onboard, Hollywood videos on the TVs, and Disney background music playing (!) when nothing else was going on. We ended up at the back of the pack and thus at the back of the bus, which was still fine, but I felt a bit distanced from everything during the trivia and such. I'd suggest being intentional about where you position yourself for an ABD experience.

    On the way into town, my nerddom was about through the roof as we started to pass landmarks and altogether just very exciting "things."

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    Excitement was through the roof for everyone as we officially arrived in Hollywood and found out our first stop would be viewing the Hollywood sign! :cool1: The bus dropped us off right near the Dolby Theater (formerly the Kodak Theater), where the Oscars are held each year. It was no more than a few steps from the parking deck where we arrived for our Hollywood sign photo-ops. I was expecting a bit closer, but the opportunity was awesome regardless. It's the Hollywood sign!

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    The only bad part was that our camera is really good at focusing... which ordinarily is great, but in this case, we later saw that in all the pictures with us in front of the Hollywood sign (rather than just the sign itself)... you can't even tell that the sign is there. Oh, well.

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    We headed out into the thick of Hollywood next. As I said, we were near the Dolby Theater. Also very close by in this area is the El Capitan Theater and Grauman's Chinese Theater, with the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars all around on the ground.

    Next up, the trip's first Disney surprise. There is a station on Hollywood Blvd. that offers families the chance to pose with a blank "star" (as in, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame), and when the picture is printed out, your family's name appears on the star. Robin announced that we would all be getting these complimentary. Very cool!

    For the next 10 minutes or so after the picture, we were able to roam the area as we pleased. That wasn't too much time considering there is so much going on in the area. I tried to take pictures of as many neat things as I could find!

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    I know this opinion isn't across-the-board, but I was a little surprised to see that the Harry Potter handprints were right next to Twilight... as limited space as there is in front of the Chinese Theater, I didn't expect to see Twilight included in the first place to be honest. I know it has been a really popular series, but... has it really made the same impact that Harry Potter has? I just don't think it has left its mark on Hollywood enough to (pun alert!) cement its actors forever in front of the Chinese Theater with the likes of Shirley Temple and Edgar Bergen. That was just a bit puzzling to me. Also sort of weird to put it right next to Harry Potter.

    Anyway. A quick 10 minutes later, we met back up with Robin and headed into a private tour of the Dolby Theater! ::yes:: Robin turned it over to an employee at the theater (I can't remember his name), who was extremely knowledgeable and shared loads of great info about the theater itself, as well as all the preparations that go on to prepare for the Academy Awards. No pictures were allowed inside the theater itself, but we did get to go inside! It is a lot more vertical that the cameras make it out to be. The guide shared a ton of fun stories about his years working the Oscars. One of the ones I found funny---commercial breaks are a mad rush of people running around and everything has to be just in place by the time the break is over. No seat is left empty, either. If someone in the audience has to leave (like to present, perform, or use the restroom), there are people whose sole job for the night is to be a "seat filler" and take up the seats for people who temporarily get up! :laughing:

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    We probably spent a good 45 minutes inside Dolby listening to the guide's info. Afterward, Robin explained that usually there is more time to roam around Hollywood Blvd, but we had gone a little over inside Dolby so we needed to get on the motor coach without another set of free time. We crossed the street and made our way to behind the El Capitan Theater to board the motor coach. I hope that the extra roaming time is allotted for this side of the street, because there is a lot that was missed, and some pretty fascinating info that the Adventure Guides did not talk about. I think Robin briefly said that the El Capitan is owned by Disney, but didn't mention that almost every Disney film has its premiere here, or that the finale of The Muppets was filmed on the very ground we were walking and that the El Capitan's exterior (but not interior) stood in for the Muppet Theater in that movie. I would think that that stuff is relevant for a Disney-run tour, but it wasn't even mentioned.

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    Also since the El Capitan is Disney-owned there are a ton (and by a ton, I mean... a ton) of Disney-themed stars on the Walk of Fame just in front of the theater, but not a one of them was pointed out by the Adventure Guides. I about had a freak out every time I spotted a new one, and tried to snap quick pictures of each one while also keeping up with the brisk pace of the group. It was like "Aaskdjflajdf Tim Allen's star!" then "IOuoirag Alan Menken," followed by the excitement of "IGuroajgjoifsjfkl John Lasseter," "Tildjioajrga Tinker Bell," "Igjaofigjrfj Donald Duck," "Piaorghituahgs Winnie the Pooh," "IHrioahgorigijs Disneyland," "AKjvhioahgireh Annette Funicello," and finally "AWGOIRAJGIORJSIOAEJG THE MUPPETS!" Muppets was the only one I managed to get a decent picture of (some of the other pics are either blurry or have feet in them lol).

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    The lack of sharing that info didn't take away anything from people who didn't know about them, but I would think Disney fans taking this Disney-themed tour would be interested in learning about the El Capitan and seeing the Disney stars on the Walk of Fame, so I'm surprised nothing was mentioned.

    We drove through the heart of Hollywood to get to the world-famous Farmer's Market. I'm not sure what makes it so renowned, but apparently it is. It was on this ride that we really got to see that Hollywood is not really all glitz and glamour, and most of it is actually quite run down and touristy. There are well-kept places for sure (particularly those of historical significance), and the studios and filmmaking facilities are of course state-of-the-art of top-notch, but as for the city itself, it's sort of :crazy2: I was glad we were with a group and had an itinerary and not just roaming by ourselves without a clue of what we were doing.

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    And speaking of that, it was at the Farmer's Market that my grandparents and I came to the conclusion that, even if we did come back to Hollywood on our own a few days later, there really wouldn't be that much more to see. I wanted to take a picture outside of Jim Henson Studios and it would be nice to go back and thoroughly explore the Walk of Fame, but we didn't think that justified a whole extra Hollywood day. This tour had exceeded our expectations so much that we really didn't need the extra day like we thought we would (which again makes me puzzled as to why it's closing).

    Everyone was given a $15 gift certificate good for anything in the whole Farmer's Market (and there was definitely plenty to choose from). I think I ended up getting Mexican. If the balance of the meal did not meet $15, I was surprised to find out we would be given the change in cash that we could keep. Fine by me! To be honest, the Farmer's Market was a bit congested and didn't exactly scream "Hollywood!" to me, but lots of choices and historic (I guess?) location.

    After lunch, we continued to cruise en route to Burbank, and along the way, our driver, Don, shared excellent information about everything we passed along the way. For instance, on one street we were on, he said the left side's homes have a Hollywood address while the right side's homes have a Beverly Hills address. Even if homes on both sides were the exact same building, the Beverly Hills home would be twice as much money simply because it has Beverly Hills in its address!

    We passed by several noteworthy places, including the Hollywood Bowl.

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    Warner Bros., where The Middle is filmed. My family loves that show. ("Whoop!")

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    And NBC!

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    The second half of the day would be spent exploring the thing we were all waiting for, practically bouncing out of our seats in anticipation for, quite arguably the reason every single one of us had booked the tour in the first place: The Walt Disney Studios.
     
  10. WeatherbySwann

    WeatherbySwann Cacaw rawr

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    Thank you! You will have such a great time.

    You should! It is really neat out there.
     
  11. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

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    I was a little surprised that they took so long at the Dolby Theater when you could have visited the Disney Soda Fountain and taken more time along the Walk of Fame. But def worth all of the history learned - I've always wanted to be able to go in there! Since I moved here, I've been up to Hollywood a couple of times and on my last visit was pleasantly surprised to view the Hollywood sign from the walkway on an upper level of the Kodak Theater and found a few more stars related to Disney. I agree with you about Farmers Market - I go up to The Grove/Farmers Market at least once a month to see what is going on there (never had a chance to see Mario Lopez taping live for "Extra" since I work days). I always get a headache after walking thru the shops at Farmers Market but maybe its because I go on weekends when it's more crowded).


    It's too bad Adventures by Disney is discontinuing this tour. Is there another way to tour the Walt Disney Studios?
     
  12. WeatherbySwann

    WeatherbySwann Cacaw rawr

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    Fortunately there is! D23 hold several events at the Studios open to all members throughout the year. They have "50 and Fabulous" screenings of 50th-anniversary films for $5 (the screenings simply take place in the Studio theater but do not tour the Studio), or "D23 Day at the Walt Disney Studios," which is $60 and has a two-hour tour. I would imagine that D23 Day is very similar (if not shorter) than the tour we had on Lights, Camera, Magic.
    Info about 2013's D23 events: http://d23.disney.go.com/events/


    Adventures by Disney also hosts "Backstage Magic," which is a very, very expanded version of the tour I experienced. It's 6 days, 5 nights, and includes trips to the El Capitan Theater, Jim Henson Studios, Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering (!), and Disneyland. The price is a bit meaty at around $3,000 per person. More info: http://www.adventuresbydisney.com/m...intable_Itinerary_SouthernCalifornia_Trip.pdf


    My guesses for why Lights, Camera, Magic is being discontinued is either that not enough people are booking it, or lots of people are booking it instead of the more expensive Backstage Magic. For us, we also wanted more time to spend in Disneyland being our first trip, so pair that with Backstage Magic being so pricey... and LCM's $200 option was a no-brainer. And unfortunately that might have been its fall.
     
  13. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for this info! I'll def look into this and D23. It would be fun to take the two-hour tour and treat myself :)
     
  14. WeatherbySwann

    WeatherbySwann Cacaw rawr

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    Part 9: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
    Day 5, Part 2
    Adventures by Disney: Lights, Camera, Magic


    Just another note that this contains all spoilers for this ABD experience. If you are taking Lights, Camera, Magic or Backstage Magic (the extended, multi-day version of LCM), this post will ruin all the surprises (and trust me, you will want to be surprised!).

    I think it's safe to say that everyone onboard the bus was :hyper: with a dash of :faint: as we pulled into the Walt Disney Studios. To know that there is so much history here... it was a bit difficult to fathom that we were actually there.

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    Visible immediately when we got off the bus were many landmarks: the water tower, ABC's headquarters, and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Unfortunately the tour's schedule doesn't allow for visits to ABC or WDAS, but I was a little surprised that the Adventure Guides didn't even point them out until after we were back on the highway at the very end of the whole tour. They were like, "Look over there, it's Disney Animation and ABC that we were right near but didn't show you." They didn't say it like that, but... they might as well have.

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    However, that is my only complaint of our entire time at the Walt Disney Studios: that we were busy seeing so many brilliant things that tour doesn't have time to get to everything. That's a good problem to have.

    I saw this... I couldn't help but wonder who was parked there!

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    Our first stop was the famous sign at the intersection of Mickey Avenue and Dopey Drive. Robin explained that the sign was first assembled to add a fun background prop for a promotional film in the '40s, but it was so well-received that it stayed there permanently and has since become a landmark of the Studio. (A replica--with the alteration of Dopey Drive to Minnie Lane--is near Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios in WDW.) Right under the sign is Pluto's Corner, complete with a fire hydrant and three pawprints in the cement... so you can guess what Pluto was doing!

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    Everyone got their picture taken with the sign... at first ours was a regular picture like normal, and then Robin was all, "Wait! Where's Perry?" So then this happened:

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    One of the first buildings we entered was the old Animation unit, where every Disney animated film from the '40s through the early '80s was made. We didn't get to see any actual animation offices, but rather went down a long hallway that was lined with artwork (originals!) from the many movies that were made here. Now the building is contracted to other small animation studios to use, since Disney has a newer, bigger building that they use elsewhere on the Disney Studio lot.

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    Next we went down a flight of stairs and entered what is called the "morgue" because it used to be where old sketches, prints, paintings, concept art--basically everything--from each animated film would be tossed whenever the film wrapped production. There was very minimal care taken for the pieces and many of them became lost forever. Everything that used to be in the moruge (and things from current films once they are finished) are now preserved with extensive caution and care in the Walt Disney Archives and in the Animation Research Library.

    We were not allowed to take pictures in the morgue, but essentially it was just a very dark, depressing hallway. It looked like the basement of a warehouse or something.

    Next we had a tour of much of the rest of the Studio campus, passing by a lot of things but not entering. We saw what was once the ink and paint building, where still in the windows are the actual color recipes in jars used for things like Ariel's fin and Simba's mane. We passed by a few warehouse-type buildings where large garage doors were open and things seemed to being built, not sure what for. One of the highlights of this walk was seeing the soundstage, the coolest of which was definitely the Julie Andrews Soundstage. It was used for the filming of the Mickey Mouse Club in 1995, as well as for both Mary Poppins in 1964 and The Princess Diaries in 2001, hence its name. Another soundstage we passed was the special effects one, used for the squid monster sequence in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Various productions that have used some of the other soundstages over the years include Home Improvement, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the orchestra scenes for Fantasia.

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    Our assistant Adventure Guide Natalia had taken the helm for this part of the tour, and when Robin caught up with us again, she told us she had just gotten clearance for us to enter one of the soundstages. :yay: She had arranged for a Walt Disney Studios employee to guide us into a nearby soundstage, which apparently doesn't happen on every tour, but schedules worked out for it to happen today. The employee (whose name I forget, but she was excellent) told us one of her favorite memories from her time here was seeing Johnny Depp in full Captain Jack regalia take a smoke break amongst regularly-dressed employees. :laughing:

    The soundstage we entered was completely bare. Nothing in it whatsoever, just a big, open room with black floor. The employee said it would soon be prepped to film a pilot for a new ABC show premiering in early 2013. For the life of me I cannot remember what the show is called or what it's about, but I guess it's getting ready to air soon! She pointed out where a studio audience used to sit for previous ABC sitcom filming, but that the audience area had since been dismantled and wouldn't be used for this new show.

    We spent maybe 10 minutes in the soundstage and afterward applauded the employee for showing us inside and her great information. Robin and Natalia then led us into the Frank G. Wells Building, named after the former President of Disney during the Michael Eisner era. Wells unfortunately passed away in an accident in the mid-'90s, and the building named in his honor now houses the Walt Disney Archives and Walt Disney Television Animation. I was disappointed to find out we wouldn't be entering either the Archives or Television Animation (seemed to be a trend), but we would get to see the Archives entrance. Very cool to stand where so much history is kept! Apparently the displays outside the entrance change every now and then, but I was thrilled that the current display had John Hench's original Mickey Mouse birthday portraits. To see them in person was a wonderful surprise.

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    Right near the Archives entrance is the Studio's Starbucks location as well as an employee tech support center (clever themed to Muppet characters Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker). Another highlight of this area was a real multiplane camera on display that was once used to composite multi-dimensional scenes in Disney animated films.

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    My grandparents and I joked to each other that we had seen more of the Archives at the Reagan Library than we did at the Archives itself, but I understand the scheduling constraints. Next was maybe my favorite part of the tour, the finale reception in the Disney Legends Plaza. The area is right in front of the Michael D. Eisner "Team Disney" Building (aka the Seven Dwarfs building... which was astounding to see in person in the first place) and displays every single Disney Legend award ever presented. There are handprints of all the Disney Legends (or a simple plaque if the recipient had been awarded posthumously), a large-scale replica of the statue the Legends are given, the Partners statue of Walt and Mickey (the same that is at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom), and the statue of Roy and Minnie that's in FL's MK but not Disneyland.

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    The reception was actually quite nice and upscale for the brief amount of time we were there. There was plenty of great food (most of it small, hors d'oeuvre-type food, but all of it delicious), and waiting for each family was the framed picture of their "star" on the Hollywood Walk of Fame from earlier. Robin did stress that we didn't have much time, so I spent most of the reception period walking around trying to see as many of the Legends awards as I could before it was time to leave. I figured I could eat anytime, but how often are you in the Disney Legends Plaza??? I was surprised that most people weren't looking around too much. My favorites to see were definitely the (married!) voices of Mickey and Minnie, Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor. Their awards were presented less than a year before Allwine passed away of diabetes, and to say that his voice defined my childhood would be an understatement. It is wonderful that he was recognized before his death.

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    I noticed that the awards did not include the most recent round of Legends (like the princess voices, Jim Henson, Regis, and others) that were awarded at 2011's D23 Expo. I thought that was sort of strange considering almost the Expo was almost a whole year before. But the ones from the 2009 Expo were present.

    Our final stop was a quick trip to the Studio Store. :woohoo: We had 15 minutes to browse around. It was basically a glorified Disney Store, but of course with quite a few exclusive items only available here. I got a Mickey Avenue pin and a Walt Disney Studios long-sleeve t-shirt. My grandparents surprised me later with a Director Mickey Vinylmation that's only at the Studio that they had bought right under my nose. :)

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    The store was decorated really cool. This picture was hanging up that I had never seen before, and it might just be my favorite picture of Walt Disney ever.

    [​IMG]

    And, unfortunately, now was the time to say goodbye to all our company. :( It was a magical day that I will never forget. On the ride back to Disneyland, we had the choice of watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua or Cars 2. Thank goodness the vote was for Cars 2! It was really neat watching it after just having been to Cars Land. My grandparents hadn't seen the sequel before and loved how Mater-centric it was; he is their favorite character. Heading back in the middle of traffic, the ride took the entire duration of the movie and a little more after it was over. Overall a wonderful, wonderful day at an excellent value. Thank you, Adventures by Disney, for a supercalifragilistic day, and I sure do hope you reconsider your choice to discontinue this tour because it's a real winner and I know lots of other Disney fans would thoroughly enjoy it.
     
  15. julydeya

    julydeya Mouseketeer

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  16. TinkLoverSam

    TinkLoverSam DIS Veteran

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    I love your title... had I done a trip report for my October 2011 trip with my DH I could have called it the same thing... or Mickey's fun Wheel of Death as I now call it... Terror absolute TERROR :scared:
     
  17. WeatherbySwann

    WeatherbySwann Cacaw rawr

    Joined:
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    Lol that thing is not what it looks like. That'll be in the next part of the trip report.

    But in the meantime... skip to the 2:15 mark in this video. :lmao: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ4FRiFiQfw
     
  18. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Wow....I haven't been on that ride yet but Mickey's Fun Wheel (of Death) sure does look scary!! It it supposed to swing like that? I'm afraid of heights and think I would react like she did when it starts swinging :faint:
     
  19. dgmommie

    dgmommie Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
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    Last week we were at Disneyland, and wanted pictures with Mater. We stood in line and while there they changed Mater out for McQueen, so that's who our picture was with. I took the picture of my daughter and husband, telling the cast member that I didn't want in the picture. After I took their picture, McQueen nagged me (in a good way) until I got in the picture too. It was hilarious, and definitely not random phrases - it was a live for certain.
     
  20. WeatherbySwann

    WeatherbySwann Cacaw rawr

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    Yes, it is supposed to do that. :) You can choose swinging or non-swinging. Swinging glides on the rail it's attached to whenever the ferris wheel moves, and non-swinging stays stationary while going around the wheel. We certainly didn't expect it to pack as much thrill as it does!

    I guess by saying random I should have rephrased... they said things like "Nice tinted windows" if someone wore shades, or said general things about pictures and smiling and that sort of thing, so they were specific to each person but still sounded soundboard-ish and not able to carry on a fluent conversation. But yours sounds too specific to be that. Interesting... :scratchin
     
  21. julydeya

    julydeya Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
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    148
    I think I am going to pass on that wheel. DonĀ“t want to look like that girl and scare everyone :laughing:
     

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