Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by brookelizabeth, Feb 28, 2012.
Ohhh, OK. Thanks for sharing!
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OMG...what a fabulous update! Praying we'll get to DL next year!
Whew! I am finally caught up over here! I was farther behind than I thought!
Looks like you guys had a great time! Some of the stuff seems so similar to WDW and some of it totally different. Seems like most of the attractions though are a little nicer than the WDW versions. I love the boat ride into the whale's mouth, and the submarine thing looked really cool although I don't think I could handle riding that. I've heard about that one before but had no idea that it was a real submarine!
Sorry Henry was afraid of everything. We went through a phase like that with DD as well. What was fine last year was now terrifying??? I think that is normal though. It seems to me that when they are really young, they are so ignorant to danger that nothing scares them. But as they get older and realize that you can get hurt and there are bad/scary things in the world, then they tend to be more reserved. The good thing is that they also eventually learn that everything is going to be ok! So there's hope! Who knows, by the next trip, he may already be moving out of that phase.
I hated to hear that the CMs were not as professional there as they are in WDW. To me, the CM at Disney are what make it so grand and special. If they ever lose the quality of their employees, it won't be the same.
Good luck with your move! I know that must be a very stressful process in the city. I hope the perfect place comes available and that Joe gets his new job! I know all about that waiting game and it isn't fun.
Your cruise plans sound fantastic!!! I want CC for my birthday! I think you made the right choice by not booking anything for that day too. There is plenty to see and do on the islnad without a lot of planned activities. We really enjoyed the snorkeling there and will probably do that again, but other than that, I am happy holding down a hammock!
Your Bahamas excursion sounds nice too. Very affordable in comparison with other stuff that's offered. I suppose you booked that yourself and not through Disney? I don't recall reading about that one on the DCL web site. We fell in love with Blue Lagoon island and would love to go back there for just a beach day, but I think I'll look into your idea before making a decision. Can't wait to hear what you think of the cruise!
reading your TR is making me super excited for the trip in September! I just look at it and remember all the fun we had there.
We are already having a hard time trying to convince my middle son (he will be 7 next month!) to go on any of the darker rides. He is terrified of the dark, so I like the idea of having his fave stuffed dog in the back pack, I think it will help ease him mind a bit!
Another great update! I have read about the cat thing. I guess ages ago they put them on Tom Sawyers Island to help get rid of the rats that infested the island due to food being left there! Your update is making me long for California so bad! Only 4 more months!
Great update Brook! Wow, you got a lot packed in. I love how much Henry adores the gift shops. What a cutie!
Bummer on missing a couple things but hopefully you had time to go back and do them. And if not? That just is a great excuse to plan another trip! lol!
Sure, no problem!
Those window displays are so cool! I would have spent a lot of time looking at them, too.
I think seeing a cat in the park would be interesting. Random animal Disney sightings are always kind of fun.
You talking about Pirates and Space Mt, is so making me want to go to Disneyland more and more and sooner and sooner. I haven't been able to get Logan on SM at Disneyworld, because of the seating, but I'm sure he would love it at Disneyland.
Awesome report so much information.
I have heard that many rides there are better at DL....Priates being one of them. I do hope to get there and try it out.
I am loving al lthe pictures...I can picture myself walking there with you.
Those windows were so cool. Did they move? I would be standing there for hours...if my family let me.
Maybe next year! It really is a fantastic place, but it's much SMALLER than WDW, so adding in outside attractions to make a full-blown vacation is the way to go.
Does the DL one not have the hidden secrets like WDW? The only way I max out my score on Buzz is when it stops...which happens almost every ride!
That hook is fun - it has a few different light up modes from just normal and glowing to crazy annoying blinking. I think it was only like $5 too!
It is REALLY REALLY good! I really enjoyed Pirates, it's so much more immersive.
We were up and going on our first day! But, it really didn't feel like we did too much honestly. That break in the afternoon was wonderful. I still can't believe I made it with hardly any sleep...all that Disney excitement kept me going!
Hopefully more coming today!
Disneyland IS really cool! We just LOVED it. In ways, even a bit more than WDW! But, I'll get to that in the wrap up....eventually. Watch for those $100 fares to LAX or LGB and goooooo!
Henry is just like that with the cars too. He doesn't even play with them that often, but just likes making them into a parking lot and looking at them all or count them! Or shoot them off the table...!
When I started that update I did NOT expect it to get that long. It took forever!
I wish they would refurb WDWs to be like DLs too! It was so fun! I always wondered why the toy Buzz gun lit up and buzzed...now I know!
I really wish I could have seen the old DCA entrance. It looked really cool with the Golden Gate Bridge and the letters. I do think the area is going to look FANTASTIC overall once it's complete though...
They were magical! I was completely engrossed in each window, slowly moving through them. They were so beautiful!! I usually don't even pay much attention to things like that, but they really caught my eye!
We ended up preferring quite a few of the rides in Disneyland actually! But, I'll save more of those details for the wrap up...when I get there...hopefully in less than 9 months.
Overall, it was a FANTASTIC vacation. Very different than WDW, but the change was really good. We will definitely be going back!
What did you think of the Pirate Museum? We are thinking of doing that as well since Henry is pirate crazy!
I'm guessing they deal with mice and rats since they are in a large city, having cats around makes sense! That's why our neighbor has one too...gotta love NYC.
Thanks! I already miss it. I don't see next year happening, but perhaps the year after.
I think you are exactly right about the "scared phase". I am hoping Henry grows out of it quickly and enjoys thrills rides. I wouldn't ride roller coasters until I was a teen. Since Joe and I are both riders, I imagine he'll try them sooner rather than later though.
I was thinking of you the other day with the job/waiting game - I recall you guys going through that just before your cruise. I have a feeling our situation will end similarly to yours considering how long it's been. We shall see! Regardless, we WILL have a better future home, larger and with doors!!
Yes, we booked the Hilton on our own, it's not a Disney excursion. So there is some risk. But, I have heard they are quite flexible about cancelations/moving dates too. Their pool is small, and so is their beach, but I'm sure it will be large enough for us. Being that it's walking distance, I am looking forward to exploring the city a bit too. I almost booked Blue Lagoon, thinking of your experience there. I know we would love it! I think we'll likely do that on a future cruise, I DEFINITELY want to swim with the dolphins at some point, but want to be sure Henry is clearly out of the scared stage first.
It will be September before we know it! I wish I could say we were going back in September too! Ahhhhh, just thinking about DL makes me miss it so much!
The stuffed dog did help a LOT. A Disney friend of mine also suggested putting a glow stick tied to their belt loop, so on the dark rides he can lift it up and still see a bit, and your face, without distracting anyone. I am going to take this idea with me for our one day next month in WDW (during the cruise) and hope it helps.
Ah! My guess on the rats was correct! Makes complete sense. Rats are hard to get rid of in a bit city too.
Time will fly by before your trip!!!!
We did do a lot in our days! But it all felt very relaxed at the same time. That is one of the huge benefits about Disneyland. It is smaller, and easier.
We did go back to Disneyland on our last full day and were able to get a few more things covered...but still have a few outstanding To Do's, so another trip is necessary!
They were really beautiful. Generally I don't even notice the Main Street window displays, but these really caught my eye!
It was hilarious to see the cat! Totally unexpected and entertaining!
It really is very nice that the seating is side-by-side at DL, it makes those little first timers so much more at ease I'm sure! The ride is just smoother too, which is helpful. I hope you are able to get out to Disneyland sometime soon! It's a totally different vacation experience, but equally as wonderful!
The rides are just slightly better in some ways...the bigger rooms make it feel more immersive. Everything seems brighter and cleaner - I never thought of WDWs rides (except Peter Pan!) as needing a cleaning, until I saw Disneyland's.
Perhaps they will have an AEP. Wouldn't that be fun???
And yes! The characters did move! They were beautiful!
Ok I am finally all caught up. GREAT updates! Henry is just tooo cute. I really love looking at all of your pictures (you take soo many more than I ever do, but wish I did!!!). It is nice to see Disney from a not-so-frequent visitor's perspective. One day when my DF and I get out to WDW I'll feel the same way.
I really appreciated the tour of the room video. When DF and I were there in April touring all of the hotels to pick the perfect one for our honeymoon, we got to PPH just in time for check in, and they had no time for a tour. We got a very detailed tour of the GCH though and I was thrilled about that. I am so looking forward to more!
Enjoying your trip report. It is fun to compare the similarities and differences between Disneyland and WDW but Disneyland will always be my favorite due to it being my first experience with a Disney park when I was five weeks old!! And of course my numerous trips since then.
Pirates and Buzz are also big favorites in our house due to the fact I have a 5 year old DS, 3 year old DD and a 19 month old 19 DS (who sings It's a Small World even though he's not really talking yet!!). We went though the scared phase with our oldest DS but it wasn't with the rides it was with the characters. We now have grown past that fear thank goodness!! Hopefully Henry does too!!
Buzz does have some secret tips and one of the one's I remember the most is to hit the target when it's lit up. You'll also score more when you hit the harder to hit targets when they are lit up.
Nemo can get a little claustrophobic but it is fun to be on an actual submarine and see some of the kids (oh who am I kidding and my) favorite characters. We have done the observation room. You just walk up to the CM's at the entrance to the ride and ask if it's available and if it is they'll let you in. I found it to be a really great spot to nurse my kids when they were younger. The older one's got to experience the ride and I had a nice quiet, cool place to nurse the baby.
When I was 15 and went on my first trip to WDW I was told by one of the CM's that the drop on Pirates at Disneyland Paris had the longest drop out of all the Pirates, followed by Disneyland then WDW had the shortest drop. Mind you this info is almost 20 years old so it may have changed when the other parks were built. The other fun fact we were told was the speed on Space Mountain was the fastest at Disneyland Paris followed again by Disneyland and WDW was the slowest (can't remember the actual speeds right now). Again this info is all 20 years old so again it could have changed.
Henry is a cutie and love all the fun pictures you've taken. Glad to see you guys really enjoyed DL and can't wait to go back. Sorry he's not a thrill rider but hopefully he'll grow into them. Now if my DS had his way we'd live on BTMRR and Splash Mountain!!
Oh and during the busier times of the year (like Christmas week) you will see more handler's with the Characters with more of a defined line and they will shut them down once it gets close to the time for the character to leave. I got lucky one year by being the last family to meet Jack Skellington!! That's what I got for being in the right area at the right time and talking to his handler (for a good 15 - 20 mins in between her answering other guests questions) and she told me when she'd be shutting the line down. I was waiting for my DH and DS to get back from Tom Sawyer's Island and he had the camera!!! Luckily he made it in time!
Can't wait to read more about your trip and see what else you got to experience. And to read your comparisons about both DL and WDW. My last trip to WDW was rained out in May 2009 and I'm still working on getting that do over trip, now to get airfare to a manageable expense since we'll be paying for 5 seats this time instead of 3.
Today is Friday, January 13.
We woke up at 6 AM, feeling refreshed and ready to go...again, being on east cost time, while on the west coast is the BEST! I had slept VERYYYYYY well!
We had a slow morning eating some breakfast in the room and watching cartoons.
We slowly wandered over to Disney's California Adventure via the Grand Californian entrance around 8:30 AM.
We LOVE the palm trees!
DVC cool old car and Mrs. Holy Carppers I have White Legs!
The Grand Cali has some outside hallways, you have to walk through the lobby and into one of the outside hallways to get to the DCA entrance. Along the way is the Storytellers restaurant. The character breakfast was happening, it was fun to see the action.
One of the pools - I believe there are three
For Disney Resort Guests DCA opens at 9:15 AM (45 minutes before general opening), so you can obtain a World of Color FP, ride Soarin' and the Little Mermaid and then be at the rope for the dash to Toy Story Mania. A nice little perk for on-site guests! I have heard of off-site guests doing this as well, but they generally do check your IDs....
When we arrived we were the second family in line!
See the turnstiles back there?
Instead of staying put we deciced to wander and check out some things at the GC. We didn't care to be first, we just wanted those World of Color FastPasses!
White Water Snacks - Quick Service
Pretty typical Disney menu, with typical Disney prices
Of course Henry wanted a snack!
Dried fruit crisps...that he ate about 3 of.
We moseyed back to the line around 9 AM and there were only about 8 families in line. So we hopped into the left line, about 4 or 5 families back, went through the bag check and pretty soon they started to let us in...except guess what???
The trunstile didn’t work AGAIN!
It was absurd! And when I turned around to see if we could hop into the other line, it was suddenly CRAZY long, so we couldn't even hop into it!
What are the chances?! We just told everyone around us that it was our fault.
Eventually we were in and we were able to secure these beauties with no problem.
The FP machine is literally steps inside the GC gate, you can't miss it!
We made our way over to Soarin’ and found a line out the door
After a few minutes of standing there and not moving we found out they were down and they weren't sure when they would be up, so instead of waiting in line, we decided to just grab some FPs and head to Little Mermaid. We only wanted to ride Soarin' for Henry, we knew it was essentially the same ride otherwise.
This land is called Golden State
Single Rider! I wish there was this option at WDW.
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We headed back around, past the GC entrance and were aiming for Paradise Pier, where The Little Mermaid is located.
Had to stop for a pic with the giant grizzly!
This is also part of the Golden State land
Approaching Paradise Pier - we loved this area! So pretty!
Here it is! A total walk-on!
Shells in the cement
It's a beautiful building! The one side was under construction, as you can see on the left side of this pic
We boarded our clamshell and off we went!
This scene is really fun - EVERYTHING is moving! It's the "Under the Sea" song scene
The ice cream cone hair. I have read several discussions about her hair here...and I have to agree...it doesn't look great. It's okay, and passable, but not great. I wonder if it will be changed for WDW.
Overall we liked the ride. I cannot say it was the best dark ride I've ever been on, but it was good. The animatronics are really pretty impressive...Ariel doesn't look like a real human, but she looks like a real cartoon -- if that makes sense? One thing I didn't like was between the scenes there are just some cheapish looking random "sea" props that you go past. It wasn't very themed. The "Under the Sea" room is a LOT of fun, and the definite highlight of the ride for me! It will be interesting to see if WDW gets the EXACT same ride at DL, or if there will be some slight adjustments.
After our journey under the sea, we joined the crowd at the rope, waiting for the dash to Toy Story Mania!
Looking back at the beautiful building
Up Next: Perusing Paradise Pier.
Despite being up and about for rope-drop this update still sounded like you had a nice relaxed start to your day Getting up and ahead of the crowd makes such a difference - something we're taking advantage of whilst our girls are little and lively
The drop at DLParis is definitely longer than WDW so I'm sure you're right. And I can definitely tell you that SM in DLParis is fast - I'm not a great thrill ride person so the speed and the loop was more than enough for me
I do remember DH thinking that after the DLP version, SM in WDW seemed a bit tamer when he rode it for the first time back in 2005.
Isn't that entrance into DCA the greatest? So close to the park. We stayed at GCH for 5 nights in July of 2010. I loved the convenience to the park. Sometimes at night I would walk over to just do Soarin one more time! The chairs by the pool are so comfortable, a perfect place to relax mid day. But the best was being able to see WOC from our balcony. It was a side view, so I couldn't see the video on the water wall, but everything else was great. I can't wait to get back to see carsland when it opens.
PPH looks very nice, and so close to everything too. Henry is so cute, and seems to be enjoying your trip. I love the pictures of him jumping on the bed! Loving your DL trip report!
The Little Mermaid ride looked really cute!
Love the Pictures from Little Mermaid! I cant wait to try that out at WDW one day. I just love looking at all the pictures of you guys strolling around the DL area. I love that picture of the Ferris Wheel. Im not a fan of them, but Love the picture!
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