Second All in One Disneyland TR Thread - Flying Back Down with DD4 3/8-10, 2015 Post #492 - 494 4/6

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by mvf-m11c, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    [post=51473341]Last Installment of the Trip Report[/post]

    Day 2 –April 26th, 2014 – Part 3

    Above on the Highway of the Skies


    After walking through Big Thunder Ranch Springtime, it was time to head on over to the next area at the park that afternoon. The park crowd level started to pick up later that afternoon with more and more people already in Fantasyland. Rides like PP is always in the 30+ minute wait time area while the Meet & Greet of Anna and Elsa was in the 2 hour range. I can understand that people would like to meet them and get pictures with them but a 2 hour wait is crazy for a M&G.
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    I was in Tomorrowland while walking from Fantasyland. When in TL, the walls around the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage were up during my visit. The ride is expected to be down until September. There were a lot of rumors about the FNSV closing permanently for a Star Wars theme land. But after hearing that the ride won’t be closed, I was happy and it will be fun to ride it again later in fall.
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    I decided to head on over to my favorite ride at Disneyland. I always like to ride the Monorail at the DLR since I am a huge fan of trains and have loved the monorail when I rode it when I was a young child.
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    When I was walking up towards the TL Monorail station, there was blue tarp covering in the direction of the FNSV lagoon. I have seen a lot of pictures from other sites showing the lagoon with the blue tarp. It was tough to get my DSLR through the gaps and get pictures of the construction but I will be able to get those when riding the Monorail when going over the lagoon.

    A window decorations of the Mark I Monorails. The first DL monorails when it opened back in 1959. I can’t believe it has been over 50 years since the monorail began service at DL.
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    The Disneyland Monorail plaque which was named a historic mechanical engineering landmark back in 1986.
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    Monorail Orange was approaching the station.
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    I rode the monorail all the way towards the Downtown Disney station. Here is a tip for anyone that doesn’t know about the DL Monorail. You can actually ride the DL Monorail a round trip when you enter the TL Monorail station. But when you get on the monorail at the DTD station, you have to exit the monorail when you get to TL. This is not like the Walt Disney World Monorail where you can ride it round trip since the DL monorail requires a park ticket.

    Passing by Buena Vista Street at DCA.
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    Now entering the DTD station
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    After waiting at the DTD station to pick up the guests boarding the station, it was time to head on back to DL.

    It wasn’t that busy at the turnstiles to enter DL that afternoon.
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    Now entering back into DL and over the FNSV lagoon. It was so weird to see the subs in the docks while it is all dried. I haven’t seen the lagoon dried when the FNSV was under construction in 2006.
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    Passing by Matterhorn Mountain
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    Just about to enter the TL Monorail station and seeing the rest of the dried FNSV lagoon.
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    It was weird to see the FNSV lagoon all drained and not even any site of construction workers working on the attraction. It has been left alone for a while since the lagoon was dried. I have read that work on the lagoon have just recently started up.

    After getting off the monorail, I decided to go back to the room and meet up with DAF so we can get ready for our dinner that night. So I walked on back to Best Western Anaheim Inn.

    Just when I was walking down MS, there were people waiting on the sidewalks for the 4pm Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.
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    When I was passing by the Disneyana store, I had to go and see the Mechanical Kingdoms exhibit with the artwork.
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    I left DL before the 4pm so I can get back to the room and meet up with DAF so we can get ready for our dinner that night. I have been looking forward to this part of the trip when we made the reservations two months in advance. It was not only us but we had also asked two other DISers to join us for dinner that night and it was nice that they are going to join us for dinner.

    Stay tune for what restaurant we ate that night and who joined us.

    [post=51585071]Continue to the Next Update[/post]​
     
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  3. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    A 2-hour wait for any character is crazy and I won't be waiting that long!:rotfl2:

    The extra, extra, extra-vibrant Matterhorn picture, with the super-blue sky and super-green water, is very striking!

    I know there are a lot of rumors floating around about how the Subs are supposedly going to be removed in the not-too-distant future, but I have my doubts. I don't think Disney is going to remove them before Finding Dory comes out, if ever. Why would they be working on the Subs now, if they were only going to close them forever later?
     
  4. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Interesting to see the lagoon all dried up. I reckon that it's going to be amazing when they open it back up. We were lucky enough to be in Anaheim in late June of 2007 when the ride re-opened. It was the first one we hit first thing after rope drop. Then....it had 3 hour queues before 9.20 am. Rather similar to RSR. :rotfl:

    Nice pics from the monorail. I need to get myself on that monorail again at some stage. I haven't ridden it in a while.
     
  5. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    It was neat to see the pictures of the subs in dry dock! Thanks for sharing them. NEVER would I wait 2 hours for a character (one hour for Toy Story yes :rotfl:) That's why DL has Character Meals!

    Beautiful looking day~ I can't believe it's your last day to report. :guilty:
     
  6. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    Where do the mermaids live when the subs are under dry dock? ;)





    Wow on the pics PIO. :thumbsup2 Thanks for sharing those.
     
  7. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    That is a long time for a character meet & greet wait time. I thought the Rapunzel m&g wait time a couple of years ago where the Frozen m&g is now today in the 30 minutes to hour range was crazy just for a character m&g. Then all of a sudden with Anna and Elsa m&g went to a new level of wait time. For anyone that wants to meet Anna & Elsa, I would do it first thing in the morning before it gets crowded later during the day. I can imagine it would be even worse at the MK at WDW with the Anna & Elsa m&g at Princess Fairytale Hall. I don’t know what it is like at the MK but I would imagine it would be in that range or longer.

    Thank you Sherry. I got a nice picture of the Matterhorn from the Monorail. It is so fun to use Lightroom to enhance the pictures even more.

    We always hear all these rumors about the subs going away ever since it closed for refurbishment earlier this year. The FNSV is one of the most expensive rides to maintain and I can see why management wants to close it so it won’t be too expensive. But it is a classic ride and would be sad for it to go since it is one of my favorite childhood rides at DL when it was the Submarine Voyage. I’m still sad that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage at the MK was taken out in the mid 90’s. But at least it was replaced with a new land which is now the New Fantasyland. I was a little surprised that the construction crew wasn’t working on the lagoon back in April and all of a sudden in late May I heard that construction crews are working on the lagoon.

    It was weird to see the lagoon dried during the trip and it definitely needed a cleanup where it will be all nice and clean when it reopens in the fall time. I remember back in 2007 when the FNSV opened and this was the ride that everyone was waiting to get on first thing in the morning from the rope drop to MM. Now today it barely even goes over an hour during the busy season where I have seen that wait time in December. Even with RSR now two years old, the wait time to get on the ride is still as high as ever.

    Thank you PiO. The Mark VII Monorails are very nice to ride. Have you and your family rode the Mark VI Monorail’s at WDW during your trip last year when you went to the MK?

    Your welcome TK. It will be nice to see the lagoon filled up later this year. 2 hours for a character m&g is way too long and I would not even wait an hour for a character m&g (unless someone in my party wants to meet that character so much). I can tell that it will be a while until there will be another area for a m&g for Anna & Elsa. Have you read on the Disney Parks Blog from last month that a Frozen float will be added to Mickey’s Soundsational Parade. It will be a pre-parade float that will be ahead of the parade. I’m hoping that it will be up and running during my trip later this month so I will be able to see it and get pictures of it.

    What do you mean “my last day to report”? I still have two more days to report and I’m not even at the nighttime yet of the trip report. The next update will be the highlight of the trip.

    I wonder the same thing. We all can't wait to see the FNSV reopen later this year.


    The next post will be up shortly.
     
  8. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    [post=51569463]Last Installment of the Trip Report[/post]

    Day 2 –April 26th, 2014 – Part 4

    Dinner at the Napa Rose with Friends

    When I got back to the room to get DAF, we were already to head on over back to the DLR to have dinner that night. For dinner, we are eating at the Napa Rose restaurant at the Grand California Hotel. This is our first time eating at the NR in which after all these years we have been coming to the DLR, we have never ate at that restaurant. It has been a lot of first times these last two years for me and DAF to try different restaurants that we are not used to eating.

    I made the reservation for the Chef’s Counter 2 months before our dinner date since Disney dining does allow reservation up to two months in advance. This is common for the DLR dining where WDW does it differently like over half a year. I was fortunate to get the reservation at the Chef’s Counter.

    For our first dinner at the NR, we were recommended by Alison (franandaj) to get the Chef’s Counter which is limited for every evening at the restaurant. I believe there are only 16 guests each night that will be able to eat at the Chef’s Counter (8 for 5:30pm which we got and 8 at 8:30pm). It was going to be very nice to be able to eat at the NR that night with Alison and Fran.

    When it was around 5pm, we started to leave our room and head on over to the GCH and meet up with them.

    While we were walking pass both parks at the Esplanade, there were quite long queues to get in the parks that time. Mostly around this time of the day where the parks started to get a little busy with the guests coming in the parks or hopping on over to the next park.

    When we got to the GCH and at the NR, Alison and Fran were waiting in the lounge and we were able to find them. We were all in the lounge for a while until hostess took us to our seats at the Chef’s Counter.

    When we were about to be seated and passing by the wine room, I remember seeing Pixar Wine bottles from different movies that was supposed to be somewhere at the NR and they were right in a glass case. It was neat to see the Pixar Wine bottles that each one shows a different film.
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    We were seated on the left hand side of the Chef’s Counter where there was another group already seated on our right hand side. At first, our impression of the NR was that it was nice and the service was great. It was neat to see the kitchen where the chefs were preparing the dishes for all the guests.
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    Just like the restaurant, the menu looks so nice.
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    There was a lot of different variety of dishes to select during our meal and by the menu it isn’t cheap like the other DLR restaurants that we have ate in the past.
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    When we ordered our meal, we had the option of selecting dishes that we wanted to try or we could have done the random dishes. Since DAF can eat specific food, she was glad that she was able to have a good meal where the chefs are able to cook specifically for her.

    We were first started off with the bread and Alison told us that the bread is so good that we should not stuff too much of it since we have dinner that night.
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    While we were waiting for our food to be ready, our waitress asked us if we wanted to get a picture together and it was nice of her to get a picture of all four of us.
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    First, we were started out with a small dish that wasn’t in our order but a small started. I can’t remember the name of this dish but it was very nice.
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    Our appetizers arrived and the first course for me was the Portobello Mushroom Bisque “Cappuccino” with Brandied Thyme “Froth”.
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    DAF had a special dish since she isn’t able to eat any of the items on the starts so the chef’s made a fish dish for her and she really enjoyed it.
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    Just like I was taking pictures of our dishes, Alison was doing the same thing with their dishes. I checked on her WDW thread that she already posted that night. Here is a link to her thread of that night and she did get pictures of their dishes that they ordered. [post=51478541] You mean I DO get to go to WDW in 2014?? - Single Digit Dance!!!!!![/post]

    Later that night, Executive Chef Andrew Sutton was in the kitchen for a while and he knew when he saw Alison and Fran and greeted them and it was nice to talk with him for a while.
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    For our next course, I got the Warm Local Beet Salad with Chenel Goat Cheese Panna Cotta Cara Cara orange, Wild Arugula, Hazelnuts and Blood Orange Vinaigrette.
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    DAF got another dish that wasn’t on the menu and made for her. It was a rabbit type dish.
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    Our main course arrived and I got the Grilled Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with Scalloped Potatoes, Sauteed Asparagus and Coastal Mush room Sauce.
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    DAF got the Grilled “Maple Leaf Farms” Breast Duck with Fennel Orange Puree, Braised Lentils and Kumquat Marmalade.
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    We can’t forget about dessert and there was a lot of interesting desserts to choose from on the dessert menu.
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    It was time for dessert after a very nice first three course meal. I am mostly never a dessert type of person so I was able to order something on the menu while DAF ordered a warm manjari chocolate truffle cake.
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    I was able to get a Seasonal Sorbet that night which was Strawberry Honey
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    After we finished our meals, we stayed in the NR for a while and see all the chef’s working in the kitchen. It was so neat to watch the chefs make all these different dishes that night.
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    There was a party that night at the NR and we talked to the chefs of what they were making and Alison knew that one dish that the chef were making since it is no longer on the menu at the NR.
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    We stayed in the NR until it was around 8:30pm which we were in the restaurant for 3 hours. Since it was time for the next guests to have the table, we started to walk-on out of the NR.
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    One more look at the Pixar Wine Bottles before we left.
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    Our first impression of the NR restaurant which was a nice place to eat. The food and service was so good and great. But when DAF and I talked about it we have to come back and eat at this restaurant in the future, she told me that one time is enough. We mostly don’t eat at high quality restaurants like the NR or any four or five star restaurants. We treated both Alison and Fran that night and they had a great time eating with us at the NR that night.

    After we exited the NR, since DAF AP was blocked out that night and she didn’t want to pay a black out ticket, she went back to the room while I head on in to DCA with Alison and Fran.

    Stay tune for the next update to see what we done later that night.

    [post=51624329]Continue to the Next Post[/post]​
     
  9. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Great dinner, Bret. I enjoyed vicariously licking my screen when Alison posted it and I'm doing the encore with yours. Love the food porn. :thumbsup2

    And good on ya for treating Alison and Fran.
     
  10. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    I read the link at the top that said 'Last Installment of the trip report' and thought that meant it was the last installment. :goodvibes I'm so glad it isn't!

    Thank you for the review and pictures of NR. I agree with your DAF it looked like a lovely meal and event but for our family of four the cost would be over $200. Now I feel like I've been there myself through your report.
     
  11. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Yes, we did. But it wasn't quite the normal trip. ;)
     
  12. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    Wow Bret, your photos are gorgeous and dinner looks incredible. Maybe we'll shoot for the Chef's Counter at NR in December. I am thinking about there or Steakhouse 55.
     
  13. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    Thank you PiO. The dinner was nice and this might be the only time we ever eat at the NR. To try it was one of our goals of the things to do at the DLR and it was nice to do the Chef's Counter with Alison and Fran.

    It was nice to treat them that night.


    I see. I have those links on top of each posts of where the last update from my trip reports. Sherry mentioned this to me where it would be easy for the DISers to find the links to my previous updates so they won't be behind or looking for the start of the trip report.

    Your welcome and glad you enjoyed it. It was a nice experience to eat at the NR and I don't think we will ever eat there again unless it is a special event. The food was great but the price was so high even for just an entree or appetizer. I believe we spent over $300 for the four of us that evening. It was not a cheap dinner but it was nice.


    Did something go wrong when you were riding the Monorail's? It almost feel like the Mark VI are breaking down more and more every time I go to WDW. They are over 20 years old when they debut in the early 90's and still looks like the future of transportation to me.


    Thank you Jenny. it was a great dinner and glad that Alison and Fran were able to join us that night. The Chef's Counter was nice to be able to watch the chef's cook in the kitchen. Whichever the two restaurants you are thinking about for your December trip, they are good choices. My aunt and I are thinking about eating at Steakhouse 55 for our November trip after eating at the NR this past trip.


    For a quick update for my trip in a few weeks, we made reservations at the Blue Bayou on Tuesday June 24th at 11:30am. DAW (my dad's sister) enjoyed eating at the BB during our trip last year in June when we ate at the BB and she wants to eat there again. So this time, we will be eating during lunch in which I haven't done in ages. I will continue to update during our pre-trip plans.

    During this past week, I was in San Francisco with DAW and DD4 and went to the SF Zoo. Here are some pictures from the Zoo.
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  14. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Welcome back. Seems like you had a good time at SF. Nice pictures of the animals.
     
  15. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    Thanks PiO. It was nice to go to the SF and the weather was cold. I would rather be there in SF right now instead of being here in Sactown with the hot weather.


    The next post will be up shortly.
     
  16. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

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    [post=51585071]Last Installment of the Trip Report[/post]

    Day 2 –April 26th, 2014 – Part 5

    Maleficent Sneak Peek, Shopping & Nighttime Photos

    After we finished dinner at the Napa Rose restaurant with Alison (franandaj) and Fran, we head on in Disney California Adventure from the Grand California Hotel. The only problem that night is that DAF couldn’t go in the park since she had the Deluxe Annual Pass. But she had no problem that night and told me that I should go with Alison and Fran that night in DCA. So she went straight back to the room while I joined them in DCA that night.

    When we were in DCA, we head straight on over to A Bug’s Land so we can see the Maleficent Exclusive Sneak Peek at It’s Tough to be a Bug theater. Since the Maleficent movie is coming out one month after our trip in May, it was neat to see a clip of the movie. I have seen clips from Disney movies at DCA when the theater was at Muppet Vision 3D for TRON Leave a Legacy.

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    We were seating in the way back of the theater.
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    After watching part of the movie in the Bug’s Life Theater, I knew that I wanted to see the movie when it comes out. So when the movie came out on May 30th, I had to see it and it was a very interesting movie. There have been a lot of mixed reviews of this movie but overall it was good.

    When we finished watching the Maleficent Sneak Peek at a Bug’s Life Theater, we head on over to Hollywood Land to go in the “Off the Page” store which sells paintings, movies, cels, etc. We went to the store to look at the paintings. Off the Page store doesn’t have many paintings like the Disneyana Shop in DL, but it is one of my favorite stores at the DLR.

    Since Fran didn’t find anything at the Off the Page store, we head on out of DCA and over to DL that night.

    When we were walking on out of DCA, the 9:30pm Remember Dreams Come True fireworks was going on that time. We didn’t stop to see the fireworks until we were in DL.
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    We watched the fireworks right on MS close to Town Square which was very far back.
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    After RDCT fireworks was over, we head straight to the Disneyana Shop. I remember back during the September 2013 trip when PiO and her family were there and Fran was in the store for a long time looking at all the different art work and bought a lot of stuff that night. Just like this time, Fran was able to find a lot of interesting paintings in the store. I believe Fran must have bought over 5 different paintings that night and she had a CM go with them to take it back to her car.

    It was getting late for Alison and Fran, so they head on out of the parks and back to the car. I decided to stay in the park that night and get some nighttime pictures. So we parted ways that night. I had a great time with Alison and Fran when we had dinner at the Napa Rose and walk with them in the parks and look at all the different paintings.

    Now I was by myself and walking around the park to look for nice spots to get some nighttime pictures of the park. I have brought my tripod with me when DAF and I left our hotel and it was nice to carry it on my bag instead of carrying another bag with me. It made it easy for me to take pictures while walking around that night and it was easy to access the tripod when I want to get a picture that night. The park was not that crowded that night since the fireworks was over and it was almost around 11pm.
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    I head on over to Frontierland to get pictures of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at night. When I got there, there were no mine trains running and a lot of bright lights were on. I looked at the queue and they told the guests that the ride was down and the guests were leaving the queue. So it was broken that night. It was a shame for the guests to wait in the queue to get on the ride and find out that it is down. So I was able to get some pictures but not the ones that I wanted to get.

    Some of these photos you seen are with the tripod on my camera since I was trying out long exposure shots. I have done long exposure shots for the fireworks but I have never done this for different areas around the park so it was nice to try something new during my trip.
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    After looking at BTMRR for a while, I decided it was time to head on back to the room and call it for the night since it was a long day. The River of America was quiet since both Fantasmic! show are now over.
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    I can never get tired of seeing Sleeping Beauty Castle at night but it is even more amazing during the holiday season when the decorations are up.
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    This was my first attempt of taking a long exposure picture of Astro Orbiter with the light trail.
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    It was 20 minutes until midnight, so it was time to head on out of the park and back to the room. The park was semi-busy that night which there were quite a lot of people walking on out of the park.
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    I head on out of the park and my last picture that night was to get a picture of DCA turnstiles. With the Tokina lens, I was able to get up close so I was able to get the whole entrance. I was so impressed with the Tokina 11-16mm lens where I had to get up close to the entrance to get the whole thing where other lenses I have used in the past where I had to be way back in order to get the whole entrance.
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    I than head on back to Best Western Anaheim Inn where DAF was just resting until I got back.

    This concludes the Saturday part of the trip. Stay tune for the next day at the DLR.

    [post=51652400]Continue to the Next Post[/post]​
     
  17. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    I finally just sat down and got all caught up on your report. Thank you so much for dinner that night. It was wonderful as was the company. I really enjoy fancy meals like that.

    Im glad you and your DA had a good time shopping at MoG. We found a lit of things that were not at the Expo on our trip yesterday. I think we might have gotten the same jacket as your DAF.

    It was fun going through the park and seeing the preview with your we have yet to see the movie. I'm glad you were abke to go through the park and get some nighttime shots after we parted. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip!
     
  18. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Good for you, Bret. Those are very impressive pictures.

    I think you should keep that Tokina. :thumbsup2
     
  19. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    Hi Bret,
    Your super long exposure shots are stunning :thumbsup2.

    TK
     
  20. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    BTW how long were your shutter speeds on the long exposure shots? They look really cool.
     
  21. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    Bret --

    I am definitely noticing a difference in your photos with the Tokina lens -- it has changed the look and feel of a lot of your shots. I agree with PiO -- You should keep it!




    (By the way -- the Theme Week Countdown begins in the Christmas/Holiday Superthread on Monday, July 21st and ends with the final theme on Monday, November 3rd! (There will be 22 themes in total this year, instead of 20, and there will be 2 brand new mini-daily themes added in, while one of the old daily mini-themes is graduating to a full weekly theme.) I will see you there!
     

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