The Wheels Finally Come Off! Trip 3 in JUNE 2014!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by smiles33, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. todzwife

    todzwife <font color=darkorchid>There's nothing worse than

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    I'm really enjoying your TR!! Sounds like a great trip!
     
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  3. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, todzwife! I also missed tffnyjean earlier. I really appreciate folks reading along with me as I know I'm a bit OCD on reporting so it's nice to know this isn't just for me. ;)

    OK, back to the TR! Once I went back and got them, we headed straight to DCA as we had a 11:40 reservation at Ariel's Grotto. This time, I picked up Soarin' FP right away.

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    It was 10:17 am so we just walked down toward Turtle Talk with Crush. It was so empty that everyone took up only the first row of seats. DDs seemed to enjoy "talking" with Crush. We saw the Toy Story zoetrope (very cool!) and watched the clips from various Disney movies while we waited for the next Animation Academy to start.

    We were taught to draw Mickey Mouse in that Animation Academy and DH and DD5 loved it. DD2 had fun, too:

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    Needless to say, since she was on my lap, I didn't get a chance to draw Mickey. The funny thing is that DD2 has asked DH to draw Mickey another dozen or so times since then.

    After Animation Academy, we walked by Tower of Terror where I picked up 3 FP and we wandered over to Ariel's Grotto. Duffy wasn't at his meet-n-greet but we got a family photo nearby with Mickey's Fun Wheel in the background:

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    I should note here that I did bring DD5's Cinderella dress but she decided she wanted to wear her Belle dress again. DD2 wore the Ariel nightgown dress I bought from Disney's clearance sale for about $5, which I thought was fitting since we were going to Ariel's Grottoe.

    Then it was time to go in and wait for Ariel!

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    DD2 and DD5 loved Ariel. I was so surprised that DD2 ran right into Ariel's lap and climbed in! She's usually much more cautious around strangers.

    The food itself was mediocre: at about $40/adult (after including tax and tip) and $20/child (though DD2 was free and kids 2 and under are free) I really expect better food. There was a triple tier of cheese/salami/crudite platter very ho hum, like something you might buy from your grocery store!), a plate with watermelon slices and jello/fruit things (aka "Jewels of the Sea"), and a green salad. There was also bread and some dipping sauces (ranch, pesto, and something else). For entrees, I had the tri-tip, DH had the seafood cioppino, and DD5 had the chicken skewers. They brought one meatball lollipop and about 1/2 cup of spaghetti for DD2. But the dessert platter was impressive (fresh berries, chocolate brownie, cheesecake tart, white chocolate shell, etc.). All in all, I've had MUCH better food at the dorm dining halls at UCLA!

    The best part of the lunch was meeting the princesses, of course. We were lucky to have FOUR princesses (not including Ariel): Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella and Belle!

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  4. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    After Ariel's Grotto, we grabbed another set of Soarin FP before we went back to HoJo.

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    While I thought (for a second) I might stay and nap, I ended up heading back into the park. I should note that I had bad shin splints by this point, despite changing shoes every time I came back to the hotel to a different pair (Danskos, Sanuk flip flops, and Born sandals). Still, I persevered!

    I headed back to the park around 1:50 and used my ST FP. Then I headed back into FL and rode the dark rides with short lines for nostalgia's sake: Snow White, Pinocchio, and It's a Small World. Luckily lines were between 10-20 minutes long, so not TOO bad. I could have squeeze in some of these during MM if I hadn't done Nemo, but I know Nemo lines can be even worse in the afternoon and I saw from Mousewait on Thursday and Friday that these 3 tended to have short lines.

    They are definitely rides that are showing their age, but I still enjoyed myself. I texted DH afterward and both girls were still napping so I headed over to DCA and rode Little Mermaid (very cute!) and grabbed FP for Goofy's Sky School again so we could ride it when DD5 woke up, as DD5 LOVED that ride.

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    She still says that her absolute favorite part of the DLR trip was Goofy's Sky School--not meeting the princesses, Tinkerbell, or Rapunzel; not doing the BBB makeover; not watching the fantastic Soundsational parade. WOW, was that a surprise for us!

    After Little Mermaid and grabbing the Goofy FP, I also rode Tower of Terror which was AWESOME! I loved that ride. I think it's better than SMGG and wish I had realized that earlier.

    Anyhow, then I headed back again to pick DD5 up. DD2 was still sleeping so we decided DH would wait for her and then bring her over in his lap while driving the ECV. DD5 and I went straight to DCA where DD5 and I rode Goofy, grabbed another set of FP, rode Jellyfish, and then headed to the Aladdin show to stand in line at 5:45 for the 6:20 show. DH and DD2 met us there about 10 minutes later.

    DH couldn't get in to where we were standing with his ECV (we were by the Hyperion Theater false front) so he left his ECV and walked with his cane. Bad move as the line was LONG and they didn't let us in until close to 6:20. Poor DH! Still, we got AWESOME seats. Second row of the mezzanine, right in the center of the stage and close enough to the railing that we saw everything clearly. We didn't have to turn around to see the elephant or camels/horses during a parade scene like those in the orchestra had to do. We didn't strain our necks looking up during the flying carpet scene.

    The genie was HILARIOUS and I loved his pop culture references for the adults in the audience (e.g., rubbing his belly after doing the "Put a Ring On it" dance and remarking, "I even LOOK like Beyonce now!").

    When Aladdin ended, we had to search high and low for DH's ECV, as CM had wheeled it into a stroller storage area. Oops!

    We headed back to Goofy's Sky School as DD5 wanted to ride it AGAIN! Then we decided to use our Soarin' FP and DH went with DD5 on his third ride of the entire trip (ST, Indy, and Soarin). While DD2 and I were waiting for them, a nice young man and his girlfriend said hello and struck up a conversation with me. He mentioned that they were AP holders but had 20 minutes to wait to use their Soarin' FP and I offered to switch with him so he could have mine from earlier that morning and go on right away. He DECLINED because he didn't believe me that it was valid for use after the time listed. I told him I'd been doing it all trip and that it was legitimate. I couldn't believe an AP holder didn't know about using FP after the time slot! WOW. Anyhow, I think he thought I was weird as he then walked away to wait the next 15 minutes closer to the FP Return line. Oh well, his loss! I could have saved him 15 minutes of his life that he'll never get back.

    When DD5 and DH returned, it turned out that DD5 loved it and wanted to do again. So I went with her right when they got back. Luckily, DD2 was in a good mood just waiting around, entertaining herself by eating snacks! DH ended up dancing with her later to keep her busy while waiting for us. I think it was at least a 10 minute wait even with FP!

    Finally, we headed back to the room a little after 8 and we decided we needed dinner but were too tired to go to a regular sit-down dinner. Instead, I headed out to 5 Guys for burgers and fries. There's a location in Orange, but I was so sleep-deprived and entered Anaheim instead of Orange in the GPS and ended up driving up and down Katella looking for it. Finally, I realized I was in the wrong city and ended up at Five Guys ONE HOUR after I left HoJo (not the 15 minute drive I expected).

    Sigh. The fries were worth it but I still like In-N-Out burgers better!

    The next morning, we packed up and shared the reminder of a banh mi. We ended up stopping for an early brunch at Tita's Pupuseria off the 5 freeway in Button Willow. It was delicious, by the way, best pupusas I've had!

    The girls were beat but actually didn't nap that long in the car:

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    We ended up letting them watch a movie for the last 2 hours of the drive as they were a little cranky and tired.

    Overall, it was a FANTASTIC trip and I really want to thank everyone, especially Hydroguy, for all the fantastic tips as I planned this special family trip!
     
  5. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    P.S. I think it's apropos that I finished my TR on my 35th birthday! DH was going to take me out for dinner, but we had to go to DD5's kindergarten open house and I REALLY wanted to finish this TR before I forget details...So we're going to wait until the weekend to celebrate with a nice dinner. Technically, we already celebrated as DLR was a GREAT birthday present! Happy birthday to me and hope you enjoyed reading this!
     
  6. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    Woke up this morning and realized I should do a ride breakdown for each family member to see it all in one place! I'm not including shows like Aladdin or the MnGs like Pixie Hollow, Tangled, Princess Fantasy Faire, Mickey and Minnie in Toontown, etc. We also spent time at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique that could have been spent on rides. Still, I'm very pleased with what I was able to ride! I only regret not getting to try Toy Story Midway Mania. I guess if I hadn't ridden ST and SMGG so many times, I might have managed it but I really liked the FP system and didn't want to wait in line 40+ minute.

    There's always next time!

    DH:
    - Dumbo
    - Casey Jr. Train
    - Star Tours
    - Carousel
    - Tea Cups
    - Indiana Jones
    - Autotopia
    - Mickey's Fun Wheel (non-swinging)
    - Heimlich's Chew Chew Train
    - Soarin'

    DD2:
    - Tea Cups (2 times)
    - Dumbo (2 times)
    - Casey Jr. Train
    - King Arthur Carousel (2 times)
    - Disneyland railroad
    - Autotopia
    - Mickey's Fun Wheel (non-swinging)
    - Flik's Flyers
    - Heimlich's Chew Chew Train

    DD5:
    - Tea Cups (2 times)
    - Dumbo (2 times)
    - Casey Jr. Train
    - King Arthur Carousel (2 times)
    - Disneyland railroad
    - Autotopia
    - Gadget's Go Go Coaster
    - Mickey's Fun Wheel (non-swinging)
    - Jumpin' Jellyfish (3 times)
    - Goofy's Sky School (3 times)
    - Flik's Flyers
    - Heimlich's Chew Chew Train
    - Golden Zephyr
    - Soarin' (2 times)

    Me:
    - Tea Cups
    - Dumbo
    - Casey Jr. Train
    - Star Tours (3 times)
    - King Arthur Carousel
    - Disneyland railroad
    - Autotopia
    - Gadget's Go Go Coaster
    - Mickey's Fun Wheel (non-swinging)
    - Jumpin' Jellyfish (3 times)
    - Goofy's Sky School (3 times)
    - Haunted Mansion Holiday (3 times)
    - Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy (3 times)
    - Buzz Lightyear (2 times)
    - Flik's Flyers
    - Golden Zephyr
    - Heimlich's Chew Chew Train
    - Soarin' (2 times)
    - Peter Pan
    - Matterhorn
    - Alice in Wonderland
    - Nemo's Submarines
    - Indiana Jones
    - Snow White
    - Pinocchio
    - It's a Small World
    - Little Mermaid
    - Tower of Terror
     
  7. DisneyPhreak

    DisneyPhreak Mouseketeer

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    Great trip report! Enjoyed all your pics. Thanks for sharing!

    :3dglasses
     
  8. LuvLuvLuv

    LuvLuvLuv DIS Veteran

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    great report! what a beautiful family :) the girls are just precious!!
     
  9. LisainCalifornia

    LisainCalifornia DIS Veteran

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    Wow, great trip report! Loved reading all about your trip. Your girls are so darling. You look so familiar to me. Do you live in the Bay Area? I am in the East Bay (Lamorinda area).

    Lisa
     
  10. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for reading along!

    LisainCA: I am in the Bay Area and grew up in the south bay. Not sure how you might know me, though. Are you on other on-line fora? BBB? Epinions?
     
  11. LisainCalifornia

    LisainCalifornia DIS Veteran

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    You just look really familiar to me! Maybe we have met somewhere--especially since you are in the Bay Area. We are in Moraga, outside of Orinda. We use to live in San Francisco before moving here.

    Your trip report was really great! I also liked your husband's version. :)
     
  12. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, Lisa! I can't think of a Lisa I know IRL but who knows?
     
  13. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    One last post re: DH's experience riding in an ECV at DLR. If you read his TR, you'll know that he resisted it because he feared it would limit his ability to interact with DDs. Instead, both girls liked actually sitting on it with him. It's against DLR rules, I know, but he didn't do it regularly (e.g., he did it after WOC one night and one afternoon when DD2 napped longer than usual and I took DD5 in the stroller to go back to DLR). CM never said anything to us either.

    I did a lot of research and read a bunch of the DISabilities forum threads and thought I'd also share my observations here for anyone who plans to rent an ECV or has a family member who might benefit from having one.

    Having DH in the ECV meant I was the only one to push the double stroller, so families with young kids should keep that in mind. DH also brought his cane so he could use it when needed like entering rides (they let you park the ECV by the exit in most cases).

    I will say that here are a few things I wish I had known while inside DLR:

    - CM and rides have differing opinions on how to treat guests with DISabilities. Sometimes you seem to get special treatment, other times you wait on the side while the family stands in the regular line. For the Soundsational Parade, the CM told me that DH could not sit in the benches for guests with disabilities without a GAC. So I went and found a bench facing the wrong way (which is why no one was sitting there) and parked our family there. Later, after the parade started and DD5 couldn't see a thing, DH walked back to the same area for guests with disabilities and asked a different CM if he could sit there. She happily lowered the rope for him and DD5. I stayed with DD2 as I didn't want to push our luck. Apparently, I should have just gone with them as later in our trip at WOC, one woman in a wheelchair brought 9 people in with her (including a family of 3 they had JUST met as I heard that family thank the first family for letting them tag along).

    - There are no real accommodations for ECV for any of the meet-n-greets (though Pixie Hollow at least had a separate line) At PFF, DH wheeled along in his ECV. At Tangled, he sat by a table near the door while DDs and I stood in that LONG line (too narrow for him to pilot an ECV through it). At Pixie Hollow, they had a sloped uphill line that's separate just for guests with DISabilities and they let him go up that. It ended right by the front of the standard line so the only advantage is he wouldn't have to stand and shuffle forward every 5 minutes. He hobbled up the ramp with his cane and sat down until it was our turn.

    - DCA rides are almost all wheelchair-accessible, so DH could ride in his ECV all the way down the ramp at Mickey's Fun Wheel to the loading area. DL rides are not. DH didn't want to go on Space Mountain, so we don't have personal experience with this, but I saw folks who took an elevator down with their ECV to climb into a special car (the entire track shifted to move their car onto the regular track). I presume they didn't have to stand in line like the rest of us. DH also parked his ECV and hobbled in with a FP for Star Tours, so I don't know what the process is there. At Dumbo, he was able to enter through the exit and leave his ECV behind. At Casey Jr, the CM had me and the girls wait in line while DH entered through the exit.


    Here's my advice re: the hotel and ECVs in general:

    1) If you or your family member has mobility challenges, rent an ECV instead of a wheelchair. DLR is not HUGE, but pushing 200+ pounds (wheelchair plus the person in it) is exhausting. I saw one poor woman (probably in her 60s or so) pushing her large adult daughter (30s-40s?) in a wheelchair up the hill by GRR in DCA and she looked exhausted (plus she had sweat stains on her chest and armpits). We paid $40/day to rent from Deckert's (714-542-5607) and they delivered to our hotel (ready at 7 am, so they likely dropped it off the night beforehand) and picked up from the hotel lobby the next morning after we dropped it off that night. They only charged us for the 2 days we used it, even though they dropped it off Thursday night and picked up Sunday morning. I understand money can be tight, but that $40/day is worthwhile in my opinion. I would much rather get the ECV and then pack snacks instead of eating DLR food. I'm sure many people spend about $40/day on lunch/snacks/drinks/ice cream at DLR (it's so expensive!).

    2) If you do get an ECV and have more than 2 guests in your party, you need a suite if possible. The ECV takes up a LOT of room and needs to be charged each night. Luckily, we had a Kids' Suite at HoJo and put both the double stroller and the ECV in the kids' bunk bed room and still had PLENTY of space to play around them. We had 2 adults and 2 kids and it was spacious. If you have more members in your party, it may be more crowded. We didn't use the sofa bed option. If you can't afford the suite, ask the front desk if they're willing to store your ECV and charge it somewhere. HoJo volunteered to take it back but I didn't want the delay of having to pick it up each morning when we had plenty of room in our suite.

    3) Get a room on the first floor. I loved not having to wait for elevators. The ECV is big and on busy days, you may have to wait a long time for an elevator as they get so crowded and people aren't likely to get off for you (per other DISBoard members who posted on the DISabilities forum).

    Hope this helps!
     
  14. Tnut

    Tnut Earning My Ears

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    Thanks so much for your TR. I really enjoyed reading both versions. I'm excitedly planning a similar trip at the end of October with DS 7,5 &2! We'll be able to skip a lot of the princess stuff, but otherwise our trips will be pretty similar. Fun to see how you managed it all!
     
  15. WendyWhy

    WendyWhy Mouseketeer

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    Just finished up the rest of your report - awesome! Wish I didn't have to wait 2 months - your TR has me raring to go now!:lmao:
     
  16. nana50

    nana50 Always planning my next trip to Disneyland.

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    I LOVED your husbands account. So funny, so true, and so sweet. What adorable daughters you have.
     
  17. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for reading along! I have been sharing comments with DH and he is getting a kick out of the nice comments. :). I promise I won't let it go to his head.
     
  18. DisneyMomma81

    DisneyMomma81 DIS Veteran

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    How fun! You have a lovely family. Great report. When would you hope to head back for another visit?
     
  19. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    Hee hee. If I could get away with it, I'd love to go again ASAP but I think I have to humor DH and wait at least 2 years. I promised him next year's vacation would be somewhere he likes (probably where he can fish!). I was trying to see if he might be up for seeing Aulani in Hawaii, but he immediately said no. Darn!

    I see from your thread your DH has never gone--do you take the kids yourself? Oooh, that's an idea, but then I won't have someone to watch them so I can go on the E-ticket rides! :eek:
     
  20. MAGICFOR2

    MAGICFOR2 DIS Veteran

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    Somehow I missed your last updates.:confused3 Looks like you had such a great weekend with your girls. I'm glad you decided to go in spite of the injury and ECV. How is your DH's back now? Thanks for sharing your TR!
     
  21. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    Sorry, I missed this last post! DH just had his hip surgery yesterday and is recovering nicely. The surgeon explained that DH had a tear in his laborum (sp?) and some other soft tissue damage by his hip. On the couch for 3 weeks and then up to a year to recover. Will just have to re-read this TR to remind myself of all that I'm missing at DLR!
     

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