One bound-to-be-disjointed trip report, coming up We decided to forego Christmas at WDW and try our daughter's Fall Break week for Halloween time at Disneyland. This was a pretty big deal, since we have been many times, staying a week or more, to WDW and have our system down, what to ride when, where to go at peak crowd times, etc. I don't think I realized how much that improved our touring experience until it was all stripped away and I found myself staring at park maps in frustration trying to get my bearings. The other factor, far beyond even Disney's famous ability to control things was the weather. We went from seeing extended forecasts of highs in the mid-80°s to being there with our phones showing 95°, then 96°, and on the last day, we hit 98°. Combined with the very heavy crowds and the concrete jungle of pavement, that made for a much more exhausting trip. We've had Florida Decembers where we were in hats and hoodies the entire trip, and ones where we've been in shorts and t-shirts. But we've never tried anything approaching the heat from this past week. I spent the first 37 years of my life in and around Houston and Austin, TX so I know heat. I was always in awe of Disney summer tourists. They are made of hardier stuff than I. I never wanted to be one, though. I know DL vets get annoyed at WDW people comparing the original with the World so I will try to keep that to a minimum, but like a foreigner, I couldn't help but be aware of how different "these people" do things differently. The only Cast Member we heard say "Have a Magical Day" was the train conductor. It was odd to us. At WDW, if you don't get that greeting from every single CM you speak to, it stands out. We spoke with a numbers of CMs who weren't terribly friendly, shrugged shoulders, a few shouters at lines and crowds. They were all generally civil and mostly polite, but not effusively outgoing and friendly. Maybe it's a Florida/California thing. Maybe it was the heat. The proximity of the two parks did make it nice for hopping, but we tended to take a break at the hotel if we were opening one park and closing another, so that didn't really make a lot of difference for our touring. I am always befuddled by the craze of something new. The Toy Story Mania insanity of strategies for rope drop and wide right and FP planning a few years back comes to mind. This time, of course, it was Carsland. We gamely made it early enough to score FPs for the morning, did the single rider line, enjoyed RSR, but I still don't understand the hype. It was charming and fun. It was not something I would have waited two hours in standby for. The Halloween Party was nice. We gave up wearing the costumes because of the heat and decided to avoid the majority of the crossover gridlock between party-goers and day visitors by arriving after 6:00. The trick or treat lines at that point were insane. It seemed like a waste of good park time when you could fly through them later in the night. The fireworks were great. They really need to work on the Halloween parade. (I harped on this in the Disneyland survey for the party I received, as if they haven't heard that before.) They were low on Halloween items, Lots of Nightmare before Christmas and Frankweenie merchandise, but only a limited number of shirts and hallo-ears for the most part of classic Disney stuff. We did the preferred seating through Carthay Circle for World of Color, but neglected to account for the light tower directly in the center of our view, so not such good planning there. If I had to choose between seeing World of Color and Fantasmic, it would have to be Fantasmic. Lunch was delicious, if overpriced. We exited Pirates (loved the longer version) at exactly "Some imagination, huh?" for the first Fantasmic and popped into the middle seating area for the fireworks, moved back for the sweepers, and then plopped back second line from the rail for the second show without too much hassle. Lord, the dragon, the pirate section instead of Pocahontas, and the Mark Twain certainly were impressive compared to WDW. But how nice it is to go into a show and not find your foot has completely gone to sleep trying to get up off the ground or have to strain around the heads all on the same level to see the action. I do like the stadium seating you get for the puny dragon, steamboat, and John Smith swinging around a mountain. Our group's opinion was that DL Splash is faster and wetter, probably because of the single -wide design of the logs. We get "splashed" at WDW. We rode Drenched Mountain in DL. We arrived on Saturday at 1:00 to tons of crowds (duh, weekend midday, totally expected) and dealt with the very heavy crowds on Sunday because of the CHOC walk. It was Sunday when both parks opened at 10:00 that we got to experience the gridlock of bag check. Why on earth don't they have entry lines for people without bags? Highlights of the trip: Animation Academy: don't miss this at either WDW's Studios or at CA on Hollywood across the entry to Muppetvision (which was down all trip). My daughter has been doing these for almost ten years and we hit up at least two sessions a day. Great fun, especially keeping her drawings as they've improved. It does help that she wants to go to art school and work for Pixar. The Aladdin Show: another top of the list, per the 17 year old future animator. Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy: the double wide cars make for a much smoother ride. I liked the overlay, not overdone but creepy enough. We were torn on the Haunted Mansion overlay, since we enjoy Nightmare before Christmas, but love the classic HM too and did miss some of that whimsy. California Screamin' per hubby, was great fun. He rode the single riders line twice with no wait and ran across a lady standing there, staring at the long line as he was heading for the exit to get in SR. When he explained it, she said, "I'm single! Oh my, I was about to stand in that line!" so that was nice. We were able to ride everything we wanted, most multiple times. Longest wait was that first Saturday when even Pirates was showing 40 minutes and had a queue going out toward the Mansion. We waited more than an hour to do the Mansion that time but never longer than that for anything else the rest of the 5 days. Any questions, I'm sure I left a ton out, just ask!