We got back home early Thursday morning around 3am EST. We had a wonderful first visit to Disneyland . Our oldest DS19 and DS17, had finals/projects due at the University at Buffalo and regents exams prep at the high school level, and so they had to stay home as they couldn't afford to miss school. Only the youngest DS7 was able to go on this trip with Mom and Dad. The delays from the airport were insane, flight cancellations, delays - it was a bad as traveling during a snowstorm at Christmas time ! We started out for home at LAX at 6am PST, were delayed and didn't leave until after 1pm local time for our 6 hours cross country flight. We arrived in JFK an hour and a half after we should have with the "new" rearranged schedule and the next flight to Buffalo was also delayed. At least our flight wasn't out right cancelled as the earlier flight had been. There were a lot of tired angry people with the airlines who kept blaming the situation on the new furloughs . Ok, but what was the reason that the trip from BUFF to JFK and then the JFK to LAX, flights were also delayed??? Those flights were before the furloughs. If you are traveling with kids, make sure that you bring lots of toys and snacks, I am so glad that we did as they were needed to entertain our DS. I wanted to share as much as possible about the recent ride closures (OSHA) as I could for those of you who are going to visit soon. The only rides that were always down/closed were Space MTN- OSHA, NEMO- a part broke and was on order from Germany, and Thunder MTN- refurb. We encountered several times when one ride or another throughout the parks were down, but only for a while on different days. RSR (Radiator Spring Racers), SOC (Soaring Over CA), MB (Matterhorn Bobsleds), STours (Star Tours) along with almost all the other rides were open every day. A word of warning, my DS7 was in heaven with MB, we HAD to ride it two times each day, more if we would have let him do so - that's a total of ten rides over five days . The right side was exciting and bumpy but the left track, oh my gosh, it about separated my head from my shoulders for all of the jerking and bumping . Both my Dh and I , who ride everything, were sore from the beating that we took on the left side of the MB. It was not pleasant at all so we tended to stick to the right track. Comparing WDW to DL, we decided that Pirates was so much more fun at DL, Haunted Mansion was not as nice to us, and so we prefer the WDW ride with the staircases to nowhere and so on, to the DL one. Small world was really neat outside but the inside just didn't feel right for some reason and so we decided that we also liked the WDW Small World better. It might just be a case for whatever feels more like "home", as we are used to WDW. Pirates impressed us, first the beginning of the ride with the summer evening feeling, hearing crickets, frogs, and seeing fireflies kind of set the tone for a peaceful relaxing ride. We loved the fact that just as you relax and get into the ride you are thrown down a pretty good size hill, then just after you get over laughing about that one, another comes at you! The slides were lots of fun to start off the ride with, then the burning room that you ride through was so cool especially with the creaking and swaying of the overhead flooring that was burning- it felt like it was going to fall on us at any time! Also, park hopping was a dream- walk out of one park and you were in the other by 10 mins max! We had a much easier time with hopping at DL then at WDW. Also, since DL/DCA had almost all the major rides that WDW has- plus Indiana Jones- ( so cool loads of fun, wish WDW had that ride instead of the Dino one), it was so nice to hit them all up in a day or two and not have to dedicate one day per park or spending lots of time hopping between the parks at WDW. Walking to and from the parks from the DLH was a big time saver over the buses at WDW too. We had a room at the DLH and so stayed on property. I think it helped us that we did not have a car after the first evening, so even though we were surrounded by the "city", we never felt like we were in the CITY, kwim? We heard ambulances and police sirens from time to time and once in a while we saw a helicopter but it didn't take away from the total "Disneyishness" of the whole experience. I don't believe that any one area wasn't themed enough to cover the outside surrounding area, so the city views and so on never entered our minds eye. Walking through Downtown Disney each evening to go back to our room was really kind of fun. Crowds were not too bad Fri or Sat, but Sunday was sardine time . Monday things started to settle down a bit and by Tuesday it was very nice to be able to walk around and have some space. We're not sure why R Rabbit's Spin ride has a fast pass - it didn't we didn't care for it as it was disjointed. very loud, and generally we got the feeling of being trapped on this ride AND the spinning circle was very hard to turn- == it was not fun for us at all. There was never a wait for this ride either. Toontown was a lot more fun then the old one at WDW, we haven't been to WDW for over 4 years and so with the improvements/refubs I can't really compare them fairly. Here's the biggie.... at DL several rides did NOT have fast pass that have it at WDW, for example, Pooh, Peter Pan, and if I'm not mistaken doesn't or didn't Haunted Mansion have Fast Pass in WDW? It was very apparent that the lines moved with so much more ease and speed, that the time in line was really shorter. While we understand the virtual time in line theory, however it was so wonderful to get in line, not have to wait for FP time to arrive or wait around the area doing other things, also, when you were in the standard line, you didn't have to wait on large groups of FP people going in front of you- it was mentally easier to handle then thinking you were almost there then having tons of people keep getting in line before you. Pooh had no wait, ever, and Peter Pan while busy, apparently due to not having a FP, the line was moving constantly and it felt way shorter to wait at DL as you were moving and felt like you were getting closer to the ride then in WDW where the lines are just plain crazy for PP. PP had lines all day but they kept on the move so it seemed to have a shorter wait to us then the WDW PP. The parks were very crowded and we were so surprised at how much the FP messed with the standby line in WDW verses DL. Anyway, I hope this post helped some of you who are WDW vets going on your first DL vacation. I am still bummed that our DS didn't get to have his first rides on Space MTN and that we didn't get to see the refurbished SM due to the OSHA closures. We felt cheated by DL for not taking care of business when they should have done so earlier in the year. We were especially sad about not getting to ride BTM, our favorite all time ride, had this not been a business trip for DH we would have visited the parks when BTM was not in refurb mode. We told DS that he would have two new rides to try in the future when he goes to the parks again, that seemed to make him happy. The problem is that we know we can't afford to go anytime soon again, not for years. I would love to even get just one day for the five of us at WDW this summer as we are going to Atlanta to visit Grandma, so YDS and ODS's could have a little fun and catch SM and BTM. It would be a great surprise for them. WDW is just a short drive ( about 7 hours ) from Atlanta. At least we were able to go on this trip and have a blast ! NEW information added to this report for food allergic people since the OP I added some extra information on food allergies to the disabilities threads and so wanted to combine that information for anyone interested in this report too. A benefit of being able to quickly hop between Dl and DCA, at least for us, with a food allergic child was that certain places had foods that DS could eat without having worries that he would have an allergic reaction. We could go to either park, play for the morning and then go to any rest in either park to eat with less then an average of a ten min walk. We were surprised that all of the rest didn't have the same food venders. It seemed that if one had a good food substitute such as rice pasta- some pastas have egg white in them, that all of the pasta serving places would have that but we were told many times by different chefs that each rest had their own "stuff". Also, WDW used to have the egg free Mickey Waffles. We asked in several places for the EF waffle and were told that DL does not offer this item. DS was disappointed to say the least. DS was looking forward to having one of these for breakfast instead of his usual cereal and bacon choices while traveling. This caused us a bit of frustration as some of the food places had egg in their pasta, for example, and did not offer an alternative, and other rest. could offer the alternative for our DS to eat. It seemed that as a whole, DL and DCA rests should have been more uniform in their suppliers and able to attain or carry similar items but we were told not so. I can't for the life of me figure this out but we were told several times at different places that the roast beef was roasted in ovens with peanut products???? So, even at sub places he couldn't have just the meat unless it was turkey. He loves turkey but not for a week at every meal- Also, he couldn't eat several buns/breads for dogs, burgers, or subs as the bread is made out of house and therefore couldn't be guaranteed to be egg free. We ate at Goofy's Kitchen- the chef fixed him pasta with marinara sauce and cheese pizza- it was on the food bar but so was peanut butter pizza and the chance of cross contamination was VERY HIGH so he had his own slices taken from a fresh pie before it went on the bar. Red Rockets had cheese pizza again and he enjoyed the bread sticks with sauce as well. New Orleans Square had a rest. that served the rice pasta and my DS loved having something different from burgers and dogs for one afternoon. Pasta isn't the only thing that he eats but that was just a real life example that we ran across. New Orleans Café fixed a beautiful plate with pasta, fruit, broccoli, and apples mixed. We found this place on day four and so son was sick of the same foods- turkey!!!!! Judging by the practically clean licked plate and the comment by DS that he wanted to "kiss the cook"- - which he did, as he asked to speak to the cook after his meal, to tell him that the food really tasted good. I am sure that Chef Jose was quite surprised to get a hug and kiss from our child- at which point we tried to stop DS as even though the chef's apron looked very clean, it probably had food allergens all over it! No harm came from it as we had instructed DS to hug the characters if he wanted to at Goofy's Kitchen, but to make sure that he turned his face sideways to avoid all the food contaminate containing kisses from the other kids, so he remembered safety first with his food allergies. We still had him wash off his face immediately and take a Benadryl for good measure. We were as surprised as Jose about the hug and kiss - he blew the kiss just for clarification! How's that for gratification? Jose was gracious and accepted the thank you with a big smile on his face. I know it takes some time away form the chef's duties to cater to food allergic people and I am sure that he was happy to get such a heart felt thank you from DS. We felt bad as we thought that up to that point, we were serving DS different foods each meal but in hindsight, it was a lot of turkey. The Hungry Bear Café served DS a bunless hamburger with sweet potato fries. If we get to go back we will get the adult portion burger as the kids version was all bun- no bun for DS and so there was a sorry bit of meat patty about the size of a White House/Krystle burger and so not enough food for a 7 year old boy. Add that to the fact that he was not impressed with sweet potato fries and he left hungry. We made it up to him, as soon he had a frozen lemonade in his hot little hands. No, he did not eat a very balanced diet this trip but what the heck our hands were tied and he had a good time so it's vacation. He will get in his fruits/vegis and so on at home this week. Isn't lemonade a fruit choice- I guess he got in some vegis too as popcorn counts as a vegi, doesn't it? Rainforest Café was more then helpful and DS was quite happy with his bunless (big) hotdog and side of corn. We had dinner at Naples in DTD one evening were DH had a business meal that included all the family of the conference attendees. This was a very nice set up but unfortunately the food allergy police had to be in full force again this evening. DS was not able to eat the app of bruschetta, so the chef made him pizza dough, cut it and added garlic butter for bread sticks. The Italian meats and cheeses were just fine for DS. The salad was skipped as DS does not have a taste for bitter greens yet. Come to think of it, neither do Dad and Mom but we ate them anyway to be polite as this meal was very expensive and we were having it for free, so manners were important. The main courses were very good. DS was able to have the beef with potatoes, the asparagus, and the pizza. Dessert was so great for DS. Usually he ends up with fruit if we eat out but the chef had some type of Italian ice-cream in which he put sprigs of mint and a cherry on top. DS was in his glory- ice-cream is almost always a no-no for us as it contains eggs and nuts. The kid was in heaven and we heard over and over how good this was. Mom and Dad had "other" beautiful desserts but would have like to have the ice-cream for sure. Yummy! So, all in all, as you have read, the trip overall was a good experience for our family. We felt were able to find something for DS to eat in most places and if not, we just hopped back to a rest that we knew that he could eat the food from.