A Disney Anniversary - Halloween Time at DLR, UOR and WDW - Sept/Oct 2019 - COMPLETED 01/09/2020

Pudge_The_Fish

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Congratulations!! Sending positive vibes your way :)

Love your lightsaber night shots! DH built a lightsaber on our summer DL visit and the night shots we took in front of the Falcon are some of my all-time favorites as well. The photopass photographer really knew how to get great shots.
 


RachelleBeaney

PrincessShelle
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Congratulations!! Sending positive vibes your way :)

Love your lightsaber night shots! DH built a lightsaber on our summer DL visit and the night shots we took in front of the Falcon are some of my all-time favorites as well. The photopass photographer really knew how to get great shots.
Thanks - we appreciate that.
Yes I love the night saber shots! They were so much fun
 
  • Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    I'm so excited for you guys!
    If you are worried that it was a bad idea to eat a sundae and then head on the fastest, most twisting ride in the park, you need not worry. We all have strong stomachs and the Incredicoaster is quiet gentle even whilst being fast and turny, and all the ice cream stayed where it should.
    Very true - love those magnets! Now, Matterhorn, that would have been another story...
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    I'm so excited for you guys!

    Very true - love those magnets! Now, Matterhorn, that would have been another story...
    Thanks so much again! We are subtly excited (that was how my chiropractor put it when we told him). It's still early - but definitely life changing!

    Yes agree the Matterhorn is a no go right after eating! Since I'm feeling nauseous a lot at the moment the thought of going on any of those bumpy rides is pretty sickening!
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 15 - Part 5 - Cars After Close

    After our journey Under the Sea we headed towards Toy Story Midway Mania with Todd and Kim. We still had a bit of time, so we decided to sit and chill for a few minutes! I'm pleased to report we have found THE COMFIEST spot to sit at the Disneyland Resort. This is it:



    It's a lovely padded bench seat just out the front of the Lamplight Lounge (the former Ariel's Grotto). We rested for about 15 minutes extremely comfy, and enjoyed chatting away!

    Todd is comfy!



    So are we!



    You could almost lie on the seat, making it the perfect place to stop and take a beat, taking in the beautiful night lights around us!

    We headed onto Toy Story, avoiding a 55 minute wait. Our game didn't die half way through this time around and I'm pleased to report our scores were much improved. Jared even got best in vehicle (which was just the 4 of us, but he was still very happy about that).









    Our scores were still not hugely epic. I wonder how people can get scores of 300,000 - 500,000 without literally ruining their arms (my arms were so sore with how fast and furiously I was pulling the string).


    After Toy Story we said goodbye to Todd and Kim, who were heading off to bed. We made plans to meet them out the front of California Adventure at 8:20am the next morning (slightly after opening again, so we could sleep in some more).

    We still had one more task to accomplish, so we headed into Carsland to grab some end of the night shots. Our plan was to close down Carsland. We got started with what we could before the park was closed.

    We were pleased that the Route 66 tarmac etchings were fairly free, so we could start with these fun photos!





    Then we moved over to Flo's



    And tried a bit of bokeh (blurring the background)!





    We soon realised that we weren't going to be able to stay too long in the area. As the park closed the security guards began to move up from the base of the Radiator Springs road fairly quickly. Because people were still coming out of Radiator Racers, and we knew they would be for a while (because the wait had still been 90 minutes at park close), we weren't able to get any shots of a completely empty Carsland. But we did ok, as we took multiple photos which we later combined to get rid of people.

    Not too bad right! There were always people around the spider sadly!





    Getting a shot back down the street was much more difficult. There were still streams of people heading back up the street, exiting the ride, but the security guards had pretty much gotten to blocking off the street from where we were (which was almost at the top of the street). We knew we wouldn't be able to wait for an empty street so we did our best!





    We left Carsland by 10:15pm, and we wouldn't have been able to stay much longer as the security guards had made a point of asking Jared to take his last shot in the area. I think in the future it might be better to hop in the single rider line for Radiator Racers and then try take a shot after coming back out, though like I said the guards were not letting anyone stop on the street really at this point, so I'm not sure if that would have worked. Perhaps we just needed a quieter evening.

    We arrived back at our room at 10:45pm and went straight to bed, pleased to have had another successful day at the Disneyland Resort, and to finally be hanging out with Todd and Kim again.

    Continued in Next Post...
     
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    Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    Our scores were still not hugely epic. I wonder how people can get scores of 300,000 - 500,000 without literally ruining their arms (my arms were so sore with how fast and furiously I was pulling the string). My arms were so sore by the end of that game!
    It’s definitely all about activating the special games! I think I’ve seen them all at various times, but never all on one ride (one of my friends did the ABD and the guides explained some of the tricks). And at the end, when it’s a big circle to hit, you both go for the same one so the value increases faster! But yeah, definitely it hurts my arm when I go full force!
     
  • RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 16 - Part 1 - By the Disney seaside

    We had arrived at our 5th day at the Disneyland Resort, and it looked as though it was going to be a different kind of day. As we left our room just before 8:00am we were surrounded by fog and mist, it was all very magical. I always joke the dementors must be close by when I see fog or mist. That being said I think I could have produced an amazing patronus from the joy I always feel heading into Disneyland, so I wasn't feeling their effects. :rotfl2:

    We snuck through the Grand Californian entrance again and arrived at DCA at 8:10am, a little early. We sat down on a bench just inside the entrance to wait for Todd and Kim to join us, and of course we purchased our Maxpasses for the day. Once Todd and Kim arrived we made a Maxpass for Guardians of the Galaxy from 9:00am - 10:00am and it was at this point that I discovered you can go back into your Maxpass bookings to note the time you can make a new Maxpass, if you forgot to note the time when making the booking. It doesn't show up on the Maxpass itself but it was there somewhere in the app (I don't remember where though!).

    Anyway, we made our way towards the Radiator Racers single rider line. The wait was 45 minutes and we pretty much walked straight on as single riders. Kim and I ended up in the same car, as did Todd and Jared, so that was great! Kim and I won, and the boys lost.

    We headed over to the Incredicoaster next and waited for about 15 minutes to get on. The ride is so much fun, and again, though the Incredibles overlay is fairly minor it still does add something to the ride.

    While we waited for the Incredicoaster we were able to make our second Maxpass of the day, for Soarin' from 9:20am - 10:20am.

    After our trip on the Incredicoaster we needed to make our way towards Guardians of the Galaxy. But we saw a Photopass photographer without a line and since you know the rules by now I don't need to explain why we had to stop for photos!











    As you can see, the skies had cleared and it was no longer foggy! The fog did not last long.

    After pictures we headed on over to Guardians again. The wait was amazingly only 10 minutes, so our Maxpasses were a little pointless, but we still skipped in front of a few people. We made good use of our time in line making Matterhorn Maxpasses. Sadly we ended up with different times again, Todd and Kim got 1:30pm - 2:30pm and we got 4:30pm - 5:30pm!! Luckily we had planned to stay in the park all day today, as we had no plans for night photos this evening.



    The ride was fantastic, as it was the first time. I enjoyed seeing the"infinity gauntlet" for sale as we exited through the gift shop. A bit of a dangerous souvenir in the wrong hands Disney?? :rotfl2:



    After Guardians we made our way over to Soarin'. Having got the worst seats the last few times we'd ridden we decided to ask to wait for the front row middle. I think we waited 15 - 20 minutes, when the standby wait was 35 minutes, even with the Maxpasses. But it was worth it for the best seat in the house! The view is so much less distorted in the middle section than on the edges. I don't recall this ever being as much of an issue with the Soarin' over California version. Perhaps it has to do with the digital screens? I don't know, but there really are premium viewing points for Soarin' now and I wished they'd fix this issue.





    Being 3 rides down and having 3 Maxpasses in hand by 10am made us pretty happy. Todd and Kim left us at this point and headed over to Disneyland. We told them we'd meet up with them over there after our lunch at the Lamplight Lounge, which was booked for 12:00pm. Todd and Kim hadn't been keen to try the Lamplight Lounge but Jared and I had really wanted to, so we were splitting up for lunch today.

    We had a lot of time to "waste" until lunch so we decided to do a lap of the Disney "seaside", Pixar Pier, and see if any of the carnival rides had short waits. The one we were really keen to do, Pixar Pal Around, had a 30 minute wait again. And like I said earlier, that is not a wait I'm willing to do for a Ferris wheel. Apologies, I've been calling the ride Mickey's Fun Wheel because that's what it is in my mind still (I'm not sure why it's called the Pixar Pal Around when Mickey's head is on it and he isn't a Pixar character!).

    Anyway we managed to find a ride without much wait, the Silly Symphony Swings, so we hopped on. Though a simple carnival ride I really love these classic swing attractions. This is partly because of the childhood memories they evoke. We would go to the Perth Royal Show, a sort of large scale carnival/agriculture show that comes to Perth every September/October, with our Aunty Rose every year. I was quite afraid of big scary rides (the rollercoasters and ones that spun you upside down) but the swing ride was always something I would love to do because it was so relaxing. I felt like I was flying and would feel so free and happy while up in the air like that. I would often imagine that I was a fairy overseeing her Kingdom!

    The Silly Symphony Swings, along with making you feel like you are flying free, have the added bonus of looking over the beautiful Pixar Pier. Much nicer scenery that the slightly rusting carnival rides, midway game style tents and general fast food debris of the "Sideshow Alley" of my childhood. While Pixar Pier's boardwalk vibe is similar (lots of carnival rides) it is so much more romantic, clean and generally more beautiful than those sights I experienced as a kid! Add to that the soundtrack of classical music, and I get that same free feeling as I did as a child, with infinitely better visuals - the freedom of flying over a Disney Kingdom that is all mine (I know not really, but I like to think it's all mine).

    Our next stop was the first time we had gotten the proper camera out all morning. It was also another first for us, the Golden Zephyr. We've never done this ride before, as we figured it was very similar to the Silly Symphony Swings. But with more time to kill, and a desire to try get a few photos flying above Pixar Pier, we thought why not. It was only a 5 minute wait after all.











    Without my feet danging out over the water I didn't quite get the same sensation as on the Silly Symphony Swings - but it was fun and we did enjoy the views.

    It still wasn't lunch time but we were done with rides for the time being. Jared actually hadn't had his morning coffee yet (and hadn't even complained about it) so we decided to head over to Pacific Wharf so he could get one from the coffee cart just out the front of the area. I had a vague memory that it was one of the only places we'd found at Disneyland that served proper cafe style coffees (aka long blacks, cappuccino's etc). Jared got a long black, which is his preference. He said it was better than the peculated coffee he'd had to date, but still wasn't quite good! He is a coffee snob and we are lucky to have very high quality coffee in Australia, so he finds it a little hard when we are in the states. I of course have no problems, because I don't drink coffee and wouldn't know a good one if it danced naked in front of me wearing one of Dobby's hats (any Harry Potter book fans out there will know what I'm talking about :rotfl2:).

    This area of Pacific Wharf was such a lovely place to just sit and chill for a time. We felt like we were at some sort of seaside vacation destination just sitting and enjoying the atmosphere. You half expect to see seagulls coming in to steal your chips (should you have chips) while sitting in Pacific Wharf.









    While breaking we made our 4th Maxpass of the day for Big Thunder Mountain from 2:00pm - 3:00pm. Todd and Kim had opted to make another Maxpass so wouldn't be joining us. I had gotten so relaxing chilling in Pacific Wharf that I had forgotten to keep an eye on the time. We were able to make a new selection at 11:02am, and I was usually pretty good and making one the minute we could (to allow us to make as many as possible). When I noticed it was 11:12am I let out an audible and apparently very dramatic "oh no" and Jared thought something terrible had happened! I had to explain to him that I was fine, but we were 10 minutes overdue for making a new Maxpass. He laughed out loud at how silly and dramatic my outburst had been over such a trivial thing, and I joined him (I'm not sure why I was so dramatic about it - it really didn't matter!).

    We were going to head over to Grizzly River Run but the wait was 45 minutes so we decided to head towards Lamplight Lounge. We STILL had time until lunch, but we wondered if they might seat us a little early. We took a few photos of the view from the bridge to the pier as we headed over.







    We used some Photoshop magic on these photos. Here's the last picture without the fixed reflections.






    Continued in Next Post...
     
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    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    It’s definitely all about activating the special games! I think I’ve seen them all at various times, but never all on one ride (one of my friends did the ABD and the guides explained some of the tricks). And at the end, when it’s a big circle to hit, you both go for the same one so the value increases faster! But yeah, definitely it hurts my arm when I go full force!
    I've never seen a special game, but then again I'm not particular good at these type of shooting style attractions! I'd love to learn the tricks! I'm glad it's not just me that gets tired arms from this one!
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 16 - Part 2 - Lounging at the Lamplight

    We had finally made our way to Lamplight Lounge and though our reservation was at 12:05, and it was only 11:35am, we decided to try checking in.

    We were a little confused about how to check in at first. There was a really long line of people out the front of the restaurant. So we hopped in it. There were no cast members around near the outdoor check in podium we could ask if this was the correct thing to do if you had a reservation, which was strange. After waiting a few minutes it occurred to me that perhaps this was the line of people waiting for non-reservation seating, so I headed inside to the main counter to ask and was able to check in right there and then. We were then seated right away. This worked well, as we hadn't had breakfast that morning so we were hungry even though it was only 11:35am.





    We made our way in and I have to say, though I enjoyed Ariel's Grotto, I really love the new animation style themeing of the Lamplight Lounge





    We were shown to our table, which was on the inner most outdoor patio area. It had PERFECT views over the Incredicoaster and the fun wheel, not to mention some of the comfiest chairs I've ever sat on at a Disney restaurant. There were other couches and lounges around and the whole area just had such a laid back and relaxed vibe.

    I took a million photos of the fantastic views!





















    Even before we had ordered food the Lamplight Lounge was fast becoming one of my favourite eateries at the Disneyland Resort. It has such an unpretentious vibe, and feels so relaxed and almost homely in a way. Sitting down looking over the beautiful Pixar Pier lagoon in those completely comfy chairs just completely relaxed me. I felt like this was a place I could sit and be, somewhere to break from the rushing to and fro that's often associated with theme parking, rather than just somewhere to eat a meal. I feel like the Imagineers nailed the design here to create a place where you can put your feet up, rest and take in the details of the park. Oh, and eat I guess!

    We perused the menu's to decide what to eat and drink!









    How cute are the coasters!




    We ordered the nacho's, though with chicken rather than the lobster (as I'm allergic to shellfish) and potato skins. Jared also ordered a Modello, because he loves that beer and you can't really get it easily in Australia. I opted for a non-acoholic cocktail today which looked fun. It was called an Infinity Fizz.

    I headed off to the toilets and was surprised to find chalkboard like walls with quotes from Pixar movies lining the entrance way to the bathrooms. It was very cute:





    The waiter had tried to bring out my mocktail while I was in the toilet, but had told Jared he'd come back when I'd returned. The reason for this is that the Infinity Fizz had a special effect which occurs when the cocktail was poured over dry ice in a separate container at the bottom of the serving glass. The effect, where the drink smoked and fizzed, was so fun and completely unexpected! I was blown away (it was also a delicious drink too, one of my favourite mocktails ever I think). It tasted like the sticky candy tubes I used to love as a kid (so very sweet) with the tiniest sour after taste. YUM!

    We of course had to take a million photos of the effect (plus a video).










    Jared's beer was a little boring in comparison. He enjoyed it though.



    Here's what's in the Infinity Fizz, if you were curious:



    In no time, the food arrived. The potato skins were not what I expected, they looked a little more like what we Aussies call potato cakes, but they were delicious none-the-less.

    The nacho's were bought out with lobster on them, and we had to advised we'd ordered the chicken because I was allergic to shellfish. The wait staff scrambled to bring us our correct order and gave me a free pixar lamp straw for the troubles, which was sweet.



    The nacho's were great, a little bit of a spicy kick to them but the flavours were fantastic. I could also tell the corn chips were homemade - everything was so fresh and flavourful.



    Continued in Next Post...
     
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    heaven2dc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 26, 2003
    I just started reading your TR accidentally starting on page 10 and noticed you said you "snuck through the Grand Californian entrance again". Since I haven't read the beginning of your Disneyland portion of your TR yet, I wasn't sure if you were staying at DGH or came through the private entrance with your friends who were staying there because you said you snuck through the entrance. If you weren't staying there, how did you get past the checkpoint without showing a room key? Just curious as I know they can be pretty strict since it is for DGH guests only. I do have to give you and your husband great kudos for taking such amazing photos of the parks!!
     
  • RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    I just started reading your TR accidentally starting on page 10 and noticed you said you "snuck through the Grand Californian entrance again". Since I haven't read the beginning of your Disneyland portion of your TR yet, I wasn't sure if you were staying at DGH or came through the private entrance with your friends who were staying there because you said you snuck through the entrance. If you weren't staying there, how did you get past the checkpoint without showing a room key? Just curious as I know they can be pretty strict since it is for DGH guests only. I do have to give you and your husband great kudos for taking such amazing photos of the parks!!
    no we were not staying at the DGCH or any of the official Disney hotels, but at a motel on Katella Avenue. Luckily for us, the security at DGCH did not once check us for a Disney room key or ask to see ID or anything like that. We would simply follow people if they crossed over the lights just near the DGCH entrance on Disneyland Way as they were always crossing to head through the gate (there’s just no other reason to be on that side of the road). I’m guessing guests of the Paradise Pier hotel were able to use their room keys to get in as the majority of people we followed that were opening the gate looked like they came from that hotel. There were also a few CMs on their way into the parks too. As I said, I was nervous at first but security never once stopped us nor asked us anything. And if we could follow someone in this way it would cut 5-10 mins off our walk into the parks and cut down hugely on the line at security. Not sure if it always works but Jared was brave enough to try and we got away with it (I was really nervous about it at first). Since the last time we stayed at the Paradise Pier hotel and loved this shortcut we were pleased it had still worked for us and didn’t feel too bad, we were Disney park guests for 10 days after all!

    thanks for the compliments - I hope you enjoy reading the rest of the report and am glad you like the photos.
     

    Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    The ride was fantastic, as it was the first time. I enjoyed seeing the"infinity gauntlet" for sale as we exited through the gift shop. A bit of a dangerous souvenir in the wrong hands Disney?? :rotfl2:

    Or you can just be like Hela in Thor Ragnarock - "Fake"
    I don't recall this ever being as much of an issue with the Soarin' over California version. Perhaps it has to do with the digital screens? I don't know, but there really are premium viewing points for Soarin' now and I wished they'd fix this issue.
    Yeah, the new film really sucks in that respect! Even over the summer, Soarin' over California didn't have the distortion.
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Or you can just be like Hela in Thor Ragnarock - "Fake"

    Yeah, the new film really sucks in that respect! Even over the summer, Soarin' over California didn't have the distortion.
    hehe that’s true I could be!
    I’m glad to know it’s not just me that remembers the older video without the distortions! I was so bummed to miss that showing of the old version by a month or so!
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 16 - Part 3 - Buena Vista, Main and Royal Streets

    After a satisfying and incredibly relaxing lunch Jared and I made our way out of one of our new favourites, the Lamplight Lounge. Jared had to use the bathrooms and since he matched one part of one of the walls we had to get this photo (check out his T-shirt - he bought this because as Australian's we appreciate the accuracy of those annoying seagulls from Finding Nemo!).



    We slowly made our way out of DCA, heading over to Disneyland. We had plenty of time before our Big Thunder Mountain Maxpasses, and looking at the wait times over at Disneyland we weren't in too much of a hurry to ride anything!





    The competing icons of DCA







    We found another lonely Photopass Photographer on our way our, so we stopped for a few more pictures.







    We stopped briefly to enjoy the 5 and Dime.











    Love their car - and we found some "hidden Mickey's" on it!



    It was great to walk out to the sounds of rousing Jazz numbers, I danced along as we headed out of Buena Vista Street and we made our way to Main Street.





    Once on Main Street we ran into this small Disneyland band, so we stopped and watched them briefly too! It was a different era all of a sudden, we'd gone from the Jazz of the 1920s to the Brass/folk sounds of the turn of the last century.





    The street-mosphere at Disneyland is one of the best things about the parks! If you want to find the schedule you can, but I love just happen upon musicians and singers and dancers at all different times of the day. There is something about this spontaneous celebration of music and dance that just puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step!

    We headed over to Big Thunder Mountain thinking our Maxpasses were ready to go (we could have sworn we made them for 1:10pm - 2:20pm) but upon reviewing them we realised they were actually from 2:00pm - 3:00pm. Planning fail!

    Oh well, we figured we'd head over to Royal Street (our third street of the day) and the adjacent Pirates of the Caribbean. The wait was posted at 30 minutes, which is much longer than I'd normal wait, but I figured the line is always pretty fast moving so we joined the giant line which had snaked it's way outside the entrance gates and was blocking much of the path in the already narrow New Orleans Square (I'm wondering why the widening of paths and things in other areas of the park hasn't included better overflow queuing areas for Pirates and the Haunted Mansion! These queues, once they get busy, start to take up valuable room in NOS and make the whole area feel so much more crowded! Please fix this Disney!

    The ride actually paused for a bit while we were in line so the line didn't move quite as quickly as I would have liked. We only did wait a little over 30 minutes but for some reason this was the most painful wait of our entire trip! Perhaps because we would have normally been almost ready for rest time, and we weren't having one today. My feet were really sore too and I was struggling and by the time we loaded onto Pirates the pain was making me a little grumpy.



    Still feeling a little grumpy as we floated past the Blue Bayou....



    My demeanour changed completely once we arrived at the first waterfall. As we headed down into the Pirate Caverns our whole boat began to clap and cheer. The joy and wonder was completely infectious and I was soon feeling much better!





    Then dead men told ....well....some tales. The irony of those skeletal pirate scenes is that Disney is doing what they do best, they are telling a story whilst. And yet that dead men tell no tales!?











    Never noticed this little guy before! Just goes to show with these classic dark rides there is always something to discover!



    I love the scope and scale of Pirates of the Caribbean. It is truly a standard for dark rides everywhere. Still it can't escape the fact that the age of it's AA figures makes it really dated looking. Adding in a few new figures just seems to highlight the fact the older ones have limited range and motion. Like I said, I would love if Disney spent some time updating the technology used in all the characters in this ride. I know that would probably cost the earth, but imagine fluid figures like that of Hondo Ohnaka throughout the entire attraction! It would breathe new life into it!





    This was my first time seeing the new auction scene with the new redhead....I have no particular connection to the original story (the first time I saw the ride was after the movie updates to it) so it doesn't bother me that this scene was changed.





    We've still never managed to capture a great shot of the pirates trying to escape the jail!



    I also noticed this time that the Jack Sparrow figures were starting to look a little older too. The first time I saw them I remember thinking that I couldn't tell if it was an AA or an actor, but perhaps I've become more jaded in the time since our first trip, or I've just seen technology move along, but I notice the flaws of the older figures a lot more these days.



    Continued in Next Post....
     
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    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 16 - Part 4 - From the Old West to a Monorail Future

    After Pirates we headed back over to Big Thunder Mountain. The wait had decreased from 55 minutes to 35 minutes, so our Maxpass was a little less valuable than it would have been at 1:30pm! Oh well. We were on the ride in no time, and asked to wait for the front row so we could take a million photos.....Here they are:















    Check out the top of Galaxy's Edge in the background here!





























    I hope you enjoyed that exhaustive tour of the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness! I really love the Disneyland version of this attraction. I can't quite put my finger on what's better about it - I do love the plussing in the "exploding mine" scene. And the town of Big Thunder at the end adds a lot more to this version over the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disney versions. I still haven't been on the Paris version, which I hear is the best, so for now the Disneyland version is my favourite.

    We headed to Star Tours next, the wait was only about 20 minutes which was great. We got the exact same combination as our first ride at Hollywood Studios! The Vadar opening scene, Hoth, a message from Yoda and the Death Star over Genonosis. What are the chances of that!! We did fly with a fun crew on this ride, when the safety droid said "bye bye" after asking us to exit, our entire cabin said "bye bye" back! With the same accent and inflection! Too funny! I'm guessing we were riding with a lot of APs who've ridden a number of times and are trying to keep the experience fresh and fun!

    After a ride through a galaxy we went to meet up with Todd and Kim again. They had wanted to do a trip on the monorail so we headed over that way.













    We wanted to ask to ride in the front cabin, as Todd and Kim were going on about how amazing it had been to do that on their last trip to Disneyland. Sadly, the CMs weren't letting anyone ride in the front cabin because of the heat. Probably a good call, as the regular cabins, even with the windows open, were fairly warm and the front cabins have no ventilation at all.

    This was only the second time Jared and I have ridden the monorail. We did enjoy it, though there are a few too many parts that don't allow views over the park which I don't love.

    I took a few videos of the best views though. I love that in the first one I caught a Matterhorn bobsled rushing past just as we headed past the mountain!



    The gum trees we rushed past just outside of Downtown Disney made me feel at home!


    It's so great to see Disneyland from such a different perspective though.

    We did a full loop and ended up back in Tomorrowland. After our trip around the resort on the monorail Jared and I decided we needed a snack and I think Todd and Kim wanted a smoke break, so we separated and agreed to meet back up later.

    Continued in Next Post...
     
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    heaven2dc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 26, 2003
    no we were not staying at the DGCH or any of the official Disney hotels, but at a motel on Katella Avenue. Luckily for us, the security at DGCH did not once check us for a Disney room key or ask to see ID or anything like that. We would simply follow people if they crossed over the lights just near the DGCH entrance on Disneyland Way as they were always crossing to head through the gate (there’s just no other reason to be on that side of the road). I’m guessing guests of the Paradise Pier hotel were able to use their room keys to get in as the majority of people we followed that were opening the gate looked like they came from that hotel. There were also a few CMs on their way into the parks too. As I said, I was nervous at first but security never once stopped us nor asked us anything. And if we could follow someone in this way it would cut 5-10 mins off our walk into the parks and cut down hugely on the line at security. Not sure if it always works but Jared was brave enough to try and we got away with it (I was really nervous about it at first). Since the last time we stayed at the Paradise Pier hotel and loved this shortcut we were pleased it had still worked for us and didn’t feel too bad, we were Disney park guests for 10 days after all!

    thanks for the compliments - I hope you enjoy reading the rest of the report and am glad you like the photos.
    I'm definitely enjoying more of your adventure! I finished with the first part and now on your 3rd day at WDW.

    In regards to the private entrance at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, it used to be that if you were staying at any Disney hotel on property, you could use the private entrance. However, a couple of years ago they changed that after the remodel so that only hotels of DGCH could have access to it. Sounds like security was lax because they're supposed to ask for DGCH guests' room key.

    BTW your pics are so amazing! Especially of Pandora - we haven't visited since 2010 so have a lot to catch up on in 2020 when we go back!
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    I'm definitely enjoying more of your adventure! I finished with the first part and now on your 3rd day at WDW.

    In regards to the private entrance at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, it used to be that if you were staying at any Disney hotel on property, you could use the private entrance. However, a couple of years ago they changed that after the remodel so that only hotels of DGCH could have access to it. Sounds like security was lax because they're supposed to ask for DGCH guests' room key.

    BTW your pics are so amazing! Especially of Pandora - we haven't visited since 2010 so have a lot to catch up on in 2020 when we go back!
    I'm glad you are enjoying our Disney adventures! So happy to have you reading along.

    Don't know what to say RE the DGCH gate entrance but it seemed to me that Paradise Pier Hotel guests were able to use their room keys to open it, so perhaps they've changed the policy again to all Disney hotel guest. When we stayed at Paradise Pier in 2013 there was no gate, but as I said they were very lax RE security, we weren't asked for ID once. I was worried we would get asked but we didn't so we were pleased about that. It was a risk but it paid off.

    I'm glad you are enjoying the pictures :)
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 16 - Part 5 - Mountain and Volcano

    Finishing up on the monorail we headed towards a snack location, and on our way found a Photopass photographer with no wait. So.....





    He thought it was adorable that we danced into our pose, we were just both in really good moods I guess.

    Love love love this photo!





    This guy was great, he had us do all different type of things.

    Jared doing his "aww" face again (and I thought he learned his lesson by now!) :rotfl2:


    Better Jared!



    I love this "contemplating" pose. Looking up at Walt and this fantastic place that only exists because of his vision is always moving, I love that this picture captures that.

    We needed a snack, and what better place to stop for one than the Jolly Holiday Bakery. I had my eye on some more cute treats so I ordered a "Arendelle Aqua" macaroon (aka Frozen macaroon) and Jared ordered a "poison Apple pie".









    We both really enjoyed our snacks, though I have to say the "Arendelle Aqua" craze sweeping Disney when we visited was so strange. I didn't mind this weird Disney marketing ploy, as I look quite good in aqua and I was able to buy clothes in a colour I like, but it was a little bit of a weird and cheesy thing for Disney to do!

    While we rested we enjoyed the sounds of the Main Street Marching Band that were wafting in from Main Street.

    After our break we headed towards the Matterhorn for our 4:10pm Maxpass. The wait was 80 minutes so we were pleased to have a Maxpass!

    We hadn't seen the new queue for the ride yet. It is an improvement over the old one, there is so much more space (this is what needs to be done near Pirates and HM, though I acknowledge there is nowhere near as much space to do this in NOS).















    Our goal was to "capture the soul" (aka get a photo) of the Matterhorn's resident abominable snowman/yeti/snow monster (whatever he is). We christened him Fred because it was easier to say when discussing him! Sadly in this instance we failed miserably to capture him. We had the 50mm prime on the camera and he was too close and it was too fast to even attempt to capture him with that lens. Jared said not to worry, we'd try again the next day with the wide angle lens.

    The Matterhorn is still the roughest ride at Disneyland! I did ok this time, as I was in the middle of the three seats and was able to brace myself on the front of the car in front of me. Jared was at the front, for photos, and using the camera (or attempting to) he could not brace, so it was worse for him! We normally only ride this once per trip because it's just so bumpy but since we hadn't captured the soul of Fred we knew we'd have to experience more torture the next day.

    We did discuss how we did not think the Matterhorn was worth an 80 minute wait! We didn't realise at the time that only half the mountain was open, which was pushing up the wait times.

    After the Matterhorn we made our way to the Hungry Bear restaurant via Galaxy's Edge (it's so awesome that all those far edge areas of Disneyland now connect via Galaxy's Edge!). We met Todd and Kim and enjoyed chatting and enjoying the view. We mobile ordered some food. I needed veges so I got a salad and loaded fries, and Jared ordered a burger.







    The salad was fantastic! Loved the honey mustard dressing. The Blueberry lemonade that I ordered had a few too many blueberry seeds for me liking. Jared said his burger was so so and the loaded fries were fine, but not the best I've ever had.

    After we enjoyed dinner we decided to do a bit of shopping at World of Disney. Todd and Kim had a few things to buy and I needed a Buzz and Woody for my nephew for his birthday (his request) and a Princess dress for my little niece. I also managed to find a jumper for myself in Arendelle Aqua!

    After paying Todd and Kim had perhaps the most fantastic idea that anyone had ever had! They suggested we head over to "that Tiki bar" at the Disneyland hotel, aka Trader Sam's. I'd heard plenty of great things about Trader Sam's but knew it was small and hard to get into, so we headed over thinking if it was full we'd come back to Downtown Disney and find somewhere to sit and drink in there.

    On our way to the bar I got to see the Disneyland hotel grounds and pool for the very first time. It is really beautiful! The building itself isn't much but they've really added to it with it's lush gardens and surrounds. We struggled to find Trader Sam's at first, but finally found it after a few wrong turns. I was able to fulfil one of my Disney dreams as we wandered towards the bar too, seeing a Disney cat! There was a black one snuggled into some of the bushes in front of the bar! Such a small dream but I was so happy to see a Disney kitteh!

    We made our way into the bar and it was full, but there was one high table with 2 chairs so we hovered there, thinking that it looked as though the people at a table for four just near us would be leaving soon. We were right, and as they were getting up we asked if we could push in and they were more than happy to let us (told us that was the only way to get a table in the bar). We felt really lucky to have gotten a place to all sit together.

    The theme of this bar is phenomenal! Everywhere I looked I saw more detail! I loved the Tiki theme, it works so well with cocktails!









    We perused the menu trying to work out what to order. While thinking, we had our first experience of the "magic cocktail" effects when someone ordered the Krakatoa!

    Jared really wanted to try the "magic" cocktail after that, just for the experience (though not with the expensive souvenir cup).





    Jared ended up ordering the Krakatoa Punch, Todd and Kim got Piranha Punch and I decided to get a mocktail. I choose the Polynesian Punch and, because what would be more appropriate, some Dole Whip!





    Jared's Krakatoa was bought out and the gong was sounded preparing us for the mighty volcano to erupt.....

    But the CMs had choosen the wrong special effects and instead we ended up in the middle of a storm! Hehehe


    Luckily later on someone ordered a Krakatoa and we were able to experience the proper Volcano eruption effects. We ended up seeing all of the three "magic" drink sequences and I have to say, they added to the atmosphere and vibe of the bar so much! We loved it there!


    I particularly loved the Tiki stirrers. We took 3 home and I use them all the time when I have to crush and stir tablets into juice (I can't swallow tablets).





    Alcohol + Jared = Super happy excited face!





    I enjoyed my non-alcoholic punch, there was too much rum in many of the cocktails for me (I'm not a fan of rum). But everyone else really enjoyed their drinks so if you like rum and like cocktails, and even if you don't but love great themed places, then you will love Trader Sam's!

    More Disney magic happened when, after putting my glass down a little forcefully, my glow cube began to change colour as if by magic (not because I'd hit the little button and set the cube to the random colour sequence).

    We headed out of the bar at about 8:30pm, having had a fantastic evening with great friends. It was also fantastic to already be half way back to our hotel!

    Continued in Next Post...
     
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