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

scrappydew

l wish I were at Aulani!
Joined
Jul 15, 2016
I am really enjoying your report! I take tons of pictures, but I am a middling photographer, so I love your colorful photos.

I love the Disneyland parks and can't wait to go back again. While I also enjoy Florida, there is just something about Walt's original park.

Also, congratulations! That's wonderful news!
 


RachelleBeaney

PrincessShelle
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
I am really enjoying your report! I take tons of pictures, but I am a middling photographer, so I love your colorful photos.

I love the Disneyland parks and can't wait to go back again. While I also enjoy Florida, there is just something about Walt's original park.

Also, congratulations! That's wonderful news!
Thanks for reading along! I’m glad you are enjoying the report! I would say I’m a middling photographer too, luckily Jared has learnt how to really use a camera and he’s helped teach me some things. There are lots of great courses out there if you ever feel you want to improve your technical skills 😀😀

I completely agree with you about Disneyland. It’s something I can never fully 100% articulate but the park is just special in a way that the other Disney parks aren’t (even though, as you say, they are all fantastic)

and thank you - we are excited and nervous and all the things potential first time parents are!
 
  • RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 17 - Part 1 - Fantasy Fun - Part 1

    Today would be our final full day in the parks with Todd and Kim, though we would catch up with them for lunch the next day. We planned to meet them at Disneyland by about 7:30am so we could rope drop the parks together. We left the hotel at 6:55am and, after sneaking through the Grand Californian entrance again we got to the parks a little early.

    The security guards at the bag check coming out of the Grand Californian were fantastic on this particular morning. They were joking with us and wished us a Happy Anniversary (we'd worn our anniversary badges as it was technically our anniversary in Australia about 2 hours after we arrived at the parks). After explaining this to the guards, I told them how our camera was telling us it was taking photos "tomorrow" because it was still set to Australian time! They thought that was funny.

    The most hilarious thing that was said happened after Jared dropped his wallet. Apologising for "throwing money" at the guards one guard responded saying "as long as you don't expect me to dance for you"! We laughed heartily at his slightly seedy joke! Sometimes going through security can be tense and the guards do have a serious job to do. Still it makes my day so much brighter when they opt to lighten the mood a little like they did this morning.

    We were about 15 minutes earlier than we'd planned to be when we arrived at the Disneyland gates. We were about to message Todd and Kim to say we'd get in line when we saw them walking up to us! We were pretty impressed we'd both managed to get there 15 minutes early! There was a beautiful sunrise happening too, but sadly I didn't get any pictures of it!

    Jared decided he couldn't wait a few hours for coffee this morning, and that he was going to go get something from the coffee cart in the plaza area (that always has a giant line). The line was indeed long and Jared arrived back to our spot in line just before the park gates opened for rope drop, coffee for him and for Kim in hand.



    I had bought my ears today, as I wanted to wear them on the teacups for some spinning photos. So I looked the part as we headed into rope drop and in no time the trumpets were announcing the opening of Disneyland. We skipped off towards Fantasyland to the sounds of zip-a-dee-doo-dah.

    We had decided to get a few of the classic dark rides done first thing today. Todd and Kim decided to join us for Peter Pan's Flight and then head off on their own. Waiting in line for Peter Pan, Jared decided to try on my ears!



    By the time we got into the line for Peter Pan’s Flight (straight from close to the front of rope drop) the wait time had jumped to 30 mins! We only waited about 10 in the end, and before long we boarded our pirate ship for a trip flying over London.

    [

    Peter Pan's Flight is one of those dark rides that is crazy hard to capture! The lighter character driven scenes are ok but those London vistas are near impossible. Jared tried his best, but we didn't end up with any great shots from our trip to Neverland.







    Blurry clock tower!







    Finishing up on Peter Pan we headed over to Alice in Wonderland, which only had a posted 10 minute wait. We waited a lot less, getting on in no time. Our pictures this time around were much more successful.

    We managed to start off our journey down the rabbit hole as a monorail was heading past!

























    As we headed back outside we caught up with yet another Monorail!! Our timing had proved fantastic.



    We joined Alice and the Mad Hatter for their un-birthday celebrations and then we were done in Wonderland.





    Peter Pan's Flight and Alice in Wonderland are, in my opinion, the best classic dark rides at Disneyland. I think the updates done recently really add something to them both. We didn't bother with Snow Whites Scary Adventures, Pinocchio's Daring Journey or Mr Toad's Wild Ride on this trip. We have done those rides before, and felt as though there wasn't much new to experience with those attractions, and that they weren't really important to do again.

    While I love the sensation of flying over London that Peter Pan's Flight provides, I think this time around I enjoyed Alice in Wonderland a little more. Either way they are both great dark rides and I hope in due course all of the dark rides in Fantasyland get updates so the quality of all attractions is more on par with these two. I know some sort of improvement is planned for Snow White's Scary Adventures in the next year so that's great.

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    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 17 - Part 2 - Fantasy Fun - Part 2

    Continuing our ride through Fantasyland we headed towards the Storybookland Canal Boats. I love this charming little ride a lot. It's so simple and yet I just love floating past those miniatures of classic Disney locations. Again, I think my love for this attraction might be a nostalgic connection to a favourite memory from my childhood. When I was around 11 my parents took Long Service Leave for 3 months, and we travelled through New South Wales and Queensland for those months in a Caravan. We visited the ACT during the trip (the Australian Capital Territory) and went to a picturesque and quaint garden attraction called Cockington Green. Cockington Green was full of miniatures of towns and cities based on idealised versions of towns and cities from around the world. It was so charming I completely fell in love with it! I always think back to those memories on the Storybook Land Canal Boats, and am even more charmed because this time around everything you look at is DISNEY!

    It was also on that 3 month trip I got to visit my first ever theme park, Sea World on the Gold Coast in Queensland. It's fair to say that first visit started my LOVE of theme parks and especially, of themed rides and attractions. The park had a ride called the Bermuda Triangle (which has since been torn down) that took you into the spaceship of the Alien's who caused ships and crafts to mysterious disappear within the famous triangle in the Caribbean. I have rode the ride since (as an adult) and it was pretty badly executed, but for a 11 year old, who'd never been on a themed ride before, it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. Being drawn into a themed world was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. All these years later, I still love and appreciate a good dark ride experience and love to be taken into a world on a ride. Thrills are fun, but for me theme and story are EVERYTHING. And I think that started in those experiences I had at Sea World when I was 11.

    Anyway, back to Storybook Land Canal Boats....There was no line and in no time we were being swallowed by Monstro. Monstro then "deposited" us into a land of Disney stories (that's kind of gross when you think about it isn't it!).







    As you can see, it had gotten quite overcast. It was the first really cloudy day we'd had since arriving at the Disneyland Resort.

























    After we made our way back to the dock from Storybookland, we headed over to the Mad Hatters Tea Party aka the Tea Cups. As I've mentioned before, this was the first attraction we ever experienced at Disneyland and we always love to do it a few times on each trip. It is so iconic that if you asked someone who'd never been to Disneyland what rides they know at at the park, they are bound to say "the tea cups".



    Spinning!















    Heading off the Teacups we heard the soft sounds of Once Upon a Dream coming from Fantasyland. We love this song (we call it our Waltz song) and we were so pleased to hear it on our anniversary (well our Australian anniversary!).

    By the time we were done in the Fantasyland Village area it was only 8:45am, 45 minutes after opening! We were pretty pleased with how much we'd been able to do in that short space of time!

    Our final stop in Fantasyland was the Matterhorn. We were headed back to capture the soul of the infamous Fred (aka photograph the Abominable Snowman). I'm not sure when, but at some point we must have gotten a Maxpass for it, because we hopped in the Maxpass queue. It was a good Maxpass to have as, though the standby wait was only 35 minutes when we hopped in line, we soon heard an announcement amending that wait to 60 minutes! At 8:45am!

    While we were waiting in line we made Hyperspace Mountain Maxpasses for 9:50am - 10:50am. After consulting with Todd and Kim they decided to join us by getting their own Maxpass.

    We tried out best with Fred, but sadly, we could not capture his soul! I was so disappointed and Jared was frustrated. Jared hadn't been ready to capture him because he was looking down at his camera when we came upon him (even though I had told him when to have the camera ready). After a few minutes of frustrated snipping we both realised we needed to get over it, and stop being grumpy at each other because we were at Disneyland. Jared kindly agreed to ride yet again the next day (even though the ride was SOOO rough) so we could try get the photo! I was a little sad that I'd subjected myself to the bumps of the Matterhorn again for "nothing" (it's not like either of us really enjoy the ride), but with things like this it sometimes takes more than one go to be successful. And so we would be riding the Matterhorn and it's bumps again. We'd never ridden the Matterhorn so many times on one trip!

    Jared did get a few photos of the caverns on the ride this time around.



    Fred is in this photo, but in the distance and he's incredibly blurred!



    This is Fred's body double, who you see a little later in the ride. Jared thought there was only one snow monster in the attraction, which is why he wasn't ready for the first (and best) photo op!







    After our short bout of grumpiness we decided what we needed was to rest, eat some food and just enjoy the atmosphere of Disneyland. We stopped in again at the Jolly Holiday Bakery. I ordered a grilled cheese, as I tried a bite of Jared's the day before and it was really good. Jared got a Matterhorn Macaroon, and of course coffee.



    Sadly my grilled cheese was cold. Jared took it back to request a new one and the second wasn't much better than the first, but I couldn't be bothered complaining again so I just ate it!



    Todd and Kim found us not long after our food arrived and we enjoying sitting and chatting for a while, whilst we enjoyed views of Main Street and the hub.







    Before we continued on we wanted to see if we could find these Star Wars steel model fold kits we told a friend we'd try get her. We hadn't managed to find any since World of Disney at Disney World, and those were coloured and not metallic like we thought she wanted. We headed into Tomorrowland and managed to find the styles she wanted, but 2 out of the three were in colour. We decided to buy them anyway.





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    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 17 - Part 3 - It's Over! Jared breaks up with Splash Mountain!

    We had managed to secure some Splash Mountain Maxpasses for 10:00am - 11:00am with Todd and Kim just before heading into Tomorrowland to do some shopping. Our next stop, though, would be the fantastic Hyperspace Mountain.

    This was only our second time on Space Mountain on this visit to the resort. We particular love the Hyperspace Mountain Star Wars overlay to the ride. I think there's something about the music and the projections of ships "shooting" at you as you zip through "space" that adds to the experience. I also love hearing the classic lines from the movies "it's a trap" and "may the force be with you" as I ride.

    I do love the original, and Ghost Galaxy (which was the first Space Mountain we ever experienced) but Hyperspace Mountain is my favourite version by far!

    When we got on Hyperspace Mountain the wait was around 50 minutes, so we were glad to have a Maxpass. While in line waiting Todd met an Oregon Ducks (his College Football team) fan, who appreciated his Ducks T-shirt and they enjoyed having a great chat while we waited. Todd explained that all fans of Disney should be Oregon Duck's fans, as the Duck's mascot is unofficially Donald Duck. Apparently there was a handshake agreement between Walt Disney and the team, sometime in the mid-60s, to use Donald's image as their mascot. Later, the Disney lawyers tried to sue the Ducks for using the image, but the handshake deal could be proven and was seen as good enough to stand! The Duck's mascot looks exactly like Donald too!

    Todd and his new friend decided that we should all do the Oregon Ducks O for our ride picture, as he was in the same car as us! The results were pretty good!



    We headed over to Splash Mountain next, and were glad to have a Maxpass to skip a 50 minute wait. And yes, this is the moment that Jared, who has long LOVED Splash Mountain, and considered it his favourite attraction, decided to break up with the ride.

    Why.....? Well, the answer is simple....it SOAKED us!! I don't mean a little wet. I don't even mean a lot wet (like when your t-shirt is soaked or your pants totally soaked etc). I mean totally and completely soaked over every inch of our body, down to our socks and our underwear! Like we'd jumped in a pool in our clothing soaked! I have never gotten so wet on a water ride ever in my life (and I've ridden a lot of them, including a number of Splash Mountains around the world many many times).

    I still don't know how we got so wet. We had agreed with Todd and Kim that we'd sit in the front, as they didn't want to get too wet. But we've sat in the front before. I wonder if there was an issue with the weight distribution in the boat. Either way, it wasn't the drops that got us....it was the after spray. We'd land in the water, and get splash a little. And then the boat would create a secondary splash back that would envelop the little log and everyone and everything in it. As I was in the very front, I did get the worst of it. But Jared had it pretty bad too.

    The main splash was bad, but the bunny hops into the Laughing Place were almost worse. I actually felt like someone had dumped an entire bucket of water over my head!

    While we were riding, and after getting so wet quite early on, we discussed what we'd do for our ride photo. It was decided we should look terrified, because we honestly were! Going down that main drop we were so worried about just how much more wet we'd get! Todd broke the agreement with a Oregon Ducks O again, and Kim was just hiding trying not to get wet!

    You can see how soaked I already was at this point in the ride photo!



    The worst part about getting that wet was twofold. Firstly, it wasn't really that hot and the sun was not out in force, as it was overcast. Secondly, and more annoyingly for me, I had decided that day to wear jeans (because it was cooler). And they DID NOT dry! Not to mention later that afternoon I discovered I'd gotten a rash, whether from the chemicals in the water or an irritation caused by my wet jeans I couldn't tell you.





    Jared looks sort of dry on his front, because that's where the camera bag was - and it protected him (and luckily held up pretty well against that much water - none of the equipment was harmed, although Jared was worried for a minute).

    And so Jared decided that if Splash was going to be THAT cruel to him that it was no longer his favourite attraction, and that his loyalties would be switched to Big Thunder Mountain. :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

    I made myself happy again by buying a Tigger Tail from Critter Country. This fantastic treat is marshmallow and caramel covered in Choc Orange, and it was as fantastic as I'd heard. I've been wanting to try one for years but had never managed to, I think the last time we went to Disneyland in 2015 Critter Country was closed for ongoing repairs to Splash Mountain, and we couldn't get one.





    We left Critter Country soaking, hoping that we'd dry on our way over to Star Tours. On our way through the hub we realised we hadn't got any Photopass pictures in front of the castle during the day, and we thought waiting in a line in the sun, that had finally come out, would be a great way to dry a little! The results of our wait were great too!







    I love these creatively angled shots!







    We were passably dry-ish by the time we made it to Star Tours. We really hoped for a different combination this time around! We must have made a Maxpass at some point because we entered via the Fastpass entrance, and got fairly grumpy at the people in front of us taking forever because they clearly didn't know what they were doing. Just to clarify, I don't mind if people don't know what they are doing with Maxpass/Fastpass. But don't get in the line (which was backed up at the entrance) until you've worked it out! There are CMs about you can ask and then you don't hold everyone else up!

    I love Maxpass, but thanks to the way Fastpasses need to be scanned, and because people struggle with the technology, it does cause a lot more bottlenecks at the Fastpass entrances to attractions than what we've seen in the past with traditional Fastpass. It took us about 5 minutes to get inside the line, but things moved quickly from there.

    We had wanted a different combination to the Darth Vadar - Hoth - Yoda - Death Star combination we'd got on our previous two rides. Well we were granted our wish! We got COMPLETELY new scenes from the new movies, that we'd never seen.

    We started with Kylo Ren, headed to Rey's Planet of Jakku, got a message from the adorable BB8 and ended up on red salt planet from The Last Jedi (I think it's called Crait). I was SOOO happy to have gotten to experience the new planets. They were so much fun, and being newer, the effects and action seemed plussed somehow. I had heaps of fun trying to escape the hoarders on Jakku who were trying to turn us into scrap, and helping R2D2 shooing a the First Order AT-ATs on Crait. The movement felt faster and the scenes crisper and it just felt like a better experience. Perhaps because it was new and exciting for us, but I love these new scenes.

    The only thing that confuses me about Star Tours is the continuity of the ride experience. I suppose this always should have confused me, as the original 6 scenes (Hoth, Kashyyyk, Death Star over Genosis, Hoth, Coruscant and Tatooine) showcase scenes from both the original movies (aka Darth Vadar intro scene and the battle of Hoth) and the prequel movies (like the Tatooine pod race and battle of the Wookie Planet). But it was much more obvious when I saw the new planets and new characters from the new movies added in. The only thing I can figure is that our Star Tours ship can travel through time as well as space! It doesn't really impact my love of the ride, but it's a weird thing story wise that I figured Disney would have considered when creating the attraction.

    We finished up and headed over to Galaxy's Edge Docking Bay 7 for lunch. We experienced our first real issues with the app at this point, as we were not able to log in and make new Maxpasses, or make mobile ordered due to issues with the app itself. Considering we were at the parks for 9 days and this was the only issue were experienced, I think we were fairly lucky. We were able to fix the issue by deleting and re-downloading the app.

    Todd and Kim had experienced issues using a Big Thunder Mountain Maxpass they'd made, as they couldn't get into the app to get the actual Maxpass. Later, when they did get back into the app they had an additional Maxpass that could be used for any attraction, so it's nice that Disney takes these app issues into account and reimburses those effected!

    We waited in the outside seating area of Docking Bay 7 while Todd and Kim made their way towards us.







    It would have been useful if we could have mobile ordered, as the line to order the regular way was pretty huge! Once Todd and Kim arrived, Kim and I snuck in and found a table and Jared and Todd joined the line.

    It was about 1:15pm at this point (around 2 hours after we'd ridden Splash) and I was still damp! Crazy.

    Our food arrived in no time. I ordered the Chicken Tip Yip and Jared got the Kaduu Ribs.





    I also ordered a Phasma (tea, lemonade and pear) which I really enjoyed. It was sweet but not too sweet, and plenty fruity!



    The Chicken Tip Yip was ok, but I didn't love the soup like gravy that was all over the potatos. It tasted a bit like tinned vegetable soup and wasn't that appetising. Jared's Kaduu ribs were much better, and I really enjoyed the blueberry muffin that came with them! Everyone was a bit tired during lunch, and we just all wanted to head back to our rooms for a good long rest.

    We arranged with Todd and Kim to meet them for a last lunch at DCA the next day, and we headed out of the park at about 1:50pm to rest before coming back to close down the park later that evening....

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    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 17 - Part 4 - A grey and cloudy Evening

    We had decided, while eating lunch, to check on the Guardians of the Galaxy Monsters After Dark Maxpass availability, and the app gave us 5:45pm - 6:45pm initially. Then it begun to play up and when we were able to get back in we had to get a Maxpass for 8:35pm - 9:35pm. This was potentially only about 2 minutes later, that's how fast the Maxpasses were being distributed! Crazy.

    When we arrived back at the room after our lunch at Docking Bay 7 we decided we needed a nap. I think we were just a little exhausted this particular day! After a successful rest we left the room again at 6:10pm. We were still tired so we decided to wait for a bus and one didn't come until about 6:35pm. Luckily for us, there was a gorgeous sunset going on while we waited!



    When we arrived at the resort it had gotten even prettier!



    Sadly the cloud cover didn't make for that great a blue hour, and we had wanted blue hour shots of the castle.

    What we ended up with was either grey or, thanks to the light pollution, almost yellow!

    Here's what I mean:







    Thankfully, there is a wonderful editing tool called Photoshop that lets me pretend we had better weather than we did! I replaced the skies in my favourite pictures and was much happier with the results.



















    While we were shooting the castle from all different angles we found ourselves next to a Mum and daughter. The Mum was taking pictures of the daughter in front of the castle on her iPhone, and the daughter was yelling (and I mean yelling) at her when the photos weren't as good as she'd hoped! The poor Mum, it is only an iPhone after all and so the photos, when dark, aren't going to be great! I have never seen anyone that angry at Disneyland before, and hoped they could both find a way to be happy in the happiest place on earth.

    We also came across some lovely people while shooting at the castle. A Mum and her son, who were both celebrating their birthdays. It was her sons first time at Disneyland and he was loving it. She was drawn over to us by the pictures from the back of the camera, which she thought were amazing and she gave us so many kind compliments as we discussed photography and the best angles from which to shoot the castle. She also loved that we were from Australia.

    Her joy at being at the parks was so clear in her voice and her demeanour it was infectious, and we felt ourselves feeling so much more joyful and grateful that we were there at the parks too. I really think gratitude is one of the keys to a fulfilling life. She and her son were on their way to wait in a 2 hours line for the Matterhorn but she couldn't have been happier about it! I wish I had thanked her for reminding us that just to visit Disneyland is a blessing not everyone gets to experience, and that being grateful to be at the parks is really the best way to have a good time. Sometimes I think we as humans have a tendency to get upset if we don't get our own way, or what we imagined (I am guilty of this a lot) and yet just stopping and realising how lucky we are just helps put everything in perspective.

    So to this lady, whoever you are, thank you - the rest of our night was much better thanks to the joy you helped spread that evening! I hope that I can learn to be just like her, and spread joy to others at the parks too!

    Anyway, after the "not blue hour" aka grey hour photos we headed over to the Plaza Inn for dinner. There was a decent line to get in and no mobile order option, but luckily we had a lot of time to kill (our next activity was to be our 8:35pm Maxpass at Guardians After Dark). While we waited in line for about 15 minutes we chatted with a fantastic local man whose Mum had worked at Disneyland for 30 years. As a retirement gift to her they had given her, and her family, lifelong passes. We had a great chat about the parks and Anaheim in general, and the time passed really quickly.

    When we headed into the restaurant and we both opted to get the pasta. We decided to get the Alfredo and Bolognaise and share.





    The pasta was nothing special, but it was food and we gladly ate it!

    However, we did get one fantastic thing from the Plaza Inn cafeteria that evening. This adorable Halloween Monster Cake!





    It was utterly divine too! Completely light and fluffy and not at all heavy or overbearing. The buttercream was the highlight for me. I'm not the biggest fan of fondant, I find it too heavy, and I always prefer buttercream frosting.

    When we were done with dinner we headed over to DCA to ride Guardians of the Galaxy - Monsters After Dark with our Maxpass.

    When we arrived it was UTTER bedlam! The line for the Fastpass entrance was halfway back down the street towards the Hyperion theatre. The standby wait was at 130 minutes! I've never seen a Disneyland attraction so crazy busy. It took us only about 10 minutes to get inside the entrance with our Maxpass, so that wasn't bad. It looked like it would take a lot longer with the number of people in the line.

    The moon and cloud cover created the perfect creepy atmosphere around the Guardians tower though. We enjoyed photographing it as we waited in line.









    Also while waiting we chatted to some lovely young people who were so excited we were from Australia (that seemed to be happening a lot today) and were so happy we were finally getting to ride Monsters After Dark, which they preferred over the original. They also told us the backstory of Monsters After Dark, and how the Guardians have already "broken out" but left Baby Groot behind. Our job is to go back in to save Groot, but what Rocket really wants is a way to distract all the monsters who also broke out, so he can find and rescue Groot safely. So we a Banther Fodder basically (hehe yep why not throw in a Star Wars reference)! I have to say, Rocket's spiel in the pre-show here (where he basically tells us he wants us as bait and then tries to cover his tracks) is hilarious! I filmed the show this time!


    As we walked out of the pre-show room the CM guiding us yelled out "have fun being bait" and "I don't ride this ride"! We all laughed, but it was a fun way for the CM to build the tension and anticipation for the attraction.

    Once we were past the pre-show we waited about 30 minutes to ride. This was the longest we ever had to wait with a Maxpass, but given the bedlam outside and the 130 minute standby posted wait we were just grateful that it wasn't longer! We got lucky too. They had only been running 2 elevators, and the group in front of us were loaded into a holding area to wait for the ride after the next ride at the elevator at the end. Just as we got to the front of the queue the third elevator was opened and we went straight in to wait on the numbers to load on the next ride, so we probably got to ride before the people who were in front of us.

    As we were loading in the CM doing the safety check told us to "hold on to our hopes and dreams" :rotfl2:. She shut the doors and Rocket's disembodied voice reminded us to "scream" and "look delicious"! :rotfl2:

    And then we were off, up and down, bouncing to the sounds of 80s rock (I don't remember which song but I do remember I didn't enjoy the soundtrack as much as the original ride). The monster graphics were INCREDIBLE though, very convincing and much more involved than the regular ride! We managed to save Groot (or at least look distracting enough so that Rocket could save him) and we made it back to the ground floor safely! We had a fantastic time, as you can see here!



    We headed back over to Disneyland next, and towards the Tomorrowland Lagoon to take some pictures there! The clouds actually worked to our advantage here. Sadly, we were too late to see any running monorails.













    After we were done here we wanted to take a few photos in Tomorrowland proper but we knew it would be pretty busy still. We checked out Disneyland App and discovered the Finding Nemo subs only had a 5 minute wait. We'd just been watching them circle the lagoon, and they are an attraction we've never managed to ride before (mostly because I won't wait 30 - 60 minutes in the sun for them!). So we thought this would be the perfect time to give the ride a go.

    So we boarded the subs, and were grateful we weren't claustrophobic (it's tight in there). We laughed at the announcements made with Queensland Australian accents (think Crocodile Dundee. To most Australians, Queenslanders have the worst and most uncouth accents - sorry Queenslanders!).

    The first part of the ride was a little slow and boring, there wasn't much to see, though I did enjoy the diving effect. However once the Nemo projections started to be integrated with the sets I really enjoyed the ride. It was cute. It's definitely not as good as 20000 Leagues Under the Sea at Tokyo Disney Sea though (the closest comparison I can think of, as it's a dark ride that simulates submerging you under the sea).

    It was quite hot and stuffy in the sub. We were grateful to have ridden at night - I can't imagine how warm it would feel in there during the day!

    Back in Tomorrowland we waited forever to get a shot of this ball with Space Mountain behind it!



    There were a few kids playing with the ball, which was fine, we were happy to wait! 15 minutes later though it would have been nice if the parents, having seen us patiently waiting with our tripod, asked their kids to step out of the area for just a few minutes! This sadly didn't happen but we were able to merge a few photos to end up with this reasonably empty photo.

    There were still too many people in Tomorrowland but we weren't going to wait until close for it to empty out so we decided to try out best.









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  • RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 17 - Part 5 - Main Street after Close

    We headed back out into the hub after photos in Tomorrowland, trying to get some decent shots.





    This next photo was pretty impossible to get! There were so many people around! I think we took about 20 different shots and this is the rest of having merged a number of them together!



    It's not a great shot - nowhere near as sharp as I would have liked and a bit piece meal thanks to how many different photos we merged to get it. The ideal time to take the picture would have been the evening we were kicked out early (which was when we were planning to take it). Oh well, a new photography goal for a future trip!

    We still had time to kill until the park closed and we could take photos in Main Street. So we sat down on a bench in the hub and just enjoyed the atmosphere.

    We waited for about half an hour for the park to clear out a bit. Jared was really tired, and I know he would have probably preferred to just go to bed, but he knew I really wanted to stay and close down the park and he loves me lots, so he agreed.

    We headed up Main Street for our first picture, a view of Main Street from inside the firehouse.



    There were still a few people around but the park had mostly cleared out.









    Sleeping Beauty Castle is SO small at the end of Main Street, but it's amazing what a compression shot with a zoom lens can do to make it appear a bigger against the buildings of Main Street.



    We had a few people with lightsabers ruin the empty street vibe of this shot a little - oh well!



    Still it was either the lightsaber shot or the one with the ghosts of Disneyland guests past (or perhaps they were present :P :P )



    This last shot was hard to get, as the Pumpkin is the background for the shot everyone wants to get at Disneyland at Halloween time. While I understand that, I hate when people continue to stand in front of popular photo spots while reviewing their many photos, and getting in everyone else's way.





    I really was quite happy with all our Main Street photos (even the one ruined by the lightsabers). We left the park at 12:10pm, which was only an hour and 10 minutes after park close and officially only 10 minutes after Main Street closed. The park was not empty, but security were already moving people along (they were at the Pumpkin by the time we exited) so we wouldn't have been able to have much more time anyway.

    This was one of our favourite evenings in the parks in terms of night photography. We really felt like we'd gotten the majority of pictures we'd wanted at Disneyland after dark by this point. We left tired but happy, and headed back to our room. Tomorrow was our actual anniversary day (in the US anyway) and we were looking forward to celebrating at our favourite place on Earth.

    Continued in Next Post..
     
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    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    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...
    Thanks for the tour through BTMR, all the way from Perth!
    Really like the matterhorn shots over the water, haven't seen that angle before.
     

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    L
    Day 17 - Part 2 - Fantasy Fun - Part 2

    Continuing our ride through Fantasyland we headed towards the Storybookland Canal Boats. I love this charming little ride a lot. It's so simple and yet I just love floating past those miniatures of classic Disney locations. Again, I think my love for this attraction might be a nostalgic connection to a favourite memory from my childhood. When I was around 11 my parents took Long Service Leave for 3 months, and we travelled through New South Wales and Queensland for those months in a Caravan. We visited the ACT during the trip (the Australian Capital Territory) and went to a picturesque and quaint garden attraction called Cockington Green. Cockington Green was full of miniatures of towns and cities based on idealised versions of towns and cities from around the world. It was so charming I completely fell in love with it! I always think back to those memories on the Storybook Land Canal Boats, and am even more charmed because this time around everything you look at is DISNEY!

    It was also on that 3 month trip I got to visit my first ever theme park, Sea World on the Gold Coast in Queensland. It's fair to say that first visit started my LOVE of theme parks and especially, of themed rides and attractions. The park had a ride called the Bermuda Triangle (which has since been torn down) that took you into the spaceship of the Alien's who caused ships and crafts to mysterious disappear within the famous triangle in the Caribbean. I have rode the ride since (as an adult) and it was pretty badly executed, but for a 11 year old, who'd never been on a themed ride before, it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. Being drawn into a themed world was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. All these years later, I still love and appreciate a good dark ride experience and love to be taken into a world on a ride. Thrills are fun, but for me theme and story are EVERYTHING. And I think that started in those experiences I had at Sea World when I was 11.

    Anyway, back to Storybook Land Canal Boats....There was no line and in no time we were being swallowed by Monstro. Monstro then "deposited" us into a land of Disney stories (that's kind of gross when you think about it isn't it!).







    As you can see, it had gotten quite overcast. It was the first really cloudy day we'd had since arriving at the Disneyland Resort.

























    After we made our way back to the dock from Storybookland, we headed over to the Mad Hatters Tea Party aka the Tea Cups. As I've mentioned before, this was the first attraction we ever experienced at Disneyland and we always love to do it a few times on each trip. It is so iconic that if you asked someone who'd never been to Disneyland what rides they know at at the park, they are bound to say "the tea cups".



    Spinning!















    Heading off the Teacups we heard the soft sounds of Once Upon a Dream coming from Fantasyland. We love this song (we call it our Waltz song) and we were so pleased to hear it on our anniversary (well our Australian anniversary!).

    By the time we were done in the Fantasyland Village area it was only 8:45am, 45 minutes after opening! We were pretty pleased with how much we'd been able to do in that short space of time!

    Our final stop in Fantasyland was the Matterhorn. We were headed back to capture the soul of the infamous Fred (aka photograph the Abominable Snowman). I'm not sure when, but at some point we must have gotten a Maxpass for it, because we hopped in the Maxpass queue. It was a good Maxpass to have as, though the standby wait was only 35 minutes when we hopped in line, we soon heard an announcement amending that wait to 60 minutes! At 8:45am!

    While we were waiting in line we made Hyperspace Mountain Maxpasses for 9:50am - 10:50am. After consulting with Todd and Kim they decided to join us by getting their own Maxpass.

    We tried out best with Fred, but sadly, we could not capture his soul! I was so disappointed and Jared was frustrated. Jared hadn't been ready to capture him because he was looking down at his camera when we came upon him (even though I had told him when to have the camera ready). After a few minutes of frustrated snipping we both realised we needed to get over it, and stop being grumpy at each other because we were at Disneyland. Jared kindly agreed to ride yet again the next day (even though the ride was SOOO rough) so we could try get the photo! I was a little sad that I'd subjected myself to the bumps of the Matterhorn again for "nothing" (it's not like either of us really enjoy the ride), but with things like this it sometimes takes more than one go to be successful. And so we would be riding the Matterhorn and it's bumps again. We'd never ridden the Matterhorn so many times on one trip!

    Jared did get a few photos of the caverns on the ride this time around.



    Fred is in this photo, but in the distance and he's incredibly blurred!



    This is Fred's body double, who you see a little later in the ride. Jared thought there was only one snow monster in the attraction, which is why he wasn't ready for the first (and best) photo op!







    After our short bout of grumpiness we decided what we needed was to rest, eat some food and just enjoy the atmosphere of Disneyland. We stopped in again at the Jolly Holiday Bakery. I ordered a grilled cheese, as I tried a bite of Jared's the day before and it was really good. Jared got a Matterhorn Macaroon, and of course coffee.



    Sadly my grilled cheese was cold. Jared took it back to request a new one and the second wasn't much better than the first, but I couldn't be bothered complaining again so I just ate it!



    Todd and Kim found us not long after our food arrived and we enjoying sitting and chatting for a while, whilst we enjoyed views of Main Street and the hub.







    Before we continued on we wanted to see if we could find these Star Wars steel model fold kits we told a friend we'd try get her. We hadn't managed to find any since World of Disney at Disney World, and those were coloured and not metallic like we thought she wanted. We headed into Tomorrowland and managed to find the styles she wanted, but 2 out of the three were in colour. We decided to buy them anyway.





    Continued in Next Post....
    LOVE the pics of Storybook canals..How cool would it be if you could shrink down and walk through it to size ?!
    I love minatures, too, there is an amazing miniature park in Holland called Madurodam that has the whole country in miniature.
    I've never done the matterhorn as it has been down all the times I was there. Sounds like I'm not missing much..
     

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    Stunning pics of Main St after dark!
    Day 17 - Part 5 - Main Street after Close

    We headed back out into the hub after photos in Tomorrowland, trying to get some decent shots.





    This next photo was pretty impossible to get! There were so many people around! I think we took about 20 different shots and this is the rest of having merged a number of them together!



    It's not a great shot - nowhere near as sharp as I would have liked and a bit piece meal thanks to how many different photos we merged to get it. The ideal time to take the picture would have been the evening we were kicked out early (which was when we were planning to take it). Oh well, a new photography goal for a future trip!

    We still had time to kill until the park closed and we could take photos in Main Street. So we sat down on a bench in the hub and just enjoyed the atmosphere.

    We waited for about half an hour for the park to clear out a bit. Jared was really tired, and I know he would have probably preferred to just go to bed, but he knew I really wanted to stay and close down the park and he loves me lots, so he agreed.

    We headed up Main Street for our first picture, a view of Main Street from inside the firehouse.



    There were still a few people around but the park had mostly cleared out.









    Sleeping Beauty Castle is SO small at the end of Main Street, but it's amazing what a compression shot with a zoom lens can do to make it appear a bigger against the buildings of Main Street.



    We had a few people with lightsabers ruin the empty street vibe of this shot a little - oh well!



    Still it was either the lightsaber shot or the one with the ghosts of Disneyland guests past (or perhaps they were present :P :P )



    This last shot was hard to get, as the Pumpkin is the background for the shot everyone wants to get at Disneyland at Halloween time. While I understand that, I hate when people continue to stand in front of popular photo spots while reviewing their many photos, and getting in everyone else's way.





    I really was quite happy with all our Main Street photos (even the one ruined by the lightsabers). We left the park at 12:10pm, which was only an hour and 10 minutes after park close and officially only 10 minutes after Main Street closed. The park was not empty, but security were already moving people along (they were at the Pumpkin by the time we exited) so we wouldn't have been able to have much more time anyway.

    This was one of our favourite evenings in the parks in terms of night photography. We really felt like we'd gotten the majority of pictures we'd wanted at Disneyland after dark by this point. We left tired but happy, and headed back to our room. Tomorrow was our actual anniversary day (in the US anyway) and we were looking forward to celebrating at our favourite place on Earth.

    Continued in Next Post..
     
  • RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Thanks for the tour through BTMR, all the way from Perth!
    Really like the matterhorn shots over the water, haven't seen that angle before.
    I’m glad you enjoyed the BTTM tour - I was worried it was a bit exhaustive! Hehe and yes, all the way from Perth! You have to ride the monorail to get that angle on the Matterhorn - or at least head up to the Monorail loading platform (that’s where we took thise

    L

    LOVE the pics of Storybook canals..How cool would it be if you could shrink down and walk through it to size ?!
    I love minatures, too, there is an amazing miniature park in Holland called Madurodam that has the whole country in miniature.
    I've never done the matterhorn as it has been down all the times I was there. Sounds like I'm not missing much..
    that would be amazing! Though the minatures are fun. Love any place around the world that is minatures!

    The Matterhorn is definitely worth experiencing at least once - it’s a classic after all and a piece of history, the worlds very first tubular steel roller coaster. But yes - it’s not the best Disney ride there is... still fun though and the snowmen or Fred’s are really great figures!
    Stunning pics of Main St after dark!
    Thanks so much 😀
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 18 - Part 1 - Celebrating 10 Years, with lunch and a show

    Today was officially our 10th Wedding Anniversary - the 10 October. It had been our anniversary back in Australian on the 9th but since it was actually the 10 October we felt like we were actually celebrating our anniversary today.

    Our 10 year Disney Anniversary officially falls on the 15 October, as that was the first day we visited back on our honeymoon in 2009, but sadly we would not be in the parks on the 15th as we would already be back in Australia.

    We were pretty exhausted and we thought it was a pretty great anniversary gift to each other to sleep in this day! We had plans to meet Todd and Kim for lunch at the Paradise Garden Grill around midday so we left the room at just past 11am.

    We left so early assuming the bus would take 20-30 minutes to show up but when we arrived at the bus stop the bus was already there waiting! Luckily for us there was a lady asking the driver for help about how to buy ART bus passes, so the bus was still there when we arrived, otherwise we would have waited for 30 minutes!

    We got into DCA by about 11:25am, made some Big Thunder Mountain Maxpasses for 2:45pm - 3:45pm and headed on over to the Paradise Garden Grill. We were wearing our homemade anniversary T-shirts today (you'll see pictures later) and we got lots of appreciative laughs at Jared's (you'll see why later) as we walked into the park.

    We were feeling so fantastic and relaxed, having had a really good long sleep! As we arrived at the Paradise Garden Grill we were greeted by the enticing sounds of Mariachi from the band playing at the restaurant. It was extremely uplifting (I find Mariachi music very energising).

    Todd and Kim joined us before long and we just spent the next few hours sitting, chatting and soaking up the remaining time we had before they had to leave to catch their flight home. We ordered pizza for lunch, and couldn't believe that it was $8.99 PER SLICE! Luckily they were large slices but still! Even here in Australia you can get a whole pizza for $8.99 (from a pizza chain with a coupon, but still!).

    I had Magherita and Jared got Meatlovers, and some Halloween themed pizza that was spicy.





    We said "see you real soon" to Todd and Kim around 1:30pm, as we were headed to see the 2pm showing of Frozen - Live at the Hyperion. Goodbyes are always sad, but we also knew we would see them again, they are such wonderful friends and we have such a fantastic connection with them. So we decided instead to focus on simply saying "Aurevoir" (until we meet again).

    We arrived at Frozen about 20 minutes before the show started and got great seats in the Mezzanine, about three rows back from the front in the centre. We prefer Mezzanine seating, I think it's better for seeing the whole stage easily. There was also plenty of seating available in the Orchestra area too by the time we arrived.

    We enjoyed relaxing in the aircon and sitting down for a decent amount of time!

    The stage set up is really cool!



    While we relaxed we made a couple of Maxpasses for Buzz from 3:35pm - 4:35pm.

    Then the show started, and I was really impressed by the effect of flying into Arendelle. The digital moving projects reminded me a lot of a circular iMax theatre, where you get the sensation you are moving/flying along with the action on the screen.

    From there a lot of the show went downhill for me! Elsa making magic as a young girl in the early scenes was pretty breath taking, and sets and puppets looked great - the whole show looked great. However I felt like the actual story portrayal was quite juvenile. Perhaps that's what they were going for, it is a show at Disney park after all. But I found myself comparing the show it replaced, Aladdin. I LOVED that show, it was (for me) better than the Broadway version Disney later debuted. And it had so much humour and, thanks to the Genie, was something that could be enjoyed by kids and parents alike. Plus, again thanks to Genie, it was always fresh.

    Frozen felt targeted at a much younger audience. In comparison to Aladdin, the dialogue, felt a lot more basic and simple, and was lacking good beats and lighter/funnier moments. The differences from the movie didn't add anything to the story, and what was missed from the movie made it feel like the show was lacking something (heart I think). The choreography seemed very basic too. There were great scenes, like the Wolf chase scene with the flying sleigh, but the pivotal scene - the Let It Go scene - left me wanting more.

    We also had a brief "intermission" when the show froze just after the First Time in Forever reprise (sung in the ice palace). Jared made a really bad Dad joke (I guess he's been practising that part of fatherhood for a while) that Frozen was frozen.

    I think the technical issue related to however the Snow Monster was realised in the show, as when the show started up again we'd skipped that scene and we were with the Trolls who were tending to Ana.

    I'm not sure if this scene would have changed my mind but I'd imagine it might have been another "wow" moment in the show we didn't get to experience. I also believe, based on the reaction of the audience in the theatre, that it wasn't just us who felt the show left a little to be desired (I remember every time we watched Aladdin the audience was very involved, where as this audience just seemed passive and not that involved in what was going on - plus the applause at the end sounded polite rather than enthusiastic).

    Anyway, we still had fun at the show, and of course we took lots of pictures. So here's my tour of Frozen - Live at the Hyperion.

















    I will say this, the vocalists were great! Particularly Elsa.

























    I think part of the problem with the show stems from the movie. I've never liked Olaf as the comic relief. He's corny and though he's sweet, he just isn't really that funny to me!







    It was around here that Frozen "froze"



    And when it re-started we were with the creepy troll puppets! Does anyone else find the "full sized" trolls super weird and not convincing!





    All was made right with the love of sister. FYI, this is my (and probably most peoples) favourite part of the movie. I have a sister and so I understand the unbreakable love and bond between sisters personally. This was one of the places where, as I said before, the beats of the show didn't work at all. This should be the climatic scene, well timed to hit the right emotional notes. Instead it felt rushed and more time was spent on the final scenes back at the Castle as the cast did their farewells. When I see that scene in the movie it makes me cry. I did not have the same reaction to what was essentially the same story in the show. As this is the heart of Frozen I think this issue was one of the biggest reasons I didn't love the show.











    The show is still fun. The performers were great, the production value (other than the creepy trolls) was spectacular. I just wish they'd work on the script and the emotional beats of the show a bit better. And the humour (would it be too weird to wish they bought back Genie :P :P )

    Continued in Next Post...
     
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    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 18 - Part 2 - From the Bayou to the Frontier

    Heading out of DCA to head over to Disneyland we ran into Todd and Kim again. It was funny as we'd already said our goodbyes, and we enjoyed saying them again.

    Our next destination was Big Thunder Mountain to use our Maxpass. The problem was, once we got to the ride we couldn't find the Maxpass in our app! Turns out we'd been given a "replacement Maxpass". The ride must have gone down within our Fastpass window, though it was up and running again by the time we got there. The standby wait was only 30 minutes too.

    After Big Thunder Mountain we headed over to Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters. It also had a 30 minute standby wait but as the wait was all outside in the sun we were pleased to have a Maxpass. There was adorable little boy behind us in line who must have been about 2 or 3 and just wanted to be my friend! He keep hugging my legs. His Mum kept apologising and I told her not to worry, I didn't mind. I think he may have liked my leggings, which I'd bought a few days before. They are fantastic, they have the Sleeping Beauty Castle all over them and they are SO COMFY! You'll see them later too.

    Anyway, our Buzz scores were passable - I got 38000 and Jared got 43900. We are still both pretty terrible at this game though! I still find it so hard to work out which laser is mine so I know where I'm pointing!

    Once we were done riding rides we decided we needed to find a Photopass Photographer to document us wearing our anniversary Tees on our anniversary. We headed to the hub and hopped in line to wait for photos.

    We loved our anniversary photoshoot! The photographer was great, and we got to do something that we'd seen done for Derrick and Becky at Magic Kingdom, that we'd really wanted to do....hold our "Happily Ever After" badges out in front of us!



    If you can't read what Jared's T-shirt says, it reads "Most Expensive Anniversary Ever" :rotfl2: . As you know, as the budget-er in our house, this T-shirt is so him!













    We had booked an anniversary dinner at the Blue Bayou at 5:00pm, but we had a bit of time still, so we sat and chilled on a bench in the hub, taking in the atmosphere of the parks while we waited.

    We were getting great feedback on our homemade anniversary shirts. As we waited for a Photopass photos a young girl came over to tell us how much she loved the shirts, and while we were walking over to the Blue Bayou someone, who was on a phone call, interrupted the call to tell us how great they thought the shirts were.

    On our way to the Blue Bayou we stopped to take some more photos of us in our shirts (we had spent a lot of time and tears on them, mine was only successful on the third attempt, so we were so pleased they were so well received and we wanted to document them well, as we'd probably never wear them again!).



    Hehe budget face!







    We saw Dr Facilitor in New Orleans Square as we headed to the restaurant. He was surrounded by his followers, probably ready to cast some dark magic on those around him!

    We arrived at the Blue Bayou about 15 minutes early at 4:45pm.



    We waited to be seated for about 15 minutes, so we were seated right on time.

    The Blue Bayou HAD to be the location of our anniversary dinner, because of the fact that on our honeymoon we had (after seeing it while riding Pirates) SO wanted to eat there. But of course, as we hadn't made a reservation in advance, we couldn't! We love the atmosphere of the restaurant, though I will say I generally think the food and value for money could be better. I think that perhaps eating her will be less of a must do on future trips, but it was the perfect place to celebrate 10 years of us!







    This time around the food was actually greatly improved over what I remember from past trips. Jared got the Jambalaya, which he loved. I had a few bites but it was a little too spicy for me. I instead enjoyed a creamy vegetable pesto pasta which was fantastically light and delicious.







    We also ate 2 whole herb breads with butter between us! It was so delicious and, given that I have a gluten intolerance, and don't really eat fresh bread (because all gluten free bread options are terrible unless toasted) this was a real treat for me. FYI I was eating a lot of gluten this trip, but only because I was taking medication so I didn't have to be careful! I am generally fine with small amounts in sauces or crumbing etc, but if I eat bread or pasta (without the medication) I get terrible digestive issues. Lately though, and I'm wondering if this has been because I don't eat it much anymore, I've found that I can have it every now and then and be ok. Additionally, I was informed by a Canadian friend that she has friends from the US who have no issues with gluten in America or Canada, but have had problems here in Australia. Perhaps there is something in the way we grow wheat here that's a problem for me, rather than the wheat itself. Either way, I ate A LOT of gluten on this trip and really had very few problems (so YAY)!

    I also ordered a Louisiana Lemonade, with Sprite, lemon squash, mango and raspberry juice. It was fantastic! Loved the fruity flavours!



    For dessert Jared and I shared an amazing creme brulee, my favourite dessert. It was light and creamy and had the perfect caramelised crust. I really enjoyed the vanilla bean flavour too.



    The one disappointment about this meal was that, after a cursory "Happy Anniversary" from our server, our anniversary was not acknowledge in anyway. In the past, on birthdays and other things, Disney has always given us some sort of "pixie dust" to celebrate the occasion. I know I shouldn't "expect it" but I was very surprised, especially after noting with the server that it was our actual anniversary celebration meal.

    This was definitely the best food I've ever experienced at Blue Bayou (I often get the chicken which is always a little dry and uninspired). I do wish they'd offer the Monte Cristo's on the dinner menu (I think they do on the lunch menu but we've never eaten at Blue Bayou at lunch).

    When dinner was done we had to wait for the sun to set, so we decided to sit on a wall near the Rivers of America and wait for the sun to go down. This was lovely and peaceful, and we enjoyed watching as the S.S Columbia and the Mark Twain headed off backstage to get ready for Fantastic. We were approached by a Cast Member at one point, who wanted to make sure we weren't trying to save a spot for the show, as the area we were sitting would become stroller parking. We assured her we just wanted to take a few photos as the sun went down and then we'd be leaving. She was pleased that we were aware we couldn't stay there for the show. I think she'd been dealing with a lot of un-happy people who had thought they could save a spot for the show in this area (without a Fastpass).






    Moving the two big ships through the Rivers of America is a pretty impressively choreographed dance!









    We head started to get some great sunset colours coming through as the ships made their way to the back of the Rivers of America, ready for their big moments in Fantasmic. Speaking of Fantasmic, we actually didn't see it all this trip! I was a little sad about that but for me, night photos took precedence and if one nighttime show had to go I was happy enough for it to be Fantasmic.

    I find that sitting and taking in the sights and sounds of the park is one of my favourite things to do at Disneyland. Disneyland is living art as far as I'm concerned, a beautiful make-believe world that is somewhere you just want to "be". This, is my opinion, what Disney has over all other amusement park chains. There are plenty of thrilling rides elsewhere, there are even some amazing themed attractions at other parks, but there is nowhere I'd rather just be, than Disney!







    The sun hadn't completely set, but we decided to set up for our shots over the Rivers of America! They worked out really well, I love the colours we had!



    Had some fun playing with the reflections here!





    We headed over to Splash Mountain and Critter Country to take a few shots from there. They are not anywhere near as spectacular as the photos we got at the Magic Kingdom, but I still like them. This is partly because you can't get as good views of Splash Mountain at Disneyland.





    Continued in Next Post...
     
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    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Day 18 - Part 3 - The night we gave up!

    Tonight we had plans to take some photos in Frontierland, Critter Country and New Orleans Square, as well as a few shots in Fantasyland. It was an ambitious list but we felt we could get through it.

    We hadn't counted, of course, on it being THE BUSIEST night of our trip so far! I don't think I'll ever go to Disneyland at Halloween Time again. It was SO much busier than we'd ever experienced, even when we went at Thanksgiving in 2013 (other actual Thanksgiving which was the busiest I've ever seen a US Disney park). It was easily manageable until lunchtimes, but the evenings were complete bedlam! I think, given that our trips only occur every few years, it's better to go during the off season and avoid holidays times at the parks. I remember when we visited in early March in 2015, and the parks were blissfully empty! I know there is no real "off season" at Disneyland anymore, but there are busier times and during seasonal offerings like Halloween and Christmas is definitely a busier time!

    New Orleans Square was INSANELY busy. We knew we weren't willing to wait until park close at 11 to take photos here (we were just too tired) so this was the one photo we took!



    We got most of the photos we wanted in Frontierland, so that was a win.











    We had debated if we would sit somewhere and wait out the Fantasmic crowds so we could take shots of the Haunted Mansion and the streets of New Orleans. We were nearing the end of our trip though, and we were tired and we just decided we didn't care enough about those photos to have yet another late night, and early morning the next day. I plan to be back though and I will photograph New Orleans Square at night (it's one of my favourite areas of the park and not getting pictures of it in the evening was a little devastating).

    We headed over to Fantasyland for a few last pictures.















    The last thing we decided we need to do was take a few pictures of us in front of the castle at night. So we hopped in a line for the Photopass Photographer.







    And after that quick night shoot we headed out of the parks to catch the bus back to our motel.

    We had enjoyed a very relaxed pace on our Disney Anniversary day, and we'd loved celebrating 10 years of us at our favourite place on earth.

    Continued in Next Post....
     
    Last edited:

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    Ooh I love the photo above of splash. Gorgeous colours.
    I loved the frozen show- so much that we saw it twice, although the 2nd time was not great as they had technical problems. Loved the dresschanging effect (however we don't see many shows so are probably easily impressed lol).
    Day 18 - Part 2 - From the Bayou to the Frontier

    Heading out of DCA to head over to Disneyland we ran into Todd and Kim again. It was funny as we'd already said our goodbyes, and we enjoyed saying them again.

    Our next destination was Big Thunder Mountain to use our Maxpass. The problem was, once we got to the ride we couldn't find the Maxpass in our app! Turns out we'd been given a "replacement Maxpass". The ride must have gone down within our Fastpass window, though it was up and running again by the time we got there. The standby wait was only 30 minutes too.

    After Big Thunder Mountain we headed over to Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters. It also had a 30 minute standby wait but as the wait was all outside in the sun we were pleased to have a Maxpass. There was adorable little boy behind us in line who must have been about 2 or 3 and just wanted to be my friend! He keep hugging my legs. His Mum kept apologising and I told her not to worry, I didn't mind. I think he may have liked my leggings, which I'd bought a few days before. They are fantastic, they have the Sleeping Beauty Castle all over them and they are SO COMFY! You'll see them later too.

    Anyway, our Buzz scores were passable - I got 38000 and Jared got 43900. We are still both pretty terrible at this game though! I still find it so hard to work out which laser is mine so I know where I'm pointing!

    Once we were done riding rides we decided we needed to find a Photopass Photographer to document us wearing our anniversary Tees on our anniversary. We headed to the hub and hopped in line to wait for photos.

    We loved our anniversary photoshoot! The photographer was great, and we got to do something that we'd seen done for Derrick and Becky at Magic Kingdom, that we'd really wanted to do....hold our "Happily Ever After" badges out in front of us!



    If you can't read what Jared's T-shirt says, it reads "Most Expensive Anniversary Ever" :rotfl2: . As you know, as the budget-er in our house, this T-shirt is so him!













    We had booked an anniversary dinner at the Blue Bayou at 5:00pm, but we had a bit of time still, so we sat and chilled on a bench in the hub, taking in the atmosphere of the parks while we waited.

    We were getting great feedback on our homemade anniversary shirts. As we waited for a Photopass photos a young girl came over to tell us how much she loved the shirts, and while we were walking over to the Blue Bayou someone, who was on a phone call, interrupted the call to tell us how great they thought the shirts were.

    On our way to the Blue Bayou we stopped to take some more photos of us in our shirts (we had spent a lot of time and tears on them, mine was only successful on the third attempt, so we were so pleased they were so well received and we wanted to document them well, as we'd probably never wear them again!).



    Hehe budget face!







    We saw Dr Facilitor in New Orleans Square as we headed to the restaurant. He was surrounded by his followers, probably ready to cast some dark magic on those around him!

    We arrived at the Blue Bayou about 15 minutes early at 4:45pm.



    We waited to be seated for about 15 minutes, so we were seated right on time.

    The Blue Bayou HAD to be the location of our anniversary dinner, because of the fact that on our honeymoon we had (after seeing it while riding Pirates) SO wanted to eat there. But of course, as we hadn't made a reservation in advance, we couldn't! We love the atmosphere of the restaurant, though I will say I generally think the food and value for money could be better. I think that perhaps eating her will be less of a must do on future trips, but it was the perfect place to celebrate 10 years of us!







    This time around the food was actually greatly improved over what I remember from past trips. Jared got the Jambalaya, which he loved. I had a few bites but it was a little too spicy for me. I instead enjoyed a creamy vegetable pesto pasta which was fantastically light and delicious.







    We also ate 2 whole herb breads with butter between us! It was so delicious and, given that I have a gluten intolerance, and don't really eat fresh bread (because all gluten free bread options are terrible unless toasted) this was a real treat for me. FYI I was eating a lot of gluten this trip, but only because I was taking medication so I didn't have to be careful! I am generally fine with small amounts in sauces or crumbing etc, but if I eat bread or pasta (without the medication) I get terrible digestive issues. Lately though, and I'm wondering if this has been because I don't eat it much anymore, I've found that I can have it every now and then and be ok. Additionally, I was informed by a Canadian friend that she has friends from the US who have no issues with gluten in America or Canada, but have had problems here in Australia. Perhaps there is something in the way we grow wheat here that's a problem for me, rather than the wheat itself. Either way, I ate A LOT of gluten on this trip and really had very few problems (so YAY)!

    I also ordered a Louisiana Lemonade, with Sprite, lemon squash, mango and raspberry juice. It was fantastic! Loved the fruity flavours!



    For dessert Jared and I shared an amazing creme brulee, my favourite dessert. It was light and creamy and had the perfect caramelised crust. I really enjoyed the vanilla bean flavour too.



    The one disappointment about this meal was that, after a cursory "Happy Anniversary" from our server, our anniversary was not acknowledge in anyway. In the past, on birthdays and other things, Disney has always given us some sort of "pixie dust" to celebrate the occasion. I know I shouldn't "expect it" but I was very surprised, especially after noting with the server that it was our actual anniversary celebration meal.

    This was definitely the best food I've ever experienced at Blue Bayou (I often get the chicken which is always a little dry and uninspired). I do wish they'd offer the Monte Cristo's on the dinner menu (I think they do on the lunch menu but we've never eaten at Blue Bayou at lunch).

    When dinner was done we had to wait for the sun to set, so we decided to sit on a wall near the Rivers of America and wait for the sun to go down. This was lovely and peaceful, and we enjoyed watching as the S.S Columbia and the Mark Twain headed off backstage to get ready for Fantastic. We were approached by a Cast Member at one point, who wanted to make sure we weren't trying to save a spot for the show, as the area we were sitting would become stroller parking. We assured her we just wanted to take a few photos as the sun went down and then we'd be leaving. She was pleased that we were aware we couldn't stay there for the show. I think she'd been dealing with a lot of un-happy people who had thought they could save a spot for the show in this area (without a Fastpass).






    Moving the two big ships through the Rivers of America is a pretty impressively choreographed dance!









    We head started to get some great sunset colours coming through as the ships made their way to the back of the Rivers of America, ready for their big moments in Fantasmic. Speaking of Fantasmic, we actually didn't see it all this trip! I was a little sad about that but for me, night photos took precedence and if one nighttime show had to go I was happy enough for it to be Fantasmic.

    I find that sitting and taking in the sights and sounds of the park is one of my favourite things to do at Disneyland. Disneyland is living art as far as I'm concerned, a beautiful make-believe world that is somewhere you just want to "be". This, is my opinion, what Disney has over all other amusement park chains. There are plenty of thrilling rides elsewhere, there are even some amazing themed attractions at other parks, but there is nowhere I'd rather just be, than Disney!







    The sun hadn't completely set, but we decided to set up for our shots over the Rivers of America! They worked out really well, I love the colours we had!



    Had some fun playing with the reflections here!





    We headed over to Splash Mountain and Critter Country to take a few shots from there. They are not anywhere near as spectacular as the photos we got at the Magic Kingdom, but I still like them. This is partly because you can't get as good views of Splash Mountain at Disneyland.





    Continued in Next Post...
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Ooh I love the photo above of splash. Gorgeous colours.
    I loved the frozen show- so much that we saw it twice, although the 2nd time was not great as they had technical problems. Loved the dresschanging effect (however we don't see many shows so are probably easily impressed lol).
    Glad you liked the Frozen show, I guess I just missed Aladdin. I have seen a lot of broadway shows and musicals here in Aus and New York so it does take a bit to impress me! It was fine for a theme park show but I thought Aladdin was another level so that’s probably why it didn’t impress me as much.

    Thanks about the Splash photos. It was a pretty time of evening
     

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    Glad you liked the Frozen show, I guess I just missed Aladdin. I have seen a lot of broadway shows and musicals here in Aus and New York so it does take a bit to impress me! It was fine for a theme park show but I thought Aladdin was another level so that’s probably why it didn’t impress me as much.

    Thanks about the Splash photos. It was a pretty time of evening
    I absolutely love the frozen soundtrack, too (2nd behind lion king for me), so that makes a major difference.
    Yep - have a very musical family, my youngest sister is a composer and the middle one a music teacher, but I haven't done anything since I left school. I got the animal genes instead ha.
     

    Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    Ok, finally caught up!
    Never noticed this little guy before! Just goes to show with these classic dark rides there is always something to discover!

    Also...he is new! Added when they did the Redhead changeover! Also the pirate in the cage above him!
    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!
    Agree! I wish they would put in the money to update some of those rides. Of course you would have the Disney hardliners who would get all mad about it, but still, it would be a better ride experience!
    Peter Pan's Flight and Alice in Wonderland are, in my opinion, the best classic dark rides at Disneyland. I think the updates done recently really add something to them both. We didn't bother with Snow Whites Scary Adventures, Pinocchio's Daring Journey or Mr Toad's Wild Ride on this trip. We have done those rides before, and felt as though there wasn't much new to experience with those attractions, and that they weren't really important to do again.
    Agree! Love the updates for those rides! I can't wait to see what they do for Snow White!
    We had decided, while eating lunch, to check on the Guardians of the Galaxy Monsters After Dark Maxpass availability, and the app gave us 5:45pm - 6:45pm initially. Then it begun to play up and when we were able to get back in we had to get a Maxpass for 8:35pm - 9:35pm. This was potentially only about 2 minutes later, that's how fast the Maxpasses were being distributed! Crazy.
    Probably also a refresh situation where you initially grabbed one that someone had cancelled, so it went back in the pool! It's annoying though when you get excited about a certain time and then it disappears on you!
    When we arrived it was UTTER bedlam! The line for the Fastpass entrance was halfway back down the street towards the Hyperion theatre. The standby wait was at 130 minutes! I've never seen a Disneyland attraction so crazy busy. It took us only about 10 minutes to get inside the entrance with our Maxpass, so that wasn't bad. It looked like it would take a lot longer with the number of people in the line.
    Ugh, yeah - MAD is always chaotic at Halloweentime!
    The moon and cloud cover created the perfect creepy atmosphere around the Guardians tower though. We enjoyed photographing it as we waited in line.

    Perfect!
    And then we were off, up and down, bouncing to the sounds of 80s rock (I don't remember which song but I do remember I didn't enjoy the soundtrack as much as the original ride). The monster graphics were INCREDIBLE though, very convincing and much more involved than the regular ride! We managed to save Groot (or at least look distracting enough so that Rocket could save him) and we made it back to the ground floor safely! We had a fantastic time, as you can see here!

    They actually did a special song just for Monsters After Dark! I know it uses the same lift/drop sequence as another of the 6 songs, but the only time that particular song and videos play is Sept/October!
     

    RachelleBeaney

    PrincessShelle
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2012
    Ok, finally caught up!

    Also...he is new! Added when they did the Redhead changeover! Also the pirate in the cage above him!

    Agree! I wish they would put in the money to update some of those rides. Of course you would have the Disney hardliners who would get all mad about it, but still, it would be a better ride experience!

    Agree! Love the updates for those rides! I can't wait to see what they do for Snow White!

    Probably also a refresh situation where you initially grabbed one that someone had cancelled, so it went back in the pool! It's annoying though when you get excited about a certain time and then it disappears on you!

    Ugh, yeah - MAD is always chaotic at Halloweentime!

    Perfect!

    They actually did a special song just for Monsters After Dark! I know it uses the same lift/drop sequence as another of the 6 songs, but the only time that particular song and videos play is Sept/October!
    Glad you are caught up, I need to go catch up on your report!! I haven’t posted in a while because I was on holidays and chilling and now I’m battling a cold and a UTI (again!!) ... also being pregnant in the first trimester is not fun...

    If he’s new it makes sense I haven’t seen him before! He’s a nice addition!

    I can never understand hardcore fans who don’t want things improved. I’m not talking about change, I’m just talking about improvement - more fluid figures! For example Red seemed a little more fluid but also as though they tried to make her a little less fluid than they could to make her fit the figures around her. I remember the first time I rode too thinking how out of place the Jack Sparrow figures were because they were so much better and more realistic, but they’ve aged too now! Perhaps I can’t comment on “hardline” Park fans as I haven’t been around long enough to be really nostalgic about certain things, but why wouldn’t you want a better ride experience!

    And on that topic, that’s what I feel the updates to Peter Pan and Alice did for both those attractions, without taking away from the substance of the ride.

    I do hope the Snow White update is along the same lines though there are rumours it’s just a paint refresh and fix up thanks to the very small budget outlayed.

    I’m soooo glad we did MAD at your suggestion,we loved it!! And yeh it was crazy but at the end of the day waiting 30 mins for a seasonal attraction on a busy Halloween night was really not too bad at all! I do wish I could remember the song but I didn’t write it down.... wait a minute... had a thought....

    hehe I googled it! Its a new song written for the attraction called “Monsters After Dark” by Tyler Bates .., that would be why I didn’t write it down, it wasn’t a pop song I knew!

    glad you liked the moonlight guardians tower photos! We had perfect spooky weather that evening!
     



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