A spooky Halloween 2021 DLR solo trip! Lots of treats, and a few tricks...(updated 1/4)

Disneyhanna

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Table of Contents

Hi everyone, I'm Hanna and welcome to my second Disneyland trip report, featuring my first time going completely solo in Disneyland! You can find my past TRs in my signature. I did my first solo trip to WDW in early 2020 and had a blast, so naturally Disneyland was my next adventure.



I love travelling to both WDW and DLR! I cannot pick a favorite, I think both parks are so special. I’m a big foodie and thrill ride enthusiast, and while I prefer going to the parks with friends/family, I always find myself with extra PTO and going solo > not going at all! ::yes::



This was from my solo trip to WDW right before the pandemic, I really miss character M&Gs!

This was my first “real” vacation since the pandemic began, and I never really got the same excitement for it as I have with past trips given all of the uncertainty and risk there is with travel right now. This was actually a fairly impulsive decision as I booked my flight in June shortly after Sun Country added a direct route from Minneapolis to SNA. I paid $197 including a checked bag, which is a total steal of a deal in my opinion! I know budget airlines can be risky since there is only one flight per day, but I took the risk since we very rarely get bad weather here in MN in October (apart from the Halloween blizzard of ‘91 that I always hear about :laughing:). After my last trip to Disneyland, I swore I would never fly into LAX ever again, so I really could not pass up this super cheap, direct flight into SNA!

My travel dates were 10/28-10/31 (Thursday-Sunday) and I made use of a 4-day park hopper ($395). Apparently California does not have sales tax on their park tickets, I wish Florida was like that! I will try and include prices everywhere and maybe a summary at the end to give folks an idea of what a long weekend for one can cost. Although I'm not sure I want to know that answer myself :rotfl:



Sneak peak of my favorite drink, anyone recognize this one?

Flash forward from June to October, in the weeks leading up to my trip I found myself feeling a bit lukewarm towards the trip. I think I’ve become a bit of a homebody this past year, anyone else? Lots of things had me feeling apprehensive: wearing a mask for a 3+ hour flight, big crowds, lack of MaxPass, and of course the amount of money I’d be spending on a hotel since I was not splitting the cost with anyone…:hyper:

But enough negativity! Like it or not, I was going to Disneyland! Stay tuned to find out whether or not it was worth it! (Spoiler...it was :thumbsup2)
 

Disneyhanna

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Table of Contents

Day One (10/28/2021):
Part One: A Whole Row to Myself! (Travel)
Part Two: A Quick Evening in Disneyland

Day Two (10/29/2021):
Part One: DCA Rope Drop
Part Two: Web Slingers and Lunch at Pym's
Part Three: Lamplight Lounge Dinner
Part Four: Haunted Mansion Holiday
Part Five: Dr. Strange and Some Bad Timing

Day Three (10/30/2021):
Part One: Fantasyland Rope Drop
Part Two: Coming Soon
Part Three: Coming Soon
Part Four: Coming Soon

Day Four (10/31/2021):
Part One: Coming Soon
Part Two: Coming Soon
Part Three: Coming Soon
 
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  • Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day One - Part One: A Whole Row to Myself! (Travel)

    My flight was on Thursday at 3:20PM, which meant I could squeeze in a half day of working from home. I am a total overpacker, so I packed the night before to make sure I was ready to head out the door.

    I’m fairly close to the airport and have TSA pre-check, but I still like to leave an extra hour or so of buffer time in case anything happens. I was also parking at the airport for the first time since it was a short trip and my flight home was landing after 11PM on Halloween, and I wanted to drive myself instead of taking an Uber that late. Let's just say, this may or may not have gone according to plan later in the TR...

    I left around 12:40, and good thing I gave myself extra time, because as soon as I started driving the low tire pressure symbol came on! I am terrible with cars and have only ever filled up at my local Kwik Trip, but I knew there was a Speedway on my drive to the airport so I decided to take my chances there.

    To my luck, they had free air, and after waiting for a VERY slow man to fill his tires, I was back on the road! Crisis averted! :thumbsup2

    I made it to the airport parking garage at 1:25 and made sure to take a picture of where I parked. Of course I have never forgotten what floor I parked on, why would you ask? :hyper:

    Security was a total breeze as I was at the smaller of our two airport terminals. I was through by 1:40, with plenty of time to grab some lunch.

    I decided on Subway, I think it had been about 3 years since I had eaten there last. The line took about 20 minutes, I figured the long wait would be good practice for my trip!

    My 6” All American sub and jalapeno chips were $13, wow I miss the days of $5 footlongs!



    I usually avoid Subway, I blame the fact that I ate there every week as a picky kid. Maybe time really does make the heart grow fonder, or I was just starving, because this sandwich was the best thing I’d eaten in a while.

    I lucked out and got a nice private booth to sit in with an outlet, a rarity in today’s times!



    My flight ended up being really empty, I heard the flight attendant say there were fewer than 100 of us. It was a pretty small plane too, at least compared to the huge planes I am usually on when I fly with Delta.

    There were so many empty rows that the flight attendants were actually moving people before we even took off. Also, boarding moves SO quickly when there are no free carry ons! No crowding at the gate either since no one was worried about luggage space, I am starting to rethink my loyalty to Delta…

    I ended up with a row to myself, amazing! :woohoo: So much more leg room and no one breathing next to me. I’m not sure if it was the route or the airline, I flew to Chicago a few times this summer via Delta and United and my flights were always completely packed!

    The plane took off at exactly 3:20 as planned, my trip was off to a great start!

    I ended up rewatching Dune on my iPad, I haven’t read the book and I’m not sure if I will, but I really enjoyed the movie. I think I liked it better the second time as I was able to follow the story a lot better.



    The movie was long, and so by the time I was done, it was almost time to land. Does anyone else love watching the flight tracker?



    The sky was so clear that day, I could see the ground pretty much the entire flight. I forgot how much elevation variation the West has (and how brown it is, LOL), I am so used to Minnesota where we just have hills!



    I tried some new masks for this trip, I typically wear the blue disposables but I wanted something a bit more protective while still comfortable since I would be wearing them day. I ordered some Korean KF94 masks and really liked them, they don’t touch your mouth which is a huge plus.



    I tried the brands "Blue" and "BOTN" and preferred the Blue brand. The ear loops are adjustable on the BOTN masks but I kept pulling them out on accident!

    I didn’t have any trouble wearing the mask for the entire flight, something that I was nervous about. I had my big noise cancelling headphones which are a lifesaver, but the smaller plane was actually really quiet. Overall the flight experience was really pleasant!

    We landed 4:34 local time, I love basically going back in time! The flight was a little over three hours, a perk of living in the middle of the US.

    SNA is nice and small, a night and day difference compared to LAX. My bag was on the carousel almost immediately, and I headed up the escalator and across the street to the ride share pickup.



    There was no one else there! So quiet! They have an airport employee at a little stand so it feels very safe. If you have been to the Universal Orlando rideshare pickup, it is just like that, a dedicated area on top of a parking garage.

    I checked Uber and Lyft and surprisingly, Uber was quite a bit cheaper. Eek, my estimated arrival time was about 45 minutes, during non-rush hour it is usually 15 minutes!

    My driver texted me right away that he was on his way. I remember seeing on the boards that people were nervous about pickups since there are less drivers now, but I had no trouble getting a driver.

    I waited a little less than 15 minutes and was picked up at 5:10. It is so nice being picked up in a dedicated area instead of trying to find your driver amongst hundreds of others at LAX! A few other people arrived at the ride share pick up area while I was waiting, but it still was not busy at all.

    My driver and I talked pretty much the entire drive, I don’t mind making small talk with friendly drivers as it makes the long drive less awkward. We talked about so many random things, including where to get the best pho, how he drove a woman from LA to Phoenix the day before (he regretted it), and soon enough I was dropped off at the Best Western Park Place Inn at about 6:05. I think my ride was maybe $24, which I thought was a fantastic price for almost an hour-long ride.

    DCA was closed for OBB, but Disneyland was open until 10! I bought a 4-day PH ticket hoping that my flight would land on time and I could sneak in a few hours, I think the 4th day was only $30 extra.

    Check-in was fairly quick, I had requested a quiet room and let’s just say I got my wish...I had a room at the very back of the hotel! Oh well, hopefully that would mean no noisy people walking by my door at all hours!


    Here is a picture of my room, just a regular two bed room and not one of the suites which I think have a pull out sofa. I stayed at this hotel in July 2019 and really liked it. I think it has gone a little downhill but I would stay there again due to the proximity, you can't beat it. Let me know if you have any questions about this hotel!



    There is a nice sized table that I used to put all my park gear on.

    Here is the bathroom, a nice big counter and shower/tub combo.



    The shower head is super low (and I'm not very tall) and the bathroom door is really close to the toilet, but the fan switch is separate from the lights which is nice.

    There were two luggage racks which was nice even though I only needed one.



    The room was fairly clean but everything was just a bit worn out and I tried to avoid looking closely at anything.

    I unpacked a bit and changed into some warmer weather clothes, it was really hot that day and the evening was still around 70 degrees. This was my first time wearing my new sakura pink ears that I ordered from Shanghai Disneyland! They are very comfy and not as tight as some of the ear headbands, it is a hit or miss sometimes.



    Before I left my room, I decided to mobile order some food as I was so hungry, it was almost 9PM Minnesota time! Of course I had to get Bengal BBQ! I refreshed a few times and was able to get an immediate window so I ordered my food and then headed out of my room around 6:45.


    Thanks for reading! Continued in Part Two: A Quick Evening in Disneyland
     
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    noodle73

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2019
    Following! :-)

    Looks like a great travel day. We had a empty(ish) plane on our flight out to DLR in Sept and it was wonderful. And I love flying into SNA. It'd have to be a LOT cheaper for me to fly into LAX.
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Following! :-)

    Looks like a great travel day. We had a empty(ish) plane on our flight out to DLR in Sept and it was wonderful. And I love flying into SNA. It'd have to be a LOT cheaper for me to fly into LAX.
    It's so nice not being totally packed in for once! My Ubers were so cheap from SNA, I think I'd have to be saving like $200 to convince me to fly into LAX again :rotfl:
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day One - Part Two: A Quick Evening in Disneyland

    It was shortly after sunset and the lights were not on yet outside my hotel, so it was such a long, dark walk to the front of the hotel! Pretty sure the walk from my room to the front of the hotel was as long as the walk from the hotel to the parks!

    The best part about the BWPPI is that it is literally across the street from the Harbor entrance. It’s about a 5 minute walk from that intersection to security!



    I had to snap a few pictures of the park entrances before going in. The DCA entrance is a bit lackluster during the day, but it looks incredible at night. Oogie Boogie even talks!



    The Disneyland entrance featured character pumpkins, so cute!



    I was through security and into Disneyland before 7:00! No photopass CMs by the front with the train station in the background, unlike my trip in summer 2019 where photopass CMs were literally everywhere.



    Lots of garlands on the lamp posts.



    All I could think about was food, so I headed straight to Bengal BBQ to pick up my mobile order. I definitely had tunnel vision and didn’t spare a single glance for the decorations, there would be time for that later! :teeth:

    Adventureland is always so cool at night, I think it is one of my favorite parts of Disneyland.



    I clicked the I’m here, prepare my food button as I was approaching Bengal BBQ. It was ready almost immediately!



    I got the spicy banyan beef as well as a veggie skewer for around $13. If the veggie skewers were a bit cheaper I would get more than one, they are just that good! I think they used to have a potato, which would make them more filling, but they’re still really good. The veggie skewer has bell pepper, onion, zucchini, and eggplant. They have perfected the amount of grilling time and every single time I get this skewer it is perfectly crisp. Definitely one of the healthiest Disney park food items! :thumbsup2

    The banyan beef skewer is pretty spicy, I have a really high spice tolerance so I can barely tell :rotfl:, but I used to have to have a drink to eat this one! The beef size keeps shrinking, but it’s still worth it to me. The beef is a little chewy but not tough at all, I’d avoid this one if you can’t handle spice though!

    It can be hard to find a spot to eat near Bengal BBQ so I recommend having one person scout out a table while you pick up your food if possible.

    I felt much better after my little snack and decided to get in a few rides! I like to eat lots of smaller meals so I don’t need any recovery time after meals. :hyper:

    Since I was by Indiana Jones, I decided to check out the line. This was one of my favorite rides during my last trip, I like it so much better than Dinosaur in WDW! It was posted at 50 minutes and I asked one of the CMs if there was any single rider. The CM said there wasn’t, but he encouraged me to get in the regular line, saying there was basically no line!

    I got into line at 7:18, and did not catch up to the actual line until the video room, which definitely meant the line was going to be short.



    I made it onto the ride at 7:32 for an overall 14 minute wait, woohoo! I love this ride so much, the theming in the queue is awesome. I haven’t seen any Indiana Jones movies though, oops!

    It was a little stuffy that night and the AC felt so good in the queue and on the ride. When I got off, the wait time had dropped to 25.

    I continued on wandering through the park, passing by Haunted Mansion. Wow, the holiday overlay outside is so beautiful! :scared1:



    The line looked so long even though it was only posted at 45. I decided I’d skip and try and ride on one of my rope drop mornings.

    I entered the Winnie the Pooh line at 7:46 since it was only posted at 5 minutes.



    I have mixed feelings about the Disneyland version, I like that it’s not in Fantasyland so the line is usually really short compared to in WDW, but I always miss the bouncing with Tigger scene! I was on by 7:53, so only a 6 minute wait.

    The bees buzzing when you get off the ride is so cute!

    Since I was nearby and it was a warm evening, I decided to ride Splash at 8:00.



    The line was posted at 25, and I waited almost that long, getting on at 8:22. This line always feels so long to me, especially since it’s not air conditioned. :worship:



    I always forget the differences between the Disneyland and WDW versions but I definitely enjoy both of them! I think my favorite part is the little hill section where there’s no water.



    The Splash music always gets in my head, I will definitely miss it when it gets re-themed.

    I was behind a really funny family, they were screaming every time they got wet! Of course, I always put my hands up for the drop picture and then immediately duck down and cover my face. :smooth:



    They had the water level up pretty high because I got pretty wet even sitting in the back! The nice part about going solo is you basically always get the back, which is definitely the driest spot! My feet got soaked from the water in the log, thankfully I had sandals on!

    It was almost time for the 9:00 Halloween Screams, there were no fireworks since it was a weekday and I actually didn’t realize this at the time since I did basically no research for this trip, except on food! :hyper:

    I had read that the best churros are from the cart by the castle, so I snuck into the line at 8:43. The hub was pretty busy at this time but it was manageable to get around, I knew the weekend would be more crowded so I wanted to see the show that night. A CM got in the back of the line at 8:45 and stopped others from getting in line, thank goodness I didn’t wait any longer!

    When I was almost to the front of the line, a kid that was probably 14-15 asked very nicely if I could get him three churros, and he gave me cash. I was feeling very nice that night so I was like sure! He really appreciated it and I’m sure all of his friends did too, lucky ducks! ::yes::

    I also bought a bottle of water as I forgot to bring my water bottle. $4.25 for the water and $5 for the churro, phew!



    Churro secured around 8:55, I slipped into the horde of people in front of the castle. There was actually plenty of room for small groups to sneak in, it wasn’t nearly as packed as I have experienced in the past.



    My churro really hit the spot, it was super fresh and both crispy and soft, this was better than I remember the churros from other carts that I had on my last trip. I wonder if they are better at that cart just because they go through them so quickly!

    Halloween Screams was pretty cute, I really enjoyed the music.



    The projections were also on the Matterhorn, so I kept looking back and forth between the castle and the mountain.



    There were no fireworks, but they did have some flames shooting up and it was so hot, you could feel it on your face! The flying Zero was really neat, I had not seen this show in vlogs or anything as I didn’t want to be spoiled.



    I decided that seeing it once was enough, and I would skip it on the other nights. I liked that the show was only 12 minutes, it’s hard to stand still for so long for the longer shows!

    This probably wasn’t the smartest move, but I decided to rush to Tomorrowland to try and make it onto Space Mountain. I got into line at 9:18 and it was posted at 40, the downside is that you can’t see the line length until you’re already in it, I probably should have bailed. :confused3

    I made it onto the ride about 9:51, so I only waited 33 minutes, but it felt like forever and this queue is really boring. The ride was as thrilling as ever, I do think the WDW version has a better track but the nice part about riding at night is your eyes are used to the dark and I think it’s better that way. My head hurt a little after, not sure if that means I am getting old or just tired :laughing:, I suppose it was almost midnight at home! My mask kept slipping during the ride, so hold on to your mask!

    The park wasn’t closing for a few more minutes, so I booked it over to Buzz. I made it in line at 9:56 and it was posted at 5, but it was a literal walk on!



    Somehow I didn’t even score 100,000, I looked up the good targets at one point but clearly I did not remember any of them!



    This honestly could be my record low score, yikes!



    I am always so focused during this ride, even in this grainy picture!

    My battery was down from 100% to 50% in only 3 hours, I am definitely on my phone a lot when solo! I bought a new 20,000mAh battery which charges my phone multiple times. I definitely recommend getting an external battery for Disney trips!

    I love walking through Main Street as you leave the park.



    The line for the giant Pumpkin was so long, this was pretty much the only place I saw photopass CMs other than the ones in front of the castle.



    Since there was no MaxPass/Genie+ I was not planning to purchase PhotoPass, so I didn’t bother with getting any pictures in Disneyland.

    Lots of orange banners at the train station!



    Still a little hungry but not wanting to deal with crowds, I decided to check out Salt and Straw in Downtown Disney for some ice cream.



    There was a short line, but I was in and out in under 10 minutes.

    I got the vegan “Freckled Mint TCHO-colate Chip” since I love mint chip ice cream. It was a coconut cream base, which is perfect for ice cream since it’s so creamy. It tasted like normal ice cream, I would never have guessed this was vegan as the mint covers up the faint coconut taste. The chocolate was more like shavings instead of chunks, but I am not a huge chocolate person so this was fine with me. It was around $7 for a single scoop.



    The portion was pretty small for the price, but it was perfect for a small bedtime snack. I always have treats before bed on vacation! Boo to You was playing on the speakers and it really made me miss parades.

    I made a quick detour into World of Disney on my way out of Downtown Disney.



    It was decorated with garlands and they were playing Christmas music, wasn’t it a bit early for that? :scratchin



    It seemed really small compared to the one in Disney Springs, I honestly have so much Disney clothing and ears that I barely looked around. I was definitely starting to get worn out!

    On my way back to my hotel, I saw a lot of people leaving the Oogie Boogie Bash in costumes. You could spend a lot of time just watching people go by!

    Even the benches are Disney themed!



    Overall I had a really solid first night and got quite a bit done in my three hours of park time. I do think I prefer daytime in the parks when solo. I was really looking forward to DCA the next day as it was pretty crowded with families in Disneyland, and I’ve always found DCA to be more relaxing and less crowded. It was definitely very busy despite being a Thursday night, and there is really no social distancing.

    Here is the view from the Disneyland entrance on Harbor, that is my hotel on the left just across the street!



    The lights were on at my hotel now, so the walk was much less creepy!



    See how long the hallway looks? At the end that is the gate to the pool, and then there’s another hallway just as long! They took my quiet room request very seriously! :rotfl:

    I made it back to my room at 11:00, very ready to crash into bed. The fan was so noisy, I turned it from low to high and that seemed to at least make the noise more consistent. I sleep with a white noise machine at home and I brought my old spare one on the trip, but it kept turning off and one so I ended up just tossing it out. I was so tired that I figured I’d survive without!

    I organized a bit and made sure my park bag was ready for the next day, and hopped in the shower even though I just wanted to crawl into bed. The shower head was so short, I am not very tall and it was barely high enough for me! I can’t imagine what you’d do if you were 6’ tall!

    Finally, I headed to bed around 11:30. I set my alarm to 6:25 to get some hotel breakfast and try and get my Web Slingers virtual queue at 7:00, aiming to leave the hotel at 7:15 for DCA rope drop. That's earlier than I get up

    Overall 18,600 steps for my 3 hour park day!


    Thanks for reading! Next up is my only DCA rope drop morning!

    Day Two - Part One: DCA Rope Drop
     
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    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day Two - Part One: DCA Rope Drop

    I slept pretty well all things considered, but the fan was really noisy and the bed was so lumpy, the things I put up with for a short walk at the end of the night!

    Despite not being a morning person, I woke up before my alarm and was out of bed a little before 6:30. Usually I roll out of bed and onto my computer for work at 8, ha! :surfweb:

    Featuring my Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout hat!



    I headed to the free hotel breakfast upstairs in the building next to the hotel around 6:50, they do ask your room number. It was pretty quiet, only a few other families were there and it’s a really large space.

    Sadly, the build your own breakfast sandwiches are a thing of the past. The hot options were served to you and included eggo pancakes, fried potatoes, sausage patties (I think it was ham on some mornings), and scrambled eggs. Lots of packaged pastries to grab like muffins, some yogurt, instant oatmeal, cereal, applesauce, etc. No toast though! The typical hotel coffee pots and juice machine were available for self-service. You could take your food back to your room, which is a nice option.



    Pretty mediocre but still no complaints since it’s free and most hotels during covid just offer a water bottle and piece of fruit instead of a continental breakfast. Definitely would save a lot of money for a family. Plus, they have hot sauce packets! :woohoo:

    My phone data was pretty slow, only like 10gbps, which made me nervous for getting a virtual queue. This was my only DCA reservation for my trip, so I was really hoping I’d get web slingers! The virtual queue is new to me, it’s a little different from the RotR boarding group process that was used on my prior trips to WDW.

    To my luck, I had no issue with the virtual queue and secured group 50! :charac4:



    I finished my breakfast quite happily, and headed out around 7:15 for rope drop.



    It was a really pleasant morning, I love California weather. I was through security by 7:22, it was super fast on the left side. The security CMs are so friendly, almost all of them asked me how I was doing or what my plans were!

    The lines for DCA were pretty short, especially compared to anything I’ve seen at WDW.



    I peeked at dining availability and there were a few slots open, if you miss reservations I recommend checking the day or two before as people cancel.

    They started scanning tickets around 7:34, after a countdown! The line maybe doubled behind me in that time, but still wasn’t that long. Of course, I picked a pretty slow line. Oh well! I still made it in by 7:42, not bad.

    I headed to the Cars Land rope drop first, to try for Radiator Springs Racers. There were a lot of people there, definitely the most popular rope drop attraction.



    At 7:45 a CM announced that the ride wouldn’t be opening at rope drop, of course no one could really even hear her. I was close enough to figure it out and quickly left the area to try for Guardians instead, while people were still coming to the Cars rope drop.

    I must have deleted some of my notes so I'm going from memory here, but hardly anyone was rope dropping Guardians!



    At 8:00, the rope “dropped” and crowd started heading towards the ride. No walking on the sidewalks!



    Finally, I got my first peek of the tower!



    I love this ride so much, I know people think it’s ugly but it is still one of my favorites!



    What is all of this stuff in the ground supposed to be?



    Spillage? Probably some hidden Mickeys in there somewhere….



    There’s lots of stuff to look at in this queue, good thing too because I spent a lot of time in it this trip!





    The first time I rode this a few years ago, I hadn’t seen GotG yet. I still enjoyed the ride at the time, but the queue and ride are definitely a lot better when you know the story.



    Cosmo is my favorite, his tail wags!



    I waited about 20 minutes from entering the queue to being seated on the ride. I got Hit Me With Your Best Shot, love that version! Pretty sure a kid cried afterwards, and it’s not even scary like ToT! :hyper:



    Since I was so close, I decided to pass through Avengers Campus on my way to ride Toy Story Mania.



    I was so excited to see all of the Marvel stuff, I kept my expectations pretty low since I’ve heard mixed reviews.



    I love the transition from Guardians to the rest of the campus, I feel like Guardians is so much less out of place now.

    Captain Marvel was out at the Avengers Headquarters. I wish it wasn’t quite so high up, it’s hard to see up there!



    The Ancient Sanctum is amazing, I was glad I checked it out and took a picture before it got crowded, there were always people in it later in the day.



    Lots of details to look at up close.



    I didn’t realize at the time, but this is where the Dr. Strange show is held. Duh!



    Not wanting to lose any more time, I kept going, as I’d check out more of the campus later in the day.



    I took the detour through Cars Land to check on RSR.



    RSR was still not open at 8:30 according to the app but I noticed the CMs were letting people into the queue. There was a bit of a line up at the entrance, so I wondered if that was the group that decided to wait it out and they were just being let in!

    As I went through the queue, I heard ride vehicles going, a good sign! There were maybe 50 people ahead of me, I must have really lucked out on the timing. People were in cars and on the ride even though the app still said it wasn’t open yet! The wait flipped to 0 minutes at 8:32, and I was on the ride by 8:39. Shortest wait ever!

    Don’t forget to hold your hat on this one! It was such a beautiful, sunny morning. I love the outdoor portions of this ride so much, the theming is just fantastic. I didn’t get my ride photo for this one, oh well!

    The wait jumped to 95 minutes at 8:50 when I was off the ride. Everyone must have rushed to it once they saw it was open!



    Onward to Pixar Pier for TSM.



    The pier area looks really sad without the water. I was eating at Lamplight Lounge for an early dinner, guess I didn’t need to cross my fingers for a waterside view!



    I like the Pixar retheme, but I don’t remember the old theming very well.



    Time for Toy Story Mania, I got in line at 8:59 and the line looked pretty long for supposedly being 20 minutes. I was on at 9:17, so pretty accurate! Definitely feels like a long time when you’re alone.

    Somehow I still did pretty bad, I never get any better at this ride!



    My arm always hurts so much after, I couldn't do it twice in a row even if the line was short. :laughing:



    I skipped Incredicoaster at 20 minutes since it looked it my Web boarding group would be up soon, and I wanted to get on as early as possible since I heard the line gets pretty long as the day goes on.

    I passed by the cute Cars Land sign at 9:34 and decided to get in line since it wasn’t too long, maybe 6 or 7 families.



    My Web group was called at 9:38, woohoo!



    I finished getting my photo at 9:48, the photopass CM was really nice and made me do a lot of posing haha!



    Happy Thanksgiving, all!

    Continued in Part Two: Web Slingers and Lunch at Pym's
     
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  • FeistyDisneyMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2019
    Great report so far! Love the pictures. That hallway looks soooooo long - glad the lights were on for your walk home or it would be a bit creepy!

    Can't wait to see how Web Slingers and Pym's went for you :)
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Great report so far! Love the pictures. That hallway looks soooooo long - glad the lights were on for your walk home or it would be a bit creepy!

    Can't wait to see how Web Slingers and Pym's went for you :)
    Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I think I had to use my phone flashlight when I went out after sunset, I was worried about being hit by a car when I had to detour around the pool into the parking lot 😂

    I plan to post some more tonight! Mmm Pym’s was so good, wish I could go back there right now!
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day Two - Part Two: Web Slingers and Lunch at Pym’s

    I checked into the Web Slingers queue at 9:52, it was definitely starting to get hot and the queue is pretty much all outside!



    There were a lot of people in line, I was expecting at least a half an hour wait from what I had been reading online.



    There are a lot of signs around the queue to read, I took some quick pictures because the line moves at a fairly constant (but slow) pace so you’d never really have time to stand in front of them and read anything.



    There were fans in some spots which felt really nice!



    I was so glad that I was in line at 10am before the worst heat of the day, I think it was maybe 80 degrees so I can’t imagine what it feels like on hotter days!



    While I was in line, I decided to submit a mobile order for lunch. I had done some reading up on Pym Test Kitchen, and went with the PB3 Superb Sandwich for $14. I also ordered a Regulator drink from Pym Tasting Lab for $17. Shelling out the big bucks today! :laughing: Since my dinner reservation at Lamplight was for 4:25, I wanted an early lunch! Is 10am too early to be thinking about lunch? Not at Disney!

    The queue is just okay for Web Slingers, not sure how much you can do with a brick wall. I’m sure there are a lot of easter eggs that I just was not aware of! I always miss those things until someone points them out, I am the least observant person ever!



    I made it inside the ride building to watch the pre-show video at 10:15. It wasn’t even 25 minutes outside but it definitely felt like forever since the queue isn’t that big and you just wind around a lot.



    The inside was much more fun to look at, I think I was just happy to have AC!



    There’s a ton of stuff around the video room to look at while you wait for the room to fill up.



    Again, probably lots of easter eggs that I did not catch!



    The pre-show video was cute, I love when they get the actual actors to film the ride videos. We don't talk about Hermione on the Hogwarts Express at Universal Orlando...



    Also, did anyone else get Spiderman NWH tickets? All the big screens sold out so fast, wow! I will not be seeing it until Friday so I will have to avoid the internet that Thursday, I have already seen more spoilers than I wanted to!

    There is a neat whiteboard prop in the video room, I got my bachelor’s degree in math and I still couldn’t tell you if anything on there is real!



    There’s a bit more queue after the pre-show, including the locker area.



    Finally, the ride vehicles were in sight!



    More fun signage on the wall.



    The ride vehicles look so cool, I love that they are tall and wrap around and behind you, it helps with the immersion.



    I made it onto the ride at 10:29, so a total wait of 37 minutes. Not too bad!

    Being a single rider isn’t a big deal to me, as I have been doing it since I was a kid (only child, motion sickness prone parent). I do prefer how you get to ride alone on Buzz and TSM, whereas I was with a family of 3 on this one since I believe it sits four, don't quote me on that.

    I really enjoyed the no-contact shooting style, so much more sanitary! I think I was really just air punching, lol! It was pretty easy to see where you were shooting as well, at least compared to Buzz. I didn’t really know where to aim and so I was kind of just waving my arms and hoping I was doing it right.

    Overall I scored 189k, probably terrible, but I did beat the mom and her two little kids in my ride vehicle!

    I didn’t think there was that much motion, though my memory is a bit hazy. My arms hurt after just like with TSM, I really need to hit the gym more often! :rolleyes1



    I had just enough time to catch the 10:40 Spider-Man show in Avenger’s Campus. There were quite a few people waiting, but it’s easy enough to slide into a spot if you’re not a huge group.



    The show started a few minutes late, there were a lot of little stunts like somersaults on the crates, and a couple of flips off of them as well.



    Nothing too crazy but I'm sure the kiddos will be really impressed. Of course, we were all waiting to see Spider-Man fly through the sky! I hope this GIF works, it was hard for me to figure out how to post a video!



    Wow, the videos do not do this justice compared to seeing it with your own eyes! The animatronic is so smooth and realistic. I’m sure many people think this is real! This is definitely a must see!

    Spider-Man then heads back to the ground, upside-down, for some meet and greet action. He’s always so popular so I didn’t linger around, especially since you still need to be distanced for the meet and greets.



    I headed to Pym Test Kitchen for my early lunch, my mobile order was ready pretty much immediately after clicking I’m here. It took a few minutes to pick up the drink at Pym Tasting Lab, there is a bit of a line even for mobile pick up and they don’t make your drink until you get assigned to a bartender. Check out the giant can!



    The Avengers Assemble show was at 11:15, so I sat on a retaining wall by Guardians to eat part of my lunch before the show. There is not very much seating around Pym’s, there is a big seating area by the Hyperion Theater I believe, but I didn’t want to stray too far from the upcoming show.

    This meal looked so fun, of course I had to take a picture before digging in.



    This is the PB3 Superb Sandwich (warm PB&J with Banana and Candied Bacon on Pym Particle Bread, served with Micro Banana Smoothie and crispy Potato Bites). About $14.

    First I tried the tiny banana smoothie, it’s just a few sips but it was delicious. It tastes exactly like you’d expect, I do not like artificial banana flavoring at all, and this tasted like fresh banana to me. Creamy and smooth, yum! I wish they’d make it just a little bigger, maybe a dixie size cup at least!

    I wasn’t sure what to expect with the sandwich, the Pym bread is blue and looks a bit dry, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was crunchy from being toasted and holds up really well, which is a good thing given the soft and sticky fillings.



    I believe there is peanut butter, jam, banana, and candied bacon inside. I’m pretty neutral on PB&J but I do love a PB & banana, and who doesn’t love candied bacon! The toasted bread is good because it gives the sandwich some texture. The candied bacon is definitely the star, super thick and plentiful. I’m sure it will have only one piece in a year from now, knowing Disney! :rotfl:

    The peanut butter was pretty thin with a good helping of jam, which is perfect for me. The ratio of banana was also really well balanced, overall I was so surprised that I liked this so much. I was expecting it to be like a 3 star sandwich but honestly I think it deserves 4 or 5 stars!

    Onto the tots.



    Another surprise hit for me, I prefer shoestring fries to tots but these had some seasoning, almost like sour cream and onion. They were also so crispy throughout, sometimes tater tots taste a little too much like raw potato for me, but these were so darn good. No ketchup needed! I could definitely get just an order of these for a snack! I thought these were way better than the tots from Woody’s Lunch Box in Hollywood Studios, the seasoning is key.

    Have I convinced you all to try this meal? I’d 100% order this again, I’m sure the quality could vary a lot depending on if you get fresh bread and tots, but mine hit it out of the ballpark. This is now one of my favorite Disney QS meals I have ever had, right up there with Satu’li Canteen in Animal Kingdom! It’s a weird combination, but it really works! If you are a fan of sweet and salty, definitely get this next time you are in Avengers Campus!

    Oops, I almost forgot to review my other new favorite, my “Regulator” drink!



    This is made of Patrón Silver Tequila and Golden Road Mango Cart Wheat Ale, with Mango and Habanero Syrups, and Mango Flavor-filled Boba. About $17, wowza! It is a good sized cup at least.

    Again, wow. I was not familiar with this beer, and to me it did not taste like beer or tequila, so it must be a very light beer (which I prefer anyways). I could not taste any habanero either, it tasted like a fruity drink but not too sweet, honestly I could not taste any alcohol. It was so refreshing, I do recommend stirring it a bit since the syrup settles to the bottom. There was a bit of tartness to balance the sweetness, I could definitely drink a few of these if the price wasn’t so steep! I am not usually a huge fan of Disney drinks but this was a winner to me.

    I didn’t feel anything after drinking this, so it’s definitely light on the ABV! I did look up the beer and picked some up from Total Wine when I got home, and the drink definitely just tastes like an enhanced version of the beer! It’s hard for me to describe the beer since I’ve never tasted anything like it, but if you like this beer you will definitely like this drink. If you don’t like regular beer, you may still like this drink! It’s almost closer to a mango seltzer with a splash of beer, the ABV is super low (like 4%) which explains why it’s so easy to drink.

    Phew, food and drink review done! I finished most of my meal and carried the rest of it with me to watch during the 11:15 Avengers Assemble show. This was just a meh show for me, it was hard to see since they are so high up. Spot the Cap!



    It was also really sunny, making it even harder to watch! Afterwards, the Black Panther was wandering around.



    That’s my main criticism, the characters are so hard to see at the headquarters. I wish they had made some parts a bit closer to the ground, you’d have to really shout if you wanted to talk with them. Still, it was really cool seeing the Avengers characters and I love how they are incorporating the new characters and costumes. I never saw Hawkeye there, but I am LOVING the show on Disney+, highly recommend!

    I think most of the Avengers do meet on the ground at times, you just need to be in the right place to catch them!

    Agh, it was getting to be so hot at this point. I decided to wander DCA a bit more and headed out of Avengers Campus for a change of scenery. Little Mermaid had a short wait, and I needed to sit and have some AC after my delicious lunch.

    I spotted Max at the Pacific Wharf and waved hello!



    I got into the Little Mermaid queue at 11:42, standby was a measly 5 minutes. I only waited 3 minutes, and that AC felt sooo good. This queue is pretty sad compared to the WDW version!



    I don’t think I’ve ever made it through this ride without it stopping a few times though. More time to enjoy the animatronics!



    As much as I love thrill rides, dark rides are definitely what make the Disney parks so special. I wish they'd make more rides like this that didn't rely on so many screens.



    Poor unfortunate souls! The newer Disney movies usually have one or two great songs, but nothing beats the classic soundtracks!



    I was off just in time to attempt to get a RotR boarding group at noon. I was able to get BG 205, with an estimated 280 minute wait which would put me at 4:40pm. Not bad! Even though park hopping is limited to 1PM, I still recommend splurging on it if you're there for more than two days.



    I wandered around a bit more and ended up at Soarin’ at 12:05, standby was 20 minutes. I made it to the inside part of the queue at 12:12. This one wins the worst queue (in both parks) as there’s really nothing to look at and it moves so slowly. As I got closer to the loading area, the CM actually called for a single rider and I waved but I was too far back and he didn’t see me. Oof, it was like a rejected high five! :bitelip:

    Of course, this meant more waiting! I’m being pretty dramatic as I was on at 12:20 and I ended up in row 3 on the side, of course. There were some people that wanted off before the ride started, so we didn’t actually get going until about 12:30. One of the guys forgot something in the bin and came back to get it before the ride started, and I guess he came back in on his own through the door he exited, which apparently is a HUGE no-no. I heard one of the CMs lecturing another CM on that, yikes! It’s a good thing they are taking those things seriously though.

    Soarin’ is such a peaceful ride, it always lifts my mood. It is a bit harder to smell the scents through a mask though! I had a lovely view of everyone’s feet of course! :laughing:

    I was definitely feeling better after some extended AC, and ventured on with no plan! It’s nice being able to be more spontaneous, but I still missed having a guaranteed short wait with MaxPass.

    I saw Snow White and Mickey for the first time, Mickey looked so dapper in his Halloween outfit!



    You could actually get a pretty close up photo with him if you wanted to, though you would need someone to take your photo as there are no photopass CMs for these distanced M&Gs.


    Continued in Part Three: Lamplight Lounge Dinner
     
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    FeistyDisneyMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2019
    After your description, I cannot wait to try that sandwich at Pym's! I love sweet & savory! Great job on the gif of Spiderman - it looks so impressive. Little Mermaid is a long time family favorite, and you are so right - the AC really helps make it. Wish the queue was a little more like the WDW version, but it moves so quickly we don't usually mind at all.
     
  • Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    After your description, I cannot wait to try that sandwich at Pym's! I love sweet & savory! Great job on the gif of Spiderman - it looks so impressive. Little Mermaid is a long time family favorite, and you are so right - the AC really helps make it. Wish the queue was a little more like the WDW version, but it moves so quickly we don't usually mind at all.
    It took me by total surprise! I only make it to the parks once or twice a year, so I try to get the more unique offerings instead of things I can just get at home. Glad the gif worked, I have had trouble with photos disappearing my TRs so I’m crossing my fingers that doesn’t happen again or I might be too lazy to reupload them :laughing: I think the music from Little Mermaid was one of my first Disney memories, I had a short solo from Part of Your World in my first grade concert, I will never forget it! :mic: The shorter wait time is worth it at DCA, same with Pooh, I’ll take less waiting over a slightly better version of the ride any day!
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day Two - Part Three: Lamplight Lounge Dinner

    Sorry for the delay, but I will give you two updates to make up for it!

    Apparently I couldn’t park hop back to Disneyland without riding Guardians on my way out. I don’t think I came even close to beating my record of ~10 rides on my last trip though, when we still had MaxPass (RIP)!

    I was into line at 12:45 with a 30 minute standby, definitely one of the shortest wait times I saw posted during this entire trip.



    It did jump up to 55 and then 65 minutes while I was in line, everyone must have rushed over!

    I was onto the ride at 1:15, so I waited exactly 30 minutes including the pre-show. Sometimes the longest wait feels like when you are standing on your seat number waiting to ride!

    I had a lovely time as usual, the first drop is always the best.



    At 1:30 I decided to hop over to Disneyland, and there were really long lines to get into DCA, probably since there was no OBB that evening.

    I said hello to Walt and Mickey on my way out!



    Phew, Disneyland was really hot as well, I think wearing a mask definitely makes everything warmer although I loved the KF94 masks I had, so much comfier than the regular blue disposable masks I usually use at home.

    It was definitely quieter than the evening before, probably since everyone was headed to DCA!



    Eeyore was hanging out in the hub, very cute.



    I decided to head to the Matterhorn, standby was only 30 minutes at 1:42. Single rider was open so I hopped in that line as it looked quite short, and I was on at 1:54. I will say the line does not move that quickly as the CMs are very efficient at filling up the seats, so if the single rider line is really long, I would just do standby if it’s a short wait.



    Though it’s super bumpy, I forgot how thrilling this ride is! As long as you brace yourself I don’t think it’s too bad. I forgot how scary and dark the beginning is, you would never know just looking at it!

    Sadly, It’s a Small World was closed but I did take a picture as it’s so pretty.



    I have been to Disneyland four times now (all in different months), and I believe Small World has only been open on one of those trips!

    A lot of people knock the Sleeping Beauty castle, but I like that the smaller size makes it easier to see the details.



    As I passed through the hub, a girl stopped me to ask to take a picture, so she took some for me as well!




    Since it was so hot that day, I headed to Splash of course. The line was posted at 55 at 2:15, but I decided to try and find the single rider line. It was really confusing, the entrance is through the exit and there isn’t any good signage, but you end up going over the bridge. If there isn’t a line of people, it’s really hard to figure out. I finally made it to the right place and was on at 2:27, so much better than 55 minutes!



    Single riders usually get the back, which I prefer anyways. The very back seat has a nice place to brace your feet without them getting wet from all of the water in the log!



    Only a little splash this time!



    I love park hopping at Disneyland, after only two rides I decided to head back to DCA and try to ride Guardians: Monsters After Dark since it opened at 3:00.

    The areas around Rivers of the America are some of the worst spots for crowds in Disneyland, it was definitely slow moving to get back to the entrance of the park.

    The Dapper Dans were singing on Main Street, too bad we don’t get the Cadaver Dans during regular hours!



    I left Disneyland at 2:50 and was able to walk right into DCA. It was definitely calmer there than in Disneyland.

    The Guardians line was wrapping around outside so I decided to skip and try a bit later. I saw the Dora Milaje show was at 3:10, so I picked up a Cosmic Cream Orb from the Terran Treats cart for around $7.

    This is described as “Like a crisp Terran Cream Puff filled with Whipped Raspberry Cheesecake” which was a pretty accurate description.



    This is served cold, it’s basically a cream puff with a berry filling instead of typical pastry cream.



    The pastry itself is really plain and very thin, and on the soft side (think grocery store croissant) and not really crisp at all. The filling is a cold berry whipped cream, and that is where most of the flavor comes from. Not overly sweet and has a little tartness. This was good, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it again, especially for the price. It’s shareable but definitely more of a single serving since it’s not rich at all.

    Time for the show, plenty of people gathered to watch but you don’t need to get there more than a few minutes before to get a good viewing spot.



    The Dora Milaje costuming is amazing, the show itself is definitely geared towards kids as there is a lot of chanting and audience participation.



    I didn’t stay to watch the entire thing, but it was neat to see!



    I took the shortcut to Cars Land to check out the RSR line, but it was 75 minutes at 3:25 and there was no single rider open, so I skipped. I headed back to Avengers Campus to see if the Monsters After Dark line was any better.

    As I passed by the Avengers Headquarters, Shang Chi was out, so cool! I thought the movie was great and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Simu Liu.



    The line for Guardians extended all the way to the eating area by the Hyperion Theater, but it was single file and moving quickly so I decided to just go for it.



    I got in line at 3:35 and it was posted 70 minutes. It did move super quickly, we even passed the Dance Off, and I was already by the Tivan statue by 3:38.



    They had overflow queue outside the fencing, they only open that section when it’s really busy! I was into the ride building by 3:53, so I knew my wait wouldn’t be nearly 70 minutes.

    The overlay is really cool! The lighting is all red, everything is glitchy, even the pre-show videos are different.



    The CM told me to head into an empty spot on an elevator that was about to load, but there was a couple that was all over each other so much that I literally could not pass them to get to the elevator. It is amazing how much PDA can happen even with masks on! :crazy2:

    It worked out, as I got the middle front row seat on the next lift. I was into my seat at 4:10, so an overall 35 minute wait compared to a 70 minute posted wait!



    I would say the only downside is there is only one version of the ride (I think) so it does not have quite the same re-rideability as the daytime version. The front row is definitely a lot more fun (especially if you’re in the middle). The Monsters After Dark overlay isn’t particularly scary, at least not much more than the regular version.

    My Lamplight Lounge reservation was for 4:25, so I headed to Pixar Pier.



    I checked in at the front and was seated only a few minutes later, at the indoor part of the bar. Facing the full sun that was beginning to set, ugh! I had to wear my sunglasses and still could hardly see! :cool2: Not a big deal since I was alone, but I didn’t realize bar seating was fair game. Last time I ate here with a friend, we got a waterside table, way better! Maybe solos get the short stick?



    As a plus, I figured the service would be faster since I just ordered with the bartender. I thought the stools were so uncomfortable, my knees kept banging into the bar and I am never the right height for stools, it always feels like a core workout to me to just sit in them!

    The bartender recognized the girl sitting next to me, I can’t imagine being a regular at a Disney bar!

    To drink, I ordered the “Teaser” which is “Greenbar City Bright Gin, Greenbar Hibiscus Liqueur, fresh Lime Juice, and Agave Nectar topped with Tonic Water.” I like a good gin and tonic, this was super easy to drink and not too sweet. If you like a fruity but not overly sweet or strong drink, this is a safe choice. It wasn’t anything special though, I definitely preferred my drink from Pym’s that morning which was probably twice as big for about the same price. :drinking1



    To eat, I ordered two appetizers, the Potato Skins “crispy Yukon Gold Potatoes with Brown Butter-Caper Yogurt, Smoked Paprika Aïoli, and Manchego Cheese” and the Tuna Poke “Yellowfin Tuna "Rice Bowl" with Magic Watermelon, Avocado, Edamame, Shishito Peppers, and Spiced Mango Nectar.”

    My food arrived pretty quickly, definitely under 10 minutes.

    I read rave reviews about the potato skins, and knew not to expect actual potato skins!



    These were really good, basically a really fancy hash brown patty. There were five of them and I could only get through three, though I should have stopped after two! They are pretty rich with all of the cheese and sauces, definitely recommend sharing this between two or three people. The flavors worked nicely and this was a dish that should suit most tastes. No idea why they call them potato skins though!

    The tuna poke was fresh and light, it’s covered with a rice cracker bowl that you can break apart and use as crackers. I ate the entire “bowl” and could have even used more!



    The poke is pretty heavy on the avocado, which makes it a bit more filling. The watermelon blended really well, there is not a ton of tuna but I would still get this again as it was a nice change from heavy theme park food (not that I had been having much “normal” theme park food, ha). Citrusy, a bit of spice, overall thumbs up from me.

    I really enjoyed the cracker, it’s like a very thin styrofoam (appetizing, right?) and is a great vehicle for the poke. I finished the entire dish! Unless you are a really light eater, the poke alone is not enough for a meal.

    I’ve only been to Lamplight Lounge twice, but had great food and drinks both times, as well as good service. The bartender was really nice but I’m not a fan of sitting at the bar, I’m not sure if they can accommodate any requests for a table.

    Everything was really delicious this trip, but I wish I could have shared with someone as I like trying multiple things. My bill was around $65 including tip, so it’s definitely a splurge. I was completely stuffed and had to roll out of there! I would get both dishes again, though I think I would only get the potato skins if I was with someone else to share.

    Finally, it was starting to cool off with the sun going down. I noticed there were so many plaids, lots of VIP tours, way more than I’d seen in the past.


    Continued in Part Four: Haunted Mansion Holiday
     
    Last edited:

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day Two - Part Four: Haunted Mansion Holiday

    I headed back to Disneyland at 5:30, planning to hang around until it was sunset so I could head back to DCA and experience it at night since DCA would be closed all of the other nights of my trip for OBB.



    I saw in the app that Haunted Mansion was down! It looked like RotR had also been down, as they were only through group 161 at 5:45, when I got my BG at noon it estimated I’d be riding by 4:40 with group 205! Still, it seemed like there would be plenty of time.

    There were lots of characters out!



    I loved seeing all of the characters in costumes.



    I headed towards HM, maybe I’d get lucky and get a ride in if it opened up.



    I stationed myself against a railing near the HM entrance, just needing a breather at that point since I had been having such a busy day. The CMs were turning people away, saying they had no idea when it would reopen. I was trying to decide if it was worth waiting any longer, and I almost bailed when I saw the CMs suddenly start opening the gate at 5:57! :cool1:

    There were maybe 30 people ahead of me, and it was a mad dash through the gates when people realized it was opening, poor CMs basically getting trampled! :bitelip:



    It was so neat finally seeing all of the decor up close, even though it was still daytime.



    I had to snap pictures quickly as we were all walking very quickly through the queue!



    I was into the stretching room by 6:06, so even counting the time I spent waiting for the ride to reopen, it was overall less than 20 minutes! What great luck!

    This was my first time on HM with the overlay, and all I had to say was WOW!



    Even the stretching room was awesome, it’s an entirely different vibe with the overlay.



    I loved the narration for the stretching room, even more than the normal version!



    It feels like a completely different experience, and I love how everything lights up.



    I think my favorite part was Jack from above!



    Even though I found the queue and stretching room to be awesome, it just got better! The portraits before the doom buggies were really cute, I didn’t stick around to watch all of them but I saw them plenty of times this trip!



    Sally’s poor tree!



    I was onto the ride at 6:10, so quick!

    In my notes, all I wrote was “SO COOL” haha!



    I always wondered why HM is closed for so long to add the overlay, and now I understand why!

    Scary, not Merry Christmas!



    There was so much to take in, it would take multiple rides to even begin to see all of the props that are added for the holiday overlay.



    I’m glad I did not see any ride throughs beforehand! I wish I could have stayed in Madame Leota’s room a bit longer to hear her 13 days of Christmas!







    I loved the Jack animatronic, HM is one of my favorite rides and it was so fun seeing it a different way with more things to look at!



    The snow angels were so massive and tower over you, I feel like the graveyard room would feel so empty without the overlay now!



    I did want to ride again at night so my eyes would be more adjusted to the dark, but I was so happy to get a chance to ride with such a short wait.



    After HM, I decided to head to Pirates. I got in line at 6:20 with standby listed at 30, the line was wrapping around in the overflow queue outside the entrance. Luckily, the line moves super quickly and I was on by 6:32.



    I absolutely love the drop on this one at the beginning, that alone makes it so much better than in WDW.



    I got splashed on by the cannons!

    The amount of animatronics is so spectacular, Pirates is one of the best rides Disney has made in my opinion. The Disneyland version is way longer but also a lot of filler with the bayou and the long wait to go back to ground level at the end. Still, I love the smell and could sit on those boats and just chill.

    It was dark outside by now, so I left Disneyland around 7 to head back to my hotel to freshen up a bit and change into some warmer clothes for the evening. My goal was to be back into DCA at 7:30 until close at 10, and then Disneyland until close at 11.


    Continued in Part Five: Dr. Strange and Some Bad Timing
     
    Last edited:

    FeistyDisneyMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2019
    Those potato 'skins' sound delicious but it is weird to call them that. Definitely a sharing dish. The tuna poke also sounded lovely - so glad these dishes were a hit :) My fam has only been to DLR once during Halloween time, but we all agree on HM - the overlay is so much more than 'just' an overlay. The theming and details are so much fun, especially for folks who love NBC. Plus Pirates is so iconic - how fun to ride them back to back! Hope the rest of the night worked out well too!
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Those potato 'skins' sound delicious but it is weird to call them that. Definitely a sharing dish. The tuna poke also sounded lovely - so glad these dishes were a hit :) My fam has only been to DLR once during Halloween time, but we all agree on HM - the overlay is so much more than 'just' an overlay. The theming and details are so much fun, especially for folks who love NBC. Plus Pirates is so iconic - how fun to ride them back to back! Hope the rest of the night worked out well too!
    I wonder how many people complain when they get the "potato skins" and expect something very different! I'm really glad I went this time for Halloween, it is so fun seeing all of the decorations everywhere. Pirates and HM are definitely two of my favorite rides, I hope that we get more original rides that don't rely on screens someday!
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day Two - Part Five: Dr. Strange and Some Bad Timing

    Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. Hopefully in 2022 I will update this TR faster, eh? :hyper:

    I put on some warmer clothes for the evening, I got the WDW version of this sweatshirt last year and loved it so much that I found the Disneyland version on ebay and bought it!



    I left my room at 7:30 as planned, with the goal of making it to Avengers Campus for the 7:45 Dr. Strange show. I made it through security by 7:36, love the short walk from the BWPPI.

    Wow, DCA was so cool at night with the Halloween lights!



    There were projections on Carthay Circle, really fun to watch.



    Avengers Campus was so much more impressive at night, all of the lights give it a more mysterious atmosphere.

    I believe this is the Orb of Cagliostro, not much to look at during the day but quite spectacular when lit up at night.



    The lanterns everywhere were gorgeous as well! I made it in time for the Dr. Strange show, luckily everyone sat down for this, my tired legs were very glad for this :cloud9:!



    This show was really fun, much more suitable for adults than the Dora Milaje show. Definitely recommend seeing this one after the sun has gone down.



    I enjoyed the special effects, and the actor looked so much like Benedict Cumberbatch!



    Thor comes in as well, resemblance wasn’t quite as good but I suppose it’s hard to compare to Chris Hemsworth :hyper:!



    Overall really glad I caught this show at night!

    I did get a picture by the Avengers Campus sign, unfortunately the lighting is terrible and I can’t bring myself to post it on the internet, so here is just a picture of the sign for you all.



    Cars Land also looked spectacular at night.



    Seriously, what does it even look like with all the decorations, it’s hard to imagine!



    I still have yet to eat at Flo’s, one of these days I will make the time.



    I saw a few Cars driving around during this trip, they were also dressed up for the holidays.



    Even the big rock (Willy’s Butte?) was lit up for Halloween.



    I hopped into the single rider line for RSR at 8:06 since it was finally open, it did look pretty long but standby was posted 85 minutes so I was sure it would be shorter than that.

    A woman and her little boy were budging to rejoin their group,, um I don’t think that’s a fair excuse in the single rider line, ugh :sad2:!

    Feeling a bit hungry, I refreshed for like five minutes to get an immediate Corn Dog Castle window to try the seasonal pepper jack corn dog.

    While I was waiting in line, I was finally called for my RotR boarding group! It was 8:32, and yet it was asking me to return by 9. Yikes!



    I was almost up at RSR so I decided to stay and then try and book it to RotR after. I made it into my car by 8:37, and finally got my ride picture this time. I was off by 8:45!



    Since this was my only evening in DCA this trip, I snapped a few pictures on my way out.



    I was tempted to ride Guardians one last time, but decided against it. I cancelled my Corn Dog Castle window and headed over to Disneyland to try and make it onto RotR.

    I made it into DL by 8:54 but realized the fireworks were just about to begin, and it was an absolute disaster trying to move through the Hub at that time. :worship: RotR is in the back of the park, I really should have thought this through better.

    At least I caught the fireworks as I passed by BTMR.



    Finally, I made it to RotR at 9:08 and the CM told me it was closed for the evening, to make sure riders made it through by park close at 11. :sad: I did not realize this was why I had such a short return window and was pretty upset with myself.

    I am a fast walker, and generally knew where I was going, and it still took me 23 minutes to speed walk from RSR to RotR due to the crowds. Of course, I was even more tired and hot and sweaty at this point, and feeling pretty frustrated. I had ridden RotR twice at WDW and don’t even care for Star Wars, but all that effort of crossing the parks for nothing, agh! :charac2:

    I really wish the app had made it clear the ride was closing at 9, since I assumed I would have a little leeway with the return time like there usually is during the day. My mistake, bummer.

    That’s the worst part about solo trips, when something like this happens, there’s no one to commiserate with. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed when you’re alone! I should have stayed put in DCA, oh well.

    I watched some of the fireworks over Galaxy’s Edge, they looked quite lovely, though I wasn’t in the mood to enjoy them anymore.



    Since RotR was a total fail, I left Disneyland via backstage which they had opened up for people to avoid the hub crowds. DCA was open until 10:00, so I decided to make the most of it.

    I was back in line to enter DCA at 9:23, and it felt 10 degrees cooler there than in Disneyland since it was so much less crowded. The CM scanning tickets was so friendly, that helped my mood a lot. All of the CMs I encountered were so nice this trip, despite what some people are saying about the “magic being gone.”

    I was finally getting over myself at this point, I had been way too worked up overing missing RotR (mostly from my marathon sprint to try and get there). Time to enjoy the rest of my evening!

    I spotted Loki! He was on the ground so it was way easier to interact than when they are up at the Avengers Headquarters.



    I got into the Guardians line at 9:36 when standby was posted at 70.



    The line seemed quite a bit shorter than earlier, and I was inside very quickly.



    The Monsters After Dark theming is spookier at night, I love it! The red overlay definitely makes everything creepier.



    Still feeling hungry, I mobile ordered a Jolly Holiday grilled cheese and Matterhorn macaron. I suppose it had been a long time since my 4:25 Lamplight dinner! I picked 11:10 since it was just after Disneyland closed.

    I was onto the Guardians elevator by 10:05, and got the middle front row again, hooray! The drops were so fun in the MAD version.



    All I could think at this point, was how tired I was going to be the next day! My head was starting to hurt a big as well, too many rides!

    I made it into Disneyland at 10:17, I was originally hoping to do HM and some Fantasyland rides but I decided to just go for Fantasyland since I was so exhausted.



    All of the Fantasyland rides were still 20 minutes, so I wandered a bit and decided to just head back to the hotel. I was starving so I was going to try and grab some popcorn, but the lines were so long that I even gave up on that. I could have fallen asleep standing up at that point! I canceled my Jolly Holiday order, as long as you don't click the "I'm Here" button you don't get charged!

    I left Disneyland at 10:33, and made it back to my room at 10:41. I had brought a few snacks with me, so I munched on those before forcing myself to hop into the shower before bed.



    I made it into bed by 11:15 and checked my step count. 31,400 steps, a new record for me! Phew!



    Quick summary of my day:

    Rides
    Guardians
    RSR
    TSM
    Web Slingers
    Little Mermaid
    Soarin’
    Guardians
    Matterhorn (SR)
    Splash (SR)
    Guardians
    HM
    Pirates
    RSR (SR)
    Guardians

    Food
    ~$100 (lunch + drink, snack, Lamplight dinner)


    Plus four Avengers Campus shows!

    A whirlwind of a day, thanks for following along!

    Continued in Day Three - Part One: Fantasyland Rope Drop
     
    Last edited:

    Araminta18

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2016
    Following along! We did a Halloween DL trip in September so I'm loving reading about your experience.

    I had to snap a few pictures of the park entrances before going in. The DCA entrance is a bit lackluster during the day, but it looks incredible at night. Oogie Boogie even talks!
    YES! I loved seeing the DCA entrance at night, esp with Oogie Boogie talking. It's awesome.

    I was through security and into Disneyland before 7:00! No photopass CMs by the front with the train station in the background, unlike my trip in summer 2019 where photopass CMs were literally everywhere.
    I thought it was just me thinking that there weren't very many photopass photographers! Esp compared to my experiences at Disneyworld where they seem to be EVERYWHERE but in DL there didn't seem to be very many photographers out.

    When I was almost to the front of the line, a kid that was probably 14-15 asked very nicely if I could get him three churros, and he gave me cash. I was feeling very nice that night so I was like sure! He really appreciated it and I’m sure all of his friends did too, lucky ducks! ::yes::
    LOL that is awesome and so clever.

    The ride was as thrilling as ever, I do think the WDW version has a better track but the nice part about riding at night is your eyes are used to the dark and I think it’s better that way.
    Really? I thought the DL version of space was better than the WDW version :D

    I must have deleted some of my notes so I'm going from memory here, but hardly anyone was rope dropping Guardians!
    That was our experience! We had 2 DCA rope drop days and we ropedropped Guardians both days, and both days it was not really very crowded at all, even though the parks themselves were pretty busy. Highly recommend, esp as a single rider, to rope drop guardians and then do single rider for radiator springs.

    As I went through the queue, I heard ride vehicles going, a good sign! There were maybe 50 people ahead of me, I must have really lucked out on the timing. People were in cars and on the ride even though the app still said it wasn’t open yet! The wait flipped to 0 minutes at 8:32, and I was on the ride by 8:39. Shortest wait ever!
    Awesome! What great timing!!

    There were a lot of people in line, I was expecting at least a half an hour wait from what I had been reading online.
    YES...the wait for Web Slingers is just bonkers (in my opinion). And you're right - the queue outside isn't very exciting so it just feels like it takes FOREVER.

    That’s my main criticism, the characters are so hard to see at the headquarters. I wish they had made some parts a bit closer to the ground, you’d have to really shout if you wanted to talk with them. Still, it was really cool seeing the Avengers characters and I love how they are incorporating the new characters and costumes. I never saw Hawkeye there, but I am LOVING the show on Disney+, highly recommend!
    Agree! It's cool to see the characters up there, but it is very hard to interact with them unless you're yelling.

    Since it was so hot that day, I headed to Splash of course. The line was posted at 55 at 2:15, but I decided to try and find the single rider line. It was really confusing, the entrance is through the exit and there isn’t any good signage, but you end up going over the bridge. If there isn’t a line of people, it’s really hard to figure out. I finally made it to the right place and was on at 2:27, so much better than 55 minutes!
    Splash single rider was a revelation on my trip! Definitely kind of hard to find, but way better than the crazy long wait in the regular line.

    The CM told me to head into an empty spot on an elevator that was about to load, but there was a couple that was all over each other so much that I literally could not pass them to get to the elevator. It is amazing how much PDA can happen even with masks on! :crazy2:
    grossssssssssssssssssss :D

    Facing the full sun that was beginning to set, ugh! I had to wear my sunglasses and still could hardly see! :cool2: Not a big deal since I was alone, but I didn’t realize bar seating was fair game. Last time I ate here with a friend, we got a waterside table, way better! Maybe solos get the short stick?
    Oh my gosh! At our Lamplight Lounge reservation, it was me and my husband and we were seated at the bar in the full sun too. It was horrible! Why do they do that?! It really made for a not great experience at all. So not just singles -- but still I'm sorry you had a crappy experience with the sun :(

    I was into the stretching room by 6:06, so even counting the time I spent waiting for the ride to reopen, it was overall less than 20 minutes! What great luck!
    Awesome! you're having good luck with the rides re-opening :)

    A woman and her little boy were budging to rejoin their group,, um I don’t think that’s a fair excuse in the single rider line, ugh :sad2:!
    Nope, not at all!!

    Finally, I made it to RotR at 9:08 and the CM told me it was closed for the evening, to make sure riders made it through by park close at 11. :sad: I did not realize this was why I had such a short return window and was pretty upset with myself.
    What?! That's horrible! Usually they don't care at all about the return time -- we were literally hours late for our boarding groups a couple time. What a bummer! And I agree they should definitely give better warnings/explanation :(
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Following along! We did a Halloween DL trip in September so I'm loving reading about your experience.


    YES! I loved seeing the DCA entrance at night, esp with Oogie Boogie talking. It's awesome.


    I thought it was just me thinking that there weren't very many photopass photographers! Esp compared to my experiences at Disneyworld where they seem to be EVERYWHERE but in DL there didn't seem to be very many photographers out.


    LOL that is awesome and so clever.


    Really? I thought the DL version of space was better than the WDW version :D


    That was our experience! We had 2 DCA rope drop days and we ropedropped Guardians both days, and both days it was not really very crowded at all, even though the parks themselves were pretty busy. Highly recommend, esp as a single rider, to rope drop guardians and then do single rider for radiator springs.


    Awesome! What great timing!!


    YES...the wait for Web Slingers is just bonkers (in my opinion). And you're right - the queue outside isn't very exciting so it just feels like it takes FOREVER.


    Agree! It's cool to see the characters up there, but it is very hard to interact with them unless you're yelling.


    Splash single rider was a revelation on my trip! Definitely kind of hard to find, but way better than the crazy long wait in the regular line.


    grossssssssssssssssssss :D


    Oh my gosh! At our Lamplight Lounge reservation, it was me and my husband and we were seated at the bar in the full sun too. It was horrible! Why do they do that?! It really made for a not great experience at all. So not just singles -- but still I'm sorry you had a crappy experience with the sun :(


    Awesome! you're having good luck with the rides re-opening :)


    Nope, not at all!!


    What?! That's horrible! Usually they don't care at all about the return time -- we were literally hours late for our boarding groups a couple time. What a bummer! And I agree they should definitely give better warnings/explanation :(
    Thanks for following along! It sounds like we had pretty similar experiences!!!

    I was so surprised by the lack of photopass CMs. When I went in summer 2019, they were literally everywhere! I am thinking that with the lack of maxpass which included photos, hardly anyone was probably buying the standalone PP to even bother trying to staff more CMs, if any would even be available. Maybe with genie+ having free photo pass, they will add more photographers or people will complain about the lack of them!

    That Web Slingers line was definitely sooo long, I wasn't sure if it would ever end! Not sure why they couldn't have added a little more cover from the sun! I was amazed at how low the rope drop crowds were for DCA and DL, compared to WDW. It was so easy to get a lot done in the mornings!

    That spot at Lamplight was the worst, they definitely shouldn't be giving those spots to the people with reservations! I feel better knowing that you were seated there as well, and it's not just where they shove the poor solos :laughing:

    I am so annoyed when I think about the RotR return time, they should just cut off calling BGs if they have less than an hour to avoid disappointment! That was such a workout getting across the parks during fireworks, plus it had been a long time since dinner so I was getting hangry :rotfl2:.
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day Three - Part One: Fantasyland Rope Drop

    Since the room fan was so noisy and my white noise machine was not working properly, I slept with ear plugs and what a difference! Definitely pack some if you are a light sleeper. :cloud9:

    I woke up just before 7 to try and get a RotR boarding group, and of course I got the blue spinning loading circle of death! :worship: In the seconds it took me to close and reopen the app, they were all gone. I feel for families that are not experts at this stuff, I knew exactly what I was doing and still was not fast enough. I’m not sure how fast the paid lightning lanes are selling out, but honestly I think it is a better route because the people who really want to ride can, and those like me who are not big SW fans will skip and not take a spot!

    On with the show! My ears matched my sweatshirt on this day.



    I left my room about 7:20 for a quick hotel breakfast. Based on the previous morning’s rope drop, I didn’t think I needed to be at the parks quite as early. Breakfast was the same, except there was ham instead of sausage patties. As a creature of habit, I had basically the same stuff as the morning before. The hotel employees working the breakfast were really kind!


    Hot sauce not pictured!

    I headed to the parks at 7:37, it was foggy and definitely cooler. I was through security at 7:45 and overheard CMs talking about OBB tickets still being available for that evening (10/30, the Saturday before Halloween). Too expensive for me that trip!

    I made it into Disneyland by 7:48, with plenty of time to settle into my rope drop spot. I chose the right (Tomorrowland) side of the Walt statue in the hub, as I was headed to Peter Pan first.

    I actually used
    this comment from DLRExpert to plan my rope drop strategy, so helpful at the time, though probably very different with Genie+ now!

    Even at 7:50 there were not that many people there, I was glad I didn’t get there any earlier.



    People were spaced out a lot, you could easily sneak around people if you wanted to but I stayed put since there were maybe 50 people ahead of me and I figured I’d be able to walk quicker than groups! It was so empty you could even sit on one of the benches around the Walt statue!

    My plan based on the post I linked above was PPF, Snow White, Alice, Dumbo, then Toad and Pinocchio if time. By 8:40 I wanted to head to HM and by 9:00 I wanted to do Jungle or Pirates.



    They let us go around 8:01 and there was a mass rush to PPF! I was into the queue by 8:03 with a huge line behind me. There were maybe 75 people ahead of me in line. It seemed like only Alice and PPF opened at rope drop that morning, the others were all closed in the app.

    I made it onto PPF by 8:12, so I only waited 24 minutes including my wait for the park to open, not bad at all!



    This ride grows more on me every time. Poor Nana!



    Maybe I am getting more nostalgic, the music in this ride is so classic Disney.



    The stars around the volcano are so beautiful, it does really feel like you're flying over everything!



    If you look closely, you can even see Skull Rock…



    Since Snow White seemed to be down, I headed to Alice next at 8:15. The line was almost empty and I was on in five minutes. I got my own ride vehicle thankfully, they always put me in the back!



    I love this ride because it is a little bit longer.



    I saw a couple in a Tweedledee and Tweedledum costume that day, so cute!



    I’ve never seen the live action Alice in Wonderland, let me know if it’s worth the watch!



    I went through a phase where “Painting the Roses Red” was in my playlist for my walk to work, along with You Can Fly and Heigh Ho of course! So now I know all of the words for these rides :laughing:



    The outdoor portion always feels a bit random but I appreciate a higher up view in the parks!



    After finishing Alice, there was still no sign of reopening for Snow White, but Toad’s and Pinocchios had finally opened. Since it was on my way, I stuck with the plan and did Dumbo first. At 8:25 the line was still short enough that I would get on the next cycle.

    My ears were hurting my head that day, I guess I need to stretch them out a bit! We were assigned our Dumbos and I ended up on a pink one, waiting less than five minutes overall.



    This was so fun, I went up and down a lot and reminisced on my trip in summer 2019 where I think Dumbo was our last ride of the trip!



    I headed to Mr. Toad next, in line at 8:33 and on by 8:40 with a very short line. The CM working the queue part of this ride was so bored she was reading the label on the box of disposable masks! :rotfl2:



    The theming in the loading area is really pretty! This ride is so random, I confess I do not know anything about Mr. Toad other than a few of the books I read as a kid and do not remember at all.



    Though I was a bit behind my planned schedule of heading to HM at 8:40, I decided to quickly ride Pinocchio at 8:45 and waited maybe two minutes. There were probably 15 people ahead of me, tops.



    Probably the least interesting Fantasyland ride, but still worth riding with a short wait, especially if you cannot ride the big stuff! I love the blue fairy part, though I always associate the BF with the movie A. I. Artificial Intelligence! :hyper:



    As I left Fantasyland around an hour after park opening, the PPF and Alice lines were up to 25 and 15 minutes respectively. Also, does anyone else think the Fantasyland rides are kinda scary? :scared1: It's so great to be able to ride a bunch of classic dark rides in a short time, rope dropping FL is definitely the thing to do to knock out a bunch of rides in the first hour!

    Next up is more Haunted Mansion Holiday and Mickey Beignets!
     

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