The landscaping all over the CCI made me think I was at a tropical resort at times. It really made a motel style property feel more upscale.CANDY CANE INN:... The landscaping is lovely. Don’t underestimate the value of mature trees and plants around the pool. It is so much cooler when watching kids swim than a parking lot or roof top pool with a few umbrellas and a couple potted plants. The pool is small. The kids swam on arrival day and during afternoon break the first two park days. After that I think they just wanted to put their feet up and rest during afternoon break.
I love your family photo! We had brunch with Goofy this past Sunday and DS14 LOVED it! Chip and Dale were funny as heck. I'm with you on the Disney "bubble." We stayed at a motel right across the street on Harbor. Not doing that again.We checked in at the DLH earlier today, and there was a crazy long line to check in. Pool was busy from our arrival until close. Self-park lot still had plenty of room, though.
Oh, man! We are having the best time! We loved the beach, had the best fish tacos at Chronic Tacos, LOVE the DL Hotel- I think I finally get the "bubble" people speak about so much. Goofy's Kitchen was SOO fun- my girls loved it, and even my DH who said he gets awkwardly uncomfortable watching grown people interact with characters got into it! Pluto escorted the girls to our table, and they LOVED it. They thought Dale was the funniest thing ever. It's been great.Tomorrow's our fist day. Even with the CHOC walk crowds, I'm still super pumped!View attachment 424678
I can't love this enough!My greatest moment of the trip was in this very Haunted Mansion exhibit. I got into a conversation with an elders couple. It turned out that they were both retired Disneyland cast members and that the woman had been part of the original, opening day Haunted Mansion cast! A good reminder that, regardless of how much planning we do, the real magic happens on its own time line, whenever it wants.
I told my kids that I wanted to see Lincoln this trip as it is something we always skip. Hopefully the HM exhibition will get them interested in stopping by.What a great trip report, sjwillia! I better get around to writing mine, before it all becomes a big blur. Our park dates were July 30 through August 2. I‘m the one who posted the elaborate wait time statistics and travel plans further upthread. At that time I was laboring over the choice of getting or not getting Maxpass.
Arrival: We drove down from SF on the 5. Lots of traffic and a good amount of road work, so we arrived a little later than we had hoped (around 5pm). We settled in our room at the Disneyland Hotel, DD2 (11) used the rollaway, DD1 (13) one of the queen beds, and hubby and I shared the other queen bed. We lucked outbid regards of the view, because we were able to see the fireworks from our room (though the Matterhorn was hidden behind a big tree). Disneyland Forever is definitely one of my favorite fireworks shows, and there is a channel on the hotel TV that you can select, which plays the fireworks music, so each night that we were not in the parks, we put on the music, sat down by the window, and watched.
We ended up NOT getting Maxpass, and I took on my old, pre-Maxpass fastpass runner position. Even though I ate a lot during the trip, I didn’t gain any weight, so healthwise this worked out for me (as long as I put aside the fact that, despite changing shoes from day to day, I did end up with four different, rather painful blisters). Ouch! The main reason for not getting Maxpass was that Disney sent an app update right before our trip, which I obediently installed, resulting in my iPhone (5S, so definitely on the older side) no longer being able to open and run the app. I talked to customer service in the parks & asked if it were possible to undo the upgrade and go back to the previous version that had still worked. They said, no, that wasn’t possible, but IT was working in a fix that would come out shortly and that I wasn’t the only guest who was having app problems. Another app upgrade arrived after the day after that. I installed but which didn’t fix anything. Getting Fastpasses the old, traditional way worked out fine for us and I was able to get (crowd-sourced) wait and FP return times through Touring Plans’ “Lines” app. We even used mobile ordering once, on my older daughter’s iPhone 7 (she had no problem loading the app, so we could have used her phone for Maxpass if we Ahmad wanted to), at the Tiki Room side’s Dole Whip counter, where the two cast members who were supposed to take care of mobile orders had absolutely nothing to do and talked us through how to do it (while there was a huge line on the other side of people buying their Dole Whips the regular way).
We were able to get everything done that we had planned to do. We rode our favorite rides more than once.
We enjoyed SWGE and loved the ride, though I never got to be pilot—the one time we did the standby line both girls were our pilots, and they balked at doing anything but the single rider line after that, which, in my case, meant lots of gunning and engineering. I comforted myself with the thought that, hey, piloting is like being the rebel spy on Star Tours... you can’t force it—it happens when it’s meant to happen (though I did notice while waiting in the single rider line that some of the cast members allowed standby line waiters to request pilot (letting them wait their turn when they had already handed out the cards).
I enjoyed doing the ride with lots of different people with different attitudes and personalities. I also enjoy that in a world in which so much is centered around competition, this ride is actually collaborative in nature. If you have a good team, the ride actually lasts longer!
The GE theming is beautiful (I do like the used-universe, dingy look and the immersive feel). I love the restroom that picks up the Batuu radio station. One word of criticism about the restrooms: they used doors with springs that close rather than staying open when you leave the stall, so I ended up in bathroom lines behind people who didn’t realize that half the stalls were actually empty (but that the only way to find out which would be to bend or crouch down & find out which of them did and did not have feet).
For once I actually stayed longer in the parks by myself than the rest of the family did. Both girls were tired, so my husband took them back to the hotel, while I continued single-rider-ing MFSR. My favorite ride was when I was put together with four women friends and one other female single rider, all somewhere around my age (who might or might not have come straight from Oga’s). Though the flying was rather atrocious, we had the time of our lives with our all-girls-ship.
We didn’t do any of the high price items in Galaxy’s Edge (Droid building, Savi’s, or Oga’s) but really liked the place and were kind of happy to get to explore it now, before the second ride goes online and the place gets crazy crowded. Neither of us really got into the “Play” app stuff... it took too long to load, and the screens were hard to see, so we quickly lost interest (I’m sure it didn’t help that I had an older phone).
We finally did watch Frozen. I enjoyed the dynamic staging, interesting transitions, and good voices. We’re not a “Frozen” family, so we probably won’t watch it again, but it didn’t feel like a waste of time and we’re glad that we saw it once.
Our last day was the first day of the MSEP. Since I was wiped from three days of fastpass running I spent most of the afternoon (we pushed through day one and two from early admission to late in the evening but took midday breaks from noon to 3 on the last two days) snacking, resting, and people-watching at a Jolly Holiday table with a good view of the parade route, while my kids were doing rides (my husband was at his conference during those last two days). I enjoyed having prime seating for the electrical parade (though the people lining the street made it hard to see the lower stuff, so I’d you’re an absolute parade fanatic, who wants to see each and every detail, you’re probably better off with a dining package. It worked for us.
We made it a point to take an extended break in the Main Street Cinema. It is an endearing, delightful spot we found, especially now since they put in a few benches and removed the (much criticized) merchandise sales stand. The kids relaxed there while I got Starbucks, and then we spend some time watching old shorts while I savored my coffee before we felt energetic enough to rejoin the crowds and the heat.
I also finally got to see Lincoln! Any previous trip, my kids balked at that, but since we had a day more this time (and since there was also a Haunted Mansion original concept art exhibit in the same building), we did watch the “Great Moments.” My greatest moment of the trip was in this very Haunted Mansion exhibit. I got into a conversation with an elderly couple. It turned out that they were both retired Disneyland cast members and that the woman had been part of the original, opening day Haunted Mansion cast! A good reminder that, regardless of how much planning we do, the real magic happens on its own time line, whenever it wants.
In all the times we've been to DL, we've only been to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln once. My son couldn't stand it and we never went back. I was always surprised about that since he's always loved the Hall of Presidents in WDW. Maybe I can get him to go back and try again this time.I told my kids that I wanted to see Lincoln this trip as it is something we always skip. Hopefully the HM exhibition will get them interested in stopping by.
Great trip report!
Great report! Can’t wait for our trip this Sunday. Car picks us up at 3:45amTrip Report!
Probably more detail than anyone wants except for myself but I making this for my records and it is much easier to cut and paste so I apologize it is so long. I add star reviews for my food that I based on overall taste and if I thought it was worth the money.
This trip was amazing. More than hoped for. I loved 98% of every moment. 1% sucked cause my body hated me, and the other 1% cause of people who just didn’t feel the magic. I won’t go into the negatives as I hope to just forget them as they mostly didn’t directly involve me but they did make me feel bad as I saw others not having such an amazing time.
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express-Resort Area (not the one really close to the parks) I was beyond happy with my accommodations and the staff. I turned down the upgraded suite and fireworks view rooms because I knew I wouldn’t get any use out of them. I used the ART busses to and from and they worked perfectly and were usually only half full.
On a side note: One of the most interesting things was my ability to truly do some people watching since I had no one with me to divide my time. It was a very interesting glimpse into humanity. There are many things I saw and heard that I am still processing. Not in a bad way, just because I find it interesting.
Below is a play by play.
- Got to the parks at about 1pm. No Max Pass
- Grabbed a pork belly skewer from Bengal BBQ (4*) and did a round trip on the Train, it’s tradition.
- Haunted and found all 4 ravens (got stuck under one staring at me)
- Cafe Orleans, Monte Cristo (5*) Pommes Frites (2*)
- Small world
- Snow White
- Mr Toads
- Raspberry Macron. Omg (5*)
- Started sitting for the parade at 730.
- Electrical Street Parade
- FIREWORKS WERE NOT CANCELLED AND THEY WERE AMAZING!
- Haunted Mansion Display in the Opera House
Saturday -Max Pass
- I think I wasted early entry in DCA. They gave me a ticket when I was outside the gate drinking my coffee, but I thought it was only to get up to the ropes, I saw someone use the same ticket 5 minutes before opening. All good though. Did some people watching while eating my breakfast.
- Toy story
- Soarin, I got a middle front seat!
- Red’s Hot Cone (3.5*) and the seasonal raspberry churro(4*)
- Blue Sky Cellar
- Toy story
- Guardians of the Galaxy Dance Off. They were working on Marvel land directly next to the stage for this little show. It was kinda fun watching upper CM’s trying to get them to stop for the show as they were doing some loud work.
- Found Chris of Provost Park Pass, he was having lunch so I only quickly said hi.
- Got a beer at Smoke Jumpers it was the Strawberry Peak Lookout (5*). Even though it wasn’t 12 yet. My bad. Man was it good.
- Watched people get soaked on Grizzly while enjoying the beer
- Then I went on Grizzly and got soaked
- Green Army Man Skit
- It’s Lemon-Snow Capped (5*)
- Headed to Disneyland
- Took pictures of the Matterhorn damage but they were not taking single rides, and it was at a 90 min wait. No, Thank You.
- Haunted Mansion
- Headed to Batuu. Detailed and well done, not really my thing.
- Ronto Wrap (4.5*) but honestly not sure it was worth that much.
- Sadness, no single rider for Smugglers, Indy, or Matterhorn,
- Star tours
- Beauty and the Beast at the Royal Theater. I love this place. It was so funny and well done.
- Smoke Jumpers Special Mac n Cheese (3.5*) Flavor was great, my pork belly was completely dry and overcooked. Frozen Jack and Coke (5*) Either they put a lot of Jack in or they use a Jack extract. This drink is strong and refreshing.
- PhilharMagic - Freaking Adorable
- Beast’s Library. Mrs. Incredible as always
- Watched the big screens while waiting for Animation Academy.
- Drew Simba. This experience was a bit ruined for me. A couple brought in a very young rambunctious child (2 or less) and was letting him play on the stairs on the row down from me. These are steep stairs, after the kiddo almost fell the second time the dad took him out. I couldn’t focus until then.
- Cars at night
- Got another beer to wait in line for WOC.
- World of Color Dessert Package. This was AMAZING. My best solo treatment of the whole trip. I ended up getting a table by myself and some pretty great service from a couple of the servers. The sweets were so good.
- Over 35k Steps today!
Saturday - Max Pass
- Lines seemed so long 30 min to opening but once inside most everyone went to SWGE leaving the rest of the park quite empty.
- Buzz 2 times
- Clapped with Peter Tu Hi
- Breakfast Burrito from Galactic Grill (5*) This was an excellent deal for such a filling delicious breakfast.
- Haunted Mansion
- Pirates Lair
- Smugglers. Went with a family and a little kid was the pilot and just sat there :/ I did not really enjoy this ride enough to try it again. Also had a gentleman hit on my while in line making me quite uncomfortable. Only because it’s not a common occurance and I didn’t want to be rude. When he asked if he could get to know me better (after explaining why he was single) I told him I am not local and that was enough to end the conversation. I am an overweight middle aged mom and I really didn’t care what I looked while I was there as long as I was comfortable, being hit on was the last thing I expected while visiting Disneyland. It turned out ok and now I can chuckle about a bit.
- Grey Stuff, cause, you know, It’s delicious
- Oga’s. Boy o boy, there were mad people who couldn’t get in because they didn't have a reservation. Fuzzy Tonton (4.5*) Outer Rim (5*)
- Great Moments with Abraham Lincoln. Haven’t seen this in 30 years. Not what I remember but I like it.
- Paradise Garden Grill Gyro Frie(5*) and a Blue Moon
- Lion King Show but I left because it was too hot and no shade
- Grizzly… Our whole raft got soaked head to toe. The geyser started right before we hit it and didn’t stop until after we passed it. I had to ring out my hair and part of my clothes. Happily, I was prepared in my flip flops and had my phone and wallet in a ziplock. The others in the boat all had plastic bags for their gear so it was quite a ball.
- More Beer
- Bakery Tour
- Had to chill in the sun to try to dry off. Had someone come up to me and ask if my drink was a beer. When I said yes he was shocked they sold beer and asked where I got it. Pretty funny.
- Sorcery Mickey milkshake (1.5*)
- Matterhorn, the front seat is awesome.
- Haunted Mansion (cause Thunder was down and I had a fast pass)
- Realized my body was done for the day so I got my food from Hungry Bear for my Fantasmic dining package. What a waste of belly space. Got the Ribs and they were a negative star. The mashed potatoes were standard the corn was old and hard as a rock.. I am not sure what was wrong with ribs but they just were yucky. The biscuit was inedible as it just crumbled it was so dry. I wish I picked Blue Bayou or River Belle.
- Got hooked up with some butt pads from someone leaving the first show.
- Wow. Fantasmic was awesome!!
- Over 30k steps today!
Sunday - Max Pass (not sure why I can't turn off the bold for this section)
Magic morning. I really didn’t make good use of it since I had already done so much the last few days.
- Carnation Cafe. Mickey Shaped Waffle (2.5*) Standard waffle. I was one of the first people seated and I am pretty sure I got a premade one. It wasn’t all that warm and the butter was cold so it didn’t melt. Not worth the money to me.
- Indy. Finally got the last option (the Future) I think it’s my favorite.
- Railroad from New Orleans to Main Street. It was the last stop before the Ward Kimball broke down for the day.
- Drew Pluto at the Animation Academy. The artist for this one was hilarious.
- Award Weiners. Mushroom Philly. I knew this one was a vegan option but I didn’t realize it had a dog in it, I thought it was just full of mushrooms. I wanted to like it more but it just wasn't seasoned enough. I had to add mayo and salt. It was still ok just not want I thought it was going to be (3.5*)
- Headed back to Disneyland and walked all around the park for a popcorn bucket that didn’t include refills. My legs at this point thought I was possessed by the devil. This was the only souvenir I planned to bring home as we have a popcorn machine at work that I use often.
- Bug took me down main street on the horse drawn carriage.
- Grabbed a couple treats for the trip home
- Said my goodbyes and headed for the airport.
Great trip report and love the magic that found you at the HM exhibit! The one tip I know that has been posted for those with older phones when the updated app stops working is to uninstall the app and get the old version of the app from your iCloud backup. Of course, the problem is that you can't know ahead of time that the update is not going to work on your phone or you could choose not to download and install it in the first place. But others have tried the uninstall/reinstall the old version trick and said that it worked for them.... The main reason for not getting Maxpass was that Disney sent an app update right before our trip, which I obediently installed, resulting in my iPhone (5S, so definitely on the older side) no longer being able to open and run the app. I talked to customer service in the parks & asked if it were possible to undo the upgrade and go back to the previous version that had still worked. They said, no, that wasn’t possible, but IT was working in a fix that would come out shortly and that I wasn’t the only guest who was having app problems. Another app upgrade arrived after the day after that. I installed but which didn’t fix anything...
We too had issues with MaxPass on the iPhone and my son has a new model phone (iPhone XR). I'm glad I have an Android.The main reason for not getting Maxpass was that Disney sent an app update right before our trip, which I obediently installed, resulting in my iPhone (5S, so definitely on the older side) no longer being able to open and run the app.