Disneyland/D23 Trip Report – D23 for the twenty-third trip (Update 10/10 - 1901 Lounge & Spectromagic!!)

skier_pete

DIsney-holics Anon
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Hey everyone – we are not far off from our Disneyland/D23 trip and I thought I would kick it off. We have been talking about this trip for 4 years since I decided that we should go to a D23 convention while our DD will still travel with us. Then as I was looking at the numbers – it looked like this would be DW and my 23rd Disney trip.

17 trips to WDW: May 1997, Oct 2000, Oct 2006, Sept 2007, Aug 2008, Dec 2009, April 2010, Oct, 2010, Nov 2011, Nov 2013, Oct 2014, Aug 2015, Oct 2016, Nov 2017, Feb 2018, Aug 2018, Oct 2018

3 trips to DL : July 2012, Feb 2016 and an ABD backstage magic trip in June 2013.

1 DCL cruise: Feb 2014

Oh wait, you say – that’s only twenty-one! OK – in Feb 2017 we took a trip to Universal BUT we also got tickets for “Moonlight Magic” at MK through DVC, and so we spent the evening at MK. And THAT my friends brings us to 22 trips together. (DD has only done 16 – poor kid!)

First trip to DLR was on our way to Australia:

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2nd time was the most incredible trip ever – the Adventure’s By Disney Backstage Magic. It’s a standard which no trip can hold up to.
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Our third time out we spent a week in Calfiornia with my DM who lives in Arizona. We only spent 3 days at DLR, which was nearly enough.
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So on to trip #23 – well, as I said it was summer 2015 and I was watching the D23 convention coverage and thinking “We have to do this at least once I our lives!” I knew we were thinking of a trip to Europe in 2017, so my mind went to “OK – let’s do it in 2019.” And here we are a month away and the plans are in place.

I was originally thinking we would do the convention first and then DLR after, but the timing of the convention being at the end of August this year we wanted to have a week off for DD before school starts.

So we are flying out on August 17th to Los Angeles. I got an INCREDIBLY good price on the flight from Southwest. The flight out was $125 which is nearly insane – almost a mistake so low. The flight back on Monday the 26th I got for like $170 one-way which is still an excellent price, so I was super happy.

Anyways – we arrive at 9:30 PM, which doesn’t sound bad except we will be coming from the East coast, so we’ll be super-tired. We had previously used Supershuttle to travel from LAX to DLR – but we decided to get a towncar so we can go directly to the hotel. We’re staying at the Tropicana for the next 5 nghts, which we’ve stayed at twice before – right across Harbor Boulevard from DLR. It’s actually less than a 5-minute walk to the entrance of the park.


However, at this point – we will undoubtedly be crashing for the night.
I'll continue to update our plans as we get closer - but until then - come along, won't you!
 
  • momtohms

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2012
    Hello! I’ll be there around the same time (but not doing D23, sadly!) It’s fun to read a little bit about your past trips! Excited to follow along :)
     

    soniam

    Wooden leg named Smith...
    Joined
    Jun 22, 2012
    Glad I remembered about your TR. So jealous of all of you doing the Back Stage Magic ABD. Someday. I was hoping the DIS would do the same thing this year that they did last Expo. However, with it being so late, it wouldn't have worked anyway. I am a bad mom and leaving my husband and my son on his 2nd day back to school to party with all of you ;) Anyway, looking forward to reading more.
     
  • skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Disneyland Plans:

    It's always somewhat fascinating to me how little advanced planning is involved with Disneyland versus WDW - even 10 days before our trip we have less structured plans than we would at 180 days at WDW. That said, we do have a pretty good plan going.

    Sunday, August 18th: DLR hours: 9A - 12P, DCA hours: 9A - 9P (with EMH)
    So this is the LAST day of AP blackouts for the "Deluxe AP" which is the lowest price AP that isn't limited access. I figure come Monday there's a good chance there will be a sharp increase in those wanting to go the Galaxy's Edge - so the plan is to target this at rope drop. Would like to ride Smuggler's Run once or maybe twice if we like it and the line doesn't get too crazy. We also have a reservation at Oga's Cantina for 11:30 AM for drinks, but I don't know if we will stay in the land that entire time or not - but the plan is to get our fill of SW:GE today. I may hop out to pull a FP or two as well for later in the morning.

    At 12:50 pm we have a lunch reservation at Blue Bayou with a Fantasmic Package at night. After lunch, I think there's a good chance we will go back to the hotel for a short rest - depending on how we are feeling. Back into the park around 5-6 PM for a light dinner and a few more rides, with our Fantasmic show set at 8:30 PM. We are likely to have trouble getting out of the park before the fireworks, but we think we will call it a night at that point.

    Monday, August 19th: DLR hours: 8A - 12P, DCA hours: 8A - 9P (with EMH)
    So this morning, I am not sure if we are going to enter for DL first or DCA - DCA unfortunately has the EMH going early, but it may still be worth it to grab FP. (Not going to buy MaxPass today for various reasons.) We will definitely come over to DCA by 10 AM or so, because we are meeting up with one of our good DLR friends @franandaj to spend the day. I can't wait to try the new Guardians ride, but both DW and DD don't like drop rides, so @franandaj will be my ride buddy for this as well as the Incredicoaster - and even being a local she loves the opportunity to see the old Soarin' while it lasts. The 8 AM start today may mean a not very late night for us, but we'll see how the day is going before we give up on it.

    Tuesday, August 20th: DLR hours: 8A - 11P, (with EMH/EE) DCA hours: 8A - 9P
    So, this is our one day for Early Entry - holy crap 7 AM. The plan is to take advantage of this to hit Fantasyland, and then also to try out the MaxPass system and start booking up FP left and right. I can't bring myself to pay for Maxpass for 4 days for 3 people (That's $180 folks!) but I'll try it for the one day, and possibly if we like it for Wednesday as well. I also expect today is the day we may try and hit the "wet" rides (Splash Mountain and Grizzly River) right before we take a mid-day break. We also may go for World of Color with a FP for tonight, but we'll see.

    Wednesday, August 21st: DLR hours: 8A - 11P, DCA hours: 8A - 9P (with EMH)
    I THINK we will be back at DLR today for rope drop but not 100%. Also not sure about MaxPass - it will depend how it went the day before. Today is about two things - meeting up with our friend and D23 consultant @OhioStateBuckeye and her husband, and then us going to lunch at Club 33. Yes, that's right - we were lucky enough to become friends with a very nice couple who also happen to be Club 33 members, this will be our third time at the club though only the second time via our friends. They so nice, they even let our friends join us, so we have a early afternoon dining reservation at the Club. Likely after a nice meal and a few drinks, we may need a quick nap, but definitely want to watch the fireworks tonight. Hoping we are acclimated at this point enough (and with that nap under our belts) to come back out and close down the parks this evening!

    Thursday, August 22nd - recovery/moving day: The reason we can stay up late (hopefully) is that today we are going to really chill on this day between our DLR and our D23 time. We have to move resorts as well, but we should be able to sleep in awhile, pack up, call an uber, and move over to the new hotel near the convention center, and also get our bearings.

    Should we also have dinner at Steakhouse 55 tonnight? My ADR says yes! (As if we don't already have two expensive meals - but I've wanted to eat at Steakhouse 55 for 6 years now!)

    Next update will include our tentaive D23 plans - once we figure them out.
     

    OhioStateBuckeye

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2007
    That rest day is a super good idea.

    I'd think steakhouse 55 dinner is a good idea for Thursday, as long as it isn't scheduled too late at night. You'll want to be well rested for the start of d23 on Friday.

    I know MSEP isn't your favorite, but you don't want to see it at all?

    Have you heard the strategies for galaxy's edge on the boards that actually say don't had for smuggler's first thing in the morning? Sounds like the ride times drop off after the first hour. You might want to consider doing so the shops and stuff and then riding.
     

    soniam

    Wooden leg named Smith...
    Joined
    Jun 22, 2012
    It sounds like you will have a decent amount of time at the parks before the Expo. I wish it had worked out that way for my family, but DS starts school that Tuesday. So, I am going without them, but with my mutual friends @OhioStateBuckeye and BF. I think your plans sound pretty good. Nice amount of chill time. Like @OhioStateBuckeye said, people have been saying that ride times in SWGE are worst in the morning. They seem to not be tapering off until afternoon and evening. However, if you are among the very, very first in line, like getting to the gates about an hour before rope drop, and walking quickly (ok running slightly), then you can avoid the long wait. So maybe be flexible about how riding Smugglers goes.
     
  • skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Sounds like a perfect plan!
    That's nice of you to say - but no plan is perfect. That's why my Rule #3 of park planning is "Have a plan but be flexible". In case you were wondering, rule #1 is "Arrive for Rope Drop" and Rule #2 is "Fast Pass, Fast Pass, Fast Pass"

    That rest day is a super good idea.

    I'd think steakhouse 55 dinner is a good idea for Thursday, as long as it isn't scheduled too late at night. You'll want to be well rested for the start of d23 on Friday.

    I know MSEP isn't your favorite, but you don't want to see it at all?

    Have you heard the strategies for galaxy's edge on the boards that actually say don't had for smuggler's first thing in the morning? Sounds like the ride times drop off after the first hour. You might want to consider doing so the shops and stuff and then riding.
    See it all? Four days isn't enough to see it all. MSEP is just not a priority for us. None of us really like it that much. Unless we just stumble across a good spot to watch it, I can't say purposefully staking a spot for this.

    I get that the wait times may spike early and that's a good point, but I still think if we get to RD early (which is the plan) it's still a good move to ride it first thing. Possibly after the first ride, we are better off wandering around for a while after that, but my intention is to be one of the first few hundred in the park, so the wait shouldn't be that long yet. Did you see the typical rope drop times all week - early risin' is going to be a real thing.

    I made the Steakhouse 55 ADR for 6 PM. Yes, we are definitely going to get to bed early. I still don't think we are going to be getting to convention center much before 7 AM most days, depending on what we get with Stagepass. But yeah I'm sure we'll hit the hay early.

    It sounds like you will have a decent amount of time at the parks before the Expo. I wish it had worked out that way for my family, but DS starts school that Tuesday. So, I am going without them, but with my mutual friends @OhioStateBuckeye and BF. I think your plans sound pretty good. Nice amount of chill time. Like @OhioStateBuckeye said, people have been saying that ride times in SWGE are worst in the morning. They seem to not be tapering off until afternoon and evening. However, if you are among the very, very first in line, like getting to the gates about an hour before rope drop, and walking quickly (ok running slightly), then you can avoid the long wait. So maybe be flexible about how riding Smugglers goes.
    Yup - we are on east coast time, so the plan is to get to rope drop about an hour before opening and head right to Smugglers - if we don't love the ride and the ride time is LONG immediately after the first ride, we will probably skip it or check back a little later. I am actually typically pretty happy with a single ride. It's not like we won't get plenty of chances to ride it in Florida over the next few years.

    My plan for the day is to stick with the west side of the park (HM, Pirates, BTMMRR, JC, IJatTotFE, Enchanted Tiki Room) so even if we come out of SW:GE and go back in later in the day we'll just keep an eye on the App.
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Looks like a good plan you have going. Getting to go to D23 will be so awesome!

    Very cool that you are getting into Club 33 again! How nice to have that hookup. Do your friends who are member just have to make the reservation for you?
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Looks like a good plan you have going. Getting to go to D23 will be so awesome!

    Very cool that you are getting into Club 33 again! How nice to have that hookup. Do your friends who are member just have to make the reservation for you?
    Yeah - The main Club does not require a Club member to enter. They are somewhat limited to the number of reservations they can make for others - but I think that number is around 20 or so. Our friends have told us they don't have a lot of friends that are that interested in Club 33 - so they usually have plenty of reservations left over. The Salon Nuveau at Club 33 and the 1901 Lounge at DCA both require the member to be present - so are actually more exclusive than the Club itself.
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    IJatTotFE

    What the heck is this acronym?


    I think our communications over the past few days make up for my comments. I'm too far behind for that stuff!
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    IJatTotFE

    What the heck is this acronym?


    I think our communications over the past few days make up for my comments. I'm too far behind for that stuff!
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Isn't that the name of the ride? Maybe I got it wrong. I don't think anyone uses that acronym, but I did it as a little joke. (Sometimes my sense of humor is way too dry.)
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Isn't that the name of the ride? Maybe I got it wrong. I don't think anyone uses that acronym, but I did it as a little joke. (Sometimes my sense of humor is way too dry.)
    It's actually just Indiana Jones Adventure, and it currently has a 40 minute wait. I had to check the app to verify that I was correct.
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    It's actually just Indiana Jones Adventure, and it currently has a 40 minute wait. I had to check the app to verify that I was correct.
    All right - so I overdid it with that acronym! Love Indy, but not my favorite ride, so once will probably be enough.
     

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