From Kansas to California - day 1

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by benolathe, Apr 1, 2001.

  1. benolathe

    benolathe Mouseketeer

    Oct 11, 1999
    David – husband, father, reluctant Disney fan
    Sheila – trip planner, organizer, big Disney fan
    Aaron – 10 yo boy; loves the Tea Cups
    Samantha – 8 yo girl; enjoys everything

    Thursday, March 15

    Well, we finally made it to Disneyland! Landed at John Wayne (Orange County) airport at 10:30 last night, shuttled to Dollar for a rental car and then to the Candy Cane Inn. Since we had such a late night (didn’t turn the lights off until after 1:00), we decided to just sleep in and get to the park a little later than official opening time. Well, we all awoke at 6:30 am and were all ready to go!! We walked to the park entrance and were waiting on Main Street when they officially opened at 9:00.

    First of all, the Candy Cane Inn would not be my first choice for a future visit. It was a nice place, but the Park Inn is much closer and comparably priced. The entrance to DL, DCA, DD is directly across the street from the Park Inn. It is about a ten minute walk from the Candy Cane.

    The Candy Cane bus is very nice and leaves the hotel every 30 minutes. The seats all have their backs to the windows and face inward which leaves a wider aisle than normal. All of the drivers were really nice and would search the people approaching the bus while at the DL drop-off for familiar faces and would wait on you if necessary. Even though it was only a 10 minute walk, we normally rode the bus to and from the parks because our feet were so tired of walking all through the parks! It's also nice to have a bus dedicated to your hotel. Most of the other hotels use a group shuttle.

    I spoke with another guest at the pool (our kids were swimming) and she said that she has stayed at the Park Inn before and it is a very nice, clean place. In fact, that was her first choice, but they were already booked when she was making reservations. No bus is needed for the Park Inn. It is also right next door to a McDonalds.

    We also discussed the Castle Inn (which is about halfway between the Candy Cane and the DL entrance and she said that they have stayed there and it is a bit dirty. She would not recommend it.

    I stopped off at the Park Inn and picked up a brochure and was told that their pool is heated and it is located on top of the fourth floor (rooftop). The Unofficial Guide lists the Park Inn as the best deal for lodging in the area.

    The room at the Candy Cane was nice. We had a deluxe room which is a little larger than the regular room and had a small refrigerator. We visited a grocery store and got some pop & water to keep in the frig. One nice feature was that the area under the bathroom sink is enclosed with cabinet doors. Just a small touch, but it's nice to be able to put things away behind closed doors and not have to look at them. BTW, from walking by other "regular" rooms with their doors open, it appeared that the area under their sinks was open. Also, all of the deluxe rooms were at the very back of the parking lot (farthest from the bus stop) which felt like a really long walk after a full day at the parks! My kids used the pool everyday. The deepest (center) part was 5 foot and the sides are 3 foot. So, the kids were able to "touch" the bottom. Also, there is a hot tub and a separate wading pool for toddlers.

    One other reason why the Candy Cane would not be my first choice was the front desk manager. She had an attitude and was not very "customer oriented."

    Okay, on to Disneyland. Because, of course, we picked Disneyland as the first park to visit! Our first stop was in Adventureland for the Indiana Jones ride. My dd did NOT like this ride. She closed her eyes as tight as she could and wouldn’t even look up when I tried to get her to see the big rock boulder which was about to fall on us. She couldn’t wait to get out of there. I actually didn’t care for it much myself because it jerks you around a lot. I’ve never been on a ride that jerked back and forth as much as this one does. We were riding in jeeps and driving over rough terrain, but it was just a very uncomfortable ride. My dh & ds ended up riding again later in the visit (utilizing FP), but we girls sat it out. BTW, we walked straight to this ride when they opened the park (along with a few hundred other people) and it looked like there was already a very long line. But, they just hadn’t opened the queue yet and everyone was standing outside. Once they opened up, all we had to do was walk through the (very long & nicely themed) queue for our jeep.

    Now, on to the Jungle Cruise which Samantha enjoyed much more than Indy. Then, Tarzan’s Treehouse where the kids enjoyed all the hands-on activities at the end. Because Pirates was closed for rehab, we went on to the Haunted Mansion which was a walk-on – no wait at all. This is really a fast loader. BTW, they were in the process of constructing an area for the FP machines for this attraction and they will probably be working soon. In fact, the park map showed that this attraction already had FP available. Also, there is a hidden Mickey on the banquet table using a dinner plate and two bread plates for the ears. It’s pretty obvious, but I had to point it out to the kids.

    Now on to one of the kids favorite rides of the trip – The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness! How many times did I hear that?? Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a nice little roller coaster with great theming. We grabbed a FP ticket and then walked on for the first ride. When we came back to use the first FP, we got another and rode a total of three times on this day. I still don’t understand why so many people refuse to use the FP system. It is the greatest thing that Disney every came up with! When we were using our FP tix, the stand-by line was 45 minutes, but we got in the train in about 6 minutes.

    After the first of The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness, the Mark Twain was loading so we climbed aboard for a trip around the Rivers of America. This is a nice, slow relaxing trip where you are able to rest your feet for a little while. <g>

    Now, on to the castle. We walked through the Sleeping Beauty diorama and then visited the wishing well and heard Snow White singing. The swams swimming around the castle are really nice. We purposely avoided Fantasyland today since that will be first on our agenda for our second day at DL.

    Tomorrowland – here we come. Took a trip around the Monorail which has more seating than the one at WDW. Of course, this Monorail is an attraction where the ones at WDW are really used for transportation. After exiting the Monorail at Tomorrowland, we used a FP for Autopia. This is really a long car ride and the kids enjoyed driving. But, the gas pedal is a bit hard to hold down, so Mom & Dad were pushing down on the gas in the cars while the kids drove. This is another one that you definitely want to use FP. The stand-by lines would be 45 minutes most of the day.

    Rocket Rods is closed and the kids kept asking what that track was for everytime we saw it. We had an okay lunch at a place in Tomorrowland right across from the Monorail. Then, it was onto a DL exclusive – the Matterhorn. Okay, so this ride is now tied with Big Thunder as their favorite ride. In fact, the roller coasters are similar with their sharp corners and no big drops.

    Can’t remember all the rest of the details of the day, but we did the AstroOrbiter after a small wait and then walked on to Star Tours (which is identical to the one at WDW). We rode Autopia again (with a FP, of course) and then the Fantasyland side of the Matterhorn. The tracks are a bit different since one is on the “inside” and the other on the “outside”. Personally, I preferred the Tomorrowland side since it was a bit of a smoother ride. Finally, we got to Splash Mountain for our final ride of the day. The stand-by wait was over 60 minutes, but we used FP and we on in less than 15 minutes. Again, why do so many people not use FP?

    As you can tell, we crossed over between Frontierland and Tomorrowland quite a bit today picking up and using FP tix. We had a very full day and were ready for the hotel room. The front desk clerk told us how to find a grocery store where we picked up some chips and drinks for the frig. Then, we stopped at Subway for sandwiches and took them back to the room to eat. We all crashed really early that night – before 8:30!

    Wilderness Lodge; Dec 1999
    Disneyland March 2001!
  2. Judy from Boise

    Judy from Boise Watch out – might take away your

    Aug 24, 1999
    thanks for the report !

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  3. Marla Hellwig

    Marla Hellwig I'm not lost, it's called creative exploring

    Mar 25, 2000
    A fun filled Disney day for all. Thanks for posting!

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    Co Host Wednesday Night Chat
  4. rhodgkie

    rhodgkie Earning My Ears

    Feb 20, 2000
    Hey there! I am glad to hear your reports about the hotel. I am heading to Anaheim in a couple of weeks and am looking for a cheapo hotel for a solo trip.

    Sorry you didn't like Indy. One of my favorites!

    WDW: Offsite 89; ASSp 95, 96; FWH 98; Dolphin 00. DL: Offsite 93, 94, 98; DLHotel 99.
  5. minniecarousel

    minniecarousel Chris Isaak fan

    Jul 13, 2000
    I know what you mean about the Fast-Pass - when we were in Animal Kingdom, using FP for the Safari, a kid asked me how mauch "it" cost - when I said "nothing" - he looked so surprised! Hey - if people don't "get it" then shorter FP lines for us!
    Thanks for the report!

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