Just the Two of Us: A Spectacular Visit (DLR + Universal) - Day 4 updated 6/26

Gypsybear

It's all about the Villains
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Cool trip report. You had a couple of stressful moments, but it seems to have all worked out well. And I agree with the previous poster....it's all about Spider Pig!!
 

shosh1530

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Day 3 - Disneyland (part 2: "Butter my Biscuit!")

We stopped at Bell Services on our way into the Grand Californian and they brought up our bags about 5 minutes after we got to our room. DS immediately had to get comfy in one of the robes and relaxed with his ipad while I unpacked.

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I was worried that he might fall asleep and we'd have a repeat of the previous day's grumpy wake up, so I convinced him to head down to the pool before we headed back to the park for our Fantasmic Dining Package.

It was after 4 pm and the pool was pretty packed. We found one lounger to set our stuff on and DS bee lined it for the slide. The water felt chilly at first but not nearly as bad as January. After I got used to the temperature we made several trips up and down the water slide before doing the hot tub for a few minutes.

We went back to the room to shower and snack since we'd be having dinner rather late. We both decided to wear our mouse ears that we got the year before and DS wanted to wear his two pin lanyards. On our way out he insisted on getting a photo with the hotel's beautiful stained glass doors fully closed – not an easy feat considering the amount of foot traffic that comes through.

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There was no line for security exiting the Grand into Downtown Disney. All of DS's pins set off the metal detector (oops!) but the guard smiled and waved him through.

We re-entered Disneyland around 6:45 pm and DS wanted to look in the Plaza Point Christmas shop where we had bought ornaments on our last visit. They were doing some remodeling, so there was much less merchandise and space in the store. We also looked at some pins at a nearby stand and I ended up purchasing one from the Main Street Electrical Parade (Pete's Dragon is one of my fave Disney movies so I loved getting a pin with Elliott on it).

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It was close to 7 so we headed over to River Belle Terrace. I checked in on the app as we walked, but at the hostess stand we were redirected over to the side of the restaurant. There was only a short line and we got checked in quickly.

I had lucked out in booking the Premium Dining package the day reservations first opened and was even luckier that they seated us right on the railing. The table had a paper placard with our last name, as well as special lanyards, which my kid loved.

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Our waiter quickly took our drink orders and and confirmed that we could order off of the special event menu or the regular menu. I was excited to see the menu had added bread service and was also intrigued by plant-based chili on the special menu. I was really torn as I loved the BBQ tofu dish on our last visit and ultimately decided to get that again. DS also got the kid's tofu and was mostly excited for the tater tots.

We had a great view of the Rivers of America from our table and could see people starting to gather for the 9 pm Fantasmic show.

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Our bread basket came with a few pieces of cornbread (very yummy), biscuits, and sweet butter. I don't think DS has ever had a traditional biscuit before and he exclaimed "Well, butter my biscuit!" after trying one (imagine this with an overly dramatic attempt at a southern accent). I found this hilarious and he insisted that this was a phrase that people use (certainly not people I know). It became our catchphrase for the rest of the trip whenever we were excited about something.


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My strawberry-pistachio salad came next and was quite good. The main entrees came not long after. My tofu dish was good, but not quite as scrumptious as I had remembered. DH had actually ordered it last time and I only had a few bites. It is tasty but I got tired of so much tofu after a bit. Plus I was already really full from the bread and salad.

DS devoured the tater tots and picked at the tofu, but I was just happy he was eating something.

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I was worried that DS would be bored waiting so long for the show, but he seemed to love just soaking up the atmosphere. The service was excellent and we felt totally catered to all evening. My son got a huge kick out of anything where he feels like a VIP. At one point I had to ask for them to stop bringing out lemonade because he'd already had 3 glasses.

We only had about 30 minutes left to wait by the time our desserts came. DS got the chocolate oreo pudding. I didn't try it, but it looked delicious.

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I ordered the chocolate and raspberry dome. It was quite intriguing! The chocolate sphere opened up to reveal layers of berries, raspberry cake, and mango sorbet inside. Fancy!

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We were both so full that we swore we would not eat the rest of the trip. We decided to head to the bathroom before things got started and the hostess directed us over to the bathrooms in Adventure Land.

I had not seen Fantasmic in at least two decades and all the nostalgia flooded in with the opening music. Our view from the railing was good, although I would have preferred to be center with the water projections rather than off to the side. My favorite parts were when the boats with live actors come out as I didn't really remember that part at all. I was especially delighted by the Black Pearl making an appearance and DS was excited too as he loves the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. I only wish my photo had come out better and that I had taken more photos of the show.

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We stayed to watch the fireworks from our table after the show and it was nice to be able to just stay seated to see them. The view was obstructed partially by the trees though and we had to keep turning our heads back and forth between the fireworks and the projections over the Rivers of America. I'm sure the experience from the castle must be better.

The DAS I booked for Indiana Jones so many hours earlier had turned into a multi-experience pass (the ride must have gone down), so I asked DS if he wanted to ride anything before we left. He decided on the Jungle Cruise, which we both thought was good since we had never ridden it at night. The walk through Adventure Land was crazy crowded with everyone streaming out of the area.

We entered through the exit area with a few other DAS holders and got a seat at the front of the boat. This was good for me as I had a hard time hearing when we rode on our last trip. The ride definitely feels a bit ominous at night!

I asked DS if he wanted to try and stay for the parade, but we were both really tired. We made our way through the crowds along Main Street and through Downtown Disney to the hotel. I think DS may have fallen asleep the second he laid down. My tummy still almost hurt from being so full, but it was a thoroughly fantastic and special evening (like Butter my Biscuit special).

I quickly turned in to bed too. We both needed some good rest to get ready for California Adventure in the morning...
 

CandyMouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Glad you had a good time at River Belle, looks like it was an ok view. I tried to get the premium package for my DH and I but wasn't successful, we did the standard package for lunch. Our food was good and they were able to do my catfish plain, which I really appreciated. I'm sensitive to spicy food, so that was very helpful. We were able to get a few rows back in the center for our view of Fantasmic. We would have liked to sit at a table though, my DH has had knee surgery on both legs and it's hard for him to sit on the ground. It's funny, we also did Jungle Cruise after Fantasmic/Fireworks and then had a dole whip!
 

Living42Day

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 29, 2021
Loving the trip report, but holy moly girl! You have a lot of strength and patience to handle meltdowns like that. I think after something like that, I would have packed up and went back home. I would be so worried it would happen again. Glad you were able to power through and looks like you all still had a fun time.
 

shosh1530

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Day 4 - DCA (Part 1: Avenger's Campus & Pixar Pier)

We managed to sleep in a bit (7 ish) after our late night at Disneyland (well, at least late for us, I don't know how people can stay until midnight). Our plan was to head into DCA on the early side and do all the rides we've never done.

DS and I were both looking forward to the vegan breakfast shawarma that we had on our last trip, so we decided to just do breakfast in the park. There was no line to enter through GCH when we got there around 8:30. I immediately mobile ordered the kid's breakfast plate for DS (Nano Eggs-periment 101, $8) from Pym Test Kitchen and we headed over to Avenger's Campus.

This was probably the only time of day where I didn't have to circle for several minutes to get a table outside of Pym Test Kitchen. There were plenty to choose from. Our mobile order came up right away and I went inside to get it. The plate comes with scrambled eggs, focaccia toast, turkey bacon, mandarin orange, and milk or bottled water. Unfortunately, there was no way to customize and leave off the bacon and the staff would not remove it when I picked up the tray. So I just grabbed some napkins and pitched it.

I dropped off the food for DS and then walked over to the Shawarma Palace food cart. There was no line and I able to get the Impossible Breakfast Sha-warm-up ($13) with no wait.

It was slightly weird to sit and eat breakfast so early in the day rather than rushing to rides, but also really relaxing and nice. And it set the pace for another non-rushed day for us.

DS ate his eggs and toast and had several bites of my shawarma. It has plant-based egg, non-dairy cheese, tater tots, and Impossible sausage patty, with a spicy maple syrup on the side. The picture isn't great, but it is so yummy!

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We booked a DAS for Web Slingers and somehow DS was still hungry (even after we both vowed to never eat again the night before). I mobile ordered him the Quantum Pretzel ($13) from Pym's and we sat another few minutes to enjoy some of it.

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The pretzel is definitely huge, so we broke up most of the pieces and wrapped them in napkins to snack on later. We decided to head over to Cars Land to do a few rides and look around while we waited for our Web Slingers return time.

As we were leaving Pym we saw that Scarlet Witch was just coming out and only a few people were waiting. We jumped in line to meet her. DS offered to take my photo as he knows what a huge fan I am, but the cast member offered to take one of all of us.

Wanda/Scarlet Witch asked if DS was my son and then told me how lucky I am when I said yes. We all did our best Scarlet Witch poses, but the sun was in DS's eyes so they were mostly closed in all the shots.

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Our previous trips into Cars Land have focused solely on Radiator Springs Racers, but we already knew it was going to be down today (it ended up coming back online the day after we left). We had never ridden the other two rides in Cars Land, so we headed over to Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and got in the stand by line.

The line moved fairly fast and we were loaded on the tractors in less than 10 minutes. The ride is cute and fun and thankfully did not make me too dizzy despite the tractors swinging around a bunch.

We headed over to Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters next. The line seemed fairly long for early in the day, I'm guessing because RSR was closed. The line was probably 20 minutes total and DS got pretty antsy while waiting.

He really wanted one of the blue-green cars and they must be popular because right as we were about to get in the car another kid raced past us and and tried to get in the driver's seat, practically knocking DS over. I thought for a second the two kids were going to get into a wrestling match, but I instinctively (and I hope politely) said "Sorry, this one is ours" and the kid went to another empty car of the same color.

The ride spins you around a bit but was quite fun and I only felt a little dizzy after. It was almost time to ride Web Slinger's so we headed back to Avenger's Campus.

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We entered through the Lightning Lane and were immediately able to go into the pre-show. This was probably my 4th time on the ride but one of the most enjoyable as I felt more able to take in all the details.

The line moved quickly and we were loaded in car with a mom and baby. Despite trying my hardest, I still got the lowest score of all of us (well, I guess I did beat the baby). I just have to be ok with the fact that I am terrible at all these ride shooting games.

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After we exited the ride, DS said he wanted to do Toy Story Midway Mania. We had a longish wait, so we headed over to Pixar Pier where there were a lot of rides we hadn't done before.

On our way out of Avenger's Campus, I noticed this Stan Lee plaque. We stopped to take a photo as we are huge Marvel fans. I was wondering how I never noticed it before, but it turns out it was new since our last visit.

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We made it to Pixar Pier and jumped on Golden Zephyr first as there was no line. The mini-rockets go up high and out and I discovered this type of ride definitely make me a bit dizzy. But we were able to check it off the list.

Jumpin' Jellyfish was up next and DS seemed willing to ride. He got nervous on our last trip and asked to get off before the ride started. This time he got on without issue, although he still said he was a little nervous.

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I was hoping that success on this ride, might entice him to try Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout. It is pretty tame compared to Guardians though and I barely got the drop feeling at all on the ride.

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The view from the top was pretty nice though. DS said after we got off that the ride made him even more scared at the idea of Guardians. So we'll have to save that for a future trip.

The line for Goofy's Sky School was long and since we did that last trip we skipped it. We headed over to Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind and waited about 15 minutes stand by. DS got a bit annoyed waiting for this ride and kept reminding me that he didn't really like this movie. We had some pretzel pieces to tide him over and he survived the wait. The ride wasn't super memorable and I probably wouldn't wait for it again.

Our return time for Toy Story had arrived, but unfortunately right when we went to scan in everyone started leaving the line. A cast member explained that the ride was down and that our DAS should turn into a multi-experience pass in a few minutes.

I tried to be patient waiting for the ME pass to come up, but it didn't seem to be happening. I eventually cancelled it so we could book Grizzly River Run as DS wanted to do that next. We slowly made our way over there and were able to enter the Lightning Lane by the time we got there.

Grizzly has been one of our favorite rides in the past and it did not disappoint. There was a large family on the raft as we entered so DS and I both got seats on the ends and knew we would get wet. I thankfully managed to lift my feet up and keep them from getting soaked, but my whole left side got thoroughly splashed.

It was getting close to lunch time and DS wanted to eat at Pyms again. That didn't appeal to me so I put in a mobile order for both Pyms and Lucky Fortune Cookery and we walked over to pick my order up.

We saw a Guest Services umbrella along the way with no line, so I stopped into ask them about the how it works when you have DAS and a ride goes down in case it happens in the future. The affirmed that the DAS would eventually turn into a ME pass, but said I probably didn't wait long enough. They kindly went ahead and added the pass to our account.

DS said he wanted to ride Soarin' next, so I booked a regular DAS for that and planned to use our ME pass after we took our hotel break.

I picked up my vegan Bahn Mi from Lucky Fortune and carried it back over to Pyms. Unfortunately, Avenger's Campus was packed and there were no tables available. We circled around several times and DS eventually found an empty table in full sun that had no chairs. I went inside to grab his food and then we hunted for extra chairs, eventually finding two we could bring over.

The full sun was not great, but we did have a good view of the Avenger's building for when the show with Black Widow and Black Panther started. DS only picked at his Mini-Pasta and Impossible Meat-Balls ($9), but at least had a few of the meatballs.

My Impossible Bahn Mi ($14) was so delicious. It was my first time trying it and I was skeptical about the impossible meat for this type of dish, but it was definitely one of my new favorite things in the parks. I couldn't help comparing it to the mediocre bahn mi sandwich I had at Universal just two days earlier. This was so many orders of magnitudes better for the same price. The bread seemed to be fresh warm sourdough and the flavoring was just perfect (although I picked a few of the jalapenos off to make it less spicy). And it came with a side of lemongrass-cucumber salad that was also delicious.

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We walked over to Soarin' after finishing lunch, but by the time we got there DS no longer felt like riding. I suggested maybe checking out Animation Academy, but it became clear that he was cooked so we headed back to GCH for a break.

My goal was to rest but again to avoid napping, so we chilled in the room for a bit. I enjoyed some relaxing time on the balcony while DS watched his iPad.


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We eventually made our way to the pool and got in some more slide time. It was closer to 3 and the pool was more crowded than the previous day. But we managed to find one lounger (we aren't really lounge people anyway).

The lines for the slide weren't to long and we must have gone down at least 10 times. It isn't the biggest or scariest water slide, but we still had loads of fun. DS liked how one of the life guards at the top would ask Disney trivia questions while you would wait and then we had fun making up our own trivia questions and quizzing each other.

We ended our pool time with the hot tub and then went back to the room to shower and get dressed. We wanted to try and get in a few more rides before our World of Color Dessert Party, especially since DCA would be closing early for grad night...
 

shosh1530

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Love the pics! You and your son have such a great time together. So awesome.
Disney really seems to be our jam! It's funny because we took him to Disneyland when he was five and we had a pretty awful time. He was overwhelmed and terrified of almost every ride. At the end he said the things he liked was getting to buy a toy and eating pizza.

So I'm excited that he now loves it and asks to go all the time. I figure that may not last forever so I'm already trying to figure out our next trips (Halloween or Christmas? WDW?). He's very into the idea of visiting every Disney park in the world and we spent time during the pandemic fantasizing about various trips. We'll see if those ever come to fruition (the idea of a long international flight with an unpredictable kid kind of scares me, plus of course $$$).
 







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