"Let's Ride Every Ride in Disneyland" - An Awesome Daddy/Daughter Spring Break Trip (Updated 5/16)

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Greg Lembrich, May 1, 2019.

  1. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    What an awesome night at DCA! Glad you completed the mission of using all your FPs!

    Totally agree- I am not a huge fan of Test Track but RSR is amazing!

    Fantastic end to your long and eventful day!

    Sounds like a great morning in fantasyland!

    Haha clever idea picking a long line attraction so you can watch some of the golf ;)
     
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  2. Timon

    Timon DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Loving your report and your Daddy and daughter time :love:
     
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  4. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Man, 22 hours? You guys are warriors! Enjoying reading about your days!!
     
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  5. Greg Lembrich

    Greg Lembrich Mouseketeer

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    Chapter 6: Adventure, Pirate Treasure, and Pizza

    After finishing Autopia, we made our way to Space Mountain, where we had our next FP. As the morning progressed, the park was steadily getting more and more crowded, but it still was not too bad. It was fun to see so many visitors dressed to the nines for Dapper Days. By 11 AM, it seemed like at least half the men at Disneyland (and a fair number of women) had their heads buried in their phones as the Masters was coming to a conclusion. As we walked through the FP line for Space Mountain, there were several fellow visitors just waving us past, saying things like "I'll ride when he finishes". By the time the FP line merged with the standby queue, Tiger was on the green at 18. He missed his first putt, but tapped in the second for victory. Everyone's phones were either a few seconds ahead or behind each other, so it was interesting to look around the line as people fist pumped, high fived, etc. Caroline and I celebrated with a ride through space.

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    While it wasn't quite noon yet, and we had breakfast just barely 2 hours earlier, the time change was probably playing with our systems because we were both hungry again. My daughter wanted pizza, so we ducked into Alien Pizza Planet after coming out of Space Mountain. Since it was early, we had no problem getting our food quickly and finding a table. The pizza was mediocre, but did the job.

    After lunch, we returned our focus to the goal of riding all 48 rides at DLR, so went up to Toon Town for a spin on Gadget's Go Coaster (ride #29).

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    Next we went over to the Rivers of America. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, so we re-applied the sunscreen before grabbing our paddles and boarding Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes (ride #30).

    After making our way around Tom Sawyer Island, we decided to pay a visit there, so we jumped on board the rafts for Pirates Lair at Tom Sawyer Island (ride #31). We had fun exploring the island, and noting the many similarities and differences from the Magic Kingdom island. My daughter was particularly delighted when she found the large pile of pirate treasure.

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    Following our marathon day on Saturday and early start that morning, we were starting to fade. So we decided to hitch a ride on the Disneyland Railroad (ride #32) from the New Orleans Square station to the front of the park. It was fun to travel through the Grand Canyon and dinosaur dioramas.

    From Main Street Station, we walked out of the park and returned to the Anaheim Desert Inn. It was a hot day, so we thought a swim would be a great way to cool down and relax. The pool at the hotel was pretty small, but nice. It was also generally not crowded, at least during the midday/afternoon times that we used it during our trip. As we swam, I started stacking FPs for our return to the parks that night. After we finished swimming, we went back to the room to nap for a few hours.

    Stay tuned for Chapter 7, where we will return to California Adventure and continue our quest to ride every ride in both parks.
     
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  6. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Love the Space ride photo! Sounds like a good rest of the morning and a nice break at the hotel!
     
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  7. Greg Lembrich

    Greg Lembrich Mouseketeer

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    Thanks. A friend on Facebook commented that it looked like my daughter was throwing her arms up in excitement and I was putting my hands up to surrender to law enforcement :P
     
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  8. caylene44

    caylene44 Aspiring Disney Travel Planner

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    Following along! Your daughter is such a trooper. I think it's so awesome to get to go on daddy/daughter trips together :) Definitely something I'm excited for when I have kids is mommy and me Disney trips!
     
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  9. Greg Lembrich

    Greg Lembrich Mouseketeer

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    Chapter 7: "And the baby is gone"

    After a refreshing swim and relaxing nap back at the hotel, we set off for California Adventure around 5 PM. Our goal for the night was to finish off the rest of the rides at DCA we had not experienced yet, as well as to repeat some of our favorites from the day before. We started off by fighting our way through the Food & Wine bottleneck and going to Cars Land. Our first stop was Mater's Junkyard Jamboree (ride #33).

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    It's the same as Alien Swirling Saucers at DHS, except with tow trucks and out in the open rather than under cover. A really fun ride that we both enjoyed. Next we stayed in Radiator Springs for Luigi's Rollicking Roadsters (ride #34).

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    This one looked cool while we were on line, but we found it sort of boring and needlessly jerky during the ride. A thumbs down from both of us. No need to return.

    Our next destination was Radiator Springs Racers, our first FP of the night and our first DCA repeat ride. This time we would be riding while the sun was still out, so would get a slightly different experience. My daughter remained convinced that the car whose riders cheered loudest would win the race, so we encouraged the others in our car to root us to victory.

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    Yet again, our car won! My daughter was now even more sure of her theory. After RSR, we left Cars Land and headed over to Pixar Pier. My daughter loved Incredicoaster, so I had snagged us a FP for it while we were hanging by the hotel pool earlier that afternoon. We breezed through the FP line and were soon off in hot pursuit of the missing and elusive Baby Jack Jack.

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    Our ride photo did not come through, and my daughter really wanted to ride again that night to get the "after dark" experience, so I immediately went to MP and booked us another FP for later in the evening. But our next FP was nearby at Toy Story Midway Mania. After that, we were off to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, with another FP that I had stacked earlier in the day. It was nice to leisurely stroll through Hollywood Land this time, rather than our flat out sprint the night before.

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    We really enjoyed the ride, yet again. By now we were hungry for dinner, and my daughter was begging to go back to her new favorite restaurant: Flo's V8. I quickly put in our mobile order and we walked back to Cars Land. She again got the burger, and I got the Blue Plate Special (chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and veggies). We both had a great, hearty meal and then made our way to Pixar Pier for another ride on Incredicoaster using the FP I had grabbed earlier that night. We again requested the front row, and soon were launching into the night.

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    Next my daughter reminded me that she had been deprived of her promised Adorable Snowman Pixar Pier Parfait the night before, and was looking to collect on her raincheck immediately. A deal is a deal, so I gladly complied.

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    It was now close to 9 PM, giving us an hour (or so I thought) to finish our last four rides at DCA. First up was the newest ride at DLR, Jessie's Critter Carousel (ride #35), which had just opened the week before.

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    It's just a standard carousel ride, but it's well themed and the animals are really cute. Next we tried to go to the Pixar Pal-A-Round, but were told that it was already closed for the night due to World of Color. We were surprised since it was wasn't even 9:30 yet and WOC didn't start until 10, but whatever. We would now need to return the next day in order to complete all the rides at DCA.

    So we continued around to Paradise Gardens Park for our last two rides of the night, Jumpin' Jellyfish (ride #36) and Golden Zephyr (ride #37). Both are standard amusement park fare, but it was cool to be riding them while the fireworks were going off over at Disneyland. We had a great view, though I didn't manage to snap any good pictures that captured the fireworks.

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    We finished the rides a little before 10 PM and considered hopping over to DL for a few more rides, but decided that we were tired and just wanted to call it a night so we could rest up to RD the next morning. We exited DCA before WOC began and were back at the Anaheim Desert Inn a few minutes later.

    Stay tuned for Chapter 8, where we continue our march towards riding all 48 rides at DLR with another early morning at Disneyland.

    Day 2 Statistics
    Parks visited: DL and DCA
    Rides: 26 (19 new, 7 repeats)
    Progress towards goal of riding every ride at DLR: 37/48
    Miles walked (according to my Fitbit): 12.18
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 5:55 PM
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  10. Greg Lembrich

    Greg Lembrich Mouseketeer

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    Monday April 15 (Day 3)

    Chapter 8: Clapping Through the Jungle and Rollin' on the River

    We woke up early on Monday morning. While we had no intention of sprinting to Peter Pan once more, we did plan to RD at Disneyland again. The downside of going to the parks for RD is that it required us to leave before they started serving the free breakfast at our hotel, but this was a sacrifice worth making. We got across Harbor and through security quickly, and were yet again at the front of our line at the DL entrance.

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    We were among the first through the turnstiles, but since we would not be among the throng heading to Fantasyland, we took our time getting down Main Street.

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    Our goal for the morning was to complete the 10 DL rides we had not done yet to help us towards our goal of riding all 48 rides in the two parks in 2.5 days (as we had done at WDW). We went left at the hub and waited in a small and very civilized group for the rope to drop at Adventureland. Nearly everyone else with us was headed to Indiana Jones, so we were able to casually stroll to Jungle Cruise (ride #38) and be the first passengers to board the first boat of the day. The next two passengers to board were Peter the Clapping Man and his wife. Peter knew all of the CMs, including our skipper, who immediately whipped out a harmonica and played a tune while Peter clapped to the beat. It was a really cool thing to see, and I wish I had known it was coming so I could have taken a video. Soon enough some others joined us on our boat and we set off on our cruise.

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    Our skipper was really good and had my daughter in stitches for the entire cruise. It was a really fun way to start the day. Next we walked up to Fantasyland, where we hoped to knock out some of the less popular rides while they were still walk ons. First up was Snow White's Scary Adventure (ride #39), followed by the Casey Jr. Circus Train (ride #40), where my daughter chose to sit in one of the "cage" cars.

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    We wanted to do a few more rides before taking a break for breakfast, so our next stop was the King Arthur Carrousel (ride #41).

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    I then made our mobile order for breakfast as we walked over to the Mad Tea Party (ride #42). Once our teacup stopped spinning, I tapped the "I'm Here" button on the app and by the time we made it to Red Rose Taverne our food was ready and waiting for us. Once we were fueled up, we went out to ride one of the Main Street Vehicles (ride #43). I meant to get a photo, but we were sitting with a nice family from Australia who had just arrived and had lots of questions about what to do, where to go, etc., so my daughter and I enjoyed giving them a quick rundown of our favorite rides and tips.

    The boats around the Rivers of America were not running yet, so it was a good time to take advantage of MP and start using some FPs. We did Indiana Jones Adventure, followed by Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin and some clowning around in Toon Town.

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    By that time, the boats were starting to circle Tom Sawyer Island, so we scooted through Frontierland and boarded the Mark Twain Riverboat (ride #44).

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    It was another gorgeous sunny California day, so we had a great time on the deck enjoying the views.

    Stay tuned for Chapter 9, where we attempt to complete the 48!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  11. asuburbanman

    asuburbanman Earning My Ears

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    Love reading your report! You are a great dad. It is nice to get insight into the DL rides. Does your daughter not care much for the characters?
     
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  12. Greg Lembrich

    Greg Lembrich Mouseketeer

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    Thank you! It is the best. My wife is only half kidding when she says that the main reason I wanted to have a child was so that I would have a "little buddy" to go to amusement parks with :D I am enjoying your TR too.

    Thanks! She was more into the characters when she was younger, and we have met a lot of characters at WDW. This trip we met several characters at our Plaza Inn breakfast (still to come in the TR), but otherwise she seemed much more interested in rides and shows on this trip that meeting characters. Even when we saw some with short or no lines, she stayed focused on whatever we had planned to do next.
     
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  13. Cloe Colton

    Cloe Colton DIS Veteran

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    I am so impressed with the number of rides you guys get on! When you were stacking MPs for the night was there an order you would go in? Would you just monitor the times of the fastpasses and see what was going faster? Thats my only worry with MP is that I am not really familiar with the popular rides. I obviously know to get RSR first but beyond that I'm pretty lost! lol (except we will be going during the holidays so IASW and Haunted Mansion are obviously priorities for us too.)
     
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  14. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great night at DCA! Love how happy you both look!

    And a great start to the following day at DL! You guys were really crushing your goal!
     
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  15. Greg Lembrich

    Greg Lembrich Mouseketeer

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    @Cloe Colton , if you monitor the times you will get a sense of what is going fast that day and what is likely to still be available for a while. But I was also working off the following list of "priorities" based on general experience:

    DL - 1) Space Mountain, 2) Indiana Jones Adventure, 3) Star Tours, 4) Matterhorn Bobsleds, 5) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, 6) Splash Mountain, 7) Haunted Mansion, 8) Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin, 9) Buzz Lightyear, and 10) It's a Small World

    DCA - 1) Radiator Springs Racers, 2) Toy Story Midway Mania, 3) Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, 4) Soarin’ Around the World, 5) Incredicoaster, 6) Grizzly River Run, and 7) Goofy’s Sky School

    Things to keep in mind:
    - In general, the DCA rides (especially the top 5) tend to run out before most of the DL rides.
    - Toon Town closes before the rest of DL, usually several hours before. So if you want to get a FP for RRCS, remember that the ride only runs while Toon Town is open.
    - The water rides run out faster on hot days.
    - Once SWL opens, this may change considerably, especially if it means more people are in DL every day.
    - Because you are going during holiday time the rides with special holiday overlays will also be more popular and run out faster. A good example is Haunted Mansion, which is generally a pretty easy FP to get, but jumps into the top 3 priorities when it has the holiday overlay.
    - In addition to stacking, you can also take advantage of quick, or even immediate, return times on some rides, particularly early in the day. Once you scan your FP, you can select another, so that can be a good strategy even if you are stacking while at the parks.
    - Once you've scanned your ticket for the day, you can continue to make MP reservations even from outside the parks. You can advantage of this while dining at Downtown Disney, relaxing by the pool, or resting at your hotel. Just look for reservations that are available during the time you expect to be back at the parks and stack away.

    I hope that helps.
     
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  16. Greg Lembrich

    Greg Lembrich Mouseketeer

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    Chapter 9: We Complete the 48

    After the Riverboat, we had just 4 more rides to complete in order to reach our goal of riding all 48 operating rides in DL and DCA. Having just circled the Rivers of America, however, we didn't feel like hopping on the Sailing Ship Columbia immediately. Instead, we took the short walk over the Frontierland to use a FP at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

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    Next we strolled around the river to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (ride #45), followed by a ride on Splash Mountain via FP.

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    Then we went back around the rivers to board the Sailing Ship Columbia (ride #46). We enjoyed exploring below deck, as well as basking in the beautiful sunshine above.

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    We had just two rides to go, but my daughter also really wanted to go to the Disney Jr. Dance Party at DCA, which was starting soon. So we left DL and strolled across the plaza and into Hollywood Land to wait for the show. While in line to get in we met a DL CM who was there with her young son on her day off and had a nice chat about her experiences working various jobs at DL, including working with the horses who pull the carriages for the Main Street Vehicles. My daughter enjoyed having a little playmate, and he warmed up to her quickly. Once inside, my daughter and the other kids sat on the floor near the front while most of the adults congregated on the benches to the rear of the theater. The show is a mix of live actors on stage and animated characters on screen, some of whom show up as live costumed characters for the big finale. The theme is basically just a dance party with loud music and the performers encouraging the kids to do different dances. My daughter had a really good time and was featured on the "big screen" several times.

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    After the dance party, we made our way over to Pixar Pier and, after being thwarted in our attempt the night before, were able to board the Pixar Pal-A-Round (ride #47). We chose to ride one of the swinging cars, and both regretted it. While the views from the top were nice, the ride itself managed somehow be the least thrilling and most vomit-inducing in the parks. We were not fans, but at least we could cross it off the list and never return.

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    We had now been going for several hours since breakfast and were getting hungry. Of course my daughter wanted a Flo's V8 burger, and of course I complied. I placed our order via the mobile app and we headed out of Pixar Pier in the direction of Cars Land.

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    Once we got to the entrance of Cars Land, we stopped to pose for some photos before going to Flo's.

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    I was working my way through the Flo's menu by this point, so decided to try the tuna melt. It was not to my liking, but I was also still nauseous from the Pal-A-Round, so that didn't help. After lunch, we had just one ride remaining to complete the full 48, so we hopped across the plaza to Disneyland and went to the Monorail (ride #48). Not the most climactic ride to finish on, but we still had 2.5 days left to explore the parks, and we felt a sense of accomplishment that we had already achieved our goal of riding every ride.

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    Rather than get off at Downtown Disney, we decided to do the full loop and go round-trip back to Disneyland. From there we chose to take a break for the afternoon and headed back to the hotel for our usual swim and nap.

    Stay tuned for Chapter 10, where we'll ride some favorites at DCA, enjoy a waterside dinner at Blue Bayou, and experience some Disneyland classics before seeing Fantasmic!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 6:01 PM
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  17. Greg Lembrich

    Greg Lembrich Mouseketeer

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    Chapter 10: Son of a Gun, Big Fun on the Bayou

    After waking refreshed from our nap, with our goal of riding all 48 rides now in the books, we were excited to now have that night and two more full park days to see shows, re-ride our favorite rides, and soak up more Disney atmosphere. The focus of our night would be the Fantasmic Dining Package at Blue Bayou. We were both looking forward to the chance to eat inside Pirates of the Caribbean and experience the epic Disneyland Fantasmic! from the front row. Neither of us had ever eaten at Blue Bayou before, and while we had been in DL while F! was going on, we had not really seen it yet. But we had some time before our dinner reservation, so we went first to DCA to use some of the FPs I'd been stacking over the course of the day. First stop was Incredicoaster, which we rode for the 4th time on the trip.

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    My daughter looked great in the ride photo, but I was cut off. Oh well, can't win 'em all. After that we walked over to Toy Story Midway Mania to shoot, toss, and fling. Then our last stop in DCA was Cars Land for a spin on Radiator Springs Racers.

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    My daughter yet again persuaded everyone in our car to cheer really loudly during the race, and yet again we won. We were now 3 for 3, so I was starting to think her theory may have some merit. We'd have to test it out again a few more times later in the week.

    Our dinner reservation at Blue Bayou was drawing closer, so we made the hop to DL and headed over to NO Square. We were early and in no rush, so I requested a waterside table and they told us they would be able to accommodate us. We waited about 15-20 minutes in the lovely lobby seating area, and then we were called in right around our reservation time. None of my photos came out very well due to lighting and my own incompetence as a photographer, but we a great table with a view of the PotC boats passing by. Service was outstanding and we both really enjoyed our meals. I got the fried calamari to start and the bone-in ribeye for my entrée, while my daughter ordered the cheesy macaroni. For dessert we had the crème brulee and the chocolate cake. When we were finished and taking care of the check, our server brought us our tickets for reserved seating at that night's second showing of Fantasmic! and our seat cushions. Overall, I was very pleased with the experience. We were planning to eat dinner at Blue Bayou on our trip regardless, and also wanted to see Fantasmic!, so this worked out really well for us.

    After watching other guests begin their ride through the Caribbean throughout dinner, we decided to make Pirates our first stop after we finished our meal. After that we strolled through Adventureland to do something my daughter had never done before but was really looking forward to on this trip: The Enchanted Tiki Room. She had never shown any interest in it on our previous trips to WDW, but she became mesmerized with it while we were planning this trip. She watched videos of it on YouTube and really liked the songs. Since we had dessert with our dining package at BB, we did not partake in the traditional Dole Whip this night, but I promised her that we could come back another night for the full experience. The show did not disappoint. All the birds sang words, the flowers crooned, and the tikis drummed. She laughed, clapped, and sang along the whole show, having the most delightful time.

    At this point the first showing of Fantasmic! was still going on, but we fought our way through the crowds to use FPs at the Haunted Mansion and on Splash Mountain.

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    Crowds had been low at the park all day, which was not expected given that this was the week before Easter and the heart of Spring Break season (in addition to being a Monday, which are usually notorious for being crowded). With most of what crowd there was either watching the first showing of Fantasmic, waiting for the fireworks, or elsewhere in the park, the lines were non-existent at both Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain. We had FPs, but both rides were walk ons, especially Splash Mountain where we had our own log. The fireworks actually started while we were on Splash Mountain, which made for some really cool views as we floated outside.

    After splashing down in the briar patch, and with reserved seating tickets for Fantasmic! in hand, we still had some time before we needed to line up for the show. I really enjoy riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at night, so we used a FP to do that next. By the time we finished the wildest ride in the wilderness, it was time to go stake out our spots for the show.

    Stay tuned for Chapter 11, where I'll share photos from our front row, center view of Fantasmic!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 10:26 AM
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  18. Greg Lembrich

    Greg Lembrich Mouseketeer

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    Chapter 11: Fantasmic!

    We were certainly not the first to line up for our reserved seating section, but we were able to find a free spot right in the front row "on the rail". My daughter sat there on her cushion and I sat right behind her. The reserved seating section for the Blue Bayou Fantasmic Dining Package is really outstanding. Truly the best spot to watch the show. Sitting on the ground is not the best, but the cushions made it better and not having to stand while waiting for or watching the show was nice after a full day on our feet.

    We had previously seen the show at Hollywood Studios, but had heard that it was much better at Disneyland. I would definitely agree with this opinion. The location is much cooler, and the way they incorporate Tom Sawyer Island, the Mark Twain, and the Columbia into the show really takes it to the next level. I don't have too much more to say about the show itself, but will share some of my photos to give an idea of the view from the Blue Bayou reserved seating section. I highly recommend it. All of the action was literally right in front of us. My daughter loved it!

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    After the show, we were pretty cold and tired, so made our way out of the park as quickly as we could. Definitely grateful that we had such a short walk back to the hotel after another spectacular day at the happiest place on earth.

    Stay tuned for Chapter 12, where we take our first "field trip" of the vacation for a fun day and night at Knott's Berry Farm.

    Day 3 Statistics
    Parks visited: DL and DCA
    Rides: 22 (11 new, 11 repeats)
    Progress towards goal of riding every ride at DLR: 48/48 (we did it!)
    Miles walked (according to my Fitbit): 14.48
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 6:22 PM
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  19. Cloe Colton

    Cloe Colton DIS Veteran

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    That is super helpful! Thank you!!! I wish I could watch the MP availability before our trip but its my understanding that because I purchased our tickets with our package at the Disneyland Hotel I won't be able to view the availability until I get the tickets when checking in?

    The picture of you on the Incredicoaster is such a Mike Waszowski moment :rotfl:

    I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Blue Bayou! Thats definitely on my list to try, I wasn't planning on doing the Fantasmic package but from your pictures it does look pretty awesome compared to WDWs!
     
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  20. midnight star

    midnight star DIS Veteran

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    Download the app, and you can click on each ride, and see what times they are distributing fastpasses for. You can do this without the tickets.
     
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  21. Greg Lembrich

    Greg Lembrich Mouseketeer

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    @Cloe Colton , although MP will also allow you the option to pick up cancelled FPs that may have a quicker return time (if available), in general you will just be able to use it to obtain FPs for the return time window currently being distributed as of when you're selecting. @midnight star is correct that you can find out this information from the Disneyland app. In addition to checking current wait times, you can also check on any ride that offers FP to see for what time window that ride is currently distributing FPs. This requires clicking on each ride individually, but is a free way to get the information. Also, if you have a Disneyland Touring Plans subscription then you can get the current information for all rides in each park on one screen rather than having to click each ride individually. The DLR Lines app not only lists the current posted and expected wait times for each ride, but it also gives the current FP time being distributed for each ride with FP available. This is what I used for my planning to check what time each ride would generally run out on a given day and/or how long it usually took for return times in the evening to become available, etc.

    In short, you can scout likely MP availability without actually having MP. Just look at the FP return times on either the free DL app or the TP DL Lines app. This is what I used to build and guide my MP strategies.
     

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