One Day Halloween Fling! - Trip Report Complete!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Jaina, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. Jaina

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

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    Trip Report Complete! Click here to read about how it went!

    You guys, how do you handle a trip you really can't plan? All I know is that October 23rd, which is a Monday, I am going to Disneyland! I don't know if I'm getting a park hopper, I don't know which rides we're going to go on (but probably more the "big kid" rides vs. the "little kid" ones.) I don't know where we're going to eat (sit down? counter service?). I don't know what the park hours are going to be, or what's going to be down (because it hasn't been posted yet).

    Things I do know:
    It will be super fun. There will be no kids, just me and two of my girlfriends (roommates from college that I stay in touch with and have been to Disney twice with. I actually kind of introduced them to Disney as adults back in 2005, which was fun.
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    But they both live in Anaheim, and currently have AP's (which I'm insanely jealous of, though not of the other expenses that come with living there) so I have no idea what they're going to want to do on a kid-free day. I know none of us want to blow a bunch of money, but will they be interested in Cafe Orleans maybe? (It's been years since I've had a Monte Cristo) Or will we just hit up the Little Red Wagon? My touring style is pretty gung-ho, but that's because we can usually only afford to go every few years, and I want to do it all. Do they want to see fireworks, if there are any? Will they be okay staying late, or will they be tired and want to go at 6 PM? Last time we went together wasn't really indicative, because we had babies and toddlers in tow, and they were both pregnant. But getting there an HOUR after rope drop and leaving at 6-ish was just a touch hard for me. :)
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    But I don't want to be the obsessed pushy one, you know? So I'm trying to stay calm and not ask questions about what we're going to want to do probably until I'm actually there in California with them... (about 3 days before we hit Disney). But it's driving me crazy!

    I would LOVE to do the Davy Crockett canoes, since I've never done them, and it seems less stressful without kids, but I'm thinking they won't be open on a Monday in October. Must-do's are Big Thunder (since it's possibly my favorite), the train (because I have missed it!), and the Matterhorn (since I haven't seen the new animatronics) and I could really live without Ghost Galaxy because I hate spooky stuff... If we park hop, I definitely want to ride Guardians, since I haven't. But I'm really pretty open, since we just went for 4 (intense, tiring, stressful, but great) days in November.

    So instead I'm doing my Disneyland-self-planning by trying to make some ears, which may or may not turn into a disaster... I'll let you know how it's going in a couple days!
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
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  2. Laurajland

    Laurajland Earning My Ears

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    I'm taking a girls trip with my two sisters that same weekend! :woohoo: I think our plan is to do DL on the 22nd and DCA on the 23rd, unless we decide to get park hoppers. I relate to being a gung-ho planner. Neither of my sisters have been to Disneyland, so luckily they're just gonna do what I say :laughing:Maybe I'll see you around :wave:
     
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  4. Jaina

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

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    Fun! I'll look forward to hearing how yours go! It would be awesome if I was just planning our day, but since they go more often now, I think they'll have opinions. :) I just hope I can get them to stay all day!

    Anyone have some good ideas for things three adults would enjoy that they might not have experienced, since they're usually there for just an afternoon or a few hours with toddlers/pre-schoolers? (That doesn't involve alcohol, since we don't drink, haha)
     
  5. Jaina

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

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    6 weeks out! My day is finally posted, so I know the hours! DL is 9-11 and CA is 9-8. The only ride refurbishments scheduled are It's a Small World and Goofy's Sky School. Nice! I'm getting excited!!! I stopped working on my ears because my husband "cleaned" them up, and I kept forgetting to ask him where they were. I hope I don't kill them... The ears I ordered on eBay to use as a base are not exactly what I hoped for or expected, so I've had to improvise. :) But they will be sparkly, and that counts for something!
     
  6. Laurajland

    Laurajland Earning My Ears

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    Oh no, where did you see IASW will be closed? I'll be so sad!
     
  7. Jaina

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

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    I saw on Disney's page. I think it must be going down for it's Holiday overlay, and the 23rd is the first day of it. Will you be there before then? I would be more sad if we were going with kids, but I'm fine with it for myself. I would be way more sad if Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was still going to be down though!
     
  8. Laurajland

    Laurajland Earning My Ears

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    Oh, I see it on Disney's website now, too! We'll be there the 22nd too, so I guess we'll have to hop over to DL to get a ride in before it goes down on the 23rd :) I would also be WAY more sad if Big Thunder was going to be down!
     
  9. macyprestonmom

    macyprestonmom Earning My Ears

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    I will be there Oct 22 and 23 with my daughter and her boyfriend. It's been 15yrs since I visited DL. I'm so excited to be going!! We've been the DW 11 times since 2009 so I'm looking forward to something different.
     
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  10. Jaina

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

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    So fun! I hope we have nice weather! (Anything that's not hot is "nice" to me, haha) And I hope even more most of the Utah friends (that are supposed to be there the many days before due to a school break) have already gone back home... ;-)
     
  11. Jaina

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

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    One day from tomorrow I fly out to Anaheim! (It's only about a 5-6 hour drive if traffic isn't bad, but my husband was less excited about me driving myself in all that crazy traffic. He has zero interest in being a single father to five small children. I'm flying Southwest and get in in the early afternoon. We are staying in the Hotel Pepper Tree in Anaheim For three nights so my friends can get a break from their kids too. We have a king patio and it's supposed to have a little kitchen and a heated pool. It's not expensive, but cozy and gets great reviews. We -are- getting park hoppers, so hopefully my friends will be up for a fun marathon day and not want to go home early. (Because they're used to just gong for a few hours or half days with their AP's). I'm super looking forward to it!
    My husband kept our 14-month-old overnight last weekend while I took the other 4 kids to a family event 3.5 hours away, and they both did fine, so that makes me feel more settled about leaving them. Actually, I wouldn't worry at all about leaving just her with him, but there's the whole 4 older kids issue that he has to keep track of too. He's the best for keeping them while I'm gone!!
    Also, I finished my ears. They took way too long to make, and I may end up with giant glitter embedded in my scalp, and they're nowhere near as stable as my "real" Minnie ears (should have used a different headband!) but they'll be cute for some pictures. :-) Also, the shirt I'm wearing.
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  12. Jaina

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

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    A few days ago it said it would be a high of 90º on Monday. Now it's a high of 99º. :sunny: What the heck, California? It absolutely loves to have heat waves when I visit... 2 of the last 3 trips have been during a heat wave with similar temps, and one was at the end of February! I need to find my cooling towel, and I'm going to need to pack a spray bottle around... blah. Maybe I can convince my friends to bring an umbrella stroller to stash all our extra stuff in. :smooth:
     
  13. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    So exciting! It was crazy hot when we went end of August too. Those cooling towels do help. We also carried collapsible water bottles that were light and even clipped to our shorts (via buckle) and of course the ice water from QS helps too.
    Have fun! So fun to go with friends!
     
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  14. Jaina

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

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    I found my cooling towel, packed my spray bottle (and peppermint oil!) and we will be pushing water. We also decided to do MaxPass, which I'm excited to try out, and excited to cut down on our walking back and forth in the heat. Thinking of going into the Grand Californian in the afternoon to eat at Whitewater Snacks and to enjoy the lobby's a/c for a bit. Neither of my friends have ever been in there. I just used the app to buy my ticket (even value, a one-day parkhopper with Maxpass is $$, of course... I've been saving my money, and I've been doing DietBet as I've lost the last 35 lbs to build up some cash reserves just for this purpose!) and my flight leaves tomorrow morning. So excited!!! Also, TouringPlans.com thinks Monday will be a 3/10. I doubt that, but I appreciate the vote for lower crowd possibilities!!
     
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  15. Jaina

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

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    I'm back!!
    Overview: Great, awesome weekend, and wonderful (if hot and busy) day at Disney on Monday, October 23rd! The crowds weren't bad, but the stand-by lines were decent. MaxPass was great!! I just know they're going to be raising the price though, especially when Star Wars starts. :P I'll go ahead and start my trip report in the next post!
     
  16. Jaina

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

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    Pre-Disney Trip Portion:

    Friday morning I arrived at Sky Harbor in Phoenix at about 9:45 AM. My flight wasn't supposed to be until 12, and ended up getting delayed until after 12:45, so I had some time to kill. It's the time that worked with my baby needing to get back and go down for a nap, though. My husband is really amazing, and I appreciate him being willing and able to take our 5 kids for 4 days without any issues. I know they're his kids, too, but I'm the one that is responsible for all their day-to-day stuff 90% of the time, so it's a bit of a stretch for him to tackle it for so many days (and nights!) I was so excited to be kid-free and embarking on a weekend of being with my friends! Definitely the least stressful trip I've taken since becoming a parent, especially since my husband had the kids instead of one of our parents or siblings. I really didn't have to worry about them at all.
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    I finally got into LAX, (it was definitely the best deal) got my bag, and got picked up at about 2:45 PM. It took us almost 1.5 hours to get from there to our hotel in Anaheim (The Hotel Pepper Tree). We waited there for a bit for our third friend, since the reservation was in her name, and then got checked in before we went in search of food. We ended up eating at Umami Burger in the packing district? It was very hipster there, and at about 35, and 6 pm, we felt a little old, haha. We all got the little trio sampler, and my friends both tried the "Impossible" burger, which is a meatless option. They regretted it, haha. It was very strange. My burgers were all quite tasty though, and we followed it up with a mint ice cream/chocolate cookie combo desert, which was just okay. But I haven't been eating dessert for months, so I thought it tasted great!
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    Our hotel was nice! I would recommend it to others, though I would be more likely to stay there just with my husband vs. with our whole family. It was on the quieter side, and in a bit of a sketchy neighborhood. It had a lot of charm though, the front desk staff was very friendly and helpful, and it suited our needs very well. We did the king courtyard room, with a king bed and a twin bed, which was perfect sleeping arrangements for 3 adults. The cute little attached courtyard was nice. It had a well-stocked kitchen (not food, but everything else) and a 3/4 size fridge, microwave, oven/burners, etc. We didn't use most of those, but we did leave a crock pot meal cooking all day Sunday and had everything we needed to eat that. The pool was cute and seemed warm, but we didn't end up having time to try it while there. The breakfast was at the restaurant in front, and was very continental, with toast, bagels, pastries, cereal, juice, etc. It was about 10-15 minutes from Disney and closer to Knott's, I think.
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    After dinner that first evening we mostly talked and visited before going to bed about 11. I think I got my first 8 hours of sleep in many, many weeks that night!
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    Saturday morning we slept in till around 7:30/8 and I went for a nice little walk (little mostly because re: sketchy neighborhood). There was a Pokemon Go event going on, so I caught lots of little ghost Pokemon for my 11-year-old son to be excited about when I got back, haha. We tried the breakfast. I already knew I was going to be eating carbs this trip (I mostly eat low carb, and have been losing weight doing that and intermittent fasting) but I preferred them to be dessert carbs, so I ordered some eggs and bacon from the restaurant. They were good, but priced about like most breakfast restaurants. We decided to check out the Target on Harbor that we'd heard had a lot of fun Disney-themed gear, and spent a good hour and half there. I got souvenirs for most of my kids, and we ended up finding shirts that we all liked that were super cute. So instead of my purple Mickey shirts and ears, I decided it would be fun to wear those instead. My friends were both getting Minnie ear visors too, so I got sucked into that, too. :) We also bought some fun spa-like treatments to use one of the evenings and bought some food for our crock pot dinner Sunday night.
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    After that we went -back- to our hotel to drop off the cold food, then found a BJ's Diner for lunch. We split two huge salads, and then two amazing pizookies. Best dessert of the trip. We were SO full afterwards, and it was about 2:30 PM by then.
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    After grabbing supplies at Sally's, we
    went to my friend's house in La Habra (her kids were all at her mom's, because her husband had gotten recalled) to get our hair done. Highlights and a trim for me, and blue streaks for my other friend. :) I skipped dinner and my friends both just had some little snacks. Lunch had been so filling!
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    When we finally got back to our room we watched "Just Like Heaven," and got to bed a little later than we should have...

    Sunday morning one of my friends and I joined her family for church, and our other friend put the roast in, then drove down to Sidecar Doughnuts and got us some amazing treats to try. She is a midwife and a patient recently brought them some of these. They were seriously amazing! After we changed, we headed back to the Newport Beach area and had lunch at Burger Lounge. After that we drove around for 20 minutes until we found some parking and hit the beach for a few hours. I usually like to get into the waves and do some boogie boarding, but the waves were really big and really unpredictable, so we stayed a little closer to shore this time. It was super nice there though, not too crowded where we were, and very relaxing!
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    We left earlier than we would have otherwise, because we had another old roommate driving up from the Palm Springs area to see us. I hadn't seen her in about 13 years (since my wedding), though I've talked to her a few times. It was so good to catch up! It was nice to have the roast too, so we could just keep visiting, and feed her before she headed back home.
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    When she headed back we ended up watching an old movie, "How to Steal a Million," and did some of our spa treatments. The aloe vera mask I picked was really goopy, and actually started burning my cheeks after just a few minutes, so I didn't leave it on long! I also did some little sock things on my feet, but they were bizarre. Oh well, it was entertaining, anyway! I tried to make sure we got to bed a little earlier, since I was hoping I could get them both up about 7 so we could more or less make rope drop the next morning. It wasn't until 9, but it's still hard to emphasize the importance of rope drop to a couple of AP's who have never been there at opening! ;-)
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  17. AusAnnie

    AusAnnie Mouseketeer

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    Looking forward to hearing about your Disney day!!
     
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  18. Jaina

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

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    Our Awesome Day at Disney (part one)

    My hair didn't get the memo that we were excited to go to Disney that morning. I was up tossing and turning a little bit after 5 am, because IT WAS A DISNEY DAY though I didn't get up until my alarm went off at 7.
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    So, with a day that was supposed to hit 105º and maybe still be busy from Utah stragglers, I really wanted to get there early. My friends made a valiant effort for me, and we were driving by about 7:20. We parked at the Toy Story lot and made it through decent security lines by about 8:45. I feel like they weren't really letting people in until about then this day, but I'm not sure. My take on the crowds for the day was that they weren't super high or super low. Higher than I expected for a Monday with high temps, but maybe not as bad as the crowds were most of our last trip, which was the week after Thanksgiving. (crowds were busy, but manageable then) My crowd-sense is pretty skewed with MaxPass increasing standby lines maybe, but making it really easy to manage if you used it. I was just thrilled to be there, though!!!
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    I had bought MaxPass with my 1-day park hopper, and the night before we had linked my two friends' AP's to my app, since I had plenty of battery back up for my phone and since I was the unofficial person in charge, haha. As soon as we got through the gate we paused and tried to add MaxPass to their passes for the day, but had to close and reload the app before it would work. We immediately got a FP for Space Mountain (return time about 9:45 I think?) and headed to Indiana Jones. One of my friends, despite having passes two different years in the not-so-distant past, had never ridden it! Seriously? We stopped in our trek to take pictures with Moana, since there was almost no line, and why not? :)
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    Indiana Jones was about a 10 minute standby wait and we breezed through most of the line until we had to pause in the instruction room. We were on pretty quickly though and had a fun ride. I enjoyed tickling the back of my friend's neck when we entered the bug corridor, and we had made a pact to both grab her legs from either side when the snake jumped out at us. Fun time, fun time. :) She was a good sport.
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    After that we wanted to try the Matterhorn, since none of us had been on it since they replaced Harold with the more active yeti effects. I forgot that one had FP, but we only waited about 10 minutes anyway. They hustled us to the Tomorrowland side, and I was too busy explaining MaxPass to a lady and her son behind me to notice at the moment. We were definitely planning on the Fantasyland side, since we are all getting old, haha! It was as rough as I remembered, though keeping forward away from the headrest helped. I definitely needed an adjustment from all of it when I got home! (my husband is a chiropractor :) ) But I got put in the very front, where I'm pretty sure I've never ridden before, and I did NOT enjoy being that close to the track, and to the yeti! One of my friends has video on her phone of me screaming WAY too loud, several times when we came across him. I don't like being scared or startled! I'm probably good on the Matterhorn for another 6-8 years until I forget how much I don't really enjoy it. :) It's the nostalgia factor!
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    Now it was time for our Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy fastpass, though it's hard to tell if the standby line was any faster or slower at that point. Ghost Galaxy was another one I wasn't eager to experience (because I don't like scary/spooky) but one of my friends was excited about it, and none of us had tried that overlay before. Yep, as soon as the first projection showed up, one friend and I just kept our eyes closed the rest of the ride (I tried to open them for the picture, because I knew when it was coming). No issues that way, but I enjoyed Hyperspace Mountain the most of the different "ways" I've experienced Space Mountain. The little girl in the front of our picture seems to feel similarly...
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    As soon as our Space Mountain FP was up we grabbed one for Guardians of the Galaxy, because we knew they can go fast, and that one was a must-do for us. We had hit 3 rides in the first hour, so at 10:15 we were ready for our first park-hop, after a quick pic with the pumpkin (sort of - we didn't want to stand in the line for the Photopass photographer) and a picture of Donald in his adorable pumpkin outfit. I would have waited in line for a picture with him, but it was like 10 families long, and we had places to be!
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  19. Jaina

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

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    Macyprestonmom and Lauajland, how were your trips?? (Other than super hot, hahaha!)
     
  20. Jaina

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

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    Our Awesome Day at Disney (part two)

    It was so fun to hop over to CA for the first time and see all the Halloween decor. I'm really not much of a Halloween person, actually. Fall leave and pumpkins, yes, but scary/spooky stuff not so much. But most of it was pretty darn cool! The overlay at the turnstiles with Oogie Boogie is cool, and we stopped just inside to get our first non-ride Photopass pics with the awesome headless horseman statue.
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    We continued on to Guardians, and I was getting pretty excited to try it. I've always liked the Tower of Terror, except the whole spooky aspect of it (my girls hated it on our last trip in November!) and I had heard mostly good things about Guardians. I haven't even seen the second movie yet, actually... But the ride was awesome. The unpredictable (for me) drop sequence was super fun, there was no spookiness, and with the music (We got "Hit Me With Your Best Shot") was super fun. I felt like there was less storyline and more party. I'm sure that's annoying for some people, but for me it was a good change! We hoped to make it on that one again that day if fastpasses were in our favor! We got in the fastpass line about 10:35 and they took our picture on the ride at 10:51.
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    We had already gotten another fastpass of course, and this time it was for Grizzly River Rapids, which neither of my AP friends had been on. I understand that they have little kids, but it's still crazy to me. So, I had brought ponchos for everyone (I didn't fancy walking around with wet underwear and like to have some plastic to protect my bag/electronics) and handed them out. But I hung back and let them enter the raft first, and they both opted to sit on either side of the opposite entrance. So I sat next to one friend and quietly smiled at not being near and entrance myself. :-D The opted to wrap the ponchos around their shoes since they were both wearing tennis shoes and socks. I was in Croc sandals so didn't have to worry about my feet getting wet. Well, they got absolutely soaked. Like so, so wet!! They were not impressed, and I laughed about it for a few hours! :-)
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    They were plenty wet, and our next fastpass they had wanted Radiator Springs Racers, since they go fast. It was 11:20 and our RSR FP's wouldn't be up until 2:25. We decided to stand in line for Screamin' to help them dry off (it was approaching the 100's by now). Probably the longest line we waited in that day, and it was about 25 minutes. I wasn't as wet as them, so I broke out my spray bottle with peppermint oil for that lines. Screamin' is not nearly as fun when it's hot and the middle of the day, but I liked the ride pic we got.
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    We were really warm now, and getting hungry, so we decided to head for our lunch pick: The (hopefully) calmer and much cooler weather of Whitewater Snacks over in the Grand Californian. I had been wanting to try their nachos for over a year now!

    Buuut we got distracted by the relatively short lines of Mickey's Silly Symphony Swings (no wait, but not nearly as fun also in the heat of the afternoon) and The Little Mermaid (yay A/C, and not much wait).
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    We finally made it over to the GC and ordered our nachos. We all got steak, haha! They were good. Not above-board amazing, but definitely good, and the calm and the A/C and the huge cups of water did not disappoint. We stayed there for over an hour, eating, drinking tons of water, and visiting, and booked our next fastpass: Soarin'. We had hit 8 rides in the first 3-ish hours before lunch. MaxPass was a huge hit for our little group that day!!
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    One friend had never been on Soarin' Over the World (do we sense a trend?) and the other had tried it once on a date night and they just had a blue screen the whole time, and didn't ever get to try it again. I think they both enjoyed it, and I always love Soarin,' though I do miss the original, and we didn't have awesome placement. And we ended up waiting quite a while (over 20 minutes) even in the FP line, which was stretched out all along the side of the-restaurant-formerly-known-as-the-Taste-Pilot-Grill.
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    By the time we got off, our RSR FP was up, so we headed for Carsland!
     
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  21. Laurajland

    Laurajland Earning My Ears

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    Our trip was great, other than the heat!! We ended up getting park hoppers and MaxPass and it made it SO easy! I think we maybe stood in 3 (short) standby lines and we rode everything we wanted to multiple times. We LOVED Guardians of the Galaxy! So fun and so much better than Tower of Terror!

    I’m enjoying reading your trip report! I wish I had thought to take notes. My memory isn’t that good :scratchin
     

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