"She runs off of cotton candy!": A DLR TR April 2019

caylene44

Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
INTRODUCTIONS:

Hello all! I feel like full-blown TRs for Disneyland aren’t usually a thing but I’m already experiencing the post-Disney blues so here we are. Even if no one else reads this, I’m excited to have a way to record our trip and hold onto the magic a little while longer.

WHO:
DL Tomorrowland.jpg

From left to right:

First is me, Caylene, Disney obsessed and resident task master of all Disney trips. I’m extremely type A+ so I plan everything in excruciating detail. It just brings me immense joy to do the research and get the “perfect” plan all laid out. Luckily, I’m not too controlling so I will allow for some variation ;)

Next is my BF, J. He has been to DL a few times before but this was our first trip together. Ever since we met nearly 2 years ago, I’ve gushed about Disney and tried to get him on a trip with me (I’ve gone twice since we’ve been together). This trip meant a LOT to me as our first trip together so you’ll see where this caused some tension later…

In the middle is my younger sister, C. We went to DL every couple years growing up so we both LOVE Disney. Being in a family with only two kids, it’s always been a given that we were ride buddies (especially since our parents don’t ride everything). This trip was a little different not having it just the two of us.

Then my mom, J. She gets extreme motion sickness so there are only a handful of rides she can do. However, she still loves coming to Disney for the ambiance and entertainment.

Finally, my dad, C. My dad grew up in CA so he had been to DL many times before we ever went as a family. DL is pretty nostalgic for him so he enjoys coming as well. He is also retired military so we get the super discounted tickets through him (thanks, dad! :thumbsup2)

WHAT: A two-day trip to DLR. We actually had 3-day PHs but this trip was originally supposed to be my BF and I only. When the trip was first planned, we were going to get two single day tickets so our flights were scheduled to only give us two days in the park. You’ll see that this ended up being more than enough time…

WHEN: April 26th and 27th, 2019

WHERE: DLR (obviously) but we stayed at Grand Legacy at the Park.

WHY: Being obsessed with Disney, I’ve always dreamed about going for my birthday. My mom and sister have each been on their birthdays numerous times (summer birthdays always get the most fun). Having a spring break birthday, it’s never really been an option for me (too expensive and too crowded). My BF and I alternate years on picking vacations so 2019 is my year to choose (which is probably why we are going to DL and WDW in one year. Hehe :woohoo:). I REALLY wanted to go on my birthday but he convinced me to go at the end of April to somewhat avoid the spring break crowds. So originally this trip was for us two to go to DL together for the first time and celebrate my birthday. My parents decided about 1.5 months before the trip that they also wanted to come and impulsively booked flights/hotel…Yikes…. My BF was not very happy about having to share the trip with them but I’m pretty passive and didn’t have it in my heart to tell them they were overstepping. So, to compromise, he requested that we do some things on our own which I explained to my mom but you will see how well that worked out later on…
 

caylene44

Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
FIRST IN LINE…WHERE ARE ALL THE CROWDS?

Our journey to Disney was pretty uneventful. We took a 7:25 pm flight out of Seattle on Thursday night, which put us at SNA around 10 pm. It was quick Lyft ride to our hotel (definitely flying into SNA in the future). We grabbed some IHOP for a late dinner and got to bed around midnight…so 6 am came pretty early.

We left the hotel around 6:45 because we had the military salute tickets so we wanted to get to the ticket window to exchange them early…we were pleasantly surprised when we found out that the military salute tickets have changed. The printout you receive from the base is no longer a voucher but an actual ticket that gets traded in for the paper ticket. This means we were outside the gates exactly an hour before the 8 am park opening, we were first in line! There was a small crowd waiting outside DCA for MM and a small crowd behind us waiting for DL opening but definitely TINY compared to crowds I’ve seen in the past.

DL Gate.jpg

A family next to us was chosen to open the park and it was so cute to be at the front to watch them do it. Once we got our paper tickets and our pictures taken, we were through the gates. I added MaxPass to each of our tickets while we walked down Main Street towards Adventureland. Because it was about 10 minutes until official opening, we were staged outside Adventureland. It was slightly crowded due to the construction walls in the area. Once official RD happened, we booked it for Indy and were in the first ride vehicle! After this, we easily hopped onto Pirates, HM, BTMR, and got a FP for Roger Rabbit. We were done with these 5 rides by 9:20 am. This (coupled with the small crowds at opening) immediately prompted us to wonder where all the crowds were. This was record timing for us. After Roger Rabbit, we walked around Toontown to take pictures. One of my BF’s only requests was to hang out in Toontown, I guess it’s one of his favorite parts of the park. Weird for my family because we haven’t been in Toontown in YEARS. We got some good photo ops though:


DL Dog Pound.jpg
DL Toontown.jpg

After Toontown, we basically walked on to Pinocchio and Snow White. My family doesn’t remember riding either of these so it was a good refresher. We used our next FP for Space Mountain. Since my parents don’t ride this one, my BF and my sister used their FPs to ride it again. We were out of there by 10:30 am (making this 8 rides by 10:30 am) and wandered over to do lunch at Alien Pizza Planet. My BF is big into Pixar movies so this one was a must do for us. My parents were complaining about being tired at this point but refused to go back to the hotel to nap. This was a big theme over the course of the two days. They complained about a lot of things but never took our offers to do things they wanted to… o_O We spent some time locating cotton candy for my mom because she LOVES cotton candy. Once we found some, she was much happier and said she didn't feel tired anymore :rotfl:I proclaimed "she runs off of cotton candy!" After lunch, I HAD to get my Dole Whip fix so I mobile ordered and picked it up at the Tiki Juice Bar. Interesting that this cart is ONLY mobile order now, walk ups have to order at Tropical Hideaway. This was new to me.

DL Dole Whip.jpg

Once I had my Dole Whip in hand, we did some shopping down Main Street. I got my Starbucks Been There mug, which was a win. This was one of the only souvenirs I planned on purchasing and I was worried they would be sold out (there was a large supply so I think my fears were unfounded). We then hopped on DL railroad via the Main Street station and rode it all the way around the park. This is something we do every trip and it was a nice time to rest our feet. After the late night/early morning, my BF took a nap on the train ride. Once we pulled into the Main Street station, we all agreed we were tired and so we exited the park and headed back to the hotel for a nap.
 
  • Greg Lembrich

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2018
    Great TR so far. I look forward to reading about the rest of your adventures. My daughter and I were in Disneyland for a week earlier this month and I am planning to start my TR soon. We went during what was supposed to be the height of Spring Break, but were pleasantly surprised by how uncrowded the parks seemed.
     
  • caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    Loving it so far! Thank you for sharing!
    :welcome:

    And thank you for reading! There's always the mystery of whether people will actually read this and/or think the things you did were interesting. Haha.

    Great TR so far. I look forward to reading about the rest of your adventures. My daughter and I were in Disneyland for a week earlier this month and I am planning to start my TR soon. We went during what was supposed to be the height of Spring Break, but were pleasantly surprised by how uncrowded the parks seemed.
    :welcome:

    And awesome, I will look out for your TR then! I was amazed every time I saw people post that they were there during Spring Break time and didn't notice overwhelming crowds. Makes me a little sad I didn't try to go for my real birthday earlier this month but I feel like Spring Break crowds are such a gamble. How awesome you guys got to spend a week AND didn't have crowds :D
     

    Jason2015

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2016
    Good trip report. My wife and I flew down Friday and did Disneyland Friday evening. Got into the park at 5:30 and stayed till 11:30. It seemed busy but not crowded. Though the hoards of roving middle school students was something new.
     

    caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    Good trip report. My wife and I flew down Friday and did Disneyland Friday evening. Got into the park at 5:30 and stayed till 11:30. It seemed busy but not crowded. Though the hoards of roving middle school students was something new.
    Nice! Did you guys get a lot done in that timeframe?

    Definitely wasn’t as crowded as I’ve become accustomed to, which was a good surprise. I didn’t notice the middle school students until Saturday. Apparently there were a bunch of choirs there for some event. My sister saw them in the VIP sections at Fan Fest at DCA.
     

    caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    "WAIT…GOTG HAS DIFFERENT SONGS?"

    One thing I haven’t mentioned is my impression of Grand Legacy. I really liked the proximity of the hotel. However, I have stayed at Desert Inn before and that obviously has a slight edge in that regards. I expected a lot more of Grand Legacy based on pictures online. It has obviously been renovated but you can tell that it used to be a motel. I’m pretty low fuss in terms of accommodations so it didn’t bother me but I think the amenities don’t justify the higher price point over Desert Inn. With that said, it was nice to get a quick nap in and walk back to the parks within 5 minutes.

    We went over to DCA this time. I had made FPs for Incredicoaster while at the hotel so we walked over that way. Since my parents don’t ride, my BF and I used their FPs to go twice in a row. This was my first time since it changed over, I still enjoy the ride but I do miss Screamin’. We then went immediately to Guardians because I had stacked FPs during our nap. My BF was not a huge fan of this one (he’s never seen Guardians and doesn’t like that the ride is only drops) but he was a trooper. I personally love this ride, it’s so much more fun than ToT (which I thought I would NEVER say).

    Incredicoaster-min.jpg GOTG-min.jpg

    We could have used my family’s FPs to go twice but we were both pretty hungry and getting slightly nauseous after riding Incredicoaster twice and then going on GOTG right after. We ran over to Smokejumpers for a quick bite while my parents waited in line for the Frozen show. On the way there, I grabbed my other Been There mug so I could have the “set.” We made it back just in time to go up to our seats on the mezzanine. I thought the show was decent but was probably a one and done for me. The screens they have incorporated are AWESOME but I seriously miss Aladdin (which was a must do on every trip for us).

    My sister took a longer nap so she met up with us after Frozen. She rode GOTG 4 times in a row and Incredicoaster twice in the time we were in the show (single rider for the win!). Oddly, she got the same song every time she rode GOTG. Because it was her first time riding since it was ToT, she actually thought that was the only song until I told her there were different ones. She ended up riding it about 9 times in the trip and only got a different song once. I wonder what the odds are of that.

    My parents started talking about what they were going to do for dinner. My BF and I had reservations at CC, which was supposed to be part of doing our own things that I mentioned earlier. My mom was wanting to see if they could also get a reservation there for dinner…seriously? :confused: Luckily my sister talked them out of it based on the menu prices and they decided to go outside the park for dinner.

    We had a FP for RSR at 6:30, which seemed like more than enough time to get to Carthay Circle for a 7:10 reservation. However, when we got there, the FP line was severely backed up. The CMs started making announcements that the FP was overwhelmed and thanking people for their patience. What I’m assuming happened is that the ride went down in the morning (I noticed this in the app that morning) so people received anytime FPs and all decided to use them at once. We eventually got on the ride and unfortunately our car lost :sad1: For those counting, this makes 12 rides for my BF and I so far this day.


    RSR-min.jpg

    By the time we got off, it was a little after 7 so we started hustling over to CC because I HATE being late. We made it slightly after our reservation time but the CMs didn’t seem to mind.
     
    Last edited:
  • caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    MY OWN LITTLE BIT OF PIXIE DUST:

    We waited in the lounge for a few minutes before being ushered upstairs. The CM asked if we had dined there previously and we told her we hadn’t. She told us a little of the history of CC and that it used to be a theater where Snow White premiered. My BF said “wow, right here?!” The CM was a little flustered and said “well no… just pretend… it is modeled after the real theater though.” :rotfl2: I got a good laugh out of that. She told us that they tried to capture as many details of the original theater as possible. The lights in the restaurant were made from the same manufacturer as the lights in the original Carthay Circle Theater :eek: We were both in awe of the décor and ambiance in the restaurant. CC has been on my bucket list for a while so I was pinching myself to be there.

    DCA CC.jpg

    Our server, Julie, was AMAZING. She was so sweet and funny and we will definitely be recommending her to anyone else who dines there. We ordered a bottle of wine, the firecracker duck wings, and the filet mignon to share. I’m a baby when it comes to spicy things so I only tried a bite of the wings. My BF was in heaven though (he regularly orders 5-star pad thai and LOVES wings). He did say the heat isn't bad when you first bite into them but he could definitely feel it after wolfing down the entire plate of wings. As Julie was talking to the table next to us, my BF overheard her describing the cauliflower gratin as a cauliflower mac and cheese. We recently started the keto diet (which we broke big time on this trip. Oops :confused3) so we knew we had to try it. It ended up being our favorite part of the meal. SO creamy and delicious, we were obsessed and want to try to make it at home.

    CC Dinner.jpg

    Every single thing we had from the filet to the bottle of wine was superb. The service was impeccable and the setting made us feel like we weren’t even in a theme park. We are fortunate enough to eat at fine dining a couple of times a year and we were blown away by this experience. My BF said “we definitely need to come here on every trip.” Um, excuse me? See, my BF has complained about how obsessed with Disney I am and how often I talk about it. Over the course of the trip, he was more excited than I was and kept talking about "next time" several times :woohoo:
    For the finale, Julie brought me a complimentary dessert. As you can see from the pictures below, I was just a little excited… :lmao: It was DELICIOUS and so cute with the “C Happy Birthday” chocolate medallion. I’m pretty sure they do this for every guest having a birthday. However, for me, the way we were treated during this meal was serious pixie dust. I felt so special and cared about during the entire dinner. I’m so thankful we had Julie as our server, already sent an e-mail to Disney thanking her!

    CC 2.jpgDCA CC 2.jpg CC Dessert.jpg

    I think the worst part of this meal was the fact that we were going to the dessert party afterwards and accidentally stuffed ourselves. So much for trying to keep this meal light by sharing… :drinking1
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Following along! Your low crowds sound incredible! And that dessert looks amazing!
     

    midnight star

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2017
    I ate at Carthay restaurant this past weekend. It was amazing!! I've only done the lounge portion, and thought that was amazing. But after eating at the restaurant, I am going to have a hard time eating downstairs again.
     

    Jason2015

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2016
    Nice! Did you guys get a lot done in that timeframe?

    Definitely wasn’t as crowded as I’ve become accustomed to, which was a good surprise. I didn’t notice the middle school students until Saturday. Apparently there were a bunch of choirs there for some event. My sister saw them in the VIP sections at Fan Fest at DCA.
    We got in about 9 different rides and enjoyed the firework show back near It’s a small world. We’ve been enough that we didn’t rush around but used MaxPass to it’s max
     

    caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    Following along! Your low crowds sound incredible! And that dessert looks amazing!
    :welcome:

    It was SO good. We kind of overindulged on this trip because we've been on a low carb diet recently and this was a cheat weekend :drinking1

    I ate at Carthay restaurant this past weekend. It was amazing!! I've only done the lounge portion, and thought that was amazing. But after eating at the restaurant, I am going to have a hard time eating downstairs again.
    Yay, glad you enjoyed your meal as well! I've always wanted to do CC but never found the time or it was too crowded in the lounge.

    We got in about 9 different rides and enjoyed the firework show back near It’s a small world. We’ve been enough that we didn’t rush around but used MaxPass to it’s max
    WOW, that's impressive in that time frame!!! :thumbsup2 MaxPass is a really great addition for getting stuff done in the parks.

    Following along! I’m from the Seattle area too :)
    :welcome:

    Aw, so cool! It's always fun to "meet" on the boards! :-)
     

    caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    THE SWEETEST ENDING, SHUTTING DOWN BOTH PARKS:

    So thanks to the DIS, I discovered that WOC Dessert Party was a thing. In addition to CC, it felt like something special for just the two of us to do. I mentioned it to my mom in passing and she decided to book it for the three of them as well…ugh… No worries though, they were separate reservations so they could do their own thing and we could do ours…right?

    Near the end of dinner, my dad called and said they had somehow put our reservations together and we would be at the same table. Um, what? I was confused and asked how that was possible since we had separate reservations. My dad said they would fix it and hung up. From my sister later on, I was told that my parents had ASKED to put the reservations together. :mad: I didn’t mean to offend them but I had already explained to my mom that the dessert party was supposed to be a special thing for my BF and me. :confused3

    After dinner, we headed to the pier and got in line for the dessert party. We ended up chatting with the people behind us about the fact that the line was only marked out with tape on the ground. We joked that for the price of the dessert party, Disney can afford some stanchions. The couple behind us was super nice and even helped convince my BF that Disney cruises are the best. My BF has been on numerous cruises and has vehemently refused to do a Disney cruise. Now he’s warming up to the idea, so thank you if you guys are on the DIS and happen to read this!

    We originally accepted a table on the very far left (literally at the end). I made an offhand comment to my BF that we were supposed to be in a table as far right as possible (thanks again, DIS friends). He asked for us to be moved and we were told that we might have to share a table but we didn’t mind. We ended up getting a table with pretty much DEAD CENTER viewing.


    DCA Dessert Party 3.jpg

    For reference, this table was basically in line with the bar. I thought the location was amazing. We loved the Dessert Party, my BF even said we need to do it every time we go. :dogdance: I think it was worth it to have seats and the desserts were delicious. I would definitely recommend doing it at least once for the experience.

    DCA Dessert Party 2.jpg DCA Dessert Party.jpg

    After the party, DCA was officially closed. My parents decided to head back to the room because they were tired. They did not think the dessert party was all that but that’s not surprising (they are very hard to impress with meals, which is why I tried to warn my mom that they might want to do something else while we went to the dessert party...). My sister, my BF, and I decided to go close down DL. Because WOC was at 10 pm, it was after 10:30 pm at this point meaning we only had an hour and a half until DL closed at midnight.

    We were able to use MaxPass to grab a FP for Buzz followed by a FP for HM. We waited in line for a short while to ride Indy because it’s my sister’s favorite and she wanted to ride it again. The only problem is we were trying to make it to Space Mountain before official closing time. We got off Indy at 11:53 pm meaning we had 7 minutes to make it. We literally SPRINTED through the park and made it to Space at 11:58 pm. We were the last ride vehicle of the night! By this time, we had walked (and ran) over 11 miles that day, went on 16+ rides that day, and it was time to get back to the hotel to rest before another early morning.

    DL Firehouse.jpg
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    So super fun! I'm glad you worked out the dessert party table, and I feel like that last hour is the most exciting of the day sometimes if you can last that long!
     

    caylene44

    Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2015
    So super fun! I'm glad you worked out the dessert party table, and I feel like that last hour is the most exciting of the day sometimes if you can last that long!
    Yes, really glad that I'm obsessively on these boards reading, never would have known to ask if we could sit more to the right. Oh my gosh, I totally agree! The last hour is magical but, as you'll see when I write my next update, we were definitely paying for it the next morning :rotfl:
     

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