48 Hours at Disneyland - It's Shocking How Much You Can Do! Solo at DLR May 2018 - FINAL Update 8/19

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by bellebookworm9, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

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    I always have lots of good stories and photos on Splash - this one was March 2015 in WDW. The woman next to me in the third row was riding with her husband and kid in the last row. She forewarned me that this ride scared the living daylights out of her and I'm pretty sure this was also her first time on the ride, but she had to go on to be brave for her child! :rotfl2:
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    :welcome:

    Please stay tuned for my ridiculous saga of bad luck with GRR to come the following day.
     
  2. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

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    "Together Forever" Fireworks - Day 1, Part 5 (Saturday, May 26th)
    This section is literally just going to be photos and videos from the fireworks, so enjoy!

    Waiting to see when exactly the show might begin, at 9:32pm.
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    Here we go, the castle changed colors to start the show at 9:40!
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    That is Buzz Lightyear flying around, the tiny little blob. Couldn't get a good picture no matter what I did!
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    Thankfully, I did have a great spot for the projections!
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    Inside Out colored fireworks!
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    Coco section:
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    This song is my jam:


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    That horrible moment in Toy Story 3 when they're about to be incinerated:
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    It's all good again!
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    The much-hyped Up house:
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    And I videoed the finale for you all:
     
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  4. BookTrout

    BookTrout Earning My Ears

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    I am enjoying your trip report! You are packing a whole lot of fun into a small amount of time and I'm impressed. I look forward to reading more...soon, please? Don't leave me hanging. I just told my husband I would like to take a solo Disneyland trip and I'm getting all kinds of excellent info from reading your TR. :yay:
     
  5. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

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    Fantasmic Part A - Day 1, Part 6 (Saturday, May 26th)

    I feel like maybe I've mentioned this in other trip reports, but I think Disneyland's crowd control procedures are outstanding. Why can't WDW be so organized? If you're going back into the park after the fireworks, stay to your right. If you're going out of the park in the opposite direction, stay to the right. It's sometimes a little slow going, but things keep moving, at least!

    Once I got through the logjam at Frontierland/New Orleans Square, it was smooth sailing. I hoped I would be able to find a bottle of soda to drink close to the dining package entrance but alas, everything over that way was already closed, so I backtracked to near New Orleans Square to find a cart there. While I was walking, I heard a girl ask a cast member "How do we get THOSE seats?!" pointing to the prime-viewing roped off area for the dining packages and Fastpasses. The cast member said, "Those seats are for people who reserved their seating first thing this morning". Go cast member!

    In thinking about it, the last time I actually saw any version of Fantasmic! in its entirety was back in May 2014 on my FIRST trip to Disneyland. August 2014 at WDW, too hot and tired. December 2014 WDW, skipped it in favor of Osborne Lights. March 2015 WDW, it got rained out (like POURED out, actually) so we got the "Fantasmic! Light" version of just the fireworks and finale music. September 2015 at DLR, we had dinner at River Belle Terrace, got the Fastpasses, asked for the later show...and then just pooped out. So, it was definitely time for another viewing!

    GUYS. THE VIEW WAS SO GOOD. It is my understanding that for the earlier showing, the three dining packages are segregated. Blue Bayou front and center; River Belle Terrace slightly to the right facing the stage, and Hungry Bear slightly to the left facing the stage. For the later viewing, there is no segregation, and all dining packages sit in the front and center area. I was in the third "row", seated, and first of all, there was A TON of room to spread out. Second of all, I have NEVER gotten photos this good in all my years of viewing (since 2007) at either WDW or DLR. I attribute this to three things: I've become a better photographer and learned more about my camera (even though it's just an iPhone), the camera on the iPhone itself has become better (I started out in 2007 with a disposable film roll, then a Nikon Point & Shoot, then various iPhone models (4S, 5S, SE, and now 8), and also this is HANDS DOWN the closest I've ever been to the action. I actually astonished myself with how GOOD some of these pictures are. Award winning? No. But so much better than the single photo of the water on fire I managed to capture 11 years ago.

    Anyway, on with the show:
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    And yes, I did conduct right along with Mickey during his opening dance, because how can you not?!
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    Pink Elephants on Parade:
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    Pirates of the Caribbean:
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    Princesses - I'm not sure if Jasmine & Aladdin on the Magic Carpet has randomly been retired or if Carpet just wasn't cooperating that night, but the portion was shown only through projections.
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    #WHYISBELLENOLONGERINTHISPART?!

    Villains:
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    "Now you will deal with ME and all the powers OF MY IMAGINATION!!!!" (If you say you didn't hear that in her raw-throat screaming voice, you're lying.)


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  6. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    I think the only way to get a good photo is to be in the very front and center! I’m hoping to do that sometime this summer, since I can afford to wait for a few hours!

    I know they have mechanical issues a lot. I think I’ve seen Fantasmic 3x since the change. I know once the carpet didn’t go up, so you had to strain to see them thru the water mist. The time I saw it when it worked was pretty cool!
     
  7. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    The pixar projections during the fireworks are so awesome! Great photos of that and Fantasmic!
     
  8. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

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    When I walked by the hub on my way to dinner...so around 6:45pm, there were already people camped out on blankets waiting for the fireworks. I will wait 90 minutes for World of Color, no questions asked. But three hours for anything? No way!
     
  9. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

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    Fantasmic! Part B – Day 1, Part 7 (Saturday, May 26th)

    On to the finale!
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    This moment with Pooh and Piglet hugging is just SO PRECIOUS!
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    Some imagination, huh?
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    Good night, Disneyland!
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    I was in the park for approximately 11.5 hours and I was absolutely beat so I decided to take the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) bus back to the resort. Pro tip: the last bus, at least for Route #9, leaves promptly at 11:30pm. It was a few minutes wait for the bus to arrive, but then it sat until precisely 11:30 before leaving.

    This wasn’t a particularly long ride, but there were a few people in line ahead of me when I arrived back at the hotel – remember, I still had to get my room number and my luggage! The room was assigned pretty quickly, and I did get my request for a top floor. However, the regular desk staff apparently doesn’t have access to wherever they store the luggage after a certain time, and security had to be radioed to get it. I don’t know where this security was coming from, but she took her sweet time getting to the hotel. In fact, the guy at the desk had to call her twice because she was taking so long. Finally, I got my bag and stumbled up to my room around 12am. I did manage to take photos of the room before collapsing from exhaustion.

    This was a king bed room. When I walked in, it was stifling hot so I kicked the A/C on – you can see in the photos it’s a wall unit above the vanity. The room wasn’t super large but it was totally sufficient for my two night stay.

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    There were PLENTY of outlets and USB hubs. They even had a specific USB hub port on the desk, plus in the base of the desk lamp, and I found an outlet near the bed to plug my phone in to.

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    Toiletries included two tiny shampoo bottles and one slightly larger conditioner. [​IMG]
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    Hand soap by the sink:
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    Close up of the coffee/tea selection:
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    There’s a little bakery/restaurant next door to the hotel called Coco’s, and they’ll do room service and pool side delivery during certain hours (I think 7am-11pm). The bed was hard as a rock, but the pillows were comfy, and I was so wiped out I slept like the dead anyway. I was so tired that I couldn’t figure out the shower. My shower at home, you just turn the handle and find the correct temperature. This one was like a pull/twist combo, but in my sleepy state I couldn’t figure out the pull part and I was so annoyed at the iffy water pressure. Plus the little pull-knob-thing to change from bath to shower wouldn’t quite pull all the way up, so there was a little stream of water running to the bath faucet the whole time, which didn’t help the water pressure situation. I made it work, although rinsing my hair was a pain in the butt. Oh – there was also no fan/exhaust system in the bathroom. They had the small window above the shower that was open when I got there, and apparently that was ventilation enough. Once I was all clean and de-sunscreened and could see the extent of my awkward sunburn on my arms from spots where I’d missed the sunscreen in the first place, I fell in to bed and was out like a light!


     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  10. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Oh back in the day we would wait at least 3 hrs for Fantasmic! Yup, we were part of the blanket city on Rivers of America. Usually we would have one adult stay there while other people went on rides and then switch off. And grabbed quick service food to have a mini picnic!
     
  11. RedHotMama

    RedHotMama Mouseketeer

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    I'm enjoying your trip report! What a fantastic day! I love your Fantasmic! photos.

    I was disappointed in the Disneyland popcorn, too.
     
  12. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

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    My first visit to Disneyland was before Fastpasses. I’m not positive if they even had the dinner packages back then (May 2014) but I think maybe they had the dessert party? Anyway, we laughed at all the people staying out their spots hours in advance for the first show. Then, after fireworks, we rolled right in to the second show and got pretty good seats (yup, sitting on the ground) towards the back of the seated section. Maybe it’s my imagination, but it looked like the ground facing the waterfront is less slanted now than it was back in those days.

    Thanks for reading! It’s not just Disneyland’s popcorn - it’s exactly the same at WDW. I’m attending the Disney After Hours event on my upcoming trip to WDW and it includes free bottled soft drinks (yay!), free ice cream novelties (great, since it will be over Labor Day weekend, as long as it’s something other than Mickey Premium Bars - I’ve never loved any kind of chocolate coated ice cream) and....womp womp womp: popcorn.
     
  13. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

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    I haven’t forgotten about this report, I promise! My lease is up at the end of this month and my apartment decided I wouldn’t be allowed to renew (long story) so I was apartment hunting and came upon a FABULOUS place that is bigger (spare bedroom I can use as an office space/cat room/store everything you can’t find a place for room + storage closet off back patio), includes a washer/dryer and dishwasher and microwave (which means I can donate my microwave to my office, where we desperately need a second one), is $100 cheaper than my current apartment (I’m telling you, this condo is a STEAL, especially in this town), and BEST OF ALL, the landlord knows I have three cats and is fine with it! No non-refundable pet fees, no monthly pet rent, and a slightly higher security deposit only because I have more than two!

    So anyway, the condo was empty. I went to an open house on June 30th, was in talks to be selected by the middle of the next week, and officially approved as the new tenant last Saturday. Plus, moving in early gives me LOTS of time to get the old place clean and ready for the next tenant. BUT that also meant I needed to move in about a week - the physicians at work all went to a conference for the weekend, so they weren’t in the office Friday, meaning I wasn’t needed, so I took the day off to move, in some really perfect timing.

    So we moved yesterday and we’re settling in. However, Comcast is being extraordinarily dumb and failing to meet their own deadlines to get my cable/internet transferred. So I have no internet. I *might* be able to use an Xfinity hotspot as WiFi but I’m currently using my cell data, which is less than ideal. Plus, my computer is still doing that random shutting down thing, and it gets especially touchy when I open disboards, Flickr, and YouTube at the same time. I have a printout of things to try and remedy this and I hope I’m able to do another installment tomorrow, because we have a day at California Adventure ahead of us!
     
  14. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Congrats on the new place!
     
  15. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

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    I Found a Cat, Because Of Course I Did, I'm Me! - Day 2, Part 1 (Sunday, May 27th)

    On Sunday morning, I had a breakfast" ticket" for 7-8am. They give these out to help with crowd control, but no one actually checks them. You can get different times for different days, just stop by the front desk the night before. It was still very crowded when I went down but there were some tables outside that were empty, so that's where I sat. I've had better breakfasts at other Best Westerns (in San Antonio, they had a waffle maker in the shape of Texas!) - this one didn't have fresh waffles at all. There was cold cereal, hot cereal, whole fruit, stuff to make breakfast sandwiches, danishes/bagels, juice, and (unlabeled and covered) french toast sticks. Since it wasn't obvious what the french toast sticks were, I didn't open the serving dish. I only found out the next day that this is a rotating hot item (the next day was pancakes).

    At the tables outside, this little cutie was begging for food. I think it was a girl, and she's super cute! I'm guessing she's one of the Disneyland "ferals" (not truly feral in this case, since she was totally NOT afraid of people) because she has an ear tip. She's a Snowshoe like my baby Gus, too!
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    Just like being at home, with cats begging for food! That was a nice surprise for the morning. I've recently discovered that some of the Disneyland cats have their own Instagram tags which is pretty funny. (You can find my cats @carly_gus_and_tinysir if you're interested!)

    DCA had Early Entry this morning for resort guests beginning at 8am but I figured I'd still arrive early and be at the front of the non-resort crowd for RSR. I took two videos of my walk to the park. The first one is from the hotel to security at Downtown Disney, and the second is after security up to the park entrance.



    I was in the park just after 8:30 and took some pictures of the Pixar-colored banners decorating Buena Vista Street.
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    As I was waiting with the group to be let further into the park, I was thrilled to discover that I could already make a Maxpass selection for Guardians of the Galaxy, despite the park not being "officially" open yet!

    9:03am, walking towards RSR.
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    How cute are these posters?!
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    In the single rider queue:
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    New shirt from the Target Mickey Mouse collection, my 60th Diamond Celebration ears from Etsy, and my super awkward sunburn from the previous day!
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    Yes, those ears were totally about to fly off my head!
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    I got the Luigi/new tire room yet again - in the multiple times I'd ridden it up to this point (I think this was ride #9 in my three trips, I'd gotten the Ramone paint job exactly once).

    My next stop was going to be Toy Story Mania, but alas, as I approached Paradise/Pixar Pier, there were CMs saying the ride was temporarily closed.

    By that point, my Guardians Maxpass was valid, so I backtracked through bug's land to the Fortress. As soon as I redeemed that one, I booked one for Soarin'.
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    I found Harold!
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    On the actual ride:
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    Whoops, too busy taking pictures!
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    I was initially skeptical about this transformation of the ride. I loved Tower of Terror, and I thought the mirror effect was particularly cool. But I LOVED this version! So much fun! I laugh-screamed so much my throat was sore. The music was great!

    Attempt #2 to get on TSM: the app said the wait was 5 minutes so it must have just come back up.

    This was a few days after those pictures of the broken World of Color platform had surfaced, so I made sure to get a photo and the platform looked to be in working condition to me.
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    By the time I made it down to the attraction, the wait time was up to 55 minutes (and yes, the app still said 5 minutes). No freaking way was I waiting that long! Back around the Pier to go ride something else....

    P.S. It's a miracle, I made it through this whole post with NO COMPUTER SHUT DOWNS!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  16. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great start to the day with RSR and Guardians!

    Those posters in Cars Land are soooo cute!
     
  17. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

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    "I Wish My Daughters Were As Brave As You!" - Day 2, Part 2 (Sunday, May 27th)

    When we left off, I was heading towards Grizzly Peak to use my Soarin' Maxpass (honestly, I'm getting a little fuzzy on when exactly I grabbed the Maxpasses for this day but I was basically constantly holding at least one at a time). Very sad they got rid of the single rider line with the update but I was curious to see the new version. I had watched the Epcot and DCA versions on Youtube and wasn't wowed but hoped it would be better in person.

    A few pictures around Grizzly River Run on my way to Soarin'.
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    I requested B1, of course! There was another family with a young child waiting as well. The wait with Maxpass and the extra time for that row was only about 15 minutes. Glad to see they kept Patrick around!
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    I managed to take a few photos while in "flight" and I'm impressed with how well they turned out.

    Neuschwanstein Castle, which I hope everyone knows inspired Cinderella Castle at WDW.
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    Taj Mahal
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    Slightly blurry Eiffel Tower
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    And the finale, flying over Disneyland, though no longer at Christmastime
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    I'm sorry to say, I still wasn't wowed. The original Soarin' was my absolute favorite attraction in either WDW or DLR (outside of World of Color and IllumiNations, which aren't attractions in my book). The soundtrack (which at least is still similar), the sights, the smells...it was perfect. I know Disney needs to update and keep things fresh, but I wish they could have upgraded the film quality for the old show and not totally redone it.

    When I exited the ride it was about 10:45 and I had some time before my 11:35 ADR at Wine Country Trattoria, so I headed back to Cars Land to take a spin on Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters.
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    I also took an on ride video. My apologies if this makes you nauseous - MOTION SICKNESS WARNING just from watching, it seems.


    I realize it may have been better to film the group ahead of me but it seemed like a good idea to film while riding at the time!

    My wait time was about 35 minutes and according to my time stamp, my ride began at 11:27 so I hustled to my lunch ADR as soon as I got off! There was a short line to check in and then a brief wait to be seated but I was at my table by 11:50am. I like that this restaurant takes your cell number and texts you when the table is ready rather than calling your name in the chaos of the waiting area.

    I had a lovely seat just at the edge of the shade on the terrace.
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    This was a Paint the Night package and also my first time eating table service in DCA.
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    They give you bread with olive oil here - I'm only slightly ashamed to say I ate the whole loaf.
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    I had the Italian Ensalata for my appetizer. It was good but I liked the salad from the day before better.
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    My entree was the Fettuccine Shrimp Alfredo which was outstanding and had a ton of shrimp!
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    For dessert I selected the Chocolate Panna Cotta.
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    And of course, my viewing ticket for the parade.
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    The couple at the table closest to me asked how my pasta was because the husband thought of ordering it but ended up choosing something else. We chatted for a little and they were surprised/impressed that I was visiting alone. They said their daughter was out in the park with a friend while they ate and wished she was adventurous or brave enough to visit by herself, which seemed like an innocent comment...except then at some point they also mentioned their daughter is 16. I'm not sure how old they thought I was?! I'm definitely NOT encouraging minors to visit the parks alone, and the only reason I do it is because I know them like the back of my hand.

    Anyway, my meal was spectacular. It was cheaper than River Belle Terrace, the atmosphere was relaxing, the food was amazing, the service wasn't as rushed/pushy, and even though I spent the same amount of time at both table services places, this one felt like it was much more leisurely.

    After lunch it was getting warm so I decided to visit Grizzly River Run before heading back to the hotel for a break. I attempted to ride via the single rider line.
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    As I got down to the platform, the ride stopped. So I waited, and waited. And then they said "The ride is closed temporarily" and sent everyone in all the lines away and took my single rider pass, so I gave up for the time being and decided I'd try again later. I walked back to the hotel for my afternoon break and enjoyed a nice nap for a few hours before heading back to the park in the late afternoon.
     
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  18. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    You got some great pics on Soarin! I'm sorry you were disappointed in the new version. I do miss the old one as well!

    Sounds like a great lunch!
     
  19. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

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    "Are Those Your Real Ears?" - Day 2, Part 3 (Sunday, May 27th)

    I had a nice long nap for several hours and then took the ART bus back to the park - I'm pretty sure I was the only person riding at that time!
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    This is the wait time sign they had posted at the entrance to Pixar Pier for TSM, so hopefully people didn't head all the way down to find it had a very long wait (like I did earlier).
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    Cove Bar had a crazy long line for the last few days that it was open in that incarnation.
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    Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats had just opened, so that also had an outrageous line. I wanted to try it but noooo way was I waiting 45 minutes (my estimate) for ice cream!
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    The construction walls were still up around the then-soon-to-be IncrediCoaster.
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    I was shootin' to win in no time with my Maxpass! I just compared this to my first rides back in 2010 at WDW and my scores have improved considerably since then (26,700 on my very first ride ever; 41,000 later that same day, and 54,900 immediately after that) but my accuracy continues to hover around 40-43%!
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    After I shot myself silly, I really did want some soft-serve ice cream and the only other place in DCA to get it is Cozy Cone Motel, so that was my next stop. The line there wasn't as long as Adorable Snowman, but it was winding through the chain and not. moving. After 5-10 minutes I gave up and decided to give Red's Apple Freeze a try. The family ahead of me ordered one, took a sip, and immediately tried to return it. I, on the other hand, thought it was pretty good, but definitely different!
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    The final showing for the day of Frozen was at 5pm and I did want to see it, so I hustled over to the Hyperion theater and snuck in just five minutes before showtime. Since I was solo, I was able to get a good center seat. There were seats for larger groups still open to the far sides. I was surprised I was able to bring my drink in, because I thought food/beverages weren't allowed. In fact, a small child brought her dish of ice cream in and promptly tripped and spilled it all over the carpeted stairs, hence why I thought it wasn't allowed in the first place...to prevent those incidents. Oh, well.

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    Let It Go
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    And the costume change!


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    In Summer
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    Super cute show overall but I think I liked the one on the Wonder a little better.

    I headed to Monsters Inc next because that's always a cute ride. I'm thinking it was about a 20 minute wait here?
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    Best of all, Roz talked to ME!


    I had a Maxpass for another ride on Guardians that was expiring soon, so back to the Fortress I went.
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    That poor girl in the back right corner was sobbing hysterically. I was in the back right, and once again I scream-laughed so loudly that my throat felt raw by the time I got off.

    I headed through a bug's land and got a great silhouette photo of Grizzly Peak.
    [​IMG]

    And one last photo of my favorite thing in bug's land. "bye" to you too, bug's land.
    [​IMG]

    Around the mountain past Soarin' to give Grizzly River Run another try.
    [​IMG]

    That photo was taken at 7:11pm...my next one was not until 7:51...that is an outrageous FOURTY (40) minutes I spent in line and riding GRR. The loading was slow, even via single rider. I boarded a completely full raft...and then we moved three feet along the platform and just SAT. THERE. I was SO uncomfortable. My hips were SCREAMING from being squashed and contorted. The CMs wouldn't even make eye contact and that horrid recording about staying seated, the ride should start moving again shortly just kept playing over and over and over. Finally, after the longest 10-20 minutes of my entire life, we continued on but I couldn't even enjoy it because I was in so much pain. And my poncho did nearly nothing to help keep me dry because the water came over the back, drenching my lower half and my shoes. UGGGHHHH.

    After exiting, I tossed the poncho, put on my long-sleeved shirt, and headed to Cars Land to buy souvenir #2 of the trip:
    [​IMG]

    I saw this back in 2014 before I even had cats and knew that I needed to buy it this time!
    The CM was having some trouble ringing me out and had to go find a manager or something, so in the meantime I caught the Cars Land lighting ceremony for the first time EVER. Yay!


    Then I was getting hungry so I ventured to Cozy Cone Motel to grab some Chili "Cone" Carne.
    [​IMG]

    I took it with me to the reserved viewing area for Paint the Night and sat down on the ground to chow down. It was really good! I'd never had one of the cone concoctions before.


    Paint the Night glow crown prep...sadly, this was just a little too small and wouldn't really stay on my head so I threw it out pretty quickly. It was like $5 at Walmart for a pack of 3 so no great loss. Now I know to add extenders for next time!
    [​IMG]

    Up next: Paint the Night - we're wrapping up soon because in 17 DAYS I'm headed back to WDW and I'm SO. EXCITED! I'll probably do a TR for that as well (going with my mom this time) so I'll post the link when that happens.
     
  20. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,548
    Lots of long lines in the park! But sounds like you were really productive!

    Wow that stinks about being stuck on GRR :(

    Cute crown! I'm sorry it didn't fit right!
     
  21. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    4,028
    The lines were long-ish but the park didn't feel crowded, so that was nice for sure! I just double checked touring plans, and for Saturday at Disneyland they had predicted crowds at 6/10, actually ended up as a 7. DCA on Sunday was predicted at 6 and ended up as an 8. I would honestly not have guessed that, I thought it would feel more crowded with those numbers.

    After the GRR experience I'm pondering whether I want to even attempt Kali River Rapids in a couple of weeks...but it's going to be HOT at WDW, I'm sure.
     

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