8/14-8/15 trip report-1st time in Disneyland and all by myself!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by b5sgqueen, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

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    Hello all

    I had a work trip out to California and was close to Disney. Even though the sum total of my Disney experience was a WDW family trip when I was 10, I decided to try Disneyland for (a little under) 2 days while I was close for work.

    I am obsessive planner and spent a lot of time on these forums before I went so I thought it might be fun to post a trip report from someone with no experience who was flying solo and see what people thought.

    I hope you enjoy my report!
     
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  2. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

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    Trip Report-Stray Observations
    I wanted to start with some general observations about my time at Disney that don't really fit in a play-by-play but that I found interesting.
    Also, I have not posted on these forums before but I hope that won't make anyone take me less seriously or accuse me anything untoward. I honestly didn't know they existed until I started hunting for information.

    I think I was rather observant as I was on my own so did a lot of time just looking around at the park and here is what I came away with:
    • Unclean bathroom
      • The bathrooms always smelled, were always low on soap and towels and always had trash everywhere. It didn't matter the bathroom, time of day etc. I was really surprised by how bad it was at times.
    • Indifferent/Rude CMs
      • I know there was a thread a while back that people got into a heated discussion over someone's vacation being "ruined" by CMs. I can't say that my vacation was by any means ruined and I ran into some wonderful CMs, but I think that bad interactions will stick with you more than than the good ones. I found several CMs to be super indifferent. They shrugged when asked questions, didn't bother to answer, just pointed etc.
      • Additionally, one had her eyes closed and was seemingly napping when I went to pay for food at a check out and more than a few were rude, yelling at people who asked questions and generally getting angry. I'll outline with a little more detail in the main report, but it didn't leave a great impression on me.
    • Adults who didn't follow the rules/were just obnoxious.
      • I was prepared for bad kids everywhere, but, with the exception of two, found that children at Disney are happy and well-behaved. Adults, however, blatantly break rules and get angry when someone points this out to them. It was odd.
    • The amount of swearing
      • I am childless adult so it's not that I am squeamish about swearing, but I have nieces and lots of friends with children who I spend time with and babysit and I am conscious of my words(partially because they are always asking what words they haven't heard before mean). I know that children hear swearing from a variety of sources, I just am not one of the sources. Additionally, Disney-excluded, I just don't feel the need to swear in public, it's a courtesy thing for me. However, a surprisingly large amount of people did not share that sentiment with me and heard swearing all over the place. I can't imagine what a parent would explain in that situation.
    • Lack of photographers
      • I purchased maxpass for my (partial) second day in the park and knew about photopass. I saw photographers in front of the castle once and right by the entrance. That was it.
      • Also, when characters were around, their handlers did not want to take pictures of people with their cameras or there simply wasn't a handler to ask so for a solo person this meant pretty much no pictures of me.
    • Max pass is amazing!
      • I'll talk more in my main report, but maxpass was fantastic and really made the day I used it easier. I wished I had bout it the first day as well.
    • Adults who did little to no research before going to Disney
      • I get the feeling from these boards that most people on them are either Disney fans who keep up to date on news, know a lot about the park, or visit often and/or are pretty big planners who do a lot of research. I have traveled by myself internationally a fair number of times so I have a tendency to get as much information about a place as I can. The amount of people I ran into who had never heard of fastpass, had no idea how it worked, or simply could not get their heads around why their ticket didn't already have it was amazing. The reason maxpass may work so well is because I think there must not be that many(relatively speaking) people using it.
      • If I had a nickel for every time I heard "You mean you get wet on SM?".... There were a few times where I heard people talk about rides while in line who had no idea what they were or what they were in for. I was almost at the front of Pirates and three teenagers behind me said, "It's a boat ride? Forget it!" and left. Someone coming off the HM said "Well, I didn't expect ghosts." This is a mindset I just don't get.

    To put a little more context, I'm in my mid-thirties and did this trip partially because my partner has a conference at WDW in the Sping. I have been considering going because it would mean a free on-sight hotel room(no small amount), but would definitely be on my own because he has meetings all day and dinners at night. I wanted to see if I enjoyed Disneyland before committing to WDW.
     
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  4. BadPinkTink

    BadPinkTink DIS Veteran

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    hi fellow solo traveller :) I go to Disneyland California solo every June, really looking forward to seeing how you get on :)
     
  5. Jaina

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

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    Following along. I have been to Disney quite a bit, but look forward to a solo trip someday, as well as WDW (again? I went, but it was about 20 years ago, when I was a teen :) ). I'm sad to hear that your CM interactions weren't great! That's too bad!
     
  6. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

    Joined:
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    Day 1-Afternoon
    I took my inspiration from the easywdw blog where he times everything for people to see how it would work. I decided to try to track my entrance, wait times, and if the lines app was accurate because I'm a huge nerd who loves a project.

    I got from my airport to my hotel-Hotel Indigo around 1:45pm. Not an auspicious time to start a Disney trip.
    It was a few minutes for a room to be ready for me and then I spent some time pulling stuff from my bags, charging my phone, putting sunscreen on etc. I didn't really want to rush as I knew it was going to be hot.
    I knew I was going to get pretty hungry quickly though(I'm normally on CST) so I wanted to go to the park and get something.

    I left my hotel at 2:34pm and arrived at bag check at 2:45pm.
    I didn't walk super fast but if it got really hot or you had small children, this could be a long walk. Even then, though, as long as you paced yourself I think Hotel Indigo is a great choice for a hotel within walking distance.

    I was at the gate by 2:50, had my picture taken and went inside.

    It was surreal. Main street is amazing, but with all the people and everything going on, it was just incredible.

    In fact, the whole time, people were texting and calling me, asking how it was and I really just had no idea how to describe things, though the crowds ate into the magic.

    I did see the mouse himself:

    [​IMG]


    The wait seemed backed up so I kept going.


    I had been looking at the lines app(free for wait times) to see where fastpass return times were at. Stuff was showing pretty late return times so I decided not to add maxpass and just kind of go with the flow as it were. Using maxpass the next day showed me that I should have definitely purchased and used it.

    I headed toward adventureland and saw the dole whip stand. There was a huge line outside, but if you head to the left of the stand, the line was much shorter.
    I got a dolewhip float in good time and then headed to Indy and pulled a fastpass with a 7:10pm return.


    [​IMG]


    I then tried to find a place to sit and eat the float. This proved to be difficult and was the first of many indications as to how hard it can be to navigate the park if you have never been there and don't know the rules.
    I figured out the next day that I probably could have sat in the French Market Restaurant and I'm not sure anyone would have told me to move. I could also have gone to the Golden Horseshoe as well.
    I also thought you had to be completely finished with all food and beverage items before getting in LINE for a ride. I noticed a ton of people eating and drinking in lines and it was probably just you had to finish before you actually got on the ride itself(at least for something like pirates or BTMRR). Please feel free to tell me I'm wrong about this.


    I wandered in the area and managed to stumble on the Davy Crockett canoes which were actually pretty fun to try. The main issue I had was the child sitting behind me who kept splashing me and then tried to hit me with his paddle. That was less than pleasant.
    These were a workout but I'm afraid I didn't record my time.


    [​IMG]

    I am then embarrassed to say that I got lost looking for Pirates. I kept looking at the map and just couldn't figure it out. I later realized that I kept going over the bridge instead of alongside it where it is easily found.
    I got in line to meet Moana and the CM double checked that was what i wanted. I said no, I was looking for Pirates and she directed me.

    In Pirates line at 3:50.
    On boat at 4(lines app is accurate).
    Off at 4:13.

    [​IMG]

    What can you say about the classic ride? It's super cute and the drops at the beginning are surprisingly scary.
    The main issue were the people who kept taking flash photos who got angry when I told them to stop.
    They did eventually stop and I was in the last row of the boat which was pretty cool.

    I then wandered some more and ended up in Fantasyland where PP had an atrocious wait as usual.
    I got in the Pinnochio line at 4:29pm
    On ride at 4:36pm
    Off at 4:40pm

    That ride is actually kind of scary as an adult. Mock me if you will, but it's sad to see the donkeys wanting to go home, pleasure island is creepy and everything is weird in that middle part where you are alone and don't see any other riders.

    4:41 was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
    4:50 I was off the ride. Sorry, I forgot to note wait and ride time, but the ride is pretty short.
    I have rather found memories of this ride from WDW as a child and it did not disappoint(train scene is a freaky as ever).
    The queue is mostly outside with some, but not much shade which wasn't amazing, but I muddled through.

    I had also decided to try pin trading this time so at various points throughout I would stop in shops or where I saw pin boards to see what was on offer. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, just using it for what will ultimately be holiday presents. This was a lot more fun than I would have thought. I got a bunch of pins from an ebay seller(yes, I have read about the whole scrapper thing, but as most pins on the board are scrappers it seems like a waste to do it another way for pin trading). It was enjoyable and I would do it again as a nice little "extra."


    I was starting to get hungry but had made a reservation for Cafe Orleans in the Disneyland app for the only time available, 7:40pm, so I didn't want to fill up.
    I was soon to find a problem with the reservation that almost scuttled all of dinner.....
    (ok, that's not too much of a cliff hanger, but still)
     
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  7. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

    Joined:
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    Day 1-Evening

    So I realized that my pics are bury. My apologies, I am most definitely not a photographer.

    5:12-Jungle cruise line
    5:15-on boat
    5:23-off

    [​IMG]


    I was at the back of the boat and it was incredibly hard to hear anything. I caught a few snippets but just didn't get much. I meant to get back on again another time but didn't manage it.
    I will also say as I was getting off, two women next to me said that she felt like the jokes were stale and that the skipper wasn't "playing to the audience" as if it was stand-up or something. It was just odd.

    5:35-pulled HM fast pass
    5:38 stretching room
    5:46-on
    5:54 off

    The FP line for HM is cool in that you are closer to some of the gravestones and can read them better.
    This was also the place where a person in the regular line tried to hop into the FP line behind me. I said, "this is the fastpass line" and he just shrugged, but some people in the regular line started whispering and he got back into that line. I guess it would never occur to me to do this and it was odd seeing someone else do it which is why I said such a matter of fact thing. I didn't do it with any attitude, just a pure fact-like thing. I understand that no one wants to stand in line, but I would bet if he had seen someone else do it, he would have started yelling.

    This ride on the HM had several stops. One of the reasons it took 8 minutes to get on was because the ride had stopped to load some people from the wheelchair entrance.
    It then stopped several more times in ride. Once was right in front of the hatbox ghost which was neat because I got to watch the effect for something like 45 seconds.

    This was also the place, where, when getting off, I nearly mowed down a child by accident.
    When you step off and then leave, you go on that moving walk way through the tunnel that is slightly uphill. There was child in front of me, I would guess 7 or 8 who kept stopping short on the walkway while I was behind him. His father was next to him so I couldn't get around and there were people behind me so I couldn't hang back. He then decided to stop short at the very end of the walkway and I ran into him. I did my best to catch myself to stop a larger problem but we were bunched up in there. His mother and father were angry and said some stuff about me. I know he was just being a kid, but what he was doing had the consequence that he got ran into, I'm not sure what else I could have one, but any parents out there feel free to let me know.

    It was at this point that I was super hungry. I went to Cafe Orleans to see if my reservation could be moved up. They said they could get me in in about half an hour, but they couldn't find my reservation. Despite me remembering I made it and having to confirm with a credit card neither they nor me could find record of it. They were very gracious and said that this happened often. I don't know if that is true or they were being polite, but it seemed like there were problems with other people's reservations as well.

    They had already been turning people away without reservations so I thanked them for their time and said I knew they wouldn't be able to get me in. They asked me to wait and went to check with someone. The CM came back and said since it was just me they could seat me in 30 minutes. She took my phone number and told me to stay close.

    This left me with a dilemma as I had an Indy FP that would expire at 7:15. It was 6:15 at the moment, but I had never done Indy so I wasn't sure how long it took and I wasn't sure if the 30 minutes was a hard number or more of a within 30 thirty minutes directive. So I decided not to risk Indy and instead looked through the shops that were close by and tried some pin trading. I found a cool dress shop with some interesting, but expensive(though isn't everything at Disney expensive) stuff, but, ultimately, didn't buy anything.

    I also say some people being buzzed into Club 33 and tried to think of a reason I could force my way in, but nothing came to mind. ;)

    I ran out of stuff to do and went to sit on the benches across from Cafe Orleans and saw that my phone was way down on battery so I hooked it up to a powerbank. This was, by far, the best tip I had before coming to Disney. I used the app so much and it just drained my battery like crazy that I had to try to look for times to get it to charge. For some reason my phone does not like to charge while I am in motion so I had to plug in while I was sitting or on rides like Pirates or IASW that didn't really jostle that much.

    Ironically, as I was doing this, a man came up to the hosts of Cafe Orleans and asked where he could plug his phone in. They said there wasn't a place for him to do that but there were powerbank lockers available on Main Street. He didn't seem to get it. He just kept asking where an outlet was before huffing away in frustration. After that, I actually tried to keep an eye out for outlets and didn't see any. I can see how someone wouldn't necessarily think about that while planning a trip and not know what to do.

    At exactly 30 minutes after they said it would be 30 minutes, I got a text and then was called for the cafe. I was seated outside where people watching was plentiful.
     
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  8. Amw1064

    Amw1064 DIS Veteran

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    Loving your trip report. We did our first trip to Disneyland back in June after hundreds of visits over a life time to WDW. Funny you mention the bathrooms because that is something we noticed right away. Fortunately the only cast members we spoke with were super friendly and helpful except for the ones lining the streets at CA Adventure for Paint the Night. If ever in need, there are a few outlets in Launch Bay under some of the benches in there. I was waiting for family on one of the benches and a group of teens seemed to know exactly where it was as they all sat and charged their phones. (they were very friendly about it)
     
  9. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

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    Thanks so much!
    I'm glad I'm not the only one on the bathrooms and that it wasn't in my head.
    I'm also glad that you had great interactions with CM's. Mine weren't all terrible, just more mixed than anything.
    Great tip about the phone outlets! I didn't even think to look.
     
  10. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

    Joined:
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    Day 1-More Evening

    I was lucky enough to get a great outside table at Cafe Orleans.
    I plugged my phone into a power bank and looked at the menu. The waitress was super sweet when she came to take my order and asked if I needed more time, but I knew what I wanted-The Monte Cristo!
    I also asked if I could get a half order of fries(the orders at other tables were huge!). She apologetically told me that they couldn't do that.

    It took a bit to get the water I asked for but when I did I drank a ton. I was way thirstier than I thought and had obviously not been keeping hydrated. This surprised me as I have traveled in developing countries a fair amount under very hot conditions and am a fiend about drinking water. I think, maybe, being in Disney I just didn't think about it as much and thereby didn't "make" myself drink. I realized that I hadn't even finished off the water bottle I had brought with me and resolved to be better at this.

    My sandwich came out fairly quickly, faster than food for other tables that had ordered before me. I'm guessing since I was by myself it moved faster than usual.
    The hype is not without merit. The sandwich is amazing.
    [​IMG]


    The filing is salty but it's nicely balanced by the breading and powdered sugar. The fruit sauce on the side just makes it even better.
    I couldn't finish it but managed about 2/3rds of it.
    It wasn't cheap at $21 plus tax and tip, but I also realized that if I had been with someone else we could have added an order of fires and both been full. Disney may charge a lot for the sit-down meals, but it seemed like they also gave you a lot of food which helped to balance out the cost for a group.
    If I ever go again with people, I will make sure that there is copious sharing.

    I do regret two things. I didn't order a julep or the beignets. My intention was to get beignets the next morning for breakfast and the julep at some point but it just didn't happen. I guess the lesson is, if you're short on time at Disney, go for it!

    I thought I wouldn't be able to use my Indy FP, but I got my food so fast that I was done by just after 7. I figured I'd hoof it over to Indy and try to use the FP(I now know that FP's can be used for a bit after the window so I didn't need to hurry).

    I scanned the FP at 7:13pm. I was worried about a jerky ride as I had had so much food, but it actually took awhile to get on the ride. I wasn't on until 7:35pm and it would have taken longer had I been with a group. The CM was asking for two people and I called out 1(I was at the top of the stairs where you do down into loading, at least 25 people back) and he motioned me forward. I would realize the next day when I did the single rider option, that, at this moment there weren't any single riders so it worked out well.

    I didn't record how long it took on the ride, but I very much enjoyed it(though it was bit jerky).

    At 8:05 I went over to BTMRR and grabbed an instant-return FP. I was off the ride by 8:16pm.

    Here's where things went a bit wonky. My original plan was to do a Fantasmic dining package to get the FP as I knew I would get to the park too late to get one. The two sit-downs options seemed a little expensive and Hungry Bear's menu wasn't amazing. I had done some research and it seemed like the second showing was slightly easier to see without a FP and tons of waiting so my general plan was to try to get a spot at IASW for the fireworks, try to get on a ride in Fantasyland and then head over for the 10:30 Fantasmic. Oh, but the best laid plans of mice and men...

    I was yawning a great deal after BTMRR and feeling rather tired. I wasn't really sure what the best course of action. Between travel and jet lag, I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I really just wandered awhile, looking in places on main street and trying to decide what to do, should I just go back to the hotel, try to stick it out? And here's where I really messed up.
    I had read that getting a spot for a single person at the first Fantasmic might work ok because you could worm your way in. I figured I would try, but wanted a snack. For some reason I was by Main Street and got a churro. I then saw that the Railroad was loading and figured I'd hop on ride a full loop back and then walk over to New Orleans. It was 8:40. Can you spot my mistake?

    It took awhile to load and there were some rude CMs yelling at people who were just trying to sit and settle in and eat my churro. We got to New Orleans Square and the area seemed really busy but I figured people were lining up early for Fantasmic, which at that moment I though started at 9:30. Why? I blame jet lag. We were halfway to Toontown when I pulled out the guide that gives times for everything when I saw that Fantasmic started at 9. I thought about getting off and trying to get over there at the Toontown stop, but I just didn't think I could make it.

    I finished my churro and made the loop to Mainstreet where the CMs rudely hustled people off and on. I thought about staying for the fireworks but was having trouble keeping my eyes open and saw how crowded it was. My original plan, had I been correct, wouldn't have even worked because I'm not sure I could have fought through the crowd on Main Street. I headed out.

    However, while I was walking to my hotel, fireworks started. I had a pretty good view of them from the street. Of course, I didn't see the projections, but it was a nice ending to the day. I got back, took a shower and passed out.

    Here's what I accomplished in this partial day:
    1. Dole Whip Float
    2. Pirates
    3. Pinnochio
    4. MTWR
    5. Jungle Cruise
    6. Haunted Mansion
    7.Cafe Orleans
    8. Indy
    9. BTMRR
    10. Churro
    11. Railroad

    Honestly, I felt a little under accomplished. I thought I could get way more done, but I realized that the same thing happened to me when I visited Universal Studios a few years back. That first day is just really hard to get your bearings and figure out what to do when. It's almost like you need to build a day in to acclimate to the park. I can't imagine how it would work at WDW with 4 parks and if you could ever really figure it out with a few days of vacation.I'm glad I didn't park hop to CA because that probably would have made things worse.

    It's hard to describe, but I was on the back foot all day, trying to catch up and figure out what I should be doing, which does not often happen when I travel. I think maybe I was trying so hard to figure things out and wretch every bit of fun out of this and do as much as possible that I lost some ability to enjoy. Please tell me if I am way off here and I would love advice to not have this happen in WDW if I can go in Spring. It's so expensive that adding a "I don't know what I'm doing day" seems really wasteful.
     
  11. Amw1064

    Amw1064 DIS Veteran

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    That is how we felt the first day. The "I don't know what we are doing" feeling. Disneyland is so different than WDW and it just totally through us all off.
     
  12. Erin M

    Erin M Mouseketeer

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    I think you did pretty great considering you were figuring it out alone and getting the lay of the land. I have felt the way you did on more than one trip to WDW because I just can't feel the layout like I can at DL. It takes a bit to get your bearings. And you didn't even have a full day! I think what really helps me, and people I have been with, is to spend time with a paper map in the weeks leading up to your trip. That sounds silly considering how great the app is, but on that paper map you can trace your finger along your paths, plot the rides, and get an idea for the flow of things. Sometimes people will send maps here on this board, but I have also gotten them on ebay. I'm a bit of a planner too...it's part of the fun.

    Can't wait to see what Day 2 was like!
     
  13. Jaina

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

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    I am loving reading through this, but the pictures aren't showing up for me. Anyone else have trouble?
     
  14. Amw1064

    Amw1064 DIS Veteran

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    No pics for me either.
     
  15. Eve & Wall-e

    Eve & Wall-e Mouseketeer

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    I'm enjoying the trip report as well, but I'm not seeing the photos
     
  16. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the tips on what I will call the "first day feeling." Maybe I will try to get a paper map for WDW(if I go, some drama with conference stuff that may prevent it) and try to familiarize myself or maybe I will just have to assume that the first day will be a throw-away. At Disneyland it isn't as horrible but with 4 parks at WDW, I hope that it won't be bad.

    I'm sorry about the pictures issue. I'm not sure what's going on with that because everything is looking fine from my end. If anyone has a suggestion as to how to post them, I would be happy to hear it!
     
  17. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

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    Day 2-Morning
    Day 2 started off relatively easy as I was jetlagged and got up earlier that I would have locally so I didn't have to drag myself out of bed early. I left the hotel around 7:30am with the park opening at 9. I wasn't super hungry and had a vague plan to go to the jazz kitchen for beignets.
    It took about 15 minutes to get from the hotel to the bag check and then I headed for downtown Disney. It was empty except for restaurants which were a mad house. I found jamba juice relatively empty and decided to just do a starbucks sandwich ordered on my phone and try to be "relatively" healthy(feel free to debate the relative merits of a starbucks sandwich to some beignets, I know they're not great.
    I ordered the sandwich on my phone while waiting for my smoothie and it was good to go when I walked in. Much better than waiting in line with people. I highly recommend you download the Starbucks app and do mobile ordering if going this route.

    [​IMG]


    I headed back to the front gate and was there around 8:15. There were hundreds of people. I got in a line about 40 people back. When they actually started letting people in, that line got held up and tried to dodge into another line that got held up. Tons of people didn't have tickets, or, worse, had them, but didn't have them ready to scan. What?! How were you planning on getting in.

    [​IMG]

    They let us in around 8:30 and I went left to guest services to ask about the Lilly Belle train car(having read the forums I knew of this) and was told it was only available if you booked a tour that included it. Sadness.

    I then headed down Main Street and saw a bunch of people deciding this was a great time to get pics, go souvenir shopping etc. I guess I'm too much of a planner because I knew what rope drop meant and headed straight for the rope. I was a row back from the people at the rope at 8:41am. This was the scene behind me by 8:50am.
    [​IMG]


    Given the way they were talking, they were all Disney vets. However, when they dropped the rope, they all ran toward PP, actually running with no CM's saying a thing. Then, when we got to PP, they tried to force people who were further back in line in their group up forward. I didn't argue because they were quick about it.

    At 9:02am I was in the 4th car for PP and took absolutely awful pictures. The CM loading cars was also so actively disinterested, it seemed weird. She didn't say anything except to yell No at people and just sort of waived us in. When I got off, the line snaked waaaaay back. I didn't check the wait time but it had to be at 25 minutes even then.


    I walked to MTWR and was in line at 9:07am, on the ride at 9:11, off at 9:14am. I even got Toad's car!
    [​IMG]


    I headed over to BTMRR because the wait times were listed at something like 5 minutes, but it was a bit more, probably because they were only using one track.
    I was in line at 9:17am and off at 9:35am.
    Because I was by myself I got put next to an older woman and asked her if she wanted the car to herself as I was happy to wait until the next ride. She said I was welcome to join her and we chatted a bit as she was an AP holder who decided to come for a few hours that day just because she could. Living in Southern California must be great for this!
    She also pointed out that you get a great view of Star Wars land from the peak of the ride and it is awesome!


    During my time in line for rope drop, I had loaded Max Pass. This took a bit as the Disney app seemed to have issues with my credit card, but I eventually got it working and booked a FP for STar Tours starting at 9:45am. I decided to go with that one first as from the previous day it looked like the FP went quickly.
    I headed over there and scanned in at 9:49am.

    The gap in time is because I met a custodian who had a bunch of pins that I traded with-she was super nice and excited to trade, and, when I went to tomorrowland, I tried to use the SM single rider line which does not exsist that early in the morning.
    I had seen a lot of competing info on whether or not there was a single ride for SM and the CM at the exit told me it doesn't open until later in the day when they have more people available so it may be that some people just didn't come at the right time for it.

    I actually had to wait in the line to scan the Star Tours FP for a bit because there were several people who:
    1)didn't have a Star Tours FP
    2) had a FP to a different ride and thought they could use it anywhere(whether they did this to try to knowingly buck the rules or because they didn't know I'm not sure)
    3)thought their tickets already came pre-loaded with FPs
    4) saw a shorter line and figured they could just get in it

    This goes back to my stray observations that there just seemed to be a lot of people who do not do research before coming. I feel like they left a lot on the table that way. Even if you didn't want to get Max Pass, you could still pull some FPs, even if you only did it as you walked around the park at random.

    I got in line and the area where you wait with C3PO and R2-D2 is awesome. I would post a pic but they all came out blury. There are tons of details and, if you are a fan, you will find a lot of cool stuff that others may not notice.
    I waited in the FP line while the CMs let several standby guests on. I saw this happen at a number of lines, FP holders told to wait while the standby feeds in. Is that normal? It wasn't horrible or anything like that, just surprising.

    I took the time while waiting to make a FP reservation for Buzz Lightyear. That was the awesome think about Max Pass. You scan it and then jump on your phone for the next ride.

    I was on Star Tours at 9:55am and off by 10:05am.

    I saw some Imperial Guards wandering around which was pretty cool, but no one was there that I could ask to take a pic.

    [​IMG]


    I scanned my FP at Buzz at 10:10. I had to wait for some standby guests and then as the person in front of me explained to the CM at the FP merge point that his family members were in the standby line so could he bring them forward. She was polite, but said no. She told him he could wait there and he continued to speak with her and she waved me in.

    I had never been on this ride before(obviously), but the wait seemed abnormally long and I got stuck in the room with Buzz, not moving at all for a bit. I made a FP for Indy starting at 10:45am. I think something must have broken down, but I was on at 10:19 and off at 10:29. There was a stop where I was perfectly positioned at kept blasting away at a target. I really liked this ride, much more than I thought.

    I then wandered to Main Street and got on the double decker bus with one of the rudest CMs I've ever seen. He yelled through boarding, while we were on and getting off. When we got off, a small child who had been on the ride wanted to go again, back the other way and the CM told them no, other people had to get on. There were NO people waiting in line for it. It was very unpleasant, but riding the bus was really cool, and, through main street, made me feel like I was in the musical "Meet Me in St. Louis." These obviously get overlooked but I think they're great and wish I could have done all 4.
    Incidentally, I was on at 10:34 and off at 10:43.

    I headed to Indy, scanned my FP at 10:45, was on the car at 11:02 and off at 11:10am.

    I then went to the HM and grabbed a FP for immediate return and was in the stretching room by 11:16am. It took until 11:22am to get on the buggy because of the amount of people in front of me and a few stops to get people with wheelchairs on. The ride also stopped twice for a period of time and I was off at 11:31am.

    I had gotten a FP for BTMRR while in line at HM and when there at 11:36am. I did not keep track of timing at this point. I had actually walked to Winnie the Pooh to ride that as the lines app was saying it was only a 5 minute wait. It was posted as 60 minutes at the entrance so I passed. I spoke with the woman in front of me in the BTMRR line and she had just come from there with a 5 minutes wait so I'm not sure what happened.

    I then had to go back to my hotel and check out. I probably should have done that in the morning but I thought I would want to come back and rest for a bit(I had a 1pm check out). Instead, I made a dash for the hotel. It turned out to not be too bad as I plugged in my phone, refilled water and washed up. I then checked out, left me bags and headed back to the park.

    The other thing to mention is that Max Pass became a double-edged sword. Matterhorn was down and I wasn't going to ride Splash because I hate water rides so I was already limited, and, instead of waiting in line for stuff, I saw I could get a FP through Max Pass and just went with it, even if I had already ridden stuff. At one point, I got in line for Alice, with a 20 minute wait and then just left because I could get elsewhere quicker. I regret not just sticking it out for certain rides to actually ride them.

    Morning tally:
    1. Peter Pan
    2. MTWR
    3. BTMRR
    4. Star Tours
    5. Buzz
    6.Main Street vehicle
    7. Indy
    8. HM
    9. BTMRR

    I wanted to do "nine by noon" as I heard people say and I did, but still felt under accomplished. I picked 9 thinking I would blow by that number, but it just didn't happen.

    Next up, Day 2 afternoon where Toontown goes down...
     
    Jaina likes this.
  18. BWCSH

    BWCSH Once and Future Disney Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    About the upkeep...sounds like DLR is back to the bad old days. Prior to 2005, it was known for being dirty and run down. They did a huge refurb and made big efforts to have the magic back for the big anniversary. Sounds as if that didn't stick! Did you notice whether the railings were being kept painted, plants looked fresh, etc? I don't see a vacation this year, but if I can pull one off sometime in the near future, this thing would make a huge difference in whether I plan to go to DLR or WDW!
     
  19. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    I did not notice anything amiss with rails, plants etc., but I will say I wasn't looking for that. Since they did not catch my eye, I would say that they probably were ok, but the bathrooms were just disgusting.

    Thanks to everyone who is following along.
     
  20. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Day 2-Afternoon
    I quickly headed out and went to the hotel to check out. I was kind of upset I didn't check out that morning, but I wasn't sure if I would want to come back and rest. I didn't, but it turned out to be a nice, albeit, short break where I plugged my phone in, refilled my water and was just in air con for a few minutes. I had requested a late checkout, but, even as a platinum, they could only do 1 at the very latest and asked if I could leave earlier to do so as they were fully booked.

    I checked out around 1 and headed back. I first went to the Disney dress shop in downtown Disney and really liked it. The dresses are really cool, and, while some scream Disney, most have a small motif that you would have to look at to know it was Disney. They only had one dressing room so I had to wait to try stuff on and then felt bad trying on three dresses, but I took pics to send to my mom and ask her opinion. She wasn't too impressed with the Mary Poppins dress, saying "it looks like something your Polish great-grandmother would wear" but she did compliment the IASW dress. I didn't want to carry one around so I figured I'd think about it and could pick one up at the dress shop in New Orleans Square. In the end, I never did, but almost wish I had. The dresses aren't the cheapest, but they range in the $100-$150 range and I didn't actually buy any other souvenirs. The dresses also looked to be of decent quality.

    I entered and say the fire engine was ready. The CM was super nice and, when he saw me take a pic, posed for another one and invited me to ride. A couple of families also got on and he gave great commentary and encourage the little girl at the back to ring the bell. He was, without a doubt, one of the best CMs. He seemed to truly enjoy what he was doing and wanted to make sure people had fun.
    [​IMG]


    I left and headed into the park for my most anticipated meal. I went to the Plaza Inn for fried chicken. I didn't want the full meal so I asked if I could just get a piece and a side. The CM said, "of course" and told me the prices(I think it was $3.50 for a side and $4 for a piece of chicken, but I may be mis-remembering). I also grabbed a piece of pixar cake because it looked too good to pass up.

    When I got to the line to pay, I put my tray down and the CM said nothing. I didn't know what to do and, upon closer inspection, she had her eyes closed and seemed to dozing. I was at a loss as to how to proceed so I just sort of cleared my through and she opened her eyes. She said a drink came with the kids meal. I was confused because the kids meal they had displayed was for baked not fried chicken. I said ok and she said I should grab a drink so I got one for a soda. I didn't keep my receipt but I feel like I paid more than for the advertised kids meal, but I didn't think to sort it at the time.

    [​IMG]


    I was so excited for what had been described as "crack" chicken, but this was by far the worst fried chicken I have ever had...ever, in my entire life. I couldn't believe how bad it was. I think maybe it had been sitting too long, but still, the skin did not have a good flavor and the chicken itself was dry and flavorless. I ended up not eating much of it and was really disappointed. Luckily, the mashed potatoes were great and that cake was amazing! The frosting had a really nice, light lemony flavor that was not overwhelmingly sweet and made it almost refreshing. The cake was moist and seemed very fresh.

    I headed to Space and found that a single rider line was open. I was in the line at 1:59 and on at 2:04. There was a bit of drama when a man with two small children in front of me insisted that they ride together. The CM kept having to try to explain to him that it was a single rider line and you cannot ride together. He just kept insisting. Another CM actually came over and and started loading the single riders so I don't really know how things turned out. It was just another instance of an adult not wanting to follow the rules and stand in line(I know it was long), but trying to get his way anyway. That was really frustrating.
    I got put in a car with a group of 5 and, I think it was dad next to me, was chatting with me, telling me what a great time they'd been having, was I enjoying myself etc. I really appreciate it when people talk to me while I'm traveling by myself and find that it happens a lot, possibly because they feel sorry for me, but also because, I think, they start to run out of things to tell one another so a random solo person is a good place to get conversation. Just a theory.
    I took a pic of my ride pic. I am holding onto my glasses because I was afraid they would fall off.

    [​IMG]


    The moment I got off the ride, I cancelled the FP I had for it later in the day. I loved this ride when I went to WDW as a kid, but it just felt awful. I guess I am getting old!

    I was off Space at 2:08. I found an immediate FP for astroblasters and grabbed that.
    I was in at 2:11, and on the car at 2:14. I was really starting to like that ride.

    I started heading toward Main Street when I saw Mary Poppins and Burt walk by toward Fantasyland. I decided to follow and they got on the carousel. Well, how could I not take a ride?

    [​IMG]

    It's weird being an adult on a carousel, but was really fun and Mary and Bert were great. I was a bit far back from them, able to see them but not super close. I could have gotten closer, but there were so many kids around and they had so much fun talking to them. It was a really fun thing to do!

    I then saw an immediate FP for IASW. When I went to WDW as a kid, my sister and dad did NOT want to do it, but I begged and we went and I loved it(they hated it. I believe my dad's words were, "let's get this over with.).
    There were some issues with the FP line and scanning. I thought mine was scanned but, I found out later, not, which made getting another FP a bit of an issue. I'm not sure what happened,
    but the FP eventually disappeared after the ride was over.
    The queue is not great as it is outside, in direct sunlight. I also had an issue with loading. The CM put me at the front of the boat(not great when you are by yourself, but whatever). He sent two women in that holding pen and they then got on. I didn't mind and it became clear that they did not speak much English. The CM started yelling at them to get out because parties who don't know each other can't sit together. The two women kept apologizing and bowing(I believe they were Japanese) and I tried to tell them that it wasn't a problem and I told the CM that I didn't mind but he just kept yelling. Now, this might have been a safety issue(can't have 3 people in the front row?), but, if it was, he handled it very poorly, and, if I wasn't uncomfortable enough before, I now had an entire boat of people(and the queue) staring at the girl by herself on IASW, wondering what she did to cause the ruckus.

    I was in line at 2:38.
    On boat at 2:45. Here are the notes I made.
    2:47-I've made a horrible mistake
    2:50-why, of why did I do this
    2:53-some of these dolls seem a little racist
    2:58-I have accepted my fate
    3:01-That doll looks like the creepiest clown I've ever seen and it's hanging from the ceiling as if in my nightmares.
    3:03-I have emerged. Huzzah!

    I realize that I have not gotten to Toontown yet, but we'll make there next update(hopefully).
     
    Eve & Wall-e likes this.
  21. Jaina

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

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,477
    One of my favorite rides at Disneyland IS the carousel, because only at Disney (I feel) is it not actually that weird to be an adult riding on the carousel. I was obsessed with horses as a kid/young teen, so I love riding on the carousel. ;-) That sounds like a really stressful experience on IASW, I'm sorry!
     

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